CJ, aka Jerome, has been discussing scepticism on his blog, including a mock sermon he once posted on the old Richard Dawkins forum. The sermon seems to have upset one person (so far), and I can only assume he’s not familiar with cj’s sense of humour, nor indeed his good sense. It’s always a good idea to take an occasional step back to check that one isn’t being dogmatic.
I started posting on (mainly) atheist forums on January 1st 2007, and straight away I encountered religious nutters who merited the most robust of replies. It wasn’t long, however, before I noticed another kind of theist, the kind I’ve known all my life but had begun to think didn’t exist on “atheist” forums. On the aforementioned Dawkins forum, in addition to cj/jerome, there was a Christian who described himself as an “Intelligent Design sympathiser”. Intelligent Design is just another name for creationism, dreamed up as an attempt to win a court case (it failed), so I expected this person to be just another “chew toy”. I, like many other atheist forum members, was surprised by his manner however, and he managed to avoid getting any warnings, even for preaching, which was the usual way creationists left that forum. I think he was even persuaded that creationism, however it is dressed up, is nonsense, but he wouldn’t have been if he’d come in, all guns blazing, to be met with derision. I try not to attack too soon these days, though of course I’m only human, and sometimes do.
I don’t imagine either cj or I will be easily convinced of the other’s opinion on the existence of gods or ghosts, but at least we can talk to each other, and find other things we can agree about. That’s something some Christians can’t do with other Christians (and you can substitute the name of any religion). Lest I appear smug, some atheists I’ve met on-line have been deeply unpleasant too.