Wednesday, January 6, 2010


You Atheists have gotten into my head and it sucks. I don't think I ever heard the word "debunk" before I got on a computer about a year or so ago. So today at work I heard someone use it and thought he must be some loony Atheist? Turns out he was just a dude that has a better vocab than me. Then on my way home from work someone cut me off in traffic and I uttered under my breath "damn Atheist". Then tonight at church some kid was screwing around in the hallway causing a stir and all I could think about is how in about 5 years he'll probably be blogging about how he left the church and decided to become an Atheist.

Do I need a break from you'll or what?

P.S. I hope no loons were offended by this post.

Peace be with you, feeno


  1. This loon wasn't offended.

    What causes your paranoia and scapegoating of atheists? What is your worst atheist fear?

  2. I got like that with Scientology at one point. I wasn't even interacting with any Scientologists; I was just worried about them after reading some recent news stories and accounts, and I started thinking about them all the time. Eventually I realised that much of what I dislike about Scientology isn't unique to it, so I got back to promoting my own position in general and felt less stressed.

    If you're thinking about your opponents in an ongoing dispute more than you're thinking about the arguments themselves then maybe a break or some distance would help. Or you can do the rough equivalent of what I did: stop concentrating so hard on atheists (leave that to JD and Makarios) and just plain preach to everybody.

    You said it yourself at ATA, your own faith has very little to do with apologetics or specific arguments. Perhaps they're not the best way to Save(tm) others either.

  3. Geenks

    Scapegoat, I think that's another one of those things we say that the Bible invented. Unless Tink sees this and debunks it.

    But your question is a very good one and I have no idea? Uhh, maybe I thought somehow Atheists would read this, get saved, and start going to church and then become Preachers. So if that never happens could be one of my fears?



    That is actually wonderful advice. I know your the "Dear Abby" for Atheists, but you could actually do the same for Christians?

    Late, feeno

  4. Okay. As long as you don't think atheists are after your children and organizing to close churches at gun point while hauling clergy off to concentration camps... perhaps I've said too much.

  5. I didn't necessarily mean you should start Ask the Christian.

    Being an atheist without one's own sacred texts and doctrines means answering others for most of the time, so the stimulus-and-response nature of Dear Abby fits nicely. Christians don't need any kind of lead-in to preach, they've got mountains of material. Your current blog is probably all you need.

  6. I'm sorry we've been getting to you Feeno. Would it make you feel better if I repented of my sins and became a born again Christian... again? (Heh heh, that would mean I'm born again born again, again. Sort of like reincarnation!)Just kidding.

    Hopefully we're not depressing you too much with our dark ways. lol. But hey, if you need a break from the blogosphere... that's fine. I sometimes go on two week hiatuses just to catch my thoughts and focus on things I need to get done in the real world. It's always good to take a break now and again. ;)

    Peace out!

  7. Do I need a break from you'll or what?

    It can become tedious after awhile of dealing with nihilists, but that is to be suspected. Just remeber that in spite of their inherent nihilism that they arent necessarily bad people.

  8. Hi feeno. Yeah, it sounds you could use a break.
    I am always refreshed after a nice nap in a sunny day on the grass.

    JD Curtis, I didn't understand very well. Are you saying atheists are nihilist?

  9. Can't resist getting one in, can you JD? You think all atheists ought to be nihilists, as many religious people do, and that's as far as it goes.

    See what I mean about the primarily reactionary nature of my side of the debate, Feeno?

  10. It's surely a generalization on my part LX. Then there's always the option of becoming a Christian atheist instead of casting your "lot in with the nihilists".

  11. I understand the concept, even if I don't agree with it. We have a different and more general name for it: "faitheism".

  12. Nihilism equals atheism now? Apparently it's God or nothing, folks.

  13. Atheism isn't nihilist at all. And I don't prescribe to nihilist thought or philosophy.

    In fact, I don't think I've ever made an argument that could be sounded remotely as such. And so I am wondering where Christians get the idea that atheism equate nihilism?

    Maybe they read Nietzsche's 'The Antichrist'? But this is giving them too much credit, because then they wouldn't have made the mistake in the first place.

    At any rate, it's a misconstrued portrait of atheism. Misrepresentation aside, it only goes to show that most Christians don't know the first thing about the atheist perspective, but they're happy to put words into our mouths.

    That's why I come down hard on these types. If they know everything, well then, I'm going to make them prove it. Or else eat humble pie. Yummy!

  14. It's not Christians making that argument, just JD.

  15. JD has clearly never ever read any type of existential philosophy or any type of academic literature actually explaining what nihilism is. He probably associates it with the simplicity of anarchy, or whatever is the opposite of his patriotic narrowminded bullshit.

    Scapegoating is certainly not limited to Christians. Here is a start.

    The Hebrews were not the only group to practice scapegoat rituals. In ancient Athens, two ugly men were chosen as scapegoats during the festival of Thargelia. After dining at a feast, the pair were led through the streets and beaten with branches. Then they were escorted out of town or driven out with stones. The ritual was intended to protect Athens from harm.

    The Maya of Central America also held an annual ceremony involving a scapegoat. At the end of each year, Mayan villagers made a clay model of the demon Uuayayah. They placed the model before an image of the deity responsible for governing the coming year. Then they carried the model of Uuayayah outside the village to ward off evil.

    ritual ceremony that follows a set pattern

    deity god or goddess

    In Indonesia and the Philippines, scapegoats in the form of boats were used during epidemics to try to rid communities of a disease. The islanders built small boats and loaded them with food and water. They set the boats adrift in the open sea, hoping that the evil spirits that brought the disease would sail away in them.

    Read more: Scapegoat - Myth Encyclopedia - mythology, Greek, god, ancient, demon, people, evil

  16. Here, just to help our less informed friends.

    Here is a definition of nihilism.

    Nihilism – Abandoning Values and Knowledge
    Nihilism derives its name from the Latin root nihil, meaning nothing, that which does not exist. This same root is found in the verb “annihilate” -- to bring to nothing, to destroy completely. Nihilism is the belief which:

    * labels all values as worthless, therefore, nothing can be known or communicated.
    * associates itself with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism, having no loyalties.

    Funny, I have way too much education to see values as worthless. If I was to believe that nothing can be known or communicated, I would not go to school. No loyalties.... Hmmm. I vote, I volunteer, I work with people in a helpful position towards them. This is not the behaviour of a person who is pessimistic or skeptical, or feeling nothing at all.

    Narrow minded idiot. No God, of course, nihilism.

    Do not scapegoat us, we get under your skin because you cannot argue with what we say. And, we can argue you. No offense at all though.

  17. Feeno- you give me hope. Most of the people online who identify as "Christians" are not what I would call open minded or nice about it. You seem to be. So, no offense taken by me whatsoever.

  18. Atheism isn't nihilist at all. And I don't prescribe to nihilist thought or philosophy.

    "Fundamentally, nihilism represented a philosophy of negation of all forms of aestheticism; it advocated utilitarianism and scientific rationalism. The social sciences and classical philosophical systems were rejected entirely. Nihilism represented a crude form of positivism and materialism, a revolt against the established social order; it negated all authority exercised by the state, by the church, or by the family. It based its belief on nothing but scientific truth; science became the cure-all for social problems. All evils, nihilists believed, derived from a single source—ignorance—which science alone would overcome."

    On second thought, I guess none of the atheist sites that I visit have this attitude at all. Either that or the Encyclopedia Brittanica is completely wrong here.

  19. It seems that science has a tendency to break the monopoly of religion, and denotative thing to do would be to put the Bible back on the book shelf

    What if science could answer virtually beyond a reason of a doubt why we exist at all

    What if science is truly able to provide deeper insights and give trustworthy answers for our biggest and most pressing questions?

    So is science the nihilistic "cure all" for problems?

  20. And, I can cut and paste many definitions of nihilism that contains absolutely no reference to religion or science, so what do you want?

  21. JD-

    You're entirely wrong about the definitiion of Nihilism, and I think that's where the confusion is coming from.

    Britannica? Maybe you used a different outdate one? The online version states:

    "1 a: a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and uselessb: a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths
    2 a: a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibilitybcapitalized: the program of a 19th century Russian party advocating revolutionary reform and using terrorism and assassination..."

    Britanica also gives a brief history for the founding of nihilist thought, you should review it:

    Meanwhile, it's better to get a second opinion and have multiple sources. The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy states:

    "nihilism: A theory promoting the state of believing in nothing, or of having no allegiances and no purposes. The term is incorrectly used to characterize all persons not sharing some particular faith or particular set of absolute values."

    Atheists don't believe in nothing. We don't believe in God or god(s). That's not the same as not prescribing to any beliefs at all.

    We believe in intellectual honesty, self dignity, and various appreciations of all sorts. We have allegiances to our families, and duty to carrying on the social values of justice and continuing working toward a better future.

    All of this is part of the secular, humanist, and atheist mind set. It's not the absence of these things, as true nihilism would denote. So your view of all atheists being nihilists is a misconception.

    Nihilism does, as you pointed out, negate moral principles. But no atheist I know does. So you need to rethink your terminology.

  22. Thank you Tristan, you do better with him than me. The fact that nihilism can have many different definitions would go over his head. From an academic perspective, (which he does not have) religion is rarely included in the discussion. From what I understand, nihilists embody the concept of "nothingness" They do not want to be assimilated into society; education, etc.

    When in doubt, hit the encyclopedia. LOL

  23. I think that this whole discussion is best summarized with the following quote;

    The modern mind is in complete disarray. Knowledge has stretched itself to the point where neither the world nor our intelligence can find any foot-hold. It is a fact that we are suffering from nihilism.

    Albert Camus

  24. Nihilism does, as you pointed out, negate moral principles. But no atheist I know does. So you need to rethink your terminology.

    More aptly put "No atheist can formulate a good reason to negate moral principles". It's been said that "moral inertia runs about 3 generations deep" and I couldnt agree more. It will be interesting to view societies that are becoming post-Christian in a few years as they become increasingly more irreligious and they fumble their way through complex moral/ethical issues with no fixed standard and no way to commonly agreed up method to determine a fixed standard or even if there should be a fixed standard at all.

    It would appear that some of the more intellectually honest atheists are reaching out to Christians to stop the spread of Sharia Law in Europe. At least they are honest concerning which worldview is clearly better. Link

  25. Another component of nihilism that none of you addressed is the astonishing level of science fetishists in your midsts. That so many atheists have some misguided notion that science is some sort of cure-all for all manner of societal ills. Nothing in science negates the Beatitudes, Sermon on the Mount or Ten Commandments. If religion didnt exist then science would have to invent it in order to facilitate it's ethical use.

  26. JD, what in the Beatitudes, SOTM or Commandments can even be tested for its truth value (as opposed to its usefulness), let alone negated?

  27. Cite one specific problem or question you have with any part of any of them and we'll examine it. Agreed?

  28. By rejecting man’s spiritual essence in favor of a solely materialistic one, nihilists denounced God and religious authority as antithetical to freedom

    good and evil are nebulous, and values addressing such are the product of nothing more than social and emotive pressures

    Inevitably, nihilism will expose all cherished beliefs and sacrosanct truths as symptoms of a defective Western mythos

    Political Nihilism, as noted, is associated with the belief that the destruction of all existing political, social, and religious order is a prerequisite for any future improvement.


    I would be pleased, also, if anyone wished to discuss the above link in reference to Nihilism.

  29. From a factual perspective there's nothing in them to have a problem with, that's what I'm saying.

    The specific texts you mention lay down, and elaborate upon, God's laws and advice for mankind. Statements of fact are limited to the future - "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." - or the unobservable - "...your in the secret place;" - or definitions - "...whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery." None of it can be physically or even logically tested or falsified.

    I'm not saying that science can negate the Beatitudes, etc. I'm saying that the fact that it can't means little or nothing.

  30. Regarding your excerpts from the article on nihilism, they suggest that nihilism is by its nature atheistic. Well, yes it is, among other things. So's Communism, but not many atheists outside of Communist countries are Communists nowadays.

    Nor can the flaws of nihilism be traced unambiguously to its atheistic aspect any more than Soviet atrocities can be blamed on atheism, or Nazi atrocities can be blamed on the Catholic Church.

  31. Most (but of course, not all) of the online atheists I deal with are Big Government Liberals. It's not exactly "Communist" but well on their way. One of the few sites that I know of for conservative atheists is the atheist pro-life website. Often times their arguments along with the secular humanists are more logically coherent than religious ones re:the pro-life position.

    Nor can the flaws of nihilism be traced unambiguously to its atheistic aspect any more than Soviet atrocities can be blamed on atheism

    I'm going to go with someone who went through such atrocities like Solzhenitsyn.

    "Solzhenitsyn saw the basic problem that humanity faced as being rooted in the French Enlightenment and modern science. Both identify the world with nature, and nature with matter. If humans are part of nature, they themselves are material. If humans are material, then what is the realm of God and of spirit? And if there is no room for God and spirituality, then what keeps humans from sinking into bestiality? For Solzhenitsyn, Stalin was impossible without Lenin’s praise of materialism, and Lenin was impossible without the Enlightenment."


    Insofar as blaming Roman Catholicism for Nazi atrocities, I would point out that the SS required one to renounce Christianity..

    "The SS were particularly anti-Christian, and officers and men were encouraged to leave the Church, although those that refused to renounce their Christian faith were not visibly punished, perhaps because their otherwise faithful adherence to SS codes of behaviour gave the lie to any claim of true Christian affiliation. The SS also brought in its own neo-pagan rituals for marriage ceremonies and baptisms."


    We follow not Christ, but Horst Wessel,
    Away with incense and Holy Water,
    The Church can go hang for all we care,
    The Swastika brings salvation on Earth.

    A Hitler Youth marching song

  32. JD, it seems like compared to you almost everyone is a "Big Government Liberal", especially when Obama's in office.

    Solzhenitsyn apparently mistook a question with many answers for a rhetorical one and never bothered to try answering it. What keeps humans from sinking into bestiality? Nothing does all the time, even belief in gods, but everything from empathy to the law to the simple desire not to live like a beast contributes.

    I didn't know that about the SS, but it's very interesting that this went on while the Wehrmacht (basically the entire military except for the SS) went around with "Gott Mit Uns" on their belt buckles, and Hitler had a new Bible written and tried to stamp out atheism. Someone, perhaps Himmler, obviously knew the benefits of a cult to its masters.

  33. the Wehrmacht (basically the entire military except for the SS) went around with "Gott Mit Uns" on their belt buckles

    And was this saying on belt buckles started by..
    A. Adolf Hitler, or was it from
    B. the Kaiser's Imperial standard of 1870?

  34. Note: "the translation of "Waffen SS" is "Armed SS", which distinguished them from the 500,000 strong Allgemeine SS, or "Generic SS" which was the Nazi bureaucracy"

  35. When Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn died last weekend, I was reminded how this brilliant man of letters explained so simply and accurately how it was that 60 million perished following the Bolshevik revolution in his country.

    "I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: 'Men have forgotten God' – that's why all this happened."

    He continued: "... All attempts to find a way out of the plight of today's world are fruitless unless we redirect our consciousness, in repentance, to the Creator of all: Without this, no exit will be illumined, and we shall seek it in vain."


  36. And was this saying on belt buckles started by..
    A. Adolf Hitler, or was it from
    B. the Kaiser's Imperial standard of 1870?

    C. The German version of it was a slogan and battle cry in the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) before it was the Prussian national motto. It was the Nazis who put it on their belt buckles and kept it there to the end. It was traditional, sure, but it was a clear statement which they did not see fit to censor.

    World Net Daily agreed with a man who said society needs God to be good. I'm less than gobsmacked. The fact that the guy just died is not a great reason to share his opinion.

  37. You didnt respond to the quote from Solzhenitsyn and instead attacked the messenger.

    You mean that "Gott Mit Uns" doesnt appear on belt buckles from the First World War?

  38. No, in WW1 it appeared on helmets instead. The Nazis rewrote the national anthem, the Constitution and even the Bible, but all they did to "Gott Mit Uns" was move it around.

    There was nothing new to respond to in the new quote, or the rest of the article. It repeats Solzhenitsyn's opinion, agreeing with it without actually supporting it with any evidence except the fact that he recovered from cancer - after being treated for it.

  39. No, in WW1 it appeared on helmets instead

    Then please tell this retailer that he has false booty then. Especially this WWI German Army NCO belt buckle, and this Early Imperial buckle as well. Sheesh. I notice that someone must have clued Sam Harris in on this one because he hardly ever brings this one up anymore.

  40. Well, that's interesting, but if it's true means the Nazis didn't even move it around. They left it on the front of every regular soldier, loud and proud.

  41. Might we both agree that Hitler not only used religion to his advantage but also patriotism and the supposed ability to "transcend" class?

  42. Absolutely. Hitler used anything he could get his hands on.

    My point is for the rank and file at least, being a Christian or at least a theist was part of being a Nazi, BUT that reflects very little on Christianity itself, because of all the other factors.

    Similarly, being an atheist is apparently part of being a nihilist, but it doesn't say much about atheism given how many things nihilists reject besides gods and religions. If there were evidence that went the other way and supported the idea that being a complete nihilist is part and parcel of being an atheist, that would be a different conversation.