Jan 5, 2010
“There’s a certain amount of pleasure to be found in being part of a group where everyone sits around congratulating each other on their superior intellect and reasoning abilities, while deriding their opponents with terms like ‘superstition’ and ‘brain damage’ and ‘child abuse.’ But these are temptations to be avoided, not badges of honor,” theoretical physicist and atheist Sean Carroll writes on his blog Cosmic Variance.
“Within the self-reinforcing culture of vocal non-believers, it’s gotten to the point where saying that someone is ‘nice’ has become an insult. Let me hereby stake out a brave, contrarian position: in favor of being nice. I think that folks in the reality-based community should be the paragons of reasonableness and even niceness, while not yielding an inch on the correctness of their views. We should be the good guys. We are in possession of some incredible truths about this amazing universe in which we live, and we should be promoting positive messages about the liberating aspects of a life in which human beings are responsible for creating justice and beauty, rather than having them handed to us by supernatural overseers. Remarkably, I think it’s possible to be positive and nice (when appropriate) and say true things at the same time.”