The latest video from Qualiasoup is excellent

30 comments on “The latest video from Qualiasoup is excellent

  1. Friend, I tried to post another response to Heidi’s blog but I can’t post there any longer. You had posted a comment on her thread and I have something I think is important to say as a follow up to my initial comment. I can’t find an email on her sight or on yours. I’m leaving my comment here… but feel free to delete it once you’ve read it. I have been disturbed by last night’s incidences and I would truly like to do my part to promote peace. So here it goes:

    Heidi, I would like to say that I have learned two things myself by way of your experiment. As a new atheist (at least formally) I have spent the past few weeks on twitter learning, meeting new people, and perhaps getting a feel around with sea legs, so to speak. I have engaged a couple of times with what you may define as hateful exchange, but I assure you it was not intentional. This is new to me… confrontation, debate… and I admit that I have acted childishly once or twice (last night for sure) and let my emotions take the driver’s seat. I’m not good at debating and I don’t aspire to be. That isn’t why I joined Twitter. I joined to meet like minded people, to learn, and to connect.

    Your experiment and subsequent blogs has opened my eyes to two things… one of which I’m grateful, and one of which brings me great sadness. The first lesson I learned was that I was getting “caught up” in debate and losing sight of why I joined twitter in the first place… in fact, I was beginning to feel defensive and angry toward christians or at least those who approach me or name-call Atheists (all atheists)… it was souring my character. I thank you for drawing my attention to that. I’ve spent a great deal of time reflecting on that today. I don’t want to ever be an angry atheist. You can check my time line, I spoke about it today and I’m taking a fresh stance as a peaceful atheist. Because at the end of the day, I’m not a label. I’m a person. And so are you. And we are all here on a journey of life, and we have got to learn how to get along in spite of our different beliefs or causes. That is who I am.

    The second thing I learned though, from your experiment was to be on guard because now I will wonder and worry that every time a christian approaches me in peace — I’m really just an experiment. Just this evening I had this very experience… someone approached me, I was gracious and peaceful, and he ran me over with scripture and had no actual intention of having an engaging conversation. I politely asked him to stop messaging me and he wouldn’t. I had to report him. And all I keep wondering is… was that just another experiment? Was he baiting me to lose my temper so he could take it back to his club? Will I be posted on the internet if I so much as ask him to stop messaging me? (This is his opinion was me being defensive… and I assure you I was taking deliberate care to not be anything but gracious.) So, my point… you could have very well severed a possible hope of religionist and atheists coming to some kind of common peaceful engagement. Maybe we’ll never agree. Perhaps that’s not important. Perhaps what is important is that we put our labels down… and see one another for what we are… human beings… all on a journey. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get there? I would like to think we can.

    I hope you don’t get so far caught in this experiment that you also lose sight as I did… because I’m certain that beneath everyone’s exterior there is genuine thread of good intention.

    Just food for thought. I don’t want to fight with anyone. I just want this world to be better, kinder, and a lovely place to exist for everyone, no matter what their label.

    Be well,
    Vonnie

  2. PS to Heidi: atheists weren’t being “nosy” about your blog… you posted a link and copied it to several atheists on twitter and naturally it got shared amongst a few. How else would I have even known about your blog. Just wanted to set the record straight about that.

  3. For someone who doesn’t consider themselves interested in debating you’ve made a very valid point very clearly here, JAFG.

    I like Heidi and I am working with her on something at the moment, but for the life of me I don’t know what she hoped to achieve with this experiment—although it always amuses me to watch people regurgitate their opinions on these issues as if because they’re new arguments to their ears, they must naturally be new to everyone else’s—which ironically is the kind of pattern seeking behaviour I’ve been trying to explain to Heidi for some time now, exactly because it partly goes towards explaining humanities evolutionary penchant for religious thinking in the first place.

    As for her not approving comments, I’m working on convincing her to migrate to WordPress so she doesn’t have to manually approve all comments for fear of getting spammed too heavily—which is a genuine issue for blogger.com users and nothing to do with whether or not she approves of what you’re saying. I wouldn’t, in other words, read too much into not having your comments appear as soon as they’re posted.

  4. Thank you for responding Jim. I was nervous about leaving my comment here, but felt it was important enough to risk making a fool of myself. I appreciate what you’ve said and I think that Heidi, although unknowingly, has put herself in the position of not only the experimenter but as the by product of her own experiment as well. It’s a slippery slope!

  5. And this is precisely what I asked her to be extra careful of when she first asked me not to read too much into some of the tweets she was sending out earlier in the week. What a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive.

    Also, I don’t know how long back you’ve followed the connection between myself and Heidi, but this is almost exactly the kind of bait and switch which was played on her by the host of a Christian phone-in we both agreed to be part of and at the time she was as indigent towards the way the non-religious on the program were treated as we were—which is why I know she didn’t actually mean for this to spin out this way. But I’ve been told not to defend her, so I won’t expend too much energy on this. Suffice to say I think it’ll make an interesting chapter in the book we’re working on together.

  6. I wasn’t actually familiar with her at all until I saw her tweet to a few atheists “Hey, you’re not going to like this”… with her blog attached. Ironically, that is what lead me to her blog and what got my emotions in a twist because it was so blatant (at least to me) that she had deliberately baited the hook. I find it interesting… riotousness… it always thinks its ‘right’ no matter what side of the argument. Sadly though, an experiment in the professional world would not include baits or switches and certainly not deceit… this is just promoting flared tempers and only deepening a line of division that is already too deep. Deceiving people just to observe the reactions doesn’t bode well in any reputable scientific world. I don’t want any part of this experiment, but alas, I have been hooked now whether I like it or not. I won’t continue to read her blogs because I think she has laced it with dark humour and is painting a one sided perception of atheists. Frankly, I read Part 2 and it just hurt my heart. I can’t bring myself to read her latest entry. I may be speculating, but at this point, it’s coming across more like a high school drama than an experiment for the greater good.

    Point me toward a group that is interested in a common goal… peace… that’s where I want to be. :)

    It’s been a treat meeting you, though! A bonus to all this, to be sure. What is your twitter handle? I’ll follow you there.

  7. Well it’s particularly frustrating for me because she is in possession of both my introductory chapter on logical fallacies and follow-up chapter on the pursuit of truth for the book we’re writing together—which specifically addresses the straw man argument she has erected here. So it’s not as if she can plead ignorance of the way in which precisely her own actions impact upon the very people she is attacking. I can only hope she can pull it all together into a compelling piece of writing and expand upon the point she is trying to prove.

  8. Oh dear.

    Well, frankly, her method of going about the experiment has been less than admirable. Her blog is one sided and she has even said that it was not posted for “atheists” … and coupled with her high school approach to the blog, it only appears that her experiment is more to see how many new followers/readers a person can gain by her bait and switch experiment. She’s lost all credibility… this is not the sort of thing I want to be associated with. What is that saying? Don’t bite your nose off despite your face? If she had any hope of sustaining credibility… it has most certainly falling off the face of her experiment. We all trip up in life – but I don’t think she even sees that she’s tripped. That is perhaps the saddest aspect of it all. At the end of the day we just have what… more hate? Fabulous. That’s what we needed. sigh.

    I hope your book continues to go forward – although I wouldn’t blame you for rethinking your partnership. Perhaps it will all work out in the wash. I’ll cross my fingers for you. :)

  9. Hi Vonnie, Thanks for your note — Jim asked me to take a look here, and I wanted to post a response.

    I’m not sure if you’re caught up on the blog today, but on today’s entry I revealed that the “experiment” was actually not on atheists but on Christians. As you continue to read the story, you’ll see how it unfolds. Atheists were the trigger for the experiment, but they actually were not the ones on which I was experimenting, if that makes any sense.

    That said, I read your comments with an open heart. I do want to have constructive exchanges with people, and usually when it spirals downward it’s due to the “policing” that goes on during those conversations. I think that in the future, when a conversation is interrupted by what I consider to be an “atheist policeman,” I’ll just request a private conversation via email or DM. Usually when I get angry on Twitter, it has to do with people trying to subvert any dialog between me and another person. That said, there does need to be a more constructive way in handling the matter, and your comments have helped me to see that.

    I hope to see you on Twitter and that even if we agree to disagree on the God issue, at least we might get to know each other as people first.

    Usually I sign off on these comment pages with a “God bless” — ha ha — but I’ll leave it as you put it so well:

    I wish you peace.

    Heidi

  10. Thank you for passing this along, Jim. And thank you for your response, Heidi. I am very glad that you have gleaned something from my comments – my intention was to point out what we all perhaps are overlooking… there’s a place within that giant grove of division between religionist and atheists… it’s so large a small country could fit there. That is where we need to go, all of us… and remind ourselves that we are the most intelligent species on this plant and the entire planet, all species combined and linked, are counting on OUR intelligence to get it right.

    I’ll continue to speak out for atheism but not because it’s right… but because its speaks up and stands against religion’s policies that do not support an equal existence for all. If you want to label it a religion, be my guest. I don’t care. If religion were to demonstrate a leadership role for peace, I don’t think most atheist would even have an issue with being labelled a religion. If religion stood for God alone, it would be easier to live with. But it dictates how other people live and use the bible to do so… that is why atheists get angry and exhaust themselves debating the fallacies of the bible. Not to be hateful, but to somehow say “Look! This book isn’t even factual and your killing each other because of the words printed on a page!”. You know? It’s frustrating. sigh.

    I’m sorry, I’ve likely rambled. I have to go to a doctors’ appointment. I’m happy to continue discussing this here. I don’t want our discussion here to get lost in a sea of tweets. lol I do appreciate this opportunity for this discussion. Who knows, maybe we can change the world. :D

  11. Heidi, I hope you will take my advice… don’t post Part 4 on your blog… I mean this sincerely when I say that you are making a fool and spectacle of yourself. Let this go. Get counselling if you need it. You call this an experiment. It appears to be more of a personal issue that perhaps you would do well to have looked after. This is my final correspondence. I wish you peace.

  12. Where does the Bible claim that God needs to be worshipped? (3’24)… I heard that the Muslims believe that God created the world in need of objects of love, but even if so, it’s the Muslims.
    Seems like one is very careful in formulating his own position, and quite liberal when defining his opponents.

    Another thing, that tricky statement, ‘a lack of belief in gods is the default position’ (starting from 5’50). I just learned from the video that no position is not a position. So if one has no cognitive capacity to grasp the ideas involved, it is not a lack of belief, but a lack of position on the question as such, isn’t it? Therefore there is no default position, or the default position is something we could only find out if we observed someone growing up without any influence on the matter. Considering the history of religion, I would rather suggest the opposite, i.e. the default position is not a lack of belief in gods.

    As for the democratic pleas coming about 8’00, I strongly agree: we need more intelligent and mature discussion. However that would also require some more creativity to quest for the common grounds of the dialogue on both sides, and some willingness to distinguish between immature and mature opponents in the debate. I could resent being taken for one who “kills in the name of a god”, or even Christianity being taken for a religion that would naturally justify violence. Just as the speaker refuses to be defined by not believing in a god when the denotation of the word ‘god’ is obscure, I refuse to be defined ‘theist’ when not only the word ‘god’ is left obscure, but the group of ‘theists’ are misrepresented by a subgroup that deserve general ethical disapproval (and even that is presented in such opportunistic ways).

    Please! Intelligence and maturity!

  13. JAFG: I respecfully believe that you are giving Rafferty way too much credit by believing that she was conducting an experiment. She was not. She has a history of having things blow up in her face and then claim that she was doing it on purpose for ulterior motives, and this “experiment” is simply another such case. A few months back, trying to make me and other fellow atheists feel bad, she inexplicably composed a black list, a list of people on Twitter whom other Christians should avoid at all costs. Said list (as would be expected by anyone who had actually taken sixty seconds to sit down and THINK ABOUT IT) exploded in her face with the predictable hilarious consequences (people in that list contacting and following other people on the list, people not on the list openly requesting to be added to it, etc)that a 10-year old could have foreseen… so minutes later she called it a part of a plan (a plan that was never actually fully revealed or explained, because it didn’t exist). This woman thrives on the fictional notion that she is a friend to atheists, and woe to him who exposes her pathological dishonesty. The worst crime you can commit in her world is to not accept her made-up narratives as factual truths. Any attempts to analyze her behavior and see incompatibilities between her actions and her supposed friendliness are met with a barrage of scorn and hatred that would make her Jesus desperately climb back up on that cross. She is not a victim of anything that she hasn’t brought upon herself, she has a hatred of me that burns so deeply that she constantly even brings up my son (age 2) in order to score points (cue her saying that she doesn’t hate me, she only pities me blah blah blah), which is astonishing when you think that not only does she call herself a disciple of Christ, but also that she is a middle-aged adult woman. My horrible crime? To challenge her to match her claims of a loving god with the Ezekiel 9 chapter of the bible (“slaughter the little children”) and then not accept the pathetic response she finally concocted, a response that would have made George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth blush. Yes, she’ll be your friend as long as you both trade compliments, pleasantries and idle chit-chat. Challenge her on anything (and I do mean ANYTHING) and the mask will unwittingly come off, revealing the ugly, petty, dishonest superstitious nutcase that was, in fact, present all along.

  14. Dear Daniel, I have not even read your comment – I got as far as the first sentence and stopped because you have clearly gotten me mixed up with someone else. if you read the thread of comments on here, I in no way think she is conducting an experiment. I think that’s very clear in the comments here. This is the ONLY comment I’ll make on the matter and then I am DONE listening or talking or reading about this freaking Heidi girl. I don’t know here. I don’t want to know her. And frankly, I have unfollowed quite a few people from my twitter account because I am SICK OF HEARING ABOUT HER. With all due respect, I’m a 40 year old woman who simply joined twitter to connect with like minded people and learn and share information – not listen have my timeline saturated with hateful tweets and gossip. I could give a shit about Heidi and her fucking drama. I regret I posted this comment in the first place. But I assure you that i posted it in the interest of peace. And I will make the last comment in the same light. i have not read your comment – nor do I care to. This is the last single second I am wasting on this subject of Heidi or who ever the fuck she is. This is twitter. I have a life. This isn’t it. I suggest you all do the same… get a life!! I wish you peace. I’m done and will be removing myself from further notices of this thread. I really don’t CARE!! Good bye.

  15. PS: I”m sorry for sounding cranky. Don’t misunderstand my last statement to say that I don’t care in general… the only reason I got myself hooked in this drama in the first place is because I do care… ABOUT PEACE. But I have never been interested in gossip and I”m sorry I stuck my nose in a situation that was none of my business. This is not my business and I simply do not want any part of it. And frankly many people within our group on Twitter feel the same way – they are sick of hearing about it. IF you have an issue with Heidi or who ever she is – take it up with her privately. Believe it or not, everyone on your public timeline on twitter doesn’t want to read about it all day long. That is why I unfollowed you guys – I have nothing against you personally. I spent an HOUR last weekend with Mindy trying to convince her to judge IGNORE Heidi. I did that because I cared. But at some I had to take my own advice that I gave Mindy —- I chose to ignore this drama because it’s toxic. I don’t want anything to do with it. It’s nothing personal to you guys at all. It most certainly isn’t for Heidi (who should certainly seek therapy). I did this for me… I do not toxic gossip saturating my timeline on Twitter. This has NOTHING to do with me and I plan to keep it that way. I really do wish you peace. All of you. Cheers.

  16. Hmm. Well, it’s pretty rich to hear “get a life” from someone who has spent barrelfuls of virtual ink on the same subject on this thread alone. The post that you could not read because you “can’t be bothered” is significantly shorter than the one that started the thread, composed by… you, only 5 days ago. But so be it. Also, no, I did not confuse you with someone else, these words: “The second thing I learned though, from your experiment was to be on guard because now I will wonder and worry that every time a christian approaches me in peace — I’m really just an experiment” and “Your experiment and subsequent blogs has opened my eyes to two things…” are the words of someone who has bought the “experiment” lie from Rafferty fully, and that’s what this whole thing is about. I speak for myself, but I know Mindy and Renee would agree wholeheartedly, this isn’t about mocking yet another ignorant superstitious buffoon, this is about exposing the creature many atheists believe to be a nice, friendly person, for the person she really is. You can feel free to condescendingly call for others to “get a life”, but when I choose to do so, writing 600 words about how I can’t be bothered to read 300 words won’t be the way I choose.

  17. Pingback: Not all Christians are lunatics: Joe Cienkowski wants to squirt juice on your hot ass « How good is that?

  18. Fiesty Girl, you said thst you will “continue to speak out for atheism but not because it’s right… but because its speaks up and stands against religion’s policies that do not support an equal existence for all.”(sic)

    This seems very fuzzy, could you expand upon it? Specifically I am interested in how you feel ‘atheism’ stands against religious ‘policies’, and which policies in particular you are refering to? For example, the statement seems to imply that atheism supports an ‘equal existance for all’. If this is part of your position could you please elaborate on why you think this?

  19. Honestly, I quite liked it. I think it in part summed up the agnostic position quite well.

    There were parts I really didn’t like though. For example close to the start he states that having a belief grants no privileged status. This is clearly false, both socially and epistemologically. I didn’t like the persecution complex about half way through, all groups are persecuted in some way or another by opposing groups, self identified or not. Atheists AND relgious people both behave in a less than ideal manner towards each all the time, so I found that section redundant. I also didn’t like the fact that the author appeared to confuse group/institutional dynamics with religion itself. For example the ‘baseless religious privileges’ invoked by church leaders are neither baseless nor religious, but obviously real and political in nature. I think it is a fallacy to believe that destroying belief in God would remove the type of abuses he talks about towards the end. People will still form groups which will come into conflict with the ‘others’, dominant groups will ostracise outsiders to maintain social cohesion, institutions will grant the members privileges and seek to extend their influence. It is anthropology/human nature that decides these things, not religion and it is very naive to believe otherwise.

    I would also add that although statements of belief may have three possible settings (i.e ‘I believe’ ‘I don’t believe’ ‘I have not formed a belief’), statements of truth are clearly binary (with the proviso that a statement which is only true in some cases is ipso facto false since it does not therefore reflect reality in it’s current form).

    It was very well made though and I will definitely watch some more of their videos :-)

  20. The fact that “the agnostic position”, as you put it, is indistinguishable from the intellectually honest position should be just as troubling to those who take a hardline “there definitely are no gods” position, as it is for those who assert the opposite. But since atheism by definition is not the categorical assertion that there are no gods (hence a-theism, rather than a-deism), we are once again reminded of the burden of proof monotheists and nihilists both place upon their own position.

    While I agree with what you’re saying about social dominance and “the others”, I do think you might want to listen again to what he is saying about statements of truth. There is no evidence of any gods, therefore the truth-claims of the religious are baseless, regardless of an insistence to the contrary by either a group or an individual. Especially given that individuals are far more likely to have had their opinions shaped by highly cohesive group-thinking, rather than objective statements of mind independence.

    On persecution: In the United States, if a politician running for election declares in her campaign literature that she is strongly in favour of funding the sciences and medical research, she has immediately alienated herself to vast swathes of the electorate who might otherwise have found her a perfectly good representative, simply because this is interpreted to mean she is “pro-choice”. But if she declared herself unquestionably committed to a belief, that by eating a cracker-bread every Sunday she can communicate with the creator of the universe, she is virtually guaranteed a green light by that same segment of the electorate, who would similarly turn a blind eye to her position on a whole raft of her policies which might not necessarily be in the long-term interest of the individual voter or society in general; climate change, energy security, foreign policy and healthcare funding, et cetera.

    So, in terms of being persecuted for ones beliefs, on balance, I think those of us without magic sky friends have taken more than enough of this kind of abuse of power for long enough as it is—without demanding further concessions be given over to the religious, simply because it might be possible for one or two well intentioned adherents to forge themselves a high-minded, epistemological path through the mire, which ultimately bares little resemblance to the kind of faith pursued by the masses.

  21. I was just going to say I really liked the video. His “Critical thinking” video is one of my favorites.

  22. Hey,

    I’m just dropping in to humbly apologize for how harsh I was on you guys. It may mean nothing, but I think when one makes an ass of oneself, the least one could do is apologize and try to make things right. I’m sure you think I’m a snobby bi*ch – and frankly in hindsight, perhaps that’s exactly what I was being. I’m new to all this. I’ve only formally come out as an atheist just over a month ago and I was not prepared for how heated and emotional things can get. I saw a large group of people tweeting constantly back and forth and honestly, it just made me uncomfortable. I acted in poor taste. I had set out to do something ‘good’ when I comment here initially and in the end, I made you guys feel bad without taking the time to see the entire picture. Since this happened, I have a little more experience under my belt. A twitter character much like ‘you know who’ – only even worse. I think. I’m finding it so hard to refrain from engaging in “tweets” and RT’s – this woman is vile and cruel and twisted beyond reason – condoning suicide, etc… I want the whole world to know how vile she is! I get it now. I understand that you weren’t actually banding like a posse of hateful atheists… you were supporting one another and doing everything you could to get the message out that something toxic was happening.

    All I can say is that I feel like an idiot for jumping to my own conclusions, judging you, and behaving like a royal jack ass. You are all good people. I can see that now.

    I hope you will accept my apology. But I completely understand if you don’t. I wouldn’t even blame you.

    Take care,
    Yvonne

    And Jim, I may have found someone perfect for the book if you’re still interested. Feel free to email me.

    Peace! x

  23. Don’t worry about any of that, babe. Happens all the time. Welcome to debating religion on-line!

    Please get in touch privately if you think you might have someone interested in collaborating on the book.

    Xx

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