“Christians are Retarded” and Other Stupid Things People Say

I’ve decided  to disrupt my totally erratic and inconsistent posting “schedule” to write a special response to this amazing work of art blog post on “Godless Mom‘s” blog: “Christians are Mentally Ill“, by @virtuarat.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 10.14.34 AMI’m not entirely sure what inspired Godless Mom to allow this kind of nonsense on her blog, but after interacting with @virtuarat a little bit on twitter, he assured me that he was using “the word ‘retarded’ in its truest sense“, it is not meant to be insulting, and he does stand by the use of “the word retarded“. And by “retarded”, he means “delay the development or progress of; hinder or impede“.

So, in his post, @Virtuarat attempted to lay out his case as to why Christians are delayed, hindered or impeded in their development.
Go ahead and read it.

– He mentions something about contradictions
– Something confused regarding the Council of Nicea
– Has a meme that says the Bible is “a good book of children’s stories”
– He grabbed 3 verses in an attempt to show something about Biblical morality
– Compares Christians to a child having a tantrum
– Asserts that the “purpose of organized religion” is “power, money and control” by using “the threat of eternal damnation” over the people’s heads
– Essentially says that religious people have been indoctrinated since they were children
– and concludes with “What’s the difference between a Christian and an Atheist? The Atheist grew up!”

Well, there you have it folks. A rock solid argument showing exactly how Christians are retarded. Oh wait. Nevermind.
This post doesn’t show that at all.
This is nothing more than a short rant about Christianity that concludes with “The Atheist grew up”, and the Christian did not.
– He doesn’t show that Christianity is false.
– He doesn’t address any of the evidence for Christian theism (more on this later)
– He doesn’t make any sort of case against theism.
– His conclusion doesn’t even follow the shallow criticisms.
– He doesn’t even repeat the “there is no evidence for gawwd” mantra.

From what I can tell, the argument is as such:
1. I think Christianity is false.
2. ????????
3. ????????
4. Therefore, Christians are retarded.

To be honest, I don’t care if this random person thinks that when we Christians “grow up”, we’ll embrace atheism. But there’s a larger problem here; and that is this attempt by many ‘[totally unreasonable] atheists‘ to simply label religious people as “brainwashed”, “retarded”, “mentally challenged” or in one way or another, simple minded and intellectually inferior to the all-wise and grown-up atheists.

You aren’t doing anybody any favors by defining them as intellectually inferior, and placing yourself on a pedestal. Even when you try to justify your position by calling your opponent “retarded”, “mentally challenged”, “brainwashed”, or “pretending to know things you don’t know”, you are defining your opponent into irrationality.

Is your goal to actually move the discussion forward?
Or is your goal to halt the discussion by calling your opponent names and accusing him of being able to think properly?

If you fall into the latter category, you really need to rethink your priorities. It seems quite pretentious to say that you are intellectually superior to *all christians*, simply because you are an atheist.

It may turn out that Christianity is false.
“You must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became so silly.”
#bulverism

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8 thoughts on ““Christians are Retarded” and Other Stupid Things People Say

  1. NotAScientist

    “Is your goal to actually move the discussion forward?”

    For many, the goal is to make themselves feel better after years or even decades of being run down by religion and religious people. This is not the case with all, obviously. I can understand it even if I don’t do it myself.

    Also, the internet is full of immature people. Atheists are no more immune to this than Christians.

    Reply
    1. ElijiahT Post author

      As someone who regularly deals with the immaturity of people on all sides of these discussions, I see no problem in saying immature people exist everywhere. I wish it wasn’t the case.

      Reply
  2. Andy Hobson

    To be honest, I fear there will be no ‘moving forward’ of the discussion based on my eperience with debating theists. Some of whom are on record as saying that their minds will not be changed regardless of how much or how compelling the evidence against them is, as well as the absolute lack of evidence they can provide to support their own position.
    My blog post was deliberately contentious, not through immaturity, but instead through exasperation!
    There is just no debating with some people, and I do get tired of saying the same things over and over to someone who may as well have their fingers firmly in their ears!

    Reply
    1. ElijiahT Post author

      May I suggest you avoid writing things out of exasperation? Perhaps you would not have jumped to such a conclusion if you had written it after considering the reasons and evidence in favor of such a conclusion.

      Reply
  3. Godless Cranium

    I don’t think my atheism makes me more intelligent. I’ve met Christians who I consider to be very intelligent. I also don’t think they were child-like.

    In fact, I used to be a Christian, and I don’t think my atheism suddenly converted me into a hyper-smart adult.

    However, I do think Christianity is false. I think it can be extremely harmful. I think it pushes ‘faith’ over ‘reason’ and I think it’s full of horribly outdated, bad ideas.

    As a social worker, I also don’t think people should throw the word ‘retarded’ about. It’s an actual medical term, and unless someone is qualified to diagnose someone else, I don’t think the term should be thrown around casually.

    That’s my opinion after reading this post and the other one.

    Thanks for the read.

    Reply
  4. Skepticism First (@SkepticismFirst)

    “It may be that religious explanations are not, in fact, and could never be adequate explanations. But this needs to be demonstrated rather than assumed. Until it is demonstrated, we should not assume that all theories that posit a supernatural agent ipso facto fail to meet our general standards of explanatory adequacy.”

    – Gregory Dawes, Theism and Explanation

    Reply
  5. carmelitaspats666

    I am atheist and I don’t think that I was “retarded” when I was a Christian. I didn’t become “smart” when I left the god belief and the members of my family who are Christian are not “retarded”. I simply chose to apply the exact same standards of skepticism, evidence, to the resurrection of Christ that I already apply to other supernatural claims and from there, it was like knocking down dominoes. I wasn’t dealing with an intelligence issue but one where fallacies, biases, inconsistency, desire, cultural influences and a host of other factors fostered a double standard. A great resource to being evaluating your thinking and making you aware of biases is John Loftus’ “The Outsider Test for Faith”:

    http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2007/03/outsider-test-for-faith.html

    Reply
  6. humanisthuman

    ElijiahT,

    There are personality flaws on both sides of this fence. As there are people involved, it can be no other way.

    I believe the real problem arises when some person, or group, is incapable or unwilling to argue respectfully on an issue’s merit. Having lost the will to use their intellect, or perhaps inappropriately choosing an aggressive tact, they lash out. This offends and the original target(s) respond in kind, ad nauseam.

    Don’t allow yourself to be reduced to that. Be strong and seek out intelligent and respectful argument. I assure you this will result in personal and intellectual growth. You will gain a greater understanding of what respect really is, and you may in time come to appreciate the importance of acceptance over mere tolerance.

    If you’re really, really fortunate, you may even come to a true understanding of your religion, and more importantly, your faith.

    Reply

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