The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
-- Psalm 14:1
Gee ... how often have we heard THAT one, eh? For those who are tired of hearing it, may I refer you to Phil Zuckerman, PhD, currently of Pitzer College, and his piece, Zuckerman on Atheism. Dr. Zuckerman does not appear to hold with Psalm 14, and he has considerable research to back up his position.
I personally have long wanted a concise and authoritative answer to that biblical attack on atheists. Dr. Zuckerman has provided such, complete with a full set of references which support his position. I gladly herewith share it with you.
Thank you for sharing, Loren. It was an interesting read, and a nice break from my Saturday chores.
The statistic that I found the most compelling was when Zuckerman discussed premarital sex in religious vs. non-religious teens. Teens that took "chastity vows" were just as likely as their peers to engage in premarital sex, but far less likely to use any form of protection against unwanted pregnancy or STDs.
The U.S. prison population statistic is always interesting (atheists are greatly underrepresented in prisons at 0.2%), but I think those statistics are rather muddied by many variables that would be very difficult to isolate. It is highly beneficial to the prisoner to be "religious" in prison for many reasons.
OooooH! Thanks for posting that. I need to print it after I change ink cartridges. That's a keeper.
One comment: Whoever wrote Psalm 14 was an Israelite, writing for other Israelites, and he was referring to YHWH only. They never tried to convert any of their neighbors to their belief system until Saul/Paul started sending out missionaries. They just demonized and then killed anyone who believed in other gods. Or tried to.
I don't care if he was talking to the Peanut Gallery on the Howdy Doody Show. Someone wants to lay that crap on me, I'll bitch-slap their sorry asses to Mars!
Oooops! I should have added that nothing in the buybull is relevant to today's world.
Even "Love thy neighbor as thyself" doesn't mean what it seems..."neighbor" means "fellow Hebrew" only. In my neighborhood, that means (if I were Jewish) that it would be perfectly fine if I were to kick the $hit out of the Greek Orthodox lady across the street, the (former) Pakistani family up the hill, or the ex-nun next door who is still totally devoted to the Crap-lick crutch.
I also wonder what the Hebrew word that the 15th or 16th Century English "translated" as "fool" really means...since at the time the KJV was written a "fool" was also the word for what we think of as the classic court jester, or a Harlequin, and in later times, a circus clown.
When I was bruising my butt trying to build a comedy act with a fellow hopeful, I would have been proud to be called a fool....and I was still only halfway through the process of becoming an atheist at that time in my life.
There's a real subject for study: exactly what the words MEANT back then, what the implications were, based on the vernacular of the day. I think those who want to paint Jebus as the ultimate egalitarian would be VERY disappointed, if they bothered to dig hard enough ... and most of them couldn't be bothered!
Thanks for posting this. It's a very thorough survey and report.
Thank you for the link Loren. I'm going to read that.
Thanks, a very good read! I remember the psalms are full of complaints about atheists, they really cannot leave us alone.
These have always been my favorite verses. They clearly demonstrate that the Bible was written by men with the collective mentality of a bunch of 8 year-olds bickering on a playground.
Do you (the library, I mean) have a subscription to Freethought Today? It's more a newspaper than a scholarly journal or a magazine, but it's interesting, and even fun...except for the section called "Black Collar Crime Blotter;" a listing of people in the religion business who have been charged with, convicted and sentenced for all manner of crimes. Mostly child abuse or embezzling church funds.
Cruise the archives: http://ffrf.org/publications/freethought-today/
And the Council for Secular Humanism publishes Free Inquiry, a very good "slick" magazine:
Maybe you could slyly suggest that you need some balance in the library's periodicals department....?