The below is a list of frequently asked questions I receive in direct relation to my Twitter activity, or myself personally, rather than those of a theological nature.
I intend to expand on this page as time passes. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, please visit my contact page to let me know.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I run the Twitter account @GSpellchecker, which I dedicate to seeking out misspellings of the words atheist/atheism. These are often accompanied with breathtaking ignorance of the most startling frequency.
I’m then kind enough to provide the correct spelling, and supply some feedback on the initial accompanying statement.
Reaction to this activity/service (free!) varies from amusement to violent rage.
2. What is an atheist?
In the broadest sense, an atheist is someone who does not believe in God(s).
3 .Why are you an atheist?
Because I’ve thought about it. Also because I have never heard a convincing argument for the existence of any God(s) or been presented with any credible evidence for God(s) let alone one that has any interest in human affairs.
4. Are you a he or a she?
I’m a he.
5 .Where do you live?
6. Why do you seek out people on Twitter to “attack”, isn’t this pushing your “beliefs?”
Twitter is a globally connected public forum. Tweets are made with the sole intention of inviting response and fostering interaction. It is not comparable to going door to door, or interfering with ones personal thoughts if it’s put forward to anyone who has an internet connection.
I always make it my aim to avoid any abusive language, or uncivil behaviour. The strongest I think I can be accused of is ridicule and sarcasm. I’m perfectly ok with this.
7. Some of your “followers” are rude. Isn’t this your responsibility?
No. I am responsible for my words, and my words only. This is why I try to choose them wisely. Suggesting I am responsible for the unreasonable behaviour of others is in itself unreasonable.
I do not encourage, call for or endorse any abusive behaviour from my followers. I will never retweet any abuse supporting my viewpoint, or call for others to engage with people I converse with in an uncivil manner.
I always engage in a civil manner partly in the hope of setting an example of reasonable discussion to others.
I do not tolerate unreasonable behaviour, and I have on occasion blocked people that are following me for what I deem to be unreasonable behaviour, i.e racism, threats, abuse.
I accept the fact that my tweets draw attention to other Twitter accounts and their Tweets/opinions. I am perfectly comfortable with this. A tweet exists solely for the purpose of inviting response/being shared. This appears to be the entire point of Twitter. If a person wishes for their opinions to go unnoticed, then perhaps a globally available public forum is not the best place for them. Privatising tweets is also an option.
8 .Why are you trying to make everyone become an atheist?
I have no intention or desire to change anyones beliefs, nor do I think I ever have managed to or will. I will never tell a person they should change their beliefs, or tell them they have no right to the beliefs they hold. Being an opposing opinion to religiously motivated nonsense is worth my time for its own sake. Time spent opposing ignorance, is never time wasted.
9.What is your aim then?
I don’t have a goal in any true sense. The account was created for the purposes of amusing myself.
I consider it a worthwhile endeavour for the following reasons:
- If others find it amusing too.
- Interaction with, and learning from, incredibly witty, intelligent and friendly like-minded individuals who are kind enough to engage with my tweets, or follow me.
- Fostering discussion and debate.
- Demonstrating to others that it is perfectly ok to question religion, and that it is possible to do so in a reasonable manner.
10 .Shouldn’t you respect the beliefs of others?
No, not by default. I respect everybody’s right to believe what they wish, those beliefs however, are not immune from criticism and argument, especially when made available to the general public.
11. What the Zeus does “undefstand” mean?
I responded to a tweet containing a misspelling of “understand” (undefstand). In that response I utilised their own misspelling of the word for the purposes of “comedy”, causing many of my Twitter comrades to lament and equally rejoice in my seemingly hideous spelling error (see 12.). Hilarity ensued and #UndefstandGate was born.
It is now said, if someone lacks logical understanding, makes assumptions or can’t grasp sarcasm/irony/context, they fail to #Undefstand.
Given the confusion this caused, all future spelling mistakes shall be unintentional and therefore deleted/amended without acknowledgement of my error.
12. What is #ThingsTheGodlySay all about?
I often tag the most hateful, absurd or just plain baffling tweets from the Godly with #ThingsTheGodlySay.
I do this, not in an attempt to suggest only the Godly are capable of such behaviour, but to demonstrate that being religious is not always conducive to moral behaviour or opinions, as is often assumed/argued.
I believe this is important, given the frequency with which non-believers are told they cannot possibly be moral, or how society often assumes a person of faith to be morally superior.
In short, the Godly do not have moral authority, or the monopoly on moral ideas. Morality precedes religion.
13. What qualifications/credentials do you have to discuss these issues?
None. I’m not an authority on any subject, nor will I ever claim to be. My Tweets are my views only.
14 .Ha! You made a grammatical error/spelling mistake, time to retire?
I’m a fallible primate, and thus prone to the occasional mistake. I’d like to think I’m honest enough to acknowledge my errors and learn from them. I may also on occasion destroy all evidence and pretend nothing untoward occurred.
I never have, and never will claim to be an authority on language/grammar/prose. I’m not. My skill set is narrowly targeted around the misspelling of Godless related “A” words. If I ever spell one of those incorrectly, it may be a sign of the coming apocalypse.
15 Someone made a spelling mistake in a tweet to you and you “missed” it!
I specialise in godless related “A” words only and correct them accordingly. Godless Spellchecker. Pleased to meet you. Quoting and replying with a suitably snarky response takes up enough characters without having to correct every spelling mistake/typo that comes my way too. I do on occasion, if I feel like it, point out the misspelling of other words, however this is extracurricular and incurs a fee. Invoices are in the post.
16 Ha! I was intentionally saying ignorant things regarding atheists in order to provoke a reaction/get the attention of atheists!
Congratulations, you were convincing in your portrayal of an ignoramus. Luckily, the faux anti-atheist comments are so similar to the sincere ones that any rebuttal provided still serves as a helpful example to others. Thank you.
17 .Do you realise “Spellchecker” shouldn’t all be one word?
Yes. But as it is used as a name in this instance, it is perfectly acceptable. Batman must get this all the time.