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September 9, 2006

Have Atheists Become News?

And is this piece from the Columbus Dispatch (not the first we've found recently) filled with more interesting quotes than is usual in news stories or am I just prejudiced?

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at September 9, 2006 11:22 PM


Found this site while googling for 'gods'!!
Thought the book is a goddamn good idea.
Meanwhile here's something god-related that came out in the papers today: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1973682.cms

Posted by: MAHARAJADHIRAJ at September 10, 2006 8:27 AM

Hi there! I'm the "mom" that was talked about in the article. Just wanted to thank you for getting the link out there!
I'm looking forward to your book!!

Posted by: Cassandra at September 10, 2006 9:59 AM

I think you're definitely right about that Mitch. Unfortunately, I think most people's experiences with atheists comes solely from confrontations with the loudest and most extreme amongst you. A little media attention for your average, run-of-the-mill nonbeliever is well overdue and would go a long way towards combatting the sterotypes many people hold not necessarily through hostility towards atheists but through well-meaning ignorance. My recommendation: Come out of the closet.
Before "coming out" became the centerpiece of personal and communal gay activism, most people were only familiar with the most outrageous gay people and the worst gay stereotypes. By coming out and fighting for fair, balanced media attention, we've turned that around quite a bit. We still have a long way to go, however, as media "balance" often means treating homophobic stereotypes and misinformation as equivalent to scientifically-based, rational assessments of homosexuality. Personally, in my many years of activism, I've been approached by countless people after a speech or panel or personal encounter who thanked me for giving them the answers to their questions about homosexuality, the ones they were often afraid to ask b/c they thought it would offend. "No one's ever explained it to me quite like that before. I completely understand now. I'm going to come out/offer my support to my gay relative/stand up when I hear people attacking gay people now." are probably the most beautiful words in the English language. I count myself privileged to have heard them.

Posted by: Anonymous at September 10, 2006 11:13 AM

Okay, that was not meant to be an anonymous post. I'm not hiding, really.

Posted by: Melinda Barton at September 10, 2006 11:34 AM

I wish you well as you write. There's some pretty good stuff here.

I don't know if you've seen my blog yet, but you can visit it here.

Posted by: John W. Loftus at September 11, 2006 1:52 PM


It is curious how we each come to reason our way out of the myths we have been taught.(Visited your blog)

But I find as much to distrust in an organized evangelical attempt at sharing the anti-theist ideology as I do in any other organized thinking.

One can neither save someone else from Hell or Chaos. Do not exchange one bad answer for another.

The world does not need to be saved, neither from Christians, Muslims, or unbelievers.
The only thing unbalanced in the universe, as far as we are concerned, is our view of our place in it. We cannot stand the idea that we are not the center.

As our minds shine light on the farthest reaches of the Universe, even back to the beginning of time and space, even still these minds cannot see themselves or understand their being.

JW Saul

Posted by: Jay Saul at September 11, 2006 3:11 PM

Organized thinking?...as opposed to thinking for oneself? What is meant here? Are you an existentialist? I am a freethinker first and an atheist second.

Why I am debunking Christianity may not be as blatant as the eye-catching blog title sounds, since this is my motivation.

Are you an agnostic then? If so, you offer no answer to riddle of this existence, and as such you can only write the history of particular ideas.

But what we really need is someone who will stake out an answer and defend it.

Posted by: John W. Loftus at September 11, 2006 5:58 PM

What we really need is to stop asking questions that are beyond our understanding. We certainly do not need more theological answers. There is too much suffering to waste time on questions of God or Jesus. Is it not better to be a religious fool of a caregiver than an intelligent and reasonable asshole? One's value to the community is determined by how they act, not by what they think or think they believe in.

I agree with almost everything I read on your blog and I admire your passion. Yet I feel you are wasting your time trying to change people minds--not that there is anything wrong with that, it is your time. (And is this not an attempt to change yours? Hmmmm...)

It is my experience that no one knows what an existentialist is any more than they know what a Christian is or an atheist is. No one is any of those things. Everyone has a unique version of reality--even if they don't think they do. We do not even try to communicate but the smallest little part of our internal worlds.

By organized I was referring to your list of contributers to your debunking blog. You appear to be a group of "like minded" debunkers, an organization, if you will. Nothing more.

Posted by: Jay Saul at September 11, 2006 11:39 PM

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