If there's one thing I've noticed amongst atheists is that we can have a pretty good sense of humor about everything. Take Penn Gilette, George Carlin, Tim Minchin, etc. Those of us less talented find our ways, but one of the most prominent I've seen is poking fun at superstitious thinking in the form of the images we use. I've counted more than a dozen 'devils' among regular posters here, and I can't think of a single prominent atheist Youtuber who hasn't amusingly referred to (or deferred to, depending on the joke) Satan. I find it as funny as the rest of us, but are we hurting the cause in doing so?
I know a lot of firmly devout people who are paranoiacally averse to Satanic/demonic imagery and symbology. Take, as a popular example, the lunatic who sees '666' in the Monster Energy Drinks logo. These people also tend to be rather vocal, and work to indoctrinate others, especially the young, into fearing these same things. In my own childhood, I remember the classically 'Demonic' images as being presented in a way that was a clear, present, and fatal danger to myself and others. For people who don't have as much of an ability to distance themselves from this kind of dogmatism, what are they to think when they see people with smiling faces, genuine camaraderie...and horns/tails/pitchforks, etc? I would think, to them, it would be like that last scene in Rosemary's Baby.
I'm not trying to be a stick in the mud about any of this. As I said, I laugh when I see things like the 'Portuguese skeleton bike' (Youtube that for a real laugh) and South Park, and so on. But I'm also trying to help people understand that there is such a thing as 'good people without God'. A big problem is that religion has taken the 'nuclear option' in planting a cognitive bias in people that anything good an atheist does or experiences is only that way thanks to the Devil. Should something be changed about any of this, or am I making a Bald Mountain out of a pointed molehill?
TL;DR: Should we stop using demonic imagery?
Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.
Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.