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!
- In this hilarious post, "The Continuing Saga of the Bible Faith Handkerchief," Akusai takes you on a guided tour of a preposterous, money-grubbing Christian pamphlet called "The Seed Principle," which is so laughably egregious it could only be viewed positively by someone who aggressively refuses to think in any way, shape or form. Posted at Action Skeptics. Akusai was one of the readers here who participated in the now-legendary comment threads in which we had to deal with a fundamentalist troll suffering from some pretty profound personality disorders. His whole blog is really good, particularly this post about his efforts to hold off a planned visit to his hometown by crazed hatemonger Fred Phelps.
- Mike Haubrich asks: "Atheists: Persecuted or Merely Annoyed?", posted at Tangled Up in Blue.
- Stephen Littau discusses "The Mysterious Ica Stones", another fraud championed by some YEC's to bolster their anti-evolution claims. Posted at Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds.
- In rebuttal to religionists who claim only their fantasies can lend a person a sense of wonder and awe about life, the universe, and everything, Greta Christina presents "Dancing Molecules: An Atheist Moment of Transcendence" posted at Greta Christina's Blog. Greta finds much that is awe-inspiring in the fact "that out of atoms and molecules, here we were managing to create the experience of joy."
- John mocks the dogmatic predispositions of Christian apologist Alvin Plantinga in "Plantinga and the Xtians" posted at hell's handmaiden, and wonders how foolish actual scientists would be if they adopted Plantinga's methods of arguing.
- Michael DePaula offers three articles posted at MichaelDePaula.com.
- "Letter to a certain christian radio talk show host" reprints, as the title indicates, part of an e-mail exchange with syndicated Christian radio host Todd Friel.
- "The little radio station that couldn't, then could" discusses the efforts of another tiny Christian radio station to get off the ground.
- And finally, Michael gives us his own personal testimonial in "Why I am an atheist."
- adam H from Athens, GA, wishes the self-imposed barriers we use to divide each other could just go away in "...and that's how we'd live without a curse" posted at ...And That's How You Live With A Curse.
- vjack asks, "What Have I Learned About Evangelical Christians?" and tells us, over at Atheist Revolution.
- Shalini, about whom Dembski sycophant DaveScot once made a nasty racist wisecrack over at The Sandwalk, presents "The Rapture and the usual Biblical plethora of contradictions" over at Scientia Natura: Evolution and Rationality.
- steppen wolf has some ideas on how atheists can disabuse people of their prejudices against us in his "framing atheism challenge - part 1", posted at the skeptical alchemist.
- The Atheist Jew has some witty things to say about a woman who didn't like something she read on a coffee cup in "Starbucks, Believers Don't Like It When You Provoke Thought" posted at THE ATHEIST JEW. However, of equal interest is a pompous and completely off-topic screed in the comments by some believer named Raymond, who hasn't, so far, had the stones to stick around and respond to other commenters' rebuttals of his tautological nonsense.
- For those of you in the mood for some Biblical exegesis, Avery Archer has a very good piece: "The Philosopher vs. the Biblical Fundamentalist" posted at The Space of Reasons. Got some good discussion happening in his comments thread, too.
- dikkii investigates "The meaning of life" (not that again!) over at Dikkii's Diatribe.
- alun presents Religious Virulence posted at Clioaudio, saying, "One feature of the religion as virus idea is that, if its vertically transmitted, it would be expected to evolve to become more benign. Recent research suggests that viral fitness is not related to virulence."
- Toby Selwyn brings us Book Review: The Dawkins Delusion, by Alister McGrath posted at A Load of Bright, saying, "This is my review of Alister McGrath's book The Dawkins Delusion, which was a response to The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. I show how McGrath fails to achieve his declared goal of refuting Dawkins' arguments."
- Prup (aka Jim Benton) offers a compelling series of posts from over at Debunking Christianity. In a personal email to me, Jim says, "...it's an honor for a 60-yr old autodidact to have been invited to join the crew there. I just wanted to say that these are the opening of what will be a five-part series on ethics. (Part I and Part II A are up and being submitted, but I hope to have Part II B up before next Sunday, so if you mention it as well assuming you choose to include them at all I'd appreciate it.) And if you mention that almost any post on DC is worth noting, and especially the comments sections, which have become serious dialogues, not just collections of one-paragraph comments, I'd also appreciate that. I don't know if John [Loftus] is submitting his pieces on slavery, but they deserve honorable mention." So, dig in!
- Aaron Powell informs us of "What Atheism Offers: Justifying a Life’s Purpose" over at Symbolic Order.
- Mark A. Rayner warns us to look out for the "Forty-seven signs of the Apocalypse (#42)" posted at the skwib.
- Does the world need a Christian version of Linux? Someone seems to think so, and No More Mr. Nice Guy! lives up to his name by snarking all over it in "The Official Linux of Jesus"!
- MartinC gleefully offers "...a quick piece I wrote to tease the IDiots," in "Is Intelligent Design Anti-Christian?", which you can read at Sneer Review. I imagine it would indeed make Casey Luskin sneer!
- Here's another local boy I'm happy to promote! Austin Atheist cautions believers particularly those dazzling clods Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort "How Not To Persuade An Atheist #1: Bypassing the Intellect," posted at ΛUSTIN ΛTHEIST ΛNØNYMØUS. He tells us, "This is the first of a series of post I hope will continue well into the future. I may have one or two more by the time the next COTG rolls around. So, I might submit more than one. I'll leave it to you to post them all or only the first. See you there!" This is a very funny and entertaining post!
- Dale Smith critiques the poor attempts by New Age huckster Deepak Chopra to refute Richard Dawkins in a very good post, "Chopra v. Dawkins," over at faith in honest doubt.
- In a very fine piece, Jeff Hebert tries to help religious parents overcome the anxiety they might feel when a non-believing child "comes out," and helps to dispel stereotypes about atheism. Go read "So Your Child Told You He or She Is An Atheist Now What?" over at A Nerd's Country Journal.
- Also in the parenting vein, David Johnson warns theists to "Keep Your God Away From My Child!" at The Jesus Myth. I think he means it.
- Richard discusses "The Problem of Unfreedom" at Philosophy, et cetera. As he describes it, it's "a new twist on the old 'Problem of Evil' argument against God's existence: Argues that cognitive deficiencies impede our free will in a way that's inconsistent with the existence of a perfect being." While I think Richard's critique of free will is imperfect, it provides a good springboard for discussion, and there are some worthwhile replies in his comments thread.
- An Anonymous Coward (not a religious troll, as a matter of fact) discusses the similarities between belief in angels and space aliens in "Basis For Belief, Part Five: Angels and Aliens" over at Confessions of an Anonymous Coward.
- CapeTownDissentator is, like all sensible people, bemused and embarrassed that after 150 years, Americans still question a scientific principle as fundamental as biological evolution, and that we can get three presidential wannabees admitting outright to not believing in it on television, in "No More Monkey Business" posted at The Dissentators.
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.
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.ReplyDelete
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:
"I think Richard's critique of free will is imperfect"ReplyDelete
I'd naturally be curious to hear the reasons why...
Certainly. I've posted my views on Richard's piece in his comments thread here.ReplyDelete
Hey there. Just wanted to say the next CotG will be at Letters From a Broad (http://lfab-uvm.blogspot.com/), NOT the Friendly Atheist.ReplyDelete
Thanks for using my post. Great job.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
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...
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.ReplyDelete
Not related to the blog carnival, but congrats on reaching episode #500! :-)ReplyDelete
every knee will bow to Jesus someday why not now instead of later?ReplyDelete
I always assumed the mask was for the "Carnival" aspect, not the "godless"ReplyDelete
anonymous troll: every knee will bow to Jesus someday why not now instead of later?ReplyDelete
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...
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.ReplyDelete
Screw logos anyway--what we need is a mascot. Howzabout "Shomie, the monkey who demands proof?"
Yeah, you're right. Missouri'd probably sue.
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!ReplyDelete
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.
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.ReplyDelete
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!