Today was my birthday. I spent it avoiding homework, failing to eat things because there wasn’t that much in the house, and leaving a can of shaving cream on the counter, which was pretty stupid because I know I’m going to get yelled at for it later even if I had a reason for it. It’s just how it goes, the little things you get wrong in a day pile up in your mind afterwards.
I also have been listening to and watching a lot of videos today that are filed as euducational, in part because I’ve also been writing in private about my childhood and my education and my experiences with religion, and those things do not work well together. I wound up watching the ever-gentle voiced Daniell Dennett, who I am sure someone I care about will happily tell me is a monster, and some work by the man David Fitzgerald and Matt Dillahuntie, people I wasn’t familiar with. They’re both white and male and as far as I know, cis, and they’re both atheists.
Anyway, while I was watching Matt Dillahuntie talk about talking with theists, he did deliver this very nice, simple line, a line which has some sinew to it but makes a few other things in my life more horrible, when I consider them.
When you’re talking to a theist, remember that they’re not evil, and they’re not stupid.
A line meant to remember the humanity of the people you’re talking to (which is nice, and good), and a practical piece of advice for engaging others in these large conversations about greater ideas, just leaves me sitting here, dreadfully, dreadfully sad.
I’m pretty sure it’s still a good general rule. I know many people who are theists and they are not evil and they are not stupid, and that’s fine and I don’t mean to think those people are. I am, as it were, not talking about you.
Many of the people I am talking about are dead.