Query: Do Atheists Know Any Human Women, Human Children, or Human Families?


Mary Eberstadt

You see, it’s just very, very difficult for most mothers and fathers to look at their children and to understand as we Brights do that those creatures are randomly assembled confections of molecules and limbs that have been Adapting willy-nilly since the lungfish. That just isn’t how most people feel about their babies and children — ever. I know this from watching my friends who have kids. I even know it if I really zero in on my hypothetical daughter (let’s call her H.D. for short). And H.D. is just virtual, You know! But anyone who stops to think about it can see the problem for Us atheists here. Most parents love their children with a love they experience as infinite — and that glimpse of the infinite, exactly as in the case of aesthetics, sends them running toward the Loser.

Certainly Mr. Hitchens’s response to Chambers is unhelpful to Us! Here’s how he frames the atheist take: “I too,” he writes, “have marveled at the sweet little ears of my female offspring, but never without noticing that (a) they always need a bit of a clean-out, (b) that they look mass-produced even when set against the inferior ears of other people’s daughters, (c) that as people get older their ears look more and more absurd from behind, and (d) that much lower animals, such as cats and bats, have much more fascinating and lovely and more potent ears.”

Now there are two problems with this kind of atheist ridicule of Mr. Chamber’s point, it seems to me. One is that if we put it to the parents of the world that upon studying their daughter’s ear they are to choose whose response they like best, Mr. Hitchens is going to lose hands down. His alternative just comes off as cold-blooded (I mean that figuratively not literally, of course!) I’m not saying that’s what should happen. Just that most people who Reproduce, most of the time, think their own children are somehow precious, “created,” and they don’t think they are inferior in any way to bats and cats and other Mammals, let alone to creatures from elsewhere on the genus tree.

None of which means the little bastards are. Again, I have no brief for real children at all. Like any other thinking atheist, my desire to see my DNA continued is no match for my desire to avoid anyone younger and Fitter than I am!

Now in the total spirit of constructive criticism, I think I’ve figured out why we Brights have this weakness. It’s because a good many atheists, both historically and today, have been childless or otherwise living outside real families themselves. Look at Spinoza, sometimes called the first atheist philosopher. Look at big swinging Forebear Nietzsche. Or look at Our especially fabulous Enlightenment Ancestor, Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Oops! I forgot, Rousseau did have kids. BUT He sent all five of them to an orphanage as soon as they were born so they wouldn’t interfere with His work (kind of like the sleepover version of what busy moms and dads do today!). According to historians, they almost certainly all died there at an early age. So under the circs I think we can safely loophole Rousseau in among the childless Brights, if that’s okay with You. (Kind of gives a new meaning to “man, born free, is everywhere in chains,” doesn’t it? No wonder He thought that one up. Talk about trying things at home!)

And just as we Brights are vulnerable to the charge of not knowing anything about children, so do we have a related problem: Human women. Now, I’ve read through each and every one of Your books; I’ve studied each and every YouTube clip I could find; I’ve even Google-alerted Everybody’s names so that nothing about this new atheism gets away from me. And what I can’t find, anywhere, is any mention of this Empirical Fact: across the world, in every religion and not just among the Dulls, women are far more likely than men to keep the Loser’s institutions going strong — more likely to attend church (or whatever), more likely to pray, more likely to indoctrinate their spawn into the same rituals, and so blubbery on.

Now don’t You all think that’s an important Fact? And even more important, why do You think it is a fact? Because it seems to me that there can only be one of two explanations for this gender bender: either Females really are intellectually Deficient compared to Males; or, something about the way they live gives them ideas that men don’t have.

Again, I blame the kids. Maybe something about taking care of smaller and weaker members of the Species makes it easier for Females to imagine that someone stands in that same sort of loving relationship to them. Or maybe the experience of loving something more than they ever thought possible makes them think that some extra-human love might be out there for them too. Who knows? I’m not explaining here, just saying that some explanation of the Female role in keeping religion going seems called for — and You Guys haven’t even touched it.

Either that, or we double-XXers really are all dumb as dirt! Do You Guys secretly suspect that might be true? If that’s what You think, why don’t You just come out and say so? I mean it’s not like Brights are squeamish about a lot of other things we believe — as You will see in my next two Letters, where I quote really interesting things from some of the classics of Our genre!

In sum, the incontrovertible Fact is that human families, and especially the ties between women and children, are the chief Enemies of atheism. I’m just saying this so You know I don’t claim to have all the solutions here! All I know as a former Dull is where the problems are. (Did You know by the way that the German word for “solution” is Loesung, which is really an awful lot like Loser — how ironic is that?!)

You’ve all been patient long enough, so very soon I’m going to stop with the criticism and all this talk of what we Brights have done wrong, and turn instead to what has been done soooooooooo right — i.e., the beginning of my Turn to You!

Proactively Yours! Es ist ein Kampf bis aus Messer! And if Anyone does talk to the Director, can You ask him what the heck kind of rehab uses German as Occupational Therapy in the first place? Thanks Guys!

A. F. Christian

Editor’s note: Check in Friday for another LOSER LETTER. Read all LOSER LETTERS here.