American culture must be harder on atheists - they all seem so bitter and I suspect that’s largely because the culture of American Christendom is difficult.American culture is not that hard on atheists. We're not bitter, we're angry: angry at injustice, oppression and cruelty, and often intolerant of the religious bullshit that directly or indirectly supports such evils.
“Strong Atheists” (those who believe “Absolutely, positively, there is no god)...”This is a substantive misrepresentation of the strong atheist position: the qualifier "absolutely" is inappropriate. Strong atheists typically have a positive belief that no God exists, as opposed to the "weak" atheist position as professing no actual belief about god one way or another. No skeptic believes anything "absolutely" in the sense that they would hold onto the belief in the presence of convincing evidence to the contrary.
...are apparently being taught to argue as though they are “Weak Atheists” (those who believe “I don’t believe in God because no one has provided me with any credible evidence that God exists.”) in order to shift the burden of proof to Christianity.We are not being "taught" to argue anything. Difficult as it is for Christians to comprehend, we atheists think for ourselves. There is a debate among atheists as to whether strong atheism or weak atheism is the superior philosophical position. There is also the correct point that regardless of the strong or weak atheist position, Christians do have their own burden of proof.
Thanks to Dawkins and co atheists continue to argue with a caricature of ChristianityIt is ludicrous to assert — at least without a "No True Scotsman" fallacy — that a general form of religion actually held and believed by hundreds of millions (perhaps billions if you count Muslims) constitutes a "caricature".
In all probability (since I don't know the blogger's actual theological views), his personal construction of Christianity is too vague and meaningless to be worth serious philosophical or political discussion.
Faith is seem to be a “superstitious logical jump” in the face of conflicting evidence rather than a conviction of truth without all the evidence.Yes. That's precisely what it is. In order to have "evidentiary" support for any religion, Christians typically redefine the meaning of "evidence".
Atheists hate being compared to Mao - but love comparing Christians to the Crusaders (or in fact any nasty people carrying out nasty acts in the name of Jesus). When you suggest that these Christians weren’t being Christian you’re guilty of breaching the “no true Scotsman” fallacy - when you suggest that their anger at the Mao analogy is similarly a “no true Scotsman” fallacy you’re told that Mao was not motivated by his atheism… is it just me seeing this as contradictory?Yes, it's just him. The No True Scotsman fallacy converts an evidentiary claim to a definitional claim. No atheist — even those who don't admire Mao at all — says that Mao was not a "true atheist"; of course he was an atheist. No skeptical atheist claims that atheism magically confers some sort of innate moral superiority: atheists can be just as cruel, selfish and indifferent to the suffering of others as any other person. Atheism just removes one form of moral justification for one's cruelty. As the saying goes, you don't need God for good people to do good and bad people to do evil, but you do need religion for good people to do evil.
When someone says, "I'm going to kill in the name of God," we suspect that perhaps he's going to kill in the name of God. When Mao says, "I'm going to oppress the bourgeoisie in the name of the dictatorship of the proletariat," we suspect he's going to oppress the bourgeoisie in the name of the dictatorship of the proletariat, not oppress the religious in the name of atheism. This is not complicated stuff.
A whole lot of bad teaching is coming home to roost - doctrinal clarity is important. Ideas like “God is love” that don’t speak to God’s wrath, holiness, or judgement have caused more harm than good. This is what happens when only part of the gospel is considered with another part swept under the carpet.What was the author saying a bit earlier about "caricatures" of Christianity?
At the end of the day - my staunch “Reformed” understanding of evangelism and election means that I’m not in any position to convince those whose hearts are hardened to the gospel.Translation: "My imperviousness to reason makes me unable to convince those who demand evidence and logic to support a position."
And a bonus point - “evidence” is seen to be some sort of magic bullet for atheists - but naturalism presupposes the supernatural - and as soon as something supernatural is demonstrably tested it’s no longer supernatural but just an undiscovered natural entity - God is, by definition, supernatural. He can not possibly be tested in this manner, because we can’t expect him to conform to our “testing” and act the same way over and over again…Translation: "Their reliance on evidence and logic makes it impossible for atheists to convince someone who demands reference to the myths and social constructions of iron-age slave-owning misogynist goat-herders to support a position."