Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rational Response Squad


[Brian Sapient and Kelly O'Connor members of the RRS, participated in a debate with actor and evangelical Christian, Kirk Cameron, and his colleague, Ray Comfort on May 5, 2007. Nightline included a short two-segment summary on its May 9 broadcast.]

Why do I find it difficult to take atheists seriously? Well, let's see where "Kelly" is now. The great atheist spokesperson is now a legal prostitute in Nevada. I guess the atheist business wasn't paying very well.

This, along with so many other atheists, is a great role model to teach us how to live.

49 comments:

BrooklynWolf said...

Three quick points:

1. Please put a NSFW warning on that link. It's just the right thing to do.

2. Atheism (in an intellectual stance) doesn't stand or fall on the activities of any one person. A person could be the most virtuous or despicable person, and it has absolutely no bearing on whether or not God exists.

3. I think calling Kelly O'Connor "The great atheist spokesperson" is a bit of a stretch, don't you?

The Wolf

jewish philosopher said...

But she's not a rare exception; she seems to be typical.

I'm simply saying that if this is a leading atheist spokesperson (which is how Nightline represented her), I think we have to be a little suspicious of atheism.

jewish philosopher said...

And interestingly she seems to have trouble holding a job in a brothel as well. Definitely a good role model.

Michael said...

Wow, I've never seen the ad hominem displayed so clearly and distinctly, thanks Jewish Philosopher!

Now, the only other reason this incident would have been interesting is if the following were true: (1)there was something wrong with being a sex worker AND (2 Kelly said that atheists are inherently more moral than theists as part of her argument. If these 2 were true it would showcase her hypocrisy. But they're not so it doesn't.

jewish philosopher said...

I would just like everyone out there to take a few minutes to consider: What would happen if the everyone in the world would become an atheist? Would humanity even last more than a few generations? I think not.

SJ said...

>> This, along with so many other atheists, is a great role model to teach us how to live.


Noone ever said atheism is a guideline for life in the same sense as the bible. Atheism is simply the belief God don't exist, nothing more nothing less.

jewish philosopher said...

And what does that lead to?

If you want your daughter to be a hooker or your son to be drunk, become an atheist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Hitchens#Use_of_alcohol

I just love a website like failedmessiah.com where every time a rabbi gets a parking ticket, they scream about it. How about failedatheist.com? I would need a staff of hundreds of people to keep up with that.

DrJ said...

"What would happen if the everyone in the world would become an atheist?"

We know what Christianity did in the past in the name of God. We also know what Muslims have doing in the name of God. So perhaps Jews are the exception. But Why?

Clearly it has nothing to do with God, because of what I just said about other religions. So what is the reason that Jews have not committed genicide or other crimes against humanity?

I say it is because (a) we have been, since exile, a relatively small, disliked and powerless people, so we would be stupid to pick fights with other people, and (b) because of our humanistic tradition, as espoused by the rabbis. In rabbinic tradition man comes before God. Most of the Torah's objectionable laws were nullified by the rabbis.

So all of your drivel about god and morality makes no sense.

jewish philosopher said...

I have post about Orthodox Jewish crime.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/orthodox-jewish-crime.html

and about religion and crime in general

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/10/god-save-king-why-we-need-both.html

I conclude by saying:
"Without a belief in a transcendent moral authority, it would seem likely that mankind would not last more than a century. One half would kill the other half, the survivors would not bother to have children and that would be the end of that."

That sounds about right.

I just love the name: Rational Response Squad. If this is rational, then I think I'll choose irrational.

Incidentally, here is Kelly with Richard Dawkins.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rationalresponsesquad/1707064683/

Kelly with Christopher Hitchens.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rationalresponsesquad/1707038377/

I believe that even when these photos were taken Kelly was working as a stripper.

BrooklynWolf said...

And what does that lead to?I fail to see how that is relevant. God either exists or doesn't, regardless of what a belief in Him leads to.

Or, let me put it this way... if, in the hypothetical, God doesn't exist*, would you advocate that people believe in Him anyway because of what atheism can lead to (as per your claim)?

The Wolf

* And before you call me an atheist, I do believe in His existence.

jewish philosopher said...

It's seems quite common for atheists to point out ad nauseam all the "evils of religion".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Root_of_All_Evil%3F

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_is_not_great

I think that their concern may be a little misplaced.

BrooklynWolf said...

What you say is true, but it still does not answer my question above.

Please do so.

The Wolf

jewish philosopher said...

Would it be better for mankind to believe God doesn't exist and become extinct believing the truth or believe He does exist and survive believing something false?

I can't really answer that since God does exist. It's a question which atheists need to answer however. I haven't heard their answer.

E-Man said...

Jewish Philosopher, you must put a warning on that link! I thought it was going to be a news article not some myspace page of a prostitute! That was unsettling.

Anyway, I think that Atheists can be very moral people and live in society. However, I think the point that should be made is that in a world where no one believes in a higher power what is to stop the strong from suppressing the weak? Because it isn't moral? WHy should the strong care about what is moral, there is no G-D!

This guy before this kelly person said that he doesn't need a G-D to tell him to be moral, however, what is to STOP him from deciding to kill someone he is angry with? He might get caught and punished.

What if our society was built on atheism? Now, a government that believes there is no G-D should just attack weaker countries for supplies and power. Oh wait, that happened, it was called Germany in world war 2. Hitler believed the Aryan race was superior and therefore felt the whole world should be under his control.

In the middle ages the wars were fought because each side thought they had a right to the land, they weren't fighting because they thought they were superior beings. Atheism can lead to this, Hitler. However, religion can lead to things like the crusades and Jihaads. SO which is better?

Well, figure this, if everyone on the Earth believed in the same G-D there would be a lot less killing. Sure, there might be wars, but there would be a lot less and they would have to be justifiable in some way. However, if the whole world did not believe in G-D then we could have a bunch of Hitler like people that just attack because they feel they are better or deserve something more, that would be a scary world.

BrooklynWolf said...

You can answer it in the hypothetical. You just choose not to.

The Wolf

jewish philosopher said...

It's sort of like saying: Hypothetically, if 2 + 2 did not equal 4, would it be worthwhile to believe it does since then life would work out better? I don't know.

Jr said...

Great argument. You allow yourself to pick any unknown atheist and let her bad behavior exemplify a whole group of people. And even then you only manage to find one who ins't violating any law or hurting anyone.

Rebeljew said...

Isn't this a bit like Bill Maher taking on the Neturai Karta in Religulous? I also think the Neturai Karta are ridiculous and embarrassing. What does debunking them say about Judaism? Anything at all?

jewish philosopher said...

Frankly, it doesn't seem like it's just this one lady. I'm not going to bring up really nasty atheists, like Stalin, Mao or Reinhard Heydrich. Let's take a nice, civilized guy like Richard Dawkins. He's been divorced twice. To the best of my knowledge (and please correct me if I'm wrong) he is not on speaking terms with his only child. Besides that, he's on record as almost promoting adultery.

http://richarddawkins.net/article,1926,Banishing-the-Green-Eyed-Monster,Richard-Dawkins-On-Faith

Atheists basically behave about the way we would expect people who have no morality and ethics to behave, which is to say not very good.

Michael said...

I would just like everyone out there to take a few minutes to consider: What would happen if the everyone in the world would become an atheist? Would humanity even last more than a few generations? I think not.Then just to get this on the record: do you think "humanity" was better off centuries ago when everyone was religious, and to a larger extent than people today?

DrJ said...

The argument that you offer is only a theoretical question of what would happen of people became atheists.

You didn't answer my question as to why contemporary orthodox Jews behave morally. I demonstrated that is has nothing to do with god; I offered two other explanations. Furthermore, the Bible is chock full of stories about God believing and fearing people doing all kinds of horrible things.

I'm not claiming that religious people are less moral, I'm just saying that its not because of God.

The Talmudic sages were the original humanists in Jewish tradition. They tried to make the Torah "kinder and gentler". Over the past 2000 years of human history, man has built on ancient morality, by fostering equality and shedding remnants of the ancient world including animal sacrifices, slavery, domination over women and racism. Yes, there have been regressions, but these are the exceptions rather than the rule. This progress has been made due to human rationality, not because of God.

onionsoupmix said...

So you claim that all atheists and off-the-derech Jews are secret porn addicts and then I click on a link in your post which brings me to a site full of naked women... why am I not surprised by the hypocrisy? How much porn did you surf through before choosing that page to link to? Does your wife know?

DrJ said...

Another major flaw of all of your posts on this matter is using the straw man argument.

So here, you take an extreme case, such as a prostitute, as your ideological opponent, and knock her down.

Real slick.

Shalmo said...

Its interesting where Kelly has ended up. On youtube her and Brian spent nearly everyday bashing theists

But the refutations to them, from other non-theists to boot, were awesome. I remember once Brian quoted this psychologist to claim psychology has shown that religion is a mental disorder. Then when everyone googled him it turns out he lied, as the psychologist was actually pro-religion in therapeutic scenarios. After that people just stopped taking the Rational Response Squad seriously.

While I don't think this woman is indicative of all atheists, one indeed can say that her becoming a prostitute is karma for all the hate she preached.

Kelly btw has child she can't support, and Brian has two of his own he's having problems with.....and these two have the nerve to tell the rest of the world who are theists that they have a mental disorders!

Rebeljew said...

People get divorced for a variety of reasons and have trouble with children. You were divorced. I am long married and never divorced. It says nothing about either of us.

If a Rav did not talk to his son because he shmaded or married out, would you say that this indicated immorality on his part. Again, you have mastered saying nothing.

So there are atheist murderers and prostitutes. There is also Tamar, Rachav, Chielminiki, Luther, the Popes of the Crusades, the Holy Inquisitors, Osama bin Laden, David HaMelech (too bloddy to build the Temple), Shimshon, the Macabees (even after the Chachamim forsaked them), etc. Again, so what?

Speaking of Shimshon, I paraphrase Poor Richard:

JP JS he did say
Like Samson thousands did I slay
Said RebelJew, yes you do
And with the self same weapon too.

Speaking

jewish philosopher said...

I think it's pretty obvious why atheists more often abuse substances and commit acts of violence than Orthodox Jews do - because there is less restraining them from doing so.

It is not true that the modern world is more peaceful than medieval Europe. That's just ridiculous. Anyone who thinks so should put away the marijuana and crack open the history books.

Just another reality check - slavery is more common today than at any time in history.

http://www.freetheslaves.net/Page.aspx?pid=301

What's the next lie? That Communist Russia was a paradise?

As far as health is concerned, we are better off today on the average than in the Middle Ages, however civilizations go through cycles unrelated to religion. Ancient Rome probably had a higher standard of living than medieval Rome. The discovery of the New World in 1492 tremendously stimulated the world economy for centuries.

It's just interesting to get a peek at the lives of leading atheists - their spokespersons, the crème de la crème. We find Richard Dawkins, who feels that monogamy is unethical and should be replaced by polyamory. This may explain why his personally life is a mess. Christopher Hitchens - a drunk. Kelly O'Connor - a whore. If this is the rational lifestyle, I'm sticking with irrational, thank you.

Onion, I think you're just mad that the Bunny Ranch rejected your application. Do you want me to talk to the manager there for you?

onionsoupmix said...

While I'm sure you are on very close terms with the Bunny Ranch employees, no reason to contact them on my behalf, JP. I'm sure you have many other excuses to get in touch with them, perhaps for your further research into the secret life of atheists. Be sure to review all the evidence very closely, you certainly wouldn't want to miss a stripper or two who might actually be atheists. Also don't forget to check out those underage girls, they are probably also atheists whom you need to examine very closely. You know, for your research.

jewish philosopher said...

Onion, I think I detect a tiny drop of hostility. I'm just trying to give you a hand. I thought you might like being partners with your fellow female atheist douche bag Kelly. By the way, I think a little diet might help you before you go for an interview at any of the "ranches".

One thing which is interesting is that nearly all atheist advocates are anonymous, while no outreach rabbis are are hiding behind false names and anonymous blogs. Atheists sometimes claim that they are afraid of reprisals from religious extremists, however Richard Dawkins appears to be in excellent health even though his name, address and face are fully disclosed. I don't think he has any bodyguards.

Apparently atheists are just too embarrassed to expose themselves.

Joshua said...

JP, if one is atheist isn't clear that prostitution should be at all problematic. It isn't like murder or theft or other crimes where the individuals aren't consenting.

I think that one can make good secular arguments that prostitution should not be legalized, but in most non-religious frameworks (and for that matter, in a fair number of religions) there is nothing inherently evil about prostitution.

All you have shown here is that someone who starts off with different premises than you behaves differently. That's not particularly surprising.

DrJ said...

I repeat my claim that JP is a closet atheist. Like a homophobic closet homosexual, he goes out of his way to attack atheists, in a vain attempt to reject the atheist in him.

There is no other way to explain both the rage and irrationality in his arguments.

JP, I'm not a psychiatrist, but I think you need to go find a couch!

jewish philosopher said...

"if one is atheist isn't clear that prostitution should be at all problematic"

Definitely not. In fact, if one is atheist isn't clear that nothing should be at all problematic. Without God, everything is permitted.

DrJ, anonymous trolls like you keep leaving this comment, or parts of it, in endless variations, several times daily:

"It is obvious that religion is irrational. Religion causes nothing but hatred and violence. If you do not realize this then you are insane."

This is the Gospel According to Richard Dawkins.

I have not been brainwashed to believe this gospel. Thank you.

DrJ said...

"It is obvious that religion is irrational. Religion causes nothing but hatred and violence. If you do not realize this then you are insane"

I never said that nor do I think that. On the other hand, YOUR arguments ARE irrational and advocate violence and hatred.

I don't know about your religion, but it has nothing to do with my religion.

jewish philosopher said...

DrJ, anonymous trolls like you keep leaving this comment, or parts of it, in endless variations, several times daily:

"It is obvious that religion is irrational. Religion causes nothing but hatred and violence. If you do not realize this then you are insane."

This is the Gospel According to Richard Dawkins.

I have not been brainwashed to believe this gospel. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Joshua:

Last time I donated blood, I was asked if I had sed with a prostittue in the last twelve months. This is because protitution spreads various STD's. I think that that is a problem.

jewish philosopher said...

The Red Cross also does not accept donations from gay men, by the way.

http://www.redcross.org/en/eligibility#hiv

Joshua said...

Anonymous, you did see where I said "I think that one can make good secular arguments that prostitution should not be legalized", yes?

DrJ said...

I was wondering something.

Were biblical prostitutes, such as Rachav, atheists?

Were biblical rapists, such as Amnon, atheists?

Were biblical voyeurs, such as King David, atheists?

Where biblical perpetrators of genecide, such as Shaul, atheists?

Were biblical adulterers, such as King David and Reuven, atheists?

Were biblical drunks, such as Noach, atheists?

Were biblical murderers, such as King David, or Shimon and Levi, atheists?

Were biblical johns, such as Yehuda, atheists?

Where biblical cheats and liars, like Abraham, Rivka or Jacob, atheists?

These examples are proof that behavior of modern day Jews (and Christians for that matter) have nothing to do with god, but with later humanistic development (like rabbinic/talmudic Judaism and later societal changes).

JP, 99.9% of your lifestyle and modes of behavior are due to your community and latter rabbinic edicts. 0.1%, if that, has to do with god.

Perhaps when you come out of your atheist closet you'll admit this.

jewish philosopher said...

DrJ, my doctor tells me that using heroin will kill me. But I asked him: Are all people who die heroin users? So therefore, what's the problem?

Atheism is not only false, but highly destructive. Just because something else may also be destructive and false doesn't make it any better.

DrJ said...

Don't get your analogy.

Heroin use is to other illnesses as

Atheism is to ?????? What is the other social ill that you are referring to?

The Torah is full of examples of pre-rabbinic Hebrews, who presumably believed in one god, who commit or condone all kinds of nasty things, some with the approval of the Torah (like genocide or trickery).

I use this to illustrate that rabbinic Judaism is different precisely because it believed that the world is in the hands of man, there is no personal god, and that Jews must incorporate non-religious morality gained from people's own intelligence and from cultures surrounding them. And that is what Jews continue to do to this day.

Anonymous said...

DrJ:

The scriptures make it abundantly clear that G-d did not approve of what was done in all of the examples that you sited. These are all examples of people violating Torah ethics, not following Torah ethics. The Torah and the Novi site these as examples of what not to do. In some case the scriptures spell out the punishment. So at most, all you have demonstrated is that Jews are fallible. No one ever said differently.

jewish philosopher said...

"Heroin use is to other illnesses as Atheism is to ?????? What is the other social ill that you are referring to?"

Heroin use is to other illnesses as atheism is to bad behavior in general.

I have a post about Biblical genocide.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/02/massacre-of-midianites.html


DrJ, anonymous trolls like you keep leaving this comment, or parts of it, in endless variations, several times daily:

"It is obvious that religion is irrational. Religion causes nothing but hatred and violence. If you do not realize this then you are insane."

This is the Gospel According to Richard Dawkins.

I have not been brainwashed to believe this gospel. Thank you.

Kasey Grant said...

Some, or rather, most, of you should actually KNOW what you're squawking about before you open your mouths and spew your verbal excrement everywhere. It would take me a day and a half to point out just how many mistakes were made by the ignoramuses here--the OP included--but I just wanted to say that the girls at the Bunny Ranch (from which I did not get fired and blogged about on my myspace. Read much?)used to pray for busy nights and lots of money and one even went to church every Sunday. I nearly peed my pants laughing when she told me that one. Hmmm....on which side does the hypocrisy lie again?
I'll continue doing what I do while all of you prostitute yourselves in various other ways, because we all sell ourselves to make a living somehow.

jewish philosopher said...

But why exactly is your life more rational than mine?

Kasey Grant said...

I don't recall saying it was. I just don't have imaginary friends. I don't sit around and impugn others' lifestyle choices or spew the kind of venom about them that you do. Jealous, maybe, that you can't indulge because of your self-imposed restrictions? Either way, I hardly have the time for this asinine discussion. Just wanted to make my previous point--even hookers pray for money and go to church, just like you people.

jewish philosopher said...

"I don't recall saying it was."

I thought that was the "rational" in Rational Response Squad.

"I just don't have imaginary friends."

I'm not sure about that.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QERyh9YYEis

"I don't sit around and impugn others' lifestyle choices or spew the kind of venom about them that you do."

I think that's all RRS does.

"Jealous"

No, I pity you.

"even hookers pray for money and go to church, just like you people"

I don't go to church. Anyway, hookers probably also eat and occasionally bathe just like other people, so what?

Azrael said...

This is an ancient thread, I am aware, but I stumbled upon it and felt the need to contribute (who knows, maybe it will come back to life someday).

I do not believe in your God. The inconsistancies are too many for me, and I am unable to accept his existance on blind faith.

I was raised by my mother following my parents divorce when I was four. My father was an abusive alcoholic, the kind of man who would hold a childs hand to an electric fence in response to being asked why they must not touch it. When my mother left him, he threw her through a glass door, took her pet dairy cows to the abbattoir, and released the poultry to starve and be eaten by foxes. Would you say that this is because he is Christian? Would you say that his actions reflect upon the Christian society as a whole?

You seem to believe that those who do not believe in a higher power are bereft of a moral compass. I do not smoke, drink alcohol or experiment with drug use. I do not cheat, steal, or commit adultery. In short, I am a product of my upbringing at my mother's hand.

Alas, I seem to have become sidetracked, and went in a completely different direction from that which I intended. In regards to one of the posts in which Hitler was refered to as an example of the outcome of an atheist society :

In his autobiography 'Mein Kampf' he stated 'I am convinced that I am acting as an agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews, I am doing the Lord's work'. In 1938, when he had come to poiwer, he reiterated this in a speech at the Reichstag. He also said 'I am now, as before, a Catholic and will always be one'. His acts against the Jewish people were greatly influenced by his religious beliefs, in fact, and the figure of Martin Luther, in particular. Before his death, Luther frequently made his antisemitic opinions known in his texts, most notably in his book 'On The Jews and their Lies', published in 1543. Soldiers of the vermacht wore belts inscribed with 'Gott mit uns' : 'God is with us'. Under his rule, prayers became mandatory in all schools.

And on a side note, I have not been able to find any mention of Richard Dawkins voicing support for polygamy, perhaps I am just looking in the wrong places... if you happen to have any vague recollection of where you read this, would you mind telling me?

And now, I shall run away. But first, though I do not share your beliefs, I do not think less of you for them. Try to find some emotional detachment from your arguments.

jewish philosopher said...

First of all, in this blog I am not attempting to defend any religion other than Orthodox Judaism. I do however view atheism to be probably the world's most dangerous religion. Someone who has any trace of guilt, morality or ethics is not truly an atheist however. He probably has retained some residual religious feelings from parents or grandparents. This might be similar to someone who does not believe in the divinity of Jesus yet still goes to a Christmas party.

About Dawkins, see

http://richarddawkins.net/article,1926,Banishing-the-Green-Eyed-Monster,Richard-Dawkins-On-Faith

also

"Rather than the fanatically monogamous devotion to which we are susceptible, some sort of 'polyamory' is on the face of it more rational. (Polyamory is the belief that one can simultaneously love several members of the opposite sex, just as one can love more than one wine, composer, book or sport.) We happily accept that we can love more than one child, parent, sibling, teacher, friend or pet. When you think of it like that, isn't the total exclusiveness that we expect of spousal love positively weird?" The God Delusion page 184

Azrael said...

I'm sorry, I was simply using that as an example that the religion does not define the man, or the other way around.

Also, I don't believe that belief in a higher power is directly related to a sense of morality. I am sure that you do not act with good intentions because you fear the consequences of doing otherwise.

You seem to associate atheism with the militant atheists when you speak of it : in reality, it is just someone who denies of disbelieves in the existence of a supreme being. Nothing more, or less.

And thank you for your link and reference, they were appreciated ^^

jewish philosopher said...

Comparing Orthodox Jews to secular American society, there seems to be a big difference.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/orthodox-jewish-crime.html