March 26, 2006

Fundy Blogger Tries To Explain Why Americans Hate Atheists


I'm not American, but I just can't see American Atheists being different than me.
Vox Popoli states the following in his very popular blog, why Americans hate Atheists:

1. We want to ban Christmas

2. We assume we are more educated and intelligent that believers.

3. We have a murderous track record.

4. We constantly bring up Hitler's Christianity, the Crusades, and/or the Spanish Inquisition.

5. We proselytize almost as much as Jehovah Witnesses.

6. We can't explain how we can be moral because we don't believe in God, and we have no problem lying because we are never going to have to account for it.


Now let me attempt to address these points.

1. Personally I have no problem with Christmas. It is the one time of year when many Christians act like Christians are supposed to act. It gives them a chance to visit friends and relatives. It is a cultural philosophy. In fact, Christ or God is rarely mentioned. Christmas is fine with me. In secular schools it should more emphasis should be put on Happy Holidays, because it isn't right that non Christians be overly exposed to Christian beliefs. But that is just logical. Private schools can do whatever the hell they want.

2. We don't just assume we are on average more intelligent and educated. It is a fact. I can dig up numbers, but since those numbers aren't found in the Bible, Fundies won't believe me anyways.

3. Russia for example, is only made of 20% Atheists/Agnostics. Contrary to what people perceive. The leaders of the Russian Revolution may have been mainly Atheist, but lets not blame Atheism. It was a secular government, just like China has right now. Yet in China, though most of the state doesn't belong to an organized religion, most of those individuals do in fact believe in a higher power and superstition. Denmark and Sweden today have very high Atheist percentages, but they are hardly murderous. And many wars were fought over God in history by believers, so our murderous track record is just a blip.

4. I only bring up these things when I'm dealing with anti-semites or comparing Marxism with Christianity. Rarely if ever. And I am never the first to bring it up.

5. When was the last time an Atheist knocked on your door to tell you that you were a fool for believing in God?

6. Morality is man made. In fact it has evolutionary roots. If it wasn't for morality, humans wouldn't have died out with the Neanderthals. If you steal from neighbours, continuously murder and behave like an anarchist, your chances of surviving is next to zero. You likely won't live long enough to procreate. Morality is innate in most mammals. The 10 Commandments were written by man for man. The NT was written by many men who imposed their own set of values. Morality is also subjective from one culture to another and even one person to another. I have seen Church going Christians rationalize theft to me. As far as lying goes, I find most Atheists to be completely honest and open with less to hide than believers. Maybe it has to do with us knowing that this is our only life and we might as well be as real as possible. Believers tend to worry what others will think of them.

Personally, I think the reason believers don't like Atheists, is that they fear we are right. Deep down they know that the Bible has some pretty far fetched stories like the Ark, and we remind them of that, while throwing facts like evolution and an ancient earth in their face. I doubt many people who believe in God, evolution and an ancient earth hate us or mistrust us, it is just the Fundy flock that might.

Thanks Fundy Bane for the head's up:)

23 comments:

  1. Adolph Hilter was NOT a Christian.

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  2. I was just repeating Vox's claim. Hitler's beliefs are up for debate. He believed the Aryan race was supreme, so he couldn't have believed in evolution, as evolution is defined.
    He believed the Aryans were specially created I believe, he also believed in a Young Earth. So he was no Atheist or Agnostic either.

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  3. “Personally, I think the reason believers don't like Atheists, is that they fear we are right.”

    I think you hit the nail on the head BEAJ. It is significant that it is possible to believe in a universe that has no God. It is astonishing that there is a plausible theory of creation that involves no deity. The fundies sometimes mock us because they think we believe that by chance we were created yet by doing this they show their ignorance. Evolution uses three processes to achieve what it does, replication, mutation and selection. We see these processes at work in our everyday lives and use them all the time to develop new things. A lot of research involves replicating procedures, adding new things to the mix, observing what happens and then selecting the useful outcomes and discarding the useless. Quite often things are invented for one purpose and are then found to be much more useful for another purpose. Very really does a human come up with a brand new design. He normally replicates and mutates an older design. The human brain is a virtual, replication, mutation and selection device and so is the planet Earth.

    As for the origin of morals, I don’t know why the fundies get so hung up on this. Behaviour evolves just like creatures do. Indeed you cannot really have a creature that does not behave. It has taken us quite a long time to figure it out but in the end it essentially comes down to this: virtue is its own reward. All ancient scriptures are an attempt to explain, in a quite colourful way, this fact.

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  4. anglo,

    ....that sounds "righteous" to me....

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  5. Yeah, I think we can go door knocking with this.

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  6. "Deep down they know that the Bible has some pretty far fetched stories like the Ark"

    Um... not to buy into fundamentalist interpretations (which, is easy for me because in Judaism we have an evolving legal system and a rabbinic tradition) but you need to study some Biblical Archaelogy (and yes, Biblical criticism... the Bible (Tanakh/OT) may have been written by men but that doesn't mean it isn't based on fact. Why, a mile away from me is the Old City of Jerusalem and the City of David and go ask the archaelogists. Hezikiah's Tunnel, a few miles from me, was mentioned in the Bible. Doesn't mean I can't see where what was written down was an interpretation, but its not all fairy tales either.

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  7. Amechad, the story of the Ark is crapola. There is no archeological or physical evidence that the Exodus story happened. The story in itself is completely far fetched.
    Please refer to my Bible post.

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  8. No one is saying that it is all fairy tales. The flood story is most likely based on some memory of catastrophic regional flooding. The tale about Lot's wife turning to a pillar of salt was possibly used to explain an unusually shaped outcrop of rock etc.

    The stories are a form of communication and not always meant to be taken literally. Parables that essentially reinforce the observation that if you do bad stuff, bad stuff happens to you. While virtue is its own reward, vice has its own punishments.

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  9. I'm not specifically referring to teh story of the Ark. OTOH, just because we haven't found the evidence doesn't mean that SOMETHING didn't happen (albeit I am not saying it happened literally as described). (In fact, this why you don't see Jewish "creationists" even among the bulk of the religious fundamentalists).

    Also, in teh case of Judaism, at least, it's partly irrelevant insofar as there is also the Talmud and a legal system. The only (but important) question becomes "why buy into the legal system?"
    David Golinkin, a Conservative rabbi, wrote a little pamphlet that provides several possible answers - Halakha for Our Time: A Conservative Approach to Jewish Law -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0838131131/sr=8-1/qid=1143399357/ref=sr_1_1/102-4577440-7301758?%5Fencoding=UTF8

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  10. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0838131131/sr=8-1/qid=1143399357/ref=sr_1_1/102-4577440-7301758?%5Fencoding=UTF8

    Also, a biblical scholar (who believes i nthe Documentary Hypothesis and all that , I believe) also wrote a book on how that doesn't have to mean that religion is a crock. (How to Read the Bible by Dr. Marc Brettler -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/082760775X/sr=8-1/qid=1143399521/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-4577440-7301758?%5Fencoding=UTF8)

    also Dr. Neil Golikin's Sacred Fragments may pose some theological alternatives.

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  11. err, I meant to say, Neil Gillman

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  12. There's good and bad in all groups.

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  13. Bacon: This is all very typical fundametalist ranting.
    And regarding Anon (1st comment), even if Hitler was not a christian, most of the Germans certainly were.

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  14. moderated comments are good. they let the "author" only select the ones that appeal to him and do not criticise.

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  15. Concerning Hitler:

    "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".

    "For their interests [the Church's] cannot fail to coincide with ours [the National Socialists] alike in our fight against the symptoms of degeneracy in the world of to-day, in our fight against a Bolshevist culture, against atheistic movement, against criminality, and in our struggle for a consciousness of a community in our national life".

    Both of these quotes are from Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942, cited in an Internet article by Doug Krueger.

    "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

    "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter."

    Not an xian, my ass. He's usually quoted as saying many negative things about religion as well, but notice that came about only after he perceived it as a threat to Nazi domination.

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  16. I don't think he was a Christian, Look, I too am an atheist, and wrote the first comment. I was just pointing out that Vox's statement 4 is simply not correct. Hitler was not a Christian, he was however, an extremely opportunistic liar, who also said he would be content with annexation of the Sudetenland (sp?), was that the truth? Was peace in our time the truth? Hitler, at times, wrapped himself in Christianity to suck-up to various factions he wanted to manipulate. The Italians, the Vatican, the Swiss, and yes even his own Christian constituency in Germany. Importantly, feigned Christianity gave him what he wanted most, a reason to publicly hate Jews as Christ killers.
    For a glimpse of his own beliefs, we should look at the philosophies of his fanatical Hilter Youth, who practised a kind of mixture of mythology and sun worship.

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  17. Although the Nazi platform favored a "positive Christianity," its leaders viewed the church as an enemy that ultimately would need to be dealt with. One way of combating the church was to develop Nazi rituals to replace those of the church. Both the Protestant and Catholic churches had the rite of confirmation. The Nazis were interested in replacing it with a Nazi version.

    The source: "Jugendfeier — Lebenswende der Jugend" Der Hoheitstr√§ger, #1/1939, pp. 23-28.

    It may be most accurate to say Hitler's religion was his politics, National Socialism.

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  18. I'll respond in brief, speaking as an American atheist.

    1. We want to ban Christmas - Not true. However, Christmas should not be a federal holiday, anymore than Rosh Hoshana or Kwanzaa should be.

    2. We assume we are more educated and intelligent that believers. - Perhaps. However, sometimes the statistics bear that out. For example, it's been shown that evolutionists tend to be much better educated than creationists.

    3. We have a murderous track record. - Not as much as theists. And, most atheistic regimes were government-centric, rather than philosophically atheistic.

    4. We constantly bring up Hitler's Christianity, the Crusades, and/or the Spanish Inquisition. - Why not? Anti-Muslim folks always bring up 9/11. Religious violence deserves condemnation, period. It's irrelevant which religion we're speaking of, or when the violence occurred.

    5. We proselytize almost as much as Jehovah Witnesses. - Atheists are a distinct minority. As such, our voices need to be that much louder than the majority. If we don't speak up, there's a legitimate threat of us being drowned out entirely.

    6. We can't explain how we can be moral because we don't believe in God, and we have no problem lying because we are never going to have to account for it. - I make no bones about being a moral relativist. It's very simple: Morality cannot be measured, tested, gauged or quantified. As such, one can make no factual statements with respect to morality, except a factual statement of opinion.

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  19. As with everything, we atheists have to learn to choose our battles. Personally, examples of our battles should be education, human rights and environment. Can you imagine how much ground would religions lose if we achieve a population highly educated, human rights-conscious and environmetally-friendly? (Man should serve Nature not the other way round). Currently, to engage is a debate regarding, for example, evolution, is like talking to a 5 year old and trying to convince him that ther is no Santa Claus.

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  20. Frances, if you want fun go to the link provided to Vox's original story and the comments there.
    That bunch will hate you. Especially since you compare a fetus to a cancerous tumor. Their heads will start spinning and they will be spewing green vomit.

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  21. BEAJ,

    Perhaps I will. I know my tumor/fetus analogy will go over at that place beautifully. To me, abortion has always been a property-rights argument. Personhood is irrelevant. Humanity is irrelevant. I look at the issue purely from a property-rights perspective. As a moral relativist, that's my only viable option.

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  22. I'm a moral relavist too. But there is a certain reason we rape, steal and murder at our every whim. And that is something we evolved.
    I think rape and murder are pretty universal examples of morality. Even if someone does it....they know it is wrong, unless they are psychopathic. And I know that opens the door to your "morality is completely subjective" ideals.

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  23. "Hitler was not a Christian,"

    Clearly I disagree.

    "He was however, an extremely opportunistic liar,"

    On that point I completely agree.

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