Sunday, December 2, 2012

Faith is Nihilism

Bryan Fischer says that not exploiting fossil fuels to the absolute maximum is like rejecting a birthday present from Jesus, and that if we don't maximally rape the environment then God's feelings will be vewy vewy hurt.

You know, once upon a time, religious activists in the US were actually pro-environment, because they felt it represented responsible stewardship over the Earth that God had given them. I suppose some would say that this represents a very dark turn in American religion over the past several decades, and they'd be right, but I also think it's symbolic of something greater: Faith is essentially nihilistic, and when faith inspires goodness, it is no more reliable than the "goodness" of an avowed nihilist doing an incidentally good deed because it gives her momentary pleasure.

Revealed truth is an invalid epistemology. It can lead to any possible conclusion. And that makes it just as good as no epistemology at all; it makes it pure nihilism. It gives the believer the right to adhere to any philosophy she chooses, without the need for even a pretense of meaningful justification. "God said so" is as valid as "I feel like it."

Ironic that us atheists are always being painted with the broad brush of nihilism. There are nihilistic atheists to be sure, but ultimately it is only an epistemology based in science and reason which can transcend nihilism. Faith is not an escape from nihilism, it is an unrestrained embrace of it.

Faith is nihilism.