The truth is not for everyone and the truth can be elusive. If you find this all too stressful, look away now.
Atheist dichotomies. Hard-Soft. Weak-Strong. Militant-Tolerant. Bright-Stupid. Nones-Somes. All complete and utter crap.
There are only two kinds of atheist. Nevers and evers.
Are you an atheist and have you ever been a theist? You’re an Ever.
Are you an atheist and have you never been a theist? You’re a Never.
When will an Ever be as good, smart and virtuous as a Never? Never.
“Whaaaaaa! I came from a harsh fundamentalist background. PITY ME LIKE I PITY ME!”
No. The Universe without God is a harsh place. If you want to get used of it, you have to get used of not having you mother wipe your arse for you. Wipe it yourself milquetoast.
With the publication of The God Delusion, written by Richard Dawkins (an ever himself), closeted Evers have found a modicum of self-respect and thrown of the shackles of servitude to Santa for grown ups. In droves they have joined atheist communities.
I remember godless culture from before all these freaky refugees turned up. Back before all the tents made from tracts and hair-shirt adorned clotheslines, turned up to form a shanty town.
It wasn’t much, but our atheist culture was nice. Thanks Richard. Who were you to invite these basket-cases, anyway? You aren’t the Pope of atheism.
Oh, so they’re atheists now? Look, as any of us with a brain knows, atheism doesn’t grant virtue. Humanism may or may not, depending on the make and model, but atheism doesn’t. So suddenly becoming an atheist earns people precisely zero brownie points.
Look at it this way…
Take the paedophile priest. Suddenly, he’s caught and excommunicated (yeah, yeah I know – but this is a thought experiment) and in the process finds to his delight, that he never had any reason to believe in God to begin with. He just believed because his parents did – it’s always someone else’s fault after all. Especially with paedophiles.
So, the paedophile priest becomes an atheist. My question is, now that he’s an atheist, do you leave your kids alone with him and a jar of petroleum jelly?
If you say no, then you see my point. If you say yes, you’re a fool. A paedophile enabling fool. Maybe you worked for the Rat-Zinger before you became an Ever?
It’s not just run-of-the-mill criminal urges that atheism doesn’t cure of course. How many Evers, before they became Evers, enabled, facilitated or enacted religious brainwashing of the young? Their own young perhaps. This kind of dogmatic epistemology doesn’t just up and leave town just because its fundy host finds a new in-group to extract benefits from.
Religious fundamentalism has given the Godless world an injection of numbers, and an injection of culture. And norms. And values. And morals. And IQ scores.
Disturbingly it’s also given us new leaders. What the hell is an ex-fundy songwriter doing running the Freedom from Religion Foundation? Do atheists want it to be run like a cult? It can happen to atheists – just look at Ayn Rand’s sorry bunch of fawning sycophants. Well, I’m here to tell you that the Nevers don’t like it one bit.
Why are Nevers, Nevers and Evers, Evers? We’re told it’s socio-economics. We’re told it’s educational opportunity. We’re told it’s childhood environment. Crap.
Whatever your walk of life, adults bullshit their kids in various ways and about various things. Nevers choose not to believe. Before they are Evers, Evers do.
It’s not nurture, it’s nature. Nevers are intrinsically better. Don’t get me wrong – environment matters – a Never is more likely to become a Christey if they have a shit life. But all things being equal, potential Evers will never outperform potential Nevers in the Godlessness stakes.
It’s something that echos on through their CV of Godlessness. Which makes me wonder, who was reading these CVs when ex-fundie Shermer was anointed King Skeptic? Why is so much of the work published about atheism, the work of the once-were-woo-addicts? I can understand the whole letting-God-go thing, but what about the getting-on-without-God? Who is best suited to that? Nevers of Evers?
Frankly, as someone who got on as a good kid without God at a younger age than Dawkins, Shermer and the other Evers, ever did, I think I’ve got more to offer in this respect. You guys deal with the trials and tribulations of your fellow refugees, and leave the atheism to people like me. The ones who are good at it.
And for all you Evers out there, could you at least stop taking your hosts for granted, okay? We have different needs and imperatives and much more familiarity with godlessness than you ever will. You can stay if you can stay out-of-the-way.
It’s atheist culture. Not Theoholics Anonymous.
“Ah’ve been without Christ for six months. It’s been hard, but…” But blah blah blah.
You Evers need to know whose house you’re living in now.
Disclosure: Feeling defensive, frustrated, confused? Read this.
12 thoughts on “DAoS: There are only two kinds of atheist”
Brilliant. Bruce, like you said some subtle pinches of truth.
You fucking elitist never.
That’s “Never”. Capital “N”. Do you have a problem with the atheist masters? 😛
I’d call myself a Never, but I did try on theism. It didn’t fit. It was a fad all my friends at the time were into but, like spandex shorts, not made for me. Really, really not.
I think Evers would be annoyed by the superiority complex a Never might have, though. How can a Never truly understand how hard it was for an Ever to leave behind all they’ve known when a Never never had to go through it?
But I’ll agree that Nevers should get more in the way advertising our existence. Some of us never were in a faith and we turned out fine. Letting Evers get all the say gives credence to the silly idea that morals only come from religious sources and can’t come to a person by any other means.
Which is why the Dawkinses make such good nursemaids.
True, dat. 😀
This is great. I’m a Never but personally wouldn’t have any feelings of superiority over Evers – I’m just glad they finally get it. To the contrary, I generally feel like I have less “ammo” when speaking with believers than Evers do because I haven’t been in their shoes. To me, it’s just common sense to be an atheist and frustrating when believers cannot look beyond the blinders.
You talk to them? You want to wear their shoes? Ewww…
Okay, now you’ve got me sounding like Betty Bowers.
“all things being equal, potential Evers will never outperform potential Nevers in the Godlessness stakes”
What are the “godlessness stakes”? What’s the reward for being the biggest outperformer? What are the standards by which you are measuring these two groups?
Did you read the preamble?
Specifically… “If you do stay, I’d ask that you direct your questions about these ultra-hyperbolic posts either to yourself, or to other readers. And I’d ask you not to avoid questioning anything that comes to mind if you can – this is the reason I want to shake some cages. I’m not going to make it easy on anyone by removing the ambiguity, so if you ask me, don’t expect that you’ll get a straight answer.” 😀
Yes, I know how to click the brightly-colored button.
You will notice that I didn’t address these questions to anyone in particular. If you want to assume they’re for you to answer, feel free to answer them. Otherwise, let them linger where they be.
“What are the standards by which you…” – Emphasis added.
Forgive me. I took this to be addressed to someone in particular.
Ah yes, the generic “you”. Confusing people since 1865!
It’s why I use “one”, even if it does make me sound like a mincing Alistair McGrath.