What’s the point?

student_writing

I just noticed this ridiculous bit of so-called journalism. Ok, it’s listed as opinion but it’s written by a journalism major. Christ, you think journalism is in bad shape now, if this kid is a glimpse of the future, we’re fucked.

Now you might have noticed that I’m not writings as much these days. That’s due to two things, one being the demands of a new job and the other being rather worn down by the perpetual ignorance and bullshit by the religious. How many times must one address atheism is a religion, atheists have no morals, political prayers, and of course the infamous Stalin, Mao and Hitler crap? Let’s face it, these people believe unwarranted shit, so why should facts matter? Why should pointing out their assertions are incorrect have any consequence when they believe in things which can’t be shown to exist? It just seems like a waste of time, and despite whatever outrage I may have at any given bit of nonsense, expressing that anymore feels like I’m simply yelling in a padded, sound proof cell. It’s even worse when you encounter other seemingly like-minded people and you find out that despite what they profess, they’re in many ways just as bad as the yahoos we’re both supposedly against!

So with that said, I offer you a response I gave to our aspiring journalist. Why did I respond? Who the fuck knows? Maybe I’m avoiding starting the massive mound of work I have before me, or Wyatt is a surrogate for people who will remain nameless who I’d rather be setting straight. Whatever the prompting, here it is, for what it’s worth….

Wyatt,

It’s clear you’ve misunderstood the intent of Atheist Ireland. The intent was to both protest Ireland’s blasphemy law as a violation of free speech and to show how completely impractical it is. Fundamentally, the assertions of any one religion are blasphemous to every other. The divinity of Jesus is blasphemous to non-Christians. Christians, Jews and people of other religions find the assertion that Mohammed was a prophet to be blasphemous. And what of multiple gods of the Hindus, the notion of reincarnation, an evil alien named Xenu, or an angel named Moroni revealing the word of the Abrahamic god? Very quickly you can see how impractical the blasphemy law is.

Now as a journalism major, I’m quite shocked at how you’re not up in arms over a law that opposes free speech, and that you could so casually overlook that due to your apparent disdain for atheism. To post something like “[d]espite these quotes being abusive and insulting in relation to matters held sacred by various religions, we unreservedly support the right of these people to have published or uttered them,” and have your only reaction be to say it “is an ideal representation of how corrupt Atheist Ireland and other extremist groups like it are” is nothing short of shocking to me.

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41 Responses to “What’s the point?”

  1. I agree with you entirely about being burned out, I'm feeling the same way. How many times can you write the same story over and over and over again? Oh look, yet another stupid theist with no clue about the real world! That makes 5001 this week alone! The fact is, you're never going to be able to change these people's minds and rationality doesn't propagate in the vacuum that fills most of their heads.

    You also have to keep in mind that many theists are really only in favor of freedom for themselves. Lots of them talk a good game about freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but only want it to apply to their speech and their religion. They just couch it in terms that makes it look open and aboveboard so that as soon as someone else abridges their freedoms, they can raise a ruckus.

    I've given up expecting anything close to honesty from the religious. They live in a fantasy world with imaginary friends, how can we expect them to act at all logically and rationally?

  2. I'm seeing there's a tipping point between when responding to shit is cathartic and when it's detrimental in terms of wasted time and killing one's "spirit".

  3. There's a point at which it stops being fun to point and laugh at people's stupidity and you have to realize that likely, mankind is just too sick to survive. The more time you spend looking at religious stupidity, the less evolved, socially and mentally, you have to conclude, that most of humanity is. I really don't want to see mankind out among the stars until I can be sure that we're not going to be polluting the universe with our brainless religious nonsense.

  4. Maybe it's already there. You have seen Babylon 5 before, right?

    Clearly high intelligence does not make one completely immune to not just woo but such things as confirmation bias and logical fallacies. Why should we expect aliens to be any better? They could be crossing galaxies at faster than light speeds and doing all kinds of advanced shit, but maybe they take a moment each day to acknowledge a god, spirits of their ancestors, or some talisman they carry with them? It's quite possible that we'd just be adding to the pollution, not solely responsible for it.

    Of course we might be the most advanced life forms in the universe. How sad would that be?

  5. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of stupidity being propounded in every venue—especially, though, in the media, where it should be absent. Of course, it would be ideal if it were absent in every venue, but that is both unlikely and naive to expect.

    I could only ever hope for a more limited influence of stupidity.

    "The more time you spend looking at religious stupidity, the less evolved, socially and mentally, you have to conclude, that most of humanity is."

    I agree but would expand that statement to include even those who aren't religious or don't hold to the belief of gods. I've become bitter over the state of our educational system and its ills. Being a student, I think it is my responsibility to be incensed over it. ; ) Anyway, the state of our educational system has enlarged the Realm of Stupidity to include even those who don't follow religion or gods. Which is extremely saddening.

  6. I just finished reading Greg Bear's The Forge of God – I guess there's a sequel, I'll have to hunt it down.

    He has a scary analogy for why advanced life forms haven't made themselves known; we're like children in the woods making a lot of noise, announcing our presence, while the wolves silently gather…

  7. You're right to be upset with our education system. What's also caused trouble is the self esteem movement. Put them together and you have an ignorant generation too full of themselves to notice or care that they're ignorant.

  8. I think that any kid named Wyatt might have trouble with his self-esteem. But I guess he's lucky that his parents didn't name him Bat or Wild Bill.

    The kid's an idiot. But so are his journalism professors. That boy should be in a different program, one in which writing coherently is not a requirement. And the person who spelled "athiesm" (probably not Wy-not) deserves to be banned from the school.

  9. You're right about the self-esteem movement, all of the teachers I know tell me that kids have been taught far too much self-esteem and now, they're all spoiled. They think the world owes them a living because they're special. Just waking up in the morning ought to get them a prize. There's nothing wrong with a modicum of self-esteem, so long as it's deserved and moderated with a good dose of humility. Unfortunately, most is not.

  10. I'd really rather not take the chance that we might be responsible for polluting the universe with irrationality. If we find out that we're much more rational than aliens, I might change my mind, right after I get done being extremely depressed.

  11. GenerationMe is a good read on the topic.

    I have precious little snowflakes, too. They all think they should get good grades simply because they spent a lot of time on something, like that alone matters. Try telling that to a client.
    Client: This is shit!
    GenMe Artist: Well I worked really hard on it, so pay me.
    Client: The Fuck I will.
    After a few of those, he'll get fired but claim his boss was an ass. Then when the landlord wants the rent, he'll tell him he was fired, as if that should excuse him from having to pay rent. Then he'll be on the street and be wondering why everybody hates him. He'll die believing he's a great artist.

    My favorite excuse for a good grade is financial aid depends on having a good gpa, so it's "unfair" to give anyone a low grade. You see, the concept that the money has to be earned escapes them, because they feel they're simply entitled to it, so anyone giving them a low grade is preventing them from getting THEIR money. Speaking of earning, the grades aren't earned either, right? They're given to them. That's the terminology, which reveals the thinking yet again.

    What they don't realize is all that smoke that's been blown up their asses all their lives is going to fuck them up once they're out in the real world. I'm the asshole now for not telling them they're wonderful and telling them where they need to be to be successful, but just wait until they get out there.

  12. That headline writer needs to do a bit of work on verb conjugation as well…

    Mind you, when the headline is drivel, it at least clues you in that what follows may not be Norman Mailer. So in that respect, good work, ambiguous and mis-spelled headline writer!

  13. I'm honestly surprised that these same mental midgets who think everyone "deserves" success hasn't tried to take it into the workplace. You can't possibly fire anyone, it might damage their self-esteem! You can't give one person a raise without giving everyone a raise, someone might feel bad about themselves!

    The fact is, people need to earn what they get. If they can't earn it, they don't deserve to have it to begin with.

  14. Hey, don't get discouraged. I enjoy reading your posts. Maybe a shift in focus would help. You say, "when you encounter other seemingly like-minded people and you find out that despite what they profess, they’re in many ways just as bad as the yahoos we’re both supposedly against". Maybe it's worth spending a little time ironing out the details of a perspective to which many self-proclaimed athiests can agree. I have stuggled lately to wrap my mind around what we mean when we use the word "supernatural". My tentative conclusion is that it just doesn't make sense to use the word at all. So how can we characterize all the woo that's bandied? It's easy to start to feel like we've got all the answers and just have to keep repeating the same old arguments. I don't think this is the case. There's clearly room for improved and more compelling arguments. And I think there are many cases where we can dismiss out-of-hand certain arguments and certain personalities. Though, it's hard to pin down when the line has been crossed past which someone's statements should be ignored. It's ok to just say, "that doesn't make sense to me". It's better to get a clarification than to join a futile battle of words. Also, we have to get used to offended religious people. That's always going to happen. Athiesm is just plain offensive to many of them. We have to remember that the burden is on them. At any time, they could publicize good evidence supporting their belief. There's a certain resistance to a skeptical viewpoint because it seems so negative. But from my perspective, more negativity is coming from clinging to impossible ideas and acting out a fairy tale. Plus, there's an inevitable dishonesty that comes about. You have people acting as agents of a supposed God, when in reality the motive is actually their own personal preference or perhaps pressure from their peers and family. I know this is a little disjointed, but I hope it makes some sense. Also, I wonder if you have participated in any gatherings etc for athiests specifically. I've been thinking it would be encouraging and fun to meet up with area athiests (I'm in philadelphia), so do tell if you know of any good events/gatherings.

  15. Fight Club rears its head again…

    You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.

  16. I went to two things, and I have to say, I didn't like either one. Most of what I encountered were walking stereotypes, nerds with little to no social skills and generally annoying. I've come to the opinion that the people I'd most likely want to hang out with are probably not the type that would go to those meetups. Now how does one meet these like-mined folk? Well, let me know when you figure it out.

    I'm currently in Delaware, but I work in Philly. Most of the get togethers though are in places a tad out of the way for me even if I was at work and wanted to go. Doylestown? Are you kidding me? North Philly? Fuck that. Manayunk? Blech!

  17. Indeed!

  18. There are actually books rolling off the presses everyday on how to deal with these shits in the workplace. Bunch of shit. They need to adapt, not the world.

    Incidentally, the field of cg is a young field and especially if you want to get into gaming, the "senior" this or that at a company could be under 25. Thing is, they're not worried about your self esteem either, and that's the comical part about it. All of these self esteem addicts don't give a fuck about anyone else's. In fact, put them in power positions and they're FAR worse than you or I would be. Oh the irony! You see, they aren't taught empathy because the world revolves around them. Sound familiar? This is why I think we have so many so-called non-religious, yet they're still full of woo, and why you have all these personal interpretations of religions. If the world revolves around you, and you don't care about anyone or anything but yourself, than god is yours, a fully personal god, and whatever you think or feel is right must be right.

  19. I am disgusted by the notion of a blasphemy law in Ireland in this day and age, it is a major step backward toward religious depravity. What next? Prohibition in Ireland? Hey, maybe they can outlaw sex too while they're at it. Perhaps they could also make it illegal to miss church services or to covet their neighbor's tractor. Maybe golf and gambling should be outlawed because it causes neighborly strife….ugh, that's what happens when church starts running a country.

  20. It has taken to the workplace on some level. The unions seem to have gained a bit too much power in that regard. For myself, if someone is whining about job security, then they should improve their performance. That is the only way to have job security. (Unless you're a teacher… then you just get asked to teach somewhere else).

    I was taught empathy (although, I agree, not many in my age group are) but I wouldn't show that in business. Those two have always and will always remain separate for me. Of course, I don't expect empathy for myself… there's the dividing line.

    In ways, the business world does have to adapt. Expectations for jobs have changed greatly in a short time and not all because of one generation but it is an adaptation that is geared towards the younger. As for all the self-esteem bullshit and how to treat the youth generation in the workplace—it's bullshit. Treat them like any other employee.

  21. Just want to say your article is striking. The clarity in your post is simply striking and i can take for granted you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the ac complished work. Excuse my poor English. English is not my mother tongue.

  22. That's not true as stated.

    Then how do you think it be stated to make it true?

    Sometimes when I read you in non (a)theist context I pretty much agree with almost everything you say…

    Hello confirmation bias.

  23. I agree the blasphemy law is impractical, but when you say,

    Fundamentally, the assertions of any one religion are blasphemous to every other.

    That's not true as stated.

    I'd agree with you on the self-esteem crap too. Sometimes when I read you in non (a)theist context I pretty much agree with almost everything you say, For example,

    You're right to be upset with our education system. What's also caused trouble is the self esteem movement. Put them together and you have an ignorant generation too full of themselves to notice or care that they're ignorant.

    That's golden. And the whole thing about these pampered little bitches not going to have an easy time in the real world? Priceless. And "They need to adapt, not the world" was good too.

  24. It's confirmation bias whenever you disagree with somebody based on whether they believe or disbelieve what you believe or disbelieve. You should actually draw conclusions based on reason alone, not because somebody is an atheist or a theist.

  25. Hey, how about for once not commenting annoyingly and trolly?

    What? Criticizing a claim you made amounts to trolling? If that's the case toughen up. You're an artist and a creative guy, Philly. I figured a general guideline would suffice and that you would not need me to tell you how to craft conservatively and responsibly framed statements. After all, you spend a great deal of time alleging the insufficiency of various theists' statements, so I assumed you must be some kind of authority.

    In other words, demonstrate your claim,

    Demonstrate my claim? I'm simply denying the validity of *your* claim. Did you get so upset you forgot who retains the burden of proof? Get consistent and prove your own claim true.

    You claimed my words weren't "true as stated", so demonstrate how they could be true as stated, or show how they're not true as stated,

    Again, it's not *my* responsibility to prove *your* claim untrue. It's *your* responsibility to prove *your own claim* true, cf. semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit, a.k.a. Burden of Proof

  26. If you say you have a personal computer, the burden of proof is on you to back that claim up….the same goes for saying you have a personal god too.

  27. I think when it comes to you I might be guilty of personal incredulity, because you exhibit such idiocy that I assume you're just being a douchebag because I can't accept that you're truly as stupid as you appear.

    Unless anyone else wants or needs me to elaborate on cl's mistaken notion of burden of proof or anything else regarding his label of "troll", I'd say we're done with this.

  28. PhillyChief,

    Fundamentally, the assertions of any one religion are blasphemous to every other.

    That's a positive claim. The burden of proof falls to the positive claimant. It's you who mistakes the notion. It's no big deal, just admit it and move on. In the immortal words of John Evo, it's both helpful and liberating to admit when you're wrong.

    I'd say we're done with this.

    Why? Because you're wrong? If you don't want to go to bat for your own claim that's fine, I've got better things to do, too.

    quantum_flux,

    If you say you have a personal computer, the burden of proof is on you to back that claim up… .the same goes for saying you have a personal god too.

    I agree. Would you say the same also goes for saying, " the assertions of any one religion are blasphemous to every other"? If, yes, why? If no, why not?

  29. Ah, well let me clarify since you're confused yet again, jackass, and I'd rather you not confuse anyone else. The claim you're citing is not the claim in question. The claim in question is: "That's not true as stated."
    Burden of proof: yours.

    Now as to what you're objecting to, the claim: "Fundamentally, the assertions of any one religion are blasphemous to every other."
    Burden of proof: mine; however, I offered supporting evidence in the opening paragraph because I comprehend burden of proof.

    And THAT is why we're done here, because you're an idiot who can't or won't grasp basic concepts so to continue communicating with you is a waste of time.

  30. PhillyChief,

    "That's not true as stated."

    Read carefully: I'm denying your positive claim. Note: "not true." I've not made a positive claim such that your accusations of "idiot" and "jackass" have warrant.

    however, I offered supporting evidence in the opening paragraph because I comprehend burden of proof.

    No you didn't. You wrote:

    The divinity of Jesus is blasphemous to non-Christians. Christians, Jews and people of other religions find the assertion that Mohammed was a prophet to be blasphemous. And what of multiple gods of the Hindus, the notion of reincarnation, an evil alien named Xenu, or an angel named Moroni revealing the word of the Abrahamic god?

    That does not support your exaggerated claim that:

    Fundamentally, the assertions of any one religion are blasphemous to every other.

    If you need exaggeration to sustain your arguments against theism, hey, whatever works for ya. I'm just trying to help you out.

  31. Perhaps PhillyChief should have more correctly said ….

    "often times the assertions of one religion are blasphemous to many other religions"

    Consider the assertion that Allah is the one true god, or the assertion that Shiva created the Universe, or that Cows are more sacred than people, or perhaps the assertion that Jesus is going to gather and toss people's souls into a fire for all eternity like a farmer incinerating weeds….ad infinitum, just try telling an Irish guy that all infidels whom disbelieve in Allah need to be burned, or that you need to sacrifice a fattened calf as a burnt offering to Jehova to attone for your sins.

  32. <blockqote>you exhibit such idiocy that I assume you're just being a douchebag because I can't accept that you're truly as stupid as you appear

    I know what you mean. It's like normal, sane conversation is beyond cl. For example any rational person would have said in response to your original statement: "No, you're wrong; here is statement x, which is an example of of an assertion made by religion y that is not considered blasphemous by religion z."

    When I say that someone's statement is inaccurate, I usually have a reason why I say so, a specific example in my head.

    I don't think cl has any such idea; he reminds me of a boy at a family gathering who develops a crush on an older male and can't express it any other way than by annoying the crap out of him. The whole "cheap meat" episode comes to mind… I guess it's sort of flattering, no?

  33. you exhibit such idiocy that I assume you're just being a douchebag because I can't accept that you're truly as stupid as you appear

    (…hate when I fuck up my blockquotes…)

  34. Please, the thought of that makes me ill.

  35. When I say that someone's statement is inaccurate, I usually have a reason why I say so, a specific example in my head. I don't think cl has any such idea

    Of course not because you don't make anything other than bad faith assumptions and insulting statements about me. Not that I care, but what would you know Ildi? You admit to glossing over my comments which makes your criticisms about as rational as random gas from some bus rider. Rational people don't make claims based on statements they've glossed over, now do they?

    For example any rational person would have said in response to your original statement: "No, you're wrong; here is statement x, which is an example of of an assertion made by religion y that is not considered blasphemous by religion z."

    Correct. I had specific examples in my head, just like you, so come down off your high horse once in a while and make a good faith assumption. I thought I'd leave PhillyChief a little room for creativity by letting him do the work himself. Instead, he gets all pissy, cusses at me and calls me names, while all the while, he says I maintain the burden of proof for denying his claim, which is 100% wrong and you know it and so does he. But of course, nobody ever criticizes the class clown because, well… he's the class clown.

    The whole "cheap meat" episode comes to mind… I guess it's sort of flattering, no?

    Flattering? I'd call it embarrassing because you, PhillyChief and the rest of Team Scarlet A could only make your case by distorting the meaning of the word especially. It really is telling that not a single one of you would tackle that question.

  36. QF,

    It's confirmation bias whenever you disagree with somebody based on whether they believe or disbelieve what you believe or disbelieve.

    I don't think that's it. Confirmation bias is more like selective thinking where one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one's beliefs.

    You should actually draw conclusions based on reason alone, not because somebody is an atheist or a theist.

    I agree. I don't disagree with Philly because he's an atheist. I disagree on account of his sheer inability to make cogent arguments either for his own position (whatever it is), or against mine.

  37. I was wondering:

    I had specific examples in my head [but] I thought I'd leave PhillyChief a little room for creativity by letting him do the work himself.

    Has this back-assed snarky approach ever worked for you? I mean, in terms of generating actual conversation rather than just pissing people off? Just curious…

  38. No, you're completely blind to cogency or anything else in a comment if it's contrary to what you believe, and THAT is textbook confirmation bias. Congratulations, jackass!

  39. 1 2 3 go!

  40. "It’s even worse when you encounter other seemingly like-minded people and you find out that despite what they profess, they’re in many ways just as bad as the yahoos we’re both supposedly against!"

    These are the people who might actually be willing to learn something. You're right about the fundies, but there are others who may listen and benefit.

  41. I'm not generally a glass half full kind of guy. I've recently encountered some clowns online who are atheists but are severely lacking in critical thinking skills and basic skepticism. One in particular lashed out like a fundie when challenged on his belief in the supernatural or specifically, something other than the known, natural world.

    So no, I don't have high expectations for people being willing to listen, period. Theist, atheist, it doesn't matter for unless someone commits to being objective and esteeming the virtues of critical thinking and skepticism, you're simply casting your pearls before swine.

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