Atheist infighting is fun!

CAT FIGHT!!! 

Pop yourself some corn, because this one is going to get nasty.

In this corner, heavyweight atheist badass PZ Myers! And in the blue, dismally disappointing corner, John Loftus.

John Loftus, what a fucking whiny coward. The guy can’t catch a break in the atheist community, and when anyone — and I mean anyone — paints him or his associations in a bad light, he attacks the person as hard as he can instead of taking a long look at the whole picture.

In case you missed it. PZ Myers wrote that he was disappointed by the response from Cathy Cooper about the Colorado shooting published at Debunking Christianity.

Depending on how you want to do it, here’s Cathy’s original writing. Here’s PZ Myers’ response and here’s John Loftus’s lame, horse shit response to PZ Myers.

In a nutshell, Cathy Cooper wrote that being raised Presbyterian encouraged the Colorado shooter to violence. PZ Myers equated the response to just as ridiculous as any of the myriad of foul Christian responses we’ve all read and I’ve posted some here.

And then John Loftus, in near-cliché Loftus style, retaliated blaming PZ Myers for being “divisive, uncaring, and a power hungry greedy person.”

Loftus claims that Myers rakes in over $3000 a month with his Freethought Blog. Can anyone verify this?

I’m not going to completely side with PZ Myers. There are often times when I think he over-indulges on pushing an issue. That’s to say, when I read something as mediocre or somewhat boring, PZ tends to sensationalize information more.

When I write, I catch myself breaking into the sensational voice, and I try to back it up. Although I’m not always successful.

If you aren’t aware, John Loftus is the absurdly poor debater who blamed everyone else for his failure to even make dent in any argument by Dinesh D’Souza back in 2010. When the atheist community let him know, he was dumbfounded and blamed us for misunderstanding his lofty awesomeness. Read here. And more recently, he was hired by and then left hastily from Freethought Blogs, because he edited or deleted comments from those who criticized him (surprise!) and when called out, Loftus turns into a bumbling fool.

Who cares what PZ Myers thinks of John Loftus? I wouldn’t have cared, if it weren’t for Loftus’ response.

Loftus has the distinct talent of taking a situation and responding like a five-year old. Temper Tantrums and all.

How he has a readership is beyond me. But you could say the same thing about this blog.

PZ Myers is divisive. And so what if he likes drawing gigantic paychecks off his success in the atheist community?

If I could find a way to do it, hells bells I would.

I’m hoping for a PZ response today. How fun would that be!

PZ Myers sings a blues hit

@pzmyers

“You have to have moral values.” I agree. I truly wish Bubba Carpenter had some.

It’s not just coathangers. Poor women will also use clorox, turpentine, quinine, misoprostol, and back-alley butchers. They’ll bleed out, they’ll have perforated bowels, they’ll suffer unbearable agony, they’ll die. These are “moral values” at work. And note that he even acknowledges the other inequity: if they’re wealthy enough to go out of state (read: Republican), they won’t have to worry about the coathanger. This is open warfare on both women and the poor.

PZ Myers, in response to this jag off.

More here.

I’m an attacker! In other news, we’re getting AT&T U-verse

Over at this thread, we’ve been talking about PZ Myers’ Why I am an atheist series. Well, it’s a bit off topic right now.

A guy named Nelson Rose jumped into the conversation, said he was a friend of Julie Ferwerda’s, and posted two links to his blog, citing that he wanted to get my contemplative juices flowing.

I like Julie. So I went and gave the guy a read. The first one I read was, “What is the True Nature of God.” Nelson writes:

The human body is essentially a microcosm of the universe and the brain a mini version of the Divine. I realize this borders on heresy to some of you, but bear with me here. The Divine is in complete control of all creation, much like the mind is in complete control of the body right? Then why did you let yourself stub your toe the other day? Why did you say such a harsh thing that you later claim you really didn’t mean? Why did you cheat? Why do you allow yourself to get a paper cut? Why is your hair not cooperating with your comb? Why do you have to brush your teeth to prevent decay? These things happened and you didn’t want them to. I thought the brain controlled everything.

You can read the whole thing at the link above.

I read his writing to insinuate that the divine has a mind. And just like bad things happen to you despite having a brain, bad things happen in the universe despite having a divine creator who is in charge of it all.

I responded and wrote:

The universe doesn’t have a mind. And while I may stub my toe, my brain is really good at helping me avoid it when possible. I can learn to avoid certain evils, if you will. And the universe god can’t?

I have a hard time agreeing that the universe, should it have a brain, and its brain is named “God”, that it would allow itself to stub its two [sic] on child slavery if it didn’t need to.

The sense I was trying to convey was that if the divine is so stupid that it stubs its toes over and over, than it’s not using its noggin. If the divine is incapable of stopping child slavery or hunger as it happens over and over, surely that divine ain’t divine … if you know what I mean.

Did I attack Nelson? Did I throw insults at him? I don’t see any. But apparently my view of the universe is an illusion (see below). So I don’t know what’s what.

Then I read Nelson’s other link titled, “The Illusion of Atheism.” Nelson’s premise is that atheism is a mere illusion because three Hebrew words found in the Pentateuch translate to “I shall be what I shall be” or “I am what I am.” Nelson blabbers on and on about how the earth used to be flat, and now — thanks to science — we have the truth. He blames mankind’s limited understanding for failing to truly understand the miracle that is the divine. He draws the conclusion that understanding through science have not rendered that genocidal monstrosity found in the “Old” Testament obsolete.

He identifies that there is a source to the universe, and makes the grand conclusion that “Atheism advocates the absence of an orginal source or intelligent design.  If there is no source – then universe is an illusion.”

Ta-dah! Atheism Smatheism! Done and done. Clap hands like cleaning erasers and pass me a cocktail.

He ended his blog with copyright information.

You’re so illuded!

Just to make sure I wasn’t crazy, I looked up illusion. Apparently I have been deceived. This universe isn’t around me. My deity is science, and for me to say I’m an atheist means I’ve been deceived.

To which I wrote:

Call me illusioned or deluded. I don’t need the title “atheist.” I agree with those who don’t think there’s good enough reason for god. Call me what you want. Deluded. Wrong.

Just because the bible says: אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה‎, doesn’t make god exist.

Or maybe he does.

Say you could introduce me to god, let me shake his hand and talk to him, I still wouldn’t worship him. You could let me finger the wounds of Christ, but I wouldn’t suddenly change mind and start thinking he was the greatest man to ever live.

I’m not impressed, Nelson. That’s the short and thick of it.

I’m guessing Nelson thought I was referring to his writing when I said, “I’m not impressed.” I was referring to god.

But if I were pressed, I would say that Nelson’s copyrighted material is hardly impressive.

You can read the exchange. He says “Whoa, nelly! You misunderstood what I wrote!” And I was like, “If I misunderstood it, I’m sorry. But I was responding to what I read.”

And then he comes back and writes:

Don’t really care what you think or believe. The irony is you attack people for attacking your views and then attack people for having different views then you do. You attack people for misunderstanding you and then attack people when you don’t understand them.

I responded to what he wrote and that’s an attack?

What kind of thin skin does Nelson have? If he showed me his brand new car, and said he loved it. And I said, “I had a car like that, but the radio broke on it, and the transmission needed replacing within a year of purchase,” Nelson would see that as an attack?

If I interpret your bad ideas with criticism, don’t take it personally. Gosh, I wish I would have attacked him. It would have felt like he criticized me for what I did, instead of what I didn’t do.

Nelson trolled his way onto this blog thinking I was going to give him a congratulatory handjob for coloring inside the lines writing and publishing his thoughts on a blog.

By the way, I’m getting AT&T Uverse this weekend. The upgrade “saved” me about $15 a month in internet, and supposedly I’m going to get a jump in download speed. That way I can read Nelson’s copyrighted material faster.

Don’t forget, you’re just an illusion of my imagination … so you don’t exist.

Or something like that.

Love and kisses, Nelson Rose. And good luck with blogging. You’re going to need it.

Pharyngula’s Why I am an atheist series

I have mentioned PZ Myers’ Why I am an atheist series before, and thought I would recommend a recent one.

All PZ did was ask for his readership to submit their stories and he posts one a day. He has oodles lined up in a backlog. I try to read through a few a week.

A recent one from Sam Salerno struck a chord with me. I’m going to post it in full, but the original is here.

 March 9, 2012 at 6:59 am  PZ Myers

AtheismWhen I was a child indoctrinated into the catholic church I said my prayers. I prayed for the starving to be fed. And I prayed for the end of all wars. Realizing that as hard as I prayed, thousands of people were still starving to death and war continued, they weren’t being answered. That or it was a resounding it’s part of gods plan.

This was the beginning of my ascent into the enlightenment. Then there was the hypocrisy of idol worship. I couldn’t understand the priests telling me not to worship idols while they prayed to the various saints. And then the all completely unbelievable; we are the right religion, every other religion is wrong.

Following my catholicism I tried other religions because I was still sold on the god thing. But I soon realized that none of these religions could produce a valid miracle or an answered prayer that wasn’t just as easily answered by praying to a milk carton And of course, god himself could not be produced.

I found myself thanking science for seeing reality as it really is. I have to say the final straw for me was watching Carl Sagans “Cosmos.” Telling the story of the emperor crab opened up a door to a whole new world for me. And from then on it was Atheism for me. No more guilt, no more sin, no more fear of hell.

Sam Salerno
United States

You say anti-Caturday post, I say anti-Intelligent Design post

English: PZ Myers in London. Français : PZ Mye...

PZ Myers has an on-going series called the “Anti-Caturday Post.” He uses it to show that nature has much more interesting specimens than cats.

But yester-Caturday, he used it to show how cats evil. He showed this video of the barbed cat penis just before acknowledging  the existence of Satan:

Male cats have penises with retractable barbed spikes?

I understand that this is the evolved way of cat sex, but holy barbed cocks, that’s some crazy shit.

Could you imagine, the deity of your choice in all his/her/its glory sitting on his throne thinking, “I’ll give all animals different penises, but cats get barbed members. I want female cats to get torn up during sex. It will show my glory!”

Yeah, right.

Via

Atheist Panty Bunch Party: 28-y-o Christian Gelato Store Owner apologizes. Friendly forgives. Pharyngula says fuck off.

You remember the Gelato store owner who posted sign near Skepticon that said atheists weren’t welcome?

His name is Andy.

[insert evil Darth Vader voice] The face of evil now has a first name.

Andy issued an apology. You can read it here. It’s at Friendly Atheist so you can read Hemant’s response as well.

Mehta forgives the guy. He says it’s a classy move and says lets move on.

At the bottom of his post, you can read tweets from PZ Myers that say, no, he’s not forgiven. It’s a not-pology, says PZ.

I heard about the whole debacle through a friend on facebook who says he’s siding with PZ.

I was down with forgiveness until I got to the line that said, “I will give everyone who comes to my store this week 10% off as a token of my apology. Really, what’s more universal than ice cream?”

What? Did this dude figure out that there were more of us than he thought, and now he needs to open his doors to this untapped market?

I guess he is giving a universal 10% off.

What he really needed to do was donate 10% to a secular charity.

That would show his remorse, don’t ya think?

When it’s all said and done, it was a little bigotry from a little store owner.

Doesn’t this store owner know that Gelato is Italian, and the Italians practically invented atheism? I mean, if it weren’t for Italians, atheism wouldn’t be nearly what it is today.

I am not serious.

I say we should start #Occupy Gelato Mio and really show this turd who’s boss. Who’s with me? I’ll meet you down there with my tent and my sleeping bag that resembles vegetables served in school cafeterias.

Image seen here.

Why I’m an atheist

PZ Myers at UofT
Image by hyfen via Flickr

If you’re not following the “Why I’m an atheist” series at Pharygula, you’re missing out. A few weeks ago, PZ Myers made a request for submissions and was overwhelmed with the response. The call was for stories about people’s personal atheist story. Pseudonyms, partial or full names could respond.

He intermittently posts one of the submissions, and they are worth a read. Testimonies are a large part of the Christian culture. They encourage other believers to take a more serious look at their own views.

I can see why this effective and popular on PZ’s site.

Here are three recent ones:

I would like to make one “Master of the Obvious” observation. Lately, it feels like we’re getting some responses from the believers’ camp. It strikes me how absent of criticism these people are toward their own belief system.

This may be revisionist history on my part, but the way I was taught was to look critically at my faith. I was able to point out what other people would find wrong, but somehow be able to justify it.

Lately, it seems like no one is able to view their faith with a critical eye.

I think it hurts the cause.

One thing I have found about atheists, and many Christians in my life, is that it feels like at least they can admit certain weaknesses in their views. Why are the vocal kids on this blog unable to do that?

Atheists need better PR

 

The other day, PZ Myers posted that he’s at the Project 42 Freethought Convention in Fargo, ND September 24, 2011.

I went to the Project 42 web site (screen capped above). I looked at the graphics and I thought, this is the marketing for this event?

PZ Myers is on the splash page? Why? Because he’s the sexy face of free thought? The idea and the image don’t bother me. But take a good look at it.

I can see what they did there with graphics. They gave it a 3D feel. That’s cool right?

But look closer. His hands look like he’s crushing a mouse skull. His hands look mangled. It’s borderline horror film. All his digits aren’t represented and the ones that are there might give me nightmares.

Here’s the church, here’s the steeple. 

And Michael Shermer?

Who shot that photo of Shermer? It looks like he’s professor Gandolf or Dr. Palpatine doing a Jedi mind trick just before electrocuting you with lightning fingers. Did the designer think it looked cool to drop that shadow so far away so it looks like Shermer is holding his hand like the Pope over some child’s head?

And those “Imma badass eyes … believe everything I say.”

Can you say, “Creepy.”

The lighting says, I’m two-faced. I have an enlightened side and a dark side. Would you like to fondle my dark side?

Do we really need to make ourselves out to be silly?

I want to stand behind atheism, but these graphics disturb me. If we stand for bettering the world, we should have better graphics behind us and in front of others.

Surely within our ranks there are photographers and graphic designers who can offer better art than this. I’ve heard of a photographer or two in my day. I know we’re grassroots and splintered in personalities, but this is somewhat dumbfounding.

Atheists need better PR.

Badly.

Thundering Thursday Reading List

I haven’t done a reading list in a while. There’s a few things I have to take care of today that might distract me a little from getting blogs out. So here’s a recommendation list for you.

  • This is a must read/browse: Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta writes about the decline of Christianity (at least on the Internet). He cites a quote from Josh McDowell and from Christian periodical RELEVANT. Both bemoan the Internet as a source of too much information. RELEVANT shows that the largest religious forum is half the size of the largest atheist forum. Read it here.
  • In case you missed Richard Dawkins’ science love letter to Rick Perry, check it here. I saw the article posted at Skeptic Money blog.
  • PZ Myers linked to this one: Paula Kirby hits the right notes in an editorial about evolution saying: “So-called “reality TV” has done the world a grave disservice. I don’t just mean because the vast majority of such programs are mind-numbingly tedious, but because they have given people the idea that reality is something that can be decided by popular vote.”
  • The animals of the Smithsonian predicted the east coast earthquake? That’s what the Smithsonian said. See here.
  • Scientists publish that there are 8.7 million species living on the planet, all of which can thank Noah when the evolve a proper voice box. Read here.
  • A 22-year old woman covers Hendrix’s “Red House.” Sets the stage on fire with great homage. Here.
  • Finally, in case you missed the best church sign ever, see below. Sometimes people don’t think things through. Here’s a link to the church.