The atheist community: benevolent know-it-alls

by Ivar Slavenburg

Originally, I thought it was a joke, as the tweet announcing it was dated April 1st. I’m referring to a post that I came across while curating for Strategic Design. It was a tweet from a man called PZ Meyers. He normally writes about or links to pretty decent articles, but this one turned out to be different and took me by surprise.

I don’t know him personally. Maybe he’s a very likeable fellow (spoiler alert: no, he isn’t). If you look it up you’ll find he describes himself as a “Godless liberal biologist” and an associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Definitely an educated man (update: though he often doesn’t act as such). An active atheist and in the US that requires courage.

So what is the situation that needs to improve according to Mr. Meyers? It is atheist community, as there is something is really wrong with the skeptics that are the face of it. To prove his point, Meyers links to a post that some guy named Brian Thompson put on his Facebook page, a platform renowned for its high quality information.

Bicycle pant man and Dawkins

Mr. Thompson makes clear he has a problem with some members of the atheist community. Originally he was very much into these guys, hanging out with them and so on. He got to know so many great people. Unfortunately, after a while he discovered that “not all of them are best folks in the world”. Oh no, according to Brian “a good percentage of the top ten worst humans I’ve ever met are prominent members of the skeptics’ club”. No shit, Brian! How awful. Now what? By the way, what kind of percentage are we talking about? Or, better, call the people by name and why they are so bad. At least this way, they can defend themselves.

So what do these awful men do (good lord, at least no hideous women apparently)? Apparently, there is “this guy”, typically wearing bicycle pants (?), that sexually assaults women. Brian knows, because his boss told him so. And it makes him sick. Another one of these guys is Richard Dawkins. Yep, the one of the God Delusion book. Apparently, he “lashed” out at one of Brian’s friends, Rebecca Watson, because she didn’t like the kind of male attention she was getting. So, there you have it, all the prove you need: “heinous, woman-hating abuse from enthusiastic members of this broken little community of freethinkers”.

Let there be no mistake, any form of sexual harassment, either from men or women is hideous and should be condemned strongly, always. However, to suggest that the Atheist “movement” is led by sexually frustrated men is a different side of a totally different coin. Accidentally, I watched some episodes of “The God Delusion” this week and saw Dawkins get a very pale face when a islamic man tells him western women are all whores (from 41:00). Not the reaction you expect from somebody who allegedly insults a woman for not liking particular male attention. Or at least doing so without a proper reason.

As it turns out, the accusations towards the bicycle pant man and Dawkins are just some side notes. The reason for Thompsons’ post is another male, one called Ben Radford. A former colleague, Karen Stollznow, is suing him for harassment and abuse. Since earlier their employer, the CFI, apparently found him guilty of some of these charges, it can be assumed that Radford’s attitude towards Stollznow or other women were at least questionable. It resulted in a slap on the wrist for Radford, but that doesn’t satisfy Karen. She writes her discontent with CFI’s way of dealing with the matter down in blog post. And that gets her sued for defamation by Radford. Sound like people you want as friends, don’t they?

It also makes clear the Atheist movement is led by some hideous men, doesn’t it? At least, according to Thompson. And for Myers, he has heard enough. There can be only one conclusion: Atheism is no good. He writes: “As long as atheism is about nothing but disbelieving in gods, and as long as skepticism is about nothing but demanding evidence, as long as there is no human heart behind the goals of these organizations, this behavior will continue”.

Atheism makes you rape and sexually harass women

The Atheist delusion

So there you have it, Atheism makes you rape and sexually harass women, as it has no values to live by. Could have been said by any Rabi, Priest or Imam, doesn’t it? But is isn’t, it is said by an educated man. He should know better. Atheism has its origin in asking critical questions about God, about how humans and everything around us came to be. It’s is no religion, nor has it clear leaders. It is the nature of atheism that it hasn’t. At all times, it is you who is asking the critical questions, and it are the lack of meaningful answers why you become an atheist. It is your own truth, not dictated by somebody else. You listen to people like Dawkins, because they have answers to your critical questions in cases where religion utterly seems to fail. Your not following him, nor is he your leader nor do you have to find him charming or likeable. That is exactly how atheism differs so much different from religion.

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