Thursday, December 29, 2005

An open letter to the atheist blogosphere

These past two days saw some warfare on the godless blogosphere. It began yesterday with a post by The Raving Atheist, "the sole purpose" of which, according to TRA, "was to torment Francois Tremblay."

It continued with a quarrel in the comments of The Evangelical Atheist's latest post. The dispute was namely over Tremblay's 'Shit List'; The Uncredible Hallq weighed in on that issue, requesting the removal of said list.

Now that I'm through with my journalistic need to establish a context, I must urge the immediate cease of petty spats such as this one. Arguing with each other does not help us build a front against theism. I have recently been losing respect for TRA because of his pointless attacks aimed at Objectivists and Individualists and [insert -ist here]. Such attacks are no better than feuds between Protestants and Catholics, Baptists and Methodists, or the People's Front of Judea and the Judean People's Front. We're all godless! We are all different! (I'm not)

The problem with the blogosphere is that it is so easy to waste a comments section with arguments and personal attacks. As soon as Person A says something Person B doesn't like, B can respond and instigate the wrath of A as well as C, D, and E. Then we all get mad at each other, as happens so often with Francois Tremblay. We desperately need to stop degrading him, because in doing so we degrade ourselves.

But it was right to take down the Shit List, Franc. That reflected poorly upon you; it sunk you to the level of your attackers. For the longest time, I did not believe my parents, but they were right: The best way to deal with petty personal insults is to ignore them. If you ignore the antagonist, he goes away. Be better than him.

Now, I'm not saying we should just stop feuding with Francois Tremblay. I suggest we cease all such arguments between atheists. We have a common enemy.

How do we do this, you ask? Simple. Avoid all criticism unless it's constructive. Today Franc called GOD or NOT a "personality contest" over at TEA (he has since apologized), and the warfare ensued shortly thereafter. It was an unnecessary statement, and the reaction to it was just as unnecessary. Therefore, it is also advisable not to respond to such comments.

Furthermore, blogs are about content, not the bloggers. For all you know, I could be a jerk in real life (betcha Aeger'll make a joke about that), but you would have no idea. Some of us are better at hiding it than others. On any given blog, you should focus on what the blogger produces, not the blogger him/her/itself. Save that for real life. I mean, geez, Goosing the Antithesis is a great blog; don't ignore a post just because Francois Tremblay wrote it.

If our blogs are to progress and become more successful, we must put these inconsequential squabbles in the past. Perhaps that can be a general New Year's Resolution.

Good night.

25 Comments:

At 12/30/2005 12:18 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

First, thank you for your entry and the fact that you're not ignoring the issue. However, since I am a victim of getting ignored by people, I'm not sure that I'm behind your entry 100%. What I would say is that you should evaluate a blog based on the content, not based on whether you like the person or not.

The fact remains that no one has questioned the quality of the entries on my blog, and all the attacks and snubbing I get (the latter being very hurtful for my chances of being read) are made on a personal level. I would never snub someone because of a personal quarrel and I find such an attitude absolutely unjust and irrational.

 
At 12/30/2005 12:23 AM, Blogger seth said...

Personally, I think that if we stop fighting, we'll realize that what's important is the material. I see your point, though, and I'll try to edit that into the post tomorrow…but first, I desperately need sleep, considering it's past midnight out in my neck of the woods.

 
At 12/30/2005 12:27 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

All right, and thanks again.

 
At 12/30/2005 1:52 AM, Blogger bleedingisaac said...

Seth,

This really isn't about atheists not getting along. This is about one atheist, Francois, who is a dick.

I've read and commented on many atheist blogs and Francois is the only one I've ever experienced who is an asshole. Seriously, what other atheist wars have you encountered that don't involve him. I see lots of disagreements, but very few wars. I've tried to calmly discuss issues with Francois before, now I just like pissing him off.

Francois is just like a fundamentalist. You see all of the objectivist criticisms because they fit him so well. The Objectivist movement was cultish. It was a group of philosophically illiterate people who rejected all past philosophy and claimed that they were the only ones who knew the truth. It attracted the philosophically naive. They started their little cults and even split their own group like a bunch of Baptists.

I agree with you that atheists can work together and add to each other's work, but that doesn't mean we have to accept every whining, infantile, arrogant, pimple-faced, fat fuck out there, does it?

 
At 12/30/2005 3:02 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

See the kind of people I have to deal with ? What do I do with trolls like that ?

 
At 12/30/2005 4:10 AM, Blogger Pixelation said...

:)

Is it wrong that I was amused by this entire debacle?

It hurts the uniform cause (or, more aptly, it hurts the unity of the particular cause we all more-or-less have in common), but only because it gives people examples of 'angry atheists' to caricature us with.

In actual logical argument, it doesn't hurt us as nobody represents our cause more than our arguments. However, the people that would argue logically wouldn't use these events against us in the first place, so it's really irrelevant.

To wit: This hurts 'us' with people who would make it up anyway if it weren't true. With the people that matter (that are far too few), this is irrelevant background noise.

But still... I still find it all amusing.

 
At 12/30/2005 4:25 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

Pixelation, I want to apologize for your past presence on the "shit list". Even though I still think you are a morally repugnant person, I was the one who started attacking you, and thus deserve the blame. Will you accept my apologies ?

 
At 12/30/2005 9:50 AM, Anonymous HappyNat said...

If you people are really getting all worked up and worried about "fighting" on the internets then you all need to take a deep breath and rethink things. If you think some nit-picking on blog comments is going to set back the "movement", maybe you'd be better off looking for god.

 
At 12/30/2005 10:05 AM, Blogger bleedingisaac said...

Francois,

You wrote to pixelation: "I was the one who started attacking you . . ."

That should be your mantra.

Good fucking apology too: "I want to apologize . . . Even though I still think you are a morally repugnant person."

Seriously, more people would like you if you were not an uninteresting, whining, crying, attention-seeking, arrogant, pimple-faced, fat fuck.

 
At 12/30/2005 10:07 AM, Blogger bleedingisaac said...

Francois,

In response to my post, you wrote: "See the kind of people I have to deal with ? What do I do with trolls like that ?"

How about this. Let's say when a "troll" asks you a question without personally attacking you, you answer them honestly without personally attacking them. You should try that.

 
At 12/30/2005 11:02 AM, Blogger seth said...

Bleedingsac:
You say that this is about one person. I beg to differ. Have you ever visited the threads over at No God Blog?

If you continue to ramble on as you have already, I will delete your comments.

Happy Nat:
Well, we are better united than divided.

 
At 12/30/2005 11:17 AM, Blogger bleedingisaac said...

Seth,

I have not read the "threads over at No God Blog." Are any of the "atheist battles" with anyone who is not an objectivist?

I really haven't seen personal attacks anywhere but with FT.

Go back and look at all of the so-called "personal attacks" against Francois (including mine). He starts them all. On his blog, I asked him to clarify two statements that he made. In one post, he said, "I am not an Objectivist." In another, he wrote, "The most rigorous philosophical system is Objectivism. It is the only such system based on explicit and valid axioms and deductions, which makes it the most reliable guide to a healthy relationship with reality."

There was no hint of personal attack in my original comment. His response was to call me an asshole, a robot, and a fundie. So, I could either overlook the personal attacks or I could respond to them with attacks of my own. Because it is true that I am an asshole (but neither a robot or fundie), I decided to take the low road.

Look at my original comment on his blog and his response. Find any hint of personal attack in what I said.

Just because I'm better at personal attacks than he is doesn't mean that I should have my comments deleted.

 
At 12/30/2005 11:25 AM, Blogger seth said...

Such battles occur all the time. It annoys me immensely.

I've read the post. You have a fair point, but we can still try to prevent these squabbles rather than fight fire with fire.

Franc--You've said we should judge people based on their material, so screw Pixel's moral repugnance; he has some damn good posts.

 
At 12/30/2005 11:52 AM, Blogger bleedingisaac said...

Seth,

You wrote: "we can still try to prevent these squabbles rather than fight fire with fire."

I have tried with FT before and it seems pointless, but I'm getting bored anyway.

BTW, whether intential or not, the shortening of my handle to "bleeding sac" is very funny! ;)

 
At 12/30/2005 1:29 PM, Blogger seth said...

Ahh, I'm still hoping change on both sides is possible. Taking down the Shit List may have been a first step.

'Twas an intentional misspelling, but only because I misread your name. As soon as I published the comment, I thought "Uh oh, there's an I and another A on his name."

But I'm glad you like it.

 
At 12/30/2005 1:52 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

"If you think some nit-picking on blog comments is going to set back the "movement", maybe you'd be better off looking for god. "

Believe me, if I wasn't an individualist I would reject atheism in a heartbeat. Fortunately I'm not that stupid.

 
At 12/30/2005 2:02 PM, Anonymous Tony said...

Francois,
I'd like to thank you. You're doing God's work. Keep it up.

 
At 12/30/2005 2:10 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

Ewwww. Tell God to stop taking credit for my work.

 
At 12/30/2005 6:04 PM, Blogger Pixelation said...

"Francois Tremblay said...
Pixelation, I want to apologize for your past presence on the "shit list". Even though I still think you are a morally repugnant person, I was the one who started attacking you, and thus deserve the blame. Will you accept my apologies ?"


Sure, no worries. I still think some of your positions are philosophic howlers, you still think I'm morally repugnant, but I had fun with you, so all is forgiven. I forgive and forget just about anything so long as the person legitimately means it.

"seth said...
Franc--You've said we should judge people based on their material, so screw Pixel's moral repugnance; he has some damn good posts."


He heh, why Seth, I'd take offense if I didn't want to be you when I grow up. And is it wrong that I'm looking forward to the next carnival so? I'm thinking it's just that I haven't seen anyone else's content yet.

I feel like a kid on Christmas day...

:D

 
At 12/30/2005 6:07 PM, Blogger seth said...

Dammit, Aeger hasn't sent me his stuff yet. He said he gets back from Texas tonight, so I should have it up soon.

 
At 12/31/2005 1:20 PM, Blogger Aeger said...

It's not my fualt that I left all of my quips back at my house in Mass. when I went to Texas. Or maybe it is, but I still shouldn't be blamed for it.

And the carnival is now up at www.sethsim.blogspot.com, let the voting commence!

 
At 12/31/2005 6:51 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney said...

Jesus where have I been? I didnt know you wrote this open letter to the atheist community until right now, two days after you wrote it.

Thanx for writing the letter. You eloquently said in your open letter exactly what I've been trying to say in the comments sections of all these various blogs. This is exactly what we need to promote within our community.

I'm totally putting you on Kill The Afterlife's links list (the good one, LOL!)

 
At 1/01/2006 12:10 AM, Anonymous advocate of the browns said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 
At 1/03/2006 8:14 AM, Anonymous El Penguino said...

1: there are different kinds of atheists?

2: why do theists have to be your enemies? cant we all just hold hands and sing kum baya?

 
At 1/03/2006 8:17 AM, Blogger Advocate of the Browns said...

1: Yeah it seems like there are.

2: Because the government would come in and tell us some bullshit about how Kum Baya is politically incorrect and we must respect the feelings of the religious/national group who wrote the song.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.