The Postmodern Land of Oz

William Briggs has an interesting essay entitled, “When Marriage Can Be Anything, Marriage Can Be Anything.”

He begins as follows:

It is only irrational animus, bigotry, and hatred that causes some to deny that human beings and fairground rides cannot marry. Love is love, and sometimes love extends to the soaring tracks, twisting hairpin curves, and thrilling loop-de-loops of roller coasters.

Yes. Two women have married, not each other, which would not be unusual these days, but each has married a roller coaster. Not the same roller coaster, of course; that would be absurd; different roller coasters.

Briggs links to various articles that are….well…interesting.  For example:

This follows a “courtship” of 3,000 rides over ten years with the 80ft gondola ride called 1001 Nachts.

Miss Wolfe, 33, from Pennsylvania, will change her surname to Weber after the manufacturer of the ride she travels 160 miles to visit 10 times per year, according to reports

“I love him as much as women love their husbands and know we’ll be together forever,” she said.

Miss Wolfe first fell for the ride when she was 13: “I was instantly attracted to him sexually and mentally.

“I wasn’t freaked out, as it just felt so natural, but I didn’t tell anyone about it because I knew it wasn’t ‘normal’ to have feelings for a fairground ride.”

Ten years later, she decided to go back to Knoebels Amusement Park to declare her love. She now sleeps with a picture of the ride on her ceiling and carries its spare nuts and bolts around to feel closer to it.

She claims to believe they share a fulfilling physical and spiritual relationship and does not get jealous when other people ride it.

Although she faces discrimination from employers, most of her family and friends have been supportive. “I’m not hurting anyone and I can’t help it,” she said. “It’s a part of who I am.”

Huh?  Is this fake news?

If not, are we all supposed to recognize this as a relationship?  Are we all supposed to recognize this is as a marriage?  Is the roller coaster truly her husband? And if you say no to any of those questions, does that mean you are a hateful bigot?

Posted in activism, Culture, secular values, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Politicizing Science

Over at his blog, atheist actvist Hemant Mehta posted the following:

For the past few years, a member of Congress has introduced a resolution in the House to honor Charles Darwin on his birthday. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) did it in 2011, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) did it in 2013 and 2014, and Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) has did it in the years since.

He just did it again yesterday, introducing the resolution, officially known as House Resolution 44. It designates “February 12, 2017, as ‘Darwin Day’ and [recognizes] the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.”

and adds:

As I’ve said before, it’s nice to see a member of Congress honoring science instead of denying it.

This is all yet another example of activists and politicians stinking up the place with their culture warring.  For this is nothing more than grandstanding that attempts to turn science itself into a political weapon and political debate. This is not “honoring science.”  It is politicizing science.  And the last thing Western civilization needs is the further politicization of science.

Look, I say this as an evolutionist  who accepts Darwinian evolution and who recognizes the importance of Darwin’s work.

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Posted in activism, Politics, Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Atheists not all that interested in science

We are told that atheists love science.  After all, it’s this deep love of science that has supposedly led to their atheism.  Yet I think this is just an image the atheist movement uses to sell itself.  After all, atheist activist Jerry Coyne is complaining (again) that his readers don’t seem all that interested in his science postings:

No more science posts!

. . . unless people start reading them. Today virtually all the serious posts were animal- or science-related. Traffic is way down (about 60% of normal) which means people aren’t reading them.  What do you want—clickbait?

I am not surpised. 

Posted in atheism, Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Church Vandalized with Atheist Memes

Four churches in Iceland were vandalized with anti-religious and anti-God graffiti:

Vulgar and blasphemous messages were spray-painted on the walls of Akureyri Church, North Iceland, overnight, according to RÚV. The incident has been reported to police.

Svavar Alfreð Jónsson, minister at the church, was shocked to see what had been done, but a funeral is planned at the church today. Svavar posted pictures of the vandalism on his Facebook page this morning. Both the front and south sides of the church were spray-painted in numerous places.

Some of the messages included  “Religion is slavery” and  “God is a cunt.”

akureyri_church_vandalism_2

We can’t say for sure that atheists did this, but I would not be surprised given the hateful nature of the atheist movement’s anti-religious rhetoric over the years.  For example, the vandal’s message that “Religion is slavery” is essentially the same message the FFRF tried to spread with the Christmas season signs: “Religion is but myth and superstition that burdens our hearts and enslaves our minds.”

Actvist Hemant Mehta is the only atheist activist to have denounced this, but his criticism is quite meek, brief, and mild and probably exists only because someone on twitter goaded him into it.

 

Posted in atheism, Hate, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

“There is no God!” – A Common Atheist Belief

In the previous posting, I showed that atheist activist leaders subscribe to the belief that “there are no gods.”  That is, their atheism is not a lack of god belief.  Their atheism is a belief that God does not exist.  But just how common is this?

There is actually quite a bit of evidence to support the contention that atheism as a belief – a belief there is no God – is actually very common.  And I base this is on my own experience interacting with many, many atheists over the years.  If you yourself have similar experience, consider how well this evidence resonates.

1.Notice that when activists like the FFRF publicly promote the “there are no gods” view, and such promotion is widely advertised on atheist media, there is no significant pushback. There are no complaints about the wrong definition of atheism being promoted. This tells us that the “atheism is simply a lack of god belief” view is not held very seriously by atheists or not held by very many atheists.  What’s more, when someone like a Louise Antony comes along and informs an interviewer that she knows there is no God, there is much cheerleading and back-slapping among the atheist community.

2.The “atheism is simply a lack of god belief” position is not strong enough to merit the “God belief is a delusion” belief that is so common among the atheists. Simply lacking a belief in X does not mean that belief in X is a delusion.  The only way to justify the notion that a belief in X is a delusion is to know that X does not exist.

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Posted in atheism, atheist activism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Multiple atheist activists define atheism as a belief – “there are no gods”

It would appear quite common for atheist activists to proclaim there is no God.

He have already seen that the Freedom From Religion Foundation defines atheism in this manner.  The Christmas season sign that they have local activists put up reads:

“There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that burdens our hearts and enslaves our minds.’’

But the FFRF is far from alone on this.  David Silverman, the New Atheist who is president of the American Atheists, offers the same definition:

Everybody is godless, there are no gods, so everybody is godless, I’m just aware of it, there are NO gods, everybody is godless, every single person.

Louise Antony is professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has in the past excited the atheist activist community by declaring, “I know there is no God”

Activist Hemant Mehta quoted her as saying:

Antony: I’m not sure what you mean by saying that I’ve taken a “strong stand as an atheist.” I don’t consider myself an agnostic; I claim to know that God doesn’t exist, if that’s what you mean.

And responded with glee:

Boom. Gotcha, Gutting. And well put, Antony.

Mehta further quoted her as saying:

Because the question has been settled to my satisfaction. I say “there is no God” with the same confidence I say “there are no ghosts” or “there is no magic.” The main issue is supernaturalism — I deny that there are beings or phenomena outside the scope of natural law.

The response from actvist Mehta? More cheerleading:

BRB, I’m going to go fangirl all over Antony. Well put all around. It’s not that what she’s saying is new to most of the readers of this blog. There’s just something about how matter-of-factly she puts things which I find particularly appealing.

For decades we have been told that an atheist is someone who simply lacks God-belief.

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Posted in atheism, atheist activism, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Atheist Activist Group Defines Atheism

Every Christmas season, the Christophobic atheist activists go bonkers anytime some little town puts up a nativity scene to celebrate Christmas.  The Freedom From Religion Foundation uses those Christmas celebrations as an excuse to get their local activists to set up an atheist sign with the hope of generating more controversy and publicity.

This year, Jerry Bloom won the Activist of the Year Award by a state chapter of American Atheists Inc. for putting up the FFRF sign.

Now, what catches my interest in the  content of the sign.  Here is what it preaches:

“There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that burdens our hearts and enslaves our minds.’’

Whoa!  What’s this?  For years we have been told atheism is simply lack of belief in God.  But here we have atheist activists publicly proclaiming at least three beliefs:

  1. There is no God.
  2. There is only our natural world.
  3. Religion is a just a harmful superstition.

That’s a long way from “lack of god belief.”

In 2017, I think we need to look more closely at the definition of atheism.  For the FFRF beliefs are not an aberration.  While a very small number of professional philosophers might adhere to the “atheism = lack of god belief” position, I think we need to consider the possibility that, when it comes to internet atheists and atheist activists, the “atheism is just a lack of god belief” position is nothing more than a dishonest, rhetorical posture.

Instead, most of these atheists do indeed believe “there is no God” and thus atheism is a belief that God does not exist.

Posted in atheism, atheist activism, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Do Atheist Activists Suffer from Christophobia?

Christians are constantly being accused of Islamophobia, homophobia, and transphobia.  Yet you have to wonder just how many of these accusations are rooted in Christophobia.

What is a phobia?  The dictionary defines it “as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.”  One group that does seem to suffer from such a phobia of Christians and their religion are the atheist activists.  Consider the evidence.

In 2012, atheist activists filed a lawsuit to prevent the 911 cross from becoming part of the 911 memorial.  They claimed the sight of the cross was causing great mental distress for various atheists:

The plaintiffs, and each of them, have suffered, are suffering, and will continue to suffer damages, both physical and emotional, from the existence of the challenged cross. Named plaintiffs have suffered, inter alia, dyspepsia, symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish

These all sound like the symptoms of having repeated panic attacks over time.

Now, if you have ever known someone who suffers from a phobia, they will go to great lengths to rationalize their phobia with convoluted arguments.  In their mind, their fear is quite justified.  We see the same thing from these atheist activists.  The headaches, dyspepsia, mental pain, etc. are supposedly derived from “knowledge”:

from the knowledge that they are made to feel officially excluded from the ranks of citizens who were directly injured by the 9/11 attack and the lack of acknowledgement of the more than 1,000 non- Christian individuals who were killed at the World Trade Center.

At this point, they are not thinking clearly.  No one set up the 911 cross at the 911 memorial as a coded message to tell atheists that no one cares about the 1,000 non- Christian individuals who were killed at the World Trade Center.

But there’s more.

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Posted in atheist activism, christophobia, Uncategorized | Tagged | 6 Comments

Fragile or Dishonest?

This is an old news story, but something I just read today thanks to RegualLegna’s link:

there’s one showdown brewing that distinguishes itself from the rest — atheists’ demands that a cross found in the rubble following the September 11, 2001 attacks not be included in a museum that is being planned to commemorate the lives lost during the tragedy…. American Atheists (AA), a group working to advance the secular cause, has been leading the charge against the Ground Zero cross since July 2011, when the organization first filed suit against it.

The organization’s complaint reads, in part:

The plaintiffs, and each of them, have suffered, are suffering, and will continue to suffer damages, both physical and emotional, from the existence of the challenged cross. Named plaintiffs have suffered, inter alia, dyspepsia, symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish from the knowledge that they are made to feel officially excluded from the ranks of citizens who were directly injured by the 9/11 attack and the lack of acknowledgement of the more than 1,000 non- Christian individuals who were killed at the World Trade Center.

So the thought of including the 911 cross in the 911 Memorial caused these atheist activists to suffer dyspepsia, symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish.

Okay, this is not a one time thing, as atheist activists seem to have a track record of suffering psychologically from viewing religious symbols.  It would seem to me there are only two possible explanations for this.

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Is New Atheism Incompatible with Transgenderism?

A popular claim among the New Atheists is that religion is incompatible with science.  Of course, I have debunked that claim several times now, so why not proceed to more interesting issues?  That is, consider the possibility that the New Atheist approach to epistemology is incompatible with transgenderism.

In my previous posting, I laid out the core elements of the New Atheist approach:

Atheists tell us our beliefs are supposed to be rooted in evidence. As Richard Dawkins once wrote, “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence”  Dawkins also tells us, “Yet scientists are required to back up their claims not with private feelings but with publicly checkable evidence” and “evidence is the only good reason to believe anything.”  He sums up this approach as follows: “Sceptical rational inquiry is always the best approach. […] we can think independently, be truly open-minded. That means asking questions, being open to real corroborated evidence.”  Fellow atheist activist Lawrence Krauss concurs, adding that  “in fact we should be encouraging our children to question everything. It’s part of education.”

I then did exactly as I said I would do (nothing more, nothing less) – follow the lead of Dawkins and Krauss.

Dawkins and Krauss tell us to question everything.

So I did.

They tell us our beliefs must be grounded in publicly checkable evidence.

So I checked.

Needless to say, this did not go over well with some people in the comments section of that blog entry.

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Posted in New Atheism, Uncategorized | Tagged | 69 Comments