FAQ

FAQ

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?

I’m omnipresent.

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.

 

31 comments

  • Hi i’m so happy i found you!

  • I thoroughly enjoy your interactions with the godly. They make my day and give me the confidence to admit to my athEIStism to a broader church (pardon the weak pun)

  • Thank you for hours of fun, learning and link collecting.
    Your GSpellchecker tweets have made me find sites, videos and books related to atheism and other reason, that I might not have found without you.
    I think, therefor I love your effort!
    (I’m a bit worried about the non-dyslectic godly, though:-)
    Keep up the good work!

  • Didn’t really use twitter before following mr gervais for a bit of fun. Then via wonders of following people that had views that resonated with my own found your account. Fantastic, and has now got me hooked on a world where I can share and follow enlightened people. Thank you.

  • Thanx. Keep up the good work!

  • Marry me 😉

  • I thoroughly enjoy your tweets to the twits.

    I believe religion is dangerous and used by hatemongers to justify their hate of others

    It’s easy to see you are not American, probably a Brit, by your owns spelling revelations, ie. realise and behaviour. In the U.S it’s realize and behavior 🙂

    P.S I adore Sherlock and Cumberbatch. Can’t wait for more.Please tell them to hurry up production 🙂

    • Also from the timings of his tweets we can deduct that hes is most likely European and I would guess from his vocabulary and manner that he is British (this is a gross stereotypical assumption that I only make as a I am British myself).

      Although this assumes that he keeps a usual sleeping pattern which could easily be wrong.

      I’ll be sure to tell Benedict Cumberbatch about Sherlock, because obviously every “Brit” knows him because England is so small.

      Love your stuff spellchecker keep it up.

  • I think I share a lot of your views and really enjoy the tweets. Thanks very much

  • You are why I like Twitter

  • That’s THE Batman. Please.

  • You craic me up at least 15 times a day! Thank you.

  • Dude, you missed an apostrophe in ‘ones’. Sorry for being a dick. Love your work!

  • Remember your apostrophe, young man!

  • Thank you . I’ve enjoyed your humor and wit. I also appreciate the fact that I’m not the only non-god fearing heathen out here.

  • Its great seeing the voice of reason outwit so many of the believers, making a nonsense of their claims to be better than us non-believers, and that their gods are all-forgiving, loving gods.
    Thanks for hours of fun. I often open a tab just on your page.

  • Reading your Twitter feed daily, seeing your Facebook posts and visiting this blog have all helped to give me courage to talk more openly about my atheism to people who either don’t understand or choose to ignore my thoughts and feelings. I’m still quite intimidated with all the knowledge I find here in the atheist community and wish I had a bigger brain, but it’s a great validation just to find all the kindred spirits. Thank you for all you do.

  • Thank you. My questions are myriad and I so wish I could engage others in discussion as reasonably, eloquently and artfully as you do. I hope to keep learning and will definitely e-mail for guidance if need be.

  • Dear Mr Spellchecker or may I call you G?

    Unlike yourself I was raised in a Catholic environment of heavily misguided thinking. I was taught to without question respect authorities like the church. Fortunately I am naturally sceptical thinker. Good people like yourself have helped me to discover and confirm what is true in the natural world.

    Thanks to you and a few others I’m certain I can confidently know without any doubt I am an athiest… (just kidding, atheist).

    With this in mind I was hoping to find a Paypal / donate button on this website so I could buy you a beer as a thank you.

    Can you tell me do you have any plans for a donate button or perhaps yet again I’ve been searching in the wrong place for answers and need your guidance?

    Kind regards

    Jay

    • Donated to your Comic Relief Campaign instead, cheers

      • Hi,

        Thanks for your message and kind words. Apologies for the delay in response, I try to juggle my time as best I can, but can’t always reply to messages as quick as I’d like.

        Thank you for your donation! You’ve done a great thing.

        Kind regards

        GS

  • Superb stuff. Hilarious.

  • Love your work Godless.

    Ever the pedant, I thought you might appreciate knowing question four above has an erroneous uppercase O in it.

    Cheers.

  • Wanted to tweet this but decided what I needed to say was way more than 140 characters. I’ve left a couple comments above and continue to read your feed on Twitter as often as I can (it’s usually my sole reason for logging in!) After reading so much back and forth and doing a lot of thinking, I’ve decided to move my game token from “Gnostic Atheist” to “Agnostic Atheist”. I noted your comment recently that you rarely run into gnostic atheists, and I have realized that those I admire most in the atheist community do not express the absolute certainty that no god exists. I have been in frequent (usually friendly) arguments with some of my friends about this point and always maintained that I DO know that no god exists. But, really….I don’t. It’s a small move, but an important one, I think.

    Thanks again for taking on all the crazies and illiterates you deal with each and every day and doing it with great aplomb and good humor. Cheers to you!

    • Hi,

      Thank you for the comment and kind words. It requires honesty and intelligence to reassess one’s convictions and adjust them accordingly. I’m glad to hear it!

      Thanks again,

      GS

  • I miss reading your tweets correcting the “A” word and thus starting a conversation and/or mild arguments with illogical twitter folks. Do you think you will ever have a chance to go back to that?

  • Just listened to your podcast with Sam Harris, who I’m a huge fan of, and wanted to thank you for it. I’d never listened to one of your podcasts before, and have to say I really like your gracious, intelligent interviewing style. Thanks for promoting rational thinking, and for doing what you do. I’m now also a fan of @GSpellchecker.

  • Hi Stephen,
    After listening to a number of Podcasts (not only yours) one issue seems to crop up time after time, when interviewing via ‘voice only’ medium, all participants complain that they’re being interrupted, usually rudely.
    This is of course because of the lack of visual cues that we are used to in real life, cues that tell us the other person is wishing to interject. This lack of understanding leads to unfortunate and unnecessary confrontations and a general breakdown of meaningful conversation.

    I have a suggestion that may cut down on the misunderstandings.

    For example when using Skype, when you wish to interrupt your guest, instead of verbally doing so why not type a word, or a specific emoticon to let them know your intentions. They can of course ignore your request or comply but you’ll still be in charge.

    You can agree on this format before hand with your guests. I can’t imagine that one would need to remember too many.

    Anyway just an idea as I’m loving your Podcasts.

    Kind Regards
    Peter Taylor.

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