Martin Robbins, writing for Vice, writes a very colourful version of what is basically a really good and powerful summing-up of the state of modern atheism. It’s short, sharp and readable. The theme of it? Atheists: don’t be dicks. I particularly enjoyed his summing-up of the schisms of modern atheism: 

At the start of 2014 there are four broad – and overlapping – schisms in atheism, which can be summed up as: Dicks vs. Cowards, Islamophobes vs. More Cowards, Misogynists vs. Feminists and Americans vs. Europeans. We could also count Richard Dawkins’ Twitter Account vs. the Collective Sanity of the Internet, but that sort of falls under “all of the above”.

The War on Dicks goes back a few years, but things hardened considerably in the wake of talks byRebecca Watson and Phil Plait in 2010 and 2011, both titled “Don’t be a Dick” and making the controversial point that people generally shouldn’t be dicks. As Plait put it, how many of us changed our beliefs “because somebody screaming in your face called you an idiot, brain-damaged and a retard?”

This caused outrage in the dick community, many of whom identify with scepticism or atheism precisely because it allows them to act like complete pricks to people; based on the popular logic that it’s acceptable to be nasty as long as you’re right. Prominent dicks retaliated by declaring non-dicks to be “pussies” or cowards, who clearly lacked the steel-spined bravery it takes to join a few dozen people leaving angry comments on an obscure Creationist blog post that a famous author just linked everyone to.

Words to live by, dickheads. 

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