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Religious Role Projection

This seems to come up a lot and in many different forms. Often times, Christians or some other believer in the Abrahamic God will accuse atheists of being the very thing that they themselves are. For example, it is not uncommon for a Christian to claim that the atheist position (that no credible evidence has been presented for the existence of God) is an arrogant position to take. So Christians even claim that atheists are, “know it alls.”

The irony is that atheists aren’t making any claims. We are simply saying that Christians haven’t proven their claim. That is some how considered arrogant. Christians often claim not only that their deity absolutely without a doubt exists based on no credible evidence, but they are also claiming that their god is the only god that exists. Isn’t that the more arrogant position?

I also sometimes here that atheism is dogmatic. Or that we indoctrinate children. Those two claims are just laughable at how ridiculous there are. Do Christians look in the mirror and see what traits they see that are negative and then call atheists those traits? Is that how it is done?

I could go on, there are many instances in which some Christian or another will attempt to project their role onto non-believers. I can’t tell you how many times I hear that it takes more faith to be an atheist or that atheists are proselytizing. Some Christian even called me and evangelical atheist. Really? Those things just seems completely ridiculous to me.

The really funny part is that when these Christians say these things, they think they are being insulting. But if they truly think all these traits are bad traits, than maybe they should realize that these are all religious traits and stop projecting them onto atheists.

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  • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

    Denying any claim is in inherently holding your claim as superior and is therefore a belief.

  • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

    Furthermore….

    “We are simply saying that Christians haven’t proven their claim.”

    Is that really all your saying? I have never gotten this impression from an atheist….it is always this on top of the fact that you think we are dead wrong….which is a claim!! You can’t get around that lol….denying a claim….is a claim that the said claim is false.

    The fact is any worldview requires faith….in fact I think it is intellectually dishonest to even consider oneself a “strong atheist”….because the inherent claim of the “strong atheist” is that God does not exist and they know this to be true with 100% certainty. That is an impossible claim to verify, because it assumes one knows all the evidence at the same time….which is entirely impossible. I find the only rational position for the skeptic is agnosticism…..but I’m sure you object. :)

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Matt, Atheist means a lack of belief in a deity. Certainly there are some atheists who will go beyond that. Fundamentalist Christians have been able to create a strawman of what an atheist is and have been very successful at propagating that definition. But even Richard Dawkins who is considered to be the embodiment of atheism, wrote in his book that he is not 100% percent certain. He claims to be a 6 1/2 on a scale of 1 through 7.

      Agnosticism is not a position about belief. It is a position about knowledge. As a point of fact, we are all agnostics… unless you are claiming some sort of divine knowledge. I wrote about this already. I think it is in the category of agnosticism or atheism.

      • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

        Ehhh its just a pet peve of mine…I realize I’m playing with semantics but I still think rationally it makes more sense to classify ones self as agnostic than as an “atheist.” I’m probably just beating it in the ground though lol.

        • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

          Matt, I actually classify myself as both, an agnostic and and atheist. But when someone asks me what religion I am, I tell them “I don’t have a religion, I am an atheist.” If someone asks me if I know that there is no god, I tell them, “no I am an agnostic.” Gnostic deals with knowledge and theism deals with belief. So I lack both knowledge and belief. I am both an agnostic and an atheist. Try to keep up.

          However, if asked about particular gods, those I can say that I know with reasonable certainty that those particular gods do not exist. Like your god Yahweh. When I say “reasonably certain” I means as certain as one can be about anything. For example, did you see the South Park “Imagination Land” episode? In that episode, every imaginary creature was real, just in another dimension. When we imagine something it becomes real. So I leave the door open to something like that. Otherwise, I am certain. Yahweh is fiction. But the vague higher power concept of a god I am a little more uncertain because the concept is uncertain.

          You on the other hand are claiming certainty. Not only are you claiming to be certain that your god exists, but you are also claiming certainty that it is the only god that exists. You don’t see that as intellectually dishonest? That isn’t a pet peeve of yours? Interesting. The mirror is right in front of you.

          • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

            I do understand your rational and differentiation of the terms, I have for some time do not mis-understand. I guess my little tyrade doesn’t really apply to you since you acknowledge your agnosticism against belief in God. I understand the whole “i’m an atheist not religious” thing helps differentiate you from the traditional “religious” family. However, I simply disagree somewhat on definitions I guess.

            I am claiming faith, just as you are, for we both have followed our reason from our knowledge of the evidence. Of course I would believe my God is the only one true God, assuming a god does exist, I could never be a polytheist because it seems entirely irrational to me and purely based on speculation. I put the mirror up to myself all the time….I see a 6.1 guy who eats whatever he wants and has still lost 20 lbs cause of his awesome job….lol.

            • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

              Matt, I wrote a blog on this already. Search the category section under “faith.” Faith by definition is belief without evidence. Atheism is a lack of belief based on a lack of evidence. So it really has nothing to do with faith in and of itself.

              You reject all the other possible gods. Why? Why don’t you have faith in those gods too? How is that different than atheists rejection of your god?

              You reject all these other gods, but if you look in the mirror, you will see that you are an atheist with respect to all those other gods. Interesting.

              • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

                Nope nope nope. I am not an atheist in any regard whatsoever. The correct classification of my non-belief in Zeus, Apollo..ect. ect. would be that I am agnostic of their existence. Atheism is lack of belief in any deity whatsoever.

                We clearly disagree on definitions quite often. (Let me say I have read that blog, and you basically reiterate the basic idea you portray in that blog, which I disagree with lol)

                “Faith by definition is belief without evidence.”

                By who’s definition? The traditional definition? The definition you wish to apply to it because it suits your view in this particular situation? The dictionary definition? All of the above? What science do you study? Faith is applicable in all area’s of life and your definition of it does not fit.

                Think of Godel’s Second Theorem….this concept gave further evidence for the fact that faith is inseparable from the scientific endeavor. Why? Take Dr. Lennox interpretation of this theorem “You cannot even do mathematics without faith in its consistency – and it has to be faith because the consistency of mathematics cannot be proved.” Dr. John Lennox professor of mathematics at Oxford. (and he is also a philosopher of science….or so his title says)

                In the last 20 years science has discovered amazing connections and consistency between mathematics and physics….mathematics is very much apart of scientific discovery.

                Faith is by definition belief based on evidence, but not necessarily a 100% empirical truth. For reasons listed above and many more if necessary to mention…and yes, I do reject other gods, because there is no evidence….

      • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

        However, the whole “atheism isn’t a belief system” is a load….lack of belief is belief…like I said above.

        • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

          So if someone asks you what your belief system is, you would rattle off a list of all the things that you don’t believe? Shit Matt, we would be here forever. I am sorry to tell you this, but not A does not equal A. A lack of belief does not equal belief. That is just a ridiculous statement to make.

          That is like saying that your hobbies are NOT sewing, NOT Gardening, NOT reading, NOT etc.

          • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

            It is not as ridiculous as you make it out to be, because the said atheism is a worldview that “lacks belief in a deity.” Things such as sewing or gardening are not essential to my worldview, apples and oranges I’m going to have to say. I still hold that in this particular instance, holding a worldview that deny’s a deity is the basis for your entire belief system.

            • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

              Atheism isn’t a worldview. While some like me have grouped with others who also lack belief in a deity, it just so happens that most of the people in our new community are also Humanists in addition to being atheists. So our atheist groups tend to support a Humanist worldview. Now you can argue about the whether Humanism is based on faith or has evidence to support that view, etc. but atheism is simply a lack of belief in a god or gods. It isn’t a worldview.

              • http://myspace.com/blackhawk089 Matt

                “but atheism is simply a lack of belief in a god or gods. It isn’t a worldview.”

                Lol I know you think that, but I simply cannot agree. What is a worldview then? Lacking belief in god is the focal point of your very existence. Everything in your life will then be interpreted based off this idea, i.e. worldview. You view the world as godless….how is it not a worldview? I don’t hear this from very many atheists, and it seems irrational to me.

  • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

    Staks is saying that many Christians have a nasty habit of taking known arguments against them and using them against atheists…and then this long debate ensued and…I think I’m understanding you’all, but let me test this. Forgive me if I F-ed it up something fierce…

    Matt is saying that because Atheists believe that no man-made religion is true, or that no known, man-made god is real, we are arrogant.

    Staks is saying that, it is more arrogant to believe that your particular god is real, having the same evidence or lack there of, as any other man-made god. That, Atheist don’t claim that there is no god at all, but rather that no known god, Yahweh, Vishnu, Diana (lol), exist due to blatant flaws in man’s design of them and various other reasons. We acknowledge that A god could exist, however slim the chance, but refuse to believe that the Universe could be so poorly designed that any man-made god could be real.

    Matt says that it takes faith to believe that no religion is true, thus we have a belief system.

    Staks says that Atheists know that all religions of the world are untrue because of various reasons, such as inconsistencies and cultural bias \, regional boundaries and what have you, and that knowing something doesn’t exist is different from believing something doesn’t exist because belief denotes faith, trust, an opinion…belief doesn’t equate to knowing with certainty.

    Matt says that we should not call ourselves Atheists, as in No Theism, No religion, and instead call ourselves agnostic, meaning we have No Knowledge.

    Staks says that Agnostic, meaning No Knowledge, doesn’t pertain to religion at all…but rather Knowledge. One can be a Christian and an Agnostic, (Believe in the Christian Dogma but have no knowledge of the Islam Dogma). Atheists know no religion to be true in the slightest, atheism, meaning no religion, is a much more precise term to use than Agnostic, because everyone is agnostic on some level.

    I hope I got your meaning right, but I probably missed it by a mile. I just assume I’m wrong so that I can tell myself, I told you so…

    Maybe Agnostictheist is a better term, we have no knowledge of any religion being real and true…LOL

    I think Atheists are wrongly wording their meaning when they say they “believe” that religion is false, perhaps not understanding the meaning of faith behind that term. I’m sure I have said this too. It’s a slip. People often mis-substitute the words think or know with feel or believe.

    I’m a Agnostic, because I can’t claim to know all things, and I’m an Atheist, because I am certain that the religions of the world are false.

    I have never been called dogmatic, or any of those things mentioned in the blog…thankfully I guess, but I have been called bitter…and that is too true, so I wasn’t really insulted. Anybody worth beans has to look out at the state of things and admit that they are bitter. There is a great deal of room for improvement on this little planet of ours.

    • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

      Diana got me 95% right. But when I say Christians can be agnostic too, I was not referring to other religions. As a point of fact no one KNOWS with 100% certainty that there is a deity. Some people will claim that they know when they don’t. Those people we will call gnostics even thought they really can’t be. But they claim to know. But not all Christians make this claim of knowledge (although I suspect that most do). My friend Tom for example claims to have doubts about whether God is real and he graduated from Yale Seminary. So he would be an agnostic Christian. He doesn’t know, claims to not know, but he still believes.

      • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

        Oh, so, you can be an Agnostic Christian, in that you are a Christian but you’re not 100% sure.

        Thanks. :p