Tag Archives: Atheism

S.E. Cupp, The Atheist-Hating Atheist?

“I really aspire to be a person of faith some day.” (12:32)

Does that sound like an atheist to you?

S.E. Cupp made a fall 2009 appearance on CSPAN. “Skip to 9:46,” she said.

“You say you are an atheist,” notes interviewer Brian Lamb.

“I am,” Cupp acknowledges. “But I’m not a militant atheist. I’ve never understood the angry atheist.”

Oh, right, of course, S.E. The militant atheists ruin everything with their countless dogma-inspired wars.

Now never mind that your hero George W. Bush (no, really, she says so in the video)’s worthless Iraq War seems to be partially inspired by his Christian beliefs — I’m sure it’s a significant group of atheists whose beliefs cause violence.

Never mind, as well, that failing to give science and reason a voice harms those who would be misled about evolution and coerced into donating to a man who lies to a trusting flock every Sunday. Never mind that keeping one’s lack of belief “under a bushel” makes it that much easier to consider our country a Christian nation, that much easier to write off atheists as people with a fundamental problem, even if they are your own son. Never mind that complete deference to the religious gives parents a right to deny their children access to real doctors, settling instead for fatal faith healing.

No, Cupp isn’t an angry atheist. Not like those of us who hate God. Seriously, she said that to Bill Maher!

Now it doesn’t take much wisdom to understand that it doesn’t make much sense for someone to hate a person they don’t believe exists. I expect even Christians with an IQ above 65 to grasp this concept. It’s a goddam given that atheists get it. There are many reasons for atheists to be upset with religion (not somebody’s fairytale god). So for Cupp to spout off with this nonsense is just unbelievable. She can’t possibly be an actual atheist, can she? At risk of bumping into the True Scotsman territory, I’ll say she’s certainly not like any atheist I’ve ever met.

I’ve been an atheist for quite a while. I was fascinated by religion at a very young age and my parents always encouraged me to explore my religious inclinations. I went to a Catholic high school and I just decided, early on, that I didn’t buy it, it wasn’t for me, but I’m envious. I’m envious of the faithful, so I defend the faithful at every opportunity I get. (10:25)

Cupp repeatedly uses the word “yet,” as in “[faith] hasn’t found me yet.” For someone who is, by definition, pretty sure that religions are untrue, this is a very curious thing to say. How is she possibly an atheist?

S.E., the supposed atheist, notes that religious people are not deluded on Bill Maher’s show. What?! Do I even need to add any commentary here? Heck, Protestants consider Catholics deluded for thinking they can pray to Mary — but Cupp doesn’t think any of the myriad (an SAT vocab word she just loves to use to make her look smart along with those “geeky” glasses) religions out there are founded on delusions? “I understand the appeal [of religion],” she says. Okay. But the appeal of a religion and its truth value — whether or not a believer is in fact deluded — are completely orthogonal (a synonym for “unrelated” that Cupp may not have reached in her SAT prep book yet).

I’m sorry. I may have implied she hasn’t gone to college yet. That’s just not true! Cupp frequently mentions — in both the videos I link to — that she’s undergone a rigorous education and is working on her Masters… in religious studies. So you know she’s a pro! If she says religion is Good and we should be envious of those who have it, well, who are we to argue with edumacated larnin’s?

But wait! Cupp hates those liberal educated academic Christ-hating bastards! Really. Listen to why she prefers G. W. Bush to Barack Obama (13:40):

[Bush] had a conviction… that required him to answer to someone else when he went to bed at night. Not to the State, and not to himself.
I don’t see the same kind of reverence in some of our other recent Presidents. … I also think Barack Obama… doesn’t have a lot of his own convictions. I think they’ve been informed by academia, and sort of the Chicago community organizing circuit, and so many different influences that I don’t think he has a visceral feeling on a great many issues. And that’s a problem for me. I think he’s easily influenced.

Hold on. Cup supposedly doesn’t have Bush’s religious conviction! There’s nothing stopping her from running around, raping, murdering, and lying in office! Oh, wait, Bush lied. I guess he still breaks commandments.

As an atheist, I could never imaging electing — voting for — an atheist president. (15:30)


Elsewhere, she criticizes Obama for acknowledging that atheists exist. I kid you not: “Obama delivered another slight to religious America when he became the first president in the history of the United States to mention atheists.” Holy shit. Let’s ignore for now that other Presidents have certainly mentioned atheists. How dare Obama not sweep S.E.’s own existence under the rug! She must be thrilled by the Senior Bush’s anti-atheist statement, “I do not consider Atheists to be patriots nor citizens of the United States. This is one Nation Under God.” Now that’s the way atheist political commentators like to be treated! Wait, no, that would be only impostors like Cupp.

I’m not getting into whether Bush or Obama are good presidents — I’m just saying that 1) it’s hard to argue religion makes for better rulers and 2) S.E. isn’t a real atheist.

I’m sorry for giving this troll any attention. I’ll strive to never to mention her again.

Moving on!

On Speaking Out

Implicit in the use of the term “militant atheists” is the assumption that, having no religion, atheists have no place discussing it. And nested in that assumption, Russian-doll style, is this one: It’s no use dissuading anyone from religion, because hey, what’s the harm?

But that’s where we run into problems. Religion kills.

I have begun tagging the problems with religion as “What’s The Harm”.

Let’s get started:

  • Wars, crusades, inquisitions, gunpoint missionaries
  • Faith healing, heartbreakingly forced upon children
  • Circumcision and genital mutilation
  • Separating families (heck, even Jesus advocating leaving your family to follow him)
  • Spreading scientific illiteracy and general ignorance
  • Exorcisms performed on victims who are simply either mentally ill or gay

Why speak out? For a better world.

Militant Atheism

“Militant Atheism” is one of the most insultingly ignorant terms ever.

Number of wars started in the name of atheism: 0
Number of wars started in the name of a particular god: Unknown, probably a majority

Simply put, it’s wrong to call an atheist “militant” because they refuse to prentend to be religious, or because they decline to be reverent for superstition.

Consider this.

What do you call a vocal believer? A missionary or evangelist.

What actions denote a vocal believer? Visiting neighbors in attempts to convert them, passing religiously-based laws to restrict others’ activities (hello, Prop 8), and in many times and places in this world, possibly participating in – and certainly not protesting – conversions at knifepoint (e.g. many places in the current Middle East, or most of Dark Age Christian Mediavel Europe).

What do you call a vocal unbeliever? “Militant.” Yes, because of those bloody atheist inquisitions. </sarcasm> What might a vocal atheist do? I don’t see them knocking on doors. I suppose they might joke at the expense of superstitions, or criticize religion. In army uniform, apparently. Atheist color guard, march!

Proof no God Answers Prayers


  • Billions of people around the world all:
    • Pray to god or gods for wisdom, enlightenment, and guidance (e.g. “grace”)
    • Are at least somewhat serious in their prayer, and open to a response from their deity
  • Most people are the religion of their parents
  • Never in the history of the world has a religion spontaneously appeared in a second location (i.e. without a missionary or other cultural exchange)
  • Every religion has had at least one prophet or person to whom the religion was revealed.

Proof by contradiction

Assume that a God exists who listens to people who pray to God as they know him and who at least sometimes answers prayers.

Then we would could God to answer prayers for religious enlightenment by revealing the true religion to the person praying to him, perhaps making that person a prophet, as he has done before.

However if that were true, we could expect not only a significant number of believers of every other religion converting to the one “true” religion, but we could expect this to happen without any exposure to said religion.

This does not match observations of the real world.

Therefore, no god exists who answers prayers for knowledge or enlightenment and, because this is such a basic request, it is likely no god answers prayers at all.


I know it isn’t an ironclad or scientific proof, but it’s a hell of a lot stronger than “Isn’t the world pretty? It must be created by the gods in this particular holy book,” don’t you think?

Can Christian Faith Ever be Rational?

VJack over at Atheist Revolution recently asked, “Could one arrive at Christianity through rational means?

That actually depends on how you define Christianity.

The select few who call themselves Christians without subscribing to core modern Christian beliefs (the divinity of Jesus, virgin birth, triune God-head, vicarious redemption), taking the Bible as a collection of myths and advice, could have be Christians for rational reasons. Following the Jesus character’s advice regarding how to treat one’s neighbor is a worthy goal. I don’t see any reason why this “Christianity” would be necessarily irrational.

However, anyone who believes in the same God most Christians do — a miracle-working slacker who loves and damns everyone — has a logically impossible belief-set. Heck, I used those core beliefs to prove such a god would be evil. None of it makes any sense. That kind of religion can never be rational.

Response to “Whatever makes people happy”

A common defense of theism and religion in general is that, while irrational faith-based belief has no grounding in reality, it’s fine because it helps people cope with real life.

The most obvious response is to point out that religion hurts people besides the believer:

  1. War. Obviously.

  2. Intolerance.

  3. Child abuse.

  4. Terrorism.

    On May 21, 2005, LaRose haunted by what appears to be a sad and hard life began drinking heavily. Depressed over her father’s recent death, LaRose in an attempt to take her life, swallowed eight to 10 prescription muscle relaxers. Failing to kill herself, Colleen LaRose was now at a crossroads in her life. After months of receiving counseling for depression and alcoholism, LaRose apparently found spiritual rebirth in the form of Islam. Unfortunately, the brand of Islam that gave her purpose to live was a brand that advocated death to America, the West and Israel.

    When looks can kill: The Story of Jihad Jane AKA Colleen Renee LaRose

  5. Et cetera.

More subtly, but just as valid, is the observation that religion doesn’t even necessarily make the believer happier.

  1. While the most common “benefit” of belief is “coping with death,” studies have shown religious types actually have the hardest time coping with their own death.

    Case closed!

    But if that didn’t convince you, read on.

  2. People I know in real life have been very much hurt by their religion. A family member, for example, is incapable with dealing with human sexuality in any but the most conservative context, to the detriment of this person’s personal life.

  3. A number of friends of mine have broken up with significant others because they found they loved them “more than they loved Jesus.” (This kind of blows my mind, since that means their closest relationship is with an imaginary, Aramaic-speaking friend who wants to send most people to hell.)

  4. As recounted in The God Virus, religion can even make priests miserable. The author of the God Virus tells of a priest so overcome with Catholic-inspired guilt over his occasional masturbation — that he ends up hating himself for it, unable to think of much else.

Christmas with an Atheist

My attitude towards Christmas is as follows:

  • I appreciate the holiday season, as I do Thanksgiving, for the way it brings families together, especially extended families.
  • I tend to resent the forced gift-giving materialism aspect of it, naturally.
  • I object to the efforts of some to try to make the holiday Christ-centric. It’s common knowledge the solstice was chosen as the date for Christ’s birth to ease the (forced) conversion of new Christians.

So what does an atheist like myself do?

  • I celebrate “the holidays” with minimal, practical or thoughtful gift-giving.
  • I wish friends a happy holiday.
  • I don’t freak out or correct anyone who innocently wishes me a “merry Christmas,” not because I am afraid to offend, but because I don’t want to make anyone sorry for the kind act of attempting to spread some cheer! And of course, Christmas is fairly secular for a lot of people, so it’s not like they just wished me a “merry feast day of Our Lady” or some such completely, overtly faith-based thing.

Happy holidays, and make the best of 2010!

Blind Faith

From Gina’s story of why she is an atheist:

Here is the problem, as I see it, with “blind faith.” If someone came to me and said I must buy a house, I must live in this house for my whole life, but I can’t look it over too hard, and I can’t fix anything that is wrong with it, I just have to have “faith” that it is a sound house, that I can live with the things that are wrong with it – I would say “no way.” I’m going to have this thing inspected, I’m going to look in the basement, check out the roof, and if there are things wrong with it, I’m going to fix it. I would never buy a house on blind faith; I would expect proof that it was a good deal. Yet I am expected to give over my life and soul to some god based on faith, with no proof that he was really there. Sorry, no way.

Absurd: “Toddler Jesus”

So if Jesus was God in fully-human form…

  • Did he know from birth every moment of his future? If so, how can that really count as a “fully human” experience?

  • With the above in mind, why would Jesus have ever been born? Why grow up? Wouldn’t it make more sense for Him to have appeared fully-grown for the years of His ministry?

Unless @ToddlerJesus can explain those questions, I’m going to roll with the assumption there was never a divine Jesus.

(Not that it matters much anyway, since the Christian God is evil.)

Science and Religion, part 1

Can we ever really know anything?

That is a question I hope to answer in a longer blog post. For now, let’s rephrase the question: “What is a better way to know things? From science or religion?”

Well, given that

  1. The foundation of all religions is faith, and
  2. Faith means something is not scientifically proven, or even logically impossible, yet taken to be true (“believed”) regardless, and
  3. Since no religion has been scientifically proven to be true (that is, they are all taken on faith), then
  4. Any religion is equally valid, so
  5. Take Christianity (defined such that the Bible is taken to be true) for example, which is perfectly valid with faith as our only guide, and then
  6. Consider the many, many places the Bible has been shown to be incorrect.

Thus, faith leads to incorrect conclusions. Science could basically win by default, but to be fair, it needs examined as well. I am not going to do that now, though. Since you are reading this online, I assume you have already conceded that science works.