Carnival of the Godless # 99

Would you believe I had 800 submissions for the Carnival 99?

No Max.

How about 2 submissions and a box of crackers?


For this edition of the carnival I have just listed the submissions as they arrived (17 of which arrived in one hit from Brent after he found a problem with Blogcarnival.com … Yikes). For each one I have provided a brief description of the article and picked out a small quote I particularly liked. Enjoy the reading folks, and don’t forget to pick up your award if you were one of the lucky winners.


Welcome to the August 31, 2008 edition of carnival of the godless.

Michael presents RELIGIOUS CONTROVERSY AT OLYMPICS posted at NYC-Atheists Blog, saying, “Should religious freedom be accorded globally? Why should the world expect this of China?”

This concept that religious freedom ought to be a global right seems to have gone a bit far.

This could be the understatement of the year.

Bill presents A Reversal of Pascal’s Wager posted at (((Billy))) The Atheist.

(((Billy))) expands nicely on the ageless question:

Christians:  how do you know that your version of Christianity is the one and only proper way to be saved?

Poodles presents Coming out posted at Poodles Place, saying, “For your consideration.”

Atheists ‘coming out’ and declaring their real identity on the net has been a hot topic lately. Poodles has a few good points that people should consider, including:

If you choose to come out to anyone you have to be prepared to deal with the reactions when they come.

ChemJerk presents Intelligent design and life expectancy posted at Odd Nectar.

ChemJerk ponders about life expectancy and poses the question:

… if we’re so intelligently designed why, in the absence of modern medicine, would anyone be lucky to see their 45th birthday.

get out of that one IDiots

yunshui presents Kicking away the crutches posted at Right To Think.

yunshui ponders the emotional need for religion, and provides a few reasons why, and some excellent responses to those needs. His conclusion includes this gem:

The psychological crutch which religion provides is a powerful support, but in the end unnecessary.

Cubik’s Rube presents Atheism is a belief system posted at Cubik’s Rube, saying, “In which an atheist argues that it is appropriate to classify the atheistic position as a “belief system”.”

In which Cubik raise the point that if atheists are going to “believe” there are no gods, we need to be able to justify that position.

… atheists need to have a reason for maintaining a lack of belief.

Ian presents Getting something from nothing posted at Terahertz. If the above link doesn’t work, please try this alternate link: Getting Something from Nothing at Edger.

Ian discusses electron theory and shows how the universe may not need a “cause” after all.

Essentially, it is entirely natural that stuff can happen, unpredictably, with absolutely no cause!

This article may have a new slant on “the first cause” principle, have a read.

Ordinary Girl presents All I Can Do Is Pray posted at tales of an ordinary girl.

In a somewhat personal article, OG discusses prayer and wonders why people pray and if prayer can ever achieve anything useful? Or do

… people hold out hope because, like the lottery, there’s that chance they may hit the jackpot.

Jason presents 1848: Camila O’Gorman and Father Ladislao Gutierrez, for traditional family values posted at Executed Today, saying, “Possibly a bit tangential.”

The opening sentence of this post entices you to read the rest of it.

On this date in 1848, a pregnant 20-year-old socialite and her forbidden lover were shot at the order of an Argentine dictator.

An interesting read: history, religion and true love. Something a bit different for the Carnival.

Jeffrey presents Why Scientific Revision Is Justifiable, But Religious Revision Is Not posted at Disillusioned Words.

Jeffrey thinks that

Any atheist will probably be bored just reading the title to this post, …

I beg to differ, whilst the topic may have been covered before, Jeffrey’s take on it was very informative.

Skeptico presents Prayer Fails Again posted at Skeptico.

More on the power, or lack thereof, of prayer.

You know … it’s almost as if prayer is completely useless at influencing …

You’ll have to read it to find out what.

vjack presents You Might be a Militant Atheist if… posted at Atheist Revolution.

OK, I’ll have to declare my bias on this one. vjack is one of my favourite blogs and I think the only one I’d commented on prior to receiving this submission. Even if it was just to repeat a joke by Michael Shermer.

The slur du jour aimed at atheists appears to be that of “militant atheism.”

So are you a Militant Atheist and should we even use that term? Does vjack have the answer?

Dereck presents An Essay on Human Growth posted at I Will Not Die.

I concur with one of Dereck’s readers, this is a great quote:

The passage of time does not equal human growth or achievement.

Read Dereck’s fine article as see if you can answer his question:

“are you really growing?”

Christopher presents Social Necessity without Metaphysical Necessity: Why Mythology and Religion Interest us, but Shouldn’t posted at Philpropsophy.

Christopher discusses something pertinent to all us atheist bloggers:

… what good does studying religion serve?

He questions why would we delve into the minutiae of religions if none of it is true? Quite a philosophical article.

*** Greta, who is a prolific and thought provoking writer, has submitted two articles ( greedy girl :) ) However, I feel I must provide a warning to anyone who has not yet visited her site. There is some Not Safe For Work (NSFW) content on her site. ***

Greta Christina presents “People of Faith”: Religion as Ethical Misdirection posted at Greta Christina’s Blog, saying, “How religion can serve as a form of ethical misdirection, creating a flashy show of goodness with one hand while behaving in a despicable manner with the other. Using the case of a Christian high school principal who bullied and harassed his gay and gay-supportive students as Exhibit A.”

Greta Christina presents CSI: Deuteronomy posted at Greta Christina’s Blog, saying, “On one of the stranger injunctions in the Old Testament. If there’s an unsolved murder in your city, then who should slaughter the sacrificial cow — the mayor, or the District Attorney? And the Bible is an eternal moral guide, as useful today as the day it was written — how, exactly?”

Greta has left me nothing to add, you’ll just have to read them for yourself. The second article will, like Greta herself, give you a WTF moment. In fact both articles probably will.

Enshoku presents A Question to all non-white christians posted at Enshoku’s Weblog.

Enshoku’s post is short and to the point, though white christians, especially the bronzed Aussie types, may also want to ponder his question.

DB presents Evolution Education: Where Science Is Failing posted at An Inevitable Conflict. As DB says, “A critical look at the reasons so many fundamentalists do not understand evolution. Part of the rise of fundamentalism is the fact that our public relations campaign for PR is ineffective. How many times have we heard the belligerently ignorant phrase “If we evolved from monkeys, why have they not evolved?” Perhaps we should fix this problem, but only after we realize it is one. Education works wonders.”

I have to ask: “how do we educate people who don’t want to be educated?”

Procrustes presents How Much Is Too Much? posted at State of Protest. A critical analysis of the scale of rational activism, from closet to militant atheism, and asking the question How much is too much activism?

There has been quite a few articles discussing the various forms of atheism, especially ‘militant atheism’, lately. Procrustes ask how far should we go to promote atheism, is this too far:

… if the religious zealots of my nation stood up in arms and attempted to create a theocracy by force, I would retaliate in kind.

Adrian presents If You Don’t Like Gay Marriage, Don’t Have One posted at The Atheist Blogger.

How bleedingly obvious. Adrian presents us with a potted history of “marriage” and contemplates how to make marriage available to everyone whilst placating both the church and the state. He says:

Let’s take marriage back to its original status: …

Which is? You’ll have to read Adrian’s contribution to find out.

Chris presents The argument from overboard praise, and other things HT Stephen Law posted at The Uncredible Hallq.

In which Chris discusses a response Stephen Law got to his criticism of the liar, lunatic, or lord argument.

Christians are so used to saying “God is Truth” and “Jesus is Truth” that they immediately jump from “there is no God” to “there is no truth.”

Chris debates this fallacy as well as several others.

** a tip, if like me you go to this site and see a plain ASCII page and don’t like it, check the sidebar for the Theme Changer and select one of the other themes (such as WordPress Default). You may then need to scroll down to find this post **

Jason presents Shermer vs. Lennox: Does God Exist? posted at A Drunken Madman.

Jason’s remark: Since you reported on the IQ2 debate, I thought you might like this transcript of the shermer/lennox debate on the Saturday.

Thanks Jason, I couldn’t attend that debate, but I’m quite sure your hilarious take on it is quite accurate. I saw Shermer at the Big Science Night and wouldn’t be surprised if he did says this:

Shermer: Does God Exist? No. Thank you very much I’ll see you after the show.

and what I saw of Shermer, after the show would be at the pub, cheers all.

Bruce presents Carnival of The Godless: Leave Mike Guglielmucci Alone! posted at The Thinkers’ Podium.

Bruce has written some fine pieces about Guglielmucci, the lying pastor, and this final piece is superb.

It’s the fact that people could walk into this kind of environment and switch off their critical faculties that is damning. It’s as stupid as walking up to a death adder, wearing crappy tourist shorts and dancing around like a loon.

Nicely put Bruce.

Aaron presents How the Bias for Intent Makes Fools of Us All posted at Aaron Ross Powell.

A thought provoking post, Aaron explains why humans have bias for seeking intent in things.

Our brains are wired to always see specific intent, even when none exists.  But that wiring makes the actual presence of intent no more likely.

What can be done about it?

Ron presents College Requirement: Four Years of Darwinism posted at Bay of Fundie.

From the opening picture to the end I had a little smirk on my face, As Ron says:

… which proves that you can misuse a real education as easily as a fake one

There also looks like some more good points in his many comments, happy reading.

vjack presents Faith as a Virtue, Part II posted at Atheist Revolution.

Science has proven valuable again and again, while religion occupies an intellectual wasteland of willful denial of reality…

In which vjack debates is there anything in having ‘faith’ that is virtuous. I’ll let yo decide.

Hey! I just realised that vjack has also submitted two articles, greedy.  :)

Greg presents Greg Laden’s Blog : Back To School Special: What to do with Bible thumping students posted at Greg Laden’s Blog.

My first thought before reading Greg’s article was “thwack ‘em over the back of their heads with their bibles. Might knock some sense into them.” I guess that’s one of the reasons I’m not a teacher? :-)

However, unlike my suggestion, Greg has some very good advice on how to handle students that try to bring up the subject of creationism or ID in the classroom. As Greg says:

Anyone who tells you there is an easy way to handle this is misinformed.

Finally two slightly odd ones, which I wasn’t sure if I should include.

Justin presents A Case for Intelligent Design? posted at Panexperientialism.

I’m not sure what to say about this post, for a start I have no idea what panexperientialism or panpsychism is/are, and the thought of having to read another few pages of text to get my head around the idea was too much.  Anyway if you understand panexperientialism (or want to learn) and sentences like this

I noted that putative explanations should be both plausible and parsimonious.

don’t do your head in, then feel free to read Justin’s post, you might just learn something new.

Michael presents 15 Things That Are Wrong With America posted at The Moral Collapse Of America.

Hmmm, not sure if I should have included this one, it doesn’t seem very Godless and could quite possibly just be spam? But I’m not into censorship, and he may have one or two valid points. See for yourself, if you dare.

This is the only submission where I read the comments (apologies to other submissions but there are only so many hours in a day) mainly in the hope of finding some refutations to his points. I think ian’s comment nails most of them.

Edith This was one submission I didn’t include because it was just an advert for some technology conference. the cheek of some people.

Me presents Teenager arrested for ‘blasphemous’ T-shirt something I wrote a while back, but for some reason it seems popular. Perhaps you might want to read it if you haven’t already.


Awards

As I said before, for a bit of fun, I’m handing out two awards. One to the submission I think is the most thought provoking, and another to the most thought provoking and funny. The nominees are:

yunshui, Dereck, Procrustes, Bruce, Aaron – the Thinker Award

ChemJerk, Enshoku, Jason, Ron – Shaun the Thinker Award

Jeffrey gets bonus points for use of the word hypocrite. Well done.

One last special mention to Christopher, for having the longest title. Though Greg was running a close second.

and the winners are:

thinker_award To Procrustes well done

shaun-thinker-award To Ron congratulations

To the winners, please collect your award at the end of the dais.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of the godless using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. If you would like to host a Carnival contact Brent via email: brent at brentrasmussen dot com

Brent is always looking for hosts, this is the first one I’ve done, and whilst it was a fair bit of work, I considered it worthwhile. I got to read a lot of blogs I may not otherwise have and hopefully my readers will also.

The next Carnival of the Godless #100, a milestone, is at Prior Perceptions Sunday 14th September.

Posted at 0810 hours Sunday 31st August 2008 AEST, just as I head off on my 10.5km fun walk.

11 Comments

Filed under atheism, atheist, Carnival of the Godless

11 responses to “Carnival of the Godless # 99

  1. You would have had 801 if I had time this week

  2. stateofprotest

    Thank you, thank you.

    I’d like to thank my mother, my wife, my homunculus, and hops.

    God can shove it.

    Thanks OzAtheist!

  3. Pingback: Carnivals abound! | Terahertz

  4. Thanks OZAtheist. I feel kind of special now. :-)

  5. Pingback: Atheist Revolution

  6. Hurrah, fame at last! Good stuff, OzAtheist, some excellent entries here and some highly worthy winners, I’m really going to have to step up my game to compete in this kind of arena.

  7. Thank you for the link in a really well-curated carnival. This is great stuff, Oz.

  8. Thanks for including me. I appreciate it.

  9. Pingback: Carnival of the Godless, and edumacation of the godly « Cubik’s Rube

  10. Pingback: Carnival Of The Godless « Right To Think

  11. Pingback: 1,000 Views « Oz Atheist’s Weblog

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