Hard Atheism: Why So Aggressive?

Sure, a statement like the above will clearly annoy any Christian and it certainly does me a disservice to generalize on what I would consider a collectively intelligent Str8dope community. So, the question, as Lib posed, is why?

Why be a hard atheist?
Why spend my free-time posting anti-christian fliers?
Why take the time out of my day to even bother addressing and arguing with people who constantly hand me pro-christian fliers on campus(well, when I was on campus, now i’m between undergrad and grad so I haven’t been to campus in months, but anyway I digress)?
Why challenge campus crusaders?
Why watch preachers on television every sunday morning as they wax poetic on the grace of a God while Africa is suffering the horrors of an AIDS epidemic?
Why listen to Christian rock music describing Jesus as “everywhere to me” and envision how angry I could make people by playing such a song over images of the holocaust?
Why lure people I don’t know into seeming Pro-Christian discussions, “have you accepted jesus as your personal saviour?”, only to trun the argument on its head by suddenly questioning the story’s validity?
Why laugh as people attempt to appropriate antiquated notions of God in, in my view, a clearly God-less world?
Why, in essence, be a hard atheist?

B/c, like the girl sings, Jesus is everywhere. He’s on billboards making annoying quips at me as I drive home. “You think it’s hot here?” – God.

He’s on busses I take home from school. “Isn’t Jesus great?” says the boy with the “jesus saves” tatoo.

No, he’s not. He’s dead. And he doesn’t care. And, I feel, you are deluding yourself.

“But I’m a good Christian,” you say. “I don’t agree with everything in the bible…”

Since when can a Christian pick and choose from the holy word of God?

I say you are not a Christian. You may be a good person, but do me a favor and stop with the Christian bullshit. You want to be a good person? Be good. More power to you. You want to love your enemies? Go ahead.

You want to tell me a book with countless flaws and contradcitions is the word of God? I’m sorry, no, it isn’t and i think you’re being silly.

But the real question is, if so many Christians are good people, who don’t proselytize, who don’t go out of their way to bother, why be so anti-God?

I suppose the best answer I can come up with is at one point I thought the story was real. I thought it was true and believed it happened. Then, I found out it wasn’t and I’m pretty pissed.

I feel like saying, “Why the fuck did you morons tell me this shit when to anyone with a bit of perspective can see it’s not true? You assholes had me believing any little thing I did wrong scarred my soul with huge black scars? I thought the inside of my chest was covered in huge black scars. What is wrong with you? You really think people are burning in hell? You had me thinking I was going to burn in hell? I was just a child. It’s not funny or Jesus-like to discover the band teacher at my former Catholic school was a pedophile and that one of the head priests was a pedophile? There’s nothing Christian in the Holocaust, why didn’t God intervene? Where, might I ask you, is your God?”

So, there you go, a little perspective on my Hard Atheism.

“But, Lolo, We’re not all like that.”

Yeah, great. I’m still pissed.

Nothing against you personally, I’m sure you’re a really nice person. I’m sure we’d get along great at parties w/o the slight mention of Christainity. “Fuck, soldier, you can some over and fuck my wife.”

I suppose, in time, the anger will subside.

thank you for your time.

Soft (i.e., liberal) religionist here. But aiming to be objective about it. I have a theory that may answer the OP’s question.

Let’s face it, folks, we live in a post-Christian society. By “post-Christian” I mean it’s still shaped by Christianity even if it thinks it’s moved on beyond. And to be more accurate, it’s a mixture of still-living Christianity and post-Christianity in varying proportions.

More than one observer has noted about Marxism that it’s essentially Christian in outlook, however atheist it claims to be. Marxism has retained the Christian teleology of history, just replaced Kingdom Come with the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. The point is that a Christian background is not so easy to just eradicate from the depth of your mind. You can’t just declare yourself rid of it and be done with it just like that. On a deep level it has shaped your way of thinking.

Andrew Harvey writing in the New York Times Magazine says that the logical outcome of all monotheist religions is fundamentalist terrorism. (Now, there’s an example of an aggressively militant soft/liberal religionist, one that embarrasses me and I would like to dissociate myself from!) But let’s grant him this point. It then follows that a post-Christian atheist may wind up an aggressive proselytizer of atheist fundamentalism. Because the Christian outlook is so deeply ingrained. If you’re relaxed about it, it won’t affect much. But once you get stressed about it, the Christian pattern will come out. Happened to Karl Marx, it can happen to you.

Never seen one where I live. But I do see a lot of billboards I dislike and disagree with. Funny, I haven’t used them as an excuse to proselytize against and go out of my way to insult DKNY or Les Schwab Tires.

“Please leave me alone.” Or is that too hard?

Why on earth do you care? It’s not your place to determine what someone believes or does not, especially when you’re oh-so-proud of your attempts to disbelieve their faith. I don’t believe in Scientology, but it’s not my place to tell someone they aren’t a Scientologist if they claim to be.

I think pop music is silly. This justifies a one-man pogrom how?

yeah, but then again, DKNY isn’t suggesting you’re going to burn for all eternity if you don’t buy a T-shirt. So it’s just a little different, no? Maybe just a teency weency bit different? A teeny eeeny f’ing weeny bit different?

“Please leave me alone.” Or is that too hard?


No, it’s not too hard.

If he/she/they don’t say anything, I don’t say anything. But if you notice, Christians keep saying things. So until they STFU, I will keep responding.

Is it too hard to notice how there is no God?

How many scientolgists do you know with billboards suggesting you’re going to burn in hell if you don’t become a scientologist?
How many presidents do you know who quote the f’ing bible to you on television after what you see causing the problem, is now the solution?

But I’m wrong. I’m very very wrong b/c I’m opposed and you don’t like opposition. You’d like it if I STFU, wouldn’t you? I should just STFU b/c you’re tired of me opposing Christianity, right?

Too bad.

If you haven’t noticed, Christians show no sign of quieting.

Every day, when I went and will go to class at school, there’s a preacher yelling about Jesus in the plaza.

Hmm, why doesn’t Lolo just say “please leave me alone”?

B/c they’re not leaving me alone.

pogrom? a bit strong?
oh well.

I don’t need to justify my opposition to you, or to anyone else.

have you seen theWTC lately?
I haven’t.
These people who believe in God blew it up.

Oh, what a terrible and horrible generality I just commited. How wrong of me to make such a statement. I’m such a bad person.
“Lolo, I just don’t see why you have to oppose.”

does anyone else want to just move to a farm, take care of cows and chickens and forget all of this?

I do.

And when will you show us your sign of it? :wink:

I asked you first. :smiley:

I’d appreciate it, Lolo, if you showed a little respect. “Bla bla bla” is not conducive to any discussion at all.

I don’t think it should make any difference to you. You don’t believe in hell, so why should it bother you that people are suggesting that you’re going someplace you don’t believe in? Why should hell make any difference at all to you?

Help me out here, buddy, I’m not getting it.

:shrug: So why not respond directly to the people that are addressing you on your bus?

I don’t understand how this related to my point.

Again, it’s not your place to determine who is or is not a Christian, especially since you don’t believe in God or Christ and don’t want to.

Firstly, please drop the STFU business. You’re perfectly free to spell out “fuck.” Ditto “because.” Thanks.

Secondly, I don’t want you to shut the fuck up. I’d prefer you mellow out a little and stop insulting huge numbers of people you don’t know on the basis of your knee-jerk bigotry.

By the way, I’m not a Christian, Lolo. I oppose your methods, your tone, and your unwillingness to learn, but I don’t give much of a rat’s ass if you dislike Christianity or not.

Alas, neither do boy bands. Know what? I don’t let them piss me off.

So what? Why do you insist on letting that affect your life? Why not just think, “nothing to see here but another deluded Bible-thumper,” tune him out, and get on with your life?

*Originally posted by andros *I’d appreciate it, Lolo, if you showed a little respect. “Bla bla bla” is not conducive to any discussion at all.


my bad.


It probably shouldn’t make a difference, but it’s everywhere I look and it bothers me.

I’m sorry, but I don’t take the “oh well” stance. It’s everywhere, I’m going to repsond. Why should I shut up? Christians feel free to talk about how great Christianity is, I feel like responding.

I do.

It’s their book, not mine.

not so knee jerk.
I’ve read the bible. I strongly disagree with the teaching the bible as a religion.

What does the bible say will happen to people who don’t believe?

furnace of fire…

sorry, I don’t agree.
I don’t agree that Jesus was the son of God.

I’m willing to learn. What makes you believe I’m unwilling to learn?

So, you don’t like my methods? Maybe I don’t like your methods.

What’s the difference?

So you don’t get pissed off easily. I do.

and yes, boy bands piss me off.

Usually, I tune it out. But I don’t always have to. I have made a choice. My choice is to oppose.


Many of us here choose to oppose many things. But we do not choose to be belligerent. We do not choose to be incorrigible. And we do not choose to behave exactly the same way as that which we relentlessly complain about.

*Originally posted by Libertarian *

In-your-face atheist = in-your-face fundamentalist Christian

… just with a different philosophy.

*Originally posted by bordelond *

That’s exactly what I was saying!

[sub]except that you said it better[/sub]

So, Lolo, you’re angry at Christians because their stories frightened you as a child? Fair enough, me too, and I even agree that it’s wrong to frighten children with stories of eternal punishment. When I first became an atheist, I may have been a bit strident about that. But maybe the fault was partly mine, you know? I do admit that I have always tended to take things very literally. Everyone I know was exposed, in varying degrees, to the same Christian brainwashing that I was, and many of them later rejected it–why didn’t it scare them half to death and twist their personalities all around, like it did to me? Maybe I was just a hyper-sensitive kid. Maybe I’m not the only one.

I have since come to realize that what I dislike is the aggressiveness, no matter who it comes from. I would rather spend time talking to a Christian who respects me and my lack of belief than to you, who seem to share many of my beliefs. I don’t expect that to matter to you, but other atheists here seem to share the opinion. Are you learning anything from this?

On the sidewalk yesterday, a guy tried to put a Jesus pamphlet it my hand. I didn’t slow down, but I smiled at him as I shook my head. I don’t know, maybe it was more of a little chuckle. I didn’t intend it to hurt his feelings, but for an instant I saw a look of slight shock on his face, as I walked away. I think this made more of an impression on him than if I had engaged him in a debate on the validity of his beliefs, and it certainly took less of my time.

Is the world full of delusional idiots? Maybe. If not because of religion, then because of their confused political beliefs, or the stupid music they listen to, or the disgusting foods they eat, or the ridiculous way they dress. So what? If you don’t like it, don’t believe it, listen to it, eat it, or wear it. Relax–as others have pointed out, you are embarrassing the rest of the atheists here.

And yes, in time the anger will subside. Unless you keep feeding it.


Perhaps. I like to intercut my beligerence with eloquence.

It’s a nice effect.

and finally, we all make choices. Sure, by acting like I sometimes act it is no better than an in-your-face-Christian… but oh how wonderfully bothered do those Christians become.

Sometimes, actually most times, the anger in their face alone is worth my time.

By the way, I’m not always like this, only when doing the whole God thing.

*Originally posted by bordelond *

sans burning in hell.

good point.

People don’t like people to be extreme? Gotcha.


I would’ve quoted something from his bible and watched him scramble to justify.

We all make choices.


“We’re all individuals!”


I think Boy George said it best when he said, “Time won’t give me time.”


You appear to be (slowly) catching yourself before your ignorance becomes your downfall. There have been (and are) too many top-class thinkers and writers throughout the course of history with deep and abiding faith in God (like Isaac Newton, for example) for you to dismiss them summarily and expect to have your intellect taken seriously. As you mature, you will find that your belligerence has effects you had not counted on, and you will regret those.

It is not too late for you to recover, renounce the infantile manner in which you’ve behaved, and resolve to treat everyone here with courtesy and respect. In doing so, you will find your ideas being considered, rather than discarded out of hand. Watch some of the other atheists here, and see how they go about making their points. If you can wedge yourself somewhere in between Jab and Gaudere, you will have made tremendous progress for which we will all applaud you.

But if you continue this one-tune act, you will lose all credibility, no one will take you seriously, and you will have wasted many wonderful opportunities to learn new things. I have a hunch that knoweldge is important to you. Have you ever heard the expression “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”? You’re doing exactly that by deciding that I, because of my faith, am a moron.

Lolo, who at the SDMB was in your face first? How many Dopers have tried to foist Christianity upon you?

Finally, have you read enough around here long enough to know that in-your-face Christians tend to get beaten up around here when they get in people’s faces?

MrO good point. I tend to agree with most of your post, and I’m a Christian. Nothing makes me smile more than to read the posts on the board about how stupid I am, how I have no brains, etc. I’m sure you’ve read them all. At some point in the past this would have upset me greatly. But time does mellow people and I’m a lot more tolerant than I used to be. I learned that beating your head up against a brickwall with only give you a headache. You can almost tell from the posts on this subject the age thereabouts of the poster.
A strange point, until I joined this board I didn’t realize how many people do hate Christians. Being from the southern Bible belt may have something to do with that I’m sure. We have a church on every corner, services on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night, not to mention the prayer meetings during the day. Sheltered, rural life, I daresay that most people I am in any contact with, work, social, or home life, would be shocked to read these boards. For a long time I was. Here it’s more of ‘I don’t go to church because I have better things to do’ than it is ‘I hate religion, any mention of any God, etc.’
But to each his own, we have to work our own individual way through this life.

Looking through your posts for signs of eloquence or this “nice effect” you mention . . . . Anyone found any?

Why? I didn’t appreciate his gesture, but I do sort of understand the motivation behind it. I feel a little pity for him, but I have no desire to make him squirm. I probably know the Christian bible better than he does, but I don’t enjoy fighting. You apparently do. Maybe you’re just not a very nice person–which is your choice, of course. Bitter, are you? You have the right to be bitter, do you? Congratulations, enjoy your bitterness. We all have that right. I’ll waive my right to bitterness.

Cute. I’m not very familiar with Boy George; maybe that’s why I can’t find any meaning in this quote. Are you elderly, on your deathbed, perhaps? Are you so short of time that you can’t spare any for happiness? Fine–again, enjoy your adolescent angst, whatever your age. Seems to me that if you’re short of time, it would behoove you to move on, grow up, and get over the religious traumas of your childhood as soon as possible. If not, the religious scare-mongers win, and you lose.

As ultress said, we each have to work through it on our own. Your manners, Lolo, make it hard for me to care how well you get through it, but still I wish you the best. I’m just a little curious: what do you make of the apparent fact that everyone here finds you annoying?