As a hypothetical experiment, assume you are an alien conversant in human languages and you observe -

* A bunch of pentacostals.

* Skepticcat's favourite Zeitgeist loon, astro-theologist Jordan Maxwell holding a seminar.

* Loyal Korean Workers' Party members that believe Kim Jong-Il shot an impressive 38 under par (with 11 holes-in-one) in his first and only game of golf.

* Any gathering of ufo freaks, homeopaths or chrystal healers.

* Any gathering of 9/11 truthers and government internment camp loons.

As an alien, you are blissfully unaware of the religions, political leaders, cultural memes or fads of the time. Aside from the idiosyncrasies of ritual, would these people be otherwise distinguishable from one another ? I think not. If they are, how so ? And if they are not, it renders the perennial argument about Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot et al being atheists to vindicate theism moot.

I think it is mulling over this for too long that begins to explain my unease with the term "atheism", because it is a label that can include any of the above (except pentacostals). I don't like it. Hence my preference for "Cynic" - rejection of god(s) is just the first step on the long path of rejecting stupidity altogether.

Your thoughts ?

Tags: believers, faith, gnomes, illuminati, loons, nutjobs, of, quacks, theists, zurich

Views: 58

Replies to This Discussion

Scoobydoophile is my new description of myself.
Anti-theist is how I describe my atheism. I don't think it covers pseudoscience though.
Larry Carter Center: one in 50 kids become autistic due to the bad vaccines

Right, enough. This isn't the first time you thrown this figure around here. Where *precisely* is your information coming from ? Especially when worst case epedemiological figures for the entire population are 1 in 500. Where is this information ? Either cough it up or can the recycled voodoo stories. Same goes for -

As for 9/11, who here is going to explain how 2 planes "melted" 3 buildings on that day?

No one wants to hear the same old gibberish again. Unless you have some new *precise* and *verifiable* information on the subject, just can it. There is nothing you can say that has not been refuted ad nauseam. Broken fucking record, pissing on the graves of those who died. And if you are incapable of self-restraint, take it to these clowns.
Applause,applause!! Thank you for laying out the chemtrail story! Nice work!
2. The rise in birth rates, which necessarily shows a proportional increase in things like autism.

Why would an increase in birth rates cause an increase in autism rates. There would be an increase in cases, one would presume, but not necessarily an increase in the rate. Or am I reading you wrong. Your #1 would be an explanation for both an increase in numbers and an increase in rate (percentage) but I think #2 would only show an increase numbers, not rate.
Unfortunately, one cannot be taught to use the Razor. I was using it innately for the ten reasoning years of my life that came before my having heard that term used to describe it. The razor is self-evident. If one doesn't have any innate sense of it, then one never will.
People who replace with religion with another belief system that's essentially a religion...maybe that's sort of like a "dry drunk"--an alcoholic who quits drinking, but in place of it adopts a narrow and rigid mindset?
Adriana: I would distinguish the Korean Worker's party members from the rest. These aren't true believers or stupid: they go along with the farce because their balls are on the line.

You missed what I said - I specified a believer in the party. They do exist and they are far more common than you'd think. I know the majority are terrified into submission, but many are actual believers. Two other proofs of Kim's divinity -

Kim has schools teach people that his birth led to a spontaneous rainbow breakout... and that he doesn't defecate.
and that he doesn't defecate.

Thats why he and his regime are so full of shit!
I don't mind being called an atheist, for it describes one part of my (lack of) beliefs accurately. I can also be described as American, Californian, tall. These are all accurate, as far as they go, and just because there are people who share that description that do stupid things (and I'm one of them sometimes), that doesn't make me feel the need to reject the term. I'm sure all the nutjobs would describe themselves as critical thinkers as well, anyway. Does anyone really admit to not being one? I think, in addition to rejecting the idea of a supernatural being, the people in this group tend to want to reject beliefs that I would call superstitious. So maybe I'll start calling myself substitious. Gotta go fly off in my ufo now to conduct experiments and influence the weather. Please wave as I fly by.
To me, "freethinker" implies anarchy, or thinking just any old thing you want to. And that could include believing any old thing you want to, instead of examining whether it's logical or not. I know "freethinker" is supposed to mean thoughts that are unencumbered by religion or irrationality, but this is my connotation.
I know "freethinker" is supposed to mean thoughts that are unencumbered by religion or irrationality

This definition would fit "skeptic" or "rationalist" better IMO. I'd rather say a freethinker is one whose thoughts are unencumbered by conformism and prejudice.

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