Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Note: If the small text is difficult to read, try clicking the title above the Scribd box. It should take you to the larger-text version on the Scribd website.
Attitudes Towards Women in the Gospels and Acts
Monday, February 14, 2011
Is Q Necessary?
Friday, January 07, 2011
I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware of the American Atheists billboard in Huntsville, Alabama that has stirred up some controversy. If you haven’t heard of it yet, here it is-
Usually, when people start complaining about atheist billboards, I ignore them because the billboard in question is almost always some message about still being Good without God, or something similar. I have never seen a problem with those billboards, because they inform religious people that we are not evil, baby-eating Satan-worshippers, but people just like them. and then when they complain they end up looking like jerks. This one, however, I DO take issue with, and I’ll tell you why.
It’s petty and childish.
You know what I imagine when I read the text of this billboard? I imagine some truther saying, “you KNOW 9/11 was an INSIDE JOB,” or some some moon landing denier saying, “you KNOW the moon landings were a HOAX.” No I don’t know that. and while I don’t believe in god, I don’t think scam is an appropriate word for religion. Scam implies that religious leaders are deliberately misleading their followers. While I can’t say that all religious leaders are good people with no ulterior motives, I think I can say that there are plenty of honest people who devote their lives to their deeply held religious beliefs. I don’t think there would be many priests and nuns willing to commit themselves to a life of celibacy if they didn’t really believe. These are not people who know that it’s a scam.
Just as with the truther, or the moon landing denier, there is also an air of smug superiority here. “Oh you poor misguided sheeple. You KNOW it’s a SCAM, right? Everyone else does, at least everyone with a BRAIN.” I’m not saying this is the message AA meant to impart, but it is the tone this sets. If the already de-converted are getting this impression, what do you think the believers are thinking? This is an ad campaign, and unless your goal is to piss people off (if it is, then well done), you should really put a bit more thought into your marketing.
Look, I’m just as guilty as the American Atheists as far as petty and childish behavior in the name of non-belief. When I first stopped believing in god I felt like a total idiot for not figuring it out sooner, and I have to admit I felt a sort of smug superiority in my ability to sniff out the bullshit, and thought anyone who hadn’t figured it out yet must be some idiotic loser without a brain. The difference is, I grew out of it. I was like that because I was still figuring things out, and my brain hadn’t gotten used to the idea of there being any such thing as a “gray area” yet. That’s why the American Atheists make me think of a cross between a wailing baby and a smug conspiracy theorist under the woeful influence of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Come on, guys, it’s time to grow up a little and realize we don’t have all the answers. and stop pretending we do, that’s their bit.