Friday, February 20, 2015

A Portrait of the North Carolina Killer

Here. 

Doesn't hatred always have the potential for violence? Why are atheists immune to this?

24 comments:

im-skeptical said...

I was wondering how long it would take for Victor to post something like this. First point the article makes: HE'S AN ATHEIST. Top comment: "I demand that Bill Maher immediately reject and denounce this man's actions and that all atheists everywhere apologize and condemn his beliefs! Where are the so-called moderate atheist voices?"

A few things you should be aware of: 1. This act of violence HAS been condemned by atheists. 2. There is absolutely no evidence that it was motivated by any kind of animosity toward ethnic or religious groups.

Please read this article, and please note the first comment.

DJC said...

Victor,

If Craig Hicks was motivated by atheist beliefs to kill Muslims, why would he say this in defense of them?

Beyond that though after being in D.C. for a decade and knowing several dozen Muslims for most of that time I can say that they aren’t what most think of them. In fact, I’d prefer them to most Christians as I was never coerced in any way by the Muslims to follow their religion, which I cannot say about many Christians.
From here .

Do you remember the 1993 Michael Douglas film "Falling Down"? Craig Hicks was obsessed with this film, according to his ex-wife Cynthia Hurley.

Falling Down: a movie about a man who, after being confronted by an endless stream of perceived injustices against him, finally snaps and goes on a violent rampage. Don't you think the ideology of Falling Down far better explains Craig Hicks' actions than the ideology of atheism?

Chris said...

May the dodginess commence!

im-skeptical said...

dodginess???

OK. I didn't really expect anything better that this from you. Perhaps this is what we should hear the next time any Christian commits murder:

"I demand that Victor Reppert immediately reject and denounce this man's actions and that all theists everywhere apologize and condemn his beliefs! Where are the so-called moderate theist voices?"

Dustin Crummett said...

Obviously--OBVIOUSLY--that comment is parodying the fact that the exact same thing is said, with regard to Muslims, any time a Muslim does something bad.

im-skeptical said...

Dustin Crumpett,

Obviously - OBVIOUSLY - you haven't been reading Victor's blog very long. Because if you had, you'd know that this is a common ploy of the theists here.

Victor Reppert said...

I think the point has been lost here. What I said that hatred on behalf of any belief has the potential to result in violence, and that we should not suppose that atheism is an exception to this generalization.

im-skeptical said...

This guy did not commit this crime because of his atheism. It was an on-going dispute he had with the victims. All the evidence points to that. Read DJC's comment. Do a little research of your own. But don't drag atheism into it. Atheism is not an ideology.

This is exactly what I predicted would happen.

cl said...

Wish I had some popcorn. Watching im-skeptical's pants wet up is hilarious. So determined to miss the point!

"This guy did not commit this crime because of his atheism."

...who cares? Nobody here said he did. If you gave Victor any charity you'd realize you're reading him wrong. You guys actually agree.

Now, kooky atheists, just remember your reactions here next time the standard "believer commits crime X" story hits the press.

im-skeptical said...

"Nobody here said he did. If you gave Victor any charity you'd realize you're reading him wrong. You guys actually agree."

No, we don't. This crime was not a case of hatred on behalf of belief. But that certainly is the implication of Victor's article.

Victor Reppert said...

The let me ask you this. Is there any reason to think that militant anti-theism couldn't lead to violence? Is there anything that would prevent an atheist from killing if that atheist thought that the cause of atheism could be advanced by killing someone?

im-skeptical said...

There is no "cause of atheism". And there's no reason to think that so-called "militant anti-theism", is involved in this case. Read what the guy said in his own words. Read what his wife says about him. Read what the police say about his motivations.

Christianity is an ideology. People lie, fight, and kill for it. Atheism is no such thing. That's like saying people would kill for their lack of belief in unicorns.

cl said...

This is why you're basically a kook who should mostly be ignored, skeppy:

"This crime was not a case of hatred on behalf of belief."

Sure, whatever... but Victor didn't say it was. You get that yet? Let it sink in... Now,

"There is no "cause of atheism"."

Give Vic some charity here! Sure as hell there is a "cause of atheism" in the context Vic asked you. By "cause of atheism" there he obviously refers to the general atheist agenda, and it is not at all unreasonable to think some extremist might kill under the rubric of advancing some ideology: be it militant Islam, or militant atheism.

"That's like saying people would kill for their lack of belief in unicorns."

You shouldn't be taken seriously because of saying patently lame stuff like that. No, it's not like saying that! If you can't see that a nutty extremist might reasonably interpret killing 3 Muslims as "advancing the cause" then you're too caught up being an atheist apologist and it's just that simple.

im-skeptical said...

"Sure, whatever... but Victor didn't say it was. You get that yet? Let it sink in... Now"

You idiot - go back and read what Victor said.

"
By "cause of atheism" there he obviously refers to the general atheist agenda, and it is not at all unreasonable to think some extremist might kill under the rubric of advancing some ideology: be it militant Islam, or militant atheism."

You idiot - atheism is not a cause or an ideology. There may be atheists who have a cause, but atheism itself is no more of a cause than non-belief in unicorns.

"You shouldn't be taken seriously because of saying patently lame stuff like that."

You shouldn't be taken seriously because you're an idiot. Why don't you tell us again about the supernatural flying objects in your living room?

Chris said...


This is worthy of a John Stewart bit.

Nutbag atheist wacks some people, but "No-o-o-o-o-o, atheism has n-n-n-n-n-othing to do with it. Atheism is not an ideology, didn't you know, stupid anti-atheist"

This is good enough for a stand-up routine.

im-skeptical said...

"Nutbag atheist wacks some people, but "No-o-o-o-o-o, atheism has n-n-n-n-n-othing to do with it. Atheism is not an ideology, didn't you know, stupid anti-atheist""

Where's the evidence? Show us what atheism had to do with the crime.

Legion of Logic said...

I don't know that anti-theism had anything to do with these murders.

What I DO know, however, is anti-theism is in fact a philosophical position, almost entirely atheistic in nature, and there is an active movement that advocates it, consisting almost entirely of atheists.

And when you have main spokespeople of the movement claiming that religion is a neurological disorder, worse than rape, a great evil, opposed to progress, etc, and then having these beliefs put into cute little memes and spread throughout the internet, then yes the potential for violence against religious targets - directly due to the hateful rhetoric caused by an atheistic, anti-theistic movement - is quite possible.

Trying to claim that atheism isn't an ideology, while ignoring the existence of many atheistic ideologies that are - secular humanism, so-called "freethought", anti-theism, certain forms of Communism, etc - seems extremely silly to theists. The problem isn't what you don't believe. It's what you DO believe.

cl said...

"You idiot - go back and read what Victor said."

Uh, to me, the idiot is the person who leaves a comment totally useless to advancing a discussion. I *DID* read what Victor said, jackass, that's exactly why I'm checking you: because nowhere here did Victor say what you ascribe to him.

Got it yet, pseudo-rationalist?

im-skeptical said...

This is what Victor said: "What I said that hatred on behalf of any belief has the potential to result in violence, and that we should not suppose that atheism is an exception to this generalization."

Along with the article he posted, where the blame for this crime is placed squarely in the lap of atheism, it reveals a gross misunderstanding of what atheism is, and shows the depths to which some theists will sink to associate atheism with immoral or criminal behavior (despite lack of any evidence to support that).

Victor Reppert said...

Exactly. In the past, an atheist debate will very often assert that they have no intention of convincing anyone to be an atheist. It doesn't matter to them. Or so they said back then.

But now it does. We can rate people with respect to how much they care whether people believe as they did with respect to religion. Some Christians really care about the beliefs of others, because they think their eternal destiny hangs in the balance. This leads to something I used to call hyper-evangelicalism.

Some Christians don't care at all what others believe. I am somewhere in the middle; as a believer I hate seeing people intimidated out of their religious beliefs.

But atheists, and least under the influence of New Atheism, seem to be more and more evangelistic. The idea seems to be that the world is on a cusp, between falling back into a new dark age through religion, or getting beyond this by embracing science, and therefore scientific materialism.

This has been coupled with what I consider to be a hate message toward religious belief. There is even a slur-word, faith-head, which is used against religious believers. We are told that nothing short of naked contempt is deserved for people who believe in God, that their position merits ridicule and nothing but ridicule.

One can, I suppose, try to escape the charge of hate by accepting some version "hate the belief, love the believer." But these are the same people who will respond to "hate the sin, love the sinner" with respect to homosexuality as proof of blatant bigotry. Why this is not blatant intellectual dishonesty is beyond my comprehension.

Why could we possibly believe that, sooner or later, this whole mind-set will not erupt in violence on the part of somebody. Whether Hicks is that somebody or not is not the main thing I am bringing up for consideration. The step from viewing an idea as genuinely detestable to killing those who advocate the idea is not that big of a step, is it really?

Atheists might reply that since they've got evidence on their side, they won't need violence. But they are the same people who say that religious believers just won't listen to reason. So, what is to be done with them?

Just put "a new dark age" in for "hell" and you can see why someone might use force on behalf of atheism.
The more atheists insist that they are immune from the kind of temptation that leads to religious violence, the more concern I have. If you really think atheism leaves you with "nothing to kill or die for,"
then all I can give you is the Strait answer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNlMzNUDM8s

im-skeptical said...

My reply

cl said...

"This is what Victor said: "What I said that hatred on behalf of any belief has the potential to result in violence, and that we should not suppose that atheism is an exception to this generalization."

Right. So... does that mean he's saying this particularly incident was caused by atheism?

im-skeptical said...

"Right. So... does that mean he's saying this particularly incident was caused by atheism?"

Did you miss the original post, and in particular its title? What do you think Victor is trying to say here?

cl said...

He asked a question:

"Doesn't hatred always have the potential for violence?"

I really don't think he was trying to "say" anything as much as ask a fair question.