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The official blog of University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics

This is not an April Fool’s post: I guess I’m not an accomodationist anymore.

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I guess I’m not an accomodationist anymore.

From my Facebook wall today:

Christianity is offensive. It is offensive to reason, offensive to human welfare, and offensive to social progress. It is a willfully ignorant and deliberate abuse of logic, and a shortcoming of rational thought. All religions, Christianity included, prey on human gullibility and fear of the unknown. Christianity is dangerous. It is cruel. To quote Christopher Hitchens, “It is not moral to lie to children. It is not moral to lie to ignorant, uneducated people, and tell them that if they believe nonsense, they can be saved. It’s immoral.”

Christianity claims that 6,000 years ago, a talking snake, apparently fluent in ancient Hebrew, persuaded a woman, made from a rib, to eat a piece of fruit. Because of that, all of us are going to burn for trillions and trillions of years in a lake made out of fire and sulfur, unless we telepathically pledge our allegiance to an invisible Jewish zombie, who – by magical thinking powers – can take our consciousness (which somehow by magic survives our deaths) to an invisible place where he lives with his daddy, who is (somehow by magic) also he himself?

Do you mean to tell me that you, in all seriousness, believe this insanity? All the touchy-feely gooeyness of how being around your friends at church makes you FEEL aside, or how listening to worship music makes you FEEL, is the above paragraph really, truly what you believe is historically true and factually accurate? If so, what on Earth is wrong with you? If you believe this literal non-sense, you SHOULD be ashamed of yourself, and the satire has served its purpose. And for this, I do not apologize.

I do not believe that you are really a Christian. I believe that you identify as a Christian because your parents told you that what to believe, and your culture has reinforced it. I think you are smarter than that. I think you know that there is no difference between talking snakes and the Tooth Fairy. It’s a myth. Yahweh is just another “god” from just another ancient myth. There are thousands of gods that you don’t believe in. To quote Stephen F. Roberts, “When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

If you want to read the full thread, here it is. It started with an April Fool’s status:

Dave Muscato:

Jesus is LORD! Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” What more do you need?? Hallelujah, Amen, Praise Be, He is Risen! (17 likes)

Trevor B:

He is risen, indeed.

Dave Muscato:

Goodness me, I forgot to capitalize Way, Truth, and Life. Capitalization makes it more factual, you know. And that’s True with a capital-T. (8 likes)

Franklin K:

Wait, does it say that in the Bible? Cause otherwise I don’t know why you’d ever believe that. (2 likes)

Dave Muscato:

It’s a little early to interrupt dinnertime, but around 6, I’m gonna go door-to-door with some tracts sharing the Good News. Who’s with me?? (3 likes)

Dave Muscato:

Franklin, it’s John 14:6. Do you have a Bible? I will give you one. Everybody should read a Bible everyday. What’s your address? IM me. (3 likes)

K.C.:

Glad you’re coming around finally, Dave. I was worried for your eternal soul there for a while…

Dave Muscato:

No need to worry about me, Keenan! I’ve got the Holy Spirit in me. I know this because I believe it. (2 likes)

Becky K:

Lol, yesterday they came by twice, completely confused when I said I wasn’t interested bc I’m Jewish… (1 like)

Dave Muscato:

That’s great, Becky; so was JC! You’re halfway there 🙂 (2 likes)

Sarah K:

Ohhhhh you fool! You April Fool! (1 like)

Becky K:

Oh, you’re so silly (1 like)

Dave Muscato:

😛

Cynthia S:

Haha! Happy 1st of April!

Megan K:

oh yeah, april 1st! i was like wtf?? haha (1 like)

Tyler C:

Nice. Best fucking April Fools’ Day joke ever. (2 likes)

Catherine P:

I must share. (1 like)

Zach C:

It surprises me that you would try to be intentionally offensive… from talking to you in the past I would’ve expected more.

Dave Muscato:

Hey Zach! It’s April Fool’s Day, and this is satire. Like all satire, it’s designed to hold abuses, follies, or shortcomings up for ridicule – because such abuses, follies, and shortcomings are, well, ridiculous. Satire is designed to be funny, but it has a greater purpose of constructive social criticism, in order to shame individuals or societies into improving themselves.

Christianity is offensive. It is offensive to reason, offensive to human welfare, and offensive to social progress. It is a willfully ignorant and deliberate abuse of logic, and a shortcoming of rational thought. All religions, Christianity included, prey on human gullibility and fear of the unknown. Christianity is dangerous. It is cruel. To quote Christopher Hitchens, “It is not moral to lie to children. It is not moral to lie to ignorant, uneducated people, and tell them that if they believe nonsense, they can be saved. It’s immoral.”

Zach, Christianity claims that 6,000 years ago, a talking snake, apparently fluent in ancient Hebrew, persuaded a woman, made from a rib, to eat a piece of fruit. Because of that, all of us are going to burn for trillions and trillions of years in a lake made out of fire and sulfur, unless we telepathically pledge our allegiance to an invisible Jewish zombie, who – by magical thinking powers – can take our consciousness (which somehow by magic survives our deaths) to an invisible place where he lives with his daddy, who is (somehow by magic) also he himself?

Do you mean to tell me that you, in all seriousness, believe this insanity? All the touchy-feely gooeyness of how being around your friends at church makes you FEEL, or listening to worship music makes you FEEL, is the above paragraph really, truly what you believe is historically true and factually accurate? If so, what on Earth is wrong with you? If you believe this literal non-sense, you SHOULD be ashamed of yourself, and the satire has served its purpose. And for this, I do not apologize.

I do not believe that you are really a Christian. I believe that you identify as a Christian because your parents told you that what to believe, and your culture has reinforced it. I think you are smarter than that. I think you know that there is no difference between talking snakes and the Tooth Fairy. It’s a myth. Yahweh is just another “god” from just another ancient myth. There are thousands of gods that you don’t believe in. To quote Stephen F. Roberts, “When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

Hope this helps, and I hope you’re having a great weekend! And I mean that sincerely. – Dave (6 likes)

Christian H:

 Interesting perspective. i believe in Christ, as well as the garden account. And it’s not because my parents taught me to. I was both an atheist and a skeptic. And I am still quite rational. As I’ve stated before, it was the evidence (historical, prophetic, archaeology, etc.) that convinced me. Some of whlich I’ve shared with you before to no avail, and you chose to ignore, change the subject by raising another objection, or by explaining it away. And that’s fine I understand. But it’s incorrect and untrue to make such a blanket statement about all Christians.

You claim Christianity is bad for the world, but for every example of someone doing something wicked in the name of Christianity (which can be demonstrated to be someone simply using a religion as they would any other power they could get over people) and I can name ten examples of how Christianity has made the world better. (1 like)

Christian H:

If we are being satirical, then happy atheists day (Psalm 14:1). (3 likes)

Zach C:

If you truly stand by your above statements and want to help people by removing this nonsense belief from them then I would suggest you alter your approach. As a person in a position of leadership you act as an ambassador for your belief set. I have many friends that don’t prescribe to the same belief set as me and completely respect that they have received the same inputs as me over their lives and come to a different conclusion. The fact that they believe something different than me doesn’t bother me. It’s your lack of respect for your fellow man that bothers me. Your post oozes arrogance which in no way would be proactive to making me give your new truth the time of day. You’re being counteractive and it’s frustrating. Your beliefs are what they are… beliefs. If you want to have a missional attitude about promoting what you believe in order to help others by opening their minds then you should consider some serious adjustments in your means of communicating in a public forum like facebook. I cast no judgment on my friends who are atheists because they will state that it is what they “believe”, just like I “believe” in the Christian faith. That’s what it is, a belief — nothing more, nothing less. Regardless of whether God exists being arrogant is silly. You just come off looking like a dick.

Devin W:

Dave that was awesome, I’m going to have to repost most of that if it’s okay. (1 like)

Devin W:

I wish I could be a dick like you. 🙂 I’ve heard a lot of preachers who are dicks…talking about hell, fire, damnation.. it’s all kind of a slap in the face.. but can be effective none the less. (1 like)

Rebecca V:

I have to agree, Dave. You made an extremely blanket statement about all Christians. I know many Christians who grew up with atheist parents or parents who were lapsed Catholics and so on who are ridiculed by their family for their new found faith. My sister, whom you met yesterday just started going to church and changing her life around after years of going her own way. Most of her friends don’t understand the radical change in her just in the last four months. We grew up not going to church and just barely understanding Christianity because my mom was a believer but not my dad. My dad finally realized his need for Jesus about 5 years ago, just before he turned 50 after my mom prayed for him for nearly 30 years. So, as I have learned to not stereotype atheists, I hope you learn not to do the same about Christians. (2 likes)

C.S.:

Dave,
I still haven’t got a reasonable explain (Euthyphro [sp?] doesn’t count, if you read the wiki you provide for that argument it also provided the solution to the false dicotomy. Saved my grey cells alot of trouble hehe) of why I should feel ashamed…If there is no God right & wrong do not exist. Therefore you can’t shame me because I’ve done nothing wrong ;). Also I find your anger encouraging. According to CS Lewis’s theories (found in Mere Christianity I think…I sometimes get his apologetic works mixed up. Have you read any of his works?) you are probably closer to finding & having a relationship God than you ever were attending a church thinking you were set but apparently having no relationship. So happy TRUTH (all caps mind you) search!

Devin W:

i dont want hijack dave’s post. but can you explain how the existence of right and wrong are dependent upon there being a god? (2 likes)

Renee S:

LOL. ♥ (1 like)

Christian H:

Devin, can you explain where right and wrong comes from without a creator?

Stephen A:

Devin, I’m with you. There is no valid argument for that viewpoint; however, there’s tons of observable evidence to support the argument that “right and wrong” are social constructs, witnessed in other species. Unless someone is going to go batsh*t crazy and argue that animals know right and wrong because they made the conscious decision to accept Christ into their lives, then I think the discussion is settled.

Christian H:

So it is ONLY social? And you derived this because you observed other species having a standard of right and wrong? Please enlighten me.

Christian H:

Let’s say that you are right though. Right and wrong are merely social constructs. Then right and wrong does not really exist. It is arbitrary. It is not a standard, but an agreement. It can be changed if the majority changes. If all of society agrees that it is okay to eliminate a group of people say… simply for their ethnic background, then that would be okay. Because nothing exists outside of society to dictate otherwise. Or like, in the past, when different cultures and societies deemed women inferior and treated them like servant dogs for sex, etc. then that was totally acceptable because that society said so.

Dave Muscato:

Christian, if I may, I can. Economic anthropology is what I’m in school to study (esp. the evolution of morality in cooperative species). In under 50 words, here is where right & wrong come from (it is an ongoing process), without hypothesizing a magical intelligent agent:

Natural selection favors cooperative animals over their non-cooperative competitors for resources because of economies of scale and gains-from-trade. Animals that work together are able to accomplish more, have a higher standard of living, and therefore provide for and ensure the survival of more offspring.

It’s really not that complicated. If you want to know more of the details, I recommend “The Evolution of Cooperation” by Robert Axelrod (NB it’s a little math-heavy) or one of my favorite books of all time, “The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation” by Matt Ridley:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Origins-Virtue-Instincts-Cooperation/dp/0140264450

Dave Muscato:

Stephen, right and wrong are not social constructs, unless you’re not drawing a distinction between non-human animal sociality and human sociality. There are solid biological foundations that cause them to arise in certain patterns, and we can predict those patterns by theoretical frameworks in game theory. Specific variations are culturally relative, but there are good, evolutionary-biology reasons for the universal traits we see in terms of right & wrong across all cultures.

Stephen A:

That’s what I meant by social construct. Thanks for explaining it better, Dave. (1 like)

C.S. (deleted post).

Dave Muscato:

Chantelle, it seems to me that you are trying to say that the lack of an *immutable* standard means that all standards are therefore arbitrary. This is a straw man and a non-sequitur. No one ever said that moral codes are arbitrary, just because they change over time. Quite the opposite, actually: They have a demonstrable, predictable biological basis. E.O. Wilson brought the term “sociobiology” to international attention in 1975 when he more-or-less founded the field of studying that basis, and there are thousands of scientists who have since made careers out of furthering our understanding of it. It’s not arbitrary.

C.S.:

Sorry i deleted that b/c my phone was behind the times. So why do we honor those who defend the weak or genetically inferior? Biologically speaking shouldn’t we admire those who snuff them out as that would improve the genetic code? Or rape is commonly disliked, but isn’t that just increasing the chances of the physically strong passing on genetic materials? & why do charitable deeds or try to cure chronic illnesses? Anyway you get the idea that there are many widely accepted morals that do not make sense biologically.

Dave Muscato:

Chantelle, read the book I linked to above. It will answer all of these kinds of questions and is a solid introduction for the layperson in beautifully readable language. You’re dipping your toe in an evolutionary subfield with a very academically-rich, 70-year history of solid research and excellent publications.

Stephen A:

Odd that you’d bring up rape as being deplorable, though, considering that the Christian moral tradition makes it clear where a woman’s place is.

Dave Muscato:

Indeed, until the 1970s, most states did not even consider spousal rape a crime. It wasn’t until 1993 that North Carolina became the last state to remove the spousal exemption. This was mostly based on the idea that married women are to be subservient to men in Abrahamic cultures, thanks to Bible verses like 1 Tim 2:13, 1 Corinthians 11:7-9, etc.

I will be expanding on some of the points raised in this thread in my next article, as well!

Regards,

Dave

mail@davemuscato.com

(573) 424-0420 cell/text

Dave Muscato is Vice President of MU SASHA. He is a vegetarian, LGBTQ ally, and human- & animal-welfare activist. A junior at Mizzou majoring in economics & anthropology and minoring in philosophy & Latin, Dave posts updates to the SASHA blog every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. His website is http://www.DaveMuscato.com.

Follow Dave on Google+
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Helpful resources:

Godisimaginary.com
Iron Chariots Wiki
Skeptics’ Annotated Bible / Skeptics’ Annotated Qur’an
AtheismResource.com
TalkOrigins.org

YouTubers: Evid3nc3Thunderf00tTheAmazingAtheistThe Atheist ExperienceEdward CurrentNonStampCollectorMr. DeityRichard DawkinsQualiaSoup

Blogs: Greta ChristinaPZ MyersThe Friendly AtheistWWJTD?Debunking ChristianitySkepChick

and don’t forget… other SASHA members! We are here for you, too!

About Danielle Muscato

Danielle Muscato is a civil rights activist, writer, and public speaker. She has appeared on or been quoted in Rolling Stone, People, Time, The New York Times, SPIN, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard Magazine, and on MTV News, VH1, NPR, MSNBC, ABC, "The Real Story" with Gretchen Carlson, The O'Reilly Factor, Huffington Post Live, Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Raw Story, CNN, CBS, and Howard Stern Danielle is the former Director of Public Relations for American Atheists. She is also a board member of MU SASHA (University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists & Agnostics). Her website is http://www.DanielleMuscato.com. Follow her on Google+ Follow her on Twitter @daniellemuscato Subscribe to her on YouTube at www.youtube.com/davemuscato

2 comments on “This is not an April Fool’s post: I guess I’m not an accomodationist anymore.

  1. rocketkirchner
    April 2, 2012

    It is very clear that this post on Facebook is ignorant of the book ”The concept of irony ”by Christian existentialist Soren Kierkegaard . But then again , i should not be surpised at those who respond to the Bible as a literal document , be they believer or non believer , without understanding the nature of Hebraic allegory. nor am i surprised that this would come from Facebook ,arguablly one of the silliest things on the internet. If people would spend less time on Facebook , and more time being a refusenik to Facebook ..and just read whole books and do their own thinking for a change ..then maybe , just maybe ..we could come out of the age of digital dumming down , and people of faith and people of unbelief could have some dialogue and debates with real substance. I know i am asking too much . However …..

  2. Cheyla
    April 4, 2012

    Can I get the 2 Apr commentary in pamphlet form? I want to hang this on my bulletin board, refrigerator, car window, etc.

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This entry was posted on April 2, 2012 by in Author: Dave Muscato and tagged , , , , , .
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