Good Reading Skills
Over at Jennifer Fulwiler’s NCR blog, we have an atheist who styles himself Duke York that has demonstrated his extremely careful and meticulous reading skills when he says this:
You don’t really think about your beliefs; you just assert them as a tribal marker. If you claim to believe these ridiculos things, you have the safety of being in a majority and license to condemn an out-group (atheists now, although you Catholics got plenty of mileage against the Jews. How did that work out again?.)
Since it’s Jen’s blog, then I assume he’s addressing her directly. This is absolutely laughable. Asserting that Jen doesn’t think deeply about her beliefs can only mean one thing: York read the article, but never tried to figure out who wrote it.
This is laughable for one reason: Jen used to be an atheist! She has written about how she thought through the issues and realized that belief in God is warranted and rational. Evidence and logic brought her to that conclusion! (summary of that journey)
But, you can’t tell the Duke anything about Christians. When people in the thread sarcastically find it amazing that Duke knows exactly what they think, he replies:
I know what you think because you’re a Christian. If you’re a Catholic, you literally have no choice about what you believe. That choice would make you a heretic, which, after all, comes from the Greek for “choice”. If you’re choosing, you’re doing it wrong.
In other words, “I’ve made up my mind and I’m not listening anymore.” Can’t argue with that. Fortunately, as has been proven again and again, my atheist readers aren’t this close-minded and ignorant. Thank God for that.
Question: Why do some atheists think that by virtue of being an ex-Christian they know everything about Christianity, Christian thought, and orthodox theology? I’m an ex-Catholic, and though I know quite a bit about Catholic theology, I’d never claim that I know everything. There’s quite a bit I don’t know, and I’m willing to learn (I have a few hardcore Catholic friends on Facebook that help me learn; thank you Sean Hutton and Ross Earl Hoffman!).
But certain atheists are unwilling to learn about Christian thought and theology. They know what they know, and what they know is “right.” When the Christian points out where the atheist is mistaken, the atheist just puffs his chest out and asserts that the Christian is wrong–without explaining why.
When I used to be an assistant manager at Burger King, customers would occasionally lecture me on BK policies and procedures. Usually when they didn’t like whatever had just happened. The customer’s “expertise” on BK derived from working at a BK in a different state for six months–20 years ago. He would have a shallow grasp of procedures at best, and based on his current age, would have been 15 at the time of employment. I seriously doubt he cared a lick about learning BK policies in the first place. In other words, he wouldn’t have a clue what he was talking about.
It’s the same thing here. Atheists who are ex-Christians usually had a shallow understanding of Christian issues to begin with, but as far as they’re concerned this flawed understanding is right while my deeper and more studied application of Christian thought is wrong. If I say otherwise, they yell some random logical fallacy at me (which never applies, by the way: and the top 3 are ad hominem, special pleading, and no true Scotsman) and I never hear from them again.