A little inspiration for a busy Thursday morning »« My favorite creationist web page of all time

Comments

  1. John Morales says

    From #13, second list:

    There’s nothing wrong with taking a leap of faith, provided you acknowledge that’s what you’re doing. Atheists simply prefer other forms of exercise.

    :)

  2. David Marjanović, OM says

    I Am An Atheist: 16 Things Atheists Need Christians to Know.

    A concise, devastating reply to Pascal’s Wager! And chocolate! :-) :-) :-) For that I’m willing to overlook the “man up” :-)

  3. Cullen says

    I find it ironic that the add associated with this page for me is to ‘date Christian girls’ with a photo of some little club tart making a duck face.

    Good thing I am a solid atheist with a happy family life, rather than a closeted hedonist religous asshole seeking a piece of strange on the side.

  4. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I liked the line of make up your mind whether you are the majority (true), or are the minority; quit switching between the two. Consistency, thy name isn’t religious folk.

  5. jennyxyzzy says

    @Cullen

    heh – I’m getting muslim girls – all demure in their hijabs and 5 different types of eye makeup!

  6. Molly says

    I particularly like number 11 from the second link. Nothing makes me angrier than when Christians are like, “You’re an atheist? Maybe you should read the Bible…”

  7. Kevin says

    They forgot to mention that there literally ARE atheists in foxholes. It’s the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers.

  8. bananacat says

    Of course it’s comforting to believe in religion during hard times. The hardest thing for people to do is nothing, especially since it means admitting that sometimes we are actually powerless. There was a time when my cat was in the hospital overnight. I was pretty sure that he was only being kept alive to determine the exact reason why he would need to be put down. (FYI-it turned out to just be an infection and antibiotics cleared it right up.) I had done everything I could, and the vets had done everything they could, and we just had to wait for blood test results to come back. There was nothing more I could do, and it was really difficult to just sit back and do nothing and wait. It was also difficult to know about the decision I would likely be facing. Of course it would be tempting to believe that prayer could work, but that doesn’t make it actually work. It would have also been nice to think that I could get some sign from some higher being to tell me whether to put the cat down or prolong his life and his suffering. It would have been fantastic to make the choice but then completely wash my hands of all responsibility and never second-guess myself. But I knew I had to be a big girl and be the one in charge because there wasn’t someone else to do it for me.

    So my point is that it can be extremely comforting to believe when you’re in a foxhole or when a loved one dies, but that doesn’t say anything at all about the validity of the religion. The only thing it says is that psychologically, many people find it comforting to not be the one in charge or the one with responsibility.

  9. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    I thought the second list came off as rude and bossy. Then I remembered that the target audience is totally into being told what to do and how to behave because they’re incapable of figuring it out for themselves. Well done.

  10. Gregory says

    I rather like #2 from the second list: “There is no guy named Athe.”

    I am now inspired to create Atheism (pronounced AH-thay-ism), the religion that does not believe in Athe.

  11. otrame says

    I would add to both lists:

    Why, yes, I have read the BIble. I’ve read it all, one page after another (well, I kinda skimmed the begats and I just couldn’t finish Revelations–I think its kind of mean to stare at mentally ill people). I’ve read it intensively. I studied it. That’s why I am an atheist. Let me ask you. Have you ever read the Bible? Page by page, not bouncing around from one out-of-context verse to another? Really? Remember, you aren’t supposed to bear false witness. So I ask again, have you read the Bible?

  12. Brownian says

    Of course it’s comforting to believe in religion during hard times.

    Something’s apparently wrong with me, because I was born without this gene.

    I was once chatting with my mom, and she told me about a few hitchhiking adventures she’d had when she was young. She didn’t get into details, but she gave me the distinct impression that one or two were very scary, and made her feel foolish and unwise for getting herself into such danger.* But the fact that she survived them was evidence to her that a supernatural someone was looking out for her.

    In contrast, in my experience as a child in the 80s, when the media made it seem that everyone under the age of 12 was being kidnapped and brutalised by boogie van-driving bogeymen, the fact that I remained safe and unmolested was conclusive proof to young me that God was either absent or capricious.

    *Her words, not mine.

  13. says

    What about the myth that atheists/evolutionists so hate the idea of not dying that they cling to fantasies in order to deny the possibility.

    Because I know I’d run screaming from every chance to avoid death.

    No, wait, the odd thing is that they tend to try to avoid “heaven” about as much as we do, when premature death threatens.

    Glen Davidson

  14. Brownian says

    I am now inspired to create Atheism (pronounced AH-thay-ism), the religion that does not believe in Athe.

    Non-belief in Athe would be aAtheism. If you disbelieved in disbelievers of Athe, you’d be an aaAtheist. If someone claimed that those didn’t exist, they be followers of aaaAtheism.

    And end up first in phone books, assuming such things still exist.

  15. Sastra says

    I liked both lists. I particularly appreciated the way Amanda Marcotte cut to the heart of the thought processses behind the myths. The “No Atheists in Foxholes” trope for example reveals a significant weakness at the heart of the theistic argument: it’s not that far from telling someone that they’ll believe in God alright after they’ve had Alzheimer’s for a while. The assumption that the most childish, primitive, simplistic, intuitive reactions are most likely to reflect what you really believe — and are most likely to be correct — seems to underlie the very spirit of spirituality.

    Although both lists are aimed primarily at Christians, I think you need only tweak them a bit to have them apply to all forms of religion/spirituality. Liberal believers can be just as obnoxious: they can be even worse, because they think they’re the model of tolerance.

    I loved this characterization of gnu atheism from Marcotte:

    … “New Atheism,” which focuses its energy on disproving religious claims instead of merely pleading for tolerance of atheists.

    Exactly. A significant distinction.

  16. Alverant says

    Personally I capitalize Atheist/Atheism and don’t capitalize other religions to give theists a taste of their own medicine. To me when theists say “atheist/atheism” they’re dismissing us as being a group too small to consider legitimate. I know there are valid reasons for the lowercase “a” but I don’t think those are the reasons used when believers write about non-believers.

  17. Janine, The Little Top Of Venom, OM says

    Alverant, I do not like having atheist or atheism capitalized because it makes it seem like an organized group like any other religious sect.

  18. ikesolem says

    Typical eurocentric views. Go ask say, a Zen monk about atheism.

    Q: “Does God exist?”

    A: “What a meaningless question! How can you be sure that you yourself exist?”

    Q: “When I kick a rock, my foot hurts?”

    A: “It’s all in your mind. And how do you know where your mind is? Perhaps you’re just a program, run on a big computer, inhabiting a virtual environment. How would you know the difference?”

    Damn those Zen monks…

  19. says

    To be honest, lists like this can be made for just about anything that is not mainstream. As a vegetarian, I can think of a list like this (“but what do you eat?”).

    Good lists, though my response to “there are no atheists in foxholes” would be simply “there are“.

  20. Brownian says

    Typical eurocentric views. Go ask say, a Zen monk about atheism.

    Suggesting that solipsism as a philosophical concept was invented by Zen scholars in the 7th century CE rather than by Greek sophists in the 5th century BCE is a pretty silly way to combat Eurocentrism.

  21. bananacat says

    Personally I capitalize Atheist/Atheism and don’t capitalize other religions to give theists a taste of their own medicine.

    Honestly, this is just petty and nonsensical. In English, it is standards to capitalize proper nouns, regardless of their validity. It especially annoys me when people don’t capitalize God out of some sense of insulting Christians. But God and god mean two different things so it’s not a trivial distinction to make. It’s like how mommy and Mommy are used for different meanings. Proper nouns get the capital whether they are fictional or not. That’s why we capitalize both Brad Pitt and Tyler Durden. It has nothing to do with respect or legitimacy and it’s only about a standard grammatical practice that makes some clarifications.

  22. What a Maroon says

    Non-belief in Athe would be aAtheism. If you disbelieved in disbelievers of Athe, you’d be an aaAtheist. If someone claimed that those didn’t exist, they be followers of aaaAtheism.

    Actually, I think it would be anAtheism, ananAtheism, anananAtheism, etc. (Why do I have a sudden craving for pineapples?)

    If I ever reproduce again (rereproduce?), I’ll try to convince the kid’s mother to name it Athe.

  23. Brownian says

    (Why do I have a sudden craving for pineapples?)

    [Considers the taste of fresh pineapples and the impending Alberta winter and dies inside just a little bit.]

  24. ikesolem says

    Solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist.

    The Zen monks say that the mind itself does not exist. They are not the only ones, either. Name this quote:

    “There is no place to seek the mind. It is like the footprints of birds in the sky.”

  25. Rieux says

    Amanda Marcotte does a very nice job (certainly not just in this instance) writing about atheism-and-religion issues. I wish she wrote on the topic more frequently.

  26. says

    If nothing can be said to exist, then what’s going on is that Zen folks are simply stripping the word ‘exist’ of any meaning. This is not much different than Christians saying “god is love.” It’s not an argument – it’s a childish word game.

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

    There absolutely is a place to seek the mind. It’s called the brain, and it’s right behind your eyes.

  27. says

    Believe me, every single one of us has considered replying, “And you’re so smart – I can’t believe you’re a Christian!”

    Oh… are we not supposed to actually reply that way? Shit… I never got that memo. Oh well.

  28. Alverant says

    bananacat the problem with the word “god” is that christians arrogantly assume it automatically means their god. It’s like calling someone Priest as if they’re the only priest in existence. By using it as a proper noun, it plays into their fantasy that they have the only legitimate religion. When people say the word, you can’t hear whether or not it starts with a capital G. That’s how we get petty nonsensical claims like how Einstein believed in God when he said “God does not play dice with the universe.” or how atheists really believe because they say things “oh god”.

    It reminds me of how Adobe is trying to keep “Photoshop” from becoming a verb except with god, it’s intentional. It’s because of that intentional confusion that I like to be petty about capitalization.

  29. says

    In a regular poll conducted by political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell on American political attitudes, atheists recently lost their spot as as the most disliked group in America to the Tea Party.

    This deserves a post all by itself… rarely has one single statement caused me to feel equal parts anger and amusement at the same time…

  30. What a Maroon says

    In a regular poll conducted by political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell on American political attitudes, atheists recently lost their spot as as the most disliked group in America to the Tea Party.

    And yet no one will run for President openly as an atheist, or try to court the atheist vote.

  31. Margaret says

    @Alverant

    …the problem with the word “god” is that christians arrogantly assume it automatically means their god. … By using it as a proper noun, it plays into their fantasy that they have the only legitimate religion.

    Yes. But I’m also aware of the capitalization conventions of English, so I try to be careful not use the word in a way that it could be taken for a proper noun: I try to always write “the biblical god” or “the Christian god” or “the god the fundamentalists believe in” or “their/your god” or “any gods” or “the god of the old testament” or “the Mormon god” or “the Islamic god” or such. I refuse to linguistically buy into the fantasy of a god named “God” or that there is only one god worth even considering. Using the word “god” as if it were a proper name but refusing to capitalize it is merely viewed as an insult (one I find hard to pass up). To give an actual argument it is better to make it clear that you don’t give their particular god any preferential treatment over all the other gods people have invented over the ages.

  32. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    For the record, I am an atheist and I am out to destroy Christmas.

    So you best protect ya neck, Whos-down-in-Whoville…I’m coming for the roast beast.

  33. Ing says

    The Zen monks say that the mind itself does not exist.

    Because Buddhism at it’s core is panphobia that seeks to remove all aspects of the human condition in a cowardly attempt to avoid suffering.

  34. Alverant says

    @Margaret

    Using the word “god” as if it were a proper name but refusing to capitalize it is merely viewed as an insult (one I find hard to pass up).

    When being nice and using logic doesn’t work, ridicule and mockery can have an effect. Most of the time when I give into the temptation to do petty cheap insults, it’s when christians do/say something bad. Like on the online edition of my local paper whenever an article about homosexuals is printed this one guy will call them disgusting perverted sinners. A statement like that deserves an insult. It doesn’t do anything for “the cause” but neither is the other guy.

  35. Margaret says

    @Alverant

    Yes, ridicule and mockery are good and I find them hard to pass up. I just find “your god is a bully” or “the Christian god is a bully” more dismissive of their beliefs than either “god is a bully” or “God is a bully.” I’ve been trying to train myself to avoid language that feeds into the “you’re just mad at God” nonsense.

  36. says

    RE: the “16” list, I have a beef with #7: chocolate? Phooey! One word: bourbon. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with taking a leap of faith provided you have empirical evidence that there’s a net at the bottom

  37. Brownian says

    RE: the “16″ list, I have a beef with #7: chocolate? Phooey! One word: bourbon.

    Hey, whatever keeps one’s mind off of the reality of life without cocaine…

    Anyone who believes in god has obviously never heard this: http://youtu.be/R_raXzIRgsA

    Nah. What really puts the final nail in God’s coffin is the knowledge that that band went on to record this.

  38. abb3w says

    Subtle disagreement with (1/16). “Self-identified” isn’t always hedging, based on the Pew data. While a tiny fraction of atheists believe in God or “a higher power” on the one hand, on the other only about a quarter of those who do not believe in God/aHP call themselves “atheist”. While in the former, it is hedging, more commonly it functions as a stronger assertion. Of course, that may not be the Christians’ intent to using the phrase.

    Also with (5/16); I hadn’t considered that rebuttal before now. Of course, the simplest reason for that might be that I usually don’t get accused of being a nice person.

    Additionally, with (13/16), I have said I can prove there is no God… for some senses of the word “prove”. However, I’m an outlier; the point is usually solid.

    Not bad, overall.

  39. David Marjanović, OM says

    Because Buddhism at it’s core is panphobia that seeks to remove all aspects of the human condition in a cowardly attempt to avoid suffering.

    When I read this, I was enlightened.

  40. anchor says

    Neither of these mention how obnoxious it is of theists to indulge in that Olde but Goode yet increasingly popular pastime blaming a region’s atheist or gay (or anything else they hate) population on natural disasters ordered by God’s infinitely compassionate wrath…even when said regions are invariably teeming with a majority of theists/heterosexuals.

    A compleat listing of mistaken notions would number in the hundreds…which just goes to show how difficult it is for the theist mind to consult any source of information or evidence outside of their cozy little prison of a worldview.

  41. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    When I read this, I was enlightened.

    Were you actually enlightened or did you just think you were enlightened?

  42. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Another thing that has to be explained to goddists is that most if not all atheists* do not have a god-shaped hole in their psyches just waiting to be filled with Jebus/Allah/Huitzilopochtli/etc. We get along without god(s) because we don’t need god(s).

    *There are a few atheists just waiting to drop evolution and become fundamentalist goddists so they can tell real atheists “I used to be antheist.”

  43. Super Shala says

    Another thing that has to be explained to goddists is that most if not all atheists* do not have a god-shaped hole in their psyches just waiting to be filled with Jebus/Allah/Huitzilopochtli/etc

    I must confess, I do have a god-shaped hole in my heart. It’s a hole shaped like nothing!

  44. tushcloots says

    I came upon this gem of a site:
    Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry
    It has this page:

    Cut and Paste Information

    This section has condensed information designed to allow you to easily copy and paste what you need into chat rooms and emails.  Its free to use.  Introduction Why Internet Apologetics and How to Use this Section

    Foundation Information Bible, the God as a Trinity Jesus, his Deity, etc.

    Topics
    Atheism
    Homosexuality
    Islam
    Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Mormonism
    Oneness Theology
    Relativism
    Roman Catholicism

    Debate Go to the Apologetics Discussion Forum

    This is on the ‘Atheist’ page

    1 This approach is a bit more complicated. If you use this one, first be familiar with The Christian Worldview, the Atheist Worldview, and Logic.

    2 First of all, when using logic, you should be familiar with basic laws of logic and logical fallacies. It is very useful to point out the various logical fallacies to atheists as they commit them. Therefore, please be familiar with Logical Fallacies or Fallacies in Argumentation.

    3 The laws of logic are conceptual by nature and are always true all the time everywhere. They are not physical properties. How do atheists account for them from an atheist perspective?

    So, they invoke a logical fallacy in number 3, LMAO!, immediately after the link to the explanations.

    Yeah, pretty much my pet peeve is being *informed* of what I think by christians, and the nature of reality being stipulated.

  45. Justme says

    But can God create an argument so circular that even he can’t believe it?
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    (With apologies to SMBC)

  46. muskiet says

    “Please stop capitalizing the word “atheist.” Unless it comes at the beginning of the sentence, you’re just wasting ink. We know you’re probably trying to be polite, but it doesn’t work that way. There is no guy named Athe.”

    Looking at those two links PZ has something to learn here.

  47. Hairy Chris says

    abb3w

    Subtle disagreement with (1/16). “Self-identified” isn’t always hedging, based on the Pew data. While a tiny fraction of atheists believe in God or “a higher power” on the one hand, on the other only about a quarter of those who do not believe in God/aHP call themselves “atheist”.

    Um a bit like calling yourself Christian whilst simultaneously not believing that Jesus existed?
    Or are you getting at the stupid concept of “practical atheism” where believers get to shove their bad eggs in the atheist basket because of actions rather then beliefs?

  48. bananacat says

    bananacat the problem with the word “god” is that christians arrogantly assume it automatically means their god. It’s like calling someone Priest as if they’re the only priest in existence. By using it as a proper noun, it plays into their fantasy that they have the only legitimate religion.

    You’re wrong again. There are many moms, but I call mine Mom. There are many (fictional) gods, but they call theirs God. In the Death Gate Cycle, Haplo calls his dog Dog. It has nothing to do with legitimacy or owning a word. It’s standard to capitalize God to distinguish the character from the other gods.

  49. ichthyic says

    There are many moms, but I call mine Mom.

    and we would know you are talking about your mom from context, not because you fucking capitalized it.

    so, no, his point is accurate, and the very analogy you used supports it.

  50. ichthyic says

    Name this quote:

    “There is no place to seek the mind. It is like the footprints of birds in the sky.”

    name this quote:

    “When you can snatch the pebble from my hand…”

  51. David Marjanović, OM says

    and we would know you are talking about your mom from context, not because you fucking capitalized it.

    Indeed, it’s not capitalized in French and Russian.

    But it is in English.

  52. abb3w says

    @65, Hairy Chris: Um a bit like calling yourself Christian whilst simultaneously not believing that Jesus existed?

    I’m largely fine with that comparison; at a wild guess, there may well be a comparable (within circa two orders of magnitude) fraction of “Christians” who don’t believe in the existence of the rabbinic carpenter Yeshua (let alone his alleged divinity). And, based on GSS data, those who still identify with a religion whilst yet disbelieving in God (as opposed to disbelieving in the question’s answerability) are the most moron-prone of the lot. [RELITEN, GOD, WORDSUM, fyi]

    I’m unconvinced it’s wise for Skeptics to ignore the lunacy of this allied loonie fringe, so long as they are statistically detectable in the sociological data.

    More subtle and delinquent minds than mine may wish to present some basis to dispute this.