Jinx Mchue's Reviews > The Happy Atheist

The Happy Atheist by P.Z. Myers
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Oct 11, 11

bookshelves: to-read

The fact that PZ is writing a book called "The Happy Atheist" is incredibly ironic. This man is NOT happy.
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message 1: by Kaethe (new) - added it

Kaethe Why do you think that? He seems to have a job he loves, a family he loves, and a generally cheerful disposition.


message 2: by Jinx (new) - added it

Jinx Mchue Kaethe wrote: "Why do you think that? He seems to have a job he loves, a family he loves, and a generally cheerful disposition."

Unhappy people can still love their families, friends, job, etc., and they often pretend to be cheerful. Myers' blog really provides strong evidence regarding his deep-seated unhappiness.


message 3: by Kaethe (new) - added it

Kaethe I've read his blog for years. The man states that he receives great joy and contentment from his family, his work at the university, and his work as a skeptic. He appreciates the life he is lucky enough to enjoy. To make such a sweeping and counter-intuitive claim you should produce some "strong evidence of his deep-seated unhappiness". Otherwise it just looks as though you're hoping that's the case.


message 4: by Jinx (new) - added it

Jinx Mchue I've read his blog for years, too. People who are truly happy do not act like Myers acts. He is obviously a very angry, very bitter, very unhappy old man. Receiving joy and contentment from family and work does not make people happy. It just distracts them from the unhappiness within them. I guarantee that if his family turned on him or were lost and/or if he was fired, his unhappiness would quickly boil over.


message 5: by Kaethe (new) - added it

Kaethe Receiving joy and contentment from family and work does not make people happy. It just distracts them from the unhappiness within them.

Where "unhappiness"="depression" I'd say this is as wrong as it can be. And by definition, being content with your life does mean one is happy. As for the prediction that if his life were suddenly destroyed he'd be unhappy, well, duh, who wouldn't? I don't know how you think happy people act, or why you think they all act the same, but it's clear that your understanding of what happiness means and mine are so different that I can't comprehend your version at all.


message 6: by Jinx (new) - added it

Jinx Mchue As for the prediction that if his life were suddenly destroyed he'd be unhappy, well, duh, who wouldn't?

If one's happiness is dependent on such tenuous things, then one is not going to be happy very much in life. Those things are a pretty poor foundation for happiness.

"it's clear that your understanding of what happiness means and mine are so different"

I was just thinking about that as I was driving down the road. I agree with you completely. You don't see Myers' blatant unhappiness because you aren't much different from him. His behavior seems completely normal and acceptable to you.

"that I can't comprehend your version at all. "

Nor would I expect you to, but that's okay. I can complete comprehend your version because I used to be in the exact same place.


message 7: by Kaethe (new) - added it

Kaethe Because humans are social animals our families and our work mean a great deal to us. This is a truth universally acknowledged; it's why we describe the loss of such things as "grief". It doesn't mean that we can never be happy again. Clearly you are talking about happiness in a highly specialized sense. Yes, his behavior seems completely normal and acceptable to me: he is, after all, trying to make the world a better place for humanity on both the large and small scales, which is, I think, the most any human can aspire to.


message 8: by Steven (new) - added it

Steven He was happy when I seen him.


message 9: by Jinx (new) - added it

Jinx Mchue He displays his very discontent, angry heart on his blog, Steven.


message 10: by Kaethe (new) - added it

Kaethe It is possible to be both happy and angry. My life, for example, is pretty good, but I am contemptuous of those who make life harder for others. And yeah, those who want to replace science classes with religious indoctrination in public schools would be some of those I feel contemptuous toward.


message 11: by Steven (new) - added it

Steven Jinx wrote: "He displays his very discontent, angry heart on his blog, Steven."

I know the temper of his blog.


message 12: by Jinx (new) - added it

Jinx Mchue Kaethe wrote: "It is possible to be both happy and angry. My life, for example, is pretty good, but I am contemptuous of those who make life harder for others. And yeah, those who want to replace science classes ..."

Happy people do not feel contempt for other people. I don't like things some other people do, but I do not feel contempt for them. Instead, I choose to feel love and compassion for them and I find that it changes things faster and far more effectively than if 10,000 people were feeling contempt for that person because of their actions.


message 13: by Jinx (new) - added it

Jinx Mchue Steven wrote: "Jinx wrote: "He displays his very discontent, angry heart on his blog, Steven."

I know the temper of his blog."


His blog, his public statements, etc. This is a man who puts on a facade of meekness around people he likes or is ambivalent about, but his anger and bitterness is on full display when it comes to those people he detests.


message 14: by Steven (new) - added it

Steven Jinx wrote: "Steven wrote: "Jinx wrote: "He displays his very discontent, angry heart on his blog, Steven."

I know the temper of his blog."

His blog, his public statements, etc. This is a man who puts on a f..."


And you are able to discern that his "meekness" is a facade but the "anger and bitterness" is somehow who he truly is?

I don't think it is meekness. I think he is soft spoken, but softly spoken words can still bite. Also, you can read a lot into writing that isn't actually there. The image of him angrily typing away at the computer with steam coming out his ears, is likely a false one.

Having met the man, read many of his blog posts, and watched a few talks and interviews with him, I think I'll make my own judgement.

Also, the things he detests are usually worthy of detesting.


message 15: by Jinx (new) - added it

Jinx Mchue Apparently you didn't see him at the Reason Rally.


message 16: by Steven (last edited Apr 04, 2012 05:22PM) (new) - added it

Steven I have not, but I'm sure that one talk uncompasses the totality of his being.

Is there something in particular that he brings up, that you take issue with? Something you think he was wrong about?


message 17: by Jinx (new) - added it

Jinx Mchue Steven wrote: "I have not, but I'm sure that one talk uncompasses the totality of his being.

Indeed, it does not. However, his talk perfectly illustrates the totality of his being. He was vulgar, crude, arrogant, intolerant, hateful, puerile and quite proud of it all. You can find his Reason Rally speech on YouTube.


message 18: by Steven (new) - added it

Steven Jinx wrote: "Steven wrote: "I have not, but I'm sure that one talk uncompasses the totality of his being.

Indeed, it does not. However, his talk perfectly illustrates the totality of his being. He was vulgar..."


Can you give me a specific example?


message 19: by Jinx (last edited Apr 04, 2012 11:05PM) (new) - added it

Jinx Mchue A specific example of his entire speech? His speech is the specific example. It's very easy to find. Search YouTube for "PZ Myers Reason Rally."

Look, I'm sorry your fawning attitude regarding PZ blinds you to the person he truly is, but I really don't have the time or the inclination to keep going back and forth with you. Honestly, carefully consider what your thoughts would be if PZ's invective were coming from a theist. Any reasonable person would immediately see just how hateful, angry and unhappy he truly is. But if you willfully refuse to see it, then I cannot help you any further here.


message 20: by Steven (last edited Apr 05, 2012 01:02AM) (new) - added it

Steven I watched the speech(I see you still refuse to give specific examples) and he seemed quite happy to me. He looked like he was enjoying himself. People can hurl invective all day and still be quite happy.

I don't fawn over anyone, you wouldn't see me in that crowd, especially in the rain. Then again, the "fawning" comment is only a daft little rhetorical device to try and categorise me as some PZ fan boy. Which none of my previous comments will sustain. It's a poor effort by you. I would say it is beneath you but I don't know you that well. Perhaps this is how you treat all disagreement. Considering your words against PZ, it's a bit hypocritical of you, no?

As I said previously, I have met the man in real life, listened to him in interviews, and read his blog. He might be unhappy about certain things(religious fanaticism, the prominence of supernatural belief etc) but he seems anything but unhappy in his life, as if happiness should even be the goal in life.

Then again, being a scientist with a teaching/research position at a University, who also has one of the most popular science blogs in the world, would make someone unhappy. You top this with the fact that he has a wife and daughter who support him - It's a recipe for suicide.

What do I know though, I only met and spoke to the man.

You afterall, watched a speech.


message 21: by Lee (new)

Lee Symes As I have also met PZ I was going to comment. But I don't need to as Steven has said what I was going to say, but in a far more eloquent way than I would have managed.


message 22: by Eduardo (new)

Eduardo Arias I think the only unhappy person here in this discussion is Jinx Mchue.

Unhappy because Paul wrote a book she does not like

Unhappy because to say that a person is vulgar, crude, arrogant, intolerant, hateful, puerile, proud, besides hateful and angry, you have to be angry yourself.

And trying to correct a person when you carry the same symptoms is hypocritical.


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