Recently i had an argument with my girlfriend in which she said that if atheists really don't believe that religion is true and that god doesn't exist, then why do we care so much about religion? Because if that were the case we should be apathetic about it, however we invest a lot of energy learning about religion, questioning religion and the religious. That it almost seems like we are searching for something, for some truth even though we consider that we found the truth [that god is not real, that religion is false], trying to fill something by studying it and converting others and sometimes is looks like the atheist are more concerned about religion than the religious themselves.

So what do you think? Are we too interested in religion? Besides the harm done by religious belief to humans and profession, Could there be any other reason as to why it seems that way?

PD: The discussion was started by my book wish list for the curious as to how this started.

I don't think there are that many religious oriented books.

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There are many legitimate reasons to be concerned about religion. For the most part atheists that I know in real life aren't overly concerned with religion. After all most religious people are rather benign. I have however, known some atheists that can't have a conversation about anything without bringing religion into it which is just as annoying as religious people who can't have a conversation about anything without bringing religion into it.

Really for the most part what The Oatmeal says at the end of his How to Suck as Your Religion cartoon is how I feel about religion.

Oatmeal - brilliant as always

Well, ask yourself this - what is it that brings out the nontheists and our opinions?  Most of the time, it is the actions of mainly Christians in America that prompt us to react.  In God We Trust, abstinence only sex ed, One Nation Under God, religious displays on public property, creationism as science, the fabricated "evolution debate", climate change/global warming denial, denial of medical care to the detriment of children or other dependents based on moronic religious beliefs/"faith healing", school vouchers used for religious/Christian education (paid for by all taxpayers, including non-Christians and nontheists), anti-abortion laws, etc., etc.

Tell the religious people (mainly Christiians in America) to stop using our tax money to support their Bronze Age mythology and to stop trying to impose their beliefs on us - maybe they'll hear less from us.

I like the saying - "don't ask me to observe your religion in public, and I won't ask you to think in church" (or something like that).


I have wondered the very same thing about myself.  I have been accused of seeking God too.  As others have said, I would not care about it if the damn Christians would leave me, and everybody else, alone!

I have almost been taken in before by evangelical Christians, and it is SCARY to me that they are out there trying to save souls for Jesus all the time.  I don't try to convert people to atheism, but I will not turn the other cheek constantly either.  I will speak the truth as I know it.

Am I too interested it it?  I think so, and I try to chill out about it, but then yet another yahoo does something hideous or goes over the line.  Somebody has to counter Christianity!  Granted, I don't have to take on a whole religion, but I have to have a voice in my own sphere of influence, out of self-respect if nothing else.

I'm definitely apathetic towards the things religious people might talk to you about- repentence, faith, salvation and the like. Those things don't interest me at all, so in that sense, I'm cool towards religion. If, on the other hand, we speak of my interest in religion as a sort of academic pursuit, it's plain that I'm not secretly seeking something that only religion can provide. As a comparison, it'd be ridiculous to say that someone interested in becoming a physician because they find the workings of the body fascinating is actually seeking to cure something that might perhaps maybe be deeply wrong with themselves. In that case, people have no problem admitting that medicine is something compelling and worth knowing about for its own sake, and religion is no different. 

There are very few things that can match the level of permeation of society and culture that religion has achieved, and anyone who's interested in almost any subject must at some point occupy themselves with questions about it. For example, I have an interest in evolutionary biology, and have thus been mightly interested to hear what experts in that field have to say about the possible competitive advantages that might have existed in our prehistory that gave rise to the religious impulse. I'm interested in music, which is strongly rooted in religious tradition and is virtually incomprehensable without a certain basic understanding of the socio-religious milieau in which it developed. I'm interested in contemporary affairs, in which the influence of religion is ever-present.

In fact, this last fact has lead me farther into investigations of religion (and atheism) than any other; a better understanding of the world around us is ultimately predicated on a better understanding of how the minds of other people work, and the religious impulse is certainly a factor in this. As a person who aspires to make the world a better place from time to time, I can't help but be interested in one of the biggest stumbling blocks we face as a global society. To be clear: it was not an interest in religion that led me to that point, but rather an interest in the world and how to make it better; it was only through investigation into the source of one problem or another that I came to fixate upon religion as a source of strife. 

Apathetic (almost pity) the religious people, they can do whatever they want but I am concerned about it because they constantly try to take away others rights.

I totally agree with this! Bravo!

The day that religion and it's followers aren't restricting the rights of other people simply because they are different, and using a blatantly fictional story to back up it up, is the day atheists can stop concerning themselves with religion.

Hay, some of us are trying to have a nice day here, can you guys keep it down a little!

Here we go again. This corpse is getting rather beaten up, soft in lots of places, and in serious need of soil fungi!

Is beating up on religion an addiction? An OCD affliction? Or is something 'new' going to come out of it?

Maybe it is the 'not knowing' that can drive some folks nutty? "Yah know, I never thought of that idea before, maybe that corpse could be beat up one more TIME?" 

My puppy is standing next to me, wondering why I am typing again at 4:30am, and not playing or sleeping?


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