Friday, January 14, 2011

"Hey, Moron, Why Don't You Like Me?"

In a post about why people regard atheists with disdain, Vox Day shares an email from an atheist who calls himself "Uber Dawks":

Color me not at all shocked that your kind hastily pointed out Jared Lee Loughner's highly debatable atheism. This only serves as further evidence that the religious right is completely intolerant of those who hold to an atheistic view. Like McVeigh or Seung-Hui Cho or James Jay Lee before him, Loughner's atheism has absolutely nothing to do with his actions [Or Stalin's, or Mao's, or Pol Pot's... they keep saying that and their co-non-religionists just keep inexplicably killing more people. It's a mystery - VD] and to make any claim to the contrary is tantamount to bigotry-fueled profiling. It is more than obvious that the man was mentally unhinged and given his reading material was reacting irrationally and violently to the barrage of capitalist and biblical rhetoric coming from the right-wing. If you "money, guns n' bibles" types would stop forcing your silly notions upon the rest of us, we might be able to prevent misguided and mentally ill young men like this one from taking this kind of action.

Unless religion is finally replaced with science and reason, this illness and the violent reaction to it will keep on perpetuating. That is what religious belief is, an illness. Whenever a Christian asks why religious scientists are not hired for certain positions in academia or do not get their contracts renewed, the answer is simple. It is because their religious affliction affects their ability to do their work, just as the affliction of an alcoholic or serious drug addict leads to a similar inability. Like the illness of alcoholism and drug addiction, we need to treat these harmful behaviors for the good of both the individual and the society.

Let's explore the notion that "the religious right is completely intolerant of those who hold to an atheistic view." Why would this be so? "Uber Dawks" reveals his accomodating nature by answering this question for us throughout the body of his email. He claims that religion is an illness, an affliction. He tells us that violent reactions to it may pose legal or rational problems, but they are understandable responses to an agenda forced upon people against their will. He likens religious belief to drug or alcohol addiction. He implies that even mental illness has an internal logic of sorts, just so long as its manifestations aren't religiously motivated.

What's not to love? A tiny minority of unbelievers tells the great, teeming religious majority that their religion is a sign of psychological instability, and that the sole cure is embracing the twin gods of science and reason for whom they are the chief interpreters.

Let's brave this twisted labyrinth of logic. Evangelical atheists are every bit as religious as the most cloistered monk or the dizziest dervish. The difference is that they are not followers of the religion of Christ or Muhammad or Buddha, but acolytes of the religion of "Hating Every Other Religion Except The One I Made Up." Unfortunately, rather than admitting that this unwieldy mouthful is their religion, they deny that they harbor a single religious atom in their bodies. All the better to stare down their tiny collective of noses and guffaw at the rest of humanity for its stupidity. This seems perfectly reasonable, if one assumes that integrity is a four-letter word.

The atheist schtick in a nutshell: "You're stupid and deranged. If you don't love me for informing you of your sorry state, well, that's because you're stupid and deranged."

Why, oh cruel and malicious world -- why do you despise them so?

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