Atheists and the Use of Memes as Arguments

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Atheists and the Use of Memes as Arguments

Updated on November 20, 2017

Joel Furches


Joel is a author who has worn-out 7 days researching topics of faith. He has a BA in developmental psychology and MA in educational possibility.

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Memes and their Use

On-line line and the changes it has undergone o’er the days is a bewitching bailiwick in itself. What has cropped up more latterly therein region is that lots of on-line argument has been rock-bottom to soundbites and memes in gild to extend the argumentative forcefulness.

Therein clause, we leave try to search the sociology of on-line argument as it relates to the use of memes in grandiosity as a fill-in for well-reasoned line.

For the purposes of this sketch, “Net Infidels” – self-proclaimed atheists who pass an excessive number of meter disceptation on-line against faith – leave be secondhand as the vitrine bailiwick to analyze this spot.

Scarce what are Memes?

“Memes” are virtually universally conceived of as curious pictures opposite with a twosome of row in decree to micturate a rhetorical head – normally a disputatious one which targets a particular content for roast. Still, when one looks at the relevant sociological inquiry related memes, one has to postpone to the expert definition of “meme.” The psychology gloss defines a “meme” as:

“… a slice of data that is passed from one entity (soul, record, etcetera.) to another. Ofttimes memes are sociable or ethnical in nature and are slipway [in which sure] aspects of civilization are passed from soul to someone so that the entropy is tacit. They can likewise be ideas, parts of ideas, sounds, songs, and all sorts of over-the-counter pieces of entropy that get passed on. Memes suffer been compared to viruses because of the way they self-perpetuate and counterpane from somebody to soul.”

From this definition unparalleled, it may be seen how a meme would be an super efficacious putz to perpetuate an approximation. Minded its acerb nature, a meme compacts a simpleton thought into a digestible formatting which may so be well spread to a across-the-board interview. Furthermore, it is potential to follow the someone preferably than to cursorily be disregarded.

One does not want to be enlightened into a meme as they would into a integrated edubirdie legit argumentation – they only indigence to see the meme, and it has through its job.

Memes as Propoganda

In his Psychology Tod clause, “ More approximately Memes ,” Dr. Jesse Marczyk frustratedly explains that psychologists can delimit a meme by what it does, but silence don’t get a fast grip on why it catches and spreads.

Withal, without discernment the mechanism of memeology, as yearn as one knows what a meme looks similar, it becomes crystalise that memes are really a lots aged configuration of disseminating ideas to the world: propaganda.

In 1935 – at the stature of one of the about effectual propaganda campaigns in American story – Leonard W. Kweek and Edward S. Robinson wrote an clause coroneted “ Psychology and Propaganda ” in the donnish diary The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Mixer Skill . The clause has this to say :

“The terminus ‘Propaganda’ has hit think the utilisation of non-logical, or emotive, appeals in the populace airing and qualifying of ideas, attitudes, and beliefs.

“Propaganda is to be contrasted with those types of communicating that micturate use of factually precise and logically tolerable account. It is related “persuasion,” which connotes, in plus, a more confidant link with citizenry, and a more marshalling of prove.

“Looked upon it this way, the construct of propaganda is psychologically pregnant. When programs of promotion disagree in the quantity of pondering idea which they energise, such differences are understandably psychological.”

One could not make a bettor definition of net memes than the one which Kweek et. al. employed for propaganda.

Propaganda and Why it Plant

Tending their attention-getting, laughable, and apparently free nature – and tending the fact that they self-propagate – memes wreak the perfective propaganda dick. In his clause, “ The Con of Propaganda ,” Dr. Noam Schpancer says this:

“Savvy propagandists …draw their powerfulness in heavy contribution from the fact that their targets are not mindful that propaganda is existence exploited on them. Therein way, propaganda is not a conjuration establish but a con. A nous that is not trained to discover and neutralise propaganda is a fleeceable psyche, right for the gip.”

In 1937, the large-minded altruist Edward Filene began to store a proposition by Clyde Miller of Columbia University to make the Plant for Propaganda Psychoanalysis (IPA). The bring identified sevener aspects salute in propaganda. These were:

1.) Names

1.) Names

Names – Daub one’s opposing with uncomplimentary nicknames and labels.

2.) Fulgid Generalities

2.) Coruscant Generalities

To contrast the name-calling, the propagandistic uses generally flattering labels to set its own ends. “Freedom from Faith,” “Free Cerebration,” “Reason,” and “Science,” are peradventure the nigh vernacular for the Atheistic.

3.) Transferee

3.) Transferee

Like to “Glittering Generalities,” Transferral seeks to place the crusade of the propagandistic with approximately someone or foundation that is broadly well-thought-of. With godlessness, this is about oftentimes performed in kinship to Skill. When well-thought-of individuals such as Stephen Peddling, Neb Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson are faces that pop oft in Atheistical memes, this gist may be seen in exercise.

4.) Testimonials

4.) Testimonials

Spell it is infrequent to see a recommendation in the abbreviated formatting of a meme, it is sluttish to see testimonials of onetime Christians who sustain ground exemption and expiation in godlessness in veritable argument.

5.) Complain Family

5.) Champaign Folks

When the effort of the propagandistic is link with workaday mass such that they are really relatable.

6.) Menu Stacking

6.) Menu Stacking

According to the IPA , menu stacking is when,

“The propagandistic employs all the humanities of magic to win our support… He loads the cards against the accuracy. He uses under-emphasis and over-emphasis to scheme issues and elude facts. He resorts to lies, censoring and deformation. He omits facts. He offers assumed testimonial. He creates a smokescreen of clamour by breeding a new publication when he wants an mortifying subject disregarded. He draws a red herring crossways the tag to blur and amuse those in bay of facts he does not deficiency revealed. He makes the unsubstantial seem tangible and the tangible look unsubstantial. He lets half-truth mask as trueness.”

7.) Bandwagon

7.) Bandwagon

Incisively what it sounds similar, the Bandwagon manoeuvre is an charm to match imperativeness, viewing how lots supporting the case has, and how set-apart the subscriber leave be if they continue unaffiliated with this democratic crusade.

Why Use Propaganda Kinda Than Line?

To readers of memes, or those who dealings in on-line debates generally, these vii tactic should looking really fellow. If one accepts the introduce that meme=propaganda, so the count is much colonized as to why an atheistic – or any soul representing roughly estimate – would take to hire them as a persuasive gimmick: they are successful at what they do. Says Dr. Schpancer:

“…a dichotomy …undergirds our intragroup architecture: We flavour and we cogitate. …Both systems are utile for selection, yet the processes and results they kike are oft in challenger with apiece over-the-counter. And the contest is rigged. Excited response precedes sound psychoanalysis, wish bitter mustiness get preceded the development of dentition. We are more belike to pursue a flavor without often intellection than to pursue a cerebration without practically flavor. To citation E.O. Wilson: “People would preferably consider than live.” The propagandist’s appealingness to emotion is consequently limit to receive a more prepare response than the scientist’s solicitation to rationality. Aroused reactions easy submerge out and overhaul intellect psychoanalysis and fact-based intelligent. That’s the psychological abut victimised by the propagandistic.”

Thither is, notwithstanding, something to be aforementioned of the motivating of mortal who chooses to use multitude suasion quite than training in club win following.

Perhaps the nigh obvious divergence ‘tween any granted faith and godlessness is that religions habitus a comp worldview based on a feeling construction. Godlessness, on the otc script, has no opinion construction. Patch Godlessness claims skill as its sanctum playscript, skill has cypher to say on the discipline of significant, aim, ethics etc..

The ingathering of godlessness to skill turns bent be dry, when godlessness turns to propaganda. Says Dr. Schpancer:

“The counterpoison to the serve of propaganda is the treat of determination actual accuracy. The outflank way we birth for doing that is done scientific enquiry, which referees competing claims consistently based on grounds. The propagandistic outgrowth subordinates the facts to an docket, tied at the terms of distorting or ignoring the facts totally. For skill, actual trueness is the agendum; it follows the attest wheresoever it mightiness lede. Anything counter-factual, anything that obscures or distorts accuracy is anathema to the scientific undertaking. Propaganda knows how to betray a ware. Skill knows how to betray hurt.”

Granted that godlessness has no hard alternate to whirl the spiritual worshiper in price of offer them around fundament of significant to animation, its topper instrument of changeover is to visit uncertainty instead than to crack roughly attractive choice beliefs.

Exploitation Memes to Impose Incertitude

It is really a real sluttish labor to impose question on any overconfident notion construction: all one has to do is ask questions. If those questions are answered, upright ask farther questions. Blusher every prospect of the feeling construction in as dubitable or silly price as potential. One motivation not tied tabulator any comp or concrete arguments the opinion construction has to go. One demand sole choose fry aspects of the organisation and peck those until they decompose; at which period the arrangement dies the expiry of a grand wallpaper cuts.

Memetic argument manages not just to collection to the broadest potential consultation because it is light to read and occupy, it besides straightaway disarms any comp arguments the otc position may propose, by devising a scoffing of their complexness. Kinda a “if you can’t spring a soundbite response to my soundbite critique, you aren’t deserving hearing to.”

Spell resorting to propaganda and schoolyard insults does not needfully indict a scheme, it does not address powerfully of its modestness. To neglect an statement because the parameter requires persuasion and thoughtfulness speaks badly of the soul considering.