Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ending the year with more faux-atheism

So in the past few weeks there have been more tales of "atheists" converting to Christianity. Like in the overwhelming majority of such instances, they are full of shit. The brief Christianity Today piece on Charlie Mackesy is so loaded with red flags its amazing that anyone would fall for such tripe. I'll stick with the two of the more blatant bits of nonsense. Mackesy talks about two separate and quite distinct incidences that he claims "turned away from atheism and embraced Christ." Given that he only converted from atheism to Christianity once how can both stories be the turning point that brought him to Jesus? Yet, that is how he tells both stories. This is, of course, without even looking at how foolish the details of each story happen to be. The other problem with his loss of "atheism" stem from his lack of understanding of either atheism or theism. He seems to confuse his misunderstanding with what religion is in general versus specific organized religions with an actual lack of religious beliefs. He talks about why he didn't want to be Christian prior to his supposed conversion. There's not only no reason to believe he lacked any religious belief, there are plenty of reasons to assume he held a variety of them that he simply didn't want labeled in any way. Basically, he fell for, in part, the false dichotomy of religious versus spiritual. He assumed he was an "atheist" since he didn't identify with a specific organized faith.

Then there's the professional bullshitter, Mark Bauerlein. Given his role at First Things and that rags track record of highly misleading and/or outright fabrications there is no reason to trust anything the man claims. It is also notable that though prior to his supposed conversion there is plenty of writing by which he could have been labeled either liberal or libertarian there is absolutely nothing to indicate he was an atheist. The only sources that can be found on this conversion is Mark himself. And, again, given his inclination to push various ideologically driven narratives with little support it is far safer to assume he has made it up. Unlike Mackesy, he does not seem to be confused about the terminology involved or the underlying meaning(s) of each term. He is just a deceitful prick looking to push a story that advances his own current interests. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

"...don't have enough faith to..."

There's a "statement" that a certain subset of theists seem to adore and you've probably heard it from a few notable pundits as well. "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist" is such an idiotic thing to say or write. I've never fully understand what this is even suppose to accomplish beyond making it's proponent look like a complete moron. It never seems to cross their mind that the expression is a blatant contradiction. If you have even a little faith then by definition you can't be an atheist. I have heard a few dumb-asses try to justify this drivel by claiming that those who use this mean faith in the sense of trust. Of course, these inane apologists never bother looking at the statement in the context it was expressed. I have yet to come across an example where the individual(s) did not clearly use "faith" in a religious sense.

Basically, if you see or hear this sentence from someone it is safe to assume they are idiots. They don't have a clue what atheism actually is or what the fuck they are talking about. Just to make sure there can be no confusion about this conclusion:

"A" is the Latin prefix for none or without
"Theism" is a religious belief system
"A" + "Theism" = atheism or a lack of any religious based beliefs

Not only is there no faith required, it is required that there be no faith to meet the definition.