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There have been a lot of great video responses to the Blasphemy Challenge. From Catalan to New Zealand, everyone is jumping at the opportunity and happily dissing that wispy bastard: Infidel guys, soldiers, closet cases, the entire CFI community of...
December 17, 2006
Reactions to the Blasphemy Challenge
There have been a lot of great video responses to the Blasphemy Challenge. From Catalan to New Zealand, everyone is jumping at the opportunity and happily dissing that wispy bastard: Infidel guys, soldiers, closet cases, the entire CFI community of Central Indiana, humanism itself and even Darth Vader (although I think he was already headed to H-E-double-hockey-sticks anyway). PZ text-blogged his blasphemy, because he already owns the DVD. This blogger also made some good highlight choices.
It's not all sweetness and light, however. The Blasphemy Challenge is controversial with some atheists. Over at the RichardDawkins.net discussion, few are without an opinion. One commenter says:
This seems misguided at best. We should be trying to prove to the world that atheists are good and decent people just like the rest of the world (ok, well, good and decent at least), and a stunt like this will just anger people and also alienate closet-agnostic atheists whom we should be trying to recruit. This is a bad idea.
But another commenter says, "There's room for all sorts of approaches in this fight, and ridicule is a very potent weapon." He then quotes Sam Harris on that subject:
I think we should not underestimate the power of embarrassment. The book Freakonomics briefly discusses the way the Ku Klux Klan lost its subscribers, and the example is instructive. A man named Stetson Kennedy, almost single-handedly it seems, eroded the prestige of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s by joining them and then leaking all of their secret passwords and goofy lingo to the people who were writing "The Adventures of Superman" radio show. Week after week, there were episodes of Superman fighting the Klan, and the real Klan's mumbo jumbo was put out all over the airwaves for people to laugh at. Kids were playing Superman vs. the Klan on their front lawns. The Klan was humiliated by this, and was made to look foolish; and we went from a world in which the Klan was a legitimate organization with tens of millions of members – many of whom were senators, and even one president – to a world in which there are now something like 5,000 Klansmen. It's basically a defunct organization.
You may be able to guess where I stand on the issue.