Monthly Archives: December 2017

“Out Of The Fog” – Another Toxic Recovery Forum

After losing interest in the subject for a long time, I finally had a close look at another internet community based on personality disorders, a disciple of which I’ve seen trying to poison strangers online (for a couple of years and ongoing), perhaps out of reflex, with the idea that they are being emotionally abused by their partners or family members. When the response given to anyone succinctly posting a relationship dilemma is by default along those lines, something is awry.

Not having spent more than a few hours looking it up and reading through it, I do know what comes out of there, when one is immersed in this line of thought.

The difference between offering an opinion and proselytising is in nuance, in the ability to evaluate every situation on its own merits. When someone reacts like a person with a hammer, to whom everything looks like a nail, things are clear.

The forum is differently structured than PF and covers more than romantic relationships or marriages, which PF focused on. It doesn’t overtly demonise people with personality disorders, but claims to offer coping strategies instead (a misleading appearance, as detailed below). At a peek there is no mention of evil, demonic beings set on destroying their targets etc. However, a review of the book with the same name mentions black and white thinking, splitting humans into two categories: “the PDs” (personality disordered) and the “nons” (non-disordered) . And the acronym PD appears often on the site. Hence they don’t even have to pretend they are knowledgeable enough to identify a specific disorder.

To their credit, they declined to create a subsection for teens, seeing the problems that might pose (while PF targeted them directly in a marketing effort).

However, at a closer look, one can see a person is likely to be labelled disordered, or at least be suspected as such, for just any reason. And any reason is no stretch.

There is a subsection about friends, neighbours, acquaintances and coworkers, where I reckon most of the baffling stuff is, from what I’ve seen so far. At least in a close relationship one has a reason to over-analyse.

As an example, a member ended up thinking her roommate might be disordered because the latter asked her to hold her stuff at a bar, “as if she were a coat rack”. Because apparently, disordered people are known to be selfish and since this one momentary gesture of debatable rudeness bothered her, the roommate is likely to have a real issue, regardless of the lack of other indications. A thread was opened about this gesture and no moderator stepped in to even issue an opinion regarding how accurate this might be. Which is proof that anything goes. Perhaps this is a random exaggeration; however; there don’t seem to be any guidelines helping people differentiate between what is likely real and what is likely imaginary.

All this has nothing to do with a presumed expertise in personality disorders, but with people airing their day-to-day grievances and sometimes ending up sticking labels on others.

The specific language is present as well (abbreviations understood only by those who activate in these circles, such as NC, LC, VLC, PD, JADE etc). More interestingly, I found the abbreviation FOO (family of origin) in a few places, previously encountered in Stefan Molyneux’s cult lingo, as in “family of origin”. He is the “patent holder” of the term de-FOO, as in disassociating with one’s family of origin (and often friends who don’t share Molyneux’s political ideology, when it comes to his followers).

Very interestingly, there is this remark on a page listing “what not to do” when confronted with disordered behaviours:

Amateur Diagnosis – An Amateur Diagnosis is when a non-qualified individual confronts someone whom they suspect suffers from a personality-disorder and shares this belief with them, usually in the hope that this revelation will help to improve the relationship or the situation.

Excuse my French, but doesn’t that cover doing so behind the person’s back, based on unprofessional information, and sharing that with strangers? I’ve come across diagnosing people by proxy (the boyfriend’s ex-wife, because he claimed so, lacking any diagnosis per se, or the member actually knowing the person referred to as disordered).

What is ethical about the fact that there is no difference of approach between members who do have a diagnosis for someone and those who simply suspect someone of having a disorder, as if it were all the same?

More food for thought about this site not being what it appears to at first. The comments on the first site mention a few of these forums (recognisable with a bit of prior knowledge).

The Aftermath of the Psycho/ Narc Hunt Obsession

As predicted, amateur online content claiming to offer insight into psychopaths and narcissists has been multiplying for a few years.

Obviously, there are content creators out there who have done intense research on the matter and have analysed it from any angle, including the problem of false identification (off-the-cuff diagnosis based on superficiality). However, they share the platform with a sea of dross.

A few years ago, such content was relatively rare. Now a large array of blogs and YouTube channels predicate inside knowledge into the “minds of the disordered”. On a mere glance, the vast majority seem founded by individuals with  no qualification in this field or in depth study of the issue. I dare assume that many were started as a result of a sour break-up or childhood-related resentment.

Though the term “psychopath” is sometimes used, “narcissist” is far more prevalent. Perhaps because it has been a lay term before becoming clinical and appears more relatable.

A few quotes picked up just through a quick search on YouTube:

  • How to spot a narcissist in five minutes/ on the first date. Pardon my doubts yet I think that unless someone is extremely disturbed it’s very difficult to tell, and most people do manage to make a good impression on a first date, if for no other reason than their conscious effort to do so. Such guidelines would be better worded as “how to ruin a first date by constantly checking for signs of narcissism”.
  • Is the narcissist watching you right now (the narcissist may be stalking you in any number of ways). So you’ve successfully distanced yourself from this person and all you need now is a dose of paranoia regarding what they might be doing. Very healthy indeed (excellent for triggering people who have been stalked in the past, by the way).
  • 121 things narcissists say while gaslighting (collected from a support group of people believing to have been targeted; most are extremely common in arguments; one of these things is “whatever”). This is on a large channel, by the way. Predictably, the first comment is “OMG I’ve been told 90% of these”. Absolutely unrelated, unscientific crap.
  • How to torture a narcissist. Better yet, why try?
  • 6 strong signs you have narcissistic abuse syndrome. This is directed at women and invites them to imagine that if they have certain emotional problems that is a strong indicator of their partner being a narcissist (no mention of the possibility of preexisting problems at all, or them being caused by other factors). The first two are “feeling alone” and “not feeling good enough”, which are par for the course with abandonment and anxiety issues and not necessarily caused by others in real time.

Moreover, this “support” has seeped into neutral environments. After watching someone seek out confused people to “help” on a forum, where they would pop up to  ask for relationship advice (being told each time they were being abused, regardless of the details), I did a quick Google search with specific keywords, to try to see how prevalent this is.

Doubtlessly, some who soak up this material, with a clear self-gratifying intention, try to sway unsuspecting strangers into thinking they are in a hopeless situation or even in danger. They actively search the internet for psychological fodder in other people’s temporary problems. And unlike content creators, who often have a financial interest, they gain nothing but the satisfaction of having potentially “saved” others from “Cluster B types”, regardless of how little they know about them.

Hence, some disciples of sites such as Psychopath Free, Out of the Fog & Co now try to influence people outside of those environments, who are merely looking to vent online or obtain objective advice (which is an illusion as most respondents simply project their own life experience). Disorders were not even an issue in discussions I’ve witnessed until said faithful disciples brought them up.

If sifting through broadly-themed forums was too time-consuming and lacked efficiency, I did have a look on other platforms. On Quora, for instance, there are many threads enquiring about the new general obsession with narcissism.

It’s definitely a mass phenomenon, not reserved for platforms one only ends up on when specifically seeking answers. Many reputable publications have covered the lists of behaviours and red flags, though to their credit, they tend to seek out professionals when putting out articles.

 

 

 

 

Embracing The Right Is Not The Answer To Disavowing The Radical Left

The past couple of years (at least) have seen a surge in criticism towards the radical left and the left in general, with media channels, big and small, suddenly erupting out of the ground like mushrooms after it rains.

Much of it, in its initial phase, was justified – it was, as declared, a campaign against speech policing, thought crimes, false accusations of bigotry based on imagined microaggressions, exacerbated feminism, the safe space culture, the doxxing and swarming of ideological opponents and so forth.

However, with all the political division and impending elections in a few countries (the US, the Netherlands, France), this freedom-loving camp started shifting right, too much for comfort, from a neutral humanist and fairness-loving position. And fairly rapidly, it ended up in the far right camp, taking its large fandom with it, where it all continues to this day.

I apologise for the anecdotal nature of this post – however, I am sure that many, at least in my generation, have undergone this process through this sudden rise of the right. Since mainstream media has become highly distrusted, people have turned to alternative media channels and got burnt just as much.This alternative media tide seemed organic at the time, yet in hindsight, seems increasingly suspicious, given how it played out.

Some of us genuinely did not see it coming. This was meant to be about standing up to feminist fury, man-hatred, irrationality and SJW demands. But it turned out to be about the worst aspects of conservatism, promotion of Christianity, xenophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment and race instead (yes, race, in the very worst way).

 

Choosing to only follow channels of a certain ideological persuasion can guarantee just that – being trapped in a bubble and poorly informed, potentially missing out on crucial data. What makes you think your favourite news commentators would be fair and impartial and wouldn’t outright deceive you, for their own purposes?

Some people saw this early on. The “fight for freedom and individualism” turned into the formation of another tribe, which allowed itself to coalesce with an ideology which is so extreme and unrelated to the issues initially stood for. An ideology most people would not associate themselves with, yet in droves, were incrementally dragged into. Day by day, “anger pill” after “anger pill”.

So below I will detail some of the commentators and channels which have led people down this path, week by week and month by month, while seeming rational and innocuous at first. To my knowledge, anyway, as there must be many more. However superfluous it might seem since they only operate on social media; they do have substantial influence, especially over young people (young voters, more like it). The numbers listed represent YouTube subscribers alone. The real figures must be much higher, since not everyone listening is an actual subscriber.

This is not an attempt to throw invisible spitballs at successful people, from the small standing of a nobody. It’s an attempt to paint the picture of gradual radicalisation, now that time is putting it in perspective.

Paul Joseph Watson, with a following of 1 114 637.

First appearing to be the sane and articulate side of Infowars, he became very popular by putting together scathing videos on feminists, nihilistic art, pop culture and so forth, which were excellently done. When the Trump campaign was set in motion, however, everything became pro-Trump propaganda, to the point of nausea. After the election this continued, with him supporting the Alex Jones mandated narrative and attacking everyone who disagreed with Trump’s measures or behaviour, down to fine details. Whereas his perspective on Islam seems accurate, coupled with the dehumanisation of refugees it reveals a clear xenophobic agenda. Not surprisingly, he activates in the newly tightened group on social media (with some of the individuals mentioned below), pretending not to be far right yet approving of everything the far right tries to push.

Rebel Media, with a following of 861 033.

This channel rose to popularity by claiming to defend freedom of speech, opposing the PC culture, censorship and the so-called Neo-Marxist agenda. They brought cases of political persecution to light, feminists overreacting, the gender pronoun issue etc. It was easy to agree with them on many of these carefully chosen matters. Fast forward to the height of the Trump campaign, and shortly after (and ever since), they’ve been busy spouting anti-immigrant rhetoric and defending the so-called “identitarian” movement (translation, white). They even took a trip to Israel promoting the expansionist policy and even claiming “it’s crusade o’clock in Jerusalem”; “let’s take Jerusalem back for Jesus”. One of their activists interrupted a play last year, about Julius Caesar (with some Trump elements included) by rushing onstage to cause a scandal, in the vein of SJWs protests. She was arrested and their founder, Ezra Levant, tried to rip donors off for her legal costs, by attempting to ask for more money after they’d been covered by donations. Two of her colleagues followed suit and interrupted the play on subsequent occasions (it makes you think whether mooching off Rebel fans was Levant’s intention). Another former reporter, Faith Goldy (specialising in xenophobic rhetoric), was at the Charlottesville incident, on the side of… you guessed it; the white supremacists. Rebel Media has lost many of its prolific propagandists, who were let go or left around the same time.

A few months ago, Rebel Media put out a video criticising white supremacy, presumably to distance themselves from it. The response was as amusing as it was predictable – down-votes in droves, and definitely not from leftie anti-racists. But from racists themselves – their own followers.

Lauren Southern, recently departed from Rebel Media to go independent, with a following of 391 0817 (which will increase due to her popularity there).

At first, Lauren Southern was seen as a courageous young woman who stood up against the far left, even being physically attacked at protests at times. And whilst she remains all that, presumably, she has congregated with the likes of Richard Spencer, a declared white supremacist, and has participated in anti-immigrant activism in Europe with a bunch of folks describing themselves as “identitarian”. Adding to that, she often pushes Christian traditionalism to the point of inducing vomit, and reminisces about the “good old days” which were long before her time, and were anything but good in terms of how minorities were treated. She seems preoccupied with how everyone should live, claiming to have found the answer to human happiness (Judaeo-Christian values).

Gavin McInnes, recently departed from Rebel Media onto the money-making machine of Infowars, with a following of 176 660 (which will increase, presumably).

To start with, as usual, he was a freedom of speech advocate, decrying the uber-feminised PC culture and resulting tense atmosphere. He was sharp, witty and humorous, and his rejection of censorship seemed appealing to many. However, his perspective had a clear streak of misogyny. Overtime, he obviously “campaigned” for Trump and subsequently went to Israel on the above-mentioned trip, lauding an eventual takeover of the entire Palestinian territory… “for Jesus”. He seems to glorify the “angry alpha male” the identitarian movement and so forth, which means that his entire rhetoric was actually meant to stir up anger and fuel this unhealthy drive, step by step.

 

Steven Crowder, with a following of 1 029 115.

The former abstinence campaigner, set on Christian values (hypocritical, impossible, artificial standards of behaviour), portrays himself as a comedian, often ridiculing the excesses of the left. He is very successful in that regard, sometimes infiltrating leftist circles and exposing their superficiality. His core message, while so many are enjoying his comedy, should not be overlooked. A conservative Christian message, blending in with other conservative-turned-far right voices.

The first time his commentary made me sick was when he made fun of deported undocumented immigrants to the US, some of whom were brought there as minors. “It’s not our problem they decided to have kids here…” That is so far removed from how life works, how relationships and having children works. And pardon my french, so un-Christian.

Tommy Robinson, with a following of 59 345.

There was a high degree of sympathy for him, which I did share for some time, based on the conditions of his imprisonment and what happened after, in terms of what he described (being targeted by authorities for opposing radical Islam). What he described, basically, was political persecution and anyone with a sense of fairness would feel compassion for him.

However, the guy truly is far right. He is participating in setting up outposts in other countries. In Ireland he was recorded encouraging his mates to use violence on intruders to their meetings, provided the cameras were off. There’s no doubt in my mind that his claim that “the EDL had been infiltrated by unsavoury violent characters” was a lie. Violence is what he supports, even against innocent people, such as dissenters at a far right meeting.

Dave Rubin,with a following of 555 842.

He used to be a part of TYT (The Young Turks). Back when he was a liberal. I’m not sure where he stands anymore, as he claims to be sort of in the middle, yet increasingly gives a platform to the right and far right, wherever that differentiation may stand nowadays. He does so pretending to give a platform to any opinion, yet increasingly siding with the right.

Stefan Molyneux, with a following of 697 501 (and a community of ex-cult members describing his real intentions in detail).

Well, what transpires out of Mr Molyneux’s endeavour is a modern day cult, with him positioned as a leader. It’s quite frightening actually, the influence he has managed to have over his young disciples. Mr Molyneux is quite intricate in terms of delivering a political message. By not vocally assuming a stance he is well understood to have assumed before his interviews and  half-surreal talks, increasingly focused on the so-called white genocide, so-called race realism (with an emphasis of presumed IQ differences between races), giving a platform to the extreme right as often as he can.

This guy must think he is able to put a verbose mask over his racist, xenophobic and extremely mysoginistic message. Someone can well be lost in his well-acted, hours-long monologues, mimicking emotion and often outrage. However, he fails to share the emotion regarding the lives he has ruined or nearly ruined with his indoctrination. He is a strong proponent of cutting contact with family members by default (or should I say de-foo, as in disengaging from one’s family of origin), as well as anyone who does not share his anti-statist views).

His rhetoric is laden with cognitive dissonance, on the one hand rejecting the idea of a state and law enforcement, and on the other hand, using “law and order” as a justification for pushing hatred against minorities, going as far as praising Trump’s authoritarianism. It should be obvious that the two perspectives cannot coexist. The far right, which he’s been supporting for a good couple of years (at least), is far removed from libertarian ideas, as authoritarian and libertarian are diametrically opposed concepts.

He’s full of shit, to put it bluntly. He gives his followers a radical perspective to embrace, and some of them end up destroying their lives over it. And unfortunately, that pays off.

Dave Cullen (Computing Forever), with a following of 266 616.

He started out, as most on this trajectory, by criticising the far left, or cultural Marxism, through the exposure of people being victimised for not joining the ranks in their left-dominated environments. An honourable thing to do, in and of itself, of course. However, as his audience shifted to the right and far right, so has his content, a technique which I trust proved rather profitable.

To his credit, he has criticised far right groups such as Britain First. It wasn’t for their hateful ideas though, but on a tangent (in this case, Christianity). He does argue, as a non-believer, that “secularism lacks moral fibre”.  This is a very strange position to take (and increasingly, I am seeing it in a variety of environments). He is very much “in that camp”, minus his reaction to the rhetoric of fake religious zealots such as Britain First.

Milo Yiannopoulos, with a following of 692 000.

Milo can be charismatic, at first, with his unapologetic criticism of “special snowflakes”, although he has gone too far on many occasions. His activism tends to be regarded as flamboyant trolling for the sake of it; some of the ideas he puts out there, however, are far from innocuous.

What sets him aside from other content creators, who might just be surfing the wave of the market, is his collaboration with Breitbart – a far right publication known to distort events in a manner likely to manipulate people and stir up anger towards minorities. And whilst you might think Milo might be kidding at times, seeking to superficially stir up debates in a bid to elevate his self-absorbed persona, those at Breitbart are certainly not kidding in their endeavour. They don’t just marginally support the far right; they are the far right.

Alex Jones, with a following of 2 190 754.

I left this guy for last, even though it appears he’s had the largest impact, because he is not surreptitious in the slightest; people find his channel when first figuring out “things are not as they seem” and usually don’t stay long, when realising he is inducing hysteria in order to peddle his bullshit products. Some, however, get addicted to fear porn and stay, to be told daily that the world is just days or hours away from imploding.

Whether Alex Jones believes a tenth of what he puts forth is a good question, given that his enterprise is geared towards selling worthless paraphernalia, in the vein of those who peddle post-apocalypse merch in churches.

His propaganda, however, is very dangerous, given his large platform.  What he does is manipulate any major event (murders in particular) in order to suit his narrative of conspiring “enemies of the people” who “must be defeated” by a communal effort of his listeners (voting for whomever he tells them to, for his own purposes).

The reason behind listing the audience count, on YouTube alone, is merely to prove that these people do have considerable impact.

It should be evident to anyone that what started out as the rejection of groupthink and authoritarianism should not end with the formation of a “warrior tribe”, willing to compromise on crucial issues (getting into bed with white supremacists while claiming to disavow racism, for instance).

These people are contributing to the normalisation of the far right, whether they share those views all the way or not (and I have a feeling many of them don’t).

They have gone from criticising identity politics and the resulting division, to supporting “identitarianism”. Orwellian, what can I say.

Their followers must have a short attention span. They shouldn’t.

Identitarian Religion – A Small Conundrum

Increasingly, there is talk of people abandoning mainstream religions, particularly in Europe, to return to ancestral traditions, namely Paganism. And whilst that sounds interesting (a return to communion with nature and spirituality without the constraint of dogmas), something does puzzle me.

It concerns the enmeshment between this revival and present day ethno-nationalism.

Namely, it is not uncommon for Pagans to believe in reincarnation. Which entails accepting the possibility of having been born multiple times in multiple locations, overtime. In fact, many people who describe their past life memories recall having lived in a different country than the one they were born in in their current lifetimes.

Obviously, that is at odds with claiming to have roots in a single ethnicity, culture and tradition. Not to mention claiming racial purity (which, when tested, often doesn’t prove biologically accurate anyway, not in one lifetime, let alone many).

It seems to me those who believe in reincarnation and spirituality based on natural archetypes (not a limited dogma) should logically be more inclined to consider themselves “citizens of the world” than those of other religions.

Just a thought.

The Far Right Purity Test – Funny As Fuck

I guess nothing spells “irony” like a metastasised hate group eating itself up from the inside, becoming the very thing it claimed to detest.

For a good couple of years, if not longer, the right has played the persecuted ideological minority card, by denouncing censorship attempts, all along displaying unity – from moderates to extremists, those leaning right have agreed on basic issues and supported each other, until the first could not be differentiated from the latter.

Nowadays however, in their – sometimes almost literal – crusade, activists have started cannibalising each other based on devotion to the cause, or perceived lack thereof, akin to the far left. It seems some activists are more zealous than others and are starting to demand that their fellow crusaders apply the principles they declaim in their own lives, lest they be considered hypocritical.

These three stories speak for themselves.

Lauren Southern is being called out for promoting a traditionalist lifestyle she doesn’t lead yet. She is also being called out by Richard Spencer for not being/ declaring herself racist enough.

The 22-year-old has come under attack for constantly promoting Judaeo-Christian family values (or the appearance thereof), without being married or having started a family herself. She recently put up this video as self-defence, explaining things of a personal nature, which no one should ever have to explain to the larger public. Unless, perhaps, they are making generalisations about how others should live and what their happiness should stem from. The irony is that she is such a fan of a paradigm which restricts women in many ways, and although she now knows what it’s like to be grilled on one’s personal choices, she continues her advocacy.

Puritanism is detestable not only because it forces human nature into a box, in a Procrustean manner, but also because it is utterly neurotic. Its wannabe enforcers are often carrying the load of repressed emotions and desires; through their activism they are often trying to rein themselves in, rather than other people.

With regards to the racial stuff, I sympathise with Miss Southern to a point. When one picks a side based on traditionalism and potentially religion, they don’t exactly expect to join the ranks of white supremacists. However, Spencer is right when questioning her so-called ignorance while joining an identitarian movement. There’s no way she joined and spent time with these people without knowing what they’re actually about.

Kim Davis, the “traditional marriage” advocate, was targeted by the Westboro Baptist Church for being “an adulterer”. Arguably, not everyone in the Christian right can be associated with Neo-Nazis; however, they share the homophobia and the purity requirement is very similar for all extremist ideologues.

Whilst Mrs Davis’ actions were no more significant than refusing to issue a marriage licence to a gay couple, organisations opposed to same sex marriage have hailed her as a hero for two years. In fact, she now engages in activism abroad, as if she had anything but bigotry to show for her position.

What is hilarious is that in 2015 she was targeted for picketing by the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, for advocating traditional marriage whilst being on her fourth one, which breaks the no-divorce fundamentalist rule. She was also criticised by the Mormon leader for that same reason. In conclusion, when one chooses to wank off about their righteousness and role in the so-called army of God, they should be prepared to be ripped to shreds by fellow believers. In case she didn’t know, there’s no love or fellowship of any kind in a cult.

Tara McCarthy, an ethno-nationalist (white supremacist), now decries the treatment of women in the far right by male counterparts.

This is particularly funny, not just because the far right has made a good case against modern feminism in order to lure in sympathisers, to gradually lead them down the path of ethnic and racial hatred. It’s funny because the women congregating with such men were well aware of their views on the female sex in general. And while they were more than happy to see other women targeted by these men in said manner, having it turned on themselves proves less than savoury.

It is apparent to anyone outside of far right circles that the movement has a strong misogynist component. Why these women though they were special is a good question.

There are now Red Pill Christians as well, congregating not as the loving meek and mild, but as supporters of what the Bible mostly transmits about women, which is in line with Red Pill-ers in general (women are inferior, weak, manipulative and should be put in their place).

Not an anti-Semite? Too bad, you Zionist shill.

It’s really funny how, although they purport to reject most people different from them, certain “identitarian patriots” are still classed as traitors simply because they don’t hate Jews as well (the word antisemitism is actually broader yet has come to be understood simply as hating Jewish people).

I don’t know what it is, but to be respected by the cream of that crowd, you simply have to hate them, down to the last one. I mean I do know – apparently, they “own everything on the planet” and are looking to “destroy the white race” by promoting white people “breeding with inferior races”. Never mind that the theory makes absolutely no sense, from start to finish, being littered with illogical claims and clutching at straws to demonise an entire group, Nazi-style.

To be fair to the accusers, many evangelical Christians and commentators catering to them, as well as politicians whose voter base they constitute, are actual Zionists, or at least propagandise as such. The recent response to Trump’s initiative of declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, against international consensus, has proven that. There were sickening propaganda pieces from the likes of Molyneux or Paul Joseph Watson (sickening in terms of one-sided, ignoring the very complicated situation over there).

However, it should only take a brain larger than a chicken’s to realise disagreeing with Israeli policies should by no means involve blaming all Jewish people on this planet for them, let alone hating them.

Many of those accused of “shilling for Israel” in crusade mode are in fact raging xenophobes and racists. But presumably, they just don’t go far enough.

All in all, the right is no different than the left in terms of activism and extremism. Certainly not in terms of division or puritanism.

Things The Religious Should Never Say To A Non-believer Reloaded

Since the last post on the subject is comprehensive but by no means complete, here is another list of common retorts which, if you’re lucky, will not cause a aneurysm.

  1. It doesn’t matter if the claims of my religion are historically accurate.

You cannot expect anyone to respect the so-called validity of your claims given that you yourself don’t even care if they are true. How’s that for arrogance?

Your presumably 100% correct values come from the same sources as those tales you don’t care to verify. And yet you want them to remain unchallenged, as if you could somehow arbitrarily separate what matters and what doesn’t in your dogma.

Your religion is based on characters which either exist or don’t and events which either happened or didn’t. You can’t subtract part of the story and still hold on to the claim of absolute truth.

You can’t claim to know the nature of the seen and unseen world, the afterlife and the future based on a book which, well, just might’ve got part of the past wrong.

2. It’s actually just a metaphor.

If some absurd-sounding stories are simply metaphors, what should we make of the rest? Who decides what’s a metaphor in there and what isn’t? Maybe the bearded man in the sky, presumably possessing hands, is just one big metaphor as well. Face it – you have no certainty regarding any aspect of it, and yet you promote it all as truth.

3. Only idiots would try to verify the Bible by taking it literally. It was written for enlightened minds which can actually decipher it.

How about you keep it for yourselves then (oh enlightened ones) and stop trying to convert the world. Face it, that makes no sense, for a god trying to reveal himself to the masses to pass down such cryptic information that only a few, with great mental strife, can make sense of it. It is either simple enough to be passed around in mass conversions, to be understood by anyone, or reserved for a fortunate few. You can’t have it both ways

4. All religions actually worship the same god under different names.

How is it then that the god of some commands them to kill those worshiping a different god then? And that the so-called sacred principles between religions are so at odds with each other they have caused wars? If everyone is inspired by the same deity, how come dogmatic differences constitute the sole reason for clashes between confessions and sects, let alone different religions?

5.You should shut up and respect the majority opinion. The majority is always right.

I bet you wouldn’t claim that if the majority opposed your views; I bet the persecuted minority status would suit you quite well then. The majority was not right when engaging in lynchings, witch burning or, should your claims have any validity, crucifying Jesus.

6. Pascal’s wager is valid.

In other words, if you believe in God to play it safe, just in case there is a judgement in the afterlife, you can’t lose.

I mean, it’s not like in the event of it all being false, you would lose anything by organising your entire life (presumably, the only life you have) around a lie and letting it dictate your smallest choices. It’s not like that would limit you needlessly and ruin your chances of truly understanding the meaning of life, right?

The cognitive dissonance is just so blatant; their ideas are so contradictory they cannot maintain a coherent thought pattern in a single conversation.