Carnival Of the Godless 102: Mission Impossible

The Carnival of the GodlessWelcome 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…

Oh for the love of…How idiotic can people still be to believe in those and support that Nimwit Palin as well?!

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 people ((hint: It’s the Atheists)) 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.

Oxymoronic Absurdities

One week to go for the the next CotG and I thought I’d remind you that we have a theme and the theme is: Impossibilities.

At the moment I have received 14 submissions which tells me that by the end of the week I may have quite a few of them. A few of them can even fit the theme but only unfortunately one was explicitly crafted for this carnival.

Come on people, we’re talking about religion here. There’s certainly enough ideas to go around. Haven’t you had enough about Politics? I know I’m sick and tired of reading about Palin in the Atheosphere. Yes she’s an incompetent Cretinist. We get i already.

But I digress.

So this post is basically a reminder for the theme of the 102nd CotG. Lets see how it turns out.

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Get ready for an Impossible Carnival of the Godless

So I am going to be your next host for the Carnival of the Godless and I am planning to make it a bit more interesting than simply having a list of links. I was a bit disappointed on how the 100th version turned out so I’d like to make something more memorable, something like the Pulp Edition. Of course I can’t really make such good art to go along with ((And I wouldn’t say no if anyone wanted toΒ  help with that)) it but I will at least try to make it as memorable.

So here’s what we’re going to do:

1. It’s going to be thematic

The theme in this carnival will be something a bit fitting to this blog’s name: Impossibilities.

Submissions dealing with Absurdities, Oxymorons, Inanities and even horrible facepalms are all going to be given the limelight in the version of the CotG. That does not mean that anything not dealing with these will be rejected but any post that belongs to the theme will be immediately pushed to the top and will have more care given to it’s presentation

So if you have something ready on this subject, go right along and send it. If not, well now is the time to spend some effort to make a better edition πŸ˜‰ If you site down for a bit and think about it, I’m certain you’ll have many ideas on this subject. But please, I know it’s tempting but don’t swamp me with Sarah Palin related submissions πŸ˜‰

2. It’s going to be storytold

I really want to avoid just posting a simple collection of links with a very short description as is what seems to be happening in almost all recent CotGs. That’s just boring. Thus, I’m going to attempt and weave an actual story out of the submissions sent. This is why it’s doubtly helpful to have sumbissions that fit the theme, as such will be easier to weave into the story.

I already have a rought concept of how it’s going to go but the actual story will be decided by the kind of submissions I have to work with. Stories that don’t fit the theme, I will try to use as well but I may end up just posting them as links at the end if I can’t see a way to include them.

I’ve already started getting submissions which is something I didn’t expect. I was hoping I had the time to write this post before people started sending. Due to this, feel free to send a replacement post if you have something more fitting to the theme but I would also ask you to spread the word a bit so that more people are aware of this.

Let’s hope this works out. Cheers for impossibilities.

Moral Relativism (and why I do not embrace it)

This is a post that was actually triggered by a piece (The Necessity of Combating Relativism) I discovered on the 90th Carnival of the Godless and further prodded by a recent comment over at the Atheist Ethicist. This label is one which, for some reason, has been directed at me various occasions in the near past.

Apparently, I am a “Moral Relativist/Subjectivist”. As an explanation of this label I will quote what was, in turn, quoted at me in the past before I was banned.

Moral subjectivism is that species of moral relativism that relativizes moral value to the individual subject.
In ethics, this amounts to saying that all moralities are equally good; in epistemology it implies that all beliefs, or belief systems, are equally true. Critics of relativism typically dismiss such views as incoherent since they imply the validity even of the view that relativism is false. They also charge that such views are pernicious since they undermine the enterprise of trying to improve our ways of thinking.
Perhaps because relativism is associated with such views, few philosophers are willing to describe themselves as relativists. Although there are many different kinds of relativism, they all have two features in common.

1) They all assert that one thing (e.g. moral values, beauty, knowledge, taste, or meaning) is relative to some particular framework or standpoint (e.g. the individual subject, a culture, [a society], an era, a language, or a conceptual scheme).
2) They all deny that any standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others.

– Internet Encyclopedia on Philosophy.

What initially strikes me as peculiar is that this is a position that not only have I never espoused directly but I find myself actively disagreeing with. Specifically, while I do agree with the 1st point, I most certainly do not agree with the second.

Initially this whole characterization was assigned to me in, what I believed then, an attempt for ad hominem against me. I was labeled as such when arguing against the notion that you can have morality without more than one person and at some point I expressed my sentiment that all morality is subjective.

Now apparently this triggered an automatic reaction on behalf of my opponent who assumed I was espousing all sorts of ideas I do not. For example, I would never accept that all moral values are equal, nor that we should not criticize other cultures’ morality. Nevertheless, this is how I keep getting labeled as and I thought I’d clear the misconception a bit. Here are my current beliefs in morality.

Morality is subjective

What I mean when I say this is that, throughout the ages, people have held various beliefs of what is right and wrong. From what I have understood (and feel free to correct me on this), these values are the result of the current period and environment the society existed in. Ultimately, the values are the result of evolutionary advantage of one morality meme over another. One of my favorite examples to explain this is Slavery.

A Perspective on Slavery

You see, in the vast majority of the history of mankind, slavery has always been a reality. Since the early Egyptian history, to Classical Greece, to Romans, Dark Ages and finally the American Revolution, slavery was something that a sufficiently large amount of people accepted.The reason this moral value (slavery = good) was accepted, was solely based on competitive advantage of the society that espoused it.

In the days before industrialization, slaves were the only real source of cheap production. As a result, any society that accepted slavery, gained the means to faster production (Egyptians), ability to concentrate on other tasks (Spartans on Warfare) and/or better standard of living (Romans). Especially in the largely agricultural societies of the time, the ability to assign the menial labor to cheap assets meant that there was a distinct competitive advantage to be gained by utilizing slaves.

This does not mean that all societies used slaves. It only means that those societies that did, were fated to overcome or conquer the ones that did not. This is precisely what was happening in most of the world until the recent centuries (I would consider feuds and imperialism as a form of slavery.) and as luck would hold it, the people of that time, happened to write down their ideas on how slavery is right as a proof for future generations (see the Christian bible or the Hindu caste system.)

Slavery, like most forms of production had some disadvantage. Specifically, even though the cost was relatively low, it was very prone to abuse. This could lead to destabilizing situations for the society that used it, as is what happened with the Romans and the slave revolution or Spartacus. This kind of disadvantage was not enough however to overcome the significant benefit of slavery.

Abolishing and the morality of it all.

Now, most of us living in the modern society automatically consider slavery wrong. This includes me.Β  The reason we do this is because our upbringing distilled in most of us the notion of freedom as a higher moral value than most others. Thus, for us, owning the freedom of another person is deemed as one of the lowest situations.

But how did we reach this level from when slavery was considered acceptable by most? Once again, competitive advantage.

As I mentioned before, Slavery has some disadvantages that were not sufficient to overcome it’s advantages. However, even during the time of slavery, there were people that considered slavery to be immoral. If you want, you can see this in an evolutionary perspective. The competing organisms in this case, are the societies (or even the members of each society). The traits of the organism are the various memes in effect (Slavery, Warfare, Tolerance, Religion etc). The Environment is the technological level.

People in each society would have various ideas on slavery. If that meme (Abolishing Slavery) took hold, then the society’s paradigm would shift. You could see this as a mutation in the society as a whole which was then called to prove it’s competitive advantage.
Unfortunately, as history has shown, this trait was actually disadvantageous to the society that possessed it as it could not compete with the ones that still accepted slavery.

What was necessary for this trait to gain the competitive advantage was a change in the environment. This change was the Industrial Revolution. Once that happened, it served as the catalyst that allowed the abolition of slavery to take hold. Not because of any objective goodness but because the already existing mentality that freedom is good, coupled with the alternative way to have cheap production (industrialization) as well as the lower cost (no chance of social upheaval) gave the society that abolished slavery a competitive advantage over those who did not.

Tying it all together

It is my impression, that history has shown us that all moral values that we accept in the western society are the result of such processes. A merciless war of ideas where only the ones that were competitively superior could survive. I cannot bring myself to call this process objective for I truly do not see it as such.

The morality I have currently is subjective, not in the sense that I cannot consider anything right and wrong but in the sense that the morality memes most of us possess are the result of natural selection and not of objective truths.

How does that leave me however? Am I predestined to be a “moral subjectivist” and decry all morality as inconsequential and relative? To this I respond no. This is not what I believe.
I have my own morality that is based on personal experiences, beliefs and desires. I base this morality on my reasoning and can explain why I think my moral values are superior to others. I can have a discussion and attempt to convince or be convinced. Always based on reasoning.

I just cannot go one step further and call my personal reasoning as objective as it seems disingenuous. Morality values, in the end, can be rated as better or worse by the degree to which they lead to a better life for the individual and the society that espouses them. However, each individual is different in their desires so the same things will lead to different results.

The only thing we can do is be the example first as individuals and then as a society.

In the first step, this will lead first other people who see our life to follow our example in order to achieve the same level of happiness. They do not need to copy all of our values but even a few will be enough. Given enough people who do this, the paradigm of the society’s moral values will shift.

As a society, all we need to do is the same. A more successful society can only lead to other societies copying the moral memes that led to this success. And thus the world paradigm shifts.

What I believe is that all this can be done peacefully but not by “bending over” to other cultures. On the contrary, when an individual performs an immoral action by our perspective, it should be our duty to speak against them. When a society as a whole acts in an immoral fashion, then is should be our duty to speak against them and/or take measures to disentangle ourselves from them.

Not speaking against an immoral person (by our beliefs), because of some misguided desire to “respect his culture” is only hurting ourselves. Nor speaking out against a society or a culture because we want to proudly display how tolerant we are, will only lead us to be overtaken by the more aggressive memes out there.

This is, for example, the primary reason I speak against European “tolerance” against Islam. Not only is it not helping anyone, it is outright dangerous as the immoral behavior of Islam is given ground to fester and spread.


This has gotten quite long-winded so I think it is time for me to stop.

I hope I have sufficiently explained how I can consider morality as subjective but not be a “moral relativist” myself. I am, however, the first person who will agree that I can be mistaken – indeed, this is the main reason why I shy from calling my beliefs objective. There are many very interesting takes on morality that I am currently checking out, as Desire Utilitarianism. I can see the point but I am not actually convinced that they are objective rather than just superior to what we have.

If I am convinced, I will only help to spread that idea and thus help make this meme the accepted paradigm. Even then however, there is a case that we will fail. Even if DU is “superior” to most other moral systems, if the competitive advantage is not enough, it will be lost in the pages of history.

It has happened before.