More Confirmation Bias from The “Friendly” Atheist

Hemant Mehta, ever in search for stories that feed his confirmation bias, hosts a blog entry that draws attention to Amos Yee:

He’s the 16-year-old Singaporean YouTuber who had been arrested and convicted of “wounding religious feelings” and “obscenity” after making a video that lampooned Christianity and Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kwan Yew.
Since then, he’s been sent to prison for re-uploading the offending materials and now waits for the court to decide on whether or not he should be sentenced to “Reformative Training” — an ostensibly “rehabilitative” sentence that would involve being held in a prison for up to three years:
Yes. Up to three years in prison. For “wounding religious feelings.” In a Youtube video.
If this all sounds creepily Orwellian to you, that’s because it is. Singapore has had a long history of speech restriction and censorship — a nervous holdover from its formative years, when racial and religious riots caused plenty of bloodshed in the country. The current World Press Freedom Index ranks the island nation #153 out of 180 countries surveyed.
So, while none of this is particularly surprising, it’s still a depressing reminder of what happens when religious vanity eclipses individual freedom. 16-year-old Yee is now a political prisoner because fully-grown adults couldn’t handle snark on the Internet. Instead of encouraging potential rioters to express their religious discontent in non-murderous ways, the authorities have opted to try to scrub society clean of dissent and offense instead.

Of course, the Gnus at the Friendly Atheist lap this up and begin to snarl and gnash their teeth:

  • That’s a pretty weak god you got there that can’t take a little teasing from a 16 year old.
  • “Religious vanity”, nice turn of phrase. I’m using that.
  • Coming soon in the U.S.A …
  • Aw, diddums, did your religious feelings get hurt?
  • However, one person demonstrates an ability for critical thinking.

    He writes:

    While Singapore doesn’t like religious controversy, I suspect the “making fun of Lee Kwan Yew” is the driving factor here, with the “hurting religious feelings” bit largely as a cover (considering his son is the current freely-elected dictator).

    Y’think? Here’s the YouTube video that got the kid in trouble with his government. It’s over 8 minutes long. If you watch it, he criticizes and mocks the dead leader for most of the time, while devoting a mere 30 seconds to comparing the leader’s followers to Christians – both are dumb and dishonest.

    So here is what is probably happening. The kid gets arrested for mocking and criticizing his country’s dear, dead Leader. Yet the bureuacrats in the government try to make it look like it is because he said a few words criticizing Christians. This perfectly fits the narrative of the Gnu atheists, who mindlessly lap up the government spin and begin to lash out at Christians. Given the way the Gnu atheist community is fueled by hate, it is easily manipulated.

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    4 Responses to More Confirmation Bias from The “Friendly” Atheist

    1. Andrew says:

      In other news, atheist shopkeeper fined $100k for “causing offence” by telling Christian couple “I disagree with what your party is celebrating. How about you ask Bob down the road?”.

      Oh, wait …

      Nothing to see, no hypocrisy here, move along.

    2. John says:


      Source please?

      Also,it seems you are changing the topic here.

      This blog post is about atheists having confirmation bias.You then try to find a news source showing that monetary penalites do happen because of religious disagreement to proove the claim that such things do happen.

      But at the same time you ignore the fact that the atheists mentioned in the blog post misrepresented and/or misunderstood why Amos Yee was actually arrested,showing they likely have confirmation bias.

    3. Kevin says:

      I did not turn that story up anywhere. Also, assuming it happened and that it was in thee United States, that’s no different than Christians being fined for not serving gay weddings.

      Nothing to see. Move along.

    4. TFBW says:

      Methinks Andrew was being sarcastic — an ironic role reversal of the “Christians being fined for not serving gay weddings” thing. I believe that this kind of rhetorical device is ineffective: the anti-religious have a far more developed arsenal of rhetoric, and it takes an outstanding effort to make them even notice that their “reason” comprises 90% propaganda. You see, when someone gets in trouble for saying something you disagree with, that’s “censorship” and “repression of free speech”. When someone says something that you think they ought to get in trouble for, it’s “hate speech” or “discrimination”. See? You ought to be in favour of free speech, and vehemently opposed to hate speech. Now it’s just a matter of framing the debate to comport with your ideology.

      Meanwhile, back on the original post, I think that it’s a tremendous indictment on these alleged Champions of Reason that the only guy we can credit with any critical thinking skills earned that distinction by simply pointing out the elephant in the room. With friends like these, Reason does not need enemies.

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