What is love? Baby don’t hurt me…


“I hope you’re just going to ignore that loser.”

“Nope, I plan on posting about it on my blog.”

Jodi let out a resigned, slightly disgusted sigh. I’m sorry dear, but I just can’t let stuff like this go.

Zdenny, Christian un-thinker and god-bot par excellence, decided that rather than continuing the argument he started here, he would instead post a reiteration of his initial arguments, with a few sentences from my rebuttal interspersed, over at his own blog. (I assume the male gender here because I’m not 100% sure, though the proselytizers have a strong tendency toward being the males in a Christian relationship. I could be wrong.) You really don’t even have to click the link, honestly, as its entire contents will be posted below with my reply. I provide it only to prove he actually said it, and this is unaltered from its original form.

DuWayne tells me he attempted to post there, however his comment was not published. Zdenny did apparently answer the comment via e-mail, so he’s seen it, however I guess he’s not seen fit to publish it as Heaven forbid dissent be posted on a Christian’s blog — a religious sycophant’s comment made it through just fine though. Because of these facts, I post my reply here, where I know it will be published. Perhaps you should take a cue from my allowing of your hate-filled rhetoric on my earlier post, Zdenny?

Most of my arguments against this stuff are already written in the original comment thread that he took a dump in. He rebuts basically none of it, but imagines that he has come away from the experience enlightened, from having walked amongst the heathen for a while.

I had a thoughtful discussion with an atheist named Jason about real love. He deemed that it was “hateful” to claim that Atheist are not able to love their children.

No shit it’s hateful. It’s patently hateful on its face, in fact! You don’t need any kind of special 3D hate-seeing glasses to pick it out. You take something fundamental to humanity — the ability to love — then you claim that a group of people with whom you disagree, are incapable of it. Saying that someone is fundamentally incapable of something that actually defines humanity, is classifying that someone as sub-human. By classifying me as sub-human, you are enabling all sorts of vicious hate-crimes against me. You are tangibly endangering me and my beloved fiancee and anyone else who happens to not believe in your magic sky man.

And you still can’t see fit to pluralize the word. It’s “atheists” when referring to more than one. You Christian sure are asshole sometimes.

If God is love, then it is true that an atheist is incapable of loving their child. Atheist by definition reject God; therefore, an atheist is not capable of loving their children. God’s love never fails; however, an atheist love will fail based on the chemical make up of that person.

My argument to this, in full, from my own comment thread:

If atheists believe God probably doesn’t exist, then does it not follow that they also don’t ascribe any particular properties to this non-existent deity (e.g. love)? Why would an atheist, that does not believe in God, believe that God is love?

Additionally, you said “God is love”, which you’d have to prove anyway, rather than “love is God”, which would then apply the transient property of God-ness to the state of love, which makes your argument make a whole lot more sense. Since you did this the wrong way around, I could say “God is Love, love is blind, therefore God is Ray Charles”.

So, first, you have to believe that God exists. Then you have to believe that he is made of love. This implies that a priori love exists outside of God — that it is extrinsic to the concept of God — and that God is love in its purest form. Then, you have to assume that because God is the purest form of love, that all love that exists in the universe comes from him. Then you have to assume that because atheists do not believe in God, they don’t get to tap into the super-special love waves that religious folks have; that atheists don’t get pipelines shunted directly into their aorta the way believers do.

But even if you believe that God is made of pure love, that means love exists outside of the scope of God just like you can say that a table is made of wood but not all wood comes from tables. So you don’t even understand your own argument.

If you’re saying that all love comes from God, then I ask you right now — if you were shown videos or pictures of atheists who love one another, and religious folks who love one another, without any indication as to whether they were religious or not (e.g. crucifix necklaces, t-shirts that say “God probably doesn’t exist”, etc.), could you tell the difference between them? Could you with any certainty identify the people who really loved each other and the people who, I guess, are just pretending?

Additionally, would you be willing to submit to electrochemical tests to see whether or not the love you feel for your children provokes electrochemical responses similar to the responses shown by an atheist to their children? I’m not saying I could set up such a test, but I can tell you right now that if there are any differences between the love you show for someone and the love an atheist shows for someone, the differences would be entirely measurable in the brain, and not by the size of your crucifix necklace.

Evolution when determined by natural selection informs us that our chemicals will eventually change. A parent would be justified in not even caring for their children under the parameters set by evolution. We witness animals not caring for their offspring in nature so it is very possible that humans could evolve to the point of not caring for their children.

Not in the scope of our lifetimes. You don’t understand how evolution works. We have evolved to have the capacity for love. While chemical imbalances can interfere with our ability to love, on a case by case basis, it’s impossible for one person to “evolve out of” a particular behaviour. Evolution suggests that populations of creatures — humans, for example — will, over time, through random mutation and natural selection, acquire and propagate traits with more frequency that are beneficial to the species. Since loving your children and your partner and your family confers direct evolutionary advantages in a social animal such as apes, we have retained these traits. They express themselves as love. They are the result of electrochemical processes in our brains, but that doesn’t make the state any less real.

Here’s the thing, though. As a society, we put extremely high value on protecting our young (for instance, through anti-child-abuse and anti-child-pornography laws), and those people who do despicable things to young folks are removed from the system by being put into jail, or otherwise vilified. Likewise, people who have children but cannot care for them properly, have their children taken away from them. They are therefore not allowed to raise the children out of fear that these children will grow up stunted emotionally or socially.

The “parameters set out by evolution” (by which you mean biology and chemistry, not evolution, which only describes how traits pass through populations), stating that love is an electrochemical process, says only that these processes happen through natural, comprehensible means that can be measured and modified. It does not say that necessarily we individuals could just stop loving our children or wives or family all-of-a-sudden. If for some reason we evolved to, in the future, no longer be capable of love, the only reason that would ever have happened is because it was evolutionarily advantageous — but I honestly cannot see any such reason. Loving others the way that we do is so fundamental and intrinsic to being a human that society as we know it would not exist.

I would argue that it is not hateful to explain to an atheist the implications of their beliefs; rather, it is simply a logical conclusion.

This is really starting to get redundant here — expect less meat from now on.

This is a logical conclusion from flawed premises and hateful bias. You fail at logic.

If you define love as the right chemical balance that results in a person taking care of their child or even having feelings towards that child, you really just end up with chemicals forcing a person (parents) to take care of their child.

Guess what? That’s actually what’s happening right now. Here’s a pretty good explanation of how chemicals kick things off.

If love is merely a chemical solution, then we really should create it and inject it into everyones veins so that everyone could love their children; however, everyone with an ounce of common sense knows this isn’t love.

Already answered that:

Neglecting for the moment that a sensation of love can be effectively faked (either directed at you via the universe, or a sensation that you love everyone around you) through recreational pharmaceuticals, true love is a forging of new neural pathways associating a person (or in some weird cases, an object) with a level of need to protect, cherish and be around as much as possible. Imagine what would happen in your view of the universe for a moment if nothing else was different, except that you learn you were mistaken about God’s existence. Would you suddenly shun all those things that you love, because you learn you were wrong? Or would those electrochemical pathways in your brain continue to fire regardless of your epistemological views?

But you ignored this completely.

If love is based on material reality, then the material reality of a rock has as much love as an atheist in theory. Chemicals may help explain emotions, but they do not explain the reality of love. Love that never fails belongs only to Christians who participate in the nature of God.

Already answered the “rock has love too” crap, as well.

No. A rock is an inanimate chunk of matter. It does not reproduce, it does not self-perpetuate, it does not consume other rocks for food, and it does not have a brain.

Chemicals help explain emotions, but do not explain the reality of love…? Argument from special pleading much? How is love, as an emotion, any different, or have any different purposes from an evolutionary standpoint, as compared to hate, trust, loneliness, longing, fear, anger, lust, or happiness? Every one of these has excellent reasons to have evolved.

And what about all those times God failed to love unconditionally, such as every single time he decides someone who doubted his existence should be tortured eternally? Or, say, how he killed all the firstborns of Egypt — the innocent children — because he didn’t like what the grown adults were doing? Plagues, locusts? Famine? The great flood where he decided to wipe everything out except for the animals, dinosaurs, mosquitoes and freshwater fish that Noah somehow kept aboard his Ark of Holding for 60 days? Thousands of innocent women being killed over “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”? Animal and human sacrifices? Destroying entire countries over a perceived slight? Allowing Lot to save his two angels from rape by giving up his daughters to rape instead? Killing Lot’s wife for daring to look over her shoulder to see how big of an explosion God conjured up to destroy the entire fucking city?

Your God’s love is not unconditional, and it is not even love in any sense that I would recognize it, and yet you claim that it is impossible to love without being like this monstrous warrior god of yours. It is to laugh.

Jason the atheist responded by saying, ““Love is not unconditional, there is no love that “never fails”, and love is fleeting, because love is merely the word we have for the same evolutionarily derived needs to protect and cherish other valued humans in our lives, and as soon as we die, that’s it, we’re done.”

The atheist decided that real love doesn’t exist. Love is a mere illusion being simply a “word” without eternal meaning. The statement also demonstrates that he is an individual without hope.

I decided that your idea of “real love as derived from God and ONLY God” doesn’t exist. Love itself most certainly does exist, and without any need for your imaginary deity. And telling me that I don’t love Jodi, is not only wrong, but hateful. And demonstrably hateful, as per the “sub-human” argument above.

I have hope that one day assholes like you won’t be around, because people will stop believing that a two-thousand-year-old book gives you the right to declare other people as sub-humans incapable of love. Not only do I hope for that day, but I actively work for it.

Jason the atheist analysis was very honest recognizing that without the Love of God he is without Hope. In the end he would agree that an atheist is not able to really love their children since love is a vacuous concept.

No I fucking wouldn’t agree to that, you dishonest, brainwashed, arrogant ass. Just because love doesn’t span the ages as intrinsic to some existentially unprovable deity, doesn’t mean love doesn’t exist. It is a real phenomenon for which all humans are capable. I do not have children presently, but if and when I do, I guarantee you that I will love my children unequivocally. I will love them so much that I will provide them with the ability to tell the difference between reality and make-believe, and I will give them the tools with which to examine this world, and THEN I will introduce them to your religion so that they can critically analyze, weigh and measure it, and afterward (though I will by no means force them at this), hopefully they will come to the conclusion that your religion is in the make-believe category and that they will therefore be careful in talking to people like you, so as not to draw you into a theological conversation, because you hold irrational beliefs along the same lines as Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or invisible pink unicorns in your closet.

Of course it doesn’t have to be that way. Jason could decide to accept Christ and begin a life of faith experiencing the Love of God that is found in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Perish the thought. You obviously know nothing about me, or you might know I was brought up Catholic, and realized that everything that was said in the Bible, in the Sunday-school lessons, in the Sunday sermons, by every religious asshole, and by every televangelist and preacher, was complete and utter bullshit. I state with a great deal of confidence right now that I know more about your religion than you do, and I defy you to prove that I merely don’t understand your concept of White Jesus.

Seriously… me, find Christ? How long has he been missing?

Comments

  1. says

    I would recommend this response from Jason for any person who is really interesting is seeing the contrast be Christianity and Atheism!!

    I think the post speaks for itself. A person can compare my blog at http://zdenny.com/?p=894 with yours and make an informed decision.

    In addition, I should also point out that I treated you with great respect in my blog. Christians believe that we should even love our enemies. I will admit that I don’t have any feelings of love towards Jason so it must be the Love of God at work in my life.

    True Love is not conditional and those who participate in the nature of God apply love even to their perceived enermies. However, I don’t think you are an enemy…You seem to be a person who has been hurt in the past which can explain your anger.

    Your post appears to prove that atheism is mere emotion and a reaction against something rather than a belief in Atheism. I find your post much more normal for an atheist. I have watched Dawkins alot and he comes with the same hatred for those he perceives are enemies. The fact is that I would love to be friends with even a person like Dawkins. If nothing else the discussion would be awesome!

    I don’t deny that you have feelings of love for Jody; however, those feelings can change. In fact, your cells are all replaced in your body several times over your life. As you grow older, you may realize that you no longer have feelings of love for her. When this happens, you won’t have the ability to rely on true love to carry your marriage forward.

    Actually, I can guarantee that at many times in your marriage you won’t have feelings for Jody…You will need to rely on God’s love to carry you through the hard times!!

    When Christianity was the center of our society 60-100 years ago, divorce was rare because the Love of God was present in our society; however, Secularism is now the center of our society and divorce rates prove that secularism as a religion doesn’t result in real love. In fact, divorce rates are over 50% during a secularist demonated society which proof in the pudding… Without the love of God, divorce should be normal in society and guess what, it is!!!

    I hope that you and Jody will beat the odds in a secular society!! I really do…

  2. says

    I strongly encourage you send everyone capable of reading to my blog to read my rebuttals against your hate-filled nonsense. I especially hope they read my line:

    You take something fundamental to humanity — the ability to love — then you claim that a group of people with whom you disagree, are incapable of it. Saying that someone is fundamentally incapable of something that actually defines humanity, is classifying that someone as sub-human.

    You did not read this line, as you are still conflating real love — that being the love one person feels for another — with your imaginary “real love”, some kind of blanket all-loving force that only a True Christian can tap into. The only proof of this is your own assertions, and a really old book that’s wrong about pretty well everything else.

    In addition, I should also point out that I treated you with great respect in my blog.

    You said that I was thoughtful — which is the only compliment you paid me — then you proceeded to lie completely about what I said, and then said I would have to agree with you about something I most certainly would never agree with you about. That is disrespectful in the extreme, much more so than calling you an asshole for doing this. I am enraged by your dishonest, hateful tactics. If I happen to let loose with a few swear words and this seems like disrespect to you, just wait til you see what DuWayne has in store for you.

    However, I don’t think you are an enemy…You seem to be a person who has been hurt in the past which can explain your anger.

    Not in the past, right now. By you. With your vaunted Christian morals and stances.

    Whether I’ve been hurt in the past is immaterial to my belief that the universe works by comprehensible rules, rules that we’ve figured out through science, science that contradicts your Bible at every turn. This is not a philosophy that derives from hurt. It derives from hope, hope that one day we’ll know and understand this universe as it is, rather than as we wish it to be (for example, that there’s a magical invisible man guiding us all).

    Your post appears to prove that atheism is mere emotion and a reaction against something rather than a belief in Atheism.

    Wrong. Atheism means “does not believe in God”. That’s it. That’s all. We aren’t reacting against anything, by disbelieving in God. I happen to be reacting very emotionally and very heavily to your dishonest attacks against my character and against my ability to have real love for someone. Do not confuse those two facts. The fact that I am angry and reacting against you has little to do with my atheism, but much moreso to do with the fact that you are making ridiculous claims about my ability to love people based on your (not-very-biblically-derived, by the way) views on atheism.

    The fact is that I would love to be friends with even a person like Dawkins. If nothing else the discussion would be awesome!

    You’d quickly “not feel love” for him too, you realize. He’d tear you to shreds in so little time as to make your head spin. If you think I’m disrespectful, just go right ahead and sidle up to Dawkins as though he’ll be your best buddy and see what you’ll get for your troubles.

    Actually, I can guarantee that at many times in your marriage you won’t have feelings for Jody…You will need to rely on God’s love to carry you through the hard times!!

    I don’t pretend that I will always love or tolerate every one of her actions, nor do I imagine that she will love or tolerate every one of mine (in fact, my sitting here fighting with you is probably going to get on her nerves, as she believes I should merely ignore you and leave you to your ridiculous beliefs so long as you leave us alone). That’s not to say that one needs some kind of supernatural being in their corner in order to work through the tough times.

    It’s fitting that you can’t spell her name correctly, either, as you are not fit to write it.

    When Christianity was the center of our society 60-100 years ago, divorce was rare because the Love of God was present in our society;

    Because society at the time preferred that men kill their wives (e.g. honour killings) rather than allowing divorce — the Roman Catholic church excommunicates anyone who dares to get a divorce, remember?

    In fact, divorce rates are over 50% during a secularist demonated society which proof in the pudding… Without the love of God, divorce should be normal in society and guess what, it is!!!

    76.5% of the population of the USA is some denomination of Christian. I would suggest that means it is not dominated by secularists. Besides, according to Religious Tolerance:

    Divorce rates among Christian groups:

    The slogan: “The family that prays together, stays together” is well known. There has been much anecdotal evidence that has led to “unsubstantiated claims that the divorce rate for Christians who attended church regularly, pray together or who meet other conditions is only 1 or 2 percent”. 8 Emphasis ours]. Dr. Tom Ellis, chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Council on the Family said that for “…born-again Christian couples who marry…in the church after having received premarital counseling…and attend church regularly and pray daily together…” experience only 1 divorce out of nearly 39,000 marriages — or 0.00256 percent. 9

    A recent study by the Barna Research Group throws extreme doubt on these estimates. Barna released the results of their poll about divorce on 1999-DEC-21. 1 They had interviewed 3,854 adults from the 48 contiguous states. The margin of error is ±2 percentage points. The survey found:
    – 11% of the adult population is currently divorced.
    – 25% of adults have had at least one divorce during their lifetime.
    – Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.

    George Barna, president and founder of Barna Research Group, commented:

    “While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that when those individuals experience a divorce many of them feel their community of faith provides rejection rather than support and healing. But the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages.”

    Eat hot statistics, godbot.

  3. says

    So many (actually, most) Christians really don’t understand what being an atheist means. They consistently attach things to it that simply do not belong. As Jason stated above, it’s quite simple: atheists do not believe in a god or gods. Jason and I certainly have a lot of other things in common, but being an atheist does not entail anything other than that lack of belief in a deity. Unlike followers of a religion, we have no set of core “beliefs” which are common to all of us.

    Bring all the religious mumbo-jumbo into it that you want. It won’t make any difference. Your religious arguments have absolutely no meaning for us. We don’t believe.

    I’m an atheist. So is my wife. We both love each other very much. I also love my two daughters. They also love me. They are not atheists. A person’s religious belief or non-belief has absolutely nothing to do with their ability to love another person.

    For we atheists, “God is love” only makes sense if you’re playing tennis.

  4. says

    Your quote on statistics does not take into account the heart of our society. The heart of society is controled by seculars who alone have the right to preach their values at the public level. Seculars are preaching their values at nominal Christians who don’t know the Bible. As such, seculars are responsible for the current divorce rate, the latch key kids, the high crime level and especially the 60 million babies that have been killed in the name of population control.

    When Christianity dominated our society, none of these things were taking place. You would find exceptions to the rule which you point out where abuses had to be corrected; however, the Love of God was central to American life which caused men to act in love rather than out of selfishness as a general rule. It was the love of God that made us great.

    With the seculars running things, I do except America’s power and greatness to be dramatically reduced. Secular values result in selfishness rather than love. Selfishness destroys a society from within as it also does a marriage. In fact, the great decline has already begun for everyone to see. Obama will not be able to save an America who denies the reality of Love. In fact, Obama denies the reality of Love itself believing it is a mere emotion.

    Thanks for your response!

  5. says

    Dan said, “I’m an atheist. So is my wife. We both love each other very much. I also love my two daughters. They also love me. They are not atheists. A person’s religious belief or non-belief has absolutely nothing to do with their ability to love another person.”

    I am glad you care for one another; however, it is not possible for chemicals to love chemicals. It is not possible for matter to love matter. If you love is merely emotions that are caused due to chemical stimuli, then your love is conditional based on the chemical makeup of each family member. It may have been that evolution was good to you by giving you the right mixture of chemicals; however, evolution may have been bad to people like Jeffrey Dahmer. If emotions are mere chemicals, can your chemicals really be better than Jeffrey Dahmers? Can I say that granite is better than marble? Jeffrey Dahmers has just as much right to kill as you have to love in a materialistic society.

    I personally believe that atheist are very dangerous after watching Marxism, Communism and Liberals (who have ended the lives of 60 million people in America through abortion) over the last 100 years. Since they lack real love, they can be terribly dangerous when they don’t get what they want…

    At this time I don’t consider Dan to be dangerous; however, if is chemical balance changes, anything could happen.

  6. says

    While I’m sure you’d love America to be a theocracy, unfortunately (for you) it was not founded by theocrats. It was founded through the blood and sweat of your forefathers, the pilgrims, who decided that the Church of England was repressive and prevented people from worshipping as they saw fit. So, when America was founded and the wars were fought to seal your independence, your forefathers established that your government would make no laws concerning the establishment of a religion. I don’t know why you’re so intent on believing it was founded as a Christian nation and with Christianity as your primary religion, perhaps it is because you continue to be brainwashed by your religious figures.

    If Obama fails, I guarantee you it is because he was far too centrist. America has tasted eight years of theocracy and it won you two never-ending wars and an economy in shambles. America needs a progressive left-winger to bring your country into line with the rest of the Western world as far as economics, health care, and personal freedoms are concerned.

    Do not match statistics with wishful thinking. You *wish* that the country is more secular than it is, because that way you could pin its ills on secularism. Secularism is at a staggering low. Right-wing reactionism is at a surprising high. I showed you statistics showing that a supermajority (>3/4ths) of your country is Christian, and that secular marriages end far less frequently. You just countered with “but I think it is not so”. You fail outright.

    And for comparing Dan J with Jeffrey Dahmer, you’ve proven just exactly how hateful you are (no matter how much you try to say “oh, but I don’t think he’s a threat” to insulate yourself afterward). It’s a shame I don’t believe in censorship or banning, or you’d get both.

  7. says

    And I think theists are particularly dangerous, after studying the history of our world and the impact of religion in every culture throughout history. After all, virtually every war this planet has seen, virtually every genocide this planet has seen, has been in the name of religion. And a glance or two at scriptures – not just Christian, but since it’s my experience I’ll stick with that – indicates that our gods demand such violence. Just a reading of the Christian bible, something I have studied quite extensively, reveals a god who calls for rape, genocide, murder, incest, polygamy, misogyny, hatred and systemic intolerance of anyone who digresses. Not to mention the destruction that this god itself allegedly rained down upon it’s alleged creation.

    I don’t necessarily consider Denny particularly dangerous, but if his god decides to tell him he should, for example, start massacring atheists and fags – just watch the fuck out… And a good look at psychology would indicate that the sorts of chemical changes Denny is assuming in his comment about Dan, are far less common than Believers deciding that their god is telling them to commit acts of violence and hatred.

  8. says

    It’s no shame Jason, banning and the like would mean that we wouldn’t get this wonderful example of Denny’s god’s “love.”

    Besides, then you would probably have to ban me for coming down so hard on you Canuckistanians and generally being such a poopyheaded, big blue meanie…

  9. says

    If emotions are mere chemicals, can your chemicals really be better than Jeffrey Dahmers? Can I say that granite is better than marble? Jeffrey Dahmers has just as much right to kill as you have to love in a materialistic society.

    Chemicals are the starting points. As I’ve been saying from the beginning, it is an electrochemical reaction — the electro part comes from signals travelling through neural pathways in your brain. Chemical imbalances in the brain can lead to new pathways being formed, pathways that justify mentally what you’re doing to others. Schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder, bipolar disorder and psychosis, all stem from physical or chemical changes in the brain.

    Marble has different physical properties than granite. They are useful for different things. One is more useful for making statues and other works of art, one is more useful for making buildings and other structures.

    And Dahmer had no right to kill in society just because his brain processes are responsible. In some cases, it is impossible to rehabilitate a person whose mental state is completely screwed up. I’d no more expect to be able to rehabilitate an angry, wounded bear. That is why society decided to lock him up in a maximum security prison for the rest of his natural life — because he is an imminent threat to society. It has absolutely nothing to do with his religious ideals. And in fact, prove to me Dahmer was anything but religious, given that he was himself a homosexual and member of the Church of Christ, and killed primarily other homosexuals likely because of the massive cognitive dissonance brought about by being gay in a gay-bashing religion.

    Incidentally, while we’re on the topic, if you ever hear a voice telling you to hurt your loved ones, that means you’re probably schizophrenic or have some other mental disorder and should seek professional help immediately. Religious folks tend to interpret hearing voices in your head as being messages from God or Satan. I just want to make sure you know that it’s actually chemicals, and if you get help, they can be countered using certain drugs.

    DuWayne: I could never ban you. You know, since you’re trying to invade the country and all, I am well advised to keep my enemies close and all that. Besides, you know I’d miss your pasty beige ass.

  10. Jodi says

    I’m almost ready to call Poe on this guy because his delusions are just so perfect.
    But unfortunately for him I think he’s for real.

  11. Jodi says

    DuWayne, I think you should know, if you carry on with your awesomeness you may just get your wish of obtaining The-Great-Canadian-Health-Care because I might just leave Jason for you. Of course, that would be perfectly acceptable, being atheist and all, because I never really ‘loved’ him anyway.

  12. says

    Jeffrey Dahmers has just as much right to kill as you have to love in a materialistic society.

    It amazes me (though it really shouldn’t) that so many religious people think that this is what life without a god means. They imply, if not state outright, that anything goes in a secular society. Anything that anyone wants to do is right. They couldn’t be more wrong.

    Any society functions to a large degree by abiding by rules agreed upon by the members of the society. Any person’s right do do as they wish ends at the edge of the rights of others. Basically, you can do as you wish with your person and property so long as your actions do not harm or endanger another person or their property against their wishes. The definitions of “harm” and “person” and “property” vary to a certain degree from society to society.

    The fact that we don’t believe in your god does not make us immoral monsters, except in your mind.

    Please, ZDENNY, stop bringing up the nonsense about how much better everything was when X was the way things were. It simply isn’t true. There’s no such thing as “the good old days.” People’s memories are very selective. We like to remember the good things in life and push the bad things to the back of the line. This makes it seem like things used to be better. It simply isn’t true. If you happen to be up for a good read about this, I might suggest The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap, by Stephanie Coontz. It focuses primarily on the 1950’s in the United States, but is quite applicable for a variety of generations.

    Do you remember when you were eight years old, and school was out for the summer? Remember how long summer used to last? It seemed like summer lasted for so long. It didn’t. Summer was the same length then as it is now. We just remember it differently.

  13. says

    My post is up…

    Jodi –

    See, Juniper’s concerned that you and her are going to end up having to go all “Thelma & Louise” when Jason and I run off together… Not that Jason and I would ever have any meaningful relationship, because atheist same sex couplings would by definition be even less meaningful than normal atheist couplings. That, and I’d only really be into it for the healthcare and I suspect Jason’s interest would be purely a friend helping a friend get healthcare.

    However, it’s all a moot point, because once we INVADE!!!11!111!1, the healthcare will be mine anyways…

    Jason and Dan –

    I included primers on neurobiology, logical fallacies and elementary logic in my post…

  14. Jodi says

    *gasp*
    I’m crushed.
    Oh well, I’m obviously not *that* crushed because as an atheist I can never know real godly love anyway.
    But wait, if you and Jason take over Canada does that mean Juniper and I get to run America?

  15. says

    But wait, if you and Jason take over Canada does that mean Juniper and I get to run America?

    I, for one, welcome our new Overlords… Overladies?

  16. says

    If you haven’t already been over to DuWayne’s post, do so now — Juniper kicks all sorts of ass over there. And I’m not just saying that because she’s your overlord-to-be.

    (As for DuWayne, we have a gentleman’s agreement that he’s good, but in no way better than me what with him wanting to take over my country and all.)

  17. says

    HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!!!!111!1111!!!

    Toaster and I wouldn’t be planning an INVASION!!!!!11!1!!!, if you fucking Canuckistanians were as motherfucking badass as US!!!!1111!1!!11!!1

    Though if you don’t cause us too much trouble, we may let you run Texas, where you might not make things that much better, but you certainly couldn’t fuck anything up – worse than it is now…

    Actually, I’m sorry – that was just fucking rude – of course you would improve Texas – it would be impossible not to…

    And goddammit, I am not leaving the most wonderful women ever, to deal with the fucked up messes where I am not. I love her and want her to be with me. Even if that means I only get to INVADE!!!!!11!11!!!1!!, leaving the actual ruling Canuckistan up to others…

  18. says

    Hey, you know, I might be convinced to provide the codes to our national defense laser systems if I’m the one you install into power… you won’t even have to have sex with me to get the codes, neither! (I’m no Battlestar Galactica fan, but I bet I could be a hell of a lot more pragmatic than Balthar.)

    Anyway, I’m already President of the Internet, why not First President of the Occupied Democracy of Canada while we’re at it? It’ll sure look good on my resume.

  19. D. C. Sessions says

    It was founded through the blood and sweat of your forefathers, the pilgrims, who decided that the Church of England was repressive and prevented people from worshipping as they saw fit.

    More properly, it was founded by a whole bunch of people for a whole bunch of reasons, and some of those people were Puritans who got their panties all in a bunch because the Netherlands were too tolerant of people the Puritans didn’t approve of and for some reason the Dutch wouldn’t kick out everybody who didn’t agree with the Puritans or, better yet, let the Puritans stone/burn/pillory/etc them.

    This tradition continues in the USA to this very day: not letting religious extremists burn heretics at the stake is “religious oppression” and they complain about the loss of their religious liberty.

  20. says

    DuWayne said, I “don’t necessarily consider Denny particularly dangerous, but if his god decides to tell him he should, for example, start massacring atheists and fags.”

    In the New Testament, you never see a Christians killing anyone. When the Spirit was poured out on the church, it resulted in the end of basic survival methods in an evil world and the birth of the Kingdom of God and His Kingdom of Love. In fact when Peter picked up the sword, Christ told him to put it down.

    Your perspective on the New Testament is uninformed…

  21. D. C. Sessions says

    Seriously… me, find Christ? How long has he been missing?

    Am I the only one here who remembers the whole “I found it!” media campaign by the CCC [1]? It wasn’t that long ago (1976, with a replay in 2002)

    That sucker died an early and horrible (but well-deserved) death once people started mocking it:

    “Nope — we’ve still got it.”
    “We threw it away.”
    “Do you know where that’s been?”
    “I lost it.” (Picture of underwear on the floor.)

    and so on, and so on, and so on.

    [1] Campus Crusade for Christ: CCC. Like KKK, but softer.

  22. says

    Your perspective on the New Testament is uninformed…

    Oh, so you only follow the New Testament? Wow, that’s a load off of my mind. That means you don’t have anything to do with that old testament malarkey like the Ten Commandments, Noah and the Flood, Yahweh creating the universe in six days, Moses parting the Red Sea, the whole debacle with Lot, Yahweh telling Abraham to murder his son, etc. You only believe in Jesus and Truth and Light and Love. You’re sort of a “new agey” Christian, right?

  23. says

    I said nothing about the new testament Denny, I was talking about you and your god. I do assume you worship that god, who is the same yesterday, today and forever – am I mistaken? And the fact is, people kill other people in the name of your god quite often. People decide that your god told them they should commit this or that violent act and they do, even when it’s murder – sometimes even when they believe your god told them to kill their own spouse and/or children.

    And why shouldn’t your god tell people to do that sort of thing? After all, it is the same god who demanded that it’s people commit every atrocity known to men. It is the same god who itself committed horrible acts of death and destruction.

    I presented you with a challenge in the comments on my own blog. Put up, or please shut the fuck up.

  24. says

    Okay, I’m not a regular reader of your blog, and this may well be the first time I’ve ever visited–I’m not really sure. Today I followed you over from Traumatized By Truth. I generally don’t like to post a comment at a blog until I’ve lurked for awhile, just to get the tone and feel of how people interact at it, and I can’t really justify it now, except that I leaped into the middle of a discussion between you and this Zdenny guy over there and I sort of want to follow it up a bit.

    As I said at Traumatized By Truth curiosity got the better of me and I followed a link over to Zdenny’s place. The first thing I was confronted with was a passionate defense of his right to hate. Now I’m sure Zdenny, who somehow equates the hate he clearly feels for gays and atheists with “the Love of God” would disagree with my version of what he wrote, but I’m simply following his own prescription of “explain[ing] … the implications of [his] beliefs.” As he himself wrote “it is simply a logical conclusion” from his stated views.

    Then I moved on with mounting disbelief to his hate-filled diatribe about love and non-Christians. (Okay, he applies his points exclusively to atheists, but the “logic” of his argument applies equally to Muslims, Hindus, animists, and agnostics.) I cannot imagine why he thinks that he isn’t “curs[ing] people or call[ing] them names” when he denies the common humanity of the people he hates. Why he thinks that making stuff up and falsely attributing these views to others is engaging “a respectful debate” is absolutely beyond me. And for his lame pretense that he loves even his enemies–it’s beneath contempt.

    Now I’ve engaged here in “respectful debate” Zdenny style. In fact I would argue that the “logical conclusions” I have drawn in explaining “the implications of [his] beliefs” are far closer to accurate than his are. And in my view when he chose to lie about the hate crimes legislation now in congress, the facts of the New Jersey beach-front property case, discrimination against Christians in America (is he serious?), and the actual views of atheists, he forfeited any right to be treated civilly.

    I don’t care how politely you explain to somebody that he is a subhuman incapable of experiencing what even animals can feel, there is nothing respectful about it. And when you make up stuff and attribute it to others, and then justify it by calling it a “logical conclusion” from the “implications of their beliefs” you deserve to be treated only with contempt.

    When I was a kid and the civil rights movement was in full swing I used to see on our old black-and-white tv these spokesmen come on to defend the Southern way of life. They had a lot to say about God’s love too, and they were always very polite, very respectful–as they spewed the filthiest hate and venom imaginable. It made a big impression on me. Their “polite” hatred was worse than the honest venom of coarser souls; it just frosted their bigotry with hypocrisy. One of the most “respectful” of the bunch was the Grand Imperial something-or-other of the Ku Klux Klan.

  25. says

    And, by the way, i do think Zdenny is legitimate. I must admit that “Do I Love My Kids?”, “Atheism is Silly,” and “Christianity Revealed” read like parodies. Lines like “an atheist love will fail based on the chemical make up of that person,” and “Doesn’t structure imply a design? A structure in reality is the same as saying that reality is designed,” and “Astronomers have used telescopes to go thousands of light years in hopes of finding life somewhere in the universe. Scientist have found that the universe is hostile, vast, empty and devoid of life,” along with what seem like feigned misunderstandings (or unlikely ignorance) of basic science, strained argumentation, and outlandish lapses in logic–all this lends an air of put-on to the proceedings.

    But on the other hand the pointless internecine bickering in “Guided By Enemies” and “Rick Warren is a Pawn” seem all too depressingly legitimate; who but a player in the games of (low-rent) theology would bother to write either of them?

  26. says

    No need to stand on formalities, sbh. These are the interwebs, everyone is expected to give their opinion whether they’re valid and informed, or not! (Yours at least seems to be both valid and informed, though, so even if it wasn’t status quo to spout off, I doubt you’ll make enemies in this circle if trends continue.)

    I’ve been considering escalating this war of words by going over some of his older posts and shredding them. Of course, he’s a Birther, and an Obama = New World Order idiot, and the only reason he’s upset with Rick Warren is that he’s daring to reach out to Muslims to try to end violence, poverty and hunger (the cad!), so there’s much grist for the mill. I just don’t know that I have the patience to go through his every post. I mean, I might as well be wading into RedState or FreeRepublic for all the crazy right-wing ideals, but when you add to that a religious bigotry the likes of which I have never seen, there’s just too much concentrated crazy in one place. It’s a daunting thought, honestly.

    I do not understand this need that fundamentalists have, to claim the moral high ground by acting “respectful” toward your debating opponent, by which I mean merely avoiding cuss words and using positive adjectives like “thoughtful” before claiming that they are inhuman monsters. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen it — look at every successful troll at Pharyngula, for example. Look at Nathan Myers over at Greg’s place. To some extent, look at Chris Mooney. By glossing over their arguments with a patina of civility, they somehow expect that what they’re saying is somehow more palatable than what the other guys have to offer. It’s really quite jarring.

    These types of trolls’ intent is obvious — they think it makes it hard for us to show people exactly why they’re wrong because it predisposes people to like them despite the subtext of their arguments. The thing is, anyone could, with a moment’s reflection, get the subtext of “atheist[s] can’t love their children because they don’t know God and God is love”. That subtext is that atheists are less human than religious folks.

    And he wonders why I call him hateful.

  27. says

    Actually, I can’t find any supporting evidence that Zdenny is a birther — I might have gotten confused about one of the Obama vids he posted, and one of their “related videos”. He posts on other blogs belonging to birthers though, mostly complimenting their religious posts.

  28. says

    What amazes me about this is that anyone can think that the following is logically sound statement:

    “If God is love, then it is true that an atheist is incapable of loving their child. Atheist by definition reject God; therefore, an atheist is not capable of loving their children.”

    “Socrates is a man. All men are mortal. Therefore all men are Socrates.”

  29. jthibeault says

    Hmm. I’m not really good at this stuff, but this is how I read it.

    The form I regularly use:
    All cows are female. Your mother is a female. Therefore your mother is a cow.
    God is love, and love is blind. Ray Charles is blind. Therefore God is Ray Charles.

    This follows a different format:
    Subset A is a subset of group B. C is a member of group B. Therefore C is a member of subset A.

    Yours is:
    A is a member of group B. Group B has property C. Therefore everything in group B is A.

    C doesn’t even enter into it. So you probably mean:
    A has property B. Members of group C have property B. Therefore everything in group C is A.
    Socrates is a mortal. All men are mortal. Therefore all men are Socrates.

    Zdenny’s argument is thus:
    A has (/is) property B. Members of group C deny A’s existence. Therefore members of group C cannot have property B.
    God is love. Atheists do not believe in God. Therefore atheists do not have the capacity for love.

    Even if you assert that A exists despite group C’s denial of A, how does that mean group C cannot share a property with A? The sky is blue, cave dwellers don’t know the sky, therefore they cannot see blue??

    (PS: You fight like a dairy farmer!)

  30. says

    You have it right, and that’s what I was trying to illustrate. A more succinct version of the problem with his statement is that it doesn’t distinguish between sufficient and necessary conditions.

    (P.S. How appropriate, you fight like a cow!”)

    (P.P.S. I have you and Stephanie Zhan bookmarked for addition to my blogroll when I actually get off my ass and update my blog. Got any other suggestions?)

  31. says

    Ooh, lookit you, all fancy with yer book lernin. Sufficient and necessary conditions indeed!

    DuWayne’s a riot, and damn smart — blogrolled as Traumatized By Truth. Dan J’s a Linux and gamer geek like me, and a damn fine writer (especially when he gets going on atheism) — he’s at Relatively Unrelated. Everything on my blogroll is awesome, actually… that’s why it’s there. And actually, there are some blogs that I’m considering adding, as soon as I have time to actually read them enough… I have too many RSS feeds right now as it is.

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