Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “The Doubter’s Club” review

There’s a new thing making the Christian circuit, a book and website called “The Doubter’s Club” which is intended to convert non-christian, especially atheists it seems.  I’ve listened to an interview with the author and leader, Preston Ulmer, here, and below is my response. 

as an atheist, I have some suggestions for Christians who find they need to bother us about their religion. 

Christians are indeed certain about a lot of things.  They try to claim they are not, but they cannot function as Christians if they do doubt.  Even the bible states this, with JC talking to Thomas.  This god did give evidence in that case, so the claims from Christians that no one should ask for evidence, e.g. “test” this god is based on apologetics that know that no evidence would be forthcoming. 

When a Christian does claim he doesn’t understand something, it is usually when something is an embarrassing point in the bible, like when this god is seen to do something ignorant and violent, where god’s “mysterious” ways are invoked.  That is an obvious dodge to an atheist. 

It seems that Preston assumes that atheists are dishonest.  That is unfortunate.  Theists often want to claim that they know why people are atheists, when they ignore what atheists actually say.  Don’t do this.  You’ll almost always be wrong. 

To consider us as prey in a “long play” is also obvious.  We aren’t stupid.  You want more people in your “tribe” for validation. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just human.  

Most of us do know that Christians disagree in the most basic things, so insisting your version is the one truth doesn’t work.  We also know that you try to convert each other.  A lot of us also know that a Christian, C.S. Lewis, said to hide the divisions from potential Christians (Mere Christianity, preface).

Many of us are former Christians and have read the bible.  We are often more familiar with than most Christians.  If you try to claim we don’t “correctly” understand it, often sheathed in the claim that we don’t know about sophisticated theologians or Christianity,  we will ask you how you can show your version is the “right” one. 

Most of us also know that Jesus isn’t all warm and fuzzy.  This character kills every non Christian in the end times stories.  Luke 19, the parable of the minas, isn’t a great thing either.  

If you assume that we are on a “spiritual” journey, you are likely wrong.  That is an assumption that we aren’t complete as we are. 

Acting like you are doing us a favor is also obvious.  We aren’t the “unclean” that you can feel virtuous by daring to associate with.  We know you have ulterior motives.   We have friends and we do deserve friends, no god or Christian needed. 

The “invitation to imitate Christ” bit is probably the most ridiculous and verging on offensive.  This assumes that your version of Christ is the true one, that Christ existed, and that we aren’t humane, empathetic people.  We know that Christianity, at its base, says that anyone who disagrees with this god deserves death or worse.  That isn’t love and that isn’t something a friend would wish for their friend.  This ignorance assumes that only Christians are good people.  They aren’t. 

For me, the whole thing comes off as creepy. Really really creepy. 

4 thoughts on “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “The Doubter’s Club” review

  1. You speak as though you are knowledgeable and happy, but your words show otherwise. You like to make blanket statements of understanding and as if you know what any follower of Christ thinks or believes about you while at the same time criticizing Christians for doing what you are doing. It seems ironic to me. You seem to want to engage, but you don’t and simply like to make ad hominem attacks. I am sure that you believe that you have the SciEnCe behind your thinking because you are in agreement with much of the current dialogue that is in the anti-Christian world. Your advice to Christians is interesting as if you believe you speak for atheists and the reality is that you don’t really care. I agree that the point of trying to convert you is pointless and there are many theological reasons that this statement could be made. I don’t wish you any ill, which I don’t know that the same would be true for you for me. I, also, don’t see much point in holding a discussion with you about the faith or seek to understand your views.

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    1. No, Rev, I write and it shows that I am knowledgeable and happy, and since I’m using words, they do exactly the same. You simply make a false claim that they don’t. Do show evidence for this claim of yours: “You speak as though you are knowledgeable and happy, but your words show otherwise.” Surely you can, right? A little cutty-pasty?

      I know what followers of Christ think, and that is often entirely contradictory to other Christians. I make blanket statements of understand because I can and they are accurate.

      You of course cannot show where I’ve used an ad hominem argument and I suspect you don’t understand what one is. Here is a good link to various logical fallacies: http://www.nizkor.com/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html Like many Christians, you seem to think that anything unflattering said about you is an ad hominem argument. It doesn’t work that way.

      It’s so sweet to see you weirdly type science. I guess that is all you have. Alas, you rely on that science every single day, and you show yourself a hypocrite when you embrace what makes you comfy but you lie about that which shows your claims to be wrong.

      IF there is an “anti-christian” world, Christians are definitely part of it since you all love to claim each other aren’t really Christians. You insist that anyone who disagrees with your particular version are apostates, heretics, Satanists, etc. And that underlines how you have no truth at all.

      I don’t speak for all atheists and I never said so; I speak for me. But again, nice false claim there, Rev. It’s expected. I do care since the same incompetent arguments and apologetics of Christians is terribly boring. Why should I want you to waste your time on things that don’t work and bother me and my friends?

      Christians like you often insist that it isn’t your problem if you can’t convert me, which is just the poor fox claiming that the grapes are sour.

      As a Christian, your religion is based on wishing ill on those who disagree with you, with death or worse. I would simply wish that you would stop causing the harm you do in the world in your ignorance and arrogance. Until that happens, I’ll always stand up and show your false claims to be what they are.

      You of course don’t see any point to discuss things with me since you have nothing, Rev. No evidence for your version of your religion. You’ve yet to be able to show I’m wrong in any instance. And you are terrified to talk to an atheist since understanding my view just might show how yours fail.

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    2. Wow Rev, one might argue that your post is a very good example of an ad hominem Author posts an opinion with arguments supporting his opinion, and then you attack the authors credibility.

      “I, also, don’t see much point in holding a discussion with you about the faith or seek to understand your views.“ That is a very astute summary of your position. Just posting this alone would have saved you a lot of typing.

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