Friday, March 1, 2013

This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

I've mentioned before that I've had a hard time jumping into the atheist and skeptic community before.  And yes, a lot of it is because it's divided.  Mere disagreements are misconstrued as... I don't know, "curry(ing) favor with aggressors"  even if you actually do disagree with the actions of people "on the other side.">

Hint to those that might see this:  The community would be a lot more diverse and stronger if people felt like they could voice their opinions (whether people agree or not) without having their metaphorical throats ripped out.

I know I'm not alone.  I talk to a number of people who share my feelings and the whole negative atmosphere turns my stomach.  Yes, it's not only two groups, but after watching from the sidelines for a while I have noticed that two sides definitely form.  In other words, the groups overlap a lot and give a strong appearance of two major sides.

Post in a thread agreeing or otherwise give no dissenting opinion:  You're golden.
Post in a thread stating an opinion that differs from what looks more and more like a hive vagina:  Previous positive postings ignored.  You are now an enemy with an agenda.  WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR?!

I can't think of a single top contributor in the atheist/skeptic community that I don't like even a tiny bit.  I disagree with every one of them on some issues, but I just don't see how it invalidates all the other things that I do agree with them on.  I thought we looked at things for their individual merit, not for who they're coming from, but perhaps I'm terribly wrong.

Ex:  Thunderf00t's videos about creationism are great.  I do think he's a genuinely nice guy.  I don't think he should have used privileges he shouldn't have really had to access things he knew people didn't want him to see, but I understand that he was frustrated with things that had happened to him and reacted the way he did for a reason.

Ex:  Rebecca Watson is pretty cool.  I like her passion and agree with her on a lot of woman and minority rights issues.  I think she's a genuinely nice gal.  I don't think her response to elevator guy was the best way to handle the situation.  She could have just said "thanks, but no thanks."  However, I understand that she was frustrated by things that had happened to her and reacted the way she did for a reason.

(Yes, these are old, over, and used to death, but they're merely examples)

But alas, there are people aren't going to take the time to look at you as a whole before passing a judgement.  They have their mind made up and the hell with your explanations about where you really stand.  They've convinced themselves you make up a particular subset and tend to accuse you of the very things they're doing in their attacks on you.

People who act like that aren't by any means "bad", I just have a hard time interacting with them.  I'm just the type of person that can disagree, or hell, even fight tooth and nail, but that disagreement about one issue in particular doesn't effect the picture of them as a whole in my eyes.  Perhaps I'm just crazy for not wanting to write people off for their stance on one or even a handful of issues when I can see there's more to them as a person and there are a lot of topics we'd be able to discuss in agreement.  I just separate my emotions from things easier... or something... I guess?

Or maybe they just rock at board games.  I hold out hope for them if they rock at board games.

P.S.  I've learned there are lots of people at FreeThoughtBlogs who are pretty constipated.  I would suggest some quality chocolate ex-lax but that isn't going to fix what amounts to your head being up your ass.

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