My interactions with some Atheist has lead me to believe that many put more emphasis on showing how "smart" they are instead of being "smart."  I can see why Christians and other "Theist" who haven't figured out that superstition ain't the way, get turned off by "uppity" folk who seem to talk down to them because their reference is usually a 2000 year old book filled with contradictions.  The Atheist I know, especially many of the white ones, are trapped into a techno intellectual mode that I think serves no real purpose but to their own ego because communication is sharing ideas, not vocabulary, the "art" of rhetoric, or enjoying mental masturbation. OK so you know god doesn't exist, now what?

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Comment by James Cox on March 27, 2012 at 3:05am

I thought that the term 'elitist' was given to describe anyone who was not 'us', and showed 'uppity' tendencies. The Tea Party folks use the term liberally, for liberals, the educated, and governmental folks, that are not in their camp. It seems unclear how much education, is too much, but even I have used them atleast once to describe one uppity prof. Folks of the Occupy Movement, might consider anyone within the 1% income bracket, as elitist, but I have known folks in the 97-99% bracket that gave aires of superiority, just to protect their ego's from puncture.

I talked with a member of the old OCA years ago. He thought liberals were elitist/corrupt because most were pro. gay rights. I suggested that anyone that was not pro. gay rights, obviosly did not understand the US constitution, and wanted special rights for themselves, which could imply an elitist position.

I think the term 'elitist' is emthy and too corrupted for honest useage.

After reading Tim Lahay's book 'The battle for the Mind', early 80's, wherein he demanded that atheists, humanists, freethinkers, should not ever be allowed positions of power, teaching posts, it was clear that the Moral Majority, at the time, wanted a special elitist position to denigh anyone they pleased a good life.

Hah, give it up. 'Elitist' is in the eye of fools. 



Comment by Suzanne Olson-Hyde on March 27, 2012 at 4:57am

@Shabaka Tecumseh - Just read some of the blogs and posts from young'uns, the 13 to 25 age group, who have 'come out' to their family, and the scorn, and threats of retribution, of going to hell, why on earth would anybody have respect for these people. That is totally different from face to face discussion with a theist. Respect begets respect - the xians that come on this site, generally have no respect for us, and think we are the lowest of the low - and it is expected that we are 'tolerant' and respectful'. I think not. Xians don't know what is in their book, and don't want to know - whereas Atheists know the bible and the evil, misogynistic tripe that it is.

Comment by Alejandro M on March 27, 2012 at 6:12am

The problem with atheism is that it's a group of people who have in common no more than the lack of belief in a god or gods. Nothing else.

Being a libertarian atheist myself, I do find some of our group quite irritant, but I believe it's because this group has embraced another form of religion, called socialism (or "liberalism" in the States). That "holier-than-thou" set of beliefs (which can be boiled down to "me - or someone else - can decide better than yourself about your own life") is incredibly annoying.

I would go so far as to venture that if atheists limited their discussions only to religion, and avoided talking about politics while they're at it, more theists (not all, but more) would have no problem dialoguing with us.

My two cents.

Comment by Shabaka Tecumseh on March 27, 2012 at 9:54am

Alejandro IMO you are close to my premise.  I often wonder if Atheist aren't considered the "niggers" of the monotheistic world.  In being so, they (we) take on the behavior of anyone who is demeaned by the greater society, we put a shield around ourselves and that would be "intellectualism."  And we use it in various ways for various reasons and it makes us appear arrogant or elitist to those who don't consider themselves "niggers."  

Comment by Hank Hell on March 27, 2012 at 10:03am

"are trapped into a techno intellectual mode"

THANK YOU! No one wants to hear that but it's true, not the part about white people, that's just unnecessary and inconsequential. But how so many people, in a reactionary stance against the evils of religion and tradition, end up opting for a system that subverts freedom of thought and action, and casts doubt on the value of human emotions. Techno intellectualism may not be a religion of its own but it is a control system.


Comment by Heather Spoonheim on March 27, 2012 at 10:05am

Well, Shabaka, if there is anything to what you are saying here, then it really only applies in the U.S.  In the developed world outside the U.S., Atheists aren't demeaned by the greater society - fundamental theists are.  Oddly, those fundamentalists never seem to be perceived as elitists.

Comment by Shabaka Tecumseh on March 27, 2012 at 11:19am

Hank, the white people part is very relevant. It's stems from their deep cultural stuctures, those ideas from their exposure to a harsh Nature, which probably formed "memes" exculsively to  European culture.  For example, no matter the country of origin of European "high" art or music, it's never considered "ethnic" in nature because it appeals to the entire European cultural mode, just like the techno intellectualism. It stems from a need to have power for control over Nature. Better weapons (technological intellecturalism) to maintain that control.

Heather, I can't speak on Atheist outside of the U.S. because I don't know how thier societies are structured and but I can relate to the fact that European societies don't have a "historic" "cultural other" hegemony and that could play a role in how Atheist are viewed.

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on March 27, 2012 at 11:22am

Well, Shabaka, I'm in Canada and the 'cultural other' hegemony began as soon as Europeans started showing up - from the establishment of New France, the English occupation of Québec that gave rise to Canada being populated by Francophones who resent English Canada and Anglophones who, up until recently, were widely regarded as nothing more than colonists - some Brits still speak that way to us - and of course our vibrant first nations culture that has been betrayed at every turn along the way.  Hegemony defines Canada in every way, even our relationship with the U.S. - but diversity is something well ingrained and to which we've well adapted.

Comment by Shabaka Tecumseh on March 27, 2012 at 11:30am
Heather I refer you to my comments about a European hegemony. A French or Englishman would NOT be considered a "cultural other."...As for the First Peoples, they were so dissemated they have/had no real voice therefore, they presented the French or English with no challege to make them historically "niggers"..
Comment by Heather Spoonheim on March 27, 2012 at 11:38am

Well, my Treaty Status Cree grandmother would disagree with you on the first nations bit, and so would the Canadian Government Department devoted to maintaining relations with the first nations peoples.  The young Attikamekw man with whom I work, and all 5,000 member of his band might also disagree.

As for the English not being considered cultural others - the French separatists in Canada would have plenty to say about that - or perhaps you've never heard of the FLQ or the Quebec separation issues we've faced.  Furthermore, if having our parliament chaired by a representative of the British Queen isn't hegemony, then perhaps we need to redefine the word.


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