Enabling them

Aron Ra said his piece in Amy’s series.

Remember that we’re not talking about religizombies either; we’re talking about plainly prejudiced people who consistently identify as, associate with, and participate in the freethinking community –both virtually and personally. Yes or no, are these the sort of people you want to have seen as representative of your position? Or typical of it? Or welcome in it? Because when you minimize the threat they impose, you are enabling them.

If you’re tired of hearing what’s-her-name complain about this all the time, why not solve the problem? Could it help to pretend that isn’t a problem? Or not enough of one to warrant your attention? Should you become part of the problem yourself? Do you think a bit of name-calling would be an appropriate response? If you not only permit it –by ignoring it- but actually contribute to it at all, then you’re aiding and defending those trolls –which is much worse than feeding them. If you’re well-known in this movement, you’ll be seen as a spokesman for despicable behavior. I have seen it happen.

Because when you minimize the threat they impose, you are enabling them. Yes you are.

There was a time when one could get away with telling really offensive jokes, or expressing deep-seated hatred against any other demographic, and it would be nervously tolerated. Why is it not that way anymore? Because the pockets of humanity who permit that are dwindling. That means progressive people are having a positive impact, and there is just no defensible alternate position on this matter.

So be a progressive people and have a positive impact. Dwindle the pockets of humanity who permit the expression of deep-seated hatred against women. Because why not?


  1. Rrr says

    Yay, Aron Ra is a progressive people, eh doesn’t afraid of anything! Pretty cool guy be he.

    On a more serious note, I do salute him. He’s absolutely right, and so is Ophelia. As well as the rest of the positive peeps. Onward!

  2. smhll says

    I thought he made some good points very clearly. I have basically enjoyed the whole series of posts that Amy got started over at Skepchick. Prior to the series, I didn’t really like the lack of comment on this topic from male atheists (with several exceptions here at FtB and elsewhere).

  3. says

    This is really bad. I honestly did not expect one of these from Aron Ra. I actually expected him to fall more along the lines of Thunderf00t and such.

    I’m really mad at myself right now, because after reading his write-up on the subject, I realized… I’m stereotyping certain men based upon what they do (in this case, science and Creationism-debunking). Back when I was a cynic and Nice Guy(TM), I did this a lot. And now, thinking I’ve progressed, I find I’m still doing it, just in the other direction.


    Thank you Aron Ra, and… if it means anything… I’m sorry.

  4. One Way Monkey (formerly 'Nym Too) says

    Great piece.

    I don’t understand the sheer cognitive dissonance of the ~pure~ atheists who define their position as “LOL, religion!”, yet apparently subscribe to societal codes created by religion.

    Surely atheism is about rejecting. religion totally, as a framework for life? So the homophobia, transphobia, anti-choice sentiments and misogyny imposed on society by religion should be skeptically analysed. Instead, these systems are being propped up and perpetuated by people who can’t be bothered to unpack them.

    Saying “I’m good without God”, ditching the baby and swimming in his bath water, is just lazy. Why not expand “Good” to being against oppression, formemting positive change, and hastening the death of religiously inspired codes like patriarchy?

    To me, that’s why A+ is important, it turns a negative “I don’t believe in God, but that’s it. I don’t really care about challenging religiously-based mores, especially the ones that benefit me” into “Religion is bunk. It’s harmed societies, it hinders progress, it’s time to not only chalkmmgd the system, but to dismantle and replace it”.

  5. says

    Lillie, I had the same opinion about dogs, but lately have been hearing that there’s truth to inherent aggression in certain breeds, and if you think about it, there’s no reaosn to reject the idea out of hand.

    Dogs have been bred for looks, ability, talents and behavior to an extreme degree, so many breeds, so different. It certainly IS possible for a breed to be considerably more aggressive than others.

    As far as if any actually ARE, I need to read a lot more before I form an opinion. But I no longer reject the idea out of hand.

  6. Aratina Cage says

    Should you become part of the problem yourself? Do you think a bit of name-calling would be an appropriate response?

    “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, right?

    And sadly, some atheists have answered Aron Ra’s questions with a “yes”. I suppose that ultimately it is for their own protection as it helps keep the hateful slurs and threats of violence from being directed at them. Quite a price to pay, though, in terms of morals.

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