The Faith of the Atheist

I was about to go run errands but stupidly decided to check my feed reader first.

I came across this video from World Net Daily. Now, I’m too angry to go to Target. There’s something wrong on the Internets and it must be fixed.

Here’s Molotov Mitchell (click on the video that says “The faith of the atheist”:



How many mistakes can we find…

Obama did indeed tone down the National Day of Prayer. He didn’t stop anyone from celebrating it. He just didn’t make a big display of it. He prays privately. Not to mention the actual “National Day of Prayer” is a Religious Right event (chaired by James Dobson‘s wife) and he has no desire to cater to their whims and exclude people of other faiths.

What about Georgetown? The president was there to deliver a speech on economics. There were religious symbols in the background and he asked that they be covered up so they would not distract from his not-about-religion speech. Georgetown University had this to say:

“The White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what they’ve done for other policy speeches… Frankly, the pipe and drape wasn’t high enough by itself to fully cover the IHS and cross above the GU seal and it seemed most respectful to have them covered so as not to be seen out of context.”

There’s nothing anti-religious about that. If a cross was up there, people could get easily confused about what he was trying to do. Better to use a typical backdrop.

MItchell also says Torcaso vs. Watkins defined Secular Humanism as a religion.

Here’s what you need to know about the case: Torcaso wanted to become a notary public, but as an atheist, he did not want to declare a belief in God as was required by Maryland state law. The state denied his appointment, he sued, the case went to the Supreme Court, and the court unanimously ruled that Torcaso was right and Maryland’s law was illegal.

In the court’s decision, they wrote this:

We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person “to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.” Neither can constitutionally pass laws or impose requirements which aid all religions as against non-believers, and neither can aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs.

The court is absolutely right. The government shouldn’t be telling us to worship or not to worship. They should stay out of that business.

There’s also a footnote to that excerpt that reads like this:

Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others.

Why put that in there? To offer examples of non-theistic faiths that should also not be endorsed by the government. That’s it. I don’t think the court’s intention there was to define Secular Humanism as a religion despite the wording.

Even if it did define it as such, the purpose is to say the government cannot force Secular Humanism on people. And even then, the court would be right.

The only way to not force either religion and non-religion on anyone is to not bring it up at all in government affairs.

That’s not anti-Christian. That’s pro-everybody.

Mitchell does say one right thing: “There’s not enough evidence to sufficiently prove or disprove God.”

Which is why atheists don’t (and shouldn’t) say “There is no God.” Instead, we say we don’t believe in one.

So why are Christians so certain that God exists? Maybe someone should show them Mitchell’s video…

After that, he gets even crazier… saying we atheists take plenty on faith: manmade global warming, Communism (while showing Obama’s campaign symbol), the Gay Gene, etc. And then he attacks Democrats. Which, apparently, all atheists are.

You have to love the end of the video, in which he says “separation of church and state should apply to them [atheists] as much as us” while showing American troops bowing their head to a cross.

Ok. Rant over. Off to Target now.

  • Revyloution

    not stamp collecting, the hair color of bald, etc etc. I get so tired of this ‘atheism is a religion’ crap.

    And assuming that all atheists are liberals.

    And assuming all atheists support AGW.

    And etc ad nauseum.

    Plus, Humanism isn’t atheism. (hence the capitalization). Humanism is a philosophy that some atheists subscribe to. Not all atheists are humanists!

    Once again, say it loud and clear ‘Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity’ Nothing more, nothing less.

    Grrr.

  • TXatheist

    Sadly, he and many others probably think he’s right. This is why I get down to saying believing in god is like believing in santa/tooth fairy because when you are dealing with people who are that misinformed you have to aim low.

  • jemand

    oh, but Hemant, I do think there is enough evidence to say certain constructions of God are ridiculous and DO NOT exist.

    Sure, there possibly exists one of the infinitely many OTHER visions of god, but I do believe I have enough evidence to show that the particular god I was taught in my fundamentalist church definitely does NOT exist… as it is a logical impossibility that is also logically incoherent.

  • What Would Professor Pat Pending Do?

    I came across this video from World Net Daily

    There’s your problem right there.

  • Douglas

    Quite so jemand, and let’s also not forget that the request was for evidence to “sufficiently” prove the case for God one way or the other. It’s impossible to definitively disprove theism, but I’d argue it’s more than possible to sufficiently counter it as to make it not really worth considering. Invisible Pink Unicorns, and all that.

  • http://gaytheist.wordpress.com John Reed Braden

    Yup… and now I’m too angry to get to the DMV. Grrr.

  • medussa

    Aaaaarggggh. And this first thing in the morning.

    Did that guy say I was a theist by being an atheist?
    And that I worship humans who kill babies (huh? All the baby killers I’ve heard of use their god to justify their actions), that I sleep with anything that moves (true, but it’s always consensual, so what does that have to do with anything?) and prefer people who don’t pay their way?

    I am very confused how he came to these statement.

  • trixr4kids

    Hemant: “I don’t think the court’s intention there was to define Secular Humanism as a religion despite the wording.”

    It wasn’t. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject, in their article on Secular Humanism:

    The footnote in Torcaso v. Watkins referenced Fellowship of Humanity v. County of Alameda, a 1957 case in which an organization of humanists sought a tax exemption on the ground that they used their property “solely and exclusively for religious worship.” Despite the group’s non-theistic beliefs, the court determined that the activities of the Fellowship of Humanity, which included weekly Sunday meetings, were analogous to the activities of theistic churches and thus entitled to an exemption….

    The decision in a subsequent case, Kalka v. Hawk et al., offered this commentary:

    The Court’s statement in Torcaso does not stand for the proposition that humanism, no matter in what form and no matter how practiced, amounts to a religion under the First Amendment. The Court offered no test for determining what system of beliefs qualified as a “religion” under the First Amendment. The most one may read into the Torcaso footnote is the idea that a particular non-theistic group calling itself the “Fellowship of Humanity” qualified as a religious organization under California law.

    Furthermore, footnotes (this one was written by Justice Hugo Black) are what’s known in law as “dicta”–meaning they are not intended to establish law and cannot be used as precedent. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the Liars For Jesus from claiming otherwise.

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

  • http://anti-mattr.blogspot.com/ mathyoo

    I lost count of the logical fallacies in that video. Apparently nasty music and grunge video effects make up for a lack of cogent argument.

  • gribblethemunchkin

    You’d think with so much stupid in his skull, he’d forget how to breath.

    Seriously, how can people actually believe that kinda stuff. How is it possible to be that stupid. Does he really believe that?

  • http://gaytheistagenda.lavenderliberal.com/ Buffy

    He’s as ignorant as he is bigoted.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    The video was F.A.I.L on all counts.

  • http://breakingspells.net ylooshi

    I actually like seeing this “atheism is religion/faith” argument because I realize the person making the argument has come to acknowledge that blind faith is irrational. It’s a first step and the argument they try to put forth is tu quoque. Its like saying, “well… you’re irrational, too!”

    The next step is to show how atheism is *not* irrational and how it contrasts with theism.

    Still, it’s always nice to have an excuse to avoid the DMV :) I drove on an expired license for nearly 6 months just to not have to stand in that line….

  • http://nullprogram.com Chris

    He turned it into a Left/Right thing, indicating he had no idea what he was talking about. The real issue is orthogonal to that scale.

  • DreamDevil

    Aw…. why did I click play… I knew I had seen that asshat before (the Darwin video). He makes me so angry I just wanna reach through the screen, grab his fat Glen Beck looking head and and bash it against a rock a few hundred times!!!!

    The arrogance he displays is just the kind of stuff that renders you paralyzed with rage.

  • http://chaoskeptic.blogspot.com Iason Ouabache

    I’m not going to click… I’m not going to click… I’m not going to click…

  • atomjack

    Woah, what a butthead! He’s got some of the biggest strawmen I’ve ever seen. Couldn’t tell by looking at his hands, though…did he use gloves for all that cherry-picking?

  • Q-Squared

    …I must resist clocking him…I mean- clicking it! :/

  • Dan W

    World Nut Daily? The stupid on that video… it burns!

    I’m also reminded of this when you said “There’s something wrong on the Internets and it must be fixed”, Hemant.

    Edit: I got through 54 seconds of the video before I couldn’t stand any more of their stupidity.

  • Ron in Houston

    I agree with Professor Pat Pending:

    That will teach you to subscribe to videos from World Net Daily.

  • debg

    Aarrgghh. That was painful, and so soon after watching the Dawkins/Wright interview on Pharyngula, too. No sleep for me for a while.

  • Ryne

    Christ, it takes a lot to make me angry, but that video was so full of inane stupidity, I couldn’t help it.

  • Godfrey Zone

    For all intents and purposes I go through life on the assumption that there is no God. And I know I’m right because God is a fiction created by man. I don’t need proof that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist to be utterly certain that there is no Tooth Fairy (despite the number of books by separate and independent authors that mention The Fairy and the number of children who have seen proof of the TF’s handiwork first hand) and I don’t need proof that God doesn’t exist to be utterly certain that there is no God. Perhaps I am fortunate that I was never indoctrinated by my parents and I’m a “congenital” atheist with no subconscious conditioned fear of blasphemy, but I feel that to avoid saying that There Is No God in favor of I Don’t Believe In God is sophistry. It may be a polite preference to avoid it, but I see no harm is saying that there is no God. There is no burden of proof when the entity in question is completely a work of fiction. To pretend that I might believe in God if only there was proof is to pander to a delusion. There will never be proof of God just as there will never be proof of the Tooth fairy, so why tiptoe around it.

    As far as the video is concerned, it’s actually quite amusing. The series of pseudo-proofs and nonsequiturs is to be expected from those who believe a big ethereal white-bearded sky fairy made everything in 6 days and can read your thoughts and punish you if you don’t believe (God and Santa are somewhat similar, aren’t they?). I’d be gobsmacked if it DID make some sense!

    Wow! Sorry for the rant!

  • Mike

    I guess the loud music is to mask the echo he gets from speaking with his head so far up his own ass.

    Arrogance and ignorance is a dangerous combination and while atheists are not immune to this combination, religion seems to both institutionalize and glorify it.

  • Jason R

    Instead of saying “I don’t believe in God.” I think atheists should be saying “I don’t believe in Deities”.

    Christians and other religious people are also atheists, they just aren’t complete atheists.

    On another note. In the video where he says its a matter of faith, he should actually be saying its a matter of selectively applied faith. If he was being intellectually consistent then Christians should also have faith that other deities exist. The same lack of evidence exists for other deities.

  • http://datan0de.livejournal.com Datan0de

    The stupidity and illogic don’t surprise me a bit. What does surprise and worry me is the style and slick production quality of the video. I have to give them credit- it’s perfect for targeting teens and young adults. Back in my theist, non-critical-thinking youth this vid would’ve been very compelling to me.


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