Wednesday, August 3, 2011

American Atheists spokesman claims death threats

Jerry Coyne has a post about alleged death threats against the communications director of American Atheists:

More death threats from religious folks

Yesterday Blair Scott, communications director for American Atheists, was on the FOX News show America Live with Megyn Kelly. You can see the show here; sadly, I can’t watch it in Russia.

As soon as Scott returned home after the show, his inbox began filling up with hate mail and threats. Equally distressing, the Fox News Facebook page was soon inundated with death threats aimed at Scott and atheists in general, comments that are being taken down rapidly (see the report by William Hamby in the Atlanta Examiner).

The American Atheists web page has put up some screenshots of those comments posted on the Fox FB site. Here are the words of some loving Christians, with their real names...
[Coyne has a screenshot of some of the threats]
So much for the beneficence and love of the faithful! And all for the crime of not sharing their superstitions! Now I’m not saying that these areserious threats, presaging murder, but I bet if these folks were given guns, and the law were suspended for one day . . .

Death threats are morally despicable criminal acts. People who make them are not Christians, by definition. They may attend church, take communion, etc, but if you threaten to kill people, you are not in communion  with Christ and you are no Christian. My hope is:

1) The people who made these threats never act on them, nor make them again.
2) They seek forgiveness and penance for this mortal sin.

That said, one needs to approach Scott's claim with caution. There is no independent evidence that any of these emails are from Christians, or are even genuine. There is nothing here that would be called evidence of any probative sort. American Atheists has a history of deceit and criminality. We are asked to take Mr. Scott on his word.

Coyne, as is his wont, makes an assertion so bizarre that you have to wonder if he was sober when he made it:

Perhaps some atheists have issued death threats against religious people, but I don’t know of any, and, at any rate, they must be much rarer than those aimed in the opposite direction.

Well, Jerry, here is richly detailed scholarly documentation of atheist death threats murder of religious people specifically because of their religious beliefs. The number in the 20th century was about 30 million Christians killed because they were Christians. Nearly all were killed by atheist regimes.

As it turns out, there were several members of American Atheists murdered in 1995. Madelyn Murray O'Hair, founder of American Atheists, and two of her children were murdered by David Roland Waters. Waters was a long-time employee of... The 700 Club Liberty University Catholic Charities American Atheists.

O'Hair's estranged son William Murray explained that his mother hired violent atheist criminals because:

  "She got a sense of power out of having men in her employ who had taken human life."
O'Hair is [in]famous for filing the lawsuit that ultimately banned prayer in public schools.

52 comments:

  1. Can't even bring yourself to denounce death threats against atheists without smearing them somehow?

    You stay classy, Mike.

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  2. Smearing them? They do that themselves, Oleg.
    See above.

    Mike, I would suggest this is a generated controversy, designed to popularize and create a sense of martyrdom (poor underdog!) on the part of Atheism. They wish to dress up banal conformity and their broad pretensions as revolutionary and radical.
    Th threats themselves come off as fiction.
    The kind of popular fiction that is so popular with urban chattering classes these days: Evil people who live outside the cities just waiting to kill innocent BMW driving prom queens who rent cottages near toxic waste dumps. Usually they are led by the undead preacher guy and they are ALWAYS 'Christians'. (oooh scary stuff!)
    IF they are real threats, then the the Atheist idiot should reconsider his audience and message. Maybe planes on the 4th of July and opposing 9/11 monuments while calling the faithful idiots is not a wise path to popularity?
    IF he is being so insulting and nasty to such simple people, what does he expect? Cuddles? Love letters? Here is a guy who thinks people are just bags of chemicals with instinct, and he is shocked at a violent reaction? Idiots.
    Try your materialist proselytizing on the Muslims and see what happens, my evolved friends.

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  3. crusadeREX goes one step further and blames the victim. You, guys, are some Christians!

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  4. I want to return to a question which Mike has avoided answering in a previous thread.

    If atheism is "a hateful totalitarian ideology," why doesn't the US law prohibit atheists from becoming naturalized citizens? It certainly does so in the case of fascism and communism.

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  5. crusadeREX,

    In case you didn't know that, death threats are a criminal offense.

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  6. Oh of the threats...okay. I thought you meant of actual violence. I thought I had missed a comment or something, or we were talking about that family who got killed etc.
    Ah the victims of the threats..okay I see what you mean.
    Death threats SHOULD be illegal. People who make them should be prosecuted. People who fake them should be too.
    No, I am not blaming any 'victims'.
    I am suggesting that calling people idiots, deluded, and things like 'superstitious' is asking for trouble. Some people may engage, but most will 'tune you out', and some small minority will react with aggression.
    This is typical Atheist PR - NOT good.
    THAT is what I am saying.
    Blaming the victims? No. I am saying they are victims of their own infamy whether the 'threats' are real or not.
    They intended to be provocative, and now they have provoked! Shocker there.
    I am not about laying blame in this.
    I am simply making an observation.

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  7. Why do you think that communism follows from atheism? It certainly doesn't follow from it logically. There are atheists (myself included) that are strongly opposed to communism. I'd say Objectivism is a more atheist ideology than communism.

    On the other hand, Socialism and Communism do seem to play well together with Religion in many countries. You pretend to attack atheism when in reality you are attacking communism.

    Even if those getting death threats in fact are communists, I personally wouldn't dare to justify the threats with Soviet crimes, even as a strong opponent of communism.

    Blaming the victims? No. I am saying they are victims of their own infamy [...]
    Come on, at least grow some balls and admit it.

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  8. The connection works like this Uncle.

    Communism > Materialism > Atheism.

    that is how it connects, and since communism is Materialist, it follows perfectly logical that Communists will be at least the ones that adhere to the main ideologies ( which are all materialists and endorse state atheism ) will be atheists too.

    You see it doesn't pressupose Atheism, as the essence of the movement but rather atheism follows from their own "school" of thought.

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  9. Well Venezuela is more of a fucked up communist idea. Second, Venezuela is really poor, segregating the poppulation over religion will do no good.

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  10. Thank you, Edward.

    Uncle Remus,
    If you cannot see the connection between communism and Atheism where are we to begin? Do you know what doctrinal communism is? How it works in practice?
    I suggest you read Marx, for a start.
    As for Objectivism, it too is a materialist bent. To be a purist adherent of either, one must be anti-theist. Both Communism and Objectivism share a materialist foundation.
    Do you have 'the balls' to admit that, Uncle? Perhaps you should grow some? Maybe some brains too?
    While you're at it do you have the spine to admit these lobbyists intended to generate controversy with the publicity campaigns and lawsuits? Or the guts to admit that the entire lawsuit is absurd? Uncle?
    Testicular autogenesis and bravado aside, I think my point stands.
    It stands right next to your burning, but anatomically correct (if slightly endowed) straw man :)

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  11. @Uncle Remus:

    [Why do you think that communism follows from atheism? It certainly doesn't follow from it logically.]

    You're right.

    But here is a list of all political regimes that have had atheism as a tenet of the governing ideology:

    Cult of Reason (France)
    Soviet Union
    Cuba
    Laos
    North Korea
    Vietnam
    Cambodia
    Mongolia
    Yemen
    Bulgaria
    Czechoslovakia
    East Germany
    Hungary
    Poland
    Romania
    Yugoslavia
    Angola
    Bebin
    Dem. Rep. COngo
    Ethiopia
    Somalia
    Eritrea
    Mozambique

    Atheism doesn't logically lead to communism, but of the doctrinally atheist countries in human history, all but on have been communist. The one that wasn't was the one that invented the guillotine.

    When you start having doctrinally atheist free societies that respect human rights, I'll take your denial of the connection between atheism and communism more seriously.

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  12. Mike,

    You have been studiously avoiding this question. Care to address it?

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  13. Oleg,
    I cannot answer for the doctor, but I will posit this thought on your question itself.

    Oleg wrote:
    "If atheism is "a hateful totalitarian ideology," why doesn't the US law prohibit atheists from becoming naturalized citizens? It certainly does so in the case of fascism and communism."

    The question assumes the law is perfect or somehow the ideal. Common law is not infallible, and unchangeable. Immigration Law is based on morality (ie God's commandments), Oleg - not the reverse.
    Otherwise, by the same thinking, if they DID make it illegal for Atheists to immigrate, they WOULD be "a hateful totalitarian ideology," simply because the immigration law deemed them so, wouldn't they.
    The law proves nothing, either way.
    I fail to see the thrust of your question, or the relevance on a universal/human scale.
    think about it: What on earth does ever-changing US immigration policy have to do with the implications of Atheist thought?

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  14. If you cannot see the connection between communism and Atheism where are we to begin? Do you know what doctrinal communism is? How it works in practice?
    I suggest you read Marx, for a start.


    I see the connection, I am just aware of the arrow of causality.

    As for Objectivism, it too is a materialist bent. To be a purist adherent of either, one must be anti-theist. Both Communism and Objectivism share a materialist foundation.

    True, but you still haven't shown that materialism is evil. I'll accept that communism is, but materialism doesn't lead to communism.

    The connection works like this Uncle.

    Communism > Materialism > Atheism.


    This doesn't prove that atheism leads to evil. The arrows are in the wrong order. Communism also leads to bronze statues - are bronze statues evil too?

    When you start having doctrinally atheist free societies that respect human rights, I'll take your denial of the connection between atheism and communism more seriously.

    Again, I don't deny the connection, I deny the direction of the connection. Communism leads to many things, human rights violations are practically guaranteed, atheism less often. Most of the countries on earth don't and haven't respected human rights, so I'm not really impressed with your list.

    The list of countries which respect human rights is led by secular nations without doctrinal anything, which signals absence of totalitarianism and not absence of atheism.

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  15. @oleg:

    [I want to return to a question which Mike has avoided answering in a previous thread... If atheism is "a hateful totalitarian ideology," why doesn't the US law prohibit atheists from becoming naturalized citizens? It certainly does so in the case of fascism and communism.]

    I've avoided answering it because it's a bizarre question.

    If our point is that atheism isn't an "ideology" in the sense that fascism and communism are, I have no debate with that. Denial of ultimate meaning in the universe and denial of objective law is sort of an 'anti-ideology', in the sense that 'ideology' implies 'idea', and 'idea' implies something coherent and intelligible.

    Atheism is gibberish. It reduces to the assertion that there is no meaning, which is self-refuting.

    However, in practice, atheism always seems to trend to repression and censorship. In communist countries, citadels of atheism, the repression is explicit and pervasive.

    In free societies, atheist politics always tends to censorship of religion. I have never seen an atheist or an atheist stand up for freedom of religious expression. It is always censorship: "shut up" sums it up nicely.

    Atheism is a "hateful totalitarian ideology", in those senses. In power, atheism is always in human history a hateful totalitarian ideology. Out of power, atheists can't seem to shake their totalitarian impulses.

    'Atheist advocacy of freedom of religious expression' is an an oxymoron.

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  16. @Uncle Remus:

    [Again, I don't deny the connection, I deny the direction of the connection. Communism leads to many things, human rights violations are practically guaranteed, atheism less often.]

    Marxism/communism is an explicitly atheist ideology (dialectical materialism, scientific socialism, etc). There's no debate about that. A few Christians have tried to fuse Marxism with Christianity (liberation theology). It has been repudiated by genuine Christian churches.

    Marxism/communism presupposes atheism.

    Now of course atheism does not necessarily mean communism. I was an atheism, but I have always hated communism. I was an Objectivist in my college days.

    I believe that in actual practice in the West, atheism generally leads to communism, because atheism guts the Christian foundations of culture, which exposes it to communist ascendency. Communists thrive in the chaos that atheism creates.

    Since communism is a dying ideology today, Islam is more likely to ascend in atheist cultures (e.g. much of Europe)

    [The list of countries which respect human rights is led by secular nations without doctrinal anything, which signals absence of totalitarianism and not absence of atheism.]

    You're playing fast and loose with the term "secular". If you mean "nations without established churches", that excludes many quite free European nations. England, Norway, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, most of Switzerland, Greece, Finland, Georgia, Denmark, and Iceland all have established state churches, and by that definition are not secular. You might even call them 'theocracies'. (!) Of course, actual religious practice in these countries is on the wane, so in that sense they are secular. But you must realize that many of your so-called "secular" countries have a very strong Christian tradition and in fact have official state churches.

    The US, which has a high degree of freedom, of course cannot have a state church, by the first amendment, so in that sense the US is completely secular. However, Americans are deeply religious, and Christianity is very vibrant in the US.

    Your term "secular" is misleading. If you want to predict political freedom, these two criteria are most predictive:

    1) A strong history of Christianity
    2) Absence of atheist ideology in government.

    Which is sort of what I'm saying.

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  17. It's not my question that is bizzarre, it's your position that atheism is an ideology. I merely used reductio ad absurdum to highlight that. If, in fact, atheism were a dangerous ideology, as you stated time and again, it would be prohibited alongside fascism and communism.

    But of course, atheism is not an ideology. It is a worldview. There is a big gulf between the two. By stating my lack of belief in God, I do not proclaim that it is my intent to do away with religion. It just does not follow.

    As Uncle Remus stated, correlation does not equal causation. A totalitarian state tends to suppress every idea it finds dangerous, not just Christianity. In addition to religion, the Soviets suppressed free enterprise, the independent press and trade unions, philosophy, science (genetics), and art. It's not like these guys started out campaigning as atheists and then adopted communism.

    Now, your statement that "atheism is gibberish" is laughable. Great thinkers embraced atheism. Bertrand Russell, Linus Pauling, Paul Dirac, Alan Turing, Claude Shannon and Richard Feynman are not exactly dummies. And if you are willing to admit that you were an idiot during the first 50 years of your life, I can only shake my head.

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  18. Again, I don't deny the connection, I deny the direction of the connection. Communism leads to many things, human rights violations are practically guaranteed, atheism less often. Most of the countries on earth don't and haven't respected human rights, so I'm not really impressed with your list.

    The list of countries which respect human rights is led by secular nations without doctrinal anything, which signals absence of totalitarianism and not absence of atheism.

    ____________________________

    I know you mean the atheism as the cause of agression. Well... truly Atheism was not cause of agression, was not their lack of faith in God or the disbelieve in God that cause them to do what they did.

    However there is a point. see they wanted change society no matter what, so them envisioned to break with the old establishment. And religions was seen as the worst thing possible in society, so they defended that in order for you to be free, you need to get rid of God or at least the believe in it, hence atheism was their metaphysical jewel. Of course not all communists agreed with this, but all ideas that were mainstream had a compulsory Atheism of State let's say. Now it is hard to say what was the major causation for their behavior. But the Materialism, Scientific Atheism* just the name of the thingthe sold in the USSR * and the revolutionary mentality were deadly. After all there is no afterlife, no meaning, no purpose, we are suppose to do whatever we like, and so they did

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  19. "I see the connection, I am just aware of the arrow of causality."

    An Atheist on about causality? NO you don't say?
    Atheism is a prerequisite to doctrinal communism. Does that mean you must be a communist if you are Atheist? No, of course not. But to be a purist of the Red ilk, you must be Atheist. Hence Atheism is a tool for such ideologies.

    "True, but you still haven't shown that materialism is evil. I'll accept that communism is, but materialism doesn't lead to communism."
    It was not my intent to do so, but rather to show the question itself (as quoted above) is a deeply flawed one.
    Consider this reversal:
    'How can Christians be considered good if they are legally persecuted in Sudan?'
    The GOODNESS or EVIL of the subject is not determined by flexible laws (like the Sudan's human rights or the USA's immigration laws).

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  20. If you want to predict political freedom, these two criteria are most predictive:
    1) A strong history of Christianity


    South Korea and Japan are doing just fine without Christianity, Africa and South America don't seem to profit too much from it.

    2) Absence of atheist ideology in government.

    Again, only a specific subset of atheists, specifically totalitarian atheists, want "atheist ideology" in the government. The dangerous element is therefore totalitarianism. Marxism and Islamism are already mixing pretty well, so I don't think that atheism is a big factor in it.

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  21. Denial of ultimate meaning in the universe and denial of objective law is sort of an 'anti-ideology', in the sense that 'ideology' implies 'idea', and 'idea' implies something coherent and intelligible.

    Atheists do not think the universe and objective laws were created by an intelligent being. This is different to thinking they don't exist.

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  22. Michael,

    Actually you're wrong. Political freedom isn't strongly correlated with a strong history of Christianity and an absence of atheistic ideology in government.

    It's strongly correlated with a history of liberal democracy. Illiberal democracies are almost as bad as illiberal dictatorships. Liberal dictatorships are also possible.

    What I mean by 'liberal' is a respect for the rights of minorities. Liberal regimes, whether democratic or dictatorial, avoid repression by the majority.

    Whether the regime is theistic or atheistic is irrelevant. There have been plenty of theistic dictatorships over the years as there have been atheistic dictatorships. Considering only atheistic dictatorships is just confirmation bias. Why didn't you include Franco's Spain on your list of dictatorships? It was also a nasty regime and was strongly theistic, the Civil War being strongly supported by the Catholic clergy.

    What about India (the world's largest democracy)? Not much Christianity there. Is it free or not?

    And as an atheist, I do respect the right of others to make their own decisions.

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  23. Bach fiend, what are the countries you have in mind ? The liberal democracies I mean.

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  24. Atheists do not think the universe and objective laws were created by an intelligent being. This is different to thinking they don't exist.
    _____________________________

    Well Uncle... what is the ultimate purpose or absolute meaning that you are thinking ?

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  25. South Korea and Japan are doing just fine without Christianity, Africa and South America don't seem to profit too much from it.
    ______________________________________

    hmmm I would find very amazing all the rich countries which systematically stole and destroyed the poor countries like mine, to be in the shitter XD.

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  26. Well South Korea religions stats

    46.5% No religion
    29.2% Christianity
    22.8% Buddhism

    and the rest is ... the rest XD

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  27. and Japan... hmmm Wiki didn't have a list.

    70% profess no religious membership (1993)
    84% claimed to have no religions by 2000
    64% Do not believe in God
    55% do not believe in Buddha.
    70-80% Consider themselves are nonbelievers
    (Any Religion)
    64-80% Consider themselves: Atheis, Agnostics or nonbelievers

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  28. Weirdly enought .... 51% population practice Shinto errrr ... what the f*** XD this make no sense.

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  29. I am an atheist and I hate everybody!

    (Wow, that was easy, and will bring a lot of negative comments.)

    Let's try something different:

    I am a christian and I hate everybody!

    (Wow, that was easy too, and will bring a lot of negative comments.)

    CQFD! (Ce qu'il fallait démontrer)

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  30. "In addition to religion, the Soviets suppressed free enterprise, the independent press and trade unions, philosophy, science (genetics), and art. It's not like these guys started out campaigning as atheists and then adopted communism."

    Yes, the Soviets suppressed many things but they did not, that I am aware, have a League of Militant Anti-Unionists, a League of the Militant Scienceless, etc. They most certainly had a League of the Militant Godless, though.

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  31. Incidentally, I don't really have a problem with people who are not convinced God exists, except when they become belligerent. Then I break out my holy cudgel of faith.

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  32. Calm down XD Robert. They are 200% more rational than previous atheists I met. Guess the more atheists are in a country the more chances you get to talk to civil atheists.

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  33. oleg said...

    crusadeREX goes one step further and blames the victim. You, guys, are some Christians!

    Aren't atheists bizarre creatures!?

    Here we see a strange thing:
    The atheist rebuking the theist for allegedly unchristian behavior!

    This of course reveals that the atheist knows, and also strongly suggests, that he agrees with Christian ethics.

    Weird.

    Atheism has not a single grain of foundational support either from reason or science.

    Atheists, by their own admission, have no foundations for ethics, yet are always assuming the existence of a such a foundational ethic every time they 'need' to criticize Christians.

    Talk about self-contradiction!
    That's atheism is a nutshell.

    Here's where said atheists bring in the old "its just lack of belief", nonsense argument.
    Or worse, the old hypocritical "its your ethic not mine", argument.

    They cannot win on any grounds or reason whatsoever, so they have to invent pretzel logic, (high in fiber, makes great poo), rebuttals like that to pretend their empty ideology somehow makes sense.

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  34. Gary wrote: Atheists, by their own admission, have no foundations for ethics.

    Gary, ignorance is the only excuse to make such a silly claim. Look up these names: Thomas Huxley, Michael Ruse.

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  35. And it's not like atheist thought on ethics and morality is a deeply hidden secret. Here is Jerry Coyne writing in USA Today this week: As atheists know, you can be good without God.

    Shame, Gary.

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  36. LOVE it:
    "They cannot win on any grounds or reason whatsoever, so they have to invent pretzel logic, (high in fiber, makes great poo), rebuttals ..."
    LMAO Gary, that is some twisted up and salty poop. I really smell the analogy.
    Consider it 'borrowed'.
    You're spot on. The point of Uncles testicular post was to distract from the (uncomfortable for him) subject of the post and my response to it. The means?
    Exactly as you have described. Unfortunately when many Atheist attempt this chicanery it comes off as very raw and abstract; almost infantile.
    The idea that Christians see no one as culpable for their own behaviour, for example, shines through. He thinks he has applied my own reasoning against me, but has no depth of understanding of that process.
    We are left with your post pretzel production cycle, Gary .

    @Pepe What's the connection? :P Could it be the HATE by any chance? No...cannot be.
    Hate, like all emotions and thought is illusory, a simple chemical function of the brain. 'Reason as Sneezin' as one lucid observer has opined. **wipes nose with hanky**

    Robert O'Brien wrote:
    "Incidentally, I don't really have a problem with people who are not convinced God exists, except when they become belligerent. Then I break out my holy cudgel of faith."
    I prefer a Holy C8SFW w/40mm, but I agree entirely otherwise!

    ...and Finally my open response to Oleg - who is currently ignoring ME as well as God. ( But, I suspect he knows we are BOTH here :)
    Oleg wrote:
    "Look up these names: Thomas Huxley, Michael Ruse."
    These are objective moral sources? They exist beyond time and space, or time and pace exist because of them?
    Or ...are they just men who wrote interesting papers and books? Men with ideas?
    If they are 'just men', it is MUCH easier to discount the words of such men (when convenient) than to discount the will of the Creator.
    N'est-ce pas?
    This is why constitutions, laws, oaths, etc for recorded posterity have been made before God(s) and their representatives, not on textbooks or directories.
    I know you think me a Neanderthal, Oleg - but just process that reason. Register these grunts. Even if you did not believe in God, you must see the effect of His authority work POSITIVELY.
    You must be able to see that the good has FAR outweighed the bad. The inspirations, the altruism, the laws that made us civilized, and the HOPE and faith that there is an attainable 'better way'. All this must be at least VISIBLE to the relativist view, no?

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  37. I would also like to point out a little something, if I may. Objectivism, at it has been noted, is opposed to communism in the most basic and absolute ways. Materialism is in schism here; in open and violent conflict. So, we see that the concept often touted by militant Atheists that religion / faith is a source of conflict evaporates.
    With religion scoffed away, the Materialists find ANOTHER cause for conflict. The reduction in their philosophical understanding does nothing to prevent discord and even conflict.
    With this simple observation another GNU Atheist argument collapses.

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  38. C8 ...hmm Are you Canadian dude ??? XD


    By the way Oleg, people can be good without any beliefs, any beliefs at all! But the question could be something like this... Is there Good without God ???

    If God is not, where do Good and Evil comes from ?

    If we are the ones who create good and evil, then anything can be considered good, you just have to say it is XD. Even if we were to claim that society chooses what good and evil is, than all the atrcities in History were... well GOOD... they were just what that people thought it was correct and that is it!

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  39. Edward,

    Scroll up a bit in this thread and you will see that atheists have thought about this very question. Read up on that and we can discuss the topic.

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  40. So it is based on evolution. Riiiight.

    Let me list Coyne's points so I can think about them.

    1)_Morality is based on genetic traits that came from ancestor creatures

    2)_Big brained animals in small social groups favor genes that makes be nice to others

    3)_ Secular morality is far better and even fix religion based morality

    4)_ Lots os secular countries have great morals and help other people

    _____________________________________________

    Okay number one claim I can understand the whole point that our genes can guide our behavior. But that is a bit of a problem. See, animals have morals and tend to behave nice in social grounds but they can shut down that morality and kill for instance, kid animals so their heirs can reign over the land. Genetic based morality is just a loose morality really, the same way that we human beings can trick our peers to think that we are good and exterminate them eventually, animals can do that too.

    Another problem, is that our genes do not necessarily create rules, just feelings. For instance you idea to not kill other people can be explained by saying that is gives bad feelings and that made this bahavior bad, and the bad feeling con be tracked back to our genes, however some people fell good things while tortuting and killing.

    Our Morality genes are not like the genes that created our bones and muscles, we can escape morality any time we want, we can do as much as we please. Is hard to say I think if morality is simply more based on experience than instinct and genes.

    Number 2 makes me wonder a little... why big brains and small social groups favor the moral genes. Why not favor genes that simply makes us behave well to others so we can gert things for us. After all Kin selection theory is all about this, no altruism, just selfishness.

    Anyway we would still have to explain how these mechanisms arouse, otherwise it slowly becomes a worthless explanation. Like to say: We developed social ideas because the other way around, without social ideas, our especies would die.

    But that explanation doesn't explain origin, it pressuposes that it will show up no matter what, and that there were groups that didn't have them and perished.

    First we would have to prove that these other animals with no social ideas existed and of course explain how evolution created these social behaviors.

    Darwinian evolution is purely random, and maybe thousand of other behaviors could have arouse and done the job. ( considering that these other behaviors could have apeared ).

    So all in all Natural Selection favors the one that wins, not the one that acts good. Being bad at the right times or slaving people is all favored by natural selection because you win, you win the battle of life, so genes and natural selection is still a loose systems os morality because it works in a practical way not based on principles or something like that.
    Yep ... killing people is just normal, you win they lose, why such behavior should be disfavored by natural selection ???

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  41. number 3 is just silly man. We killed millions based on secular morality. Secular or religious morality are just in a practical view, of equal worth.

    Religion did bad morality and did good morality

    Secular ideas did bad morality and good morality.

    We are humans, we are not perfect, shit happens XD

    So coyne is just of course denying History, c'mon! XD

    The number 4 I agree with secular countries being really nice and huge demonstration of civility. But if I were to look at the bad side... like Denmark mass killing of dolphins simply based on tradition, of japanese whaling disguised as scientific research, the huge number of suicides in these same rich countries, Racism in japan, Xenophobia in Europe, White supremacists in France.

    Hmm I see where Coyne is going to, but he is just being optimistic, every country has it's screw ups and these very secular countries are just like everybody else. They are just in a different social/political/economical context.

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  42. oleg said...

    Gary wrote: Atheists, by their own admission, have no foundations for ethics.

    Gary, ignorance is the only excuse to make such a silly claim. Look up these names: Thomas Huxley, Michael Ruse.


    The ignorance is all yours Oleg, and you can keep it. You don't know atheist philosophy worth beans and it shows in the most glaring light.

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent. -William B. Provine, atheist professor of biology at Cornell University

    "In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky; and you won't find any rhyme or reason to it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music." Richard Dawkins, --Out of Eden, page 133

    Need some older ones?

    "If there is no God, everything is permitted." - Jean Paul Sartre on Ivan Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevski's character

    Oh and Ruse did you say? Obviously you don't even know what he thinks:

    "Morality is no more … than an adaptation, and as such has the same status as such things as teeth and eyes and noses. . . . [M]orality is a creation of the genes".

    Naturalist Simon Blackburn says much the same: "Nature has no concern for good or bad, right or wrong. . . . We cannot get behind ethics."

    And how about this?

    Evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson said that morality is just a survival mechanism: Ethics "is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate," and "the way our biology enforces its ends is by making us think that there is an objective higher code to which we are all subject."

    So there you go Oleg. Clearly you are the ignorant one and even more clearly you don't understand the logical implications of atheism as these men do.

    Now if there are indeed no real foundations for ethics and ethics is just another genetic accident of electro-chemical movement in brain circuitry, then there. is no such thing as good or evil.

    If atheism were true then ex-atheist C.S. Lewis was right when he wrote, "The theory that thought is merely a movement in the brain is, in my opinion, nonsense; for if so, that theory itself would be merely a movement, an event among atoms, which may have speed and direction but of which it would be meaningless to use the words 'true' or 'false'".

    Get over it and get out of atheism. If there is no such thing as true good or evil then no, atheists, no more than anyone else can be good.

    Your philosophy is empty and feckless not to mention disgusting in its implications for life.

    Whatever morals atheists may live by they have no objective grounds for and so must borrow their morals from another source - religion.

    This of course means that atheists are nothing but moral parasites.

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  43. Coyne may be a fine biologist, I neither know nor care. He may even be a decent pedagogue. However, one thing he is not is a philosopher.

    Another thing he is not is a logician. His logic, as all Darwinian atheist logic must be, is severely distorted and crippled.

    This is what happens to the brain when acute cognitive dissonance perpetuates in it by self contradictory reason and logic.
    Something short circuits in the brain and the mind no longer sees its own vicious errors. Generally circular in nature.

    Atheism creates just such cognitive dissonance.

    Ex.: Believing oneself to be "good", while having no objective definition of "good" and furthermore, no reason to be "good".

    The atheist mind thus stumbles and falls over every sophism it has accepted.

    The atheist, if he persists in such contradicting beliefs and the dissonance sets in his minds patterns, becomes mentally virtually immune to much logic.

    I know atheists that claim there are no logical absolutes - vehemently.
    And they are absolutely sure!

    You see, atheism can never work as a reasonable position since, it is impossible to know there is no God and equally impossible to prove such.

    There is NO evidence for atheism. Zero, zilch, zip, rien, nada!

    Therefore the atheist can ONLY hold his position by blind faith. Which, ironically enough, is exactly his accusation against the theist!!

    For all of the above reasons and more, this is why a much wiser man wrote, "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'".

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  44. Gary,

    Have you checked your reading comprehension lately?

    You have gotten one half of the message from Ruse and others, that ethics does not come from on high (there is no God). But you haven't gotten the other half: ethics has emerged as a result of humans interacting with one another.

    This is not just an idle speculation. Research in game theory shows that altruistic behavior can evolve in a population of organisms. Here is the Stanford Encyclopedia article on biological altruism.

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  45. oleg said...

    ...You have gotten one half of the message from Ruse and others, that ethics does not come from on high (there is no God). But you haven't gotten the other half: ... This is not just an idle speculation.

    I'm afraid you're not listening Oleg and it is your own reading and mostly critical analysis skills that need to be called in question here.

    Your atheist mentors at least some of them, went to the bottom of their own positions and realized that morality is still an illusion, no matter how much fitness nonsense one adds to it.

    Biological altruism is an oxymoron.

    Do you understand that if morality is a mere evolutionary adaptation it doesn't really exist as anything more than a biological curiosity?

    It becomes nothing more than yet another unguided, purposeless, accident of blind thoughtless nature. It makes all morality purely and only an electrochemical process in the brain.

    But if morality doesn't really exist outside of human neuro processes, then it has NO REAL VALUE or meaning at all.
    The Darwinian concept of morality without spirit or soul, is and can ONLY an illusion.

    Bio Altruism is impossible. Its concept of morality rests entirely upon neural function alone - making all morality amoral!

    Neural processes do not have morality.

    Another clear case of cognitive dissonance.
    Can you see that?

    This is precisely what makes Ruse, Dawkins et al. say there really is no good or evil.
    This is true no matter what some Darwinist attempts to prove of "biological altruism" - a contradiction of terms if ever there was one!

    Since all real altruism whatsoever is necessarily a matter of intention.

    As Wilson stated, and you apparently either did not read or understand, Ethics "is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate," and "the way our biology enforces its ends is by making us think that there is an objective higher code to which we are all subject." THAT is bio altruism and nothing more!

    If you can't see why this makes the evolutionists view of morality utterly useless and indeed childishly foolish, then something like honesty is missing in your heart and you need what is known as repentance - a change of heart.

    Again, C.S. Lewis was right when he wrote, "The theory that thought [or morality] is merely a movement in the brain is, in my opinion, nonsense; for if so, that theory itself would be merely a movement, an event among atoms, which may have speed and direction but of which it would be meaningless to use the words 'true' or 'false'".

    This is exactly what the idiotic idea of bio-altruism means -nothing but a movement of atoms in meat.

    The terms "altruism" and "matter & energy" (biological or other) do not coincide. Energy acting within a couple of pounds of meat can never be real altruism since matter & energy are amoral.

    This isnt hard.

    HINTS:
    Altruism cannot exist without free will as it is moral and not physical by very definition.
    Atheism renders ALL morality mere matter & energy, therefore no morality at all.
    Altruism cannot exist unless it comes from more than mere genetic programming either. The functions of genes are not moral.
    There is no such thing as selfish gene, thus no such thing as an altruistic gene -the whole concept is ludicrous.
    Morality, if it is anything, is a matter of intention. Not of the flow of electrons in a ball of meat. Electrons have no intentions. They are never right nor wrong.
    But if the Darwinian view is true, then morality is but a mere illusion as Wilson et al. say.

    Dr. Egnor wrote some excellent comments on this very subject here

    I sincerely hope you're actually thinking this through, rather than surfing off to find some alleged rebuttal on your fave Darwinist atheist site like PT or TO.

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  46. Gary,

    Your comments are as boring as they are cocky. Take this, for instance:

    Neural processes do not have morality.

    What's with the boldface type? Does it somehow makes this "argument" more authoritative? I dunno. It's actually pretty silly. You know what? Helium atoms do not possess the property of superfluidity. Large collections of helium atoms do. Ponder that. And if you have any further questions, let me know.

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  47. oleg said...

    " Your comments are as boring as they are cocky. "


    Cocky?
    Thats atheist territory; Cocky and ignorant at once.

    Accurate and honest is the better way to see my comments.

    Why are you atheists ubiquitously so incredibly blind to your own glaring logical fallacies and lack of comprehension?? Cognitive dissonance again.

    Your heroes, the New Atheist nitwits, still manage to think more deeply than you poor Oleg.

    At least they admit the logical consequences of the "biological altruism" idiocy, i.e. morality is an illusion, there is no moral law and therefore no good or evil exists.

    " What's with the boldface type? Does it somehow makes this "argument" more authoritative? I dunno. "

    Umm, generally bold, underlining or italics, are used for emphasis.
    Sad to see a supposed adult that doesn't know this.
    How old are you really? 12? maybe 14?

    Or are you just nit-picking, in the absence of being able to refute my points intelligently?

    And of course you dunno Oleg. You don't get it and you don't want to get it. It would spoil your false sense of security in materialism if you did get it and you'd be forced to reevaluate your whole life and future.

    Its sad to see such denial of the obvious. Thats atheism - denial of reality; much akin to insanity.

    "It's actually pretty silly. You know what? Helium atoms do not possess the property of superfluidity. Large collections of helium atoms do."

    OMG!
    You really did not understand a thing I said did you!?!
    Hard to believe.

    Talk about utterly irrelevant rebuttals.
    All your other "arguments" claiming that morality is just biological are little better.

    Your answers thus far denote a clear inability to refute anything at all that I've said.

    Worse, there is much evidence in all your posts for believing that you don't even understand a thing that was said.

    You may one day understand that your world view is as futile and void of reason as your Darwinist friends keep trying to tell you.

    "Nothing created everything. There is no good, no evil, no purpose in life or the universe and all will end in vain oblivion, forgotten forever."

    That sums up the atheist world view nicely.
    Try to respond more intelligently to a point or 2 next time huh? Please.

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  48. How about I just ignore you next time, Gary? Would that work for you? I hope so.

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  49. Kudos...or should I say Coup De Grace, Gary.
    Love the references to cognitive dissonance.
    Truly CRUSHING rebuttal.
    *SALUTES*
    Oleg,
    Stop paying coy. You are here to debate and converse. To interact, no?
    You cannot do that while ignoring the other comments. You say you WILL ignore? You have been ignoring all along.
    Open your mind and toughen up that skin a bit.
    Gary's points are valid, and you do NOTHING to counter or concede to them.
    I would suggest you need to STOP ignoring and START to respond - it's far more interesting and fun for all concerned.
    Cheer up, Oleg...

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  50. crusadeREX said...

    Thanks for the comments, I appreciate it. I usually get nothing but smear and ad homs.

    Keep up the good work youself!

    Its never an easy job trying to get anything like reason through to atheists who insist on wearing blinders and ear plugs, but hey somebody has to do it! :-)

    There are no absolutes and they are absolutely sure. lol

    "An atheist is a man who looks through a telescope and tries to explain what he can't see..." -O.A. Battista

    Even that anti Christian scoundrel Voltaire had atheists nailed when he wrote, "The atheists are for the most part imprudent and misguided scholars who reason badly who, not being able to understand the Creation, the origin of evil, and other difficulties, have recourse to the hypothesis the eternity of things and of inevitability..."

    My many years of experience in with atheists proves that it's only 99% of them that give a bad reputation to the rest.

    I've done 100s of debates if not 1000s, on line and off, and in all the years that I've been trying to help them see some light or at least see how foolish and groundless atheism really is, I've only come across a very limited number - indeed no more than 1% - that ever actually listen & honestly seek to find the truth of things.

    Our friend Oleg has revealed himself to be a member of the 99% that are merely playing mind and word games. He's just attempting to confuse the adversary, theist or deist while only really fooling himself.

    I find it very hard to believe he simply doesn't understand the points being offered. Looks more like dishonest evasion & more mere denial to me.

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