On Being a Husky 12-Year-Old Boy

I’d seen it mentioned a few times today, but I finally got around to reading the now infamous Nation Review Online commentary by Charlotte Allen. If I’m being honest, I’m calling poe. I think someone posed as this Charlotte Allen and slipped by editorial what may be the most absurd response to the Newtown tragedy yet.

There were two, truly priceless lines: (1) “Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.” and (2) “There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees. “

Where’s the Beef(y Men)?

Ms. Allen’s lament is that there were not any men at the elementary school. As she puts it: “…a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm.” (Pardon me a minute while I vomit in my mouth). See, had a man (or a husky 12-year-old boy or even a female janitor that didn’t heave her bucket like a girl) been on the premise while Adam Lanza was committing his horrific act, the man would have prevented the whole affair. I can only assume Ms. Allen comes to this conclusion because she thinks men are bulletproof. Don’t laugh, there are certain positions in the military that can only be held by men. This would be reasonable if men were bulletproof. Of course, what Ms. Allen seems to forget is that there was a man at the elementary school that day. He was the one with all the guns killing everybody. And, as he proved on himself, men aren’t bulletproof.

Preventing the Next School Shooting

As with all tragedies, the aftermath leaves us with questions about how we can prevent this from happening again. And, as with all tragedy-aftermaths, the experts are happy to inform us. In fact, they’ve given us a nice 10-point blueprint:

Preemptive Steps-

From Mike Huckabee: (1) We need to offer a formal invitation to God that he is allowed into our schools. Also, (2) we need to allow mangers on public property.

From James Dobson: (3) We need to get rid of abortion. Also, (4) we must only allow one man and one woman to marry.

From Charlotte Allen: (5) We need to station men who played football in high school and husky 12-year-old boys in every school.

From the National Rifle Association: (6) We need to make sure these men who played football in high school and husky 12-year-old boys do not watch violent TV or movies. (7) They can’t play violent video games, either. (8) But we do need to provide them with guns.

In the highly unlikely case that our preemptive measures don’t work-

From Charlotte Allen: (9) Run. And (10) always carry around a mop bucket to throw at the shooter’s knees in case you get cornered. [Important Note: It is a well known fact that women have no sense of direction, so they are more likely to run themselves into a corner. Here is a pretty pink mop bucket for you lovely ladies out there. You’re welcome.]

What Totally Definitely Will Not Solve the Problem of School Shootings

As Ms. Allen notes, feminized settings lead to passive people, and passive people don’t attack other people. So, why don’t we end school shootings completely by feminizing everyone until they’re passive? I’m not sure. Probably because it’s too gay.

On New Blogs and Not So Fine Arguments

Today, via myatheistlife, I came across Eric Hyde’s blog; which, I promptly began following. I did some glancing through a few of his posts, and I came across one to which I wanted to provide a quick response. Eric’s post is from late October, so my response is a little late.

Eric wrote about the Argument from Reason, which he describes as the “finest argument against atheism“. I recommend reading his post, as it lays out the argument well. The reason I would disagree that this is the “finest argument against atheism” is that it has nothing to do with atheism, per se. To some degree, Eric acknowledge’s this when he says:

It should be noted that this is not an argument “for” Christianity, but rather an argument against atheism, specifically that of materialism and/or naturalism. An argument for Christianity would follow a very different set of rules.

However, even in this caveat, Eric skirts the line of equivocation pretty strongly. At best, The Argument from Reason is an argument against reductive physicalism. As such, one is probably safe is using terms like ‘materialism’ or ‘metaphysical naturalism’ as a substitute for reductive physicalism. However, simply saying ‘naturalism’ is to falsely equate less-robust forms of naturalism with the strictly physicalist forms of naturalism. (In another post, Eric calls this “strict philosophical naturalism,” but this seems to be risky wording as well.)

More to the point, none of this speaks to the existence or non-existence of a god. Therefore, none of this speaks to atheism. This cannot be an argument against atheism. Atheism’s veracity is dependent upon whether or not a god exists. If an argument against reductive physicalism is not an argument for theism, it cannot be an argument against atheism. At best, it can be an argument against an atheism grounded on the assumption of reductive physicalism.

So, there’s no reason for an atheist to be troubled by the Argument from Reason.

For those interested, here is a response, from Richard Carrier, to Reppert’s defense of the Argument from Reason.

On Unnecessary Conclusions and Missed Opportunities

One of my favorite blogs to read is Hemant Mehta’s Friendly Atheist blog at Patheos. He is a wonderful voice in the atheist community, and I very much admire his focus on supporting young nonbelievers. Likewise, I have always appreciated his willingness to call out atheists when they overstate their point. I provide this introduction because I am going to call out Mr. Mehta for overstating his point.

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