Earlier this afternoon I was mowing the back grass (something I hate with a passion) and a thunderstorm was rolling in. I knew from emergency broadcast messages flashed across the TV that a little ways away from me was experiencing severe thunderstorms and even a tornado. Well there I was in 100f/38c degree weather, holding on to a big metal machine in the back yard and the thought occurred to me, “What if I get struck by lightning and die?” Well, for one I wouldn’t have to worry about finding a job/new place to live/ friends; guess that would be the silver lining. On the other hand, I have no doubt some might say “Ah ha! SEE! Look what happens to an atheist!!! God struck him down!” Of course to them they would see this as a sign, proof that not only a god exists, but that his son was Jesus, born of a virgin to come and save you from your sins.
You see, there is a double standard for atheists. Being in the minority, everything must go perfectly for us or else someone tries to label it as a sign. My atheist bumper stickers on my car for example: should I be involved in an accident people would no doubt try to link the accident to my atheism; as if my misfortune was a direct result of not believing in their god. Or take Christopher Hitchens’ throat cancer: as soon as the news became public the religious started frothing at the mouth about a death bed conversion. Almost 30,000 people get throat cancer each year in the US alone. No big deal, but the moment an outspoken atheist gets cancer, Ah HA!
You see, the problem for the atheist is that the whole conversation is rigged so they can’t win. Bad things happen to all people everyday, regardless of their religious views. However, to the religious, when something bad happens to a fellow believer they rationalize it away. “Oh, god was punishing you for something.” “This is just a test of your faith”, or the ever classic cop out: “God works in mysterious ways”. Yet the moment something bad happens to a non-believer, bingo! Proof positive that you’re a sinner and god is getting his vengeance. You can’t win with these people. Don’t even try to reason with them. They’ve put all reason out of their head. They’re completely wrapped up in a little something called “Confirmation bias”. This is an extremely important concept that many people fall victim to, so take note: