From what I got of that conversation it just seemed like everyone dogpiled you without making much sense at all and made a bunch of farfetched claims about what you said that also didn’t make much sense. I wouldn’t take it much to heart at all.
I’ve seen it happen in many polarized arguments.
If you make an argument even remotely similar to a common defensive talking point, people will just round down and assume you’re paraphrasing the talking point:
1. When I say something isn’t scientifically proven, some people assume I mean it isn’t real or isn’t valid, which then gets lumped together into the very real oppression of non-western cultures in the name of science.
2. When I say white New Atheists are exerting white privilege by critiquing religions and cultures they’re not a part of, they assume I mean that some religions are above reproach.
Neither assumption is true. Many things are real and valid that aren’t scientifically proven. (Science isn’t really in the business of “proving” things, if we want to be pedantic about the language, which is a good idea.) It’s not about what’s real, it’s about what science includes in its textbooks.
And while no religion is above reproach, it’s not white people’s duty to go around telling non-white religions why they’re “wrong”. It’s not about religion, it’s about race.
People will often also assume membership to the enemy if you say anything remotely like what the enemy would say:
1. I discuss the known science about iron deficiencies and “removing toxins” (which isn’t a concept used in western medicine, which is fine, but is not scientifically proven, here we go again round and round…) and people assume I’m pro-menstrual cookies.
2. I tell white New Atheists why they are being racist when they attack non-white cultures, they assume I’m pro-religion.
Neither of those assumptions is true, either.
This is what happens in polarized arguments and communities that are defending against attack. There’s no escaping it; people will defend against perceived attack. I don’t know a single person who hasn’t fallen prey to it, myself included.
I should note, as an atheist, I agree with the original definition of sin, which means “to miss the mark”. And when we miss the mark in arguments like this, when we wrap ourselves in these tangled webs of assumption, we dance around the point instead of actually addressing it. Everyone is firing off the mark. Nobody hits the target. Nothing is ever resolved. The result is an endless cycle of suffering, anger, and pain.
So it’s pretty true when people joke that this world is really hell.
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