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‘Joyous atheists’: the ultimate oxymoron?

The phrase strikes a tinny note against this Catholic’s lexical eardrum

By on Monday, 2 August 2010

‘Joyous atheists’: the ultimate oxymoron?

If you are a book reviewer, you sometimes have the slightly hollow feeling that you are ringing the changes in the phrases and adjectives you use. To increase this sense of merely peddling breathless clichés, a friend has kindly sent me a list of adjectives that a reviewer must avoid at all costs.

They are: gripping, poignant, compelling, nuanced, lyrical, tour de force, readable, haunting, deceptively simple, rollicking, fully realised, page-turner, sweeping, riveting, unflinching, powerful, timely and unputdownable.

Well. I plead guilty to having employed the words ‘poignant’, ‘haunting’ and ‘powerful’ – though now that I am conscious of their tainted provenance I do try to find ways of not using them. You would never catch me using the others – unless of course, I were pushed for time, feeling lazy, had stopped bothering about standards or was hoping the reviews editor was asleep.

Two other popular adjectives of recent vintage which I steadfastly avoid are ‘raunchy’ and ‘edgy’. I understand ‘raunchy’ is generally used in the context of elderly women writing explicitly about the pleasures of extra-marital sex – as in the ‘raunchy’ novels of the late (elderly) Mary Wesley. I have never read any of her writings on the grounds that life is short and I suspect I would find them a trifle too ‘raunchy’. I would rather return to Jane Austen (I am re-reading Persuasion at the moment at the behest of my local Book Club) who is exquisitely ‘un-raunchy’.

I never liked the word ‘edgy’ because I saw it thrown about all over the place; then I read the sorry saga of the Jonathan Ross- and-Russell Brand kind of ‘edgy’ humour and the even more sorry spectacle of the BBC defending them on the grounds that the public enjoyed this kind of ‘edgy’ fun – and I sent the word forever to the gulag of my lexicon. (I note that fellow-blogger Stuart Reid used it recently, but I remain unrepentant.)

A word I might use sometime, even though it is also thrown about too often, is ‘feisty’. It seems to be only used about women and has a certain plucky charm to it. Sarah Palin is seriously ‘feisty’ – even if she is not a suitable candidate for the US presidency – so I do not ‘refudiate’ it (to quote a word minted recently by Ms Palin).

I also like the sound of the word ‘apotropaic’, though it is not easy to find a way of using it often; it has an added frisson for me because Christopher Hitchens used it in his Memoir. If only his Twitter fans would imitate their master and touch up their vocabulary.

Just as ‘feisty’ can only be used about women, ‘oleaginous’ can only be used of men. Men ‘greasy’, women ‘plucky’; sounds about right.

To conclude with a phrase: I heard the expression ‘joyous atheists’ the other day and it struck a tinny note against my lexical eardrum. Indeed I refudiate it on the grounds it is an oxymoron. ‘Joyous’ has spiritual connotations and atheists have rejected the life of the spirit. They can of course be ‘happy’ – a word that is much lower in the hierarchy of the emotions.

You can be either ‘joyous’ or an ‘atheist’; you cannot be both. Discuss.

  • Brian Westley

    “You can be either ‘joyous’ or an ‘atheist’; you cannot be both.”

    It's clear that 'Catholic' and 'bigot' go together easily.

  • http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/ Jonathan West

    'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

  • Herbert Wood

    Atheists of course mut logically deny that there is any such thing as a hierarchy of emotions. Indeed their chief joy in life seems to reside in denying everything, including prayer for one of their own. The very name is a negation. A non-atheist need only glance at photographs of the atheist establishment: Frayling, McEwan,
    Toynbee, Porteous-Wood, Dawkins etc. for a more eloquent answer to your discussion point than words could ever convey.

    Isn't tour de force a noun? And why have dry, wry and spry not been banned?

  • Brian Westley

    “Atheists of course mut logically deny that there is any such thing as a hierarchy of emotions”

    Of course not; atheists only have to lack a belief in gods. Atheists are perfectly able to believe in a hierarchy of emotions, or not, as long as gods are not involved.

    Yet another example of a theist trying to tell atheists what they “must” or “must not” believe, and getting it wrong. Here's a hint: the only commonality that all atheists have is that none of them believe in the existence of gods — so the only credible statement you can make would simply reiterate that in some form. Blathering on about anything else will only show that you do not understand atheism or atheists.

  • Ben Dreidel

    What the heck is refudiate?

  • http://twitter.com/ericbroze Eric Broze

    What a poorly thought out piece.

    Joyous is defined as: 1. having a happy nature or mood
    2. joyful http://www.thefreedictionary.com/joyous

    I dispute that Joyous has spiritual connotations. Now child rape. That, I would agree has Catholic overtones. Who can think about child rape without thinking about the Catholic church?

  • http://twitter.com/ericbroze Eric Broze

    “Refudiate” is a word made up by Sarah Palin. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/07/pal

  • http://twitter.com/Ranmore Ranmore

    Can't say I know many joyous Catholics either! Most of the priests I've met have been miserable, downtrodden souls. But I wouldn't want to generalise ;-)

  • tobe or nottobe

    Joy is a gift of the Holy Spirit that a soul enters into. You may or may not be happy when you are joyful. Happiness is an emotional reaction based on happenstance. A person may or may not be happy when he experiences joy. This is why a person may experience joy in times of great suffering when he or she offers up his suffering on behalf of his own sins or the sins of others or for a greater good. He can spiritually scourge his heart, let's say when he suffers persecution and offers only love in return. (By love, I mean “willing the good of another”.) The fruit of this is joy.

    If an atheist is consistent in his “belief” that there is no God, then he must “know” that he can only experience happiness—an emotion born out of a chemical (physical) response to some event that happens by chance. If an atheist can experience joy, then he must somewhere inside not be an atheist. If he wants to explain away God, then he must say that he is happy or very happy or extremely happy….but he cannot say that he is joyful. (See Peter Kreeft, C.S. Lewis)

  • http://www.spiritualatheist.co.uk SpiritualAtheist

    What a bizarre thing to say!

    joyous means to be full of happiness and joy. That would actually describe many atheists better than believer. Atheism brings a sense of freedom, and control to life, and, often, an understanding as to how amazing the world we live in is. These all things that can only bring joy. Where as religion has the possibity of making people smug, judgemental, and sad that the whole world is going to hell.

    I am Joyous atheist, and my joy is based on the reality of life. I'm not sure how many believers can honestly say that.

  • Anthony

    Atheism is ignorance of a reality that cannot be perceived by the physical senses. And ignorance is bliss.

    So, yes, atheism can be blissful and joyous.

  • http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/ Jonathan West

    So how can that reality be perceived, if not by the physical senses? Are there non-physical senses, and if so, how do you know they are there?

  • Anthony

    For a start, new physics is revealing that time and space are like pixels superimposed on a TV screen, which from a distance produce a picture but close up resemble tiny discrete points on a blank background. This suggests that the time and space we perceive through our senses are, like the TV picture, just an approximation of a more fundamental reality as yet unknown.

  • Giles H

    Comes to something when you find trolls on the CH website; now, over at Damian's that's another thing.
    I'd say, Brian, that a bigot is someone who is unwilling to have any sort of discussion, but I'll leave you to simmer in your untroubled santimony. Best, Giles.

  • tobe or nottobe

    If you are an atheist, you cannot be “freed” any more than you can be “joyful.” An atheist cannot even hold a belief…joy, freedom, and beliefs are all spiritual constructs. They are not physical. If you only “believe”, (which you cannot… do,) in the physical universe, then you cannot “be” something that is not physical, such as “free”. But then, this is only if you are consistent in your “belief”. A materialist's thoughts can only be products of an electro-chemical process coming from the physical matter of his brain. Therefore, logically, they are meaningless. Ergo, freedom is meaningless in the consistent atheist's sphere. (Said out love, and not antagonism.) Happiness can come with joy, but joy is not happiness. Joy recognizes God…that is what you recognize when you say that we live in an “amazing world”. It is amazing precisely because it is ordered and therefore we can learn and gain knowledge from it (science) and while it is finite (because it is created), it appears infinite, because it's creator is infinite. And our minds are small compared to the infinite mind of the Creator. And the “reality of life” is that there is a God, and that is why you can have joy. Atheism is joy-less and creates cultures of death. Just look at the world now with the holocaust of abortion due to secular humanism.(52 million in America alone since 1973) Look at the millions upon millions of people who have died at the hands of atheist communist/socialist dictators and regimes. That is the fruit of Atheism.

  • Deuce

    “An atheist cannot even hold a belief…joy, freedom, and beliefs are all spiritual constructs.”

    This is so wrong that it beggars description. Belief has nothing to do with spirituality. It's a matter of faith, which is not necessarily a spiritual matter either. One can believe that one's spouse will remain faithful, or that a car will start when you put the right key in the ignition and turn it, on the basis that it's always been so, in one's experience.

    Neither is “freedom” a strictly spiritual matter. You can be tethered to a belief and all that comes with it… in which case, shedding the belief grants freedom. And shall we ask that girl who was held prisoner for some eighteen or so years whether she feels that her imprisonment and eventual freedom are strictly spiritual in nature? Your sanctimonious tone suggests that you view non-spirituality as some form of prison, and only by the word of God can one be freed from this prison.

    As for “joy,” well, I suggest you consult a dictionary. Much as some might wish otherwise, the Bible does not hold absolute sway over linguistic construction.

  • Jonathan West

    All that means is that our physical senses can be extended by means of technology. What are non-physical senses?

  • Anthony

    What it means is that science is revealing that which our physical senses are incapable of perceiving, namely that space and time, far from being the bases of existence which we take for granted, are themselves together with matter and energy, the products of a fundamental spaceless and timeless reality.

    Who said anything about non-physical senses?

  • http://scepticalthoughts.blogspot.com/ Jonathan West

    You did, when you suggested the existence of “a reality that cannot be perceived by the physical senses”. Since one can't detect the existence of anything without senses (extended or not by scientific instrumentation), a non-physical reality must therefore by definition be perceived by non-physical senses. I was wondering what you meant about this non-physical reality and the means by which one might detect it.

  • Anthony

    So far new science is continuing to reveal theoretically or mathematically that the space and time which we perceive with our senses are not the fundamental components of reality. There has as yet been no experimental backup of these theories because we currently lack much of the instrumentation to detect them. But that is a question of time, and scientific progress suggests that we can look to a future where, as theories develop and instrumentation advances, the dependence of space and time upon a more fundamental spaceless and timeless reality will be fully revealed.

    This of course is very exciting, and not just for physicists. Could this spacelessness and timelessness from which space, time, energy and matter emerge be the biblical “void”? If so, it was predicted thousands of years ago, which for non-believers is an unsettling coincidence but which for Christians is a further endorsement of their faith.

  • tobe or nottobe

    In order to properly understand belief and knowledge we need to look at where belief and knowledge come from according to our world views.

    Throughout history, human beings have understood that (belief and) knowledge come from the mind. The mind is the intellectual capacity of the soul which allows us to know and the will is the capacity of the soul which allows us to choose. Human beings have always understood that the soul is mysteriously related to the body, and the mind to the brain, yet we understood them to be distinct. The soul is not the body and the body is not the soul. Human beings are composed of body and soul. The mind is the soul thinking. This is the Christian view.

    Materialism or naturalism says that all there is the physical universe. Human beings are the result of an entirely natural evolutionary process. God does not exist. There are neither spirits nor souls. According to Paul Churchland, “The important point about the standard evolutionary story is that the human species and all of its features are wholly physical outcome of a purely physical process. If this is the correct account our origin, then there seems neither need nor room to fit any nonphysical substances or properties into our theoretical accounts of ourselves.” We are creatures of matter. In this worldview, where do our thoughts and beliefs come from? They would have to come from our bodies alone. According to Francis Crick;” The astonishing hypothesis is that 'you,' your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules…” “The same way that the stomach and bowels are destined to produce digestion”, according to Pierre Jean Georges Cabanis is how the human brain produces thoughts and ideas. The natural conclusion of the definition of the mind in the materialist world view is that it is nothing more than excretions of the brain.

    My questions to any atheist would be: If there is no God, and all there is is the physical world,

    –Why should any human being trust his own thoughts to be true?
    –Wouldn't freedom of thought be an illusion?
    –Why does morality matter?
    –How can there be such things as laws of logic?
    –Why should any human being care about any other human beings “rights” or “feelings”
    (ref Patrick Madrid, Kenneth Hensley)

  • Anthony

    Another question might be as follows. How could a material object like the physical brain which is confined to three spacial dimensions, produce from the limitations of those dimensions the notion of extra spatial dimensions as in the case of physics for example? Surely if the three dimensional tissue of the brain physically excreted thoughts, then those thoughts must by their very origin and nature be limited to three dimensional concerns and nothing more.

  • Weston Lockley

    Girl, what an exercise in autofloccinaucinihilipillification…

    I propose “Bigoted Catholic” as the ultimate pleonasm.

  • Weston Lockley

    Piffle and balderdash.
    Atheism only points to the absence of proof for a god.

  • Jag

    There are a lot of superficially joyous atheists wandering about randomly in a supposedly random world. They have emptied life of meaning and would love nothing better than to vanquish the Cross. Is this real joy? No it is abject misery and despair as they try and extinguish the nagging voice of conscience. Man is free to irrevocably slam the door in the face of Christ. True joy is rare. It is borne of repentance and conversion. Narrow is the way.

  • True peace

    Look deep inside you. Are you really joyous? Really? No you have a heart made for God and it is a burning hole inside of you

  • tobe or nottobe

    “How could a material object like the physical brain which is confined to three spacial dimensions, produce from the limitations of those dimensions the notion of extra spatial dimensions as in the case of physics for example? Surely if the three dimensional tissue of the brain physically excreted thoughts, then those thoughts must by their very origin and nature be limited to three dimensional concerns and nothing more.”

    And so the same questions still apply….

    My questions to any atheist would be: If there is no God, and all there is is the physical world,

    –Why should any human being trust his own thoughts to be true?
    –Wouldn't freedom of thought be an illusion?
    –Why does morality matter?
    –How can there be such things as laws of logic?
    –Why should any human being care about any other human beings “rights” or “feelings”
    (ref Patrick Madrid, Kenneth Hensley)

  • tobe or nottobe

    Ooops sorry…I see what you're saying.

  • tobe or nottobe

    “Atheism only points to the absence of proof for a god.”

    This is an incorrect statement….

    There are 20 proofs or arguments for the existence of God. See Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tacelli

    1. The Argument from Change
    2. The Argument from Efficient Causality
    3. The Argument from Time and Contingency
    4. The Argument from Degrees of Perfection
    5. The Design Argument
    6. The Kalam Argument
    7. The Argument from Contingency
    8. The Argument from the World as an Interacting Whole
    9. The Argument from Miracles
    10. The Argument from consciousness
    11. The Argument from Truth
    12. The Argument from the Origin of the Idea of God
    13. The Ontological Argument
    14. The Moral Argument
    15. The Argument from Conscience
    16. The Argument from Desire
    17. The Argument from Aesthetic Experience
    18. The Argument from Religious Experience
    19. The Common Consent Argument
    20. Pascal's Wager

    Now Atheism, “I do not believe there is a God. I believe only in the physical natural world.” are just statements. They do not point to anything. As a philosophical system, “naturalism has not been demonstrated to be true. It is assumed to be true.” It is the onus of atheists to prove that there is no God.

  • Weston Lockley

    There is not a single proof for the existence of a god. Not even a shred of the beginning of one.

    What you are citing are inconclusive statements, circular reasonings, appeals to authority and (some quite poetic) delusions. Most of them are disingenuous, a lot are downright dishonest.

    The Kalam fallacy can be used to prove Zeus made the world.

    And how dare you even still bring up that completely risible Pascal's Wager. Don't you see that it can be used against you? What if Allah is the true god? Wouldn't it be wise to become a muslim?

    If you make an outrageous statement, which you do, then you have to prove it. You can't. That's all the joyous atheist is saying.

  • joyousatheist

    what an incredibly stupid statement that you cannot be a joyous atheist and it seems the ultimate oxymoron would be a moral priest or pope but i will acknowledge that seem to enjoy your joyous stupidity

  • joyousatheist

    what an incredibly stupid statement that you cannot be a joyous atheist and it seems the ultimate oxymoron would be a moral priest or pope but i will acknowledge that seem to enjoy your joyous stupidity

  • http://lessofthedifferent.wordpress.com/ Yui Daoren

    This is the sort of black-and-white non-thinking that gives religion a bad name.

    I note there is nothing of substance in the article, simply this idea that some words are applicable to groups and others not – no evidence given for why this should be or not be, just an appeal to popularity. One of the worst fallacies possible.

  • Joyous Atheist :)

    As a joyous atheist, I find the phrase 'intellectually-honest book reviewer' entirely objectionable. Given the content of Ms. Phillips essay, it is clear that some oxymorons enjoy a privileged position in the hierarchy of the absurd prejudices. And since we are so mindlessly rejecting people, uh… whoops, I mean 'phrases' that we find personally objectionable, here are a few more we can joyously sacrifice at the bleeding alter of the merely asserted: 'rational believer', 'loving christian', 'moral catholic'…

  • http://lessofthedifferent.wordpress.com/ Yui Daoren

    Yet another god-of-the-gaps argument.

  • tobe or nottobe

    The twenty arguments listed above are reasoned arguments, some cosmological and some psychological. And Pascal's wager is really an argument for faith in God as a wager. All of these arguments above form a strong cumulative case for the existence of God. As someone said….”like twined rope.” Here you simply dismiss them by making sweeping generalizations.

    Greek mythology does not claim that Zeus created the world (in the story, he created woman), but since the Kalam argument can make the argument for God, according to you, if you want to call the Creator, Zeus, then that's your prerogative. Also, I think Allah is God, since Allah is the Arabic word for God.

    Again…with all of the evidence from the above reasoned arguments for the existence of God, I still say it is the onus of atheists to prove that there is no God.

  • Weston Lockley

    Your 20 non-arguments have been debunked so many times it's not funny anymore. Read up on it sometime.

    According to Greek Religion the Universe originated like this: Out of the void emerged Ge or Gaia (the Earth) and some other primary divine beings: Eros (Love), the Abyss (the Tartarus), and the Erebus. Without male assistance Gaia gave birth to Uranus (the Sky) who then fertilized her.

    Seems plausible.

    And no, Kalam can't make that argument. At the very most it argues that the universe had to have a beginning and thus a cause. Nothing is said about what that cause is. Whether it is true that the universe has to have a beginning is debatable. Kalam fails over the whole line.

    So you think Allah is a god. And Mohamed (hallowed be his name) is his prophet? Do you believe that? What if it is true? Then Jesus is just another minor prophet. Then you believing Jesus is the son of a god would make you a blasphemer. Pascal says you better hedge your bet or Allah might punish you for that.

    Again, no. You make outrageous claims: you prove them. However, here is someone who can prove Atheism is true: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NviLvMRbGoE

  • Weston Lockley

    Addendum:

    Don't make me say thing I didn't. It's not honest.

    I didn't say Zeus created the word. I just said that the Kalam fallacy can be used to prove Zeus created the world in the same manner as it is used to prove Yahweh did.

  • Anthony

    Not quite so. The materialistic worldview of atheism presupposes a continuous spacetime, perpetuated by an infinite cycle of universes within a multiverse scenario. To the atheist, spacetime is the permanent fundamental background from which matter and energy emerge, interact and evolve.

    Scientific research on the other hand is suggesting that spacetime itself is not a continuous flow but at the ultramicroscopic level is made up of discrete lumps, very much like the pixels on a TV screen. Just as at a distance the pixels make up a smooth picture, so too at the human level of perception does spacetime appear smooth and continuous. And just as pixels are individual dots or squares on a blank screen, so too is spacetime itself is composed of discrete lumps superimposed on a non-spacetime background. Therefore, instead of matter and energy emerging from a permanent spacetime, spacetime itself together with matter and energy is the product of a more fundamental spaceless and timeless reality.

    This of course makes a nonsense of the multiverse scenario. Spacetime is no longer the default background of existence, constantly perpetuated through an infinite sequence of universes, but is instead the product of a deeper as yet unknown reality which is spaceless and timeless.

    The only gap I can see is the yawning chasm where the multiverse scenario once was and which now needs to be replaced quite pronto by those atheists who wish to retain any scientific credibility in their beliefs.

  • Zlatoluna

    You, Madam, are an idiot.

  • SoMuchJoySoLittleGod

    I am an atheist and continually find myself overjoyed at many of the great things I experience in life. In fact I spent a great deal of time in joyous celebration, living in California, over the recent news that some of my friends can be now be happily married despite the less-than-joyous opposition who would shun their love.

  • http://twitter.com/Ruaidhri_ Ruaidhrí

    What a load of nonsense.Do you have any empirical evidence that full hierarchy of emotions are not available to atheists?Some fMRI scans perhaps?No?It's just a deluded rant so.

  • Anthony

    As an evolutionary theist, I find your “prove atheism true” link interesting because it provides a good refutation of strict biblical creationism.

    However, whereas strict biblical creation of the earth may be a falsifiable hypothesis, the creation of the universe itself is an unfalsifiable hypothesis. You cannot disprove that the spacetime of the universe had a created origin.

    On the other hand, the perpetuation of spacetime by an infinite cycle of universes within a multiverse scenario is a falsifiable hypothesis for reasons I described to Yui Daoren below earlier today.

    As a Christian my hypothesis of a Creator of the universe is unfalsifiable, whereas your atheistic hypothesis of a perpetual spacetime across an infinite succession of universes is faslifiable. My unfalsifiable Creator outperforms your falsifiable multiverse. My hypothesis still holds, yours has failed.

  • Some sense

    Religious belief + a feeling of superiority really does weed out the idiots on this planet.

  • Some sense

    tl;dr religion is bullshit and anyone who is remotely religious is mentally ill. It really doesn't get any more complicated than that. So lets not be surprised when mentally infected journalists come out with crap like this. After all we are talking about the religion that condones kiddy fiddling here so no surprises here.

  • Weston Lockley

    “the creation of the universe itself is an unfalsifiable hypothesis. You cannot disprove that the spacetime of the universe had a created origin.”

    Neither can you prove it. I have an invisible elephant in the trunk of my car. You cannot disprove that.

    You don't understand what the implactions of an unfasifyable hypothesis are. It means you say something which can't be proven nor disproven. The value of such a statement is, practically speaking, nihil.

    Invisible elephant in trunk. Can't prove it nor disprove it. But why believe it? Nothing points to its veracity.

    In that sense your assertion that the “hpothesis of a Creator of the universe is unfalsifiable” is true. Can't prove it, nor disprove it. But why believe it? Let alone that is was the biblical god. Why not Wanacondah?

    “Your hypothesis of a perpetual spacetime across an infinite succession of universes is faslifiable”. Again, don't put words in my mouth. It's intellectually dishonest. It's a straw man. Nowhere have I stated that this is my hypothesis.

    “My hypothesis still holds, yours has failed”

    Your hypothesis is what it is: it can't be proven nor disproven. So you have proven… exactly nothing.

    You don't know my hypothesis. You don't know whether I have one.

    In fact all Atheism does is point to the absence of proof for a god, without even supposing that this is proof of absence.

    Consider me underwhelmed.

  • Anonymous

    Counter-example: I am an atheist and I have already experienced joy. Therefore, the hypothesis is false.

  • Anonymous

    “Look at the millions upon millions of people who have died at the hands of atheist communist/socialist dictators and regimes. That is the fruit of Atheism.”
    You, sir, are an idiot.

  • Anthony

    You can't be much of an atheist if you reject the hypothesis that spacetime never had a beginning but has always existed in a sequence of pre-existing universes. If you reject that hypothesis it is tantamount to admitting that spacetime had a beginning and then, as an atheist, you are lumbered with the task of explaining the non-spacetime scenario that preceded spacetime.

    As a Christian I can explain that scenario quite well since it is well-documented in Scritpure and well-supported by Tradition. You, on the other hand, as an atheist, are at a loss to explain the timelessness and spacelessness inherent in such a scenario. I have an answer, you do not. What right do you have to assert from your position of ignorance that my answer is wrong?

  • nobody but me

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean–neither more nor less.”

    “They can of course be ‘happy’ – a word that is much lower in the hierarchy of the emotions.” is statement revealing a bigot's sense of superiority. Bigoted intolerance is implied by her suggestion that atheists are not entitled to “joyous”.

    Wait! Atheists can't be joyous, but they can be sanctimonious!? Farcical.