"A true atheist is either clinically insane or is insincere."

Feel free to join in on this discussion which was about climate change on my Facebook page.

 

http://www.facebook.com/iloveamericadarin/posts/1828012234241

 

Teaser:

Scott LePage

‎@Micah dude; A true atheist is either clinically insane or is insincere. In other words, you do know God exists or you'd be in a mental hospital.
It's okay, though God doesn't believe in atheists, either. You will
eventually believe. @Gerald dude; Thanx
for posting your insight! Really when it comes down to it in all of
this, there's scientific data that would seem to support both sides of
this endless (and pointless) debate. We really only need to know if we
should take an umbrella, wear a sweater or run for cover tomorrow.
That's all. ;)

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I couldn't access that comment on Facebook.
Try the second link.

"In other words, you do know God exists or you'd be in a mental hospital."

I wonder what he really means by that?  I've encountered many theists who waver in their beliefs, does he think they are mentally ill, too?  Once when I talked to a minister (while I lived in a small town and they frequently came to my home to try to convert me.  I've talked to a bunch of ministers and pastors and someone even sent a priest once!) I asked about the problem of not thinking of God as something real.  He responded that not everybody does, we just have to act as if we believe and want to believe, it doesn't matter if we really ever think God is real or not.  He said plenty of people come to him questioning their faith because they don't think God is real and he tells them the truth, that sometimes even he doesn't think God is real but he just carries on and acts as if God is real until he believes again.  The priest I talked to agreed with him and claimed that it is something he frequently heard in confession, too.  Either they were lying to me to get me to give church a try, or they were telling the truth.  I think that they were being sincere. 

Biblical literalism--being convinced that every word of the bible is true and handed down directly from the hands of Mr. Supreme Deity--- has a lot to do with this conversation.  If a person has no room for doubt or skepticism, that same person has no problem defining non-believers as 'insane' and name-calling more liberal biblical scholars or religious followers as 'insincere' Christians/Jews/Muslims etc.  These types of Christians take that expression "one true path" seriously and think that everybody else is misguided.

I have to laugh about it when conservative religious folks call someone insane or mentally ill because they don't seem to believe in mental illness or learning disabilities, just character defects and "not being right with God." 

Yeah, actually it is rather the other way around. Actually I think that's how I read it the first time - "a true theist is either insane or insincere". That certainly is how I feel about religion. If you really believe that crap, you're nuts. And if you only believe in a half-assed way, you are being dishonest with yourself. Yup, that about sums it up for me!

So, does that mean we should be in a mental hospital for not believing in a non existent being, or should the person who wrote this be in one for claiming a non existent being doesn't believe in ones that clearly exist?

Replace 'atheist' with 'believer' and then I'll agree with the title statement.

What is the assertion based upon?  The premise that the speaker of such nonsense wants to believe there IS a god?
As I recall, my response was similar to another's and along the lines of 'put me down for insane. If I said insinsere, how could you believe me?'

This same person declared he was an "Intellectual Christian". Then proceeded to pull out the tired line of 'God doesn't believe in atheists.' This guy was honestly smitten with himself over that. Very smug. The original topic of debate which elicited the titled response was actually over climate change.

I've recently lost two 'friends' over arguments about climate change, politics or religion. Gerald is notorious with petty unfriending so when I found out about that my treatment of his arguments was more direct. People who think they are smarter than average hate being shown the contrary.
Things that don't exist don't hold many beliefs, rule of thumb. Say that.

My response (noting that I can't see the conversation):

 

Me: So I'm clinically insane or insincere to the point of view of one who is arrogantly in denial and self-deluded?  I submit that you either cannot or will not think rationally about this issue.  You've swallowed your beliefs and your god whole and you cannot think objectively about either.  That being the case, there is no point to this conversation ... later.

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