Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Black Atheists of Atlanta, your hosts are embarrassing!

UPDATE: I listened to the latest Ask an Atheist episode (video to be added later to a future post), and this is some rouge group that split ties with the Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta, which appears to be the rational atheist group in that community. It is still disappointing to see some radical loons carry the atheist banner (so to speak) around.

I know other atheist bloggers have now beaten me to the punch, but I need to get my thoughts out on this episode from late last month. First, here are the important parts, broken up into three videos:

What is to follow is what I put in the description of the videos. This covers my main objections, though they said a lot of bizarre stuff, and I know I didn't cover all of it.
This is from the May 23, 2011 episode of "The Black Atheists of Atlanta." The hosts make many disappointing comments regarding homosexuality.

Some examples include making an argument from tradition, where they claim homosexuality was originally part of Greek and Roman culture. A caller into the show is the most reasonable one pointing out that the Greeks and Romans may just be the first cultures that are known to accept homosexuals [in their societies], but not that the first homosexuals were Greek or Roman. The hosts also claim that African societies are family centered, but homosexuality is not family centered. [How so?]

They also make up scientific laws, such as what they call the "Law of Reproduction." No such scientific law exists. The idea seems to be that for mammals, a male and female is required for reproduction and that all members of the species have a desire to reproduce themselves. (I derive the first part from the obvious as well as commentary and the second part from their claim about homosexuality being a choice...or that one is not "born that way.") They seem to not recognize, or perhaps they are unaware, that evolution works on a species and not the individual. (The idea here being that not all members of a species need to take part in the reproductive process...at least not to the extent they [imply].)

They also discuss scientists being raciest, which is true, but they get conspiratorial about it, denying any evidence that might go against, dare I say, "their agenda" if it came from a white scientist. They give the example of Piltdown Man, which is indeed a good example of European bias interfering with the scientific process, but they, as many creationists likewise do, ignore the fact that there were scientists suspecting it to be a fraud from the beginning. [They additionally ignore (or their conspiratorial thinking causes them to ignore) that the scientific process is self-correcting. Errors/mistakes can and do happen, but the process tends to discard these, even if it takes many years to do so.]

Another error they make is claiming homosexuals claim to be atheists to get out of the church. That is just complete BS from anything I've seen. Many homosexuals do not want to be thought of as atheists because then they will belong to another underprivileged minority. I personally see many try to reform the more liberal churches, using the claim, "God made me gay" to gain sympathy. It is true, though, that there are likely homosexuals who do become atheists partly due to questioning of their religion resulting from the discrimination. However, they don't become atheists simply by not liking the discrimination. It just doesn't work that way.

In summary, I was disappointed in that I heard a lot of the garbage I typically hear from Christian apologists coming out of the mouths of people who are atheists. Well, this just goes to show how broad the "atheist umbrella" is; all you have to do is reject the claims of a deity. There is no requirement that you have to make that rejection through critical thinking.

I'd also like to note that the caller in parts 2 and 3 was the most reasonable person in the discussion. It was a shame, I feel, that the caller didn't do a better job calling the hosts on their BS, especially where the caller agreed that homosexuality wasn't "family oriented." I'd really like to know why they don't think homosexuality is family oriented. Yes, I get it that homosexuals cannot have children of their own from engaging in homosexual intercourse. But, the hosts point out that Africans (as well as all humans, though they imply otherwise) are communal. Why can't they consider that homosexuals could have a communal role, such as daycare providers or midwives? It would seem the error primarily lies in that one minute they say the culture is communal and then the next minute it is family-based, which are not necessarily the same thing.

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