This post is of a more personal nature than usual for me. I was browsing through Reddit recently and came across a link to a bizarre article claiming that research has linked "overt atheism" and mental illness. The story cites no references and contains no links confirming that the study is real. Funnily enough, "Damien", the owner of this website says on his homepage that he dislikes overt atheists and thinks they are "antisocial misfits", just like this supposed study claims to have found. The study was supposedly conducted by a Dr. Hans Zimmerman of the University of Hamburg, but a Google search revealed no-one by that name working at this institution. I posted some sarcastic comments under the article implying that it was rather hard to believe that any of it was true. Rather than a good-nature admission that he was playing a little joke, Damien's response was to engage in childish name-calling and a ludicrous denial that the article was a hoax. Below are screenshots of our exchange. (Click to enlarge.) Warning: expect severe foul language!
I challenge him for proof this is not a hoax, his response is more insults, accusations that I am mentally ill just for asking questions, and another lie, even more unbelievable than the last, that the story has been published elsewhere.
Note the incredible bigotry of these canards: "god-hating cock-sucker"; "stupid American fucktard"; Irish are "fucking simple-minded." So not only does Damien hate atheists, but also homosexuals, Americans, and the Irish. I'm not American or homosexual, but I see no reason why I would be ashamed of it I was. He has created a whole website devoted to his hate-filled rantings and he accuses me of "mania" and "anger" for simply challenging him to prove that anything he has said is true! He rants about me "preaching atheism" and my need to be heard (what a shocking crime, wanting to be heard) when his whole website is dedicated to shouting his own stupid opinions. What I find particularly strange is that Damien says on his homepage that he is not even religious. Yet he has this pathological hatred of atheists. To be honest, I think the man has a pathological hatred of human beings. Furthermore, he even admits on his homepage that some of the stories he posts contain nonsense, yet when challenged about this particular nonsense he flies into a rage and makes claims he can't prove.
Anyway, enough about me. Just to give people a heads up, if you find any stories floating around the internet claiming that atheism is linked to mental illness, you can rest assured that not only is this not true, but the source is a rather disturbed person with no respect for anybody.
This post also appears on my blog Cosmic Cogitations.