i summoned anger
It’s a publicly known fact that I’m an atheist. It’s not something I’m ashamed of, nor do I feel I should be ashamed of it. Everyone believes - or does not believe - in something different. Even though I may not view the religious world the same way you do, I would never call you an idiot for the beliefs you do have. No one should be able to make a claim on your intelligence based on what your views on religion are.
I started reading this post about plagiarism. What I read into it was that Raving Atheist was not so much plagiarizing Clubbeaux as (weakly) making fun of him. It is easy to see how Clubbeaux thought of it as plagiarism and frankly, if Raving Atheist was indeed making fun of Clubbeaux, he should have either linked to that post or put at least a footnote in saying so.
The more I read, the less interested in the plagiarism aspect I became. What enraged me was both the incredibly racist tone Clubbeaux’s original post and the ensuing comments and his insistence that atheists are idiots. A few quotes from Club, taken from both his site and his comments on RA’s site:
- "But I guess if she had any brains she wouldn't be an atheist."
- 'I have never met Christians who like facts less than atheists do."
- "Meanwhile Delilah can't understand my "problem" with plagiarism. Atheists."
- " That's the thing about you atheists, you're always so sheep-quick to believe any old silly thing that makes you feel better."
- "But as I've said, if atheists could think they wouldn't be atheists in the first place."
And this latest comment from him:
I've noticed among the most religiously faithful atheists a striking tendency to adopt emotionally-pleasing stances on subjects such as evolution, race and whatever, and dress them up as factual, logical, thought-out positions, but when I ask for the facts behind them I always get this bitter blast of invective, and when I look up the atheist's run away.
Ask an atheist who proclaims that evolution is true what his facts are and he'll launch into a lengthy rant against Creationism, pronounce you hopeless and run away. Ask one how she knows for a fact that God does not exist and she'll start yammering about the medieval Catholic Church before she excuses herself.
Same "thought" process, really.
The only invective I see here is his. I'm more than willing to go to the mat for atheism and have a reasonable discussion, but when I get emails like this one:
I can prove that belief in God is more reasonable than belief in atheism, that's fairly easy to do.." I tend to think that an debate with Clubbeaux isn't going to go too well. Not when he considers my belief system unreasonable. That starts the argument off with Club already shutting down any semblance of reasonable discussion.
By lumping all atheists together in generalizing statements such as those above, Clubbeaux is stating that I am an idiot, I am immoral, I cannot think for myself.
Let’s try some tenth grade math here. Remember proofs and theorems?
Using Clubbeaux’s standards:
Michele is an atheist.
All atheists are brainless.
Therefore, Michele is brainless.
That would be proven true.
Using the standards of the real world, we would then try this theorem:
Some atheists are idiots.
Michele is an atheist.
Therefore, Michele is an idiot.
That would be proven false.
In an email to me, Clubbeaux stated:
I think you can think for yourself, but if you're a self-proclaimed atheist you're not doing so, since it's axiomatic that "There is no God" is not a logically defensible statement. "I don't know if there's a God or not" is perfectly acceptable, but that would make you an agnostic, not an atheist. An atheist is one who states that she knows there is no God, yet who is unable - because it's impossible - to support that belief with any proof, any facts or anything other than her own desire that it be so. You can express the reality of what you really think by saying "I don't know if there is a God or not but I really don't want there to be one," that's honest, but "There is no God" is petulant and unthinking.
What’s the difference in the statements “There is a God” and “There is no God?” Neither of those statements can be proven one way or the other.
You can look at it another way, as does Todd:
The irony here is that I've always understood atheists to be more intelligent and enlightened than religious fanatics. Since they are able to remove the divine from the decision making process, it takes on a more rational aspect. Invoking extra-human powers to help prove a point has never won any arguments with me. Ever. It just tells me you can't think for yourself. To me, the atheist was someone who had obviously put some thought into the rejection of religion, and therefore was capable of intelligent and rational discussion.
Unless you worship a piece of cement or a potato that looks like Mother Mary, your belief system should not call into account your intelligence.
Blanket statements like “all atheists are idiots” only serve to make the speaker himself look like the idiot.