It’s Christian Bashing Week!

Posted on May 2, 2008. Filed under: Atheism | Tags: , , , , , , |

How’s that headline? Do I have everybody’s attention now? Good. Because a headline like that should get your attention. Would anybody tolerate “Gay Bashing Week” or “Woman Bashing Week?” The very idea is ludicrous. Yet, Dinesh D’Souza can print an article entitled “Atheist Bashing Week” and hardly anybody bats an eyelash. There’s certainly not public outrage and condemnation for such blatant bigotry. He was just joking, you say? Even in all of our stunts, which are regularly criticized by atheists (often quite vehemently), we’ve only dared to tell people that their god doesn’t exist or encourage others to say so and post it to YouTube. Even the mind disorder controversy doesn’t encourage physical harm or even allude to it. If we haven’t had “Christian Bashing Week,” you can bet it’s because we find the notion repugnant, even in jest…(read more)

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Humans Do Not Need to Comfort Themselves With Fairy Tales

Posted on January 24, 2008. Filed under: Atheism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

A response to Peter Bowden’s “God, Atheism, and Human Needs

Kelly O’Connor

Jan. 24, 2008

The idea that human beings universally need some form of mythological belief has been one of the mainstays of the defenders of faith for centuries. They claim that even if god doesn’t exist or religion causes violence and hatred, it’s acceptable because it makes some people feel better about the harsh realities of life. This is a multi-pronged deceptive ploy used to abdicate themselves from any responsibility for those actions and to keep people thinking that their assertion is correct.

Many people have either been raised without theistic belief or have abandoned theism and discovered even greater meaning and value for their lives. Peter Bowden assumes in his article “God, Atheism, and Human Needs” that proponents of atheism such as Dawkins, Hitchens, Onfray, and Dennett must provide “deeper insight into ourselves, our needs as human beings, and ways to conduct our lives.” In essence, a replacement for, rather than the elimination of, religion. Life does seem much simpler when all of the answers are handed to you on a silver platter (or aged papyri), but it eliminates the worthwhile exercise of introspection and discovery that one must engage in to formulate their own self-concepts, needs, and morals.

This makes Bowden’s claim that atheists are “[avoiding] a fundamental quest of the human race” even more absurd. Figuring these things out for oneself is infinitely more important, and difficult, than accepting an ancient dogma in its stead. Perhaps the reason why so many are opposed to self-examination is because it is exactly as I described it—exercise. It can be excruciatingly difficult to step outside of yourself, examine your beliefs, and dissect that which lies beneath your exterior. If one has been inculcated with the notion that whatever resides in there is dirty, depraved, and evil, that urge to integrate your beliefs and behavior will be furiously resisted and likely satiated with religion.

Being told that your worldview is incorrect and that it’s going to be a difficult process to regain your bearings once you realize that there is no grand plan for your life will often be interpreted as an attack. Even if doing nothing more than pointing out the harm that has been done under the auspices of piety, the news will not be received with accolades from the religious. Compartmentalization and rationalization (as in the psychological phenomenon) are fundamental aspects of maintaining any faith-based belief in the face of contrary evidence. Despite the common perception, it is not viciousness which compels us as atheists to speak out against religion. It is with the hope that we can help those who live under the ever-looming spectre of god’s presence to stop accepting the illusion of freedom and truly experience it…(read more)

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Dinesh D’Souza Spreads Dishonest Propaganda…Again

Posted on January 21, 2008. Filed under: Atheism | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Original Article

Isn’t it remarkable that Christians would like to use atheists as scapegoats for every evil action throughout history instead of admitting their own complicity? After all, they are the ones who are constantly reminding us that the inhumane actions committed by their predecessors don’t necessarily reflect upon them, so why can’t they can’t they just admit that the christians of the past were complicit in some of these atrocities?

I don’t know that I need to move beyond the first sentence to prove the absurdity of his assertion. Apparently, Mr. D’Souza has forgotten about the atheists and deists who were the true impetus for ending slavery-like Abraham Lincoln! As far as we can tell from the biographies written about Lincoln, particularly those written by some of his closest friends, he was at best a deist, possibly an atheist, and definitely opposed to organized religion and christianity. How about other atheist abolitionists like Fanny Wright, Elizur Wright and Ernestine Louise Rose?

Obviously D’Souza aims to rewrite history, much like his buddies in Congress with HR 888, to make it seem that christians were always paragons of morality and the evils of the world can be blamed on atheists. D’Souza attempts to ridicule Sam Harris by pointing out that everybody already knows that the bible sanctions slavery and that the same bible was used as justification for and against slavery…read more

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Still Don’t Think Theism is a Mind Disorder…Part Deux

Posted on January 16, 2008. Filed under: Atheism | Tags: , , , , , , |

Since there have been so many things that I wanted to address in the comments, plus the fact that it got long as hell, I decided to post it here. Enjoy.

Quote:

No atheism here.Submitted by Fenriz on January 13, 2008 – 2:37pm.

Religion is different from illegal drugs because it is societally protected. Even if religion is destructive, it won’t carry the same stigma as drugs because too many people support it. Your analogy is more effective with tobacco and alcohol, which are both traditionally accepted features of our culture despite the harms they can inflict. Because they are so ingrained in our culture, we won’t get rid of them regardless the problems to which they contribute (though tobacco could be teetering on the brink of extinction).

I agree that it is considered taboo to critique religion too harshly, but is that respect deserved? Would we not be better off as a society if events such as these didn’t happen? Some people will find other reasons to engage in destructive behaviors, but why not eliminate as many potential catalysts as possible?

Personally, I find the analogy with drugs, alcohol and nicotine included, to be particularly appropriate as analogous to religion. People often become just as addicted to religion as they would to any drug, it appears that susceptible people harm themselves or others as a result of their addiction, and the most frequently used excuse for not criticizing religion is that it makes people feel good. Well, so does heroin…read more

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Muslims suppressing atheism in Turkey

Posted on January 16, 2008. Filed under: Atheism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday I blogged about muslims attempting to take down pictures of their invisible friend on wikipedia via petition. Today we got a letter from the head of the number one turkish atheist site which has been stripped from the eyes of Turks twice. Once under the original domain and then again under another domain. Unfortunately, the owner is unable to fight this in court because to do so he would have to identify himself which if you’re familiar will end up resulting in his head being chopped off by the peaceful and loving muslims who work for Allah. If you speak Turkish and you are an atheist please support this site…

Creationists control Internet access in Turkey

Ateizm.org , the most prominent non-profit Turkish web site on atheism and religions was closed for the second time in December 2007, under orders from a Turkish court. Ateizm.org was established in 2000 by three young Turkish atheists who devoted themselves to the enlightenment of Turkish people. Ateizm.org hosts an online discussion board named Ateistforum ( forum.ateizm.org), one of the busiest forums for the Turkish speaking online community over the Internet. Ateizm.org received 1000 visits a day at its peak when it was open.

Turkey is a land of many cultures, traditions, ethnicities and religious groups. We are proud of our recent secular past, for numerous reforms and accomplishments that took place in political, social and economic areas. Although statistically Turkey appears as 98 percent Muslim, 15 percent of Turkish population follows the Alevi tradition, a very moderate version of Islam. There are significant numbers of secular non-practicing Muslims and very small numbers of people belonging to other religions, agnostics, deists and atheists…read more

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Still Don’t Think that Theism is a Mental Disorder?

Posted on January 13, 2008. Filed under: Atheism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Wow. A whole barrage of nonsense came at us in the past two weeks or so. First off…a man cuts off his own hand with a circular saw after seeing the Mark of the Beast on it. With a circular saw. And then microwaves it. And then calls the authorities. A quote from one of the sherriff’s deputies states, “That kind of mental illness is just sad.” I couldn’t agree more.

Now, I know what you guys are going to say–“It’s not BECAUSE of religion.” Actually, I don’t think that a case could be made either way. Was he likely vulnerable to delusional behavior? Yeah, I’ll concede that one. The fact that religion is unique in its ability to seep into the crevices of your mind so pervasively that this theme plays out in our society over and over again isn’t addressed by that statement, though. How do the appeasers and framers answer that? Maybe it only manifests itself in those already prone to mental illness, but isn’t that akin to excusing and perpetuating a belief system that preys on the weak? What exactly is it that causes atheists to feel this compulsion to cover for a malevolent, archaic belief that has caused mothers to kill their children, countless cases of child abuse, seemingly endless wars and violence, and self-mutilation and flagellation that can be traced back to the very foundation of the religion?

One doesn’t need to delve too deeply to uncover the singular thread that has persisted throughout religious history–violence. Violence against others and oneself. Internally or externally expressed; it’s there from day one. Ignatius of Loyola makes an interesting case study demonstrating the way in which religion exploits this predisposition to self-loathing and delusional disorders. The esteemed founder of the Jesuit’s autobiography details graphically the man’s obsession with self-harm, his hallucinations, and his severe depression which would at times lead him to drastic measures such as digging a hole in his room at college deep enough that he hoped to end his life by jumping into it. All that to escape the demons that he felt were tempting him with indecent, ungodly thoughts. Sometimes that would lead to an insatiable desire to harm himself in order to purge this evil from his body, simultaneously punishing himself for not having the strength to resist thoughts that were likely normal human doubts and concerns. His life as a beggar on the streets, living only off of the good-will (and pity) of others, as well as an extremely hazardous trek from his home in Italy to Jerusalem soon after his conversion on which he embarked with nothing more than the clothes on his back all coalesce to form an image of a man haunted by the great spector in the sky and his impending wrath…read more

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Atheist Divisiveness and Dogmatism

Posted on January 11, 2008. Filed under: Atheism | Tags: , , , , , |

Lately, I’ve been realizing that, despite what I had come to believe, religion is not the biggest danger to society. Poor thinking is. Adherence to mindless dogmatism is. The self-serving desire to fit everybody into a mold, likely similar to your own, is. These traits are unfortunately not limited to theists.

Obviously, being a member of the Rational Response Squad puts me in a position to be critiqued and vilified by the people who possess the aforementioned character flaws, and recently I’ve been seeing it almost constantly. It literally pains me to see that so many who have managed to escape religion still cling to so many other similarly irrational ideas and use such blatantly poor logic-particularly if it involves us. Have we done some controversial things? Sure. Are we brash, loud-mouthed, occasionally immature, and possibly arrogant? Sometimes, yes. Have we made mistakes? Of course-show me one person who hasn’t, and I’ll show you a liar. Do we have conversations about sex, have ads all over the place containing visible cleavage (OMGZ!), and in general like to have some “old-fashioned” fun? Most definitely. Do you know why? Because atheists don’t have to be stodgy intellectuals!

This might be news to you, so I’ll try to take you through it easily. Atheism means one thing-not having a belief in a god. That’s it. It doesn’t mean that for the rest of my life I can only wear a certain type of clothing, can never swear, can’t be overtly sexual or too attractive, can’t have fun, can’t drink, and can only read/watch/listen that which has been deemed appropriate by the Council for the Protection of the Public-Image of All Atheists Everywhere. That is called religion!

It is absolutely bewildering that so many have freed themselves of the shackles of religion only to put on new ones. Forgive my candor, but I’ve seen some atheists lately who appear to have a stick shoved so far up their asses that it is interfering with their neuronal circuitry. Listen guys-you’ll be a lot more comfortable if you just yank it out, plus you’ll have the added benefit of being able to sit comfortably. Eventually, you’ll even be able to maneuver your neck enough so as not to be looking down your nose at everybody else…read more

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A Response to the American People…

Posted on January 4, 2008. Filed under: Atheism | Tags: , , , , , , |

…represented by a small sample of letters to the editor from around the country.

Well, this will be a first with two posts in one day, but I really wanted to briefly discuss the following letters that were submitted to various papers across the US. This is certainly not a statistically significant sample, but I feel that these particular mindsets are far too common for a supposedly enlightened and egalitarian society. We’ll start with my favorite one from the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Quote:

Blame atheists

In his Dec. 27 letter, Steven Fehr says he believes President Bush is the worst president he has seen. Whenever I hear someone complain about the president, I ask them, “Do you pray for the president of the United States daily?” Is that too much trouble?

There used to be a custom of praying for our president. Perhaps too many people in the United States believe this would be mixing politics and religion. If the majority of the people are agnostic and atheistic, it may be that they are partly to blame for the problems we have. To think one man is responsible for the war and the problems we face in our nation is about as foolish as to not believe in the power of prayer.

We all share in the burden. We all need to live and teach the truths upon which our country was founded. The world is made up of two types of people: critics who are negative, fearful and have no plan, no vision, no faith, and authors who are positive, visionary builders. Which kind are you?

Vera B. Ivie

Ogden

See what I mean? It is coming out of Utah, but still…if George W. Bush’s performance could be improved by talking to imaginary beings, I’m sure that any reasonable deity would have found it fit to respond sometime within the last 8 years. According to Ms. Ivie, we are not allowed to complain about our incompetent and intellectually-challenged president unless we pray for him every day. It’s not that it’s too much trouble-it’s the fact that it is a useless endeavor to beseech nonexistent gods for anything, much less the improvement of the most idiotic president in history.

She then goes on to blame atheists and agnostics (haha appeasers!! Don’t say we didn’t tell you) for the societal ills that we face, erroneously claiming that we comprise “the majority of the people” in this country. That should be enough right there to prove conclusively that this woman is a brainwashed victim of religious indoctrination and subsequently has the well-worn persecution complex. Ms. Ivie should present some evidence for the power of prayer before she labels us as “foolish”.

It is a perfect example of the kind of lunacy that infects religious people in this country. Her implication that atheists are negative and fearful, possessing no plan or vision, is downright offensive. She is right on one point-we don’t have faith. Rational, reasonable people don’t hold decisions based on faith in high regard. It’s a pity the rest of the lemmings disagree…read more

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Ranting on holidays and porn…two completely unrelated topics

Posted on January 3, 2008. Filed under: Atheism | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

“Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man. For war consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting, but in a tract of time, wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known: and therefore the notion of time is to be considered in the nature of war, as it is in the nature of weather. For as the nature of foul weather lieth not in a shower or two of rain, but in an inclination thereto of many days together: so the nature of war consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary. All other time is peace.

Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Chapter 13

Well, happy New Year…I guess. Sorry if that seems slightly pessimistic, but I can hardly stand the gratuitous platitudes that are seemingly necessary in our society. So, I’m going to do something a little unusual in a belated celebration of this one day turning into another that just happens to have a different number at the end of the date. I’m not going to be responding to the D’Souza’s of the world. It’s not for lack of material-if anything, it’s the overwhelming abundance of drivel that I have to sift through that has caused me to feel completely overwhelmed by this task. There is so much mindless nonsense that gets foisted onto a dumbed-down and apathetic populace that I rue my ability to see that we’re all just knee-deep in shit. Sometimes it seems that ignorance truly is bliss.

I don’t find it surprising at all that so many of the visionaries of our past and present were so prone to melancholy and drug abuse. It seems that the ability to comprehend the sometimes harsh reality of existence on this rock is both wondrous and terrifying. Having to interact with the other members of your species is just the icing on the cake. The senseless violence that we inflict upon each other, knowingly or not, the careless insensitivity with which we disregard those whom we, or those before us, have determined are enemies, is evidence of the solitary existence of which Hobbes spoke. We can only see things from inside our own experience, and it seems that the gap between two people will never truly be reconciled. For those of us who desire more than the typical diet of fast food, shitty news, and reality shows, how shall we numb ourselves?

Maybe it’s just the season. I never could stand the “holidays”. Endless days of forced interaction with people who share some percentage of your genetic makeup and nothing more. Why do we have to invent excuses to do the things that we should be doing every day? Anybody who talks about “Christmas spirit” has obviously never been to a mall during the month of December. Not only is their mythical savior a bunch of mythologized bullshit, but even they cannot help but succumb to total misanthropy while trying to find a parking space at Wal-Mart. At any rate, I’m in a rut right now.

Whatever. People will, I’m sure, find some excuse to attack me (and likely every atheist on the planet, so I apologize in advance) for my honesty here, and this is pretty uncharacteristic of me, but for once, I don’t fucking care. I have something that I want to address here, and maybe I’ll feel better after I just lay it on the table for everybody to see.

Ever since the Radar magazine article, the most popular way to attempt to discredit me is to refer to my “other job”. I can’t look at my Google alerts without seeing something about “lap-dancing Kelly” or some other lame attempt to influence people’s opinions of me and my intellect. Well, guess what? I like my job. I see through your façade of propriety and know that you probably get a hard-on thinking about me giving anybody a lap dance. I’m not going to go into details, but as far as I’m concerned, any woman with the assets and attitude to do this job is stupid for not doing it. All the Christophiliacs (that’s what I’m naming your disorder and if you don’t like it you can fuck off) just can’t stand the fact that anybody enjoys and maybe even revels in their sexuality. I’m sorry that you have such a complex about it. Do you pray for forgiveness before or after you masturbate?  …read more

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The Triumph of Reason

Posted on December 14, 2007. Filed under: Atheism | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Response to Katha Pollitt’s “The Atheist’s Dilemma”

From The Nation, Dec 3, 2007

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20071203/pollitt

In this issue of The Nation, Katha Pollitt posits that what people like to refer to as the “New Atheism” is destined for failure. She argues that the devout will not be persuaded by atheists, particularly those like Sam Harris, who “[think] religion is completely stupid.” She goes on further to admonish us for not appreciating the so-called moderates of any faith. Ms. Pollitt is demonstrating her ignorance of the effectiveness of the atheist “movement” (although I hesitate to use that word) and the reason why even the moderate religious acolytes need to be called to account for their beliefs.

Ms. Pollitt is correct in some regards with respect to the most devout believers. Those people are not likely to be persuaded by anybody, and confrontation with atheists generally serves to push them further into their delusion and reinforces their belief. Cognitive dissonance can work either way, depending on how much one has at stake. I do not believe that a change in tactics or attitude will affect those types of people…(read more)

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