On the Stupidity and Divisiveness of PZ Myers and His Cadre of Followers

I won't link to what PZ said because he already makes over $3000 per month on Freethought Blogs alone. But let's see what he has to say about something our own Cathy Cooper wrote. Writing about the Christian killer James Holmes, PZ opined:
Post title: I wish we didn’t have atheists saying this.

The killer in Colorado was a church-going Presbyterian — we’re not going to see atheists crowing in triumph and saying that that shows the Christianity turns you into a mass-murderer, are we? That would be just as false as blaming it on evolutionists — the overwhelming majority of Christians feel no compulsion to murder, so it seems to be a rather ineffective ideology for encouraging killing sprees. One could argue that it does short-circuit critical thinking, and that at least the American version seems to endorse destructive policies, but pinning the actions of one unusual individual on the teachings of a religion? We wouldn’t be dumb enough to make that mistake.

I’m disappointed to see that we do have stupid atheists. Witness "Why James Holmes’ Rampage is the Result of the Teachings of Christianity" (a link to what Cathy wrote). I hang my head in shame. That’s no different than what Rick Warren or the American Patriarchy Association or any of a thousand other ideologues playing the blame game have done.

Christianity is piss-poor at doing more than providing lip-service against violence, but it’s at best a passive enabler. Blame it on the real causes: a culture that glorifies violence, easy availability of deadly weapons, and mostly James Fucking Holmes. Anything else is a distraction from correcting the real causes. Tags: big guns, bloody-mindedness, just plain viciousness.
First off, he cannot understand what he reads, if he read what she wrote at all. Professor Cooper's point was apparently too nuanced and complicated for him to understand. This is what she wrote:
My hypothesis, which is not new by the way, as I have pointed out numerous times, the great Christian philosopher Pelagius pointed out long ago, that if you promulgate the notion that people are born bad, and cannot help but to sin, but will still gain entrance into paradise as long as they "repent"-- they are more likely to sin, repent, sin, repent--and repeat when necessary. Pelagius was wise, and realized that this belief would lead to "moral laxity"--which is quite evident in our predominantly Christian society, and amongst Christians in particular. My hypothesis is that when Christians are taught they are "born sinners" and cannot help but to sin, as they are taught it is not possible for them to be perfect, and that they are nevertheless given the "free gift" of salvation, they will have more of a tendency to act immorally, or, when Christians are taught they live in a world that is dominated by Satan, that it leads to immorality. Either way, it leads to immorality and chaos, and Christianity provides believers with a basis for the belief that they are absolved from taking responsibility for their own bad behavior. Jesus does that for them.
And she clarified it later and will do so in another post sometime soon. She was emphatically NOT saying that "Christianity turns you into a mass-murderer," so if anything he's the one who is stupid in this case.

PZ says he wished atheists wouldn't say these things. But even if we grant she said what he claimed she did, he would be the very last atheist on earth to care what Christians think of atheists. He regularly pillories them as well, without a care about them as real human beings. The way he attacks people he disagrees with is just as if they are not human beings, and it doesn't matter who he attacks or for what minor infraction he finds them wrong. I find that absolutely appalling and unbecoming of the reasoned ethical neo-humaninsm I embrace.

I now consider PZ Myers to be a scourge upon atheism. He's a divisive, uncaring, mean-spirited, power hungry, greedy person. If you wonder why atheism is in disarray at the present moment it's largely because of him. Even if he misread Cathy's post he had absolutely no reason to call her stupid. After misunderstanding it he could simply have said that he disagreed, or asked for further clarification. And the tags for that post including "bloody-mindedness" and "just plain viciousness" are themselves vicious. I strongly suspect that he picked on her not because of this particular post, but because she criticized the views and actions of the skepchick types for the crime of reasoned debate that he cannot tolerate.

No, I hang my head in shame at him. I call upon him to repent in dust and ashes and plead for mercy before a growing number of atheists tired of his shit. Someone has even gone to the trouble of making a parody of his site.


Anonymous said...

Your comment about PZ being stupid does not help "the cause" either.Two wrongs........