Have you ever been unfairly treated after disclosing your atheist views?
Yes
30.8% (41)
30.8% (41)
No
45.9% (61)
45.9% (61)
Not an atheist
23.3% (31)
23.3% (31)
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Poll: A Story of Irrational Atheist Hate

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I live in Ontario, Canada and the worst I've experienced is a quasi-passive-aggressive resistance to discussing or even acknowledge atheism. I've been a part of several debate groups and local political discussions where, more than once, I've been asked discretely to keep my atheist views to myself. Often it would be explained that it wasn't personal, it was just that "we don't want things to get out of hand"- implying that just mentioning a disbelief in God was disruptive and some kind of breach of etiquette.

This kind of thing happened to me at meetings/debates where all sorts of different viewpoints were allowed to express themselves- from people convinced that bringing prayer back into schools will solve the country's "moral degradation" to people harping on and on about that even just acknowledging the existence of homosexuals is a dangerous social experiment that will be the downfall of our society. Yes, even in Canada, we have our nutjobs too. Yet, a guy who is fine with getting along with everyone, but just doesn't believe in big Sky-Daddy, has to be careful about revealing his atheism, and play along with all the religous people who seem to have a problem even considering someone might have a different opinion than they do.

To be honest, I often ignored this advice and presented my atheism when it was appropriate in the context of the discussion. Many of my friends (both athiest and religious) have actually gotten more worked up about this odd discrete-supressing behaviour than I do. It is a really interesting quirk because I have yet to meet a religous person who completely blows up at the mentioning of athiesm (unlike the OP). I find this kind of supression technique to be really half-assed and ineffective, as well as insulting to everyone involved.

Witty Name Here:
I'm not sure if that was trolling, or you just happened to run into the craziest freaking people on the planet.

I'm a Christian, Roman Catholic to be exact ( I also ironically live in California as well ^_^ ) and something similar happened to me several times over the years (Though nowhere near as violent as the encounter you've dealt with)

I've met a few Atheists... Or rather, Anti-Theists or... Whatever they like to call themselves. That I struck up a conversation with once. They seemed like nice enough people and I thought they had a good sense of humor. Well, one thing lead to another and they started discussing religion, where it came out that I was a Roman Catholic...

Things did not end well.

First they tried to "Convert" me using "ration and reason" and when that didn't work, they called me, quite literally, "Mentally Retarded". They asked if I also believed in the flying Spaghetti Monster and said something along the lines of Mary not being a Virgin (they went into a bit more detail then just 'not being a virgin' however) they then hoped that I would "die quickly" just to "Get idiots like you out of the Gene Pool".

...

If you can't tell by now, most of the Atheists I've met over the years have been mostly dicks to me... Which explains much of my current opinion of them (It's such fun having to deal with people attempting to send you pornographic pictures of important saints as a "Funny Prank")

So, my personal opinions aside, I'm sorry to hear that your attempts at doing a good deed were ruined by a crazy fundamentalist. We don't like those people either.

Heh. Biggest hive of them is the Reddit Atheist subforum. Its worse than 'anything' 4chan can produce. that being said, Im willing to put my money on stupid Christians being a larger problem in American than Stupid Atheists. The fact that the surveys shows that Atheists are pretty much more hated by Christians (In average) than convicted rapists shows just 'why' it is one of the most religious countries in the west. And by one of them I mean the.

Agema:

pyrate:

The women offered a religious symbol as a reward for returning the money to someone who is not only not a member of that religion, but does not believe in any religion. I don't know of many atheists that would take it. Just as a Jew (practicing) does not accept ham as a gift, an atheist does not accept religious symbols.

Why not?

Offering a Jew ham is offering him something explicitly against his beliefs. Offering an atheist a cross should offer him merely a decorative trinket of no particular significance beyond its physical and decorative value.

That's patently untrue, or such symbols wouldn't be such a source of dispute(War on Christmas, War on Easter, prayer in schools etc etc), etc etc etc). To the person offering the cross, they are making an explicitly religious gesture, this is reinforced by her "good Christian" comments, and at least personally as someone who holds and expresses certain opinions regarding religion, I would feel like a hypocrite if I accepted such a gesture. One can, as the OP did, express gratitude for the thought behind the gesture and, I feel, convey that gratitude with no less sincerity.

Unless you're dealing with batshit crazy psychos of course.

Christian lady at chruch later:
Woman: "I had this most terrorfying experience pastor!"
Pastor: "What happened?"
Woman: "An Atheist tried to give me some money that I dropped! It was so scary!"
Pastor: "..."
Woman: "I told him I wouldn't touch his tainted money!"
Pastor: "Mam... Athiests don't have cooties."

Spartan1362:
Christian lady at chruch later:
Woman: "I had this most terrorfying experience pastor!"
Pastor: "What happened?"
Woman: "An Atheist tried to give me some money that I dropped! It was so scary!"
Pastor: "..."
Woman: "I told him I wouldn't touch his tainted money!"
Pastor: "Mam... Athiests don't have cooties."

Woman: "WOULD YOU ACCEPT MONEY FROM A DEMON!?"
Pastor: "If he didnt demand my soul in exchange, probably."

Teehe. . . I dont think the Bible says anything about accepting money from demonic beings either. Just that its generally bad idea to do business transactions with them, and the whole amulet for money thing was 'her' idea. So even if the atheist was a flippin Demon he wouldnt be at fault.

Vivi22:

Although an atheist may not lend any credence to the beliefs it represents, the cultural significance and meaning of that symbol are obvious.

Smiley Face:
Are you kidding? It's got TONS of significance... [snip]

Blablahb:
That's a double standard. Basically you're saying now atheists aren't allowed to be offended, and all believers can (at random).

No, I'm obviously not. I'm drawing a situational distinction.

If you are a Jew, you are not supposed to eat meat of the pig because your religion says so.

If you're an atheist, you can wear nominally "religious" accoutrements. You can read religious literature. You can go into churches and sing along with the hymns. Whether you choose to put any significance into any of these things and what you get out of them is entirely up to you.

You might be offended by a religious-themed gift, and if you really feel the need to be, that's your business. In certain circumstances, an atheist probably should be offended, for instance if he's deliberately being given the religiously-themed gift as some sort of pointed message or rebuke (see *49).

I was explicitly disagreeing with Pyrate when he says atheists should not accept religious items. Why the hell not? It is up to me. I did not reject religious dogma just to enslave myself to a new one where militant anti-theists set rules and dictate to me what should be my appropriate behaviour with respect to religion.

Atheism isn't really frowned upon in Norway, so I can't really say I have had anything similar happen to me.

It's a bit weird though that the lady praised you one second, then as soon as you tell her you are an atheist she acts like you have the plague :P
I mean you are still the same person you were 2 seconds ago, and she wouldn't have "caught the infidelism" if you hadn't told her...

I agree with you though, my morality comes from me (and to some extent my family and friends) but not at all from a fictional character in the sky.

Aurgelmir:
Atheism isn't really frowned upon in Norway, so I can't really say I have had anything similar happen to me.

We are a secular nation by far, so it is sort of opposite in our rocky country. It is the fundamentalist loonies who are laughed at and frowned upon when they pop up.

We have a state religion, but good grief it is far between anyone I meet that gives a shit about it.

Rastelin:

Aurgelmir:
Atheism isn't really frowned upon in Norway, so I can't really say I have had anything similar happen to me.

We are a secular nation by far, so it is sort of opposite in our rocky country. It is the fundamentalist loonies who are laughed at and frowned upon when they pop up.

We have a state religion, but good grief it is far between anyone I meet that gives a shit about it.

I wanted to make a "go atheism" comment now, but I realized it would just end up being mean, so I won't.

But it is still quite interesting that Norway has a state religion, but no one really cares about it (other than Weddings, Funerals, baptisms and the odd Christmas).

Nikolaz72:

Heh. Biggest hive of them is the Reddit Atheist subforum. Its worse than 'anything' 4chan can produce. that being said, Im willing to put my money on stupid Christians being a larger problem in American than Stupid Atheists. The fact that the surveys shows that Atheists are pretty much more hated by Christians (In average) than convicted rapists shows just 'why' it is one of the most religious countries in the west. And by one of them I mean the.

I think the problem lies with two major issues.

1.) From what I understand, Protestant Christianity is more of a "Tightly Knit Community" thing, each sect of Protestantism has it's own way of doing things, hell, individual chapels have their own way of doing things. They choose their own preacher and, in most cases, that's the only church that practices their form of protestantism for miles. So I guess you could think of people who "leave" the faith as "leaving" the community or something along those lines. I see some bile spewed by protestants all the time towards Catholicism... Mostly claiming that we either "Aren't Christian" or "Are an ancient pagan babylonian cult that secretly worships Satan".

2.) Atheism in the U.S. just seem to be more aggressive then in most places. With the exception of Rastelin, it seems like most Atheists on these forums that I've seen from Europe tend to have a "Live and let live... Although I think you're wrong." Mentality that I can somewhat appreciate. Here in the U.S. well... Let's just say that when you have some Atheists trying to "Unbaptize" themselves with a hair dryer, or "unbless" roads (which I personally believe is a MASSIVE dick move) then in the public eye Atheism appears to be nothing but aggressive and spiteful towards religion. It breeds a "Thus vs Them" mentality and makes them seem more Zealous and crazy then some of the Evangelical Christians. Hell, I remember watching some South Park commentary about one of their religious episodes and they were talking about the time they were in an interview and it came out that they WEREN'T Atheists, they claimed to get a call from a close friend who said something along the lines of she was "Very disappointed they weren't on their side." Most Christians refuse to associate with Atheists (sometimes even former family and friends) simply because they either believe Atheism wants to destroy Christianity or they just want to keep their children christian and free from ANY influence of Atheism.

LiquidSolstice:
The guy actually grabs a goddamn bat out of his car and starts walking towards me, telling me that he'd be doing god's work by beating sense into me.

LiquidSolstice:
"This young man is a vile demon, he does not believe that the Lord exists! Arrest him!"

atheistnerdpersecutionfantasy.txt

This reads like a chain letter. Learn how to write better dialog.

Witty Name Here:

2.) Atheism in the U.S. just seem to be more aggressive then in most places. With the exception of Rastelin, it seems like most Atheists on these forums that I've seen from Europe tend to have a "Live and live... Although I think you're wrong." Mentality that I can somewhat appreciate. Here in the U.S. well... Let's just say that when you have some Atheists trying to "Unbaptize" themselves with a hair dryer, or "unbless" roads (which I personally believe is a MASSIVE dick move) then in the public eye Atheism appears to be nothing but aggressive and spiteful towards religion. It breeds a "Thus vs Them" mentality and makes them seem more Zealous and crazy then some of the Evangelical Christians. Hell, I remember watching some South Park commentary about one of their religious episodes and they were talking about the time they were in an interview and it came out that they WEREN'T Atheists, they claimed to get a call from a close friend who said something along the lines of she was "Very disappointed they weren't on their side." Most Christians refuse to associate with Atheists (sometimes even former family and friends) simply because they either believe Atheism wants to destroy Christianity or they just want to keep their children christian and free from ANY influence of Atheism.

I think the largest factors are the views that Christians in America have of Atheists and that the exposure to religion is so many times greater. Living in Norway, Netherlands, Australia as an Atheist is easy, religion rarely comes up in our daily lives. This is not the case in the US, particularly outside major cities.

Put yourself in their shoes of Atheists living in Christian communities in the US. How would you act if every day you were bombarded with religious messages and treated as a lesser person for ignoring them? You might let it be for a while, but eventually most people are going to break.

DUKENUK3M:

LiquidSolstice:
The guy actually grabs a goddamn bat out of his car and starts walking towards me, telling me that he'd be doing god's work by beating sense into me.

LiquidSolstice:
"This young man is a vile demon, he does not believe that the Lord exists! Arrest him!"

atheistnerdpersecutionfantasy.txt

This reads like a chain letter. Learn how to write better dialog.

'cos we certainly haven't seen anything like that in public before.

Oh wait.

Aurgelmir:
I wanted to make a "go atheism" comment now, but I realized it would just end up being mean, so I won't.

Mean? I don't know. Christianity had been persecuting, torturing and killing nonbelievers through out history when it got power. It was like a child on to much sugar. I think a motivational cry is in order. It is not like we are bringing the torches and stakes^^

My American in-laws are for the most part pretty religious. There are some of them who are down to earth, will have a drink and a joke and behave in what I would regard as a "normal" way.

There are some who are very devout and regularly attend church and all the various related activities that go with their religion. Whilst I have never received any overt hostility, there is one of the more religious ladies that clearly has a problem being around me and I know from things that my wife has said, that some of them think atheists are amoral beasts. They are entitled to their view and I don't really care, but what does really get my goat is that some of them got up to some really dodgy stuff in their youth, but because they confessed and repented, they got a clean slate and use it as a licence to look down on people who don't get their values from a book.

And a couple of the younger members of the clan, supposedly devout also have been up to such diverse things as taking and selling drugs, screwing around and blowing shit up (literally). Apparently though, we couldn't raise our kids properly because we didn't have the priesthood in our home. Load of old cock.

I've also been given religious texts by them, which I accepted and then shelved. I think the OP in this situation has acted totally without reproach and I would have done exactly the same as him.

Oh, I came here expecting a story about how atheists hate the religious. I got the opposite. Damnit, I can't yell at people. Oh well.

LiquidSolstice:

I looked at the envelope and thought to myself "not a fucking chance."

I would have kept the money as payment for moral damages. Seems fair seeing as you were just harrassed on the basis of your belief. Definitely looked like they were too stupid to deserve it, anyway.

As soon as he got the baseball bat I would have instantly hit that cunt in the throat.
Someone goes for a weapon and you need to strike first. If you pick up a weapon for mere effect you are a fool. Your hands are better weapons most of the time if you have the initative. Guns are better but hand skill damn good if you can use em.

As for the money if that woman started ranting at me I'd have just left it on the top of her car and pissed off. If she threw it on the floor thats her problem and other peoples gain.

btw I am a "Christian" and if I saw someone like that in the street yelling at an atheist I'd walk up and say I was a Christian and on the Atheists side, not because he is an atheist but a good human being who didn't need the incentive of eternal life or the fear of hell to do what he did.

I go to a Catholic school, although almost no one is actually Catholic. I live in England, and I think about half the school is either Atheist or Christian, with a few Catholics.
This isn't really abuse, but someone was sent out of the class for bringing up the Big Bang in religious education, and I've had plenty of arguments with my R.E teacher. Nothing as bad as your experience, though.

Popadoo:
I go to a Catholic school, although almost no one is actually Catholic. I live in England, and I think about half the school is either Atheist or Christian, with a few Catholics.
This isn't really abuse, but someone was sent out of the class for bringing up the Big Bang in religious education, and I've had plenty of arguments with my R.E teacher. Nothing as bad as your experience, though.

I went to a... and I still love saying this xD
A "Specialist science, Catholic School".

Science being the subject it teaches best. Catholic as it was started by nuns but now just keeps religion as the basis for the school.

The RE teachers were quite happy and actually encouraged debate. They could easily fend off against a couple of 16 year olds :) What your teacher did was to lose the argument and used authority to veto that student continuing to talk :P

My school was very interesting in this reguard because science was a given but it didn't then exclude faith. Merely that certain things humans said about faith was wrong.

DUKENUK3M:

LiquidSolstice:
The guy actually grabs a goddamn bat out of his car and starts walking towards me, telling me that he'd be doing god's work by beating sense into me.

LiquidSolstice:
"This young man is a vile demon, he does not believe that the Lord exists! Arrest him!"

atheistnerdpersecutionfantasy.txt

This reads like a chain letter. Learn how to write better dialog.

Well fuck, I'll remember to bring a pen and paper then the next time I get confronted by a guy with a bat.

I think I'd like to clarify; I have, of course wish I had just taken the cross and walked away. I really do. It's just, it perhaps is hard to understand for those who don't live in the part of California that I do (granted, that's probably many of you) that I genuinely thought that the area was liberal enough for me to safely say that.

It was the first time ever that I thought perhaps these people would be open-minded (if not disappointed) and I was grossly wrong.

Witty Name Here:

Nikolaz72:

Heh. Biggest hive of them is the Reddit Atheist subforum. Its worse than 'anything' 4chan can produce. that being said, Im willing to put my money on stupid Christians being a larger problem in American than Stupid Atheists. The fact that the surveys shows that Atheists are pretty much more hated by Christians (In average) than convicted rapists shows just 'why' it is one of the most religious countries in the west. And by one of them I mean the.

I think the problem lies with two major issues.

1.) From what I understand, Protestant Christianity is more of a "Tightly Knit Community" thing, each sect of Protestantism has it's own way of doing things, hell, individual chapels have their own way of doing things. They choose their own preacher and, in most cases, that's the only church that practices their form of protestantism for miles. So I guess you could think of people who "leave" the faith as "leaving" the community or something along those lines. I see some bile spewed by protestants all the time towards Catholicism... Mostly claiming that we either "Aren't Christian" or "Are an ancient pagan babylonian cult that secretly worships Satan".

2.) Atheism in the U.S. just seem to be more aggressive then in most places. With the exception of Rastelin, it seems like most Atheists on these forums that I've seen from Europe tend to have a "Live and let live... Although I think you're wrong." Mentality that I can somewhat appreciate. Here in the U.S. well... Let's just say that when you have some Atheists trying to "Unbaptize" themselves with a hair dryer, or "unbless" roads (which I personally believe is a MASSIVE dick move) then in the public eye Atheism appears to be nothing but aggressive and spiteful towards religion. It breeds a "Thus vs Them" mentality and makes them seem more Zealous and crazy then some of the Evangelical Christians. Hell, I remember watching some South Park commentary about one of their religious episodes and they were talking about the time they were in an interview and it came out that they WEREN'T Atheists, they claimed to get a call from a close friend who said something along the lines of she was "Very disappointed they weren't on their side." Most Christians refuse to associate with Atheists (sometimes even former family and friends) simply because they either believe Atheism wants to destroy Christianity or they just want to keep their children christian and free from ANY influence of Atheism.

I live in Newfoundland and I find most people here don't even want to discuss religious differences and beliefs. Most people when you ask them as part of a discussion tell you that they belong to some religion, but when you ask them why they say it's because their parents/family are/is that religion. I've even had a large number of them tell me they don't believe in their religion, which if they don't believe it then it clearly isn't their religion. The Atheists I do know are moderates. None of them are 7's on the Dawkin's Scale, so they treat me, and all the other people of all the other faiths and beliefs the same. I've met one religious fundamentalist who was a creationist and even she was respectful of my non-christian beliefs. So I would say that has more to do with the area you are in than the people who follow different faiths.

On a side note: You're forum avatar is mjollnir and I thought you once said you believed in some parts of Norse neo-paganism, I correct and roman-catholic being a part of your religious beliefs and not the entirety of them or am I thinking of another member? Just asking cause I'm trying to make sure I can remember all the other members who believe in the Norse gods too so that if I get some questions that are pretty hard to get answers to I can at least discuss it with others.

Agema:

pyrate:

The women offered a religious symbol as a reward for returning the money to someone who is not only not a member of that religion, but does not believe in any religion. I don't know of many atheists that would take it. Just as a Jew (practicing) does not accept ham as a gift, an atheist does not accept religious symbols.

Why not?

Offering a Jew ham is offering him something explicitly against his beliefs. Offering an atheist a cross should offer him merely a decorative trinket of no particular significance beyond its physical and decorative value.

Atheists are incapable of recognizing the significance others and society in general might place an object? Well damn, I better start ignoring things.

Agema:

If you're an atheist, you don't believe in a god or gods.

FTFY

Every atheist is an individual, with opinions and views that they might not share with any other atheist. The ONLY thing all atheists agree on is that they don't believe in a god or gods. Implying that an atheist should be able to accept a cross or any religious symbol is ludicrous. Sure, some might not care, but others will care. The woman was saying all kinds of shit about god and him being a Christian or whatever. Any self respecting atheist would probably say that they aren't a Christian, just like a Muslim would likely say that they aren't a Christian. What's the difference here?

Agema:

Vivi22:

Although an atheist may not lend any credence to the beliefs it represents, the cultural significance and meaning of that symbol are obvious.

Smiley Face:
Are you kidding? It's got TONS of significance... [snip]

Blablahb:
That's a double standard. Basically you're saying now atheists aren't allowed to be offended, and all believers can (at random).

No, I'm obviously not. I'm drawing a situational distinction.

If you are a Jew, you are not supposed to eat meat of the pig because your religion says so.

If you're an atheist, you can wear nominally "religious" accoutrements. You can read religious literature. You can go into churches and sing along with the hymns. Whether you choose to put any significance into any of these things and what you get out of them is entirely up to you.

You might be offended by a religious-themed gift, and if you really feel the need to be, that's your business. In certain circumstances, an atheist probably should be offended, for instance if he's deliberately being given the religiously-themed gift as some sort of pointed message or rebuke (see *49).

I was explicitly disagreeing with Pyrate when he says atheists should not accept religious items. Why the hell not? It is up to me. I did not reject religious dogma just to enslave myself to a new one where militant anti-theists set rules and dictate to me what should be my appropriate behaviour with respect to religion.

And yet you yourself expect to set what behavior is acceptable for the OP. If it's up to him, and if you acknowledge that such items have evident cultural inter-subjective significance, then surely it is his right to refuse to accept such an object, and you can no more judge that refusal as impolite than anyone else can judge you for the opposite.

I think that OP's refusal came mostly by his desire to adhere to his moral code.
He did not want to misrepresent himself in this woman's eyes and take the cross under what he perceived as false pretences. That's an honourable position and is separate to whether he was offended by the gift.

Holy hell thats beyond fucked up. I live in Georgia and I couldn't see that happening here much less such a "liberal" state like California. Partially because most people here are nicer then that and if that guy pulled a bat out hed be risking a bullet...

Mortai Gravesend:

Atheists are incapable of recognizing the significance others and society in general might place an object? Well damn, I better start ignoring things.

Did I actually say "incapable"? Or perhaps have you set up that straw man to ridicule my argument in lieu of a real argument?

Najos:
Every atheist is an individual, with opinions and views that they might not share with any other atheist. The ONLY thing all atheists agree on is that they don't believe in a god or gods. Implying that an atheist should be able to accept a cross or any religious symbol is ludicrous. Sure, some might not care, but others will care. The woman was saying all kinds of shit about god and him being a Christian or whatever. Any self respecting atheist would probably say that they aren't a Christian, just like a Muslim would likely say that they aren't a Christian. What's the difference here?

You have a funny view of ludicrous. It's not remotely ludicrous that any atheist should be able to accept a cross, there's no dogma telling them they can't. They might not want to in certain circumstances, but that's a different matter.

Magichead:

And yet you yourself expect to set what behavior is acceptable for the OP. If it's up to him, and if you acknowledge that such items have evident cultural inter-subjective significance, then surely it is his right to refuse to accept such an object, and you can no more judge that refusal as impolite than anyone else can judge you for the opposite.

I have never said the OP should or should not have done anything. It was reasonable to refuse the cross and point out he was an atheist. He could equally reasonably have accepted the cross and said he was an atheist, or refused the cross and not point out he was an atheist.

Agema:

Mortai Gravesend:

Atheists are incapable of recognizing the significance others and society in general might place an object? Well damn, I better start ignoring things.

Did I actually say "incapable"? Or perhaps have you set up that straw man to ridicule my argument in lieu of a real argument?

Oh I'm sorry, you caught on. The important part of my argument was clearly the word 'incapable'. It couldn't possibly be sarcastic hyperbole to fit the rest of my post.

It's really simple. No I shouldn't follow your stupid idea that I should view it as "a decorative trinket of no particular significance beyond its physical and decorative value". I should acknowledge that it has a meaning in the eyes of others and of society, which will cause me to treat it differently. For instance I would not wear a cross lightly because I know what it means to others.

I thought that would be self-evident from what I said, but apparently all you saw was the word 'incapable'.

All I'm going to say is you should have kept the money or gave it away. Returning it after the way they acted proves nothing.

F4LL3N:
All I'm going to say is you should have kept the money or gave it away. Returning it after the way they acted proves nothing.

Proves that he sticks to his principles of returning what isn't his, even when receiving a verbal lashing and being physically threatened for - and let's be realistic here - no real reason.

We should all be so decent.

Mortai Gravesend:
The important part of my argument was clearly the word 'incapable'. It couldn't possibly be sarcastic hyperbole to fit the rest of my post.

Yes, just like it couldn't possibly be tedious repetition of a point other 4-5 people had already made and that had already been responded to by me twice before you set finger to keyboard.

Just, you know, to put how "important" it was in context. Which is to say, as important as telling someone to watch out for the rock they'd already tripped over five seconds ago.

Trent Lynch:

I live in Newfoundland and I find most people here don't even want to discuss religious differences and beliefs. Most people when you ask them as part of a discussion tell you that they belong to some religion, but when you ask them why they say it's because their parents/family are/is that religion. I've even had a large number of them tell me they don't believe in their religion, which if they don't believe it then it clearly isn't their religion. The Atheists I do know are moderates. None of them are 7's on the Dawkin's Scale, so they treat me, and all the other people of all the other faiths and beliefs the same. I've met one religious fundamentalist who was a creationist and even she was respectful of my non-christian beliefs. So I would say that has more to do with the area you are in than the people who follow different faiths.

On a side note: You're forum avatar is mjollnir and I thought you once said you believed in some parts of Norse neo-paganism, I correct and roman-catholic being a part of your religious beliefs and not the entirety of them or am I thinking of another member? Just asking cause I'm trying to make sure I can remember all the other members who believe in the Norse gods too so that if I get some questions that are pretty hard to get answers to I can at least discuss it with others.

People are just a lot less closed off about their beliefs here in America I think, compared to other nations at least. I really hate saying this, but there's only been two kinds of Atheists I've met off of this forum. The kind that argues with you on every point, considers any religious faith to make a person stupid, blames religion for all wars and problems with the world, and make it their duty to try and cleanse religion from the earth. And the "Lazy" kind, people who only became Atheists because they don't like the effort it takes to practice any religious faith. Which leads me to frequently asking why they don't just consider themselves a 'non-practicing' christian, I only get answers like "Eh" or "It's boring"... A few times I've met some people who believed that if they just aren't practicing christianity, regardless of whether they believe in God or not, it somehow makes them an "Atheist".

And I'm a catholic, yet for a week I (very poorly) practiced a form of Norse Neo-Paganism. I'm still Roman Catholic, yet I still have some small degree of interest in that religion. I chose this avatar for 2 reasons. The first is that it looks nice and is a great piece of artwork; the second is that while I still am a christian, that doesn't stop me from liking the Norse Gods. Personally, I just like the idea of a heroic God traveling the earth and defending humanity from evil.

Once again I ask, the guy came at you with a bat, there was a cop present, and he didn't get arrested?

Agema:

You have a funny view of ludicrous. It's not remotely ludicrous that any atheist should be able to accept a cross, there's no dogma telling them they can't. They might not want to in certain circumstances, but that's a different matter.

But just because there is no larger institution saying that an atheist shouldn't do something, doesn't mean they don't have personal values or morals that go against this.

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