Monday, November 15, 2010

Religion and gamers

So I wrote up a post then caught up on reading other blogs. Basically, I'll keep this short and sweet: being an atheist doesn't make you cool. Further, hating on organized religion just makes you sound like a fucking moron. You're certainly allowed to subscribe to your own views on the nature of reality, but generic statements comparing belief in God to thinking unicorns exist points out not only extremely weighted bias but also a fundamental misunderstanding of legitimate theological discussion. As a philosopher (I use that term EXTREMELY loosely, although I am paid for doing philosophy) it pisses me off when people make blanket statements without any sort of evidence and then put the onus of proof on others to "prove them wrong", even though their initial argument is nothing more than smoke-and-mirrors nonsense. Look, I get it, you hated your childhood and felt stupid singing in choir as a kid. You rejected your Episcopalian upbringing and are now living with your common law Wiccan wife and think it's cool to tell your children that polyamory is a fun activity. Whatever, I don't care, do whatever you want. Just don't pretend you're morally superior and surely don't go on relentlessly with your stupid views that are based entirely on fundamental misunderstanding. There is this notion that gamers are anti-religious, but my own experience tells me that most of us just have enough class and manners not to bring up personal things at the drop of a hat. Not one of the people I have gamed with in the past few years have given off any sort of inkling that they were atheist, and I know for certain most went to church/templed at least somewhat regularly.

I honestly don't care either way about what people believe, but it is nearly impossible to read something about gaming when halfway through it turns into a rant about the evils of religion blah blah blah. Talk about what you know (new character classes, maps, etc.) not shit you have no clue about. Especially when the blog says it's gaming related...


  1. Absolutely -- gaming blogs should not discuss religion or lack thereof.

    Wait a minute, is this a gaming blog or not? :P

    In all seriousness, I've know extremely religious gamers and nonreligious gamers. I think the thing is tabletop gamers tend to be pretty smart and educated but also opinionated. Smart, educated people do tend to be less religious in my experience (I'm not saying it's causal) and opinionated people tend to talk about their opinions. I don't know if "STFU" will change that, but good luck with that.

    FWIW I can think of maybe half a dozen gaming blogs that are pretty in-your-face religious, and one that is in-your-face anti-religious, but both are very much in the minority, at least in my experience.

    I just ignore the political and religious stuff if I disagree. It's the internet. They want to provoke a reaction just so they know someone's paying attention.

  2. I'm definitely a believer in my mother's adage about not talking god or politics in polite company--or in this case at the gaming table. Plenty of other space in the world for that.

  3. Mike: This is a gaming blog of sorts, but really it's an anti-gaming blog, if that makes any sense.

    Chris: There's a time and a place for everything; anti-religious rants interspersed with descriptions about some map you use for your game just reeks of classlessness.

  4. Do you also feel this way about religious people who attack atheism, or only about atheists who attack religion? Personally, I'm fond of neither. If I read your post correctly, this is not a blanket condemnation of atheists in gaming, but rather frustration with a particular blogger or two, which I can certainly sympathize with.

    For the record, I'm an atheist who does not hate on religion, who does not wish there was less religion in the world. I think whatever helps people to strive to become more good, more compassionate, more honest, more courageous, and more humble over time is fine with me. Most of my friends and coworkers are devout. Whether someone is religious or atheist (or agnostic) means a lot less to me than whether they're a good person.

    And of course, in the context of the game, whether they're fun to play with.

  5. Rick: People are free to believe whatever they want. I'm just irritated with all the incessant pseudo-superiority interspersed with what is generally fairly decent gaming commentary. Pick one or the other.