Creationistson August 14, 2012 at 2:03 am
Just viewing that title you are likely already either shuddering in horror or annoyance. I hear ya. But just imagine how terrifying every day is for them:
Can you imagine really believing in a God that “intelligently designed” the human body? A God who decided the appendix, a walking time bomb, was a good idea as are: male nipples, a third eyelid, tonsils, adenoids, and tailbone. Those are just the spare parts too! Why would God design tartar? Or any of the other hundreds of things which regularly plague and eat away at our bodies every day?
Any halfway intelligent 8 year-old with Crayolas and a piece of paper could come up with a better design for humans than what we have naturally. So is this God just not very creative? Or is he just using all the pieces in the toolbox even though they are just “extras” that aren’t needed? While we look at these vestigial parts as a dead giveaway that we must have evolved from something, creationists still will say that such things are God’s will. This leads many atheists to sigh and conclude that:
I know I often wish we could just get them to see reality. I like to think that the answer to “curing” their misconceptions is as simple as:
But here is the thing: if you were in their shoes and really believed in hell and a God that “intelligently designed” us like mismatching parts from different Lego sets but who still paid close enough attention to our daily doings to punish us for a myriad of small sins (despite allowing us to make those choices), I would bet you would not want to embrace the truth either. Why? Because for many fear is the biggest, if not only, motivator and they would rather try to obey a mentally deranged creator so as to avoid the inevitable sting of condemnation than embrace the notion that no creator exists at all. If they were to study biology and see those truths then they may wander down the lonely path of unbelief which would shake the very core of their day to day life. They stand losing their community, their family, and their black vs white morality which may be constricting but never makes decisions difficult for them. All for what? The freedom to have to think for themselves and to create their own destiny. Should they do that and be wrong then their punishment will be great in God’s hands. Should they stay as they are then life will be the same albeit in a smaller pool of people with less knowledge to pursue and fewer choices to make. Also they won’t go to hell as long as they stick to the narrow of the mad creator and don’t question the purpose of wisdom teeth.
The question isn’t “why do people still believe such silly things,” the question is “how can we help those people to accept our scientific truth despite their irrational fears?” In a way we need to be “missionaries” to those who don’t understand that the evidence given to us by science is more amazing than that which can come from a desperate, vengeful god. The more we just attack them as being stupid and belittle their fears as nonsense the less likely they are to hear the truth in our arguments.
I know it may be hard in a world of r/atheists to not get wound up about an issue and just stand on your academic pedestal sneering down at those who oppose the facts, but being sympathetic to religious people’s very real (to them) fears will get us much farther towards “converting” them to the truth. I would be scared of offending their god too if I believed in him!
Try to remember that behind every creationist or religious person there is a human being who will respond well when treated with dignity. Don’t attack them as idiots. Attack the religion and the source of the irrational fears. Those are what are truly in the wrong, not the person.