Tag Archives: Atheism

Why I Ran From the Atheist Crowd

Really I’m just using this as an excuse to put something out there. And what I am posting is a response to someone on Mr. John C. Wright’s site that answered me 11 days after my comment. I thought my response good enough that I would hate to see it lost in the sands of a retired blog post. Although I had to hold back because I don’t think my interlocutor is well versed in philosophy, history, theology, science, technology, logic or common sense.

First her first parlay was in response to this post

…and she writes:

Did you ever wonder why so many new, innovative, especially high-tech things that you find helpful in your life are created by teams of people who predominantly hold views opposite to yours, and find your views generally distasteful? Go to Google campus, or Amazon, or Intel, pretty much any high-tech producer – do you think you’ll find there mostly conservative crowd? Does it make you give up computers, cell phones, internet? Perhaps the whole “conservative” thing has its downsides?

To which I responded:

Hold it. Are you saying that if you hold, for instance that marriage is between one man and one woman, or that Christ died on the cross for man’s sins, that that man will be too what? Stupid, slow, uncreative, non-innovative to work in high tech, to acheive or excel in such a field? Are you attempting to establish some sort of causal link here or are you blowing gas? And what about that exceptions? Are they the ones that manage to hide their drooling in front of the high-tech lefty hero boss-boy? Or are they, somehow, perhaps miraculously, still able to perform despite their retarded ideas?

I had honestly thought after posting this that I had actually made of error in interpreting what her meaning was. Surely, Bob, you can’t think she would mean something like that? Perhaps she is merely asking why he doesn’t quit these other marvels of modern technology since such sectors are comprised of, she says, leftist and liberals.

I leave aside the fact that just because Jeff Bezos comes out for dumb idea #42 doesn’t mean the entirety of Google is behind dumb idea #42, nor necessarily the majority.

And everyone knows, should know, that businesses and corporations are hardly the test for any sort of stand on any social issue. They follow the breeze. If a majority decided to start putting minority X into ovens for extermination, you would suddenly see a bunch of brand new manufacturers of ovens. Introducing the Google 50,000 BTU Bone-Roaster!

They are no better than politicians – and no different in this regard.

Anyway, turns out I was wrong. My interpretation of her comment was right all along. You religious, you Continue reading

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But Why?

I cannot present an intelligible account of my moral philosophy in the space of a single forum post. In the present context, it might suffice to say that if some people are suffering, and I have the means to alleviate their suffering without aggravating the suffering of other people, then that is what I should do.

I lifted this from an atheist’s post on a debating site. I grant that the person cannot present an intelligible account of a moral philosophy in a single forum post. But if this is what you do have to say, then it would be best not to say anything.

Why should you do it?

You can’t just take such things as the given.

I have never heard of a remotely sufficient reason for selfless behavior on atheist premises. I have heard countless, excellent reasons for selfish behavior, indifferent behavior, even have the question of helping others turned around on the person bringing it up as suspect.

We’re talking about helping complete strangers here, not your poor old grandmother. What, aside from feeling, would compel a real atheist to come to the aid of someone of whom it would be easier to cross the street and ignore than to waste one’s time, money and effort? Feeling is not an argument, and, besides, I’d want to know what gave rise to that feeling?

The only remotely reasonable explanation is a karmic/reciprocity one. Although he certainly didn’t get that from Nietzsche or Ayn Rand!


A Very Dumb Article

I found what has to be the one of the dumbest articles I have read in awhile titled: Religion’s Smart People Problem: The Shaky Foundations of Absolute Faith.

It does not take too long to grasp the author’s bias. It is in the title of the article, the subtitle and in the first sentence. The bias excuses the continual run of error that start on the first sentence and run to the end of the article.

The article starts out with a question: Should you (general reader) believe in a God?

Answer?

Not according to most academic philosophers.

But that was not the question the academics were asked. They were not asked whether other people should believe in a god, but whether they themselves believed in a god. That may sound like a minor distinction and a trivial one since what one believes one also wants others to believe. At least that is what we believe is the general goal of anyone who believes in anything.

I disagree with this. I can firmly state that when I was an atheist, I did not hold that therefore others should be also. And it was not a charitable stance on my part, I sincerely thought that some people needed such a crutch for their weakness, whatever that may have been. Another part of it was charitable. Atheism is grim, correction, serious atheism is grim. There is the modern eat drink and party on dude, there is no god and if your liver gives out at 50, fuck it, who cares, atheism. Brain dead atheism, libertine atheism (the atheism that serves the purpose of libertinism).

Atheism is grim for the philosophically minded, the sort of person who thinks in wide abstractions. Such a thing is for the abnormal.

And on that note, back to the academic philosophers. Why should one care what an academic philosopher thinks about the existence of a god (switching now to God)? The article presents the naked fact that, out of a survey of 931 academic philosophers 72.8% of them responded atheist. Why did they respond atheist? That is an end position, what are the premises? Simply stating that they do means as much as saying Continue reading


That Amazing Logic

I admit I get addicted to the arguments over at Strange Notions. And sometimes I hear some doozies, here is one from this discussion.

In response to the following:

The ten commandments are only a restriction on freedom to one that does not wish to be truly free or a fully flourishing human being 😉

Comes the retort:

So you claim. A Muslim would define a fully flourishing human being very differently. As would an atheist. Yours is only one voice among thousands – and one that causes anguish and suffering for many.

I’m not concerned with the original response, and I do not agree with it. For commandments 4 -10, sure, but I would not accuse a Hindu or a Shintoist an American Indian of not wanting to be truly free or a fully flourishing human being because of the first three items.

But I do find it illustrative to bring to focus the two alternatives he does bring to bear against Judeo-Christian belief. Perhaps the person would back away if he knew the implication of his sentence. Islam does not cause anguish and suffering for many? That is merely a matter of the daily headlines.

But it is the inclusion of Continue reading


R.A. Lafferty Tomorrow!! And New John C. Wright!! And More Randian Disappointment

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Just a reminder that the first of 12 R.A. Lafferty volumes is released tomorrow! Buy! Buy! Buy! So all 12 volumes will be published and I can get them all.

Here is the table of contents for this first edition.

Contents:

  • Introduction by Michael Swanwick
  • The Man Who Made Models
  • The Six Fingers of Time
  • The Hole on the Corner
  • Square and Above Board
  • Jack Bang’s Eyes
  • All But the Words
  • The Ungodly Mice of Doctor Drakos
  • Frog on the Mountain
  • Narrow Valley
  • Condilac’s Statue or Wrens in His Head
  • About a Secret Crocodile
  • Days of Grass, Days of Straw
  • The Ninety-Ninth Cubicle
  • Thus We Frustrate Charlemagne
  • Parthen
  • The Skinny People of Leptophlebo Sttreet
  • Rivers of Damascus
  • Afterword by John Pelan (the publisher)

If you want to experience outside the normal bounds of whatever it is you have read in your life indulge in some Lafferty. If not for your own sake, then do it for mine!

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Also tomorrow is the third installment of John C. Wright’s Count to a Trillion series. So far I have loved the series. The only caveat is his tales are dense and I read some 50 – 60 books a year. I have to find some synopsis to remember exactly where the last book left off…

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I am afraid I am going to end up being one of those ex-Objectivists that end up Continue reading


Wikipedia is Not Infallible… buried in a long rant…

[I have been rather busy and fighting off what I believe to be my yearly lung infection (stupid cigarettes). Reading like crazy though. Did Oliver Twist, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and The High Crusade in the last two weeks. Not sure what to do about Moby Dick. Story is really good when he is not off yammering away putting me to sleep (note: I am not one of those that believe because something is classic I must praise it or love it!). Started Non-Stop by Brian W. Aldiss tonight. So what? Oh, just dropping a line on why posts have been scant.]

But here is a little rant. I have been following the discussions over at Strange Notions for the last couple of months. But I think I am done with it. I hear the atheists (a group that is largely making a worse and worse impression on me) wail foul when the slightest critical crack is made about atheists in an article (the articles are largely by Catholics). These can be of the smallest slight. I never, in all my card carrying atheist days, would have even noticed such small slights. But these people are like the politically correctoid police howling foul at everything that isn’t sanitized to their pale shade.

The reason for this is simple. Christopher Hitchens some years ago proposed to break the supposed “taboo” that one’s religious views should be respected. People didn’t used to comment, sneer or get in your face if you were religious. No more, declared Hitchens (and probably Dawkins too) get in their face, go on the offensive. That is fair enough, one could never say religion had never been on the offensive.

I see, however, an implicit second side to this. Atheism is now supposedly sacrosanct, and the way to achieve that is to be offended at everything that is not flattery to your side. Wail, cry, moan and complain – cry wolf – then attack, then wail, cry, moan and complain – cry wolf.

But in the comments section they, the atheists, snark away left and right. Highly non-intellectual. And they spout the stupidest assertions as if they already know the subject thereby revealing they do not. I have antennae for such things having spent 20 plus years in Objectivist circles. I think I met two or three non-Objectivists who knew squat about Objectivism. Not, mind you, that this fact of ignorance would stop them. No, the greater the ignorance, the mightier the flow of thy mouth.

Here is a piece of advice – to anyone – don’t know something? Go ask.

This would go against the pride, nay, the vainglory of the typical atheists, especially the type that spends their time arguing about their non-belief online to strangers. And I know of the pride, oh yes, brother, I know it very well. I exalted in it, bathed like the devil himself. And I recognize I may have been an extreme case, but that is only a question of degree, I know the nature.

I also speak as someone who has committed this action of walking in ignorance.

I came across this some time ago, about two years. I was commenting on a blog. I, in a single post, complained that my adversary did not know anything about one of the subjects under discussion (Objectivism), I then proceeded to write voluminously against Christianity. I, who had never read the Bible nor any religious material whatsoever save what may be garnered from certain philosophers. And of these philosophers I ignored most. Augustine? Mystical garbage, fantasy, into the fire with it. Of Catholicism in particular, if it wasn’t in The Exorcist or the Godfather, I knew nothing about it outside of general history texts (which is not the same thing).

So I shut up and hit some books.

Now for the subject of which this post is titled. Here is a comment exchange Continue reading


Dealing with Death

I was reading an article by Fr. Robert Barron about the film Gravity. I am not going to give away any of the film (because I haven’t seen it yet either) but a comment in the comboxes caught my eye. I had been thinking of just such a subject not too long ago.

Here is the quote:

It struck me, while reading Barron’s essay, that Christianity and many other forms of religion) and atheism represent different stages of grief according to the Kübler-Ross model. We grieve when considering our own obvious mortality, and thus grieve for ourselves. Christianity’s distinctive form of grief is, in the Kübler-Ross model, a mixture of Stage 1, Denial (“After I am dead I won’t really be dead!”) and Stage 3, Bargaining (“In return for the mere promise that I can live forever, I’ll believe ‘X’ and do ‘Y’!”). Atheism’s form of grief is Stage 5, Acceptance (“When I die, I will be no more, and that’s that!”).

First I am only going to concentrate on what this person says and ignore such objections as whether Christianity, or atheism for that matter, can be reduced to representing different stages of grief.

Obviously the author’s opinion is only the atheist stage is the correct one. But here is the rub. I was an atheist up to just recently, a fully convinced, philosophical, committed atheist, and I can assure you the atheist does do step number 5, but this person does not tell how he does step 5.

The atheist performs step 5 by never letting the step become fully real. Death, for the atheist, is always an Continue reading


Taking a Look at Atheists

When I was an atheist I was the laziest of atheists. I belonged to no clubs, attended no “freethinkers” debates or functions or anything like that. Although I did have one of those stupid Darwin fish with leg things on the back of my car in the early 90’s…  but I happened upon that in some store. I thought Madalyn Murray O’Hair repugnant, Dawkins and Harris intellectually nonintellectual. Hitchens I liked, not his arguments, but I just enjoyed him in a debate. But I came across these people over a span of decades by chance, and they had nothing to offer except vacuous arguments and grossly erroneous logic.

Atheism meant nothing for the same reason that Nothing means nothing to me. Meaning atheism is a negative concept, it denotes the absence of a something, namely, theism.

And for the same reason I never got involved in attacking the “other side”. Quite frankly I was indifferent to the other side. Until recently I had never had any real contact with either “side” atheist or theist. I simply could not get interested in the Bible – not even enough to attack it. Or to debate with a religious person. I am not claiming it never happened, but I never actively pursued it. But I was an atheist, I did hang out with atheists, and I did belong to a pseudo-philosophical school that was atheist, Objectivism. So I have been exposed to a lot of atheist thinking, including my own of course, and what atheists think of themselves and the other side.

And I have become interested in the whole debate now.

And boy, am I learning a lot. Over at a place called Strange Notions is an article about a much touted study that claims atheists are more intelligent than Continue reading


A Welcome, And Preliminaries

I welcome anyone to this site to comment as they see fit. I fear that I may have lost a reader in my move over here. But, if not, it would be appreciated if they would drop a line. You know who you are!

I am currently in the process of studying Christianity, particularly Catholicism (you have to choose a flavor, is how I’ll put it for now) so a lot of posts will be on that topic. I will do other topics as time goes by, and I hope to touch upon some of my thoughts on fiction writing, and even some of my stories.

But first this.

Despite a smattering of Christian education in my youth, I have been a thorough atheist most of my life. Of the Christian education, this consisted of Bible Camp for a summer or two, my father reading my sister and I the Children’s bible at some point, and a couple of trips to church (Lutheran). This also includes the mores of home-life that are instilled, the perspective that your parents try to have you see through, etc.

Of the atheism: this consisted of the usual atheist behavior, a complete repudiation of any upbringing (at least in word, not so much in deed) and the regarding of any non-naturalist subject as silly folly. Jesus and the Tooth-fairy are interchangeable members of a fantasy world. And, as it turns out, a complete ignorance of everything religious.

I held all the atheist-correct views such as the following: religion (and we always meant Christianity) is opposed to science. The one example, that every atheist finds sufficient, was Continue reading