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."