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British Atheist Calls Religious Faith Insanity

Richard Dawkins, Oxford professor, is really unhinged. Take a look at what he wants imposed on all Britons:

The National Secular Society (NSS), of which Dawkins is an honorary associate, has campaigned for a godless Britain since the nineteenth century, and devotes its Web site to decrying and ridiculing religious faith. The NSS, whose associates include twenty British parliamentarians, as well as such establishment cultural figures as the playwright Harold Pinter, vows to combat "religious power-seekers" and "put them in their place once and for all." For his part, Dawkins has said he would remove all financial support from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim schools and make them teach atheism; prohibit hospital chaplains from solacing the ill; and undertake other measures to combat the "infantile regression" of religious belief. And what about parents who persist in telling their children about religion? "It's probably too strong to say the state should have the right to take children away from their parents," Dawkins told an interviewer. "But I think we have got to look very carefully at the rights of parents-and whether they should have the right to indoctrinate their children."

According to Dawkins, morality is "biologically determined," and all moral questions, from the prohibition of incest to the allocation of kidney machines, should be decided by "utilitarian moral philosophers" trained to assess the "balance of suffering and happiness" such questions address. "This is a very different way of doing morality than the absolutist way, which supposes some things are absolutely wrong," Dawkins has argued.

And he calls those who believe in God insane? Riiight.


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Comments (109)

Dawkins is too stupid or to... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Dawkins is too stupid or too prideful to realize his own athirst beliefs are ultimately base on faith and faith alone. Members of other religions should press their governments to have atheism declared a religion.

Wow, these people have issu... (Below threshold)

Wow, these people have issues.

Faith is irrational,... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Faith is irrational, since it cannot be proven by objective means, but not necessarily insane.

Exactly right Mac Lorry. A... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Exactly right Mac Lorry. Atheism is a religion and no less of a faith based belief system than any other. It is no less irrational than any other religion.

Dawkins, like most leftists, is a fascist about it.

Believing in nothing. What ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Believing in nothing. What a lonely and sad existence.

Mac, the greatest weakness ... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Mac, the greatest weakness in a militant atheism is that the people who proclaim authoritatively that there is no God would have to know everything to make that statement. Obviously there are new discoveries all the time which render the things we used to believe -- like the sun rotating around the earth -- obsolete. I don't believe we'll ever be able to PROVE the existence of God, but it's just logic that the lack of evidence is not the same as evidence of lack.

I don't believe we'll ev... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I don't believe we'll ever be able to PROVE the existence of God, but it's just logic that the lack of evidence is not the same as evidence of lack.

I do believe Paul is--haphazardly--channeling Rumsfeld's famous ""Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" line.


lol ;-p

The logical conclusion of a... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

The logical conclusion of atheism is that might makes right. If no moral code exists outside of biology, then we have no reason to treat animals, or humans, for that matter, as obstacles to what it is that I want. Funny, if you try to take an atheists wallet he will call you a thief, when all you are doing is taking what you want as a "utilitarian".

Sorry, I got distracted in ... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Sorry, I got distracted in the middle of that last comment! What I meant to say is that if might makes right, we can treat animals and humans however we please, because they are obstacles...

You know, if some Christian... (Below threshold)

You know, if some Christian questioned the rights of atheists regarding indoctrinating their children, Dawkins and his ilk would be [hypocritically] up in arms.

sometimes you feel like a n... (Below threshold)

sometimes you feel like a nut...

sometimes you don't feel like this guy...

Thank you, Peter F -- I kne... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

Thank you, Peter F -- I knew I was close but not the exact quote.

JFNK, the truth about milit... (Below threshold)
Paul Hamilton:

JFNK, the truth about militant atheism is that it isn't saying there are NO gods, it's saying that everyone is HIS OWN god. Everybody will have a moral authority, the only question is whether the person will create his own or accept someone else's.

BTW, that's the way I read Ayn Rand's philosophy and why I can't stand her stuff.

"all moral questions, from ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

"all moral questions, from the prohibition of incest to the allocation of kidney machines, should be decided by 'utilitarian moral philosophers' trained to assess the 'balance of suffering and happiness' such questions address."

Dawkins should pick up a history book and study about life in Germany from about 1933 until 1945. The Germans became very proficient at creating a society run on the principles of ever-increasing efficiency and progress by the state. If people got in the way (wrong ethnicity, physically or mentally handicapped, terminally ill, etc.) they were simply eliminated. Ironically, intellectuals the world over (including America) were dazzled by the Germans until they started killing too many people. I wonder if that would make a difference today?

I guess in Dawkins' view, if his happiness scores a 51 against a 49 for my suffering, then he wins and I simply suffer, with no recourse against him and no advocates to support me, because doing so would be officially sanctioned as "a waste of time and resources" by the government.

God help us all, if such a government ever rules a nation again.

Dawkins is the Jerry Falwel... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Dawkins is the Jerry Falwell of atheism.

Believing in nothing. What a lonely and sad existence.

Atheism is not "believing in nothing."

I do believe Paul is--haphazardly--channeling Rumsfeld's famous ""Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" line.

That's not Rumsfeld's line, it's Carl Sagan's.

Yeah..agreed..this guy is a... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Yeah..agreed..this guy is a crack pot... just like the current Pope
http://www.baptiststandard.com/postnuke/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=6615

Atheism is not "believin... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Atheism is not "believing in nothing."

Explain.

Atheism is not "believin... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Atheism is not "believing in nothing."

Explain.

It's real easy. Not believing in one thing is not the same as believing in nothing.

I do believe Paul is--ha... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I do believe Paul is--haphazardly--channeling Rumsfeld's famous ""Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" line.

That's not Rumsfeld's line, it's Carl Sagan's.

And you're an amorphous twit/twat for making such a corrective nit. Go read your Ms. Manners.

And you're an amorphous ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

And you're an amorphous twit/twat for making such a corrective nit. Go read your Ms. Manners.

It's Miss Manners, not Ms. Manners. ;)

It's real easy. Not beli... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

It's real easy. Not believing in one thing is not the same as believing in nothing.

A belief in the nonexistence of a God. A belief that there's nothing better or greater than yourself. Just a belief in a concept.

Comforting.

mantis:<a href="ht... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:
A belief in the nonexist... (Below threshold)
mantis:

A belief in the nonexistence of a God.

Well, in my case I don't completely rule out God, but I find it very unlikely. I don't believe in any God because I've never seen any evidence whatsoever that one exists. If there is no reason to believe something exists, I don't.

A belief that there's nothing better or greater than yourself.

I believe there are many things better or greater than myself. I'm just a bug.

Just a belief in a concept.

I believe in many concepts. Scientific inquiry being foremost among them.

Comforting.

I find comfort in many things. A belief in magical beings would not be a comfort to me, considering the universe he/she/they supposedly created.

I don't believe in any G... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I don't believe in any God because I've never seen any evidence whatsoever that one exists.

Maybe you're just not looking in the right places.

I believe there are many things better or greater than myself. I'm just a bug.

Please don't insult bugs.

I believe in many concepts. Scientific inquiry being foremost among them.

Nothing like a cold scientific fact or theory for comfort to carry one through life and on one's death bed. Enjoy!

I find comfort in many things. A belief in magical beings would not be a comfort to me, considering the universe he/she/they supposedly created.

The universe is beautiful and perfect; it's ugly people with ugly thoughts and who commit ugly actions that make it less so. Blaming God is an ignorant copout.

I believe in many ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
I believe in many concepts. Scientific inquiry being foremost among them.

Science is an effective concept in dealing with things subject to scientific inquiry. The foundational tenets of science, however, exclude the existence of a God such as witnessed to in the Bible. Therefore, scientific inquiry is powerless in discerning the truth of such things. Like all human inventions, science has it's limitations and wisdom begins with that understanding.

A belief in magical beings would not be a comfort to me, considering the universe he/she/they supposedly created.

A truly profound understatement.

Maybe you're just not lo... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Maybe you're just not looking in the right places.

Do you have his address? Give it up!

Please don't insult bugs.

Zing! Good one, chuckles.

Nothing like a cold scientific fact or theory for comfort to carry one through life and on one's death bed. Enjoy!

I have other things to comfort me. In any case, why do you give a shit? I'm very happy that you find comfort in your beliefs. I hope they continue to comfort you.

One would think, since you seem to despise me so, that you would wish upon me the torment of not believing in your magical friend who comforts you at night. My life is so cold and meaningless! The horror! How do I go on?

The universe is beautiful and perfect;

Tell that to the beings on a planet whose star goes supernova. Or is obliterated by an asteroid. Tell that to children born with horrible diseases. Tell it to the tsunami victims. The universe is full of chaos and indifference.

it's ugly people with ugly thoughts and who commit ugly actions that make it less so.

Yeah, ok.

Blaming God is an ignorant copout.

You still don't get it. I don't blame God, because I don't believe he exists.

Science is an effective ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Science is an effective concept in dealing with things subject to scientific inquiry. The foundational tenets of science, however, exclude the existence of a God such as witnessed to in the Bible. Therefore, scientific inquiry is powerless in discerning the truth of such things. Like all human inventions, science has it's limitations and wisdom begins with that understanding.

I don't dispute that (mostly). Peter seemed to be saying I couldn't believe in concepts (and well, anything), because I don't believe in God. I was just providing an example.

I would quibble with this:

The foundational tenets of science, however, exclude the existence of a God such as witnessed to in the Bible.

Not necessarily. If we could record appearances by God as described in the Bible, they could be scientifically scrutinized, and thus understood. Too bad he doesn't make personal appearances anymore, huh?

Upon re-reading, I think I ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Upon re-reading, I think I mistook what Peter was saying with "Just a belief in a concept." I don't know what he was saying, but it doesn't seem to be that I don't believe in concepts (rather it seems he's saying I only believe in a concept, or something). So nevermind; my mistake.

In any case it's not that I don't believe in God because science has proven he doesn't exist (which it can't), but because nothing has suggested to me that he does.

Since there is no God and h... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Since there is no God and human is a product of mindless evolution. THe survival of the fittest is the goal of society as well. Witness the communist countries where atheism rule and you will see the logical consequence of atheism. What is wrong with killing millions of people to speed up the evolution process?

Do you have his address?... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Do you have his address? Give it up!

www.deepinsideyou.com

One would think, since you seem to despise me so, that you would wish upon me the torment of not believing in your magical friend who comforts you at night.

Despise you? No, no, no. When you're being an self-righteous, arrogant, condescending and cryptic asshat, THEN I despise you. Other than that, I find you intelligent, resourceful, occasionally amusing and a person of conviction.

My life is so cold and meaningless! The horror! How do I go on?

Oh, and you're cheap sarcasm, too.

Tell that to the beings on a planet whose star goes supernova. Or is obliterated by an asteroid. Tell that to children born with horrible diseases. Tell it to the tsunami victims. The universe is full of chaos and indifference.

Now we're getting somewhere! These are difficult questions even the faithful ask. I know I do. I would answer, to the best of my limited theological ability, that there is light in the darkness and light after after the darkness. The light is there when the world comes together to help tsunami victims; it is there to comfort a gravely ill child; and to comfort the grieving parents. Simply put, these events test our faith. It is easy to have faith when things are good; it's far more difficult to have faith when things are trying or bad. There are lessons in each event, sometimes painful lessons. Whatever happens, good or bad, is meant to bring us closer in love to God. That is all He/She wants. The universe may be chaotic and indifferent, but God is not.

You still don't get it. I don't blame God, because I don't believe he exists.

No, no, I get it. Not directly blame, but the whole tsunami-supernova-planet-exploding thing is very close in tone to the familiar faithless refrain of "why would a compassionate God let X happen!?" That's all I'm saying.

The foundation... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
The foundational tenets of science, however, exclude the existence of a God such as witnessed to in the Bible.

Not necessarily. If we could record appearances by God as described in the Bible, they could be scientifically scrutinized, and thus understood. Too bad he doesn't make personal appearances anymore, huh?

One of the foundational tenets of science is that the universe is unreasoning and that it's governed exclusively by natural laws. If not for that tenet humans could not understand the universe, and science, which seeks to do just that, could not exist. Therefore, for science to exist, it must reject the existence of a universe creating and controlling God. That doesn't mean God doesn't exist, only that God's existence must be rejected by science.

God need not make personal appearances to threaten science. For example, irreducible complexity leads to a conclusion that a purposeful (intelligent) process is involved, which violates the foundational tenets of science, and thus, is rejected with malice by those with careers in science. That doesn't mean irreducible complexity doesn't exist, only that its existence must be rejected by science. There's a light science cannot look into and survive. Atheism is then without scientific foundation, and confessing it is a matter of faith just as with any other religion.

In saying "science" I have so far been talking about official academic science. On an individual level many scientists understand the limitations of science, and within those limitations, they use it's rigorous methods in their research. Yet apart from their work they hold religious views, even to the point of believing the Bible is the truth.

"Me fail English? That's un... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

"Me fail English? That's unpossible!"

Cringing at my typos/grammar errors. Yuck...

If you dont' believe in God... (Below threshold)
Mark:

If you dont' believe in God you take much for granted. The Mathmatic probabilities involved with our Universe existing as it does are INSANE. I am sorry that your fathers screwed you athiests over. The Judeo-Christian model of a perfect universe suffering under a curse explains that too.....

nogo, did you actually read... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

nogo, did you actually read that article? 'Cause that wasn't the author's point at all.
Or are you just stating that because you disagree with someone, they are a nut?
Wait a minute, that's been your logic for sometime. Silly me.

BTW, how long before otters... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

BTW, how long before otters rule half of the Earth?

For his part, Dawkins ha... (Below threshold)
LAB:

For his part, Dawkins has said he would remove all financial support from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim schools and make them teach atheism;

So what does he really have an issue with: "religious power-seekers" or religion?

According to Dawkins, morality is "biologically determined,"

Or, biologically challenged, as in his case. It would take a lot more than two french fries to give this guy a Happy Meal.

Lets's see now. Hmmm. Has a... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Lets's see now. Hmmm. Has anyone ever proved that there is no God? Anyone?

For his part, Dawkins... (Below threshold)

For his part, Dawkins has said he would remove all financial support from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim schools and make them teach atheism

The threat of that, implicit or otherwhise, has already been recoginized in this country. The explosion in growth of private non secular schools shows that parents who reject Dawkins take his threat seriously and assume significant personal financial sacrifice to avoid his vision of education. Paying property taxes and private school tuition is a burden.

The efficacy of the atheism argument was, IMHO, best discussed in C S Lewis' Mere Christianity.

Fundamentalist or militant ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Fundamentalist or militant atheists like Dawkin are quite willing to use the power of the gov to impose their religion.

On the other note, the atheist arg about science is simply another strawman. This example is not perfect, but I hope it illustrates the point. The computer can operate or function autonomously according to its laws (ie. its operating system). People can do a scientific study (eg. reverse engineer) of the computer to discover its "law" (supposedly unknown for the sake of argument). Once the "law" of the computer has been discover, people can extend its usefulness by building application software on top of the basic law of the computer. This is similar to how science works in practice. People develop verifiable experiments to discover the natural laws and then build on top of the natural laws to harness the power of nature. It is absurd to claim that one can only study the computer scientifically by making the assumption that it must not be created or designed by some intelligent being.

"But I think we have ... (Below threshold)

"But I think we have got to look very carefully at the rights of parents-and whether they should have the right to indoctrinate their children."

That comment certainly grabs a person's attention. Should we shrug it off given the source? Some would disagree....

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Christian-Britain-Christianity-Society-Modern/dp/0415241847

But more to the point, here in our country, such a declaration to "look carefully" would set off alarm bells that would make the NRA appear timid. This "[indoctrination]" occurs every Sunday at hundreds of thousands of locations in the US, and political affiliation is not a factor. Dawkins may be able to slide this by his media, but no politician in the US would touch this. If Social Security is the famous "third rail", this suggestion is an order of magnitude worse.

Dawkins is an asshat not be... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Dawkins is an asshat not because he's an atheist, but because he's a statist. That is, it's not his religious beliefs (or lack thereof) that posses a danger but rather his desire to use the state to force his beliefs onto others.

"But I think we have got to... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

"But I think we have got to look very carefully at the rights of parents-and whether they should have the right to indoctrinate their children."
-------------------------------------
Yup, the atheists want to destroy the family (eg. take away the rights of parents to raise their children according to their own belief) and use the power of gov to indoctrinate the children in atheism. This is exactly what happened in fascist and communist countries. We can see the ugly logical consequence of atheism in practice already.

_Mike_ is right.It... (Below threshold)

_Mike_ is right.

It's not his atheism. It's his statism.

One of the very worst things we can ever contemplate is accepting that it's proper for the state to enforce right thinking.

Freedom is only freedom if we are free to be wrong.

The truly idiotic thing abo... (Below threshold)
Beeblebrox:

The truly idiotic thing about Dawkins' argument is that while he does not believe in moral absolutes, the fabric of his posit is fundamentally, a moral one. He thinks religion is bad (a moral judgement). He thinks indoctrination by parents is bad (a moral judgement), he thinks "power seekers", at least religious ones of which he is evidently not one, are bad (another moral judgement). And so on.

An atheist believes we are all products of evolution which would include the very thoughts in our primate brains that postulate that religion is a Bad Thing, should have only one logical thought about what other people believe: "Who cares anyway, we're all just going to die?"

Anything else is simply a human construct, no more valid than the religionist's position that Dawkins so despises. The man has precisely zero credibility since his own belief system annihilates his own argument.

Beeblebrox ... (Below threshold)

Beeblebrox
Exactly...as Lewis said, whence comes "this standard of behaviour which he expects the other man to know about".

One of the foundational ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

One of the foundational tenets of science is that the universe is unreasoning and that it's governed exclusively by natural laws.

We do not fully understand those laws.

If not for that tenet humans could not understand the universe, and science, which seeks to do just that, could not exist. Therefore, for science to exist, it must reject the existence of a universe creating and controlling God.

Not necessarily.

That doesn't mean God doesn't exist, only that God's existence must be rejected by science.

Science is study of the natural. It is assumed that there is no supernatural. If in fact there is a God which can create and control the universe, he must do so in a way that is natural, and governed by some laws. If there were evidence of that kind of activity, we would have to reconsider the natural laws as we understand them to include this new evidence. This could in fact be beyond our grasp, but at least we would know that we had to figure in what way such things are possible.

God need not make personal appearances to threaten science.

He wouldn't threaten science if he did.

For example, irreducible complexity leads to a conclusion that a purposeful (intelligent) process is involved, which violates the foundational tenets of science, and thus, is rejected with malice by those with careers in science.

Oh, you buy Behe's line, do you? Irreducible complexity as defined by Behe has been shown time and again to be possible through genetic mechanisms, and has occurred in computer simulations. The evolutionary paths of all of Behe's examples (and those he has influenced) have been explained quite convincingly.

That doesn't mean irreducible complexity doesn't exist, only that its existence must be rejected by science.

Wrong. Irreducible complexity is not "rejected by science." The conclusions (before the fact, really) drawn from it have. Most complexity is reducible by Behe's definition, and that which isn't is still explainable. Hell, Behe himself admitted on the stand that IC does not rule out the presence of evolutionary mechanisms in the development of life.

As Steven Mirsky has said, irreducible complexity is an "intellectual surrender strategy," an insistence that we cannot understand how natural mechanisms developed because they must have come about through the intercession of an intelligent superbeing. We should just stop trying to understand things and attribute them to the "designer." It's creationism, and it's bunk. We'll keep looking, thanks very much.

"There's a light science cannot look into and survive. Atheism is then without scientific foundation, and confessing it is a matter of faith just as with any other religion.

Wrong. Science can look at anything that exists. Atheism requires faith in nothing.

In saying "science" I have so far been talking about official academic science. On an individual level many scientists understand the limitations of science, and within those limitations, they use it's rigorous methods in their research. Yet apart from their work they hold religious views, even to the point of believing the Bible is the truth.

Well, that's very true. Science is a method of understanding, not a religion.

Dawkins is an asshat not... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Dawkins is an asshat not because he's an atheist, but because he's a statist. That is, it's not his religious beliefs (or lack thereof) that posses a danger but rather his desire to use the state to force his beliefs onto others.

I agree completely.

Another way of debunking Da... (Below threshold)
Beeblebrox:

Another way of debunking Dawkins is to point out that the evolutionary theory he so adores must have produced the resultant "life of the mind". The very thoughts we have (religious or atheistic) simply are the result of millions of years of evolution. If evolution is all there is then the only basis upon which to determine which philosophical construct is "best" in order for human kind to evolve, would be the one that Dawkins should support.

If one believes that all philosophical constructs are simply the result of evolution then one must ask, does evolution favor one construct over another? Does the human genome benefit more from say, Western Judeo/Christian philosophical constructs over Islamic philosophical constructs. if so then should we not encourage the one which benefits the genome the most?

For sake of argument I would assert that the genome benefits most from the evolution of the Judeo/Christian construct over all others based upon the fact that America is the pinnacle of human civilization. Thus the philosophies that brought us to this point should be encouraged on that basis alone.

Meanwhile others, most especially atheism, a philosophy that is clearly floating in the shallow end of the gene pool, should be shunned.

These so-called "tolerant" ... (Below threshold)
Richard Romano:

These so-called "tolerant" secularists...balls! They are the most intolerant, in line with their predecessors Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot.

G.K. Chesterton said it best,

"If there was no God, there would be no atheists"

"Lets's see now. Hmmm. H... (Below threshold)
WarIsPeace:

"Lets's see now. Hmmm. Has anyone ever proved that there is no God? Anyone?"jhow66

Not exactly, but someone has called into question whether we humans really think about what we think about.

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
(Epicurus)


Is God willing to prevent e... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
-------------------------------------
If there were no God, then where does evil come from? Survival of the fittest is simply the natural consequence. So Hitler and Stalin are the logical consequence of atheism.

Atheism requires faith i... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Atheism requires faith in nothing.

NOW, I'm calling BS.

Atheism is not "believing in nothing."
Posted by mantis | July 20, 2007 3:24 PM

Make up your mind.

"If there were no God, t... (Below threshold)
WarIsPeace:

"If there were no God, then where does evil come from?" LoveAmericaImmigrant

Oh, LAI, so you are suggesting that evil issues from god?

<a href="http://en.wikipedi... (Below threshold)
rrita m:

Epicurus

"Epicurus was often vilified as favoring the uninhibited pursuit of pleasure (hedonism), however he invariably counseled restraint and temperance with respect to physical desires."

"If there were no God, then... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

"If there were no God, then where does evil come from?" LoveAmericaImmigrant

Oh, LAI, so you are suggesting that evil issues from god?
-------------------------------------
Just to give you an example. The creator of the computer can set the criteria for what is a good and a bad design. If there is no creator, a computer just comes together by a random and purposeless process, then what is good and bad?

So for you as an atheist, what is evil if you are simply a product of mindless evolution?

LAI... good aand evil are d... (Below threshold)
WarIsPeace:

LAI... good aand evil are determined by what is good for myself, as well as others, and what is not. It comes down to the basic, "Do unto others what you would have others do unto you." Pretty simple and absolutely non-dependent upon a supernatural mythology. Of course, there will always be those who will pursue selfish interests w/ no concern to the impact of their actions on others.

That, BTW, is why Republicans exist.

LAI... good aand evil are d... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

LAI... good aand evil are determined by what is good for myself, as well as others, and what is not.
-------------------------------------
So Stalin and Hitler just decided to do what is good for them! What is evil about that? Is it simply survival of the fittest, right? What is evil about the survival of the fittest?

The rest of your post is simply silly distraction.

" Is it simply survival ... (Below threshold)
WarIsPeace:

" Is it simply survival of the fittest, right? What is evil about the survival of the fittest?"

LAI, that is a god-fearing fool's statement. As usual, there is little, if any, reasoning to your posts. Now say your "now I lay me down" prayer and go to bed and have sweet mythological dreams about great floods, burning bushes and parting of waters.

If there were a god, you would be proof that he created simpletons.

Mantis, apparently you miss... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Mantis, apparently you missed (or deliberately ignored) this point earlier, so I hope the person that made it will forgive me for making it again.

In order to be an atheist, you must have the absolute knowledge that there is no deity anywhere in the universe, nor has there ever been one, nor will there ever be one.

Having that sort of knowledge would, obviously, make you omniscient... and a good candidate for godhood yourself.

Agnosticism is a more logically consistent position... that is where you are not sure if there is, has been, or will be a god.

But you're not logically consistent, are you?

" Is it simply survival of ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

" Is it simply survival of the fittest, right? What is evil about the survival of the fittest?"

LAI, that is a god-fearing fool's statement. As usual, there is little, if any, reasoning to your posts. Now say your "now I lay me down" prayer and go to bed and have sweet mythological dreams about great floods, burning bushes and parting of waters.

If there were a god, you would be proof that he created simpletons.
-------------------------------------
You simply cannot answer my question. So you have to resort to cheap ad-hominen attack to mask your lack of arg. You are a perfect example of a simpleton who spouts words that he doesn't understand. You cannot follow the logical consequence of your belief. You really don't know what you are talking about. Your pseudo-intellectual bluff has been exposed.

Atheism requires faith i... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Atheism requires faith in nothing.

NOW, I'm calling BS.

Atheism is not "believing in nothing."
Posted by mantis | July 20, 2007 3:24 PM

Make up your mind.

Atheism does not require faith to support it; that does not mean atheists believe in nothing.

It's not hard to understand.

In order to be an atheist, you must have the absolute knowledge that there is no deity anywhere in the universe, nor has there ever been one, nor will there ever be one.

So says you, but you're full of shit, so who cares? Try it the other way:

In order to be an Christian, you must have the absolute knowledge that there is a deity somewhere in the universe, and there always has been and always will be.

I don't know what "absolute knowledge" means, but I would imagine you would have to be able to prove it. Can you prove God exists?

My beliefs are based upon evidence, experience, and logic. I have never seen evidence of God, have never experienced the presence of God, and find the existence of god considering what we know to be highly unlikely. So I don't believe in God. No need for omniscience in arriving there.

But you're not logically consistent, are you?

More than you.

I'll ask you both: Do you believe in Santa Claus, Bigfoot, or Thor? If not, do you have absolute knowledge they don't exist, through your omniscience? If not than you must be agnostic about the existence of Santa Claus, Bigfoot, and Thor. Right?

Atheism does not require fa... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Atheism does not require faith to support it;
-----------------------------------
Atheism claims that there is no God. Can you prove that God doesn't exist? If you cannot prove that, then it requires faith to believe that there is no God.


Atheism claims that ther... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Atheism claims that there is no God. Can you prove that God doesn't exist? If you cannot prove that, then it requires faith to believe that there is no God.

Does it require faith for you not to believe in Thor or Santa Claus? Can you prove they don't exist?

My beliefs are based upon e... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

My beliefs are based upon evidence, experience, and logic.
------------------------------------
Based on evidence, experience, and logic, we can conclude that Hitler and Stalin as well as their fascist/communist statism is simply a logical consequence of atheism.

Mantis, the very word at... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Mantis, the very word atheist means "without" (a) "God" (theos) a-theos, atheist.

You can argue that it doesn't mean that all you want, but it's like arguing that the sun rises in the north and sets in the south.

And yes, I am agnostic about the existence of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and extra-terrestrials. And yes, I am a born-again Christian.

Now, we can discuss this like two mature adults or you can continue to throw profanity at me. Which is it going to be?

Atheism does not require... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Atheism does not require faith to support it; that does not mean atheists believe in nothing.

What? Of course it does. Atheism is a faith that believes in the opposite; a faith that no deity exists. And you said yourself that "atheism requires a faith in nothing".

So....make up your mind.

Mantis, the very word at... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis, the very word atheist means "without" (a) "God" (theos) a-theos, atheist.

You can argue that it doesn't mean that all you want, but it's like arguing that the sun rises in the north and sets in the south.

I don't need to argue that it doesn't mean that. That is exactly me. I am without God. I believe in no God. Atheist. What's the problem here?

Now, we can discuss this like two mature adults or you can continue to throw profanity at me. Which is it going to be?

I vote for fucking profanity. ;)

I don't need to argue that ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I don't need to argue that it doesn't mean that. That is exactly me. I am without God. I believe in no God. Atheist. What's the problem here?
-------------------------------------
So Hitler and Stalin followed the logical conclusion of your belief. What is evil about survival of the fittest? There is nothing evil about what Hitler and Stalin did if you are an atheist.

That 's all. Experience, evidence, and logic again leads us to Hitler/Stalin as a logical conclusion of atheism.

Well, I guess we know who w... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Well, I guess we know who wins the civility competition.

I will pray for your salvation, Mantis.

So....make up your mind.... (Below threshold)
mantis:

So....make up your mind.

You are dense, aren't you. I don't believe God exists. That doesn't mean I don't believe other things exist. I believe this computer I'm typing on exists.

What? Of course it does. Atheism is a faith that believes in the opposite; a faith that no deity exists. And you said yourself that "atheism requires a faith in nothing".

I said atheism requires faith in nothing, not "a faith." There is a difference, and you know it. Stop playing games.

Atheism doesn't require faith in anything.
Atheism requires faith in nothing.

The above sentences have the same meaning. I'm not explaining it again.

I respect Dawkins' contribu... (Below threshold)

I respect Dawkins' contribution to our understanding of Evolution, and I enjoy his writings on evolution much better than I found the late Stephen Gould's. Not least because Gould would use his status as a widely read popularizer to pretend that his minority views on evolution were in fact mainstream.

But it is unfortunate that Dawkins is so consumed with hatred of religious people.

Well, I guess we know wh... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Well, I guess we know who wins the civility competition.

Was it Ms. Manners?

I will pray for your salvation, Mantis.

I'll dance for rain. We'll see who gets there first.

So Hitler and Stal... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
So Hitler and Stalin followed the logical conclusion of your belief. What is evil about survival of the fittest? There is nothing evil about what Hitler and Stalin did if you are an atheist.

From a "survival of the fittest" point of view, our war in Iraq is perfectly acceptable. We are testing the terrorists in Iraq and the Iraqi people to see who is fittest and worthy of survival. See, it's all okay now, Mantis.

I believe this computer I'm... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I believe this computer I'm typing on exists.
-----------------------------------
Following experience, there is a creator of the computer. I believe that you exist and you are at least as complicated as the computer if not more (since someone of your species created the computer). Again, based on experience, there is probably a creator of you.

LAI,We all know yo... (Below threshold)
mantis:

LAI,

We all know you believe Hitler and Stalin exist. My question was about Thor and Santa Claus.

See, it's all okay now, ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

See, it's all okay now, Mantis.

I feel better then. Hey, is that rain?

Tell ya what, Mantis... aft... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Tell ya what, Mantis... after we're both dead, look me up. If we still exist, I won. If we don't, well, you won... but you'll have a hard time telling me that, won't ya?

Again, based on experien... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Again, based on experience, there is probably a creator of you.

Two of them, in fact.

Tell ya what, Mantis... ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Tell ya what, Mantis... after we're both dead, look me up. If we still exist, I won. If we don't, well, you won... but you'll have a hard time telling me that, won't ya?

Won't give a shit, will I? Oh no, I swore again! Cover your eyes!

"Survival of the fittest" i... (Below threshold)

"Survival of the fittest" is not a moral precept - it is a shorthand for an evolutionary mechanism ( and not the only one by the way ). The theory of evolution makes no commentary on morality, as well it shouldn't. The theory of evolution has nothing to say about the meaning of life or what man's purpose should be, as again it should not. No one can honestly say that the theory of evolution is a philosophy.

We all know you believe Hit... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

We all know you believe Hitler and Stalin exist. My question was about Thor and Santa Claus.
------------------------------------Depending on your definition of Santa Claus and God. What is Santa Claus? Is Santa Claus your creator? I consider evolution as Santa Claus. So do you believe in evolution? Out of a hat trick comes human being even though you cannot show it in the lab.

Again, based on experience,... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Again, based on experience, there is probably a creator of you.

Two of them, in fact.
---------------------------------
Who are the creator of those two? The fact that you can reprocreate shows that you are more complicated than the computer already. Again, by logic and experience, it is rational that there is a creator of your two immediate ancestors.

Mantis, my father was caree... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Mantis, my father was career Navy and Naval Reserves. I can literally swear like a sailor. I just choose not to.

And you realize that all you've done is waste bandwidth and prove that atheists are foul-mouthed jerks? You have not convinced a single Christian here to give up his or her faith.

Congratulations. I won't be wasting any more of my bandwidth on this thread, thankyouverymuch

"Survival of the fittest" i... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

"Survival of the fittest" is not a moral precept
-----------------------------------
Exactly the point. If you are an atheist, Hitler/Stalin are just a product of survival of the fittest. So what is evil about what they did?

You have not convinced ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You have not convinced a single Christian here to give up his or her faith.

I don't intend to. I'm no evangelical.

Er, I'm no evangelist, rath... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Er, I'm no evangelist, rather.

Uh mantis you have not prov... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Uh mantis you have not proved a thing. Oops wrong there. You did prove one thing - you are a, a, a, aww you fill in the rest. Must be lonely not to believe in anything.

When I saw the number of po... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

When I saw the number of posts I figured this would be a nasty thread on all sides...actually it isn't...just goes to show we can disagree without resorting to petty weirdness...hmm...Wizbang evolving?

I am willing to be proved ... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

I am willing to be proved wrong but. ..

I find it amazing that I have yet to meet a single 'Civil' Atheist - I have met plenty of civil agnostics - but for some reason atheism and Ass-hattery seem to go together.

Back when I read some of Dawkins genetics books early own they seemed interested - unfortunately he then got interested in talking about religion. And that ruined any interest I had in him. He isn't just an Atheist - he has a 'faith' in atheism - and he is, apparently, someone liberals should utterly and thoroughly despise - at least if they have any consistency of belief.

Considering the fact that a... (Below threshold)

Considering the fact that atheism requires the exact same form of belief as any deistic worship (just the opposite side of the same coin), governments around the world really should get around to identifying it as a religion.

Of course, then, Dawkins might have a problem with the whole ""infantile regression" of religious belief" problem, but logical inconsistencies have never stopped him before.

Dawkins appears to be your standard leftist, socialist bastard, who is firmly against anyone else expressing their beliefs, but will do whatever he can to force his beliefs upon you. IIt is disgusting that he would prevent ministers/priests/rabbis/etc. from solacing the ill in hospitals (I have never seen a religious minister be somewhere he was not welcome in a hospital, and what if those sick people desire that manner of consolation?), and it is even worse that he would project his form of infantile regression into the homes of the British, simply because he believes it is better than all of the other religions out there. I have nothing against agnostics, but atheists are comedy of the first order, and, more often than not, a sad, hate-filled lot worthy of pity. In his case, though, I think I will refrain.

If morality is "bioligically determined", then the biggest guy gets to set morality, and we all have to fall in line behind him. I wonder what will happen when Dawkins realizes he is not the biggest guy...

One of the foun... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
One of the foundational tenets of science is that the universe is unreasoning and that it's governed exclusively by natural laws.

We do not fully understand those laws.

Humankind's current understanding of those laws is irrelevant. The point is that if the foundational tenets of science are true, then the universe is ultimately understandable, and science is the quest to gain that understanding. However, if the foundational tenets are false then the universe is not understandable. The ultimate goal of science is impossible, and at some point, pointless. Knowledge that the foundational tenets of science are false is the light (truth) science cannot look into (learn) and survive.

Science is study of the natural. It is assumed that there is no supernatural. If in fact there is a God which can create and control the universe, he must do so in a way that is natural, and governed by some laws. If there were evidence of that kind of activity, we would have to reconsider the natural laws as we understand them to include this new evidence. This could in fact be beyond our grasp, but at least we would know that we had to figure in what way such things are possible.

You envision some extra-universal intelligence, yet bound by natural laws. That's not the God of the Bible. God (as described in the Bible) is not bound by natural laws. He calls them into existence, bends, modifies, and suspends them at will to accomplish His purpose. Humans, being subject to natural laws are precluded from examining the actions of a being who operates outside those laws. The closest scientific analogy to this is an event horizon, yet one that operates in only one direction. What exists and occurs on the other side from us can only be learned through revelation.

Oh, you buy Behe's line, do you? Irreducible complexity as defined by Behe has been shown time and again to be possible through genetic mechanisms, and has occurred in computer simulations. The evolutionary paths of all of Behe's examples (and those he has influenced) have been explained quite convincingly.

Actually I was thinking of irreducible complexity as proposed (but not coined) by Darwin, who stated that the existence of such would overturn his theory.

Wrong. Irreducible complexity is not "rejected by science." The conclusions (before the fact, really) drawn from it have.

Irreducible complexity is rejected by science because of it's conclusion even before the fact as demonstrated by your own quote from Steven Mirsky irreducible complexity is an "intellectual surrender strategy," an insistence that we cannot understand how natural mechanisms developed because they must have come about through the intercession of an intelligent superbeing.

To accept the conclusion of irreducible complexity is to accept that the fundamental tenets of science are false, and to him that's an "intellectual surrender strategy". Yet if he had knowledge that the fundamental tenets of science are false, it's not a "surrender strategy", but a pointless pursuit.

There's a light science cannot look into and survive.

Wrong. Science can look at anything that exists.

As I explained above, light is truth and look into it is to learn the truth. The light science cannot look into and survive is the truth that its most fundamental tenets are false. Science must therefore reject any evidence of "intercession of an intelligent superbeing" as Mirsky calls it. With that scotoma it's little wonder science finds no evidence of God.

Atheism requires faith in nothing.

Atheism requires the fundamental tenets of science to be true. Being such tenets cannot be proven logically, they can only be accepted by faith. Someone who has no faith at all is said to be Agnostic, but even that's incorrect. Someone standing on a beautiful beach and then hears a warning of an approaching displacement wave (tsunami) either rejects or acts upon that warning. Taking no action demonstrates they reject the warning, and thus, have faith that it's wrong. A true Agnostic is someone who never heard the warning, not someone who heard it and rejected it.

Everyone here needs to go r... (Below threshold)
Theother matt:

Everyone here needs to go read The End of Faith by Sam Harris. Unfortunatly the ones that need to read it will not read it.

The fundamental premise of ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The fundamental premise of Sam Harris's book is that all religion is baseless. Harris doesn't realize that his premise is a statement of faith itself. If he had been able to make that connection then perhaps he would have discovered that any strongly held belief system can be dangerous. A quick check of 20th century history shows that belief in atheistic communism has resulted in more mass murder than all religious conflicts before or since.

A common mistake of atheists is to think religious people are ignorant, unintelligent, or unreasoning. The father of that mistake is pride that blinds them from seeing that atheism itself is accepted on faith and not reason.

"Exactly the point. If you ... (Below threshold)

"Exactly the point. If you are an atheist, Hitler/Stalin are just a product of survival of the fittest. So what is evil about what they did?"

LoveAmerica, this does not make any sense at all. That one is an atheist does not of itself mean that one rejects moral philosophy. An atheist can find actions evil regardless of the fact that the actions were committed by someone who is a member of a species that evolved.

Your belief that atheists are therefore amoral is obviously false.

"Harris doesn't realize tha... (Below threshold)
Theother matt:

"Harris doesn't realize that his premise is a statement of faith itself."

Actually, if you would read his books you would see that he says exactly what you just said thousands of times in his books.

Futhermore Harris is more s... (Below threshold)
Theother matt:

Futhermore Harris is more speaking of orginized religion than personal faith. Please read more than just the front and back cover before you judge the book. If you have read the books try to see what is written other than just reading the pages.

LoveAmerica, this does not ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

LoveAmerica, this does not make any sense at all. That one is an atheist does not of itself mean that one rejects moral philosophy. An atheist can find actions evil regardless of the fact that the actions were committed by someone who is a member of a species that evolved.
-------------------------------------
If you are an atheist, you are simply a product of a mindless evolutionary process. You are simply an animal or a machine. All the moral concepts are simply a product of the chemical reactions in your brain. How reliable are those? Moreover, your existence on earth is simply an accident. So what is evil or moral?

If churches were perfect, n... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

If churches were perfect, no one would ever be allowed in.

Actually, if you w... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Actually, if you would read his books you would see that he says exactly what you just said thousands of times in his books.

"Pope talks about God or the Holy Spirit (or anything else), . . . the Pope is merely reiterating unjustified and unjustifiable metaphysical claims that have been passed down to Christians in the context of a culture that has failed--utterly--to find compelling alternatives to mere belief." -- Sam Harris in an interview with Thomas May.

These are not the words of someone who understands that their own position is based on unjustified and unjustifiable metaphysical claims. Nor does Harris appear to understand how Christianity was abducted early in it's existence by men seeking to use it for power and wealth. The Reformation was about wrestling Christianity back from those who took it for their own gain, and irrespective of war, it was the publishing the Bible in the language of the people that made that delivery permanent.

Futhermore Harris is more speaking of orginized religion than personal faith.

And I was speaking of organized atheism which has murdered tens of millions in the 20th century. Harris ignored the the biggest offender because it didn't fit his preconceived ideas about organized religion. Had he employed "reason" he would have concluded that strongly held beliefs are the compromise ender he fears, be they religious, political, or patriotic. Is there anything Harris holds so dear that he's willing to fight for it? How about freedom of speech, private ownership of property, freedom to choose where he lives and what he does? All things lost under that child of "reason" known in the world as communism. The worship of reason is a religion, but it's not a religion of piece.

"And I was speaking of orga... (Below threshold)
Theother matt:

"And I was speaking of organized atheism which has murdered tens of millions in the 20th century. Harris ignored the the biggest offender because it didn't fit his preconceived ideas about organized religion."

Please explain.

Please explain.</b... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Please explain.

You're joking right? You post here that people should read a particular book that blames human conflicts on religion and you don't know the history of organized, officially atheist communism. Communism is the result of a reasoned approach to human government devoid of any inalienable rights or absolute morality that flows from the Creator. The result of that human brainchild was communism, which is estimated to be responsible tens of millions of murders in the 20th century, apart from loses suffered in war.

Unlike Harris, reason is my servant, not my god. Reason transcends science and by its use the tenets of science can be examined and their limitations revealed. Employing reason one finds that all foundations of human knowledge are based on faith. It is by faith that a Christian declares there is a God, and it is by faith an Atheist denies the same. Where then is the source of an Athist's pride in their intellect; is it not from a deceiving heart? Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. -- Galatians 6:7

RICHARD DAWKINS is a blabbe... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

RICHARD DAWKINS is a blabbering jerk him and his crack-pot NSS are the most rediclous bunch or nuts around might i suggest he see a head shrink before he loses his mind but he already has

Sorry about the late post, ... (Below threshold)
Theothermatt:

Sorry about the late post, We had a few early jumps and some DA stuff to do.

"You post here that people should read a particular book that blames human conflicts on religion and you don't know the history of organized, officially atheist communism."

If you are talking about places like Russia then please read again. They did not promote Atheism.

I admit that I do not know it all. But please enlighten me.

If you are talking... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry Author Profile Page:
If you are talking about places like Russia then please read again. They did not promote Atheism.

You're joking again, right? The USSR, which included Russia, was officially Athist. Nothing is higher than the "state" in communism. There is no religion involved, yet the murder count is higher than that of all religions. Harris ignores this because it didn't fit his theory.

I am sorry, my information ... (Below threshold)
Theothermatt:

I am sorry, my information was incorrect about the whole ussr thing.

yet the murder count is higher than that of all religions.

I find that hard to believe. Think of the all the people killed in the middle east over the last two thousand years or so. The Crusades, etc. Communism was a bad thing (to put it lightly). But there is no way that it in its time killed more people.

I find that hard t... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry Author Profile Page:
I find that hard to believe. Think of the all the people killed in the middle east over the last two thousand years or so. The Crusades, etc. Communism was a bad thing (to put it lightly). But there is no way that it in its time killed more people.

The key to understanding this is the explosive population growth. Here's a chart. Note that in the year 1000 the entire population of the world is about what the population of the U.S. is now. As late as 1750 the combined population of Africa and Europe was less than 270 million.

As devastating as the Crusades were they accounted for around 9 million deaths. That's maybe 1 in 15 of the entire population of Africa and Europe at the time.

Communist nations such as the USSR, China, Vietnam and particularly Cambodia murdered from 15 to 30 million of their own citizens in various purges in the 20th century depending on who's numbers you believe. While those millions represent a small percentage of world population in the late 20th century, they far surpass the Crusades. If you include deaths from wars fought because of Communist ideology the death toll climes by several million more.

When people believe the state is the highest authority it's easy to "purge" others who get in their way.

You must not be understndin... (Below threshold)
Theothermatt:

You must not be understnding me. I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT JUST CHRISTIANITY. When I said Religion killed more people than anything I meant all the RELIGIONS.

In addition. Take Hitler. H... (Below threshold)
Theothermatt:

In addition. Take Hitler. He killed six milion Jews, and about 5 million others ethnic groups. Then factor in all the people killed in the actual war. You are looking at sixty MILLION world wide just because of WWII.

Then talk about all of the people that have died in the Middle east from Religious conflicts during the last two thousand years.

You are looking at several billion just right there.

In addition x2. If you real... (Below threshold)
Theothermatt:

In addition x2. If you really wanted to you could count in all those people that the USSR, China, and Vietnam killed as well. Because according to some posters on this thread, Orginized Atheism is a religion too.




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