Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Stupid! It Burns! (atheist religion edition)

the stupid! it burns! The Religion of Atheism
Some Atheists recoil at the claim that Atheism is a religion and consider the notion absurd. Many would consider Atheism the antithesis of religion. Maybe you’ve heard such remarks as, “If Atheism is a religion then bald is a hair color.”

It is a false analogy that asserts all religions are defined by a belief in a deity which we know is inaccurate because of such religions as Unitarian Universalists, Taoists or Buddhists.

Yet another religious believer point outs that atheism is a religion, like that was the worst possible thing someone could be. Another irony meter down the drain.

Still, if you take out god, superstition, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, privilege, authoritarianism, sadism, narrow-minded self-righteous bigotry, and egregious stupidity, and you want to call what's left "religion", then all right, you can call atheists "religious." It's a fair cop.

Tons more stupid in the article.

14 comments:

  1. "god, superstition, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, privilege, authoritarianism, sadism, narrow-minded self-righteous bigotry, and egregious stupidity".

    Take out the first one and you have atheism.

    Take out the rest and you have a reasonably decent and sensible atheist.

    Still, no reason atheists can't be superstitious, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, privileged, authoritarian, sadistic, narrow-minded, a self-righteous bigot and egregiously stupid.

    Atheists really are people with one less stupid idea sometimes.
    I'm sure there are those like PZ Myers who would accuse me of being a "dictionary atheist". He's right, I actually know what the word means.

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    1. Atheists really are people with one MORE stupid idea: The Universe came into existence spontaneously, through random chance, not under the guidance of a Creator. Furthermore, they have the arrogance to claim to know what is unknowable.

      Delete
  2. Still, no reason atheists can't be superstitious, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, privileged, authoritarian, sadistic, narrow-minded, a self-righteous bigot and egregiously stupid.

    I concur, but you are missing the point of my commentary.

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    Replies
    1. The point of your commentary being, no doubt, to present anyone who is honest enough to admit the possibility of God (i.e. anyone who is not an atheist) is also superstitious, xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, privileged (What DO you mean by this anyway? White and male perhaps?), authoritarian (Again, what do you mean by this?), sadistic... look, this really is getting ridiculous.

      The fact that you obviously believe theists to be all of these things simply demonstrates that you yourself are a 'bigot'.

      Signed: the not anonymous Peter A.

      Delete
    2. Reading comprehension and basic logic, I see, are not your strong suits.

      Delete
  3. I suspect you're also missing the point of Myers' condemnation of "dictionary atheism."

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  4. I find this interesting. Theists who engage in such provocation, who try so hard to prove that atheism is a religion, are ultimately only making themselves look bad. They try so hard to equate certain strands of atheism or certain atheist schools of thought with religion, thereby implying that atheists are "no better" than they are. Irony is hard to define, but it is definitely easy to see in this situation.

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  5. theObserver9/5/12, 3:09 PM

    Some of them seem to think if atheism can be declared a religion, then it's subject to the same restrictions as religion, namely the teaching of natural section in schools.

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  6. Some of them seem to think if atheism can be declared a religion, then it's subject to the same restrictions as religion, namely the teaching of natural section in schools.

    I think you're giving them too much credit, even though legally, the outcome is highly unlikely. (Thou shalt not kill doesn't obviate laws against murder.)

    One interesting point is that religious people usually bring up negative behavior by atheists, as Deace does. We have "prophets" and "preachers", all of whom I presume Deace dislikes. We have our own orthodoxy, which Deace presumably disagrees with. We are cruel to our apostates. Deace then goes off into a digression on legal status, but doesn't examine the legal arguments, just the conclusions. I've seen this a dozen times: atheists behave badly, therefore they must be religious.

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  7. I suspect you're also missing the point of Myers' condemnation of "dictionary atheism."

    I don't think I am. He is essentially making the claim "to have gotten to atheism you must be....."

    It is a false claim. It may well be true that many or even most (though I honestly don't think this is true, it might have been at one time in the atheist movement but isn't anymore - my opinion) atheists share certain qualities in common, that's great. Many Christians are charitable; some would even argue that by the doctrine of Christianity you must be to be a Christian. That doesn’t stop many Christians being greedy and uncharitable. A cursory look at the comments sections of Freethought Blogs should be enough to show that many people identifying as atheists are none of the things Myers presumes you must or are extremely likely to be in order to get to atheism. Atheists often proudly point to places like Scandinavia where rates of atheism reach in to the majority. Many of these atheists might be atheists without ever really having examined anything, many are likely to be. It would be absurd in the highest degree to assume they must all or very many of them share particular traits by virtue of them not having a faith in gods.
    Consider some of Myers comments on dictionary atheists.

    I have a tangent in that talk where I deplore Dictionary Atheists, going so far as to say I hate those guys, because they’re so superficial.


    Absurd.

    Apparently some people identify with shallow atheism

    Here is actually implying it is a form of atheism. Nonsense.

    As if atheism can only be some platonic ideal floating in virtual space with no connections to anything else; as if atheists are people who have attained a zen-like ideal, their minds a void, containing nothing but atheism, which itself is nothing. Dumbasses.

    The amount of assumption and near-gibberish this last comment contains is very impressive.

    I think Myers’ mistake in general is conflating American internet atheism with atheism in general.

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  8. I suspect you're also missing the point of Myers' condemnation of "dictionary atheism."

    I don't think I am.


    It's difficult to evaluate the substance of your comment, because you don't link to the originals; we cannot examine the quotations in their original context.

    I'm not, however, particularly interested in examining Myers' position in any great detail. It would probably be more productive to take up the issue with Myers directly.

    To be perfectly honest, Anon, you seem like a person who not only has a difficult time grasping nuance and subtlety, but also takes offense that others might (pretend?) to employ them.

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  9. You're not particularly interested in Myer's position, fair enough but for completeness sake; these are the posts the quotes come from.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/02/01/why-are-you-an-atheist/

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/04/14/oh-no-not-that-annoying-dictio/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/07/04/what-kind-of-atheist-are-you/

    I have no problem with nuance and subtlety and I assure you I take no offence at them being deployed.
    I was responding to the charge that I wasn't grokking Myer's postion. While it is possible that his point continues to elude me, I believe his own words back up my interpretation. Appealing to some nuance or subtlety that I just don't get seems like hand-waving to me. I am happy to accept that you see some sense or validity to his postion. I don't see why this disagreement must entail my or your lacking some faculty.

    Myers aside, the article you linked was unquestionably full of stupid of the solid gold variety. While I would, even five years ago scoffed and laughed at the suggesting that atheism was a relgion, I wouldn't be so quick to do so now. It will forever be true that atheism is not a relgion in that the core concept doesn't have any doctrine or other necessary things to make it a relgion, it is now true that some atheists are trying to ground ideas/values/doctrine whatever in atheism. I don't think what they are doing is even close yet to being a religion but the very fact that they think atheism is in some way related to any values or political positions makes the idea of atheism as religion less ridiculous.
    Thankfully this sillyness is concentrated on FtB at the moment and I can't see it going anywhere. Incidentally, I have no issue whatsoever with people who want to identify as atheists and declare themseleves adherents to various values or ideas. Secular humanism is exactly this project.

    When people start inching towards the idea that atheism itself leads to or entails those values is when the idea of atheism as religion is no longer an absurd idea.

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  10. I have addressed your comment, perhaps obliquely, in a new post: Dictionary Atheism

    ReplyDelete

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