I’ve been here before,I do not like it…

So once again I find myself in the one scenario that I’ve experienced before which I truly dread. I find my mind has once more betrayed me. It has decided that I was too “happy”, too content in my life.

Suddenly and for no discernable reason my thoughts are consumed by darkness, my outlook blurred by shadows. I’ve been here before, all too often, and it is a place I struggle greatly to escape from. With every visit to this wretched place it seems the shackles that bind me here close tighter, they grow in number making it feel as if it’s impossible to escape and sometimes I fear this may be true. The longer I remain here, the harder it is to maintain hope. Regularly my mind presents me with only one option, only one escape and far too often I find myself considering it.

I am not one to lose myself in fear but currently I am consumed by it. I fear what is to come in the near future, I fear what twisted form of “reality” my mind will concoct for me next, but most of all I fear how I will react. I am terrified to consider what I may be capable of doing.

For the first time in a long time, I am scared.

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The almighty block bot!

Before I get into it, for anyone who is unaware of what the block bot is, it’s a twitter application that compiles and implements a shared block list for anyone who wishes to use it. The block bot’s F.A.Q. explains its function and use reasonably well.

 

Anyone who has followed me on twitter for more than a few days is going to be relatively familiar with my opinion on the subject of the block bot but for those who aren’t, here it is; In my opinion the block bot, as it is currently, is an utterly ridiculous program run by people who are far to sensitive for their own good. And while yes I understand the reason behind the original concept for it, I think the block bot as it currently stands is so flawed that the term “even a broken clock is right twice a day” is being generous.

 

As it stands more than 1300 people are on the list for the block bot and whilst some of them may indeed deserve to be blocked, a large portion of those I have seen added to the list have been added for trivial reasons. An excellent example being @jen_august, someone I consider to be one of the most reasonable and rational people I have met. She found herself on the list of those to be blocked and the only reason I have ever seen provided is this tweet.

I myself am on the list for tweeting this. That tweet was in relation to a comment made by an admin of the block bot concerning rape. Instead of anyone giving an answer, one of the admins used the tweet as an example of harassment(the person it concerns is not even tagged in the tweet as I did not want them feeling harassed) and I was added.

 

Other examples of trivial addition to the list could be provided but they are generally the same thing over and over again,usually following the pattern of; someone connected with the block bot, someone disagrees with them, they are accused of some form of -ism/-phobia and reported to the bot.

 

The block bots current incarnation is little more than a blacklist. I would take no issue whatsoever with the bot if it were run in a way that seemed even remotely fair but as it is currently it appears to be nothing more than a system for ignoring anyone who might have a different opinion than their own. If twitter were a playground,the block bot would be the equivalent of “we don’t like you, you can’t play anymore”.

“You’re only an atheist because…”

Ah the age old theist argument,”You’re only an atheist because *insert ridiculous claim here*”. This is a argument type that I’m sure almost every atheist who is verbal about atheism has had thrown at them. I know I have had to deal with multiple incarnations of this absurd argument, some even coming from religious people who I would have classed as quite intelligent. The sheer level of foolishness required to actually make and actually believe this argument is baffling but I shall address a few of the version that I have personally had to deal with since becoming much more vocal about my atheism.

 

 

“You’re only an atheist because you hate god!”

This is one of the more common versions I have had tossed my way, especially considering my tendency to describe the character of god (that being that he is an evil, homophobic, misogynistic, genocidal, insecure and jealous psychopath) based on what is stated in the bible.

Now despite my opinions about the character of god this does not mean I hate him, no more than I “hate” characters like Voldemort or Joffrey Baratheon. As far as I’m concerned god is most likely fictional and as such I can not “hate” him, at least not in the same way I hate people like Hitler or Stalin.

 

 

“You’re only an atheist because you love to sin!”

This is one of those asinine claims made by some theists, on par with unfair and insulting claims like “all atheists are evil”. Being an atheist does not all of a sudden mean that I want to “sin”. Firstly sin is not a real thing, it’s simply part of an immoral, supernatural “justice system” designed to help control the deluded masses.

Even if we were to conclude that sin is an actual thing, this claim still does not hold much weight. Most atheist are very good people. In fact in my experience, especially in the past few weeks, many atheists are nicer and more accepting people than most fundamentalist christians. And whilst you may believe all atheists want to do is to disobey your god and sin, believing something doesn’t make it true.

 

 

“You’re only an atheist because you blame god for your problems!”

This is just blatantly false. I don’t blame god for anything, it would be pointless to blame a being I don’t believe in for any kind of problems I may or may not have. I face, head on, any problems I have and I deal with any mistakes I make. There is very little else to say on the topic. I blame god for my problems as much as you blame a leprechaun.

 

 

I have never been presented with a compelling “You’re only an atheist because…” statement, so I’d like to provide one to anyone who feels compelled to use this argument; “I’m only an atheist because I don’t believe in a god.” That’s it. There is no hidden desire to kill or harm people, no carefully shielded hatred and in no way do I blame any god for my problems or the problems of the world.

 

-Alan