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View Diary: Michigan country club cancels speaker due to his belief in God (242 comments)

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  •  FIrst degree of separation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eclectablog, RageKage

    I have mutual close contacts with Dawson, and have expressed both extreme admiration and frustration with what he does.

    He is the most eloquent and brilliant author of biological prose alive today, bar none. If thinkers haven't read "Ancestors' Tale" they should. It describes the world of life in a manner as monumental as the model "Canterbury Tales" centuries ago.

    But science is a totally different "way of knowing" than faith. I have a real problem when the most brilliant evolutionary biologist of our age takes on a personal vendetta against religion.

    Mixing apples and oranges doesn't help anyone. But our mutual friend explained: "He's had so much grief from religious folks that his response is understandable."

    •  Speculating here, but could it be because (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib

      according to the vast majority of people, being an atheist is just about the worst thing you can possibly be in this world.

      I don't know what to call myself, but I don't believe in a single all powerful entity who is jealous, vengeful, and simply cruel enough to create us, leave us to somehow figure out how to worship him correctly or at all, and not succumb to the horrors he inflicts upon the least of us, but still manage to believe what most other moral, ethical people do.  Is there a name for that?

      Because most people would say that makes me an atheist (or a satan worshiper, yes I've been called that among other things) I have had to teach my children that we are not atheist's, that we believe in some kind of higher power, just not any one religion's version.   Because when i was foolish enough to let my eldest daughter go unprepared into middle-school years, she was called a satan worshiper, a whore, a heathen, a savage, lesbian (really didn't get that), and that she was going to burn in hell.  And we live in Connecticut!!

      It would be enough to make any person, let alone a brilliant mind, feel alone and hated in this world.  If I had such brilliance, I certainly would use it to defend myself at the least.  Mostly I just ask my attackers to remember that we are supposed to be tolerant of all views, as I try to be of theirs.

      Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

      by Back In Blue on Thu Oct 13, 2011 at 08:56:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The hardest thing to believe... (0+ / 0-)

        It's not hard to believe that there is "power out there" that is greater than we can perceive right now. It is very hard to believe that power cares! But it's important to realize that the jealousy and vengence are reflections of the humans who seek to represent "god" as their own and get power that way, rather than to simply admit that those are OUR characteristics.

        BTW, one of the reasons that as a school administrator I'm skeptical of home schooling is that many parents try it for awhile and then send their young adolescents "unprepared" into the middle school where their creativity and eclectic approach to learning would be squelched.

        •  we are god and it is us (0+ / 0-)

          There's no doubt that the jealousy and vengeance are human characteristics among our many, many faults.  But these characteristics are also god's characteristics according the bible (and most other "good" books.)  God is jealous, vengeful, angry, wrathful.  So how can we blame humans for emulating their god?  That's why Rick Perry and NAR can get up there and be proud of executing people.  It's why religion can be used so effectively from the beginning of it's history to convince people to go to war for and violate the very tenets of its teachings in the name of those teachings.  I've never actually thought this before, but basically, why are people being held to a standard that "god" himself does not have to live up to.  

          To be clear, I'm not dismissing the messages of love, compassion, charity, and hope that are found in most of these books.  They are the only valuable messages found in these books.  I just cannot subscribe to a system that uses love as a cover for it's own violence and hate.

          The point of my comment was that I sympathize with your description of Dawson's "personal vendetta" against religion, especially because his methods are non-violent. I don't actually want to do anything to anyone's religion.  I do want all the people who follow these religions to leave everyone else who does not follow their particular beliefs alone and stop asking them to join in the horrors they create.

          Do you know what it means to be considered "godless"?  Have you ever have someone attack you with the righteous scorn and bile reserved only for atheists?  I have never seen love in the eyes of those who do and do it in their god's name.

          Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

          by Back In Blue on Fri Oct 14, 2011 at 06:53:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  "...according to the vast majority of people, (0+ / 0-)

        being an atheist is just about the worst thing you can possibly be in this world."

        According to polls, approximately half of Americans would vote for an atheist for president, so the hatred can't be that deep or widespread.  Similarly, for all the charges of science hatred (i.e., hatred of) against our population, approx. 60 percent of Americans accept the truth of evolution.  Obviously, that's not nearly enough, but neither is it the picture painted by pop atheism.

        •  I'm only sharing my personal experience. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not aware, and find it hard to believe, there's that many Americans wiling to vote for an atheist.  Could you cite some?

          Regardless, my experience does not bear that out and I've spent my entire life living in the liberal northeast.  I would be happy to see those numbers changing, especially as we are making such huge progress in this country on so many other social issues.  But isn't it informative that the one kind of discrimination that was made illegal in our first amendment is one that has taken the longest to make such progress?

          Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

          by Back In Blue on Sat Oct 15, 2011 at 01:36:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The last time I tried to post a link... (0+ / 0-)

            it vanished.  But I found the stats at, which reports that 53 percent of Americans would not vote for an atheist--which is, of course, an unacceptably high percentage.  Nevertheless, it does mean that 47 percent would, and I tend to believe that people vote more liberally than they answer poll questions.  (Of course, I could be wrong, and maybe it's the reverse!)  But people do seem to err on the side of tolerance--witness our first black president, which I thought I wouldn't live to see.  (A black male, granted....)

            One of my issues with opinion polls is that their questions are leading, by definition (especially when they're posed as an either/or).  People are put on the spot to weigh in on issues that they may not, in actual practice, care that much about.

            Karl Rove, after all, is a nonbeliever.  No one elected him, true, but he continues to manipulate the most gullible believers, when he isn't one himself.  And no one on the right seems to care much when someone like Reagan claims to be devout yet gives no evidence of being so.  So there's the question of just how much the religious right really cares about these things vs. how they prefer to pose in that regard.

            Disclosure: I'm a liberal Christian who believes in electing the best qualified Democrats for office.  An atheist who supports single-payer health care, who's willing to get our troops the hell out of the Middle East, who's willing to stand up for Roe vs. Wade, and isn't in the pocket of Wall St., has my vote and my blessing.

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