Theistic Errors

This page summarizes, with examples, errors made by theists.

False balance
Under the guise ensuring "inclusion" of all points of view - even those that are hateful, false, and perverse - "balance" is often used as the means to bring religulous points of view to the fore, and give them, erroneously, equal privilege to points of view founded on truth and well-being.  This "false balance" is on display daily by the American Religulous Right, but it occurs in more subtle forms too.  Forms which many moderate theists are silent about - and therefore complicit in.
  • IDiot William Dembski will give a seminar at the University of Chicago in August 2014.  Jerry Coyne has given compelling evidence that the reason such a delusional freak as Dembski is allowed to speak at a University is plainly a case of false balance.

Fuzzy reasoning
A popular technique used especially by apologists and accommodationists is fuzzy reasoning - and I don't mean in terms of fuzzy logic either, but rather (intentionally) being less than crisp in their reasoning or argumentation so as to make unfounded connections between concepts most people will rationally agree with and theistic claims.  Some examples include:
  • Tanya Lombrozo part 2: It can be rational to have faith.
  • David Dunn confuses epistemology and ontology. Excerpt: "Theological studies is not about trying to figure out what God wants; it’s the study of how human beings respond to what they think God wants. That is why some theologians are atheists. To do what I do, belief in God is kind of irrelevant."  A theology assumes the actual existence of a god, regardless of whether a theologian "believes" in the god or not.  Dunn is right that belief (epistemology) is irrelevant, but that does not at all settle the question of actual existence (ontology).
  • Jerry Coyne explain why Sean McElwee cannot reason for shit.  McElwee, writing in, tries to argue that the New Atheists are just plain wrong.  It turns out that it's McElwee that's wrong, and that anyone with even the most modest training in rational thinking can prove it.  Jerry Coyne completely eviscerates his arguments neatly and without any particular appeal to complex science or philosophy.
  • If God is guiding evolution (as some IDiots claim), then why did the evolution of platelets lead to cardiovascular disease is modern humans? Didn't God know this would happen? Or did he just not give a fuck?
  • Gallup and Pew studies find that it's okay to claim to be a Christian first and an American second, but not okay to to claim to be a Muslim first and an American second. That Christian Americans exhibit a common characteristic with Muslim Americans, yet find only their own position righteous is clearly a sign of their collectively flaccid intellect.
  • The Argument from the Photoshopped Cow.

Rhetoric without substance
Many apologists and "Sophisticated Theologians" use fancy-schmancy language and argumentation to make you think they make sense, when in fact they make no sense at all.  It's what happens when good education meets delusion.  The undisputed king of this approach is the fetid William Lane Craig.

The encouragement of ignorance
One of the biggest problems facing society is ignorance.  Ignorance leads to anger, to bigotry, to unwarranted selfishness.... Nothing good ever comes of ignorance.  But theists are perfectly happy to accept ignorance - even encourage it.  This makes sense, of course, because they are peddling lies, and the ignorance are just that much more susceptible to lies.
  • Rabbi encourages ignorance.
  • Muslim students boycott lectures on evolution.
  • The Pope asks Catholics to be stupid. He said: "if we want to find the God who appeared as a child, then we must dismount from the high horse of our 'enlightened' reason. We must set aside our false certainties, our intellectual pride, which prevents us from recognizing God’s closeness."  Fuck that!
  • From this paper: "Analyses show that sectarian Protestants, Catholics, and people with fundamentalist beliefs in the inerrancy of the Bible have significantly lower levels of scientific literacy when compared with secular Americans. Religious differences are identifiable in multivariate analyses controlling for other demographic factors."

Sometimes, the facts just cannot be moulded to suit theistic purposes.  In cases like this, theists - and especially fundamentalists - will lie.  They will literally make shit up to further their cause.

So many theists think that one single thought, or one single argument, or one single book can undermine the cumulative wisdom of science.  It's one of the most supremely arrogant positions one can possibly take.

Fuelling suffering and death
Religion is often used as the foundation for actions that can only be described as evil.

Confounding science and scientists
It seems that zealots love to cast doubt on scientific finding by suggesting that the scientists themselves are bad people.  Usually, this is because the zealots cannot argue the science (because it's correct, or because they're uneducated) and they have a perverted desire to transfer their own inadequacies to others.  All they prove is how badly they need therapy.

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