Ok here is the deal.
Whether through humor, or just plain spite I have noticed on this site, and among some of the leadership in our Atheist community that in order to look out for our view of the world it is necessarily to belittle religion.
To an extent I get it, it's a joke, or hey Atheists have experienced discrimination at the hands of the vocal religious majority, most notably Christians. So it is ok.
I'm sorry, but I just don't think it is. I am an Atheist because I don't believe in God. But the great perk of being an Atheist is that I am not a part of an organized religion that systematically condemns fellow human beings. Or so I thought, because I am discovering that some Atheists operate under the self-proclaimed assumption that they are smarter than anyone that is religious, and use that power to condemn the masses. Sure, it is not a sentence to hell, but it is still an insult.
Furthermore there are Atheists that engage in arguments and debates with Christians mostly about religion vs. non-religion. Although well reasoned, it seems these debates are meant to cure the religious of their "faith." That more than anything disgusts me. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, I would have thought more than any belief system that Atheists would understand that. Besides, isn't it annoying when Christian try and convert the masses to their religion. Isn't engaging in aggressive religion vs. reason debates doing the exact same thing?
I'm sorry. I am having trouble being a part of this community right now because of some of the things I am seeing. I guess I just want to know that there are people out there that agree with me. Please let me know if you do. If you want to debate, I can't say I am too suprised, go ahead.
In summation I am not saying every Atheist is like this, I'm not. There are the Minnesota Atheists who clean up a stretch of highway that I travel on the way to school, and there was that bathroom posting on this very site a few days ago that said "There is no god, so that means we must take care of each other." That is the kind of Atheism that I love and support. And that is the kind of Atheist I hope to be.
Very well put. I use to also be extremely passive and not challenge theists, even when I was approached. But as I have continued observing I find more and more distain for people who use religion as an excuse to justify their actions, either god or satan made them do it, never their own merit. I'm not saying that theists are stupid or do not have the capacity for intellect, they do, and many brilliant minds are or have been theists in our history (many of us were at one point under the same delusion). The problem is they will drop logic and reason when it comes to their beliefs and that is a dangerous thing. God trumps logic every time when it comes to decisions. I am of course speaking in a broad generalization; I’m talking about the ones who...well are stupid. Not stupid as in mentally ill (although that point could be argued for some...) but in blindly following without questioning the motives or logic behind it all. If it only affects themselves then I have no problem, but when it starts to influence the lives of others or myself then that’s when I am vocal, and unfortunately, their doctrine mandates that they affect the lives of everyone in many situations. I’m not talking about saying a prayer in public, if they want to praise a toaster, so be it. But like the examples Nelson gave, then it’s not ok.
Fair enough, I will remove my verbiage "Everyone is entitled to their opinions" from my point, and clarify.
I just meant that non-radical religious thought should not be demeaned from an Atheist pedestal. I believe that religion can strengthen a person, and help them cope with with a life, that we all know to truly be fleeting. Why should that be taken away from someone? Further more why even try since we know there is no method, including reason which most of us pride in being our greatest weapon, that can possibly take that away from someone who truly believes.
Although I know that there are those in an unfortunate position of power that utilize religion to justify what is nothing more than their solitary opinion, but there are many religious people, intelligent or otherwise that are, that are accepting of different religious belief or non-belief. I just don't think that all of the religious should be judged by a vocal radical minority.
I believe in coexistence, because isn't it diversity that allows us to live so long? I do not wish to only be friends with Atheists, just like I don't wish to only be friends with white heterosexual lower-middle class female college students.
Is that valid?
As far as radical and non-radical religion goes I could go case by case and give you a ruling based on my opinion, but it is gonna be different than yours. Lets just say that there is a difference between people who physically attack people, and people who simply attend church
There are plenty of non-radical religious people that speak out against the radical members of their community. The issue of Gay Marriage is just one example of where people with faith are split. Religion shouldn't be marginalized as non-sense. This is the point I am trying to prove. There are plenty of intelligent accepting religious people that outweigh the horrible discriminating ones.
I think it is pretty cynical to believe that coexistence is impossible. Personally I coexist fine with people of other religions and have never had a problem with people trying to convert me, because besides a flyer on the street now and then, nobody has tried. And my non-faith is strong enough to withstand a couple of flyers.
I never said that anyone is forcing me to be friends with atheists only, it was more of a point that diversity of beliefs is preferable, as opposed to trying to rid the world of all "toxic" religion.
You are absolutely right. I am not trying to prove anything. That was not my original point.
I was only posting to see if there were other Atheists that share my frustrations with our community. Either there aren't or they haven't seen/ responded to this.
I believe in accepting others for who they are, and what they believe in. Acceptance to me means not belittling them just because I disagree.
Religious people have faith, which by its very nature doesn't require proof. I can't deal with that, but just because I am an Atheist doesn't mean I am right. I could be wrong about the universe, I don't think so, but I can't deny the possibility.
What you seem to be describing in your last post is a utopia, good luck with that, but don't hold your breath.
I get frustrated by quite a few things about other atheists. But most of it has nothing to do with being an atheist but other belief systems they choose to stack onto that.
You seem to have an issue not with atheists as a community but the idea of proselytizing our position of non belief.
I cant say i agree with your concern over that. The exchange of ideas is what helps humans to communicate and understand each others differences. It doesnt happen magically by saying everyone hold hands and be nice to each other.
The way that tolerance happens is from open frank and sometimes heated comparison of ideas and positions. You dont get to a point of coexistence without knowing a bit of what your existing with.
Ok Nelson, honestly, I did not start this discussion topic to get into this pathetic internet tiff with you. My last post was an attempt to return to what I originally wanted this post to accomplish, sorry if I am not the perfect policy debate opponent for you.
I am looking for a community. For people that are Atheists to share ideas with me, and make friends. I want to support as well as be supported. That is why I was wondering if there was anyone who agreed with me. When I made the claim that I want to accept others, I was implying my previous justifications as far as radicalism goes. That really doesn't matter anymore though, I am not worried about what you get or don't get from my arguments, because you absolutely refuse to meet me halfway, or any measure of the way, I suppose except for your last paragraph. You were nice enough to confirm one sentence of mine.
Perhaps you are trolling around these forums to show off how intelligent you are. Congratulations, You are an expert of reason. You have managed to talk yourself to death, and you have made some really great arguments. I'm sorry though, you haven't changed my opinion on non-radical religious people. I am still going to accept them, befriend them, and even more respect their beliefs as something that helps them, and as something they whole-heartedly believe in with faith. Free pass and all. All you have done is specifically show me the kind of arrogance that I was originally attempting to avoid/understand the reason behind.
Would you agree that a person that is talking to leprechauns and wandering the street is no harm and shouldnt be judged?
How about if he groups up with other people who talk to leprechauns?
What if they allow someone to lead them? A head leprechaun listener?
If they use their money to manipulate government to support a leprechaun listener agenda?
what if they are teaching leprechaun listener ideals to their children who are teaching your children that they and you will suffer for not joining them?
One crazy person standing on the corner minding their own business is harmless and ignorable. A group of them is dangerous. A group of them with money to manipulate government is scary.
They all need medication not just the ones that are leading them.
They are high on the love of the leprechaun of course.
"I just meant that non-radical religious thought should not be demeaned from an Atheist pedestal."
I don't demand it, I just strongly encourage it. Also, I will choose to believe it's not the best strategy. But remember: Atheism is the smallest, but fastest growing, lack of faith in the world, and being a "militant" atheist isn't negative either.
Occasionally, we are allowed differences of opinion on something that's actually not settled scientifically such as passivism over militarism.
It was an attempt at dry wit. :)