I am an atheist. I do not believe in the existence of God. However, I have no desire to force my beliefs on others. My wife is a devout christian, and we have agreed to disagree on the subject. She prays for me, for which I am grateful. The majority of my family members are in similar situations - atheists married to (or almost married to) devout christians, who are content to disagree on the subject of God.
Now, I have never come across atheists movements (and rarely individuals) who wish to outlaw Christianity. According to the above quote, there is at least one Christian here who feels atheists are a threat to the very institution of Christianity.
WV_Woman and others who share the quoted belief, why do you feel that I (as an atheist) wish to have your religion outlawed? In what way are our differing beliefs a threat the Church?
Like many, WV_WOMAN cannot distinguish between the concept of atheists not wanting theism pushed upon them (or their children) by gov’t institutions, and jack-booted gov’t thugs breaking down doors of private homes and confiscating bibles and korans.
Just as long as they don’t make me lick the hooves of the Invisible Pink Unicorn.
There are ‘hard’ atheists (maybe antitheists would be a better term) out there (a couple or three here on the boards, I think) that would dearly love to see all religion stamped out, but I don’t think they need be paid any more attention than the raving fundamentalists at the other end of the scale.
Athiests do not want God outlawed, but conservatives and fundies say that they do in order to distract people from an actual argument on facts. It’s much easier for them to say “Athiests want to outlaw God!” than to debate the real issue, which is not the existence of God but the interpretation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
I put words in nobody’s mouth, Shodan. I speculated on a person’s opinion on a particular subject based on her intolerant statements on a closely related matter . If my speculation is incorrect, she is free to correct me. WV_Woman, on the other hand, positively asserted the utterly ridiculous statement about atheists quoted in the OP. So does your “objection” apply to theists and non-theists alike, and if so, would you care to comment on the propriety of the text quoted in the OP?
As an atheist, I would strenuously object to any attempt to remove religion from the private (non-government) sector. The government itself should take a nontheistic/no-favored-religion stance, but what people want to believe and worship and do in their homes and on their property is their own bee’s wax. It’d be no better than passing a law declaring a particular ethnic culture as “illegal.”
(“Resolved: Falafels are now permanently banned in the United States because they’re yucky!” )
Methinks VW_Woman has been listening to too much talk radio.
Mangetout, your interpretation of the term “hard” atheist don’t jibe with my understanding of the term. As I understand it,
soft atheists think that there is no good evidence for the existence of god, whereas hard atheist feel that god’s existence has been satisfactorily disproved by logical (or, depending on the person, not-so-logical) argument.
I do not think that the terms hard or soft atheism necessarily imply the atheist’s attiude toward theism. I do not believe that a “hard” atheist is “hard” in some emotional or political sense of being intolerant or radical.
“Antitheist,” on the other hand, is a fine term.
In regards to the OP, I have never met an atheist who argued that the government should stamp out religion. Most atheists I know subscribe to the Golden Rule: If I am free not to worship, then you should be free to worship, insofar as your religious practices do not impinge on anyone else’s liberty. Most of the atheists I know will fight against any government attempt to curtail anyone’s religious freedom.
Like, say, any effort by the government to control what you say in the privacy of your own home . . . or to make you speak a pledge that contains religious language which may or may not be in accordance with your personal beliefs.
As an atheist, I really don’t care if people worship God or not. I don’t want the government telling me to worship God.
I won’t lie to you, if all of a sudden everybody woke and decided to stop worshipping God, I would very pleased. However, I do not now, I have not ever, nor will I ever try to force God out of people’s private lives.
I wouldn’t say your beliefs are a threat, it’s more like (IMO) some people get tired of hearing what Christian’s have to say and it may come to a point where they get so sick of hearing about Jesus and the bible and being witnessed too etc, that some people would do whatever they could to stop hearing about it. I don’t want to hijack this thread and change it into bible prophecy or anything, but some Christians believe the One World Government is coming and will form its own One World Religion and Christianity will be the first to go.
Well, then “some Christians” ought to take comfort in living in a predominantly Christian country, where decisions like the recent PoA inspire the legislature to pledge on the building steps, cause the executive to publicly ridicule a Federal court decision, cause even the judiciary who made the decision to run to recant, and motivate a large part of the population to condemn, lambast, and vilify anyone who doesn’t want a school to make their child say “God” in public. Somehow I think that you won’t see Christianity “go” in our lifetimes, or that of our 10x grandchildren.
No one should tell any one else that what they believe is wrong.
No one should harass any one else in the name of religion.
Any allowances provided by a government to a religious sect apply to all religious sects.
Living in the States, I feel that I am almost beseiged by the religious establishment. Various groups rent the giant streets signs for religious messages, Gideon members stake out universities once a year to hand out copies of the new testament, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Baptists and others go door-to-door trying to convert people, etc. I wonder how people would feel if free copies of Spinoza or Nietzsche were given away to all who passed on the street, or if people went door-to-door attempting to convince people of the non-existence of their god(s)?
I figured that.
Some churches I’ve been in believed the missing day theory, gold dust falling on people, etc.
Personally, I keep my politics seperate from my religion, mainly because my politics are far to the left of all chrsitians I have known IRL.