House MDI swear, the level of hero worship in atheism is just as bad as it is among theists.  If you watch Twitter for any length of time, you will see endless dripping praise for any well-known person who happens to be an atheist, or who makes any kind of non-religious statement, as though what someone says means jack shit with regard to the existence of a god.

Scads of pictures of Hitchens and Dawkins, Harris and Dennett scroll by with their pithy anti-religious sayings.  Perhaps worse yet are actors and actresses who are non-religious, but have absolutely zero expertise in anything even remotely related to religion, science, or anything but making believe on the big screen.  Why should their opinions about religion impress me?  But the absolute worst are the ones like I posted to the left, where they’re taking imaginary characters from TV and movies and ascribing an “expert” status on them!  These aren’t even real people!  Who cares what words were scripted to stick in their mouths?

If it wasn’t for throwing around tons of meaningless quotes, most atheists on Twitter wouldn’t have anything to do.  The problem is, a lot of them aren’t doing it to fill their time, they’re doing it specifically to piss off the opposition.  How do I know this?  The fact that all of these pithy little nonsense quotes are being forwarded on to specifically religious hashtags.  It isn’t for serious discussion or debate, it’s to piss people off.  This has a name.  Do you remember what that name is?  Yes, it’s trolling!

But don’t feel bad, the religious do the same damn thing back.  There are tons of theists posting absurd nonsense and copious amounts of religious quotes right back to the #atheism and #atheist hashtags.  Why?  Not because they want to discuss or debate their own positions, but because they want to anger atheists.  I can just imagine a bunch of immature Christians huddled in their mother’s basements giggling hysterically at their latest troll tweet, just as I can see immature atheists doing the same thing on our side of the wall.

You people all need to grow the hell up.

The reality is, throwing around quotes doesn’t prove anything  but your ability to cherry pick quotes.  Richard Dawkins’ scientific expertise cannot be distilled down to 140 characters, Christopher Hitchens’ wit and wisdom cannot be squashed down to a couple of keystrokes, neither the science nor the philosophy required to demonstrate the absurdity of religion is going to be exposed to the faithful in a handful of words and a picture.

I think it is important to engage theists on the actual issues and Twitter just isn’t the place to do it.  It has to be done in a place where you have room to present your evidence and where the other party can’t simply run away from the challenge.  Neither of those describe Twitter, or most places online.  As such, most atheists who are only too happy to throw around pithy quotes and absurd YouTube videos really aren’t participating in rational debate, they’re just trolling the opposition.

Aren’t we supposed to be above that?

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