The Most Superficial Reply Imaginable

What is it with the media and atheism? I've noticed that journalists seem to be almost incapable of actually addressing the 'meat' of atheist arguments, instead choosing to reply to it in the most superficial way imaginable. I recently set up a Google Alerts RSS feed for the word 'atheism', and have since been absolutely inundated with articles bearing titles like 'Why Are the New Atheist So Boring?' and (my personal favourite) 'Are the New Atheists Just As Bad As Fundamentalist Christians?' (In case you need it pointed out, the answer to those questions is always immediately given as 'yes' and 'yes', respectively.)

Is that all these people have to say about atheism? That's it's boring? (In which case why spend so much time harping on about it?) That atheists are somehow 'as bad' as Christian fundamentalists? (And always because we're apparently loud - heaven forbid we should actually get our message heard by anyone.)

People who reply like this are simply masking their true message: that atheists should shut up and go back to hiding from the modern Tabloid Inquisition. Whatever they may say about us, their own social message is certainly irrelevant, and will remain so until they work up the courage to actually reply to the challenges we're posing.

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Tags: atheism, journalism, media, new

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Comment by Sarah Elle on November 9, 2009 at 10:14pm
It's societies general perception, Atheists and their beliefs or lack thereof make them a second class citizen, okay to belittle and berate. It's subtle, but if you converse with enough of the general public you quickly realize this world still isn't ready to except us godless heathens, because thats how they seriously see us as, heathens. Uncivilized, godless devils in disguise. If you're not with us, you're against us.
I've been told I'm going to hell more times than I can count since speaking about my beliefs, it's a sad, stupid world we live in for the most part. At least Atheism is growing across the globe, one day we may not have to live with this shame being hanged over our heads constantly for simply being rational. And maybe if we're lucky, the zealots will be the ones cast out from the "norm" of society instead of being the ones running it. Good post.
Comment by unholyroller on November 9, 2009 at 10:01pm
Perhaps they just don't have the intellectuial capacity to address our real issues...........
Comment by Sean Wills on November 9, 2009 at 1:29pm
Oh, and I forgot the latest barrage: the whole idea that there's some sort of atheist 'schism'. The internet really lets you see how these ideas propagate in real time. Via Pharyngula:

YOU would think, wouldn't you, that one of the principal attractions of atheism would be the complete absence of schisms. Where the devout always seem to be working themselves up into a frenzy over some obscure theological point, non-believers can glide through life, absolved, as they are, of the need to negotiate the terms of their disbelief. If there's no God, there is no message. And if there's no message, then there's nothing much to argue about.

Apparently if atheist disagree about anything, it's our version of the Reformation.

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