In the almost two years I’ve been at this, I’ve noticed a couple of very irritating things that go with writing an atheist blog:
- There is an insane amount of different religions. Some estimate that there are as many as 38,000 different sects within Christianity alone! The sheer number of different faiths makes it a necessity to generalize while talking about religions. The problem is that while your depiction and arguments against faith X might be valid, a person from faith A,B, or C will inevitably come along and say you’ve got it all wrong and that’s “not what they’re about.” It’s even worse when faith X and faith A both claim to be the same faith! The whole thing erodes down to “Well, they’re not true Christians, so your generalization is wrong and doesn’t apply to me!” With religion meaning whatever the believer wants, to that particular believer, it’s impossible to avoid this. I cannot and will not avoid generalizations. If I spent the time needed to figure out “Ok, this group of Christians here fit this description, and so does this small group here, and here, but not those Christians there”, I’d never get anything done! (And I’m sure they’red be some that’d love that)
- Drive-by commenters. I hate these people with a passion. You spend all the time writing up a post, forming ideas, putting them to words, only to have some idiot jump all over it, spewing nonsense and platitudes, and then vanish never to be seen again. It’s infuriating. You don’t want to delete their comment because they might actually want to engage in some meaningful exchange of ideas; yet deep down inside you know they just wanted to shit all over everything and leave. So what do you do? In order to not seem like a tyrant you approve the comment, write a lengthy response on the off chance they do wish to have a discussion, only to have your suspicions confirmed when they never bother to return.
- Size hurts. I’ve written hundreds of posts in the past two years. The problem is that people only read the most recent couple of posts. I might have a post a couple pages back that is very relevant to some current event, but nobody is going looking and comment on it. Furthermore, I don’t want to do a repost on something I’ve already covered, so I’m stuck with wanting to discuss something recent but unable to do so because of a related post I wrote a while ago that nobody reads.
- Past posts will haunt you. This is tied into the bullet above. In an attempt to be honest to myself I don’t delete old posts that I no longer agree with. I might have held position X at one point in time and written a post on it. Later that position might have changed to position Y, upon whence I write a new post about it. Nonetheless, people find the post from when I held position X and attack me for it, completely unaware that I’ve changed my views. (Often they’re drive-by commenters and don’t bother to look any farther than that one post)
- Trying not to take things personally: This is a tough one to learn, and I don’t completely have a grasp on it. My blog is the digital embodiment of me and my thoughts. When somebody, especially drive-bys, come and shit all over something I’ve written, it really hurts and puts me in a sour mood for the rest of the day.
That’s pretty much all I can think of for the moment. These thoughts have been stewing for a while (mainly just the first three) and I wanted to get them out there. Does anyone have any similar/different problems they’ve come across?