vostoklake: (pterry and neil)
[personal profile] vostoklake
It's a funny thing. I've been an evangelical Christian, a neo-Pagan Witch, some kind of half-baked Indie Scientologist, a dogmatically-correct atheist, a follower of R. A. Wilson's Crowleyism-lite and now a member of a Sufi tariqa, and believe you me I've had some religious arguments in that time. I've had Thelemites tell me I was clueless, New Agers criticizing my prickly aura, fundamentalist Christians be passively-aggressively bitchy, orthodox Muslims just "blanking" me, and my Catholic grandma yelling that she could see the Devil his own self sitting on my shoulder.

But only when arguing with those people I call missionary atheists have my opponents been downright rude and personally abusive to me. I would call them "fundamentalist atheists", but last time I did that I got dogpiled by snot-nosed punks informing me that that was an oxymoron. Nevertheless, they certainly act like dogmatic, self-righteous bigots; as do many Marxist or anarchist activists, and they don't need a god other. (Funny thing, though, they all tend to end up worshipping idols of one kind or another, dead, alive or fictitious...)

Now why is that? If you descend into the sludge that is Traditionalist Catholic ("Pope Francis is a COMMIE HERETIC") comments boxes, you will see pompous bigots snarl and sneer at women, minorities and anyone different to and hence lesser than them. But some dude will occasionally say "Hey, tone it down, fellows! Charity to our fellow man is a Catholic virtue, remember?" But where is the reflex for an atheist who sees no higher authority than their own rational mind to not be an asshole?

That's slightly unfair, I know. Most atheists that I know subscribe to a Humanist form of ethics, which I have no problem with. Those guys won't be assholes because there is an inherent moral code in human nature which deprecates assholery.  But ... who was that atheist woman who was sleazed on by Richard Dawkins in an elevator? Anyway, she said that she had always seen atheism as a "social justice movement". Indeed, in places like modern Iran, the "red states" in the USA and of course Tsarist Russia, religion is a major prop of the ruling elite and deserves to be critiqued to hell and back. But, unless you're specifically a Humanist or have some other form of ethical structure in mind, there is nothing in atheism per se that will make you a nice person.

And you try telling this to those rude assholes who call me braindamaged because I use the language of God, and they don't get the point.

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July 2015

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