Sep 25, 2008

The stupid stuff atheists believe in

Ghosts and goblins and things that go bump in the night.
The Gallup Organization, under contract to Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion, asked American adults a series of questions to gauge credulity. Do dreams foretell the future? Did ancient advanced civilizations such as Atlantis exist? Can places be haunted? Is it possible to communicate with the dead? Will creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster someday be discovered by science?

The answers were added up to create an index of belief in occult and the paranormal. While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things, only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did.

Atheists are also big fans of pseudoscience, like ├╝ber rationalist Bill Maher, who's made a documentary attacking religious belief.
The night before his performance on Conan O'Brien, Mr. Maher told David Letterman -- a quintuple bypass survivor -- to stop taking the pills that his doctor had prescribed for him. He proudly stated that he didn't accept Western medicine. On his HBO show in 2005, Mr. Maher said: "I don't believe in vaccination. . . . Another theory that I think is flawed, that we go by the Louis Pasteur [germ] theory." He has told CNN's Larry King that he won't take aspirin because he believes it is lethal and that he doesn't even believe the Salk vaccine eradicated polio.

Of course, atheists were the standard bearers of the most unrealistic--and malignant--ideology of all: Communism.


10 comments:

Robert said...

"People who never worship" are all automatically atheists?

And of course believing in angels, possession by demons, resurrections from the dead, etc. are all perfectly reasonable and not stupid at all. Nope.

Of course, atheists were the standard bearers of the most unrealistic--and malignant--ideology of all: Communism.

I debunk this canard in a recent blog post. Feel free to prove me wrong.

Rachel said...

Far be it from me to get in a pissing match with someone who's set his hourly Google alert on "communism + atheism" in order to promote his blog and prove what a disingenuous smartypants he is.

I wonder why you bother.

In the church of atheism, can atheists do no wrong? Even the infallible Pope has admitted that, from time to time, certain Christians went a little too far in the name of the faith.

Robert said...

You should know, there's no better way to admit the substance of your opponent's critique than by hurling back insults.

Of course atheists can do wrong; we're just as fallible (sorry, "sinful and fallen") as everyone else. But this thing you accuse us of is merely yet another example of pious fraud.

Holmes said...

I love when atheists, who admit there is no Absolute standard of any kind, try to get all self-righteous on others. I could punch you in the face or I could give you a dollar. In an atheistic world, each choice is just as legitimate.

Holmes said...

Maher is the perfect example of "If you believe in nothing, you'll fall for anything." We are spiritual creatures and will seek to fill that void one way or another. Whether it's Gaia or the State, people will worship some other entity to give them meaning.

Robert said...

I love when atheists, who admit there is no Absolute standard of any kind, try to get all self-righteous on others.

Because you need an "absolute standard" to call out risibly inaccurate statements? Would you feel better if I converted to Islam and then came back?

In any case, some atheists do maintain absolute standards (of morality) exist. Any other canards you want dismissed?

jonathan said...

If you'll permit a digression, I think it's unfair of you to single out Maher. He gives idiocy a bad name.

Rachel said...

True.

Holmes said...

They may maintain it, Robert, but they have no justification for it. In any event, the Atheists we've known are generally the biggest hypocrites. This existence- the one that took billions of years to come into existence and happened randomly- is all we have. And yet, you're wasting it arguing on a blog for some minor points and overly using the word "canard." What an arbitrary waste of time.

Gabriel said...

One can draw a secular moral code from social contract theory and the notion of self-determination. Surely this was established some centuries ago.