Tuesday, February 14, 2012

JT Eberhard's dad on why he posts so much on atheism

I know you were wondering.

Poppy, with my commentary:

Why do I post about atheism so much?
February 6, 2012 at 11:30 am JT Eberhard
[JT] My father has written another good one.

[JT's dad] Some time ago, my good friend Kevin asked “Why do you post about atheism all the time?”
I'll betcha' Eberhard's dad doesn't know anyone named "Kevin".   
Valid question. I have pondered it at length. So, for my theist facebook friends, here is why.
Atheists are stigmatized in our culture.
Atheists can't get stigmata. Even St. Francis had to work at it for 30 years, and he was uncommonly holy.
A great many people who contribute to that stigmatization do not realize that not only do they know some atheists, but that they have found them to be perfectly acceptable human beings.
Right. Billions of Christians have no idea that they know atheists, who we presume would be identifiable by the horns protruding through their hair, right next to the '666' etched in their scalp. We realize that atheists could keep their tails tucked in their pants, but the horns would be hard to hide.
Until these good people are made aware of the atheists around them who are indistinguishable from every other good person,
Except for the horns...
they may buy into and promulgate the existing institutionalized stigmatization.
"Institutional stigmatization"? What institutes exclude atheists? Higher education? Science? Hollywood? The arts? The media? They're infested with atheists. A sneer at Evangelicals and an eye-roll at the Catholic Church are the coin of the secular realm.
In short, if you know me and like me, then let me inform you I am an atheist, and I am still that very same person whom you knew and liked.
But you can't be an atheist! You seem so... so... human.
Informing you of my lack of belief does not suddenly outfit me with horns, a forked tail, and a pitchfork.
'666' on your scalp is sufficient.
Until we come out of the closet as individual atheists, we will continue to be stigmatized and marginalized as a group.
Why not stay in a group closet? They have spacious walk-in's...
The second reason is that I am a very strong supporter of the Constitutional separation of church and state which is under nonstop attack by theists.
There's "Constitutional" and there's "separation of church and state". But "Constitutional separation of church and state" is an oxymoron, like "friendly lawsuit" (to pick an example atheists could relate to).

News to Poppy: "separation of church and state" ain't in the Constitution, no matter what your friends say.
I suppose I could fight that without declaring my atheism; however, it is simpler to self-identify as one of the groups the Christian Taliban is wanting to use the government to marginalize into second-class citizenry.
"Christian Taliban" is one of those oxymorons, Poppy. In fact, it's been Christians who've been keeping the Taliban at bay for 1400 years. You atheists tried it once, and the Taliban kicked your задница.
Make no mistake: there is a radical religious right that is determined to turn us into a theocracy.
Sure. For 200 years we had prayer in schools, creches in the town square, and Ten Commandments on our courthouse lawns. And America was a nightmarish theocratic Torquemada-ville.

Oh... wait... no it wasn't...
Their ongoing goal is to use our government as a proselytizing, indoctrination, and enforcement arm for their narrow minded version of religion.
Atheists are just trying to mind their own business, and Christians are such censors.
The third reason is that, frankly, I am annoyed by gullibility, ignorance, stupidity, propaganda, falsehoods, poor logic, and bad arguments.
So don't buy Dawkins' books.
I am disgusted with people who don’t know jack shit about science demanding to determine what is taught as science.
Hey. My thoughts exactly.
I am sick of people wanting to force their Iron Age morals onto everyone, despite mountains of studies and evidence that show them to be wrong.
Preach it bro'!
I think it is pathetic that people use religion to marginalize entire classes of people based on gender, sexual orientation, and color.
Yea. People who are denied basic rights need a helping hand.
Some other reasons:
In the entire history of Congress, there has only been one avowed atheist, Pete Stark. We are not represented and will not be represented until we speak out.
Pete Stark represents you well.
Because it took until 1961 for atheists to be guaranteed the right to serve on juries, testify in court, or hold public office in every state in the country.
Yea. We let them testify in court, and now we can't get them to stop testifying in court.
Because religion is not satisfied with merely existing quietly in the homes and hearts of the faithful. Its very nature compels the believer to proselytize, preach, promote, convince, convert and prevail.
Religion sticks its nose into everything.
Because the idea that skepticism and questioning are the same as cynicism, nihilism, and despair.
Atheism. The antidote to cynicism, nihilism and despair.
Because I can, and the only punishment thus far is societal, not legal…..at least for the present.

One gets the sense that Poppy's propensity to write so much on atheism has more to do with inadequate medication than it does with anything resembling insight. It's hard to best an atheist when it comes to stringing oxymoronic banalities into an ideology.

Contra Pops, the Christian understanding of man is the basis for our rights. Along with the vast majority of Americans, I believe that Christianity belongs in the forefront of our civic life. Free exercise of religion-- open acknowledgement of our debt to God for our right to life, our right to liberty and our right to pursue happiness-- is protected by our Constitution.

We Christians have always respected the genuine rights of our atheist neighbors. Atheists are the least persecuted religious group on earth.

State atheism, on the other hand, is always-- always-- totalitarian.


  1. Michael,

    Stephen King's son Joe Hill wrote a novel 'Horns' in which the hero of the story grew horns, 12 months after his girlfriend had been brutally murdered, which no one else could see, but which caused them to utter truthfully whatever they were thinking.

    His novel was much better written than any of the dribble you've ever written, with much better logic.

    If I had to express the truth I'd be forced to say that your comments on this thread are bullshit from start to end.

    Atheists aren't marked with the number of the beast. Atheists don't believe in the existence of Satan as well as god(s). 'Revelations' was written by someone said to be John whilst on the then equivalent of LSD.

    1. Bullshit?
      Lets see...
      Stephen King as a quality author (pulp)? Bullshit. Hasn't written anything worth a column since the Shining (and Kubrick made that look better than it was).

      Comments on this thread? This is a blog, and the Doctor's writing is called a post. More bullshit.

      St John on Patmos high on LSD? (LSD = ad 1938)
      YET More bullshit.

      Let me guess what's next?
      Stephanie Meyer is the next Shakespeare?
      My comments are the worst in the 'book' you are reading? Or maybe that Moses spiked the Pharaohs pot with DMT crystals?

      Could it have been half price Fosters down at the Dingo and Roo last night?

    2. CrusadeRex,

      Your reading skills aren't very good. I wrote Stephen King's son Joe Hill, and then you write a diatribe against the father. I wasn't talking about Stephen King, fine author though he is. He hasn't written a bad book, with the exception of 'Gerald's Game', and the 7 books in the Revolver man series, and 'Thinner' and ... Come to think of it, he has written a lot of bad books, but he's also written a lot of good ones too.

  2. ""Christian Taliban" is one of those oxymorons, Poppy. In fact, it's been Christians who've been keeping the Taliban at bay for 1400 years. You atheists tried it once, and the Taliban kicked your задница."

    Thank you and GOD BLESS you for saying this, Mike.
    I am sick of all these fucking grey haired children using that metaphor. God forgive me for feeling it, but every time I hear that phrase it makes me wonder why I bothered. Why not let these milk toast SHEEPLE meet the Taliban they think they know so well? All this talk of resources and Malthusian chicken little stuff could be fixed by simply allowing those bearded maniacs a few weeks of free run.
    Then the venom abates, and I remember why. I see my own son in his crib, and my older lad getting ready for his day. I see the good people across next door playing with their toddler and our dogs. I hear the bells....
    I remember.
    It truly means a lot for me to hear a highly educated and respected academic and surgeon make such a comment, Doctor.
    Again, God bless you and thank you from all the men and women in my unit.
    Your Resident Crusader.

  3. CrusadeRex,

    Well, actually 'Taliban' is Pashto for 'students'. Would 'Christian students' be preferable?

    I personally don't feel any safer for Bush invading Afghanistan, and then fouling up by needlessly invading Iraq for spurious reasons, without having adequate postwar plans, both for Iraq and Afghanistan.

    'Christians have been keeping the Taliban at bay for 1400 years'. Yes, Portugal and Spain continued their enmity against the Ottoman Empire after they'd ejected the Muslims from the Iberian peninsula.

    Which was also the reason why Christian Genoa allied itself with the Ottoman empire, because it was a very good trading partner and a conduit for spices from the Far East. And also the reason why Christian France also allied itself with the Ottoman empire at times, because it was a useful counterweight against Spain. And also the reason why Christian Britain and Christian France went to war against Christian Russia in support of the Ottoman empire in the Crimean War.

    Christian rulers aren't always motivated by religion. Politics and economics play a role (it's the reason why Protestant Sweden paid Catholic France money to continue the war against the Protestant German states in the war of religion in the 30 years war).

    I feel so safe with you identifying yourself as a crusader. The Taliban, nasty though they are, aren't likely to cause any harm to us in the west even if, as is likely, they take over in Afghanistan. Particularly since Al Qaeda seems irrelevant after the Arab Spring.

  4. Christian Taliban is a perfectly apt description of the reactionary right wing in this country. All you need to do is check the comments on right-wing websites like Fox News, Free Republic, The Blaze, and a host of others. The hatred, racism, bigotry, and violent fantasies spewing forth from the right-wing Christian base are enough to make you sick. Killing liberals, killing atheists, and killing niggers are common themes. I’m amazed at the effort that goes into splicing and dicing the word “nigger” to get it past any real or imagined automatic filters. These disgusting people are who Dr. Egnor is fighting for. He shares their warped and twisted vision of some imaginary Christian utopia that can only be realized by waging and winning a war.


    1. @KW:

      You're delusional. The primary source of religious violence for the past 200 years has been atheism-secularism.

      It's Lenin/Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot/Kim whatever who have been killing people, not the Pope.

    2. Yes Crusader, because when an atheist neglects to put quotes around one of two instances of the use of the word “nigger” when discussing the right-wing hate speech he magically becomes a racist too. Give me a break.

      And Michael, I bring up the extreme hatefulness of your political allies and you somehow manage to invoke Lenin and Pol Pot!? Is that really the best you can do?


    3. "Yes Crusader, because when an atheist..."
      I am not talking about any Atheist, my comments are directed at YOU.

      "[...]neglects to put quotes around one of two instances of the use of the word [insert slur] ..."
      The repeated use of that word is crass and unnecessary. It is a naked attempt at 'playing the race card'.
      I think most of us here would agree playing to race is not a sign of a strong argument, regardless of our theological or political positions. It is usually, in my own experience, also a indicator of very cynical racial and cultural ideals. A person willing to engage in such games sees these 'identity groups' as fair game. Either that, or a complete lack of understanding of what they speak. In your exceptional case it may in fact even be a combination?

      "...when discussing the right-wing hate speech he magically becomes a racist too."
      You must mean ranting on about race and race hatred on some website's comments while launching a personal smeering of the blogger and an inferred Libel against all Christians?

      You wrote it yourself: "These disgusting people are who Dr. Egnor is fighting for."

      REALLY now?

      Perhaps you had best let the good Doctor define just who and what he fights for, eh?

      "Give me a break."
      Okay then.

  5. "Well, actually 'Taliban' is Pashto for 'students'."
    And Fascist means a bunch of sticks or rods when properly translated and explained.
    You're point?

    "Would 'Christian students' be preferable?"
    Yes of course it would. What type of idiotic question is that? Are YOU on LSD? (as opposed to St John in your previous response). Would calling a group of atheists 'a bunch' be preferable to calling them 'Fascist Atheists'?

    "I personally don't feel any safer for Bush invading Afghanistan.."
    I did not see him there. Not even from a distance. I think it was mostly NATO. Most of the politicians did not set foot in theatre till we had secured it. But Mr Bush DID visit his troops and rally them at some point. Did you?

    I cannot be bothered with the revisionist spin. I will just say that your focus on Iberia once again betrays an intellectual cowardice. What about the rest of the Byzantine and Persian worlds? Of that we hear ________.
    Spin, half-truths, and bullshit. Typical neo-marxist community college bullshit.

    "Christian rulers aren't always motivated by religion. "

    "Politics and economics play a role (it's the reason why Protestant Sweden paid Catholic France money to continue the war against the Protestant German states in the war of religion in the 30 years war"
    In which the Taliban and the Muslims were central? Oh I see! Perhaps you might remember this lesson on corruption the next time you BLAME religion for the 30 years war?

    "I feel so safe with you identifying yourself as a crusader."
    I take it that is some sort of attempt at sarcasm? Well and good. The gift of freedom is yours whether you are grateful to the men and women of the forces or not.

    Re Crusader: I was bequeathed that honourable title by my enemy (who call savage enemies a term that means descended from 'Mongol') and my colleagues who thought it fit well.
    I like to think I am something like my namesakes, at least the well meaning types among them.
    I too took the cross, I too fought to keep the wolves at bay. Like them I have buried friends and seen horrible things done by men to men in the name of God and ruler.
    Like them it changed me.
    But to the point: Men like you would have me and my kind feel shame for protecting your fellows.
    I do not and will not.
    While I cannot be 'proud' of much of what I have dealt with (was duty, not choice) I AM proud of my colleagues, men, and the other people we worked with.

    "The Taliban, nasty though they are, aren't likely to cause any harm to us in the west even if, as is likely, they take over in Afghanistan."
    You mean to say [the Taliban]'aren't likely to cause any harm to ME', don't you?
    The men and women we sent to combat their influence don't even enter into it. The harm already done to them BY the Taliban is not a factor to you and those like you? No.
    So why would being deeply religiously offensive to them upset you?
    I suspect it would not. So have at it!
    Use the term 'Taliban Christians' and suffer the silent resentment of your fellow man. That is your burden to bear, should you choose to.

    "Particularly since Al Qaeda seems irrelevant after the Arab Spring."
    Dream on. Oh how I would LOVE it, if you were only this SINGLE time correct....
    Al Qaeda is active in at least three theatres currently, and is a GROWTH industry in the Horn/Peninsula/Gulf regions. It is not irrelevant and it is not simply 'Al Qeada'. The Jihad is amorphous and flexible in it's ideology. The goal is all the remains static. Leaders, names, backers...they all shift. But here in the real world the long war continues.

    1. CrusadeRex,

      I don't know where to start. 'Bush invaded Afghanistan' is a figure of speech, using the leader or the country as a whole to represent the military forces.

      The war in both Afghanistan and Iraq were both brilliantly carried out, but the peace in both countries was botched. I thought that Afghanistan was justifiable at the time of the invasion, but I also thought that Iraq was not justified, and proved to be a distraction.

      We've stayed far too long in Afghanistan, and making the Russian mistake. Australian soldiers are being killed and wounded by Afghan soldiers they're training, so we don't understand, even after 10 years, how their minds tick.

      You have a black and white viewpoint of history; if something's not 100% right then it's 100% wrong. History is actually a infinite range of greys, as I noted in the fact hat the Ottoman empire had Christian allies at times when it was fighting other Christians. Or when Sweden paid France to fight Germans in the 30 years war. I could have added that the then pope lent money to the Protestant William of Orange to invade England and overthrow the Catholic king James II in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, because James was an ally of the French king Louis XIV who was in dispute with the pope for hegemony over the catholic world.

      Well, Al Qaeda is becoming irrelevant. Their main complaint, and the way they got most of their support in Muslim countries, was the West's support for corrupt dictatorships. The West should just get out of the way and support at a distance a continuing Arab Spring and the election of democratic governments. If they turn out to be Islamist, then so what? The strains of actually having power and having to make decisions about economics is likely to moderate their outlook.

      Bush foolishly used the word 'Crusade' in his justification for war. And actually 'crusaders' became an emotionally charged word in the Islamic world only after the 19th century with the West's exploitation of the resources of the Arab countries and support of corrupt regimes.

  6. So that's it? A narcissistic persecution complex? Sigh. Another atheistic complexity unraveled down to a simple, pathetic core. I was hoping for more.

    1. I fear these are 'Daddy' issues on the divine level!
      It seems to me that it always the one (above) or the other (scientism)- and that one leads the other on.

  7. The third reason is that, frankly, I am annoyed by gullibility, ignorance, stupidity, propaganda, falsehoods, poor logic, and bad arguments.

    So don't buy Dawkins' books.

    So true and very funny!

    Dickydawk is a real farce... He's not interested in Science, his goals are money and fame!

    1. He should really use some of that cash to get his teeth done too, eh?
      I know he smokes, but for goodness sakes! His mouth looks like an amber mine.

    2. A good thing we don't have to smell his smoking stench!

  8. Typical. On Valentine's Day, instead of writing about how Valentinius redeemed sinners and showed charity towards those around him, Egnor writes a poorly thought out diatribe laced with venom.

  9. What do you expect Dr. Egnor? It is a shallow gene pool. Neither JT nor his father are half as intelligent or learned as they imagine themselves to be. It is as if their sole purpose is to validate the work of Dunning and Kruger.

    Incidentally, JT recently wrote this in response to a commenter on his blog:

    "You and your friends, by contrast, are unresearched trolls with delusions of grandeur..."

    Which is a perfect example of the pot reproaching the kettle.

  10. J T Eberhard's blog (and this referenced posting in particular), serves as a first rate example as to why attempting any dialogue with these people would be counter productive, and at best, an exercise in frustration.

    Any professing atheist who is actually so paranoid as to believe he is a persecuted minority marginalized from society ("institutionalized stigmatization"), or so extreme as to compare Christians to the Taliban, and see every action by Christians as an attempt to establish and enforce a theocracy, is delusional and in serious need of medical attention. (And Dr. Egnor, your remark about the writer suffering from "inadequate medication" is probably a fairer assessment than I would have originally realized.)

    Although trying to establish an actual discussion with such individuals is invariably a complete waste of time, dealing with their "arguments" as a reference point at arms length as you have done here, serves a useful purpose in that it enables a dialogue to be established with fair minded individuals. - LE