A while back I wrote a long post about why I’m so “mean”. I’ve been accused of this for a long, long time, from pretty much every side. I admit, I speak my mind, no bones about it, in stark and unapologetic terms. If it’s bullshit, I call it bullshit. I’ve gone on record criticizing pretty much every group out there.
I’ve criticized religion. A lot. I’ve criticized atheists. I’ve criticized liberals. I’ve criticized so-called conservatives. I’ve criticized men. I’ve criticized women. I don’t think you can find a group that I haven’t criticized or can’t find something to criticize. Someone asked me today the question that really should be clarified: “Who’s side are you on?”
I’m on the side of truth.
I only care about the facts. I’m only concerned about reality. I don’t care how reality makes you feel and I don’t care how many issues you and I might otherwise have in common. If PZ Myers came out and declared he was an anti-vaccer, I’d tell him he was an idiot. By the same token, if the Pope came out with some good, solid, scientific thinking, I’d congratulate him on it. I’d still think he was an idiot for his other views, but fact is fact. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
That’s one reason I don’t tend to defend communities. I defend ideas. I support facts. I don’t declare one group here to be right and that other group over there to be wrong. Both groups probably have aspects that are right and wrong, but hey, both could be utterly wrong in everything they believe too. I’m an equal opportunity critic. That’s why I have no interest in being a part of the “atheist community”. I don’t want to have to deal with in-group and out-group think. I want to be able to evaluate ideas honestly. Frankly, I’m highly critical of a lot of the things that the “atheist community” does because the vast majority of it, IMO, is entirely outside of the purview of atheism. When you start talking about social engineering and liberal politics, you’re not speaking as an atheist. I really don’t want to be lumped in with them, or anyone else. I’m my own man and I stand on my own two feet.
So the next time someone asks you what side you’re on, choose your position carefully. Be on the side of reality. Be on the side of fact. Be independent of the groups you associate with and don’t be afraid to call out those closest to you for being irrational. After all, isn’t that what we’re all supposed to be doing? Defending truth?