Just a quick comment on this one, if I may. Jen McCreight blogged the other day that some woman she knows, who used to blog at Patheos (the same mob our Friendly Atheist writes at), had converted to Catholicism and was now blogging at, er, Patheos. Just in the Catholic section of their opinion supermarket.
I haven’t read all of the at the time of this writing 381 comments at Jen’s about this earth-shattering matter, but I noted a couple of things, and I want to tell you about it. First, Jen put an “Edit” at the bottom of her post that reads thusly :
EDIT: Please no “She was never a True Atheist” idiotic arguments.
Now that’s an interesting one, and actually I don’t think this is an idiotic argument at all. Because I do think that it is possible to mistake oneself for an atheist fairly easily, for example because one is dissatisfied or in disagreement with the popular faith’s stances on a certain issue, say equal rights for gays or contraception, while still harboring some feelings or longings for other qualities of religions, such as the secondary social and emotional gains so many people draw from them. The No True Scotsman fallacy is a fallacy of ambiguity, and the term “atheist” is pretty well defined, so from what I can see and have read, it is probably not unreasonable to say that Libresco never was an atheist. Does every Scotsman like Haggis ? Does every Christian believe in the Resurrection ? These terms are ambiguous, because some people attribute properties to them that others don’t, and it’s not commonly accepted which definition is the right and proper one. The No True Scotsman fallacy is based on this ambiguity. And I would say that in the case of being an atheist, no such ambiguity exists.
I’m not so surprised that religious ghouls were all over Leah Libresco’s comment section in an instant, to welcome her to the kingdom of their imaginary deity after she wrote the post. That’s just what these zombies do, so “meh” on that bit. But what irks me more is that in those comments, the word “Truth” seems to come up a fair bit. And it is fairly obvious, that to those Catholics commenting, truth doesn’t mean what it means to anyone else, but rather “a vague emotion I believe without evidence to support my notion that something is the case”, as can be seen in this comment :
Truth is Truth, nonetheless, and it is found in all its fullness in the one, holy, Catholic & apostolic Church, to which God has, in His great mercy and love, called you. Welcome home.
If that kind of message doesn’t creep the hell out of Leah Libresco, then she’s probably a lost cause. The comment section of her post sure reminds me of the zombies coming after the few survivors in The Walking Dead.