I am now going to stop using that "s" word for a few paragraphs. Even a good, wholesome term can get played out.
It's easy to point out other's faults - to cry foul when they have done wrong - and bask in the comfy warmth of pride. I know that a fair percentage of Purgatory's posts are dedicated to pointing out the wrongs done in the name of the Mighty Sky Fairy (or Sky Fairies). To be honest, it's like shooting fish in a barrel to point out the inanity of the universe being made in six days, or the immorality of God. However, it is a bit more difficult to talk about one's past misdeeds while in the grip of faith. No warm comfiness of pride there, but there is a certain kind of solace to be found. "I didn't know what I was doing," you can always say. "I was brainwashed." To be sure that is a mitigating factor of past "sins" done for the glory of God(s).
But I'm not here to talk about the crappy things I did while a theist.
I'm here to tell you one of the dick things I have done as a full blown Atheist.
I would like to take a moment here to define "dick". You may think I say, write, and at times sing some pretty dicky things here. A quick scan of past posts has me singing about the Book of Job, satirizing Islam, etc., etc., etc.. In my defense, I have two settings while talking about faith: preaching to the choir and talking to theists. Amongst the other godless I let it rip - no holds barred. When the occasional Goddie does ask an anonymous question on the blog I really try to handle the question as well as the person with respect. If I'm not trying to engage in some meaningful dialogue here or in "real life" then I'm just some guy making sometimes funny jokes. For me to be a dick is to be mean to a person who honestly wants to have a conversation. I have been a godless dick.
I was at one of my wife's friends pool parties years ago. This time period is officially known as Back in the Day. I was hanging by the pool flaunting my whiter than thou pigmentation. It's true, my lack of pigmentation is second only to shut-ins and albinos. So, I was drinking and talking anti-theist smack with another one of the godless. He was an interesting guy - a self described communist as well as a solipsist (one who believes that only his mind exists, nothing else) - and completely raving mad. The ideal drinking buddy. The problem is that the rest of the crowd was full of soft theists. You know the type. The are open minded, and accept all the superstitious New Agey/Woo-ish stuff. One of them wandered too close to the discussion I was having with my commie-solipsist bud about the lack of life after death. Here is the synopsis of our back and forth. The very nice theist guy who wandered in will be referred to as Puppy.
Commie-Solipsist: We're just worm meat after we're dead.
Me: I don't like that anymore than the next guy, but all evidence points in that direction.
Puppy: My Grandfather died a little while ago, and I was there with him in the hospital. When he passed I could feel him - his spirit - going to a better place.
Me: That means absolutely fucking nothing. Your experience of feeling something has no relevance to this conversation.
Yes, I kicked the Puppy. He just walked away.
That day I was a geek who gave geeks a bad name. I didn't even drink enough for me to blame it on the booze. No. I was just a dick. Not only did the poor guy walk away with an intense dislike for me, but probably an intense dislike for Atheism, too. Who could blame him?
This was my comment I left on Blag Hag's post about putting the godless on a pedestal.
Religion exacerbates our species tendencies to be a**holes. Religion is an autocratic structure that feeds into our worst aspects such as: group think, confirmation bias, and a general lack of critical thinking. However, even if you had a world without religion people would still have the "a**hole instinct".
That's what happens when you look in the mirror...