New Atheists Experience Massive Cognitive Dissonance

It would appear that anytime an educated adult becomes a Christian, New Atheists experience massive amounts of cognitive dissonance. I think this is because they truly believe their own narrative about religion existing only as a function of ignorance and indoctrination. Evidence to the contrary must be “explained away.”

And that takes us to a recent posting on Jerry Coyne’s blog. Coyne writes:

If you’ve followed the saga of Ana Marie Cox, famous for her political blogging as “Wonkette,” and now a writer for the Guardian, you’ll know that she was once a nonbeliever but then embraced Christianity. (See my post about it here). After her conversion, though, Cox was afraid of pushback from both atheists and (especially) Christians; but she was much gratified to find instead an outpouring of support from both sides (see her video on the topic here).

This puts me in a bit of a dilemma. I mean, if Cox has found happiness in believing in a fictional story of Jesus, and was unhappy before, then fine. Cox doesn’t seem to be the kind of person who will try to impose her faith on others, or push for anti-abortion or anti-gay-marriage laws. But it still bothers me that someone as savvy and smart as she suddenly throws herself into the arms of God, and for no good reason.
But reason, it seems, had little to do with it.

I’m not sure why Coyne is “bothered” by this since his own conversion had little to do with reason:

It happened in 1967 when Coyne, then 17, was listening for the first time to the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album while lying on his parents’ couch in Alexandria, Va.
Suddenly Coyne began to shake and sweat. For reasons he still doesn’t understand, it dawned on him at that moment that there was no God, and he wasn’t going anywhere when he died. His casual Judaism seemed to wash away as the album played on. The crisis lasted about 30 minutes, he says, and when it was over, he had left religion behind for good.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Coyne then focuses on Dr. Holly Ordway, an English professor who converted from atheism to Christianity.

What’s funny about the whole thing is that Coyne’s devoted acolytes cannot believe Ordway was once a Christian and begin to gnash their teeth. Check out a sampling of responses from the herd:

  • Sorry…not buying it. I know I’m playing bagpipes here, but I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that she’s never seriously questioned the existence of the gods in her life.
  • All the crap about “carefully built up defenses against Christianity” makes it seem a very low order of probability to me that she was ever an atheist.
  • I am embarrassed for Ordway. Judging soley by this example of her reasoning abilities I am dismayed that she is a credentialed academic. Damn, that sounds mean, but it is the truth.
  • Was she actually an atheist?
  • Given what’s in the article I have doubts she was ever an atheist.
  • I find it disingenous that she claims prior atheism.
  • Agree completely, totally bogus in claiming ever to be an atheist. Just look at her picture (I know I shouldn’t judge thus but she so smacks of insincere righteousness).
  • I don’t think she ever held any serious atheist convictions to start with

Clearly, the Gnu narrative has been so seriously threatened that you can sense the desperation in the denials. In fact, so desperate are the denials that the Gnus go “off message” when it comes to a couple of other narratives that they peddle:

1. Many Gnus claim they were once Christians who converted to atheism. They then often encounter Christians who deny the Gnu was ever a Christian. The Gnus mock this claim. Yet here they are, in full force, insisting Ordway was never a True Atheist!

2. According to the Gnus, atheism is nothing more that a lack of God belief. Yet notice some of the complaints – “she’s never seriously questioned the existence of the gods” and “I don’t think she ever held any serious atheist convictions.” Apparently, to be a True Atheist, you have to be a Serious Atheist.

Yet how is one supposed to be a Serious Atheist? Considering these folks are all foot soldiers in their New Atheist Movement, I suppose you can’t just withold belief in God, but you also have to launch into anti-God and anti-religious rants, insisting that religion is the Greatest Evil on the World as part of your evangelism for atheism. In other words, there is no evidence Ordway was ever hateful enough to be a True Atheist.

Look, all it took was one English professor to become an atheist for Coyne’s fans to become unhinged. People who valued critical thinking and evidence wouldn’t flail about like this; they’d begin to question the validity of their narrative.

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41 Responses to New Atheists Experience Massive Cognitive Dissonance

  1. Crude says:

    You know, this one actually slipped through my notice. You’re right. The Cultists of Gnu typically demand exhaustive defenses of Christianity or even theism in general (to the point that they must convert themselves, basically) to accept religious belief as rational. But their stories about accepting atheism are often ‘Well I was 10 and I just thought it was all stupid and that’s when I knew I was an atheist!’

  2. UpstateIslandersFan says:

    Jerry Coyne should stick to what he knows best, which I assume is biology. His obsession with other peoples’ religious beliefs is a fixation and I don’t think it’s healthy. He gives every indication of having significantly maladaptive social skills and I mean that in the most objective way possible. At the end of his life is he going to look back and be proud of his work insulting people who believe in God or even posit different theories of how evolution may work? Perhaps Coyne would like even more dramatic conversion stories, although I’m sure he’d be just as insulting about those. Would he denigrate a person like Kevin Greene (not the ex NFL defensive lineman), who spent 16 years in California prisons for a crime he didn’t commit and believes that his faith in Jesus got him through his stint – after what he claims was an intervention of God during an attempt to throw himself from one tier down to floor below. Maybe he should read about Miguel Pro, the Mexican priest who was certainly well-educated, certainly rational and most definitely humane, and was gunned down by anti-clerical not-so-rational and quite maladaptive anti-clerical nuts. Or perhaps he’d like to tell Immaculée Ilibagiza, the Rwandan woman who spent weeks with other women in a bathroom praying for the strength to survive while Hutus hunted down members of her ethnic group that her experiences are the result of ignorance and stupidity. Never mind that Llibagiza is an educated woman, and certainly smarter than Jerry Coyne. The problem with Jerry Coyne is that he’s self-insulated, self-righteous, self-aggrandizing, self-assured and selfish in his thinking. Unfortunately, his adoring fans don’t help him much.

  3. Crude says:

    Also, I’m sure you notice but – look at how elastic the ‘atheist’ definition is.

    We get told again and again that atheism is mere lack of belief. But when an atheist converts to Christianity, suddenly atheism is this thing one must have deep intellectual convictions about for it to be ‘real’.

  4. Bet she wasn’t a true Scotsman either.

  5. Dhay says:

    > What’s funny about the whole thing is that Coyne’s devoted acolytes cannot believe Ordway was once a Christian and begin to gnash their teeth. Check out a sampling of responses from the herd:

    I strongly suspect you meant to write, “… Coyne’s devoted acolytes cannot believe Ordway was once an atheist …”.

    Reading the ‘Thomistic Bent’ blog post on Ordway, she was not just a common or garden atheist, but in childhood and earlier adulthood was the stereotypical Gnu Atheist:

    Dr. Holly Ordway has published a book titled Not God’s Type, telling her personal story. She begins “I had never in my life said a prayer, never been to a church service. Christmas meant presents and Easter meant chocolate bunnies–nothing more.” But her views get hardened: “In college, I absorbed the idea that Christianity was historical curiosity, or a blemish on modern civilization, or perhaps both. My college science classes presented Christians as illiterate anti-intellectuals who, because they didn’t embrace Darwinism, threatened the advancement of knowledge. My history classes omitted or downplayed references to historical figures’ faith.” Still later, “At thirty-one years old, I was an atheist college professor–and I delighted in thinking of myself that way. I got a kick out of being an unbeliever; it was fun to consider myself superior to the unenlightened, superstitious masses, and to make snide comments about Christians.” (p.15-16)

    https://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/atheist-professor-becomes-christian/

    In Coyne’s comments there’s plenty who would say, ” I [get] a kick out of being an unbeliever; it [is] fun to consider myself superior to the unenlightened, superstitious masses, and to make snide comments about Christians.”

    For example, apparently the Gospels are myth — because “the birth narrative is a direct ripoff of Perseus’s, with the names of the major players rhyming… “Jesus” rhymes with, “Perseus.” “Queen Hera,” who ordered infant Perseus’s death, rhymes with, “King Herod,” who ordered infant Jesus’s death. Zeus, the Father of the Gods, fathered Perseus; God the Father fathered Jesus. Do the names rhyme in the original languages? No, but the do in English“.

    It’s an obvious Poe — except it isn’t a Poe at all, it’s the real thing, meant in all straight-faced seriousness.

  6. Arkenaten says:

    I don’t see the point of this post other to slag off Coyne and Harris in a childish- like rant.
    Shouldn’t you rather focus on establishing bona fides for your god belief?

    If you have no fear of your religion losing ground then why all the hooha?
    Let’s be honest, thousands of ( mostly) christians deconvert all the time but when an theist converts it seems to make ”headline news”.
    Cor, Wow! Gosh shock amazing. Sound the alarms!

    Certainty the world had a field day when Flew stated he had become a Deist, – and not a ”christian” as was initially implied/suggested.

    The thing with converts is this: None that I am aware of ever cite genuine evidence for their sudden
    epiphany.
    And oft times the real reason for conversion has an emotional foundation lurking somewhere, that only comes out later.
    Look at Ravi Zacharius for example. He eventually admitted he ”found Jesus” after suffering chronic depression and he had become suicidal.
    Not much hard-core unemotional reasoning with this story, now is there?

    What you seem to be struggling with is the fact that most atheists respect an individual’s right to believe in whatever bat-shit crazy nonsense they like.
    Me, I believe Moses and the Exodus is simply a tale. A foundational myth offered up to the Jewish people in an attempt to either cement a sense of nationality during the Babylonian Captivity – Yes, we need a hero- of as a tale to justify some sort of military action to try to unify the two kingdoms.

    After all,if you were convinced Wyatt was on the level and you were really convinced that Noah’s Ark is real you’d chase after such an arsehole with gay abandon, wouldn’t you? And many did.
    LOL! Oh well …
    You are, after all, an adult. I might offer a few words of caution and even offer evidence that Wyatt was a fraudulent bastard, but in the end, the choice is yours. Your god gave you free will, did he not?

    The only real issue is the abuse of children and those unable to defend themselves against the type of religious indoctrination they are so often subject to.
    And I am not solely referring to fundamentalist Christians/Creationists. Islam is probably the worst example of a crackpot religion. If it were possible to stamp it out then this could only be a good thing.
    So truly, if you want to take the piss out of the New Atheists ( whatever the hell New has to do with anything) then go for it.
    We’re all adults and we can all take a bit of ribbing.
    But please, leave the children alone. Teach them about religion, sure. Teach them about ALL religion and all non-religion so when they reach an age when they can exercise true critical thought they will make a choice as an adult
    And if they wish to embrace Hanuman. So be it.
    This will show you respect the individual and is the honourable thing to do.

  7. Billy Squibs says:

    Wont somebody please think of the children! Oh, please.

    The thing with converts is this: None that I am aware of ever cite genuine evidence for their sudden epiphany.

    And what would such evidence look like?

  8. Michael says:

    I don’t see the point of this post other to slag off Coyne and Harris in a childish- like rant.

    My. My calm, somewhat cynical analysis is a “childish-like rant?” Me thinks I hit a raw nerve. One would have to be extremely hypersensitive to read that blog entry as a “rant.”

    Shouldn’t you rather focus on establishing bona fides for your god belief?

    That’s not the focus of this blog.

    If you have no fear of your religion losing ground then why all the hooha?

    Okay, so once again, I can see you want to change the topic instead of addressing the points I raised in the blog entry. That’s makes you 0-2.

    Let’s be honest, thousands of ( mostly) christians deconvert all the time but when an theist converts it seems to make ”headline news”.

    Calm down, my hypersensitive one. That “headline news” was an entry from an apologetics blog that was posted 2 years ago.

    Cor, Wow! Gosh shock amazing. Sound the alarms!

    I draw attention to a religious blog entry from 2013 and Ark begins to hyperventilate and hear alarm bells in his head.

    Certainty the world had a field day when Flew stated he had become a Deist, – and not a ”christian” as was initially implied/suggested.

    I think that was a Freudian slip with the word “Certainty” there. Yes, Ark, we know all about your extreme sense of certainty. Christians are mentally ill, right? And super dangerous, right?

    The thing with converts is this: None that I am aware of ever cite genuine evidence for their sudden epiphany.

    Yeah, it goes a little deeper than that.

    But since you brought it up, can you cite what you would even count as “genuine evidence?”

  9. Kevin says:

    I hope you allow this guy to continue his immature ranting so anyone who happens by can see that New Atheists are once again demonstrating their irrationally-held beliefs. They can’t defend, they can only lash out at what they hate.

  10. Kevin says:

    Arkenaten, what would count as evidence for God? Are you capable of stepping outside the meme mentality and giving us an original thought based on actual evidence? What would count as evidence for God?

  11. “The thing with converts is this: None that I am aware of ever cite genuine evidence for their sudden
    epiphany. And oft times the real reason for conversion has an emotional foundation lurking somewhere, that only comes out later…Not much hard-core unemotional reasoning with this story, now is there?”

    Check out the journey of philosopher Edward Feser, who went from Catholic to Kierkegaardian theist to atheist after his initial brush with philosophy, then to theist and finally back to Catholic after being forced by his professional duties to consider the arguments of the Scholastics on their own terms. http://edwardfeser.blogspot.ca/2012/07/road-from-atheism.html

    Long process rather than a sudden epiphany (Ordway’s sounds similarly like a process rather than an epiphany) or Jesus at the bottom of a bottle, just a great deal of honest reasoning. Similar process behind Flew going deist, after he realized “By Jove, I never actually *read* Aristotle correctly!”

    Regarding the role of emotion in conversions, I notice the same thing in a lot of de-conversions. The de-conversion of Matt Ferguson over at Adversus Apologetica, whom as a fellow classical scholar and grad student I rather like, comes down to “I grew up fundamentalist at Bill and Ted’s Excellent Bible Shack under the Bible-thumpin’ Reverend Billy Bob Proverb, sincerely believed, prayed, and felt *nothing*!” (https://adversusapologetica.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/why-am-i-not-convinced/) That and feeling the Bible made no sense were the primary reason underlying his teenage turn to atheism. He’s since built up a lot of arguments to fortify that emotional root, but emotional it remains. That fortification part sounds similar to Ordway.

    Exilne’s study (http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/01/anger-at-god-common-even-among-atheists/ for the CNN recap, couldn’t find the original publication in the few minutes left before heading out for okonomiyaki with friends) is interesting for noting the role anger plays, ranging from emotional trauma such as losing a family member to “I didn’t get into my college of choice.” I remember back when I frequented the BioWare fora, I came across one commenter who opined that he’d lost so many friends and family members, that he didn’t believe in God and that if God existed, he hated Him. Philosopher Thomas Nagel admits that he doesn’t want there to be a God, he doesn’t want the universe to be that way. Anger and fear(?) get a lot of play here.

    On that note, psychologist Paul Vitz (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCtOZ5ibL_g) did some interesting work on historical atheists. In a great many cases, it seems to come down to some dysfunction with the father. Either he died, or was a deadbeat or other sort of loser, and the anger is translated to God.

    Then there’s Jerry Coyne’s de-conversion, which about takes the cake for unreasoning, emotionally-driven turns to atheism. I’ve yet to find the school of logic under which listening to Sergeant Pepper and the Lonely Hearts Club Band while shaking and sweating counts as an unemotional chain of reasoning.

    Emotion plays both ways. As such, I wouldn’t argue it’s invalid when it plays into religious conversions, otherwise you’re sawing the table-leg right out from underneath your own argument.

  12. Arkenaten says:

    Can you cite what you would consider genuine evidence?

  13. Arkenaten says:

    and the anger is translated to God.

    Which god are you talking about , please?

  14. Arkenaten says:

    Check out the journey of philosopher Edward Feser, who went from Catholic to Kierkegaardian theist to atheist after his initial brush with philosophy, then to theist and finally back to Catholic after being forced by his professional duties to consider the arguments of the Scholastics on their own terms.

    Read him before. Thanks.

    However, I would recommend you read what Catholic theologian, Raymond Brown had to say in answer to questions pertaining to the Virgin Birth for one. You can Google for the links I’m sure? Give you something to do for ten minutes.

  15. Arkenaten says:

    I was accused of not focusing on the post, wasn’t I? Sorry. Forgot to address the title directly: New Atheists experience massive dissonance
    Hilarious.

    And what exactly would you expect me to say in response to this piece of ridiculous nonsense?
    Mikey, you are so funny!

  16. Dhay says:

    I couldn’t find the original study either, but did find a 3 March 2015 Guardian article entitled, “Are all atheists simply angry, or just the ones to whom you’re listening?”; this links to a 2013 research study which found that atheists in general are neither more, nor less angry than the general population.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/oliver-burkeman-column/2015/mar/03/are-atheists-all-angry

    On the other hand, this study refers to atheists in general (probably including the article’s author, Oliver Burkeman, hence “the rest of us”), not to the particular celebrity New Atheists plus followers who are the target of ‘Shadow To Light’; Burkeman’s article includes:

    But the “angry atheist” cliché is also another reminder of just how far the celebrity New Atheists have shortchanged the rest of us who identify, more broadly, with the causes of secularism and rationalism. Because the New Atheists really do seem unusually angry.

    Go back and read Sam Harris’s or Bill Maher’s denunciations of Islam as a whole in the wake of atrocities committed in its name. Or Dawkins’s insistence that being raised Catholic might be more damaging than child sex abuse. Or the frequent expostulations of the University of Chicago professor Jerry Coyne, who (commendably, I’d say) never tries to sugarcoat his fury at those who don’t share his blanket condemnation of religion. Then tell me these aren’t strikingly angry men.

    Strong words about the celebrity New Atheists; and as the second paragraph demonstrates, it’s not just their anger that Burkeman is criticising.

  17. Michael says:

    Can you cite what you would consider genuine evidence?

    You are the one who made the truth claim: The thing with converts is this: None that I am aware of ever cite genuine evidence for their sudden epiphany.

    So…..once again, can you cite what you would even count as “genuine evidence?” Or are you going to hide the goalposts?

  18. Michael says:

    I was accused of not focusing on the post, wasn’t I? Sorry. Forgot to address the title directly: New Atheists experience massive dissonance
    Hilarious.

    And what exactly would you expect me to say in response to this piece of ridiculous nonsense?
    Mikey, you are so funny!

    You could start by telling us whether you agree with all the other atheists that Dr. Holly Ordway wasn’t truly an atheist.

  19. Kevin says:

    Another dodge on identifying what would count as evidence. Well the group is consistent anyway. I think Dawkins and Myers are the honest ones.

  20. Arkenaten says:

    All the other atheists?
    There must be millions. Do you agree with all the other Christians?
    Could you name all of the 30,000 plus cults that follow the Character Jesus of Nazareth in all their guises?

    Is this in a similar vein as when ”all” you Christians say a deconvert was never a ”real” christian?
    What is this, some sort of childish point scoring exercise? Are you, 12 years’ old for frakk’s sake?

  21. Billy Squibs says:

    The Exodus, the Ark and the virgin birth are just some of the dodges you have introduced into this discussion in an impressively short amount of words. It’s tedious following you down the various rabbit trails. Additionally, all your comments are delivered with palpable scorn and disdain that it oozes from the screen. This behaviour of yours is deeply unattractive. It’s good to remember that you are actually dealing with people here. So if you goal is to get people to listen to your perspective. I would encourage you not to “be that guy” but I get the impression that all of aggressive trolling this is habitual behaviour for you.

  22. Arkenaten says:

    Well let’s start with the veracity of the gospels shall we?
    I mean, all Christian belief stems from these, yes?
    You do genuflect to the man god Yeshua and the only reference to this man god character is in the bible. There is certainly no contemporary evidence whatsoever.

    Maybe you would like to offer evidence to demonstrate the veracity of these ‘books” for which you base your faith?

    I might very well consider this. as genuine evidence.

  23. Arkenaten says:

    @ Billy.
    Oh, I am dreadfully sorry, Billy. I mean you and your kind have had 2000 years plus on your soapbox and in that time have managed to liquidate an awful lot of dissent, even among your own ‘kind’ and still not produced a single piece of verifiable evidence for your silly faith, now have you?

    If you cannot stand a little ‘poking’, or at least offer a single piece of decent enough evidence to back your belief then I could really not give a shit whether you think I am simply trolling or not.

    Yes, there are plenty of christian detractors who prefer the softly, softly approach.
    I am not one of those. Sorry old chap.
    Best put your big boy pants on. After all,your soul depends on it …yes?

    *Shrugs*

    As for Moses, Exodus, Noah’s Ark and the Virgin Birth …. aw, shame, did we steal your toys den?
    At some point you will have to grow up a little and accept that these are all mythological tales.
    But of you refuse to accept this, then Uncle Ken Ham will be only too glad to have on board.
    Maybe if you ask him nicely he;ll let you play woth the T-Rex?
    How’s that? Won’t this be fun.
    Why not pray to Jesus and see if he can make your dreams come true, Billy?

  24. TFBW says:

    Folks, consider Arkenaten and his unfunny Statler and Waldorf heckling routine. Consider how excruciatingly shallow and anti-intellectual it is. Now ask yourself: what evidence do we have that he’s really an atheist? Does the evidence better support the idea that he’s a rational evidence-based atheist, or a random Internet troll (who may or may not be an atheist)? Consider his proclivity for answering every question with another question; his habit of ignoring the topic and inserting random provocations; his disposition towards mockery. True, many New Atheists share some of these traits (“Jeery” Coyne springs to mind), but they are first and foremost the mark of a troll, not a New Atheist. With Jerry Coyne, at least, we have solid evidence that the jeering is backed by sincere militant atheism, not mere trolling.

    I submit to you that Arkenaten has not demonstrated his atheistic bona fides: he should be considered a troll with no other agenda than to provoke reactions (and ignored accordingly) until he demonstrates a willingness to actually engage intellectually.

  25. Michael, with respect to Coyne’s “converstion”, there are no special skills or knowledge necessary to have the default position that gods don’t exist. Everyone is born lacking belief in gods, and will continue to do so unless indoctrinated or inventing their own gods. Just because most people are taught religion, and some later understand why it isn’t true, that doesn’t mean there has to be a good reason for rejecting religion, although I certainly can elucidate that. Amazing how you accuse atheists of cognitive dissonance when it is “progressive” theists who exhibit this condition. And, as far as atheists later becoming religion, he’s completely right. There’s not reason for an intelligent person who actually understands why the Bible isn’t true to up and become a Christian one day. Many people simply WANT it to be true, because it makes them feel better, and they don’t care about reality.

  26. Arkenaten says:

    @TFBW.

    Posting on a public forum one presumes the host is seeking interaction.
    If one only wants to attract back slapping Good Ol’ Boys then why not simply make the blog private?
    Of course, any detractor can be banned or ignored. But surely this would spoil the fun?
    And then what would a Dipshit like you do for kicks?

    Come on, man up for your god’s sake. Let’s see some real Christian fire! All you are doing is pissing n your boots over one or two Internet Atheists.

    You want to rag on the New (sic) Atheists. Jesus H, you lot haven’t put together a single decent argument to refute the Old Atheists yet. ( well, this isn’t strictly true of course, because in the good old days all you did was reach for the pliers and the kindling right?

    I submit that TFBW is a Christian light weight who has no argument and no genuine defense of what he believers so he gathers his posse and throws pansies at Coyne and Harris.
    I suggest TFBW is ignored accordingly until he can come up with one single scrap of verifiable evidence fr his brand of god-belief.

  27. TFBW says:

    Posting on a public forum one presumes the host is seeking interaction.

    Yes, but not just the kind of interaction which involves pissing on something.

  28. Michael says:

    All the other atheists?
    There must be millions. Do you agree with all the other Christians?
    Could you name all of the 30,000 plus cults that follow the Character Jesus of Nazareth in all their guises?

    Hmm. Here, we have either evasion or ignorance. To determine which one applies, let me spoon feed you this time:

    At Coyne’s blog, many of the atheists who commented insisted Dr. Holly Ordway wasn’t truly an atheist. Do you agree with them? Yes or no.

  29. Michael says:

    Well let’s start with the veracity of the gospels shall we?
    I mean, all Christian belief stems from these, yes?
    You do genuflect to the man god Yeshua and the only reference to this man god character is in the bible. There is certainly no contemporary evidence whatsoever.

    Maybe you would like to offer evidence to demonstrate the veracity of these ‘books” for which you base your faith?

    I might very well consider this. as genuine evidence.

    No, let’s not change the topic. You made a truth claim:

    The thing with converts is this: None that I am aware of ever cite genuine evidence for their sudden epiphany.

    I don’t know what you mean by “genuine evidence.” So…..for the third time, can you cite what you would even count as “genuine evidence?” Or are you going to hide the goalposts?

  30. Arkenaten says:

    How the hell do I know? I never talked to Ordway and have no personal knowledge of her history.
    Unlike you, I don’t simply throw my lot in with a bunch of bloody Christian plebs just because someone says ”Hey, sinner”.
    You might be a Dickhead, but don’t paint me with brush.
    What else you got, hotshot?
    How about you extend yourself, think a little and ask an intelligent question. A novelty,I realise, but with practice you might get to like it. Go on …. have a go.

  31. Michael says:

    How the hell do I know? I never talked to Ordway and have no personal knowledge of her history.

    More evasion. I guess it was too much trouble to read the blog entry for you to develop an opinion.

    Unlike you, I don’t simply throw my lot in with a bunch of bloody Christian plebs just because someone says ”Hey, sinner”.

    Unlike me? Seems like you’re relying on some stereotypes there.

    You might be a Dickhead, but don’t paint me with brush.

    There’s that hypersensitivity again. I asked a simple yes or no question.

    What else you got, hotshot?

    It looks like that was more than enough for you to handle.

    How about you extend yourself, think a little and ask an intelligent question. A novelty,I realise, but with practice you might get to like it. Go on …. have a go.

    Let’s review from our previous thread:

    So now you come back for a second day with still no evidence and further attempts to change the topic.
    Look, you’ve completely ignored the points I raised in my blog entry, questioned my intergrity, and have put words in my mouth. I could tolerate all this if you made some kind of effort to support your belief with evidence. But it’s pretty clear by now that you have none.

    I gave you a second chance here and we still see the same pattern, as you refuse to answer some basic, relevant questions. I would think it clear to most by now you are a troll. Trolls are well known for destroying the whole atmosphere of a blog’s comments section.

    I walked the extra mile with you to no avail.

    And this constant huffing-and-puffing chest-thumping has quickly gone from amusing to tiresome.

    So…..good-bye.

  32. Isaac says:

    Arkenaten has been so completely made a fool of that I have nothing to add.

  33. calebt45 says:

    @TFBW “Now ask yourself: what evidence do we have that he’s really an atheist.”

    Trust me: he’s one of those blustery Gnus that we churn out by the ton in Australia.

  34. TFBW says:

    @calebt45: I’ll take your word about his atheism, but my point still stands: the data available to us here provides precious little support for the proposition that he’s a rational, evidence-based atheist. If he’s just a troll who is coincidentally an atheist, then he’s not making a positive contribution.

    I’m Australian too, as it happens.

  35. Randy P. says:

    I just wanted to say, thank you for this blog and the comments.

    New Atheists once again prove they have only empty headed emotion to run on, and can’t engage in a rational debate. It’s all about FEELINGS and nothing more. Perfect fits for the collapse of western civ and it’s kumbayah idiocy.

  36. Chuck says:

    Atheist- I lack belief in god.
    Serious atheist – I lack belief in god. And I’m not kidding!!!

  37. R Hopzing says:

    Buddhists are atheists except maybe Tibetian Buddhists. Also most people don’t know of the worlds religions only the ones of western civilization. I.e. monotheism. Hindu’s are polytheists and buddhist’s non theists. Time after time with these arguments about gods and atheists ignorance of eastern religions is always apparent. Another point is: why is the Christian god valid and Zeus mythology? Both are a belief in a totally imaginary friend that never has a proof of existence.

  38. Kevin says:

    “Both are a belief in a totally imaginary friend that never has a proof of existence.”

    How do you know that God is a “totally imaginary friend”? What evidence would convince you otherwise?

  39. Kevin says:

    I watched part of the video on your link. You seem to have different standards between Buddhism and other religions.

  40. Dhay says:

    R Hopzing > Buddhists are atheists except maybe Tibetian Buddhists. Also most people don’t know of the worlds religions only the ones of western civilization. …

    Here’s an apparently knowledgeable Buddhist who disagrees with you that Buddhists are generally atheists:

    According to many Mahayana sutras, enlightenment means becoming a god—for all practical purposes. Technically, they insist that Buddhas are not gods. But enlightenment means that you become an immortal with supernatural powers, and live in the sky. In some of the sutras, you become not merely a god but a God: you create your own universe and rule it, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.

    https://vividness.live/2012/09/13/epistemology-and-enlightenment/

    I recommend you read that post, and other posts on the same blog, you’ll find them very interesting.

  41. pennywit says:

    A serious atheist (as opposed to a Serious Atheist) may enjoy the occasional intellectual/theological joust over matters of faith, but does not tie his confidence to the beliefs of other atheists or place a premium on showy, extravagant displays of his (non)-faith.

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