Alright, so a couple of days ago I was talking to a friend of mine in class. And we began to talk about religion. Now I'm far from the kind of person that likes to showcase my views on things, But I told him I was an Atheist. He Actually didn't believe me at first, and said that people have to take a oath to become an atheist. We literally argued about this for 5 whole minutes before I finally said lets go to an computer and get google the definition. after I showed him what atheism actually is, He still retained doubt. I just said forget it, and ended the conversation on it there. 

 

What I'm asking is how long will people remain that ignorant on atheism. It's not like he's dumb when it comes to other topics. He says He's a christian and he never even read the bible. And when I told him and another friend I read it They Laughed. Oh yeah and I forgot to mention one of the guys laughing has a tattoo that says "blessed" on his chest. And he never read the bible. That's just stupid to me, But I kinda want to know what other people think about this.

Tags: Atheism, Christianity

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Dear Folks:

I see it as the 'shoe box problem'. How many types of shoe boxes are there? What happens when the lid is lose or falls off? Can you see other shoe boxes around you when your local shoe box loses its lid? Can you crawl out of your shoe box? Can you converse with 'people' in another shoe box? Is your show box 'safe', or do you feel under threat? How did your shoe box lid fall off? Do other people in another shoe box talk loudly or make lots of noise? How porous is your shoe box?

See it is about closed VS open systems. If you can get any new inputs things can change, but change can be optional.  

I completely agree. I debate with Christians all the time and they never listen to reason. But I guess if reason worked with religious people. There will be no more religious people.

It is unnerving as an Atheist to have to deal with Christians with such limited knowledge about there own belief system let alone having them explain my beliefs to me. They take that limited knowledge and make themselves look like fools and it is just plain frighting. 

How long will they continue to do this? I wish I knew. 

Why would they want to know? Why risk their belief just to find out a disturbing truth. Religion will always be with us.

Kristal, I enjoy xians making themselves look like fools, especially:

1. when they do it themselves without my help, or

2.when they don't know they are doing it.

To those who insist on doing their praying in public, I remind them  that Matthew in 6,6 tells them to pray in closets after they have closed the closet doors.

Religion will be with us as long as their leaders, instead of helping them deal with their fear, use it to manipulate them. Their leaders become wealthy and they, the fearful xians, remain poor.

You'll understand atheism, like any other "ism", only if it's relevant to you.  Otherwise why bother?  Ask Americans what Communism is and you'll get a lot of wacky answers.  If you're not an atheist and don't know any, why would you care about understanding it?

Thank you, Noble9, for the shot of reality you added to this discussion's wishful thinking.

Human minds did not evolve to be logical machines - cognitive bias is deeply embedded in the way humans think.  Belief in supernatural forces is, oddly, natural for humans; hence the need for a Scientific Method which helps us avoid cognitive bias.

So: People will always believe in the supernatural.  Some people's minds are more "susceptible" to supernatural thought than others - hence some people tend towards atheism more easily than others.  However, education can push people towards more-rational thinking:  Europe has a much higher % of agnostics and atheists than the U.S., and I suspect it's due to   1.) higher-quality, more-accessible public education, and  2.) cross-fertilization among diverse cultures (on a continent where most people speak multiple languages and it's easy to explore other nations and perspectives).

Tom, methinks Europe's centuries of religious warfare account for the higher % of agnostics and atheists there. They learned.

America won't have religious warfare like Europe's because we get rid of presidents after four or eight years.

> They learned.

Who is "they"? Babies aren't born with the lessons of history hard-wired into their brains. And the Middle East has had "centuries of religious warfare" and has a very low % of atheists.

You're positing a causal relationship with no control group, no evidence.  If the U.S. had lots of atheists, you could say "It's because separation of church and state is codified in our laws." If Europe had few atheists, you could say "It's because years of religious warfare have made people defensive and reactionary about their beliefs."  Your hypothesis sounds nice but is arbitrary - you basically picked a reason that feels good, without thinking about falsifiability or comparative social history (e.g. the Middle East).

On the other hand, falsifiable evidence from neuropsychology and anthropology clearly show that magical thinking is natural to humans.  Most people are born as magical thinkers, and will continue to think as such throughout their lives unless taught otherwise (and some never learn how to think rationally anyway).

I gotta say, all the comments on this site about how believers are stupid or lazy or scared reflects an embarrassing ignorance of human neuropsychology and cognitive bias, the real roots of magical thinking.

If you want to learn a bit about cognitive bias and the roots of magical thinking, see here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

I think with the advent of the inernet, people who question religion will now have a huge resource to find that they are not alone, 25 years ago, where could you go? It's only a matter of time, perhaps 40 or 50 years away when believers are in the minority.

It will happen, religion dedest knowledge.

hi there. here in the philippines which is a pre-dominantly catholic country, most people have never read the bible. or some might have read it but never really understand what it says. that's the main problem here in our country. most people rely on blind faith and never really bother to search for the truth. they find comfort in their religion. specially those who are desperate for help, like those with terminal illnesses. religion is taught at the first instance of comprehension here so "faith" is indoctrinated at a very early age which guarantees deep roots. Atheism is taught here as the work of the devil or something really really bad. Guilt is often used to discourage people from thinking out of the theist's box. so as to your question, i think it will still be a very long time before people understand  what the atheists' believe. Although I am very optimistic that with the development of technologies which expose more people to other schools of thought, the answer to your question can be seen in our lifetime.

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