Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Atheists don't like people talking about atheists

Hardcore atheists are fun. Especially those who denounce any, all and every thing that exhibits any trace of religion. Whatever it happens to be.

Especially those who do it on the grounds that it is nothing but fiction. That it's just a bunch of stories that someone made up and wrote down ages ago, and that any reasonable approach to it would dismiss them as the useless piece of discursive junk that it is. The less said about it, the better!

The funniest thing about it is that it is several things at once. Unreasonable, unscientific and untenable are three of them.

It is unreasonable on the grounds that just about everything boils down to stories that some dude wrote down ages ago. Nationalism, capitalism, pokemon - any major world changing stream of thought you can think of started out as someone sitting down to write a story about how neat it would be if [enter any if here]. It then grew out from that, one someone at a time.

Fan fiction is awesome that way.

It is unscientific, on the grounds that just about any major historical trend you could care to shake a stick at was based on, influenced by and justified with a religious foundation. This goes for any and every thing - architecture, music, politics, wars, economic expansions, and so on and so forth.

Dismissing religion out of hand makes history nigh impossible to understand. Not to mention the present, which is still based on history.

It is untenable, on the ground that if you insist on inhabiting this view for any length of time, you're going to find yourself alienated from just about anyone worth not being alienated from. Not just from religious people (although they are not amused), but also from people who generally just want to get along. Who want to explore ideas, what ifs and general ruminations with others. Not in order to get at any divine (or secular) truth, but to have a good time with those who happen to be there right there and then.

Life tip: barging in and roaring "IT'S ALL BULLSHIT" is not the suavest of moves. Anywhere.

Is there any way we could tell this to the most hard, most core and most atheist of the hardcore atheists? Or do we have to conclude that they have, indeed, withdrawn into their newfound atheist religions, and must be treated with the same kind of ecological respect that all devout communities need in order to not turn zealot? -


  1. Some people live in the delusion that it is possible to choose not to believe.

    Well, strictly speaking, if you commit suicide, that might amount to making such a choice. But assuming that you wish to stay alive, in the common sense of it, there is no such choice.

    If we denounce death, the only option we're left with is to interpret the world around us; that is exactly what our nervous systems can do.

    And, since our interpretation is by necessity subjective, we are forced to believe.

    Funny, eh?

    1. It's almost as if we're condemned to be either free or believers. ;)

  2. I am myself an atheist, or maybe I mean agnostic because I'm not like HARDCORE about it. But I'm DEFINITELY not a Christian, and I can say that much definitively. So anyway, I was looking for other like-minded individuals in my area with whom to exchange thoughts, and I started attending a group of science-ish types folks. I only went a couple times, though, because they were so antagonistic! I refer to them now as the Angry Atheists, and they are every bit as obnoxious as the Southern Baptists who crawl up into my face asking if I've been saved. These people had, indeed, made a religion out of NOT believing in a higher power, and as such, I was *OUT*. It sucks that apparently there are only two extremes which meet regularly, and everyone else {the non-Christian but also non-asshole-ish people} doesn't see merit in gathering on a weekly basis to share conversation.

  3. My husband has often said that Atheists can be as extreme and devout as any zealot (of any spiritual path). I used to be so angry at Christianity but I couldn't cross over to Atheism. It's actually as angry as the stereotype of Christians.

    My anger at Christianity came from a dislike for hypocrisy. I've found my spiritual path and need not categorize it or defend it - OR tell others that they're wrong (Atheists - this means you, you fundamentalists). But the fact is, I had a friend who was spiritual but loaths religion - most especially Christians - and she was the one who dumped me when she decided that my path was not okay. My Christian family have loved me through every step of my life. They push in their own small ways, but I no longer resent it because I know who I am. I no longer hate Christianity. But Atheists - I'm not sure there's a bigger group of intolerant people! Snide comments, insults, derision.

    That which was created in good often becomes that which it once fought.