One of their favorite tactics to use is Chronological Snobbery. This phrase was coined by the brilliant C.S. Lewis. I have always called it The Fallacy of the Calendar but I think I like his phrase better. You commit this fallacy when you try to destroy an idea merely by dating it. The key words that people use to defame an idea are Victorian, Medieval, Primitive, or Archaic. Let me give you a few examples:
- David McAfee said, in Disproving Christianity, pg. 110, "The Bible may have been useful as a literary guide to morality at some point, but in a modern society in which rape, slavery, incest, and murder are no longer acceptable, it is an archaic book.”
- Christopher Hitches said, in God is Not Great, "One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion…."
The logic (or lack thereof) being proclaimed is basically thing--Something is false because it is old and we can show you where it comes from. This is standard evolutionary thought. For in their worldview we have evolved up and increased in our learning. Therefore, by default the ideas we have today must be better than those of old. I am tempted to jump into the moral argument and ask where these atheists get their standard of morality so as to judge old ideas as worse than their own but I digress.
In a Biblical worldview we would say that each culture fluctuates with a natural ebb and flow but generally tends to go downward. Today America supports abortion and in days past they did not. Today America supports homosexual marriage and in days past they did not. The Bible would not call this better, it would call it an abomination.
The main point is to realize that truth or goodness is not decided by the calendar. C.S. Lewis was right, these people are snobs for living in the present as if their ideas are by default better than those in history. Does modernity guarantee your ideas validity? If that were true then in the 1940's Nazi Germany was a better idea than America's Declaration of Independence which stats "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". Would Dawkins, if he lived in 1942, argue that America's ideals were archaic and we should all wear a swastika?
Should we always look down our noses at ancient cultures as if we are better than they in all areas? Of course not. We still can't even figure out how they built the Pyramids and they did that without modern computers or heavy machinery!!! One does not need to know about modern science in order to create the classics of Greek Literature, the soundness of Roman Law, or the architecture of the Pyramids. It is pure snobbery to believe that if you can date an idea you disprove it. It doesn't matter which age, culture, or person the idea comes from; truth is truth no matter what. It is amazing how these atheists will on one hand deny absolute truth yet on the other seem to affirm it in order to say the Bible is too medieval for us to use today!
I will leave you with this quote by G. K. Chesterton:
“It is incomprehensible to me that any thinker can calmly call himself a modernist; he might as well call himself a Thursdayite…The real objection to modernism is simply that it is a form of snobbishness. It is an attempt to crush a rational opponent not by reason, but by some mystery of superiority, by hinting that one is specially up to date or particularly "in the know." To flaunt the fact that we have had all the last books from Germany is simply vulgar; like flaunting the fact that we have had all the last bonnets from Paris. To introduce into philosophical discussions a sneer at a creed's antiquity is like introducing a sneer at a lady's age. It is caddish because it is irrelevant. The pure modernist is merely a snob; he cannot bear to be a month behind the fashion.”
Has anyone every used this fallacy against you? Have you ever read it in a book?