Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Those Damn Arrogant Atheists!

I recently joined a new facebook page entitled "Atheism - we believe in ourselves." I don’t join every facebook atheist group, but I like to give support to facebook friends who invite me, or who start a page. I also am not crazy about the use of the word "believe" in the name, but I won't push the point.

One member of the group posted this: "Its self centered and unenlightened to say one believes in oneself."

I found this a rather silly comment. What? -- Is it more enlightened to believe in a Sky Buddy who manipulates your life and promises you eternal existence after death? If not, what's the alternative to belief in oneself -- dependence on others to manage your life for you? People who do not believe in themselves lack self esteem; lack independence; lack self reliance; never take risks that could advance their career, or give them a competitive advantage in life or any endeavor.

In discussing this in another atheist forum one member said this: "... announcing to believers [in his very Catholic country the Philippines] that one believes in oneself as opposed to an invisible being in the sky, it simply comes across as putting one's self over God. It is therefore to be expected that (some) believers will find it arrogant and self-centered ..."

Do we not put ourselves over all imaginary beings? I know I do. Do we need to be ashamed of that? I’m not, couldn’t be more proud of it. And if theists find us arrogant in our acceptance of reality over superstition and open dismissal of their delusion do we need to concern ourselves about it? Can’t see why. I could understand that being the case fifty or one-hundred years ago, or during the Spanish Inquisition, but not now. Not any more.

I'm unconcerned about bruising the sensibilities of those who prefer we remain contrite in our acceptence of reality and reason, or that we remain invisible to the theist majority. We must embrace confrontation. If it wasn't for Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris, Ray, and others who have kicked wide the door and said "Enough!" to false respect for theist beliefs, to religious dominance, to salving theists’ fragile sensibilities, we'd all be pretending to be believers. I doubt I could even have this forum.

The degree of religiosity in the Philippines, I dare say, is no worse than the degree of religiosity in certain parts of the US. Mississippi, the most religious state in the union, has 96% believers according to the Pew Forum poll. Yet, there are a number of groups down there who openly declare their atheism, challenge fundamentalist intrusions across the line of church state separation, and are quite vocal. Yep, they are probably perceived as arrogant by their believing neighbours, especially given their "book larnin" and godless rationality. Good!

Yes, I put myself over gods, all of them. Yes, I have complete confidence in my ability to manage my life without incorporeal nonsense. No, I won’t hide my rejection of belief in a closet, or fret over my presumed “arrogance” that is born of self-confidence, education, self-reliance, and respect for reality. Besides, what’s more arrogant than the ignorance of faith in the great “Truth” to which each religion stakes claim?

If my “in your face” demeanour causes religionists angst -- too damn bad. If it incites them to something more -- bring it on.


digitalproductions said...

Personally, I have come to the realization that any time one gets in a pissin' contest with a skunk, one ends up smellin' like the skunk. So, I refrain from debating or even conversing with wishful thinkers. Instead, I just raise my drawbridge and commence to firing up the oil pots and let the would-be-invaders have it. They can bitch 'n moan all they want. I wasted 35 of my years on believing ancient lies and will not tolerate being robbed of even one more nanosecond of my life by these religious hucksters. I, for one, am raising my voice and saying, "TO HELL WITH THEM AND THEIR ILK"! I prefer fact and reason over faith and sleazin'.

NewEnglandBob said...

You hit the bulls-eye dead-center, Hump.

Atheists are becoming stronger in numbers and influence and we need to keep getting the message out load and clear.

Dromedary Hump said...

Congrats on over coming the God Virus! As the JDL says "Never Again!"

Thanks. I'd man the barricades with you any time ;)

Brian said...

I have positive proof that I exist, so why would it be "unenlightened" for me to believe in myself?

The problem is that theists often use "to believe in" to mean "to trust" as well as "to accept the existence of". So when you tell them you don't believe in God, they don't completely get what you're saying.

longhorn believer said...

digitalproductions said - "I prefer fact reason over faith and sleazin". Awesome! Love that little rhyme!

@Hump - I was warned about that "book larnin"! LMAO! This a thought provoking post. I was asked recently if I didn't believe in something outside myself, what did I believe in? My answer was "myself". But I hesitated, and at the time, I couldn't figure out why? This post gave me some clarification. Now I know why I hesitated. The answer is guilt! That all-powerful, mind-numbing, thought-stifling emotion that all religion depends on! I felt guilty for believing in myself. Well what a load of crap!!

Anonymous said...
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DALwrites said...

Hear hear!

Hump, I really admire your ability to cut straight to the point; the "jugular" of whatever the issue may be.

I don't want to see myself getting older, my bones growing brittle, and the loss of my hair, but it's the truth, and there it is. Just because I don't like it doesn't make it any less true.

We're living in a time where individuals who utilize reason and rationality are at long last being heard. It's up to each and every one of us to keep the tide moving.

Dromedary Hump said...

You may beright. Theists have a difficult time processing words and using actual definitions. It wouldn't surprise me to be confused by that common atheist phrase.
good point.

Thanks. And that self consiousness about being rational will fade. trust me.

Thanks. Yeah, reality can be a bitch. That we face it, and enjoy it, and live it as well as we can and love it while we can is what sets us apart from the sheeple...and plants. ;)

Trent said...

Hump. I always wondered how otherwise intelligent people can believe in various stupid religions. I just read a terrific book that answers that question: On Being Certain: Believing You are Right Even When You're Not, by Robert A Burton, M.D. It reveals the neurological basis of the feelings of certainty, and faith, and shows that they are not grounded in conscious reasoning but are products of the "hidden layer" of our brains which processes incoming sensory information and comes to decisions based on memories, emotions, preconceptions, innate tempermental characteristics and a myriad of other factors. We think we are rational beings but our rationality has great limitations, and when the hidden layer decides it is right about something, we get a feeling of certainty that we are right, no matter how irrational the belief. This book confirms my agnosticism as being the best choice for me. I am positive I don't believe in any of these religions that feature an anthropomorphic god, they're just ridiculous to me. However I don't want to say I'm absolutely certain there is no intelligence greater than us in the cosmos. Hell, there might be some creator and some meaning behind it all, though I doubt it. I don't know, and I don't think we can know.

Helga Hewston said...

Beware of Men in Dresses

Beware of men in dresses

Who feel the need to pray

EXCEPT those wearing make-up

(Or, if they happen to be gay!)

Avoid all men in dresses

Unless they are in Drag

And mince around in high heels

and call themselves a 'Fag'

Steer clear of men in dresses

Meaning Clergymen, not Lay

They wear gowns whose very fabric

Society should FRAY!

Run a mile from men in long frocks

Be they Bishops, Priests or Popes

UNLESS they are Cross-Dressers

and act in Prime-time Soaps

If a man you know wears dresses

UNFROCK him! Bid Goodbye!

'Cos if she's not a Queen or Tranny

Then I fear…..the END is NIGH....

Helga Hewston

Dromedary Hump said...

evidently most experts agree with Burton in some ways. Clearly that religiosity seems to effect some more than others, and is "incurable" in many cases points to some brain activity, maybe neural receptors.. I dunno.

I just wish they could find a cure for it. We'd have a safer world.
thks for the input.

Awesome poem, LOL. Kudos!!

Enrico S said...
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Enrico S said...

I hate to do this but Helga's poem forced me to. I just can't resist.
The link below contains a puppet priest called "The Reverend".

There is a mini musical movie called Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. In the movie, the main character is attempting to get into the "Evil League of Evil" (ELE).

Fans of the movie created their own applications to the ELE and submitted them online and this one is by far the best and on topic (sort of)
Lyrics provided in the link.

Enjoy the Reverend!


Christian Apologist said...

I was asked recently if I didn't believe in something outside myself, what did I believe in? My answer was "myself". But I hesitated, and at the time, I couldn't figure out why? This post gave me some clarification. Now I know why I hesitated. The answer is guilt! That all-powerful, mind-numbing, thought-stifling emotion that all religion depends on! I felt guilty for believing in myself. Well what a load of crap!!

It was not guilt you were feeling it was healthy apprehension. G.K. Chesterton writes in "Orthodoxy"

The publisher said of somebody, 'That man will get on; he believes in himself.' And I remember that as I lifted my head to listen, my eye caught an omnibus on which was written "Hanwell." (an insane asylum) I said to him, "Shall I tell you where the men are who believe most in themselves more colossally than Napoleon or Caesar. I know where flames the fixed star of certainty and success. I can guide you to the thrones of the Supermen. The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums." He said mildly that there were a good many men after all who believed in themselves and who were not in lunatic asylums. "Yes, there are," I retorted, "and you of all men ought to know them. That drunken poet from whom you would not take a dreary tragedy, he believed in himself. That elderly minister with an epic from whom you were hiding in a back room, he believed in himself. If you consulted your business experience instead of your ugly individualistic philosophy, you would know that believing in himself is one of the commonest signs of a rotter. Actors who can't act believe in themselves; and debtors who won't pay. It would be much truer to say that a man will certainly fail, because he believes in himself.

Dromedary Hump said...

Xtian Apologist..

Well, that was... wasteful

G.K. Chesterton : orthodox Xtian, apolgist extrodinare, and rabid anti-semite. Sure, lets all just jump on HIS band wagon and believe in a boogie man. Ah, there... everything is so much better now. :)

Nothing like broad generalities steeped in esoteric horseshit to impress a religionist.

I guess Chestertone wasn't referring to everyone on this list

People who don't believe in themselves have a long term career ahead of them basking in the light of The King. The Burger King. How's that working for you, Xtian apol?

zarton said...

Wow! what insight from xtian apol. Please tell me, Do the men in these asylums have mustache's also? I may need to shave.
We all know that people locked up in asylums don't have any imagianary friends, no not at all, they have belief in themselves. Of course no one who believes in themselves could possibly succesfull.
Better grab an imagianary friend soon Hump or they are gonna lock you away!! I'm gonna pick Obi Wan Kenobi... he'll know what to do.
May the Farce be with you hump,

Dromedary Hump said...

Obi is a good choice. But becareful... when one person has an imaginary invisible friend they call it crazy. When millions do, they call it a religion.

Funny how there is no mental disease which manefests itself as lack of belief in God/gods. But there are a number of mental illnesses and emotional conditions which are manefested in pronounced religiosity(hyper-religious).

I guess Chesterton didn't know about those, or more likely suffered from one.

Contents under pressue said...


Based on Xian Apol's quote, GK seems to be talking more about true, arrogant, blinding conceit here, rather then the smug self-confidence we as non-theists exhibit.

Ironically, the conceit GK talks about tends to be prevalent among televangelists, conservative priests, and firebrand pastors who fancy themselves as God's voice/representative/avatar/proxy on earth.

Dromedary Hump said...

Yes, I think that's a good observation.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Arrogant, aggressive, intolerant?

Yep. That's us.

Pat covers this quite well.

Dromedary Hump said...


Thank you for that!

As I wrote in my book, unless Europe wakes up and smells the stench of creeping islamic radiclism;unless they drop the PC genteelity of kowtowing to Muslim demands for silencing freedom; hey will continue down the path of selling their birthright to a people whose ideology is to dismember western culture and impose their own in its place.

Pat has it exctly right.