Raw Story under fire for attack on "atheist whackjobs"

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by Rex, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Rex

    Rex Founding Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,971
    Likes Received:
    521
    Raw Story, of course, is decidedly liberal. Recently, it published an article by one Melinda Barton who proclaimed:

    "The religious nutballs on the extreme right have kept us rational lefties so busy that we've neglected an important although onerous duty -- cleaning the atheist whackjobs out of our own attic, the extreme left."

    and

    "Secondly, in a nation comprised predominantly of those who believe in some sort of supreme being, our success as a movement depends on disavowing the atheist extremist as a legitimate voice of the left."

    Raw Story has now come under intense criticism "for eating its own" on both its own blog and on other liberal websites for publishing Ms. Barton's column.

    Raw Story, for its part, has defended its inclusion of Ms. Barton's column, calling it an exercise in free speech with which they don't necessarily agree. Personally, I find that disclaimer ludicrous. It's a BLOG, not a media forum of competing editorial opinions, and Ms. Barton's words became their words immediately upon inclusion.

    As for the substance of Ms. Barton's column, she constructs an Invisible Man Atheist Whackjob who publicly contends that:

    Outrageous claim number 1: Atheism is based on evidence and reason and is philosophically provable or proven. Atheism is a matter of thought not belief. In other words, atheism is true; religion is false.
    Outrageous claim number 2: Since the natural is all that we have or can scientifically observe and/or measure, it is all that exists.
    Outrageous claim number 3: All religion is oppressive.
    Outrageous claim number 4: The eradication of religion in favor of secularism will bring about utopia.
    Outrageous claim number 5: All religious people want to force you or convince you or coerce you to believe as they do.


    Yes, I would agree with Ms. Barton that people who hold such views should be purged from liberal circles. The problem, however, is that very few, if any, such persons actually exist. Ms. Barton fails to name a single one. I know many atheists, but not a one who would match her Invisible Man. And even if we were to find such a person her implication that his views have a similar effect upon American politics as religious extremists is laughable in the extreme.

    What I believe is that Ms. Barton, a Jew, got her ass handed to her in a philosophical discussion with a non-believer, and has attempted a public rebuttal. Sadly, her column exposes her as somebody who doesn't even know what a "logical fallacy" consists of, and as somebody who builds strawmen to attack.

    The column is unworthy of even an introductory philosophy class, and certainly unworthy of a credible liberal blog. It's an exercise in bigotry, and why Raw Story chose to include it is a mystery which is costing itself much support and readership.

    http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/The_lefts_own_religious_whackjobs_0422.html
     
  2. marcmc99

    marcmc99 Founding Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    31
    I don't give a rat's a$$ about Raw Story or Melinda Barton. I just find the four words quoted above to be fascinating. I have never seen them used together in a sentence before.
     
  3. red55

    red55 curmudgeon Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Messages:
    45,195
    Likes Received:
    8,733
    Three comments:

    1. Everybody, be they liberal, moderate, or conservative needs to distance themselves from the whacko nut-cases among us. They cloud the issues and receive undue attention.

    2. Not every atheist is a whacko nut-case, and vice-versa

    3. Not every atheist is a liberal, and vice versa.
     
  4. Rex

    Rex Founding Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,971
    Likes Received:
    521
    Describe what you consider an "atheist nutcase", then name somebody who fits your description.
     
  5. LSUDeek

    LSUDeek All That She Wants...

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Messages:
    6,456
    Likes Received:
    151
    someone who believes that there is no God, and all religions are made up by humans in order to make them feel better. (atheist)

    that same person then makes it his mission to let everyone know his position on the matter over and over again to the point of ridiculing everyone who discusses any type of religion or spirituality.

    do i really need to name any names here?
     
  6. marcmc99

    marcmc99 Founding Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    31
    I consider you to be an atheist and a nut-case, therefore you could indeed be called an atheist nut-case. I realize these two descriptions are independent of each other and are not necessarily related. You, by chance, just happen to fall in both categories, therefore, a label of atheist nut-case would fit. However, I believe this could be somewhat misleading to someone who is unfamiliar with you, so I would put an * beside atheist nut-case and clarify myself with a footnote.
     
  7. Rex

    Rex Founding Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,971
    Likes Received:
    521
    I didn't ask you because you're incapable of civil discussion.
     
  8. Rex

    Rex Founding Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,971
    Likes Received:
    521
    I'm more interested in your footnote about the PS3 than your ridiculous response to a question that wasn't aimed at yourself in the first place.
     
  9. LSUDeek

    LSUDeek All That She Wants...

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Messages:
    6,456
    Likes Received:
    151
    Go back to tiger droppings. At least you actually offer something to the discussion of LSU sports over there.
     
  10. CParso

    CParso Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    10,852
    Likes Received:
    368
    According to many, any & all athiests are whackjobs.
     

Share This Page