Hey guys, to start off this discussion, I want to know if it really is prejudice to dislike religious people.

I bring this up because when I went to talk with my former psychology teacher, who is also an atheist, about how people are so submissive to religion, he said that I was prejudice and need to resolve it. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Am I really being prejudice because their beliefs are based on zero evidence and they make other people, especially children, follow their beliefs with little to no choice? I've been a Christian for about up to the point where I was 15 and began to really question my beliefs. I was never all that religious in the first place because I hated praying, going to church, and reading the bible. It always bothered me why it was so important for people to give so much time and money to something that's only justified by dreams and eye-witness testimonies. Also, if their beliefs were so obviously true, there would be no need for teaching it because then everyone would literally have an equal chance to accept it (which most of the world wouldn't have that chance).

 There are many reasons amongst this as why I dislike religion and the religious. My teacher is cool and all, but some things he says doesn't make sense. It's almost as if he has his mind in a calm cube trying to box everything in so nothing can phase him (I guess that's expected out of a psychology teacher who is willing to remove as many of their own psychological "flaws" as possible). I personally believe that I have good reasons why I don't like religion and believers are supporting something that is nothing but mostly lies and is detrimental to the potential of each individual. My sister gives 10% of her money to "God" when she should really be saving it so she could move out of the house like she wants to, as an example. Then you have extremes like Sharia Law that is ridiculous on all levels.

So again, is it really prejudice to judge religion? This doesn't mean I'm ugly to religious people, in fact, I'm very nice to them just like anybody else and talk to more of them than any other kind of person *due to the high population of religious people). But I think us skeptics mostly have very valid reasons for believing what we do more so than any believer out there. We rely on rationality, reasoning, and evidence which are key in understanding the entire moral implications of a situation, not merely just by how we feel about something. I wouldn't say anything if they didn't give me a reason to. But to me, being against religion is like being against anything like cocaine because it can really mess your head up and it's hard to get away from once you're pulled into it. But of course even though some people are more professional or even at the top of the line, if they do cocaine, they are still crack heads nonetheless.

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"Am I really being prejudice because their beliefs are based on zero evidence and they make other people, especially children, follow their beliefs with little to no choice?"  - yes, I think you are.  To me, all that matters is whether someone's a good person, regardless of what they believe.  I'd go further:  sometimes, religion helps people to be good people. 

It's a fine line between someone giving to charity and helping out in soup kitchens yet goes home to teach their child that the world was created 6,000 years ago and if you don't accept Jesus into your heart then there is a place where you can be tortured forever.  

Do you consider them nice people?  Do they deserve respect or would you go with the phrase "Hate their religious teachings, but love them as people."

You're describing a segment of Christianity. I was raised Christian and was not subjected to anything even vaguely resembling what you described. Of course, I was Episcopal not Baptist.

No, you can hate the religion but love the person :-)

Amen to that.

  1. 1.
    preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
    Your attitude of nonacceptance towards religion and the supernatural is probably based on reason/rational thought and the overwhelming lack of convincing evidence that would support the claim of an invisible world. Therefore it would be incorrect to characterize you as prejudiced. 

The question was about religious people, not religion or the supernatural.  If you pre-judge a person based on that one characteristic, you are in fact prejudiced. 

Some religious people are nice, some are pricks.  Dislike the pricks.

#1  If you pre-judge (a person or a group, positive or negative), you are prejudiced.  I don't need to demonstrate that point.  Webster's already did.

#2  I dislike religious people for all those reasons, too.  Plus, you can add their smug, judgmental, air of superiority to the list.  But I recognize that as a prejudice on my part.

#3  When I say nice I don't mean the unctuousness of preachers and politicians.  I mean they bear no ill will, mean no harm, and are basically good people.  They are obviously misguided, and/or misled into participating in some of the things you mentioned.

There seem to be pricks on both sides.

+ 2

"That some of them are nice about it doesn't mean anything to me. I'd rather a less polite world where people did not do these things."

What prejudice I feel seems to be directly conditioned upon how I am treated. I must say that I have needed to trim down my 'self talk' a little, due to the realization that over using old experiences can poison new ones. My experience with members of a small Lutherian church locally have been  insightful. 

Few atheist teachers that have to function in a highly pro-Christian environment will want to be caught or suspected of encouraging someone, especially a student, to be anti-Christian. "Resolving" such dissonance in a student may be as simple as just keeping it to yourself, until your social environment diversifies, e.g. when going to college. (There's an atheist group that meets weekly even on my relatively small campus.)


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