Monday, August 31, 2015

Jeffrey Tayler Must Be Doing Something Right

Every Sunday Jeffrey Tayler writes about religion in Salon. He doesn't pull any punches and I think he's great.

Matthew Balen doesn't like Jeffrey Tayler, he doesn't like him one bit. He tells us what Tayler has already told us in his own article. I guess one is to assume that there is no need to dissect what Taylor writes. The fact that Matthew Balen finds it all so horrible, shocking and unbelievable must mean that it actually is. Balen really doesn't offer any reason or insight as to why this is so, it just is. Kind of like God and the Bible, I suppose.

At the end Balen just can't help himself. After telling us that: "Tayler vomited up a final attack on Pope Francis near the end of his article" he concludes with the extremely tiresome, often repeated canard that atheists are evil incarnate:

Of course, as Tayler decries how the Pope and the Church supposedly bring "ruin" to the masses, he glosses over how his fellow atheists actually don't have a history of being a "forgiving, reasonable bunch." One would only need to look at the tens of millions butchered at the hands of atheist despots like Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and the Kim family of North Korea.
I just wrote about this very issue. Logical fallacies simply do not make a good argument. Michael Sherlock explains this better than I ever could in The Atheist Atrocities Fallacy – Hitler, Stalin & Pol Pot:
Religious apologists, particularly those of the Christian variety, are big fans of what I have dubbed, the atheist atrocities fallacy. Christians commonly employ this fallacy to shield their egos from the harsh reality of the brutality of their own religion, by utilizing a most absurd form of the tu quoque (“you too”) fallacy, mingled with numerous other logical fallacies and historical inaccuracies.  Despite the fact that the atheist atrocities fallacy has already been thoroughly exposed by Hitchens and other great thinkers, it continues to circulate amongst the desperate believers of a religion in its death throes.  Should an atheist present a believer with the crimes committed by the Holy See of the Inquisition(s), the Crusaders and other faith-wielding misanthropes, they will often hear the reply; “Well, what about Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler? They were atheists, and they killed millions!”
The atheist atrocities fallacy is a multifaceted and multidimensional monster, comprised of a cocktail of illogically contrived arguments.  It is, at its core, a tu quoque fallacy, employed to deflect justified charges of religious violence, by erroneously charging atheism with similar, if not worse, conduct.  But it is much more than this, for within its tangled and mangled edifice can be found the false analogy fallacy, the poisoning of the well fallacy, the false cause fallacy, and even an implied slippery slope fallacy.
It's a long article which should be read in it's entirety. I like these two examples:
Example 1:

Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot were all non-figure skaters.  Therefore we can conclude that not being a figure skater causes a person to commit atrocities.

Example 2:

None of these three dictators believed in the existence of leprechauns, hence the lack of belief in leprechauns causes people to commit atrocities.
I do think, however, that some Catholic priests are rapists because of the Catholic Church, and that ISIS is extremely violent because of Islam.

At least Taylor is an original thinker and frequently comes up with his own thoughts and ideas. I like reading him. I also very much like the fact that Matthew Balen doesn't like Jeffrey Taylor.

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