This article is being written in response to the numerous comments posted to the original article. I would highly suggest that those who participated in any of those discussions read the two "bonus comments" as well as the article which starts......now.
Although each comment individually is valuable and deserves a response, it is also true that various members may be making similar points. This article is intended to address the major themes which showed up on the various threads.
Perhaps the single most important theme of the original article was the suggestion that Atheists need God, and religion in general, for use as a boogeyman on which they can focus all of their anguish and negativity. In insisting that any discussion focus exclusively on whether or not God exists they can effectively avoid discussing a whole range of subjects. This easy and simplistic way of looking at things allows them to blame all the troubles and tribulations of the world on religion, ie. God.
How nice it would be if it were true that all of the world's problems could be laid at the door of one single group or institution. If that were true, who could argue against wiping those people off the face of the Earth which would allow the rest of us to live in peace a prosperity in perpetuity? Not surprisingly, history provides us with examples of atheists who came to just that conclusion. In fact, I mentioned those very examples in the original article. It seems that one of the very first actions any self-respecting state embracing Atheism as its' state "religion" takes is to persecute in the most aggressive manner the leadership and the more common religious folk. Unfortunately for the rest of the people, after removing the moral leadership and destroying the value system espoused by God, the next step is to massacre an incredible number of their other citizens, and yet there are those who continue to clamor for just such a result.
Why does this happen? There are obviously a number of reasons, but we can certainly draw some conclusions from the types of discussion which occur in the United States daily. As I pointed out in the original article, by focusing every discussion on whether or not God even exists, many atheists are able to avoid answering two important question. The first question asks them to describe their moral and ethical value system. If answered at all, this question tends to be answered, with no sense of irony, using a well-known religious precept. This is what they consider to be a value system. In fact, they often use the words "believe in" to describe whatever warmed over precept they choose to claim as the basis on which they live their lives. The real problem arises when we move on to the second question. This is the question which ask that they provide empirical and objective proof that their value system has merit. If the reader peruses the comments responding to the original article, he/she will find no supporting documentation.
There is, however, another more sinister reason that an atheistic society invariably results in lots of people getting killed. The political leadership is well aware of the fact that religious institutions are an obstacle to their desire to wield absolute and omnipotent power. To ensure a truly docile population one can either attempt to co opt the religious leadership or destroy it. Atheist prefer to destroy it as when the pogroms begin there can only be two outcomes related to religion. it can be revived underground in its' original form or become completely irrelevant as an obvious arm of the State.
So, having said all that, has anyone noticed that my original claim remains true? While I may have provided evidence as to why a state without religion can be a very bad thing the conversation continues to be essentially fought on the radical atheist's turf. This becomes obvious when I restate my claim. The new style atheists cannot construct and defend a viable moral and ethical system acceptable to large sectors of the society and thus must rely on diversion and subterfuge to maintain any semblance of relevancy. How does he do it? Arguing over whether or not God exists, for one thing, and poking holes in every other system for another. My challenge remains an open one which is to say that if one is to deny theological approach then one must use a philosophical one. A philosophical argument is much deeper and much more difficult. It cannot begin and end on an article of faith. It must begin with a provable and empirical fact and build its system from that point on.
There is another minor point which also needs to be addressed. There seem to be two conflicting narratives, sometimes apparently shared by the same group of individuals. On the one hand it was suggested that all atheists are the same and that there is no difference between radical and moderate atheists while at the same time it was suggested that atheists are not monolithic and thus cannot be categorized. This makes it a bit difficult to respond to those who claim to have the power and authority to determine whether or not I am an atheist. Apparently there are those who take the position that only they can determine who is a "true" atheist. Interesting.
Thank you....And please read my first two comments,