Pharyngula

I understand Satan is a Libertarian

I’ll take the one on the right.

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Comments

  1. #1 Shmuel
    March 7, 2007

    “Quit your poor-me victimist kvetching..you make us Jews look worse..”

    Not quite. I don’t feel victimized. (?) It sounds like you do though. I’m not really concerned how I make “us Jews look.” But you are apparently. That’s arguably more of a victim’s mentality.

    And if you are a Jew, in the cultural sense I take it, then surely you understand that my claim that a disproportionate number of Dawkins-type atheists are Christian in the cultural sense, is merely an empirical question that shouldn’t be relfexively upsetting to people who claim to appreciate the scientific method. My argument is simply that “prosletyzing atheism” has a many similarities with Christian unversalism. You are free to disagree reasonably.

    However, the fact that so many do get upset, and resort to ad hominems in lieu of argument (yourself included) shoud be an embarrassment to atheists.

    This cartoon isn’t that interesting. It’s typical of the “soft” antisemitism that is so common among “liberal” unitarian types. It’s Myers’ preference for “Jesus” that is interesting.

  2. #2 Damien
    March 7, 2007

    Shmuel isn’t calling atheists Christian; he’s claiming that evangelical atheists have evangelizing habits, impulses, or assumptions as a result of their Christian background, in the sense that many of them *were* Christian before becoming atheist, and even those who weren’t might have picked up “proselytizing your beliefs is a good thing”. This isn’t a nonsensical claim, though I’m far from convinced it’s correct.


    And if you are a Jew, in the cultural sense I take it, then surely you understand that my claim that a disproportionate number of Dawkins-type atheists are Christian in the cultural sense, is merely an empirical question that shouldn’t be relfexively upsetting to people who claim to appreciate the scientific method.

    Indeed. So, Shmuel, since you’re actually taking a position on this empirical question, can you actually present some empirical evidence? Remember that Jews are 2% of the US population, and rather less than that worldwide, so you need to show that, say, rather more than 98% of evangelical atheists in the US (tip: Dawkins is British) are of non-Jewish background.

    Unless you’re *defining* evangelical behavior as “Christian”, but that would be begging the question in a non-empirical way. It would also be blurring the distinction between being evangelical and being argumentative. Being argumentative *is* a fine Jewish tradition.

  3. #3 Shmuel
    March 7, 2007

    “This isn’t a nonsensical claim”

    Ah. A reasonable person.

    “though I’m far from convinced it’s correct.”

    Me too.

    “…since you’re actually taking a position on this empirical question, can you actually present some empirical evidence.”

    It’s a hypothesis that can be answered emprically, though not satisfactorally by me. My position is based merely on anecdotes. (Too many, unfortuantely.)

    But a poll would be nice. It would be interesting to see what percentage of Dawkins strongest supporters are Jews. Like any good scientist, I’m prepared to be wrong, but it’s certainly a testable question.

  4. #4 Shmuel
    March 8, 2007

    “You’re pretending that all religious propositions are metaphysical”

    No I’m not. These kinds of propositions just happen to be what I’m interested in. I’m not a Biblical literalist, and this why I made the distinction between “normal” people and fundamentalists.

    “a proposition is a proposition: It’s either falsifiable or it isn’t, and if it’s falsifiable, it can be tested.”

    If you can tell me how to answer the question “Why is there something instead of nothing” empirically, then I’ll gladly come over to your side. How’s that for fair?

    “it makes absolutely no sense to talk about “atheist Christians.””

    Tell that to all the atheist Christians I know with Christmas Trees. (And I don’t buy the “pagan” excuse. All religions have “pagan” features, including Judaism.)

    “it’s a comment on the tendency, shared by all humans, to assume that your own relationship to the world is somehow universal”

    Except Atheists of course, who are objective. And lapsed Christians, who have no cultural perspective outside their completely self-arrived-at beliefs.

    OK then. For fun, let’s argue something like the reverse. Since you think Jewishness *is* different that Christianity, in the cultural sense, do you think it’s fair for Dawkins to “go after” Jews in the same way he does Christians? He doesn’t seem to make the same distinctions you do in his arguments. Do you think it’s ethical to risk destroying a “culture” of Judaism, or Hinduism or Budhism or Cherokee (but not Christianity of course, because there is no such thing) as part of an anti-religious enterprise. If not, how are you in a position to argue such as someone who is, self-admittedly, not part of any religious cutlure? How is Dawkins? Either way, it’s Christian Atheists (because only Christians lack a religious culture by your definition) railing against “Religion”. By defining Christianity as devoid of a cultural aspect, you are making my argument for me.

  5. #6 David Marjanovi?
    March 8, 2007

    When will you guys realize that you simply represent the next cultural wave of Christianity?

    Tss, tss. That was Marxism (Marx is your god, and Lenin is his prophet… no, that’s not original). Atheism goes a lot farther back than that. Have a look:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carvaka

    BTW, there’s an interesting Stalinist painting where it takes very little imagination to see Lenin as the Father, Stalin as the Son, and the sunshine-or-something that falls on them from behind a curtain (IIRC) as the Holy Spirit.

  6. #7 David Marjanovi?
    March 8, 2007

    When will you guys realize that you simply represent the next cultural wave of Christianity?

    Tss, tss. That was Marxism (Marx is your god, and Lenin is his prophet… no, that’s not original). Atheism goes a lot farther back than that. Have a look:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carvaka

    BTW, there’s an interesting Stalinist painting where it takes very little imagination to see Lenin as the Father, Stalin as the Son, and the sunshine-or-something that falls on them from behind a curtain (IIRC) as the Holy Spirit.

  7. #8 David Marjanovi?
    March 8, 2007

    But when church or state coerces charity from unwilling givers, I absolutely can’t call it moral.

    Not even if you can be convinced it’s for your own long-term self-interest?

  8. #9 David Marjanovi?
    March 8, 2007

    But when church or state coerces charity from unwilling givers, I absolutely can’t call it moral.

    Not even if you can be convinced it’s for your own long-term self-interest?

  9. #10 Shmuel
    March 8, 2007

    “Shmuel, if your case is that we’re supposed to be anti-Semitic, then you aren’t just a fool, you’re also a liar.”

    Anti-semitic? Perish the thought! There aren’t many Jews in Church or at Pharyngula, but that doesn’t mean that either is necessarily anti-semitic. My point, which has been made here empirically in, admittedly, a very limited, unscientific way, is that Jews don’t read Pharyngula. My larger hypothesis is that Jews aren’t as attracted to Evangelical Dawkinsian Atheism as much as people from Christian backgrounds are.

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