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 fagged 7 days researching topics of faith. He has a BA in developmental psychology and MA in educational possibility.

Middleman Writer

Memes and their Use

On-line line and the changes it has undergone concluded the eld is a entrancing sketch in itself. What has cropped up more lately therein region is that lots of on-line argument has been rock-bottom to soundbites and memes in ordering to extend the argumentative force-out.

Therein clause, we leave effort to search the sociology of on-line debate as it relates to the use of memes in grandiloquence as a relief for well-reasoned line.

For the purposes of this field, “Cyberspace Infidels” – self-proclaimed atheists who pass an unreasonable total of clip contestation on-line against faith – bequeath be ill-used as the cause discipline to see this gunpoint.

Upright what are Memes?

“Memes” are about universally conceived of as queer pictures mated with a twosome of quarrel in club to shuffle a rhetorical gunpoint – ordinarily a disputative one which targets a particular matter for rib. Withal, when one looks at the relevant sociological enquiry related memes, one has to submit to the proficient definition of “meme.” The psychology gloss defines a “meme” as:

“… a composition of info that is passed from one entity (soul, script, etcetera.) to another. Ofttimes memes are societal or ethnic in nature and are shipway [in which sure] aspects of acculturation are passed from individual to individual so that the entropy is tacit. They can too be ideas, parts of ideas, sounds, songs, and all sorts of former pieces of data that get passed on. Memes birth been compared to viruses because of the way they self-perpetuate and bedcover from someone to somebody.”

From this definition lonely, it may be seen how a meme would be an highly efficacious peter to perpetuate an estimate. Presumption its acrid nature, a meme compacts a unproblematic estimation into a digestible formatting which may so be easy spread to a blanket hearing Furthermore, it is potential to follow the person sooner than to speedily be disregarded.

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

Memes as Propoganda

In his Psychology Now clause, “ More approximately Memes ,” Dr. Jesse Marczyk frustratedly explains that psychologists can determine a meme by what it does, but stillness don’t let a strong clasp on why it catches and spreads.

Yet, without intellect the mechanism of memeology, as foresighted as one knows what a meme looks same, it becomes crystallise that memes are really a practically elderly manikin of disseminating ideas to the populace: propaganda.

In 1935 – at the elevation of one of the nigh efficacious propaganda campaigns in American story – Leonard W. Kweek and Edward S. Robinson wrote an clause coroneted “ Psychology and Propaganda ” in the donnish daybook The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Societal Skill . The clause has this to say :

“The terminus ‘Propaganda’ has resuscitate signify the work of non-logical, or emotive, appeals in the world diffusion and adjustment of ideas, attitudes, and beliefs.

“Propaganda is to be contrasted with those types of communicating that pee use of factually precise and logically equal account. It is related “persuasion,” which connotes, in add-on, a more versed middleman with multitude, and a more marshalling of attest.

“Looked upon it this way, the conception of propaganda is psychologically important. When programs of packaging disagree in the quantity of musing mentation which they get, such differences are understandably psychological.”

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

Propaganda and Why it Plant

Disposed their tricky, laughable, and apparently free nature – and disposed the fact that they self-propagate – memes bring the hone propaganda prick. In his clause, “ The Con of Propaganda ,” Dr. Noam Schpancer says this:

“Savvy propagandists …draw their mightiness in heavy contribution from the fact that their targets are not mindful that propaganda is organism victimized on them. Therein way, propaganda is not a trick read but a con. A psyche that is not trained to observe and liquidate propaganda is a fleeceable judgement, advanced for the diddle.”

In 1937, the loose altruist Edward Filene began to store a proposition by Clyde Miller of Columbia University to make the Found for Propaganda Psychoanalysis (IPA). The plant identified septenary aspects acquaint in propaganda. These were:

1.) Names

1.) Names

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

2.) Scintillant Generalities

2.) Scintillant Generalities

To contrast the name-calling, the propagandistic uses generally flattering labels to delimit its own ends. “Freedom from Faith,” “Free Opinion,” “Reason,” and “Science,” are perhaps the near vernacular for the Atheistical.

3.) Transferee

3.) Transference

Standardised to “Glittering Generalities,” Transportation seeks to describe the effort of the propagandistic with around somebody or initiation that is mostly well-thought-of. With godlessness, this is about oft performed in kinship to Skill. When well-thought-of individuals such as Stephen Peddling, Neb Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson are faces that pop oftentimes in Atheistic memes, this essence may be seen in rehearse.

4.) Testimonials

4.) Testimonials

Patch it is infrequent to see a recommendation in the abbreviated formatting of a meme, it is soft to see testimonials of old Christians who sustain constitute exemption and gratification in godlessness in unconstipated argument.

5.) Knit Kinfolk

5.) Complain Folks

When the effort of the propagandistic is comrade with routine citizenry such that they are really relatable.

6.) Scorecard Stacking

6.) Board Stacking

According to the IPA , menu stacking is when,

“The propagandistic employs all the humanities of illusion to win our support… He oodles the cards against the trueness. He uses under-emphasis and over-emphasis to stratagem issues and fudge facts. He resorts to lies, censoring and torture. He omits facts. He offers untrue testimonial. He creates a smokescreen of clamour by upbringing a new exit when he wants an mortifying subject disregarded. He draws a red herring crosswise the track to discombobulate and amuse those in bay of facts he does not deprivation revealed. He makes the artificial seem substantial and the existent seem unsubstantial. He lets half-truth masque as accuracy.”

7.) Bandwagon

7.) Bandwagon

Incisively what it sounds similar, the Bandwagon manoeuvre is an entreaty to match pressing, display how often supporting the case has, and how quarantined the referee bequeath be if they persist unaffiliated with this democratic campaign.

Why Use Propaganda Preferably Than Line?

To readers of memes, or those who dealings in on-line debates generally, these septet tactic should flavor rattling companion. If one accepts the assumption that meme=propaganda, so the weigh is much colonized as to why an atheistical – or any someone representing about approximation – would select to utilise them as a persuasive gimmick: they are successful at what they do. Says Dr. Schpancer:

“…a dichotomy …undergirds our intimate architecture: We flavour and we recollect. …Both systems are utile for selection, yet the processes and results they kike are much in contender with apiece early. And the contention is rigged. Excited response precedes well-grounded psychoanalysis, wish pungent moldiness let preceded the development of dentition. We are more probable to pursue a belief without practically idea than to pursue a intellection without lots belief. To citation E.O. Wilson: “People would preferably trust than cognize.” The propagandist’s appealingness to emotion is so leap to incur a more quick response than the scientist’s solicitation to rationality. Excited reactions well overwhelm out and pass noetic psychoanalysis and fact-based intelligent. That’s the psychological butt victimised by the propagandistic.”

Thither is, yet, something to be aforesaid of the motive of person who chooses to use batch thought preferably than didactics in club win following.

Peradventure the well-nigh obvious conflict ‘tween any precondition faith and godlessness is that religions habitus a comp worldview based on a notion construction. Godlessness, on the otc handwriting, has no feeling construction. Piece Godlessness claims skill as its sanctum record, skill has aught to say on the topic of significance, role, ethics etcetera.

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

“The counterpoison to the summons of propaganda is the serve of determination actual accuracy. The better way we sustain for doing that is done scientific query, which referees competing claims consistently based on prove. The propagandistic procedure subordinates the facts to an schedule, fifty-fifty at the damage of distorting or ignoring the facts completely. For skill, actual accuracy is the docket; it follows the prove wheresoever it power trail. Anything counter-factual, anything that obscures or distorts verity is anathema to the scientific externalise. Propaganda knows how to deal a production. Skill knows how to shit smartness.”

Apt that godlessness has no stiff substitute to offering the spiritual truster in price of oblation them approximately footing of significant to liveliness, its outdo peter of transition is to visit uncertainty preferably than to fling approximately attractive alternate beliefs.

Victimisation Memes to Impose Incertitude

It is really a really soft project to impose dubiety on any electropositive notion construction: all one has to do is ask questions. If those questions are answered, barely ask farther questions. Pigment every face of the impression construction in as dubitable or silly footing as potential. One pauperization not evening parry any comp or concrete arguments the opinion construction has to whirl. One want solitary prime nestling aspects of the scheme and peck those until they decay; at which item the scheme dies the decease of a k theme cuts.

Memetic debate manages not but to solicitation to the broadest potential consultation because it is gentle to realize and engross, it likewise instantly disarms any comp arguments the over-the-counter position may whirl, by qualification a burlesque of their complexness. Kinda a “if you can’t pay a soundbite resolution to my soundbite critique, you aren’t deserving hearing to.”

Piece resorting to propaganda and schoolyard insults does not needs indict a arrangement, it does not mouth powerfully of its moderateness. To omit an line because the contention requires opinion and condition speaks unwell of the soul considering.