Are Atheists Mean Spirited?

Are Atheists Mean Spirited? October 21, 2019

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these videos and it’s more or less because I have a terrible camera with white-balance issues and a broken mic jack, so, I always feel like I oughtta wait until I can fix that before I do another video. But then months go by and I don’t have a new camera still, so I do a video because I love to do them. In any case, if you want to help me out grabbing a new camera, be my patron here or donate here. In the meantime, I have for you another Holy Effing Comments video! I hope you enjoy it!

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  • Jim Jones

    What’s your camera budget? I’ve had good experiences with the GE branded cameras, like this:

  • Jay

    To ask if something is “mean spirited” is really a stupid question. What is shockingly awful to some is hilarious to others, and the worst thing you can do is to try to cater to the most fragile.

    There’s a real balance between not being a total asshole and not being so sensitive that you can’t get a point across. What is horrifying to some is endearing to others. There is no one rule, not hard and fast “don’t do that”. People are people, and you need to care enough about those around you that you get to know them and understand them.

    While my grandfather was in hospice at home dying of stage 4 lung cancer, I slipped in and whipped him up a stiff martini. He said, “They told me I can’t drink any more.” I said, “Why? Is it going to kill you?”

    He laughed, sat up, and drank that damn martini with a giant smile on his face.

    My relatives would have been horrified and appalled that I “fed poison” to my dying grandfather. He lit up like the guy I had known all my life, laughed and had a sparkle in his eyes, and felt like he was getting one over on all the do-gooders who were prepping him to die.

    He had shed his faith because his dad died of mouth cancer around the great depression. He was bitter and hostile to god and faith, because he watched a great man hide the rot in his face behind a handkerchief for a decade before he died a horrible death. That whole time he as a kid was told that if he prayed hard god would save his dad.

    That bitter anti-theist had to fake his way through the rest of his life, and on his deathbed was getting hammered with believers trying to force their beliefs on him. He tried to be political, but when some “mean spirited asshole” asked him to say, “fuck the system”, he not only did that, but did it with a sparkle in his eyes and a smile on his face.

    Atheists are hostile to stupid shit, but they’re largely humanists. If you find atheists being hostile to you, you really should take a step back and make sure that you’re not the asshole.

    When a group of people starts from a position of neutrality, if you end up on their bad side, you really should examine how you got there.

  • Grim Beard

    The advertising algorithm for this video is genius. I’ve had ‘find liberation in Hinduism’, ‘Adam & Eve Bible story’ and ‘Jesus teaches the apostles to pray’. So nice of the goddists to pay to keep your work going!

  • Wisdom, Justice, Love

    I can only speak for myself.
    While expressing my beliefs, have I been abrasive? Sure. Have I been obnoxious? Likely.

    Sometimes passionate expression is not always neatly packaged. Often mine comes across as raw chaos.

    But don’t confuse that with sadistic behavior. That’s what I think mean-spirited refers to in this context.
    I, as a non-believer, have absolutely ZERO interest in causing suffering to theists or non-theists.
    Monotheism seems to focus on punishing enemies.

    And let’s not confuse chaos and morality. D&D fans should be able to explain the difference between Chaotic Good and Lawful Evil.

  • Geralt_0f_Rivia

    It depends on the individual and the precise meaning of ‘mean-spirited’ as offered. Although I’m an atheist, that’s just a simplified way of saying that I don’t believe in or worship any deities myself; I feel no in-group preference or affinity to/with other atheists, nor do I harbor anti-religious proclivities like many anti-theists do.

    Notwithstanding exceptions, I in fact find most religions to be largely benign and/or even beneficial overall. I’m quite content with the notion of other people choosing for themselves in this regard. None of that is meant to suggest that I have not noticed that at the individual and group levels, both theists and atheists can exhibit capacities for fundamentalism in various forms, with neither being beyond due criticism.

  • Ann Kah

    “Not agreeing with you” is NOT being mean, just like it is not oppressing you. My opinion is just as valid as yours. Insisting on an undeserved respect for YOUR particular religion is, on the other hand, being “mean”, not only to atheists but also to those of all other religions.

  • Ann Kah

    Jay, when my mother was dying, the doctor said “Let her have anything she wants. Let her put beer or her cornflakes if she likes!” Thanks for being a good grandson, no matter what “they” told him.