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Today’s link.



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Discussion (29)¬

  1. Maggs says:

    Barmaid right on the button again. They’re wrong again, she’d be out of a job if she replaced people with robots…

  2. Too funny. Thank God we’ve got the barmaid speaking for our side. Just a figure of speech I assure you.

  3. flea says:

    You are good! But you should tell us your name, reveal your identity, else we are left in the same position as Karen Armstrong and her apophatic friends: We do not know Who the object of our worship is!

  4. Just checked in on the link. Good article. Those who criticize the “new atheists” are falling into the old trap. We’re taught that we must respect religion, no matter how nutty or stupid it may be. Nobody has ever told me why. We’re supposed to be quiet in the face of idiots spouting utter nonsense, and if we don’t like being quiet we’re suddenly “strident”. I’ve never heard Richard Dawkins say anything the least bit impolite. He’s a gentleman. Criticizing his style is just a way of avoiding what he says.

  5. @flea.
    That’s a dangerous suggestion. Those nutters really are out there. Some of them are armed with axes. Author is well advised to remain anonymous. Who needs the stress? I’m happy to know him/her through the wit and intelligence of J&M. No need to put anybody’s life in danger.
    I admire those who let it all hang ong, like Greta Christina, but take Molly Noris’s situation as a cautionary tale.

  6. flea says:

    @Darwin Harmless (whom I have not given permission to use my portrait and will soon hear from my lawyers): Of course you are right. J&M author knows best. I was just trying to show my admiration for his/her genius!

  7. @flea Of course. I should have known that. BTW, I must thank you for introducing me to the word “apophatic”. It’s nice to pick up a new word now and then.

  8. Postman says:

    In all fairness, I’ve got a bit of beauty stuck to the bottom of my shoe and a Roomba.

  9. Herm says:

    The folks from the I Can Haz Jesusburger network announce their new website: The Infinite Strawman Project.

  10. UK readers, if you’re not religious, for god’s sake say no in the 2011 census.

    http://census-campaign.org.uk/

    (Sorry for spam, but it’s sort of relevant, and it’s important to spread the word, and get others spreading the word)

  11. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    How do atheists “create” a straw man? Please present proof that atheists can create. Would their’s not have had to evolve from a straw monkey, which came from where?

  12. author says:

    @NBA – That’s pretty funny. Except that the atheist straw man wouldn’t have evolved from a straw monkey, rather a straw ape-like ancestor.

  13. @Englishatheist. Interesting spam. Thanks for the link. I was just reading about a book called “America’s Four Gods: What We Say About God — And What That Says About Us. ” The authors claim that only 5% of Americans are atheists or agnostic, based on a survey of 1,648 U.S. adults. I wonder where they did their survey. The authors are based in Waco, Texas. Did they just dip into the bible belt. I’ve heard other figures for America, 12% sticks in my mind. But I have a hard time believing the true number is that low. And numbers like this are important. They influence all kinds of government policies. I think it’s reallly important to get atheists to declare themselves. I know I kept quiet for years, because it wasn’t polite to question the sincerely held beliefs of millions. But if we’re percieved as a minority, we’ll be treated as one, despite our high profile spokespeople.

  14. Thanks for the link, author! I love what you did with it. :- )

  15. kiyaroru says:

    “straw monkey”
    “straw ape-like ancestor”
    BWAHAHAHAHA
    Someone needs to design the t-shirt.
    Would the straw also be an ancestral form?

  16. author says:

    @OB – You are welcome! It was a great and necessary article. I liked Russell Blackford’s expansion on it, too.

  17. steve oberski says:

    Why should you be stuck with the same sign for your entire life just because some obstetrician decided to induce labor.

    Great ad/link to the agnoistrology site author.

  18. Daoloth says:

    @ NBH. A common misconception, I’m afraid.
    Evolution says nothing about the origins of life- only about the trajectories of (any) self-organsing replicators (e.g. DNA).
    For the origins I suggest reading Cairns-Smith (self-organising clay-like origins) or Miller (energy in primordial soup). All interesting stuff (some requiring some grown-up bio-chemistry) but not the evolutionists’ department.
    While we are on the subject of confusions- if you have a problem with the big bang- go and talk to the physicists, not us.
    (It might seem as if all the scientists are separately undermining all the “explanatory” elements of religion. The only explanation for this must be that we are all involved in a huge conspiracy against you)

  19. yokohamamama says:

    “Yes, indeedy”? OMG–Mo is my mother!

  20. Stephen Turner says:

    NBH: I liked the joke anyway. It’s easier for atheists to create something than it is for god, as atheists exist and god (almost certainly) doesn’t. As for straw men, we’re getting close to Guy Fawkes’ Day….

  21. Daoloth says:

    @OB. Thanks for your piece. Very much to the point. In case you have missed it you might enjoy this take on the issues:
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/08/17/dont-be-a-dick-part-1-the-video/

    For what its worth, I think the whole debate is moving forwards very satisfactorily- we shouldnt expect a smooth ride!

  22. Stonyground says:

    I have lost count of the times that I have been told that the National Secular Society want to have religion banned. Every year we have tabloid stories about atheists/political correctness wanting to ban Christmas, some of these stories are decades old and have been refuted every year since.

    Love the gag about sharing a common ancestor with the other straw primates, brilliant!

  23. keeyop says:

    Meta-genius!!! Big belly-laughs from this one; then thoughtful consideration… Turns out the irony is multifold, as it’s actually religion that seeks to turn humans into unquestioning “meat robots”. [;P] Rock on, author. Your insight is high-frequency, x-ray spectrum stuff.

  24. Scott says:

    Actually, the link shows the lengths at which atheists go in order to refuse to accept a belief in a god. The author of the article seems to indicate that there should be no “anti-new-atheism” as it is a good thing for bog standard atheists and that there is a plethora of anti-new-atheism.

    New atheism relies on presuppersitions and assumptions in order to talk about origins. The atheists view of origins cannot be called a fact since it cannot be tested and it has not been observed. The new-atheist does the standard atheist a disservice by using the same mentality as religious fundamentals at the same time as complaining about that mentality!

  25. LykeX says:

    @Scott

    “The new-atheist does the standard atheist a disservice”

    There’s no new atheism. The only difference is that we’re not going to shut up any more. When people make bad arguments, we’ll point it out. When people talk shit, we’ll call them on it.

    When people are, e.g. raping little children and then using their religious organizations to cover it up, we’re not going to sit back and discuss theology. We’re going to call them what they are: child rapists.

    When people make death threats because someone disrespected a piece of bread, we’ll call them what they are: homocidal bastards.

    When people cause the slow, agonizing death of thousands by a disease which could have been prevented easily if not for their deliberate campaign of lies, we’ll call them what they are: genocidal maniacs.

    When people are undermining the education system to promote ignorance and deliberately distort the past, not only for their own children, but for everyone else’s as well, we’ll call them what they are: lying, ignorant morons.

    When people want to restrict democratic representation and even citizenship to anyone who doesn’t believe what they do, we’ll call them what they are: bigoted brownshirts

    When people are trying to make it illegal to criticize their pet ideas, while feeling free to spread lies and hatred about those who disagree, we’ll all them what they are: Totalitarian throwbacks.

    We’ll drag their dirty laundry into the light. We’re not going to pretend it doesn’t exist and we’re not going to apologize for it.

    If you have a problem with that, then YOU have a problem.

  26. Intelligent Designer says:

    @Scott: “Presuppersitions” are not to be confused with Postprandial Theories, one assumes? What about thinking-while-eating? Oh dear, it’s a rock and a hard place, I tell you!

  27. dysamoria says:

    As possibly aggressive as LykeX’s response is about atheists vs new atheists, I have to agree from my own personal position. Intolerance of evil isn’t the sole property of theists. Irony of ironies is that many theists own so much evil.

    @ Nassar Ben Houdja: that was a deliciously amusing comment :-)

  28. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    If the supposed ‘new’ atheists are the ones that are prepared to call religion on its nonsense then I was a new atheist years before the term was coined.

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