Sunday, February 24, 2008

Why do atheist get so upset?

I've been following several atheist bloggers. Mostly, I read PZ Myer's blog, Pharyngula. PZ is an associate professor of biology at Morris. He often posts fascinating science related information based on his own work in biology. This alone should pique the interest of anyone that is interested in science, biology and/or evolution. He also has a tendency to go on a tirade after reading opposing viewpoints from either the creationist, intelligent design community or just anyone that believes in the supernatural. Isn't this just a form of "feeding the trolls?" The trolls post something stupid then PZ flames them for their ignorance. It's all very dramatic but where is the science and critical think in this? Aren't these just exercises in futility? He's never going to convince the creationist and they sure aren't going to change his mind. So what's the point of getting upset over someone else having a different opinion? Wouldn't it be better just to stick with the science and leave the trolls to their trolling? By the way, why is the supernatural so offensive to atheist? So some people believe in angels or whatever, big whoop. Let them have their fantasies. You can have your legacy from advancing science, everyone’s happy.


  1. You obviously aren't aware what happens when supersticion reaches high enough levels in a population-they become like sheep- easy to manipulate and control... Just look at Eastern Europe where pseudoscience is sky high or the US with its "values voters".

  2. Populations can be controlled without religion. There are examples of societies that are heavily controlled despite not being religious. All it takes is an ideology. Many communist societies don't associate their government with religion. China and the former Soviet Union are good examples of that.

  3. Yeah, but they have to be credulous- just like for religions or pseudo science. As for China controlling people without using religion... look at their harmonist society program. Now they are using religion, along with the full stable of other tools.

    Plus religion generally has things like
    Remember- the actions were based on faith!

  4. No doubt religion and ideologies are used to control people. Still, it seems like any mention of the supernatural, even in fiction, is offensive to atheists. What is it they find so offensive about spirits? If they are just fantasies what's the harm in it? I'm not talking about religious fundamentalism, that's a different animal. I'm just referring to people who have a basic belief in the supernatural without religion.

  5. Because they have the bad tendancy to start spouting about how there are other ways besides reason and evidance and you must respect that... yada yada yada.

    I think you are miss characterizing atheists though- most don't find supernatural in books offensive- after all I like D&D (although I never got around to playing it) and it is literally overflowing with the supernatural.

  6. You might be right about some atheists and fiction. I have met a few who think that any delving into the supernatural, fiction or otherwise, detracts from a person's reasoning capabilities.

    Some propose the idea that some people can't separate fiction from fact and so it is better not to expose them to nonsense in the first place.

    I can separate fact from fiction, for the most part. I am open to the possibility of their being supernatural entities but we cannot base our understanding of the natural world on the supernatural. To do so would just be silly. We need science to understand nature.

    Some people do seem to be drawn to belief systems. Belief in the supernatural has been shown to improve well being in some individuals. Perhaps it is the comfort people get from the idea of an afterlife and that there is a great power looking out for us.

  7. I'm not open to supernatural creatures and yet I consider myself open minded. Here is why- everything that is in the universe falls under the category of natural. Supernatural is just a label to escape the rules of evidence everyone else has to deal with.

    For example you could declare gravity is supernatural (this isn't far fetch- some of Newton's contemporaries didn't like the idea because it smacked of the occult- action at a distance!). It doesn't change the reality of the situation though- it is just a sign telling people "not to investigate".

  8. Well, I’m open to the possibility of there not being supernatural entities; they could just be products of an overactive imagination. I don’t see what’s wrong with people believe in them at a basic level. Just by believing in God, doesn’t automatically mean that you don’t investigate the natural world. There are many people who believe in the supernatural who are more focused on evidence based reasoning.

    By not being open the supernatural aren’t you saying that we shouldn’t bother to investigate claims of there being spirits? If these things do exist and aren’t just delusions, maybe there is something we can learn from further study of the phenomenon.

    One thing I’ve often wondered about evolution is how it began. If it’s so difficult for us just to build a computer model for how DNA operates, then how could it have formed just by chance? Can computer programs just randomly assemble the code to form something that is useful?

    It would be interesting if someone could discover a natural explanation for gravity.