Questionable Motives

September 29, 2009

Advice to atheists how to seem to be nicer

Filed under: 1,Humour,Religion — tildeb @ 12:21 pm

First there was this bit of fluff posted at the St. Eutychus web site.

One might be forgiven to assume that the advice was well-intentioned… except for that word seem. That single word is a dead giveaway that the underlying assumption is that atheists, because of their lack of belief, are NOT nice.

Blogger PZ Myers hits the nail on the head with his response. Read it here.

Jerry Coyne adds his voice to the theological whack-a-mole criticism here.

And that raises an interesting question: Why should atheists be nice to those who are so willing to assume the worst of intentions about them?


  1. The “seem” might also imply that atheists are nice, but they don’t seem nice because of their boisterous argumentation, so here’s some ways to let us better appreciate you trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, but not reverent selves.

    Comment by Oran Kelley — September 29, 2009 @ 7:05 pm | Reply

  2. Welcome, O.K. Nice of you to drop by and post a comment.

    You seem to make a good point. So tell me: why do we hear a silent ‘but’ after that sentence? It’s quite telling, don’t you think?

    Nathan posted Here are five tips for my atheist friends to help them seem nicer and more reasonable. Twice the bang for the buck, eh? That sentence tells me that Nathan thinks that a) his atheist friends are not very nice and b) are something less than reasonable. But we’re talking about a discussion dealing with particulars within a specific faith, although by definition faith requires no reason whatsoever. So when reason is supplied to back up what informs particulars about a faith, it is usually of the very poor variety, such as the reasoning behind the five points that Nathan offers us. The point I am making here is that atheists (by and large) want their reasons to stand or fall on their own merit and expect no less from those who pretend wish to reasonably inform their faith with the same kind in a discussion about particular points within a faith.

    Comment by tildeb — September 29, 2009 @ 9:11 pm | Reply

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