This is a discussion in the form of a question that has been bothering me for some time. I will have to be more discreet about what I write on this site, because someone in my Christian family (at least one, probably more) has been snooping on my activities on this site through their own computer(s).
I finally found out about the extent of the snooping when the individual came to me and accused me of being a biggot; of being a person that hates religious people. They think I'm being "brainwashed" by all of you, that you are a "dangerous crowd" and a "bad influence." The person who approached me and accused me of being prejudiced against religious people said that this entire site is full of biggots that hate Christians. I have denied it to myself over and over. Tried to convince myself that I fight only against RELIGIONISTS - those who try to impose their views by force, and not religious people who practice in private. But... I can't deny that I do not approve of childhood indoctrination or religion in general. I try to keep this to myself around my deeply religious moderate christian family. But, I do read books about this and talk about this.
So... I find myself wondering... Do I hate religious people? How would I know if I was prejudiced against them. I am very angry at them for the way they treat me on a regular basis... (they look at me either with pity or anger and sometimes act like I'm something slimy that got stuck to their shoe). But is anger the same as hate?
Do you hate religious people? I can't seem to answer my own questions... so I need a little help.
You know.. 'bigot' is a funny word.
And at least to me...to my understanding of it... it means to hate someone because of a choice they did not make.
I do not hate a person because of their race.
You can't pick your genes.
I do not hate someone because of the nation they were born into.
You can't pick your origins.
Or your gender.
Or your sexuality.
I do not hate anyone because they exist in a manner different to me.
But I do hate based on the choices people make in their life.
To sit in silent agreement of discrimination, sexism and oppression is to be guilty of discrimination, sexism and oppression.
And I hold individuals accountable for that.
Oh yes. There is anger.
And maybe that's all that it is.
Depends on your definition of 'hate.'
Are there people on this planet that I wish weren't? Yes.
Would I feel anything but quiet relief if they were to die, even horribly? No.
So maybe that is hate.
But it isn't rage. I'm not a danger to these people. I would never harm them. I would never even advocate violence against them. And that's because I think violence should always be a very last resort. Even in self defense. Because NOT-KILLING EACH OTHER is best for our species. As a fellow human, I'd not want to be responsible for their death..... but as a fellow PERSON... I could see how the world is better off with out them.
Maybe I'm just going back through an Angry Atheist cycle since returning to the U.S, though. It seems even my personal definition of 'hate' changes from time to time.
I'd say that your family member may be doing a little projecting, considering their global condemnation of who you have been hanging out with. In addition, considering that many times a theist (and Christians in the US are particularly bad at this) have a very hard time distinguishing between attacking an idea and attacking the person who holds it. Their identity is often so intertwined with their beliefs that they see a criticism of the belief or practices thereof with an attack on or hatred of themselves.
That sounds highly probable. Thanks for the imput... both of you. ^_^
Most Theists don’t understand Atheism. They assume that because you are not on their side that you are against them. If you were a stranger to them they could dismiss you as just “one of those Atheists types” but because they know you they are compelled to consider why you do not believe as they do. This raises doubts and fears in their mind as it challenges their beliefs. Once they realize you are not coming back into the flock they are compelled to ask why not. They have been warned for years to distrust those who would cause them to doubt their faith. So rather than analysis it any further it is easier to go on the defensive and attack your lack of faith. They see having faith as some kind of state of grace to be in.
When you are around them they are reminded of any doubts you caused them to have. This can trigger a chain of events in their mind and a real fear can kick in. “I know her so what if she is right” It is not easy to have all the pillars of your “Reality” knocked down and admit that it’s all a delusion. So they return to their knees and to their peers fro solace and a good dose of confirmation bias and recover their faith. However they still have to figure out what to do with you. Eventually they tend to get nasty and threatening towards you as you hurt their brains. So they are sick of the fear and start to get angry as the see you – that damned Atheist – as the cause of it. Tell them you are prepared to turn the other check and that you prefer not to cast stones.
I think most Believers are upset with Atheists not because we don’t believe in their god but because we don’t, they are naturally compelled to ask themselves why we don’t believe it. This leads them to then question their own belief. Does that make sense or have I over cooked it?
Very well put. I agree completely.
Some of my best friends are Christians!
SkyCommet, behold. Most atheist today were religious people. Reason and evidence drives us there. Religion is a meme and it is that which I hate. It poisons minds of otherwise good people. It reeeaally screws up young people, who become screwed up adults. But how many atheists today will atest that they did some of that indoctrination yesterday? Everyone is on their own journey out of the hell of religious sickness. You can't hate a person who is diseased, can you? But you can certainly hate the disease. My hope is for everyone here to assail the religious disease that twists the minds of its victims. The cure is cognitive dissonance, keeping the facts in front of them, the ones, as it turns out, that much more strongly indicates a Universe devoid of invisible care takers. Evidence, in enough volume will erode false religious claims about the Universe. Look now, no religion claims the world is flat. I've meet even the wackiest fundamentalists who finally say okay to micro-evolution but not macro-evolution.
See people as already on their road of religious recovery. Tip your glass at dinner tonight that you are not suffering along with them, then keep feeding them the facts.
Jay - I like your comment and I agree with all that you have said.
I think that religion is like a drug induced addictive disease but the afflicted don't realize that they are sick, in fact they think that they are healthier because of the drug.
I was one of those who indoctrinated young people with religious poison and I wish that I could go back and undo what I did now that I am free of the poison.
Hate the sickness, not the sick keep feeding them the facts and hope for a speedy recovery.
Katerin, I've never been religious. I've never had to face taking a wrecking ball to the most important part of my world view. That must be very difficult. Though I couch myself as an anti-theist, attacking it head on at any chance, I find it hard to shoot for the disease and miss the person. If I can't do the latter, I do not try to do the former. I hope there develops discussions here to help us atheists remain aware that when religious followers leave the puppet show, they will probably be hurting.
I was once religious... so I know that the religious mind thinks differently. The religious mind is usually impervious to rational argument from the outside. It takes a religious person to become curious about answering their unanswered questions to begin the deconversion process. I'm afraid that I cannot help my family. They do not question, so they will not hear me. I see their pain, much of the pain they cannot see... and I DO cry for them. I wish sooo much that I could take the pain away. But I cannot reach them. I learned this the hard way. If I give them rational arguments, it only drives the disease deeper. So I watch them suffer in silence and suffer myself from watching them hurt themselves.
If you left TA today and didn't look back, we wouldn't be the ones following you around. It's a question of letting you be yourself. The same happens in my family. People wander off to live their lives and I don't go and watch their activities, be they religious or not, in hopes of changing them to my line of thinking. I don't hope that you live my life or have my thoughts. I simply hope that you have the best life possible for you.
I don't hate religionists. The religious people that I would attack are those that thrust themselves on the public and against the public will. The James Dobson's or Jerry Falwell's of the world. They are dangerous and seek nothing more than personal wealth and power. They prey on the weakness of those whom seek a shepherd. They do not follow the teachings of the Bible but yet ask you to and they'll take care of the money for you. But my neighbor whom is a Evangelical Pastor whom came to me when his father died to talk yet uses his religion as a source of hope and glue for the family... I'm all cool with that. A little hope, joy and a sense of community is alright with me as long as you allow a little science and save the judgement.