Truth Is Not Boring »« Diversity and the Best Atheist Blogger Award – Please Don’t Vote for Me

Why Are You Atheists So Angry? The Cover!

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Here, by the excellent and talented Casimir Fornalski, is the book cover for Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things that Piss Off the Godless.


I am so excited! Having a cover design is making this whole “book” thing feel very real indeed. And I love this design. It totally captures the “serious righteous anger/ call to action, mixed with a good dollop of self-aware humor” thing that I’m going for with this book. And it also just looks cool. I’m tickled pink to have it as the visual representation of my work.

I did get a lot of really good submissions for my book cover design contest, from some excellent designers who deserve recognition and praise. So I’ll be posting a gallery of the runners-up as soon as I can (I’m on the road right now, with limited time and Internet access). My sincerest thanks go out to everyone who participated. And congratulations again to Casimir! I can’t wait to see this in bookstores and at conferences and getting grimy in people’s backpacks. Thanks!

Comments

  1. says

    Those boots look particularly stompy. Now I’ve got “one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you” stuck in my head (except that these boots are far better made for walking than the ones on Nancy Sinatra’s album cover).

  2. icecreamassassin says

    There is something very Charles Burns about it. Completely awesome. I may buy a deadtree edition as well simply for that.

  3. Seth_S says

    I like it, but I would shift the title lower on the cover and make your image larger. You may not realize it, but you can be intimidating (in a good way!) when you rant. :)

  4. says

    Very cool! Just a point, you will make sure this is available for Kindle on Amazon UK won’t you? There’s too much that I want to read that’s only available in less important countries like the USA :)

  5. E Pluribus Unum says

    Well that totally sucks, I guess you didn’t agree with anything I said about portraying atheists as angry people. It makes me sad to know you see yourself that way and even sadder knowing the damage you are doing to atheists portraying atheist as angry people yelling. Reasonable people don’t scream and yell when making a point. That’s what they do in reality TV. Is that your audience? It really is an ineffective means of communication. Reasonable people discuss things reasonably, they have debates, they give presentations and have talk shows. They express their discontent in a dignified manor without yelling and screaming.

  6. Besomyka says

    @19 : Uh, it’s a book. A book or presentation – as she has done in the past to explain – seem to be a quite civilized way of responding to the question that is so often posed. Wait, was it printed in ALL CAPS?!

    @Greta: Any chance we could get t-shirts with the book’s logo? I was struck by it!

  7. says

    Just a quibble point viz the religious symbols: Do you actually go after Taoism? If not, then why include a Taoist symbol (the yin-yang) along with the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faith symbols. Perhaps an “om” symbol (to represent one of the next largest – and more “insistent” – religions: Hinduism)?

    I know that the layout really wants to be balanced with four symbols, and so I can understand why there is a desire to use four symbols, and this raises a more fundamental question: should the religious symbols be presented as unblemished? Should you use various non-theistic and secular symbolism?

    Just some thoughts that ran through my mind after I appreciated the everything above the title.

  8. E Pluribus Unum says

    Yes #20, by looking at the picture you would think it would be in all caps. That is a great image!! That is my point. You could add that, those words coming out of her mouth or a megaphone to the this image to make it more offensive. { I knew I had seen this image somewhere before } If I saw someone standing there like that, in that pose, I would avoid them like I would one of those crazy preachy people you find on crowded street corners yelling about their religion with their cardboard signs and trinkets. Their message unheard and diminished by its delivery method.

  9. Quinapalus says

    Oh SHIT, that is EPIC. What a perfect cartoon you.

    And Seth_S @ 17, if the title were smaller or further away it wouldn’t make a perfect equilateral triangle with the rest of the design.

    And thanks for stopping by, E Pluribus Tonetroll!

  10. says

    Haha cool!
    The drawing makes me think about singing “A las Barricadas”.

    Personally I would have made the perspective of the soapbox a tad less extreme, so the “reason” would be more clearly readable. With the current perspective we would be looking up your skirt, too…

  11. Synfandel says

    @E Pluribus Unum #19:

    I understand your concern, E. The scatalogical, hyperbolic ranting that often appears in the comments (and occasionally in the blog) over at Pharyngula, for example, sometimes gets to be more than I care to read. (To be fair, the subjects are often very close to people’s hearts, but the tone is often undeniably angry.)

    However, I think the point of the book is to describe some of the things that rightly annoy atheists about the way they are viewed and treated and the blinking astonishment that believers seem to feel that atheists don’t always cheerfully put up with those things.

    When religious beliefs are questioned, the faithful generally feel thoroughly justified in their moral outrage, but when atheists are subjected to any of the litany of so called ‘criticisms’ or baseless assumptions that are to be enumerated in the book and they get annoyed, the faithful often ask why atheists are so angry. Greta’s going to tell them why.

    The title and the cover art express the fed-upness of a lot of atheists with the double standard.

  12. Steve Bowen says

    @#19
    This is called marketing. Who is your target audience, what will get most noticed ya de ya da? Ffs ’nuff sed?

  13. Zugswang says

    Very nice; it’s playful, poignant, and unapologetic.

    I live in a country where I have fewer opportunities and am treated as a social pariah because I don’t believe in one group’s particular set of fairy tales. What else can you call this but injustice, and how else would you expect me to respond to it except for measured, focused, passionate anger?

  14. Maria says

    Plus it’s not only about the anger felt at being treated badly by religious people as an atheist. It’s also very much about being angry at seeing how religious people treat each other. How one religious group will treat another, or how some treat their own parishioners, or the women around them. I’d say most people (from a world wide perspective) who are being badly treated by religion are other religious people.

    I have to wonder why people are not angry at seeing all that?

    How you channel that anger is another question.

    As far as I know Greta brings both of these things up in her post about atheists and anger, and in her talk.

    I think the cover image is brilliant (especially the boots :-), and the title works for me too. Some people will be provoked no matter how nice an atheist tries to be – why not go the “I’ve had it!”-route?

  15. E Pluribus Unum says

    Ok to all of you . . . I am not saying you should never be angry. I am saying it should not be your default most predominate or permeate emotion towards many faces of religious persecution. More importantly it should not be the face of Atheism. The image of the “Angry Atheist” is a creation of religion in an attempt to belittle atheistic arguments of reason and truth. An image we should not adopt. When you are truly angry, you loose the ability to reason. I have felt anger and many similar emotions but there comes a time, especially if you read blogs like this regularly, where you just can’t be angry all the time. It would be very easy to be angry all the time as I am sure Greta will do a fine job of pointing out the plethora of reasons you can be angry and you can grip tight and fume and shout and pound your fist etc… and so on as you read. but eventually you will become numb or decentralized to it all. Your anger will run its course. So as your anger subsides, if you must feel anger, DO SOMETHING, anything. Make it inspirational grow some new neurons. Don’t be like the religious people who’s actions are actually atheist but they identify themselves as religious and are too lazy to even realize they are atheists or to admit that they are or seek actual truth or new always voting and doing as they are told for the most part or wen it it convenient comfortable in their gang status.

    Anger is a choice. you can re-wire your brain. Be angry or you can allow yourself or train yourself to feel other emotions. Be constructive, writing a book or blog or political representatives or be many other things. Anger will kill you. Don’t be the angry Atheist. Be more than that, move past your anger and experience more complex emotions and hopefully that will lead to more complex actions, more productive actions. Anger is like praying they are both very simplistic, pretty much useless and it requires little to no effort. It goes nowhere and can actually cause more harm to both parties.

    As I said before, it is the religious who are angry Market their image to them. Atheists are already going to buy the book, why not put an image on there to attract other people. Ask the question “why does religion provoke so much anger” There is a lot more interesting and original imagery that would work with that. And after, this anger that religion provokes is not exclusive to atheists. Religion tortures the religious as well as people of other religions. Atheists have learned not to be angry and have evolved coping mechanisms whereas the religious may be more apt to be the pro wrestler types. That shit should be x rated by the way. What are they teaching the kids. In my experience I have found religious people are actually more apt to smile, nod and not revel their true intentions as they plot their dastardly deeds. I think most religious people do not have evil intent, they were simply indoctrinated and bread that way, like pit bulls. They want to do the right thing but are trapped in the confines of misinformation, culture, family and conformity with sever reproductions for deviation. Severer as in death in some countries. Fighting a thing like that with an angry mind would be like taking a stupid pill before a important test.

    Remember it is not a culture war like the media tells you . . . It is a religious war.

  16. Maria says

    I am saying it should not be your default most predominate or permeate emotion towards many faces of religious persecution.

    I think you’re exaggerating a bit. But why shouldn’t anger be one of the main driving forces behind doing something about this problem?

    More importantly it should not be the face of Atheism. The image of the “Angry Atheist” is a creation of religion in an attempt to belittle atheistic arguments of reason and truth. An image we should not adopt.

    It doesn’t much matter what image we’re trying to adopt to some! Many calls atheist aggressive pretty much for opening their mouths at all, or only for being out of the closet. You really don’t have to be angry or act aggressively to be called an angry or militant atheist by some.

    Besides, this is one book, not the whole atheist movement, or every atheist on earth, not the “face of Atheism”. Atheism has many faces, this is one. Some of us are angry – for good reasons! Some religious people might understand why if they cared to listen, and some won’t listen no matter if you yell or whisper. They’d demand that you whisper as to not offend them, and then they won’t listen anyway.

    When you are truly angry, you loose the ability to reason.

    You seem to talk only of one kind of anger. The one where you run around red in your face, screaming and flailing and are not able to control yourself. That is not the only anger there is – that is not the kind of anger that lets you sit down and write a book about the things you are angry about! I don’t accept that the only true anger is the one where you lose your reason.

    I am sure Greta will do a fine job of pointing out the plethora of reasons you can be angry and you can grip tight and fume and shout and pound your fist etc… and so on as you read. but eventually you will become numb or decentralized to it all.

    Or you can go “Damn, this is so fucked up, this makes me angry! I’ll try to do something about this!” And you might join a group, or a peaceful legal demonstration, or start your own blog, or… write a book! There are million of good ways to channel this kind of anger, and that’s what many atheists are doing. Why do you think this kind of anger means helplessly pounding your fists and grinding your teeth in frustration until you go numb?

    if you must feel anger, DO SOMETHING, anything.

    People ARE! Greta writes in her blog, gives speeches and she just wrote a book! What better example than her on how to channel the anger she speaks of in a good way?

    Be more than that, move past your anger and experience more complex emotions and hopefully that will lead to more complex actions, more productive actions. Anger is like praying they are both very simplistic, pretty much useless and it requires little to no effort.

    I don’t agree! I think anger can be a much more complex emotion than that, and it obviously does not always make people act in the same way. There is no sure outcome.

    Atheists are already going to buy the book, why not put an image on there to attract other people. Ask the question “why does religion provoke so much anger” There is a lot more interesting and original imagery that would work with that.

    Sure, that sounds good too!! You write that book, and we’ll have two books about atheism that deals with the question from different angles and we might reach even more people! There is no one approach that will always work on everybody. Who’s to say Greta’s approach won’t reach some religious people? And who’s to say that the kind of book you suggest won’t be completely ignored by just as many religious people?

    Religion tortures the religious as well as people of other religions.

    That’s what I just said. And since Greta is basing her book on the post she wrote with the same subject some years back, I am sure she will also bring this up in the book + good ways to channel the anger.

    Atheists have learned not to be angry and have evolved coping mechanisms

    What??

  17. scramble says

    E Plurbius Unum, that’s a whole lotta “don’t”s in your comment. Can any of us presume to tell others what they should and should not do, what they should and should not feel? This whole “don’t be angry, anger is uselss and hurts the one feeling it the most” push that our culture is currently experiencing has gone too far. I urge you to consider reading Barbara Erenreich’s excellent “Bright-Sided”, as she articulates much better than I could why it’s harmful so steer people away from anger.

    But, to summarize: without anger, we would never improve our lives or the lives of those around us. There is nothing useless about it. Without anger, deep, searing, white-hot, past-the-point-of-rationality-anger, there would be no civil rights movement, women wouldn’t have the vote, GLBT individuals would still be living in secret and silence, and all of us would be working without overtime pay, legislated lunch breaks, or the workplace safety procedures that save lives.

    Please understand that telling people not to be angry is simply a way of silencing the underpriviledged.

  18. scramble says

    I also appreciate Maria’s point up there. Not every kind of anger is the irrational kind. And, many people with many kinds of anger a powerful movement make!

  19. fullyladenswallow says

    @E Pluribus Unum:

    “Anger is a choice. you can re-wire your brain. Be angry or you can allow yourself or train yourself to feel other emotions.”

    I would have to differ with you on this one. Anger (in itself) is not a choice. Anger is a healthy and emotional response to one’s needs not being met. What one does with the anger constructively or destructively, is where choice enters in.

    I wouldn’t want to rewire my brain if I could. It just doesn’t sound all that rational.

  20. says

    @ E Pluribus Unum:

    I think you’re way off the mark here. You seem to be the one focused entirely on anger. Most of us can see it for the emotion and the driving force that it is and we are willing to use it when appropriate. People do some really shitty things to each other and the fact that these things are overseen every day and people don’t get angry is a problem. When some jackass group of legislators wants to eradicate the rights of entire groups of people with the stroke of a pen you should be pissed. When these same people decide that they can deny you the most basic rights afforded every other person because of what you don’t believe or who you happen to love and you don’t get angry, that’s bullshit. It is because we are reasonable people that we are angered by these things. Nice, calm people don’t change the world alone. When it comes to standing up and demanding rights be respected it is usually left up to the angry people to accomplish any significant and lasting change. Name a social movement that demanded liberty and equality that wasn’t prodded forward by anger.

    To suggest that our faculties are somehow impaired because we are motivated to whatever degree by emotion is a very naive, fortune cookie menatlity that has no bearing on reality. I am very sorry if the only anger you feel is of the blind rage variety. Most of us are more nuanced than that. The first time I heard Christopher Hitchens speak I was captivated by his anger AND his ability to reason at the same time. It was Hitchens more than anyone that inspired me to get my own message out, one blog post at a time. Greta was a huge inspiration for both my wife and myself precisely because we could identify with her on both levels, emotionally and intellectually. You really need to take a step back and consider the possibility that you’re assuming too many facts not in evidence. This is one book covering one aspect of a subject. Chill.

  21. says

    If our forefathers hadn’t expressed their anger at oppression, we would still be singing “God Save the Queen” and the Church of England would be the religion one would have to profess fealty to to get anywhere in society.

    Being angry is just fine. How it is expressed can be out of line, but I’m certain Greta isn’t going there.

  22. Rieux says

    Oh, please. E, have you perhaps read an essay called “Atheists and Anger”? By a prominent queer feminist atheist blogger you may have heard of? It addresses—if not thrashes—just about everything you’ve been saying here. The concern trolling is most unwelcome.

    Complaining about Greta Christina’s anger—Greta Christina’s—has to be one of the silliest (and, more to the point, the blindest) complaints about the atheist blogosphere imaginable.

  23. says

    Anger is the correct response to anti-atheist bias.

    And anger works. Where has politeness got us, this past 2,000 years? The angry “new-atheists” are making a real impact now, and it shows. The proof is in the pudding.

    We need more angry atheists!

  24. E Pluribus Unum says

    I would like to focus on what I think is the most important aspect of this conversation, accepting and applying the face of anger to Atheists. This is what I reject. I reject being labeled SCROOGE or GRINCH and all the imagery that goes along with it. To me the image of a screaming Atheist is in the same vein and very damaging. We promote reason among other positive things. Why can’t we have a positive image? We are positive and we are doing positive things in the face of adversity. The image of a screaming Atheist on a block of reason is well . . . unreasonable. It is very damaging indeed on so many levels. There is no reason to perpetuate this myth of the Angry Atheist.

    Even the Reason Rally is being promoted as the Woodstock of whatever, peace and love etc… NOT hey soak your torches and sharpen your pitchforks arrrraaahhh!!! we’re going to storm the castle. The GOP knows the value of good PR. Look at all the great names they have for things that are the exact opposite of what the name implies. Image has a tremendous value.

    From the Reason Rally website:
    “The intent is to unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide, while dispelling the negative opinions held by so much of American society… and having a damn good time doing it!”

    I can agree with this 100% “Dispelling negative opinions”. To me, when you promote the Angry Atheist you give it undue credence. You are promoting one of the most damaging images possible. I was about to list a whole bunch of these negative stereotypical images but I think you can imagine and I think you know the power of these images once they get into people’s minds.

    Out of all the Atheists I know of, famous or not, if I had to come up with a list of five words to describe each of them, ANGRY might not even make that short list. Try it. Make a list of 25 well known Atheists and describe them with just five words. . . . You are doing irreparable harm with your image of anger.

    Remember it is not a culture war like the media tells you . . . It is a religious war.

  25. Rieux says

    E, do you plan on actually reviewing Christina’s work on this issue, or are you—as it would appear—utterly uninterested in any perspective on atheists and anger besides your own?

    It would appear that you are entirely ignorant of every word Christina has written on the topic other than the title of her forthcoming book. Don’t you think that puts you in a notably poor position to lecture her about her presentation?

  26. E Pluribus Unum says

    I have been reading Greta’s work for years. I am a fan. It broke my heart to see her ask for free work “Et Tu Greta”, although I understand the phenomenon. I have always enjoyed her point of view, her writing style and I agree with almost all of her ideas. Although I have always found her writing a bit long winded, that is her style. More is probably better and I enjoy it. I keep reading. I send people to her blog. I think she is a great person with wonderful intentions. I just don’t like being called a Grinch or a Scrooge or being labeled ANGRY. I did not think she would do that if she thought about it and the harm it does. I think I have made that point clear. I really believed simply pointing this out would make a small positive difference in the world and how people view Atheists in general. I certainly did not expect a response like this from her other fans. I thought that the logic and truth in the simple fact that atheists being portrayed as angry is bad would be so overwhelmingly evident that she would actually consider using a positive image instead. And I thought people here would agree with that premise. Silly me:-} We are sometimes so blinded by anger we can lose sight of the big picture, pun intended. I maintain that the image of an angry Atheist is a very harmful one. I hope to see Greta promoting the book on all the talk shows and I hope to see a positive image and the positive image it projects.

    Remember it is not a culture war like the media tells you . . . It is a religious war.

  27. says

    From “Atheists and Anger”:

    So when you tell an atheist (or for that matter, a woman or a queer or a person of color or whatever) not to be so angry, you are, in essence, telling us to disempower ourselves. You’re telling us to lay down one of the single most powerful tools we have at our disposal. You’re telling us to lay down a tool that no social change movement has ever been able to do without. You’re telling us to be polite and diplomatic, when history shows that polite diplomacy in a social change movement works far, far better when it’s coupled with passionate anger. In a battle between David and Goliath, you’re telling David to put down his slingshot and just… I don’t know. Gnaw Goliath on the ankles or something.

    You might also want to read this post, that Greta wrote in response to common concerns people had about the piece, many of which echo yours.

  28. Linus says

    @E Pluribus unum

    You seem to have missed the point of the title. And the message of the book. How could you, if you are a fan?

    The point is that us atheists have valid reasons to be angry. I will not list them, Greta has done this already. Her point is that tiptoeing around those issues will get us nowhere. The book says “Yes, we get angry sometimes. Here’s why”.

    Sure, some people will use the image or the title as an excuse to say that we are blinded by hatred, and that we are irrational and shrill. That we are angry all the time, feel only hate, and that our concerns shouldn’t be taken seriously. But those people are going to say that either way. Hell, they have been saying it since .. well forever. And they are not going to stop doing it.

    Please stop making this about you. You are the one who brought up how much you dislike being called a Grinch or Scrooge, despite no one ever saying that on this site. You are the one who said they dislike being labeled “ANGRY”. Your problem is not with the people here, because we never did that. I recommend you take it up with those who do actually call you these things. Maybe you can point them towards the articles on the subject. Or buy them a book.

  29. E Pluribus Unum says

    #52 No, that is wrong. You are completely missing my point which is . . . being represented by the image of anger is a very bad thing. Everything else in ancillary.

  30. says

    So, you’re saying that Greta has a right to her anger and should channel it constructively, but she is NOT allowed to show it publicly because you don’t want someone to think you’re a “grinch?”

    I don’t see why a book titled 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless should be represented with imagery that doesn’t reflect anger; it would be strange for it to have a cheerful cover. And assuming the content of the book is similar to the content of the essay and the talk, I don’t see how it could have a “more positive” title.

    This book is not monolithic when it comes to representing atheists in the broader society. We can represent ourselves in myriad ways, including this one. Besides, there are already people that think atheists are angry people–it’s what Greta is responding to in the first place! I think a provocative cover is more likely to be picked up by someone who can learn something from it than a boring, antiseptic one.

  31. Rieux says

    E:

    I have been reading Greta’s work for years. I am a fan.

    I don’t believe you. Your comments here evince a total ignorance of the most famous thing she’s ever written. …Despite the attempts of several of us to point that work out to you.

    You are completely missing my point which is . . . being represented by the image of anger is a very bad thing.

    And you simply refuse to notice that Christina has argued directly to the contrary, on more than one occasion, at length, and accompanied by detailed reasoning. All of which you utterly ignore, as you state your opposing position as an unsupported shibboleth. (And then you castigate her practice of providing such reasoning as being “long-winded.” How cute.)

    You have not demonstrated that “being represented by the image of anger” (as if there is one and only one “image of anger”!) “is a very bad thing.” You have simply asserted that as a dogmatic postulate, repeatedly. You have done nothing whatsoever to address the contrary points that our hostess has rather famously made. Your behavior is, at a minimum, severely rude.

  32. Maria says

    You are completely missing my point which is . . . being represented by the image of anger is a very bad thing.

    I can understand you think so, since your image of what anger is seems very onesided!

    Again, there are different kinds of anger. Not all anger renders you unfit to reason, or makes you act out aggressively or violently, or hurts yourself. Some anger inspires you to do something about injustices and results in good deeds.

    And as someone else said – like they care. Those people will never care to actually spread an honest image of us, no matter what we say, or how we behave. It’s not YOU, it’s THEM! You don’t ask the bullied kid to just be nicer and they’ll sure stop hitting you and stealing your lunch. You tell the bully that you’ve had it with this damn nonsense and to damn well start to behave!

    That is not an image we will get rid of, no matter what, because it’s not an honest one that the people who spread it will simply retract and change as soon as they realize how nice we really are.

    So as long as we actually don’t resort to physical violence and/or personal harrassment (and as far as I know that is rare among atheists) – then why the hell should we not show our anger, when that anger so obviously IS valid and stems from genuine concern for people, both religious and atheists!

    The image on the cover is actually a rather humorous take on a social change activist, and that some type of religious people might be provoked into picking it up and maybe actually read it, and consider it, is not at all unlikely. I think it’s more likely that a fluffy cover would be ignored by many more religious people.

    I don’t really think the day will ever come when the kind of religious people that causes the most problems will start to say: “Oh, there are those nice atheists, they’re such a soft spoken and unassuming minority, so let’s listen to their concerns and really take them seriously.” The only thing they will think is “Thank GOD that annoying pest finally shut up!”

  33. says

    Oooh, that is nice looking! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

    And it seems like E Pluribus Unum could use a copy of it too. For the record E, “rewiring your brain” isn’t exactly as doable as you think. If it was, we wouldn’t need things like psychiatric medicine. Yes, you can tone down excessive anger, but the idea that you can “rewire” your brain so that you no longer rightly feel entirely just anger… that’s silly. And unhealthy.

  34. Maria says

    Yes, you can tone down excessive anger, but the idea that you can “rewire” your brain so that you no longer rightly feel entirely just anger… that’s silly. And unhealthy.

    And rather creepy, too, really. What dictator wouldn’t cry with joy if a machine could be invented that rewired peoples’ brains to no longer feel anger at injustices!

  35. Rieux says

    “Atheists and Anger,” and especially the passage quoted by annesauer @52, is the most direct response to E Pluribus Unum’s declarations here from Christina’s past work. The companion essay also linked @52 is important as well. But nearly as relevant, I think, is “An Open Letter to Concerned Believers,” which has several passages that could easily have been directed at E (notwithstanding that, I gather, (s)he isn’t a believer). For example:

    It is difficult to avoid the observation that, whenever believers give advice to atheists on how to run our movement, it is always in the direction of telling us to be more quiet, to tone it down, to be less confrontational and less visible. I have yet to see a believer advise the atheist movement to speak up more loudly and more passionately; to make our arguments more compelling and more unanswerable; to get in people’s faces more about delicate and thorny issues that they don’t want to think about; to not be afraid of offending people if we think we’re right. I have received a great deal of advice from believers on how atheists should run our movement… and it is always, always, always in the direction of politely suggesting that we shut up.

    You’ll have to forgive me if I question the motivation behind this advice, and take it with a grain of salt.

    You’ll have to forgive me if I think your suggestions on making our movement more effective would, in fact, have the exact opposite effect. What’s more, you’ll have to forgive me for suspecting that this, however unconsciously, is the true intention behind your very kind and no doubt sincerely- meant advice.

    And you’ll have to forgive me if I am less than enthusiastic about taking advice on how to run the atheist movement from the very people our movement is trying to change.

    Read the whole thing, of course.

    It’s worth noting that though Christina pitches the piece at believers, it seems to me just as apropos aimed at the subset of atheists and other nonbelievers who insist that it is overwhelmingly important for atheists to maintain a polite and deferential pose toward religious belief. Those, it seems to me, are among “the very people our movement is trying to change” as well.

    As Christina puts it in that open letter, “Your concern is duly noted. Thank you for sharing.”

  36. says

    Will you answer my ten questions?

    1. What is your answer to the Pre-Socratic era of Greek Philosophy, and Zeno’s Paradox? Zeno of Elea (490-430 B.C.) brought the Pre Socratic era to a close with his devastating arguments against sensation, space and motion. First, was his famous Paradox. To be brief, Zeno’s argument, in essence, is that in order for Achilles to move from point A to point B he must come at least half the space. If so then he has to come at least a tenth; a hundredth; a millionth, etc. He must pass through an infinite number of points in a finite segment. Motion is therefore impossible and space is indefinable. (The essence of his argument is not a relation of motion to time but the impossibility of exhausting an infinite series. Neither is his argument that Achilles has to exhaust the series to the last point for there is no last point. Also, one cannot divide an infinite series. To do so one must assume that the object in motion stops in mid-motion to create a mid-point. The mid-point then is only potential and not actual. I admit that it is possible to exhaust an infinite series of potential points, but not actual points. Also, you cannot appeal to imaginary, indemonstrable units of measurement like Plank Units to answer this paradox.) In a further complaint against the concept of space, Zeno argued that if atoms and motion required space there must also be super-space for space to exist in and another super-space for that, ad infinitum. Zeno also refuted the idea of sensation in the Atomistic system which denied qualities to atoms. In an exposition of Zeno’s criticism of Democritus’ Atomism (Later to dominate the Scientific Revolution) Dr. Clark says,

    “When an ocean wave ‘thunders’ against the rocks, no atom produces an audible sensation; but the wave is nothing but atoms; therefore, it produces no sound.” (Ancient Philosophy, 272)…

    http://eternalpropositions.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/questions-for-a-secularist/

  37. Midnight Rambler says

    EPU @51:

    I just don’t like being called a Grinch or a Scrooge or being labeled ANGRY.

    You might want to change your behavior in blog comments then, because that’s how you come across.

  38. Azkyroth says

    Well that totally sucks, I guess you didn’t agree with anything I said about portraying atheists as angry people. It makes me sad to know you see yourself that way and even sadder knowing the damage you are doing to atheists portraying atheist as angry people yelling. Reasonable people don’t scream and yell when making a point. That’s what they do in reality TV. Is that your audience? It really is an ineffective means of communication. Reasonable people discuss things reasonably, they have debates, they give presentations and have talk shows. They express their discontent in a dignified manor without yelling and screaming.

    Reasonable people don’t fetishize decorum to the point where they fail to express honest anger at genuine injustice.

    I mean, consenting adults and all that, but can you please keep your weird compulsions private?

  39. Azkyroth says

    #52 No, that is wrong. You are completely missing my point which is . . . being represented by the image of anger is a very bad thing. Everything else in ancillary.

    No, your point is that you, PERSONALLY, are made very uncomfortable by honest and open anger, and have allowed yourself to be sold a bill of goods about how AWFUL anger (from the marginalized) is. I don’t care to puzzle out the chicken-and-egg problem of which of those came first (or “comes first” now), but your attempts to rationalize your personal hangups, and/or the self-serving spin on anger from the marginalized which entrenched privilege invariably promotes, in the most sanctimonious manner possible, is becoming fairly tiresome. Just don’t read if it if really bothers you that much.

  40. StevoR says

    Congratulations! Cover looks great – and I’m sure the content is even better. Can’t wait to see it on the bookshelves and, of course, read it myself. :-)

  41. Tod says

    Love it! Love you! Can’t wait for it to come out in the uk!

    Now, i’ve used up all my exclamation mark allowance for today.. onto the smilies :)

  42. Rieux says

    Indeed; it’s a really cute and appealing caricature. It would appear that Casimir is rather talented.

  43. scramble says

    E Plurbius Unum, Re: “No, that is wrong. You are completely missing my point which is . . . being represented by the image of anger is a very bad thing.”

    Please, please watch this video (actually, everyone should, it’s AMAZING), then try to tell me it’s a bad thing to represent yourself or your cause with an image of anger.

  44. andrea says

    I don’t see the image as that “angry”. I see it as a impassioned leader in front of her people. It seems that “E” find that anger is bad for his position and doesnt’ like it when other atheists are looked up to rather than him and especially when his opinion wasn’t agreed with and obeyed.

  45. Rieux says

    Wow. Game, set, match, scramble @73.

    Ms. Renee is incredible. Her material is extremely good, but her delivery might be even better. Besides the anger element, her essay (poem, no?) is also a very good example of how profanity can be a big help in conveying an important message.

    If anything, ending the piece on the word “choice” almost seemed to me like a letdown; her presentation is much stronger than that political buzzword is.

  46. Cactus Wren says

    May I offer Marge Piercy’s poem, “A Just Anger“?

    Maybe E is conflating “angry” with “tantrumatic”, and failing to see that anger is important. Anger is what changes things.

  47. Cactus Wren says

    Oh, addendum, sorry for the double-post: I am jumping up and down with excitement and eagerness to get this book.

  48. says

    I can’t wait to see this in bookstores and at conferences and getting grimy in people’s backpacks.

    Yes. Presentation of a dog-eared book for inscription is the best compliment for an author.

  49. Dexeron says

    Shorter drake:

    I never took a Calculus class, therefore God!”

    And half of that site’s nothing but “God of the gaps” nonsense anyway. And it’s not even GOOD God of the gaps nonsense. Is it too much to ask for circular “gotcha” arguments that HAVEN’T been tried a thousand times already?

  50. says

    Jen says: March 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    “And of course they couldn’t even manage to spell “atheist” correctly, even when it’s right there on the poster.”

    Maybe the attacker has bad ‘eye-sight’ as well ‘literacy problems’? Who knows? I don’t see what the spelling of same has to do with the argument here. In your goodness to defend, it appears to me that you might be employing an ad hominem?

    Ad hominem: Latin for “to the man.” An arguer who uses ad hominems attacks the person instead of the argument. Whenever an arguer cannot defend his position with evidence, facts or reason, he or she may resort to attacking an opponent either through: labelling, straw man arguments, name calling, offensive remarks and anger.

    Who is to say that the person who graffitied (not *graffittied* just mirroring here, no ad hominem intended) knows perfectly well how to spell correctly and deliberately spelled atheist wrongly so that somebody like Jen could point it out.

  51. says

    Oops. My apologies. last comment was meant for.

    forhttp://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/03/05/the-ugliest-of-all-atheists-mencallmethings/

    Am looking forward to learning about what pisses all you Godless people off.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply