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Poll Results: The ‘Four Horsemen’ Live and In Person

The 'Four Horsemen'With this poll up for just a little over two months, I got 112 responses to the question “Have you seen any of the “Four Horsemen” speak or debate?

I must admit that I voted in this poll, something I would normally never do, but I had the pleasure of seeing Christopher Hitchens in Birmingham, Alabama in March and I wanted to stand up and be counted.

I wasn’t surprised by the skew of the results, but I was pleasantly surprised by the number of responses I received. It is wonderful to see people committed to an idea supporting the authors that have helped bring said idea into the mainstream for scrutiny.

  • Richard Dawkins – 62 votes
  • Daniel Dennett – 26 votes
  • Sam Harris – 35 votes
  • Christopher Hitchens – 53 votes
  • None – 38 votes

For those 38 respondents and others who have not yet seen one of these gentlemen speak or debate, I highly recommend you try to make it to an upcoming event. Only Richard Dawkins has events scheduled at this time, all of which are in the UK. For my US-based readers, these gentlemen all tend to make their way around the country fairly often. Just keep your eyes peeled on their websites for info on any speaking engagements that might be coming to your area. And let’s face it, if I can see Christopher Hitchens in Alabama, everyone should have an opportunity.

Richard Dawkins:

  • May 19, 2009 – Leicester, UK – Empirical Evidence Against the God Hypothesis
  • June 16, 2009 – Leicester, UK – “45 Minutes From Attack!”: WMD and other state-sponsored conspiracy theories
  • July 21, 2009 – Leicester, UK – Investigating the Impossible: A Skeptical Approach

Mindless MySpace Troll

The following message was sent to me on MySpace. I wish I could make this shit up, but I just can’t. I am not friends with the person that sent it to me, so I can only assume that it is mindless trolling. What can I say? I love fighting trolls. I’m an atheist three billy goats gruff.

I have preserved it exactly as it was sent to me, so that you too may get a nosebleed from reading it.

you Need to find Faith in SOMETHING!
of really not even apart of this (my) Conversaoin

because whats REALly so bad in having faith in something
BIGGER than YOU,,,than taking Prid in Jah,,,,,and after all that….you will TUREly gain faith within Your own “faith”
(having faith in yourself)

YOU cant skip the Middle man (THE LIGHT) or the olny one your fooling is Youself,,,,,,,,not me (not GOD)

your smart, but you sure as HELL ain’t to WISE

you need to find
Religion,though your own, Indenpendent studys
( and NOW),,then go try to find a ……

if this scene were a parish you’d all be condemned.
~patd

Peace. be with you

HollWood A.S. CloaKeezy

PS o and if you ever just start reading the Bible, in stead of just looking into the sometimes,,,,your find out that evey thing in there is “GOoD”,,,,,,, and all your doing is making YOURself look like a (free-DumASS DICK]

so….soLOng….

When responding to anyone on the internet about any topic, I absolutely hate to bring up their bad grammar, because it often leads them to believe that, besides their grammar, everything else is solid. My reply to the troll:

Your message is completely incoherent.

I have faith in the ability of mankind to do good things without fear of being cast into a lake or fire or the promise of streets paved with gold. People who are only motivated to do good because of some dividend paid in the afterlife are the unintelligent ones.

Do yourself a favor. If you would like to try and engage in dialogue with someone on any topic, it would serve you well to present your ideas in a manner slightly more appealing to the eyes. Your ridiculous disregard for all grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules makes me want to punch not you, but your parents and teachers for not teaching you correctly.

-www.godispretend.net

I could have gone on, but I’ve had a really long day, and I really didn’t want to put a lot of effort into responding to someone who is obviously not only a religious nut, but a stupid one at that. If you would like to engage this troll further, please drop him a line!

HollyWood A.S. CloaKeezy (whatever that means)

War on Christmas: Back in Style!

I received the following email a few days ago. I do not know the person who sent it to me, and I can only assume that we were in contact years ago in an email that I have long since purged from my Gmail account. I get forwarded messages every once in a while; Gmail is pretty good about halting most of them. This one was a little different though. It almost seems that Gmail let this one through, so that I could deliver a retributive bitch slap. It was titled “The Grinch”.

Today, November 12th, 2008, I read in the news that the “American Humanist Association” has launched a “Why Believe in a God?” campaign, starting on buses in Washington DC next week. According to their spokesman, athiests, agnostics and non-theists “feel a little alone during the holidays, because of its association with traditional religion”.

REALLY? People who deny there is a God -they get bummed when other people celebrate God? Why is that? They are totally welcome to believe in God! Nothing stops them but themselves! I believe in God. I’m not sad, nor do I feel left out, when athiests sit around not believing!

We have become a nation of whiners…and apparently, a nation of Godless whiners! Will you please join me in making a phone call to the American Humanist Association? Assure them “Don’t be so sad! We’ll share our God with you!” Cheer them up! It will just take a moment, it will tie up their phone lines, and THEY pay for the toll free call!

They can be reached at (800) 837-3792. Call now!!! Call often!!! And send this email to EVERYONE you know. Maybe we can be the Grinch who stops their $40,000 ad campaign – by sending them a big phone bill!

How Christ-like.

“We don’t agree with you, so instead of responding with a logically-sound argument, we’ll prank call you a bunch of times and run up your phone bill!” What’s next? Having a bunch of pizzas delivered to their headquarters?

This email had 476 recipients, including myself, and they were listed alphabetically and cut off early into the D’s. I don’t even want to guess how many people got this email from this lady. Oh yeah, did I mention that she’s a lady. And that I have her name, address, and phone number? Thanks to my good friend, the internet, I do!

Her name is ***** ********, and she lives near Chicago. I won’t give her full address, but since I was able to find her information easily online I’m sure any interested parties could do the same. I was originally going to post her phone number, but again, I think I am better than that. But… for anyone who wants to do some internet digging, I’ll give you a hint: her area code is 630.

I’d love to say, “Call ***** up and harass her!”, but I’m not going to. In fact, I hope no one calls her. She leads a sheltered existence inside a set of medieval beliefs surrounded by a toddler’s maturity for debate. There is not a single thing any one of of us could offer ***** to change this.

That is the sad reality of the world in which we live. We are outnumbered by people who resort to an appeal to popularity all to often to justify their childish, strong arm techniques.

Edit: I was contacted by the person who was named in this post. They said that the mass email was the result of an email account hijacking, and they asked me to remove identifying information. I did so out of respect for their wishes.

Religious Intolerance in the Military

Gov’t wants atheist soldier’s lawsuit dismissed

I know this news is a bit old, but I feel it should not stop being discussed until it is resolved. Being made to feel uncomfortable in society because of my differences in beliefs with my peers is nothing I am a stranger to. Annoying, yes, but I forge on. When you are in the military though, you should not have to endure the demeaning nagging of evangelical fundamentalists.

With the impending repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy concerning openly gay individuals serving in the military, I think added significance should be given to Spc. Jeremy Hall’s situation. Obviously, people are starting to realize that one should not be forced to hide their sexuality to serve their country in the military, so why should someone have to hide their lack of religiosity in order to serve (without harassment)?

I realize they are different situations. Atheists are not forbidden from serving in the military, but you are almost certainly in for a rough ride. If you decide that you want to join the military and potentially give your life in its defense, it is not too much to ask that others keep their noses out of your business.

This reminds me very much of the story of a British sailor who faced unnecessary media criticism for wishing to be recognized by the Royal Navy as a Satanist. Leading Hand Chris Cranmer, had to make his case before a panel to achieve religious recognition in order to ensure that his funeral be carried out in accordance with his beliefs. Luckily for him, the Royal Navy is a tad more progressive than the United States Navy.

I was affiliated with the U.S. Air Force at the time this story broke. My detachment displayed a bulletin board with current events related to military units around the world. Leading Hand Cranmer’s story made it to the board. I happened to be reading the story at the same time as another individual in my detachment. Upon completing, she shook her head and made a throaty, guttural sound as if to say, “the nerve of these freaks.” I immediately engaged her, though I had to choose my words carefully, as she was a higher-ranking and I was a closet atheist.

She seemed to think that proper funeral practices should only be extended to people from “normal” religions. I tried to explain to her that LaVeyan Satanism was not the baby-killing, goat-sacrificing belief system that she thought it was. She rebutted that she had written a paper on Satanism, and that I was wrong as well as naive.

Unfortunately, I had to end the conversation at that point. But why? Why did I feel that I had to stifle my First Amendment right to freedom of speech. I would have loved to have continued to have a civilized conversation on this topic (though I’m quite certain Ms. Thang would have introduced incivility rather quickly), but the fear of being seen as insubordinate and the fear of retribution silenced me.

Thus is the plight of the most hated and reviled minority in the United States.