Comments from the Pedophile Gallery

All over the world, people regularly enter small, dark booths and spew their sins through a hole in the wall right in the face of the guy on the other side.  We call these people “Catholics” and we call the booths “confessionals.”

You thought I meant something else, didn’t you?  You were thinking of those other dark booths with a hole in the wall, in which people masturbate to porn movies and splatter millions of little potential Christine O’Donnell supporters all over the place.  Those booths can be found in the rear sections of adult book stores, and Catholics call the people who enter them “sinners.”  All of those Catholics — people who attend Catholic churches, send their children to Catholic schools and give financial support to those churches and schools — are not only actively funding the systematic rape of children and the protection of child rapists, many of them are also offering up their own children to these rapists.  But the people who go into those porn booths are the real sinners, right?  They’re the problem.

Yeah.  Right.  Pull the other one — it plays “Jesus Loves Me.”

The pope — the CEO of this conglomerate of child-fuckers and their protectors, enablers and financial supporters — is making a personal appearance in Britain as I write this.  Tens of thousands of people are gathering to catch his stand-up act.  He has wasted no time in getting to the point.  From the Guardian:

Benedict XVI used the first papal state visit to Britain to launch a blistering attack on “atheist extremism” and “aggressive secularism”, and to rue the damage that “the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life” had done in the last century.

The leader of the Roman Catholic church concluded a speech, made before the Queen and assembled dignitaries at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, with the argument that the Nazi desire to eradicate God had led to the Holocaust and a plea for 21st-century Britain to respect its Christian foundations.

Atheist extremism?  Did I miss a news story about atheists flying planes into buildings?  Have atheists been showing up at funerals with signs reading “The Universe hates god-botherers?”  Have atheists been calling for the imprisonment and execution of Christians — as Christians have been calling for the imprisonment and execution of homosexuals?  I think I would have noticed those news stories — I’ve been busy lately, but I haven’t been that busy.

From the Guardian:

“Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society,” he said. “In this challenging enterprise, may it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism no longer value or even tolerate.

“Let it not obscure the Christian foundation that underpins its freedoms; and may that patrimony, which has always served the nation well, constantly inform the example your government and people set before the two billion members of the Commonwealth and the great family of English-speaking nations throughout the world.”

The pontiff’s speech set the wide-ranging tone for his four-day visit: despite attacking atheism, he paid tribute to the UK’s historic achievements and offered “a hand of friendship” to all its people.

Well, all its people, that is, except the atheists.  The Guardian article continues:

Benedict was more explicit in his condemnation of militant atheism, noting that Britain had fought the atheistic evil embodied by Adolf Hitler.

“Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live,” he said.

Let’s get something straight, folks, once and for all: Hitler was NOT an atheist!  An atheist is someone who does not believe in god.  That’s all “atheist” means — a person who is not a theist.  Hitler believed in god and made frequent references to god.  Here are some of those references out of his book Mein Kampf:

“I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.”
– Volume 1, Chapter 2

“Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time.”
– Volume 1, chapter 5

“But if out of smugness, or even cowardice, this battle is not fought to its end, then take a look at the peoples five hundred years from now. I think you will find but few images of God, unless you want to profane the Almighty.”
– Volume 1, Chapter 10

“Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise.”
– Volume 2, Chapter 1

“It may be that today gold has become the exclusive ruler of life, but the time will come when man will again bow down before a higher god.”
– Volume 2, Chapter 2

That Hitler was an atheist and Nazism was an atheistic regime is a lie that has been repeated by Christians so often, it’s hard not to conclude that they’re hoping Joseph Goebbels was right when he said that a lie repeated often enough and long enough will become the truth.

Mein Kampf does not provide the only evidence that Hitler was not an atheist.  So do his speeches.

“To do justice to God and our own conscience, we have turned once more to the German Volk.”
– February 10, 1933, on the need for a revival of morality in Germany

“May divine providence bless us with enough courage and enough determination to perceive within ourselves this holy German space.”
– March 24, 1933

“I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord’s work.”
– Reichstag, 1936

These are not the words of an atheist.  These are the words of someone who believes in god, which is precisely what an atheist isn’t.  Atheists — people who do not believe in god — do not make references to an existing god when they speak, publicly or otherwise.  Nor do atheists pray, as Adolf Hitler did on May 1, 1933 when he gave this prayer:

“We don’t ask the Almighty, ‘Lord, make us free!’  We want to be active, to work, to work together, so that when the hour comes that we appear before the Lord we can say to him:  ‘Lord, you see that we have changed.’  The German people is no longer a people of dishonor and shame, of self-destructiveness and cowardice.  No, Lord, the German people is once more strong in spirit, strong in determination, strong in the willingness to bear every sacrifice.  Lord, now bless our battle and our freedom, and therefore our German people and fatherland.”

Not only was Hitler not an atheist, he was a Christian.  The German Workers’ Party, later the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP), identified itself as a Christian organization:

“We demand freedom for all religious confessions in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or conflict with the customs and moral sentiments of the Germanic race.  The party as such represents the standpoint of a positive Christianity, without owing itself to a particular confession…. “
– Article 20 of the program of the German Workers’ Party

Hitler did not hold back his praise of Christianity, and even referred to it as “the religion of love”:

“The more abstractly correct and hence powerful this idea will be, the more impossible remains its complete fulfillment as long as it continues to depend on human beings. … If this were not so, the founders of religion could not be counted among the greatest men of this earth. … In its workings, even the religion of love is only the weak reflection of the will of its exalted founder; its significance, however, lies in the direction which it attempted to give to a universal human development of culture, ethics, and morality.”
Mein Kampf, Volume 1, Chapter 3

“As long as leadership from above was not lacking, the people fulfilled their duty and obligation overwhelmingly. Whether Protestant pastor or Catholic priest, both together and particularly at the first flare, there really existed in both camps but a single holy German Reich, for whose existence and future each man turned to his own heaven.”
Mein Kampf, Volume 1, Chapter 3

Not only was Hitler a Christian who believed in god, he also believed in the devil:

“ … the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.”
Mein Kampf, Volume 1, Chapter 11

Not only was Hitler a Christian, he was a Catholic!

“I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.”
– Adolf Hitler to General Gerhard Engel, 1941

“The Catholic Church should not deceive herself: if National Socialism does not succeed in defeating Bolshevism, then Church and Christianity in Europe too are finished. Bolshevism is the mortal enemy of the Church as much as of Fascism. … Man cannot exist without belief in God. The soldier who for three and four days lies under intense bombardment needs a religious prop.”
– In conversation with Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Bavaria, November 4, 1936

Is that clear enough for everyone?  Hitler believed in god, the devil, and was a Christian and a Catholic.  Don’t ever forget that.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar with an agenda and you should immediately point out their lie and ask them about their agenda.

Before donning the lavish costume of Catholicism’s popemobile-riding superhero, Pope Benedict was mild-mannered German citizen Joseph Ratzinger.  Ratzinger was a boy during the Nazi reign in Germany.  He was conscripted into the Hitler Youth because membership was mandatory, but he claims he did not attend meetings and did not actively participate in the group.  Membership in a group for younger children, the Deutsche Jungvolk, was also mandatory.  Somehow Ratzinger avoided joining that group … but claims he was unable to avoid membership in the Hitler Youth.  Interesting.

In his 1997 book Salt of the Earth, Ratzinger, then a cardinal, wrote that his father “made no opposition” to the Nazis and that resistance “wouldn’t have been possible.”  But in his second autobiography in 1998, Milestones: Memoirs, 1927 – 1977, he claimed his father was a bitter and vocal opponent of the Nazi party.  Which is true?  And if resistance were impossible, then how is it that a family living very close to Ratzinger’s house managed to hide a resistance fighter named Hans Braxenthaler?

Now, able to leap tall monoliths of logic, reason and responsibility in a single bound as the pope, Benedict says that because I do not believe in the existence of his god or the moral authority of his child-raping multinational corporation, I and others like me are no different than the genocidal Nazis he did nothing to resist in his youth.

The Guardian reports that the pope had some comments about the church’s ongoing (and apparently endless) sex scandal:

Using his strongest language to date on his church’s record on clerical sex abuse, he deplored its failure to act swiftly and decisively in the past.  “It is difficult to understand how this perversion of the priestly mission was possible,” he said, adding that the church was “at a moment of penitence, humility and renewed sincerity.”

When has the Catholic church ever been at a moment of “humility?”  In the past, it ruled with an iron fist and declared itself the ultimate authority as it slaughtered anyone it didn’t like.  And to say that it’s at a moment of “renewed sincerity” is to suggest that it has been sincere at some point in the past — a dubious claim at best.  When was the Catholic church being sincere?  When it aided the Nazis?  When it was torturing and killing anyone who disagreed with it or refused to believe in it?

Most appalling is his claim that it’s “difficult to understsand how this perversion of the priestly mission was possible.”  I can tell you how it was possible, Ratzy, ol’ boy — it was possible because there were so many guys like you covering it up for so long!

The Daily Mail reports:

Speaking to a crowd of 70,000 in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park last night, Benedict XVI argued that the “evangelisation of culture is all the more important in our times.”  Hours earlier he had launched an extraordinary salvo against “aggressive secularism” on his arrival in Britain.

The Pope has urged Catholics to speak out in defence of their faith amid a “dictatorship of relativism” which “threatens to obscure the unchanging truth about man’s nature, his destiny and his ultimate good.”

How often did captured Nazis claim after the end of the war that they were “just following orders” when they participated in the obscene crimes of the Nazi regime?  And what does Pope Benedict expect his followers to do?

Just follow orders.

Now this party-hat-wearing, child-rapist-protecting douchebag has the gall to suggest that people who do not believe in his god are comparable to one of the most bloodthirsty dictatorships of the twentieth century — a dictatorship, by the way, that was led by a Catholic.

Wow.  This guy’s got a couple of great big brass balls clanging under that dress of his.  I wonder where he deposits their contents.

About Ray Garton

I am the author of more than 60 books, including the horror novels LIVE GIRLS, CRUCIFAX, LOT LIZARDS and THE LOVELIEST DEAD, and the thrillers SEX AND VIOLENCE IN HOLLYWOOD, MURDER WAS MY ALIBI, TRADE SECRETS, TRAILER PARK NOIR, and my newest thriller, MEDS Please visit my website for more information: http://www.raygartononline.com
This entry was posted in Absurdity, And now for something completely different, Atheism, Blasphemy, Blog against theocracy, Boo-fucking-hoo!, Catholic church, Delusion, for fuck's sake!, Funny, History, marketing to Christians, Mythology, Politics, Pope-Ratzi, Religion, Separation of church and state, Skepticism, Stupidity, Superstition. Bookmark the permalink.

104 Responses to Comments from the Pedophile Gallery

  1. bluelyon says:

    Excellent post. I’m bookmarking it for the next time I get a comment or noxious email from some ignorant-and-proud-of-it fool who refuses to educate his or her self.

  2. hogarm says:

    From John Toland’s book Adolph Hitler Volume 1, 1954, page 325.
    On April 1, 1934 Hitler is quoted, “I believe that today in unison with the Almighty Creator’s intention: by fighting the Jews I do battle for the Lord.”
    On the belt buckle of a German enlisted man, “Gott Mit Uns.” (http://www.nobeliefs.com/mementoes.htm)
    To conflate Nazism with atheism indicates either incredible ignorance or a bald-faced liar.
    Your Holiness, you are probably both.
    Your Holiness, Sir, I am only a militant atheist because of your concerted efforts to use my government to deny my Constitutionally protected liberties. To deny my daughter’s liberty to control her own uterus. My son’s liberty to marry whoever he wants. My liberty to write, ‘Jesus the Christ is nothing more than a mythical character, and anyone who believes otherwise is either uneducated or ignorant.’
    Thank God for our Constitution, a very fragile protection of me from you.

  3. naomi666 says:

    If Hitler was a xian, then so is Pat Robertson!

    However, it takes a true sociopath to stay on point. Especially if there is a net gain. Whether for money or power, anyone can claim to be a pious/devout believer.

    But still, Hitler wasn’t an atheist. His dog aside, he was a sociopath.

  4. Ray, you are a good Horror writer, but you are one brilliant Pundit. One thing you should add to the Cat-licks list of crimes…during WWII the pope did not excommunicate Hitler- but he did damn to hell anyone cremated…which is to say all the Jews who were burned in Hitler’s retorts. Because of this lovely sentiment on the Pope’s part, Hitler ordered the Jewish prisoners to put the bodies of their own people in the flames. It wasn’t until the late 1970′s that the reigning pope decided that people who were cremated wouldn’t go to eternal hell, unless of course they didn’t take those ashes and buy a catholic plot to bury them in. Yea and Verily! …the Second largest worldwide funeral conglomerate made a deal with the American Archdiocese to take over all their cemeteries and to direct their” sheeple” into their corporate mortuaries. This is a major reason why the poor pay more for their death care than the rest. Ain’t religion just grand!

  5. Brooklyn Boy says:

    Well done, Ray!

    There was a piece on the web today, posted by the editor of a catholic publication. In it, he poo-pooed the idea that the Vatican should foot the entire bill for the massive security surrounding his trip to the UK. His point was that pope ratzo was invited by the British government and it would be inappropriate to present him with a bill. Fair enough, but it still begs the question as to why the UK invited this flesh eating, blood drinking, child molesting con man to begin with.

  6. Stardust says:

    Excellent post, Ray. As I said in an earlier private message to Ray, the pope’s spew about atheists is maddening. Pisses me off how these delusional god botherers act so high and mighty when they have so much dirt swept under their own rugs, and some mighty nasty dirty at that! And this whole O’Donnell thing is mind boggling, as well. She is a Palin clone. Like Stepford wives come to the real world. Creepy, disturbing, sickening. (Ray you have a lot of material to write many, many horror novels!)

    I also am going to use this post as a reference to refute any more god believer’s claims about Hitler being an atheist. He was a damn god believer, and believed he was doing things to please his imaginary sky boss. Atheists would never make reference to supernatural, imaginary beings.

    And “atheist extremism”? Where? When? All we see around us is a variety of nutty Christian sects trying to gain control where they can attempt to make us all god believing drones. The Pope and the Child Molester brigade are feeling threatened that their days are numbered, and they aren’t yet being replaced by atheists. Their biggest “threat” is the fundamentalist Christian PROTESTANT extremism who don’t believe that the Catholics are “True Believers”, and the Islamists who think that Christians are all heathens. The atheists should be the least of Catholics’ concerns.

  7. MichaelTAtheist says:

    Well let me just ask one simple question…… Are Atheists involved in the biggest Pedophile scandal in History, NO! It’s the disgusting Catholickass church! Nothing like trying to deflect blame to someone else is there, POOP?

  8. jimmer54 says:

    Ray
    Thank You for postig this. The Popes speech was paragraph after paragraph to the faithful folowed by this eye-poke to us atheists.

    …….”Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny” (Caritas in Veritate, 29).”….

    Followed by paragraph after paragraph Litany to the faithful. the entire speech is here at Richard Dawkins dot net.
    http://richarddawkins.net/articles/518808-pope-s-holyroodhouse-speech-transcript

    And in keeping with the secrecy expressed by the Catholic Church. Ratzinger did two things with that statement. He took away the criticism of the Pedophile scandal and put the ball in the atheist court as if we are the problem. But two and even more dispicable he denied Hitlers standing within the Catholic Church. Hitler never resigned nor was he excommunicted. Therefore he is still Catholic.

  9. Another excellent blog, Ray. You are becoming the Thomas Paine of our age—and one who is desperately needed if lies this whopping big can be uttered with a straight face. It is surreal that everyone with a regard for the truth, including all serious historians in Britain have not spoken up at once, in unison, to condemn this calumny against rational thinkers and humanists. I would like to believe that, in uttering bald-faced lies as enormous as this, the pope is his own worst enemy, but for that to be true, the people listening must first have a regard for facts and, above that, the truth. Has Catholicism, with it’s many learned scholars and historians, sunk so low that none of them will come forward, however painful it might be to them, to call the pope’s remarks the lie that they so obviously are? The pope’s moronic and utterly ahistorical attack on non-believers are one thing; we already know who and what Ratzinger is. But the failure of men of conscience within the Catholic church to protest will, if it continues past an initial allowance for stunned incredulity, become the bigger and more ominous scandal.

  10. I’m 35. I don’t remember a pope having so little influence in the world.

    Isn’t his holy drapery making his religion look more foolish than it already presents itself by its own claims? I wish he would make more visits, at the church’s expense of course. I think it would hasten the decline of the catholic church.

  11. Ignorantbliss says:

    I think Protestants have pretty much recanted their differences with the Catholic Church in order to join forces on common issues and gain in political power. Their goal now is to gain control of the secular government of the US and turn it into a theocracy.

  12. Is that clear enough for everyone? Hitler believed in god, the devil, and was a Christian and a Catholic. Don’t ever forget that. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar with an agenda and you should immediately point out their lie and ask them about their agenda.

    For a self-proclaimed rationalist, you’re being considerably simplistic and failing to think critically on this one. I mean, are you seriously going to just naïvely think that he couldn’t say one thing and think another? That he wouldn’t cynically play on, and exploited the heavily religious public of his region? I mean, politicians would never do that, right? He’s a True Believer[tm] ’cause he says so! Give me a break.
    I agree, it’s wrong to label him an atheist, and the Nazi’s atheists – who knows what he really thought on the matter of God’s existence, there are so many conflicting statements. He also connected atheism with communism, so would naturally shy away from such. It’s not really the point – his regime was certainly anti-Christian:

    From Wikipedia:

    Hitler and other Nazi leaders clearly made use of both Christian symbolism combined with indigenous Germanic pagan imagery mixed with ancient Roman symbolism and emotion in propaganda for the German public and this worried some Protestants.[47] Many Nazi leaders subscribed either to a mixture of then modern scientific theories (especially Social Darwinism),[48] as Hitler himself did,[9] or to mysticism and occultism, which was especially strong in the SS.

    And:

    Nazi party leaders viewed Christianity and National Socialism as competing world views (even though some Christians did not see a conflict) and Hitler planned to eliminate the Christian churches after securing control of his European empire. The churches were permitted some self governing and allowed to remain because Hitler did not want to risk strong opposition until other more pressing issues were dealt with.[55]

    Further, his close associate Martin Bormann wrote:

    When we [National Socialists] speak of belief in God, we do not mean, like the naive Christians and their spiritual exploiters, a man-like being sitting around somewhere in the universe. The force governed by natural law by which all these countless planets move in the universe, we call omnipotence or God. The assertion that this universal force can trouble itself about the destiny of each individual being, every smallest earthly bacillus, can be influenced by so-called prayers or other surprising things, depends upon a requisite dose of naivety or else upon shameless professional self-interest.

    (hmm.. doesn’t some of that language sound rather familiar!)

    Now this party-hat-wearing, child-rapist-protecting douchebag has the gall to suggest that people who do not believe in his god are comparable to one of the most bloodthirsty dictatorships of the twentieth century — a dictatorship, by the way, that was led by a Catholic.

    Wow. This guy’s got a couple of great big brass balls clanging under that dress of his. I wonder where he deposits their contents.

    He might well have wrongly said that the Nazis were atheists, but he certainly didn’t say or imply that atheists are Nazis. He might have made the slippery slope argument that

    the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny”

    but it would be mistaken (if not sensational and hysterical) to interpret that as ‘Atheists are Nazis’.

    The RCC church has some very serious, if not endemic issues to sort out in relation to clerical abuse (and I’m no Catholic or fan of the RCC btw), but to allege that Ratzinger is protecting them is outright slander. After demanding that abuse allegation cases no longer be handled by bishops but come to his (former) office, in around 80% of cases he forewent clerical trials and simply “defrocked” the accused and handed the case over to civil authorities. Upon becoming Pope he removed a notorious offender who was being protected by the previous Pope. To then imply that Benny himself might also be a child rapists is simply disgusting. I’m no fan of the RCC or the papacy, but slander and emotive arguments that ignore the facts, by self-professing ‘rationalists’ is unacceptable.

  13. Bob Mason says:

    It is nearly impossible to ascertain the true beliefs of anyone with public ambitions, Hitler included (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler's_religious_views). You have done a great job of assembling quotations which, taken together, could comprise a nice little Hitler devotional book.

    I doubt that could be done from the words of Stalin, but it is an obvious fallacy to hold any other atheists responsible for his actions, unless, of course they are or were supportive of those actions. It is legitimate, however, to examine the role of anyone’s beliefs (Atheist, Christian, or any other) in their actions.

    It is kind of funny (and not funny) that I have encountered many Christian apologetics, anxious to grasp the tiniest shred of evidence for the theism of Albert Einstein, but willing to ignore the truckload of evidence for the theism of Adolf Hitler.

  14. Pingback: To Bill Donohue: Atheism is NOT a religion . . . | Atheist Oasis – A Rational Refuge

  15. Stardust says:

    For a self-proclaimed rationalist, you’re being considerably simplistic and failing to think critically on this one. I mean, are you seriously going to just naïvely think that he couldn’t say one thing and think another?

    Then using your rationale, this means that the Pope may not even really be Catholic and may be a secret pedophile himself, and why he harbours child abusers and molesters.

    but to allege that Ratzinger is protecting them is outright slander.

    Not when the allegations are true. The Catholic church indeed protects child molesters. Anyone who is not a priest is locked up for years for their crime, whereas priests are put at a cushy desk job and “counseled”.

  16. Then this means that the Pope may not even really be Catholic and may be a secret pedophile himself, and why he harbours child abusers and molesters.

    There’s a difference between being part of a group / organisation and holding beliefs. It’s entirely possible that the pope doesn’t actually hold Catholic beliefs (in his case I think it unlikely, though he certainly wouldn’t be the first!).

    Do you have evidence that he harbours child abusers and molesters?

    From all I’ve seen, for all his faults, he’s actually the first person inside the church to actually do something about the issue and kick out people previously protected.

  17. The Catholic church indeed protects child molesters. Anyone who is not a priest is locked up for years for their crime, whereas priests are put at a cushy desk job and “counseled”.

    Following the 1960s secular ‘zeitgeist’ regarding rehabilitation over punishment, eh?

    http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2010/09/17/3014875.htm?topic1=home&topic2=

  18. Stardust says:

    Removal and “rehabilitation” only comes after the public finds out about a pedophile priest and it hits the news media.

    Here is just one case of may…there are many, many other similar cases. All you have to do is do a search on the internet to find similar cases.

    http://the-spark.net/np678402.html

    The scandal in the Catholic Church widens, with calls for the resignation of the archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law. Documents just released show that Cardinal Law knowingly sent a pedophile priest, Father Paul Shanley, to new parishes where he would be in contact with children.

    Father Shanley had been the subject of accusations of sexual abuse of boys since at least 1967. Yet Cardinal Law and other church officials kept him in positions where he was in regular contact with children. In 1990, they sent Shanley to California, recommending him as a priest who had “no problems that would be a concern to your diocese,” despite his long history.

    As late as 1990, a bishop wrote that if Shanley “came back [from California to Boston], I don’t know what we could do with him.” Not only did the leaders of the church know the man had a problem, they chose to do nothing about it, allowing him contact with youngsters until 1995.

    If this case is too well documented for the church to shove under the rug any longer, there have been many other cases of priests molesting boys that it is still trying to keep hidden – including by paying money in exchange for the victim’s agreement not to reveal anything. Everything was kept secret while church officials moved such priests from state to state, from parish to parish, perhaps sending them for treatment, but not preventing them from having contact with children.

    What the Catholic leaders say in their defense is that the vast majority of priests do not molest children. That is undoubtedly true. Yet, in order to protect the church’s absolute authority, the Catholic hierarchy has been willing to let more children become victims.

    This Catholic Church hierarchy, which sets itself up as a moral authority, is arrogant enough to use their pulpits, their money and their political weight to impose their views on abortion, birth control and other reproductive issues upon all of society.

    Perhaps this misogynist hierarchy should be looking to clean up the moral cesspool in its own house.

    The Pope is the head of his “corporation” and therefore must bear the responsibility of what is taking place in his “business”.

  19. KA says:

    I mean, are you seriously going to just naïvely think that he couldn’t say one thing and think another?

    I’m going w/Andrew on this: the world (& history) is chock full of people who say 1 thing & think another.
    I think that Herr Garton is using his rage to fuel his polemics, a tactic I use on occasion, so I can’t fault him for it.
    I’m also guessing he was following this discussion, which likely prompted this post.

  20. The Pope is the head of his “corporation” and therefore must bear the responsibility of what is taking place in his “business”.

    Putting aside false analogies of corporations – I don’t see how this case implicates the current Pope. Rather, it is the kind of thing that spurred him on, as a Cardinal, to demand that all such cases come to his desk rather than be dealt with by local bishops like that. It’s quite misled to suggest that the current pope is guilty of such a cover-up. It’s further misled to try and get the scalp of a guy who has been working to reverse this kind of thing.

    It is simply false that Ratzinger himself presided over all cases of clerical abuse. Prior to 2001, when John Paul II issued the papal directive Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela (at Ratzinger’s urging) requiring all incidents of molestation to be reported to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and to the civil authorities, all such cases had been handled by the bishops.

    Once confronted by the extent of what he came to describe as the “filth” that had infiltrated the Church in 2001, Ratzinger was swift and unrelenting in his prosecution and punishment of offenders. In over eighty percent of the cases he dealt with, Ratzinger forwent the lengthy canonical trials and simply removed deviants from the priesthood and were referred to the civil authorities.

    Ratzinger’s determination to deal with the epidemic of sexual abuse that had arisen brought him into direct conflict with the powerful Cardinal Angelo Sodano (Dean of the College of Cardinals) and John Paul II in the final years of his pontificate.
    http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2010/09/17/3014875.htm?topic1=home&topic2=

  21. Stardust says:

    The John Jay report identified the following factors as contributing to the sexual abuse problem:[19]

    1. Failure by the hierarchy to grasp the seriousness of the problem
    2. Overemphasis on the need to avoid a scandal
    3. Use of unqualified treatment centers
    4. Misguided willingness to forgive
    5. Insufficient accountability

  22. KA says:

    The accusation of Hitler being an atheist (snorts thru nose) is an old claim (in terms of the internet). I’ve had multiple conversations about this nonsense, pointing out time after time after time after time that Mein Kampf is chock full of religious language, speeches, etc. The common response is to bring up Table Talk, which claims that secretly AH hated all religion.
    The entire ‘argument’ is about playing the blame game. Faitheists want a guilt-by-association for atheists, so they can point fingers & holler ‘Nyah-Nyah! You guys ain’t so squeaky clean!’ As if the rules that apply to religion apply to non-religion.

  23. Stardust says:

    I’m going w/Andrew on this: the world (& history) is chock full of people who say 1 thing & think another.

    True, the Pope himself could be a closet atheist and using religion and his position in it for his own power and glory.

    The accusation of Hitler being an atheist (snorts thru nose) is an old claim (in terms of the internet). I’ve had multiple conversations about this nonsense, pointing out time after time after time after time that Mein Kampf is chock full of religious language, speeches, etc.

    When people try to make the claim that Hitler was an atheist, it’s similar to what the fundie Christians judging other believers as not being “True Christians”. The Phelps family firmly believes they are doing the hateful work their god tells them to do, and even believes that their god wants them to hate others for simply their sexual orientation. Many nutjobs have firmly believed they were doing the will of their god, and probably Hitler believed he was following the orders of his personal sky boss.

  24. Faitheists want a guilt-by-association for atheists, so they can point fingers & holler ‘Nyah-Nyah! You guys ain’t so squeaky clean!’ As if the rules that apply to religion apply to non-religion.

    I think there’s a legitimate case for looking at the results of ideologies and world-views in history.

    The John Jay report identified the following factors as contributing to the sexual abuse problem:[19]

    1. Failure by the hierarchy to grasp the seriousness of the problem
    2. Overemphasis on the need to avoid a scandal
    3. Use of unqualified treatment centers
    4. Misguided willingness to forgive
    5. Insufficient accountability

    Absolutely. Point is that Ratzinger seemed to have grasped this a while back too, and is trying to turn that ship around. Calling for his scalp might be a nice symbolic win, but ultimately it’s bad move for actual progress.

  25. How astonishing that the hateful remarks of Ratzinger against people who simply believe in one less god than he does should bring forth such tortured attempts to obscure the nastiness of what he said. What a waste of intellect. In the first place, atheism is no more a philosophy than not collecting stamps is a hobby. Even so, in America, rational thinkers and secular humanists, from whose ranks have come such productive geniuses as Thomas Edison and such noble statesmen as Abraham Lincoln, are nevertheless despised and feared as a group. The last thing we need is the leader of a large religious organization inciting more hatred and fear of us with a gratuitous attack that tries to make of history something it was not. Those on this blog who defend or niggle at the edges of what Ratzinger said to obscure the thrust of it are, in my opinion, missing the point about the egregious and uncalled for attack he launched against secular humanists, lumping us all together and implying a kinship between us and Hitler. That was the point of his remarks. Arguing about whether Hitler was a standard Christian (whatever that might be) or an opportunistic one seems rather pointless when it is clear that, in any case, he had little or nothing in common with any humanistic values then or today. That fact alone gives the lie to Ratzinger’s attack. Speculating about what motivated the writer of this blog is likewise a distraction, an exercise in armchair psychology utterly divorced from reality for anyone who does not know Ray Garton personally.

  26. In the first place, atheism is no more a philosophy than not collecting stamps is a hobby.

    Yeah, when I see “The Stamp Collecting Delusion” on the best-seller list I might find the analogy to be valid.

  27. Steven Spruil – that is to say that when we talk of ‘atheism’ in such a context as here, it is somewhat of a short hand for a whole bunch of other philosophical ideologies like naturalism which tend to come along for the ride.

  28. Stardust says:

    Yeah, when I see “The Stamp Collecting Delusion” on the best-seller list I might find the analogy to be valid.

    A = without
    theism= belief in gods/goddesses

    we hold no god beliefs. Simple as that.

  29. we hold no god beliefs. Simple as that.

    It depends who you ask whether it’s a ‘weak’ lacking beliefs kind or a ‘strong’ believes no gods exist kind.
    But if yours is ‘simply’ lacking belief, nothing more, you’d never say anything like ‘God is for suckers’ now would you?
    In any case, as I said (and as my tongue-in-cheek quip pointed to) the kind of ‘atheism’ in this context is a broader shorthand for things like secularist and naturalist philosophies – after all, you can’t say God is a delusion simply because you lack belief in any – rather, that’s a positive philosophical statement that there are no gods (naturalism) behind that. It just won’t do to have your cake and eat it by all of a sudden pretending that you simply lack belief, nothing more, when cornered.

  30. Stardust says:

    It depends who you ask whether it’s a ‘weak’ lacking beliefs kind or a ‘strong’ believes no gods exist kind.
    But if yours is ‘simply’ lacking belief, nothing more, you’d never say anything like ‘God is for suckers’ now would you?

    Weak, strong, whatever. No one is “cornered”. You are simply having a problem accepting that there are those of us who do not need to delude ourselves with imaginary supernatural friends. There is zero evidence for the existence of your god you believe in. None, nada. Nothing happens without human action or inaction. When humans are around to help another individual or group…no god comes. Period. When humans harm other humans, same response from your god. Nothing.

    And yep…God is for suckers. You sucker yourselves into believing that some magical puppet master is pulling your strings.

  31. Weak, strong, whatever.

    Generally, such usage of ‘whatever’ is translated – “you’re right, but I don’t care and I don’t want to admit it”. Hmmm… I wonder.

    You are simply having a problem accepting that there are those of us who do not need to delude ourselves with imaginary supernatural friends.

    Such sleight of hand tricks like begging the question that way might work with the fundies you perhaps regularly debate, but not today. I haven’t a problem with anything here, apart from someone who wants to hide behind one definition and then act in a way which betrays a different one. It’s clear from your posts that you don’t simply ‘lack belief’ – you very obviously have the kind of naturalistic philosophies in question. Indeed, this sentence of yours lets the cat out of the bag – such a statement goes beyond ‘lacking belief in deities’ as it assumes that there in fact aren’t any. What I’m confused about is why someone so passionate as yourself won’t simply own that? Maybe you realise that it’s a philosophical, unprovable position too?

    There is zero evidence for the existence of your god you believe in. None, nada.

    I’m very aware that you find no persuasive evidence or reason for theistic belief – but let’s not commit the fallacy of thinking that this means there isn’t any. In any case, what evidence and reason I might find persuasive for my own theistic belief (and you don’t even know what that is, so how could you even pretend to know?) is really not the point, so I call Red Herring.

    And yep…God is for suckers. You sucker yourselves into believing that some magical puppet master is pulling your strings.

    And here I was, suckered into believing the new title of the blog – thinking that this was an oasis of rational thought – but really, as you so colourfully display here, and as the old title betrays, it’s nothing but strawmanning, agenda driven, religion bashing emotive axioms that you’ve convinced yourself to believe (though you’ll almost certainly deny that). Well… seeing as you aren’t up for reasoned, articulate, rational discussion, especially of views you might happen to disagree with, I’ll leave you to it then.

  32. Stardust says:

    Well… seeing as you aren’t up for reasoned, articulate, rational discussion, especially of views you might happen to disagree with, I’ll leave you to it then.

    Now it is you who is making the typical fundie comment when we disagree with you and ask for proof for your claims of a god. When we don’t subscribe to your beliefs, or will not acknowledge that they “could” be true, and that you “could” be right, then you want to call us close-minded and run away.

    Goodbye then.

  33. Ignorantbliss says:

    Some cult leaders seem to have the same ability Hitler had – although on a much smaller scale – to lead people to do things that are evil or unacceptable. People seem to follow charismatic leaders even though what they say may at first give them pause. Perhaps it’s because they hear the same message over and over again until they believe it. Could this be what caused Germany to engage in evil acts, more so than a lack of belief in God? The people may have been hypnotized on a national basis thanks to a very effective propaganda campaign. That doesn’t take their guilt away or absolve them of responsibility but it might explain a little.

  34. I always marvel at the consistent use of critical thinking on this blog. The posted responses show very thoughtful criticism. It’s like playing a game called “name that fallacy!”

    Andrew has engaged better pundits than I am, but I fear the “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” kind of slant is evolving. Semantics are trying to weaken the grist of very fundamental arguments. Calling a non-belief equal to a belief is specious at best, nonsense when uttered as a defense.

    My arguments are not quite so black/white/left/right. I am not dedicated to teaching or convincing others that god does not exist. My major issue is that it must not be incorporated into government. I don’t’ want the bible used for swearing in, anymore than I would want the Koran or The Origin of Species to take it’s place. I want the constitution to delete any “under god”remarks. I simply want equality and the respect we are forced to show to people who share a belief in an imaginary god.

    The thrust of the Pope’s speech was obviously that he believes that “secularism” will lead to dire consequences. I didn’t take issue so much with this-one would expect the figurehead of the most powerful religious sect on the planet to defend his existence. But when he compared it to Hitler’s Third Reich, he falsely and grievously accused/smeared/linked us “nonbelievers” as potential causes of great and horrendous crimes. Now anyone who does NOT find that offensive and down right threatening is -in my opinion- either not listening accurately or sympathizes with his intentions. Them are Fighting words, Andrew. Do you empathize with His High Holiness or are you simply trying to put words in his mouth to imply he didn’t mean it?

    Don’t attempt to “Jesuit” your way out of this.

  35. MichaelTAtheist says:

    ”Christian thought”…. is a piss poor substitue for intelligence! I doubt that this Poop will ever tire of embarrassing either himself or his religion. Vacation time with Geebus will be his salvation.

  36. KA says:

    I think there’s a legitimate case for looking at the results of ideologies and world-views in history.

    Well, sure there is.
    However, while all communists are atheists, not all atheists are communists. There are objectivists, libertarians, capitalist atheists. You can pick almost any ideology (sans the supernatural), & there’s like 1 or 2 atheists who subscribe to it.

    It just won’t do to have your cake and eat it by all of a sudden pretending that you simply lack belief, nothing more, when cornered.

    Oy, this horseshit again.
    Non belief is NOT THE SAME as belief. It is the polar opposite. Black is white, up is down by your logic.

    I’m very aware that you find no persuasive evidence or reason for theistic belief – but let’s not commit the fallacy of thinking that this means there isn’t any

    Oy gevalt. That’s irrational. That isn’t a fallacy – you either have evidence, or you don’t. Otherwise you haven’t an intellectual leg to stand on.
    Extravagant claim? Bring extravagant evidence.

  37. KA says:

    ”Christian thought”…. is a piss poor substitue for intelligence!

    Lemmee guess – you want to nuke the Vatican too.

  38. Hmm.. one of my replies seems to have vanished into the interwebs! Oh well..

    Calling a non-belief equal to a belief is specious at best, nonsense when uttered as a defense.

    I don’t believe I was calling a non-belief equal to a belief. I made the distinction between weak and strong positions.

    The thrust of the Pope’s speech was obviously that he believes that “secularism” will lead to dire consequences.

    “the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny”” were the words he used. I would suggest he was speaking of a kind of extreme secularism there.

    Now anyone who does NOT find that offensive and down right threatening is -in my opinion- either not listening accurately or sympathizes with his intentions. Them are Fighting words, Andrew. Do you empathize with His High Holiness or are you simply trying to put words in his mouth to imply he didn’t mean it?

    I think you’re being slightly over-sensitive and reading remarks aimed at those with an extreme secularist agenda to be for all who simply ‘lack belief’. He is making a kind of slippery slope argument.. I recognise that much.

    Don’t attempt to “Jesuit” your way out of this.

    Huh?

  39. Well, sure there is.
    However, while all communists are atheists, not all atheists are communists

    Yes, I realise that. The point is that as far as I’m aware, the C20th communist regimes are the only ‘officially atheist’ ones. It would be disingenuous to pretend that it is irrelevant.

    Non belief is NOT THE SAME as belief. It is the polar opposite. Black is white, up is down by your logic.

    You seem to have quite misunderstood me. I am NOT saying they are the same. I am simply recognising that there is both ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ definitions. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong_atheism ). I am arguing that there is a difference between simply lacking belief and claiming no gods exist. The issue was someone going about implicitly claiming no gods exist and then retreating into the ‘weak’ definition. As you say, they are not the same. One needs to pick!

    you either have evidence, or you don’t. Otherwise you haven’t an intellectual leg to stand on.

    But having evidence doesn’t mean you will necessarily convince everyone. sometimes there will be more or less evidence than other times. Do you think divergence of opinion between scholars indicates that there is no evidence? It seems that by your reasoning here, if there was evidence, they’d all just accept it.

    It’s quite a common mistake to proclaim, upon finding insufficiently persuasive evidence, that there is in fact none – but they are simply not the same thing. A court case requires a certain amount of evidence to go to trial – that is no guarantee the prosecution will succeed! This is especially so when it comes to philosophical issues – it is errant to think that evidence will always be persuasive. No doubt you find persuasive evidence to be a philosophical naturalist (ok, I’m assuming you are one) yet I find the evidence and reasons for that to be insufficiently persuasive. No doubt you think the same about the philosophical and historical arguments I find persuasive for my beliefs (I’ve no intention of going there at this point btw – way off topic!). We all have a range of philosophical assumptions that colour the way we see evidence and reasons.

    Extravagant claim? Bring extravagant evidence.

    That’s an extravagant claim – do you have extravagant evidence it is true? ;)
    I don’t buy that old Humean axiom. Claims require persuasive evidence. ‘Extravagent’ or ‘extraordinary’ is a subjective value judgements.

  40. Ray Garton says:

    I’m so busy these days that I barely have time to write the posts I contribute here, so I’m afraid I just don’t have much time to spend in discussion. I’ve taken a quick look at the posts here (I just don’t have time to read everything) and I’ll try to cover this in one post.

    KA wrote: “I think that Herr Garton is using his rage to fuel his polemics, a tactic I use on occasion, so I can’t fault him for it. I’m also guessing he was following this discussion, which likely prompted this post.”

    Until I checked the link you posted, I was not even aware of that particular discussion on that particular blog. I was about to go to bed Thursday night when I saw a report on TV about the pope’s remarks, which infuriated me. Instead of going to bed, I looked up some news articles about it online and wrote the post. I looked up all the Hitler quotes myself. Over the last 27 years, I’ve kind of gotten into the habit of writing things based on my thoughts and ideas rather than things based on the thoughts and discussions of others. I don’t know, I guess I’m just funny that way. It wasn’t until the next day that I saw the list of Hitler quotes being circulated. Is that okay? Do the hows and whys of something I’ve written make it more or less acceptable? Are we now discussing those things along with or instead of the actual content of the post? Is this like the extras on a DVD — behind the scenes on the writing of this post? When I write a post, do I now have to write a second post explaining how and why I wrote the post? And if I do, will you then post comments speculating on how and why I wrote the post about how and why I wrote the post?

    To Andrew and KA, who point out that people are capable of saying one thing and thinking another — that certainly is true. I, however, have not been imbued with any telepathic abilities to determine what people are thinking. I can only go by what people say. When someone tells me he’s a Christian, I accept that. When someone tells me he’s a Christian and then does things that are considered very un-Christian, do you know what that tells me? That he’s a Christian. When you look at the behavior of Christians throughout history, it becomes obvious that there is NO SUCH THING as un-Christian behavior. Christians do all kinds of appallingly horrible things. Does that mean they’re not Christians? No. Of course, other Christians say it means they’re not Christians because they’re protecting their brand and trying to cover their own asses so other people won’t think they belong to a club in which people are allowed to do appallingly horrible things. At this point, the discussion becomes a laughable waste of time. The fact is that many of the appallingly horrible things Christians do are motivated by their Christianity, by their beliefs, and by the defense or propagation of those beliefs — and the Catholic church’s attitudes toward Jews did not exactly CLASH with anything Hitler said about them or did to them. Hitler said he was a Christian and a Catholic. That’s enough for me. Hitler had the support of the Catholic church. Hitler was never excommunicated from the church, which has excommunicated people for acts and behavior FAR less offensive than Hitler’s. I’m not going to waste my time arguing about what he said here or what he said there, or what others said he might have thought, or what he did or didn’t do that proves he was or wasn’t a Christian. Of course, you are free to do that. Have yourself a party.

    The fact that Hitler said he was a Christian and a Catholic does mean one thing very clearly: He was NOT an atheist. He was also in the process of creating what amounted to a new religion. Nazism relied as much on faith and belief in the supernatural as Christianity and stacks of books have been written about the mysticism involved in Nazism. Christians are fond of saying Hitler was anti-Christian (in spite of the fact that he identified himself as a Christian and got plenty of help from Christianity in his endeavors). I say he was ANTI-COMPETITION — as ALL religions are. When religions start comparing cock size, I don’t participate in the competition for the same reason I don’t argue about how many angels might fit on the head of a pin or how many demons you can get into a phonebooth. Religion is religion is religion, whether it’s a religion that worships an invisible all-knowing punisher in the sky or a megalomaniac in a funny uniform who puts his picture on everything in sight. Religions are like different kinds of cancer — some are easier to live with than others and some give you a better survival rate than others, but in the end, they’re all deadly. How much of a Christian Hitler was or whether or not he hated Christianity in particular or religion in general, he was cobbling together a religion of his own, which brings us back to my point — Hitler was NOT an atheist. The Catholic Child-Rapist-Protector-in-Chief identified Nazism as an atheistic regime. It was not. And the other regimes that Christians try to identify as atheistic — Stalin, Mao, you name it — all had the structure and requirements of religions. They were secular theocracies that, like any other kind of theocracy, had to eliminate the competition. Christians love to think that their religion is very spay-shul, that it’s so right, so true, so absolute that evil men come along with the sole purpose of eliminating it. Wrong. Christianity is just another brand in the marketplace of religion, and like any other business, religion is dog-eat-dog. It’s very competitive and the tactics used to stay on top are ruthless.

    Andrew wrote: “Such sleight of hand tricks like begging the question that way might work with the fundies you perhaps regularly debate, but not today.”

    You seem to think you are different than all those fundies, Andrew, that you somehow pose a greater challenge. The only difference is that you have a better grasp of the language than most. Everything else is pretty much the same. You’re here to protect your brand and its reputation. Therefore, you must parse. You must wriggle between the facts and leap over logic. You’re doing the same thing they all do, you just have better grammar, that’s all. That doesn’t make arguing with you any more productive. You’re no different than the rest, so don’t flatter yourself. You are just a well-spoken Christian troll. Have fun.

  41. Therefore, you must parse. You must wriggle between the facts and leap over logic.

    Hey.. if you’re going to make such allegations, at least be specific and show me where.

    I think your repeated conclusion that that “Hitler said he was a Christian and a Catholic. That’s enough for me” is far too simplistic and in fact ignores a great deal of written evidence to the contrary. You seem to have the mistaken idea that simply claiming to be a Christian makes you one? (I can claim to be scottish – I’ve got the red hair! – but that doesn’t make it so) Perhaps that’s another topic for another time… Even though I think careful investigation shows that the Nazis were essentially anti-Christian, I agree, he wasn’t an atheist in the way the Pope implied.

    You are just a well-spoken Christian troll.

    My apologies.. if you’d be kind enough to point out where I’ve done anything to resemble “someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll) I’ll try to desist. I’ve only ever tried to stay on topic. Surely you don’t think disagreement counts as being a troll?

  42. Oh, Ray. You watch us spar with a robotic christian, seeing how we dodge and thrust, swear and curse and work ourselves into exhaustion….and then you just walk over and pull the plug. It makes me laugh!

    But you are right of course. But then, I do enjoy a good workout with these people. He’s no Kung Fu champ, though. He’s more like trying to wrestle a Chi gong practitioner. He just slides away from the thrust and just pushes you farther in the direction he assumes your going. Like wrestling an eel dipped in Vaseline.

  43. jimmer54 says:

    OK andrew you little sissy
    What do you mean by
    Atheistic Naturalism?

  44. Ray Garton says:

    Andrew Finden wrote: “You seem to have the mistaken idea that simply claiming to be a Christian makes you one? (I can claim to be scottish – I’ve got the red hair! – but that doesn’t make it so)”

    You’re comparing ancestry with the religion a person chooses to believe in? And you expect me to take you seriously and waste my precious time arguing over your little delusion? You actually claim you’re not a troll? Look, Andrew, I’m sure there are many places on the internet where that kind of nonsense is accepted as intellectual sparring. This is not one of them. Run along now.

  45. Andrew, just so you know…a person without beliefs is called an agnostic, not an atheist. This blog is called Atheist Oasis – so you can be reasonably assured that we are not confused or not quite clear on the concept. Belief is not the same thing as opinions. Granted, strictly speaking -argument from a a point of lack of evidence makes us agnostics. But knowing, absolutely, there is no super powered immortal being who guides our actions is NOT an agnostic position- it is an atheist position.

    Also – the most specious of all you arrangements; that saying something doesn’t mean you literally mean it. So true with the average Joe. But this is the Pope speaking- the guy proclaims to be the “Voice of God” and thus infallible. Do you seriously want us to believe that he makes this trip to do address the British nations and spoke off the cuff? Made it up as he went along? He was seriously trying to vilify people who do not believe in G.O.D. ( abbreviation for Grand Old Daddy in the Sky).

  46. jimmer54 says:

    Karen
    It is really nice to have you aboard.
    Ray likewise.

    Andrew
    make a statement of fact. Do you or do you not believe?

  47. Tommykey says:

    Regarding regimes such as Stalin’s and Mao’s, one of the things I like to point out is that both Russia and China had centuries (and in China’s case, millennia) of rule by authoritarian, and at times, totalitarian, regimes, such as Ivan the Terrible in Russia and the first Qin emperor in China.

    Furthermore, nearly a century before Mao’s rule, China saw the death of some 20 million of its people in a rebellion led by a man who believed he was the brother of Jesus Christ.

    So yes, shame on the atheistic regimes of Stalin and Mao for the millions who perished under their tyranny. But I believe that the legacy of Russia’s and China’s long history of rule by tyrants played an important part in paving the way for the horrors of the 20th century.

  48. What do you mean by
    Atheistic Naturalism?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysical_naturalism

    make a statement of fact. Do you or do you not believe?

    Believe what?

  49. You’re comparing ancestry with the religion a person chooses to believe in?

    No, I was simply pointing out that claiming to be something does not necessarily make it so. Claiming to be Scottish does make you a true Scotsman (the No True Scotsman fallacy doesn’t exclude real criteria) and likewise claiming to be a Christian doesn’t necessarily make you one (yes I realise the ‘criteria’ are different for citizenship and being a follower of Christ). In any case, my main point was that it’s generally too simplistic and uncritical to just conclude ‘he said it, it must be true’ – not only was a cynical manipulative maniac – he was a politician for crying out loud (tautology, I know), you want to just believe everything a politician says?! (or in this case, selected pieces of what he said / wrote)

    And you expect me to take you seriously and waste my precious time arguing over your little delusion?

    My delusion? This has nothing to do with my beliefs. I thought it was your post I was responding to…

    You actually claim you’re not a troll?

    As I’ve basically stayed on topic, yes, I’m claiming I’m not a troll. You’re not just calling me one because I disagree with you, are you?

    Look, Andrew, I’m sure there are many places on the internet where that kind of nonsense is accepted as intellectual sparring. This is not one of them. Run along now.

    You prefer Ad Hominem and other fallacies? I can do that to if it would make you feel more comfortable? ;P

    Ray, stop being a poseur, pretending that you’re above any kind of disagreement. Being an atheist doesn’t automatically give you the intellectual high ground and make you free from criticism.

  50. Andrew, just so you know…a person without beliefs is called an agnostic, not an atheist. This blog is called Atheist Oasis – so you can be reasonably assured that we are not confused or not quite clear on the concept. Belief is not the same thing as opinions. Granted, strictly speaking -argument from a a point of lack of evidence makes us agnostics. But knowing, absolutely, there is no super powered immortal being who guides our actions is NOT an agnostic position- it is an atheist position.

    Karen – did you read what Stardust wrote? There I was berated for saying that atheism was anything but a lack of belief.. now you berate me for calling that atheism! In fact, you both seem to have missed the point that I was making, which was to distinguish between positive and negative atheism.

    Belief is not the same thing as opinions

    Our opinions are generally based on our beliefs.

    Also – the most specious of all you arrangements; that saying something doesn’t mean you literally mean it. So true with the average Joe. But this is the Pope speaking

    Actually, it was in reference to Hitler – and seeing as he said many contradictory things on the issue, and cynically manipulated people for his own selfish agenda, I’d say there’s good reason to be skeptical about some of his claims. His close associate, Bormann wrote:

    When we [National Socialists] speak of belief in God, we do not mean, like the naive Christians and their spiritual exploiters, a man-like being sitting around somewhere in the universe. The force governed by natural law by which all these countless planets move in the universe, we call omnipotence or God. The assertion that this universal force can trouble itself about the destiny of each individual being, every smallest earthly bacillus, can be influenced by so-called prayers or other surprising things, depends upon a requisite dose of naivety or else upon shameless professional self-interest.

    A number of historians have come to the conclusion that Hitler’s idea of ‘God’ was really the German identitiy, mixed in with a whole bunch of german paganism and Teutonic legends etc. There’s very good historical evidence to suspect that he was not in fact the die-hard believing, practising Catholic he claimed to be. And really.. if he was, so what? Good on him.. it’s just that to say so is rather historically innacurate in my opinion.

    Pope speaking- the guy proclaims to be the “Voice of God” and thus infallible.

    I don’t think he was claiming to speak ex cathedra at Holyrood, was he? Now that would have been pretty funny!

    Do you seriously want us to believe that he makes this trip to do address the British nations and spoke off the cuff? Made it up as he went along?

    No, I never said any such thing.

    He was seriously trying to vilify people who do not believe in G.O.D. ( abbreviation for Grand Old Daddy in the Sky).

    I get the feeling he wasn’t trying vilify anyone, but rather warn of hyper-secularist agendas. Certainly he’s guilty of a strawman, (though somewhat worse than the one you just made… )

  51. MichaelTAtheist says:

    Yeeeeeeeeeees! What a great blessing to the World it would be if the Vatican would be Nuked!

  52. MichaelTAtheist says:

    Of course we’d have to move all of the innocent Italians out of the way first…. And rescue the vast collection of Art that the church has stolen in the last 2,000 years.

  53. What a great blessing to the World it would be if the Vatican would be Nuked!

    Won’t you be in trouble if someone decides to do such violence in the name of atheism – moderates facilitate extremists, remember! ;P

  54. MichaelTAtheist says:

    In Liew of Nuking the place, I suggest kicking the religious fakers out and turning all of their property into homes for the poor

  55. Stardust says:

    I get the feeling he wasn’t trying vilify anyone, but rather warn of hyper-secularist agendas.

    Of course it was to vilify the non-believer! What is that “hyper-secular agenda” he is so afraid of? That the voice of reason will prevail over superstitious belief? More and more atheists are coming out of the closet, no longer afraid to hide and pretend. The religious position themselves as if they are in some sort of “battle” against us. The Catholic church is afraid of losing its power and control as more and more people wake up from their “Sleep” and leave it.

  56. Stardust says:

    Atheist Austin Cline explains strong and weak atheism…there are not different “Denominations” of atheism as many Christians like to believe. Once again…atheism is NOT a religion or a belief system but a lack of one.

    Andrew, please read this link:

    Strong Atheism vs. Weak Atheism
    What’s the Difference?

    Excerpt from Cline’s article:

    Because strong and weak atheism are often called “types” of atheism, some people develop the mistaken idea that these are somehow akin to “denominations” of atheism, not unlike denominations of Christianity. This serves the bolster the myth that atheism is a religion or a belief system. This is unfortunate, in particular because the label of “types” is not entirely accurate; rather, it is simply used due to a lack of better terminology.

    To call them different types is to imply on some level that they are separate — a person is either a strong atheist or a weak atheist. If we look more closely, however, we will note that almost all atheists are both on various levels. The primary indication of that can be seen in that the definition of weak atheism, lacking belief in the existence of any gods, is in fact that basic definition of atheism itself.

    What this means is that all atheists are weak atheists. The difference, then, between weak and strong atheism is not that some people belong to one instead of the other, but rather that some people belong to one in addition to the other. All atheists are weak atheists because all atheists, by definition, lack belief in the existence of gods. Some atheists, however, are also strong atheists because they take the extra step of denying the existence of at least some gods.

  57. Ray Garton says:

    Andrew danced around with this tied to his shoes: “There’s very good historical evidence to suspect that he was not in fact the die-hard believing, practising Catholic he claimed to be. And really.. if he was, so what? Good on him.. it’s just that to say so is rather historically innacurate in my opinion.”

    So, he wasn’t a Catholic. Says you. But if he was, that’s okay. Says you. But he wasn’t. Says you.

    A piece of advice, Andrew. Stick to singing.

  58. Tommykey says:

    Of course, the irony in the Pope’s speech is that it was that awful, godless Soviet Union that played a key role in ending Hitler’s regime.

    A number of historians have come to the conclusion that Hitler’s idea of ‘God’ was really the German identitiy, mixed in with a whole bunch of german paganism and Teutonic legends etc. There’s very good historical evidence to suspect that he was not in fact the die-hard believing, practising Catholic he claimed to be.

    Though I have not read much on the subject, my impression of Hitler’s beliefs tend to jibe with this. That being said, Hitler could not have achieved the awful things he did without lots of accomplices, active or passive. So, in the end, it doesn’t really matter what his religious beliefs were, what matters is why did so many allow it to happen?

    And the West is complicit in this too. No one took in the Jewish refugees on the St. Louis, which sent a clear message to Hitler that the rest of the world did not care what he did to the Jews.

  59. Andrew, I need you to spell out what I think you are trying to imply – that secularism is dangerous. Keeping in mind that the Pope did not say extreme secularism- but just plain old fashion nonbelievers in gods. I think we can agree that virtually every war has found religion a useful tool to whip up emotions and mostly to promote the idea of eternal life (making dying for the cause more palatable). And that those regimes that did not use heaven as bait, instead choose country and patriotism as goads…please define for me how secularism is dangerous. Re-reading all your statements, I think that you are trying to defend this particular idea.

  60. KA says:

    Yes, I realise that. The point is that as far as I’m aware, the C20th communist regimes are the only ‘officially atheist’ ones.

    Well, duh. Seeming to be missing the point here.

    It would be disingenuous to pretend that it is irrelevant.

    So, the lack of belief in the supernatural leads to…what exactly? I’ve firmly renounced using the supernatural as a rationale (re: excuse) whatsoever. I’m a firm capitalist. Life is still precious, still care, still ethical.

    You seem to have quite misunderstood me. I am NOT saying they are the same. I am simply recognising that there is both ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ definitions.

    Okay. Bygones.

    I am arguing that there is a difference between simply lacking belief and claiming no gods exist.

    It’s like arguing about the difference between sun-up & sun-rise. Still part of the day.

    The issue was someone going about implicitly claiming no gods exist and then retreating into the ‘weak’ definition.

    Still using the “I say to-mate-OH, you say to-mah-TO’ argument? Really? That’s so 20th century, dude. I say no gods exist, but hey! I’m open to evidence. Until evidence is presented, I’m running w/my former supposition.

    As you say, they are not the same. One needs to pick!

    No, that’s what you said. I say, call me anything you like, just don’t call me late for dinner.

    But having evidence doesn’t mean you will necessarily convince everyone. sometimes there will be more or less evidence than other times.

    Your point? Do you have any evidence?

    Do you think divergence of opinion between scholars indicates that there is no evidence?

    Depends on the topic. & who do you mean by ‘scholars’?

    It seems that by your reasoning here, if there was evidence, they’d all just accept it.

    I’m not talking about, or for, ‘them’.

    It’s quite a common mistake to proclaim, upon finding insufficiently persuasive evidence, that there is in fact none – but they are simply not the same thing. A court case requires a certain amount of evidence to go to trial – that is no guarantee the prosecution will succeed!

    That’s quite incorrect – sufficient amount of eyewitnesses sans evidence is sufficient, especially if any of the witnesses press charges. Sometimes all it requires is the accusation.

    This is especially so when it comes to philosophical issues – it is errant to think that evidence will always be persuasive.

    That’s some strawman you’re building there. My demand for evidence is my demand.

    No doubt you find persuasive evidence to be a philosophical naturalist (ok, I’m assuming you are one) yet I find the evidence and reasons for that to be insufficiently persuasive.

    I’m methodological, thanks for asking 1st.

    No doubt you think the same about the philosophical and historical arguments I find persuasive for my beliefs (I’ve no intention of going there at this point btw – way off topic!).

    Bring evidence, baby.

    We all have a range of philosophical assumptions that colour the way we see evidence and reasons.

    Problem is, I don’t see religion on a par w/philosophy. Not in the slightest.

    I don’t buy that old Humean axiom. Claims require persuasive evidence.

    Bring any. It usually dissolves under critical scrutiny.

    ‘Extravagent’ or ‘extraordinary’ is a subjective value judgements.

    Okay – find me a miracle that has no scientific explanation whatsoever. Give me operational definitions. Careful documentation. Cold hard facts.
    We’ll gnaw the bones of your ‘philosophy’, & hope that it contains something other than dust.

  61. naomi666 says:

    Andrew, hermeneutical is as hermeneutical does… :wink:

    Off-topic: which character were you in Der Fledermaus — older blond or younger blond?

  62. Captain Al says:

    From Pharyngula, in case you haven’t seen it yet, comes a video of Richard Dawkins’ speech at the Protest the Pope March. It’s great:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/09/as_if_a_penis_were_an_essentia.php

  63. Stardust says:

    Thanks Captain Al. I have been meaning to watch that, and now I need to get around to it.

  64. Andrew, I need you to spell out what I think you are trying to imply – that secularism is dangerous. Keeping in mind that the Pope did not say extreme secularism- but just plain old fashion nonbelievers in gods.

    Strictly speaking he didn’t actually say “Nazis were atheists” but he clearly made that implication, and I think in saying “the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life” he is talking about extreme secularism. It’s not that secularism, per se, is dangerous (just as religion per se is not dangerous,) it’s when extreme agendas lie behind it. I have no problem with secular governments (I certainly do not support the idea of theocracies) but forcing God out of society altogether, and agenda for that, I think is potentially harmful.

    I think we can agree that virtually every war has found religion a useful tool to whip up emotions and mostly to promote the idea of eternal life (making dying for the cause more palatable). And that those regimes that did not use heaven as bait, instead choose country and patriotism as goads…please define for me how secularism is dangerous. Re-reading all your statements, I think that you are trying to defend this particular idea.

    No – I agree that religion has often been exploited, just like patriotism (and that it’s not just religion, but misuse of it and other ideologies, shows that the problem isn’t with those things necessarily, but with misuse of them. It’s people who poison everything!)

  65. So, the lack of belief in the supernatural leads to…what exactly?

    It’s not simply a lack of supernatural belief that is the issue. If that is all, then fine.

    I’ve firmly renounced using the supernatural as a rationale (re: excuse) whatsoever. I’m a firm capitalist. Life is still precious, still care, still ethical.

    Of course. I’ve never said that you must be a theist to be moral or good. (indeed, I don’t quite understand why Christians would even say that you need to, as Christianity teaches that we’re all imbued with a moral conscience…)
    My question would be ‘why?’ – what is your philosohpical underpinning for caring? Why ‘should’ one care? (remembering Hume’s old is-ought problem). Please be clear that is NOT to say that you don’t!

    sufficient amount of eyewitnesses sans evidence is sufficient

    Ok.. this is off-topic, but how many eyewitnesses would you say is sufficient to establish the reliability of a claim?

    That’s some strawman you’re building there. My demand for evidence is my demand.

    Yes, absolutely – that was my point: on issues like this, what one finds persuasive may not be sufficient for someone else.. we all have our assumptions on board which play a part. But if I remember correctly, the issue was about wrongly equating insufficient evidence with no evidence.

    I’m methodological, thanks for asking 1st.

    Is that all? because you also wrote:

    I say no gods exist, but hey! I’m open to evidence. Until evidence is presented, I’m running w/my former supposition.

    which seems rather a philosophical naturalist statement to me! You do seem to see “all “supernatural” things as explainable in purely natural terms”, or is that not the case? Do you not deny the existence of the supernatural?

    Problem is, I don’t see religion on a par w/philosophy. Not in the slightest.

    There are philosophical arguments for the existence of God.

    Okay – find me a miracle that has no scientific explanation whatsoever. Give me operational definitions. Careful documentation. Cold hard facts.
    We’ll gnaw the bones of your ‘philosophy’, & hope that it contains something other than dust.

    Uh.. that wouldn’t really be philosophy anymore, it would be a kind of historical investigation – but even then, our prior philosophical assumptions (like whether the material universe is the total of reality or not) will come into play. That was my point.
    I see no reason to go off on a massive tangent like that right now. I intend to cover some historical arguments in my own blog in the near future – you’re welcome to get stuck into it there when I do.

  66. Stardust says:

    My question would be ‘why?’ – what is your philosohpical underpinning for caring? Why ‘should’ one care? (remembering Hume’s old is-ought problem). Please be clear that is NOT to say that you don’t!

    Andrew, that has been explained to you above by several people. You need to go back and read more carefully instead of obsessing so much on your point that you want to make or the trollish stirring up that you seem to be doing now.

    I see no reason to go off on a massive tangent like that right now.

    Why not? Because you have no evidence? Just a lot of philosophical guessing and word games?

    There are philosophical arguments for the existence of God.

    That’s all you have, too…philosophical and wishes, and each god believer imagines this god in his or her own image.

    I intend to cover some historical arguments in my own blog in the near future

    You will find “historical arguments” for the BELIEF in gods and religions, however, you will not find historical evidence proving the existence for the entities themselves.

    but forcing God out of society altogether, and agenda for that, I think is potentially harmful.

    You have stated that people poison everything. People invented religion, and it is indeed full of poison placed there by human thought of an ancient people who lived in ignorant times (ignorant of science and the world outside of their own little realm). If society needs God belief to be good, and much the people in the world hold some form of god beliefs, why is the world so fucked up in so many ways? It’s already being proven that god belief doesn’t make the world a better place.

    Ok.. this is off-topic, but how many eyewitnesses would you say is sufficient to establish the reliability of a claim?

    Well, a group larger, more reliable than the handful of dope-smoking characters from an ancient mythology book written a long time after the actual event. We can find evidence for dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures and plants, rocks,etc. but ZERO evidence to support any supernatural beings, or even for the existence of Jesus (who was said to be human but turned into a magical supernatural being and floated off to another dimension.) Just THINK about what you belief for a few moments. Really think about it and try to be rational.

    It’s people who poison everything!

    Agree…now you are getting it. People even poison the religions they invent.

    The god of the Bible and Quran is a thug. Human beings who murder, destroy, intimidate, stalk, harass are criminals and sentenced to life in prison or given the death sentence. The god of Abraham is the worst kind of monster deserving of the same punishments if he were real. Those who really believe the Bible and understand it for what it is are the “true believers” like the Phelps family and all those who use their holy texts in support of war, violence, oppression, bigotry, etc. The “nice” fluffy versions of Christianity, and the “peacefulness” of Islam are those softening the versions for themselves and fortunately disregarding the truly disturbing dictates of their religions.

  67. KA says:

    It’s not simply a lack of supernatural belief that is the issue. If that is all, then fine.

    You’ve been told that’s all it is several times.

    My question would be ‘why?’ – what is your philosohpical underpinning for caring? Why ‘should’ one care? (remembering Hume’s old is-ought problem).

    Why do I need to explain it? Being human isn’t enough? Over-analysis usually leads to bunny trails. Look up reciprocal altruism.

    Ok.. this is off-topic, but how many eyewitnesses would you say is sufficient to establish the reliability of a claim?

    Ridiculous. I was illustrating a point. Eyewitnesses are notoriously untrustworthy, unless evidence backs up the claim. The law however, will side w/the 3 guys that jumped the 1 guy who kicked their ass, because it’s 3 words against 1.

    But if I remember correctly, the issue was about wrongly equating insufficient evidence with no evidence.

    Interpretation & content count as well. People are also notorious for skewing these things.

    which seems rather a philosophical naturalist statement to me!

    I think you need to update your terminology.

    You do seem to see “all “supernatural” things as explainable in purely natural terms”, or is that not the case?

    I’m going out on a limb, & say the likelihood is good that most (maybe all) atheists talk that talk.

    Do you not deny the existence of the supernatural?

    I do deny it. Was I not clear?

    There are philosophical arguments for the existence of God.

    Am aware of them. All are pretty much horse hockey. Philosophical analogies aren’t evidential claims.

    Uh.. that wouldn’t really be philosophy anymore, it would be a kind of historical investigation

    Well yes it would be, because all of the magical ‘miracles’ of the bibble seem to have completely halted some 2000 years ago.

    – but even then, our prior philosophical assumptions (like whether the material universe is the total of reality or not) will come into play.

    That’s nice – I still require evidence. Pointing out the obvious will get you nowhere.
    That was my point.

    I intend to cover some historical arguments in my own blog in the near future – you’re welcome to get stuck into it there when I do.

    Unlikely. Historical arguments were how I decided that holy texts were so much bollocks. Been there, done that. Extravagant claims – remember? Extravagant proof was not provided.

  68. @Stardust

    Andrew, that has been explained to you above by several people.

    Sorry, I had not seen that KA had answered that, if so, I apologise. I’m sure you’d agree that I shouldn’t just assume that they would necessarily subscribe to the views of other people commenting. In any case, I don’t see anyone dealing with the ‘is-ought’ problem, actually.

    the trollish stirring up that you seem to be doing now

    Since when was disagreement considered trolling?

    Why not? Because you have no evidence?

    Because it’s considerably off-topic.

    If society needs God belief to be good

    That’s actually not what I said.

    We can find… ZERO evidence … even for the existence of Jesus

    That’s demonstrably false (also off-topic) – unless you’re shifting the goal posts in terms of what constitutes historical evidence?

    Just THINK about what you belief for a few moments. Really think about it and try to be rational.

    Just because I disagree with you does not mean I have not thought about either my beliefs, or the arguments made against them. I hope you’re not going to beg the question and suggest that unless I agree with you I’m being irrational.

    . Those who really believe the Bible and understand it for what it is are the “true believers” like the Phelps family and all those who use their holy texts in support of war, violence, oppression, bigotry, etc. The “nice” fluffy versions of Christianity, and the “peacefulness” of Islam are those softening the versions for themselves and fortunately disregarding the truly disturbing dictates of their religions.

    It always amuses me when anti-theists assume their interpretations of scripture are unquestionably superior (and so often identical to the fundamentalism they have often come out of).

    @KA

    You’ve been told that’s all it is several times.

    I apologise for assuming you shared the views of some of your co-commenters in this area. I shouldn’t have made such assumptions.

    Why do I need to explain it? Being human isn’t enough? Over-analysis usually leads to bunny trails. Look up reciprocal altruism.

    But why is ‘being human’ more special than being any other kind of animal? After all, it was Prof. Dawkins who wrote:

    In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference. As that unhappy poet A.E. Housman put it: `For Nature, heartless, witless Nature Will neither care nor know.’ DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.”

    So how does one get any sense of innate human value in that? It’s all very well to say that humans have inherent worth (and thus, rights), but on what basis do you justify that? Sorry if the question frustrates you, but it’s a valid question that I don’t think can just be ignored.

    I’ve read about reciprocal altruism – but naturalistic explanations as given only get one so far – it doesn’t explain real altruism (the selfless kind that gives to non-kin with no return, at its own cost). Further, I don’t think you’ve managed to get past Hume’s ‘is – ought’ problem I mentioned: You can’t get an ‘ought’(a prescriptive statement) from an ‘is’ (descriptive statement). That means even if you can show that looking out for one another is beneficial, you can’t make the jump to say that one ought to then act in that manner.

    I think you need to update your terminology.

    Why? my current terminology works just fine.

    I’m going out on a limb, & say the likelihood is good that most (maybe all) atheists talk that talk.

    Well, yes… most atheist are philosophical naturalists!

    I do deny it. Was I not clear?

    Well – you seemed to deny being a philosophical naturalist, so yes, you were unclear. But seeing as you do deny the supernatural, I assume you’re not going to get upset again when I refer to your philosophical naturalism (“the philosophical conclusion that the only reality is nature”)?

    Philosophical analogies aren’t evidential claims.

    Philosophical conclusions, if they are ‘valid’ and ‘sound’ are rational.

    Well yes it would be, because all of the magical ‘miracles’ of the bibble seem to have completely halted some 2000 years ago.

    Umm.. no.. investing the historicity of an alleged event 2000 years ago would fall squarely into history’s methodological domain.

    Unlikely. Historical arguments were how I decided that holy texts were so much bollocks. Been there, done that.

    Fair enough. Don’t say I didn’t offer ;).

    Extravagant claims – remember? Extravagant proof was not provided.

    Yes, I remember – I still don’t buy the axiom (and it seems to have evolved into requiring ‘proof’ now, not simply extraordinary evidence.. was that intentional? Or do you understand those words to be synonymous?). Just out of interest, have you read (atheist) John Earman’s “Hume’s Abject Failure” in regards to his argument against miracles which you seem to be invoking?

  69. Findo says:

    @Naomi666

    Andrew, hermeneutical is as hermeneutical does… :wink:

    Don Carson once wrote “There are two kinds of practitioners of hermeneutics: those who admit it and those who don’t.” ;)

    Off-topic: which character were you in Der Fledermaus — older blond or younger blond?

    I take it you’re referring to the videos I posted on my blog? The bearded guy is singing Falke, which is the role I’ll be doing later this year.

  70. Stardust says:

    In any case, I don’t see anyone dealing with the ‘is-ought’ problem, actually.

    You wouldn’t because you are not getting the answers you are looking for. You want someone to say that a great supernatural sky daddy instilled goodness in us, and you are not going to get us to agree with that.

    Several of us have explained the “is-ought” problem…we do what we need to do to get along with each other, to help preserve our society and species. Humans have learned this, some more than others. Others are power hungry and want more, or all. Most of us just want to live our lives in relative peace and to make a living for ourselves and our families. Others can look farther than that and want to make the country, and even the world a better place via their humanitarian efforts. No sky daddy ever comes down and joins in the planning meetings.

    Because it’s considerably off-topic.

    Not off topic, at all. You are trying to make a claim that we get our morals, etc from an imaginary friend. You are unable to provide any evidence for the claim that a god exists, therefore you will just blow it off like the fundies do with “that’s off topic”.

    No one here is denying the supernatural, we are denying the existence of supernatural entities based on lack of evidence. Can’t deny or reject something that doesn’t exist.

  71. Stardust says:

    It always amuses me when anti-theists assume their interpretations of scripture are unquestionably superior (and so often identical to the fundamentalism they have often come out of).

    First of all, I was never a fundamentalist. I belonged to a liberal Presbyterian, raised German Lutheran/Missouri Synod.

    It always amuses me when theists cherry pick their Bible and dance around what it says and invent your own interpretations according to your own desires, what you want it to mean. Your religious book you cherish is full of contradiction and inconsistencies.

    And I see you have not disagreed that the god of the Bible and Quran is an evil blood-thirsty monster who kills and destroys to appease himself.

  72. @Stardust

    You want someone to say that a great supernatural sky daddy instilled goodness in us, and you are not going to get us to agree with that.

    No, I want you to stop making (false) assumptions about what I want.

    Several of us have explained the “is-ought” problem…we do what we need to do to get along with each other, to help preserve our society and species.

    No, you haven’t – you’ve attempted to give a naturalistic basis for altruism, yes, but you haven’t yet overcome the is-ought problem – you’ve actually only done what the ‘is – ought’ problem says is a problem. You’ve taken a descriptive scenario and drawn a prescriptive one from it.

    Not off topic, at all. You are trying to make a claim that we get our morals, etc from an imaginary friend.

    No, I’m not, actually – I’m asking questions, not making claims. (Unless you can point me to where I have done so?) I am questioning naturalistic bases for morality – not the same thing.

    You are unable to provide any evidence for the claim that a god exists, therefore you will just blow it off like the fundies do with “that’s off topic”.

    Seeing as I’ve actually made no such claim here, it is off-topic. I’m not obliged to defend what I haven’t specifically claimed here. Whether I can or cannot provide such evidence is a red herring.

    No one here is denying the supernatural, we are denying the existence of supernatural entities based on lack of evidence. Can’t deny or reject something that doesn’t exist.

    Actually, KA did specifically deny that the supernatural exists. And.. yes, you can deny something that doesn’t exist. I deny that there pots of gold at the end of rainbows.

  73. And I see you have not disagreed that the god of the Bible and Quran is an evil blood-thirsty monster who kills and destroys to appease himself.

    Don’t read too much into my silence on that – I’m simply avoiding another large, stinking red herring that you’ve chosen to pull out.

  74. It always amuses me when theists cherry pick their Bible and dance around what it says and invent your own interpretations according to your own desires, what you want it to mean.

    Well.. clearly you are as familiar with liberal Protestantism as you claim! ;)

  75. Stardust says:

    Well.. clearly you are as familiar with liberal Protestantism as you claim!

    It’s pretty much how all denominations operate. It’s amusing to watch you all debate each others’ “interpretations” and “philosophies” and fight about what certain Bible passages really mean, etc. Funny that you haven’t come to any agreement on that in 2000 years, and your god never comes along to clarify things.

    Don’t read too much into my silence on that – I’m simply avoiding another large, stinking red herring that you’ve chosen to pull out.

    It’s all encompassed in the same topic.

    yes, but you haven’t yet overcome the is-ought problem

    I don’t see the “problem” that we need to overcome.

  76. naomi666 says:

    Oh, my sweet Mother of Pearl! You guys have mincemeat knee-deep in here! What were you thinking???

    Andrew, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself why you are wasting your time and your considerable intellect on what is clearly an obsession, on your part.

    We did not come to you — you came to us. Why? What did you hope to accomplish? You are too smart to think you could bring us back to xianity. So I wonder what emotions you have vested in this endeavor and think you may be strengthening your flagging faith. That’s a very common thing here; we must be perceived as the whetstone to xian’s dulling faith.

    Or perhaps you are trying to save Religion from dying out altogether. You’ve acknowledged many of its failures, shortcomings and crimes while still defending a BronzeAge mythology. Seriously, most school children today have a better education than the authors did!

    So what is this really about?

    We’re at Day Three, Andrew. How much longer will you need play David to our unasked-for Goliath?

    I can’t speak for anyone else but, frankly, I’m bored. (And don’t tell me not to read these comments — I’m a Moderator for Atheist Oasis…)

  77. Ray Garton says:

    I’ve been through countless wastes of time like this. Christians have very big BUTs and they always inject them into conversations like this. They’ll agree with you on something, some trivial little thing, to lull you into thinking that this is a person whose intellect is fully engaged, a person who can see the faults of his organized superstition. Then, that mild and TOTALLY FALSE agreement is followed by the big Christian BUT, which then takes the conversation back to whatever nonsense the obsessive Christian is trying to convince you is true by beating it over and over and over.

    It’s a mistake, Naomi, to think that Andrew is too smart to think he can convert people here. It really doesn’t matter how smart a believer is in real-world areas, when it comes to their religion, all bets are off. I used to know an engineer, a BRILLIANT guy, his smarts always bowled me over — but he wouldn’t put any food into his mouth until he’d spoken some Christian incantation over it.

    This is nothing more than desperate, white-knuckle proselytizing, which I thought wasn’t allowed here. It’s really kind of embarrassing.

  78. Stardust says:

    Every time we engage a god believer who comes a-knocking on our door, and give him or her the benefit of the doubt that all he or she wants is intelligent discussion, it always snowballs into this sort of mess.

  79. Ray Garton says:

    Always. If they had any idea how predictable and repetitious they are, they would be terribly embarrassed. But of course, they don’t.

  80. KA says:

    I apologise for assuming you shared the views of some of your co-commenters in this area. I shouldn’t have made such assumptions.

    I think it’s been pointed out prior, we all don’t think alike.

    But why is ‘being human’ more special than being any other kind of animal? After all, it was Prof. Dawkins who wrote:

    Oh, nononononono – I’m human, I’m a speciesist, that’s all I really need.
    You’ll need to explain to me why the supernatural lends extra intrinsic value.
    I also don’t agree w/Dawkins’ stance on Singer’s utilitarianism, so that’s a dead-end. We don’t all agree w/1 another.

    So how does one get any sense of innate human value in that? It’s all very well to say that humans have inherent worth (and thus, rights), but on what basis do you justify that? Sorry if the question frustrates you, but it’s a valid question that I don’t think can just be ignored.

    This is beginning to sound like that Lewisian nonsense again. First, we need to define the premises, agree to definitions, agree on values, value weights, & what constitutes a moral imperative. Then we’d have to agree on what constitutes ‘valueless’.
    Plus, stop assuming I’m taking things personally. Just because your arguments are stilted, is no reflection on you as a person.

    I’ve read about reciprocal altruism – but naturalistic explanations as given only get one so far – it doesn’t explain real altruism (the selfless kind that gives to non-kin with no return, at its own cost).

    I call shenanigans. There is no such critter as an entirely 100% selfless act.

    Further, I don’t think you’ve managed to get past Hume’s ‘is – ought’ problem I mentioned: You can’t get an ‘ought’(a prescriptive statement) from an ‘is’ (descriptive statement).

    Here, go chase your tail:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_ethicist

    That means even if you can show that looking out for one another is beneficial, you can’t make the jump to say that one ought to then act in that manner.

    Yes you can. How ridiculous.

    Why? my current terminology works just fine.

    Well, you mistook me for 1 -ism instead of my -ism.

    Well, yes… most atheist are philosophical naturalists!

    Oh, great – another labeler. Oh joy. Here, knock yourself out:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_%28philosophy%29

    Well – you seemed to deny being a philosophical naturalist, so yes, you were unclear.

    I’m a scientific/methodological naturalist, again, get it straight.

    But seeing as you do deny the supernatural, I assume you’re not going to get upset again when I refer to your philosophical naturalism (“the philosophical conclusion that the only reality is nature”)?

    Oh sheesh. You’re joking, right? So every thought that even leans towards an ontological basis is a philosophical thought?

    Philosophical conclusions, if they are ‘valid’ and ‘sound’ are rational.

    Here, let me illustrate:
    the common ‘wisdom’ is that winter is cold & flu season. People reason that it’s because the cold has some impact on the immune system (don’t go out w/wet hair, catch a chill, etc.) Logical as that is, it’s wrong. Winter is cold, which means we stay indoors together more, allowing bacteria/germs to mutate & colds & flus to be caught.
    Also, coffee cools people off, not warms them up.
    Logical doesn’t mean it’s right. So, again: evidence trumps rhetoric.

    Umm.. no.. investing the historicity of an alleged event 2000 years ago would fall squarely into history’s methodological domain.

    Well of course it would. Even if you could prove that Jesus existed, it doesn’t follow there were any miracles performed. In fact, nobody can prove any of the stories are true in the damn thing. It’s 1 big work of fiction.

    Yes, I remember – I still don’t buy the axiom (and it seems to have evolved into requiring ‘proof’ now, not simply extraordinary evidence.. was that intentional?

    Provide any proof. It has to be analyzed. That’s the rational course.

    Or do you understand those words to be synonymous?).

    Ridiculous. You provide proof that Jesus existed. This entails multiple external attestations. You finally convince someone that, yes, he indeed existed. However, given the errancy of oral tradition (plus the fact that nobody started writing any of it down for a hundred years), the next step would be proving that any supernatural events occurred (i.e., ‘darkness covered the world’, ‘saints rose from their graves’, etc.) Such things should/could/ought to be easily proven. But they aren’t. Nowhere else on earth, or even in the ME, writes about the ‘alleged’ darkness. Nobody in Jerusalem (a cultural center of the time) jots down that some dead people arose. Nobody verifies that Lazarus even existed.
    Surprising that you hadn’t considered this line of reasoning, seeing as you ought to.

    Just out of interest, have you read (atheist) John Earman’s “Hume’s Abject Failure” in regards to his argument against miracles which you seem to be invoking?

    No I haven’t, & this is the 1st I’ve heard of it.

  81. KA says:

    This is nothing more than desperate, white-knuckle proselytizing, which I thought wasn’t allowed here. It’s really kind of embarrassing.

    Maybe, but the obsessive curmudgeon in me is really kind of enjoying it.

  82. Stardust says:

    Knock yourself out, KA, he is all yours.

  83. naomi666 says:

    Agreed, Stardust. Let’s resume the drinking and gambling and let these two brawlers duke it out. Hopefully we can hear the piano player.

    As I said, I’m bored with it all.

    $50 bucks on KA…

  84. ChuckA says:

    [cue Creaking door SFX (anyone remember the old Radio days' "Inner Sanctum"?)]
    “Is it…erm…SAFE”? :shock:

    Oh, WTF!…
    Today (9/20/10) was “Pray for Christopher Hitchens Day”; which is almost over, as I type.
    I think the Dawkins UK protest speech, which was primarily directed at “Rat Zinger” & the Cat-licks, summoned up…rather thoroughly…the outrageously sado-masochistic, Christian ‘introduced’, horrific doctrine of Endless Eternal Damnation that we’re all so familiar with…and SO tired of hearing about from, not only the fucking brainwashed Christians, but also the “Johnny come lately”, equally asinine, Islamic sadists.
    Many of us atheists, including myself, were innocently indoctrinated from birth with that terrible, made-up, ultra-cruel and blatantly unjust, doctrinal abomination.

    I bring this up, because some actual semi-obvious Internet notice was given in the media RE the “Pray for Christopher Hitchens” Prayer Day…as y’all may have seen…BUT…after a search earlier today on Huffington Post, and having also watched quite a bit of both CNN and MSNBC’s usual News shtick, I noticed there was absolutely NO mention or video clips of the (truly outstanding) Dawkins protest speech. I haven’t checked Ohlbermann or Maddow yet (it’s on my DVR), but I have a strong feeling it’ll be the same total lack of notice.

    Why is that?…
    Hmmm…I wonder…
    Ya think it might have SOMETHING to do with the almost total avoidance by much of the media RE “offending those delicate, oh-so-sensitive, Christian b’lievers’ feelings”?
    On that note, here’s a link to one of Austin Cline’s rather tangential offerings
    (also on 9/20/10)…
    again, it’s about mocking religion in the UK:
    http://atheism.about.com/b/2010/09/20/uk-mocking-religion-now-banned.htm

    [NOTE: I made a brief comment there, earlier today; which included the mentioned YouTube link to the Dawkins protest speech. As of this note; it hasn't shown up yet.
    Sooo...
    a warning(?)...from my experience, anytime you comment on Cline's Site, including even ONE link, it can delay your comment from showing up for as much as 2 to 3...DAYS!
    Talk about "Moderating"!]

  85. AndrewFinden says:

    Andrew, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself why you are wasting your time and your considerable intellect on what is clearly an obsession, on your part.

    Thank-you for the somewhat back-handed compliment.
    It’s true – engaging in rational discussions with people I disagree with is a kind of hobby (whoever suggested that I was trying to convert you or sure up an alleged dying faith was way off) – a somewhat macabre hobby perhaps, given the vitriolic nature of many anti-theist online communities. But you’re also right – I’m obviously wasting my time trying to find that here: when a simple question about overcome the is-ought problem devolves into accusations of proselytising, you know there’s little hope of rational, civil discussion!

    Polite, if somewhat profound, disagreement seems not to be the flavour of choice here.. my mistake (KA being an exception – were your colleagues not so hostile I might have continued on some the points you raised – which I have thought about, btw). Anyone who is so inclined, and not threatened by disagreement is welcome to comment at my blog. I see I am not wanted here. Don’t worry, I will unsubscribe from comments.. say what you like.

  86. Stardust says:

    I see I am not wanted here. Don’t worry, I will unsubscribe from comments.. say what you like.

    It did not seem like a two-way street in discussion, just an attempt to lead us by the nose to say what you wanted us to say. It seemed you were not even reading our comments that answered questions you asked of us, and you refuse to answer questions asked of you–labeling our comments and questions as “red herrings”, etc. etc. Maybe you should do some more reflecting about why you find “vitriolic nature” in “many anti-theist online communities.” It’s because we have been involved in these same exact arguments over and over and over. It’s as if you theists are all brainwashed to come up with the same old arguments time and time again.

    Going around and around in circular arguments seems to me to be a great waste of time and not enjoyable to most. KA is willing to discuss with you, but I for one have grown weary of it.

  87. Ray Garton says:

    Oh, puh-LEEEEZE! You whiny, condescending, disingenuous, predictable douchnozzle, Andrew. You — a proselytizing Christian who knows some big words and thinks he can use them to show atheists the errors of their ways and dazzle them with what you seem to think is your unconventional, cool Christian intellectualism — come to a blog called ATHEIST OASIS: A RATIONAL REFUGE and start doing your little song and dance, never really engaging in genuine discussion but rather dancing around and flailing your arms in an attempt to LOOK like you’re engaged, and when it turns out the place is full of — GASP! — atheists who don’t buy your act, you get all blubbery and start crying into your Jesus juice and you whine, “I’m not wanted here.”

    What was your first clue?

    This reminds me of the Christian missionaries who go to countries where the government is hostile to Christianity, where handing out bibles and proselytizing and trying to win souls for Jesus is illegal, and when they get caught and, in some cases, hurt or killed, they cry, “Persecution! We’re being persecuted!” No, you dipshits, you’ve gone to a country where you KNOW you aren’t welcome, where you KNOW your actions are ILLEGAL and where you KNOW you will get into BIG trouble if you get caught. That’s not “persecution,” that’s “looking for trouble.”

    Blech.

  88. Stardust says:

    And if he truly wanted discussion, he would have quit the question game and got to the point. I grew weary when we would answer questions and he wouldn’t like the answer and dismissed it and asked the same damn question again.

    (Ray, you remind me so much of our late friend, (and late head of GifS) Sean! And that is a compliment. You call a spade a spade and hate the game playing.)

  89. KA says:

    Crap. I was hoping for an explanation as to why the supernatural lends intrinsic value (or any value @ all) – because I seem to be doing fine w/out it.

    It’s true – engaging in rational discussions with people I disagree with is a kind of hobby

    Wait – how is religion in any way rational? It isn’t – it’s a bizarre mish-mash of thanatophobia, pareidolia, & wishful thinking. There is no rationality to it whatsoever, & by the by, no intellectual (or philosophical) foot to stand on.

  90. Stardust says:

    I was expecting for him to bow out anyway…it’s so predictable when we starting turning it around and asking theists the questions.

  91. Ray Garton says:

    Religion + Questions = Whiny Exit

  92. Stardust says:

    hahahaha! :lol:

    Theists always come here and try to turn things around and make the rules on atheist blogs. Then when you tell them they can’t do that and we take charge of the conversation, they boo hoo that you won’t just let them come here and give you the third degree about THEIR “philosophies”. Many times they will go back and write and whine in a post at their own sites about how they were persecuted at such and such an athiest site. :roll:

  93. jimmer54 says:

    Andrew if you are still here.
    Is this what you mean by REAL” Altuism?

    I’ll submit that according to you. Theists will in fact be unable to act in an absolutely real altruistic ideal because they have an eternity of rewards if they do.

    So far as Hume’s Is-Ought. Religion is the perfect reflection of a manifestation of “is” influencing “ought”.

    Also as far as the name calling business goes. Your first sentence started it by calling Ray simplistic naive. Etc.

    He is anything but. Yet that is how we recognize your kind.

  94. naomi666 says:

    [Ray] is anything but [simplistic and naive]. Yet that is how we recognize your kind.

    Most excellent, Jimmer! I smile! :smile:

  95. naomi666 says:

    And Ray, your “takedown” was just perfect. You, sir, are The Wordmeister!

  96. Ray Garton says:

    Thanks, Jimmer. ~(:-D

  97. jimmer54 says:

    Post 100 I waited but no one filled the post.
    Ray it is funny how Andrew manipulated the discussion to his way. All the while ignoring the fact that the OP was about Hitler, the Pope, and Atheism.
    Actually I should say the conflation of atheism with nazism

  98. split pea soup says:

    Remember that Star Trek episode where people served a god named Landru? They had those creepy looking guys in long robes carrying those long tubes that they used stun people into submission and then take them off to the absorption chamber to be absorbed. When they would stun or taze someone a puff of white smoke would come out the end of the tubes. That got me wondering, were those things douchenozzles?

    Peace, contentment and harmony to you!
    Peace, contentment and harmony to you!
    You are not of the Body, you will be absorbed.

  99. Ray Garton says:

    Jimmer — It’s been my experience that Christians do not discuss. What they do is try to frame the conversation. Next, they reframe the conversation. Then, they RE-reframe the conversation. And on and on and on. They do not stay on topic. They do not answer questions. They speak in bumper stickers. If you’ve ever been to any kind of Christian church service or religious meeting, you’ll find that most of the “wisdom” that comes from the pulpit is framed in bumper stickers — it sounds clever, and it sounds right … as long as you don’t think about it too much. This serves as a kind of training for them. This is how they learn to think and discuss and debate — which is not thinking, discussing or debating. But it has always worked for them, so they expect it to work for others when they do it. They’ll spout a bumper sticker phrase, and then wait for the reaction to that. If they’re talking to thinking people, the reaction is NEVER what they expect or want. So when that doesn’t work, they try a T-shirt slogan. And when that doesn’t work, they try greeting card text. There is no real intellectual content. Andrew was slightly different in that he used bigger words, but he would not actually participate in the discussion. He wouldn’t answer questions and didn’t even seem to be reading the posts to which he was replying. He may HAVE read them, but that doesn’t matter because, like all of the bumper sticker Christians, he cannot really RESPOND to them without running the risk of being cornered. So, still using those nifty words, he drops another pebble into the pond. And another.

    Trying to have any discussion about religion and faith with a Christian is like trying to play baseball with a live eel instead of a bat. In a sense, it’s sad because they really don’t KNOW anything else. They don’t know how to engage in a discussion with intellectual content because they’ve never done it before. At the same time, they’re adults; there comes a point in everyone’s life when there are no more excuses for not looking around and realizing that one of these things is not like the other, that something isn’t working. But they don’t do that. So as sad as it may be, I have no sympathy and give no slack. And I don’t waste my time with that eel.

  100. Ray Garton says:

    Split Pea Soup — LOL! Yes! They were! ~(:-D

  101. jimmer54 says:

    lRay
    So in other words,
    SoundBites and Platitudes?
    Agreed.

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