“You’re not atheist, you’re just confused.”

Why can I not have a holiday in which someone does not speak condescendingly or attack straw man arguments about my atheism? This vexes me to no end! During the course of today’s mythologized, consumerist celebration of genocide (i.e., Thanksgiving), someone I knew implied that atheists are just as dogmatic as believers. The two atheists he described that he met in school, by the narrative he told of them, seemed to “believe” in their atheism (if one could also “believe” in non-alchemy) in a dogmatic way because their parents were Communists, and had raised them to be atheists (I assumed in the same way religious people are inculcated with their religion by their parents – at a young age when they can’t fully understand or question the religion because to do otherwise would clearly expose the nonsense). I did not have any further evidence that perhaps their parents rationally explained and provided the basis for their atheism.

Nevertheless, this anecdote was used to inductively demonstrate that all atheists are dogmatic – a classic trick of a fallacious argument of statistics of (very!) small numbers, and perhaps guilt by association. I never got to explain my point of view, which would have been significantly more rational and logical than the previously-described “atheists.” In conclusion, my friend said to me, “You’re not atheist, you’re just confused.” This statement absolutely flabbergasted me in its poverty as an argument, and in just how astonishingly and shockingly condescending it was. As an aside, my friend is much older than me, and probably thought, “Oh, this boy is just an over-zealous cocksure college student.” This may be the case, but that does not in any way subtract from the rational high ground my atheism holds relative to his theism. My friend said we would continue this discussion later, and I hope my views will not be dismissed as the mere “confusion” of a young college student trying to find himself, but rather as well-reasoned, well-informed markers of intellectual honesty – something my friend apparently lacks.

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~ by jsacc001 on November 27, 2008.

5 Responses to ““You’re not atheist, you’re just confused.””

  1. I hear what your beef is about. You may want to check out my new Website – http://www.AssertiveAtheistMoments.com – for some stuff that may interest you. There’s also a Blog there for your comments.

    See ya,

    Bob

  2. I’ve heard this situation a million times. It’s just anti-intellectual shit that people are going to throw at you over and over. The only reason old friends and family get away with this kind of stuff around you is because you put up with the abusive behavior.

    Someone says this to me and rejects a simple clarification of definition. You know, how a self-labeled “atheist’s” arguments, when shitty, don’t destroy the logical and empirical case against God, just like how Nazi Germany’s self-labeling as “free” doesn’t destroy the logical and empirical case against tyranny. After this point, I tend to refrain from ever gracing them with my conversational presence again if I make no progress.

    Life is too short to waste your time at Thanksgiving where people have no problem “winning” an argument by bullying you with insults.

    It’s kinda sickening how repetitive it all is, really!

  3. “You know, how a self-labeled “atheist’s” arguments, when shitty, don’t destroy the logical and empirical case against God.”

    Atheism should *not* “destroy the logical and empirical case against God,” it should advocate it.

  4. right; my point was that having people out there who make bad arguments against the existence of god don’t suddenly make all arguments against the existence of god bad.

  5. Excuse me, I misunderstood your point earlier. Now I understand.

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