A portrait in petty atheism

I had to laugh when Richard Carrier, a fourth-rate atheist who has aspired to the dubious mantle of Richard Dawkins, came out with the news that he is every bit as immoral and untrustworthy as one would expect a cartoon atheist to be:

Two big items of news in my personal life. Which both entail a very public change to my relationship status. After twenty years of marriage Jen and I have decided to get a divorce. Breakups are always painful, but we still love each other and remain friends, and there are few contentions between us. We wish each other all happiness. But we are no longer a good fit for each other.

Everyone always asks why, and the answer is important to my life development, so I want to relate at least the core of it, and a caveat.

Several years ago, after about seventeen years of marriage, I had a few brief affairs, because I found myself unequipped to handle certain unusual circumstances in our marriage, which I won’t discuss here because they intrude on my wife’s privacy. In the process of that I also came to realize I can’t do monogamy and be happy. Since this was going to come to light eventually, about two years ago I confessed all of this to Jen and told her I still love her but I would certainly understand if she wanted a divorce. Despite all the ways we work together and were happy together, this one piece didn’t fit anymore.

Had I known several years ago that polyamory was an actual option that works for people, I might have realized this sooner, and dealt with it better. But I labored instead to meet the cultural expectation that you are supposed to make monogamy work, and it wasn’t working. Discovering that other ways of life are possible helped me understand I shouldn’t be doing this.

Rather than divorce right away, Jen offered to try an alternative for a while to see if that would work for us. So we agreed on some rules and have had an open marriage for almost two years now, and it’s helped us work through a lot of things, and has helped us both in very different ways. But one of those things is the mutual understanding that we aren’t compatible with each other. So we have decided to amicably divorce–using a facilitator rather than lawyers, since we’re in agreement about all the material things, and have no interest in hurting each other.

The part about being open hasn’t been entirely a secret these last years (quite a few people were informed or aware, just not the general public), but Jen hadn’t come out to her family, so out of respect for her privacy I hadn’t blogged about it or discussed it publicly. But she has informed everyone close to her now, and we are no longer together. So I can make it official:

I am polyamorous.

What amuses me is all the pseudo-intellectual justifications. Even now, he can’t just come out and admit it. He wants to have sex with whomever he wants, whenever he wants, without any constraints or commitments. He can’t admit that he has done anything wrong, much less sinned by breaking his vows.

Considering that men like this, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris are supposedly the best the atheists have to offer, no wonder so few people are buying into their bullshit.

Men are fallen. Marriages fail. Mistakes are made. But it takes a truly deceitful pseudo-intellectual to try to change the narrative in this sort of ridiculous manner.

UPDATE: Carrier, who apparently has found atheism to be considerably less lucrative than Dawkins and Harris, as he only makes $15,000/year and lived off his ex-wife, has some entirely unsurprising news about atheist conferences:

Indeed, many of my friends in the atheist community are polyamorous or actively participate in the BDSM or swinging communities, some even have orgies and sex parties… at atheist conferences!

I don’t mean to short-circuit your brain, but it suddenly strikes me that PZ Myers travels to a lot of atheist conferences…. Carrier readily confirms one’s assumption that he is a nasty, disingenuous little prick in the comments, a pure Gamma male with delusions of Alpha. He’s almost exactly the sort of atheist that most atheists are desperate to convince theists they themselves are not.

I never had any regard for him or his arguments. A few atheists had recommended him as a more worthy foe than Dawkins or Harris a few years ago, but it was very clear to me that he was just another wannabe who was in well over his head. He’s an intellectual nothing who isn’t even worthy of contempt.