Sunday, August 24, 2008

When Opinions Suck

How can you miss the point so thoroughly, and show your prejudices at the same time? Write an opinion column about a group of people you clearly don't like and most likely know nothing about!

He definitely starts out on the right foot:

A few atheists have their panties in a twist once again, this time fussing that an atheist leader wasn't invited to speak at an Aug. 24 interfaith service that's part of the Democratic National Convention.

The service will feature Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist speakers. The official reason for the interfaith services is "to honor the diverse faith traditions inside the Democratic Party," which could easily include atheists. If they aren't welcome, it's probably because they're rude
The irony of suggesting that a diverse group of people is universally "rude" while beginning the column on that subject with a phrase such as "have their panties in a twist" is just so incredibly delicious.

This column has advocated religious liberties for atheists, citing case law that defines atheism as just another religion - as in just another unproven and forever unprovable belief.
Le sigh. How is lack of belief in an unproven and unprovable assertion an unproven and unprovable belief? How is lack of religion a religion? Under what condition could a person be said to not have any religion at all?

Therefore a belief in creation - or an original intelligence, Jesus, Buddha, or the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" - is no more valid in the eyes of the law than the odd belief that nothing could possibly exist beyond what our embryonic state of scientific discovery has seen in our relatively primitive microscopes and telescopes.
Attacking materialism, are we? Well, I've got to say, seeing as how we can say absolutely nothing with certainty about those things beyond our current realm of scientific understanding, saying that such things are essentially irrelevant to us for now is perfectly valid. It is definitely foolish to say that there is nothing at all that exists beyond our current scientific understanding, but that is only a straw man. The point is that we can only work with the things that we know, and those things are physical. Anything outside of that is just speculation, especially when you claim detailed knowledge. Belief in a specific kind of creative intelligence is infinitely more specific and much more unfounded than such assertions.

To rational thinkers, atheism seems a sad and shallow belief. That's because great scientists understand that, metaphorically, they've discovered little more than the drawings on the walls of a cave. They don't know what's beyond the cave or how it began.
And once we discover more, we will be ready to accept that. But, the thing is, once again, anything positted at this point about such subjects is just speculation. If atheism is a sad and shallow belief, I cannot imagine how to describe those who state with utter conviction that they know how the world came to be, and that an unproven and unprovable entity is behind it, of which they have exact details of what his demands are. Even the boldest atheism is humble by comparison.

They pretend that atheist beliefs are proven true, while others are proven false.
Since atheism is lack of beliefs, and there is no proof either way, that is pretty much true. If not, please complain about the unfounded beliefs of a-fairyists, a-bigfootists, and a-UFOists as well.

Their approach to ministry is overbearing and rude. They engage in confrontation, with disregard for persuasion
Every challenge to your religion would be considered "overbearing and rude" no matter how polite the demeanor and tame the content. The mere act of questioning religious authority is deemed "rude" by most people. And, as for "confrontation", do you seriously think that you can call the attempts of those within your own religion to persuade other people to "see the light" only less confrontational than atheists? The only reason you see it as confrontation is because it is calling you on bullshit that you've place up on a pedestal and that is just not very polite, is it?

In other words, if I'm not invited to your party then you're bad.
Excellent straw man. She was not judging the character of the DNC, only saying that supporting faith is turning its back on those who do not have faith. No value judgments, just an attempt to show them that they are embracing one group at the expense of another in the name of unity.

You simply weren't invited to a private party for "believers.
It's not a private party for believers: it is an event sponsorred by the Democratic Party during their national convention in order to express their support of people of various faiths. But, the issue is not that we simply were not invited, it is that the event itself was designed specifically to exclude us, by, as you said, being "for 'believers'". It should be for EVERYONE, be they Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, or nothing at all. Because these are all the faiths and non-faiths that make up the Democratic party. By making it just about the religious people, they are excluding a segment of the Democrats as well as perturbing the religious moderates that make up a significant amount of the party base.

Boulder atheist Marvin Straus accused Democrats of "pandering" for the religious vote. How dare they reach out to people who believe in God? There oughta be a law!
Sigh. Did anyone suggest that they SHOULDN'T do it? No. Is anyone suggesting that they should make sure to include those who are not religious as well? I would assume so....

Hitler imagined a world without Jews. The Freedom From Religion Foundation rented a billboard near the Colorado Convention Center that says: "Imagine No Religion."

That Godwin came outta nowhere. Anyone aside from this putz think that the sign suggests genocide? Anyone? Anyone else think that Hitler killed the Jews out of hatred for religion, rather than just out of simple religiously supported antisemitism? Anyone? Bueller?

Imagine a world with no religion and one sees a world without the Golden Rule, devoid of most charities, hospitals and great universities.

Really? The "without religion, there is no morals" gambit? There is a reason why almost every religion on Earth has some variation on the Golden Rule. It is because it is a self-evident description of how basic human empathy forces us to behave. As for charities, hospitals, and universities having religious origins: that is merely because such a large portion of our population (and almost every person in a position of power) happen to be religious. One could hardly assert that their religion had anything to do with the existence of such institutions, however.

Imagine no religion and one sees a world ruled by atheist tyrants - Pol Pot, Albania's Enver Hoxha, Stalin and Mao, to name a few - who have murdered tens of millions in modern efforts to cleanse society of religion.
This crap will never die, will it?

American Muslims, Baptists, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Mormons, Quakers, Amish, etc., don't erect billboards saying "Imagine No Atheists."
First, "atheists" and "religion" are hardly comparable. Besides, they don't need to. They are able to advertise their religion in every form of media imaginable and use that as a platform to implicitly or explicitly rant about the evils of non-belief just like you are doing here. The bulk is a major issue. A single billboard erected by harmless minority talking about a general institution rather than a specific group is much different then people saying "get rid of this minority group".

They don't advocate theft and desecration of atheist property, even though an atheist hero in Minnesota stole and destroyed the Catholic Eucharist

And I didn't think that you thoroughly established your retardation enough in the former sentences. Thank you for sealing the deal. Deciding to not eat a wafer handed to you is hardly the same thing as "theft". And besides, he only destroyed property that was meant for destruction anyway. He just did it in a manner different than intended. The only comparable thing that they could advocate in retailation is for people to get invited to atheist's house for dinner, and secretly flush a single portion of the meal down the toilet at his own house afterwards instead of eating it.

Besides, do you even know the rabid response that PZ received in response to the very suggestion that he may do such a thing? Advocating theft pales in comparison...

It's likely they didn't invite atheists to their faith service because they didn't want embarrassing guests


Atheists should fund universities and hospitals. They should feed and clothe starving kids.

Hear of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet? Are you aware that most atheists are not internet trolls? Your presumptions are sickening. I wish that rebutting you didn't play right into your hand, allowing you to point and say "look at how rude and intolerant they are!". But, whatever. I am not a representative of the atheist anymore than you are a representative of whatever idiotic religion turned you into the heavily blinded putz that you are. END.

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