Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Letters to the faithful: Why do I offend you?

It puzzles me that many theists are quick to take umbrage at what I write or say, then play the martyr card and run. I’m not in the habit of stalking theists, I mean, I might on twitter respond to something on the atheist hashtags but as a rule, I’m not out stalking the religious hashtags. 

So the tendency is for theists of various stripes (usually Christian but sometimes Muslim) approaching me. And so many of them seem so easily offended. 

I don’t think the problem is me anymore.  I think the problem is theists have an entirely different expectation of how I’m going to respond. 

That expectation seems to be based on the presumptions I’m going to agree that they’re a nice, rational person, that their religion has lots of positive features and there’s some pretty compelling evidence that their god exists if I’d think about it.  And then there’s a moment of shock and surprise when I ask questions that don’t share that presumption.

That shock then leads to this whole “I’m offended” response and then this martyr card gambit.
Asking you difficult questions doesn’t mean I’m angry or I’m trying to offend you

 If I’m going to be talking about the problem of human suffering as an objection to the claim a loving creator exists, then that’s going to cause you dissonance.  How you deal with that is up to you but I’m not going to avoid these questions just because they might offend you. Ok.

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