As a woman, as a mother and as a student surrounded by creative young men and women, I am often chastised by others for not being tolerant of religion.  I am told that being an Atheist requires just as much assumption as being religious and that in my dismissal of all faiths I am ignoring the good that religion brings into the world.

I do not believe that there is any good that religion, any religion, is doing in the world.

I think that every faith promotes ignorance, separation, discrimination and hatred.

When people contrast their faiths to those more extreme (often the Taliban) I compare them.

I do this because I am intolerant of the crutch of religion. I do this because when someone tells me that they are Christian, but have nothing against homosexuals, it rings about as honest as a Neo-Nazi telling me they have nothing against minorities.

I find their accusations that I would be happier in my "traditional place as a woman," to be hateful and coming from a place of spiteful ignorance.

I am aggravated as others try to hang a label of "agnostic" on me, when what I really am is an atheist.

I have no doubts that I have made the right choice to abandon the myths of my mother and her mother. There is no question in my mind.

People have said to me that they cling to the belief in gods out of a hope for cosmic justice.

I think that it is the belief in these gods that create most of the injustices we suffer in our lives. Our feelings of frustrations, our self-imposed limitations on our hopes for love and happiness, our misery in the feelings of constant scrutiny from an unloving, constantly judging omnipotent figure of our own design, all of these things are the waste product of an out-dated hate machine.

I find nothing redeeming in religion. Religion flaunts opulence in the face of starving believers and implants hatred in the innocent and inquisitive minds of children. It creates division where there should be none.

I am not tolerant of religion any more than I would tolerate any other form of indoctrinated bigotry.

Views: 987

Comment by Joshua D. on March 1, 2013 at 9:07am
Gallups mirror,

The point of the pick and choose statement was to demonstrate her error. I do pick and choose my religious beliefs but that's not how ive been arguing. It is misguided to lump all religions together but I generally have to operate under a misunderstood idea of belief and faith as well in these kinds of discussions.

As to the problem of evil well I don't know.

Hot cold, light dark, good evil. They seem to need each other to exist. I'm not God though and do not try and guess what his intentions are. If He exists who am I to question Him anyways?
Comment by Joshua D. on March 1, 2013 at 9:17am

Religion isn't a good tool for understanding the universe the way science is. I never said that. The two books analogy comes to mind.

My problem with statements like yours is simple. Your presuppositions mislead you and cause you to view people negatively with no justification short of your experience with others like them. This is prejudice. If you met me and I told you I was a Christian you've said yourself you wold assume all sorts of things that weren't true about me, me hating gay people, etc...

It's equal to meeting a different race and assuming things about them. So yes you are intolerant, and that kind of thinking is the same that drives the people you seem to loathe. You just use different prejudices to do so. It's shameful that thinking like yours is applauded.

I am sorry that there have been people in your life that have created this prejudice in you. I wold argue that of those people were capable of hate then they weren't really religious anyways. They were just a part of a bad social group. If religion was gone people would still be hateful, vengeful, and awful to each other.
Comment by Karl Mugele on March 1, 2013 at 9:40am

Joshua D.

Funny you are making the same statement but about other religions.  You lump all "other" religions together. Why is yours so special?

Carol was quite cleaqr that it is the religion she has a probelm with and not the individuals.  She stated "Intolerance of RELIGION, not RELIGIOUS".  It is you who are on the back foot, trying to twist her into appearing intollerant.  Simply put you are the intollerant one, believing all atheists hate religious people.  As far as I'm aware, none (or very few) do.  Many do, including me, hate being told someone's particular religion is more right than any other and is comparable to non-belief or scientific study.

Any and all religions answer nothing, generate more questions than they answer, provably cause or become the cause of human conflict and suffering, impose ancient prescriptions and proscriptions on their followers, and even try to impinge on the livews of non-believers and people of other religions.

The funniest thing is that they are self-contradictory but their followers can't see it.  They beggar belief.

Comment by Unseen on March 1, 2013 at 9:51am

Catholic health care facilities form the largest not-for-profit health service sector in the United States, caring for nearly one-sixth of all U.S. hospital patients each year.

The 620 Catholic hospitals across the country make up 12.4 percent of the nation’s 5,010 community hospitals.

They provide 15 percent of the hospital beds and in 2008 accounted for more than 5.6 million -- 15.8 percent -- of the 35.8 million patients admitted to those hospitals that year.

In addition to inpatient hospital stays, Catholic hospitals handled more than 98 million outpatient visits, 15.7 percent of the national total. (source)

While I couldn't find similar stats,this google search will tell you that there are many Lutheran hospitals in the United States: 

And here is a list of all the Adventist hospitals operated by The Seventh Day Adventists.

I've been in two different hospitals operated by Catholics and have not been proselytized. They may be restrained by receiving Federal funding or maybe they simply feel that taking care of people's medical needs hassle-free is good publicity for their faith.

Religious people believe a myth. This doesn't make all of them and everything they do evil.

Comment by Karl Mugele on March 1, 2013 at 9:59am

But equally 3rd world catholics are kept in powerty by being denied contraception.  I wonder what the comparative figure is?  Numbers of US citizens helped by catholic health foundations vs number of people abused by catholic priests, numbers of family members kept in poverty and squalor around the world and numbers killed in all historical conflicts trying to impose catholicism on the world.

Comment by Sagacious Hawk on March 1, 2013 at 10:17am

Joshua, look. I think you've lost sight of what her blog post was about. It's about Carol venting her frustrations. I understand the desire to clarify people's opinions about what you believe. And I do grant that you have a valid point. Some people hold to their ideas despite any evidence to the contrary. Do I agree with showing people evidence to the contrary? Yes, but in the right setting. This is not it. You're new here so I don't expect you to understand quite yet, but Think Atheist is somewhat of a haven from most of the religious people so that we can form a community and support each other as atheists in the problems that atheists commonly go through. The personal blog section tend to be for interactions that are.... more personal, especially when the blog is about that person, people in their life, or a situation from their life.

That being said the first thing you post is accusing Carol of being ignorant and bigoted? You really think that's a good first impression? Here's some advice for future interaction on this site. Remember that you are talking to people and please be polite. You'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar around here, figuratively of course. And while you personally might be offended and in your opinion wrong, remember that other people probably aren't and may not understand why it is that you are. Lastly, in your efforts to prove your point, don't lose sight of what's most important: people.

I sincerely hope that you'll heed this advice. We rarely have Christians around here that are worth talking to, and quite frankly, I wouldn't mind hearing some other opinions every once in awhile on the forums.

Comment by Sagacious Hawk on March 1, 2013 at 10:19am

and in your opinion *EDIT* what was said was */END EDIT* wrong,

Comment by Debora on March 1, 2013 at 10:40am

I feel exactly the same way you do. You just put it down in words the way I've wanted to.  I want to quote you too.  Thank you.

Comment by Melvinotis on March 1, 2013 at 12:12pm

Carol, since you are being chastised for your views, you are taking a defensive stance. This is appropriate in your situation. You are making a bold statement though when you cite that  "every faith promotes ignorance, separation, discrimination and hatred." It may be as simple as making any sort of statement that includes the word "every", "all" or "none" in that statements like that are usually intrinsically false.

Speak to someone who has had to hide in a church basement because of a tornado or hurricane and they can easily tell you that you are flat out wrong when you say that no good comes from religion. The atheist hurricane shelter is the body you inhabit or the government you support.

Trying to unblur the lines of the religious and religions is above my pay grade, but in short, I know some very good people who are part of a religion. They are accepting of more forms of the human condition than I even knew existed and put great efforts towards curing the injustices of the world. 

k0rsan might think that those folks are driven by some macabre need for validation, or only for the perceived salvation of their souls. But knowing them personally and seeing their dedication to making the world a better place, I cannot help but also be inspired. 

Yes, many times I think they are crazy to attribute their own good works to an imaginary friend, but that does not dilute the fact that they do inspirational work. Could they do that work without the church? Yes. Would the structure be there for them to find that work? A qualified maybe.

Frankly, it sounds like your social circle is soured. Reach out for new people to converse with.

Lastly, I think I should describe the religious folks that are in my neighborhood. I recently attended the ordination ceremony of a woman in the UCC. She is gay and her partner is also a Pastor in that church. Needless to say they stand for LGBT rights, but also many social justice causes such as prisoners rights. The ceremony was attended by some of the other folks I know who also hold workshops for homeless people, assist immigrant refugees, and organize war protests. They know my family is atheist and we have never been prosthelytized, nor do I rail against them either.

Yes, they certainly have to do some social gymnastics to be part of an organization that is more known for starting wars than protesting them, but I don't know them well enough to find out how they support their positions. Also I think that discussion might be as relevant as discussing the science of Star Trek.

Since mostly my conversations with the religious outside of my little bubble leave me with the same sort of feeling when I step in dog poo, I would say that you are mostly right in your intolerance, but partially wrong. When you any argument saying "all", "every" or "none" though. You set yourself up to be all wrong.

Comment by Dale Headley on March 1, 2013 at 7:20pm

For you to imply, “Melinotis” that a belief in God is necessary to induce people to help their fellow man, is extremely cynical and probably says a lot about you, I suspect.  Either you are an atheist who uses that as an excuse not to help people; or you are a Christian who believes that people who don’t believe in your God are selfish and uncaring, which is grossly insulting and patently untrue.  

Case in point:  people who volunteer for the “Peace Corps” clearly are not doing it for religious reasons; they are doing it because their sense of humanity leads them to want to help less fortunate people.  On the other hand, Mother Teresa packed dying people into small prisons, refused to give them medicine or pain killers, and watched them die as she intimidated them into accepting her Jesus.  For that, she is likely to be granted sainthood by the enablers of child-molesting priests.  Case closed!  


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