Friday 11 May 2012

Obnoxious atheism

Just look at this obnoxious picture I came across on on Facebook. The shocking thing is not that someone actually created such a piece of shit (virtually anyone can create a photo collage, even idiots) but the fact that thousands of people have "liked" it and several hundred enjoyed it so much they decided to "share" it with all of their friends.

The fact that the atheist woman seems to be undergoing some kind of spiritual rapture is frankly absurd (we've all come across plenty of stressed and depressed atheists) but the really obnoxious thing about it is the crude and unbalanced way that it stereotypes the three selected religious faiths. The portrayal of the Jew as the scholar, the Christian as the peaceful contemplator and the Muslim as the terrorist is grotesquely unbalanced.

If the creator of the image above is determined to use 
divisive negative faith stereotypes, perhaps this kind of  
image would have better illustrated the Jewish faith.
I mean if the creator of the image was determined to find the worst possible negative stereotype to illustrate Islam, why on Earth didn't they find images to demonstrate the worst of the other two religions? Perhaps the Jew could have been illustrated an Israeli Defence Force soldier committing warcrimes, an orthodox Jew spitting on an immodestly dressed woman or a brainwashed Israeli child writing on a missile.The Christian could have been illustrated with a woman celebrating fundamentalist Christian intolerance with a "God Hates Fags" banner, an anti-abortion terrorist or a paedophile priest.

Everyone has a right to call themselves an atheist and to celebrate their chosen belief system if they choose to, but the thing I find offensive is the rank hypocrisy of the fundamentalist atheist who see it as their duty to proselytise and convert people to their "orthodox" way of thinking. Their compulsion to spread the "message" that acceptance of atheist orthodoxy will provide the kind of ecstatic spiritual fulfilment that adorns the image I'm complaining about. This sanctimonious and preachy form of atheism is exactly the same kind of behaviour that anti-theists complain so vehemently about when it is God believers pushing their orthodoxies onto others.

Hmmm, this woman seems to have badly
misunderstood the teachings of Jesus.
Hardline atheism isn't a higher, more rational belief system than theism, it is the other side of the fundamentalist coin. Theists take a leap of faith to believe in their specific version of what God is, whilst the militant anti-theist takes the same kind of leap of faith to believe in the nonexistence of any kind of God, no matter what the definition. Since it is impossible to prove a negative, it stands to reason that the only properly rational position for a non-believer to take would be some kind of sceptical agnosticism.

The problem is though, that these shouty atheist ranter types are too stupid to even understand the nuances of the debate. They don't care about reason or logic, they just like displaying the badge of rationality without the baggage of actually using it. They like to take the intellectual high ground, yet the production and dissemination of images like the one above demonstrates that just like the faiths that atheists criticise, the atheist movement is also riddled with unthinking, dim-witted, obnoxious and divisive cretins pushing a belief system that they are incapable of even properly analysing.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the important distinction is not between those that believe in God and those that don't, it is between decent, thoughtful and tolerant people (of all faiths and none) and horrible, reactionary and bigoted idiots.

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