Over the years I've spent discussing theology and ethics with believers, I've accrued a list of arguments and objections that are always brought up against mine and similar positions - I've also noticed that some answers to those arguments and objections work better than others, and that a good analogy is an invaluable help to getting a point across where strictly logical arguments fail to change minds. People who start speaking out against religion (or perhaps simply dare state their nonbelief in public) are too often nonplussed by questions they did not expect and do not know how to answer.
The first times I got confronted about my lack of religious belief, the question "What purpose is there to a life without god? Why don't you just kill yourself?" left me nonplussed. I didn't have a satisfactory answer, simply because the thought had never occured to me. Why would I want to kill myself? Why would I need a higher purpose in life to make it worth living? Needless to say, actually pronouncing those counter questions as way of an answer left everybody unsatisfied, myself even more than my opponent. By saying that I don't need a reason to live, I practically admitted that I didn't have one - not at all the impression I wanted to leave.
Now, some years later, I have found not just an answer I'm satisfied with, but one that leaves most believers stunned and lost for words, and I have found that a repertory of answers that can be adjusted to suit the needs of the moment is an incredibly helpful tool to have at one's disposal.
I'd like to spare others those years of trial-and-error to find appropriate answers to both the profound and the inane questions of the religious people they confront or are confronted by. With my Counterapologetics 101 series I am trying to create a resource I wish I had found five years ago.
This site is still under construction - I'll soon structure this properly. (last updated: 06/Jan/12) For now, here are unordered links to the bits and pieces of the counterapologetics 101 section that have been published on Just a Little Common Sense so far; It's a quickly growing list, so if you like what you find here, check back in a few days!
- The Supposed Absurdity of a Life Without God
- How to Settle the Burden of Proof
- Good Without God: The Morals of an Atheist
- "I'm Nothing Like Those Extremists" - An Open Letter to Moderate Believers
On not-strictly-theological-but-religion-related topics: