Those Debates Aren’t for Everyone

I’ve watched many a debate between staunch atheists and rabid godfuckers of various flavours over the years. The debates are in and of themselves pointless in that there is no common starting point. When the two parties don’t exist on the same planes of reality – atheists base arguments (mostly) on facts and evidence, while godfuckers rely upon nonsense and use an incorrect definition of ‘evidence’ as argument support – you can’t proceed in a productive way. To even consider the positions equal is crazy because of this.

But I suppose the debates serve a few purposes. Myself? I wouldn’t bother. I don’t enjoy public speaking. But for those skilled in oratory, with hidden depths of patience, and who enjoy the process of debate as an intellectual exercise, a few things can be achieved. First, those on the fence about their religious stance may be convinced by the logic, goals, sanity, and evidence supporting the atheist position. Second, neophyte-atheists can become familiar with the sad, tired non-arguments of the religious and learn how to defend themselves properly when under (sometimes literal) attack. Third, we can publicly remind the world of the evils that have been perpetuated and defended by the religious. And finally, the debates can be pure entertainment of the dark sort. There is amusement to be found (usually coupled with sadness, pity, and/or anger) in watching the religious defend bullshit. So while, for many, it is mostly a waste of time to bother arguing with idiots, the ignorant, bullies, and the fear- and hate-filled, there can be benefits in the exercise to the public.

The very same can be said for debates between radical feminists and dangerous misogynists (e.g., MRA’s, NiceGuys, Right Wing Religious Nutjobs, Porn Sick Left Wing Men, and Fun/Choice/Third Wave Feminists). The former argue from a position of human rights, freedom, and benefit to ALL women and men. The latter argue irrationally from a position of domination/submission, human rights abuse, privilege, individualism, and selective censorship. Like with the atheist/godfucker debates, there is no real common ground from which to begin the debate. It is a logic vs nonsense war. But I applaud those feminists with the bottomless patience an oratory skills to take on what are truly dangerous opponents. The debates are ultimately pointless and unwinnable, but they can indeed a) convince those on the fence about women’s status as human beings to join the side of logic and empathy and human rights for ALL, b) arm neophyte-feminists with the tools to defend themselves against dangerous and aggressive anti-woman, rape-supporting proponents, c) give misogynists a platform upon which to display the full extent of their ill intentions and past crimes, and d) give us something to laugh at cynically.

Those courageous, rational people (especially women) who stand up to and openly debate proponents of cultures of hate and oppression, whether they be Religion or Misogyny/Patriarchy, and who have won freedoms for us all, are brave souls who put themselves in danger for the benefit of the world. They (especially women) are on the receiving end of death threats, rape threats, censorship, and hate speech accusations, simply for speaking truth and calling upon criminals to defend themselves in public. The saddest realization for me is that so many people currently benefiting from the bravery of those who have stood up to religion and misogyny, have turned around to castigate these same crusaders.

Is it human nature to kill the person who unlocks the cage and extends a hand in friendship and compassion?

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Feminism, atheism and other stuff

Posted on September 4, 2015, in Education, Feminism, Misogyny, Religion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Those Debates Aren’t for Everyone.

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