Friday, May 20, 2016

She's baaaaaaack!

For those of you who have followed my past posts about the debates and Facebook conversations I've had with my overly Catholic sister-in-law, we got into it a bit again on Facebook this week. Every once in a while, she will post something that takes a jab at atheism or atheists or science. When she posts her religious crap I just ignore it, but when she posts false shit about the aforementioned topics, I come down from the high road and let her know I'm out here and she's wrong.

This week, she posted that stupid meme that has a header on top that says ATHEISM and below it there is this tripe about the belief that there once was absolutely nothing, and nothing happened to the nothing until the nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything, everywhere. And then dinosaurs ... yada, yada, yada. I'm sure you can find the meme somewhere but it's not worth posting here.

So, I thought about ignoring it, but then I saw a few people had liked it. On her FB page, she has in all likelihood, two atheists that follow her, that she knows of: me and my wife. That's when I decided I had to dive in and give her shit, because she knows basically we are the only two people she could be posting this for and the fact the people were liking it meant I couldn't just let it go. These people might actually now believe that is what atheism is. So here is our exchange.

ME: As always, you post something that is completely false. If we were debating, I would point out that this meme is full of fallacies. Good thing we don't debate anymore, huh?

HER: Ok, what are the fallacies? Have scientists figured it out? The how and why?

ME: Well, the biggest ignorance in this meme is that what it describes has NOTHING to do with atheism. After all these years, I thought you would have known that by now. What this childish meme attempts to do in a handful of pathetic unfunny sentences is describe the Big Bang and origin of life, both of which have NOTHING to do with atheism. Did I say that before? That's because it bears repeating. There are plenty of atheists who have no idea how everything began and are even skeptical of the Big Bang. You see, there is nothing wrong with saying "I don't know" when you don't know. It's a much better way to live an honest life than to pretend the answer is a god, which is the God of the Gaps fallacy. The meme commits quite a few fallacies, but I think you get the point. NOTHING it says is true about atheism.

HER: Kind of like the science and religion fallacy. There are some Christian denominations that believe the two can't and don't coexist. There are also atheists who would and do argue the very point made above. I've watched them on YouTube. I am not one of those Christians who discount science and you are an atheist who admits he just doesn't know. Can you say that all atheists will answer that way?

ME: You never stay on point, especially when I show you how wrong what you post is. The point is, this entire meme is a joke and has nothing to do with atheism. It's wrong, 100 percent. While there are atheists that believe stuff like we came from "nothing" that still is not what atheism is. This meme conflates about three schools of thought, and gets all of them wrong. Would you like me to hold you accountable for the origin beliefs of all theists? Seems unfair, huh?

HER: It's absolutely unfair and is done all the time against Christians. However, I freely admit that there are Christians out there who's (sic) views I don't agree with. I also believe there are Athiests out there that you and I don't agree with and I believe this meme is directed at them.

ME: It's just a horribly ignorant overly simplistic meme that doesn't even understand the nomenclature, science or beliefs and couldn't be more wrong. There is no asterisk or disclaimer that says, "Some atheists think," it says Atheism, and that's the trouble with ignorance. It just spreads more ignorance so more people who are already ignorant have their ignorance reaffirmed. Atheism is the lack of belief in gods. Period.

At this point, she posts two memes in the comments, one is a picture of a cratered moon or planet and it says: "If natural disasters are the wrath of God, why does he keep punishing uninhabited planets and moons?" The other one is a picture of a handwritten note that says, "There is no problem too big for god to solve," with another pic below it of a starving, dying Ethiopian boy with his ribs showing that says, "Then WTF is this?"

Below these memes her comments continue...

HER: Talk about over simplifying, ignorantly.

ME: So, I'm not sure, are you combating these memes with YOUR ignorant memes as a way of striking some sort of social-media balance? Do you subscribe to the "Two wrongs make a right" philosophy? I've said my piece and we could do this forever. I just wanted to make it clear that the original meme is pure trash and it couldn't be more wrong. I only hope the people who see your feed and nodded at this ridiculous post will read these comments so they can be educated.

I wanted it to end here, as you can tell, but it was far from over.

HER: Oh stop! Stop thinking you're so much more intelligent than people who believe in God. Really, stop. There are just as many ignorant Athiests as there are Christians. That's my point.

ME: I wasn't the one who posted this meme, I merely pointed out its ignorance. Any interpretation you've read into it beyond that is completely on you.

HER: I was reacting to your comment that the people reading this needed to be educated. I think the friends liking this meme can make up their own minds about atheism on their own without you educating them. I don't think any of them appreciate your suggestion that they need to be educated

ME: What I meant by that was, if they had read that meme and agreed with it, they were agreeing with something that was completely false. So, if they read my comments correcting this meme, then they would have learned the truth, and that is the very definition of being educated on a subject. No insults on them at all and no assumption that I'm smarter than them.

HER: How can you say it's completely false? Do you speak for all atheists? You can find video after video on YouTube of atheists making these very claims and arguments. It's a meme regarding their ideas. I don't take memes regarding ignorant Christians personally because I know that's not me. I'm sure most of the likes on this post think the same.

ME: You're killing me, Smalls. The meme is NOT what atheism is. Not at all. How many times can I explain this? The meme is wrong. Atheism is the lack of belief in gods and, in my case, the supernatural, too. That is it. The effluvium in this meme is a sarcastic attempt at humor regarding the Big Bang and the origin of life, neither of which has ANYTHING to do with atheism. Any statement to the contrary is just perpetuating a lie and promoting ignorance. I don't have to speak for all atheists, but when I'm telling you the definition of what atheism is, yes, I'm speaking for all atheists. Not one atheist says atheism is this idiotic meme. You will never find an atheist, or any educated person, say this meme defines what atheism is.

HER: It's a meme. QTIP (this means quit taking is personally). I get your lack of belief. For every believer there is a hint of doubt and for every nonbeliever there is a hint of doubt. That's a fact. Are you trying to say that there are no self described atheist out there who are just basically mad at religion and/or God? Hence the attacks against God and religion memes. If I remember correctly that's where you started. If it's ok to say you "just don't know" how can you be so sure there isn't a higher being, source, power, whatever you want to call it? Scientists haven't found a source or cause for why the universe came into existence. They haven't been able to disprove a higher whatever, so why not just say you don't know if there is a God or not? Is it because that would make you agnostic and it might look like your being swayed?  Don't worry, we won't bring holy water and incense to your house if you admit you're agnostic. LOL!

ME: There are so many things wrong with your last post I don't even know where to begin, and yes, your fallacies are showing. But since you posted this meme and thought THAT was atheism, it doesn't surprise me. Atheism and agnosticism are NOT mutually exclusive. In fact, agnosticism can pertain to any subject when used non-religiously. Theism is the belief that gods exists, atheism is the opposite. The word gnostic means knowledge as it pertains to a subject, so agnostic means the opposite. I am an agnostic atheist. You are an agnostic theist. Belief and knowledge are not the same thing. I don't think anyone could ever be gnostic about anything, to be honest.

It's like it's 2013 all over again and you've forgotten everything we discussed. You are still using classic yet poor apologetics. First of all, scientists don't try to disprove a higher power, nor will they EVER try. Why would anyone try to disprove something doesn't exist? Try to disprove there isn't an invisible dragon living in my Honda.

We've been over this before yet you still return to these same points. Just because scientists don't know something doesn't mean they should leave open the possibility that a god did it. How silly is that? If that were the attitude we had always taken, nothing would ever have gotten accomplished in science and we'd still be wondering where the rain and thunder come from. It's your textbook god of the gaps fallacy. It's also you trying to shift the burden of proof. It's not on science to disprove your god.

You know, your hypocrisy toward science is quite alarming. On the one hand, you'll give all kinds of credit to the RCC for being a major proponent of science in its infancy and say you're not one of those Christians who doesn't embrace science, while on the other hand you take swipes at science ALL of the time on here, including this trashy meme, and try to give the credit to some god that you freely admit you have a "hint of doubt" about.

And asking me to not take it personally is hilarious. In the beginning of this thread, I only told you the meme was ignorant, which it still is. You're the one who keeps adding other points to discuss. And every time you do that, I keep bringing the discussion back on point. Follow our comments, I never made it personal, you did. But then again, how can I not take it personally? How many friends do you have on Facebook who have told you they are an atheist? I can only assume it's just a few. And being one of those atheists, when you post something ridiculous about atheism, how can I not take that as being directed at us? So when you post ignorance about atheism, how can I not respond?

And no, my atheism didn't come from a place of anger. You're confusing my atheism with my anti-theism. While it's true I once had a sour religious experience, I never liked religion from Day 1. But my atheism has nothing to do with that. How can I be angry at something I don't believe exists? Are you angry at the dragon that lives in my Honda? It's just a silly ignorant statement. Just like your meme.

HER: Just for clarification, I have a high regard for science despite what you think comes across in my posts. If a person lives in a bubble and doesn't want to see other's point of view, that person will never see beyond what they want to see. It's true for everyone. Holocaust deniers are a good example. There is plenty of proof and witnesses, but they will never look at it or listen to the evidence. There would be no way to convince them of anything different from what they want to believe because they don't want to believe differently. I do have a hard time with scientists who have an agenda and will twist evidence and outcomes for money or glory or whatever. I don't think you can honestly say that's never happened or still doesn't happen. I think I have a healthy skepticism, but I'm always open to learning and looking at proof and listening to witnesses. I've changed my views on many subjects  because I keep an open mind.

Back to the meme. I apologize for posting it as it was offensive to you.

ME: Thanks. And it wasn't so much offensive as it was just wrong. Love you, see you Sunday.

Her last post was probably more comical than the others because if you knew her, you would know she is about as skeptical as a sheep. And don't listen to her, she bashes science every chance she gets and only when she tries to give her god and church the credit does she accept scientific discovery.

She really has no clue as to how clueless she really is.

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