Dear Theists Thursdays – Everybody Thinks Like You, Pt. 1

Dear Theists Thursdays is a feature in which I write a letter to theists about whatever happens to be on my mind. These letters represent my views as an individual and may not be shared with others here at Crocoduck. If you have any suggestions or questions for future letters, please send them to ryan.crocoduck@gmail.com. Otherwise, feel free to use the comments feature to discuss specific posts. – Ryan

 

Dear Theists,

I want to start this time with a bit of a disclaimer prompted by a conversation that ensued after I posted my last iteration of this series on my personal Facebook page. I address these posts to “theists”, but I don’t mean to assume that all theists are the same either in personality or beliefs. These posts represent my reactions to things I commonly see theists do and say, or things taught me during my past life as a theist. The other thing is that I attempt (with varying levels of success) to base my writings in the broadest possible sense and to root them in the logical conclusions the theistic model of the universe must arrive at. I certainly admit that some of you may slip through the cracks, and I don’t mean to misrepresent you. So, to quote Thoreau, “I trust that none will stretch the seams in putting on the coat, for it may do good service to him whom it fits.”

This is to be the first of a two-part series on the error of assuming that everyone else thinks like you. I see this come in up discussions and media in a couple different ways, and I want to address two of them in this series. The first takes the form of what I’m going to call The Uncertainty Defense, or THUD. [Read more…]

Dear Theists Thursdays: You’re Kinda Awesome

Dear Theists Thursdays is a feature in which I write a letter to theists about whatever happens to be on my mind. These letters represent my views as an individual and may not be shared with others here at Crocoduck. If you have any suggestions or questions for future letters, please send them to ryan.crocoduck@gmail.com. Otherwise, feel free to use the comments feature to discuss specific posts. – Ryan

 

Dear Theists,

You’re kinda awesome. I really mean that, and I’m not even saying it to set up a joke or something. Setting aside the question of whether or not a theistic God exists, perhaps the thing that upsets me most about theism is its insistent claim that people are less amazing than they are and its demands of submission and subservience. Obviously, different sects and individuals take this to different extremes, but nearly all theistic belief is predicated upon this idea that people are broken by default and that the only method of repair is unquestioned obedience and subservience to a supernatural figure. [Read more…]

Dear Theists Thursdays – Hate the Sin; Love the Sinner

Dear Theists Thursdays is a feature in which I write a letter to theists about whatever happens to be on my mind. These letters represent my views as an individual and may not be shared with others here at Crocoduck. If you have any suggestions or questions for future letters, please send them to ryan.crocoduck@gmail.com. Otherwise, feel free to use the comments feature to discuss specific posts. – Ryan

 

Dear Theists,

One of the most beloved and damaging slogans in all of modern theistic vernacular is, “Hate the sin; love the sinner” and it’s various other incarnations. Part of the reason it’s gained so much traction is because it imitates a very good concept and packages it in an easy to use quip. Before I address the poison this statement contains, I’d like to address the sugar that makes it easy for so many to swallow.

The idea that hooks people with this statement is the concept that when interacting with people who disagree with us, we should focus on the ideas and arguments while respecting the human being standing in front of us saying them. And this is a very good thing that we should all strive to remember and practice, especially during heated discussions where passions are high. There are two things I want to address about this as it relates to theism in general. [Read more…]

The Bible’s Greatest Hits – Week 27: John 4:32

Hello all and welcome to this post-War on Christmas edition of The Bible’s Greatest Hits. I hope you all survived the gluttony, in-laws, and other such terrors. Speaking of terrors, it appears that Creation Today, Eric Hovind’s  webcam diary, has joined up with some other reality denialists to create a 3D film of the book of Genesis using the same techniques as James Cameron’s Avatar. So, there’s that to look forward to. Elsewhere, a jury found that “faith healing” is a bit of a misnomer when the subject dies and voted unanimously to award the victim’s family $100 million. But enough of that, on to today’s verse!

 

But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.

John 4:32

 

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Dear Theists Thursdays: Context Isn’t Everything

Dear Theists Thursdays is a feature in which I write a letter to theists about whatever happens to be on my mind. These letters represent my views as an individual and may not be shared with others here at Crocoduck. If you have any suggestions or questions for future letters, please send them to ryan.crocoduck@gmail.com. Otherwise, feel free to use the comments feature to discuss specific posts. – Ryan

 

Dear Theists,

In discussions and debates between atheists and people of various faiths there is a strikingly frequent series of events that I’ve found to be rather irritating. It goes something like this. The topic of morality is brought up, the theist claims that atheists have no source for morals or some such claim, the atheist counters with “‘what about horribly immoral verse X’ or ‘terrible fundamentalist group Y'”, and the theist responds that they’re taking verse X out of context and/or that group Y is interpreting the Book, God, or theology wrong. The exclamation that I always hear is, “Context is everything!” and it isn’t true.

[Read more…]

Dear Theist Thursdays – Conscience Clauses

Dear Theists Thursdays is a feature in which I write a letter to theists about whatever happens to be on my mind. These letters represent my views as an individual and may not be shared with others here at Crocoduck. If you have any suggestions or questions for future letters, please send them to ryan.crocoduck@gmail.com. Otherwise, feel free to use the comments feature to discuss specific posts. – Ryan

 

Dear Theists,

This is a bit of a follow up to last time where I discussed religious freedom being a secular moral value. Another aspect of the Catholic Church’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that they provide their employees with health insurance that covers naughty things like condoms and birth control pills, is that the clause exempting them from the mandate is not broad enough to include things like Catholic hospitals and shelters. It really only  applies to actual churches. For those unaware, an exemption from a law based on the mandate breaching one’s conscience is called, fittingly, a conscience clause. And they are terrible ideas. [Read more…]

Dear Theists Thursdays – Religious Freedom

Dear Theists Thursdays is a feature in which I write a letter to theists about whatever happens to be on my mind. These letters represent my views as an individual and may not be shared with others here at Crocoduck. If you have any suggestions or questions for future letters, please send them to ryan.crocoduck@gmail.com Otherwise, feel free to use the comments feature to discuss specific posts. – Ryan

 

Dear Theists,

 

I meant to write about religious freedom while the Catholic church was celebrating its “Fortnight for Freedom” in protest of the mandates in the Affordable Care Act. However, it isn’t as if debates about that legislation are going to die down any time soon, nor are accusations about religious freedom violations from all sides of the issue. So I guess this will be as timely now as any other time.

[Read more…]

Dear Theists Thursdays – I Might Be Wrong

Dear Theists Thursdays is a new feature in which I write a letter to theists about various whatever topics happen to be on my mind. Feel free to suggest topics or pose questions by sending email to ryan.crocoduck@gmail.com.

 

Dear Theists,

I might be wrong. [Read more…]