Orwellian Atheism


I have noted the Orwellian nature of atheist language. For atheists reading this, Orwell (George Orwell) was a great writer who specialized in political language. One of his greatest achievements was to write one of the best essays ever written on the use of language in political ideology: "Politics and the English Language," written in 146. In that great work he reminds us that:

Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Never was this so true than in dealing with atheists. In the way atheists are beginning to use speech we can see all the tricks Orwell talked about. Of course, most of these internet atheists have not read Animal Farm or 1984 so they have no idea. But in their use of certain words they disguise totalitarian leanings one would never suspect. The totalitarian regimes of the Soviet Union referred to their political dissidents as "mentally ill" and kept putting them in mental institutions because they felt rejecting the worker's paradise must surely be a form of mental illness.

I've already written about how the atheists use term "delusion." They actually don't use it to mean mental illness. They use the term to merely mean "a wrong idea." But in using a term that everyone knows means a false construct which results from mental illness, they are actually calling religious people mentally ill without having to admit that they are doing it. It's like if they said religious people are stupid. The religious person objects but they said "it's a special form of the word that doesn't mean really not bright," but then they keep saying it. We would get the idea. It's like insulting people with plausible deniability. Why use a special term such as this, just to mean "this is idea is wrong?" Obviously it's meant to carry a connotation. Now consider the dangers of labeling as mentally ill anyone who happens to disagree with your point of view. Atheism as a whole is becoming more totalitarian all the time and they can't see it because they are so addicted to the charge they get from feeling superior.

Here's the latest example of the Orwellian tendencies. The Dawkies use the term "cult" in relation to all religious belief and groups. Of course they have no knowledge of the true sociological meaning of the term. They think all cults are imposing their will upon brainwashed lackeys whose lives they take over and ruin. An example is the posting by a CARM Dawkie named "Toast"

The title of the thread is "a few questions about cults", but he's just equating religion with cults.

If no one ever told you about your god you would still believe?

If so, would your belief mirror the one you have been indoctrinated into?

If you still would believe even if no one told you these things to
believe would you not just be making things up?

He's trying to say that because you can't come to the same conclusions you do as a Christain on your own with no Bible and no church to guide you then it must be a cult because it's others imposing their will.

Another post by Toast:

sorry but everything...a religion is a cult

This is also the same tendency. Everything the other guys value we disvalue so every term they use we must re-think and impose our own terms. We can't allow them to name their own things, such as "church" we must name them and stick them with the connotations of our own interpretation. So thus Churches become cults. The irony meter is going to blare in a moment.

The really alarming tendency is the almost blatant admission that ideas which don't stack up to the atheist ideology are "dangerous" and must be controlled. This statement was made on CARM Sept 21, 2009, by "Mountaineer Elf.”

Because some ideas can be dangerous. Not all ideas deserve to be heard if they are dangerous.

Trying to usurp science and reality to stick in your deity is dangerous.

The context he's speaking of is an argument for the existence of God. The idea that a new concept or some concept that he doesn't agree with is "usurping science" is quite alarming. What's worse is he's not content for science to stay in its own domain, it must conquer all and control all reality. When is arguments for God usurping science? That can only be the case if he thinks that science’s proper domain is dictating to us that we can't believe in God. It's even worse than equating science with reality. His view is so totalizing that it must control all, there can be nothing in existence that is not controlled by his view point.

In defending this, other atheoids literally said "O he didn't mean it that way and you know it." How do we know it? How could he mean it in any other way? In what way could God arguments usurp science and reality without the idea that science is all reality?

Here's the Orwellian rub. In Animal Farm the pigs control the farm. There's been a revolution, the animals have overthrown the farmer and changed the name of the farm to "Animal Farm" and they are in charge. The pigs are the leaders, they keep putting up posters with slogans telling the other animals what it's all about. But they keep changing the messages until they come around to mean the exact opposite of what they did at first. This is the way totalitarians use language, according to Orwell.

(for a synopsis of the book go here)

Atheists used to call themselves "free thinkers." They wanted us to believe that they were just sticking for the rights of us all to think anything we think and believe anything we believe. Now they begin to define believing things that contradict their ideology as "delusion" and "usurping reality." When I pointed this out Mountaineer Elf redefined the nature of free thinking:

True free thinkers are those that can speak and think with accuracy and honesty. As a scientist, I pride myself on being able to read and understand the natural world and everything it has to offer. Not all of it is 100% right, but I consider the 95% to be good enough.

This is so Orwellian everyone need to see this. He's narrowed the definition of free thinking to the point where it includes his ideology and nothing more. So free thinkers are people who agree with me. Scientists. The true free thinkers agree with me and nothing more.

But wait he's not done. It gets worse. He goes one better:

The rest of your anti-free thought rant snipped - not worth responding to insults. If you want a discussion, I'm more than willing to discuss. If you want to hurl insults, I can just go back to the Evolution/ID forum and have Creationists assume that I'm stupid for not buying into talking snakes, magic trees, and global floods.

Now he defines opposing his form of totalitarianism as "anti-free thinking." This is just like the communists. If you are dissident you are mentally ill and sanity is defined as obeying the state. If you point out that he's against free thought then you are anti-free thought because free thought has now been reduced to nothing more than agreement with him. To disagree with him opposes free thought. So the person who thinks we should all have the right to think for ourselves is now anti-free thought and one who thinks we have to control everything that is not in agreement with the ideology is now the free thinker! Black just becomes white, as Orwell said. That is exactly what Orwell said political language does. Read it again:

"Political Language...is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind..."

Then his cohorts carry it a step further and if you dissent from this truth regime of the atheists then you are a danger to humanity:

May brick

So Metacrock would be happy for children to be taught that HIV is spread through vaccines and that condoms offer no protection?

You can't get more Orwellian than this. This is exactly right out of 1984 where the state has the right to impose that dissents must accept their view of reality even by forcing them to admit something such as 2 + 2 = 5. In forcing them to accept something categorically and fundamentally believed to be totally wrong they are eliminating their ability to ever think independently. That is exactly what's happened to many of these atheists and what they are trying to do to religious people.

In brow beating, intimidating, by mocking and ridiculing people they force them to de-convert and in so doing they force them to alter their most based and cherished beliefs and the fundamental understanding they have of who they are and what reality is. There is nothing more heinous one can do to another person. That is on a par with murder and if I thought like they do I should start calling them murderers.

I'm sure they will come back and say they can't force anyone to deconvert against their will, but that doesn't stop them from trying and it means they are shutting down reason and thought in discourse, they shut down reasoned discussion and reduce the whole situation to a political escapade. Perhaps this means they are not quite as bad as I think, but only because they aren't successful enough in what they are trying to do.


Alejandro said…
I'll start by disclosing that I'm atheist, and I'll concede that the comments you've quoted constitute unfair characterizations of theist positions and are characteristic of a lot of stupid, unproductive things some atheists say during apologetic arguments.

That being said, is calling their arguments "totalitarian" much better than them calling yours "delusional"? Isn't there some "plausible deniability" in both of those characterizations?

Particularly since you direct your post at "atheism" as opposed to "atheists," thereby suggesting that the merits of the idea are undermined by the overzealous hyperbole used by some of its adeherents?
I think their thinking is clearly totalitarian. I realize they don't represent all of atheists in the world. But that sub-group is out there in the atheist community. Atheists need to start dealing with it instead of pretending it's not there.
Alejandro said…
"Atheists need to start dealing with it instead of pretending it's not there."

I think that's fair enough, assuming you also believe (which I suspect you do) that Christians shouldn't tolerate similar behavior in their own ranks.

Methinks the problem is that it's always easier to rationalize on behalf of the extremists in one's own intellectual clique since "well, they're just the minority fringe" or "they're just giving as good as we get" while simultaneously using the opposing minority fringe to score rhetorical points and to portray one's opponents as wingnuts.

No doubt, wingnuts exist on both sides, but it seems everyone's predisposed to try and police the other side while neglecting to police their own.

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