I’m putting up as a post a new attempted comment on a post that’s four years old, “Once again, Is New Atheism dead?” The writer is one “DoflamingoGT”, and if you want to respond, just do it in the comments and I will inform him (ten to one it’s a male) to come here and look.
Voilà (all errors in spelling and grammar are the writer’s):
The problem with atheism is that it is both inherrently unnatural and it also results in extremely negative psychological issues so it is impossible to sustain it for long time, atheists have always been an extremely small minority of angry and miserable white male english speaking internet neckbeards that failed in life and have victim mentality, and they also have very bad social skills and extremely high suicide rates. Christianity and Islam are the overwhelming majority of the world’s population and only keep growing the share while atheists remain a declining and obscure minority of angry and miserable neckbeard failures
Not only the new atheism completely disappeared from the public but even back then it was very obscure and limited to a few english circles, now Islam has become the fastest growing religion of western europe and the muslim population is rapidly replacing the declining white male native population at incredibly fast rates
The existense of god has always been taken for granted by everyone because it is the obvious truth that everyone knows
Do I really need to comment on this? first, let me note the two cited “facts” that are actually true: several studies have shown that those with no religious affiliation have more suicide attempts, but no less suicidal ideation. And Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe, but Mr. DoflamingoGT hasn’t considered that this may be almost entirely due to immigration, not conversion.
a.) I don’t have a neckbeard
b.) Not all atheists are male, nor are they all white or English speakers with bad social skills.
c.) Overall in the world, religiosity has declined precipitously, while “nones” are increasing.
d.) Have a look at the data about the percentage of the world’s population that is Christian. One sees an increase only in projections to 2025 and 2050; otherwise, it’s decreased.
e.) I love the last sentence, which is an example of what John Maynard Smith called “Aunt Jobiska’s Theorem” (taken from a poem by Edward Lear): “It’s a fact the whole world knows.” I love asking people who make this assertion, “Well, how do you know?” The answers are always fun, either along the lines of “It’s obvious”, “there must be a First Cause,” or “look around: all this couldn’t have happened by chance!”.
Say what you want, positive or negative, to Mr. No Neckbeard, and I’ll email him to come over here.
62 thoughts on “An atheist-basher writes in”
“The problem with atheism is that it is both inherrently unnatural and it also results in extremely negative psychological issues so it is impossible to sustain it for long time, atheists have always been an extremely small minority of angry and miserable white male english speaking internet neckbeards that failed in life and have victim mentality, and they also have very bad social skills and extremely high suicide rates.”
Even if every single one of these claims were true (they’re not), they would provide not one whit of evidence in support of the existence of god.
Exactly — unless Doflamingo is trying to argue that we ought to value convenience over truth. The only relevant bit was this:
No, it’s not.
“with ba social schools.”
But some of them have really agressive predictive text :~D
Got a knack for the run-on sentence, that DoflamingoGT.
Yup, he’s obviously pretty agnostic when it comes to periods/full stops and capitalisation.
An uninformed and belligerent believer. A dime a dozen. I find the neckbeard accusation particularly weird. For one thing, I’m too highly evolved to even grow one.
Funnily enough, I’ve always associated neckbeards with extreme Christian sects.
> several studies have shown that those with no religious affiliation have more suicide attempts, but no less suicidal ideation.
Should that be ‘no more suicidal ideation’?
I think it’s correct. He’s saying/citing that those who aren’t religious have more suicide attempts, but have no less ideation of suicide than the religious. So we atheists might act on our ideation of suicide more than the religious, but we don’t contemplate it at a higher rate.
I see your point after reading it more carefully. I think you’re right, sorry.
Whatever the facts are, they don’t depend on opinions. People often forget that.
“atheists have always been an extremely small minority of angry and miserable white male english speaking internet neckbeards” – Well, that would come as a surprise to the Ancient Greek playwright Euripides (480–406 BCE):
(from his Bellerophon)
And also to his contemporary, Aristophanes:
Or Seneca the younger about God(s): The plebs believe it is true, the elite knows it is false, and the rulers think it is useful ” (well, something like that).
I always love the argument that religion is natural. It may be. That doesn’t mean it is good or right. It’s natural for us to crap our pants, but somehow we’ve managed to rise above that, until the age when we no longer can. Sort of like a death-bed conversion.
I always like to remind such commenters that ebola is natural.
Violence is also natural. So is lazy ignorance, greed, and superstition.
Just because you have to work at something doesn’t mean it’s the wrong thing to do.
So believing in some invisible intelligent entity controlling our lives is natural?
It is, of course. Everything is natural. There is nothing supernatural!
I get that you are making a joke here but, if we take it seriously for a second, it seems to imply that while God is supernatural (and non-existent), believing in God is natural. Houston, we have a problem.
Well, no, I wasn’t joking, at least not intentionally. Since no gods or spirits exist (except spirits you can drink), the universe is nothing but natural stuff, matter and energy, and their dark equivalents. This is true of beliefs in the non-existent. The beliefs are themselves real things. The supernatural just isn’t at all.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.
– Edward Gibbon (Originated from a quote by Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
As Richard Dawkins once said (and I’m paraphrasing): “Everyone is atheist for all religions except their own. I just take it one step further.”
Indeed. The word atheist was used in that sense in the past, so that Christians were regarded as atheists by the Romans because they didn’t believe in the local deities. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_atheism#Classical_Greece_and_Rome
Mr DoflamingoGT, about a quarter of the world population are East Asians (Chinese, Japanese, etc) the overwhelming majority of them do not believe in a god or gods, they are basically atheists,. In Western Europe close to half the population is atheist, and in many coountries they are a substantial minority. Your contention that most Atheists are a dwindling small group of English speaking white males is beyond ridiculous.
My response is usually that a third of the world’s population is atheist, a third is monotheist, a third is polytheist. The numbers aren’t perfect, and they certainly shift from generation to generation. Unfortunately, even though terms like ‘atheist Jew’ and ‘atheist Buddhist’ are totally kosher, there is no equivalent for ‘atheist Christian’ or ‘atheist Muslim’, and there is no way to measure those populations.
Well, there are atheists who call themselves “culturally Muslim” or “culturally Christian” because they celebrate certain holidays and such.
Nicolaas: whenever I have an opportunity to consider the decline of Christianity in Western Europe, I can’t resist trotting out one of my favorite quotations:
“True, secular values can turn a civilization inside out. In post-Christian Europe, entire nations have been plunged into endemic health, skyrocketing education and hopelessly low rates of violent crime.” –Austin Dacey, NYT, 2006-02-03
Of course, one must admit that since 2006 it hasn’t all been good news; the decline of Christianity is only salutory if matched by a rise in rationality. If, as it seems of late, it is being replaced more by a particularly virulent strain of Islam, that’s hardly an improvement. Just as delusional as the Xhristers, and more violent as well.
I find such statements most puzzling:
People generally believed in some supernatural agents shaping the world and sometimes influencing individual fates. But that’s certainly not “god”, especially not a just one, or that particular one who is worshipped by Christians or Muslims. Even that “one” are legion, with untold versions that are trinitarian, unitary, personal, distanced, involved, not involved, merciful, draconian, cool with gays, hating gays, and so on and so forth. There is not even any agreement within Christianity.
To say that anybody has any definitive idea is among the most obviously false, most preposterous of assertions.
I have a huge collection of aphorisms and pithy quotes that this guy might profit from studying. On this particular point, how about this one:
Responding to comments as ungrammatical and uninformed as this one is an exercise in futility.
I fear you’re correct. I have long suspected that the only appropriate response to such blithering is a teenage-style eye-roll and a snort of “what EVER…”
“atheists remain a declining and obscure minority”. Whatever you do don’t come to the UK. I don’t think you could survive the culture shock!
Delightful! (Half-joking!) made me smile!
I’ll take these parts :
“The problem with with atheism is that it is both inherrently unnatural …”
The “natural vs. unnatural” fallacy. We use vision correction lenses, we trim our fingernails with nail clippers. Is that “unnatural”? If so, what does that mean about corrective lenses and fingernail trimmers?
The reply of course is “so what” – let alone how precisely atheism is “unnatural”.
“… and it also results in extremely negative psychological issues …”
For him, maybe – perhaps he could elaborate.
[ pffff – but please! Don’t! ]
“… atheists have always been an extremely small minority of angry and miserable white male english speaking internet neckbeards that failed in life and have victim mentality, and they also have very bad social skills”
I’m puzzled if this is supposed to make me cry or what … but I’ll tell you this … I might have to give the neckbeard thing a go.
If you just look up Doflamingo on the net you can see this is one large joke. Mostly it will just give you a headache. So is that what you are? Just a large section of nonsense.
Surely everyone knows that far more Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jews and Buddhists have neckbeards than atheists.
No beard here! Belief in ghosts, fairies, goblins, spirits, and such is rampant. Absolutely no point in trying to speak rationally with “believers.! SCIENCE RULES!!
Dear Mr. D:
Whether or not these are true, I don’t know. I do know that atheists have *much* lower rates of burning crosses on the lawns of black people, of cutting off the noses of girls who go to school, of throwing gay people off of roofs, of burning witches, and of flying planes into office buildings–even of refusing to sit next to women on planes.
Similar items that were “always been taken for granted by everyone because it is the obvious truth that everyone knows” include:
* The sun revolves around the Earth
* The male implanted the seed into the female, who served only as a garden for it to grow.
* Maggots spontaneously generated in rotten meat.
* Disease is caused by evil spirits, bad air, imbalance of humors…
What do all of these “obvious truths” have in common? That’s right; they’ve all been disproved by science, which in each case has provided the correct explanation. Ad infinitum.
Just because something is believed by the masses, and useful to the rulers, does not mean it is true; in fact, the philosophers know it isn’t.
With two small edits, it says it for me:
an extremely small angry and miserable white male english speaking internet neckbeard that failed in life
Only partly accurate for me, but I (bearded for nearly 50 years, atheist for about 55 years) was intrigued by the ‘neckbeard’ characterisation, not knowing its idiomatic meaning. Dawkins has a beard? Does Ulysses S Grant’s beard count as a neckbeard? Are ZZ Top atheists? What about Michelangelo’s depiction of God?
As for the ‘substance’ of DoflamingoGT’s critique, Jerry has demolished that. In my country, 48% declared no religion in the last census, up 7% from the previous census and a figure I would have thought utterly impossible 55 years ago. Even in Iran, there is (disputed) evidence that religious belief is starting to collapse.
And, worse still, Iran is full of neckbeards. Hard to say which of them are of the internet variety.
Gods are figments of the human imagination. To say ‘goddidit’ is to answer a mystery with another mystery. Most advanced countries are predominantly non-religious/atheist. Does this Doflamingo not know this?
With malice aforethought, I think that when (it’s not an “if”) Mr DoflamingoGT ends up in the slammer for some terrible crime against a fellow-believer (which he won’t even consider a crime, because his god told him to do it), he’ll be put on a suicide watch and definitely not allowed access to a razor.
Cruel and unusual, punishment – and deliberate, and planned. I’m in a relatively good mood today!
I thought about his accusation that atheists are all white, and that may appear to be the case because it’s not safe to proclaim oneself as such in numerous non-White countries, but then that’s not true either because China probably has the most atheists of any country in the world.
Regardless, if it were safe politically and socially to proclaim oneself an atheist anywhere on Earth the numbers would certainly rise.
What a hateful person. Replace “atheist” with some other term referencing a group, and then restructure the hate filled ad hominems to different ones, and you can plainly see that he is a Christian in name only. Therefore he’s going to hell. 😈
This history of atheism is explored in a more thoughtful and scholarly way by Professor Alec Ryrie in a series of lectures that he gave in 2018 at Gresham College in his capacity as Gresham Professor of Divinity. Ryrie’s full-time job is professor of the History of Christianity at Durham University. He presents his subject in an engaging and (to my mind) very balanced way. All of the lectures are available via Gresham College’s YouTube channel. The series begins with “How to be an Atheist in Medieval Europe”:
I am watching his interview, “The Remarkable Appeal of Jesus.” He also says that the Christian (centered on Christ), view of apoliticism is “an act of defiance” to the world.
Is he a Christian looking at the world through secular eyes? Is that his way to be a grounded, balanced historian?
I find it shocking that most Atheists are Neckbeards, since most of us use Occam’s Razor on a regular basis
You live and learn: “Neckbeard (slang)” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neckbeard_(slang)
It took him four years to think of that… hah! Lying to oneself about lies is… sadly beyond our help.
“The existense of god has always been taken for granted by everyone because it is the obvious truth that everyone knows.”
Well, anything is true if someone thinks so, eh?
“Assertions made without proof may be dismissed without proof.”
– Christopher Hitchens
“The palatability of a proposition has no bearing on its truth.”
– Richard Dawkins
Science relies upon Evidence and Uncertainty; Religion attempts to provide Certainty without Evidence. Honest and honorable believers need to remember their religious views are based upon Faith, and Faith alone. No evidence!
Belief in god(s) could perhaps be viewed as ”natural” in the sense that nations or nationality is presumed as natural. We grow up thinking that France, for instance is a natural occurrense, its borders, its native ethnic population and their language. And we look at a map seeing it is part of Europe, as if the land itself has adepted to this truth.
However if we go back in time, the map looked different, at some point it was a province of the Roman empire, and the people who lived there would have looked and sounded differently. If you go even further back in time, the land was not even occupied by humans, not the same climate, coastlines, fauna, or anything that would resemble France today. Thus, our current notion of ”natural” has been completely distorted.
You can experience the strenght of this sensation when you meet 2nd generation immigrants (in Sweden for the purpose of this example). Such as an ethnic african living in Sweden, talking perfect swedish, with local accent. Had you not seen their appearence before hearing their voice, you had never guessed the ethnicity right. This is how strongly we absorb our surroundings.
The same goes for faith, a structure that seems very consistent and ”naturally” occuring, with differences dependent on where you where born, in what time and in what community, or even family.
For instance, I grew up in a secular country, in a secular community, and an atheist family. To me, belief requires heavy projection. For me and many people around me, it has always been natural to not believe in god(s) in the same way as grown ups are expected to not believe in Santa.
Claiming that belief in god(s) is natural, and atheism unnatural is like saying that being native Swedish is natural while being native Japanese is unnatural. The statement makes no sense.
There are multiple meanings of “natural”, which confuses this discussion. One meaning, which I think you are using here, is “normal”, what is commonly held by people around you. This is completely different from usage that means to distinguish “natural” from “supernatural”, the distinction relevant to separating believers from atheists. This meaning of “natural” is what science investigates. It is everything for which evidence exists. Supernatural beings exist only as imaginary entities.
I am not native english, so maybe I think of the word usage slightly different? But if one would consider something natural or not, it would come with the connotation of what is expected or not, while something that is real or not real, would lean more towards the connotation of what evidently was, is or isn’t when a premise is tested.
Just saying that in the context of believers trashing atheists, the natural/supernatural distinction is what dominates.
That’s precisely why I primarily consider myself a naturalist, rather than an atheist. I don’t believe in any of the supernatural: faeries, djinn, angels, Star Wars’ The Force…
That seems to me to be a distinction with no difference.
For people with certain backgrounds, maybe. I know religionists who treat angelology as a separate religion. I know people who believe in faeries without believing in gods. If we had defined ourselves as people who, first and foremost, did not believe in anything supernatural, being atheists would be implied. But not all atheists disbelieve in the supernatural. If you are only reacting to Abrahamic religions, naturalism and atheism are almost equivalent; when you start taking other belief systems into account, the disparity becomes much more visible.
Spiritual entities, all imaginary beings, fall on a spectrum of (imagined) power. On one end are the big powerful ones, which get called God. On the other end are small ones that get a wide variety of names… faeries, ghosts, angels, ancestral spirits, and so on. There’s no clear division between the two ends of the spectrum. “Atheists” who believe in spirits aren’t really atheists, IMO, despite what you want to call them or what they call themselves.
Allow me to second GBJames’ comment. The word “natural”, like many English words, has several meanings. Two in particular cause trouble in the current discussion. It is used to mean something that is commonplace but it is also used to denote something from nature, the opposite of supernatural and unnatural. I took DoflamingoGT’s original statement to say that religious belief is so common in the world that lack of it should be alarming. We know that’s silly.
I concur with XCellKen. As an affirmed atheist, I apply Occam’s Razor on a regular basis to clear the rubble below my goatee.