December 20, 2011

10 things wrong with the Freedom From Religion Foundation's atheist nativity scene.

(Here's my video showing the details of the creche, which is on the first floor of the Wisconsin Capitol, near some other holiday displays. You should watch the video to understand this list.)

1. Of the many figures in the display, only one is naked, ans it is a woman. This is the "clothed male, naked female" fantasy — promoted, presumably unwittingly.

2. The naked woman is Venus (the famous Botticelli Venus), and Venus is a goddess, a supernatural religious character, and therefore inconsistent with the overall theme of the display, which is that there is only the natural world and it's all we need.

3. The baby in the manger is huge in relation to the Venus figure, who is ostensibly the mother, so that is some scary cephalopelvic disproproportion, and yet naked Venus shows no signs of the C-section she would have needed to avoid death, unless we're to assume that baby got out of her body in some miraculous way, which is inconsistent with the theme of the display.

4. Atheism is promoted through a set of quotes from prominent figures — Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Emma Goldman, and Mark Twain — in other words, by reference to the revered words of authority figures, which is the same method of arriving at beliefs used by religionists — whom we're invited to disrespect for thinking like that.

5. A sign says "may reason prevail" and ends: "Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds," which is not even a remotely credible belief, because it is falsified by every example of a person who is moved to altruism and charity by religion. Reason doesn't prevail on the very sign that says "may reason prevail."

6. In 2 places, the display invokes the solstice as an occasion for contemplating the natural world as the totality of what is. We're told it's "the reason for the season." Reason is a buzz word for these atheists, but what reason is there for a reason-fixated atheist to pay any special attention to the solstice? It seems they've gotten their atheism mixed up with paganism, which betrays the religious component of their thought structure.

7. There's a sign saying "Thou shalt not steal" — a quote from God, as reported in the Bible.

8. Right behind the "Thou shalt not steal" sign, there's an array of brochures titled "About FFR's Natural Nativity," which I think they want you to take, but I didn't take one because of the intimidating God quote about stealing.

9. There's a sign that says "Heathen's Greetings," but "heathen" is a religious designation. "Heathenism" is Germanic neopaganism.

10. Unless only one heathen is greeting us, they've got the apostrophe in the wrong place in "Heathen's."

199 comments:

Chip S. said...

Sounds like you're in final-exam-grading mode.

Heart_Collector said...

All I see is a giant sign for people who desperately want god proved to them.

Suburbanbanshee said...

The sad thing is that, as a Christian and a theist, I can think of much more effective anti-theist or anti-Christmas displays. This sounds like they just threw up a bunch of disparate ideas they thought were anti-Christian, and didn't care whether they had any intellectual or rational coherence. They're just squeezing their eyes shut, kicking and hitting out at everything beyond themselves.

But they're the rational ones, or so they say.

Wally Kalbacken said...

I'm not really sure you need to see the video to understand the comments. We know this is Madison, Wisconsin we're talking about, and anything is possible.

Curious George said...

Counterpoint:

garage mahal said...

Spot on, and nicely done!

12/18/11 6:24 PM

The Crack Emcee said...

A fine list, but a few thoughts:

1) Jefferson wasn't an atheist. He was a Deist - close for his time, but not the same thing.

2) In relation to your quote about "every example of a person who is moved to altruism and charity by religion" - people do that anyway. Some may think they are "moved to altruism and charity by religion" but, since atheists do charitable work - as I currently am - it does not follow that one is responsible for the other. People can be, and are, kind without God. And, in many ways, ARE KINDER simply because there is no religious motivation.

3) There is nothing wrong with atheists quoting the Bible. It is not a violation of atheism to do so.

Lyssa said...

Can anyone who would defend this display explain to me why Venus is there? I'm honestly asking, what is her purpose? The only thing that I can think of is that they didn't understand that she's a goddess and thus a religious figure, but that's too much even for these folks.

Also, I think that you should have included the fact that at least one of these people (Einstein) was not an atheist at all.

I disagree that number 5 is necessarily "wrong." It just says that religion does harden hearts and enslave minds, not that it always does that or never does anything else. A literal reading would say that if religion has done that even once (which I would assume that it has), it would be logically correct.

Dave said...

Further point, the entire exercise is an imitation of a religious practice. If not intended to mock, there's no reason for the nativity, as you mentioned in reference to the solstice. It betrays the weakness of their convictions, or their intolerance of the religious, that this counter display exists. A confident self-assured atheist would not need the display.

Ann Althouse said...

"Jefferson wasn't an atheist. He was a Deist - close for his time, but not the same thing."

I didn't assert that he was an atheist, and I don't know that they did. I said they were using him as an authority figure. Check the video to see the text of the quotes they use. They are about the way you can't use reason to argue with unreason, only ridicule.

DADvocate said...

Pure reason would be a harsh task master. There is little logical reason to do many of the kind, compassionate things we do. In many ways, the Earth and the human species would be better off if we allowed more people to die, if we let survival of the fittest take its natural course. Fewer people, no over population, less pollution, and many other "benefits' would be had.

But, somehow, as an irrational, superstitious person, I can't embrace that position.

Scott M said...

In relation to your quote about "every example of a person who is moved to altruism and charity by religion" - people do that anyway.

AA was, I believe, making the point that a display with the sign reading "let reason prevail" then goes on to say religion hardens the heart. People with hardened hearts would not be moved to altruism. However, many religious people DO work for and/or give to charity, so it rebukes the "hardened" claim.

That was my take on what she wrote, but what do I know? I'm just a jealous fucking poof.

Ann Althouse said...

"In relation to your quote about "every example of a person who is moved to altruism and charity by religion" - people do that anyway. Some may think they are "moved to altruism and charity by religion" but, since atheists do charitable work - as I currently am - it does not follow that one is responsible for the other. People can be, and are, kind without God. And, in many ways, ARE KINDER simply because there is no religious motivation."

Nothing you say there is inconsistent with the point I made. Some people do good things because of religion, which cuts against their assertion that all religion does is harden hearts and enslave minds. I'm stressing logic here, and what I've said is not inconsistent with the fact that many people are good and kind without believing in God. FFR made an absolute statement, which left them open for easy refutation, and if they really cared about reason, they wouldn't have done that. I think what's going on is that they are motivated by hostility — emotion — and not reason.

Chip S. said...

Can anyone who would defend this display explain to me why Venus is there?

Here's a guess:

Since we commonly refer to the stories of the Greek gods and goddesses as "mythology," the use of Venus is intended to get the observer to associate the traditional nativity scene with other myths.

Pogo said...

I repeat:

Christianity is to atheism as Bedford Falls is to Pottersville.

Their creche is a cri de coeur for solace, finding none.

Scott M said...

Can anyone who would defend this display explain to me why Venus is there? I'm honestly asking, what is her purpose? The only thing that I can think of is that they didn't understand that she's a goddess and thus a religious figure, but that's too much even for these folks.

My take was that it there as an example of human achievement in art, no deity required. Humanism built on the back of antecedent polytheism.

Dave said...

Crack,
The western concept of charity and good and evil are derived from Judeo-Christian tradition. So even if you're an atheist, it's likely that your concept of right and wrong are structured along religious lines.

Hepworth said...

My two favorite quotes about religion:

"The value of religion lies in its usefulness to the believer, not in the truth of its underlying cliams."

"When I was younger I prayed for a bicycle. The I realized religion doesn't work that way, so I went out and stole one then prayed for forgiveness."

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse,

I didn't assert that [Jefferson] was an atheist, and I don't know that they did. I said they were using him as an authority figure.

Hmmm. Can I think aloud without such defensiveness? I didn't criticize you. Never mentioned your name once.

And what on Earth is wrong with authority figures? Are they bad in all cases? Of course, I'm not defending the morons who put this up - presumably in my name - but certain biases are creeping into the criticism of their criticism. Some "great men" exist - are we to never listen to them for that?

Back to thinking aloud:

We would probably have more atheistic charity (and better charity overall) if the assumption of a religious connection wasn't implied.

Tertium Quid said...

I go through times of doubt, but on my most sceptical days there is Love and Beauty, which are transformative, transfiguring, and transcendent. Love and Beauty bring me to God, and no rationalist has ever been able to deconstruct them in a way that did not tell me more about the rationalist than Love and Beauty.

Michael said...

Nice exegesis of an essay written by a Sophomore from a small town where she learned she was the smartest in her class of average children. The C- will be her first but it will only make her more certain in her belief that there are mean people.

BJM said...

Twats.

Zealots be they atheists or fundies are running amok. This is the sickening result of intolerance and PC purity.

It's only a matter of time until the Cairo Museum meets a similar fate.

The Crack Emcee said...

DADvocate,

Pure reason would be a harsh task master. There is little logical reason to do many of the kind, compassionate things we do.

Two things:

1) We are human beings, so "pure reason" doesn't exist.

2) The idea that, by utilizing logic, "there is little logical reason to do many of the kind, compassionate things we do," is a flat-out lie - and a terrible, horrible, disgusting one at that.

Meade said...

Contrary to popular thought, not only was TJ not an atheist, he wasn't a deist. He was an anti-clerical Christian.

Ann Althouse said...

"Contrary to popular thought, not only was TJ not an atheist, he wasn't a deist. He was an anti-clerical Christian."

And isn't that the essence of protestantism? Let's call him a protestant.

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott M,

AA was, I believe, making the point that a display with the sign reading "let reason prevail" then goes on to say religion hardens the heart. People with hardened hearts would not be moved to altruism. However, many religious people DO work for and/or give to charity, so it rebukes the "hardened" claim.

No, instead, as I do charity work with a religious org now, I live in dread of them discovering my atheism - encountering their "hardened hearts and enslaved minds" so I keep my conversations short and distracting. There is nothing in the line about the evils of religion that is false, AA (and you) are choosing to interpret it as you see fit. Assumptions, people, are very bad things,...

That was my take on what she wrote, but what do I know? I'm just a jealous fucking poof.

This is true, and getting poofier by the day. (ROTFLMAO - now can we stop this, Scott? You and I shouldn't be fighting,...)

MadisonMan said...

...and what's wrong with the Christmas tree?

The Crack Emcee said...

Pogo,

I repeat:

Christianity is to atheism as Bedford Falls is to Pottersville.


Ew, Pogo, no - I seriously must disagree. Pottersville IS Paganism.

Jesus, we atheists just have to take it, and take it, and take it. Word to everybody:

You don't understand atheism, o.k.?

Rhodamine said...

Ann, I absolutely love your analysis here. Love it, as a former atheist and current Deist with Swedenborgian leanings.

Anti-Theists are OBSESSED with clerical religion. They should not be representative of atheists! It used to drive me mad - religious people who are honestly religious don't bother me, but these anti-theists so desperately religionist DO.

I hope that made sense. There's no need for a true atheist to bother mocking any religious faith. There's no need for freedom from religious thought, if you have arrived at your atheism honestly. What do you truly have to fear? Leave it.

roesch/voltaire said...

I think as Hitchens points out on the clip posted on Crack's site, there is a pervasive religious antagonism towards non-believers( or for those of different religious views for that matter) which may explain some of the tone found in the atheist's nativity scene. The basic reasoning is that man can exist and have compassion for others without a supernatural being in the sky telling them so.

Scott M said...

No, instead, as I do charity work with a religious org now, I live in dread of them discovering my atheism - encountering their "hardened hearts and enslaved minds" so I keep my conversations short and distracting.

Not sure what kind of people you're hanging out there with, but I'm sure they appreciate your help nonetheless. Most of the churches I've visited called for believers of all creeds to visit, asking for non-believers specifically (no joy in Heaven so great as a non-believer coming to Christ). The only rule I've ever seen that might count as "hardened" is the requirement that anyone taking Communion is a believing Christian, however a particular church may describe it.

now can we stop this, Scott? You and I shouldn't be fighting

Perfect fine by me.

The Crack Emcee said...

Dave,

Crack,

The western concept of charity and good and evil are derived from Judeo-Christian tradition. So even if you're an atheist, it's likely that your concept of right and wrong are structured along religious lines.


So? Like thinking an atheist can't quote the Bible, the idea we can't do anything that came from religion is wrong and, frankly, a little dull witted.

Heart_Collector said...

The Crack Emcee said...
Assumptions, people, are very bad things,...



Kind of like assuming god dosnt exist.

Christopher said...

"We would probably have more atheistic charity (and better charity overall) if the assumption of a religious connection wasn't implied"


So the 30% difference in charitable work/giving between the religious and the irreligious (not even just atheists, which I wager would be far higher) is because of the potential religious connotations it carries with it?

Are you really suggesting that atheists don't do anywhere near the same amount of charitable work as those theistically inclined simply because it might make others think they're religious?

If true then your statement says quite a bit about atheists, and none of it is good.




*That 30% is in overall charity not just church related functions (e.g. tithing)

traditionalguy said...

That was funny seeing "Thou shall not steal" is the Word given by the Atheists. The whole Ten Moses passed on are a riff of not stealing.

1)Don't steal God's worship and give it to another god.

2) Don't steal your time making images of gold to be worshiped.

3) Don't steal the personal name of God for other uses.

4) Don't steal the rest time you need from yourselves.

5) Don't steal the honor you owe to your parents for what they did.

6) Don't steal another man's life.

7) Don't steal another man's wife.

8) Just Don't steal at all.

9) Don't steal another man's reputation and justice in court by majing false statements, and

10) Don't steal your own peace of mind by wanting another man's mansion, trophy wife, or sports car.

Then the game is afoot with the spirit of the world that came not but to steal, kill, and destroy.

Shanna said...

Can anyone who would defend this display explain to me why Venus is there?

I’m stumped as well. The only thing I can think of is that the date of Christmas ties in with roman celebrations, but they weren’t celebrations of Venus, were they? The history channel says Mithras or Saturn.

jimspice said...

"'Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds,' which is not even a remotely credible belief, because it is falsified by every example of a person who is moved to altruism and charity by religion."

No, it is not falsified. For that to be true, the original statement would need to be "that ONLY hardens hearts."

The Crack Emcee said...

Tertium Quid,

I go through times of doubt, but on my most sceptical days there is Love and Beauty, which are transformative, transfiguring, and transcendent. Love and Beauty bring me to God, and no rationalist has ever been able to deconstruct them in a way that did not tell me more about the rationalist than Love and Beauty.

Like atheists can't experience love or transcendence, or even see beauty. Or aren't responsible in large part - by keeping us alive and with better lives through science - for your experiencing those feelings.

You guys are really starting to approach the moronic now,...

Chip S. said...

...and what's wrong with the Christmas tree?

That's the underlying question, isn't it? If there were no tree in the capitol rotunda, would there be an atheist (or anti-theist, or whatever) display, or any of the explicitly religious displays?

To me, every single display in the capitol except the tree looks like clutter. I don't know for sure, but I'd guess that they all arose in some way as a response to the tree, or to the responses to the tree. So the question is whether the tree is a mere seasonal decoration or a religious symbol.

Odd that it appears to be the atheists who see religious expression in the tree and the believers who tend to argue that it has no religious significance.

Kit said...

Too bad they can't just cop to the irreverence. I'd be ok with that.

rsb said...

The display was stupid...so? The christian nativity scene will always be more stupid.

Milwaukee said...

Crack: "And, in many ways, ARE KINDER simply because there is no religious motivation."

That's a pretty bold claim. Where is your proof? Emprical, intuitive, or otherwise?

One of the important contributions of the Church to society was to give aid and comfort to all, regardless of their faith or ethnicity. Before that groups tended to only give aid to members of their societal circle.

One of the ways the 0bama administration is attacking Christians is demanding, as a prerequisite for religious exemption, that both employees of a religious organization be members of religion, and recipients of the charity be members. This flies in the face of Christ's teachings.

Jay said...

This sounds like they just threw up a bunch of disparate ideas they thought were anti-Christian, and didn't care whether they had any intellectual or rational coherence.

Yes.

And that is true because these people aren't rational or coherent.

Athesists, generally speaking, aren't that informed or intellecutally curious.

Ann Althouse said...

"Not really. Jefferson disliked calvinists and baptists for one. He was nominally an episcopalian but not a sunday schooler. Errorhouse marches on."

I said "essence." And I mean essence of the big idea of protestantism. Small "p" should give it away. The point is that you care about Jesus and the Gospels, but you don't trust the priests.

The Crack Emcee said...

Heart_Collector,

The Crack Emcee said...
Assumptions, people, are very bad things,...



Kind of like assuming god dosnt exist.


That isn't an assumption - the evidence supports it.

BarryD said...

I'm with Crack Emcee.

These people are making bad art. Christians make bad art all the time, too, although they tend to make more money at it. Hindus are world-famous for bad art.

Atheism falls into at least two camps.

One is defined simply as the lack of belief in a deity, and probably wouldn't be compatible with making such a display. A scene of people stuffing their faces, laughing with family and friends, and going skiing might be more apropos. It's more likely that the "don't think there's a god, and as long as you leave me alone, I don't care what you think or do" group would have other things to do besides making a "nativity scene" of any sort.

The other is some sort of bizarre fraternity for socially maladapted individuals, hipsters and pseudo-intellectuals who need some sort of label to rally around.

I'm an atheist because of a large accumulation of life experience and information. I find the second sort of "atheist" to be annoying, just like any other collection of frat boys, hipsters, socialites, etc.

Those who want to lure people into their religions should celebrate the second sort. They are easy to mock, and they probably drive people to go to church.

WRT altruism, it's not clear, at all, that acts of "altruism" are universally good acts. And religion has been responsible for all sorts of awful things done to people "for their own good."

Helping other humans has an evolutionary basis. We are social animals.

Ann Althouse said...

I consider atheism internally inconsistent. You want to be about reason, logic, and evidence, yet you insist on asserting an absolute truth. Why? As I look at real atheists, my working theory is that these are not people who love reason, but people who hate religion. Why hate? What's going on there? If they hate religion because religion sometimes/often is a conduit of hate and other bad things, then just say that. Be against the things that are bad. Why assert a counter-truth and get tangled up in the belief game yourself?

The Crack Emcee said...

Christopher,

Are you really suggesting that atheists don't do anywhere near the same amount of charitable work as those theistically inclined simply because it might make others think they're religious?

No, I'm saying atheists mostly are turned away from things that have religious backing - many have a hard time understanding why I would work with a religious org, charity be damned. Take away the religious aspect, and more atheists would pitch in. It's the same reasoning for people who don't eat at soup kitchens - they don't like the religious stuff that comes with it. Others tolerate it for a meal, but they'd prefer just getting some food, thankyouverymuch.

Heart_Collector said...

The Crack Emcee said...
Heart_Collector,

The Crack Emcee said...
Assumptions, people, are very bad things,...



Kind of like assuming god dosnt exist.

That isn't an assumption - the evidence supports it.




I can say god does exist and evidence supports it.

What happens now?

MadisonMan said...

Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds

If today you hear God's Voice, harden not your heart.

FWIW, I think the tree looks like clutter too. I'd be perfectly okay with no tree at my house, but my kids would not. Parents gotta sacrifice.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

As Christians we are encouraged to bring as many as we can to Christ.

Preaching to the choir is easy.

Changing unlike hearts and minds is where the action is.

Christ preferred the company of the fallen; prostitutes, thieves, etc.

What atheists might perceive as a negative vibe from Christians is lack of understanding. Yes, there are obnoxious zealots, on BOTH sides. Know-it-alls are everywhere.

It was always my position that I can't (easily) prove that God exists; on the contrary, an atheist cannot (easily) prove lack thereof.

Unresolved, hence, faith. Christians/faith and atheists/faith.

Rumpletweezer said...

Where are the agnostics in this? Where is their display?

The Crack Emcee said...

Chip S.,

...and what's wrong with the Christmas tree?

That's the underlying question, isn't it?


These are NEWAGERS - Pagans - Christianity's enemies.

I have never met an atheist who had a problem with Christmas or a Christmas tree.

Heart_Collector said...

It was always my position that I can't (easily) prove that God exists; on the contrary, an atheist cannot (easily) prove lack thereof.

Unresolved, hence, faith. Christians/faith and atheists/faith.


What athesists dont grasp is the fact that god does exist in a proven form to many of us. You find god by looking within, not searching the world for answers, the answers are in you. You find your own proof. It isnt something someone else can show you, like a moon rock. It is outside the bounds of materalistic physicality.

The Crack Emcee said...

Milwaukee,

Crack: "And, in many ways, ARE KINDER simply because there is no religious motivation."

That's a pretty bold claim. Where is your proof? Emprical, intuitive, or otherwise?


Doing things for others, simply because you want to, is inherently better than because God or religion commands it. I don't want to go into it (time) but, many times, I can see the forced nature of giving in the eyes of some religious people. It's actually quite sad.

rhhardin said...

Atheism (the word) is a negation.

Scott M said...

Where are the agnostics in this? Where is their display?

"There's nothing an agnostic can't do, if he doesn't know what he believes in."

Heart_Collector said...

I would say those people who force give (I know what your talking about) are people who join religion hoping that joining and going to church is the proof that god exists, its not. If you dont find god within your forever hollow, no matter how many ceremonies you attended or books you read.

Scott M said...

I have never met an atheist who had a problem with Christmas or a Christmas tree.

But you are aware that many do, correct? At least enough to bring several lawsuits against municipalities over Christmas displays or even word usage, right?

DADvocate said...

1) We are human beings, so "pure reason" doesn't exist.

Duh.

2) The idea that, by utilizing logic, "there is little logical reason to do many of the kind, compassionate things we do," is a flat-out lie - and a terrible, horrible, disgusting one at that.

I stand by my statement. We'll see that logic in action more and more as Obomacare goes into action. To bad you didn't use logic to refute me, but, rather, a bunch of emotion laden words.

You're on a roll today, but mostly down hill.

Meade said...

Rumpletweezer said...
"Where are the agnostics in this? Where is their display?"

Well, they might be there. But they might not be. We didn't see any signs of them.

And where their display is is impossible to know.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"It is outside the bounds of materalistic physicality."

Yes it really is a mind-set, a conscious decision.

Human understanding is limited. If one has the capacity for humility, many self-imposed barriers can be overcome.

Many mistake humility as weakness.

Chip S. said...

I consider atheism internally inconsistent. You want to be about reason, logic, and evidence, yet you insist on asserting an absolute truth.

I've never looked into this very closely, but the word "atheism" seems simply to define a habit of thought that distances itself from theism. So the stuff about "logic and evidence" means simply that those are the sole bases an atheist uses for assessing the truth of propositions or for interpreting events. Of course, that does not mean that theists don't also use logic and evidence, which is where some anti-theists go too far.

This is a difference of opinion over the appropriate null hypothesis when logic and evidence don't yield definitive answers, not a claim to absolute truth.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse,

I consider atheism internally inconsistent. You want to be about reason, logic, and evidence, yet you insist on asserting an absolute truth. Why?

Not true - atheists change as the evidence does. The only "absolute truth" is reality, which can't be fought.

As I look at real atheists, my working theory is that these are not people who love reason, but people who hate religion.

You mean like these NEWAGERS? For the billionth time, they are NOT atheists.
Why hate? What's going on there?

Getting away from religion for the moment, why not? What's wrong with hate? I hate the lack of ethics in society - hate it. It makes the world an uglier place and I have every right and reason to hate it. This idea that hate, in and of itself, is a bad emotion is nothing more than hippie dogma.

If they hate religion because religion sometimes/often is a conduit of hate and other bad things, then just say that. Be against the things that are bad. Why assert a counter-truth and get tangled up in the belief game yourself?

Again - you are judging atheists by what NewAgers do in our name. That, alone, is a good enough reason for me to hate them.

Trashhauler said...

It is possible that Venus is there, not as a representative of the old gods, but as an avatar for sex. Yes, it's illogical to think of sex as anti-religious, but some folks persist in thinking that religion must lead to a puritanical, stifled sex life.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"I would say those people who force give..."

Are under the mistaken notion that there is a price of admission to salvation. So maybe they reluctantly tithe.

I believe we are free to be infinitely generous to others (preferred!) and the notion of a tithe is old testament stuff.

The New Testament (Gospel) is what turned the old jewish ways upside down.

The Crack Emcee said...

Heart_Collector,

I can say god does exist and evidence supports it.

What happens now?


You provide the evidence. Duh.

Keep in mind, though, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Good luck.

caplight45 said...

These people obviously did not bring their "A game" to the Rotunda.

Paddy O said...

What's funny is that modern Christianity pretty much helped usher in the era of atheism.

Christians are always best with persecution. Ignore 'em and they'll self-destruct.

edutcher said...

Reminds me of the old cartoon where the missionary says to the natives, "You've just been preached to. You're no longer pagans, you're heathens".

Chip Ahoy said...

One too many pro, which makes it back to being proportioned.

I think.

But it hurts just reading it and I don't even have a Cephalo.

Scott M said...

Christians are always best with persecution. Ignore 'em and they'll self-destruct.

Absolutely, and we know this because North Korea is riddled with Christians.

The Crack Emcee said...

Heart_Collector,

What athesists dont grasp is the fact that god does exist in a proven form to many of us. You find god by looking within, not searching the world for answers, the answers are in you. You find your own proof.

And you are now screaming - at the top of your lungs:

I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF SCIENCE OR EVIDENCE!!!

A major failing in the modern world,...

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Christians are always best with persecution. Ignore 'em and they'll self-destruct."

News flash Paddy; whether I am aware of someone ignoring me, or not, does not change what I believe.

Your statement is quite revealing.

Christopher said...

"No, I'm saying atheists mostly are turned away from things that have religious backing - many have a hard time understanding why I would work with a religious org, charity be damned."

Then start your own damn charities, people do it all the time.

There is no law stating that charities must have a religious backing, there is no law requiring proselytization to go hand in hand with soup kitchens.

If there really is some sort of untapped atheistic charitable desire being held back by a fear of associating with those icky religious folks then it would behoove them to create their own charity groups.

But they don't (at least on any large scale).

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott M,

I have never met an atheist who had a problem with Christmas or a Christmas tree.

But you are aware that many do, correct? At least enough to bring several lawsuits against municipalities over Christmas displays or even word usage, right?


I know people claiming to be atheists do, just as the people behind this display also are hiding behind the title "atheist."

NewAgers are liars - I've been saying that, here, for years. They keep dressing their bullshit up in different garb in hopes of fooling people into joining them. ("Mind/Body/Spirit" is the latest incarnation of them attempting to be honest - which is still a lie.) As always, the Emperor has no clothes.

Atheists couldn't be bothered with most of the malarky that's passed off as atheism.

BarryD said...

"As I look at real atheists, my working theory is that these are not people who love reason, but people who hate religion."

You're just looking at a certain group of people who draw attention to themselves, and attach a label to themselves.

Dan in Philly said...

When people stop believing in God, the don't believe in nothing, they believe in anything.

Titus said...

Venus has nice tits.

The Crack Emcee said...

DADvocate,

I stand by my statement. We'll see that logic in action more and more as Obomacare goes into action.

Yeah, like anything from NewAger, Oprah Winfrey's, boy can be construed as atheism.

That's just foolish.

Heart_Collector said...

And you are now screaming - at the top of your lungs:

I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF SCIENCE OR EVIDENCE!!!



If you want to make science your god because its something you can understand, thats ok.

Im not a christian, I dont care about trying to save you. :)

Just because you havnt encountered god dosnt mean nobody else has.

jimspice said...

My personal rationale for atheism is, I only accept premises that are well born out by testable, repeatable means. Religion does not afford this, thus, I do not believe in a god/gods.

"New" atheism takes a different tack. There IS no god. The thought has been around for years, but may have make its most public splash when Penn Jillette was turned down for recording a segment of NPR's "This I Believe" because, they argued, the segment was not about what you DON'T believe, but about what you DO. So Jillette phrased it in the positive and the segment famously went ahead: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015557

Heart_Collector said...

The Crack Emcee said...
Heart_Collector,

I can say god does exist and evidence supports it.

What happens now?

You provide the evidence. Duh.

Keep in mind, though, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Good luck.



I cant prove to you there is a god, its something you need to prove to yourself. If you cant, maybe you failed the test.

Weve been over this, theres nothing anyone else can "show" you to make you accept.

And if you did... it wouldnt be for the right reasons.

Paddy O said...

"atheists change as the evidence does"

That's naive and very much modern sort of thinking, as though atheists are the objective ones.

We do not just change as evidence comes. We are constantly assessing what serves as evidence and what doesn't. Our experiences affect what matters and is conclusive. This isn't simplistic Newtonian physics. This is complex interaction of highly indeterminate subjects.

Crack, your experiences have shaped your perception of religion and religionists, with your wife on the one side and I believe your mother on the other. Your experiences with the true darkness of religion (France is always a great resource for that) makes your assessment of religion immensely narrow.

I don't think that's necessarily bad, as you're definitely more honest than most.

But that your understanding and more importantly your interpretation of evidence is some kind of universal standard is egoism of the most modern, egoistic kind. You think, therefore you stand alone, against the world.

But that's not evidence. That's your interpretation of your experiences that are different than mine and different than others.

One person can see Jesus heal a leper and say, "your the Messiah." Others would say, "the guy was just putting on a show." One person could be knocked down by the risen Jesus and become one of the great early writers and evangelists.

Another might have that same sort of encounter and say it's "an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato.”

Atheists don't change according to the evidence, atheists change according to their experiences and continue to interpret and re-interpret the evidence according to their own chosen organizing philosophy.

In other words, your supposed rationality isn't higher or more objective, it's just shaped according to the crushing effects you have experienced in the context of highly manipulative, deceptive and destructive purveyors of religious services. That's your experience but it's different than mine so we assess evidence differently.

But, I think we're both trying to be honest about it and willing to change as our perceptions of evidence act upon us.

(yeah, I know... overlong comment again)

The Crack Emcee said...

Chip S.,

Of course, that does not mean that theists don't also use logic and evidence, which is where some anti-theists go too far.

Oh, religious folk do use logic and evidence - everywhere but when it comes to the unknown. But rather than accept the unknown is unknown, they fill it up with "beliefs." Which is the opposite of Don't Tread 2012's thoughts on humility.

I have been accused, many times, of not being humble - because I stand firmly on asserting what I know - but, when it comes to what I don't know, I am certainly more humble than any believer. And smarter.

I am more than happy to leave the unknown as unknown until otherwise, and admit I don't know it, which is the only wise course of action available to us.

Joe said...

The advantage of us Apatheists is that we don't care and if God exists, he/she/it doesn't care either. This allows us to adopt whatever religious holidays we want and celebrate them as we see fit.

Paddy O said...

"I only accept premises that are well born out by testable, repeatable means."

You must have a real problem with history.

Was George Washington President? Get him elected again, and I'll believe it!

Scott M said...

This allows us to adopt whatever religious holidays we want and celebrate them as we see fit.

When do the airing of grievances and feats of strength start?

Heart_Collector said...

I am more than happy to leave the unknown as unknown until otherwise, and admit I don't know it, which is the only wise course of action available to us.


So your saying, you are aware of known unknowns...

MayBee said...

The FFR is being reactive, not proactive. They are acting out against (a) religion to harangue people out of believing in God. They aren't trying to draw people into their belief.

Does the FFR protest against other religions' holidays? Did they support the burning of the Koran?

BarryD said...

"What athesists dont grasp is the fact that god does exist in a proven form to many of us"

Apart from their being different sorts of people who could be labeled "atheist", I think you are ignorant of what atheists grasp.

That said, there's a huge difference between "finding god within" and religion. Show me someone who claims to have found these various doctrines in him/herself, and I'll show you a liar: http://carm.org/christian-doctrine

The Crack Emcee said...

Christopher,

Start your own damn charities, people do it all the time.

There is no law stating that charities must have a religious backing, there is no law requiring proselytization to go hand in hand with soup kitchens.


The word "atheist" is hated in this society. (The last study I saw found Americans trust us as much as rapists.) Good luck with starting much of anything, but an atheist org, under that premise.

BarryD said...

"Another might have that same sort of encounter and say it's 'an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato.'"

HOW DARE YOU blaspheme the holy name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in this manner!?!

The Crack Emcee said...

Heart_Collector,

I cant prove to you there is a god,...

Then quit breaking my balls and accept that.

Heart_Collector said...

I only speak for myself Barry. Im not a expert in religion. I dont associate with religion. Ive had nothing but bad experiences with organized religion.

Religion is just protocol without the belief of a god.

MadisonMan said...

Sounds like you're in final-exam-grading mode.

Final exam grading avoidance.

That's where I am (laugh)

Heart_Collector said...

Then quit breaking my balls and accept that.


I was just trying to have a conversation. I respect your beliefs even though I dont observe them myself.

Scott M said...

Then quit breaking my balls and accept that.

Fair enough. Quit breaking everyone else's balls that believes there is a God.

The Crack Emcee said...

Dan in Philly,

When people stop believing in God, the don't believe in nothing, they believe in anything.

Another bald-faced lie.

If we "believe" in anything, why are we the ones who originated the saying, "Don't be so open-minded your brains fall out"?

I repeat, you don't understand atheism - and revert to slander to fill in the blanks - which makes your religious ass commit such acts of evil.

The Crack Emcee said...

Heart_Collector,

If you want to make science your god because its something you can understand, thats ok.

Do I have to explain - in a conversation on atheism - why that sentence is just kooky?

The Crack Emcee said...

Paddy O,

"atheists change as the evidence does"

That's naive and very much modern sort of thinking, as though atheists are the objective ones.

We do not just change as evidence comes. We are constantly assessing what serves as evidence and what doesn't.


jesus Christ, man, do you REALLY think a semantics argument is helpful right now?

The Crack Emcee said...

Heart_Collector,

So your saying, you are aware of known unknowns...

yep, but the all-seeing, all-knowing, master/father/creator of us all ain't even a remote possibility.

Nice try, though,...moron.

Heart_Collector said...

"Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities." Wiki



This in itself is also a belief. Using science as evidence of no diety makes science the diety in absence of others.



In order to truley not belive, you just need to not give a shit about any of it. Striving to Identify yourself as a atheist sucks you into the entire process imo.

Heart_Collector said...

The Crack Emcee said...
Heart_Collector,

So your saying, you are aware of known unknowns...

yep, but the all-seeing, all-knowing, master/father/creator of us all ain't even a remote possibility.

Nice try, though,...moron.



Your words "shrug".

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott M,

Then quit breaking my balls and accept that.

Fair enough. Quit breaking everyone else's balls that believes there is a God.


This is a dialogue, mostly, about atheism. That almost all of the believers - including the NewAgers - have slandered what it means to be an atheist, I'd say, in this instance, you're asking for it.

Religious people do that - and then blame others for the trouble. Which is evil. Religion is evil.

Funny how that happens,...

Heart_Collector said...

Crack maybe if you took of those lifeblinders youd see yourself once in awhile.

Your coming off just the same as anyone taking their stance on their "religion".

Heart_Collector said...

If actually conversing with you and trying to understand your side of things makes me a moron then I apologize and I wont trouble you further with discourse.

The Crack Emcee said...

Two last things and then I'm going to go:

1) Heart Collector - I'm sorry for calling you a moron. It was uncalled for. Please accept my sincerest apology.

2) I find it curious that, even after all the evidence this is not an atheist display, the ire displayed, here, is still against atheists. Why not NewAgers? They are the ones falsely cloaking themselves in atheist garb. They are the ones attacking Christmas. They are the liars, troublemakers, and enemies of us all.

It's just not right to leave them free and clear while attacking those who have done nothing to you.

The Crack Emcee said...

And, Heart Collector, I wrote that apology before I read your comments.

Just so you know,...

Lem said...

... as reported in the Bible.

lol

bagoh20 said...

"Where are the agnostics in this? Where is their display?"

They are right there: all of them, and the blank spaces between - just like the truth.

BarryD said...

"Does the FFR protest against other religions' holidays? Did they support the burning of the Koran?"

I don't think they do.

That said, equating these guys with "all atheists" as many here, including Ann, seem to be doing, is about as valid, and as respectful, as equating the Mafia with all Italian-Americans.

Joe said...

Where are the modern new age naturalist nudist cults and their "holiday" display? (This would either serve as nice eye candy or a reminder of why clothes were invented; a win either way.)

Christopher said...

"The word "atheist" is hated in this society. (The last study I saw found Americans trust us as much as rapists.) Good luck with starting much of anything, but an atheist org, under that premise."

Then don't call it an atheist organization, just have a charity with no religious aspect to it. If the religious aspect is the primary obstacle to atheistic charity then they should flock to one with no religious connections.

Nobody said you have to advertise the fact that you don't believe in God, nobody requires that you have to act like the FFR douche bags. Just do the charity work and let your results stand for themselves.

For example Toys for Tots is run by the marines and is a well known and beloved charity, last I saw they didn't hand out religious literature or preach to those who took part.


But as a side note I must say that I still don't believe that the religious undertones of various groups are the primary cause for the lack of irreligious charitable workers. Outside of explicitly religious work (e.g. missionary work) I have never seen anyone have a problem with the beliefs of those who took part.

nailedvision said...

Atheist here! Wanted to say the folks at FFRF much have their heads up their arseholes to parade a pile of crap like that to promote atheism. They seem to really want this to be some type of war or conflict. To them I would say, "GROW UP!".

Christmas is not the time to be making this type of statement. You want a display that doesn't explicitly include religious imagery? Try something with Santa, Rudolph, the Grinch, the Leg-lamp, Frosty, or any of the other images associated with a secular North American Christmas.

caplight45 said...

Crack said: "Like atheists can't experience love or transcendence, or even see beauty."

I once had a conversation with a young atheist who was very influenced by Nietzsche. He described for me the moment that he embraced the basic existential absurdity of the universe without God. He had tears in his eyes as he spoke of his experience. It reminded me of Christians describing their moments of conversion.

MikeR said...

"Doing things for others, simply because you want to, is inherently better than because God or religion commands it." Crack, that's a really interesting comment. But I much prefer the following comparison: Doing things for others simply because God or religion commands it, is inherently better than _not_ doing thing for others because you don't want to.

Isn't that what we're discussing? Those of us who don't always want to, but sometime do good things because our religion asks it of us. Do you really find that sad? It's glorious.

caplight45 said...

Crack

I have never seen you respond this long and not lose it and start name calling, screaming at Ann and just generally raging. We even have an apology. Whence the mellow Friend? This, with your announced ending of your blog has me concerned this morning.

The Crack Emcee said...

caplight45,

I once had a conversation with a young atheist who was very influenced by Nietzsche. He described for me the moment that he embraced the basic existential absurdity of the universe without God. He had tears in his eyes as he spoke of his experience. It reminded me of Christians describing their moments of conversion.

Yeah, i think it goes something like this,...

W.B. Picklesworth said...

These types of comment threads never seem to go anywhere. I can't prove that, though.

That said, here's what I would chip in from the perspective of a Lutheran minister.

Charitable obligation isn't a bad thing; it is an attempt to do what is right. Does it rise to the level of true altruism? No, of course not. But seeking such purity of motivation is a certain way of never finding it. I give charitably because God requires it and because I want to. There are no kudos there, nor should there be. I hope that what is given helps.

Justification and/or salvation are entirely separate from this. I do not believe that they are accessible by reason. Therefore if someone does not believe that makes all the sense in the world. If someone believes that makes sense too. These differing experiences make sense because faith arrives from outside of reason (the Law) and from outside of ourselves, not through them.

In other words, I am not in the driver's seat, insofar as faith is concerned. But I do control my response to charitable obligation (the Law again.) And so I should give.

EMD said...

NIce work, Professor.

You fisked a atheist nativity scene.

And I'm not being facetious.

Sofa King said...

No, it is not falsified. For that to be true, the original statement would need to be "that ONLY hardens hearts."


The placement of the "but" in "religion is 'but'" effectively is synonymous with saying that "religion is 'only'".

The Crack Emcee said...

caplight45,

Crack

I have never seen you respond this long and not lose it and start name calling, screaming at Ann and just generally raging. We even have an apology. Whence the mellow Friend? This, with your announced ending of your blog has me concerned this morning.


I really can't hang around - gotta get out of here - but, yes, Hitchens' death affected me. Convinced me that, now that he's gone, the rest of us have to raise our game. All i can say is,...I'm trying.

The blog will continue. I was mostly going to leave Facebook, but now a group has started asking me to stay. I still think I'll leave it. Too many of the people who made me leave California are there to torment me with their bullshit, so it's not good for my head. On the other hand, old friends are there, too, so it's a tough call. I'm only human.

You know, an atheist. (smile) Thanks for your concern. I'll be back in a few hours.

Have a brilliant day, everybody!

Dave said...

"So? Like thinking an atheist can't quote the Bible, the idea we can't do anything that came from religion is wrong and, frankly, a little dull witted."

crack,

I'm not saying you can't use an idea that derives from religion. What I am saying is that it wouldn't have it's current form without religion and would change and likely cease to exist if religion was excluded. How many hospitals are there named after Darwin? Where are the atheistic soup kitchens or orphanages? Fact is being atheist makes charity an option rather than a responsibility.

Ann Althouse said...

"Not true - atheists change as the evidence does. The only "absolute truth" is reality, which can't be fought."

But you are not fully aware of all of reality. You can't even see atoms or hear the sounds that dogs hear. What if there is a God who has made himself fully undetectable by human beings? You can't claim to be more powerful that that God, who is, at least, conceivable?

Michael said...

In my experience it is the Christians who are humble, plagued with doubt and struggle with their faith. Atheists are smugly unquestioning, unsafe in their certainty.

Scott M said...

What if there is a God who has made himself fully undetectable by human beings? You can't claim to be more powerful that that God, who is, at least, conceivable?

Semantics, but wouldn't a "fully" undetectable God also prevent us from conceiving of him? We are detecting Him abstractly in that case.

The Crack Emcee said...

Dave,

crack,

I'm not saying you can't use an idea that derives from religion. What I am saying is that it wouldn't have it's current form without religion and would change and likely cease to exist if religion was excluded. How many hospitals are there named after Darwin? Where are the atheistic soup kitchens or orphanages? Fact is being atheist makes charity an option rather than a responsibility.


Nah, it would just change - not be excluded.

And hospitals are a lot like this display;

Covered in religion, but actually shrines to Darwin. No Darwin, no biology. No biology, no hospital. And the current fight, between atheists and what goes on in hospitals, should tell you everything you need to know about the current struggle between science and religion. "Alternative" medicine is rampant - homeopathy, Therapeutic Touch, "Wellness," etc. - it's just more NewAge Pagan nonsense infiltrating, both, science and religion under the guise of health. It's Naziism, actually.

O.K. - for real this time - I'm "ghost." (Ha-ha!)

deepelemblue said...

"The word "atheist" is hated in this society. (The last study I saw found Americans trust us as much as rapists.) Good luck with starting much of anything, but an atheist org, under that premise."

I wonder why... possibly because the personality of the vocal atheist is usually similar to Crack's - aggressive, overbearing, supercilious, morally presumptive, and inconsistent.

Sadly the reason less atheists do charity is precisely what Crack said. Atheists like him aren't mature enough to handle even a semi-religious environment. If we would all just accommodate ourselves to his special pleading, things would be fine!

Well okay that's not what he said, but I figured with the odd mess of assertions and other silly fallacies running through his paeans to himself, it would be okay.

Scott M said...

No Darwin, no biology.

You really want to hang your hat on that statement?

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse,

But you are not fully aware of all of reality. You can't even see atoms or hear the sounds that dogs hear. What if there is a God who has made himself fully undetectable by human beings? You can't claim to be more powerful that that God, who is, at least, conceivable?

DAMN YOU, I'VE GOT TO GO!!!!

We have enough evidence of the world around us that, by cross-referencing what we know, we can have a close enough approximation of reality that we don't have to know "everything" to understand it.

And the whole concept of God is, to be charitable, childish. The fact anyone has to the 'what if there is a God who has made himself fully undetectable' route is even more evidence of how far out believers have to go for something they claim is pretty much self-evident.

It just won't wash - you know, like OWSers and their claims.

Later, folks. Big hug, Ann.

Sigivald said...

Professional Atheism is a stupid waste of time.

And I say this as a lifelong atheist and a die-hard materialist.

(And as Suburbanbanshee said ... the worst part is how ineffective and juvenile this is.

They're not even good at it.)

Scott M said...

possibly because the personality of the vocal atheist is usually similar to Crack's - aggressive, overbearing, supercilious, morally presumptive, and inconsistent.

Crack is not inconsistent.

deepelemblue said...

"Crack is not inconsistent."

His remarks lack a certain internal consistency as to standards for arguments advanced, but he is consistent in applying them in that fashion. Does that count? Well maybe not to say so without that clarification.

Writ Small said...

@deepelemblue

Helpful: Pointing out something inconsistent and explaining why.

Unhelpful: Describing someone as being inconsistent.

Ann said . . .
What if there is a God who has made himself fully undetectable by human beings?

Explain how something that is beyond all forms of detection is usefully different from something that doesn't exist.

Oligonicella said...

Dave --

"Crack,
The western concept of charity and good and evil are derived from Judeo-Christian tradition. So even if you're an atheist, it's likely that your concept of right and wrong are structured along religious lines."

Which are derive from the Sumerian sectarian law. Chew on that.

Patrick said...

Well Writ,
If the undetectable God has created the universe and everything in it, including life here on earth, I'd say that's pretty useful.

DADvocate said...

like anything from NewAger

I don't even know what that means. Do you have some paranoid delusion about New Age stuff? I'm not sure what you're talking about here. And, I couldn't care less about Oprah and don't know how she fits into this rant.

Lyssa said...

For the billionth time, they are NOT atheists.

Darn, now I want to pick a group descriptor and unilaterally declare who can and cannot be called a member of it, despite what they say they are.

How about feminists? OK, guys, from now on, regardless of whether someone calls themselves a feminist or not, you turn to me and wait for my statement of whether or not they actually are a feminist. Cool?

Scott M said...

Explain how something that is beyond all forms of detection is usefully different from something that doesn't exist.

Explain the usefulness of a boron-hydrogen laser setup to an ant colony. I take it by your qualifier of "usefully" that you are agreeing that it is, in fact, different?

David R. Graham said...

In classical Greek philosophy and culture reason is logos and logos is the divine ground of being. In classical Christian culture, which develops from classical Greco-Roman culture, logos as reason is a name of God and specifically the Second Person of the Divine Trinity.

So add #11 to the list: Venerating reason or in any way relying on reason to support one's outlook is venerating and relying on divine truth consciousness bliss and specifically the Christ. Thus, the display makers key off a Christian base of Franciscan origin and Lutheran popularization, having separately none of their own.

In Mutazilite Islam reason comes to the same meaning as it does in classical Greek and Christian culture. Mutazilite Islam is the "moderate Islam" of modern Westerners' romantic dreams. It was suppressed by Asharite Islam and is long all but extinct. Benedict XVI famously appealed to the Mutazilite tradition at Regensburg in 2006. Asharite Islam exploded.

(Asharite Islam is the bumptious hegemon stuff pushing today for world domination by all means available. I call it Mohammedanism because its base is idolatry of a man and a book. In any case, it is toxic and aggressive. As an idolatry, it is also atheistic.)

DADvocate said...

Professional Atheism is a stupid waste of time.

There always seems to be a certain element of anger in the professionals. I wonder if they relish it. My sister and her husband used to, maybe still do, relish religious hatred.

They hated Jim and Tammy Baker, Pat Robertson and the others. They'd watch them on TV regularly with scorn and derision. Several nights a week. They loved it. They loved hating these guys. The still might do that. I don't know. I avoid them. (I don't know if they consider themselves athiests, just that they're hostile to Christianity.)

I didn't like the Bakers or Roberston particularly well either. But, I don't hate them and don't relish having negative feelings towards them. I just don't/didn't watch them. Guess that's too hard for some people.

David R. Graham said...

"What if there is a God who has made himself fully undetectable by human beings?"

God is just that, fully undetectable by human beings. There is no other to detect, to uncover a being as, or as being. The resignation of faculties is their greatest achievement.

"You can't claim to be more powerful that that God, who is, at least, conceivable?"

Correct. But you can claim to be that God, with or without plenary power, yet with the same power, there being only one kind, namely God (Logos). Power is not realized without struggle and not applied without relaxation.

Ralph L said...

And isn't that the essence of protestantism? Let's call him a protestant.
You spell Protestant with a big P.

You forgot that the Botticelli painting is of the birth of Venus, with the half shell standing in for the split testicle of Zeus from which she hatched. So, as it is with most pretty young women, the creche is all about her, not the baby, who's just there to poop and annoy.

Ralph L said...

The word "atheist" is hated in this society
No, but atheists often are. Might have something to do with their hateful lawsuits.

Oligonicella said...

Ann Althouse --

"But you are not fully aware of all of reality. You can't even see atoms or hear the sounds that dogs hear."

Both of which can be detected and the recordings analyzed. 'Aware' is a deeper word than human vision or hearing.

"What if there is a God who has made himself fully undetectable by human beings?"

Then it doesn't exist. This isn't law, reality isn't about arguing abstraction.

Just because one can construct a fanciful hypothesis doesn't mean said hypothesis is worth a shit.
Hence the falsifiable conundrum in science.

So my answer to you, in all seriousness is: "I just went and checked. There's no God there."

See? Now you're stuck with trying to prove I didn't do it.

Neither your hypothesis nor my rebuttal are worth a shit.


"You can't claim to be more powerful that that God, who is, at least, conceivable?"

You may have jammed a question mark on that sentence, but it was a statement nonetheless.

I can rap my knuckle on your desk. That God cannot.

I'm more powerful.

Heart_Collector said...

David R. Graham said...
"What if there is a God who has made himself fully undetectable by human beings?"

God is just that, fully undetectable by human beings. There is no other to detect, to uncover a being as, or as being. The resignation of faculties is their greatest achievement.


There are many people who have detected god in their lives. People who havnt like to assume nobody has.

Peter said...

Ann has provided a fine list of ten errors in this display. Although I disagree (somewhat) with item one, “This is the "clothed male, naked female" fantasy.”

Because it’s not just the fantasy: naked women are more socially acceptable than naked men, perhaps because a naked woman in public is viewed as just socially inappropriate, whereas a naked man is viewed as both socially inappropriate and threatening.

Which makes this display fundamentally different from the Christmas tree and the Menorah- there’s no sign on the Christmas tree that says, “We own the Truth” nor does the Menorah have a posterboard hanging from it that says “We (and not thee) are the chosen people!”

Which is to say, the answer to “How is this display different from all the others?”is, it’s ugly and mean-spirited. They’re not celebrating much of anything here, they’re just insisting that Everyone Else is Wrong. Although their confusion regarding pagans and heathens makes one suspect that they’re not so much atheist as anti-Christian.

BarryD said...

"No Darwin, no biology.

You really want to hang your hat on that statement?"

I will. But then I know a little about Biology.

That some Christians see scientific discoveries as the enemy of their beliefs does help support the case made by atheists -- I mean the intelligent sort who are interested in discussion, not obnoxious groups who sue over crosses that memorialize soldiers and the like.

Freeman Hunt said...

Crack, sometimes I wonder if God has an "I am" in store for you. That's what happened to me. Shocking. (Not that it happened but it happening.)

To be continued...

There's plenty of scientific evidence one could interpret as there being a God and plenty one could interpret the other way. If only reality were easy and obvious, then we could all be dullards.

Alex said...

Can we accept that there are 2 kind of atheists? One is the kind that just believes in no supernatural forces and the second being the 'professional atheist' filing lawsuits and making everyone miserable? What I hate is when Christians lump all atheists together as a bunch of malcontents.

Alex said...

Freeman - give me just one shard of this evidence for God, especially Jesus Christ, the holy ghost and whatever.

ken in sc said...

Based on what I have read in the last year or so, I think Crack is a Calvinist. I think he is pretty close to being a Presbyterian. I think he should read 'The institutes of the Christian Religion'. Then he should comment.

Petunia said...

The FFRF doesn't care about disproving or denigrating all religions, just Christianity.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm still trying to figure out in what way #1 is wrong. So it's a popular fantasy. It's popular for a reason.

P.S. - So, what are you wearing?

Dante said...

Atheism is promoted through a set of quotes from prominent figures — Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Emma Goldman, and Mark Twain — in other words, by reference to the revered words of authority figures, which is the same method of arriving at beliefs used by religionists — whom we're invited to disrespect for thinking like that.

Yep. If you don't believe these words, you are surely going to burned in hell for eternity, and that's obviously what these atheists are saying.

Their credo is that if you convert to Atheism, your life will be spared. After all, Atheists are all merciful.

Yes, there is an appeal to authoritarianism, but the parallel ends there.

The Crack Emcee said...

Patrick,

If the undetectable God has created the universe and everything in it, including life here on earth, I'd say that's pretty useful.

Yeah, but if He's undetectable, how would you know He did anything?

DADvocate,

Do you have some paranoid delusion about New Age stuff? I'm not sure what you're talking about here.

I'm talking about the "spiritual but not religious" crowd. Unorganized religion. Paganism. The Borg.

Lyssa ,

Darn, now I want to pick a group descriptor and unilaterally declare who can and cannot be called a member of it, despite what they say they are.

Again: no atheist would be talking about the solstice.

Heart_Collector,

There are many people who have detected god in their lives. People who havnt like to assume nobody has.

Then that kills the whole "undetectable being" canard.

Freeman Hunt,

Crack, sometimes I wonder if God has an "I am" in store for you. That's what happened to me. Shocking. (Not that it happened but it happening.)

But it hasn't happened yet. And if he's got one in store for me, it better be a doozy because, after all I've seen and done, I ain't rolling over for a picture of Jesus on toast.

ken in sc,

Based on what I have read in the last year or so, I think Crack is a Calvinist. I think he is pretty close to being a Presbyterian. I think he should read 'The institutes of the Christian Religion'. Then he should comment.

I'll look it up and get back to you. I seriously doubt I'm a Calvinist - I'm an atheist, have been my whole life - not just since college or whatever.

n.n said...

This quote from "The X-Files" is apropos:

I want to believe!

It must be disquieting to apologize for their faith when it requires facts not in evidence, judgment that is clearly within a progressive frame of reference, which is decidedly not in the true spirit of science.

The mortal god is dead. Long live the mortal god.

In any case, the only objective value to be derived from faith is in the principles it engenders.

The problem with atheism is that it, by design, is not structured. The principles adhered to by its followers are highly inconsistent as a rule and not in the exception, which promotes a general and progressive instability in society.

Milwaukee said...

Crack: you've been a pretty good sport about all this. Thanks for your patience. There are loads of people who aren't atheist who are put off by religion, religious organizations and people. In last half of 2010 I had the chance to spend Thursday nights at St. Benedict the Moor, in Milwaukee, washing pans, helping to serve food and do what needed doing. Washing pans was most in my skill set. There a simple table grace preceded the meals. Nothing too much more overt or in your face religious, other than a simple "We give you thanks, Almighty God, for this meal." However, the way the staff and volunteers behaved spoke volumes. Not all soup kitchens are the same. Brother David and his crew ran a pretty good setup. I had some patrons tell me that it was much better than some of the alternatives: much cleaner and calmer. My message then is that very few things, soup kitchens run by religious people included, are truly monolithic or uniform.

I believe my desire to serve my fellow man comes from my desire to serve my Lord, Jesus Christ. He put that desire in my heart. We are told that at the end some will be cast into hell, and they will ask why. Christ said he will tell them "When I was hungry, you didn't feed me. When I was naked, you didn't clothe me. When I was in prison, you didn't visit me." They will ask, when did we ever see you this way? He will answer "When ever the least among you were hungry, naked or in prison."

Altruism is over-rated. The Germans never slacked in their efforts to rid the world of Jews because they thought that was making the world a better place. Even in the waning months, The Final Solution was well funded. Altruism at work.

Milwaukee said...

C.S.Lewis said "Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good
of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may
at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval
of their own conscience."


At St. Ben's we were interested in respectfully giving our patrons a good meal in a warm and safe environment.

Whether busybodies are religious or not, they will be annoying as all hell.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm still trying to figure out in what way #1 is wrong. So it's a common fantasy. For good reason. I mean really, did you want it to include a naked picture of Einstein?

DADvocate said...

I'm talking about the "spiritual but not religious" crowd.

Gotcha. I reflexively roll my eyes whenever someone tells me they're "spiritual but not religious." They generally mentally ill.

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman - give me just one shard of this evidence for God, especially Jesus Christ, the holy ghost and whatever.

Evidence for what exactly? The historical reliability of the Gospels?

Or are you asking in good faith? Surely you don't think that there are no "shards." Surely you are aware that there have been all sorts of rational geniuses who have believed in God, Christ, and all the rest. Obviously there are, at the least, "shards." Or do you really think every intelligent Christian is some kind of fideist?

caplight45 said...

Friends of mine recently went out for dinner. As is their practice they held hands and said a prayer over the meal. Where upon a lady walked by their table and gave them the finger on her way out the door.

Alex said...

Friends of mine recently went out for dinner. As is their practice they held hands and said a prayer over the meal. Where upon a lady walked by their table and gave them the finger on her way out the door.

As any decent person would do. Praying in public is making a spectacle of yourself and deserves the equivalent dose of ridicule.

The Crack Emcee said...

Milwaukee,

Crack: you've been a pretty good sport about all this. Thanks for your patience. There are loads of people who aren't atheist who are put off by religion, religious organizations and people. In last half of 2010 I had the chance to spend Thursday nights at St. Benedict the Moor, in Milwaukee, washing pans, helping to serve food and do what needed doing. Washing pans was most in my skill set.

Thank you - and good job. For the record, I am currently working with The Salvation Army and, in the past, have acted as the Shabbos (trusted outsider) for two synagogues.

DADvocate,

I reflexively roll my eyes whenever someone tells me they're "spiritual but not religious." They generally mentally ill.

And dangerous. Trust me on that.

Freeman Hunt,

Surely you are aware that there have been all sorts of rational geniuses who have believed in God, Christ, and all the rest.

And surely you know nobody's "belief" is evidence of anything more than someone held or holds a belief?

caplight45,

Friends of mine recently went out for dinner. As is their practice they held hands and said a prayer over the meal. Where upon a lady walked by their table and gave them the finger on her way out the door.

Wow - just wow. I practically swoon anytime I see a couple hold hands for any reason,..

Alex,

Praying in public is making a spectacle of yourself and deserves the equivalent dose of ridicule.

I hope that's sarcasm,...

Freeman Hunt said...

And surely you know nobody's "belief" is evidence of anything more than someone held or holds a belief?

Obviously. My point was not that people believing was evidence. My point was that to think that there is not even a "shard" of evidence is awfully condescending. There's plenty of evidence. One person may weigh it differently than someone else, and that's one thing. But to think that no evidence exists is pure ignorance. To assume that is to assume that every believer is a fideist, and that's needlessly insulting.

So that's why I was asking if he was asking in good faith.

Also asking what exactly he wanted evidence for. There's evidence for God, for plain old theism. But he mentioned Jesus, and that gets into something else, largely the historical reliability of the Gospels. And he mentioned the Holy Spirit, and that's yet another thing getting into the historical reliability of Acts, miracles, and religious experience.

Am I looking to add more to the obnoxiousness that becomes most of these religion threads? No.

If Alex actually cares about "shards," I'd be happy to help direct him in where to look. But I don't think he does.

caplight45 said...

Gotta hit the sack but before I do I want to thank Crack for a lot to think about today. I don't think all atheists are horrible, I number s
ome among my very good friends who like me despite my vocation and belief. I think Christopher Hitchens was a good friend to those who knew him from what I have read in the past couple days. I have not a doubt in my mind that Crack is a good friend to those who allow him in their circle. That's not schmooze or BS. That is how I have always read him from this distance. It may not always be like this but today with the volume turned down as it were I learned more than I usually do. I now sleep with visions of potato latkes in my head (I hang around Jews--they have great food at their holidays!).

David R. Graham said...

"There are many people who have detected god in their lives. People who havnt like to assume nobody has."

I take your point and concur with it. You have not grasped my point.

David R. Graham said...

"Although their confusion regarding pagans and heathens makes one suspect that they’re not so much atheist as anti-Christian."

Yup.

David R. Graham said...

"Freeman - give me just one shard of this evidence for God, especially Jesus Christ, the holy ghost and whatever."

Your demand for evidence. You seek knowledge because you are truth. You see awareness because you are consciousness. You seek happiness because you are bliss.

Your impulses express your reality and betray your pretenses.

David R. Graham said...

"Based on what I have read in the last year or so, I think Crack is a Calvinist. I think he is pretty close to being a Presbyterian. I think he should read 'The institutes of the Christian Religion'. Then he should comment."

Concur, but I think he doesn't know it. I think he thinks he's an atheist. Wouldn't Calvin be amused?!

The Crack Emcee said...

I just posted some decent music - including a great Gospel tune for those of you who are adamant on the subject - but Jamie Cullum's Not Included (Because He's A Wanker)

The Crack Emcee said...

David R. Graham,

"Based on what I have read in the last year or so, I think Crack is a Calvinist. I think he is pretty close to being a Presbyterian. I think he should read 'The institutes of the Christian Religion'. Then he should comment."

Concur, but I think he doesn't know it. I think he thinks he's an atheist. Wouldn't Calvin be amused?!


We'll see. I'll be reading it tonight after my movie,...

traditionalguy said...

Random thoughts from re-reading the thread:

The biggest insult a person can give to another person is to pretend that they do not exist.

The true toxic Narcissist does that to others quite easily.

Crack is not a narcissist. He is a good man who is mad at modern life for pulling so many tricks on everyone. I empathize with him on that.

The New Agers are everywhere lying in wait to trap the weak minded with carefully crafted deceptions. But it is the scripture's that he rejects which impart strength to the listener to overcome the deceptions.

Atheism/God Is Dead doctrines are a narrow place only for the very strong of heart.

So don't let them get you down, Sir Crack.If they do, then come in from the cold and be loved by us weaker folks.

Scott M said...

Gotcha. I reflexively roll my eyes whenever someone tells me they're "spiritual but not religious." They generally mentally ill.

When someone tells me that they are spiritual but not religious (almost always a woman, for some reason, and almost always pro-choice), I ask if they believe that we have souls of some sort. They always answer that we do.

I ask if the soul leaves the body when our physical selves die. They always answer that we do.

I ask when that soul entered the body. They never have a good answer for that and attempt to change the subject.

Scott M said...

As any decent person would do. Praying in public is making a spectacle of yourself and deserves the equivalent dose of ridicule.

Alex does not fully realize they incredible awfulness of the society he would choose to live in.

JOhn said...

This display shouldn't be allowed because it is anti-Christmas. You wouldn't allow a Halloween display on Christmas, so why an anti-Christmas display? It is negative and meant to denigrate the holiday and the people who celebrate it. All logic seems to be gone from our society.

Gorcon said...

Top Story Here: Freedom from religion is run by 3 year olds! Christmas day is believed by millions and to mock it just to be an ass is childish and disrespectful and that is the only reason this was created. Can you just picture the kids making this, giggling and laughing while at this attempt to spit on something we hold very dear. If you people have a day to celebrate then put something up for it (believe me, we wont care or protest) but I'm sure whatever that may be does not fall on Christmas day. Shame on you people, shame shame!!

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott M,

When someone tells me that they are spiritual but not religious (almost always a woman, for some reason, and almost always pro-choice), I ask if they believe that we have souls of some sort. They always answer that we do,...

LOL! Love it.

And, for the rest of you, here's an update on my look at Calvinism. Needless to say, it's slow going,...

Syte said...

If FFRF were as rational as they claim to be, their display would do one of two things:
• Illustrate and celebrate their own beliefs
• Logically argue against the Christian beliefs which they find so offensive
Yet they do neither, and they mock the Nativity instead—an indication of immaturity, and of a vengeful jealous spirit which says “if I can’t have what you have, I will try to destroy it.”
In this sense, FFRF personifies the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, or the Grinch Who Mocked Christmas .
Incidentally, they did a poor job of mocking, as Ann points out.
See http://sytereitz.com/2011/12/the-grinch-who-mocked-christmas/

Add #11 things wrong: their display is quite primitive and unprofessional, compared with the Nativity they were attempting to mock. They could have gone to the trouble of getting some finer art for their display, so that it would not resemble a grade school shoebox diorama.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

@Dadvocate

There always seems to be a certain element of anger in the professionals. I wonder if they relish it. My sister and her husband used to, maybe still do, relish religious hatred.

They hated Jim and Tammy Baker, Pat Robertson and the others. They'd watch them on TV regularly with scorn and derision. Several nights a week. They loved it. They loved hating these guys. The still might do that. I don't know. I avoid them. (I don't know if they consider themselves athiests, just that they're hostile to Christianity.)


Robertson and the Bakers represent the ugly side of religion. Your sister and brother-in-law violently oppose them and become representative of the ugly side of atheism. Sounds like both sides deserve each other.

Dante said...

@Ann
I am an atheist. I'm sure you gathered that. I can't speak for any other atheists, though I've found in general they tend to be liberal. I, on the other hand, tend to be quite conservative.

Here are some things for you to consider from an atheists perspective.

1) As a child, I was forced to repeat the words, "One nation, Under God." That may seem very natural to believers, but consider what it means to someone who does not believe. They are forced to chant a lie, 5 days a week for years. They are reminded that they are different, 5 days a week, 40 weeks a year, for many years. They are "outsiders."

2) We are told that if we don't accept Jesus Christ as our savior, we are going to live in eternal damnation. Every display of "Jesus Christ" is a reminder of that.

Yet, Atheists do not believe people are going to be burned in hell forever. Somehow, though, being an "Atheist" is less tolerant than people forcing you to state lies as a child, and Christians who are not shy at all about telling you definitively "You will burn in hell if you don't believe as we do."

Go figure.

Scott M said...

They are reminded that they are different, 5 days a week, 40 weeks a year, for many years. They are "outsiders."

Did being subjected to such an atrocity make you a stronger or weaker person?

Freeman Hunt said...

As a child, I was forced to repeat the words, "One nation, Under God."

They forced you? I was an atheist through much of school, and I never said that part. In fact, I didn't say most of it.

Dante said...

@Scott

I do not see this as a single dimensioned line of "stronger" and "weaker." Constantly ostracizing a child is going to have an effect on that child's psyche.

Some may react to this by becoming stronger, and defying the status quo, becoming angry at the group trying to force its ideas on them and fighting back. Others may have a difficult time with the ostracism and exclusion, which is acknowledged by the government. Maybe some will become more tolerant, seeing the evil nature of forcing beliefs on others, perhaps they will decide never to do that to others.

Imagine if you had to chant every day "One Nation, under Allah, and our savior Mohammed." You might change your view. I add Mohammed because Allah is another name for God. If you take that as the Muslim god, you can exclude the Mohammed. Tell me, how would YOU feel about that? Would you have the same cavalier attitude you display here?

Scott M said...

Would you have the same cavalier attitude you display here?

Absolutely.

Dante said...

@Scott
Absolutely.

Then let's extend the question to the Christians. I wonder how they would feel.

Scott M said...

Then let's extend the question to the Christians. I wonder how they would feel.

I'm a Christian. The answer is still, absolutely.

Syte said...

@ Dante:

Quoting you,
"We are told that if we don't accept Jesus Christ as our savior, we are going to live in eternal damnation. Every display of "Jesus Christ" is a reminder of that."

Not all Christians teach that. In fact, the largest and original Christian Church on earth, Roman Catholic, does not teach that.

Christianity represents love, patience and mercy, and anyone who taught you with threats misrepresented Christianity. Jesus Christ did not use threats, but beatitudes.

The Nativity scene is a reminder of love, of a God who came in love to save and to suffer, not to condemn.

The next time you see a Nativity scene, think of it as a reminder of the love that a young couple has for each other and for their child, and that Christians believe that God is the author of that beautiful love.

Dante said...

So, Scott, despite statements like "Infidels should be killed, unless they convert, because Allah is merciful" you wouldn't mind having your kids repeat that, in a society surrounded by Muslims who believe in that book? To me, that's astounding.

Scott M said...

To me, that's astounding.

So it did make you weaker then.

The Crack Emcee said...

Freeman Hunt,

As a child, I was forced to repeat the words, "One nation, Under God."

They forced you? I was an atheist through much of school, and I never said that part. In fact, I didn't say most of it.


I did, but I wouldn't call it 'forced' - it was just what people said. Later, when I understood what it meant, I just added it to the rest of the nonsense and went about my business. It didn't weigh on me at all. And, today, I can put my hand on a Bible and swear "so help me God" in full faith because I understand what's being asked of me, it's just phrased weirdly.

I guess what I'm saying is, our outdated history of religion doesn't bother me, but the religious can. So I won't be getting angry and filing lawsuits about the Pledge of Allegiance, or flipping off peaceful diners in prayer, or anything like that.

I just want my fellow Americans to get real about how we got from there to here - from the inspiration for our ethics to it's application's reality. We don't have to keep the "beliefs" to be the decent people they were designed to create. I say "mission accomplished" - message received. Good beats evil.

Now let's get on with it,..

Scott M said...

Crack mansplained it better than I could, Dante.

Dante said...

I just want my fellow Americans to get real about how we got from there to here - from the inspiration for our ethics to it's application's reality. We don't have to keep the "beliefs" to be the decent people they were designed to create. I say "mission accomplished" - message received. Good beats evil.

This is all fine and good stuff. I still don't think people should be forced to repeat lies. I try my best to not lie, it's a part of my morality. Lying to me is a form of stealing, in that it deprives others of full information on which to make best decisions.

In my view, the institutions of religion, other than the severe deprivation of individual choices of right and wrong, are quite good. The destruction of the family, the lack of personal integrity, the anything goes morality is damaging, and some might say destroying, this society. In the whole, I agree religion, particularly Christian religion, has had a positive influence on this country.

Nonetheless, all the things I mentioned I went through as a child. I hated the pledge of allegiance because it was a forced lie, and due to the implied us and them in it. Yes, we can all say "That's the way it is," but try and get rid of it, and see how the Christians react. They do not view it as "Hey, we have a morale society," they view it as "Us" and "Them," as you've pointed out by the lack of trust they have of Atheists.

Freeman Hunt said...

Even now when the Pledge is recited I usually just say, "I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America and to the ideals of liberty and justice for all."

Dante said...

The naked woman is Venus (the famous Botticelli Venus), and Venus is a goddess, a supernatural religious character, and therefore inconsistent with the overall theme of the display, which is that there is only the natural world and it's all we need.

The purpose of Venus is to say "See, Christians, you abandoned this old superstition, you can do it again."

Philipp Schaub said...

Two points:
A) The Venus.
One of the core ideas of the current "atheism" (which really should be called by its proper name, Secular Humansim) is the focus on the here and now rather than some promise of a better beyond. Rather than metaphysics, atheists derive their sense of meaning and joy in the one life we have from sensual experience - and the eros is just one of the most important of such there is. The ancient greek Venus is not primarily a goddess as much as a symbol of sensual joy - represented here in a very much epicurean spirit.

B) Charity & Hardened hearts.
The thing about the role of religion in charity is that it often does have a negative effect. Not because it keeps people from doing what they perceive as charitable work, but because it warps the believer's priorities and ideas about what is and what isn't "good". Mother Theresa is hailed as a champion of the poor, but those who have actually seen her homes are often shocked by the nuns absolute refusal to administer painkillers, as "to share the suffering of jesus will bring you closer to god". The nuns there are NOT HEALERS, as mother T herself has clarified numerous times. People there die from being misfed or falsly administered medication. Children in the homes are often severely beaten, I myself have seen mentally disabled children being chained to beds and chairs to stop them from moving.
There are even accounts from a Missionaries of Charity Home for Women, in which electroshock-"therapy" is being administered as a punishment.
With no understanding of disease or disability and no medical training, the nuns often do horrible things to their patients.

If you want to check the facts, I invite you to read THIS INTERVIEW; scroll all the way down to find some pictures of the situations I described, or follow the links.



This is what is meant with the "hardened hearts" of religious people: Religion (Sometimes! I'm not making absolute statements here) gets in the way of compassion. By focusing on their own, god-inspired ideas of what is "best" for the subjects they're trying to help, religious people often exhibit very weird, and sometimes outright sick and twisted ideas of what it means to help. As I said before, Mother Theresa had managed to actually convince herself that suffering is good; every fibre of your being should tell you the exact opposite.
But she raveled in the suffering she daily saw, and helped to maintain: To her, it was a display of god's love and of beauty.
Her intentions may have been good, but the outcome was (and still is) disasterous. Religion is the one and only thing that blinds people from seeing the disaster for what it is and from changing the conditions - a deed that with millions of dollars in donations available to this organisation, would be an easy thing to do.

Another example that comes to mind are the people who've spent thousands of dollars to send bibles into regions recently hit by catastrophe. Rather than seeing what the situation called for (medication, food, shelter), these people in their self-absorbed religious mentality convinced themself that somehow, a bible would be more useful to sick and homeless people in a flooded region than malaria meds or food rations.
If you cannot see the wrong in that, yourself are a victim of this effect.
This is the side-effect of religion in charity: It warps priorities, and often diminishes or even extinguishes the capacity for true human compassion.

philosophiesofmen said...

In addition to Jefferson, Darwin, Einstein and Twain were also not atheists.

You can read their views, from their own mouths here:

http://philosophiesofmen.blogspot.com/2012/01/historys-theists.html

I understand that you are not asserting that they are atheists, I just want to Emphasize yet another thing wrong with this. Poor scholarship. And it certainly doesn't help me to trust them as intellectuals...

Justin Jordan said...

Interesting on how everything works that way. christian church Everyone has their own beliefs.