[From “The illogically optimistic atheist”]
I actually agree that a secular person who does right of his own accord is an inherently better person than a believer who does right out of the fear of God. The tragedy of the irrational atheist is that he usually is a genuinely decent individual; it is his own decency that blinds him to the corruption and evil in the hearts of others.
On a societal level, atheism does little harm when it is limited to an abstract-minded elite. But unleashing it on the more carnally minded masses is a recipe for disaster, as both Voltaire and Socrates recognized. What is ironic is that it is actually atheism which is the optimist's fairy tale; Christianity, on the other hand, is a grimly realistic faith which requires the willingness to stare squarely into the abyss and not shirk from what looks back.
Don't get me wrong. I may disagree with them and mock them at times, but I quite like irrational atheists. It's the rational ones who scare me, such as the nihilistic Chinese gentleman who wrote the following words:
Heaven brings forth innumerable things to help man.
Man has nothing with which to recompense Heaven.
Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill.
The reference to Heaven notwithstanding, this is not the composition of a Deist. This is the desperation of a rational man who lacks both faith and Mr. Rasmussen's utilitarian edifice, who sees no reason not to unleash his empty bitterness and fury upon his fellow man.