More Annoying Atheist Clichés

Over a year ago, Vic Wang wrote up a list of annoying things that atheists say that we really need to stop saying. Over the past year, he’s added to his list to include these gems:

Saying that religious claims “don’t make sense”: It’s true there are countless religious claims which don’t make sense, and can never make sense. But I’ve always felt that saying something “doesn’t make sense” sounds a little too close to “I don’t understand it”. It’s the kind of thing one might say when trying to understand advanced calculus, not just things which are inherently nonsensical… Other options: logically invalid, fatally flawed, internally contradictory, unintelligible.

“You can’t reason someone out of a belief they weren’t reasoned into”: I will just say that I’ve spoken with hundreds of atheists about their “deconversion” stories, and I can count on one hand the number who were not “reasoned out” of religion, regardless of what their initial reasons for believing may have been.

“I have better sources of morality than a 2,000 year-old book”: … Obviously calling the Bible a “2,000 year old book” is much easier to write and say than “a collection of books written somewhere between 2,800 and 1,960 years ago which were collected for the first time in their current form about 1,650 years ago”. But the use of the “2,000 year old” shorthand suggests that the Bible goes all the way back to the lifetime of Jesus — as if it provides a contemporaneous account of his words and deeds — as opposed to being separated from them by at least a full generation. And by doing so, the Bible’s critics are unintentionally implying a greater degree of legitimacy to the Bible than it actually deserves.

Lots of good stuff here and you can access all the links on his site. (We’ll do doing a video on it soon, too.)

What would you add to Vic’s list?

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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