Tiassa: There's plenty more to say than "I don't believe...". My point in the opening post, however, was that the theist is often so busy trying to tell the atheist what he (the atheist) does and does not believe - even in the face of what the atheist himself is telling the theist directly and clearly - that the discussion never gets to progress even to the point at which the theist is willing to accept that the atheist really believes what he says he believes. My point is that the following exchange, which we see repeated so often, is a waste of everybody's time: Theist: You atheists all deny God. Atheist: No. I just don't believe that your God exists. T: You believe there is no God! A: No. I'm just not convinced there is a God. T: You're denying that the obvious Creator of the Universe exists. A: No. Show me some convincing evidence that your Creator exists and I'll happily change my mind. T: Nothing could ever convince you there's a God. A: Wrong. T: Then tell me what proof you would require. A: I don't know what would be sufficient proof. Why can't we start with whatever it was that convinced you? T: Nothing I could say will ever convince you, because you're in denial. A: There's nothing to deny, until you've established that God's existence is at least likely to be true. T: See! You believe there is no God! A: No. I just don't believe that your God exists (yet). (repeat, ad nauseam) Yes, that quote is all about me, in the sense that I'm stating my actual position for the theist, so he understands where I'm coming from. But the reason I need to make that statement at all has everything to do with the religionist. It is the religionist who refuses to acknowledge my basic position, and who insists that I "really" hold a position other than the one I'm explaining to him. I think the real problem is that the religionists who do this kind of thing occupy a mental space to which the very notion of skepticism about religion is unthinkable. The result is that explanations like the jelly bean thing fly right past them. They just reset and act like they never heard it. I have posted nothing about religions in this thread. I have made no criticism of any religion. This is nothing other than a baseless personal attack from you. You're telling me you think it's unreasonable to ask theists what their God does in the world? Asking them to explain such a thing is equivalent to calling them out for a fight? I think you're giving them a free pass. And I think the reason you do that is that your beef is with me, about other stuff you've got into your head, and not really about this at all. Meh. Even if that were true, maybe there's no need for more, especially given the typically poor showing by the theists in those threads. A text about religion, more likely. My only "argument" in this thread is theists would do better to engage with atheists without telling themselves lies about what atheists believe. They should engage on the basis that the atheists actually believe what they say they believe, and not on the basis that the atheists believe what the theists would prefer to think they believe. That's if they actually want a constructive discussion. The analogy is not a fallacious construction. It rather nicely highlights the one and only point I wanted to make in this thread - which is why I posted it in the first place. You talk about "atheistic depictions of religion", but this thread is about the opposite: common mistakes in theistic depictions of atheism. No no no! Unfortunately, you seem to have completely missed the point of the thread. If the subsequent list had the impact that it should have on theists, there would be no problem. Experience tells us, however, that the subsequent list has zero impact on at least a certain brand of theist. Hence the need for an analogy. Telling it like it is, in brief, clear terms, has failed when it comes to those theists, so another tack becomes necessary. Jesus was fond of parables, so let's try one of those and see if we can get the point across that way. There's nothing fallacious in what I've posted. You're not one of those theists, are you? In a universe in which rational thought is considered a superior path to knowledge than superstition. In case you didn't notice, when atheists and theists debate one another as to the existence of God, there is some sort of contest afoot. Sure, it is possible for the people in the pub who hold differing opinions to just ignore one another, but they don't have to. I don't recall. Photograph? What are you talking about? You know, one of these days, you really ought to demonstrate one of my many supposed fallacies. This is the point at which your post goes way off topic, into that private room you keep that contains all the things about me that irk you. If you don't mind, I think I'll take a pass this time around and stick to discussing the topic of my thread instead. I did have a bit of a chuckle at that bit at the end of your post where you complained that this thread is all about me. Maybe you thought it should be all about you. Here's the thing: it is personal to the extent that it was prompted in part by my personal experience, here and elsewhere, of a certain behavioural pattern I have observed in certain theists. It is also personal to the extent that I am an atheist who is interested in discussing things with theists. Beyond that, read into it what you like. I'm not particularly fussed.