Quote# 86885

Just for the sake of contrast, I’d like to see an evolutionary sociobiologist say something along the lines of: “Being an atheist, like being a sociopath, is a defective mutation of the genes human beings use to recognize meaning in life.
Robbed of this basic faculty of human thought, atheists tend to retreat into paranoid fantasies of superiority, as if their inability to grasp reality were a result of greater, rather than less, intellectual activity.

“Consequently they tend to be bookish, and selfish, and to cut social ties to family and friends: but this crippling isolation and arrogance, ironically, allows some of them to score well on I.Q. tests, which do not, after all, measure those social skill tribes of hunter gatherers need to survive.

“The fact that no civilization and no tribe in the history of the world has been atheist, except for a very few malign Twentieth Century regimes of unparalleled savagery and bloodshed, might indicate why atheist has had no influence on the philosophy, art, culture, law or advancement of civilization since the dawn of time. Natural selection culls this unfavorable mutation, and only in the luxurious modern day, when science can keep alive even worthless and backward members of the bloodline, has it been possible to keep alive a statistically significant moiety of this evolutionary dead end.

“Sufferers of what is now called ‘The Dawkins Syndrome’ are generally acknowledged to be harmless irritants in their host sociieties, but, as the case of Russia and China make abundantly clear, when this dangerous ‘meme’ of self-centered defensive arrogance spreads to others, the result is genocidal levels of mass murder.”

John C. Wright, patheos.com 51 Comments [4/13/2012 2:26:32 PM]
Fundie Index: 91
Submitted By: David

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Somebody's retreated into paranoid fantasies here, and it's not the atheists.

4/13/2012 2:50:16 PM


Can't you feel that Christian love?

4/13/2012 3:07:47 PM

Blue the Thief

You don't understand science, motherfucker![/TB]


Is it that sharp, stabbing pain in my side?

4/13/2012 3:16:22 PM

What society was ever bloodthirsty because they didn't believe in a god? Stalin killed people to get himself a better chance of not getting shot in the back, Hitler to keep his ideology of "god's chosen" aryan race, Mussolini to keep out rivals, and mostly everyone else for the same general theme.

4/13/2012 3:17:39 PM


Wait, by your logic, shouldn't I be the angry one?

But, yet, you seem so pissed off.

4/13/2012 3:27:43 PM


Again with the damned sociopathic false equivalent. By that logic why in the skull-fuckingly aggravating HELL do we have so damned many qoutes and conversations on this site where an atheist is trying refute a theist's assertion that life is intrinsically worthless and pointless?

Newsflash assclown: the various Churches that held total control over civilization throughout the Dark Ages and beyond are the entire reason that period of human history is called the Dark Ages. Religious leaders actively stamped out innovation calling medicine and machines witchcraft and devilry and unleashed a series of genocidal campaigns called the Crusades and the unfettered festival of pointless torture and mass murder that was the Inquisition. You might have heard of the Inquisition, it was the Church's response to any philosopher that wasn't repeating a straight quote from the Bible... as well as philosophers pondering Bible verses and questioning the Church's interpretation.

You fail so hard it left a crater.

4/13/2012 3:36:53 PM

Brendan Rizzo

Almost all atheists used to hold religious beliefs. Your argument is invalid.

Also, maybe if fundies had any knowledge of culture outside the United States, they would know that skepticism and rationalism (the opposite of religious belief) have made positive influences on philosophy, culture, art, and fiction.

4/13/2012 3:40:07 PM


Hmm... Athiests are bookish and tend to have a higher I.Q.? Surely that means we do our homework before deciding on a belief or understanding of the world?

4/13/2012 4:05:37 PM


Still trying to spin why atheists and leftists being smarter than you makes you better than them?

4/13/2012 4:58:52 PM


I cannot comprehend being as hate-filled as you.

Why is it okay to say this about atheists? Try saying that about Jews, without sounding like Hitler. Try it.

"Being a Jew, like being a sociopath, is a defective mutation of the genes human beings use to recognize meaning in life... Jews have had no influence on the philosophy, art, culture, law or advancement of civilization since the dawn of time."

You sicken me to my core.

@Brendan Rizzo:

You give this man far too much credit by calling what he wrote an "argument." It is pure hate, nothing more.

4/13/2012 5:45:58 PM


They're not going to say that, John, because assuming sociobiologists even exist, they're in the business of being reasonably plausible, and not, you know, making shit up. Especially making up genes that can't possibly exist.

Totalitarian religious governments are at least as dangerous as totalitarian atheist ones. The unifying element is totalitarianism, which in fact has a psychological element that utilizes many of the same mental processes as religion. So if the biology of brain formation has any impact on that kind of thing, the structures that enable religion

Interesting that he's acknowledging religion as a behavior whose social impact has survival value in a primitive tribal setting. It's almost like he has a clue.

@Passerby: There was a lot of bad history in there. In the transition from the High Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period the church became a force for stultification and oppression, and in the Middle Ages, which came after the Dark Ages inasmuch as they existed, the Inquisitions did exist.

However, during the Dark Ages the church was the only reason Western Europe retained literacy or any of Latin culture, and they happened because the Roman Empire fell. (Which wasn't, by the way, because it converted to Christianity. That was an attempted stopgap by Constantine that didn't save the West, but may actually have been a saving factor in the East.) And the Inquisitions were formed for a number of reasons, but none of them specifically to target philosophers.

Most of them were formed to target fundamentalists and other cultists, 'heretics,' although the Church of the time believed that the classical heresies were an everliving scourge that twisted and bred under cover always, bursting out in the attempt to corrupt good Christians to Manicheaism or Arianism or what have you. Philosophy was a dead letter in Western Europe for most of the period you're talking about anyway, and when it revived it was on Greek roots and merely required not to be strikingly incompatible with Christian thought. Oppressive by today's American standards, but positively unmoderated compared to plenty of other places. The Spanish Inquisition was a special case, formed by the Spanish monarchy without papal writ to enforce the conversions of the Jews and Muslims who'd declined to leave in 1492 when they united Castile and Aragon, conquered Granada, and announced n expulsion.

(Mostly the Jews, because the Muslims who'd stuck around unconverted for that long were mostly peasants, and who really cared how sincere peasants were about converting?)

Apart from the Albigensian Crusade, which was a war of church on church to the benefit and with the power of the French monarchy, the Crusades had zilch to do with heresy, either, except insomuch as some Christians were aware that Islam was actually a close relative of their religion and called it the 'Mahometan heresy.'

And machines were not actively stamped out and called witchcraft. That didn't happen. That is a chimera. Modern science evolved fairly unmolested, despite the brouhahas that arose whenever it came around to challenging the accepted cosmology.

Stop being ignorant and making the rest of us look bad; you're slinging the same kind of lowest-common-denominator guilt-by-association trash they do. The past was not evil because of religion. The present is not evil because of science. The world turns and is as it is, and stop being childish about it.

Seriously, people. We're supposed to be better than this. Could everyone stop believing that inaccurate, teleological fairy tale about the Church causing the Dark Ages now?

4/13/2012 5:49:58 PM


Yes, John C. Wright, you are indeed one seriously fucked up individual. Anything else?

4/13/2012 5:54:03 PM


If above tl;dr: No, religion did not cause the Dark Ages, it actually softened the blow of them and laid the groundwork for the medieval and modern periods.

This is a misconception that breeds a shallow understanding of history and makes cheap, dishonest ammunition against fundies. Please stop spreading it.

And John C. Wright is a tool who doesn't get science, but you expect that in a fundie and I'm a historian, so Passerby's fail was obviously much more important.

4/13/2012 5:54:33 PM


It appears the Mythbusters were wrong when they said it wasn't possible to build a mirror big and shiny enough to be used as a fucking death ray. (Archimedes death ray myth)

4/13/2012 6:40:54 PM


4/13/2012 7:41:17 PM


The level of science and history fail here is astounding. However, I do think it's cute that Wright put his rantings in quotations, as if someone will be stupid enough to think he didn't just make it all up (though through sheer probability someone will).

Yes, thank you. I loathe the propagation of that misconception, and while I was aware of the bare details you explained it far more accurately and eloquently than I ever could. You are a service to education.

4/13/2012 8:34:29 PM


I'm sure you'd love reality to pander to your self-aggrandizing paranoid delusions, but it won't. We are not sociopaths just for thinking differently from you. You, however, may well be schizoid, because that is the only way you could have made this shit up.

4/13/2012 8:40:16 PM


@ Amadaun

I call myself Passerby because I walk into these things knowing about as much as -or possibly less than- the next shmuck, which does leave me vulnerable to mistakes such as broad generalization and the embarrassing assumptions of 'common knowledge' that isn't quite true.

My comments concerning the Inquisition and cracking down on philosophers was a broad accusation of how any idea that the Church felt was a threat to their own views or power was dealt with. They were a witch hunt in every sense. I didn't mean for it to sound like I was limiting all this activity to the Dark Ages (I do admit I majorly misjudged which Age was which) but considering it was the wide scope of my accusations that you found ignorant that doesn't help my case.

I regret if I've made a fool of myself with my rant's inaccuracy but stand by my rebuttal that contrary to the claims of the OP atheism never stagnated society while ironically their own religion (I am assuming) which they implied to be the nurturing cradle of progress has had a long history of performing every single suppressive act they had just attributed as a direct consequence of atheism. Easing off and allowing society to progress rather than giving in to superstition is a relatively recent development and even now there are still those who call back to the days of book burning.

Edit: To be fair, the religion itself wasn't really the problem so much as the body of power directing it and the ironclad unquestioning devotion it's adherents gave to their religious leaders.

4/13/2012 10:10:11 PM

I think it would be rather surprising to hear anyone saying that. On account of the stupendously high bullshit factor.

4/13/2012 10:57:24 PM


Calling a scientist in the Biology field "evolutionary" is like calling a Mathematician an addist. The Theory of Evolution is a foundation to Biology like adding is needed in Math.

The atheists inability to grasp reality? Are you nuts? Who is it that needs a sky-daddy, an imaginary friend, to explain reality?

Atheists don't fantasize that humans are somehow special in Nature, we are just another animal species.
You're the ones saying we have a god-given superiority over all other life, not us.

The fact that very few ancient tribes were atheists is probably due to the fact that they had very little scientific knowledge of the world, and used deities to gloss over what they could not explain. Very few of these ancient tribes were monotheists, though. Most were animists and worshiped Mother Nature in some form or other.

Many Russians are Russian Orthodox Christians and many Chinese are Buddhists or Taoists. While they were under strict Communist ruling, they were forced to (or gladly did) worship the State and the Leader. Not that atheistic, really.

4/14/2012 12:54:41 AM

...I don't think my antisocial personality is a defective gene thing. I rather like the way I am.

4/14/2012 12:58:40 AM

Ahem, the Bhuddists would like to have a word with you.

4/14/2012 1:18:23 AM

rubber chicken

And I'd like to see the Archbishop of Canterbury recite the Story of O from the Goodyear blimp during the London Olympic opening ceremony.
Looks like we are both going to be disappointed

4/14/2012 1:36:18 AM

Leighton Buzzard

when science can keep alive even worthless and backward members of the bloodline,

Eugenicist, much?

4/14/2012 2:48:33 AM


4/14/2012 3:09:39 AM

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