Shut up, you big meany faces!

Here’s another “hey, atheists are being mean and should stop” article from someone clearly annoyed that people on Reddit have less than kind things to say about religion.

If you want to find out why I call these guys Reddit Atheists, take a brief dip into the atheism subreddit. It is a place entirely defined by bitter, faux-enlightened young people sharing “thought-provoking” images about the horrific evils of religion (in practice, pretty much just Christianity) and congratulating each other for being “enlightened.” The site was originally intended to be a place where people talk about atheistic ideas, but as is Reddit’s depressing trend, it soon devolved into a swampy mess of endless, banal clichés, memes, and general anti-intellectualism. It actually rivals Creationism in terms of having a narrow worldview.

Trying to lump us in the same category as these morons, eh? While I agree Reddit isn’t usually more than rage comics, memes and infographics, I really don’t think the online conversation about non belief is being dictated by it. It’s just a bunch of frustrated (usually) young people who have no other outlet other than an online content aggregater.

Defining your life by volatile antitheism—in other words, clinging to something you don’t believe in—isn’t just annoying, it’s actually pretty backward, and, in some cases, culturally malignant. For a demographic that spits a lot of game about equality and mobility, they sure love lording their “intellect” over anyone who dares to think differently. The atheism subreddit gets off on feeling superior to other people; it’s not about ideas or truth, they’d rather thrive on that faux-scholar buzz.

How is this culturally malignant to expose the superstition of others? Well, if your culture relies on superstition, perhaps it would. But in a world dependent on the explanatory power of science, it’s culturally malignant to hold on to Bronze Age ideas, not to debate them.

Also, this guy was so busy busy focusing on the shit he didn’t like, he forgot to read all the personal, touching shit people DO talk about. The number of times I’ve read heartbreaking stories of young kids being kicked out of their homes (one of them was Ray Comfort’s kid, BTW), or kids psychologically abused by religious parents and family members is honestly impossible to tell. The hundreds of positive comments, and support these people get is nothing short of extraordinary compared to the isolation these people would normally be faced with.

The author asked if people practicing Christianity was really that horrible for non-believers. Judging by his own story, I would say his opinion is tainted by the fact that he never lived in a religiously oppressive home. The same can not be said of many redditors. Living under the thumb of religion would make anyone frustrated, and if the worst they do is mock religion, are you honestly going to compare that to the campaigns of hatred normally directed at us?

What the article should read is simply “I don’t like Reddit”. That’s fine, it’s not for everyone. But writing an article telling people to shut up not only stinks of a kind of irony, it sends the wrong message about how conflict should be resolved: you don’t talk less, you talk more!

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