Faith and Reason?

datePosted on 21:26, October 28th, 2009 by Kosmic Kurt

In USA Today’s Faith and Reason (faith yes, reason hardly) column, journalist Cathy Lynn Grossman pokes fun at the Atheist Alliance International National Convention – and atheism and freethought in general. In addition to her own failed attempt at reason, Grossman quotes from Rice University’s Anthony Pinn who makes several false claims and ridiculous statements. Using someone like Pinn as a source illustrates Grossman’s ignorance of a subject she claims to be qualified to comment on.

Grossman compares Oxford Evolutionary Biologist Professor Richard Dawkins to singer Mick Jager and award winning Journalist Christopher Hitchens to guitar player Keith Richards both from the English rock band the Rolling Stones. Her point is to show that scientists, intellectuals, etc are no more than performers. Besides her silly and immature analogy, she misses her mark completely. Perhaps if Grossman would have not made fun of the convention and its participants and tried to form some intelligent criticisms, I might not be so disgusted with her unfounded attacks.

As Grossman points out, Pinn calls himself a humanist. But there are religious humanists and Secular Humanists – the latter calling for holding religion accountable for all of the superstition and dogma that they proliferate as part of their existence. Pimm supports religious dogma and states,

“… Theism, at its core, is about the making of meaning and the establishment of stories and practices related to how and why we occupy time and space.”

–Anthony Pinn

In the above statement, the word “making” should be replaced with “making up.” Theism invents fictions and has absolutely no claim on reality. Grossman also paraphrases Pinn as saying “…religion is never going away.” Oh yes it is. All recent religious surveys confirm that it is declining everywhere and the ranks of non-believers are growing in staggering proportions.

The biggest joke is the closing question that Grossman asks,

“Pinn would like to see atheists, humanists and believers, retaining their distinctions, focus on shared ethical commitments. What are the chances?”


Atheism is not just the absence of god, but the intolerance for harmful and hurtful superstitions and dogmas which cripple societies. Secular Humanism is about removing the harmful and hurtful influences of religion and replacing them with universally recognized humane and ethical worldviews. How can any religious person even understand moral commitments when most religions label actions like murder, rape, incest and just about every immoral act conceivable as acceptable? The horrific god of the Old Testament is brilliant at devising ways to torture people for his own perverted amusement. His devotees have always followed that example with like actions. Where there is a malicious god and subservient followers, there can not be any moral behavior. Until theists can stop burning children alive (see earlier post), stop hijacking airplanes and bombing subway stations, stop lying to people about made up mythical afterlives, and start treating all people with the respect and kindness they deserve, there will be no “shared ethical” endeavors.

Grossman needs to remove the word “Reason” from the title of her column. She obviously does not understand the meaning of it.

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