Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives.Submitted by Sapient on December 10, 2009 - 12:47am.
I found the recent appearance of Michael Specter on The Daily Show to have quite a few correlations to the efforts of atheists to help humanity abandon our unscientific religious past.
Do you do that? Do you buy yourself a gift during the Christmas season and call it a Solstice gift or a Saturnalia gift? Whatever you call it... do you do it? And if so, what are you getting for yourself this year?
I haven't bought any new books in a while, and decided to get a few good deals off my wish list. I was able to buy books used for a huge discount. Check these deals out...
I held an umbrella today over Margaret Downey as she put atheist book covers on the Tree of Knowledge. A display outside of the West Chester County Courthouse in their Free Speech zone. Here is a list of the books on the Tree of Knowledge. Enjoy the video and photos.
Amazon just sent me word that of a special deal to pass on to you. As an amazon associate I'm getting a bonus this weekend for your purchases, through the end of shopping on Monday. You're also getting more discounts. Amazon has tons of black friday - cyber monday deals and they're all available here: Black Friday - Cyber Monday Amazon Shopping to support RRS
It's with sorrow and sadness that I announce the Rational Response Youtube account is back online. In the years of my atheist activism I've never had the pleasure of working with a more frustrating and horribly run company. It's often seemed to me as if they have 4 employees, 3 of which have their heads up their ass, and the 4th is measuring how far they managed to insert it. I'd sit here and tell you the stories, but why relive the pain. Nevertheless a few people asked for our youtube account to be back online, so I've been working on it since October 11th, and they finally managed to do what by law was supposed to be done by October 25th. I have no plans to upload another video to that account, however it's likely that I will at some point. I deleted a few videos that I felt were less relevant, and upon seeing some of these videos for the first time in months realized I would prefer to not come off quite as harsh. Not that I don't think we shouldn't be mocking and laughing at religion, I would like to do it with a slightly more calm demeanor if I can. Which of course remains to be seen.
I've decided to put together a little playlist of the videos I'd most want someone to see if they've never seen any of the videos on our youtube account before.
Here they are...
I was just walking through the store and saw a copy of "The Purpose of Christmas" by Pastor Rick Warren. I got swelled up with desire to respond to this book. It was easy pickins. I got home and headed straight to Amazon to purchase a used copy (there's no way I'd buy it new). If I hadn't had the positive fund raising efforts recently I wouldn't have bought it. I'm semi-considering becoming a flea of this book and writing a book response (not just an internet one). In fact any of the regulars here would find this book an easy shred. Seriously every sentence I saw deserved some form of response, even for nothing but to correct the semi-deceptive manner in which he builds his case to love Christmas because of Christ.
So how many atheists out there embrace faith? The more I learn, the more I realize faith permeates everything... way too many atheists utilize it. Question everything, and when the source is available, ask it.
Rumor 1: Sam Harris gave the RRS $500,000 for a house. They proceeded to do nothing but play video games and smoke pot.
Status: False. Sam Harris isn't our anonymous investor. The video game and pot rumor likely stems from the times we hung out and partied with other atheists. If I'm correct, it's sad they left thinking that a night of partying is what happens every night. I would think our body of work spoke for itself.
Rumor 2: They got a free house from an anonymous investor.
Status: False. I purchased a large house with the help of an investor who owns 60% of the house. When we sell, we each get our share. I consider it a huge gift but technically we weren't given anything, all the money the investor spends on the mortgage will be returned upon sale of the home.
Rumor 3: Brian Sapient decided to leave Rational Response Squad but not tell anyone because he was still making money on it.
I just read this quote from Natural posted on our Atheist Nexus group page and found it to be one of the best summations of the "I hate you RRS" effect that I've seen over the years...
Just a warning to anyone reading this who's not familiar with the RRS forums: A lot of people have the wrong impression about RRS, based on rumors and haters, but if you go in with an open mind -- instead of assuming you know what it's all about -- then we are very welcoming of anyone willing to discuss anything with intellectual honesty. Some of our long-time members are people we strongly disagree with, but get along with just fine because they are honest to us and themselves. On the other hand, if you start making claims and accusations with nothing to back it up, we will challenge you unrelentingly. A lot of people can't handle this, and hence we get a lot of haters spreading rumors.
Oh, ironically the reason I noticed the quote was because I was going to look at the new group Natural formed. Here is the information on his wonderism group. I didn't have an account on nexus, and I still don't. So if you're looking for me there, you'll be looking for a while.
There has been a battle amongst non-believers, non-theists, secularists, brights, humanists, atheists, non-religious, agnostics, skeptics, and the non-religious for quite some time in this country. How many different names was that to describe someone that almost always is without a belief in a god? I probably missed a few, in fact feel free to mention them and I'll add them in. The battle is a pointless one that only serves to divide us, disparage us, and hurt us. Instead of one minority, we are now 10 smaller minorities with less power. Anyone avoiding usage of the word atheist is allowing the theist to win.
Hey folks, as you know the core leadership of RRS was rather inactive for the first half of 2009, this was due to various factors including several that are personal, however the recession took it's toll as early as the beginning of 2008. A bunch of folks who were donors and subscribers wrote to us with apologies after they lost their job, or their wives lost their jobs, or something recessionary in nature happened to them presenting a situation in which they had to withdraw their funding of our efforts. This story was echoed by the SSA who was on the verge of disappearing this year as a result of the hard times, and has raised over $90,000 in two months. I've been working as many hours as possible in the real world for over a year now to reduce the fundraising burden in order to keep this site afloat. While I seemed absent on an activist level my time away from the limelight was designed to preserve RRS.