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Just my theory, but I don't think theists are as determined to convert others as atheists are. And atheism is a tougher sell, so they're bitter, and that's what makes them so mean and nasty.

Actually I think Michael Shermer is a pretty agreeable person. But the rest of your list I'd pretty much agree with.

Hitchens is a drunk, and a sloppy and disgusting one. If he wasn't a talented writer, he'd just be another unpleasant alcoholic that everyone tried to avoid.

Christopher Hitchens seems like a wannabe Hemingway. Not in a literary sense but rather a, "I want to be Hemingway, look at how much I drink and act brutish," kind of way. There seems to be something about a worldview that takes away all inherent meaning out of existence except for one own constructed ego. This seems to be a major contrast between dogmatic materialists and different spiritual traditions, e.g. Buddhism and spiritualism. The ego becomes a hurdle to be overcome. As a former dogmatic materialist/atheist still struggling with their own ego, Hitchens’ rants seem to sound very familiar. Great post. Keep up the great blog.

I suspect the ugliness of many atheists comes from their belief that they are the elect, the ones smart enough to see through the "delusion" of faith, belief in the paranormal and spirituality and the rest of us are all just idiots. There's an incredible arrogance in that crowd.

I personally find Gilette insufferable because he's got a TV show promoting his skepticism of everything, including accupuncture and such. He's a hardcore libertarian, which means he's taken down things like the dangers of GMO crops and Wal-Mart's union-busting, calling them "Bullshit" as well.

Theism versus Atheism is just another kind of duality that leads to separation; no different than the myriads of other kinds of "duality" that we have to experience while we are alive so our souls can learn what it means and how it feels to be a separate, unique, individual. Race, religions, our weight, height, color, culture, socio-economic status, politics, I.Q., wealth, education, personality, emotions, etc. all exist for the sole purpose of teaching us what it means to be "separate" because on the other side the feeling of oneness and connectedness are overwhelming due to it's holographic nature . Even crooked teeth, the bumps on our noses, shapes of our faces, etc., all teach us what it feels like to be a unique individual. That's why we have to live a life in a physical body, so we'll know what it feels like to be an individual. The feelings of oneness and connectedness are so overwhelming on the other side that "individuality" may be the only thing that can't be learned while existing in Heaven. Everything in the physical universe exists in a "dual" state so that we can identify with it, and thus imprint on our soul what it means to be "separate." From the moment we are born and that umbilical cord is cut and we separate from our mothers till we die and our loved ones experience separation by our death life is a never-ending lesson in separation.

To show how naive I was before I started this search I thought atheists were very opened minded. I surmised that because they did not have all those religious beliefs to contend with their minds would be open to new evidence. Boy was I wrong! Materialistic beliefs can be as powerful and hindering to an open mind as religious beliefs. They both can blind us to new incoming information.

If one wants to do relevant research into the mysteries of life, maybe one must straddle the fence between believer and nonbeliever. The problem with straddling a fence it can become very uncomfortable.

Ginny you make a good point about the atheists being bitter and becoming nasty towards others. I think they thought years ago that if they exposed those illogical religious beliefs they would win over many converts to atheism. I think they underestimated the power of that essence within us that seeks after meaning and understanding beyond materialism.

Michael, do you know the etymological derivation of the word 'mad'?

No doubt you do, but for anyone who doesn't, it's etymologically identical to the verbal element 'meta' in, say, 'metamorph', i.e., 'meta-' "to CHANGE", 'morph', "shape".

So when we say of someone, "They're going mad,", we're literally saying, "They're changing."

When we say, "They've finally gone mad,", we mean, "They've finally completed the change."

When your past 'you' sensed you were starting to become the person you are today, there must've been times when 'he' felt he was going mad.

In fact, if he'd've had the opportunity to meet you as you are now, he'd've probably spat in your face out of sheer disgust. To 'you' back then, it would seem as if he was fated to be replaced by a pod creature.

In short, you underwent a milder version of what Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible and a whole host of others've been undergoing since the dawn of time.

I think it's this sense the world is going 'mad' and people are being replaced by 'pod creatures' that's exciting the likes of Richard Dawkins and all the other fundamentalists into the frenzy of well-intentioned - but often horrifically misguided - activity we see going on all around us.

At times, it's only by reminding myself what the word 'mad' means I can stop from going mad, myself.

Demonstrating evidence in reality, that which exisits, is the respsonsibility of the individual making the assertion of the exisitence of God. Every serious religionist agrees that the essence of religion is faith. Faith is belief in the absence or in controversion of evidence. Snide remarks, assertions of alcohol dependence, contentions that not beliving in God makes one immoral are not refutations of Mr. Hitchens accurate recital of the horrors perpetrated in the name of God. The solution to the problem of believers is simple. As Ayn Rand wrote "All you have to do is think."

Ralph, nobody on this comment board is making a case for God. In fact, I suspect that if you took an informal poll you'd find the majority either deists like Einstein or pantheists, but few with the traditional "personal God" view. In any case, the issue at hand isn't proof of God. It's Hitchens' ridiculous behavior and flaming egotism. It seems to be a common trait among dogmatic atheists, and dogmatic fundamentalists in general.

And believers are not the problem. I'm an atheist, but I believe in many things beyond myself that have nothing to do with God. The problem is intolerance for those whose belief systems differ from our own.

I consider myself to be a fairly simple person. Up until about seven years ago I pretty much believed in nothing. I thought the Universe was some kind of fluke or accident. I found evolution fascinating, and even took enough Anthropology courses in college to have a double major in it. I suppose if I had to label myself at that time I might have called myself an Agnostic. Not sure exactly what changed me. All of a sudden I became a voracious reader, and got interested in The Holographic Universe (HU) and near death experiences. I have a hard time understanding how anyone who has read HU and NDE's can fail to see the connection between the two. It's so obvious. There has been so much written about the parallels or corroboration between them. All I can say is it's obvious to me that "something very strange is going on around here."

>Demonstrating evidence in reality, that which exisits, is the respsonsibility of the individual making the assertion of the exisitence of God.

My point was not to make a case for God. It was to make the case that Hitchens behaved boorishly. Even Larry Flynt, who was sued by Falwell, reacted to Falwell's death with dignity and grace. When the publisher of "Hustler" shows more class than a public intellectual like Hitchens, I'd say that Hitchens needs to brush up on his Emily Post.

As I was waking up this morning I thought of the Hitchens incident and it came to me that maybe both Hitchens and Falwell were more alike than different and neither one a good spokesperson for their cause. Both seemed to lack compassion and love for those that did not share their beliefs.

Falwell thought if you did not believe like him you spent eternity in hell while he basked in heaven (i.e. typical, but not entirely, evangelical Christian mindset.) and Hitchens believes if you do not share his beliefs you’re just an idiot and lack anything that resembles intelligence and the ability to think. i.e. typical, but not entirely, atheist mindset.

But what lessons they have taught us in our own need for humility. Maybe they have been really effective teachers in “what not to be”. The world may be just as Emmanuel in Emmanuel’s Book One stated: “perfectly imperfect”.

Belief in God does not, in itself, make you a better person. Proof: Falwell. Disbelief in God does not, in itself, make you a better person. Proof: Hitchens. What can we learn from this?

I think I'm going to write one of these village atheist books. It would be a really easy way to make a fortune even if I don't believe in the message.

Mark:

Oooh! Oooh! [Raising hand like Horshack in "Welcome Back Kotter]. Is it, being a good person regardless of what you believe?

And will this be on the test?

It just hit me: Hitchens is the atheist Ann Coulter!

I believe Tim got it. Too bad Jerry and Christopher didn't.

John it does appear that atheist books sell really well to atheists that want to read books that confirm their beliefs but then that may apply to most people.

We humans like to read books that confirm our beliefs and also be around people who think like us. This may help to explain the evangelical part of Christianity and for many Muslims that the world needs to convert to Islam.

I have this premise that all of this variation is good for soul development but has the appearance of human chaos.

I have this premise that all of this variation is good for soul development but has the appearance of human chaos.

It makes the dream more interesting. . . Makes it a better story.

I have this premise that all of this variation is good for soul development but has the appearance of human chaos.
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It makes the dream more interesting. . . Makes it a better story. - Matthew

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Duality leads to separation and separation teaches the soul what it means and how it feels to be a separate, unique, individual.
- Art

"John it does appear that atheist books sell really well to atheists that want to read books that confirm their beliefs but then that may apply to most people."

They sell more than "really well." Sam Harris', Dawkins', and Hitchens' books have all debuted in the NY Times top 10.

Come to think of it...why don't you write one Michael? There is nothing wrong with whoring yourself out if you can make millions.

teaches the soul

That's story, also. . .

John whoring oneself out to make millions may say something about American culture. I saw a sports car made in Germany and on its license plate were the words "I did ok" and I thought to myself that pretty much defines our materialistic culture.

As far as Rand she promoted individualism and pure capitalism. Both are a guarantee of the eventual destruction of any society. The farther we remove ourselves from our egotism and materialistic ideology the better for society and ourselves. Best kept secret in the world.

William,

I meant the comment to be tongue in cheek. I think people like Hitchens and Dawkins are out to make a quick buck.

According to the Dawkins/Hitchens groupies, we don't have the slightest bit of free will. If this is one of their core beliefs, why the hell do they waste so much time trying to proselytize people and talking about "rationality"?

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