No, Atheists Couldn’t Care Less
If Christians Pray In Public

What an atheist is not
What an atheist is not

Oh, those nasty, hateful atheists!
Time for a little demonstration of the straw man fallacy.  As far as legitimate reasons for Christians to have a gripe against atheists, the pickings are pretty slim.  In the absence of legitimate complaints, some people will design an argument against their opponent by suggesting that the opponent holds a view that he doesn’t actually hold, then attack that view.  For instance, a Christian might claim that atheists are devil worshipers or that they eat babies. (As bonkers as it seems, some whack-a-doodles actually believe that.)

Can't win the real argument? Argue with me instead!
Can’t win the real argument?  Argue with me instead!

Setting up the straw man
In the video below, in a complete misrepresentation of atheists, a Christian TV show called WWYD (What Would You Do?) has set up hidden cameras in a restaurant and planted actors to play a Christian family praying over their food before they eat.  At an adjacent table, another actor plays an atheist who gets upset because she has to listen to the family praying, then loudly complains to them.

breaking the ninth commandment
Breaking the ninth commandment

Bearing false witness
The straw man in this case is the false claim that Christians are under attack by atheists who hate that Christians pray in public and actively try to stop the practice by complaining about it.
Speaking from personal experience, there have been a few times when I’ve seen families praying at restaurants I’m visiting.  While I quietly roll my eyes, I have never complained about it.  Nor have I ever heard of atheists complaining about it.  In short, based on my experience, the scenario in this video never happens in real life.

Christians are SO opressed
Christians are SO oppressed!

Oh, the hypocrisy. Does this situation apply to all religions or just Christianity?  What if these people were not White American Christians? What would the outcome be in this same scenario if these people were Muslim? Come to think of it, as far as I know, only Christians are inclined to make a public display of their faith like this. Bunch of hypocrites. Also, I doubt an atheist would make a stink about people praying over their meal. As long as they don’t burn us at the stake, we’re not terrified of them, like they are of us.

 

Just for kicks and giggles, I recommend reading this bible passage, which addresses the topic of praying in public. Oh, if Elizabethan English isn’t your thing, I’d recommend changing the version from King James Version (KJV) to New International Version (NIV).  Of course, those who feel the need to be a “Hey everybody! Look at me being a good Christian!” type of person tend to disregard passages such as this. This is what’s known as a Cafeteria Christian; take the parts you like, ignore the rest.

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Got something to say about this article? I always appreciate feedback from those who read my stuff! Did you like it? Do you think I’m full of it? Let me know! I’ll respond to every comment I get, so tell me what you think. There’s a handy-dandy reply form after every article.

To avoid spam, everybody’s first comment will need to be approved before it appears in the comments. After that, it’s no holds barred, baby!

Ah, Those Wobbly First Steps!

Well, I’ve started adding content to a couple of my pages.

Not much here yet.  This is your opportunity to have your say about what Taking those first wobbly stepsyou’d like to see on this website.  No suggestion is too bizarre for me to at least consider, so fire away.

Unless I get some input from YOU, this blog will mostly contain commentary on what I’m adding to the site and an occasional rant about issues of the day.

The main focus of this website will be as an opinion page, similar to Hemant Mehta’s Friendly Atheist blog page. Trying to earn income through product reviews and affiliate links will only be a secondary goal.

I’ll focus mainly on science topics, especially astronomy, threats to the Trumpelthinskinseparation of church and state in the US, and, I’ll occasionally talk about the worst thing to happen to America… the election of Der Pumpkin Führer, Herr Donald Trump, aka Trümpelthinskin. (In case you couldn’t tell, expect me to be quite unkind.)

So hey, if you’d like to see less political ranting and A young slayer of trolls is introduced to his weapon.more of what interests you, let me know in the comments!  Look around the website to see what’s already here, like this diabolical little article and comment on it. I’m willing to take pro and con comments. Of course, trolls will be dealt with swiftly with my trusty troll machete.

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Got something to say about this article? I always appreciate feedback from those who read my stuff! Did you like it? Do you think I’m full of it? Let me know! I’ll respond to every comment I get, so tell me what you think. There’s a handy-dandy reply form after every article.

To avoid spam, everybody’s first comment will need to be approved before it appears in the comments. After that, it’s no holds barred, baby!

10 Annoying Things Christians Say To Atheists… And How To Respond To Them

If you are an atheist, you likely fall into one of two categories. Most of us don’t really spend a whole lot of time thinking about our atheism… we just are. In the course of our lives, we’ve determined that belief in the existence of gods is absurd. Then we file the whole issue on a mental back-shelf, unworthy of much more consideration. Many run-of-the-mill Christians on the street are the same. They usually give about as little thought about their belief as most atheists give about their lack of belief. They don’t have a well-defined worldview, and don’t much care.

On the other hand, if you’re like me, you devote a lot of mental bandwidth to the subject. You go around looking for trouble. We look forward to getting into “discussions” of atheism versus theism with (usually Christian) theists. I used quotes there because, depending on the personalities involved, what starts as a friendly chat often leads to a shouting match or something equally heated. People like me can get rather annoyed at how intrusive and judgmental religious folks can be concerning how others live their lives.

During these discussions, you can’t help but notice that those inclined to argue with atheists all have the same arsenal of talking points. The range of their arguments is pretty limited. So, we atheists end up also repeating ourselves in our rebuttals.

Religious people also tend to confuse atheism and science, claiming that a scientific principle is actually an atheistic one and vice versa. Or that science and atheism are the same thing. This article will only deal with the arguments which actually concern atheism. I’ll address some of the more absurd claims many Christians make concerning science in another post.

Below, I have assembled 10 common arguments that Christians make in their never-ending quest to save us from the fires of hell. Each absurdity is followed by my standard response when I encounter it. There are a few more than these out there, but I figured I shouldn’t get too long-winded here.

So, in no particular order, here are ten common absurdities that Christians use to annoy us… and the mostly short version of how I usually respond.

1.) Atheists have no morals.
Gandhi likes Christ but not ChristiansThis would be one of the more hilarious claims if it wasn’t for the unending parade of evil deeds performed in the name of their god over the span of 2000 years of Christian history. The fact that atheists don’t require a threat of eternal punishment for bad behavior, or eternal reward for good behavior, indicates that atheists are more moral than Christians. We are good for goodness’s sake. Santa Claus would be proud.

2.) Atheists are devil worshipers. Pooh's Secret

Of course, the absurdity of this statement completely escapes many Christians. For us to be devil worshipers, we first need to believe that the devil exists. Since the devil is supposedly a creation of god, he is just as imaginary as god is. It would be rather strange to worship a being that we don’t believe exists.

3) You’re just angry at god for some reason.

Again, for us to be angry at a being who we don’t believe exists… Well, that would be just plain nuts. That would be like being angry at Santa Claus because we didn’t get what we wanted for Christmas. We’ll leave that kind of nuttiness to the believers.

4.) Atheists have nothing to live for.

As Ricky Gervais said, “Um, that’s not right. We have everything to live for. Also, we have nothing to die for.” There are practically unlimited reasons for atheists to live for. For example, the love of friends and family, the smell of a pine forest in the mountains, the incredible beauty of the universe, visible by simply looking up at the sky on a dark night. The chance to do our part to save humanity and the rest of the world from the evil of religion and those who would force their beliefs upon others, under pain of death.

5.) If you don’t like Christianity, move to Iran or Saudi Arabia.
What galls many Christians is that the US Constitution guarantees the right of free speech and freedom of religion, not just for Christians, as they would prefer it, but for all Americans of all religious faiths and those with no religious faith.

6.) God allows evil to exist because of free will.

This subject is called theodicy; the attempt to explain why a supposedly all-powerful, loving and perfectly good god allows evil to exist. There are other defenses besides the “free will defense”, but most Christians haven’t been fed those arguments, so you won’t usually encounter them. As far as “free will” is concerned, it leaves much apparently gratuitous evil unexplained. For instance, when a fawn burns to death in a forest fire and no human being ever knows about it, this apparently unnecessary evil has no effect on the preservation of human free will.

7.) America is a Christian nation because the founding fathers were almost all Christians.

This is particularly annoying to those of us who pay close attention to Christian attempts to rewrite American history to favor their agenda. The founding fathers were definitely not mostly Christians. In fact, they were mostly Deists who lived during a philosophical period known as The Enlightenment. While the less philosophically-inclined citizenry of the American colonies tended toward Christianity, the Founding Fathers were not so intellectually stunted. Concepts such as tolerance and separation of church and state were worked into the Constitution because the founders were very aware of the destructive nature of government controlled by a state-sponsored religion.

8.) The evidence for god is everywhere. Look at the complexity and perfection around you.
This can be either the Argument from Complexity or The Argument from Ignorance. The claim here is that because they don’t know how existence came to be, it must have been created by a god. They conveniently ignore the fact that, over the last several centuries, science has found some of the answers to that question, and continues to look for more answers. Believers would prefer that seekers of scientific truth would just shut up and let them continue to be comfortably unaware of where the Sun goes at night, and believe there is a man in the sky who will protect them, even after death.

9.) I’d rather believe and be wrong than not believe and be wrong. If I’m wrong, then there are no eternal consequences. If you’re wrong, you’ll suffer for eternity.

Adam is Touched by His Noodly AppendageThis is referred to as Pascal’s Wager. My usual response to this is to ask, “Okay, how do you know that we’re not both wrong? There are thousands of religions which worship thousands of usually mutually exclusive gods. They can’t all be right (But they CAN all be wrong).  What if the real One True god is The Great Juju Up The Mountain, and he’s angry that so many people worship a minor Middle Eastern war god instead of him?”

10.) The world is only 6000 years old because that’s what the bible says.

The bible makes no mention of the age of the world. The 6000 years claim is based on a calculation made by Bishop James Ussher, back in the mid-17th century. He added up the ages of the people listed in various genealogies in the bible, including those very exciting “Begats” chapters of the book of 1 Chronicles, from Jesus back to Adam. According to Ussher, the world was created on October 23rd, 4004 BC… at lunchtime. Of course, modern biblical scholars no longer consider Ussher’s calculation to be anywhere close to accurate. But, that doesn’t stop the biblical literalists from continuing to erroneously use that calculation as “evidence” for their claim that their god literally created the universe in six days.

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Got something to say about this article? I always appreciate feedback from those who read my stuff! Did you like it? Do you think I’m full of it? Let me know! I’ll respond to every comment I get, so tell me what you think. There’s a handy-dandy reply form after every article.

To avoid spam, everybody’s first comment will need to be approved before it appears in the comments. After that, it’s no holds barred, baby!