My interactions with some Atheist has lead me to believe that many put more emphasis on showing how "smart" they are instead of being "smart."  I can see why Christians and other "Theist" who haven't figured out that superstition ain't the way, get turned off by "uppity" folk who seem to talk down to them because their reference is usually a 2000 year old book filled with contradictions.  The Atheist I know, especially many of the white ones, are trapped into a techno intellectual mode that I think serves no real purpose but to their own ego because communication is sharing ideas, not vocabulary, the "art" of rhetoric, or enjoying mental masturbation. OK so you know god doesn't exist, now what?

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Comment by Stephen Walski on March 26, 2012 at 4:33pm

And i would turn your question right back on you and ask, Why does there need to be more then just existing in a world without prefabricated creationist viewpoints that i don't share?

Comment by CJoe on March 26, 2012 at 6:58pm
Atheists may neglect to feed the world's starving children (although you should not assume many are not doing their parts to mitigate it, or something like it) but that's ENTIRELY different than being the deliberate cause of suffering.

Priests have raped children and/or turned a blind eye to it. My morals ARE superior to theirs in that sense. I would never do such a thing, nor would I look the other way if I had knowledge of someone else doing it. I am not going to play this game of pretending it's all relative, or feign modesty when comparing myself to people that would take part in such disgusting things. Atheists do not actively seek to oppress and control; do not go on literal witch hunts; do not prevent access to vital health care based on arbitrary "morality".

I cannot speak for all atheists, but I refuse to take some meek position of "we're all equally to blame for human suffering." I could do more to help those less fortunate... but that's not even close to the same as inflicting misery on purpose. The Church has the blood of millions on its hands. No one is going to lay a guilt trip on me for things out of my control; that's their game, and I'm not playing any more.
Comment by John R. on March 26, 2012 at 9:04pm
That is a common theme when an athiest talks to a believer... Though I usually hear the term "arogant" more than elitist. I can say in all honesty, I have been into theology in earnest for about 2 years now. It is my experince, that even the most novice of atheist are more knowledgable about the bible than 85% of most routine churchgoers (pulled that number out my butt but it "feels" right). No one wakes up an atheist... We have all searched and studied and asked the hard questions. In my experience, religious acquatinces use the same tired arguments for religion and when you have a well thought out reply to thier questions, they get frustrated because "you know it all and won't listen to reason," when is reality, all we WANT to listen to is reason.

I have jotted down about 200 pages of notes as I listen to various debates, shows on the Hx Channel... (I will sorely miss Christopher Hitchens), and this question of elitism or arragonce pops up a lot. No... I do NOT think it is elitism or arrogance. I can see how it is perceived as such (and as we all know, perception is reaiity for majority of people); simply put... being right is not arrogance. "2+2=5"... "No, 2+2 is four!"... "How arrogant, you think you now everything... Extremely frustrating but a worthy battle none the less.
Comment by Lee on March 26, 2012 at 9:52pm

You have to admit that it's a bit empowering to know you're right, doesn't it? I never had so much confidence in my point of view as when I finally decided I was an atheist...and it's difficult to hold back when you have so much confidence. I just get the feeling that any argument posited by a theist in favor of theism will either a)be directly refuted by factual evidence b)be refuted in the future by evidence that hasn't yet come to light, or c)be undebatable because the argument is either illogical or deals with unmeasurable or unobservable things. Now I could be mistaken. And I'll always try to keep my mind open to the possibility that one day such an argument will arise. But isn't it too easy to get drunk with power when you always feel that you're right? I never feel this way in debates about food preferences or movies. I've always been moderate. Being an atheist has made me feel so right...that I do think I may come off as arrogant.

Comment by C Elaine Clark on March 26, 2012 at 10:29pm

wow that was a lot to keep up with..... not that I will even try.... I don't believe in any god and do believe that religion is bad for the earth. Most wars get started by religions.  I really like what Cara said  about, taking responsibility for the planet, people animals, plants  insects. Walk the  walk not just talk the talk.   Cara said: This universe wasn't created for us so we have to learn to be respectful of its limitations, not act as though we are entitled to all its resources.  I read a few  minutes on this site but mainly I am out there working to create a better place for the animals to live, creating ways to save water, keep the air cleaner.  I am not an elitist , I try to be a humble person with honor and love. I never want to be thought of as an elitist, its almost as bad as  a religious zelot . groups of people who think they are better then others  become gangs , cults, as bad as religious groups to me .  Almost like Hitler raising again  .... Elitist ... not for me ........

Comment by Dustin on March 26, 2012 at 10:46pm

Ever consider that Atheists are just as a matter of fact, much more informed and educated on various religious beliefs, biblical studies and science than the majority of Christians are? 

If this is the case, then anytime an Atheist speaks to a Christian, it could easily come across as elitist or arrogant. 

It is very difficult to speak to someone normally who expresses a belief that children with cancer is a good thing because God allows it, or that God is testing the childrens parents, or other sickly beliefs such as those I mentioned.  I couldn't respect someone like that.  But where do you draw the line?  Are people who say homosexuals are an abomination worthy of respect?  People who tell their child every day that if you pray to Jesus, he will help guide you?  Do they deserver respect?  I dunno, but most Christians irritate me to no end that I cannot help come across as arrogant when I speak to them. 



Comment by Simon Bennett on March 26, 2012 at 11:06pm

I'm not elitist. Anyone's welcome to wise up and become an atheist. You know, how they were on the day they were born before someone came along, fed them a whole pile of bullshit and indoctrinated them, 

Comment by Ward Cressin on March 26, 2012 at 11:49pm

It is difficult to keep in mind that knowledge and critical thinking only give you many of the answers when you run into people - usually theists - who have none of the answers. Add to that the simple observation that (assuming you are being so) you are being more considerate and polite than the Xian whose religion is supposedly based (according to some) on them being considerate and polite yet they are neither. Those two things make it too easy to not just feel elitist but also make you want to be condescending. It is a struggle and being human we can succumb to our baser natures.

Comment by Mo Trauen on March 27, 2012 at 12:55am

Atheists are no more elitist than any other group.  Every group feels more or less as if they are better than others.  Some in the group feel this way more than others, but they all feel it a little in some way.  It all depends on your point of view.  If your group rejects education and knowledge as elitist, then you probably feel like your better than everyone else because of your "special relationship with god".  That is elitist, too, but we don't think of it with that term in mind.  Perhaps because we don't secretly aspire to it.

Comment by Becca on March 27, 2012 at 1:01am

I admit to feeling elitist or superior to others sometimes. But it's really hard not to be when so many people just don't use their brains for anything useful and don't give a flying fuck about... well anything... other than maybe the latest gossip. The saddest part is that there is absolutely nothing that is preventing an extremely large number of people on this planet from having knowledge and intellect comparable to or better than mine because I'm certainly nothing special. For many people it's willful ignorance. I can tolerate a lot of things in other people and don't necessarily think that those who are theists are morons but what I can't tolerate in anyone atheists included is willful ignorance because you know what? That willful ignorance harms people.

Communication is a two way street more often than not you average everyday theist doesn't want to have a conversation. They are more than willing to tell you all about their beliefs but they don't really want to hear about yours. And when they do hear your beliefs and those beliefs aren't acceptable to them then suddenly just the mere fact that you exist is offensive to them so no matter how nice and accommodating the words coming out of your mouth are you are still being offensive.

Also on a side note... why even bring skin color into this conversation at all? People of all different skin colors can be elitist- in fact I've met some of them. The only thing my 'whiteness' does is cause my skin to burn easily in the sun.


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