Hello fellow non-believers!

I am new to TA but the question I pose is certainly not a fresh one: Can Atheists and Theists co-exist?

We all know that historically Theists and other Theists cannot co-exist peacefully. War and violence in the name of Religion has been widespread over the entirety of human existence, but it has to be said that civility between believers and non-believers in the modern age has been commonplace. Formal (mostly amicable) debates and the agreement on separation of church and state have somewhat proven this theory, right?

Do the majority of Atheists really strive for a world of empty churches, bible burning and the end of religion forever? Maybe some of us do, just as many Theists probably pray for the conversion of all Atheists to Theism.

What can we realistically hope to achieve as Atheists, and in your opinion is it possible to co-exist with the believers?

I'll leave you with some interesting quotes -

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
  - Criss Jami

"I'm noticing an exciting trend around the country: a resurgence of interest in Christian apologetics (the defense of the faith). This is a reaction to the current attacks on the essentials of Christianity that are coming from militant atheists, radical professors, and Internet gadflies."

- Lee Strobel

"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world."

- Richard Dawkins

"Religion is part of the human make-up. It's also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, our first attempt at philosophy."

- Christopher Hitchens

Tags: argue, atheism, co-existence, debate, religion, society, theism, war

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Sarah and Arch:

As I have gotten older, it seems unclear if I have to understand every point-of-view, sometimes I just let the other person run with it, and see what happens.

Recently, I was just leaving my massage therapist's office early evening. She and I walked out together, I to my car and she to her mail box. She looked up into a dark clear sky and said, 'Look I saw a UFO, it moved'. I come about to her location and looked at the same patch of sky and saw nothing, but then gave her a short tour of the night sky, identifing a few constelations and planets that were visiable. I realized that she knew basically nothing about astronomy, but still kept track of astrology, and even if Mercury was in retrograd. She seems to be a good soul, but not worldly.

It is unclear if her lack of knowledge concerning astronomy is important, but filling her head with twisted manucia, might displace important insights. Atleast she looks up into the sky and still sees wonder...

All of my lovers have been Christians.

... it suddenly occurs to me that I don't know many intelligent girls.

Wow. I'm popping some popcorn.

no. religion should be kept quiet. everybody needs to keep it to theirselves. bieng a christian means having a relationship with god, not god and the whole world.

I think we can co-exist. I feel the same way about this as I do the gays. As long as they don't try to push their beliefs onto me, I am fine.

Mikayla please define 'push the beliefs'. I am sure it you have an idea of what it means to you, but I don't want to put words in your mouth.

For the record, I am not gay, but when I was younger I had a really sexy ass, for a dude that is.

Marc

Having a really sexy ass is in the gay manifesto under section 18 subsection 12b; however section 18 deals with recommendations and not requirements.

The more interesting items in the manifesto are that fashion and lesbian porn are both fabrications of the gay liberation army which serve primarily as revenue drivers. No gay men actually care if that blouse matches that skirt, and real lesbian sex produces orgasms transcendental to the point that they almost prove the existence of godly magic, but the process requires math too complicated for heterosexuals to perform or understand.

Section 12 of the manifesto just says 'unicorns'. No one is willing to explain to me what this means, but I bet it's awesome.

By pushing the beliefs, i meant as long as they dont try to turn me gay. im not homophobic or anything. i just dont think its the right way to go. i support them. i just dont want to be them.

@Mikayla:

One thing I did as part of my on-going philosophy interest/training, I went to several conferences for gay rights/marriage, and bisexual conflicts. After lots of enlightening conversations and good pizza, it became clear that you 'CAN NOT FAKE BEING GAY!'

There seems to be something different, but it is not about belief. Belief issues come into play during and after the emergence of the identity, with the other folks making it hard to cope and survive the expression of that identity.

We each emerge or submerge out of/into the some social construct of 'normal'. Atheism, for many would be an expression of the 'abnormal'. While with large groups of atheists, the belief/attitude appears to be normal, and the linguistic expressions of the group are good attempts to sustain that perception.

Gay folks are surrounded by multiple social constructs, some welcoming, others cruel and alienating. As an atheist, I have seen this in my own life, and can be treated differently just by using my words differently, or mentioning a detail that might not be common knowledge/experience.

Theists generally assume that they are the 'in group', with the divine right to define, normal, moral, justice, knowledge, wisdom, authority, and history. 

I suggest not being affraid of gays, be more concerned about the folks that might like to define them out of existence, or deny basic human rights to them. Denying rights to one, can wedge open the gates to denying rights to any that might be convenient or politically useful.           

Mikayla, you can't be turned gay. Either you are attracted or you're not.

You are straight and you like guys correct?

How silver-tongued would a girl have to be to persuade you into liking girls? I like women and have been with the same one for 28 years. There is no argument, no matter how convincing, no dude, no matter how attractive, and no circumstance or amount of alcohol that I could drink that I would find myself wanting to be with a guy. If there was then I'd be gay or at least bi, but I'd already know that. And if I was so what? Let's say you really were gay, so what?

If you were lonely, had very low self-esteem, or where desperate for attention, whether it be physical attention or social attention, I would agree that there are predatory types on both sides of one's sexual orientation that might try to take advantage of that. If that's the case than you should hold them same animosity or distrust for all of them, regardless of their sexual orientation.

So, being gay is a set of beliefs, not a sexual orientation.

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