Yes, Atheists Can Be Nasty Too

When I wrote this post yesterday,I of course was focusing on those Christians that engage atheists online and are abusive. I called it “Nasty”. Yes. there are some that are immediately abusive, not there for any discussion just want to hurl epithets at their target of the day. But atheists can also be abusive, or “nasty” online as I was reminded in a comment I received.

My good friend vjack made this comment on that post:

I haven’t encountered many nasty Christians; far more nasty atheists. I think the reason for that is that I rarely engage Christians when they troll me. They usually go away when ignored.

I had to stop for a few minutes after reading that. I enjoy finding new (to me) atheists online and especially on Twitter, I am willing to follow them instantly. I would think, anecdotally, that 90% of those come across as good people. But yes, there are a considerable number that are “nasty”; not just to Christians, but other atheists as well.

I can’t begin to guess why, and if I tried to, this post might be 5,000 or more words. But suffice to say their antipathy is deep and only they can tell any of us why. A few times, I’ve tried to engage in an attempt to learn from a particular atheist as to why they are so angry at what appears to be everyone. I’ve never received any sort of reasonable response and after a few exchanges, I just unfollowed them on Twitter.

Atheists don’t always agree on a lot of things. I find it refreshing because it sparks discussion and those discussions may enlighten us all. But just being angry and nasty at everyone doesn’t do anything. As atheists, we can become angry over some issue; for me it’s when priests and pastors are arrested for abusing children. It happens more than we’d all like to admit.There’s even a subreddit, /r/PastorArrested.

I don’t live my life being constantly angry, but some people do. I cannot imagine living my life that way. We, as atheists, don’t have to be accommodating, but could show less overall anger, and yes, nastiness at others online.

2 thoughts on “Yes, Atheists Can Be Nasty Too

  1. One of the things I’ve noticed is that a surprisingly high number (i.e., far higher than the 0 one might expect) of those I see being nasty on Twitter have “humanist” in their bio. It makes me think they must not have any idea what humanism means. And no, I’m not talking about people who lose it every once in awhile and lash out (we are human, after all), but those who recurrently treat others poorly online. I sometimes wonder if they should replace “humanist” with “sadist.” No matter how many I unfollow, more seem to take their place.


  2. Are you a member of the atheist twitter community? There is so much aggression on there. I don’t know where they always find the easiest accounts to target (really uneducated and possibly mentally disabled Christians) and then they have venomous arguments. Sometimes what they say makes sense but then they end it with an epithet (if that’s how you spell it from your other post). I avoid arguments on twitter. They say they do it to deconvert people but it seems so pointless. There are dumb people on every side and you’ll never get to all of them. Good post. 🙂


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