Home » Atheism, Culture, News » Spiked’s Brendan O’Neill on smugly atheists

Spiked’s Brendan O’Neill on smugly atheists

Specifically on “How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet”. Hey, that can’t have been easy.

Show a little respect, will you? Anyway, here:

When did atheists become so teeth-gratingly annoying? Surely non-believers in God weren’t always the colossal pains in the collective backside that they are today? Surely there was a time when you could say to someone “I am an atheist” without them instantly assuming you were a smug, self-righteous loather of dumb hicks given to making pseudo-clever statements like, “Well, Leviticus also frowns upon having unkempt hair, did you know that?” Things are now so bad that I tend to keep my atheism to myself, and instead mumble something about being a very lapsed Catholic if I’m put on the spot, for fear that uttering the A-word will make people think I’m a Dawkins drone with a mammoth superiority complex and a hives-like allergy to nurses wearing crucifixes.

These days, barely a week passes without the emergence of yet more evidence that atheists are the most irritating people on Earth. …

Look, guys, it wasn’t easy for Dawkins to beat out Elmer Gantry.

Like we said, show a little respect.

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose

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8 Responses to Spiked’s Brendan O’Neill on smugly atheists

  1. Nice little piece:

    The problem isn’t atheism itself, of course, which is just non-belief, a nothing, a lack of something. Rather it is the transformation of this nothing into an identity, into the basis of one’s outlook on life, which gives rise to today’s monumentally annoying atheism.

    Spot on – although this identity is partly a reaction to being labelled. I never identified myself with my atheism until I started commenting on UD. Then I got labelled as an atheist/materialist/evolutionist/Darwinist responsible for about 100 million deaths last century and lacking any basis for my morality.

  2. ironic as atheists have been using the internet as a way to “come out” and express themselves.. but they have gone so far in the other direction that they are once again starting to become afraid to “come out”.

  3. Mark:

    I agree with you, that’s a very good article. Well, I hope I have never “labeled” you, not really… (maybe as a compatibilist? :) )

    On the other hand, I have been often labeled as a creationist (which I am not), or similar inventions. While I would happily accept to be “labeled” for what I certainly am: a convinced supporter of ID as a scientific theory.

  4. Gpuccio

    No you have never labelled me (or anyone else I am aware of) and have always conducted debates on the basis of mutual respect. I guess labelling implies a group identity which assumes all members have similar beliefs, values, and opinions and to some extent act as group. Good examples include:

    * The idea that there is a worldwide conspiracy of “Darwinists” trying to suppress anti-Darwinian ideas (quite why they would want to do this I am not sure).

    * The idea that communist totalitarian governments of the last century show what atheists in general do when they get into power.

  5. Here here, very nice article. By an atheist no less! Now if only more self-respecting atheists (as if there can be a self, or an “I”, to respect within atheism) would do the same, and call out smug atheists when they see them trot out their constant ad hominem rot against Theists in general and Christians in particular, and never actually engage the substance of the evidence against them, then perhaps people would take them more seriously. But then again, perhaps it is well that the anonymity of the internet has allowed this side of atheists to see the light of day, since it has, at least for me, made me see that atheists have nothing of actual substance to add to debates.

  6. Dane Cook – The Atheist
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_bLVK8_VB4

  7. MF:

    Then I got labelled as an atheist/materialist/evolutionist/Darwinist responsible for about 100 million deaths last century and lacking any basis for my morality.

    okay, okay. So you were only personally responsible for 10 million. Point taken.

  8. It reminds me of the “Far Side” cartoon where God has just completed creating the world and He thinks “And now, just to make it interesting…” while opening a Mason jar labeled “Jerks” onto the surface of the planet.

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