A Bitter Rift Divides Atheists

Last month, atheists marked Blasphemy Day at gatherings around the world, and celebrated the freedom to denigrate and insult religion.

Some offered to trade pornography for Bibles. Others de-baptized people with hair dryers. And in Washington, D.C., an art exhibit opened that shows, among other paintings, one entitled Divine Wine, where Jesus, on the cross, has blood flowing from his wound into a wine bottle.

Another, Jesus Paints His Nails, shows an effeminate Jesus after the crucifixion, applying polish to the nails that attach his hands to the cross.

“I wouldn’t want this on my wall,” says Stuart Jordan, an atheist who advises the evidence-based group Center for Inquiry on policy issues. The Center for Inquiry hosted the art show.

Jordan says the exhibit created a firestorm from offended believers, and he can understand why. But, he says, the controversy over this exhibit goes way beyond Blasphemy Day. It’s about the future of the atheist movement — and whether to adopt the “new atheist” approach — a more aggressive, often belittling posture toward religious believers.

Read more: npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113889251&sc=fb&cc=fp

I saw this on another forum, but I thought it deserved to be posted here as well!

I think it is a good, and important, article. The rise of evangelical atheism is a novelty. The aggressiveness and intolerance of its followers pose a challenge which didn’t exist before.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. A real atheist doesn’t believe in God and just doesn’t care if anyone does or doesn’t, any more than a Christian would care if someone believed in unicorns. These folks in that article are not atheists. They are anti-God. They are believing against God, which is a way of recognizing the existence of God, don’t you think? These people need another name to describe their belief, because “atheist” isn’t accurate.

Not really. It’s been around before. It’s more like a fad.

– Mark L. Chance.

I don’t think so. Their aggression is not aimed at God, but at religion. Their targets are the human institutions which embrace God, not at the idea of God itself. I think that is what sets apart the new wave of evangelical atheism from its predecessors.

No, you can trust me on this one: the new “evangelical atheists” are openly and proudly anti-deity, especially the Judeo-Christian deity, as well as being anti-religion. Hang out any length of time with Dawkins’ followers and that becomes strikingly and depressingly apparent.

Thew overwhelming majority of the new atheists are Anti-God and Anti-Religion!

Increasing Flexibility – yoga therapy has positions that act upon the various joints of the body including those joints that are never really on the ‘radar screen’ let alone exercised.Increasing lubrication of the joints, ligaments and tendons – likewise, the well-researched yoga positions exercise the different tendons and ligaments of the body.Surprisingly it has been found tht the body which may have been quite rigid starts experiencing a remarkable flexibility in even those parts which have not been consciously work upon. Why? It is here that the remarkable research behind yoga positions proves its mettle. Seemingly unrelated “non strenuous” yoga positions act upon certain parts of the body in an interrelated manner. When done together, they work in harmony to create a situation where flexibility is attained relatively easily.
Massaging of ALL Organs of the Body – Yoga is perhaps the only form of activity which massages all the internal glands and organs of the body in a thorough manner, including those – such as the prostate - that hardly get externally stimulated during our entire lifetime. Yoga acts in a wholesome manner on the various body parts. This stimulation and massage of the organs in turn benefits us by keeping away disease and providing a forewarning at the first possible instance of a likely onset of disease or disorder.

if they really have balls, they’ll put up anti-Muslim paintings and photos

but no, they’re too chicken to do it

Christians are attacked because we don’t fight back violently. and attacking on Muslims and Jews are not PC, while attacking Christians seems to be the trend these days

There really are two types of Atheists. There are atheists that don’t care, and militant atheists. And oh goodness how I wish all atheists didn’t care. Militant atheists are without a doubt in my mind the most frustrating group of people on the planet. I do understand that they feel religion is destroying the world, but the way they try to be as offensive as possible for the sole purpose of offending people is just disgusting. Whatever happened to good manners?

and they claim you don’t need God for good morals :shrug:

I think you’ve hit the nail right on the head.They remind me of the “bad” thief who was crucified with Christ who was freely offered salvation but preferred the hatred of blasphemy.

Remember the "Jesus Freaks"that seemed to be everywhere in the early ''70’s?Gone.A faddish social movement that ran out of steam like most fads.This one will collapse as well.Pray for them.

I’ve just been on Twitter and there is a new Trending Topic to type:

"Know God… Know Peace. No God… No Peace!.

or

‘‘No God’’

Unbelievable.

Well, Christians are indeed a-unicornists, but the difference is that there isn’t a group of unicorn-believers going around trying to legislate their beliefs. If there were, Christians might start arguing against the existence of unicorns, and it wouldn’t be in any way a recognition of the existence of unicorns.

I like the label “AntiTheist.” Essentially, there are atheists who would like to believe but cannot bring themselves to do so because of the lack of evidence for a god. I’m not one of them – I’m glad that there’s no evidence for it because I think it would be awful if there were a god (at least, any of the gods of the major religions).

choy:

if they really have balls, they’ll put up anti-Muslim paintings and photos

but no, they’re too chicken to do it

While I kind of agree with the sentiment here, I’ll note that the dominant religion in this culture is Christian, and most of the atheists in this country were raised as some form of Christian. It wouldn’t really make cultural sense to ridicule a completely alien set of beliefs.

I think that’s good evidence to show that atheism demands a different kind of legislation than does Christianity. If atheists are upset because Christians want to legislate their beliefs, then atheists must necessarily oppose Christian morality. So atheism is more than just not-believing-in-gods. It requires a different morality. When atheists try to legislate their own beliefs, society would be different than that of a Christian-belief legislated society.

That is important to know. The claim that atheism is “just a non-belief in gods” with no other baggage attached would be false in this case. Atheism would bring a different moral code and legislation – one that is opposed to what Christians argue for.

That’s a very good reason why people oppose atheism. This different moral code, which is opposed to the Christian legislation of beliefs, is not defined. There is not an atheist book of scriptures to consult to determine what the atheist morals are at any moment - or what atheists are required to believe in. So, an atheist legislation would be based on the whims of atheists. There’s no standard to consult to see if atheists are consistent or right about their moral views.

We can see this in the article itself where atheists attack Christians in a rude, public manner. P.Z. Myers’ desecration of the Eucharist is an example of the kind of deliberate offense that is given. For Mr. Myers, people can go on killing sprees if it fulfills their own self-interest. That again is perfectly consistent with the atheist-materialist worldview.

We do not have evidence for purpose in evolution, and if anything, all the evidence is against the idea that evolution has a direction or that natural selection can be anything but an unguided response to local conditions.

… First, there is no moral law: the universe is a nasty, heartless place where most things wouldn’t mind killing you if you let them. No one is compelled to be nice; **you or anyone could go on a murder spree, and all that is stopping you is your self-interest **(it is very destructive to your personal bliss to knock down your social support system) and the self-interest of others, who would try to stop you. There is nothing ‘out there’ that imposes morality on you, other than local, temporary conditions, a lot of social enculturation, and probably a bit of genetic hardwiring that you’ve inherited from ancestors who lived under similar conditions.

evolutionnews.org/2009/09/on_atheism_and_morality_a_repl.html

That’s a perfectly dishonest twisting of the quotation you yourself reproduce in your post. The quote explicitly says that an individual’s self-interest is what stops him or her from going on a killing spree (in addition to the self-interest of others).

Atheism would bring a different moral code and legislation – one that is opposed to what Christians argue for.

Well…here in the United States, we have a secular government in which our laws aren’t supposed to support any particular religion. And yet we have people who want to teach creationism in schools, have prayer in schools, outlaw gay marriage, ban stem cell research, overturn roe v wade, etc.

That’s the kind of “legislation” I’m talking about. No atheist would want the laws against murder to change, for example, because – as the quote you cited indicates – people have very good, rational reasons for wanting murder to be illegal.

EDIT: Oh, I should add that not wanting Christians to legislate their beliefs has nothing to do with being an atheist. I’d feel the same way if I were a Buddhist or a Zoroastrian. Think of it this way: would you like a group of Hindus gaining power and trying to make it against the law to eat hamburgers?

What a funny thing to post. None of those items support a “particular religion.” :shrug:

The only ones that come close are “prayer in school” (depending on what you mean) and “creationism” (depending on what you mean - e.g. ID would not support a particular religion). Maintaining the ban on gay marriage, banning stem cell research and overturning roe v wade are not religious issues.

The only reason why a person doesn’t go on a murder spree, according to him, is because of self-interest. Now it’s important to recognize what that means. If it is in your self-interest to murder – then that justifies it. I’m not twisting his idea at all – I’m just looking at the logical extension. Again, what is the person’s self-interest? However that is answered, that’s what justifies the action. A person may feel it is in his self-interest to go on a murder spree.

Well…here in the United States, we have a secular government in which our laws aren’t supposed to support any particular religion. And yet we have people who want to teach creationism in schools, have prayer in schools, outlaw gay marriage, ban stem cell research, overturn roe v wade, etc.

That’s the kind of “legislation” I’m talking about.

Outlawing gay marriage, stem cell research and roe vs wade has nothing to do with supporting any particular religion. The fact that you see it this way is important. What the constitution prohibits is the direct endorsement of religion - as religion. It does not forbid a community from promoting laws based on morals that are supported by a religion. More importantly, you’re opposed to these social ideas because you think they are “religious” – so that says a lot about atheism. Apparently, to be an atheist it means you must be pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage. This is much more than merely “not believing in God”. It’s an ideology.

EDIT: Oh, I should add that not wanting Christians to legislate their beliefs has nothing to do with being an atheist. I’d feel the same way if I were a Buddhist or a Zoroastrian. Think of it this way: would you like a group of Hindus gaining power and trying to make it against the law to eat hamburgers?

You’re assuming that if you were a Buddhist that your belief system would not change your values. How do you know that? What if you were a Muslim?

Would I like it if Hindus gained that much political power and majority of the population? No, I wouldn’t. But if it happened, I do understand and accept that they can change the laws to reflect the morals of the community. They can even have the constitution changed (amended) to outlaw things or permit things.

The name already exists – Satan. These are evil and dangerous people and show you just how bad things really are. The Lord will deal with them in the end.

thanks for sharing.

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