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Sunday, March 20, 2005

 Carnival of the Godless #8

Welcome to the Carnival of the Godless!

I have found over the past seven weeks that reading these thoughtful (and sometimes humorous) posts is a wonderful way to spend a Sunday. In fact, after you are finished reading this week's batch, I would encourage thee to get thy ass to thy local church and spread the godless gospel.

I'm serious.

Grab a cup of tea or a burrito or what have you, sit back, and enjoy the postings. Then get into your car, and drive to the closest church. I want you to barge into the middle of the service and shout at the top of your lungs something like: "god is dead!" or "god is just Santa Claus for adults!" or "free your mind!" (Fair's fair... the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses interrupt my day all the time.)

I know at least one of this week's godless heathens would support such an action. In "Sects and religion/Fuck the (Intelligent Design) Creationists," JokeBlog says that we godless types, "need to go door to door and convince people that their religious beliefs are built upon the shakiest of foundations and that their holy scriptures are fables, myths, and lies."

I do believe that one of the doors that we should knock on is the door of the local church. Who knows? There may be someone in the congregation like UrNotAlone, who in "Control issues? Confessions of a Chronic Catholic," describes her ongoing philosophical struggle with religion: "I feel nothing when I go to church. Who are these people talking to? Is it that I don’t believe in God or is that I just can’t believe what I am hearing?"

I detect a mind about to be freed. Go out, my fellow heathens, and take with you a pocket full of red pills. There are those who struggle to awaken against socially-induced apophenia.

But beware! You must also be prepared to meet True Believers™. You know the type: so faithful that they filter out any evidence that undermines their faith. You can't argue with these folks because they see "logic" as something pertaining to Vulcans on Star Trek, not something to be applied to religion. Radical Russ knows what I mean. In "God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It!" he dissects the tautological reasoning behind Christianity with his fundie pal Carl. In a second contribution, "The Bible says God Exists, God Wrote the Bible, Therefore, God Exists," Russ continues his conversation and nimbly tears down the fascade of "Intelligent Design" (ID) overlaying creationism.

ID is a topic also addressed by The Pseudo Magazine. In "Idiotic Writing on Intelligent Design," the author struggles to understand the success of the ID movement: "it does appear that rational arguments in favour of ID are weak and easily countered. Is this just an illusion? Am I being blinded by my 'secular European', anti-clerical prejudice?"

Can it be that simple? Can the answer to the question of what makes a True Believer™ a True Believer™ be simply that they are dumbasses, caring neither for reason, nor logic? I don't want to be rude here, but it makes sense on a number of levels. For example, Nick Barlow's, "And I’d like to see them sin after that," suggests some ways that the godless can leverage the gulllibility of True Believers™ (as evidenced in all the bogus religious crap they buy) to our advantage.

True Believerism™ can wear many faces, though, as Brent Rasmussen reminds us in "When You Wish Upon a Starr." In laying a Constitutional smackdown on super-lawyer Kenneth Starr with regards to the Pledge of Allegiance, Brent underscores that otherwise logical persons will stoop to sophistry and deception to get their way: "I would want Ken Starr representing me in any court proceeding. Ever. He's that good. Unfortunately, those two little words inserted into our pledge in 1954 by a paranoid cold war era Congress still aren't constitutional."

Later today, as you are admonishing your local parishoners to wake the hell up, sitting one pew over from those thoughtful people who are trying to break free, and aside the True Believers™ will be a fanatic. Every congregation seems to have at least one. The fanatic would just as soon strike you dead as argue faith with you. As Hank Fox elaborates in "Religion & Ice Cream," "[i]f you go to an ice cream store with friends and you choose no flavor at all, the people around you might crack jokes about it, but they’ll still respect you. They might even admire you. But if you choose no religion at all, there are (were) times and places where you can be (were) killed for it by religious people."

So when you do your godless proselytizing remember to wear your kevlar vest, because if you are godless, be it atheist, agnostic, rationalist, skeptic, apatheistic or free-thinker, you are at risk. Discrimination -- even violence -- against us is smiled upon. In this respect -- at least -- both George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden share similar goals. Goddamn Liberal makes this point well in "How to Destroy America," where he imagines Osama sitting in a cave somewhere plotting the destruction of America, and realizing, "The US may be my enemy, but its leaders are my blood brothers. They are religious fanatics just like me. They are driven by the same berserk, unreasoning hatred."

Of course, hatred is not particular to any one religion. Although all of the world's major religions have their own brand of fanaticism, at the core of each is the commonality of hatred, and it drives fanatical followers to seek to destroy humanity in order to save it. Sick of hearing about the impending apocalypse, for example, SickBox longs for one to wipe away all the BS: "Bring it down. Bring. The fucker. Down. It's time for Mother Nature finally to live up to some promises that people have been making for her."

I hope his wish doesn't come true. Although the poetic, ironic vengeance unleashed would be somewhat satisfying, ultimately it would be unjust. Not withstanding the modern penal system, the concepts of justice and vengeance are distinct. Indeed, this distinction seems to be a defining cleavage in the American political system, where the "left" is more concerned for the former, the "right" is more enamored of the latter. Smijer & Buck discuss "Vengeance as Justice" in light of recent writings by a conservative American blogger who argues that torture is justified.

That's the lot: eleven thought-provoking reads for your Sunday. Now go grab that snack and settle in for the ride. Enjoy the Carnival. And don't forget your kevlar.

Next week the Carnival is being hosted by Yeah Whatever. The submission cutoff date is Friday March 25, 2005 at midnight. The submission address is cotg-submission@brentrasmussen.com.


Blogger Rexx said...

I'm at the top of the list. Nice.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Goddam Liberal said...

Hi dude! Thanks for putting this together. One comment: I clicked on a couple of the links and got taken to the Micro$uck.com home page. Aaaaargh! What's going on? Then I noticed errors in the links, e.g. http://http//www.hankfox.com/Ice%20Cream.htm instead of http://www.hankfox.com/Ice%20Cream.htm. You might want to fix this. Thanks -

8:47 PM  
Blogger Nanovirus said...

Sorry 'bout that. Your link and a couple of others have been fixed.

10:27 PM  

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