Not So Polite Dinner Conversation: Theists “teaching” atheism

How I Teach Atheism to Seminarians – Public Orthodoxy

First, no surprise at all that a Christian professor does not allow comments on such a silly post.  Amazing how theists think that they can teach atheism to their students and not once actually interact with a single live atheist. 

I would dearly love to sit in on such a course, although I’m sure I’d be buried by the strawmen. 

Unsurprisingly, Justin doesn’t  mention atheists and their arguments “It will not dignify the dogmatic scientism of a Richard Dawkins or Neil DeGrasse Tyson, pretenders both to atheism’s tiara.”

There’s a tiara?  Aw, no one told me that I should be getting a tiara.  Shucks. 

So, per Justin, there is no discussion about atheist nor are there apologetics offered.  So what’s left? 

More than most versions of Christianity, Orthodoxy loves their magic sounding words.  Bafffling with bullshit is strong with them.  “Apophthegmata” only means a collection of clever sounding sayings aka aphorisms, maxims, proverbs.  It does not mean that said pithy sayings are true.  They are not limited to Christianity.  There are quite a list of Apollonian/Delphic ones and funny how they are awful close to the various proverbs and commandments that Judaism has.  Ah, humans, always having similar things since they make civilization work better.  No god needed. 

It appears that they start with a saying from some saint “Keep thy mind in hell and despair not.” Having no idea what it means, it is little more than a written Rorschach test.  Justin makes up his version, that thinking about a place of eternal torture for those who disagree with a god is a way of not being despairing”.   The problem is despairing of what?  That this religion is incoherent and is only made up by humans in their own image? 

Justin is right that the bible repeatedly says that everyone else but the believers are wrong.  No evidence of this, but lots of baseless claims of eternal torture, death, punishment for believing in the “wrong” thing.  Alas, no one can show what the right way is, and we have hundreds, if not thousands of different TrueChrisitanities™.  Every theist is sure that the others who don’t agree with him deserve punishment, just like a toddler thinks that anyone who doesn’t do what he wants deserves punishment. 

Then Justin goes into this thing about idolatry, which is not atheism and which seems to be quibbling about which is the right version of Christianity.  It also includes the common attempt by various Christians to insist to other Christians that their pictures and statues aren’t “idols” but “icons” or whatever other term they want to make for art that they often claim does miracles. 

It is very amusing that Justin thinks that he can borrow weapons from atheists to attack other Christianities.  He forgets he turns those weapons on himself since most, if not all religions, use the same arguments. 

Now, I do wonder why he calls various philosophers, mostly agnostic to atheist, the school of small things (école du soupçon; soupçon: a little bit, a trace).  He thinks that they are the “fiercest minds”, which usually means, they are the ones that Justin thinks he has a chance again, but must inflate how fierce they are to make himself seem important. 

Then we have a torrent of big words for no reason:  Praxis: action.  Sacralize:  make sacred.  So we have him only saying “Who would deny that Christian action glorifies poverty and makes it sacred?”  Funny how Jesus did exactly that, but a wealthy church is upset when they are called on their wealth.  “Who would deny that often enough theologians limit the meaning of the unusual idea of revelation: something that is revealed by God to humans?”  Justin, theologians can’t agree on much of anything, including their need limit nonsense in a desperate attempt to make sense out of nonsense.

and well, what the hell this mean is anyone’s guess “That the inversion of value on Golgotha does not sometimes hypocritically vest power in a cassock?”

There is a claim of “Judeo-Christian motives” in atheism.  Christians do have the need to imagine themselves the origin of everything.  Alas, humans cared for each other long before some ignorant agrarians on the eastern Med invented a story that they and only they came up with it.  I had no idea who Feuerbach was but he has quite a bit more to say than the silliness of the “scandal” of the incarnation, something invented by Christians to try to make their religion seem unique.  I rather like this quote from him: ““Christianity set itself the goal of fulfilling man’s unattainable desires, but for that very reason ignored his attainable desires. By promising man eternal life, it deprived him of temporal life, by teaching him to trust in God’s help it took away his trust in his own powers; by giving him faith in a better life in heaven, it destroyed his faith in a better life on earth and his striving to attain such a life. Christianity gave man what his imagination desires, but for that very reason failed to give him what he really and truly desires.”” 

It’s pretty funny to see a theist insist that Nietzsche “really is” affirming “deranged affirmation of the way and the truth and the life”  Where is that in his works?  Well, Justin can’t quote a thing that supports his claims.  As for Freud fulfilling a prophecy?  Well, again, no.  Christians love to claim that their “prophecies” are being fulfilled when said “prophecies” were things happening back when the nonsense was first voiced/written.  One other example of this is the Christian desperation to cling to the “prophecy” of people mocking their nonsense. That was happening 2000+ years ago too.  The claim of “but but you are speaking against our imaginary character so that makes him real” always fails. 

And David Bentley Hart is just another Orthodox philosopher e.g. someone with baseless opinions that he wants to pretend are universal truths.    

Again, Justin tries to claim that someone, Dostoevsky was the “greatest” in his claims, but only to try to make his supposed “victory” over him sound better.  We have no examples at all of these supposedly great “renderings” at all from Justin.  We only have Justin insisting how wonderful he is for showing this fellow wrong.  This is indeed appropriate for Justin to quote this ““God will forgive your unbelief, for you venerate the Holy Spirit without knowing him.”  Since again, Justin tries to claim that everything is in debt to his religion, when it isn’t.  Justin just needs to pretend that everyone “really” agrees with him. 

Unsurprisingly, Justin does not teach atheism to anyone.  He teaches a strawman that Justin invented.  He teaches the false nonsense that everyone really agrees with Justin.  We do not.   

In a classic final attempt to protect himself, Justin tries to claim that “spiritually immature or intellectually unserious” are unfit to take his course.  Aka, if you expect to ask question and not agree with him, don’t apply because he’ll just make excuses on your supposed faults, not his. 

16 thoughts on “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation: Theists “teaching” atheism

  1. Geez! What a case.

    It always irritates me when they make out like the crap they say is generally accepted by everyone as truth. When it is actually very far from it.

    Now I must get back to my debauchery, the wild sex parties, the raping and pillaging, the drug abuse, the x-ian baby BBQ’s, and general destruction of the universe. I am a good atheist.

    Just like the strawman atheist they dream of, and claim to be real. And the rubes all go “amen.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What keeps nagging at me is how to make sense of something that is without a prior cause of some kind. I suppose it’s one of those questions about our existance that we can’t (or shouldn’t??? ) ask. Thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. well, my question is, do you feel the same about a god that doesn’t have a prior cause of some kind?

      It may well be that we’ll never quite figure out how this all started. It could be that physical laws are just as eternal as any god is claimed to be and we are just what to expect out of them. In any case, I don’t need to worry about some magical character that is ignorant and vicious.


  3. Yes this would be great to discuss over a drink and a good meal! I don’t know about you, but I know the questions and answers we think we have about life, as jarring and puzzling as they are, aren’t worth fighting about! If ever in the San Diego area, let’s get together!


  4. Come on man. So your entire critique of the article is just that you do not understand the article and ad hominem?


    1. nope, but nice try to lie about what I wrote, my dear papist. It’s always bemusing when someone accuses me of using ad hominem fallacies but can’t show a single one. It seems that so many of you have heard the term but never bothered to actually see what it means.


      1. Should I just quote your entire article? Your very first sentence states: “First, no surprise at all that a Christian professor does not allow comments on such a silly post.”

        You go on with similar type of language, “More than most versions of Christianity, Orthodoxy loves their magic sounding words. Baffling with bullshit is strong with them.”

        You have written nothing of substance by presupposing the motive of the author and by calling things magic and baseless while ironically being baseless in your claim. In other words, simply calling Christianity stupid is not making an argument. I need not go far. Just reread your own response to me. You have expressed no good will, but only resentment in every other word you have used. At least the author is open-minded enough to encourage with atheistic literature without being triggered.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Club, I do think papistposting has a point. You have to admit your post and comments have been less than amicable, not to speak of a lack of engaging with the material. In any case, I am just interested in wrestling with the fundamental questions which don’t seem to go away (and which you admit may never be answerable) I don’t think we should stop asking the questions nor should we deride those who come to answers different than our own.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. and yep, here we go with the poor Christian unable to show where I used an ad hominem fallacy. He wants to lie and claim my “whole post”. As always, the poor Christian doesn’t know what an ad hominem is:

        Do show that the post isn’t silly aka ridiculous aka without evidence. And indeed baffling with bullshit is using obscure words to obfuscate what is being written about.

        You have been unable to quote me in an ad hominem fallacy or refute my points, Pape. You try to lie and claim that I just call Christianity stupid when I do go in to detail on why. Why should I express good will to a liar? It’s always so fun to see Christians have nothing to support their claims but they have to whine about the “politeness” of a post as their only complaint. That’s all you have since you have no evidence your nonsense is true.

        “At least the author is open-minded enough to encourage with atheistic literature without being triggered.”

        this sentence makes no sense. Do try to use grammar sometime.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Adressing the believers in question here:
    I seriously detest the idea that my atheism has anything to do with [your] theism. It doesn’t. I’m just atheist, damnit. What does that have to do with [your] wild fantasies about the way the world came about?! What does that have to do with [your] specific values that you arbitrarily attribute to your faith? It doesn’t. No more than my favorite color has anything to do with [your] favorite color.

    Liked by 1 person

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