Archive - Jul 26, 2007

Thinking With Their Organs

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Memo to the Fool's Heart people: YOU ARE DUMB.

I need to get on the atheist's newsletter or something. I swear, I miss out on all the cool plotting for global domination and persecution of Christians. Is it because they don't trust me? Are they just a bunch of fucking snobs? Come on, guys. We're all fervent believers in our lack of belief. Don't bogart the guillotines!

Apparently we have guillotines. That's what I learned from American Vision and, who feel so strongly that I and my unbelieving ilk are the unpopped kernels in the Jiffy Pop of civilization that they've put together a two-minute commercial, for "television and Internet", telling folks how awful we are.

The website takes its name from a quote from Psalms that, I think, sums the whole thing up. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." As an atheist with a firm grasp of anatomy, this prompts two responses. First, the heart is involved in neither thought nor speech. Really, the fool would have thought in his brain and said with his mouth, there is no God.

And second, and this is what I love - religious fanatics trust implicitly what the Bible says about belief in God. Hello? Biased source? When NBC says their line-up is "must-see TV", that doesn't actually mean you're required to see it. It's just in their best interest for you to tune in. As an atheist, I've heard a lot of shitty arguments for the existence of God, but "The Bible says you're a fool, so there" has got to be the worst yet.

Anyway, back to the commercial. It starts off with a sing-song, patronizing discussion of Sam Harris, who's apparently written some pro-atheism books. "Sam likes to think", the amateur voiceover woman claims. "Sam thinks that God is not real and that evolution is a fact!"

Then they move on to Richard Dawkins, whose crimes include being a friend of Sam Harris', and thinking "that parents who teach their children about God should be arrested". What he actually said was that religious indoctrination is an abuse of childhood innocence. This got warped into "religious education = child abuse", which then got warped again. When these people play "telephone", it's with malicious intent purple monkey atheists eat babies.

The ad then makes an incredibly subtle shift to Robespierre, who killed a bunch of people during the French Revolution, apparently using his own personal guillotine, if the background imagery is to be believed. The commercial seems to neatly dodge the question of whether or not Robespierre was actually an atheist - which is a surprisingly intellectually honest facet of their intellectual dishonesty, as it certainly seems, from the minimal research required for this column, that Robespierre's beliefs were murky and open to interpretation and selective quoting.

That doesn't stop the ad from claiming that Richard Dawkins wants to eat your babies. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Maybe if more people listened to Sam and Richard, we could all be more reasonable and rational like Robespierre. Maybe we could have our own Reign of Terror for people who continue to be irrational and believe silly storybooks like the Bible."

Now, for some of you, this might seem to be a bit of a logical leap, but that's where you're wrong. The word "logical" doesn't enter into it. These are no mere fools. They speak in their heart, and don't use words like "reason" or "rational" like Robespierre, the cold-blooded slaughterer of Christians, did. "Reason" would make them pause before putting up a sequence of horrific imagery, complete with genocide and Nazis, and imply that atheism is to blame for all of it. If they were "rational", they wouldn't be able to put "If God does not exist, then everything is permitted" up on the screen with a straight face.

Just for the record, allow me to provide a short list of things prohibited by society that are not, in any way, based upon Judeo-Christian morality:

If God does not exist, I will still get pulled over for driving 60mph through a school zone.

If God does not exist, the cashier at the grocery store will still make me take my full cart the hell out of the express lane.

If God does not exist, I still don't get to use my iPhone without signing up for AT&T Wireless.

If God does not exist, I still cannot cause matter or energy to be destroyed. I can only convert them from one form to the other.

The only difference between Atheist World and Judeo-Christian world is that in Atheist World, doing any of the above things will get your ass sent to the guillotine. So don't even think about it. I know you've got thirteen items.