left biblioblography: RUDENESS, REIFICATION, AND RISQUE BEHAVIOR - A PRIMER FOR PROSELYTIZING PREACHERS

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

RUDENESS, REIFICATION, AND RISQUE BEHAVIOR - A PRIMER FOR PROSELYTIZING PREACHERS

At the risk of seeming like an amicus inimicus, I am volunteering this information in the hopes of paving the roads of communication a little better, in order to help people avoid the inevitable metaphorical potholes that the written word leaves gaping on the virtual freeways of understanding.

This is in lieu of many months of debating, talking to theists (read: Christians), getting irritated at the vast amounts of similar patterns that arise in their collective behavior.

In short, this is a guide to how NOT to get deleted from an atheist blog. Simple blogiquette (I believe that’s the current colloquialism).

A. Introduce yourself, at least give a general (short) synopsis of who you are, what you believe, etc.

Hey, it’s a public blog. That’s understood. Try to behave as if you were in the real world. You’d hardly march right into a room of strangers that was an atheist meeting, and stridently announce “You’re all going to hell!”, would you? If you would, seek therapy. Develop some sort of introductory strategy. I’ve been (kinda) guilty of this on occasion myself. I usually pop in, disagree with some point, and wait for some discourse before I respond.

B. Try to be humble.

Again, I’ve been guilty of being anything but humble. But I’m an atheist: the xtian religion pretty much has problems with arrogance, cocky attitude, etc. Pride was on Pope Gregory’s infamous list. Hey, non-religious people have a problem with it as well.
Two cases on my own blog come to mind: the first theist I spoke with, he introduced himself, we had a bit of a natter, he thanked me for not being insulting or condescending, etc. It doesn’t make for good theater, but I tend to reflect what’s tossed at me. The second fellow didn’t bother: he sallied in immediately, got his feelings hurt when I used a touch of sarcasm, and while it was a spirited debate, it went nowhere after a while.

C. Do try to avoid being judgmental.

This is ALWAYS a bad maneuver, unless you just want to pick a fight. Dropping in for a drive-by post: “Jesus LOVES you!” “You f*@#ing atheists are all going to roast!” “American traitors!” – you get the idea, I think. If you don’t appreciate being judged, don’t do likewise. Try turning the other cheek, burn that armchair psychology degree, try LISTENING to the other side. Say for instance, I was a Muslim blogger, I trolled your blog, kept dropping references like ‘Allah Akbar”, or “PBUH” while the rest of you were pontificating on the Rapture, meanwhile I’m blasting on about ‘Death to the Infidels’, etc. Obnoxious is the word that springs to mind. Hillel, JC, and Confucius all stipulated the Golden Rule: “Do unto others, etc.”
Besides which, as I understand it, judgment is deferred to your deity anyways. There are three distinct scriptures that tell you NOT to do that, if memory serves.

D. Don’t assume anything.

You really have NO clue whatsoever as to why the other person on the other side doesn’t believe as you do. You should really ask first. While this goes to C, it also goes to your own ego. “This is why I would be that way, ergo, that’s why you are.” I’m not an atheist because:

1. Some ‘false’ xtian shat upon me
2. I just want to ‘party all the time’
3. Being religious is just TOO much work
4. I worship myself
5. The ‘devil made me do it’. (Don’t believe in the bloody myth anyways)

E. Do some research

It’s just outrageous sometimes. The same patterns emerge, time after time after time after time, ad infinitum. Read some of the older postings. Some folks just assume that they’re bringing some sparkling wit and wisdom to the conversation, when in fact the regulars have had this same EXACT conversation a hundred times or more. A war of attrition is exhausting, and time-consuming, not to mention a MAJOR irritant. Small wonder when you drop your nuggets of wisdom, your reward isn’t a list of accolades. Also, try very hard NOT to spout off about something you’ve heard via hearsay. Line up your sources, do some homework, etc. Atheists tend to be very bright people, and you? You’re just a screen name and some words on the Internet. If you want to be taken seriously, at least do everyone (including yourself) the courtesy of backing up your information with something other than “My friend Fred said so.” Unless you enjoy mockery and laughter at your own expense, that is. Also, do some reading on logic, fallacies, etc. It might do you some good to study.

F. Think before you post.

Hey, this goes for everyone: atheist, theist, you, and me. It’s all right to poke a little fun, or take the occasional potshot, but fer cryin’ out loud, if you don’t want your little feelings hurt, try to show a little empathy before you stomp on someone else’s. Likewise, telling someone they’re going to burn in hell without any sort of preamble, well, three guesses where THAT approach is going to take you.

G. Avoid name-calling, if at all possible.

Likelihood is, some people will lay into you out of a knee-jerk reaction. Who can blame them? They’re in the midst of a deep philosophical debate, and out of nowhere, you plunge in like a bat outta hell, completely ignoring steps A-F, better come prepared with a thick skin: you ain’t gonna like the result otherwise. This happens constantly. Show a little respect. It’s not your sandbox: you’re there as a guest, try to act like one.

H. Keep your posts down to at LEAST a hundred words minimum.

Thanks to television, most Americans have an abbreviated attention span. Myself included. Lost in translation is the phrase that springs to mind. Unless you’re a Hemingway or Ellison, chances are what you have to say could be summed up in less verbiage.

So in summation, to quote Austin Powers: “Oh, be-HAVE!”

Stumble Upon Toolbar

4 comments:

say no to christ said...

Ra

Well said and a good set of rules! I like E. do some research. Dont forget to research the history of their own religion. That is the number one thing that drives me nuts about theists! You can NOT debate with an atheist that knows more about your religion than you do without it becoming a battle of insults. Theists may find the facts insulting and more like a personal attack if they are not informed well enough.

Krystalline Apostate said...

SNTC:
You can NOT debate with an atheist that knows more about your religion than you do without it becoming a battle of insults.
It still becomes (sometimes) a minefield of derogation, even if the knowledge is an even keel.
Thanks, dear. Hope you're doing well.

Mesoforte said...

1. Some ‘false’ xtian shat upon me

Hehe, whoops...

2. I just want to ‘party all the time’

That isn't the reason, its just a fringe benefit. ^_~

3. Being religious is just TOO much work

Nah, its just boring

4. I worship myself

Not yet, I still don't have the shrine finished.

5. The ‘devil made me do it’. (Don’t believe in the bloody myth anyways)

Lucifer said that he didn't, but I can't be sure.

Let's just hope that "jesus_rocks" type people read this. It would make talking to them much easier.

Krystalline Apostate said...

MF:
Very funny response.
Yes, let's hope this helps. Fingers crossed.