I will raise a rather different question...

You've all seen 'em...

You all know at least one...

A poser.

Not to say that there aren't legitimately people who express themselves in a unique way and aren't starving for attention, but unfortunately, there are those will exploit someone's expression of self for attention.

We've all met the people who were "goth" on the outside, but really Chip Smith from America Street on the inside, the "bi" kids who wanted their pictures taken at parties and of course, the holier-than-thou kids who went around telling everyone they were going to burn in hell, but didn't practice a single word that they preached.

But have you ever found a poser atheist? Odd as it is, I have in my life found at least one "atheist" who was a poser. They wanted to be noticed, to be seen and to cause a stir and as they labeled themselves militant with no idea what it really means, in the end acting like general assholes and giving us a bad name. Has anyone else encountered this rare specimen? If so, do share. :)

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Skylar: I've encountered one here on A|N. :)

[lightbulb flashes on in brain]

I bet I know who you mean.

Anything to do with "a younger, angrier, hipper, atheist site - not for the masses", where you could "Experience Freedom!", ostensibly created as a test bed for "improvements" for a|n, but more likely made due to some kind of juvenile squabble here I am unaware of ?

They asked for some edgy content, so I posted a video from legendary west coast punkers Feederz of a song about getting sodomised by Jesus. Quite innocently, I thought they might appreciate it. Nope. I got a bit of a roasting for it, and when I tried to defend myself, promptly had a discussion group labelled "trolls" created just for me (even though the last time I consciously trolled was probably 1994) and got all my posts dumped in there. This was followed shortly after by lecture that was as pompous as it was amusing -

Felch, I deleted your post because you are a troll and in violation of the simple rules on the front page. It was adolescent, homo-phobic and harassment. It won't be long before you are banned jackass. This is not the Felch site, this is for other people other than you and people are tired of your trolling bullshit. It is obvious that you have an unhealthy fascination with gays, look at your name for example, "Felch", that is male oriented concept and your new site has "anus" in the title, also when you are in chat you are always talking about ass fucking.

It is so obvious that you are in the closet and confused about having homo-sexual thoughts and feelings. I know you are angry with me and confused, but I am sorry, I ain't in to dudes so stop your harassment.

Responding [*] to this surreal and unwarranted absurdity resulted in a permanent ban. Try as hard as I might, I simply couldn't find "bear trap" anywhere in my thesaurus as a synonym for "freethought". I must be dumb.

The moral of this story is, when you're dealing with posers -

a) never overestimate their intelligence

b) never assume they're sharp enough to get black humour

c) treat them as you would any other fundamentalist, because that's what they are.


[*] The response, which for me is remarkably restrained -

a) If anything, I'm a fag-hag. I vociferously defend, despite being irrepairably straight. I have stated, repeatedly, everywhere, that I'd rather hang out with fags than jocks because - they're smarter, funnier, better educated and less predictable. You can learn a lot from homos.

b) the track was from a seminal, left coast hardcore band designed to provoke (complete with carborundum paper sleeve in its original vinyl release) idiotic reactions by blaspheming equating Jesus to a pedophile. Guess what that makes you look like. I was assuming you'd be aware, or at least research. I was wrong to expect so much. You're too lazy and your ego needs so much time.

c) Fags don't like Keeanu Reeves, faux metal or idiots. I concur.
LOL! Even I was branded a troll on that site - and I'm far less radical than you, Felch, me old mate!

As for fag hags, join the club! We're mad about Channel 10's Entertainment Reporter, Adam Richard in this household.

What a hoot he'd be as a dinner guest!
I bet he'd laugh at Feederz, but he's probably not a beer drinker. Like I said -

(fags) they're smarter, funnier, better educated and less predictable. You can learn a lot from homos.

My current favourite is Black Fag, a piss take of / tribute to the mother of west coast hardcore's Black Flag. Keith Morris, a founding member is a keen fan. Homophobia, like pornography, is generally in the mind of the beholder. It takes a special kind of intellectual myopia to claim to be an atheist and a freethinker, yet have the attitude you are intellectually rigorous when you post tripe like the above; censor and ban what contravenes the politburo (while simultaneously bitching about being censored); and the arrogance to believe you are a visonary shattering boundaries at the same time. I think that's a fairly accurate definition of "poser".

All it takes is a brief look - A|N works admirably. The alternative, in the politest term I can think of, is mere egotistical onanism.
And the definition of "troll" seems to be anything that is not agreed with, or worse, causes discomfort by exposing ignorance.
funk Q: I reckon about a third of people could be assessed as posers from the posts I have read. That's possibly because they express themselves in a different way but probably they are posers. There seems to be a lack of depth in their views, a tendency to quote too much, absence of comprehension of the topic and general arseholedness.

There are only 3 really simple things I expect from an atheist and a freethinker -

1) be aware of the Cynics Toolkit

2) Do at least some backup research to confirm what you're saying before blasting away

3) Cut the holier-than-thou, my-shit-don't-stink, preacher-on-a-pulpit crap and use clear, unemotive language

Its hard to be a poser if you do the above.
I can't really accept an atheist can claim that an afterlife is possible (among other faith based ideas) - are they posers or do I take atheism too literally?

I don't think that you are taking it too literally (unless I am too). The after life would be by definition something supernatural. (outside observable nature) for me unless science can provide a reasonable hypothesis* to why something counterintuitive could be, I have to reject it. And as far as I know there is absolutely no proof of any type of after life, actually I heard about studies that can recreate the experience of people who have died and were brought back.

*=by reasonable I am talking about things like quantum physics, or any other subject that I really have no idea about, but can, by verification of who is saying what, trust who is saying it. example, if Stephen hawking said that he has a theory on why ghosts could be real (i just made that up before someone starts flaming me), I would absolutely listen to his ideas, whereas if some homeopathic "dr" says he found a cure for cancer by combining pomegranate seeds with animal dung, not going to pay attention at all.
I haven't run into anyone who I knew was totally insincere about non-belief, but I'm from an older generation than you and perhaps that's the difference.

Actually though, I really wouldn't feel threatened or even terribly annoyed by someone who was just acting the part. In my experience, both good and bad "advertising" will spread the word. I'll deal with all the confused youngsters, fakers and bandwagon-riders just to hear them talk it up for atheism, sincere or not. And who knows, while they're at it they might just find a little something really worth thinking about as they go through the motions of pretending to be freethinkers.
I knew a few back in my days as a former catholic school girl but honestly they're, "poser atheists" a dime a dozen in catholic schools from my experiences.
Golly - this sounds shockingly familiar.
Did your poser practically plagiarise your statements in other forums? Did this poser always sound as if (s)he were copy-and-pasting passages out of college textbooks about every subject that they participated in? Did your poser surround him/herself with idiots who never sat through a college course ever in their entire lives and were constantly telling him/her how brilliant (s)he was?
I suppose there must be one in every crowd ...
I've met some people that called themself atheists as an act of rebellion (usually rock band singers, etc). They use devil symbols and such. They know nothing about atheism and just use it as somekind of trademark, of rebellion to any kind of conformity.
That would be a paradoxical individual indeed.

I tend to suspect Nihilists as posers. What I see as their rejection of values is more related to this lack of understanding a poser would bring to the discourse.
I personally think if someone poses like that then they are exploring. Not that posing is right, I don't like the idea of lying about who you are but I can understand curiosity and not wanting to stand out. The only problem is that when you do so you also stand out because people can tell that you don't know what you are talking about.

My advice to posers, if you don't know the subject matter then be quiet and listen until you do. You will learn something and may no longer be a poser.

Personally I would just hang out and let people know that I don't know anything about the subject and express my curiosity. But that's just me.




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