January 19, 2006

Waste of Time Fallout

So to speak.

I am very surprised at the amount of responses I've gotten to the Waste of Time post - here I thought I was writing an article for the GifS crowd and now even Anthropology.net mentioned this article. And Malaspina University College Liberal Studies Forum .Goodness. (and I have to give special mention to Prosthesis for the funniest mention of all). Had I known it would garner this much attention I would have kept better records of the outcomes. Oh well - live and learn.

However, this post has also resulted in an avalanche of e-mails - mostly positive, some not. So, in an attempt to in response the most common questions (and accusations) posed to me there are a few things I’d like to clarify:

1. My intent was not to attempt at deconverting theists. I have no desire to make windows into theist "souls" - I’m not trying to deconvert anyone. I simply wanted to see how they treat civil and respectful atheist guests to their sites since theists seem to have a hard time lasting on atheist forums. (this was covered in the post)

2. As the post clearly states, I made no claims as to the infallibility of the experiment. So no, I am not trying to manufacture propaganda against theists, or trying to suggest that atheist forums are superior.

3. And, for my science-minded critics, of course I don't claim it was a scientific experiment. It was just my own research. Do you own and we'll confer.

4. Yes, I have "looked for god", "asked god to come" to me, and "prayed for signs" that a deity exists. Clearly, nothing happened or I would not be an atheist.

5. I don’t even remotely care if some now think I’m evil or a satanist or an infant barbequer - all these things are ridiculous and already covered.

6. Yes, I do think it’s hilarious that even after these errors are pointed out to theists, they continue to make them. Do you have any idea how many of the negative (and some of the positive ones from theists) included Pascal’s Wager, or stories about someone’s sister’s boyfriend’s grandmother’s neighbor who was cured of cancer once they prayed.

7. No, I don’t hate anyone. I don’t care what someone believes insofar as they do not harm anyone else, or attempt at forcing me to live their way. So I don’t care if someone is a racist (or any other kind of bigot), a theist, an atheist, or whatever. As stated, I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind. It’s just a (perhaps naive) attempt at toning down some of the vitriol between atheists and theists.

8. As stated in the post I chose Xianity because I’m American and that’s the big religion here. Plus, I’ve never come across a member of another religion who actively tried to convert me.
And, the atheist forums I frequent rarely see any other kind of theist. It was not a backhanded attempt at demonizing xians. They are simply who I have the most contact with.

9. No, the use of "xian" or "xianity" is not an insult. See here: Second paragraph

10. No, there are not pictures of me anywhere. I am not an "out" atheist, irl.

Anything else? E-mail me.