Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

07 November 2013

Stirring Up Trouble On Facebook

After putting up the post below about stirring up trouble on that helicopter forum board, my friend, fellow blogger and current PHI pilot, Hal Johnson put a link to it up on his Facebook page. Ever throw gasoline on a fire? Yeah, it was like that.

Let me just say this: Atheists seem to be an unhappy, grumpy-borderline-angry, intolerant bunch who are easily offended. They usually claim to take the intellectual high road by saying that they are the ones using their brains and we people of faith are not. They also appear to have reading comprehension problems or something – because many of them misinterpreted or misunderstood what I wrote.

For the record, my premise is this: Anyone who has such complete faith that there is no Creator…in other words a person who cannot even entertain the mere possibility that there is a Creator…should not have a pilot’s license. My position is that if you cannot open your mind to the possibility that we humans might have been created, then your thinking is defective…narrow-minded…limited.

After Hal posted the link to my blog, atheists leapt to each other’s defense. They said that I was suggesting that people who didn’t believe in God should have their FAA medical certificates revoked. (I did not.) They said that I was insisting that people believe the same thing I do. (I don’t.) They said I was pushing Christianity. (Again, I wasn’t.)

Naturally enough, some atheists claimed that I wasn’t a very good Christian, as if they were qualified to judge! I thought that was both funny and ironic. Such idiots.

Some atheists went to great pains to assure me that “atheism” takes in many viewpoints, and that some of them even allow for the possibility of a creator. Yes, I know that. However those people who do allow for the possibility of a Creator call themselves agnostic. My personal issue is with people who define themselves as “Atheist: No God; Cannot Be A God.”

And apparently atheists believe that the only alternative to their way of thinking is Chrisianity and the God of the Christian Bible. I heard this many times. One guy even called teaching Christianity to children, “…emotional child abuse.” Atheists have a real hatred for Christianity.

Yet there are over 4,000 religions on the planet, and not all of them are Christian. Not all of them are monotheist either, but that’s beside the point. Because I wasn’t then and am not now “pushing” any particular religion. In reality, I don’t care what you believe. If you choose to not believe in a Creator/God, fine! But to completely deny that one could exist? BZZZZT! Wrong answer, babe.

Some people went to great pains to demonstrate that they have no faith. One mental midget…and there really is no other way to describe him…claimed to not have any faith in himself as a pilot. He said that he was FAA-certified, and it was his experience and skill that kept him from having an accident; no faith in his abilities was necessary! (I’m not sure his passengers would want to know that little tidbit! Because they surely have faith in his abilities!) This guy also claimed to not have any faith in his mechanic; that he would “check his work” and of course preflight diligently.

I asked this genius if he himself was an FAA-certified mechanic? Because how else would a PILOT know whether a mechanic had done his job properly? How arrogant and pompous is that?! I asked him if he followed his mechanic around with the Maintenance Manual, ensuring that all of the mechanic’s work was done properly and safely? I asked about work the mechanic did that the pilot could not see (e.g. overhauls and such)? How do we pilots know that the mechanics do this work properly? Answer: We don’t. We take it on trust…which comes from FAITH…that the work was done well.

One moron postulated that the “primordial soup” could be a creator, since we all supposedly spawned from it, and so therefore an inanimate object could be our Creator. (Do people really believe such bullshit?) The next logical question is: Okay, who or what created the primordial soup?

One other nitwit took me to task for referring to the Creator/God as “Him,” a male gender with a capital H. Aha! That meant I must have been referring to the Christian God. I explained that I do so merely out of respect, since whatever or whoever created us must therefore be bigger and more powerful than us. Our Creator cannot possibly have a gender…nor can it be in human form. Our Creator could easily be a “She,” or a “He,” or an “It.” I say, “Him” out of lazy convenience. Big deal.

Seems to me that, based on the responses on Hal’s Facebook page, atheists are not as bright as they claim to be.

Me? I have no idea how the universe was created – I only have faith that it was. Could I be wrong? Sure! Maybe there’s no Creator. But allowing for this does not make me an agnostic, as one pinhead suggested.

Many of the atheists demanded that I justify my position…or modify/alter it to suit their worldview. Hey, I didn’t ask for a discussion on the subject. I didn’t say, “What do you guys think about this!” I say what I say and if you don’t like it, well, tough. Get your own opinion-blog.

I am hard on atheists, yes, because I believe their position to be untenable and illogical. I mean, who knows if we were created or not? But why rule it out? Seems dumb.

Some people “unfriended” Hal because of the posts on his Facebook page. Some blocked me, meaning that my posts were rendered invisible to them - and theirs to me. These are people who claim to be so open-minded, remember. I hope Hal doesn't post a link to this blogpiece - he got into enough trouble with the last one, and I hate to see people lose friends...even Facebook "friends" over something so silly.

But here's the deal. I stand by my simple view: If you cannot open your mind and allow for the fact that we might have been created, then you shouldn’t be allowed to have an FAA medical certificate because there’s something wrong with your thinking. I would say that I’m sorry if you are offended by that remark, but I’m really not.


Hal Johnson said...

"I would say that I’m sorry if you are offended by that remark, but I’m really not."

Aw c'mon, Bob. Isn't the real truth that you've had sleepless nights worrying about offending atheists?"

Heh. I just couldn't help myself.

Anonymous said...

Part time internet troll. Full time jackoff.

Hal Johnson said...

Aw heck Bob, I'd bet that if I post a link to this blog piece, it won't get more than 200 comments. Heh.

An Agnostic said...

Here are some (intended to be polite) comments on the topic:

1) "Atheists seem to be an unhappy, grumpy-borderline-angry, intolerant bunch who are easily offended" Presumably the ones you offended on the internet are. However, when you make the internet mad at you, you select for those people. There are plenty of reasonable atheists - you just don't find them deep in flame-wars regarding FAA medical certifications.

2) I agree that - at some point - a pilot does just have to just trust their mechanic, aircraft manufacturer, etc. They also have to trust that their skills are enough to safely fly the aircraft. However, this is not the same thing as faith. One common definition of faith is "Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence." In this case, a pilot does have material evidence of his flying ability - he had fly, and build his ability, in order to get a license. His confidence might or might not be well founded, but it is actually based on material evidence; so no faith is needed. Likewise, he should have material evidence on the aircraft mechanic, probably in the form of an FAA certification and consideration of if planes he works keep flying. Yes, at some point it comes down to trust - but that trust is normally given after some material evidence is given. Which makes it different from faith.

3) On your premiss of disallowing the FAA medical certificate: I disagree. Sure, I think there is nowhere near the evidence necessary to disprove (or prove) the existence of a creator. This ties into the scientific problem of how hard it is to disprove something - scientists normally just get the probability of it down really low and call that good enough. Failing to recognize this is a flaw in reasoning.

I also see the religions of which I am familiar as having major intellectual problems. For example, many Christians are very anti-homosexual because The Bible says so - but they are somehow also anti-slavery even though The Bible supports slavery. Despite all sorts of religious beliefs I find problematic, numerous religious people have proven to have, in other areas, been very capable people. The same goes for atheists.

The U.S. has long handled this through the separation of church and state - a separation I strongly agree with. So, I think that religion, or lack thereof, should not be considered by the FAA. And I think atheism deserves the same protection. Now, homicidal beliefs springing from religion are very relevant - but because they are homicidal, not because they are religious. The same would go for any other belief that clearly impacts the ability to fly safely.

I also note that you seem to consider atheist as an indicator of mental & reasoning problems so great as to render an individual untrustworthy in non-religious areas. I think this is unreasonable, and people should be judged by full consideration of all traits relevant to whatever is in question. Take a look around at who all identifies as an atheist. Check the Wikipedia list of atheists. Would you dismiss all the scientific teachings and work of Richard Feynman as untrustworthy? When asked "Do you call yourself an agnostic or an atheist?" Feynman replied "An atheist. Agnostic for me would be trying to weasel out and sound a little nicer than I am about this." What of the works of Marie Curie? Should it her work be disregarded because she was an atheist? Or, maybe, we should judge Feynman's and Curie's scientific work based on its scientific merit instead of making a personal attack against their atheism.

So, I think it is best if the FAA stays out of religion. Limit the question of mental fitness to what has a clear impact on flying safely. If the person demonstrates sufficiently poor judgement in anything related to flying you then have cause to disqualify them. Just as you do if they are pronounced insane by the proper authority. But religion is not directly related to flying, so the FAA shouldn't make it an issue unless the pilot does.