If I were to try to take down a Christian web community I would do a couple of things. First I would put up all manner of topics in all of the categories in the site but in each I would turn the topic to if the other community members were Christian or not. Second I would use every opportunity to make out whatever anyone said in disagreement as a sign they are less Christian.

Then I would sit back and snipe, be belligerent, call names, things like that.

If I can use that against them, they can use it against us. So, I invite everyone here to be on the lookout for such tactics. And when it happens, and mark my words, it will! Smile to yourself, formulate an intelligent and rational response , and answer courteously.

Or you could just scream and shout and spit on your key board.

Thank you for your consideration.

The spitter.

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Have you ever spent any time on Yahoo! Answers Religion & Spirituality? Mostly it is a 'battle' between atheists and Fundies - mostly Christian.

Here's the odd thing, there, the atheists 'stick together' (common enemy thing maybe) even though the affiliation is non-dogmatic or denominational. Meanwhile, the 'Christians' do to each other just what you said - without the aid of even trolling atheists:

1. Catholics aren't real Christians because they have the Bible spoon fed to them and believe that 'good works' mean something
2. Mormons aren't Christian because - well - they have all these crazy ideas
3. Anglicans, Methodists, Episcopalians are, well, Catholics without a Pope
4. Jews just suck - but the reinstatement of Israel is important to the prophecies
5. Muslims are terrorists
6. Atheists are worse than Muslims - even though no one can say anything we did as a group - unless you let them get away with lumping us with Communists and Nazi's (as they are wont to do when cornered)

However, you can't really 'defeat' atheists by divide and conquer tactics. We aren't united in the same way. We tend to pride ourselves on some level of exactly what you suggest - logic, reason, etc. We are usually nonplussed by name calling and cussing. We have far more flexible senses of humor. We have much thicker skins, since we can't get away with 'goddit' or 'you'll burn for that' or whatever. Finally, it is much easier for an atheist to deny they are atheist than a theist to deny their beliefs - so it is easier to 'out' a theist on an atheist site than vice versa.
Man, 'm glad I got over my addiction to Yahoo! Answers. Haha.
Me too. It was pretty fun and damned scary at the same time. But, believe it or not, it also excised some remnants of my imprinting. Nothing like looking at the 'beam in your brothers eye' to notice the 'mote in your own' (to paraphrase and reverse a Biblical reference.)
Mike, I've seen what you are talking about, but I don't think folks even have to be infiltrators to cast aspersions... I've seen atheists tear each other apart. I meant to get in and defend someone who was accused of being a Christian infiltrator because the accuser didn't like his opinion. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked, and lost the discussion location.
Ahh you have seen through my clever ruse in an attempt to throw off the trolls.

I grow weary of nearly every thread on any topic turning into some version of "Yea atheism! Boo everything else". I find it vapid, oh wait too strong a word, dull to to be seeing the same post no matter the topic. The whole "you are not a good atheist if..." meme is just insipid. There I go again with the adjectives.

If I were attempting to disrupt this community I would come on here and act just like these people are acting. I am not accusing anyone of actually being a interloper. I am not active enough here to pick up on trends like that. The problem is so widespread it could not possibly be a conspiracy. It seems to me that many have traded one narrow mindset for another.

The level of discourse at times is disappointing. Maybe my hopes were to high having never participated in serious internet discussions before this site. I had hoped that people claiming to be free of dogma could be less dogmatic and actually have discussions.
I understand your pain, and I'm not being sarcastic.

Due to the free and open nature of the forums and many of the groups, everyone is welcome to participate. Ultimately,this is a good thing, but I'm sure you know what people say about opinions and assholes... everyone has one. What I often do is ignore people who reinvent the wheel, unless they start violating the TOS or Site Rules.

I do think there are groups on the site that have discussions, and every so often, a successful discussion is completed in the forums. I don't know if you can use Firefox, but there's a Firefox add-on that allows one to ignore specific individuals.

One thing I did when I first joined the site was to follow people around whose output I enjoyed. I'd take a look at the groups they were involved with, and that's how I joined some. Also, if none of the groups suit, people are welcome to create new ones. It's painless and relatively easy, and you can set it up around most any topic or subject.
Could you share the name of the Firefox add-on? I'm all for argument that makes a valid point, but, well lets just say I would find it a useful tool.
Mike, I understood where you were going, I just did not have a good comment for it at the time. I've seen it in quite a few forums but nothing seems to get people going like parenting choices or politics. Wow.
If you don't have it yet Michell please leave a note on my wall. I just noticed this, and am getting ready to go to sleep.
My dad always told me: "Anyone who says they don't have an asshole is full of shit!"
Mike - thanks for this. I look for community here - not ideology. Ideology and absolutism were the first things to push me away from religion. (See my recent blog)

I do think it is great that atheists are starting to speak out against the 'tyranny' of religion. I love that a community seems to be forming around a shared disdain for delusional and, often, dangerous ideologies. I don't like Nazi's, the Klan, Communism, or hard-line political ideologies either. Very little is that black and white (pardon the potential pun.)

But bigotry is bigotry - period. It is defined, for me, as a sense of inherent superiority of one group over all others. Now, we may be bigoted against bigots - fair enough. And we all suffer from one form or another to some degree.

But we miss out on all the positive attributes and value others may have to offer despite their bigotry, if we judge them as less 'worthy' because of it. Maybe associating with some people is not worth the trouble or grief. After all, there are six billion of us to choose from. And, I share your 'pain' frankly. I want to discuss things with an open, curious, and imaginative mind. I am a pluralist. I love true diversity. I find it here despite the 'Yea Atheists' distractions.

And, by the way, since atheism is an association through a lack of shared belief, there are bound to be bigoted minds in this group as in any other.
all that does is take from organizing against the bad policies that come forth from their lobbyists

say word son!
What the hell kind of atheist are you, Mike!?


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