Friday, May 10, 2013

Ah, no, I don't think so

Jerry Coyne has an interesting post based on a letter he received from a Christian who has all but deconverted. I especially invite readers who are believers to read the post and the comments (the letter writer shows up in the comments) and tell me what you think.

What I think is this: Jerry is being played. The letter is in the "too good to be true" science-changed-my-mind-I-can't-believe-how-dumb-I-was category. I admit I am not sure--and it is well done--but there is a certain call central casting flavor to it that trips my BS detector.

The writer is certainly receiving lots of attaboys and backslaps.

I could very well be wrong. What say you?


  1. I don't know. I think it's probably legit. He does seem to be deconverted, but still wishes to call himself a Christian in some sense. There's millions of those people today. We call them Episcopalians. ;) Just kidding...kind of...

    I have seen this kind of talk and thinking from people who were brought up as Fundamentalists (which is seems like Jim may have been according to his comments) and are unequipped to face the world with the teaching they have received. They got ripped off on their theology by a pastor with a fake doctorate from a basement bible college, who insists on being called "Dr." to reaffirm his authority over his congregation. Jim's uses the word "most" so often, that I think he's got little exposure to Christianity outside of his own experience, so he believes his experience is the norm. The fact is, his experience is the norm for a lot of people, and those people are ripe pickings for the likes for Coyne.

  2. He doesn't come across to me as 'deconverted'. Or at least, that's not the impression we're supposed to get of him.

    But he writes a letter to Jerry Coyne, supposedly to apologize for the treatment Coyne received... and then he launches into a very long and wide, wide criticism of just about every atheist talking point you could imagine. I think the coup de grace was his talking about trutherism as if this was exclusively some muslim thing, as opposed to an American liberal thing.

    Actually, no. The best part was the exoneration of Coyne's comment section. All the namecalling, mockery, etc is ruled justifiable on the grounds that he thinks Christians act poorly. He mentions that the tone is hard to get used to at times, but darnit, he thinks Christians deserve it.

    So I'd have to go with David on this one. I don't think it's a "too good to be true" science-changed-my-mind letter. It's due to it being a letter of complete and total apology, with absolutely zero criticism of a New Atheist movement that even other atheists acknowledge is rife with problems. Basically it's a letter building up the only kind of Christian Cult of Gnu atheists can tolerate - ones who concede all claims, offer no criticisms or reply, and apologize profusely for everything.

    Well written fake, though, if it is one.

  3. To me, it doesn't really matter. I always try to respond to things like that because, even if it's just a joke, my answer won't be, and that may bless somebody even if not the author of the letter.

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