Tuesday, 27 March 2012

27/3 Fox Lies about reason rally

Fox's "The rally for nothing in particular" piece by Larry Alex Taunton, starts to stray from journalism in the second paragraph referring to a celebrating belief in "nothingness". This is a misrepresentation atheism of the highest order. By abandoning superstition Atheists are free to explore the nature of things without regard to dogmatic assertions in place of facts.

Organizers say the Reason Rally is to celebrate reason and to bring together community. The event was attended by 10,000 people. A very happy well behaved crowd. Tim Minchin proclaimed "It's a pity, 300 years after the Enlightenment, we have to be here having a rally about the fucking obvious". Many themes are of concern to Atheists and Secular Americans, civil rights, freedom of thought, Discrimination on the basis of conscience, reproductive freedom, Science Education, separation of church and state as guaranteed by The first Amendment of the Constitution.

Taunton cites "abuses of religion" as "low hanging fruit". But in the religious context what really distinguishes abuses from true observation. Perhaps the catholic pedophile scandal, and the suicide bombers are low hanging fruit. Can the same be said Faith healing Christian Scientists and Jehovah's Wittinesses denying themselves and their children medical care and causing incredible suffering and living shorter lives; the Catholic prohibition on contraception has caused endless suffering throughout Africa; Religiously motivated politcal campaigns to curb the civil rights of the LGBT community and the reproductive rights of women.

Taunton claims atheism is a religion, yet according to Miraim-Webster religion is
a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
1 without God or Faith atheism fails this definition. Atheism accepts many things because their is evidence. With the rejection of the supernatural atheism fails this definition.
2 Atheist beliefs, attitudes are not religious and the are no practices. Atheism fails this definition.
3 scrupulous conformity; there is no doctrine no dogma, and nothing to conform to and indeed atheist are such a diverse groups there is such a wide variety of opinion that the formation of community has been delayed.
4 Atheism only accepts that which is evidently true; If an accepted theory is falsified, it becomes rejected an the search for a new theory or modification of an existing begins. So atheism only holds to a belief as long as it is supported by science and so fails the definition.
Taunton's charge is a misrepresentation like saying Christianity is a form of Satanism or the Atheism is a form of Satanism. Or the cat is a kind of kangaroo.
As Bill Maher famously quipped "Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position!" Taunton accuses Christopher Hitchens of being a saint and Richard Dawkins of being a high priest. These are filthy scurrilous accustions unsubstantiated. There how ever, a social phenomenon, known as fandom, it comes from agreement an appreciation of  thought.  Hitchens and dawkins are not considered holy in any fashion, their messages an fine oratory are greatly appreciated. How that is religious is beyond reason.

Taunton claims Christianty gave rise the the West as we know it. This often used credit stealing comment ignores the fact that reason, practiced by Atheists, Christians and others, actually did the heavy lifting of despite the dogma of the church and efforts of the church to suppress conclusions contrary to dogma. Two of the best known case are those of Galileo, Copernicus. Taunton quotes the Declaration of Indepence "We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal." Who's author John Adams was a probably deist.

Taunton cites Vishi Mangalwadi saying there is nothing self evident about the equality of men. That is not born out by the science. What true is the everyone thinks they are superior to everyone else.

Then comes the canard alluding to atrocities of despotic madmen of communist Soviet Union, Cambodia, Mao's China, North Korea. Taunton then follows up with accusing atheists of valuing life less than those know God. We love life it is the only life have we don't have option of after life so we try to not mess around with it.

No nation was founded atheism, that might be true but America was the first secular nation arrangements desired at the time because the various religious dominations lived in fear of each other. We find now the disparate forces of God are cooperating to take control from Secular authority or at least mold it in the image of the church.

Much of Europe was a mess after WWII and has become more secular since and remains vastly improved because of it. Yes Europe has challenges ahead Corporate mismanagement is threatening the European economy just as it in America.

Taunton quotes athiest George Washington as saying "Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." Which perhaps creates a false impression Washington was most likely a deist who also hoped that "bigotry and superstition" would be overcome by "truth and reason" in the United States.

How can we explain this canard filled crapfest? Look at the last sentence of the mission statement of the Fixed Point Foundation of which Taunton is executive director.

Fixed Point is an expression of the Church speaking into the culture, challenging the unbelief of skeptics and restoring the Christian’s confidence that the Bible is precisely what it claims to be—True.

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