Monday, June 25, 2012

Dawkins and evidence: Obama, Clinton, and Lincoln were probably atheists

Does anyone find it just a tiny bit ironic that Dawkins is trying to get everyone to hold beliefs based on evidence and only on evidence--and then makes assertion after assertion with no evidence for them whatsoever?

46 comments:

Crude said...

That's okay. Dawkins is a closet deist, and those guys always see atheists everywhere.

;)

David Allen said...

Like which assertions?

Bilbo said...

I didn't read Dawkins' article, yet, but I have a fairly low opinion of politicians. If the overwhelming majority of people in America had been atheists in Lincoln's time, I suspect Lincoln would have been a public atheist, regardless of what he was in the closet. Likewise for the majority of politicians. I think a politician's first consideration of what religion to be is, "How many votes will it get me?"

rank sophist said...

Obama is one of the more obviously religious presidents in years. I'd doubt the two Bushes before I'd doubt him. Dawkins is out of his mind, as usual.

Karl Grant said...

What rank said, but it's not too surprising. Dawkins is an arrogant man and arrogance breeds stupidity. Well, it's either that or cognitive dissonance of holding beliefs like They [believers] feel uneducated, which they are; often rather stupid, which they are; inferior, which they are; and paranoid about pointy-headed intellectuals from the East Coast looking down on them, which, with some justification, they do and being faced with the fact that some people he admires were/are devoutly religious.

mattghg said...

Even better than this are Dawkins' claims about who *would have been* an atheist if they had been born today. The man is a psychoanalyst's dream.

Victor Reppert said...

Every time I used to see Jerry Falwell on TV, I used to cringe that he was, to many people, the public face of Christianity, and my fellow Christian.

I'm willing to guess there are some atheists out there who think the same way about Dawkins.

B.L.T. said...

I love how Dawkins acts like one cannot be intelligent and be a theist. I guess ignorance is bliss.

Papalinton said...

"Every time I used to see Jerry Falwell on TV, I used to cringe that he was, to many people, the public face of Christianity, and my fellow Christian."

I cringed every time I saw Jerry Falwell represent the public face of christianity. But christians are thoroughly paralyzed from do anything about him, or Benny Hinn, or Joel Osteen, or Jeremiah Wright, or Pat Robertson or the Westboro Baptist mob, because there is no consistent viable idea what being a christian means. Christians simply don't know in the future when they may have to call on or rely on these fringe creatures for support of their worldview, as dysfunctional as it is.

"I'm willing to guess there are some atheists out there who think the same way about Dawkins."

Aahmmm. Yeah, probably count them on one hand. And they would be all accommodationists.

Papalinton said...

I absolutely agree with you B.L.T. ignorance is bliss. How indeed can a theist also imagine themself to be intelligent as well? It certainly beggars belief.

cl said...

Nice anti-theist slur Paps. Very evolved of you.

Papalinton said...

"Nice anti-theist slur Paps. Very evolved of you."

The idea of pussyfooting around nonsensical religious sensibilities is perhaps over, cl. It isn't that I find personal proclivity towards religious sentiment, odious. It is when the ugliness of a Gingrich or a Santorum are masked by the gratuitous public displays of religious claptrap that is the bit that really irks.

And I think Bilbo is right. This irksome facade of religious drivel has more to do with, "How many votes will it get me". And I would agree with rank, that I too would doubt the two Bushes before I'd doubt Obama. Remember, Bush junior, told the world that God told him to invade Iraq. It was also under his administration that artillery ordinance and bombs and weapons were inscribed with christian Bible quotes at the source of manufacturing, regardless of whether he implicitly or explicitly acknowledged or approved it. It was the operational leadership environment which he as the President, and Chaney, established and fostered and championed.

I have yet to witness any consistent benefit that has come from the institutional religious component of society that would be considered as a net benefit, from universal healthcare, to guarantee of rights for workers, women's health, minorities, homosexuality, family relations, and a range of allied social and community concerns.

So yes, cl, I do consider the community is carrying the unwarranted and unwanted baggage of religion into the future.

B. Prokop said...

"The idea of pussyfooting around nonsensical religious sensibilities is perhaps over"

Don't say we haven't been warned, folks. For the new atheists, the age of civility and reason are over! From now on, it's nothing but ad hominem, catcalling, and shouting down. (That way, they'll be letting us know just how wedded they are to rational thought.)

Karl Grant said...

Oh look, somebody wants attention. I suppose I could give a lonely old man desperate for people to notice him a few minutes of my time.

But christians are thoroughly paralyzed from do anything about him, or Benny Hinn, or Joel Osteen, or Jeremiah Wright, or Pat Robertson or the Westboro Baptist mob, because there is no consistent viable idea what being a christian means.

And here I thought the reason nobody shut them up was because of something called the First Amendment. What's the matter? Didn't Google Freedom of Speech in America, Paps?

It is when the ugliness of a Gingrich or a Santorum are masked by the gratuitous public displays of religious claptrap that is the bit that really irks.

Then you should know how irked Christians are when the ugliness of a Dawkins or a Harris are masked by the gratuitous public affection for science and reason.

....

Oh, I forgot. That would require empathy which is beyond the scope of a (piss-poor) troll and a wannabe cyber-bully such as yourself.

I have yet to witness any consistent benefit that has come from the institutional religious component of society that would be considered as a net benefit

Oh, that is not too surprising. After all, you can't tell what irony is without consulting Dr. Google.

Karl Grant said...

Bob,

Don't say we haven't been warned, folks. For the new atheists, the age of civility and reason are over! From now on, it's nothing but ad hominem, catcalling, and shouting down. (That way, they'll be letting us know just how wedded they are to rational thought.)

Should we file Pap's statement under 'news flash of the obvious'? Or 'completely redundant news'?

mattghg said...

This is all over the place. Linton, do you really think that no Christians are intelligent, or are you just being a troll? Because the stuff about US politics is so off-topic it's just weird.

Victor Reppert said...

Let me go over this again. Dawkins says that it's important to base one's beliefs on evidence. Dawkins then makes claims about the religious views of Presidents without a shred of evidence, and in the teeth of a mountain of counterevidence. The statements are clearly and obviously based on ideology, not evidence. And then we are told that only a few accommodationists will cringe when they hear such a thing????

The logical conclusion to draw from this is that atheists are a bunch of sheeple who follow their leader off any cliff, and can't think for themselves. In short, they possess the characteristics that atheists routinely attribute to believers.

Now I happen to think more highly of atheists, as a group, than that. But, if the shoe fits, wear it.

Victor Reppert said...

Exhibit B: Dawkins asserts that religious upbringing is more damaging to children than sexual abuse. He uses one example, of a woman who was so badly affected by the fear of hell that she regarded that as more harmful to her than the sexual abuse she endured. Dawkins quite explicitly goes beyond condemning "fire and brimstone" religious upbringings and says that bringing up a child with a religious identity is child abuse on a greater scale than sexual abuse.

Now, this is a testable claim. We can look at how having these things in one's childhood affects future adult life. That would be the scientific way of doing things. We have evidence concerning the way in which sexual abuse affects children, and the way in which religious involvement affects children. The hard evidence on both matters is exactly the opposite of what one should expect if Dawkins were right. So Dawkins goes off one anecdote and ignores all the contrary evidence. If someone representing my beliefs were to do such a thing, I would be embarrassed, especially my representative were emphasizing how important it was to base one's ideas on reason.

Sheeple? Maybe so.

cl said...

"The idea of pussyfooting around nonsensical religious sensibilities is perhaps over, cl."

For me it was over the first time I encountered your irrational drivel here. It's clear where you stand, Paps: clearly in the "Dawkins / Loftus / intolerant, arrogant, thumb-your-nose-at-believers-because-you-fancy-yourself-intellectually-superior" crowd. You are a man beyond reason, despite transparent appeals to it.

cl said...

Anybody else notice how Paps conveniently evaded responsibility for his bigoted slur against theists? He responded to the allegation by deferring judgment to Bush 43. The subtext? "Hey, it's okay if I thumb my nose at theists and follow Dawkins' lead by painting with broad strokes against them. All I have to do is point to some spurious example of a Christian and I can get clean away with it." Like I said, Paps fits *PERFECTLY* into the "Dawkins / Loftus / intolerant, arrogant, thumb-your-nose-at-believers-because-you-fancy-yourself-intellectually-superior" crowd.

Then, the real clincher. Paps wrote,

"I have yet to witness any consistent benefit that has come from the institutional religious component of society that would be considered as a net benefit, from universal healthcare, to guarantee of rights for workers, women's health, minorities, homosexuality, family relations, and a range of allied social and community concerns."

LOL! The entire world is scarlet through rose-colored glasses, ain't it Paps? Just one question for my oh-so-rational-intellectually-holier-than-thou-atheist: the trend of modern hospitals—what "institutional component" of society did it come from?

Deny away, because one thing is for certain: you will not admit error. You can't. You're blind to truth whenever it challenges your metaphysical preferences—exactly like those you criticize.

B. Prokop said...

Very good point, CL,

Besides hospitals, we can list the concepts of individual human dignity, the idea that some wars can be unjust, and the equal worth of both sexes, plus universities, parliaments, trial by jury, universal literacy, the scientific method, the concept of a rational universe, etc., etc., etc.

I'm waiting for the "other side" to acknowledge such....

HyperEntity111 said...

RD said: "Obama's very intelligent. He probably is an atheist."

I couldn't stop laughing when I read that. It's extremely amusing (but at the same time very sad) to know that this quality of thinking that goes on in this man's mind.

Papa posted: "How indeed can a theist imagine themself to be intelligent as well? It certainly beggars belief."

So...Are we to infer from this statement that you are more intelligent than Newton, Leibniz, Faraday, Euler, Kepler, Maxwell, Kelvin, Planck, Heisenberg, Godel, Robert Millikan, Ronald Fisher, Freeman Dyson and countless other scientists, philosophers, artists, poets, novelists and other theistic thinkers who have contributed more to humanity than you or Dawkins ever will? That to refer to these people as intelligent beggars belief?

cl said...

Thanks B. Prokop, I usually just let Paps spew it out but for some reason today I spoke up. Whether the seeds will be watered is not up to me.

@HyperEntity111,

You asked Paps,

"Are we to infer from this statement that you are more intelligent than Newton, Leibniz, Faraday, Euler, Kepler, Maxwell, Kelvin, Planck, Heisenberg, Godel, Robert Millikan, Ronald Fisher, Freeman Dyson and countless other scientists, philosophers, artists, poets, novelists and other theistic thinkers who have contributed more to humanity than you or Dawkins ever will? That to refer to these people as intelligent beggars belief?"

Paps would never address this type of comment fairly, and by "address it fairly" I mean with respond with some variant of a genuine, humble apology, i.e., "Yeah, you guys are right, Dawkins is wrong to insult theists like he does and I—as an ostensibly rational thinker—ought to condemn Dawkins' irrationality in this regard, not promote it. I'm sorry."

No, no, no... you won't get anything like that. Paps'll either avoid your comment entirely, gloss over it irrelevantly as he did above (cf. Bush 43), or respond with another flippant slur as he did above (to B.L.T.). As your comment aptly illustrates, Paps is anathema to unbiased, rational discussion—and that under the pretense of reason. It's sad, so sad.

Papalinton said...

"the age of civility and reason are over!"

Wrong. We are beginning to enter the post-christian era, an exciting era in which civility and reason are not prescribed through the theological or Apologetical prism. We are entering a period when christian claims are no longer being complaisantly accepted as conventional wisdom. They now have to earn their stripes and justify their utter nonsense claims beyond the primitive intuitive sense of belief or belief in belief. Christian theism is becoming less and less relevant as the interim explanatory tool it once was. People are now realising that superstition, supernaturalism and magic and ancient fantasies now no longer constitute a viable worldview. Fictive god characters no longer wield the level of psychological fear and anxiety their earthly sycophants once demanded. People are now understanding for the first time that doing good can be done for goodness sake alone.

Christianity was always ever a temporary placemarker until the advent of a better and significantly more reliable explanatory tool. The last couple centuries has witnessed the full fruiting of a far superior, cogent and consistent format for explaining and describing the world and our relationship in it.

What we are witnessing is the somewhat uncomfortable but nevertheless inevitable change as the community sloughs off its old religious skin.

And that is a good thing.

Karl Grant said...

:Yawn:

We are beginning to enter the post-christian era.... People are now realising that superstition, supernaturalism and magic and ancient fantasies now no longer constitute a viable worldview.

How much of the world's population is atheist? About 2.4% according to Encyclopedia Britannica. How much of it is Christian? From the same source about 34%. Dawkins isn't the only one who makes claims without a shred of evidence and that flies in the teeth of a mountain of counterevidence. You have learned your lessons well Old Padawan.

Papalinton said...

mattghg
"This is all over the place. Linton, do you really think that no Christians are intelligent, or are you just being a troll? Because the stuff about US politics is so off-topic it's just weird."

Of course not matt. But theists are not using their intelligence as a basis for belief in superstitious supernaturalism. The pathology for such shamanic belief falls well outside the parameters of intelligence. The drivers of superstition reside deep in the primitive limbic/amygdala neural system of the brain along with emotion, fear, the flight-or-fight response among others. Belief in superstition is not a function of the medial forebrain bundle or the pre-frontal lobes of the brain in which reason and and logic emanate.

I thought this would be common knowledge among those that champion science.

Papalinton said...

Victor, Victor, Victor
You bleat about 'evidence', 'shreds of evidence', 'mountains of counterevidence'. You talk of 'testable claims', 'hard evidence' etc etc etc.

And yet, you stand there unashamedly bleating out the evidential physical reality of the revivification of a three day-old dead and putrescent body, the physical and bodily levitation of a dead but supposedly living person into the blue beyond to who-knows-where and how, and parthenogenesis, and 3-in1 godheads, with a straight face.

Your tongue is sticking right through your cheek.

Your whinging and whining about Dawkins and his perspective about religious abuse of children is just that, whinging and whining. No amount of this form of personal vituperation will ever raise your professional status to anything more that of an Apologist also-ran. You recent comments are not those of a professed philosopher with a genuine claim to make and defend.

It is unseemly and I am sorry to see it.

Papalinton said...

"Besides hospitals, we can list the concepts of individual human dignity, the idea that some wars can be unjust, and the equal worth of both sexes, plus universities, parliaments, trial by jury, universal literacy, the scientific method, the concept of a rational universe, etc., etc., etc."

All the result of christian theism? Which supernatural planet do you live on?

You might want to read the latest nonsense from the catholic multinational:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/26/catholic-bishops-abuse-religious-freedom

"It is a terrible thing when a once-noble phrase gets beaten to a meaningless pulp. The time has now come to rescue the phrase "religious freedom" from its abusers. In the writings and speeches of Catholic bishops and evangelical leaders in recent months, "religious freedom" has come to mean something close to its opposite. It now stands for "religious privilege". It is a coded way for them to state their demand that religious institutions should be allowed special powers that exempt them from the laws of the land."

Theists speak with forked-tongue.

Karl Grant said...

Insults; linking an article that in no way, shape or form rebuts Bob's point; Argument from Personal Incredulity; how all very boring and predictable. No fun, no fun at all. You guys can have fun with the wannabe-smartass and attention hog. I am going to grab a beer and browse my video library for a movie I haven't seen in awhile.

Victor Reppert said...

And yet, you stand there unashamedly bleating out the evidential physical reality of the revivification of a three day-old dead and putrescent body, the physical and bodily levitation of a dead but supposedly living person into the blue beyond to who-knows-where and how, and parthenogenesis, and 3-in1 godheads, with a straight face.

Paps: Would you believe this if there were good evidence for it? You seem to think this stuff is so incredible that you wouldn't believe it if there were strong evidence for it.

Lots of things seem weird, but they are supported by evidence.

cl said...

Not that anybody needed me to affirm it but I told you guys... Paps is a lost case. It's sad, and maybe some of us think we're doing some duty by trying to "rectify" the error of his ways, but I question that strategy. My general attitude these days (WRT atheists like Paps) is an attempt or two at reason, then, shake the dust.

If you're a Calvinist, why even try? And if you're not, only prayer can cut through fog that dense. Time is too precious.

cl said...

In fact I propose The Paps Challenge ®: let's completely ignore him for two weeks and see if his arguments improve at all. It'll be an interesting experiment, if nothing else.

Any takers? Who's with me on The Paps Challenge ®?

Crude said...

Yeah, I think cl has nailed it here. What people always seem to forget, especially in the internet age, is that a conversation absolutely requires common ground, mutual respect, and reason. Paps is lacking in all three - he's demonstrated this repeatedly, with an utter lack of intellectual honesty to boot. (See: his past plagiarism, his tendency to quote things and then display an utter lack of comprehension about what he himself quoted, etc.)

It's like Loftus. The tragedy wasn't his inanity. The tragedy was wasting time, trying to converse with him as if he was capable of a true conversation. Really, even mocking the guy is only so fun - it's like beating a retard at chess. Sure, he stamps his feet and pouts and snarls - and that's good for a brief laugh - but really, there's better fun to be had out there.

Crude said...

cl,

I'm busy lately anyway, but hey, I'm game. He's already been enough of an intellectual punching bag - time to toss this one back in the closet.

B. Prokop said...

I'm in. Until we get a change of heart, and he's willing to admit that Christians are intelligent, rational, reasonable, and not about to die out, and act on that change of heart, I say give him the silent treatment.

I'm not even asking for him to stop being an atheist - just to stop arguing like that's the only rational position to hold.

Papalinton said...

Victor
"Paps: Would you believe this if there were good evidence for it? You seem to think this stuff is so incredible that you wouldn't believe it if there were strong evidence for it.

Lots of things seem weird, but they are supported by evidence."


Victor, I once believed as ardently as you do for a long time. It is not as though I came to my realisation on a whim. Even as I believed, the evidence was vanishing before me. And precisely for its incredibility, the belief could no longer be sustained. Incredible means not credible. And that is what I discovered. And yes lots of things seem weird but weirdness in not a function of evidence. The only 'evidence' available was that misconstrued within the theological definition of the word and not the usual or more universally accepted concept of the word, which is considerably closer to that of the expositors of the sciences. Everything else contrived as evidence, such a the beauty of a sunset, or the reality of love, or the magnificence of the stars, or the three forks of a frozen waterfall, are just emotive attributions, not evidence.

It seems weird that an elephant with a broken tusk and a god no less than jesus, is equally supported by the evidence that almost a billion people believe and yet you and I do not consider that evidence. It seems weird that Muhammed flew to heaven on a winged horse, and to 1-plus billion Muslims there is overwhelming evidence of this occurrence because god told them. And yet you and I consider this 'evidence' as a whole sandwich short of a picnic.

The only source we have of the christian 'events' is the say-so, of other say-so, of others that said so which resulted in the four pseudepigraphic booklets of unknown authors, of unknown provenance, of unknown origin, produced in a vacuum with no extant collaborative extra-historical sources except for two dubious and highly likely later interpolations inserted by foolish others.

Crude said...

Bob,

So, what's up with the astronomy lately? Have you ever managed to find and document a new celestial body? I seem to recall hearing that even "amateur" astronomers now and then did that - but this is far outside of my normal field. I think Alexander Pruss is another guy who's into it, however, in the Christian blogger category.

HyperEntity111 said...

That Papa denies the fact that Christians built universities (like Oxford and Cambridge), engage in humanitarian aid by building schools/hospitals and that a vast number of key concepts in Western thought emerged from the Christian tradition is quite shocking. It is comparable to the denial of tables, chairs, mountains or continents.

Once a person reaches a level of certainty where they deny such obvious empirical facts it is unnecessary to engage with them further. This is because they are clearly suffering from dangerous delusions . A person who claims that Asia does not exist in face of all contrary evidence is either exceptionally retarded or insane. Similarly a person who declares that Christians do not build universities and hospitals in the face of all evidence to the contrary is either deeply retarded or delusional.


Paps is an articulate person and claims to be an educator. It is therefore unlikely that he is retarded. So it seems to me that the man is suffering from delusions. This is the only explanation I can think of for his behaviour. I have seen many profoundly irrational atheists on YouTube, on the RDFD message boards and across the Internet. But I have never seen anybody as confused and incompetent as Paps. Often when a typical Gnu is confronted with an argument he will attempt to respond to it (though the result is always intellectually grotesque). When Paps is confronted with an argument he simply changes the subject and claims that he answered it by changing the subject. I am bring honest when I say that I have never seen such a thing before.

If we accept that Paps genuinely believes that he is rational in his behaviour here (that he is not a troll) and if we agree that he is not severely mentally challenged than it seems that most plausible explanation of his behaviour is that he is delusional. If we agree that Paps is mentally unwell than it is clear that cl was being too kind-we should not ignore Paps for two weeks we should ignore him permanently.

Papalinton said...

"Not that anybody needed me to affirm it but I told you guys... "

Another disjointed christian with acclaimed powers of prophecy in the long christian tradition of crystal ball-gazers, and tarot card foretellers and mind-of-god readers. All of this is covered under the teleology of projection based around the 'theory of mind', all cogently described within any good Psychology 101 reference.

In the mind of every theist is a god-shaped vacuum.

Papalinton said...

"That Papa denies the fact that Christians built universities (like Oxford and Cambridge), engage in humanitarian aid by building schools/hospitals and that a vast number of key concepts in Western thought emerged from the Christian tradition is quite shocking."

No, not at all Hyper. Christian theism was a very important element in the shaping of Western civilization. We cannot ever conceive of understanding or knowing anything about Western development without a good grounding of the historical religious context. Even Dawkins admits wholeheartedly accords with the importance of teaching comparative religion and the impact religion has had on the evolving methods of societal governance over the centuries.

But to imagine hospitals and schools as the brainchild of christendom is a blighted and egregious overstatement. The Greeks and the Romans had schools of varying kinds long before christians. Think of Aristotelean and Socratic schools for the teaching of logic and rhetoric and philosophy. Think of hospitals, the first of which is formally recognised historically, the hospital at Aesclepius in Turkey before christianity and perhaps the Hebrew bible was even imagined.

Sure humanitarian aid was a function of christian activity. But no one is deceived into thinking they were doing out the goodness of their heart. Wherever a hungry mouth was found a potential soul was there for the saving, regardless of whether they already had a belief system or not. The administration of aid was always ever a correlate function of aggressive and expansionist proselytising.

You see, Hyper, I have read from the Apologetic library, and the story told is not a truthful one.

If you are suggesting, as Bob does, that christianity was the sole provider of "concepts of individual human dignity, the idea that some wars can be unjust, and the equal worth of both sexes, plus universities, parliaments, trial by jury, universal literacy, the scientific method, the concept of a rational universe, etc", then it is clear your snout has not drifted from the Theology section of the Library.

Hyper, I quietly smile at your branding me as perhaps 'delusional'. But it is not me that attests to the physical reality of the revivification of a three day-old dead and putrescent corpse, nor the physical and bodily levitation of a dead but supposedly living person into the blue beyond to who-knows-where and how, and parthenogenesis, and 3-in1 godheads, with a straight face. It is not me that subscribes to the superstitious magic of miracles. It is not me that imagines christian mysticism as the only viable worldview, to the exclusion of the views of the 5-plus billion other people that inhabit this planet. How does on rationalise all this away without a good measure of christian self-induced delusion?

Hyper,

Papalinton said...

" ... and that a vast number of key concepts in Western thought emerged from the Christian tradition is quite shocking."

What an appalling and shamefully overblown bubble of pious hyperbole. Many if not most of the key concepts in Western thought did not emerge from the christian tradition. They emerged despite the christian tradition. They were in the main a reaction to, or a rejection of the christian tradition. Nothing could be more fundamentally a direct result of the rejection of the christian worldview than the secularization of Western Europe and spreading rapidly across Eastern Europe in recent decades. The trend has increased significantly in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and is emerging within the US. This is not simply a rejection of christian theism but rather a broader eschewing of religious dogma across the spectrum.

Even in small ways the special and deferential privileges afforded to religion are being checked just as they should be:
Despite the hand-wringing rhetoric of the religious writer of this article, in Germany, ".. a court has decreed that circumcision for religious purposes causes "bodily harm", against boys who are "unable to give their consent", and therefore should be outlawed."

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100168081/the-rebranding-of-circumcision-as-child-abuse-echoes-the-ugly-anti-semitism-of-medieval-europe/

I say, what a wonderfully sensible decision of the court of the land.

Equally, "Atheist Acceptability on the Rise in America"
More than half would now vote for a nonbeliever.
Published on June 28, 2012 by David Niose in Our Humanity, Naturally
'The good news for nonbelievers is that, for the first time ever, more than half the American population would vote for a qualified, open atheist for president. A recent Gallup poll shows that 54 percent of Americans would not consider a candidate’s atheism to be a disqualification for holding the nation's highest office.
This shows remarkable progress, a nine-point increase from 2007 and 36 points higher than the 18 percent acceptability figure that nonbelievers received when the question was first asked in 1958. Clearly, seculars are making huge strides in gaining acceptance. If the trend continues, we can expect that other open nonbelievers may soon join Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) as elected lawmakers in the nation's capital."


http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201206/atheist-acceptability-the-rise-in-america

If today's news can be paralleled as a form of historical analogy of the role christian theism played throughout Wester civilization, I would suggest my perspective of the many key concepts that emerged, emerged not because of the tenets of christianity, but rather despite them, in reaction to them. Much the same can be said of the rise and rise of science as a rejection of religious hegemony.

No Hyper, Apologetical history is a very partial tale at best. I envisage the trend towards secular humanism continuing on its current trajectory.

physphilmusic said...

Wrong. We are beginning to enter the post-christian era, an exciting era in which civility and reason are not prescribed through the theological or Apologetical prism. We are entering a period when christian claims are no longer being complaisantly accepted as conventional wisdom. They now have to earn their stripes and justify their utter nonsense claims beyond the primitive intuitive sense of belief or belief in belief. Christian theism is becoming less and less relevant as the interim explanatory tool it once was. People are now realising that superstition, supernaturalism and magic and ancient fantasies now no longer constitute a viable worldview. Fictive god characters no longer wield the level of psychological fear and anxiety their earthly sycophants once demanded. People are now understanding for the first time that doing good can be done for goodness sake alone.

LOL this could have been, and probably has been said for the last 300 years :)

Does Linton seriously think his (and Dawkins') rantings are original in the least bit?

B. Prokop said...

Crude,

I actually consider myself to be a "stargazer" rather than an "amateur astronomer". There's a perhaps not subtle difference. Amateur astronomers are in the business of supplementing the observational work of professionals with genuine scientific contributions. There are several in my club, the Howard Astronomical League. Such people do 99% (no exaggeration!) of the grunt work for the professionals, by discovering new comets, asteroids, novae and supernovae, charting the light curves of variable stars, and a thousand other things. Stargazers are basically along for the ride and enjoy the view.

I have, however, been told by three professional astronomers that my recent book is groundbreaking, in that it is the first ever written at any level (popular or pure science) on its subject matter. That is, in fact, the main reason I wrote it. About a year ago, I wanted a book on the Solar Neighborhood. After about a month's intensive search online, at the Applied Physics Laboratory and Goddard Space Center (both just down the road from me) and at local university libraries, I realized there was none out there. So I decided it was a "Book of the Gaps" and wrote it myself!

By the way, the version accessible online is chock full of typos, missing words, and badly written sentences. To get a "clean" copy, you have to go to lulu.com and buy one. I don't make a penny off sales from the site, because I priced it at the cost of printing. It was a labor of love, not done for profit.

Crude said...

Bob,

Fair enough. It's not much my thing, I admit, though I like to see people doing such things on their own and contributing. One of the few legitimate joys of the internet.

Maybe you should clean it up and shop around for an actual publisher? Even if money isn't on your mind, spreading the word seems to be, and that's one good way to do it.

Emanuel Goldstein said...

Papalinton, we all get it.

You think we are delusional and despise us.

So why do you bother? Because you want to help us see the light?

To believe that everything came from nothing, by nothing, and for nothing...and that is an Extraordinary Claim that has not been demonstrated...so that we can be like you when we are retired and have time on our hands to troll Christian sites?

You are an old man, in poor shape.

You need to repent of your evil.

BenYachov said...

In the Evil Mirror Universe Papalinton is a fundamentalist Christian on a message board populated by Atheist philosophers using mockery in place of rational argument to try to convince the Atheist philosophers whom he dismisses as all going to Hell anyway that they are wrong.

Also he is rocking a sweet goatee like evil spock!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/56/STMirrorMirror.jpg

When you stop to think about it Evil Papalinton isn't fundamentally different from our Papalinton.