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 Ken Ham: The NEW atheists are coming.......
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2007 :  06:12:09  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
AND WE ARE GOING TO EAT YOUR CHILDREN!!



I put this in General Discussion instead of Religion simply because I don't consider this nonsense religious. I didn't put it in Humor because, really, it ain't all that funny.
quote:
The “new atheists”
by Ken Ham, president, AiG–USA

January 16, 2007

We've warned you about them before on our website—but now they're on a much more aggressive march all across America. No longer are they just staying in their classrooms or writing books and articles in the comfort of their offices. They are “the new atheists,” and they are aggressively going after your children, your liberties, and your faith!

Would that it were true....

Everybody needs an adversary, I suppose, and atheists are easy targets due largely to an almost less-than-minority status. Wanna demonize someone; go for the atheists. No believers like them, so you can say 'most anything you want with a measure of impunity. Thus does Ham attempt to rally his mesmerized flock, many if not most of whom have never actually met a real, honest-to-Darwin, non-believer. Of course, they all know something of Dawkins, but he is far more visible than the rest of us, and, predictably, Ham has some selected words for him, as well as the preceding, anti-intellectual jab.

Don'tcha just hate it when people think for themselves?

I really don't know why I follow the convolutions of AiG. It's not particularly amusing, although it might be good training for an aspiring propagandist. As an atheist, I really don't care what the beliefs, or lack of such, others might hold. What I object to is the outright dishonesty that AiG, et al, employs to make their dubious case. And this is nothing new. Virtually all of the world's major faiths have done, and still do the same. Historically, it's the greatest con-game ever.

Our Kenny can walk pretty well but when he tries to dance, his knuckles bleed....




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2007 :  06:45:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
Among the rather annoying features of that, er, article is Ham's use of phantom quotes--
quote:
According to the print media and websites, the new atheists say “evangelism is a moral imperative” to spread their “good news” in “persuading people of the virtues of atheism.” They are “drawing on evolution,” and are vocally “hostile to religions,” especially “fundamentalist Christianity and Islam.” They are “feeling a real need to convert people,” and preaching an “un-gospel.” In one media report, it was stated that “at some point there is going to be enough pressure that it is just going to be too embarrassing to believe in God.”
Note all the quotes here-- all culled from mysterious "print media and websites." They're all designed to paint atheism (and by extension, evolution) as a religion, with an evangelical mission not unlike Christianity. Moreover, by ascribing all of them to "print media and websites" we're led to think that these quotes therefore carry some weight. In fact, for all we know, the "print media" could be some AiG publication, and "websites" could be some blog run by Ham or his colleagues. Or worse, the comments in quote could be completely made up.

Either way, it's rather dishonest-- hardly shocking for an outfit like AiG, but annoying nonetheless.
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leoofno
Skeptic Friend

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2007 :  08:04:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send leoofno a Private Message
I like this (talking about Dawkins' new book):
"Dawkins is more than just angry, though. He has a purpose, says a reviewer: “the whole book is meant to change people's minds.”"
Like duh! Imagine, writing a book to change minds. I suppose AiG has never done such a thing.

"If you're not terrified, you're not paying attention." Eric Alterman
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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2007 :  08:22:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by leoofno

Imagine, writing a book to change minds. I suppose AiG has never done such a thing.
Not primarily, they are mostly in it for the money.

Remember these are the guys that couldn't stand how a tiny bit of integrity might affect their book sales.

"Any religion that makes a form of torture into an icon that they worship seems to me a pretty sick sort of religion quite honestly"
-- Terry Jones
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13457 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2007 :  08:51:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
I would just once like to see some honest writing by a leading creationist. It just doesn't exist. Quote mining, cherry picking and making shit up is the norm. I think what is sad is how they lack the courage of their convictions, as evidenced by what they write. If they weren't so contemptible, I might almost pity them their ignorance.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2007 :  11:43:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
So primarily, Ham is warning his faithful that secular humanists are stooping to the same low-down tactics he uses?


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2007 :  12:12:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message


Somebody please get a vet to remove the unsightly tumor from this horse. It's very unsanitary the way it is, with the horseshit coming out above the tail.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 01/17/2007 :  13:18:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by leoofno

I like this (talking about Dawkins' new book):
"Dawkins is more than just angry, though. He has a purpose, says a reviewer: “the whole book is meant to change people's minds.”"
Like duh! Imagine, writing a book to change minds. I suppose AiG has never done such a thing.



They don't have minds! And they work on removing their followers grey matter, too. I guess that is a change.

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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Ghost_Skeptic
SFN Regular

Canada
510 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  01:37:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Ghost_Skeptic a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by HalfMooner

So primarily, Ham is warning his faithful that secular humanists are stooping to the same low-down tactics he uses?



Even worse the secular humans are proseltyzing and evangalizing - the nerve of those godless scoundrels!

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. / You can send a kid to college but you can't make him think." - B.B. King

History is made by stupid people - The Arrogant Worms

"The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism." - William Osler

"Religion is the natural home of the psychopath" - Pat Condell

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter" - Thomas Jefferson
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  01:40:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ghost_Skeptic

quote:
Originally posted by HalfMooner

So primarily, Ham is warning his faithful that secular humanists are stooping to the same low-down tactics he uses?



Even worse the secular humans are proseltyzing and evangalizing - the nerve of those godless scoundrels!



If they start lying and quote mining we will have to move in.

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
Edited by - Neurosis on 01/18/2007 01:41:03
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  03:14:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
I often drop in at NAiG to see what's going on over there. John is even less enthralled by Ham than we are. The new stuff this time includes something of a history of Ham's less-than-noble split from what is now Creation Ministries International.

I almost feel a bit sad for the CMI bunch, even Sarfati -- almost, that is to say! Ham did a rip-job on them that would do credit to any bunco artist.
quote:
Monday, November 20, 2006
More from behind the scenes of the Australian/U.S. creationism schism at Answers in Genesis
More information has just come out about the split between the Kentucky-based Answers in Genesis and the Australia-based Creation Ministries International. (UPDATED for clarification: CMI is composed of organizations from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada which were all formerly united with the Kentucky group under the Answers in Genesis name. The Australian group was the Creation Science Foundation prior to the association of the groups under the Answers in Genesis name.) CMI has published a number of documents on its web site about the split. These documents, which I'll describe below, make the case that the U.S. group has acted in bad faith to appropriate for itself many of the resources of the Australian group, as well as to put it into an untenable position of being potentially liable for certain actions of the U.S. group without getting any financial benefits. These documents, on a website headed with tomorrow's date (today in Australia, where it's currently afternoon), were pointed out in comments on my blog post by "JaneD" (presumably the D is for "Doe"), who appears to have set up a new blogger account to bring the information to public attention.

This split, which I pointed out on my blog back in March 2006, along with some financial data about the U.S. group and some speculation about the causes, occurred in late 2005. In that post, I noted that certain information critical of other creationists (and convicted tax evader Kent Hovind in particular) had been removed from the U.S. group's site. A brochure from the CMI suggested that a difference of approach, including ethical considerations, was the primary reason for the split:

It continues on to present a not-so-flattering portrait of Ham and his machinations -- the guy is a bigger scoundrel than Canada Bill Jones, who believed that it was morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money, and at least had that much honesty about his thieving.

So, what's to be done? The Ozzies don't seem to want him back, even with his neat-o museum tossed in to sweeten the deal. But I find myself reminded that con-men can be the greatest suckers of all, if you find just the right way to get to them. I wonder if Hammy plays poker.....




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  04:10:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy

But I find myself reminded that con-men can be the greatest suckers of all, if you find just the right way to get to them. I wonder if Hammy plays poker.....
Your own topic, filthy
http://www.skepticfriends.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7247

"Any religion that makes a form of torture into an icon that they worship seems to me a pretty sick sort of religion quite honestly"
-- Terry Jones
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  04:43:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
OK, I just read the whole article, and as much as I hate fundamentalist Christianity and homophobia, I don't see how this article puts words in Dawkin's mouth or even how it mischaracterizes the "New Atheists" (that term as far as I know originally comes from a recent issue of Wired Magazine, although I have also heard it on NPR commentary.) Atheism and proponents of evolution are more aggressive today than ever. Dawkins and Harris are most certainly attacking religious faith itself. Harris has described himself as evangelical. Dawkins has denounced religious schooling as "child abuse". You may not like the way they are presented in this article, and you may have a beef with certain phrasing, but it isn't exactly "nonesense".

I would argue that saying atheists want to take away religious "liberties" might be taking things too far, since the "New Atheists" don't want to make religion illegal or subject to institutional discrimination. However, they do want it to be completely socially shunned, which in practice often leads to institutionalized discrimination, and even when it doesn't, it is often as painful and harmful as institutionalized discrimination. So it is sensible for religious people to be offended and frightened by Dawkins and Harris and to speak out against them.

I sort of took issue with the word "God-hater", since atheists don't believe in God, but it is clear that Harris hates religion. The rape-religion analogy was true, here's a reference: http://www.thesunmagazine.org/369_Harris.pdf

Cune wrote:
quote:
In fact, for all we know, the "print media" could be some AiG publication, and "websites" could be some blog run by Ham or his colleagues. Or worse, the comments in quote could be completely made up.
There is a saying, which I now paraphrase: Never attribute to maliciousness what can be attributed to incompetence. The "New Atheists", with Dawkins and Harris as the most major figureheads, have been written about in the New York Times, The Washington Post, on NPR, and Wired Magazine, all of which are major media sources. And those are the only ones I happen to be aware of; I haven't exactly looked into it much. Dawkins was also featured on 2 episodes of South Park

Indeed, the worst part about this article is that most of the quotes aren't attributed to a specific source. But that isn't because they aren't true (I recognize most of them). It is because the author was lazy.


"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  05:06:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox

Dawkins has denounced religious schooling as "child abuse".
Read Dawkins! Not what others claim that he says or writes.

Dawkins has denounced some aspects of religious schooling as "child abuse". He does write and say which aspects and why, you know.

quote:
However, they do want it to be completely socially shunned, which in practice often leads to institutionalized discrimination, and even when it doesn't, it is often as painful and harmful as institutionalized discrimination. So it is sensible for religious people to be offended and frightened by Dawkins and Harris and to speak out against them.
It is sensible for the insensible to fear sense.

My problem with Richard Dawkins is that he seems to be able to reduce intelligence, logic and reading comprehension among otherwise intelligent people. Hope the effects are not permanent.

"Any religion that makes a form of torture into an icon that they worship seems to me a pretty sick sort of religion quite honestly"
-- Terry Jones
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  05:32:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by marfknox

OK, I just read the whole article, and as much as I hate fundamentalist Christianity and homophobia, I don't see how this article puts words in Dawkin's mouth or even how it mischaracterizes the "New Atheists" (that term as far as I know originally comes from a recent issue of Wired Magazine, although I have also heard it on NPR commentary.) Atheism and proponents of evolution are more aggressive today than ever. Dawkins and Harris are most certainly attacking religious faith itself. Harris has described himself as evangelical. Dawkins has denounced religious schooling as "child abuse". You may not like the way they are presented in this article, and you may have a beef with certain phrasing, but it isn't exactly "nonesense".

I would argue that saying atheists want to take away religious "liberties" might be taking things too far, since the "New Atheists" don't want to make religion illegal or subject to institutional discrimination. However, they do want it to be completely socially shunned, which in practice often leads to institutionalized discrimination, and even when it doesn't, it is often as painful and harmful as institutionalized discrimination. So it is sensible for religious people to be offended and frightened by Dawkins and Harris and to speak out against them.

I sort of took issue with the word "God-hater", since atheists don't believe in God, but it is clear that Harris hates religion. The rape-religion analogy was true, here's a reference: http://www.thesunmagazine.org/369_Harris.pdf

Cune wrote:
quote:
In fact, for all we know, the "print media" could be some AiG publication, and "websites" could be some blog run by Ham or his colleagues. Or worse, the comments in quote could be completely made up.
There is a saying, which I now paraphrase: Never attribute to maliciousness what can be attributed to incompetence. The "New Atheists", with Dawkins and Harris as the most major figureheads, have been written about in the New York Times, The Washington Post, on NPR, and Wired Magazine, all of which are major media sources. And those are the only ones I happen to be aware of; I haven't exactly looked into it much. Dawkins was also featured on 2 episodes of South Park

Indeed, the worst part about this article is that most of the quotes aren't attributed to a specific source. But that isn't because they aren't true (I recognize most of them). It is because the author was lazy.



Perhaps "nonsense" isn't the best word for it, although I'll stand by it for lack of a better one. Really, it's straightout fear-mongering, Marf, and to those who can ignore such blather, it's nonsense aimed at those who can't.

Dawkins and Harris can be described almost as professional atheists, and make themselves easy targets for whatever abuse, fictional or otherwise, that is hurled at them. Thus, they can be used effectively as demons to threaten the faithful followers, and by extention, the rest of us are tarred with the same brush. I don't mind, really; I figure I'm in good enough company.

Yeh, the "God-hater" term as applied to atheists is silly beyond comedy in it's defiance of logic. How, pray, can I hate, or love, that which I do not believe exists?

"Demagogue-Preacher-hater," now, that is another matter entirely.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 01/18/2007 :  06:44:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
blockquote id= quote font size= 1 face= Verdana,Arial,Helvetica id= quote quote: hr height= 1 noshade id= quote i Originally posted by marfknox /i br / br / b Cune /b wrote: blockquote id= quote font size= 1 face= Verdana,Arial,Helvetica id= quote quote: hr height= 1 noshade id= quote In fact, for all we know, the print media could be some AiG publication, and websites could be some blog run by Ham or his colleagues. Or worse, the comments in quote could be completely made up. hr height= 1 noshade id= quote /blockquote id= quote /font id= quote There is a saying, which I now paraphrase: i Never attribute to maliciousness what can be attributed to incompetence. /i The New Atheists , with Dawkins and Harris as the most major figureheads, have been written about in the New York Times, The Washington Post, on NPR, and i Wired /i Magazine, all of which are major media sources. And those are the only ones I happen to be aware of I haven t exactly looked into it much. Dawkins was also featured on 2 episodes of i South Park /i br / br / Indeed, the worst part about this article is that most of the quotes aren t attributed to a specific source. But that isn t because they aren t true I recognize most of them . It is because the author was lazy. hr height= 1 noshade id= quote /blockquote id= quote /font id= quote I am well aware that major mainstream media outlets have covered Dawkins and Harris. However, I don t recognize Dawkins or anyone like him saying anything like evangelism is a moral imperative to spread their [ b /b i.e. the New Atheists 'good news' in 'persuading people of the virtues of atheism.'" Perhaps this is the case, but I doubt it. That is, would Dawkins et al. characterize their work in terms (e.g. evengelism, good news, etc.) more traditionally associated with Christianiy? Perhaps, but I doubt it.

For instance, I did a New York Times search for Dawkins and things like "good news" and "evangelical" with no valid hits. In a Times story from November 21, 2006 (" A Free-for-All on Science and Religion"), the author suggested that a recent science forum, "began to resemble the founding convention for a political party built on a single plank: in a world dangerously charged with ideology, science needs to take on an evangelical role, vying with religion as teller of the greatest story ever told." But that's different than Dawkins-- a so-called New Atheists-- saying that "evangelism [ of atheism?] is a moral imparative." Indeed, when you do some more searching, you see that all the quotes attributed to "New Atheists" in the AiG article aren't said by New Atheists at all. Note this passage in a November WIRED feature:
quote:
When atheists finally begin to gain some power, what then? Here is where Dawkins' analogy breaks down. Gay politics is strictly civil rights: Live and let live. But the atheist movement, by his lights, has no choice but to aggressively spread the good news. Evangelism is a moral imperative. Dawkins does not merely disagree with religious myths. He disagrees with tolerating them, with cooperating in their colonization of the brains of innocent tykes.
That's not Dawkins talking, it's WIRED contributing editor Gary Wolf.

Terms like "good news" and "evangelical" are associated with Christianity and religion. By claiming that atheists-- or New Atheists-- are using them is an attempt by the dishonest (or lazy) writers at AiG to put atheism (and, by extension, evolution) on the same level as Christianity.

It's a common rhetorical ploy by Creationists, and I doubt that its improper inclusion in the AiG piece was completely due to laziness.
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