A few weeks ago I came accross a woman who decided that she would post her daily devotionals in what was then an almost entirely secular group in the sense that no one else had ever thought to post religous topics, though I still have no idea how many believers vs non believers there are in the group. The theme of the online group was "a few good women" and I would imagine she felt that in order to be considered a good woman, she would show everyone how strong her faith in god and Christ is. She'd go on about how Christ gives her strength and brings love and wisdom into her life. It was really just the typical, fuzzy Christian rhetoric that most of you have probably heard ad nauseam. If it were just the one instance of this woman professing her Jeebus-love and proselytizing, I'd just let it ride but it was becoming a regular topic of discussion.

While I knew that posting an opposing viewpoint would draw a lot of criticism and would end in most of the other people in the group labeling me the "angry atheist", I decided that I would roll the dice and accept the consequences. Yes... ladies and gentlemen, I decided to play CAPTAIN ATHEIST! Once my mind was made up I sprang into action countering her empty, emotive, fallacious assumptions with logic, reasoning, and truth be told a bit of naughty sarcasm (as is customary to less tactful fools like me).

At first she tried to retaliate! She very naively posted an oversimplified version of the watchmaker argument and then threw in a bit of Pascal's wager for good measure. She must have been flooded with feelings of self righteousness and "Holy Ghost" empowerment because she ended with the time tested, "my faith is unshakeable!" After a chuckle or two I pounced right on her overconfident banter and completely disassembled her arguments (not that it was difficult) in several different ways so as to show her that she was as fractally wrong as it is possible to be for a conscious, sentient being. After I cleverly trounced her arguments, I also felt compelled to point out that her ending statement about her faith being "unshakeable" is a proclamation of a close-minded philosophy that begins and ends with empty dogma. When you exclude your views from scrutiny and ignore a well reasoned, logical argument against them, you shut off the very mechanism that would have otherwise allowed you to learn, grow and flourish in the clarity of true wisdom.

It ended with her posting, "blah, blah, blah... what you say can never shake my faith" and at that point; at the point where all intelligent discourse had been forsaken, I pointed out that, "blah, blah, blah" had little in the way of content to respond to and considered the discussion ended. Oddly enough only one or two other people from the group tried to come to her aid and argued worse, but I was also pleasantly surprised when I found out that there were two other atheists or agnostics in the group and after it was all said and done I received more respect and praise from other group members and not the alienation that I expected. Signs of hope? I think so...but CAPTAIN ATHEIST's work isn't quite done. My hat's off to all of you, who at one time played CAPTAIN ATHEIST too, some at a great personal cost and others purely for entertainment. Play hard, play well my fellow die-hard combatants!

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Comment by Bimmerella on October 16, 2010 at 12:15am
I need you to help me with my facebook page!!! I'm getting pretty friggin fed up with " jeeesus this, and jeeeesus that". Then I get angry because I can't open profess how stupid these people sound with their invisible sky entity they credit for all of the "blessings" in their lives instead of their own hard work. I live in TN, the butt crack of the bible belt. I'm pretty isolated here, and I own my own business, and being openly atheist, would definitely hurt my business. This makes me even more pissed off that I have to sit back and listen to their bullshit, but what...I can't say what's on MY mind because it might offend their delusion??
I am being subtle about it, but I have an evolve fish hanging in my car, and a flying spaghetti monster ring I wear quite a bit.
I think I'm just going to have to ease people into accepting I am atheist, and still a good person who doesn't eat babies...lol even though that is complete crap and I shouldn't have to ease anyone into accepting I am what I am....
Comment by Shamar on April 22, 2009 at 9:50am
Good job Dionysus....I feel the need sometimes to step in and wage that type of argument in the same way. It can be quite fun when they get all flustered, as they always do, and revert to that dogmatic "you can't shake my faith". I just find that hilarious......
Comment by Dionysus on April 20, 2009 at 7:09pm
Thanks for your comments and to be honest, apart from the idignation of having to get pounded with daily devotionals, I did feel I had come to a crossroads. The choice of whether or not to fade back, grin and bare it or respond boldly and the possibility of being ostricized as a result forcing me to choose as many of us choose countless times throughout our lives. After all I was not participating in a relgious or non religious group but rather a place where god and religion almost never came up. I didn't want to seem petty but I damn well had enough of the sugarcoated, pious Christian, emotional slop that was trying to pass itself off as sincere dialogue. LOL! I guess I just popped... the way a balloon pops when you fill it with too much air.
Comment by Angie Jackson on April 20, 2009 at 5:32pm
Ah daily devotionals. Rituals are so important to faith, because if you're not constantly pounding dogma into your head, you might realize it's all bollocks. I had a CAPTAIN ATHEIST debate poolside this weekend with the other parents - it was grand. In the end my opponent (and friend) told me I had made him think about things a bit more and that he would start researching his faith.
Comment by Dre Smith on April 20, 2009 at 3:46pm
Sometimes I pick arguments just for fun when i am bored online. Nothing wrong with that at all, some of these people need to be brought back down to reality and made to deal with the consequences of their beliefs. I just have this natural built bullshit gag reflex and when I hear too much of it around me I simply go on a mission to lay waste and destroy their arguments and not leaving a single survivor in my wake. The only way you can become sharper in your arguments is actually practicing them in live public forums. Only thing I would say is that you have got to go after bigger game to truly test your skills.
Comment by Dionysus on April 20, 2009 at 3:20pm
I realize this is just a silly rant but at the same time a bit cathartic for me. A bit of guilty pleasure brings out the catholic upbringing and resulting guilt with the need to confess. LOL!



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