Over the past few days I’ve noticed a difference between the posts on “atheist” blogs and those on “accommodationist” blogs: the people who comment on atheist blogs seem funnier. While both sides defend their turf with ardor, I find myself chuckling more at the atheist posts: they seem to use humor and sarcasm more often, while the faitheists/Muzzle-ems/godlycoddlers/credophiles (contest winner determined in a few days) seem dour and unfunny. Granted, this could simply reflect my biases, but it’s interesting that at least one other person, who has posted over at Butterflies and Wheels (comment by “G”), has noticed this too. He/she has a fairly perspicacious analysis of it:
. . . A sense of humor is at least partly about having perspective: Much humor relies on a very particular kind of social intelligence, an ability to see things from multiple points of view simultaneously. Rhetorically effective humor — especially satire — is very dependent on this component of humor. One must genuinely understand another perspective to effectively satirize it — and to be a truly brilliant satirist, one must be able to see how that perspective appears to yet a third perspective, a sort of conglomerate or average person’s view that allows one to craft satire that has broad appeal. To satirize a person or group or institution, one must be able to portray it such that its character rings true but that also reveals its absurdity in a way that almost anyone can see.
To my mind, what the accommodationists have in common is a poorly-developed faculty for seeing things from the perspectives of others. They profess to have empathy with believers who feel their world-view threatened by science, but most of what they say about believers seems to belittle or infantalize believers rather than respecting or understanding their perspective. Worse yet, they take the responses of believers purely at face value with no allowance for the perspective that the believers occupy: Believers are offended, so those pesky militant atheists must in fact be terribly rude and offensive. . .