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When stupid pops up out of nowhere March 14, 2008

Posted by Teen Atheist in anecdotes, issues.
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Ooh, an atheism-related post! Finally!

Many might find it condescending that I refuse to get into debates with theists, or that I immediately delete anti-atheist comments on this blog. Then again, I never said it wasn’t.

I’ve recently come across the perfect example to show you all exactly why I refuse to dignify theism-laden arguments with a response. The main reason is that I hate it when they drop by our blogs to lay on the stupid, because we don’t drop by their blogs and write crap about theism. At least, I hope not, y’all.

Cleverly Disguised Theist (CDT for short) left a comment on my blog one day, and because he didn’t once mention theism in it (although it was still a dumb and condescending comment), and because a lot of his blog posts are tagged “atheism,” I assumed he was just the special “pretentious” brand of atheist.

Before I move on, please be aware of two things: 1) I’m not leaving a link to CDT’s blog because I don’t want you guys to up his view count, so no matter how curious you are (or if CDT drops by and leaves a comment), please don’t encourage the stupid or give him more “atheists are big meanies!” fodder; and 2) if you have any comments on the “logic” of his arguments, or if you have anything to say to him, leave it here. He’s one of those theists that likes to drop by atheist sites to angry up the blood, so I’m sure he’ll come across this post and be like “Satan strikes again!”

Anyhoo. It all started when he called me condescending and ageist (two things I may or may not be, I don’t really care to figure it out). I wrote a response, he wrote something unintelligible which I didn’t bother responding to:

CDT: “You shouldn’t take things so personally. Persons older than you have experienced more life than you. They are just relaying some of that experience. It’s not always condescension. Youth begets feelings of superiority. I am only 30 years old, but when I was 18 I thought I knew everything. I didn’t. Ageism works both ways.”

TA: “I like myself way too much to “take things so personally.” Wouldn’t you be annoyed if you heard the same shit every day, no matter what it was? “Trim your beard,” “Wear something nicer,” et cetera. If I honestly believed I knew everything and couldn’t stand dealing with the ageism, I wouldn’t call myself the Teenage Atheist. I did choose that moniker for this blog, however, because I am admitting that I don’t know everything, and I welcome advice from my readers on how to deal with problems and go about things. So, don’t generalize. Just because you were a know-it-all dipshit when you were my age doesn’t mean we all were. That’s ageism in and of itself.”

CDT: “Awesome. There’s no more beard either.”

Then he blogged about this exchange, because I guess he thought he was being clever? Something about how people were insulting his beard and waah, I called him a dipshit and yada yada. I said:

TA: “Dude, I have nothing against your beard. It was just the first thing that came to mind as I was looking for examples of annoying repetitive phrases. And by the way, I wasn’t calling you a dipshit; I just assumed based on how you described your 18-year-old self that you used to be one. If you’re telling me to not take things personally, try it out yourself first.”

CDT: “I know you didn’t knock my beard, you just mentioned it in your condescending response to my noncondescending comment on your post. I could care less what you call me. I found it humorous, that’s all. Peace.”

I was like, “Noncondescending? LULZ.”

TA: “Oh, sure. Because there’s nothing condescending about ‘I was a know-it-all when I was 18, and so are you, so quit whining.’ (Note the lack of the word ‘dipshit’ this time.) I don’t write rebuttals to comments unless a) I spot a logical fallacy or b) I smell condescension, or general asshattiness. Yours definitely fell into the latter.”

CDT: “Satan has got a hold on on you.”

I thought he was just being sarcastic, because I was still under the assumption that he was an atheist.

TA: “Because relying on non-sequiturs when faced with a valid argument is totally the way to go. Mm-hmm.”

CDT: “You had no argument. There was no condescension in my comment at your blog. Your bitter perspective on life made my comment condescending. Satan does own you. It is perfectly logical to a Believer, but not so much to a skeptic.”

This only confused me further, because apparently he believed in Satan? And like, I’m the one with no argument (“your statement is condescending because [reasons]” = valid argument, FYI), while his retort of “Satan has got a hold of you” is “perfectly logical”? Something wasn’t right here. I didn’t bother replying, because why should I when he’s just saying weird, nonsensical things? (Even though I wanted to say, “Please don’t insult logic by using that word to describe your argument.” Oy, gevalt.)

Then I re-read his “About” page, and he lists himself as a “Christian.” So it kind of irked me that he kept tagging his posts “Atheism,” because ugh, so totally piggyback-riding, you know? Well, haters are haters.

And I admit, I was probably being totally condescending when I exclaimed, after finding out that he was a Christian after all, “Oh, that’s why! Well, I’m glad. At least I can stop wondering, ‘Since when did atheists get this stupid?’ now.” But, condescending or not, I dare you to prove me wrong. The stupidity was rooted in the belief, wasn’t it?

All in all, it was a big waste of my time. Had I known that CDT was a theist — and not just a theist, but an anti-atheist theist — I wouldn’t have bothered responding in the first place. Because, as I have said in my disclaimer: the whole atheist vs. theist thing never goes anywhere.

It’s not a matter of only choosing to argue with atheists. I’ll argue with anyone, believer or not, but once you start bringing Jesus and Satan into your arguments, that’s a dealbreaker right there. Logic only, please.

[Note: May I remind you all: please do not make any attempts to visit CDT’s site. It would be a huge disservice to me. All opinions go in the comments section of this blog post. Thanks, y’all.]

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Comments»

1. chillinatthecabstand - March 14, 2008

Great job, great points.

I’m linking this.

2. Stupid « Chillin’ At The Cabstand - March 14, 2008
3. Josh Charles - March 14, 2008

What an asshole that guy is. I recently had a very similar exchange with a friend (now, ex-friend), in real life. It’s convinced me to just never talk to christians about their religion or about atheism. They’re not going to get it, nor do they want to. They’ll pull out the ‘Satan’s got you’ and as soon as that happens, the conversation might as well be over.

That’s christian-speak for ‘I don’t really listen to anything you say because nothing you say can possibly be right.’ At that point, any further conversation is pointless.

4. bostongraf - March 14, 2008

I think the title to your post is flawed, TA. Stupid does not pop up out of nowhere. Stupid is the default.

We can only hope for more instances of intelligence.

Personally, the “logical” argument that gets my goat the most is when theists proclaim that believing “makes them FEEL better”. Are you kidding me? You’re actually going to base your opinions on the very structure of the universe on what leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy? Not being able to take emotion out of a logical argument is the first step towards blind faith.

Stay strong.

5. [edit: Don't encourage the stupid!] - March 14, 2008

[TA’s note: CDT strikes again! I knew he couldn’t stay away from my evil, evil blog. ;)]

CDT blogs:

“I have had a Christian get onto me, saying I suffer from plankeye syndrome, now the Teen Atheist is calling me “stupid.” The anger among atheists is so sad it is almost comical. I hold no ill will against this blogger, but we definitely have differing perspectives on life. This blogger has successfully removed my desire to communicate with atheists. Check out the diatribe against me and theism here.”

6. elwedriddsche - March 14, 2008

Whatever the original motivation of CDT might have been, comment/trackback #5 crossed the line into trolling.

I don’t care if the CDTs of this world cease to communicate with us allegedly angry atheists, but if they were serious about it, they should just go on their merry ways instead of leaving bait which invites more negative feedback.

7. commander other - March 14, 2008

indeed, stupidity is profoundly ubiquitous, but if by “nowhere” you mean “the bowels of anti-critical thinking”, sure i’ll buy that.

great anecdote. i will hopefully have some time this weekend to add you to my blogroll (it’s a semi-weekly thing i do with several blogs at the same time). i’ve enjoyed a good read of several posts this morning. be well.

8. GDad - March 14, 2008

Yeah. I wish we could all carry mirrors to reflect people’s idiocy back on them. Most people don’t respond very well when you point out their flaws, but if they see those flaws in other people, then are able to make the connection that they have them, too, they’re a lot more likely to experience personal growth.

Too bad the blogosphere isn’t set up that way.

9. irishsof - March 15, 2008

a) Excellent post.

b) “to lay on the stupid” is my favorite new phrase. Just so you know, I’m planning on using at work, but I’ll give you credit.

🙂

10. Teen Atheist - March 15, 2008

I think the title to your post is flawed, TA. Stupid does not pop up out of nowhere. Stupid is the default.

LOL. Good point, bostongraf. Although in this case, it definitely surprised me, because I was like “LOL where’d the logic go?” So, for me, the stupid came out of left field.

But you’re right, the stupid was there to begin with; I just wasn’t observant enough to notice until it was a little too late.

11. Teen Atheist - March 15, 2008

That’s christian-speak for ‘I don’t really listen to anything you say because nothing you say can possibly be right.’ At that point, any further conversation is pointless.

Too true, Josh. They’ll try to be logical, but once you back them into a corner, they’re all, “Satan’s gonna gitcha!” while covering their ears with their hands.

12. Teen Atheist - March 15, 2008

Whatever the original motivation of CDT might have been, comment/trackback #5 crossed the line into trolling.

Agreed, elweddridsche. And I love that he says “I hold no ill will against this blogger,” and then proceeds to slam us “angry atheists.” Funny.

I don’t care if the CDTs of this world cease to communicate with us allegedly angry atheists, but if they were serious about it, they should just go on their merry ways instead of leaving bait which invites more negative feedback.

It’s like saying, “I’m not talking to you anymore,” and then, five minutes later: “HEY SHUT UP YOU BIG STUPIDHEAD!”

13. Teen Atheist - March 15, 2008

chillinatthecabstand and commander other: Thanks muchly! 😀

14. Teen Atheist - March 15, 2008

CDT:

This blogger has successfully removed my desire to communicate with atheists.

I sure do hope you mean that! It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, knowing that I’ve just done atheists a huge favor. 🙂

15. Teen Atheist - March 15, 2008

GDad:

Most people don’t respond very well when you point out their flaws

Preach it. Nobody likes realizing that they’re wrong, obviously. CDT got upset when I pointed out the flaws in his arguments. Fred blew up at me when I correctly accused him of being a homophobe. Mother Dearest didn’t like it when I pointed out her bigotry.

Too bad the blogosphere isn’t set up that way.

Oh, if only. It’s mostly just finger-pointing and whining an awful lot.

16. Teen Atheist - March 15, 2008

No problem, irishsof! I had no idea it was a TA-ism (only found out now, while Googling), but it’s the only phrase that came to mind when I was describing Annoying Fundie Blogger behavior.

17. john - March 16, 2008

“I think the title to your post is flawed, TA. Stupid does not pop up out of nowhere. Stupid is the default.”

that comment made my day.

ignore the jackass CDT.Seriously never worth it , I’ve argued with 100’s of them and you can’t win, anything you say they don’t like can simply be combated with “HAHA you’re going to hell” etc.. 😐

18. atheistgirl - March 16, 2008

yay. i know exactly who you’re talking about (the beard gave it away) great post. i love when theists run out of arguments so they through in nonsense about satan.

19. Teen Atheist - March 16, 2008

John: Hah, yeah. They think Satan/Jesus is the trump card that’ll make them win every argument.

20. Teen Atheist - March 16, 2008

Atheistgirl: Yeah. I wasn’t trying to protect CDT (or peak9)’s identity or anything, I just don’t want people visiting his site.

21. Show-Ender - March 16, 2008

I’m starting find your habit of concealing identities for anyone you mention in your posts mildly irritating.

It’s just me, I guess.

22. commander other - March 17, 2008

i agree, fwiw, with the practice of not bumping someone’s throughput just to respond to their incipient inanity. conversely, there’s a point at which doing so can become more troublesome than is strictly necessary. you have to way the necessary evil of bumping his/her traffic against the amount of attention you spend on them (or spend because of them). this is why i don’t engage my blog in the local politics, because i would have to talk around far too many idiots.

you did get blogrolled today, with an announcement. my best to you and i truly do appreciate what you’re doing here.

23. Teen Atheist - March 17, 2008

Show-Ender: It’s a self-preservation thing. (Okay, so I just watched Love Actually today.) But really, I’m an anonymous blogger; what exactly did you expect?

As commander other has adequately stated, I don’t want to encourage the stupid by giving CDT more hits. He’s piggyback-riding in atheism’s name by continuing to link to blogs like mine, writing shit about us and tagging all his posts “atheism,” and I refuse to direct you guys to this famewhore.

If it really irks you, just follow what the good people on the internets say: “Don’t like, don’t read.”

24. Teen Atheist - March 17, 2008

commander other: Again, thank you! It’s an honor. 😀

25. jgrab1 - March 18, 2008

TA said: The main reason is that I hate it when they drop by our blogs to lay on the stupid, because we don’t drop by their blogs and write crap about theism.

THANK YOU. One of the things I hate about religious people is this lock they think they have on morality. A majority of Americans–I forget the exact number–have said they believe religion and morality are tied, that you cannot be moral if you are not religious. Yet it’s religious people who get into wars over their beliefs, who kill at abortion clinics, who subscribe to a belief that damns people to eternal hell for not holding with their views. Have atheists ever killed people for not being atheists, burned iconic symbols on lawns, or hey, rammed two jumbo jets into twin towers for their beliefs? I’m effing sick and tired of religious people taking the moral high road. 2,000 years of history proves they have no right to it. When you look at all the harm in the world religion has done, and which by definition could not have been done without the awareness of religion, and look at the paltry good, and how atheists are just as capable of doing the good without belief in a God (do you really need to believe in God to take compassion on poor people and feed them or immunize them? No.) you realize the world would be far better without any religion. You just wouldn’t have all that great church music from Bach and Mozart, and all those amazing Italian paintings, but that’s (seriously) about it.

26. Karen - March 31, 2008

Okay, I’m late joining the thread, and I’m gonna be an (apparent) jerk and repeat the pseudo-condescending mantra: “You’ll understand better when you get older.” In fact, this is what you should most want.

It’s true. Mind you, you might never **agree** with the opinion of the older person sharing that trite little phrase, which is what they’re implying. But the (perhaps only) wonderful thing about getting older is that you learn enough about people to get a better appreciation of what makes others tick. (Note I didn’t say a **good** appreciation. Some people have good insight into others almost at birth, and acquire brilliant insight with experience. Others, like me, slog along and learn most of it the hard way. Not only am I still learning, but there are days when I think I’m still on the steep part of the learning curve. And I’ve had 48 years of practice.)

I’ve met quite a few people — none who come across nearly as savvy as you, though — who decided at some point in early adulthood to shut off the input port to their brains. They know everything they need to know. At best, they’re willing to learn something mechanical, like how to balance accounts or use a word processor. The big things, like why people believe what they do, or what underlying motivations are, or that everybody is wrong sometimes, or how easy it is to lie to yourself if early indoctrination makes it too painful to tell yourself the truth… these concepts are unknown to them.

TA, you’re unlikely to have this sort of insight at your age. If you’re committed to spending your life paying attention to and learning from the people around you, you’ll get more. If you work at it, age brings insight and understanding. BUT IT DOESN’T NECESSARILY CHANGE YOUR MIND, if you have a well-considered position. You can be just as right at 18 as at 48 or 78.

As I see it, to truly be condescending, I’d be assuming that with time you’ll change your mind to match mine. I hope age brings you far better insight than I’ve been able to acquire (as well as less cranky joints!) and permits you to re-think your assumptions and conclusions about the important issues many times. From my limited insight, I suspect you will do this and not change your mind a whole lot. But how do I really know?

Bottom line: Don’t be distracted by human stupidity, just observe it. We’re all stupid sometimes. Some seldom; some often. The more compassionate and understanding you can be, the more you learn about yourself, and to your social advantage. There’s a lot of value in being able to say, “I understand [this person] did [this action] because s/he understood the situation to be like [this]. It was still a really stupid decision!!!” If only because, being honest with yourself, you might follow with “Oh crap, I did nearly the same thing when [X] happened!!!”

Sorry for rambling. Vaya feliz sin los dioses.

27. overcaffein8d - April 2, 2008

at least he put you on the list of coolest blog names

28. Teen Atheist - April 2, 2008

I can’t believe you went there after I told you not to. Horrible, horrible thing to do, and a huge disrespect to me.

Please stay away from this blog from this point onwards, overcaffein8d. This, along with several of your other inane, pointless comments, have seriously pushed me to breaking point.

Consider yourself blacklisted. Anything else you say will be deleted. I’m sorry, but with every comment of yours that I’ve read, I wonder if you even take my feelings into consideration, or if you just want to be a smartass (in which case, you’ve failed miserably).

29. [edit: don't feed the stupid!] - April 2, 2008

[…] “When Stupid Pops Up Out Of Nowhere” A post about me and other “stupid” Christians […]

[TA’s note: Man, this jackass just can’t get enough of me!]

30. benj - April 5, 2008

What a jerk. I bet he was ugly.

Ironically, I had a painful conversation recently as well… and it was with another “atheist”. Someone who likes to classify himself as a… WEAK atheist. WTF

31. Teen Atheist - April 6, 2008

Benj:

I bet he was ugly.

LOL, I love that! I always use that after I get into a fight with someone. I’d think, like, “Well, you’re ugly.” 😀

(BTW, someone else said that CDT looks like ZZ Top. Haha!)

Ironically, I had a painful conversation recently as well… and it was with another “atheist”. Someone who likes to classify himself as a… WEAK atheist. WTF

Oy, what is it with these “weak” atheists? On that tangent, I had to hold in a belly laugh when my agnostic friend proudly stated that agnosticism was the best choice because it was the “least pretentious.” XD

I’ll have to agree with Stephen Colbert on that one: “Agnosticism = Atheism without balls.”

32. Out of the closet and letting go of the anger. « Jersey - April 16, 2008

[…] have recently read this on Teen Atheist’s blog, and perhaps her answer may be something for me to […]

33. Out of the closet and letting go of the anger. « Blog Archive « Our Freedom of Espresso - June 13, 2008

[…] have recently read this on Teen Atheist’s blog, and perhaps her answer may be something for me to […]

34. Atheism and debate « Diary of a Teenage Atheist - June 22, 2008

[…] The banishment Case in point: CDT CDT: “You were being condescending, blah blah blah.” Me: “Are you kidding me? […]

35. a different teen atheist. - August 18, 2008

Sorry to comment on this way after the fact, but I stumbled on this post through a link in a more recent one, and I wanted to let you know that the Stephen Colbert quote made me laugh so hard when I read his book. So, reference appreciated. 🙂


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