One thing that that really get's to me is theist who think they have the right to not be offended and all people who enable this behaviour.
I find it hard to find a theist who will have an open discussion about why they believe in a personal god at all or why they think their god is real and all the other ones aren't. Yesterday I remarked on the hypocritical nature of the followers of xtianity and was met with no argument as to why what I said was wrong but that it was rude. When I asked why it was considered rude I was told that I should have respect for peoples religion. I disagree, I'll respect your right to have religion, by all means believe whatever crackpot fairy tales you like but if you are not willing to be offended and stand up for what you believe in then you need to take a serious look into why that is.
Most of the theists I know don't argue because they do not even care weather or not their god exists, they go to church on Sunday and go about their lives as if they were Atheists. But I know there are theists out there who might care but are too afraid of being offended by talking to an evil non believer so they just tell you that you are rude.
Are people just being too polite or am i really too insensitive?
Sarah - I'm glad that you are finding it awesome :)
It took me about a decade to go from evangelical Christian youth pastor to having no religion, but I did it in my own time without help from an awesome group like this and I found the journey very difficult and lonely at times.
During most of that time I found that I couldn't connect with my Christian friends because if I opened up they couldn't understand and would try and fix me. I was not ready to give up my religion and I had been well programmed to avoid evil non-spiritual people, so that didn't leave much room for anyone until I eventually broke through that barrier. After that life improved dramatically and that has continued and I am far happier now than I was before, but that may well be because of getting married and having a fantastic family.
I don't like labels and although I sometimes identify as atheist for convenience because it removes a lot of confusion about my outlook on life, I don't consider atheist to be a valid label for me (or for anyone for that matter). I'm just me.
Today: I am not religious, I don't like the effect that religion has on people, I believe that indoctrinating young children is abhorrent and that children should be taught to think critically for themselves. I don't hold the opinions of any particular group and I reserve the right to agree or disagree with anyone and to change my mind at any time
Oops - almost forgot to comment on the thread topic - I try hard not to be offensive, but when religious people take liberties that are not theirs for the taking (particularly with children), I have no qualms and can be damn offensive.
@Katrin.. I like this responce very much.. I also don't see a need for a label that says what I don't believe in.. I don't see anyone going around saying that they are non-stamp collectors... so why should I go around with a label that says I'm a non-theist?
I AM a humanist....even a secular humanist. These are labels that describe me 'a little', but they don't describe the 'whole' of who I am or what I think. I also reserve the right to change my mind at any time..and not only that but to continually question myself on what it is that I do think.
I would like to say that as a Catholic, I agree with much of what you say in this post. Maybe offended is not the best word to describe it, but as you say, Christians should be ready and willing to stand up for what they believe to be true and should not brush aside arguement as simply rude and therefore not worth their time and effort. The bottom line is many Christians are christian in name and do not delve into all aspects of their faith, they simply do not have the knowledge of faith nor the reasoning to back it up and this whole lack of knowledge can be chalked up to apathy just as you said. I believe that for alot of nominal Christians, their faith is simply an insurance policy, they have the mentality that "if i go to church once a week, say grace before meals once in a while and claim to be a christian, then i will go to heaven if it exists, and if not then no big deal".
I would like to thank you for this post because i believe that anyone who claims to follow a certain belief system should be willing and capable to state simply why it is that they believe what they believe. I think it is great that you challenge people in their faith because no body should have belief without personal conviction of those beliefs and without being able to at least articulate why it is they believe.
From the Pope recently:
While actual atheists often think deeply about God before rejecting belief, practical atheism (i.e. nominal christians) “is even more destructive … because it leads to indifference towards faith and the question of God,” the Pope stated.
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/practical-atheism-more-destruc...
they simply do not have the knowledge of faith nor the reasoning
There is no such thing as "knowledge of faith". Faith is accepting something as true despite a lack of evidence, and in many cases in spite of evidence to the contrary. It is the opposite of reasoning.
I do like the commentary from the Pope (a guy whose job relies on keeping a flock of faithful supporting him in opulence, so he and his upper echelon followers can dress and think like their predecessors did centuries ago, and can feel free to give advice on sexuality despite being completely ignorant of the realities of it due to their vows of celibacy).
it leads to indifference towards faith and the question of God
Otherwise stated, "it leads to indifference towards belief in an imaginary, invisible, super powered, sky pixie." ... he says it like it's a bad thing.
knowledge/science of faith = theology
Atheism not at all indifferent towards god, atheism is quite adamant that god does not exist.
I don't know about that, but I am adamant about spreading atheism ... to everyone ... everywhere. So, put your money where your mouth is and let's dance ;-)
I started a group called "Welcome all Adherents". You're invited.
That contention presumes that all atheists think alike.
If all Catholics thought alike, there would still be only the one Church. Your Church even has an Eastern and Western Orthodoxy, and then there are all of the subgroups, through and including all Protestants, including the whacky cults of Mormonism and Scientolgy - how many are they up to now, by last count?
there is a difference between Catholics and christians. There is only one holy catholic church of which the pope is the head. The eastern right is part of this church but protestants, mormons and especially scientologist fall under different denominations.
i don't mean to assert that all atheists think alike but by the same token the word atheist immediately implies disbelief in god. I can see that many of you don't necessarily agree with that and i suppose it's your system not mine so who am i to tell you what you believe. But by calling myself a christian, it means automatically that i believe there is a god. A-Theist when broken down means NO- God, the prefix a means no.
RE: "A-Theist when broken down means NO- God, the prefix a means no." - in English, possibly, but in Latin, which is the origin of the word, it means, as I have repeatedly tried telling you, "without." When you have translated all of Julius Caesar's letters, from his military campaign in France, back to the Roman Senate, as I have, come back and talk to me about the meaning of Latin words - they begin, "Omni est Gallia divide en tres partes --." Latin had no articles, "a," "an," or "the, " so be careful, it can get hinky.
You're trying to herd us into a corner, where we are forced to accept your contention that we, "believe," which implies a "faith," which frees you to say, "Well, since we both have a belief, it becomes a matter of faith in both cases" and I have continued to maintain, clearly to deaf ears, that no faith is involved, choosing not to fall into the trap you believe you have so cleverly set.
All of the Christian belief systems are the children and grandchildren of the - imo, unholy - Catholic Church, whose amassed wealth would reposition generations of the poor into self-sustaining lifestyles, yet resides (at least that which is not already in money-market accounts) in some vault somewhere, deep beneath the Vatican, locked up more tightly than Fort Knox or little 14-year old Mary's knees.
Which brings me to another point - did he even take her to dinner first? Maybe a movie? Flowers? Talk about a cheap date --
Speaking of faith, Ray, let me just throw out a couple of rhetorical questions, to which I do not expect an answer, but which, nevertheless, I would like you to consider.
How many churches use money that could potentially go to feed hungry children, to pay for insurance policies?
Did you know that the Popemobile has windows made of 3" bullet-proof glass?
"Oh ye of little faith, I never knew ye --"