A recent post by David G. McAfee at Friendly Atheist contained this gem:
Just because you can think rationally about God doesn’t mean you’re reasonable about everything else.Yes! This statement is important and needs to be repeated over and over until we finally manage to wrap our heads around it. However diverse we atheists are, we have our humanity in common. And that means that we are susceptible to the same sort of flaws as everyone else (e.g., confirmation bias, tribalism, motivated reasoning), including those who believe in gods.
I'd add two things to McAfee's statement, one that seems important in the context of his post and one that seems important more broadly in the context of atheism:
- Just because one does not believe in gods does not necessarily mean that one arrived at this conclusion in a rational manner.
- Just because one does not share my political views does not mean that one is irrational or unreasonable.
I also think it is important to understand that people who hold political views which are very different from those you or I might prefer are not necessarily doing so because they are irrational. Disagreeing with us is not enough to make one irrational, and labeling others in this way too often serves as an excuse to prevent us from fairly considering their views.