Whaddaya Know? An Honest Atheist…

who calls on fellow atheists to stop worshipping at the shrine of Hitchens and squarely admit that when he wrote about religion he was a liar who would say anything to score a point.

So rare to meet an atheist who uses and does not merely worship the intellect.

  • SamRocha

    Read that too. For the record, there are quite a few atheists who hate the so-called New Atheists. The most famous one, who has made some devastating critiques of them, is enigmatic Slavoj Zizek.

    • CrustyNatsFan

      I enjoyed Mr. White’s article. To Sam’s point, however, I would certainly feel bad lumping Mr. White together with Zizek. White seems to be a much better writer than Zizek. I read Zizek on a few occasions in grad school but kept thinking back to my high school English teacher warning that muddled writing usually is a symptom of muddled thinking.

  • Geff

    He’s still an atheist. Praising atheists makes some feel warm and fuzzy.

    • chezami

      You’re right. We should always encourage atheists to be as terrible and dishonest as possible. It’s not like they are human or anything.

    • CrustyNatsFan

      Give the guy a break. Anyone who tries to seek the truth, especially when it forces them to break from their tribe has my admiration. I imagine it would be a lot easier for him to score popularity points among his peers by just jumping on the Hitchens bandwagon, if that’s all he wanted. Yes, we have may have big disagreements with Mr. White. We believe in God. He does not. But he is writing in good faith. That’s all I can ask.

  • DKeane123

    I never knew we were considered dishonest. Atheists are generally interested in conditions on the ground (so to speak), so this sentence in the begining is interesting to me.

    “In the process, however, virtually all of the real history of religious thought, as well as historical and textual scholarship, is simply ignored as if it never existed.”

    We could sit hear and talk all day and night about Kierkegaard, but what does it matter when 300,000 people mostly women were killed as witches? or when crusaders killed 1 million out of 400 million on the planet? or when William Lane Craig justifies the genocide of the Canaanites and feels poorly for the soldiers who were commanded by God to do the slaughtering? Craig’s argument could be applied to almost any religiously motivated atrocity – those poor inquisitors!

    The real issue here is that the majority of the American population is not familiar with “sophisticated theology”. They disbelieve in evolution because it conflicts with a 6,000 year old creation story and lobby to have the myth taught as science. Many support an official US religion and in a number of states there are old laws on the books banning atheists from holding office (thankfully overruled by the US Constitution). Let’s not forget the 43% of Americans thinks God helps Tim Tebow win football games (http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/01/12/poll-finds-43-percent-of-people-believe-god-helps-tebow-win/). And this is just Christians in America

    So as you can see, Kierkegaard is the least of our problems – if people would think rationally, then there would be no need for the “new” atheists. Religion has had a 1,000 gods and a very long time to try and make up it’s mind, doesn’t seem to be working.

    • Colin Gormley

      Haha. Come on now. This clearly is a spoof. Even internet atheist trolls can simulate more intelligence.

      • DKeane123

        Haha – if you object to something please let me know. The stats on the the witches/crusades/Craig are all researched (mostly from Steven Pinker). What the US population believes is from recent polls. Take a poll in your neighborhood – find out how many know who Kierkegaard is vs how many believe in a literal flood. I know where I would put my money.

        “Simulate more intelligence” – Have you been reading the news recently about intelligence? Nice insult though.

        • Colin Gormley

          I’m still convinced this is a spoof but I’ll bite:

          >The stats on the the witches/crusades/Craig are all researched (mostly from Steven Pinker)

          Ah. That explains it. One source from a clearly biased person. Not to mention that Pinkerton’s attempt to say that our society is better because the population growth rate exceeds our ability to kill at a clip despite the modern world’s attempt to catch up in the body count. His work is one long conclusion begging for an argument.

          You’ll have to cite the witches study. I smell conflation.

          As far as the Crusades one forgets that these were defensive counter-attacks (of varying success). One can point to any example of warfare conducted during this time and see that a lot of the “atrocities” were standard warfare practice that had little to do with religion. Not to mention that the clergy at the battle of Jerusalem condemned such practices and tried to curb war excesses in a variety of ways. But those fact would be inconvenient to the anti-religious narrative.

          As far as the Canaanites such warfare was again Standard Operating Procedure in ancient warfare. We can see this in primitive tribes that still exist.

          >The real issue here is that the majority of the American population is not familiar with “sophisticated theology”.

          So what?

          >They disbelieve in evolution because it conflicts with a 6,000 year old creation story

          Stereotyping. I’ve had to look far and wide to find Christians that believe such. Most suspect the Scientism Disciple’s narrative that we all came from an accident, but this is not the same thing as denying evolution.

          >Many support an official US religion

          [citation needed]

          > and in a number of states there are old laws on the books banning atheists from holding office

          Demonstrating that the whole “separation of Church and State” thing is misunderstood by atheists.

          > (thankfully overruled by the US Constitution)

          As applied after the Civil War and warped beyond all recognition.

          >Let’s not forget the 43% of Americans thinks God helps Tim Tebow win football games

          Prove them wrong.

          • DKeane123

            Thanks, not an ounce of actual evidence, just rationalizations. Some more evidence for you.

            On creationism beliefs (your anecdotal evidence is not sufficient)
            http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/hold-creationist-view-human-origins.aspx

            State religion:
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/fred-rich/breaking-news-34-of-your-_1_b_3461262.html

            Witches: I was off on this one it was “only” 40,000 to 100,000 – either way the “source” is one of published data. Although this number is only early modern Europe.

            Yes I agree the Canaanites was SOP – your bible claims it to be God’s command. Also, good to know that you alone hold the keys to interpreting the Constitution – Smarty Pants.

            • Colin Gormley

              >Thanks, not an ounce of actual evidence, just rationalizations.

              It’s called context. It’s not my fault that it robs the anti-religious of their favorite clubs to beat religion.

              >Forty-six percent of Americans believe in the creationist view that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.

              So what? This is a historic claim. Could God have created people as-is in a specific time? Sure. That is not the same as denying evolution.

              >[From the blog post]You read that correctly: 34% in favor of establishing Christianity as the state religion, as in creating a theocracy.

              These are not the same thing. Not to mention that the blog does not link the survey. Alas. Just a blogger whining because religious people exist and he hates them.

              > I was off on this one it was “only” 40,000 to 100,000

              That is a huge gap. And again I smell conflation. Put up the study.

              >Yes I agree the Canaanites was SOP – your bible claims it to be God’s command.

              Indeed. A standard tactic of warfare. And if the Bible is correct they did indeed deserve to be wiped out. I’m always surprised that atheists always believe the genocide but not the command or the rationale. They both come from the same story. That you don’t LIKE it is not a valid premise to dismiss it.

              >Also, good to know that you alone hold the keys to interpreting the Constitution – Smarty Pants.

              The logic of an atheist. Did you know that the original states were FAR more theocratic than they are today? And Jefferson’s “Separation of Church and State” was not bi-directional. It was intended as a shield to protect the religious sensibilities of the people from the trivial and vulgar interference of the government. Not to exclude religion from public life.

              But these are inconvenient facts to the New Atheist narrative.

              • DKeane123

                “And if the Bible is correct they did indeed deserve to be wiped out.” – Justified genocide, pretty sick.

                • Colin Gormley

                  >”And if the Bible is correct they did indeed deserve to be wiped out.” – Justified genocide, pretty sick

                  God, the creator of life also has the right to take that life. Your illogical indignant response stems from poorly thought out comparisons between a human taking his own initiative to God using the Israelis to meet out His Justice.

                  But go ahead and cling to that quicksand you think is the atheist moral high ground. Atheism has no moral philosophy that makes sense and you are essentially cribbing from Christian moral doctrine when it comes to the value of human life. So your condemnation to me is the same as a Nazi hating me for not wanting to kill Jews. Your haphazard moral philosophy is not something I share, so condemning me based on it is not really rational.

                  • DKeane123

                    Man, just keep shouting this stuff from the mountaintop – you are doing nothing but helping out with the rise of the “nones”. Coworkers, friends, family, hang out on the corner and let everyone know about your genocidal God. I’m sure you will be rewarded in the unjustified afterlife.

                    • Colin Gormley

                      See, now we come full circle. The intellectual dishonesty you exhibit is a pandemic in New Atheism. You don’t want to have an honest discussion. You are looking for clubs to beat Christians with. And it doesn’t matter if you have to make things up to get there.

                      Notice how you have completely abandoned your previous arguments. Now you cling to brain-dead faux righteous indignation that you have no logical grounding for.

                      God, by virtue of the fact that he gave life in the first place, has the right to take it away. That you hate this fact is not logical. This is your own immature emotionalism over the idea that something greater than you has power over you. That is what you are objecting to.

                      Christians have debated and argued among themselves these events for centuries. Your five minute brain-dead condemnation via your own made up moral philosophy is not a valid argument nor is it even rational given what we are talking about. And it is that intellectual dishonesty that Mark points to.

                      Until you decide to grow up you will continue to spin your own condemnations and live in your own illogical fantasy. We can’t help you there.

  • DKeane123

    And what about Exodus? It appears that it is Hamblin that is in the minority when saying there is historical evidence for the flight from Egypt?

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_for_the_Exodus
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exodus
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/moses-exodus.html

    The most anyone can come up with is that it was “plausible” that there was a much smaller exodus out of Egypt for which there is no evidence. Who is being dishonest here?


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