I think you must have observed a steady rise in the use of memes on social networking sites. One group that has mastered the art and craft of memes are atheists. Due to their catchy, comical and seemingly innocent nature, memes are used as a rhetoric propaganda tool. They substitute well-reasoned argumentation, and one can quickly notice lethargy, sloppiness, and superficiality on the part of the propagator. A propagator of memes either takes you for a fool or doesn’t care about your interests – of getting sufficient facts and information about a matter, that is if you care about the truth.
In his article, “The Con of Propaganda,” Dr Noam Schpancer says this:
“Savvy propagandists …draw their power in large part from the fact that their targets are not aware that propaganda is being used on them. In this way, propaganda is not a magic show but a con. A mind that is not trained to detect and neutralize propaganda is a gullible mind, ripe for the swindle.”
Memes atheist post on Facebook and other social sites are often established on logical fallacies. For example, you are likely to encounter ad hominems – name-calling, unflattering nicknames, and labels.
The internet atheist employs reductionism too. This is where he reduces a matter that requires in-depth analysis into a meme – a slogan, a one-liner, a soundbite.
Generalisation is a sure arrow in their quiver, and they wield it with pride as if it is a prize. That is why you will see memes with words such as, ‘Religion is evil.’
Card stacking is always kept close and can be engaged anytime it is needed. Information that is relevant to the opposing side is sidestepped in favour of what panders to his interests – propagandism.
Of course, there are other logical fallacies, such as the bandwagon, you can effortlessly detect in these memes. Realise that they aim to appeal to fallacious reasoning and try to shred your belief system into pieces. They hope that the system dies the death of a thousand paper cuts.
Be as wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove.