Monday, April 2, 2007

Why I hate atheists


Ok, hate may be a strong word, but I do have serious problems with some atheists who think they are clever, or funny, by being so anti-religious. The following was posted to an atheist message board, with my responses following:

10. You hear any body say god you can't help but snicker.
9. The nearest bible is at that thing called church.
8. You think Pat Robertson and Jerry Fallwell should be put in an insane asylum and force fed prozac until they quit predicting doom and gloom all the time.
7. All churches should be taxed like any other business.
6. You know global warming is real like evolution.
5. Half your shirts have atheist or evolution sayings on them along with bumper stickers on your car.
4. Your library is mostly science, atheism and history.
3. You won't date a man or woman that if they believe in any of that holy shit.
2. You belong to an atheist organization.
1. You think the current president is some kind of devolved mutant variation gone horribly wrong.

10. Someone's belief, or disbelief in god shouldn't impact you one way or another. It's just another way to be smug and disrespectful.
9. Most people in the US have some kind of Christian upbringing, or at least exposure. It's childish to be so ignorant, so anti-religious that you wouldn't read a bible, koran, or torah. Being atheist should give you greater freedom to expose yourself to different religions. What are you afraid of, that the bible will bite you? Christians will tell atheists to read the bible, to look for the truth. I say, read the bible, and know it better then the person asking you to read the bible.
8. Robertson and Fallwell are crazy in their own right, but do you honestly think that someone else won't reach for the microphone when they are gone? There is a group of people who have this itch in the back of their mind, either through upbringing, social experience, or other times ignorance, which tells them gay sex is icky, or, Muslims sure are scary. Pat and Jerry do a good job of scratching that itch, it's a power trip that lots of people wouldn't pass up if given the chance.
7. Taxing churches is a tricky question. The idea is that churches don't provide any benefit to a community, and are actually profitable enterprises. The author may be thinking of mega churches with book stores and coffee shops inside. I do feel that a large enterprise like that should be heavily evaluated for tax exempt status. But what about the small churches in rural America who have enough trouble keeping members as it is. Not every pastor is driving a luxury car. It's difficult to separate the two, how do you determine who to tax? The thing I love most about churches is the ability to provide for a community, regardless of belief. I loved hearing stories about churches helping out during Katrina when no one else could. They didn't help to gain membership, or to be disciples, but to help people because they needed it. I'd like to see more of that. I think the homelessness problem could be helped over night if church doors were open all day and night. The hurdle is liability, and safety. I tell you if I had a church, I'd have it open as much as I could. I think there is a focus of large churches that resembles a business, complete with business plans, and marketing executives. But, how do you change that? Just like people aren't forced to give people on the street money, no one is forcing membership to mega churches.
6. I have no idea how the global warming issue became a religious matter, but again, I think there is a vocal minority who doubt global warming, and somehow think that by believing that the earth is getting warmer is a sign that god doesn't exist. That's a silly proposition. I think a lot of people are ignorant of global climate change, and maybe they were told something in church, so that's what they believe, but believers in global warming could also be guilty of the same fault, by taking an article or movie at face value. Here is my blip about global warming: We don't yet understand the human mind, or human physiology as well as we should. We have difficulty predicting weather past 30 days. We need to do much more serious work regarding global climate change. We just don't know enough yet. We don't know enough to determine which changes to make. Where should trees be planted, for example, to lower the temperature? We need a Manhattan Project for global warming. All of it may be for naught anyway, it may be a pattern in the cycle that the earth goes through. I do think that people are capable of coming up with solutions, we just need a lot of people, lots of solutions, and the ability to test them in simulation.
5. Evolution is not an atheist issue. I know so so so many Christians who firmly believe in evolution. There are Christian Apologists who will explain to themselves that to god, a day may be a million years. This is how I heard a Jew explain it at his bar mitzvah. Believers will paint atheists with a wide brush, but that does not mean the reverse should be true.
4. Science is a good field, and history. I do think that atheism books function the same as books like Dude Where's My Country to liberals. They make you happy to read them, because you'll tend to agree with what is written. At that point, they become as useful as fiction in spurring internal debate. And, where is the fiction? Let yourself be open to possibilities, life doesn't have to be all nonfiction.
3. This line expresses the same intolerance shown in many other groups through out history. Jews are pressured to marry only other Jews, and it happens at a high rate, about 75 percent. Base your opinion on a person by their character. Just because someone believes in all that, "holy shit," does not mean they are a bad person. The reverse is true, just because someone is an atheist, that doesn't mean they are bad either. But, if someone is an intolerant, smug, self convinced genius, you're better off not dating them anyway.
2. This line is just silly, and obvious. I would imagine that most people who attend a church would consider themselves Christian. The mark of an atheist should be, do you attend an atheist organization's meetings, or did you just sign up online? If you are a member, and go to meetings, do you ask questions, do you question? You shouldn't agree with everything people say, give your own twist to the situation. Of course, don't question for the sake of questioning, and don't be difficult over things like newsletter format.
1. This line is childish, and offers no solutions to the problem. Get on the phone and call the white house, explain the problems you have, how you'd like things to be done differently. Think you can't do it? Call them: 202-456-1111.

I do think there is an explosive growth of new atheists. However, the new atheists are being brought on by Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris, who advocate the elimination of religion everywhere. That isn't realistic. Also, it ignores the good religions do. I don't like to blame the small church for priests abusing children, just as I don't blame the Somalians who live by me for terrorism. I do think that the koran and bible can advocate violence against other groups, but also offer tolerance, and peace. Sometimes I wish the bible could be edited to cut out violent parts, just focus on turning the other cheek. By leaving the rest in, it gives intolerant groups an excuse to do what they do. But, most other people just know better.

On a brighter note, the Pre-Nicene New Testament is really good. The footnotes are interesting, and add a lot of depth to the writings. You can really get a good picture for what early Christianity may have been like.

73 comments:

Daniella said...

Wow, feel better now? For someone who is defending themselves against the 'ignorance of atheists,' you sure do know how to tip the odds in your favor. Not all atheists are intelligent and witty. Not all Christians are either. The fact is that this has nothing at all to do with religion (or lack there of.) It is on an individual basis that you determine arrogance or smugness.To say that you hate atheists, or even 'strongly dislike' them for being smug and arrogant, is rather blunt and inappropriate. I dislike small minded fundamentalists, but you don't see me taking quotes out of context and trying to prove that my point is more valid, and that the religious group I belong to is less arrogant and more intelligent. This is stupid. If atheists bother you that much, take it up with the individual that in particular is bothering you, don't rant and take it out on an entire group of people that have absolutely no ill intentions towards you. The only thing you will accomplish is breeding more hate and intolerance, BOTH ways.

DLS said...

Thank you to everyone who is actually being reasonable about this issue- I will establish my history before commenting: raised with no religion, meaning no christianity, islam, new age, or atheistic beliefs. I spent time as an atheist. I recognize now that at that point I was the most self-righteous ass ever because I saw Christians as such dupped fools...but after YEARS of research and contemplation I have become a theist and I am so sosososososo tired of atheists pretending to be the tolerant, enlightened ones when most of the time they are condemning anyone who does not believe as they do as morons or brainwashing victims. Please! I got a 1490 on my SATS, Im about to be at UPENN for grad school- I'm not some mouth-breathing neanderthal- as antony flew said - "I followed the research", call me an asshole or idiot, but stop pretending that
theism requires an IQ of 70...if you bothered to actually read about history you would see that most brilliant people came to the conclusion that there is some sort of intelligent force behind the existence and beautiful laws of our universe- and no I am not saying a brilliant person cannot be an atheist, but stop adhering to the ridiculous propaganda put forth by the Hitchens of the world.

voodooKobra said...

Religion doesn't dictate personality; it dictates beliefs. The only reason atheists promote their anti-religious side at all is because there is so much religious promotion all over the place.

Think about it: How many people wear cross necklaces? How many people wear religious T-Shirts to school, work, etc.? How many religious stations are there on TV?

The ones who are so militant are just being that way in protest of the exorbitant amount of religious stuff in the mainstream media (esp. in places it shouldn't be-- like the science classroom).

Andrew Clunn said...

voodookobra, you can't be serious. That's like saying that the Black Panthers were justified because of the bigotry and violence of slavery. By creating an anti-religious atheist movement, Atheism is is taking on the worst characteristics that religion sometimes takes on, but without the many traditional stories and teachings that are the foundation of modern religious belief.

Andrew Clunn said...

I forgot to mention that the purpose of those stories is to teach morality. I needed to clarify that because as it's written it looks like I'm saying traditional stories justify religious intolerance.

Bjorn said...

I think there is a lot to be said about moving forward and creating a positive alternative to religion for people. It's about marketing. Right now, religion has a great rep. As an atheist, you make have spit up a little, but many people to to church each weekend, not because they are forced to, or because they fear punishment, but because they like the service, music, and people. Atheists and humanists can help create an alternative, by making ourselves more visible in a positive way. I know atheists donate to charity, and donate time to society. We just do it anonymously. Let's start being a little more visible. The better we do that, the easier it is for people who may not have a faith belief any longer to transition into an organization which isn't so foreign.

Display Name said...

ok, I'm an atheist. you are VERY confused about us. my girlfriend is LDS and I don't "snicker" when someone says God. I snicker when people say God is a bad word. Also, isnt hate a sin? so by saying you hate atheists, your basically contradicting yourself? and you wonder why we have science books and history books. because we like to be intelligent and the reason we don't "believe" is because we would rather know whats true instead of something we can never be sure of. Churches are businesses, if they arent then how is it they make money? you pay them, and they tell you your cleansed of something they tell you is bad (a sin). and I have like 2 atheist shirts, I don't belong to an atheist organization, and I think the president is a moron, but thats just me. ok, you said "10. Someone's belief, or disbelief in god shouldn't impact you one way or another. It's just another way to be smug and disrespectful." If that is true, then why the hell (thats right, I said it) are you saying you hate atheists? isnt it our right to believe, or not believe, in whatever we may choose? you very much so need to learn to not be so hypocritical and to start considering what atheism actually means.

Bjorn said...

display name,

I know what atheism means. I also am aware that atheists don't speak with one voice, and not all atheists are alike. You shouldn't fall victim to the same us versus them mentality that others do. A better title for the article would have been, "What I don't like that some atheists do." but that doesn't draw as much attention. Just because I'm an atheist doesn't mean I have to like everything I see atheists do.

nanette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bjorn said...

nanette,

Thanks for your comment. I have met atheists who are determined to stamp out religious belief. The reason they give is that they think that while religious belief may be comforting during difficult times, it would be more beneficial to deal with the reality of the situation.

I also think that some atheists are confused for atheists who are anti-religion get lumped in with that group because they criticize religious belief when it is at odds with social norms or human rights. For example, the repression of women, treatment of homosexuals, or the rights of a child to receive medical treatment.

Most atheists I know, strongly believe in the freedom of expression allowed in the Constitution. The issue most atheists will get upset about, is when these personal beliefs get mandated through laws or in the education of children.

nanette said...

Deleted cause I couldn't edit. I don't HATE atheists. I just hate what vocal atheists do. I am not Christian, I am Asatruar. Belief in a God or Gods, and an afterlife of some form, is a very big part of many many people's lives. It gives a sense of security and meaning to daily life. It provides a sense of community and a guideline for ethical behavior. Why do these radical atheists want to take that away from people? What do they have to offer as an alternative? A lifetime of meaninglessness followed by an eternity as worm food? When kids see this stuff on the news or on the Internet, it will scare them. It may make some vulnerable people mentally unstable, even suicidal. Laugh at me if you want to, but I believe that what I say is true. Believe what you want, but don't try to take other people's beliefs away from them. It's mean-spirited and cruel.

nanette said...

You get upset because religion is "mandated"? I get annoyed because "religion" is considered synonymous with "Christianity" in this country. I have to listen to Christian religious music every day at work; they call it Christmas carols, but most are obviously just Christian religious songs. But I suck it up. I am in a minority in this country but I accept it because, where it counts, we DO have freedom of religion in this country. Freedom of religion doesn't guarantee that you will never be exposed to beliefs that differ from your own. You can hold to your own beliefs without trying to stifle the beliefs of others.

Bjorn said...

Like it or not, every time you express your opinion, you have an impact on someone else's thoughts on a subject. We live in an economy of ideas and people are free to accept or reject what they like. I have known only one atheist who would be in favor of prohibiting religious expression.

I don't think that telling someone else what you think is cruel. People are free to reject your idea. Religious belief isn't necessarily harmless and can present the same dangers you express about the promotion of atheism. Children have suffered from depression and have committed suicide because of a fear of the punishment of God because they felt they could not live up to the requirements asked of them in their scripture. Some vulnerable people adopt a cult in a moment of weakness for support, only to have their lives significantly altered.

As an atheist, I do not think the idea of one life is depressing. Many atheists I know of find joy and wonder all around them through being curious and exploring nature and all science can reveal about our universe.

Bjorn said...

You'd be surprised just how many secular Christmas carols there are! They are just easy to miss in the mix.

Andrew Clunn said...

"For example, the repression of women, treatment of homosexuals, or the rights of a child to receive medical treatment."

Sexism is independent of religion in modern societies, and medical denialists come in all flavors. Anti-homosexuality? True, that's strongly correlated with religious belief, but the abolitionist movement that ended slavery in this country was a religious movement. Sorry, but that comment just stank of a viewpoint formed by leftist propaganda.

Bjorn said...

Andrew,

My comments have nothing to do with any political leaning. You seem to think that religious belief has no corollary to the concerns I raised, simply because the concerns I have can be found independent of a defined religious environment. However, while sexism exists in modern societies, it is not mandated by some scripture. It's the adherence to dogma which stands counter to reality which is the problem.

Andrew Clunn said...

I don't see how reality plays any role in it. Are you saying that for someone to hold sexist views, they must hold inconsistencies between their knowledge of reality and their morality (or otherwise be ignorant of certain truths about reality?)

Often views that people consider to be sexist are merely the statement of facts, or based on sound reasoning. Newly-wed women have trouble finding full time employment because the employers fear they will quickly take maternity leave as they start a family. Sexist? Yes. Logically sound and rational? Yes.

The problem with your logic is that 'sexist' is a subjective term that is dependent on an individual's or society's morality. You cannot say that sexism is dependent on an inconsistent or unrealistic world view unless all actions and views that are consistent with a realistic world view are not considered sexist.

Bjorn said...

Repression of women is different than your definition of sexism. The difficulty in assessing general treatment of women, or any arbitrary group of people within a society, is that religious values and social values often affect each other. It becomes difficult to determine whether it is the result of society impacting religious views, or religion impacting a society.

My original point was a response to the claim that a presentation of an atheistic worldview would be so harmful to society such that children would commit suicide. I was presenting another viewpoint that religious belief is not always harmless.

Super Online Mega Site said...

i think you make good responses to those lines. My friend thinks he's so smart and better than everybody because he is atheist and that really annoys me! I think I am gonna email this to him!

Andrew Clunn said...

Curious question: have you looked into Objectivism at all?

anna said...

Thank you so much for being reasonable about this topic I think that people like you are making this world a better place. There are a lot of people that atheists respect that are part of a religion, Like JFK for exsample. By the way to all the atheists that go on and on about how religion is bad (and I'm not saying that is all of you) I fail to see how someone praticing a religion harms you in any way. Most people don't try to convert you to their religion by insulting yours so you shouldn't insult their's either, we as Americans have the right to pratice a religion without persercution, it's the first amendment.

michaelj82 said...

ohhhhhhh poor atheists, they are the only fools i know that try so hard to stump on religion while nobody cares about their agenda, do you see christians,muslims, jews or any religion hating on atheists?? nop, but on the other hand there whole purpose in to bash religion, and they think they're smarter than everybody. They remind me of angry monkeys in a cage when i see them on T.v. lol. It don't matter how much they jump, argue, kick and say blasphemy against god, THEY FEEL EMPTY INSIDE; AND THAT'S THE TRUTH.

Super Online Mega Site said...

i agree with michaelj82 AND anna. how does practicing religion harm you and i have never heard a believer insult an atheist! all these tv shows insult christianity but when you stuck up atheist peeps are burning in hell we will have believed and gone to heaven

Bjorn said...

Regarding Michaelj82,

It may be because you are not an atheist, that you are not sensitive to the experiences atheists face. I can tell you that atheists I have known have received death threats for being vocal about their atheism, or for criticizing individuals for harmful religious practices, such as refusing medical care for their children.

I will not spend my time "hating" on any person who chooses to follow a faith, so long as his or her practice doesn't impact myself, or the individual decides it is appropriate to force others to behave the way they wish by using our government to do so.

I would also disagree with the statement that atheists are empty inside. I lead a very fulfilling life and am quite happy without believing in a god. I am not angry about Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or any other religion. I get angry when people are not treated equally.

Super Online Mega Site said...

are you atheist, bjorn? Because if you are then what the hell are you doing on this blog post!

Bjorn said...

I am an atheist. This is my blog post. Just because I'm an atheist, doesn't mean that I can not criticize atheists!

Super Online Mega Site said...

um no you can't! its like if im mentally retarted i can't just be like mentally retarted people are wierd! its like your emo or something

Bjorn said...

That's not a very good analogy. It's similar to saying, "I can't criticize American's, because I'm an American." Just because someone is an atheist, doesn't mean every atheist is like him or her. Just in the same way as I can't fairly criticize all Christians because of the actions of one.

CodeWarrior said...

I say, Good On Ya Mate...
Bjorn, you are right.
Skeptics (I like to call them Septics for obvious reasons) are the effete group of atheists who are the most objectionable. They act like they just purchased the lease on truth, and if there is anything mysterious or intriguing, they want to drive a cold steel stake through it and disprove it.

Disprove love you Skeptic Arseholes.

Cheers Bjorn, Good Bloggin' Mate

papa said...

for 9. I have read the bible, that's why I'm an atheist 6. I'm skeptical about global warming and evolution just like anything else.

Bjorn said...

Papa,

I think this post is confusing, because I am an atheist.

Your response to 9 isn't surprising, I have met many atheists who have said the same thing.

Regarding your comment about global warming, I think there is an important distinction between skepticism and doubting. On first blush, it appears to me that you doubt evolution and global warming, when what you many mean to say is that you accept all claims based on evidence and opinions on issues evolve over time. However, with limited language, "I'm skeptical of evolution" and "I'm skeptical of ghosts," sound similar, but may mean different things.

joe said...

I feel bad for everyone who isn't athiest.

Because of course, bacteria evolved into early sea life,(note this is all proven) into prehistoric creatures i.e. DINOUSAURS (WHICH WE HAVE THE SKELETONS OF) (WHERES THAT IN THE BIBLE!?!?!?) then the ice age, then monkeys/early apes, then everything stopped, and god threw a human down and made another from his rib. Yes, his freaking rib. And, a bunch of cute little critters and plants to make it picture perfect.

And thats just the beginnning.

Andrew Clunn said...

I'll update because I have changed my position since my earlier posts. I am now an atheist. more specifically one of the ones that bjorn claims to hate. Religion establishes false heuristics that interfere with individuals' abilities to rationally think. I say this as a former believer.

orochimarufangirl07 said...

Religion has nothing to do with intelligence, education is a whole different subject. But I'll say one thing--I really heavily dislike it when I see atheists claiming that not believing in religion makes them smarter. You know what it means for them? They have NOTHING to live for. If they don't believe in any heaven or hell, afterlife, etc., what do they live for? And if a family member/loved one died, there's no shame if you blaspheme their name, or there's no use of bidding them farewell. Why? Because nonreligious would believe that when humans die, there is only simple deletion. Whoever has died is permanently GONE and there are never going to be meetings with them again. No offense intended, but for the nonreligious, won't it hurt more? What a cold, empty life it is. People are entitled to their own beliefs, and God gave us the wonderful gift of free will. Two choices, to follow him or turn away. If you choose to follow him, splendid, if you choose to turn away, nobody will chase you down and kill you, nobody will execute you. It's your choice. So if it's your choice to become an atheist, go and fetch it if you will, but I'll say one thing. God bless even the most non-believing of atheists and hopefully God will take them into eternal glory even though their eyes are tightly shut.

Bjorn said...

orochimarufangirl07,

You hold several stereotypes about atheists which should be cleared up.

First, atheists find meaning in the relationships they hold with other people. Our lives are not empty and death is certainly something to be mourned. From my perspective, I am surprised how sad people are at funerals because, if they believe in an afterlife, isn't this person in paradise? If paradise awaits us all, why aren't their more martyrs?

Second, you state that God gave us free will, the decision to live in paradise or the decision to burn in Hell. Atheists don't buy that premise, because it really isn't a choice. We decide that it's foolish to choose one god and live by that one god's rules, without good evidence of that one god existing. Just as God will grant you eternal life, atheists would argue that it is troubling how believers who don't follow the rules are punished for eternity. It isn't a compelling reason to follow a religion over another over fear.

As far as "no one chasing you down and killing you" for not believing in a god, that may be true in this country, but people are harassed, fired from jobs, denied adoption rights, forced to keep their atheism a secret out of fear and no one running for election dare admit that they aren't religious.

I think it'd be important to get to know some people who are atheists, to realize they may not be so different as you portray them. You probably even know some atheists, they are just afraid to come out.

Altruist said...

I will not claim to be learned in the matter, but this really insults me as an atheist. I spent four years in a Catholic school, and yet I chose to be an Atheist. I really do respect the right to religion, and I do not 'snicker' at God. I capitalize it to show that I do respect people's views. And I am actually open to becoming a theist, but have not heard sufficient proof of why I should believe in a divine being. Another thing, I would happily date someone that is religious, and I would happily let my children choose if they were to be atheist or theist. This is pretty much a huge piece of writing mainly on generalisation. Last time I checked, generalisations are a trait of slight ignorance. Basically, every single point that you wrote about atheists does not apply to me. It's like me saying 'I hate Scientologists, because they're all crazy and they all think that aliens are real' etc etc.

The point is, call me disrespectful. Call me narrow minded. I'm certainly not these things, and therefore, you'd be wrong.

Bjorn said...

Altruist,

This post doesn't apply to you. It's in reference to people who think they are being clever by being anti-religious.

I think people haven't read anything else on this site and don't know I'm an atheist. Just because I'm an atheist, doesn't mean that the behavior of some atheists doesn't piss me off, which is why I wrote what I did.

The title is inflammatory, but it gets people to read the rest of it.

GodsdoG said...

Thanks to all the so-called atheists for spending so much time thinking about the existence of Allah (God). May Allah bless you people with a little more knowledge.

Bjorn: as a muslim, i would like to point out a simple thing, there is no 'marketing' that takes place for Hajj yet that's the largest congregation happening every year. That's one of the reasons atheists are jealous of the "believers of books". Don't be hurt, join us, believe in the existence of a universal super power, problems get easier solutions.

I've a small question to the atheists,"How do you know that you are the son of your mother?" It's a belief.

May Allah bless you with peace and prosperity.

Rhi. said...

QUOTE: "ohhhhhhh poor atheists, they are the only fools i know that try so hard to stump on religion while nobody cares about their agenda, do you see christians,muslims, jews or any religion hating on atheists?? nop, but on the other hand there whole purpose in to bash religion, and they think they're smarter than everybody. They remind me of angry monkeys in a cage when i see them on T.v. lol. It don't matter how much they jump, argue, kick and say blasphemy against god, THEY FEEL EMPTY INSIDE; AND THAT'S THE TRUTH."
...You have never heard a Christian "hating on" an atheist? Are you really... I mean, what? What did you just say?

Franklin said...

I do not hate atheists; I am 15, I converted several years ago from a mainly agnostic/atheist family raised from communism, into Christianity. I love all people on Earth, even those of sin.

Franklin said...

I do not hate atheists; I am 15, I converted several years ago from a mainly agnostic/atheist family raised from communism, into Christianity. I love all people on Earth, even those of sin.

Franklin said...

Also, forgive the repeated comment. I meant no discourtesy or arrogance. May it be that my grave error may someday be forgiven by those of this post, regardless of their religion.

Franklin said...

Remember, my friends: One should love all. There is only one humanity, and we should cherish it, while it still has life.

Tyler said...

I am an atheist, and I agree with a lot of your points, with the understanding that you are not making a generalization. Lots of other atheists disgust me, frankly, because they are no better than the people of faith that harp on them. Most religious people I know are not so extreme as to be hateful in any way towards atheists. Also, the atheists that I know and myself have lots of moral guidelines that we keep to. A common misconception is that atheists are immoral or inhuman people with no feelings, and you know as well as I do that nothing could be further than the truth. Hopefully someday everybody will see that it doesn't matter what faith you are as long as people are treated fairly and with kindness.

Lee said...

As a Christian I'm saddened by the blog. If atheist have truly dev eloped this kind of hostility towards us is because of how we constantly demonize them over the last two millennia. After all, we constantly say things like "People are incapable of being good and moral without God". But Mark 19:17 says there is no one good, not one, save God and God alone. Chew on that for a while. Constant demonetization of people only breeds resentment and hostility and is a lack of respect itself.

The thing to remember is this. Jesus did not hate anybody, and he would often be friends with those who were often social Pariahs. For example, he would walk with prostitutes and tax collectors. That's compassion.

I often hear and get disheartened when Christians say these mean and nasty things about atheists and say things like how all atheists should be gotten rid of. That's not what God is all about. And if they are gotten rid of, then they will simply not hear God's message and their souls will not be saved.

Franklin said...

Oh, um, I just wanted to add, as a note to both atheists and theists...well, I wasn't at all religious before, but, in response to the comment, I personally think that religion does indeed influence personality, as well as beliefs, because it did so for me. Just saying, guys...remember, just try to show each other respects. We're all adults here. Try to act like it.

Spectrum said...

I'm glad we atheists are disliked for voicing our opinion(s). Several of the people commenting here (along with the author to a certain extent) are making brash generalizations about us. We think that believing in unproven deities are ridiculous, sure....Does that qualify anyone to say that we are jerks for saying so? Religion deserves the same critique any other belief system deserves. It's only fair.

NikMoore2009 said...

Bjorn is is the most sensible person here. I wish i could talk like Bjorn as he has stayed neutral, and has made a lot of good points. I am an Atheist and i am only here because i am researching into what religious peoples opinions are. The only thing that annoys me is people are saying you don't see any religious people 'hating' atheists. I disagree, i see quite a lot of hating going on right here for a start. People say we are haters simply by saying we don't believe in a God (although i agree that some atheists are a bit in your face about it, trying to force feed people beliefs, but then so do a lot of religious people!) but Christians say 'there is a God', if you are saying That we are haters by saying there is no God, in our opinion then surely that could be taken the same way?neither of my parents are religious , yet i go to a Catholic school and you know the worst thing is from what i can see i would actually be a better Christian than some of the real Christians. Some These kids are judgmental and racist to other kids, countries and religions and they can't see outside of what they have been brought up to believe.

Nik said...

thats a good point actually- we only believe we are the son of our mother because we are told so, we believe there is evidence but that could have been forged. That was developed from someones comment at atheists 'how do you know you are the son of your mother' and it was either meant to be taken like this (to make you think) or it backfired. Either way it is a very good point.

Nik said...

i hadn't realized Bjorn had posted this. I think that display name has the best idea

Nik said...

actually i revoke my compliments about Bjorn after i found out he started this hate thing, except he has stayed almost neutral. As an Atheist i do find it offensive when people say we all do this because like most beliefs they are split into different types and groups and different opinions. A bit like Christianity.

Franklin said...

God is love - not fear. Those who try to make people believe in God through threat of eternal Hell may have good intentions, but poor sight. Hate cannot drive out hate -only love can do that. I truly believe in God, though my atheist Communist parents do not. Hatred is very weak. God bless you all.

ARcInare said...

taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaco but yeaaah what you said was good

blakestafford96 said...

You can't actually say say that a religion that non atheist believe or scientific theory that athiest belive is true or not true if none of of them is proven right. Both atheist and non atheist are regular people so saying that one one is better than the other is in a sense racism. People use to look down apon indians but know that people stopped being so racist towards them they relized that they are regular people so maybe if you would stop hating athiests you would relize that they are normal people that see things from a different perspective and that we are not inhuman at all. If you do not care if someone is black or white then why do you care if someone is atheist or not?

Bjorn said...

Blake,

I am an atheist. I was commenting about things that atheists do that I don't like. Granted, the title is misleading, but at least it got your attention!

Spectrum said...

I think you misunderstand people like Dawkins and Hitchens. You are being far too sensitive. Either way, I am an atheist, because religion is of no use at all to me. Dawkins cannot be solely responsible "for the explosion of atheists". It is a new wave of youth and their virile [inner] protests to irrational beliefs. Dawkins may help some of them begin re-evaluating their true feelings, but you will find that many of my contemporaries are tired of religion for different reasons. Nonetheless, you seem to over-simplify things, and demanding religion deserving respect is a little overboard. After all, it is no sensible for everyone.

Sir Yosef said...

That is kind of a misleading title.

friendmissile said...

The writing in this post is incredibly narrow-minded and offensive. I am an atheist. I help people out, I vollenteer for the community, and am in general a decent person. Allow me to address your points.
10. I do not "snicker" at people's beliefs. I do not agree with most people I know in this area, but they don't "snicker" at me, so I return the favor.
9. I own two different versions of the bible and have read them. In fact, I suggest you reread them more carefully because there are some shocking verses in there. This is already a long comment and I doubt anyone will read it, but if anyone is interested, I'd be glad to list some of the more interesting bible verses that I am familiar with.
8. You say yourself that Rebertson and Fallwell are "crazy in their own right". Your whole argument is: 'someone will replace them so why bother to criticize them?' Well, there will always be more athiests, so why bother criticize us? Same principle. If you don't agree with someone and you feel strongly about the issue, you are going to say something.
7. Yes, I do believe that. Why are churches more important than other businesses. So maybe those churches helped people. Well, good for them. But, there are other taxed organizations doing good things. Why should you be given special treatment. After all, "God will provide" right?
6. Of course they are real. I would refer you to some good books and websites, but I doubt anyone has read this far.
5. Acctually, I don't have any atheism shirts or bumper stickers. I prefer to only speak about this when asked.
4. Acctually my personal library consists mostly of fiction and includes the bible (as fiction). I am interested in science, but that comment is a gross exaggeration and does not apply to me.
3. Acctually I would if they cared about me and repected my beliefs.
2. I do not. I might join one, but I don't really see the point. All there is to atheism is not believing in God. All atheists are different and it's not such a complicated thing.
1. This comment seems to be very dated.

You have made some gross exagerations about atheists in general. I think before you criticize such a huge and diverse group of people, you should get to know more of them personally. And by the way, most of my friends are Christian and I am able to get along with them.

Bjorn said...

Friendmissle,

I appreciate your comments to my post. In a way, you are proving my point, in that if you read carefully, my criticism is only of certain atheists, not all atheists. The title is horribly misleading, but captures attention and motivates people to react, which is helpful.

Thanks for reading and for posting your comments, which highlight not all atheists are the same.

Scrabble man 13 said...

Ok, hate may be a strong word, but I do have serious problems with some Christians who think they are clever, or funny, by being so religious. The following was posted to an Christian message board, with my responses following:

10. You hear any body say Evolution you can't help but snicker.
9. The nearest bible is in your bag.
8. You think Richard Dawkins and Steven Hawkings should be put in an insane asylum and force fed prozac until they quit going on about how brilliant life is all the time.
7. All churches should be kept under armed guard allowing only those who need it and believe.
6. You know God is real just like sin.
5. Half your shirts have Crosses or Christian sayings on them along with bumper stickers on your car.
4. Your library is mostly Peter, Jobs and Psalms.
3. You won't date a man or woman if they believe in any of that Atheism shit.
2. You belong to an Christian organization.
1. You think the current Scientests are some kind of devolved mutant variation gone horribly wrong.

10. Someone's belief, or disbelief in Science shouldn't impact you one way or another. It's just another way to be smug and disrespectful.
9. Most people who change the world have some kind of Athiest upbringing, or at least exposure. It's childish to be so ignorant, so religious that you wouldn't read Charles Darwins theory of Evolution. Being Christian should give you greater freedom to expose yourself to different ideas. What are you afraid of, that evolution will deform you? Atheists will tell Christians to read the Theory of evolution, to look for the truth. I say, read this book, and know it better then the person asking you to read it. No one keeps any book in their bag apart from one they'd be willing to burn at the stake.
8. Dawkins and Hawkings are crazy in their own right, but do you honestly think that someone else won't reach for the microphone when they are gone? There is a group of people who have this itch in the back of their mind, either through upbringing, social experience, or other times ignorance, which tells them praying is icky, or, Muslims sure are ordinary people. Richard and Steven do a good job of scratching that itch, it's a power trip that lots of people wouldn't pass up if given the chance.
7. "Churches don't provide any benefit to a community" - thank you for baking me up..
6. I have no idea how the "sinning" issue became an Atheist matter, but again, I think there is a huge group who don't believe in sin, and somehow think that by believing that bad people die shows that sin exists. "God doesn't exist" - thank you again.
5. Crosses are not an atheist issue. Neither are Biblical stories. If I wanted to know I'd of bought a... Er.... Bible.
4. "Science is a good field" - Thank you again. Just because our books are made of those of educated and believing, kind people and yours from poor, unemployed, delusional Jews, you don't need to get jealous.
3. Many atheists overlook these things and enjoy life with others, but you cannot get over the fact that this person sitting next to you does not believe in an imaginary friend.
2. This line is just silly, and obvious. I would imagine that most people who attend a church would consider themselves Christian. Atheists do not need to be around themselves to feel good. We are proud. We do not single out others. We go about our lives.
1. This line is childish. Why are we singled out? Most of you troglodytes have no idea what falafel is. Or caviar. Or vegetarian food.

"I do think there is an explosive growth of new atheists" - Do you have a problem with that?

Plagiarism rules when you defend yourself. Don't be afraid, speak for yourself!

Bowlgd84 said...

If you define a christian by someone who goes to church, that is a ridiculous belief. It's like saying that I am a car by standing in a garage.

Bowlgd84 said...

If you define a christian by someone who goes to church, that is a ridiculous belief. It's like saying that I am a car by standing in a garage.

benchpress original said...

I am shocked at the existance of athiests who rally around their pseudo calling. You have chosen the wrong decision. When the time comes to see if YOUR decision and reality par up...its going to hit the fan hard for you. Love did not evolve..You cannot evolve emotions or science through a big bang theory. You cannot explain love. You decide as a choice to believe in athiesm as merely a choice. It is not a safe ground or positive stance for your life. Stop being comfortable defeating reality. You atheists lack internal power. The ability to manage what is real. Its soo safe to pick no God until you die.........until you die then ur just the asshole who made a choice u dumb ignorant microwavable dinners

benchpress original said...

I am shocked at the existance of athiests who rally around their pseudo calling. You have chosen the wrong decision. When the time comes to see if YOUR decision and reality par up...its going to hit the fan hard for you. Love did not evolve..You cannot evolve emotions or science through a big bang theory. You cannot explain love. You decide as a choice to believe in athiesm as merely a choice. It is not a safe ground or positive stance for your life. Stop being comfortable defeating reality. You atheists lack internal power. The ability to manage what is real. Its soo safe to pick no God until you die.........until you die then ur just the asshole who made a choice u dumb ignorant microwavable dinners

Chris said...

First off, I would like to say that this is a great article--the points you make are very concise and effective. I am an atheist. I think this way is because, to me, the damage caused to humanity by religion is obvious. Religion teaches people to not question. Religion leads many people to believe that their personal sentiments are so important that they have the right to impose them on others, even through legislation. Religion, in my opinion, takes effort and attention away from finding any real answers and real truth that may be out there (i.e. heliocentric model of the solar system, evolution, etc.) With that being said, it seems to me that you don't possess any of these characteristics. You seem to belong to the minority of religious people who extract the good from faith without releasing all of these terrible aforementioned side effects. To wrap this comment up quickly, I will just say that if all religious people behaved and thought like you seem to, I might not be an atheist!

Dan said...

You're all pretty ridiculous. Between the sweeping generalizations, the compulsion to describe everything in superlatives, and the horrible (horrible!) grammar and spelling, it's safe to say that 90% of the comments on this page just make their respective authors' philosophies look worse.

Here's the bottom line: if you cherry-pick one obnoxious comment on the internet to use as the basis of your opinion on a particular group, you're gonna have a bad time. You're also gonna look like an idiot.

If you're religious, enjoy it. It's your choice, and it's ultimately for your own benefit. You're a Christian or a Sikh or a Zoroastrian because it makes sense to you, and feels right. If you're an atheist, that's also your choice - and hopefully it's a choice that you came to on your own. Again, because it makes sense to you and feels right.

If, on the other hand, you're aggresively proselytizing and making disparaging remarks about people who don't share your beliefs, you're being an asshole. It doesn't matter whether you're a theist or not, the ability to respect and understand people with opinions that differ from yours is an important social skill.

And finally, if you don't know what you're talking about, keep your mouth shut. There's nothing more ridiculous than an athiest who hasn't read the bible trying to explain why it's wrong, or a christian who hasn't read an evolutionary biology textbook trying to explain why macroevolution is wrong.

Tank Demphsey said...

some atheist told me i have no right to beleive in god and he didnt see what hit him. It was the funniest thing ever. I respect atheists as people but when you say im doing wrong by talking to my friends about god i will hurt you
first of all you shouldnt be in my conversation second i should have hit him two or three more times

Madam Cod said...

Excellent blog. Some brillaint points made. I am LDS and proud of it but I am also not blind to human failings. I like the work of a chap called Chris Stedman who ercently published a book called 'Fathiest' which is his own story and about inter-faith activism and community. I think all of us, religious or not, would do well to take a leaf out of his book.

GamerGirl said...

First of all, no one can stereotype us. I am an Atheist, and I a, so tired of people stereotyping us. Me? I used to be Christian, and I converted. I don't care about anyone's religion. It isn't my business. Next, I don't sneer at the word "God". Third, I can date anyone, no matter their religion. Fourth, I am not such an asshole about religion. I am an Atheist, not a fucking piece of shit idiot. Get your facts straight. Facts are more important than your opinions. Also, I have read the Bible, Torah, and Koran. Who's the ass now?

Bjorn said...

Thanks for your response, GamerGirl. This post is way old, but you aren't the atheist I was talking about, only some atheists rub me the wrong way. After all, I am atheist.

Luv Tobuscus said...

Look, we aren't that bad. If you hate us just because you think we're gonna act all hateful towards "God", the you can shut the hell up. I'm ten years old and I have people telling me to go to hell because of how I was raised. That just isn't cool. If atheists are terrible, then so are Christians. I'm not trying to be rude, I respect you greatly, and I think your religion is beautiful, but you wanna put us down, we have the right to do it too, and you think atheists are smart alecs and whatever, but at least we don't run some sort of campaign against gays because a book tells us it's not right. My utmost respect to Christians who respect my religion.

Bjorn said...

Luv, thanks for your comment. I am an atheist, and just as all Christians are not alike, not all atheists are alike. I hope you have people around you who respect you even if you may not believe the same things.

justin dickerson said...

I'm an agnostic but I believe religion (specifically Christianity) has done more good than bad. Are there bad religious people of course, have people been killed in the name of religion of course, but you can say the same thing about atheists. There are bad atheists and people have killed in the name of atheism (Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jung Un, and the Chinese dictator) I don't hate atheists who respect other people's beliefs and are always open minded it's the militant atheists who seriously act like Nazis and say religious people need to die and things like that. (Note: I said militant) So if you follow the teachings of Dawkins or Harris and believe like they do that religion is a mental disease I will say I hate you and that is offensive to everyone out there who has a real mental disease (OCD, Autism i think, and down syndrome I think,etc).