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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People need to lighten up. Everybody, everywhere (not specifically on this forum).

I don't mean on the rhetoric. I mean on the bitching, moaning and whining. When I lash out at religion (yes, I'm one of those jerks at times) people shouldn't even take it as a personal affront. It's not like I want to take their rights and freedoms away which is endorsed by many States against atheists and non-believers.

Personally I feel perfectly justified in trampling religion and the bigotry that goes with it.
I think it is all in how you present your case. I find that many times, I don't have to do a thing but ask questions and watch the answers spin towards entropy. Nothing quite like using someone's own "evidence" against them.

As far as standing up to religious based laws, I am all for that. That isn't a personal attack, that is self defense.
I find that many times, I don't have to do a thing but ask questions and watch the answers spin towards entropy. Nothing quite like using someone's own "evidence" against them.

My favorite tactic!
I think it is all in how you present your case. I find that many times, I don't have to do a thing but ask questions and watch the answers spin towards entropy. Nothing quite like using someone's own "evidence" against them.

My favorite too. So many times theists will tweet me saying how stupid I am or how my beliefs are just beliefs. When I ask them questions about the bible or inaccuracies they've presented, they quit sending me messages and continue with atheists who will tit-for-tat with them.
Personally I feel perfectly justified in trampling religion and the bigotry that goes with it.

I don't chase down children to convince them of no Santa Claus even though I know he isn't real. Just the same, I don't chase down xians and demand they understand all of their nonsense is make believe. However, if the opportunity for debate comes up and I'm asked, I'm going to tell the truth to the adult or the kid that asks me about either or both.
Well put.
What's the point of trying to convince church-goers to give up their religions, if we have nothing to offer them in place of the services provided by their religions?

That sense of community that people derive from their churches is certainly hard to replace. It is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome is the sense of belonging and reinforcement of beliefs that their local magic gatherings bring them.
There is some sort of evangelical dogma that the Brights and followers of Richard Dawkins have, that leaving religion in itself will make us better people

Funny, I've not really run into too many people who think that. As a "follower" of Dawkins myself, I have never heard or read anything to that effect from him and I myself have not ever thought that. Sorry to keep picking at this particular point with you, but you keep throwing it out there and each time you do, I can't help but voice my disagreement with it.

But your first point about opinionated atheists has much more merit. I have noticed online that atheists seem more vitriolic and intolerant when it comes to theists. I do not see this IRL with atheists I know. I assume that it is a result of the anonymity the internet provides. The internet also serves as a release valve for many who must hold their tongues in real life.
You have to admit we have got their ears opened a little. The pastors and priests are condemning atheism with all their might these days. Maybe they are fighting for their jobs in the religion industry. When profits are down they will bad mouth the opposition in an effort to get things back to normal.
Absolutely. The outspokeness of the so called "New Atheism" has been very effective.
I don't know that the goal of preventing indoctrination is that children (or people in general) will act better. I think we should come up with better tactics, though, than scarring "the Hell" out of children in order to get them to behave. Threatening them with Hell-fire is excessive, and I think it's also mental abuse. It's like trying to convince your child to stay in bed by telling them monsters will grab their ankles and drag them under the bed. Your child trusts you to give them an accurate representation of the world and to protect them from the evils that lurk. Creating boogiemen in a world already full of terrors is unnecessary and cruel.

If people would just learn how to communicate with their children rather than constantly threatening them, maybe they'd get better and more consistent results. I'm not a parent, so I'm not the expert here, but I've witnessed several mom-friends of mine speaking calmly to their kids and explaining to them why they cannot or must do this or that. They're all very well behaved, too, so I think there's something to this whole "explaining/communicating" thing. People need to expect more from their kids and give them a little more credit for comprehending things. They're not nearly as mindless as some would have us believe.

I'm pretty sure Dawkins is not implying children will act better or worse without indoctrination, but makes clear that he sees the practice as abuse. Fathers often beat their children in order to get them to act nice; our concern should not be that ceasing to beat them will make them act better or worse. Our concern is that the father stop beating them.


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