Weekly craziness from readers

March 29, 2014 • 10:22 am

There were lots of bizarre and outright nasty comments this week; here are a few that didn’t make it to the threads, but are appearing here. (I’ve realized that the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s monthly newsletter always has a section detailing the abusive letters and emails they got, many of which are far nastier than mine!)

First, here’s reader Mark,commenting on “New film on Noah and the Ark offends both Christians and Muslims“:

U are an idiot the bible is true I didn’t come from monkeys maybe u did

This could be a teenage troll, of course, but there are lots of people who could write this and mean it.

Reader Jay, commenting on: “In Heaven, everybody’s young”: a new movie proving Heaven“:

Of course the heaven movie is gonna do way better than the unbelievers. The atheist worldview is fucking bleak. Kill, conquer, and spread your genes, and then you die. No wonder autism is on the rise. You atheists couldn’t have real love if your life depended on it. Oh wait… To you guys love is just a chemical reaction anyway, nothing significant. Fuck that.

I’m not sure which atheists he knows, but I’m not familiar with that species. But in fact love is a chemical (and neurological) condition; this guy is just too wrapped up in his “other ways of knowing” to see it. And really—autism?

Reader Tony, commenting on “New film on Noah and the Ark offends both Christians and Muslims“:

Well I didn’t see this movie yet so I don’t really know if it is accurate or not. considering who the producer and director is I would only guess that its not accurate and that they did not care about making it accurate mainly to make it more interesting and make more money off of it.

I do believe in the bible and I do believe in god. This website and this article is just another show of ignorance by the same type of people who made the movie. How can you not believe in something that has been around for generations before you were even here. Our country and our ancestors followed the bible the believed in god but all of the sudden we just forget that and make up new ideas of creation and say the bible was all just fiction that some random people wrote. That is what makes no sense.

There must be some kind of name for the fallacy that “the truth of an idea is directly proportional to the amount of time it’s been around.” Slavery and the denigration of women, of course, have been around at least as long as the Bible.

Reader Puzzled, commenting on “Should vaccinations be mandatory? A debate in the New York Times

So they should get entitlements paid for by the working people, and if they are on drugs, then that’s alright? We should pay for their drug habit? Ok

I think that this means that we shouldn’t subsidize vaccinations for poor people, as that would be like subsidizing the drug habit.  And I guess we shouldn’t subsidize roads and schools, either, for poor people who pay little or no tax get to use them as much as the rest of us!

Reader Keith Carroll, commenting on “How religions—and the U.S. government—let children die”:

The issue that there are times government needs to intervene in the medical care between child and parent is a very important one. On the surface the debate seems clear. First I want to make it clear I am not against modern medicine. It has come a long way from “blood letting” in order to cure diseases.

As far as all these studies spoken of favor the doctor. How about the instances of abuse and deaths at the hands of doctors and hospitals. (take Boston Children s Hospital as an example) How about the millions of children being physically poisoned, burned by caustic, and torn apart in abortion clinics all at the acceptance and financial support of the “state”.

How about the parent that has no religious reason to disagree with their doctor but do? They are all lumped in with those that have religious objections. For my part, I believe for instance,that chemo and radiation treatments are barbaric and cause great misery and premature death and are given even when there are no examples that these has resulted in a cure. (Pancreatic cancer as an example)

There are many that have successfully treated cancer without traditional medicine but no one seems to be listening. The American Medical Association is a strong union and many times are a hindrance to medical advancement more times than not. We are a massive over medicated society. One can find many credible medical experts that agree.

So in summary, the children are best not a ward of the state. Of course there will unfortunately be abuse. I’ll bet I can find though, far, far more abuse at the hands of the “state” the doctor, or by hospitals. Past history shows the “state” has been involved in atrocities such as eugenics, medical experimentation, and population control here and in other countries. Why on earth would I trust the “state” with the care of our children.

I doubt that you’ll find as many cases of doctors deliberately withholding effective medical care from children as you would of religious parents doing the same. As for chemo and radiation not being effective, and there being no examples resulting in a cure, of course that’s palpably false. Keith has failed in so many ways that he’s beyond correction or redemption. I presume that he’d get rid of departments of child and family services as well. Let parents kill or abuse their kids however they want, for you can’t trust the state.

Finally, reader Bruce Brownlee comments on “Jerry Coyne soon to be neutered and taken to Christchurch”:

Gosh if Jerry Coyne is going to Christchurch NZ ,I hope he will fall into the hands of Gareth Morgan (Cats to Go). We have too many bloody murderous cats decimating our wildlife.

Gareth Morgan, a New Zealand businessman who’s done some good environmental stuff, has also called for the euthanization of all domestic cats or, at the least, not replacing them. And I have some sympathy for the decimation of native wildlife by roaming feral cats. But to call for the death of Jerry Coyne the Cat (and I think he’ll probably be an indoor cat) is something that immediately militates banning.  Oh, and by the way, I don’t want this post to initiate a discussion about killing cats; you can go to other places if you want to talk about that.


69 thoughts on “Weekly craziness from readers

  1. Jerry:

    I think you need to correct “Freedom from Foundation’s” to “Freedom from Religion Foundation’s” in your first paragraph.

  2. These are the people who represent god? Do we judge god by his most vocal supporters?

    Some people will argue that we shouldn’t judge god ar all lest he judge us in turn. Well, I personally haven’t committed any genocides lately, so I’m willing to take that chance.

  3. Tony:

    Given your reasoning, all of the following are more true than christianity, as all of them have been around longer: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Shintoism, Confucianism, Jainism, and all the various forms of animism. Not to mention the worship of the gods in the Greek pantheon. In short, everything except Islam, Sikhism, Mormonism, and Scientology.

    God(s)–are you *sure* you’ve chosen the right one(s)?

    1. I have had strongly Christian students also use the ‘what idea is older?’ argument with me before, as if that is supposed to mean anything. Your reply is perfect, but too bad I was too stunned at the time to come up with that one.

  4. You could take a page from Dawkins and start a series where you read some of your craziest letters each week whilst sitting by a crackling fire, surrounded by a few purring cats. I would definitely be a regular viewer!

    I don’t know how you can stand the ignorance. I don’t mind differing beliefs if people can be mature and intelligent. But the lunacy of these comments gets worse by the week.

    The argument that “we’ve believed this for 2000 years, so it’s true” is so pathetically bad. Yes, Christianity is part of the western cultural heritage, for good and for bad. But that doesn’t mean our myth system is valid. The Greeks accomplished a great deal while they went around believing in the gods of Olympus, but that didn’t make the Greek gods real.

    I get the impression sometimes that most people erect a mental wall that they refuse to ever try and surmount when it comes to issues of faith. Because the arguments they offer are usually so shallow and ridiculous that it’s amazing they aren’t realizing it themselves.

    1. The argument that “we’ve believed this for 2000 years, so it’s true” is so pathetically bad.

      It’s clearly the signs of the bottom of the mental barrel being scraped.
      Or in this case, more of a mental teaspoon than a barrel being scraped out.

  5. “There must be some kind of name for the fallacy that “the truth of an idea is directly proportional to the amount of time it’s been around.””

    Argument from antiquity AKA appeal to tradition.

  6. Keith Carroll’s “examples” are all made up lies. I guess the god swallowers think that is the Christian way to act. Boston Children’s hospital is the top rated in the US.

    1. One of the great mysteries of life is the profound dishonesty of people who’s own deity prohibits bearing false witness.

      1. I don’t think that they are all lying (some of them, no doubt, are). I think that if you prefer faith [wishful thinking] to reason, then it is easy to convince yourself that because something ought to be true, it is. For instance, if you believe in the literal truth of Genesis, then it is a small step to believe that science supports creationism, or that the theory of evolution led to the Holocaust, or what have you. One idea is no crazier than the other.

    2. “How about the millions of children being physically poisoned, burned by caustic, and torn apart in abortion clinics all at the acceptance and financial support of the “state”.”

      Yes, how about them? I doubt caustics and poison are used in abortion clinics as there are safe procedures to choose from – but I’m certain doctors and biologists both doesn’t describe a fetus as a “child”.

      A fetus is a foreign growth in a mother, only more benign than cancer or the fetal cells that later lodges in her body. Are those fetal cells considered “children” too by misogynists? Insanity, thy name is religion.

      1. Right, but also caustic is an adverb not a procedure. Also no ‘state’ pays for abortions in the US.

    3. As I suspected: “Abortion, when induced in the developed world in accordance with local law, is among the safest procedures in medicine.[1] … Medical abortions are those induced by abortifacient pharmaceuticals. … Up to 15 weeks’ gestation, suction-aspiration or vacuum aspiration are the most common surgical methods of induced abortion.” (Abortafacients are more or less body produced hormons, not “posions”.) [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion ]

      Lies. All lies.

      How typical of the profound immorality that is suggested by most religions and practiced by their followers. :-/

      1. Hey, the commandment only says “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

        Says nothing about being an abject, lying weasel in every other circumstance that suits them.

  7. It is interesting how many of the comments start out normally, then degrade into nonsense or insults. The exception is that nutty one with the lack of punctuation and the use of “u”.

  8. This kind of thinking makes me so sad. I pray one day religion will just go away – wait a minute….aw, shit!

    1. Religion is much of the problem, but the bigger problem is in the way some of these people think, which is to say, they don’t.

      It’s not as if having a belief in a sky fairy is the only reason these people come across as so ignorant. They’d basically be like this about whatever beliefs they have, political, personal, etc.

      More or less, they believe what they’re told and have a major problem with people who dare to question it. It’s threatening to them and they don’t want to even consider for a moment the validity of criticism of their unfounded beliefs because it clearly is unsettling for them to open that Pandora’s box.

      Even when I disagree with someone, I try and at least wrap my mind around what they’re saying before I decide whether or not to reject it outright. But that’s too mentally taxing for most people, in any area of thought.

  9. Kill, conquer, and spread your genes, and then you die.”

    Aw c’mon… I’ve never killed or conquered anybody.

    1. As Penn Jillette put it:

      Religion is not morality. Theists ask me, “If there’s no god, what would stop me from raping and killing everyone I want to.” My answer is always: “I, myself, have raped and killed everyone I want to … and the number for both is zero.” Behaving morally because of a hope of reward or a fear of punishment is not morality. Morality is not bribery or threats. Religion is bribery and threats. Humans have morality. We don’t need religion.

  10. Well I didn’t see this movie yet so I don’t really know if it is accurate or not.

    Accurate??? Ken Ham objects on the grounds that you weren’t there to see it happen.

    There should be an award, perhaps given out annually at one of the larger atheist conventions, for the best religious email or blog comment.

    ARRRGHH SORRY JERRY… website comment.

  11. How can you not believe in something that has been around for generations before you were even here.”

    Like evolution, you mean?

    Jumpin’ Jehosaphat. This one gets my vote.

  12. Can we call for the death of those who would call for the death of Jerry Coyne, Felid?

    …not that I could actually support such a position, but I might not be above doing so to make a rhetorical point….

    Yes, just like d*gs, cats should only go outside when on a leash or otherwise suitably supervised. But how one gets from such a perfectly reasonable position to the mass slaughter of cats, including those who remain indoors, is utterly beyond me.


  13. Many of my friends who are owned by cats obey their commands to roam outside to kill native wildlife. I have tried to explain why this is wrong for the environment, and how many dangers the cat is subject to, but it’s useless talking to them. Their brains are not their own. I hope Jerry the kitty stays inside.

      1. …and I am always amazed when I discover an anti-cat person is not at all worried about dogs wandering around attacking people, or barking all night and forcing entire neighbourhoods to endure chronic sleep deprivation.

        1. Actually I never thought about that. The number of dogs that have attacked me, is far too numerous to remember while walking, running, biking. Even my kids have been attacked. I guess their attacks do not bother me that much.

          What does bother me is the awful noise they make when they bark, seemingly, for hours. The owners of those dogs should be put in a kennel a day for every hour their dog barks.

      2. Paul, you make a very good point there. Rats definitely can wipe out ‘naive’ populations of all kinds of animals. ‘Alien species’ is one of the four horsemen of the ecological apocalypse (the credit for that beautiful expression does not go to me, but to Matt Ridley).
        However, most recent studies show that cats, and not just the feral ones, are far more harmful than previously thought.
        We simply do not know enough.
        Your remark about dogs is also spot on. I remember reading about a single dog gone feral all but wiping out a whole kiwi population in a NZ forest.

    1. There is a difference of opinion among WEIT readers regarding this, and we’ve learned before that this is not the place to have the indoor/outdoor cat discussion.

  14. I think the drug user vaccine connection comes from these conservative fallacies:

    1) All poor people are drug users, otherwise they would get a job.

    2) All government benefit programs for the poor provide or save money that the recipient will immediately spend on drugs.

    3) No fair pointing out that Florida’s program to test welfare recipients for drug use demonstrated the falsehood of 1 and 2 because shut up, that’s why.


  15. conservative fallacies:
    1) All poor people are drug users, otherwise they would get a job.

    Oddly, most of the customers of my various drug-dealing friends over the years have been in employment of varying degrees of regularity. It’s sort of necessary to pay for the drugs.
    The ones who fall out of employment are the ones who rapidly end up running up debts (which no dealer wants – they want those debts paid!) and becoming really problematic customers. The ones who hammer on the door at 03:30 demanding gear, and make it really obvious to the neighbours what you’re selling.
    Typical absence of reality.

    1. I went to a relatively expensive parochial middle school and can definitely attest that the biggest drug users were all from the most affluent families. The Catholic HS I went to was definitely not high end, but again, it was only the wealthy kids who had or did drugs that I knew of.

  16. “I believe for instance,that chemo and radiation treatments are barbaric and cause great misery and premature death and are given even when there are no examples that these has resulted in a cure.”

    How does one even begin to address such ignorance and stupidity? I have it. Hey dumbshit, I’m here because chemo and radiation SAVED my life! Talk about will-full ignorance.

    1. Just to take it beyond the realm of personal experience:


      While cancer incidence rates have increased (from 383.4 to 485.7 cases per 100,000 between 1982 and 2009), cancer mortality rates have fallen (from 209.0 to 174.3 deaths per 100,000 between 1982 and 2010).

      Where the increased rate is largely due to increase in average age of the population, and decrease in mortality is largely due to increasingly effective chemo and radiation therapy, combined with better diagnosis.

      But what chance does 27 or so years of meticulously collected data have against Keith’s blustering faith?

  17. Clearly you are all forgetting that atheism causes vaccinations.

    Or is it the other way around? I can never keep that causal relationship straight. Now excuse me while I go and adjust my oxcytocin and serotonin levels, by giving my partner a hug.

  18. Keith, who doesn’t believe in cancer treatments or modern medicine, is exactly the sort of person for whom I coined the phrase, “St00pid: Double-0 Stupid, licensed to die.”

    I’ve no objection to anyone with his beliefs refusing medical care. I have every objection to anyone like him refusing that care on behalf of patients who cannot speak for themselves, whether legally due to age or for any other reason.

    Just because he’s st00pid doesn’t mean those for whom he would speak choose also to be st00pid.

  19. Whatever, Russell Crow looked extremely good on Jimmy Fallen the Tonight Show.Will rent the movie when it comes out.Have to see what this movie is about, good excuse to watch Russell Crow.Go Noah

  20. Introduced animals are a big problem in NZ, including possums, stoats, rabbits and many more. What baffles me is this: At the Flood native animals such as moas, made the trip to the Ark, and also the trip back without breeding on the way. But problem animals did not get to NZ until about 1,000 years ago when humans arrived. Can anyone explain this?

  21. Gareth Morgan (who is apparently an economist, this of course gives him credentials to pontificate on ecology) called for a boycott of the SPCA, apparently because they failed to back his call for mass kitticide. I thought this was worthy of a response and sent them $50.

  22. “The atheist worldview is … [k]ill, conquer, and spread your genes, and then you die.”

    Hmmm which of these worldviews is LEAST like the above?
    1) Catholicism
    2) Islam
    3) Atheism

    I think I know the real answer 😐

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