I just posted my answers to 10 questions for an Atheist by Scott Pruet at the ACP. Take a look.
- This monstrosity of a cross on the side of the road is a colossal waste of money and energy lighting up that sucker every night
- you think your monstrous cross is bad? Well in Memphis we have three!
- You think your three crosses are bad? You should see this road from the Baltic region (Europe)!
- In Tulsa are the monstrous hands that put the crosses up.
- Forget the monstrous crosses, we have this Giant Jesus in Cincinnati
- Pfft, you’re statues and crosses are nothing compared to this titan!
And last but not least
Ah, reddit memes. How fun they can be!
Update: Honorary mention: His Noodly Appendage Is The Only Just God Hovering Over Gaza
This is simply a brilliant piece of work.
So then we got down to business…
‘Are you human?’
‘Were you, ever?’
‘No, but similar, Yes’
‘Ah, so you are a product of evolution?’
‘Most certainly – mainly my own’
‘and you evolved from a species like ours, dna based organisms or something equally viable?’
‘so what, exactly, makes you god?’
Go read the full thing. Oddly inspiring.
Can You Remember The Day That You Officially Became An Atheist?
Well, Officially is a weird word that doesn’t apply very well since there’s no organised Atheist Religion. Nevertheless, I can’t really say that I remember the day I became an atheist. I know that I considered myself an Atheist for a while mostly because I could not consider myself a good Christian but I never expressed it. Truth be told, I wasn’t really an atheist but rather an agnostic at that point.
What I do distinctly remember is being in a church for a reason or other (I think because of Easter) with my aunt and for some reason I ended up telling a priest that I was an Atheist, which of course promted him to tell me that I’m just angry at God that I lost my mother. Highly presumtious of him I’d say.
Yes my memory is incedibly crappy.
In actuallity, I became a full-fledged Atheist in my current (and only correct) form only in recent years but it was a gradual process.
Do you remember the day you officially became an agnostic?
Again not really. I was really an agnostic while calling myself an atheist in my teens so I guess you could say that.
How about the last time you spoke or prayed to God with actual thought that someone was listening?
I remember occasionally, when in a difficult or sad situation, asking inside my head for help but I never explicitly prayed. Perhaps I was defending my self mentally or perhaps it was a leftover from school&church brainwashing.
I’ve since conditioned myself to stop doing this ridiculous mental trick and just get on with the problem at hand.
I never actually truly prayed, as in, “get down on my knees” kind of thing. I was seeing my classmates devoutly bending down their head and closing their eyes in the school’s morning mandatory prayer and I remember I tried it once (simply saying the Πατερ Ημόν prayer internally) but I thought it was all too silly.
Did anger towards God or religion help cause you to be an atheist or agnostic?
Nah, although people were inclined to believe that because of my mother’s death, that wasn’t the case. I never really felt enough about them to feel anger. I am currently opposed to organised religion and their actions occasionally get me angry but this does not drive my irreligion.
Here is a good one: Were you agnostic towards ghosts, even after you became an atheist?
By the time I consider myself to have become a proper Atheist I had managed to achieve scepticism as well. By the time I first called myself an Atheist when I should have been saying agnostic or even agnostic Christian I still believed in various woo-woo like Energies, Auras, Magic etc
But fortunately not Ghosts. I think Holywood ruined it for me 🙂
Do you want to be wrong?
I would not like to be wrong (I mean, who does?) as it would mean that I was living my life wrongly, based on false beliefs and knowledge. Having said that, If I did turn out to be wrong, I wouldn’t mind, unless the Christian God is, indeed such a bastard as the Old Testament makes him out to be, in which case I would summarily be going to hell anyway.
I would like to be wrong about other stuff however. I would very much love to be wrong about Global Warming, Aliens, Ghosts, Auras and the like. If those things existed, the world would be so much more interesting.
Unfortunately just because I’d like those to exist, I can’t bring myself to willful delusion.
So, that’s that. Time to spread the mind virus.
Welcome to the 102nd Carnival of the Godless! As promised, I’m hoping to make this edition a bit special so all submissions dealing with the theme of the carnival have been woven into a short story. What I couldn’t make fit follows in a simple format after that.
Religion, for most of us, is something irrational. People just believe in something that has no proof or basis in reality, simply because they were raised that way. It replicates and evolves through memetics and the more devout one is, the more disconnected from reality they appear.
As a result, it is a breeding ground for all things inane. From the simple impossibility of the Christian god in the face of the PoE, to the living oxymorons of radical Muslim Feminists.
This Carnival is a salute to all that.
The God of Atheism would be looking around, if he had eyes, or a face for that matter, but he didn’t so he couldn’t. Sometimes he really wished to however, just so that he would just roll them at the absurdity of it all. Just the concept of eternal and infinite punishment should have been enough to show people how ridiculous their whole belief system is. In fact, it’s so absurd that mere words cannot express it, so perhaps the Tale of the Enormous Speeding Ticket might explain it to the limited human minds but of course, he already knew that this was not going to be good enough. Who is going to consider the ramification of Eternal torture when their whole religious belief is due to fear? Not the scared ones certainly.
Yes, he himself was an absurdity but that was the point damnit! People weren’t supposed to believe in Gods and other things that couldn’t be proven. If he did in fact had the power to reveal himself to the humans, he certainly wouldn’t do it in the way that created confusion, like blind men groping an elephant. Indeed he was getting really annoyed lately with all these people muddling the waters even more by claiming things like Christianity not being a religion anymore. If he had a head, it would now be spinning.
He turned off his omniscience and turned on his 20Pi inch TV for a bit to relax, hoping to watch the latest season of Heroes. Instead he got a dose of Jesus on TV. Can’t a deity get away from Christian mythology for a minute anymore? It’s bad enough that he has to suffer people having ridiculous “Demon enounters” in their daily life and then ignoring perfectly acceptable scientific explanations in order to claim more Demon proof. What’s next? Back to witch hunts and Guardian Angels? Sighing He turned his omniscience back on…
The God of Atheism did not care much about passing human politics but the latest US elections were really taking the cake as far as absurdity was concerned. Not only were his favorite people1 excluded from politics but with each passing year the scene got more and more disconnected from reality. Not to be undone, churches strive for new levels of density by demand free speech only for themselves and just end up taxing people’s patience. They can’t even think of a proper oxymoron.
But politics always give indigestion and he didn’t like to dwell on this too long. Politicians promoting religion and Pastors would get their “just rewards” in the afterlife but that would be nothing compared to the “special hell” he is preparing for those who brainwash children who can’t think for themselves. Looking at you Ron. Of course, it’s one thing to have parents do this to their children actively or through ridiculous Cartoon shows, and another to have aforementioned Pastors lay their grubby memes on students just because they happened to donate some of the land they accumulated in the dark ages to make schools.
Still, things were going better lately. The last century had seen a surprising rise in Atheism which meant he actually had some people to reward with eternal bliss. Like expected the pampered Christians are crying foul because they were not being priviledged enough. The Inanity, it burns!
Nevertheless, he was proud of his chosen people. The refutation and debunkings happening daily are music to his nonexistent ears. He got up from his standing position and started to move toward his room of defeated and forgotten deities. As he passed the stuffed head of YHVH he remembered something and turned towards you.
“This Carnival of the Godless is almost at an end my precious unbeliever. I’m glad you kept reading until now but it’s not over yet. Db0 could not really fit everything in this light fictional story about me, so he asked me to help him out a bit. Since I’m not very artistic so I’ll just list what’s left.
First you can learn how to make a Christian cross. I find it especially funny how the followers of the false Jesus godling can’t even get their holy symbols right. If that does not make you snicker, you might be amused to learn that there is such a thing as too much prayer. For me, any prayer is too much but anyway.
Now that we’re passed humor, perhaps you can grow angry by reading about the things atheists hate. In truth, this is just the introduction but I can’t wait to see what my unbelievers dislike. And since we’re talking about them, you might as well check who the famous ones are as well. If I had any prophets, they would certainly make the cut. And since we’re on the subject of Atheism, I thought I might remind you that my irreligion was not the cause of the 20th century atrocities. But I’m sure you know that already.
You can now continue to have some fun at the expense of Catholics by reading h on bill on bill so that you can see the latest wacky adventures of the Catholic league leader. Then grab some lube and kleenex and head over to read the Bible’s 5 most Sexually Explicit Verses. Don’t worry, I consider fapping extremely healthy, if not necessary.
Ah, I can see that we’re amost done now. We only have three to go. First we have the blog with the best name ever where a common anti-atheist trope is dissected. Then read how politics is related to genetics and fear in Hobgoblins, devils and politics and finally with your last remaining energy in this god-forsaken carnival, head over to see why the Decagogue is bad Judicial ethics.”
And with that, the God of Atheism cut the connection and forced this Carnival to end, without as much as a spellcheck.
- hint: It’s the Atheists [↩]
The Bible exploits unpatched vulnerabilities in the human mind.
If you’ve seen and hated the classic Chick Tracts or if you’ve read and loved Lovecraft, you’re going to love this Cthulhu Tract!
It’s brilliant and I want more goddamnit! We need a proper version for Dark Dungeons as well. Demonic Deviltry just wasn’t enough!
Pah, I got an apetite for some chick parodies >:D
So my recent verbal spar with the Socratic Gadfly moves on. It seems that due to the linkbacks I made to Austin Cline and Adrian Hayter, they were apparently curious enough to see what the post was about and ended up defending my position on Gadfly’s blog (appreciated).
This in turn triggered him to contact me via email and also write about it on his second blog.
During our email conversations, Gadfly did have a more amiable attitude (albeit a bit condescending occasionaly) and we managed to have some progress in finding out exactly what the gist of our disagreement is. In turns out that it is a simple definition issue on the word “Agnosticism” and I will attempt in this post to explain.
Now, I guess the secod post of his was written while tempers were still high and this is why the language is still a bit strong. Since I have been unbanninated already, I think there’s no point in feeding the flames any more so I’ll keep a more respectful tone.
Gadfly maintains that Agnosticism cannot be logicaly combined with theism. Indeed, by looking at some of the analogies he made on email:
“Agnostic theism” is like “Democratic Republicanism” and “theistic agnosticism” is like “Republican Democratism.” (Allow the neologism for the noun parallel.)
It is obvious that for him an agnostic theist is an oxymoron.
As I mentioned in the previous post. The etymological meaning of the word is “Without Knowledge”. Agnosticism however does not define what you do not have any knowledge about but it is commonly understood that it is about deities. One could very well argue that he is agnostic about abiogenesis or the creation of the universe and that would be a perfectly acceptable phrase.
As pertaining to theism however, agnosticism can easily take one of two common definitions.
- One can be agnostic about the existence of god(s). This classifies them as Agnostic Atheists. The defining quote would be “I don’t know if gods exist“
- One can be agnostic about the nature of god(s). This classifies them as Agnostic Theists and the defining quote would be “I don’t know what or which gods exist“.
The difference is small but significant. On both of these definitions, one could even apply various scales of knowledge. Thus an agnostic atheists can verge closer to atheism with “I don’t know if gods exist but there is no reason to believe that they do” and an agnostic theist can approach a religion “I believe the Christian god exists but I don’t know his exact nature (and thus follow no denomination)” – an Agnostic Christian (The group I think most liberal Christians really belong to).
Due to the open nature of the word “Agnostic”, many people default it to either of the two cases described above. In my personal experience, I’ve had far more people who thought of “Agnostic Theist” when hearing “Agnostic” – which is, incidentally, why I started calling myself simply Atheist in the end. This is also why in the article that triggered this approximately half the agnostics go either way.
And this is where I believe Gadfly is wrong. He defaults to “Agnostic Atheist” but he then takes it a step further and asserts that his take on it is the correct one (and gets annoyed that others use it differently).
This is what I have been trying to explain via email but we seem to have reached the “Agree to dissagree” point.
The thing is, at the end of the day, what matters is that we know what we are talking about. It does not matter a bit if we call someone as “Agnostic Atheist”, “Agnostic”, “Fideist” or even “Purple Banana” as long as we are understanding the same thing. It is a fact that just “Agnostic” can mean different things to different people. And by definition, these people are correct.
All we can do when uncertain is simply ask: “Theistic or Atheistic?”. It’s certainly no reason to get upset about.
Ready for some Intarwebs drama? The irony is delicious!
So as I was reading the articles of the latest Carnival of the Godless, I happened upon a particular one from the Socratic Gadfly which was making fun of the U.S. Americans of a recent poll, that were claiming Atheism and prayer at the same time. Now that’s all well and good as I’m all for making fun of inanity like that. However there was one comment that I saw that I felt I should respond to:
Hey, idiots. If you believe something, you can’t agnostic about it!
I decided to leave a simple comment, that this was incorrect and one could very well be an agnostic and a theist; Namely a theistic agnostic. I innocently assumed that my comment would help the Gadfly realize that he did a mistake and perhaps avoid embarassing himself in the future by calling people idiots, when in fact they are not (not talking about the “praying atheists” here of course).
For those not very familiar with the word [1. and who can’t be bollocksed to read the article I linked from it], the word “Agnostic” is greek and literally means “without knowledge”. As a result, one can be agnostic about a great many things, including deities. Indeed, there are various ways someone can be agnostic about Theism. A Theistic Agnostic specifically is both a theist and an agnostic and the definition is that he does not have knowledge about the nature of god(s) but believes he/she/they exist. Hell, one can even be a Christian Agnostic! It does not matter that he falls under the subgroup of theism, as the Gadfly insisted, they also fall under the subgroup of agnostics. So yes, you can very well believe in something and still be agnostic.
Anyway, I was not prepared that the Gadgly would stick to his guns and attempt to argue the point and I was wholly unprepared when not only was I told that I do not understand the meaning of the word, not only was I told that I am trolling but I was even called a theist!
Now, one would assume that before someone makes such a claim against someone, they would at the least have attempted to have a cursory look at the other’s profile before making themselves look like an even bigger ignoramus than they already are.
But alas, for the Gadfly the fact that I was supporting this definition of agnosticism was enough of a proof to jump to the conclusion that I must be a thest. The fact that I even had the gall to argue my point was further “proof” that I must be a troll, which only shows that further than agnosticism, the Gadfly does not even know what a “Troll” is. It is a tasty irony that someone who is complaining about cluelessness would himself prove how (shamelessly) clueless he is.
The cherry on the top? It seems that the only thing smaller than his knowledge is his temper. And thus we get to enjoy the Socratic Gadfly having a hissy fit.
I didn’t put up with his bullshit, and I’m not putting up with yours either.
Second, you’re lying, to me and to yourself, when you claim you don’t want to argue about this. You do.
Third, if I clearly presented your metaphysical self-definition to 100 people on the street, 99 would call you a theist.
Your Wiki link? It’s agnostic THEISM, you troll. It supports ME, not you.
Finally, it’s my blog, and I get the last word. Capiche?
If you don’t understand that, understand this: I just banned your IP, as you’ve gone past the edge of being a theist troll.
Well, unfortunately for you Gadfly, you may be able to ban me from your blog (I must really start keeping track of this) but you cannot ban me from speaking or pointing out how wrong you are, or how foolish you look.So I see your “Capiche” and raise you a “Nyah Nyah”! 😛
This was, however, unfortunate in a way. Not because I was banned when I wasn’t even trying to be offensive but because the Gadfly is such a prolific poster that it’s certain various people open to irreligion might stumble upon him and be horribly misguided by his ignorance. That, and he is just another excuse that not all Atheists are very bright or tolerant, but of course the Objectivists already help with that anyway.
UPDATE: Just to let people seeing this know that I’m currently continuing this debate with Socratic Gadly via email where he seems much more amiable. Perhaps it’s the public thing. In any case the basic issue we have at the moment is a definition one.
Namely he believes that Agnosticism equals “Agnostic Atheism” while I assert that it’s more open than that (as per Austin’s comment)