People who hate atheists just for their beliefs are bigots

So I was getting into the debate about the survey that said that religious people found atheist to be as untrustworthy as known rapists. There have been a number of other studies over the years revealing people’s unbridled hatred for the group as they have shown up as one of the very least liked groups in America and Canada.

This thread is not for bashing religious beliefs. If you want to say that you dislike atheists or do not trust them because of your belief that one needs a supernatural basis for moral behavior that’s fine.

I want to talk about what people’ stereotypes about atheists are and what real life experiences have lead them to hold those views or if they have had no real life experiences.

i would like to hear from atheists who have been discriminated against and how that experience has been for them. I would also like to hear self appraisals of moral behavior by atheists and non-atheists.

Personally I have been shunned by people on many occasions when they found out I was an atheist. I have my faults and I can’t say that when I was young I didn’t do things I regret but I have a strong sense of morality and do not steal or harm other people in any way I intend. (If someone wants to argue that by forgetting my reusable bags to the grocery I’m killing everyone fine enough). I work in medicine and care deeply about helping people. I am not capable of faith but I am also unable to shed my empathy for other human beings .

I take people as they demonstrate themselves to be. No religious or non-religious label a person gives themselves is damning or endearing to me.

This seems to be more of a poll of personal experiences than a debate.

Off to IMHO.

True, but I really see no debate here.

I don’t know if I’ve been discriminated against because of my atheism, and frankly, I don’t lose much sleep over it. Then again, I don’t wear it on my sleeve and am not, and will not ever be again, thank goodness, in a geographic location where such things matter. If you are, and it does, move. I did.


I’m agnostic FTR.

I would say that agnostics don’t know what to believe and are not convinced there is a GOD.

I think atheists position of “There is no GOD” can come across as disparaging to people of faith because there is no way to be sure there is no GOD any more than you can be sure there is. It can make hardcore believers feel as though you think they are not as smart as you because they don’t “know” what is so obvious to you. This can make people feel threatened.

Not me though. I don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks.

I just wanted to stop in and thank you for the thread title.

It’s an acknowledgement that’s fairly rare around here.

the level of irrationality that goes with this position I think is at the core of most of the bigotry described in the op. the Atheist position is perfectly neutral, in the absolute absence of evidence there is obviously no god. the religious assertion that you “can’t know that” defies all logic, you dont believe everything everyone tells you, why is it you believe in your deity of choice when the only proof you have of their existence is that someone told you? it is a glaring logical hole and goes against everything many religious people have spent their entire lives believing. I think most people have trouble when confronted with the obvious flaw in their life long dream.

raindog, are you serious? This board is heavily skewed towards atheism. And, therefore, heavily skewed against hating atheists. It’s so absurd to say that the sentiment put forth in the OP is “fairly rare around here.” On the contrary, it’s pretty much the status quo. I think the number of non-atheists - even agnostics - is quite small, and the number of people who actually believe in a specific deity, next to nonexistent.

Take a deep breath.

What this board isn’t skewed towards are atheists who openly identify their atheism as a belief system.

No. That distinction is utterly irrelevant. You’re playing a semantics game.

You’re still an atheist. Atheism is not the belief that there is no god, it’s the lack of a belief in god. A-theos; without god. It doesn’t matter how you don’t believe in god, be it that you believe it doesn’t exist or you don’t know or you simply are reserving judgment; you are still an atheist.

Those who hate us atheists do so for the same reasons they’ve been taught: Fear, IMHO.

I’ve never even hit anyone, I don’t discriminate, I don’t cheat, steal or lie TOO much ;). I behave this way without a god, and that is what frightens many believers. If I, and millions of others, are just and moral, yet have no divine presence in our lives, then it may not even be necessary to believe.

I’ve posed this to some aunts and uncles and they recoiled when they considered it. No one likes to think they’ve been “wrong” their whole lives. I don’t consider believers “wrong”, perhaps just misguided. (??)

Meh. Religious people and atheists bash each other all the time. I’ve not got much sympathy for anyone who cries victim, here. Neither side is is better than the other.

I’ve been an atheist/agnostic or whatever you want to call it since I was a teenager in the early 70s. It has never been even the slightest of issues, ever.

Agnosticism when you get right down to it is just an attempt to kowtow to religion. And only popular religions, at that. People aren’t “agnostic”’ about goblins or fairies; and very few are agnostic about unpopular religions like Zeus worship or Scientology. It’s only with Christianity and its relatives that suddenly people feel the need to be “agnostic” and pretend that it isn’t blindingly obvious that it’s all baseless nonsense.

For me, either, in about 15 open years. The only person who’s ever given me guff about it is my weirdly religious sister and, for most of those years, I lived in the Bible Belt. I don’t doubt that plenty of the people I encountered each day would have agreed that atheists (as a group) are untrustworthy, but they never said it to my face and never treated me differently. It’s tougher to marginalize us as the Scary Other if there’s a familiar face attached. In my experience, at least.

I believe there COULD be a god. Hell, I believe that some being type thing got our ball rolling but I don’t think that makes them a god or worthy of worship.

This is not Atheist.

I’ve never been bigotted against atheists. I was raised Catholic, and my parents were never bigotted against atheists either. I honestly don’t give a shit what you believe or don’t believe, as long as you’re not an asshole about it.

I’m only bigotted against people – religious and atheists – who are assholes about it. :wink:
(FWIW, I believe in a god, and basically that’s about it)

How is it structured? What are their causes? How is it funded? Who is in control?

Theism is a belief in god or gods. Your statement falls short of an affirmative belief in god or gods so it’s not theism. If it’s not theism, it’s atheism.

If I had to guess, I’d guess the vast majority of atheists believe there COULD be a god or gods.