Rudeness…


Just so that people know, personal attacks against me or other commenters, straw-men and ad homs, go straight in the bin, where they belong. Disagree all you like but lets keep it civil please.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ian Davey
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 11:45:34

    Greg, if those were your Atheist views I’m not surprised you gave them up to in with a group who gave you some easier answers. Did you spend a lot of time choosing which of the various gods you were going to pick, or just pick the closet local version based on your cultural background? I hope the punishments for picking the wrong one aren’t as bad as they are for not picking one.

    As for the legacy of a person vanishing once they die, that’s an interesting one I’ve not come across in any form of Atheism but yours. Everyone who has leaved in weaved into the tapestry of society, death doesn’t unpick your existence. Your words and deeds live on, that’s how you can latch onto the beliefs of ancient cultures and how science has been able to build on the knowledge and experience of the past.

    You seem to aspire a kind of hopelessness to Atheism which doesn’t exist, as though there is somehow a difficulty in finding a meaning in life without some form of collective worship of something that has no impact on reality. There’s nothing wrong with accepting reality as it is and living life to the full in the here and now. The creation of gods, or dragons, or aliens, or unicorns, have no relevance to that at all. As long as their influence is outside the observable.

    As an Atheist you must have been aware of the recycling of myths involved in the various stories around gods and messiahs, but now feel pleased with yourself that you’ve managed to navigate that minefield and pick the one you’re happy with. Ignoring the others. Is it just a case of flip flopping, from belief to non-belief and back again? Or the baggage that comes along with being accepted into a community that is local to you?

    Reply

    • Greg
      Nov 08, 2013 @ 18:06:59

      Ian, you asked ” Is it just a case of flip flopping, from belief to non-belief and back again?”

      Not at all. I was raised in a non-religious home and had as about as little knowledge of God as it’s possible for someone living in a Western culture to have. I recall someone attempting to bring up the subject when I was 12 or 13 and even at that age I let him know I didn’t want to talk about it. I was an outspoken atheist by the age of 16 when I entered university. The main difference between atheists then and now though is that most were not nearly as angry or belligerent as atheists are today.

      You have no “difficulty in finding a meaning in life” (that has come about due to random, accidental events) and you are going to continue to exist after you die through your “legacy” (which is going to last at the most a few short years.)

      Better give it a little more thought.

      Reply

  2. paula mumby
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 11:41:37

    Greg, my main thought here on your post, is despite your “acceptance” of Anna’s point of view, you end by saying that Flew was 80 when he found God, so ‘there is hope for [sic] yet’.
    Hope of what? That she will abandon her views in favour of something she doesn’t believe in, much less need in her life?
    It all boils down to the fact that despite “freedom of choice”, the God-squad still feel the need to save the others.
    Here’s an idea, think about what it is you think you are saving them from, then ask them if they want saving.

    Reply

  3. Greg
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 00:04:32

    Fair enough. It’s your blog and you can delete whatever you choose. I’m not sure what you found so offensive or uncivil but perhaps you are being too sensitive. In my defense you do invite comments and didn’t specify that they all had to agree with you.

    I wasn’t trying to be mean when I said Christopher Hitchens no longer exists. Surely for an atheist we have no more permanent existence than a dog or a tree. Both he and Mother Teresa whom he supposedly “took down” are nothing more than dust or ashes now, according to the atheist, so there’s nothing to exult over there.

    As for the other things I said, I think all are true: 1. We all die, including our loved ones. 2. We can’t possibly KNOW that there is no God because our knowledge of the universe is so limited. 3. We are all prone to error, so don’t be so certain you are right about the nature of existence this time.

    I said some of these things ironically in an attempt to get you to open your mind and think outside the atheist box. I didn’t intend them to be snarky. I’m a former atheist myself and have seen the world from both sides though, so probably I should be more understanding of and patient with those who currently reject God as I once did.

    The dilemma of the atheist is that, if she is honest with herself, life cannot possibly have any ultimate meaning. It arose by accident in the empty cosmos and will end in oblivion. The average atheist does not find this attractive; in fact it’s depressing. Her solution is usually to pretend there’s no problem with this accidental existence. She just assumes her life does have meaning and dedicates it to something: family, a job or a hobby such as a blog, or what have you. She ignores the fact that she is nothing more than a fluke of nature and that her purpose for living is invented, imaginary and illusory. How could it be otherwise if she came from nothing by accident and will return to nothing in a few short years?

    You seem like a pretty committed atheist (it’s the first thing you mention in your bio after your status as a mother and wife). Perhaps I’m wasting my time here and maybe my comment will be headed for the dust bin soon. However I’ve just begun reading “THERE IS A GOD: how the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind,” by Anthony Flew. He was 80 or so when he changed his mind so there’s hope for yet.

    Reply

    • Random Tangents
      Nov 08, 2013 @ 09:44:34

      I usually avoid arguing with imbeciles but just to remind you of your comment, seeing as you are dertermined to troll my blog….

      Greg Submitted on 2013/11/06 at 9:12 am
      Anna, you as an atheist must understand that Christopher Hitchens no longer exists. Why then speak of him “taking her (Mother Theresa) down” as if his life or his former actions have any relevance, now that the atoms and molecules that once comprised his physical body are just refuse?

      Of course the same fate awaits all of us including you, your “wonderful, supportive and nurturing husband”, and your “three beautiful boys”, as you have described your loved ones. You must know this, yet you keep chugging along anyway working at your meaningless projects. What else can you do? It’s all biologically, culturally and environmentally predetermined since we are nothing more than highly developed animals.

      Unless of course the mind or soul has an existence separate and distinct from the material body and will live on after the body dies, but that would mean that God exists, and you already KNOW he doesn’t. Unless of course you’re mistaken about that, but with your vast knowledge and experience you’ve probably never been wrong about anything else before, so how could you be wrong about this?

      Firstly, if you comment on my blog, you comment on the post, you don’t comment on me. You do not know me so don’t assume to pass judgement. Does’t your precious book have a thing or to to say about that? Not one word was actually relevant to the post (which actually a re-blog from elsewhere) implying that you didn’t actually read it. More than enough reason to throw that rubbish in the bin.

      Secondly, Christopher Hitchens dying does not make him less correct. Being alive has no bearing on one’s credibility, or by your own argument would that not also make the central figure of your chosen superstition irrelevant?

      Thirdly, your comment was riddled with straw-men and logical fallacies, not to mention the presumption of your assertion that expression of my conscience (to which I have a democratic right) is pointless in a blatant attempt to shut me up. The attempt to proselytise by way of inspiring fear? One, its low; two, its the age old go-to of any unthinking fanatical cult minion. I would say leader but they generally possess a subtlety you clearly haven’t been able to grasp. Your speech may work on the uninformed, fearful and vulnerable, but I am none of these. I am quite aware of and resigned to my own mortality as well as that of everyone else on this planet. Does that render my life and goals pointless? NO, absolutely not. The fact that we only get one and that it is limited makes our lives that much MORE precious, not less. It increases the importance of making every-moment count. Why would I waste that life on a dessert cult that should have died in the 4th century? Nothing is pred-determined, there is not such thing as fate.

      Your comment on this post is equally as crass. If you are not going to behave like a rational human being, go away.

      Reply

      • Greg
        Nov 08, 2013 @ 18:52:23

        “you are dertermined to troll my blog”

        Actually I’ve never argued with anyone on their own blog before. It would seem to put one at too great a disadvantage. I ran across the article you posted while searching for something else. It just struck me as a little silly for the author to be going on about how one person who does not exist any more “took down” another who also doesn’t exist any more either.

        I now stand corrected. They live on in the memories of others (although that “legacy” does seem a little vague and impermanent).

        “a blatant attempt to shut me up. The attempt to proselytise by way of inspiring fear?”

        Not so. It’s your blog after all. How could I possibly shut you up? I was merely trying to goad you into rethinking some of your assumptions, having held some of them myself when I was a feckless atheist. Perhaps I need to work on becoming more tactful.

        I won’t learn civility here though. This is more of a “do as I say, not as I do” place.

        e.g. “imbeciles”, “unthinking fanatical cult minion”, “uneducated and delusional”,
        “misogynistic, controlling, delusional, repressed, deviant”

        I hope you end up having a good life, and I mean that sincerely.

        Reply

    • Lisa Humanist Freethinker
      Nov 08, 2013 @ 14:12:42

      “…but perhaps you are being too sensitive. In my defense you do invite comments and didn’t specify that they all had to agree with you.”

      Greg – did you even read the information at the top of this blog? Anna says she welcomes comments, even those that don’t agree with hers…BUT, do not attack the person AND provide substantive arguments that support your claims. You failed that when you called her “too sensitive.” Attacking the writer is not the same as arguing your point intelligently.

      “Surely for an atheist we have no more permanent existence than a dog or a tree. ”

      Your statement makes no sense. Atheists don’t think like this as all (at least this one doesn’t).

      “1. We all die, including our loved ones. 2. We can’t possibly KNOW that there is no God because our knowledge of the universe is so limited. 3. We are all prone to error, so don’t be so certain you are right about the nature of existence this time.”

      Yes, we are all going to die at some point, that is the natural conclusion to life. Instead of your #2, though, I would ask: How can you possibly KNOW that a god does exist? Where is the proof? And I would also ask: How can you possibly want any of the gods that we have in our stories, myths and legends? They are all petty, mean, jealous…the epithets go on. Even in the “holy” books these statements are made. How can we, as beings trying to make a good life for ourselves and our children (and others) possibly want to follow a being that is so evil according to our current systems of ethics? How can a being be above being moral? FYI, I grew up in a VERY christian family. My grandfather was a minister. He was also one of the most evil men I have ever had to have in my life. He justified all kinds of behavior as being “weak.” Rather than seeking help he just “asked the lord for forgiveness” supposedly making it all better. All he ended up doing was messing up the lives of others.

      First and foremost: atheists take responsibility for their own actions. This alone makes atheist much more moral than someone who follows a code written over 1400 years ago. Our current understanding of life, the universe and how we should treat each other with respect makes any moral codes we devise today far superior to those created by uneducated sheep herders with psychological issues.

      “I said some of these things ironically in an attempt to get you to open your mind and think outside the atheist box. I didn’t intend them to be snarky. I’m a former atheist myself and have seen the world from both sides though, so probably I should be more understanding of and patient with those who currently reject God as I once did.”

      When you accept someone else’s ideas about how you should behave, and these are based on ancient poems from delusional, uneducated MEN, you are the one who has closed your mind to evidence. When science says our understanding of the universe has been wrong, and provides us with a new framework, atheists are more capable of doing the research, reading the literature and accepting this new way of understanding our existence. Religion requires that you deny evidence and take on faith the existence of something that cannot be proven (in fact, sometimes that faith includes the denial of evidence and accepting something even if it is untrue…because it’s in the holy book…which one? You choose, or use the most common one in your local area).

      The biggest problem with religion as a whole is that it is a means of controlling others. All of the religions are misogynistic; all of them have held society back from developing into a stable and mature global society. Religions control the uneducated and delusional. Religion is a crutch to hold up weak ethics and moral behavior. Religion has only one good thing about it: it provided a means of socialization for people when they were unable to find a way to interact with others like reasonable beings.

      “The dilemma of the atheist is that, if she is honest with herself, life cannot possibly have any ultimate meaning.”

      Hardly. In fact, I would say that those who have chosen to be solely responsible for their own actions and understand that this life is the one and only to be had by this particular set of atoms with this particular consciousness has a much better understanding of what the meaning of life is: we make our own meaning!!! Living, enjoying being alive, giving to others, especially family and friends, to enrich and better their lives, making the world a better place, making sure we are leaving systems in place that ensure the continued existence of the human race and all life on this planet, these are all things that most atheists want to contribute to. Religious folk can be quite generous, but they do it as a means of trying to be “good enough.” rather than doing it because it is the right thing to do for myself, my loved ones and all life. Again, we can see that religion actually diminishes the goodness of good acts. If you feel you must do good acts otherwise you will be punished, are you really a good person? An atheist does good things because these are the right thing to do. In my mind, this makes one a better person than the other. Doing the right thing because it is the right thing is moral, doing the right thing to avoid punishment doesn’t make you a good person!

      Life is not an “accident” as you keep calling it. Life is an amazing process of the universe. Looking at galaxies across the universe you see how our own galaxy is just like many others. It’s not an accident, it is how the universe is. Life on this planet is likely not unique. That is the thinking of a religious person: we are so special because “god” made us. We are a part of the universe, that is what makes us special. As Carl Sagan says: we are the conscious universe trying to perceive and understand itself. This is so much more rational and amazingly wonderful than some invisible, impossible to prove sky bully decided to make some play things to mess with (Here, have free will, now give it up and spend your life worshiping me rather than exploring the world and learning).

      Why is that the religious feel so compelled to “save” everyone? Is it because you might be wrong and you must try to convince others so you are not so full of doubt about your beliefs? I, and many other atheists, don’t need to be saved by you or anyone else. I wouldn’t go back to that misogynistic, controlling, delusional, repressed, deviant culture for any reason. Even if a god did come and appear before me and gave me absolute evidence of its existence, I would not want to be part of such a vile cult. You treat each other like property rather than with respect as a human and for your contribution to your family and the planet.

      The amount of energy that has gone into perpetuating religious systems would have been better spent by investing in society: educating everyone on anything they want, especially if it help society grow into a more cohesive civilization that promotes the wellbeing of people and life on this planet. Religions spent and spend their resources instead on trying to convert everyone. Instead of teaching people how to irrigate and plant crops you handed them holy books they could even read. Instead of making medicine and curing disease you preached about the vengeful, jealous god who wants you to waste time talking to yourself.

      Greg, go back to your little cult and ask your fellow cult followers this: If we are so complex that we must have been designed, then who created god, who must be even more complex than we are? Also ask about moral behavior: Are you really a better person if you just do what you are told and do good works because you are trying to avoid punishment than someone who does good things because it is the right thing to do? Why is it that our jails are full of religious folk? There are very few atheists in our jails. Those that are in jail are most likely just plain evil or psychologically unwell. Religious folk, on the other hand, are most likely sorry and ask the lord for forgiveness…but will not change their behavior or understand that what they did is wrong because our societal laws are trying to codify moral behavior regardless of holy mandates.

      Really, did you think you could attack someone like Anna and get away with it? Your “return” to religion explains a lot: your ability and desire to think critically about the world and existence was just too much for you. You decided to take the easy way and let someone else control your life, your mind and your happiness. Sad.

      Reply

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