4th March 2010

“Nowadays, following a series of outrages in which religious motivation has played a major part, those who reject religion have had enough of pussy-footing around its votaries' sanctimonious self-regardingness, and are talking back. Are they saying that people who believe the ancient superstitions should be burned at the stake? Banned? Forbidden to congregate and "worship"? Forbidden to run schools to proselytise their own small children? No. Nor do they for a instant suggest that the holy should get a taste of the medicine they dished out during these past two millennia – though to hear the squeals from our anonymous ad hominem vituperators you would think so.”

A.C. Grayling

24 Responses to “4th March 2010”

  1. CaptainZero1969 Says:

    This is a great quote. Isn’t it odd to the point of pathological the reaction of the giant majority to secularism? We’re treated to Fox new’s annual coverage of the “war on Christmas” and the defacing of the tiny number of secular signs and bill boards as well as the “teach the controversy crowd”. When have you ever heard of an atheist defacing a church sign? When has an atheist ever committed a crime in the name of his non-belief? I can’t think of one. But the reaction of the other camp borders panic. Why so threatened? Why so prickly? Why so offended? It has the feel of very very deep insecurity. Doubt must gnaw at them so.

  2. GoodWithoutGod Says:

    I, too, like this quote (despite it’s awkward wordiness).

    It’s easy to say (and repeat) outlandish things when you’ve bought into a mob mentality – no one questions you, regardless of the absurdities spewing forth from your mouth. Just look at Sarah Palin!!

    From the minority position it’s disturbing to see the “outrage” (false, without doubt) that the religious feel when their ideas and “sacred” institutions are attacked.

    Yet, attacked isn’t even the correct word. Simply pointing out that the term “Christmas”, for example, may be offensive to other members of our society evokes screams of outrage from Christians who (falsely, yet repeatedly) claim that “this country is based on Christianity.”

    How petty, inaccurate and puerile.

  3. John Says:

    The greater distance we place between us and the motion of religion the better off society in general will be.

  4. Atheist MC Says:

    I heard a priest on the radio this morning say “we shouldn’t look for explanations of God”. Which in a nutshell is the problem theists have with atheists. We ask awkward questions and have the audacity to expect answers.

  5. PEB Says:

    It always astonishes me at the level of backlash against the secular movement in the US. We don’t have the same problem in the UK (or Europe for that matter) so although I enjoy the quote I don’t know what exactly Mr Grayling is referring too?

    Indeed secularism is so accepted now we have atheist slogans on public transport and 28,000 people have signed a petition against the pope’s visit in September. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8548831.stm – from today‚Äôs news.

    Only Islamic hard-liners seem to get offended but they have no sense of humour whatsoever so nobody really cares.

  6. Holysmokes Says:

    Unfortunately it only takes a spark to ignite controversy when dealing with a person’s faith. What is it about the human psyche that creates such irrational emotion?

  7. The Heretic Says:

    The embarrassment of gullibility.

  8. CaptainZero1969 Says:

    I think you nailed it, Heretic.

  9. steve Says:

    I liked this quote as well, in part because it was lengthy enough to let the author explain a little more what they meant. A few of the earlier quotes were one or two sentences where we all got to ‘write in’ what was not specified.

    To this quote, then. The old adage about ‘you don’t know to look under the bed unless you’ve hidden there yourself’ explains a lot of the attitude of the religious. As Heretic says, the embarrassment of gullibility seems to motivate some of this attitude.

    PEB, you called us (US) on that one. Superstition is closely tied to nationalism here, the religious try to shame us as somehow not loving or caring about our own people unless we ‘go for god’. You might say that your society is a little more mature. Here we seem to be stuck in a fervor.

    The real point of the quote, at least for me, is the inequity of the rules of the game. However, if we were to act like the religious wing-nuts it would be a huge step down in character.

    Which leads me to ask: Should we extend the ten day rule?

  10. Atheist MC Says:

    Which leads me to ask: Should we extend the ten day rule?

    I don’t see anybody struggling with it. I was hoping it might flush out a lucid theistic argument or two, but so far…nada!

  11. steve Says:

    Well, AMC, thank you for the intervention. I feel cleaner, somehow…

  12. Holysmokes Says:

    AMC & steve

    Day 7. I must confess, the conversations are more interesting, but less confrontational. I guess it depends on why each of us volunteers to throw our two cents worth in here. Although I think playing role reversal would have been quite interesting and comical, especially by some of you brainiacs. lol

  13. steve Says:


    Then stand warned; some day, some time (after the ten day wager, and when I have a little more time) I am going to visit the dark side of the farce.

  14. Atheist MC Says:

    the dark side of the farce.

    I believe the young persons’ idiom is PMSL!

  15. Atheist MC Says:

    To be sure, I’ve been tempted to break the pact just to play the forfeit. This could either get very interesting or very very silly

  16. GoodWithoutGod Says:

    Pleeeeaaaaase make it silly! I’ve read the backlog and find it extremely difficult and boring to read the exchanges with some of the offenders on the site. Nothing gained.

    I think the best defense is a witty and ridiculous offense.

    In fact, this could be the next 10-day challenge: mock any offensive comment (at least once a day) with a witty riposte in haiku or limerick form. Anyone game?

  17. Holysmokes Says:

    I’m going to need a few weeks to think about that one. lol

  18. steve Says:

    OK, AMC. Looked up PMSL, thanks!

    GWOG; I am open to that, you have a few days left to state your specifics.

    Holysmokes, you underestimate yourself.

    “There was a young man from Nantucket;…”

  19. Atheist MC Says:

    Ooooh! [mental processes engaging]…O…K lets do it!!

  20. Atheist MC Says:

    but relevent to the daily quote

  21. steve Says:

    Relevance? That would be an important distinction.

    However, GWOGs post on this read like it was in reference to the loonies’ comments, and those do not always focus on anything, let alone the QOTD topic.

    Ruling please? I am good with whatever you all want to play.

    AMC, wasn’t this your idea in the first place?
    I nominate you to lay down the law.
    [Pretty Please?]

  22. solomon Says:

    Only agreeing between yourself would be a boring game ain’t it? Yes….yes…..& yes….There will be no challenge.Challenges excites human & is very healthy.Forget about the 10 day stuffs.

  23. Tech Says:

    I ‘m going too address every person on this site:Not one of you here would stand for anybody standing on a side walk , with a sign that read slander about the atheists.If you tell anything other wise. Then I say you’re lying.

  24. GoodWithoutGod Says:

    It’s a good thing we agree
    That I don’t really care
    What you think about me