04 June 2009

Must Have Hit A Nerve

Apparently, a lot of atheists read Society for the Prevention of Anti-Mormonism (a site I personally strongly recommend). I made reference in a comment I posted over there to the paragraph in this post on my blog dealing with how atheists present themselves IMO (see paragraph 2). I'm pretty sure this was the source of the reaction I got, since I think only about ten people normally read this blog, and that's the only place I've called attention to that paragraph.

This had about the same net effect as stirring an anthill with a stick. I have yet to post any of the comments I received, since all of them fell into at least one of these three categories (many were two or more):
1. foul language - self-explanatory. Language WILL be kept PG or cleaner. If you can't say it on network TV, you can't say it here (and there are phrases used on network TV I deem inappropriate).
2. ad hominem personal insult against me specifically or against theists in general - as you will see in the comment form, I refuse to post comments including such
3. anonymous - I quickly came to the conclusion that most of the commenters were apparently afraid to stand behind their remarks, choosing to hide behind anonymity. I refuse to reward such cowardice with publication.

[Later edit: I have, since original writing, received civilized commentary, which has been duly published.]

I don't edit comments I receive, even to correct spelling or typing. Either a comment meets my standards (not that difficult, since they're listed above and on the comment form) or it doesn't get published. Yes, I will publish a comment if it doesn't agree with me (while reserving the right to rebut in a follow-up comment), if you meet my simple criteria. Those criteria exist to keep this blog civilized. I'm quite happy to discuss, but I won't allow vandalism by foul language, aggressive hostility, or hiding behind anonymity.

My blog, my rules. Anyone who isn't willing to abide by those rules is welcome to post elsewhere. I think it took me roughly five minutes to set up my account here on Blogspot. I spent a lot more time tweaking layout, but that's me.

Administrative matters aside, this was mildly entertaining, foul language, very poor literacy, and all. Certainly didn't do a lot to raise my opinion of anti-theists (the more rabid division of atheism). When you respond to someone commenting that a group you belong to generally seems quite angry by spewing insults and venom, that doesn't exactly help your case, gang. ;-)

My opinion of anti-theists in large part stems from my reading on the JREF Forum, which purports to generally be of the "skeptic" mindset about psychics, Bigfoot, extra-terrestrial visits to Earth, and just about anything else you'd find on "The X-Files". What the prevailing orthodoxy on that site amounts to is the worship of science as the source of all knowledge (reminding anyone that science has a way of changing its orthodoxy periodically in response to going outside the "current knowledge has everything" mindset is not well received), and an attitude toward belief in anything outside/greater than our world that is condescending at best and frenzied rage at worst. A lot of the posters over there really hate the idea of God or anything else that can't be measured in a lab.

That's their problem, really. I do respect true science, which does not close off possibility and will admit there are limits to what is known or knowable by lab research. I do not respect "scientism", which basically states that science defines reality and that anything not measurable in a lab is not real. The fact that this would eliminate things like consciousness, love, conscience, beauty, and quite a few other very nice things that are not reducible to test tubes and graphs gets glossed over at best.

I consider my own personal experience as real as what a lab could tell me, subject to verification (I do realize that my own perception can be in error). I have had experiences in life that really do not have a natural, lab-reproducible explanation, and can only be explained by accepting the existence of God. I'm not good at wishing away my own experience to conform to the gospel of scientism, and don't care to try. I'll stick with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which works a lot better in the real world than the "it's all random chance, there's no purpose to any of it" philosophy. I grew up in a family that ranged from indifferent to faith to active hatred for same (the ones most hostile toward God were also the most generally messed up as far as emotional problems and addictions. Interesting that I just now really realized that), so I'm familiar with the man-made philosophies that purport to replace or disprove God, and they really don't work for very long, not unless you're willing to deny or rationalize away what doesn't fit that. I much prefer to adjust my beliefs to fit experience and common sense.


  1. Nothing gets the ant hill riled up more than a good anti-Mormon fest. Even the gay activists have fallen for that poor excuse of bad behavior. The anti-religion nuts are out in force. Be safe.

  2. Sorry to hear that you are getting rough comments. Way to stand up to them!

  3. I don't intimidate easily, especially when it's poorly spelled words on a screen, typed by anonymous cowards. :-)

  4. While I've known and associated with several calm, rational, civilized atheists I have also noticed a trend among _some_ toward irrational, non-calm, uncivilized personal attacks in discussion.

    I think the "anonymity" of the internet probably contributes to this, as there are very few apparent consequences for online discourse.

    Regardless, kudos to you for speaking your mind and not being bullied by the insanity of it all.


Comments are moderated, and must meet the following criteria:
NOT anonymous - if you want the attention of other readers, have the guts to own what you write
NO personal attacks, on me or anyone else, individually or as groups
NO spam, profanity, etc. (should be obvious)
Comments must be in English, since that's the only language I read well enough to be sure your comment meets the above criteria.
I will publish comments that disagree with me, but reserve the right to rebut.