Open Letter from
miguel de Portugal to Mr. Gary Wolf,
About The New Atheism
July 23, 2008
The cover article of the November 2006 issue of WIRED Magazine featured: "THE NEW ATHEISM" - No Heaven. No Hell.
Just Science. - Inside - The Crusade Against Religion. (1)
The well written article was authored by the contributing editor of the
magazine, Gary Wolf.
Mr. Wolf, although himself quite confused about God, Religion and
Science, proved to be a good writer since his presentation was well
balanced and informative. For that, I thank him.
For my readers we will first identify those who, according to Mr. Wolf,
constitute the core of the "newest religion in town" - The Church of the Non-Believers. I
shall refer to them as the "Kardinals" of this new religion.
Richard Dawkins, Evolutionary Biologist, University of Oxford
Sam Harris, Neuroscientist,
Founder and Chairman of the Reason Project (2)
Professor Daniel Dennett,
Philosopher, Tufts University
I will be commenting upon what I read in Mr. Wolf's article. I will not research the
work or background of the "Kardinals" of The Church of the
Non-Believers. Based on what I learned about them in Mr. Wolf's
article, it is certainly not worth my time.
Mr. Gary Wolf, Contributing Editor
P.O. Box 37705
Boone, IA 50037-0705
gary at aether dot com
Greetings, Mr. Wolf!
It has taken me one week since I read your article, "The New Atheism,"
until I could write this letter and remain charitable throughout it
toward the three atheist Kardinals.
The first item of the article that caught my attention was, and I quote
you: "They (the Kardinals) condemn
not just belief in God but respect for belief in God. Religion is not
only wrong; it's evil."
If I had just landed in my personal UFO, arriving from someplace in the
Orion constellation and, knowing nothing about the Earthlings, surveyed
the variety of gods that the Earthlings claimed to adore since almost
the dawn of time and how religion has been practiced in the same period
- I would agree with
You may not find that strange at all. Indeed, as we read elsewhere in
your article, the Kardinals feel that there are many "closeted"
atheists in the world who have "no guts" to come out . The difference
with me is that I pray and meditate five rosaries every day, offer the
Sacrifice of the Holy Mass daily, and offer a variety of other daily
prayers and acts of reparation.
That is: If the reality of God and Religion are going to be evaluated
by how they have been mostly represented by informal and formal
religions, since the dawn of time, the Kardinals' evaluation would
indeed be correct. As a matter of fact, if it were not for concern of
having my car firebombed, it would sport one of those bumper stickers
that reads: Lord, save me from your
What amazes me is that such individuals who, with much fanfare, present
themselves as society's "Intelligentsia" and "The Leading Lights of
Reason" have not recognized that very obvious fact.
Professor Dawkins speaks about whose responsibility it is to prove or
disprove God. Gentlemen, gentlemen.... the belief in God, by
definition, is based on Faith. The belief in any scientific discovery
is based on concrete proof. If one believes in a scientifically proven
God, there is no faith, and without faith there is no Salvation. If
there is no Salvation, why even bother with the concept of God?
Scientifically "proving" God is as asinine as announcing that we have
developed dehydrated water. Please, gentlemen Kardinals of atheism! You
should at least try to act the intellectual part that you pretend to
You quote Professor Dawkins as saying "I'm
quite keen on the politics of persuading people of the virtues of
atheism." That sounds to me like a policy statement by the Opus
Dei (3). The principle is the same, if one only
changes "atheism" to "Josemaría Escriva"; in essence it would be like
changing the word "round" to "circular".
But, once again, I find another point of agreement with Professor
Dawkins. You quote him as saying:
"Highly intelligent people are mostly
atheists. Not a single member of either house of Congress admits to
being an atheist. It just doesn't add up. Either they are stupid, or
they are lying. And have they got a motive for lying? Of course they've
got a motive! Everybody knows that an atheist can't get elected."
No, Professor Dawkins, they are neither stupid nor closeted atheists.
They are "believers" indeed - which of course brings us back to one of
my original statements: If God and
Religion are going to be judged by how they have been mostly
represented by informal and formal religions, since the dawn of time,
Prof. Dawkins' evaluation of God and Religion would indeed be correct.
You state, Mr. Wolf, that: "Dawkins
does not merely disagree with religious myths. He disagrees with
tolerating them, with cooperating in their colonization of the brains
of innocent tykes."
Because I espouse neither Professor Dawkins' position nor the manner in
which God and Religion has been represented throughout millennia, I
must take exception to this sophomoric statement. After all, if I were
to apply the same "illuminated" logic, I would not want the brains of
innocent tykes to be colonized by the incoherent logic of
Professor Dawkins and the other Kardinals. Professor Dawkins should
realize that, in absolute terms, he is in "the same bag" with those
whom he vehemently attacks; there is no difference whatsoever.
I shall give you an example - a very current example - a political
problem in Spain.
The Socialist government has essentially pulled out Religious (that is,
Roman Catholic) Education from schools and replaced it with a subject
which promotes - under the guise of fostering tolerance - behavior
which is not the norm ("norm" statistically speaking). This, of course,
is an overcompensation to the past "religious" behavior which Professor
Since I am a firm believer of only criticizing if I can offer a
solution, this is what I would do:
Replace the brainwashing "Traditional Religion" classes with a subject
which would teach children civil behavior and community living as well
as an overview of major religions and beliefs of the world. The parents
would, while the children cannot yet make an intelligent decision,
raise them in the family faith without any coercion and the clear
understanding that as they become better informed, they will be
allowed, without any family condemnation, to practice whatever faith
they wish to pursue.
Maybe Professor Dawkins would say: "What? Have those little tykes
baptized? Have them receive First Communion? Heavens to Betsy!" (no, I
guess the Professor would not use that expression...) To which we would
respond: "Why worry? If there is no Godm those "empty" rituals will
certainly not affect them in any way, would they?"
Atheism and Faith constitute a two way street. If one feels that he has
to impose his religious - or lack of it - views on others then one is
operating from a position of weakness a
la Opus Dei or a la
Professor Dawkins. A "good product", well presented through
simple example, "will sell itself"; conversely, a "bad product" relies
on coercion to "be sold".
Let us now talk about those who - for whatever reason - believe in God
and practice a religion without fanaticism. What should The Church of the Non-Believers do
about that group? The "Final Solution" - Part II?
Of course not - The solution was given precisely by a scientist
centuries ago. I am sure that these "Illuminated Kardinals" of The Church of the Non-Believers have
heard about the imaginary numbers used in Mathematics. We are also sure
that said luminaries know that those numbers - which do not exist (that
is why they are called imaginary)
- were developed by Rafael Bombelli in 1572 to resolve mathematical
problems which could not be
solved with the "real numbers" used in mathematics at the time. (4)
Well, if those individuals need,
in order to properly function, to believe in God, practice a religion
(without fanaticism), and are constructive members of society - what
would the problem be?
In closing... I was somewhat amused when I read that these luminaries
pretend to replace God and Religion with Reason. If men (who probably
were of far greater stature than the three Kardinals of atheism) tried
this in the French Revolution (5) and it failed,
what makes the Kardinals think that they will make it work now? Because
science has discovered the human genome or has made ingrown toenails a
plague of the past?
It does not take the proverbial "rocket scientist" to stand back and
look at the French experiment: A tyrannical abusive monarchy was
deposed together with its underpinning - the Roman Catholic Church.
After a blood bath and a failed attempt to establish the Reign of
Reason, France ended up, not with a despotic monarchy.... but with a
despotic Emperor - Napoleon, etc.
Humanity's stupidity is only surpassed by its inability to learn from
past mistakes - just as the Kardinals have proven if we are to take Mr.
Wolf's report at face value.
Regarding Evolution and Creationism - as we have shown (6)
- they need each other. Alone neither can stand. Pitting one against
the other is just another marketing technique for religious and anti-religious propagandists.
I could go on but perhaps I have made my point - at least for the
record since Messrs. Dawkins, Harris and Dennett will not change
positions based on anything that I have brought to light. They simply
can't. Without maintaining their current controversial position, their
"glory" in the eyes of other men would evaporate... and then, what
would they have left? A part time job at the local Walmart?
However - I was taught by the "non existing" God to love my enemies and
persecutors so... in a "rapture of love" for my neighbors, the three
Kardinals, I want to offer them an opportunity that they have never
had: a chance to "put their money where their mouths are!"
You are being invited to bring the Administration of the Roman Catholic
Church before the International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague for
a key accessory to the greatest genocide known to humanity (ca.
100 million deaths) or
(b) orchestrating the greatest
deception ever played upon humanity.
The prosecution can even give the Vatican a choice of which charge to
face in the dock of justice.
We understand that the Kardinals do not believe in God but the Church
Administrators can be tried within
the framework of the beliefs which they promote. I would have
brought these charges myself, but do not have the time. Besides, the
only glory I need I get from that "non existent" God, and not from the
veneration of humans as the Kardinals seem to do.
In these documents (7) you will find the
fundamental proofs to start the case.
miguel de Portugal
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