Thought of the day

Atheism as a movement faces a number of issues. There is, of course, the fact that it is a purely descriptive position; it isn’t easy to gather together people with varying worldviews and philosophies. Then there’s the public vilification. If we’re to believe the attacks, atheists are arrogant and closed-minded and intolerant and bigoted and all sorts of other nasty things that are really just code for “I don’t like that atheists disagree with me”. And there are a whole host of other impediments to letting people know we exist. (Hell, even saying that we’re a part society is often received with foaming vitriol.) But one of the biggest issues I see is that of moving goal posts.

When atheists look at a specific belief to point out its flaws, why, that isn’t what most Christians believe! Or when atheists point to a widely believed idea in America’s dominant religion, why, that isn’t what True Christians believe! Or when atheists criticize so-called sophisticated theology, why, that’s just what one Christian believes!

It’s a depressingly effective strategy.

35 Responses

  1. But it is very good entertainment. I love when people run around with the goal posts, afraid to put them down, knowing that they have no case and it dissolves once they take a stance.

    I picture two guys carrying enormous goal posts and running while panting. It is just as good as a clown car.

    Atheism, though, is not a movement. There is no dogma for which people can take a stance.

  2. Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps some of the resistance atheism faces is due in part to the fascination with attacking other peoples belief systems, just because you disagree as to their validity?

  3. …is due in part to the fascination with attacking other peoples belief systems

    There is that attitude again. Pointing out that there is no evidence for a belief system and therefore the system is irrational and lacking in logic or reason or common sense is not attacking. It is pointing out the facts. Truth is never an attack.

  4. Hey you can do what you want. I just don’t think the practice helps you very much. It makes you look petty, vindictive and honestly like a dick most of the time.

    I don’t specifically mean you or the discussions we have here, I enjoy them. On the whole is what I’m talking about.

    There is no reason for you to tell another person that their religion doesn’t stand up under your microscope. Who are you to have a microscope on what someone else believes?

    If you want acceptance than get your nose out of other peoples business. It makes no difference to you whether someone believes in God or even the great turkey.

  5. No atheists go around doing that. Your argument is a straw man.

    When people like the pope spew his nonsense and Pat Robertson and other people like that spew their filth, then SOMEONE needs to call out these buffoons.

    Also, when people like Michelle Bachmann want to pass laws based on her nonsense faith, then EVERYONE should oppose that. There is no reason that ignorant nincompoops like her should have any effect on my health or freedoms or rights.

    Your generalities are moot, Nate.

  6. So are your personal hatreds.

  7. You can call opposition to curtailment of freedoms ‘personal hatred’ if you want, but that says more about you than it does about me…LOL

    I am finished with this thread since it devolved into nonsense generalities and wasting my time.

  8. Run away Bob, run away.

  9. Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps some of the resistance atheism faces is due in part to the fascination with attacking other peoples belief systems, just because you disagree as to their validity?

    Once those belief systems stop getting preference in our legal system, once they stop getting preference in our laws, once they stop getting preference in our politics, once they stop getting preference in our media, maybe then the attacks will stop. Maybe once those belief systems stop protecting irresponsible parents with faith healing laws, maybe once they stop sowing divisions around the world, maybe once they stop stripping civil rights from minorities, maybe once they stop screwing with the education of children, maybe once they preventing the building of mosques in entirely appropriate locations, maybe then the attacks will stop.

    Until then I guess the massive, huge, enormous, overwhelming Christian majority can continue hype the persecution complex that is just all too common.

  10. I’m just saying that continually attacking people, isn’t going to further acceptance. I know atheists that don’t attack as if its their purpose in life and you know what? no one gives them shit about being an atheist either.

    It’s not hype, its just annoying.

  11. It’s not about the well being of your “movement”, as bob pointed out, if can even really be called that, it’s about being accepted.

    If you’re not concerned about being accepted as anything more than someone, to quote a drill sgt I had years ago, ‘trying to stick their dick in other peoples cheerios” than keep on keeping on.

    Many atheists behave like juveniles, so do many religious people but they have largely attained acceptance already. Again, if what other people think doesn’t concern you, than whatever, but it does beg the question why you’re so concerned with what other people believe.

  12. Who is being the dick here? The theists, of course.

    They can’t stand being proved wrong…LOL

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2011/01/anglicans_counter_new_atheism.php

  13. That’s another great tragedy. To imagine that a lack of evidence is the same thing as providing proof.

  14. Theists provide no evidence at all. Just smoke and mirrors.

    If theists were correct, there are places where there should be evidence, but none exists. The problem of evil all by itself stumps and trumps theism. But many theists try to force their arbitrary dogma on everyone.

  15. The problem of evil is something invented by humans. When it comes down to it if there is a God we are not very likely to be right about anything, including our perceived ‘problems’. Snails might as well talk about the laws of physics.

  16. Another, independent counter to Nate’s ‘lack of evidence’ argument:

    http://friendlyatheist.com/2011/01/17/proving-what-isnt-there-doesnt-work/

  17. Wonderfully succinct but pointless just the same.

    You can’t prove there isn’t I can’t prove there is. That’s just the way scientific investigation works. If you want to do a bunch of back patting and pretend that somehow gives you a superior position, than go right ahead.

    You can’t fool me though. No one knows anything doesn’t sound very superior.

  18. Again, you ignore:

    If theists were correct, there are places where there should be evidence, but none exists.

    I await your evidence. I await your counter to where there should be evidence. Anything else is just posturing.

  19. Where should there be evidence bob?

  20. We’ve been through this ad nauseum. Start explaining evil, for one.

    Explain the thousands of internally inconsistent statements in the bibles.

  21. Read The God Debates: A 21st Century Guide for Atheists and Believers (and Everyone in Between) by John R. Shook.

  22. Start explaining evil? Again, assuming that if there is a God that we are talking about a vastly superior intelligence, how do our simple minded issues begin to be a problem.

    Is it an issue? Sure, but even aliens we are assuming will be vastly superior to us, why would we assume that the creator of the universe’s reasoning abilities would be matched by us?

    Explain the internal inconsistencies in any ancient book. We don’t even know how many different people wrote the bible, the bible is not special among ancient sources of information, the issues are the same with any ancient text. That doesn’t make them garbage however.

  23. Yeah sure, right after I get done reading the books I’m reading now.

  24. …how do our simple minded issues begin to be a problem.

    That is just a cop out. You can’t explain it, so you appeal to a non-existent god to supply the answer.

    That doesn’t make them garbage however.

    Of course it is not garbage. It is mildly amusing fiction. It represents nothing of value.

    Every Tom, Dick and Harry monk got a chance to add his pet project to the bible as he copied it.

  25. Yeah sure, right after I get done reading the books I’m reading now.

    Yep, a closed mind.

  26. I don’t know why I bother. Even if there was evidence, I doubt any amount would convince you.

    We aren’t talking about people adding things to the bible as it was copied. That didn’t really happen. Look into how books were copied by hand and you’ll see that. But how many writers was there to begin with, each with a different perspective on the same events or ideas.

    You think I have a closed mind because I said I’m going to finish the 3 books I’m currently reading before starting one that you recommend?

    Ok Bob. Whatever. Weren’t you done with this post a while ago? I remember you saying that.

  27. I don’t know why I bother. Even if there was evidence, I doubt any amount would convince you.

    Here comes the bullshit. I am the one who is flexible and would change my mind if there is evidence. You are the one who operates on faith and dogma, not evidence.

    We aren’t talking about people adding things to the bible as it was copied. That didn’t really happen.

    Except is has been proven. Older and newer versions exist before and after. It happened. Read Bart Ehrman, the former evangelical theologist.

    Weren’t you done with this post a while ago? I remember you saying that.

    No, you ‘remember’ incorrectly. When I say I am done with a post, I unsubscribe and no longer see any comments.

  28. Well its nice to hear that you would change your mind given evidence. So would I. But the lack of evidence isn’t evidence in and of itself so there is nothing to make me change my mind.

    I can only speak for the the bible that I use. The new American bible is very clear on alternate translations for things. Anyone wishing for a bible for reference would be best to go with that one. As far as what the evangelicals do with their bibles well that’s their business. I am pretty certain my latin vulgate is as original as can be hoped.

    I think I remembered right.

    “I am finished with this thread since it devolved into nonsense generalities and wasting my time.”

  29. Yep, hide behind dogma, faith, woo-woo and your fictional bible of thousands of contradictions and bronze age and iron age fear and thinking with your closed mind.

    Remember that the ‘virgin’ on the bible is a mistranslation from Hebrew to Greek.

    I will stick with evidence, logic, reason, science and common sense.

  30. The new testament was originally written in Greek not in Hebrew. The old testament was written in Hebrew though.

  31. The stories were translated.

    The confusion arose when the Greek Septuagint used the greek word ‘parthenos’ to translate Isaiah 7:14. This word, in Greek, does denote a sexually pure woman, and was the inspiration for the gospellers myth of the Virgin birth.

    I thought you were done with this post.

  32. That was you way back at the beginning of this post actually.

  33. So the new testament is plagiarized partially from the old testament and from other myths from other places. Together with the additions and deletions of the scribes, that shows why it is inconsistent and incoherent in places. The gospels are a complete mess, one telling the opposite of the other.

    This is the dogma that some want to force upon others? This is the woo-woo shit that the criminal pope and fundagelicals want everyone to believe?

    Fuck that! and fuck them.

  34. According to the Associated Press, there’s now proof that Vatican was complicit in covering up child abuse:

    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/the-vatican-stepped-in-it/

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: