By Chris Ralph
In recent years, a branch of pop culture atheism has arisen which I call the “Little Dweeb” school. It is a follow on development out of the once popular “new atheists”, and like them is more of a pop culture phenomenon than something truly rooted in science or philosophy. This style of atheism does not bring anything new to the table as far as thought or principals, but is more of a new form or mode. Of course not all atheists fit this mold, but a very significant number do – especially of the many young men so enthusiastically enamored of the idea that there is no God. The absence of God does seem an odd idea to generate great quantities of enthusiasm, but has become a rallying point for many. One might ask what specific features characterize the “Little Dweeb” atheist. To further examine this, let us first look at what a dweeb is. The dictionary tells us a dweeb is a person regarded as socially dull, unsophisticated, foolish, inept, and awkward.
The vast majority of this class of atheist are young males who consider themselves far more intellectual and sophisticated than they actually are. They tend to make a number of claims that they simply cannot back up with evidence. Even claims that are not extraordinary in any way, they cannot demonstrate any support to them. When discussing with them things they say they know well, it will be commonly be discovered that they know little or nothing about these topics which they claim to comprehend accurately.
Many will claim to have carefully examined the religions of the world and found none of them to be true. However, if brought into a discussion of that nature of various world religions, they will be found to know little or nothing about them. Their knowledge level is that of someone who read two paragraphs an atheistic book which stated that all religions are primitive, superstitious and wrong.
They engage in rhetorical games such as the claim that they do not have a firm belief that God does not exist, they merely have a lack of faith that God exists. Well, a door knob also has a “lack of faith”, so they are claiming that on the extremely important question of the existence of a God, they are of one and the same mind as a door knob? They redefine words to strengthen their rhetorical positions – an example being that they redefine the word “faith” to mean an irrational belief that is held without any evidence or support. This is not what faith means. The simple consulting of a dictionary shoots down large parts of their rhetorical games. There are only so many versions of these rhetorical games that are typically employed and after one has heard them all several times, they become easily recognizable and very boring.
They will often use insults and arrogant condescension to avoid rather than engage in genuine discussion of the topic of God’s existence. They sometimes claim to be seeking answers, but when engaged, give all appearance of having no interest in any type of honest, meaningful discussion, only verbal jousting and insults. It is common that to justify their views, they will twist and revise the facts of history and other truthful, known conditions.
Believers who speak with them observing the normal bounds of polite conversation (and expect that they will also abide by those same respectful societal limitations) will be sorely disappointed. It is not unusual that where the believer brings reasonable arguments in support of God to bear upon these atheists, they will react poorly. In fact it’s not unusual that they may even threaten violence against the believer or his family.
They claim to be dedicated to science and express a belief that science has already or will eventually answer all questions of how all things came to exist – and prove that it was only through natural processes. They will say that they are very interested in science, that science produces the only valid truth. They hold science in such high esteem that in many ways they worship science in a matter akin to a religion, almost as if it were their god. However when engaged in a more detailed discussion about the specifics of science topics, you find they only grasp the most basic levels of introductory high school science. They would know more if they watched NOVA a couple times a month. The fact is that they have no great interest in learning about science, but have only an interest in using it as some type of excuse for their atheistic stance.
They hold the simplest form of a philosophical belief – a materialistic stance that only those things which can be seen, touched, measured or otherwise detected by equipment exist. At the same time they consider this simplest of viewpoints to be something very sophisticated and deep. This primitive and unsophisticated concept of reality is crucial to their world view. So admitting it or not, they will often take a nihilistic philosophical stance on truth, good, morals and knowledge. Morals are held to be nothing more than mere personal opinions, not something that is objective or true.
For those of you who have had discussions with young male atheists, you will find that a large percentage of them fit easily into the Little Dweeb mold. The bulk of the cry bully internet atheists trying to make a name for themselves belong to this “Little Dweeb” school.
One will wonder, if they are not terribly interested in science, and wield their atheism as a dodge or a hustle to put down others, why do they bother to adopt their atheistic stance? It’s not a result of any deep study of science or religion, no matter what they claim. The reason is clearly not the culmination of a long study and search for answers. What then is the point of it? I think a number of items of evidence point to the fact that the bottom line is an issue of morals. The Little Dweebs desire an excuse to do whatever they want whenever they want – to have full moral freedom to act as they will. As God has the authority as creator to establish absolute morals, the absence of God gives them latitude to establish whatever personal morals they wish.
Remembering that this is mostly a group of young men, one can guess that the main class of morals being objected to is any limitation on sex. Perhaps most of the Little Dweebs would prefer an actual female companion, but being inept at attracting any female, many settle for porn as a substitute. While most give no evidence of any notable knowledge of science, history or religion, I am convinced that if a porn IQ test were something that existed, they would score quite high.
The sex related morality hypothesis also explains some other important observations, one being the reason why the vast majority of the Little Dweebs are young males. It also explains the virulent objections of Little Dweeb atheists to Christianity. Many atheists with a more mature viewpoint, care not at all what others believe. They adopt a more libertarian view that so long as they are not forced to participate, all should be free to determine their own individual choices. However, for the Little Dweeb atheists in the matter of morals, if some people live a moral life and speak freely of it, this brings up guilt in those who choose atheism mostly to be free of objective morals. This is true even where the guilt is subconscious and the Little Dweebs themselves are not fully aware of it. It is in essence the Cain and Abel effect. Those who follow a moral path are intrinsically hated by those who seek to be free of objective religious morals and to live instead under their own subjective personal morals.
The Little Dweeb Atheists are a fad, and as such will pass in time. In the mean time, it’s worthwhile to be aware of what they are all about. The movement may morph into another form, but for now, it’s worthwhile to know how to speak with them. If you encounter them, it’s not really worth a lot of steam to get involved. Your time and effort would be better spent elsewhere in most cases. A true searcher is another story and it is well worth the time to engage them. While many Little Dweebs will claim they are searching, the truth is that the majority are not. Instead, their stance is a rock hard commitment of faith in atheism. They have not come to their stance as a result of any deep reasoning, so it’s unlikely that any level of sincere reasoning will bring them out of it.
Although most discussions with Little Dweebs will be utterly fruitless, sometimes the best and most honest discussions with them come not from discussions directly about God, but about morals instead. Since morals are the source of their problem with God, this line of discussion makes good sense. Try reasoning along a line going on from something like this: “If morals are nothing more than personal opinions, cultural conditioning or the result of genetic coding, why do we call men like Hitler evil? There is little doubt that Hitler believed his own actions were the correct thing to do, so do if there is no such thing as immoral behavior then you must agree with and support the rights of Hitler, Stalin, Radovan Karadžić and others to commit genocide. Are you a genocide supporter?” Even most who seek utter freedom from morals will admit in the end that evil exists. This line of thought just might allow you to move on to an honest discussion of the truth of good and evil in real and objective terms. Perhaps the discussion will eventually come around to the ultimate source of good and truth, the Lord God.