This Land Is Mine-A Few Comments

Since any comments I will make on the viral (and non-copyrighted) video “This Land is Mine” by cartoonist Nina Paley will most assuredly be buried in the comments section, I have decided it would be appropriate to post my remarks on it here.

Firstly, while there was direct confrontation between the Egyptian and Assyrian Empires (in 701 BC), the Egyptian Empire had practically no control over Canaan throughout almost all of the 11th and 9th-8th centuries BC-this was mostly a period of either local control (unmentioned in the video) or vassalage to the Kingdom of Damascus (under Hazael and Ben-Hadad), which is curiously also not mentioned in the video. Secondly, Josiah did not free himself from Assyrian vassalage-Assyria transferred the territory between Lebo-Hamath and the Brook of Egypt to Psamtik I of Egypt in 623 BC, in the same year that Sin Shar-Ishkun captured Uruk from the Babylonians and the ‘Book of the Law’ was found in Jerusalem. Thirdly, while it is safe to say that the transition between Babylonian and Persian rule in Palestine was relatively peaceful, it is not fair to show the Babylonians-Persians atop of the heap of bodies for such a short period of time as the video did. Fourthly, could not the Star of David of Josiah have been scrapped in favor of the rosette? I also like the parallel, whether intentional or unintentional, between the heap of bodies and the stereotypical Palestinian tell, as the heap of bodies ceases to exist in the video after the Roman conquest, as it is in the Helleno-Roman period the tells of Palestine (e.g. Hazor, Megiddo, Shechem) tend to be abandoned in favor of cities in the valley.

Why I Partially Oppose The Intolerance of Atheism+

In recent days, a group of New Atheists, led by Jen McCreight, have been calling for an addition of social issues to the atheist agenda. While I agree that, in the long run, Dictionary Atheism will do little to stop the tide of stupidity and nonsense in this world, I do not think social issues should be made an absolutely necessary component of the mainstream atheist movement. This is due to a number of factors. The first of these is that it is not clear whether adding baggage to the atheist movement will help it become more effective at spreading itself. While it is beyond doubt that promoters of atheism treating underprivileged groups with respect will encourage the spread of atheism, it is not at all clear that the refusal of one group of atheists to cooperate with another will lead to a more robust atheist movement.

The second of these factors is that Atheism+ is largely, though not entirely, promoted by Freethought Blogs, a blog collective with no editors, but very strong common intellectual ties, among these being Progressivism, a strong support for anti-harassment policies, and a strong support for government-mandated anti-discriminatory policies, such as the 1964 Civil Rights Act here in the U.S. Bloggers who persistently question even one of these positions are swiftly kicked out of the blog collective. The encouragement of Atheism+ will further cement this blog collective’s place in the Atheist movement, thus making the Movement one more of people than ideas. As this blog collective is extremely hostile to large swaths of non-bigoted skeptical atheists, most notably, libertarians, the rise of Atheism+ and Freethought blogs will further alienate large swaths of the atheist population from the mainstream atheist movement.

In short, I conclude that atheist movement should be primarily focused on atheism and skepticism in order to avoid further Deep Rifts. In order to continue its existence as an effective, potent, and robust movement, douchebaggery, assholery, and dickishness must be, in most situations, tolerated, though never promoted. While calling out and opposing racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry in members of the atheist movement is good and praiseworthy behavior, it should only be done to the extent that all major members of the atheist movement can still cooperate with each other when opposing religion and anti-skepticism. As I am on friendly terms with George Grena (a Young Earth Creationist Christian Conservative) on matters of archaeology, so should the misogynistic and feministic atheists be on friendly terms on matters of combating anti-atheist and anti-skeptical elements in our society.