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Put this in the context of people attacking the Westboro Baptist Church.You see the attacker win a big victory over “religion”, broadly defined.It seems kind of pedantic to interrupt every conversation with “But also some bankers are Christian, or Muslim, and even though a disproportionate number of bankers are Jewish that doesn’t mean the Jewish bankers are disproportionately active in ruining the world economy compared to their numbers.” So again you stay uncomfortable.
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This is future czarist Russia, after Putin finally gets the guts to crown himself).
You understand that the Israelis really do commit some terrible acts.
There was an argument on Tumblr which, like so many arguments on Tumblr, was terrible. Alice said something along the lines of “I hate people who frivolously diagnose themselves with autism without knowing anything about the disorder. The straw man is a terrible argument nobody really holds, which was only invented so your side had something easy to defeat.
They should stop thinking they’re ‘so speshul’ and go see a competent doctor.” Beth answered something along the lines of “I diagnosed myself with autism, but only after a lot of careful research. I think what you’re saying is overly strict and hurtful to many people with autism.” Alice then proceeded to tell Beth she disagreed, in that special way only Tumblr users can. The weak man is a terrible argument that only a few unrepresentative people hold, which was only brought to prominence so your side had something easy to defeat.
Most of the religious people one encounters are not young-earth creationists.
But these people have a dramatic hold on the atheist imagination.
But one still feels like the atheist is making things just a little too easy on himself.
Maybe the problem is that the atheist is indirectly suggesting that Westboro Baptist Church is typical of religion? Then suppose the atheist posts on Tumblr: “I hate religious people who are rabidly certain that the world was created in seven days or that all their enemies will burn in Hell, and try to justify it through ‘faith’. Remember, people think in terms of categories with central and noncentral members – a sparrow is a central bird, an ostrich a noncentral one.
If you convert someone from the first kind of person to the second kind of person, you’ve gone most of the way to making them an atheist.
More important, if you convert a culture from thinking in the first type of way to thinking in the second type of way, then religious people will be unpopular and anyone trying to make a religious argument will have to spend the first five minutes of their speech explaining how they’re not Fred Phelps, honest, and no, they don’t picket any funerals.
An atheist attacking creationism becomes a deadly threat for the average Christian, even if that Christian does not herself believe in creationism.