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.
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.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.
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.
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:
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.
Randy on Tuesday September 29, 2009 at 4:10pmTwo 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.
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 comment on Daylight atheism and it's so telling! This guy recounts his forced conversoin (he gave up the faith because they made him feel stupid) it's so telling:
As usual, Dawkins is correct, and I offer myself as Exhibit A. The whole reason I'm an atheist, the reason that Ebon Musings and Daylight Atheism exist, is because of those websites which made me realize that religious beliefs could be poked fun at. Ridicule has its uses: If skillfully deployed in an argument, it can be more persuasive than anything else - nothing gets someone on your side like making them laugh. It helps break down the stifling aura of solemnity and respect that religions have convinced themselves they deserve, and that they use to smother legitimate criticism. And it communicates, more eloquently than any cool and dispassionate argument ever could, that it's okay not to believe this stuff!As ususl of course Dawkie is right he as to justify going to hell. He has to make himself feel better about blaspheming and damning himself. When I say that I mean form his fundie point of view no mine.Obviousy he has a ot cognaitvie dissonace to overcome. How did Festinger say we over cogitative dissonance? By becoming more committed to the new commitment, even in the face of disproof.
Look at what he says:the reason that Ebon Musings and Daylight Atheism exist, is because of those websites which made me realize that religious beliefs could be poked fun at. Ridicule has its uses: The dulcimer was effective. He was co-erced and now this cheerful attitude because he has to rationalize going to hell. now look what he says:
If skillfully deployed in an argument, it can be more persuasive than anything else - nothing gets someone on your side like making them laugh.
Ends justify the means. As long it works. so if it works to thereaten to kill people then we can do that too. He's just putting a happy face on being a thug.
here an atheist takes a dissenting view