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Links With Your Coffee - Thursday


 

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Oh Christopher Hitchens, you drunken ass.

For once, Hitchens didn't seem to be drunk for the interview.

Accuses President Obama of being a fellow atheist who's too cowardly to admit it publicly...

Uh ... no shit! Obama ran for president - and he wanted to be elected and presumably wants to be reelected. I'd be satisfied if he turned out to be the anti-Blair, admitting he's an atheist after he leaves office.

Expresses his deep pride for initially and continually supporting the U.S.'s invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Still crazy after all these years...

I enjoyed what the linked-to post said at the bottom:

Try as I might, I just can't seem to figure out why Hitchens would doubt Barack Obama's much-professed Christian faith which just so happened to coincide nearly perfectly with the beginning of his political career.

Why would he be so jaded as that?

:)

re: heresy corner

i've said this before here and i still don't think anyone really gets it: the idea that god must be exclusively good is, as far as i know, a christian invention. the intellectual hoops they have had to jump through over the centuries as a result of this posture make them easy targets for the "new athiests" who, along with (probably) most people here and the author of this article, think they are attacking "religion".

but many religions consider their god/s to be anything from "a bit of a bastard" to pure evil. the author of this article says there ought to be such a position, as if there isn't one! take away the necessity of god's goodness and 90% of the "new atheist's" arguments fall away like so much dandruff. it's the other 10% i'm interested in, but it takes so much digging because so many otherwise intelligent people think christianity is some kind of paradigm or blueprint for the idea of religion itself. this is just very, very far from the truth and it still bugs the shit out of me every time i see it. hence this rant. :)

...take away the necessity of god's goodness and 90% of the "new atheist's" arguments fall away like so much dandruff.

The most important of Dawkins' arguments remain standing - that is, unless you want to offer up the silly argument that God is so perverse that he created a universe that appears as if he had no effect on (or at least interest in) its behavior.

I don't think so. Being evil is no excuse for being bullshit. The non-believer's argument is far from being just based on evil.

The evil thing is not actually a standalone argument that I've seen put forward from the more "prominent" "new atheists". It is actually just a response to those who say their religion and god are good and the source of morals.

Also, I haven't seen too many religious people that say their gods are evil. Maybe if they invented more than one god, they can get away with blaming the bad ones for evil, but they "it's bullshit" argument still stands, and it's more important.

More Hitchens:

I've done it [participated as a "witness" in war] enough to know that I couldn't do it for a living - I couldn't be a soldier.

Of course, he's willing to send people who are willing to be soldiers on crusades that have nothing do with the defense of the country - and he's proud of it.

The evil thing is not actually a standalone argument that I've seen

it's not always standalone, but it is almost always woven implicitely into the other arguments. if by "it's bullshit" you mean the "no evidence" argument, this is problematic from both a logical and factual perspective, since lack of evidence doesn't prove nonexistence, and there is in fact evidence, though we don't accept it since its Mostly Anecdotal. :)

Also, I haven't seen too many religious people that say their gods are evil.

lucky for you, you probably don't know a lot of pagans, gnostics or satanists of various stripes. all the pagans have gods that handle the evil bits.zeus himself was certainly no goody-goody. personally i like the gnostic idea that the creator of the universe, who is beyond moral judgements like good and evil, created the god of the old testament who in turn created this world. and yes, yahweh's not such a nice guy.

too bad he don't have a turtle to stand on, otherwise i'd go for it. really, a god who's a prick would explain an awful lot, don't you think?

Yikes, perhaps you should look for new friends?

Kidding aside, the universe as we know it doesn't support either a benevolent or a mischievous or evil god (unless his mischief consisted of making us believe he doesn't exist). In fact, the universe behaves just as if there was no super-powerful being in control of it.

...a god who's a prick would explain an awful lot, don't you think?

No, If one believes in a god that is a prick, it just says that one's conceit is of the paranoid variety.

Nice to see you back becker!

tenks. not really back, my cave still doesn't have a computer. 'nother month or so, hopefully.

it is almost always woven implicitely into the other arguments. if by "it's bullshit" you mean the "no evidence" argument, this is problematic from both a logical and factual perspective, since lack of evidence doesn't prove nonexistence,

To kill two birds with one stone, a timeworn response to the "lack of evidence doesn't prove nonexistence" argument is that we routinely discount the likelihood that Odin or Thor exist and feel not the least bit uncomfortable that we haven't "proved" their nonexistence. The response is just as potent if we substitute Loki for either of them - his reputed "evilness" notwithstanding. Virtually every atheist will concede that s/he is a 'teapot' agnostic - let's move on.

Virtually every atheist will concede that s/he is a 'teapot' agnostic - let's move on.

okee-dokee.

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