While I wrote this to address theists, I think the points made can show atheists that not wanting to offend religious people might not make as much sense as they thought.

Do those 'new atheists' really get on your nerves? Questioning your deeply held beliefs, even making fun of them? Do you feel offended and deeply hurt when you find you can't share your faith without someone trying to show you're wrong? These are daily challenges religious people have to face in this increasingly secular world. Buses with atheist adverts, books attacking religion, more and more people being outspoken with their views on god belief.

While you may not show it with any kind of outburst or violence, the way many atheists are acting today might still be affecting you, making you feel angry and frustrated. Should you be affected like that, considering the beliefs you hold?

You might find it useful to follow the better guidelines in the Bible and forgive those people, or be slow to anger and turn the other cheek. But if it is difficult, keep in mind that if you are going to live forever in heaven, all the grievances in this life, including having to deal with these atheists, will soon become a distant memory. Even if it takes a million years to get over it, that's still not even a drop in the ocean compared to your eternal existence.

A billion years, 10 billion years, what does it matter? If the offense and emotional pain lasts this long, which is doubtful - think of what might have offended you five years ago and you'll have trouble - compared to an eternity, billions of years can't even be compared to an atom in the universe.

So, don't feel too bad. Just keep in mind this whole business should barely register if this is just the start of your gazillion billion trillion zillion zillion years times infinity existence, and it's strange why you would think in such a short term way.

In the grand scheme of things, what possible difference can anything that goes on in the secular world make? Not only will you be living forever in bliss, depending on the specific religion you follow, you might also believe Jesus will be returning to Earth and making it a Christians-only planet. Or that Allah will make this a Muslims-only planet. Or something similar.

Anyone who's gone against your god will be judged and punished by him. Not wanting children taught creationism, seeking equal rights for women and homosexuals, promoting condom use, allowing abortions, euthanasia, stem cell research. If any of these things are wrong, your god will make sure they understand this.

With atheists and other non-Christians/non-Muslims/others (delete as appropriate) being wiped out by God, leaving Christians/Muslims/others (delete as appropriate) to rule the planet, how can you possibly feel offended by what they do in the here and now? It makes no sense.

Only those who know deep down in their subconscious that their religion is a lie could feel any offense, because they might not want to lose the comfort it brings them. True believers shouldn't be concerned in the slightest. Why should you be?

Views: 83

Comment by Ian Edwards on June 19, 2009 at 6:59am
Well put. Much better than a similar theme I tried to get across in a blog post HERE. But the idea that a "true believer" gets angry when there belief is put into question is a little bonkers!
Comment by Serotonin Wraith on June 19, 2009 at 7:30am
Yours is good, Ian. Even if there's some sentence in a book they think is from a god that says 'If someone makes fun of me, punish them', that still doesn't explain them taking it so personally. They could have peacefully boycotted the countries involved in the Muhammed cartoons as punishment, they could have tried to assasinate Salman Rusdie in a more detached manner, but along with those things we always tend to get the 'almost frothing at the mouth' riots and shouting and burning their own buildings to the ground. Are they really expecting it to affect them so badly for all eternity?
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on June 19, 2009 at 8:47am
Same line of reasoning as to why fundies cry at funerals.
Good post, SW.
Comment by Reggie on June 19, 2009 at 12:57pm
I love the subtle jabs at the absurdity of eternal existence.
Comment by Serotonin Wraith on June 19, 2009 at 1:19pm
Here's a very rough short video I made which I may include in a longer video on this subject, whenever I get around to it.

Comment by Gaytor on June 19, 2009 at 2:15pm
How dare you suggest that I'm not going to live forever! Don't you know how important I am?!
Comment by The Mother on June 19, 2009 at 5:08pm
As an atheist mom married to a non-practicing Jew, raising four ostensibly Jewish (but really agnostic/atheist) kids in the Bible Belt, I have to think that I've been the brunt of a lot more hatred than I have bestowed.

But if they keep it up, I might consider getting mean.

I read an article on Psych Today that really hit home. It was a commentary on how legalizing homosexual marriages is such a sticking point with the religious right simply BECAUSE it forces them to reevaluate, challenging their world order.

I hope the article was right, because I'm having trouble finding any other reason for sane people to be so threatened by OTHER people getting married.
Comment by fixedentropy on June 19, 2009 at 6:20pm
great post.

i have never actually thought about it that way before. something to say when someone says that they plan to pray for my non existent soul.
Comment by James on June 19, 2009 at 10:53pm
Bravo! An excellent post that was very well put.


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