Monday, November 8, 2010

Atheists Use Ridicule as Brain Washing


Mocking and ridicule are acts of hate. To mock ideas is to stifle thinking. It's true that some ideas worthy of ridicule, the problem is that accepting such a standard replaces thinking in the minds of those who don't like to think. Thus all one need do is ridicule and idea and the groupies accept the mocking as judgment that the idea is no good, one need to think about the idea. Stupid people and ignorant people always mock things they don't understand. When mocking and ridicule replace real thought in a community then the mere presence of ridicule is enough to stifle thought on the subject.
thus ridicule takes on a hateful aspect, it is the work of the lynch mob. Mocking and ridicule are nothing ore than mob rule.

More and more atheists advocate ridicule as a valid approach. That's nothing more than an excuse to stifle thinking among ignorant people.

 planet atheism oct 21 2010

Why Criticism and Mockery are Important

Yesterday I talked about the perception that criticism and mockery is often considered going negative. Today I want to talk about the value of criticism and mockery. Quite simply, it is how we learn.
When presented with an idea (good or bad) we have to think about the idea. Sometimes we don’t do that or we don’t think deeply enough about the idea. This is where someone else comes along and points out why the idea is poor by criticizing the idea. Their criticism may or may not have merit, but at least now we can think about those criticisms.
Sometimes however, ideas become deeply held beliefs and regardless of how valid the criticism might be, we still reject that criticism and cling to the belief. We might even insist that the belief be taken seriously and believed by others on insufficient reasoning and/or evidence.
This is where mockery comes in. When people refuse to take our deeply held beliefs seriously, we might dig in deeper in trying to get people to take our beliefs seriously. The more people mock the belief, the more we are confronted with the criticisms of the belief and he more we must try to deal with those criticism if we still expect our beliefs to be taken seriously.
Mockery is withheld as a last form of criticism for those who refuse to have their ideas criticized. It is more dismissive of the idea and usually only comes in when the particular idea is really ridiculous and worth mockery. It is a message that, “hey, your idea has way too many criticisms and is just so ridiculous that is really isn’t worth taking seriously at all.”

The problem is, you can't allow that becuase people have a hard time distinguishing a truly absurd idea from something they don' know about. Atheists don't' want to learn about theology anyway. There will be times when one can't help but mock something, to actually employ it as a strategy even a last resort is just creating an environment of hatred and negativity.

Ridicule becomes a form of atheist brain washing. Daylight Atheism argues that it's a valid and effective means of changing people's attitudes. They don't seem to concerned with the ramifications the effectiveness of it seems more important to them. In fact this guy tells how his own conversion include being ridiculed out of his beliefs.

This was around my last year of high school. I was surfing Internet chat rooms when I saw someone in one of them give an offhand reference to the site Things Creationists Hate by Bob Riggins, a sarcastic list of things that contradict creationist belief - everything from sand piles to the apostle Paul.
I read the whole page the first time I saw it, and I was hooked. I went back several times in the following weeks, reading new things as the author added them, and then branched out into exploring other websites, including some with a snarky and irreverent attitude towards religion (there was one I remember called Fade to Black, now defunct). I wasn't yet an atheist at that point, but it got me to realize that claims made in the name of religion could be questioned, even mocked - and that was what set the stage for my subsequent deconversion.
I bring this all up because, yet again, there's an ongoing tiff with an accommodationist - in this case the astronomy blogger Phil Plait - who's chastising the skeptical and atheist community for being excessively vitriolic and insulting:
"How many of you here today used to believe in something - used to, past tense - whether it was flying saucers, psychic powers, religion, anything like that... [and] no longer believe in those things and became a skeptic because somebody got in your face, screaming, and called you an idiot, brain-damaged and a retard?"
It's hard to disagree with the point as he phrases it, but the problem is this: Plait never said who, specifically, he was talking about. In fact, he made it a point not to cite any specific examples. This makes it very difficult to evaluate the merit of his argument, and raises the suspicion that he's just throwing up an inflammatory straw man. I don't know very many skeptics whose approach consists of getting in people's faces and screaming insults at them. But I do know many skeptics who mercilessly mock ridiculous beliefs, who argue using snark and sarcasm, and who forthrightly call irrational nonsense what it is. Is Plait talking about them? Is he talking about me? Where, specifically, does he think the line is? His argument isn't helpful if it doesn't answer these questions.

What they are really describing here is actually the Atheist Brain washing process. A bunch of thugs pick out weak lonely people who need friends and support, mock them and ridicule them make them feel like shit then give them a sense of belonging when they give in. This is as anti-intellectual as you can get. It's nothing more than thugs forcing people to change their minds. I put it on a par with torture. Its' a very tame for of torture. Ridicule can cause people to commit suicide. Ridicule can scar one for life. These people are thugs and there basically just admitting to be psychological kidnappers.

one comment on Daylgiht Athest says:

Thomas Paine obviously disagreed with Plait and his writings certainly utilize ridicule (a lot):
"The hinting and intimidating manner of writing that was formerly used on subjects of this kind [religion], produced skepticism, but not conviction. It is necessary to be bold. Some people can be reasoned into sense, and others must be shocked into it. Say a bold thing that will stagger them, and they will begin to think." (from a letter to Elihu Palmer)
Comment #1 by: EvanT | August 30, 2010, 6:34 am

Thomas Paine (ass though he was) did not just ridicule everything. He reserved his ridicule for his oppoents policies in politics, he didn't' try to ridicule all of philosophy, all of theology, all of literature, as many many atheists do.

Not all atheists agree of cousre. There are dissenting voices that council not to mock and ridicule. Paul Kurtz of the Free Thinking Blog (Center for Inquiry part of the atheist propaganda echo chamber) has some intelligent things to say about it.

It is one thing to examine the claims of religion in a responsible way by calling attention to Biblical, Koranic or scientific criticisms, it is quite another to violate the key humanistic principle of tolerance. One may disagree with contending religious beliefs, but to denigrate them by rude caricatures borders on hate speech. What would humanists and skeptics say if religious believers insulted them in the same way? We would protest the lack of respect for alternative views in a democratic society. I apologize to my fellow citizens who have suffered these barbs of indignity.
His readers disagree:

Randy on Tuesday September 29, 2009 at 4:10pm

Two problems I have with this post:
(1) Nazi reference, already in the second paragraph.  Really, do we need to go there every time?
(2) “What would humanists and skeptics say if religious believers insulted them in the same way?” I nearly fell off my chair.  This happens on a daily basis, in all media, and usually is not meant as a lighthearted joke either.
The old "they do it to us so we can do it to them." I never hear atheists ridiculed in the media. I think he's confusing general sense of disagreement and cultural unacceptability with actual ridicule.

wandering on Tuesday September 29, 2009 at 5:19pm

It is not dissimilar to the anti-semitic cartoons of the Nazi era.
There is a great difference between denigrating a living person, or an existing nation and a mythical god/leader of religion.  A person has rights; God, Jesus and Mohammed have no rights.
What would humanists and skeptics say if religious believers insulted them in the same way?
How is drawing Jesus an insult to anyone that is not Jesus, and the drawing of the pope, an insult to anyone that is not the pope?  People have no rights to be insulted on the behalf of a third party, just because they believe something about that party…

Those are thoughtless and stupid comments because Jesus and Mohamed are not just abstract ideas. To a lot of people they are cherished beliefs, and more, they are friends, they are people some people love. when you ridicule Jesus you are hurting me. It hurts me deeply and offends me deeply to see Jesus ridiculed. I equate Jesus with the basic symbol of all that is good and holy. To mock and ridicule that is totally evil. It requires only a modicum of brains to understand the ability to distinguish between the cultural construct of Jesus the icon  of the good and the religious doctrine that the man of Nazareth was incorante logos. Not that mocking the logos would not also be offensive to me, but respecting Jesus as a cultural icon does not mean accepting the doctrine of the Trinity.

We can see clearly that atheism flourishes on mocking and ridiculing. it's my theory that they equate that with their intellectual superiority. As the studies indicate atheists have poor self esteem, they feel anger and frustration toward people who feel loved by God. They love the sense that they superior to these people because they can mock and ridicule what they don't understand. They use it as a tool to hijack people's brains and force them to give up their beliefs. They probably have to find boarder line people to work that on. Those are have low self esteem, struggle to feel accepted by God, have no support group need a sense of belonging. Being mocked and rejected creates the desire to be accepted by their persecutes and then the sense that one has finally ache-ivied belonging when one renounces the hated beliefs is enough to bring people into submission. Free thinkers, O yea, they are free thinkers. Free thinkers really bleieve in forcing people into submission don't they?

another one

here an atheist takes  a dissenting view and Share


a-hermit said...

"Mocking and ridicule are acts of hate."

They certainly can be, and they aren't my favourite tactics, but they can also be useful and valid tools. Satire, a la Mark Twain for example, is a very effective method of communicating ideas and it often involves mocking and ridicule. Of course there has to be some substance behind it.

"Stupid people and ignorant people always mock things they don't understand. When mocking and ridicule replace real thought in a community then the mere presence of ridicule is enough to stifle thought on the subject."

Most of the mocking I see coming from the atheist community tends to be directed at the frankly ridiculous ideas of Young Earth creationists or woman-hating, gay bashing fundamentalists. When PZ Myers mocks Ken Ham that's not an example of an ignorant person going after someone whose ideas they don't understand; quite the opposite in fact.

And let's not pretend that you've been above using those tactics yourself, and not always in a thoughtful way, but often out of anger.

"We can see clearly that atheism flourishes on mocking and ridiculing."

You have a bad habit of going looking for bad examples and then attributing them to the whole atheist population.

"As the studies indicate atheists have poor self esteem..."

And there you go doing exactly what I predicted you would do; misrepresenting the research to prop up your distorted idea of what unbelievers are all about.

Metacrock said...

probably true that most of it is about YeCS and right wingers and John Heggie types. I ridicule him myself.

I see so many who are just as likely to mock and ridicule Tillich and the Brilliant theologians.

that guy that called Thomas Kuhn a creationist fundie.

Occam said...

Metacrock, this is a good post. I have recently come to appreciate your insights into the socialization effects of the internet atheist community.

Hermit, I disagree with you. I am ridiculed fairly frequently simply for arguing for a relatively liberal version of Christianity. Christianity is called mythology and bashed in many other ways, on a regular basis and without any discernible provocation, on internet forums. I remember that you used to post on CARM, so I know you've seen some of this, even if you don't remember.


Metacrock said...

Hey Occam good to hear from you. I appreciate your work on carm. You will find a small handful of atheists can aprpreciate intelligent Christians. It' more common they hate liberals even more than fundies. I think two reasons.

(1) some given an enabling augment, we are enabling fundamentalism. I think that shows how they don't even comprehend the difference.

I think that really puts into perspective their arguments that they don't need to know theology.

(2) They are more threatened by us because they can't answer our stuff. It's stuff they haven't heard before, atheist websites don't give them good answers to good liberal ideas. So they are afarid because they are caught off guard.

a-hermit said...

"Hermit, I disagree with you. I am ridiculed fairly frequently simply for arguing for a relatively liberal version of Christianity. Christianity is called mythology and bashed in many other ways, on a regular basis and without any discernible provocation, on internet forums. I remember that you used to post on CARM, so I know you've seen some of this, even if you don't remember."

I do remember CARM. I've been abused, mocked, bullied and ridiculed pretty mercilessly by more than a few of the Christians I've encountered on CARM, (including our host here) but I wouldn't run around generalizing about Christianity on the basis of their bad behaviour.

I keep trying to make this point to Metacrock; the behaviour of a few individuals on internet forums is NOT a good yardstick by which to measure atheist thinking in general.

I wouldn't think that what happens on CARM is a very useful guide to anything in the real world, although even there I think you may be overstating things. I've actually seen and had some pretty rewarding exchanges between reasonable believers and atheists there (again including our host here...) What we're talking about here has everything to do with internet culture in general and very little to do with theological beliefs.

apaniola soul said...

I'm dyslexic and can form, and spell sentences, just fine. I do not know what atheists you have been dealing with, but I surely do hope that over the last two years your opinion of them has changed. Your article was pretty one-sided. I'm very disappointed. Someone who believes in god is supposed to be one who is understanding and compassionate. I must say that you sound like most christians I come into contact with......condescending and ready to wage battle. Again.....I am very disappointed. And if you want to know how to write without making mistakes, let me know....I have plenty of suggestions. More than likely you will not post this comment....which would be a shame.

Metacrock said...

I form good sentences. there's no thing wrong with my speaking or writing. My grammar is fine. Most people don't even know hat grammar is. The people who have to make things like spelling and grammar an issue are trying to distract form the major issues,because they can't answer the arguments.

I am compassionate to atheist. First I do not hate atheists. I never said I did. they have said that. they are trying to propagandize and turn my legitimate points that they can't answer into emotional issues.

Moreover, I don't have to think they are smart to be compassionately nothings bout compassion that says I have to pretend stupid people are smart. When people say stupid things I will point out "hey that's a stupid thing he said." that doesn't' mean I hate them. It's just that I don't pretend stupid things are smart.