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View Diary: Atheist Digest '10: Debunking Dogmas, Part I: Creationism (211 comments)

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  •  You may have never met (1+ / 0-)
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    wilderness voice

    a self-professed atheist who spends much of their life at war with God. I've met several, they always amaze me. The common thread in their hatred of deity seems to be some very bad experience in church, usually long ago. So the impression I get is that simple rejection of the concept isn't enough, and they just don't see how silly it is to be at war with a mythological creature they claim not to believe in.

    That of course doesn't describe atheism or people who are atheists in general. Yet it is real in some people's psyches and it is fairly ridiculous. They might grow out of that phase at some point.

    You come across as angry, and in some of your posts to me, needlessly antagonistic. For no reason I can fathom, so it strikes me a bit odd. What is it you expect your anger at people to accomplish, other than enabling you to express your anger?

    Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

    by Joieau on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 09:31:30 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Ech. (0+ / 0-)

      You may have never met a self-professed atheist who spends much of their life at war with God.

      No, I haven't, and I've met several hundred atheists. I think you're mistaken. Religion as a human phenomenon and God as a (fictional) supernatural phenomenon are not the same thing; atheists, by definition, cannot be "at war" with the latter.


      What is it you expect your anger at people to accomplish, other than enabling you to express your anger?

      I get angry when atheists are pathologized, marginalized, and baited, and when religion is defended on grounds that are dishonest, disingenuous, and arrogant. My expectations are no different than those of anyone else who expresses anger; I am communicating disapproval of such behavior. There's nothing about it that is actually odd.

      •  Yet I have met people (1+ / 0-)
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        wilderness voice

        who very much fit the description I gave. Surely you do not expect that your dismissal should override my experience. That would be silly as well as insulting.

        I have not seen atheists pathologized, marginalized or baited in this discussion, and I've read all the comments. I have seen no defenses of religion using dishonest, disingenuous or arrogant grounds. It seems fairly pointless to angrily express your disapproval of behaviors not evident in this discussion. It also does seem a little odd.

        Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

        by Joieau on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 10:01:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  seconded (1+ / 0-)
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          Joieau

          I have met plenty of angry atheists, in person and on blog.

        •  You clearly haven't read your own comments. (0+ / 0-)

          Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

          by RandomActsOfReason on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 01:14:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You overrate your own perception. (0+ / 0-)

          Yet I have met people who very much fit the description I gave.

          Your "description" that they are "at war with God"? (And "spends much of their life" that way?) What in the world is that even supposed to mean?

          All I see is you drawing severely negative conclusions about another person's internal experience, conclusions for which I can't imagine a legitimate foundation. I think you're mistaken because I don't see how you have any way to establish whether anyone you have ever met is in fact "at war with God."


          Surely you do not expect that your dismissal should override my experience.

          What in the world is "your experience" of some other person being "at war with God"? What does that even mean?


          This very thread-let started because I objected to two disdainful remarks from commonmass:

          I continue to be amazed at how angry people can get at the concept of a God they don't believe in.

          And:

          It constantly amazes me that something which does not exist can push so many buttons.

          As I explained in both cases, commonmass simply and fundamentally misrepresented the target of the "anger" and "button-pushing": it was not "a God they don't believe in" or "something which [sic] does not exist," but rather a societal phenomenon that very much does exist.

          I objected to the misinterpretation, but more fundamentally commonmass has clearly misunderstood what was going on with the "angry people" who were his/her targets. (S)he has misdiagnosed anger at religion and its consequences in the real world as anger "at the concept of a God they don't believe in."

          Given the self-contradictory absurdity of an atheist being "at war with God," it seems extremely likely your comment (and indeed the "experience" that you claim deserves such enormous weight) is based on the same fundamental misunderstanding.

          If I told you I had "experience" with square circles or married bachelors, I hope you would not take that "experience" seriously. For the same reason, I'm not terribly impressed by yours, in this context.


          I have not seen atheists pathologized, marginalized or baited in this discussion....

          Then I don't think you've been looking very hard. snackdoodle's oeuvre here, for example, has amounted to little more than pathologizing, baiting, and attempting to marginalize atheists. (And I initially responded to you with more hostility than I should have precisely because I mistook you for him/her.) It might even be accurate to say that I am "at (metaphorical) war with" the kind of privileged nonsense snackdoodle pushes, but that hardly makes me, or indeed any atheist, "at war with God." ...Though an incautious observer might mistakenly think we are, and then speak in overconfident terms about his/her "experience" of meeting us.


          It seems fairly pointless to angrily express your disapproval of behaviors not evident in this discussion.

          "Evident" is, clearly, in the eye of the beholder. One will not see who does not look.

      •  the commenter clearly intended (1+ / 0-)
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        Joieau

        "at war with the idea of God" so you are jousting with a straw man/straw god here

        •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
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          RandomActsOfReason

          I don't understand how anyone can be "at war with" an idea, so I don't agree that that (logically questionable) intent was clear at all.

          It's precisely that kind of slippery semantics that consistently handicap atheists in discussions like this one. "At war with God" means something very different than "at war with the idea of God," and in light of the fact that it involves a severely negative declaration about another person's internal experience, I'm not inclined to give the declarer a large benefit of the doubt.

          Religious people routinely assert that atheists "hate God" or "just want to escape the God they know is there," so—though it is not clear that (s)he is such a person—I remain unconvinced that you're interpreting Joieau's comment accurately.

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