I’m sure you’ve all heard the tragic story of Amanda Todd, the teenage girl who killed herself after prolonged bullying. Normal human beings will read about her and be near tears; she was broken by callous sexual predators, her life made miserable, and she finally gave up on it.
The Amazing Atheist is not a normal human being.
Instead, The Amazing Atheist raged at the fact that this young woman was getting attention when other people have died, too. She was a well-off Western girl with plenty of privileges, so how dare we consider her story particularly tragic? There are so many other people who are worse off than she was!
Well, you know, we have a couple of choices in our lives.
We could, for instance, search the world for that one person who is in the worst circumstances of anyone; the person who is suffering the very most right now. We can do this while turning up our nose at each other afflicted individual who isn’t hurting enough for our standards; why, you’re a quadriplegic dying in a ditch? But you don’t have shingles! And both your eyes are intact! I’m sure we can find someone worse off than you. And then when we find that ultimate person in pain, we can promise to do everything we can to help them.
But I’ve noticed that people who make that kind of argument aren’t actually offering to help anyone. Their perversely inverted, demanding standards are really an excuse to turn away from the miserable they consider undeserving, to justify refusing to help…because that ultimate sufferer will never be found.
But you do have a choice. The other thing you could do is recognize deep pain in others and do what you can to help them. If one person had sincerely and honestly turned to Todd when she was being abused, and offered to help, maybe she’d still be here, and the world would be a slightly better place.
She wasn’t asking for much.
The Amazing Atheist begrudges her that much.
I don’t see any difference between him and the bullies who beat her up and mocked her on facebook and poured scorn on her in school.
And some people wonder why there is a growing rift in the atheist movement. All you have to do is look at people like the Amazing Atheist to see that some atheists, people who are convinced that there is nothing beyond ourselves, that we are dependent entirely on our fellow human beings and nothing more, lack that humanity that is our only source of unity and our only true reason for living.
Don’t be surprised that some of us want nothing to do with such sociopaths.