Why Most Atheists Make Me Laugh

Some people just merit laughter, sometimes it’s about all you can do.  After all, if someone is unreasonable, then by definition you can’t reason with them, therefore all you can do is laugh (maybe inwardly) at what they say.  There I was, reading the introduction to Nietzsche’s The Antichrist, written by H.L. Mencken, I had no idea who he was prior to this, but now, I think he’s hilarious.  Not because he’s a comedian, but because of his absolute hatred of Christianity (I know, I know, not funny…but in a way…it is).  I won’t put too much of what he had to say on here, to save you from the thirty-six page redundancy and racial bigotry that is his introduction (which really says nothing worthy), but here’s a sample, then I’ll explain what I find funny:

“Of all the religions ever devised by the great practical jokers of the race, this is the one that offers most for the least money, so to speak, to the inferior man.  It starts out by denying his inferiority in plain terms: all men are equal in the sight of God.  It ends by erecting that inferiority into a sort of actual superiority: it is a merit to be stupid, and miserable, and sorely put upon- of such are the celestial elect.”

Short excerpt.  But just long enough to show the depth of his elitism, which really just elaborates on the self-proclaimed elitism of Nietzsche’s preface.  Laden with mischaracterization.  Steeped with inflammatory remarks (perhaps not in that excerpt but throughout his introduction) and summarizes his misunderstanding of anything about true Christianity.  You know who it reminded me of (despite all belligerent atheists reminding me of one another)?  My man, Richard Dawkins, in his book The God Delusion:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

Oh…my.

Here’s what can easily be said about both of these men, and really most atheists evangelizing on YouTube comments: most don’t have the first clue about the basic tenets of Christianity (like the Gospel, nor can they), let alone the more in-depth ones such as the elect that Mencken speaks of.

What can also be said for most of the “debate” going on (and this goes for Christians just as much as any other person) is nothing more than mudslinging, adjective throwing, ad hominem ad nauseam, bickering.

I truly believe that Dawkins believes that if you make a long enough run on sentence, throw out enough words in a row, and make each of them provocative, you will eventually convince people, disprove God, and win the argument.  Sadly, most follow suit.

In all fairness though, as I have done in the past, I can be as guilty of this as any other.  And really, if a Christian were to argue in like manner I should have to laugh at them as well.  It is not enough to just attack characters, or throw out enough words, but to actually evaluate and answer criticisms in a somewhat respectable manner.  We won’t agree (unless the Spirit has anything to say), but we can have rational discourse which might actually benefit others.

If you’re not up for that, then keep your self-serving/self-gratifying speech to yourself.  Because honestly, you look like a fool, and you’re making me laugh.

In Christ,

Jon

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~ by TSL on January 27, 2010.

9 Responses to “Why Most Atheists Make Me Laugh”

  1. I’ll bite…

    If it is the tone and tactics of the atheists you have debated which turns you off, then perhaps you would like to have the discussion on terms more palatable? You see, I have found that most of the Christian apologists whom I have read and conversed with are guilty of the same intellectual “sins” which you have outlined above. I would relish the chance to make my viewpoints understood without the “mudslinging, adjective throwing, ad hominem ad nauseam” that seems to come from those of faith when I try to explain my atheism. I only have one qualification–you absolutely, positively MUST recognize that the burden of proof lies with the believer, not with he who simply chooses the alternative–non-belief–due to lack of evidence. This seems to be the rub–because most believers I have encountered either want me to PROVE that there is no God (which can’t be done), or seize upon any hole in current scientific knowledge as PROOF of God’s existence (which it is not). I have NEVER–and I mean “never” without exaggeration or equivocation–encountered a “believer” who has ever supplied even one, single piece of evidence that supports the existence of a God. If you have such evidence, I would sincerely like to read about it. I promise to discuss it without any of the rhetorical attacks which have so disappointed you with Dawkins and his ilk.

    • I’m down.

      It would be wrong of me to assume all atheists/agnostics are alike, sorry if it came off that way. The same way I don’t enjoy being grouped in with every religious radical and wing-nut under the banner of “Christian,” I wouldn’t want to reciprocate. Before I respond or attempt to answer anything, I would like to keep individual comments to the relevant post, since comments can quickly rabbit trail. If you want to talk about it separately, you are welcome to email me (jonnio8@gmail.com) or give me your email, and I’d be happy to talk. Or just wait for a post that can be debated.

      But I will quickly respond to one thing you brought up, and then leave it there:

      You said that “I MUST” recognize that the burden of proof lies with the believer. I will concede on one condition:

      You MUST recognize that not all things are proven in similar fashion.

      You may want me to point into the sky and say, “see there’s God.” I can’t do it. You may want me to prove His existence by the scientific method. Can’t do it.
      You may want me to explain every single aspect related to God, eternity, infinity, or even the Christian faith. I simply can’t.

      Then again, I do not believe in the existence of God the same way as I believe in the existence of this computer I am currently typing on.

      In the end, none of my words will convince you, I cannot reason you into belief of God. As a Calvinist I believe that is only wrought by the Holy Spirit. And until that change happens this is what you will say to me, as the exchange went between the Pharisees and Christ,

      “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” -John 4:48

      “So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?” -John 6:30

      “Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.” -John 12:37

  2. Just out of curiosity, what do you think about the actual content of the Dawkins quote?

    Because no matter how many different ways I look at the Old Testament God, and that includes through the lens of ‘Christian’ literature (Milton primarily, although I suppose he didn’t render God quite as he’s depicted in the OT), I can’t help but agree with him completely.

    In the end, none of my words will convince you, I cannot reason you into belief of God. As a Calvinist I believe that is only wrought by the Holy Spirit. And until that change happens this is what you will say to me, as the exchange went between the Pharisees and Christ,

    I guess I’ll also ‘bite’ on this one. How does that not make the idea of punishment for non-belief inherently ridiculous? If the Holy Spirit never moves me to belief, what fault is that of mine?

    • undergradguy,

      When you say “no matter how many different ways I look at the Old Testament God,” have you tried to look at Him the way that the Bible describes Him? Holy, just, righteous, good, loving, &c (and truly sought to understand those terms biblically). My first guess would be no. Because had you, it would have reshaped at least 3/4 of that list that Dawkins supplies us with.

      Dawkins obviously has not done this either. If you’re going to talk about God, if you’re going to judge Him by His book and ultimately by His own standards (because in Dawkins worldview…it doesn’t matter), then you must operate within that worldview. You cannot take what the Bible says out of its worldview context and then interpret God the way you already think of Him. Do you really think that Dawkins would have said anything different if he hadn’t read the OT? Which I don’t think he has.

      On your Calvinism question. Because the Holy Spirit does not move you to belief, does not release you from your duty to do so. All men are called to repentance and belief, all men will be judged on whether they have done so or not. All men have chosen sin, and have gone astray, and have become rebels to God. If you were guilty of a crime and the judge was the only one able to pardon you from it, is he to blame if you goto prison?

      Now you might ask me to reconcile man’s responsibility w/ God’s sovereignty, and the Bible gives me no way of doing that…that might be a problem for you. And I’ll happily explain why it’s not one to me.

  3. Nobody is interested in the younger Nietzsche who wrote The Birth of Tragedy and Human, All Too Human. These people always quote the late Nietzsche, both those who love him and those who don’t. Why is that?

    In his later works he sounds more and more off balance, more and more insane, lonely, barking: “I’d rather be a teacher at Basel university than God!” That is when they read him to go and quote something about that abyss that stares back at you.

    • Not exactly sure what you’re getting at here. But I will have to read that book you mentioned.

      I actually like that abyss quote to be honest. Pretty much sums up his life.

  4. In his later works he brags about each of his insights. He says they are extaordinary and way above what other people have ever figured out. Now does this kind of talk sound very lucid to you? And what about the way he challenges his audience: “Doesn’t anybody understand me yet?” when simply he was not being read anymore by anybody at all, and he was in constant pain.

    Look at this photo. This is the young Nietzsche. http://www.nietzscheana.com.ar/nietzsche.htm and here is the brilliant beginning of “On truth and lies” http://tinyurl.com/y9d2zrrin English. He was 29 when this was published. On the same site you’ll find his complete works in English.
    ………………

    Of course the abyss quote is pretty. However, those who have read some Shakespeare would not go to the internet with the 2 be or not 2 be quote …..

    • You make a good point at the end there. In all honesty I have not read any Nietzsche, he’s kind of become my new interest though, so thanks for recommending something that might be worthwhile. I will have to read it at some point.

  5. Sorry. I see that the URL for Nietzsche’s complete works does not work because there should be a space between the address and the following word “in”.

    The address is

    http://tinyurl.com/y9d2zrr

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