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Assuming The Worst

I find that after I write an article of blog entry, Christians tend to be the first to misrepresent something I said and assume the worst. When I read a theist article (even one which I know I will comment on critically or write an entire response to), I tend to read carefully the parts that I plan to comment on. I want to make sure that I am not creating a straw man argument. I want to make sure that I am assuming the best in what the theist is saying.

In my view, their best usually paints them in a bad light so I have no problem doing it. I think that the Abrahamic position is ridiculous, so I am willing to give theists the rope they need, so to speak. When they say, “Atheists believe X” or “atheists do X” my first assumption is that they mean “many atheists” or “atheists in general” and not “all atheists.” Sometimes they do mean “all atheists,” but I would want them to clarify that point. But when I say “many Christians” or “some Jews,” they frequently respond by claiming that I am making a sweeping generalizations and lumping “all” together.

It sometimes amazes me at how quickly a theist will misrepresent what I write in such obvious ways that it seems like they are often projecting what they would do on me. I really go out of my way to try to understand where the theist writer is coming from, but I rarely get that type of response from theists when it comes to my writing. It’s frustrating sometimes.

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  • Renshia

    t sometimes amazes me at how quickly a theist will misrepresent what I write in such obvious ways that it seems like they are often projecting what they would do on me.

    I understand this completely. You will also find this happens in general, even when having face to face conversations. What I have concluded, from observations of myself and others, is we often tend to form rebuttals to things in our heads often before we have heard all of what is said.

    As soon as we hear things we have already made judgments for, our ego starts yapping and defending itself, this tunes out the listener as they tune into the inner conversation.
    We are so trained into TV talk where any silence between two people is anathema, that we can’t afford the time to listen. (Try taking longer than 30 seconds to respond to a question with people. The silence will almost kill most people.) It seems this problem has found it’s way into readers comprehension as well. Half the people will not get past the tittle without tuning you out and engaging in creating the rebuttal.

    The projecting thing is also spot on. I believe those things we hate about others and creates the strongest emotional responses, are the things we most hate about ourselves.
    There is a difference between disagree with and hate. When you see vile lashing out, this is often projecting what they hate about themselves onto you. It is easier to hate others than see the truth about ourselves. I seems to be a result of societal training to shift responsibility of the state of our lives onto others, near as I can figure.

    And really, don’t you just hate that… Hahahaha….

  • david

    To err is human, to think you don’t is religion.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    That’s good David, I going to steal that one.