February 20, 2007

Trouble With Atheism: Yeah, Dolts Don't Know What Atheism Is

This is long, but it is worth watching ONCE.

'Rod Liddle argues against those who turn to atheism for a rational and moderate approach to today's problems, and says that atheism has high priests and dogmatic beliefs, just like fundamentalist religion.'

First off, very few suggest that Atheism will solve today's problems. Many problems will disappear if magically everyone became Atheist tomorrow though, and yes, some could be created depending on the political leanings of the leaders.
As far as having high priests and dogmatic beliefs go. Well, I'm gonna watch the video for a second time, before I tell you why that is nothing but horse manure. I'll just make points as I see fit, while watching. Ok?

0:35 Atheism at its worst? You mean when an Atheist is like Stalin? How often does that happen?
0:40 Atheism is a conclusion. Nobody says that Atheism in itself is the answer to everyone's prayers.
3:13 Dawkins does not hate God. You can't hate something that doesn't exist. He doesn't think that belief in God is necessary, and in fact, believes that belief in God, causes much of the violence in the world, and stagnates intellectual growth and education. He is right.
4:10 "Atheists have become dogmatic in their contention that there is no God." Bullshit. Atheists just do not have any reason to consider God exists. We are sure that there is no evidence that God exists, and that none is likely to ever appear. We have no rules. And no, not everyone who believes in God is a deluded and dangerous fool. But many are both, some are one and not the other. Many are neither. And many are wilfully ignorant due to evolved insecurities. I am certain we have evolved a brain that readily accepts the concept of God and other supernatural beings. It is a fight not to be superstitious, for example.
4:38 "Atheism is becoming a religion of its own...they have gurus and sacred texts"
More bullshit. I've never read any sacred texts to do with Atheism. And the Origin of the Species is not a sacred text, it is a science book. A bible is full of unprovable myths. A science text is full of falsifiable theories and facts. We have representatives that are trying to explain that religion is crapola. If you want to call those who rely on facts and the scientific method to be my gurus, fine.
4:50 "Unknowable truths." This dude is starting to sound awfully wilfully ignorant now.
5:10 "Atheist regime." Soviet Russia was a political regime where the leader tried to force his country not to have faith in God. Sorry, but that doesn't happen much. No Atheists that I know want to ban prayer in church or home, or churches for that matter. And I know very few communists, if any, within the Atheist community.
5:26 "Atheism is a belief in a disbelief" Ok, I've had enough. I'm not watching anymore of this over. I watched it once, and thought it was fair, but now I'm just getting mad.

Hat tip: Educational Television Blog via TikkunGer

I had a lot more to say, but I'll let the following bloggers speak for me on this travesty of a documentary. They are all negative, and I wasn't looking for any bias whatsoever, but it is impossible after seeing it a second time not to be negative:

Rosio Pavoris
Rank Atheism

And for all you Agnostic bloggers who state that the points made in this video is why you can't be an Atheist, check out this great post at Rank Atheism for common errors made theists and Agnostics when it comes to
Misleading premises in arguments: Propositional Logic


  1. I watched that video on youtube a month or so ago, and thought his parallels were a bit weak too. It seems that religious people's best argument against Atheism is that it's too similar to religion. Wow, bravo.

    BTW, it was posted to youtube by Professor Dawkins.

    I enjoyed it none the less, it made me think.

  2. Atheism is simply an excuse for people that want to live for themselves and their own selfish interests. They turn their backs on their race, religion, upbringing and families using the lame atheist excuse.

  3. Johnny Eh, it made me think too. Than the more I thought about it, the more I realized he was spewing rhetoric disguised as fact.

    Rickey, that is a very uninformed comment. Atheism is simply a conclusion that there is no evidence that God or any other supernatural being exists.
    If you have proof of a God, I'd like to hear it.

  4. I live in England, and saw this claptrap on television. I was so incensed by the plausible, yet atrocious reasoning espoused by Liddle, that I wrote a response to "The Trouble with Atheism" on my blog:


    The highlight of the programme, was in my view, Peter Atkins, for his total dismissal and lack of patience for theists. I liked Atkins' rapidly changing facial expressions, and abruptness: he clearly has little time for talk of God. Individual atheists might not agree with what he said, but I think that a bit of rudeness might force theists to reconsider what they believe, and highlight the fact that people need not lend automatic "respect" or deference to religious beliefs.

    My favourite:

    "What's wrong with arrogance, if you're right?"


  5. BEAJ:

    I saw this programme (on Ch. 4, if I recall well) some months ago and I was truly appalled. You're rebuttal is great and I could complete it some more but Ron Liddle simply isn't worth it. He's hardly the sharpest tool in the box in the British journalistic landscape.

    The problem though is that just like Dawkins' "The root of all evil" (which in my opinion wasn't really all that good either) shows like this tend to trivialise the whole thing into a freak show.

  6. So, are you Tony Van Eyk, from Lambeth, Ontario?

    Posted by Anonymous to THE ATHEIST JEW SLUG at 5:20 PM

  7. gurus and sacred texts

    Comedy, high comedy. What are our "sacred texts" other than Charlie D's classics, by the way? And while we're at it, who are our "gurus"? Are you one, BEAJ?

  8. Hi BEAJ, tagged you yesterday for a case that left me fairly speechless. See here:



  9. The whole section on Hitler, Mao, and Stalin stank of historical ignorance. I felt like Atheist just got blamed for every horrible atrocite committed by someone who didn't believe in any religion. Yet, there was no condemnation of religion for things such as the crusades, the inquisition, and Islamic terrorism.

    Also, I don't know if its just me, but it seems that Liddle was hinting that if you're an atheist, then you also have socialist/communist leanings. Which is definitely not true. I'm an atheist and I believe strongly in capitalism and free trade.

  10. I'm the guru, Mike. I just need to get a few more followers.

    Snoopy, I responded.

    Kyle, the whole video stank if you watch it more than once. It is deceptive because you don't get a chance to think it the first time around.

  11. Atheists historically renouned Communists.

  12. Renouned? Get a refund from your ESL teacher. You can point the teacher to this blog for proof.

  13. Right from the get-go I noticed how Liddle was framing his comments in such a way as to portray atheists in a negative light.

    I have a few comments and observations:

    1) Liddle focused on atrocities that were committed by regimes that actively suppressed religion, such as Jacobin France, Stalin's Soviet Union and Mao's China, but totally ignored countries like those of Scandinavia where religious belief basically waned over time. I doubt many people would argue that Norway, Sweden or Denmark are totalitarian states.

    2) While science is not my strongest subject, I recognized that Liddle was setting up Darwin's Theory of Evolution as being set in stone like the Ten Commandments. Even to a tyro in science such as myself, it is obvious that while Darwin was one of the first to recognize and espouse the theory of evolution, it also means that as new evidence would be discovered over time that there would be modifications of the theory.

    3) Liddle also distorts the argument as being one between atheism and the concept of a god or higher power, when it is really one between atheism and the God of the Bible. What atheists reject the is the notion that there is this specific god watching over us in judgment and that there are certain behaviors this god considers sinful and does not want us to do.

    4) I work a few blocks from Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan, and do not recall seeing the placard carrying atheist there. Nevertheless, I would be the first person to say that that particular atheist is a loon and a loser. He should focus on living his own life rather than standing outside of a church to insult religious believers. Such an approach is counter-productive in my opinion. That being the case, he is clearly no worse than Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons who come knocking on my door.


    (1) MARY, you are the Virgin Most Renowned because you are the Mother of God. We respect the angels and saints in heaven more than anyone on earth of high position and power. But angels and saints are servants of God, while you are His Mother.

    You are deserving of the highest respect and veneration. The Church fervently sings your praises: "Blessed art thou, holy Virgin, and worthy of all praise, because from thee has come forth the Son of Justice, Christ, our God." You are excelled by no one except by Him who created you. You yourself humbly attribute to your divine motherhood the praise which would be given you by all men. Being, greeted by your cousin Elizabeth as the Mother of God, you gratefully exclaimed, "He has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid; for, behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; because he who is mighty has done great things for me" (Luke 1,48).

    You inspire all the faithful with a holy zeal; they never grow tired of singing your praise. Writers, poets, painters, sculptors and musicians of every nation and in every age have combined their efforts to proclaim your praises and to pass down to future generations the sentiments of religious veneration which they themselves felt.

    (2) MARY, you are also renowned because of your sanctity. Although the dignity of divine motherhood is a privilege and grace which you could not merit, yet it was bestowed upon you as a reward for your worthiness. No young maiden during your lifetime served God as zealously as you, and none loved God with such perfect love. Your sanctity made God look upon you with the greatest delight and to choose you to be the Mother of His Son.

    Jesus Himself declared that you are to be praised, not alone for being His Mother, but in a far greater degree for being a saint, for faithfully observing what God wills and teaches. When the woman in the Gospel raised her voice and said of Jesus: "Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the breasts that nursed thee," He replied, "Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it" (Luke 11,28). Being the Mother of Jesus would not have meant so much if you had not had the great happiness of carrying also in your heart Him whom you bore in your womb.

    Virgin Most Renowned, I join the praise with which the whole Church greets you, and I wish to venerate you daily with the most fervent devotion. Since the imitation of your example is the praise that is most pleasing to you, help me to make every effort to be like you in humility, chastity, contempt of the world, self-denial, obedience, meekness, patience, and love of God and my neighbor.

    (3) MARY, you are renowned on account of the benefits which you have conferred and still confer upon the human race. Holy Mother Church attributes to you the praise which the Jews gave the pious widow Judith who cut off the head of Holofernes and delivered her city from ruin: "Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, and thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honor of our people. For thou hast done manfully, and thy heart has been strengthened, because thou hast loved chastity ... therefore also the hand of the Lord has strengthened thee, and therefore thou shalt be blessed forever" (Judith 15,10).

    You deserve even greater praise because you delivered your Son to death in order to make the redemption of the world possible, and you saved all nations from eternal ruin. You continue to apply to us the fruits of redemption, for you are a most affectionate Mother, and you never feel happier than when you find an opportunity to give to your children proofs of your motherly goodness and mercy.

    Lord Jesus Christ, You have given us Your Mother Mary that she might be our Mother of Perpetual Help, whose beloved image we venerate; grant, we beg of You, that by earnestly imploring her motherly help, we may deserve to enjoy at all times the blessings of Your Redemption. Who live and reign forever. Amen. (Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, June 27)