Black Pigeon Speaks made a video on why atheism is vacuous grandiloquence. Is it? Let’s take a look point by point.
Before I do, I would just like to mention that this is not an attack, or an attempt to change BPS’s views or yours on the subject. This is merely going to be an in-depth investigation on what my conclusions have lead me to believe—thus the subtitle “response”—; and although BPS is on the right path, I believe he has ended up in the wrong destination.
The first point he brings up in his thesis he is going to explain in a separate upcoming video, so I’ll ignore it for now.
BPS then fancies himself an agnostic theist. He called himself this before on a stream with Dave Cullen. An oxymoron, no less. Agnostic theism is when you believe in a god while admitting he may not exist, in that the idea of a god is necessary even if false.
To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic. . . The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary.
Does this sound familiar? It is the definition of doublethink. I’m not putting BPS down for being contradictory. No, we are all contradictory to some extent. Conservatives hate socialism unless it’s for veterans; liberals are for abortion, but are against the death penalty. Having said that, it is one thing to have ideas that contradict one another and to have a contradictory ideology.
BPS then accuses atheists of having a tendency to be egotistical and call religious people stupid and delusional. I agree that atheists have this tendency. I hate the name-calling game myself (“If you’re not an atheist, you’re dumb; if you’re not feminist, you’re sexist; if you’re not alt-right, you’re a Zionist; if you’re not Zionist, you’re antisemitic). I’m tired of it, and it has to stop if you want to get your point across.
Next, BPS utters his most ridiculous statement: “Atheists have no alternative and fail to observe the logical conclusions of their crusade against religion. They do not contemplate, let alone speak, of the social vacuum that has been created in places like Europe with the fall of Christianity”.
He makes three points here, all of which are from his own misunderstanding of the situation. Firstly, atheism is not an “alternative” to religion, but a rejection of religion, hence why it’s called “a-theism”. But this is a nitpick. Secondly, while I do admit that the communists have historically and currently attempted to wage war on religion, 99.99% of the time, whenever religion is at war, it is almost always at war with another religion, or a sect of one religion. Religions, historically and currently, have more to worry about from other religions than atheism. The same also goes for atheists. As for the “social vacuum with the fall of Christianity”, I’ll get into that later.
Next, BPS accuses atheists of attacking Christianity because it’s an easy target. I agree, they do, and this is why I make videos that mock and criticize Islam only.
“Christianity has been integral to the West and a pillar throughout its ascendance to its current prominence and dominance. . . The morality expressed and enforced in the teachings of the varied sex is uniquely Western in temperament and structure. This absolutism produced the modern world around us. It fosters charity, community, education, collectivism, and, most importantly, family. This is what atheists are fighting against.”
These values have always been adopted and recognized in all advanced societies, Christian or not; they are the fundamental ingredients for creating any civilization. BPS seems to overestimate the influence religion has over culture. I would in fact argue that culture, more so, influences religion. There is a reason why Western Christians are different from African or Chinese Christians, and why the issues and concerns they address are unique to their nations and communities. Religions that are too different from the cultures they dwell in are doomed to fail, are in most cases driven out, excluded as outcasts, and ridiculed whenever their presence is revealed. Had Islam failed to take over Persia, and it almost did fail, Zoroastrianism would have been the dominant religion, and Islam would be ridiculed, as it was by the pre-Islamic intellectuals when first introduced to it. The same trend happened to Christianity under the Roman Empire. Religion either needs the approval of the culture, or must destroy it. Christianity was approved by the West; Islam destroyed the cultures of North Africa and the Middle East.
“Atheists want to replace Christianity with nothing but a sucking vacuum that is currently being filled by another, and arguably extremely virulent and aggressive, religion that finds atheism ironically to be among the worst crimes a man can commit. . . Atheists are generally concentrated in the West and Far East which are suffering from demographic implosion. . . Natural selection favors religious societies. Non-religious societies die out by self-selecting small families or by having no children at all. . . Religion is the glue that has held human societies together since the Stone Age.”
On a stream with Millenial Woes, about two hours in, BPS defined atheism as a leftist ideology set on destroying Western civilization through blind openness, hedonistic materialism, and spiritual nihilism. A leftist ideology? How did he come to that conclusion? Has BPS not heard of Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, the Austrian economists, the atheist YouTube community, whose writings and arguments have been essential to the fight against socialism, feminism, Marxism, etc.? Even conservatives like Milo Yiannopolous and Ben Shapiro admit they have a large atheist following. What about the Danish and French cartoonists? Ayaan Hirsi Ali? To say atheism is an ideology totally ignores not only its influence, but its intellectual and political diversity on all sides of the political spectrum throughout history. Even the atheists of the Enlightenment preferred the American Revolution to the French Revolution (Volney, Diderot, d’Holbach, etc.).
I would argue that the fall of Christianity is a result of the West’s prominence. Let me explain. BPS advocates a kind of cultural religiosity. He seems to equate religious identity with national or cultural identity, which are three very different things, although they can each compliment one another. Religion is never going to go away, so BPS need not worry. There is no spiritual/philosophical war going on between religion and non-religion. The religious will be religious and the atheists will be atheists. But he seems to believe societies become less religious out of a cultural crisis, the West’s particularly originating from the world wars. This is simply not true. As societies become less religious they become more advanced. Atheism seems to be an inevitable result in countries with higher average IQ, higher literacy, and lower crime rate. Whereas you look at countries with the highest murder rates, religiosity is through the roof, standards of living are lower, literacy rates are astonishingly lower than average, lower average IQ, more dangerous etc. And most of them have adopted Western secular systems.
BPS suggested on the same stream countries to move to after the death of the West: Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina. What do these countries have in common? Highest average IQ in South America, safest places to visit/live in South America, the highest literacy in South America, and the highest percentage of atheists in South America.
Japan is one also, as BPS mentioned in the end of his atheism video. But let’s take a look at Western countries with the same trends. You have Finland, Estonia, Austria, Czech Republic, Iceland. Excluding Sweden, France, the Netherlands, and Germany, these have some of the highest percentage of atheists in their populations, lower crime rate, higher average IQ, and have considerably very small Muslim populations.
Based on the evidence, demographics, and statistics, I can only conclude that countries with a significant number of atheists are a result of advanced societies, not the reason for any spiritual, materialistic ennui. If France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark suffer from atheism, then you’ll have to explain why atheism has not had the same effect on countries under the same continent. Religiosity is advocated in societies when crime, illiteracy and poverty increase. When you see higher crime and backwardness in Western countries like Sweden, France, and Germany, your initial response is “What they need is more religion.” The residents respond the same as well. This “solution” is often what poorer and criminal countries suggest. Religion is a result of poverty and increased crime. Atheism is a result of greater societies.
The Muslim-majority countries are very religious, but only 20% understand Arabic, 50% can’t read, and also suffer a serious inbreeding problem, which contributes to their lower average IQ. You’ll also notice that often heavily religious countries are from middle to bottom of the safest countries list. Same trends, and I repeat: lower literacy, lower living standards, and higher crime rates, produce more religiosity.
To address the “demographic implosion”, this also seems to be the result of any richer and advanced civilization, whether it be the past, present, or future. Inevitably a better society has more atheism and less children. It is the same case for immigrants coming from poorer societies; the longer immigrants stay in advanced civilizations, generation after generation, like clockwork, they begin to have less and less children. The question is, how to solve this? Then it becomes a question of economics, not religiosity or spirituality. The Germans and Swedes today, like the Romans before the collapse, decided to let more people in. “Anyone can be Roman, German, Swede!” they thought. These leaders in control are ignorant of history. They are not trying to push any atheistic agenda. This is merely a result of bad policy, bad leadership, and bad planning. Atheist countries like Finland, Estonia, Czech Republic, Australia, etc., have it handled. Japan has it handled. Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina have it handled. Only certain countries in the Western world do not.
Immigration has never been an ideological problem, but, again, has always been an economic one. To conclude atheism and religion have influenced our current outcome is absurd. Religion and atheism are the effect, not the cause of poor or wealthy civilizations.
BPS has simply not taken these facts into account. I can only assess that his thesis is not merely a lazy off-the-cuff rant, but an oversimplification—thus, an overcomplication—of our recent crises. And if you are still convinced that his suggestion is preferable, in which crime, poverty, and religiosity increase while average IQ, literacy, and wealth decrease, let me know why in the comment section.
As for me, an advanced civilization where atheism along with higher IQ, safety, wealth, are inevitable outcomes, I choose such a civilization. If you agree with my conclusions on this particular subject, write in the comments why.
It is, dare I say, the “fate” of all civilizations to die, be it from war, bad economy, disease, a series of horrible leadership, demographic decline, etc. Of course we must try to last as long as we are capable of, but the real question that needs to be asked is the following: Whom will we choose to replace us? The Romans chose the Christians. I’m sure you would agree that the people replacing us now are not who we would in any way approve to take over what we have contributed to history. Our replacement has to come from those who want to continue what we built. Right now the West is like a mother trying to adopt children she doesn’t know while aborting her own. The West should, if anything, be like a father passing down the sword to his trained son.
Thank you for reading. And thank you, Black Pigeon Speaks, for the work that you do. I would never kill the messenger (as you’ve often described yourself), but I will always question him; and I hope you and my readers have considered taking at least a second look on this matter.