Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pointers for atheists and Christians

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First of all, an honest “sorry!” for the lack of posts for these past few days. I could say I was busy, but this is only half-true, as technically, I was busy reading online stories. So, make of it what you will. -_-

Anyways, thought I’d take the time to slip in a quick post here. First thing I found whilst searching for blogging fodder was a post from – yet again – Pastor Tom Estes’ blog. It once again showcases some facepalm-worthy silliness and ignorance regarding atheists (big surprise, coming from a blog with the tagline that includes the gem, “Exposing the Atheist Agenda” …). For once, though, the tripe doesn’t come from T.Estes; he merely agrees with it.

Here you go, five things anti-atheists wish atheists would (or wouldn’t) do:

Here are five tips for my atheist friends to help them seem nicer and more reasonable.

1.) Stop being so smug.[1]

2.) Don’t assume every piece of Christian evangelism is directed at you – we want the undecideds, not the decided-uns.[2]

3.) Admit that the debate about God’s existence is complex – and that it can, depending on your presuppositions, be quite possible for intelligent and rational people to intelligently believe in an intervening deity who communicates through a book.[3]

4.) Admit that the scientific method – which by its nature relies on induction rather than deduction (starting with a hypothesis and testing it rather than observing facts and forming a hypothesis) – is as open to abuse as any religious belief, and is neither objective nor infallible.[4]

5.) Try to deal with the actual notions of God seriously believed in by millions of people rather than inventing strawmen (or spaghetti monsters) to dismiss the concepts of God – and deal with the Bible paying attention to context and the broader Christological narrative rather than quoting obscure Old Testament laws. By all means quote the laws when they are applied incorrectly by “Christians” – but understand how they’re meant to work before dealing with the Christians described in point 3.[5]

It seems St. Eutychus shares a brain with HardTruth (so no wonder T.Estes agrees so completely with this silliness). Let’s begin the dissection:

[1] Over-generalization. Nice start. And as for those who are smug, I would expect that being endlessly bombarded with the same arguments, excuses and general tripe for years and years has likely short-circuited their patience a bit. Excusable, methinks.

[2] Now, that’s just stupid. When have atheists ever complained about “every piece of Christian evangelism [being] directed at [us]”? What we detest and oppose, is shameless proselytizers – ie. fundies – who spread all kinds of willful stupidity and ignorance through their misinformation, hypocrisy and general dishonesty. Seriously, no-one cares if religious people preach to others, including atheists. Just don’t rub your tripe in our faces, and we won’t bare our teeth. Not hard to understand, is it?

[3] The very first ten words of the third point defeats the whole idea: no, the debate for God’s existence is not complex. It is, in fact, hilariously simple: either you find us actual and credible evidence to show that he exists, or we keep on believing he doesn’t. Any logical loopholes, mental acrobatics and other types of mind games you use are useless against the simple and obvious fact that there isn’t any evidence that God has ever existed, or has ever interacted, in any way, with the world as we know it. It’s that simple.

[4] You’ve got to be kidding. This is so stupid, it’s nearly insultingly so. Claiming that the scientific method goes by first creating a hypothesis, and then trying to fit the evidence into it – I’m not even sure that warrants a response other than, “oh, for fuck’s sake”. The whole point of the scientific method, by its very definition, is to be as unbiased, neutral and objective as humanly possible. (Also, no-one ever claimed it was infallible, so there’s another false claim on the fundies’ side.)

[5]… Ow. You’ve just hurt my poor brainz. First, bringing up the ad populum fallacy (guess what, millions used to think the Earth was flat. That lots of people believe in something is no indication, whatsoever, of it being either true or false); then, misconstruing the FSM and other pieces of satire as strawmen arguments; and finally … oh, hell, I don’t even know what the hell that means. Someone, fetch me my decoder ring, stat.

Actually, now that this has got me writing again (yay!), I feel like launching five points of my own:

Five Things Fundies Should Consider

1 – Stop using the same arguments over, and over, and over again. Get this: we’ve heard them. Many times. You repeatedly using them does nothing to advance your point; it just irritates atheists by boring them stupid.

2 – Enough with your history revisionism, particularly as to America being a “Christian nation”, or having Christian founding fathers. This type of ignorance is blatant and, frankly, irritating. None of the founding fathers were even remotely religious; in fact, they were ardent secularists. Also, America having a predominantly Christian demographic, does not make it a Christian nation. Hell, it’s in the very Constitution that no religion shall be given preference over any other. (I’ll even point out that, yet again, there is not one single mention of God anywhere in the Constitution. Some might take that as a sign.)

3 – Drop the violence. Death threats, bombings, shootings, vandalism, attacks of any kind – you are not making yourself out to be the followers of any sort of religion of peace and love when you constantly use force to try and crush dissent and opponents.

4 – Get an education. This doesn’t apply to all fundies, perhaps, but the vast majority, easily. Read some actual history books, follow accredited science courses (and try and learn while you’re at it), and so forth. (And, as an extension on this point: stop writing in RANDOM all-CAPS when you SEND IN your SCREEDS. SERiousLY.)

5 – Stop being such damn crybabies. I can’t put it better than that. Atheist bus ads or billboards? Don’t whine and complain and get all angry over them. You have tons and tons of your own religious ads everywhere, so quite frankly, drop the fucking hypocrisy. If atheists do things you don’t agree with or that contradict your faith: no-one cares. We’re not gonna modify our behavior(s) just because our lack of respect for your beliefs offends you. We don’t care. It is our right to oppose what we wish to oppose, and silly, irrational beliefs are one of such things.

Damn, I’d really love it if any Christian (or fundies) came to try and dispute anything I’ve just said. That would be so fun. (Well, sorta.)