So there’s a meme of sorts that’s been gaining some momentum lately after everyone (well, I) thought it had died down. In case the title hadn’t given it away, I’m referring to the evil-atheist-professor-versus-saintly-religious-student story that periodically makes its rounds on the internet in an attempt to demonize the atheist community. Here’s an example (don’t worry, not pr0n):
The unfortunate thing about this story, though, is that unlike its distant cousins – the “IF YOU DON’T REPOST YOU’LL DIE IN A PREDETERMINED AMOUNT OF TIME NO SRSLY” tales – it appeals to a very large subset of the population; namely, the religious, vaguely-intolerant-despite-reassurances-to-the-contrary type. You may have encountered them before; they’re the people that claim that they believe in God, and yet are tolerant of any and all opposing viewpoints – typically this implies that they’re okay with other religions, which is cool and all, don’t get me wrong. But that range of tolerance often doesn’t extend to atheists. And I’m frustrated because these stories are so damn effective at persuading people that atheists are bad people in general. And indeed they are: what isn’t more heroic than a student, especially one whose very name is synonymous with “genius”, striking down an obnoxiously atheistic professor with pure, god-fearing logic? In some sense, it almost hints at a real proof of God’s existence, doesn’t it? And most importantly, isn’t it awesome that this actually happened?!
Too bad it didn’t, it never has, and it probably never will, unless some idiotic professor wants to lose their job. The link above claims that Einstein logically outmaneuvered his university professor, which is ridiculous even for student-version Einstein, and that the professor in question actually went out of his way to attack Einstein (seemingly out of nowhere, since the story doesn’t provide any other setting) on his beliefs, which is even more ridiculous. In other words: it never happened. No professor in their right mind would even begin to have such a debate. But the nonsense doesn’t stop there – it actually goes on to imply that the professor actually fell into a simple logical trap and tried to distinguish between cold and hot, dark and light, when scientifically speaking, such distinctions don’t exist except as linguistic representations of extreme ends of a preset scale. And the professor should know this. If he didn’t, I would question his education and intelligence.
And in case you still disagree with me for whatever reason – if you still actually think this story is real, that Einstein (who, by the way, explicitly claimed that he had been an atheist since age 12 in his biography) actually dueled a college professor in the realm of logic and religion and won because his professor made a few easily exploitable circular arguments – here are some links to show you that I’m not alone in my assumption:
Obviously those are all google searches. The thing is, though, that when I typed in “Did Einstein argue religion with his professor”, nearly every single link I got said that it was a hoax. So now you might be thinking, “Why in the fuck did you just waste 15 minutes of your time writing all this?!”
I’m bored as shit. And I’m annoyed out of my mind because, frankly, there are very few things that annoy me more than hypocrisy and intolerance being supported by a tall tale. It’s not real. Not God – he very well could be, that’s out of my realm of knowledge – but Einstein sure as hell didn’t argue with a professor. Or if he did, he did it as a joke – otherwise he wouldn’t be a genius…he’d be a giant hypocrite and poor logician.
I have nothing against religious people. Honestly, I’m glad that people have a decent spiritual outlet for their emotional struggles and triumphs and whatnot. Religion, done correctly, is a good thing. I’m no Richard Dawkins. But I am adamantly opposed to this subtle stereotyping of atheists – there are, as with any group, good ones and bad ones, and unfortunately it’s the bad ones that always get the spotlight. I’m not a bad atheists. Actually, I’m not an atheist – I’m an agnostic leaning heavily towards atheism – but whatever, that’s a different issue. I am just annoyed and bored, so I thought I would make this my first blog article! Yay! Reading about atheistic self-righteousness is fun, isn’t it?
Well, fuck you too.