I promised an anonymous writer that I would discuss some objections to desire utilitarianism today, and I fully intended to. However, something came up that I have to deal with.
On the MSNBC web site, there was an article published called "Trying to Understand Angry Atheists: Why do nonbelievers seem to be threatened by the idea of God?"
Why am I angry?
Read the article.
All religions must teach a way to discipline our animal urges, to overcome racism and materialism, selfishness and arrogance and the sinful oppression of the most vulnerable and most innocent among us.
So, here we have a person publishing an article on a national web site that says that I am dominated by my animal urges, racist, materialist, selfish, arrogant, and a threat to children.
And it does so in the context of claiming to trying to understand why atheists are angry.
Try writing a piece that calls blacks, or Jews, or Muslims "racist, materialist, selfish, arrogant, and a threat to children." Then, try getting away with saying, "I wonder why these people are so angry?"
The article also states:
To be called to a level of goodness and sacrifice so constantly and so patiently by a loving but demanding God may seem like a naive demand to achieve what is only a remove human possibility. However, such a vision need not be seen as a red flag to those who believe nothing.
First, the author says that atheists see a call to "goodness and sacrifice" is a red flag. So, atheists are not good, and we do not engage in sacrifice. In fact, our rejection of religion, I assume, is because we, like spoiled children, simply do not want to do anything for other people. No, the 'red flag' is being called evil and selfish. I find my calling to goodness and sacrifice in a different source -- from the fact that my fellow humans are capable of feeling pain and suffering and I do not want bad things to happen to them. Instead, I want them to be safe and happy. Period. End of story. No God involved.
Next, there is the condescending and blatantly false accusation that I believe nothing. That's a red flag.
Atheists are the only group in this country where somebody can actually write such blatant and obvious hate-speech and experience an INCREASE in their popularity.
If a political candidate does this, he GAINS popularity points.
A President makes a promise that he will appoint no atheist judges, and he is applauded. He certainly is not challenged. A presidential candidate says that he will not appoint any Jews or Muslims and he is condemned. However, a political leader can state explicitly that he will not consider atheists for a particular position, and he gets a round of applause. So, now, why is this atheist angry?
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a judge. I wanted to make sure that I left the world better than it would have otherwise been. I went to college for 12 years to study ethics and philosophy of law. Yet, the majoriy of Americans hold the belief that I cannot be moral, and I could never, no matter how much I studied, be fit to be a judge.
Every day, school children from one end of this country are told by their teachers to stand and repeat the phrase, "Anybody who is not 'under God'; they are not true Americans. In fact, they are as bad as rebels (those who would divide the nation), tyrants (anti-liberty), and criminals (the unjust)."
Have students every day stand and say, "Marc Gellman is (or Jews are) as bad as any rebel, tyrant, or criminal" and see if Marc Gellman might be able to muster up a little bit of anger.
On public buildings from one end of this country to the other, we have to put up with the motto, "In God We Trust." So, I am not good enough to be a "we" because I do not trust in God. So, I get classified as a "not-us"; a "then". We have a motto that says nothing less than 'atheist = outsider; leper; not welcome here; clearly not one of 'us'", and one wonders why this atheist, at least, is angry.
Not only is this slogan permitted. It is the national motto. It says that this country cares about nothing more than dividing its population into 'us' and 'them' and putting atheists in the category of 'them'.
If the religious people want to build a church, I have no objection. However, when they claim a right to draw money out of my account to pay for that church, I reserve the right to get a little angry at this theft. It seems to me to be a simple principle to say to my neighbor; I will not prohibit you from building any church you like; in return, do not demand that I contribute to its construction." However, many religious people are not willing to live by this simple principle. They go to the government, tell the government to draw money out of my paycheck, which they then give to the church (through 'faith based initiatives') that they can then use to build their church.
So, what is there to be angry about?