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.
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.
The people you are chatting with are what I would refer to as convenient Christians since it is a matter of convenience that they refer to themselves as such so as to "fit". Convenient Christians don't understand atheists or atheism because they don't understand the doctrine by which they label themselves having never actually sat and read it nor would most understand it were they to do so. They require a mediator in the same way I require a mediator to understand physics. The problem for them is that the mediatior for the faith they claim to believe in only speaks of the positive narrative of the faith and often in his own words thereby cleaning it up to sound as cozy as possible. And that thier parents, siblings and friends all claim to follow the same faith so there is a sort of club mentality in which questioning one person in the club is to question all members. Peer pressure is a powerful thing. These folks know that for you to question the belief they claim to ally themselves with is to challenge not just them but the entire group, so you and they both know you are outnumbered. Just remember that facts don't care who's side you are on and that the veneer these individuals are wearing is quite thin and remarkably sensitive. Keep poking at it, you'll see.
Egocentrism; the belief that your views are everyone else's and that they chose not to believe in god and commit evil. I have in the past been called a "satanist" and a "pagan" i tried to explain atheism to these people but they were devout muslims, fortunately all of my friends when i was in school were smart and understood what an atheist was, even if they weren't
When do you think people will finally start to understand atheism?
Has anyone here pointed out that "people" (a too-generic term) will understand atheism when an asymptote (a line that continually approaches a given curve but does not meet it at any finite distance) reaches that curve?
Or, choose any direction you wish and travel in that direction until you reach the horizon. Take a few lunches with you.
People seem to cherish ignorance in certain subjects. It seems to mean that they don't need to defend their knowledge because they have none! It IS belief after all.
I think people will only really understand atheism when we, as in all the atheist, become more active in voicing our ideas and show were not what religious perceive us to be. In the US around 10% of the population are atheist yet no there is no representation in politics, etc. I think atheists need to come together more and raise the issue of intolerance towards us. Once this begins to happen I think more people will 'come out' and it will become a lot more acceptable to be atheistic.
And on Christians reading the bible I think very few of them do. I was brought up a Christian in a family of 6 and I am the only one yet to have read it and my family don't believe that I have either. Even yesterday we were arguing about religion and my mother was laughing at me about it. She also has the opinion that I do believe in God and that I'm trying to convince myself that I don't just 'to be different'.
Ya, it's a real catch 22, people's gullibility and lack of common sense really become evident when it comes to idea's about atheist. And the intolerance of some people is despicable, I'm lucky enough that most of the people I work with are atheists, and those who aren't are very open to.
I cannot wait until the day someone takes a law suit for unfair dismissal for being an atheist. Will be a great day!
Ghost, they believe because they were indoctrinated as children by people they trust. They know those people wouldn't normally, deliberately lie to them, so they swallow it all, hook, line and sinker. What they never stop to think about, is that those who indoctrinated them, were similarly indoctrinated when THEY were children, and so it goes --