I thought being atheist just meant that you dont believe in or live with a god/gods, not that you have to prove religion wrong or mock it. How does religion on a day to day basis affect the lives of atheists that warrants all the arguing and berating. Also, how come religion, for a good majority of the time, gets interpreted as only Christianity or Catholicism? If people can find benefit from religion and actually want to partake in it, why is that such a bad thing? Most of these ideas and assumptions are based mainly from the photos on this site that Stumbeupon keeps bringing me too or just shit I see around the internet.
Religion destroys lives all the time. It separates families and friends all the time. It is behind international politics in very negative ways. Let me know if you want specifics.
I believe you are seeing this due the general climate in the US at this time. I don't think that we need to prove religion wrong or mock it, but I do think that we need stand up and have a voice, to promote secularism, to say I don't agree and I have a right to do that, to continue to fight ignorance, and to point out atrocities when we see them regardless of their origin.
Hey, Josh, thought I'd copy an paste to make sure I responded to all your questions. These are just my personal thoughts, I don't and can't represent atheists as a whole.
I thought being atheist just meant that you dont believe in or live with a god/gods, not that you have to prove religion wrong or mock it. Being atheist does mean that you just don't believe in Gods. But it can also mean more for that, when you combine a persons interests, other world views, and individual temperament. Atheists don't need to prove anything, you're right. The burden of proof is with the person making the assertion. That doesn't mean we aren't expected to "prove" it, so talking points do come in handy. In addition, some of us just can't get over the giant piece wool we were walking around with draped over our eyes. Finally, religion isn't an untouchable thing either. It's fine to mock it here and there, if it helps you get through the day or it lightens your mood. I think that's why the mocking and humor on this site are so popular.
How does religion on a day to day basis affect the lives of atheists that warrants all the arguing and berating. Well, today, for example, I "enjoyed" planning a celebration for something I've always found to be a mockery of a meaningless holiday--the coming of The Great Bunny. That meant a trip to Walmart, for Bunny's sake! Why can't Easter just be about Christ? My wishes surrounding the holidays--just to mark the passing of the seasons--are considered less than pointless by my Christian family members.
Seriously though, I watch the news and I see where the Religious Right wants to take us--back to when women had a special hanger to take care of what had already been a legal medical procedure--and I yearn for a true seperation of state and church. I don't want to bleed to death someday in a back alley clinic because my neighbor's God tells him it's a sin for me to have sex and get an abortion. I drive by the Creation Museum sometimes too, and I wonder if we might have a more competitive labor market if only we valued keeping science in schools--I wonder what I might have learned and what I would then be able to do with my life. I struggle almost every day with homophobia, something I think we as a culture are ready to make serious progress on, but there's something holding us back--religion.
Also, how come religion, for a good majority of the time, gets interpreted as only Christianity or Catholicism? The majority of people here live in or come from this religious background, so they're most knowledgeable about it. Annoys me too.
If people can find benefit from religion and actually want to partake in it, why is that such a bad thing? Aside from the fact that they are believeing in a lie!? Mainly, that religion can be twisted to serve the will of whatever good or evil belief you want--and it has been used for great evil. Here's my version of your question, since I don't think religon is all bad either: why can't we take from religion what is beneficial to humankind and leave behind that which makes us vulnerable to perpetuating evil, that which blinds us from the truth? Why shouldn't these people who are able to benefit have higher standards for the organization of their spiritual life?