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Intellectual Honesty

I am tired of being intellectually honest when religious apologists don’t even bother. Recently, I read an article by a theist which was quite frankly, extremely intellectually dishonest. Should we play that game too?

The article started out being friendly and the author made a point to say that he had many atheist friends and that he has read atheist books and then he got unfriendly and made statements that were so absurd that it seemed like he never stepped out of the comfort of his fellow believers, researched anything at all, and just didn’t think. Unless he got into a horrible car accident and lost all memory of everything he read in those atheist books, I have a hard time believing that he was attempting to be intellectually honest.

Religious apologists do this all the time. They make up a bunch of ridiculous stuff (aside from their religion) and they keep repeating it over and over again. For example, when they say that Hitler was an atheist, it takes more faith to be an atheist, that atheists have no morals, we eat babies, etc., etc.

Why is it that I am always the one who researches my answers to these ridiculous questions? I am the one who finds scientific studies and data to post in response to some of this stuff when all the theist does is repeat ridiculous talking points over and over again.

Maybe we should make up a bunch of stuff too. The problem is that I don’t even know how to be intellectually dishonest if I tried. Ever time I think of a ridiculous question to ask, it seems less ridiculous than the religion it is mocking. Not long ago, I jokingly asked if God was a vampire. At first I was just being silly, but as it turns out it seems like a pretty valid question given the ridiculousness of the religion. Oh well, I guess you can’t be intellectually dishonest when arguing against something so ridiculous.

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  • Paul K

    Intellectual honesty is not a trait of religion. Intellectual laziness is. After all, why spend the energy needed when all the answers to lifes deeper questions are spelled out for you in bronze age tablets? If god is with you, you can be intellectually lazy. You are intellectually lazy.

  • jes

    I actually had a conversation with such a person who contacted me through youtube pm to tell me that neanderthals are really descended from homo sapiens. He spouted some obviously nonsense numbers and lots of conjecture as evidence. I looked them up and found that they were based on a misunderstanding of an early 2000s study. Only Christian sites were still spreading it around, repeating the same “evidence” for years despite new evidence coming to light since then. I tried to call him out on his bullshit but he just twisted the data and his words to the point where I didn’t even know what point he was trying to make or which side he was arguing. I spent hours researching to refute the bullshit and it’s like he’s not even trying to come up with a well-informed response.

    How do we get through to these people? Their arguments adapt like bacteria in a controlled environment but the message never changes. Like a bullet-proof vest of ignorance. How does science and reason win against something like that?

  • Paul K

    There is no acceptance of winning or losing between science/reason and religion. It is what it is. I try not to look for it. Pursuit of science and reason has utilitarian by-products (I.e..toasters, space travel, understanding gravitational forces or natural selection, vaccines, etc etc etc).

    Pursuit of religion has it’s by-products..usually intolerance, fear, war, persecution, etc etc etc).

    Man is an utilitarian organism…In the long run we’ll discover winners and losers…have patience….


  • Tara

    You don’t like that they don’t play fair so you whine? Get over it. There is a reason why atheists are smarter and more knowledgeable about religion that most religious people are. It’s because we’re educated and use reason. If you’re going to fight the good fight, then you need to accept that intellectual honesty is KING. Let them play their games and you keep honestly chipping away at the foundation.

  • http://www.socialinjustices.net dlevitt

    It is a hard thing to do, but you do a good job of it. Atheists know more about religion than theists do because atheists actually care to know the truth. If you believe and you study you have to be intellectually dishonest in order to continue to believe, so when they encounter something that they simply can’t believe was said or done they quit searching and just fill in the blanks with whatever makes them feel good. Oh, and superior of course.

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