Like Button

Monday, March 08, 2010

Ten More Signs

I commented the other day on Ten Signs You are an Unquestioning Christian. I also pointed you to the good folk over at Pyromaniacs who are addressing each of these points logically. I got to thinking that there is another issue here. The suggestion of those "ten signs" is that "We're right thinking people and you are not." I got to thinking that it might be interesting to turn the tables and point out, in similar format, that it's just not the case. So here are my "Ten Signs You are an Unquestioning Anti-Theist". Some of them track their points. Some don't. I've tried to avoid the problem of ad hominem and am not trying to ridicule. It just seems that logic demands that the other side be examined as well.

Ten Signs You are an Unquestioning Anti-Theist

10. You cannot recognize the simple, logical, undeniable fact that if there is one, true God, all other gods would be false.

9. You find ultimate value in creatures you are quite sure evolved by chance from a pool of chemicals.

8. You reject any evidence and logic that is contrary to your view because you are a person that only accepts evidence and logic.

7. You make Christian beliefs a matter of ridicule without subjecting other religions or even your own beliefs to the same standards.

6. You are confident that you know more about Christianity than the average "Christian".

5. You are quite sure that science, history, geology, biology, and physics have disproven the existence of God.

4. You have comfort to offer in times of death and suffering even though there is no overarching basis for such comfort.

3. You believe that faith in science is reasonable, but faith in God is believing something when there is no reason to believe it.

2. You are comfortable claiming that life is meaningful when you're convinced that humans are biochemical bags who cease to exist at death.

1. You hold that there is no "Supreme Moral Agent", but affirm that there are moral atrocities that occur and moral values that all of us should have.


Anonymous said...

FreeRatio users have talked to your 10 items.

Stan said...

In the interest of dialog I posted this comment by Anonymous. (Does he/she have a last name?) (That was simply intended as humor.) When he/she started the conversation on that site, he/she kindly and rightly pointed out that "salty language" would be unacceptable here. I only point that out in case you (the readers) decide to go there and see what they say. There is "salty language" there.

One thing I do need to point out, having looked at their responses. It is clear that many of their comments were made without catching the connection to the original listing against Christianity. As a prime example, the original listing against Christianity starts with "You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of your god." My first one is directly linked to that statement: "You cannot recognize the simple, logical, undeniable fact that if there is one, true God, all other gods would be false." Of course anti-theists would deny the existence of all gods ... which makes the anti-Christian version disingenuous, doesn't it? Just an example. Not all of my points are tied to the other, but many are. That should be kept in mind.

One other point. They really object to my #8. "That doesn't make any sense" is the common complaint. This first assumes that there is no evidence or logic for God. Second, not making sense is the point.

There is a decent amount of animosity in the responses. To my readers, I would like to know if I came across as angry or mean-spirited. I didn't intend to. I'd like to know.

starflyer said...

I tried to reply to their "thread" based on your blog, but I had to sign up. Anyway, I pity them. It's sad (when all you have to do is look at God's creation) that they don't see God. They even vehemently deny Him. Scary.

I don't think you sounded mean spirited or angry at all. The fact that THEY get so angry is a reflection of their denial of God, and their decision to continue in sin. I often wonder why they get so angry; they call Christians self righteous, but spend 5 minutes reading their comments and you'll see that it is the other way around.

Anonymous said...

I think you didn't come across as mean-spirited, but instead you just ended up with a different audience than you were intending. There are certainly people who identify as atheists who have views on religion shaped around a rejection of the beliefs they were taught as a child, and I get the feeling it was these types of people who you were referring to with your list. The people on FRDB (assuming you avoid the 'Political Discussions' subforum) are generally those who have formed their religious beliefs through the use of logic and philosophy so you shouldn't think they are doing it because of your tone, they just treat absolutely everything as a rigorous philosophical argument to be refuted. Likely, if you said 'good morning' to them, they would spend days arguing over the objective standards of 'goodness'.

Stan said...

Starflyer, kind of like this post?

Thanks for the insight. Truth is I didn't have an actual audience in mind. It was more of a response to the Ten Signs from the other side than to a particular audience. I guess if there was an audience in mind, it was those who wrote/agreed with that document. I did see how taking my Ten Signs as they were without the context of the other certainly changed things.

Funny thing. To me, if I don't fall in the categories listed on the Ten Signs of being an unthinking Christian, I'd say, "Well, I guess I'm not an unthinking Christian", and if I were an anti-theist and didn't fall within the 10 signs I wrote about that, I'd say, "Well, I guess I'm not an unthinking anti-theist." It's almost as if some are defending being unthinking anti-theists. ;)

Anonymous said...

These points only apply if you're talking about extreme anti-theists though, and only if they have a set point of view. The same with the other set, it does apply to bigoted, ignorent extremists, many of whom wouldn't actually count as christians if you think about it.

Although with #3, having faith is always about believing something when there is no reason to believe it, that is what faith is. Ignoring reason and believing anyway.

Since I'd probably count as agnostic I'm not on either 'side' of this argument.

Stan said...

You are indeed correct in saying that this references a particular point of view. I haven't figured out why, if an atheist (for instance) says, "That's not my point of view", they would take offense.

I do need to point out that, while your definition of "faith" is perhaps the popular one, it is not the biblical one, the dictionary one, or the one to which I ascribe. Interestingly, the word used in Greek translated "faith" in the New Testament is actually defined as "to be convinced (by argument)." The idea of evidence, reason, and defending the faith is not foreign to the Bible. In the biblical version faith is built on evidence and reason and then takes the next step. As I explained quite recently to an agnostic acquaintance of mine, I don't believe apart from reason and evidence, but because of them. For me to leave my faith would be an act of irrationality.