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An atheist group in North Carolina had a billboard which read “One Nation Indivisible”. Some meat heads decided to deface it.
Unknown vandals unhappy about atheists’ billboard in Charlotte, N.C., spray-painted “Under God” on the ad, the city’s atheist association discovered Monday. The defaced message will remain in place until after July 4, the group reports, which is the soonest that workers can furnish a fresh billboard image. Here’s how the vandalized billboard now looks:
Acts like this aren’t so uncommon. A few believers will get angry about being forced to actually think and use logic, get frustrated, and take out their aggression. And don’t they just always love to do it in a way that ignores the secular history of the United States?
The attacked group is taking this pretty well, I think.
“It was done by one or two people off on their own who decided their only recourse was vandalism rather than having a conversation,” Charlotte Atheists & Agnostics spokesman William Warren said. “It does show how needed our message is. As atheists, we want to let people know we exist and that there’s a community here.”
I’ve pissed off feminists in my day. The reasons they give are going to revolve around me not understanding this or that, not automatically agreeing with them in the details, etc. (‘You don’t agree with me on this issue! Sexist!’ … ‘Why?’ … ‘Because!’) Basically, nothing specific.
But the problem isn’t some deep misogyny on my part. (Disagreement about what a picture of fat people means does not somehow magically equal hating women.) The problem, instead, is one of philosophical structure.
Feminism, as I’ve argued in the past, is a philosophy of consequence. It largely ignores intention, instead focusing upon the result of an action. It’s about as advanced as libertarianism. Of course, both philosophies have value, but when they’re promoted at the expense of everything else, they’re mere ideologies which inevitably lead to absurd conclusions. The same is true of all ethical and moral systems, including the ever-so-popular utilitarianism and egalitarianism (both of which I tend towards).
I got thinking about this because of a post by PZ on the lack of women in atheist and skeptic groups.
So I’m going to try something a little different. Instead of telling you my opinion, I’m going to forgo the essential principle of blogging (which is “Me! Me!”) and just ask people, especially women, to leave links to their godless/skeptical feminist blog or make suggestions or gripe or tell me what these stupid male-dominated conventions have to do to correct the imbalance…I shall be a passive receptacle for your ideas.
I do have to make one suggestion (the testosterone compels me) for something I’d really like to see happen…
Don’t mind his suggestion here (but at his site, he says a female-run conference on atheism/skepticism would be good). Take a look at the emphasis I’ve added. He says he is compelled, inherently, by the fact of being male. This is in line with a good bit of feminism, including the caricatures that haunt the Internet, but it’s a load of bull.
This idea that someone is compelled to do this or that may have a basis in sex, but philosophy is not the way to determine that. I want hard evidence. And, depending on just what is being discussed, there is plenty of evidence that men and women will tend towards certain behaviors because of their sex. Of course, that data often comes with the compounding factor of just what influence nurture has had, and the sociologists have a say there. But philosophy is not data. Logic can tell us nothing new; logic can only interpret the data we have.
What PZ does when he says it’s his maleness that makes him act one way or another is he devalues himself. (Hell, he even goes counter to all the feminist arguments that say the individual is responsible for rape/sexual abuse and ought not blame society – something with which I agree.) It’s a devaluing of the individual to place blame on some external source – especially without evidence. We may be able to blame an act of violence by a mentally ill person on his mental illness, but that principle does not extend to most people and most actions. It isn’t some external source that is to blame for individual actions among competent people 95% of the time. It’s the individual.
That said, there certainly is value to the arguments that say society is dominated by men and that that is an impediment to true equality between the sexes. Again, that doesn’t somehow magically mean a picture of two fat women is sexual objectification, but there are plenty of incidents where that domination is a serious problem, ones we gloss over on a daily basis. Watch just about any TV show. Women will be objectified and our culture allows it. That’s not a problem with the individual, but society. But it’s ridiculous, devaluing, and plainly wrong to claim that society is the whole problem.
The individual bears responsibility.
Andreas Moritz changed a link once it was shown that he is only interested in swindling people. He did this to prevent anyone from seeing the details of his scam, but it didn’t work since he didn’t actually delete said details. And then I copy and pasted everything. Well, the Kennebec Journal, my local paper, may be doing something similar.
The paper isn’t running any major scam like Moritz, but it does seem to be acting just as dishonestly. I made a post about a stupendously bad article it ran that talked about ghost hunters in a central Maine town. It actually made the front page of the paper. Incredible, I know.
I had left a comment on the article saying just how bad it was, so I went back to check it. But wait. It isn’t there. In fact, I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Go ahead. Check the link that once worked. Search the website for “Readfield Historical Society” or “paranormal”. An older article will show up, but not this most recent one.
It’s possible the article is just somewhere really strange on the KJ’s site. If it is, that speaks to what an amateur operation this new ownership is running. But I can’t find it anywhere. It appears the KJ has deleted the article, hopefully out of embarrassment. I would like to think FTSOS was the embarrassing factor, but there’s no way to really know. Maybe a whole slew of comments after mine flooded the article, prompting a number of red faces in the tech and editing room.
One can hope.
Update: Since the creation of this post, the KJ has restored the link. Funny that.
The Supreme Court has made one of its seemingly rare decisions that isn’t a load of crap.
The US Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a San Francisco law school did not violate the First Amendment when it refused official recognition of a Christian student group that restricted its membership to those who shared a belief that homosexuality is immoral.
In a 5-to-4 decision, the high court said the University of California’s Hastings College of Law was under no constitutional obligation to recognize the Christian Legal Society (CLS) as an official student group.
Basically, every student group at this law school had to comply with a non-discrimination policy in order to receive any activity funds or other benefits from being an organized group. But, being arrogantly religious, the CLS group thought it ought to be exempt from this policy. One reason was to prevent those icky gays from obtaining leadership roles. Another was the forced promotion of the sexually immature position of abstaining from sex until marriage (students who didn’t adhere to that position were excluded from certain rules, possibly membership). Clearly not the brightest group.
This is a no-brainer. If a group wants funds, it needs to follow the same rules as everyone else; no special rules for religion. Don’t want to be remotely fair to someone because you’re sexually immature? Fine and dandy. But no funds.
Other analysts praised the high court decision. “Religious discrimination is wrong, and a public school should be able to take steps to eradicate it,” said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
“Simply stated, the Christian Legal Society sought to ignore rules that every other group complied with,” he said. “The organization sought preferential treatment simply because it is religious. I am pleased that the court said no to that.”
The whole basis of the massive anti-science, anti-equality, anti-sexual maturity, anti-rationality, anti-common sense movement is the Christian religion. (Not that any religion is innocent in most of these matters.) Any steps which help to eradicate its corrosive ability is a good thing.