Jul
19
2007

# Been called a militant atheist recently?

Fundamentalists: believe 2+2 =5 because It Is Written. Somewhere. They have a lot of trouble on their tax returns.

“Moderate” believers: live their lives on the basis that 2+2=4. but go regularly to church to be told that 2+2 once made 5, or will one day make 5, or in a very real and spiritual sense should make 5.

“Moderate” atheists: know that 2+2 =4 but think it impolite to say so too loudly as people who think 2+2=5 might be offended.

“Militant” atheists: “Oh for pity’s sake. HERE. Two pebbles. Two more pebbles. FOUR pebbles. What is WRONG with you people?”

from The Primate Diaries.

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### 4 responses to Been called a militant atheist recently?

Tom July 19, 2007

Even simpler, take: 1 + 1 = 2

For example, take the infinite amount of time before now, and add the infinite time after now, and you get … umm … an infinite amount of time … umm …

Oh for pity’s sake, HERE. Take this lump of clay. And, take this lump of clay. Now you have … umm … a lump of clay … umm … doh! …

… never mind … perhaps 2 + 2 = 5 is easier …

dy2 July 21, 2007

Hmmm. The thing about 2 + 2 = 4 is that we have defined all the terms. We know exactly what two, four, plus and equals mean.

But, if you were to change the analogy to be f(2,2) = 4, then thereâ€™s a function that is not fully defined in our minds. The fact that it returns 4 one time, or the first 70 times, does not eliminate the possibility that it could return 4 one some days of the week and not others. The function is not fully defined. Weâ€™d have to look at the code.

With the concept of God, almost by definition, there would have to be something â€œotherlyâ€, something that does not fit neatly into our three-dimensional world of five senses. God, if it does exist, could not be limited by what we can understand. God, if it truly is God, would not be obligated to share its code with us.

And, as a response to what we think we understand about God, we can either believe in its existence or deny its existence. As your quote indicates, there are two types of believers and two types of atheists.

Wow! Those are five really good categories! 😉

Kevin July 21, 2007

Hi Dan, my point in posting this rather weak piece of satire was to highlight the kind of thing that can get one labelled as a ‘militant atheist’.

Clearly, you and I disagree in our understanding of the nature of God – but that’s not the point. The point is that it’s unconventional to state plainly that you don’t believe in supernatural forces and to do so will earn you the label ‘militant atheist’.

But it is was a weak and whiny point and certainly not worthy of your elegant response. I apologize for the poor standards (but not for disagreeing with you!) and will try to do better in future 😉

dy2 July 21, 2007

Certainly no apology is necessary! I’m was thinking that the fifth category should be the Militant Fundamentalist. But, I couldn’t think of a satirical way to state their position. I found it hard to over-estimate the extremes that some in this group might believe. Scary, indeed.

Keep doing what you are doing, Kevin! Unfortunately, I find very little time to do the type of research that you do. So, I appreciate being able to read what nuggets of wisdom you have encountered.

Thanks!

Dan