Naturalistic Neurodiversity

Exploring our differences through science.

Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality

An Example of Ableism in Atheism

leave a comment »

Cartoon of poorly-dressed man vs well-dressed man, described below.

Image: comparing a “crazy person” talking about alien mind control with a “moral pillar of society” talking about Christianity, both validating their beliefs with faith over evidence.
Text: This isn’t the truth. You wish it were, but it’s not. Stop deluding yourself. You know the “crazy person” [as depicted] lives in poverty to the point he can’t afford a sandwich, let alone proper healthcare. “The crazy person” lives in fear of the police and faces brutal treatment from most because they think he’s “lazy” and just doesn’t want to work. He’s treated like scum. “The Moral Pillar of Society” is just some jackass who wants to feel superior, just like the jackass who uses the misunderstood medical conditions of those who can’t defend themselves as an insult against those he doesn’t like and/or agree with.

(via Schizophrenic Queen on Facebook)

Advertisements

Written by The Nerd

July 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #58

leave a comment »

Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

Physical and Mental

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Asthma (to the point wher i cannot run)

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

Blogs/ Websites using small fonts with little contrast between the text and the background. (Stick with black and white it works.)
Walls of text with no structure to break it up for those of us with reading dificulties.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

Pay more attention to the text you use. both it’s structure, the font and the colours used.
Sans Serif font is best for easy reading (Yes even comic sans)
Black text and white bacgrounds are standard for a reason. It works well with the various coloured reading aids.
Sub headings in large amounts of text are your friend.

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

Predjudice of all kinds is stupid. atheism is not immune from stupid bigoted idionts and probably never will be. But some of us can improve things.

Response #58 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

Note: I have done my best to find a clean, simple, readable (and free) WordPress theme. If anyone has any suggestions for improvement, let me know.

Written by The Nerd

June 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #45

leave a comment »

Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

No.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

No.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

Consider the disabled as an asset to input regarding the rejection of religion. Many people tend to gravitate toward religion when they feel inferior to the rest of society in some fashion, and many people born disabled are told that God has some mysterious plan for them. I personally would love to hear what disabled Atheists have to say about how their rejection of religion has been affected by their disability.

Response #45 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

Written by The Nerd

May 31, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #40

leave a comment »

Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

Mental:
Tourettes, Depression, OCD, ADD. We suspect ASD but don’t have a diagnosis.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

I frequently am bothered by the assertion that “religion is crazy” or “religion is a mental illness” As someone who actually has a mental illness

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

Stop the fucking “religion is crazy” rhetoric. Focus on the cruelty, and fundamental incoherence of religion not attacking them by making ableist comments

Any other thoughts about ableism and atheism?

It was literally my first encounter with atheism. I was an officer in the religious studies club giving a talk on Norse Paganism (my belief system before I became atheist) and literally the first comment out of the local Atheist club’s mouth was “How fucking crazy do you have to be to believe that shit.”

Response #40 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #33

leave a comment »

Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

Diagnosed with PTSD and Panic Disorder, both controlled pretty well with medication at this point.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

I know fellow atheists whose interactions with other atheists have been strained, or worse, by the second groups use of terms the first group considered bigoted.  Conflicts arise between those who want to put sensitivity of terminology as a high priority, above freedom to say what they wish, and those who view things in the opposite way.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

The two groups don’t seem quite ready to compromise just yet, and I don’t think this can be forced.  It’s going to take time.  “Comment policies” would turn people off.  Only persuasion will work in the desired manner.

The above has been response #33 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

Ableism in Atheism Anonymous #25

with one comment

Do you consider yourself to be a person with a disability?

No.

Have you (or do you personally know someone who has) felt out-of-place or limited your involvement with an atheist community because of disability-related situations?

Have seen PWDs [people with disabilities] obviously uncomfortable due to ableism

[Warning: slurs] Quotes from atheists denigrating people with autism, stories describing developmentally delayed as “man-child,” description of religion as a mental illness, use of “retarded” and “crazy/insane/lunatic/etc.” as insults, constant references to religious individuals as “lunatic” and “deluded,” etc.

What steps could atheist communities take to become more inclusive?

Definitely look for accessible buildings for any meetups, and make a point of calling out ableist language, both in the rules and just as individuals in general. It would be especially nice if prominent atheists would stop giving this language a pass, and especially stop USING IT THEMSELVES.

The above has been response #25 from the Ableism in Atheism survey.

I know some people don’t get why “crazy” and it’s synonyms are a bad idea to use as slurs against people with dangerous supernatural beliefs. I didn’t get it myself. But then I heard person after person say “you know what? this hurts me”. And after a while, I couldn’t continue telling them that their pain didn’t matter to me, or that my liberal word choice mattered more than refraining from causing harm.

For further reading, I recommend this and this (especially the second).

Written by The Nerd

May 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm

NO NAME-CALLING: WHY WE SHOULDN’T CALL RELIGIOUS PEOPLE “IDIOTS”

leave a comment »

The Humanist Network News recently released an article explaining how “idiot” is name-calling. While it doesn’t actually address the interplay of neurotypical privilege and mental disability, it offers a few good points to humanists:

1.  Despite your frustration, don’t call religious people idiots. Be accurate, specific and polite.  Antagonism might sell airtime, but it doesn’t convince people, especially when it is inaccurate.

Truth. As soon as the I-word is tossed around casually, people’s ability to listen to the message starts shutting down. Maybe you’ve gotten your jab in, but you’ve completely overshadowed your message.

2.  The way we compartmentalize our beliefs and habits implies, to me at least, that changing other people is harder than we imagine, and efforts are likely to be fruitless. If people simply aren’t using the same set of rules to consider one matter versus another, you will never convince them.

It’s the golden rule: how would I feel if Christians called me an “idiot” simply because of the fact that I don’t believe there are any gods? If I claim humanist values are more reality-based than religious values, then I ought to live like it.

3.  The way in which beliefs and habits of mind from one part of our lives seem not to spill over into others has interesting implications for why people do the things they do, or specifically, why religious people make the decisions they make. Simple observation shows that members of the same faith, the same denomination, even of the same congregation, still behave differently from each other. Consider the possibility that religion doesn’t actually cause anyone to do anything—it simply justifies whatever they choose to do post hoc. If that is true, then someone with an irrational hatred of one particular group of people won’t abandon their irrational hatred simply because they abandon their irrational metaphysics; conversely, some life-changing event might erase the hatred without ever disturbing their belief in miracles.

Turn this around and apply it to the justification for calling someone an “idiot” for their beliefs. People will present all sorts of ad hoc moralizations on why it’s totally okay for them to use that word as a slur. But we who don’t use that word never need to make those sorts of justifications, and thus find ourselves in a better position to see just how irrational some of the common self-justifications really are.

So next time you want to call someone an “idiot”, stop for a second and ask yourself “does this really help strengthen my message, or is it merely to satisfy some emotional resentment I hold against this person?”