20 May 2014

Showing off their misanthropy

Jerry Coyne received a marvelous email from a religulous fundiot. (And it's not the first by any stretch.)  It reads:
"An evolutionist is born to die. Christians have eternal life with Christ."
I think we can all safely assume that the dork who sent it meant to say "atheist" rather than "evolutionist," because there are various ways (e.g., using god in the gaps arguments) to preserve belief in both evolution and some god, misguided though such worldviews might be.  I mean, surely the dork didn't mean to condemn those who believe in both the Christian god and evolution, right?  (Well, one can never tell with those types, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt.)

Setting that bit of ignorance aside, what gets me is their total lack of understanding of what constitutes an offensive remark.  Since atheists have at least no belief in god and at most a strong belief that there is no god, then an insult like this one means absolutely nothing to us, vis-a-vis our ultimate end-state.

But it does tell us something about the fundiot mindset; it is suggestive of the relationship they perceive between themselves and the rest of humanity - including not only "evolutionists," but also all those religious folks who aren't Christian.  (And please note that the condemnation of the dork who emailed Coyne is just as vacuous to the mind of a religious non-Christian as it is to an atheist.)

The claim is clearly meant to be offensive or at least confrontational.  That is, in the Christian fundiot worldview, this cannot be but the deepest condemnation.  But it cannot be offensive or confrontational to those who don't believe in that particular god.  So it's a useless claim to make to atheists and non-Christians.  If so, then it must serve some purpose to the claimant/fundiot.  So the question becomes: what purpose do such claims serve to the claimants?

I think the most basic answer to this question is that it eases their fears of their own mortality and insecurity of their place in the universe, and it manifests through a deep and irrational misanthropy.

I believe that the fundiots feel morally superior, a feeling that they assert by making such claims as the one Coyne received.  Motivated by a need to try to make the world as "good" as possible (by their own twisted definition of "good"), they are compelled to express these thoughts.  But as the claim is vacuous to everyone but other Christian fundiots, the good it must do applies only to the fundiots. That is, they feel it's right to (try to) offend those not in their ingroup because they are compelled to constantly reassure themselves that they are members in good standing of their ingroup.

Furthermore, I believe that they are driven to feel morally superior because they are fundamentally insecure of their own place in the world, and they use these irrational tactics because there are no rational arguments available to them to satiate their insecurity.

Whatever their underlying motivations, though, claims such as this speak to their misanthropy.  In their own minds, they genuinely have no difficulty wishing the worst possible outcome that they can imagine upon everyone who doesn't accept their delusions.

What sad, hateful little pricks they are.

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