I don’t know if I’m just bored sitting in class for the last two weeks, but something’s crawled up my ass and I just feel like arguing with people. On Instagram no less!
This time I’m arguing with stuck up Christians trying to present their arguments as some sort of academic debate because they think atheists are too dumb to understand their beliefs. Now don’t get your panties in a wad, these are just the people who are pissing me off RIGHT NOW. There’s no telling who I’ll argue with next week.
I’m a sophist at heart.
But if there’s one type of person I can’t stand, it’s the stuck up “I’m smarter than you cuz I read academic shit” guy. Fuck those people.
In fact, I say it’s your DUTY to pointlessly argue with these folks. They expect everything to be a structured debate and demand strangers online follow the rules.
But I will not. If I want to “straw man” you, use “non-sequiturs”, create false dichotomies, etc. I am well within my right to do so and there’s nothing you can do about it.
So Who the fuck are you? The “logical fallacies” police?
People are shocked to hear this when I say it, but I genuinely do NOT care about question of God’s existence.
When I hear people arguing this question, it’s like listening to nerds getting into a heated argument over which fictional spaceship is faster: the Millenium Falcon or the Enterprise D?
It’s a nonsensical argument and I treat nonsense in the only sensical way: I ignore it.
Which leads me the ‘Atheist Experience’.
For the record, I agree with 99.99% with what this asshat, Matt Dillahunty, is saying. His logic holds up. But this is the #1 thing that drives me bonkers about YouTube atheists: logic is fetishized.
I’ll concede: maybe this is a ‘me’ problem. Perhaps I view logic, reasoning, science, and philosophy…and perhaps religion too…as a vehicle, not a destination. That may be too “Buddhist”, for a lack of a better word, way of thinking of these things but it has helped me “keep an eye on the ball” and not get hung up on the small stuff.
I mean, this is the purpose of life, right? To find meaning in a chaotic world? To love life, to enjoy company of others, to pass on our wisdom to the next generation? Life is about the sublime moments. When I’m trying to enjoy my short existence on this earth, I don’t really care what vehicle I drive to get to work.
I’ll always have respect for someone that channels their beliefs in a transformative way….way more than somebody that demands you follow the rules of logic. That being said, some atheists don’t need belief in a higher power to enjoy life to the fullest. I guess I’m one of them (I’m more agnostic. Or, more precisely, apathetic).
Matt Dillahunty is, however, just an asshole.
YouTube atheists aren’t alone in this phenomenon. Everyone is complicit is this internet “dunking” culture, where we try to make our perceived enemies look like idiots. It’s disgusting.
Dillahunty clearly had some bad experience with religion and is bitter because of it. I get it. This happened to me too. I’m sure it happened to all of us. But what are you trying to prove?
I think if the experience of the last few years have showed us anything, it’s that showing facts and logic is totally not persuasive. I mean, it CAN be…over time. But that absolutely cannot be done in a debate style format…especially when one of the participants is being a complete fucking dick.
I’m sure we’ve all been in a position where we find ourselves in a heated political argument where we know that we’re right, and THEY know that you’re right, yet strangely our interlocutor never says “you know, you’re right…you’ve changed my mind.” If this has happened to you then you’re a fucking liar.
There’s something deeply hidden in the human psyche that makes us believe things that are so patently false and absurd, that we just believe them. I think there’s a Latin phrase for it. I’m sure if we interrogate our own beliefs enough, we’ll find one. And when people call bullshit on it, we believe them even harder.
I think a helpful skill to learn, that when you find yourself in a heated argument over religion or politics…and you have your opponent on the ropes…make sure the joke’s on you. Don’t be so far up your own ass that you can’t make fun of yourself. In that case, you might’ve won the debate but you lost the war.
People’s minds don’t change over night.
What Dillahunty did was take his bad experience and project it onto ‘Brandon’. Now Brandon probably believes whatever nonsense he believes in that much harder. Nothing got solved.
Obviously I’m going through a Bart D Ehrman phase. It’s not because I agree with him most of the time or that I find him a master debater (sorry, had to say it). It’s because he’s the only public intellectual that I can think of at the top of my head that has a genuine passion for teaching.
Because Ehrman’s area of expertise is the Bible, specifically the New Testament and early Christianity, people naturally have strong opinions about the subject. Some people, specifically atheists but a few Christians aren’t exempt, like to use this subject as a way to “trigger” their opponents.
This is a fad on YouTube. The “Intellectual Dark Web” (IDW), or guys that found fame on the internet during the “alt-Right” hay day (people like Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, etc.) perfected the science of “triggering” (also known as “owning the libs”) and many online personalities have attempted to emulate it, including leftists with varying degrees of success. It’s a way of weaponizing information.
This phenomenon is not exclusive to discussions on the Bible, religion, and politics, but even movies and fucking geography!
Because “owning the line” is currency on YouTube, this has led to many quaks pretending to be experts littering the platform and distracting us away from those trying to present information in good faith.
Just because an opinion triggers someone, that doesn’t give it more credence. But that appears to be sound logic in some circles. Even if the opinion is true, if presented in a way that’s designed to give offense, that doesn’t make the one with the opinion more noble or virtuous…it makes you an asshole.