Watch Out for Those Atheist Extremists

It’s reminiscent of this image from atheistcartoons.com, but The Oatmeal points out how the word “extremist” is pretty relative

The full cartoon is here.

Bonus points for “Tesla > Edison.”

(Thanks to Ryan for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://twitter.com/arensb arensb

    So I guess what really distinguishes an extremist from a moderate is the phrase “Well okay then”.

    • JoeBuddha

      Well okay then!

  • Anonymous

    It really is something that so many theists see us atheists as extremists.  I suppose part of the problem lies in the fact that so many theists see atheism as a religion.  (I am so tired of hearing that I have “faith” in atheism—what the hell does that even mean?)  I really am not sure how I could be extreme in my lack of belief.  Is there a large difference between believing god(s) does not exist and extremely believing god(s) does not exist?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1078695333 David Kopp

      You didn’t know that not being part of the majority group and then being so audacious as to stand up for your rights is extremism? People using their religion as an excuse for violence aren’t, because they’re not true Scotsmen.

    • Bubba Tarandfeathered

      Theist can not comprehend that there is no life after death. They think quite literally that having a consciousness and the ability to speak are miracles.  They simply can’t accept they are animals, who like all other living organisms, their sole purpose is to reproduce.

      We are extremists because we can accept those facts. We are extremists because we can laugh at the absurdness (of life.)

      But I’ll bet I’m just preaching to the choir here.

  • http://profiles.google.com/goblinbabies Sara Waldecker

    I want that shirt.

    • http://twitter.com/arensb arensb

      I just want to drink microbrews and talk about outer space.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Major aside, but I didn’t realize how anti-religious Edison was.  I think I’d call him a Deist.  A friend posted a quote that seemed fishy

    We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

    So I went looking, and it’s true
    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Thomas_Edison 

    Then

    There is a great directing head of people and things — a Supreme Being who looks after the destinies of the world.
    I am convinced that the body is made up of entities that are intelligent and are directed by this Higher Power. When one cuts his finger, I believe it is the intelligence of these entities which heals the wound. When one is sick, it is the intelligence of these entities which brings convalescence. You know that there are living cells in the body so tiny that the microscope cannot find them at all. The entities that give life and soul to the human body are finer still and lie infinitely beyond the reach of our finest scientific instruments. When these entities leave the body, the body is like a ship without a rudder — deserted, motionless and dead.

    but also

    So far as the religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake … Religion is all bunk.

    and

    I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious ideas of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    I don’t like the shirts they’re selling, as it reinforces the myth that Edison invented the light bulb.

    • JoeBuddha

      Saying Edison DIDN’T invent the light bulb is like saying Microsoft didn’t invent DOS, or Apple didn’t invent the GUI!!!

      • Bubba Tarandfeathered

         Swan, more distinctly MS-DOS but there were many DOS variations at the time and Xerox made the first true gui, but I suspect the sarcasm went right over my head.

        • JoeBuddha

          Yep… ;)

  • Cutencrunchy

    It’s extreme because there is no mitigation – no delineation.. they say Christianity is a fact = 10 and you aren’t saying no it’s a fact=9 or 5 which would be the moderate agnostic get along opinion… you are saying it’s false = 10 which is so extreme it’s like you have no moral compass at all!

    It’s like you are in love with the devil and want to spawn devil children which is a fact =6 no 6 no 6…. if god = good then you must be bad…

    Perhaps if we adjusted rational scientific arguments to accommodate the mental and emotional ‘imprint’ stage from whence ‘they’ argue at around mildly to severely retarded (it’s okay some of my best friends are retarded) maybe we’d be more effective in reaching a keep it to your self understanding.

    • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine

      What?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

       To paraphrase an old creationist canard “what use is half a god?” – there either is a god or there isn’t. There either are supernatural forces or there are not. What middle ground is there to operate in?

      Our “shared ground” is that we both believe this world is real whether we believe there’s an afterlife or not. The shared ground is the ground the atheist is already standing on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cameron-Brown/529433199 Cameron Brown

    Oatmeal actually credits the original cartoon and explains that someone suggested the idea to him but didn’t tell him about the original. Oatmeal had subsequently discovered the original and credits him in an update on the page 


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