When I read John’s post today, it started me thinking, again, about what I consider the bad old past. What I mean by that is just a few years ago, there was such a division between athesits and skeptics that it drove many of us away. It did me, for a while.
I had no desire to become something that years before I had left; Someone that is indoctrinated into a belief system that is without any reason or self reflection. We had become cannibals, eating one another because of differences in ideiology, instead of attempting to sit down together and discuss those differences and figure out where we may agree.
It was never meant to be. Atheists had become tribal, and as skeptics, we had decidedly ruined that description forever. Our adversaries, those of religious belief, started describing us more and more as nothing more than another religion, with denominations that have differences in interpretation, as they do as well.
I was told time and again that it was impossible for me to be a conservative and an atheist as if atheism and anything else had anything to do with one another. I still ocassionally see that today, but I have since decided that those that attempt to attack me in this way, are nothing more than simpletons: people that are unable to think for themselves, or just refuse to do so.
When I refer to the bad old past, I’m really only looking back a half-dozen years ago, when I first became an online atheist. I was looking for fellow atheists, first on Twitter, where there were many, and probably still are, and then a year later, I started this site, with a lot of help! What I had witnessed between the time I signed up for Twitter and the beginning of this blog, was a lot of recriminations from certain popular personalities that believed that there’s was the only true atheism. Of course they were conflating all of their social justice views into a simple disbelief in gods, and damn you to hell for disagreeing with them. Of course, that began Atheism Plus, where the far left decided what was acceptable speech and where nonconformance meant being banned from their community.
As many reading here already know, it didn’t last long because they started eating their own. Use terminology unaccepted by the mass? Banned. Have questions that are troubling to those that are your betters? Same. Again, another religion and I would read daily how the Christian community would laugh at us and of course, many still do.
We’ve not rid ourselves of that regressive past and in fact, today, still allow those voices of unreason a platform to divide us. I’m not suggesting we de-platform anyone, but when there’s a person, or a group that speaks division, then more of us need to stand and challenge their dogma and even label it as such.
What we all need to understand is that as atheists and skeptics, we’re all individuals and come from different backgrounds with different life experiences and with that knowldge, no one is less than another, We can disagree without disparaging one another. We, those that claim reason and rationality, should be inclined to use those with one another.