Plenty of people have outlined what’s fucked up about that “white male atheism is fundamentally different from Marginalized Atheism” post, but I just hit on the main reason it bothers me:
It positions religion as the human default, from which you are excused only if you’re sufficiently damaged. Like “I guess it’s okay if you’re shipping to cope” – if it’s just a consolation prize for being broken and pitiable, it’s not really okay at all. It’s okay if you can’t be religious because of trauma, but always remember that this is a personal flaw, a result of your damage, and that *healthy people* are religious.
Under this schematic, atheism isn’t simply another way to be human and think human thoughts. It’s a deviation from the “natural”, i.e. religious, state, and you’d better have a damn good reason for going against the grain. You think you can defect from normal society just because you *want* to? That’s just your white male privilege talking. Marginalized people have suffered enough to earn the right to defect, but you’re gonna shut up and praise God like a normal person.
This is exactly it! I’m not an atheist because I’m damaged, or because I don’t have numinous experiences, or because I haven’t enjoyed them.
I’m an atheist because when I think about the question of whether gods are beings or stories, my answer is consistently that I think they’re most likely cool stories.
Like, I try to tell myself “think they’re not stories for an hour or two, just to understand people better!” And my brain goes “but I’m pretty sure they’re stories…?”
I know people find this insulting, and I think I get why, but honestly… I’m in fandoms, and those fandoms have literally saved my life. “Megatron is fictional” and “Megatron is unimportant” have different truth values to me. So me thinking your god is probably a story too actually isn’t me thinking “your god shouldn’t matter to you.”
I get that it’s something you still might not like! And that’s okay!
But calling religion made up and calling religion stupid are actually different things.
This. This, this this, good fucking lord this.
Scepticism is healthy. Atheism is often a natural result of scepticism. It doesn’t matter what your skin colour is or whether or not you’re angry about having been lied to or whether or not you have a fucking penis.
A lot of these anti-white-male-atheist screeds are anti-scepticism and anti-rational-thinking, and it makes my fucking brain hurt.
Calling religion made up and calling religion stupid are actually different things.
Yep yep that thing right there is why I have complaints about that whole discourse, too.
I don’t really self-identify as atheist, but my view leans towards “I believe gods exist in some kind of meaningful way, but I also believe Luke Skywalker exists in a meaningful way in that stories are things that demonstrably exist and the characters in them can be meaningful and have a great deal of cultural significance and/or importance to individuals who exist in the flesh-and-blood sense, and maybe that’s what gods are too”. I’m flexible about entity-vs.-construct (both at once? something else?) views of deities, and think that many people who believe one way or another have some good arguments for their viewpoint but there’s no proof either way so it’s really just a matter of what you decide to believe. And what you decide to believe on subjective-opinion matters like “do gods exist and if so what are they exactly” is far less important than how you treat people who disagree with you about them.
Yeah, I’m not *terribly* far off from this.
Hell, I tried to do the whole “I’m religious but I also think gods are stuff humans made up” thing.
I just personally ended up eventually going “but wait… then I’m technically still an atheist?”