Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Islamic Examiner needs his head examined, part 2

Part 5

It's mostly a rehashing of his previous claims as if no one ever demolished them in the comments.

He claims that atheists aren't really atheists, atheists never criticize "pagan creeds and other ridiculous mythologies" (I suppose it would be futile explaining to him that many atheists oppose all sorts of wacky cults like Scientology), etc. The ignorance is just exasperating.
A good analogy of Atheist opposition to the Law and Authority of religion is the way anarchists resist law and order in civil society.
So now atheists are equated with anarchists. I'm sure that in his warped mind, that actually makes sense, but over here in Reality Land that is a complete and utter non-sequitur.
And here's the double-whammy.

There is no guarantee or statistic which proves that in the absence of a central government an Atheist is more likely to obey civil and criminal laws than a Monotheist. Ouch.
Okayy...let's say that that's true and that in some sort of post-apocalyptic scenario where law enforcement has collapsed, atheists aren't any more likely than theists to follow the law. So what?

This guy acts like it's some devastating argument against atheism and practically does a victory dance in the margins. I don't get it.
As for the morality part, Atheists giving charity and all that stuff, I have a simple question. Where did you get these teachings from? You don't believe either in God or in revealed Texts, remember?
Gee, I don't know. Maybe *gasp* atheists feel sympathy for other human beings and want to help them.

He ends with a bizarre assertion that the above sort of reasoning is "pathetic" and ends with another self-congratulatory declaration of victory. But he never really clarifies why that it is so. He seems infatuated with delusions of pwnage and uninterested in making a coherent argument.

Part 6

Got the Tuesday morning blues? Have no fear, simple arguments against Atheism is here!
Uggh. Make it stop.
You know it's rather entertaining reading the colorful comments from some readers. Somewhere in there is a rather grave accusation that I would order the execution of Atheists if I could. Yikes!
That sort of thing would be strange if he didn't assert that his morality comes directly from the Quran and the Quran mentions just that. Personally, I'd rather not find out.
Seriously buddy, should you expect mass executions and genocide from a Muslim? Nope.

From one of your own secular, freethinking ilk like Josef Stalin? Maybe.

Case closed.
Uggh. I can't believe he said that. Because when I think of secular, freethinking atheists in places like the United States and Europe, people who adamantly oppose totalitarianism, my first thought is to consider them friends of Stalin, one of the most brutal totalitarian dictators to ever exist. Makes perfect sense.
However this is exactly the point. On many, many occasions blanket accusations of intolerance have routinely been made against Religion.
Probably unintentionally, he actually makes a good point here. You shouldn't make blanket assertions about large groups of people - not every atheist is like Stalin, not every Christian is like Fred Phelps, and not every Muslim is like Osama bin Laden. That kind of message I could support. Too bad he's too busy making hateful and piteously inept condemnations of atheists to notice.

Instead, he goes the No True Scotsman route and declares to a co-worker that it's not religions that cause wars but the misinterpretation of religion. Her blank stare speaks for my reaction as well.

Oh, and then he implies that WWII, a completely secular conflict in his estimation, is somehow connected to godlessness.

Part 7

Don't you just love propaganda?
I'm reading your column, so apparently I do.

He complains about atheist intellectuals and scientists, derides the apparent common wisdom that most smart people are atheists while "the simpletons seem to gravitate toward Monotheism". It's certainly an apt assertion in this case.
Here are a couple of quotes, albeit unsourced:

“There is too much order in the universe for it all to have been created by accident.”

“To allege that the universe and everything in it accidentally created itself is to claim that a tornado tore through a junk yard and left behind a Mercedes Benz.”
Is it really too much to ask for you too get real quotes that people have actually said rather than just pull them out of nowhere?

The first one is a common argument from design, and the second is a paraphrase of Fred Hoyle's argument against evolution, comparing the emergence of simple cells to "a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein." It's mainly used by Christian creationists.

So he goes from there to assert that most scientists are not atheists. So let's take a look at some data and judge for ourselves:
Research on this topic began with the eminent US psychologist James H. Leuba and his landmark survey of 1914. He found that 58% of 1,000 randomly selected US scientists expressed disbelief or doubt in the existence of God, and that this figure rose to near 70% among the 400 "greater" scientists within his sample [1]. Leuba repeated his survey in somewhat different form 20 years later, and found that these percentages had increased to 67 and 85, respectively.

Other polls get different results. But the facts of the matter remains the same: scientists tend to be less religious than the general public, and certainly far more say that they don't believe in a God than the general public.

Next, he brings actually sourced quotes to the table - Isaac Newton and Louis Pasteur believed in God. Shocking stuff. Apparently, us atheists were under the impression that no scientists were religious at all. Thanks for clearing that up.

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