first .. I'm not even atheist, I am agnostic. (but I'm still going to hell.)

There are some situations in which I feel the need to defend religion and its followers from hateful atheists.

Everyone has the right to believe what they want to believe, and to worship what they want to worship. There is no rule in any lawbook that says otherwise. You can be Jewish, Buddhist, you can worship the ground, nature, space, or goats. It doesn't matter, you have that right as a citizen. (Now, keep in mind I'm talking about America because I am not sure about other places.)

There are Christians who openly bash and persecute peoples of different religions and cultures. There are Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist people who do the same thing. Pagans and Wiccans, Satanists, and Atheists.

And unfortunately..

There are some atheist people out there who are unforgiving and unrelenting in their bashing and hatefulness towards peoples of any religion.

The one thing I was taught in life were morals and ethics. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Christians preach love for all, and there is a bible verse in which it says (roughly, don't know word for word)"He who gets slapped in one cheek, turn the other and ask no questions, for it is your duty to forgive." I took this to mean that you should let people walk on you. Of course, they don't, and neither does an atheist. Unless that's your personality.

So occasionally, I will meet an atheist whose purpose in life is to be hateful towards Christian people. I feel ashamed of these people. I am, as agnostic, a part of this "disbelieving blasphemous group" and people like those who actively seek to be hateful offend me. Their screams of "GOD ISN'T REAL, YOU'RE A STUPID MORON AND YOU NEED TO JUST KILL YOURSELF AND GO TO YOUR HEAVEN SO THE REST OF US CAN LIVE PEACEFULLY" and etc are offensive to me.

They are the types of atheists that religious people think of when they think of atheists. It is human nature to take a little bit of good and a mouthful of bad, and then complain and bitch and moan about the bad, while ignoring that tiny piece of goodness.
These are the same atheists that scream respect from religious people and tell the religious people they are not following their God's wishes by being angry and spiteful in return.

This comes back to, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Religious people can be just as hateful, but I am not talking about that group, I am talking about OUR group. They should be ashamed of themselves just as much as hateful atheists should be ashamed of theirs.

Sorry this was so long and I hope I don't lose any friends over it. It's just something I was thinking about.

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Willful ignorance is not something I respect, nor something that I feel is deserving of respect.

Abso-freaking-lutely. I have no respect for willful ignorance, nor do I see any reason to pretend to have respect for it. I will tolerate it in the rare cases where someone is both willfully ignorant and also does not attempt to put forth an opinion on the subject that they are ignorant of. But the moment someone tries to tender an opinion, it is their duty to educate themselves so as to have an informed opinion, and that means that willfully being ignorant will not fly.
Well there are ways of making your points without going 'over the top' and out of their way putting extra vitriol and venom in their responces....(which several so-called you-tube-atheists or rather anti-religionists regularly do) I think this is the type of 'Atheist' that is being discussed. To me, the more calm, cool and collected you can stay makes your arguments tighter and unimpeachable. Most of the people I have met in this think atheist site have been thoughtful, highly intelligent, and just the opposite of the hateful, vengeful, type.

Those who start cussing and dissing and throwing out more put-downs then substance....take away from making positive points..and people start latching on to the disses and putdowns instead of the arguments which are pretty much unassailable and don't need to be derailed into flame-wars. These are the kinds of commentators....(of any ideology or point of view..not just atheist or theist) that get under my skin a bit.

Most people are indoctrinated/brainwashed into their beliefs...and they build up a VESTED interest in maintaining them. Ties of family and friends and so many support lines that you can't just ignore all that. So I do have some sympathy for these people. They've put all their eggs in one basket...(or had them put in for them and handed to them)

I think those that say... 'Evil atheist scum,, you're going to burn in hell' are carbon-copied by those go out of their way to intentionally bash them for their beliefs. I always like to see the atheist being the one to take the 'high road'.... remaining civil but to the point in their responces.
Right. Being atheist alone does not make one more refined, more intelligent, better educated, or better able to relate with people. But boorish atheists should not reflect upon the message of the majority of more well mannered atheists simply because they mimic these messages with obscenities and vitriol added in.
I agree with your point in general but I'd like to offer a couple of thoughts - in the most polite and gentle voice I can type. :-)

You are not going to hell. It doesn't exist but to your point . . .

Some people declare a lack of god because they were injured by those that profess a belief in god or by circumstances that they can't come to terms with; hence, it must be caused by god. The unstated intention is to get back at god by closing their eyes to their actual beliefs. They frequently will return to the belief structure that they were taught in early life. Some of these will state that they were an atheist but now have been born again. Some will jump from one myth to the next until they find one they can agree with. In actuality they have never gotten past the delusion but were just lashing out or searching. Some are looking to be contrary to societal norms and declare anti-theism and hatred for all things spiritual but it is really just another form of the delusion. Satanists would be an example of this - other side of the xtian coin.

Some are simply frustrated by the selfishness, ignorance and fear that permeates the theist community. Frustration frequently leads to anger and anger to aggression. It is a great challenge to be calm and polite when we are so regularly attacked and mocked by believers of Bronze Age thinking.

Personally, I try to find compassion for the angry atheist as well as those still completely immersed in mythology. I would hope that they deal with the cause of the anger and find a more rational and logical method of expression.

All that being said, the process of returning to atheism can be difficult. I say "returning" because we are all born without god and are "taught" it.) Unlearning can be painful.
Frustration frequently leads to anger and anger to aggression.
[Yoda voice]
Aggression leads to suffering! Aggression, anger, the dark side are these.
[/Yoda voice]

Sorry, had to do it. :)

A minor quibble. Not all Satanism is theistic. In fact, Anton LaVey's Church of Satan (which is what most people think of when Satanism is mentioned in the US) is actually atheistic, not believing in either God or Satan. The Satanic trappings were added for the purpose of ritual and as a symbol of rebellion against the Christian majority. "Satanism begins with atheism. We begin with the universe and say, 'It’s indifferent. There’s no God, there’s no Devil. No one cares!'"
I think it's important to draw a distinction between attacking beliefs and attacking people. I respect people. I respect their right to believe what they want. But I don't always respect what they believe.
I agree!
Well lets say that there are different ways of addressing the beliefs. You can 'attack' or you can 'dismantle'...You can 'destroy' or you can 'deconstruct'. Many times a careful step by step deconstruction is the most devasting argument possible.

We are all reactionary.... but if we can get beyond the knee-jerk responces and counter-responces that go in in perpetuity in countless discussion forums and blogs over and over and over we just might get somewhere.

If a belief is 'attacked' as stupid.. for instance.. and the main portion of your argument is that the belief is 'stupid'.... then its going to be countered with an argument the main portion of which will be... " No its not".... If you add in a "You are stupid for believing such a thing'.... you are going to receive a 'No I'm a " You are going to hell"..for your trouble... Back and forth ever escalating to chaos.

If all you leave someone to grab onto is a concisely stated dismantling or deconstruction of their belief system......They are going to have to address your specific points... instead of returning ire for ire. This dismantling and deconstruction may expose such stupidity that its staggering to imagine...but let your argument do it... Not just your 'saying so'... Its MUCH more effective that way....
I assumed that this is what he meant by "attack" of beliefs. But, not a bad idea to clarify it. Simply choosing between whether to call somebody stupid or their belief stupid gets neither assertion anywhere.
There are some atheists who go overboard when people who disagree with them.

I have also seen in a lot of discussions between atheists and the religious that they both go on and on about some mundane point. If an atheist will present facts, the religious will generally go away.
Some of my closest friends are hardcore Christians that will go to bible camp for a summer. I love them as people, hate their beliefs. We all get a long for the most part but every once in a while I expect people to be able to defend their beliefs. When someone admits to living their entire life a certain way because a book told them to, they better be ready to defend what they believe. I do not have to respect the beliefs of someone who chooses to ignore half of them when they are inconvenient, nor do I have to respect the beliefs of people who just accept bigotry and hate mongering because that's the way they were raised. I've made a Mormon cry and the next day had a very civilized discussion with another, it really all depends on the believer you are having the conversation with.
A lot of my friends who are closer to me than family know I'm an out-of-the-closet atheist and still feel comfortable telling me they're going to church or midnight mass or whatnot. I don't randomly call people stupid unless they try to force their beliefs on me. But I do get into discussions a lot about religious laws that are still in effect in America, and I do mention that the laws are because of a book of fairy tales. I'm a politics junkie, so it does come up in conversations with me, especially with Americans being denied the right to marry whom they choose based on this "moral" tome. But they don't try to convert me, and I don't try to convert them, so it's a good deal. Guess I'm lucky with friends.

But I have gotten into those loud arguments with the types of idiots who say, "Well, I guess you're not allowed to spend money because it says 'In God We Trust' on all the bills." I want to hand them a real history book--but they'd never read it anyway.


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