Atheism and race
Sep 14th, 2011 by Unamused
Happy birthday to me. I’m 22 now.
Okay, back to business.
A pretty college girl discussing HBD & diversity!
How could I resist?
The pretty college girl in question, “HeyRuka” (probably not her real name), is an atheist video-blogger who recently came out as a race realist (or, as her opponents put it, a “racist”).
Atheists are (evidently) a very diverse group of people, in a good way: they disagree about almost everything. However, the sort of atheist that likes to argue about atheism on the Internet, like HeyRuka’s opponents, tends to have equally strong opinions on controversial subjects quite separate from (non-)religion, about which they do not exercise the same skepticism — gender relations, for example. We witnessed the feminist group-think of self-proclaimed “skeptics” in the aftermath of the Rebecca Watson-Richard Dawkins fiasco.
Now, thanks to HeyRuka, we get to watch those ever-so-skeptical atheists defend thoroughly unscientific ideas about race, through a combination of lousy argumentation and sheer ignorance.
I find nothing less interesting than arguing semantics, so let’s get this out of the way. Theism means belief in the existence of gods, so I define atheism, sensibly enough, as lack of belief in the existence of gods.
Some people who do believe in gods try to discredit atheism by supplying a variety of other, stupid definitions. Oftentimes they declare that atheism means something like absolute certainty that no gods exist, or have ever existed. Then, since it is impossible to know anything with absolute certainty, they conclude that atheists do not exist, causing all atheists to vanish simultaneously in a blinding flash of lavender light (the color of logical contradictions), which conveniently alleviates them of the responsibility of addressing the non-existent atheists’ arguments, at which point they can safely return to doing whatever it is they do all day, probably revolving around their own absolute certainty that gods do exist.
Another stupid definition of atheism is belief in the non-existence of gods. You may have noticed that no one bothers to distinguish between a lack of belief in Santa Claus, and a belief that Santa Claus does not exist. That is because such a distinction is useless. The real purpose of this other, equally stupid definitional gambit is two-fold: (1) to distract from all the reasons why one might lack a belief in gods and/or believe in a lack of gods, which is a much more interesting topic than the nature of disbelief in general, and (2) to conclude that atheism is just another religion, according to some overly broad definition of religion that no one actually uses, and by conflating ordinary belief (e.g., “I believe I smell a gas leak”), with religious faith (e.g., “I believe the creator of the universe and all living things cares if I eat fish on Friday”).
Then there are the agnostics, those poor ambivalent bastards, the overwhelming majority of whom do not believe (i.e., lack belief) in gods, making them atheists by definition. They’ve just noticed that it’s generally impossible to prove the non-existence of supernatural beings, and furthermore have convinced themselves that atheism necessarily involves certainty, faith, or at least positive claims that certain such beings don’t exist. I’ll waste no more time on them.
Who’s an atheist?
According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, 1.6 percent of Americans identify as atheist, 2.4 percent as agnostic, and 6.3 percent as secular and unaffiliated with any religion, which means there are at least 30 million atheists (by my definition; “non-believers,” if you prefer) in America today. I’m sure there are plenty more who nevertheless identify as Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, New Age, and whatever “religious unaffiliated” means.
You could say there’s a little atheism in all of us — actually, a lot. Christians are atheists with regard to every god ever worshiped by man, except Christ. Muslims make an exception only for Allah (about whom they are dangerously enthusiastic). Zoroastrians believe in Ahura Mazda, and consign Christ and Allah to the same theological scrap heap as Poseidon. But atheists are just plain atheistic.
Personally, I find the evidence in favor of the existence of gods about as convincing as the evidence in favor of the existence of slutty forest faeries. I suppose that makes me an atheist.
That said, I agree with Youth for Western Civilization that “Western culture is built on the foundation of the Greco-Roman, Christian, and indigenous folk traditions that created the social norms, values, practices, and high culture of Europe and those places settled predominantly by the peoples from that area” (my emphasis). I suppose that makes me a pro-Christian atheist. In any case, I don’t talk much about it.
I look forward to your comments. Next time, I’ll discuss HeyRuka’s ideas about race, and the sadly predictable backlash from so-called “skeptics.”