Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Religious freedom is all about atheism, and other insane but highly popular secular howlers

No, really.  Apparently, atheists and freethinkers and other super-cool kids need to have their religious freedom protected.  You know, despite the fact they're not religious.  They'll be happy to explain why you and I are nitwits for even asking what religious freedom has to do with it.

"But... but you despise religion.  You regard prayer as a thing for morons.  So you're miffed you weren't included at the Prayer Conference?"  "What a typically clueless theistic statement.  I think I hear the sound of bagpipes.  No, wait--wrong app."

It's possible I can explain the religious-freedom thing--not sure, but I'll try.  You see, seculars, et al. understandably desire to enjoy the same rights and advantages as do folks of faith--for ex., the right to marry, drive a car, get a job, buy beer, become a citizen, wed, vote, start nonprofits, speak on television, write best-sellers, and so forth.  That is to say, they seek equal religious rights, in an illiterate manner of speaking.  Similarly, feminists seek the same rights men enjoy.  But nobody (to my knowledge, at least) refers to feminism as a men's rights movement.  So....

Anyway, these folks get brain-dazed whenever they try to manage two or more ideas at once, so I suppose we should cut them some slack.  Sure, it's a religious freedom thing.  Whatever.  And the women's movement is all about men's rights.

Prostate cancer is a women's issue.  We could go on.

Very recently (so recently, it's still in the cyber-news), stand-up atheist Ricky Gervais had a scripted "debate" with the host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. and it was the usual atheism-is-not-a-belief-system stuff, because not believing something apparently has nothing to do with belief.  You see, while believing is a question of belief, not believing isn't.  How the hell is that possible, you ask?  I can see you never took no courses in logic.

 ("I didn't vote--I stayed home."  "Fine.  You helped Trump win."  "How?  I not-voted.  Not-voting has nothing to do with voting.  I abstained from participating in the election.  So how, in all logic, did I help Trump?"  "Are you a cyber-atheist, by any chance?")

Making a by-now ancient atheist point, Gervais (in a totally unplanned moment, wink, wink) informed Stephen that, "You don't believe in 2,999 gods. and I don't believe in just one more," only he barely managed to get through it.  (No time to rehearse?)  Gervais, you see, doesn't believe in 3,000 gods, and there's that word again: believe.  But atheism is not a belief system, meaning it has nothing to do with belief, and... and....

Every time I step into the alternate reality that is pop-atheist thinking, I'm never sure if I'll get back out.  It's a creepy, queasy sensation, sort of like claustrophobia.

Anyway, staged debates are the only type that deep, deep thinkers like Gervais can (in this case, barely) get through.  I honestly believe that.  Why?  Because staged debates are the only type you ever see atheists doing.  Some guy thinks our planet is two weeks old, and here's the brilliant scientist on hand to say, no, it's at least three weeks old.  Or it's time to play What Theists Think About Atheists, a show in which the atheist gets to sit there and repeat, "No, that's not true."  I'd give these guys four nanoseconds in an actual critical back and forth.

Colbert made a good point about faith--namely, that we non-scientists are placing faith in the findings of science, because accepting expert consensus (on global warming, for instance) makes more sense than rejecting it.  You have to trust someone, and when we opt to trust informed people, we're going with the odds.  Gervais, however, took Colbert's very valid point as a cue to voice the old bit that holy books aren't self-correcting like science texts, which is true but which isn't the issue, but this was a (poorly) staged debate, so what the hay.  Ricky had to stick that in someplace, and the segment was nearing its end.

At least Gervais is a pleasant, very personable person.  If the religion-sucks movement has any sense, it'll enlist him as their head spokesperson, but it doesn't and it probably won't.

Oh, and about the 2,999 gods thing--logic hardly requires that we either believe in all 3,000 gods (where the heck did that figure come from??) or none.  One of the core atheist beliefs--er, contentions--er, convictions--er. positions is that, if you believe in one god, logic says you're required to believe in all of them.  (Luckily, there are apps for that.)  Except that logic says no such thing.  "All gods are the same" is an opinion, not a fact.  Not that pop atheists would ever stoop to treating a point of view as a fact, even though they do this all the time, pretty much.

Lee


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