I’ve been an “out” atheist since I was a teenager when I was put on the spot about the truthfulness of the Bible. Having grown up in the backwater areas of the United States the only other atheists I knew were my brothers and my dad. I was in my early twenties and half way around the world before I met another atheist.
I’ve met other atheists (real life, not online) since then, but the pendulum remained squarely on the theistic side for the most part. Then September 11, 2001 rolled around and Muslim extremists finally succeeded in their attempts to bring the World Trade Center down. Since then atheists have been coming out of the wood work, especially here in America.
Sam Harris’s The End of Faith, published in August of 2005, became a rallying point and a best seller. Before long he was joined by others and in what seems like a blink of an eye, the atheist movement had arrived and has been growing ever since.
I, for one, am sick of the movement. It seems to me that it is populated by assholes. No, I am not talking about Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins or the other horsemen. I’m talking about the people who’ve decided that there are two kinds of atheists. The “good” kind of atheist they just happen to be and everybody else.
The ‘everybody else’ group is populated by atheists the “good” atheists have deemed unacceptable for a variety of reasons. They’re described as hostile, irrational, unreasonable, dogmatic, ignorant, “just like the [favorite disliked group of theists]” and so on and so forth.
In the real world, such shit is, at the very least, extremely rude, but in the “movement” this good vs. bad atheist mentality is the golden rule. Why? Because I’ve gotten several comments/emails about how “atheist whoever” and/or “atheistic whatever” is an affront to the “movement”.
I expect this from theists as it’s the old ‘divide & conquer’ tactic and dismiss it on the spot. With other atheists though, I’ve decided to see where this comes from and it’s my firm opinion that the problem is the “movement”.
The truth of the matter is the atheist “movement” is corrupt to the core. It depends upon definitions of atheism that are simply not true. Atheism is nothing but the absence of theism, which is the belief in supernatural beings called gods.
The personality traits of individual atheists are irrelevant to them being atheists. Atheists do not have to be friendly in order to be atheists. Atheists do not have to describe their disbelief in a manner that theists find acceptable in order to be atheists. Sanity, rationalism, reasonableness, skepticism and the rest of such things are not requirements to be an atheist.
The only requirement to be an atheist is a lack of belief in gods and it doesn’t matter how individual atheists came to be atheists.
Of course, a large part of the movement is alleged to be about putting a good face on atheism. I consider this to be a fool’s errand. We need only ask ourselves why there’s an alleged “need” to make atheism acceptable. This alleged need extends from the stereotypes of atheists.
Theists paint atheists, past and present, as a variety of things. Who reading this hasn’t heard about Psalms 14:1 in some form? “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.”
These two sentences were written no later than 530 years before Christianity’s god-man was allegedly born and may date back as far as 1000 years prior. That’s three thousand years of atheists being called amoral for not being theists.
Thus, the problem with atheists and atheism is not atheistic people saying or doing things that individual theists find offensive. The problem is not being a theist to begin with. The slander, the insults, the attacks and so forth extend from being an atheist, not a particular kind of atheist.
The excuse for attacking atheists as a whole may be “bad” atheists, but the reason is atheism. Atheism itself is offensive.
It’s impossible to overcome that. The only thing one can really do is choose sides. From all appearances, that’s what a lot of atheists are doing – choosing sides. This is not good. I’m all for atheist “pride”, but I want no part of the atheist “movement”. It’s corrupt and it’s going to do more damage than anything else.