Atheist Community Implodes

NOTE: this post is partly written as a rant against those who are complaining about other atheists.

If you’ve read my other posts you know that I use the phrase ‘atheist community’ with some amount of contempt. I know that my lack of belief in gods does not mean that I have anything else in common with other atheists. I don’t speak for them and they don’t speak for me. This is as it should be.

Lately we have had a spate of blog posts by folk trying to make sense of the apparent in-fighting, angry atheists, misogyny, elevator-gate, feminists, conference rules, and on and on. If you’re anything like me this is not just drama and boring but it’s enough to piss you off. How about ‘shut up already’ because you’re opinion really isn’t that important? (including mine) Oh no, not that old canard, if you don’t speak up then nothing changes. Yes, I’ve heard that one already so lets look at what you’re trying to change, shall we?

No doubt you understand that this is only my unsolicited opinion. If all you are trying to do is improve the safety factor of conferences for feminists you might be barking up the wrong tree. If you are making suggestions that do not take into account existing law, perhaps you have not thought it through with enough vigor. If what you’re saying is tempered by not wanting to name names of the guilty perhaps you should simply be quiet. Oh, but if you name names it will be a big problem for them and you? Well, stand and deliver. Like I said, no other atheist speaks for me. If you find one that is molesting people… well, name them. Lets get the proper authorities involved and get this problem solved. Oh, they are famous you say? So? Breaking the law and assaulting people is not something you get to be immune from punishment for if you are famous. The pope and his cardinals are famous too.

Atheism does not define morality, tradition, or values. It is simply the non-belief in gods. There is no atheist community and could never have been one. Single issue groups disintegrate when their issue seems handled or stale. Atheism is not about community or support. That would be humanism or something like that. If you want community, go see those folks or join a bowling league … or something.  Just know that atheism is not a community. It’s not even a set of values. The fabled atheist community never was. There will never be a single issue group with coherence and longevity.

Now that we’ve reduced that ‘community’ to finger pointing and in-fighting over trivial issues…. yeah, I know you think they’re not trivial, but to the issue of atheism they are. Back on point, The single issue for atheism is being offset, overshadowed, and assaulted by the side show dramas. If it helps, I most probably thought  you were a dick before you started your ranting about other atheists. Now that you are proclaiming that all theists should think and believe like you or they are not good atheists … well, I’m certain you are a dick. That brush you are using to tar and feather folk is far too wide to be of any use. Yeah, I get it. You see a problem that you think needs addressed. Who the fuck told you that addressing and entire conference group or the Internet in general was the right way to do that? You say you are a college graduate or some other form of certified intelligent? Really? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and hope that you simply don’t understand human psychology. Your idealistic expectations of other humans is naive .. at best. People are people whether they believe in gods or not.

To shake your head at gays and women who believe in Christianity and then expect that all atheists will agree with you is … well, idiotic. I’ve been saying that this whole atheist community thing is make believe all along. The claims that it exists irritate me. It’s much like claiming that there is a community of people that don’t wear pink clothing. See how long that community lasts when you start talking about cars. They say that paybacks are a bitch. Well, equilibrium has a bullish way too.

There is no atheist community, only a growing number of people who admit that they do not believe in gods. Like the number of people that don’t eat fried chicken on Monday afternoons, this group is not united in any meaningful way. They exist, yes, but they are not united in all they believe nor in all they disbelieve.  So, dear reader, when you hear a self proclaimed atheist speaker or blogger etc. use your critical thinking and ask why you should listen to them or believe what they have to say. The fact that they don’t believe in gods does not make them right about everything. Statistically speaking, they are as likely as anyone else to be wrong about every other topic. Go figure.

  1. Very well written, and I concur with the points you zoned in on. Everyone is their own person, with their own feelings, thoughts, opinions, and ‘truths.’ It isn’t fair to generalize when, as you pointed out, an atheist or even the Pope can be a ‘bad’ person, regardless o’ proclaimed morality. I look forward to reading your posts in the fututre.

    • There are times when it is fair to generalize, but still we should not generalize blindly. When you know a person you shouldn’t think of them as some generalization, but you can generalize their beliefs if their belief system is nothing more than a subscription to this church or that, or this dogma or that.

      I recently was kind of forced into a conversation with a person who bought into all the dogma from the American Republican party. In such a case you can generalize about their political and world view and speak to them about those generalizations with great effect. Even in this case I did not generalize the person, only their beliefs and understanding of the world. They are always free to say they don’t agree with the dogma or that they are thinking differently than the associated group and that is acceptable to me because when I talk with you it is about what YOU believe and not what dogma you seem to be adhering to.

      I don’t know that such an explanation helps me seem logical or not. I fight dogma and bad ideas, not people… or that is the general rule.

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