Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Am I a fundie atheist? Part 3

And now, the last of this, and conclusions at the end, if I feel like writing them.

  1. You create a web site: http://www.EvilBible.com,and post an Evil Bible Quote of the Day on usenet. The quotes always end with: "What kind of person would get their moral guidance from an ancient book of myths and magic that says it is OK to murder, rape, pillage, and plunder?"[Nope. I don't care enough]
  2. You decry Christian missionaries for denying cultural relativism; denouncing their efforts to reform cannibalism, slavery and fear of animist spirits as judgmental intolerance. But your attacks on the Bible merely comprise anguished cries of "how barbaric" rather than reasoned arguments; and ignore all considerations of ritual cleanness, the evils of the Canaanites and the fact that ancient society was always one step from anarchy.[My attacks on the Bible are mainly that it makes no fucking sense at all, that it contradicts what we know about the world, and that it contradicts itself.]
  3. You think Secular Humanism actually promotes religious tolerance. Secular Humanism only tolerates religion; it doesn't accept it.[Only tolerates? Like it deserves more]
  4. You claim to hold no Dogma. Yet, you're just as rigid and stubborn with your beliefs as any Dogmatists.[No, I'm not. I re-evaluate my beliefs constantly]
  5. Archaeology continually frustrates your attempts to find errors and contradictions in the Bible, but you continually use the same outdated accusations anyway since you're running out of material.[If you are running out of arguments against the Bible, you are doing something wrong]
  6. The only reason you go to hear a concert pianist play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata is to complain to him afterwards about the name. Obviously it was chosen as part of a conspiracy to hide the fact that the Bible's mentions of the moon giving light were errors rather than phenomenological language.[Moonlight doesn't imply light originating in the moon, simply coming from it, which is what happens. The moon is not a light, as described in the Bible, but a mirror]
  7. You visit a planetarium, but afterwards complain bitterly to the director that it uses the Earth as a convenient reference frame, and portrays the Earth as the center of a celestial sphere with the heavenly bodies revolving around it. This, and his use of the words "sunset" and "sunrise", is another part of the conspiracy to legitimize the Bible's use of such language.[Why should I care? There are plenty of better examples of the Bible getting basic science wrong]
  8. When you go to bookstores, you move all the Bibles to the "fiction" section. [Got better things to do]
  9. You then proceed to move copies of The DaVinci Code to the "non-fiction" shelves.[Why?]
  10. You insist on capitalizing "atheist".[No]
  11. You take the lack of evidence for the Jesus story being a hoax as evidence that Christians got rid of all the evidence.[The lack of evidence for the story being true is what, then?]
  12. You claim that there is no way a book thousands of years old can be relevant today, but refuse to do the necessary homework to see how it could apply in modern situations, preferring instead to argue that God should have provided an updated version. [Oh, a book can be plenty relevant thousands of years after it was written. After all, human nature hasn't changed that much. The Bible, for example is a perfect example of people's willingness to buy any crap]
  13. You respond to arguments about the different points of view in the society of the ancient world by calling ancient people and their way of thinking "stupid".[Society has progressed over time. Doesn't mean people in ancient times were stupid, but we had discovered one or two things in this couple thousand years we should take into account]
  14. You once heard something about some document in the Catholic Church which says the resurrection never happened. And despite your never having seen it or even met anyone who claims to have seen it (and despite having no idea who wrote it, when they wrote it, or what exactly it says), you're convinced that this document is far more reliable than the Gospels and thus disproves Christianity, and that the church is hiding it so that they can keep the money rolling in.[I don't base my atheism on the Catholic Church or its documents]
  15. You believe that priests are only in it for the money, despite the fact that they make less than almost anyone else with their level of education.[Priests in general, no. Televangelists, megachurches, etc., hell yes]
  16. You can't understand why people can't see the logic in your question,"The Lord of the Rings is a book. The Bible is a book. What makes one fiction,and the other true?"[I don't ask that question, not without at least some clarification]
  17. And if they say they don't see the logic in that question, they MUST be lying![Or human]
  18. You think that "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" are more believable than the Bible.[On which aspects? The story in general, no. Certain insights about human nature, yes]
  19. You complain that "Christian Apologists warp the definitions of words to make the Bible say what they want it to say." And then you go on to say that in the Bible, "feet" means "genitals" and "thigh" means "fetus". [I'm not sure about those particular examples, but it does use euphemistic language]
  20. You find you have a grudging respect for fundy theists for 'sticking to their guns' even while complaining they don't think for themselves.[Some blindly parrot what others tell them, others engage their imaginations. I don't see what either has to do with "sticking to their guns", nor why I should respect them for it]
  21. 'Thinking for yourself' means adopting an atheist viewpoint.[No, although it has been known to end that way]
  22. When you say "I don't know" you are being brave and honest. When a theist says "I don't know" they are being dishonest and are trying to dodge the question.[No. Well, except when they claimed five minutes previously that they knew everything there was to know about subject x]
  23. When your thoughts on any complex matter are sensible and clear, and a theist's thoughts on any complex matter are mental gymnastics.[It has been known to happen, but it's not a general rule]
  24. You leave 'freethought' tracts lying around, like the littering missionaries.[No. Ugh.]
  25. If someone says 'God Bless' when you sneeze, you make them 'take it back!'[No, I don't live in an English-speaking country, so nobody blesses me when I sneeze. Can't think I'd care, anyway]
  26. Although you are a 'free-thinker' and 'rational' person, you lose all reason when reading The Bible.[No]
  27. It is OK for atheists to express their godless opinions but the moment Christians do the same you email the ACLU.[Everyone is free to express their opinions, just not impose them on others]
  28. You think religious tolerance does not applies to Christians.[It's usually not necessary, but yes, it applies]
  29. You debate (argue, vilify, etc.) as if every theist was a Jack Chick fan, and as if every Biblical inerrantist was a Ruckmanite who believes that the KJV was specially inspired.[No, although those are the types I frequently encounter]
  30. You think that Christianity is a 'virulent memeplex' and that atheism is the 'cure.'[No, just the correct answer]
  31. You're infuriated by the term "village atheist." You prefer "right-thinking urban humanist."[Not fan of either. I don't live in a village, and I don't consider myself a humanist (depending on the definition)]
  32. You can gladly believe any number of conflicting philosophical positions, as long as they're atheistic![I don't. I emphasize internal consistency in my worldview]
  33. You start a local Atheists and Agnostics Society, the goal of which is to prove through good deeds that atheists and agnostics can be just as generous and caring as some Christians are. When nobody joins, and the club eventually unfolds, you are flustered. You have no idea why a group of people who by definition do not base their morality on anything greater than their own ideas wouldn't jump at the chance to be self-sacrificing for no logical reason.[I don't start atheist societies, nor do I join them. Unless you count the Church of Ungod]
  34. You get a big kick out of either spamming online Christian forums with offensive material or posing as a grossly over-the-top parody of a Christian on such websites.[I despise spammers, no matter who they spam]
  35. You criticize a Christian apologist for using a pseudonym, and register the domain name you use to do it under the name, "Gorgon Pruntky".[Who cares if they use a pseudonym?]
  36. You refuse to give your children any name that appears in The Bible.[Let's face it, most Biblical names suck. Some don't, and I have no problem with those]
  37. You don't realize that Landover Baptist Church's website is a parody.[I do. Do you recognize what they base themselves on?]
  38. Even when you do realize it is a parody, you think that it's implied arguments are suitable for use as a reply rather than Biblical scholarship.[No, not even a fan of them]
  39. You call God "she" in the presence of Christians simply out of sheer spite.[No, I just replace all mentions with Ungod. Or Ra. Or maybe Osiris]
  40. You create an Atheist Missionary organization and then call it a thinktank, in a small town in Virginia. Then you heap scorn on Christians for "proselytizing" (Just think about if for a minute, hypocrites!).[No idea who they are, what they do, or who they criticize]
  41. You are part of a non-belief organization such as American Atheists, Church of Freethought, Humanist Association of Canada, Student Freethought Alliance and/or the Council of Secular Humanism. You claim these organizations have absolutely no creeds and that the people involved independently think of different things from one another. Yet of course, on your organization's website they define the commonalities that all non-believers follow. Is that not the definition of creed?[No, I'm not a part of any such organization. The reason I decided not to join FIdA or ArgAtea was because they usually generalize sceptical atheism to atheism itself]
  42. You think that spamming Christian chatgroups and discussion lists with expletives and insults demonstrates superior free-thinking, rational, atheistic logic.[Spammers are mankind's scum, no matter their beliefs]
  43. You think that it is possible to talk meaningfully about "good and evil" "right and wrong" when decrying the sins of the Church while simultaneously subscribing to the notion that neither sin nor good and evil exist as ultimate categories but only as personal and social constructs.[As long as you do so with people who share your personal ethical principles, it is indeed possible to discuss ethics]
  44. You have never pondered the question: why does a smart guy like Richard Dawkins regularly give atheists a bad name by putting his foot in his mouth with his inane and ridiculous pronouncements about God and religion?[Haven't seen him do it]
  45. You have never pondered the question: why did a really smart guy like Bertrand Russell write such a pathetically limp, uninformed and adolescent critique of Christianity in "Why I Am Not A Christian"? [Haven't read it, and I'm not about to take your word for it]
  46. You assert that "faith is believing things which you know aren't true".[No]
  47. You really "believe" that many human beings actually believe things they know aren't true.[No]
  48. You believe the movie Dogma gives the most accurate portrayal of Christian theology.[Haven't seen it]
  49. You feel that prefacing your responses to Christians with the word bull$#@! somehow makes your argument a little more valid.[No, but it can be a nice way of letting off steam]
  50. You take a self-righteous pedantic "stand on principle" against Christian apologists writing under pseudonyms, but always refer to the "Endarkenment" French infidel writer François Marie Arouet by HIS pseudonym "Voltaire".[Most of my criticism against Christianity takes place online, where I use multiple pseudonyms. So no, that would be stupid. By the way, "endarkenment"?]
  51. You find the term 'fundy atheist' meaningless, baffling, illogical and just plain oxymoronic/self-contradictory even though the two terms are not exclusive of each other (except in the minds of fundy atheists, of course). [Not exactly. I have my problems with the term, but I'll address them at the end of this post]
  52. You've ever called a Christian a "Paulian".[No, but what if I did? I've seen plenty that focus more on Paul than on Christ]
  53. You deny that someone can possibly know they know the truth ('It's just belief, not knowledge,") while at the same time claiming to know the truth.[I never claim to know the absolute, perfect truth]
  54. You write books like Warren Allen Smith's "Who's Who In Hell: A Handbook and International Directory for Humanists, Freethinkers, Naturalists, Rationalists and Non-Theists." You label 10,000 of these famous non-believers, as good, peaceful people who will be rotting in hell because they are or were infidels. While of course you also fail to realize that for every 10,000 of the world's peaceful non-believers, anyone can come up with a book that lists 10,000 peaceful, loving and famous historical believers. Of course, you also fail to realize that you've wasted your time researching 10,000 historical and modern names just because you want people to think 'peaceful' people will be rotting in an afterlife that you don't believe exists. [I don't. And you clearly missed the whole point of the book]
  55. You think that logical fallacies are only fallacies when theists use them.[I point out fallacies to whoever commits them, theist or not]
  56. You think when atheist,left-wing journalist Christopher Hitchens slammed Mother Theresa,calling her a "ghoul",he's a genius, but when he slams Michael Moore's propagandizing pile of poo, "Fahrenheit 9/11",he's just a drunk.[I'm not exactly Michael Moore's greatest fan. And I have my own disagreements with Htichens]
  57. You hate Christianity because "...it destroys everything that makes us human",and think Christians "have lost whatever vestiges of humanity they had left".[Nope. Human in no way means "good" or "intelligent". 'Sides, I have no problem with most Christians]
  58. Your favorite words are "ad hominem",even if you can't spell them.[My favourite word is debris. Ad hominem is nice, though]
  59. You just can't see any difference between Pat Robertson Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, etc, and Osama bin Laden.[Of course I can. For starters, he has a cool beard. And he follows a slightly different myth]
  60. You don't eat at Church's Chicken, and it's NOT because the chicken's too greasy.[No, it's because I'm thousands of kilometers away from the nearest one]
  61. You go to work on Christmas and instead take Halloween off.[Umm... no.]
  62. You go to an Atheism versus Christianity debate in which you must vote for whoever you think wins. The Christian side is represented by a highly prestigious historian and theologian, and the atheist side is represented by a dog that's able to bark the theme song to "I Dream of Jeannie" off key. You vote for the dog.[I haven't seen dogs that can bark songs. That would cool to hear, I think. On the actual point, no]
  63. Every December 25th you celebrate the day stupidity was born.[No, I celebrate "eat until you can't anymore" day. I guess I'd say stupidity was born around the time intelligent beings appeared. At least, one is meaningless without the other]
  64. You think eating bread and drinking wine is cannibalism.[No, that's Catholics]
  65. You try to prove that the bible contradicts itself by producing out of context quotes like "God...is...a...liar...." (Genesis 1:3 - 1 John 3:4) [Like I can't come up with a decent argument against the Bible]
  66. You say you don't believe in objective morals, but....come on, admit it, you think God did some screwed up things, don't you?[Yes. Not objectively screwed up, though]
  67. You consider "Ha, ha, ha" a substantive rebuttal to an argument.[Depends on the argument]
  68. You say things like, "I can't tolerate religion because religion is intolerant. And no type of intolerance should be tolerated."[Tolerance doesn't mean "I'm okay with everything!" If I let intolerant assholes run free and screw with people's life without saying a word, I'm perverting the concept of tolerance]
  69. When you realize you just contradicted yourself you bring up the Inquisition or pedophilian priests, hoping that someone won't point out that you just changed the subject. In the midst of the ruckus you cause you sneak away. Two weeks later you come back and make the same argument.[I don't usually contradict myself. When I do so, I admit it]
  70. You think the fact that God can't make purple burps or squared circles keeps Christians up at night.[Some, maybe. It's an interesting philosophical concept to ponder, omnipotence applying to bending logic, at least as I see it]
  71. You can't believe in a book that was created over two thousand years ago because "we're not sure WHAT happened", but you know for a fact that religion was created tens of thousands of years ago specifically to control the brainwashed public.[It's not because we are not sure, it's because what we know happened contradicts it]
  72. You think the fact that Pauly Shore was allowed to make movies in the early nineties is undeniable proof that there is no God....well actually I'm almost inclined to agree with you on that one. [Who the hell is Pauly Shore?]
  73. You feel guilty whenever you use the word faith and have decided to remove it from your vocabulary.[No, I just use it when it applies]
  74. You have fallen for the post-9/11 religious paranoia and think that all Christians are "potential" kamikazes.[Everyone who can learn to fly a plane is a "potential" kamikaze]
  75. You have turned into a Jew and say "G-d" for the sole reason of not saying "God". [I don't care.]
  76. You complain to Christians that "all your music sucks." When asked what kind of music you listen to you give a list of bands including POD. When someone poins out that POD is a Christian band you say "They can't be, I hear them on the radio."[Who are POD?]
  77. Once someone finds quotes and/or lyrics proving they are, in fact, a Christian band, you immediately respond, "Well, I don't really care what they believe, I just like their music."[No, seriously, who are they?]
  78. You believe any person who writes a book critical of Christianity is doing it for "education" purposes. Conversely, you believe that any person who writes a book defending Christianity is "just in it to make money." [Both are in it for a mixture of both reasons, usually]
  79. You have your own list of how to tell who is a Christian that itself runs on Fundy Atheist principles.[Better things to do with my time]
  80. You get apoplectic about being called a Fundy Atheist for believing all those self-evidently true propositions above. And you label all theists as "fundies".[No, only a minority of theists are fundies]
  81. Last of all -- you write this website a letter which includes a rebuttal to the above listing![Not at all. I wrote a blog post about it :)]
So, a brief note the meaning of fundie atheist: "Fundie" is usually shorthand for fundamentalist, although sometimes considered slightly different. A fundamentalist, essentially, is someone who follows fanatically the fundamentals of something. In the case of atheism, the one and only fundamental is not believing in God. Unlike a complex belief system, where multiple principles can be at odds with each other, atheism cannot contradict itself (not that atheists cannot hold contradictory beliefs). Furthermore, a complex system can have a few core principles that stay relevant and several that become outdated (find someone that follows every single rule in the Bible. I fucking dare you). Again, not a problem for us, since we only have the core principle. Even further, the more principles you are required to believe in, the more likely it is there will be one where there is a call for moderation rather than rigidity. There's no such thing as being "moderate" about not believing in God. You believe or you don't. You can't half believe, you can't believe under certain circumstances but not under others, etc. Yes, you can be more or less sure about it, (strong atheism vs. weak atheism), but that's about it. I guess you could say that a strong atheist is a fundamentalist, but that has mostly fuck-all to do with this list.

I usually consider a fundie atheist either one who uses laughably bad arguments against gods existing, or who advocates violence against theists (although that is more fundie anti-theist). While some of this was addressed on the list, it focused a lot on merely unpleasant (to the author) characteristics of atheists, or uninformed atheist stereotypes. Not that I expected any different, mind you.

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