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.
It seems to me that the only people who really understand atheism are those who are atheists themselves. Which is why it's important to come out and debunk stereotypes and misconceptions.
When we become more vocal and not so afraid to come out to our fellow humans about what it is we are. I've heard the oath thing before and unfortunately, there are some out there who won't believe us no matter what.
One of the most Xtian guys I know is also one of the dumbest. Embarrassingly dim. I'd guess at an IQ in the mid-80's? He can barely read at all, and has never read the bible, even though he swears by it. When he gets to talking about it, the strangest, most bizarre shit comes out of his mouth, and you have to shake your head in wonder. I asked him where he heard about oceans in the sky, (Where did all that water for the flood come from? There's some weird evangelical apocrypha explaining it) and apparently, all his knowledge of Xtianity comes from his crazy pastor uncle, who seems to make shit up and pass it on as gospel to the ignorant flock who will never read anything for themselves to find out that he's full of shit.
When people are this ignorant about their own religion, I can't expect any real widespread understanding of atheism any time soon.
To understand atheism, theists would have to look at things from a skeptical point of view, and they're afraid to do that. They're afraid of the conclusion they'll come to because they're afraid of oblivion and of alienation.
Did you ever ask your friend where his misconceptions about atheism come from? In addition to being able to dispel the untruths, we should seek to discredit the sources of information as well. I think the only way we’re going to be able to educate others is to find out why they hold their beliefs about atheism and where those beliefs come from and then address the core of their understanding. If we can cause doubt in that core source, whoever/whatever it may be, then I think that’s the only way we can start to get people to understand atheism.
I think people that want to understand it, do so already and very well if I do say so. The problem is the ones that don't want to understand. I think there is one main reason and one professed reason. The first, (the main) is willful ignorance. They believe something and anything that challenges it is not worth knowing. The second, (professed) reason is actually made by people that do understand but lie or misrepresent it simple to discredit it or confuse the topic. The concept is so straight forward that it's hard for me to see people misunderstand. Just google it for crying out loud. In this day and age, it's inexcusable not to understand with all the info. available and the multiple means to access that information.
Doesn't the Bible dictate that Christians aren't supposed to have tattoos...? I dunno whether to laugh at the anecdote or bang my head against a wall.
On a separate note, I have a question about this friend. You said that you ended the conversation without pressing the matter. If you tried really hard to get him interested in theology and such, would he listen or choose to remain ignorant?
as long as there is religion there will be ignorance. in American will all be long dead or there will be no America left to be ignorant.
You're a young looking fella, so I would surmise that you haven't had enough exposure yet to realize that Christianity (and religion in general) is inherently stupid, and what you described in your post is the norm. In my experience, I am almost invariably more knowledgeable about the Bible than the Christians with whom I have the misfortune to discuss the topic. There's a reason for that: anyone who has actually read the Bible, and still claims Christian beliefs, has serious cognitive problems.
“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.” - Isaac Asimov
I want to become an activist too. I just think I need a degree first. You know, show that I am educated. Probably neuroscience.