Religion and Fairy Tales

Yesterday I wrote about what I thought should be added to a list of things that atheists should stop saying (written by Christian blogger Benjamin Corey). Today I’ll talk about what was on that list that I think shouldn’t be, namely, the request that atheists stop calling religious people’s beliefs fairy tales. This is the one thing on the original list that got the most push-back from atheists, which prompted a response from the author.Read More »

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Shit I Wish Atheists Would Stop Saying

So, today I ran across a response to a blog post on Patheos that a Christian wrote about shit he wishes atheists would stop saying. I’d read that post before a while ago and, on the whole, I think the guy had some good points. When I think about the sort of obnoxious statements that he is likely responding to, I’m inclined to nod and say “Yea, totally, people should stop saying shit like that.” But I do think his list of things atheists should stop saying also includes some things that don’t fall under the “obnoxious crap” category (which other people have already done a good job covering, like the guy I linked above). However, he also misses a few things that should be on the list but aren’t. So I thought I’d write my own post about shit that I, as an atheist, wish other atheists would stop saying.

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Book Challenge

A while back, I wrote a post about a challenge given to me by a Christian proselytizer on my campus. If I read a book of their choice, they would read one of mine. Unfortunately, they never replied back to me after I emailed them, so it never happened. I don’t know what happened there. Maybe they changed their mind. Maybe the email got lost. No way to tell. But I was pretty disappointed about it, after having put a significant amount of effort into selecting a book.Read More »

Atheists and Deity Based Swearing

The other day, I overheard an interesting conversation. A girl was talking to her boyfriend and mentioned how odd she finds it that her atheist friend says “Oh my God!” When she asked, the friend said it was just an expression, but she thought there was something more to it, like maybe her friend really does believe in God, deep down, because why else would she use that phrase? I thought about interjecting into the conversation to explain it, but that would probably have been unwelcome, so I didn’t. It got me thinking, though.Read More »

Dear Close-Minded Atheist Hater

Dear Close-Minded Atheist Hater:

Of course atheists will live up to your bad expectations if you don’t give them the benefit of the doubt. No individual will counter your bad opinion of the group they belong to if you interpret every action of theirs in the worst light possible. If you take their condemnation of bad thing #1 and bad thing #2 to mean that they’re okay with bad thing #3. If they call you out on twisting their words, and you counter by saying that no one in their group needs your help in the twisting of words (oh look, victim blaming!). If you make absurd leaps in “logic” to take their position on a matter of fact to mean that they advocate <insert barely related horrible thing here>, and you say that their group is so awful because they are okay with <horrible thing> (hint: saying that people you hate advocate <insert horrible thing here> doesn’t make it so). If you act incredulous when they state that they do, in fact, have a problem with it when your group is the one being harmed. If, in fact, you generally assume they are the scum of the Earth, no matter how they act.

If you repeatedly fail to provide requested sources to back up your assertions, except to say that it is obvious that <vaguely referenced thing open to interpretation> is an example. If you then make fun of them when they say they hadn’t seen your interpretation of that vaguely referenced thing before. If you resort to insults because you don’t actually have good counter-arguments. If you resort to such petty tactics as modifying their comments to put a “[sic]” in after every typo or misspelling you can find. If you insert your own responses into the middle of their comments, so that no one can read their comment without seeing your response immediately. If you make assumptions about their position on a subject that hasn’t even been addressed. If you close comments after a day with a smug, sanctimonious exclamation that the atheists have proved your point about them.

Then you’re just making yourself look bad. You’re conceding that you don’t have good responses to their points by deflecting instead of engaging. You’re making it painfully obvious that you are unwilling to change your mind no matter what anyone says. The people you’re arguing against should take it as a compliment that you are failing so badly in countering their points that you resort to such tactics as deflection, insult, and deliberate (and obvious!) misrepresentation.

And it’s hilarious that you seem to think you’re the one who came off better in this interaction.