Tuesday, October 22, 2013

30 things you shouldn't say to an atheist

This is Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist. Sure, he's no Jaclyn, but he's pretty good, don't you think? I suppose some people might even prefer him. (No, I can't understand that, either.)

Anyway, he started with that "15 things to NEVER say to an atheist," but then followed it up with another 15:

If you've been an atheist for very long, you'll have heard most of these. For the most part, they're incredibly dumb, and I like his reactions here. You can tell that he has a lot of patience - well, apparently he's a teacher - but even that gets strained, sometimes.

The only thing I don't like about these two videos is the porn music in the background. :)

PS. There are other dumb things people say to atheists which aren't specifically about atheism, though these Christians think they are. For example, just recently, I actually had a Christian ask me, "If human beings came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?"

OK, they say there are no dumb questions, but it's hard to do anything but laugh at that, isn't it? If you had even a grade-school level understanding of evolution, you wouldn't say something so ridiculous. That question shows such an astounding level of ignorance that it's actually funny.

But what's also funny is that it has nothing to do with atheism. Even if you could disprove the theory of evolution, it wouldn't get you even one step closer to demonstrating that a god did it, let alone your particular 'God.' To do that, you'd have to show evidence which actually backs up that idea, not just disprove other ideas.

Many Christians think that disproving science would automatically make religion - and their own particular religion, at that - the winner by default. But that's not how it works. And given their abysmal knowledge of science  - at least, the Christians who make these kinds of arguments - their ideas of what disproves mainstream modern science tends to be completely laughable, anyway.

Hemant Mehta could easily do another video about these kinds of questions. Maybe I'll suggest it.


Anonymous said...

I like Hemant Mehta, he (like many atheists on YouTube) is both intelligent and interesting.

I do have issue though with the video posted by Jaclyn and her 'hot friend'. I haven't seen much of what she's posted before so I don't have much to compare it with but I watched the video and found it mildly enjoyable although I was a little put off by the format. I felt uneasy watching the two of them. And then it got to the end and I realised why. I don't want to specifically state what I really thought of that little performance because I don't want to be crude, suffice it to say that I couldn't watch I was too disgusted and my opinion of Jaclyn and her 'hot friend' has decreased. In fact I was so angry I didn't want to post my thoughts, and it's only now in seeing this video that shows up the 'compare and contrast' so strongly that I'm able to bring myself to comment. How calmly I'll let you judge...

I believe you are right when you stated they they know what works to get hits on YouTube but perhaps they should expand it further. Some full on lesbian action would no doubt pull in the punters even more than just the teasing show they put on. I would also recommend they wear less clothes as I'm sure that would help to get their point of view across even more effectively and would really help to build their reputations as serious young women talking about an issue that means a lot to many people. It's especially helpful to see these sorts of videos while a lot of other women are struggling to get their points across while avoiding being objectified based purely on their looks rather than the content of their message.

They should emulate all those other male atheists that I respect and admire in getting the 'sex sells' message out to gain just that few more hits on their YouTube video. I can't think of any off the top of my head but, hey, if it works then it's worth it right? I'm sure people would have nothing but the highest admiration for any man who made themselves look cheap in the name of atheism. And personally, I am always up for a little hot man on man action. Possibly not Amon Ra though as that might be a little too much for my tastes. But if Hemant wants to doll himself up, wear some nice formfitting clothes if he has the body for it (oddly enough he never seems to be showing off his body in his video's, so I can't tell) and get into a suggestive candy shower with a really hot piece of ass, I'm all for it.

(I'm not really)


WCG said...

I understand, M1nks, and I sympathize, but I'm not sure I agree. I'm more tolerant about such things, probably because I'm a man (not to say that all men would agree with me, but just that men don't experience what women do).

Sex sells. Look at singers. Why should a vocalist necessarily be attractive? But among women, at least, it's almost inevitable. (It's hard for me to judge the sex appeal of men.)

That doesn't mean that every singer must go as far as Madonna or Lady Gaga. (Those examples probably date me, huh?) But do you really think that Dolly Parton didn't use sex? Or pretty much every entertainer ever, including most of the men?

Sex appeal doesn't necessarily mean pornography. Even mild flirting works just great. In fact, mild flirting probably works better, in most cases. But it depends on your audience.

In this case, yes, Jaclyn Glenn uses her looks - like almost every other woman on YouTube. Well, it's a visual medium. I'm sure that's partly why I like her videos. but it's certainly not the main reason.

I first discovered her 'coming out as a liberal' video. Well, I think I'd seen some other video first, but that's the one that really struck me. Her looks didn't hurt, but that's not why I posted it.

Then I discovered that she'd been a Christian when she started posting videos, and I was struck by how rapidly her opinions had changed (and how aggressive she got). I thought it was funny, but - as an atheist - also encouraging.

She's definitely pushing the sex angle in 'Christian logic.' In other videos, too. That's undeniable. She's obviously working on capturing a young male audience - successfully, I suspect.

Too much of that would probably lose me. Of course, I'm not a young man, not anymore, and my standards are no doubt old-fashioned. I still want to respect myself, and I don't like objectifying women. On the other hand, I have nothing against biology, and I wouldn't want to be a prude, anyway.

There's nothing wrong with sex. It's not the most important thing in the world, let alone the only thing in the world, but there's nothing wrong with sex appeal. (Even Hemant Mehta probably attracts some viewers that way.)

Jaclyn has been pushing her sex appeal very hard - and her friend, SassiBob, even more so (from the little I've seen of her videos). Whether it's too much depends on the viewer, no doubt. I think she should tone it down a little from 'Christian Logic,' but who am I to say? (Others might say she should tone down her criticism of religion.)

As I said, I can understand your point of view. I even agree with it, to some extent. But not entirely. I have no problem with entertainers using their sex appeal. And if you've got something to say, sex appeal can definitely help in getting people to pay attention.

It can also be counterproductive, if people stop taking you seriously. But where to draw the line isn't something I can say - or that anyone can say. That's probably going to vary for each person.

PS. Frankly, I think Jaclyn Glenn is more concerned about making money by building a following on YouTube than about acting as a spokesperson for atheism. Or for women. And if that's the case, I can't criticize her priorities. Money is vital in this world.

If people would flock to watch sexy videos of me on YouTube, I'd probably do it, too. :) Really, I don't know why I'd have the right to be critical, even if this were a heck of a lot more blatant than it is. But reasonable people can certainly disagree.

Anonymous said...

It’s not so much entertainers, although I stopped watching music videos years ago because I was repulsed by the way graphic way sexual imagery was used in nearly every single one, I don’t know if it’s changed. Entertainment is entertainment and meant to be such. But when someone purports to discuss a very important matter and then blatantly flaunts their bodily assets rather than their mental ones and recommends another channel because the presenter is ‘really hot’ then in my eyes they are not only letting themselves and their argument down but, far more upsettingly, they are undermining the progress of other women and men who have been fighting to stop the prevalent attitude that a woman (especially) must first be judged on how she looks and then on what she says. If you can manage to get past that. If a woman is attractive then too many comments relate to ‘oh you are so hot/pretty/sexy. I would like to date/kiss/f**k you’, rather than ‘you make an interesting point, I would like to take issue with x, y and possibly z though, let’s have a discussion about that’.

It drives me crazy.

I have no issue with someone presenting themselves well. I personally find intelligence very sexy so a guy who is attractive and smart is definitely a win. However it in no way distracts me from what they are saying. And, if they are people who I respect, they are not trying to use their looks/body to sell an idea to me.

Your point that the two view this as a business venture however is something I hadn’t considered. I don’t really view the internet as a possible revenue stream although of course it is. Would that make a difference in my opinion if it was true? Yes, I think so. A small one. In the end though I think this issue is of too much importance to allow it to be cheapened too far – TFSM knows the flipping creationists with their stupid ass comments lower the bar far enough. And, as a woman who has a lot of respect for herself, I don’t like to see other women stoop (as far as I’m concerned) to selling their physical assets in an effort to get noticed in such a medium (entertainment is different although I’m always delighted when I see talent win out over conventional looks – I love Adele for instance, but again when viewing the tube comments so, so many of them talk about either how fat she is, or how that it doesn’t matter that she is a bit overweight, her voice is amazing and she’s also really, really pretty). Anyway, my basic point is that when it is a young woman supposedly talking about something which relies on intelligent rational discussion and logic and she herself ‘sexifies’ the message delivery up, it makes the fight for freedom from that sort of stereotypical categorisation just that little bit harder.

WCG said...

Yes. As I said, I understand and I sympathize. I don't disagree with anything you say, M1nks. However, I see the other side of it, too - and I don't really disagree with that, either. :)

This is going to come down to personal preference, I think. Standards change over time and vary depending on the circumstances. Sex is a fact of life - and a very good fact of life - but using sex to market yourself or anything else is always going to be a tricky business, with benefits and drawbacks alike.

You're not wrong. I don't think you can be wrong, because I don't think we can draw a line between right and wrong here. I can't do it for myself, and I certainly can't do it for anyone else.