What we say … what they hear


Over at the inimitably awesome Abstruse Goose lies the following awesome cartoon:

Which not only rang very, very true but reminded me of the following completely awesome Far Side cartoon:

Now, I’m not comparing Christians to dogs. Oh nonononononono. Dogs can be trained.


But seriously, some of the conversations with Christians (usually the queer-hating anti-choice evolution-not-understanding variety) I’ve either had or observed on the interweb have been exactly like either or a combination of these cartoons. Some particularly dogmatic Christians, when arguing with a rationalist, either misconstrue most of what’s said to them or choose what they want to hear, ignoring or simply simply refusing to respond to anything that either counters their arguments or threatens to force them to think outside the close boundaries set for them by their faith.

For example: it’s drummed into many Christians that atheists are by nature (or through their choice to reject scripture) completely immoral (or amoral); therefore anything any atheist every says to them must be filtered as if spoken by an agent of Satan. Even if what the atheist says makes perfect logical sense or is a simple, civil request to try out a hypothetical situation (e.g. what if you weren’t raised a Christian?) or consider their point of view, it is evil being spoken. I’ve long forgotten the amount of times I’ve had or seen an internet debate simply be shut down by a Christian’s endlessly circular arguments or refusal to consider the logical, historical or scientific points raised by their opponent. It’s the written version of plugging the ears with the fingers and shouting “lalalala I can’t hear you”. No wonder atheists are always accused of being cranky bastards; you would be too if you attempted to argue with people who start off “knowing” how absolutely right they are, to the point of simply not listening to the person they’re talking to.