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.
Here are some inspirational quotes:
Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool. ― Mark Twain
Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile. — Kurt Vonnegut
Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. — Denis Diderot
Religion is so absurd that it comes close to imbecility. - H. L. Mencken
One man's theology is another man's belly laugh. - Robert Heinlein
Here's the thing about people who believe in God: they're idiots. - Jim Jeffries
Let's fuck some children! - A priest.
Some of these are really good. I understand the resentment to religion, but the gulf between the people of faith and the people of reason is widening. They are up'ing the ante on their batshit crazy exploits.
But as atheists, we are only making it worse. They love debate, they love to argue. They are becoming more bold with every day. I'd rather try the soft hand approach rather than the kick to the nuts. That's not to say we shouldn't stand up for ourselves and be strong with our words when needed. I just think that if I were to send a chain email to someone, I would want it to be inviting rather than calling them out as an "idiot".
This is good fodder for friends who believe the same thing. But not for chain emails that will be used to try to bridge the gap and eventually have them seeing that maybe it's possible to be "good without god".
And trust me, I'm not trying to soften the blow because I care about their religion. I'm softening it as I can see how showing respect for each others beliefs is the only way to reason with the unreasonable. Some may see this as lying...I see it as trying to find the good in everything in order to continue a conversation that can be had without yelling or name calling. Because when that happens, people just react and don't respond because they have turned of their ears and hearts. No good can come from that.
I don't believe in bothering to explain common sense to these people. We're not jackass whisperers. When some asshat sends me chain mail demanding I forward it to 10 other people I usually forward it 10 times back to the same person and put them on my blacklist.
I guess the proper thing to do would be to circulate a debunk of whatever bs mail they got going around. Either that, or just take a screenshot of the mail, with the sender's name and mail address, and put in on facebook with the caption "What a retard." Public shaming / making an example of them.
That will only put more fuel on the fire. This is why I don't call myself an atheist all the time as it puts me in a crowd that seems to be filled with just as much hate and resentment as the people I'm against. I consider myself a humanist as I feel like the focus should be on the here and now and our relationships with each other.
Sit and think of how it feels when someone says your wrong in a negative mocking tone. What is your first response? Do you want to punch them in the face OR do you think about where they are coming from and see how they could be right?
I'm tired of burning bridges and causing walls to be put up in my life. No man is an island. We as atheist need to stop segregating ourselves from the debate by slinging insults. 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.
Watch a debate/interview with Hitchens/Dawkins/Gervais and compare it to something by Sagan/Nye. See how quickly they turn to arguments that poison the debate.
There are no quick ways to social change. You can't kill an idea by killing the source. It only creates martyrs. Kill them softly. Turn them with reason. The people that followed that person will start to question their ethics and see they were born with a morality that is far superior to their dogmatic way of life.
When people started coming out as gay or supporting gay marriage, public opinion started to change as people saw their idols or friends standing up for themselves in a positive way. Atheist can learn a lot from the gay movement.
I might have disagreed with you before I read this article:
The Harvard psychologist, Howard Gardner, has a book entitled "Changing Minds." Doing it is tricky stuff. Also, Jonathan Haidt does research concerning the liberal versus the conservative mind and how they are fundamentally different. It helps explain why some people are so wedded to tradition and why some are not. I suspect understanding these issues impacts our success in dealing with the other side.
This is a great article. I'd love to hear what everyone else feels about it.
When I told the Jehovah's witness' that showed up at my door a year ago that I grew up going to a Freewill Baptist Church and now I am an atheist they asked if something traumatic happened to me that changed my mind. I said yes, religion itself was the traumatic thing that changed my mind.
I sometimes feel torn between being militant or not. A part of me feels it's personal and should be kept to myself. And on the other hand I feel religion is invading my personal life so I have to fight back. Or at the very least, stand my ground.
Do we as atheist need to bring the war to the religious or wait for it to affect our personal life...or should we see this war as a civil one and understand we are fighting our brothers and sisters and bayonets are overboard, we just need diplomacy. Cause no one likes admitting they are wrong. It takes time to get over the stockholm syndrome.
Excellent questions Randy. I'm conflicted as well. When I experience the hate, injustice and tyranny done in the name of religion, I am outraged and want to "smite them mightily" (to use their language). Yet I have one living aunt in this world and she is very religious. To my mind, there is no defense for any action that would upset this 88 year old woman.
So just as there is an expansive continuum of ability, there is the same for behavior. One response would not seem appropriate to address all the various religious manifestations. The Westboro Baptist Church is a hate group and should be prosecuted as such. The kindly old woman at the end of her life should be free to avail herself of any comfort she can find.
The only christian died on the cross- F. Nietzsche
One always has to wash their hands after coming into contact with the religious- Nietzsche
Every time I get one of those bring back prayer to our schools I comment. Whos prayer? Christian,Muslim,Hindu,Rastafarian, or the sangoma that pray to his ancestors. If we allow one we must allow all. As in a country with multi cultures and religions they all have the same rights.
The only chain mails I've ever received end in:
Pass this along and you'll fall in love tomorrow! or If you don't send this to 12 people RIGHT NOW your penis will fall off or something equally inane.
Which, I have a feeling, is why you don't see atheist chain-mail.
Spam does cheapen the sentiment but I see this as a way of giving atheist ammo when needed.