Things Not to Say to an Atheist

The title of this post is probably a topic for a weekly feature all its own. Perhaps even a daily one. Fear not, This blog is not about to go full militant atheist.

Still, when somebody wanders into my house and starts flinging poo at the walls, I think it’s only fair to feel some kind of way about it.

I present to you the following comment, which landed on this post just yesterday (emphasis mine):

I wonder why some humans take no personal responsibility for what happens in the world? Just because you have never had a personal relationship or experience with God, doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. It just means you may not be one of the humans He has chosen to show Himself to. Even if He did, the way you think would cause you to attribute His interaction with you to something you did to make it so. I feel such pity for humans like you. If you had lived my life, you would KNOW Him as I do. But He has given you freewill, and thus, the option to say He does not exist. All will become clear when you encounter Him after death. Humans are wrong about many, many, many, MANY things. Believing there is no God is the most tragic of all.

I could pick this thing to pieces, but again, that’s not my schtick — I’m a more-or-less friendly atheist. There’s at least four or five questionable assumptions and dubious claims in here, but the one sticking in my teeth like a popcorn kernel is the bolded line.


Pity assumes that the pitied party is in really dire straits. (Sidenote: are you familiar with Puddles’ Pity Party? You should be, and I say that even though my comfort level with clowns is barely inches above the pavement.) Pity assumes that the pitier is in a superior position, somehow, to the pitied. And pity is, therefore, pretty much innately condescending. Someone up high feeling badly for someone down low.

Get the hell out of here with that.

If I’m to be pitied, it’s only for thinking that I could somehow start turning a dime off my words after almost 40 years walking this earth, not because I don’t believe in the specific god that you happen to believe. I’m doing just fine in my heathenism. Good house, good job, good family.

And, somewhat off the point: what’s up with calling me a “human”? Are you not a human? Am I somehow less than a person? I can’t prove it, but it definitely feels derogatory, so minus points for that, too.

This is not the humble, shrinking atheist you were looking for.

You can go about your business.

Atheist Symbol

11 thoughts on “Things Not to Say to an Atheist

  1. Adult ‘humans’ and their invisible friends! What a crackup!

    If a comment/diatribe like that had of landed in my inbox I’d want to use a high-pressure fire hose and hospital grade detergent to scrub the thing clean – for the next week.

    You’ve done well to control yourself in the presence of a religious wowser Pav. As the old saying goes, I’ve got nothing against God. It’s his fan club I can’t stand.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I forgot to add a link to my page since WordPress won’t link to it after I changed the site address. For anyone interested, it is:

    Although I don’t talk about the delicious and supremely refreshing taste of an ice cold Pepsi on there, I do discuss my journey from believer to skeptical deist. Hate to be one to plug my own site, but WordPress wants to charge me money to link my new address so I have to do it this way or upgrade my account. I have a feeling that since my views are still in a state of change, I’ll be changing the title again soon…we’ll see.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I always try to be polite, even when I disagree with someone. Some, as in Caroline’s case, are very stubborn. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I had to stop writing back and forth as she was determined to just say I was wrong regardless of facts. Some people say they are open to being proven wrong…until you do and then they choose not to believe you based on their own beliefs. That’s fine though. I have no intention of trying to force anything on anyone else. I don’t have of the answers myself. Even if I did, people can still choose to ignore them.
        Thanks for checking my blog out. It’s a work in progress because I am too. Still adjusting to the transition from believer to unbeliever. It’ll just take some time to process everything.


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