And why shouldn’t I be “prejudiced” against Christians?

I don’t agree with what Dawkins retweeted. This website with its platitudes did not make me see a reason to become more accepting when dealing with irrational bigots. The only parts that spoke to me were the point that if you can’t correctly explain someone else’s argument and have it accepted, then you don’t understand it enough to refute it. Active listening is a problem in our society. Of course, theists are bad listeners and very impatient so you will not usually get that far.

The other line I liked from the comments is that “Perfection is the enemy of the good” -Volataire. I take it to mean that we must choose our allies and work for small changes if we are to be progressive, rather than being ideologically pure isolationists/special snowflakes. It’s true I don’t agree with Sam Harris on certain things, while he is clear minded and has insights in others and shouldn’t be shunned simply because he doesn’t fit into a familiar box idealize.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dogmadebate/2017/06/reasonably-controversial-regressive-left-killing-atheist-movement/

So if I agree with that, then what is the problem you ask? I’ll tell you. Reddit and others tell you to attack ideas and not people. So It’s okay to attack Christianity or Islam but not Christians or Muslims. I question why not?

The two are interwoven. If you are a Christian you subscribe to Christianity.

You will potentially act in ways that hurt me. If an skeptical atheist hears a voice and sees visions telling him to go to an abortion clinic and blow up some doctors, he will dismiss it and get psychiatric help. A Christian might too, but he could potentially think It’s the voice of God. That alone makes Christians a threat. And generally Christians are predictable, irrational bigots, and are relatively lame to hang out with. I feel justified in disliking Christians and attacking them along with Christianity. The only argument that might stay me is that attacking groups of people and/or individuals can sometimes be ineffective or counter-productive.

Moreover. I do not respect their underlying epistemology enough to even respect a difference of opinion as I might with someone who looked at the same set of facts I did, and came to another opinion of politics. That’s just finding a difference of view when there is a margin of doubt. But with Christians their underlying facts are definitely wrong. And if I attack Christianity you will still feel insulted that I don’t respect your core values, and react as though I attacked you personally. Why keep up the pretext of not attacking them? For civility? As Hitchens quipped, “Civility is overrated.”

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3 thoughts on “And why shouldn’t I be “prejudiced” against Christians?

  1. Christians are often told that “you might be the only example of a Christian some people will only get a chance to meet.” It’s supposed to remind them to be on their best behavior to make the whole team look good. Well, as an atheist, that’s pretty much true for your camp as well – you can either meet their expectations of somebody who’s out to destroy all of God’s good holy folk or spectacularly disappoint them by being more kind and civil than even they are.
    As it is written, “Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the Hell out of your enemies.” Rule of Acquisition #76

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    1. That’s quite a flawed example. When Christians dominate in majority numbers, you would be hard pressed to find someone in any country who has not ever met a Christian or who does not possess at least a passing understanding of Christianity when American culture is so influential.

      But I do understand what you mean about the importance of setting a good example in certain situations. But we have to define what is a good example? Is it really always xcvikity and the virtues we want others to emulate, or can it be useful to teach by making a bad example? I will explain later.

      There is a lot of room for disagreement on what is a generally good behavior, and while peter boghossian takes a softer Socratic approach to persuade Christians, Christopher Hitchens is combative and debates on hard facts. Certain techniques work better on certain personalities and we need to support both doves and hawks to get our message out.

      I personally think I need to be more aggressive. I think we should even mimic their hypocrisies at times if we see an individual using them, so that Christians will see it and call us out on them, and then hopefully realize they’re looking in a mirror and fix their ways. For example, it might be useful to act like you’ve lost your temper around someone who loses their temper easily, to teach them a lesson about maintaining self-control if you want to be listened to. It might be useful to be excessively prideful around a proud psrson for the same reason. I guess this is the opposite of setting a good example, and I haven’t heard anyone else use it, but I think it has uses.

      It’s a pre-liminary lesson that needs to be learned somehow or other to listen. Otherwise no discussion or real exchange of ideas can occur. If you ever meet someone who is 70 years old and cannot remain calm, rational or humble enough to listen to a word you say on anything, but who loves to berate and throw out uninformed prejudices, I think It’s justified to mirror them and show utter disrespect until they realize their wrong.

      I want to thank you for responding.

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      1. True – but to their way of thinking, just because so many people out there *claim* to be Christians, it doesn’t mean that they are true, blue, dyed in the wool, completely correct in their theology type of Christians. These are the ones who have to “clean up” the mess that progressive and other barely-Christian types make by giving the whole speech correctly over and over again. While it’s preferrable for non-believers to become any kind of Christian, it’s always on the top of their list to make them their kind of Christian who attends their churches and not those heretical off-shoots with funny ideas about the BIble.
        “I think we should even mimic their hypocrisies at times if we see an individual using them, so that Christians will see it and call us out on them, and then hopefully realize they’re looking in a mirror and fix their ways.” – The problem is that Christians believe they can do no wrong, everything they do is righteous and ordained / justified by God. Trying to mirror them would only backfire and cement in their minds the hostility of the enemy trying to undermine the innocents on the Lord’s side. Part of the reason why Christianity endures is because it knows how to twist around it’s bad decisions to make it sound somehow good. A Christian who looses his temper is “righteously angry” a non-believer who looses his temper is a “childish jerk.” A Christian who is prideful “boasts in the Lord”, a non-believer who is prideful is ordained to fall because a proverb says that “pride goes before a fall”.
        And sure, for some of them you have to fight fire with fire – but for most of them that approach just won’t work. It convinces them all the more that you are a lost child who needs the Lord and only they can share that message through their patient example and kind attitude. But if an athiest were somehow far more kind and decent that most Christians they know – it would have to give them pause. “Aren’t Christians supposed to be the only righteous, kind, and decent people in the world?” “Aren’t non-believers supposed to be selfish, angry, unkind, uncaring, without self-control, unloving and unforgiving, proud and arrogant? Why is it that this unbeliever is an even better Christian than me?” Of course, some would say: “It’s only just an act, there’s some selfish motive behind all of his apparent good deeds.” Sometimes you can’t win no matter what you do, nothing you say will convince them they’re wrong and nothing you do changes who they are. But then, the whole point isn’t to win – the reasons are far more complex than that.

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