Conservapedia on “atheism”

Here’s a fun way to waste half an hour: look over the Conservapedia entry on atheism.

It starts off with a picture of “The perverse and cruel atheist Marquis de Sade in prison,” which is a pretty good indication of the sort of material that is to come. In some ways, it’s a nice one-stop shopping center for calumnies against nonbelief favored by American conservatives. I will admit, it has links to some useful sociological information concerning religious versus nonreligious populations, though it is one-sided and very US-centered. But that’s a minor part of the entry. Naturally, the bulk consists of misconceptions and misrepresentations.

The very existence of Conservapedia is a monument to dishonesty. Many American conservatives go purple in the face railing against political correctness, relativism, politically determined standards of truth, bias, etc. etc. Their solution, naturally, is to exhibit extreme versions of these faults. If they take over a public institution, they will gut it, as with the American government. If they can’t take over, such as with American science, they will seek to form parallel institutions to propagate a religiously correct vision of reality. So we had conservatives complaining about “bias” in Wikipedias treatment of certain subjects such as evolution, and therefore they produced a nicely creationist web site, Conservapedia, as an alternative.