This is probably going to upset a lot of people, but here it goes...
I think atheists are, generally speaking, a bunch of obnoxious, know-it-all, elitist, emotionally stunted assholes.
Now, there are almost certainly some of you who are saying to yourself, "Hey, man.... *I'm* an
obnoxious, know-it-all, elitist, emotionally stunted asshole atheist!!" Well, I did say *generally speaking* right? You can pretend that doesn't mean you. Either way, I'm sorry for you.
You see, I'm an agnostic -- I'm more than willing to admit that I don't know if there is a God -- and although if I had to put odds on the existence of a God, I wouldn't be betting on the Big Guy, I feel kinda sorry for you. (...or at least I would, if you weren't such an obnoxious, know-it-all, elitist, emotionally stunted asshole.)
So, let's take a look at some agnostics, and I'll try to point out the defining characteristics here...
The Obnoxious Atheist.
Penn Jillette claims to be an atheist. But he's "not sure". And, well, let's face it, the guy IS pretty obnoxious. (Just ask Ducky!) Fortunately, he knows a few good tricks.
"Agnostic answers the epistemological question of if things can be known. And then it's just theists and atheists after that. So once you're agnostic, you still have to choose one of the two. But of course I'm not sure."
Do I really have to choose one of the two? I don't think so. Seems like an awfully binary way of thinking. What if God is like a wavicle? Sure, I can create my own personal odds and make decisions based on them, but I don't need to turn it into a belief system. Sloppy thinking, unless you mean "believe" as in, "I believe I'll have butter on my scone this morning".
The Know-it-All Atheist.
"Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism," said the great thinker... but what about the ridiculous egotism of believing that you know everything and that God does not or can not exist?
"God does not play dice with the universe," said Einstein.
Sorry, Al, but yes... yes He does. He, in fact, loves to gamble on a regular basis!
How presumptious of you to think otherwise.
The Elitist Atheist.
I'm not prone to prayer, but if I were to make a prayer I knew would be answered, it might be "God, please save the world from Ayn Rand and her goddamn Randroids!" Ayn was a bitch on wheels... with a kickstand.
""I am an intransigent atheist, but not a militant one.. . I am fighting for reason, not against religion."
Um... no. If you were fighting for reason, you would've admitted that you really didn't know jack and that you conned all your weak-willed, groupthinking followers with your cult-of-self-serving-personality. Is it any wonder that half of Rand's followers today are neocon greedheads who desperately need to justify their antisocial behavior? (The other half being anti-social misfits who didn't drop by the Scientology office first.)
"Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong..." Or, alternately, contradictions *DO* -- or may -- exist, you don't have all the answers, and the flawed premise that your followers made was to believe in your pseudo-intellectual parlor games.
The Emotionally Stunted Atheist.
Here are two atheists -- Marilyn Manson and Anton LaVey. And hey, they're Satanists too! Go figure. And the sad thing is, these guys are far more societally functional than their fans, most of whom troll MySpace.
Sadly, while Manson and LaVey are obviously emotionally stunted, many "damaged goods" atheists are not so easy to spot. For instance, there are the women's studies majors who have a chip on their shoulder about religion, men, and society in general, who loudly proclaim that God does not exist. They'll rattle out a mantra of dogma to back up their self-imposed claims of being victimized by society and about how awful religion is, but the truth is, they were raped by their dad.... and their mom... and their brother... and their teacher... and the family dog... and their priest, the altar boys, the choir, and a pet goat. In church. ...and then they sacrificed the goat.
And as horribly tragic and wrong as their abuse was, it doesn't justify their irrational behavior and endless self-victimization. Sooner or later, you have to move on... and when you do, might I advise you bring reason -- not self-deception -- along for the ride?!
The odd thing is, these people weren't victimized because the people who did it to them were Satanists, or religious zealots, or male oppressors, but rather, simply because that's what people sometimes do in the sleepy rural backwaters of America to kill time. Hail Satan!
The Asshole Atheist.
Well, if the shoe fits...
"For myself, I do not believe in any revelation. As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities. . . The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us, and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic." - Charles Darwin
This is probably going to upset a lot of people, but here it goes...
Their findings were not optimistic.
"In southern Afghanistan, more than one quarter of those interviewed (27%) openly admitted to supporting the Taliban . . . Given the . . . respondents’ caution towards those conducting the survey it is likely that this figure of 27% is somewhat lower than the actual levels of support. . ." This number is up from only 3% in December 2005.
When asked, "Are the international troops helping you personally," only 19% answered yes in those regions controlled by Canadian troops. In regions controlled by U.S. troops, that number dropped to 6.5%. Over 80% of respondents said that they worry about feeding their families. The great majority of these Afghani men know how to fire a weapon.
The report concludes that the people of Southern and Eastern Afghanistan are excellent targets for recruitment into the Taliban ranks, who pay the equivalent of Afghanistan's average annual wage in just two months. In comparison, Afghani government troops and police average less than 20% of these wages.
Only 48% of southern Afghans now believe that their government and NATO are capable of defeating the Taliban. Similar surveys taken at the end of 2001 showed overwhelming faith in the success of the war against the Taliban.
From the report:
It is clear that the Taliban are winning the propaganda war. This victory is now having a direct effect on the war itself, through people’s perceptions of who is going to win. It is likely that this relatively high – and increasing - level of support for the Taliban will prompt further attacks, which will in turn raise levels of support and convictions of success, triggering a positive spiral of support for the Taliban. The ensuing psychological advantage coupled with the ongoing poverty crisis in southern Afghanistan will help the Taliban to recruit thousands of new fighters.
In other news, this article claims that the Taliban are widely celebrating the release of five of their prisoners after the recent hostage crisis that threatened the stability of the Italian presence in Afghanistan. Protesters railed against the Karzai government, which made deals for the life of an Italian reporter, but did treat the lives of the Afghani hostages taken with the Italian reporter with equal weight.
In Kabul, Muhammad Karim Rahimi, a spokesman for President Karzai, said that the exchange “was an exceptional measure taken because we value our relations and friendship with Italy” and that it wouldn't happen again.