Sunday, May 13, 2007

Carnival of the Godless #66

Welcome to The Atheist Experience, and the 66th Carnival of the Godless. We are proud to be hosting this installment, which I confess I wish had an extra digit in its issue number.

If you've never read our blog before, or seen the Atheist Experience TV show, or listened to the Non-Prophets podcast, or read the Iron Chariots wiki, I think your visit here will add quite a lot to your online atheism activities. I hope that you will excuse the liberal dose of self-pimpage, but below is a quick "best-of" compendium of AE blog entries from the last few months, which I'm sure you'll enjoy reading and will perhaps persuade you to bookmark us. As one person of discriminating taste to another, I'm sure you will!

  • First, you can read all my coverage of this year's The Amaz!ng Meeting 5, hosted by the James Randi Educational Foundation in Las Vegas back in January, by clicking here.
  • You can also watch several video files of Atheist Experience TV episodes by choosing this tag.
  • Pat Robertson predicted the US would fall victim to a nuclear — or is that "nucular"? — terrorist strike this year, and I had, shall we say, a little fun with it. Previously appeared in COTG #57.
  • TV show host Matt Dillahunty has a word or two in response to the hysterical overreaction by some Christian groups upon the discovery of — gasp! — an actual real-live atheist holding public office! Clearly the fall of the republic is at hand, and the barbarians are at the gates!
  • Stephen Rogers crucifies the Crucifixion.
  • In our most linked-to and highly-trafficked post (over 1000 hits from Pharyngula alone), we present a series of YouTube clips revealing Kent Hovind's phone calls from jail. They display the infamous YEC's delusions and disconnection from reality to a truly sad degree. A number of comments have also been left by Hovind defenders, some earnest, some sad, most just as deluded as Hovind's own ravings. As PZ Myers described them, these tapes are a real window into fundamentalist creationist pathology.
  • Stephen again, presenting an example of what he calls "half-hearted evangelism."
  • I walk all over a popular Christian retort, that there are no such things as atheists, or that atheism presupposes theism, here. Ray Comfort likes to use this one a lot. It's as dumb as most of what usually comes out of his mouth.
  • Don Baker examines The "Thou Shalt Not Judge" Mind Game.
  • And last but not least, me again, refuting the "appeal to free will" rebuttal to the Problem of Evil.

Now onto this edition's submissions. Thanks to all the fine godless bloggers who've participated. And yes, I actually read all of these before adding them to the list below, because, hey, blog carnivals are all about reading great stuff! Please note these are in no particular order. Just peruse at will. There's a load of stuff here to choose from, and it's full of awesome!

And that's a wrap for this edition! Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of the Godless, which will be hosted on May 27 by Letters from a Broad, using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found at the blog carnival index page. Thanks again to all the participants this time, and we'll see you readers back here again very soon.


  1. Just want to say I've had a few complications on getting time to post Part II B, but it will be up sometime this week.

    The (eternally) late
    (thanx for the quote. Because of a problem with the archives, the slavery posts are hard to find, so here's the link to one of them if you feel like including it here:

  2. "I think Richard's critique of free will is imperfect"

    I'd naturally be curious to hear the reasons why...

  3. Certainly. I've posted my views on Richard's piece in his comments thread here.

  4. Hey there. Just wanted to say the next CotG will be at Letters From a Broad (, NOT the Friendly Atheist.


  5. Thanks for using my post. Great job.

  6. I don't like the Carnival of the Godless logo. It's a theatrical mask, but it looks like a skull at first glance. I'm of the belief that if we are to be accepted in society as atheists, we must appeal to the majority of Americans' reliance on appearance. Every little thing that makes an atheist look like a demon worshipper to the faithful takes us a step in the wrong direction.

  7. Well, I didn't design it. Maybe there should be a contest for a new logo. I admit I don't see what a Mardi Gras mask has to do with atheism, either.

  8. Hi,

    First of all, thanks for including my first post on the series "Framing atheism".

    About the Mardi Gras: it is an explicit reference to, well, the carnival. If we want to find a symbolical meaning for it (some people do like those) we could trace it back to the original meaning of the Carnival festivities, which were the only occasions in the Middle Ages when the social order could be reverted for a while, jokes would go unpunished, and poor people could dress as rich people, etc. There have been some real rebellions during Carnivals because of this.

    But yes, it has nothing to do with godlessness. I think it became a logo simply because the mask looks quite nice - you should try and check out the prices of the real ones...oh dear...

  9. Thanks for the love, Martin, and sorry if I was overly acerbic, angry, and obscene in the old Dan threads. There was just only so much of that guy I could take before I had to verbally bitch-slap him.

  10. Not related to the blog carnival, but congrats on reaching episode #500! :-)

  11. every knee will bow to Jesus someday why not now instead of later?

  12. I always assumed the mask was for the "Carnival" aspect, not the "godless"

  13. anonymous troll: every knee will bow to Jesus someday why not now instead of later?

    Because, O nameless one of courage, enlightened societies reject the tyrannical notion of bending the knee to absolute rulers — particularly those whom we have no reason to believe are anything other than mythical boogeymen with which to scare unruly children. Indeed we believe in a world of equality, human rights, reason and free inquiry, and you don't get those things in oppressive societies where you're always bowing. To quote a song lyric, "It's hard to walk tall when you're on your knees." I'm sorry that such oppression is a lifestyle that appeals to you. More proof, if any were needed, that religion is a truly horrible cancer that keeps people beaten down when they should be lifted up! We see how well it's beaten you, and we pity you for it.

    There is a process in life called "growing up," and I sincerely hope you experience it someday.

    badger 3K & steppen wolf: Yeah, I figured the "carnival" connection with the mask logo, but I think it'd be cool if each blog carnival could have its own customized version of the mask to match its theme. Then, I wonder what an atheist mask ought to look like...for one thing, I guess it'd have to have a light bulb over its head...

  14. Dude, the light bulb idea is HORRIBLE. Goes right along with the campaign to refer to atheists as "brights," which is offensive to me as a non-believer of mediocre-at-best intellect.

    Screw logos anyway--what we need is a mascot. Howzabout "Shomie, the monkey who demands proof?"

    Yeah, you're right. Missouri'd probably sue.

  15. Obviously I can't sit down and read all the entries in the carnival; but I am checking them out here and there in my spare time. I've read two, and they've both been enlightening. One happened to also be very entertaining! Thanks for posting these links!

  16. Akusai:

    Just to say your blogs are REALLY funny. You're writing is brilliantly...well, funny. I cracked up reading about that book you got in the mail. When I got to the part about the "terrorist" sewing seeds, I just thought that was the perfect presentation--the way you addressed it.

    Sorry my own writing isn't so eloquent. I wish my compliments didn't sound so awkward; but I enjoyed your stuff.

  17. I've looked over Richards post (on the problem of unfreedom) and read Martin's reply as well. I have to say I tend to agree more with Richard.

    As human creatures, a signficant portion of our behaviour is pre-programmend in. The most obvious example is sex. Like a plant growing toward the light, so is the sex drive to humans (and let's not get into the sexual orientation debate on this). This one simple example provides several different avenues to explore: What about those that are so physically deformed, ugly, etc..., so that the sex drive leads them to all forms of pathlogical (or what religous doctrines say is imoral and a sin) behaviours?

    Martin indicates Richards' thesis only applies to the mentally handicaped. Well, to get personal, I pursed a Phd in Physical Chemistry --- a very interesting subject; however, only have average IQ, failed and now I am, ta..da.., a common garden variety computer programmer (a common end for many would be Mathmaticians, Physcists, Ecnomists, etc.... these are all occupations where normal IQ is simply not good enough).

    With this very short reply with a couple of limited, but concrete, examples I hope I've given some brief comments that demonstrate why I tend to agree more with Richard than Martin. But I could be wrong, after all, I might not have sufficient reasoning capacity to have thought this thru correctly!


PLEASE NOTE: The Atheist Experience has moved to a new location, and this blog is now closed to comments. To participate in future discussions, please visit

This blog encourages believers who disagree with us to comment. However, anonymous comments are disallowed to weed out cowardly flamers who hide behind anonymity. Commenters will only be banned when they've demonstrated they're nothing more than trolls whose behavior is intentionally offensive to the blog's readership.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.