For a number of years now I have been participating in discussions regarding religion and atheism as well as reading books and articles on the same subjects. I have been encouraged by many people to publish my thoughts either in book form or online. After reading so many other source materials that did not seem to do an adequate job of refuting religion and the claims of the religious, I decided that maybe these people were correct, maybe I do have something to contribute to this debate.
Many of the commentators seem to be unable to cut to the quick of religious arguments. I suspect this is because many of them are afraid to do so. Religion is built on fear. Not just the fear of the believer, but also the fear of the doubters. The religious are in the grip of a full-fledged emotion driven delusion. Furthermore, they constitute a mob, a mob with a violent history. The doubters are quite right to be afraid and not just of offending. They are and should be afraid of retaliation. Social and economic retaliation against the doubters who speak up is guaranteed. I have experienced it myself many times--even when I tried my best to keep quiet.
The religious are not satisfied with silence. They demand positive agreement or something close to it. They also demand "respect", but they do not really know what the word means. They are usually the type of people who don't know the difference between fear and respect. Even if they can quote the definitions from the dictionary, their words and deeds clearly show that the two concepts are confused in their minds. If they can't have your respect, then they will have your fear, by god! (Literally.)
Personally, I cannot respect someone who makes bad arguments in support of ridiculous propositions and then threatens to harm me if I don't pretend that they are right (or close to it). Such people clearly have no respect for me. Nor do they have respect for facts and logic. As such, they deserve no respect in return.
I realize that many religious people are not as bad as I am portraying them. In my experience, however, the "nice" ones will do nothing to reign in the zealots--even when criminal activity is afoot. This suggests to me that the "nice" ones aren't as nice as they should be and perhaps even approve of the actions of the zealots on some level.
Nevertheless, it is not my intention to offend the relatively nice believers. I do not doubt, however, that many of them will be offended by some of the things I say. This unintended offense is a consequence of the nature of religious thought.
Religious thought--and thus religious arguments--are emotion based and rationalized after the fact. That is why it is so difficult, I think, for non-believers to address them adequately. Many times I have seen non-believers try to engage in long, logical disquisitions regarding religious arguments only to be met with blank stares, repetition of the religious argument that started the discussion, or the seizing of some point in the non-believer's argument that the believer recognizes as a point he can build upon. What non-believers need are short, pithy replies that pack a punch. That will be the goal of this blog.
To the extent I succeed religious believers will inevitably be offended. It has been my experience and observation, however, that many religious believers are offended by my very existence as a non-believer. Short of pretending to convert, I can say nothing regarding religion that they will not find offensive. In light of their oft demonstrated intolerance for my very existence, I will not shy away from saying what needs to be said. Furthermore, because of the very real threat the religious pose to myself, my loved ones, my values and the things that I value, I will not be divulging my identity. Hence the moniker I have chosen to end my posts: