Statues of mythological and/or fictional characters and themes can be found in state and federal parks all over the country, like this statue of Neptune at a city park in Virginia Beach. As far as I know atheists don’t try to get these removed. The American Atheist Organization is suing to remove a cross from the WTC memorial. The “cross” is actually a section of welded I-beam that was found sticking up from the rubble after 9/11. Witnesses found the coincidental resemblance to Christ’s cross significant. While I don’t agree that such coincidences are supernaturally caused, I think they are interesting. Significant coincidences are at the heart of all “chance” phenomena which lead to the emergence of life, language, and art. (That’s my natural philosophy in a nutshell.) I could no more reject public tributes to Christianity than I could to any great work of fiction. Somehow it just doesn’t piss me off. I understand it as art. It doesn’t bother me that others take it differently. (I even have a portrait of a black Madonna hanging in my home. It’s a really cool painting that my great-grandmother brought over from Poland.) That’s why I think there is something up with AAO’s president David Silverman who isn’t able to detach himself emotionally from the power of religious symbolism. He released this statement about the WTC cross
The World Trade Center cross has become a Christian icon. It has been blessed by so-called holy men and presented as a reminder that their God, who couldn’t be bothered to stop the Muslim terrorists or prevent 3,000 people from being killed in his name, cared only enough to bestow upon us some rubble that resembles a cross.
Jon Stewart made fun of Silverman for being such an ass about it. In psychological terms Silverman’s statement is a “reaction” against people he feels are abusing him: “they made me say it.” It is a control thing, but ironically he’s lost control of his feelings insofar as he is reacting, not acting. He should stop and ask himself, What do I think about crosses? instead of dwelling on what other people think of crosses.
It is with some reservation these days that I call myself an “atheist.” First of all, it’s a negative term, meaning literally “against god.” I have nothing against any thing that doesn’t exist. Secondly, atheists, like Republicans, tend to lack a sense of humor and have bad aesthetics. Please see evidence of this in the photos of AAO’s board. Thirdly, the American Atheist Organization, Secular Humanists and the Center for Inquiry, have, by and large, taken on the task of attacking Non-Darwinian evolutionary theorists (I’m one) and 911 truthers (I am also one).
This is a really weird phenomenon because there is an overwhelming amount of material evidence suggesting that Darwin was only partially correct and that NIST is flat-out lying. But these atheist, neoDarwinian debunkers claim that they don’t have to try to reproduce, say, Jones and Harrit’s findings, in order to prove them false, because they read that someone in a peer-reviewed journal said they don’t have to. I commented recently on the “Why Evolution is True” web blog, urging these would-be colleagues to respect the scientific method and to end these appeals to authority. It is very important that scientists actually try to reproduce the experiments of those that they are contesting. It’s too easy to paraphrase the findings or summarize them incorrectly and debunkers end up knocking down a strawman instead of the actual hypothesis. In the dark ages people made appeals to the authority of the church instead of doing experiments. We have entered another dark age. Here’s how a debunker replied to my comment
If a scientist has something to say, he/she publishs it in a peer reviewed technical journal. Prof. Jones did not publish his results in a peer reviewed technical journal. Therefore, he had nothing to say. Period, end of story.
Jones actually did publish in a peer-reviewed journal, but debunkers just dismiss its credibility. If it’s true that science isn’t science unless it’s published in an “acceptable” peer-reviewed journal (peer-review is a custom that is only decades old) then the potential for corruption is great. Journals tend to be funded mainly by big corporations and/or government. But even if you don’t believe that such funding conspiracies are possible, there is a more insidious danger with the problem with reliance on authority over evidence. It encourages conformity. I’m less a conspiracy theorist than I am a conformity theorist.
So it is with some regret that I announce my official dissociation with atheists groups. I never was much of a “joiner” anyway.
p.s. I will note that I feel differently about making school kids say the Pledge of Allegiance with the phrase “under God” in it. I don’t even like pledging allegiance to this country these days, with or without the god phrase, since this country is so corrupt. I’d rather my child were taught to respectfully question authority rather than pledge blind allegiance to it.
p.p.s. These “political” posts are exercises to prepare me to write my next novel Locus Amœnus.