Sunday, June 28, 2009

Full Militant Atheist

Embrace the term! Why not? We are going to be accused of it anytime we even mention in public that we are atheists. Militant Atheist seems to be the designation. Remember the good ol' days when there were many fewer of us and, I assume, we were just seen as kind of pesky little fellers? We were "angry atheists" back then. As the ranks and voices of non-belief swelled earlier this decade, many were taken aback. And this goes for both theists and atheists.

Many long-time atheists and agnostics have sort of teamed up with the theists in their contempt for people being outspoken when it comes to non-belief. Apparently these people are either self-loathing or simply desire accommodation because they can't stand any type of conflict. I'm not sure which of those possibilities is worse. Things are seldom either/or and there are other possibilities here but these two stand out strongly in my mind.

In the defense of the "meek atheists", they don't usually call us militant. They call us the "new atheists". I suppose that's supposed to be a more intellectual put-down. They are the older and wiser atheist who know that making waves is a bad idea. The problem with this is that most of the "older and wiser" atheists haven't been around any longer than the ones they call new atheists.

I just ignore them altogether. If they want to silently be non-believers and allow belief to dictate the discourse of society, they have every right to do so. I do find it kind of amazing that the one thing they seem to have no trouble entering into a public debate about is whether or not atheism should be publicly debated! Yes, there is a little irony there.

The real issue is how to deal with my own atheism and the path is clear and obvious to me. The only way to make this society into a secular one is to talk about it and debate it. Some of us will be extremely loud and, yes, angry. Others will just relentlessly state the case and be willing to debate wherever it comes up. And some will have a lot of fun mocking and scorning supernatural religious beliefs.

There's definitely a place for those who choose the first route. They have my full support. While they are the primary reason that all of us are labeled "militant", it isn't "militant" at all. Cry me a river when bands of atheists start burning down churches and chasing god's people out of town. Until then, if you want to use the word "militant", it just gives us more mockery material.

And that's where I come in, you silly sons of bitches! There is no god(s). Yes, I am sure of it. Now, can we please just work on making a better society for everyone and quit pretending that your imaginary friends determine the direction of humankind?

No accommodation with the supernatural.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The "Accommodation Wars"

The mini-epic mega battle among some top names in science continues - highlighted by Jerry Coyne and PZ Myers on the side of telling it like it is, and folks like Ken Miller, Barbara Forrest, Chris Mooney (not a scientist, but famous science writer), on the side of "accommodation" (read: meekly inform theists that science and religion are perfectly compatible.)

We discussed all of this earlier in the month over at Philly's blog (see post and comments). But it seems to get hotter. See the latest post at Jerry Coyne's blog then, apparently, keep checking back there daily for updates. In fairness to "the other side", Coyne is pretty meticulous about linking their rebuttals, as well as the posts of Myers and others who lack the "collaborator gene".

Personally I thank the terrific paleontologist and writer Steven J. Gould and his Non-overlapping magesteria (NOMA) for making this all possible. Great minds don't get everything right. Even Phillychief has admitted to being wrong on some occasions! But this is an issue that needs to come to a head and a final decision made on how we proceed as a species. Are we going to encourage or discourage superstition? I know how simplistic that sounds, but tell me how it doesn't all come down to that.


Coyne v. Miller Part 2
Coyne v. Miller Part 3

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Plugging Myself

Well, fuck it. It's my blog! And if I can't promote my Youtube channel at my own blog, where the hell am I supposed to do it? Anyway, I have certainly pushed a goodly amount of other YouTube channels, and you watched all of those recommendations if I'm not mistaken. I just happen to be a little more proud of this effort than most of my usual bullshit on YT. If you think it's any good, join my 10's of thousands of subscribers there. Either that or leave a comment...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Marriage between a man and a woman

If you haven't seen the Spanish Inquisitor's hilarious YouTube find on this subject, go check it out. Then come back and watch this additional piece of Holy Book dismantling.

H/T to ProfMTH, who makes some of the consistently best videos on YouTube.