June 21st, 2008

taun we


My mom asked me today (well, I guess it was yesterday) when I was talking with her on the phone about what I had done during the day. And after I had already told her a dozen things, she asked me "what else?"

Against my better judgment, I explained about my 50 reasons (NOT) to believe in god "project" and the particular one I'd posted on earlier in the day. I was accused of being just as bad as believers. She told me she'd never met another atheist who talked about my disbelief as much as I did, and why was it necessary to talk about these things?

Never mind that her premise(s) was(were) completely wrong. I don't talk with people all the time about atheism. I had a student last term who concluded the class by sending me an email thanking me for being a good teacher, and closing the message with "May God bless you!" She herself remarked that I must do a good job keeping my irreligion to myself, but today, I talk about it too much, and I sound as bad as my Catholic grandmother (her mother).

But she was the one who asked me! It's not like I sent an email around to the whole family, unsolicited about how I had a dream about seeing everyone in heaven and all kinds of other bullshit... which is exactly something my grandmother did do a few years ago before being asked to stop doing it.

She is an agnostic, and to her, that means avoiding the question more than anything. So she wants to know why I want to counter the stupid bullshit arguments for believing that are shoved in my face on an almost daily basis, and worse, when people find out I'm an atheist. If someone makes some pathetic attempt to argue with me, why should I have to say, well, you believe what you want, and I'll believe what I want? Doesn't that make atheism sound like a "faith"? It makes it sound like the opposite of what it really is. I'm not one of those people who pretends to believe something (or not believe it) and not be able to articulate why. I'm just not. And if they give me dumbass reasons for believing, shouldn't I have a good comeback? Shouldn't I be able to defend myself? It's not like there are schools I can go to, high schools I can send my children to, where these techniques can be learned. She avoids the question because she can't defend herself, but I'm wrong because I can.

And then she tells me that she doesn't want anything I say to put me in danger... (it's been 20 years since I got that death threat...). Oh, my. I told her that I refuse to live in fear. Absolutely refuse. And no threat of retaliation, however real or imaginary, mild or serious, was going to get me to live my life like that.

And frankly, as far as atheist sites go, this blog is not widely read, or particularly inflammatory. Let's face it. And that's fine. I wish I had more time to write, but beyond that, I'm happy with it. So, all that concern, is really for no reason. And the last time I did a Google search for my name, this website did not come up... hell, even websites with my real name on it were buried in a whole lot of misses. What are the chances, really, that some kook is going to put two and two together? Please!

50 reasons (NOT) to believe in god

#5 Mindless nothing cannot be responsible for complex something.

Now, that is not a proof. That is a claim, for which there is absolutely zero evidence expect for the prejudices of those who have already come to this conclusion. Indeed, all the evidence suggests quite the opposite of this statement. This isn't even in the form of an if-then statement. It's just an supported claim. Pretty pathetic attempt at a "proof" actually. In fact, it makes pretty clear that this woman needs a good course in critical thinking.

Oh, didn't I make that observation already? At least with the cause and effect argument, there is some hope that the person might be reasoned with. Not so here.