Why It May Be OK to Stone Atheists


I love it when atheists like those from the Freedom from Religion Foundation bring out a new atheist campaign. The latest Freedom From Religion Foundation campaign is an invitation to students, faculty, and the general public at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to “stone” them at “Blasphemy Rights Day” based on “biblical quotes calling for the stoning of atheists and blasphemers.”

Instead of stones, the atheists are calling on participants to use water balloons. Atheists are so inconsistent. Given atheist assumptions, why would it be morally wrong to stone anybody? In fact, evolution almost demands the killing of other biological beings. That’s how we got here, atheists are always telling us.

There’s the story of an eagle that brought down a deer. Was the eagle morally culpable in the killing? Eagles also eat their young.

While channel surfing a few years ago, I came across the second installment of the six-part series of “The Trials of Life.” I soon learned what Benjamin Franklin meant when he described the eagle as a bird of “bad moral character.” With two eaglets in the nest and not enough food to go around, the adult parent allows the weakest eaglet to die. She then cannibalizes the dead eaglet and feeds it to the stronger survivor. Was this natural or unnatural? Is this moral animal behavior that we should emulate? How do we know? Should we follow the example of the eagles in dealings with other evolved species, including humans?

What if some people in the audience that come to the public stoning decide to use real stones and some atheists are actually killed? Given atheistic assumptions, would they consider such a stoning to be a cosmic moral wrong? In terms of evolutionary survival of the fittest doctrines, how is killing a human being any different from an eagle killing a deer or killing one of its own?

How about the Kentucky woman who was “eaten by dozens of her pet wolf-dogs after she died”? The wolves were only doing what was evolutionarily natural for them.

Richard Dawkins, the high priest of evolutionary dogma, makes it clear in his bible of works that moral absolutes are not a part of the religion of atheism:

“We are survival machines — robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. Our genes made us. We animals exist for their preservation and are nothing more than throwaway survival machines. The world of the selfish gene is one of savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit.”1

 Here’s one of Dawkins’ most famous atheist bible quotations:

“In the universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky; and you won’t find any rhyme or reason to it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good.”2

One more for good measure:

“As Darwin clearly understood, blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but indifferent. . . . In the words of one of Darwin’s most thoughtful successors, George C. Williams, ‘With what other than condemnation is a person with any moral sense supposed to respond to a system in which the ultimate purpose in life is to be better than your neighbor at getting genes into future generations, in which those successful genes provide the message that instructs the development of the next generation, in which that message is always “exploit your environment, including your friends and relatives, so as to maximize our genes’ success”, in which the closest thing to a golden rule is “don’t cheat, unless it is likely to provide a net benefit.”’”3.

So then, atheists don’t have a moral leg to stand on if someone wants to stone them to death. Some might want to do it out of indifference and others might want to do it because of the “fitness” claim. It really doesn’t matter.

  1. Richard Dawkins, “Preface,” The Selfish Gene (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976), 3. []
  2. Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden (New York: Basic Books, 1995), 131–132. []
  3. Richard Dawkins, The Devil’s Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love (Boston: FirstMariner Books/Houghton Mifflin, 2003), 9. []
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