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Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:36 PM

Annoying atheist clichés

Atheist Clichés to Avoid – Part 1

Christian author Christian Piatt recently wrote a series of articles on “Christian Clichés To Avoid”, which generated quite a bit of buzz in both the Christian and atheist blogospheres. It was a great read, even if (maybe even particularly if) you’re an atheist.

It was so good, in fact, it prompted me to start this series on “atheist clichés” we should also avoid.

These are a basically things I hear from other atheists all the time, in some cases even highly prominent figures in the atheist community. Some are weak arguments against religion (where similar but much stronger arguments exist). Some are statements that atheists make in an attempt to defend atheism, yet actually downplay the atheist position or even implicitly marginalize atheists overall. And some are simply things which are flat-out, demonstrably false.

“I don’t believe in God”. There’s obviously nothing wrong with saying this in casual contexts, particularly in the company of other atheists. But the problem is the way “believe” can be interpreted as whether you support a particular position, not just whether you believe in its existence. One can say they “don’t believe in” the death penalty, for example, but that says nothing about whether they believe the death penalty exists. And as absurd as that interpretation may sound, it plays directly into the mindset of countless religionists who claim that atheists know deep down that God exists, but we simply choose to “reject Him”. Also notice how the wording is subtly yet inherently biased in theists’ (particularly monotheists) favor, while making the subtle presupposition that the existence of their god–particularly the Judeo-Christian God–is somehow the default position. That’s why I prefer the slightly more wordy (but far more accurate) “I don’t believe in the existence of any gods” (of course, if you really want to get under a theist’s skin, there’s also “I don’t believe in the existence of your god”).

<snip>


The rest here: http://deusxed.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/atheist-cliches-to-avoid-part-1/

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Annoying atheist clichés (Original post)
mr blur Nov 2012 OP
freshwest Nov 2012 #1
cbayer Nov 2012 #6
freshwest Nov 2012 #9
trotsky Nov 2012 #2
Iggo Nov 2012 #3
rug Nov 2012 #4
dimbear Nov 2012 #5
cbayer Nov 2012 #7
Phillip McCleod Nov 2012 #8

Response to mr blur (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 01:48 PM

1. I suggest more emphasis on secularism being anti-discriminatory toward all.

The 'my team is better than yours' routine is not likely to get anything done but harden the two sides against each other. As a former believer, now atheist, it was not the words of those claiming superior reasoning or intelligence that influenced me into shedding religion.

It was my own comprehension that I was being held back from my full potential with the belief system I had taken in to perceive reality and myself. I don't apologize for it as it was a journey I had to make. As I grew in strength, some of the matrix, now translated into other forms, remains valuable.

My focus is, in many ways, what it always was, on freedom of thought, belief and life, not a brand of any kind. I will not be talked down to by strangers who have not walked in my shoes.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:24 AM

6. Agree. Secularism can include both believers and non-believers,

thereby creating a philosophical stance that we can all stand behind without unnecessary division.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:10 PM

9. +1

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 03:48 PM

2. The author makes many good points.

Especially about falling into the trap of religionist language and themes. I felt no sense of loss when I "lost" my faith - on the contrary, it was a welcome and liberating experience.

But in the criticism of the "slay my enemies before me" reference, the author neglects to note who the king in the parable is supposed to be.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:27 PM

3. Exactly.

And when people talk about my "lack of religion", I feel like yelling at them "I ain't lacking shit!"

But I don't.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:03 PM

4. I tend to avoid annoying atheists only.

This post notwithstanding.

I welcome all others.

Usually, the more frequent the cliche and the stereotype, the less free thinking I find. That is rather annoying.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:05 PM

5. If you have a rubber tipped arrow and a steel tipped arrow, use the steel tip.

OTOH, if you click thru to page 4 and take his advice on "Irrevocable Salvation" you're mostly going to get blank stares. Might be different in Texas, tho.

There's plenty of ammo, no sense lugging it back to camp.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:26 AM

7. This article is no better than the other.

This is not a battle in which one side wins and the other loses. All this does is promote division and does nothing to encourage better understanding, tolerance and inclusion.

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Response to mr blur (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 11:40 AM

8. not cliches imo.

 

more like talking points -- simplified summaries of positions intended to elicit a reaction or spur debate. besides theres nothing wrong with cliches if they aren't too cliche. frankly vocal atheists are rare enough in history that almost nothing we say could really be called a cliche. 'you cant teach an old dog new tricks' now thats a cliche.

i see no reason to avoid most of these talking points.

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