D’Good Idea, Actually

Back in November, Dinesh D’Souza asked, “Are Atheists the New Gays?

Dawkins has also suggested that atheists, like gays, should come out of the closet. Well, what if they don’t want to? I don’t know if Dawkins would support “outing” atheists. Can an atheist “rights” group be far behind? Hate crimes laws to protect atheists? Affirmative action for unbelievers? An Atheist Annual Parade, complete with dancers and floats? Atheist History Month?

To answer D’Souza’s first question, no, he doesn’t. And as far as I know, hate-crime laws should protect atheists as much as anyone else.

As for the parade and Atheist History Month, those sound great! (Or should I say “fabulous”?) Where do I sign up?

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9 Responses to D’Good Idea, Actually

  1. Raven says:

    Personally, I’m waiting for Congress to issue a declaration commending atheism and atheists for all they’ve done for Western culture, similar to the ones they’ve issued for many world religions. (Okay, I ideally would like for them to not spend their time doing stuff like that for any religion, but if they must, they should be just as laudatory towards the many atheist scientists, writers, and philosophers out there making the world a better place.)

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  2. Troublesome Frog says:

    How many of those things have gays gotten? As usual, D’Souza manages not only to completely miss the point but also to completely fabricate his own version of reality.

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  3. arensb says:

    Raven:

    Personally, I’m waiting for Congress to issue a declaration commending atheism and atheists for all they’ve done for Western culture, similar to the ones they’ve issued for many world religions.

    Yeah, I was thinking about government involvement as I was writing this. Since atheism has been ruled a religion for first amendment purposes, having the government set up a fund to finance atheist history month activities, or paying for signs, or leasing government land at a price far below market value, or anything like that, could easily be construed as an establishment clause violation.

    OTOH, a non-binding proclamation of the form “Xes are cool. You should go check out what they’ve done for us, particularly during time T” should be okay no matter what values you plug in for X and T, and may even pass the Lemon test.

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  4. arensb says:

    Troublesome Frog:

    How many of those things have gays gotten?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I count:

    Hate crime laws: I think most of them do cover homophobia.
    Affirmative action: Not that I’m aware of, and precious few equal-opportunity employment laws.
    Parade with dancers and floats: Gay pride parades.
    Gay history month: No. (Though it’s fun to contemplate how many web sites would shut down if the owners knew that Alan Turing was gay, and John von Neumann an atheist.)

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  5. Troublesome Frog says:

    arensb,

    That matches what I was thinking. D’Souza seems to have bought into the usual conservative fantasy that homosexuals are somehow a powerful lobby persecuting normal folks and that they get whatever they want. My only question is whether he really believes that gays are running the country or if he understands that they’re just the latest in the long line of whipping boys that conservatives use to get voters to the polls. My guess is the latter, since it’s becoming clear that they’ve gotten just about all the mileage they can out of the homosexuality card and D’Souza is working hard to get The Atheist Menace onto the map. You have to have somebody new to rail against when resentment of your current public enemy begins to wane.

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  6. Voice of reason says:

    I wonder if there is any official figures correlating knowledge of science with atheism.. I work with alot of people in the scientifical (as in quantum physics) and engineering (also guys who have a big understanding of maths and science) realms and generally they are not atheist. In fact, most “believers in science” (that is how many atheists define themselves) that I know of does not have a good understanding of most basic scientifical principles.. Strange observation considering Raven’s comments about atheists doing so much for western culture?

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  7. arensb says:

    I wonder if there is any official figures correlating knowledge of science with atheism.

    These Wikipedia articles (1, 2) should have some links and references to get you started.

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  8. Fez says:

    VOR,

    In fact, most “believers in science” (that is how many atheists define themselves)

    Do you have any references for this claim?

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  9. Voice of reason says:

    Hey guys how goes? Had plenty of work the last couple of days so I have been quiet.

    Fez: No I don’t. I read this post about a week ago for the first time, and thinking about it I realsied that was my observation. As for references I have zip.

    arensb: You’re a regular on this site hey! Thanks for the wiki articles, I have examined them.. A few comments, if you’ll allow me. First, there is a correlation between high IQ and mental disorders eg. panic attacks, depression OCD, ADD, sometimes even insanity. I know there may be reasons for this (such as overfocus) but still. I myself have an uncle who tested an IQ in the 160’s and is today state property. Livin’ large in the local nuthouse. Seconly, IQ is not the only measure of intelligence. There are 8 forms of intelligence recognised today. I can’t remember them at the top of my head (was in a subject I done during my first year of varsity) but the point is this I can reference (woopdeedoo!!) Jeez debate sure makes me hungry! Got to go

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