Jennifer Fulwiler is a treasure. She’s a former atheist who doesn’t have a clue about atheism, a naive Catholic convert, and someone who pities us atheists because “we’re trapped in a prison of reason“. She never makes sense, so she never disappoints.
And now she’s done it again. Fulwiler is babbling about the Global Atheist Conference. She’s not making sense again.
She lists a number of ‘first impressions’.
Hemant Mehta ought to worry. She likes him a lot, and is mystified that he’s not going to be at the GAC.
Where’s Hemant Mehta? He must have been busy that weekend. The blogger/author is a major up-and-coming voice in the modern atheist movement. Given the perspective he’s gained from the discussion on his blog, I would think that he would add a lot of value to a conference like this.
Yes, I agree. But you know, there are a lot atheists out there, and we can’t all go to every conference. It’s just weird to pick out one random atheist among many and wonder why they aren’t at one particular conference among many. So? Would you like me to list a few dozen other prominent atheist speakers who weren’t invited or couldn’t make it?
Just look at these headshots! With that number of speakers you’d expect at least a couple unflattering, obviously-take-with-an-iPhone shots, but they’re all gorgeous. Lookin’ good, atheists.
That’s just weird. It’s like she’s baffled that we look human.
Since I’m sure he doesn’t want to say it himself, I’ll say it for him: PZ Myers should have gotten top billing in the ads, and it’s crazy that he wasn’t mentioned at all in the audio spots. When he saw that, he had to be all like, “Do millions of blog pageviews per month count for nothing?!”
Not for nothing, but why would anyone in their right mind think that’s the most important characteristic to promote? The audience either reads my blog and knows who I am and don’t need to advertise me, or they don’t read it and I’m effectively a nobody to them. I have a realistic perspective here; my number one job is as a teacher at UMM, and that’s generally not a huge selling point, sad to say. And Dawkins/Dennett/Harris are a much bigger draw, and to an Australian audience, the local atheist celebrities are going to be much more interesting.
And then Fulwiler gets “clever”, I think…at least clever for someone gullible enough to fall for Catholic bullshit, which isn’t very. Look at this clumsy setup:
I like the part about basing laws on rational thought and evidence. It echoes a sentiment that is a driving force in the atheist community right now, namely the idea that society must develop a set of moral values that is not rooted in any kind of supernatural belief system. I think it could end up being a really good thing that the leaders of modern atheism are coming together to discuss this, because this is an idea that needs a lot more exploration.
She doesn’t believe a word of this. I think it’s quite right that not only do we need to develop a fully secular morality, but that it’s the only kind of morality there is, because her supernatural tyrant doesn’t exist. Catholic morality is not built on the supernatural, but on lies and fear, tools of priests for all time, and a secular morality is built on truth, as near as we can get to it.
How do I know Fulwiler doesn’t believe this? Because she next brings out a great big strawman on strings and dances it around on the stage of the convention.
I imagine that one day someone will get on the stage at one of these conferences, and propose a new moral code in which the the strong exterminate the weak and take all their possessions for themselves, thus ushering in a glorious age where only the most superior genes remain in the gene pool. Everyone in the crowd will gasp and fidget uncomfortably…and then realize that they cannot argue against it without stepping outside of their own atheist-materialist worldview. They’ll find themselves tempted to appeal to the transcendent to make their case, wanting to have blind faith in the fact that love should be prized above all else, believing that self-sacrifice is always better than selfishness, regardless of what the latest scientific studies say.
Riiiight. You all know what would happen if a speaker started promoting a totalitarian tyranny and demanding that we start persecuting the “weak” — they would be ripped apart rhetorically. These are the kinds of arguments that are advanced for a theocratic monarchy, you know, and we’re entirely familiar with them. At the GAC, Sam Harris would rise up and argue for an egalitarian morality without bringing in anything transcendent. Richard Dawkins would dismantle that ridiculous argument for social Darwinism with ease, and it wouldn’t be by claiming that self-sacrifice always trumps altruism.
Morality is an attribute that is only relevant in interactions between individuals. A group of interacting individuals is a community. Morality is defined within that community; the desires of a hypothetical invisible entity have no relevance to the rules that regulate that community…except when parasitic individuals use the carrot and stick of supernatural rewards and punishments to mislead the members of that group.
Fulwiler has written a bizarre fantasy that is exceeded in crudity by Chick tracts like Big Daddy. Sure, imagine some absurd caricature of an atheist getting trounced by some clever religious person — but it simply doesn’t have any relationship to reality.
Speaking of fantasy, here’s how she imagines an atheist convention ending…with all the atheists flocking to the church afterwards.
I hope that these events really will provide a forum for questioning assumptions and asking tough questions as much as they claim they will. Because when they do, the nearby churches will be flooded with post-convention crowds.
I don’t think so. Dream on, deluded lady.
Oh, if you all want a real treat, read the comments on that article. I think Fulwiler might just be the intellectual among the Catholic community that reads her drivel.
Whoa! Catholic women are much prettier than atheist women. I feel bad for all the atheist men. =(
I feel unclean now.