Wednesdays are generally very busy work days for me. I didn’t get out of the office till an hour after I technically finished for the day. Partly my fault for letting a session run 20 minutes over time (am very bad with that).
Last night I posted a review of God is not great: How religion poisons everything on GoodReads:
I gave it an honest try. I got to page 183 of 280. It took me 39 days. Why’d it take me that long to read 183 pages?
Because this book is ridiculous. I hate every word of it. It’s biased, it’s masturbatory, it’s closed minded, it’s self aggrandising, it’s bigoted, and all the while it’s congratulating itself on being so logical and rational and so much LESS biased and closed-minded than religion.
When my friend Alex recommended it to me I said I’d read it, and that is why I tried so hard. I can’t remember though why he recommended it. I am already an atheist. All I can recall from the night he recommended it was how angry he got when we were talking about women in atheism, and how oblivious he was that his comments were so misogynistic.
After watching it I gave myself permission to quit his book. He is a jerk. His book is rubbish.
Alright, so it was kind of inflammatory. I shouldn’t’ve called Alex’s comments misogynistic, at the very least. I just recall being so upset and flabbergasted and angry that night I had to retire from the conversation completely. I was so upset because Alex is a cool guy – I really like him and consider him a close friend – but he just seemed so closed to the idea that women in atheism may have a point, may actually genuinely feel threatened… that any woman has a reason or right to feel threatened by a man even when he has no harmful intent. Why is this so difficult to accept? Why deny it so very vehemently? What does he have riding on the belief that this just isn’t and can’t be so?
Anyway (sorry I got sidetracked), Alex clearly saw the review. Instead of commenting on the post or otherwise communicating with me about it directly, he made this general Facebook post:
Man, I should stop trying to discuss social issues with people. ‘Play the man, not the ball’ is considered poor sportsmanship in most games. It’s also a good allegory for discussion. Dismissing an argument or an idea on the basis of the personality of the creator of said work is fucking weak and I keep coming across it again and again. Address the point, I don’t care if they’re arrogant, strident, scornful or smug. That’s not what you should be focusing on. There may well be a reason for it so stay on topic if you want to be taken seriously.
Well, I commented: “lol this is about my review isn’t it.”
assuming it is, I clearly pointed out the reasons for which I disliked the book, and that these were why I was struggling with finishing it. I then stated that I gave myself permission to no longer continue to spend time and energy on it when I learned what a jerk its author was. I don’t recall saying “he is a jerk therefore all his arguments or ideas are invalid.” the fact that he is a dick and his book are rubbish may or may not be related, however both of these factored into my decision to, er, “dismiss” the book. i’d like to talk sometime about what you found good about it (maybe I missed something or all the good bits were at the end) …IF you can manage to not take grievous offense at my criticisms though! 😉
He was online when I posted both comments, but no response. Am I a total jerk? (I think I might be a total jerk.)