I'm an immoral believer in nothing? Jerks.

Being treated as if I believe in nothing and considered immoral because I’m an atheist is frustrating, but it really shows me who’s paying attention, who’s arrogant, and who’s clueless about reality.

Piers Anthony wrote about a kind of atheist in “On A Pale Horse,” completely misrepresenting atheism if his logic were applied to the real world, though it made sense in his fictional world of magic and magical beings. I think this is a common mistake people make about atheism and atheists. The stigma or label appears to tell people that atheists are atheists no matter what, whether the proof of gods exist or not, dogmatically insisting there is no god even if a god proved she existed.

Apparently, the idea that atheists believe in nothing is so common that there are even some atheists that believe this nonsense. “Atheist” speaks to only one supernatural aspect involving deities. Other, broader definitions that include distheists, anti-theists, agnostics, which have the common denominator of no proof of a god’s existence, can be included in this, but just because an atheist sees no evidence your god is real does not mean that an atheist has no belief in anything at all.

So, someone saying atheists are immoral people that don’t believe in anything demonstrates a common mean spirited attack on something they do not understand or are too bigoted to care.

Anyway, that's my rant.

Views: 369

Comment by Cara Coleen on December 1, 2012 at 3:02pm

It's a major straw-man, isn't it? I was having a debate with a Christian recently... then just threw my hands up when she basically told me that my intentions and intellectual honesty didn't matter. She was sure Nazis were being honest in their belief they were superior to all other races, but they still deserved Hell. Like... wow... so I'm as bad as a Nazi, even if I've never committed or endorsed genocide? Oh right. We're all sinners, and our actions aren't really what matter... only that we blindly believe in a murderous god. Cool.

Comment by _Robert_ on December 1, 2012 at 3:34pm

Christians are often historically challenged.

During WWII the catholic country called Slovakia had a Roman Catholic bishop as head of state. They struck a deal and sold their own Jewish citizens to Nazi Germany for slave labor. Of course, any Jews that could not work were immediately murdered.

The mostly atheist country of Denmark was the ONLY nation that actively sought to protect their Jewish citizens at great risk to their own safety.

Hitler was a catholic, and the Nazi's immediately made pacts with the complicit catholic church. Fascism (national socialism) originated in the two most catholic nations, Spain and Italy. Japan worshiped their King as a god.

When people attribute Nazism to atheism, I can only walk away.

Comment by Ronald Pyatt on December 1, 2012 at 7:18pm

The sad part is that so many of them start from this position and assume that atheists are the type that just don't care about anything. 

If xtians only put it together that they're actually celebrating the birth of murderous god we might see a little more sense. (I know some of them have put it together, but those nut-jobs are rejoicing in the murderer.)

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on December 1, 2012 at 7:45pm

I have a long list… but am to chilled out today to start a rant. So I will just say on of the things that annoys me most is the assumption that Atheists deny the existence of gods rather than just not believe that they exist. And no I am not angry with your god either.

As for the Nazi argument once again Hitchens. Please remember to remind Theists of his words.

Comment by kris feenstra on December 1, 2012 at 10:19pm

I accept the baggage that comes with the term for the most part, including the misconceptions and outright mischaracterizations. It's part of the price of using a label, but my overall experience is that it's not such a high price to pay for the convenience the term offers. I only find it exasperating when someone assumes I am an atheist out of pure naïveté or ignorance, as if I had simply never given existence or morality a second thought. 

It is much worse when that someone is actually quite earnest and well-intentioned. "Fuck off cretin" just isn't a fair reply in that scenario, but at the same time I've been giving my personal philosophy considerable thought for over two decades, and I don't relish feeling like a Tour de France cyclist being offered a children's bike with training wheels.

Comment by Ronald Pyatt on December 1, 2012 at 11:04pm

From strangers, it's easy to see how they how the uninformed can view an atheist as immoral since a stranger can brush it away as someone being an inhuman caricature. But friends and family that know you, shared good times, helped, grieved, and pretty much had bonds of steel, should know better. It's like their Christian brains check their coat at the reason rack and dine on idiot soup.

Comment by Sagacious Hawk on December 1, 2012 at 11:20pm

@ Cara

According to Godwin's Law... you won that argument.

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on December 2, 2012 at 4:08am

Correct them. A believer in nothing is a nihilist, not an atheist.

Nihilism aside, this quote is handy for dealing with Christian personal attacks. Print it on a business card. Pass it out. Remind your Christian attacker that, according to Jesus himself, he is risking eternal damnation in hell by getting angry, telling you to step off, or calling you a fool.

"But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgement. Again, anyone who says Raca* to a brother or sister is answerable to judgement. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. - Jesus of Nazareth, Mathew 5:22

*Raca is an Aramic word that essentially means "Screw you!"

Comment by Emperor Milos on December 2, 2012 at 8:07am

I asked a theist to explain his reasoning for atheists believing in nothing. The reply was along these lines:

If you don't believe in god, then there is nothing left to believe in, since god made everything. So, if you don't believe in god, you believe in nothing."

To them, god is everything, and they can't imagine a world without the need for god. So, to them, not believing in god = believing in nothing.

Comment by Tiffany Willoughby on December 2, 2012 at 10:06am

i know what you mean. i understand completely. but tell them to fuck off your life is your business. tell them they need to stop being so nosy and listen to that book of fairy tales they go by that says to worry about yourself first before everybody else. get the beam out of your own eye. you dont have to proove yourself to nobody, especially a fuckin christian.

how bout this. their bible says all have sinned and come short of the glory of god. it says all which means them too. it says to get the beam out of your own eye. their going to hell and all their concerned about is what everybody else is doing.

im sorry, but i really cant stand arrogant christians, as you can probally tell.

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