Friday, October 4, 2013

5 reasons why you think you're not converting me, but are wrong about

Continuing my line of essays about atheism and conversion, last time I talked about why proselytizers aren't converting me. This time, I address why those common misunderstandings as to why I'm an atheist, and why they can't convert me.

#5: I'm not familiar with "the Good News"

It's this strange attitude we get that Christianity just hasn't been explained to us quite right... or at all. It's false. Sometimes, the assertion is that we haven't read the Bible, and how can we reject if it we've never heard it? (which is another attempt at shifting the burden of proof, incidentally).

Many of us deconverted because we read the Bible.

Maybe you just need to quote more Bible passage at us? Ever had the overwhelming urge to shoot yourself in the foot?

I am familiar, believe me.

#4: Christian Hypocrisy

The topics of whether God exists, and whether Christianity (whichever flavor) is the correct version of this "God" thing, are two separate questions. It doesn't matter what level of hypocrisy Christians show... why would that have to do with whether a sky wizard exists?

The typical Christian antagonism against homosexuality, for example, invalidates their claims that religion/theism makes a person good... but that's about it.

At most, this may be an issue that raises an eyebrow, catalyzes someone's inner dialog about whether the beliefs one was brought up, are valid... but after that, it's not something holding me back from being theistic.

The god I'd believe in, would be one that's actually good, and doesn't think that critically thinking skeptics are deserving of infinite torture, like is the core of Christianity.

#3: I actually do believe, but I'm rebelling

How aggravating is it to have someone read your mind. Imagine a palm-reader or Vulcan-wannabe touching your face and pretending to be able to know what you're thinking?

We get that a lot from Christians.

To be fair.. they don't think they personally can read your mind - they know some invisible guy who can.

Setting aside those who take this position to reinforce their own cognitive dissonance that other people can exist who don't accept their "obviously true" beliefs... if this is your actual belief about my position, you're going to be so off base, you're going to come across as batshit insane to me.

Don't pretend to know what I'm thinking. I'll tell you. (I just did!)

#2: Evolution and the Big Bang

"You don't think there were unbelievers before 150 years ago? Historical records will quickly refute that.", I asked an apologist, who insisted that my atheism was contingent on evolution and the Big Bang.

The reason I don't believe in a god is because those who claim one exists have not yet met their burden of proof. It's as simple as that. Whether we have knowledge of evolution or the Big Bang, or not, doesn't change that fact.

Additionally, many theists/Christians do accept that evolution is true... such as Francis Collins and Kenneth Miller. For many (including myself, back in the day), it was easy - God made evolution. Tada!

It's only a contradiction because religions have made claims that contradict these realities. If Christianity had doctrinal teachings about how heat transfer is actually the movement of mini-angels, they'd think that teaching Thermodynamics was teaching atheism too.

If you're trying to convert me to a particular doctrine that contradicts these theories, I can see that you'd think they were getting in the way... maybe to a small degree, but it's not the worst problem you're having in terms of persuading me to believe that a god exists.

#1: Traumatic Event in my Life; Problem of Evil

We all have good and bad events in our lives. It's not like Christians are living in little bubbles of paradise... they spend a lot of energy rationalizing why bad things happen to them, whereas the atheist just understands that "shit happens", and there isn't a supernatural conspiracy theory that their lives are intricately interwoven.

It's a silly premise - that the only reason why I don't believe in an undemonstrated unevidenced absurd notion of an all-powerful universe-creating invisible sky wizard must be because I'm mad at him.

It's an insult to my character.

Do you know what's a purely idiotic line of reasoning? "Evil exists... so there can't be a god"

A cursory perusal of the Old Testament will reveal a despicable god character... one that is defined to exist, and be a jerk. The mutual exclusion between the concept of a god, and the allowance of evil, can only be if the god has specifically been defined that way.

... so, in my mind, the Problem of Evil has nothing to do with whether a god exists.

Again, at best, a bad experience in life may start one down the path about thinking about how one knows whether a god exists... but it doesn't end up (at least for rational people) being the foundation of disbelief.

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