Anti-God...or are they?

Why do these so called “Athiests” on the message boards and other places give a fuck about what other people think about God? They must be having a really bad internal conflict, otherwise, they wouldn’t be posting on the board asking about belief in God. If they have all these questions, why don’t they go read the Bible? Duh. I think they feel guilty and want to clear their conscience by getting other people to agree with them. They want other people to disbelieve in God with them so they won’t feel so bad about it.

pulls up a chair, and gets out long forks and bags of marshmallows

Gotta be ready when the flames begin…

While of course every group includes jerks, you wanna give us a link to what in particular you’re talking about?

In the mean-time:

  1. so-called “atheists”? Are they or aren’t they, and who are you to judge their legitmacy?
  2. You really think most atheists (in the West anyway) haven’t read much of the Bible?
  3. Your comments about them having really bad internal conflicts, feeling guilty and feeling bad about their lack of faith kinda suggest that you’re a religious bigot unable to comprehend that anyone could think differently than you. 'Course, that could be because you can’t think.
  4. You do know that atheists don’t just lack faith in your God don’t you? They\we lack faith in any god. That’s kinda the point.
  5. Do I have to say hi to Opal if I’ve already got 4 things in a list?

Interesting. I’ve wondered similar things about homophobes.

Naw, just kidding. I don’t think that homophobes are all secretly closeted homosexuals, any more than atheists are all secretly conflicted Christians.

If you’re asking your question honestly, I’ll try to give an honest answer. I don’t believe in God, but I do find folks’ belief in Him interesting, so I sometimes ask folks questions about their beliefs.

Reading the Bible wouldn’t satisfy my particular curiosity: when I’ve talked to different Christians, they interpret the Bible in radically different ways. It’s not the book I’m interested in; it’s the people and their beliefs.

Which isn’t to say that Biblereading is pointless; in the same way that I read the Contract with America prior to arguing with Republicans in 1995, I can read the Bible to inform my discussions with Christians. But it’s as background material, not as the source of answers.

Ultimately, I think many Christians start with different assumptions than I do. Since they assume that the Bible is the true word of God, it’s a reasonable place for them to look for answers. Since I don’t assume that, it’s not a reasonable place for me to look for answers.

If I feel guilty about not believing in God, I’m unaware of the guilt; if I’m unaware of feeling guilty yet still feel guilty, it raises some existential questions about the reality of the emotion.


Hmmm, lemme try a stab at this…

“Why do these so called “Christians” on the message boards and other places give a fuck about what other people think about God? They must be having a really bad internal conflict, otherwise, they wouldn’t be posting on the board asking about belief in God. If they have all these questions, why don’t they go read the Bible? Duh. I think they feel guilty and want to clear their conscience by getting other people to agree with them. They want other people to believe in God with them so they won’t feel so bad about it.”
Ehh, I could probably do better, but I think I’ll just leave this for now.

There are certainly some atheists who seem to want to pick fights with religion. without any obvious prior provocation from a theist. Many times they are atheists who are ex-religionists. I suspect it’s less suppressed guilt over their lack of belief than it is bitterness towards the churches and other institutions of the religion they’ve left, over anything from general hypocrisy to child molestation by the clergy.

There are, of course, one hell of a lot of Christians who are reflexively hostile to any other religion or philosophical point of view. It would be kind of silly to say they’re all just feeling guilty about not being good Secular Humanists, though.

Wowee, my brain hurts. Not from guilt over being an atheist, though, I can tell ya that much for damn sure.

You’re going to have to give specifics. It’s silly to think that atheists in general are hostile to theists. Here at the SDMB, the lion does lie down with the lamb. \

Mind, every group has its extremist wackos, including atheists. As long as Christians leave me in peace, I’m content to give them the same respect.

And I don’t understand why you think atheists necessarily feel “bad” about not believing in the Judaeo-Christian deity? We also don’t believe in Thoth, Ra, Zeus, Apollo, Freya, Odin, Marduk, Shango, Oleggua, Vishnu, Shiva, or Papa Legba. YHWH is just one more creation of human imagination that does not literally exist, or so I think. YMMV.

[sub]You may insert assertion of one’s inability to conclusively deny the existence of God here.[/sub]

Maybe someone misspelled their lack of religious affiliation one too many times and they finally snapped.

But, ringmaster , I think the bigger issue here is the fact that Insane Clown Posse is a sorry excuse for a band, even a rap group. For making their obnoxious swill they deserve a special place in hell.

And no, I’m not posting that because I’m having internal conflict over the talent of Insane Clown Posse.

I’ve never had anyone who was an atheist try to convert me or mock my religion (or for that matter non-atheists). And I do get around. I find people very tolerant towards the sincere religious beliefs of others.

On the other hand, I have noticed a great deal of intolerance towards imperial religion, which is basically politics hiding behind religion, and in fact I don’t care for it myself.

It should be easy to understand why some atheists seem anti-religion and seem determined to turn people away from it.

Simply imagine living in a world where the majority of people believe in something that seems quite silly and unbelievable to you - to get in this mindset pick something that fits this category for you, be it aliens, evolution, the idea the Earth is flat, the tooth fairy, whatever. OK, now already you can understand part of their unease - just the fact that most people believe in this weird thing alone should be disturbing enough - why do they believe it? It seems obvious to you this is just weird and silly, are they dumb or just brainwashed?

Any well balanced person would come to terms with this, though. So what if most people believe in the Tooth Fairy, I know better and it should have no bearing on me. Things get worse, though.

A large portion of these people who believe in this feel the need to talk about it all the time. Their lives center around this concept, you can’t spend much time around certain people without having to hear about the Tooth Fairy (or aliens, or evolution, or the flat Earth, whatever). And not only do they talk about this all the time, they think that YOU are confused and/or crazy for not believing in it. Some people will even try to convince you that you really do believe in it, you are just lying to yourself.

Much more annoying, right? It gets worse. These people follow certain made-up rules that they say come from this thing that you don’t believe in. Some of the rules make sense, some don’t but don’t seem to have any bearing on your own life, but many of the rules are contrary to what you believe is right and wrong and these people try their hardest to enforce these rules on YOU, despite what you believe. As an example, imagine certain proponents of the theory of evolution pushing through legislation that makes it illegal to take your dog to the vet, because they think it hinders the process of natural selection, or the tooth fairy believers feel that the tooth fairy is angered by cavities and forces the government into taking sugar off the market. There are even some people who believe that those who break these laws should be put to death! And whenever you try to put forth the idea that these rules are stupid and wrong, you get looked down upon and are said to be an evil person.

This is what drives many (but not all) atheists to become very confrontational with religious people. Add to this the fact that the people who offend them stand out in their mind more than the ones who keep their beliefs to themselves, and you can see why they start thinking that all religious people are out to infringe upon their rights.

ringmeat, er I mean ringmaster, what the fuck?

Seriously, have you ever been the target of willfully ignorant bigotry because of your belief or lack of belief in something you can’t prove or disprove?

Have you ever had your morality questioned because you didn’t believe in something that you found internally inconsistent?

Have you ever felt pressure to show respect for something that you think is just plain silly, and sometimes harmful?

Have you ever had your fitness as a parent questioned because you didn’t believe in something you are sure is a myth?

Have you ever had legal pressure placed on you to participate in something you personally find useless?

Have you ever thought that your taxes are a mite high due to paying for organisations that slander you?

Have you ever had your conclusions slandered as evil because of the beliefs of Bronze Age goatherders?

Have you ever had to worry about employment or housing because of what you do or don’t believe in?

Have you ever faced the demands of people who, though they know you well, feel they are justified in questioning your every action and motivation based on something that can’t be proven?

Have you ever been condescended to for an honest conclusion you have reached?

Have you ever heard some ignorant shithead spew, “America has freedom of religion,” while they don’t realize that also means freedom from religion?

Sorry guy, until you’ve been in the position of an atheist (myself and most atheists I know) that puts up with this shit on an almost daily basis in the good ol’ US of A, shut up. Most of the atheist sites I’ve seen on the Web have a disclaimer at the beginning along the lines of: “If you have strong religious beliefs, you will be offended. Go away.” If you wander in there and are offended by atheists being pissed about being treated like shit: oh well, you were warned.

I don’t feel guilty about not believing in any gods whatsoever. The same way I don’t feel guilty about not believing in the tooth fairy or leprechans. Almost every atheist web site I’ve seen says the same thing.

What’s your damage?

Why do these so called “Aetheists” on the message boards and other places give a fuck about what other people think about the luminous aether? They must be having a really bad internal conflict, otherwise, they wouldn’t be posting on the board asking about the speed of light. If they have all these questions, why don’t they go read the Michelson-Morley experiment? Duh. I think they feel guilty and want to clear their conscience by getting other people to agree with them. They want other people to believe in the aether with them so they won’t feel so bad about it.

And how the fuck does “dark matter” differ from luminous aether? Two sides of the same coin, if you ask me.

I believe the Michaelson-Morley experiment conclusively demonstrated the aether as a medium to convey light does not exist, paving the way for Einstein to prove that the speed of light is a constant.

And, of course, there are those who think that the truth is important enough to warrant fighting about – combatting ignorance and all that stuff. And they’re found on both sides of the God-question divide.

And I believe there is a possibility that they asked the wrong question.

Back to the OP…

I really see PT Smegma’s point. I’m a church-goin’ atheist for reasons I’ve explained many times, none of which include being intimidated into doing it, but I do not feel it would be in my professional interest to put a Darwinfish on my car, no matter how strongly I feel about evolution WHICH IS ACCEPTED AS FACT BY THE FAITH TO WHICH I BELONG! I proudly carry on the fight against ignorance elsewhere in my life, but I have been intimidated by ardent theists to the point that I’m a solid, unquestioning Lutheran as far as my co-workers are concerned and stay out of discussions of religion and creationism. I have a family to support.

How would you like going through life like that, ringmaster? Knowing you are a sell-out and a phony because you don’t let on what you are really like during a large part of your life. Like a homosexual who stays closeted at work for fear of his job. It could suck less.

And Badtz, I like that thought experiment of yours.

I have also wondered why some (but by no means all) atheists on this board feel the need to post drivebys mocking religion. I find it odd that they frequently get away with it too. No one can get away with mocking Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc, but mocking Christianity or simply “religion” is often tolerated here.

For the most part, I’ve learned to just ignore it. However, I thought it would be germaine to the thread to do a quick search from the past couple of months to show examples of atheists being assholes in GD. (I’m going to leave out obvious trolls such as the infamous lolo) Here is what I found:

That the board is too damn slow right now to attempt to search using keywords like “religion” or “Christian”, so I will relate the most recent instance I personally remember.

In this thread:
rjung wrote

“narrow minded”?, “place themselves above others”?, “superstitious myths”?, “threat to us all”?.

Not only is this complete bullshit, its bigotry leaves me speechless. How can people tolerate this crap on a board professing to fight ignorance?

Badtz, Smegma, dropzone, sorry you feel so, um, oppresed, but what you three don’t seem to understand is that when somebody like rjung mocks “God” he doesn’t just mock bible thumping fundamentalist Baptists like Falwell; but Catholics, Presbeterians, Reformed Jews, Orthodox Jews, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and Unitarians. If he mocks “religion” we can also add Hindus, Budhists, Scientologists (OK, maybe no harm in that one), and Zorastrians - just to name a few. That’s a lot of people to hate.

It is also hard to believe that these groups have banded together with THE MAN to hold atheists down. Maybe some of these groups have also suffered from similar “willfully ignorant bigotry” about their beliefs as you have. And maybe their beliefs shouldn’t be mocked so lightly.

However, that might be too close to the obviously ignorant, superstitous beliefs of a few ancient shepards, fishermen, and a certain carpenter who said “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

All I know is that I’ve never had anyone harass me on a Saturday morning, telling me I must convert to atheism or my nonexistent soul will be tormented. Whereas I’ve been tempted to get a pit bull just to drive away the door-to-door theists who keep peddling their beliefs whether I’m interested or not.

(And don’t even get me started on the evangelical vultures who were out pounding pavement on the Saturday after 9/11, trying to scare people to go to their church because they believed the WTC attacks were the first sign of the Apocalypse. Tasteless as hell, whatever your belief system is.)