Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

keep it simple, stupid...

Ok, I'm still tilting at this windmill called atheism. It is proving to be somewhat troublesome. Rosinante, Sancho, and many of you poor readers, must be getting pretty bored by now. Alas, such is the nature of a hard day's tilting.

So this is for those few resolute souls who, for whatever insane reason, are still reading...

Before we get to atheism though, I need to re-assert that it is fair enough, when debating the existence or nonexistence of a god*, to group the debatees into three clearly defined groupings, and I use the terms theism, atheism, and agnosticism. The meanings I attach to these terms are fully explained in the post "sophisticated atheism".

And this is where all hell broke loose. I was accused of all sorts of crimes against philosophy. I learned a few things too.

I learned that Austin over at (or whoever he got his ideas from) has pulled a neat philosophical swifty. It is slick. It nearly had me fooled.

They've neatly killed agnosticism as a distinct third category. You can be an "agnostic atheist" or an "agnostic theist" (by their definitions) and lo and behold, they relegate pure agnosticsm to virtual irrelevancy as a distinct third category. Nice stunt. But it's merely a meretricious mind game. It only works if you accept that we can infinitely obfuscate what an atheist or a theist is. It is up there with arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. This brings me back to Occam's Razor and the assertion that for the purpose of this debate it is not necessary to create more than these three categories:

[1] the assertion that there is a god

[2] the assertion that there is no god

[3] no assertion one way or the other

As I see it, it really can be argued at such a basic level. I fail to see the need to create more categories for the purpose of this debate. To me, anything else is obfuscation, quibbling, or equivocation.

Now here's the interesting thing: Generally speaking, theists have no trouble accepting this, agnostics don't have any trouble accepting this, but most atheists go nuts at this proposition, and I think I know why: That definition would leave atheists wide open to the assertion that their belief system is just that - a belief system. And they hate belief systems with a vengeance. Belief systems are unscientific.

But, there's a dilemma: Having taken a "scientific" position, they would be obliged to provide proofs for their assertion. They know they cannot do this, and so they try a thousand and one bits of sophistry (and they're damn convincing) to claim that the burden of proof for the assertion that there is no god does not lie with them. That's the con. That's the scam. That's the intellectual dishonesty right there.

Rather than backpeddle, recant, and admit they are actually agnostics, they reify new definitions (sects) such as "agnostic atheism", "weak atheism", etc., just so they can still wear that treasured atheist lapel badge. It seems that calling yourself a straight-up agnostic is just too damn politically unsexy.

If you admit that you have no frigging idea one way or the other, you can't really say they (the Christians, etc) are categorically wrong. You can only do that if you claim to know they are wrong. Therefore religion bashing would be pretty silly. Peace might break out.

Not only do I say that atheism is in every sense of the word a religion, but I argue that it is the most devious and fundamentalist one of the lot. It seeks to eradicate every religion or spiritual belief on earth. It is totally materialistic and nihilistic. It pretends to be scientific but it is not. It is pseudo scientific.

The deviousness is that they will not admit it outright and have developed endless tactics to avoid having to do so. When you push an atheist with questioning, they always take up refuge in a position that "accidentally" appears to be indistinguishable from agnosticism (but they go to great lengths to still call it "a form of" atheism), but they are nothing like agnostics.

Agnostics don't feel the need to wage an endless ideological war on religions or spirituality, whereas most atheists can't seem to stop themselves.

Atheists are jihadists for materialism.

* or gods


Blogger Daniel said...

Now listen, Gerry, I have lived quite happily for many a year knowing that I am an atheist. Not believing but knowinge

You claim I can't know because I can't prove the existence or non-existence of some God or other, whatever that is.

But Gerry, the word 'God' is merely a figment of man's vivid imagination, a bit of wishful thinking. That's why there are so many gods in the world.

Why then do I, or any realist, have to prove the existence or non-existance of a figment of man's imagination?

P.S. Thanks for visiting my blog. Unfortunately your comment had so many spelling errors that, in order to protect your fine reputation, I decided not to publish it. Sorry.

June 10, 2006 4:25 PM  
Blogger Davo said...

words, words words, am lost in a plethora of words. When will somebody DO something? Oh, oops, L'il Johnny has. Am not 'supporting' either side just yet, but 'blustery Kim' has a windage problem, politically.
(Oh by the way, the nag can be spelled 'Rozinante' or "Rocinante" ..depending on which tribe you subscribe to .. heh)

June 11, 2006 12:15 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Daniel, without putting too fine a point on it, you prove my point about athiests perfectly. You are a religious bigot who believes there is no god. No different to any other religious bigots. No worries there, as long as you now don't start lying or obfuscating about it.

As to the control-freak way you prefer to run your blog, no worries. But stop bullshitting, mate. You didn't delete my comment because of spelling errors (and if you did that would be just plain idiotic), I suspect you did it because I exposed the crap in your point of view. You can't handle that, can you?

Davo, I used to own a Honda 750F2 which I called Rosinante. :-)

June 11, 2006 12:32 AM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

Hey, Gerry, I thought you would enjoy a little cloak-and-dagger comment today so I am writing here in an old post, knowing that you will receive this highly classified, sensitive information and that you will be able to delete it before anyone else sees it --or before any of my Mennonite and Amish neighbors can track me down. :)

Diamond Geezer has some pretty cool dropdowns posted today (Thursday). Whilst the "Security Alert" and "Political Comment Alert" levels might suit your blog on many days, I'm wondering if the use of "Kitten Alert" level might prove therapeutic occasionally. Enjoy.

July 13, 2006 11:08 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Yes, Kurt, you are here in an old post. People who do that generallly never go back there to see if there was a reply, sp maybe I'm talking to myself here (what's new?).

Security Alert: We've gone back to the Middle Ages.

Political commmnet Alert: Expect the same tedious bigoty tomorrow.

Blog Hiatus Alert: Don't hold your breath.

Kitten Alert: Mild risk of general cuteness.

July 14, 2006 10:35 AM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

I could definitely use some kittens!

July 14, 2006 3:40 PM  

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