David Silverman – Fighting God & Firebrand Atheism

I love David Silverman. Why? Because he has the brass cojones to call a spade a spade, he doesn't soften his approach and he doesn't back down.  Recently, in Zurich, Switzerland, David gave a talk on firebrand atheism which relates to his new book, Fighting God.  In it, he talks about the fact that we as atheists need to be BOLD, we need to stop using euphemisms and talking around the subject and confront the issues of theism versus atheism head-on.  We need to grasp and own the facts, know that we have them and THEY DON'T.  This doesn't mean being a dick or being abusive, but owning the facts and using them to our advantage.

This is the message that has to get through to atheists in the US right now. We owe it to ourselves to be loud and proud about our atheism, so that people know that There Is NOTHING Wrong With Atheism ... because there isn't, yet there is PLENTY wrong with religion.

Break it down, David!

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It DIDN'T?!?  Does Ben know ANYTHING about Northern Ireland or maybe the Middle East and all the fun the Israelis and Arabs are having?  Does he even know who Sunni and Shia Muslims are?

The fact is that more strife has come out of religious differences than any other single source that I can think of ... and Ben Carson doesn't know jack.

Are we talking about Ben Carson now? If so, I want to ring in on my evaluation of him. To me, he seems to be the 2016 version of the racist apologetics, underlain with fear of the white dominant sector. He appears to agree with the biblical definition of who he is, therefore, offering a prime example of how to be a good black. 

Ben Carson's 15 most controversial quotes

A pompous, pusillanimous, picayune, pathetic pissant.

Daniel, what works for you works for you, and that is totally cool.  I suppose I lean more toward the firebrand mindset at least in part because what I see in politics and in church behavior pisses me off big-time.  That is a large portion of why I joined FFRF and why I may also join American Atheists.

But even David Silverman has acknowledged that his outfit isn't for everyone, and I think it's terrific that there's CFI and COR and a bunch of other organizations which can help people find their place in the atheist field.  Atheists are not clones, any more than believers are, and I think that's a good thing.

Daniel, I am glad you are not a firebrand because we need the quieter, gentler people to calm the rough seas of prejudice. I agree, each has a role to play in any struggle, especially with pre-judgments. The civil rights and feminist movements had both firebrands and mediators and they both have their roles, different, and necessary. 

Loren I comment on Google and You Tube a lot and get attacked by the religious because they think I'm attacking them. Just today I get:

   "You "F"ing dick. Who are you to deny people their religion and make claims about the afterlife. You SOB you don't know anything about the afterlife, etc." You bore me, he says.

My reply was that all this is correct. I know nothing of an aftelife and nobody else does either. You are swearing and upset because you know the afterlife is not true. Nobody has proof of an afterlife.

Another person popped up to send me 3 pages of a detailed thing about evolution vs. creation and how it was all false about evolving, etc. I sent him back a simple reply that he doesn't know and I don't know either, but I can answer without making up an invisible man in the sky. The ANGER that I see gets overwhelming. Then they call us "angry atheists." I see it the other way around.

You can take the stand that David Silverman is talking about here without debating a single person. The believers act like they are going to learn biblical facts and brush up on Bible verses to defeat that atheist. When you think about it this is laughable.

I love that "who do you think you are to attack god" et cetera crap.  My standard response is: "who do I HAVE to be?"  There's also the matter of their doing their own POSITIVE evaluation of their deity from their own standards, and if they can do that, there's no reason why we can't evaluate it from OUR standpoint.

I know this is an old point, but it still is worth reemphasizing: believers have gotten off easy for WAY too long.  It is well past time that their unsubstantiated fairy tales were called on for their bullshit, and if they don't like it, that's their hard cheese.

Mike, the name callers, swearers, accusers, blamers, act out of fear. They fear god and hell and now they transfer their fear and anger onto you. Such people act out of ignorance and failure to find a valid rebuttal to your claim.

Boghossian's, A Manual for Creating Atheists, helps me to stay calm in the face of anger. It also is good for my blood pressure. 

Hey gang. Here is David being interviewed by Seth Andrews. I really like the point he makes about how taking the heat from an anti-atheist person makes it that much easier on the next atheist that negative person encounters, and is therefore an act of humanism. I also agree with David that if all of the "nones" of every stripe would call themselves atheist, we would have some incredible political muscle. Baptists, catholics, lutherans, they all call themselves christian and appear to be a huge majority rather than the fractured mess that they actually are.


I saw that video some weeks ago, and I thought it was terrific back then.  It really brings out the uncompromising position Silverman takes, in that as surely as we don't believe that Santa Claus exists, that there is no justification in hedging about the existence of any form of deity.

I get the hesitance that people have about this.  I had it myself, but I got over it when I realized all the harm that religion does and that any other term simply had a measure of ambiguity which didn't get the job done.  Grasping the nettle isn't that hard now, and indeed, it's not even a nettle any more.

We. Are. Atheists.  We just need to say so.

I keep getting people wanting to debate me or convert me. They don't get it. One has now given me 2 pages saying that "DNA does not reproduce on its own." I replied that I knew little on DNA, but how could this mean that "god did it?" I don't have the answers and neither do you. Theists just make them up. If you think a god did it, please tell me which one of the many gods it was, and why your particular god is the right one?

Surprise! Atoms do not reproduce either, thanks to the Easter Bunny.

[sigh] Arguments from ignorance and incredulity.  What else is new?




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