Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Good Reads/Random Cool Sites (2/1/2011)

"Dictionary Atheists. Boy, I really do hate these guys. You've got a discussion going, talking about why you're an atheist, or what atheism should mean to the community, or some such topic that is dealing with our ideas and society, and some smug wanker comes along and announces that "Atheism means you lack a belief in gods. Nothing more. Quit trying to add meaning to the term." As if atheism can only be some platonic ideal floating in virtual space with no connections to anything else; as if atheists are people who have attained a zen-like ideal, their minds a void, containing nothing but atheism, which itself is nothing. Dumbasses."

Donald Rumsfeld, Defender of the Constitution (really).

Exceptional American beliefs about mobility and equality.

The Web is running out of addresses.

Flickr accidentally deletes a user's 4,000 pictures and can't recover them.

Meg Whitman outspent Jerry Brown by over $140 million (and lost).

Glenn Beck: still America's greatest performance artist. "The entire Mediterranean is on fire." Because a snowball is starting to roll...

Here's a shocker: somebody responded to public criticism by apologizing and taking care of the problem.

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  1. "...Atheism means you lack a belief in gods. Nothing more. ..."

    I've been guilty of using this sentence on many an occasion in the past, but not in a 'smug wanker' way. (But that's not to say that I'm not, sometimes, a smug wanker, by any means!)

    I'm usually utterly frustrated when I throw it into the mix, usually in response to a know-it-all theist who's assuming he knows what kind of person I am because I'm an atheist. I'm really trying to shut him up. End an annoying discussion in one blow. I really can't stand being told that I must be this or that because I'm absent of any belief in any gods.

    Of course, certain characteristics can be immediately applied to the atheist - a logical mind is one thing (though, that's not to say that there aren't illogical atheists!) and, therefore, an interest in science too. But it's when the theist is thinking he's exposing your personality, the very things that make you unique, that I becomed pissed and become a 'Dictionary Atheist'.


  2. There are times when it's appropriate to get out the dictionary, e.g., your example, or when the subject is "what is atheism?" But there are people who bring it out habitually or dismissively any time the subject of atheism comes up. Those are the annoying ones.


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