06 August 2012

Sometime, deriding the messenger is necessary

This is Alexander Lucie-Smith, and he is hateful, incompetent, and deceitful.

He recently offered us a whole wheelbarrow of tripe in The tragedy at the heart of New Atheism.  Jerry Coyne has already torn apart his goofball sophistry, as has Eric MacDonald.  I, instead, want to write about another aspect of the behaviour of nutjobs like Lucie-Smith: that not only their vile ideas but they themselves deserve our derision and ridicule for the lies they tell and the harm they promote.

There are many atheists and humanists who advocate ridiculing only certain ideas and not those who hold such ideas.  The premise is that anyone can be wrong.  The indoctrination of the young to religulous dogma, for example, is quite powerful and if it is just a quirk of circumstance that one has been brainwashed by [insert any religion here], then we cannot truly blame one for espousing stupid, hateful ideas.

Fair enough.  But that does not describe every religulous fundiot.  Some of them clearly have the brains, the education, and the resources to learn from their mistakes.  Instead, these people exhibit either incredible sloth, or incompetence, or malevolence, or some combination of the three.  And they do so repeatedly.  When one keeps repeating the same mistakes, using the same wretched arguments, despite having been shown (sometimes in dozens of different ways) the specific errors one committed and even how those errors might be corrected - well, we must then revisit our strategies.

What do one do when, no matter how often one leads a horse to water, the horse patently refuses to drink - to even acknowledge the water is there?  This is exactly what these religulous fundiots do. Even worse, not only do the religulous deny the water of scientific truth that we offer to them; they even seek to deny these truths to others, and to confound the undecided with lies and vacuous arguments.

What do we do?  This is more than just some brainwashed Mormon peddling their paper mache god on a street-corner.  This is intentional, wilful, repeated subversion of truth and well-being for the sake of their stupid, hateful fairy tales.  What to do with people who wilfully seek to spread lies, over and over again, fully knowing - or at least having the capacity to know - that their lies promote hate and harm?

Is it enough to simply argue against their ideas?

Why do repeat criminals end up in prison for longer and longer periods of time?  Because it becomes apparent that society cannot fix them, so exile becomes the only feasible way to maintain the safety and peace of the society.

When will we finally realize that there is no difference between criminal recidivism and the religulous who repeatedly lie and spread harm through their religion?

It cannot possibly be enough to just ridicule religulous ideas.  This is because there will always be more wilfully ignorant, hate-mongering assholes to argue against you.  You can't destroy a bad idea if there is a steady supply of morons ready to take it up.  Indeed, the idea is pointless without the dumb-fuck, witless, hateful agent to promulgate it.  They are religious recidivists.

Clearly, such people are mentally ill.  Anyone who prefers lies to truth and harm to well-being is nuts, by definition.  But society - even so-called "developed" Western society - is quaintly parochial in naming this delusion where religion is concerned.

Did you know that the DSM has a special exemption for religious beliefs under the diagnosis of delusion?  This is because without it virtually everyone who holds religious beliefs above scientific knowledge would be labelled mentally ill.  (Sam Harris, in The Moral Landscape, quotes page 765 of the DSM-IV to this effect.)

So we can't just round up the religulous fundiots and lock them up - exile them - even though that is certainly the most rational course of action given what we know.

What else can we do but deride and ridicule the messenger?  Medical science, as it is currently practised, takes delusion as a mental illness - unless the delusion is religious.  God disguises himself as a lunatic.  Or maybe he's just a lunatic disguised as a god.  (Which is more likely?)  Still, the current social norm is that the religulous are sane.  If they are sane, and we have established they are both educated and intelligent, then they must be malevolent.  There is no other option.

The malevolent must be dealt with.  They must be stopped.  They must be shown to be the useless bags of skin they really are.  Since we cannot provide them with the psychiatric help they so obviously and desperately need, we can only convince them to shut up.  They must be prevented from influencing others by any legal and ethical means possible, because every time they open their mouths, they harm others.  So we really should not hesitate to yell and drown them out; to make fun of them, belittle them, ridicule them.  Their ideas are nothing without vessels, and we cannot stop people from thinking stupid things.  But by damn we can stop them from acting on those ideas.

So, to Alexander Lucie-Smith, beady-eyed whack-job that he is, I say this: your puerile ideas have been utterly demolished by others.  But that's not enough.

With reference to the putrefaction in your article, Lucie-Smith:

  • You are so stupid that you are unable to use an internet search engine to find that quote of Richard Dawkins.
  • You are so unethical, that you didn't even try - you could have asked someone else to do it for you, in the spirit of journalistic integrity.  But why should you care about that, when Christianity is just one big fucking lie?
  • You are incompetent as a writer and communicator, constructing the kinds of arguments I would have been ashamed to present when I was a freshman, let alone a doctor of moral theology.
  • Your flaccid arguments are an insult to academe, and show a complete disregard for the conduct of research and argumentation.  Whatever institution bestowed your doctorate clearly caters to idiots and assholes.
  • Your arguments appeal entirely to the visceral, irrational, animalistic ignorance of theists.  In so doing, you foment hatred of rationality.
  • This in turn belies utter contempt for your readers and humanity in general.

You, Alexander Lucie-Smith, are a repugnant slug who hates humanity.  Perhaps if you'd not been skull-fucked by your church quite so severely, you might understand that.  But you have willingly let your brains be liquified by the horror of the Catholic church because you are deficient, you are malevolent, you are sadistically narcissistic.  You are not fit to wipe the shit from my ass and I will never, ever, think of you as anything but the fucktard you really are.

(Sidebar: if the Catholic Church really gave a shit at all about anyone, they would have arranged for the brainless Lucie-Smith to be severely and publicly castigated for his contemptible and dismissive article.  Instead, Ratzy the Nazi remains silent.  Silence gives consent.  So the entire Catholic church is just as guilty, just as hateful, and just as fucked up, as the nutless wonder Lucie-Smith.)

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