How dare you suffer!

PZ has a few words on the Amazing Atheist and his reaction to the suicide of Amanda Todd.

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!

Yes there are. So the next time a friend of yours is upset about something, instead of sympathizing, you’ll shout: “Other people are much worse off than you are!!” Right? No. So what is Mr Amazing’s point? Apparently to degrade Amanda Todd even after she was dead. Never give up, eh?

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.


  1. Rodney Nelson says

    People wonder why Atheism+ is needed in the skeptical/atheist community. The Amazing Atheist: Exhibit A.

  2. says

    I think his point is that not enough people felt sorry for him when something similar happened to him a couple of years ago, so how dare they feel sorry for someone else.

    BTW, you linked to manboobz twice and to PZ not at all.

  3. anthrosciguy says

    If something similar happened to him (really? similar? really? to a teenager in the situation Amanda Todd was in?) than even more reason for him to be empathetic. That’s the normal human response.

  4. says

    He was a grown man at the time, but was having a private webchat with a woman,, who talked him into stripping naked and inserting a banana into his anus. She captured video and spread it around the Internet. For a normal person, this would induce empathy. For TJ, it’s more jealousy that he didn’t get as many people feeling sorry for him.

  5. dgrasett says

    I am beginning to think that the perpetrators of internet bullying need to be outed. It’s Facebook, right? People on facebook have to have real names, right? Isn’t cybernet bullying the kind of activity that is (should be) reported.

  6. Bjarte Foshaug says

    “Dear Muslima” strikes again…
    As stated earlier, there’s a gigagton of difference between sincerely wanting to raise sympathy for those who are “worse off” [1] on the one hand [2] and, on the other hand, using the “fact” that others are doing worse as an excuse to call for less sympathy, in this case for a fifteen year old girl who was bullied to death for the “crime” of being born. And how clever to turn that final kick at the corpse into a parody of the unhappy girls last desperate plea for help, just to make sure no possible insult has been spared. The creativity of evil knows no bounds. It’s times like this that it actually starts to feel strangely comforting to contemplate the eventual heat death of the universe…
    1. How do we quantify “being well off” anyway? Does the question even make sense?
    2. which – let’s be clear – is not what this walking sewage-fountain was doing

  7. Acolyte of Sagan says

    It sounds to me that the ‘Amazing Atheist’ simply replaced the banana with his head

  8. Kate says

    I have been seeing a few memes going around Tumblr that basically add up to “Unattractive, more marginalized people are committing suicide and people only give a shit about pretty white girls like Amanda Todd!”.

    There is a lot to be said about society’s focus on attractive, white, cis, etc. people, but this crap is disgusting and very anger-inducing for me.

  9. Bjarte Foshaug says

    @Kate. It could even be argued that when dealing with sexual predators and stalkers, being attractive isn’t necessarily a privilege at all, quite the contrary. If she wasn’t pretty, these vultures might not be quite as willing to get their hands bloody for a chance to see some more of her…

    And as I said above there’s a difference between calling attention to the injustice that causes the suffering of less privileged people to be ignored in order to fix said injustice, and calling attention to it for the sole purpose of trivializing the pain of a girl who was bullied to death.

  10. Amy Clare says

    It’s just horrible the whole thing. There are lots of disgusting comments on Jezebel about the poor girl too, so Mr Amazing is not alone.

    How is a young woman’s death not a tragedy? How can people react in this way? If I hear the words ‘first world problems’ one more time in respect to this story I am going to start punching walls.

  11. sawells says

    Anybody applying “first world problems” to something that actually kills people has not understood the term. Or they’re just a terrible, terrible person. Or both.

  12. johnthedrunkard says

    This is what’s wrong with babble about ‘privilege.’ Relativising away real outrages because the victims are missing some particular qualification for ‘victim’ status.

    Think of this next time you reach for the word.

  13. Nepenthe says


    This is assuming that there is a “real outrage” to begin with.

    Plus, it’s perfectly reasonable to discuss privilege, even when there is real outrage. Privilege is why Todd’s story has traction; it does not mitigate the suffering she experienced. Not that this is news. You could have tried reading the thread before posting silly brain-droppings.

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