By Al Stefanelli
“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
-- Carl Sagan
Palms, they are everywhere, waiting to slap the faces of reasoned individuals all over the world. Rising out of the these situations are those that elicit a most painful hand print. Blatant cases of pots meeting kettles. The plethora of emotions and speed at which they pass through my consciousness is unequaled in the world of facepalming. First there is shock, then amusement, then understanding, then ire and finally the almost uncontrollable urge to bitch-slap someone naked into next week and hide their clothes before they get there.
By now, you have probably guessed that I am referring to those fundamentalists who hurl projected accusations at Atheists. Think of all the characteristics of the fundamentalist and try to recall a time or two when you, an Atheist, have been labeled as such.
Here is a short list of some of the things we have been called:
- Close Minded
- Satan’s Footsoldier
- Devil Worshiper
- Mentally Ill
These are but a few… One of the main qualifiers for religious belief is the refusal to actually question what one is told. We call this “Blind Faith“, and it is apparent when you consider that there exist actual church signs that read “Reason is the enemy of faith“. When blind faith is combined with a lack of real knowledge in an arena of debate, argument or discussion, the result is not what you would call an intelligent discourse. You end up with the fundamentalist replying like a child in a schoolyard scrap instead of an intelligent adult, mainly because they don’t know any better. I enjoy a healthy debate with a person of faith, because as wrong as I believe them to be, they present their arguments in a format that engenders the desire to represent in as an intelligent fashion as possible. I call this “adult conversation”
Arguing with a fundamentalist is like arguing with a child. The Atheist will usually make a statement, back it up with reason and offer a couple of examples and empirical evidence. This is an “Argument From Reality“. The fundamentalist will usually reply with a straw man, red herring or some other logical fallacy, which I call an “Argument From Delusion.“
They can’t help it, people. They don’t know any better. their indoctrination has generally stifled a proper education and the inevitable lack of a healthy sense of skepticism has retarded their intellectual growth to the point where they are little more than petulant children, which I call “Chewtoys.“ There is no debating these people. There’s no possibility of diplomacy. They have no desire to illicit an intelligent conversation. They exist primarily to spew forth their vomitous condemnations in all their willfully ignorant glory. They have poor communication skills and are left only with a child-like projection of their own shortcomings, which they hurl all willy-nilly at their opponents which result in the ensuing facepalms performed by the reasoned of the world, as stated above.
So, while I will continue to engage in intelligent discourse with people of faith, I will also continue to chew up and spit out religious fundamentalists like the polemic pit bull that I am. Why? Because it’s fun, and besides, we don’t do it in order to make ourselves look superior, but because exposing fundamental religionists as the ignorant, childish, intellectually retarded, mentally deficient tyrants that many of them are is also a public service, and we are all about public service…