The Toxic Side of Online Atheism

Photo by Tim Samuel

We exist in a world where we live according to what we believe in. And over time, the non-belief in higher beings was the way of life for those who refused to subscribe to the bounds of religion. However, it was weaponized to show disdain for no reason.

There’s nothing wrong with being an atheist. The typical belief that religion and morality are mutually exclusive is not always the case. There have been instances where religion has been the root cause of violence and warfare, even colonization of countries. Religion was the reason for cultural erasure in many nations, and people are struggling to keep it alive.

Personal experiences factor into why non-theism persists in society. At some point, these individuals placed their belief in a god and failed terribly. It brewed resentment towards that God, actively denouncing them and never looking back. However, atheism has been treated as a norm online in the digital age. And due to that, Lindberg’s book about God’s existence titled “God’s Existence: Truth or Fiction” was written to intentionally answer cynics of God and rectify particular notions about faith that can easily be dismissed.

Because the internet can make things seem more unlikely than they indeed are, things can get lost in translation. The existence of social justice warriors (SJW) doesn’t just flex their fingers to wage a keyboard war against socio-political matters. Toxic atheists are also part of the population, making online atheism unsafe for genuinely curious people and those who only want to make a rational conversation.

Polarizing online atheism

Atheists are known to be rational compared to zealous people under different religions. Refusing to be part of a theistic system allows them to think that their non-belief stems from being able to see things objectively. You might have heard them say they “don’t believe in God, and I prefer science.” Because of that, science and atheism have been linked together, often associating one with the other.

Evidence and logic are the core of an atheist dogma since they can easily disprove any unseen vague principle that doesn’t have proof backing them up. However, believing in empirical data, scientific research, and irrefutable conclusions doesn’t make anyone better than the other. If you were to ask any atheist how they turned out the way they are, they typically say how one random moment opened their eyes that religion didn’t make sense.

The Internet’s Role in atheism

Rational thinkers must understand that they are not automatically superior for using their brains more than their hearts. Atheists are still susceptible to the “hive-mind” setting, where they unconsciously follow the collective dogma set by other strangers. This notorious behavior pattern is rampant online, mainly on social media apps.

That kind of online community bond is inherently similar to the way religious people become captivated by charismatic figures without question. Atheists who are constantly online and vilifying the rest of the religious population are no better. Even with the non-belief atheists claim to have, they still base their principles on their level of morality. They still stand by certain truths, and what they believe in their heart is right.

The internet plays a significant role in blowing things out of proportion. Whatever people see can influence their minds more than they think. Even the non-theistic beliefs don’t always involve rational thinking, opposite to what’s expected of atheists. Their nonreligious lifestyle is rooted in an upbringing that made them cast off their beliefs. It all leads back to what they see their parents do more than what the grownups say.

A more intimate look at atheism

Humanity’s attention span and capacity to process information have varied over time. Religion won’t necessarily matter in an atheist’s core belief system because the external and direct parental influence on them is what truly shaped their non-theistic principles. Regardless if they stumbled across claims of God’s nonexistence online, atheists have closer sources of disbelief than one typically thinks.

Humans are wired to find the cause of every existing concept. Whether it’s visible or not, we want our questions to be answered. That might be the underlying intention of atheism. It’s unfortunate that with the slew of division, even in religious beliefs and online atheism, there are mountains of challenges which is a playing field for both sides, which shouldn’t be the ideal scenario either.

With atheism getting behind science and logic, religion is left to be perceived as mere fantasy. We must remember that religion is not the enemy of science and vice versa. Science can even be the key to unlocking the mysteries of the universe, which religion makes up for.