For all practical purposes, I am an Atheist. I lack belief in a God (or gods).

It is that, and only that, with which I can confidently say that I share with other Atheists. We're a diverse group.

While there certainly are trends, we're all individuals - our only shared 'rule' being to think for ourselves. In light of that, our specific attitudes towards religion itself are all placed on a spectrum: from outright anti-theistic to 'whatever floats their boat'-ness.

I, personally, am more inclined towards Dawkins' or Hitchens' take on it than not. In places, I see religion and superstition causing direct and measurable harm, and I feel that keeping this to myself is unfair - ultimately - to the victims.

But, as Dawkins and Hitchens don't either (but are misunderstood and misrepresented as doing so), I, when criticising religion, am not criticising religious people just for thinking in a certain way. I may severely dislike particular individuals, but I do not see 'moderate' religious people as anything other than a little deluded. In other words: I disagree with the thoughts, but I do not think, necesarily, that the people are stupid or immoral for - as is likely - simply having been born into and brought up within a certain world-view. Plus, many leave their parent's beliefs behind. Are they absolute idiots up to that point?

My specific use of the term 'deluded' should not be taken to be insulting either. It sounds it, I'll give you that; but there's simply no other way to express what I feel is an ignorance, whether wilful or not. I also detest the view that, say, those in the Middle-East 'don't know any better', or that us in 'The West' should avoid criticising certain practices in the name of cultural relativism. It's both patronising and untrue - again for the sake of victims and individuals.

Anyway, before I outline every one of my opinions, it's worth getting to the point of this post: is talking about these things, in public, an 'obsession' of Atheists?

I don't think so.

There are a few things at play here. The first obvious one is that the view that it is is a misunderstanding. True, some Atheists talk about religion a lot. But, in day-to-day life, with friends, I only mention it if relevant... What, then, makes it relevant?

I think it being in the news is a definite example. This shouldn't happen:

Person A: "Hey, did you watch the parliamentary debate on same-sex marriage?"
Person B: "Yeah, what did you think about it?"
Person A: "Isn't it funny that every single person arguing against allowing it did so for religious reasons?"
Person B: "YOU'RE SO OBSESSED WITH RELIGION!"

(Continue reading this post)

Views: 602

Tags: Atheism, Christianity, Humour, Islam, Misconception, Rationality

Comment by allan jones on April 15, 2013 at 5:53am

I've always been an atheist but as a UK resident this was pretty much the default setting in my immediate community. I knew very few people that went to church and most of the ones that did were not 'true believers'. Religion was an unimportant pre enlightenment hangover. Then I started to look at the internet. I knew the US was a religious country but I had severely underestimated the extent of fundamentalist religious craziness. If you're a 'free thinker' in the US then you should be troubled (or maybe even a little obsessed) by the extreme religiosity of your culture.

Comment by Ed on April 15, 2013 at 8:19am

@ Diane

I know about the implications of being too vocal on atheism in small southern US towns. If you have a business and rely on locals for "keeping the doors open" then it is not a good idea to wear the shirt pictured above when out and about. I still take christian greenbacks despite the motto printed on it. haha 

Comment by Jorita on April 15, 2013 at 9:35am

If I am obsessed with religion because I question the negative impact on lives then so be it. I truly think it is the religious that is obsessed, as almost every symbol is evil, every second artist is evil, they see Satan in everything in life end truly believe that we are all out to get them. My daughter when 7 loved Fairies so I put fairies in her room, a client gave me a DVD of a pastor doing a entire sermon on the evil of fairies and telling the story of a parent whos 6 year old daughter could not sleep and had bad dreams, when he walked into her room there was fairies on painted on the walls ect. He told the parents to burn all the fairies and paint over the walls.as Satan is working through the FAIRIES. I mean realy WTF. Imaggine this poor child when she came back from school her room no longer as she left it all her prised fairies burned and blank walls all in the name of religion and obsession with a cult that see evil and persecution in everything around them, Yes then I am obsessed with religion !

Comment by max stirner on April 15, 2013 at 4:57pm

...no different from a mongoose concentrating on how best to kill a cobra

Comment by Dale Headley on April 15, 2013 at 7:20pm

Me, obsessed?  Maybe.

I am a thoroughgoing antitheist; however, I try to express my extreme distaste for religion as inoffensively as possible, given the fact I think religion itself is offensive - to the intellect.

Case in point: a Mormon friend asked me if I didn’t think scientology was nonsense.  I told him simply that I think all religions are of equal validity.  He could take that any way he wished, I suppose, but he wisely chose not to press the point.

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