Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Things atheists should stop saying about theists

"Theists are delusional." No they aren't, in the vast majority. If you were raised christian and you are living a good life with god in your heart, you are not delusional. If you researched Christianity vs. atheism and stayed christian because you felt the atheist's arguments were lacking, you are still not delusional. However, if you did your research, found your faith severely tested, and then clung desperately to your beliefs despite the evidence, now you're getting delusional. But it is not fair of an atheist to assume that a theist is delusional.

"Theists are idiots." Again, vast majority, no they aren't. There are Nobel prize winning scientists who are believers; I would not call them idiots (unless they pulled a Linus Pauling, and even then...). There are idiots who are theists, and they do seem to thrive here on the Internet, but it is an unfair assumption nonetheless.

"Theists abuse their children." There are certainly cases where religions is wielded like a weapon against children, but it is in the minority once again. Most theists do their best to raise children well, and use their religion as a positive influence rather than a negative one.

"Theists are hypocrites." This one I struggle with. This is aggressive and like to be incendiary in an argument, so I'd shy away from it, but is it accurate? Christians say they believe in the bible, but it's really clear that they don't pay attention to large swaths of the book that say horrible things, since most Christians don't have a problem with pork, or tattoos, or wearing blended fabrics. But does that make them hypocritical? Is it ok for a Christian to decide what god really wants and doesn't? If their priest told them that their pig roast event this week was totally ok, would that make the Christian the hypocrite, or the priest? Could the priest also not be a hypocrite? 

My take, personally, is that even if some or most Christians are hypocrites, a lot of those who are may not even realize it. Therefore I'm going to stay away from that particular statement unless someone I'm engaging with truly is being hypocritical. 

I'm sure I've missed plenty of other options, but these are a good start.

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