I originally had a different subject to publish today. I decided not to because I know that what I had written would come across as inflammatory to some and that wasn’t my original intention. Sometimes though, a person has to speak plainly and I think that many of us do not do that on a regular basis.
It’s easy from here, because when writing something that may be controversial to other atheists, I’m insulated to a degree from any negative feedback. Of course the situation would be entirely different if I said the same thing, in person, to a group of atheists. Thats a shame in that many of us feel unconcerned about what we say online, but would never say in a face-to-face setting.
Of course, we can always make the same point without using any language that might upset others, but if we do that in person, why can’t we do the same when we’re online? I’m not advocating for people to censor themselves, I just think that even among atheists, we could do better in communicating between ourselves.
I know there are some atheists where it wouldn’t matter how they were addressed, it would always come off as an attack against them personally. There’s not a lot anyone can do about that other than just ignore them and move on.
I’m not saying that we have to be pleasant all the time, but the first interaction doesn’t have to be negative. Sometimes though, even after multiple attempts, when another just won’t get it, then maybe it’s time to remove the niceties.
That’s where I think I went wrong on the post I referred to: I didn’t make an attempt to be anything other than to be a bit confrontational. What I wrote I think needs saying, but as I’m writing here, there are other ways to make the same points.
I’ll go back and rework that post. It may end up still being confrontational to some, and it will surely receive at least some negative feedback as the topic may be sensitive to people. That’s okay in my mind as long as I have made the conscious attempt to lowering the temperature.
That’s what this post is about: lowering the temperature, especially between atheists. We can disagree on any and everything, but we shouldn’t attempt to use exclusionary language unless it’s absolutely necessary.