Tuesday, February 18, 2014
A Shaming Process
Unlike most theists, atheists don’t have an obligation to a doctrine of charity. We can be mean without being hypocritical, but should we?
My answer used to be a resounding “no.” Now, while I maintain the personal choice of “playing nice,” I can’t slight others for getting their hands dirty. Reason is only one way to affect hearts and minds, shame is another. Bullying can work to deter others from adopting the subject of the abuse--which should be the erroneous belief and not the believer. I try to change minds, but I’ve seen that some people simply cannot see where their arguments fail. People like William Lane Craig profit off selling fallacious arguments to the sheep (their word, not mine) so indoctrinated that they will accept anything that vaguely resembles a justification for the belief in magic they so want to maintain. The vast majority of those I debate aren’t sources of the problem. They are just the parrots for those who propagate misinformation and champion uncritical thought. Even though most his work is simply a tactful rewording of long refuted philosophy, Craig isn’t a parrot. He actually comes up with this shit--making him one of two things (channeling comedian Adam Carolla here) stupid or a liar. Either way, he earns the shaming some choose to give, and, by proxy, the parrots do too.
I wish someone embarrassed me about my ridiculous beliefs when I was a Christian. In retrospect, that would have been a great service.
All I ask is that the belief, or at least the link to the belief, is what is shamed. Calling someone an idiot for believing in a talking snake is warranted. Calling someone inherently an idiot is not.