9 Signs That You Might Be An Intellectually Dishonest Atheist

“Reality is a cocktail of fantasy” Micah Purnell.

We lie to ourselves all the time. I lie to myself about how good-looking I am. I like to imagine that ‘I’ve still got it’. And then I walk past a reflection of myself that I wasn’t expecting to see, and before my brain has chance to readjust to my idealised view, I catch a glimpse of what I actually look like – how other people see me. And it hurts; so I blot it out as quickly as possible.

We all construct our own truth. It’s our way of getting through life. And when a lie gets told and retold, eventually the real truth gets suppressed and our constructed truth becomes our reality.

A great example of this is the film Shutter Island (Spoilers ahead). In this film, Leonardo di Caprio is a man driven insane by the death of his children and murdering of his own wife. Unable to cope with the truth, he constructs his own reality where he is a renowned detective. The doctors at the mental asylum where he is housed decide to use this constructed reality in their favour, and set up a false trail of clues for “Det. Teddy Daniels” to follow – which ultimately lead to the uncomfortable truth that he is not in fact a detective, but is the asylum’s most dangerous patient. At the climax of the film, he rejects the real story in favour of his created universe – and is lobotomised!

So what about you? What if the worldview you’ve constructed is false? And what if you’re missing a greater truth – and, unlike in Shutter Island, a better truth? Here are some signs that you might be intellectually dishonest when it comes to the question of God.

1. You only read/watch what you already agree with.  The books/blogs you read – or videos you watch – fit in with your existing worldview and serve simply to confirm your own prejudices. You deliberately stay away from anything that might challenge you. You start to unfollow people who post things on Twitter and Facebook that you disagree with. This is telling. When we truly feel comfortable with what we believe, we can happily imbibe contrasting or conflicting views. If you’re so sure you’re right, then why do you shy away? There’s a chance that you’re strengthening the foundations of a belief that you’ve built upon the sand.

2. “People who disagree with me are stupid!” That’s why you don’t read or watch anything Christian – they’re so obviously deluded. But it’s not that, is it? Psychologically, when we don’t want to be challenged by something, we need to convince ourselves that it is ridiculous. We need to alienate it and dispose of it. So we start using extreme words like stupid or irrational, which help us distance ourselves from the challenge. This is where terms like Magic Sky Clown and Jewish Zombie come from. By reducing Christianity ‘ad absurdum’, we don’t need to worry about its potential truth. We wrap ourselves in protective labels.

3. You get angry with those who disagree. You swear at or shout down people in conversation, or walk away from a discussion. You convince yourself that your anger is righteous at how immoral their viewpoint is, but is that really true? Anger is what happens when we don’t feel in control and try to re-exert our own power in a situation. Think of any scenario where you’ve lost your temper and you’ll see it follows that process. It’s an emotional response, not an intellectual one. It’s a sign that you’re out of your depth, that you don’t know everything. People sure of what they believe and confident of its truthfulness tend to remain calm in conversation. “I get angry ‘cos they’re stupid!” you might say. See bullet point 2.

If you’re getting angry when talking to Christians, maybe you’re not quite as clued up as you thought you were. That’s OK – just follow the path where it leads.

4. You use words like ‘rational’ and ‘logical’ and ‘free-thinking’ to describe yourself. These words are like verbal placebos. They create a pleasant feeling of security in us without actually proving us to be any of those things. However, calling yourself logical and rational doesn’t somehow magically transform all your ideas into logical, rational ideas.

5. You deliver statements as though they are questions. But you’re not really looking for the answers. A question like ‘How could God allow so much suffering?’ is a good question, but it doesn’t automatically follow that he wouldn’t. The answers to these questions are hard, of course, but they’re out there, if only you’re prepared to look.

Have you considered that maybe you’re using the question to shield yourself from the answer?

6. You use ad-hominem attacks. When you fear that someone ‘on the opposing side’ is more knowledgeable in their viewpoint, or you run out of your own arguments, you try to undermine them by criticising their moral character or appearance. Looking to devalue what someone has said because of something you don’t like about them is a common trick, but totally dishonest. It also commits the genetic fallacy, but I’m probably an idiot for saying that.

7. You quote famous atheists, without being able to back up their arguments. Dawkins, Hitchens, Bertrand Russell. In place of delivering your own ideas and thoughts, you simply quote something that one of your heroes has said. The problem is that you find it much more difficult to build on those sound bites when pushed. An example of this would be ‘You’re an atheist when it comes to Zeus. Atheists just go one God further’. How would you respond when informed that this is a joke, not an argument? What’s your follow-up argument?

See what I mean? A quote from an atheist is not in itself an argument for atheism. We all need to be careful that emotive, persuasive language doesn’t replace actual argumentation.

8. You use generic catch-all phrases which show your poor hand. Everybody knows Jesus never existed’, or ‘It’s a scientific fact that science has disproven God’ work here. Statements like this are usually a dead giveaway that you haven’t really looked into what you’re talking about. Usually, whatever it is that ‘everybody knows’, everybody doesn’t know it – you wouldn’t have to say that if it were the case. And usually, ‘everybody knows’ really means ‘I don’t know’. Top academic debaters don’t go around saying ‘everybody knows’, in the same way that serious scientists don’t talk about science disproving God. For people who do know what they’re talking about, this sort of conversational device just calls your own bluff.

9. You never really critique your own beliefs. Attacking, ignoring or sneering at other viewpoints is often a way of deflecting attention away from yourself. Sadly, despite what we’d like to believe about ourselves, most people in our society aren’t won over by reasoned, rational arguments, but by advertising. Are your reasons for believing what you believe genuinely rational and considered, or are they simply a verbal manifestation of how you feel? And are your reasons for rejecting other worldviews equally rational, or does the idea of a God who has more power than you simply create a negative emotional reaction, which you then reject? Does it cut up your desire for autonomy, or conflict with your trust that you are in control?

My belief is that, if you do any of these 9 things, you may be confusing your intellect with your emotions. Crucially, the reasons most people give for rejecting Jesus are almost never as rational and well-thought-out as they think, but instead a sort of advertising slogan for their desires.

How we feel is not always a good gauge of truth. The truth doesn’t always underwrite our feelings, but often wounds them.

How will you deal with that? What do you want? Your truth? Or The Truth?

Because The Truth might be better than you think.

  • Zacktacular

    If so many people witnessed the resurrection, then why is there no documentation of the event until 40 years after it happened? If a person received a public execution and then came back to life, I would expect dozens or even hundreds of accounts from the time of the event. Not 4 accounts with differing details written 4 decades after the fact by people who weren’t even there.

    That’s why we don’t believe it.

  • Zacktacular

    “You use words like ‘rational’ and ‘logical’ and ‘free-thinking’ to describe yourself. These words are like verbal placebos. They create a pleasant feeling of security in us without actually proving us to be any of those things.”

    Replace the words with ‘blessed’ ‘saved’ and ‘forgiven’

  • Barney Rubble

    David Icke would fall under the ridiculous straw men category I mentioned. I’m talking about showing respect for people with different beliefs, and occasionally looking at what they have to say. You don’t have to accept everything they have to say, but instead of focusing on the negative, try to find some positive. So for example, a lot of Christian articles focus on working on developing good family relationships and doing good for the community.

  • palanisamy muthukumar

    9 Signs That You Might Be An Intellectually Dishonest theist,
    Now read it again, even better change it to Christian/Jew/hindu/muslim and then read it again… We might sometimes say someone is stupid because we cannot counter their argument, But mostly we say it is Stupid because it really is, This article really is stupid.

  • Teodor

    7, so what if it is a joke? it has a point to it, doesnt it?

  • fights

    Looks like you fit right into this list. Hmmm, quite telling…

  • fights

    Since we believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, authoritative Word of God, you can understand why we use it. And of course atheists don’t use quotes because in their mind it would make them look like they aren’t using their own intellect (which is their argument afterall), but they ad lib their beloved atheist authors all the time, I know because I’ve had discussions with many of them. Now, please share our “bald-faced assertions about atheists”.

  • Kayla Gilliam

    Most of what you said fulfills all that the author just said.

  • Kayla Gilliam

    what you just wrote fulfilled all that the author wrote. Thank you. You’re in denial.

  • Kayla Gilliam

    So accurate. I encounter this every time I converse with atheists. Denying Christ is a volitional matter.

  • fregas

    First, I have to say I agree with almost everything he said here. Second, I think most everything he said has nothing to do with being Christian, Hindu, Atheist or something else. It has to do with being human. People don’t like being presented with evidence or even talk that is contrary to their own cherished beliefs. And I have seen atheists, christians and everything between violate every one of the rules the author mentions. The author seems to think that its only atheists who are intellectually dishonest, when in fact its just human beings in general.

    Yet, being an atheist or agnostic or religious liberal, you are in a much better position to be open minded, even towards religion than, a fundamentalist or evangelical christian. I have no beliefs that require I believe or disbelieve in something. Noone is going to Punish Me for rejecting humanism for example. In many religions, but especially in the more fundamentalist versions of Islam and Christianity, even questioning the divinity of Jesus or the Morality of the Prophet is putting your immortal soul at risk at eternal hellfire, a never ending horrific existence of absolute torture. There’s just nothing like that in atheism or agnosticism, and little in the more liberal forms of religion. If I started telling everyone I believed in God tomorrow, I might raise a few eyebrows among my atheist friends, or spawn a few questions or arguments, but thats it. I am pretty free to pursue ideas from Buddhism, Humanism and yes even Judeo-Christian religions. Yet if you are already steeped in a religion that says changing your beliefs will cause you eternal torture, how much more pressure do you now have to NOT change or re-examine your beliefs?

    I think what the author and many fundies are doing are trying to mimic the pattern of open mindedness, freedom of though, pursuit of evidence and reason, that liberal Christians and Jews, atheists, agnostics and humanists have been already pursing for some time. They are trying to portray themselves as the open minded and rational ones and portray the skeptics as the closed-minded, emotional ones. In other words, they are fighting fire with fire. I think ultimately this is a good thing, because it means they are valuing reason and evidence. However, its somewhat deceptive, because with the same breath, these folks are among the first to tell people in their churches, not to read certain books, not to question certain beliefs, not to allow certain theories to be taught in schools and even require statements of doctrinal belief at their own private religious universities, often with the thread of Hellfire. This is hypocritical. How can one criticize atheists for not reading christian books and blogs, when one tells ones own members that reading atheist and liberal religious literature can condemn them forever?

    I also have to point out that many atheist and agnostics HAVE examined the opposite side’s point of view. Maybe not an angry atheist like Sam Harris who was raised that way, but the most of the rest of us were raised in some sort of church, heard the arguments from their friends, pastors and preachers in high school and college, and read all the right books such as Mere Christianity. And we either never were or or later became unconvinced of the truth of that religion. At some point, you decide “been there, done that” instead of listening to the same tired arguments. I’m sure there are Christians who have done the same thing in regards to atheism. If a new argument or evidence crops up, then thats a different story.

    We should all look at the other side’s point of view. We should all be charitable and not assume that because someone disagrees with me, doesn’t mean that they are overly emotional, evil, stupid or intellectually dishonest. We should respect our common humanity more than disagree with our varying beliefs. We should have perfect freedom to pursue any religious or secular train of thought without fear of dismissal, harassment, name-calling or hellfire.

    I have atheists at my church and I have pagans and Christians. I like listening to all of them, their stories, where they’ve been, what they believe and why. I’m not worried about converting them or fearing for their eternal souls. If they have souls, God will take care of them. If not, we’re just all on this shared, short cosmic journey together.

  • Arcturus

    A catch-all list that is designed not to fail… it is in fact committing most of the “sins” it purports to enlighten us about. Just like a well-tuned and burnished religion!

  • Meggan King

    although I do agree that this article should have been about “people” in general. I would like to disagree with you. I have had many, and I mean many, atheist try and tell me that science has proven that god does not exist. For me this usually ends my part of the conversation with them because if they believe that they obviously do not know how science works…but it has been said. Case in point, Otis underneath me and his wonderful words.

  • Michael Watson

    I came here 3 months too late. Hilarious how some of these Atheists,d is not a personal God. He does not reach out to us especially Jack, fall in to the same trap of being personally offensive in order to make their point. True signs of the weakness you see in your own position. And science has absolutely without a doubt proven the existence of God. Not that hard. Modern Atheists don’t even argue the point, or I should say, atheists who have followed the evidence don’t. What they say is that God is not a personal God. He does not reach out to us or infuse Himself in to our lives for our benefit. Nor does he create extra-dimensional existences for us to reside in after death. A much harder argument on some levels, and it reveals atheists who don’t believe in the existence of God, as echoes of other peoples thoughts, not their own. Oh well.

  • zylex

    Sounds like somebody’s feelings got hurt and then they wrote an “article” in bulletin format. So far all I see as evidence of “god” are all the responsibilities that people attribute to either “god” or a “devil” or “demons”. Hurts a lot less when your family member/friend dies suddenly and you tell yourself it was “god’s” choice or the “devil’s” nefarious deeds.

    I should also mention the number of nutters that think everything in this world is a conspiracy against their religion on some deep global level. They’d rather believe doctored photos of non-existent archaeological digs. Or more memorably I present the “Shroud of Turin” which is today generally accepted as “inauthentic” to put it kindly.

    Then I point out that everything known of the religion was written and rewritten by multiple hands throughout history, human hands open to corruption at that. The bible itself is an abridged version of at least six tomes that we can confirm and there were at least a few notable ones left out.

    Religion is a stubborn kind of nativity really, for most people it’s a way to emotionally deflect anything outside their “comfort zone”. Enjoy your blanket statements, a classic sign of somebody with no ground to stand on, most likely a “faux-intellectual”.

  • Guest

    This is a troll, right?

  • Eric Holp

    Does not describe any of the atheists in the image at the top.

  • Darrelx Baker

    These points are so spot on and the remarks below only prove it ha ha

  • Darrelx Baker

    “This article is hilariously ironic and self-refuting, not even worth responding to, but since I had the misfortune of landing on this waste of internet bandwidth, I should register a mistake in this comment. ”

    That actually proves point 3 ha ha

  • ialsoagree

    Kind of a silly statement, don’t you think?

    The article says “MIGHT be intellectually dishonest.”

    Not “definitely are”.

    Yes, the people below “might” be intellectually dishonest, but there’s nothing there to suggest they are.

    Unless you’re claiming that the article says that anyone who has any 1 of the above traits is DEFINITELY intellectually dishonest. In which case, you’re simply wrong.

    The whole reason this article is pointless is that it’s a list of traits that most atheists have at least 1 of, but doesn’t tell you how likely they are to be intellectually dishonest.

  • ialsoagree

    If you believe in any form of god, you might be intellectually dishonest.

    It’s true, you might be. It doesn’t mean you definitely are, but you might be.

  • ialsoagree

    Further, if you claim that penguins exist, you might be intellectually dishonest.

    That doesn’t mean you are intellectually dishonest, it just means that you might be. There are people who claim that penguins exist but are also intellectually dishonest.

  • Ash

    jack7, you are right! If the law allowed for such conjecture. But the law does not allow for murder under any circumstance so there can be no good reason for committing murder. So in order to excuse the actions of the murderer you would need to judge the law itself, but who has the authority to do such a thing as that!?

  • Jack7

    Someone has never heard of justified homicide. So false premise and you still managed to get pretty circular with it…

  • Jack7

    Also, humanity, as the lawmakers, have the authority to judge the laws. Hence the existence of legislatures, and, you know, judges.

  • James Johnson

    It’s funny but there is this facebook page called Atheism On The Slide and this article describes the admins perfectly.

  • illuvitus

    “Accepting the results of peer reviewed science does not qualify as an appeal to authority.”

    You don’t think appealing to the authority of a group of scientists is an appeal to authority?

  • Jack7

    You’re not appealing to the scientists. You apparently don’t k of what peer reviewed means. It means that even YOU could read the research and check the work. You could recreate the same results by performing your own experiments. In what sense is that an appeal to authority?

  • illuvitus

    “It means that even YOU could read the research and check the work. You could recreate the same results by performing your own experiments. In what sense is that an appeal to authority?”

    Go for it. Try to repeat the experiments of astrophysicists and molecular biologists. Go ahead.

    This is flailing of the highest order. You are clearly not repeating other people’s experiments. Very few experiments (practically none in “social sciences”) get repeated by anyone. So you and others are taking scientists on their authority as scientists.

    Once again, unless you personally run experiments, you are appealing to the authority of someone else who ran them. It’s an appeal to authority. Appeals to authorities are not always fallacious. That was the original point. And much to the waste of your flailing, it remains true.

  • Jack7

    Except those studies have still been repeated and reviewed by peers. Hence the term peer review. And they took notes and did math etc etc. And you can check all that. That is different than saying Dr. Whoever has PhD after his name so what he says is right. It’s VERY different.

  • illuvitus

    “Except those studies have still been repeated and reviewed by peers. Hence the term peer review. And they took notes and did math etc etc. And you can check all that. That is different than saying Dr. Whoever has PhD after his name so what he says is right. It’s VERY different.”

    First, Peer Review is not a guarantee of truth. In fact, it may in many cases be a guarantee of overconfidence. I suggest reading many of the articles on this site, starting with this one, and following the logic: http://wmbriggs.com/blog/?p=337

    Second, whether you trust the people who have done peer review or an individual himself, the fact is that without replicating something yourself, you trust the authority of someone else (plural in the case of peer review or singular in the case of an individual scientist).

    You simply can’t get away from this. Trusting in legitimate authority is not fallacious, so the argument is not whether someone trusts in authority, but whether authority in a particular case is valid.

  • Jack7

    Holy shit. I’m going to say this just one more time. There is a difference between a guy saying “I’m a scientist and I say this is this way and I’m right because I’m a scientist.” And “I’m a scientist, and this research supports the idea that this is caused by that and here’s all that research for you to look at”

  • illuvitus

    That’s all well and good, but I challenge you to find anywhere that I have said that “I’m a scientist and I say this is the way and I’m right because I’m a scientist” is a valid form of reasoning.

    Is it when I said that you’d have to explain the fact that there are Christians who are scientists? I would be interested to see you construct how this is an appeal to authority. I never said that Christianity is true because scientists believe it. I hinted that perhaps scientists believe it because it is true. You can’t have that; I understand. But it was not a fallacious appeal to authority.

  • Jack7

    ” I never said that Christianity is true because scientists believe it. I hinted that perhaps scientists believe it because it is true.”

    So you didn’t make an appeal to authority you were only alluding to one? Because unless that ends with the scientist presenting evidence for why Christianity is true, you’re just appealing to the fact that they’re a scientist. Or do you think you could replace scientist with plumber and make the same point? If so, you’ve failed to really say anything at all. If not, you’ve appealed to that authority. Which is interesting since plenty of scientists don’t accept Christianity which means you’d still have to see why different ones believe different things and then THOSE things are what you should have brought up to begin with. That’s how you can tell it’s a fallacy.

  • EvidenceBasedDecisions

    Oh the irony it BURNS !!!

  • EvidenceBasedDecisions

    Here are OVER A HUNDRED questions for Christians to ponder and reflect on (and for some reason DONT) :

    Morality – General

    If you invented your own god – what would it be like, what would the
    moral code be ? (e.g. would it endorse slavery ? would women be
    banned from teaching ?)

    If that (moral code) is different from the god that you worship, why do you worship that god ?

    Why are there so many starving people when your book claims that your god is omnipotent ?

    Why would a compassionate god torture non-believers just because they chose to be rational and demand evidence ?

    Why would god allow a murdering infanticidal rapist into heaven (as
    long as he repents), but take an atheist who has devoted his life
    to helping others (but does not believe) and send him to hell ?

    Why do you worship such a god ?

    Why does your god love slavery so much ?

    Why does your god hate women so much – and treat them as objects to be raped then bought for pieces of silver ?

    Why does your god hate children so much – and list a dozen different circumstances under which they can be killed ?

    Why did you god give man free will – then drown the planet for exercising it ?

    Why did god drown all the animals – what had they done wrong ?

    Why did god kill so many people in so many crusades over so many centuries ?

    Why did God destroy the world by floods, rather than just stop people ?

    Why does a god allow “unfixable” problems ? (rape, murder, fires, poisonings, drownings, child abuse etc etc etc)

    Can you name just ONE benefit that your religion brings that a secular society could not ?

    Morality – Examples

    Why are Christians over represented in prisons (compared to atheists) by a factor of 40 – 100 ? (depending on sect)

    Why do Christians divorce at a significantly higher rate than
    non-Christians – in particular, atheists ? [Evangelical Christians 34%,
    Atheists 21%]

    How can any book be the source of morality ?
    Society changes and embraces different values. If the Bible was
    acceptable 2,000 years ago, then by definition, it cant be
    acceptable today. Why doesn’t God to issue an updated version ?
    (which of course would be an admission that he was wrong 2,000
    years ago).

    Why, (assuming that homo sapiens has been around
    for 100,000 years) did God sit around for 98,000 years, while our
    species suffered and died of famine and from war, (most of its
    children dying in childbirth) doing nothing ? (from Hitchens)

    Why after 98,000 years of complete indifference did God say “That’s
    enough of that. It’s time to intervene,” and the best way to do
    this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere
    in the less literate parts of the Middle East rather than China
    where they are literate ? (from Hitchens).

    Why are so many Christian clerics convicted of crimes such as child abuse, murder, robbery etc ?

    Why does god kill so many babies ?

    Why does god abort so many foetuses ?

    Why did god create so many different types of illnesses ?

    Why did god create so many sick people ?

    Why did god create so many different types of mental disorders ?

    Why did god create so many people with mental disorders ?

    Why doesn’t your god heal amputees ?

    Prayer and Worship

    Why should a god demand to be worshipped ?

    Why does a god allow a problem to happen, then demand prayers to fix it ?

    Why are HALF the commandments committed to worshipping him ?

    Why should any compassionate god need worshipping ?

    Why no commandments about taking care of children, and equality for women ?

    The evidence shows that prayer doesn’t work – so why pray ?

    Why do you try to convert people – why don’t you just pray them to be Christian ?

    If you “have faith”, why do you go to hospital when sick – rather than just pray ?

    If god is omnipotent and omniscient, then prayer is telling god that he was wrong to create the problem, so why do it ?

    If god is omnipotent and omniscient, then prayer is telling god that
    your solution is better, Are you claiming to be better than a god ?

    Prayer violates the teachings of the gospels – so why do it ?

    Praying commits six deadly sins – so why do it ?

    Praying violates two commandments – so why do it ?

    The Bible say that prayer should be prvate – so why do you pray in public ?

    The Bible say that prayer should be prvate – so why do you demand the right to pray in public ?

    Why do you “pray” for atheists who have blasphemed – when your book says that they can NEVER be forgiven ?

    How does god choose between contradictory prayers ? (e.g. from
    opposing teams asking for theirs to win, when by definition at
    least half the prayer effort is pointless)

    Bible – Accuracy and Completeness

    Why are there so many scientific errors in the bible ? Shouldn’t the
    creator of the universe have some basic knowledge of astronomy,
    anatomy, physiology, mathematics etc ?

    Why is biblical knowledge limited to the geographical area where it was written ? (Why no mention of polar creatures, Australian Kangaroos, deep sea creatures or astronomical objects such as black holes ?)

    Why is biblical knowledge limited to past events ? Why no specific
    references to modern technology e.g. computers, cars, mobile phones
    ?

    Why are there so many incorrect prophecies ?

    Why is God such a poor communicator ? Shouldn’t there only be ONE
    Christian sect instead of a proliferation based on different
    interpretations ?

    Why has the infallible god made 1,000 biblical contradictions ?

    What does the bible say that cant be said about Superman or Harry Potter ?
    (If the claim is that the bible proves god, then Comics prove superman,
    and the Harry Potter books prove Harry Potter).

    Bible – Lexical Analysis

    The
    word “Care” appears only 54 times (KJV) but Enemy, Slay and Hate
    appear 109, 142, and 179 times (Respectively). Does that sound like
    a caring compassionate god ?

    The word “Worship” appears 188 times (KJV) but Afraid, Kill, and Sword appear 189, 208, and 404 times (Respectively). Does that sound like a caring compassionate god who cares more about others rather than himself ?

    The words “Love” and “Fear” appear 420 and 442 times (respectively)
    (KJV) but “Fear” appears 501 times. Does that sound like a caring
    compassionate god who cares more about others rather than himself ?

    The word “Pray” appears 508 times (KJV) but “Own” appears 561 times. Does that sound like a caring compassionate god who wants us to look
    after one another ?

    The word “God” appears 4094 times
    (KJV) – more than all the other words together. Does that sound
    like a caring compassionate god who cares more about others rather
    than himself ?

    Bible – Originality and Credibility

    Why are all the bible symbols (fish, trinity, cross, dove, serpent)
    just plagiarisms of other ancient religious symbols (e.g. Hindu) ?

    Why are all the bible myths (birth place of jesus, fall of man, jesus
    as alpha and omega, crucifixion, flood, exodus etc) just
    plagiarisms of other ancient religions (e.g. Hindu) ?

    Why are all the bible customs (baptism, circumcision … etc) just
    plagiarisms of other ancient religions (e.g. Hindu, Assyrian etc) ?

    Can you name a single myth, custom or symbol that is
    unique to Christianity – NOT found in ancient religions that predate
    Christianity ?

    Do you believe in ALL the bible rules ?
    [Slavery, not eating shellfish or pork, killing naughty children,
    no tattoos, no round haircuts, no divorce]

    Do you FOLLOW all those rules – even the ones you disagree with ?

    If the bible is the word of god, why don’t you follow all the rules, regardless of whether you agree with them ?

    If you reject even just ONE biblical rule – why ? Isn’t that the word
    of god aren’t you saying that you know better than god ?

    Are you against abortion ? The bible says that it is fine – so why are you against it ?

    Do you accept the fact of evolution ? The bible accepts it – so why do you reject it ?

    If you are female, why are you responding ? The bible says that your viewpoint is worthless.

    Evidence

    Why haven’t any of Jesus’ miracles left any evidence ?

    Why isn’t there evidence for Jesus existence ?

    Why does God want us to believe that HE created the universe, yet
    leave so much evidence for a natural creation (cosmogenesis) ?

    Why does God want us to believe that HE created life, yet leave so
    much evidence for the natural creation of life (abiogenesis) ?

    Why does God want us to believe that HE created the creatures, yet
    leave so much evidence for a natural creation of species
    (evolution) ?

    Why do so many Christian establishments suffer the
    same fate (e.g. destroyed by fire, destroyed by flood, shootings
    in church, shootings in Christian schools) as non Christian ?

    Why doesn’t a god provide clear evidence of his existence ?

    Why isn’t there even a single (unrefuted) philosophical argument for a deity ?

    How would the world look without your god ? If a godless universe
    would look exactly the same, why do you believe that a god exists ?

    So if there is compelling evidence for a “god-free” universe, isn’t it more rational not to believe in a god ?

    Why is it, that the better educated a person is, the more likely they are to be an atheist ?

    Why is it, that atheists score consistently better than theists on religious knowledge tests ?

    Faith & Knowledge

    Why does a god demand faith rather than evidence ?

    Why do you try to convert people who have blasphemed, when your book tells you that they can NEVER be forgiven ?

    If I say “1+1=3, I have faith” – does that make it true ?

    So is faith a good basis for knowledge ?

    If you “have faith”, why do you demand that religion be taught as “science” ?

    If you “have faith”, why do you seek medical help when sick – why not just pray ?

    So if there is no actual evidence for a god, no philosophical reason
    to believe in a god, and faith does not provide knowledge – so why
    do you believe ?

    Other Religions / Gods

    If you had been born in ancient Egypt, would you (still) be a Christian ? (hint, Christianity didn’t exist then)

    If you had been born in a modern Islamic country, what religion would you be ?

    If a Muslim had been born and raised as a Christian, what religion would he (she) be ?

    If you had been born on an remote island, with no religion, would you “invent” a god ?

    How do factors such as place and time of birth affect your religious belief ?

    If people came to independent conclusions about the existence of a
    particular god, would it be possible to draw a world map of
    religion ? (hint, such maps exist – why ?)

    Of the thousands of gods that have existed, why do you reject all the other gods ?

    Why can’t I apply your responses to (7) to your god – what is the difference ?

    Explicitly – What can you claim about your god that can’t be claimed for other gods ?

    Why has God allowed so many other religions to proliferate ?

    Why does every religion claim that THEIRS is the one true religion with the one true god ?

    Your is just one god in ten thousand – so at best you have a 0.0001 chance of being right – so why pick one ?

    There is only one Christian God but an infinite number of possible Gods who hate Christians – WHAT IF YOU ARE WRONG ?

    Why has God allowed so many atheists ?

    Why is God allowing atheism to grow faster than Christianity ?

  • Quite an amusing article – the average informed atheist knows the bible BETTER than does bible adherents… this is because we’ve actually read several versions of the book several times in the hope we’ll fine something worthwhile in it – in frustration and disgust at the stooge of of morals paid lip service there but the contrary revealed, we have systematically read our way through libraries of information.
    So – this article is really just a psychological projection by the faithfooled.

  • Ramon Casha

    I think the title graphic is intellectually dishonest – it contains the implication that Dawkins, Russell and Hitchens are intellectually dishonest with no argument to back that up.

  • Matthew Hunt

    To be honest, I see a LOT of these coming from christian fundamentalists. I like to read the creationist literature to see what kind of arguments the so-called “creation scientists” come up with and I try to engage them as often as possible but they won’t want to talk to an actual scientist. That’s the problem. Just look at the debate of Ken Ham and Bill Nye???

  • Avadon

    Highly skeptical as to the motives of such an article. Probably written by a butthurt theist.

  • robert

    Quote:

    Atheists typically don’t claim anything to 100% certainty, and are open to new evidence on these matters.

    Are you 100% certain of this?

    Hahaha….

    Of course they do…I’ve talked to literally dozens and dozens who do.

  • Phil Stilwell

    A infidel responds.

    1. I listen to over 5 hours a week of apologetics podcasts. I’ve never met a christian who listened to over 5 hours of atheistic podcasts/audiobook a week.

    2. Believers are no more stupid than I was for believing in Jesus for 25 years.

    3. I get angry only about being misrepresented by dishonest christians following a script and not listening to what I am actually saying. So I’m angry quite often.

    4. “Rationality” is a real concept. Some people who have spent years filtering logical fallacies and cognitive biases out of their arguments call themselves rational. They have earned this right, and the notion that calling themselves rational is indicative of irrationality is itself an irrational notion.

    5. If you are new to the game of rationality, you ought to be cautious about being overconfident about the folly of the opposing position. But after you’ve spent years hearing the same apologitic fallacies uttered over and over, well… Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised by the rare solid argument from those who have offered little but fallacies, but don’t think years of earned confidence is anything to be ashamed of.

    6. Correct. And don’t think someone calling your position silly is an ad hominem. It may be that your position is indisputably silly.

    7. Correct. And don’t quote bible verses such as Hebrews 11:1 as an answer to what faith is unless you are prepared to explain what the verse actually means. If you can’t reconcile god’s soverignty and free will, stop pretending that your faith it is clear in the mind of god is an acceptable answer.

    8. Correct. But don’t assume the atheist has the burden of proof for the god question. The fact that non-believers can honestly say “I don’t know” is not a point for any incoherent position you hold.

    9. I’ve yet to see non-believers shelter their children from books on all sides of the argument. Now survey the restrictions christian parents place on the exposure to atheistic arguments.

    If you are a christian who practices these 9 points, you are will on your way to discovering the beauty of honest thought and a life without faith. Faith is not your friend.

  • SoFunny

    Wwwwwooooooww!!! Laughing so hard over here!!

  • TheThirdHelix

    Thanks for validating this blog entry with a demonstration…

  • Scott Collins

    1. I watch and read plenty of things that I disagree with or don’t fit my would view, the Bible would be one of them. 2. I don’t automatically assume people who disagree with me are stupid. Sometimes they are ignorant, sometimes I’m ignorant. The stupid ones are those that will not ever see reason and argue for ignorance. 3. What would be the point of getting angry with someone I’m arguing with, unless they are arguing for ignorance and then what the point of having a conversation? 4.When did reason, logic and freethinking become wrong? 5. When I ask a question I usually want an answer, but I already know the reason to the question “Why does God allow suffering” and there are two possible answers that fit perfect (a) God is awful; it says so in the Bible or (b) There is no God and bad shit just happens. 6.Why you weasley piece of scum sucking crap…just kidding. 7. How funny, I can’t think of a single Atheist quote. I literally sat here for about 10 minutes and nothing. hmm, 8. For certain I know that statement is not true because you can’t prove a negative, the person making a positive claim is the one that has the burden of proof…wait, I think that’s an Atheists quote. 9. Number nine is just sad. I would hope all people would have a rational reason for what they believe, otherwise you end up being duped into believing things that aren’t true. The funny thing about this whole article is, that I have experience most or all of 1 through 9 by most Christians.

  • Tyler Danger Weston

    1. You only read/watch what you already agree with.

    With the rise of the internet, people are able to choose what news they get, creating something called the false-consensus effect. We all do it to varying degrees, but if this was directed at the people in the picture, the 2 people I recognise have both read the bible, and 1 of them, Christopher Hitchens, can quote the thing frontways and back. If this is just a broad statement, then technically that could be true, but coming from a church that told us not to do our own research on evolution because it’s the devil’s trap, I think we know which side wins that one.

    2. “People who disagree with me are stupid!”

    If that is your only defense against opposing ideas that is intellectually dishonest. It doesn’t really apply to the people shown in the picture though, they’ve both called people stupid, but these were during hour-long debates and not used as a defense tactic. You can be intellectually honest and still call someone stupid, as long as you can explain why. I haven’t heard the name “Magic Sky Clown” but I have heard “Sky Daddy”, I suppose the writer avoided that one because it’s a little too effective at pointing out the ridiculousness of the concept. Either way, as long as you can explain your argument without belittling jokes, you don’t have to refrain from saying them lol

    3. You get angry with those who disagree.

    Well, everyone gets frustrated sometimes but, “You convince yourself that your anger is righteous at how immoral their viewpoint is”? That’s some of the most blatant projection I’ve ever seen lol

    4. You use words like ‘rational’ and ‘logical’ and ‘free-thinking’ to describe yourself.

    “calling yourself logical and rational doesn’t somehow magically transform all your ideas into logical, rational ideas.” Well, that’s true, but that makes no argument to the contrary.

    5. You deliver statements as though they are questions.

    “A question like ‘How could God allow so much suffering?’ is a good question, but it doesn’t automatically follow that he wouldn’t”. This doesn’t even make sense. The title implies some sort of hedging by avoiding making statements and only asking questions, but the description doesn’t back that up at all in fact it uses a perfectly valid question as an example, and ironically, avoids answering it.

    “Have you considered that maybe you’re using the question to shield yourself from the answer?” What does that mean? It sounds like he’s implying there’s some evil side to god we’re trying not to acknowledge lol I’m not sure even the author knows what he’s saying on this one.

    6. You use ad-hominem attacks.

    That’s true, using ad-hominems is intellectually dishonest, not sure how this relates to atheism other than just to imply they use them, but indirectly so he doesn’t have to have any examples to back up the claims. In other news, Fox News says SOME people are concerned if Obama is a Muslim.

    7. You quote famous atheists, without being able to back up their arguments.

    Throwing out quotes on a subject you don’t have a good understanding of is more naive, pushing the truth of the quotes without being able to back it up is intellectually dishonest. “An example of this would be ‘You’re an atheist when it comes to Zeus. Atheists just go one God further’. How would you respond when informed that this is a joke, not an argument? What’s your follow-up argument?” That’s not a joke, sometimes people are so entrenched in their belief of God that they literally cannot comprehend not believing and either secretly or publicly think atheists are lying or in denial. Showing how easy it is to assume Zeus isn’t real is an attempt at getting those people to understand it is possible to truly not believe in the God they believe in too.

    8. You use generic catch-all phrases which show your poor hand.

    “‘Everybody knows Jesus never existed’, or ‘It’s a scientific fact that science has disproven God’ work here”. Lol yes, using either of these as an argument would be intellectually dishonest.

    9. You never really critique your own beliefs.

    Well since atheism is a lack of belief that’s impossible. I can consider why don’t I believe what the author believes, but that’s critiquing his beliefs, which, assuming he believes the bible, is probably pretty easy. “Are your reasons for rejecting other worldviews equally rational, or does the idea of a God who has more power than you simply create a negative emotional reaction, which you then reject?” Looking at the bigger picture and seeing the evolution of religion makes it pretty easy to not take whatever current forms exist as actual truth. Once religion is out of the picture it’s just a question of were we specifically created by some intelligent omnipotent being that made things to look like they naturally occurred and leaves no direct evidence or communication with us? Or did they naturally occur? All signs point to B, no ulterior motive needed.

    All in all this was a somewhat uninformed article, about 90% unabashed psychological projection.But kudos for leaving the comment section uncensored

  • Apologetics 105

    Good article!

  • Eypi Freeley

    I’m amused at how Trey and the other atheists in the comments section reinforce #6 on the list, using ad-hominem attacks. Well played, you guys, well played.

  • Johnnie

    How is it possible that two groups of educated, modern people can look at the evidence for the Resurrection claim of Jesus of Nazareth and come to such very different conclusions? How can educated Christians see the evidence for the Resurrection as so overwhelming that it is not worth their time to seriously question it, while educated Jews, Muslims, atheists, and others, find the evidence for this supernatural claim so pathetically poor and down right ridiculous?

    It really is baffling to me.

    Christians have frequently accused me of not believing because I don’t want to believe; that there is some ulterior motive for my deconversion from the Christian religion; that I have rejected the supernatural without sufficient evidence to do so. However, what then is the reason for the non-belief of Jews and Muslims in this supernatural claim? These groups certainly believe in supernatural acts of God. Why do these groups see the evidence for the Resurrection claim as so unconvincing? It can’t be because they don’t believe in the supernatural. Do Christians seriously believe that Jews and Muslims actually do see how strong the evidence is for the Resurrection claim, but, they have conspired to deny it, as they too have an ulterior motive for rejecting it??

    This is my challenge for Christians: Demand the same level of evidence for the Resurrection claim as you would apply to the supernatural claims of any other religion.

    For instance, would you believe a new religion’s claim that their recently deceased prophet flew through the air like a jet airplane just because:

    1. Their holy book points to passages in the Hebrew Bible that appear to “prophesy” about the coming of this flying prophet.

    2. The people who are converting to this new religion are people who do not believe in flying prophets, so for them to believe it, something really spectacular must have occurred to convince them that this prophet did fly.

    3. The founders of this new religion are willing to endure persecution and even death in defense of their claim of a flying prophet.

    4. The new religion spreads rapidly even under intense persecution.

    5. The new religion has the written statement of one deceased man who says he saw the flying prophet himself on a deserted desert highway, and, that someone told him that 500 people, at the same time, in the same place, also saw the flying prophet.

    6. And there is much more similar “evidence” for this religion’s claim of a flying prophet.

    Would all of this “evidence” convince you that this new religion really did have a flying prophet? Seriously dear Christian, what evidence would you require to believe that a modern day man can fly through the air, without any mechanical assistance, at the speed and altitude of a jet airplane?

    THAT is how we non-believers view your claim that a dead and decomposing first century man in Palestine was reanimated by an ancient middle-eastern god to walk out of his grave, hang out with his friends for forty days, and then levitate into outer space.

  • Joe’s World.

    I also have to agree with Utar. Though I think I’d have to go a little further. Most of the items on this list are things we see more from theists than atheists.