Posted by: serrels | August 5, 2010

Stupid Atheists

I’m going to let you all in on a secret. Actually, if I’m being totally honest, it’s not really much of a secret.

I’m a bit stupid.

When I was a kid I thought that, pre 1984, the entire world was devoid of colour. I thought everything was black and white.

And this was reinforced by the fact that my first memory, of my brother being born on Feb 2nd 1984 when I was two years old, was in black and white. Except that it wasn’t really my first memory. My ‘memory’ was something I saw once in a photograph. A black and white photograph.

Yep. I’m pretty stupid.

When I was four years old I loved to watch my Dad polish his Doc Marten boots. I thought they were the coolest things ever. My Dad had only left the room for one minute, but that was enough time for me to forget that the bottle next to me actually contained boot polish. Enough time for me to mistake it for milk. Enough time for me to guzzle it all down heartily and almost poison myself to death in the process.

I spent a week in the hospital as a result of that little misunderstanding. Like I said, I’m pretty frickin’ stupid.

I leaned over roadworks trying to tag moving cars on a main road, because I thought it would make them chase me. I thought the moon was made out of cheese. I used to think that eating turnip gave me special powers that let me turn off the TV with my mind (my Grandad was quite adept at hiding the remote controller and pressing the off switch at the exact moment I squeezed my eyelids shut).

Yep. I used to believe a lot of things – a lot of really stupid things – and it got me to wondering: how can I be so certain of what I believe right now, this precise second?

I can’t. No one can.

The certainty with which some ‘atheists’ can bundle their way about town, their chests thrust out, declaring with no doubt or humility that God couldn’t possibly exist, believing themselves to be on the precise cutting edge of truth constantly, disturbs me slightly. The ones that openly call Christians stupid infuriate me even more.

Because I’m an Atheist, and I know for a fact that I’m stupid. And I also know for a fact that I’m not the only one.

Every time you hear someone ridicule or patronise someone who doesn’t believe in evolution, without knowing the first thing about evolution themselves…

That’s a stupid Atheist.

Every time you hear someone quote a rote-learned verse of the bible out of context to prove how backward/contradictory/unfathomable it is…

That’s a stupid Atheist.

Every time you hear someone trying to talk with authority about the dark, ‘hidden’ history of Christianity having seen nothing more on the subject than The bloody Da Vinci Code and that one documentary they slept through on the Discovery Channel.

That’s a stupid Atheist.

I know all of this because I’ve done each and every last thing on that list more than once during my short time on this planet…

And I’m a very stupid Atheist.

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  1. I’m a stupid atheist too. Great post!

  2. Intellectual honesty is more important than knowing you are correct. It’s more important to aim for truth than to emphatically state you’ve “arrived”, as that always opens you up to the possibility of (a) being seen to be an intolerable fanatic and (b) building your life on a house of cards.

    Like you said, that goes for both athiests and Christians. Great article always enjoy your blogs

  3. Every time you hear someone ridicule a non-believer without really knowing God themselves, every time you hear someone misquote the bible to exalt themselves and make some poor sinner feel like crap, every time you hear someone try to blindly speak with authority about the fact that their denomination has THE truth, THE ONLY truth and NOTHING BUT the truth…that’s a stupid (and embarrassing) Christian…and I would’ve probably done them all at some point in my life too. Because I can also be a very stupid Christian.
    You make me really smile Mark…something I don’t do a lot of lately, so thank you for your unique way of looking at the things most of us would bypass. Thank you for indirectly, and directly sometimes, encouraging us to question and discover for ourselves. I’m on the journey, just wishing I wasn’t such a slow learner.

  4. Couldn’t agree more. Education breeds humility amongst the wise and confidence amongst the foolish.

    I too have been guilty of the above examples of Stupid Atheism(tm).

  5. Mark don’t be so hard on yourself. Like you said we have all been guilty of acting like we have all the answers, Christians and me are definitely included. I think it shows great character being able to say that you don’t have all the answers to everything. good on you and anyone who can take the position!

  6. Wait wait wait.
    Turnips DON’T give you psychic powers?

    • I had to post and say that you have the best fake website I’ve ever seen in my life…

  7. No discussion about the world being black and white would be complete without a reference to my all time favorite Calvin and Hobbes cartoon where Calvin’s Dad explains that the world used to be black and white and then gradually became colored in the 1930s. His Dad even manages to explain why paintings by the old masters are in color and yet old photos are in black and white. An awesome combination of humor, life lessons and even a bit of philosophy thrown in.

    The cartoon is available at the following link (it’s about the fourth cartoon on the page so you’ll have to scroll down a bit):

    • Love that comic, especially that one.

  8. “The certainty with which some ‘atheists’ can bundle their way about town, their chests thrust out, declaring with no doubt or humility that God couldn’t possibly exist…”

    People do this? I’ve never seen any. I’ve never been able to tell, just by looking at a person, what their religious beliefs are. The only exceptions are the JWs when they’re out in their starched white shirts and black pants; or priests wearing their collars, nuns in their habits, or some other obvious indication of a person’s faith. Otherwise, ordinary people all look pretty ordinary to me. I suspect they do to you, as well.

    “Every time you hear someone quote a rote-learned verse of the bible out of context to prove how backward/contradictory/unfathomable it is…”

    Any time someone accuses me of taking a Bible verse out of context, I tell them to put the verse IN context and show me how the meaning changes. They are never able to do so.

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