There are lies, damn lies, and then there's religious leaders talking about what it is to be an atheist

Get a load of this guy:

I took the time to register on the site just to give him and that community a piece of mind and I hope you'll do the same.

To me, this kind of blatant deceit and misinformation is the sign of insecurity. It's funny, sad, and anger-inducing all at the same time.

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Saw your comment there.  Well put.

The kind of BS that site and others spew out about atheism is a typical straw man.  Many believers cannot come to terms with what atheism is and who atheists are, so they have to invent an ersatz boogieman to throw darts at and vilify.  The Jehovah's Witnesses who came to my door a couple years back had never actually MET an atheist until they arrived here, and I'm fairly certain they were taken aback by the smiling and polite person (if I do say so myself!) who told them that, in the words of Carl Sagan, "I don't want to believe; I want to KNOW."  It's propaganda, plain and simple, and your observation that it doesn't serve them or their interactions with atheists was precisely on point.

Welcome to the gang, Lightnin'.  We're glad to have you here!

Glad you dug it, Loren!

I think that it's important to interject some semblance of objectivity/reality into echo chamber discussions like the ones that occur on that site. I always try to do it in a respectful and compassionate manner, though.

Sadly, I've run into quite a few theist blogs, Facebook pages, and YouTube channels that force the echo chamber environment by selectively moderating comments. It's really quite sad. I think that my favorite, documented example is Wintery Knight's blog: (this guy is a real piece of work).

Fortunately, it looks like the Kendall Harmon site doesn't operate in that manner.

Hahaha! Nice.  I don't mean to be 'in your face' to any christians but you gave them something to chew on, that if they actually listen to anything other than what a priest has to say.

Yep, in your face isn't my style unless someone is purposefully attacking or baiting me.

And even then, I try to remain calm, respectful, and compassionate.

It's not always easy, though ; )

My cousin told me that his minister did a sermon on atheists. He said that most atheists have "father issues." Rebel against father god as we rebel against our earthly father. My cousin noted that I have father issues and I am an atheist. My cousin never learned about inferring causation from correlation. I told him that most atheists are also right handed. I am atheist and I am right handed.

I also noted that the absolute best predictor of atheism is IQ. The higher the IQ, the greater likelihood of becoming atheist. The lower the IQ, the greater likelihood of religiosity. I worked in the field for many years and I never met a mentally retarded atheist. 

Point well-taken, but I'm not 100% sure that your last assertion is backed up by all of the available empirical evidence.

The studies I've seen suggest that intelligence is not highly correlated with atheism.

Moreover, I know plenty of uber smart people that either were or are still theistic. It's not an intelligence thing. It's a compartmentalization and indoctrination thing.

Here is one of the studies on IQ and atheism:

It doesn't mean that there won't be high IQ theists or low IQ atheists, just that there is a significant correlation. Just because I never met a mentally retarded person who was atheist doesn't mean it couldn't happen.

The only disputing studies I found were from religious, rather than scientific journals. Here is one:

Critical thinking and objective analytic skills would likely be a better correlate to atheism than general IQ. However, general IQ likely correlates to critical thinking and objective analytic skills.... Round and round.

I understand correlation and did see that study (and acknowledge it) but as you know, there needs to be a whole hell of a lot more correlational data than that before we can assert the results of that study as factual in any real sense.

Also, I do need to correct myself in that what I meant to say is that there appear to be many other factors involved with intelligence being just one (and not necessarily the primary one). For example, this study just came out this week:

I still stand by my assertion that being a theist has more to do with indoctrination and other subtle mental processes more so than raw intelligence, but I definitely agree that critical thinking skills like skepticism are key. My contention is that critical thinking skills are just that, skills that need to be learned and incorporated, preferably at a young age. They are not innate. 

Enjoying the conversation.

"Enjoying the conversation." Me too... I don't really disagree with anything you've said. And, indoctrination is probably a HUGE factor. My view is likely skewed by my own transformation from "born again" to rational  ;-)

I'm right there with you, brother. Was heavily indoctrinated leading to being "born again" at 14 and then again at around 18 (the second time was an LSD induced trip down god lane).

It wasn't until my thirties that I finally felt comfortable shedding the whole kit and kaboodle. 

Indoctrination sucks.

True that... I gradually moved from Christianity, to sort of New Age spiritualism, to Buddhism (American style), and finally to existential atheism. Looooong slow trip. 

Had a similar path. Christianity followed by reading up on various Eastern religions followed by a fairly long stint with Advaitist Hindu philosophy (pretty cool stuff on non-dualism but ultimately unfalsifiable) and then settled into the beauty, awe, and humblingly beautiful scientifically skeptical uncertainty that is atheism.




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