Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I reply to some jackasses.

It's seems a sign of boredom a little bit like throwing my holy relics to the dogs. As I doubt anybody more than a couple people will see my reply to some aforementioned jackass buried deep on the interwebs I'll repost it here, upping that count by about 4.
I admonish you to start living a principled life. Stop using a Christian date to cash your checks and take a stand young man!

You are a parasite to living order. As the Soviet Union and China have shown us, when a parasite gets control of government, bad things happen. Only when a society is full of living philosophy can an Atheist flourish. The proof is in how the greatest Atheist thinkers have come from nations that have majority Christian populations and deep and rich histories of Christianity. There are no great Atheist thinkers coming from any other culture, even Atheist cultures!

... *grumble*

I've lived a very principled life for many many years. It's rather silly to admonish me to do such things. What do you think I do? I'll stop using BCE/CE dating systems when you stop using the names of pagan gods for the days of the week. This being Wotan's Day and really close to Thor's Day, that might be hard.

Atheist thinkers known to people in the west come from, typically, the west. As such the claim that only Christian cultures produce "thinkers" is rather silly because most cultures are going to be tainted with a good deal of Christian history. That said there are Salman Rushdie was born in a primarily Hindu culture Ayaan Hirsi Ali comes from a Muslim culture, Epicurus and some of the atheistic ancient Greeks came out of Pagan culture. On top of that, most of the major atheist thinkers throughout history and the history of opposition to religion finds its roots firmly in Enlightenment thinking.

There was once a time when everybody believed in God and the Church ran everything, it was called the Dark Ages. If democracy and secularism and Enlightenment freedoms were the result of Christian thought, why didn't they arise during the dark ages? Today in Europe there are a number of quite secular countries that are majority atheist and have the highest standards of living in Europe. Denmark, Sweden, etc score the lowest rates of violent crime, the lowest rates of infant mortality, the highest rankings as far as happiness, and some of the lowest numbers in religiosity. Likewise the United States has some of the highest infant mortality, the highest violent crime rate, the lowest levels of education, some terrible societal happiness scores and the highest religiosity. And even between individual states we find that the states with the highest religiosity have the highest infant mortality, the lowest education, and the highest crime rates. Much of history and social science seems to tell us that religion doesn't go hand in hand with happier people or healthier people. In fact, it seems rather clearly as if the more atheistic peoples of the world might have better idea of how best to live as a functional society.

There do seem to be some ways to live that are notably better and more conducive to good people than others. It may be true that putting women in burkas and preventing them from leaving the house without a male escort might lead to a more peaceful society, but I don't think it will, and I think that such things could be measured and quantified and some people may not have good things to say about the topic. We don't listen to the Taliban on subjects like genetic engineering or quantum physics because generally we don't think they have any good ideas on the subject. Likewise they may well not have good ideas when it comes to suggestions on how best to live as a happy healthy people, and furthermore it seems that the suggestions of religion might well be equally problematic and not conducive to living a good life, after all people who live according to the Bible seem to do notably worse than those who try to live a good life and do right by their fellow man.

To wit, it might be a bit of a better world if you weren't a jackass. And somehow I tend to think that you feel it's your prerogative to be a jackass because of religion, because certainly living a good life and doing right by your fellow man would notably exclude being a jackass.

I wish there was some easy job that involved detailed replies requiring a lot of information about a lot of different things to give snarky replies to jackasses on the internet. Somehow I think I'd be better off building super-intelligent robots to do my bidding. That's just my fall back plan for now.

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