Friday, August 23, 2013

PZ Myers and Michael Shermer

Bravo, PZ Myers and Michael Shermer. Bravo.

Whatever the truth turns out to be, we as a non-religious "community" still lose.

Of course, based on my experience with the online atheist community back around 2007, I could have predicted that something like this was coming. I'd already been given a front row seat to some of the infighting that developed amongst the poorly-organized and inept responders to the so-called "blasphemy challenge" Youtube debacle. I knew that it was only a matter of time before our side started doing it too.

This is the end that hateful, stupid people come to, regardless of religious affiliation or the lack thereof. Personally, I think it's time for a new new atheism movement.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Biased Atheist

Hemant, you've done it again.

In the Friendly Atheist August 30th blog post, you claimed that atheist Dan Nerren's secular invocation at the Tulsa City Council meeting was "hardly offensive." But did you actually read it? Here, let me highlight the two segments that some people may have had an "offense" problem with:

Rather than bowing our heads and closing our eyes in deference, we should open our eyes widely to face the reality that confronts us, without losing sight of our ideals of what we could achieve.
Lastly, we must remember that in the face of adversity we need not look above for answers, but instead recognize the proven potential within ourselves and in each other to overcome any challenges we face.

It's plain as day to me that Nerren clearly crossed the line into unnecessary, divisive speech at those two points. If there was anyone at that meeting who wanted to give atheists the benefit of the doubt, they likely went away shaking their heads. I would have too.

You pulled this same trick when you told me several years ago that, in a video showing a confrontation between atheists and Knights of Columbus, the atheists were being "polite." That wasn't true either. Seems to me that a truly "friendly" atheist would be a little less biased. The truth is, you're not so friendly. The truth is, you hate and despise religion, and you're helping to promote unnecessary division between human beings who legitimately want to make a better world. Your bias has my condemnation, and you have my pity.

Uncomfortable conversions; or "Awww, we lost one!"

Leah Libresco, you go girl!

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/22/prominent-atheist-blogger-converts-to-catholicism/

I've been having a longstanding debate with myself over whether I should convert to something else, my chosen worldview being rife with too many examples of hatred and stupidity. However, in the final analysis, I do still believe that we nonreligious can be truly good without God, while at the same time maintaining respect and regard for those who are good with God. I still believe that moral Christians and moral atheists here in the U.S. can work together against common enemies, the extremists who occupy both the far right and left ends of the spectrum in this realm of belief and non-belief. It may turn out to be a pipe dream, but I'll hold onto it as long as I can.

Oh, and I couldn't help but note this in the article, from my old pal Hemant:

Mehta says that Libresco’s conversion is a "one-off thing" and not something that signals any trend in atheism. "The trends are very clear, the conversions from Catholicism to atheism are much more likely to happen than the other way around," he said.

Nervous, Mr. Mehta? Scared, maybe?

Good.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Vindication

Well, this is interesting. I can't believe I missed it.

Richard Dawkins Gets into a Comments War with Feminists (from Atlantic Monthly July 2011)

Oh, yeah - I CAN believe I missed it. At the time this silliness was going on I was busy giving stargazes for ecocamp kids and the general public and gearing up to teach a pre-college course on solar system astronomy at my local university. In other words, I was spreading science while my "fellow atheists" were venting hatred and stupidity, and against each other, no less. Guys, here's your sign.

And Dawkins and Watson: I'm laughing at the "superior intellect."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Off to better things...

Well, since no one is really listening anyway, and there's so little in the way of rationality or civility to be found, I am off to better things. Things like educating the public in science and promoting peaceful dialogue between the religious and nonreligious instead of hatred and ridicule in the vein of Hitchens. I'll leave this blog up, if for no other reason than to let others who may believe as I do know that they are not alone in their frustration with the way we are handling our worldview.

I leave our community with the following short snippet from Sagan's Demon Haunted World in the hope that it will one day see reason and pursue the course that it has talked about, yet abandoned, for the past decade.


The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.


No amount of your hate will save this candle. Only Reason - a positive Reason - will prevail in the end.

It's getting darker. It's almost too late.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

CFI and secular hatred

Got a letter from the Center for Inquiry yesterday. I read through it just for fun, and ended up not having any fun at all.

They bemoaned their financial status (typical fare for CFI), and then followed up with an appeal for a donation. After seeing mention of their sponsorship of "International Blasphemy Day," an unnecessary insult cast toward religion ("that most sacred of sacred cows, namely the taboo against criticizing religious beliefs"), and talk of a "struggle for a secular society," I threw up in my mouth a little and then wasted a stamp to ask them to take me off their mailing list.

Hey - doesn't the definition of Islamic jihad include mention of a "struggle" as well? Interesting...

Friday, November 27, 2009

A McKown recommendation that could use some modification

Suggestion #2 from Delos B. McKown for "replacing religion with science," 1984:


Seek ways, including the possible use of professional sanctions, to help safeguard the integrity of science instruction in public schools and to shield science teachers against uninformed public opinion or other political pressures.


Okay, I totally get the ‘political pressures’ thing, but there’s a question I have to ask about that other part:

Out of just whose loins are squirting all of these young people who are eventually showing up in our godless, mass production public school systems?


(wait for it…)


OMG, could it be?


The uninformed public!!!

Suddenly this suggestion of "safeguard[ing] against uninformed public opinion" has gone from being an uphill battle to a vertical cliff scaling. How does one "protect" a kid against the worldview of his or her own parents if no laws are being overtly violated? Could you imagine the litigation resulting from an effort to regulate how parents talk to their children in their own homes? Gaaak!

Here I’d put forward a simple counter-suggestion: let’s make more of a concerted effort to turn the uninformed public into the informed public! Revolutionary! Ingenious! Ground-breaking! Reachable! Innovative!

Nah. Let’s just insult Christians some more. That’s so much more fun, after all, and in the deluded minds of so many of my fellow non-believers, it’s massively productive. We’re SO winning the battle against evil religion, yes?

But, I still see that church just down the street from me. People still go there on Sundays. Thought the building would have been deserted by now, what with all the atheist converts we’re getting.

Maybe we’re not winning?