“Inside the Atheist Mind” is more revealing of what’s going on in the Fox News mind


This is an opinion published by Fox News, so you already know it’s garbage, but I’ll kick it around for a bit anyway. It’s by a guy named Anthony DeStefano, who claims to have insight into the atheist mind.

There’s no polite way to say it. Atheists today are the most arrogant, ignorant and dangerous people on earth.

Even more arrogant than a Christian who thinks the entire universe was created for their people? More ignorant than a Christian who thinks the Earth is 6000 years old? Even more dangerous than a cult that controls the American government? I’ll have to see the evidence.

We’ve all seen how these pompous prigs get offended by the slightest bit of religious imagery in public and mortified if even a whisper of “Merry Christmas” escapes the lips of some well-meaning but naïve department store clerk during the “holiday season.”

No, that’s not true. Splatter as much religious imagery on your house or your church as you want. But please, the government is here to serve all the people, so the government has no place endorsing a specific sect.

Also, you won’t find many stories of atheists raging at a store clerk saying “Merry Christmas”. That has never been a problem for us. You will, on the other hand, find plenty of stories of some self-righteous Christian raging about a clerk saying “Happy Holidays”.

But really, the War on Christmas? You know this is a totally made-up conflict peddled by the likes of Bill O’Reilly, don’t you?

To cite a few recent examples: Last December, the group American Atheists launched its annual billboard campaign with the slogan: “Just Skip Church — It’s All Fake News.” In February, the American Humanist Association became furious when President Trump had the gall to mention Christianity and Jesus Christ without also mentioning atheists—at the National Prayer Breakfast! (How dare he!) And just this month, the Freedom From Religion Foundation raised holy hell because the Reverend Billy Graham was laid out in state in the Capitol Rotunda before his burial.

Yes? A billboard campaign by an atheist organization is just a publicly expressed opinion. It’s allowed.

If you are so upset that a few citizens expressed a non-binding, secular, unenforceable opinion, why are you so blase about the President using his power and his influence to tell the country that they should pray, and also using the power of the government to honor a Christian mouthpiece?

Yes, these atheists are loud, nasty, unapologetic and in-your-face.

So far, he’s backed that up with an imaginary conflict, the fact that atheists openly say that they don’t believe in church, and that the American government expresses a religious bias. Mediocre!

But while their arrogance is annoying, it’s nothing compared to their ignorance. Atheists believe that the vast majority of human beings from all periods of time and all places on the Earth have been wrong about the thing most important to them. They basically dismiss this vast majority as being either moronic or profoundly naïve. What they don’t seem to know – or won’t admit – is that the greatest contributions to civilization have been made, not by atheists, but by believers.

The vast majority of human beings from all periods of time have always believed that everyone else is wrong about gods, not just atheists. Remember, Christians were once a small minority who believed that everyone else — Jews, Romans, pagans — got the most important fact in the universe wrong, and were going to be punished with eternal damnation for it.

Atheists do know that they are a minority, and that historically they’ve been an even more minuscule minority. When the majority of people believe in a deity, then we can expect that a majority of believers will have contributed to civilization. This is not a surprise.

Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Isaac Newton all believed in God. Nobel-prize winner Wilhelm Rontgen, the discoverer of X-rays; Antoine Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry; William Keen, the pioneer of brain surgery; rocket scientist Wernher von Braun; and Ernest Walton, the first person to artificially split the atom—all believed in God.

But…but…Aristotle didn’t believe in your religion and specifically not in Jesus. Bacon, Da Vinci, and Newton all lived at times when denying Christianity would get you persecuted and punished (which is not to say that they didn’t also have cultural biases favoring belief…and Newton in particular was fervent but weirdly unorthodox). Heck, I was brought up Lutheran, although I repudiated it in my teens — does that mean a demented 16th century anti-semite gets credit for my interest in science? I think not.

And speaking of pioneers of science, who do you think coined the term “scientist” in the first place? William Whewell, an Anglican priest and theologian! He also came up with words “physicist,” “cathode”, “anode” and many other commonly used scientific terms. Essentially, the very language used by scientists today comes from the brain of a believer.

Even the Big Bang Theory itself – which atheists mistakenly think bolsters their arguments against God – was proposed by Fr. George Lemaitre, a Belgian astronomer and Roman Catholic priest! And the father of genetics—which provides the basis for the whole theory of evolution—was Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian monk!

Just about every 19th century English scientist was an Anglican! They probably also ate porridge, too, but we don’t go around insisting that porridge made them great scientists. Or maybe you do. It would make as much sense.

I teach genetics. I imagine everyone who does so mentions a bit of the history, and discusses Mendel specifically as a monk working in a monastery garden. We’re comfortable saying it too, and are fine with the idea that people who believed in God can also do science. Most of our American students are religious, mostly Christian but I also teach Muslims, and we don’t use the classroom to lie about history, which makes this next bit particularly ridiculous.

Yes, the new atheists have an ignorance of history bordering on madness.

You haven’t shown that. You haven’t even made an argument touching on that.

But are they really dangerous, too?

I expect more garbage arguments in defense of that claim.

You bet they are. The truth is, the atheist position is incapable of supporting any coherent system of morality other than ruthless social Darwinism. That’s why it has caused more deaths, murders and bloodshed than any other belief system in the history of the world.

I’m an atheist humanist. I reject social Darwinism. Social Darwinism was avidly endorsed by a great many Christians, you know — it’s a position that can be held independent of one’s religious beliefs.

Atheists, of course, are always claiming hysterically that Christianity has been responsible for most of the world’s wars, but that’s just another example of atheistic ignorance. The main reasons for war have always been economic gain, territorial gain, civil and revolutionary conflicts. According to Philip Axelrod’s monumental “Encyclopedia of Wars,” only 6.98 percent or all wars from 8000 BC to present were religious in nature. If you subtract Islamic wars from the equation, only 3.2 percent of wars were due to specifically Christian causes. That means that over 96 percent of all the wars on this planet were due to worldly reasons.

I have never heard an atheist claim that Christianity has been responsible for most the world’s wars. Was the American Civil War caused by Christianity? Both sides were majority Christian. What about WWI and WWII? I’ve never seen it claimed that those were religious wars at all. I’d agree that most wars have been waged for “worldly reasons”. Of course, you still have to concede that, as most Western scientific discoveries are being credited to Christians, than likewise most of those worldly wars must have been waged by religious believers. You don’t get to claim all the good things in history for godly folk and blame all the evils on an insignificant minority of atheists!

What follows is predictable.

Indeed, in the last 100 years alone, upwards of 360 million people were killed by governments—and close to half of those people were killed by atheist governments!

Yes, there is a profound and frightening connection between atheism and death. Atheist leaders like Stalin, Mao Zedong, Hideki To ̄jo ̄, Pol Pot and many others bear the blame for the overwhelming majority of deaths caused by war and mass murder in history. And while many atheists make the preposterous claim that Adolf Hitler was a Christian, his private diaries, first published in 1953 by Farrar, Straus and Young, reveal clearly that the Fuhrer was a rabid atheist: “The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity,” Hitler stated, “was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew… Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.”

Interesting shift. One minute he’s arguing that almost all wars can be blamed on “worldly reasons”, in the net he leaps to claim that’s synonymous with atheism in the last century. To buttress his argument, he claims that Hitler was not a Christian, citing his private diaries. This is bogus. The “diaries” that were published in the 1980s were entirely fake; he must be referring to the “table talk” transcripts. These were not diaries, and they weren’t even particularly complete or accurate transcripts, and they weren’t good sources for Hitler’s state of mind, let alone the goals of the German leadership or the German people. They’re also plagued with a history of bad translations.

[Hitler] was that classic German type known as Besserwisser, the know-it-all. His mind was cluttered with minor information and misinformation, about everything. I believe that one of the reasons he gathered so many flunkies around him was that his instinct told him that first-rate people couldn’t possibly stomach the outpourings.

Hmmm. Sounds like he’d be a natural as a Fox News pundit nowadays.

But even if Hitler were a flaming satanist, it doesn’t change the fact that the German people were almost universally Lutheran and Catholic, and yet they willingly went to war with the world, and many participated in the Holocaust. His public speeches endorsed religion, Mein Kampf is full of religious claims of righteousness, and he had the support of the German Catholic hierarchy.

He goes on longer, but I’m bored now. To be honest, I was bored after his second paragraph. I’ll just point out that the Fox News staff must have gone looking for the most “arrogant, ignorant and dangerous” illustration they could find, and this is what they came up with.

Oooh. Scary.

Comments

  1. weylguy says

    There’s no polite way to say it. Atheists today are the most arrogant, ignorant and dangerous people on earth.

    I detect more than one note of “Let’s get rid of these people once and for all” in this idiot’s diatribe. Where have we heard that before?

  2. says

    I wonder what makes him think Tojo was an atheist. Tojo was the grandson of a Buddhist priest on his mother’s side, so presumably he was raised as one. And he probably took part in aspects of Shintoism, as was common in Japanese culture.

    People can claim Hitler wasn’t a Christian all they want. The majority of Germans in the WW2 era were, including the majority of Germans who took part in the Holocaust and other atrocities. One of the big influences on German anti-Semitism was the one of the original Protestants, Martin Luther.

  3. benedic says

    “Anthony DeStefano, who claims to have insight into the atheist mind.

    There’s no polite way to say it. Atheists today are the most arrogant, ignorant and dangerous people on earth.”

    A tad rich for a loon whose god is Rupert Murdoch.

  4. whheydt says

    When I saw the first deStephano quote, my first reaction was…I didn’t know that Trump is an atheist.

    Also…that’s not a very new piece. Graham died in Feb. 2018.

  5. consciousness razor says

    Damn, I thought the War on Christmas wasn’t scheduled until June. Great…. I hope the stores haven’t already run out of supplies.

    Atheists believe that the vast majority of human beings from all periods of time and all places on the Earth have been wrong about the thing most important to them.

    Sex and booze?
    Oh, right…. Imaginary beings are the obvious choice.

    They probably also ate porridge, too, but we don’t go around insisting that porridge made them great scientists. Or maybe you do. It would make as much sense.

    If not for porridge, who knows? They may have developed relativity and quantum mechanics decades earlier.

    The truth is, the atheist position is incapable of supporting any coherent system of morality other than ruthless social Darwinism.

    The sad part is that some atheists also believe crap like that (with or without the social Darwinism bit). This goon wouldn’t know a coherent system if it hit him in the face. But he talks the stale talking points real good.

  6. Howard Brazee says

    The Saudis have proclaimed atheists to be terrorists. They must terrify easily.

  7. microraptor says

    timgueguen @2:

    It’s simple- Tojo was a bad guy, therefore Tojo must have been an atheist. It’s like the way that Fox likes to claim that all criminals in the US are liberals.

  8. Akira MacKenzie says

    Gee… wouldn’t it be a great idea for atheists to get together into some sort of “movement” and challenge theism and religion.

    Oh, wait… Someone said that atheists ought to be nicer to non-whites, women and LGBTQs. That was over fast.

  9. says

    Wasn’t Hitler similar to the Christian Identity idiots? Still claim a belief in a God and even Jesus. Just not one connected to Jewish people.

  10. zenlike says

    Atheist or supposed atheist regime does something bad, atheism gets the blame.
    Christian or christian regime does something bad, how dare you blame christianity!
    Christian does something good: all hail christianity!

    I know I shouldn’t expect consistency from bigoted ignorant hatemongers and hucksters (his post seems to just be an ad for his book), but come one, this is pathetic.

    If someone wrote the same piece about, say, jews, no one but Stormfront would print it, and it would get rightly condemned by the entire MSM and Fox News.

  11. lakitha tolbert says

    I like to call myself a secular humanist. Is that different from an Atheist humanist? Or is it the same thing?

  12. Curious Digressions says

    “American Humanist Association became furious when President Trump had the gall”.

    He could have stopped his statement right there. AHA, and may of us, would be less furious if Trump were less galling.

    This is just a list of factually incorrect and irrelevant statements.
    *There’s no polite way to say it.
    –You lack imagination or vocabulary.

    *Atheists today are the most arrogant, ignorant and dangerous people on earth.
    –False, due to the superlative at the very least. Also, excessive generalization.

    *We’ve all seen how these pompous prigs get offended by the slightest bit of religious imagery in public
    –False. If so, we’d do nothing but be offended.

    *and mortified if even a whisper of “Merry Christmas” escapes the lips of some well-meaning but naïve department store clerk during the “holiday season.”
    –Ah ha ha ha. False.

    *To cite a few recent examples: Last December, the group American Atheists launched its annual billboard campaign with the slogan: “Just Skip Church — It’s All Fake News.”
    –Yeah! Sometimes we get our ideas represented. Also, irrelevant to demonstrating pomposity.

    *In February, the American Humanist Association became furious when President Trump had the gall to mention Christianity and Jesus Christ without also mentioning atheists
    –Because the president is supposed to represent the country as a whole, not pander to a specific group. Also too, not relevant to an argument of pomposity, unless saying, “hey, we’re over here” is the height of arrogance.

    *—at the National Prayer Breakfast! (How dare he!)
    –The fact that this exists is greater cause for offense. Notice he didn’t mention special treatment for his group.

    *And just this month, the Freedom From Religion Foundation raised holy hell because the Reverend Billy Graham was laid out in state in the Capitol Rotunda before his burial.
    –Because he wasn’t a political or civil leader and generally a horrible person. Also, irrelevant.

    Bored now.

  13. zenlike says

    But it is funny how he claims atheists are supposedly offended about things that most atheists actually don’t get offended about, and literally the next paragraph gets all offended about an atheist org putting down some billboards. Self-awareness seems to be antithetical to rightwing christianity.

  14. johnson catman says

    His mind was cluttered with minor information and misinformation, about everything. I believe that one of the reasons he gathered so many flunkies around him was that his instinct told him that first-rate people couldn’t possibly stomach the outpourings.

    Hmmm. Sounds like he’d be a natural as a Fox News pundit nowadays.

    I thought it sounded like the present occupant of the White House.

  15. says

    This is what atheists get for throwing their lot in with the right wing – the same thing Caitlyn Jenner got for supporting them, the same thing “log cabin” republicans get. Have fun with that thunderf00l.

  16. lumipuna says

    It’s simple- Tojo was a bad guy, therefore Tojo must have been an atheist.

    That, plus not knowing what religion Japanese even are, plus racially associating Tojo with Mao and Pol Pot.

  17. wsierichs says

    Actually, contemporary historical materials show a significant role for Christianity in the origins of our Civil War and World Wars I and II.

    Slavery defenders routinely argued that slavery was ordained by God, and therefore abolitionists were atheists because they were attacking/denying God’s word. Also, look up “The Church and the Rebellion,” (1864) by R. L. Stanton, a pro-Union Kentucky Presbyterian theologian who quoted many sources to show that secessionism was promoted through churches and driven by clergy – not all of them in the South.

    The assassins of the Archduke Ferdinand were part of a “Christoslavism” movement that combined nationalism and Orthodox Catholicism in opposition to the Roman Catholic imperial government. Also read “The Great and Holy War,” by Philip Jenkins, about the role of religious beliefs in public support on all sides for the war.

    Hitler and everyone in the upper levels of his government had been brought up as Christians (so were Lenin and Stalin, who had even been educated in a seminary to be a priest). Read “The Holy Reich, (2003) by Richard Steigmann-Gall, for a close look at Christianity and Nazism. Similar books can be written about the fascist movements in other countries. “Christianity and the Holocaust of Hungarian Jewry,” (1993) by Moshe Herczl, a survivor of the Hungarian holocaust, extensively quotes the writings and speeches of Hungary’s right-wing leaders that were filled with antisemitism and Christian perspectives. Hitler himself hated atheism. He blamed atheism for Germany’s problems. By atheism he meant church-state separation and communism, both of which he blamed on Jews. It was a longtime Christian belief that Jews were atheists – because they denied the divinity of Jesus – which therefore was why they were so immoral. Fascist leaders in other countries said similar things, particularly that Jews were a corrupting influence and therefore should not be allowed into government or positions of influence, such as teaching, and also because good governments had to be “Christian governments,” with legal rights only for Christians, and only tolerance for non-Christians, so long as they were obedient to Christian leaders.

  18. blf says

    But but but… Mr Carpenterson spoke American, had pale skin, had a private airlift (aeroplane), didn’t use metric or listen to rock music, disbelieved evilution, and is accurately quoted numerous times as condemning slavery, taxes, and Democrats… Therefore, all this criticism of athiests is both true, compelling, and like that great fish, the whale, undeniable!

  19. Gregory Greenwood says

    According to Philip Axelrod’s monumental “Encyclopedia of Wars,” only 6.98 percent or all wars from 8000 BC to present were religious in nature. If you subtract Islamic wars from the equation, only 3.2 percent of wars were due to specifically Christian causes. That means that over 96 percent of all the wars on this planet were due to worldly reasons.

    While it is true enough that most historical wars were not explicitly started by religious concerns alone, religion very often acted as an accelerant of sorts for conflicts about resources or territory, much as petrochemicals act as accelerants for fire. Religion can (and regularly continues to do so to this day) very quickly convert a conflict over ‘worldly’ issues into a battle tinged with dangerously extreme religious zealotry.

    However bad a war over wealth, territory or power may be, it only gets worse when you stop thinking of your adversaries as political and military opponents, or even as misguided, and instead start thinking of them as the implements of evil, and yourself as the red right hand of your preferred favour of imaginary psychotic sky fairy. That mind set converts atrocities of war into expressions of righteous fury in the deluded minds of fanatics. It renders negotiated settlement difficult if not impossible, and is one of the prime factors in causing a war that started out on a limited footing to grow like a canker until it plunges a whole region into an essentially permanent state of periods of outright war broken only by periods of so called ‘low intensity conflict’.

    Religion is not the only form of belief system that can cause such behaviour. Extremely strong beliefs pertaining to political philosophy and national identity can have a similar effect, but very often such beliefs also include a religious component that further exacerbates an already desperate situation. How many ultra nationalist or other far Right groups around the world pair their nominally secular ideology or sense of national identity with one religion or another? And often identify their alleged ethnic foes by a different creed?

    Religion is not the root of all war, but it is a component of a great many wars and has been throughout history, and it always makes any war it is a part of far, far worse.

  20. vucodlak says

    The truth is, the atheist position is incapable of supporting any coherent system of morality other than ruthless social Darwinism.

    Most of the social Darwinists I know are Christians. Many of them reject evolution (you know, that thing Darwin actually wrote about), too. In fact, they’d probably be very angry if you called them social Darwinists, not because they don’t believe that “undeserving” people should be left or even made to die(they do, very much so), but because they hate all things “Darwin.” Being the nice, polite agnostic theist that I am (as opposed to a mean ol’ atheist), I am sensitive to their beliefs, and refer to them as callous, reprehensible scumbags instead.

    Atheist leaders like Stalin, Mao Zedong, Hideki To ̄jo ̄, Pol Pot and many others bear the blame for the overwhelming majority of deaths caused by war and mass murder in history.

    If we’re going to go on yet another “communism* killed more people than any other belief!” tear, then we’ll have to stack that up against all those killed by and for capitalism and it’s precursors… somehow I don’t think communism comes out the worse in that equation.

    Regarding the supposed atheism of Nazi Germany: my great-grandfather was the Lutheran chaplain to the accused at Nuremburg. He, along with a Catholic chaplain, ministered to several high-ranking members of the Nazi war machine. They were almost all Christians of some stripe, and some were quite devout.

    One sort-of exception was Hermann Göring, who said he thought it was probably all nonsense but wanted my great-grandfather to give him communion anyway, just in case (the chaplain refused).

    *Yes, I know, Hideki To ̄jo ̄ wasn’t a communist. Imperial Japan wasn’t exactly atheist either.

  21. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I see –> PROJECTION <–
    IE projecting onto atheists everything the right wing “Christians” do:
    EG – outrage hearing a clerk say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”
    – billboards promoting christian “values” spring up all over the place
    – claiming everyone in history is correct in what they believe, about the existence of Gawd.
    loud, nasty, unapologetic and in-your-face.
    But while their arrogance is annoying, it’s nothing compared to their ignorance.
    – and so on and on

  22. says

    When I think of the GreatScientists™, the giants who created disciplines, the even greater thinkers who cleared from the field of knowledge the treacherous and unstable superstitions, fallacious forms of reasoning, and unjustifiable epistemologies, or who then solidified foundations for edifices to be built by the GreatScientists™ to come, I think of a single pair of facts:

    None of them spent time texting in class, and none ever listened to Green Day on headphones when they told their parents they were listening to the Epic of Gilgamesh audiobook.

    Kids these days. If only we’d listened to the great thinkers and the great scientists, then nothing would have ever changed, and the ultimate dream of the greatest minds earth has ever known, would have come to pass: all humans would continue to believe the same things and base their lives off the same set of facts as were common when the Etruscans first mined silver.

    How dare the arrogance of youth presume that it is a good thing that learning the first 50 digits of pi went from the work of cloistered, dedicated geniuses to a game third graders play on the long bus ride home. Plato went his whole life never knowing the 42nd digit of pi, and here you ankle biters are, thinking you’re better than him just because you can read an internet!

    This constant development of knowledge must stop!

  23. says

    only 6.98 percent or all wars from 8000 BC to present were religious in nature.

    Wait, what? How can we possibly know the motivations of people who died 8000 years ago, 2.5 thousand years before writing even existed and a good 7800 years before there were sufficient literate people across the globe to document all wars that might occur? How do we even know how many wars happened before 1850? What about the Hundred Years’ War, is that really listed as only one war? If not, how many wars does it comprise for statistical purposes?

    Now, one could reasonably say that, “For all the wars where we are aware of the cause, the earliest of which was X thousand years ago, particular cause Y is responsible for the instigation of Z% of those wars with known cause”. But that’s not what’s said here. Talk about colossal arrogance.

    If you subtract Islamic wars from the equation, only 3.2 percent of wars were due to specifically Christian causes. That means that over 96 percent of all the wars on this planet were due to worldly reasons.

    Wait, Islamic wars are “worldly” but Christian wars aren’t? No arrogance here, either!

    What. A. Putz.

  24. blf says

    Plato went his whole life never knowing the 42nd digit of pi

    It would be a rather neat trick if he did as positional notation didn’t exist at the time. (Yes, I realise the quote is taken from a snarky reply.)

  25. unclefrogy says

    well that clears up that I thought I was an atheist all this time and I was hesitant to enter into some conversations for fear I would be attacked because of it. I don’t think anything like that so I must not be an atheist after all. what a relief. it also sounds like lots of y’all here are not atheists either
    it feels really odd having some dude I never even heard of tell me what I think.
    uncle frogy

  26. schweinhundt says

    So, one year I was buying something that I could only find at Hobby Lobby and it happened to be DEC 21st. While checking out, I was prepped to respond to the expected “Merry Christmas” with “And a Magical Solstice to you.” Instead, the cashier finished our transaction by saying “happy holidays.” While disappointed, I did not report her heresy to store management.

  27. says

    To add to the pleasure of PZ’s fisking of this drivel, check out the comments on Fox. As of a minute ago they were virtually all from Athiests.

  28. chrislawson says

    Actually, Aristotle did not believe in God or anything like the classical gods of the Greek pantheon. He discussed issues of first cause from a logical point of view and thought that “movers” (i.e. the forces that kept the cosmos turning) were self-reflecting entities which, if distracted from their self-reflection, would cease to exist. What happened was that Thomas Aquinas took Aristotle’s arguments and reworked them in a Christian context, and now historically ignorant provocateurs like DeStefano think that proves Aristotle was a believer.

    (Plus it’s a stupid Argument from Authority anyway. Whether Aristotle’s views are well-considered depends on what those views are, not on whether it was Aristotle who believed them — after all, Aristotle once wrote “Males have more teeth than females in the case of men, sheep, goats, and swine; in the case of other animals observations have not yet been made: but the more teeth they have the more long-lived are they, as a rule, while those are short-lived in proportion that have teeth fewer in number and thinly set.”)

  29. Owlmirror says

    rocket scientist Wernher von Braun;

    Nazi SS officer rocket scientist Wernher von Braun.

  30. voidhawk says

    It’s kind of refreshing to be dealing with this sort of ‘argument’ again. No getting bogged down in misogyny, or racism, or the alt-Right, just good old fashioned ‘Hitler was an atheist and atheists get a bit snippy’ from the ‘Golden Days’ of atheist debates.

  31. says

    We’ve all seen how these pompous prigs

    They need to re-calibrate their pompousity-meters; have they checked any megachurch pastors or other mushmouths?

    Nothing can be more pompous than presuming to speak for a creator of the universe. Meanwhile, atheists are arguing over whether superhero movies are a ton of shite or not. Give me a break.

  32. Owlmirror says

    (Plus it’s a stupid Argument from Authority anyway. Whether Aristotle’s views are well-considered depends on what those views are, not on whether it was Aristotle who believed them — after all, Aristotle once wrote “Males have more teeth than females in the case of men, sheep, goats, and swine; in the case of other animals observations have not yet been made: but the more teeth they have the more long-lived are they, as a rule, while those are short-lived in proportion that have teeth fewer in number and thinly set.”)

    I wonder if Aristotle was aware of wisdom teeth, and when looking up wisdom tooth, found that he’d written on the topic:

    The last teeth to come in man are molars called ‘wisdom-teeth’, which come at the age of twenty years, in the case of both sexes. Cases have been known in women upwards of eighty years old where at the very close of life the wisdom-teeth have come up, causing great pain in their coming; and cases have been known of the like phenomenon in men too. This happens, when it does happen, in the case of people where the wisdom-teeth have not come up in early years.
    — Aristotle, The History of Animals

    So now I’m wondering if your citation about teeth (which I see is the previous paragraph in the original work) reflected an accurate understanding of what he wrote, or meant.

    Which is not to say that Aristotle was always correct, of course; just that there might be better examples of where he’s obviously wrong.

  33. yaque says

    Something I posted on Quora. I know that reasoning from analogy is something of a no-no, but this seems water-tight:

    Football fans (soccer to you Americans) are almost world wide. Some of them behave badly or riot against each other (lager louts et al).

    I and many of my friends are not football fans. We are “Not-Football-Fans”. We occasionally speculate that something about football fandom encourages this bad behavior. Being together in large groups and passionate about football teams, maybe.

    A football-fan argues that rioting against other teams is done by not-football-fans too! Look at those Hockey Fans over there overturning cars and looting liquor stores!

    And, yes, they are Not-Football-Fans, so their bad behaviour is definitely on us! Especially as they riot so much worse than most Football-Fans. (this is just an analogy! no offense to Hockey-Fans, please!)

    So, Not-Football-Fandom leads to even worse rioting than Football-Fandom! Not-Football-Fandom should maybe be banned or at least discouraged! Nearly everybody is a Football-Fan anyway (true). It’s adherants should all be ashamed of Hockey-Fandom’s riotous behavior!

    Uh, no. The fact I’m a Not-Football fan does not mean I necessarily have anything to do with some other particular Not-Football-Fan. Not-Football-Fandom is actually not a thing, except as none of us aren’t, you know, really into football. We just, generally, don’t want to be coerced into Football-Fan things like going to games or paying for huge Football stadiums by taxation. Things like that.

    I think we’ll extend our hypothesis a little. Maybe it’s Sports-Fandom that leads to rioting? Well, I haven’t heard of Golf-Fans misbehaving. Maybe it’s that Sports-Team-Fandom can lead to rioting against rival Sports-Team-Fans? Could be.

    So, maybe it’s that Ideology-Fandom, such as Christianity, Communism or Islam, when in absolute power and in the grip of passionate self-righteousness, can lead to genocide.

    Maybe.

  34. Matthew Herron says

    There’s no polite way to say it.

    That’s right, there is no polite way to express bigotry.

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