Thursday, September 15, 2005

The True Face of Atheism

Before getting into today's post, I just want to thank everybody, especially Aaron and Tanooki Joe, for contributing so much to the philosophical discussion about whether objective morality exists. I've read all the replies made so far, and I must say, I'm very impressed. I'm going to take a couple of days off from participating in that discussion, for two reasons: I want to let everybody have their say and hash out their own issues; I want to allow myself sufficient time to turn all these ideas over in my mind. I was about to start replying to the comments, but quickly realized that I need some time to evaluate the strength of each argument, as well as to reflect on my own position. Expect a new entry, addressing your comments, soon.

Today's topic has to do with the malicious way religious activists try to define atheists. If you listen to small-minded Christians, atheists are hateful people, in denial about God, with "father issues," who are a danger to society and who should be marginalized.

Just check out this webpage.

Some salient quotes:

"Atheists are not fit to be parents; they are not fit to be employed in any portion of any society; they are not fit to be any kind of leaders in any society, nor are they fit to serve in any area of public trust. Atheism makes every person who embraces it unfit for any good work."

"Atheists are not even fit to live. They have forfeited the right to life by virtue of being unfit for any good thing."

"Every atheist should be regarded as high criminals by all governments who have no right to live on the earth."

On the same site, a headline screams: "ATHEISTS ARE SLAVES OF SATAN"

Now click Here. Another salient quote follows...

"So now you realize that it is atheists (and other nonbelievers) who are in favor of putting their "terminally ill" parents to death; who are in favor of murdering innocent human embryos and fetuses; who are perpetuating homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, pornography, pedophilia and etc; who are responsible for all the violence in the movie industry; who are responsible for all the smut on the web; who bear false witness against the existence of God; who bear the false testimony that the earth came into being by a cataclysmic explosion; who bear the false testimony of evolution; who bear the false testimony that man descended from the ape; who worship the creature rather than the Creator; who are responsible for all the moral decline in America and the world community."

I'm tired of letting people like this define me, and my fellows in rationality. I'm 22 years old. I've never smoked. I've never taken any illicit drug. In high school, I never so much as had a detention. I am a Summa Cum Laude college graduate. I was associated with my university's Honors College. At present, I have a full time job and support myself. I have a wonderful relationship with my family: parents, brother, extended relatives and cousins. I'm an animal lover, and though I am not a vegetarian, I would never hunt for sport, as I oppose the recreational activity of killing. I've maintained friendships for many years, including with my best friend (with who's dog I appear) for around 14 years. I've never been on the wrong side of the law and have never done harm to anybody.

And I'm not alone.

The above description probably fits, or comes close to fitting, tens of thousands of atheists all over the world. People like those quoted earlier damn us because we reject their fictitious God and his arbitrary moral strictures, ignoring the fact that we live happy, productive and socially-responsible lives. By and large, the secular community is a force of good in the world. That cannot really be said for the religious community.

Pat Robertson:

"If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer"

"If [Hugo Chavez] thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war."

Jerry Falwell (on the 9/11 attacks):

"And, I know that I'll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way - all of them who have tried to secularize America - I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen'."

Now, I know that not all religious people are scumbags (though Robertson and Falwell are indeed scumbags of the lowest order), but I do believe religion nurtures views such as those. As such, it is RELIGION, not atheism, that is a pernicious influence on human societies. We should fear the religious, not the secular, among us.

Never again should we allow religious activists to negatively define us. It's time to take a stand, proudly admit who we are and try to make the world a better place in spite of religion.

I, for one, am ready to put forth the effort.

~TLD

68 Comments:

Anonymous Tanooki Joe said...

Damn -- I could so have wrote this about myself.

I am ridiculously straight-edge person -- my idea of a wild evening is going for a walk in the woods or cozying up with a book of Roman history. Seriously, I just laugh whenever I hear this, usually cuz I'm at home and the good Christians are out partying.

And you don't even need to be so abstemtious. My girlfriend, who is also atheist/agnostic, is nowhere near as squeaky-clean as I am, but she is still a kind, loving person who works hard and hopes for a place of her own one day. Evil, huh?

And the "father issues" thing is the best. I mean, I have a great relationship with my parents, and I'm like xx_hardcore_atheist ;P. Of course, they always claim this, but if we say they believe in God cuz they're still children at heart and need a sky daddy to take care of them, we're out of bounds. *rolls eyes*

Over at the Raving Atheist forums, the poster honeybadger posted a bunch of quotes she culled from Christian discussion boards. Both hilarious and sickening.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Delta said...

Nice post Defender. It's amazing how some people characterize atheists. Most of them aren't even trying to be hateful, that's just what their sick preachers have taught them. I remember when I first thought to myself, when I was young, "there is no god". Immediately the word atheist popped into my mind, and I realized that I had previously associated that word with devil-worship. It was slightly humorous for me at the time, but it just goes to show you that even those who aren't hard-core christians still have negative associations with atheists, and we need to speak up and fix these misconceptions.

10:41 PM  
Blogger LBBP said...

"Atheists are not even fit to live. They have forfeited the right to life by virtue of being unfit for any good thing."

Another fine example of "Christian Love".

Love thy neighbor unless they believe something other than what you believe, in that case kill them. Nice.

12:16 AM  
Anonymous subnormal said...

as atheists, we believe that this life, the one we have right now, is the only thing that we have. obviously, since this is the only life we have, we want to make the best of it not just for ourselves but for everyone.

oh and another thing, i consider myself a very "moral" person, likely a lot more moral than the average christian, and the funny thing is i dont HAVE to be moral, i dont HAVE to be good, because when i die, i believe nothing that i have done on earth matters in the least, im just gonna be dead, just like before we were born, there was no blackness, no consciousness, it was just non existence. yet im still a good person, not because im afraid of hell or because im working to get into heaven, just because i have something that a lot of people lack, and that thing is called EMPATHY

12:20 AM  
Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

Nicely done. Dont forget that theists (not just Christians) make up about 90-92% of the American population, but occupy 99.99% of all jail cells and mental hospital beds.

Atheism, by all empirical measures, makes one less likely to end up incarcerated or in a loony bin. Devoutly religious mothers are more likely to kill their children than an atheist. College educated people are more likely to be atheists than people with only high school educations. And people who dont even have a high school diploma are more likely to be religious than those who DO have a high school diploma or GED.

American Christians are more likely to get a divorce than an American atheist. Countries with more atheists, like those found in Europe, have less crime and substance abuse than Christian America.

And on and on and on...

So the truth of the matter is, is that these Christians are spouting off shit based not on EVIDENCE that we DO have, but on thier own fantasy book. None of their claims about atheists can be supported by any study or poll or research project.

2:49 AM  
Anonymous James said...

I followed your link suggestions, and that guy's an utter whacko, not to mention barely literate, thereby anecdotally confirming one of Aaron Kinney's reports.

I gotta say, I sometimes think that we atheists are almost a different species; this after lots of years of observation, sometimes at quite close range ;^). I say this because religious folks, even pleasant ones, seem to be unable to fathom how we can form doubt about what they see as self-evident. They find us quite baffling. Now, those that aren't pleasant respond in a very primitive way to most anything they perceive as threatening to their own self-esteem. The fellow behind that Web site is clearly one of the latter sort.

As to my qualities, I wouldn't say I'm without blemish, having once been a sailor, but I have two lovely adult daughters, a wife I've been married to for 39 years this month, seven cats and a dog, and a fair number of friends. Most of the latter are also atheists, though some are not. One, in fact, is a born-again I love to engage in discussion, because he's willing to engage his mind in the exercise, and we relate respectfully to each other in the process.

In this society, however, it's sometimes worth your life to acknowledge your atheism, so meaning no condescension, all you young folks please be aware of this in your public activities, especially when you travel to areas of lesser civilization than New York. Remember that the fellow at that Web site very likely means those obscenities he shouts there. Most of us don't hate; they really do.

Cheers,
jwl

5:18 AM  
Blogger Toasty Moe said...

I have to agree with your characterization of some of my fellow Christians. But I would like to point out that atheist are not ammune to the same flaws. Atheist led society's in the twentieth century set new standards for "my way or the die way" policies.

Of course the flaws exhibited by these atheist were not flaws of atheism. But rather a result of extreme egalitarian world views. So it would be wrong, morally and factually, for me to paint atheist as criminal simply for being atheist.

My fellow Christians who claim that "Atheists are not even fit to live." are setting themselves up as God. This is the root of all sin. Conceivably they are anti-christian as opposed to atheist who are simply non-christian.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Toasty Moe said...

Oops, I misspelled immune in my previous post. How embarrassing. Especially when I was attempting to sound so intelligent.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

Its okay Toasty Moe. Us atheists, and Jesus, forgive you ;)

Seriously though, I think you are correct. Having crazy atheists like Stalin murder millions, and having crazy Christians like Hitler murder millions, does not in itself make either ideology incorrect. It just makes those people incorrect.

TLD still has a good point though in his post about how the level of animosity is unwarranted and I would argue that its without evidence. Atheists, *on average* are just as fine a group of human beings as any Christian group. Myself of course, being an atheist, would actually argue that atheists are more so. Earlier in these comments, I posted some statements based on empirical evidence that back up this claim.

Toasty Moe, what do you think of this statement of mine:

Atheism, by all empirical measures, makes one less likely to end up incarcerated or in a loony bin. Devoutly religious mothers are more likely to kill their children than an atheist. College educated people are more likely to be atheists than people with only high school educations. And people who dont even have a high school diploma are more likely to be religious than those who DO have a high school diploma or GED.

American Christians are more likely to get a divorce than an American atheist. Countries with more atheists, like those found in Europe, have less crime and substance abuse than Christian America.


Would you agree, disagree, or consider it an invalid claim? And why so?

4:20 PM  
Blogger The Libertarian Defender said...

Thanks for the comments, Tanooki Joe. We are definitely on the same page here. Christians have, unfortunately, been successful at falsely negatively defining us.

-----------

Delta, that's exactly my point. It's not an accident that people have these false associations regarding atheism. Theists have pounded those false associations home for decades. We cannot allow ourselves to be defined. It's that simple.

------

Ibbp, glad you see the same irony that I do. The fucking website is called Ten Commandments, and this guy seems to have forgotten the one about not killing.

---------

subnormal said: "yet im still a good person, not because im afraid of hell or because im working to get into heaven, just because i have something that a lot of people lack, and that thing is called EMPATHY"

Great way of putting it. I think Christians sometimes are the people most lacking in empathy, whereas that's a very common trait in the secular community.

----------

Aaron, great response!

Do you have links to source your comments? I'd love to read them in full context. They'd be great to utilize in the course of debates!

BTW, check this site out: http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_publi.htm

It helps to prove your general point. For example, 65% of Americans without a high school diploma are creationists. However, only 25% of college grads are.

-----------

James, thanks for your thoughtful comments, as well as your sensible warning. If you read my 9/11 post, you saw that one link was to a story about a theist who shot an atheist over an argument about God. Once again, "Thou shall not kill" is ignored by the theist.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

Thanx for the enthusiasm, TLD.

Yes I do have links. Boy howdy, do I have links! :)

America growing more secular

Atheism global rates and patters (this site is excellent)

Intelligence and religion

Human development reports worldwide (This site has reports that you can query. you can use this link in conjunction with the global atheism rates listing to view the quality of life per country [crime rates, pregnancy rates, mortality rates, etc...])

American IQ estimates by state

Various Atheist stats (this link includes prison atheistic stats and atheist stats for the NAS [national academy of sciences] at the bottom of the page, as well as many other cool atheist stats)

These are GREAT resources, and all of you should bookmark these puppies. Enjoy! :)

8:33 PM  
Anonymous subnormal said...

i have pondered the purpose of religion since i was about 11, and here are some conclusions that i have some to (not really based on fact, just based on what i think seems logical)

1. god is a security blanket
what would most people think if they found out that after you died, there was nothingness? they would probably be afraid, and feel that life was pointless. having a sort of all-powerful (albiet, intangiable) father figure must be comforting.

2. it allows them to be part of something "bigger than themselves" (IE the church community) which i can percieve as equally comforting

3. it validates their fantasy
by saying that they are certain that their religion is correct, the preists or pastor or whatever is fellating the ego of the religious person

4. they feel better than others
by feeling as though they have all the answers, and some sort of "moral code" (which i still havent been able to find in that bible of theirs) it once again makes them feel superior

5. the bible (and all of gods rules) seem to perfectly mesh with government, that is to say if someone is not afraid of legal consequences to their actions, they will certainly fear the religious consequences


i used to have more but im kind of tired right now, basically it boils down to the fact that religion controls the religious, and makes them complacent through reassurance that everything will be ok so long as they follow the rules.


TLD, what do you think about this?

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spiritual agoraphobia. That's what religion is. The fear of open spaces, of not knowing or understanding what's out there; the need to impose boundries and walls via "faith" and "God" and a little fiction book.

As an athiest, it astounds me daily to know so many are so incredibly naive. As a roommate to a near-theist-who-still-believes-in-Jesus, it blows my mind that I can argue the precepts of his faith with him, have him agree on almost every level, and yet still run back to the safety of Jesus and Heaven. He considers himself wise to do so, yet he has so many problems dealing with the impracticalities and hypocrisy of his own faith that I can't help but point out that my athiesm keeps me far saner than he.

My bosses are WELS Lutheran; they practically worship GWB (and isn't that idolatry?). One offered to baptize me herself because I was thankfully not baptized as a child. A mention of mensturation brings up the comment from him that "it's our fault for taking the apple from the tree. We brought the pain onto ourselves." They're close-minded, irrational individuals who see me as a stupid, liberal, just as close-minded, irrational child. You can't reason with them; you can't argue with them. During events like Katrina I find topics from the Wall Street Journal and the like espousing the fact that GWB is hallowed and not to be blamed for anything, bringing politics into a work environment when I myself can't even agree or disagree with a customer who brings the subject up. It's unprofessional.

Yet, as an athiest, I'm the one in the wrong. I shouldn't ask for Christmas off, even though both my parents (a Catholic and a Lutheran) want me home for the holiday to visit. I should work Easter so the other "believers" should get off. In all cases, almost everyone but me is young, lives at home, or isn't religious enough to give a damn about the day, but because of my athiesm, I shouldn't be allowed to ask. Nevermind that the holidays were pagan first, or just another day period; I should fuck myself first.

And I'm not a bad person. Most of the kids at my school -- many of whom had gone to the Catholic schools in town before having to go to the public high school, or who had Sunday school -- were a mix of decent kids and troublemakers. I knew people who could have gotten me drugs within an hour. And I didn't smoke, I didn't do drugs; I'm 24 and I don't even drink. No police record. Almost eight years now at the same job. But I've had born-agains harrass me at work for three weeks running once they found out I was an athiest, and my boss has directed an old fart from his church to me to offer to take me to some "Christian Science" seminars to explain away Christianity with science. I don't bother a damn person with my nonbelief, yet they harrass me.

And I'm anti-war. They're pro-war. How the logic works, I still don't understand.

-- Sokudo

2:12 AM  
Blogger Toasty Moe said...

You people are all over the map. There is so much here that it would be impossible to cover everything in less that several thousands words.

Therefore I will focus on two comments from Aaron.
"Devoutly religious mothers are more likely to kill their children than an atheist."

Other than Andrea Yates (clearly a woman driven by deep depression and despair) what Christians have killed their kids? And what does this act from a Christian have to do with Christianity?

"having crazy Christians like Hitler murder millions"

In what way did Hitler ever practice Christianity? Hitler's beliefs and actions were far closer the communism that Christianity. If you don't believe me check here with someone who has done the research.

I'll give you the last word.

9:37 AM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

"Hitler's beliefs and actions were far closer the communism that Christianity."

Ah, the two-edged sword of autocorrect. There is no substitute for proofreading.

I will check out the link provided with this post, but I have heard this argument before. It is usually posed by a right-wingnut that would like to deny that he is a closet Nazi, or that the policies of control-freak conservatism can lead to this Nazi extreme. The premises usually hang on the confusion of Stalinist totalitarianism with communist doctrine. This is equivalent to blaming the airline when the plane is hijacked, instead of blaming the hijacker. This is not to say that communism is not flawed and invites corruption (in some ways), but arguments comparing rightist and leftist extremism are also flawed in every example that I have seen so far.

When I was in High School, they showed us an anti-marijuana propaganda film. There was nothing wrong with the message, save that they tried to sell it too hard. When talking about the intoxicating or judgment-impairing effects, they would compare pot to cigarettes, not booze. Example: "This diver just did a one and a half gainer after smoking a cigarette. He would never dare do that after smoking a joint." He would also be more likely to injure himself after a couple of Jello shooters than either of those scenarios. It is remarkable how often this kind of plausible but irrelevant comparison is used to sell a weak premise.

10:40 AM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

I'm back, having read the essay "Hitler was a Socialist" by John J. Ray, (M.A.;Ph.D.). It is a very thorough and impressive body of work. "F". Ray uses the usual bag of propagandist tricks to make his point, and cites earlier works in the same vein. He also uses the basic tactic of all of these works of citing Nazi party doctrine as it existed prior to Hitler taking power. This was a carefully crafted amalgam of popular politics of the time, calculated to cobble together a majority - sort of like how the Republicans pander in their rhetoric to the Fundies and the blue-hairs. The leaders of the various factions responsible for this Frankenstein of policy were summarily executed when Hitler became Chancellor.

Here are some examples of what I am talking about. Ray starts out with a Fredrich Engels quote and then asks the reader, 'looks like Hitler, doesn't it? Well it's not! It's Fredrich Engels! So there!'

Ok. Fredrich Engels was a Nationalist (racist). Hitler was a Nationalist. Therefore Hitler was a Socialist. Bah.

Or try this one: Take the following quote,

"What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Jewry, would be the self-emancipation of our time.... We recognize in Jewry, therefore, a general present-time-oriented anti-social element, an element which through historical development -- to which in this harmful respect the Jews have zealously contributed -- has been brought to its present high level, at which it must necessarily dissolve itself. In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Jewry".

Replace every instance of "Judaism" and "Jewry" with "Capitalism" and every instance of "Jew" with "Capitalist". Or for variety, use "Wealthy class-elitist". Does it still make sense? Is Ray suggesting that this ranting Socialist is a Nazi because he shares Hitler's opinion of Jews? No! he is attempting to show that Hitler is a Socialist because he entertains a prejudice that has been common in Europe for centuries.

I could keep going, but I think this makes my point that Ray's is a poor argument, albeit verbose. One must also examine the motives for putting forth such an argument. It effectively waves a tar brush at the Liberal elements of society.

12:01 PM  
Blogger The Libertarian Defender said...

Aaron, thank you for the quick reply. Those links are indeed great. I bookmarked all of them, for later reference during the course of debates.

-----------

God is a security blanket: I totally agree with that. So is Heaven, as well as Hell (the evil will be punished, whether caught on Earth or not).

Part of “something bigger”: I agree again. Humans have this strange need for their lives to have purpose and direction. I think being part of a community aids in establishing both.

Validates their fantasy: Agreed. People absolutely love it when “authority figures” pat them on the head and say, “You’re right.”

Feel better: Sure. Religion is comforting. Oftentimes, religion inspires happiness. Many times, religion inspires certitude. However, certitude in fiction is bad, and happiness/comfort based upon lies is also negative.

Religious consequences: Absolutely agree. Religion is just one more way to control people and keep them in line. Make them fear not only Earthly consequences, but also consequences in the afterlife.

----------

Thanks for your comments, Sokudo. I empathize with you. It’s the plight of many of us. We simply need to publicly declare our comfort with our beliefs, and sternly refuse anybody trying to force their superstition upon us. There is no rule that forces us to be polite to those who look down on us.

--------

“Other than Andrea Yates (clearly a woman driven by deep depression and despair) what Christians have killed their kids? And what does this act from a Christian have to do with Christianity?”

Here’s another case:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/DN-schlosser_01met.ART.North.Edition2.13ce3879.html

And, the Bible is full of infanticide and attempted/intended infanticide. It’s certainly not at all an uncommon theme in that book.

“In what way did Hitler ever practice Christianity? Hitler's beliefs and actions were far closer the communism that Christianity. If you don't believe me check here with someone who has done the research.”

Some interesting sites:

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/unknown/hitler.html

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/john_murphy/religionofhitler.html

http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/sn-hitler.html

Thanks for commenting!!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

toasty moe,

I want you to click on these links for more religious-moms-killing-their-babies info:

scientifi study

A post of mine about dena and andrea

for the hitler shit, remember that all the nazis belt buckles said "got mit uns" which means god is with us. Im at school right now so I dont have access to my hitler quotes document, but you can at least check out these pics:

picture
picture2
picture3
picture4

1:07 PM  
Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

by the way I agree toasty moe that hitler was socialist/communistic. But so is Chrsitanity.

Just replace "god" with "state" and "Jesus" with "dictator"

Communism and Christianity are very compatible. It is capitalism and godlessness that are also compatible.

Capitalism (individual self determination and freedom to judge for oneself) is antithetical to christianity.

Christianity is about a single source of authority and blind obedience to an institution regardless of your own wants, needs, or judgements. Hence, chrstianity is communistic.

Enjoy!

1:11 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Aaron said:

"by the way I agree toasty moe that hitler was socialist/communistic. But so is Chrsitanity."

Christianity is indeed socialistic in doctrine, but not in practice. Hitler is not socialistic/communistic. The easiest way to prove this is to point out that Hitler’s government had a panoply of wealthy industrialists and bankers, similar to that which orbits the present-day Republican party in the US. It is likely that the two extremes have quite a bit in common. I am a capitalist, but I am not a pure capitalist. Pure capitalism led to the formation of labor unions as a response to government’s failure to rein in the exploitative practices and human rights violations of the Carnegies and Rockefellers, etc. Pure capitalism today would probably lead to Wal-Mart becoming the Standard Oil of the retail business. This is not the best economic model for the same reason that the rate of innovation in the telecommunications industry can only be described as “stagnant” while Ma Bell held a monopoly. The moral to all of these stories is, “Power corrupts”.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Kele said...

I thought that even though Stalin was atheist or whatever, he wasn't for any... philosophical reason (I guess that's the word). The church was a seperate power from the state so Stalin said the official religion was atheism and got rid of the church. So the government had even more power without a seperate entity influencing the people. This is unlike the Christians who want to kill the gays or bomb the aborition clinics. They're doing it for purely religious reasons, not for power, unlike Stalin. Of course, I could be completely wrong.

And since everyone is saying how they haven't done much wrong, I'll just say I haven't either. I'm a junior in high school right now and I've never had a detention in my life. I had a few time outs in elementary school and I had to pull a ticket (pull 3 and get a detention) for talking in the halls. I've grown up around smoking adults my entire life and I've never touched a cigarette. I am now passing by kids smoking weed every day on the way home to school and I don't even say anything. I've also never drank any alcohol. I've never been in a fight (I did get in one in like... first grade or something though). The worst thing(s) I've done in my life was probably when I used to constantly hit my sister for no reason and feel no remorse for it. I changed that though and now we get along most of the time. I would definitely consider myself more moral than many Christians.

12:08 AM  
Blogger Lya Kahlo said...

"Over at the Raving Atheist forums, the poster honeybadger posted a bunch of quotes she culled from Christian discussion boards. Both hilarious and sickening. "


My own blog is clearly fo atheists and atheists alone. And yet - predictably - I getv an xtian troll who can't understand some basic logical principles and then get nasty.

I wonder how *we* suddenly become the bad ones, when they behave like ignorant little trolls.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

TLD where you been? I miss your daily posts. Come back to us!

11:36 AM  
Anonymous JAB said...

All these stories about being good atheists. As far as the big things go, I'm in the same boat with you who've told of your cleanliness, i.e., I've never been arrested, never killed anyone and was in one fist fight in 6th grade, and overall, I have no enemies and live by the live and let live philosophy.

But, I am a creature of habit. I smoke just under a half pack a day. That's down from over a pack a day a year ago. I drink like a fish. I love my booze. And I don't apologize to anyone for that nor do I feel at all bad about that. Regardless, the amount that I drink is within the limits of what I have named, Survival Moderation. Meaning, I indulge in the things I love. Music, alcohol, tobacco, but within reason. I began the concept of Survival Moderation after a bout with Alcoholics Anonymous when I was 21 years old. (I'm 37 now)After that, I said to myself, screw this god shit. That don't work. I do this on my own without any sky daddy to hold my hand. Ya know what's scary? If I wasn't an atheist. With god by my side and having no fear of death due to the bullshit of the heaven concept, I'm sure I would have drank myself into the fuckin' ground by now. Ahhhh, sweet freedom.

Oh, and I've never had a DWI and only drink at home. (Besides at the brewery up the street, which I walk to)

TLB, great site here. I've recently found your work. Can't remember how.
Most likely I AM.

Rock on!

3:37 PM  
Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

TLD, where are you?

No blog posts? No comments emails? Have you been abducted by right wing Christians? :-O

If I dont hear from you in a few more days, Im gonna send you an email with a big bolg all-caps subject line. If I dont hear from you by the weekend, I am starting an all-atheist volunteer search party.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Tanooki Joe said...

Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to save the Libertarian Defender from the clutches of theist evil! We are ... the SUPERATHEISTS!

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Tanooki Joe said...

Where are you, Libdefender? You missed the philosophical orgy you created at the Evangical Atheist!

10:50 PM  
Anonymous subnormal said...

im starting to worry...

4:14 AM  
Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

Yea this is scary. He lives in New York, which is like 3000 miles from my house. Unfortunately I cant start my own search party.

And this whole weekend Im gonna be out of town at a party. But I wont be able to party as hard not knowing where TLD is!

This is so strange! TLD jumped into the atheist/politics blogging scene with an intellectual fury. He posted great stuff, showed excellent critical thinking skills, and quickly made friends with all of us, especially me. I published an essay of his on my blog, and got good responses from it.

To have him dissapear so suddenly, as suddenly as he jumped into the scene no less, is frightening. On the internet, you dont know what happens to people. When Vjack dissapeared during Katrina, everyone was seriously worried that he was hurt or his home was destroyed, or worse.

Now TLD is gone and Im wondering if he got mugged in NYC or something? What happened to him?????

Tonight, Im going to send him an email (after I got out of the office). Maybe you should all do the same.

His email is libertariandefender@hotmail.com

Lets hope that he is simply too busy or too far away from his computer to be posting. I cant fathom that he would just dissappear like this willingly, after showing so much enthusiasm and capability in his religious and political thinking.

TLD??!?!! ANSWER ME!!!!!!

11:16 AM  
Anonymous subnormal said...

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO TLD? I HOPE YOU ARE OK. FUCK!!!!!

5:09 AM  
Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

I know! Where is he?

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Tanooki Joe said...

This is getting really worrisome.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a Christian, i don't really get atheists. you say you aren't Christian bashing, but this whole post and all these responses are just that. Christian bash all you want, but don't pretend you don't do it when you do. i atheist bash all day long...but i don't pretend to not do it...i am a libertarian, so i probably agree with you on a lot. agnostics are much more tolerable in my opinion. they are the true thinkers as far as im concerned.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

anonymous you dont even know what agnosticism really is. Agnosticism is a process that leads to atheism and the scientific method.

And where the hell is TLD? I think his famous last words will be:

"I, for one, am ready to but forth the effort."

Thats a bad sign. :(

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Christian bashing"? I prefer to think of it as "railing against fucking stupidity." Does that make you feel better, Anon?

- Sokudo

4:33 AM  
Blogger Heathen Dan said...

Nice essay! Thank you for pointing out that we nonbelievers are taking too much shit for fictitious crimes and misdeeds. That one quote about atheists not even fit to live is particularly scary. Such callous disregard for nonbelievers!

6:31 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Aaron, I'm assuming that you did not get a response to your e-mail or you would have enlightened the rest of us, assuming that TLD is unable to respond for himself. I'm going to post this on your blog too. Please pardon the off-topic nature, but this is more worrysome the longer it continues.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post!!!

2:59 PM  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

Nice work.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Secular-Realist said...

I think the issue is clearly, that christians would do these things without the bible and god's word. Most of them are so concerned about morals without god, because of the way they acted without god in their lives! Those who seek god have issues in their lives.

5:03 PM  
Blogger JaundiceJames said...

Nice blog, but you're too kind. Religion is a plague on this planet. It's harmful. It's downright dangerous. But it's also counter productive and we cannot hope to make any progress as a nation, as a people, as a species until the world get's over it.

In addition to education and enlightenment, ridicule MUST be a tool in the top tray of every atheist's toolbox. It also happens to be my favorite tool in my own blog. -JJ

7:47 PM  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

James,

I completely agree with you. Mocking theism is a great pleasure. Not to be too disrespectful to my fellow citizens, but, after all, we atheists are in the minority--we have a right to be ornery.

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Subnormal said...

alright well, it's been about 5 months since any of us have heard from TLD. im sorry but i must now assume the worst. someone ought to mirror this site as a tribute to him, before its taken offline.

long live TLD, gone but not forgotten. your words inspired, enlightened, and entertained us all. we love you and we will surely miss you, hopefully we are all completely wrong, and you are drinking in the sweet milk and honey that flows through heaven.

rest in piece.

"Never again should we allow religious activists to negatively define us. It's time to take a stand, proudly admit who we are and try to make the world a better place in spite of religion.

I, for one, am ready to put forth the effort."

-The Libertarian Defender

10:49 PM  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

At first, I didn’t even notice that this blog was inactive. I never bothered to look at the posting dates. In any case, I enjoy reading the archives now. Too bad the author doesn’t update anymore; seemed like he had a lot of interesting things to say.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

I started off writing a rambling blog, like your average blog, http://skorohnomis.blogspot.com/, but now it seems to have become my thoughts on religion. I'm an athiest, pretty much, and have found myself engaged in a debate with people from a Christian.

I'm trying to get them to question their faith without getting personal - ie: throwing insults. I think that's the best way.

We must encourage rational thinking. We don't have this "higher" purpose, that religious believers do, but we have this place on Earth, in the here and the now.

What religious people counter argue si "you can't prove God does not exist". Which is an absurd thing to say - there are infinite things we can't prove don't exist. Little green men at the centre of the Earth, for example.

The trick IS NOT to try to argue against their specific beliefs - like trying to suggest the story of Adam & Eve is nonesense, because they will say "it's not meant to be taken literally".

We can't PROVE the Bible is fiction - but why should we have to?

Did Issac Newton say to doubters "I have no evidence for my theory of gravity, but you can't prove it doesn't exist."

No. He set about working out the principles which proved his theory. It was up to him to prove his ideas were fact.

7:05 AM  
Blogger The Phalanx said...

No one is more a champion of the notion of freedom than I. If someone chooses to express a belief in a particular faith (or not) that is certainly their prerogative. As a person of faith, I shoulder no allusions that I am superior to others (though I fully believe my views on matters of faith are correct, otherwise I would not possess them), nor am I in a position to judge others, it is not within the duties of the state to impose my faith upon those who choose to ignore or disregard faith.

Certainly, one can find numerous examples of hate or malicious speech espoused by Christians, just as easily as Jews, Agnostics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, etc…If I produce examples of Atheists calling for the deaths of all Christians does that condemn all Atheists? Certainly not, anymore than the foolish diatribes of Pat Robertson should condemn all those who profess to be Christian.

I profoundly accept and believe that morality is not limited to Christians or people of any other professed faith, anyone can embrace a moral life, rooted in the simple belief that they should treat others as they want to be treated, which is as much Christian as it is Confucian as it is common sense.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Abandon Ship!

I think we should keep commenting like the musicians playing as the Titanic went down...

7:33 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Perhaps TLD is just playing a game and seeing how long his blog will have a life of its own. One can hope. Happy Easter!

"I hear music when there's no one there ...." Not exactly Titanic vintage, but appropriate, I think.

8:35 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Ping. The world did not end yesterday. 6/7/06

7:44 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

No matter how many times I read this post, it's still is as fresh as the day I first read it.

What was it about again?

2:34 AM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Happy 4th of July, which is just another day outside the US, and an excuse to get drunk and injure one's self in one's driveway for many people here.

"...and the band played on..."

Good one Simon! Stay out of Chinatown TLD, or at least stay off the street.

9:41 AM  
Blogger atom said...

Its time for religious people to be exposed

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Emanuel Goldstein said...

Fighting "ism" eh?

Then you better include atheism.

My experience with atheism has been brutal, from being set up at work to watching my parents, both disabled by practioners of an atheistically based philosophy, struggle throught life.

Atheism is as ignorant as fundatmentalism

12:50 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

This is much more fun than beating a dead horse, not that I have any first-hand experience....

"Atheism is as ignorant as fundatmentalism"

Another bald thesis with no supporting arguments. Are you one of those that believe agnosticism is the only logical conclusion? On one hand, you've got anecdotal evidence, indoctrination using brainwashing techniques, fear, greed, and peer pressure. On the other hand you have an improbability approaching the infinite that all physical laws can be thrown out the window by "Supertimelessalphadaddy!" Able to make men out of mud and women out of barbeque meat.

Yup, in that an actual supreme being is inconceivable, and therefore all religion is bullshit, I guess atheism is ignorant because we just don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

6:31 PM  
Blogger C.L. Hanson said...

Hopefully the Internet will help to give real live atheists a platform to speak for themselves.

Personally, I make an effort to (politely) interact with religious blogs. I do it largely to try to combat the widespread belief that atheists are incomprehensibly depraved and evil.

3:05 AM  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

An atheist is merely someone who does not believe in the existence of a god or gods.

Theists like to assume all sorts of things from this. It bugs them that there are people out there who don't believe what they do.

They begin the character assassinations by ASSUMING that certain charateristics and attributes are there by default, BECAUSE someone is an atheist.

8:07 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Happy New Year 2007

3:32 PM  
Anonymous betsy said...

http://www.christiananswers.net/evangelism/beliefs/atheism.html

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Subnormal said...

I still think about him, and wonder if we will ever find out what happened, it's been almost 2 years now.

2:56 AM  
Blogger tinny ray said...

Your comments about the pledge on hellbound alleee were kewl. I could not find out how to email you (your contact on your blog does not work).

Pledge of Allegiance pictures http://rexcurry.net/pledge-allegiance-pledge-allegiance.jpg and Swastikas pictures http://rexcurry.net/swastika3clear.jpg expose shocking secrets about American history.

Socialists in the USA originated the Nazi salute, robotic group-chanting to flags, Nazism, flag fetishism, and the modern swastika as "S" symbolism for "Socialism." http://rexcurry.net/pledge2.html

Much of that history is the history of the Pledge Of Allegiance. A new documentary video movie exposes the shocking facts on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BssWWZ3XEe4
and here http://rexcurry.net/pledge-of-allegiance-rexcurrydotnet.wmv
and on google video
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4377628546479871943
and teacher tube http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=77b16a03aa81f09499f2

Those historical facts explain the enormous size and scope of government today, and the USA's growing police state. They are reasons for massive reductions in government, taxation, spending and socialism.

The "Nazi salute" is more accurately called the "American salute" as it was created and popularized by national socialists in the USA. It was the early salute of the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge was written by Francis Bellamy. http://rexcurry.net/pledgetragedy.html Francis Bellamy was cousin and cohort of Edward Bellamy. http://rexcurry.net/pledgebackward.html Edward Bellamy and Francis Bellamy were self-proclaimed socialists in the Nationalism movement and they promoted military socialism.

They wanted the government to take over education and use it to spread their worship of government. When the government granted their wish, the government’s schools imposed segregation by law and taught racism as official policy. The official racism and segregation was a bad example three decades before the National Socialist German Workers Party, and decades afterward.

The Pledge was mandated by law in government schools for three decades before, and through, the creation of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. http://rexcurry.net/bellamy-edward-karl-marx.html

Many people do not know that the term "Nazi" means "National Socialist German Workers' Party." Members of the horrid group did not call themselves Nazis. In that sense, there was no Nazi Party. They also did not call themselves Fascists. They called themselves socialists, just as their name indicates.

The historian Dr. Rex Curry showed that the early Pledge Of Allegiance did not use an ancient Roman salute, and that the 'ancient Roman salute' myth came from the Pledge Of Allegiance. The discoveries have been reviewed and verified on wikipedia http://rexcurry.net/roman-salute-metropolitan-museum-of-art.html

The original pledge was anti libertarian and began with a military salute that then stretched out toward the flag. In actual use, the second part of the gesture was performed with a straight arm and palm down by children casually performing the forced ritual chanting. Due to the way that both gestures were used sequentially in the pledge, the military salute led to the Nazi salute. The Nazi salute is an extended military salute via the USA's Pledge Of Allegiance.

Media coverage about the discoveries continues to grow http://rexcurry.net/audio-rex-curry-podcast-radio.html

Fan mail for work exposing the Pledge’s poisonous pedigree is at http://rexcurry.net/pledge_heart.html

And listen at http://odeo.com/audio/1747108/view

The Pledge's early salute caused quite a Fuhrer/furor. The dogma behind the Pledge was the same dogma that led to the socialist Wholecost (of which the Holocaust was a part): 62 million slaughtered under the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; 49 million under the Peoples’ Republic of China; 21 million under the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. It was the worst slaughter of humanity ever.

People were persecuted (beatings, lynchings, etc) for refusing to perform robotic chanting to the national flag at the same time in government schools in the USA and Germany (to the American flag, and to the German swastika flag).

American socialists (e.g. Edward Bellamy and Francis Bellamy teamed with the Theosophical Society and Freemasons) bear some blame for altering the notorious symbol used as overlapping S-letters for "socialism" under the National Socialist German Workers Party.
http://rexcurry.net/swastika3clear.jpg

The same symbol was used by the Theosophical Society during the time when the Bellamys, Freemasons and the Theosophical Society worked together to promote socialism.
http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-swastika.html

They also originated and helped to spread the stiff arm salute via the Pledge of Allegiance at their meetings.

As German socialism's notorious flag symbol, the swastika was deliberately turned 45 degrees to the horizontal and always oriented in the S-direction. Similar alphabetic symbolism is still visible as Volkswagen logos. http://rexcurry.net/swastika-audi-logo.JPG

The bizarre acts in the USA began as early as 1875 and continued through the creation of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (German Nazis or NSGWP). American soldiers used the swastika symbol in WWI (against Germany) and the symbol was used by the American military during WWII. http://rexcurry.net/45th-infantry-division-swastika-sooner-soldiers.html

The NSGWP had clear roots in National Socialism promoted by socialists in the USA. Amazing graphic images that prove the point are at http://rexcurry.net/theosophy-madame-blavatsky-theosophical-society.html

The USA is still the worst example in the world of bizarre laws that require robotic chanting to a national flag in government schools (socialist schools) every day for 12 years. It has changed generations of Americans from libertarians to authoritarians. The government bamboozled individuals into believing that collective robotic chanting in government schools daily is a beautiful expression of freedom. http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-pledge.html

1:18 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

"Symbols are for the symbol-minded" - George Carlin

Hope you had a swell Equinox TLD, wherever you are.

6:13 PM  
Blogger dan allosso said...

Hello fellow atheist blogger!

Over the past couple of days, we’ve emailed libraries across the U.S., telling them about Onion Breath and asking them to consider the book for their collections. Libraries are one of the last public institutions specifically dedicated to improving the mental landscape of the nation. They’ve traditionally been great advocates of diversity and tolerance, so we’re approaching them on this basis.

In most libraries, anyone with a valid library card can request additions to the collection. We hope our friends in the humanist and atheist communities will go online or visit their local libraries and ask them to get Onion Breath. As Amanda said, “Whether it helps normalize atheism in broader society will depend on it being carried by libraries and bookstores, and being read by families who do not identify as atheists.” (http://www.humaniststudies.org/enews/?id=318&article=2) We hope kids with no idea that there are atheists in their communities will open the book in their libraries and run to mommy or daddy asking questions. It all begins with questions.

An early response to the email came from a library administrator in Logan, Iowa. It said:

"Hmmm! No God ? No Creator? I Wonder where they got all
their humor and creativity? A Fish I suppose, Wonder who
created the fish? Something to chew on!!!"

We emailed back:

"Well, we have our own ideas on that, of course. The cool thing is, Onion Breath doesn’t try to slam religion or recruit for atheism. It just mentions that the characters are all atheists. If kids become familiar with the fact that the world they’re living in is filled with diversity, they may grow up more open to different points of view. That’s why we think Onion Breath belongs in your library. Thanks!"

We hope even librarians who are not atheists themselves will put Onion Breath on their shelves, in the name of diversity and tolerance. It’s important for kids (even the most conventional kids) to know there are other types of people in the world. Libraries get endowments, grants and government money to buy books like this. If they’re buying titles that support ethnic, lifestyle, or religious minorities, they ought to be buying Onion Breath. But usually it takes someone requesting the book to alert them there’s a community that needs service.

So please ask your library to get Onion Breath! And please let us know how it goes. Thanks!! Dan & Steph.

dan@onionbreath.net
http://www.onionbreath.net

8:28 AM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Happy New Year, 2008.

I hope you're still alive. Your vanishment from blogland still haunts me at times, but the crew of the Titanic stands ready to do your bidding.

Auld Lang Syne!

9:56 PM  
Blogger Rarus vir said...

As I read this string one thing keeps coming up in my mind, and that is that atheist means one simple thing, lack of belief in God or gods. Thats all, nothing else. It's not a way of life, its not a philosophy.
Why a bunch of intelligent folks bother with the stupidity of fundamentalists is beyond my ability to grasp.

Rise above it Humanists.

12:55 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Semi annual ping to keep this blog alive for no logical reason. TLD: If you are alive and ever visit here, know that you left a lasting impression. The world needs more stuff like this to think about and less of the superstitious bullshit circus that is modern entertainment.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Subnormal said...

November 21, 2008.

Still remember you, your words really touched me. Really hope you're not dead, haven't heard heads or tails of you in 3 years now.

1:43 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

I'm late this year. Happy New Year and Happy Valentine's Day 2009.

6:53 AM  
Blogger Annie Arnett said...

Check out my friends blog at www.outspokenlibertarian.com

You would LOVE my friends blog. Basically the same ideals

2:20 PM  

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