(Most of these cut-and-pastes have portrayed discussions -- or should I say: hopeless attempts at discussion -- with some of my fellow atheists. A rejection of the prevailing metaphysical outlooks is a not inconsiderable thing to have in common with someone, I find, which is why I didn't give up after my first comment in these exchanges. My posting the discussions here indicates that eventually, with a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, I did give up, and I feel that there's nothing left to do but say, "Look, I tried." The following exchange is between me and a Christian. I usually don't debate very much with Christians on religious subjects. I simply don't see the point, the commonality of outlook necessary for meaningful communication seems to me to be lacking. Usually. However, the Christian in the discussion below -- I'm going to call him C -- is very intelligent and reasonable, on most topics. He and I have have had many long interesting conversations. He's a good upstanding liberal. However, he does seem to have a blind spot in the shape of the imaginary cross to which he thinks he has been nailed. You'll see. I'm calling him C, not to stand for "Christian," but because this is my second cut-and-past of dialogue today, and I kinda wish I could get C together with B from the previous post, and let them go to town on each other. Take some of the pressure off of the rest of us, you know? There is a news story about an atheist couple who went to a Catholic hospital and were told by the receptionist that atheists should not be allowed to reproduce. [Yeah, it is kind of ironic that the receptionist at a CATHOLIC hospital would say such a thing.] Responding to this story, C said the following.)
C: Now you know how it feels like being a Christian in academia.
ME: Please. I think the presidents of almost all the universities in the Big East and about half of those in the ACC are Catholic clergymen. No, I really don't think I know what it feels like to be a Christian in academia. Must be sweet. Christian self-pity is just so absurd.
C: Dismissing other people's experience with sarcasm is a sign of misanthropy.
ME: I was not being the slightest bit sarcastic.
C: That's even more misanthropic. At least limit your two minute hate to two minutes.
ME: You're making a fool of yourself.
C: Every atheist argument always boils down to a personal attack.
ME: Untrue again.
C: So did that one. Try getting an atheist to make an argument that does not involve either a) a personal attack, b) a double standard, or c) a metaphor. You can’t do it. It can’t be done. These three ‘arguments’ are the core of atheist thinking. To atheists, double standards invalidate the need for evidence, metaphors invalidate the need for logical analysis, and personal attacks invalidate the need for reasoned exposition.
(I repeat: C is very intelligent and reasonable -- most of the time. You wouldn't know it from the above exchange, but he is. And that makes him completely different from the usual atheists whom I have immortalized in posts like this.)