I know why xtians walk around trying to convert people...as they are "commanded" to do so. Why do atheists feel the need to do the same? One of the issues I have with organized religion is that whole thing about trying to convert someone. If someone has a question as to why I am atheist..I will answer it. However I will not be the one to push my views at them in an attempt to "convert" them. Just curious :)
I think you are perhaps making a slight assumption. Not all atheists try to convert people. In fact, I think you will find that very few do, as atheists tend to dislike being told to convert by other religious believers themselves. Of course, there are always exceptions, but the majority of atheists do not try to forcefully convert people, but merely express their beliefs if they wish to, as anyone else would.
I think also, that many people find atheists expressing their beliefs as behaviour that is easily misconstrued as attempts at conversion. Most atheists will not try to tell people, for example, that god doesn't exist, but will encourage people to think critically, not convert them.
You are correct, I should have quantified with "some" as not all people with their beliefs do all the preconceived notions of that belief.
Whenever anyone asks a question like this I read it as "Why do you want to do all you can to make sure that people that believe something fundamentally at odds with objective reality have their error corrected when that belief negatively impacts our long term safety and moral progress? I just don't understand..."
Sorry, but, the notion that, because some religious people try to convince others that they're right, therefore we as atheists shouldn't want to try to convince people that we're right, is just... odd.
I want to believe true things.
I want others to believe true things, especially when their false beliefs can negatively impact society in general and/or me specifically.
its the negative impact part that does it for me.
Not surprisingly I have to agree with Nelson on this one. Ideas, especially good ones, tend to expand through a population nicely, bad ideas tend to flounder and die, unless of course the bad idea is backed by gobs of cash, dogma, propaganda, fear mongering and so on. The scale tilts back the other way under such circumstances. Truth is in a very competitive contest with myth and has been for far too long. I personally am siding with truth and don't mind being vocal about it.
I too side with truth and don't mind being vocal about it in the right environment :P
Other than not believing in anyone's specific "sky Daddy", what are the rules of being an Atheist, if any?
With so many people in this world ready to tell us who we are, and what we are, and how we should act, is it any wonder that people are pissed off when anyone tries to claim being right?
I think that it is arrogant at best to tell someone that I am doing this for your own benefit, because I know better than you. Everyone basically wants the same thing in life. We all want to feel complete. We all want to feel Loved and appreciated. Knowing that these basic feelings contribute to how we process what we see in this world, it also goes far to explain why people believe in gods. The problem is, any debate or discussion you have with someone that is a believer (doesn't mater what it is they believe in) is basically a one way street for both sides. Because both sides present their argument from an entirely personal perspective, based on their own experiences, there is very little shared common frame of reference other that the initial argument. Polarized sides remain apart, no amount of "debate" will change it.
Personally, I do not make any attempt to convince anyone that the fairy tales that they base their lives on are untrue. The time and effort that is wasted when dealing with so many closed minded people, is mind boggling. Do we not have something better to do with our time? Are our lives so empty that we look to some sort of "crusade" to fill it? Conversion is meaningless unless the mind being converted is ready and open to change. I have never wanted anyone to push their views down my throat, and doing so never creates beneficial change, instead it only creates hatred. Hatred should always be let go, never held onto, because it will drown you like an anchor.
Life is truly a transitory event.
Live your life now.
Love and be Loved.
There are several videos on youtube where speakers like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins explain why religion is bad for civilization.
This is probably my favorite. Well worth the 33 minutes.
I don't go out trying to convert, but I do love to argue and question and make people think. It's like watching them dust of an unused tool when you pose the questions in the right way and they start actually considering.
i think that trying to get people to think critically is not the same as thinking biblically, and i'm not sure what would entail converting someone to atheism as the term only means to lack belief in gods. that's it.
if you are referring to a way of thinking, that is not atheism. again, it's a simple negation, and some atheists still insist on believing in ridiculous notions that another atheist will scratch their head in trying to understand. as a means of identifying that the individual stands for, atheist doesn't imply anything more than the obvious.
to paraphrase carl sagan, if i tell you that i am an atheist, you have learned nothing about me.
so take a satanist, a humanist, and an objectivist. they are all atheists, but they will have very different worldviews as well as how to treat other people in this world. ask peter gilmore how to react to somebody who needs financial help from you and you will get a different response from paul kurtz as well as a follower of ayn rand's philosophy.
that's my long winded way of saying that it's not atheism that provokes people to push their beliefs, it's what they believe about how best to live your life.