After watching the debate a few times online, it’s clear that the Rational Response Squad claimed the victory. Way of the Master had promised before the debate that they could prove the existence of God in thirteen minutes, without using faith or the Bible. Sadly, within just a few minutes they had utterly broken their promise. Now, I don’t claim to be able to prove that God exists any better than Comfort and Cameron. I can’t even say that I would have done better in their places.
From the verge.
Join us in our webcam room, sign up for stickam!
We’re giving Christians a free public service announcement all day on Christmas day andstarting on Christmas Eve (we’re anxious to give gifts of reality!)…
Atheist appeasers and Christians meet Shalini, your philosophical superior who will be in the RRS webcam room all day Christmas to answer your charges! Christians will receive free burden of proof presents, and hopeful messages of reality reminding them that their God couldn’t possibly exist. Enjoy Saturnalia the traditional way steal it and use it for your own gain! Unlike the Christians, we won’t be murdering you for 1400 years after we claim the day for ourselves! Join us on newly named ChristMyAss! day! The newest holiday built on a message of reality… the Christian god never existed, never could exist, and is merely stolen (ironically) by dozens of other religions that predate it!
Happy ChristMyAss everyone! Where we won’t send you to an eternity of torture (or back down from our views for that matter), because we actually do give a crap about you.
Other recent issues:
Get Stumbleupon and the stumbleupon toolbar you will love it! Then give a thumbs up to all the pages we thumb up!
I’m not talking about it on this site and at my main site www.rationalresponders.com
Here’s what others have to say on the side of “boldly stand up for reason, logic, and science”
Yet another debate rages between those in the freethought movement
who favor either tolerance or resistance. In this case, the discussion
centers on the softer, tolerant approach taken by Hemant Mehta and a
group of his commenters at Friendly Atheist and the more direct, actively resistant approach promoted by Brian Sapient at Rational Response Squad here and here). As I mentioned in a previous post on this subject:
Balancing resistance and tolerance is not easy. Too much
tolerance – to the point of being softheaded – endangers important
civil liberties. Too much resistance – to the point of militancy –
places a wedge between nontheists and liberal religious observers,
deists, and others who are sympathetic to the humanist worldview but
shun the label, and foments attacks by those who most fervently
disagree with, or are most threatened by, a secular, rational outlook.
A proper balance between resistance and tolerance will foster a robust
defense against the intrusion of religious ideology into our society.
While tending to err on the side of tolerance, I must admit that
Sapient is on target when he discusses the relative failure of the
humanist movement, which holds tenaciously to its model of inoffensive,
positive engagement, and has yet to find an effective voice or any
substantial traction in the new media.
For a comparison as to
how “passive atheism” doesn’t attract people like “aggressive atheism”
does look towards the Humanist Vision challenge. A project that we were happy to support and put an equal amount of effort in to as compared to our Blasphemy Challenge. A project that I’d consider a failure in comparison and I know the reasons why, do you? Humanist vision: 6 responses . Blasphemy Challenge
1,444 responses, and there were about another 700 that have been
removed for a multitude of reasons that are not relevant to the current
The limits of our tolerance of religious intrusion into all spheres of public life are nicely discussed at Atheist Revolution.
Given the massive influence religion has on
politics and the degree to which it repeatedly leads politicians to
make horribly destructive decisions (e.g., denying global warming,
preventing stem cell research, launching preemptive wars to fulfill
end-times prophecy, etc.), I simply do not have the luxury of ignoring
it. Given the frequent intrusions by believers into my personal domain,
I have little opportunity to ignore it. Instead, I must work to defend
reason and oppose religious extremism.
If you haven’t seen already, vjack posted an open question about RRS. Sapient responded. Hemant reported on it. Sapient responded to Hemant’s commenters. Hemant reported on that. And here’s what I have to say about it:
a dick. But so is Hitchens. And Dawkins when he’s cranky. And to a
certain degree Harris. Dennett’s probably the nicest of the “Four
Horsemen,” but still is firm about his convictions. The thing that
Sapient is reminding us of, as well he should, is that hardliners are
clearing a place at the table for moderates like Hemant. As he’s said
in his second response:
… different people are
susceptible to different modes of thought. One person’s bitter pill is
another’s only chance to get through to. I’ve got a bitter pill and
Hemant carries a glass of water around with him. You see how we work
He even acknowledges that synergy between the
two sides. Those of us on the moderate side need to remember that
without Dawkins boldly pushing his position, many of us probably
wouldn’t be reading about this debate today. We’d be figuring out how
to subtly live our lives in peace. As we all know, that time is over.
We’re in the public eye. And it’s time to make a difference.
way that we can make a difference is by those strident hardliners to
keep making their point, and the moderates to help the rest of America
(and the world) understand who we are (and I agree with Hemant; they
certainly aren’t passive). I’m not the first atheist who has made this point.
This will continue to be debated, and the moderates, for the most part,
won’t see the hardliners as anything but a threat to their progress for
the whole movement. Likewise, there will be many hardliners who will
just keep repeating the mantras about religious addiction, and lambaste
the moderates for being cowardly.
My point here is that there
are thinkers on both sides of the atheist coin, like Hemant and
Sapient, who recognize the purpose of both approaches. We need people
to spread the word about us as Americans, but likewise we need people
to mount a hard defense against the stupidity and monstrousness of the
Religious Right. The battle for scientific education, for example,
won’t be won by warm fuzzies. It will be won by hard data and brutal
reasoning. The fight for our perception as human beings and upright,
moral contributors to society won’t be won by in-your-face tactics. It
will be won by polite persuasion and community-building.
will continue to be a dick. That’s a good thing. That means that
there’s someone fighting for our philosophy; for reason in the face of
a whole lot of woo. Hemant will continue to be a nice guy. That’s also
a good thing. That means that there’s someone out there to put a kindly
face on our community. We need them both. I spent too much time in my
life trying not to draw attention to myself and my philosophy. It’s
time to be included.
Technorati Tags: atheism, culture, debate, education, hardliners, moderates, religion, RRS, atheist, rational response squad, rationalresponders, brian sapient, kellym78, rook hawkins, agnostic, bright, humanist
Powered by ScribeFire.
Source: NY Times
Curiously, the religious group that makes the most imaginative and despotic use of YouTube are atheists. The Rational Response Squad, a furtive organization devoted to curing theism, has challenged YouTubers to post videos of themselves denying the existence of the Holy Spirit and thereby — in the group’s reading of Mark 3:29 — damn themselves for eternity.
More than 1,200 people have posted blasphemy videos as of this writing. In each one, a single person speaks the line, “I deny the Holy Spirit.” Sometimes he or she adds more: a name, a speech, a further denial of Easter Bunny-like entities.
Some blasphemers are jaunty, some are insolent, some are scary, some are nervous. But all of them (young and old, mostly English-speakers, but with a range of accents and ethnicities) seem to believe they are making a statement of some gravitas — issuing a reproof to doctrine, possibly risking their salvation. On the face of each participant is both a wonderful purity of purpose — the mandate is so simple, the one-line script so unforgettable — and a clear vulnerability.
Will anyone regret taking the so-called Blasphemy Challenge? If so, can they retract their videos?
While we appreciate the most “imaginative” title, we would like the record to reflect that atheism is not a religion, nor are we a religious group. The fact that such a stupid remark could get past the editor of the NY Times is a reflection on just how far we have to go.