I’m always surprised by just how many atheists on the internet are rude to people who profess a belief in the divine. Often, I will be having a great, mutually respectful discussion with a believer on Twitter or Instagram when one of my followers will jump in with name-calling. The believer, who had been perfectly nice to me during our discussion, will be called a moron, an idiot or mentally ill. It completely derails the conversation and sends a theist off believing atheists are awful people when we had been on track to him realizing the opposite.
I get so upset when this happens. I don’t mind if you jump into the conversation. In fact, I love when my social media connections jump in with better arguments than I could ever muster. I can’t stand it when you jump in and call names, though. All that says to me is that you’re of lower intelligence than the rest of us, and you have no arguments because people who have a good argument don’t resort to name-calling.
As an outspoken atheist with a platform, this has become a huge pet-peeve and one of the many reasons I’ve refrained from debating on Twitter as much as I used to. If I engage with a theist, it almost always means they will be the target of abuse later and I absolutely loathe that. In my conversations with other outspoken atheists who also have decent sized platforms, I found they felt the same way. So, we thought we’d have a chat about it. Here are Nichole Terry, Donovan Badrock and I discussing why we ought to be nice to believers:
I want to know what you think. Do you think it’s beneficial for us to be kind to believers? Do you treat theists any differently than you treat atheists? Let me know in the comments and fill me in on your reasoning behind your answer, as well.
Image: Copyright Courtney Heard