Saturday, January 5, 2008

Carnival of the Godless!

Welcome, one and all, to the Carnival of the Godless!

Let's jump right into this edition - it's chock-full of Heathen goodness! Take that, Jebus!

Don't you love it when a theist drudges out the tired standby of blaming Communism, Nazis, Stalin, Mao Zedong on atheism? Well, godma slays it with ease in this post: What if Stalin had been a theist?

Who here absolutely loves it when theists accuse us atheists of being fundamentalists? Oh the joy! That's why I loved Richard's short and snarky response to the Welsh Archbishop's comments on "Atheistic Fundamentalism", a.k.a. the Evil Atheist Conspiracy! Hide the kids!

If you're like me, you aren't satisfied with the bashing of just one Archbishop. Break out the popcorn and enjoy the throttling Australian Atheist gives to the Archbishop of Sydney. That oughta piss 'em off somethin' fierce!

Christian goes into some detailed description of some of the so called "proofs" of God, then deftly swats them away. He and I are in complete agreement about the psychological origin of religion. I like it when someone seems to transcribe my thoughts exactly - and I love it when it's more articulate then I could imagine.

A fellow blogger by the name of Thursday had a hilarious thought.
The Holiest Day: March 25th
You'd think that there would be another important day on the Christian calendar, given their predilection that life begins at conception...
Now go read Thursday's even more hilarious script of the "Virgin" Mary's encounter with Yahweh. The best line ever? An unsatisfied Mary says: "Well, I did find a piece of doweling that Joseph had lying around the shop…

Archvillain has two entries for us. One is about a certain species of horrible drivers he has classified as "Fish People" - I think you know what he's getting at. The other post barely has a connection with the CotG theme, but I think it would be interesting for everyone to read. It's a rant about environmental extremists, specifically the ones that promote awareness and action of anthropomorphic global warming. Now, I can see a lot of Libertarian-oriented atheists agreeing with this post. Then again, I can also see the much larger horde of pro-science atheists disagreeing with him. I have no idea what a pro-science Libertarian will think of it. So just go read his post entitled Infidel and have at it in the comments. Either way, it'll be good traffic for a good blog.

Christmas (or should I say Winterval?) has come and gone, but we can't let this entry pass. dfly183 presents a wonderfully informative essay on the origins of Christmas Traditions. I sure hope us mean ol' close-minded fundamentalist atheists can look past the fact that this blogger is witch.

And I'm sure no one will mind a quick Christmas poem by Gadfly, right? It uses the phrase "shit-strewn"... I knew you'd like it.

After reading The Ridgers review of The Sparrow by Mary Doria, I'm thinking of starting my own Oprah's Book Club. That is, if Oprah was an atheist - also if she wasn't gullible for utter crap like The Secret. (John from Mind on Fire is, of course, way ahead of me on this one.) With it's theme of Deus vult - God wills it - the book sound hella-interesting, and inspires me to get back to work on my own little graphic novel (yes, I am a comic-book nerd). I think one of the most powerful ways to critique religion (or anything) is by hiding it within entertaining media.

The Ridger also gives us a review of the movie I Am Legend, and comments on the sad fact that Hollywood tends to neuter the original creations and inject religious pablum into to make it bankable. Spoiler warning!

Speaking of entertaining media, the Mormons are going to step up the blogging. See what Eight Hour Lunch has to say about that (and check out his video, too). It's not pretty. And speaking of not pretty, they're building a Mormon Temple in my area. What an eyesore.

While we're on the topic of the good people of the Latter Day Saints, everyone should read about IslaSkye's experience at her church. I won't ruin anything, but it's a great commentary about the Mormon church's double-standard when it comes to respect and tolerance. Isla, you're not alone - your post inspires me to finally write about my own Mormon deconversion. Mine involves litigation, so stay tuned!

After reading The Barefoot Bum's entry, I honestly don't feel the need to blog about atheism anymore. He pretty much covers everything with his post (and covers it well), so there's nothing left to talk about. You Barefoot Bastard! Seriously, in one post he covers a description of "New Atheism" I can actually get behind, secular morality, methodological naturalism, the vacuity of sophisticated theology, the crimes of Christianity, religion as a science and critical thought stopper, religion as a form of child abuse, and probably many more things I missed. Damn his efficiency.

Elaine Vigneault came across a reader commentary on an online newspaper that responded to a letter to the editor in which the writer expressed the desire that children should be "protected against atheism" presumably because they are "possessed by the devil". The response is beautiful, and Elaine provides us with a helpful summary of the delightful rebuttal - Six Ways To Avoid Atheists.

Ever wonder in sheer awe how believers can possibly reject such sound reasoning, airtight logic, or scientific evidence? Did you attribute this jaw-dropping blindness to a mental defect? How about willful ignorance? I think Stefan Monsaureus has the answer. And there's much to discuss afterwards.

This topic segues nicely into what Martin Wagner discusses at his site. An early blogging goal of mine was concentrate a substantial portion of my work not only to debunking religious/creationist/antiscience/crank claims, but to examine the underlying cause or mechanism of the irrationality and proud ignorance behind these claims. Martin nails it here. Religion "provides a vehicle for intellectual poseurdom".

And I'd also like to thank Mr. Wagner for birthing the following line into existence:
Many Christians take to heart the wildly ranty final passages of Romans 1, in which anyone who pursues anything other than the "knowledge of God" is branded as "slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful...senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless" with a degree of overwrought hysteria calculated to make Ann Coulter's G-spot explode.
Can we all chip in and put this on t-shirts or a billboard or something?

Over at Shuffl, Jim kindly anoints us all with a discussion about annoying fundamentalist Christian jargon. I forget what the word was, but thankfully I have anointed this CotG with a link to his post.

Alonzo Fyfe, the Atheist Ethicist, reminds us all of two widely used tactics of the religious: that atheists are mean and should be more respectful, and that many of the prominent atheists have not conducted any serious study of theological arguments. What is missing from both of these complaints? Arguments for the existence of a god, obviously.

I find Enonomi's writing just as entertaining as pronouncing her name. She provides us with her thoughts on the Burka, and its implications with religion and personal freedom.

Of all of the important things I've learned so far the the CotG, the most important by far is that you should not call Shalini a "Darwinist". Seriously, don't do it. You'll be sorry. Judging by the way she absolutely trashes the purveyors of BS called prosperity gospel, I'm thinking one of them made that very mistake.

I happen to be of the Christian fundamentalism is an ever-present and ever-increasing threat persuasion. But Pete makes me feel a little bit better with his thoughts on why Evangelicals and Christianity fail. He was also lucky enough to receive a bookmark that said "4 Questions to Ask an Atheist". Lucky. Why can't I receive stupid religious literature ripe for the debunking?

Since it is Sunday, I think it's appropriate we take some time out for a little Bible Study. Mike untangles himself from all of that blue for a moment to lead the study group in a discussion of Romans 1. Spoiler and immortal soul warning: worldly knowledge will give you Teh Gay.

What, if anything, could possibly unite all of the various religious belief systems into a more peaceful, unified setting? Mike White has a suggestion, and I'll give you a hint: it starts with "atheism".

The identification of Isaiah with Highway I-35 has got to be one of the dumbest things I've ever heard since Virgin Mary appearances in stains and Jesus appearances in tortillas. Themaiden makes fun of it, as well he should, and then engages in a some shameless self-promotion linkage. Nothing wrong with that.

The next type of entry is what originally got me into this "blogging" thing that the kids seem to like. It's a good old fashioned claim by claim knockdown of an ARN creationist. With Bay of Fundie on the offense, the poor guy never had a chance. After reading some of the above posts, the bemused, smug, condescending tone and pseudo-intellectualism emanating from this creationist is even more apparent.

Sinister Ministries has this website you may want to take a look at, if you like migraines brought on by overexposure to stupidity. Francois takes one for the team and trudges through it.

Two aspects of atheism that the religious have a hard time understanding are how we can be moral without the big-bellied sheriff in the sky telling us what do, how life can possibly have any meaning if you're just going to die anyway. I've covered morality a few times here, but I don't think I've talked about death yet. Like atheist morality, the concept is much more simple than theists make it out to be: this is the only life I've got, so it's up to me to make it meaningful. I didn't think there was much more that could be said, but then I read Greta Christina's entry on death. Her take? The aspect of death is potentially one of life's greatest gifts.

Let VJack know if you agree or disagree with his review of the Rational Response Squad. I, for one, agree with him. I like what the RRS is doing and another televised debate with Ray and Kirk is at the top of my wishlist. Yes, the RRS can get mean-spirited, but remember: complaints about rudeness are almost always substituted for actual arguments.

And finally, check this out:

After you get done screaming, see what Mark has to say about it.

Thanks for visiting, sinners! Let me know if you see any mistakes or if I missed you. See you in hell!

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