…you’re entirely too nice and not forthright enough in your attacks on religious belief. You also seem to cozy up with the delusional too much and aren’t willing to engage them or challenge their inane ideas. Sarcastic comments like the ones you often provide don’t force the religious to examine their faith.
Cut the not-holier than thou stuff, Hemant.
I can’t believe I have to defend myself for not acting like a douchebag.
Not every discussion with religious people needs to be about how ignorant and wrong they are.
I certainly don’t believe in God and I do think those who believe in God are wrong in their thinking, but the best way to convince the majority of people that living without religion is even possible is to show them that atheists are kind, happy, and approachable– we’re not the bogeymen we’ve been made out to be for so long. If that happens, the logical reasoning behind atheism will follow.
Unfortunately, this “friendly atheist” image is not the one being presented. How often do you see an atheist on TV with a smile on his face?
Too many atheists wrongly believe that rational thinking is common sense. It’s not. It needs to be taught. And no one will listen and understand unless the teaching is coming from the mouth of someone whose trust has been earned.
Of course I’m against extreme religiosity, because it has caused so much harm in this world. I believe we’d be better off in a world where supernatural thinking didn’t play a role at all and I commend brilliant atheists like Richard Dawkins for bringing the intellectual challenges against faith to a broader audience than ever before.
But if your religious beliefs (illogical as they may be) are doing something positive for our community and our world, and in the process, you’re not trying to stop scientific progress, impede promising research, hurt my gay friends, control another woman’s body, force your beliefs upon anyone else, ask the government to give you special privileges, or make me fear coming out as an atheist in public, why should I be attacking you?
If you’re religious and you’re not doing any of that, I’ll be honest: I don’t really care what you believe. I’m glad you’re helping make the world I live in a better place for everyone. If the subject of faith comes up in conversation, I will hold my ground and challenge your beliefs. I’m confident that atheists will always have an upper hand when it comes to these discussions.
There are so many religious figures that all of us– Christian, atheist, anything– need to universally condemn. We can’t lose sight of what the real problem is. It’s not always “religion” itself. It’s the people that use religion as a tool to separate one group of people from another. Atheists know that we are all brothers, sisters, distant cousins; we’re all truly interconnected through evolution. Let’s bring down those people that use religion to ruin the lives of those who think differently, not the people that agree with us on the issues that really matter. Is our ultimate approval of others only stemming from their non-belief in God? Shouldn’t we be somewhat happy that they don’t believe the literal words of their holy books? Why not at least acknowledge that interpretation of the books might be a step forward?
For the “faithheads” who feel the same way I do, let’s start working together on the myriad of problems that religious and non-religious people agree need fixing.
When faced with those issues, there are more important things to worry about than why the good, intelligent religious people in our midst hold their beliefs.
And I’m sure there are many atheists that are reading that last sentence, ready to lash out at me because I used the words “intelligent” and “religious” together.
Being angry and antagonistic isn’t helping our cause. It never has. There are times and places when we need to be assertive, like when our rights are being violated. Usually, this is not the case.
Let’s give friendly atheism a chance here.
[Update: I removed one comment from the beginning of this post because I had misinterpreted what the author was saying. More info can be found in the comments.]
[tags]atheist, atheism, God, Richard Dawkins, Christian[/tags]