Militants

Day 12. 32 pages, 14,598 words.

Further preachy ranting ahead. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Okay, actually this time I’m not so much ranting, as nit-picking. Which, I admit, for me often amounts to much the same thing. It’s just that this has been bugging me for a while.

You’ve probably all seen this illustration, and assorted cartoon variants thereof, right?

The militant atheist: saintly.

And literate.

This “meme” apparently illustrates the open-mindedness and civility of the atheist. Also, his or her literacy.

See, this is all well and good, and I am entirely in favour of the peaceful, communicative, educational way. But it’s not accurate, is it?

This illustration seems to imply that there is no such thing as a violent anti-theist. This is what “militant” means, okay? It means a person who takes up arms and performs military or otherwise violent acts in pursuit of his or her philosophy. WORDS MEAN THINGS.

Yes, there are versions of atheists who do horrible things. Versions who fit perfectly well alongside these other two caricatures. There are also versions of “militant” faithful who exhibit their zeal purely through the media of literature and computer communications. Come on, there are billions of people in the world, so you know this stuff. You know they’re out there. There’s no shame in it. It doesn’t tarnish your entire ideology that there are a few aggressive fuckwits out there doing bad things.

I’ll just let you mull that one over for a second.

If you want to keep using the “peaceful” variation of the armchair militant, please keep in mind some of the things these people are spreading around.

Truth?

I fixed your meme.

See, if you’re sharing this concept around, you’re basically saying that you think we’re idiots. You think we’re just going to accept that there’s no such thing as an atheist who would take up arms and assault someone simply because of that person’s faith.

That’s just a lie.

It’s outright manipulation. You’re portraying the most negative form of the thing you oppose, and a moderate form of the thing you support, and expecting us to hate what you hate and follow what you follow. Because the thing we’re supposed to hate is so evil! Look at it! And the thing we’re supposed to follow is so wise and thoughtful! See?

I don’t know about you, but for me the biggest objection I have to this ideology is that I do not appreciate being told what to hate and fear by people who think I am an idiot. Especially when I’m pretty sure I’m smarter than they are.

So. Here.

Truth.

Adjusted for accuracy.

See? This is true. This is the way it really is. Don’t be fooled. The only philosophy in this world (in B4 Gandhi) that is mutually exclusive with militant action is pacifism. Because they basically mean opposite things. ‘Most every other variation of human ideology has a violent facet, because humans are monkeys. Heck, even the non-violent demonstration movement had a bit of a finger in the violence-pie, but I think at that point they had to give up their “pacifist” badges.

xkcd

This, of course, is also true. Thank you XKCD.
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8 Responses to Militants

  1. brknwntr says:

    There is supposed to be a line between not agreeing with someone’s choice and hatred. I’ve spent most of my life trying to walk that line. Not to imply that I am alone in this, simply that people with “fundamentalist christian” views generally find more things in the world that they don’t agree with then “mainstream people”. There is a reason it’s called mainstream after all.

    I am by no means perfect. I find myself at times being a bigoted pain in the rear, and at others being too tolerant. (Yes, that is ALSO a thing. No contrast without oposites). I fail to understand why this is so difficult for so many people. I can do it, why can’t you?

    Nor do I feel that this is an unreasonable standard. If I can strive towards the goal of “leave other people alone, worry about yourself” so can you.

    • stchucky says:

      I’ll “err” on the side of over-tolerance until it comes back to bite me in the rear, but it hasn’t yet. That way does lie terrible preachiness, however, so there’s a risk. I tend to get bummed out and despodent rather than hateful, though, despite my ranting.

  2. thelinza says:

    If I ever overcome my fear of needles and get a tattoo, it will probably say ‘Words mean things.’ Probably.

  3. aaronthepatriot says:

    I would imagine that, in my illustrious country with it’s vehement Christian fundamentalists and right-wing media bias (yes, suck it Republicans, I said it), I would have heard of militant, violent atheists. I would imagine every incident would be trumpeted from the rooftops by Fox News. I don’t wish to create extra work for you, work you very much deplore such as digging through the actions of filth (persons who are filth). But…I’m really drawing a blank. Surely there is at best still a massive difference in degrees, quantity, and “quality” I mean, of the violence. At worst, there aren’t really any good examples. But I do believe you. Just…educate me on one, if you would please sir.

    • stchucky says:

      No, if you believe me that there is a bare minimum of one violent-arse aggressive stupid atheists out there hurting people, that’s good enough for me. You don’t want to make this a numbers game, because as soon as you end up with one point seven billion of anything, you look a little bit silly when you put the minority next to them.

      Instead, you can research this for me and see what you think. Seems off to me, but you go ahead.

      http://m.mic.com/articles/108274/one-statistic-reveals-a-surprising-truth-about-terrorism-in-europe

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Hah. No, *one* doesn’t satisfy and balance the situation. And also, allow me to illustrate a major problem in what happens *every* time a “Muslim” extremist commits violence:
        If there *was* an Atheist who committed violence or murder, claiming the cause of Atheism, he or she was not a *true* Atheist. He was just a murderer or criminal. Atheism does not promote violence or murder to further its cause or defend its name.

        That’s fair, right? I hear it all the time in the other cases.

        As to your link, that is indeed interesting but would be far beyond my means to track down. Instead I should just point out that the numbers game doesn’t matter here, either. does it? One religiously-inspired[1] terrorist attack is one too many. Right?

        [1] If you will allow that any are truly religiously-inspired since we divest each murderer of his religion at the moment of the crime and thereafter, regardless of their heritage or professed religion, that is. And I say “we” but obviously I don’t include myself in that action.

      • stchucky says:

        Correct, now you’re getting it. Murderers are your problem.

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