The Cheekies

Monday, June 23, 2014

Religious Babies Rant: Thanks Guardian!

Yesterday, I had the delight of reading another crappy piece of journalism, this time, from The Guardian. Now normally, I don't find their articles as crappy as many other examples of bad journalism, and being online they have a good splattering of view points and are quick to update information, but as soon as you get to the opinion pieces, or even just a writer's own page, you are hit with a crap storm that rivals a busted sewage tank (and I know firsthand how bad that is). The article that's got me really pissed off today? This one, by a repeatedly offending writer. The article basically talks about something a prominent scientist and atheist Richard Dawkins may or may not have said, that babies are born atheists. The article then goes on to ridiculously assert that babies have an innate religion, hinting that it is genetically inherited by the baby, and that they have this religion since, from reading the author's other articles, what he calls the start of life, conception. PURE CRAP. DISGUSTING WRITING. Even toddlers regularly make better analyses than him, but to be fair, toddlers are far batter at it than many adults. This writer makes so many mistakes right off the bat, that it's hard to keep track of it all. First of all, he immediately begins by OUT RIGHT DENIAL of babies being atheist. No facts, no definitions of the terms and what they mean, and not a single shred of actual logic. Reading the next line, you begin to go, oh, maybe I jumped the gun. The writer declares he has not ONE, but TWO reasons he's right. Maybe there is something to this dude after all. So what is his first reason? (Paraphrasing): Well, if babies are atheists, then there aren't German or Chinese babies! The babies were just born to German or Chinese parents! NO DIP SHERLOCK. Borders and nationalities are all things humans made up to classify and group each other. There is nothing inherently different from a German and a Chinese baby save for where they fall inside imaginary lines, and the looks they inherited from their parents. It's that whole perception versus reality thing. We think we're all so different, but we all started out very, very similar, as almost blank slates. It's our parents who really shape us, and teach us the norms of whatever culture we're born into, as learned behavior, like RELIGION. 
The Truth
But I did say 2 reasons, right? Well, my bad. Apparently, the author doesn't FEEL like giving another reason. Instead, he goes on to talk about how you can change your religion, which is regarded as a human right, but you can't change your nationality. Did you NOT JUST SAY THERE WAS NO SET IN STONE NATIONALITY? Is there no quality control here? YAHOO ANSWERS has better quality control than this. In many parts of the world, you CANNOT easily change your religion. Heck, it's barely been a couple decades since when people in the U.S. would get evil stares from fellow church goers if they abandoned their church- and that's in the same general religion! Besides, today people can pretty much call themselves any nationality they want (so called '1% Italians', I'm talking to you) here at least, it's just that most people have a sense of pride for their country of birth, or ancestry (again lines on a map) so they keep the title. Today, people have traveled so far around, governments have basically given up on any real nationality identification, just asking for birth country. The author's next point is that religion makes it hard to leave a country, and nationalities make it easy (WTF is this dude getting this from? The Onion?) and that either way, it's not like an individual can make the decision to change it just by themselves. And that's where my hopes for a decently bad article fell apart. Didn't this author just say that changing religion should be a human right? And yet here he is saying, "well, nope, only when I think it's cool."

His next line, again, is just a simple restatement of his opinion, except this time he manages to screw this up too! The writer says that saying babies are default atheists is like saying they have a default nationality, or language. What's with this dude and nationalities? Again, didn't you already say babies start out with a default of NO NATIONALITY? And babies don't have a default language- they have NO LANGUAGE. Language, like religion is a learned behavior. In fact, there have been several extreme cases where because of abusive behavior, children didn't learn a language. And because of human progress, there are now children growing up not being pushed into religion, and growing up without religion, like they started. Then, the author goes on a mad rambling spree. He says that children have a tendency to "supernaturalism" and then goes on to say that they just remember seemingly supernatural things- 2 entirely different things. Children do remember things that seem to defy logic at first, but that's because they want to understand why it happened, not because of their supernaturalism or whatever. Still not helping his original argument. And finally, to end, the author says that no child can be considered ATHEIST at all, because they haven't had time to reflect on their beliefs, and think critically. WELL WHAT ABOUT RELIGION CRAP HEAD? If your statement is true, then that means children can't have religion either, since they haven't critically evaluated their beliefs, so THEY MUST BE ATHEIST. Was the author smoking crack or something when he started writing this? What is wrong with this dude? No analytical skill what so ever- I'm surprised this guy passed high school, let alone went to college! This is another example of the crappy journalism and reasoning that plagues this world today. And you know what really got me in a knot? This dude passed off the thousands of appeals and comments against his terrible logic as a SUCCESS! Well Mr., if this the kind of success you're looking for, I bet Fox News has a place for you yet. Be careful though, because even they have their idiocy limits *cough Sarah Palin, cough*.