Damn Right I'm Angry: Part Two
The Jewish Aphilosopher (Yeah - the A was intentional - figure it out)
Conflating Ayn Rand's objectivist philosophy, of which I am not a fan, with atheism before the actual article even begins is just the tip of the iceberg. His depiction of atheists is nothing short of bigoted and disgusting. He's "The Jewish Philosopher"? I can't even find the philosophy under the pile of steaming shit that he excreted onto his site. I'm telling you this up front only because you're going to need those hip-high waders and possibly protection for your monitor before reading further.
He starts off with the claim that we cannot define what we mean by god when we say we don't believe in one. I have yet to see a theist who can give a coherent definition of their god, and they do believe in it. Projection, anybody? He claims that we don't mind the concept of a creator (which we do, mainly because it has no basis in factual data), but that we're terrified by the ever-looming punishment awaiting us from his loving god, and so we just pretend he doesn't exist. Let's turn this around-I propose that it is you doing the pretending. There is not a shred of evidence to support your ridiculous beliefs in some anthropomorphic voyeur with sadistic tendencies, but you are so terrified of the fact that one day you and everyone you love will simply cease to be. So, you just imagine that you're immortal so you don't have face the truth about life-there is no higher purpose other than what you assign to your life; there is no afterlife and you'll never see grandma again; sometimes life just sucks so learn to deal with it.
Atheists are also "invariably highly selfish people" and it's "impossible to find a well-documented case of an atheist who was kind, honest, sober, and sexually responsible." Of course, he also tries to covertly pull out the communism card as well. Where the fuck does this guy get off? What kind of statistical data can you present for your claims, Stein? We are all mean, lying, drunken nymphomaniacs, right? Well, chew on this for a minute-you are a bigoted asshole who can only validate his own beliefs by caricaturing those of others. One would expect more from a descendent of a group that once faced the same kind of prejudiced rhetoric.
He believes that science has disproven atheism with quantum mechanics and the Big Bang. First of all, the only way to disprove atheism is to prove theism. That certainly didn't happen with either of those scientific endeavors. He says that we "apparently don't depend on any evidence." Again, can anybody see how theists tend to project the shortcomings of their belief onto us? We don't need evidence to suspend belief in the supernatural! It is up to you to present the evidence that proves the existence of your imaginary friend! Apparently, Stein is even worse with science than he is with philosophy, and that is impressive.
Stein should familiarize himself with a recent Barna study that I referenced in a previous blog post before he makes the claim that there is a "linkage between pornography and atheism" that is evident in demographic studies and the fact that "The expansion of the Internet has made pornography more widely available and at the same time atheism seems to be becoming more popular." The difference in porn consumption by christians (there are no studies to my knowledge that focus on Jews) is negligible at best. This is another survey on christians and pornography that refutes his point. The only linkage between atheism and pornography is that we don't need to pretend to not have sexual urges, and we don't need to repent after we watch it.
He reiterates his hypothesis about our denial of god in this way:
Many people, especially young males leading secure lives in developed countries, feel no need for the comfort of religion. Furthermore, they are attracted to a very selfish, self-indulgent way of life, an attraction perhaps encouraged by viewing pornography. Therefore, in order to remove any feelings of guilt, they simply deny the existence of any divine judgment or afterlife.
That's not a non sequitor or anything. (/sarcasm) The excoriation continues with the piece de resistance-my favorite quote in the whole article. I'll let you savor it.
Atheism is not a philosophy; it is a symptom of narcissism and hedonism. Calling atheism a religion is like calling alcoholism a religion. It's a bad choice, a moral failing, perhaps a disease.
Now, for all of the criticism that we take for making the claim that theism should be considered a mental disorder, at least in some cases, we make the exception for the average person with the disclaimer that belief in god is still delusional, it just may not be causing that person any hardship at the present time. Here, we have a blanket statement on the moral character of every atheist. Not only does he clearly have no evidence to support his claim, but his false analogy is fallacious nonsense. Not to mention ignorant, asinine, and absolutely disgusting. If his assertion is true, why are less atheists in prison than our population would warrant? Why are atheistic societies healthier and have less violence and crime? When was the last time you saw an atheist suicide bomber, Stein?
His bigoted moronicism leads him to the conclusion that we deny reality, science confirms religion, and for the icing on the cake-atheism is akin to an addiction. If this is the product of "loving homes of an Orthodox Jewish community," I'll pass. The "brutal violence going on in secular neighborhoods" is an assertion unsupported by any factual evidence and apparently just pulled out of his ass along with the rest of this post. Have you ever been to Israel, Stein? I hear it's really peaceful there.
I try to limit my responses to more intellectual criticism and avoid this type of argument. Even D'Souza has never elicited a response like this one, but these two men are the personification of ignorant bigotry. Their vitriolic rhetoric exemplifies the stigma that atheists in this society still face, but ultimately, it says much more about their character than it does ours. And yet, they wonder why we seem angry.
Everybody's monitors ok?
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This piece is part of a year long series (ends Oct 31, 2008) that Kelly of the Rational Response Squad will be writing to address theist talking heads in the media. Kelly is a Psychology major, co-host of the RRS Radio show, and has been featured on ABC debating Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. All articles may be reprinted in any major media publication or any blog. All articles will be submitted by Kelly or an assistant to the major media outlet that initially published the story as well as to the author of the original piece(when possible). Reprints are encouraged in blogs and must link to source. Reprints in media will be thanked in our book, so please alert us if you repost any story. Media outlets may shorten articles if necessary without removing context. Upon completion, a book and documentary will be made about the year (ending Oct. 31, 2008) and our plight to have dishonest argumentation countered with rational and factual answers in the press. If you would like Kelly to address any major media story from a theist talking head, please post a link to the article in her blog. We welcome messages from leading atheists asking us to refute stories attacking them and their views. At the end of the year the writings will be given some bulk, some supporting citations, and edits from a publisher to be compiled in a book. The book will include a documentary DVD shot from Sapient's vantage point as he works alongside Kelly, asking her questions about the project as it moves along.