Sunday, July 4, 2010

on being a dickhead or I'm right, you're wrong and you suck

One of the four horsemen of militant atheism is dying. "In the Tibetan philosophy, Sylvia Plath sense of the word, we're all dying. But you're not dying in the way [Christopher Hitchens] is dying." (YES! Another Fight Club quote!). He's got esophagus cancer. I guess that's what happens when you smoke ten thousand packets of cigarettes a day. Is this result any real surprise? If only he'd extrapolated the most logical outcome of his careless actions before it all came to this. What an idiot. Wow, being totally insensitive is fun.

OK, this is the part where I stop being a dickhead...

Christopher is probably the most witty and entertaining part of the formidable four headed atheist monster, so I like him (has anyone listened to Sam Harris? Dude, puts me in a coma). It's a sad, sad thing that he's got cancer now and I wish him a full recovery. A wish is probably as good as a prayer, which isn't very good at all, but it's the thought that counts even if counting in this case doesn't amount to much. Chris and friends probably played a small part in my born again Zen Atheist Experience, so I owe them a debt of gratitude. However, their approach often surprises and offends me. Maybe the new sickly Chris will be more gentle, more easy to be entreated, doubtful and even if he was he wouldn't look to me to point him in the right direction, but let's just pretend shall we. Here's some free advice mate:

Please stop painting every single person who believes in a god with the same brush. The Dalai Lama is not equivalent to Ayatollah Khomeini. Taking the most extreme and insidious examples of a group as an accurate representation of an entire group (especially a group as diverse as believers) is stupid. Ever heard of non-binary thinking my friends? This is stereotyping of the worst variety, some might even call it prejudice/bigotry. Feeding the homeless flying planes into buildings. Sort of the same starting point (inspired by belief in god)? Yeah. Same result? No. See this is easy.

Are you really so shocked that people accuse you of being arrogant? You shit on everything they hold dear. Your retort to the accusation is that religionists believe they have all the answers (answers which are impossible to know if you're epistemology is based on modernity), so they're the arrogant ones. Well played, but hey essentially insinuating that you're more humble than your opponents is always a self-defeating argument, you loose.

Guess what? Here's a fun fact: everyone's an idiot at some point or another, not just the 90%of people on earth who believe in some kind of god. Everyone. Stop acting like you and your ilk are hyper rational all the time. You're not, you're human, you make mistakes too, like smoking too much.

Finally, (I'm getting tired) just because you're right doesn't mean you get to be a douche. So, I should probably stop bringing up the smoking thing. Remaining humble while maintaining that you occupy a superior position of knowledge or anything else is almost impossible. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. No one likes a smug know-it-all asshole. You're lucky that you're funny. I think I'm right right now, so I'm elucidating my position in the hopes that I'll disabuse you of your erroneous ways. OK this is harder than I thought, I already sound like a condescending dick. Umm, good luck... Let me finish by saying that I think your world view is right, I just don't like the way you present it sometimes.

Well, I believe I've made my point. Can we all take a moment now and commit to being just a tad more humble, just like lil ol' me.


Andrew S said...

"Maybe the new sickly Chris will be more gentle, more easy to be entreated"

that's what I thought about Elder Packer (OK, he's just delivers his talks sitting down now...), but it didn't quite work out...

Loren said...

indeed, sick or not you still can't teach old dogs new tricks