Bronze-level articleTheAmazingAtheist

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Thomas James "TJ" Kirk III (also known as TheAmazingAtheist) is an atheist vlogger known for his aggressive style and attacks on feminism. Originally, he attacked creationist arguments — sometimes with a toxicity that people on both sides of the debate found objectionable. Much of the skeptic and atheist community now considers him a detriment to the cause.

TJ has adopted an unremittingly anti-feminist stance in his social criticism over the years, seeing feminism as somehow being a great danger and harmful to society. Ironically, as a result of these views, TJ's views and character is often defended by cliques that he himself is not a member of; MRAs, NRxionaries and people who whine about "SJWs" — though the overlap in opinion between TJ and these groups is almost total.

Contents

[edit] YouTube history

As of July 2016, TJ has over 997,000 subscribers and 308 million views.[1]

TJ joined YouTube in November 2006. He made some enemies such as jezuzfreek777 and VenomFangX, although he does have respect for the former. His extensive use of profanity led to the temporary suspension of his account in early 2009. TAA made a video denouncing Paul Broun for his views on evolution called The Pinnacle of Stupidity(link).

TJ also organized a group called The Atheist Scum United, whose purpose was to take the fight to Christianity's doorstep by making videos in a basement. However, this soon fell apart due to arguments between the members.[citation needed]

In 2009, he also began making some entertainment videos. In 2010, he started a series of interviews with the literary critic Howard Bloom. Later that year, his friend Cody Weber, a.k.a. SaturnineFilms, became his cameraman and director, until their collaboration ended in October 2011. He has been doing a mix of religious, sociopolitical and entertainment videos ever since.

Many of his old videos were archived on the fan-run YouTube channels TheAmazingAtheism(link) (mostly before 2010) and TheAmazingArchivist(link) (before 2012). However, some of the videos have since been removed by YouTube for "repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines and/or claims of copyright infringement."

[edit] On politics

TJ previously espoused libertarian doctrines such as "personal responsibility"; however, after his father died in January 2008 and he saw people queuing for the emergency room, he began to make a shift to liberalism, believing that social programs are sometimes necessary to help the needy. The focus of his videos gradually expanded to address political and social issues. He has also deleted some of the older videos from his libertarian period because of YouTube's change in policy making is easier for his videos to be flagged.[2]

TJ supported Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic Primary , opposing Hillary Clinton as a corrupt insider who lies about everything. He now supports[3] and intends to vote for[4] Gary Johnson because he is more viable[5]. Or maybe not.[6]

TAA has spoken out virulently against the idea of white guilt as perpetrated by modern conservatives.[7] TJ also trashed the shitfest over Star Wars VII's featuring of a black character, which racists decried as white genocide.[8]

In 2012, TJ launched a campaign to raise funds for an organization that works to bring clean water to those who need it. [9]He set out to reach a goal of $10,000; in total, the campaign raised $12,765.[10]

TJ doesn't like "SJWs". He argues that they killed nuance,[11] which led to some humor.[12]

[edit] On society

TJ really doesn't like otherkin.[13][14]

[edit] Bullying

One controversial video is "Bullies," where he expressed the view that "being a bully doesn't make you a monster, and being bullied doesn't make you a victim," and called suicidal bullying victims "weak."[15] This led to a very mixed reaction amongst his audience; he responded to the intense criticism with a follow-up video, "Macho Trolling."[16]

This caring, empathetic attitude was again revealed in his treatment of the story of Amanda Todd, a teenage girl who committed suicide in October 2012, not long after posting a video on Youtube detailing her story of being subjected to a sustained campaign of blackmail, stalking and bullying.[17][18] Upon hearing of Amanda's suicide, TAA posted a picture on his Tumblr blog of him holding a sign, similar to the manner in which Amanda Todd did in her video, saying "I am the other hundreds of thousands of people who died today other than Amanda fucking Todd."[19] A subsequent post had him dismissing her in light of unnamed people who died in "far worse" situations:[20]

And unlike Amanda, ... these people died against their will. They fought with their last ounce of courage to survive, and they still died. I find their deaths more worthy of tribute than some spoiled teenage girl that offed herself at the first sign of adversity.

That said, in TJ posted a video in June 2013[21] in defense of Coy Mathis, a transgender girl who was being bullied online by conservative websites for having won a court case giving her the right to use the girl's bathroom.

[edit] Vegetarianism

TJ dislikes vegetarianism and has devoted several videos to attacking it.[22] He has stated that a morality that does not account for human nature is flawed,[23] and has expressed annoyance at "the way that a simple dietary choice is elevated to this great moral decision".[24] He has gone as far as to accuse most vegans of feigning their ideology in order to appear unique and holier-than-thou.[25]

Contrary to his previous beliefs, by June 16, 2015 he had became a vegetarian, in his own words, "to impress a girl".[26][27]

By 2016 he has announced that he is no longer a vegetarian, and that he didn't enjoy it.

[edit] On pedophilia and sexuality

Teenage girls are annoying because they go out into public dressed like sluts and then if you look at their massive titties there is a segment of our society that will happily declare you a pedophile for "oggling those poor children". Children, my ass. Children don’t have D cups. Children don’t have big, luscious round asses crammed into designer jeans.
—TJ, on 14-year old girls[28]

He believes that sexuality is a "noble" aspect of the human condition, and that it should not be treated with fear. According to TJ, true variety of human sexual experiences includes consensual polygamy, incest (when children are not produced), and cannibalism [!], and asserts that prohibitions against these acts stems from religious dogma or as a result of evolutionary pressures since polygamy and incest decrease the gene pool.[29]

TJ thinks that everybody should have the right to do anything they want within the realm of consent, as long as it doesn't infringe upon the freedoms of anyone else.

Mr. Atheist on pedophilia and the age of consent:[30][31] (emphasis added)

Originally posted by Komaschwarz

They can, period. There is no gene present within the human body that forces a human to actively molest children. Anyone who has the mental faculties to understand the law should be held accountable for their actions. It is the foundation of the law.

You don’t have to agree with the law. But if you are willing to break it, at least have the strength to accept your punishment, and not hide behind excuses and rationalization for your behavior.

Sexual predisposition does not justify molesting someone. Ever.

I agree with all that. Having pedophilic attractions doesn't mean you automatically go out and start molesting kids. From the time I was 14 to the time I was about 19, I used to have extreme pedophilic fantasies, and I somehow managed to never even come close to acting on them. I think with my brain, not my penis.

I do think, however, the pedophilia is unfairly persecuted in today's society.

I think the difference in punishment between child rapists and child molestors should be more significant, with molestors perhaps simply attending mandatory therapy for their first offense. I also think that the age of sexual consent should be lowered to 12 or 13.

My stance is not designed to be controversial or to offend anyone. I only want human beings to understand that the law must work within the parameters of human nature, not in defiance of it.

[edit] On upskirt photography

The "Sex" segment of TAA's book Scumbag: Musings of a Subhuman closes with the chapter "Tits vs. Ass: The Final Showdown," which features a helpful comparison chart of pros and cons, with such charming observations as tits being "hard to stare at without the girl noticing," while "you can take a picture [of her ass] and she won't be any the wiser."[32]

[edit] Feminism

TJ "believe[s] in equality between men and women legally and in all ways. Every opportunity a man has a woman should have."[33] That said, he really really doesn't like feminism.[34][35][36][37][38][39] Examples:

  • He argued that female supremacy is feminism's real agenda,[40] which stems from the recent wave of new-age feminism that many have found to focus more on playing the role of a victim and aggressive attacks towards those who challenge them.
  • He once compared feminism to the KKK, suggesting that it had regressed into something pitiable, much like the KKK, and then proceeded to apologize... to the KKK.[41] In this, he falls into the predictable MRA trap of decrying feminism as a big, scary movement which is simultaneously (and paradoxically) ineffectual and lame.
  • TJ characterizes the feminist movement as being overly politically correct, insensitive to men, and seems to believe that Tumblr represents some gigantic central hub of the feminist hivemind.[42]
  • TJ uploaded a video called "There's No Rape Culture"[43], where he did a point-by-point "rebuttal" of RationalWiki's rape culture article. Said rebuttal consisted entirely of personal anecdotes, insults against feminists as a group, and the MRA strawman of false rape accusers. Ironically, he described how rape culture actually works almost perfectly in his follow-up video, but damn if he's ever going to let those hairy feminists be right.[44]
  • He also did exact duplicates of Thunderf00t's criticisms of Anita Sarkeesian, complete with the same underlying tone of "women really are weak".[45]
  • TAA also believes that women are less funny than men, because Christopher Hitchens.[46]

TJ instead claims to support egalitarianism. He has made numerous videos claiming much of modern society is biased against men, often via tenuous-at-best examples.[47][48] TJ was a frequent commenter on the MensRights subreddit for years and was lined up to speak at A Voice for Men's 2014 conference, though it fell through at the last moment.[49]

[edit] Rape isn't fatal

As an example of his respect and care for his fellow humans, in his pompous and self-indulgent e-book Scumbag: Musings of a Subhuman (2007), TJ writes:[50]

Rape isn't fatal. So imagine my indignation when I saw a chatroom called "Rape Survivors." Is this supposed to impress me? Someone fucked you when you didn't want to be fucked and you're amazed that you survived? Unless he used a chainsaw instead of his dick, what's the big deal? I don’t mean to be horrendously offensive and insensitive here, but everyone survives rape. The word survivor applies to people who are alive after being stabbed 73 times with an ice pick or mauled by rabid wolverines, not to a woman who gets dick when she doesn't want it. Just because you got raped, you have to rape the English language? You vindictive bitch! Also, don't you ever get tired of being the victim? How many failed relationships are you going to blame on a single violation of your personal space?

In his video "Rape, Feminism, and the Amazing Atheist" TJ attempts to explain his rationale behind writing this:[51]

This was a piece designed to motivate rape victims to not allow their victimhood to oppress them - to encourage them not to dwell on past events and move on with their lives. Why is it worded so offensively? Because when I wrote it I was a stupid twenty-two year old who had at this point only ever socialized with other people on online message boards, where this was simply how we talked. Not to mention it's supposed to be a humorous piece, in the same vein of shock humor as Bill Maher's party costume. In retrospect, I too find the piece overly callous and I would not write it today. But I did write it, and I don't apologize for it. It was how I felt at the time, and I really don't think the message of moving on from trauma is a negative one. I've been told by several rape victims that this piece actually motivated them to move on with their lives. I have yet to be told by one victim that it increased their trauma.

In the following section, TAA recalls a female acquaintance who rejected and mocked a guy for his small penis size. The anecdote culminates in TJ's hilarious punchline:[52]

I told her, "You’re lucky it wasn't me. I’d have busted your fucking nose and raped you."

[edit] Reddit meltdown

On February 2012, in a thread on the MensRights subreddit about a distasteful username on a feminist board, he made a "joke" about how he wanted to violently rape one of its users. When he was informed the person in question was an actual rape victim and called out by said person for his abusive language and lack of respect for people with post-traumatic stress disorder, he complained about the very concept of trigger warnings and posted further graphic descriptions of how he would rape her again in a deliberate attempt to make her relive her trauma.

Choice statements include "I will make you a rape victim if you don't fuck off." and "I think we should give the guy who raped you a medal. I hope you fucking drown in rape semen, you ugly, mean-spirited cow."[53][54]

Supposedly this was some sort of clever satire of... something.[55] He was taken to task by PZ Myers and others for his misogyny.[56][57][58]

TJ made the following private apology (emphasis added).[59] However, he returned to a belittling tone when asked to apologize publicly. He did this on YouTube much later.[60]

TJ: My comments to you were wrong and I regret them, not just because I’m getting shit for them but because they were genuinely out of line. I was angry and I said stupid things, thinking I was making a point. I realize now that the point I was trying to make was totally overridden by the crudeness and the cruelty with which I expressed myself. For my behavior, I apologize. I realize that you probably will not believe the sincerity of my, or will not accept it, but I apologize nonetheless.

To TJ: I’d be more willing to accept your apology if you were willing to post it in a public space, on your tumblr or on your Facebook page or as a response to the video you made complaining about us. I do not, at this point, forgive you in any way, shape or form. If you are truly remorseful I would encourage you to make a public apology not only to me, but to the others that you might have hurt with your graphic descriptions of rape. Your comments were cruel, it’s true, but you have a chance to make things a little bit better by pointing out to your fanbase that what you did was unacceptable.

TJ: I don’t normally let other people bully me into doing what they want. Sorry, but a private apology is the best I’m willing to do. I have already publicly stated that what I said was wrong.

[edit] Anti-misogyny

All that said, TJ has also produced several videos criticizing misogynists Jefferson Bethke,[61] Jesse Peterson,[62] and Todd Akin.[63]

He has also started a fundraiser for The International Women's Health Coalition which has raised over $120K, though the wording of fundraiser page (such as "daring to actually help women" and "bringing true feminism to woman [sic] and girls who suffer actual oppression and inequality") suggests this was at least partially motivated by spite towards feminists such as Anita Sarkeesian who focus on gender within culture.[64]

[edit] Nutpicking victim

See the main article on this topic: Nutpicking

TheAmazingAtheist is perceived as the walking embodiment of an impacted tooth, both by the atheist community and by religious conservatives looking for convenient examples of famous atheists being assholes.[65][66] In addition to the gaffes quoted above, he is equally tactless toward his debate opponents: other notable cases include his attacks on DonExodus2, a then-Christian who defended the theory of evolution, and Coughlan666, who said the atheists might "come around" to NightVisionPhantom while he was having a difficult time of his life, which TAA misinterpreted as an attempt to use NightVisionPhantom's vulnerability to deconvert him to atheism.[citation needed]

For a while, TJ made videos on Internet commentary site That Guy With the Glasses under the name of "Distressed Watcher." He wasn't exactly welcomed by the community with open arms, who petitioned to have him removed as soon as he was announced. He caused some in-fighting over the promotion of his videos, where he publicly claimed that his videos were usually at the bottom of the new videos list if even listed at all. After his video "The Top Ten Gayest Music Videos" was rejected for publication on the site, he half-assed his content and missed a couple deadlines until he was ultimately let go.[67] The site has since erased all his content and none of its contributors have maintained any ties with him.

[edit] E-begging and scams

TJ is an e-beggar[68] and some of his e-begging campaigns have been widely deemed scams.[69] TJ's scams include:

  • Creationist Roadtrip: In 2008, TJ made many YouTube videos in which he asked for money for a roadtrip, during which he would meet and interview famous atheists and creationists and produce a documentary.[70] TJ took thousands of dollars in donations over several months. The trip never materialized. TJ has outright denied memory of plans for this road-trip.[71] The old version (visible through the Wayback Machine) includes now-deleted embedded videos about the roadtrip, a manifesto, donation buttons, a photoshoot, and various banners.[72]
  • FreeSpeechVids: In 2009, TJ proposed a website called FreeSpeechVids -- supposed to compete with YouTube, albeit with more lax restrictions. TJ ran a BlogTV session, in which he and friends asked for donations, and received thousands of dollars. In the session, people were kicked out of the room for donating but not quite donating "enough"; more problematically, one of TJ's friends threatened to shoot himself (unless they got more donations), threatened to cut himself with a knife (unless they got more donations), and actually cut himself on camera (unless they got more donations). Yes, really.[73] TJ did not know his friend was being serious (he had suicidal tendencies), and thought it was a stunt to get money. FSV did materialize, and was online for 16 months. However, it fell far short due to low bandwidth, lack of a dedicated server, and a lack of sufficient security. Upon the closure of the site, TJ called all its members "fags"[74] and made no attempt to refund donation money. Both LodeRunner, a developer of the site,[75] and TJ's best friend accused TJ of misappropriating the donations.[76] TJ later stated:[77]
I don’t know how this notion began that Free Speech Vids never happened. Free Speech Vids was an active and fully operational website for more than a year. It closed down because we just couldn’t make it work. It failed because it simply wasn’t a good business model. Instead of focusing on entertaining content and a high quality website, it was focused on free expression. Unfortunately, most of the people who freely expressed themselves on it just weren’t very much fun to watch.
  • Not Productive: In August 2011, TJ reported he had started work on "Not Productive", another video hosting site, due to launch later that month.[78] In early 2012 TJ started a big donation drive, explaining that the idea was to showcase quality videomakers that get "buried under all the YouTube crap". NP was to host its videos on Blip or YouTube and the comments on Facebook.[79] TJ set a donation goal of $20,000; in the end, it received over $17,000.[77] In January 2013, 1.5 years after the planned launch date, the site became publicly accessible for approximately 2 weeks. However, it was plagued with various glitches, was very basic in design, and all of its videomakers were already popular. As of June 2013, almost 2 years past the planned launch date, the site was not up in any official capacity. The webpage now redirects to a a YouTube channel,[80] which TJ claimed was the first phase of the plan all along.[81][82][83] It is extremely doubtful that TJ spent more than $17,000 on a website that was up for less than a month.

[edit] MGTOW

On Jan 10, 2016 TJ made a video where he answered several questions from his audience including his opinion on MGTOW. While in a typical TJ fashion, using the opportunity to decry feminism which he claimed largely "hates men", TJ condemned the MGTOW movement as "dumb", "silly" and "stupid". TJ announced that most women were okay and declared that MGTOW baselessly saw women as a threat.[84]

[edit] On this very article

In 2012, TJ wrote:[85]

[Q:] "Why is your 'RationalWiki' article so vile and slanderous towards you?"

[A:] Because it used to be really nice and complimentary, so some trolls found it and trashed it. Henceforth, they’ve prevented anyone from fixing it, and because trolls tend to have twice the dedication of fans, they win all such encounters.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. https://www.youtube.com/user/TheAmazingAtheist/about
  2. https://youtu.be/23HppqkAZp4?t=4624
  3. https://twitter.com/amazingatheist/status/757080515421896704
  4. https://twitter.com/amazingatheist/status/757082186310881280
  5. https://twitter.com/amazingatheist/status/757081752217280513
  6. https://twitter.com/amazingatheist/status/758204600495120384
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0wI-4599k0
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmgp6fUrMAA
  9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTpbIfkICM0
  10. http://mycharitywater.org/p/campaign?campaign_id=32753
  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFjndBbLDZc
  12. https://www.reddit.com/r/BestOfOutrageCulture/comments/47mfzg/we_apparently_killed_a_concept/
  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suSfNzAdNBU&
  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABSyCmvq4IY
  15. Bullies
  16. Macho Trolling
  17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOHXGNx-E7E&feature=plcp
  18. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/amanda-todd-teenager-commits-suicide-1376976
  19. http://amazingatheist.tumblr.com/post/33484072757
  20. http://amazingatheist.tumblr.com/post/33499413430/why-do-you-suddenly-feel-more-important-than-amanda
  21. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTxtYJrCOA8
  22. [1] playlist of TJ's vids on vegetarianism
  23. [2] Tumblr post on the morality of vegetarianism
  24. [3]
  25. [4] Tumblr post on vegans
  26. [5]
  27. [6]
  28. http://www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/2014/07/23/the-amazing-atheists-not-so-amazing-thoughts-on-the-age-of-consent/
  29. Atheist Libertarian Defends Incest, Polygamy and Cannibalism!
  30. http://web.archive.org/web/20071228200126/http://www.mansonusa.com/forums/showpost.php?p=907893&postcount=22
  31. http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2014/07/22/on-that-quote-purported-to-be-by-the-amazing-atheist/
  32. Scumbag: Musings of a Subhuman, page 96.
  33. https://youtu.be/AVQfJKg4EIY?t=598
  34. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPNumWFhxH8
  35. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP2XTYQHdOY
  36. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nihBhgYHDVk
  37. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlSh6wBXePM
  38. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KQQ1bzQn0k
  39. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOqXQ_MVXUo
  40. Some criticism of TJ's views on feminism
  41. TheAmazingAtheist compares feminists to the Ku Klux Klan
  42. A Q&A video from November 28th, 2013, where he explains his views on feminism. Further in, he talks a bit about misandry.
  43. There's No Rape Culture
  44. The End of Rape
  45. "Who's the Damsel Now?", where he somehow thinks YouTube comments count as reasoned debate, and "REFUTING ANITA SARKEESIAN's "Damsel in Distress: Part 2", where he even trots out ye olde "be thankful us MEN rescue your ungrateful ass".
  46. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2NmbJ5iftM&t=213
  47. Sexism Against Men DOES Exist!, which is just an example of a legal oversight without specific oppressive intent.
  48. It's Only Sexist When Men Do It, where he claims men are not allowed to joke about violence against women while ignoring that men like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck say horrifying things without even a token attempt at dark comedy. Context is important for any incident.
  49. [7]; screenshot.
  50. Scumbag: Musings of a Subhuman, page 90.
  51. [8]
  52. Scumbag: Musings of a Subhuman, page 93.
  53. I love how the whiny feminist morality brigade upvotes a user named "ICumWhenIKillMen." Screencap
  54. PZ Myers, "Not-So-Amazing Atheist Implodes"
  55. "PZ Liars", by that Fat Atheist.
  56. The not-so-Amazing Atheist self-immolates
  57. Horrible people don’t realize they’re horrible. This includes links to screen-caps of material that has been taken down in many places.
  58. TheAmazingAtheist’s Misogynist Meltdown
  59. We Don’t Need You as an Atheist Spokesperson, TJ, yetanotheratheist.com
  60. https://youtu.be/K6ys-OklTOA?t=14m40s Youtube apology.]
  61. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv2SSGSJrB4
  62. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8GM_OF_2ng
  63. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6EcZGfSO98
  64. https://www.crowdrise.com/extraordinary-people-daring-to-actually-help-women-
  65. The “Amazing” Atheist Suicide Bombs Himself
  66. The Amazing Rape-Celebrating Atheist
  67. His video and this Tumblr post, which goes to show how much of a non-event this all was.
  68. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgNHwHM3bhw#t=2m39
  69. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQIK8tiCBsA
  70. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAdc131dy7E&t=158
  71. [9]
  72. http://web.archive.org/web/20090302095358/http://www.myspace.com/motherfuckermanifesto
  73. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeiIpHPdgzc
  74. https://encyclopediadramatica.se/File:ScreenShot003.gif
  75. tj is incompetent.... he takes all the money for himself. He doesn't know how to properly make a good video site for people, and he never bought enough bandwidth. He・ソ also never bought a dedicated server. He also never thought to get a security system from the beginning so he wouldn't be hacked....
  76. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud4pV9roNJ8
  77. 77.0 77.1 https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/not-productive#/
  78. http://web.archive.org/web/20110807045254/http://thatfatatheist.com/bio/
  79. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTdMZPLokIo
  80. notproductive.com
  81. http://amazingatheist.tumblr.com/post/53726425086/youre-the-only-person-ive-seen-who-does-these-videos]
  82. [https://www.youtube.com/user/NotProductive
  83. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/not-productive#/updates]
  84. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEl1U8D51O4
  85. http://amazingatheist.tumblr.com/post/25118662907/why-is-your-rationalwiki-article-so-vile-and
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