left biblioblography: EVERYONE'S A Critic, These Days...The Strawman Cometh

Sunday, January 20, 2008

EVERYONE'S A Critic, These Days...The Strawman Cometh


Cross posted at God's For Suckers!

I was trolling the 'Netwaves a few weeks ago, in lieu of the Pekka-Eric Auvinen tragedy - because let's face it, folks, we get blamed for every frackin' thing under the sun. This dipwad was an alleged 'humanist' who hated humanity - an 'anti-human humanist' to be exact. Which, by definition, means this loser was a serious wack-job. Let's never mind that this phrase runs contrary to the law of noncontradiction.

I won't go into any extended analysis. The kid was a loon. Atheism wouldn't have 'driven' him to it - likelihood is, he could've been a Mormon, a Baptist, or any other denomination. Mentally ill is as mentally ill does.

Anyways, I didn't have very far to go. This site features two fellows, Scott Ragan and John Sexton. It turns out that John has a big problem with atheism. It also seems that he's actually currently pursuing a Masters in Science and Religion at Biola University. Surprise, surprise! Another oxymoron! 'Biblically Centered Education'! (note that here, we have that already worn out crap about a 'former atheist'. This allegedly 'scientific' university even has a page about ID!)

For now, I'll bypass how ridiculous the damn book is (as I've gone on at length about this in prior posts). How it fails miserably as a scientific textbook (hold your jeers, folks!). Or the Intelligent Design 'debate' (didn't last more than a few weeks in court, gimmee a break here!). For now, I'm calling strawman.

What our dear friend John does in his 'criticisms', is what just about every religious critic does when they critique atheism. They take the more outspoken among them, do a dervish dance, and poke holes in either said proponents actions, or said proponents words, and use these items in a manner to cast some form of aspersion on the individual, thereby incriminating any others (inferred or otherwise) that fall under the umbrella of said movement.

Which is a fine and valid technique if you're going after an actual epistemology, but fails miserably in this case. Why? Because of the lack of cohesion amongst us. Because atheism trends towards the individual, rather than the hive-mind. True enough, what binds us together is an absence of belief, and certainly, most of us agree on certain items, but for the most part, we agree that the supernatural is just some romantic arrested development on the part of most individuals. That's about it.

A consensus of opinion on one matter is not necessarily a consensus on all matters. I've rejected moral relativism, I support Israel, I've even pointed out where Muslims have contributed to civilization, and have even disputed the concept of Qiqong as 'woo'. Oh, and I'm pro-life and pro-choice.

I think it's probably quite frustrating for the religious critics, who approach us from the angle of the tu quoque, only to have the blow land on nothing. Or perhaps they simply imagine that they're striking a blow for truth and justice? Probably, seeing as they have imaginary relationships with entities that don't exist.

Let's get back on track here.

Johnny boy obviously misses the whole point here when Harris challenged 1 billion people to pray a limb to re-grow. (Prayer doesn't work.) He also doesn't seem to understand that the Golden Compass isn't really an 'atheist tract' - in fact, he claims the author (Lev Grossman) 'is a fan of the books and was worried they wouldn’t be anti-Christian enough.' Actual quote is: 'My chief worry going into the movie was that they would soft-pedal the anti-church aspects of the novel.' Not quite the same thing. Then there's this weak-ass critique of how the 'Amazing Atheist' didn't act in time to prevent the Jokela (or act appropriately - Jokela's in Finland, dude!), though judging from this sordid little bit, the guy's anything but 'amazing'. And his piece about 'Atheists Behaving Badly'? Well, for starters:

A. Watson's an asshole for making that claim about African Americans,
B. Stark isn't the only politician who's said some pretty stupid things (but he's one in a thousand in this respect: he fucking apologized, at least. Larry Craig's still denying he's gay, for one thing: I could go on at length about all these 'family values' hypocrites).
C. George Carlin's comment was completely taken out of context (what a surprise! What was that thing, you know, about bearing false witness?).

As to this ridiculous study, it's obviously not taking the actual statistics into consideration - Canada's seems not very forthcoming as the latest serious stats date back to 2001. Anyone have anything more recent?

So these mushmouths (like that last dweeb I exposed as a lying twit has already declared 'victory', see under Reasons for Examining My Persuasion in his blog - somehow he won! Nary a valid point was raised...I criticized his parroted right wing talking points only) really can't figure out why we're so pissed off? Why we can't just be those precious little 'casual secularists' they snivel about? Waaah, waaah, waaah!

Hey, far as I'm concerned, kid gloves are off. They have been for some time. The carnies have a saying: "You wanna play? You gotta pay."

This is the Apostate, signing off.

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