It makes me feel a little uncomfortable

I see it often enough. At school an atheist and a theist are once again having a go at eachother for no reason other then one thinks differently. Atheist stereotypes generally consist of us having no morals and thinking we are better and higher then everybody else. I like to disagree with these stereotypes as many of us would but it bothers me sometimes the arrogance that we can show to theist.

I disagree with religion and I admit I have said things that I probably shouldn't of to religious people I know. We act like we are intellectually better then these people and that's what bugs me. A theist once told me that she believes not because it makes sense but because she wants to. Religion gives some people happiness, joy and can make them less afraid of the world. So with my theist friend she hardly ever mentions religion she goes to church once a week and I don't think I'm smarter then her or more logical. Give me an extremist however and I will spend hours going off at them being absolute batcrap crazy. A lot of us talk about atheism like seeing the light. A man may also see the light of Christianity but it doesn't make him better or worse then us. Where it becomes problimatic is when he tries to blow himself up infront of Muslim children. To the people who are moderately religious they may see atheist the same way. Moderate atheist believe in something different that's fine but extreme atheist (I know its a bit of a joke there are none or atleast not many to a theist maybe Richard Dawkins could be considered an extremeist a non violent one but one who strongly imposes his views) are problimatic.

The definition of new atheism is " Religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises". I do not agree 100% percent with this statement. It is rather hippo critical of us to accuse religions of being discriminatory when many of us are out there slamming religion and trying to eliminate it. People go to war over religion and for all i know if this keeps up people could go to war over an atheist- religious conflict. I think the world would be better off without religion but it is not something that we should attack aggressively. You just can't argue atheism with a dedicated theist it's like trying to change a dedicated atheist into a theist. We should focus on creating atheist not converting them.


Okay, I know that was rather long and probably has a lot of grammatical errors but what are your thoughts?

Views: 413

Tags: New, atheism, militant

Comment by luvtheheaven on January 24, 2012 at 12:19am

I think one thing jumped out at me when reading your post. I mean a lot of it made me want to reply but the biggest thing was:

"A theist once told me that she believes not because it makes sense... Religion gives some people happiness... I don't think I'm smarter then her or more logical."

It's okay to not be arrogant and rude to your friend. I not think you're necessarily better than her. But you certainly ARE more logical. And the "religion makes people happy" excuse has always bothered me. People think it makes them happy. But really people could be just as happy without religion - many happier. And for many other people religion doesn't exactly make them happy. Religion never made me happy and I was always struggling to understand what I was supposed to believe and when I realized it was all just ridiculous and it was quite alright to be an atheist, I became much happier. :P People who don't bring up the fact that atheists exist (and have good reasons to not believe) made my struggle to discover that atheism was a viable option harder for me. I wish more people were arguing in front of me at school about it.

I do think it's important to remember that religion is so programed via indoctrination so it's not really people's fault and they're often just as smart as an atheist even if they still believe in some aspects of a god/religion - as long as their lives aren't devoted 100% to this religion and they live their lives in a largely secular way I can coexist with these people and treat them as equals etc.

But when someone doesn't want to see a homosexual couple kissing, I'm not going to respect their beliefs. I'm going to call them out on being ridiculous and wrong and unfair and if they quote their bible I will tell them that there is no good reason to believe that the bible is any more true than other books and honestly Harry Potter is a more entertaining read with more good morals about tolerance and stuff. :P

Comment by Albert Bakker on January 24, 2012 at 12:46am

Hey Ron could you please try to pay attention to the lay out. It is very difficult to read. You can use that quotation mark button (the first of the last 4) when quoting Andrew and your response to that in plain text. And then use just one CR to separate text blocks.

Comment by Ed on January 24, 2012 at 1:09am

@ Andrew

" It is rather hippo critical of us to accuse religions of being discriminatory when many of us are out there slamming religion and trying to eliminate it."

Here in the US atheists are subjected to discrimination on a daily basis, even more if you are an outspoken atheist. While outspoken atheists do "slam" religion when the opportunity presents itself that does not make us hypocritical. I don't see the atheist discrimination angle you alluded to.

Don't think a minute religion is not harmful, damaging, or even dangerous. More have been killed in the name of Jehovah, Allah, etc than any other reason. I won't even go into the wrongdoings of the Catholic church, past or present. I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of Hitchen's God is Not Great. It provides a buffet of the ill effects of religion. Your still young Andrew. You have a good head on those shoulders. Peace.

Comment by kris feenstra on January 24, 2012 at 1:44am

It really depends on the type of behaviour you're talking about. I don't support people who are verbally abusive, regardless of their philosophical leanings, but I don't really have a problem with vociferous individuals. The major issue with Canadian culture is that it is absurdly passive aggressive.  If it was functional, I'd say it was just cultural, but it really isn't.  We aren't agreeable; we're just silent and reserved in disagreement.  What does that accomplish other than to widen the rifts between people?  

While I do think that people should remain civil in debates, even fighting is a means of connecting with other human beings.  Sure, non-stop raging is unhealthy, but so is the way that all too many people suppress what they are really feeling inside.  Sure, it can sting a little when what someone feels inside is that I'm and immoral heathen, but it's easier to know that upfront.  It gives me a chance to establish dialogue, or at the very least a bit of relief in not having to wonder.

I remember having lots of fiery debates in school on religion, philosophy, politics, war, literature... pretty much anything.  Some of these even seemed to put the teachers on edge, but we made sure not to hit below the belt.  I mean, who decided to take all the piss and vinegar out of life?  It's good to feel a bit of heat now and then.  People just need to learn to shake hands and let it go at the end.

Comment by Robert Karp on January 24, 2012 at 9:40am

We act like we are intellectually better then these people and that's what bugs me.

Andrew be careful with generalizations like this. I do not think I am better than anyone. That assumption is the very type of arrogance you are talking about. I could easily say that the majority of people in this community to not see themselves as smarter or better than the person who is religious.

I see this too often with leaders from our community and it is a turn off to people who might be on the edge of considering another view point. I will never use "the invisible man in the sky" comment when debating someone because to me, belittling someone does nothing to further the conversation.

Comment by Tim Palmer on January 24, 2012 at 3:47pm

Just a common sense point here.... pick and choose your battles.  I work at a small company, 15 total including me. Husband / Wife owners. 8 employees are extremely religious - this includes the two owners and the next highest "rank". 4 are religious, but respectful (they don't push their beliefs on others) 1 is "unknown" and 2 are Atheist (this includes me). The other Atheist and I have had discussions about this company, we both get sick of the comments and the BIG company events around December 25th... but.... and HERE IS MY POINT.... we both need our jobs. In this economy it is rough out there. I have been laid off twice (no fault of my own) in the last 7 years. The market for my type of work (Photography) is very small here, so.... if we or I raise a lot of awareness and contradict the "bosses belief" I can expect to be fired. Oh, they would find some "other" reason for doing so, they are not stupid, but it has happened before. Losing my job right now would be disastrous for my family, I have to put up with crap here for the good of them. So, pick your battles...

Comment by Barry Eckert on January 24, 2012 at 4:14pm

the question whether we should all be nice or we should all be assertive.

A little exchange from this morning:

This was on a story about the Arkansas Democrat campaign guy whose cat was killed, and 'liberal' painted on it. So, I guess I'm mean, apparently.

Comment by John Kelly on January 24, 2012 at 5:59pm

Andrew you are on the right path.  And you are referring to the dominant and overwhelming cultural ideology within the atheist community.  Sure there are individuals like me who oppose it with fervor, and others who are more passive.  However the culture is pervasive and dominant.

More people have been killed in the name of non-religious philosophy than ideology.  Philosophy gave religion its power and everything that makes religion bad is due to philosophy.  The people that argue religion should be destroyed on that basis will not argue that philosophy should as well, because it is a bad argument.  Philosophy is the real killer, the real destroyer, the real thing.  The philosophy of the leading New Atheists has turned good people into divisive ideologues.

New Atheists are living in a fantasy world.  They claim the world would be better off without religion, yet have no justification for how an atheist future would not create worse problems.  As China says "Human Rights are a western concept".  How can they assume the next generation of people will share their values and not turn them on their heads? Nothing can be justified and nothing is off the table due to the current dismal state of atheist philosophy.

New Atheists think in primitive social patterns that call for the isolation of any ideology other than that which they espouse.  That is indeed the very thing that makes religion dangerous, but they embrace it without religion and will lead the world to the same experience with just different packaging, because it is the same thing.

Basic human morals have failed time and time again in holding their own against philosophy.  New Atheism provides nothing to counter this.  It just is based on blind faith in a better future that is in reality a dark and frightening unknown.

Comment by Richard J. Collins on January 27, 2012 at 1:51pm

You write:

You just can't argue atheism with a dedicated theist it's like trying to change a dedicated atheist into a theist. We should focus on creating atheist not converting them.

++++

There is a difference though. The thinking atheist (which all should strive to be) always allows for the possibility they could be wrong. This is a bedrock principle of critical thinking. The theist will never entertain the notion they could be wrong.because they do not appreciate the value of critical thinking or they would not be theists.They were compromised by their parents and their parents religious organizations long before they could understand critical thought. The object of their indoctrination is to prevent them from autonomous thinking. For many children, the strategy succeeds.

Converting theists is for the most part impossible because their actual brains have been reorganized by their beliefs and are hardwired. As soon as anyone says anything that remotely threatens their worldview they immediately shut down. Research on cultural conditioning has proved this fact. Therefore, any logic or new ideas just do not reach areas of the mind that would evaluate them. The metaphor of a "closed mind" is absolutely true physiologically.

Society must come to realize that grooming vulnerable children is unethical and we must put a stop to it. Children are harmed by the process and this fact is now abundantly clear. (please spend some time reading the personal stories of apostates on the dozens of web sites established for mutual support)

For more on the ethical arguments visit http://endhereditaryreligion.com

Children have absolutely no moral obligation to believe what their parents believe.

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