Nov. 2nd, 2009

joreth: (Dobert Demons of Stupidity)
Today's Atheist Meme of the Day:

Yes, some atheists can be jerks. Especially on the Internet. Some people in every group can be jerks -- especially on the Internet. This doesn't make atheism an inherently jerky worldview. And it doesn't make atheism mistaken. Pass it on: if we say it enough times to enough people, it may get across
.

1) The internet is where a lot of people go to vent.  So you'll often see people here when they're in a bad mood.  This is not the entirety of who they are.

2) The internet brings us face to face with people who piss us off.  So you'll often see people after someone has provoked then with stupidity.  This is not the entirety of who they are.

3) The internet often provides people with a constant, regular, repetitive stream of stupidity.  When you've been insulted enough times, when you've been attacked enough times, and when you've just seen something stupid enough times, offered a correction, then heard the next person say the exact same thing as though the correction hadn't been offered just then, or thousands of times before on hundreds of other websites/forums/IM chats, well, people get a little cranky when they feel they have to repeat themselves.  This is not the entirety of who they are.

4) The internet removes tone and vocal inflection and body language from communication.  When a person is of a rational / logical / scientific mindset, the pragmatic language used is often "heard" as angry, condescending, arrogant, or rude in the absence of *real* clues to the person's frame of mind.  Just because the reader projects emotion onto text or thinks everything is about him, does not mean that atheists are angry, jerks, or assholes anymore than any other collective is (unless the collective happens to *be* angry people, jerks, or assholes).  So, in this case, not only is this not the entirety of who they are, it's often not who they are even at that moment.

So, yeah, some atheists lose their temper.  Some atheists are not good at presenting their side of the argument.  Some atheists get things wrong.  Just like everyone else.  A person is not an "angry person" just because you saw them get angry in the middle of an argument.  Everyone gets angry in the middle of an argument.  That's kinda what an argument is.

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