Good afternoon peeples,
After meeting lots of fantastic bloggers at the #solo09 Conference last weekend, I have been heartily motivated to keep blogging on a wide range of issues, as opposed to just writing about Skeptics in the Pub. Before I continue with today’s blog, something was brought to my attention yesterday: What’s the difference between “Skeptical” and “Sceptical”? I thought their answer was pretty good.
Anyway, on to today’s topic: 4chan Pwns Christians on Facebook.
As a former devout Catholic (shunned by other devout Catholics for questioning beliefs, which ultimately led to me reverting to The Dark Side), I have no qualms with criticising the religious for acting like dicks from time to time. Something that keeps me fairly sane when talking to the deeply religious is the knowledge that however far the debate goes, I can utilise my keen passion for rational thought, and a heated debate will always remain polite, even though we might wildly disagree on any particular subject.
What I cannot fathom is why some people feel the need to attack individuals for their adherence to a belief system, without taking into consideration that faults in said belief system do not necessarily lie in an individual follower:
Examples of the pranks perpetrated including claiming a “no sex before marriage” Christian wanted to thank her lover for a memorable night after months of abstinence, but had posted the thank you note in a status update, which all her contacts could see, rather than a private message. Racist messages and comments about dental hygiene were also included.
I’ve had my facebook account and email address hacked into before by someone, and it’s not nice. The perpetrator had a clear agenda, it was only directed at me, and thankfully it didn’t go any further than me requesting he did not contact me ever again. The above quote is something rather more sinister.
There is something incredibly unsettling about pretending to be a complete stranger in order to play a juvenile prank that could potentially ruin someone’s life. I’m not particularly careful about the things I say online (as anyone following the #bbcporn hashtag on Twitter yesterday evening will know!) but I do my best to not say nasty things about people. There is a difference between constructive, valid criticism and “flaming“.
During my research for this article I’ve also come across a couple of blog posts about Christians being encouraged to “troll” atheist websites, like this one here – but does that give atheists a right to retaliate? For example, here is a site showing instructions for “Christian Baiting”, a craze that’s sweeping the web like Dale Winton on acid. Hmmm… maybe not.
I shall end my rant with this rather elegant post on trolling:
I think I have made Christian friends because I have come to realize that I share many values with Christians
An excellent point – if only more atheists could be truer humanists?