Open thread for episode 22.38: Matt & Mandisa Thomas


On this special episode of the Atheist Experience, president of Black Nonbelievers , Mandisa Thomas joins us as a guest host.

Comments

  1. IceMaster says

    I like this Mandisa lady, I do find how she thinks a bit troubling though. First off, I’m from Canada so things are obviously different here but the idea of racially segregated groups seems regressive, archaic and actually racist. Like with the Atheist Community of Austin isn’t specific to one skin color, everyone is welcome and included and that’s good, but these racially exclusive groups seem to exclude many and based on their skin color.

    She also seems to be obsessed with communities and groups. It’s always community this and community that, where are the individuals? She talks about the “black community” and seems to consider everyone who’s black to be a member of it. Did they all join up, why are they all by default part of a community? Why does she label everyone in groups, isn’t that a bit prejudiced?

    It all reminds me of the SJW cult’s way of applying as many labels to everyone and everything as possible and forcing everyone into groups. I don’t understand it. I’m not part of any community but I bet she would say I was a member of various communities purely based on my physical appearance or what I believe even though I would say I am part of no community at all. Am I the only one who finds this a bit wrong? Shouldn’t we include everyone?

    Wonderful lady though, I like what she does, I just wish she took a more inclusive path rather than an exclusive path. Again, maybe I see it as troubling because I’m from Canada and not USA? Given the option to have more groups segregated by skin color or less groups segregated by skin color, I would choose less every single time.

  2. Satan says

    I myself am not gay, but I must profess, I wouldn’t mind a date with Captain Dillahunty 🙂 A magic show, dinner at Threadgill’s, a conversation about Sye Ten Bruggencate.. I think it’d be fun. Can’t wait to hear about his dirty laundry 😉

    Keep it up guys. The ACA is doing a great job of furthering my agenda, and bringing more destruction to the Lord and his kingdom 🙂

  3. Leon Korteweg says

    The exchange with Traci was so lovely! Matt and Mandisa were very friendly, but honest and even made jokes about religion that Traci could appreciate and laughed hard at. Maybe she becomes a nonbeliever, too, maybe not, but it certainly seems she has enough reasons to abandon religion. Either way, I want to wish Traci good luck. 🙂

  4. paxoll says

    @icemaster
    I recommend going back and watching and listening closely to their conversation. They talked about the evolution of atheist conventions, and how they at first were very academic and everyone patting themselves on the back, now they have evolved to address not just the “god claim” but all aspects of being an atheist. As they said, there are topics that are important to some and not others, and that is why these are not exclusionary communities they are sub communities. Have you ever been to a black church as Matt asked? Do you think you can provide the same understanding, empathy, and experience to help people from cultures completely different than yours? When muslim callers from the middle east call, the hosts are happy to help explain the academic arguments behind the apologetics but when it comes to whether or not that person is safe to express their views, or how to deal with family, they back up and say “we don’t know what you are dealing with, so please don’t ask our advice”. These are sub groups and if you think you can get something useful from one of the groups than I am sure they would be happy for you to join them regardless of your sex/race/gender.

  5. Paul Money says

    @ Ice Master.
    I’ve always argued passionately against the human tendency to group other people together, with all that that implies in the prejudice line. However, if people want to self group, that’s their right and probably a good thing to do, whether it’s the White Tribe Farmers of Madd County, or the Gay Black Atheists of Palookaville. It isn’t their shared ancestry or their sexuality or their beliefs that draws them together, but their shared experience isn’t it? Besides, once you’ve got a group, you can have a shared social with another group and then you’ll have fun and learn something. Those white farmers may have some weird ideas but they brew good stuff and cut a mean rug.
    And welcome Mandisa. I hope we’ll see you again. Anybody who can share the space with Matt without being crowded to the sidelines is going to do alright.

  6. says

    To William’ question: Do some people seem to need religion?

    I would say Yes. In my experience they fall into several categories.

    First, the people who do not take any responsibility for their lives. They want iron-clad rules telling them what to do, what to think, which removes any need to think and question for themselves. It makes it all so easy for them, and for many it makes them feel safe. A “look at the trees” is enough to answer all their questions.

    It could be laziness, they get a warm fuzzy feeling from their belief and community and don’t want to rock the boat, so they skate over any contradictions. “This is what everybody believes and I feel good having community.”

    It could be they have been taught to doubt their own feelings and conclusions and to bow to any authority that shouts the loudest, and religion shouts with great volume and authority. “Who am I to question the priest/minister/mullah, who is a holy man of god and has much more knowledge than me?” To doubt is a sin.”

    Or it could be that their lives have been so troubled that they don’t have the energy to consider these questions but just want something settled so they can deal with the day to day stress of their lives, with the added bonus of a vague “It I follow the rules, God will love me and at some point will make everything better.”

  7. poggiofreethought says

    At this writing, I am watching the show (actually watching a whole show, rather than isolated YouTube conversations with callers). Today is my first day registered, and I am greatly interested in learning from the presenters, Matt and Mandisa.

    Regardless of one’s ethnic, social or educational background, it’s important that we see people of all different belief structures (or none) rather than seeing stereotypes of groups and presumed belief traditions.

    I, myself, am a non-believer, and I carry with me some very basic points from Lucretius that I learned from Stephen Greenblatt’s book, “The Swerve”. I have been learning since before the ‘Net allowed all this information to be spread and viewed. Former Catholic, former believer, I still have difficulty expressing my stance, and defending it. Also have difficulty debating with believers who choose to attack rather converse with people who have different ideas about religion and science. Matt brought me here with his strategies of cutting to the point, getting the focus on religious people to present their claims with evidence (i.e. What do you believe, and why?)

    Back to the show. 😉

    –Poggio

  8. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    @IceMaster
    You might find part of the cause of the segregation in your comment (although I note from a quick googling of Black Nonbelievers Inc that, “BN welcomes all regardless of sex, sexuality, gender identity, age, national origin or race. We extend a caring embrace to all who wish to explore a meaningful and rational life” implying that it’s not quite as segregated as you might be assuming).
    Let’s assume that there’s only nonbelievers’ meetings with no subdivisions (incidentally, why isn’t having nonbelievers’ meetings exclusionary of believers, or why isn’t that an issue for you?) and someone like you, who in a mere four paragraphs will find an excuse to gripe about the “SJW cult” is running one of these meetings. What happens when a black person comes to them with a complaint about racist abuse from one of the speakers or organisers? What happens if a woman comes with a complaint about sexual harassment? What if a gay or bisexual person complains about homophobic abuse, or a trans person complains about transphobic abuse? Are their concerns going to be taken seriously, or will it be dismissed as “SJW cultist nonsense” and ignored?
    If their issues are ignored by organisers, should they remain a part of the greater, unsegregated group anyway, or should they break away and form groups that will support them?

    Anyway, the podcast doesn’t seem to be available on itunes yet, so I’m gonna watch the video and take a look at how the (I guess not all that new anymore) new library’s studio is working out visually.

  9. says

    jeanette @ 5:

    also too: they wanna go to heaven with their loved ones, where they’ll have front row seats to watch their enemies burn in hell. they want all accounts settled because they wanna know that all the crap they put up with in life was really worth it after all.

  10. says

    also too, re folks who “need” religion: there have been a couple of oddball callers who’ve answered yes when asked if they would rape and pillage if they stopped believing in their god. while the hosts have been quick to deliver the necessary smackdowns, usually in the form of “for all of our sakes, keep drinking that koolaid!”, the question i’d have asked those folks is straight from euthyphro: are the inviolable commandments of your almighty lawgiver –rules you’ve presumably spent your adult life obeying — so meaningless in themselves that you’d trample them the instant you learn the author is fictional?

    they unwittingly demonstrate that for them obedience alone is the only real point of having laws (hence the obsession with “objective” morality, because it designates an authority), and not the positive consequences of having laws.

  11. crazytraci says

    @Leon Korteweg
    Hi! I’m actually the Traci that called into the show 😀 I was reading through the comments here, came across yours, and literally created a profile so that I could respond. Thank you so much for your kind words! I am glad that in my search for truth, I am making friends across the spectrum: from Christians to Atheists.
    To everyone who tuned in: thank you all for being so open minded and eager to answer my questions. I do still believe in God, but I’m going to continue working through the many questions I have about the Bible. Heck, I may even call in again next week.
    Anyhoo. Leon, thank you for making me smile. Have an awesome night!
    Traci

  12. kile says

    Hold up now,, I thought Atheism only addressed whether or whether not a God exists. I agree with IceMaster. I was so… disappointed with this particular program. I see any social group that uses race as racist, separatist and exclusive. We need to be inclusive and stop with this black and white shit as we describe people everyday. If we were to describe people by their real complexion it would be absolutely ridiculous such as “the Pink man and Brown lady I saw on the Telly today.” That would be absolutely ridiculous, however, it is essentially what we do daily. How would you like it if we had a whites-only ACA (expansion)??? PS I never saw a Black person or White person in my life. Colour is just racist way of separating us.

  13. kile says

    @Paxoll
    I am in no way a Troll and speak from the heart. When you separate people by the supposed color of their skin you are creating racism by definition. Federal law says you can’t do it in regard to hiring people, housing and eateries. I’m sure all are welcome, however, is there not a division in the terms alone? Also, why are you attacking me when I’m only expressing myself? Can we not talk these things out so we can get you a better understanding of things and learn from each other? After all is that not what this forum is for?

  14. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I thought Atheism only addressed whether or whether not a God exists.

    Did watch the last couple shows? Did you say the same thing about when the call talked about evolution, or abortion rights, or animal rights? Methinks that this is just hitting close to home.

    The Atheist Experience and most (all?) of the hosts and cohosts haveb been outspoken advocates of secular humaninism and social justice. They conscientiously choose to make the show about more than just atheism. In part, because otherwise it would be a very boring show if they restricted the topics to only about gods and religion. In part, because they expressly want religious people to experience talking to other kinds of people who hold different beliefs, and especially different beliefs concerning things that are stereotypically “atheist” aka “contrary to their religion”, such as evolution, sexism, and racism.

    We need to be inclusive and stop with this black and white shit as we describe people everyday.

    Our society has a severe problem with sexism and racism. The first step to fixing any problem is to admit to oneself that the problem exists. This attitude “we should all be color blind” just perpetuates the problem.

    Now, I think that we can disagree about the efficacy and ethics of certain tactics, such as affirmative action for college admissions, but it’s asinine to say that we are not allowed to talk about the problem and it’s asinine to say that talking about the problem is the real racism.

  15. VThomas says

    @EnlightenmentLibera

    “Our society has a severe problem with sexism and racism. The first step to fixing any problem is to admit to oneself that the problem exists. This attitude “we should all be color blind” just perpetuates the problem.”

    As society changes how society wants us to look at things changes as well. When I was a kid I was taught that we should not see color, racism was bad and if you had these thoughts you addressed them as incorrect and did not act on them. That is what I was taught growing up and how I have lived my life. Now I am told that it is part of the problem. I don’t think so. I have not perpetuated racism in my life by doing this. I am open to a better way to think to help the problem but I wonder in 10 years what will be the thoughts on racism.

    What also does not help is this attitude that racism and sexism are “severe” and no talk about how we have made progress is allowed it seems. Racism and sexism are not extinct but it is better now than 50 years ago. We should acknowledge that and encourage others that it can get better than it is today.

    One last thought, the goal should not be to eliminate racist thoughts 100% from our society. There will always be racists just like there will always be criminals, people who love cats and people who like bananas. The goal should be a society where everyone has equal opportunity and that opportunity is not restricted by racism or sexism. Racist thoughts are not criminal, acting on them could be. People should be free to be racists but not free to act on them to deny others their rights.

  16. says

    @Icemaster @Kile

    I think coming from outside of the US it is weird sometimes to look in on the strange, dysfunctional society that America has become.

    I live in Brussels. It is a melting pot of all the cultures on Earth. I don’t see too much in the way of race relations being a big issue here.

    Similarly, in all honesty, both in in Europe and Australia, religion isn’t a big issue. People just aren’t using religion anymore.

    Abortion debate in Australia? There isn’t one.

    Evolution deniers? No one sane.

    All of these matters though are big issues in the US because of the incredibly polarised and fractured society.

    As for the issue of atheists pursuing so called SJW causes, despite others on this blog insisting that atheism and such causes must be part of a single dogma, I personally maintain that it is up to the individual what they choose to believe and atheism is indeed a single issue.

    This opinion has in fact seen me attacked on this blog despite being in favour of gay rights, womens rights et c, because some people want to insist that you can’t be a “true” atheist unless you adhere to all of the other dogma that they have chosen should be part and parcel of atheism.

    To these people, you can’t be a Republican AND and atheist, or pro-life and AND atheist (thought clearly you can). There becomes then a distinction (in their mind) between someone who is a “good” atheist and a “bad” atheist.

  17. says

    This opinion has in fact seen me attacked on this blog despite being in favour of gay rights, womens rights et c, because some people want to insist that you can’t be a “true” atheist unless you adhere to all of the other dogma that they have chosen should be part and parcel of atheism.

    I seriously doubt this ever happened.

  18. ironchops says

    @kile
    “I thought Atheism only addressed whether or whether not a God exists.”
    Atheism is simply lack of belief in a god or gods. Now your done. Go live life.

  19. GumB. says

    @Icemaster @Kile @Shaun

    I’m gonna have to throw down with the other ‘outside of the USA’ people and agree with the points they’ve made about racism being less of an issue outside of the US, and even a non-issue in some places. Racism is woven into the very fabric of American culture and always has been. Strange how the American bloggers rejected other people’s different perspectives and suggestions outright. That’s certainly no way to learn anything outside of their own ingrained cultural belief system, which obviously isn’t working for them the way it’s structured now.

    I respect people’s right to blog about their US race issues in an effort to try and sort themselves out, but I found the reactionary comments by paxoll in particular to be myopic and idiotic. Shouting “you’ve been told, you been told, we wrote our American opinion, so now you’ve been told … fuck off troll” is a good demonstration of exactly what might be wrong with the US: self important insular myopia, the likes of which Paxoll has shown, with no realization at all that there are other cultural worldviews outside of their own that they could be drawing from and maybe even learning from.

    Get a grip paxoll, you’re a fool and it shows. All you ever do here is troll people with you’re idiotic one liners. That makes you the troll you know, literally, by definition. What, do you show up with buns at the pot luck down there in Austin, and so that’s why they let you ruin their blog with your obnoxious presence? All you ever do is just stop conversations and try to chase other people off like an arrogant buffoon. Like a religious person, actually. Building a wall around the blog are you? Who’s paying for it? Bahahahaha !!

    “I think coming from outside of the US it is weird sometimes to look in on the strange, dysfunctional society that America has become.”

    Yup. Did you read that Paxoll? That’s you.

  20. bodbod says

    Very well said GumB. There’s a few people around here who are making this quite an unpleasant place. Calls of troll, lier and go fuck off to anyone who disagrees with the host’s opinion (which is always automatically their opinion) is not ideal.

  21. Theisntist says

    Advocating for the rights of persecuted minorities is no more racist than advocating for women’s rights is sexist.

  22. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Secular Strategy #19:

    I seriously doubt this ever happened.

    Thread: Axp 22.09 – Shaun railing against “1984 Ingsoc thought control orthodoxy”
     
    22.09 EnlightenmentLiberal #41:

    It blew up because someone went full asshole-apologist

  23. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @GumB #22:

    racism being less of an issue outside of the US

    For Canada and Australia, see: Indigenous peoples.
    For Europe, see: Immigration and regufees.
     
     

    you’re a fool and it shows. All you ever do here is troll people with you’re idiotic one liners. That makes you the troll you know, literally, by definition. What, do you show up with buns at the pot luck down there in Austin, and so that’s why they let you ruin their blog with your obnoxious presence? All you ever do is just stop conversations and try to chase other people off like an arrogant buffoon. Like a religious person, actually. Building a wall around the blog are you? Who’s paying for it? Bahahahaha !!

    You nearly made it a month. This is the entrance you chose after flouncing!?
     
    Comment: Axp 22.34 – GumB #76

    definitely not the atheist community for me. I’ll take Matt’s advice and fuck off from here. Bye

  24. paxoll says

    @GumB
    Did you not read the responses to icemaster? Seeing the exact same thing posted after multiple respectful posts explaining fully how it was incorrect in the first post, why would I repeat everything me and others have already said. If someone wants to be purposefully obtuse and not bother reading what people have already said than I don’t want them continue to post.

    BUT, for your benefit.

    Icemaster- Like with the Atheist Community of Austin isn’t specific to one skin color, everyone is welcome and included and that’s good, but these racially exclusive groups seem to exclude many and based on their skin color…… I just wish she took a more inclusive path rather than an exclusive path…..Why does she label everyone in groups, isn’t that a bit prejudiced?

    Response

    Paxoll- now they have evolved to address not just the “god claim” but all aspects of being an atheist. As they said, there are topics that are important to some and not others, and that is why these are not exclusionary communities they are sub communities. Have you ever been to a black church as Matt asked? Do you think you can provide the same understanding, empathy, and experience to help people from cultures completely different than yours?…..
    These are sub groups and if you think you can get something useful from one of the groups than I am sure they would be happy for you to join them regardless of your sex/race/gender.

    Athywren – I note from a quick googling of Black Nonbelievers Inc that, “BN welcomes all regardless of sex, sexuality, gender identity, age, national origin or race. We extend a caring embrace to all who wish to explore a meaningful and rational life”

    Then Kile comes along and says

    Hold up now,, I thought Atheism only addressed whether or whether not a God exists. I agree with IceMaster. I was so… disappointed with this particular program. I see any social group that uses race as racist, separatist and exclusive. We need to be inclusive and stop with this black and white shit as we describe people everyday.

    ALL of this bullshit was addressed very respectfully even though it was quite clearly explained in the show itself. So exactly how many times would you like me to repeat everything when it is clearly written out a few posts above? When should troll behavior be called out? After 10 obtuse posts? 5? 3 strikes and you are out?

    Welcome back by the way.

  25. Robink says

    Yeah I’m from Australia and I can assure you that while religion, abortion, evolution etc are mainly niche issues, racism most certainly isn’t. It’s a HUGE problem. From out treatment of indigenous Aboriginals to our politics on asylum seekers, to Lebanese riots in Sydney to our recent wave of east Asian immigration and the tensions that has caused (“they’re taking our jobs!”)

  26. Monocle Smile says

    @Shaun
    You weren’t called out for not being a ‘true’ atheist. No one has ever said you weren’t a ‘true’ atheist.
    You were called out for posting some transphobic nonsense. This has nothing to do with atheism and everything to do with being a decent person. I don’t give a fuck that someone just so happens to be an atheist if they’re a garbage person. Ayn Rand fanboys are a good example. Being an atheist isn’t enough for me, and loads of blog regulars feel the same way (as does the ACA). I don’t know how many times this can be clearly explained for it to catch on. EL did a good job earlier and that’s probably going to be ignored as well.

    The ACA is, obviously, an American organization. Yet it seems some people get butthurt about the fact that the show and the blog regulars are focused on American issues. Why is that?

  27. says

    “You weren’t called out for not being a ‘true’ atheist. No one has ever said you weren’t a ‘true’ atheist.
    You were called out for posting some transphobic nonsense. This has nothing to do with atheism and everything to do with being a decent person. I don’t give a fuck that someone just so happens to be an atheist if they’re a garbage person.”

    You have an edge on me, since I haven’t reread the thread. However, the core of my argument was that I have a right to my opinion and I am still an atheist whether or not it aligns with a groupthink.

    To which Enlightenmentliberal insisted that, no, if I wanted to be an atheist, I had to subscribe to every bit of dogma he deemed was part of “the atheist movement’s” othodoxy.

    As for transphobic stuff, I seriously doubt it. The reason I doubt it it is that the core of my beliefs is that if someone’s lifestyle doesn’t affect me adversely they can do as the please. I am indifferent to trans rights and if by expressing that, I am expressing transphobia in your view, so be it.

    In that thread, Enlightenmentliberal went mental at me for simply reserving the right to have views that may differ from his. Ironically even while most likely holding the same position on most social issues as him.

    The only reason I am opposed to religion is because religious people have a tendency to try and tell everyone what to do based on their beliefs. Strangely enough I am equally opposed to atheists telling me what to do or think based on their beliefs.

    @Bodbod
    “Very well said GumB. There’s a few people around here who are making this quite an unpleasant place.”

    Yeah. This has become a rather toxic blog at times, when any divergence from the groupthink of self appointed arbiters sees one attacked and called a troll. I just came hear for the sport of tearing apart theists’ ridiculous arguments. I didn’t sign up for dogma.

  28. says

    “It’s a HUGE problem. From out treatment of indigenous Aboriginals to our politics on asylum seekers, to Lebanese riots in Sydney to our recent wave of east Asian immigration and the tensions that has caused (“they’re taking our jobs!”)”

    Depends on your point of view.

    Aborigines – 60,000 dollars a years spent by the government on every man woman and child who identify as aboriginal. They are a disenfranchised people and this in itself is a problem, but governments attempt to address this, even if they do it imperfectly.

    Detention centres on Manus island. Not good. What can I say?

    Lebanese riots? Huh? The Cronulla riots more than 10 years ago now?

    East Asian immigration? Pauline Hanson has 10% support. These people are opposed to multiculturalism. You are always going to get a percentage of people like that in any country. Whaddya do?

    Perhaps I see a different Australia to you. It has a mixed score card perhaps, but does any country get it right?

  29. says

    To which Enlightenmentliberal insisted that, no, if I wanted to be an atheist, I had to subscribe to every bit of dogma he deemed was part of “the atheist movement’s” othodoxy.

    This absolutely did not happen. Even in that very conversation he called out this accusation as a strawman, and you continue to perpetuate it here. Just stop.

  30. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @22.38 Shaun #31

    I haven’t reread the thread.

     
    Comment: Axp 22.09 – EnlightenmentLiberal #161

    At no point in that story did I assert “someone is not an atheist if they are not a secular humanist”. Rather, I simply stated that everyone should be a secular humanist, and that includes atheists. I also stated that we should exclude the shitty atheists from the atheism and skeptic movement, so that we can accomplish something of value, and make the world into a better place for everyone.

     
    Comment: Axp 22.09 – Shaun #163

    “At no point in that story did I assert ‘someone is not an atheist if they are not a secular humanist'”
    […]
    Nor did I ever say you asserted that.
    […]
    You are saying that you want to be the self appointed arbiter of who is a “good” atheist and who is a “shitty” atheist. And you will have a little group of right thinking people who think exactly like you.

     
     
    22.38 Shaun #18

    some people want to insist that you can’t be a “true” atheist unless you adhere to all of the other dogma that they have chosen should be part and parcel of atheism.

    22.38 Shaun #21:

    the core of my argument was that I have a right to my opinion and I am still an atheist

    You explicitly denied what you now call the “core of your argument”.

  31. says

    “This absolutely did not happen. Even in that very conversation he called out this accusation as a strawman, and you continue to perpetuate it here. Just stop.”

    How about you stop it? You denied the very existence of the thread on the last post until you were corrected. That is my recollection of how the thread unfolded. It was a long thread but it has been dug up here, So anyone here can review it for themselves. It started I believed because the good people of the blog complained that some of my language choices weren’t politically correct enough for their liking.

    I don’t know what your angle is, but I don’t like it all the same. The constant sniping of anyone who falls foul any purity test that someone else decides to apply has turned this blog entirely toxic.

    It is for this reason that I only come here from time to time now. I know what I know. I know that Christianity is rubbish. I have had about enough of “Look at the trees” arguments and people who can’t comprehend that anyone can be moral without having it imposed on them. I don’t really need to see these lame arguments rehashed time and time again.

    I come here for the sport of explaining to Sam from the UK (and others of that ilk) that if I have free will and as a result don’t have to worship a god if I don’t want to and seeing his head explode as a result.

    I don’t come here to have the purity police tell me that I don’t express myself in ways that they approve.

  32. says

    ‘You explicitly denied what you now call the “core of your argument”.’

    Really? OK, I am going on memory on a thread from March and your are being so pedantic about it that you quibble between the terms “true atheist” and “good atheist”. What is with that? The “true atheist” line is simply a reference to “no true Scotsman”.

    What is your angle? I’ve always wondered that. It seems you are the resident pedant. You never (once again I am going from impression and memory here) seem to contribute original thought to the debate. You just seem to pick on points of order. What is with that?

  33. says

    “Is this the usual pro-cedure for these Group Ther’py shindigs? Bunch of chickens at a peckin’ party?” – Randle P McMurphy.

    Kind of what this blog turns into when there are no strong theistic antagonists to lay into.

  34. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Shaun #37:

    The “true atheist” line is simply a reference to “no true Scotsman”.

     
    Article: Wikipedia – No true Scotsman

    in which one attempts to protect a universal generalization from counterexamples by changing the definition in an ad hoc fashion

    Since there was no universal claim made of an atheist dogma, your Scotsman fallacy reference is simply dishonest.

  35. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To which Enlightenmentliberal insisted that, no, if I wanted to be an atheist, I had to subscribe to every bit of dogma he deemed was part of “the atheist movement’s” othodoxy.

    Could you please not brazenly lie?

    Otherwise, everything that needs to be said has already been said. Special thanks to Sky Captain for digging up those quotes.

  36. says

    You guys are priceless.

    Let’s recap. What do we have here?

    Hmmmm, Secular Strategy.. yes that was a winning strategy.

    Monocle Smile. Now there’s one. Can’t remember the last time this person’s contributed anything other telling the designated troll du jour to fuck off.

    Sky Captain. Manages to be both pedantic and incoherent at the same time.

    And finally enlightenmentliberal. So obsessive that he has carried on debates on here for weeks, refusing to admit any fault whatsoever.

    Have I missed anyone?

    Like I said, what a toxic cesspit this blog has degenerated into.

    It is, frankly, an embarrassment to the atheist experience show.

  37. Monocle Smile says

    So Shaun brings up something from the past to bitch about, and then proceeds to bitch about people bringing up things from the past. That’s fun.

  38. Monocle Smile says

    Shaun, what would be the point of proving the value of my contributions? I actually defended you in that old thread, but like most of my good-faith questions, that will probably be ignored as well. In fact, that’s why I’m rather hostile here…it seems like it’s the most effective way to induce engagement.

  39. Theisntist says

    Although the discussions can occasionally go off the rails, I find this forum to be generally interesting and intellectually stimulating, especially when compared to what passes for discourse on most of social media.

    Although Shaun has made some good points with which I have agreed, he has also been guilty of his share of baseless attacks.

    His insults above are inexcusable. If he feels that way about the commenters here it is
    clear that we would all be better off if he take his marbles and go home.

  40. says

    Aaaand then we have the isntist piping in.. What a bunch we have here.

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t your particular schtick claiming to be a meat eater while trotting out every vegan talking point under the sun? Is that it? And when I said I felt that for for me that stretches credulity you got upset with that? And frankly if you feel that was baseless I can’t help you. If someone says to me (and I’m paraphrasing here so pedants don’t go aha! because I will be ignoring you). I eat meat but I believe that meat is murder, yeah, I’m going to point out that appears inconsistent to me all day every day.

    @MS “Shaun, what would be the point of proving the value of my contributions?”

    I’m just asking you a question. That you didn’t say, :come of it, I had a hearty discussion with Sam from UK about how the exisitence of seeds does not indicate the exsistence of god because they are simply a natural occurence”, is telling. I would be surprised if your contributions to this blog in the past six months had amounted to more than, “Why don’t you just fuck off, troll?”.

    And then in comes Paxoll. I was wondering when you would chime in. Your previous gem on this thread – “@Kile
    Your bullshit has already been addressed.”

    Personally, it wasn’t bullshit. It was making a point that someone outside America can understand. A correct response might be –

    I get where you’re coming from, but in America black people face quite particular challenges unique to their community and get solace from such a group.

    Fairly simple really.

    Like I said, a pecking party. This blog was having a slow week. 17 posts by Thursday. But all of a sudden… look we have an antagonist. Someone who challenges our groupthink. Let’s all pile on.

    Meanwhile people like gumb, and t90bb are getting less and less interested in contributing. Funny about that. When a blog goes toxic, it’s what usually happens. People don’t bother – they leave the usual suspects to snipe at anyone new.

  41. says

    @MS

    “Being an atheist isn’t enough for me, and loads of blog regulars feel the same way (as does the ACA). I don’t know how many times this can be clearly explained for it to catch on. EL did a good job earlier and that’s probably going to be ignored as well.”

    Just thought I’d quickly address this:

    “Then get off this blog and go back to the Slymepit, or to neo-Nazis on Youtube like Sargon. This blog is explicitly for humanism, atheism+, and so forth. You are right that the word “atheism” is often defined as just that, but the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.” – EL

    So.. I lied did I? I imagined it all? MUST? MUST? A blog only EXPLICITLY for atheists who also identify as secular humanists? Really? And you think EL did a good job? I guess that is a question of perspective then.

    Now I thought it was a blog where the hosts say to callers, “well if you’d like to debate your belief that prophecy proves scripture further we have a blog of the show but we’re going to move on to other callers now”. Precious little of that now. Too many purity tests going on.

  42. Monocle Smile says

    @Shaun

    Personally, it wasn’t bullshit. It was making a point that someone outside America can understand. A correct response might be –

    I get where you’re coming from, but in America black people face quite particular challenges unique to their community and get solace from such a group.

    This was explained by Athywren before kile showed up, but keep pretending otherwise. Makes you look so honest.

    I would be surprised if your contributions to this blog in the past six months had amounted to more than, “Why don’t you just fuck off, troll?”.

    EL was right and I was wrong. I can’t believe I stuck up for you, lying assclown.

    So.. I lied did I? I imagined it all? MUST? MUST? A blog only EXPLICITLY for atheists who also identify as secular humanists? Really? And you think EL did a good job? I guess that is a question of perspective then.

    Uh, dude, the ACA has always been extremely clear on their stances. What, do you think AXP welcomes any old asshole who just so happens to not believe in god? Are you really that dense? There have been flurries of atheist callers that the hosts have reamed out just as hard as any theist. Also, EL is expressing his opinion about how the “atheist movement” would best benefit humanity, he’s not making a declarative statement about what the atheist label means.

    And yes, you DID lie. For the hundredth time, nobody has ever fucking said you’re not an atheist or not a ‘true’ atheist. Get that through your skull. You’re just not an atheist that lots of us want to associate with. Why is this so impossibly hard? Sure, you can post here, but a good time on this blog is not guaranteed if you’re not a secular humanist. And that’s a feature, not a bug.

    Now I thought it was a blog where the hosts say to callers, “well if you’d like to debate your belief that prophecy proves scripture further we have a blog of the show but we’re going to move on to other callers now”. Precious little of that now. Too many purity tests going on.

    This isn’t Pharyngula. Usually the intent here is to educate, but then asshats like you decide to have total fucking meltdowns because of what some stranger said to them on the internet once. I can’t for the life of me understand this mentality. I say “fuck off, troll” to the trolls because that’s all they’re worth. There’s no point in expending more rage.

  43. says

    @MS “And yes, you DID lie. For the hundredth time, nobody has ever fucking said you’re not an atheist or not a ‘true’ atheist. Get that through your skull. You’re just not an atheist that lots of us want to associate with. Why is this so impossibly hard? Sure, you can post here, but a good time on this blog is not guaranteed if you’re not a secular humanist. And that’s a feature, not a bug.”

    So.. your only recourse is to split hairs? When EL says “the atheist movement should and must be much more than that. It must be a secular humanist movement.” that is as plain as day saying you must be a secular humanist or you’re not a good atheist. In fact the term “shitty atheist” was explicitly used by EL.

    And you are wrong, a good time on this blog is guaranteed by me. The thing is I oppose group think and dogma. So when I’m ripping apart a bunch of people on this blog for being pedantic, hair splitting toxic buffoons, I’m having the time of my life.

    By the way I’m not an atheist, I just don’t believe in god. Also, if you people are an example of the atheist movement it doesn’t really show it in a pleasant light. You are all too woke for me.

  44. says

    and PS

    @MS “I can’t believe I stuck up for you, lying assclown.”

    I don’t need people sticking up for me. especially not the self-righteous. I don’t lie. I interpret what is said. Some may split hairs about whether or not I interpreted what was said correctly, but just because you disagree with me over semantics doesn’t make my interpretation less valid.

  45. says

    “By the way I’m not an atheist, I just don’t believe in god.”

    Wow, you really are an incoherent thinker. I am glad you are having the “time of your life” posting here, but you certainly are just a waste of space in terms of adding anything to the conversation.

  46. says

    “Also, EL is expressing his opinion about how the “atheist movement” would best benefit humanity, he’s not making a declarative statement about what the atheist label means. ”

    This one can’t go unchallenged. Let’s start with the obligatory “duh”. I know now as I knew then that he was not making a declarative statement about what the atheist label means. For anyone to ever even think that from the discussions makes me wonder what their comprehension skills are like.

    ELs opinion about how the atheist movement can best benefit humanity is a valid as any. His proscription that it MUST be the way he wants it.. nah.

  47. says

    “Wow, you really are an incoherent thinker. I am glad you are having the “time of your life” posting here, but you certainly are just a waste of space in terms of adding anything to the conversation.”

    Welcome Jeannette and glad you could make it to the pecking party.

    “By the way I’m not an atheist, I just don’t believe in god.”

    Allow me to explain, since you seem to have missed the point somewhat. People (I must stress here that I am not making any appeal to authority) such as Neil DeGrasse Tyson have expressed similar sentiments. It means that the term “atheist” has become a loaded, toxic term that describes nasty infighting pedants like on this blog. Similar to the way feminism has become a toxic term.

    By the way when say “but you certainly are just a waste of space in terms of adding anything to the conversation” When this is your only contribution to the conversation, can you spot the irony? I’m assuming that being Canadian you do understand irony.

  48. says

    “Similar to the way feminism has become a toxic term.”
    Toxic perhaps to alt-right types and woman-hating MGTOWS. To the mainstream Feminism is NOT a toxic term. Try looking outside your bubble.

    Bye the way, just how did you know I am posting from Canada? That seems an odd thing to find out just to respond to someone on the web.

  49. says

    “To the mainstream Feminism is NOT a toxic term.” Um yeah it is. You mean I imagined Emma Watson’s speech to the UN where she opined that “fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man hating”?

    “Bye the way” – by the way if you are going to question someone else’s intelligence, perhaps better not to confuse bye and by.

    Also, if you question my coherence yet can’t can’t work out how I know you are Canadian.. perhaps you should work it out yourself.

  50. Theisntist says

    “Correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t your particular schtick claiming to be a meat eater while trotting out every vegan talking point under the sun? Is that it?”

    Your argument is a logical fallacy. It goes like this: “vegans think factory farming is cruel, theisntist thinks factory farming is cruel, therefore theisntist is a vegan”. Your premise excludes the existence of meat eaters that think factory farming is cruel, but the multibillion dollar humane meat industry is ample evidence that we do in fact exist. Some people who care about animal welfare become vegans, some seek out more humane meat sources, others just feel guilty when they go to McDonald’s, it’s not that complicated.

    The only reason I jumped into that particular discussion was the poor arguments that were being made, such as “if we all became vegan cows would go extinct.” To which I replied, “like in India?” (Once again, obvious alternatives, like the existence of people who raise cattle for purposes other than food, were not considered.)

    I was at no point arguing against meat eating, but rather arguing that if you are going to argue against veganism do so with logically sound arguments, to which you replied, “sock puppet!”

    Your arguments against religion can be sound, but on other topics your biases and emotional immaturity are laid bare. Such selective skepticism might fly elsewhere but on this forum are rightly challenged.

  51. says

    “Your argument is a logical fallacy. It goes like this: “vegans think factory farming is cruel, theisntist thinks factory farming is cruel, therefore theisntist is a vegan”.

    Which would have been great if that was my argument. Unfortunately it wasn’t.

    I recall that thread.. over and over you put your opposition to factory farming as a strawman. It was a strawman because noone else was arguing in favour of factory farming.

    It wasn’t that was the issue – it was the use of quotes such as this:

    “The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”

    kind of of suss for meat eater. Anyway that was done to death back then. But if you are going to debate me, please don’t misprepresent me in the debate. I know straw men are easier to knock down, but then you haven’t actually destroyed your opponents argument then have you? You have destroyed something unrelated to the matter at hand.

    And in closing, just to reiterate, I don’t not believe that if someone is opposed to inhumane farming practises that they must be a vegan.

  52. says

    “Your arguments against religion can be sound, but on other topics your biases and emotional immaturity are laid bare. ”

    I beg your pardon? How about this? You express yourself the way you see fit and I will express myself the way I see fit.

    You would have more of a point if you didn’t have to create strawmen for you arguments to be valid.

    I can recognise concern trolling when I see it. The “I’m not a vegan but…” thing is about as transparent as “I’m not a racist but..”

    Anyway, anyone else want a go? someone else like Jeanette who just appears out of nowhere? Come on, I’m having fun here.

  53. Theisntist says

    “The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”

    True, I did post that quote. But it’s a quote by DaVinci, and I was talking about the value of breaking free of our indoctrination, of which he was a great example. That doesn’t mean I agree completely with his quote, but it is useful food for thought.

  54. StonedRanger says

    Its strange how there can be a discussion of the show and Shaun comes in and the next thirty posts are all about shaun. You shouldn’t call people pedants on the one hand Shaun, and then correct someones spelling a bit later. Makes you look real good.

  55. paxoll says

    @Shawn

    And then in comes Paxoll. I was wondering when you would chime in. Your previous gem on this thread – “@Kile
    Your bullshit has already been addressed.”

    hmmm nice of you to cherry pick / quote mine one thing I wrote. Means as much as me quoting you

    You are all too woke for me

    It doesn’t demonstrate what you were talking about or referring to.

    Personally, it wasn’t bullshit. It was making a point that someone outside America can understand. A correct response might be –

    I get where you’re coming from, but in America black people face quite particular challenges unique to their community and get solace from such a group.

    Maybe this is a good time to practice your english since reading comprehension seems a bit difficult for you. What do you think this means?

    As they said, there are topics that are important to some and not others, and that is why these are not exclusionary communities they are sub communities. Have you ever been to a black church as Matt asked? Do you think you can provide the same understanding, empathy, and experience to help people from cultures completely different than yours? When muslim callers from the middle east call, the hosts are happy to help explain the academic arguments behind the apologetics but when it comes to whether or not that person is safe to express their views, or how to deal with family, they back up and say “we don’t know what you are dealing with, so please don’t ask our advice”. These are sub groups and if you think you can get something useful from one of the groups than I am sure they would be happy for you to join them regardless of your sex/race/gender.

    I said it better. Next.

    I am going on memory on a thread from March and your are being so pedantic about it that you quibble between the terms “true atheist” and “good atheist”.

    These terms are completely different. The first implies a necessary connection while the second implies a moral judgement. Would you accuse someone of saying that an apple wasn’t a true apple? This is highly insulting saying someone doesn’t understand basic reality. It is completely different and a strawman argument, not “being pedantic”. Me explaining this in detail to you because of your boorish behavior is being pedantic.

    This blog was having a slow week. 17 posts by Thursday. But all of a sudden… look we have an antagonist. Someone who challenges our groupthink.

    Bravo. In the 43 posts since you joined the conversation you contributed 20 of them. Hey, I think your crying is much more entertaining than Mohammed’s last week.

  56. says

    @StonedRanger

    Look mate, to be honest, in case you hadn’t noticed from the thread I find this blog have turned toxic. If someone calls me out I will always put my counter argument. You deny me that right?

    I have been called a liar because I have made statements about my interpretation of someone else’s view despite my interpretation being entirely valid. I have been told what I said happened didn’t happen. I quoted the exact wording and was told I was lying by the person who wrote those very words. And simply because I respond to such toxic bitching I have made it about me?

    And if you want to pop out of nowhere, call me stupid and then use an elementary spelling error in your response, yeah, I’m going to use that against you. You really need to be cautious about such things when you are calling someone’s basic reasoning faculty into question. If I can use something to make someone look stupid when they have called me stupid.. that’s happening.

    And I suppose now you will see me responding to you as more evidence that I am making it all about me.

    Now frankly from your past posts I’ve never really considered you someone who really falls into the toxicity trap and groupthink of this blog. I guess I was wrong on that front.

  57. says

    “These terms are completely different. The first implies a necessary connection while the second implies a moral judgement. Would you accuse someone of saying that an apple wasn’t a true apple? This is highly insulting saying someone doesn’t understand basic reality. It is completely different and a strawman argument, not “being pedantic”. Me explaining this in detail to you because of your boorish behavior is being pedantic. ”

    OK fine, I’ll just change from the term “true atheist” to “good atheist”. Happy now? But still, it’s quibbling over semantics to me.

    However, I will quibble over “The first implies a necessary connection” – and use the no true Scotsman fallacy.

    Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the “Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again”. Hamish is shocked and declares that “No Scotsman would do such a thing.” The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again; and, this time, finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion, but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says: “No true Scotsman would do such a thing.”

    Now if you don’t take from that that the terms “true atheist” and “good atheist” are functionally interchangeable in my usage then yeah.. you are a pedant busy splitting hairs. But like I said already.. sure. I’ll strike out the term “true atheist”. big deal. If it makes my point clearer, fine. But then I don’t think anyone here is much about getting the other person’s point.

    As for the number of posts made my me, so what? I just responded as people told me I was stupid, crazy and a liar. If they hadn’t responded in such fashion, I wouldn’t have replied.

  58. Monocle Smile says

    @Shaun
    I’m going to ignore most of your tantrum and focus on this:

    ELs opinion about how the atheist movement can best benefit humanity is a valid as any. His proscription that it MUST be the way he wants it.. nah.

    If you honestly think that the atheist movement wouldn’t be better for everyone if it were filled with secular humanists and that any opinion is just as good as any other, then you are simply fucked in the head. I don’t want racists and sexists (or an-cap libertarians) in the movement, and I’m not opposed to ejecting them. I don’t care if they’re atheists. That’s not group think. That’s how decent people operate. I want the movement to be full of decent people. I don’t just want society secularized…I want it improved. The ACA feels the same way. You seem so shocked that this blog is centered around secular humanism. Why is that a surprise?

    I don’t expect all Christian groups to be open and welcoming towards the Westboro Baptist Church, and that’s pretty obviously reasonable. Why is it different for secular movements?

  59. says

    “If you honestly think that the atheist movement wouldn’t be better for everyone if it were filled with secular humanists and that any opinion is just as good as any other, then you are simply fucked in the head. I don’t want racists and sexists (or an-cap libertarians) in the movement, and I’m not opposed to ejecting them. I don’t care if they’re atheists. That’s not group think. That’s how decent people operate. I want the movement to be full of decent people. I don’t just want society secularized…I want it improved. The ACA feels the same way. You seem so shocked that this blog is centered around secular humanism. Why is that a surprise?”

    Well here’s the thing. I don’t like “movements” and I’m not part of one. Which is great, because you can’t eject non members.

    And yeah I hate to tell you this but it is groupthink. If by not being sexist you mean I’m in favour of equality for women, yeah of course. Without question.

    But if you say, you can’t be part of our thing if you don’t like people like Rebecca Watson and her brand of feminism for example – that is establishing a dogma. A set of tenet of beliefs where some people and their ideas are beyond question. I haven’t looked it up but i’m pretty sure PZ Myers has people her beyond criticism. That is a nascent hierarchy there.

    And so if you say to me that being a secular humanists being on board with a particular person’s views on something like feminism, I say no.

    And no, I’m not shocked. But perhaps I do tend to imagine that secular humanists would hold themselves to a higher standard of allowing other people to choose their beliefs rather than want to impose a set of beliefs.

    And I do support women’s equality (of course) but there’s a difference between women’s equality some current feminist strains for example and I won’t be expected to subscribe to them.

    If that makes sense? Secular principles good. Secular detail – well who decides which detail is the right detail?

  60. StonedRanger says

    So, let me get this straight Shaun. You can call people pedants and act like its a bad thing, but when you act pedantically (pointing out someone else’s spelling error, its okay and perfectly allowable. And when I point out the hypocrisy of that, that somehow makes me all of a sudden, part of some toxicity trap or groupthink? No, it just means that Im pointing out your hypocrisy. I am not making any kind of personal judgement, nor am I parroting any kind of groupthink. You come out here and claim to not be an atheist, then in the next breath you say you just don’t believe in a god. Those two things are direct contradictions. When you say and do things like that, people assume you are a troll because that is exactly how a troll operates. Personally, I think youre just an asshole with nothing better to do than come to bait the americans. If that’s what floats your boat, please, by all means continue with the present program. But don’t get your panties in bunch when you get called out for it.

  61. says

    “So, let me get this straight Shaun. You can call people pedants and act like its a bad thing, but when you act pedantically (pointing out someone else’s spelling error.”

    No let’s not get this straight. I’ve explained once and once will do. You don’t like that explanation, tough.

  62. says

    “You come out here and claim to not be an atheist, then in the next breath you say you just don’t believe in a god. Those two things are direct contradictions.”

    Once again. This too has already been addressed. You are bringing up again because?

  63. says

    ” Personally, I think youre just an asshole with nothing better to do than come to bait the americans.”

    Why raise that? Has what i said earlier been an irritant? Oh I see. Yeah look, sorry about that. I’m just doing an honest assessment of how I think much of the world views America. In that one I didn’t intend to offend. I guess I thought you guys knew that we people from the rest of the world that see you, to summarise as a nation with a lot of problems and a lot of divisions.

  64. Theisntist says

    Shaun, you have zero allies on this blog, attack virtually everyone here, and have convinced exactly zero people of your position. At this point continuing to comment would be nothing more than trolling. As someone once said “If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.”

  65. paxoll says

    @Shaun

    This too has already been addressed. You are bringing up again because?

    Lol, so it happens to you but you don’t say…

    It was making a point that someone outside *Brussels* can understand.

  66. says

    “If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.”

    And back at ya.. my best advice for avoiding trouble is avoid assholes and big egos, and places where assholes and big egos congregate. Now I ain’t seeing too many assholes in my daily life,, sooo….

    Allies? So. We need alllies on a blog do we? I don’t actually know anyone on here. It’s not like I am seeking approval. What a strange thing to say on a free thought blog. I would have thought a range of views would be celebrated and approval optional.

    Now I came here just to make one comment today, but that one comment generated a bit of flak so I responded to that flak and here we are. Whaddya do hey? Back down? Not speak your mind because you risk the approval of others? Sorry, not in my nature.

  67. says

    “By allies I just mean people who agree with your.”

    Yeah I get that. I just don’t seek them. If people agree with me they agree, if they don’t they don’t. Either way, my opinion is the same.

  68. says

    I’m thinking I’m getting why this passion for linking humanism with atheism comes from. I didn’t think of it from an American perspective. In the rest of the world what are your battlegrounds are our defaults.

    We don’t have to battle for abortion rights or gay rights or socialised medicine or affordable education. We don’t have the struggle of coming out as atheists. We just don’t use religion. We have strong social welfare systems. There’s a lot that humanism has to fight for in America.

  69. GumB. says

    Look, for me it was pretty simple.

    Three times in a row I debated someone on here about a religious topic, or a topic that related directly back to religious narratives and the influences they have on people’s interpretations of reality, and three times in a row I was indirectly told through someone spazzing out like a psycho that those debates aren’t welcome here. Others indicated the same sentiment too, in various different ways. So, I looked back to see what the blog, and in particular what this one mouthpiece who chases people away all the time does like to talk about (at length too, without any references at all made during their discussions as to how their pet topics even relate back to religion) and I thought, wow, TAE’s insides on this blog sure don’t match what they appear to be representing on their outsides from the show. It’s certainly not a place to come looking for a wide range of debate about the many various different religious influences and their impacts on human society, that’s for sure. That’s what was demonstrated to me during my time here.

    This place appears to me to have been usurped by one very specific sub group and their couple of pet issues particular to only just them, and it appears to be a few control freaks from that community who insist on enforcing their own narrow range of topics by hurling abuse at other people in an attempt to manipulate the conversations. That’s what I saw happening. Them discussing their favorite pet issues is totally fine by me, up until when they start stopping other people from introducing other topics related to religious influences and the various hazards they represent to humanity. It doesn’t make for a very edifying blog to have one particular sub group dictating topics to other people in the midst of ongoing discussions that arise like I saw happening, and some are very obnoxious about the way they try to control that here too. They’re also not very honest about the fact that they’re even doing it, or why. Maybe they aren’t even aware they’re doing it, or why.

    So, I left.

    No big deal really. No need to crap your pants either over me dropping by and making a one off random comment again. So what?

    I just thought I’d share about my experience, and it wasn’t an atheist experience, that’s for sure (I was born and raised an atheist by the way.)

    When I briefly dropped by again, just for shits and giggles, I couldn’t resist taking a poke at the one particularly spazzy dictator was all, because there they were, still at it, in full force. That person really does remind me of how religious people behave, lol. How many “chances” should Paxoll give people before he starts hurling toxic abuse at them? I don’t know, what makes Paxoll think it’s up to him to decide that in the first place, or to ever hurl toxic abuse at people? Does he have a god complex or something? The decider and the punisher? There’s sure some religious based thinking for you. That rationalization for his or her actions just sounds like malignant narcissism to me, which is often one of the byproducts of being exposed to too much religious patriarchy. Like I intimated in my earlier comment, this shit courses all throughout your culture down there, even without church because of the church, you should learn to recognize it.

    Good luck sorting out your blog issues TAE. This is certainly not the place to be though if you want to participate in a wide range of discussions about the various harms of religion. That was the conclusion I came to, for whatever it’s worth to have that feedback about your blog. Maybe … a muzzle for someone would help make it a more engaging place? You learn from diversity you know, not from being insular. It wasn’t even his/her foulness that bothered me. What bothered me was seeing the discourse it stopped, which is the obvious intention behind it; censorship of unwanted discourse through the application of emotional violence. That’s a church move, and it doesn’t belong in the world of secular humanism.

  70. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @GumB #82:

    I briefly dropped by again, just for shits

    No need to crap your pants
     
     

    enforcing their own narrow range of topics by hurling abuse […] stopping other people from introducing other topics

     
    Comment: Axp 22.34 – GumB #71

    I’ve read some pretty profound summarized analysis made from all of our collective anthropology to date that lays waste to that argument

     
    Comment: Axp 22.34 – RationalismRules #72

    Re: the anthropology study. It sounds very interesting, and I would like to read it. Please give us a citation.
    […]
    you’re preemptively accusing me of ignoring evidence that you haven’t even provided. You’ve told me about some things you’ve read. That’s interesting, but it’s not evidence to anyone else but you until you direct us to those sources. (aka “citation please”).

     
    Comment: Axp 22.34 – GumB #73

    One or two or ten people being exposed to this data is meaningless. […] too much to individually cite here […] I withdraw my argument. I don’t even care enough anymore to even bother.

     
    Uh-huh. Yeah, that was brutal.

  71. says

    Gumb, thank you for that very well written and thought out piece. Expressed very eloquently and might I say diplomatically in a way that I wish that I could write.

    That it reflects my current sentiment is simply an aside.

    I haven’t seen much of you on this blog, but what I have seen has always been pure class. You not contributing because you feel like me that this blog has turned toxic is a shame, but it also is what it is. This is what happens when an environment turns toxic.

    For me it’s a slightly different reason to come here less (but of course the toxicity plays a factor).

    As I have alluded to, the battles that American atheists face are not the same as the battles atheists face throughout the rest of the developed world. In Australia it’s simple; no one uses religion. You don’t have to declare yourself an atheist because people don’t ask. I don’t know what the religions of any of my best friends are. Religion intersects with people’s lives only at weddings and funerals. Other than that people simply don’t set foot inside churches.

    It has been fun to watch the show and then have a bit of back and forth with theologists. But frankly, the evidence for evolution for expample is so overwhelming it is becomes an exercise in the ridiculous to debate a theist on such a topic over and over again. Or to explain repeatedly that “the bible says”, is not counted as evidence.

    So I’m not taking my bat and ball and storming off as such. Like you I reserve the right to pop in for shits and giggles. It’s just the issue of god is settled with me. It’s an absurd notion and I’ve spent my time debating it. More time is like watching reruns of a TV show.

    I’ve managed to offend every regular poster on here in one thread (quite an achievement I might say) but if you read what I have said, where is the actual offensiveness? Point it out to me. The main irritant it seems has been the use of the term “true atheist” rather than using “good atheist”, which I am happy to say, ok then, swap the terms out.

    It is instructive that after you put up such a well thought out post that sky captain goes on one of his customary quote mining rants. Says it all about the blog and what it has become really. Never really managed to work out what the hell he was getting at. He has the persona to me of the crazy inventor in back to the future.

  72. says

    And by the way, when someone doesn’t get the line, “I’m not an atheist, I just don’t believe in god”, you know you’re in the wrong place. When they yell “That’s a contradiction” in a Bill Burr like voice I imagine, you just facepalm.

    It’s a simple enough idea. It says that atheist is now a loaded term that carries lots of baggage. It is a label and an identity. I am not looking for identity. Frankly I like the god myths. Be lovely if they were true. But as Ricky Gervais said “I can’t believe what I don’t believe” I just don’t believe in god.

  73. RationalismRules says

    @GumB

    It doesn’t make for a very edifying blog to have one particular sub group dictating topics to other people in the midst of ongoing discussions that arise

    I don’t really understand this. Surely the only way to shut down a discussion is if nobody responds to it…?

    If someone tells you they don’t want you to discuss a particular topic, why don’t you just tell them to go stick their head up a dead bear’s bum?

  74. says

    @RR Or alternatively derail debate with constants quibbling over semantics and points of order. And outrage and umbrage.

    Just seen a David Pakman clip where he talks about the lefts and purity tests. It’s what this blog has degenerated to.

  75. RationalismRules says

    @Shaun

    Or alternatively derail debate with constants quibbling over semantics and points of order. And outrage and umbrage.

    Why are you unable to simply ignore such posts and get on with conversing with people whose posts interest you? I really don’t understand this.

  76. says

    “Why are you unable to simply ignore such posts and get on with conversing with people whose posts interest you?”

    You know, I actually can’t answer that. It would be a better way. I did seem to take the bait somewhat. I will try to take your advice, but it may be a work in progress.

  77. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Just seen a David Pakman clip where he talks about the lefts and purity tests.

    What’s wrong with purity tests?

  78. says

    @EL

    Now that’s a tough question to answer because anyone who’s asking the question by definition doesn’t see anything wrong with them. The best answer I can think of I have already said. Whose details are what is used determine what defines pure?

    If you have a private club with articles of incorporation, sure. The rules are codified.

    In the absence of codification these things are just witch hunts. In-groups banishing people out of the group for an ever shifting landscape of imagined offences.

  79. Monocle Smile says

    Shaun, the ACA has pretty clear stances on what qualifies as acceptable behavior and what they stand for. I have no idea how this keeps getting missed. This blog isn’t sponsored by random people. Read the FAQ for starters.

  80. favog says

    For those wondering why there needs to be a specifically black group of unbelievers, I remember an episode of this very show when a caller came on with a question that was something like, “I’m a black atheist. It seems to me that I’m almost the only one. I can’t find other black people who aren’t religious — why do you think that is?” The hosts looked very uncomfortable, and it was really easy to see that both of them were thinking something like, “Ohhh, two white dudes who have no clue to the answer to this question? For us to make a broad statement on this, even when invited, just isn’t going to look good, because this is just not our place to speak”. As another white guy who can’t speak to the black experience, I imagine there are all sorts of issues that I have no idea of or how to address were they to be brought to my attention. There are things I can learn from Mandisa, and there are people who need insights that Mandisa can provide for other black people that I cannot.

  81. Theisntist says

    Here is a segment from the FAQ:

    Don’t “Use language that is racist, sexist, transphobic, ableist, etc. (Ableism examples: retard, lame, idiot, stupid.”

    Sounds pretty codified to me.

  82. paxoll says

    @VThomas
    Sorry your post got lost in all the whining. I agree with just about everything you said. I first want to say that I was raised the same way. Back in the 80s there was a big push where I grew up (hippys everwhere) to see every race and culture as equal and people as the same. I took that to heart and is how I view and treat people today. You are also right that racism will always exist like criminals do, and that we are better off than we were 50 years ago. There is a bit of a caveat here in my view. I think the intensity and number of racism has dropped but I also think that cultural differences have grown and social awareness of those differences have grown and that has lead to a more low level tenacious racism that has grown with our increased cultural diversity.

    While I’m calling it racism, and referring to that specific problem, it is not confined to racism. With social media we have all exposed ourselves more in depth and seen more in depth into the character of our friends, and family. When we were young we had very strong bonds of friendship formed from very superficial aspects of ourselves, we even had social rules like “no talking politics or religion” at the table, to keep those relationships superficial. That’s not possible anymore, we can’t just not know of someones flagrant misogyny, or xenophobia, when it is all over their facebook. The same is true of our cultural differences. Saying we are all the same and equal and personally treating people that way doesn’t actually fix the problem because we know of the differences.

    So to continue to improve the problem we need more tools. The absolute best tool is simply exposure. I can hate and despise Rush Limbaugh all day and have little to no way to overcome that except to get to know him in person. This is one of the hardest things to do because of our differences, we naturally self segregate to our interests and experience. So we have 2 options, purposefully go out to experience people and culture that are different from us (most people won’t), or we make our interests and experience more welcoming to others. This is exactly why my dad would drag me to church in downtown detroit a couple times a year, and grandma had a bbq pit with a black preacher in a predominantly black neighborhood. But that helped me, it didn’t help any of my friends from school or church. This is why the atheist community creates groups like black non believers and the new sexuality show, its to give people in those groups a reason to join the community. To provide a density to their numbers so instead of a ineffectual “token” exposure people can have real understanding of what a specific group of people are like.

    Can someone who is smart with this HTML stuff let me know how to insert a space between paragraphs without using an empty blockquote?

  83. says

    “Shaun, the ACA has pretty clear stances on what qualifies as acceptable behavior and what they stand for. I have no idea how this keeps getting missed. This blog isn’t sponsored by random people. Read the FAQ for starters.”

    Well I was actual;y talking about secular humanisn, but since you raise blog, let’s examine that shall we?

    Yes there are rules for engaging on the blog. They are enforced by moderators. I am posting here and have not been banned. Therefore what I write is within the rules.

    So therefore, anyone else who is simply another contributor to the blog telling me what I can and can’t do is like a civilian trying to pull me over on the freeway and book me for speeding. I hope you get that. My guess is no you won’t. You will be deliberately obtuse.

    Anyway. Just thought I’d clear that up. Now best to take RRs advice and not engage the toxic.

  84. says

    Actually, Shaun, I have put in to have you banned as of yesterday. You’re a dead man walking. The reason isn’t just that you’re contributing next to nothing, except complaining about the blog and being an ass in general. It’s that you lied/misrepresented this blog in your early comments. There is no shame in misremembering an event or conversation. But there is shame in having it point out, and simply digging in and repeating the error–showing it was most likely a deliberate misrepresentation. When people continued to point out your error/lie, you simply insulted them, rather than accept responsibility and offer any sort of ownership or correction. I actually am not a tone troll. I put up with a lot of snark, and really don’t care, as long as the person is contributing cogent points or interesting perspectives. But the moment a person is dishonest, and it’s pointed out directly to them, and they repeatedly ignore or defend their dishonesty, that’s a bridge too far. The blog has to have basic rules of engagement that include *honest* dialog. It isn’t the only metric, but if we simply allow anyone to come here and say things that are untrue, and then continue to repeat those same untruths, not out of ignorance or incapacity to understand–but simply because they don’t care if what they say is actually true or a lie–that impedes any real productive conversation.

    If you ever come back to the blog, you’re welcome here as long as you are willing to acknowledge errors and retract falsehoods when they’re pointed out. An actual link to the original conversation, supplied with a statement that your summary of the conversation is in error/false, should be sufficient for you to have been able to check and say, “I was mistaken. It’s been a while, and yeah, nobody ever said I am not a real atheist if I am not also a humanist. They only said they think I’m a crap human being, atheist or not.”

    That’s the *right* response here. Not to call people pedants for pointing out you were misrepresenting the conversation, which was not what you painted it to be.

  85. says

    Well there you go. I must say. At least that is fair. It’s actually a moderator doing it. What can I say? Have to respect the umpires call.

    But anyway. I’ve seen a lot of stuff over the past year or so on atheist topics, from Aron Ra to Richard Carrier. Fascinating stuff. But I’m not finding out anything new, so I’ve kind of lost interest which this comes at a good time. It’s like acid.. they say it’s a doorway to another reality. But you can’t keep going through the same doorway over and over again.

    And you’re right, if you have no fresh ideas to contribute to a blog, no point blogging on there.

  86. Theisntist says

    Well that was satisfying. When I checked the blog to see what has developed I was literally thinking “time for Tracie to come save the day!” I don’t ascribe to magical thinking, so will just chalk it up to something that was obviously due.

  87. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @paxoll #95:

    let me know how to insert a space between paragraphs

    First paragraph.
     
    Second paragraph.
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Non-breaking Space

    [HTML] rendering engines are programmed to treat sequences of whitespace characters (space, newline, tab, form feed, etc.) as if they were a single character
    […]
    non-breaking spaces are not merged with neighboring whitespace characters when displayed, and can therefore be used by an author to simply insert additional visible space

  88. paxoll says

    @Sky Captain
    Sorry, I’m stupid, if I cant use “space, newline, tab, form feed”? I mean those are my only options are they not?

  89. RationalismRules says

    @paxoll
    You can use them, it’s just that multiple iterations in sequence are treated as a single iteration. So space space space space space comes out as a single space.

    To get paragraph breaks you just hit return twice. That gets you a small break (like the above). It won’t show up in Preview, but it shows up in the post.
     
    If you want a larger break (like the above) type “ ”. That will show up in Preview, as well as in the post.
    .
    A simpler way to get the same result is just to type a period on the break line (like the above).

  90. IceMaster says

    Sorry I was out of town for a while, responding to comments now.

    From the looks of things I don’t really get it because I’m not from USA. In Canada, my neighbors are a mix of everything. You go house by house and everyone who opens the door will be a different “race” and different religion or culture and that’s pretty much how it is on every street, not just mine. I’ve never seen “black churches” before, we have churches here. Everyone goes to them who wants to, it’s not segregated by race (be it in policy or in name).

    This is also why I have issues with groups like “black lives matter”. I’m an “all lives matter” guy because that includes everyone. We were raised to treat everyone equally and that segregation isn’t only wrong but is disgusting and immoral. I think this is why A LOT of the blowback towards these things appears online. While this may be a specific USA problem, everything gets broadcast worldwide and now we have groups starting up here based on problems that don’t exist here, and that actually does cause problems to start here because of it.

    Someone above mentioned that to look for racism look into First Nations peoples (I don’t use the word indigenous because NO human beings are indigenous to our continent). The main problem here in regards to First Nations peoples was caused by the catholic church who between 1883 and 1996 has kidnapped, tortured, abused, brainwashed, murdered, raped and genocided 150,000+ First Nations children in so called “residential schools”. Nearly all of the blame goes to the catholic church on this issue. While the government did give the okay, nobody seems to ask why they did so. The reason why is obvious, they believed the religious nonsense and thought it was correct and so sanctioned it. 99.99999% of the racism towards First Nations people is directly because of Christianity. It’s quite disgusting and our tax dollars actually pay to brainwash children in Catholic Schools today, even after all the atrocities. I would really love to shut them down permanently.

    For the comments regarding my comment about how it seemed SJW-like, that’s because it is. SJW’s label people and group them and talk about communities and all this identity politics nonsense garbage usually based on some sort of victim narrative where whoever has the most victim flags gets the most prestige among their cult. They seem to strive to become victims in life, be it real or made up. SJW’s are usually racist, sexist and facist and seem to be pro-segregation so that’s why I kind of get a red flag when hearing Mandisa talk. Often with these SJW people if someone was to create a group based on “white something” they will call it racist, so it’s a huge double standard, hypocrisy and prejudice going on with them. I’m highly suspicious of groups that are based on segregation and I find it extremely troubling that many don’t seem to be.

  91. paxoll says

    @Icemaster
    Twice now your ignorance has been addressed, I will copy and paste it so it is easy for you to find. Although with your ignoring the whole point of the “black” church comment makes me feel like you are being purposefully obtuse. (not to mention SJWs talk)

    As they said, there are topics that are important to some and not others, and that is why these are not exclusionary communities they are sub communities. Have you ever been to a black church as Matt asked? Do you think you can provide the same understanding, empathy, and experience to help people from cultures completely different than yours? When muslim callers from the middle east call, the hosts are happy to help explain the academic arguments behind the apologetics but when it comes to whether or not that person is safe to express their views, or how to deal with family, they back up and say “we don’t know what you are dealing with, so please don’t ask our advice”. These are sub groups and if you think you can get something useful from one of the groups than I am sure they would be happy for you to join them regardless of your sex/race/gender.

    What part of this do you not understand? Maybe this will clear it up.

    The absolute best tool is simply exposure. I can hate and despise Rush Limbaugh all day and have little to no way to overcome that except to get to know him in person. This is one of the hardest things to do because of our differences, we naturally self segregate to our interests and experience. So we have 2 options, purposefully go out to experience people and culture that are different from us (most people won’t), or we make our interests and experience more welcoming to others. This is exactly why my dad would drag me to church in downtown detroit a couple times a year, and grandma had a bbq pit with a black preacher in a predominantly black neighborhood. But that helped me, it didn’t help any of my friends from school or church. This is why the atheist community creates groups like black non believers and the new sexuality show, its to give people in those groups a reason to join the community. To provide a density to their numbers so instead of a ineffectual “token” exposure people can have real understanding of what a specific group of people are like.

    If this doesn’t apply to where you live, congradulations, although I’m more inclined to think you are simply ignorant of cultures different than yours since your ignorance of US culture seems pretty large.

  92. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @IceMaster #103:

    I don’t use the word indigenous because NO human beings are indigenous to our continent

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Indigenous peoples

    Indigenous peoples, also known as first peoples, aboriginal peoples or native peoples, are ethnic groups who are the original inhabitants of a given region, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied or colonized the area more recently. Groups are usually described as indigenous when they maintain traditions or other aspects of an early culture that is associated with a given region.

     
     

    everything gets broadcast worldwide and now we have groups starting up here based on problems that don’t exist here, and that actually does cause problems

    Oh no. Y’mean people are being needlessly reminded that black lives do, in fact, matter? The horror!
     
     
    Article: Wikipedia – Racism in North America, Canada

    In a 2013 survey of 80 countries by the World Values Survey, Canada ranked among the most racially tolerant societies in the world. In the recently released Social Progress Index, Canada is ranked second for tolerance and inclusion. Most Canadians have come to consider themselves to be mostly free of racial prejudice, perceiving Canada as a more inclusive society, a notion that has come under criticism.
    […]
    In 2006, Amnesty International researched racism specific to Indigenous women in Canada. They report on the lack of basic human rights, discrimination, and violence against Indigenous women. Violence against First Nations women (age 25–44) with status under the Indian Act are five times more likely than other women of the same age to die as a result of violence.
    […]
    Black Canadians have a long history of discrimination and racism. Canada has had slavery, segregation, and a Canadian Ku Klux Klan. Racial profiling happens in cities such as Toronto. Black people made up 3% of the Canadian population in 2016. They lived disproportionately in poverty, were three times as likely to be carded in Toronto than Whites, and incarceration rates for Blacks were climbing faster than for any other demographic. A Black Lives Matter protest was staged at Toronto Police Headquarters in March 2016.

     
    Article: Metro – Black Lives Matter Toronto (2016)

    One of the seven young women organizers [of a solidarity movement] in Vancouver, Holly Bishu, said that if you want to know about racism in this country, just ask someone of colour; you’ll hear that “it’s not post-racial at all.”
    […]
    Last month, the United Nations criticized Canada’s record on child welfare, health, education and unemployment when it comes to its black citizens.
     
    Meanwhile, a Forum Research poll of Torontonians, released last week, found only half of Torontonians agreed there is systemic racism in the city.

     
     

    I kind of get a red flag

    Red flags are warning signs, not deal breakers.

  93. Muz says

    Icemaster, the term SJW is a slur designed to malign and dismiss a whole raft of activist causes and groups. It’s a handy dandy expression, employed by right wingers largely, to avoid engaging with peoples’ arguments and ,yes, feelings on a variety of subjects.
    Its not an intellectually honest nor credible point of view. Doubly so if someone is actually interested in discussing the issues and people involved. If you are actually interested, you might want to break down that little narrative you’ve absorbed there and prepare to look at things in a, let’s say, less prejudicial fashion.

  94. Monocle Smile says

    @IceMaster

    From the looks of things I don’t really get it because I’m not from USA

    Then why open your mouth?

    While this may be a specific USA problem, everything gets broadcast worldwide and now we have groups starting up here based on problems that don’t exist here, and that actually does cause problems to start here because of it.

    I’d like to see you actually prove this. It reads like reactionary trash.

    I’ve never seen “black churches” before, we have churches here. Everyone goes to them who wants to, it’s not segregated by race (be it in policy or in name).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c21MYUnZbwc
    Oh look, you’re wrong. This took me thirty seconds. I wonder what else you’re wrong about?
    It’s truly incredible how at least half a dozen posts took the time to explain how you were wrong in your first post and yet almost all of it went completely unaddressed. Do you plan on actually engaging, or will you continue to post more of the same nonsense?

  95. MichaelW says

    @IceMaster

    There are most definitely racialized churches in Canada a simple google search confirms this. It’s not wrong, it just caters to a community which may have different needs than others.

    As a fellow Canadian who has lived in communities with First Nation People’s, I find your assessment that the Catholic Church is responsible for the racism directed at them very untrue. The Catholic Church’s residential schools is merely the most recent aggregious act committed against them, but it is by no means the only, or the most prominent. The racism I directly observed is essentially the same racism that exists throughout the world by dominant groups aimed at subordinate groups. It is from tribalism and scapegoating that I’ve witnessed from people. The residential schools definitely contribute to the problem, but it would most likely have still existed without them.

    As for your last paragraph, I’m not even going to go there.

    I see the appeal of saying Canadians are better at not being racist because of the multitudes of different communities within our culture, but it is still most definitely there and it ain’t all religions fault.

  96. twarren1111 says

    Shaun: you have anger. This anger is fear (albeit a severe form). Your survival posting on this blog is no way threatening your survival. Thus, your fear is irrational. Please explore the root of your irrational fear. Start from the beginning. Read and think. Be brave. Mature. That means being empathic. Learn. And then when you can figure out the rational ratio of the issues you face, you will have attained truth. Then, please, come back and teach us what you have learned. The point is that your irrational fear caused you to confuse what the issue(s) were. This led to wasting of time and energy. You increased entropy and decreased information. That’s what evil is. Explore, learn, conquer your fear; become rational. Then, return, teach, love, grow, build, decrease entropy; increase information; contribute.

    Tracie!!!!

  97. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I probably should resist, but meh, here I go.

    To repeat for the benefit of everyone else: My position has always been a simple one. The atheist and skeptic movement should be 1- a place where all people feel welcomed regardless of race, sex, gender identity, and 2- it should be a force for good in society. I believe that the following sentiments are contrary to these goals:

    I personally maintain that it is up to the individual what they choose to believe and atheism is indeed a single issue.

    Enlightenmentliberal went mental at me for simply reserving the right to have views that may differ from his.

    In particular, everyone has the “legal right” to have different views than me, but it’s also true that everyone has the legal right to be a needless asshole to strangers in public. It doesn’t mean much to “reserve the right”. The only sensible thing that I can interpret from this is that you want yourself and others to be shielded from criticism when saying or doing bigoted things, and you don’t want bigots to be chased out of the atheist and skeptic movements, especially lecturers, organizers, etc.

    PS:
    To Shaun (with benefits for everyone else)

    The only reason I am opposed to religion is because religious people have a tendency to try and tell everyone what to do based on their beliefs. Strangely enough I am equally opposed to atheists telling me what to do or think based on their beliefs.

    Tangent: I believe this is a near perfect description of typical self-centered, uncaring, narcissist white male who identifies as atheist, skeptic, and libertarian.

    The problem with Christians is not that they use social peer pressure to change the behavior of others to act in ways that they consider to be moral. Every society does that, and must do that. Standard peer pressure to force others to follow societal norms, and also follow universal moral norms, is an obvious and irrefutable thing that must be done. The problem with Christians is that they start from faulty moral and factual starting points, and thereby reach faulty conclusions about how people should behave in society.

    You react negatively to being told – using the words of Whil Wheaton – “don’t be a dick”.
    https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/wheatons-law
    From my perspective, this entire conversation can be accurately summed up as me saying “don’t be a dick”, and you retorting back “you can’t make me!”. You’re right – I cannot make you. To that, I would simply end with xkcd’s remarks on free speech.

    https://xkcd.com/1357/

  98. says

    Just a heads up that I’ve been informed that the blocking of Shaun has been implemented–just to those of you still posting to him.

    Thanks.

  99. lesserthannone says

    The problems with Afterlifes. Reward Scenario.

    I’m a boss of a company I want to hire you to work for me, I have 3 offers on the table. You can work 9hrs, you’ll be paid $1,000,000, or 6hrs for $999,999 and finally 3 hrs for $999,998.

    You pick your contract, and get to work. Then at 5mins till knockoff along comes an apologetic employee Dave’O, you see him confront his boss and the boss lets good ol Dave’o work the last 5mins of the shift. Well your boss true to his word, when the work is completed announces its time for everyone to be paid.”

    To those that worked 9hrs, $1,000,000 each, there you go, there you are, enjoy that, thanks for your service! Ok persons working 6hrs, $999,999, you’ll enjoy that new house, no no its been my pleasure thank you…”

    Anyway this continues for a while till finally it comes time to reward Dave’O. Dave’Os looking real smug at this point. The Boss walks over to Dave’O and slips him $999,991 and worse than that he says “couldn’t have done it without you Dave’O”

    This ludicrous metaphor seeks to demonstration that concepts of infinite reward or punishment, for limited actions, is by its nature an unfair system. Justice is not to punish eternal, but to segregate, protecting possible victims and even allowing some time for the accused to change. Nor can any simple act of kindness grant you a disproportionate positive reply.
    Even judging some one for the life they have lived and then assigning reward and punishment proportionately becomes a farce when there is no end to it.

    Do not fear the Reaper.

  100. Daivd Grant says

    What would it take for a die hard atheist to believe in a God
    1) God is more moral and compassionate then me
    2) Go does not condemn people to a hell in eternity
    3) God is logical and predictable
    4) God does not discriminate against sex sexual orientation race culture
    5) God is like able
    6) God is open and personal encouraging and present.
    7) God cares about my health and happiness

    I can believe in a God I just do not believe in your God or any that I have been described by others

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