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...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"atheists" - my final rant on the subject....

I really don't know what else I need to say to be complete about my disgust at the intellectual dishonesty in which I feel most atheists* indulge. But I feel I need to grapple with it one last time.

There are a few honest atheists. They are ones who admit that their assertion that there is no god is based on believing* rather than knowing*. I have no quarrel with them. And mostly, these are not the ones who constantly attack religions. They merely beg to differ.

It's the other atheists who irk me. The ones whose need to attack religions comes from an implied certainty that there cannot possibly be a god, but who are not prepared to discuss the reasoning for their certainty. It is not acceptable to them that some people choose to subscribe to metaphysical explanations for some things. It is not acceptable to them that some people don't require scientific proofs, but are content to dwell in faith about some issues.

To my way of thinking, a lot of what these atheists are on about is tantamount to seeking to disallow religious people their particular morals and values. There's no live-and-let-live being extended to the religious by these atheists. And that's what makes them indistinguishable from religious fundamentalist extremists. And that's what irks me.

There! I've nailed it! Ahhhhhhhhhhh...

Now I don't need to rant about them any more...

(Need a bit more context? Then [go here] )

* As defined [here]


Blogger GreenSmile said...

I am not riled up by your being riled up, Gerry. You gotta name names and point to an instance or two of the arrogance so I can believe there are such jerks as seem to have jerked your chain.

Here is a quote from chapt 2 of James' The Varieties of Reglious Experience

"He believes in No-God, and he worships him," said a colleague of mine of a student who was manifesting a fine atheistic ardor; and the more fervent opponents of Christian doctrine have often enough shown a temper which, psychologically considered, is indistinguishable from religious zeal.

Those words were published over a hundred years ago, should you be wondering if you have found anything new in this godless bigotry.

July 12, 2006 3:22 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Thanks for causing me to think about the crap I wrote, Greensmile. I've rewritten the last major paragraph. I hop it passes muster now. :-)

July 12, 2006 12:07 PM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

Gerry, thanks for explaining your viewpoint. It's very interesting that your experience with atheists is so different from mine here in the States. I personally haven't run into the problems you have.
I have only in my late forties been confident or strong enough to mention I am an atheist to anyone, and of course only when the topic comes up in comfortable company. You would think that wouldn't be difficult for someone who has a strong university education in ecology/evolution/biology, but here in the US you can get looked at strangely if you talk about evolution to just anybody. Imagine...I have actually lost a few friends over the years because of my astonishing "beliefs" that natural selection takes place and that the earth is really old, that tectonic plates have moved land masses about, and that animal and plant populations have shifted in genetic makeup over millions of years.
There is a creationist/"intelligent design" controversy taking place over here in some of our public education systems, and it's for this reason that I am thinking that, here in the US, atheists need to be more outspoken than in the past. For some reason, Americans are stuck in the dark ages; they still equate learning the science of natural selection and evolution as blasphemy.
Gerry, I guess this is why I visit your blog: you offer some very different viewpoints from a different part of the world that I wouldn't experience otherwise. Thanks for being here, and for blogging the way you do.
By the way, when I years ago admitted to a friend that I was an atheist, he told me I wasn't really an atheist because I wasn't militant about it. He told me I was an agnostic.
God only knows what I am.
God only knows what I am. :)

July 12, 2006 11:42 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Kurt, I get that it is painful for you to read about my viewpoints.

So, before I get going with my reply, let me set the scene: It is midnight here. I am hopelessly drunk. I have just lost an argument with my partner (purely on the basis that she thinks that if you are drunk, you lose.) We won't tell her that I am making a reasonable amount of sense on the internet... Let's not confuse her with facts... If she ever finds out about the "misogynist tactic", I'm a dead duck...

So... (Ghod, my head feels whoosey...) Hic... [burp]

[1]What do you mean by "I am an atheist"?

[2]Do you mean that you KNOW that there is no god or higher whatever?

Evolution/ecology/biology??? This proves that there is no metaphysical aspect to "everything"? Really? Care to explain?

"I have actually lost a few friends over the years because of my astonishing "beliefs" that natural selection takes place and that the earth is really old, that tectonic plates have moved land masses about, and that animal and plant populations have shifted in genetic makeup over millions of years."

Well, Kurt, I don't know how you'd be able to prove "natural selection", but hey, if your "friends" put you down for having such beliefs, maybe you're better off without them anyhow...

'There is a creationist/"intelligent design" controversy taking place over here...'

Yeah, we have them over here as well. That's only happening because not enough of them are getting shot... Over here we blame our gun laws... They took all our guns away...

Kurt, what do you think the difference is between an agnostic and an atheist?

July 13, 2006 12:31 AM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

Not at all painful to be here; I wouldn't come back if it were. And I'm not trying to convince you of anything at all. I'm just rambling here.

When I say I am an atheist I mean that I am fairly confident that there isn't a God, and I don't see much point in spending time and energy bowing to one. No, I can't be sure. No-one can be sure. So if you want to label me an agnostic, then that's okay too. Labels aren't that important to me.
Behaviour is more important. Humans naturally need to search, investigate, experiment, and learn, and when someone's religion or someone's wish to push their religion on me impinges on the advancement of learning or my rights, that's then we get into trouble.
I like to think of "faith" as a continuum with no distinct lines in between the different levels of it, from "fundamentalist religion" all the way to "extreme atheism".

Extremes at either end are not good.
Discussions like this one, and the right to have discussions like this one, are, by contrast, very, very good.

July 13, 2006 2:01 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Kurt, I think people label themselves and others all the time. I think it's unavoidable. It's only a problem if the label is inappropriate or if too much emphasis is placed on the label. And then there's the other aspect here, which is that rather than labels, we're dealing with definitions and distinctions. Meanings.

With the definitions used here, I would say you are an agnostic, and that it's important for you to decribe yourself to others (and yourself) as an agnostic rather than an atheist because of the distinction this affords. It's a softer, more reasonable, more honest position than that of the atheist (or, to use a word you recently made me think about, it's a less adversarial position.)

Being belief-neutral, the agnostic position is more likely to enable peace between warring beliefs.

A person declaring that they are agnostic is saying to believers "hey, I don't invalidate your belief, I just don't have the certainty to believe and I don't do faith on this issue", and to atheists it says "I'm not a hard-core invalidator of God or others' religions or spiritual beliefs."

It's improtant for people who are agnostics rather than atheists to prouldy and strongly declare their agnosticism because it robs atheists of the myth that they are anything other than hard-core believers in No-god and all that attends such thinking.

It exposes atheists as the True Believers that they really are. This is not possible whilst agnostics are sucked into believing they are "agnostic atherists" or "weak atheists" by the atheist propagandists seeking to hijack agnosticsm in order to make atheism appear moderate or tolerant.

And it isolates the atheists. This might make some of them think about just how certain they are in the absolute rightness of their nihilistc belief system and whether they really wish to maintain their extreme position.

And the more people say they are agnostic rather than atheist, the more discussion and debate is generated on a whold range of attendant issues. And this is a good thing.

So, Kurt, it is not a harmless thing for an agnostic to be saying they are an atheist.

Lastly, Kurt, you keep praising my writing. Thank you, but I think I'm actually hopelessly inadequate as a writer. And then there's my temperament and the way it undermines the quality of my writing... But it'a also what drives it... Hmmmm...

Oh, and a bit of a warning, Kurt: Due to Google, I'm now getting a few other hits from Soldier's Grove as well, so if you want to maintain your anonymity, be careful what clues you leave here. Your neighbors could be reading this. I think if they find out that you're reading this treasonous, anti-American, anti-capitalist, Evil Stuff, they'll report you to Homeland Security. See you in Gitmo... ;-)

July 13, 2006 11:45 AM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

1. I agree with your partner.

2. Yes, this time you've nailed it.

July 13, 2006 10:01 PM  
Blogger Davo said...

umm, typing a plethora of words is not a high priority for those who use the intricacies of the human body to earn a quid. Body vs. Intellect.. see you at a Stadium far distant.

July 13, 2006 10:02 PM  
Blogger Dave Riley said...

What you forget is that religion or atheism can be a non issue. Those who want to assert their atheism as you suggest do so because they are still not free of their bonds to religion. Because in reality what people believe in regard to a god or whatever -- is their own business, and when it comes to religion you take each doctrine not so much on its ideology but whats' happening in the real world of society

So when it comes to Islam the core question for us here in Australia is to combat Islamophobia regardless of what you yourself may or may not believe in theologically.

That's self evident surely -- regardless of your theistic beliefs. It isn't defence of a religion per se, but of defending the right of people to it without prejudice.

So on the question of religious beliefs -- it is something for them and not for me. Some of my best friends are Christian/ Moslem /Jew ... although what gets engineered today is a new form of "anti Semitism" focused on Moslems.

Its more racist rather than simply a question of religious beliefs.
So you stand up against it. Thats' the imperative.

Me I'm atheistic but then it's a secondary component of my Materialism. Of course, issues of God -- is or is not -- is something I gave up considering after my teens. I mean it is wonderful living a life without spirituality without a concept of evil to simplistically explain our condition.

My God is human society.

July 16, 2006 1:20 PM  

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