I’m sick of assholes. I’d be less colorful in my language, but I also don’t think being censored necessarily leads to a better life. Maybe I should add that to my list.
I’ve penned a few quick tips for how to stop being an idiot who makes life unpleasant for yourself and those around you. Most of this is specifically directed at the atheist/theist community. If it applies to you, you probably won’t think it does, but someone out there might be picturing your face or username right about now, so it pays to give a few of these a whirl just to say you tried. Heck, it might just help us become a better society, and wouldn’t that be just peachy?
- Don’t be an asshole. Just in case specifics are too much for you, try this one as a catch-all.
- Want someone to listen to your opinions? Start by listening to theirs.
- Biting one-liners & zingers won’t change anyone’s views on gods or the supernatural. You need to get deeper.
- When you’re being a dick on the net, the only people who are hearing you are those who already agree with you. Do better.
- Don’t ever censor your ‘enemy.’ When we all have equal rights, the best argument should win.
- If you can make arguments about religion without resorting to cliches, quotes, or insults, you’re one step in the right direction.
- Yes, some beliefs are silly, but the people who believe them do so for serious reasons. Find out what those are, and you might discover the keys to reaching that person. You might also gain a friend.
- He/she may be rude, ignorant, or just an enormous bag of dicks, but you don’t need to be one in return no matter how tempting it may be.
- When you make a mistake, are caught in a fallacy, or otherwise fuck up, apologize and start over. It will go a long way to help communication and gain you some respect.
- Assume the persons with whom you debate have something to teach you. Be open to it, and they may become open to learning something from you in return.
- No small group or single person is representative of the whole. Making sweeping statements about others only degrades your position.
- You never know who is watching or listening. A seemingly insignificant point, fact, or insight you offer might help someone else in a great way.
- Stick to the facts. Scientific truths and reason are some of the most convincing tools for planting seeds of doubt in outsiders.
- Be kind and gentle. You won’t regret it, and you’ll gain much.