Hello Fellow Heathens,
Long time no see. I haven't post anything in ages, but I'm back.
So, guys this is going to be a somewhat long post bear with me please. I REALLY want your inputs. From a theist friend I have gotten several complains that when he goes to atheist forums and he's curious about any question he gets insulted and banned from the forum and called a troll. I tried to explained to him that the problem is that we do get lots of trolls and it's a problem to differentiate who has a legitimate question, specially in this medium. He still defended his position saying that it was not fair, he honestly has legit. questions, and I can't deny that he does. In my opinion, this behavior gives us bad reputation, and I believe we are better than that. One thing I can fully grant is that sometimes we get carried away and we insult people needlessly. There are more eloquent, elegant, and productive manners to tell a person something along the lines "please go do some research first," than just calling him/her ignorant and some other unnecessary slang. Now this is where the long part of the post starts, because I got the chance to do just what I stated in Facebook. This whole post started because an acquaintance of mine said, "(my name goes here) does not buy into the whole god thing and not because she knows little, but, because regardless of who was pulling her strings, she found science suited her better… remember even science requires faith as what is still unseen, remains just a calculated theory while the search continues..." So, in response I went in length to explain that there's not such thing a faith based science, and I deconstructed the way the words faith, believe, etc. are used, and the semantics of it. Ok so far so good, nothing related to God just yet. But, this guy jumped into the conversation and geez here we go again.
First: One can see that there are several holes in his argument.Second: My first answer to his post. Bear in mind that I have been talking about faith based science for some time and I'm exhausted and this point. It's quite late. But, again, no insulting.
As you can see, I underlined two particular phrases out of his response. The first one: "faith-based," because in my view, and I'm sure in many of you, the moment a person says "faith-based" there's no longer a conversation. The second underline is about educating him. And, this is where I feel where the problem lies when it comes to differentiate 'trollers' and people with legitimate questions.
Lastly my answer,
So far I have not received an answer. I might get one. I might not. Going back to my first point, the legitimate questions, I think this guy really don't know and he is trying to defend his view with the information he has. I have no idea if he's a Christian, I just made an assumption. By the way, if by any chance the blog I spoke of goes through I hope I can get some fellows from TA to back me up. Furthermore, as an agnostic atheist I get frustrated too with repeating the same information over and over and over again. It's tedious, time consuming, and I understand and feel our overall mentality and view, which goes something like that, "the research, and information is already there, if you don't want to read and take the time to educate yourself why on earth I have to do it for you. I'm a person, just like you, and I have other things to do than just sit down in front of my PC for hours on end educating you regarding something that's already been debated over and over again." But, could you we do this in a more civil manner? I know we have had some somewhat similar discussions, but I look forward to your inputs. Feel free to constructively criticize my responses too. If you think I could have used some other arguments or words, please let us all know. I'm sure we can all benefit from brain-storming here together. Feel free to talk of your own experiences also.
I am perpetually amazed by what some theists say. A coworker said to me, "I don't believe in evolution... (wait for it...) If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? I directed him to the AIG website, which he just happened to be studying with his pastor. There is a section there that tells them which arguments to stop using and why. He hasn't asked that particular question again.
I feel I have some kind of responsibility to not give atheism a bad name. I have been guilty of that in the past, by being obnoxious when I didn't need to be. It feels so good to be completely irreverent and disrespectful, especially when I've been damned to eternal suffering yet again, but I try to keep that to a minimum. I have some trusted people with whom I can be as awful as I want just to get it out of my system.
@Diane - judging from your trusty companion, beside you in your avatar, I'm surprised you didn't have an answer much closer at hand than a website, which your coworker may or may not visit. Humans, not anyone's god, evolved all dogs from common wolves only a few thousand years ago, and yet - surprise, surprise, surprise! - there are still wolves!
Well... I did have a rather snarky answer for him, but this is George about whom we are talking! I believe he's an homo habilis himself. He's a reformed outlaw biker with a skullet whose life has been transformed by becoming a Christian. It is difficult to get him to look at my eyes and not at my chest.
I did actually say, "George... don't go there. I'll hurt you." I remembered then that he is incapable of listening to me for long enough to understand what I would have been telling him, but we both got a good laugh out of it.
I have tried to explain it to him in the past and it is like trying to teach a pig to dance - it doesn't work and it annoys the teacher. Usually the pig is annoyed but in this case Grorge doesn't care one bit .
@Diane - he may feel that his "faith" is what got him out of the life, not realizing that it was himself, disguised as faith, that accomplished it, so possibly he's not someone you should try to deconvert, as that could well be the only thing holding up his house of cards.
When one finds oneself arguing with a fence post, it's generally not the fence post that has the problem. Sometimes it's just simpler to smile, nod and say, "So -'fire bad,' huh?"
I am not trying to deconvert him or anybody else. I really am not out to do that. He has been trying to convert me for years, though. I don't bring up the issue with him, but I will speak my mind when he starts the conversations. Luckily, work has been so difficult lately that he has neither time nor energy to harass me.
I have told him that I am glad he found Jesus, as he apparently needed to. : )
He does feel that his faith is what saved him from continuing to live like he was, and he has changed his life significantly. Of course, he does not realize that he was wearing the magic red slippers the whole time.
RE: "I have told him that I am glad he found Jesus"
Two perfect responses to "I've found Jesus!"
Ah, yes... sarcasm. So much fun!
Everybody needs a hobby, you've discovered mine --
If Protestantism developed from Catholicism, why are there still Catholics?
If Xianity developed from Judaism, why are there still Jews?
Of course those questions, when used to answer the fundie's question do not address the misconception that is tied up in your coworker's question, which is that we evolved from the monkeys we see today. Obviously (well, to us obviously) we didn't. The question then becomes, were those common ancestors some other now extinct species of monkey? And really, the temporal dividing line between one species--or even a genus--and another is shaky at best, because we are sticking all-or-nothing labels onto things that change gradually. At some point in the past, apparently, an australopithecus mother had to have given birth to a homo child... but there's just as little difference between them as there is between you and your parents.
I know if someone asks if we descended from apes, I consider the answer to be "yes" as long as I am sure they don't mean modern gorillas, chimps, or orangutans.
@Steve - RE: "an australopithecus mother had to have given birth to a homo child"
Don't you imagine the change was much more gradual than that?