Atheists rarely ever tend to agree. As nonbelievers, we celebrate difference of ideas and opinions. We recognize that we have different experiences and hold different beliefs than others. We would never try to force you to be like us, even though we would hope that you may come to appreciate what we stand for. I’d like to think what atheists stand for, apart from their lack of belief in any gods, is reason, autonomy, and skepticism.
Atheists aren’t united by what they believe, but rather, by what they don’t believe. It may be a strange way to classify a minority group. Not by the color or their skin but by the skin color they are not. It seems sort of backwards, mainly, because it is.
Religion dictates that we take the negative stance to an unknown positive. It is because of the role that religion has played in the arena of ideas, past and present, that the theist position has arisen. If there were no supernatural metaphysical assumptions of religion, Atheism would simply be known as Naturalism, since there wouldn’t be any fantastic supernatural claims to contend with. More importantly, minus the supernatural beliefs people cling to, Naturalism, and by default atheism, would just be called reality.
Now, every once in a while I run into an atheist who is loud mouthed, obnoxious, vulgar, and disparaging of others. Fine by me. Such a person may not win my respect, but I can’t fault them for personality. But the sort of atheist that really gets my goat, is the one who proceeds to condescendingly accuse you of being “smug,” “arrogant,” and not surprisingly enough uses these words incorrectly, simply because they do not agree with what your said or the way you said it.
It’s bad enough that such busy body types feel so compelled to inform you exactly how much they think you suck, meanwhile they often neglect to give a proper critique of whatever topic it is the point of discussion. Worse still, they don’t seem to be aware of the words they are using to disparage you. I mean, seriously, if you are going to accuse a fellow atheist of being horrible things, at least know what the terms mean you are lobbing against them.
Recently a female atheist on some random forum accused me of being “smug” when I wrote that I could prove that Jesus was, in fact, not the son of God. Anyone who has closely examined the NT will know that Jesus makes numerous statements which directly disprove his sonship. I even highlight this issue in the above pages “Is Jesus God?”
Disproving Jesus is the son of God is easy. Disproving Jesus was a historical figure is nigh impossible, however. These are two very separate claims. So before someone accuses me of being smug because I claim to have disproved a religious claim, thereby invalidating it, and crippling any rational person’s confidence in the Christian faith, they may want to take a look at the 300 years of Biblical criticism which unanimously agrees on this point of contention. If they have compelling evidence that Jesus is God, however, normally I would say, let me see it. But coming from an atheist source, I think they are only shooting themselves in the foot by opposing a position they agree with because they didn’t like the wording or the tone. Be self righteous on your own time. Otherwise, learn to let bygones be bygones.
If they are atheist, and not just some poser, then it seems weird that they are concerned about “smugness” or “arrogance” in this case. A case which is so one sided in terms of the facts, that smugness and arrogance never even enter the equation.
Which makes me think, atheists like this, if they are truly atheists in the first place, are simply out there ruffling the feathers of other atheists either because a) they are complete assholes, or b) they are morons who want attention from more famous atheists. Either way, these sorts of “I wanna disagree with you cuz I can” atheists who are both rude and condescending really piss me off.
Disagreeing makes the implicit assumption that you are right and the other is wrong, so you take askance with their position or views. But thinking your are right is different than proving you are right.
I invited the person over to this blog for a civil conversation, but somehow I doubt they will show up. Not that it matters. But I do feel as a minority group, us atheist would fair better if we rallied together and supported one another instead of constantly tearing one another down. I think we’re better than that. After all, that’s what religion does. Tears any ideology it doesn’t agree with down and then, like a cancer, spreads itself throughout the open wound.
[Note: As per tearing down ideologies, I am not referring to valid arguments in this case. There is a difference in offering a viable criticism, and deconstructing an ideology, and just tearing someone down because you can. Atheism may criticize religion and religious beliefs, but in the end, we hope the evidence speaks for itself. To claim religion actively causes harm, such as compelling people to mutilate their children or fly planes into buildings, is a regrettable fact about the nature of religious belief and it’s influence on the individual’s behavior. That is a lot different than, to site one example, a religious person equating an atheist with Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot, which is condescending, demoralizing, and rude.]
But as I said, atheists are a diverse bunch. It’s one of our many strengths.