This annoys me

Atheists, be ashamed.

I find it ironic that self-described “atheist” men are far more hateful and awful towards me online than conservative Christians are.

No, I’m not annoyed with Sarkeesian: I’m annoyed that the atheist movement has gotten this bad.

Here’s a lovely representative response:

I’m annoyed that anyone is still asserting the atheist labels implies anything other than a lack of belief in gods.

Right. ‘The dictionary doesn’t say atheists have to be decent human beings, therefore I’m going to be more annoyed that you have this expectation than at the fact that some atheists are hateful numpties.’

Whatever happened to the rational idea that we should look at our failings honestly and strive to correct them? You know, when Francis Bacon set out to tell the world about how science should be done, he didn’t just pull a sentence out of a dictionary and be done with it. “Inductive reasoning is best, rah rah rah!” No — he wrote at length about the pitfalls, and spelled out the preconceptions to which we are prone.

The idols and false notions which have already preoccupied the human understanding, and are deeply rooted in it, not only to beset man’s minds, that they become difficult of access, but, even when access is obtained, will again meet and trouble us in the instauration of the sciences, unless mankind, when forewarned, guard themselves with all possible care against them.

The idols of the tribe are inherent in human nature, and the very tribe or race of man. For man’s sense is falsely asserted to be the standard of things. On the contrary, all the perceptions, both of the senses and the mind, bear reference to man, and not to the universe, and the human mind resembles those uneven mirrors, which impart their own properties to different objects, from which rays are emitted, and distort and disfigure them.

But I guess atheists have moved so far beyond mere scientists that self-awareness and recognition of their own errors of perception no longer matter — “There is no god!” is the great All of their philosophy, and no other consideration need be made.

Well, at least we’re better than the theists in one thing: our dogma is shorter and easier to memorize.

Ken Ham is right about one thing

He tells everyone that if you question anything in the Bible, it puts you on a slippery slope to apostasy — you must believe every word is literally true or doubts will creep in, and then you are damned. He’s right, sort of. I’ll qualify that a bit, though.

Here’s a beautiful example: the story of Sandra Edwards, a serious, dedicated Christian and young earth creationist, so serious that she published a children’s book promoting creationism, who one day find herself thoughtfully reading material on the internet…and next thing you know, GODLESS.

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Atheists, wake up to the way your world works

There are a lot of Christian movies coming out: we had God is Not Dead and The Passion of the Christ, and now a remake of Left Behind with Nicholas Cage is hitting the theaters. A review of the trend points out how bad these movies are, and that rather than propping up Christianity they seem to be doing a better job of exposing its stupidities.

I agree with the review, and I’m sure most atheists wouldn’t find much cause to argue with it, either. But I’d like to point out one telling phrase that emerged when the author was explaining his background.

By way of background, I have lived both irrational religion and right-wing politics. To “find myself” and salvage a crumbling marriage, I converted to fundamentalist Christianity in my early twenties. Both my religion and marriage ended up failing, but I remained supportive of right-wing social politics for several years after, because “religious values” were part of my political identity. I opposed gay marriage long after I left the church (I am very, very sorry), even though without religious motives there is no logic behind such discrimination.

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All of #GamerGate, summarized

You want this sprawling mess in a tidy package? You can’t go wrong reading this lengthy breakdown by Kyle Wagner, who is probably now on a hate list somewhere.

One thing I particularly appreciated was the analysis of the attempt to coopt the young gaming jerk group by conservative culture warriors and anti-feminists, in particular the ridiculous Christina Hoff Sommers. Here’s the bit where he tears apart her video.

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Little ol’ Morris got that hashtag trending last night — I guess when essentially everyone in a small town suddenly starts tweeting exactly the same thing, it shows up as a bright blip in the data. It was an impressive reaction by the audience, too. These were college students who grew up with Bill Nye, and apparently even the ones who were too young to have watched his show when it was on the air got regularly exposed to episodes that were shown in the public schools. So he was welcomed like a rock star.

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