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JasonG's Avatar Joined over 7 years ago
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Go to: Jerry Coyne's 'Seeing and Believing' with responses

JasonG's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by JasonG

This made my day too. I especially enjoyed Sam Harris' parodies of the "militant atheist" label:

- fundamentalist rationality
- militant neo-rationalist
- neo-secular militants
- neo-fundamentalist rational neo-atheist
- militant secularist atheist neo-dogmatist
- neo-militant rationalist
- fundamentalist atheist rationalist neo-humanistic secular militants

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 12:33:00 UTC | #318149

Go to: Many Americans Say Other Faiths Can Lead to Eternal Life

JasonG's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by JasonG

Of the 46% of American Christians who claim to believe that atheists are ineligible for eternal life (whatever that means), what percentage genuinely believe this ineligibility to be a good thing? I know that there are Christians who claim to be perfectly content with the idea of non-believers being sentenced to hell (Fred Phelps and his clan come to mind; Louis Theroux's documentary on them is quite chilling in this regard) and justify it by yielding all moral authority to God's supposed "Word" (arguing that whatever God says and does is necessarily good), but I very much hope that these people are in the minority. In the extraordinarily unlikely event that a fundamentalist Christian managed to convince me that God does in fact exist and has sentenced non-Christians to eternal torment after death, I could not imagine feeling anything other than revulsion and rage toward a being capable of that level of cruelty.

I am torn about how to view the results of this survey. On the one hand, I find it difficult not to bang my head against a wall in frustration toward the more liberal Christians, who will happily cast aside specific doctrines they believe to be flawed without considering whether the whole system of Christianity might be equally so. On the other hand, I wonder whether the rejection of an exclusivist theory of salvation is an indicator that compassion and a sense of justice have scored some degree of victory over dogma in at least a few minds. Ideally, I would hope that the injustice of the doctrine of eternal damnation might prompt more people to reject Christianity altogether; nevertheless, I would still prefer to confront Christianity of the attenuated, wishy-washy sort than that of the toxic, my-way-is-the-only-way-and-THOU-SHALT-OBEY sort. (The former is less likely to motivate its adherents to attack the lives and liberties of their fellow citizens in its name.)

One result that I find deeply and unreservedly disheartening, however, is the distinction between "people with no religious faith" and "atheists." It appears that a significant number of American Christians would prefer that their atheist compatriots remain in the closet.

Fri, 19 Dec 2008 16:39:00 UTC | #289536

Go to: Happy Birthday, Richard Dawkins!

JasonG's Avatar Jump to comment 95 by JasonG

Happy birthday, and many thanks for all that you do!

Wed, 26 Mar 2008 12:06:00 UTC | #142436

Go to: A Letter From Hell

JasonG's Avatar Jump to comment 111 by JasonG

For those seeking an antidote to the godtube video, this Rowan Atkinson clip might help:

Fri, 25 Jan 2008 08:07:00 UTC | #110519

Go to: Survey finds most Americans believe Jesus born of virgin

JasonG's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by JasonG

The Barna Group has a web site discussing their survey in a bit more detail:

Notably, however, they don't say precisely how they phrased their questions or whom they were labeling as "atheist" or "agnostic." The fact that *any* atheists or agnostics answered "yes" to this query ought to have prompted the Barna Group to question the validity of their survey (unless, of course, they were interested in inflating the numbers).

Something that's not mentioned in the Toledo Blade article---on the web site above, the Barna Group also claims that 8% of atheists and agnostics accept the story of Eve and the serpent!

Sat, 22 Dec 2007 13:11:00 UTC | #97612

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