Saturday, November 23, 2013

Maybe I'm Too Elitist (Just Kidding)

New Atheism provides a place for the simpleminded. It used to be that atheists were rare and quick-witted and well-read. Now our name is legion, and quality control has suffered accordingly.

Just a little while ago I jumped into an exchange between a believer and a New Atheist:

BELIEVER: Here is one person whose conscience is not dead towards God.

NEW ATHEIST: Which GOD would that be?

ME: Context, Dude. You know which one, and that meme is tired.

NEW ATHEIST: Since there are thousands of GODS to choose from; we need to demand more specifics about which invisible supreme being we are talking about.

ME: Since I'm here I'll try one more time: you know [BELIEVER'S HANDLE] is talking about about the Judaeo-Christian God, the one from the Bible, and you know there's a 99% chance or so that [BELIEVER'S HANDLE] is a Christian. (Ooooh, wow, there are polytheists and different religions, you blew my mind, not.)

NEW ATHEIST: One should never assume anything about GODS or religions.

ME: You and [BELIEVER'S HANDLE] deserve each other. Have fun. I'm outta here.

NEW ATHEIST: You don't know what he believes or which GOD he worships?

Wow. Now that's some hardcore atheist stupid. I noticed that he asked someone else "Which GOD would that be?" this morning. The same inane waste-of-space question, word for word down to the same capitalization of "GOD." It occurred to me to Google that question, word for word, in quotes: "which god would that be." About 1,920,000 results (0.19 seconds). Not long ago it was "Have you heard about my friend Jesus?" Now it's "Which GOD would that be?" I guess morons never have to be lonely. About 695,000 results (0.32 seconds) for bronze age goat herders.

Early in his career Hunter S Thompson had been a sportswriter, and sometimes later he regretted that he had not been stupid enough to remain one. He fantasized about regressing: "It was a wonderful gig, in retrospect, and at times I wish I could go back to it — just punch a big hatpin through my frontal lobes and maybe regain that happy lost innocence." If he did it he knew all he'd really need would be a Roget's Thesaurus, to ensure he didn't write passages like "The precision-jack-hammer attack of the Miami Dolphins stomped the balls off the Washington Redskins today by stomping and hammering with one precise jack-thrust after another up the middle, mixed with pinpoint-precision passes into the flat and numerous hammer-jack stomps around both ends...."

Should I go the do-it-yourself hatpin-lobotomy route and seek happiness as a New Atheist? Clearly, I wouldn't even need the thesaurus: mind-numbing repetition of simplistic memes is not seen by them as a defect, it is actually encouraged, and the lack of such repetition is regarded with suspicion and hostility. ("WHY does he REFUSE to say 'bronze age goat herders'?!")

Ah yes, but even as it is now, pre-hatpin, I'm fascinated by shiny objects and brilliant colors, and religion has by far the best stained glass. it looks like I might never be a New Atheist.

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