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PhysicistDave on why Mariano doesn't like atheists...

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PhysicistDave on why Mariano doesn't like atheists...

Postby the_ignored » Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:15 pm

"PhysicistDave" is a commentator on Mariano's blog. He speculates that it's because the "new atheists" are talking about athiesm in public, and that people like Mariano don't like it...it may make atheism look more appealing. Hence, the huge shitload of writings against atheism that Mariano has.

Check out his blog's sidebar. Not only does he have other blogs, but he has a huge amount of articles published on the Creation Ministries International website. (used to be AIG-Australia).

Here's some of what Dave had to say:

I think his current entry may give a better clue as to his motivation. Until a few years ago, there was sort of an unspoken social agreement in this country: the Christians would agree not to burn us atheists at the stake if we atheists would agree to keep quiet about our atheist views and not discuss them in public. It is okay to discuss our views quietly among ourselves or in isolated academic settings (such as philosophy departments), but we must not actually claim publicly that we think we are right or - God forbid! - that we truly think Christianity is false and morally wrong.

The "New Atheists" have broken this unwritten agreement and that seems to be what is really upsetting Mariano.

What seems to particularly upset him is that once atheists are "out of the closet" and speaking openly in the public square, atheism is likely to be viewed as a real option by a number of adolescents.


Think Dave's nailed it?
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Re: PhysicistDave on why Mariano doesn't like atheists...

Postby E-lad » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:03 pm

I absolutely agree. You can smell the fear in the voices in the likes of Ken Ham, Discovery institute, et al.

And the internet has the effect of a megaphone for the non-theists. The internet is to organized fundamentalist religion what the printing press was to the demise of the political rule of the Catholic church. I remember well the time when one would never dare write a letter to the editor ctitical of anti-science religion in small town American newspapers. Now, I see them sometimes weekly, and monthly for sure.

It is my opinion that there have always been plenty of agnostics/ atheists out there, but they didn't feel compelled in any way to come out, and it is easy enough to pass off as a Christian in the US because to be a bona fide Christian in most circles, all one has to do is say that they are Christian, weather they go to church or not. That was the usual MO for most non-theists as it alleviated any conversation strain and/ or discrimination.

The more the Fatheists got into politics, the more the closet agnostics (former cradle christians) started pushing back and I think there is proof of that because the recognized 3% of proclaimed atheists could not have mustered the votes to oust the likes of Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and others.
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Re: PhysicistDave on why Mariano doesn't like atheists...

Postby Weemaryanne » Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:23 pm

I suspect that fear is indeed part of the reason for the anti-New-Atheist campaign. In the cases of some godsters it's not even the immediate practical fear of loss of income/profession/raison d'etre, but rather more like fear of losing status in the eyes of others (What am I gonna tell my kids? What will the neighbours think?)

In the case of Ham/Comfort/DiscoInstitute et al, I won't even guess what they're afraid of because I think they don't even have a name for it. Whatever it is, it probably lives in their closets. Or maybe under their beds.
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Re: PhysicistDave on why Mariano doesn't like atheists...

Postby Personal Failure » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:00 am

E-lad wrote:I absolutely agree. You can smell the fear in the voices in the likes of Ken Ham, Discovery institute, et al.

And the internet has the effect of a megaphone for the non-theists. The internet is to organized fundamentalist religion what the printing press was to the demise of the political rule of the Catholic church. I remember well the time when one would never dare write a letter to the editor ctitical of anti-science religion in small town American newspapers. Now, I see them sometimes weekly, and monthly for sure.

It is my opinion that there have always been plenty of agnostics/ atheists out there, but they didn't feel compelled in any way to come out, and it is easy enough to pass off as a Christian in the US because to be a bona fide Christian in most circles, all one has to do is say that they are Christian, weather they go to church or not. That was the usual MO for most non-theists as it alleviated any conversation strain and/ or discrimination.

The more the Fatheists got into politics, the more the closet agnostics (former cradle christians) started pushing back and I think there is proof of that because the recognized 3% of proclaimed atheists could not have mustered the votes to oust the likes of Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and others.


You just described me. Once I got a job that offered unlimited internet access combined with extended periods of downtime (interspersed with being so busy I don't have time to pee), I started checking out atheism online, wondering if there was anyone out there other than me. A year ago, I was only vaguely aware of people like Dawkins and Hitchins, and certainly didn't know a thing about the Out Campaign. The virtual voices of atheists online didn't convert me, but it did allow me to find my voice, and Mariano should be scared. Because I'm not afraid of him, or others like him anymore. Yesterday I told my Baptist coworker that I didn't really believe in anything at all when she asked me where I go to church. She shrugged and said, "Some people don't." So it's not just atheists that are being affected by our voices, it's christians like her, who are starting to see our choices as acceptable. :D
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Re: PhysicistDave on why Mariano doesn't like atheists...

Postby E-lad » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:55 am

Weemaryanne wrote:I suspect that fear is indeed part of the reason for the anti-New-Atheist campaign. In the cases of some godsters it's not even the immediate practical fear of loss of income/profession/raison d'etre, but rather more like fear of losing status in the eyes of others (What am I gonna tell my kids? What will the neighbours think?)

In the case of Ham/Comfort/DiscoInstitute et al, I won't even guess what they're afraid of because I think they don't even have a name for it. Whatever it is, it probably lives in their closets. Or maybe under their beds.


"losing status" Thanks Wee. Precicely. The Godbots have luxuriated in their position protected by the lex non scripta, unwritten law, that they would never be criticised. That allowed them to flex their imagined muscles and go political, which triggered the push-back by mainstream Christians that could clearly see the down side of fundamentalism.

I have been in the middle of this for thirty years and I can expire this moment knowing that the corner has been turned for good in the US. They definitely had us on the run in the late eighties but their true motives (Religous domination) came out (Newt Gingrich, James Dobson, Jerry Falwel, et al) and their fate as lunatic fringe was sealed.

Yes, there are strongholds in the south that will be needed to be dealt with just as we deal with their draconian views on civil rights, & et. to this very day.
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Re: PhysicistDave on why Mariano doesn't like atheists...

Postby E-lad » Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:11 am

Personal Failure wrote:
E-lad wrote:I absolutely agree. You can smell the fear in the voices in the likes of Ken Ham, Discovery institute, et al.

And the internet has the effect of a megaphone for the non-theists. The internet is to organized fundamentalist religion what the printing press was to the demise of the political rule of the Catholic church. I remember well the time when one would never dare write a letter to the editor ctitical of anti-science religion in small town American newspapers. Now, I see them sometimes weekly, and monthly for sure.

It is my opinion that there have always been plenty of agnostics/ atheists out there, but they didn't feel compelled in any way to come out, and it is easy enough to pass off as a Christian in the US because to be a bona fide Christian in most circles, all one has to do is say that they are Christian, weather they go to church or not. That was the usual MO for most non-theists as it alleviated any conversation strain and/ or discrimination.

The more the Fatheists got into politics, the more the closet agnostics (former cradle christians) started pushing back and I think there is proof of that because the recognized 3% of proclaimed atheists could not have mustered the votes to oust the likes of Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and others.


You just described me. Once I got a job that offered unlimited internet access combined with extended periods of downtime (interspersed with being so busy I don't have time to pee), I started checking out atheism online, wondering if there was anyone out there other than me. A year ago, I was only vaguely aware of people like Dawkins and Hitchins, and certainly didn't know a thing about the Out Campaign. The virtual voices of atheists online didn't convert me, but it did allow me to find my voice, and Mariano should be scared. Because I'm not afraid of him, or others like him anymore. Yesterday I told my Baptist coworker that I didn't really believe in anything at all when she asked me where I go to church. She shrugged and said, "Some people don't." So it's not just atheists that are being affected by our voices, it's christians like her, who are starting to see our choices as acceptable. :D


Thanks, PF. Free and open communication is the only way to plot our course to the future.
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Re: PhysicistDave on why Mariano doesn't like atheists...

Postby stan » Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:28 am

Clearly, the religious-minded fear any sort of organization of any rival group, and since atheists joke even amongst themselves that organizing a group of them is like herding cats, religious groups had little to fear, and largely ignored Atheism in favor of normal operations regarding so-called "missions" work, harassing other religions, unwittingly promoting coups, etc. With the advent of the "New Atheists," religious groups have found the most terrifying of foes yet: apparently organized rationality.

Their fear is based on two things, then:
  1. The advertisement of a very different option, and
  2. The necessary change in their own tactics to something far less comfortable

Item (1) was silenced for so long that religious groups became complacent, and when the obnoxiously loud "New Atheists" started rocking the boat, they found it easy to capsize, and there was no defense prepared pursuant to (2). I expect the second item, then, is the more troubling one.

This change in tactics requires religionists to scramble to find naturalistic explanations for their precious miracle-stories, which had until recently been largely accepted as 'matters of faith' for the masses. The dredging up of evidence against these myths, and evidence for quite anti-theistic explanations of things, has caused hacks like Ham, the Hovinds, Comfort, et al, to invent new and utterly bullshit ways of explaining that which had never required any explanation. They were forced, kicking and screaming, into learning about the science they denied, just to keep up the appearance that their own fables were on roughly equal footing.

They are failing.

The angst felt by religionists regarding the uprising of "New Atheism" is understandable and appropriate, even if pointless. As in times past, religion cannot withstand scientific assault, but unlike those times past, the scientific community is nearing organization, which may well topple all the religions in one fell swoop.

Before we start popping champagne corks, though, we should beware succumbing to the very accusations levied against the religionists: indoctrination is heresy.

Just because adolescents may begin to recognize Atheism is a viable option -- a shameless, acceptable option -- does not mean it should be uncritically pushed onto them. Adolescents are well-known for making foolish decisions, and letting them dive into Atheism without ensuring they are informed would be tantamount to the same indoctrination techniques that the religionists use. Make your own informed decision, should be our mantra, as we hand them a pile of information from sources for and against Atheism.

I personally prefer to avoid exposing adolescents to too much, though I try to make it clear that I've chosen a different path, and that my path is perfectly acceptable. Rather than spoon-feed them with the information I've found through years of research and contemplation, I encourage them to begin that journey on their own. Even if they don't head down the path toward Atheism, they will at least have been given an opportunity, and they will have consciously denied the mandate to seek out information on one's own, rather than uncritically accepting what one has been told. I'd like to think that my honesty in this might stick with them, such that even those who remain or become religionists will retain that critical skepticism, which is all they'll ever need to escape the pit... of despaaaaaiiiiirrrrr....

*cough*

...the pit of despair.

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Re: PhysicistDave on why Mariano doesn't like atheists...

Postby E-lad » Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:11 pm

stan wrote:Clearly, the religious-minded fear any sort of organization of any rival group, and since atheists joke even amongst themselves that organizing a group of them is like herding cats, religious groups had little to fear, and largely ignored Atheism in favor of normal operations regarding so-called "missions" work, harassing other religions, unwittingly promoting coups, etc. With the advent of the "New Atheists," religious groups have found the most terrifying of foes yet: apparently organized rationality.

Their fear is based on two things, then:
  1. The advertisement of a very different option, and
  2. The necessary change in their own tactics to something far less comfortable

Item (1) was silenced for so long that religious groups became complacent, and when the obnoxiously loud "New Atheists" started rocking the boat, they found it easy to capsize, and there was no defense prepared pursuant to (2). I expect the second item, then, is the more troubling one.

This change in tactics requires religionists to scramble to find naturalistic explanations for their precious miracle-stories, which had until recently been largely accepted as 'matters of faith' for the masses. The dredging up of evidence against these myths, and evidence for quite anti-theistic explanations of things, has caused hacks like Ham, the Hovinds, Comfort, et al, to invent new and utterly bullshit ways of explaining that which had never required any explanation. They were forced, kicking and screaming, into learning about the science they denied, just to keep up the appearance that their own fables were on roughly equal footing.

They are failing.

The angst felt by religionists regarding the uprising of "New Atheism" is understandable and appropriate, even if pointless. As in times past, religion cannot withstand scientific assault, but unlike those times past, the scientific community is nearing organization, which may well topple all the religions in one fell swoop.

Before we start popping champagne corks, though, we should beware succumbing to the very accusations levied against the religionists: indoctrination is heresy.

Just because adolescents may begin to recognize Atheism is a viable option -- a shameless, acceptable option -- does not mean it should be uncritically pushed onto them. Adolescents are well-known for making foolish decisions, and letting them dive into Atheism without ensuring they are informed would be tantamount to the same indoctrination techniques that the religionists use. Make your own informed decision, should be our mantra, as we hand them a pile of information from sources for and against Atheism.

I personally prefer to avoid exposing adolescents to too much, though I try to make it clear that I've chosen a different path, and that my path is perfectly acceptable. Rather than spoon-feed them with the information I've found through years of research and contemplation, I encourage them to begin that journey on their own. Even if they don't head down the path toward Atheism, they will at least have been given an opportunity, and they will have consciously denied the mandate to seek out information on one's own, rather than uncritically accepting what one has been told. I'd like to think that my honesty in this might stick with them, such that even those who remain or become religionists will retain that critical skepticism, which is all they'll ever need to escape the pit... of despaaaaaiiiiirrrrr....

*cough*

...the pit of despair.

--
Stan


Amen, critical thinking skills are key.
It is well shown though that when someone is conditioned to a myth from birth, that by the time they are six years old the myth is totally accepted as truth. People like Dan three crosses is actively conditioning his kids to the myths and he is proud as fuck about it.
He's got four kids with a fifth on the way. Now, I love kids and have five of my own, but that was over 15 years and in this economy and environment we wouldn't have done that. Dan's wife is popping kids because of their irrational beliefs.
Fundamentalist nutbaggery will never go away, but I am happy to see the voice of reason being more widely ccepted and embraced. Religion, per se, doesn't affect me at all (unlike some, PZ, Dawkins, & et.) as long as they stay the fuck out of politics and education.
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Re: PhysicistDave on why Mariano doesn't like atheists...

Postby Imtherabbit » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:05 pm

I think another factor in all this is how different religions are more common now then when I was growing up in my small town. Christianity was the only religion I knew about, when I started to read about others, I started to see how different people look at faith in different ways. This started with mythology for me at first, but with the internet it went much further.

I think the great thing about today and the Internet is you realize there's more then one option... and that's true for a lot of things

I think most of my family close family aren't theists, my american family and my brother-in-laws family are catholic and for some reason they get really hooked. I've always kinda teased them about it since it's so pagan it could have burned itself at the stake.

As for the youngest members of my family, I don't think they care let alone believe it but they do go to catholic school. I think the Catholics aren't to stupid (unlike fundamentals) they actually teach world religions up here... that's pretty smart. If you hear it from them it's a way of them saying, yes there are other views out here, you should know about them... that way the kids don't go looking for answers in other places.

I think I agree with the frog, I don't mind religion so long as it's out of the public school system and not prosecuting non-believers. For instance, witnesses are welcome to knock at my door, so long as they accept that I might make fun of them a little or shine my pretty pentacle in their faces :-p
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