And this is coming From an Atheist…

This is coming from inside the camp.
But listen, I totally get it. If I were 15 when r/atheism was around, I’d probably live in this dark corner of the internet. When you hit that phase where you’re just starting to read grown-up stuff and you become convinced everyone else is a moron, it’s really easy to hate organized religion with a passion and assume that people with faith have just failed to think things through. Then you grow up a little bit by becoming more self-aware and maybe getting away from some of the more odious religious people you knew as a kid—eventually, you get to a place where you can hear someone say, “I’ll pray for you” and simply say, “Thank you,” instead of being a total shit about it. That is, unless you end up making a career out of “debating” religious people, a la Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins. (By the way, what is more arrogant than assuming someone can be reasoned into abandoning their faith?)
Defining your life by volatile antitheism—in other words, clinging to something you don’t believe in—isn’t just annoying, it’s actually pretty backward, and, in some cases, culturally malignant. For a demographic that spits a lot of game about equality and mobility, they sure love lording their “intellect” over anyone who dares to think differently. The atheism subreddit gets off on feeling superior to other people; it’s not about ideas or truth, they’d rather thrive on that faux-scholar buzz. That’s why Dawkins is their fire-and-brimstone pin-up boy. That’s why they screencap Facebook updates from their religious “friends” so they can laugh at all the plebeians from their pretty little perch. There’s no respect or pragmatism, just bottomless, never-ending hate.

For those atheists who thought it clever linking to his Salon essay (and clearly they didn’t read or really get the point of his essay), he is speaking to you.
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1 Response to And this is coming From an Atheist…

  1. Burk Braun says:

    Hi, Darrell-

    “…what is more arrogant than assuming someone can be reasoned into abandoning their faith?”

    Seriously? This is so rich. The thing that is more arrogant is that someone with faith thinks that they have a reasoned argument to make, only to find out down the line that they really don't, and that they are laboring under a psychological construct which, however understandable from a variety of evolutionary and psychological standpoints, and however gently tolerated in polite society and pandered to in political society, doesn't hold any rational water.

    And what is more arrogant than that? It is people thinking that such a belief system constitutes a valid philosophy and teaching it in the guise of academic philosophy, claiming that is it “reasonable” to believe things that are “veridically” pulled out of their navels. I'd call that supremely arrogant, as well as seriously deluded and a cultural disservice.

    Much of this has to do with temperament, interestingly enough. If you read through these profiles, you will note that some people do not react well to rational argument. They do not accept it as valid and indeed it can get them quite upset, for all their other virtues. Other temperaments are very attracted to rational logic, which of course leads to some conflict.

    Anyhow, what would you call the mobs attacking US embassies in the middle east? I would call them not too bright, as well as easily led, deluded, irrational, highly group-oriented. Perhaps “faithful” comes to mind as well.


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