A Mind, Even if It’s Just a Couple of Pounds of Meat, Is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Michael Egnor

The world is awash with charities. Most are quite worthwhile. For pennies a day, you can send a child in an impoverished country to school, and kindle a lifetime of learning. But there remain many unmet needs.
What about people living in ideological poverty?
We’ve all heard the stories. Materialist philosophers of the mind who deny that the mind exists. Full professors of evolutionary biology who misunderstand demonstrations of the existence of God that are routinely mastered by teenagers in Introductory Philosophy courses. Atheist authors of letters to Christian nations who excoriate religion and ignore the unparalleled atrocities of atheism. Unrepentant Trotskyites who scold Christians for adherence to a messianic ideology.
Some of our fellow men live in intellectual squalor.

Believe it or not, there are materialist neurologists who believe that the ability of scientists to localize in the brain the neurological correlate of an experience is evidence that the experience is not real. There are “skeptical” scientists who believe that every single piece of evidence supports their materialist ideology. There are materialist mathematicians who passionately assert that “survivors survive” isn’t a tautology. There are evolutionary biologists who announce that the latest fossil finally proves evolution, which they insist was already a fact. There are logically-disabled Darwinists who, without cognitive dissonance, assert that intelligent design is both untrue and untestable. There are leading atheist scientists who oppose the appointment of a superbly qualified scientist to run the National Institutes of Health merely because he is a Christian, but they approve of the Presidential appointment of a Science Czar who has publicly endorsed forced abortions and involuntary mass sterilization. There are best-selling New Atheist authors who believe that it may be appropriate to kill some people because of their religious beliefs, or that religious education is child abuse, or that religious people may be appropriately relegated to zoos, or that the corrosion of Western civilization by Darwinian universal acid would be a good thing.
There is such poverty. There’s a national organization of biologists who are boycotting an entire state because the people who live there and who fund their grants refuse to be censored by them. There’s a prominent atheist mathematician who believes that the world would be a lot better off if disabled children were killed before birth, but he denies that his views are eugenic. There’s an Oxford professor of the Public Understanding of Science who denies the evidence for design in life, but he thinks that aliens might have been responsible.
It’s enough to make you cry.
What binds these intellectual unfortunates together is an impoverished ideology: New Atheism. It’s sad to note that a few percent of our brethren, a fringe really, live in intellectual squalor. How can you help alleviate the crushing metaphysical poverty of New Atheism? You can send a New Atheist to school. That’s why I’m starting the first New Atheist educational charity:
“Give-a-Clue” is the first charity dedicated to providing New Atheists with what they need most desperately: a rudimentary education.
For a few dollars a day, “Give-a-Clue” can help a New Atheist of your choice get a clue. You can sponsor a New Atheist to begin a lifetime of education. You can choose to send your Atheist to a public university (just pennies/day) or to an Ivy League university (a hundred bucks/day), and you get to pick the course of study! Imagine your New Atheist sitting in a class in freshmen logic, or introductory theology, or rudimentary history, or elementary philosophy of science. Imagine his eyes opening in astonishment at the world of reason and logical discourse. He’ll learn to read critically, to question his own ideas as well as those of others, and to communicate with words instead of expletives.
Your New Atheist will write you each month; you can enjoy the satisfaction of reading for yourself how your immature beneficiary will grow and mature. You’ll watch — first-hand! — as your New Atheist gains perspective and grows intellectually. Oh, at first, the letters may be difficult to read. Spittle, casual obscenities, and desecrated communion Hosts may be all you’ll get. But have faith. As your New Atheist learns, he/she (you can choose a boy or a girl!) will mature into someone who can analyze evidence, adhere to logic, and formulate arguments. Watch with joy as they cast off New Atheism and embrace the examined life.
A mind, even if it’s just a couple of pounds of meat, is a terrible thing to waste. So please join me and a host of caring people to help rescue our hapless New Atheist neighbors from a life of witless dogma. Find it in your heart to spare a few dollars.
Give to “Give-a-Clue.” Give until it hurts, because if New Atheism prevails, it’ll hurt a lot more.

Michael Egnor

Senior Fellow, Center for Natural & Artificial Intelligence
Michael R. Egnor, MD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook, has served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and award-winning brain surgeon. He was named one of New York’s best doctors by the New York Magazine in 2005. He received his medical education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. His research on hydrocephalus has been published in journals including Journal of Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Research. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Hydrocephalus Association in the United States and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.