Atheists adopt a tactic of abuse to challenge religion

by Joel Furches

In his March 24th talk at the 2012 Reason Rally, popular atheist speaker Richard Dawkins called upon fellow atheists to adopt this tactic toward the religious: “…mock them. Ridicule them. In public… Religion makes specific claims about the universe which need to be substantiated, and need to be challenged, and, if necessary, need to be ridiculed with contempt.”

Dawkins is by no means alone in adopting this strategy. As one internet atheist elaborates:

“If we ever hope to dismantle the dominance that religion has in culture, we must make it unfashionable, uncool, and untenable, especially to the younger generations.

“We can’t change unreasonable and intractable minds with reason, but we can ridicule them. And we should.

“I’m not talking about politely disagreeing with people when they say, “Thank God,” or whatever. I’m saying we should boisterously and unashamedly make fun of people who invoke religion or mythical beings at every opportunity. We should make them embarrassed that they even opened their mouths.

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“And if we can’t eliminate their illegitimate thinking, at least we should make them think twice about openly declaring their beliefs in polite company. Put the shoe on the other foot. Make them out to be crazy. Drive them underground. Deny them public office.

“…Join in discussions. Use the herd instinct just like the herd instinct was used to get us into this collective bovine state of mind in the first place.”

This tactic of ridicule is not theoretical. Hundreds of blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook groups, and websites already exist which serve no other purpose than to dish out sarcasm, cheap shots, ridicule, and abuse toward the religious.

Of course, no one needs to preach the gospel of ridicule to the irreligious. Over a hundred years ago, atheist Mark Twain was embracing the same policy that Dawkins suggests:

“No God and no religion can survive ridicule. No political church, no nobility, no royalty or other fraud, can face ridicule in a fair field, and live.” – Twain, Mark

There is, however, one potential problem with this tactic when it comes to Christianity: it doesn’t work. In fact, it fulfills a prophecy of Jesus…

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