This will be a short post. I am genuinely curious as to the responses this post will get. I came here today to ask a pretty unusual question: do you have any experiences with misconceptions of atheism? If so, do you have a least favorite one?
Personally my least favorite one is that I don’t know about religion. I always see Christians who tell me to read the Bible, because it’s apparently easier to assume that I haven’t read it than that I have read it and don’t believe it. This is a weird one because there was a study which showed that atheists know more about religion than at least some religious people tend to. I take religions and the claims religions make very seriously. I want to know about their books and what their priests say, because if I’m wrong I want to know. I am not some person who is clueless about religion. And neither are most atheists I’ve met. We know more about religion than many believers I’ve met (not that that is representative of anything, but it is my personal experience). It’s a crazy stereotype and makes no sense once believers actually begin to talk to atheists, but is still fairly common among apologetic circles. It’s just a convenient lie they tell themselves, presumably to try and discredit claims made by their opponents during debates.
I know more about Latin-American folklore and creation narratives than the average history-student. I am far from an expert, but my knowledge of religion isn’t limited to knowing about the Bible, the Torah, and Latin-American Christianity and Catholicism. Most of the atheists I know also have knowledge of religions that aren’t Christianity, and oftentimes have knowledge of basic polytheistic beliefs. Our knowledge of religion is pretty cool to me. It’s one of the things that encourages me to be vocal and to talk about religion and irreligion.
I’d genuinely love to hear about your least favorite misconception of atheism. If you have one, let me know! If you’re a theist who reads my blog and wants to comment about the reverse (experiences with atheists) and can do so in a respectful manner, feel free to do so as well.