Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Reason Rally

HT: Ben Ya'achov.

OK, as Ricky Ricardo would say, splain. Explain to me the difference between this and a KKK rally, other than the fact that, primarily, Christians were the targets, as opposed to Blacks and Jews.

93 comments:

finney said...

The difference may be the KKK spoke in order to incite action to physically remove blacks and send them "back" to Africa, or to otherwise incite immediate violence toward people groups.

That said this sounds like a stupid rally. You need an Oxford professor to have stupid ideas get their validation.

Jim S. said...

I spent a few days working with a guy who had a tattoo on his leg of a lion with a severed arm in its mouth, with the arm holding a cross. I thought about telling him "That's my arm" but figured it would be too surreal since I would be pointing at his leg when I said it. I ended up just trying to be as friendly with him as possible. It didn't really bother me, I was almost amused that someone would get that tattooed on oneself.

Zach said...

. Explain to me the difference between this and a KKK rally...

People pushing for science, reason, a naturalistic worldview, and you need someone to explain how this is different from a KKK rally?

Wow.

Matt DeStefano said...

Well, one group is advocating that we mock the view that bread magically becomes the body of a man, while one group bombs the homes of innocent people because of their skin color.

In the words of Clay Davis, this is some shameful shit.

cl said...

Victor,

"OK, as Ricky Ricardo would say, splain."

LOL!

Well duh, the obvious difference (in the spirit of the recently departed Loftus): Christians have a choice in their delusion, blacks were born into it.

Nevermind the fact that neither have a choice according to the determinist Loftus-types espouse elsewhere. That would simply be too inconvenient a fact, one that required it's own splaining...

cl said...

Matt,

"In the words of Clay Davis, this is some shameful shit."

What's some shameful shit? The "reason" rally? Or Vic implying that there are striking similarities between the "reason" rally and a KKK rally?

Matt DeStefano said...

The latter, obviously. One is a hate-group that has lynched, firebombed, and otherwise murdered thousands of people because of their skin color, political allegiance, or fondness for civil rights. Their rallies, in particular, were in order to incite violence against a minority group, support hatred against a certain skin color, and in general promote racism and nationalism. (If we want to make a comparison between the KKK and another group, I would suggest the Tea Party: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38VioxnBaI)

The Reason Rally's greatest crime (according to the wholly unbiased and neutral Catholic League..) is inciting "mocking" and "questioning" the beliefs of Catholics, and a sign about lions eating people.

It's a despicable and intellectually insulting comparison.

rank sophist said...

Matt,

Oh, can I try the spin game too?

One is about how we need to keep our country safe from outside influence--to retain our moral values in the face of a most serious threat. Unfortunately, violence must sometimes be used to achieve this lofty goal.

The other is a sacred ritual used for thousands of years by Christians worldwide. It connects participants to countless others who have performed it, and brings them closer to the foundations of their tradition.

The Sistine Chapel is some old building with a faded, chipping painting on the ceiling.

The Reason Rally is a Maoish exercise in brainwashing supporters. It shows all signs of soon-to-be violent conflict.

President Obama is a patriot who personally authorizes a third of all drone strikes, taking personal responsibility for the safety of US citizens.

President Obama is a megalomaniac who demands authority over military operations, and who flagrantly violates borders with his robot deathmachine army.

B. Prokop said...

Victor,

It is impossible to explain the difference, because there isn't any. This is just a tiny foretaste of what is in store were atheism ever to become a societal norm in our own country. Don't believe me? Check out the history of the "League of the Godless" in the Soviet Union. They stationed people outside houses of worship to make note of who attended, and then these persons were subject to cruel oppression in the workplace and elsewhere (denied promotion, losing one's job, ridicule, physical violence, arrest, and occasionally execution). They disrupted services with loud hecklers and violence. They jeered at funeral processions and mocked the mourners. They spat, urinated upon, and fired pistols into icons and other religious artwork. They dynamited 1000 year old churches, and turned others into storehouses for heavy machinery, etc. They forbade parents from educating their own children in the Faith, and banned the possession of religious images and literature. Need I continue?

Am I saying that atheists are bad people. Absolutely not. Am I saying that atheism is a societal evil? Yes, yes, and again yes!

Emanuel Goldstein said...

We have had atheists here in Kansas City phyically threaten Christians.

They even posted on a local blog, run by the former relgion editor of the K C Star that we would end up in a ditch "like Jimmy Hoffa."

Of course they don't have the political power to do anything, but if they did...

Victor Reppert said...

If you stir up hate to that level, regardless of the cause, someone is going to step over the line into violence. Of course, you didn't tell them to be violent.

I'm perfectly sure that the Nazis made their agenda sound appealing to the citizens of Germany. The picture that Hitler put into people's minds was certainly not the picture of the charred bodies found at Auschwitz.

Once we step outside the realm of civil discourse and fundamental rules of interaction, you are headed for trouble. The nobility of the cause, if anything, makes the temptation to be a persecutor more severe.

Matt DeStefano said...

rank,

Are you kidding me? Look, the tradition of bread-into-flesh is important to Catholic theology, and yes it "draws people closer to their faith", but to act as if Dawkins' remark to "mock them" is tantamount to the KKK asking its adherents to threaten, intimidate, lynch, and firebomb people for the color of their skin is absolutely absurd. Even more absurd is to compare the Reason Rally to a "Maoish exercise in brainwashing", as if there is a secret, subversive agenda by those in charge to physically eradicate Christians themselves.


"We have had atheists here in Kansas City phyically threaten Christians."

Do you really think this is a one-sided affair? I can link to hundreds and hundreds of stories of Christian conservatives bullying gays, lesbians, atheists (even the Republican candidate for President has a past).

In fact, I would wager dollars-to-donuts that there are more reported incidents of Christian-to-atheist threats and bullying than the other way around.

Matt DeStefano said...

"If you stir up hate to that level, regardless of the cause, someone is going to step over the line into violence. Of course, you didn't tell them to be violent. "

Well, the Reason Rally already happened and there wasn't any violence at the event that I'm aware of. There weren't any lynch-mobs, firebombs, or burning crosses. There weren't any Christians brutally murdered for being Christians, and there were tons of them at the event. So, where is this "someone" who is going to step over the line into violence?

"I'm perfectly sure that the Nazis made their agenda sound appealing to the citizens of Germany. The picture that Hitler put into people's minds was certainly not the picture of the charred bodies found at Auschwitz. "

Godwin's Law already? I might have to stop frequenting this blog as much. I can't believe anyone would seriously compare the Reason Rally to the Nazi regime, or the message accompanying the Reason Rally to the ideas that Hitler was advocating.

rank sophist said...

Are you kidding me? Look, the tradition of bread-into-flesh is important to Catholic theology, and yes it "draws people closer to their faith", but to act as if Dawkins' remark to "mock them" is tantamount to the KKK asking its adherents to threaten, intimidate, lynch, and firebomb people for the color of their skin is absolutely absurd. Even more absurd is to compare the Reason Rally to a "Maoish exercise in brainwashing", as if there is a secret, subversive agenda by those in charge to physically eradicate Christians themselves.

You completely missed my point. I was commenting on the spin job you were pulling. With a few word choices, I can make something sound evil or righteous; ridiculous or reasonable. What you're trying to do is justify the Reason Rally by making transubstantiation sound silly. I can counter by making transubstantiation sound deep and meaningful, and by putting the Reason Rally in a Hitleresque light. Does this mean anything? Not at all. It's just a word game.

Here are the facts: the Reason Rally energized the anti-religious base in part by promoting intolerance. Spin that however you want, but you aren't going to make it sound appetizing to anyone but a hardened Gnu. I'm sure that this blog's rational posters would be appalled by a Christian rally that promoted intolerance toward atheists, or toward some other religious group. Likewise, we'd be appalled by a Nazi rally that promoted intolerance toward Jews and blacks, or (to come full circle) a communist rally that promoted intolerance toward the religious. There is a wide gulf between believing that religion is false and a position of intolerance toward the religious.

Matt said...

So far the Reason Rally folks aren't lynching any Christians. Predicting that as the next stage is a little...premature. The only link to actual violence is the sign that says “So many Christians, so few lions" and even that is likely tongue-in-cheek. Certainly this rally is uncivil but I get the impression that it is overall peaceful. I think you should be a little more careful about making comparisons like this Victor.

Matt DeStefano said...

"Here are the facts: the Reason Rally energized the anti-religious base in part by promoting intolerance."

I like that you snuck the "in part" in there. The Catholic League takes one line out of Dawkins speech and suddenly the whole movement is about "preaching intolerance".

"Spin that however you want, but you aren't going to make it sound appetizing to anyone but a hardened Gnu."

Don't distract from the point. I'm not advocating that the Reason Rally should be appetizing to anyone, I'm arguing that's it not in any way comparable to an extremist racist group responsible for thousands of deaths and inestimable violence, threats, and intimidation.

" I'm sure that this blog's rational posters would be appalled by a Christian rally that promoted intolerance toward atheists, or toward some other religious group. Likewise, we'd be appalled by a Nazi rally that promoted intolerance toward Jews and blacks, or (to come full circle) a communist rally that promoted intolerance toward the religious. There is a wide gulf between believing that religion is false and a position of intolerance toward the religious"

This is seriously frustrating. In one thread, I have you all jumping down my throat for comparing Feser and Dawkins for the degree of their bile. In another thread, I have to defend the idea that the Reason Rally is not akin to a gathering of the KKK or a Nazi regime gathering.

Do you think the Reason Rally and the KKK are similar?

unkleE said...

Perhaps this report from the Washington Post may be a little more balanced, and I think it is probably good that atheists don't feel they need to hide their worldview.

But I agree that the more extreme statements (e.g. Dawkins' "ridicule and show contempt ... Mock them, ridicule them in public") are reprehensible and likely to incite some people to worse behaviour.

I am currently reading "God is red" by chinese dissident and non-believer Liao Yiwu about how chinese communists brutalised the rural population who were christians, and he makes it clear that atheism as well as communism and nationalism was a significant reason. Atheists en masse are just as capable of nasty behaviour as a christians or churches (the two aren't always the same).

What is the saying about the only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history?

rank sophist said...

I like that you snuck the "in part" in there. The Catholic League takes one line out of Dawkins speech and suddenly the whole movement is about "preaching intolerance".

Actually, my main source was this article from NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/03/26/149310560/atheist-firebrand-richard-dawkins-unrepentant-for-harsh-words-targeting-faith

Don't distract from the point. I'm not advocating that the Reason Rally should be appetizing to anyone, I'm arguing that's it not in any way comparable to an extremist racist group responsible for thousands of deaths and inestimable violence, threats, and intimidation.

My point is that they both preach intolerance. You're measuring the movements by their consequences; I'm measuring them by their rhetoric.

This is seriously frustrating. In one thread, I have you all jumping down my throat for comparing Feser and Dawkins for the degree of their bile. In another thread, I have to defend the idea that the Reason Rally is not akin to a gathering of the KKK or a Nazi regime gathering.

Do you think the Reason Rally and the KKK are similar?


Note that I put Christian rallies against atheists in the same boat. Any rally for that kind of intolerance is akin to the KKK and, by extension, the Nazi/communist regimes.

This situation is different from the Feser-Dawkins issue for a key reason that Ben mentioned in the last thread: Feser and Dawkins differ in kind, rather than degree. On the other hand, the Reason Rally and my other examples differ only in degree.

Matt DeStefano said...

"Actually, my main source was this article from NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/03/26/149310560/atheist-firebrand-richard-dawkins-unrepentant-for-harsh-words-targeting-faith ... My point is that they both preach intolerance. You're measuring the movements by their consequences; I'm measuring them by their rhetoric.
"

So you read one article and saw one speech from an entire rally and made an assumption that the goal of the rally was to "preach intolerance"?

Awesome.

"Note that I put Christian rallies against atheists in the same boat. Any rally for that kind of intolerance is akin to the KKK and, by extension, the Nazi/communist regimes.

This situation is different from the Feser-Dawkins issue for a key reason that Ben mentioned in the last thread: Feser and Dawkins differ in kind, rather than degree. On the other hand, the Reason Rally and my other examples differ only in degree."

This is absolutely laughable. Let's look at the difference in "kind" between the "Reason Rally" and the KKK/Nazis.

The KKK didn't merely "preach intolerance", they advocated violence, threats, intimidation, lynching, and firebombing those who happen to be black. The Nazi's didn't merely "preach intolerance", they rounded up those of a certain ethnicity and mass-exterminated them. They hunted them out of the depths of Germany and put them in gas chambers and slaughtered them by the thousands. Is the Reason Rally gathering up Christians to feed them to the lions?

Victor Reppert said...

OK, they haven't gotten that far yet. But what will prevent these atheists from behaving in this way if they really had the opportunity to do so. Religionists are a blight on the world, they are holding back the progess of science, religion leads to violence, teaching children religion abuses them, so what, other than lack of opportunity, will prevent these people from anti-religious violence and persecution?

If the atheists have all the guns in their hands, why suppose that we will get world peace instead of some less savory result? Do atheists think they have nothing to kill or die for? When atheists have had a monopoly on the use of force, what was it like?

If someone were to have a rally for Jesus in which similar things were said about atheists that are were said about Christians, what would atheists say? If a Christian leader makes a statement of a similar inflammatory nature about gays, or Muslims, how do you think the news reports it?

What if a Christian were to tell his congregation to go out and mock homosexuals every chance you get. What do we think of people carrying Got Aids Yet signs?

One of my pet peeves is the ridiculous idea that atheism will cure human beings of the passions that lead to violence. Why believe such a thing. When inflammatory rhetoric reaches a certain temperature, something is going to catch on fire, and why atheist rhetoric is any less dangerous than any other escapes me.

The fact that this is all in the name of reason and science is not germane. Love of country is, in itself, a laudable motive, just as the advance of science is.

rank sophist said...

So you read one article and saw one speech from an entire rally and made an assumption that the goal of the rally was to "preach intolerance"?

Awesome.


This article and the clips I saw of Dawkins' speech, on top of the stuff mentioned in the combox. What is wrong with drawing conclusions from that?

The Nazi's didn't merely "preach intolerance", they rounded up those of a certain ethnicity and mass-exterminated them. They hunted them out of the depths of Germany and put them in gas chambers and slaughtered them by the thousands.

That was the effect of the intolerance-preaching. Only one time in Mein Kampf, for example, does Hitler refer to killing Jews, and it's completely figurative. He was screaming about their inferiority, which then led to the Holocaust.

Dawkins is telling his followers that religion is valueless, and that those who believe it are idiots who deserve to be mocked and belittled. This has not led to violence, but it's the brand of rhetoric that does lead to violence nine times out of ten. That's what I'm complaining about. I'm not saying "oh ya gnus and maoists r the same"--I'm saying that they share a hateful brand of rhetoric that can and does incite violence. The differences occur in the degree of that hate, and in the consequences that arise from it.

I think that Dawkins is doing something dangerous, and I have no qualms about admitting it. I'm not proposing argumentum ad Hitlerum to discredit Dawkins, or anything of that sort. I just don't think that this is going to go anywhere but downhill.

cl said...

Matt,

"The latter, obviously."

It's not obvious to me, at all. That's why I asked, because to me, the "reason" rally is the real sham here, and Vic is wholly within reason to ask what he asked.

"One is a hate-group that has lynched, firebombed, and otherwise murdered thousands of people because of their skin color, political allegiance, or fondness for civil rights."

He didn't compare the groups. Quit attacking straw. He asked in what way the "reason" rally substantially differed from a KKK rally. Sure, there wasn't a direct call to kill anybody, but that's the main difference. Everything else is overlap.

Mr. Reppert suggests that the "reason" rally shares most if not all the irrationality of a KKK rally, and I agree with him. Answer me this: did both denigrate their pariahs? Yes. Did both make despicable comments that devalued the lives of their pariahs? Yes. Did both contain effigies? Did both advocate intolerance against their pariahs? Yes. Did both depart from critical thinking? Yes. Did both stoop to the level of rhetorical polemics aimed at demonizing the objects of their scorn? Yes. On and on, down the line, etc.

Are you really going to tell me that KKK rallies and Nazi youth rallies didn't start like the "reason" rally? That the killing came after "eloquent" speeches not unlike Dawkins'? That there wasn't a crescendo? That if you went back in time before the KKK actually started killing that you wouldn't find their rallies eerily similar to this "reason" rally?

If so, then you're more far-gone that I ever could have imagined.

"Their rallies, in particular, were in order to incite violence against a minority group, support hatred against a certain skin color, and in general promote racism and nationalism."

...and the "reason" rally incited bigotry against Christians, hatred against a certain metaphysical belief, and in general promoted atheism. Therefore, wasn't the "reason" rally far more similar to a KKK rally than not?

"It's a despicable and intellectually insulting comparison."

It's despicable and intellectually insulting that you're passively condoning these idiotic thought police. It's telling to me that you'd resist agreeing with Victor's underlying sentiment here. Just a few days ago you were accosting other theist regulars for what you (mistakenly) saw as an inability to criticize one's own. Yet here you are, with a perfect opportunity to criticize your own group, and you make but a passing mention calling it "uncivil," spending the rest of your time badgering us because we're seeing clearly enough to recognize the very real similarities between this "reason" rally and any other congregation of insolent intolerance.

You have great faith, Matt, great faith in your new tribe.

cl said...

Victor,

"If someone were to have a rally for Jesus in which similar things were said about atheists that are were said about Christians, what would atheists say?"

They would be demanding prosecution, guaranteed. They whine when a cross is too big. If the tables were turned here, every internet atheist would be whining at the top of their lungs, including DeStefano.

Seriously, this is a joke.

B. Prokop said...

Once again, Victor, you've hit the nail on the head. The atheists claim a monopoly on good intentions whilst calling for ridicule and mocking (and worse). The very name of the rally is based on a totally unfounded presupposition that the atheist is somehow the sole proprietor of "reason", completely ignoring the millenia-old alliance of Reason and Faith championed by the greatest minds of Human History Augustine, Gregory the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Copernicus, Kepler, Sir Isaac Newton, Gregor Mendel, G.K. Chesterton, and countless others come to mind.

Even on this website you have posters whining that they're not being treated with the deferrence they feel they deserve, all the while heaping the most insulting abuse upon believers, mocking things held Holy and Sacred without the least trace of remorse. For someone to speak of the Holy Eucharist the way one sees at times on this very site is tantamount to me calling their mothers the most shameful things imaginable. Neither one is very good manners, to say the very least, and in the end does nothing but call shame upon the head of the perpetrator.

(By the way, I would have loved to see the reception at this self-styled "Reason Rally" a Thomist would have gotten, had one been invited to speak. Yet there is no discipline more fanatically devoted to Reason than Thomistic Theology.)

Matt said...

Victor,

I totally agree that irreligiosity is not a cure-all for violence. We have no reason to expect that ending religion will somehow change human nature away from forming allegiances to groups and doing violence to other groups. The sad thing is that I think that many members of the rally are aware that the technique of mockery is not a use of reason and are embracing the effect it has on our more primitive components. They see mockery as a means of establishing their goals because rational discussion hasn't worked (take from that what you will, either religious people are too deluded or there are rational reasons for being religious) so now it's about winning. I'm still not sure what that could mean for violence from some sort of united atheist front (as opposed to actions of isolated individuals) but it does not bode well for the use of reason in discussing the existence of God.

Fortunately the Reason Rally types are not all that exists in the atheist camp and we can have reasonable discussions with people like Matt DeStefano without throwing around the Delusion word or making comparisons to the KKK.

Matt said...

Cl,

"If the tables were turned here, every internet atheist would be whining at the top of their lungs, including DeStefano."

This comment implies to me that Matt endorses the Reason Rally because he is criticizing Victor's complaint about it. I don't think (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong anyone) that Matt is saying Christians have nothing to complain about in regards to the Reason Rally but that it is wrong to compare them to the KKK.

"He didn't compare the groups. Quit attacking straw. He asked in what way the "reason" rally substantially differed from a KKK rally. Sure, there wasn't a direct call to kill anybody, but that's the main difference. Everything else is overlap."

I think the call to kill somebody is a pretty significant difference. The rally surely has lost it's connection to the term Reason when they support the use of mockery to change peoples' minds and that is a valid criticism but in what ways Vic wanted us to make the comparison was ambiguous which can make it seem like he is comparing degree of harm. That is like comparing a vandal to an arsonist.

Andres Ruiz said...

Vic,

Seriously?

rank sophist said...

Religionists are a blight on the world, they are holding back the progess of science, religion leads to violence, teaching children religion abuses them

I'd like to add a couple of choice quotes from Dawkins to this, mixed in with quotes from a few historical figures.

"And when we look closely [at religion], we find a system of morals which any civilised person today should surely find poisonous."

"I want to examine that dangerous thing that’s common to Judaism and Christianity as well: the process of non-thinking called 'faith'."

"Religion is poison."

"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world."

"[People] are taught by religion to practice charity while on earth, thus offering [the powerful] a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven."

"There are all sorts of things that would be comforting. I expect an injection of morphine would be comforting... But to say that something is comforting is not to say that it's true."

"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions."

"Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that."

"Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."

Anyone want to guess who said what?

Crude said...

While I think the comparison to the KKK is fair, I think another good one would simply be to the Cult of Reason.

If they don't wish to be compared to hate groups or maniacs, they shouldn't act like them. Instead, Gnus want to be able to snarl, scream and attack as fervently as all the other bigots, but simply not be called out regarding it.

cl said...

Matt,

"This comment implies to me that Matt endorses the Reason Rally because he is criticizing Victor's complaint about it."

That's not at all how it was meant to be taken. All I said was that if Christians held an event where they scorned atheists thus, that most every atheist with a blog would jump all over that as an example of the "bigotry" and "intolerance" of Christians, DeStefano included. If you don't think that's true, I'm okay with our disagreement.

"I don't think (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong anyone) that Matt is saying Christians have nothing to complain about in regards to the Reason Rally but that it is wrong to compare them to the KKK."

Matt has not condemned the "reason" rally with nearly the force that he should. All he said was that it was "uncivil" but it goes way beyond that. By not condemning these hate-mongering intellectually fascist fools, Matt is passively condoning the same type of tolerance that lead to KKK / Nazi killings, and most dangerous is that this is happening ostensibly in the name of critical thinking.

"I think the call to kill somebody is a pretty significant difference."

As do I, but Matt makes it sound like you'd find calls to kill at every KKK rally. As another commenter pointed out, the Third Reich loons didn't go that far, either. There has been many a KKK / Nazi rally *WITHOUT* direct calls to kill. How different are they from the "reason" rally?

Anyways. Not trying to come at you, I'm just really disappointed with much of what I've heard from Matt lately (partly because he's out there demonizing me as a Creationist and claiming I'm "anti-science," if you want the links for proof I'll give them I'm just too lazy to dig them up at the moment). Then he comes along here and instead proving his place at the rational atheist table he minces words with regard to Dawkins and the hate-mongers. it's just... annoying.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

I've posted a response here:

http://secularoutpost.infidels.org/2012/05/are-reason-rallies-analogous-to-kkk.html

Steven Carr said...

'Explain to me the difference between this and a KKK rally...'

Err, no crosses?

The other difference is that some people will attempt to smear atheists, using any tactics they consider acceptable in their views, regardless of how much their religion allegedly tells them to be the salt of the earth.

Steven Carr said...

DAWKINS
“Do you really believe…that when a priest blesses a wafer, it turns into the body of Christ?”


CARR
It is one short, short step from saying such things to putting people into gas chambers, isn't it, Victor?

rank sophist said...

Carr,

When you're dealing with someone who unconsciously paraphrases the rhetoric of Mao, Marx and Lenin to excite his followers, it's hard not to be worried.

Jeffery Jay Lowder said...

Rank sophist -- OK, I'll bite. Please say more about this: "unconsciously paraphrases the rhetoric of Mao, Marx and Lenin to excite his followers, it's hard not to be worried."

What are the paraphrases? What are the original statements being paraphrased?

Matt DeStefano said...

"OK, they haven't gotten that far yet. But what will prevent these atheists from behaving in this way if they really had the opportunity to do so. Religionists are a blight on the world, they are holding back the progess of science, religion leads to violence, teaching children religion abuses them, so what, other than lack of opportunity, will prevent these people from anti-religious violence and persecution? "

The KKK didn't carry out their violence through political machinery, they just firebombed houses and lynched people in mobs. If the Reason Rally is just like a KKK rally, why hasn't the violence started yet? Why haven't the atheists fire-bombed the houses of Christians? Why haven't they hung them from the trees?

Or are you backing down on your original comparison?

"This comment implies to me that Matt endorses the Reason Rally because he is criticizing Victor's complaint about it. I don't think (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong anyone) that Matt is saying Christians have nothing to complain about in regards to the Reason Rally but that it is wrong to compare them to the KKK."

Thanks, Matt (nice name). I agree fully - I wasn't trying to say that Christians should just say "Oh, Dawkins wants everyone to mock us? Awesome!" I was saying, however, that it's completely unfair to say "He wants people to mock us? This is the new KKK!"

"That was the effect of the intolerance-preaching. Only one time in Mein Kampf, for example, does Hitler refer to killing Jews, and it's completely figurative. He was screaming about their inferiority, which then led to the Holocaust. "

I'm not even going to bother going the rounds with you again, rank. Several Christians here have already acknowledged how absurd and unfair these comparisons are. If you can't see how absolutely foolish these comparisons are (and how far you're reaching to defend them), I've sorely misjudged your ability to think rationally despite your intellectual commitments.

Just a few days ago you were accosting other theist regulars for what you (mistakenly) saw as an inability to criticize one's own. Yet here you are, with a perfect opportunity to criticize your own group, and you make but a passing mention calling it "uncivil," spending the rest of your time badgering us because we're seeing clearly enough to recognize the very real similarities between this "reason" rally and any other congregation of insolent intolerance.

Ironically, I was thinking the same for you. Here's a perfect opportunity to tell someone they're going over the line by making an unfair and irresponsible comparison, and most Christians here either declared the end of the world (Prokop), took issue with the way I phrased transubstantiation (rank), and then Victor (who I've lost a deal of respect for in the absurdity of his response) compared atheists at the Reason Rally to the political party responsible for one of the largest genocides we've ever seen.

My mistake pales in comparison to this one, and it's very telling that when Victor is shown to be mistaken, instead of admitting the comparison was unfair, he doubles down and changes the subject to what us evil atheists will do "once we get power" in the future.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30YW3wgRvyI

Steven Carr said...

Attacks on Catholics spread

Shocking bias against Catholics, once again.

It is the duty of Catholics everywhere to report every instance of anti-Catholic bias.

Steven Carr said...

Victor asks, very reasonably, in my opinion what people would say if Christians started claiming Nazis were saved.

William Lane Craig on salvation

'. Indeed, God may have known that through the guilt and shame of what Heinrich did under the Third Reich, he would eventually come to repent and find salvation and eternal life.

Paradoxically, being a Nazi may have been the best thing that happened to Heinrich, since it led to his salvation. Of course, one may wonder about those poor people who suffered in the death camps because of Heinrich.'

We have top Christian philosophers, that Dawkins is afraid to debate, claiming becoming a Nazi led to the salvation of people, because they committed such horrors that they repented and were saved.

And Victor is astonished that atheists actually want to mock people who claim that becoming a Nazi was probably the best thing that could have happened to some people, because it led to their salvation.

Victor is astonished and flabbergasted that Dawkins wants to mock and ridicule such statements about Nazis finding salvation because of the enormity of their sins and their repentance when they realised what they had done.

rank sophist said...

I'm not even going to bother going the rounds with you again, rank. Several Christians here have already acknowledged how absurd and unfair these comparisons are. If you can't see how absolutely foolish these comparisons are (and how far you're reaching to defend them), I've sorely misjudged your ability to think rationally despite your intellectual commitments.

Thanks, Matt (nice name). I agree fully - I wasn't trying to say that Christians should just say "Oh, Dawkins wants everyone to mock us? Awesome!" I was saying, however, that it's completely unfair to say "He wants people to mock us? This is the new KKK!"

I'm just going to say one more thing, and then drop it. I have no need to discredit Dawkins. Intellectually, he is no threat whatsoever to religion in general or to Christianity in particular. As a result, I have no interest in comparing him to the KKK in order to make him look bad. That's not my game here. I merely find what Dawkins is doing to be terrifying--as terrifying as the hate-cauldron Sarah Palin was stirring in 2008.

I'm concerned that what he's doing will lead to violence. His brand of hatemongering is not something that stays at one temperature. It gets hotter, whether or not the person who started it is comfortable with that. This is why I think it's important to draw comparisons to the violent groups of the past: to stop this whole thing from turning into that. You can consider me an alarmist or whatever, but I stand by everything I've said; and I remain deeply concerned about what Dawkins is doing.

Rank sophist -- OK, I'll bite. Please say more about this: "unconsciously paraphrases the rhetoric of Mao, Marx and Lenin to excite his followers, it's hard not to be worried."

What are the paraphrases? What are the original statements being paraphrased?


I was just referencing the post I'd made earlier, where I'd mixed and matched Dawkins quotes with those from historical figures. The similarity between what Dawkins has said and what Marx and Mao said is unsettling.

Dawkins: "There are all sorts of things that would be comforting. I expect an injection of morphine would be comforting... But to say that something is comforting is not to say that it's true."

Marx: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."

Dawkins: "And when we look closely [at religion], we find a system of morals which any civilised person today should surely find poisonous."

Mao: "But of course, religion is poison. It has two great defects: It undermines the race, and secondly it retards the progress of the country."

As I said to Matt, I have no interest in putting Dawkins in a bad light--his pitiful arguments have been refuted countless times. I am genuinely unnerved by his rhetoric.

Steven Carr said...

When were Dawkins arguments refuted? Have you been able to produce your god yet?

Did William Lane Craig defeat Dawkins?

The same William Lane Craig who recently declared that becoming a Nazi could be the best thing that happened to some people, because it led to their salvation?

rank sophist said...

Carr,

Do you honestly rest your hopes for atheism on the strength of Dawkins's arguments? If so, I find that depressing. Dawkins has been called a sham--and his arguments have been taken apart--by theists and atheists alike. Pretty much only philosophically ignorant Gnus buy them at this point.

As a side note, I don't endorse a lot of what Craig says; so don't bother trying to tie me to him.

Papalinton said...

"Beginning after the Civil War, members of the Protestant-led[60] Ku Klux Klan organization began engaging in arson, beatings, cross burning, destruction of property, lynching, murder, rape, tar-and-feathering, and whipping against African Americans, Jews, Catholics, and other social or ethnic minorities.
They were explicitly Christian terrorist in ideology, basing their beliefs on a "religious foundation" in Christianity.[61] The goals of the KKK included, from an early time on, an intent to "reestablish Protestant Christian values in America by any means possible," and believe that "Jesus was the first Klansman."[62] Their cross-burnings were conducted not only to intimidate targets, but to demonstrate their respect and reverence for Jesus Christ, and the lighting ritual was steeped in Christian symbolism, including the saying of prayers and singing of Christian hymns.[63] Many modern Klan organizations, such as the Knights Party, USA, continue to focus on the Christian supremacist message, asserting that there is a "war" on to destroy "western Christian civilization.
" "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_terrorism

- "The Second Klan saw threats from every direction. A religious tone was apparent in all of its activities; indeed, "two-thirds of the national Klan lecturers were Protestant ministers," says historian Brian R. Farmer.[77]"

- "The Klan now expanded exponentially, reaching a mass national base by 1925. The remodeled Klan downplayed the old issues left over from Reconstruction, and focused on anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic, anti-Communist and anti-immigrant appeals."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan


- "Which Christian denomination was the KKK a part of?

They were mostly Baptist at least the major leaders.

"The hierarchy of the Ku Klux Klan was drawn exclusively from the hierarchy of the white Southern Baptist church. There were no Catholics, Jews or Jehovah's Witnesses in the Klan. There were a few Methodists in their ranks but their Kleagles, Exalted Cyclopses, Grand Wizards, etc., were all deacons, Sunday school teachers, ministers and preachers of that violent religion. The Klan was the enforcement wing of that white Southern Baptist church.
" ---http://www.mississippidays.com/murder

"A former Ku Klux Klan leader and Baptist preacher was sentenced to 60 years for planning and organizing the murder of three civil rights workers 41 years ago." The Epoch Times

"In 1950s Mississippi, Baptist churches and the Klan would often use local police to set up roadblocks in front of their churches to stop motorists and force them to attend a sermon, then make a contribution. Those who were Baptists were granted free passage but those who refused were often jailed on some pretext. " -- http://www.mississippidays.com/murder
Source(s):
http://www.mississippidays.com/murder

http://en.epochtimes.com/news/5-7-2/3000…

http://ccpl.lib.co.us/History_Old/KKK/KK…

http://media.www.carolinianonline.com/me…


_ "Welcome to the Ku Klux Klan. Bringing a Message of Hope and Deliverance to White Christian America! A Message of Love NOT Hate! PO Box 2222, Harrison, AR 72601"

http://www.kkk.com/

I cannot follow the logic how atheism equates with the KKK when history clearly tells us that the KKK was a protestant Christian organisation. And atheism simply has no place for the idolatry of a jesus or a god. In fact the notion of a god is anathema to atheism.
It is wonderfully and deliciously ironic [and unquestionably delusional] that catholics on this site see their Christian compatriots, Baptist brethren-in-arms, as synonymous with atheists.

Karl Grant said...

Paps,

And atheism simply has no place for the idolatry of a jesus or a god.

Nah, atheists of Gnu variety just replace that with idolatry of a bastardized version of science and worship of their own ''superior'' intellect.

It is wonderfully and deliciously ironic [and unquestionably delusional] that catholics on this site see their Christian compatriots, Baptist brethren-in-arms, as synonymous with atheists.

No they see fanatics as synonymous with other fanatics. That has been stated in this discussion about twenty times, you really need to work on those reading comprehension skills. Fanatics act the same regardless of them carrying a cross, the hammer and the sickle or The God Delusion.

Or maybe you fail to recognize that because you are one step removed from fanaticism yourself.

B. Prokop said...

Papalinton, why not?

The original meaning of the word atheist, at least in the English language, had nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not one believed in God. Atheist was the term used in the English Reformation to identify a person who denied the validity of the Sacraments.

Papalinton said...

rank sophist

You say, "I'd like to add a couple of choice quotes .... mixed in with quotes from ........?

I wonder who voiced the words of these quotes? :

"It may be that today gold has become the exclusive ruler of life, but the time will come when man will again bow down before a higher god. "

"Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise. "

"Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time."

"I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator."

"But if out of smugness, or even cowardice, this battle is not fought to its end, then take a look at the peoples five hundred years from now. I think you will find but few images of God, unless you want to profane the Almighty."

"The folkish-minded man, in particular, has the sacred duty, each in his own denomination, of making people stop just talking superficially of God's will, and actually fulfill God's will, and not let God's word be desecrated. For God's will gave men their form, their essence and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the divine will."

"I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so."

"I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn splendor of the brilliant church festivals. As was only natural, the abbot seemed to me, as the village priest had once seemed to my father, the highest and most desirable ideal."

"In the Bible we find the text, 'That which is neither hot nor cold will I spew out of my mouth.' This utterance of the great Nazarene has kept its profound validity until the present day."

"In the life of nations, what in the last resort decides questions is a kind of Judgment Court of God.... Always before god and the world the stronger has the right to carry through what he wills."

"We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out."

Papalinton said...

Bob
"Atheist was the term used in the English Reformation to identify a person who denied the validity of the Sacraments

Source, please.

The origins of the word is ancient Greek, as that I can remember. and:

"The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god", used as a pejorative term applied to those thought to reject the gods worshipped by the larger society. With the spread of freethought, skeptical inquiry, and subsequent increase in criticism of religion, application of the term narrowed in scope. The first individuals to identify themselves using the word "atheist" lived in the 18th century.[9]" [Wiki]

BenYachov said...

>Source, please.

Colliers Encyclopedia? Elwell's Evangelical Dictionary of Theology?

Good grief Paps you are such a brainwashed Gnu.

An Atheist in the classic sense was a term used not just to refer to someone who denied all gods but any specific gods.

Also it was often used as an adjective to refer to general impiety or lack of participation in religion.

Your a Red Dwarf fan right? Remember the Episode "Back to Reality"? The video game attendant referred to Lister as "the Ultimate Atheist"? Yet Kryten once called him a Pantheist?

Whose right? Both since Lister didn't attend religious services.

It's common knowledge if you didn't participate in public religion back in the day you where labeled an Atheist regardless if you where a Pantheist, Deist or Agnostic?

Geez it's not hard.

What is it with Gnu Atheist and their weird dogma the term "Atheist" has one and only one meaning?

BenYachov said...

BTW Paps,

Everyone knows your quoting Hitler.

So what? He was a pagan Deist. He re-imagined Jesus as a non-Jewish Aryan superman. He stopped going to church when he was a teenager. He only identified himself as a "Catholic" in the tribal sense. He had no belief. He openly talked about putting the Pope in prison and setting up a "Pope" for each nation state under the Reich.

He was Hitler. He was whatever he needed to be or had to say to cease power. He sent 3,000,000 Polish Catholics to their death and over 60,000 Priests.

People forget the 5,000,000 non- Jews he killed in addition to the 6,000,000 Jews.

But of course Stalin is hard to spin.

BenYachov said...

The point here is simplicity itself.

>Explain to me the difference between this and a KKK rally, other than the fact that, primarily, Christians were the targets, as opposed to Blacks and Jews.

The fact is simple. The reason rally was about ridiculing and promoting contempt of Christians and other Theistic believers. Just as KKK rallies are about ridiculing and promoting contempt of Blacks and Jews.

The Reason Rally was not about reason.

When Pope John Paul II of happy memory came to NY I went to Aqueduct for the Mass. I saw a bunch of Catholics promote Jesus and Church teaching. I didn't see anyone bashing Atheists or calls to ridicule them. We simply didn't bring them up. No did we do so with the Muslims, Hindus or Jews or whatever.

The Lesson a rational Atheist should take from that is "mindless ridicule of believers" is not a reasonable way to promote reason.

John said...

Matt's logic:

Because the KKK is not completely identical to the Reason Rally, it makes no sense to compare them at all.

"[A]wesome", Matt.

Blue Devil Knight said...

This is truly a low point at this blog.

Matt said...

I am always amazed at how otherwise perfectly intelligent religious people can feel so persecuted whenever someone protests at them forcing their religious views on the rest of society.

B. Prokop said...

Source: Transcripts of the Trials of Thomas Cranmer of Canterbury, 1553-56 (I have copies in my library.) That's way before the 18th Century.

This simply shows the utter inadequacy of relying upon Wikipedia for one's knowledge.

BenYachov said...

>I am always amazed at how otherwise perfectly intelligent religious people can feel so persecuted whenever someone protests at them forcing their religious views on the rest of society.

What force? Are you being threatened with arrest or fine for not believing in any God or gods?

As a Catholic I know if Obama has his way I can be fined 2,000 dollars for refusing to buy contraception for my employees even thought they could with their own money by a rider to their insurance for less than 10 bucks a month & I don't have to be forced to mortally sin against my will.

BenYachov said...

If comparing the REASON RALLY to the KKK is fallacious because the Klan engaged in violence then I could for arguments sake note that particular difference 7 say they are not morally equivalent.

However I can still make a comparison of the REASON RALLY to the Westborough Baptist Church.

Jerry Falwell called Phelps "A first class Nut". To his Credit the late Falwell invited gays to LIBERTY UNIVERSITY to denounce violence against homosexuals and church shootings.

I don't know that Phelps ever explicitly publicly advocated violence toward Gays(since his whole family are Lawyers & that is kind of illegal).

But like that matters?

When I look at Dawkins, Phelps or PZ Myers I feel nothing but disgust.

I miss Carl Sagan and Jerry. yeh they where not perfect but they where light years more sane.

Matt said...

Religious views are forced on people all the time! Look at abortion laws, the ban on gay marriage.

And look at your own example: you feel perfectly entitled to dictate what your employees can and cannot purchase with the healthcare you provide, based on *your* religious beliefs.

Every time the enormous Christian privilege in US society is even very slightly altered, all the Christians jump on the bandwagon and cry persecution.

Look at the example here: Christianity is criticised, and what do we get? Hyperbole comparing it to KKK rallies. Christians as the persecuted majority.

Karl Grant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BenYachov said...

@Matt
>Religious views are forced on people all the time! Look at abortion laws,

What about Pro-life Atheists and Agnostics?

http://www.godlessprolifers.org/home.html

As they themselves argue since there is no God this life is all you get. There is no after-life so when you abort someone you deny them their one shot at existence and life which they will lose forever.

If I deny gods tomorrow it would become even more of an imperative to stop abortion.

>the ban on gay marriage.

Doesn't the pursuit of "marriage" by gays implicitly say "You straight people really are the norm and normal & we gays can't be happy unless we imitate you as much as possible?".

It seems to me they should accept their own relationship conventions and not try to act like the breeders & if you want a law that says Gay partners can visit you in the hospital I am all for it.

Plus make a Will leave your stuff to your long time companion.

I'm not stopping ya.

>And look at your own example: you feel perfectly entitled to dictate what your employees can and cannot purchase with the healthcare you provide, based on *your* religious beliefs.

Lying Gnu'Atheist Fascist Bigot!

I don't care what you purchase for your healthcare you have no right to force me to buy you something my faith objects too.

Buy it yourself with your own money you cheapskate fascist anti-1st amendment dirt bag!

Gnu'Atheists hate civil rights!!!!

BenYachov said...

Matt is a fascist!

He wants to force every devout Catholic to buy him birth control!

How is that different than forcing an Atheist to pray against hiswill?

Or forcing Matt to pay a stipend for a Mass for me against his will?

It isn't!

I'll donate money or pay my own stipend and he can buy his own condoms. Because I believe in freedom unlike the Gnus who believe in fascism!

B. Prokop said...

Matt,

Please remind me of all the "hyperbole" once the U.S. has its homegrown version of the League of the Godless heckling funerals and Sunday services, shutting down Catholic universities and other religious institutions, and banning the religious education of one's own children. 'Cause you know in your heart, even if you are unwilling to admit it, that such is exactly what the speakers at the self-styled Reason Rally want to see happen.

Karl Grant said...

Matt,

I am always amazed at how otherwise perfectly intelligent religious people can feel so persecuted whenever someone protests at them forcing their religious views on the rest of society.

People tend to get pissed when other people talk about limiting their freedoms, persecuting them, ridculing them, etc... regardless of whither they are in the majority or not.

Look at abortion laws, the ban on gay marriage.

I know of at least two atheists personally who are prolife and one who is homophobic. Abortion and gay rights are not just religious issues. Why don't you read up on how gays were treated in the Soviet Union? Stalin, who was as atheist as the comecriminalized homosexuality and made it punishable by up to 5 years of hard labor.


Christianity is criticised, and what do we get?

Carrying signs with slogans such as "So many Christians, so few lions" is not criticism, it's hatemongering.

BenYachov said...

>you feel perfectly entitled to dictate what your employees can and cannot purchase with the healthcare.

What a lie! I clearly said you can buy what you want. You my employees have the right under current Law before Obama to go out an buy riders on their insurance for birth control. Or they could choose to work for some heathen who provides of his own free will.

My employees can take the money I pay them and buy porn for all I care! But you, Obama and the other fascist cross the line when you force me to buy it for you.

I will not do it ever. Regardless of the penalty and I don't care how cheap you make it.

Wow you really have no concept of civil liberties do ya?

cl said...

Again, people, let's not forget how atheists would act if the signs read, "So many atheists, so few gas chambers." They would be UP-IN-ARMS about this. Hell, many of them literally FREAKED OUT, frothing-at-the-mouth style, the last time one atheist hit on another in an elevator after some silly convention.

John,

"Matt's logic:

Because the KKK is not completely identical to the Reason Rally, it makes no sense to compare them at all.

"[A]wesome", Matt.


Exactly. That's what I called him out on, too, and notice how he's refused to acknowledge the FACT that there is far more in common than not. Call me Dr. Phil, but I think that deep down he knows we're right. He knows there is far more in common than not, which is precisely why he keeps belaboring a single, mostly irrelevant point (that KKK groups committed physical violence). He knows the ONLY way he can argue that the "reason" rally isn't comparable to a KKK rally is by exploiting the differences in what the groups did AFTER the rally. But Vic's comparison wasn't between the KKK and atheists, it was between the "reason" rally and a KKK rally.

When you look at the rallies themselves, what are the pertinent points of overlap, vs. any real differences?

Matt DeStefano,

How can you maintain your position without even addressing the arguments I've made, which purport to show that this "reason" rally has far more in common with a KKK rally than not? Why is it so important to you to draw a superficial line of distinction between the "reason" rally and a KKK rally?

cl said...

Matt,

"Look at the example here: Christianity is criticised, and what do we get? Hyperbole comparing it to KKK rallies. Christians as the persecuted majority."

Please, kind sir, I challenge you. Use EVIDENCE to support your claims. List what you see as the pertinent points of difference between this "reason" rally and your average KKK / Nazi youth rally.

NOTE: I'm not asking for differences between what the groups did AFTER the rallies, so don't jump on the DeStefano bandwagon and cry, "but atheists aren't lynching people," because that's irrelevant when comparing the rallies themselves.

BenYachov said...

Here is a message to the Gnu'atheists and any reasonable Atheist who might be defending the nonsense at the so called REASON RALLY.

In language you can understand in the form of a question.

Has it never occurred to any of you that an Atheist movement might be tempted to make the same foolish mistakes that Religious groups have made over the centuries?

Do any of you really think it's a good idea to duplicate the mistakes Religions have made in treating their fellow human beings?

Would it not be better to learn from them?

Your choice!

BenYachov said...

Because where I'm sitting the REASON RALLY is heavily into duplicating the mistakes of history not learning from them.

BenYachov said...

BTW I think we should note that "Matt" is likely not the same poster as "Matt DeStefano".

cl said...

Ben,

I'm aware of the Matt's. For anyone confused, any instance of "Matt" from me before May 29, 2012 5:08 PM is in reference to Matt DeStefano. After May 29, 2012 5:08 PM, I started using "Matt" to denote the two other "Matt's" in the thread, and kept "Matt DeStefano" to refer to Matt DeStefano.

Hope that helps.

BenYachov said...

Yeah defiantly not the same person.

Karl Grant said...

Ben,

From my experience on lurking and debating on blogs and forums over the years I have come to the conclusion that most atheists know next to nothing about historyWitness how Daniel Dennett talks in Breaking the Spell about how advancements in communication technology, namely cell phones and the internet, would severely damage religious belief. You know, despite the fact the old logical positivists said the same thing about railroads, steamships and telegraphs and look where we are today.

And how else do you explain their belief that scientific and technological development will automatically create a better society despite little things like in the 1930s and 40s the most scientifically and technologically advanced country in the world was Nazi Germany?

cl said...

Karl Grant,

"And how else do you explain their belief that scientific and technological development will automatically create a better society despite little things like in the 1930s and 40s the most scientifically and technologically advanced country in the world was Nazi Germany?"

Why splain anything when they can just keep chanting the mantra "Science Works" and demonize real skeptics as anti-science fundaloons?

Karl Grant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karl Grant said...

Cl,

Yeah, it's like talking to a brick wall. A narrow-minded brick wall with tunnel vision. Despite there being so much evidence that no matter how much science and technology advances human nature remains the same, that all we have accomplished is to replace horse thievery with grand theft auto, they still cling to that myth. At the same time they say Christians are clinging to a deluded myth of salvation and all without a trace of irony.

B. Prokop said...

The best debunking of the "science will save us all" myth was in no less than Papalinton's favorite novel, A Canticle For Liebowitz, Part Two (Fiat Lux). If you have not yet read this book, drop what you are doing right now, find a copy, and read!!!

Matt DeStefano said...

This is truly a low point at this blog.

No kidding, BDK.

cl said...

Matt DeStefano,

"No kidding, BDK."

Why don't you try using LOGIC and REASON and EVIDENCE to make your point, instead of just whining about how "irrational" you think we all are, and what a "low point" Vic's post represents? Would you be saying "what a low point" if it were Christians treating atheists the same way? Be honest.

I left you clear arguments to engage with. If you were able to successfully do so, you could DEMONSTRATE the validity of your position.

C'mon Matt, if you're so in the right here, it should be quite easy for you to show how the purported differences dwarf the aforementioned similarities. Yet so far, you've simply repeated the same canard, while refusing to engage with the arguments.

If you think that's showing allegiance to critical thinking, you're badly fooling yourself.

cl said...

Our position is falsifiable: all any atheist has to do is list the purported differences between the "reason" rally and your average KKK / Nazi youth rally, then compare them to the similarities. If the similarities significantly outnumber the differences, then it's reasonable to make the comparison Vic made.

So, atheists, if you're so about reason and evidence, why not partake in this simple exercise?

BenYachov said...

>>This is truly a low point at this blog.

>No kidding, BDK.]

Not as low as thinking it's a civil right to force someone else to buy, against their will, something their religion says is evil.

cl said...

Ben,

It's very telling to me, that no atheist here will step to the challenge. The subtext goes something like:

"Oh my flying spaghetti monster, these theists are so dumb, comparing the reason rally to a KKK rally... how despicable."

"Hey atheists, can you show us the pertinent differences between the two, and why those should trump the undeniable similarities?"

...and what is the atheists' response? A few sniffles, a few snide remarks, and belaboring of the point that KKK members lynched people while atheists haven't (at least not yet). Well, okay, atheists aren't lynching people, but does that mean it's unfair to compare the "reason" rally to a KKK rally?

C'mon, y'all are supposed to be the defenders of reason and evidence-based argumentation!

BenYachov said...

Don't taunt them cl.

B. Prokop said...

CL,

Stop waiting. You're not going to get a (coherent) response. It's game, set, and match for the "anti-reason" (their words, not mine) side. The emperor has no clothes, and until they are ready to "repent and believe", the silence will be deafening.

Morrison said...

I am amazed at the Denial here.

By atheists.

Atheists killed MILLIONS of Christians in the Gulags...and, yep, because of their atheism and desire to eliminate religion completely (which I see called for on more and more atheist blogs)...and tortured and oppressed MILLIONS more.

Hell, its still going on in Officially Atheistic states.

I had relatives maimed by these swine.

And I think I know what they have planned for us if they ever get the chance.

Although not well known...yet...there is a move in the Churches in many places to remind Believers of the history of Officially Atheistic Governments.

We are going to caught by suprise this time.

Morrison said...

If we don't learn the lesson, that is.

Crude said...

The whimpering here is just a delight. That's the best part. The Cultists of Gnu have no good answer, no response other than the most desperate theatrics.

Let me rub salt in the wounds: what others have pointed out here about the similarities between Gnus, the Klan and the Cult of Reason? It's just putting succinctly what everyone else sees easily. Everyone who is not already in the Cult anyway.

Good job with your rallies, kids, along with your inane choices of 'leadership'. You've made sure atheism - not mere irreligion, but atheism, particularly strident atheism - is associated with the lowest of the low in the culture for a generation. At least.

To quote the Joker: "I'd laugh if it weren't so pathetic. Oh, what the heck: I'll laugh anyway!" ;)

cl said...

Crude,

I know right? They come here and spout all this hot air about reason and evidence, then make a bunch of absurd claims without reason or evidence, then scurry off with their tails between their legs when asked to provide said reason and evidence.

Hilarity.

Matt said...

My apologies - I thought that the differences were obvious enough, and went right ahead and made my point. At the request of some of you I will try to clarify things

The main difference is that the reason Rally does not promote hatred, or the marginalization of groups of people, the way the KKK does.

The KKK promotes - at least it used to! - treating Catholics as second class citizens, or in some cases even their outright expulsion from a country, or even murder. It has similar ideas about other groups.

The Reason Rally featured several people who encouraged challenging religious ideas. Dawkins even suggested open ridicule of such overtly supernatural claims as the transubstantiation.

He did not request that we deny the religious the right to be religious, that we harm them in any way, limit their human rights, or think of them as somehow beneath other groups. All he did was encourage people to challenge religious claims, with scorn if this is appropriate, with the specific example of the case of someone believing wine literally turns into blood as a claim where one should be scornful.

So the difference is, if this is still not clear enough, that no-one at the Reason Rally promoted anything more threatening than the use of pointed satire.

KKK rallies promote the limiting of human rights, violence, and the outright expulsion or murder of groups of people.

I am amazed by the outraged hyperbole the mere threat of being challenged or mocked leads to on this blog - largely from people who are in the majority and who live in a society that affords huge privilege to Christians as the default religion.

Apparently religious views are so fragile and so hard to defend that even the suggestion of ridicule needs to be silenced with outraged exaggerations.

Matt said...

Ben Yachov, you said: "What a lie! I clearly said you can buy what you want. You my employees have the right under current Law before Obama to go out an buy riders on their insurance for birth control. Or they could choose to work for some heathen who provides of his own free will.

My employees can take the money I pay them and buy porn for all I care! But you, Obama and the other fascist cross the line when you force me to buy it for you.

I will not do it ever. Regardless of the penalty and I don't care how cheap you make it."

But you are not forced to buy birth-control for anyone. You are forced to provide a healthcare-package, which people can then use to buy what they want with. This may or may no include birth control.

You claim to have the right to decide what people can buy with that healthcare by refusing to provide a healthcare package that would include things like birth-control, based on your religious views. My contention is that this constitutes forcing your religious views on other people: you are trying to keep them from doing something that your religion proscribes, or at least to make it more difficult.

When challenged, your counter-argument seems to be (correct me if I am wrong) "But I also give them wages, which they can spend on birth control" but that is neither here not there: if I deny all red-headed people access to public transport, then that does not mean they cannot buy a car. However, I am still denying people access to transport.

By the way, you have referred to people with beliefs that are different than you as "heathens" and you have referred to me as a "fascist". Would you consider those terms insulting at all, and is that better or worse than mocking?

Don't get me wrong: I do not mind a bit of cut-and-thrust in a debate, and I do not mind if people express contempt for my views. Maybe I am wrong, and maybe they can show why my views are contemptible! That is something we can explore in a debate.

You seem to feel differently about your views though: I am not allowed to make fun of them or show contempt for them, as that would make me (Stalin/Mao/Hitler - please cross out what is not applicable)

BenYachov said...

@Matt

>But you are not forced to buy birth-control for anyone. You are forced to provide a healthcare-package, which people can then use to buy what they want with. This may or may no include birth control.

Stop lying! Under the current Law anybody can buy a rider to their health insurance. Providing a policy that contains a provision for birth control is morally and practically the same buying them birth control. It is a direct material participation in evil because I am providing you with a direct means to have birthcontrol. If I don't provide birth control in the policy & you with your own money buy a rider then I am a remote material participant in evil thus I am in the clear. Like if you take the money I am obliged to pay you for services rendered and used it to buy porn. That is not my problem.

>You claim to have the right to decide what people can buy with that healthcare by refusing to provide a healthcare package that would include things like birth-control, based on your religious views.

If I am providing the policy then it's my policy. I get to descide what perks I am going to give you as a condition for employment. If you don't like it go work for some heathen who of his own free will consents to buy you porn and pills. I can't/won't do it ever.

Again there is nothing stopping you from buying your own rider to any health policy I give you. It's not expensive and neither of us has to force their values on the other. By supporting this policy you are forcing your values on me against my will.

Thus you are a fascist & a hypocrite!!!!!

>My contention is that this constitutes forcing your religious views on other people: you are trying to keep them from doing something that your religion proscribes, or at least to make it more difficult.

Sorry but I am under no moral or legal obligation to buy you porn,condoms or pills. You have the liberty to buy those with your own money. Just as my hypothetical Atheist employer can't be forced to directly pay a Mass Stipend & he doesn't deny me religious liberty for not being forced to do so.

> if I deny all red-headed people access to public transport, then that does not mean they cannot buy a car. However, I am still denying people access to transport.

Since when are Churches, Private Charities, Religious Charities, Private Companies etc public institutions? Are you trying to nationalize the Church and Catholic institutions?
Well so much for the seperation of Church and state!

Fascist Fail!

>By the way, you have referred to people with beliefs that are different than you as "heathens" and you have referred to me as a "fascist". Would you consider those terms insulting at all, and is that better or worse than mocking?

You are trying to force me to disobey my religion and take away my civil rights! I own you no civility anymore then a blackman owes a Klansmen civility!

I don't care if you use your own money to buy pills or porn. But you want to force me to buy you pills against my will. I absolutely refuse!!

>Don't get me wrong: I do not mind a bit of cut-and-thrust in a debate, and I do not mind if people express contempt for my views. Maybe I am wrong, and maybe they can show why my views are contemptible! That is something we can explore in a debate.

You are not a civil libertarian! You are objectively a fascist. You might as well defend segregation while you are at it! You are either clueless or a hypocrite!

>You seem to feel differently about your views though: I am not allowed to make fun of them or show contempt for them, as that would make me (Stalin/Mao/Hitler - please cross out what is not applicable).

My views don't violate anybody's civil liberties. Yours do.

Your not a liberal! The liberals I knew would never force me to buy anyone anything that went against my conscious. They would merely defend the right of other to buy it for themselves.

B. Prokop said...

"with the specific example of the case of someone believing wine literally turns into blood as a claim where one should be scornful"

Matt, I realize you're an atheist. But bear with me for one moment. For the sake of argument assume that God exists for the remainder of this paragraph. Why, once one believes in a being powerful enough to create planets, stars, and galaxies, who exists both in time and in eternity, who is capable of Himself becoming a little child and living amongst His creation, why is it also so hard to believe that He can transform bread and wine into His own Body and Blood? If this particular belief invites scorn, then every other clause in the Creed should do so as well. Why do you balk at this "specific example"?

BenYachov said...

Artificial Birth control like gay sex perverts the natural use & ends of the Sex Act.

But I would never support civil laws that outlaw these things among consenting adults because in my prudent judgment they would be ill effective in dealing with these vices.

I believe Aquinas taught that a State that outlawed all vice and evil would become too controlling of their citizens lives and that would lead to tyranny and abuse.

Some vices we have to self-police and not look to the State to stop us.

Abortion OTOH is murder. I would believe that even if I stopped believing in God. Like the Pro-Life Atheists I link too above.

But there is no moral difference between forcing a Catholic to buy birth control or providing you with a health policy that covers it.

There is no moral difference between forcing an Atheist to pray or give money to the Church against his will and the above.

Make no mistake if you believe in civil liberties you cannot rationally endorse Obama's policy.

What makes this so galling is the election of the First Black Man President is a civil right triumph. Regardless of one's personal politics. But for him to turn around & take away civil rights from Catholics is beyond shameful!!!!

Especially when Catholic bishops in the 60's excommunicated Catholic politicians who voted for segregation!

So don't expect me to be civil to any jerk who supports this tyranny!

BenYachov said...

BTW

In a godless universe sneering at Transubstantiation & mocking it is just stupid. I believe in Transubstantiation because I believe in the Authority of the Church. I believe in the Authority of the Church because I believe Jesus founded it and I believe in Jesus because he fulfilled prophecy and Rose from the dead yada yada and I believe in the existence of God.

So you can only undermine my belief in it by either disproving God or the resurrection or taking the Protestant route and disproving Jesus founded the Catholic Church.

But mockery only tells me you are an intellectually lazy f*** who can't be bothered to study any philosophy or historical apologetics/polemics!

The reason Dawkins calls on mocking the Eucharist is because he is too stupid to learn any philosophical arguments against the existence of God. Plus he believes science alone gives us truth and rejects philosophy.

He is an idiot!

cl said...

Matt,

"The main difference is that the reason Rally does not promote hatred..."

From the transcript:

"I despise what [religious people] stand for... Mock them! Ridicule them! In public! ...with contempt."

Yes or no: is DESPISE is another word for hate?

Yes or no: is CONTEMPT another word for hate?

Yes or no: is telling one group to treat others with CONTEMPT and DESPISE what they stand for tantamount to promoting hate?

"Apparently religious views are so fragile and so hard to defend that even the suggestion of ridicule needs to be silenced with outraged exaggerations."

Yeah, we're *SO* outrageous for suggesting that a similar expression of hatred exists between racist bigots and irreligious bigots, and our views are *SO* fragile. Trust me, Matt. Nobody here is thin-skinned, in the least. Every believer here WELCOMES real criticism of religion, because we're all confident and capable of grappling. This isn't about some lame desire to squash criticism. As for your quip about theist beliefs being so hard to defend, I welcome you to my blog any day of the week. Just leave the aforementioned denialist tendencies at the door, please.

B. Prokop said...

CL,

I also found the suggestion that religious beliefs are "fragile and hard to defend" to be good for a laugh - indeed for a guffaw!

Fragile? This about a Faith that has withstood centuries of persecution (remember the lions?), military assault (the Germanic Barbarians, Islam), attempts at annihilation (Bolshevism)?

Hard to defend? Has Matt never read Augustine, Aquinas, G.K Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, or any other of the literally countless brilliant apologists over the centuries?

Methinks I detect a whiff of projectionism here.