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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Examples of religious abuse abound, Neil, but just because some religious upbringings are abusive does not mean that they all are. For example, a family that brings up their children to believe in God and go to church, but also encourages their children to learn, to think for themselves, does not teach intolerance, doesn't teach provably false 'facts', and encourages critical thinking I would not call abusive. I prefer not to paint with too broad of a brush.

Now, I also think that the dangers of abusive religious upbringings are understated and generally overlooked as part the 'free pass' that religion tends to be given.
"Provable" does indeed come into play, which is why I included it. :)
Does anybody say that those things in your list aren't abusive?

And your last line here is EXACTLY like a religious person putting his religion beyond the argument. You have learned their lesson well!
Your opinion is very, very wrong.

Why, exactly, did you say it was "just my opinion"? Did you mean that you couldn't, shouldn't, or wouldn't defend it with rational argument?
Well I do like some of what Jesus was supposed to have said, like 'by their fruits you shall know em' ... often ppl can be lovely in practice even though you don't agree with their so-called views ... does that makes sense at all?
yes, everyone has the right to believe what they want, but that isnt being threatened by "bashing." yes bashing speaks down to them and insults them but that is in no way stripping them of that right. If they do subside strictly to evade the bashing then they have given up that right themselves.

Having said that, i dont condone insulting others and here is why. If i am talking to a christian and i say that theyre an idiot and such, then i am giving us atheists a bad name. Attacking the person does not help us convince another person. Our whole basis of this philosophy is logic and taking emotion out of thoughts so that we dont grow dependent on a theistic religion.

Mind you again im not saying dont do it because if you do, its mean, but dont do it because that will close the others mind even farther.

Still that is when talking to a religious person. when you talk to other atheists then i have no problem insulting them.
Anyhoo i'm with roy n cynthia re the commandment to take the weekend off ... think i read somewhere the sabbath idea came originally from iran maybe the zoroastrians?? Not sure when it became 2 days ... sorry if this is slightly off topic ;)
yes, there are violent atheists as there are any extremist groups in life. that's life, unfortunately.....

generally, we, atheists, are searching for the truth.....which is existence of god/gods. since one can't prove existence of god, we remain skeptic. faith is not in our vocabulary...

agree, i, too, feel ashamed for actions of these pathetic clowns...
I would say that most folks here are intelligent, and most likely more so than I. Nonetheless, it seems that many folks are simply choosing to miss the point of the G. Rule idea., either that or they are just play a game of semantics. It seems obvious to me that the G. Rule is about respect. Simply treat others with respect. If dealing with any other reasonably rational person of good nature I will expect the same in return. IF they choose not to, well that is another animal altogether. :)
I enjoyed reading this. I agree that atheist/agnostics/agnostic-atheist should not be hateful to religious people, nor should we undermine their intelligence. There are lots of intelligent, thoughtful theists! Just because they believe in god/gods doesn't make them stupid. The human mind contains many rooms, so that it's possible to compartmentalize irrational beliefs in ways that shield them from the kind of analysis and challenge that is used diligently in other matters. As Guy P. Harrison says in the book 50 Reasons People Give For Believing in a God, these are not necessarily weak thinkers; they are inconsistent thinkers!

I disagree with the "golden rule" to some extent though. For example, Christians would want others to pray for them the way they pray for others. I'm not a believer so I'm not going to pray. Another example is in love relationships. My husband's "love language" is different from mine. So the way I receive love is different from the way he receives love. I like it, for example, when he takes the initative to wash the dishes. To me that says, "I love you, thanks for cooking dinner. I'll do this part." But if I were to wash the dishes, that wouldn't mean much to him. So I can't expect to do that as a way of telling him I love him.

But I get the point: we should treat each other with consideration.
Wow! I haven't checked this thread in.. weeks. I can't believe it's gotten so long.


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