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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Larry Darby, Atheist Of The Year

This is getting stranger, and I do feel sorry for the Dems in Alabama.
Alabama's Democratic Party is distancing itself from two Democratic candidates for state office who think all illegal immigrants must leave or be killed.

Party officials described the platforms of candidates Larry Darby and Harry Lyon as ridiculous, unconstitutional and offensive. Darby is running for attorney general, and Lyon is a gubernatorial candidate.
...
Lyon said if elected, he would sponsor a law to get all illegal immigrants out of the state within 90 days, or be hanged in public.
...
Darby, though, said he would support Lyon in his election bid.

"If he's willing to have public hangings of Mexicans, that sounds like he's the right man for the job," Darby said.
What a governor and attorney general they would make! ( Harry Lyon is an Alabama lawyer who has run for office about eight times, and is not considered a serious candidate. One of his comments was that if he won the governor's race, he would paint the initials "HL" on the bottom of the pool at the governor's mansion, and that he wanted to get his hands on some of that state money. Maybe you need to speak southern to understand old Harry's hyperbole, but Darby seems to take it seriously. ) The article kind of glosses over Darby, but he is a lawyer and the founder of the Atheist Law Center, which is quite active in litigating against any mention of religion in public life. The Atheist Law Center has filed briefs all the way up to the Supreme Court in several cases.

Darby also claims that the Germans never meant to kill Jews (maybe 150,000 or so died, but it was just from disease). Darby just gave a speech to the Vanguard crew in New Jersey. I'm not going to link to them, but you can find them on the web. Odds are that you eventually will, whether you want to or not, because I have run across them by accident several times when googling banking scandals. They are fulminating anti-Semitics of the absolutely worst kind. It's a seemingly rational obsession that knows no boundaries nor admits any evidence countering their delusion. They publish long histories of the world with one theme only - the Jews are evil and the world must be rid of the great danger of Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeews.

The media doesn't want to criticize Democrats, but it is making a terrible mistake by not publicizing the truth about Darby. Volokh has extensive and good coverage which I highly recommend. This post in particular details Darby's prominence among atheists (he got the "Atheist of the Year" award) and his views on Jews in America, which seem oddly similar to those of Al-Qaeda. What can you make of a man who holds these views:
Mr. Darby also (1) apparently wrote that "David Duke is right on with the problem of Zionism and the Zionist-Occupied Government we live under," (2) seems quite interested in whether media representatives who contact him about such matters are Jewish, and (3) was substantially involved in organizing a speech by noted Holocaust denier David Irving.
Volokh contacted Darby directly and this is a quote from one Darby's emails to him:
[F]or the record, Dr. David Duke does offer insight into the neoconservative or Trotskyist government in Washington, DC. Some of what he has been saying for years is bearing out in the news today. Have you ever read anything of Duke's your self? I'm sure he'd talk to you. Write him at www.davidduke.com and find out for yourself. And read what he really says for yourself, without relying on what Jewish Supremacists say about him.

Have you been keeping up with all the Zionists (Jews and Jewish-Christians) being arrested by the FBI? I know it hasn't made mainstream media, but it is happening and expectations are that when Kidan turns evidence against Uber-Zionist Abramoff, some other members of Congress might be indicted. Those are only two of several people arrested.

If you aren't keeping up with those issues, then likely you won't be able to understand that Dr. Duke knows what he's talking about when it comes to Jewish Supremacism and Zionism.
The bloggers have been on this story for well over a year. Under Darby, the Atheist Law Center hosted a nice talk by David Irving. Irving is a dedicated Holocaust denier. Southern Poverty Law Center. From July of 2005, a post at Speedkill:
Darby, president of the Center, urges citizens concerned about the steady erosion of liberties in the U.S. to come hear of Irving’s experiences in challenging popular history of the NAZI era and the Western world’s taboos regarding what has grown into the holocaust industry.

Media for the masses in the U.S. are self-censoring, by and large unwilling to report criticism of Judaism (the root of all theism), organized Jewry, Israel or U.S. foreign policy regarding the Jewish state. A result of this censorship of genuine issues has been the establishment in the U.S. of a void of knowledge concerning just how powerful Jewish interests, such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, are in this country.
Darby has also claimed that Jews invented racism. He's a major anti-Semite, and I find it weirdly logical that he apparently thinks that using the Einsatzgruppen treatment on illegal aliens would settle matters nicely in Alabama. No wonder he promulgates the fallacy that the Nazis didn't try to kill the Jews. I wonder what he thinks happened to the Jews, the Gypsies, the political dissenters and the deaf and disabled in Germany and its conquered countries?

In any case, the problem is that Darby evidently recognized that a strong public sentiment in Alabama would be responsive to the idea of getting the illegals out of Alabama, and this caused him to leap on the "hang the illegals high" bandwagen. Our government's failure to deal with the problem is opening the door for the kooks and crazies, which makes it necessary for all the views of the kooks and the crazies to be well known.

What is it about atheists and Jews, anyway? Dawkins has made some very odd statements regarding Jews as well. Do atheists have a particular allergy to Jewish people? They'll be going along seemingly rationally, but then you touch on the "Jewish question", and abruptly they start frothing at the mouth. They lose all ability to recognize reality and make a logical argument when the topic of Jewish people or Israel comes up, and if you let them talk long enough about religion, Jews always do seem to get introduced into the conversation. It's as if they have some deep-seated obsession that will not let them rest. Dawkins is a scientist, so it's particularly disturbing in his case.


Comments:
"What is it about atheists and Jews, anyway? Dawkins has made some very odd statements regarding Jews as well. Do atheists have a particular allergy to Jewish people? They'll be going along seemingly rationally, but then you touch on the "Jewish question", and abruptly they start frothing at the mouth. They lose all ability to recognize reality and make a logical argument when the topic of Jewish people or Israel comes up, and if you let them talk long enough about religion, Jews always do seem to get introduced into the conversation. It's as if they have some deep-seated obsession that will not let them rest. Dawkins is a scientist, so it's particularly disturbing in his case."

Let's have some evidence for those claims, how about? The Dawkins comment and evidence for your generalization. And remember, generalizing from an atheist or two you happen to have encountered is a logical fallacy.
 
I admire Dawkins as a scientist very much, but there's no doubt he has a fixed monomania about religion. I have included a link to a particular article he authored below.

The use of "Lebensraum" with reference to the original Israel is very interesting considering that he makes an explicit reference to Hitler's anti-Semitism. I cannot believe that Dawkins does not know that Hitler's anti-Semitism was completely racial in nature. It had nothing to do with whether Jews were atheists, agnostics, practicing Christians or observant Jews.

If you aren't getting what's so odd about this particular screed, imagine saying that American Indians should not have reservations, and that they should have assimilated into the larger population long ago. A person who questions a people's right to exist is no humanist. Dawkins quotes Gore Vidal and Douglas Adams about the evils of monotheism in particular. It's a Jewish concept, which he must know.

Try this address for a start. Not only does he consistently contradict himself (sometimes in the same sentence!), but he appears to be blaming Jews for being Jewish and Israel for existing. It's a remarkable effort from a mind that should be disciplined.
"Time to get angry. And not only with Islam."
"My point is not that religion itself is the motivation for wars, murders and terrorist attacks, but that religion is the principal label, and the most dangerous one, by which a ‘they’ as opposed to a ‘we’ can be identified at all."
"Probably deep familiarity with the Old Testament had given the European and American decision-makers some sort of idea that this really was the “historic homeland” of the Jews (though the horrific stories of how Joshua and others conquered their Lebensraum might have made them wonder)."
"...if it had not been for religion, the very concept of a Jewish State would have had no meaning in the first place."
"In a world without religion, there would have been no Crusades; no Inquisition; no anti-Semitic pogroms (the people of the diaspora would long ago have intermarried and become indistinguishable from their host populations)..."
 
PS: In the article Dawkins writes:
"It is time for people of intellect, as opposed to people of faith, to stand up and say, “Enough!” Let our tribute to the September dead be a new resolve: to respect people for what they individually think, rather than respect groups for what they were collectively brought up to believe."

However his thinking in the article is a flat-out contradiction of this principle. It's very bizarre.
 
Whack job. The word is whack job.

And CV notwithstandimg, he's no more than an ape in a tuxedo.

This one just seems to know more tricks.
 
The use of "Lebensraum" with reference to the original Israel is very interesting considering that he makes an explicit reference to Hitler's anti-Semitism. I cannot believe that Dawkins does not know that Hitler's anti-Semitism was completely racial in nature. It had nothing to do with whether Jews were atheists, agnostics, practicing Christians or observant Jews.

He uses the phrase to compare a war of conquest justified by differences in self-labels (I can't think of a good phrase here, but I think you know what I mean) with another. That's how I read it, at least. He's trying to equate the immorality of Hitler killing people because they were Jews or non-Aryan and Joshua leading a war to remove people who weren't God's chosen ones. I don't see how that's anti-semitic.

If you aren't getting what's so odd about this particular screed, imagine saying that American Indians should not have reservations, and that they should have assimilated into the larger population long ago. A person who questions a people's right to exist is no humanist.

Where did he question any people's right to exist? He's simply saying that without religion we wouldn't be divided into some of the groups we are now, divisions which causes a lot of bloodshed.

Dawkins quotes Gore Vidal and Douglas Adams about the evils of monotheism in particular. It's a Jewish concept, which he must know.

So if you criticize monotheism, you're attacking Jews? That's rather absurd.

he appears to be blaming Jews for being Jewish and Israel for existing.

I must have missed that part. He says that Israel's existence is a source of violence in the Middle East, which it obviously is. That's not blaming Israel for anything.

"My point is not that religion itself is the motivation for wars, murders and terrorist attacks, but that religion is the principal label, and the most dangerous one, by which a ‘they’ as opposed to a ‘we’ can be identified at all."

This is wrong/bad how? Religion divides us into groups. Dawkins thinks that's bad. I don't see the problem.

"...if it had not been for religion, the very concept of a Jewish State would have had no meaning in the first place."

This seems blindingly obvious, so I'm not sure what your problem is with it.

"In a world without religion, there would have been no Crusades; no Inquisition; no anti-Semitic pogroms (the people of the diaspora would long ago have intermarried and become indistinguishable from their host populations)..."

Again, what's the problem? Without that religious division there wouldn't be a way for Jews to marry within their own religion. Without it there wouldn't be anyone to target with anti-semitic pogroms. Seems pretty obvious.

As you can see, I'm not entirely sure how you're getting anti-semitism out of that article. His point is that we'd be better off without religion. You can agree or disagree, but I don't see how it's anti-semitic.

Also, you seem to have forgotten to justify your generalization about atheists.
 
As for "justifying" the generalization, a few definitions:
Darby's kind of atheist is one that holds religion a positive evil, and derives the corollary that religion should be eliminated for the benefit of mankind. They claim they know with absolute assurance that no God or Gods exist, that everyone else should know so too, and that if everyone recognized that there was no higher power the world would become a much better place. This appears to have become a faith in and of itself, because it is impossible for science to absolutely determine that God does not exist.

There are some people who don't believe in any kind of supernatural existences who don't hold that axiom or corollary. These are usually called agnostics. They see no proof or evidence in the world that such a higher power exists, and therefore they don't believe. I was once one of them. These people don't insist that other people should believe what they believe.

Then there are those who suspect that a higher power does exist.

Lastly there are those who believe with great conviction that one does and that recognizing that higher power and conforming behavior to the laws (moral structure) created by that higher power will greatly benefit both the individual and the world. To that end they teach, proselytize, etc.

In both the first and last group there are some who hold the idea that alternate beliefs should vanish.

What is odd about Dawkins' position is first that he appears to be attacking not just religion but monotheism. Both the Douglas quote and the Vidal quote specifically identify monotheism as the problem. Both mention the Jews. I will address this in a much longer post.

You say that "religion divides us into groups". Within the article Dawkins concedes that, even in his examples, people are fighting largely over political issues rather than religious issues. It's obvious that there are many other things that divide us into groups. It's obvious that wars for land and resources did not begin with religion and are not basically caused by religion. Chimps do the same.

Why pick out religion? Why pick out monotheism? Why not pick out language, law, custom, dress, ethnicity etc? All of these have played more of a role historically in armed conflicts.

Among world religions, Judaism is one of the least intrusive. It does not seek to convert and rule the world. It is most of all a set of ethical propositions and laws. Most attacks on Jews have been attacks on their successes, not their impositions.

Furthermore, Jewish people are native to the middle east and were pitched out of most of their historic communities, beginning in WWII. To say that they have no right to be in the lands in which they have been for thousands of years is to advance a rule that no nation would accept for itself.

Finally, to blame Jews or Israel for 9/11 is like blaming the parents of of serial murderers for their children's deaths.

I will address Dawkins' points further in another post. Speedkill, you should be able to understand the the fundamental prerequisite of peace is acknowledgment of the other person's right to exist.
 
Didn't this whole thread start out about a bit of whack-jobbery that makes Alabama politics as entertaining as Louisiana's?

"We'll try to stay
Serene and calm
When Alabama gets The Bomb."
-- Tom Lehrer
 
I don't know that Dawkins is so sure that God doesn't exist. It's more that he's sure there's no justification for the belief in God.

Your definition of agnostic is not the one I've come across. It's closer to the definition of a weak atheist and it's what I consider myself to be.

You again seem to have failed to justify your generalization about atheists.

Monotheism is attacked because it's generally been the cause of more violence than polytheism. There's much less of any opportunity for pluralism.

You say that "religion divides us into groups". Within the article Dawkins concedes that, even in his examples, people are fighting largely over political issues rather than religious issues. It's obvious that there are many other things that divide us into groups. It's obvious that wars for land and resources did not begin with religion and are not basically caused by religion. Chimps do the same.

Dawkins is saying, I think, that religion can divide us into political groups and lead to violence.

Why pick out religion? Why pick out monotheism? Why not pick out language, law, custom, dress, ethnicity etc? All of these have played more of a role historically in armed conflicts.

I don't know that I agree with Dawkins about where religion ranks as a cause of violence, but it's far from obvious that any of those things have caused more violence. In fact, ethnicity is the only one off hand that appears to even be a candidate.

Among world religions, Judaism is one of the least intrusive. It does not seek to convert and rule the world. It is most of all a set of ethical propositions and laws. Most attacks on Jews have been attacks on their successes, not their impositions.

Furthermore, Jewish people are native to the middle east and were pitched out of most of their historic communities, beginning in WWII. To say that they have no right to be in the lands in which they have been for thousands of years is to advance a rule that no nation would accept for itself.


What does that have to do with anything? I doubt Dawkins would disagree that Judaism ranks higher than Christianity or Islam on a scale of violence caused at this point. Of course, if you believe the history of the OT, there's a lot of violence.

Finally, to blame Jews or Israel for 9/11 is like blaming the parents of of serial murderers for their children's deaths.

Again, what does that have to do with anything? Dawkins didn't blame Israel for anything.

I will address Dawkins' points further in another post. Speedkill, you should be able to understand the the fundamental prerequisite of peace is acknowledgment of the other person's right to exist.

I do understand it. I'm just wondering why you feel the need to point it out, as no one has said otherwise. Wishing some people believed something else is not saying they have no right to believe what they do believe.
 
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