How is this OP not trolling? (IMHO thread about Atheists)

Bijou Drains started a thread with:

How is that OP not trolling? Now, Dopers posting to the thread have, for the most part, walked past the OP’s insult to discuss arrogance in one’s beliefs from a variety of angles. But didn’t Bijou start the thread with a decidedly troll-y approach?

If I am asking the question incorrectly, or presuming something I shouldn’t…or, or something, I apologize. But this just seems like a twit move.

ETA: and yes, if someone started a thread with “Aren’t Theists XYZ-bad people?” I would feel the same way and report it or ask about it like I am here - this is not about the specific group insulted in the OP, atheists - it is about the tone of the OP.

Yeah, starting an “Are all X really jerks?” thread is kinda jerkish, IMO.

Unless X = Nazis or Westboro Baptists or something, and in that case do we really need a thread about it?

Why are people that think different from me in possession of negative qualities? Kind of a crappy premise to begin with if you’re looking for honest discussion.

Would a thread titled “Are there any African-Americans who aren’t really lazy?” been allowed to stand as is, even if the OP starts with “I don’t know very many African-Americans but…”?

Not even a fair comparison there Czarcasm.

Oops; forgot link to the thread I am commenting on/asking about:

ETA: Morganstern - why not?

O.K.-How about “Are there Christians who are not really fanatics?”?

Much closer.

Because there’s genuine belief behind it, perhaps. Believers do pretty much universally seem to think that just being an atheist is arrogance.

Still jerk-ish, genuinely believed or trolled for effect.

I didn’t see it as trolling; rather, it seemed to be indicative of ignorance, or maybe just selective perception. It isn’t comparable to a racist question, because most of us are entirely free to change our religious beliefs…but not our race. It’s like asking if there are any Shriners who aren’t arrogant…or politicians…or mountain bicyclists…

It’s an inelegant question, but not much worse.

Also, reading the responses, nobody seems to have been outraged by it. We’ve simply answered it, openly and honestly and fairly.

I didn’t think of it as trolling, really. My reaction was basically :dubious:, and I didn’t waste time responding to what was IMHO not a sincere request for information, but I didn’t find the post particularly offensive.

More a matter of “well, it’s not like you can expect anything better from a believer”; the thread title is clearly insulting, but that’s the norm for believers.

I’m one of the loudest critics of religion on the board, and I wouldn’t post a thread with a title like “Are There Any Religious People Who Aren’t Gibbering Lunatics?” And I’d expect it to be closed immediately if I did.

Yep, as I mention in this OP. it’s still jerkish, and writing it off as “something to expect of believers” doesn’t feel much better.

It’s a twit move - not worth much of a kerfuffle, but I still wanted to call it out.

A thread entitled “Are there any Christians who aren’t smug and self-righteous? If so, I haven’t met any” would get dumped in the Pit before the first response.

And how is the post any better?


There is the intrinsic imbalance between a (large!) majority and a minority. Someone can more easily be forgiven for being ignorant about atheists than being ignorant about believers. As was noted in the thread, someone might have met many atheists…and never even known it…but it’s all but impossible to live in the U.S. and never have met a believer.

(Atheists don’t tend to wear jewelry with symbols indicating their lack of belief.)

It’s a response to an insulting thread title, not an insulting thread title. It’s a response, not an instigation.

I’ll observe that ignorance was fought in that thread.