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Sunday Sacrilege: Bad without god

In my recent speech at the Reason Rally, I closed with a rather cryptic suggestion that I wanted us all to be bad without god. I couldn’t expand on it there — I was right down to the wire in my 15 minute time slot — but I can explain myself here. I’ve been feeling a bit bugged by the common “good without god” campaign, and I’ve been thinking about what it means.

On a glib and superficial level, I sympathize with its intent. Atheists have a bad rep, and the general public thinks we’re all amoral, corrupt monsters who reject god so that we don’t have to be held accountable for our wild drug-snorting, baby-chomping gay sex orgies. It’s a false stereotype; most atheists are indistinguishable from their Christian neighbors and make many of the same ethical choices they do. So a campaign that emphasizes that atheists are also good citizens and cheerfully socialized human beings is a good thing.

But sometimes the pendulum swings too far the other way. Announcing that atheists are “good” is a repudiation of our actual goals, which are subversive. We aim to change the culture. By the definitions of the people we’re trying to reach with that slogan, we’re actually very, very bad. So here are a few of my objections, and why in principle I can’t say any longer that I’m “good without god”.

“Good” is an over-used and generic word; the only word worse would have been to declare that we are nice without god. It’s so vague and context-dependent that it is meaningless: tell Rick Santorum “be good!” and he’ll make a speech declaring women to be ambulatory ovaries, slaves to their husbands; tell me “be good!”, and I’ll be thinking about a weekend of beer and sex and heresy. And I suspect that every one of my readers has a completely different vision of what goodness involves.

The implication of “good” is thorough conformity. Has challenging an authority figure ever fit the definition of being good? When abolitionists broke the law by smuggling slaves into Canada, when suffragettes picketed to demand the vote, when Stonewall erupted and Martin Luther King marched, when students protested the war in Viet Nam, were they being “good” in the general public’s understanding of the term? I don’t think so. They were being very, very naughty. Which was good. See what I mean? It’s an empty word that offers nothing but vague reassurances.

It gets worse. We’re addressing the misconceptions of Christians by telling them we’re good, but many Christians have a specific understanding of goodness: it’s defined by their religion. Being good involves obeying the laws of their faith, of heeding the rules that their god uses to determine whether you get into heaven. Do you obey the ten commandments? Do you believe in Jesus? We overtly and explicitly reject the rules: by their definition, we aren’t good at all. They see our claim to be “good without god” as a contradiction in terms that proves that we’re bad.

Yet I can still see myself as “good” because my definition of the word doesn’t involve obedience or blind loyalty or acceptance; it’s all about integrity, honesty, principles, questioning, independence. Try replacing “good” with any of those words — it becomes more accurate, but it also loses the blandly reassuring quality that is intended.

And that’s really my big problem with the phrase: I don’t want to be reassuring to people whose awful bogosity I oppose. I want to provoke and challenge, I want to change the status quo, I want to tear down the gooey conventionality of morality and narrow standards of public behavior. I want us all to mock and laugh at public professions of piety. I want to change how people think, and I want people to reject the absurd claim that our morality is founded on an odious holy book. If you want to have a wild weekend of sex and drugs and rock and roll, as long as you don’t hurt anyone, I will say, “good for you.” If your weekend is spent as an escort at an abortion clinic, if you spend it lobbying for separation of church and state at your Capitol, if you spend it heckling homophobes, good.

Nobody ever changed the world by being complacent, obedient, pleasant, or “good”. Atheists intend to change the world. Therefore, atheists should be as bad as they can be…productively, aggressively, happily bad.

Comments

  1. joed says

    i forget the term when a word used in an argument is defined a certain way then when the same word is used again is has a different definition.
    Has Professor Myers made this mistake in this post?
    Seems to me “good” and “bad” are moral terms.
    I think I may be confused here with those 2 words. Is there consistency in the usage?

  2. says

    Did you actually read the fucking post, joed? That’s one of my complaints, that “good” is vague and context dependent.

  3. Louis says

    So it’s good to be bad and bad to be good?

    I foresee problems come Christmas time…

    Louis

  4. says

    To mormons, being “good” means being obedient. They are obedient to 15 doddering old men who have allowed themselves to be brainwashed (either that, or the 15 are venal beyond anything we have imagined so far).

    Obedience always comes first, even when the doctrine is so malleable that it changes with the seasons.

    Mitt Romney is a perfect example of this kind of world view. Doesn’t matter what he said as Governor of Massachusetts, doesn’t matter what he said yesterday, doesn’t matter what he said five minutes ago. What matters is what he is saying to you right now, and the fact that he expects you to fall into line, to be obedient, immediately

    Romney can’t get this expectation out of his head, and he’ll never be able to get it out of his head because his brain has been wired for mormonism.

    Wiring your brain for obedience is a good way to guarantee that you’ll never reach your full potential as a thinking human being.

  5. says

    English can be such a pleasantly nuanced language. I would normally take the meaning of “good” in the phrase “Good without god” in the following sense:

    “Hey wanna take some of this shit, it’s good shit, it’ll really fuck up your head”

    “No thanks, I’m good”

  6. Louis says

    PZ,

    So who gave me all those presents hmmm?

    Next you’ll be telling me that Santa isn’t real and it’s Mummy and Daddy that give…

    …OH MY LACK OF GOD! SANTA! SANTAAAAAAAAA!

    Louis

  7. kevincharleston says

    A weekend of “beer and sex and heresy” that sounds really “good” to me too.

  8. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    i forget the term when a word used in an argument is defined a certain way then when the same word is used again is has a different definition.

    Equivocation. It’s one you should remember, if I recall correctly.

    Has Professor Myers made this mistake in this post?

    Calling out equivocation is not equivocating.

    Seems to me “good” and “bad” are moral terms.

    “Good” and “bad” are terms that are intended to carry moral weight, but…

    I think I may be confused here with those 2 words. Is there consistency in the usage?

    …are used to mean basically whatever the speaker wants them to mean.

    That’s the problem.

  9. WhiteHatLurker says

    We’re addressing the misconceptions of Christians by telling them we’re good, but many Christians have a specific understanding of goodness

    … and many don’t. There are believers that do get the point. My first reading of this I missed the “many” and was going to (falsely) accuse you of setting up the same straw target that many of the anti-atheists use for the godless.

    I rather like the phrase “good without god”, and the ambiguity of “good” in the phase is a key selling point. Take it as @barryprindle does.

  10. Dalillama says

    While it was generally a good post, I have one nitpick: advocates for women’s right to vote called themselves Suffragists. Given the admirable efforts made by Pharyngulites to avoid gendered slurs, I thought I might point it out. That said, I personally go ahead and describe my behavior as ‘good’ particularly when talking to Christians. Make equivocation work for me for once :). Alternately I hope that it makes them consider the possibility that there are alternate definitions of good which may be valid.

  11. Woo_Monster says

    On a glib and superficial level, I sympathize with its intent

    This is how I feel about all of the purposely bland and non-confrontational activist messages. “Good without god” sounds like the feel-good, lets-all-just-get-along type messages from the faitheists and HH bunch. I appreciate the intent behind the message, but the message itself is weak. Y U afraid of confrontation?

    This is more like it,

    I don’t want to be reassuring to people whose awful bogosity I oppose. I want to provoke and challenge, I want to change the status quo, I want to tear down the gooey conventionality of morality and narrow standards of public behavior. I want us all to mock and laugh at public professions of piety. I want to change how people think, and I want people to reject the absurd claim that our morality is founded on an odious holy book.

    Nobody ever changed the world by being complacent, obedient, pleasant, or “good”.

    Perhaps more believers that I talk to would like me, and think that i am NICE, if i took the milquetoast route. I don’t care. I would rather force someone to question their delusional beliefs than make them think “oh, that woo_monster was sure nice, he was an atheist and he didn’t force me to question my beliefs, or mock them at all. Isn’t that respectful.” Blegh

  12. Dick the Damned says

    Have i been bad this weekend?

    I sent an e-mail to the archbish of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, mocking his religion. Here’s a bit of it:

    “The archbishop concluded that Christianity was true and the resurrection was a fact,…”

    Rowan Williams, as you’ve also been reported making a straw man argument over the weekend, (secularists have never blamed religion for everything), your conclusions are not to be trusted, which is unfortunate, given your societal position that really should be one of eminent trustworthiness. (Of course, for those of us who see religious belief as self-delusion, we wouldn’t trust any religious person in the first place.)

    I also had a go at cardinal Keith O’Brien in Scotland.

    I do this at irregular intervals. Unfortunately, i don’t seem to change their minds.

  13. joed says

    @13 Azkyroth
    Well, yes I did read the post and I like what it says–i am in agreement as far as I can understand it. I do have trouble, obviously, with terms like good/bad, good/evil etc.
    perhaps i will “lighten-up” on expecting others to try to define their terms.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty says, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

    Alice replies: “The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

    This is really philosophical, isn’t it!
    I mean, do we want to understand and be understood or can we simply have our words mean what we want them to mean!
    Also, am I being bad in a good way(as the post suggests) or just sounding like an idiot–or worse!?

  14. grendelsfather says

    tell me “be good!”, and I’ll be thinking about a weekend of beer and sex and heresy. And I suspect that every one of my readers has a completely different vision of what goodness involves.

    Nope. That’s pretty much my version, too. Unfortunately, I have too much work to do to be good this weekend.

  15. Louis says

    Is it wrong of me to pile on the “idiot” bandwagon regarding joed? I so hate to go along with the general consensus and all, especially given the rebellious nature of the inspirational original post.

    {Sigh}

    I guess once in a while it doesn’t hurt to go along with the herd.

    Louis

  16. latsot says

    I thought that’s already what we meant by “good”: that we have better standards for deciding what’s good than do people who rely on dogma for guidance.

    I never thought that message was attempting to fit in with other people’s notions of good. I thought it was saying that good is something we *don’t* have much guidance about, something that we have to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate, dependent on context and sometimes hard to call, but generally being about trying not to hurt anyone.

    I’d still say we’re good without god, but WOE BETIDE anyone who tells us what good is.

  17. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Well, yes I did read the post and I like what it says–i am in agreement as far as I can understand it. I do have trouble, obviously, with terms like good/bad, good/evil etc.

    The terms have been defined, to the extent that they are ever. They are terms which carry a somewhat consistent connotation but whose denotation depends entirely on the mindset of the person using them. Further, very few speakers use “good” in a way that is compatible with being challenging or assertive, and this makes them less than useless, but makes the attachment of a moral connotation to it actively pernicious.

    What part of this do you not understand?

  18. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I guess once in a while it doesn’t hurt to go along with the herd.

    The question is, would you still call him an idiot if the two of you were alone in a room.

    And, is that a snap answer or can you really say it’s sincere.

    If so, you’re probably good.

  19. joed says

    @5 PZ MYERS
    PZ, i certainly meant no offense in my comment on your post. I am not attempting to “hijack” the comments. My questions are sincere. I am old and fat and doing the best I can.
    I did read the post and that is why I am confused by the good/bad terms. I mostly limit my usage of good/bad to moral sense. Obviously not everyone here does that.
    Have a Swell Zombie Day

  20. rationalgirl says

    “Good without God” As a branding statement, a bumper sticker or maybe even a useless platitude – But I think it has its place.

    it seems transparent to me (a lowly advertising and branding queen) that this alliteration is simply saying “I don’t need the bible or god whispering in my ear to help me live a moral life as an upstanding citizen” Indeed it attempts to handle ONE of the major objection that we atheist are often forced to address when confronted by believers “How do you know right from wrong?” some of them legitimately do not understand how I set my moral compass.

    granted, three words, (“Good without God”) do not make an explanation – but neither does “Got Milk” explain the nutritional benefits of milk. Nor does “Think Different” tell you anything about an Apple computer… (and its not even grammatically correct)

    If memory serves, a billboard should never have more than 7 words… (i’m in television, not outdoor) I think this phrase is compelling as a billboard. “Good without God” and a URL below it might drive someone to a webpage where they can get the answer you speak of in your post. “to provoke and challenge, change the status quo, tear down the gooey conventionality of morality and narrow standards of public behavior to mock and laugh at public professions of piety, change how people think and reject the absurd claim that our morality is founded on an odious holy book”

    It is a great reminder for you to challenging us to not allow platitudes to actually BECOME the message. We must each always continue to develop our atheist/skeptic/science vocabulary so that when the time comes to actually make change by using our voice against stupidity, we don’t do what they do and just spew out “I’m good without god” and then have nothing to follow it up with.

    Hey PZ… “Can you hear me now”

  21. says

    joed:

    I am old and fat and doing the best I can.

    What in the fuckety fuck does that have to do with anything? I’m old and thin – that has zero bearing on my intelligence and this might be news to you, but your age and body weight have nothing to do with your level of intelligence, either.

    Do better.

  22. says

    I always understood “good”, as used by my parents, my teachers, my church, and lately, the horrible government that pretends to represent Canadians, as simply meaning, “Don’t rock the boat!” No reference made to where the boat was going.

  23. Louis says

    Askyroth,

    But I am a hipster of hate. I so, like, thought joed was an idiot before it was cool. Who wants to think he’s an idiot now that EVERYONE’S doing it? Blech, I’ll have to move on to the next big thing and get in on that before everyone else finds the moron.

    ;-)

    Louis

  24. grumpy1942 says

    Humanist definitions of ‘good’ embrace concepts like ‘fairness’, ‘honesty’, ‘trustworthiness’, ‘justice’, ‘mercy’, ‘charity’, ‘integrity’, ‘fidelity’, etc.

    Religious definitions of ‘good’ have only one concept, at bottom, and that is ‘OBEY‘.
    OBEY The Book.
    OBEY the rules and commandments.
    OBEY the guys in funny hats.
    OBEY the law.
    OBEY your husband.
    OBEY your master.

  25. latsot says

    @ Caine, Cruel Monster

    Oh come on, was there never a time when you were out of your depth in places like this? It’s OK for people to put up shields and cool for people to crash through them. But generally pointless for people to complain about shields. Either a cove has something to say or not.

  26. joed says

    @28 Azkyroth
    Certainly there are times when your “words” have a specific and solid meaning and if a person you are trying to commune with has a quite different idea about the word don’t you want to know that difference and try to come to some agreement as to what you are talking about? Isn’t this how we actively and intelligently communicate with other people!
    Or am I way off again?

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty says, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

    Alice replies: “The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

  27. machintelligence says

    Since good (and especially moral) seem to be ambiguous or hijacked by religion, how about: I’m ethical without God.
    From Serenity:”and that’s not incense.”

  28. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    I see joed is using his copy-paste trick again. You know that’s incredibly obnoxious, right?

    Shiny.

    Let’s be bad guys.

  29. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    I am old and fat and doing the best I can.

    So’s PZ, so that’s clearly not the problem. >.>

  30. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Certainly there are times when your “words” have a specific and solid meaning and if a person you are trying to commune with has a quite different idea about the word don’t you want to know that difference and try to come to some agreement as to what you are talking about? Isn’t this how we actively and intelligently communicate with other people!
    Or am I way off again?

    Oh, that’s the sticking point?

    When you’re dealing with a word that can and will be used to mean ANYTHING, rejecting that word as useless is perfectly rational.

    I mean, duh?

  31. says

    Joed, there’s no need to overthink the thing. PZ was clear. When a group of people defines “good” in sectarian, authoritarian terms, it’s incumbent upon us to show that “good” doesn’t need to be solely (and really should not be) defined in those terms. To a fundamentalist, intolerance and homophobia are “good,” and tolerance and acceptance are “bad.” To rationalists, the opposite. In actual practice, whose idea of “good” is the one that causes material harm?

  32. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

    Are you… Are you saying she’s you’re a witch?

  33. says

    “for liberals, morality is largely a matter of three values: caring for the weak, fairness and liberty. Conservatives share those concerns (although they think of fairness and liberty differently) and add three others: loyalty, respect for authority and sanctity.”

    ”The Righteous Mind” by Jonathan Haidt

  34. snebo154 says

    When I realized that I was an atheist (and sadly this did not occur for several years after I had become one-no one can brainwash like the Mormons) I felt rudderless because I no longer had anyone telling me what was “good”. After a period of confusion which literally lasted about five seconds I came to the conclusion that the word was indeed vague and subjective at best. I adopted instead the word “moral”. In five more seconds I defined it for myself as “That which does not hurt innocents”. For example, children are innocent and teaching them that God will punish them for not believing in Him (or Joseph Smith et al) and that in order to avoid eternal punishment they must relinquish ten percent of everything for life, is hurting them. Therefor the church was immoral. On the other hand beer, consensual sex, limitless blasphemy, and referring to Gordon Hinkley as “the Hinkster” are all wonderfully moral. I now proudly claim that I am indeed “moral without God”. I only use the word “good” when rating quality as in “good beer” or “good sex”. On a different but very related topic, my family is having an Easter meal at the home of my younger brother today. Not only was I not invited, I was not even aware it was happening until my nephew asked me if I was going late last night. When I informed him of my lack of knowledge or invitation of the event he, as the only other atheist in an otherwise all Mormon family, promised to color an egg black, paint a red A on the side of it and place it at an empty spot at the Zombie Day feast table. Sadly, he will probably be the only one there who won’t need someone to explain what it means. “Mormonism, keeping families close for over 150 years”

  35. says

    I like “Good without God”: I like the ambiguity between “good” in its common meaning[1] and the modern slang meaning of “good without” as in “have no need of”.

    But I also like “Bad without God”: I like the way it could mean “bad” in the slang usage of “good” and so is a witty twist on “Good without God”; but I also think it’s important to acknowledge that whether I am good or bad[2] is nothing to do with God, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy or Jolly Scarlet-clad Gift-bearing mid-winter visitors.

    So let’s have both! Apart from anything else it should confuse the hell out of those poor simple minded god-botherers ;-)

    [1] to me ‘good’ means moral/ethical. But I accept that PZ and others read it as meaning “toeing the line” or whatever. YMMV.

    [2] I prefer to say “when I do good or bad” – what I do is my behaviour, not my nature or identity.

  36. quoderatdemonstrandum says

    Nobody ever changed the world by being complacent, obedient, pleasant, or “good”. Atheists intend to change the world. Therefore, atheists should be as bad as they can be…productively, aggressively, happily bad.

    This is why the accommodationists can stick a decaying porcupine dipped in hot tar and glass shards up their arses.

    Frederick Douglass, who bloody well knew of what he spoke, said it best:

    Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

  37. quoderatdemonstrandum says

    Terranrich @54

    Another useless word to add to the mix: neat.

    I beg to differ. “Neat” has at least one useful definition:

    Bartender: How would you like your 16 year old Lagavulin?

    Me: Neat

  38. rg57 says

    April 1st was last week, silly!

    If “good” is defined by the speaker or listener (as indeed every word is, if you get down to it) I have no problem being “good without gods”.

    It’s certainly a true statement in my interpretation.
    If it messes up some religious interpretation, so much the better.
    If we know what “better” means.

  39. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    It really bothers me when people comment on the post while apparently having missed the entire post.

  40. joed says

    @43 Cassandra Caligaria
    I had no idea the “copy-paste trick” is incredibly obnoxious. Pardon my ignorance por favor. I would like to fit in here so I am attempting to do good things and say good things. Unfortunately I obviously ain’t real good at it. but I am not out to offend or hurt anybody. Like Rodney King, cant we all just get along.

  41. says

    Snebo:

    When I informed him of my lack of knowledge or invitation of the event he, as the only other atheist in an otherwise all Mormon family, promised to color an egg black, paint a red A on the side of it and place it at an empty spot at the Zombie Day feast table.

    That’s a nice nephew you have there. Hang in there, I know it’s tough. My husband is the oldest of eight and was raised Mormon. He was the first to declare it all bullshit, but as it turned out, he was the one who gave three of his siblings the courage to do the same later on.

  42. Woo_Monster says

    WHOOOOSH. After the point of the article went flying past joed’s head, it seems to have meandered towards, and then over, rg57’s.

  43. Cassandra Caligaria (Cipher), OM says

    cant we all just get along.

    No. I have no need to treat people with kid gloves when they’re wrong. Nor does the rest of the commentariat. If you prefer to be coddled, find somewhere else to comment.

  44. jalyth says

    I like to think of “good” as the first part of GGG. That usage, also implies being “bad” at the same time.

  45. jeroenmetselaar says

    Words like good, bad or evil are indeed useless. Nature is not good nor evil, she is indifferent. When as a moral human being you want to rise above that being good (or evil) is not the way to go.

    The opposite of callous nature is a caring, compassionate human being. That is the way to be.

    People can do horrible things while thinking they are good. You cannot hate, torture, murder, anycide or even just hurt people when you are compassionate.

    We are all just over-evolved monkeys clinging to the paper thin solid surface of a ball of molten rock that is hurtling unguided through an enormous and hostile space. You can’t make any sense of it because there is none.

    Trying to survive where the rising ape meets the fallen angel(*) I have no clue about good or bad but I *CAN* care for my fellow humans. That should be enough. There is nothing more.

  46. snebo154 says

    Caine @62
    Thank you
    He is indeed a wonderful nephew. His wife finally agreed to stop dragging him to church when in answer to the question of an unsuspecting (and clueless) Sunday School teacher he began explaining the implications of the absence of Hebrew DNA markers in the aboriginal inhabitants of the Americas to the class. Wonderful and brave. In answer to “hang in there”, it doesn’t get better as time passes. I left the Morg 25 years ago and I am still admonished for “falling away” on a regular basis. Most of my comments will probably reference family members since this is rapidly becoming my favorite place to vent. It also provides me with regular doses of the anti-stupidity serum that I require after contact with religious zealots of both the familial and non-familial varieties.

  47. says

    *applause*

    Good post PZ. Sums up my own thoughts on the subject pretty nicely. As an ex-Christian I reject the Christian definition of good and bad as it is primarily defined by the fallacious concept “sin”. To them I am not good. Which is utterly irrelevant to me. To me, their treatment of other people is bad. Like their opposition to equal marriage laws.

    To be their kind of “good” would require me to abandon my personal ethical standards, something I am not willing to do. I want to stay “bad” as long as it means I can respect other people and treat them with kindness and not with hatred and bigotry with a stamp of approval from an imagined deity.

  48. says

    I left the Morg 25 years ago and I am still admonished for “falling away” on a regular basis.

    Oh, that just fucking sucks, Snebo. Fortunately, Mister’s mom loves him and the other non-religious sibs too much to be such an asshole. (His dad is an atheist too and mum & dad aren’t married anymore – got a special dispensation and all that.) When mom re-married, we got 60 new relatives, *bam*. Yikes.

    At any rate, we don’t live anywhere near any of his family and that probably helps a whole lot. I was telling him the other day that I’m sure we’ll be mormonized after we’re dead. *spits*

  49. says

    Jadzia:

    To be their kind of “good” would require me to abandon my personal ethical standards, something I am not willing to do. I want to stay “bad” as long as it means I can respect other people and treat them with kindness and not with hatred and bigotry with a stamp of approval from an imagined deity.

    This ^ a thousand times over. I’m reading Drunk with Blood: God’s Killings in the Bible by Steve Wells and there’s one thing that stands out, starkly: that to be human is bad. Very bad. Do the right thing? Bad. Be compassionate? Bad. Like Lot’s wife, who doesn’t even get a name in the bible. Here’s a woman who looks back in horror and compassion as her home and everyone she’s ever known is being destroyed and what does god do? Kill her.

    That kind of a ‘human’ I don’t want to be.

  50. says

    My mother is more or less a fundie too. Out of the four of us, only my oldest sister seem to be living up to her standards. Barely.

    Luckily she’s not of the sort that do the conditional unconditional love thing. You know “we will always love you – but”. At least so far. In any case, I’m 35. Whatever she decides is fine with me. I don’t depend on them, but I would miss them.

  51. says

    @Caine

    Ah, the Bible. Even if the Old testament is “under the law” and all that and Jesus changed that and yaddi-yaddi, it is still the same god. Well, it actually isn’t, but it is a fundamental Christian doctrine that it is, so *shrug*. In any case, I like to refer them to Lot and how he thinks is appropriate to treat daughters, or to the “hero” Joshua, that today would be accused for crimes against humanity. I read those stories when I was 10 or 11 and gods did they disturb me. I was very relieved when I discovered that these characters were mythological. I am still appalled when Christians defend their actions as righteous though.

  52. says

    Jadzia:

    Even if the Old testament is “under the law” and all that and Jesus changed that and yaddi-yaddi, it is still the same god.

    It is. Throughout the NT, Jesus upholds OT law and defends it, says nothing has changed. The people considered “righteous” in the bible make me shudder. All of them are appalling examples of humanity. Villains in comic books couldn’t hold a candle to them.

  53. joed says

    @65 Cassandra Caligaria
    Well, I do like the articles and comments here.
    I want to continue commenting here, and reading the posts. So, when I comment i will attempt to go with the flow, as they say. Ok!
    But, I don’t know what I am “wrong” about.
    Unless it is not seeing the post as it seems most others see it. I am often compelled to question what others say. I try to be reasonable but occasionally miss the point.

  54. says

    It was Paul who did all the theory-crafting about old and new law, as well as the book called Hebrews. But it doesn’t change anything anyway.

    To think that all those “heros” we learned about in Sunday school were such evil people, by modern standards, granted, but god is said to be unchanging, so no escape there. I wonder why so few Christians ever talk about this. I have managed to get one into a longer discussion on the topic online, and he got cornered very quickly. There is no way to defend this without an immense amount of hand waving.

  55. sc_e7cb37166b0ed7e2545034076d87e16c says

    Old Testament, Cliff Notes version: “OBEY!!”
    New Testament, Cliff Notes version: “BELIEVE!!”

    Oh, and here’s my favorite Firefly/Serenity quote:

    “God’s a long wait for a train don’t never come.”
    -Capt. Malcom “Mal” Reynolds

  56. twist says

    I had a conversation vaguely along these lines with a bible-thumping door-knocker a month or so ago. I told him that I liked to think of myself as a decent person, but my criteria for what makes a decent person were almost certainly going to be pretty far removed from his. As it turned out, they were. Oh well.

  57. says

    Jadzia:

    I wonder why so few Christians ever talk about this.

    Because it’s embarrassing. Deep down, they know this is appalling behaviour, so they will do anything to shift the goalposts away from what the bible actually says.

    Imagine if someone had a comic book villain get drunk and rape and impregnate his two virgin daughters. The outrage would be heard everywhere. Lot? Nah, he was a righteous dude.

    I think much of the problem with theists lies in them not actually reading the bible. They have verses spoon-fed to them by professional con-artists.

    People who decide to take off the god-coloured glasses and read the bible generally come out the other side as an atheist.

  58. says

    I think much of the problem with theists lies in them not actually reading the bible. They have verses spoon-fed to them by professional con-artists.

    People who decide to take off the god-coloured glasses and read the bible generally come out the other side as an atheist.

    Absolutely. I grew up with Christians all around me and this is very much the case. Everything is pre-digested and approved. Me and a few friends started thinking for ourselves. They at least became liberals, I ended up as non-believer. None of us were very popular with much of the church.

  59. says

    We aim to change the culture.

    Who is we? If the we is atheists, we aim for no such thing. Some actually have no interest in changing the culture. As you say, most atheists are indistinguishable from their Christian neighbors and that even implies that even implies that a not insignificant fraction of them will happily vote for the likes of Rick Santorum.

    Or is this we the new and improved militant atheists everyone keeps talking about?

  60. says

    I knew all those decades of being a feminist would pay off! Woohoo!

    The truth about the Roman matriarchy is finally out. No more need for secrecy!

  61. says

    Who is we?

    PZ may only speak for himself, but he’s not the only one with that view. I’m agreeing. That is surely sufficient for a “we”.

  62. snebo154 says

    Caine @70
    Count on it, not only will you be “mormonized” within minutes of the first shovel of dirt landing on your coffin, you will then probably be posthumously treated to a temple marriage ceremony. At least you will be in good company. Thomas Jefferson (an avid non-believer in the divinity of Christ) was married (by proxy of course)to his slave Sally Hemings so that their six children might escape the penalties for being illegitimate. Don’t bother inviting me to the wedding, the only way they are getting me into a temple even in the unlikely event of an afterlife is if they agree to perform a similar ceremony for me with the part of the bride being filled by Scarlett Johansson. Sorry, no proxies will be accepted. Want to hear something even more ridiculous? This will happen not once but many times. Having run out of names some time ago and not wanting to give the sheep enough free time to consider the insanity of their actions and their religion in general, all names submitted for posthumous ordinances go on a list which is then sent from one temple to the next. Anyone seeking an eternal annulment may well find that the divine decree may require an omnipotent lawyer.

    ok….I’m just getting carried away now……I’ll stop

  63. says

    Jadzia:

    The truth about the Roman matriarchy is finally out. No more need for secrecy!

    That was amazing. Who knew a matriarchal heathen whorde was running the show in the midst of a Roman patriarchy?

    PZ may only speak for himself, but he’s not the only one with that view. I’m agreeing. That is surely sufficient for a “we”.

    Me makes three.

  64. says

    Snebo:

    you will then probably be posthumously treated to a temple marriage ceremony.

    Oh great. So much for being happily sinful together for 33 years. Ya know, if Imma be baptized and momarried against my will, if I don’t get my own planet to reign over, I’m gonna be one pissed off ghostie.

  65. gardengnome says

    @38 grumpy1942

    Yep, that’s how it goes. I believe the concept is known as “headship” in their strictly heirarchical organizations; young girls obey their brothers, wives obey their husbands, husbands obey their pastors/priests etc, and so on. So who’d want to be a girl-child in a strictly Christian family? Lowest of the low.

    “The teaching that men and women are meant to have different roles clearly indicates that changes are needed in our society today.

    Women should not be political leaders. In politics, a woman should not be President or Vice President or Senator or Representative or Governor or a State legislator. A woman should not have any elected or appointed political position with authority over men, because it is contrary to the teaching of Scripture. A woman should not be Judge in any court of law, because courts have authority over men.

    In general, women should not be law enforcement officers, though some exceptions to this rule can be made when a female is specifically needed for certain tasks (e.g. undercover law enforcement work or work involving women prisoners or involving children). Women should not be soldiers. Women should not be military officers with authority over male soldiers.

    “Wives, be submissive to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” (Ephesians 5:22)http://www.catholicplanet.com/women/roles.htm

  66. 'Tis Himself says

    Who is we?

    PZ, me, and the mouse in my pocket. Anyone else who wants to be part of “we” is welcome.

  67. says

    @gardengnome

    Leave it to the Catholics to show us how to be “good” in an as bigoted as possible way. They’re experts! No gays, no women, more young boys.

  68. Art Vandelay says

    I was all set to disagree with you completely and then I read the post and damn…there you go making sense again.

  69. macallan says

    Heh, I bet the bible whackers are already quotemining the crap out of this post.

  70. jtvatheist says

    @sneakdograpist
    Your name sucks. Is there some hidden meaning behind it? Not that it would matter much if it were something clever. I’m really not sure what to think of someone who thinks that labeling themselves a covert rapist of any species is a good idea. It really icks me out, to be honest.

  71. says

    I agree on all counts. We are here to kick religion the hell off of the block. Get it the “F” out of our neighborhood and keep it the hell out. It has done nothing for society. Man has done it all. And it’s about damn time man stands up and recognizes her and himself as the awesome beings that we are. Stand up and be proud. We invented all the comforts of modern society. No religious entity did this for us. Only us. Stand up and be a proud human being.

  72. says

    jtvatheist:

    Your name sucks.

    Seconded. I find it creepy and particularly loathsome of them to use it here, where so many of us have worked hard to create a safe space. There are a whole lot of regulars here who have been raped (I’m one of them), so I don’t appreciate it at all, on my own account and on the behalf of others.

    Ever since I saw the nym, I’ve skipped straight over the posts – I simply don’t care about content attached to such a nym.

    BTW, SND, if you read this and even think about defending on the basis of humour, don’t. It’s not funny. I don’t give a shit if you created it special for an anti-caturday post or any other weak-ass reason.

  73. says

    Yeah, I can’t even imagine what “sneakdograpist” might mean that could be in anything resembling good taste. Many people don’t mind off-color humor, but that’s not a good example of it, if that’s what you were thinking.

  74. lexie says

    Second to the rape is not a joke group

    Also I’m in on ‘we’ who are trying to change the culture so if I’m counting correctly that makes 4 plus the mouse

    One of the interpretations of the ‘good without god’ thing that I like though feel it could be better expressed is that despite many moderate christians I know claiming that their bible is a source of their morals it isn’t, they don’t advocate rape, slavery, the subjugation of women etc. Some of the moderates I know have become atheists, agnostics and humanists through actually reading the bible and figuring out that while there are some nice passages there are more horrible ones. When they saw that their priests were just picking the nice bits it became obvious that the priests were imposing morality upon their interpretation of the bible not them reading it and finding morality. Upon finding that morality was coming from people and not the book, they gave up the book.

  75. ericpaulsen says

    I don’t go in much for catch phrases but why not ‘whole without god’?

  76. says

    ericpaulsen:

    I don’t go in much for catch phrases but why not ‘whole without god’?

    Right away, I had a picture of a T-shirt, “whole without god” on the front and “no god-shaped hole” on the back. Hee.

  77. scimitarfawkes says

    I really, really appreciate this post.

    I’ve been sort of iffy on the “good without god” slogan for a long time. I think it’s an admirable goal to convince people with a wholly god-directed sense of morality that it is possible to have a moral compass without a religion to direct it… but on the other hand, I long ago applied the same reasoning to the existence of objective moral standards that I did to gods.

    I don’t think that there are such things as “good” and “bad”, or indeed “right” and “wrong”, outside our minds. Sure, I’ll concede the existence of the complement sets “actions that hurt people” and “actions that don’t hurt people”, or any other pair you’d care to name. But when it comes to calling the former “good” and the latter “bad”—well, what does that mean? Is the argument that “bad” actions are inherently undesirable, independent of a mind to do the desiring? That they are somehow incorrect? That they are violations of… something? I’m with PZ when he calls “good” an empty definition.

    I don’t run around murdering people—for the same reason I don’t make a habit of standing on burning piles of money: it’s dangerous, wasteful, stressful, and would never do me any good anyway. I do what I can to help people—not because it’s “good”, but because millions of years of kin-selection and reciprocal-altruism and social-policing behaviors mean that I get a real kick out of it. Does that make me a “bad” person? Well, okay, someone else might say so… but what’s that to me?

    I really like the intent of the “good without god” message, but I have difficulty repeating it when I don’t believe in it myself; that’d be intellectually dishonest, and that displeases me. I realize that it’s still a useful tool—but I’m glad that there’s plenty of room to question it.

  78. James C. says

    I suppose SND is an example of why “bad without god” might be problematic, as douchecanoes might use it as an excuse to be douchecanoes. Nonetheless:

    There’s being bad without gods. Then there’s using rape as comedy. The former pisses off godmongers and accomodationalists. The latter pisses off those who have been raped, those who know someone who has been raped, and those with good enough taste not to enjoy rape jokes. Don’t make rape jokes. Just don’t. It’s a fucking douchenozzle of a shitty idea.

  79. No One says

    Thanks PZ. The “good without god” always rubbed me the wrong way. It’s like responding to the question “When did you stop beating your spouse?”. Unless you had been beating your spouse, the only proper response is “fuck off”.

  80. says

    Agreed completely.

    I mean, sometimes the best way to reach out and send the message is to shock people. Not necessarily with some terrible act, but simply by not going with the flow. ‘Good without god’ is sweet, that’s true. But we don’t need sweet, we need… well, bad. :D

  81. angramainyu says

    While I have no objections to the tactic of provoking debate and stirring things up (there is room for different tactics, imo), I’m not sure about this particular idea.

    At least in my experience, in the context of theism/non-theism debates, the expression ‘good without God’ means ‘morally good without God’. Sometimes, that expression used in order to ask whether atheists can be morally good people, and sometimes to introduce metaethical arguments to the conclusion that if God does not exist, nothing is morally good or morally bad. But in any case, ‘good’ in this context means ‘morally good’.

    So, something like ‘bad without God’ probably would be interpreted as ‘morally bad without God’, and then some Christians would use that to claim that atheists themselves recognize that they’re morally bad, insist on the claim that atheists are rejecting Jesus because they want to give in to their wicked propensities, and so on.

    It is true that Christians believe that the Bible (or the parts the particular Christian picks) is a good guide to morality, that one has a moral obligation to behave as the Bible (or the parts the particular Christian picks) indicates, etc., but when they say that someone is morally good, they do not mean that said person obeys the Bible, or the rules of their religion, or anything of the sort.

    For instance, if a Christian claims that someone who lives by the rules of their religion is morally good, she’s not claiming that someone who lives by the rules of their religion lives by the rules of their religion. Similarly, if a Christian claims that Jesus is morally good, they’re not saying that Jesus behaves according to the rules of Christianity. They mean something else.

    Granted, it may be the case that some Christians have a mistaken theory of what ‘morally good’ means, and according to their mistaken theory, ‘X is morally good’ means ‘X obeys the rules of the Bible’ or something along those lines, but that kind of hypothesis about the meaning of the expression ‘morally good’ would not even match their own usage of moral terms, and in that case, perhaps debating them on that issue is tactically more effective, at least as a means to exposing their confusion.

    That aside, if the intent is to provoke, perhaps something like ‘Morally good without the wicked god of the Bible’ would do the trick – even though it’s admittedly not catchy. Many Christians would raise the confused objections ‘on what moral standards do you based your assessment?’, or something like that. But then it would be a matter of debating, and of showing how confused they are when they raise that sort of objections against moral arguments against Christianity.

    Still, I think ‘good without God’ might provoke many of them as well, even if that’s not the intent of the expression. After all, apparently even ‘Atheists’ managed to provoke a little. ;)

  82. A. R says

    Beautiful. Perhaps your disabled lag has transformed you into a House-like misanthropic genius?

  83. rotorhead87 says

    PZ – I’m the guy who got a picture with you when we were holding the “Good Without a God” sign before the Reason Rally started. (I was handed the sign about a minute earlier and just went with it at the time.) This article is spot on! I’ve always tried to convey to people the idea that were are good, moral people, but this clearly lays out why that just doesn’t work – they just live in a strange alternate reality where a set of rules that was formalized thousands of years ago still defines what is right and wrong, and anything that differs from it is an immediate threat to their entire worldview. Hell, the fact that Atheists even exist sends some people into a frenzy.

  84. says

    “Good without God” a short slogan for a bus, and in that specific context it works, while “bad without god” does not. And PZ’s take on it here works very well as a speech to encourage atheists, but not as a bus slogan. Deep rifts aren’t required over this, though DEEEEEP RIFTS!!! may be.

    Also, ewww to the rapist nym. Please stop it. Rape is not a joke.

  85. cry4turtles says

    I often respond with, “Good,” when people ask me how I’m doing. Sometimes I mean it, sometimes I don’t. When I really mean I’m doing good, that’s how I would describe “Good without god”. I’m just fucking doing good, but it doesn’t guarantee I’m not gonna be bad. Sometimes being bad makes me feel good, all without god. Is that too circular?

  86. left0ver1under says

    The religious are not telling people to be “good”, they are telling people to “be religious – or else”. And the “or else” isn’t about punishment from “god”, it’s a threat of violence from them.

    Equating religion with morality is done for one reason: to infer that those without said religion are immoral. And that applies both to atheists and to those of competing religions. They claim they want law based on morality, and then make law based on religion. The long term goal is to criminalize those who don’t belong to the religion.

    The most important thing to do is to confront and refute the lie: religion does not make people moral. More often than not, it provides an excuse for immoral behaviour, the rationalization of “I can pray and be forgiven!” and “This is what god wants!” to excuse any atrocity.

  87. ikesolem says

    Wow, this tasty post emphasizes that the ‘religious community’ in the United States is still stuck in medieval European times, when the theologians ran the universities and science professors were viewed as alchemists or heretics. The very first university to reject that was Gottingen, Germany c. 1735 or so, I think.

    The basic modern viewpoint is that the twin pillars of human civilization are law and science. All of the moral questions are in the legal sphere, the courts and legislation and so on. Science and nature, in contrast, have nothing to do with morality.

    The religious mentality, however, treats much of science and nature as evil or bad. At first glance, things like hookworms, tapeworms and guinea worms (see horrific internet images) – along with plague and smallpox, say – fit into the morally evil category. Those who interpret nature as ‘callous’ are falling into this mindset, too.

    So, the religious mind then asks, why did my alpha-chimp god-being create bad things? There’s only one acceptable answer: to punish wicked human beings!

    See where this leads? Vaccination against smallpox is thus bad, since death by smallpox is the Big Kahuna’s will, and also people with plague should wander from town to town, beating themselves with whips (and acting as disease vectors), since they’re obviously guilty of something, or the Red Queen wouldn’t have punished them. Really, religion is the ultimate conspiracy theory – there’s this all-powerful agency that controls all political events, hidden actors, special powers, etc. The basic psychology of the conspiracy theorist and the religious lunatic – fear of the unknown leading to the invention of controlling entities – is the same.

    In science, things are, or are not, or are really weird (the whole quantum particle business, right?). Moral choices only apply to the legal system, where we can choose what we consider good and bad. Slavery used to be considered legally ‘good’- but today, keeping slaves will send you to jail (unless you live in a religious dictatorship like Saudi Arabia, our good ally and trading partner…). Religious people just don’t seem to understand the difference, conceptually.

    Sure, democratic movements can get laws changed – but not the laws of science, which can only be discovered.

    P.S. If you need more help with moral complexity, try George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

  88. woodsong says

    How about “Compassionate Without God” for a slogan?

    I’ll agree completely with disliking “good” or “bad” as applied to people. On the rare occasions when someone tells me to “be good” I have a stock answer: “Who, ME?” I prefer to have fun. “Good” most often appears in my vocabulary in my standard “have a good one” farewell, or in commenting on something’s quality.

    I’m off to bed. Goodnight, all!

  89. DLC says

    It depends on how you define “Good” and “Bad”.
    Or rather, how religions deliberately conflate “good” with obedience to the church. Obedience to the dictates of the witch-doctors is not in and of itself good. The witch-doctor might tell you it’s just peachy keen to rape women, murder children and steal from your neighbors, and in fact various religions have done so throughout history. To me, a working definition of “Good” should include “does not harm others or society.” (Yes, I realize it’s possible to play semantics and demand to parse every word,
    but we have to rely on established definitions of words, or we get nowhere.)

  90. says

    Or, as my personal savior Aimee Mann has put it:

    “Hate the sinner, but love the sin.”

    Remember that point in the “Four Horsemen” chat when Hitchens said part of him wished for religion to continue, so that the conversation would keep going and people like us have something to define ourselves against? And how Dawkins seemed utterly incredulous at that idea?

    That encapsulates your point, I believe. The one man whose atheism is simply “good”, and the other who needs it always to be a little “bad”.

  91. says

    Well said! (Sunday Sacrilege posts have always been some of my favorite; seems like they’ve been missing for a while?) I was thinking you could summarize some of it as, “we can’t judge the slogan from our own definition(s) of good, but on those of our opponents, who clearly don’t share our views”. It seems so obvious in retrospect, and I hadn’t thought about it much—but it does seem to be a more sophisticated, nuanced thought on the matter. Thanks again!

  92. captainblack says

    Does all this not miss the point of the “function” of “morality”, and what we might learn by considering the origin and/or development of morality and associated concepts.

    Or are we worried we might discover that with high probability no one is “moral” in the expected sense?

  93. amoeba says

    OT, but this should fit in.

    This morning, my mildly nutty elderly mother, who attends C of E church in the UK has told me that the official line is ‘Adam and Eve’ and all that crap. [my words]
    I have to admit that was shocked to discover this. Despite being religious, my mother essentially accepts all the science: age of the universe, evolution etc. In-fact, she has been frozen-out by raising the subject of evolution in her church groups.

    I had absolutely no idea that any vaguely normal people in the UK believed fairy stories like Adam and Eve and who knows what else.

  94. petzl20 says

    @rationalgirl
    @angramainyu
    Agree.

    There’s another component that makes “good without god” useful and it’s been mentioned here but I’ll just reiterate.

    “Good without god” works not just to say “we’re as morally good as you god folks, without your god”, but to say “we’re not lacking anything, without your god.” As in, when someone asks if you need another beer, and you say “I’m good.”

    I like “good without god.” It’s short. It’s mildly in-your-face to the god people. And it’s not obnoxious, which is what “bad without god” is. It’s a message, in less than 7 words, that works.

    I understand what PZ was going for. But as it is, he’s saying “We should broadcast a message that only we understand and will have no traction with anyone else.” Which i disagree with.

    We should keep “good without god” until a better one comes along.

  95. KG says

    Or are we worried we might discover that with high probability no one is “moral” in the expected sense? – captainblack

    No, we are not. Next stupid question.

  96. consciousness razor says

    O, how I’ve missed the Sunday Sacrilege. It could be daily or hourly, and I wouldn’t complain.

    We should keep “good without god” until a better one comes along.

    Okay, here: “Better without gods”

    Because for fuck’s sake, believing in gods is worse. (Also, it’s gods, plural.) Being a believer isn’t equivalently good to being a nonbeliever, all other things being equal. If some believer thinks it’s good to be a believer, and also accepts that one can be good as a nonbeliever, then the “good without god(s)” argument doesn’t address them. So it’s not good enough to say atheism is just as good as religion, unless you’re content with apathy. No, atheism is better, because religion is evil.

  97. Agent Silversmith, Post Palladium Isotope says

    I’ve been good, but I don’t let my past hold me back.

    I don’t worry about whether I’m good or bad with or without god. I just know that I get better with practice. It’s also true that baddest is better than goodest, and as living proof, we have PZ Myers, the baddest atheist of them all. Until we find someone badder.

    But as we all know, everyone, whether obedient or contrarian, hell-raiser or flower-arranger, by the book or by hook or by crook, is doing so without god. Yeah, a lot of them think otherwise, as thinking critically is something they haven’t got quite good enough at yet. That’s bad – bad bad, not good bad. So long as they think they can foist responsibility onto their spiritual boss, and convince themselves that their bad actions don’t impinge on their status as good people, they’ll have the potential to do a lot of damage.

    The weekend, especially Sunday morning, is best for making someone feel damn good, without god, and you can’t better that.

  98. Antares42 says

    Yet I can still see myself as “good” because my definition of the word doesn’t involve obedience or blind loyalty or acceptance; it’s all about integrity, honesty, principles, questioning, independence. Try replacing “good” with any of those words — it becomes more accurate, but it also loses the blandly reassuring quality that is intended.

    Well, then why don’t we? I like the “[Quality] without god” framework, so here are my suggestions, directly out of PZ’s article:

    “Integrity without god”,

    “Honesty without god”,

    “Responsibility without god”,

    “Strong principles without god”.

    Or for example more specifically tailored to the target audience:

    “Family values without god”,

    “Helpful neighbors without god”,

    “Community spirit without god”,

    although there’s certainly a danger that these expressions can be nearly as wishy-washy as one they’d replace, “good”.

    And, as has been suggested, with a link to a webpage that explains this in more detail. Or, for example at bus stops, a text box with more details. One could go the appeasing road (“look, these things you value so much also work without tying them to the supernatural”) or the more aggressive road (“Arguably, these things work BETTER and are more genuine when they’re not derived from superstition”). I’d go for the former option, PZ would probably prefer the latter.

    I’ve also seen some interesting examples in the comments:

    “Better without gods”, “Moral without god”, “Compassionate without god” (my personal favorite), and “Whole without good”

    I do also, like most here, feel that “bad without god” works fine in the in-group, but would be horribly and predictably misinterpreted by the out-group. In other words, our target group.

  99. tonysarjeant says

    A weakness of ‘Good without God’ is that, as well as promoting the idea that atheists can be good, it implies that it is the people who believe in God that define goodness.

  100. twist says

    Who is we? If the we is atheists, we aim for no such thing. Some actually have no interest in changing the culture. As you say, most atheists are indistinguishable from their Christian neighbors and that even implies that even implies that a not insignificant fraction of them will happily vote for the likes of Rick Santorum.

    Or is this we the new and improved militant atheists everyone keeps talking about?

    A lot of the rubbish spouted by the right has a religious justification at it’s root though. However they try to phrase it, it comes down to LGBTQ people are destroying society as we know it because god. Women shouldn’t be allowed to control their own reproductive systems becuase god. Single parents are terrible people because god.

    Not that atheists can’t be sexist/homophobic/transphobic/racist bigots, they can and certainly are, but they need to come up with another justification for it besides god. From what I’ve seen, that usually tends to be some evidence-lacking evo-psych rubbish that is easily pulled apart.

    Not that there aren’t other reasons people might vote for someone like Santorum, but his campaign has contained a lot of anti-woman, anti-gay fetus-saving, (straight) marriage-saving rhetoric with a religious justification.

    He’s a follower of good = obedient, rather than good = live life causing as little harm to other people as possible.

  101. twist says

    ^^ Blockquote fail. The bit from the top down to “…talking about?” is meant to be quoted.

  102. Tony says


    Cassandra @51:

    Are you… Are you saying she’s you’re a witch?

    -Everyone wants to be a witch these days. Why does no one aspire to be a Scanner? They get to do the ‘sploding heads trick!

    snebo154 @55:

    Sadly, he will probably be the only one there who won’t need someone to explain what it means. “Mormonism, keeping families close for over 150 years”

    -Sorry to hear that. If you were purposefully excluded that just reinforces the notion that Mormon beliefs (and too many religious belief systems) take precedence over family. I find it difficult to imagine placing a book over a family member (or over *any* living creature).

    Jadzia626 @79

    To be their kind of “good” would require me to abandon my personal ethical standards, something I am not willing to do.

    -That is admirable.
    What makes it worse is that even ‘good’ by the standards of christianity isn’t consistent. To claim (as many believers do) that the Flood happened and in the same breath (or the next breath, the day after or 5 centuries later), say that God is good renders their definition of ‘good’ meaningless. How could we pitiful, imperfect humans have come up with moral guidelines like ‘Do no harm’, or ‘Leave the world a better place than when you entered it’ (both of which a large number of people would agree are ‘good’)…yet a seemingly all knowing, all powerful, all good god throws a genocidal temper tantrum because humanity did exactly what he knew they would do? What definition of ‘good’ encompasses salvation and worldwide annihilation?
    What other words has religion co-opted? Good can now describe any action. ‘God is love’ means that we have to start saying “I god you”, “Lovedammit”, or “I god your new car”.
    Aargh!
    And so many theists complain about moral relativism in the world.

  103. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Okay, here: “Better without gods”

    I prefer “Fucking awesome without God”.

    How I felt yesterday watching the sheeple leaving church, yesterday.

    Howbout just “Unfleeced”?

  104. consciousness razor says

    I prefer “Fucking awesome without God”.

    Okay, that’s good. I mean, bett fucking awesome. We’re getting there, I can feel it. Baby steps…

  105. louis14 says

    If ‘Good without God’ is open to misunderstanding by the faithful, then I would imagine so is ‘Bad without God’. So, I’m with Anteres42 at #130. Let’s spell it out for them. Lots of scope to bang home the message that morality exists without supernatural despots imposing it.

  106. ianash says

    OK, I know this is off topic but I just watched the debate between Richard Dawkins and RC Cardinal Pell (Australia ABC). You’ve got to see it to believe it.

    Pell, a card carrying climate change denier, right wing flunky and arrogant geriatric from the old school of Catholics, came across as a blithering idiot – making personal attacks against Dawkins, talking in riddles and basically proving how out of touch priests of his vintage are.

    At one stage he tells Dawkins that we are all descended from Neanderthals – the look on Dawkin’s face is a wonder to behold; a mixture of disdain, disbelief (no pun intended) and outright dumbfoundedness.

    Dawkins looked tired and could not believe the stupidity of Pell. Pell looked like an old man, beyond his intellectual shelf life and with no idea that the world has passed him by. That makes him doubly dangerous given the power he holds.

    The highlight of the night was when Pell tries to pontificate about something or other and says ” When I was overseas I was getting a group of boys ready…” And the he pauses. The audience break out into uncomfortable guffaws and then open derisive laughter. Followed by boo’s.

  107. yec123 says

    Atheists get a bad rep because they are determined to impose their worldview on the 90% of people who don’t agree with them. The atheist dystopia involves a country that is wholly secular, religion no longer exists, and all forms of sexual depravity are permitted. But what really makes Christians angry is the claim by atheists that reason and truth essentially belong to them. In this respect, they are extraordinarily arrogant.

  108. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The atheist dystopia involves a country that is wholly secular, religion no longer exists, and all forms of sexual depravity are permitted.Gee, as far as sexual depravity goes, it isn’t atheist that bugger alter boys and cover that up from prosecution. Gee, that is the moral religious organization that supposed is a moral leader. Seems to have some problems dealing with reality, just like you YEC.

    But what really makes Christians angry is the claim by atheists that reason and truth essentially belong to them. In this respect, they are extraordinarily arrogant.

    Well, with your arrogance and ignorance you keep proving the point your inanely claim atheists make. Maybe if you shut the fuck up, you should show some intelligence of the religious for a change. Oops, but that requires you to have perspective and humility…

  109. consciousness razor says

    The atheist dystopia involves a country that is wholly secular, religion no longer exists, and all forms of sexual depravity are permitted. But what really makes Christians angry is the claim by atheists that reason and truth essentially belong to them. In this respect, they are extraordinarily arrogant.

    Fuck, I guess that means I’ve wasting my time on this sexual depravity shit. What if it were extraordinarily arrogant sexual depravity? How much would that anger Christians?

  110. yec123 says

    Well, with your arrogance and ignorance you keep proving the point your inanely claim atheists make. Maybe if you shut the fuck up, you should show some intelligence of the religious for a change.

    Even if I know what I believe in to be true, it does not mean that the truth belongs exclusively to me and those who hold my views. I accept that atheists can be perfectly rational and truth-seeking even though they display very little of this on this most unholy of forums.

  111. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Even if I know what I believe in to be true, it does not mean that the truth belongs exclusively to me and those who hold my views.

    Actually your preformance at this blog with your inane biology lies has shown you are divorced from the truth, and your religious beliefs are also divorced from the truth. The truth is your deity is imaginary, your babble is a book of mythology/fiction, and your theology is derivel based on the twin lies of an imaginary deity and fictional babble. So, what claims to any truth can you make based on such delusions?

    Or, can you show otherwise with solid and conclusive physical evidence that your deity really exists. Evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. No imaginufactured “evidence” like your ficticious biology beliefs allowed.

  112. echidna says

    yec123:

    Atheists get a bad rep because they are determined to impose their worldview on the 90% of people who don’t agree with them.

    Well, the world view that atheists seek to impose is reality. There is not a skerrick of evidence against the atheist world view.

    I suspect that the same cannot be said about yours.

  113. coralline says

    ianash, @ 138:

    That’s never off-topic. Thanks for letting me know about that Q&A — I’ll be watching it as soon as I can!

  114. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    But what really makes Christians angry is the claim by atheists that reason and truth essentially belong to them. In this respect, they are extraordinarily arrogant.

    And claiming to have a speshul line of communication with the supreme creator of all things and to be its chosen speshul snowflake people, moreover the exclusive one to the real, real one, not like those nasty hindus, buddhists, sikhs and muslims, is totally non-arrogant, right ?

    After all, you’re all so persecuted by all those nasty, nasty atheists *cue sad violins* for it here in the west, it makes me weep in my cereal.

    Mockery, after all, is much worse than being stripped of your rights. It’s mean.

  115. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    yec123: you getting it would be like a day without sunshine.

    Atheists get a bad rep because they are determined to impose their worldview on the 90% of people who don’t agree with them.

    I speak for all atheists, so you can trust me on this. Yes, we want to tear down the temple. But we also would like to convince you to evacuate it first. In fact, we won’t even begin rigging C4 to the pillars until the last of you sheeple have come to your senses and have stepped out of that oppressive, needless edifice. Then BOOM.
    This isn’t an imposition. This is an argument.

    The atheist dystopia involves a country that is wholly secular, religion no longer exists, and all forms of sexual depravity are permitted.

    You and I use the term dystopian differently, I see. How apt.

    But what really makes Christians angry is the claim by atheists that reason and truth essentially belong to them.

    What doesn’t make Christians angry? Propose something both reasonable and Christian. I dare you.

    In this respect, they are extraordinarily arrogant.

    I don’t believe that a powerful, loving creator* had me in mind when he put the whole universe and shit together. I don’t believe that I’ll live in happiness forever. So who’s arrogant? Won’t you be giggling at Jesus perfumed table as my soul is tormented by his erstwhile lacky? I don’t know if I’d characterize Christians as generally “arrogant”, but you guys do get a little smug from time-to-time. Tell you what. I’ll ignore your “smug”, you ignore my arrogance, and let’s concentrate on your reasonable proposition. Which I await.

    *Yet frigging inconsistent.

  116. Brownian says

    Atheists get a bad rep because they are determined to impose their worldview on the 90% of people who don’t agree with them.

    Every single person today who is religious is so because someone else imposed their worldview. Don’t like it? Fuck yourself.

    The atheist dystopia involves a country that is wholly secular, religion no longer exists, and all forms of sexual depravity are permitted.

    I’m not sure whether you’re an intentional liar, or just a fucking moron.

    Either way, go fuck yourself.

    But what really makes Christians angry is the claim by atheists that reason and truth essentially belong to them. In this respect, they are extraordinarily arrogant.

    If you had reason, you wouldn’t have to make such a big deal of the concept of faith, right?

    I don’t know about other Christians, but you wouldn’t know truth if it socked you in the mouth.

    Fuck yourself.

  117. Aquaria says

    Frederick Douglass, who bloody well knew of what he spoke, said it best:

    Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

    And to go with that sentiment, another FD quote, something the accommodationist morons never get:

    If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.

  118. Aquaria says

    But what really makes Christians angry is the claim by atheists that reason and truth essentially belong to them. In this respect, they are extraordinarily arrogant.

    We’re not the ones who tout a deluded genocidal scumbag manual as being real, cupcake.

    Moronic christslime like you are.

    Try to keep up.

    Care to explain how there’s night and day without a sun? I mean that is sort of a problem when your dumbfuck deity doesn’t create the sun until the fourth “day”.

  119. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    The atheist dystopia involves a country that is wholly secular, religion no longer exists, and all forms of sexual depravity are permitted.

    Not “all forms”, just those that involve consenting adults.

    And we already know what an xian dystopia looks like. It’s been tried in my place, you see.

    It’s a place where women are walking incubators with no rights, but must smile inanely about it ’cause that’s “god’s plan”. It’s a place where girls are not allowed to ride a bicycle because it could give them “ideas”, and if they dare to become knocked-up, will be forced to carry to term a baby that will be stolen from them and sold to a “good” family.

    It’s a place where scientists and artists are shunned for questionning the autority of old men wearing funny hats, and the only sexual depravities that are handy dandy are those that old men with funny hats commit on small children, and those that produce more ignorant little darlings to add to their ranks.

  120. says

    But what really makes Christians angry is the claim by atheists that reason and truth essentially belong to them.

    No! That’s the opposite of the ideas that guide us. We think virtually everyone is capable of reasoning, understanding evidence, and recognizing why the skeptical investigation of truth claims is a good and ethical thing to do. We know that Christians have this capacity because they use it in at least some other areas of their lives. The problem is that they want to quarantine and claim a special status for religious beliefs.

  121. mucklededun says

    yec123–it seems to me that some Christians make the claim that logic & reason are gifts from their deity. So I would like to add to the list that others have proposed:
    Logic without god.
    Reason without god.
    Think about it. Please.

  122. Rey Fox says

    I’d never really had a problem with “good without God” until reading this. I think it’s generally a good slogan for the mushy middle, or the naive souls who really think that God is all that keeps people from rape and murder. Most people can step out of the authoritarian mindset enough to realize that there are things that are “good” that aren’t just so because an authority said so.

    And of course, it is a slogan, so there is going to be some nuance lost. I guess that I would employ it or not employ it depending on who I’m talking to. There are definitely audiences out there who I would definitely not appease by appealing to being “good.”

    Oh look, here comes one now!

    What Would Captain Kirk Do?

    The atheist dystopia involves a country that is wholly secular, religion no longer exists, and all forms of sexual depravity are permitted.

    And this is bad because…?

  123. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    The atheist dystopia involves a country that is wholly secular, religion no longer exists, and all forms of sexual depravity are permitted.

    Actually, I think the Catholic Church permits a lot of “sexual depravity” itself: child rape is rife in the Church, and when it’s discovered, the Church just sweeps the crime under the rug and quietly moves the priest to another parish, where he can continue his nefarious activities in peace. But consenting adults–of various sexual orientations, single or married–enjoying sex together…? Yes, that’s REALLY depraved.

    Atheists don’t need an instruction manual on how to be good.

    Great post, as usual, PZ.

    [OT: I love Easter for one reason and one reason only: Easter candy, and in particular, Cadbury Creme Eggs. I consumed an unholy amount of them...]

  124. says

    yec123:
    O,o a fundie to play with …

    Atheists get a bad rep because they are determined to impose their worldview on the 90% of people who don’t agree with them.

    90%? That is highly dependant on your geographic location. And you’re also doing that pot and kettle and black thingy.

    The atheist dystopia involves a country that is wholly secular, religion no longer exists,

    You know, we like to have this thing called society, one with some basic freedoms. Not one like your dream-world of oppression and thought police.

    I know religion finds opposition difficult to handle because you’re not very strong on that whole logic and evidence thing. It is really best to shut the opposition up. Right?

    and all forms of sexual depravity are permitted.

    Ah sex. Yeah, you lot are really obsessing over that one. Why is it so damned important for you to control sex?

    But what really makes Christians angry …

    What doesn’t?

    … is the claim by atheists that reason and truth essentially belong to them.

    Reason and truth belongs to whomever seeks it. Why would you care anyway? You belong to the camp that prefers to sit back and invent your own truths for whatever reason you see fit at the moment.

    In this respect, they are extraordinarily arrogant.

    Sure, some are. And some are getting a bit condescending. But you know why? Because sometimes educated people get a little tired of trying to explain things to wilfully ignorant people that in response put their fingers in their ears and cite dogma.

    Also, you will most likely find even more condescension and arrogance with the theologians and priests of this world. Arrogance is everywhere. It’s human. What counts is how well they can support their arguments.

    Even if I know what I believe in to be true,

    As I just said, arrogance. Prove it instead.

    … it does not mean that the truth belongs exclusively to me and those who hold my views.

    Truth belongs to no one, let alone religion. However truth-claims are fundamental to most religions. They are frowned upon in science.

    I accept that atheists can be perfectly rational and truth-seeking even though they display very little of this on this most unholy of forums.

    This is not even pot, kettle, black. It’s more the pot trying to call the pink Hello Kitty cup black.

    And I like my un-holyness. Holy is a bullshit word anyway just like sin and all your other made up concepts that you’re trying to sell for the price of our freedom and humanity.

    To turn your comment around. I know many rational religious people too. However I have yet to meet one that is truly rational about their religious beliefs. Yes, they may be rational about their theological position. Theology can be internally logical within its own premisses, but challenge these premisses, and there goes your rationality and critical thought.

  125. yec123 says

    “Impose”: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Yes, it means something akin to what the French radical revolutionaries did when they embarked on a program of “de-Christianization” in the 1790s. They abolished the Christian calendar, renamed streets called after saints, plundered churches and killed priests. I am certain that radical atheists today want to impose a secular totalitarianism on a very religious society.

  126. says

    Oops. I seemingly contradicted myself there.

    “Reason and truth belongs to whomever seeks it” as in you find what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for dogma, that’s what you’ll find. If you try to get to the truth, you’ll find that too – as close as you can get anyway.

    However The Truth belongs to no one. There is no complete understanding accessible to us. So whoever claims they have it, are lying.

  127. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . I am certain that radical atheists today want to impose a secular totalitarianism on a very religious society.

    Nope, you lie, just like you lie when you claim your deity isn’t imaginary. If you had real evidence for either your deity or your fuckwitted claim, you would have lead with that. Nada evidence wise. So that which is claimed without evidence can be dismiussed without evidence. We dismiss you and your claims. You can fade into the bandwidth now…

  128. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    I am certain that radical atheists today want to impose a secular totalitarianism on a very religious society.

    Why are you certain?

  129. says

    Yes, it means something akin to what the French radical revolutionaries did when they embarked on a program of “de-Christianization” in the 1790s.

    With “yec” in your nick, I’m gonna trust your history knowledge as I assume I can trust your understanding of geology.

    Anyway …

    They abolished the Christian calendar,

    So? It’s a calendar …

    renamed streets called after saints,

    So? Saints is a ridiculous concept anyway.

    plundered churches

    Given how the church acquired its wealth, I am not sure “plundered” is the right word. But again, you’re playing with pots and kettles.

    and killed priests.

    Yeah, that’s not nice. I agree. Did they burn the at the stake, or?

    I am certain that radical atheists today want to impose a secular totalitarianism on a very religious society.

    That’s called fearmongering, vilification, and simply untrue. You also overestimate how religious society is. You’re probably very American-centric, but even then. You lot are usually complaining how secular society has become. So what is it? Whatever suits your current argument?

  130. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    I am certain that radical atheists today want to impose a secular totalitarianism on a very religious society.

    I would love to hear some evidence supporting your “certainty” about radical atheists’ objectives. I would also love to know of which “very religious society” you speak? Did you mean the US? The country in which the separation of church and state is written into our constitution?

    Finally, I would also love to hear your take on Rick Santorum’s aching, throbbing desire to impose a Catholic theocracy on the USA. That’s OK, right?

  131. says

    I am actually amused by Jabberwanky’s attempt to shame us with the Reign of Terror. By definition doesn’t he think we atheists are ok with that if that’s what we want? Why does he expect us to be aghast at the atrocities and jump to defend ourselves rather than just cock our heads and say “so?” In his argument against secular morality leading inevitably to atrocity he tries to evoke our secular morality repulsion to atrocity.

  132. says

    … all forms of sexual depravity are permitted.

    I think yec123 just proved PZ’s point. To be good according to Christian dogma, we would have to cram ourselves into very narrow gender and sexual roles as defined by the church. In other words, sex should only be within the confines of opposite-sex marriage, to make the baybeez, and definitely not for pleasure.

    On the other hand, I know that many of us here believe that sexually anything goes, as long as all parties consent.

    So, there is no freaking way we can consider ourselves “good without god” in this context. And as we’ve seen OVER AND OVER AGAIN, Christers are extremely obsessive over other people’s sex lives. We can’t win this battle.

  133. says

    @Audley

    Reminds me of Order of the Stick where the villain identifies as Evil, because he is opposed to those who identify as Good. He has a legit beef with The Good Gods though so it is an interesting take on the concept. ((His race was basically made by the Good Deities to be a race of ‘evil’ monsters for heroes to kill enmass…he’s not happy with this lot in life and opposes this order). Interestingly, it is debatable whether his actual D&D alignment would be Evil.

  134. yec123 says

    Here is what an atheist political manifesto would be like:

    1) Abolish the Christian calendar. Begin the new calendar from the date of Darwin’s birth in 1809.

    2) Abolish Christian holidays like Xmas and Easter. Make Darwin’s day a new national holiday.

    3) Forbid any mention of religion in the courts, military, schools and other government institutions. This also means scrapping the post of army chaplains who currently provide religious services to soldiers.

    4) Abolish all religious studies at state universities.

    5) Make civil marriage mandatory and treat religious marriages as invalid.

    6) Permit gay marriage, including at the age of 16.

    7) Make abortion legal right up to the point of pregnancy.

    8) Refuse permission to churches and religious organization to be granted charitable status.

    9) Make passing a course in evolutionary biology a prerequisite for admission to university.

    10) Improve relations with atheist states like N.Korea and Cuba.

  135. Brownian says

    Why does he expect us to be aghast at the atrocities and jump to defend ourselves rather than just cock our heads and say “so?”

    Because he’s a fucking moron.

    But, I’ll bite: so?

    We’ll be rid of dipshits like you, yec123, and you get a head (!) start on your eternal vacation with Jesus. It’s a win for everybody.

    So what’s the problem? Afraid God’s luggage handlers will send your head to the wrong destination after we guillotine it? We’ll be sure to daub all the heads in the basket with spring lamb’s blood so God will know you’re one of the good guys.

  136. Brownian says

    Here is what an atheist political manifesto would be like:

    You forgot about the torturing and killing of Christian trolls, asshole.

    C’mon: you want to nip at the tail of The Beast? Then fucking do it, you cowardly puke.

    PZ, what’s yec123’s IP? I want to know whose head gets the first pike when we impose the New Regime.

  137. says

    Yec,
    Citation needed.

    Who has actually said that? Or is this an issue with you being unable to tell fantasy from reality again?

    I don’t think all of those are “bad”– impoved relations with Cuba, for example, would be beneficial to both countries. I’m also down with gay marriage and considering that in some states the age of consent is 16, I don’t see why that’s any sort of problem.

    But there you go, still proving PZ’s point. I’m bad without god ‘cos I don’t irrationally hate Cuba!

    (For the record, Christians aren’t the only people with holidays, bigot.)

  138. yec123 says

    @Browinian:

    Any attempt of the atheists to seize power will be nipped in the bud. Americans will defend their liberty and their religiosity.

  139. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Here is what an atheist political manifesto would be like:

    Asserted without evidence, and dismissed a such. Boy, the paranoia is strong in this one. Or maybe the fact that it thinks it is funny and cogent, and proves it isn’t by posting utter and total drivel as both science and humor. The failure is strong in this one Luke, typical a small minded folks who believe in imaginary deities…

  140. says

    I’m pretty sure our Atheilluminati wouldn’t even need all those. I have a few goals if I were dicator

    1) Strict anti-fraud laws: businesses and organizations must show at least supporting evidence to their claims if they are to take money
    2) Charities do charitable work, otherwise you are not a charity. A group that does charity on the side isn’t a charity, but can spin off a client group specifically for charity that can be tax free
    3) Strong well fare state to promote the health, education, and productivity of all citizens

  141. Brownian says

    Any attempt of the atheists to seize power will be nipped in the bud. Americans will defend their liberty and their religiosity.

    What, you think we’re so stupid as to do so overtly? Your little ‘manifesto’ just shows that you have no idea of what we’re really up to.

    Read Revelations again, moron.

  142. says

    Any attempt of the atheists to seize power will be nipped in the bud. Americans will defend their liberty and their religiosity.

    Yes and Brownian has said for sake of argument that he’s fine with killing them if they do. Remember, he’s one of the atheists who has that agenda according to you. He wants to kill all of them. ALL of them. Why would he care that Americans try to defend themselves? What’s your point?

  143. Brownian says

    And as for Americans defending their liberty?

    State-sponsored torture; the TSA; the irrational fear of people like the ALCU who actually do defend liberty and religiosity—you’ve already thrown away your liberty in fear.

    You have no idea what’s going to go down.

    Just remember: the Christians killed in the previous atheist slaughters thought prayer could save them too. I hope your faith is stronger.

  144. says

    I also want to point out that my agenda is the points just for the goal of stomping out religion. We actually would have religious freedom within those ground rules. Why? Well purely selfish ideological reasons. Integrated Pest Management. We ensure our fields have a buffer of surviving pests that way we don’t promote resistance to our treatments in their population. Rather than irradiate, we reduce until we have damages from pests down to the acceptable level where cost to further address the pests >>> damages caused.

    It’s the most sinister plan imaginable, we will use Selective Pressure and Natural Selection methods to drive religiosity into a harmless passive state and create a world where the difference between a believer and nonbelieer is insignificant. mauahahahah Maahahahahah MUAHAHAHAHAHAHhAHAHA!

  145. DLC says

    Yec the Yaweh-fan: Do you realize that the building code limits the number and size of straw men you’re allowed to build ?

    Since when do you a Jesus-ite, get to tell non-believers — a social subset you clearly do not belong to — how they think?
    Have you read any Atheist writings ? The God Delusion perchance ? God is not great?
    No ? Then stop pretending you know what any of us think.
    Oh, and go jump down a hole.

  146. Brownian says

    “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon a third of the rivers, and upon the springs of water; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and a third of the waters became Bitter; and many people had died of the waters, because they were made bitter.”

    You have no clue what that actually refers to, do you yec123?

  147. Brownian says

    Yes and Brownian has said for sake of argument that he’s fine with killing them if they do.

    Sweet Ing. So naïve.

    (Clearly, for the sake of secrecy, not every atheist knows the plan either, yec123.)

  148. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    10) Improve relations with atheist states like N.Korea and Cuba.

    I seem to remember something in my Catholic past about loving thy neighbor… Or does that only apply to good, white, Christian neighbors? Isn’t peace a good thing?

  149. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    7) Make abortion legal right up to the point of pregnancy.

    Yec, you truly are an idiot: abortion can only be performed after the point of pregnancy. (If a woman is not pregnant, she does not need an abortion.) And fuck yes, we support the legalization of abortion; a woman should have the right to choose what happens to her own body.

  150. Brownian says

    I seem to remember something in my Catholic past about loving thy neighbor… Or does that only apply to good, white, Christian neighbors? Isn’t peace a good thing?

    Just yesterday, in her broken English, my sweet bobute was lamenting the upcoming election and how much more good the politicians could do if they just worked together.

  151. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    1) Abolish the Christian calendar. Begin the new calendar from the date of Darwin’s birth in 1809.

    What’s so Christian about the calendar? Certainly not the names of the months or days. I can keep 1 CE as a vertex in the spirit of ecumenicism between Christian, Roman, and Nordic mythology.

    2) Abolish Christian holidays like Xmas and Easter. Make Darwin’s day a new national holiday.

    If it were up to me, I’d abolish all holidays. They fuck with my routine.

    3) Forbid any mention of religion in the courts, military, schools and other government institutions. This also means scrapping the post of army chaplains who currently provide religious services to soldiers.

    How could we possibly sue religionists for violation of the anti-establishment clause if we couldn’t speak of religion in courts? Let’s not be stupid. However, scrapping the chaplaincy makes sense to me. In its place I would erect an order of army wizards.

    4) Abolish all religious studies at state universities.

    Where’s the fun in that? How else would learned people find out what you guys are up to?

    5) Make civil marriage mandatory and treat religious marriages as invalid.

    psssst…that’s kind of the way it works already.

    6) Permit gay marriage, including at the age of 16.

    I say you are automatically gay-married as soon as you receive your driver’s permit.

    7) Make abortion legal right up to the point of pregnancy.

    Wow. I hadn’t considered the pre-pregnancy abortion. You have really opened my eyes, man. We’ll terminate them before they’re conceived!

    8) Refuse permission to churches and religious organization to be granted charitable status.

    Well. What Ing said.

    9) Make passing a course in evolutionary biology a prerequisite for admission to university.

    Let’s start with basic literacy, but sure. Eventually.

    10) Improve relations with atheist states like N.Korea and Cuba.

    D:
    I’m all for making relations worse.

  152. says

    Crazy-ass YEC-person:

    1) Abolish the Christian calendar. Begin the new calendar from the date of Darwin’s birth in 1809.

    Nonono. Feynman’s date of birth in 1918. Physics is much cooler than biology.

    2) Abolish Christian holidays like Xmas and Easter. Make Darwin’s day a new national holiday.

    I like Darwin day, and Xmas and Easter are co-opted Christian holidays anyway. Lets take back Yule .. and Passover for those who want that!

    3) Forbid any mention of religion in the courts, military, schools and other government institutions. This also means scrapping the post of army chaplains who currently provide religious services to soldiers.

    seperation of church and state? Good idea. Why didn’t anyone think of that before?

    4) Abolish all religious studies at state universities.

    Nono. Religion is an interesting subject in the humanities. Stop treating theology as an actual field of research. That we can do.

    5) Make civil marriage mandatory and treat religious marriages as invalid.

    Why?

    6) Permit gay marriage, including at the age of 16.

    Freedom for everyone to marry who they wish. Sure. We’re working on that. We don’t like bigotry like you seem to.

    7) Make abortion legal right up to the point of pregnancy.

    I’ve never heard of pre-pregnancy abortion. Is that from the Bible?

    8) Refuse permission to churches and religious organization to be granted charitable status.

    Charities like Kent Hovind’s you mean? Let’s make sure charities are what they claim – and in addition do not discriminate against who they help as the Salvation Army is famous for.

    9) Make passing a course in evolutionary biology a prerequisite for admission to university.

    Basic understanding of science should indeed be important. Not just evolutionary biology.

    10) Improve relations with atheist states like N.Korea and Cuba.

    I’d settle for a rule to not be like theocracies like Iran and Saudi Arabia. That should be sufficient.

  153. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    I am certain that radical atheists today want to impose a secular totalitarianism on a very religious society.

    We already know you are deluded. One more delusion isn’t exactly surprising.

    1) Abolish the Christian calendar. Begin the new calendar from the date of Darwin’s birth in 1809.

    Yeah, that’s totally the number one priority of the Ebil Atheist Conspiracy that. Teh Ebil Calendar. Sheesh. Don’t you have any idea of how very ridiculous you sound ?

    2) Abolish Christian holidays like Xmas and Easter. Make Darwin’s day a new national holiday.

    Wrong. It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day that will be the new holiday. 19th of september. Those not wearing complete pirate regalia, including parrot, will be made to walk the plank.

    3) Forbid any mention of religion in the courts, military, schools and other government institutions. This also means scrapping the post of army chaplains who currently provide religious services to soldiers.

    This would be a bad thing because ?

    4) Abolish all religious studies at state universities.

    Money has to be saved somewhere.

    5) Make civil marriage mandatory and treat religious marriages as invalid.

    Marriage started as, and always has been, a civil contract.

    If you’re not happy with it, keep yours solely religious and don’t claim the secular priviledges associated with it, such as certain tax breaks or insurance benefits, ’cause those don’t have shit to do with your sky-daddy.

    6) Permit gay marriage, including at the age of 16.

    And this is wrong because ?

    7) Make abortion legal right up to the point of pregnancy.

    How can there be abortion without pregnancy, pray tell ?

    8) Refuse permission to churches and religious organization to be granted charitable status.

    And this is wrong because ?

    9) Make passing a course in evolutionary biology a prerequisite for admission to university.

    Only when, you know, it’s needed for understanding your subject matter. Such as for a biology major, dumbass.

    10) Improve relations with atheist states like N.Korea and Cuba.

    North Korea is an “atheist” state ? North Koreans will be very happy to learn of this. What with being forced to worship their presidents and all that. They’ll be happy for the break.

  154. yec123 says

    Yec, you truly are an idiot: abortion can only be performed after the point of pregnancy. (If a woman is not pregnant, she does not need an abortion.) And fuck yes, we support the legalization of abortion; a woman should have the right to choose what happens to her own body.

    It was a brain fart on my part…I meant right up till the point a woman gives birth. Now take a look at a human embryo at 8 weeks:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c6/Human_embryo_8_weeks_2.JPG/800px-Human_embryo_8_weeks_2.JPG

    Would you kill that person?

  155. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    yec123

    But what really makes Christians angry is the claim by atheists that reason and truth essentially belong to them.

    We don’t “own” reason, we just like it better than you do. We are willing to actively strive to use it as often as possible in order to discard views that aren’t evident or reasonable. You, by contrast, invent phony virtues like ‘faith’ to justify the fact that your religion throws reason in the garbage whenever challenged.

    You get truth by rigorously applying reason, and by discarding views that can’t be substantiated with evidence. You aren’t entitled to have your lousy opinion regarded as truth just because you have bothered to construct it.

    Hope that clears up your misconception.

  156. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @Brownian: I love that you have a sweet bobutė. Unfortunately, mine (whom I called tutė and bunė [childish variations in Lithuanian that stuck]) have all passed on.

  157. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    It was a brain fart on my part…

    Big surprise there, you have already shown that your brain is made of a gaseous substance.

  158. Brownian says

    Would you kill that person?

    Duh. Of course. What are you, stupid? I mean, you know we’re bloodthirsty murderers. That’s why you wrote:

    Yes, it means something akin to what the French radical revolutionaries did when they embarked on a program of “de-Christianization” in the 1790s. They abolished the Christian calendar, renamed streets called after saints, plundered churches and killed priests. I am certain that radical atheists today want to impose a secular totalitarianism on a very religious society.

    As Ing asked, why are you trying to appeal to our better nature when you already believe we don’t have one?

    Is truth and honesty that difficult for you?

    And have you reread Revelation, or will you be one of the ones standing there, slack-jawed and completely surprised, complaining that you had no idea that this is the form it would take?

  159. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @Yec: I think your brain is composed entirely of farts.

    And yes, if it was in my best interest to do so, I would have an abortion.

    Oh, and that link: what’s pictured there is not a “person.” Funny how you care more about that embryo than you do, say, gay teenagers who are being mercilessly bullied and persecuted by the Christian Right. The deaths of those children by suicide or murder is endlessly heartbreaking to me, whereas I really don’t care much about a collection of embryonic cells.

  160. Brownian says

    I love that you have a sweet bobutė.

    She’s quite old, but she’s still pretty sharp. She found an old cookbook and has now revised how she makes kugelis, after seventy-some years.

    I’m sorry yours are no longer around.

  161. says

    August Pamplona, many of us would like to change the culture because it is hostile to us, and not simply as atheists but as women, as GLBT people, as people of color, etc. You’re certainly welcome to sit on your ass privilege and not be interested in doing so, but go whine elsewhere about it.

    Also, another vote against user names that employ rape for “the lulz.”

    Yech123, if you projected any harder you could find a job as an IMAX theater. Your list at #170 is an equal mix of stupid mendacities and things that would go without saying in a civilized country.

    7) Make abortion legal right up to the point of pregnancy.

    We’ll have to introduce you to Joey.

    It was a brain fart on my part

    So is everything else you write here.

    My only other comment on that list is that I would be opposed to substituting Darwin’s Day until I were reassured that the candy which would go on sale at half price the next day would be just as good.

  162. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @Brownian: Dog, I love me some kugelis. Lucky you–for still having your sweet bobute with you, and for her kugelis. :)

  163. Emrysmyrddin says

    Now take a look at a human embryo at 8 weeks:

    I’d nuke it from space, but then there’d be no leftovers for the BBQ.

  164. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Would you kill that person?

    Meh. That’s not even a person. Someone could have swapped it for a dog embryo and you couldn’t even tell the difference.

    As a Dark Lord (thank you for helping me see the Dark Side, by the way), I like to kill real people, thank you very much. Those I have to put at least a little lightning in to cook from the inside and make an audible “thump” as they keel over dead.

  165. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Would you kill that person?Can’t be killing a person (baby). It is a fetus, and won’t be a baby until it is outside of the woman. Those are basic definitions, no magic or atheist spin on it.

    Until then, who gave you permission to tell the fully adult person, even if female and pregnant, what medical treatment she can and can’t receive? Especially since your babble doesn’t outlaw abortion, and doesn’t consider a baby a person for months.

  166. Brownian says

    Dog, I love me some kugelis.

    S’funny: I’m only now rediscovering kugelis, having developed an aversion to grated potato dishes blynai and cepelinai in my youth and deciding to err on the side of gastronomic caution.

    I also don’t remember my grandmother being so funny when I was young. I’d like to see that woman do stand-up just to watch her roast the hecklers.

  167. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @Brownian:

    Just yesterday, in her broken English, my sweet bobute was lamenting the upcoming election and how much more good the politicians could do if they just worked together.

    Your grandmother does sound wise. And maybe you inherited her cleverness and humor. :)

    I was never into Lith dishes as a kid (I grew up in the US, but in a very Lithuanian household), but when I lived in Vilnius for five years as an adult, I discovered the utter joy and deliciousness of blynai and cepelinai. However, I will NEVER be a fan of lašiniai (eaten over there in large, cold hunks plunked down on black bread).

  168. says

    Would you kill that person?

    Nice try, asshole That’s not a person by any reasonable definition.

    (Do I have to go all pregnant lady perspective on this shit again? ‘Cos as much as I like talking about myself, trying to convince anti-choice douchebags that I am not an incubator is getting tiresome.)

  169. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    All the squeak has gone out of Chewtoy Yec. I guess that’s why we can’t have nice things.

  170. Menyambal -- dog of an unbeliever says

    Chaplains?

    I love how Christians are all in favor of the military these days, and how they have forgotten that their prayer is supposed to be private and their worship service is to be done in their own homes.

    Jesus would not approve of Yec123.

  171. Brownian says

    I was never into Lith dishes as a kid.

    Me neither, with the exception of koldunai. I could eat those like they’re 8-week-old fetuses.

  172. Brownian says

    Question: is feti an accepted pluralisation of fetuses?

    I’m having some friends over for dinner. It’s to be table d’hôte, and I’d like to print up menus.

  173. says

    All the squeak has gone out of Chewtoy Yec. I guess that’s why we can’t have nice things.

    Meh, wasn’t much squeak in them in the first place. When ramblings get too deranged, there isn’t much challenge.

  174. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @Brownian: You totally made me LOL with that one. And yes, koldunai are the bomb!

  175. octopod says

    Physics is much cooler than biology.

    ::starts chanting:: FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

  176. says

    IndyM:

    All the squeak has gone out of Chewtoy Yec.

    There wasn’t much to begin with. There was much squeaking yesterday, with yec’s Star Trek*, therefor Jesus!, then all the phases of Star Trek/newt abuse/military/psychopoeisis/flatworm = Jesus.

    *yec is firmly under the impression that Star Trek is real, oh my yes. All this and more can be seen here.

  177. David Marjanović says

    This post is a pun on the two meanings of “good”, and you say you mean one but not the other. German has a separate word for the “obedient to social norms” meaning (…a word that arose as a misunderstanding of French brave, but never mind).

    I’ve been feeling a bit bugged by the common “good without god” campaign

    I first read that as “hugged” ^_^ :-}

    Here is what an atheist political manifesto would be like:

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    5) Make civil marriage mandatory and treat religious marriages as invalid.

    6) Permit gay marriage, including at the age of 16.

    7) Make abortion legal right up to the point of pregnancy.

    Funnily, several countries in western & central Europe are already like that. Even Austria, which has a concordat with the Vatican, has number 5 – the state only recognizes marriages performed by a bureaucrat; the Catholic Church does not marry people who aren’t already in a civil marriage; traditionally, people have civil marriage one day and Catholic marriage the next.

    8) Refuse permission to churches and religious organization to be granted charitable status.

    As long as they actually are charitable, why?

    9) Make passing a course in evolutionary biology a prerequisite for admission to university.

    Erm. Dr. Evil? That already exists, too. Austria again: admission to university requires graduation from a school type* that teaches biology, its basic unifying concept included.

    * Or equivalent.

    10) Improve relations with atheist states like N.Korea and Cuba.

    N. Korea isn’t an atheist state by a wide margin. It worships the Kim dynasty as divine.

    Cuba isn’t quite that far gone about Castro…

    Nonono. Feynman’s date of birth in 1918. Physics is much cooler than biology.

    HERETIC!!!1!!1! Clearly the most important holiday must be the day when Darwin and Wallace presented their paper to the Royal Society in 1858. (…Never mind that it just so happens to be my birthday.)

    Wrong. It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day that will be the new holiday. 19th of september. Those not wearing complete pirate regalia, including parrot, will be made to walk the plank.

    …That I can go along with, though. Flooding the world with gray parrots would greatly increase its average intelligence.

    North Korea is an “atheist” state ? North Koreans will be very happy to learn of this. What with being forced to worship their presidents and all that.

    Tsss, tsss, tsss. There’s only ever been one president. Kim Il-sung may be dead, but he’s still the president. His grandson only is things like commander-in-chief, but not president.

    Would you kill that person?

    Not without a good reason, but sometimes there are good reasons.

    One good reason not to do so, however, is the fact that I haven’t even studied medicine… it’s quite an irrelevant question whether I “would” perform surgery.

    Oh, and… define “person”.

    She found an old cookbook and has now revised how she makes kugelis, after seventy-some years.

    Impressive. Reminds me of mine.

    What are kugelis? Something spherical, or is the similarity to German accidental?

    Yech123, if you projected any harder you could find a job as an IMAX theater.

    Week saved.

  178. Menyambal -- dog of an unbeliever says

    Yec123, you did another brain fart when you linked to a picture of a partially-dissected fetus. Asking if we’d kill that was bizarre.

    I’ve killed animals that looked more human than that and eaten them for supper, or just tossed them out in the mousetrap. Are you a vegetarian pacifist, by chance?

    Why are Christians so anti-abortion, anyhow?

    The bible doesn’t condemn abortion, and contains many accounts of Yahweh killing babies that had already been born. Theologically, an aborted baby goes straight to heaven, and God’s plan for it certainly involved it getting aborted.

    Christians certainly don’t care about the fetus once it is born into a poor and war-torn world, and they will happily kill it if it commits a crime such as being the wrong nationality, color or religion.

    In human pregnancy, around half of all fertilized eggs fail to attach to the womb, and wash out in what would be called an abortion if a doctor or a pill caused it. Of the eggs that attach, over a third miscarry in what would be called an abortion if a doctor arranged it.

    Yec123, your god, if it exists, does not oppose abortion, and conducts many abortions every day. Further, if your god does exist, he killed my nephew AFTER he was born, slowly, painfully and heartbreakingly.

    Yec123, you condemn abortion for religious reasons that are not actually supported by your scriptures, and you consider those who allow abortion to be killers of the worst sort. Your beliefs have turned you in to a hate-filled delusional.

    Jesus would not approve of you, and I don’t like you either.

  179. says

    @Audley

    You’re saying pregnant women have something to say about pregnancy and abortion? How on earth did you come to that conclusion? I’d much rather ask the pope about women’s issues and family matters. He’s so much more qualified.

  180. KG says

    It was a brain fart on my part – yec123

    Well since you clearly have shit for brains, that’s a good description of every single comment you’ve made.

  181. says

    As long as they actually are charitable, why?

    Because it’s a lot of tax free dollars that can easily be funneled to non-charitable purposes. The RCC, Orthodox church, LDS, and Megachurchs make obscene amounts of money, very little going back into the community and are not taxed on it. Their actual charitable organizations SHOULD be tax free, but not the parent. Viacom should not be granted tax free status if it had a weekly feeding the homeless campaign.

    This is an added problem in some neighborhoods where a church not only takes money out of the community, tax free, but also takes up a lot of limited space that could be given to a business or store that would generate jobs for the area…and deny the community needed property tax.

  182. twist says

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c6/Human_embryo_8_weeks_2.JPG/800px-Human_embryo_8_weeks_2.JPG

    Would you kill that person?

    Well, the embryo in the picture is male, making it much more important that the woman incubator it happens to be living inside. *eyeroll*

    Listen shitforbrains, it isn’t a person. It is not deserving of the same rights and protections as the human being that it is living inside. And yeah, I’ve had one removed from my body and would gladly do so again if necessary. Your point?

    Go look at chimp embryos at a similar developmental stage and see if you still think we’re completely unrelated. While you’re at it, get a life.

  183. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Oh, and… define “person”.

    I think I’ve just found out why yec thinks that picture is that of a person.

    It has a penis.

    Obviously, yec’s sole requirement for personhood is possession of a male organ.

    That’s why it didn’t protest anything in my description of the xian utopia. It agrees with it.

  184. says

    Jadzia,
    I know, I know. Sometimes my fuzzy pink lady brainz short out and I start to think that I (and other women) deserve to have a say in my (our) reproductive health.

    Silly me! That’s what the Republican party is for– protecting women from having to make tough decisions for ourselves. We can’t go upsetting our delicate constitutions, oh no.

  185. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @Caine: I missed all the Yec/Star Trek stuff–thanks for directing me there! Unbelievable (and also unbelievably funny). Yes, not a very durable chew toy, but xe definitely provided some entertaining moments, and Teh Horde was brilliant, as usual.

  186. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @Jazdia & Audley: The Pope is also a great reference for proper sexual technique.

  187. Menyambal -- dog of an unbeliever says

    I’d much rather ask the pope about women’s issues and family matters. He’s so much more qualified.

    He wears Prada, has fancy dresses and hats, and is surrounded by adoring men.

    And he just loves children.

  188. says

    @Jazdia & Audley: The Pope is also a great reference for proper sexual technique.

    Yes, that one technique he’s read about.

    … and of course the unspeakable one that they all know so well. But that’s a secret for the patriarchy to keep.

  189. Brownian says

    What are kugelis? Something spherical, or is the similarity to German accidental?

    It’s a sort of <a href="“>potato pudding. It’s not necessarily spherical, but the name is derived from the related Yiddish/German dish that originally may have been. Lithuanian cuisine borrows heavily from Ashkenazi tradition. They Catholic it up by adding bacon to almost everything.

  190. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @Audley: I was just kidding; I was riffing on Jazdia’s earlier comment. I totally agree with you: ew.

  191. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    @David Marjanović: Brownian described kugelis perfectly. And it’s really yummy.

  192. Agent Silversmith, Post Palladium Isotope says

    A brain fart, yec123?

    Rather, it’s been a steady supply of methane, which suggests if you were hooked up to the gas mains you could supply the water heating needs of the whole neighborhood.

  193. Brownian says

    Just wondering if the orginal Yiddish dish that kugelis borrows from was a kugel and, yep, looks like it is.

    I’m being a smartass. Yes, it’s derived from kugel. I don’t know if kugelis is ever made with noodle though: Lithuanians never met a carbohydrate they liked as much as potato.

  194. yec123 says

    Well, the embryo in the picture is male, making it much more important that the woman incubator it happens to be living inside. *eyeroll*

    Yes, as Kemist points out, it even has its own little penis at 8 weeks. Which means that it is already being prepared to reproduce itself. Isn’t that amazing?

    Btw, I would make the abortion of chimp foetuses illegal as well. Animals should be respected under the law as well.

  195. KG says

    yec123,

    If you spend days pretending to be a fuckwit…
    then you’re not pretending.

  196. Brownian says

    Btw, I would make the abortion of chimp foetuses illegal as well. Animals should be respected under the law as well.

    Make? What kind of Christian are you:

    Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

    Have you ever even read the Bible, you dumb puke?

  197. says

    The distinction between a real nutjob on the internet and someone that pretend to be one for some twisted means of self-pleasure is pretty much trivial.

    This one was just spewing nonsense and didn’t try to back it up, so not a very entertaining chewtoy anyway. Always good to keep the teeth clean though :)

  198. Brownian says

    I’m feeling this thread zombifying.

    Weren’t you complaining about old threads before? What’s it to you anyway? Go read something else.

  199. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Yes, as Kemist points out, it even has its own little penis at 8 weeks. Which means that it is already being prepared to reproduce itself. Isn’t that amazing?

    So you do believe a penis is the only requirement for personhood.

    It really is impossible to caricature you – you’re a walking / talking advertisement for how xianity transforms a healthy brain into toxic waste.

    Imagine the poster : “This is your brain on Jebus”.

    Btw, I would make the abortion of chimp foetuses illegal as well. Animals should be respected under the law as well.

    I have a very important question for you then : do you or do you not eat eggs ?

  200. Brownian says

    Is aborting chimp fetuses really a thing?

    It’s what chimp sluts do so they can have all the fun of chimp sex without the chimp responsibilities. If you think that’s bad, let me tell you about this chimp welfare queen I heard of: she has eighty chimp names, thirty chimp addresses, twelve chimp Troop Security cards and is collecting chimp veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased chimp husbands. And she is collecting chimp Troop Security on her cards. She’s got Chimpicaid, getting grub stamps, and she is collecting chimp welfare under each of her names. Her chimp tax-free cash income is over 150,000 bananas.

  201. A. R says

    Brownian: Actually, I wasn’t referring to the age of the thread, but to the fact that it’s been almost totally derailed.

    Caine: Again, you seem not to get my jokes.

  202. Brownian says

    Yep, it was A.R who previously whined thusly:

    I’m thinking we should just let this thread die, it’s already two weeks over its life expectancy. Let’s turn off the ventilators, kill the lights, and call in the morgue people. Nothing good is going to come out of more debating with Mr. Headdesk.

    What the fuck is your deal?

  203. Brownian says

    Actually, I wasn’t referring to the age of the thread, but to the fact that it’s been almost totally derailed.

    I do that. Such is the prerogative of interesting people.

  204. says

    Actually, I wasn’t referring to the age of the thread, but to the fact that it’s been almost totally derailed.

    Enlighten us. Why does it bother you that we post in it?

    Surely this is PZ’s decision if he feels no one are commenting on his new threads and all hanging out with them zombies?

  205. says

    Brownian:

    What the fuck is your deal?

    He can’t come up with anything original, relevant or intelligent to say.

    Audley:

    Is aborting chimp fetuses really a thing?

    Well, if it is, perhaps we should all be going to the local Chimp Clinics, given that they don’t seem to have asshole lifer Chimps.

  206. A. R says

    Caine: Relevant, on a derailed thread? Is that even possible? And Intelligent? Rad the Creationist History thread lately?

  207. grumpy1942 says

    No opinion about ‘good without god’

    Rape is never ever funny.

    That nym really sucks bad.

    We WILL change the culture.

  208. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Btw, I would make the abortion of chimp foetuses illegal as well. Animals should be respected under the law as well.

    Who the fuck care what an idjit like you pretends to think? I know I don’t, nor does anyone else from the regulars. Why don’t you try a recent signed letter from your imginary deity showing you have the ability to speak for it. Only then will you have something to say. Meanwhile, why not shut the fuck up with such fuckwitted an egotistical pronouncements, before everyone thinks you are an addled and incoherent godbot. Sorry, too late for that.

  209. Brownian says

    Brownian: We have TET for that.

    Then why don’t you head over there and write a little comment explaining how things work around here for the benefit of us newcomers, and I’ll swing by to read it just as soon as I’m finished?

  210. Brownian says

    Relevant, on a derailed thread? Is that even possible?

    Are you pulling our legs, or have you never had a conversation with an actual human before?

    If it’s the former, shut up and watch how someone who’s actually funny does it. If it’s the latter, shut up and watch how someone who’s actually conversant does it.

  211. Brownian says

    Eh, pedantry isn’t worth my time.

    You really come across as a busy person with important shit to do, so I can only agree with you there.

  212. A. R says

    Brownian: Yep, doing some fly cross planning today. Anyway, apologies for ranting about zombie threads.

  213. yec123 says

    So you do believe a penis is the only requirement for personhood.

    One requirement After all, a penis is a “manhood”. The embryo is equipped with what it takes to reproduce. It is a person who should be respected as a potential parent, not just a child.

  214. KG says

    yec123,

    What a loathsome little shit you are. What you are saying@276 is that people who are unable to become parents should be treated with contempt.

  215. A. R says

    Oh, and the probability that an embryo will live to reproductive age is very, very slim.

  216. says

    It is a person who should be respected as a potential parent, not just a child.

    More unawareness, what a surprise. Lots of people are childfree, idiot. That means people who don’t want children. Ever.

  217. Woo_Monster says

    yec,

    One requirement After all, a penis is a “manhood”. The embryo is equipped with what it takes to reproduce. It is a person who should be respected as a potential parent, not just a child.

    I will ignore the idiocy of your suggestion and grant you, just for the sake of argument that the fetus should be respected as we respect other people. People do not have the right to the use of another person’s body. If you are dying because one of your organs is failing, you do not get to demand that another person compromise their bodily autonomy by forcing a donation of one of their organs. Even if the person in question needs the use of another’s body to survive, no one may be forced to give up their bodily autonomy to save them. So, even if a fetus has the full set of rights that other humans get, they still do not have the right to use the body of another human, who also has a full set of rights. IOW, a woman can abort any life that is using her body; she may terminate the other entity’s use of her person. Why do you accord more rights to a fetus than you give to an adult person? Adult people cannot force the use of another person’s body.

    Alright, I’m done granting you your ridiculous premise. Fetus’s are not infants, they are not children, they certainly aren’t “persons who should be respected as a potential parent”.

    Oh, and go fuck yourself. You are stinking up too many threads with your idiocy and god-botting.

  218. says

    One requirement After all, a penis is a “manhood”.

    A penis is one of the requirements for being a person?

    Surely this was another brain fart, cuz it stinks really bad.

    You are aware of the whole list of human beings that for various reasons do not have a penis – or just don’t think a few grams of flesh is of any significant importance to their identity.

  219. says

    So you do believe a penis is the only requirement for personhood.

    One requirement.

    You realize you’ve just excluded at least half the population from your definition of “person,” don’t you?
    Do you actually read the shit you write, or are you really such a piece of pathology that you think women aren’t people?

  220. Brownian says

    It is a person who should be respected as a potential parent, not just a child.

    This is honestly one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read. What about being respected as a potential plumber? That potential is there too. What about potential aircraft mechanic? Rum distiller? Pornographic actor? Atheist?

  221. A. R says

    feralboy12: Of course xe doesn’t think women are people. How else can you justify treating them as incubators and sammich makers?

  222. says

    Of course xe doesn’t think women are people. How else can you justify treating them as incubators and sammich makers?

    I’m used to people like yecch123 sugarcoating it with some babble about “women’s important role in society” yada yada yada. You know, how civilization collapses without them sammiches, and letting women make them for us actually honors them, and how men must be left free for their important role, which is telling women what kind of sammich to make.
    Not that I react any better to that sort of shit.

  223. A. R says

    letting women make them for us actually honors them

    Yep, kind of like the ones who say that they “put women on a pedestal,” without adding the fact that they happen to be chained down to said pedestal.

  224. says

    We should work to end Chimp abortions and the first step to that is cutting off funding to Planned Primatehood.

    —————-
    I know I keep saying this to like, everyone who posts now, but pretty sure Yec’s just yanking our chain. By all means go ahead with him if he still amuses you but for me, that’s the point where the squeak goes out.

  225. says

    but pretty sure Yec’s just yanking our chain

    Probably. It is still entertaining to marvel in his stupidity. No matter what, he’s still the source of it, and I’ve been using this thread as an excuse to not getting any cleaning done in my apartment all afternoon.

  226. says

    feralboy12:

    how men must be left free for their important role, which is telling women what kind of sammich to make.

    Well, see, if everyone started believing in Magickal Jesus and took the bible literally, the wimmins would be able to incubate perfect sammiches and all would be right with the world.

  227. A. R says

    Well, see, if everyone started believing in Magickal Jesus and took the bible literally, the wimmins would be able to incubate perfect sammiches and all would be right with the world.

    Yep, the wimmins would have sammich making organs in their heads. Because they don’t have brains you know.

  228. Menyambal -- dog of an unbeliever says

    I would make the abortion of chimp foetuses illegal as well.

    Well, then your god would be breaking the law a LOT. In humans, around 66% of all conceptions end in spontaneous abortions. The numbers probably are similar for chimps.

    Which makes no sense at all from an anti-abortionist fanatic worldview. What can they say except, “God did it”?

  229. says

    Well, then your god would be breaking the law a LOT. In humans, around 66% of all conceptions end in spontaneous abortions.

    … a quick google …

    So this God-dude actually performs some 6-700000 abortions every day? Why exactly are these Christians complaining again?

  230. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    One requirement After all, a penis is a “manhood”. The embryo is equipped with what it takes to reproduce. It is a person who should be respected as a potential parent, not just a child.

    Yep. We have got ourselves a genuine, 100% authentic ghoul.

    Don’t worry yec. We Dark Lords love ghouls. They make such wonderful, cheap cannon fodder.

  231. Menyambal -- dog of an unbeliever says

    Why exactly are these Christians complaining again?

    I do not know. I really don’t.

    The whole anti-abortion movement is driven by religious people, but has no basis in their scripture. I guess it was a few preachers getting folks worked up so as to make themselves rich. They often claim that abortion providers are in it for the money, which would be the typical religious/conservative projection.

    In other words, religion.

  232. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    A. R:

    Of course. That’s what ghouls are for. Cannon fodder in a war of the damn. Sacrificing for a temporary boost in firepower. Dark experiments with grafted body parts and unholy mutations. Fooling around when we’re bored.

    Useful critters, if you don’t mind the smell and the senseless babbling.

  233. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Yep, doing some fly cross planning today.

    No need to crucify the poor little buggers.

  234. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    kemist: Where is that little turd yec123? {Wiggles fingers}

    Sadly it seems to have run away, poor confused thing.

  235. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    Oh, but surprise, another ghoul, our good old hard-of-thinking Joey, has come back on the magical views thread.

    Since his brain is in a quite advanced state of decomposition, his babbling is a bit repetitive and rage-inducing.

    However, this is an advantage when using Dark Side lightning.

  236. Rey Fox says

    The embryo is equipped with what it takes to reproduce. It is a person who should be respected as a potential parent, not just a child.

    Poor thing hasn’t even been born yet, and already it’s getting pressure put on it to reproduce. This treating of reproduction as the end-all be-all of existence is really circular.

    But then, it’s like Tim Krider pointed out, conservatives love fetuses because they’re the ultimate blank slate that they can love and project all their values onto because they lack the ability to object or have any of those messy earthly desires.

  237. Anri says

    Ok, I’m late to the party, but I just wanted to post my own maunderings on the Protocalls of the Elders of AtheZion as presented by that towering intellect, yec123.

    Here is what an atheist political manifesto would be like:

    1) Abolish the Christian calendar. Begin the new calendar from the date of Darwin’s birth in 1809.

    Reference needed.
    Oh, wait, this is a complete pulled-out-of-my-rosy-red-rectum fabrication, there can be no reference.

    2) Abolish Christian holidays like Xmas and Easter. Make Darwin’s day a new national holiday.

    See response #1.

    3) Forbid any mention of religion in the courts, military, schools and other government institutions. This also means scrapping the post of army chaplains who currently provide religious services to soldiers.

    Nope.
    Freedom of religion, remember?

    4) Abolish all religious studies at state universities.

    Nope.
    Nothing makes atheists like scholarly analysis of religious ideas.

    5) Make civil marriage mandatory and treat religious marriages as invalid.

    For people wanting the civil/legal benefits of marriage, a civil/legal marriage is required, yes. If you want a pretty party at your local mosque synogauge good white-people-Christian-only church, feel free to add that, but don’t expect it to carry legal weight.

    6) Permit gay marriage, including at the age of 16.

    Personally, I don’t think the state has the right to go rooting around in a person’s pants to make sure their pink bits are of one specific type or another just because they want to get married. This applies regardless of the age of the person.

    7) Make abortion legal right up to the point of pregnancy.

    I presume you mean ‘up to the point of birth’.
    In which case, yep.
    What’s your point?

    8) Refuse permission to churches and religious organization to be granted charitable status.

    So long as primarliy what they are doing is charitable work, they can get charitable status.
    Prada slippers, as an example, are not charity work.

    9) Make passing a course in evolutionary biology a prerequisite for admission to university.

    By this, you mean ‘passing a course in factual biology’, which is a good idea.

    10) Improve relations with atheist states like N.Korea and Cuba.

    If we pursue an intelligent and humanistic-based foreign policy, than relations with these states will improve when they become better at (for example)human rights issues. That’s a worthy goal.

    Really, is this all you got?
    Nothing about burning churches or construction of gulags or surrender to murderous AI’s? C’mon, you can do better DarkFic than this – this list is weak.

  238. says

    From the Zombie you wish would DIE

    It is not true that atheists are seen as you describe. By the same token, many serial killers do not fit a pattern. To much of religion has failed. To generalise on anything leads to any downfall of an argument and some wrongfully label themselves as representatives. Eat the meat and spit out the bones.

    Then we have the small percentages that do or pretend to represent certain aspects in life that destroy all the good parts of what they pretend to represent. Then we separate this into insulting/demeaning or just simple ridicule.

    I actually thought only Christians were lambasted as martyrs, and now????

    Believe in what you believe, but also have respect for someone who differs in your belief [duddn't matter how dunb u tink day R], as they must also respect your beliefs.

    It all boils down to a simple matter of choice, which is a privilege that we all have.

    Till whatever, there will always be two choices.

  239. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    It is not true that atheists are seen as you describe. By the same token, many serial killers do not fit a pattern.

    Wonder if the fool can understand why many of us are laughing at this.

  240. Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here says

    It is not true that atheists are seen as you describe. By the same token, many serial killers do not fit a pattern.

    So now all atheists are serial killers?

    To much of religion has failed.

    No surprise. Anything built on a lie will fail.

    Then we have the small percentages that do or pretend to represent certain aspects in life that destroy all the good parts of what they pretend to represent. Then we separate this into insulting/demeaning or just simple ridicule.

    No. You see the, er. What? What does this mean?

    Believe in what you believe, but also have respect for someone who differs in your belief [duddn't matter how dunb u tink day R], as they must also respect your beliefs.

    And the only respect you give is to those willing to parrot the misogyny, homophobia and hate of your 2,000-year-old myths. You have the right to believe in this hateful shit, but I do not have to respect you or your hateful belief system. How many people does your gods tell you to hate/destroy/kill or deny their civil rights?

    It all boils down to a simple matter of choice, which is a privilege that we all have.

    And we know what choice you have made.

    Till whatever, there will always be two choices.

    Bullshit binary thinking. This is what your hateful religion does. Everyone in the world is either with you or a nonbeliever.

    Holy fuck! you are a hateful little shit.

  241. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Holy fuck! you are a hateful little shit.

    Well shit, Ogvorbis, danielhaven is a habitual well poisoner.

  242. says

    To Janine: History’s Greatest Monster

    Same road, little thought and lots of twists. Your read the first two sentences and then replied….well done. The first meant little to you and the second was laughable?

    WOW, what a fool I am.

  243. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Hey, fuckface, want bto know what I think of this?

    Believe in what you believe, but also have respect for someone who differs in your belief [duddn't matter how dunb u tink day R], as they must also respect your beliefs.

    I cannot and will not respect anyone who expresses a belief that would restrict my actions and my rights.

    LGBT people should remain in the closet?

    I cannot respect that.

    Women should just shut up and have babies?

    I cannot respect that.

    Queers should be executed?

    I cannot respect.

    And guess what, fool, I have no fucking respect for you.

    Now blow that dead porcupine out of your ass.

  244. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    WOW, what a fool I am.

    Yep, even a fuckwitted delusional fool can get it right twice a day, like a stopped watch…But the rest of the time…

  245. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    From the Zombie you wish would DIE

    Zombies are already brain-dead.

    It is not true that atheists are seen as you describe. By the same token, many serial killers do not fit a pattern.

    Oooh, desingenuous implied comparisons. I love those. You’re approaching ghoulish territory. *Mr Burns voice* Excellent.

    To much of religion has failed. To generalise on anything leads to any downfall of an argument and some wrongfully label themselves as representatives. Eat the meat and spit out the bones.

    Religion. Failing at everything since thousands of years and counting.

    And that’s supposed to be an argument against throwing all this rotten crap on the garbage heap of humanity’s failed ideas. Arguments. You’re doing them wrong.

    Then we have the small percentages that do or pretend to represent certain aspects in life that destroy all the good parts of what they pretend to represent.

    That’s the problem when you make shit up. Everybody else can make shit up. There’s no way to know who’s shit is right, of even if somebody’s shit is right.

    Then we separate this into insulting/demeaning or just simple ridicule.

    It works. There’s very little that is that efficient at making the rabidly religious powerless. That’s why some will oppose it to the point of murder. That’s why the first thing religion kills in those it infects is the sense of humor, particularly irony.

    Ridicule played a huge role in getting rid of the theocrats here. That and their own tendancy to abuse people, especially small children.

    I actually thought only Christians were lambasted as martyrs, and now????

    Wrong. Xians here like to be fake martyrs. They love to fap about how it’s unfair that they don’t get to oppress everybody else. As long as they stay comfortable. They get off on it, it’s almost sexual.

    Believe in what you believe, but also have respect for someone who differs in your belief [duddn't matter how dunb u tink day R], as they must also respect your beliefs.

    It’s not what we believe. It’s called reality. You live in it too. Not believing in it makes you deluded. You don’t respect the opinion of someone who thinks he’s actually Napoleon Bonaparte, we don’t respect the opinion of someone who lives in cuckoo lala-land, where the earth was created after both the domestication of the dog and the invention of beer.

    It all boils down to a simple matter of choice, which is a privilege that we all have.

    You’re free to believe hamburgers eat people if you want. But I’m free to fire you from a school for trying to distort children’s minds with nonsense, and I’m free to demand that a person with such poor judgement not take important decisions.

    Till whatever, there will always be two choices.

    More like, thousands and thousands of choices, moron. There are religions other than xianity. Most of my friends are neither xians, jewish or atheists. Please read another book than your stupid babble.

    WOW, what a fool I am.

    You got that right.

  246. says

    TO Ogvorbis: Insert Appropriate Appelation Here

    “Bullshit binary thinking. This is what your hateful religion does. Everyone in the world is either with you or a nonbeliever.”

    Hhhmmmmmmmmm….really have to think on that one.

    Twist on an example presented, is an explanation you do not understand [and not just you].

    TO Janine: History’s Greatest Monster

    I do not have a belief that restricts your actions or your rights. It is not just you, but nothing I have said to anyone is restrictive in anyway.

    P.S. Wishful thinking but no dead porcupine. If you want to know, it is quite smooth.

  247. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I do not have a belief that restricts your actions or your rights. It is not just you, but nothing I have said to anyone is restrictive in anyway.

    bullshit, you lie and bullshit, and need third party evidence to prove your innocence. Put up or shut the fuck up…

  248. says

    TO kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    From the Zombie you wish would DIE

    “””Zombies are already brain-dead.””” – Yip, yip, yip.

    “””Oooh, desingenuous implied comparisons. I love those. You’re approaching ghoulish territory.””” – was not the point to be disingenious and no comparison was intended.

    “To much of religion has failed. To generalise on anything leads to any downfall of an argument and some wrongfully label themselves as representatives. Eat the meat and spit out the bones.”

    “””Religion. Failing at everything since thousands of years and counting.””” – Thousands of years, the politics of religion, 15 minutes of fame??? REPRESENTATIVE?

    “””And that’s supposed to be an argument against throwing all this rotten crap on the garbage heap of humanity’s failed ideas. Arguments. You’re doing them wrong.””” – How is something a failed idea? And yup, on these pages, dum den rong ain’t dum den rong.

    “Then we have the small percentages that do or pretend to represent certain aspects in life that destroy all the good parts of what they pretend to represent.”
    “””That’s the problem when you make shit up. Everybody else can make shit up. There’s no way to know who’s shit is right, of even if somebody’s shit is right.””” – And don’t we just know where we are right now?

    “Then we separate this into insulting/demeaning or just simple ridicule.”
    “””It works. There’s very little that is that efficient at making the rabidly religious powerless. That’s why some will oppose it to the point of murder. That’s why the first thing religion kills in those it infects is the sense of humor, particularly irony.””” – only as a deflective argument.

    “””Ridicule played a huge role in getting rid of the theocrats here. That and their own tendancy to abuse people, especially small children.””” – You know what this means, I don’t.

    “I actually thought only Christians were lambasted as martyrs, and now????”
    “””Wrong. Xians here like to be fake martyrs. They love to fap about how it’s unfair that they don’t get to oppress everybody else. As long as they stay comfortable. They get off on it, it’s almost sexual.””” – Do you actually read the parts refered to?

    “Believe in what you believe, but also have respect for someone who differs in your belief [duddn't matter how dunb u tink day R], as they must also respect your beliefs.”
    “””It’s not what we believe. It’s called reality. You live in it too. Not believing in it makes you deluded. You don’t respect the opinion of someone who thinks he’s actually Napoleon Bonaparte, we don’t respect the opinion of someone who lives in cuckoo lala-land, where the earth was created after both the domestication of the dog and the invention of beer.””” – Zamalek

    “It all boils down to a simple matter of choice, which is a privilege that we all have.”
    “””You’re free to believe hamburgers eat people if you want. But I’m free to fire you from a school for trying to distort children’s minds with nonsense, and I’m free to demand that a person with such poor judgement not take important decisions.”””
    – Show your proof (not based on two parts that cover billions of years, that cannot be proved and a dubious third) and before you can fire someone think historically how all the greats were wrong and you are right [not just ...].

    “Till whatever, there will always be two choices.”
    “””More like, thousands and thousands of choices, moron. There are religions other than xianity. Most of my friends are neither xians, jewish or atheists. Please read another book than your stupid babble.””” – Analysing things, there would be variations of the choices but the discussion is not much on variations (although they are used in the discussion). Much simpler discussion.

    “WOW, what a fool I am.”
    “””You got that right””” – love how you get the sarcasm…….

  249. Ted Tyler says

    Wow. Start with “Good (or Bad) without God”, throw it out to the group, and then see how new topics are introduced, and the original topic is forgotten. It is easy to see from this how the Christian myth changed with time. Getting back to the original topic we have:
    ZP, You and your followers must be philosophers. That is, people who can take a simple idea, introduce unnecessary complications, and wind up with books and books of verbiage that adds nothing to the original idea. Sort of like trying to explain a joke.
    I like “Good without God”. It is catchy, simple, easy to remember, and has good meme qualities. Don’t make it complicated. Believers will tell you that all morality comes from God. The “Good without God” statement simply says: No. It doesn’t!