“Athiests” actually is a misunderstood word

Oh, great. Now we’re being hectored by sorcerers. In An open letter to the New Athiests, some guy Who peddles a One Year Intensive Course in real magic wags his finger and lectures us on what’s wrong with “athiests” — we’re all a bunch of dicks.

In short, you have a lot of important things to say but as long as you continue to prenent yourselves like obnoxious zealots far keener to argue than discuss and talk at rather than with, you will actually only set yourselves further back and make the word “Athiest” into an even more misunderstood word than it already is. It wont be because you are wrong necessarily. It will just be because no one likes you.

Right. I’m going to take advice from a self-proclaimed sorcerer who makes a long tirade against atheists and misspells the term every single time.

Here’s the problem: I’ve noticed that people who deeply wrong, like sorcerers, Christians, and creationists, love to tell us that being right isn’t as important as being liked. I suspect they’re driven by self-interest rather than honesty.

All I can say is…you don’t understand me at all if you think I’m trying to persuade you to like me, dumbass.

Comments

  1. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    So, if he is a sorcerer, why doesn’t he just magick us all into being polite athiests? It is, after all, much more important for us to be polite. It has worked every time anyone on earth has worked for social change, right?

    And (only semi-relevant to the above post), why is it that the left and the rational are constantly called out for tone while the ones telling us we will burn in hell forever, the ones telling us that Obama is a leftist Nazi Communist, the ones who portray environmentalism as an absolute evil, are never, ever, ever called out for the content of their screeds, much less the tone?

  2. cafeeineaddicted says

    From his piece: “I am pro-science in all cases.”

    Somehow, I don’t think so.

  3. Aquaria says

    In short, you have a lot of important things to say but as long as you continue to prenent yourselves like obnoxious zealots

    Passion isn’t zealotry. And obnoxious is a point of view. I think this piece of shit is obnoxious. along with self-righteous, annoying and fucking stupid.

    far keener to argue than discuss and talk at rather than with

    Yes, compared to this dipshit, and his dipshit brethren christers, who just now came to my house on a Saturday morning and left litter on my property to talk at me, rather than talk with me. It’s not rude at all to come to my house on a Saturday morning when I’m minding my own business to peddle their delusional slime, but my saying I’m an atheist is somehow rude.

    Fuck you, you idiot piece of shit. We haven’t even begun to be 1/10000000 as disgusting and rude as theistic morons.

    you will actually only set yourselves further back

    Funny, the christers didn’t get set back when they became pushy scumbags about their delusion. They got millions of moron followers from it and now thinks that somehow makes them speshul.

    and make the word “Athiest” into an even more misunderstood word than it already is.

    Like how you understand it so well that you don’t even know how to spell it, shit for brains?

    It wont be because you are wrong necessarily.

    We’re not wrong. Necessarily or not. Try to keep up.

    It will just be because no one likes you.

    I’d rather be disliked by scum like you than be hated like I hate you for your being a liar and a sniveling, passive-aggressive fraud.

  4. RFW says

    Now, now, don’t be so unkind. Actually, our sorcerer friend is merely using the superlative form of the adjective “athy” or “athie”, meaning “to have a disbelieving attitude.” One can wake up in the morning feeling sorta athie, get annoyed by street preachers on the way to work and feel athier, and by the end of the day, frustrated beyond belief by creationist idiots, be the absolutely athiest person in the city.

    Cut the man a little slack.

  5. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I bet that guy Meyers is an athiest. Sounds like something right up his alley.

  6. says

    When a bus ad that simply says “Atheist” is too controversial for some Americans it’s hard to imagine atheists doing anything other than hiding under the bed that won’t be called obnoxious.

  7. gingerbaker says

    …”Fuck you, you idiot piece of shit.”

    Maybe the guy has got a point after all.

  8. jamessweet says

    “Atheist” is a noun, but “athiest” is a superlative. Chris Mooney is a bit “athy”, Hemant Mehta is “athier”, and PZ is the “athiest”.

  9. Lord Mawkscribbler says

    If only Christopher Hitchens were still alive to give this pigswill the reply it deserves!

  10. Louis says

    Wait just one second! There are impolite, challenging, “new” atheists who are “mean” or something? And some people think this confrontational approach is bad?

    Whoa! That’s, like, totally newsworthy or something!

    I wonder of there are any arguments against being forthright and if anyone has heard/read them before? I also wonder if any of them are unselfcritical, hypocritical garbage perpetuated by the terminally unaware who are so desperate to avoid confrontation as to straw man anything their “opponents” say?

    Ooops I just outed myself again didn’t I?

    Louis

  11. keenacat says

    Shorter, douchecake:

    ATHIESTS Y U SO ANGRY

    Will this sentiment never die?

    “Atheist” is a noun, but “athiest” is a superlative. Chris Mooney is a bit “athy”, Hemant Mehta is “athier”, and PZ is the “athiest”.

    I might want your babies.

  12. desoto says

    @7 Gingerbaker
    I prefer the direct approach rather than the xtian passive aggressive, hide behind god bullshit like “you are going to burn in hell, not that I hate you but god does” all the while smiling at you.

  13. kevinalexander says

    misspells the term every single time.

    i before e except when you’re pissed at the mofokkin godless, those damned atheists

  14. unclefrogy says

    why I think he does have a point.

    it is right there on the top of his head.

    uncle frogy

  15. GodotIsWaiting4U says

    >sorcerer

    Unoptimized spontaneous caster filth. How’s that Charisma-based blasting working out for him? I’ll just be over here, firing off INT-based save-or-lose, steamrolling entire dungeons. You know, as a WIZARD.

    Best class. Oh yeah.

  16. cartomancer says

    To be fair, mis-spelling a word in the same way every time at least shows consistency. It’s when you mis-spell the word in a different wrong way each time that you’re in serious trouble.

  17. Randomfactor says

    You guys don’t get it. If you don’t make the rubes LIKE you, you can’t charge them $150 for the Strategic Athiest course.

  18. Akira MacKenzie says

    Facts are permanent and indisputable (otherwise, they wouldn’t be facts). Facts are honest. Facts don’t lie.

    People on the other hand are filthy, deceitful, greedy, supersticious, contemtable animals who would rob, rape, and or kill you for sport.

    So fuck humanity, Gandalf! I’ll take facts over people any day.

  19. IslandBrewer says

    If you’re not trying to get me to like you, then how come I like you? Answer me that, Squidman!!!

  20. Louis says

    Athy (adj, norm*): To be very mean and possibly sub-human by virtue of the the fact that you don’t believe in TEH SKAE PIXY™. Also has no evidence that TEH SKAE PIXY™ does not exist, therefore stoopid.

    Athier (adj, comp**): More than merely athy, the athier person will also kick babies and possibly eat puppies, or something like that. It’s very confusing. Possibly something to do with Teh Darwinismusisms which means black people are worse than white people and women should be barefoot, pregnant and constantly DOING AS THEY ARE FUCKING TOLD. And also pretty, because Teh Darwinismusisms. Not that any of that is a bad thing, but it’s only good if the bible says so. Doing it for any other reason is NAUGHTY.

    Athiest (adj, super***): Even worse than mere athyness, worse even than being a bit athier than the next person, in fact being the most athy it is possible to be. Being athiest means that you do not lub Teh Baybee Jeezzizz In Ur Hart. Which is bad. Possibly a Communumumumumist. Hitler is nicer than this. May Not Be Helping. Must be dealt with by snooty dismissals like “well it’s just another faith position dontcherknow” or “YOU GONNA GO TA HELL BOY!”.

    Louis

    * No, Louis.

    ** No, private school actually.

    *** Thanks for asking.

  21. allytude says

    The mentality of people who have a problem with atheist is, in my opinion, similar to that of people who have been deluded into buying a shoddy product- everyone around them has it except for a few people more intelligent than them. So, they try really hard that those folk get fooled as well. Religion seems more and more like a Tupperware party- everyone should get one- or rather like a pyramid scheme- get as many as you can into it- why should I be the only one getting fooled?

  22. colonelzen says

    Well that was fun while it lasted!

    Hey dippy, this is the internet. Once it’s out there, it’s out there *forever*. I have a snapshot of the post and discussion thread right before you took it down.

    My posts and what I responded to:

    ————

    (“You are an athiest. I am happy for you. You want to spread your message, go right ahead, you have the right to be an evangelist just like everyone else. But this is what I want to talk to you about, my friend. There is a good way and a bad way to spread a message and right now, the message that you are sending is not so much that you don’t believe in God and that is OK. It is not even that you don’t believe in god, and want a secular government.

    Your message is that you don’t believe in God, but you DO believe in being an asshole about not believing in God.”)

    Definition of an asshole: someone who won’t change what he’s saying to accomodate your sensibilities.

    Yes we’re assholes. Reality is what doesn’t change no matter how you feel about it. We’re arguing that that the reality is more important than fairy tales.

    Ok, we’re assholes. We know it. We won’t change what we’re saying to make you feel better.

    Reality doesn’t care. We may care but can’t change it. Recognising that requires that we be assholes.

    So we’re assholes. So is reality. Get over it.

    —————

    (“… For every kiddie-diddling Priest, there is another one who is staying on in a hostile zone where even the UN and aid agencies have bailed out, so that he can do gods work and tend to the sick and poor. For every dipshit who thinks that evolution needs to be taken out of our schools, there is a nun or even just a regular pious individual going to offer aid to those in need. Sometimes they are even the same person.”)

    Yes a lot of religious people wind up with the right answers on a lot of things.

    But a lot of religious people wind up with wrong answers on a lot of things. And because they have religious notions invested in their answers they feel “justified” in claiming (and proclaiming) the rightness of their answers even when there material contrary evidence.

    That a person gets right answers and is religious doesn’t make religion the right way to address the questions. But religion says it is.

    THAT is what is wrong with religion.

    —————-

    (“None of you are getting the point of the problem with the new atheism. Numbers are precisely as made up as gods. Or not. Either way you can find neither a zero or a one in the objective universe.
    …”)

    At least on alternate days, I too have problems with the ontologic status of numbers and like abstractions. Nothing in our phenomenal awareness is “real” other than as a representation within its context.

    But that does not change the fact that numbers and many, many other absstract metaphysical constructs (colors, gravity, time, space) are discretely and distinctly representable and shareable along with very well defined and repeatable rules for manipulating their tokens.

    And when combined with a tight epistemology, we find that these well defined syntactic rules applied with and over semantic tokens allow us to generrate algorithms and formulae which correspond well with our ongoing phenomenal experience of the material world in which we find ourselves.

    In simpler language, numbers and the larger body of science work. Provably and demonstrably, reliably and repetably. Gods and similar fairy tales don’t.

    Whether utility qualifies your ontology or you reserve “real” only for that only mappable to the hypothetically noumenal is up to you. But there certainly is a difference between belief in science that most athiests subscribe and faith in the supernatural that characerizes religion.

    The notion that science and religion are somehow equivalent descriptions of reality is ignorant nonsense.

    See Tim Minchin’s “Storm”.

    —————–

    – TWZ

  23. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    andybreeden #26

    Looks to me like he removed his post. OK, who hurt his feelings?

    I may have done it. I put up a politely written response to his post and someone named Shane rebutted it with “What an asshole.” I told Shane xe forgot to add “So there, NYAH!” to his crushing retort. Shortly thereafter the Open Letter went away.

  24. Gregory Greenwood says

    In short, you have a lot of important things to say

    *sniff, sniff* Is that the rank, brimstone stench of patronising insincerity clogging up my olfactories, perchance?*

    but as long as you continue to prenent yourselves like obnoxious zealots far keener to argue than discuss and talk at rather than with

    Isn’t it funny that, in order to be a ‘zealot’ or ‘militant’ a theists really has to do something pretty extreme, like strap a bomb to themselves or murder doctors in an inconsistent pursuit of a supposedly ‘pro-life’ agenda, but for an atheist the mere fact that we admit we exist seems to be enough, doubly so if we have the gall to actually rebutt the non sequiturs and general ignorance and dishonesty of our opponents.**

    you will actually only set yourselves further back and make the word “Athiest” into an even more misunderstood word than it already is.

    His argument might have more credibility if he actually understood what atheism is. learning to spell the word might be a good start…

    It wont be because you are wrong necessarily.

    If he wants to claim we are wrong, he should really put forward some evidence – and no, magic intuition, channeling, auras and ‘crystal power’ don’t count.

    We are the ones with reality on our side, so the odds against us being wrong at all, necessarily or otherwise, are pretty long.

    It will just be because no one likes you.

    The Gandalf-wannabe actually thinks that we either need and/or crave validation from the likes of snakeoil salesmen like him? he really doesn’t understand us at all.

    —————————————————————-

    * I am being ‘militant’, ‘shrill’ and ‘dickish’ again, aren’t I?

    ** You know, dishonesty. Like, say, using a deliberately charged term usually used to describe violent extremists, like ‘zealot’, to describe someone who simply puts forward their position cogently and without apologising for being so rude as to exist.

    Hmmm, I can’t imagine why that example sprang to mind…

  25. says

    @ #20 cartomancer

    To be fair, mis-spelling a word in the same way every time at least shows consistency. It’s when you mis-spell the word in a different wrong way each time that you’re in serious trouble.

    Perhaps, but his site’s name is spelled “inominandum” WITH A SINGLE N!
    I suggest the Nero treatment.

  26. otrame says

    The mere existence of atheists is offensive, obviously. If we open our mouths, we are being strident. If we refuse to treat the idea of religion differently than other ideas and insist on evidence before we will take it seriously, we are rude. If we out-argue a theist, we are being loud and obnoxious and NOT HELPING.

    Of course, some atheists, some times really are rude, obnoxious, strident, and hostile. As many have observed, we have reason to be. And as Greta says, the fact that we are angry does not mean there is something wrong with us. It means there is something right with us.

  27. Sastra says

    They’ve been claiming this for years and years: “the main reason we dislike atheists is because they keep trying to talk us out of being religious. We’d be just fine with atheism if you atheists respected our right to believe what we want to believe. Live and let live.”

    Yeah, okay. Leaving aside for the moment the glaring fact that many religious folks have no compunction at all about trying to talk us into being religious, the problem with this innocent-seeming claim is that it’s disingenuous. No, they would not be “just fine” with atheism and atheists as long as atheists would say they were “just fine” with religion and not try to disturb their special relationship with the divine. They would instead continue to find atheism and atheists contemptible, sad, appalling, distressing, shallow, laughable, and embarrassing.

    Why? Because of their world view, and because of the system that gives them this world view. Because having a relationship with the divine is supposed to be the goal of life, that’s why. It’s not just an insignificant personal preference, and it means nothing significant if you don’t share it. On the contrary. It’s what lifts us above our lowly selves and elevates us towards the noble, the good, the loving, the beautiful, and the valuable.

    Within the system their using, Faith is not just a virtue — it ends up being the highest virtue because everything else is supposed to rest on it. You don’t analyze whether God exists: you humble yourself and embrace truth. What you choose to believe is a reflection of who you are. And without God, or Spirit, or salvation, or enlightenment — you’re just not very good. You can’t be: you refuse God’s love, or fail to seek it and respond (the way THEY do.) That’s always real, real, bad. Obviously, you can’t understand ethics, you can’t appreciate aesthetics, you can’t feel emotional depth, you can’t draw on resources of strength and courage — and you can’t think below the surface of things and seek and find real wisdom.

    But yeah — the thing about atheists they hate the most is not all that. Oh no, not at all. Really. It’s that we aren’t respecting their ‘right’ to believe this and instead we try to argue them out of it, to get them to think there’s something seriously wrong here. Their precious, lovely faith belief which only incidentally just happens to turn atheists into unfeeling Orcs. They’d prefer it if we just let them go on saying the above to themselves and each other and show gratitude that hey — they’ve decided, for the sake of peace and harmony, to not say it to us. Not directly. Not to our faces.

    Let it be understood.

    And atheists can go on secretly thinking the religious have made some cognitive errors and it will be all even-steven. That’s fair. On their side they think we’re fundamentally wrong at the core of our being — but on our side, we think they’ve drawn a mistaken conclusion on a particular matter. Let’s both be nice and not bring that up.

    Right. How surprising that the people in power want to coast along on their smug, self-righteous sense of privilege and shut down debate and protest from a despised minority for the great and noble cause of Let’s All Get Along.

    No. Let’s have an argument. Let’s have THE argument. You know damn well that if we address the issue on common ground, you lose. If I were you and had your shitty arguments and your category errors and your biased misinterpretations and your lousy apologetics and your childish grasp of the real issues — then I’d probably be calling for civility and mutual agreement to drop the subject, too.

    It won’t work with us. We’re on to you.

  28. says

    He posts,

    Several other people responded with nothing but ad-homonym attacks rather than any of the points I made. Yes I get it you don’t believe in Sorcery or magic. A lot of people do.

    “a lot of people do” is not a counterargument. It’s what idiots who buy into a popular delusion say.

  29. elfsternberg says

    “a lot of people do” is not a counterargument. It’s what idiots who buy into a popular delusion say.

    Or as we call it, “Argumentum ad populum.” But then we’re accused of being elitist snobs who know more languages than English. And if English was good enough for Jesus, it ought to be good enough for anyone, amirite?

    Winemakers say that teaspoon of sewage in a barrel of wine gives you a barrel of sewage. PZ has pointed out many times that many religious people have fine minds, but this pernicious and willful belief in the supernatural is a teaspoon of sewage in those otherwise fine minds.

  30. llewelly says

    i before e
    except after c
    and in words
    like absenteeism and ageing and agencies and agreeing and albeit and ancient and anteing and apartheid and aristocracies and atheist and autocracies and aweigh and bankruptcies and bantamweight and beige and being and beings and bingeing and birdieing and blueing and boogieing and bouncier and bureaucracies and caffeine and candidacies and canoeist and canoeists and captaincies and casein and chancier and chaplaincies and clueing and codeine and coefficient and competencies and concierge and confederacies and conscience and conscientious and consistencies and conspiracies and constituencies and consultancies and contingencies and counterfeit and counterweight and cueing and cuneiform and curacies and currencies and decaffeinate and decencies and decreeing and deficiencies and deficiency and deficient and deice and deiced and deicer and deicers and deices and deicing and deification and deified and deifies and deify and deifying and deign and deigned and deigning and deigns and deism and deities and deity and delicacies and delinquencies and democracies and dependencies and dicier and diciest and dieing and disagreeing and discrepancies and dyeing and edelweiss and efficiency and emceeing and emergencies and exigencies and expediencies and facsimileing and fallacies and fancied and featherweight and feign and feigns and feint and feisty and filigreeing and financier and flambeing and fleecier and fleeing and flyweight and foreign and foreseeing and forfeit and freeing and freight and frequencies and fricasseeing and garnisheeing and geeing and geisha and geishas and gesundheit and glacier and glaciers and glueing and gneiss and guaranteeing and hacienda and heavyweight and heifer and height and heinous and heir and heirloom and heist and herein and heterogeneity and hieing and hoeing and homogeneity and horseshoeing and hundredweight and icier and idiocies and inaccuracies and inadequacies and inconsistencies and incumbencies and indecencies and indelicacies and inefficient and insurgencies and intimacies and intricacies and inveigh and irrelevancies and juicier and kaleidoscope and kneeing and lacier and laciest and legacies and lei and leisure and leitmotif and lightweight and lunacies and malignancies and mercies and meritocracies and middleweight and monotheist and neigh and neither and nonpareil and nuclei and obeisance and obeisant and omniscient and onomatopoeia and outweigh and overseeing and overweight and pantheist and papacies and paperweight and peeing and pennyweight and pharmacies and pharmacopoeia and pieing and plebeian and plebeians and plutocracies and policies and poltergeist and polytheist and pregnancies and prescient and presidencies and pricier and priciest and proficient and prophecies and protein and pureeing and queueing and racier and redundancies and refereeing and regencies and reign and reimburse and reimpose and rein and reincarnate and reindeer and reined and reinforce and reining and reinitialize and reins and reinsert and reinstate and reinterpret and reinvent and reinvest and reissue and reissues and reiterate and reparteeing and residencies and reveille and saucier and science and seeing and segueing and seismic and seize and seizure and sheikh and shoeing and sightseeing and singeing and skein and sleigh and snowshoeing and society and sortieing and sovereign and spacier and specie and species and spicier and spontaneity and spreeing and squeegeeing and stein and stymieing and sufficient and surfeit and surveillance and teeing and tenancies and tendencies and theeing and their and theist and theocracies and therein and throeing and tieing and tingeing and tiptoeing and toeing and transparencies and treeing and trueing and twingeing and underweight and unfeigned and unscientific and unseeing and unveil and vacancies and vagueing and veil and vein and villein and vogueing and weeing and weigh and weir and weird and weirs and welterweight and wherein

    (phew)

  31. Sastra says

    I looked around his site a little bit. New Age* physics coupled with self-help. I’m not sure if it’s technically theism (depends on how ‘God’ is defined), but it’s certainly supernaturalism. Special knowledge and a cosmos that responds to thought and values.

    He makes a reasonable apology — at least, more reasonable than I would have expected.

    Several people accused me to trying to “silence” atheists, which was not at all the point. It was simply aimed at cutting through vitriolic hyperbole. Instead of doing that, it simply produced more of it, which I should have anticipated… Should not tell groups that I am not a part of how to argue their case. My apologies.

    *(Remember, one of the first rules of New Age is deny you’re New Age)

  32. Louis says

    Ad homonym? Athiest?

    {Rage builds}

    [HULK RANT!]

    Look, I make typos. I make grammatical errors. I am not a perfect person. But this person can fuck directly off. They can fuck so directly off they do not pass Go and do not collect £200. Their fucking off must be done at such speed they redshift to a charmingly burgundy degree. And the rapidity and extent of their fucking offness must be large. Graham’s number large.

    Really, if you’re going to enter any debate it is polite to inform yourself of just the basics. Just so you know the turf and don’t annoy the piss out of everyone by taking a giant ignorance shit on the carpet. There. I said it. I am an elitist. I am excluding people who are deliberately ignorant and arse blendingly stupid. I have standards. Sue me.

    This chucklefucker has the temerity to enter a debate and repeatedly cannot spell the fucking terms relevant to it whilst simultaneously making arguments so shitty a particularly coprophilic sewer worker would hold his nose and comment “Golly Gosh! That’s a bit pooey!”.

    This person is not invited to receive the dead porcupine of their choice for anal insertion. I am going to personally see to it that an especially rotten and dribbly dead porcupine is rammed so far up their rectum that they are picking bits of it out of their teeth for the foreseeable future.

    [/RANT]

    Louis

    P.S. WARNING: In the course of the above post, some hyperbole may well have been used for comedy effect. I blame the drugs. Have you any idea how hard it is to get hold of them nowadays?

  33. Louis says

    Otrame, #32,

    You’re not already? I HAS DISAPPOINT!

    ;-)

    You flatter me far too much.

    Louis

  34. Louis says

    Ibyea, #45,

    I spoke to a drug dealer friend of mine the other day. I asked what he thought of the drug problem. He said “Problem? What problem? These things sell themselves, business is great!”.

    Boom boom! Is this thing on? Am I too waitress for the room? Try the tip! Don’t forget to hip your veal!

    Louis

  35. chigau (違う) says

    I like “Ad homonym”.
    If only I could figure out how to use it.
    to the same name…we’ll just call you Bruce

  36. Louis says

    Chigau, #48,

    I thought it meant “to the name that likes names of the same type”. So it’s probably prejudiced or something. We’re all obsessed with political correctness here. Oh yes.

    Louis

  37. cartomancer says

    Ad homonym attacks eh? What, something like “you’re using the wrong meaning of the word ‘stalk’ you idiot, clearly in this context it means “plant stem” rather than “track and follow”?

  38. ambassadorfromverdammt says

    “Atheist” is a noun, but “athiest” is a superlative. Chris Mooney is a bit “athy”, Hemant Mehta is “athier”, and PZ is the “athiest”.

    Opinion, not Fact.

    A competition is needed. Preferably one with adequate quantities of intoxicating beverages for participants, fans, and referees. Especially the referees.

  39. Louis says

    Sorry but I can feel the rage building again.

    [RANT]

    People like this SORCERER* are such whiny, entitled bumfluff. They expect to be able to enter a conversation, one that has been running for millennia, ignore all that has gone before and just, as mentioned above, take a massive, glowy shit of pure ignorance on the carpet and expect praise. PRAISE! They expect to be taken seriously.

    This is like me rocking up to the men’s 100m final at this summer’s Olympics and pissing on Usain Bolt’s leg and screaming “GIVE ME GOLD MEDAL! I DONE A TINKLE! I DONE A TINKLE!”. I hope that if I did that someone in officialdom would lead me quietly away and gently and lovingly put me down in a humane manner.

    I don’t deserve to be in the men’s 100m final at the Olympics. Why? Because I am too fucking slow. Why am I too fucking slow? Because I haven’t trained and I am overweight. We’ll ignore the wanton number of other disadvantages. Let’s just focus on the fact that I am fucking lazy and awesomely jiggly compared to the Usain Bolts of this world. I don’t get to be treated as a serious sprinter by Usain and chums because I’ve turned up on the day. I am not a special sprinting snowflake. I do not deserve special sprinting prizes for being lovely.

    Analogously, and I am emphasising the ANAL in that word, this finger waggling fuckhamster is not deserving of the most modest intellectual consideration until the point that they can demonstrate they understand HOW TO SPELL ATHEIST PROPERLY AND PUT IT IN AN ARGUMENT SUFFICIENTLY COHERENT THAT I DO NOT WANT TO RIP MY FUCKING EYES OUT WITH A DESERT SPOON AND MAKE THEM INTO THE BEGINNINGS OF A SQUISHY EXECUTIVE DESK TOY. At least. AT LEAST. Yes that’s a judgement. Yes I’m making it. Fuck you.

    RAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    {smash tinkle}

    Oh SHIT! I done broke my amygdala.

    [/RANT]

    Oh crap. I’m stuck on permarant.

    Louis

    *As if THAT ALONE is not the very hallmark of total fuckwittery. This giggling gobshite thinks they can wiggle their fingers and say magic words and the universe does what they want. This is cluelessness of a profound order. This person should be watched. Just in case they come into contact with sharp objects or other dangerous items like melons or a severe case of kumquats. I wouldn’t trust a person this divorced from reality to correctly operate a sphincter muscle.

  40. Louis says

    And yes, I said DESERT SPOON. I meant spoon made of sand and possibly containing lizards.

    Louis

  41. Louis says

    I will confess the apology was better than average though. I might be willing to not instigate a campaign of bombing* about this.

    Louis

    * If in doubt, a good, old fashioned campaign of bombing usually resolves everything nicely.**

    ** Am I allowed to make that joke nowadays? Or is it cavity search time?

  42. kevinalexander says

    Louis, the cavity they’d search would be your mouth ’cause that’s where da bomb is!

  43. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    I left a final sneer on his blog. But I did congratulate him on learning how to spell atheist.

  44. chigau (違う) says

    ambassadorfromverdammt

    A competition is needed.

    Mud Wrestling!
    Roller Derby!
    ——
    Louis
    I’m pretty sure I had an orgasm.
    (caused by your rants)

  45. fomalhautb says

    Maybe a bit off topic, but here it goes: Do people who don’t know how to spell “atheist” also don’t know how to pronounce it? To be more specific, do people who spell atheist as “athiest” also mispronounce it, do they pronounce it as “A-THEEST” or maybe “A-THIGH-EST” instead of “A-THEE-YIST”?

  46. Louis says

    Chigau, #60,

    O.o

    [Barry White Voice]

    Awwwww yeah baby.

    [/Barry White Voice]

    Wait….pretty sure?

    Louis

  47. Tony says

    llewelly @41:

    -It still annoys me today that as a kid I was taught the ” ‘I’ before ‘E’ ” rule. With the number of exceptions your post mentions (did you look all those up, remember them from an exam, or is there a site out there?) it shouldn’t be a rule of thumb.

    Louis @43:

    Have you any idea how hard it is to get hold of them nowadays?

    -I rarely have a hard time finding anything. Of course I live in Florida which is like the zipper just below the bible belt. Theists use drugs just like anyone else. But they condemn the use of any drugs in public, but privately partake of every letter in the alphabet. Seems like a paradox.

  48. Gregory Greenwood says

    Louis brand(TM) rants are offically the best on the market.

    Bravo sir/madam, bravo.

  49. Louis says

    Chigau, #66,

    [Terry Thomas Voice]

    Oh no, my dear. Oh no no. You’ve said far too little. I say, would you care to come and look at my etchings?

    [/Terry Thomas Voice]

    Louis

  50. Tony says

    Louis:

    -I’m not sure I want to know, but here goes:
    What’s ‘bumfluff’ (if it’s related at all to ‘santorum’ I don’t wanna know)?
    Oh, and if you’d respond during one of your induced moments, that would be grand. I can’t imagine what the definition would be then (but copious amounts of laughter would likely ensue).


    Analogously, and I am emphasising the ANAL in that word, this finger waggling fuckhamster is not deserving of the most modest intellectual consideration until the point that they can demonstrate they understand HOW TO SPELL ATHEIST PROPERLY AND PUT IT IN AN ARGUMENT SUFFICIENTLY COHERENT THAT I DO NOT WANT TO RIP MY FUCKING EYES OUT WITH A DESERT SPOON AND MAKE THEM INTO THE BEGINNINGS OF A SQUISHY EXECUTIVE DESK TOY. At least. AT LEAST. Yes that’s a judgement. Yes I’m making it. Fuck you.

    Do you and AQUARIA teach classes? Watching the two of you verbally shred religiots is endlessly entertaining. Oooh, a weekly podcast with the two of you would be cool (pardon me, brain is everywhere; there’s maybe a little something in me that I’m coming down from). And now I’m thinking: American Gladiators “Team Reality vs Team Woo”…”Hunger Games: Atheists vs Believers”…”Biggest Loser: Mormons vs Catholics” (wow this stuff has me loopy).
    In the vein of reality tv dance shows, perhaps “So You Think You Can Pray?” (8 teams, 8 weeks, 2 episodes a week; each team battles it out to find
    WHO.

    PRAYS.

    BEST.

    You the viewer get to vote ala American Idol but even cooler, you don’t have to call in. You just pray to whatever deity you think created the universe to cast your vote. The winning team at the end of 8 weeks will receive:
    refurbished Golden Plates, each page of which will be signed by Joseph Smith himself; the estimated retail value of such a generous prize is north of 3.1415926 million)

  51. chigau (違う) says

    Louis #67
    Hard as Terry-Thomas is to resist, I must say probably not.

    Rip Steakface
    hmmm Lord of the Rants.
    now do we riff off Rings or Dance?
    —–
    Oh wait!
    Topic!

  52. Louis says

    Tony,

    Bumfluff is fluff, commonly found on one’s bum.

    The drugs thing, that was An Joke. I’d tell you stories but then I’d have broken my confidentiality agreement…

    Louis

  53. Tony says

    Louis:
    Speak for yourself. Half of me is an elitist atheist. They don’t do bumfluff.
    Of course, the other half of me is a gay man…

  54. Louis says

    Chigau, #70,

    No etchings? Oh deary, deary me. In that case should we proceed directly to the Filthy Secks™?*

    No? Oh well. Tea? I have Lapsang Souchon.

    Louis

    * Not to be confused with Sex. Very different.

  55. Louis says

    Tony,

    LOL. Bumfluff is a perennial problem for a gentleman with a Hairy Arse (capitalised for extra nastiness). Of course, and I have no knowledge if this is common for gentlemen in the gay community, if a gentleman has chosen to have a back, sack and crack, well bumfluff is considerably reduced.

    Louis

  56. Gregory Greenwood says

    Tony @ 69;

    In the vein of reality tv dance shows, perhaps “So You Think You Can Pray?” (8 teams, 8 weeks, 2 episodes a week; each team battles it out to find
    WHO.

    PRAYS.

    BEST.

    You the viewer get to vote ala American Idol but even cooler, you don’t have to call in. You just pray to whatever deity you think created the universe to cast your vote. The winning team at the end of 8 weeks will receive:
    refurbished Golden Plates, each page of which will be signed by Joseph Smith himself; the estimated retail value of such a generous prize is north of 3.1415926 million

    I like that, I even have an alternative pitch for a reality TV show based on the idea…

    Imagine if you will, gentle reader, a competition open to any religion/cult/newage-y woo movement where each group of appointed champions for each belief system is locked into a high security cell under strict scientific conditions with no water or food. The prize is *cue Dr Evil voice* one million dollars */Dr Evil voice*, or whatever inducement is required to lure in the morons faithful.

    All they have to do is last three months. They can pray as much as they want, but they are allowed no assistance from any human agency. Any team member can ask to leave at any time, but if so the entire team forfeits and so they must admit, publicly, that their god(s) didn’t have what it took to help them and/or that their woo-woo ‘spirituality’ is so much gibberish.

    Naturally, medical personnel are on hand in case any of the competitors become dangerously weak, but if on any day they are incapable of performing some light physical exercise and numeracy, literacy and logic tasks that are set at the beginning of each day, then they forfeit and the usual penalty applies.

    They also forfeit if they try to escape, attempt to secure any outside assistance other than that from the ‘divine’, or if they attempt to cannabalise one another. They are however, should they so wish, free to eat their own faeces and drink their own urine (never let it be said that I am unreasonable)…

    All we need now are suitably snarky commentators. Any applicants from the Pharyngula Horde?

  57. Louis says

    Oooooh oooh! Me, sir! Me! Me!

    [Broad Geordie Accent]

    Day three: the house mates have mostly slaughtered one another and survivors have harvested the larger bones from the corpses to use as crude weapons. Who’d have thought that all that quiet contemplation would make the Quakers turn out to be the most violent?

    I must say I was quite surprised at how much gay sex was occurring. Especially as there were other options. Still, Ted Haggard seems to be enjoying himself, which is nice.

    [/Broad Geordie Accent]

    Louis

  58. Gregory Greenwood says

    Louis @ 76;

    That reminds me, we would need a ‘diary room’ so that they can all backstab one another on camera.

    Though, with sharpened bones, the back-stabbing may get a little too literal…

    Just so long as they don’t sneak any ‘long pork’ snacks; one has to make sure that the inevitable fundamentalism-fueled bloodbath competition remains fair, afterall.

    Sex, whether gay or straight, is completely within the rules but, sadly for the Catholic contingent, altar boys will not be available…

  59. Sili says

    How does one get from “present” to “prenent”? The keys aren’t even in the same hand?

  60. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    How does one get from “present” to “prenent”?

    Well, if the sperm and the egg are not both present, no one will become prenant.

  61. Sili says

    When a bus ad that simply says “Atheist” is too controversial for some Americans it’s hard to imagine atheists doing anything other than hiding under the bed that won’t be called obnoxious.

    Hmmmm. I wonder if a bus ad that just says “Athiest” instead would be inoffensive enough.

  62. kenazfilan says

    I followed up on some of Jason’s concerns on my blog. I’m impressed that PZ Myers has moved on from tormenting Ed Wollmann on Usenet to becoming the poor man’s Christopher Hitchens on his own blog. But I’m still unimpressed with the philosophical flabbiness underlying his position and the desperate and frequently obscene flailing he does rather than addressing the actual issues at hand.

    (Hint: provable, verifiable, repeatable. If the question “is there or is there not a Higher Power?” can’t be answered in some way that meets all the above criteria, it is essentially meaningless and a flat assertion that “THERE IS NO GOD” is as silly as “JESUS IS THE ONE TRUE WAY AND THE KING JAMES BIBLE IS THE ONE TRUE WORD OF GOD!!!”)

    But hey, don’t let me stop you from working out your father issues by shrieking about Big Daddy God and the Sky Fairies. Masturbation is a perfectly good way of releasing tension.

  63. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    (Hint: provable, verifiable, repeatable. If the question “is there or is there not a Higher Power?” can’t be answered in some way that meets all the above criteria, it is essentially meaningless and a flat assertion that “THERE IS NO GOD” is as silly as “JESUS IS THE ONE TRUE WAY AND THE KING JAMES BIBLE IS THE ONE TRUE WORD OF GOD!!!”)

    So you have faith? The ability to believe in something despite no evidence that it has ever existed?

  64. Ze Madmax says

    kenazfilan @ #82

    (Hint: provable, verifiable, repeatable. If the question “is there or is there not a Higher Power?” can’t be answered in some way that meets all the above criteria, it is essentially meaningless and a flat assertion that “THERE IS NO GOD” is as silly as “JESUS IS THE ONE TRUE WAY AND THE KING JAMES BIBLE IS THE ONE TRUE WORD OF GOD!!!”)

    Except that one does not need to prove the null hypothesis.

  65. Ze Madmax says

    Except that one does not need to prove the null hypothesis.

    Rephrasing:

    The question of the existence of a supernatural power places the burden of proof on those making the positive claim (i.e., a supernatural power exists). Without evidence to the contrary, the null hypothesis (i.e., a supernatural power does not exist) is assumed to be the correct answer.

    (Silly Madmax… you don’t “prove” the null hypothesis, you fail to reject it!)

  66. kenazfilan says

    So you have faith? The ability to believe in something despite no evidence that it has ever existed?

    Did I say that? I said the question “is there or is there not a Higher Power?” is meaningless insofar as there is no way of proving or disproving it. Which means spending a lot of time trying to convince people that there is/is not a God is useless, since there’s no way of resolving the issue.

    If you want to discuss praxis rather than belief – in other words, if you want to draw clear and definitive lines between science and religion and between church and state – I’m totally with you. But arguing about theology is ultimately as futile as arguing about aesthetics.

    I think the complexity of the Universe and the fact that this much order has arisen out of primal chaos suggests at least the possibility that there is some kind of Intelligent Design going on. (I find the “watchmaker argument” to be at least worthy of consideration, in other words).

    I think the idea that one should treat the Bible, Q’Uran, Rig Veda etc. accounts of creation as scientific treatises rather than myths is utterly silly. OTOH, I don’t find the hard materialist “there was nothing, then there was a Big Bang, and then everything evolved to its present state thanks to chance and physics” line entirely convincing either. But I also realize that the question of “where did we come from” is probably unanswerable and hence I spend my time focusing on maximizing my creature comforts and accomplishing things in the here and now rather than trolling for comforts. Some of the regular commenters here might want to try that sometime.

  67. Patricia, OM says

    I’ve been called an ‘atherist’ several times in my berg. Have no idea what the hell that is.

  68. DLC says

    Step 1: invite Atheist to discussion involving magical woo vs rationalism.

    step 2: State your position confidently, as if anyone who might think you wrong is either insane or stupid. Speak confidently, assuming that everyone in the room is not only a believer of some sort, but that they believe exactly what you do.

    step 3: when the Atheist begs to differ and explains calmly why they do not believe your line of bollocks, halt them in mid-sentence to demand to know why they’re being so mean-spirited, argumentative and or mocking you, and demand that they stop being insulting.

    Step 4: Pure Prophet. (or something.)

  69. says

    Oh, my, Mr Filan: resurrecting old usenet ghosts does you no favors. Under what pseudonym were you peddling what brand of woo on usenet yourself?

    For those who don’t know, Ed Wollmann was a freaking notorious usenet crank; a rather pompous and tedious astrologer whose favorite occupation was threatening his critics with lawsuits and whining endlessly on the admin groups about how his ownership of various astrology groups was being violated by the existence of vocal skeptics.

    I think the other commenters have dealt with your ridiculous objection adequately.

  70. kenazfilan says

    “trolling for comforts” = “trolling for converts.” Silly typos.

    WRT the “null hypothesis,” it’s still a hypothesis. And not one which does a particularly good job of explaining how Order arises out of primal Chaos, or how a bunch of amino acids floating around in a soupy ocean a few billion years ago evolved to beings which could contemplate the idea of Divinity or figure out how fast light travels.

  71. kenazfilan says

    I think the other commenters have dealt with your ridiculous objection adequately.

    In other words, you don’t have an answer. Ah well, I suppose scoring points against a notorious crank is almost as good as getting a full professorship or winning tenure at Temple.

  72. says

    kenazfilan

    I don’t know how the universe came into being, or what caused it to do so. I’m happy to admit that ignorance, and feel no need to inject the extra complication of a pre-existing conscious agent for which I see no evidence.

    I don’t know how life came into being, or what caused it to do so. I’m happy to admit that ignorance, and feel no need to inject the extra complication of a pre-existing conscious agent for which I see no evidence.

    If you’re going to inject that pre-existing conscious agent, you’re going to have to provide evidence that she/he/it actually exists, and provide some explanation of what caused her/him/it to come into being.

    Until you can do so, I see no reason to entertain the ‘conscious agent’ hypothesis. There is no need for me to provide evidence for this position, given that the lack of evidence defines my position on the subject.

  73. Gregory Greenwood says

    kenazfilan @ 81

    I followed up on some of Jason’s concerns on my blog. I’m impressed that PZ Myers has moved on from tormenting Ed Wollmann on Usenet to becoming the poor man’s Christopher Hitchens on his own blog.

    Congratulations, kenazfilan. You managed to spell PZ’s name correctly, so you must be a cut above most of the trolls we get around here.

    But I’m still unimpressed with the philosophical flabbiness underlying his position

    I will go out on a limb here and say that PZ cares nothing for your estimation of the ‘philosophical flabbiness’ or otherwise of his position – PZ is a scientist and a rationalist; he cares about evidence, and every time that religion makes yet another ludicrous claim that flies in the face of all we know he, and others like him, are going to point out how ridiculous it is. If that discomforts you well, that is just too bad.

    and the desperate and frequently obscene flailing he does rather than addressing the actual issues at hand.

    First off; tone trolling is not appreciated here. PZ has banned others for doing it before.

    Secondly, has it occured to you that the obscenity that so offends you might be a reflection of PZ’s entirely justified anger about the monstrous harm that religion causes to innocent people on a daily basis?

    (Hint: provable, verifiable, repeatable. If the question “is there or is there not a Higher Power?” can’t be answered in some way that meets all the above criteria, it is essentially meaningless and a flat assertion that “THERE IS NO GOD” is as silly as “JESUS IS THE ONE TRUE WAY AND THE KING JAMES BIBLE IS THE ONE TRUE WORD OF GOD!!!”)

    First, go and look up the Principle of Parsimony, Russel’s Teapot, and the Null Hypothesis. Go on, we’ll wait…

    …All done? Good. Religious belief systems make claims about the operation of physical reality that infringe upon the sphere of scientific endeavour – when they do so they become a hypothesis like any other that is open to study, and every religious explanation ever put forward for any quantifiable phenomenon has always proven to be inaccurate (and usually utter gibberish).

    Furthermore, the burden of proof falls upon the party making the assertion, in this case the theists, and no theist, in the entirety or recorded history, has ever come up with even a single shred of scientifically credible evidence supporting their contention of a creator deity.

    And yet, religious groups continue to make assertions about the nature of reality based upon their unevidenced deity, and in some cases such as creationism, do so with the express intent of obstructing or corrupting scientific rersearch and education. Then there are also those who would seek to base laws and social policy on the privilege their unevidenced god myth grants them in society, laws that are in almost all cases discriminatory and oppressive, and usually seek to impose toxic, outmoded religious pseudo-morality on society at large in relation to such things as homosexuality, women’s bodily autonomy and access to reproductive healthcare, and matters of personal conscience.

    Not only is the god belief unevidenced and irrational, it is also actively harmful. Given the ludicrously long odds against the existence of any such being, it is not only acceptable for rationalists to point out how ridiculous the idea is, it is irresponsible of us not to.

    But hey, don’t let me stop you from working out your father issues by shrieking about Big Daddy God and the Sky Fairies.

    Please tell me that you aren’t really this foolish – this is basically a barely more sophisticated version of ‘why are you atheists so angry at god’.

    Oh and just so you are aware; smug attempts at remote psychological diagnosis will result in many of the regulars here inviting you to enjoy carnal relations with a decaying porcupine.

    Masturbation is a perfectly good way of releasing tension.

    If your post is anything to go by, you would appear to have extensive experience of the verbal variety, so I will defer to you superior experience in this regard.

  74. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    kenazfilan: I disbelieve in anything so poorly defined that it defies evidentiary assessment. You had ought to as well.

    (My attempt at proselytization)

    Just out of curiosity, why aren’t you out enjoying the here and now…you know, here and now?

  75. Owlmirror says

    hence I spend my time focusing on maximizing my creature comforts and accomplishing things in the here and now rather than trolling for comforts.

    You sure seem to be trolling for something.

    Why are you here again, besides gloating about how hedonistic you are?

  76. kenazfilan says

    First off; tone trolling is not appreciated here. PZ has banned others for doing it before.

    Oh, I have no doubt that PZ regularly bans people whose questions make him uncomfortable. Most fundamentalists do that.

    And yet, religious groups continue to make assertions about the nature of reality based upon their unevidenced deity, and in some cases such as creationism, do so with the express intent of obstructing or corrupting scientific rersearch and education. Then there are also those who would seek to base laws and social policy on the privilege their unevidenced god myth grants them in society, laws that are in almost all cases discriminatory and oppressive, and usually seek to impose toxic, outmoded religious pseudo-morality on society at large in relation to such things as homosexuality, women’s bodily autonomy and access to reproductive healthcare, and matters of personal conscience.

    Not only is the god belief unevidenced and irrational, it is also actively harmful. Given the ludicrously long odds against the existence of any such being, it is not only acceptable for rationalists to point out how ridiculous the idea is, it is irresponsible of us not to.

    So if you think “the god belief” is “actively harmful” do you believe it should be legislated out of existence? Do you advocate doing violence against those who promote it? Do you recommend shunning those who believe in god – or those who refuse to loudly disbelieve in god? What exactly do you propose doing with those who hold a “god belief?”

    Again, I’m totally with you insofar as drawing hard and fast lines between the religious and scientific spheres and in recognizing the difference between myth and science. But it sounds like you’re not talking about attacking obviously detrimental practices: you’re talking about changing the way people believe by any means necessary. And I find that rather unnerving. Frankly, the main difference between the average Dominionist and the average poster to this forum is that the Dominionists have more political power and generally use more polite language.

  77. Patricia, OM says

    He’s not getting any of my comforts. It’s cold here, just west of Hell.

  78. Gregory Greenwood says

    kenazfilan @ 85;

    I think the complexity of the Universe and the fact that this much order has arisen out of primal chaos suggests at least the possibility that there is some kind of Intelligent Design going on. (I find the “watchmaker argument” to be at least worthy of consideration, in other words).

    So your solution to this notional ‘problem pf complexity’… is to posit greater complexity? A consciousness powerful and complex enough to create the entire universe by nothing more than force of will and the doubtless useful ability to juggle fundamental forces and tweek the properties of subatomic particles, no less…

    That is your argument? The galaxy is too complex to arise on its own, therefore a magic super-mind just poofed into existence (or always existed) with no physical substrate to sustain it – essentially ‘goddidit’.

    Still not very good with that principle of parsimony thing, I take it?

    Occam may have been a monk, but that razor of his is still very useful for cutting through this type of blather.

    I don’t find the hard materialist “there was nothing, then there was a Big Bang, and then everything evolved to its present state thanks to chance and physics” line entirely convincing either.

    Your argument from incredulity will do little to sway anyone here – your inability to conceive of a theory does not mean that it is in error.

  79. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Frankly, the main difference between the average Dominionist and the average poster to this forum is that the Dominionists have more political power and generally use more polite language.

    The average Dominionist is also wrong. So there’s another difference.

    You are also painfully unacquainted with the commentariat about which you feel so free to bloviate. If anyone here ever suggested that belief ought to be the target of legislation, or that believers deserved to be harmed, they would be offered a porcupine and shown the door.

  80. Owlmirror says

    I have no doubt that PZ regularly bans people whose questions make him uncomfortable.

    No, he regularly bans dishonest assholes.

    Most fundamentalists do that.

    It’s only dishonest assholes who pretend that people who call them on their assholery are “fundamentalists”.

    So if you think “the god belief” is “actively harmful” do you believe it should be legislated out of existence? Do you advocate doing violence against those who promote it? Do you recommend shunning those who believe in god – or those who refuse to loudly disbelieve in god?

    No, no, and no.

    What exactly do you propose doing with those who hold a “god belief?”

    Arguing with them, when they promote their vacuous claims.

    What do you propose “doing with them”? Giving them cookies?

    But it sounds like you’re not talking about attacking obviously detrimental practices: you’re talking about changing the way people believe by any means necessary.

    Where? Really, who is talking about changing the way people believe “by any means necessary”?

    And I find that rather unnerving.

    I find you rather paranoid.

  81. Owlmirror says

    Frankly, the main difference between the average Dominionist and the average poster to this forum is that the Dominionists have more political power and generally use more polite language.

    The difference between the average dishonest asshole and you is . . . well, nonexistent.

  82. DLC says

    OT but it seems to fit atm.
    Why is it that when I say there’s no Sasquatch until you show me one (and I don’t mean a blurry film of a man in a suit) that most reasonable people will nod and agree with me, yet when I say there’s no Yaweh/Jehova/Zeus/Babdh/Athena etc until you can show me one people get all up in arms and demand I offer proof of a negative ?
    “prove to me that Yaweh does not exist! ” claims the believer.
    It should be remembered that the onus is on the person making the claim of existence to prove that claim, not the one claiming it does not exist. The default position of anyone claiming to adhere to the scientific method must be that the thing does not exist until it can be proven to exist. (this is a simplification, but I think it’s valid enough for a blog comments box. )

  83. says

    you’re talking about changing the way people believe by any means necessary.

    FTFY. Either point to a comment advocating the criminalisation of religious belief, or anything approaching that, or leave the straw-person alone.

  84. kenazfilan says

    So your solution to this notional ‘problem pf complexity’… is to posit greater complexity? A consciousness powerful and complex enough to create the entire universe by nothing more than force of will and the doubtless useful ability to juggle fundamental forces and tweek the properties of subatomic particles, no less…

    That is your argument? The galaxy is too complex to arise on its own, therefore a magic super-mind just poofed into existence (or always existed) with no physical substrate to sustain it – essentially ‘goddidit’.

    More precisely, ‘wedunnowhoorwhatdidit.’

    How would you differentiate between Aquinas’s “prime mover/uncaused cause” and the Big Bang event?

    And while we’re on the topic: is there any reason why consciousness can only arise in organic nervous systems? Is it conceivable that any sufficiently complex system might attain some degree of self-awareness and capacity for thought? IOW, if Ted Haggard can think, is there any reason why a galaxy or a cluster of galaxies might not achieve this ability? What about a planet or a star? Frankly, I think animism is at least as reasonable as the idea of creation ex nihilo and order arising out of primal chaos for no reason save the workings of blind mathematical laws.

  85. Gregory Greenwood says

    kenazfilan @ 96;

    Oh, I have no doubt that PZ regularly bans people whose questions make him uncomfortable. Most fundamentalists do that.

    PZ is a ‘fundamentalist’ now? Just for stopping people from wilfully disrupting his blog? Really? You really want to assume so asinine a position?

    So if you think “the god belief” is “actively harmful” do you believe it should be legislated out of existence? Do you advocate doing violence against those who promote it? Do you recommend shunning those who believe in god – or those who refuse to loudly disbelieve in god? What exactly do you propose doing with those who hold a “god belief?”

    At no point did I say or imply any of these things. Please do not attempt to mischaractrerise my position in this manner. It is at best disingenuous.

    I believe that the illogical nature of the god belief must be exposed so that the nastier elements among the religioius believers will have a harder time forcing their beliefs on the rest of us. This doesn’t require violence or legislation to ‘outlaw religion’, merely that the rational counter positions should be out there – prominent and readily available, not silenced or forced into the closet.

    But it sounds like you’re not talking about attacking obviously detrimental practices: you’re talking about changing the way people believe by any means necessary.

    You need to make a greater attempt to read for comprehension. Once again you are putting words in my mouth (or should that be on my keyboard?). I have no interest in changing the way people believe by any means other than reasoned argument. Pursuing the debate with theists rigorously is a vital part of reminding society that we exist and are not the monsters that some believers would paint us as, but what really matters is stopping religious fundamentalists from accruing the political power to force everyone else to live according to their manifestly harmful religious moral codes. Atheists like myself simply want the right to live under a system of rational, secular law, rather than under the heel of an oppressive theocracy.

    And I find that rather unnerving.

    What you are finding ‘unnerving’ is your grotesque strawman version of my argument. You are shadow-boxing against a twisted and monstrous version of atheism that no one here has espoused, and no one other than you has even raised as a possibility.

    Frankly, the main difference between the average Dominionist and the average poster to this forum is that the Dominionists have more political power and generally use more polite language.

    We aren’t the ones actively working to disenfranchise entire swathes of society because of their sexuality or gender, and polite words can be used to express horrifically dehumanising concepts.

  86. Owlmirror says

    More precisely, ‘wedunnowhoorwhatdidit.’

    We have no reason to think that there is or was a “who”.

    How would you differentiate between Aquinas’s “prime mover/uncaused cause” and the Big Bang event?

    Aquinas used the same term for his “prime mover/uncaused cause” that religious people use for an “invisible person with magical superpowers”.

    We have no reason to think that the Big Bang either was, or was caused by, an invisible person with magical superpowers.

    is there any reason why consciousness can only arise in organic nervous systems?

    Explain and define what “consciousness” is, and show that this explanation and definition can indeed be applied to complex systems other than those with organic nervous systems.

  87. says

    I have a strong urge to get stoned out of me box, to see if kenazfilan makes any more sense that way.

  88. Tony says

    Gregory Greenwood @75:

    Imagine if you will, gentle reader,

    I know it’s not the intended voice, but for some reason, I had Rod Serling in my head narrating.


    a competition open to any religion/cult/newage-y woo movement where each group of appointed champions for each belief system is locked into a high security cell under strict scientific conditions with no water or food. The prize is *cue Dr Evil voice* one million dollars */Dr Evil voice*, or whatever inducement is required to lure in the morons faithful.

    1-The Dr Evil Voice just makes it so much more dastardly. Almost Dick Dastardly-ish.
    2-The addition of new age-y stuff, as well as other forms of woo is making me rethink my “so you think you can pray” (SYTYCP-((TM)) ) reality show. Hmmm…
    Team 1: Seventh Day Adventists
    Team 2: Islamists
    Team 3: Jews
    Team 4: Sikhs
    Team 5: Buddhists
    Team 6: Scientologists
    Team 7: Quakers
    Team 8: Mormons
    I really want to put some Woo Peddlers in there, but who does an acupuncturist pray to? Is there some infinitesimal god that homeopaths worship? And I guess anti-vaxxers worship Satan (they’re against the reality of vaccines being quite effective and Satan has it out for the reality that god created) so they’re anti-christs?*
    Oh, and what form of currency would that 1 mil be in?

    *I never thought about it before, but I think Satan might be the better guy to root for in this imaginary battle of figments of too many peoples’ imaginations. Sure he lies, but has he killed off nearly every living species on the planet in a worldwide flood because he got mad that the people he created did what he knew they were going to do? How many kids has Satan commanded to be stoned to death? If god is against abortion, Satan is pro-choice, no? Hell, we don’t even know his side of the story. We’re just told (imagine that, being told something and the good sheeple do that) he’s a fallen angel. He wants to corrupt god’s work. But when have we heard from him? We’ve heard from the imaginary sky-father in the bible, but why does Satan not get to refute any lies?
    Why is god censoring Satan?

  89. consciousness razor says

    Which means spending a lot of time trying to convince people that there is/is not a God is useless, since there’s no way of resolving the issue.

    [...]

    I think the complexity of the Universe and the fact that this much order has arisen out of primal chaos suggests at least the possibility that there is some kind of Intelligent Design going on. (I find the “watchmaker argument” to be at least worthy of consideration, in other words).

    The watchmaker argument is ridiculous, but are you even being consistent here? Would you say that argument is worth considering, but that there’s no point in trying to convince others that it’s worth considering? Or is it that, if one thinks about it “too much” or spends “too much” time convincing others to think about it, that’s somehow a bad thing?

    [1] So if you think “the god belief” is “actively harmful” do you believe it should be legislated out of existence? [2] Do you advocate doing violence against those who promote it? [3] Do you recommend shunning those who believe in god – or those who refuse to loudly disbelieve in god? [4] What exactly do you propose doing with those who hold a “god belief?”

    My answers: [1] no, [2] no, [3] no, [4] discuss their beliefs and determine whether they are false or invalid. (Note: their false beliefs may include the idea that they’re being persecuted.) That’s a truly horrible thing to do, I know. I’m glad you spend just the right amount of time whining about it.

  90. Tony says

    Daz @109:
    >I have a strong urge to get stoned out of me box, to see if kenazfilan makes any more sense that way.<

    It doesn’t help. I just read the last 2 of kenazfilan’s posts(and I’m at a decent buzz) and the massive amount of ignorance and arrogance mixed with some unintelligible gibberish makes no more sense when you’re high.

  91. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    This troll is somewhat different from the usual run we’ve been getting lately. This one isn’t stupid but it’s ignorant and arrogant about its ignorance. It doesn’t understand the Principle of Parsimony or the Null Hypothesis, but that doesn’t stop it from sneering at those people who do.

  92. says

    I had to google “prenent”. Turns out, it’s not actually a word, and I don’t even know what actual word that was supposed to be…

    ad-homonym attacks

    well, someone is abusing homonyms, but I don’t think it’s the horde… :-p

    Yes I get it you don’t believe in Sorcery or magic. A lot of people do.

    which just means a lot of people are wrong.

    a flat assertion that “THERE IS NO GOD” is as silly as “JESUS IS THE ONE TRUE WAY AND THE KING JAMES BIBLE IS THE ONE TRUE WORD OF GOD!!!”

    The False Equivalence; still the most annoying fallacy out there.

    Which means spending a lot of time trying to convince people that there is/is not a God is useless, since there’s no way of resolving the issue.

    this, of course, is incorrect. Especially so considering that most people believe in a very specific sort of Higher Power, and the specifics are falsifiable. But even with the generic deists, it is absolutely worth it to point out to them that they’re “not even wrong”.

    (I find the “watchmaker argument” to be at least worthy of consideration, in other words).

    oh, so you’re a fucking idiot then? ok. Go read Victor Stenger’s writings on this topic and leave us the fuck alone with that silly wankery.

    First off; tone trolling is not appreciated here. PZ has banned others for doing it before.

    Oh, I have no doubt that PZ regularly bans people whose questions make him uncomfortable.

    If you are incapable of reading for comprehension, don’t respond. It makes you look like a spambot.

    tone trolling != asking uncomfortable questions.

    So if you think “the god belief” is “actively harmful” do you believe it should be legislated out of existence?

    interestingly authoritarian bit of projection. unlike you, we don’t want to legislate everything bad out of existence though; one can talk people out of harm, too, you know?

    is there any reason why a galaxy or a cluster of galaxies might not achieve this ability?

    I don’t know if anyone has explained this to you, but thoughts aren’t magic. They’re not instantaneous, for starters.

    What about a planet or a star?

    a star. do you fucking know how stars fucking work? jesus fuck…

    Frankly, I think animism is at least as reasonable as the idea of creation ex nihilo and order arising out of primal chaos for no reason save the workings of blind mathematical laws.

    no it isn’t, if only because it introduces unnecessary and unevidenced stuff into the explanation. But you’ve already shown yourself to be rather incapable of understanding the concept of parsimony earlier in this conversation, so I doubt you’ll understand it this time, either.

  93. chigau (違う) says

    Tony
    You have too many christer teams (and none of them are catlicks!
    The drugs don’t make things make sense they make you not give a shit.
    Want a beer?

  94. Gregory Greenwood says

    kenazfilan @ 104;

    More precisely, ‘wedunnowhoorwhatdidit.’

    We don’t know with certainty, but we can talk about mechanisms that make more or less sense, amd positing a creator consciousness adds an extra layer of complexity needlessly – if such a notional entity requires no cause, why should the univese itself?

    How would you differentiate between Aquinas’s “prime mover/uncaused cause” and the Big Bang event?

    The Big Bang Theory does not require a complex consciousness to exist without any substrate and functions to explain, in a fashion congruant with our scientific knowledge at this time, the observed physical forces and general state of reality. As for ‘uncaused first causes’, I ask again – if a hypothetical god requires no cause, why should the universe not form due to emergent properties of reality? Why add, with no evidence or need to do so, a vastly complex and powerful consciousness?

    And while we’re on the topic: is there any reason why consciousness can only arise in organic nervous systems?

    Consciousness has only ever been observed in such systems, and all observed consciousness is simply a product of brain activity – the mind is what the brain does.

    Is it conceivable that any sufficiently complex system might attain some degree of self-awareness and capacity for thought?

    While it is certainly possible to conceive of a ‘strong’ artificial intelligence, such a machine consciousness would still require a physical substrate to function that would in many reagrds mimic an oraganic brain.

    IOW, if Ted Haggard can think, is there any reason why a galaxy or a cluster of galaxies might not achieve this ability? What about a planet or a star?

    There is no reason to believe that such systems or structures could develop anything approaching a consciousness. Not possessing any structure capable of functioning as the kind of network that exists in the neurones of our brains – the only source of consciousness ever observed – how would such a notional mind function? How would it gather or transmit information?

    In any case, such a mechanism, even if it were credible, could not explain a designer consciousness planning the creation the universe before the Big Bang and thus before matter existed, including such things as stars and galaxies.

    Frankly, I think animism is at least as reasonable as the idea of creation ex nihilo and order arising out of primal chaos for no reason save the workings of blind mathematical laws.

    Animism flies in the face of what we know, whereas the idea that particles can emerge from the quantum froth, and that physical reality developed as a product of emergent properties of reality, does not conflict with what we know. As for complexities such as life, the odds shorten dramatically when you look at the time frames and numbers of iterations we are dealing with here. In a universe that is roughly 14 billion years old and that contains billions of galaxies, each of which harbours hundreds of billions of stars, a lot can happen.

  95. kenazfilan says

    #99

    The average Dominionist is also wrong. So there’s another difference.

    You are also painfully unacquainted with the commentariat about which you feel so free to bloviate. If anyone here ever suggested that belief ought to be the target of legislation, or that believers deserved to be harmed, they would be offered a porcupine and shown the door.

    The average Dominionist is convinced you are wrong, and that your ideas are inherently evil and harmful. And most Dominionist boards would quickly ban anyone who suggested blowing up abortion clinics or otherwise advocated violence. They would also consider your efforts to remove God from the public sphere to be efforts to target belief by legislation. So your refutation isn’t nearly so convincing as you might like to think it is.

    #112

    The watchmaker argument is ridiculous, but are you even being consistent here? Would you say that argument is worth considering, but that there’s no point in trying to convince others that it’s worth considering? Or is it that, if one thinks about it “too much” or spends “too much” time convincing others to think about it, that’s somehow a bad thing?

    How’s this: I don’t think the “watchmaker argument” should be dismissed as quickly as Darwin seemed to believe. (Of course, Darwin was deeply depressed at the loss of his daughter, angry at God, and looking for something to sustain his unbelief. If creationists can cherry-pick evidence to support their conclusions, is there any reason evolutionists can’t do the same?)

    I’m stating that I am open to the possibility that there IS a watchmaker: I am also open to the possibility that there is no watchmaker. I’m not trying to state that said watchmaker is described most accurately in any of the available religious texts. I feel that agnosticism is more intellectually honest than saying “the Big Bang happened for no reason at all and the universe just fell into place: this is 100% proven and anyone who dares to consider any alternative explanations needs to be mocked as a superstitious fool.”

    If you find the “hard materialist” explanation more convincing then go crazy with your bad selves. But realize that you are making a leap of faith based on emotion just as much as the Fundamentalists you mock so often.

  96. consciousness razor says

    How would you differentiate between Aquinas’s “prime mover/uncaused cause” and the Big Bang event?

    There is lots of evidence that the Big Bang happened, whether or not anything happened before. We have no evidence and thus no reason to believe there needs to be a “prime mover/uncaused cause.”

    And while we’re on the topic: is there any reason why consciousness can only arise in organic nervous systems?

    No, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why we couldn’t make conscious, intelligent AI. In principle it could be made out of anything, but using some things probably wouldn’t be practical.

    Is it conceivable that any sufficiently complex system might attain some degree of self-awareness and capacity for thought? IOW, if Ted Haggard can think, is there any reason why a galaxy or a cluster of galaxies might not achieve this ability? What about a planet or a star?

    Awareness and/or intelligence doesn’t merely require complexity. A star or galaxy is complex, but there’s no evidence that it has any component with the equivalent functions of a nervous system, modelling itself and its environment to change behavior.

    Frankly, I think animism is at least as reasonable as the idea of creation ex nihilo and order arising out of primal chaos for no reason save the workings of blind mathematical laws.

    Frankly, that’s unreasonable.

  97. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    But realize that you are making a leap of faith based on emotion just as much as the Fundamentalists you mock so often.

    So all of that, all those nonsensical comments, were a setup for this? I bow before your sense of humour. You are good.

  98. Louis says

    Ok, listen up everyone. It’s 2 something a.m. and I am very drunk and this Kenazfilan person is making no sense even to me. Give me a second to apply the large drugs…

    {background music}

    …Ok back. Nope, nope, these drugs are spectacular and they are not making any difference.

    I am going now. I have broken Saturday and am sliding sideways into Sunday. This is not good. The Voices are still there and they are saying naughty things to do with kebabs, Earl Grey tea and a young lady I knew twenty years ago called Sarah.

    I have to cut down on the peyote laced cannabis vodka. Everything has vapour trails. Not the good kind.

    Louis

  99. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh goodie, a mental masturbator. Couldn’t do real philosophy grounded in reality, so it keep changing definitions, ignoring reality, ignoring real philosophy (null hypothesis, Occam’s razor or parsimony), in order to avoid being “refuted”. But it is refuted by its own ignorance and presupposition, which all and sundry can see.

    You say the universe is designed, which implies a real being doing the designing. Prove how said designer came about. Then, and only then, talk about said designer. Otherwise, presupposition. Show conclusive physical evidence for said designer, evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Or, shut the fuck up as nothing but a PRESUPPOSITIONALIST.

    Welcome to science, which is grounded in reality, not wacky-backy and other hallucinogens…

  100. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    How’s this: I don’t think the “watchmaker argument” should be dismissed as quickly as Darwin seemed to believe.

    Hume rebutted the watchmaker argument over 20 years before Paley proposed it.

  101. consciousness razor says

    I’m stating that I am open to the possibility that there IS a watchmaker: I am also open to the possibility that there is no watchmaker.

    There is a watchmaker, more than one to be precise. They make our watches.

    I feel that agnosticism is more intellectually honest than saying “the Big Bang happened for no reason at all and the universe just fell into place: this is 100% proven and anyone who dares to consider any alternative explanations needs to be mocked as a superstitious fool.”

    Who says that? Do you honestly believe those are the only options?

  102. says

    Jesus fucking Christ on a steam-powered pogo-stick!

    It is not a leap of faith to state that there is no evidence of a god/higher power/call it what you will. No is it a leap of faith to suggest that postulating such a being with no evidential grounds is merely adding a further layer of complexity without adding anything to the discussion of initial causes.

  103. Louis says

    Nerd, #123,

    Welcome to science, which is grounded in reality, not wacky-backy and other hallucinogens…

    Dear sir,

    I would like to object in the strongest possible terms, but I really am quite wasted. In the morning, when I am less dribbly, I shall provide a cogent and well reasoned argument defending the use of recreational pharmaceuticals and sundry intoxicants in the creative part of the scientific method.

    Until then, I shall merely note that you are a giant poopyhead and stick my tongue out at you.

    Thhhbbbbbbbbb.

    Yours faithfully

    Louis

    P.S. Never take LSD during lab safety meetings. That is right out. Biiiiig no no. Apparently. Friend of mine told me.

  104. Patricia, OM says

    Louis – Any cook could have told you mushrooms do cause vapor. It will all come out in the end.

  105. says

    The average Dominionist is convinced you are wrong, and that your ideas are inherently evil and harmful. And most Dominionist boards would quickly ban anyone who suggested blowing up abortion clinics or otherwise advocated violence. They would also consider your efforts to remove God from the public sphere to be efforts to target belief by legislation. So your refutation isn’t nearly so convincing as you might like to think it is.

    what are you, some sort of fucking relativist? Don’t compare an empirical stance with whatever the dominionists are “convinced” of, m’kay?

    Also, nice use of right-wing rhetoric, since atheists aren’t trying to “remove God from the public sphere”; except maybe in France, but let’s face it, neither you nor the dominionists give a fuck about the french version of secularism.

    How’s this: I don’t think the “watchmaker argument” should be dismissed as quickly as Darwin seemed to believe. (Of course, Darwin was deeply depressed at the loss of his daughter, angry at God, and looking for something to sustain his unbelief. If creationists can cherry-pick evidence to support their conclusions, is there any reason evolutionists can’t do the same?)

    another interesting bit of creationist projection. Are you aware that it’s completely irrelevant to “evolutionists” what Darwin thought about God? That acceptance of the ToE is orthogonal to god-belief or lack thereof?
    Or, for that matter, that Darwin isn’t really relevant to Evolutionary Biology anymore, either?
    Science doesn’t have prophets, ffs.

  106. says

    I feel that agnosticism is more intellectually honest than saying “the Big Bang happened for no reason at all and the universe just fell into place: this is 100% proven and anyone who dares to consider any alternative explanations needs to be mocked as a superstitious fool.”

    1)agnosticism is not incompatible with atheism.
    2)nice strawman

  107. says

    But realize that you are making a leap of faith based on emotion just as much as the Fundamentalists you mock so often.

    False Equivalence; still really fucking annoying. And again, just because you don’t understand parsimony, doesn’t mean we don’t.

  108. DLC says

    Now repeat after me: All of scientific endeavor to this point can be and has been replicated. There is no need to accept any of it on faith, not even such “rules” or “laws” as Relativity or Pi.
    Given sufficient time and facilities, and assuming a level of intelligence sufficient to master the basic skills needed, it is possible to develop any previously known data de novo. Possible, but a complete waste of fucking time, as is bothering to reply to this idiot further.

  109. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Jadehawk, cascadeuse féministe #131

    And again, just because you don’t understand parsimony, doesn’t mean we don’t.

    Not only doesn’t it understand parsimony, it’s proud of its ignorance and sneers at those of us who do understand it.

  110. kenazfilan says

    #129
    what are you, some sort of fucking relativist? Don’t compare an empirical stance with whatever the dominionists are “convinced” of, m’kay?

    Also, nice use of right-wing rhetoric, since atheists aren’t trying to “remove God from the public sphere”; except maybe in France, but let’s face it, neither you nor the dominionists give a fuck about the french version of secularism.

    Just pointing out that the Dominionists are just as convinced of the righteousness of their cause as you are of yours. They are just as convinced of the inherent evil of your cause as you are of theirs. And what’s more, they don’t find your “empirical stance” nearly so convincing as you seem to think it is.

    Of course, you think that is because they are stupid. And they think you reject theirs because you are deluded or evil. So again you’re two sides of a coin.

    If we’re talking about track records, need I note that the Khmer Rouge, Stalinists, Maoists, and a few others have managed to commit some pretty nasty atrocities without any kind of religious belief. So I’m not seeing any evidence that atheism leads to any kind of moral superiority when compared and contrasted with religious belief, all piteous whimpering and mewling from Yon Peanut Gallery aside.

  111. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    The average Dominionist is convinced you are wrong, and that your ideas are inherently evil and harmful.

    Most flat-earthers, GW denialists, woo peddlers, and creationists would assert the same. Belief is not the arbiter of reality. Care to assert a Dominionist argument that holds sway in your mind?

    And most Dominionist boards would quickly ban anyone who suggested blowing up abortion clinics or otherwise advocated violence. They would also consider your efforts to remove God from the public sphere to be efforts to target belief by legislation. So your refutation isn’t nearly so convincing as you might like to think it is.

    We are either too strident in attack on belief or we are not. You are implying that the commentariat holds beliefs that we are being too nice to avow? I thought your problem was that we were doing the opposite.

    I’m stating that I am open to the possibility that there IS a watchmaker: I am also open to the possibility that there is no watchmaker. I’m not trying to state that said watchmaker is described most accurately in any of the available religious texts. I feel that agnosticism is more intellectually honest than saying “the Big Bang happened for no reason at all and the universe just fell into place: this is 100% proven and anyone who dares to consider any alternative explanations needs to be mocked as a superstitious fool.”

    Agnosticism is about knowledge. Atheism is about belief. If I know nothing about the demiurge, how can I espouse belief in it? You seem to have adopted no epistemology at all. Any idea that evades scrutiny is equally founded under this rubric.

    Your last quote is a complete strawman and is a poor characterization of rational acceptance of evidence. If you want to posit an alternative to the big bang theory that is equally amenable to falsification, be my guest. In science, absent new evidence, hypotheses cannot merit rejection until alternatives have been articulated that fit available evidence just as well or better.

  112. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Of course, you think that is because they are stupid. And they think you reject theirs because you are deluded or evil. So again you’re two sides of a coin.

    Regarding truth claims, stupid leads to wrong. Evil doesn’t. But I guess you are so open minded that you’ll commit* to any bad idea with equal tepidness.

    *Kinda the opposite of commitment.

  113. Patricia, OM says

    WTF?
    We are evil. We eat babies and call Basket of Puppies instead of buying soccer balls.

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Just pointing out that the Dominionists are just as convinced of the righteousness of their cause as you are of yours.

    Irrelevant, and distracts from you explaining why you have no evidence for your mental masturbatory presuppositional claims.

    And what’s more, they don’t find your “empirical stance” nearly so convincing as you seem to think it is.

    Compared to your content free “philosophy”, based on nothing but presuppositions? When will you say something intelligent, like “good-bye”.

    So again you’re two sides of a coin.

    Only to a presuppositionalist who wouldn’t understand evidence if he tripped over it, and it bit him in the groin. You lie and bullshit when you say there is no difference between an evidence based conclusion, and a presuppositionists delusional think. Oops, you do presuppostional delusional thinking–if you can call it thinking–I don’t.

    So I’m not seeing any evidence that atheism leads to any kind of moral superiority when compared and contrasted with religious belief, all piteous whimpering and mewling from Yon Peanut Gallery aside.

    Fuckwitted presuppositionalist fails to understand the cult of personality like all the “bad atheists” who really weren’t atheists. They worshiped their own power, and required folks to acknowledge it. Just like all godbotting and evidenceless presuppositionalists like you.

  115. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    So I’m not seeing any evidence that atheism leads to any kind of moral superiority when compared and contrasted with religious belief, all piteous whimpering and mewling from Yon Peanut Gallery aside.

    This again. Atheism doesn’t impose any morality whatsoever. However, if unbelievers want to be moral, they are forced to scrutinize what it means to be moral. If religionists wish to be moral, they need apply no such effort. You are once again demonstrating a painful dearth of familiarity with your audience. Morality is a prime topic of discussion in these threads.

  116. consciousness razor says

    If we’re talking about track records, need I note that the Khmer Rouge, Stalinists, Maoists, and a few others have managed to commit some pretty nasty atrocities without any kind of religious belief.

    No one here said religious belief was necessary to commit atrocities.

    So I’m not seeing any evidence that atheism leads to any kind of moral superiority when compared and contrasted with religious belief, all piteous whimpering and mewling from Yon Peanut Gallery aside.

    No one here is claiming atheism entails moral superiority, though having a sound epistemology is morally relevant. On the other hand, one find many religionists claiming their religions or their imaginary friends do carry that implication.

  117. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Also, as far as I understand it, the reason that few knowledgeable people discuss the “cause of the big bang” is that space and time are the result of that event. Cause requires priority which does not exist outside of time. But I’m no physicist.

  118. Louis says

    Kenazfilan, #119,

    They would also consider your efforts to remove God from the public sphere to be efforts to target belief by legislation.

    No! Naughty! Bad theist! Bad! Where’s my rolled up newspaper?

    No one is trying to remove god from the public sphere. If people want to bring their religious views to the table, that’s all well and good. What people want to remove from the public sphere is the undeserved privileging of, and acquiescence to, religious claims in the public sphere. BIIIIIIG difference.

    So take for example abortion. Your opinion on abortion, whatever it might be, is welcome in the public arena. If, for example, you think that your deity tells you to say abortions are a no-no, then fine. I disagree with you profoundly if that’s the case, and I hope you don’t express your opposition to abortion (if you do oppose it) in an overtly unpleasant and misogynistic manner. Mind you, since anti-abortion arguments by their very nature are misogynistic, that could be tricky, but my point is no one is trying to say you don’t have a space at the table.

    However, what people are saying is that your space at the table starts off the same size as everyone else’s. What evidence and reasoning you bring to the table alters the size of that space. So, sorry you probably won’t like this, when you say (if you do) that abortion is murder and someone asks “how do you know that?” and your reply is “god told me so” a fair reply to that is “and how do you know that?”. Relying on the supposed authority of your supposed god is not enough, because not everyone believes as you do, and a quick look at the world will tell you that a whole mess of people believe in things vastly different to you and claim the same basis. I.e. they too claim god supports their views.

    If you smarmily say “ahhh but they are wrong”, well obviously you’re going to be asked how you know this again. It’s a big problem for you theists whether or not you acknowledge it. The inability of faith/revelation based epistemologies to distinguish between two mutually exclusive, faith based claims is a big problem. You need recourse to something other than faith to do it. That something else is reason, the very underpinning of the scientific method. And I hate to break this to you, but of the faith based supernatural claims made throughout history, reason has found support for precisely none of them.

    Which is not good.

    Louis

  119. Louis says

    Atheism causes moral superiority? It better not! Why that will get in the way of me kicking puppies, roasting kittens and eating babies. And then what would I do Sundays?

    Won’t someone PLEASE think of the children?

    Louis

  120. Owlmirror says

    [Dominionists] would also consider your efforts to remove God from the public sphere to be efforts to target belief by legislation.

    And they would be wrong.

    So your refutation isn’t nearly so convincing as you might like to think it is.

    Well, perhaps not to dishonest assholes.

    I don’t think the “watchmaker argument” should be dismissed as quickly as Darwin seemed to believe.

    Because ignorance and incredulity are just as good as knowledge, eh?

    (Of course, Darwin was deeply depressed at the loss of his daughter, angry at God, and looking for something to sustain his unbelief.

    Lovely. You’ve been reading creationist biographies of Darwin.

    The “watchmaker argument” should be dismissed, not because Darwin dismissed it, but because it’s a bogus argument. “Life is complex, therefore it is designed” is neiher valid nor sound.

    I’m stating that I am open to the possibility that there IS a watchmaker

    So am I. But a possibility needs more than just “openness” in order to be logically or scientifically acceptable.

    I feel that agnosticism is more intellectually honest than saying “the Big Bang happened for no reason at all and the universe just fell into place: this is 100% proven

    No-one is saying that it is “100% proven”.

    and anyone who dares to consider any alternative explanations needs to be mocked as a superstitious fool.”

    “Alternative explanations” can be considered. But you need to distinguish your “alternative explanations” from foolish superstition.

    If you find the “hard materialist” explanation more convincing then go crazy with your bad selves. But realize that you are making a leap of faith based on emotion just as much as the Fundamentalists you mock so often.

    You really just love hitting all the same damn logic potholes that creationists do.

    =======

    Just pointing out that the Dominionists are just as convinced of the righteousness of their cause as you are of yours.

    No, you’re just being a dishonest asshole.

    They are just as convinced of the inherent evil of your cause as you are of theirs.

    Only if their misconception of our “cause” is as full of shit as you are.

    And what’s more, they don’t find your “empirical stance” nearly so convincing as you seem to think it is.

    So what?

    Of course, you think that is because they are stupid.

    No, I think it’s because they’re religious fanatics.

    And they think you reject theirs because you are deluded or evil. So again you’re two sides of a coin.

    Only if the coin is made of bullshit.

    If we’re talking about track records, need I note that the Khmer Rouge, Stalinists, Maoists, and a few others have managed to commit some pretty nasty atrocities without any kind of religious belief.

    I’m sure that many were exactly as agnostic and confused as you are.

    So I’m not seeing any evidence that atheism leads to any kind of moral superiority

    And your bizarre and confused agnostic animism does magically lead to “moral superiority”, you dishonest asshole?

    all piteous whimpering and mewling from Yon Peanut Gallery aside.

    That’s exactly what a dishonest asshole would say.

  121. spamamander, hellmart survivor says

    Have we started the Sex with Louis line? Brownian is in charge of the Ghey Sex so we need … hmmm… well I’m sure we’ll think of something. Either way, I’m first in line. So there.

  122. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    Have we started the Sex with Louis line? Brownian is in charge of the Ghey Sex so we need … hmmm… well I’m sure we’ll think of something. Either way, I’m first in line. So there.

    You’re about a week late. And they are not so much lines anymore as mobs writhing i a large-scale facsimile of Brownian motion.

  123. Louis says

    Spamander,

    Since I am trying to create a self-sustaining perma orgy, hop right in, there’s always room.

    Louis

  124. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Let’s see, so far the troll has given us:

    ● Tone trolling

    ● Fundamentalist atheists

    ● You’re just like the goddist fanatics

    ● Atheists don’t have morals

    ● Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot

    ● Well it looks designed

    ● Misunderstanding of the Big Bang

    ● Agnosticism is better than atheism

    ● Argument from incredulity

    Does anyone have a bingo yet?

  125. says

    Oh noes! It’s the Watchmaker Argument! We must flee! Our bullets of logic only bounce off its mighty armor!
    Seriously, kenazfilan, the watchmaker argument has such a brutal, built-in flaw that it will generally get you laughed at here, as it shows rather quickly that you need not be taken seriously.
    It boils down to this: “nature looks like design, which we can recognize because it doesn’t look like nature.”
    The only way around the contradiction is to restrict your definition of nature to non-living things, which is a less-than-clever means of hiding your conclusion within the assumptions.
    I sincerely hope this helps you think your way out of the wet paper bag that is the watchmaker argument.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Fucking watchmaker argument. Fuck.

  126. Louis says

    Bingo? No.* Incipient come down inspired by Teh Stoopid? Yes.

    Louis

    * I need “You know it’s true in your heart, but you just hate the Baybee Jeeziz” for a bingo.

  127. says

    Just pointing out that the Dominionists are just as convinced of the righteousness of their cause as you are of yours.

    what part of “don’t compare empiricism to the non-empirical crap dominionists believe” did you not understand? You are committing one false equivalence after the other.

    And what’s more, they don’t find your “empirical stance” nearly so convincing as you seem to think it is.

    irrelevant. reality is not a popularity contest.

    Of course, you think that is because they are stupid.

    of course, you’re wrong about this, since you project instead of engaging in conversation.

    So again you’re two sides of a coin.

    False equivalence again. repeating it is not going to make it less fallacious, you know.

    If we’re talking about track records, need I note that the Khmer Rouge, Stalinists, Maoists, and a few others have managed to commit some pretty nasty atrocities without any kind of religious belief.

    irrelevant to whether religious claims are true or not.

    So I’m not seeing any evidence that atheism leads to any kind of moral superiority when compared and contrasted with religious belief,

    another strawman. how boring. I do note however that, as others already pointed out, you really don’t seem to think it matters whether something is true or not. You look increasingly like a believer in The Noble Lie; or, as I previously noted, in relativism.

  128. Patricia, OM says

    Spamander – Louis is currently a newt, so you may be the only one capable of secks with him. Go ahead to the front of the line, and here’s your paddle.
    *Le smirk *

  129. consciousness razor says

    Also, as far as I understand it, the reason that few knowledgeable people discuss the “cause of the big bang” is that space and time are the result of that event. Cause requires priority which does not exist outside of time. But I’m no physicist.

    I’m not a physicist either. As I understand it, that’s a possibility, but it requires a certain model of the BB which isn’t necessarily the case. It could be that there is infinite spacetime in the past and the BB only makes it impossible to know much about it (though if we can’t know anything about it, then I’m not sure how that could be supported with evidence). To give another example, a multiverse theory explaining the BB could be about causes in the multiverse’s framework. Anyway, I guess the relevant point is that those would rely on a legitimate causal mechanism based on evidence, rather simply making shit up about imaginary intelligent beings.

    Also, Carrier recently put forward an argument that basically says “nothing comes from nothing” is false. If we suppose nothing exists and try to figure out what logically follows from that state, then we’re also supposing that anything logically necessary also “exists” — that is, it’s true and exists in that sense. Since none of that entails something else (which isn’t logically necessary) cannot exist, then that something is possible. So even if physical theories wouldn’t be able to offer a causal explanation, there’s still no reason to believe something coming from nothing is logically impossible.

  130. Patricia, OM says

    Azkyroth – Yep, same shit, another troll that thinks we haven’t seen it 1000 times. It’s like they don’t get it that we know they all read The Same Shit.

  131. Tony says

    Louis:

    I am going now. I have broken Saturday and am sliding sideways into Sunday.


    Bingo? No.* Incipient come down inspired by Teh Stoopid? Yes.

    Did you decide to slide back into Saturday? See, there’s evidence that athIests are not morally superior to theists. You people tell LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS.

    Please don’t say you let the Creationist Checklist Troll keep you here. I mean it’s not much of a chew toy for you (that is, unless you injest mind altering substances; then the gloves would be off, I’m sure). There are just too many people here who actually know what they’re talking about (I’m going to guess that happened as a bi-product of actually learning things…with a smattering of educating themselves…tossed in with some empirical evidence here and there…possibly frog dissection–YUCK) for another creobot to last long. I’ve been coming here for a year or so, and I feel like I’ve heard all the ‘arguments’ theists put forth in favor of religion. I can’t imagine what it’s like for the people that have been here since the pyramids were built* ::ducks::

    *by ‘Chariots of the Gods’ Aliens, natch!

    On A Serious Note
    As a general question, given the fact that so many theists fail to understand why their ‘arguments’ aren’t valid, is it possible that some of the terms fly over their heads? Occam’s razor, parsimony, *every* logical fallacy, cognitive dissonance, etc seem easy enough to understand (in my limited opinion), but given how often believers bring their half arguments to the table many of them clearly don’t understand the very things they think they’re refuting. Nowhere have I seen it more clear than in discussions about evolution. How do people think they can criticize anything if they don’t even understand it**. Unlike the God Hypothesis–which is untestable– it’s not hard to get a layman’s understanding of evolution. If believers would take their heads out of their craptastic book of immoral values***and go read something that’s actually informative they might actually learn something. Hell, if they would just read their bibles from front to back, we’ll have more converts in no time.
    Maybe that should be the tactic atheist activists should take: Theists, go read your bible.
    Front to back.
    Every. Single. Word.
    Then get back to us about how plausible all that inconsistent (and far too often, immoral) crap is.

    **No, I’m not required to go study every religion around the world to make sure they’re all false (no more than believers have explored all the religions to determine which one is “most truthful”-blech, like that’s even possible). Many of the religions of the world assume god exists and then fit everything in that box. Until one can prove there actually *is* a god (remember, atheists will accept scientifically verifiable evidence for any number of gods: Yahweh to Gaea, Odin, Heracles, or Shiva) any God Hypothesis is unreasonable and should be discarded.
    ***Otherwise known as The “HE approves of several other forms of marriage aside from ‘one man and one woman’ ” Book.
    Hell for that matter, given the immature, dickish, homophobic, misogynist creator in the OT, I wonder if he actually *liked* anyone. Yes, I know he seemed to favor a few here and there (so on that note, he liked some people. Given that he’s touted as being all about love and mercy, he really should love a metric fuck-ton more people), but that number is overshadowed by the temper tantrum that was genocide (to the power of 100) by way of one of the most inane, illogical ‘flood stories’ I’ve ever heard of.

  132. Tony says

    Patricia:
    Is there a T shirt for that? My ‘Evil Little Thing’ t-shirt came in a few weeks ago (I ordered mine after Jessica appeared on CNN; thus I got an email saying that my order was taking a wee bit longer than anticipated since they received a lot more orders for the shirt after her interview) and it needs a companion (I have to say that of all the 3rd party ads here on FtB, Roadkill.com is the best; they have a wide variety of t shirts and more than a handful are for atheists).

    Just imagine it:
    On the front: A Big Stop sign followed by: “we’ve heard that one. and that one. and THAT one, we’ve heard a 1000 times”

    On the back: because you all read from the same book!

  133. Patricia, OM says

    Tony – Same old shit, same old book – I think you have something with your tee shirt design. ;)

  134. Menyambal -- damned dirty ape says

    I’ve heard it phrased as PRATT — point refuted a thousand times.

    As for the troll: The universe is still pretty much nothing, there really isn’t that much order, and we are open to every possibility.

  135. theophontes 777 says

    @ kenazfilan

    If you feel a little left out by having so many Pharygulites arguing against you, perhaps you should try TZT, which has a more welcoming policy. You can find like minded people in greater abundance.

    kenazfilan, meet danielhaven (Link to TZT, typical comment) I am sure you two will get on swimmingly.

  136. kenazfilan says

    #162 – left out? Hardly. I’m working on a series of posts on Atheism for my blog wherein I discuss the phenomenon of people who have become True Unbelievers. The more rude, profane, intolerant rants I can quote from here the stronger my case looks. And of course you all are dancing splendidly: please do continue.

  137. says

    Dance, Monkey, Dance!

    This is, like, so meta.

    Challenge: is there any single thing that kenazfilan has said in this thread that is *not* a tired old cliche?

  138. Menyambal -- damned dirty ape says

    kenazfilan, you borked the link to your own blog.

    So, so meta.

  139. says

    kenazfilan is easy enough to find via google.

    anyhow.

    The more rude, profane, intolerant rants I can quote from here the stronger my case looks. And of course you all are dancing splendidly: please do continue.

    also see: confirmation bias. focusing on that which agrees with one’s thesis to prove one’s thesis.

    most people know there are a giant bag of dicks orbiting around PZ’s blog, waiting to splooge on anyone who disagrees. there’s a giant bag of dicks orbiting around most websites these days, though.

    of course just because they’re dicks doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

    or right; arguments get to be weighted on their own merits.

    …of course, PZ lost points for ad-homming the guy making the original blog post in question rather than addressing the real issue of a subset of loud, obnoxious, holier-than-thou atheists making other atheists look bad. just because that guy is a self-proclaimed sorcerer and peddler of woo doesn’t mean he’s wrong about a given subject either, though it may speak to his character.

    in conclusion, there are dicks everywhere. bring an umbrella.

  140. DLC says

    166 :

    of course, PZ lost points for ad-homming the guy making the original blog post in question rather than addressing the real issue of a subset of loud, obnoxious, holier-than-thou atheists making other atheists look bad. just because that guy is a self-proclaimed sorcerer and peddler of woo doesn’t mean he’s wrong about a given subject either, though it may speak to his character.

    Kindly read the definition of Ad hominem fallacy again, you got it wrong. “Joe is wrong because Joe is an asshole” is ad hominem fallacy. Joe the asshole is wrong, Lincoln was shot at Ford’s theater, not at the White House” is not claiming Joe’s wrong because he’s an asshole, but that he’s an asshole and he’s wrong.

  141. Agent Smith says

    Yeehah! In 2012, the hoary old cosmic horologist trope is still getting trotted out by a religious Sooty, alimentarily powered by accomodationist metacarpals. To some, it never gets old, and to the rest of us, it’s fucking pre-Hadean.

    Open to possibilities, yes, I’m OK with that. But it’s evidence that opens the door, and observational highlights in the surrounding walls that make the door look interesting. With regard to the old man with a long beard and a tiny hammer, there’s absolutely no reason to open the door, knock on it, or to even hang a sign on the handle saying Watch This Space.

    The more rude, profane, intolerant rants I can quote from here the stronger my case looks. And of course you all are dancing splendidly

    I’d feel wrong about calling you an asshole. No humble mammalian sphincter could handle the fecal rogue wave I’ve seen you channeling through much of the thread. There’s been self-righteous advising, flabby relativism, dredging up Stalin/Khmer Rogue as “atheist villains”, trivializing responses, and insinuating that we’re gonna cop some sort of payback for our “rudeness and intolerance.” Well done sir, you’ve just struck the obnoxious apologist superfecta.

  142. Louis says

    Oh noes! Has there been TEH PROFANITEH?

    I shall sob quietly in a corner for you.

    Louis

  143. Just_A_Lurker says

    I’m stating that I am open to the possibility that there IS a watchmaker: I am also open to the possibility that there is no watchmaker. I’m not trying to state that said watchmaker is described most accurately in any of the available religious texts. I feel that agnosticism is more intellectually honest than saying “the Big Bang happened for no reason at all and the universe just fell into place: this is 100% proven and anyone who dares to consider any alternative explanations needs to be mocked as a superstitious fool.”

    Well, at least you found a way to feel superior to both sides.

    If we’re talking about track records, need I note that the Khmer Rouge, Stalinists, Maoists, and a few others have managed to commit some pretty nasty atrocities without any kind of religious belief. So I’m not seeing any evidence that atheism leads to any kind of moral superiority when compared and contrasted with religious belief, all piteous whimpering and mewling from Yon Peanut Gallery aside.

    Compare and contrast atrocities caused by religion to that which is done by atheists. Religion comes out ahead by a long shot. Not to mention the fact that atheism isn’t the root cause, motivation or justification of such violence.

    As far as your obvious lack of knowledge Google scholar is your friend for how moral atheists can be. No one is claiming that being an atheist automatically makes you a better or more moral person. It may have a better chance to work out that way but we’ve all known those ignorant dumbass atheists like libertarians, MRAs and the like.

  144. Just_A_Lurker says

    most people know there are a giant bag of dicks orbiting around PZ’s blog, waiting to splooge on anyone who disagrees. there’s a giant bag of dicks orbiting around most websites these days, though.

    of course just because they’re dicks doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

    or right; arguments get to be weighted on their own merits.

    in conclusion, there are dicks everywhere. bring an umbrella.

    Sexist language not allowed.
    Seriously, why the fuck did you even comment? Have you not noticed stupid tone trolling and sexists slurs are not allowed? We rip apart arguments with added insults vehemently. It’s not our arguments that holes in them. Don’t like the community here? Shut the fuck up and lurk.
    And its not that “bunch of assholes hang around PZ’s blog”. Read the info about this site. PZ encourages it, promotes it right in the Standards & Practice page. . It’s a feature not a bug.

    of course, PZ lost points for ad-homming the guy making the original blog

    FFS learn what that actually means moron.

  145. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m working on a series of posts on Atheism

    Who the fuck cares about your mental masturbations? You can’t think, aren’t cogent, can’t learn, and are presuppositional, not evidence based. Wouldn’t read your blog unless somebody had a gun to my head the stupidity and bad thinking is so large and obvious.

  146. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh, and I forgot to mention the obvious. It’s a blogwhore, urban definition two:

    Tries any way possible to get others to read his/her blog.

  147. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    So the entire trolling exercise was an attempt at blogwhoring which the asshole made fruitless by borking the link.

  148. Louis says

    If that is what this chappie has done, I give it a 3.8. Some interesting combinations of tumbles and twists, nothing we haven’t seen before, but the landing was horribly fluffed.

    Louis

  149. says

    The more rude, profane, intolerant rants I can quote from here the stronger my case looks. And of course you all are dancing splendidly: please do continue.

    you base your “case” for why your continued fallacious equivocating of religious phantasies with parsimonious empiricism on tone trolling? serious weaksauce.

  150. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It thinks it is funny. It is as funny, as its comments are enlightened. Talk about predictable, trite, stale, insipid, and boring…

  151. Louis says

    Antiochus Epiphanes, #179,

    I enjoy your hypothesis and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Louis

  152. says

    Imodium Inominandum puts on his wizard robe and hat….

    I like how Shane in his comments calls various people “fool” and “asshole,” and also blithers:

    None of you are getting the point of the problem with the new atheism. Numbers are precisely as made up as gods. Or not. Either way you can find neither a zero or a one in the objective universe.

    He makes Kenaz look like a Rhodes scholar.

    Kenaz:

    I’m impressed that PZ Myers has moved on from tormenting Ed Wollmann on Usenet…

    What erectile dysfunction meds do you take to give you a hateboner that’s lasted for more than a decade?

    And most Dominionist boards would quickly ban anyone who suggested blowing up abortion clinics or otherwise advocated violence.

    I’d suggest you lurk on such boards for a while to see how wrong you are, except you don’t give a fuck whether or not your claim is true.

    Joseph Ausatmen:

    most people know there are a giant bag of dicks orbiting around PZ’s blog, waiting to splooge on anyone who disagrees.

    Leaving your tone-trolling, gendered slurs, ignorance of what ad hominem means, and e.e. cummings pretensions aside: If they’re all trapped in the bag, how do they splooge on disagreeing newcomers? Doesn’t all the splooge just wind up in the inside of the bag?

    Louis:

    This is like me rocking up to the men’s 100m final at this summer’s Olympics and pissing on Usain Bolt’s leg and screaming “GIVE ME GOLD MEDAL! I DONE A TINKLE! I DONE A TINKLE!”.

    My cat is in hiding now. I hope you’re happy.

    Tony, in a language like English, you can’t expect a rule to cover everything, but rules can still be useful.

    Gregory:

    Just so long as they don’t sneak any ‘long pork’ snacks…

    Aw, come on, that’d be the highlight of the season!

    Theophontes:

    kenazfilan, meet danielhaven…I am sure you two will get on swimmingly.

    BWAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Agent Smith:

    I’d feel wrong about calling you an asshole. No humble mammalian sphincter could handle the fecal rogue wave I’ve seen you channeling through much of the thread.

    I just had to see that again.

    Finally: Akira, I’ll take facts over you, too. Any day of the week.

  153. kenazfilan says

    What erectile dysfunction meds do you take to give you a hateboner that’s lasted for more than a decade?

    No erectile dysfunction meds required here. What kind of meds did you take the last time you landed in the psych hospital?

  154. Louis says

    What kind of meds did you take the last time you landed in the psych hospital?

    Incidence number 2134175487543464364265 this week of Using Mental Illness As An Insult.

    What a swell guy!

    The ability for self-reflection and compassion, it is strong absent with this one.

    Louis

  155. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What kind of meds did you take the last time you landed in the psych hospital?

    What kind of hallucinogens are you on to write your drivel? Still not cogent or funny, just pathetic.

  156. quoderatdemonstrandum says

    Kenazfilan: look up the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    Is there a good word for Dunning-Kruger victims like Kenazfilan who are both deeply ignorant and convinced of their own superiority both of which states survive encounters with people with superior knowledge who meticulously lay bare his ignorance?

  157. kenazfilan says

    What a swell guy!

    The ability for self-reflection and compassion, it is strong absent with this one.

    From above:

    Reality doesn’t care. We may care but can’t change it. Recognising that requires that we be assholes.

    So we’re assholes. So is reality. Get over it.

    As ye sow so shall ye reap and all that. Given that the poster in question describes multiple trips to the psych ward on her Dreamwidth page, I’m just acknowledging reality. Get over it.

  158. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    As ye sow so shall ye reap and all that. Given that the poster in question describes multiple trips to the psych ward on her Dreamwidth page, I’m just acknowledging reality. Get over it.

    No, you’re being a silencing asshole. What the fuck is wrong with you that you think it’s acceptable to use someone’s mental health history as an insult? You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

  159. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As ye sow so shall ye reap and all that.

    You sow stupidity and presupposition, and can’t learn from reality. Ergo, you reap nonsense and irrelevancy…

  160. says

    Given that the poster in question describes multiple trips to the psych ward on her Dreamwidth page, I’m just acknowledging reality.

    So, you’re psych-shaming now? Geez, you just keep getting nastier, don’t you?

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Actually… let the door hit you.

  161. kenazfilan says

    #188:

    No, you’re being a silencing asshole. What the fuck is wrong with you that you think it’s acceptable to use someone’s mental health history as an insult? You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

    Maybe she suffers from the *ahem* Godless delusion?

  162. Ze Madmax says

    kenazfilan @ #184:

    As ye sow so shall ye reap and all that. Given that the poster in question describes multiple trips to the psych ward on her Dreamwidth page, I’m just acknowledging reality. Get over it.

    Except that your so-called “acknowledgement of reality” has fuck-all to do with the argument at hand. It’s almost as if you were trying to dismiss Daisy Cutter’s argument by attacking her. Why, I believe there are even ads about that!

  163. says

    Maybe she suffers from the *ahem* Godless delusion?

    Maybe you suffer from the ‘I’m funny’ delusion. You’re not. Really, you’re not.

  164. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Maybe ?she I suffers from the *ahem* Godless delusion?

    FIFY sophist and irrelevant pseudophilosopher.

  165. Ze Madmax says

    kenazfilan @ #191:

    Maybe she suffers from the *ahem* Godless delusion?

    You are a truly hideous person. May a billion pigeons find your head an acceptable receptacle for their dung.

  166. kenazfilan says

    Except that your so-called “acknowledgement of reality” has fuck-all to do with the argument at hand. It’s almost as if you were trying to dismiss Daisy Cutter’s argument by attacking her. Why, I believe there are even ads about that!

    Except for the fact that I’ve been arguing that many of the “New Atheists” (like Ms. Daisy) are motivated more by anger than by reason, and that Daisy by her own admission has been hospitalized several times, presumably because her emotional state was so unbalanced that she was a danger to self or others. Nope, nothing to do with my argument at all.

    That whole “inconvenient reality” thing sucks, doesn’t it?

  167. quoderatdemonstrandum says

    kenazfilan does your mother her son attacks people based on their mental health issues?

    If she does, the probability is that she is ashamed of you.

  168. says

    If kenazfilan was using rational arguments here, their argument against Daisy Cutter will still be irrelevant.

    But kenazfilan IS NOT using rational arguments. So kenazfilan is not only an acting like an asshole, kenazfilan is ACTING STUPID.

    Way to represent.

  169. Gregory Greenwood says

    kenazfilan @ 187;

    As ye sow so shall ye reap and all that.

    Another charming, victim-blaming extract from that toxic book of fairytales called the bible, I see.

    You aren’t seriously trying to link atheism to mental illnes, are you? Because we have literally had scores of trolls turn up here and try to do that, and they always make fools of themselves…

    Oh, right, never mind. That ship has already sailed with you long since.

    Given that the poster in question describes multiple trips to the psych ward on her Dreamwidth page, I’m just acknowledging reality. Get over it.

    You do realise that this is someones’s life you are talking about, right? You are seeking to render down their history of mental illness into some kind of crude ‘gotcha’, and you are surprised when people react negatively?

    Here is a hint for you – mental illness comes in many forms, and the mere fact that someone has a history of mental illness does not in itself say anything about their capacity to form reasoned arguments, their intellect, or their worth as an individual.

    Mental illness is not a reflection of any ‘deficiency’ in a person’s character or a judgement on their ‘morality’.

    Mental illness is not a comedy sketch existing for your entertainment.

    Mental illness, and the unjustified stigma that it still carries in our culture, is a serious issue that requires the support and understanding of the neurotypical, not their disdain or crass and incompetent attempts at humour.

    So I, and many other commenters here, would appreciate it if you would either refrain from your ablesist slurs, or leave and take your bigotry with you.

  170. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Maybe she suffers from the *ahem* Godless delusion?

    You think this sad attempt at a joke makes you one fucking iota less disgraceful as a human being? Seriously, either apologize for your revolting attempt to attack Daisy using her mental health history or get the fuck out of here.

  171. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Except for the fact that I’ve been arguing that many of the “New Atheists” (like Ms. Daisy) are motivated more by anger than by reason,

    Alleged, not one iota of proper evidence has been presented. You are a confirmed liar and bullshitter, and everything you claim must be backed by appropriate citations to legitimate sources outside of yourself. That’s what separates those with real arguments from delusional windbags doing mental masturbation. Reality…

  172. says

    presumably because her emotional state was so unbalanced that she was a danger to self or others.

    Fuck. Off.

    At one point you were unintentionally amusing. Now you’re just disgusting.

  173. kenazfilan says

    It’s amusing to watch all this whimpering outrage about “discourtesy” and “meanness” from people who think it’s perfectly OK to desecrate holy symbols and behave rudely to anonymous strangers because of their religious beliefs. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. Or the loon.

  174. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    from people who think it’s perfectly OK to desecrate holy symbols and behave rudely to anonymous strangers because of their religious beliefs. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. Or the loon.

    Rude on only one topic. We protect the weak. Now, show us the RCC is weak, you are weak, or organized religion is weak. The strong picking on and ridiculing the weak are called bullies, bully.

  175. theophontes 777 says

    @ kenazfilan 163

    Sorry, I can’t really afford to link to that blog (I am on dialup), but would appreciate it if you would link thread (Linky here TZT). There are really swell people there. I really need the traffic. Please. I have a Second-in-command, an SO. a child and three (3!) cats to indulge. Pleease just go there and leave a comment. And link to me please. I mean it. I am not blogwhoring. No sirree. Just please link.(Don’t make me beg.) It is really quiet there. Lots of room to express yourself.

  176. says

    Oh yes. Starts off pretending to be an agnostic, quickly resorts to bible quotes.

    Is harboring a grudge against Myers from years ago, yet accuses others of being angry.

    Can’t offer any evidence to back any of their claims, yet accuses others of being “emotional” instead of “rational”.

    If we hadn’t seen dozens of people just like kenazfilan before, we would be confused by this strange, nasty little creature. But we’ve seen this too many times to be impressed.

    You’re a boring cliché, kenazfilan.

  177. says

    As ye sow so shall ye reap and all that. Given that the poster in question describes multiple trips to the psych ward on her Dreamwidth page, I’m just acknowledging reality. Get over it.

    I get really fed up with this. It is not ok to dismiss someone’s views because of their histories of mental illness. News flash: having a mood disorder – which I have – does not mean that someone is incapable of thinking rationally, and it is not a reason to dismiss hir opinions or to silence hir. If you have a problem with someone’s argument, attack the argument; don’t attack the person making the argument based on an irrelevant personal characteristic that has nothing to do with the correctness of hir views.

    Your kind of attitude increases the stigma attached to mental illness. It makes people more reluctant to talk about their experiences of mental illness, and increases the perception that mentally ill people (irrespective of the nature of their illness) can just be written off as “crazy”, marginalized and silenced. Declaring dissent and disagreement to be evidence of mental illness is a silencing tactic.

    (And this is also why we need to stop using language that stigmatizes the mentally ill.)

  178. Ze Madmax says

    kenazfilan @ #196:

    Except for the fact that I’ve been arguing that many of the “New Atheists” (like Ms. Daisy) are motivated more by anger than by reason

    You haven’t been arguing that. You posed some bullshit pseudo-Freudian* babble about atheists having “daddy issues” and assumed that atheists have some sort of authoritarian obsession with destroying religion. That’s not an argument, that’s an army of strawmen that provide you with an easy (yet completely fictional) target that prop up your worldview.

    and that Daisy by her own admission has been hospitalized several times,

    Which again, has fuck-all to do with anything. We may as well go over your medical records, and twist any little thing we find to justify your obsession with acting like an asshole on the internet. (e.g., “did your mother not love you enough?”)

    presumably because her emotional state was so unbalanced that she was a danger to self or others

    And who the fuck are you to make that assumption? Nobody. You’re just a little piece of shit that thinks that people’s lives are some sort of bag you can rummage inside of to find anything that you can use to discredit their arguments, because you seem to lack the intellectual capacity to actually address arguments.

    Nope, nothing to do with my argument at all.

    If your argument is “I’m an asshole and I like to flaunt that”, then yes, it definitely helps your argument. Otherwise, it’s an ad hominem.

    That whole “inconvenient reality” thing sucks, doesn’t it?

    I’m sure someone who seriously suggests the possibility of consciousness arising in stars and galaxies understands how “inconvenient” reality can be.


    *Not that there’s any other kind of Freudian babble.

  179. Ze Madmax says

    kenazfilan @ #203:

    It’s amusing to watch all this whimpering outrage about “discourtesy” and “meanness” from people who think it’s perfectly OK to desecrate holy symbols and behave rudely to anonymous strangers because of their religious beliefs. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. Or the loon.

    Yeah, because inanimate objects are just like people. And consciously choosing to follow a religious creed is the same as having a mental illness.

  180. kenazfilan says

    Oh yes. Starts off pretending to be an agnostic, quickly resorts to bible quotes.

    I suppose I’m a closet Fundie now. Because that’s the typical way arguments with New Atheists go: you’re either with us or you’re an abortion-clinic bombing fanatic. Which is, of course, the same type of black-and-white thinking we see from the “Fundamentalists” y’all claim to loathe so much.

    Is harboring a grudge against Myers from years ago, yet accuses others of being angry.

    Grudge? Hardly. Wollmann was a laughable loon. PZ was one of a group of people who took him seriously and dedicated inordinate amounts of time and text to “disproving” his conclusions. The rest of us tried to ignore him and his fan club. I see that he’s still an Evangelical Atheist, and that his fans are still as insufferable as ever. But “grudge” would be a bit too strong. “Mordantly amused” is more like it.

  181. Gregory Greenwood says

    kenazfilan @ 203;

    It’s amusing to watch all this whimpering outrage about “discourtesy” and “meanness” from people who think it’s perfectly OK to desecrate holy symbols and behave rudely to anonymous strangers because of their religious beliefs.

    You honestly can’t tell the difference between mocking a ridiculous belief or idea because it makes no sense (even when done with *gasp* rudeness), and attacking an individual for an aspect of themselves that they have no control over?

    We aren’t complaining about ‘meanness’ or ‘discourtesy’ on your part; we hardly care about such trifles. We are calling you on your bigotry. Neurotypical privilege doesn’t go unchallenged here, and if you try to push someone around because of their history of mental illness, then the Horde will push back.

    As for ‘desecrating holy symbols’ – it isn’t my problem if someone believes that a book is magical or a cracker sacred – to me they are just objects, and I will not surrender my personal autonomy in regard to my own property to the unevidenced religious obsessions of others. I do not live in a theocracy, and I do not mean to act as if I do in the name of the petty haemonculus of ‘politeness’.

  182. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Because that’s the typical way arguments with New Atheists go: you’re either with us or you’re an abortion-clinic bombing fanatic.

    Nope, only in your delusional and hallucinogen filled mind. You can make your points if you are grounded in reality. Point followed by citation to real evidence, not just inane claims is required. You have presented no evidence, and as a result we do what Christopher Hitchens said:

    That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.

    If you don’t want to be dismissed, start citing the real scientific literature. All your evidenceless claims will be rejected, which means everything to date, including you vain attempt with MDC.

  183. janine says

    Meh.

    Anyone who thinks that the Watchmaker Analogy is a serious argument is no where near as rational as he thinks he is.

    Or uses the term Evangelical Atheist seriously.

    Yawn…

  184. theophontes 777 says

    @ kenazfilan

    Evangelical Atheist

    I don’t care much for atheism (I don’t get excited by the fact that the sun will rise tomorrow either) – but dumping on people for things beyond their control? Stop being such an arsehole. (And please link to our thread anyway.)

  185. Ze Madmax says

    myeck waters @ #216

    I wouldn’t be so open about that kind of thing. After all, nobody expects the Spanish Nutquisition!

  186. Louis says

    Dear Kenazfilan,

    I’m a rude person. I have no problem admitting this, it is, whether or not you like to believe it, independent of my lack of belief in any deities. I am more than happy to mock, to ridicule and indeed to hurl the more than occasional verbal barb or term of abuse. I’m also more than content to have all of this thrown right back at me. As you say, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. I’m a big boy, I can cope.

    There is a wide difference between simple ridicule and logically fallacious, and deliberately prejudicial, verbal abuse. Using the fact of someone’s mental illness against them in the manner you have is at least logically fallacious. It is a classic argumentum ad hominem. The underpinning “logic” of your insult runs roughly thus:

    1) Person A has experienced mental illness
    2) Person A says something I disagree with

    Therefore

    3) What Person A says must be incorrect by virtue of their experience of mental illness.

    There’s nothing “inconvenient” for Ms Daisy Cutter, or anyone, about having been in a psychiatric unit when it comes to their arguments. The arguments stand or fall on the merits of the arguments themselves, not the arguer.

    One of the many things you are failing to understand is that mere abuse is not the same thing as the logical fallacy you are making here. Granted, people are not being very nice to you, myself included, and you are totally free to not be nice right on back. What people are not doing is simply dismissing your claims on the basis of an unrelated property of you as a person. Regardless of your straw man claims about “angry atheists” you haven’t demonstrated such a claim (and won’t be able to since it’s false). People may well be rude to you for a variety of reasons, personally, I like to mock the deliberately clueless, and boy howdy do you fit that description!

    I could explain, again, about contributions to pre-existing cultures of stigma, but you won’t listen. I just find it interesting that you focus on the tone trolling/easy substance free whines rather than any argument that may or may not be made reasonably. It’s pretty clear you’re here to troll. Nice try, I’m lowering my original 3.8 to a 3.5. You’re just not very original.

    Louis

  187. Anri says

    kenazfilan sez:

    If we’re talking about track records, need I note that the Khmer Rouge, Stalinists, Maoists, and a few others have managed to commit some pretty nasty atrocities without any kind of religious belief. So I’m not seeing any evidence that atheism leads to any kind of moral superiority when compared and contrasted with religious belief, all piteous whimpering and mewling from Yon Peanut Gallery aside.

    Ok, I’m late to this section of the party, but I wanted to address this directly, primarily to see if you can actually argue honestly and intelligently or not.

    Here we go.
    Yes, despotic, totalitarian dictatorships commit massive atrocities on a disturbingly regular basis. They do this if they are based in faith of god or faith in something else, such as a secular creed.
    That’s why despotic, totalitarian dictatorships are bad. Well, one reason, anyway.

    Do you find the your average New Atheist argues for such setups?
    If not, you might want to modify your assumption that we’re really all that similar.
    To answer an obvious question: do theists support such situations?
    YES.
    Eternal rule by a god is the ultimate totalitarian state. Our objection to such a state is not the quality of the ruler, but the domination of humans by him/her/it.

    Now that that’s taken care of, let’s get to the interesting bit.
    I’m far from the smartest or best educated person here – quite far. And the arguments you have put forth are ancient creaking artifacts, blatantly asinine.
    If you are an intelligent, well-read debater on these topics, you’ve seen the obvious counterarguments I put forth here. Since you still advanced your “Evil Stalinist” bit, I have to assume you’ve got excellent refutations for my counterarguments.

    If so, please post them.

    If you do not, I can only assume that you’ve never seen your feeble assertions debunked before (in which case, you haven’t been arguing with anyone who had the vaguest clue what they were doing), or you have, and you put them forward anyway, knowing they were crap, because you’re dishonest.
    (Or, possibly, you put them forward because you believe they tend to make people upset at their ridiculous silliness – in which case, you’re just trolling, a different type of dishonesty).

    So – please clarify.
    Thanks!

  188. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Maybe too late…

    Attacking a commenter for mental illness is completely bullshit. I’d assert that tossing around erectile dysfunction as an insult is also kind of bullshit..

  189. says

    tossing around erectile dysfunction as an insult is also kind of bullshit

    Yes it would be. Luckily, no one did. Seriously, re-read the comment:

    What erectile dysfunction meds do you take to give you a hateboner that’s lasted for more than a decade?

    In no way does that imply that ‘erectile dysfunction’ is an insult. It merely implies, for comedic effect, that the meds used to combat it must be super-strong.

  190. kenazfilan says

    #219

    Yes, despotic, totalitarian dictatorships commit massive atrocities on a disturbingly regular basis. They do this if they are based in faith of god or faith in something else, such as a secular creed.
    That’s why despotic, totalitarian dictatorships are bad. Well, one reason, anyway.

    Do you find the your average New Atheist argues for such setups?

    Oh, of course not. To be honest, I’ve yet to hear exactly what they think a World Without Gods would look like. So I’m trying to figure that out based on what other avowedly atheist regimes have looked like.

    Of course, there’s nowhere near so the track record for atheist governments as for theist governments. About the earliest one I can think of is France under Robespierre and the Jacobins and it’s debatable as to how atheistic they were. After that we have the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations, China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Khmer Rouge Cambodia. All these were loudly and proudly atheist and anti-religious: none had/have a particularly good record for human rights – certainly not as good as the Christian Democrats or Christian Socialist governments of Western Europe.

    Given the bile spewed here and elsewhere about the tyrannies of theism, I am presuming that you and the other readers of this blog see atheism as a morally superior choice – or at least one less likely to lead to the kind of excesses we’ve seen in any number of “wars of religion” around the globe. Yet the available evidence does not back up those claims. Do you have any examples of an atheist state which did not/does not engage in this sort of misbehavior?

    Note that I’m not saying that “all atheists are Stalinists/Khmer Rogue” etc. That would be as silly as claiming that all Christians are radical Fundamentalists seeking a theocracy or all Muslims are terrorists. What I am saying, based on the available evidence, is that atheist governments don’t appear to be in any way an improvement over theist organizations.

    If you’re looking for a secular government – one which allows for freedom of religion and freedom of no religion and which offers no special benefits to people based on religious creed or lack thereof – then I’m with you 100%. But that would involve a degree of toleration and coexistence, and I’m not so sure that the regulars on this board are interested in that. They seem much more interested in promoting their “NO GOD, NO WAY, NO HOW” agenda than in freeing themselves from governmental promotion of religion. And honestly, I wonder what would happen if some of the loudest members here were given the power to do something besides make rude comments online.

    Eternal rule by a god is the ultimate totalitarian state. Our objection to such a state is not the quality of the ruler, but the domination of humans by him/her/it.

    So are you arguing that there is no God, or that we shouldn’t submit to a God even if one exists? Would you have any particular problems with i.e. Deism? What about a liberal and tolerant religious movement like the UUs?

  191. says

    As ye sow so shall ye reap and all that. Given that the poster in question describes multiple trips to the psych ward on her Dreamwidth page, I’m just acknowledging reality. Get over it.>/blockquote>

    Just what kind of sick asshole are you?

    Except for the fact that I’ve been arguing that many of the “New Atheists” (like Ms. Daisy) are motivated more by anger than by reason, and that Daisy by her own admission has been hospitalized several times, presumably because her emotional state was so unbalanced that she was a danger to self or others. Nope, nothing to do with my argument at all.

    That whole “inconvenient reality” thing sucks, doesn’t
    it?

    Fuck off. Seriously, fuck off or be devoured by the horde. How can you even think this is in any way okay. Just… Aaaargh… FUCK OFF!

    It’s amusing to watch all this whimpering outrage about “discourtesy” and “meanness” from people who think it’s perfectly OK to desecrate holy symbols and behave rudely to anonymous strangers because of their religious beliefs. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. Or the loon.

    You just don’t get it, do you? You can be an asshole here, sure. But if you get to using language that is either racist, sexist, ableist or in any way use people’s past problems (wether they be mental health issues, unemployment, poverty…) as an insult, you’re going too be called out for it.

    If you’re looking for a secular government – one which allows for freedom of religion and freedom of no religion and which offers no special benefits to people based on religious creed or lack thereof – then I’m with you 100%. But that would involve a degree of toleration and coexistence, and I’m not so sure that the regulars on this board are interested in that.

    Uhm, you are fractally wrong here, asshole. If anything, most here are looking for a secular government. Stop saying we want to legislate or change people’s beliefs. Stop saying we are being intolerant. Seriously, stop lying, you dipshit!
    I think pretty much everyone here is for religious freedom and a secular government.

  192. janine says

    Oh, of course not. To be honest, I’ve yet to hear exactly what they think a World Without Gods would look like. So I’m trying to figure that out based on what other avowedly atheist regimes have looked like.

    Yes, because Stalin and Mao has millions murdered in the name of Evangelical Atheism and not keeping potential political foes off balanced.

    Fuck it, this is just as stupid as claiming the parable of the Watchmaker is of any worth.

    Funny how you want to restrict the comparison of atheist regimes to christian democratic and christian socialist regimes.

    All I have to say is this.

    Gott mit uns.

    Yes, I just Godwinned your silly ass.

  193. janine says

    Except for the fact that I’ve been arguing that many of the “New Atheists” (like Ms. Daisy) are motivated more by anger than by reason, and that Daisy by her own admission has been hospitalized several times, presumably because her emotional state was so unbalanced that she was a danger to self or others. Nope, nothing to do with my argument at all.

    What a tactic! You backed up your point by reasserting your point.

    Impressive.

  194. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    What a tactic! You backed up your point by reasserting your point.

    The troll does like its logical fallacies. So far we’ve seen equivocation, false dilemma, begging the question, special pleading, poisoning the well, and probably one or two more that I missed.

  195. Ze Madmax says

    kenazfilan @ #222:

    Oh, of course not. To be honest, I’ve yet to hear exactly what they think a World Without Gods would look like. So I’m trying to figure that out based on what other avowedly atheist regimes have looked like.

    Except that your “avowedly atheist” regimes had very little to do with atheism. The Khmer Rouge, the Soviet Union, North Korea are poor examples of “atheist regimes”. The presence of atheism in these regimes has fuck-all to do with their policies, because atheism was not the main driving ideology behind them. Indeed, one could argue (as Christopher Hitchens did) that these regimes were incredibly religious, with the State and the Party leaders as the objects of worship.

    Of course, there’s nowhere near so the track record for atheist governments as for theist governments. About the earliest one I can think of is France under Robespierre and the Jacobins and it’s debatable as to how atheistic they were. After that we have the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations, China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Khmer Rouge Cambodia. All these were loudly and proudly atheist and anti-religious: none had/have a particularly good record for human rights – certainly not as good as the Christian Democrats or Christian Socialist governments of Western Europe.

    Yeah, because comparing totalitarian states with democratic ones is just fine and dandy. If anything, one can argue that totalitarian regimes with a theological bent (e.g., Islamic theocracies, right-wing Latin American dictatorships during the Cold War, the fascist regimes of Mussolini and Hitler) were just as bad as your so-called “atheist governments”.

    And if you wish to point out that religion was not a core element of these regimes, I’ll repeat my previous point: Atheism was not a core element of the regimes you mention, either.

    Given the bile spewed here and elsewhere about the tyrannies of theism, I am presuming that you and the other readers of this blog see atheism as a morally superior choice – or at least one less likely to lead to the kind of excesses we’ve seen in any number of “wars of religion” around the globe. Yet the available evidence does not back up those claims. Do you have any examples of an atheist state which did not/does not engage in this sort of misbehavior?

    There is no available evidence to back up your claims (see above). Furthermore, few people would claim atheism as a source of morality per se, given that atheism merely represents the non-belief on the existence of gods.

    If you wish to argue about atheism being less likely to lead to the excesses of religion, I would argue that is true. The reason being that atheists cannot rely on an absolute, infallible entity to provide a set of immutable rules that define right and wrong. Also note that the idea of an absolute and infallible leader is also present in your so-called atheist regimes (with North Korea being a particularly poignant example)

    Instead, atheists (hopefully) rely on empathy and the shared humanity among all people in order to lead a life that aims to minimize human suffering. Atheist’ morality is defined by an understanding that all human beings are equally deserving of respect. (Note I say “people”, not “ideas”)

    Note that I’m not saying that “all atheists are Stalinists/Khmer Rogue” etc. That would be as silly as claiming that all Christians are radical Fundamentalists seeking a theocracy or all Muslims are terrorists. What I am saying, based on the available evidence, is that atheist governments don’t appear to be in any way an improvement over theist organizations.

    Again, you got fuck-all with regards to evidence.

    If you’re looking for a secular government – one which allows for freedom of religion and freedom of no religion and which offers no special benefits to people based on religious creed or lack thereof – then I’m with you 100%. But that would involve a degree of toleration and coexistence, and I’m not so sure that the regulars on this board are interested in that. They seem much more interested in promoting their “NO GOD, NO WAY, NO HOW” agenda than in freeing themselves from governmental promotion of religion. And honestly, I wonder what would happen if some of the loudest members here were given the power to do something besides make rude comments online.

    Again, you are confusing tolerance for people (which is good) with tolerance for ideas (which is bad). The vast majority of atheists respect other people. And as JT Eberhard says, respect does not mean we stay quiet in the face of bad ideas. Quite the contrary, respect demands that bad ideas are challenged.

    Also, please point out an example of atheism that promotes a “NO GOD, NO WAY, NO HOW” approach rather than simply demanding their government-enshrined right (at least in the U.S.) of not having their government endorse one particular religion. Otherwise, you’re building straw-atheists again, and all that fire is probably causing a huge carbon footprint.

    So are you arguing that there is no God, or that we shouldn’t submit to a God even if one exists? Would you have any particular problems with i.e. Deism? What about a liberal and tolerant religious movement like the UUs?

    Again, atheism is about challenging wrong ideas. Regardless of how liberal or conservative one’s belief is, it’s still based on flawed premises. A liberal and tolerant religion is as wrong as a liberal and tolerant astrology.

    Also: “i.e.”, stands for “that is” (Latin id est) and is used to rephrase or restate a point. Since I doubt you meant to say “any particular problems with that is Deism”, I’m assuming you meant to use Deism as an example, which would require you to use “e.g.”, which stands for “for example” (Latin exempli gratia)

  196. quoderatdemonstrandum says

    After that we have the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations, China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Khmer Rouge Cambodia. All these were loudly and proudly atheist and anti-religious: none had/have a particularly good record for human rights – certainly not as good as the Christian Democrats or Christian Socialist governments of Western Europe.

    Jeebus, are you quoting from the “Goddist handbook of stupid old fallacies that have been disproved a thousand times”?

    totalitarian regimes do not commit atrocities *because* they are atheist. They commit human rights abuses because they have bizare ideologies, are murderous, have a cult of personality, fear/hate enemies, deionize minorities/political enemies etc

    Nothing about not believing in god(s) causes the atrocities.

    For what Atheist states look like, we can look at not yet atheist but that have very low levels of religiosity countries: Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Japan, France. All have low crime rates, high quality if life indices, high levels of freedom, good social safety nets.

    So on current trends, atheist trending countries look awesome.

    Given the bile spewed here and elsewhere about the tyrannies of theism, I am presuming that you and the other readers of this blog see atheism as a morally superior choice

    You know what raises my bile? Cardinals saying that Atheists are “not fully human”; Cardinals who lie about the efficacy of condoms saying that the AIDS virus can get through them; Popes who cover up for child raping priests; Evangelicals who claim atheists are not and cannot be “moral”; Muslims who indiscriminately murder people over burnt books; christians who kill children by withhold medical treatment; Fuckwit Congressmen who quote the bible to deny global warming, christians who deny civil rights to LGBT people; the Pope who says gay people are “objectively dissordered” etc.

    Against this background you come around here snivelling about New Atheist bile? You’re annoyed by our turn of phrase and the cussin’? You don’t like the books we publish and the lectures we give?

    You are a silly, ignorant, gobshite, tone trolling, vacuous, dumbfuck. You can put a three week old decaying porcupine dipped in tar and broken glass up your arse, sideways.

    Seriously, Dunning-Kruger, look it up.

  197. Gregory Greenwood says

    kenazfilan @ 222;

    Oh, of course not. To be honest, I’ve yet to hear exactly what they think a World Without Gods would look like. So I’m trying to figure that out based on what other avowedly atheist regimes have looked like.

    Once again; we aren’t arguing for a ‘world without gods’ imposed by some kind of evil atheist dictat. We simply wish to avoid theocracy, whether open or by stealth. We do not wish to be forced to comply with the irrational, anti-scientific pseudo-morality of many theists, the kind of thing that mandates hatred of homosexuals and the removal of bodily autonomy from women.

    Of course, there’s nowhere near so the track record for atheist governments as for theist governments. About the earliest one I can think of is France under Robespierre and the Jacobins and it’s debatable as to how atheistic they were. After that we have the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations, China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Khmer Rouge Cambodia. All these were loudly and proudly atheist and anti-religious: none had/have a particularly good record for human rights – certainly not as good as the Christian Democrats or Christian Socialist governments of Western Europe.

    The notional ‘atheist governments’ you cite were not primarily motovated by atheism, and neither were their abuses – the atheism of those regimes was incidental; the primary motivating factors in all these cases were political and/or ethno-nationalist.

    Take the former USSR as a case in point – the government mandated state atheism was maintained primarily as a convenient means of weakening the Russian Orthodox Church as a competeing source of political and social authority and power to the Communist Party, not to some imagined Grand Atheist Conspiracy(TM) that exists only in your febrile imaginings.

    Attempting to link atheism to the human rights abuses of these regimes ignores the elephant in the room – the political ideologies that were the dominant force in these governments.

    Also, nice try at cherry picking the christian regimes there – what about the less salubrious christian groups – like the infamous Contras of the Iran contra affair, or the murderously homophobic government of contemporary Uganda. What about the theologically motivated violence of the ‘proudly and loudly’ Christian Serbian government in the Former Yugolslavia during the Balkan Wars? What about the craven behaviour of the Catholic Church and its dirty deals with Hitler? What about the hideous crimes of the so called Lord’s Resistance Army? Not to mention the vast numbers of people killed every year by theistic opposition to condom use and abortion services.

    Or don’t any of these groups count – ‘no true christian’, and all that, eh?

    If you’re looking for a secular government – one which allows for freedom of religion and freedom of no religion and which offers no special benefits to people based on religious creed or lack thereof – then I’m with you 100%. But that would involve a degree of toleration and coexistence, and I’m not so sure that the regulars on this board are interested in that. They seem much more interested in promoting their “NO GOD, NO WAY, NO HOW” agenda than in freeing themselves from governmental promotion of religion. And honestly, I wonder what would happen if some of the loudest members here were given the power to do something besides make rude comments online.

    You are strawmanning atheism again. We are in favour of representative secular government as I and others have stated repeatedly before.

    From my third comment addressed to you @ 105;

    what really matters is stopping religious fundamentalists from accruing the political power to force everyone else to live according to their manifestly harmful religious moral codes. Atheists like myself simply want the right to live under a system of rational, secular law, rather than under the heel of an oppressive theocracy.

    (Emphasis added)

    Your distorted bastardisation of atheism into a totalitarian ideology hell bent on creating ‘thought crimes’ bears no resemblance to reality whatsoever.

    So are you arguing that there is no God, or that we shouldn’t submit to a God even if one exists? Would you have any particular problems with i.e. Deism? What about a liberal and tolerant religious movement like the UUs?

    We are arguing that there is no evidence supporting the existence of any god, and that indeed such a being would fly in the face of pretty much everything we know about the universe. The odds against the existence of any such being are so titanically long that it is reasonable to state that its existence is so unlikley that it may safely be treated as nothing more than mythology, since it is no more likely to exist than fairies, Cthulhu, the Pink Quantum Unicorns or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    It is possible that god exists only in the same way that it is possible that shows like Supernatural and Tru Blood are actually closer to documentaries than works of fiction.

    And even if one were to suppose, for the sake of argument, that somehow a being did exist that matched the description of god as depicted in Abrahamic religions, then it would by any sensible measure be evil, and opposing the subjugation of humanity to such a capricious, sadistic, casually genocidal monster would be a moral imperative.

    As for deism, that which is undetectable looks an awful lot like that which is non-existant. Such a non-interventionist god is the most non-falsifiable variant of god myth, and we have no interest in wasting time imagining the putative will of the undetectable.

    Besides, deists aren’t the problem – the people who believe that they already know their god’s will, and claim to have the right to impose it on others, are.

  198. Gregory Greenwood says

    It is possible that god exists only in the same way that it is possible that shows like Supernatural and Tru Blood are actually closer to documentaries than works of fiction.

    And, now that I have mentioned Supernatural, I feel that I really should provide a link to a certain song

  199. Ogvorbis (no relation to the Ogg family) says

    As ye sow so shall ye reap and all that. Given that the poster in question describes multiple trips to the psych ward on her Dreamwidth page, I’m just acknowledging reality.

    No, you are not acknowledging reality. You are trying to silence a human being by using treatment for a mental illness as a weapon. You are failing at humanness.

    It’s amusing to watch all this whimpering outrage about “discourtesy” and “meanness” from people who think it’s perfectly OK to desecrate holy symbols

    So you think that a cracker, or a book, is more important than a human being because you think the item is holy? You really are a piece of shit. For this, and for reasons listed by others.

    To be honest, I’ve yet to hear exactly what they think a World Without Gods would look like.

    You are either lying or you refuse to read.

    I figure you are lying for the reaction you get. Do you enjoy being a martyr to your unreason and idiocy?

  200. Owlmirror says

    I’m surprised no-one noticed this.

    Kenaz Filan is not a Christian.

    Kenaz Filan is a follower of vodun. Loas (he writes it as “lwa”) and all.

    Clearly, he must therefore support dictatorships like the Duvalier regime and the state’s use of voodoo to terrorize the population, and the state murder of dissidents.

    What’s that? A completely unfair characterization, based on nothing actually written in his blog, or in any way a part of vodun itself, he says?

    Well, maybe he can fucking well back off from the fucking stupid and dishonest smearing and mischaracterization of atheism and atheists that he keeps on doing, the dishonest despicable shitbag that he is — not because he follows vodun, but because he’s a fucking dishonest despicable shitbag who just happens to follow vodun.

    An apology for his fucking dishonest despicable shitbaggery would be nice, but is obviously too much to hope for.

  201. Amphiox says

    To be honest, I’ve yet to hear exactly what they think a World Without Gods would look like.

    It looks exactly like this one.

  202. KG says

    kenazfilan,

    About the earliest one I can think of is France under Robespierre and the Jacobins and it’s debatable as to how atheistic they were.

    No, it isn’t. Robespierre instituted the “Cult of the Supreme Being”, so it is safe to say he was not an atheist – in fact, he vigorously persecuted atheists, who were mostly to be found among the Hébertists and their sans-culottes (urban working class) supporters. It’s true there was considerable anti-religious violence in the early stages of the French Revolution; which is explained, although not excused, by the prominent role of the Catholic Church in the oppressions of the pre-revolutionary regime.

    After that we have the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations, China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Khmer Rouge Cambodia.

    Here we see your dishonesty quite clearly. All these regimes – that is, every example you have, bar one, have something much more specific in common than atheism: they are or were all ruled by one-party Marxist-Leninist regimes, tracing their ideological roots to the Russian Revolution. But somehow you don’t stop to enquire whether this common totalitarian political doctrine might be the explanation for these regimes’ behaviour. Why is that? You don’t appear to reflect that atheists exist who are not Marxist-Leninists – indeed, at least in large parts of the world, that covers the vast majority of atheists. Yet you must know this quite well. Why do you need this kind of dishonest guilt by association, if your case against atheism is so strong?

    If you want to know what a largely non-religious society is like, I recommend: Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment by Phil Zuckerman. In brief, the least religious societies today are also, by and large, among the happiest and most peaceable.

  203. Amphiox says

    After that we have the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations, China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Khmer Rouge Cambodia.

    If you’re going to insist on this false comparison, then the accumulated atrocities of the religious regimes of history still outdoes all of these handily. Indeed, the accumulated atrocities of the Orthodox Christian Tsarist Russian regime by itself beats out the Soviet Union, and the atrocities of the religious Imperial Chinese regimes easily beats out the Communist Chinese, North Koreans, Vietnam, and Khmer Rouge combined. In fact, the death and suffering toll from the Christian-inspired Taiping Rebellion alone almost matches all of these combines, let alone everything else the Imperial Chinese have done.

  204. says

    Except for the fact that I’ve been arguing that many of the “New Atheists” (like Ms. Daisy) are motivated more by anger than by reason, and that Daisy by her own admission has been hospitalized several times, presumably because her emotional state was so unbalanced that she was a danger to self or others.

    you’re as ignorant about mental health as you are about everything else you’ve voiced an opinion on. not that that will stop you from bullshitting about your projections.

    It’s amusing to watch all this whimpering outrage about “discourtesy” and “meanness” from people who think it’s perfectly OK to desecrate holy symbols and behave rudely to anonymous strangers because of their religious beliefs. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. Or the loon.

    another fuckgnome who can’t tell the difference between punching up the power gradient and punching down the power gradient.

    Well, at least now you’ve outed yourself as an ableist bigot, though.

  205. says

    I suppose I’m a closet Fundie now. Because that’s the typical way arguments with New Atheists go: you’re either with us or you’re an abortion-clinic bombing fanatic. Which is, of course, the same type of black-and-white thinking we see from the “Fundamentalists” y’all claim to loathe so much.

    stop projecting, it’s gross.

    Oh, of course not. To be honest, I’ve yet to hear exactly what they think a World Without Gods would look like. So I’m trying to figure that out based on what other avowedly atheist regimes have looked like.

    jesus fuck, but you’re stupid. you’re trying to figure out what a world where people use skepticism and empiricism to shape their worldview would look like by looking at regimes that eliminated religion because it was a competition to their thirst for power?

    I can’t tell whether you’re really this ignorant of how social movements work, or whether you’re strawmanning like that on purpose.

    Do you have any examples of an atheist state which did not/does not engage in this sort of misbehavior? just how many fucking times do we have to repeat that we are not trying to outlaw religion? are you even fucking reading what people are saying to you, or are you just scanning for convenient moments to hang your confirmation bias on?
    The countries that could be used as an example are such places as the Czech Republic, which is now majority-atheist. However, the point is actually to undo the high value people and societies place on faith and replace it with empiricism and skepticism, precisely so authoritarians can’t just take control.

    What I am saying, based on the available evidence, is that atheist governments don’t appear to be in any way an improvement over theist organizations.

    but secular governments do; and non-theist cultures do. Fucking try to use that brain of yours for a change and learn the difference.

    But that would involve a degree of toleration and coexistence, and I’m not so sure that the regulars on this board are interested in that.

    this, of course, is based on nothing but speculation and projection, since there is no evidence to be had that anyone here is trying to outlaw religion.

    I wonder what would happen if some of the loudest members here were given the power to do something besides make rude comments online.

    I’m sure it would blow your mind if you ever acknowledged that fact, but quite a few of us are anarchists, and even those that aren’t are liberals and democrats. There is, to my knowledge, exactly one authoritarian commenting on this blog, and he’s generally reviled for his conservative bullshittery.

    So are you arguing that there is no God, or that we shouldn’t submit to a God even if one exists?

    both.

    Would you have any particular problems with i.e. Deism? What about a liberal and tolerant religious movement like the UUs?

    jesus fuck, it’s as if you never bothered to read anything anyone has said to you.

    it doesn’t matter how nice they are; they are still wrong, and they are still promoting the potentially very harmful idea that faith is a good thing.

  206. Menyambal -- damned dirty ape says

    My Chinese language instructor, born and raised in Communist China, said that Communism was a religion. He had often been required to swear that he believed in it.

    The people in Soviet Russia seemed to worship Lenin, and the Union gave many other signs of a faith-based religion.

    Communist regimes such as are often used as examples of atheist regimes may have been without a state-sanctioned belief in a supernatural being, but they were in no way skeptical or scientific. Communism was their religion, and a strong intolerant religion it was.

    An atheist nation would be just like any democratic nation on earth today, except a little better funded and a lot less crazy.

  207. Anri says

    Ok, there’s a lot of wrong here, so it might take a bit.

    Oh, of course not. To be honest, I’ve yet to hear exactly what they think a World Without Gods would look like. So I’m trying to figure that out based on what other avowedly atheist regimes have looked like.

    You could, of course…
    ask.
    But then, you’d actually have to listen, and so far that doesn’t seem to be your strong suit.

    Of course, there’s nowhere near so the track record for atheist governments as for theist governments. About the earliest one I can think of is France under Robespierre and the Jacobins and it’s debatable as to how atheistic they were. After that we have the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations, China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Khmer Rouge Cambodia. All these were loudly and proudly atheist and anti-religious: none had/have a particularly good record for human rights – certainly not as good as the Christian Democrats or Christian Socialist governments of Western Europe.

    So, um, we’re still comparing despotic totalitarian governments against relatively free ones.
    Which would be a good point if:
    a) Religious totalitarian governments had a good track record (they don’t)
    b) Anyone here – or largely throughout the atheist movement – was actually arguing for that type of government (they aren’t).

    Given the bile spewed here and elsewhere about the tyrannies of theism, I am presuming that you and the other readers of this blog see atheism as a morally superior choice – or at least one less likely to lead to the kind of excesses we’ve seen in any number of “wars of religion” around the globe. Yet the available evidence does not back up those claims. Do you have any examples of an atheist state which did not/does not engage in this sort of misbehavior?

    We believe that the concept of the state proclaiming the truth of one religious opinion over another was silly when the Roman Senate voted that Caesar Augustus was a god, and remains equally silly now.
    If you can quote anyone here who has said that the force of government should be used to promote one such view over another, I’d love to hear it.

    Note that I’m not saying that “all atheists are Stalinists/Khmer Rogue” etc. That would be as silly as claiming that all Christians are radical Fundamentalists seeking a theocracy or all Muslims are terrorists. What I am saying, based on the available evidence, is that atheist governments don’t appear to be in any way an improvement over theist organizations.

    Sheesh.
    Please either quote where the commenters here said they want the government officially abolish religion or shut up about it.
    Please.
    Please.
    It will make you look ever so much more honest.

    If you’re looking for a secular government – one which allows for freedom of religion and freedom of no religion and which offers no special benefits to people based on religious creed or lack thereof – then I’m with you 100%. But that would involve a degree of toleration and coexistence, and I’m not so sure that the regulars on this board are interested in that. They seem much more interested in promoting their “NO GOD, NO WAY, NO HOW” agenda than in freeing themselves from governmental promotion of religion. And honestly, I wonder what would happen if some of the loudest members here were given the power to do something besides make rude comments online.

    Well, then, all you should do is take a look for societies in which the heads of state are atheists, or in which a large portion of the population are atheists.

    Go,on,look them up.
    We’ll wait.

    Then, take a look at those societies in which the government is closely tied in with religion. Not just with lip service – actually hand-in-hand with religious leadership. Places where religious tests are required for high office, or in which all of the populace is presumed and/or required to be of one faith.

    Compare the two.

    By the way, the people here do have power beyond making rude comments on line.
    We vote, we hold jobs, we march and attend rallies, we publish books, we work for the legal system, we even occasionally hold office. And, oddly enough, the more these things occur in a given place, the better the life in that place tends to be.

  208. says

    fixing the blockquote fail:

    Do you have any examples of an atheist state which did not/does not engage in this sort of misbehavior?

    just how many fucking times do we have to repeat that we are not trying to outlaw religion? are you even fucking reading what people are saying to you, or are you just scanning for convenient moments to hang your confirmation bias on?
    The countries that could be used as an example are such places as the Czech Republic, which is now majority-atheist. However, the point is actually to undo the high value people and societies place on faith and replace it with empiricism and skepticism, precisely so authoritarians can’t just take control.

  209. Looking For An Applicable Political Name says

    I’m a little late to this thread, but I didn’t see my own views captured, so I thought I’d share.

    @kenazfilan
    Let me break it down for you, my style. It’s quite simple: Making a positive, empirical, factual, falsifiable, etc., claim without evidence, and especially in the face of contradictory evidence, is stupid. Also, making a positive factual claim when the claim is not falsifiable is stupid. This is simply the axiomatic basis, the reality that we must share between us to have a meaningful conversation. If you disagree, then my own recourse is ridicule.

    From that vein, I’ll take a slightly different tact than others in this thread. I am strictly militant agnostic about the deist gods – I don’t know, and you don’t know either. They’re unfalsifiable factual propositions, and thus one must remain strictly agnostic. However, the evidence is clear to any dispassionate analysis that miracles do not happen, and thus theist gods do not exist. This is normally shortened to “gods do not exist” for brevity. Deist gods are a red herring used to distract us from the important points at hand.

    For example, if I ever tried to argue against William Lane Craig, I wouldn’t even bother addressing most of his points, as the points are just about some nebulous deist god. Tell me when we get to the juicy parts, the parts that actually mean a damn, like miracles, an afterlife, how you know your god is good, and so on.