Thursday, September 30, 2010

This is Why I Don't Like People

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."

1 Timothy 2:11-12


Fuck misogyny, am I right or am I right?


For today, I had plans to review and hype a movie I recently saw twice which I think is not getting nearly enough love - but there's been a change of plans done.

Now, the most activity my Facebook account sees is resultant of my girlfriend commandeering it to play browser games. Personally, I log in once every few days when I receive e-mail notifications from it and on occasion, write some comments there should the fancy take me. A friend of mine put up a neutral open question pertaining to atheism today to which I wrote a reply. Then, a godbot joined in and exasperation followed.

Names are changed to preserve anonymity and everything else are quoted verbatim (except some typographical errors I made, which I rectified) and colour-coded for your convenience,


Friend:
If you are to start an atheist group on FB; would you classify it as "Religious Organization" or an "Education" group.

Me:
Common Interest; Beliefs & Causes

It's definitely not a "Religious Organization". To consider atheism a religion is to consider not collecting stamp a hobby. Why are you asking?

Friend:
I saw a few groups on facebook where atheism groups are placed under religious organization category.

Some Girl I Don't Know:
Believing in the non existence of God is still a baseless opinon about God ; AKA religious belief.

Me:
Err, no. The burden of proof is not on the atheists - it's on the people who claim that God exists, so they have to prove it. As they say,

"What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof."

I think the lack of any concrete, scientifically-testable proof for God's existence is base for dismissing the claim. If some guy claims that he has a disease, and all the clinical and lab tests turn up negative, it is base enough to say that the disease he claims to have is non-existent.

But enough about the existence of God. When a person is non-religious, and believes in no religious claims, he is automatically religious? Preposterous. Not having a hobby is a hobby? Not having a disease means that a person is diseased?

Some Girl I Don't Know:
Boils down to your definition of religion. I define it as a belief of God.
Atheism isn't the absence of a belief. It is the denial/rejection of any belief of God. Being an agnostic on the other hand is totally different.

Atheist can only be proud of atheism as long as religious beliefs prevail. Without it, you guys become definition-less.

You know what is ironic, GOD is definition-less too.

In medical terms, the presence of a disesase is both based on objective and subjective symptoms. Spontaneously declaring a person to be malingering just due to the absence of objective symptoms is the greatest pitfall in medicine .

God is subjective. God is kinda like tinnitus ;P

Post note : Preposterous??? Macha, You guys use this word in Manipal ah. Scary dey ;P


Interrupting this transcript, take note that I'm still in my mild-mannered real-life persona I use for general social purposes when interacting with friends and friends of friends at this point (a demeanour I somehow managed to maintain for the rest of the exchange). I have made no pejorative remarks about other people's beliefs. I have refrained from saying anything about Some Girl I Don't Know's religion, as much as I itched to. And I have breathed no fire. With that in mind, let's get back to the show,

Me:
By dictionary definition, you cannot consider atheism a religion. Allow me to demonstrate,

oxforddictionaries.com defines "religion" as,

Pronunciation:/rɪˈlɪdʒ(ə)n/
noun
[mass noun]
the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power , especially a personal God or gods: ideas about the relationship between science and religion
  • [count noun] a particular system of faith and worship: the world's great religions
  • [count noun] a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion: consumerism is the new religion
Atheists neither believe in nor worship a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. It's definitely not a system of faith (which by definition is belief without proof) or worship. Neither is it necessarily a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.

There. Atheism does not fit the definition of a religion. It is not a religion.

No one said atheism is the absence of belief. Atheism is the disbelief of god or gods. An agnostic is someone who says there isn't enough information to say that there is or isn't a god. I was an agnostic and am currently atheistic. Please stop telling me what I am or am not.

P.S. God is not "definition-less", by the way. You can look it up in the dictionary too.

Friend:
Hello, that's enough. Not on my wall.

Some Girl I Don't Know:
Sorry Friend, I was just being general. Ur macha is taking it too personal.
As an end note, I quote Sen Wai who quotes [I shudder in fear] OXFORD [echo]
(God knows what would become of him without it )

"A pursuit or interest followed with great devotion " -you say.

The way you are frothing at the mouth defending your atheist belief/opinion/interest plus your pride in it portrays 'GREAT DEVOTION'.

Peace cha. Global warming, acid rain, Najib as prime minister. So many better things to talk about ;P

Me:
Quote me correctly then. I said,

"Neither is it necessarily a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion."

  1. I am not devoted to a disbelief of God. If anyone can show me concrete, scientifically-testable evidence of God, I'll believe in God immediately.
  2. If you must consider me "devoted" (you certainly like telling me what I am or am not), there are definitely atheists who aren't "devoted" in this world. A definition has to encapsulate the entire group, hence why my use of the word "necessarily".
  3. Again, if you must consider me "devoted", it's still a disbelief followed with great devotion. Not a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.

Of course I take it personally. You are misrepresenting what I am. You don't see me defining your religion in any way I like. Unlike you, I don't use definitions I made up myself.

I'm sorry, Friend. But she apparently thought enough wasn't enough and it is my prerogative to defend myself, which I did so as politely as I could

Some Girl I Don't Know:
So intelligent la u. Bravo ;P

[vertigo] [passive voice] "Some Girl I Don't Know falls off the train of thought and goes away to find the definition of definition plus the consensus regarding the definition of definition ".


End of transcript.

And this is why I have this blog. It's so I'll have someplace to vent the fucking steam out of my system after having to keep my comportment in check in polite company - and I'm stretching the meaning of the word "polite" here. Jen asked me why I'm always so angry these days, and this is precisely the reason why. I live in world of people determined to believe in things without proof and having faith in religions founded by ancient people so stupid and ignorant they thought that seven members of every species of animal in the world live within walking distance of Noah's house. I live in a world where I am bombarded daily with news of the Catholic Church covering up the rape of children by their clergy; Christians denying homosexuals the freedom to marry and gunning down doctors who perform abortions; Muslim extremists flying planes into buildings and murdering cartoonists practising their freedom of speech; Jehovah Witnesses refusing blood transfusion for their dying children too young to decide what they ought to believe in; and many, many, many, many, many more global ills brought by rampant unchecked, unchallenged religiousity.

And if all that isn't enough, I also get ignorant God-fellating nincompoops and dictionary-handicapped popinjays telling me to my face that atheism is a religion, and that I am just as religious as them. This is not a freak occurrence, mind you. This happens with confounding and infuriating regularity.

This is why I enjoy my me-times. This is why I frequently go out and eat alone with just the company of my books. This is why I enjoy solitary activities like watching movies and listening to podcasts; why I avoid using social networking websites like Facebook habitually. If you read my blog on a regular basis, you might have noticed that I usually sound happy, enthusiastic or at least serene when I talk about novels, films, food and my time spent without human contact (excepting when it's my girlfriend, natch). When I get worked up spewing bile and sulfur, it's almost always because I have spoken to a human being.



Gestating misanthrope,
k0k s3n w4i

14 comments:

Azygous said...

To start an argument about something which is definition-less is point-less.

Everyone owns the right to believe or not to believe, as simple as that.

However, what makes people (or at least me) get annoyed is when these devotees tries very hard to impose their belief on others.

If they intend to promote their religion, please, do one thing :

Start by setting up good examples first, no?

From what I've heard over these years, it's obvious to me that they are still far from achieving that.

Atheist can only be proud of atheism as long as religious beliefs prevail. Without it, you guys become definition-less.

I wouldn't say that I'm proud to be an atheist, it's more like accepting facts and rejecting baseless beliefs.

I feel that the author of this blog was merely expressing his own thoughts.

Why it affects them so much, when they claim to have intense amount of faith with their beliefs?

Hmm..I wonder

c3rs3i said...

Nice exchange - props to the girl for keeping her cool and not quoting scripture.

I can safely say most of the general population will not be as well-researched as you are on the subject, pedantic about saying what they mean, nor will they expect you to defend your stance or strike back with such heavy artillery. You might deem the correction of these and other ignorances necessary but I would argue that it is very possible to impart knowledge or share an opinion without banging someone's head on the wall and calling them 'stupid' (I say this because, correct or not, I have the impression that you go from zero to 'are you retarded?' in less than 3.5 seconds =p).

Just my two cents since form of communication remains one's own prerogative, of course.

Anonymous said...

Quoting scripture to defend one's religious beliefs is an intellectually unsatisfying exercise which can be best described as circular reasoning. I am glad that it was excluded from your exchange with Miss Unknown.

It infuriates me that some people accept religion, however dogmatic and unreasonable, unquestioningly. Do they not value freedom of thought? Have their intellect plunged to such depth that they refrained from making up their own minds? What exasperates me even more is the moral posing and proselytizing.

Anon of 7pm shift

Zzzyun said...

haha to be honest, it could have been worse with that Girl that you do not know...

at least she says sarcastic things in a nice way, if that's any consolation. LOL.

jet said...

Props to your defence. I don't think she fell off the train of thought as she claimed to though...she didn't seem to be on it in the first place. Talk about seeing things through religion-tinted glasses, sheesh.

But I must say, not all humans are that unbearable lol. Maybe you have an uncanny tendency to attract the ones that give you a splitting headache.

nissy said...

I saw your argument on facebook. :D

k0k s3n w4i said...

Azygous: "I feel that the author of this blog was merely expressing his own thoughts."

i can't say i am merely expressing my own thoughts in most of my religion-related posts but regarding this facebook exchange, i feel that i have been firm but inoffensive. it's funny how when an atheist calmly and firmly defend his or her position, he or she can be thought of as "frothing at the mouth defending [one's] atheist belief/opinion/interest"

if someone went "Atheist(s) can only be proud of atheism as long as religious beliefs prevail. Without it, you guys become definition-less." in this blog instead of in facebook, i'd pretty much chew her fucking throat out.

c3rs3i: not making any definite statements about that girl's beliefs here, but i don't think she's christian - but then again, i hardly encounter scripture-spouting opponents anyway. if anything, i quote scripture far more often than most theists because there's really a lot of of embarrassing things found in holy books.

"I would argue that it is very possible to impart knowledge or share an opinion without banging someone's head on the wall and calling them 'stupid' (I say this because, correct or not, I have the impression that you go from zero to 'are you retarded?' in less than 3.5 seconds =p)."

in less time even. but i don't think i called this girl "stupid" at any time during our exchange. i remained civil, firm and humourless. if anything, she made me want to bang my head against the wall. besides, i wanted to impress upon her that going around spreading lies about how atheism is a religion is offensive and not at all acceptable.

Anonymous: miss unknown might not even have any scriptures to quote from. i had the impression that she belongs more to the woolly-headed camps of new-age theism or deism, but i may be wrong. to be fair though, she did no moral posturing or proselytising.

Zzzyun: it could have been much, much worse, but she's like the straw that broke my back. i was just answering a friend about my personal worldview before she poked her face in and tell me what atheism is all about. what gall.

jet: i suffer fools never. i just have a very low threshold for nincompoopery, worn thin by my years talking to theists. nowadays, when the topic of faith and the supernatural (ghosts, black magic, etc) comes up in my real-life, day-to-day conversations, i just go "oh" and try to talk about something else.

nissy: haha, yeah. hope that sends a message out to everyone: don't call atheism a religion to an atheist's face. it's a terrible, terrible insult.

c3rs3i said...

Scripture isn’t confined to the bible.

Oh? I’ve seen enough holy-book quotes littered around my virtual world to be forgiven for thinking you’d have encountered a significant amount in argument form.
I bet that you haven’t read the Qur’an though? Guess who has a copy – English version of course. =D

k0k s3n w4i said...

c3rs3i: "Scripture isn’t confined to the bible."

obviously, but i'm trying to imply that it's almost always christians who do things like what the unnamed girl did. when someone tells me that atheism is a religion, that person invariably turned out to be christian. in any case, i know the unnamed girl's real name - hence my bias also.

i've written only twice in direct reference to islam,

the breastfeeding fatwa

my say on the malaysian allah controversy

this is mostly because muslims never engage me unprovoked. neither have they ever tried to convert me. i have not read the quran cover to cover (unlike the bible), but whenever i quote muhammad's holy book, i try to get a muslim's colleague opinion first.

Anonymous said...

Good day,

I have been following your blog for quite some time, and enjoyed the posts regarding religions n beliefs. I personally do not believe in religion, yet havent concluded for myself if there really is a GOD out there yet.I find somethings hard to believe myself, and I think they are hoaxes and people succumbing to the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Anyway, i came across a very interesting group on fb, and i was wondering what's ur take on it as a medical student cum atheist. As the religious leader in the fb grp has claimed to cure the blind n heal the dear etc.. I m skeptical tho.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Peter-Truong/109273719111442

cheers,
kel

k0k s3n w4i said...

kel: as a member of the medical fraternity, i'd say that we would investigate petey boy's claims the way we resolve all claims of curative therapy - we would put him through clinical trials. if he claims that he is able to make the blind see, we'll perform visual acuity tests on his patients pre- and post-treatment. if he claims to make the deaf hear again, we'll do audiometric testing to see if there's any significant measurable/observable improvement. all i can see in his site are all anecdotal evidence (the weakest evidence of all in research circles). what more, they are all his anecdotes. it's funny how no faith healers/psychics/whatnots in the history of mankind have been able to reproduce their miraculous abilities when we test them objectively :)

Anonymous said...

hey s3n w4i,
I couldnt agree less..I had a friend who's dad died from brain cancer. By the time, it was diagnosed, it was the size of a tennis ball. She's christian and always invovled in her church stuff. When I showed her Peter Truong, and I laughed abt it, she was pretty annoyed, n said tt she believed in miracles. After which, I rebutted, i tort u shld have sent ur dad to him, he prolly could have been cured..afterall he made the paralysed walk again. Well, she wasnt able to reply me..You r right tt most of the so called miracles occur centuries back, n its hardly seen today. My best friend who's christian n very religious claims tt procreation is a miracle because how semen can contain so much sperm tt is the seed to life. And therefore, 'miracles' are happening everyday. Which means tt impotent, gay, asexual pple cant create miracles? lol..and then he bought me this book written by Lee Strobel, former atheist turned christian whom summed up why is it so hard to believe in God, n the arguements abt gd and evil, why we love jesus but cant accept him intellectually etc. Just wondering if u have heard of him? As there are religious pple turining to atheists over time of selfawareness.i guess there's the reverse...on d other hand to note, tt the book was bought from a christian store, which therefore is highly bias..like duh..dun have the time to read it yet.. but i tort maybe it wld be good to share this view with u :) cheers. kel

k0k s3n w4i said...

kel: i think when it comes to christianity, there's no substitute to reading the bible, really. i was looking to convert into jesus' church a few years ago but after reading the good book, i found it too morally reprehensible to accept. lee strobel is a creationist and intelligent design proponent - which is grounds enough for me to outright dismiss him as a kook, a liar or at least an idiot (i have little patience for such anti-science nitwits). but if my best friend bought the book for me, i'd read it, digest it and then make him/her sit down as i explain to him/her chapter-by-chapter why the author's wrong/making fallacious claims/talking right out of his ass. and he seems like a typical patriarchal christian too if i may say so - thinking that his ejaculates are miraculous. so what if one itty bitty atheist turned christian? even if every atheist in the world turn christian overnight, it still wouldn't make the christian claim any truer. seeing as you are still undecided on the existence of a god, i can only ask you to try a skeptic's position: disbelieve any claim until there's reliable, scientifically-testable evidence to say otherwise. after all, if a god would punish you after you die for merely using your logical faculties, i don't think such a being deserves to be worshiped at all, don't you think? ;)

Anonymous said...

heya! thks for the advice. :) my current stand is for someone to convince me with solid scientifically-testable evidence tt their religion and also their god exist...but so far yet nobody has been successful. 93% of the scientists in US are atheist, and these have got me questioning too. But then the question if no God, then why are there ghosts? no offence, but as much as i tort ghosts was bullshit, my time spent in national service made me a believer tt ghosts exist. 13 pple in the bunk and it was right there, a banging cupboard..its such things whereby the existance of ghosts make me question shld i believe in a God? my stand originall tt there was a creator, but humans created religion, manipulated, gave it meaning, n screwed it up to wat it is today.. Therefore what has been preached or practiced may not have been what HE wanted..well, my best friend isnt the most questioning person around, tho with quite a bit of intellect, he's often open minded to my discussions, but still i wld say subtlely brainwashed. tt's wat they do aint it, plant an idea in ur mind, convert them to beliefs, then make u translate them to speech n behaviour. the thing is tt this bestie of mine brought another of his bestie to church, n made him a believer..n he's hoping to do the same for me. The thing is tt he's elated to have me ard him for church and after services, n his church mates even tell me tt he aint tt bubbly when I m nt ard. N being stuck in a dilemma of pleasing someone dear, n accepting something i feel honestly quite disgusting, as to going to a place n declare ur love, n praise for someone u haven seen or met or talk to, is something tt makes me feel like a hypocrite.personally, i have had another friend who was a taoism, n converted to a christian n started all the holy talk with me whenever we went out, n because of my adovocate to stuff like premarital sex, same sex marriage, abortion, gays, tt led to us moving seperate ways..which spurred me on for the search of TRUTH..n tt;s how i found ur blog.. lol..tt;s how i hold a personal grudge for religions..

thks for all ur advice,
kel