Over at the Richard Dawkins webpage, they showcase a youtube video by internet atheist Jaclyn Glenn entitled “How to make an atheist cry.”
Glenn spends 9 minutes responding to a comment she received that began, “Warning: the following story has been known to make atheists cry!” The comment then tells the story of an atheist father who takes his 5 year old son to the zoo to feed the animals pages from the Bible (it’s supposed to make the point that God does not exist, otherwise God would have prevented this). When he gets to the last page of the Bible, he tries to feed it to an octopus on a rock. The octopus doesn’t eat the page, but instead, with an inhuman voice, reads Psalm 14:1 – “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God! ” The atheist then converts to Christianity.
It’s obvious the comment was a Poe. What makes it painfully obvious is the handle of the person who posted the comment: CopyPasta4CancerBanana. As someone in the comments section of her YouTube page noted,
Title should read: “Women gets trolled by 4Chan/Reddit Full-time meme generator God into thinking that his copypasta was a legit post”
And for those atheists who badly want to believe the comment was posted by a sincere Christian, Google will help you find that CopyPasta4CancerBanana changed his/her YouTube handle to Cutie Patootie Senpai soon after Glenn’s video went viral and is someone interested in unwrapping a tesseract. Sounds like someone who thinks atheists would cry because of that story, right?
Two questions come to mind.
1. Why are atheists so gullible about this stuff? Glenn bought it hook, line, and sinker. She spends nine minutes ranting against….a Poe. She pats herself on the back for not believing the story, but she is totally oblivious to the fact that she has been Poe’d.
Over at the Dawkins webpage (which has a track record of being easily Poe’d), the atheists who comment are all just as gullible. They too pat themselves on the back for not believing the story while lapping up the notion that the story was told by a sincere Christian. In fact, this is the common theme on various atheist websites and forums where this copypasta is retold. Rarely do you see the faintest glint of skepticism where someone raises the mere possibility of a Poe.
2.Why are so many internet atheists Poes? Not surprisingly, this Poe story is retold on a forum full of Poes . Are their lives so empty that they truly get meaning by impersonating people who are supposed to be dumb Christians? Or does it give them some sense of atheistic superiority by watching their fellow atheists so easily mock their obvious mock-bait? Or is it that the Poes need to actively reinforce their own stereotypes because reality isn’t doing enough for them? I really don’t get the psychological need to impersonate others.
I does leave you wondering about the world of internet atheism. How often is it that atheists are busy arguing with and mocking Poes? It’s like both sides willing live in their strange psychodrama cut off from reality, replaying the same type of bizzaro exchanges over and over again. And they love it! You would think a community so devoted to skepticism and evidence would be immune to this type of group delusion. But then again, I think we have established that the internet atheist community is not characterized by skepticism and a commitment to evidence.
So it’s not surprising it is so, so easy to Poe the internet atheist community.