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‘Atheists Must Believe X’

Many times when I get into a conversation with a fundamentalist believer, they do more than strawman atheism; they tell me what I MUST believe because of my lack of belief in their deity. Well, that is very kind of them to tell me what I MUST think, but they are almost always wrong. Not only are they often wrong on their caricature of atheists, but they are over-the-top wrong.

For example, one Christian recently told me that I must be a rapist because without a belief in their deity of choice, there would be nothing holding my sex drive back and so I must believe that it is okay to fuck every woman I see. This is ridiculously silly of course, but this Christian tried to maintain that it was perfectly logical and that all atheists ought to be rapists. Apparently Denzel Washington agrees.

Now sure, I can try to explain to this guy that atheists generally are against rape and I could point to all kinds of statistic of prison rates and society of health indicators which show that countries that are more atheistic have a lower crime rate including a lower rape rate, but who are we kidding here. The very next time this Christian talks to an atheist, he is just going to say the same thing.

Let’s take a page from Louis C.K. and have a different argument. Why should religious wackos have all the fun? We can make up “logical” conclusions too. As a Christian, they must believe that in the Ten Commandments, right? Sure. So they should be out there murdering adulterers, atheists, and everyone working on the Sabbath. It’s right there in the Ten Commandments. If you want to include the rest of the Bible, every Christian should be out there murdering gay people too. Plus, Jesus said they should give away all their money. Why aren’t any Christians doing these things? They must not really believe.

Then we can talk about what a strawman is and how they ought to actually listen to what an atheist think before projecting what they believe we ought to be thinking. Now we can have an actual conversation and explain to them that atheists aren’t the evil sociopaths they believe us to be. Who knows, they might even decide that they don’t really believe in God either, but it was their fear of losing any sense of morality which kept them believing. Who knows?

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