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The Bad Boys Logicbrain Club

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As a longtime atheist I have often wondered why so many of Atheism’s most prominent faces were so terrible– inexplicably arrogant and bigoted. For people who to profess to want more atheism in the world, it seems as though they do everything in their power to drive people away a deity-free life. It’s baffling.

But after a recent conversation with an Online Atheist, I think I have more insight into what drives the worst, most vocal atheists.

First of all, I had to re-examine the idea that if one were atheist, one would naturally want as many people as possible to share in your lack of belief. More and more I’ve come to believe that atheism’s appeal is precisely its small membership. I think that a lot of atheist men put a lot of stock in being a member of a club they believe to be exclusive…and exceedingly cool.

Atheists are edgy. They care about facts and fuck your feelings if you don’t like that. They’re BAD. BOYS.

My son has a app he uses at school called “Seesaw,” where he can create school-related content for parents and grandparents to see. Bafflingly, one of his outputs was an instruction manual on “How to Be Cool.” Apparently, wearing sunglasses is a crucial part of this equation. And basically what we have with Bad Atheism is a bunch of grown men wearing atheism like a first grader wears sunglasses. It’s a signifier of cool. And it’s asinine.

And if you think about atheism in those terms, you could absolutely see why growing membership would not just be an afterthought but indeed something to actively discourage. We’ve seen men flip out when they discover that comic fans and video game fans come in all colors and genders, so it stands to reason that atheism would suffer from the same flip out.

Atheism makes me happy because it gives me permission not to believe in something I just fundamentally don’t believe and haven’t since I was really really young. It is peace. But I think for some of atheism’s most shit-for-brains members, it’s a belief system that’s really bound up in ego and having something to lord over other people. Ultimately I think that’s its appeal for a loud minority, which is extraordinarily unfortunate.

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