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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why "Atheism is a Relgion," Reason One

Because atheists and nutjobs like Pat Robertson both have "beliefs," right? Pat Robertson blames the recent earthquake in Haiti on "Haiti's deal with the Devil," whereas atheists blame the earthquake on plate tectonics.




Well, the two are both "beliefs," right? They're equal but different "opinions," correct? Therefore, that's one example of how "atheists have their own belief system," right? Therefore, we atheists not being stupid is as much of a "religious practice" as Pat Robertson's ritual of not thinking is a form of science, right? Not bringing God into the earthquake makes the science of plate tectonics a religion, just as not bringing God into the classroom "makes the science of evolution" a violation of the separation of church and state, isn't that right, people?

Do I have that down pat, Michael Ruse?

UPDATED: Well, we'll see what happens - I asked a Muslim online who also asserted that "atheism is a religion" if women walking around naked was a form of hijab.

Here's a turnabout - and oddly enough, I've thought this, too: a review of the Creation Museum pronounces it "soulless."

I spent a lot of time in the Eden picnic area, trying to wrest some sort of spiritual buzz, a sense of the majesty and the mystery, but it’s conspicuously absent. Literally beaten to death. This is Ripley’s Believe-It. It is irredeemably kitsch. In fact, it may be the biggest collection of kitsch in God’s entire world. This is the profound represented by the banal, a divine irony. (The penchant for kitsch is something that gay men and born-again Christians share.) This tacky, risible, and rational tableau defies belief, beggars faith. Compare it to the creation story in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, Masaccio’s expulsion from Eden, or any of the thousands of flickering images, icons, and installations based on faith rather than literalist realism. It truly makes you wonder, Is all this righteous ire, all this money, all this Pentecostal flame-throwing the best they can come up with? This cheap county-fair sideshow—this is their best shot? It may be more replete with proof than a Soviet show trial, but this creation is bereft of any soul.

I once, in a film review, called a tediously religion-thumping (if not Bible-banging) film "faithless." (A kid's mother gets killed by an errant baseball, and all this annoyingly righteous little twit can say is, "There are no accidents" and "I am God's instrument"? Are you kidding me? The protagonist cares more about the mother's death than her own child does? What a pompous little brat! The film became one distasteful justification of her death after another from that point on.) This is what really pisses me off: that those who engage in the knee-jerk argument that "atheism is a religion" do not address the essential nihilism - the lack of wonder, the hankering after certainties - in what is often called "faith."

I have no delusion that science, or life, is going to hand me many certainties. (Remember, I'm studying statistics.) Does it not occur to these folks that the more they pound the "atheism as a religion" gavel too hard, the more they make atheism sound like one of the few, or perhaps the only, "religion" that does not molest children en mass, or condemn victims for their misfortunes, or set fire to churches/mosques/temples, or rake in the kind of dough that televangelists regularly do? With apologies to Nietzsche, supposing atheism is the only "religion" that actually fulfills religion's ostensible goals of uniting humanity in peace, what then? Is that an argument that anti-atheists really want to [unwittingly] make?

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18 Comments:

Blogger Cat's Staff said...

That's silly. We all know that the earthquake didn't happen because of a deal made with the devil 200 years ago, the statue of limitations on that sort of thing is 175 years. It was because of lightning rods. How dare we subvert God's will and defeat His design by putting up our lightning rods so he can't punish impiety.

January 13, 2010 11:03 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Yeah, you gotta watch those pacts with Thor.

Honestly, I can't wait for Robertson to die. I really can't. It's the only way he'll ever shut up. What a disgrace.

January 15, 2010 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, Pat Robertson is a disgusting piece of crap. If there is divine justice in this universe, he will spend a couple of eons in an unpleasant corner of purgatory to contemplate the error of his ways.
Scotius

January 17, 2010 11:07 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Someone named Lily Coyle has written a letter in the opinion section of the Star Tribune that kick's Pat's ass big time! Owned! (Look under "Letter of the day: Haiti suffers, and Robertson sees the hand of Satan," second letter.)

January 17, 2010 2:03 PM  
Anonymous 386sx said...

Could Kristi Watts make it any more obvious that she couldn't give a hoot what Robertson says, she's gonna agree with it anyway? Man, talk about sycophantic...

January 21, 2010 4:47 AM  
Blogger Holytape said...

Everyone knows that it is neither plate tectonics nor the pact with the devil that led to Haiti's crisis.

The only possible explanation, was that God was trying to smite Key West and missed. This makes sense, after all God is way up there in Heaven and he is getting old. His eye sight isn't as good as it once was. He was able to smite Lot's wife with pin-point accuracy, but when he tried to smite the French quarter for hosting a gay pride parade, he mistaking hit the lower wards instead. Later, when he tried to burn down Hollywood for their pro-abortion smut, he accidentally burned down the rest of the state. Likewise, when Illinois elected Obama, he flooded Iowa. God just doesn't have the aim he once had.

January 21, 2010 9:21 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

God just doesn't have the aim he once had.

Interestingly enough, the ancient Greek gods aged and had kids who overthrew them (well, the overthrowing stopped with the Olympians). If people were to view deities as having "life cycles," that would be more helpful than this "Deity X is the same yesterday, today, and forever." People could have their faith and relinquish it too, theoretically.

I always considered it ironic that people freaked out in the 1970s at "God is Dead" when they were worshipping a god who died...

January 21, 2010 1:35 PM  
Blogger Don said...

I just discovered this blog accidentally while searching for Porno for Pyros lyrics. If I wasn't the atheist that I am, I would certainly call it Divine Intervention... :-)

January 26, 2010 12:04 AM  
Anonymous @GospelToday said...

The Atheist worldview is in a great crisis because it has no foundational support for what it says it believes in. The Atheist worldview holds as truth that it is based on science, logic, and reason. In fact, the Atheist worldview has no basis to prove that it is based on science, logic, and reason without actually giving evidence that the Biblical worldview is true because only the Biblical worldview by its own definition is founded on science, logic and reason as set forth within the Holy Bible. Both the Atheist worldview and the Biblical worldview cannot both be true because that would be a contradiction breaking the law of non-contradiction therefore, the Atheist worldview is false and the Biblical worldview is true.

Beyond Doubt - Christianity is True - Atheism is False http://bit.ly/5vtvvF

January 28, 2010 1:46 AM  
Anonymous @GospelToday said...

Atheism - An Atheist's Religious Denial of Faith in Their Beliefs http://bit.ly/3M2IGR

January 28, 2010 1:49 AM  
Anonymous 386sx said...

Can't argue with that logic. There wouldn't be much point!

January 28, 2010 7:13 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

@GospelToday: Religion - denial of secret disbelief of one's "beliefs."

That's why Christianity needs Hell.

Spare us the "Christianity is true" crap. Even if I were to become religious, it would not be Christianity. It would be more akin to Buddhism, which still has no deity.

January 28, 2010 9:30 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

In case anyone is interested, @GospelToday pulls the same old quote-mining BS to "show" that Darwin believed that "races had multiple origins" whereas creationists were supposedly vindicated by the Genome Project in positing a common ancestor. In fact, if you read any of the creationists from Darwin's time or even after, they were universally racist and insisted upon multiple origins, whereas Darwin is the one (duh!) who posited a common ancestor!

So that leads us to "Why Atheism is a Religion," Reason Two...

January 28, 2010 4:12 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 31, 2010 10:34 AM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Mis-spelled "puerile" on the first go. I hate it when I do that.

@GospelToday:

Take a ride on the failway. That's all. I'm far too bored to take the time to, once again, demonstrate how that puerile punditry is not logic. Start here: http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html

If you achieve a glimmer of understanding, come back and we'll talk. If you already know it's bullshit, then stop trying to impress anyone but the sheeple.

January 31, 2010 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Christine,
For some strange reason (honestly) I feel compelled to refer you to Ann Voskamp’s blog at Aholyexperience.com. Just as I suspect that the most noticeable/vocal atheists are not necessarily those that reflect ordinary atheists in general, Pat Robertson and other noticeable/vocal believers are not necessarily those that reflect ordinary believers in general.
You do not know me and I do not know Ann but I stop in at both of your blogs from time to time. She is Canadian, probably a Mennonite, the wife of a farmer and home educates their six children. She is also a lover of literature, Shakespeare, the arts, and photography. Have a look see. I am not expecting you to agree with her faith but merely to see another side of faith than you rarely get from the media. She is bright, thoughtful and sincere.
I myself am nothing like her either although I am a believer too. I am older have raised my children and not gifted in any of the arts. You can tell by my plain writing that I am not a writer. Ha. I think Ann is authentic and I admire that, maybe you will too. When you take all the pundits away, we are all just fellow human beings sharing this planet trying to do our best.
interested bystander

February 08, 2010 7:25 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Sure, I'll stop over. I used to go to Quaker Meeting myself!

Of course Pat Robertson doesn't speak for all believers. I'm not even sure anymore which believers Pat Robertson speaks for. But the point I'm making is, if atheism is a "religion," why do the people who make this accusation make it as an accusation and not as a compliment? It's meant pejoratively, to connect atheists to fundies and extremists like Robertson. It's never meant to say that perhaps atheists and moderate believers have more in common than atheists and fundamentalists, say.

That's what my post was really trying to poke fun at. When you think about it, such a statement really insults moderate believers, too.

February 08, 2010 10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just noticed I spelled your name wrong, sorry about that Kristine.
interested bystander

February 10, 2010 9:08 PM  

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