In her column of September 29, Palace contributor Liz Pavek expressed her sentiments
on the homosexual and a-religious thusly:The atheists of the world are in need of a new name, they say.
I've never met any of these atheists. I suspect that these are some breed of ivory-tower asshole, common in academia, and bearing approximately as much resemblance to real people as I do to Britney Spears or the Pope.Daniel Dennett, one of the leading lights of this group of believers in the negative
Hold it, Liz. If you want to proselytize [and, if I recall correctly, the directive to convert non-believers of any stripe, is a core tenet of Christianity, which I suspect may either color the objectivity of this argument, or at least makes for an interesting counterpoint], slagging an alternative viewpoint right off doesn't build a strong rhetorical foundation.
If you want a more objective view or phrase, I suggest "group of folks who'd like to see objective proof of Divinity, rather than using a reliance on faith (blind or otherwise)."The term "atheist" is too negative, and should be replaced by something more positive
In this, I think Mr. Dennett has been gazing at his navel a bit too hard, and has moved his head too far astern. "Atheist" is a pleasingly neutral term - the only folks who get bent out of shape by its utterance are people who are rather fervent in their faith.
If you're secure in your belief system, someone who harbors doubts about it shouldn't ruffle your feathers nearly this egregiously. The squawking and denigration that ensues when someone dares to maintain a differing opinion seems, to this participant, to be more indicative of the frailty of that faith on the part of the believers, rather than any intellectual, spiritual, or other failing on the part of the cynic. Maybe I'm an abrasive grain of sand, but it's your paroxyms that accrete about it that make the pearl bigger.-- something along the lines of term "gay," the word co-opted by the homosexuals in the West to describe their destructive, negative, and unattractive lifestyle.
"Hey, let's slap the queers, as long as we're going to denigrate everyone I don't agree with!" That will improve the ol' rhetoric.
I'm not sure what's so "negative" about being gay, or, nine million remodeling shows aside, what's destructive about it, either. I mean, other than the whole "abomination in the eyes of God" thing, but so is eating shellfish, I think. Maybe this is a broad intepretation of the whole "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's ass," commandment. At least it rules out that whole "Coveting thy neighbor's wife" thing, huh?
As far as being unattractive - I know a lot of fuck-ugly straight folks, too.The term Dennett thinks will describe his fellow unbelievers and himself is "bright."
*wipes coffee off monitor* After an assertion like that, the -last- thing I'd call Mr. Dennett is "bright." Danny boy, you sound like a fucking idiot, trying to co-opt a perfectly serviceable term from normal use to push your agenda. Sorry, thanks for playing, you don't get to come back tomorrow, you don't even get a lousy copy of our home game.But is it really descriptive of people who not only refuse to believe in a Creator, but refuse to look at any evidence that might lead to belief in such a Creator?
When "evidence" consists of the testimonials of faith that established practitioners recount, then, no, that's really not worth looking at. I'm amused by the bumper stickers that read "Jesus, save me from your followers," because, on the off chance that you, as Christians are -right,- a lot of you are being real assholes about it without any substantial evidence to back you up.
The burden of proof is solidly with those who assert a thing to be true. "I've got a million dollars" (show me the bank statement). "My wife is a Playboy model" (whip out the issue). "God created the universe" (did he keep the receipts for materials?) There's no way to prove that, is there? There are some pretty strong scientific theories that go a long way towards explaining where the universe came from, and they're subjected to rigorous peer review and objective testing, but faith. . . ahh, that's a personal belief, subjective in the extreme. You'll have to pardon my skepticism that your faith, whether it works for you or not, will stand up in the cold light of day for -everyone-."Those of us who subscribe to no religion; those of us who rejoice in the real and scorn the false comfort of the unreal, we need a word of our own, a word like 'gay'," says Richard Dawkins, another "bright" light of atheism.
Apparently, Mr. Dawkins needs to get out of his office more often. I would strongly recommend a weekend spent playing video games, consuming mind-altering substances, and enjoying the company of a professional escort - there's some damn fine enjoyment to be had when you're not hell-bent on being an obsteporous dork. We don't need a word any more than Michael Jordan needs another pair of sneakers.
A simple lack of animosity from folks like Ms. Pavek is plenty good, thanks.Atheists, by their own choice, are believers in a negative.
Note the word "choice." I'd be interested in seeing the statistics of how many people choose to eschew religion after being raised with it compared to those who choose to pursue it after being raised without. I'd quibble with the semantics of Christians' belief in something that doesn't exist [vis a vis, the proof of God's existence] as being essentially the same thing.
Maybe I should pursue an agenda of militant agnosticism - "I don't know if God exists, and neither do you." Nahhh, that's proseltyzing, and that's too much like work.
[to be continued]