The Christians and Jews and Muslims around me all advocate tolerance of each other and of the various versions within their own groups and are proud of the progressiveness of their tolerance. As a non-practicing Christian who even so gently mocked some of their practices and spoke firmly against the extreme practitioners of any, I was tolerated and they were polite to me. Once I labeled myself 'atheist', the tolerance was gone and disgust replaced it. It was okay for all of them for me to have a different view of God and even be a little irreverent of their practices, but their tolerance ends once I pass into full atheism. I get called heathen, pagan, devil-worshiper, self-worshipper, and so on. The negativity and hostility took me by surprise from these gentle tolerant people. I guess I need to find a basement support group!!
Ugh. I can't stand that "Atheist Rapper" guy; the same obnoxious person who wears that "The Black Carl Sagan" t-shirt. What a way to cheapen and reify something that doesn't need garish or tacky shows like this. As much as I respect him, this goes for Dan Barker's atheist-themed folksy music, too. Concerning the guy in the video, his low-level, pedestrian empiricism is a positivistic dogma that begs the question concerning quarks, bosons, or strings. I know what he means when he demands evidence, but his strict empiricism may be without foundation. Ontological Naturalists who have a pluralistic ontology (e.g. Platonists) would run dialectical circles around him. Guys like this, including his ilk such as Darwin Bedford, David Mills, Reginald Finley, Brian Sapient, and a number of others, are often very embarrassing. (Sensing that this would be quote-mined, I should point out that the above people mentioned are like Frege and Russell compared to JP Holding, the bullies at "Atheism Sucks," Todd Friel, et al.)
Anonymous @ 6:25:How fortunate it is that the truth status of evidence doesn't depend on whether or not the evidence is tasteful.
@ Anonymous,I can't say that I totally agree with Finley or Sapient's style, but I appreciate what they are doing. I greatly appreciated David Mill's book. And I really like Dan Barker, his book, his show, and his campy music Why? Because although they may not represent the top of the intellectual rung, they were out there for "low-brow blue collar" guys like me. I don't think the masses will understand all the intellectualism behind atheism right away, and initially many have the knee-jerk emotional detachment from their religions, so guys like this help encourage and embolden those that are yet confident enough to step out and be proud to be an atheist.Personally, I find your comment a little offensive, as if atheism is for the intellectual elite alone. Yes, I find the arrogance of Sapient and Finley distasteful and unappealing, but they are doing things that even Debunking Christianity isn't. No, I don't expect that the "smarties" should dumb it down for the rest of us. But it would be nice if there wasn't so much "Gosh, they are stupid" by the higher-IQ atheists out there.
Jamie, I agree wholeheartedly. We need authors and bloggers on every level. What Christian, for instance, would ever be upset if some person was converted as the result of reading Josh McDowell? None that I know of.
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