On being an asshole atheist…

Reddit user chaseoc says, “I am an Atheist… and I owe it to another atheist who ridiculed me.”:

As a disclaimer, this was a long time ago. I was a freshman in high school and a dreadfully ignorant kid. I was raised by an extremely Christian family. I was sent to christian camps, church, and a christian school. At one of the camps, in my naivety, I was practically indoctrinated with the ‘Young Earth’ creationist theory… and I fucking believed it too. I never tell anyone this because I am so embarrassed by it today, offended even. I was pretty much everything /r/atheism despises. So, what happened? In my undeniable stupor, I decided that I had the intelligence and knowledge to defend this position to an Atheist classmate. (This was a christian school… so he was definitely on top of his game in regards to his debating skills).

The encounter went along theses lines.

Me: I believe the earth is 6000 years old and dinosaurs walked the earth with humans.

Atheist: LOLOLOLOL…”Catches breath”…LOLOLOLOL.

I’m not going to take you through the rest of the debate, but, needless to say, the guy viewed me as an idiot. He stomped allover my religion, insulted my intelligence, and crushed me on every debate tactic I could muster. After the debate, I started to read books, lots of books. I educated myself, learned how to be a skeptic. And in time, I rejected religion and God entirely. It is almost revolting to me to think about how ignorant I was.

As a result of this ‘conversion’, I am on a collegiate debate team, I am an ardent Atheist, and I learn at every chance I get. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for me being converted to an Atheist, I would be a total idiot by the standards I hold myself to today. My eternal hero is the boy who had the balls to tear me limb from limb, to insult my beliefs, to mock me as a person, to insinuate my stupidity, and, most importantly, give me the motivation to examine and scrutinize my beliefs so my ignorant eyes could finally be opened.

I owe my knowledge, my motivation, and most of who I am today to that one asshole atheist who took the time to assert his superiority. Gentlemen, I only changed because this boy mocked me… mercilessly. So, as thanks to his commitment… I debate the theists at every opportunity, and you all should too. Its the only way to change them. The only way to save them.

~ by scaryreasoner on January 10, 2010.

2 Responses to “On being an asshole atheist…”

  1. I think while a lot of atheists may consider theists to be fundamentally stupid, I think most of us would like it if those people came to their senses and we could probably get along fine. We’ve all done and believed a lot of stupid stuff before. It’s cliched, I know, but don’t hate the people, hate the religion.

    • I agree. Just because someone figures it out doesn’t mean they’ve suddenly become smarter. If, for example, we were able to convince say, 90% of poeple to abandon their religion and become sensible atheists by the force of our arguments, we would not have made the world even slightly less stupid. (Because the people we had convinced would be no less stupid, and no smarter, than they had been before we convinced them. They would be exactly as smart (or stupid) as they had been before, only their beliefs would be different.

      Not to say there’s no value in convincing people. A stupid person attempting to reason from false premises will have a lower chance of reaching a true conclusion than another, equally stupid person reasoning from true premises.

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