August 7, 2014

Time For Reeducation Camps?

Hemant Mehta (Friendly Atheist) is working on a new book, and it seems that not everybody is happy about it.

From what I can tell after reading as much of the outrage as I could stand, the primary complaint seems to be that by using an analogy in which he compares some sort of god with a perpetrator of domestic violence, he is being insensitive to the victims of domestic violence. In essence, victims are being exploited to criticize religion. Another line of attack I've seen is simply that the book contains depictions of women in abusive situations and that this is inherently problematic.

As you know, Hemant found himself in hot water recently for posting a video made by The Amazing Atheist. Bad Hemant! Hopefully someone will be able to "talk some sense into" him so that he does not continue to express himself in ways that some people do not like. Hemant must learn to please everybody all the time.

Okay, so maybe that isn't realistic. Nobody can please everybody all the time. How about if we just focus on learning to please the relatively small but extremely vocal portion of our overall audience that might be described as social justice warriors? Surely, they are the very people needed to talk some sense into us.

Some may resist, and for those who are not budged by a bit of sense talking, we may need another option. I propose reeducation camps. Sound extreme? Yes, but we've learned recently that extreme measures (e.g., shunning) are sometimes necessary. Perhaps we won't have to shun those who respond to a reeducation curriculum.

Those processed through our camps could learn all there is to know about modern feminism. They could learn about patriarchy theory, privilege and how to check it, how oppression makes one an expert, "mansplaining," how to communicate without offending anyone, proper use of trigger warnings, and all sorts of other essential lessons. I'm not saying any of this will be easy; some people are going to continue to whine about free expression and other trivial things, but we can remake them into what they should be. And really, we'd be doing them a favor.

Perhaps the saddest commentary on the current state-of-affairs of what is happening in the atheist community is that I feel compelled to write the following: this post was crafted with extreme sarcasm and should not be taken as a serious call for reeducation camps. I value freethought and the free expression of ideas, including those with which I might disagree.

Update: It appears that reeducation is no longer necessary for Hemant. He has decided to cancel the book project.

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