What Christians keep telling me

I keep hearing over and over that I think all Christians and anyone else who disagrees with me is plainly stupid. Here are the stats:

In fact, this post from a recently-removed-from-my-blogroll-blog largely had me in mind, as I was told shortly after it was written. But this goes beyond me. Richard Dawkins and other Gnu Atheists get the same crap – so much so that Dawkins even penned a piece about the issue six years ago:

“It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).” I first wrote that in a book review in the New York Times in 1989, and it has been much quoted against me ever since, as evidence of my arrogance and intolerance. Of course it sounds arrogant, but undisguised clarity is easily mistaken for arrogance. Examine the statement carefully and it turns out to be moderate, almost self-evidently true.

This is largely my position (including beyond the subject of evolution). I think Christian arguments are almost universally awful and I find most creationists to be ignorant, but that does not mean I think every person who holds a contradictory view to me is stupid. Sure, I’ve called people stupid. Sarah Palin comes to mind. Leading creationists who should know better, such as Ken Ham, are obviously lacking in intellect. I have no doubt Andreas Moritz is a dolt. But notice: I keep it specific. I’m not saying all Republicans are stupid because Sarah Palin is stupid. I’m not saying the creationist who hasn’t sat in a biology course since high school is a moron. I am not saying all alt-med quacks are idiots. If I wanted to say any of that, I would say it. I try to be exact in my language; it is unlikely I would ever make such an oversight in my writing.

I have no delusions about how I write. I’m aggressive and unapologetic. I have little patience for bad ideas that have little to no evidence for them. I often pepper my paragraphs with disparaging remarks about the quality of whatever argument it is I am facing. It has long been my view that undeserved respect is…well, undeserved. It would be dishonest of me to pretend I hold something in esteem when the fact is I think it’s just a steaming pile. However, none of this means I think others are morons by virtue of disagreeing with me. Such a conclusion is, I hate to say, just stupid.

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3 Responses

  1. However, to ignore evidence, to wilfully disbelieve truth in the face of undeniable proof (while studiously ignoring said proof and failing to addresss it)… that’s pretty wilfully stupid.

    The one thing that changed me from a skeptical agnostic to a hardcore atheist who actively despises religion in all its forms was nothing more than reading the Bible, cover to cover from Genesis to Revelations.

    I have challenged Christian believers to do no more than that, to read their holy book in its entirety and say how that work of fiction provides any kind of moral code that anyone not in a secure psychiatric facility could ever accept as a good way to live.

    Oh, and also to tell me how the biblical quotes I offer as proof of the Bible’s malice have been quoted out of context, and how they should be read.

    Not one of them has taken me up on this particular Pepsi challenge. You’d think I was asking them to read “The God Delusion” or something. But all I’m challenging them to do is to read all of their favourite source of wisdom, love and morals from “In the beginning” to “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

    Not one single self-professed believer can demonstrate that a) they have ever done so or b) that they have any intention of doing so.

    That’s kind of like a self-confessed Star Wars nut refusing to watch any more than the trailer of any of the films while claiming to be an ultimate authority on it.

  2. Michael, you are a misguided and very lost individual. It is very sad.

  3. Excellent contribution, Clay.

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