A fool hath said in his heart…
1The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
2The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
3They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
4Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
5There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
6Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.
7Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
This passage above is Psalm 14 1:7, which basically states that all those who do not believe there is a God are fools, morally corrupted. It was prompted to my attention in particular by this video entitled “Atheism: A Fool’s Heart” which cheerily points out that Maximilien Robspierre, one of the leaders of the French Revolution was influenced by the teachings of the enlightenment, and was also responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. This is true, Robspierre was one of the main figures in the French Revolution, and he was brought to justice and later killed for his deeds.
The video then draws the conclusion that if people listen to Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, that the world will spiral down into rebellion, where we too can behead people for their disagreements with us. Yes, it is a plain straight line between reason, rationality and murder, right?
Okay let’s have a look at Robspierre. Firstly he was a Deist, not an atheist. In his Speech to the Convention, May 7, 1794 he said these words, proving that while not a Christian, he most certainly believed in God:
“The day forever fortunate has arrived, which the French people have consecrated to the Supreme Being. Never has the world which He created offered to Him a spectacle so worthy of His notice. He has seen reigning on the earth tyranny, crime, and imposture. He sees at this moment a whole nation, grappling with all the oppressions of the human race, suspend the course of its heroic labors to elevate its thoughts and vows toward the great Being who has given it the mission it has undertaken and the strength to accomplish it.”
He calls upon this supreme being, acting as if in God’s divine service, and calling for the blood of those who oppose his rule, much like some political leaders in recent history have also done. This comparison is 100% strawman. The beauty of statements like this video is that the likelihood that someone watching it who agrees that atheism is bad will probably not take the 20 seconds to look further into the life of someone like Robspierre to discover that, while he was a self-proclaimed rationalist, he was also a very strong deist. People who make statements depend upon the laziness of the viewers to try to make their point, then the mindless throngs who agree with the fact that Atheists are evil simply parrot off the misinformation as though it is fact.
But remember, facts are made up of many parts, and with just a fraction of the whole, you will be presented with a fallacy, even if the parts presented are true.
The logical fallacy is clear. It goes a little something like this:
“Robspierre was a rationalist, he was also a murderer. Harris and Dawkins are rationalists also, therefore they are also murderers.”
You couldn’t win a primary school debate with “facts” like this.
The video was made by a group called “America Vision” (if you follow the broken link to www.foolsheart.com, you will arrive there, albeit at a 404 page.) I don’t know any specifics about this group, but from what I can gather from their homepage, they sell books about biblical prophecy, tyranny in government, biblical cover-ups, homeschooling, and children’s books about “Arkie the Archeyopteryx“.
Holy cow Batman! This looks interesting! A children’s book about evolution? Surely not. What do they say about this book?
“What makes a bird a bird? What makes a platypus a platypus? If different animals share similar features, does that mean they share a common ancestor as Darwin said?
Join Arkie the archaeopteryx as he flies through the jungle and meets a motley cast of characters, coming to realize that many animals do not fit the typical mode of man-made classification. This exciting adventure helps children view the natural world through a biblical lens.
Seen through the eyes of one of the most famous ancient birds, this beautifully illustrated story shows children that the bizarre traits of some animals can be explained within a creationist framework.
Stokes the imagination, encourages critical thinking, and brings glory to God.”
Thus they lay all their cards on the table. Evolution deniers, creationists, child proselytisers and above all, liars. I was almost tempted to buy this book, then I realised I would be giving money toward their lunacy. Sorry to say it guys, I’m keeping my $11.25 for me.
Also, I have had a problem with the aforementioned Psalm. I do not say things in my heart. My heart pumps blood, it’s my head that does all the saying. If your heart is talking, you should see a doctor.
One of the easiest things for me to do is to pick holes in the bible. I see it as shooting fish in a barrel. While it may catch some fish, it’s far too easy, and there are many people out there who are better at it than I, and who would do a better job of it. So while I will not sit here and say “Your book is wrong!” (which is it), I really object to the way this video not only tries to come across as a “gotcha” moment (as if it’s something us evil atheists are trying to hide), but also patronisingly makes a fallacious argument, which when researched actually goes against the very point they are trying to make. Research is easy, especially in this day and age, and there is no excuse for this kind of willfull ignorance. Smarten up people.