Monday, December 15, 2008

Am I a fundie atheist? Part 2

And now, the thrilling sequel to yesterday's post. Sort of.

  1. You think that Pope Leo X may have really called Christ a fable, because it's "the type of thing he would say," but you deny that God could have said what the Bible attributes to Him because it is recorded by "anonymous" witnesses. [No, I don't care what the pope may have said, and I discard most of the bible because it's full of crap.]

  2. You've never understood why merely uttering the phrase "Christian America" is not considered to be a declaration of treason against the "TRUE" United States of America.[Apparently all fundie atheists are American]

  3. You think there's more evidence for the existence of Wonder Woman than for Jesus.[Jesus, Son of God? Abut the same amount, really]

  4. You complain about desecrating the Koran while holding a burning Bible.[I'm opposed to book burning, no matter the book]

  5. You think religion is "the original war crime".[No]

  6. You think the Ku Klux Klan and the Christian Identity movement are representative of "mainstream" Christianity.[No]

  7. You think serial killer Dennis "BTK" Rader is a "model Christian" and Olympic Park/abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph is a "good Christian boy". Anyone who argues otherwise is committing the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.[No, anyone who says they aren't Christians is committing the no true Scotsman fallacy. I'm not under the delusion that anyone who disagrees with me is a murderer]

  8. You believe that "if it weren't for the U.S. Constitution, Christian leaders would be burning women at the stake." [Some might, I don't know. Not all, of course]

  9. You continually argue that Hitler was a "real Christian" even when he and his fellow Nazis were slaughtering millions of people (and you "conveniently" ignore the very obvious distinction between someone claiming to be a Christian and someone actually living as a Christian, and the fact that the Nuremberg prosecutors denounced Nazism as fanatically ANTI-Christian!), but you deny that the scientists who rejected Galileo's work were real scientists.[Religious beliefs cannot be determined with certainty. He, on numerous occasions, said he was a Christian, and there is little evidence to the contrary. Short of inventing a time machine and mind reader device, we cannot know. And science's methods have changed quite a bit since Galileo]

  10. You insist that the historical data is too sparse to know anything about the ancient world, but you then proceed to tell us what 'actually happened' anyway.[No, I'm not an archaeologist or historian]

  11. You think if a Christian won't address your arguments, they are too frightened to do so, or know they can't answer them; but if they do address your arguments, you think it is because they are "threatened" by them. [No, I hope they addressed my arguments. What I usually get is sidesteps and evasions]

  12. Missionaries who give up their personal comfort to aid starving, impoverished and persecuted third-world people are actually "corrupting ancient tribal cultures with western religious dogma", while you sit at home and complain about the price of KFC. [I don't buy KFC, and I recognize that missionaries can do good work]

  13. You believe that any Christian who claims to have once been an atheist is either lying or was never a "true atheist." [No]

  14. You think that John Shelby Spong is a reputable theologian but that Ben Witherington is merely an ignorant biblicist.[Never heard of either]

  15. You assert that the crimes and failings of some Christians (acting inconsistently with the teachings of Christ at that!) disproves the whole edifice of Christianity but that the crimes and failings of some atheists (acting consistently with the fact that atheism can provide no basis for objective morality!) should on no account be held against the philosophy of atheism. [No. I recognize that atheism does not address morality and thus there is no reason to expect atheists to have similar morals. Christians with varying morals simply show that their religion lends itself to multiple interpretations]

  16. You assert that there is no absolute categories of good and evil, that all morals are merely personal, social and evolutionary constructs but then you can still describe Christians and Christianity as absolutely immoral, repugnant and evil and a danger to humanity and not feel even a twinge of hypocrisy at the monumental illogic of your position.[I don't generalise morality to religious groups and I don't issue absolute moral condemnations]
  17. You think that Josh McDowell represents the apex of Christian scholarly apologetical thinking.[Who?]

  18. You lump all Christians in with whatever religious fruitcake is the flavour of the month, while living with the delusion that there are no atheistic weirdos out there. [Hell no. I'm fully aware of the weirdo atheists, and know that, as in most groups, they are not representative of the rest]

  19. You KNOW that religion causes violence and repeatedly tell this to everyone, hoping to save the world, but you don't believe that TV violence causes any real life violence. In fact, you are offended by this objection, and you have already started to figure out how to refute it. To increase your fundy factor, you have decided not to study social sciences. (Once you heard about Rodney Stark's For the Glory of God - you certainly would not bother reading it - you thought that sociologists were Christian fundamentalists in stealth mode, trying to push religious worldviews. [I don't care about TV violence. Its effect is wildly blown out of proportion. And yes, religion has caused violence. The terms "Crusade" or "Jihad" ring any bells?]

  20. You think that taking the Bible seriously is the obsession of a fanatical fringe group of right-wing, extremist Christians[Depends on what you mean by seriously. If you mean "literally" then yes, they are fanatics] who do not represent the views of the historic Church or of contemporary enlightened, liberal, skeptical "Christians" who according to you supposedly "fill" the mainstream churches and who on close inspection pretty much reflect your own politically correct views and values - and skepticism - about God. [Sort of like former Bishop Spong]. [I don't project my views on the mainstream public and I'm fully aware of our multiple disagreements]

  21. You claim that the theories and opinions of certain liberal scholars are absolute facts although you shy away from debating such issues with someone equally or better informed than you are. [Which scholars are you talking about? Depending on the issue, I might be well-informed or not and choose what to debate accordingly]

  22. You get angry when Christians tell you you're going to a place that you don't think exists.[I laugh, usually. I can get angry at the sentiment, regardless of whether I think they are right or not.]

  23. You're convinced that people only believe in God because they're afraid of going to hell...despite the fact that if there is no God, then there's probably no hell either. [Some people are stupid enough to fall for Pascal's Wager. The rest, they have other reasons, good or bad]

  24. You consistently decry Christians for soliciting financial support yet find no problem in atheistic 'missionaries' doing the same thing." [I was not aware of the existence of atheistic missionaries. Depends on what they want the funds for]

  25. You think that 'mission statements' on Christian websites proves the authors are biased which automatically renders the material on those sites weak and unscholarly yet you see no problem with 'mission statements' glorifying naturalism found on atheistic websites.[No. Well, depends on the statement, really, but usually it's not a factor]

  26. When a group of Sydney University (Australia) academics, including a historian, sign a public statement saying the Jesus Christ is "one of the great figures of history" and that his claims to be Son of God "bear up under closest scrutiny", this is a gross abuse of their position.[No, it's simply a dumb statement to make] But when Richard Dawkins uses his position as an Oxford professor to pontificate on his atheistic religion and related philosophical matters outside HIS field (animal behavior), that is a responsible use of academic freedom.[This might come as a shock to you, but Dawkins is not the High Priest of Atheos]

  27. Further to the above, you're paranoid that these Christian academics will discriminate against you, even though their statement hasn't the remotest hint of that. But you applaud Michael Dini, a professor at Texas Tech, who refuses to recommend students for Medical School, even if they got "A"s in their courses, unless they not only understand but BELIEVE in goo-to-you evolution. And you're disgusted that creationist medical doctors have the gall to think they know more about medicine than Dini (who never practised medicine or even went to medical school), because by definition an evolutionist is more knowledgeable than a creationist on ANY subject![Got a bit carried away with the example, didn't you? I'm not familiar with the case, if it happened as stated it is not something I agree with]

  28. You think Christians are narrow-minded for believing in only one religion, but atheists are open-minded for believing in absolutely none. [No, open-mindedness is not exclusive to any religious stance. In any case, open-mindedness has little to do with what you believe, it's about being willing to consider new beliefs]

  29. You believe that Christianity discriminates, because you have to join their religion in order to be a member of their religion.[No, it's because of its misogynist and homophobic tendencies]

  30. You feel that Christians who go into atheist chat rooms are "shoving their beliefs down people's throats", and that atheists who go into Christian chat rooms are only trying to educate.[Nope. Both are equally dumb, unless the chatroom is a debate or otherwise open to others room]

  31. You think it is a "slam dunk" proof against God when you ask why He doesn't stop horrible things like, i.e., child rape, but evade the reply that you obviously don't want God stopping your own sins by pointing out that it isn't your problem because you don't believe in God in the first place.[Nobody has given me that reply before.Perhaps because it's completely nonsensical]

  32. You are disgusted with Doctor Paul Vitz's book "Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism" because an educated person with a degree has linked atheism as a psychological condition. Yet, you have no remorse when you tell believers that they are a product of brainwashing, psycho conditioning and wishful thinking.[Haven't read it, from what I've heard he seems to be full of shit. And I don't tell most believers that are brainwashed.]

  33. You believe Freud's theory that all religious experiences are delusions, as the most revolutionary and truthful thought of all times. Yet, you overlook his heavy use of cocaine because "it can't be proven."[Psychology has moved beyond Freud now. His cocaine use, real or not, is an ad hominem]

  34. You recommend Michael Shermer's book "How We Believe" to all of your friends who are believers and believe that somehow his opinion will give insight into how we actually think. Yet of course, you ignore that Shermer doesn't have any education in Anthropology. Must be a coincidence.[No, I don't. I feel it's rather rude (assuming they don't wish to discuss their beliefs, which is usually the case with my religious friends), and anyway I don't recommend books I haven't read]

  35. You're stupid enough to think atheists are treated like second-class citizens.[I have not suffered discrimination over my non-belief. Others have] Yet of course, you spend most of your day belittling Christians and other religious people. [I have better things to do with my time than be a walking stereotype]

  36. You're convinced that all Christians are idiots. But when you meet the "rare" Christian who's clearly intelligent, you can only conclude that he was fooled into the idiots. [Intelligent Christians are not rare at all. They are just probably wrong on one aspect of their beliefs]

  37. You think that the words "Christian" and "sane" are mutually exclusive. [No]

  38. You think that no Christian can ever be a patriotic American, because he will always side with the enemies of truth. [Not American, don't consider patriotism a virtue]

  39. You're proud of being completely free of predjudice, unlike the "typical sociopathic Christian".[I wish, but no. I just do my best to minimize its effect]

  40. You address Christians as "liar","sheepherder", or "looney toon". [I usually address them by name]

  41. You refer to Christian leaders as "fuehrer".[No, I don't]

  42. You think Focus On The Family is a "white supremacist hate cult". [No, they are full of shit for completely different reasons]

  43. You think Satanists are Christians because they "worship a Christian god".[Most Satanists are atheists. The few that actually worship Satan are not Christians either, lacking the whole "Jesus is the Son of God" thing]

  44. You demand that theists explain news items where bad things have happened to theists, even though no theists on the board have claimed that belief in God is some kind of a lucky charm that wards off bad luck.[Some have. I usually avoid that argument]

  45. You demand that theists explain news items where theists do bad things, even though no theists on the board have claimed that it is impossible for theists to do bad things.[Plenty have, and again I usually avoid that argument]

  46. The only Commandments you know are the ones that are unconstitutional. [I won't say I have them memorized, but I don't need to]

  47. You can't remember if she was Mother or Sister Teresa, but you can name every pedophile priest listed in the media over the last seven years. [I have better things to do with my time]

  48. You feel that Marilyn Manson is really, really profound. [Nah, just a good musician]

  49. You think the song "Dear God" by XTC is really, really, really................really meaningful.[Never heard it]

  50. You are funding or filming a movie called "Heart of the Beholder" a Secular Humanist movie telling a true story of a video store renting out the movie "The Last Temptation of Christ." The fundamentalist Christian community is in protest of this store renting this movie out. Of course, you also create the image that all Christians were not only opposed to this movie but the fact that with less then 10% of your nation who actually believes in secular philosophy, this movie is actually going to make money. The filmmakers might be suffering from the same kind of false hope they think believers are.[What the fuck are you talking about?]

  51. You believe that emotional response interferes with rational thinking. Yet, you think George Carlin is the greatest comedian of all times, because he makes you laugh.[Uh, that's kind of the definition of a good comedian. Doesn't mean he's right (or wrong) about God.]

  52. You're saving up to move to some more enlightened place, like Sweden. [What's wrong with Sweden? Wouldn't move there, but what's the problem?]

  53. You feel that the separation of church and state is a much more important issue than abortion, euthanasia, or infanticide.[Hell no. Related to many important issues, though]

  54. You label any change whatsoever in Christian theology or behavior as 'secularization.' [No, only those that make it more secular. I do this thing where I know what words mean, you should try it]

  55. You were too sophisticated to be afraid of (very real) "Reds under the bed"[Oh no the commies!] but you nevertheless see Christians behind every act of "evil" in the western world. [No]

  56. You deface money by scribbling God off of dollar bills.[I've never laid my hands on a dollar bill]

  57. You think God was cruel for killing all of those innocent babies in the flood, and that Christians are cruel for opposing a woman's right to abort her baby. [Foetus. And I think you'd agree that the circumstances are usually wildly different]

  58. You think that Reverend Fred Phelps does what he does because of his Christianity, but Reverend Fred Rogers did what he did in spite of his Christianity. [Phelps protests homosexuality basing himself on the Bible. That suggests that his Christianity is involved on some level, don't you think? Don't know who Rogers was]

  59. You think the USA is a theocracy. [Nope. Luckily enough]

  60. Public acknowledgments of God remind you of 9/11. [Nope]

  61. You can't see any difference between publicly acknowledging God(where atheists can hear),and making African-Americans use separate restrooms,or sit at the back of buses. [I can, and I do]

  62. You spell America "AermiKKKa" and Christian "KKKristian". [Seriously, that's beyond stupid]

  63. You quite rightly denounce the methods of those who deny the historicity of the Holocaust, then use the same methods(inventing excuses to ignore evidence)to deny the historicity of Jesus.[What you call excuses, some call valid reasons]

  64. You think it violates the separation of church and state for a city to have a name like Corpus Christi("Body of Christ"), Los Angeles("The Angels"),Las Cruces("The Cross"),Sacrament-o, or anything with San(saint),Santa(holy),or Saint in it.[Don't give a crap. Incidentally, the actual translation of Las Cruces is "The Crosses", and Santa is also the female form of San (which is the shortened form of Santo)]

  65. You believe that nativity scenes should be banned from public view, but that anyone objecting to pornography only has to look the other way. [Religious demonstrations in public spaces should follow the all or none rule. Where I live, porn is not quite as easy to find in public as nativity scenes]

  66. You object to any mention of "God" and "Jesus" in the media and education systems — except as swear words. [Don't care]

  67. You go to a church wedding or funeral, but only to pray ostentatiously to "the woman upstairs". [Who? Why would I do that?]

  68. You have not seen "The Passion of the Christ," and you don’t know anyone who has seen it. [I'm sure someone I know has seen it. Don't understand how it's relevant]

  69. You think marriage is an obsolete fundy institution — except for homosexuals. [Uh, no. I believe it's their right, and I don't see how it's obsolete]

  70. You believe that gender roles are the product of Christian patriarchy [At least partially. Not totally], but homosexuals are born that way. [Gender roles have fuck-all to do with sexual attraction]

  71. You oppose studying telling schoolkids that the Pilgrim Fathers came to America to practise Christianity free of persecution, that the Declaration of Independence mentions a Creator, and that the first public schools used a Bible as a textbook. But you support using "Heather Has Two Mommies" as wholesome literature. [Not American, doesn't apply to me, but in general, I support the teaching of facts]

  72. You support gay rights when they first pushed for ‘rights’, because ‘what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedroom is no one else’s business’. But then you want public approval and want to ban disapproval even in private situations.[You can't ban disapproval, now can you? And no, I don't want to ban speaking against homosexuality, even though it's a bloody stupid thing to be against. Freedom of speech and all that jazz]

  73. You think that protestors outside nuclear power plants are dedicated activists, but protestors outside abortion clinics are dangerous zealots interfering with a legal activity.[If they limit themselves to protesting, they can do whatever they like. When they resort to violence...]

  74. You think that it's wrong to execute a convicted serial killer, but abortion on demand is a constitutional right. [Serial killers are human beings, foetuses are not. Don't exactly recommend killing either, but I can see how the reasoning might apply to each. And I wish it was a constitutional right]

  75. You uphold a woman’s right to choose, unless a woman chooses adoption, chooses to be a stay-at-home mom, chooses to homeschool, or chooses to start a business.[She can choose whatever the hell she likes, her life, her body. Home-schooling is ok as long as the kids are actually learning]

  76. You start a lawsuit to expunge Christian books from the school libraries in your state because it violates "separation of church and state" that you insist is in the Constitution.[It is, although not explicitly named] Simultaneously you start a lawsuit to defend the right to have books in the same school libraries advocating the religion of Wicca. [No. All or none is the rule I go by in those cases]

  77. You object to using mice for scientific experimentation but don't mind when babies are killed for stem cell research. [I don't, and they aren't]

  78. When someone refers to an unborn baby as a baby, you say, "Don't you mean fetus?" [Proper terminology is such a horrible thing, isn't it?. Regardless, it depends on the context]

  79. You are infuriated that a school in Pennsylvania would issue a statement to its students about intelligent design and direct them to the library for more information,[Depends on the statement] citing the separation of church and state, but you have no problem with a school in California having kids "act out" one of the five Muslim pillars of faith.[Depends on whether it was compulsory or not and what it actually was]

  80. You become upset when a Christian says that not everything in the Bible should be taken literally. [I rejoice]

  81. You dislike how liberal theists try to interpret the Bible for themselves, while you create your own interpretations of the Bible for yourself: (a) Exodus 34 contains a new set of 10 Commandments; (b) Jesus asked His disciples to slay all His enemies. [I'm well aware that any reading of the Bible has an element of personal interpretation. That is the nature of literature]

  82. You have actually calculated, for purposes of "argument by outrage," an estimate of the number of people drowned in The Flood. [Why bother? If I really want to know, I'm sure someone already did that for me]

  83. You can quote from the bible better than most least the parts where someone dies. [No, the parts most conveniently ignore are my favourites. Like Luke 6]

  84. You label all scholars that actually believe the Bible as "biased fundies" while those who don't believe it are known as "honest" and "accepted scholarship." [If you believe what the Bible says literally, then you are an idiot, plain and simple]

  85. You insist that the Bible cannot possibly say anything about homosexuality being a sin, because they did not even have a concept of homosexuality at the time the Bible was written...then insist that the Bible says that David and Jonathan were married. [No, I know they knew of homosexuality. I simply don't care if they approve or not]

  86. ......AND you produce a long list of verses containing the words "children", "touching", and "bowels". [Like I'm some sort of sick pervert. Ok, I am, but for other reasons]

  87. You think you have refuted the whole Trilemma because you've added another alternative to it. [Which Trilemma? Fries'? Lewis'? Epicurus'? And yes, adding another alternative to a trilemma is a common way of solving it]

  88. You dismiss any attempt to harmonize the resurrection accounts by saying "one says A, the other says B, but none say A+B", then go on to offer your own elaborate conspiracy theory of what happened to the Jesus' body, describing A+B+C+D, none of which are said ANYWHERE let alone together.[If A and B weren't contradictory, you might have a point. Say, was the stone of the tomb rolled before or after the women visited?]

  89. You think that Isaac Asimov was a world-class authority in Biblical Studies. [No, just a genius in sci-fi writing, amongst other things]

  90. You make a point of referring to Jesus as "Yeshua" and to God as "Yahveh" in order to hint that they are no different from Molech or Baal.[I used them alternatively, but without any hidden purpose]

  91. You use one,or more,of the following alternate spellings: GOD-"gawd" JESUS-"jeeezus" "jayzus" "jebus" "jeebers" BIBLE-"bibble" "babble" "wholly babble" "buy-bull"[No]

  92. You refer to the crucifixion of Jesus as the "cruci-fiction".[That's a good one. But no]

  93. When a Christian's interpretation of a passage (based on the social/literary context) solves one of your favorite contradictions, it is only their personal interpretation, and can be dismissed as such. But your interpretation (based on a "plain" reading of the text) to arrive at the contradiction in the first place is entirely objective, and is obviously THE correct interpretation. [My favourite contradictions have come to that standing because nobody has managed to solve them. So no]

  94. Your only knowledge of The Bible comes from searching 'bible contradictions' in Google.[I don't think I ever googled for that. If I needed new ones, I'd go to Skeptic's Annotated Bible]

  95. Everytime you don't understand a passage in The Bible, instead of trying to figure it out you blame God for not writing it better.[No, I blame the fact that it was translated multiple times and didn't make much sense in the first place]

  96. You think that God would have made things a lot clearer for everyone, ranging from the medieval knight to the Chinese peasant, had He inspired His Word in modern English in words and concepts you could understand. You also ask, when told of the scarceness of paper in the ancient world, why God didn't provide enough paper to write a longer story. [God routinely brings the dead back to life, but for some obscure reason he can't make sure his Holy Word was written understandably or completely. Riiiight]

  97. You adamantly believe that "the Bible says pi equals 3" in 1 Kings 7:23 even though: (1) the verse does not make the slightest reference to the calculation of pi, (2) there are more measurements of the bowl from that verse in subsequent verses, (3) the bowl in question could very likely not have been a "perfect" circle with "perfect" measurements, (4) it's not unusual for ancient peoples using ancient tools (or even modern peoples using modern tools) to use round, easy to remember numbers, (5) asking an online math forum results in a refutation of your belief but you ignore what professional mathematicians plainly say (including that the Bible is not in error in this place) and twist their words to make it appear as if they are backing your assertion in order to continue to justify your belief (not that you ever had any intention of doing otherwise in the first place). [No,I realize that measurements weren't perfect in that time. I just object to people who use that passage to argue that pi does equal three]

  98. You consistently appear on discussion lists demanding that Christians accept your literal interpretation of various scriptural passages just so you can then launch into the usual "argument by outrage" - despite being told over and over that no Bible scholar or school of Christianity shares your particular bizarre literal interpretation. [I don't routinely appear on Christian discussion lists, period]

  99. You pontificate about the Bible as if you are an expert in theology, textual criticism, ancient languages & cultures and much more besides, when your knowledge of the Bible is just cut and paste from atheist discussion lists which cut and paste it from atheist websites which cut and paste it from embarrassingly unscholarly rantings by the likes of Messer's Freke & Gandy and Acharya S, etc. [My knowledge of the Bible comes mainly from reading it, other people who read it, and experts in Hebrew, Greek etc. explaining translations. I don't consider myself even near to an expert]

  100. You can quote Acharya S, Kersey Graves, John Remsburg, and Earl Doherty more fluently than Laurence Olivier could quote Shakespeare. [Who the hell are you talking about? Besides Shakespeare, that is]

And tomorrow, the fascinating conclusion. Will Bob understand the power of love? Will the twins save their pet from cancer? Am I making any sense at all? All that and more (sort of), on the next edition of this blog!

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