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Conservapedia talk:Atheism

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The current article on Conservapedia actually goes so far as to say that atheists are fat, nerds, and unattractive to women. I wish I was making this up. 173.218.156.160 (talk) 06:02, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Love it so far! Maybe you should add what version / when the CP article was last accessed/grabbed? Like "Conservapedia's Atheism article, verbatim and complete as of suchandsuch " --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 06:59, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

Oh, and I didn't know if/how to add this, but, in the into section, the actual quote from the Stanford Encyclopedia is
‘Atheism’ means the negation of theism, the denial of the existence of God. I shall here assume that the God in question is that of a sophisticated monotheism. The tribal gods of the early inhabitants of Palestine are of little or no philosophical interest. They were essentially finite beings, and the god of one tribe or collection of tribes was regarded as good in that it enabled victory in war against tribes with less powerful gods. Similarly the Greek and Roman gods were more like mythical heroes and heroines than like the omnipotent, omniscient and good God postulated in mediaeval and modern philosophy. As the Romans used the word, ‘atheist’ could be used to refer to theists of another religion, notably the Christians, and so merely to signify disbelief in their own mythical heroes.
Meanwhile, the Routledge article is second-hand (through creationontheweb no less), since it's a subscription service. Wouldn't it just have been easier for them to use Websters [1]? I guess it doesn't give the same presumption to "God." I don't know if any of this is helpful, and if I'm intruding, I apologize --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 07:21, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

'Practical Atheism'[edit]

"Practical atheism: Here, the article appears, again, to be advancing the startling revelation that those who do not believe that God exists do not pay any attention to what He supposedly said."

Actually, I think there's a bit more of a point here. Many Faux Theists pretty much live as if there weren't any gods worth worrying about. Think meth-blowjob preachers. — Unsigned, by: 71.178.20.213 / talk / contribs

'Militant Atheism'[edit]

I'm not sure what the hell Conservative is blathering about there, as he has entirely neglected to actually provide any citations or whatever, so I've left that blank for now, but I filled in the rest of the 'blanks' in what's done so far (even though a couple are basically 'this is already addressed elsewhere'). By the way, good catch, PFoster - I kinda missed that the point that religious folks are atheists about all bar one god had already been made. In future, me will lrn 2 reed gud, kk? Zmidponk 15:31, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

References[edit]

How do we want to handle references? Do we want to keep CP's? BTM 18:22, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

They should be useful, I think. It's quite likely his statistical ones (atheists don't give to charity, the swine) are completely untrustworthy, so leaving them in would help us when we come to write those sections. ~ Jellyfish! (TalkContribsLogs) 18:27, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
I checked other comparisons like HPV vaccine FAQ rebuttal and it appears that the references are labeled cp ref, rw ref. BTM 18:31, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

Some observations[edit]

Some observations if I may

Manifestations of Atheism

Militant atheism. Communist regimes oppress in order to hold power etc. They do not do it in the name of Atheism. CP apparently can't find a quote from one of those nasties explicitly saying so. Know any athiests that have been killed by the nasties? It would underline that their nastiness is about maintining control and nothing else.

The following is unsourced:

"Perhaps most importantly, this analysis overlooks the far more common historical phenomenon of murderous religious suppression and oppression by theists - as practiced by Christians against Jews and witches, and Muslims against Christians, Hindus and Jews, etc, etc... "

The reasons for it could be about maintining control and nothing else. Avoid answering accusations of atheist nastiness with examples of religious nastiness. It has no relevance as far as the manifestations of atheism are concerned.

Atheism and Mass Murder

See above.

Atheism and Immoral Views

Morals differ from culture to culture. Different God different Morals, No God no morals? Just show that the concept of Morals is fairly widespread among atheists. They differ among atheists and may differ from those of CP. Perhaps the question of contraception could illustrate differeing moral views among Christians - not that is likely to be particularly relevant.

Atheism and Miracles

Avoid the likes of "The point of this particular section is lost on me, personally." Just explain why the section is nonsensical.

Atheism and the question of origins

CPs assumption is a literal interpretation of the Bible. Just show how bad the scientific [sic] claims are. Show that Christians. (Quote the Vatican on this one) can quite happily accept evolution.

Duh?

Rebellion: After recognising the lack of evidence for the existence of something, it is then rebellion to conclude that which can not be proven to exist, exists. So there is a Lochness monster after all!

Moral depravity: Outside observers have described moral depravity in all societies throughout history. Provide a few examples?

Error: Where are the (scientific) facts?

Learned times, peace, and prosperity: So basically people who have the evidence (or lack of evidence) in front of them and the leisure time to examine it, they're less likely to believe in God?

Negative experiences with theists: This is because some theists (especially fundamentalists) have decided (when it comes to religious matters) they're right and everyone else is wrong. A position that is not conducive to tolerance.

The advance of scientific knowledge: Science has provides a way of explaining and understanding the world which is more substantial than Goddidit.

Atheism and the Foundation of Modern Science So science developed in a world where religious belief was much more widespread than it is to day. What has that got to do with atheism? (It was't just a Christian world. The Chinese, Arabs and ancient Greeks knew a lot of stuff too.)

Gordon Stein

Drop "Personally, the man I fear most is Osama bin Laden."

Has a survey of atheist been done to find who they fear most? Otherwise its an irrelevant opinion. I never heard of Dr. Greg Bahnsen before reading that. Who do I fear most? No one, I feel relaxed in my "safe european home".


Nuff now may be some more another day Auld Nick 12:19, 25 May 2008 (EDT)

Dude, if you don't like it, edit it! I know it's not all professional standard, I wrote a lot of it after having been awake at least 24 hours... and some of them are just placeholders or hints towards possible refutations. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 04:51, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

Layout[edit]

Too many sections labelled "Refute". This confuses the wiki software when you try to edit them. Jollyfish.gifGenghisYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 07:57, 28 May 2008 (EDT)

They're labelled refute because you're supposed to change the title to something more apt. Do so, and quit whining. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 17:41, 28 May 2008 (EDT)
This needs some effort to redo it with the slightly newer SxS format, where each section has one simple table in it... helps everyone. Did I just volunteer? Shit no... er.. maybe? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:45, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Formatting[edit]

I tried to refute part of Conservapedia’s position. It’s gone onto the left side. How do I get it to the right side? Proxima Centauri 11:25, 9 September 2008 (EDT)

I corrected that. If in doubt, just use the same format that the other entries use. I don't remember exactly what you did, but I don't think you did it exactly right. Also, they only use male suicide rates? That's... Interesting. Then again, feminists are all lesbian liberals. -Sρΐяαl.Дгсђıτέςτstand up and shout 11:32, 9 September 2008 (EDT)
For MOAR on the formatting try, This a-here page. CЯacke® 11:37, 9 September 2008 (EDT)

Should be more accessible: needs a short-n-sweet summary on top[edit]

Conservapedia's article is #5 on Google. I think this article should target the same readers. However, there are several ways the current article makes itself much less accessible than it could be: 1) bullet points instead of prose isn't good, 2) the large unconventional TOC that is the first thing the reader sees, with no sort of introduction, and 3) sticking solely to line-by-line refutation makes it hard to do summary style.

The line-by-line refutation is important, and should be kept. However, for readers who don't want to spend 15 minutes reading every detail, we should provide a short-n-sweet summary at the top, that broadly outlines the ways that Conservapedia's article is wrong, and entices the reader to delve deeper into specific issues below that interest them. --Toiretni 13:46, 9 September 2008 (EDT)

Yes, a summary before the TOC would help. The reason for the "unconventional" TOC was to have one at all - if we let the wiki software do it it's a disaster. So we formatted it as best we could (keep in mind that it is hard to "organize" something that is based on one of Kendoll's rambling monologue/quote mines). Our intro should mention and "apologize" for this. A summary section can easily be added at the end, just as an intro can be added. As far as the bullet points, why are they bad, exactly? We use them a lot when they seem appropriate. ħumanUser talk:Human 14:17, 9 September 2008 (EDT)
It's just daunting, I don't know. It's like trying to skim through a logarithm table — a few people are hard-core enough to enjoy it, but most people will run away at first glimpse. Maybe if there were more formatting differences in the text, to hilight the points that are most astonishing/hilarious/whatever, that would also make it easier to skim. (again, I'm not suggesting the bullet points be changed, just that some extra stuff be added, to interest the reader into reading some of the detail)
Also, if you put much summary text at the bottom, there's a good chance that people who just want the short version won't scroll down that far, so most of the prose should be in the introduction. --Toiretni 14:57, 9 September 2008 (EDT)
It's daunting because the original is. The trouble with a side by side is if the original is a rambling mess, it's hard to put meaningful structure on it. Keep in mind, this isn't our atheism article, it's a commentary on CP's disaster. Oh, and the bullet points wherever we use them are "aligned" refutations of the original's bullet point usage. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:05, 9 September 2008 (EDT)
Wow, I was just skimming through the article a bit, and there's an awful lot of first-person usage on our side. Makes for awkward reading, when all of a sudden it says "I think..." or such things. Better to use second person, or if possible, third person. ħumanUser talk:Human 14:25, 9 September 2008 (EDT)
Definitely. We should go for lulz when there's lulz to be had, but otherwise we can probably make it a little less conversational. Possibly shorter/snappier too, especially to emphasize the difference between Conservative's rambling writing style. --Toiretni 14:57, 9 September 2008 (EDT)
Yes, one can just as easily be funny/snarky, etc. without the constant reversion to first person. Some of these read like WIGO CP entries rather than clear statements. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:05, 9 September 2008 (EDT)

Re: the TOC, Interiotoirenti said " Why shouldn't experiments be on "forks" in the same version tree, with liberal reverting? " - no problem, except that it's hard to undo something if there have been subsequent edits. What might work better are sub-page sandbox versions. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:29, 9 September 2008 (EDT)

TOC grouping[edit]

Regarding my proposed alternative. The main problem is that it's very easy for the reader to think that "Attempts to Dilute the Definition of Atheism" falls under the "Types of Atheism:" header, when in fact they're equal peers. Maybe you could fix this by putting "(top)" or "-" or some other sort of notation in the blank cells on the left. However, the bolded section-headers on the left are hard to read for another reason: the long titles wrap in a confusing way.

Are you sure this isn't a case of "I understand it now, why wouldn't new users be able to understand it"? The TOC was very confusing to me until I looked in the HTML code and actually sorted out how the cells we delineated, and then compared it to the original article. I agree that the Conservapedia article is badly-written enough that this can never be perfect, but I think the proposed change is a little more intuitive to new readers.

(also, why is their article ranked #5 if it's written so badly?) --Toiretni 15:24, 9 September 2008 (EDT)

I say for the third time... a lot of the poor structure is due to Ken writing a crappy article - we did what we could to make some sense of the structure, but there's only so much that could be done. Anyway, if our "audience" is people familiar with the original, they will hopefully be sympathetic to our efforts. Also, they might just come here after reading part of his tripe to see what we have to say (which is why we kept, IIRC, his section titles). Wrapping, what a PITA. It all depends on how wide one's screen/window is, I guess. We can force the width of the leftmost column easily enough though. By the way, the table cells need "valign=top" added to them. I agree, a simple "---" or some such in the empty left column cells would probably help. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:33, 9 September 2008 (EDT)
(Ken went to SEO school - it's part of what wrecks his writing style) ħumanUser talk:Human 15:34, 9 September 2008 (EDT)