All joking aside.
That plan then, promptly, flew out the window. While perusing the rhetorical stylings on Wild Bill and Denyse's blog Uncommon Descent, I came across a post with the odd title, "And who are your three favorite atheists?" As you might guess, Uncommon Descent is not what you might call "atheist friendly," and, indeed, the comments to the post reflect that- with several comments arguing that atheists* are incapable of comprehending morality or being, themselves, moral. In at least one case, this actually becomes definitional as one individual remarks:
I agree w/ you BenZ. Not only b/c not seeking God’s favor and your own instead is pretty much synonymous with sin, but to be so bold in your selfishness. I guess they help others only b/c they want to feel good themselves.
So, yeah, if failing to seek the favor of an entity that I don't believe in means I'm automatically immoral then, shit, I guess I'm immoral. I suppose all those platelets that I donate to strangers, and money I give to worthy causes are immoral acts too. Bad, Drek! Bad, bad, Drek! I suppose I might say the same about the commenter, who doubtless has been committing serious apostasy against the tooth fairy, but I'll spare her that banality.
No, the comment that really caught my attention wasn't the usual "atheists can't be ethical because they don't believe in a skybeast" crap. I've heard that an awful lot before and, besides being demonstrably untrue by any fair definition of "ethical," I've dealt with it previously. Frankly, I'm bored with trying to address that point** and have no interest in engaging with it again. Instead, let's take a look at this comment, written by a Mike1962, which is a joke of sorts that I thought I should share:
My favorite atheists are the dead ones.
Heh heh. Just kidding.
Ha! I think we can agree that Mike1962 has a singular wit and, as someone who likes to think he's capable of humor, I can't help but enjoy a good one-liner! But I'm forced to wonder, are there variations on this joke that might be equally funny? Hmmm... let's see.
"My favorite jews are the dead ones."
Well, that has an interesting sound but... no... it doesn't really roll off of the tongue. How about something else?
"My favorite blacks are the dead ones."
Maybe a little better but, no still not right. Maybe something topical?
"My favorite muslims are the dead ones."
Damn! No, that just isn't doing it. Okay, let's try it one more time:
"My favorite fags are the dead ones."
Hmm. Nope. This just isn't working out for me, is it? Well, I guess I'll just have to accept that I'm not funny the way Mike1962 is funny.
And that leaves me feeling very good about myself.
* I know they're specifically referring to "Darwinists" here but, on Uncommon Descent, this is almost always a synonym for "atheist."
** As a matter of fact, I was remarking to a colleague just yesterday that the worst part about being an atheist is that you just keep hearing the same damned weak arguments from theists over and over again. There may be a post on this eventually but, as a tip: Pascal's Wager and the argument from first causes really aren't that strong. Would y'all PLEASE stop bringing them up every damned time?