On the SDMB, why do atheists and theists have to be such utter dicks to each other?

I’ve been reading this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=475182, about a recent event where a student took a communion wafer and took it home with him. Allegedly people tried to stop him. Another guy made a web blog calling for people to disrespect Catholics, and then some crazy Catholics made death threats…and… well it’s a fucking shitty mess all around.

Still, after reading the situation, there’s not much that needs to be said. Two, three things tops. It’s rude to disrespect somebody’s religion. It’s fucking crazy to make death threats in response to such an incident. Three, neither players in this story represent normal theists and atheists respectively.

There, was that so fucking difficult, you fucking asshat-wearing bile-spitting tardmonkeys? No, what should have ended quietly with rational head-nodding and agreement has degenerated into the same old same old habit of atheists and theists clashing in a battle full of sound and fury signifying jack-shit nothing.

We (the royal we) get it. The belligerent theists are going to defend religion no matter what atrocity it commits. Rabid atheists are going to call theists insane until the cows come home. Aforementioned theists get angry and say things that would make baby Jesus cry. Same-said atheists believe that because religion is, in their eyes, an insane disease, that it nullifies the call for any sense of public decency.

I’m not going to point out names or pull quotes out for a few reasons. One, it potentially takes things out of context. Two, it makes me feel superior, and I hate that. God knows I’m as big a dick as anyone. If people read this post and the other thread and still think I’m on drugs, then maybe I’ll supply some quotes.

I know that nobody’s going to start holding hands and singing kumba-fuckin-yah, but fuck, stick a cactus up my ass and call me president, the lengths that people on this board will go to denigrate each other makes me want to puke. Fucking assrape donkey balls. Suck a duck and God bless.

I really do not know. It seems that in the last few years atheists have begun actually attacking faith in an attempt to (do something, God knows what). Some sort of surge in atheist self-confidence? A better toaster for each recruitment? I have no idea.

Hah. Everyone knows it’s gay conversions that get you your official toaster. Atheist converters get waffle makers.

Anyway, I suspect atheists and theists have to be such utter dicks to each other because a) humans are innately somewhat dickish and b) we’re pretty much as opposed to one another’s viewpoint as you can get. I don’t mean that as in against, though of course that’s true in some cases, but that we disagree fundamentally different things. Both sides don’t just think they’re right, we think it’s obvious we’re right (agnostics obviously unincluded). And on top of that, whether we’re right or not matters hugely in practical terms. Whenever you have two so strongly opposed, motivated groups, dickishness is pretty much guaranteed.

As one of the “targets” or “objects” of your Pitting, I can tell you that it doesn’t really get to me unless someone says, in essence, “your silliness entitles me to be a douche to you,” and then actually IS a douche to me.

Autolycus, nothing brings out the inner dick like the certainty that You Have Truth, Right and Good on your side, while They Are Wrong, Evil (or just Dumb) and Harmful.

Paul’s observation (the apparent upswing in not just atheism but outright ANTItheism) is another front in the debate altogether; even that can be done politely.

But, you see, they are BOTH wrong. Only misguided people get that whacked out. People that know they are right, are smug. People that need assurance are the zealots. It’s like those guys that are homophobes. They’re violent and whacked out, but you can still see a little fablousness peaking out.

I prefer to be correct and humble. But then again I am a bit eccentric.

Because they are so very, very very smart. Only idiots could look at the universe and come to other conclusions about its nature than they have.

And the mocking and derision of those who are different from them makes them feel good.

Random, unsolicited advice: Autolycus - the fewer religious threads you read here, the happier you will be.

Autolycus, I think that part of it is that the people who choose to respond to such threads are, in general, those who are most looking for a fight* - rather than to try to convince anyone of their viewpoint. I agree with the second paragraph of your OP, completely.

Just my opinion. Worth what you paid for it.
*I know this is a somewhat broad brush, hitting a number of people on both sides of the issue who don’t deserve such a blanket condemnation - but they seem to be in the minority.

But how else will I gather enough evidence to put the gods on trial? :stuck_out_tongue:

Waffles? Shouldn’t that be agnostics?

Anyway, the thread titles says, “On the SDMB,” but the OP seems mostly talking about the world at large. In the world at large, atheists are a tiny minority, and the majority never likes a minority, so they get a lot of shit. On the SDMB in particular, the proportions are reversed, and rather than take a lesson on how much it sucks to be a persecuted minority, the atheists of the SDMB take it as an opportunity to show that they can be just as big a pack of assholes as theists can.

Why? Because humans, as a general rule, are idiots who suck.

The whole thing reminds me of this tussle I got into with someone. They grabbed me and attempted to pull me in another direction. I jerked away from them half shoving them back in the process. They then started to scream at me for ‘pushing them’ and started to swing with their fists. I think religious people often do this. They start something and when an atheist does something other then meekly accept they’re accused of attacking when the atheist views it as merely defense. I ran into this a lot where I lived before. If the subject of religion came up I had people become quite aggressive about it then get offended when I ‘attacked their beliefs’ when all I was doing was responding to the arguments and proof they had offered me elicited counter arguments from me.

Of course there’s this subset of atheist that’s just an asshole that has a hard-on because they’ve seen the light so to speak. They usually end up pissing me off because they make me look bad in the process.

… You don’t wanna do that. Trust me. :stuck_out_tongue: :cool:

Words to live by.

That thread made me embarrassed to be an atheist. Or it woulda if that how I thought things worked.

Daniel

First, because religion really is utter idiocy; the sort of thing almost no one would buy without the ‘religion’ label slapped on it. Second, because it gets irritating to be treated with contempt by fools and lunatics, and watch them screw up over and over again while pretending their idiocy is a virtue. And third, there’s no point in being polite, since polite disagreement tends to result in about the same response as insults or worse, if it’s aimed at religion. And fourth, believers tend to have inferior judgement and shaky ethics at best, thanks to being irrational.

Good old DT, right on cue. Ah, the gift that keeps on giving.

But doesn’t having the good sense and taste to not do something that makes you feel superior, in fact, make you feel superior? :slight_smile:

Seriously, I’ve pretty much given up on the religious threads for the very reasons you state. I think Miller probably got it right. Atheists throw there weight around. It might make them feel good. But it is not helpful to the debate.

I think it’s because (I’m speaking in terms of Christians here, but substitute punishment/reward for other religions as necessary):
When atheists say “there is no Heaven” Christians hear “I don’t want you to go to heaven.”

and conversely

When Christians say “The saved go to heaven” atheists hear “I want you to go to hell.”

Completely regardless of intentions, personal character, or whatever the hell the debate is actually about.

What Revenant Threshold said. Except that some people are dicks regardless of religious (non)affiliation and if a dickish atheist or theist had had different life experiences they would have been a dickish theist or atheist, respectively. The religiousity is incidental.

Oh right, append this to my above post:

“Obviously the love of God surrounds and penetrates us, and makes all things works. You’re deliberately ignoring this obvious as your hand in front of your face fact just to piss me off.”

“Obviously God is a fairytale invented to quell the proles and hold tribes together. Scientific evidence and the method has made God a complete joke. You’re deliberately ignoring this obvious as your hand in front of your face fact just to piss me off.”

More likely, 24-hour news networks with a lot of free time to fill. “And here’s video of a chair-throwing brawl in Dumbass County, Georgia, prompted when local teacher Mal Content refused to organize a Christmas festival…”