Pharyngula

Bora is gainfully employed at last!

Don’t forget, after you’ve congratulated him, to remind him to finish his dissertation.

Yeah, my appointed role at the triumph is to play the guy who whispers “Respice post te, hominem te memento” into the conqueror’s ear.

Comments

  1. #1 coturnix
    May 24, 2007

    Thank you. And I needed to hear that sound of the whip right now!

  2. #2 bernarda
    May 24, 2007

    Congratulations Bora. However. I was brought up as a Lutheran xian and I do not describe myself as a xian atheist. Either you are a xian or you are an atheist. Either you believe in your parents’ mythology or you don’t. That applies to whatever religion. One cannot be a hypenated atheist.

  3. #3 coturnix
    May 24, 2007

    Oh, I am Jewish by birth, not by religious indoctrination. My mother is a Jewish-atheist as well. Hyphenated. That’s what I inherited. The hyphen.

  4. #4 J-Dog
    May 24, 2007

    In America, you can get away with the hypen, but not with the unemployment, so congratulations, Bora-Not-Unemplyed – Atheistic-American!

    ps: Tell Edwards, he should fix his hair, or Barack wil fix it for him!

  5. #5 bernarda
    May 24, 2007

    Coturnix, that does not address my point. My father and my mother are both still true xian believers. I went to church and Lutheran communion, but as far back as I can remember, I was never a believer.

    So, I am an atheist, not a xian atheist. Judaism is simply another religious superstition. In fact, xianity, islam, and judaism are all of the same stripe. But no one speaks of a muslim atheist either.

  6. #6 Gerard Harbison
    May 24, 2007

    It’s great day for Kazakhstan!

    Oh wait, wrong guy.

  7. #7 coturnix
    May 24, 2007

    LOL, Gerard.

    Oh, bernarda, it is not Judaism, it is Jewishness, ethnicity, not religion.

  8. #8 Karl
    May 24, 2007

    I had the same discussion yesterday. “How can you be Jewish if you’re not religious?” I say that it is the same as being Irish or Italian or … Even though I am not Israeli, I was raised in a Jewish CULTURE, so I am Jewish. And, just as there are Irish atheists or Italian atheists, there are Jewish atheists.

  9. #9 Karl
    May 24, 2007

    I had the same discussion yesterday. “How can you be Jewish if you’re not religious?” I say that it is the same as being Irish or Italian or … Even though I am not Israeli, I was raised in a Jewish CULTURE, so I am Jewish. And, just as there are Irish atheists or Italian atheists, there are Jewish atheists.

  10. #10 Magpie
    May 24, 2007

    Surely, Memento mori? Of would that, you know, be a little depressing to say right now?

  11. #11 RP
    May 24, 2007

    bernarda, do you celebrate Christmas? If so, do you do so because that’s what you celebrated as a child?

    I was raised Jewish. The holidays I note (and not celebrate) are Passover and the like. I know a fair amount of Yiddish. The concepts of Christmas, Easter, “heaven”, and “hell” are rather strange and foreign to me. This all makes me quite different from atheists raised in the majority Christian culture. That’s why I always call myself a Jewish atheist.

  12. #12 David Marjanovi?
    May 24, 2007

    Surely, Memento mori?

    Memento just means “I remind”. “Look back behind yourself, I remind you, a human.”

  13. #13 David Marjanovi?
    May 24, 2007

    Surely, Memento mori?

    Memento just means “I remind”. “Look back behind yourself, I remind you, a human.”

  14. #14 David Marjanovi?
    May 24, 2007

    Hm. Or rather, “Look behind yourself — a human –, I remind you”. The key is that “yourself” and “a human” are equated; “behind” refers to both.

  15. #15 David Marjanovi?
    May 24, 2007

    Hm. Or rather, “Look behind yourself — a human –, I remind you”. The key is that “yourself” and “a human” are equated; “behind” refers to both.

  16. #16 David Marjanovi?
    May 24, 2007

    Or wait. Maybe I screwed up. Maybe “you” of “I remind you” and “a human” are equated. “Look behind yourself, I remind you (a human)”. The totally free word order of poetic Latin is awesome in small doses, but it gets annoying rather soon.

  17. #17 David Marjanovi?
    May 24, 2007

    Or wait. Maybe I screwed up. Maybe “you” of “I remind you” and “a human” are equated. “Look behind yourself, I remind you (a human)”. The totally free word order of poetic Latin is awesome in small doses, but it gets annoying rather soon.

  18. #18 fats_parcheesi
    May 24, 2007

    David M-?: Actually, I think it was PZ who screwed up. :) Unless I’m very much mistaken, there ought to be an esse somewhere in the second clause. Which would make it: “Look behind you, I remind you [that you] are human.”

  19. #19 RavenT
    May 24, 2007

    Actually, I think it was PZ who screwed up. :)

    Some sycophant *you* are, fats :)…

  20. #20 AaronInSanDiego
    May 25, 2007

    Scientific Atheist 92%
    Apathetic Atheist 50%
    Spiritual Atheist 50%
    Angry Atheist 33%
    Militant Atheist 25%
    Agnostic 25%
    Theist 8%

    Hm, looks pretty well-rounded to me.

  21. #21 AaronInSanDiego
    May 25, 2007

    Heh, oops sorry, wrong thread :P

  22. #22 bernarda
    May 25, 2007

    No, I don’t celebrate xmas. I am of nordic origin, but I don’t see myself as a “scandinavian atheist”. It is equally silly to talk about an “Italian atheist”.

    According to the OUP, ethnicity is “The ascription, or claim, to belong to a particular cultural group on the basis of genetics, language, or other cultural manifestations. Definitions of what constitutes an ethnic group have varied over time and place, but have long been a central concern in archaeology. ethnoarchaeology studies have shown that while material culture may in some cases indicate sharp boundaries between groups, this is not always the case. Nor do such boundaries necessarily relate to contacts or movements: ethnicity is malleable and contingent on context.”

    So, what does a Morrocan have to do with a Pole or Russian?

    “Cultural manifestations”? They are based on one thing, Biblical mythology. Either you believe that mythology or you don’t. There is no other reason to accept the precepts, rites, or traditions, unless you believe you are the slave of your ancestors.

    Maybe I should label myself a “norse atheist”. Then there must be “Mayan atheists”, “Incan atheists”. Is Salmon Rushdie a “muslim atheist” or an “Indian atheist” or an “Aryan atheist”, or a “Gujarati atheist”(an example, I am not sure he is from that group)?

    Are Salman Rushdie and I different kinds of atheist because of our “ethnic” backgrounds?

  23. #23 Mrs Tilton
    May 25, 2007

    Bernarda,

    it’s a very Christianocentric (and apparently also ex-Christianocentric) thing to think of Judaism as Christianity without the Jesus bit. Christianity developed out of Judaism but is radically different from it in a number of important ways, not only in believing that the Messiah has already come.

    Judaism is a religion, yes, but it also an ethnic group (sort of) as well as a legal system. Christianity is only the first of those. (Islam is the first and third, but not the second.) Conversion to Christianity means only that you’ve filled in that form at the back of the Jack Chick tract. Conversion to Judaism is, in some ways, more akin to being naturalised into a new citizenship. (Indeed, at least one Israeli leader has proposed that there be a new, non-religious form of conversion to Judaism for atheists who want to be Jewish but want no truck with that God business!)

    “Jewish atheist” makes perfect sense, but you are right that “Christian atheist” doesn’t. (“Post-Christian atheist”, though, which I believe is how Dawkins described himself, is a pretty sensible term.)

  24. #24 coturnix
    May 25, 2007

    My ethnicity: Serbian-Jewish-American.

    My father was Serbian, my mother Jewish, I am an American citizen.

    Now something entirely separate:

    My religion: atheist.

    My father was an atheist, my mother was an atheist.

    “Cultural manifestations”? They are based on one thing, Biblical mythology.

    Absolutely not. My name is a cultural manifestation. Try to find a Bora in Sweden or a Lars in Serbia if you can. Habits, customs, folklore, names, holidays…all sorts of things are cultural manifestations. Religious tradition is just one of the many possible elements.

    But even none of that is necessary. I can (and mostly do) reject, or forget, or never learn any of the cultural manifestations of the three “tribes” I belong to (see above), yet I would still belong to them by sheer genealogy and official documentation (birth certificate, passport, naturalization papers, etc.).

  25. #25 bernarda
    May 25, 2007

    coturnix, that doesn’t respond to very many of my contentions.

    Who is Atheist Rushdie and how does Atheist Bernarda differ from him? For one.

    It is as silly to say Serbian atheist or American atheist as it is to say Jewish atheist, or in my case Norse atheist. For example. If I tell someone, “that guy is an atheist”, they can decide if that is important or not. If I tell someone, “that guy is a Jewish atheist”, they might decide to call me an anti-semite. How would you react if I said that to you that about someone?

    Or suppose I called someone an “Afro-American–or Black–atheist”. Simple “atheist” is sufficient.

    So it is not just a rhetorical question.

  26. #26 SLC
    May 25, 2007

    Re Bernarda

    Perhaps, another example will clarify a, perhaps, somewhat murky situation. The attached link is to an article about the Nobel Prize winning physicist Stephen Weinberg, who is also a self describe atheist. It will be noted that Prof. Weinberg, even though he is a native born American and an atheist, still identifies with the Jewish people through ethnicity, just like Mr. Bora does.

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1178708680752&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  27. #27 coturnix
    May 25, 2007

    As I said, those two things are separate.

    I am an atheist, not a Serbian-atheist or Jewish-atheist.

    That’s my religious view.

    Separately, by genealogy, I am Jewish-Serbian (and by contingencies of history and paperwok, and American). Not Jewish-Serbian-atheist.

    My blogging style is blogorrhea (I know, you picked this whole thing from my “About Me” section).

    All those things are separate from each other. Why do you try to conflate them for me then accuse ME of conflating them?

  28. #28 PZ Myers
    May 25, 2007

    People are multi-dimensional, obviously. “Atheist” is not a sufficient word to describe me. You could add “liberal”, “biologist”, “father”, and so forth as other aspects.

    And yeah, I also identify as a “cultural Lutheran” — it’s a reflection of my ethnicity and background.

  29. #29 bernarda
    May 26, 2007

    Sorry to be so repetitive, but no one has responded to my point about Salman Rushdie.

    No, coturnix, I did not refer to you “about me” section. I didn’t even know it existed. I referred to your “profile” which is on your home page. Upper-left corner.

    As to Weinberg, whose science I know nothing about, he immediately discredits himself politically if the news story is accurate, “Weinberg said he perceived “a widespread anti-Israel and anti-Semitic current in British opinion.”"

    Anti-Israel and anti-semitic are two completely different things. I have no intention nor desire to get into a debate about Palestine. This is not the place. I have only been talking about nomenclature on atheism. But the bias of the article from the JP is quite clear, “the Fair Play Campaign Group (FPCG,) part of the Board of Deputies of British Jews’ campaign to combat initiatives to boycott Israel”.

    This has nothing to do with atheism, which is the subject I have been addressing.

  30. #30 SLC
    May 26, 2007

    Re Bernarda

    1. Prof Weinberg is one of the most distinguished theoretical physicists of the 20th century and is a Nobel Prize winner in Physics.

    2. The anti-Israel prejudice in Great Britain (and elsewhere among the left in Europe) is thinly veiled antisemitism.

    3. The point of my comment was that Prof. Weinberg, although an atheist like Mr. Bora, identifies with his ethnicity. I think that Prof. Myers said it best when he described himself as a cultural Lutheran; Prof. Weinberg and Mr. Bora describe themselves as cultural Jews.

  31. #31 coturnix
    May 26, 2007

    It is amazing how many people read my profile, filter it through their own biases, and, without ever exploring my blog or reading a single word, post a comment on whichever post is on top of the page, chastizing me for being what I am.