Who Should Be Afraid of Whom?

“The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic.”

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British author, philosopher, “An Outline in Intellectual Rubbish,” Unpopular Essays (1950)

Some readers over at De-conversion.com are fearful of my posts about Fundamentalism as a disease or virus of the mind. Some attribute motives to me that I don’t have, as if I’ve got the dangerous idea! But take a look at empy’s comments on my post (Comment 124). Can anyone honestly say that Christians who condone mass murder because the bible advocates it aren’t scarier than my agnostic questioning of literalist beliefs? I truly am in Oz if this is so.

I just watched the movie The Invasion with Nicole Kidman. It was a reworked and not very good knock off of Invasion of the Body Snatchers but it’s apropo to what’s happening on some of these blogs. In the new movie, a doctor questions the thin veneer of civilization that most of us feel still holds society together. One chink in that dogmatic armor we all put up as a necessary barrier to new ideas shows how fragile we all are and how close to hysteria we have become. Obviously, discourse without fear-mongering is not possible on either side of the religious fence. Both sides cannot ever believe what the other side is saying and both sides attribute false motives to the other. Why do we keep doing it? It makes me realize how much spitting into the wind is really going on here. But, it also shows that the religious right learns quickly and is using atheism’s arguments against them. Rightists are scared of atheists? Give me a break. More like they are scared of open thinking.

Just,why is it that I’m blogging again?

Sign me,

Severely Disillusioned.


15 thoughts on “Who Should Be Afraid of Whom?

  1. All I can say is, you sure get them going Moi.

    You blog, because you are a writer and there is nothing wrong with that. 🙂

  2. Zoe,

    Seriously, is it me? Cause I don’t think I say anything more inflammatory than anyone else does, do I? Yet, I always seem to send the unbalanced running for their guns! 🙂

  3. {Disclaimer: This article is my opinion only, based on my own literary and theoretical research (M.A. in Lit.) and is not intended as “scientific research.”}

    Here’s your disclaimer to your post. 🙂

    As I see it, you are on a journey and in a certain moment or moments in time, your thoughts are shared in writing. They are born out of your experience as you know it.

    It’s to be expected that not everyone will “get-it” and almost always their will be criticism, there is no way to avoid it really.

    I’m sure if I wrote something on d-C it would get ripped to pieces. Well I’m not totally sure, yet, I would fully expect it. However, I don’t think I fit the mission there. I’m not up to the debate or the energy to research anymore. Back in my 30’s I’d be right there, pouring through my texts and forming my arguments…not anymore. Perhaps it comes with age and maybe with acceptance.

    I very much appreciate the writing of those who are on the journey and I recognize the timing of the process. New readers who share their comments aren’t necessarily going to understand we are all at different points of dealing with deconversion or the prospects of deconversion. A lot of what is written will be taken as an “absolute” when in fact, that might not be the intention of the writer at all.

    I’d just say, don’t let it get to you personally. Easy for me to say though. I don’t throw myself into the mix. 😉

  4. I’m chuckling because I drop out of the arguments after the first 25 comments or so when deterioration is emminent. d-C is intended as a dialog for better understanding but is instead often a pulpit, a soapbox, a forum for self-validation. In my mind there is a clear distinction between the participants that are there to learn and those who come for a piece of the action.

    Your posts are often provacative not because you intend them to be but because you are a voice of reason, a dissonance if you will, that to many there is unwelcome. Balance and reason are the markers of wisdom, as seen in so many of the world’s greatest leaders. In d-C’s culture you are a leader. I know I appreciate your posts, if not always the comments that follow.

  5. Zoe and Marge,

    I appreciate both your comments. I do let it get to me sometimes, but I’m getting better at ignoring it. I’m convinced also that women and men come at “debate” differently. Some men want to keep everything at an intellectual level by debating only “facts” and “history.” Well that’s great but gets you nowhere. I think perhaps I evoke a gut reaction because I write from the “gut.” Nothing matters but lived experience anyway. Anyone can debate facts, but HOW is it lived out and who are we because of it. I’m beginning to think that’s the key here and it’s a difference of gender dialogue. Thanks you guys for your input! I value your opinions.

  6. **Just,why is it that I’m blogging again?**

    Because you’re a glutton for punishment? 🙂

    In seriousness, it’s because your experiences can help others.

    Generalization about to commence.

    If I can use the d-c blog as an example, it seems that those who have been through a fundamentalist religion and are now liberal/agnostic/atheist remain quieter than those who are still fundamentalists. The former no longer browbeat, and find that where they are now is too precious to “waste” on those who can’t understand. They’ll also probably comment less frequently, because they don’t want to always have conflict with the latter.

    Yet it’s also helpful for them to read posts such as yours, to konw someone else can share the experience.

  7. OSS,

    I am a blogging self-flagellator (sp?) I’m sure of it. 🙂

    I keep forgetting about my posting might help others. All I can see are those who nit-pick every sentence just to argue. I need to wear my “ignore” glasses more often.

  8. You blog because it’s therapy. You blog because you are a great writer. You blog because it needs to be said. But most of all –

    You blog because you want to and have the right to, and it’s nobody else’s damn business!


  9. Funny, I just posted a comment on d-C about our attitudes toward life experiences. I agree with OSS that those of us who have found great lessons in and have a positive attitude toward our de-conversion tend to be less pugnacious and boistrous. Your posts show your generous nature and desire to share the lessons you’ve learned. Maybeyou forget that those who are benefiting most from your words are the least likely to comment on them.

  10. Marge,

    That’s an interesting point. We ARE most likely to respond if we disagree, just to get our voice in there. I really, really appreciate all the good insights youz guys have given me. I feel better now. 🙂

  11. MOI – Keep in mind, religious beliefs are part of our core values, which are basically a big part of our self-concept and world view. These are deeply ingrained beliefs, and it feels very threatening to have them challenged – the tension and dissonance created almost guarantee an impassioned, irrational response in order to maintain balance and get rid of the tension.

    I’ll read blogs with opposing views from time to time, but I don’t normally get into the fray. I’m more likely to rant at my blog about. I don’t normally find that kind of dialogue productive. It basically just raises my blood pressure.

    Kay’s right…we blog because we can, and it’s nobody’s damn business. We own our own thoughts, and some of us just need to float them into the ether to make a tiny bit more space in our heads!

    Hang in there! ((((MOI)))))

  12. Episcopalifem,
    Thanks for chiming in! 🙂 I see that it isn’t really productive, but I’m always a sucker for button pushing. Mine and others! Blogging is like journaling. We are pushing them out in the open rather than secreting them between the pages of a book. Perhaps I should do more secreting than floating?

  13. Well…I guess it depends on whether or not you enjoy seeing a reaction to your thoughts or not. If you just need to get them out, undisturbed, private journaling is fine.

    If you like to bounce things around, and push and pull at your ideas, you won’t get much dialogue from a private journal.

    I’d say, rant here, and leave the crazies unto themselves. When it starts to disintegrate, and the conversation becomes counterproductive…pour out your rant here. Those who are interested in what you are going to say will look for it…and those whose minds will never be changed anyway won’t..and you don’t have to publish their thoughts if you don’t want to.


  14. Efem,

    I like that. I think I’ll adopt that as a new motto, “Rant here, and leave the crazies unto themselves.” 🙂 Although, some of can’t help publishing our thoughts, even ones we shouldn’t. Kind of like vomitus of the brain. But I will most definitely remember the advice. 🙂

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