774: Atheists

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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'But you're using that same tactic to try to feel superior to me, too!' 'Sorry, that accusation expires after one use per conversation.'
Title text: 'But you're using that same tactic to try to feel superior to me, too!' 'Sorry, that accusation expires after one use per conversation.'


In public debates, some fundamentalist Christians and some atheists, while having different opinions, can behave surprisingly similar. Both can be very dogmatic about their beliefs, and be very disrespectful and accusative towards people of the other standpoint. Cueball is blaming both parties for being annoying. Megan sarcastically remarks that Cueball then must feel superior to just about everyone.

The title text takes this one step further when Cueball realizes that Megan's reply is just as smugly superior as his. For practical reasons (that is, the prevention of an endless, useless thought loop about your own thought process), Megan stops the tactic, by humorously stating that the statement expires after one use in a conversation. Of course, statements cannot expire.[citation needed]


[Cueball and Megan talking. Cueball has his palm out.]
Cueball: Personally, I find atheists just as annoying as fundamentalist Christians.
Megan: Well, the important thing is that you've found a way to feel superior to both.

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Atheists aren't annoying, they are just boring. Nobody likes a party pooper.

The sad truth is that there's nothing out there but the universe. Luckily, it's a magnificent one. 01:50, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Speaking as a skeptic and agnostic, the certainty that there's nothing out there but the observable universe is a dunderheaded leap that requires far more faith and irrationalism than a theist. The only rational position regarding things inobservable is that one does not know. Hell, it doesn't require that gods exist for this to be patently obvious, the universe could simply be a simulation. That could be impossible to observe from inside, or only possible to infer from artifacts like data compression being used to conserve processor power and RAM, a-la Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. — Kazvorpal (talk) 05:19, 25 October 2019 (UTC)
Your criticism is built upon the word obersvable, which you introduced to the discussion yourself. --Lupo (talk) 11:36, 19 December 2019 (UTC)
There's some real irony in someone declaring that atheists are boring while also affirming itself as an atheist. Maybe it's just reluctant to claim the title? Some atheists choose to be called "agnostic" for that reason, even when they fit the bill. 08:07, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
"it"? I don't know if I'm reading it wrong, but "it" is kind of dehumanizing. I suppose English might not be your first language, in which case: <-- that. Don't call people 'it' unless then specifically ask you to. Hppavilion1 (talk) 03:27, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Just as i read the word 'magnificent' the conclusion part of 'eclipse' (from dark side of the moon) started. Great timing :) -- 02:17, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
How can you be sure that there aren't any other universes? Even if the only things that exist are matter, energy, and information, there still could be other universes that we haven't seen, and those would be real. Mulan15262 (talk) 14:12, 25 May 2014 (UTC)Mulan15262

Not even Explain XKCD is immune to being dragged in to this little argument, but at least its taking a less hostile approach I suppose.
I actually have a friend who was a devout Fundamentalist Christian, and then switched over to becoming a dedicated Fundamentalist Atheist. I find arguments about religion with him equally annoying regardless of which side he is/was on so I guess they're on to something... 08:39, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

my motto is just to let people believe whatever makes them happiest. 13:42, 29 October 2020 (UTC)

Meghan's reaction (and the people who repost this comic uncritically) is bizarrely defensive, uncalled for, etc. How does Cueball's statement indicate that he feels superior to either? He said he "personally" finds them to be equally "annoying" - nothing about that indicates he thinks he is above them, and starting with "personally" essentially qualifies that. When I first saw this comic on r/atheism my assumption was that the author was a fragile individual who was upset someone pointed out the parallels between their behaviour, mindset, etc. and that of fundamentalists. When you don't like what someone's said, it is much easier to accuse them of bad faith - e.g. you need a way to feel superior - than to simply accept that it's an honest opinion. (talk) 17:54, 27 September 2023 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Hmmm... I read "personally" as an indicator of definite (presumed) superiority. "I think this, that they are annoying; listen to my opinion." There's an certain egocentric element to it. Even apparently fair-minded comments can go sour by being hedged by an unnecessary "Personally" kicking off the statement (try a few). That is my own understanding, and of course the textual medium leaves it open to individual interpretation of tone and force of intent. But (personally!) I see Cueball as aggressively extremist in his centrism (in disliking both ends of the extremist spectrum). And Meghan is (knowingly, deliberately) passive-aggressive in response.
But the true meaning may be in the eye of the beholder (any of us), and could be easily divorced from that intended to be set down by the pen of the author as well. 18:55, 27 September 2023 (UTC)

I suggest that this wiki is edited and commented on by people who understand the xkcd comic they are commenting on. This chat is certainly full of people who have no awareness that this comic is about them (talk) 09:22, 29 September 2023 (please sign your comments with ~~~~) ^ Well, the important thing is you've found a way to feel superior to us. :) (talk) 01:16, 2 October 2023 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)