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When the Internet Turned Atheism Into a Joke

Mamerto Adan is a feature writer who is back in college once again. Science is one of his many interests and his favorite topic.

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We all hate obnoxious people. I mean here you are minding your own business and they will butt-in and force their beliefs into you. And even without a hint of protest, a mere mention of what you stand will offend them, up to a point that they will mock you. And mock is an understatement and insult and threats are more fitting. Simply they are right, and you are wrong. They are beyond questioning they said and their views uncontested.

Whenever I checked my social media updates, I try not to vomit when a raving religious fundamentalist use the Holy Book to justify that you are going to hell for not being one of them. It annoys me how we Catholics are mocked by other denominations simply because we do things differently. I was about to do a hub on how religious fundamentalism could ruin society, when a friend approached me to lament on what he was seeing lately.

To my surprise, my atheist friend is whining how his fellow “atheists” are behaving in the internet lately. We are well aware how toxic religious fundamentalism is becoming a problem, but the same can now be said on atheism.

And as my friend mentioned, they are getting worse as time passes.

The Rise Of The Internet Atheism

A typical internet atheist caricature.

A typical internet atheist caricature.

My friend is a follower of Hemant Mehta, and as what they believe an atheist is simply someone who stopped believing. Religion is simply not for them and they can’t rationalize worship. They are enlightened differently from theists, whereas they aim to become an autonomous person, a person free from the restraints of beliefs. But as my friend told me, the definition of how to be a true atheist differ according to person.

Then Reddit and related websites jumped in.

We are seeing a rise of self-proclaimed atheists running around in many social media. As what they claim, they are non-believer and they want everyone to know about it. But unlike Hemant Mehta’s approach of seeking enlightenment in his own religion-free way, these guys have their own agenda.

But What are They

An angry tirade by a male internet atheist to a woman. Just excuse the poor grammar.

An angry tirade by a male internet atheist to a woman. Just excuse the poor grammar.

If real atheists simply don’t believe, then internet atheists are convinced that believers are insane.

In social media sites like Facebook, they have a habit of infesting the comment section and insulting any religious people they come across. For them believing in an invisible entity is a form of mental illness. So much so that will force such belief down anyone’s throats.

And do note that most are common people with no background in medicine, hence they have no idea what real mental illnesses are.

Their favourite preys are Christians, though few will dare to mock Muslims. According to them, their methods are to refute religions, though based on what my friend found out their so called sources are teenage jokes and memes that a trained religious apologist will easily debunk. Worse a simple mention of any religious reference will trigger their nerves. I once found this angry individual who trolled a woman after she mentioned “thank God for a nice day.”

To sum it up, internet atheists are angry people bent on mocking theists with their own brand of logic.

They Don’t Know What They Are Into

TJ Kirk, an atheist personality being questioned in CNN.

TJ Kirk, an atheist personality being questioned in CNN.

My friend warned me to never argue with a worthless idiot like them. Based on how he observed, they have no idea on what they are saying. That’s his kinder way of stating that they are ignorant. Firstly they are ignorant on religion and most of their bases are either fabricated, generalized, or from misunderstandings. Then as what my friend claimed, they really knew nothing of atheism. They should stop believing if they want to become one, but their staunch objection is actually a form of belief in itself. I mean they swore to fight a so called non-existent deity. But why bother fighting something if it’s nonexistence, unless deep inside a part of them believes it exist. He also sees flaws in some of their arguments.

One good example is the fairy tale claim. Internet atheists always describe religion as a fairy tale, but any good author will know what a real fairy tale looked like. The Bible never mentioned that God is a fairy for one thing and miracles are far outcries from magic. And the God described in the Bible is a formless entity, something beyond nature. Not the old man in the sky the internet atheists babbled.

These are some of the few holes my friend pointed out. And as for the evidence they are asking, is it natural evidence or something beyond? A trained theologian will answer those inquiries, but internet neckbeards have another problem.

Close Mindedness

Assuming that they are fighting against what they claim to be evil religion, internet atheism are mutating into something more annoying. And it all boils down to a problem that hounded theists for centuries; close mindedness. No matter what religion or non-religion you practice, a person will lose credence once he or she refused to listen. As a priest once mentioned, one will be presented with all the hard evidence a learned mind could provide. But no proofs will ever convince a person who refused to even look at it.

And that’s the problem with internet atheists. They are so closed minded that they became the mirror image of an angry religious fanatic. Every time I saw one troll an unsuspecting believer, I’m well reminded of a follower of the Westborough Baptist Church. We are not sure how a self-proclaimed rational thinker ended like this, but my friend managed to interrogate one. It’s all in the science. Science can explain everything. Science should not be questioned. Anyone who questions science is deluded. But since they got science, this people believe that they are above anyone else.

To anyone who talked to a religious fanatic, it sounds oddly familiar. The notion “believe or go to hell” translates to atheism as “only sick people questions science.”

Some Are Woo Believers

Example of a woo page.

Example of a woo page.

And the irony is some of these rational thinkers are caught running laughable internet sites. We discovered several “freethinker” pages promoting pseudoscience and conspiracy theories. Their pages contain questionable cures, outrageous claims and even fake news. And it won’t be complete without articles mocking organized religions or memes claiming religion is evil. To top it all some articles contain anarchic and anti-government messages.

And how about the endless conspiracy theories they cooked.

Their claims that we never landed in the moon is just the start. I saw stories like something is hidden deep in the vault of the Vatican Secret Archives, or there are alien cover-ups by the government. Overall I kind of wonder if close mindedness made them insane.

Sexism

Someone just made a request in change.org to remove Rebecca Watson in a Youtube channel.

Someone just made a request in change.org to remove Rebecca Watson in a Youtube channel.

Do you notice how the majority of the internet atheists are male? I thought it is just in the nature of men to be more rebellious than women. Turns out those atheist women are distancing themselves from their male counterparts thanks to their sexist tendencies. The problem of patriarchy in religion is debatable, but sexism is rampant in the internet atheist world. In New Age Atheism, Richard Dawkins once told Rebecca Watson to “stop whining” because she had it better than victims of honor killings and female genital mutilation. It started when she said in her Youtube video that she was uncomfortable when someone followed her in the elevator and asked her for a date. And speaking of Youtube, several vlogger made attacks on feminism such as Thuderf00t and the ever vile TJ Kirk. Do note that I also did a piece on the sexism of radical feminism, though it is aimed to criticize the fanaticism rather than the movement.

Nevertheless thanks to their antics, the internet atheists thought it is right to emulate their sexism. Female members are often mobbed with sexist comments, even rape threats. And it seems that when they are not attacking religion, they will turn their sights to empowered women.

As a Whole

Though they claimed to be a “no religion”, these people should refer to established religion to learn from them. And as it seems that they never learned that being a bigot, sexist, obnoxious, rude and intolerant are sure ways to lose membership. It is not exactly a good thing to see a movement of trolls marching in the internet. And as my friend pointed out, atheism needs a deeper understanding that these people lacked. It seems that they only joined the band wagon without regards to enlightenments. These guys became atheists because they think it is cool.

My friend also warned me that the article I wrote could generate hate from the many angry internet atheists in the web. If that’s the case, it only reinforced what’s written here.

Comments

Mzlbt on June 25, 2018:

Atheists, feminists, progressives... I think I'm starting to see a certain pattern.

Mamerto Adan (author) from Cabuyao on June 18, 2018:

Agree on that Poppy! There's no point arguing with someone who acts like an angry toddler. Unless someone is paying your comments, it is a waste of time.

Mamerto Adan (author) from Cabuyao on June 18, 2018:

Thanks Todd! I also hate it when a fake facebook account suddenly appeared and starts insulting everyone. It is rampant not just in atheism but in radical political followers in our country,

Mamerto Adan (author) from Cabuyao on June 18, 2018:

Thanks Joshi for sharing your thoughts to us! You are right on that one. There are some places where assholes simply outnumbered the matured ones, and there are places where douchebags are minority.

Mamerto Adan (author) from Cabuyao on June 18, 2018:

Thanks Paladin! I do knew atheists they they seemed to be very open. In fact they are more matured than some fundamentalist theists, and this is coming from a Catholic like me.

By the way, I used the term internet atheist to distinguish them from real ones.

Keithalan on June 17, 2018:

Its not just atheists:understand many of those are in fact servers of the quran.prentending to be someone else. They claim on some websites to be christian..and are not but teachers of the quran.all believers of the hebrew bible are under attack.they claim the bible to be a history book by man,theirfor do they change it and as the atheists, call all other beliefs foolish.in these attacks(pretending to be christian) they claim to be believers but use exclusively the texts of Jesus genealogy,twisting them that he be a just a man so the profit mohamad then becomes messiah.but also their attacks come from the atheist sights they also run.these are targeted specificly to those who would speak or spread their foolish lies.and if not if you speak against them then come the attacs.these are not as we would believe from atheism but from the haters of the hebrew bible who contend not olny with God but the nations who call themselfs christian.this is their motive:to turn the truth to lie and belivers to die. be whare the followers of the quran are at war with you.if they cant change your beliefs then they will seek your very lives.

Paladin_ from Michigan, USA on June 17, 2018:

JR, I appreciate your aggravation with close-minded idiots on the internet. But don't fall prey to the same mistake you're recognizing in them -- assuming everyone in a particular "group" is identical in philosophy, behavior and temperament.

Time and again throughout your article, you seem to refer to 'internet atheists' this way, as if they're a homogenous entity. They're not, anymore than are internet believers.

Try not to focus on the blowhards. Ignore them. Instead, engage with those atheists who are open to honest discussions and debates. You may be surprised!

Ashutosh Joshi from New Delhi, India on June 17, 2018:

In all likelihood atheism will get where religion stands today (propaganda & brainwash) in no time, all thanks to the internet-age. I guess, eventually athiesm too will diversify into several cults and sub-sects. And this buffonery would then be taken to a whole new level.

But then again, whether in absolute or relative terms the ratio of the thiest douchebags to the athiest ones, will still be easily overwhelming at any place and over any point of time!!

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on June 17, 2018:

I'm the same person on every social media website. A person using a profile which doesn't have a human name and face attached as an avatar, who goes beyond common decency in a conversation, will then be ridiculed and insulted into oblivion by me.

People tend to join in once I start. Everyone can see shamefulness in anonymous or sock puppet accounts spreading radical ideas.

I'm most definitely not an atheist though.

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on June 17, 2018:

There will always be idiots on the internet. Because you can be anonymous, people can say what they think, find people who share their views, and then mock or bully those who disagree.

Atheists think they have a kind of moral high ground or are far more superior to those with faith. Best you can do is ignore, block, report.