Religious Fanaticism vs. Hypocrisy—An OkCupid Message

So I use OkCupid to find cool women with whom to speak.  I do.  I figured that if I’m going to apply the brainpower to craft messages, I might as well share with the world.  No?

If you aren’t already familiar with OkCupid, it is a system that revolves around questions and answers.  You answer hundreds, or even thousands, of questions and then the system matches you up with other people who answered in compatible ways.  It works pretty well for nerds like me.

One woman’s profile caught my attention.  She prefers reason over fantasy.  And coffee.  I commented on one of our “disagree” questions:

I share your enthusiasm for reason over mythology. We don’t make a lot of progress in understanding anything if we’re content to say, “God did it.”

But one thing about that!

A question on which we disagreed was: What of the following is most offensive to you? Religious fanaticism or general hypocrisy?

A lot of atheists immediately respond with the “fanaticism”, but I suspect that the underlying offense is with hypocrisy, not personal adherence to zany beliefs. I mean, people believe in all kinds of nonsensical things: astrology, healing crystals, etc. Those are obnoxious, but not particularly offensive. Religion is offensive because of the religious people who want to forcefully impose on the non-religious. And they want to forcefully impose their beliefs while at the same time arguing for their right to be free of forceful imposition on the part of those with whom THEY disagree. And so it is the hypocrisy with which they operate that makes what they believe so offensive. It’s when they actually become a threat that they become offensive and even scary.

Nonsensical beliefs are a mild annoyance until people hypocritically and forcefully prioritize their belief-system over everyone else’s. I think that if people were content to stay at home and do their voodoo in private, it would be no big thing.


And I like coffee too. I just ground some beans, pressed a pot, and am indulging in a bit of funky caffeine-induced nirvana. ahhhh.

I’m Matt. Nice to meet you.

I doubt she’ll respond.  Oh well.   🙂

Take a look at my essay on the danger of forceful imposition.

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