There is a view that is widely held in the atheist community that atheists are critical thinkers, freethinkers, scientifically minded, sensible people who are both liberated from taboo and practical, down-to-earth pragmatists.

This is complete and utter horseshit. It can be true. In my experience though, many atheists are just
people with one less stupid idea than theists. I admit that when I came across
the Atheist Nexus I was quietly hopeful that the thinking here would be that
bit clearer and more sensible. In some cases it certainly is, there are so good
thinkers here, but in general, the level of illogical, defensive, muddled
thinking is not much above average. I knew intellectually that atheism in no
way even suggests that this should not be the case but I still held out a
little hope.

The worst thing about irrational, ill-considered bullshit or rhetoric from an
atheist is that they are often labouring under the opinion that they are
"freethinkers", rational and logical. For the most part, the only
thing I can say that seems collective to me about atheists is that they are
almost (almost, not entirely) all contrarians. The only consensus that is ever
reached is about how superior atheists are to theists. An axe that needs
grinding has come to the right place. (And yes I do get the irony of this

The amount of times that arguments here are down to reading comprehension as
much as actual points being made is bordering on shocking. I am definitely
guilty of the presumption that the IQ range would be generally above average amongst

Note: There are some exceptional thinkers on here, I am not suggesting that
everyone here matches the description above, it is just depressingly prevalent

I have been wondering for a while now (several years) if atheism might not just be the
rebellion du jour amongst young contrarians? Anyone else
think this might be case? Or not?

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Comment by Jim DePaulo on August 16, 2010 at 2:51pm
it's foolish to believe that all self described Atheists are paragons of logic and critical thinking. Many of them suffer from the same delusions as any religious or conspiracy theorist does. Simply put, if they can't understand something it must be god's will or a conspiracy of dark and secretive powers. If one can't understand and are to lazy or stupid to investigate - obfuscate.
Comment by Gavin Doyle on August 13, 2010 at 11:22am
Mostly likely. You have the weekend to find something to entertain me Monday morning.
Comment by Gary Connolly on August 13, 2010 at 9:38am

I expect I will see many comments from you between the hours of 9 and 5 ( or maybe more like 11 and 6ish) :)
Comment by Gavin Doyle on August 13, 2010 at 9:33am
The importance and influence of popular culture is underestimated or unacknowledged among the Atheist community obsessed with branding themselves as 'freethinkers'. Atheism was literally a niche among educated people until the culture changed and religion suffered a fate worse than falsification, that of becoming unfashionable.

I think religion will continue to decline as a political force providing the common culture continues to undermine religious values and I think we will continue to see a rise in fashionable atheists who believe all manner of silly things.
Comment by Gary Connolly on August 13, 2010 at 9:25am
Фелч Гроган,

I must confess to being considerably inconsiderate when it comes to reading of FAQ and site guidelines etc. Due to the sheer number of sites to which I have at one time or another posted I just ignore these things now. I do attempt to put things where they belong as much as possible though. I don't really have a problem with duplicate posting. I think people like to express their things in their own words rather than just nodding to something someone else has said.
Site rules are bit like terms of service agreements. Anyone read those anymore? :)

I admit though, that I tend not hang around any particular site too long. So I may just not be aware of how irritating the sorts of things you are mention get after a while!
Comment by Gary Connolly on August 12, 2010 at 2:49pm
You're judging the majority of the atheist community based off internet forum interaction... Is this your first time online?

I am judging them on their online contributions in all forms. This is not my first time online. :)
I am judging the quality of their arguments (not the ones they just parrot). In that regard, you often come accross an atheist who makes perfect sense on one topic and then contradicts their own judgement and positions on another.

I am entirely familiar with the limitations of the written word. I have fallen afoul of the same one more than one occassion. As to taking something the wrong way, that is often possible when you are dealing with emotive statements but logic should be robost in any form.

As I say though, I am not suggesting that every atheist online is like this. I was more just pointing out my own foolish assumption that atheists would exhibit a higher standard. I knew I shouldn't expect any such thing but couldn't help having a secret hope :)
The more widespread atheism becomes the lower the standard is getting too, thats what makes me think there is a certain amount of band wagoning going on.

All aboard the atheist train! Choo Choo!!
Comment by Guy Fawkes on August 12, 2010 at 2:33pm
You're judging the majority of the atheist community based off internet forum interaction... Is this your first time online? Visit any online forum or social website. It doesn't matter what topic is being discussed text can never convey emotion, tone, expression and all the little things that come with real life face-to-face interaction. There are so many other factors... This is after all the "world wide web". Given the almost complete anonymity, anyone can be anywhere in the world acting out any persona they choose.

I do not doubt that many enjoy the rebellious aspect, but did you really choose to be an atheist? Most probably not... I did not choose to not believe in god, I simply can not believe in god.

You may be reading this comment and taking it all the wrong way .... I shall close with a double smiley :) :) and to insure confusion ;)...
Comment by dr kellie on August 12, 2010 at 11:04am
I think you are correct. I have met a few young gays who claim to be atheists, but they are rather apathetic about it. It is as if they haven't given it much thought and just don't really care to.
Comment by Gary Connolly on August 12, 2010 at 10:08am
Well said PRG!
Comment by Prog Rock Girl on August 12, 2010 at 9:29am
Just a few things I roll my eyes at:

1. You can't be an ex-atheist. (Why is this any different from "you can't be an ex-Christian"? The claim is "after you've discovered critical thinking, logic, etc..." which isn't too different from "after you've found the love of Christ...")

2. Atheists would never commit violence in the name of atheism the way theists do in the name of their religion, because we have logic, critical thinking, etc.

3. We should ban religion because its extremist followers commit violence. (I think this is the same mentality as prohibition: some people on alcohol act stupid and kill people, therefore let's ban all alcohol. Except it's easier to ban a substance than an idea.)

4. In general "logic is on my side". Logic is our downfall when people assume that b/c they're atheists they're logical and then turn off their brains. When backed into a corner in an argument, just accuse the other person/people of being illogical or not using critical thinking, without backing up what is illogical about it.



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