Scott Douglas Jacobsen: How was religion or non-religion part of early life?
Administrator for Going to Hell for Laughing: My parents are Lutheran and raised me in church. I always dreaded church; there was never a time I remember enjoying it.
I stopped going when I was 16 and my dad, a civilian contractor with the Air Force, deployed to Saudi Arabia with the Air Force. I was too big for my mom to drag to church so I just stayed home.
Jacobsen: When did atheism become the stance for you?
Administrator for Going to Hell for Laughing: I didn’t apply the label “atheist” to myself until college.
Jacobsen: How was religion or non-religion influential on your views about the nature of humanity to the world? What seems like a good summary statement or few on the traditional religious claims to truth on offer?
Administrator for Going to Hell for Laughing: I had taken courses in World Civilizations, Philosophy, and Comparative Religion and realized that every culture has invented its own mythology to explain the unexplainable. Over time science has filled all the gaps that superstition used to fill.
I was a “live and let live” type of atheist until 9/11. It became crystal clear to me that we will never have peace on this planet as long as we’re killing each other over whose imaginary friend is the real one.
Jacobsen: How did you come to find the online atheist sphere? What was your first impression of it? How did this change over time? Why was Going to Hell for Laughing founded? What is your role as its administrator? What are some fun and interesting aspects of posting materials, seeing comments, and, potentially, interacting with the audience?
Administrator for Going to Hell for Laughing: A few years ago I started figuring out how to use Photoshop and make memes. I made a few that did really well and then I kind of moved on to other things after hitting 30K followers. My biggest meme ever had nothing to do with religion.
Unfortunately it brought with it a lot of religious idiots who didn’t realize they had liked an atheist page. After that everything I posted got a bunch of stupid comments from stupid people and it kind of sucked the fun out of it. I loved making memes because they get shared by atheists and seen by their theist friends.
A great meme encapsulates one idea succinctly in a unique way; I see it as planting a seed in their brain that they can’t dodge. If the average believer goes online and can’t help but have lots of these inconvenient ideas planted in their minds, eventually some of them will bear fruit.
And at the very least them seeing their deeply revered beliefs mocked will make them realize they really have nothing (like evidence) with which to retaliate. I love it when believers are forced to concede that they’ve come up empty.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.
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