Monthly Archives: May 2011

What’s so good about atheism?

Over at The Guardian, their chirpy resident science blogger, GrrlScientist, is mocking “Christianese” – whatever the hell that is. I have no idea. Hit the link and watch the video. I was baffled and bored within 78 seconds.

I ended up wondering, what’s the point? GrrlScientist seems to think she’s helping illustrate the “childish silliness of Christianese to all of those who aren’t Christian”. With this in mind, I hit play expecting a witty and astute dissection of some of the creepier sayings favoured by over-zealous bible-bashers. What I saw was… well, something that made me feel uncomfortable.

Don’t get me wrong. I like sarcasm. I love funny voices. I joyously giggle at the hypocrisy of religious fanatics. I’ve no problem saying I’m a proud atheist. Hey, I even find Richard Dawkins tolerable.

But this video hit a nerve. It really made me think about the amount of time smug secularists spend sniping and sneering at those they see as sectarian simpletons.

I’ve a lot of time for weighty intellectual debate about religion and its net value to society (if any), but I’m beginning to understand why armchair Chomskys and rentagob Russells are so reviled outside the rationalist enclave.

And no, if you’re reading, it’s not that you’re too controversial and iconoclastic for our feeble brains to handle. You’re just really rather tedious. Not to mention capable of pointless, repellant pettiness.

Religion may be “poison”, as Christopher Hitchens argues, but most people who consider themselves religious are totally undeserving of the level of inane scorn represented by that rubbish video.

Sadly, most pro-atheism content I see online is like this. It’s nothing positive, it’s just slagging off those dumb-ass Jesus-folk. There must be more to the secular utopia than this.

If championing the strengths of the enlightenment is so important to respectable atheists like GrrlScientist (as it should be), I’d like to see them spend more time talking up their values, instead of taking the piss.

Here’s a challenge for you all: without even mentioning religion, I want you to tell me what’s so good about atheism?

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