Previous Post
Next Post

courtesy themainewire.com

I have a colleague who, until the Sandy Hook shooting, was very congenial, even complimentary. Though we don’t teach in the same department, we always got along very well, frequently chatting in more depth than merely exchanging greetings. And then one morning, I chanced onto a conversation between him and another teacher about school shootings. The encounter occurred shortly after Sandy Hook, while the issues raised by it were still very much the rage. He asked me if I thought arming staff was a good idea . . .

I should have known better, but I naively plowed ahead, expecting the same kind of cordial, collegial conversation we’d always enjoyed to that point.

He employed appeals to emotion. I countered with logic. He became outraged and questioned my humanity. I replied with calm and fact. Ultimately, I said “It all comes down to this: when an armed killer is walking down the hallway toward your classroom, do you want yourself and other teachers to be disarmed, or would you prefer that they be armed and able to defend lives?”

Displaying great disgust and exasperation, he actually threw up his arms and that was the end of the conversation. It took nearly a year before he would acknowledge my presence again and more time before he would exchange greetings with me. “Progressives” often claim that conservatives are anti-science and that refuse to deal with facts. The reality is, as illustrated by my conversation with my colleague, quite different.

Why do progressives deny the right to self-defense? Why do they refuse to acknowledge the benefit firearms provide society? Why do they ignore the Second Amendment (and any other part of the Constitution they find inconvenient)? Why would they deny children and teachers the only proven, effective means to protect their very lives when the worst-case scenario comes to pass?

There are three primary factors involved. To buy into these factors, one need not even consider themselves a progressive, they merely need to be a statist, one who believes in the supremacy of government. For the progressive/statist — first and foremost — government is the solution to every problem, therefore governmental power must always be increased, taxes must always rise, income must always be redistributed and only elite of self-imagined experts are qualified to run the nation and the lives of its citizens. For their own benefit, of course.

The common man isn’t capable of knowing what’s best for them. In order for statism to exist and flourish, individualism and individual rights must be continually diminished. The rights of the individual can’t be allowed to hinder the inevitable growth and power of the state and the wise and benevolent diktats of the elite ruling class. It is this attitude, and the second factor, that allows the progressive/statist to deny that unalienable rights exist. The foremost of unalienable, natural rights is the right to self-defense. Without it, what other right truly matters?

The second factor: a refusal to acknowledge the existence of any power higher than themselves. In essence, they refuse to acknowledge the existence of God. For some, this lack of belief is nothing more than being made uncomfortable by the idea that there is One greater than themselves, than their current maximum, cult-of-personality leader, than the state itself. For others, progressivism/statism takes on all of the characteristics of a religion; it become a matter of unquestionable faith. For such people, believing in God is essentially apostasy.

As it relates to the Second Amendment, these two factors make it not only possible, indeed, mandatory for the progressive/statist to deny the unalienable right to self-defense. If there is no God, the individual human life has only the value recognized by the state at any given moment. The individual exists only in service to the state, and the value of their life is measured by the individual’s adherence to the state’s goals and their usefulness to the elite ruling class. That being the case, there’s nothing particularly unique or precious about any individual, therefore an unalienable right to self-defense is nothing but an annoying impediment to the larger, more important goals of the state.

Indeed, God need not even be involved for the committed statist to deny the existence of any right of self-defense. Any unalienable right is an inherent limitation on the power of the state, and no such limitation can be acknowledged. Whether such rights are bestowed by God or invented as a result of human philosophy matters not. The power of the state cannot be diminished, and if the individual is allowed control over their own existence — if that control is bestowed by God which is far more powerful than the state — the power of the state becomes illegitimate and unquestionably hampered.

In any case, if there is no unalienable right to self-defense, there can be no right to keep and bear arms, or as progressives/statists often argue, such “right” guarantees nothing more than the privilege to carry arms in the military—in the service of the state and its ruling elite—and perhaps for hunting or sport shooting under highly restrictive circumstances.

To such arguments, conservatives and others commonly point to the Constitution and particularly, to the Bill of Rights. This is why progressives/statists argue for a “living Constitution,” which is another way of saying that the Constitution says what they want it to say and means what they want it to mean at any given moment. The better to legitimize whichever progressive/statist policy they wish to implement. This is also why progressives/statists labor to install judges who reflect the “living Constitution” frame of mind. Politics are too fickle; better to have true believers legislating from the bench when it’s not, for the moment, possible to impose progressive orthodoxy through the legislative process when the masses are temporarily rebelling against the elite.

The third factor — useful, indeed absolutely necessary, when all else fails — is the unshakeable belief in the brilliance and infallibility of progressivism/statism. Progressivism/statism is infallible—it cannot possibly be wrong—and it is also non-falsifiable, which allows the statist to shrug off any scientific, logical assault.

An instructive example is the Clinton gun ban, in effect for a decade (1994-2004). The ban restricted a favorite bugaboo of progressives/statists: the so-called “assault weapon.” A magazine capacity limitation of ten rounds was also a feature of the law. At the end of the decade, the law was allowed to sunset with only token progressive resistance. This was due primarily to a citizen backlash that swept substantial numbers of Democrats out of office, and also the undeniable fact that the ban accomplished nothing in terms of public safety. The “assault weapon” ban and magazine capacity limitations were a failure, if the consideration was enhanced public safety.

However, to this day, proponents of the same kinds of restrictions on the Second Amendment argue that ten years was far too little time. Only permanent bans could possible allow the magnificent benefits of such policies to reveal themselves. To the extent that the ban didn’t work, it was really only because they didn’t go far enough. Much more restrictive laws, in effect, absolute bans on semi-automatic firearms—a technology more than a century old—are needed to produce the appropriate and obvious benefits progressives/statists seek.

In other words, if any statist policy is seen to fail, it’s merely a misunderstanding. Statist policies cannot fail, therefore, insufficient money has been spent, the policy is not restrictive and punitive enough, and not nearly enough time has been allocated to allow the policy to work its magic.

“But,” opponents say, “the facts prove otherwise. They prove the policy is a failure, or that it costs far too much, or that it is destructive of liberty, or it violates the Constitution.”  This too does not matter.  Because progressive/statist policy is a matter of faith, and cannot possibly be wrong, how can it be falsified—proved to be false or a failure?  The solution to the apparent failure of progressivism/statism is always more, more expensive and more fervently oppressive progressivism/statism.

Thus is the anti-science hypocrisy of the progressive/statist is revealed. The very basis of science is falsifiability.  If a theory can’t be falsified—proved wrong—it isn’t science. All theories must be confirmable, using the same data and methods used to establish them, or alternatively, must be capable of being proved wrong. A theory that can only be supported, never falsified, is outside the realm of science. Therefore when a politician or scientist claims that the science is “settled,” or there is a “consensus” that proves or supports their policy, they are appealing to political will and/or faith, not to science or reason.

For my colleague, these three factors—and perhaps others—rendered my arguments ineffective. Indeed, because any challenge to progressive/statist orthodoxy can’t possibly be valid, and because progressives/statists believe themselves concerned only with making the world better—even though many of those whose lives they seek to improve cannot or will not see their good intentions or the brilliance of their policies—anyone opposing them must be evil and must wish to harm others.

Therefore, anyone who advocates the voluntary arming of school staff must wish to destroy a pristine educational environment and harm children. Anyone who believes the Second Amendment clearly acknowledges the individual right to keep and bear arms wants millions to die from “gun violence.” Anyone who advocates concealed carry desires societal chaos, murder, and so on.

This is why it’s so difficult, often impossible, to calmly discuss Second Amendment issues with a committed progressive/statist. Any opposition is not only an attack on their belief system, but on their self-image. Anyone expressing a differing opinion is not merely deluded, but evil. This is also why virtually all of those who claim to want to engage in “dialogue,” or who want to “compromise” on “common sense,” “reasonable” gun policies are being disingenuous. How might one compromise with evil, with those who are trying to harm the virtuous and caring? What compromise is possible with those seeking to diminish the power of the state and increase the power of the individual?

This doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try—there is such a thing as a former or recovering progressive or statist—and more are converted every day. But it’s a frustrating and often fruitless pursuit.

Previous Post
Next Post

356 COMMENTS

    • The existence or nonexistence of God or Gods is not a logical nor scientific dispute, rather it is a question of faith. To suggest that progressives do not believe in God is plainly false, as there are innumerable people of faith–for example the Rabbis who went to Germany to plead with Glock to impose “sensible” gun controls on their sales– is an argument that is neither logical nor factual. Further, it is insulting to the atheists who believe in no god or gods, but fervently believe that the state should serve the individual, as it was laid down by our founding fathers, rather than that the individual should serve the State (which is indeed the premise of your argument). Leave religion out of this debate; it has no proper place here.

      • A million times this. To insist that atheism correlates with statism and gun control is absurd and baseless.

        According to most recent polls on the subject the amount of actual atheists in the US is only somewhere between 1.6% and 6%. Like mentioned above, if someone is campaigning for statism and gun control there is still a VERY good chance that they believe in some sort of higher power.

        • Just gecause they go to a church and say they have faith doesn’t mean much. That is called marketing and advertising. As someone has said before, you can stand in a garage and say “honk honk” all you want but it will not make you a car.

      • Leaving any specific religion out of it, makes sense. But absent any possible religion, it is lots harder to appeal to rights which trump any possible concern a state may have; i.e. inalienable ones. One can still, with a bit of finesse, argue for “scientifically derived”, rights trumping the whims of whomever happens to be the current state, as progressivism advocates.. But one will inevitably stand on a weaker footing than if simply following the will of God himself.

        • Free Will arose from Mother Nature. She created the Universe and all of the living things when God said, “Let there be light” and so on. All of evolution, from the Big Bang to the formation of stars and galaxies and supernovae, culminating in us, has been, from God’s point of view, God making the heavens and Earth, and sculpting a man from the dust of the ground, all by incantation and hand waving.

          From Mother Nature’s point of view, it hasn’t been quite such a walk in the park.
          http://www.godchannel.com
          http://rightuseofwill.com/index.html

        • We don’t need a god to argue self defence. All animals, including humans, have the natural right to defend themselves. Who gives a crap about what the state thinks.

          Where does the natural right descend from? Punch a bear in the face and find out.

      • I was with the author until he perpetuated the lie that Progressives don’t believe in God. Then the entire article became dead to me. One of the advantages we pro-gunners proclaim is that we have reason and logic on our side. That isn’t entirely true, as this article shows. And I guarantee you, the anti-gunners will use this article against us. Religion has no place in this debate.

    • I was with him until the god comment.

      I’m not sure why some pro-gun people need to split pro-gun supporters by making such statements. It’s one of the reason’s I tend to feel uncomfortable around some large groups of gun supporters. I myself am very pro-gun. I see no reason to limit the 2nd amendment. Inevitably however, it seems like someone always has to start a religion talk and ends up being a “only us god fearing men are in the right”.

      I think you need to assess your own religious discriminating views.

      • Thumper Author lost me at his Gawd comment.

        Plenty of us atheists in the gunfights movement. Associating religion with gun rights only harms the latter.

        I will ask the author, a Thumper, what he’s done for gun rights. I, an antiThumper, have likely done far more than he has – 600,000 new black rifles into CA that were previously regarded as banned, shooting holes in the ‘safe’ Handgun Roster, vastly dropping the costs of legal defense of gun owners, etc.

        Gawd is dead and I’d shoot him if I saw him(her? it?)

        -Bill

        • While you’re at it, will you ask him if he has an autographed first edition of the Bible? I represent a very motivated buyer.

          Seriously, though, I believe if there’s a God, and he’s read the Bible, he’d issue a recall of them all.

            • My sense is that this God/Satan thing (leaving out Lucifer, who appears to be another thing altogether) is only a good cop/bad cop scam writ very large.

              • “The spectrum of the Spirit Polarity goes from Lucifer on the extreme left to Ahriman on the extreme right, with your spirit and my loving Light, of course, in the center. Lucifer is warm, earthy, sweet and sexual, and often mean, brutish and demanding. Ahriman is cool, mental, astringent and rational, and quite detached and judgmental.

                While Lucifer is sly, Ahriman is clever, and they both hate the Mother, but for different reasons. In a face to face battle, Ahriman will always outwit Lucifer, and yet Lucifer will sometimes win with sheer force of ill intent and ‘dirty tricks’.”
                http://www.godchannel.com/redemption.html

      • I can guarantee you from talking to people that were at Omaha beach in WWII, the first thought that came to their minds when a supersonic round went inches by them was: “Oh my GOD, don’t let me die here”. They prayed.

        And that is from those that were there. Once you find yourself in the same situation you too will pray. Why? because at the point you will realize that the outcome is not up to you.

        • I’ve got Atheists family members in the military who served overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. The whole “no Atheists in foxholes” argument is stupid. Saying to yourself “I hope I survive this” is not the same as “god please help me”.

        • I am an agnostic who happens to believe there is benefit in prayer, and exercise that belief.

          The problem comes when you’re praying for something for yourself, something known as Selfish Prayer. I refuse to pray for anything specific. It’s enough to just pray.

        • My late dad was on B17s over Germany in WWII.

          I can assure you despite the danger he was not the prayerful type. (He kept a good luck token in his pocket more as family memorabilia than anything.)

          Jeezus couldn’t shoot down P51s.

    • Good article, Mike. I agree with a couple others here that its a mistake to conflate statist philosopy with religion. If only because it generates the objections and denials, and side arguments about religion, that take us all off point of this article- which is really good, and your example is a powerful story-

      how to counter the irrational thinking of the anti-gunners, thru engagement, information, and education, while staying out of the personal insults and emotional thinking thats all they have left once they cant speak to the facts.

      I did get your general point, however, which I took to be that statists in general, in their belief in top-down government control being the answer, are the threat to our individual liberty and the God-given natural rights to self-defense, and that is why the Founders wisely wrote that into the Consitution and Bill of Rights.

      And with respect to the many many wise posters here, while I respect your right to your religious beliefs, and would enjoy a debate, pls – just not here. I think we can agree we agree on 2A rights,
      and would only humbly offer, that it would be counterproductive, and even a tactic of trolls, to go OT, and stimulate the circular firing squad…arguing about how many angels can dance upon the head of a pin…

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_many_angels_can_dance_on_the_head_of_a_pin%3F

      Besides, there is only ONE caliber, that would be .40S&W, and One Gun To Rule Them All = G23. 🙂

  1. What rambling nonsense. You really need to trust in a magical zombie (that watches you while you sin) in order to believe in self-defense? What a small universe you must live in.

    • I don’t think you have to believe in God to support individual rights, including the right to self-defense. Right now, I personally don’t know whether I believe in the God as described in the Bible or not, I’m in a state of spiritual flux on that issue. But you don’t have to be so harsh about people that do.

      • Those who believe in God have a logical basis to affirm human worth and dignity. If God made you in His image, then you have an “inalienable” claim to be worth something special. The Founders of this American republic, whether theistic or deist, definitely bought into a theistic worldview.

        Evolutionists often do affirm human worth and dignity, and are correct to do so, but they do so from a starting point postulating they are random, accidental and ephemeral. That is a real stretch, and not very logical.

        • Do you value your own life? Do you value the lives of others? If either of those is true, why is it a logical stretch to say that all human lives have value?

          Boom, no gods required.

        • A fictitious man in the sky is not necessary to establish a set of values. A religious man and I both know the difference between right and wrong. The religious man ascribes those values to his/her creator, I ascribe them to my conscience and my humanity. The interesting part of this is that for the most part we agree on those rights and the rules that protect them.

          Free human beings have rights inherent to their humanity by their very existence. How we got here is irrelevant.

          • Basing morality on conscience, no thanks. Despite your claim, human history, both with and without religious influence, has proven to be the antithesis of your assertions.

        • B.S. – It takes no mental acrobatics to arrive at the conclusion that the right of self-defense extends to any conscious, self-directed being. Do you really think ascribing yourself some special place and value in the universe, based on a bronze-aged myth about a bearded man in the sky is the more logical path to a morality? Bear in mind this is the same path that can, at the wave of a book and pointing of a finger, declare any group it hates less than human in the sight of God, and then persecute them to death with their myth-logic completely intact.

    • As a recovering atheist/agnostic, I believe it is you who are putting limits on the Universe. Just as you cannot see anyone’s ability to prove the existence of God, it is impossible to prove that God does not exist.

      I accepted God, and my life changed for the better. It took a long time though. Dozens of people prayed for me for decades. Good luck to you.

      As for the article, I believe it to be exactly on. Most committed “progressives” worship the state, and state power. A small fraction of Atheists/Agnostics are for limited government.

        • So which camp of atheism do you fall in?
          1) The belief that the universe (something) started from nothing

          or

          2) That something always existed

          Both totally stupid.

          I can understand agnostics, but the cocksure atheists are a real hoot.

          • While I like this, I don’t find stupid the belief that the Universe didn’t always exist. If there was a time when it didn’t, what was there before it? Wouldn’t that be something?

            And anyone who claims to have no superstitions is fooling himself, and trying to fool you.

        • Charles,

          Believing in something bigger than yourself, surrendering your pride and committing your life to the service of something other than selfish impulse satisfaction and instant gratification is not “superstition.”

          You betray ignorance regarding what spiritual people believe and what they seek to do with their lives, and with that a very closed mind.

        • doesky2, if the belief that the universe came from nothingness or that reality has always existed is stupid (not the only choices, by the way), would you care to explain where God came from? Because by the same logic you’re using, either He’s always existed, or He came from nothing at some point…

      • if you “recovered” from being an athiest, I feel fairly confident you didn’t do it right.

    • Agreed. A nonbelief in god doesn’t mean that you automatically worship the state. What insanity.

      • So you don’t believe in the inalienable right of self defense correct?

        Without God, there is nothing to say that my belief the “The powerful have the right to control the weak” is wrong.

        • Except the human morals and social contracts that prevent it. What a load of bull- I’m an atheist because I put aside the assumption that the existence of the supernatural was the natural state of things and looked for actual evidence. Finding none beyond an argumentum ad populum I rejected those notions, although with actual evidence I would be forced to reconsider them.

          Yet, oddly enough, I’m not a criminal who has no sense of the value of human life and the vast majority of those who wrong others profess belief in God (albeit simply on the basis that statistically most people still do.) Do you honestly believe that morals and empathy are so worthless that the only thing which can prevent undue violence is the threat of a god watching over your shoulder constantly? Given that according to Christianity forgiveness is instantly granted by God after the fact if you just beg repentance, how does that actually force people to respect others??

        • To “projectiledysfunction”,
          The idea of finding evidence for something “supernatural” (by definition “outside of nature”) is truly absurd. When you exist in a natural world that science itself says one cannot see outside of, where exactly did you look?
          Seriously, looking in the right places, quite a bit of evidence does exist. Evidence falls into many categories. There are plenty of things that cannot be scientifically proven, because of the limits of the scientific process, but that does not mean the don’t exist, or can’t be evidenced.
          All “social contracts” are subjective, only when there is a supreme source of the law can such ideas become objective. With a subjective social contract, or even without any, a people do not automatically become criminals or violent, but there is nothing condemning such behavior besides your own reasoning.
          To a believer, thought wrong actions may be forgiven, there is a source of law that condemns such actions. A source of law, and manner of forgiveness for being human.

        • Paul: First you say “of course there’s not evidence for the supernatural!” and then a sentence later say there is. So, tell me, what actual scientific evidence there for the existence of some sort of higher power beyond your gut feelings and a bunch of ancient writings that came from… somewhere? Hint: “we don’t know everything yet after only about 100 years of scientific investigation into the universe” isn’t evidence for magic. If it is that guy on the History channel who just automatically fills in all the blanks with BECAUSE ALIENS (since that’s what he wants to believe) must be right too.

          A lot of religious people fall back to “just because something hasn’t yet been disproven doesn’t mean it’s not yet true” while ignoring that they’re talking about a baseless unfalsifiable belief to begin with. If they consistently applied that they would be forced to believe in everything that had not yet been disproven (even if it was so vague and malleable as to be impossible to disprove.) I’m assuming you believe in ALL religions, then, even though they’re almost all contradictory? Or do you just believe in the one you were born into, like almost everyone else?

          • There are many things that are unable to be subject to the scientific method. Not just God. Trying to dispel his existence because it is one of many things that are beyond scientific verification is inane.

            Apparently you are jumping to conclusions. Evidence does not always mean scientific. Therein lies your error in thinking.

          • Actually, I was born in one religion, went through a period of agnosticism/atheism, and emerged in a different religion. Also, I have studied many of the other religions of the day, as have plenty of other people. Informed choice. Not contempt prior to investigation, or after cursory inspection.

        • “there is nothing to say that my belief the “The powerful have the right to control the weak” is wrong.”

          Sorry, there certainly is: the weak and those less powerful.

        • If we can’t prove it, Paul, then what actual evidence is there FOR it? You seem to be putting the onus on me to prove something wrong even though it was never even first proven right.

          Like I said: if you think that’s logical and normal to believe in extraordinary claims with no actual evidence do you also believe in Shiva? Kami-Sama? Odin? The Navajo sky father? Unicorns? Why not? Just because there’s no evidence doesn’t mean it’s not true, after all nobody has disproved those beliefs? Right?

          • See my response above….if you can’t even understand the idea of evidence not always being scientific, then you are lost.
            As to proof versus non-proof, I was once told that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs. To that end, belief in a God or gods is most definitely the ordinary claim, and atheism is the extraordinary one. I hope you have a very extraordinary proof.

        • I just… what? So I’m wrong because you decided to arbitrarily redefine what constitutes an extraordinary claim??

          So lemme get this straight- if someone says they believe magic unicorns exist on faith alone, then those who doubt it given the lack of evidence are the ones making an extraordinary claim.

          If lots of people come to believe that the sun is made of cotton candy because someone else told them it was and but lot of other people say “you have zero evidence and that makes no sense” then the latter are the ones making an extraordinary claim?

          You’re now arguing on incredibly bad faith and completely arbitrary terms.

          • I am not being ambiguous at all. Extraordinary means out of the ordinary. Pretty simple, huh? Throughout man’s existence, belief in and seeking to better understand that supreme power(s) has been quite ordinary. Thus, “no such thing” is an extraordinary claim.
            Please proceed with your proof.

          • “So lemme get this straight- if someone says they believe magic unicorns exist on faith alone, then those who doubt it given the lack of evidence are the ones making an extraordinary claim.”

            Well, yeah. You gotta have faith, you see.
            </sarc>

            • Not understanding simple words like ordinary, extraordinary, or faith (versus blind faith), say a lot about one’s understanding of other things.

        • @Rich…..If there is a “God of Love” that has any power, then why are things the way they are on Earth?

          Easy….Because of free will

          • “Easy….Because of free will”

            Let me see if I’ve got this straight: You’re blaming my desire to be left alone for all of the wars and pain and suffering?

        • Yeah, so you admit you’re just arbitrarily changing terms until they suit your argument. Cool.

          Why did so many cultures create gods? Dunno for sure, but I’d probably chalk it up to with gross ignorance of natural phenomena combined with our inherent tendencies to create hierarchies.

          Here’s the question then: If there is this all-powerful god then how come he could only get a small group of Jews to listen to him for thousands of years? Christianity was a small cult for centuries but it got lucky with Constantine, and then like all other powerful religions it spread only because it was mandatory in the kingdoms that practiced it.

          So, why did everyone else worship all these other gods? Why can’t the all-powerful God even get the Abrahamic religions to agree on his true words and intentions? In the old testament when all the proof anyone demanded was the word of a priest he rained fire and drowned the world and scoured it clean with plagues and made his devotees live for 900 years but where is that now? Funny how the only evidence anyone can find of that stuff are stories.

          • Where did I arbitrarily change terms?
            I related religion in general, and then in more detail regarding the ones which most influence the west.
            It seems you are the one being arbitrary. Asking questions that are not germane. If you did the research, you might find the answers as to why the Jews were a people “set apart”, and despite being persecuted for so long, they cling to existence. “Got lucky with Constantine”? So you are ignorant of history as well as science. But of course.
            Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

              • Touché. I meant more in a historical sense than the hysterical J.A.P. sense. Or even a middle eastern sense regarding their neighbors.

        • ProjectileDysfunction,

          My idea of where the author is coming from in regards to religion stems from states in the past that have made religion illegal in order to supplant the ideals of the state in place of the moral systems in those religions.

          Take for instance Hitler. He wasn’t just the leader but was taught to school children to be a deity. Bibles were contraband in communist Russia. China is famously anti-religion. It’s not that any one religion is provable, that misses the point. It’s a battle of who gets to define right and wrong, the church or the state.

          I don’t believe atheists as a group are bad people. But you also have to concede that there is a lot of Christian backspatter in your upbringing. You aren’t an atheist in a vacuum, you grew up in an environment where Christian values (assuming you grew up in the US) are all around you. Can you really separate yourself from your environment?

      • A need for a deity is indeed exactly why statists want an all-wise godlike state to “watch over them”.

        • Porridge? Haha what is that even supposed to mean?

          The rant against the irreligious really was way out of left field and completely off-base. The author of this falsely assumes that all people MUST be beholden to some “greater power” and thus without religion all they have to worship is authoritarian government. The problem with that is it’s really dumb. A great deal of objectivists, libertarians, and various flavors of anarchists who eschew the idea of strongly-centralized social power have also rejected the idea of unproven religious dogma.

          All the people here agreeing with the author seem to completely misunderstand why atheists believe what they do. It’s not because we’re all EVIL SINNERS who HATE GOD FOR LITERALLY NO REASON. It’s not because we’re too proud to admit there’s something bigger than us. It’s not because we have big ol boners for gun control. It’s because there’s no more evidence for Christianity being objective truth than there is that Islam is the light or Hinduism is the actual path or any flavor of paganism being correct or that Russel’s teapot is really out there or that freaking leprechauns exist. That’s literally why it’s called “faith.”

          At any rate no matter what we believe we need less of this divisive crap, there is literally nothing to gain by inventing a shadowy cabal of atheist gun-grabbers. It looks insane to those who are atheist or agnostic and on the fence about guns, because they sure as hell know everything being said here about them isn’t true.

  2. Statist progressives are very good in framing things in terms of a choice of a lesser of two evils: we can either create laws that force people to set aside a specific percentage of their earnings into long-term savings (thereby encroaching on everyone’s freedom of choice) or we can all pay the cost of subsidizing – through taxes – the consequences of people’s choice to not save for old age.

  3. I have the God/no god arguement once in awhile with atheist commenters on various blogs. i simply say that if there is no God then when I die I will never know it. But, when you die, and God does exist, what will you say when you stand before Him in His righteous judgement? That usually reduces them to incoherent babbling about books of fairy tales (the Bible), and keep your religious laws out of my goverment. I simply wish them good luck and promise to pray for them. That induces a fresh round or vitupertive insults. Every single atheist that I know are truly afraid, deep down inside, that they will be judged. Sad.

    • That self-righteous diatribe just insulted those who choose not to believe what you believe, while accusing them of being the ones who are insulting.

      • Did it hurt your feelings or “Self-esteem”? (that means how are you hurt by his opinion/stop whining).

      • Did you read Hannibal’s post above? Mr. Crognale purported to be relaying his own personal experiences with atheists he spoke to. Your post and the one immediately following mine–crm114), as well as Hannibal’s (“magical zombie”, “ghost stories”) seem to be making his point for him rather than dispelling it.

    • Threatening atheists with judgement in front of god is like saying that, if they are bad, Santa won’t bring them any Christmas presents. You can’t be afraid of something that you don’t believe in. And it is possible to have morality independent from theology.

      • Agree. If the only thing that He can bring up at the judgement is that I did not pray or believe in Him, I guess I should be fine. 🙂

    • I usually find it to be opposite. Doug Stanhope said it best.

      “What if I told you that if you didn’t worship Frosty the Snowman you would burn for eternity in hell? Because that is how you sound to me.”

      Then they usually freak out, some even cry for me :”You are a good guy, please believe in Jesus so that you don’t burn” cue sobbing.

      Yes, I am religious. Though I am annoyed at people going “God, saved me from drugs/crime!” Then they start shoving it down your throat. Had people cry for me because I don’t believe Jesus is our saviour (he was more like a prophet IMO). Can’t explain how much I want to punch that kinda people.

      Religion is a private thing. Don’t shove it down peoples throat.

      • Religion is a private thing. Don’t shove it down peoples throat.
        ^^^This
        In my experience the people that claim to be the most religious (you know the type “look at me how religious I am”) are the ones that do bad things.
        Keep it to yourself, it is one of the most private things.

    • “But, when you die, and God does exist, what will you say when you stand before Him in His righteous judgement? ”

      That if “his” judgement is so righteous, hell understand why I made the choices I did. If “he” can’t grasp my choices despite an omnipotent perspective, then I wouldn’t want to spend eternity hanging out with an eternally closed minded intelligence anyways.

    • Believers or non-believers, can we all at least agree on Pascall’s Wager?

      “It were better to live your life as though God exists, for if he does not exist, you have lost nothing, but if he does exist you have gained everything.”

      Now I’m pretty sure he was not advocating some particular form of religious dogma or ceremony, only an acknowledgment that if you live a virtuous life with a minimum of “sinful” acts you will have a good life, and potentially a good meeting with the supreme being if there is an afterlife.

      Either way, a good life would seem to be its own reward. And what, exactly, would be the point of making life on Earth seem like Hell, for yourself or anyone else?

      • Pascal’s Wager isn’t that simple.

        If you are going to pursue religion simply for the (possible) rewards in your afterlife, you are presented with a choice. Which religion? Throughout history there have been hundreds if not thousands of organized religions. Assuming that one of them is correct, you have an immensely small chance of picking it.

        Furthermore, you do not “lose nothing” from practicing religion. What about all the time that you devote to the religion during your life? Hours turn into weeks, months, and years. Practicing and studying religion based on a wager definitely does waste an appreciable amount of your life.

        And that doesn’t even touch the fact that a god will probably not reward you for following a religion just based on the rewards that it advertises.

        No, Pascal’s wager does not work for me.

        • True, but that implies that God despite being an omnipotent and merciful entity isn’t omnipotent and merciful.

          Shouldn’t he forgive me for practising the “wrong” faith if I don’t know which one is correct? I mean every religion claims it is true, it is easy to get confused, so as long as I don’t worship Satan&co and worship a God and not an idol I should be okay?

          • Minor point (I’m just getting started): Buddhism makes no such claim about being the “one true religion”.
            Buddhism speaks from knowledge, and not from faith.

      • A virtuous life is it’s own reward. I have no need for, nor seek, any “just reward” in “heaven.” A truly moral person understands and accepts that the reward for good acts is in the doing of the acts themselves, for their inherent worth, and not some far off promised joy in another life.

    • No, as an atheist you know what actually bothers me? Not the idea of being judged (because I’m obviously a terrible person, right??) Not the idea of a higher power (because that scares me because I’m too obviously vain and prideful, right??)

      No, what really scares me is the idea that I’m _right_ because that means this is all I have and that oblivion follows my short life. Yet without actual evidence to guide me I cannot embrace Christianity any more than I can embrace Islam or Hinduism or Buddhism or the worship of Odin or anything else simply because it is reassuring. What I gain from what is a drive to try to be a good person not because I _have_ to be lest I go to hell, but because I can.

      Which brings me to the next part, by the way. The old standby that you have nothing to lose by believing in God? Pascal’s Wager? It’s fatally flawed because there isn’t only one God proposed by religion and philosophers and been pointing this out for centuries now. There’s hundreds, _thousands_ even outside of Christianity. There’s three major and radically-different interpretations of the Abrahamic God, all of which have drastically different paths to salvation. Within those three distinct religions are countless denominations, all of which seem to quietly consider the others wrong or even heretical.

      • Which of course would imply that peoples far and wide are seeking to understand that Supreme Power. Just like in science, many theories on a subject, one right answer. Study and careful examination point you in the right direction. Even in science, some concepts can have theories, but not be readily testable.

        • No, sometimes there is more than one correct answer.
          Ex:

          Answer this multiple-choice question. Photons are:

          a. A particle.
          b. A wave.