PZ’s Minions Are Pretty Bad, Actually

August 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm (Uncategorized)

I was kind of hoping PZ’s vacation would give me a vacation to deal with moving and other such things.  But no, his guest bloggers are all pretty strong athiests.  I’m only beginning from the bottom of the current first page, but I’ll do a retrospective if I must.

The aptly-named PZMinion has chosen this nice article to rip on.  He doesn’t seem to have PZ’s good taste in selection of publication, but whatever, his desperation screams both through his choice of article and his rhetoric.

Wait, what rhetoric?  The guy’s obviously trying to pull PZ’s usual tirade, but it just isn’t working.  He blurs the line between sarcasm and self-righteous indignation so much that it’s literally quite difficult to understand what he’s saying, for example:

Oh NOES! Not “atheists think ALL our problems stem from religion!” Not the “atheists only see the bad side of religion” meme again! And what about STALIN and POL POT? How do you explain THAT? Yes, the ‘pygmies and dwarves’ of atheism show up, on schedule.

My, how incomprehensible!

He goes on to quote nearly all of the article, and whatever he doesn’t quote he sarcastically re-words.  And he just doesn’t have much to say, because it’s a reasonable article.  It almost seems like a retarded fourth grader trying to spit back insults and failing miserably.  “Yeah…well…YOUR MOM is fat!!!”

It seems that in the minds of many people, respect takes the place of debate. No, it’s not the necessary prerequisite for debate. It’s the substitute. You can have one, or you can have the other. Not both. Do not MAKE other people try to think like you. Don’t force them. Don’t violate their minds. Don’t rape their viewpoints. Don’t steal their faith. Everybody leave everybody alone on religion, and talk about something else. No arguing.

I don’t think he’s being sarcastic, but he’s very, very wrong.  Respect is absolutely necessary for any kind of debate to be productive.  One can undergo a heated exchange of ideas in full recognition of the fact that neither party’s worldview will be altered by it, but such conversations can lead to education and, indeed, tolerance.

In case he actually does believe respect to be necessary for debate…let’s just say his actions speak volumes more than his words.  His disrespecful posting-on-the-Internet actions, anyway.

The problem with Militant Atheists apparently is that they are NOT content to leave the religious alone. Oh, they don’t go to their houses or picket their churches. But they don’t shut up, either. They go into forums intended for the free expression of ideas and niggle at them. They bring up religion-inspired violence. They criticize and critique.

Militant atheists will even bring up whether God exists or not. They make a case for naturalism and reason, and then examine the case for God. They actually ask the religious to consider the existence of God as a fact claim about the world, as a hypothesis which may be false, and they address ordinary people. Oh, those aggressive carriers of dis-ease and doubt. Damn them all. They go right out in public where everyone can see and hear to try to FORCE people to seriously consider the possibility that God does not exist.

And what bombs they drop. When religion is sensible, it stands on its own without God. But when religion doesn’t make sense, it carries its own, special, irrefutable form of dogmatism and irrationality. Belief in God can justify what can’t be justified on rational grounds, and gives it an unearned authority. Militant atheists point that out and declare that this is not a distortion of religion – it’s an inherent flaw within the system. It’s not the people. There is something wrong with faith itself.

Funny how he consistently refers to Militant Atheists as a holistic group, of similar minds and instincts.  How, again, is this different from religion?  Oh, right, they believe only in logic and rationality.  Yet, what is faith but a deep, innate instinct?  Why, instinct is so natural, normal and effective, even animals can use it successfully!

I guess because they can’t go to a library and justify it within ten mintues, whatever they use this religion to justify is an “unearned authority.”  But last time I checked most human reason and rationality was deeply flawed, at least as flawed as faith and instinct, if not moreso because it seems to give a clear, straightforward sort of justification.  Wasn’t it science which justified lobotomies, completely disfiguring all kinds of people in the middle of the 20th century?  Did Nazi doctors not mutilate and kill Jews under the pretense of research and discovery?  Some unearned authority those religious types have, what with their holidays and rituals and all.

Yes, indeed. Saying that is just like shooting up a church. Great comparison, Mr. Burkes.

No, he didn’t say that.  He said, “At the end of the day, no one wants to be blasted for their faith or lack of it.”  Which means, stop fucking up those polls and trolling believers, offline and on.

Militant atheists shut off “the conversation.” How can you possibly have any sort of dialogue with people who are trying to persuade you to change your mind?

Good question.  Why don’t you stop trying to persuade me to change my mind, first?

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