Friday, April 15, 2011

Why does Vox Day love bullshitting about “immoral atheists”?

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Sir Terry Pratchett
Pictured: Murderin’ atheist!

In which our favorite pseudo-intellectual Christianist crank can’t resist indulging in some more anti-atheistic fear-mongering:

As I pointed out in TIA, it is not difficult to understand why extraordinarily ambitious atheists in positions of great political power show such a strong predilection for mass slaughter. They are usually obsessed with forcibly modifying society on a large scale and it is impossible to do that without "breaking a few eggs". Contra Sam Harris, their bloody acts are perfectly rational; we can and should reject their justifications but we cannot fault their logic. But how does one explain the likes of largely apolitical atheists like Terry Pratchett, whose early-onset Alzheimer's has led him to produce a work of murder propaganda?

Oh, my. [M]ass slaughter? [F]orcibly modifying society on a large scale? [M]urder propaganda? What telling evil has Vox uncovered, here? Evidence of a massive atheistic genocide cover-up? New research indicating the presence of a long-supposed Evil Gene found only within atheists in that God-shaped hole in their shriveled black hearts? What tale of inhumane depravity could possibly spawn such rhetoric?

Well, if one happens to check out the excerpt he quotes from the linked article, the answer to such a query is … “nothing much”:

Viewers of the BBC2 show will see the writer, whose Discworld series of books have sold millions of copies worldwide, at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland with the 71 year–old motor neurone disease sufferer, named only as Peter.

Sir Terry, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2008, also reveals that he is "a believer in assisted death".

In 2008, a documentary on Sky Television called Right To Die? showed 59–yearold Craig Ewert ending his life. He also suffered from motor neurone disease.

Dr Peter Saunders, director of the charity Care Not Killing, criticised the BBC's decision to broadcast the programme, saying it was acting "like a cheerleader for legalising assisted suicide".

Right … in talking about how ruthlessly monstrous and murder-happy atheists (in general!) are, Vox supported this claim by referencing an article about how a renown atheist made a film showing the compassion and humanity that goes into assisting sufferers of incurable and degenerative illnesses with ending their miserable lives, to escape the pain, fear and helplessness that their existence has become.

Because, obviously, in Vox Day’s world (wherever that might be), such an act of ultimate compassion – and recognizing that if people have a right to life, they must therefore logically have a right to end their lives as they see fit – can only be a sign of pure evil, and one that is supported pretty much unanimously by atheists. Yeah, sure. That’s it, Vox. Got us all figured out, there.

He then goes on to quote some 1995-era statistics pertaining to show how about 20% of assisted deaths in the Netherlands (which were only formally legalized in 2002, thus rendering pre-2002 statistics unreliable for measuring or predicting current trends) are actually carried out “against the patient’s consent”. He doesn’t seem to notice how he apparently defeats his own argument in quoting the fact that this only happens in cases where patients are crippled with advanced stages of dementia, terminal cancer, or other debilitating and incurable diseases that will only make their existence more wretched as time goes on, and therefore implicitly denotes how they would most likely be grateful, if not even impatient, for their suffering to end through a peaceful departure. (Also, the bits he quotes only mention that in these cases, doctors had not received “explicit consent”, which leaves the door open to interpretation.)

There certainly is such a thing as “mercy killing” in the way it’s implied. You wouldn’t let a loved one – or anyone – suffer at length, with zero prospect of ever getting better, unless you were holding onto some asinine notion of the “sanctity of life”. Because, of course, what better way to proclaim and celebrate the beauty and richness of life than by forcing someone to endure it in the worst circumstances imaginable?

There certainly is immorality at play, here. Of that much, Vox is correct. But, as usual, it isn’t from the atheists he just loves to bullshit against.