Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Militant Atheist Cartoon

Everyone else has to actually be violent to be called militant. We atheists get the label merely by making an unapologetic counter argument.

It's the quickest refutation of all the intellectual dishonesty from the appeaser wing of atheists, like this long overdue piece of garbage in response to a simple request for actual evidence of the claims made against the "militant atheists:

And you'll continue to get nothing.

This is what I think of as the "You haven't read the right Heinlein" game, from my days on Usenet. People would turn up, and comment that they didn't like some book by Heinlein, only to be told "No, no-- that's not the one you should read, you should read this other book." And when the original poster didn't like that one, either, there was another one, and another one, and another one... The man wrote a whole lot of books, so this could go on for quite a long time.

The same bullshit game has been going on with Mooney and Nisbet and "framing." They write a perfectly clear post, and people make a big show of not understanding it. They follow up with another perfectly clear post, and it's still somehow mystifying. They give examples, and the examples aren't specific enough. They give more examples, and those don't apply for some reason. And on, and on, and on.

The game never ends. I'm sure the Hoofnagles have a card for it when this crap is pulled by global warming denialists-- it's the same pathetic routine. No mountain of proof, no list of examples will ever suffice, and at the end of the day, the person being beseiged has spent hours battling picayune objections, but still "hasn't given any evidence to support the claim."

The only way to avoid losing is not to play. So feel free to skip right to the part where you tell everyone I'm an irrational meanie who hates Myers and Dawkins for no good reason, and stop wasting my time.

I know its dated, but it is representative of that mindset today. Oh yeah, Mooney, Nisbet, Kirshenbaum make lots of perfectly clear assertions. But we in the scientific world like to get a little evidence. It's no game, and representing it as such marks you as intellectually dishonest. One cannot claim no amount of evidence will suffice when none is ever presented. Yet watch the appeasers babble on and on, rhetoricians all on the subject of outspoken atheists, whatever their day job might be. It's pathetic.


memphisto said...

I must be doing something wrong because when I click on the first link it just reopens the same article.

Mike H said...

The cartoon would have been more accurate had the militant atheist cartoon depicted Joe Stalin standing atop a mountain of 10 million dead kulaks.

ScienceAvenger said...

That equivocation omits the fact that Stalin was a tyrant substituting a religious-like reverence for the state in place of the one previously aimed at the gods. Statism, not atheism, was Stalin's crime, just like fascism, not Christianity, was Hitler's.

Atheism, a lack of belief, motivates nothing like either, in and of itself. Revisionist history can't change the present reality, that those called 'militant atheists' today do battle with little more than the pen. It might be mightier than the sword, but it certainly isn't equivalent.

megadeth said...

"Everyone else has to actually be violent to be called militant."

Try googling on "militant settlers."

Unknown said...

The problem with M&K is that they seem to make poor scientists. They either don't want to, or cannot find the evidence necessary to convince the scientific community, by whose rules they must play, if they are to get anywhere. You'd think they would understand this. As it is, their book is all media hype and no substance.

Troublesome Frog said...

"The cartoon would have been more accurate had the militant atheist cartoon depicted Joe Stalin standing atop a mountain of 10 million dead kulaks."

That's really only true if the term "militant atheist" was typically only used for people like Stalin and not for guy in the coffee shop. That's kind of the point of the joke. Stalin *was* a militant atheist (and of course, we can debate the connotation of the term in that context). This guy isn't, but that's what people call him.

Get it?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I get that. Theists are misusing the term "militant" to refer, not just to one who is a fanatical and violent extremist, like Stalin, but also to a peaceful, vocal advocate of their views, like Dawkins, or to just someone on the street who rejects religion, like the guy in the cartoon.

But those who reject Stalin as an atheist and claim instead that he was a believer in a "state religion" are mistaken as well. Marxism-Leninism (Dialectical Materialism) is indeed an explicitly atheistic philosophy, every bit as much as Christianity is an explicitly theistic religion. Stalin believed it in, therefore Stalin was an atheist.

Marina S said...

"Everyone else except for feminists has to actually be violent to be called militant."

There, fixed it for you.