The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

ZZZZZZZ

August 10, 2006 | 24 Comments

The only thing worse than to be damned with faint praise is to be damned with faint damning. The Good Doctor at The Good, The Bad and the Ugly has done that to me, or so he thinks. His ranking of atheist blogs places mine in the middle “bad” category, defined as “the mediocre of the mediocre . . . [t]he average of the average.” Not good enough to be good, like his “good” category blogs, and not bad enough to be the worst, like his “ugly” blogs. To add insult to injury, I’m rated first among the five mediocre sites — not even mediocre enough in my mediocrity to rank third.

Aaron Kinney smells a hoax. Consistent with my efforts to find the best in everyone, I’ll take the Doctor at his word. Or at least try to find the deeper truth lurking in his deception, if that is what it is.

Saying that someone is mediocre is often a cover for saying you despise them. To react with anger would betray too much of a regard for their opinion or intelligence. Better to yawn, to feign disinterest, than to lose one’s temper or admit that one’s skin has been gotten under.

The doctor obviously realized this. Likely he read my essay on the interestingness of extreme boringness and realized the perils of calling me too dull. If so, he fell into the trap by the very act of trying to avoid it — he ranked me exactly where one would expect him to if his object were to disguise his anger as apathy.

And he’s angry because I’m boring. For some reason, people like their atheism hot and spit it out if served lukewarm. Although it’s technically nothing but the proposition that there’s no God, they want it to have a larger meaning in their lives, to prove something rather than nothing. The ideal atheist blogger is one who never claims a Purpose but always has a Point.

You’d think the reverse would be true. In most things, atheists seek regularity and repetition. Eating pork and beans in their underwear, they expect the same taste from spoonful to spoonful: the slightest odd tang, and out goes the can. So too with the universe. Uniformity is the key. Why shouldn’t atheism be immutable and unchanging as well? It shouldn’t get more interesting with each reading. The very definition of insanity, as Ben Franklin said, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Comments

24 Responses to “ZZZZZZZ”

  1. Jahrta
    August 10th, 2006 @ 3:53 pm

    Hey, anyone see that Matthew McConaughey/ Kate Hudson vehicle “How to lose a Blogsite Audience in 10 Days?”

    Yeah, it was pretty stupid, wasn’t it?

  2. Professor Chaos
    August 10th, 2006 @ 4:00 pm

    Are ALL of TRA’s posts going to be about what other bloggers think of him? Why does he care so much?

  3. Jahrta
    August 10th, 2006 @ 4:17 pm

    Exactly – I’ve never before witnessed someone invest so much time and energy into “not caring”

  4. Choobus
    August 10th, 2006 @ 4:30 pm

    Stop crying RA, at least he didn’t put you on a hate watch list for no good reason.

  5. Tenspace
    August 10th, 2006 @ 5:02 pm

    This is becoming a case of self-reflection overload. The only entry which I can discern contains standard fare for discussion is the consciousness thread. Everything else is about RA’s turnabout, or what others think. RA, can’t you talk about something other than yourself and what other think about your change of heart? If you want to avoid criticizing others, fine, that’s your choice. But please, find something interesting and cool to write about! Why don’t you dig a bit deeper into your understanding of consciousness and write more! Read some Ramachandran or Ornstein, please please please.

  6. Realityhack
    August 10th, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

    “And he’s angry because I’m boring. For some reason, people like their atheism hot and spit it out if served lukewarm.”

    Um… FYI your site is called the RAVING athiest. And in the past you created a web persona that matched that.
    Now as tenspace points out all you do is bable about not huring people, and what they think of you not hurting them.
    How about if you seved atheism with, I don’t know, say… fucking atheism? A crapy blog about you not hurting people realy isn’t an athiest blog. And it sure dosn’t qualify as good.

    or you could just continue to bable about how we all hate you now that you suck… thus proving our point that you now suck.

  7. Gathercole
    August 10th, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

    About atheists: “Eating pork and beans in their underwear, they expect the same taste from spoonful to spoonful:”

    RA is just as catty and bitchy as ever. At least one thing hasn’t changed, promises notwithstanding.

    Also, about whether you’re supposed to feel hurt or insulted, the answer is insulted. You have lost the respect of most atheists posting here because you’re acting like a coquettish, self-absored coward. Go into the forums (the link is at the top right of the page) and look at posts from theists who get respect like Lurker, Thomas, SteveG, and Quaker. If you look closely at their avatars, you can discern something: balls. Take a photo and go looking for yours.

  8. Lily
    August 10th, 2006 @ 6:32 pm

    I thought this post was hilarious–classic R.A. I hope he is converting. We want him on our side.

    This was the best piece in the whole post, though the pork and beans were pretty funny too:

    Likely he read my essay on the interestingness of extreme boringness and realized the perils of calling me too dull. If so, he fell into the trap by the very act of trying to avoid it — he ranked me exactly where one would expect him to if his object were to disguise his anger as apathy.

    Perfect!

    You all just don’t deserve him and I mean that in the nicest way possible!

  9. Professor Chaos
    August 10th, 2006 @ 6:37 pm

    Lily, Do you realize how much you sound like a 14 year old girl most of the time?

    I mean that in the nicest way possible.

  10. Gathercole
    August 10th, 2006 @ 11:01 pm

    Hey, what do call someone who emulates the kindness and goodwill of Jesus Christ?

    A: A Buddhist

  11. Ironwolf
    August 11th, 2006 @ 1:41 am

    When RA’s blog was young, I read it for a time and enjoyed it– I often like my atheism served hot. But attention is fickle and I eventually moved on.

    I was brought back in June by a brief post in Brian Flemming’s blog.

    Since then, reading RA has been like watching a slow-motion intellectual train wreck. So plodding is this calamity that it taxes the patience to even continue to watch the metal crumple and the bodies fly. I keep waiting for the point of this carnage to be revealed. But with each post– each frame sliding slowly and painfully through the projector– questions multiply but energy to keep caring enough to ask them wanes.

    So, for the moment I think I’m going to drop RA again. As I roam the Internet, I hope to one day happen upon a link that mentions RA’s other shoe has long since dropped, and I can return to quickly absorb any possible significance this tawdry affair may have held.

    Life is short, RA… and you’ve wasted enough of mine.

  12. Severalspeciesof
    August 11th, 2006 @ 8:35 am

    “The ideal atheist blogger is one who never claims a Purpose but always has a Point.”

    Your ‘point’ has gotten very dull.

    “The very definition of insanity, as Ben Franklin said, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

    I must be going insane. I keep coming back to this site over and over again, expecting something different. Time to put down my pork and beans and go find a straight jacket. zzzzzzzz

  13. Kate B.
    August 11th, 2006 @ 8:54 am

    “How about if you seved atheism with, I don’t know, say… fucking atheism?”

    Um, according to a lot of the commenters here, RA is fucking atheism.

    So it’s all good, right?

  14. June
    August 11th, 2006 @ 9:09 am

    TRA, are you suffering from Alzheimer’s? In the past, you would leap from intellectual peak to peak. Lately, your writing plods along like Pastor Kennedy punching Evolution, and we even have to spell things out for you.

    The opposite of boring is interesting, not “hot”. I, for one, was pleased when you promised to stop mocking and maligning, because insults are invalid argument, distracting, provoking, and mark one as a boor. Incisive analysis (always your forte’) and straight comment is harder to write than evasive comedy, taunts, and insults. But a great joke or a nice parody once in a while is also good fun.

    I think what makes people angry is to be left out. You have a superb brain, well trained in law and religion and philosophy, that has experienced some kind of new sensation, but is not sharing with us. I still don’t think you have accepted new dogma, but you may have had an “enlightenment” as they call it.

    Let me guess: A certain natural morality is part of the natural fabric of the universe. It manifests itself as life. Humans are a form of life that is capable of fostering morality, and so humans are responsible for moral conduct. While there is no God, there is a cosmic duty to be moral, and it starts with preserving human life above all else. That’s why we have a conscience, a sense of guilt, an instinct for kindness, a need to protect. That’s why we should have no no killing, no abortion, no suicide, no war, no capital punishment, no euthanasia.

    Did I miss anything? It’s a reasonable world view for an atheist, certainly worth examining and expanding. A serious post on this subject would go far to stop the taunts and the scourging you are taking in the blog world.

    Oh, I get it! You are going for crucifixion, aren’t you?

  15. hagiograph
    August 11th, 2006 @ 9:20 am

    METABLOG: This blog has become a “metablog” of sorts. It is no longer “entertaining” in any real way, but if you read his stuff from “back in tha day” when it was fun to read, you are still drawn to read it today to see exactly how mediocre it has become.

    It is fascinating to watch and I can’t take my eyes off of it despite its spiral down to boring. It’s kinda like reading a cheerleader’s myspace page now! The thing that makes it fascinating is comparing it to when it was good and wondering “How did this carwreck happen?”

  16. Thorngod
    August 11th, 2006 @ 10:27 am

    Very good, June!

  17. Forrest Cavalier
    August 11th, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

    Pride: The excessive love of one’s own excellence.

    I’d link to the Catholic Encylopedia’s entry on Pride, but it is full of lots of symbolic language and cosmological theology that will just generate noise here.

    Around this audience, a secular explanation will communicate better: Pride can be deadly because in contemplating our fame and accomplishments we are often distracted from what we SHOULD be doing next. Inaction can be deadly.

  18. hagiograph
    August 11th, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

    METABLOG v2.0: Oh, I just figured it out! The whole thing is truly nihilistic. I just found this quote from Joseph Brodsky, the Russian nobel-laureate poet that might explain everything!

    “For boredom speaks the language of time, and it is to teach you the most valuable lesson of your life — the lesson of your utter insignificance.”

    Nifty!

  19. Thorngod
    August 11th, 2006 @ 3:28 pm

    Against boredom, even the gods struggle in vain. -Neitzsche

  20. Ron
    August 12th, 2006 @ 10:46 am

    This should not be taken as a defense of the Raving Athiest, but rather a proper call out of a dishonest Critic.
    Why would you worry about an individual, who in the first paragraph on his site, displays what a dishonest* coward** he is.

    I’m Dr. X. I cannot reveal my name** (Yes you can) because of what I’m doing professionally. I put in an application at a major university, but being an atheist does not bode well for one’s job opportunity there. (Then you should fight to change it) Suffice it to say, I have two doctorates: A Ph.D. from Oxford and a Ph.D. from Cambridge.* (This is irrelevant. Your opinion is either based on fact, and in context, or it is NOT! Your credentials have nothing to do with your argument for against ___. The reason for this tactic is to impress mediocre intellects. To intimidate them.)

    I do not know whether he is accurate or not, but his intro was enough to make me tune out. Make a logical case for your critical ability first. Then if you wish, you can tell me your background …Doctor. Because if your argument or position is incorrect – your credentials will not make them right. If your argument is right – then it is right and I could care less about your background anyway.

  21. Choobus
    August 12th, 2006 @ 11:54 am

    clearly a fake: everyone knows that at oxford the doctorate is called a D.Phil

    what a shithead. It’s probably RA himself

  22. bookjunky
    August 12th, 2006 @ 10:42 pm

    One of the “best” was another fake deconversion site so it’s hard to believe it’s real. Linking to this shit 1) is narcissistic and 2) just increases the traffic to this fuckwit’s site.

  23. JD Ryan
    August 13th, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

    Did you notice that his ‘good’ blogs are pretty much only enjoyable if you have a PhD? Sam Harris on the BAD? Sounds like the good doctor’s a bit of a blowhard.

  24. gravitybear
    August 14th, 2006 @ 1:50 pm

    The doctor obviously realized this. Likely he read my essay on the interestingness of extreme boringness and realized the perils of calling me too dull. If so, he fell into the trap by the very act of trying to avoid it — he ranked me exactly where one would expect him to if his object were to disguise his anger as apathy.

    Wasn’t anyone else reminded of this?

    “..you must have known I was not a great fool, you would’ve counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.”

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