Perfecting Your Hitchslap: Vile Verses for Heretics and Unapologetic Trolls
It could be called the Great Debate, a neverending cycle of posts and chat room logs filled with atheists and theists defending their views. It's been going on for decades, and it's only gotten worse as times have changed and atheists have started coming out of the closet. It's a noble practice, but it's not exactly adult-like. Mostly it's a random series of digital middle fingers, people standing up on their soap boxes, attacking one another, and declaring their falsehoods for the world to see. Someone will make an argument--something that makes sense to them--and everyone will come up with a sarcastic remark, dismiss them, or needlessly pick apart their words. Nobody learns anything. Mostly it just devolves into personal attacks or a juvenile back and forth--fifteen or twenty comment threads that look like school children sticking their tongues out at one another. All it does is reinforce preexisting beliefs. So why do we do it if everyone is so convinced? Maybe it's because atheists feel marginalized. Many of us come from heavy religious backgrounds. We deconvert later in life. We do some thinking, and we realized the truth. So we move forward with our lives. But the world doesn't move forward with us. Our spouses will leave us. Our families will cut us off. Even in the professional world, where these things are considered taboo, people will treat us differently. So we find ourselves defending our newfound mindset. We also do this for the sake of the truth. We've seen how ridiculous and horrifying religion can be, and we know how insidious it is, how it drags people down, causing them to believe in absurd myths. It twists logic. It turns love into hate, and it holds society back. So naturally, we decide to spread the word, grab a proverbial sword, and cut through all of the strange ideas that keep us from progressing. It's our way of trying to change things.It's hard not to take up that mantle once you can see clearly. The problem is that we're not prepared to convince anyone. We think we are. We learn about logical fallacies, debate team tactics, and all of the various arguments that have been used time and time again. We know what to expect from our opponents in the ring, and we usually have a great comeback ready when they start spitting nonsense. But we don't understand them. We don't know how they think, or why they believe the things that they do, and we don't know how to relate to them. Instead, we confuse them and infuriate them, or we try to blow them apart, which only serves to isolate them and drive them further into their beliefs. If we want to make any impact whatsoever, we need to get into the minds of theists, learn to speak their language, and change the way we do things. If we don't, we'll continue to type to brick walls, and nobody is going to listen to a single word we say.