Saturday, July 16, 2011

Are Atheists Too Aggressive?



@gwmarg said...

I was drawn to read your blog by your tweet title 'Are Atheists Too Aggressive?'. In my (non-aggressive atheist) view your clip made lots of fair points. I only have 2 criticisms. First, all the issues and images you targeted were very obvious ones. Many religious people would agree with you that there were and still are many dark and shaming aspects to sectarian beliefs and practices, and that your targeted speaker was a careless and ignorant advocate. Secondly, there are aggressive atheists just as there are aggressive religious fanatics. The #atheism thread has a huge proportion of them,and I'll bet your comment column below will reflect their aggression.
I have to say I find your own twitter avatar confrontational. In the shot of you in this clip,standing outside a gallery/ museum, you aren't holding up a banner with that image on it; if you were you would appear aggressive, visibly living out hostility to Xians. For a balanced non-aggressive atheist view (not mine) see

gwmarg said...

The avatar I'm referring to is the cross in a red circle, crossed out, which tweeted the url I clicked on to reach this blog. If it isn't the writer's I apologise, but the point can still be taken that many avatars are aggressive. Also I've had to block two agressive atheists who bombarded my account with abuse. We all know who they are.

Steve said...

gwmarg: 1) The embedded video was not produced by nor does anyone from this blog appear in it. That is the work of notinmyname2050 which we provided the link for. 2) The avatar you are mentioning is from TheDamnedAtheists, not us. It is a aggregation of atheist blogs and they post them themselves. Having said that I have no problem with their avatar.

Regarding you're overall point about "aggressive atheists;" you must have missed the point of notinmynames2050's video. Our REJECTION and lack of DEFERENCE to religion is not aggression. Atheists and Antitheists oppose religion for many reasons. I can only speak for myself and the other writers on this blog and say that our opposition to religion is due to the very subjective nature of belief, the lack of ANY emprical evidence of its truth and the oppression that religions—almost ALL religions—mandate. That is a very simple and short answer. May I suggest you read through some of the posts written by myself, Adam or Jack to see from our point of view.

Steve said...

May I suggest:

gwmarg said...

Thank you for your response. I did not miss any point in the video, and I did not say it contained aggressive atheism. But aggression means bellicose or combative,and some atheists are. It beats me why they spend so much of their lives talking about their disbelief. It's a waste of time. I just reject by saying sorry, I won't be joining your club.
I appreciate that the situation in USA is different from the UK. Here, apathy to religion predominates except among certain ethnic groups.
In my case you are preaching to an existing atheist. I certainly don't need the aggression of CAPITAL LETTERS, which is a kind of SHOUTING. So, end of. No more from me. Best wishes for a happy life.

Steve said...

If you did not think the video was aggressive then why, exactly, did you comment here other than your mistaken assumption that someone else's Twitter avatar was ours?

To be fair; we can be aggressive and bellicose when we are being threatened either directly ( or indirectly when ignorant religious beliefs are being instilled in schools and government.

You state that you cannot understand why atheists spend so much of their time talking about their disbelief. What would you have us do? Stay silent? Not discuss rational responses to irrational and dangerous behaviors? Furthermore, many current atheists are apostates. Meaning they were formerly believers. In many cases this transition is painful, alienating and even dangerous. Having others to talk about their disbelief with can be a rewarding and stabilizing exercise. However loose and undefined it may be, there is an atheist community with support and caring individuals who have been there.

Whenever someone tells me or other atheists to "keep quiet" it smacks of privilege, fear, and intellectual laziness. You are uncomfortable with the conversation, even if you claim to be an atheist, and just want to stick your head in the sand. "Don't make waves." Good luck with that. I do not have that luxury in the US. If we stay silent the theocrats will attain more power and ensure our silence.

Finally, I would like to say that I only capitalized the words to enunciate them. It is not textual "yelling" if the majority of the text is not capitalized. If you are so easily threatened and think of caps and religious debate as aggression all I can say is you should not be on the Internet. Why don't you be quiet and mind your own business? I don't know why would want to talk about it so much.

Seems silly and demeaning when someone tells you to be quiet; doesn't it?