Friday, 27 November 2009

Holy Crap

Will some of my American visitors please reassure me that the US isn't the new world capital of prejudiced stupid?.

Just try mentally changing every mention of "atheist" into say "black" or "jew" or "gay" or lefthander" or "red head", or "Christian" (you just need to swap out "christian" for some other religion to make that last one work. Go on listen again and do that.

This is horrific. Those folks still have jobs?

Might have to scratch visiting the grand canyon and watching a space launch off my 100 things to do before I die list.

Going for a shower now.


  1. Well, I would remind you that this is Fox Network, which is unabashedly right wing, and they try to appeal to the religious right ... but they happen also to own cable news (their ratings far exceed the competition.) So it will not do to characterize them as fringe. I have no defense for the fact that this kind of "reporting" gets a very large sympathetic audience here. Again, its about Christians who haven't a clue about the teachings of Jesus!

    This particular piece is beyond bad taste. On the other hand, some of the "Christmas Wars" over the last few years have been strange on both sides at times.

    Please do not forgo the Grand Canyon. There is simply no way to describe it. You can look at the pictures, watch all the movies, but when you some day actually stand on the edge, it will take your breath away! Nothing can prepare you for the sense of awe that you will experience.

  2. Hi Cliff,

    Thanks for your comment.

    You know, I find myself seriously wondering if my kids would be safe going to the US - and that is scary.

    I do see what you are saying but when you say this;

    " its about Christians who haven't a clue about the teachings of Jesus!"

    I would point out that they would say exactly the same to you. Which kind of makes my point that any claims that Christianity can give us some kind of external absolute measure of morality just melt away in the face of what christians say and do.

    We have previously "vigorously" discussed the morals of condoms in Africa as another example of following a so called absolute principle rather than thinking about right and wrong and making a judgement on the facts leading to evil. Before you claim that the facts can be interpreted different ways, please remember that it is only certain forms of religious folks who want to keep condoms out of Africa.

    I hope to see the Grand Canyon someday - I hope I feel safe doing so.



  3. I'm not sure that I would disagree with you ... I do not believe that we have such a thing as an external absolute measure of morality, at least not one that by-passes human reasoning. (While it may exist in the absolute sense, it is up to us to discover it, to work it out.) As for the condom issue, it was never my contention that condoms not be used at all, and my reason for opposing condoms in some circumstance was less an application of a moral principle than it was (and remains) a practical question of which approach will, in the end, more effectively prevent AIDS and other forms of humans suffering. That, of course, is arguable. I do not know the answer. But I see the question as far more nuanced than the simplistic approach of mass distribution of condoms.

    I'm not suggesting we reopen that discussion. But out of the heat of battle a bit, I can say that I was always a bit frustrated feeling that my argument was not well understood.

  4. Slightly unrelated to atheist bashing. Here is more disturbing news on Fox News.

  5. Hi Tom,

    I can't view that video they only stream in the US, but from reading the blog posting it would seem an odd coincidence that such "mistakes" in reporting "facts" always err on the side of their own political views.

    Or perhaps not odd at all.



  6. Hi Cliff,

    I agree with several of your points;

    * I never did quite grasp your case

    Here is our point of disagreement;

    "than it was (and remains) a practical question of which approach will, in the end, more effectively prevent AIDS and other forms of humans suffering. That, of course, is arguable."

    I don't think it is - I posted lots of evidence that this was the case - peer reviewed articles and government census data sets - you posted opinion pieces from people saying they didn't agree (but without any actual evidence to back up their case).

    Here is a link for any lurkers who can , I am sure, shout up if they think I am suffering from confirmation bias.



  7. Kinda funny, but as a Christian, I posted the following a couple days ago:

    "I have no problem with encouraging respect for God on our coinage, or a nativity scene at the Civic Center at Christmas time (I’m not really concerned about an offended atheist that hates the nativity scene, though I’ll fight to make sure he keeps his right to criticize the nativity scene and voice his dissent)."

    Seems to me that there are plenty of Christians who are rather dedicated to the notion of free speech for all, even those with whom we disagree. As the US Supreme Court said:

    If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.
    Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927).

    Let the atheists, and the Christians, speak. And the KKK, and the Muslims, and football fans. No opinion should be outlawed by government, and hopefully private individuals can learn to respect freedom of conscience as well.

    Among the most impressive things I've ever witnessed was in Boston, where an anti-war group was protesting and a pro-war group counter-protested. Though large groups were present, only one side was speaking, with one speaker holding an American flag and a bullhorn. After a couple minutes, he handed the flag and bullhorn to a member of the opposition, and that person got to state his argument. Each side waited and listened politely to the opposing arguments until it was their turn. Would that we all had such civility and courage of conviction.