Does atheism make people superstitious?

What if I claimed that Christians — who believe in miracles, prayer, faith healing, demons, and inspired books — were less superstitious than atheists, who deny all those things? That would be absurd, right?

Not according to Mollie Hemingway. In a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, she claims that atheism makes people more superstitious than Christianity. To support this claim she cites a new study:

“What Americans Really Believe,” a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology….

While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in [the paranormal], only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did.

Her conclusion from this data is that “the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won’t create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition.”

It seems that according to Ms. Hemingway, anyone who does not attend church is an atheist. But that’s simply not true. Many folks who believe in UFOs and New Age nonsense do not attend church, yet are not necessarily atheists, either.

The very core of the New Atheism movement is skepticism. It teaches that one should only believe things when there is sufficient evidence. And as anyone with an ounce of skepticism knows, there is no credible evidence for hauntings, communication with the dead, ESP or UFOs. 

In fact, I am very confident that your average evangelical Christian is far more superstitious than self-proclaimed atheists.

For instance, ask a Christian if they believe it is possible to communicate with people who are dead. Their automatic answer will likely be no. That’s what the poll would record. But after they answer, remind them of the story in the Bible where Saul asks the Witch of Endor to conjure up Samuel from the dead — which she does successfully. After complaining about being disturbed, Samuel foretells the future (1 Samuel 28).

I think you will find that virtually all Christians believe that story to be true, meaning they do think it is possible to communicate with the dead (and for fortunes to be told). Now do any atheists believe this story to be true, or any other stories of people conjuring up dead people? Who are the superstitious ones, atheists or Christians?

Ask a Christian if they believe in Ouija boards or psychics or UFOs, and they will say no. Press them, and you will find they often do believe there to be some kind truth to these claims, but they think that demons and devils are behind them. Who in the New Atheism movement believes such things?

Consider all the great debunkers of this century, from Carl Sagan to James Randi to Michael Shermer. All atheists. Where are the great Christian debunkers?

How can one say Christianity “greatly decreases belief” in superstition, when in fact they believe a book was written by God; that a witch conjured up a dead prophet; that a man-god was born of a virgin, raised people from the dead, rose from the grave, and will return again; that the shadow of an apostle healed the sick; that a invisible god in the sky listens to the prayers of billions every day through ESP!

If that is not superstition — believing in the supernatural without a shred of evidence — I don’t know what is.

  • http://thinkingforfree.blogspot.com Eamon Knight

    That is, of course, the core fallacy of the editorial: that popular religion is, in itself, a superstition, and one with a multitude of subsidiary superstitions — prayers to the saints, pentecostalist manifestations, faith healings, end-times hysteria, etc, etc….. Note that Baylor U is a Baptist school, which may explain the lack of self-examination implicit in the conclusion.

    The only difference between religion and belief in astrology or palmistry is the unified cultural weight of the former.

    That being said, I do run across my share of atheists who seem to believe rather silly things (not spooky stuff, but not terribly skeptical thinkers, either).

    BTW: no list of modern debunkers is complete without Martin Gardner — who as it happens, is a sort of generic theist. But his Fads & Fallacies is a classic, which helped get me started on the whole skepticism thing (that, and talk.origins).

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    Great post!

    You pointed out the main fallacy with her argument.

    She is assuming that just because someone does not follow the teachings of the bible, that they will automatically jump on some other bandwagon of unsubstantiated beliefs.

    She fails to realize that the main reason why athiests are athiests is because they are generally more skeptical about things that have little or no basis.

  • http://metroblog.blogspot.com Metro

    “The Witch of Endor” …

    The Bible has Ewoks?

    • Red Dave

      roflmao

      • Nox

        “And notice the survey didn’t ask about superstitious nonsense like visiting angels”

        That pretty much sums up the obvious flaw in this ‘research’. If you remove all the superstitions that are part of christian belief from your definition of superstition, then the things which are left are more likely to be believed by non christians. That doesn’t necessarily mean those people are atheists, just not christian. For example, among the millions of christians who believe in faith healing and exorcism, you would be hard pressed to find one that says they believe in voodoo. So if they started their study with the assumption (they obviously did) that religious belief is a completely different thing than superstition, of course they would follow that with the conclusion that christians are less superstitious.

        • claidheamh mor

          Good point on the way to skew results by simply ignoring or leaving out certain segments of the population, or certain questions about beliefs. Her article lists Gallup questions that all trend toward new-age beliefs and I see *nothing* about “do you believe in a devil”, either.

        • jake

          that religious belief is a completely different thing than superstition, of course they would follow that with the conclusion that christians are less superstitious.

          umm actually most Christians do accept voodoo exists they just think it’s a satanic cult and actually just about anything voodoo priests believe could be found in the bible

  • http://www.primordial-blog.blogspot.com/ Brian Larnder

    It’s also in how you word the questions in that survey. Do Christians believe in aliens? No, they believe that demons are running around masquerading as aliens. Do they beleive that the dead can communicate? No, that’s just Satan pretending to be their dead relatives in order to trick them. Palm readers are actually demon-possessed, which is how they have their powers. And notice the survey didn’t ask about superstitious nonsense like visiting angels or sighting of the virgin Mary?

  • Samuel Skinner

    Am I the only one who notices that these articles and issues come in spurts? There is a sudden increase in the “atheists are irrational” com chatter. I wonder who started the ball rolling…

    • claidheamh mor

      I don’ know, but in the last few years in politics, anyone with high visibility who wanted to start a rumor didn’t even need the possibility of a fact. Just start one, no backup necessary.

  • brad

    Hi Daniel, I wouldn’t necessarily say that anything causes men [mankind] to be superstitious other than the common demonstrated tendency to believe in the supernatural. It is a characteristic of man-ness, or humanness if you will.

    I think that all of the questions you suppose to ask Christians are strawmen and you successfully knock these down with ease. I dont fault you for this, because the prevelance of faulty knowledge of the Word of God in modern evangelicalism gives you ample fodder. Nevertheless, your questions can be answered using sound logic and be consistent with life experience and the scriptures while avoiding the derrogatory term “superstitious”.

    Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
    Rom 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
    Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
    Rom 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    Rom 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
    Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

    • AnonymousAtheist18

      Awesome, only “men[mankind]” are stupid enough to believe in the paranormal!
      …oh wait, women believe in it too, but their beliefs are substandard. They don’t count!
      Sexist.

    • Kyazu

      Ah, the things I learn from apologists. So the bible itself is a straw man? Show me the real holy book so I can knock IT down instead, Brad. Even if 90% of atheists believe in functional spirit mediums, 100% of innerantist christians hold a belief that supports the existence of functional spirit mediums…it’s clear from the success Saul had resorting to one. And, as it’s clear in the question that a medium is a superstition, well…..

      Again. I understand your rage at Daniel for accusing inerrantist christians of believing that the bible is inerrant. Show me the real divine word of god. Then We’ll have a fair argument on ur sides

    • jake

      it can proclaim it’s not superstition till it’s blue in the face

      objectively it’s still superstition

  • http://www.wazzasworthlesswitterings.blogspot.com wazza

    brad: how is believing that a book was written by an invisible man not superstitious?

  • Jabster

    I think you have to be careful that just because the University that made the study was possibly bias and the reporter who wrote the article is obviously bias it does mean that there’s not some truth in what is being said – saying that I would be interested to see the real data was and how this was all done as reporters have a habit of taking studies and then deciding what they mean. If you remove the obvious parts about the definition of an Atheist, how come believing in a Virgin birth isn’t considered supernatural etc. and just look at the point of whether removing religion would create a more rational people, well I can’t say I’m convinced that that is would. People can be gullible, stupid or whatever you wish to term it and if it’s not god then it’s just going to be something else that they believe in. It’s teaching people rational thought that is required and a natural product of that would be a down turn in religion.

  • http://www.adamus.nl Adamus

    Quote from the article: “We can’t even count on self-described atheists to be strict rationalists. According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life’s monumental “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey” that was issued in June, 21% of self-proclaimed atheists believe in either a personal God or an impersonal force. Ten percent of atheists pray at least weekly and 12% believe in heaven.”

    …. who the hell did they interview to represent the ‘atheist’ viewpoint? An atheist that believes in a personal god, or a god of any kind, is not an atheist!

    This stuff is just too ridiculous. Such stupidity makes my brain bleed.

  • Jabster

    @Adamus: Yep that made me laugh as well. Maybe the self same atheists also describe themselves as vegetarians yet like to eat fish!

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    @Brad: In an argument, you can’t just say “you make straw men and tear them down” — you have to show they are straw men. Otherwise, your argument itself is perceived as a straw man.

    And I find it a little insulting you don’t think I know the Bible. I’ve read hundreds of theology and philosophy books — and most of the theology books are from conservatives. Perhaps you’d like to show me where my biblical/systematic theology or knowledge of the Bible is faulty instead of just making broad sweeping claims?

  • http://metroblog.blogspot.com Metro

    I notice that the article seems to conflate not attending church with being an atheist. But it doesn’t conflate attending church with being agnostic, for some reason.

    Which might also explain the results in the Pew Forum poll. Praying weekly might be something you do to fit in with your family, belief aside.

    Although I can’t figure out how anyone who claims belief in a personal god can claim atheism unless they think it simply means “not a churchgoer”.

  • Aspentroll

    I think articles like these are just feeble attempts to counteract
    what atheism means to them (xtians). If a priest, pastor or reverend sees his congregation getting smaller it may mean that his job is on the line. Of course they will write articles and hire actors like Ben Stein to make dumb movies to try and
    slow down their demise. Benny Hinn, Peter Popov, Pat Robertson all make huge amounts of money from the unfortunate brainwashed individuals who frequent their prayer tents. It’s only natural that they would want to keep the myth alive.

  • brad

    Hi Daniel, no need to take offense, my intended target is/was the modern evangelical community–which as I said I dont fault you for–gives you ample fodder.

    As far as the questions, they are indeed strawmen unless you’d rather classify them as disingenous. They are strawmen if in fact you belief that intelligent, careful thinking, and honest Christians *agree* that their thinking is superstitious. Your questions and answers are set up to make the Christian position look superstitious.

    The only claim I made is that it’s possible to believe much of what you said and avoid the “derrogatory term superstitious”.

    Hi wazza, what in the world inspired you to ask that question to me? I dont get it.

    brad

  • Dale Husband

    Re The claims by Mollie Hemingway:

    That’s exactly the sort of blatant intellecual dishonesty that actually converts many people to atheism, once they realize the absurdity of the claim.

  • http://www.wazzasworthlesswitterings.blogspot.com wazza

    Brad, the point is that you can’t say that the questions Daniel asks are strawman arguments because they’re based on a bad understanding of the bible… because believing that the bible was written by a supernatural being is itself superstitious. No amount of interpretation can change that.

  • brad

    Hi wazza, the questions are strawmen, because Daniel asked them with the purpose of getting an intended weak version of a common “answer” that he [Daniel] could frame as blind unreasonable faith, or superstition. The Christian faith is not always defended well, but Daniel chose to make example of the easiest, least sound, and most unreasonable characature of doctrine.

    I have no doubts that you consider the Bible to be just a bunch of superstitious writings, but I dont believe that you have good reasons for thinking that, they are just resaons that appeal to you.

    brad

    • zachw

      Superstition: a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge.

      There, now that we’re clear on that, this is why believing in the bible’s teachings is a form of superstition:
      1: there is no proof of the Bible’s teachings. The earliest accounts on Jesus’ life were written 60 years after his death, and the god in the Bible seems to have grown rather lackluster of late (ex:an image of Jesus burned onto toast is not a miracle) (in fact, many have been disputed by modern science, such as the age of the earth.)
      2: The bible disputes itself. It says god is love, yet he orders the genocide of all first born sons of Egypt, several entire nations simply to gain land around the middle east, and he sent his own son to die…..at the hands of the people this perfect god created….
      3:You deny thousands of religions, yet yours is special because it’s book was written by/directly from god…unlike all of the others.

      You have no proof of the bible’s beliefs, and, in fact, ignore many of the teachings it tells you to follow (ever read Leviticus? And you still aren’t stoning back talking children, atheists (might be from another one), people who wear multi-fabric clothing, people who shave/cut facial hair, or gays? Do you eat shellfish? have you given all of your possessions away? if not, you wont go to heaven :(

    • LOLcats

      brad, please stop using Atheist arguments against Atheists: it only works one way.

      Straw-man. :p>

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    @Brad: I cited the beliefs that the Bible was written by God, miracles (like Jesus being born of a virgin and raising from the dead), prayer, angelic beings like demons…

    So those are the “the easiest, least sound, and most unreasonable characature of doctrine”? I thought they were pretty standard stuff, and I know many Christians who think those things are quite reasonable.

    Ones I didn’t even mention are the Trinity, transubstantiation, prophecy, speaking in tongues, singing love songs to Jesus and asking him into their hearts, predestination, eternal damnation in hell, creationism, the sinlessless of Christ, that millions of animals fit on a boat while God destroyed the earth, languages were created because God was afraid of a skyscraper, God killed all the firstborn of Egypt and parted the waters of the Nile, God stopped the earth rotating for Joshua (or was it the rotating sun?), three men were not burned in the fiery furnace, Jonah was swallowed and spit up by a giant fish, Balaam’s donkey talked to people, Nebuchadnezzar “ate grass like an ox” for “seven periods,” Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind and chariots of fire, Paul resurrected a man from the dead…

    Perhaps you could enlighten us on the more sound and reasonable doctrines of Christianity.

    • claidheamh mor

      That is a great summary list! Thank you for making me smile and even LQTM. (Laughing quietly to myself.) I may quote you!

  • jonboy

    I’d like to submit that some of the confusion you seem to be detecting in the article’s conflation of ‘christian’ with ‘churchgoer’ and ‘atheist’ with ‘non-churchgoer’ comes from the intention of the article, rather than its content.

    No matter how you slice it, its clear that the writer is writing a piece favoring one side over the other. Once you realize that, however, you should be able to separate your own feelings from the evidence. The plain fact of the matter is that those who classify themselves as christian have a much higher occurrence of churchgoing than those who classify themselves as atheist. (I hope everyone agrees with me on this?) So when she extends her evidence (which mentions churchgoers and non-churchgoers) to christians and atheists, she is trying to advocate a point, but it does not step outside logical boundaries.

    As to whether religion and superstition are the same thing, it isn’t really the subject of that study. I would say they aren’t though. Can there be superstition within religion? Sure, just as there can be religion in superstition, but the two are far from identical. Believing weird things as part of a system that supports it is different from believing weird things in isolation.

  • Jabster

    @jonboy

    I not sure I really understand the point you are trying to make. You’re correct that logically the argument has some merit but this only true if it follows if you classify beliefs that are religious in nature as non-superstitious.

    I don’t think that anyone has claimed that religion and superstition are one and the same thing merely that religion contains what many non-believers, including in other religions, would class as superstitious. Could you expand on you last point concerning part of a system vs. in isolation as that would make your intent more clearer in my mind?

  • jonboy

    I just mean that the commonly understood meanings of superstition and religion are different from one another, which is why the article is not in itself contradictory. If your argument is that religion and superstition is the same thing (which is fine as far as it goes) then you can make the assertion that the article or study is/are inconsistent. However, since the common understanding of superstition *is* different from religion, it is not necessarily the case that the article and study are self-contradictory (although since an argument could be made that superstition and religion are roughly synonymous, there is certainly room to contest the assertions of the article.)

  • mark

    talk about botching a conclusion. The reason this survey produced these results is that Pastors speak out against divination and other similar “pagan” practices. However, if they looked a little further, the Bible actually encourages their efficacy, but simply warns them it is against “God’s Will.” In Judaism, it’s considered an un-ideal form of faith, though it is considered very real. Remember when God cursed Moses for making the water come from the rock? That is just one example of this. It’s funny how pop-christianity gets this wrong and simply attacks these practices as ineffective.

    And then of course, this is a very poorly conducted study, as it didn’t actually include a question of one’s self-described religious preference, but simply divided non-churchgoers into a broad and meaningless ‘athiest’ category.

  • nswipe92

    You may call us Christians whatever you want, do you believe in evolution? if so really think about it. the origin of life as evolution tells it. that first there was absolutely nothing at all, nothing shall i repeat it, nothing then out of no where (since there was nothing) something appeared and just exploded. this theory if it is true says that the first law of thermodynamics is false, lets see a theory against a law of science. I see that it takes more faith to believe in the big bang happening than it does to believe in Christianity honestly i dont have enough faith to be an atheist there are too many flaws and not enough proof. you said “What if I claimed that Christians — who believe in miracles, prayer, faith healing, demons, and inspired books — were less superstitious than atheists” well if it takes more faith to believe in evolution then your a huge hypocrite. In the past 1 or 2 decades more and more secular scientists that use to believe in evolution discard or come out and admit they hate towards God as their only reason to believe evolution. as professor Urey a winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry said ” All of us who study the origin of life find that the more we look into it, the more we feel it is too complex to have evolved anywhere… And yet we all believe as AN ARTICLE OF FAITH that life evolved from dead matter on this planet. It is just that its complexity is so great that it is hard for us to imagine that it did”so there you have it one of your own admitting it takes faith to believe in evolution.

    • AnonymousAtheist18

      Maybe you should read a little bit more about the Theory of Evolution and the law of the conservation of mass-energy! See below, this from David Mills’ “Atheist Universe”:

      “If mass-energy cannot be created or destroyed, and if the universe
      is entirely composed of mass-energy, then the law of the
      conservation of mass-energy may be extrapolated to this startling
      conclusion: the universe, in one form or another, in one
      density or another, always existed. There was never a time when
      the mass-energy comprising our universe did not exist, if only in
      the form of an empty oscillating vacuum or an infinitely dense
      theoretical point called a singularity, consisting of no volume
      whatsoever.”

      No scientist has ever claimed that the universe appeared ex nihilo… only Creationists do that.

      • Janet Greene

        Scientists are converting to christianity? En mass? Really. I saw some percentages on the religious beliefs of scientists in biology, quantum physics, etc. The average figure was 95% were not religious in any way. This is much higher than the general population, many of whom have never really searched for truth or questioned what they have been taught. Generally speaking, the more educated you are, the less likely you will be a believer. There are exceptions, of course. This is one reason the republicans, in the last election, were trying to elicit fear about the “elites”. This is because they know that people who are educated are less likely to be controlled by fear, and this is when public figures can do anything – just like god, they are waging war, suspending rights, etc., to save us from damnation (terrorists, hell, etc.) It takes an educated population to question these beliefs, and to stand strong for reason.

    • LOLcats

      Another typical and expected straw-man argument.

      YOU FAIL AT LIFE, BILLY-JOE.

  • http://www.sudokuarena.com/ SudokuArena.com

    Dear Daniel,

    maybe you don’t know, but science has discovered many proofs that God exists. Famous atheists and evolution scientists are prooving just that, Francis Collins (Genome project) or Anthony Flew (famous 20.ct atheist), just to name few of them, they turned to God.

    How to explain then when atheism and science is at its peek, scientists and evolutionists are coverting to God?
    They obviously had any possible argument that God don’t exists.
    So what happened to them?
    What they discovered about God (and life, nature and the world)?

    • http://www.dctouristsandlocals.wordpress.com DCtouristsANDlocals

      If you wish to sound intelligent in your arguments, I recommend using proper grammar and spell check.

    • LOLcats

      It means they were never Atheists.

      NEXT!!!

  • Allie

    who the fuck cares
    i mean, i agree 100% with daniel, but attacking each others belief systems or lack of belief systems is silly, and will not get anyone anywhere.
    christians: do not try to prove that god exists. you never will. and stop trying to convert other people. let them make their own choices
    Atheists: stop trying to prove that god doesn’t exist. you never will. proof is relative to the extreme limitations of human perception. stop attacking christianity.

    everyone just live and let live. or at least fight in person; fighting on the internet is like competing in the special olympics: even if you win, you’re still retarded.

    • LOLcats

      Anything that can asserted without evidence may be dismissed without evidence.

      We don’t *have* to prove god doesn’t exist, because *he doesn’t*.

  • Red Dave

    I dont claim to be an “athiest”, I am a proud agnostic. I myself can niether prove nor dis-prove God. However I have much more in common with athiests than people of religious faith because I detest organized religion. I feel it brainwashes people and try actively to get them to believe rather than to think. It is also responsible for more misery on this earth than almost anything else.

    @Brad Do you know why you quoted Romans at us? Do you think it is going to frighten me? Make me think again? Is it a warning of some sort?

    Please try and understand this. I will not speak for others, but I believe many here feel the same way. You cannot frighten me with scripture. It just wont work anymore than me saying watch out, Frankenstiens behind you!

    If you believe in a loving God, who burns and tortures his disobediant children for all eternity, then you believe in a monstorous God. If any person did that, cooked thier disobediant child, you would be right on boat saying that they were sick or evil. Yet the christian God does that to everyone who does not believe as the “CHURCH” says.

    From one church to another they feel the same way. These days they talk less about that in public, as it is Politically incorrect. Yet each church teaches some form of it. Each demonination of chistianity thinks they are going to heaven, and the rest of the world can burn, and they are happy about that. They feel they are somehow the chosen ones, but even the church next door thinks your liable to burn. The entire Muslim world thinks all the Jews will roast, and all the christians, and the Christians feel the same way.

    Many poeple who feel as I do did not get here overnight, we are not decieved of the devil, we are not pawns of Satan. Rather the inverse is true. We have chosen NOT to be pawns of religion, we have chosen to THINK before believing, we have chosen a path of rational thought not emotional fear.

    As for myself, I am content in NOT understanding everything. I don’t have that impossible need. I dont have an illusion that the great “I” is somehow superior to you or anyone. I am simply content to grasp that my feeble human intellect is insufficient to hold all the data in the universe. I’ll leave those thoughts to some other ego maniacal individual to waste thier life on, while I enjoiy mine, sipping my ciffee and smelling the roses.

    So please, spare me the boogyman’s gonna get you arguments, they just waste time and space.

  • Bob

    Red Dave, most atheists are also agnostic. Most of us come to the conclusion that we can not prove or disprove a god, but have also come to the conclusion through probably reasoning that the answer to the question is most likely that there isn’t one. In our opinion that is, with the full understanding that we do not know if our answer to the question is right or not, it’s just what we believe. I myself am content with the fact that I do not know and can not know, but I still believe that it is most probably that there is not a god.

    On to my comment on the article.

    I have come to the opinion that many people of religion, namely christians, as that is who i interact with the most, do not really believe in most of what they say they do. When you ask the questions like “do you believe in ghosts?” the intial response is usually their true belief. They say they do not believe in ghosts. Then you cite a part of the bible that says they should, and they do not want to face the fact that it is just another part of their religion they do not believe in, because they are afraid to admit to themselves that they may not believe in their own religion all together. So they change their mind and try to convince themselves that maybe they DO believe in ghosts.

    Does this make any sense?

  • MCflames

    Um hey guys, I just wanted to say Im a proud ATHIEST!!!!

    Vatican Priest ~The Universe fundamentally needs no diety for the “design”, its so beautifully made it designs itself, Energy clumping together to form matter, matter clumping together to form molecules, Molecules make the world around us, Whats beautiful is not a “god” that designed anything but that through a force, energy, a set of laws of the physical world, the Universe creates itself and everything in It. This is not to say there is no room for spirituality, If there is a god science will prove his existence to a certain probability based on the laws of the Universe.

  • nazani14

    I take issue with lumping the paranormal together with superstition. I don’t have any spiritual interests, but I have seen an apparition- the slightly misty form of a person who was in the right location, just 75 to 90 years out of whack. The superstition comes in when one assigns the reason for the apparition to the existence of a soul, and its survival after death. This Neolithic notion is interfering with genuine investigation of this interesting subject, which might tell us something about time and space, perhaps even about the existence of other universes. I don’t think the paranormal is ‘para’ normal, but maybe para-Newtonian, and probably not as rare a phenomenon as earthquake lights. For all we know, we might be seeing “ghosts” all the time, but if it’s a tree, a squirrel, or an inanimate object, we don’t recognize it as a ghost.

  • Cucumber

    Different point altogether: I would say that the very nature of superstition is that it is an integral part of the human experience. Different parts of our brain (is it, as they say, ‘grey matter’? I’m no neurologist) become over-stimulated and, through experience and cultural/societal influence, we fill in the gaps. The difference is, is that the atheist, if feeling ‘superstitious,’ will acknowledge their feelings of confusion/fear, whereas the theist will immediately seek validation from their book of choice.
    Thats how I see it, anyway. I’d like to say I’m 100% non-superstitious all of the time, but on rare occasions I do find myself at the mercy of a freaky urban myth which I’ll indulge in for a moment or two.

  • rey

    Many atheists tend to believe in the flying spaghetti monsters from Mars…i.e. aliens. They prate around about the burden of proof being on those who claim mythical beings exist, but then they posit the existence of aliens and refuse to prove it. Then they use the supposed existence of these flying spaghetti monsters to deprecate mankind.

    • LOLcats

      @rey
      LOL, WOW!!! Atheists “believing” in something?! WOW! You are so smart! (ATHEISTS ARE NOT SCIENTOLOGISTS. GO GET EDUCATED.)

      “many Atheists ‘tend’ to ‘believe’…” PAH! Where did you get this from? Fox News? I’d like some real sources, Nancy.

      There has never been an Atheist who has claimed the existence of the flying spaghetti monster unless they were making fun of theists. The flying spaghetti monster WAS MADE UP AS A JOKE TO MAKE FUN OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU. Please get that through your head.

  • LOLcats

    This article fails. Expected arguments.

    GB2 church, Gertrude!

  • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

    Fox news Children, is from my personal experience of watching news broadcasts since 1953, and from several independent studies,
    the LEAST biased and MOST balanced news!

    Most Certainly more balanced than those from ABC, BBC, CBS and NBC!

    And Children, the Odds of ANY of you being an Agnostic Athiest Activist for as long as I’ve been one, OR doing as much as I have in support of Atheism, OR being as knowledgable of Atheism as I am, are so close to zero, they may as well be Zero!

    • burpy

      Well this really is a revelation! If You could just point us to some of these “independent” studies, I´ll be on my way.

    • Custador

      It’s nice to see living proof that just because a person is an atheist doesn’t necessarily mean that their analytical thought process follows the same paths as the rest of us… However, the fact that Faux News claims to be unbiased does not make it so – their religious right leaning is incredibly obvious. I am aware of one study from 2005 which examined US media bias, and that study found that a lot of news was left of centre with the exception of one Fox News show – however, the study only looked at NEWS content – it did not look at editorials, interviews, opinion pieces etc, meaning that the vast majority of Fox News’ output was not included in the study. For that reason the study can be dismissed as irrelevant as far as examining right wing outlets like Fox. I’m sorry, but there is no way in hell that any unbiased viewer (like, say, me) could look at a channel which airs Glenn Beck, consults Ann Coulter on everything and thinks that Sarah Palin is a worthy presidential candidate is anything other than right-wing propoganda.

  • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

    1. SORRY, I read the information many months ago. (And even If I had never seen it, my own many years of TV News viewing more than amply prove what I said.)

    2. ART THOU INCAPABLE OF DOING RESEARCH?

    3, OR, are you like most Liberals who refuse to learn, and/or deny any facts which disagee
    with their illogical and unsupported views of things?

    Like those who deny the many facts which prove the Iraq War is both fully justified and a necessary part of our World Wide War on the Moslem Terrorists who have been Killing
    our Friends, our Allies and Americans for OVER FORTY YEARS!

    • Jabster

      “Like those who deny the many facts which prove the Iraq War is both fully justified and a necessary part of our World Wide War on the Moslem Terrorists who have been Killing
      our Friends, our Allies and Americans for OVER FORTY YEARS!”

      Well absolutely, before the seond Iraq war the place was teeming with Muslim terrorists and now there’s hardly one to be seen … mission accomplished indeed!

    • burpy

      Yep, that´s what liberals are all about, as opposed to conservatives who are constantly changing their views as new evidence comes in. That´s why they call them “conservatives”.

      I can appreciate that you have spent a lot of time watching TV., and I can certainly sense that you´ve spent much of it watching Fox. But internet debates are all about sources not opinions and assertions. Sources really are king on the internet, sources and pictures of walruses carrying buckets.

      • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

        Burpy said “conservatives who are constantly changing their views as new evidence comes in”

        Well Berpy,

        Do you not realize any intelligent, rational and logical person WOULD change their views IF any new evidence came in which provided valid reasons they Should?

        ONLY FOOLS WOULD NOT THINK.

        That said, truly intelligent people are not one like of the world’s Most Prolific and Famous “Flip-Floppers” John Kerry! You see, someone who actually a clue assure they have sufficient information to be able
        to make and intelligent & informed view in the first place.

        This results in them, and ME, in hardly ever needing to change our view as we got enough facts in the first place.

        I can ONLY remember NEEDING, based on NEW FACTS on any subject, having to change my view on ONE item in MANY MANY YEARS

        And even it was not really a major change at all.

        Based on new (to me) and additional information, I changed my view of Global Warming FROM saying: “While we human were most certainly part of the cause of Global Warming, we were not responsible for ALL of it”.
        NOW I say: “We humans MAY be responsible for all of it.”

        You see Burpy, IF you ARE rational logical and in intelligent enough to make sure you “have all your ducks in a row”
        BEFORE reaching a decision on what ever, you are SELDOM WRONG!

        While I certainly do not know for sure, I am going to ASSUME your comments were made sarcastically. Sadly for you, they are not sarcastic at all that they are correct.

        Those who have actually paid attention and taken the time to get the
        FACTS, KNOW

        all of the following can be proven by the infomation which was available to anyone interested before the war stared, by the TONS OF CAPTURED information AND in public Iraqi records before the war.

        1, Saddam had trained some 8.000 Moslem terrorists from around the world, he armed, funded & provided intelligence to terrorist groups and to individuals.

        2. In of these these training camps, the one located at Salman Pak you can see on TV, as I have probably three times, a video of U.S. Troops fighting the NON-IRAQI terrorists a day or so after we began our liberation.

        3. Saddam paid those who were to be suicide bombers $25,000 to give to their families before they strapped bombs to their bodies before blowing up innocent men, women, children and babies as well as themselves

        4. A July 2002, BBC article, a full EIGHT MONTHS BEFORE we began our liberatgion of Iraq, reported Al Quada & Taliban ‘soldiers’ were fighting FOR Saddam in North Eastern Iraq, an area known as Iraq’s Tora Bora.

        I watched a LIVE TV report of US Special Forces and some Kurdish forces, along with paratroopers of the US 173rd Airborne Reg. destroying them in the first few days of the war.

        5. A 2002 article in SADDAM’S OWN Newspaper gave the name & rank of the Iraq Minister who was the official liaison with Bin Laden and Al Quada.

        6. Wounded Al Quada and Taliban fighters from Afghanistan were given medical treatment and ‘R’ and ‘R’ in Iraq. They were reequipted by Saddam before returning to Afghanistan Plus, Saddam also provided them with whatever they needed which he could provide.

        7. Saddam provided Safe Haven to terrorists and terrorist leaders wanted by the US and by
        Jordon. This included shelter, food & money.

        So, YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! THERE WERE MANY MOSLEM TERRORISTS RUNNING AROUND IN IRAQ BEFORE WE LIBERATED THE IRAQI PEOPLE IN 2003!

        (Does it piss you off you were? OR were you NOT being sarcastic?)

        • Jabster

          “But internet debates are all about sources not opinions and assertions. Sources really are king on the internet, …”

          You seemed to have missed that bit …

          • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

            Maybe you should take a course on how to improve your reading comprehension skills.

            SOURCES WERE GIVEN for # 2, # 4 and # 5.

            Since you seem to have chosen to disregard them, the odds you would do the same if I took the time to find them, and give you the sources on anything else.

            IF you anti war people had done the research you should have done in the first place, I would not have tob wasting time now.

            The Bottem Line is I am not going to support ANY DAMN WAR which I do not have sufficent facts proving it was justified. And anyone who thinks I would is a clueless fool.

            AND, anyone who thinks THIS VET would, for a split second, support a war were my fellow service people are suffering, bleeding and dying UNLESS I KNEW it was necessary is a STUPID PUNK RETARD AND AN IMBICLE!

            and FYI, I’ve been “netting” since, or before 1997

            • Daniel Florien

              Is “netting” a part of fishing or knitting?

            • Michael

              Clearly it is a part of trolling.

            • Elemenope

              That’s not “giving sources”. Thats asserting baldly that sources exist and then not linking to them. Not the same thing.

              What you did would be the equivalent of a scientist writing an end-note that read:

              10. Doe, J. The Measurement of Light in a Vacuum Cleaner. Science Jocks, 2007. Pp. 237-239
              11. Ibid.
              12. Seriously, you aren’t aware that there was this totally cool experiment that justifies my claims here? Yeah, I saw it on TV, like, THREE TIMES. If you haven’t seen it you’re just ignorant.
              13. Ibid.

          • Jabster

            “AND, anyone who thinks THIS VET would, …”

            Why didn’t you say in the first place. My pet bee has hurt his wing (getting to close to the fire in this cold weather I’m afraid) and the “buzz” has gone out of his life so to speak. I’ve tried making a splint out of a couple of match sticks but that doesn’t seem to be working – any advice on how to put some “zoom” but into him and some honey on my toast (I do so dislike that which you can ge from the shops).

            p.s. Is honey allowed for a vegan if it’s “milked” from your own bee?

        • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

          OPP, NEIL MAKE SOME BOO BOOS!

          1 I AM SORRY FOR NOT DOING A BETTER JOB OF PROOF READING BEFORE POSTING.

          2. I LEFT THE WORD “SO” OFF THE END OF
          “ONLY FOOLS WOULD NOT THINK”

          3. IN MY REPLY ABOVE, EVERYTHNG BELOW, (AND ALSO IN the INCLUDED PARAGRAPH)

          ARE IN REPLY TO “JABSTER

          “While I certainly do not know for sure, I am going to ASSUME your comments were made sarcastically. Sadly for you, they are not sarcastic at all, they are correct.

          • Jabster

            You’re not bad as this trolling lark are you … well anyway keep up the good work as you’re keeping me amused; well for the next hour or so.

            • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

              Neil, the preferred term is no longer “Moslem.” It is now “Muslin.” Get a brain, Moran.

          • claidheamh mor

            Hey, Jabster, Neil C. Blowhardt didn’t get your bee joke about being a VET. :)

            heehee *snicker* giggle *snort* mmmmmphhhhhh *snerk* Wahhhhhhhaaahhhhhahahahahahahahaha!

            How many times when people write “LOL” are they actually laughing out loud? Not many, but I am now!

            • Jabster

              I actually find Neil rather amusing and the bit I can’t quite work out is whether he’s is just a troll really is like that. My money is on the troll as he’s does too many things that we seem to be aimed at winding people up. So there’s the use of CAPS, not using the reply button, pointing out how stupid people are while not being able to string a sentence together, making arguments that a five year old could pull apart and talking about random subjects.

      • http://www.katcox.com kat

        i lol’d.
        for srs.

    • Custador

      Neil, just as an FYI: During the Gulf War, Osama Bin Laden offered to kill Saddam Hussein on behalf of the Western Allies. OBL was in the West’s good-boy club for many, many years – but Iraq? OBL hated Saddam and Saddam hated OBL. Saddam never supplied terrorists with resources – because those terrorists would likely have used those resources against him. If you want the US to get his biggest historical backer, you’d better invade yourselves.
      So Muslim terrorists have been attacking the US for over forty years? Hmm, well, yes, mostly on a tiny scale, but alright I’ll give you that – but you’re displaying a spectacular lack of awareness of US interferance in the Middle East and the reasons that so many Muslims have become radicalised. Invading Iraq has killed a million civilians so far and created a whole generation of Muslims word-wide who are ripe for exploitation by the likes of OBL.

      • burpy

        @Custy, Neil doesn´t care a fig for your “facts”. You obviously just hate America. He is a well known internet troll and celebrated curmudgeon. Google the name for more. He will soon be attempting to interest you in miracle of “Hawaiian Noni Juice”. Its “multi-level marketingalicious!”.

        • Custador

          If he does that I’ll start spamming his comments, but for now he’s registering his opinions in a reasonable enough way, even if I strongly disagree with them.

        • Len

          “It IS an IMMUNE BOOSTING “miracle” which I’ve been drinking, as well as using topically, for over 13 years.”

          There’s one born every minute, I guess.

          • Custador

            I trashed the comment you were replying to. Neil, you can stay and troll for as long as Daniel says you can, but I will mark comments that promote “miracle” healing juice as spam because they constitute advertising of a commercial product, and one which you should think twice about promoting to a community of sceptics that contains several nurses and not a few medical doctors.

  • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

    The following IS, all by itself, MORE than Sufficient Reason for those of us who ARE Caring, Kind, Compassionate, Fair, Moral and Courageous enough to be willing to train, suffer, fight, bleed and if necessary, to die to help the innocent.

    To FREE the people of Iraq!

    Saddam’s Special Prison for LITTLE KIDS
    During an interview with Scott Ritter, a former Top UN weapons inspector.

    The interviewer from Time magazine is a Mr.Massimo Calabresi.

    SOURCE: TIME MAGAZINE

    “You’ve spoken about your having seen the children’s prisons in Iraq. Can you describe what you saw there?”

    Scott Rittert’s answer:

    “The prison in question is at the General Security Services headquarters, which was inspected by my team in Jan. of 1998. It appeared to be a prison for children.

    From toddlers up to pre-adolescents, whose only crime was to be the offspring of those who have spoken out politically against the regime of Saddam Hussein.

    It was a horrific scene.

    Actually I’m not going to describe what I saw there because what I saw was so horrible that it can be used by those who would want to promote war with Iraq, and right now I’m waging peace.”

    ———-

    Neil Sez:

    In this prison, these young kids (ages 12 under) were held, beaten, starved, raped, tortured and murdered!

    Did you get what crimes these children had done to be put in this prison?

    Some person in their families either said, and/or did, something which Saddam, or his sons and/or someone in Saddam’s regime did not like.

    One little girl who WAS TORTURED was
    ONLY TWO years old!

    GET THAT?

    ONLY TWO YEARS OLD!

    I understand that years later, this same girl was able to testify against Saddam during his trial.

    I ask:

    Now, how in hell can ANY one who THINKS they are a Moral, Caring and Civilized person NOT think this is more than sufficent reason enough to go kick Saddam’s ass out of power?

    Ritters actions are typical of the type of thinking the Clueless Colds of the Loony Left come up with. He would not describe what he saw in the prison because it would be a ANOTHER VALID reason for us to remove Saddam’s regime from power!

    The children in this prison were liberated by U.S.. Marines! (Camp Pendelton, Ca.)

    ————–

    OF COURSE, MAYBE MANY OF YOU ARE NOT MORAL OR CARING OR COMPASSIONATE OR CIVILIZED!

    I SURE DO NOT CONSIDER ANY OF THOSE AGAINST THE IRAQ WAR TO BE ANY OF THOSE THINGS!

    THEY ARE PARASITIC LEACHES WHO ARE LIVING IN A FREE COUNTRY PROVIDED FOR THEM BY THOSE LIKE ME AND THESE PEOPLE!

    http://VetsForFreedom.org/

    ———————-

    A list of the many Moslem terrorist attacks against the U.S. since 1979.

    http://www.theanchoressonline.com/2005/07/21/everything-that-came-before-iraq-war/

    • Kodie

      Your posts are really hard to read. Are you the goats on fire guy?

    • Yoav

      No one is arguing that Saddam was not a tyrant who murdered and tortured his people but the claim that the US went to war in order to liberate the oppressed Iraqis is bogus. This argument was invented only after the previous stated reasons, like the WMDs and the involvement of Saddam with al qaide and 9/11, were proven to be a pile of crap. The Saudi and Egyptian regimes’ record on oppressing their subject are not any better then Saddam and yet they are supported by the US proving that in the name of temporary interests the US have no problem with oppressive regimes. The US have only a big part in the birth of the Taliban since back then the Russians were the embodiment of evil and anyone who fought them was one of the good guys so the US have funded Islamic extremists in Afghanistan where Osama bin-laden met with the people with whom he will later form al-qaida so in essence al-qaida was born in the American training camps in Pakistan.

      • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

        “This argument was invented only after the previous stated reasons, like the WMDs and the involvement of Saddam with al qaide and 9/11, were proven to be a pile of crap.”

        THAT COMMENT PROVES YOU HAVE NO CLUE AS TO THE FACTS!

        Anyone who was paying attention AT THE TIME knows while the WMD were the reason most put forward by the Democrats and Republicans, as well as the one MOST covered by the lying, liberal, leftist & incompetent Lame Stream media, there WERE at least EIGHT OTHER REASONS PUT FORTH AS WELL

        AND SADDASS ACTIONS WERE ONE OF THEM.

        “The Saudi and Egyptian regimes’ record on oppressing their subject are not any better then Saddam”

        MORE PROOF YOU DO NOT HAVE A CLUE AS TOO THE FACTS!

        EVERY YEAR Saddam was in power he AVERAGED torturing many, many, many thousands of Iraqis & KILLING 30,000! Neither the Saudis or the Egyptians come close to matching him.

        “The US have only a big part in the birth
        of the Taliban

        MORE BULL SHIT PROVING YOUR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS

        YES, the US have funded Islamic FREEDOM FIGHTERS named “Mujahideen” in Afghanistan and some of them LATER became Taliban members.

        “Osama bin-laden met with the people with whom he will later form al-qaida so in essence al-qaida was born in the American training camps in Pakistan”

        YOU HAVE PROOF OF AMERICAN ‘TRAING CAMPS” THERE? SHOW IT!

        We did furnish the “Mujahideen” with
        money and weapons. This included the stinger missiles which resulted in the Mujahideen victory.

        OSAMA FORMED AL QUADA TO FIGHT IRAQ WHEN THEY INVADED KUWAIT. HE OFFERED HIS FORCES TO THE
        SAUDIS SAYING HE WOULD BEAT IRAQ.

        THEY TURNED HIM DOWN,

        The Saudis than accepted the US offer to protect them from Iraq and to be a base for us to free Kuwait. This PISSED bin Laden off and the rest is history.

        • Jabster

          Yes that’s all very well and good Neil but what about the advice for my bee from yourself as a VET. It’s bad enough that you got my hopes up let alone his (and he’s only young as well) and my young twins (boys in case you were wondering).

          Think of the children Neil, think of the children … I do’t believe that a VET would be this heartless do you?

        • Yoav

          Are you seriously claiming that the US didn’t fund and train Islamic groups, that were the seed of the Taliban, to fight the soviets in Afghanistan and that Osama Bin-Laden wasn’t part of the arab volunteer groups that came to join the war, BTW you are aware of what the word mujaheddin come from.
          OSAMA FORMED AL QUADA TO FIGHT IRAQ WHEN THEY INVADED KUWAIT. HE OFFERED HIS FORCES TO THE
          SAUDIS SAYING HE WOULD BEAT IRAQ.

          You should make up your mind was OBL an enemy or an allay of Saddam, you can’t have it both ways, but then you actually believe fix noise is a news organization.

  • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

    [duplicate removed]

    • Kodie

      Neil!!!!! You didn’t LIST a SOURCE. You didn’t link the article, but that article doesn’t contain information you are ASSERTING.

      I HAD TO look up the article myself, it wasn’t that hard to find. You listed all relevant information on the SOURCE, but you don’t know how to find it ONLINE and LINK IT so we can all take a look that you are not just BS’ing.

      You didn’t post any credible information to look at what abuse was happening in these prisons. I am not trying to disbelieve you BUT you don’t seem to know HOW THIS WORKS.

      For another thing, you could learn to write like a person, and use the ‘reply’ button to reply to people directly. If you don’t know how the internet works, please go sign up for some lessons and don’t forget to bring with you sources on your assertions.
      http://www.veteransforpeace.org/
      http://www.ivaw.org/

      Does it help to know that actual military disagrees with the war? Even though they see it first-hand, do not find reason to wage war with Iraq?

      • Sunny Day

        Soon the caretakers will be back home from their Thanksgiving vacation and they will find that Neil sprung his cage, crapped all over the house and broke some furniture. They’ll get him back on his meds, clean him up and buy some better locks.

        • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

          My, how so very typically “liberal” of you!

          As you can NOT best me by using knowledge, Facts, or logic, you attack and insult me.

          (Why don’t you come try it in person? After all as I am nearly 76, you should not be too afraid of getting your ass kicked. Of course, as I am 5’11, over 200 pounds and have been a Deep Sea Diver, Paratrooper, MP and a Bouncer who still plays Beach Volleyball, you never know.)

          And Speaking of “Liberals”

          As MOST intelligent people age, gaining in experience, & knowledge, they GO FROM being “Liberals” TO being “Conservatives”

          (Of course, some people, like you, are so stupid they never learn.)

          And while I know of MANY FORMER Liberals over age 40, I do not know of even ONE Former Conservative who is over age 40!

          Here are few (of many) FORMER LIBERALS Blogs:

          Former” Liberal. And Author & Atheist Burt Prelutsky

          http://prelutsky.blogspot.com/

          • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

            Since the entire list did NOT post, I shall try again.

            ————————–

            Former Liberal Tammy Bruce

            Tammy is an Atheist, Author and Talk Show Host who was the youngest and the longest serving President of NOW.

            While I had been a card carrying member of NOW I left for the same reason Tammy later did. They became far too liberal and leftist.
            http://tammybruce.com/

            ————————–

            Eugene Volohk who is one of the TOP legal minds in the USA, is far too intelligent to have ever been a liberal in the first place!

            (Eugene is a personal friend & an Atheist.)

            His blog, the VOLOKH CONSPIRACY gets over 25.000 hits a DAY!

            http://volokh.com/

            ————————–

            Ms. Jillian Becker, Best Selling Author and Counter Terorism Expert

            ATHEIST CONSERVATIVE

            http://www.theatheistconservative.com/

            ———————–

            POSITIVE ATHEISM

            Cliff Walker is an another genius friend who has one of the most referenced Atheism website’s on the internet.

            http://www.positiveatheism.org/

            ————————

            Another Atheist Conservative

            Christopher Hitchens

            http://www.hitchensweb.com/

            ————————-

            Former Religious Liberal NEO-NEOCON

            http://neoneocon.com/

          • Kodie

            You’re sort of ramblingly incoherent. There’s really no good way to argue with it. If you would make sense and put together sentences, it might come together for you. But you’re a stubborn old coot and you’re proud of it! That’s pretty much all you’ve established.

          • Sunny Day

            “Why don’t you come try it in person?”

            Ah yes another “Internet Tough Guy” who tosses out infantile challenges but I notice you are unwilling to back them up with their Address. I wonder, why is that?

            “I am 5’11, over 200 pounds and have been a Deep Sea Diver, Paratrooper, MP”

            Oh we’re playing the “What do I want to be when I grow up?” game? Sorry its only a game for 12 and younger, I cant play with you. Maybe you could ask your nurse and she can pretend with you?

            Thanksgiving vacation is almost over and Neil will be loosing his internet access soon. Before you go is there anything else you want to get off your chest?

            • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

              Mental Inadequate Translation Filter Engaged:

              My name is Neil C. Reinhardt. I’m an angry old man who’s too conscious of his own deficiencies and compensating by getting angry at everybody else. I have a tiny penis which hasn’t worked since I was twenty three, before which it had a hair trigger. For this reason, I have never made it with a lady. Spreading Hawaiin miracle berry juice on my tonker has not, so far, made it any better. I hate you all because I am not am not any of you, I’m me. I wish I wasn’t this sad, worthless individual, but I am. That is my crime. It is also my punishment.

              -Custador.

            • Sunny Day

              I notice the “Internet Tough Guy” is still dodging the question of its address.
              Typical.

              I especially enjoyed the numeric responses to a question never asked on a subject I care not one whit about. Clearly though it seems Volleyball is important to Neil. His nursie must think him so good at it and very proud of him.

              Here’s to hoping you get back on your meds again.

            • Kodie

              Is it really necessary to go all the way to your house and kick your ass personally because you want to have an argument about volleyball? Isn’t it easier to shut the hell up already?

              YOU ARE INSANE.

              I challenge you to a game of volleyball.

            • claidheamh mor

              @Neil C. Reinhardt As you can NOT best me by using knowledge, Facts, or logic

              Wow.
              You are one hostile er, misanthrope.

              I think someone can out-reason you, but no one can out-asshole you.
              No one will get the last word with you, because even if it’s an attack, you simply must have the last word.

              @Neil C. Reinhardt you attack and insult me.

              This is too funny, coming from you.

            • claidheamh mor

              Hey Neil! Did you know you can send a stronger message than just typing lots of words with all caps? If you hit the keys on your keyboard really, really hard, all that force goes through a transducer and gets electronically transmitted over the internet, and explodes with force onto the page!

              Mmmphhh *giggle* snicker *snort* mmmpphhhh wahhhhahahahahahaha!

            • Elemenope

              Is it necessary for a snotty nosed spoiled brat whose parents, from the way she speaks to older people…

              Merely being old entitles you to nothing. If you wish respect, you must act in a way that is due respect.

            • Kodie

              Neil, I’m not the one who is acting feral here.

              Your “arguments” are just soapbox ranting from an old guy. I don’t know why it’s so important to you that people put effort into debating with you what doesn’t seem to need debating or has no effect on your social skills. You are bad at being on the internet, and a total jackass. I don’t care how old you are, you’re a turd at life and a turd at arguing. The only response to your ranting is ridicule and athletic challenges. It seems all you want people to do is come punch you in the mouth, and you ridicule them for staying civilized and using words. Nobody gives a shlt about arguing with you, so you can go now.

            • Michael

              It has gotten long past time to stop feeding this troll. He needs a tempban at least.

            • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

              What in the hot hell is this “Neil” idiot talking about, anyway? It’s like there’s some sort of random gibberish generator that’s posting under the name “Neil C. Reinhardt” or something.

            • claidheamh mor

              Skippy, he’s so irrational (and devoid of a sense of humor and so hostile he’s probably frothing at the mouth right now) and posts such looonnnnng, incoherent wall-o’-posts that no one can tell.

              Maybe it depends on which one of his personalities is in charge.

            • Michael

              Let’s just say this is not the only blog Neil trolls.

              I don’t even think he is sincere.

            • claidheamh mor

              How did you know Blowhardt was losing his internet? It’s obvious now that that happened. It’s the only way he would ever not keep having the last word.

              I was looking forward to some fun and *actually* laughing out loud.

              Someone print up this page and mail it to him. Better use waterproof paper – he will froth at the mouth so much that regular paper wouldn’t last.

          • Mark the Pilgrim

            “Why don’t you come try it in person?…I am 5’11, over 200 pounds and have been a Deep Sea Diver, Paratrooper, MP and a Bouncer who still plays Beach Volleyball, you never know.)”

            Oh no, a thinly veiled threat over the internet! I wonder how our safety will be preserved…

            Ha, I hope you’re just doing this for kicks. :)

          • Jabster

            “and have been a Deep Sea Diver, Paratrooper, MP and a Bouncer …”

            You’ve been an MP as well as a VET, just amazing, really amazing. Which constituency did you represent and which party. I bet you were an Independent or maybe even a member of UKIP? Did you get embroiled in the expense scandals, probably not as you seem like the fine upstanding sort we need in government and not like some of those “others” (I think we both know the type I’m referring to here!) who have been allowed into since the PC brigade took other. Bring back hanging it’s the only language they understand; oh and guess who I had in the back of the cab today, go on I’ll give you three guesses …

      • burpy

        This is how you provide a source;

        http://www.scribd.com/doc/2074105/Sentencing-Our-Children-to-Die-in-Prison-Univ-of-San-Francisco-School-of-Law

        “LWOP” means ” life without possibility of parole or release”

        Globally, the consensus against imposing LWOP sentences on children is virtually universal.Based on the authors’ re- search, there are only two countries in the world today that continue to sentence child offenders to LWOP terms:the United States and Israel.9 The United States has at least 2,381 children serving life
        without parole or possibility of release sentences while
        Israel is known to have seven

        Perhaps the U.S. should start preparing to invade itself.

  • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

    SORRY, FOR MY DOUBLE POSTS.

    WHILE SOMETIMES I CAN TELL IT POSTED, SOME OTHER TIMES I CAN NOT. (METHINKS IT IS MY WEBTV’S INCOMPATABILITY WITH THIS WEBSITES SOFTWARE.)

    • Daniel Florien

      Does your WebTV make you write in all caps as well?

      If your purpose is to change minds, may I suggest you go about it differently? Perhaps in a way that includes more intellectual and rational discourse?

      • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

        Daniel,

        It took you MANY years to finally discover something you strongly believed was NOT True. I hope you do not take as long to discover the truth and the FACTS about:

        A. the Iraq War

        and

        B. Why, after age 40, there are so MANY FORMER Liberals while there are so very FEW (if any) Former Conservatives.

        So IF you will OPEN your mind, and also do SUFFICIENT Research, you will discover I am correct on those issues. (As well as on many, many more.)

        Please, Take Care!

        Neil

        P.S. If you will email me, I can provide a lot of information on various subjects.

        • burpy

          People do not become more conservative as they get older. You can not extrapolate general trends from your personal experience. The list you printed above is an example of what is commonly known as “data mining”, and by the way you can take Christopher Hitchens off it (unless you have an incredibly loose definition of what constitutes a conservative).

          Nobody here needs to take lessons in critical thinking from someone who claims to be using a product that is an “IMMUNE BOOSTING “miracle”” (hint: your immune system doesn´t need boosting, if your juice did did that, it would most probably kill you).

          • Custador

            I suspect Hitch was on it because he supports the Iraq war.

          • Kodie

            http://www.livescience.com/health/080310-liberal-seniors.html

            The stereotype of a cranky old man, set in his ways, getting more conservative by the day, is an enduring one. But new research has debunked the myth that people become more conservative as they age.

            By comparing surveys of various age groups taken over a span of more than 30 years, sociologists found that in general, Americans’ opinions veer toward the liberal as they grow older.

            “All the evidence we have found refutes the idea that as people age their attitudes become more conservative or more rigid,” said Nicholas Danigelis, a sociologist at the University of Vermont. “It’s just not true. More people are changing in a liberal direction than in a conservative direction.”

            • Francesc

              Uh…now I’m confused. Should I believe someone who did post a handful of blogs of ex-liberals, or should I believe a peer-reviewed sociological study? Decisions, decisions…

              By the way, thanks ;-)

          • Kodie

            People buy BS products all the time. Next you are going to tell me the flow-bee gives a superior haircut to my Norma.

            Get yourself checked in somewhere, you are not safe on your own.

  • http://VetsForFreedom.org Neil C. Reinhardt

    1. I use CAPS to EMPHASIZE the words I wish to place Emphasis on. It IS the way I choose write. The 400 some I have been sending my Quotes, Jokes & Good Stuff” to do not seem to mind at all.

    (Some of them have been net friends of mine for OVER ten years.) My Discourse IS just as intellectual and rational with, or without my using caps.)

    I have received un-solicited email’s from both those I know in person and from others in forums praising my knowledge, use of common sense and logic.

    2. NO ONE is ASKED or FORCED to read ANY thing I write, It IS their choice.

    3. Changing Liberal minds is at least as difficult as changing religious minds, if not more so.

    At least the religious people have a VALID
    excuse for their refusing to learn and/or denying any facts which prove them wrong as they were PROGRAMMED to do so since they were babies, if not as fetuses.

    Liberals have NO EXCUSE at all for doing the exact SAME THING!

    (So I have more respect for religious people.)

    4. You really think it is possible to have an intellectual and rational discourse with those who have proven they are too lazy to get sufficient facts and information AND/OR are just not bright enough to be able to fully comprehend what the facts mean?

    Had they done so, they would know the Iraq War is both fully justified and a necessary part of our world wide war on the Moslem Terrorists who have been Killing our Friends Allies and Americans for over 40 years.

    5. You really think it is possible to have an intellectual and rational discourse with those who, when they can not prove me wrong using knowledge, facts and logic call me name and insult me?

    Or who are such retards as to think my saying I an A VET has to do with the medical treatment of animals?

    NO WAY, JOSE!

    6. You want me to have an intellectual and rational discourse with someone who makes asinine comments about my “netting” and who thinks my WebTV causes me to use caps?

    Surly, You jest!

    • Elemenope

      1. I use CAPS to EMPHASIZE the words I wish to place Emphasis on. It IS the way I choose write. The 400 some I have been sending my Quotes, Jokes & Good Stuff” to do not seem to mind at all.

      Ah, but this isn’t your e-mail list, this is a community with pre-established patterns of usage and discourse. When you visit someone else’s place, you would do well to respect their traditions (a conservative point if there ever was one).

      My Discourse IS just as intellectual and rational with, or without my using caps.

      That’s certainly true. If, however, you are at all concerned with how it may be received (specifically how it is interpreted by your audience), you might take more care with it.

      2. NO ONE is ASKED or FORCED to read ANY thing I write, It IS their choice.

      True. What does that have to do with someone making a style suggestion? You are not forced to read anyone’s criticism of your style, either; it is your choice.

      Changing Liberal minds is at least as difficult as changing religious minds, if not more so.

      Political opinions tend to be strongly held. I tend to find, though, that it is a more effective persuasive tactic to let the arguments speak for themselves, rather than label and belittle your audience.

      At least the religious people have a VALID excuse for their refusing to learn and/or denying any facts which prove them wrong as they were PROGRAMMED to do so since they were babies, if not as fetuses. Liberals have NO EXCUSE at all for doing the exact SAME THING!

      In my experience, everyone engages in confirmation bias. No exceptions. People who are good at critical thought recognize their own biases and try to bracket them out of how they filter information, but nobody is perfect at it. I tend also to find the stronger the identification–the stronger the existential commitment–to a particular world view, the worse a person is at assimilating and understanding contrary facts.

      You really think it is possible to have an intellectual and rational discourse with those who have proven they are too lazy to get sufficient facts and information AND/OR are just not bright enough to be able to fully comprehend what the facts mean?

      Yes.

      Had they done so, they would know the Iraq War is both fully justified and a necessary part of our world wide war on the Moslem Terrorists who have been Killing our Friends Allies and Americans for over 40 years.

      As a person who has actually studied international relations academically, I think you’ll find that to be a rather unsupportable view. If anything, the War in Iraq made things far worse by destabilizing the region, strengthening Iran, and making Israel’s security situation worse (and thus reducing the chances of a peaceful settlement in Palestine as the Israeli government responds by moving further right). The attack also justified in a very literal way what had till then mostly been propaganda for the enemy. Nothing like showing your enemy that they were right about you to help their recruitment efforts, is there?

      You really think it is possible to have an intellectual and rational discourse with those who, when they can not prove me wrong using knowledge, facts and logic call me name and insult me?

      Yes.

      Or who are such retards as to think my saying I an A VET has to do with the medical treatment of animals?

      I think that was a harmless joke at the recognition of an English ambiguity, and a rather gentle way of deflating your claims to authority simply because you are a veteran. Being a veteran gives you no greater perspicacity in international relations, nor does it entitle you morally to a weightier opinion. Better to make a small joke than simply tell you to take your flaunting of service and shove it somewhere unpleasant.

      You want me to have an intellectual and rational discourse with someone who makes asinine comments about my “netting” and who thinks my WebTV causes me to use caps?

      It’s certainly a more charitable assumption than that you are doing it intentionally. Unfortunately, as you confirmed, it is not the case.

    • Jabster

      “Or who are such retards as to think my saying I an A VET has to do with the medical treatment of animals?”

      You’re joking right … my pet bee has been limping around (that’s what they do with a bad wing) and one of my sons has been asking whether he can borrow one of my ties. Now I realise that you have a lot of followers to please (personally I was very impressed that you’ve got 400, I mean Jesus himself only had twelve and you’ve also had far more jobs that he did) but please can you give me some advice …

    • coffeejedi

      “The 400 some I have been sending my Quotes, Jokes & Good Stuff” to do not seem to mind at all.”

      Wait, an email-list? Seriously? In 2010? You do realize that there’s things called blogs and twitter now, right? Who sends out mass-emails in this day and age? Probably the same kind of people who are still using crap like Web TV…….

      • Jabster

        “Wait, an email-list? Seriously? In 2010?”

        Well I can think of four I’m subscribed to, all work related, and I work in IT. Maybe blogs and twitter aren’t all they’re cracked up to be?

        • Elemenope

          Crotchety old timer!

          (No, but seriously, I can’t get into Twitter either. And I do belong to two e-mail lists.)

          • Kodie

            I don’t belong to any email lists but I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with it unless you signed up for joke-a-day or something that old Neil is going on about. Fwds from the Reader’s Digest genre of humor is about as un-slick as you can get.

        • CoffeeJedi

          That’s different if it’s work related. Email lists are fine if you’re part of a group that’s working together on something, or planning an event and all those involved need a convenient way to discuss things with a push model of delivery.

          But Ol’ Neil there is sending out his random musings and fwd’d content like it’s a blog, like people did back in the 90′s. I have a feeling that more than a few of those 400 people didn’t ask to be on his list and send his emails directly into the spam folder.

          • Jabster

            When I say work related, I mean related to my work not that I work with those on the list. Saying that it’s still workable for the reasons you state as they don’t have the same level of “noise” that a blog does.

  • Len

    “My Discourse IS just as intellectual and rational with, or without my using caps.

    That’s certainly true”

    Ouch.

    • Len

      Oops – should have been in response to LMNOP

  • Francesc

    I assume you have links to some peer-reviewed papers describing its benefits, as it has been researched and tested by universities. Those links would be perfect to make your point and wouldn’t be edited.

  • Yoav

    REALLY? Then List FIVE blogs written by FORMER CONSERVATIVES who are OVER the Age of 35, much less over 50.
    The fact that you don’t know any blogs by former conservatives, or even if no such blogs exist mean absolutely nothing, blog writers are in no way a representative sample of the entire population. Kodie had cited an actual study that you just decided to ignore since it doesn’t fit your agenda, I guess you take your que from your favorite “news” channel.

    As well as proving you are TOO LAZY to do sufficient RESEARCH on Noni Juice. (Of course, YOU are most probably too dumb to be able to fully comprehend what the facts meant even if you did do any.)

    You mean this Noni Juice?

    • Yoav

      This was supposed to be a reply to one of Neil posts that seems to have vanished after I posted.

      • Custador

        Appologies, I had to delete some of his posts and it has muddled replies somewhat.

        • Kodie

          I don’t think anyone is more confused by the deletion of Neil’s posts.

    • Mark the Pilgrim

      Ha, my Grandpa used to give me Noni drink when I was younger. It tastes like vomit. But eventually it becomes an acquired taste.

    • trj

      I’m flabbergasted! Do you mean to say that noni juice does NOT increase your health by 150%, as Neil so scientfically claimed? What a shocker!

  • Nox

    Now he’s getting this thread confused with his mailing list.

  • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

    Definitely time for the banhammer.

  • Kodie

    Goddamit, Neil, that’s a trope, it’s a myth, that’s how it seems to a lot of people, anecdotally. Your friend Bernard Slutsky is anecdotal evidence. You’re in denial of reality, you stupid troll. I already posted a sociological peer-reviewed study that proves the opposite is true, and you are in denial, head deep up your own ass denial. GTFO.

  • Elemenope

    Just off the top of my head, two extremely high profile former conservatives that became liberal are Arianna Huffington, and Francis Fukuyama. Many people would also place Andrew Sullivan in this category, though it is unlikely he himself would. Lawrence Lessig took a hard left turn after his philosophy degree. Harry Blackmun started as a very conservative republican appointee and went on to be the decisive vote against the death penalty on the Burger court and the author of Roe v. Wade. Even Nixon started as a red-baiter and ended up establishing the Environmental Protection Agency and regular diplomatic relations with Communist China.

    Shall I go on?

    • Francesc

      That’s not going to work, Neil knows that there are not conservatives who turned liberals, no matter wich studies or examples you provide.
      Those weren’t TRUE conservatives!

  • claidheamh mor

    Neil Blowhardt, how could you put together an email list when you don’t even know how to use threads? You know, that little “reply” tab and indentations showing different parts of the conversation. (In case you are clueless about the concept of “threads”.)

    You’ve had replies (heh heh), but you’re too busy getting your next rant and spittle together to let fly to read them. Except when you showed that you were devoid of a sense of humor and didn’t even get a simple joke!

    Your Push-To-Talk button is permanently depressed; all you do is jump on your bookmark, immediately scan to the bottom of the page, and if you read anything at all, it’s only a quick scan to figure out which of your rants to go on and which of your personalities gets its turn.

  • Blanche Quizno

    I think the problem is with identifying what superstition really is. Superstition is a belief that causes *changes* in behavior, often in ritualistic ways. For example, the old “knock on wood” to ward off harm requires that one rap one’s knuckles on something made of wood. THAT is a superstition. Thus, anything that requires prayers, or attending church, or baptism, or rituals such as magical meals (“eucharist”) and following specific rules of behavior, THAT is superstition! Simply saying that something may exist, or may happen, or that there might be such a thing as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster do not qualify as bona fide superstitions.


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