Like a lot of other public atheists, I’m used to getting random emails, comments, and tweets from people wanting to challenge me on my atheism. I only respond to a small fraction of them — the people who I think are genuine, who probably wrote the message themselves (instead of copy/pasting it from some Christian website), and who seem to really want an answer.
Everybody else? I ignore them or delete their emails.
Brian Limond is one of those people I wouldn’t respond to in the first place. He just wrote a piece for The Guardian about how he’s an Internet Troll and proud of it. He’s one of those people who gets off on making otherwise decent people frustrated. He has nothing to contribute himself so he just tries to disrupt everyone else.
And atheists are among his favorite targets:
For example, I enjoy trolling atheists. I’m an atheist myself, but arguing with the religious is infuriating, draining and it actually hurts my head. Atheists always seem to come out of religious arguments worse, in terms of how much it ruins their day. I fancied switching sides, for a laugh, and so I tweeted, “It’s such a shame that athiests will never know true love. #atheism.”
Look at the misspelling of “atheists” — what pedant could possibly resist that bait? Not many, and I must have had a dozen catches almost straight away. You know the type. Militants. Wanks. The type that have “atheist” in their bio, like anybody gives a fuck. The type that searches for #atheist on Twitter. And I argued with a handful of them simultaneously for close to an hour, giggling like a schoolboy as I typed, “Your going too hell!” They didn’t know whether to go after the religious debate or the grammar. It was hilarious. A collection of atheists despairing for humanity — and, for a change, I wasn’t one of them. But trolling isn’t just about winding people up for the sake of it. It’s a great way to redress the balance when you’ve been wronged; to put things right so that you can get to sleep without grinding your teeth in anger.
Of course, he hasn’t “been wronged.” He’s just a dick.
But who are these people engaging him in a conversation? Why would you waste your time on someone who just wants to mess with you?
It’s not hard to tell who sincerely wants to have a conversation. To waste your time trying to correct someone who doesn’t even grasp some basic concepts? Not worth your time.