Tom Gilson

When I write about evidences for Christianity, I hear copious complaints from atheists about how mindless I am.

When I write about evolution or Intelligent Design it’s even worse.

When I write about the value of real marriage, I get an earful about my “bigotry” and “theocratic” tendencies. Critics ask, why don’t you ever write about how Christians treat people different than themselves?

When I write about Christians’ behavior toward people different than themselves, visitor traffic plummets and comments are nearly silent.


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9 thoughts on “Strange

  1. I generally feel no motivation to post if it’s only a nod of agreement, and there are no further thoughts to add.

    I find in real life discussions, we (or myself, at least) spend more time and effort sharing and bonding with others over points of common ground. But I just don’t find internet blog/forum discussions valuable for that sort of thing. Some people do use them for a sense of comradery and belonging among like-minded people, but real life fulfills my needs in that respect.

    What I lack in real life are forums where the kinds of disagreements that I have with others (with respect to politics, religion, philosophy, or anything else) can be voiced freely and discussed. And I think its actually better, in some respects, because it removes most of the maneuvering one has to do around all the psychology at play in real time conversations (especially when strong convictions are being debated).

    So that’s my 2 cents.

  2. That makes sense.

    Survey researchers speak of negativity bias in open-ended questions. People are more likely to make a point about something that bothers them, or that they disagree with, than something with which they agree or are satisfied. It’s a human nature thing, and I really don’t expect anything else. I was just bleating, as C.S. Lewis once put it.

    I do hope, though, that when someone says, “Why don’t you ever write about the church’s treatment of gays?” or “Why don’t you ever criticize your own group’s errors?” they will remember that I’m willing to do that where I see it.

  3. On that note, I’ve had it in the back of my mind for a long time to write about some of the sillier ways some disbelievers in evolution will criticize it. Not long ago I heard, “If we descended from apes, why are there still apes?” Not a good argument. Not even good enough to call it an argument. There are others like that. I’ll have to write on that sometime soon.

  4. @Tom,
    With respect to evolution, it might be helpful to (at some stage) provide an itemization of all the things that the word “evolution” is used to mean. And then what constitutes “evidence” for each of them. And then we might be able to finally communicate with those who imagine that “natural selection and random mutation” implies “all diversity of life follows from the laws of nature”.

  5. Yea, I see that one a lot. Equally bad is when you hear someone on team evolution claiming that we’re the descendants of monkeys. That’s also really common.

    One further thought to add though, I still find many posts and articles valuable even if I agree with them, have nothing to object too, or otherwise am unmotivated to comment – the lack of motivation to comment could be disinterest, but it’s also quite frequently an unspoken compliment.

  6. @Doug

    I often also find it useful to clarify the distinction between the theory of evolution and abiogenesis (or simply “life origins” in general). Many people – regardless of position – think that the former somehow involves the latter, when in reality evolution simply talks about what happens to life that already exists, not how it got there in the first place.

    For example, I’ll see some people mocking the theory of evolution for claiming we came from “dirt”, while their issue is really with the theory of abiogenesis. Likewise, someone can be an ardent evolutionist while disbelieving the notion of abiogenesis.

  7. @David,

    The difficulty is that there are many “theories of evolution”. It is true that the scientific “theory of evolution” stands distinct from abiogenesis. However, New Atheists are entirely disingenuous to claim that distinction, as their preferred “theory of evolution” logically necessitates abiogenesis! But they leverage the equivocation to the hilt.

    It is almost like Santa Claus: If I flip-flop between the historical Saint Nicholas and the centuries-of-accreted-legends Santa Claus, all the while referring to the two the same way, I could mock people for not believing in a historical character while claiming all kinds of non-historical things for the “same character” (not the same character at all).

    This is precisely what New Atheists do. They mock people for not believing in the scientific theory of evolution while claiming all kinds of non-scientific things for the “same theory” (not the same theory at all).

  8. I understand the comments in your post.

    One must truly be ‘thick-skinned’ to do internet apologetics. There are many out there to criticize.

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