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October 30th, 2007


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11:51 am
Why one particular atheist is angry.

I agree with pretty much everything she had to say.
So I'll just add, "amen."
Current Location: work
mood: calmcalm

(82 bits of drivel | babble incoherently)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:komos
Date:November 2nd, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Saying that having a lack of belief in a higher power is "sad and unrealistic" is a judgment, even if you tack "TO ME" in all caps at the end of it. "TO ME" simply adds an "I think" or "I believe" to the statement. It does nothing to mitigate the fact that you are saying that you think that such a lack of belief is "sad" and "unrealistic," and by extension that the holder is "sad" and "unrealistic."

I'd be more convinced that it wasn't a judgment if you hadn't tacked the second qualifier on it. With just "sad," you could say you meant, "It makes me sad when I learn that someone doesn't believe in a higher power." With "unrealistic," however, you suggest that the unbeliever is out of touch with reality. That's a whole different story.

Here's what I think:

First, I think that precision is important.

Second, I think it's best to understand what is actually written rather than a presumed subtext before reacting to something.

Third, I think that unless you assume that faith is a perfectly good substitute for modern medicine, think that atheists shouldn't be considered citizens, believe that same sex marriage is an abomination unto God that needs to be politicized, or use prayer as a shopping list of wants, it appears that you're not amongst the people with whom she is angry.
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:November 2nd, 2007 02:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
You're still not getting it...when I say "to me" it means that is how it feels to me. I am not saying that people who think that way are sad and unrealistic. I am saying that the idea of an empty universe strikes me, personally, as sad and unrealistic.

I'm not presuming any subtext, though you seem to be consistently presuming subtext in my replies. I don't care whether she's angry with me or not; I think her essay is a batch of cobbled-together foolish overgeneralizations.

If you like precision, then you probably have a bone to pick with the OP yourself.

Precision, like anything, has its limits. Take physics to a high enough level and you end up with something approaching philosophy. (I'm quoting my dad the astrophysicist, here; that's not mine. But I like it.)
[User Picture]
From:komos
Date:November 2nd, 2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Once again: "It seems so sad and unrealistic not to believe..." [emphasis mine] This is a fundamentally different statement than "I believe that an empty universe is sad and unrealistic."

As to your use of subtext, the OP has listed specific grievances that are at least in some way attributable to religion or religious belief. Your response has been generalized, reactive and personal. You have not identified the instances where the OP is wrong or has somehow implicated you directly. Though the screed may overstate the case, she is not factually incorrect. Do you disagree that gay marriage has been politicized in the US by the Christian right? Or that the attacks on 9/11 were carried out by Jihadists? Is there a specific point that you can say that she's wrong, or is it just that you insist on personalizing this simply because she implicates religious belief generally in all of the issues she identifies.

Written communication on the internets is hardly theoretical physics. We don't need magical thinking or proof of your intellectual pedigree to discuss the merits of a blog post.

[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:November 2nd, 2007 03:57 pm (UTC)
(Link)
No, but it's hilarious to me that you're trying to argue with me about what I actually said, while insisting that I'm reading into statements on someone else's post.

You, sir, have mastered the art of unintentional irony! ;)

Okey doke, I'll go over it again. And then I'll drop it, because your responses have kind of degenerated to "you did so" and "she did not" and that's not argument, it's just contradiction, as Monty Python says.

Once again: "It seems so sad and unrealistic not to believe..." [emphasis mine] This is a fundamentally different statement than "I believe that an empty universe is sad and unrealistic."

LOL, no. Once again, again, you are omitting the all-important qualifying phrase "to me". Basically, you don't like my sentence structure, but that's just too bad. You can't change the meaning of what I said by lopping off inconvenient-for-you clauses, as you seem to want to do.

And I'm not personalizing this; I'm saying that she's silly to be calling her indignation "atheist rage" and lumping a mass of grievances in a bucket.

Do you disagree that gay marriage has been politicized in the US by the Christian right?

Yes. It's a political question, period. To make it a religious argument is hate-mongering. What is this "Christian right"? It's a boogeyman, the same way "the liberal media" is a boogeyman for hate-mongers on the other side. Most Christians believe in a separation of church and state, and many are pro-gay-marriage.

Or that the attacks on 9/11 were carried out by Jihadists?

Again, it's oversimplifying to call this a religious problem. It's equally a political problem. Does that mean I should say I'm angry at politics?
[User Picture]
From:komos
Date:November 2nd, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Adding "TO ME" to the phrase "It seems so sad and unrealistic not to believe..." does not change the meaning of the statement. That you may have mis-phrased the statement is one thing. To claim that I am mis-reading it is something else entirely. You stated that it seemed sad and unrealistic "not to believe," not that "the idea of an empty universe strikes me, personally, as sad and unrealistic." You may have intended the latter, but your statement expresses something entirely different. To say otherwise is strictly retcon.

How is stating that a large group of US Christians who are actively involved in politics and who have been at the vanguard of the push for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman even remotely considered hate-mongering? It is simply a fact. Similarly, it is a fact that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by Jihadists. These facts are linked to religious belief. Neither the OP nor I have said that there aren't additional factors at work, but these facts remain: A large body of vocal Christians are working diligently to marginalize a portion of the population because their beliefs do not permit that population's lifestyle; and a small group of religious zealots successfully flew two passenger jets into the WTC.

You can be angry at politics all you like, but it does nothing to further a discussion about the merits of this blog post. It still appears that you are choosing to miss the point of the article because it is more important to personalize imaginary subtext rather than consider what was actually said.
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:November 2nd, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Now you've degenerated further from "you did too" to "NO U".

I said what I said and you calling my ~original~ statement "retconning" is just silly. S I L L Y.

Over and out, silly person. I recommend remedial reading comprehension and a sense of humor for you before arguing on das intarwubs again. ;)
[User Picture]
From:komos
Date:November 2nd, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'm calling your reinterpretation of your original statement to say something other than what is clearly written retconning. Pretty simple, really. Again, I'll grant that you may have mis-phrased the statement, but if you are incapable of seeing the difference between 'I think it's sad and unrealistic not to believe in a higher power, to me' and 'It seems sad and unrealistic that there is no God in the universe,' perhaps you might follow your own recommendations.

I've noted that your comprehension of the OP's post is lacking (and apparently deliberate). That you have continued willfully to misread and to misinterpret what the OP and what others have written in response to your screed and have relied on claims of hate-mongering and over-generalization instead of actual cogent argument rather suggests that you're bristling for the sake of bristling.

Why one particular atheist is angry. I agree with pretty much… - another LJ. or: how i learned to stop worrying and love this life-thingy — LiveJournal

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