Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pimping for Pat Condell

So you may or may not have noticed/realised that I am on the cusp between agnosticism and atheism. Leaning towards atheism due to my anti-religious upbringing, and my general liking for logic. I don't get how people can buy into the idea of god when it is handed to them by people in power as a reason for things.

Pat Condell is a fantastic atheist writer/video maker who's videos I love.

One of the things I find interesting is that people seem to say that atheism is 'just another religion', and that if you don't believe, then why do you have to watch videos about how much you don't believe? and so on. I don't know. I think the reason I watch people like him is because there has to be a counter to the preachers of one faith or another. A spokesman for sense and logic. Someone who notices and counters the encroachment of these faiths into the normal every day life of unbelievers.

I don't know why I felt like putting something on this blog about it. I think all the talk of 'DARWIN IS ON YOUR MONEY?!' made me realise how proud I am that I do come from somewhere that we don't have religion sneaked into every thing in some way or another. Where god isn't bandied about on our money and in speeches and by governing officials the whole time.

I don't know. But yeah... I don't get religion, I don't think I ever will.


Anonymous said...

I don't know. On of the most brilliant, accomplished, and "logical" Englishman of all-time, who is credited with perhaps the most famous adage-"Knowledge is Power", also managed to write this essay, "Of Atheism", and many other amazing essays, all of which humble me. I guess I just love essays. Some say he actually penned Shakespeare's stuff too. Anyhow, this guy could intellectually mug me if he had a 105 degree fever, so I'm going to reserve judgment for awhile.



Anonymous said...

P.S. Sorry, the link is bad. It's Sir Francis Bacon, "Of Atheism", and won't link. It's awesome, though.

NusaCat said...

Thank god I'm an atheist too!

Fortunately, even if one of those bible-thumpers gets the Republican nomination, it's pretty clear the Democratic candidate (either Hillary or Obama, probably Hillary) is going to win the election. Even if I'm wrong, just about anyone is better than Bush.

Chris Stokes said...

It gets to me as well when people counter your atheism with "atheism is just another religion" and expect their claims that if one is atheist, one is therefore a follower of a religion to hold water. Everything has an opposite, and so what is the opposite of religious faith if it is not atheism?

JJC1138 said...

I've been reading "The God Delusion" over the past couple of months (I read slow). I'm really enjoying it. It doesn't tread softly at all, and pretty thoroughly rubbishes everything about religion. For that reason I very much doubt that it will convert anyone who is already religious, but I should think it will make most agnostics/atheists feel much better about their (non-)beliefs and turn what might have been a hint of jealously towards religious people to a hint of pity instead. The idea that "faith" is a noble thing is so ingrained in our cultures that it really is helpful to have someone logically obliterate that idea so completely.

I think there's a definite trend of late for agnostics/atheists feeling less willing to tolerate religion. Blame 9/11 and President "God told me to invade Iraq" Bush, I guess.

Eek, my second essay-length comment in one day. Stop posting such interesting blogs! Must get to the Post Office...

Chris Stokes said...

^ Nihilism I suppose, but any short-sighted person who says Atheism is a religion would only say that Nihilism is "just another religion."

Simon said...

great video - thanks for the link

Anulab said...

Computers are the definition of logic. They take data and process it according to set rules. Programmed a certain way, they are able to adapt their behavior based on changing knowledge (as in spam filters or the supercomputers that beat world champions in games of strategy, like chess). Perhaps, our brains are extremely highly evolved supercomputers of sorts.

As robots become more and more advanced, being able to generate new data (or thought) based on an accumulation of external data and stimuli, they become more and more like living beings.

Would it be an error in logic for robots of the future to presume based on the heightened level of their capacity to "think" and their high levels of self-sufficiency that "I-just-popped-into-the-world. I-have-no-creator"? Interesting?

shadx said...

I just came across Albert10110
who is also eloquent and differently humorous. (Oh and his rip about "fair and balanced" media is great as well.)
I've been closer to finding some "label" when the issue arises and it seems atheism is pretty close; I still have metaphysical beliefs(quantum spiritual science?->soul->energy->stop here); even reincarnation regardless of hindu influence,
but atheism seems near appropriate and it's great the stigma is cracking.
(anyone pondered why a Catholic doesn't have a Hindu revalation and vice-versa?)

Nathan said...

Pat Condell is awesome

about your blog: I'd say that atheism requires faith in saying that there definitely isn't a god. we still haven't figured out where all the universe came from.

If there is a "god(s)" I seriously doubt they even knows we're here or is benevolent.

Perhaps millions of universes are created temporarily every time a nuclear bomb explodes.

perhaps we're a temporary universe in someone else's dimension

I think it takes much less faith to be an atheist and I generally find their core beliefs to be excellent.

Anonymous said...

Life's too short.
Organised(man made)Religion sucks and any God(s) would agree with me.
Nuf said!!!

Anonymous said...

Ps every single damed thing is based upon Faith as we can never prove anything!so no need to worry that we will ever get bored because we know everything.Just because a thing happens the same way each time and we give it a name and a description that does not mean we know what the hell it is.
What is matter?
What is Energy?

Anonymous said...

Pps Thanks for letting me get my 2 pence woth out of me. I guess i had more to say than i thought.But it really annoys me when people claim to understand things.What the hell are WE anyway and WHAT IS LIFE?

shadx said...

A hooker! -
"I'm anything you want me to be"
So get your rocks off while you're here cause you're paying, otherwise you wouldn't be here.
Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Ppps Sorry if anyone thought i was taking a pop at them.My comments are made in general about the way WE ALL tend perceive things.I'm not as intolerent as i may seem to be.So no offence intended to anyone here ok and sorry for ranting on in your comments Bryony.

God said...

i am too real :(

streakfreak said...

One of the things I find most objectionable about religion is how children are introduced to it so early on. A child doesn't have the capacity to reason out whether a religion makes sense to them or not. But they often get it shoved down their throats by their parents because of what their parents believe, and they follow it blindly, because they are children. It's totally unfair to them.

You want to bring your child into your religion? You want them to think how you do? Play fair. Reason with them when they've learned how to think. Don't brainwash them.

Anonymous said...

I like the fact that the hate comments on Pats videos all come from those who profess love and harmony!!

streakfreak said...

I swear, I made my previous comment before I watched the video. I swear! I know it so looks like I just copied part of what he said. Oy...

Anonymous said...

Thanks. That is an interesting video.

You might enjoy the following items:

"The God Delusion" (R. Dawkins)
"God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" (C. Hitchens)
"Middle Eastern Mythology" (S. Hooke)
"The Quest for Consciousness" (C. Koch)
"Mysticism and Logic" (B. Russell)
"Novum Organum" (F. Bacon)
"The New Atlantis" (F. Bacon)
"Letters from the Earth" (M. Twain)
(a fun satire)

With respect to the (recently) frequently-mentioned Sir Bacon,
"Novum Organum" is a truly lengthy effort; it warns against blindly following conventions and approximately tries to establish the scope of the knowledge of the time - it is from a time before any significant empirical understanding of biology, chemistry or physics had been established. Even Descartes' Book on analytic geometry (La Geometrie, 1637) had not yet been written. The second work, "The New Atlantis," is a fictional account of the discovery of a Christian Utopia, Bensalem.

Interestingly, towards the end of Novum Organum, Bacon briefly mentions the Mpemba Effect (warm water freezing faster than cold water under certain conditions) - this is also mentioned in Aristotle.

It seems that Bacon could not free himself from his own 'Idols of the Theater, or of Systems,' as he named them. One may see the irony in Bacon having written - among many other of his unintended ironies:

"So much, then, for the mischievous authorities of systems, which are founded either on common notions, or on a few experiments, or on superstition."
Novum Organum, LXII-LXVI


P.S. Of course, everyone has a right to believe as he or she desires.

Anonymous said...


While I hardly think a full discussion of Bacon will make it here, you again offer some worthy insights. However, you don't do well to penalize the man for living 500 years ago. Surely, you don't think Aristotle or Bacon would be any less important to us if they were here now, or that Bacon's view of Atheism would be any different because of advances since that time. Along those lines, I do favor anulab's offering, and it tangentially reminds me of Bacon's dog/man reference.

By the way, I didn't mean any offense to you in my reply elsewhere, but whether it's here or there, I still come away from your posts thinking the same thing, whether to explain your views about America, or Bacon: "Don't let perfect be the enemy of good."

Do you have a blog?


Jason W said...

Back in my early/mid teens I was somewhere between agnosticism and atheism, I hadn't quite decided for sure. Approximately 10 years on, I am definitely an atheist.

I agree completely with this video and also God bless atheism by the same author. Be good or you'll be punished.

Hmm, sounds like Blunty3000's recent video about how SANTA is a tool of EVIL OPPRESSION!. Christmas, birthdays, Valentine's Day, etc are all too commerical. Don't buy people gifts because your calendar says to. You're doing it wrong :/


Bryony: I'd love to hear your thoughts on Christmas and consumerism. Maybe a vlog? :)

shadx said...

I'm glad you mentioned those books anon, I should've read half of them years ago by now...
I really don't think life is a just hooker and it's all about getting rocks off; regardless of belief it'd be a shame to not at least strive to be useful in some way and have a purpose.
I still have issues with the label and the either/or, this or that/black and whiteness between theism and atheism.
I don't want to say "I'm this or that" in one word considering the issue; not confused about it or certain. Just not theism.

butterfly2729 said...

Take it from a previous athiest.

Logic and rational thinking do link with Religion. However it's irrational to just say it's all by coincidence/chance/big bang!

I mean is it not rational to believe that something made this entire Universe and everything in it?? It could not just appear from nothing.

How you can promote Pat Condel is beyond me as he is such an arogant, disgusting, insulting old, man.
And people say the older the wiser?? Whatever! My 10 year old brother Alan has more manners and etiquette.

As I have watched many of your videos I can tell you are not dumb, all that is needed is an open mind and to ask questions and seek knowledge. You go onto stickam right? There is a room there that can help called 'Islam Talk' and people can tell you about other religions too and you can see for yourself which is true and correct.

Don't think i'm trying to revert you right here right now - but i am just advising. Plus if you have clearer info on such a controversial religion - that wouldn't hurt now would it?????


Anonymous said...

RE:Atheism Agnosticism and Theism.
Logic tends to imply that the presence of uncertainty makes us Agnostic or Agnostic theists at most.