Blog Updates and Miscellaneous Info
Well, despite the gazillion articles that I could be responding to right now, I've decided to update everybody on some general info and address some of the feedback I've gotten.
First of all, the focus on "print" media has shifted slightly, and I have been addressing a lot more of the online publications than not. I guess there's not that much difference these days anyway, since the majority of people get their news and information online. Obviously, D'Souza keeps popping up. I swear that guy is either just republishing excerpts from his book in his blog, or he's glued to his keyboard. Some of my most popular posts, though, were ones that didn't address a single target, but instead an issue or a compilation of similar stories.
The most popular post on my blog so far has been "Still Don't Think Theism is a Mental Disorder." Behind that would be the "News Story from Belgium..." story on the Islamic man who wouldn't allow a male anesthesiologist to treat his wife who needed an emergency cesarean section. As much fun as it is to beat up on Dinesh and Pope Ratzi, I guess variety is a benefit.
I've been getting a surprisingly good response from online publications lately. I've been posting at opednews.com for a while now, and they do have an editorial review process, and so far every article I've submitted has been published, and the "Humans Don't Need to Comfort Themselves with Fairy Tales" article was their most popular op-ed of the day on Jan 28. (So I have a cute little "promoted to column top" message on it now.) I've also started up a little group there for atheist news and opinions called "Confronting Religious Hegemony" and anybody can create an account and join the group and comment on things. Any links or articles do get reviewed, though. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from that site, and for you naysayers who insist that nobody could ever actually like my blog, I'll include some-with links for verification, of course.
This is my main author page.
Nice Job Kelly
Kelly makes some great points, but often those of a theistic mindset simply cannot hear the facts and instead submit to the dogma that the churches espouse. As the author notes, the atrocities that the communist regimes committed are almost invariably pulled out as a trump card for the theists; despite that it has been refuted innumerable times.
One area of interest I have is how technology and world population plays a role in making violence easier to export and communicate. Had those in the Inquisition had access to radio communications, guns, bombs, war industry and population densities that would put several thousand victims in one building, can anyone argue that religious crusades would not have been significantly more violent?
Now we have 14th century Islam actively pursuing 21st century weapons. It makes me shudder. Be afraid . . . be very afraid.
And this is one of my favorites. Obviously, this guy has had issues with the previous commenter before.
GOD DAMN IT, SHE DIDN'T SAY THAT!!!
God Damn it, Andris! She didn't say anything about denying religious believers, moderate or otherwise, the right to their views. She has neither the desire or power to make religion illegal and impose any penalties, ranging from a slow and painful death to only a fine, on people professing any of religions many varieties.
What you fail to understand is that there is a difference between saying a belief is absurd and denying people the right to believe it. True, there are degrees of probability to which we know beliefs to be true or false and in matters we are uncertain about, the word absurd would be inappropriate. But some beliefs are known to be true or false with a high probability. Thus I know that the earth is round with a high degree of certainty and I have no hesitation in saying that the beliefs of the flat earthers are false. That doesn't mean I want to outlaw the flat earthers. Their believing such absurdities neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
I guess it doesn't matter, though. Since you keep repeating that beliefs are matters of personal inclination, the beliefs to which your personal inclinations incline you are no more true than mine or anyone else's beliefs, and we need not concern ourselves about it.
Great article Kelly
Many Americans prefer the easy way out of thinking about the meaning of life. Accept spoon-fed doctrine, and you can rest your brain.
I think what America needs is to make critical thinking classes mandatory in all public schools. If Americans exercised their brains as much as they exercise their mouths, we'd be in much better shape.
Although I am a tad skeptical of Gates and Buffet, your article cuts to the core of a very important issue.
Every person's life journey on this Earth is %100 unique. Most do not even choose to question or understand this and instead lead mundane lives of trivial pleasures and pains.
The institutions intended to provide a person with spirituality do nothing of the sort. They preach divisive dogma that only serves to give some people "faith" while it turns away all of the rest.
This is in stark contrast to the "spirit journeys" that many indigenous people would use as a rite of passage. We come into this world alone and we die alone; alone is the only way that we can ever hope to find ourselves.
Atheism is a good starting place for investigation into what it means to be human. I believe it is truly only a transitional state, though. How can I say with all certainty that there is no God/Creator/Great Spirit? My feeble human mind cannot understand the complexities of such an issue.
A legitimate question: can an atheist be spiritual?
Humans Do Not Need to Comfort Themselves With Fairy Tales
AMEN Kelly! Could not agree more.
Projection and certainty without the supernatural
Your article is a great rebuttal to a pedestrian - bordering on feeble - effort by Peter Bowden to sustain the inanity of the human need for divinity...
However, man has created many gods that befitted him and then destroyed those same gods; casting these once inerrant deities onto the scrap heap of history when "God" no longer proved useful or sustainable. History clearly metes this out - and Bowden authenticates this by virtue of his exhaustive lists of past and forgotten gods - but is repeated, failed attempts to ascribe an imaginary, paranormal force to the "meaning of life" prudent or even rational?
The answer can be found in another passage by Sam Harris, "The atheist, by merely being in touch with reality, appears shamefully out of touch with the fantasy life of his neighbors."
-Frank J. Ranelli, Senior Editor - Op Ed News
The man who commented directly above is important, so remember him.
Religion may cause......
Thank you for reporting on child abuse. I prefer to call it child cruelty -. When you consider how much support the public contributes to animal cruelty, it is possible that we have overused the term child abuse and the public has become settled in a comfort zone and is somewhat desensitized when it comes to our children. You are the voice for these small children. Please continue to write about this epidemic.
What to do...
Sooooo, what do we do? Anybody have any ideas?
Exactly what Kelly and the Rational Response Squad are doing, shedding light on the atrocities committed in the name of superstition and ancient folklore.
Sunlight is always the best sanitizer.
-Frank J. Ranelli, Senior Editor
As you can tell, this guy is clearly awesome. And a senior editor at opednews. So, the next message I get from him is this:
Yes Kelly, you are in my view to be included among those that wish to dispel the myths, lies, and duplicity of religion. The Four Horsemen, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens are certainly the vanguards of ‘movement realism', but a bonafide subset of critical and independent-minded people - such as yourself - have emerged to confront once-sacred canon as dubious and not beyond reproach.
Religion is, in all its forms, intellectual slavery. When one frees their mind of baseless guilt, gullibility and gods, they - as did I five years ago - find a renewed vigor and clarity that unshackles the psyche to pursue truth over piety.
Theocracy is, after all, the ultimate methodology by which to rule a nation. Rationality and intellectualism are always persecuted while faith and ignorance meld into blind nationalism. This produces a mass delusion of fallaciously grand arrogance that erroneously justifies insidious acts of human brutality and conquest.
I have been working on an essay, perhaps a thesis, entitled, "The Misguided Principles of Faith" that argues faith ‘does requires proof in order for it to achieve validity and legitimacy.'
It would be an honor to have you as a contributor or a co-author.
- Frank J. Ranelli, Senior Editor
All I can say is...wow. He doesn't appear to need any assistance from me.
Seeing these comments at other websites (outside of RRS) just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Another site that I've been doing relatively well at is newsvine. Today, my most recent post got the largest amount of votes of any religion news story-including the "official" news. I also had the only thread in the history of RRS that was entirely positive. OK, it only had five comments, but that's a better ratio than most.
Nicely put. Also, how did I not know you were on newsvine now? I gotta keep track of this things! hehe
Bravo. Very well written.
Excellent article and well written. And I couldn't agree with you more. But religious fanatics who are too indoctrinated into their religious believes and faiths that their minds are not open to such concepts won't even consider other possibilities.
Very well written. Nice to see you guys here on Newsvine. I've been a fan of the Rational Response Squad, especially Jake, for a while now.
I wrote this about why I don't believe in fairies. That's why the title of your article tickled me.
"Atheism is not the destruction of the quest for meaning -it is the necessary starting point for the journey."
That line speaks volumes! Awesome article.
I recently responded to an article from an Australian E-zine, OnLine Opinion, in the "Humans Don't Need..." post. I submitted it and it was posted here.
The author of the other article has requested an opportunity to respond, so this could get interesting. It has also been one of their most popular posts this week. Some of the positive comments:
I completely agree with Kelly, that atheism is a necessary starting point for the journey for the quest for meaning.
But, just as there are people who believe in a deity who either keep on examining the self and life or who just thoughtlessly do as they are told, so are there atheist who search for meaning or just go through life without much thought to this at all.
Gibo, stop listening so much to a recording of the bible, a politically motivated collection of stories compiled in the age of the Emperor Constatine. And especially, stop listening to other people's interpretations of said multiply translated stories.
If theists indeed believe the bible to be divinely inspired than trust that divinity to reveal its message directly to you, not via another flawed human being. Especially the book of Revelations
Posted by yvonne, Sunday, 3 February 2008 6:18:24 PM
Best article I have read in a long time. Well thought out and places the onus where it belongs, back on our shoulders and not hanging it all on some poor old God who is probably totally fed up with the wallys who can not think past a two thousand year old pile of rotting goat skin.
Well done O'Connor and I will be watching to see if you have anything to say about the age old problem foisted on us by religion...overpopulation.
Beware of men who wear dresses, cloth hats and big dangly blin's!
Posted by Guy V, Monday, 4 February 2008 10:22:41 AM
Aww...they like me!
I was included in two of Secular Student Alliance's newsletters as well. (Don't ask me why they chose the ones that they did...one in particular.SSA 1
I was also included in two editions of the Carnival of the Godless here and here, and will be hosting one here at RRS in April.Tangled Up in Blue
All in all, due to my natural cynicism, I never thought that it would actually do well, and I'm pleasantly surprised to see that some actual news sources find my writing to be suitable for print.
So, some of you keep asking "What can we do?" Here are some of the new bookmarking/social networking sites that I'm on, if you want to join and vote for articles.
Another thing that would help is to click on the little buttons that say "Vote for me" in the blocks on the right sidebar. I would really appreciate it. *bats eyelashes*
Anyway, I'm going to move on to the next project now, but I thought I should give you guys a little update.