In writing and administering The Atheist Papers, I try to be as intellectually honest as possible. Some things may fall through the cracks (such as not addressing the weakness of one of my bible contradictions) because — let me be obvious — this website is a hobby, and it’s not very important to me. In academic and professional research I would never allow myself to make an error in logic, and if I still did I would correct my mistake publicly. But even if I control for the mistakes I make while throwing together a post about a bible contradiction in five minutes, this blog still shouldn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter because it’s philosophy with precisely zero more authority than religious philosophies.
Religious philosophies don’t explain anything, and neither does a blog making fun of them. And I grow quite frustrated when people take what I say about religion seriously enough to throw temper tantrums when they disagree with it. If one disagrees with my personal take on something religious, it should be taken no more seriously than if one disagrees with my personal favorite song by Pink Floyd. It’s really not that important.
But that doesn’t mean that everything I say is unimportant. Where philosophy matters is in the realm of harm. “Do no harm” should be the first priority in philosophy, religions included.* If I criticize a religious teaching that does or promotes harm, and if you jump on my back because you think your religion allows you to harm others, then you’re the asshole, not I.
*Then again, this falls under the purview of the is-ought problem. The is-ought problem proclaims that we can’t know how the world ought to be because we can’t agree on how it ought to be, and furthermore we can’t even agree on how it is. We can fix this by gutting the idea of objective morality, but I doubt religious people would be willing to give it up. I might imagine, therefore, that many non-religious people would enjoy this post for being an honest critique of the self and its religious counterparts, while many religious people would scoff at an imaginary straw man, attributing all of the weaknesses to non-religion and proclaiming “My religion is better than your philosophy.” I hope this isn’t the case.