From Gamma Atheist
The new atheism movement is seemingly picking up speed. Every day I am seeing more and more about science and less and less about prayer. Knowing that I haven’t deleted any friends I decided to see if maybe I was the one being discreetly removed, however this does not seem to be the case. So is this because more atheists are educating theists and opening their eyes? Or could it be that theists are retreating in fear of an online public massacre?
It is widely known that many of these religious types have these beliefs because of A: childhood indoctrination or B: something horrible happened in their lives and they either witnessed a “miracle” or needed salvation. I’m sure there are others but in my experience those seem to be the most repeated reasons, so I’ll stick with those.
When we look at childhood indoctrination, I like to imagine it as a very long game of telephone. What started off hundreds of years ago as a whimsical story to explain what was unexplainable at the time, has somehow been interpreted as truth and then whittled down into the easiest remembered phrases.
Depending on your region the only differences are minor such as names or garb, but relatively the same storyline. This being that there is a god, he loves you as long as you do what he says, women are garbage and last but not least; everyone hates gays okay. As for the miracle witnesses or the salvation seekers, it is completely natural for people to need an easy answer. How often do we as collective say “Oh my god!” when we hear something amazing? Just that word alone has so much power.
Even a child that has grown up in a family with out god will at some point contemplate its ideas. For some, they choose to remain without faith and others decide that only faith can be the reasons for why their lives were saved in that car crash, or why they overcame addiction, etc.
Knowing that many of these people came to these beliefs because of forced opinions since birth, or something inexplicable, does that give us atheists the right to shame them? So often I get dragged into online debates and almost as often I feel that it is a theist vs. a flock of not only vocal, but also very vile atheists.
Don’t get me wrong my godly adversaries have called me many things but it was always my impression that two wrongs do not make a right. So why is it that when the theists start failing at their argument because the evidence is stacked that when they result to name calling, we are so quick to give it back tenfold?
Haven’t we realized by now that this is what they want? Screw the evidence, let’s resort to pointless name calling and belittling. Yes in the end they retreat with their tails between their legs leaving us to feel victorious, but not before we have spent not minutes but hours demolishing their entire life’s beliefs systems.
We don’t stop there though. We then have to rub their noses in the burnt ruble of their existence. Only a masochist would stay for that online bullying. So I fully understand the jab and run. Scientifically speaking, we have a flight or fight response that is engrained to our very core and in this technology driven age, flight and block seems much more logical to those with weaker arguments.
Let’s get this straight, I 100% disagree with religion in its entirety and wish its stories never switched from fiction to fact but what’s done is done. All I can focus on is where to go from here. For these people who have been taught by their parents and their parents-parents that god is good, and hell is where the sinners go, do they really deserve to be treated as if they are the most hated things on earth? Is there a better way to win them over?
As I said before two wrongs do not make a right, I also believe that killing people with kindness works wonders. No, I do not think taking a Muslim out to lunch and charming them with my pearly whites will ever make them change, but I do think we have a much better chance reaching the fence sitters, the uneducated, or the confused if we come at them with a smile as opposed to scowl.
Now that we are being heard, what image are we trying to put out there? Do we now hold the title of tyrants? Am I suggesting we turn into a bunch of softies and coddle the believers, absolutely not. Rather we should take a look at ourselves and question our motives. We should question how we want to be perceived.
This is the new age of atheism, and we will be heard. So choose your words wisely as your words are your tools to help build our new future. A future without hate, a future without religion.