I'm sure there are many posts on christian chain emails sent from family and friends and how to deal with it as an atheist. I just received another chain email from my mom about the so-called "Scientific" facts on the death of the apostles and jesus. I usually browse and and delete them because most of the time they are not written in a horribly negative tone. It's usually just about spreading scriptures or inspirational stories.
So my question is, why fight the system when it works so well? Why not create atheist chain mail? There are many FB pages, blogs, etc that are based on science and philosophical waxings on many social issues of the day.
If I had an atheist chain mail then I could send one back to my mom in response to her christian chain mail. Again, not in an antagonistic tone, but in an inspirational quote from Carl Sagan or a funny meme to start a dialogue on evolution. Something that I can use to start a positive conversation on how I think and how it may differ from her way of thinking but done in a very uplifting way.
Alot of people feel atheist are snobs and assholes and its sometimes hard not to be when you are met with so much hatred. I want to move pass the hatred. I moved away from the hate and feelings of guilt when I left the church and I don't want to preach or hear that shit anymore.
Anyway, if anyone knows of any good sources for atheist chain mail, please post here.
Let's try to spread the "good word" of Reason.
What realy piss me off is when they post a picture of a bay with a brain tumor covering half the childs face and then telling you that if you care you will pray for the baby and share this.
It's emotional blackmail. Nothing but white noise to any person with the mental recognition skills of a carrot. Here's a sad graphic, so like my page and give me hits and also pray to my god.
Guilt is their game. Their bread and butter.
Don't you just laugh at the ones that send you this prayer that you have to read that realy works and then you have to send it on to 10 people in 24 hours or you will have bad luck. It just fits the superstitious beliefs of the religious.
So my question is, why fight the system when it works so well?
Does it? If one were going to pursue this path, I think these are the common pitfalls one would have to dodge:
Promoting conversion over thought: One of my major issues with chain messages is that they tend to be full of specious factoids which fall apart under examination. Because the person sending the message didn't author it, they can't really respond to criticism, but it makes me wonder what the point of the message really was? Was it to get me to entertain new ideas, or was it a con game to trick me into the faith? The con angle is bad for everyone involved.
Chain messages are static: once the content is out there, it gets passed on without much modification. Even after an argument is shown to be weak, or missing the mark, it just keeps getting repeated. When you repeatedly receive the same inappropriate argument, it tends to poison you against the faction making it. On the face of it, it would seem the simple solution is to not make bad arguments, but that's kind of impossible without the ability to adapt positions to new evidence or to respond dynamically to criticisms or misunderstandings.
Chain messages are impersonal: Being impersonal is acceptable in some contexts, but in personal communications it reeks of insincerity, imo. I doubt I'm the only one who thinks that. When someone sends me a chain message in personal messaging format, it makes me wonder if they understand me or if they understand the argument. I tend to perceive it as propaganda instead of an exchange of ideas. It also sends me the message the the sender is looking for convenience in place of thoughtful presentation. If you care about your message, why not invest some time and effort into it?
A lot of people feel atheist are snobs and assholes and its sometimes hard not to be when you are met with so much hatred.
I think a lot of people have enjoyed the privilege of not facing dissent for so long that it feels like an absolute slap in the face the moment someone doesn't agree with a cherished view. It is unsettling to have a foundational view challenged even if the challenge itself isn't that threatening. Perhaps I am biased in my appraisal, but I feel like much of the resentment toward atheists has more to do with theists' perceptions and less to do with the actual behaviour of atheists. Note that I am saying 'more' and 'less' making it a matter of degrees and not absolutes.
Anyway, that's my opinion; take it or leave it.
F******* intelligent as usual Kris. I think you wrapped it up there. I always think chain mails are viruses and/or juvenile, and I hate them.
Glad to hear it's not just me. Even if they work, it's an 'ends justify the means' scenario. I'd say they don't.
I hate them and if you send me one, my opinion of you drops about 30 points down from 'nice person I know' to 'bovine internet noob I am currently tolerating.' In my opinion all forms of chain mail are a moderate breach of etiquette and a complete breach of logic.
Here's my version of an atheist chain mail, add salt to your taste:
This is an atheist chain mail. If you don't send this to 10 friends in the next 24 hours, nothing in particular will happen. Nothing good and nothing bad, except whatever would have happened anyway.
If you do share this though, you will be encouraging others to think, and search for verifiable answers to life's questions rather than accept questionable advice from unverifiable sources.
You could add lots of other stuff to it, but the above seems best in its simplest form.
This is exactly what I had in mind Perfect!
Have you heard this interview with Daniel Dennett:
Well said Kris, well said.
To Randy, you said:
" To be a part of the debate and win it you have to try to come to a conclusion by slowly getting the person to see the errors of their ways."
These people have a golden ticket to whatever bullshit mental gymnastics they want. It's called "faith". How do you debate anyone honestly when they have a wild card like that? An epiphany is had not given. It's going to take some kind of major event, I think, to change a lot of people's minds at the same time. I appriciate what you aim to do and I even agree with doing it, but it will only help those that want to be helped. So many don't give a shit what the alternative is, they love being religious. Its their drug. I'd say we need all types of methods for conversion.
I really think going where the theists are is a good thing too. Time to get in their faces, cordially of course. I hear there is a church near by that wants to do an "ask-a-atheist" type thing so the congregation can see that point of view. I hope to at least be there to watch.