Maybe I need to get down to basics
I’m not really interested in being obvious. I enjoy finding unusual angles and approaches, and I don’t want to waste my time proving that the world’s round, or grass is green. There’s nothing wrong with that in its place, but it’s not my thing.
That’s served me well enough until now, and it’s still true that if I’m ever reduced to posts with no more content than “What about those creationists, eh?” this blog will have passed its sell-by date. But then I experienced a sudden influx after being featured on Freshly Pressed (waves to new followers), and I found myself attracting sermons from people who didn’t know me, haven’t been following my story and in some cases, didn’t even convince me that they’d read and understood the post in question.
Actually, let’s just dwell on that for a second. They see a post like that – not picking a fight, not attempting to promote a particular point of view, just dealing with the difficult and emotional situation of trying to explain my changed opinion – and their first thought is to reply with a load of preaching. What’s that all about? Did I accidentally post a hidden message saying “Sermons wanted – Stop me and preach one”? Or maybe I exude some powerful pheromone. Because there’s no way that anyone, whatever their personal opinions, would consider that sort of behaviour pleasant or appropriate. Would they?
I have a tendency to be hard on myself for the things I used to believe and the way I used to behave, but I’m pretty sure that even in my crassest, most socially inept God-bothering moments, I’d never have considered doing anything like that. You might as well have an altar call at a funeral, or preach a sermon about how the deceased was currently burning in the fiery pits of hell. Sadly and astonishingly, I’ve heard of both of these actually happening, but the point is that there’s a time and a place for everything.
Moving on – I don’t want the comments on every post to become repetitive arguments about the evidence for any given belief system, and I’m not particularly interested in spending my time gratuitously telling people that their beliefs are false, but when they make claims that are very obviously flawed or untrue, I’m not happy to let it go, and just deleting the comments would feel uncomfortably like censorship.
If obviously false or flawed arguments are being made, there must be value in a careful and detailed explanation of why they’re flawed. And having set that out once, it can be referred to as often as required. The claims can be addressed in the time it takes to post a link.
So I’m thinking of writing a new series of posts debunking the sort of tired old apologetics that really ought to be taken out and shot, but I’ll settle for the short-lived pleasure of knocking them down until they pop back up again a few days later. I’ll try to keep it interesting, and will continue to write about more interesting things in between, but I hope they’ll build up into a useful archive for reference.