I spend a lot of time talking about crappy theists and how awful they can be to each other and to those who they disagree with. I’m not even talking about the extremists, the people who end up in the Religious Horror Show and the like, just theists who attack the non-religious, or the otherly-religious, on a regular basis online.
But now, I’m seeing the same behavior from atheists toward other atheists. It’s bad enough watching atheists trolling theists but when it’s atheists going after atheists, enough is enough. Oh sure, I know what you’re saying, the Atheism+ crowd started it and I will agree. The majority of the most vocal people in Atheism+ are complete and total assholes and that goes for Rebecca Watson, Ophelia Benson, Surly Amy, PZ Myers and all their minions. You’ve got Greg Laden out trying to drop dox on everyone because it apparently turns him on. We know these people are sleazeballs and by and large, the rational atheist community has complained about it quite loudly.
So why are so many atheists on the other side doing it right back to them? Do they not understand that the way to get assholes to stop being assholes is not to be assholes back to them? Twitter is filled with people who are being rude and obnoxious and spending their time following the Atheism+ crowd around with a magnifying glass so they can make fun of anything they say. I’d like to think that Atheism+ would just go away if people would stop paying attention to them but there are two podcasts and a pile of blogs that do nothing but focus on everything they do.
I suppose I wouldn’t mind if they were going after them intelligently, rationally disecting everything that Atheism+ says, pointing out the fallacies unemotionally, but I see so much that is just a mirror of what Atheism+ does to everyone else. Someone on the Atheism+ side drops dox on someone, the anti-Atheism+ side does the same back. They spend all their time on Twitter just screaming obscenities at each other. There are blogs that, honestly, border on stalkerdom because they are following every blog post on every forum, every Tweet, everything on every Atheism+ Facebook wall, every blog article until they find something that can be used to insult the Atheism+ feminists. How is that any better than the careless flinging around of “misogynist”? Right now, there are Tweets flying by telling people to go give Greg Laden’s book a bad rating on Amazon, just because they don’t like him. I’m sure none of these people have even read the book, but they’re doing all they can to hurt his livelihood, just to piss him off.
You people all need to grow the hell up. I would never go out and purposely try to harm another person, no matter how much I disagree with them, even if they did it to me first. When Fred Phelps finally kicks the bucket, I don’t advocate people going and picketing his funeral or anything like that. It’s shitty when they do it, it’s no less shitty if we do it in return. Likewise, no matter how much stupid crap Atheism+ pulls, that doesn’t warrant the opposition to do the same thing back. I’d like to think we’re better than they are, that we can take the high road.
Too bad it seems like I’m wrong.