For those who do not have the regular, erm, pleasure of reading through the Comment is Free blogs on the Guardian websites, there is an interesting one there from yesterday by AC Grayling titled “A force for evil.”
The post makes interesting reading, but as you can imagine the most humour can be found in the comments. Most are pretty unoriginal and just what you expect when ever someone says religion is bad. You can largely group the comments into categories: (with kudos to jackoba who did this before me!)
- The ones that say religion is not all bad, look at all the good things it has done.
- The ones that say Atheism is worse than religion and point to Hitler (a catholic), Stalin, Pol Pot et al. as examples of evil atheists. (Prime example is the comment by powerday with an ironic twist by longsword later on where he seems to be saying Hitler was an Atheist because he seems to have believed in a Teutonic god rather than the current mainstream Christian god…)
- The atheists who complain about atheists criticising theists and suggest we all go back to hiding under the table. (waltzingmatilda1 provides an example of this – and without wishing to be rude, I find this sort of argument very weak and almost cowardly, basically this comment says that because “outspoken” atheists draw negative comments from theists, they should shut up and behave themselves… Blimey…)
- People who have no idea what they are talking about, but need to talk (often conflating atheism with a religion or making massive logical fallacy leaps – sadly there are lots of examples of this, but for now I will leave it with mckgus)
- People who like to post about how repetitive the argument is. ( 🙂 )
I am teetering towards the last group at the moment. Sadly, even though there are some intelligent, educated, people writing articles about atheism now, there is a strong sense of repetition there. It is a good sign of the times that so many news portals carry atheist posts now, and this probably reflects the greater divide between theists and atheists. In the UK at least, a generation ago most people were apathetic enough towards religion as to make the distinction meaningless – even the faithful over here were not rabid enough to get worked up about. Now, though, things are quite different. It is interesting that an apparent British person writes this at the end of their comment:
Also, since humanism tends towards strict individualism, autonomy of the self, reason, independent thought etc, on its own grounds, it features a very spurious supernatural being (in the way he can escape from nature), the human of humanism, the self. Not only this, but the underlying liberalistic logic of evolutionary psychology and humanism (competing individuals where co-operation is a secondary and indeed undergirded by self-interest) is doubtless an easy way at an ideological level inwhich to further shure up capitalism, and I cannot help but think that this logic (though not humanism solely, but capitalism) will ulitimately kill more than ‘religion’ ever has, once the seas begin to boil and the world begins to throw out its selfish stewards.
Heavy on the big, long words but light on the sense and logic. (He began his comment with “Where to to begin with the stupidity of what AC Grayling is saying here?” so you got a sign it was going to be good!)
The problem is, as is often the case where something is either right or wrong, the argument eventually gets bogged down. It has been some time since I read a properly “new” article on the topic. Theists as normal, are often the worst spewing out the same tired, boring, reasons why people should believe in god. Graylings article in the Comment is Free, while interesting and well written does not really open any new ground and is unlikely to convert any theists.
With this in mind, I will endeavour to find some examples of mainstream media which has “new” arguments on the pro-/anti- invisible people debate. Personally, I cant think of any new arguments so finding them will be exciting and interesting (and therefore they will get looked at here!).
Looking for a silver lining on the Comment is Free, there are very good comments from olching. F101voodoo and especially jonwaring, but my personal favourite came from sidc:
The only interesting thing about these religion/atheism threads is that the atheists can spell better than the religious nutters.
Well said! 🙂
(footnote: the title comes from a comment, not something I thought up myself! )
[tags]Atheism, Theism, Religion, AC Grayling, Belief, Religious Nutters, Beliefs, Belief, Nutcases, Fundamentalist, Society, Culture, Logic, Understanding, Guardian, Nazi, God Delusion[/tags]