Why Are Atheists So Angry?

Hambydammit's picture

"Why are all atheists so angry?"

I hear this question all the time. In fact, my Rambo-Kitty avatar is partially inspired by the question. Anyway, today I was reading an article about the debate between Sam Harris and Rick Warren, and was struck by Warren's statement, "I've never met an atheist who wasn't angry."

My first reaction was denial. Many atheists, myself included, are happy most of the time. My atheist friends are great fun to hang out with. We laugh and joke and drink beer, and hardly ever mention religion.

My second reaction, I confess, was anger. How dishonest of him to try to discount atheism by labeling us all as angry malcontents! This is exactly why people like him make me angry!

That's when it hit me, square in the forehead. He's not being dishonest. I don't doubt that every atheist he's met has been angry. If I met him, he'd almost certainly make me angry, too. That's just it! HE makes atheists angry, so they're all angry around him. So, I forgive him for thinking that all atheists are angry. I understand how he made the mistake.

Anyway, I'd like to reflect on "Atheist Anger" for a few minutes, and ask a couple of questions.

First, why is it a bad thing to be angry? The suffragists were quite angry, and for good reason. New Zealand had granted women equal voting rights in 1893, and America, supposedly the land of equality, was violently opposed to the idea twenty years later. There are still plenty of women who are angry because women make less money doing the same jobs as men in many industries, and women are often not even considered for promotions when they're equally (or better) qualified for the position. Are they wrong for being angry? Should they just sit quietly and wait for men to realize the error of their ways? Some people think so. I've noticed that the majority of them are men.

Am I making a valid comparison? Is it reasonable to compare life as an atheist in America in 2007 to life as a woman in the early 20th century? Clearly there are significant differences. Atheists can vote. They can, in theory, hold public office. They can get married, sign contracts, work wherever they're qualified. So, do we atheists have a right to be angry in the same way suffragists had?

To answer that question, I'll recall some more history. In Mosaic law, as we all know, women were slightly better than slaves. They had no property rights. In Roman law, women were completely dependent on male relations for all legal matters, and when they were married, it was a matter of purchase between two families.

Here, we can ask a pointed question. Do women have the right to be angry that they're not making as much as men in the workplace? After all, they can vote, own property, divorce their husband, sue him for child support and alimony, and live quite happily on their own. This country is one of the best places in the world to be a woman! What right do women have to be angry?

If your skin prickled a little bit when you read the previous paragraph, good for you. You're halfway to understanding why atheists have a right to be mad. The reason women still have a right to be mad is that things are still not equal. They have no obligation to remain silent simply because they have it better than someone who lived a hundred, or a thousand years ago. The reason women have it better now is that people were angry all through history, and made small gains here and there over many generations. Without the fuel of anger, women would still be property, and wouldn't even have the opportunity to be mad about making less money in the workplace.

So, what about us atheists? Do we have a right to be mad? Actually, yes. Did you know we've had atheist presidents? We have. I'll let you do your own homework on this, but it might surprise you to learn that many of the leaders of the U.S. throughout history have been openly atheist. Is this possible today? One congressman in California recently admitted to being atheist, and it caused a nationwide stir! It remains to be seen whether he'll be reelected. To be sure, he'll be attacked for being godless and amoral when election time comes around.

Until the McCarthy Era, the pledge of allegiance didn't have the word "God." Money didn't have "In God We Trust." Until the 70s, Christians were not actively involved in politics for the purpose of legislating religious values. Clearly, America is more theist than it used to be, at least politically. So, are things getting better for atheists? I dare say they're not. Unlike women, our situation is not improving. We are not being afforded more respect. Rather, we are being legislatively pushed farther into the margins where we have been quietly lurking for sixty years since the Red Scare.

To bring things back around, recall my comment about my atheist friends and I sitting around having beers and laughs. This is a good picture for you to hold in your mind's eye when you think of me, or any other atheist. This is what we want. We don't like being angry any more than women who'd like to be paid more. I'm sure all the angry feminists would rather things were better for women so they wouldn't have to be angry anymore. It's the same with atheists. If we were a bit less hated, vilified, and marginalized, it would be a lot easier for us to be in the presence of theists and not get angry.

Why are atheists so angry? Because things could be better, and we don't like being marginalized.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

zarathustra's picture

It works as a very simple

It works as a very simple refutation: 

Atheists are angry; therefore god exists. 

BGH's picture

I love it as much as the

I love it as much as the first time I read it. I am glad you posted it here Hamby.

 

Sapient's picture

Hambydammit wrote: Why

Hambydammit wrote:
Why are atheists so angry? Because things could be better, and we don't like being marginalized.

 

A man brotha, A MAN!

Great piece. 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.

Hambydammit's picture

This piece is essentially

This piece is essentially my personal mission statement.  I have been routinely bumping it every couple of months so new members, and particularly new theists, can see it.

I am moving some of my better essays to book pages, so that maybe one day I'll have enough to call it a Compilation of Works by Hambydammit.

We'll see how prolific I am.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

"Compliation of Works by

"Compliation of Works by Hambydammit" - if that was a book, I'd buy it.

Great post 

mavaddat's picture

Thank you for this.

Thank you for this. Well-written, relevant, and poignant.

Hambydammit's picture

Bump. It's my opinion that

Bump.

It's my opinion that this essay is never anything less than intensely relevant.  I'm not ashamed of self-promotion.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Girl Dancing In Orbit's picture

zarathustra wrote: It

zarathustra wrote:

It works as a very simple refutation:

Atheists are angry; therefore god exists.

This is, by far, the best ontological argument I ever eared for God's existence. 

lol 

Si Dieu existe, c'est Son problème !
If God exists, it's His problem !--Graffiti on the walls of the Sorbonne (France), May 1968
romancedlife.blogspot.com

      this comes to

      this comes to mind,

 Mandela liked it, and quoted it , me too ....  

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!!

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure!
It is our Light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.

There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us. It's in everyone.
And as we let our own Light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fears,
Our presence automatically liberates others."

-- Marianne Williamson
(in her book "A Return to Love" )

, ever hang out with Alice Walker ?  Another great girl ?

wrote "color purple" , letters to god ! ?

Girls rock,  

bible paul was a talented retard  

who wrote a good one about LOVE 

go figure/ ?

here it is ---

 

PAUL : "If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything but didn't love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear. Now we know only a little, and even the gift of prophecy reveals little! But when the end comes, these special gifts will all disappear.

It's like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.

There are three things that will endure - faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love."

chapter 13

Paul's First Letter

to the Corinthians

?  

.... mad men can say great things too

and change their minds ....

can you ?

paul and jesus ?

me / you / god

a buddha too !

hambydammit, why is it ok

hambydammit, why is it ok for you to get upset at being lump summed(spelled right?) but ok for athiests to do it to Christians. Its wrong either way.

Hambydammit's picture

Quote: hambydammit, why is

Quote:
hambydammit, why is it ok for you to get upset at being lump summed(spelled right?) but ok for athiests to do it to Christians. Its wrong either way.

Huh?

Are we reading the same essay?  Seriously, what are you talking about?  I have no idea what the question is.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Brian37's picture

seen too much

seen too much wrote:
hambydammit, why is it ok for you to get upset at being lump summed(spelled right?) but ok for athiests to do it to Christians. Its wrong either way.

This statement makes atheists angrey as it would if you replaced the word atheist with "Christian", it would make Christians angrey.

Disliking what religion does to politics. Disliking the violence done in the name of religion. Disliking hocus pocus claims that dumb down society and attempt to make science class into science fiction class, is NOT the same as saying, "I hate all Chrisitans".

I DONT hate all Christians and I am sure not all Christians hate all atheists. But this statement assumes that WE cant make that distinction which is patently false and a stereotype in and of itself and that DOES make me angrey. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

beliversrule's picture

HAHA They are angry because

HAHA They are angry because they know they are wrong and the only way they think they can get their point across is by brute force.

God Bless your souls!!

And we have no evidence whatsoever that the soul perishes with the body---------Mahatma Gandhi

Hambydammit's picture

Quote: HAHA They are angry

Quote:

HAHA They are angry because they know they are wrong and the only way they think they can get their point across is by brute force.

God Bless your souls!!

HAHA you mean like... um... I should believe so I don't burn in hell.

That's the kind of brute force you're talking about, I think.

Seriously, beliver... by the way, is that like, I Be Living Because I Not Be Dying?... anyway... Seriously, do you really believe that atheists know there's a god, and that they're going to hell, and they're doing that on purpose?  You must think us all completely insane, for only a completely insane person would knowingly go to hell. 

So, which is it?  Do you think that everyone who's not a Christian is insane, or do  you think that maybe we don't "know we're wrong."

If every atheist is insane, how could god then judge us for our insanity?  If we can't see reality clearly, how could we possibly be sent to hell, when we couldn't even understand the choice properly? 

So, if you're right, and we do know we're going to hell, then God is still an asshole for making us insane and still sending us to hell.  If you're wrong, then gee whiz... You're wrong.

Thanks for playing.   

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Hambydammit's picture

Ok... I have another

Ok... I have another theory... beliver is like... I Not Be Colon, I Be Liver.  Livers are much cooler than colons.  Livers rule.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

beliversrule's picture

HAHA funny.  Your right! 

HAHA funny.  Your right!  I think livers are cooler than colons and I had my colon removed 4 years ago!!

But on the serious side of the name, as if it really matters, it was a complete accident that I spelled it that way.  When I tried to log on I could not figure out why it was not working until I checked my email and realized that I had spelled it wrong. 

And yes, if your insane I think your going to heaven because well, your insane and can't be blamed for your non belief.  And no it's not God's fault your insane it's, well, most likely a combination of your enviroment and plain bad freakin luck. Maybe someone didn't take enough prenatal vitamins?

Bye now. I have to go to a basketball game and have some fun! 

Take care and God Bless ya.

And we have no evidence whatsoever that the soul perishes with the body---------Mahatma Gandhi

Hambydammit's picture

I just felt a surge of

I just felt a surge of warmth in my chest after reading that God has blessed me.  On further reflection, I think it was the orange blossom mate tea that I swallowed immediately before reading.

But on the serious side of the discussion, I'm glad you think that if I'm insane I'm not going to hell.  You didn't exactly answer my question, though.  Do you think all atheists are insane, or do you want to recant your statement that atheists know they're wrong.

Oh, and since we're talking about spelling and grammar, the word "your" is an adjective denoting possession, as in "your ability to spell."  "You're" is a contraction, short for "you are," as in "if you're insane, god won't send you to hell."

Not a huge deal, but like it or not, people take you more seriously when you use good grammar.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

  No edit button in this

  No edit button in this thread ???

my post above would better read,

'beautiful words from the angry, the abused, the rebellious and chauvinist Paul'

-- This is worth reading ,  

'Good Medicine For This World'

Buddhist's, Pema Chödrön and novelist Alice Walker on meditation .....

http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1929

Pema Chödrön: "It’s seeing that the cause of someone’s aggression is their suffering. And you could also realize that your aggression is not going to help anything.

So you’re standing there, you are being provoked, you are feeling aggression, and what do you do? That’s when tonglen [meditation] becomes very helpful. You breathe in and connect with your own aggression with a lot of honesty. You have such a strong recognition in that moment of all the oppressed people who are provoked and feeling like you do. If you just keep doing that, something different might come out of your mouth.

Alice Walker: And war will not be what comes out."

~~~

Google Rebellious Quotes ....

"In order for the artist to have a world to express he must first be situated in this world, oppressed or oppressing, resigned or rebellious, a man among men." Charles Baudelaire


  "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." Albert Camus

"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde

"A little rebellion now and then... is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government." Thomas Jefferson

 ~ ALL RRS Author Hambydammit essays are  super .....

  

Great read. Finally got

Great read. Finally got around to reading it.

It makes me furious.

beliversrule's picture

Oh for God's sake do you

Oh for God's sake do you people really have to pick everything apart and find simple english mistakes in order to mess with someone?

I have never been to any site that was so on the attack.  But you never say anything to another non believer.  You gang up like school children.  If you want to teach english get a job doing so.  Schools will have no problem with you if God isn't in your life.  They will be thrilled. 

I have spent my time in school and don't need correction by any of you.  My BA in business administration, Associate in Nursing and minor in accounting are all the higher education I need for now, thanks.   

You can use all the "big words" you want but it won't make any of you any smarter.  Common sense is what you need a lot more of.

  Anyone with any bit of brains should know that we were created and didn't evolve from cellular pond life.  So insane could be a good word.  If you think people who pray to God are insane then what do you expect? 

 Keep drinking orange drinks, the aroma will lift your mood. 

God Bless.

And we have no evidence whatsoever that the soul perishes with the body---------Mahatma Gandhi

I don't know how we came to

I don't know how we came to be.  At least I'm big enough to admit that.  You have no reason other than blind faith to believe what you believe. That is the big difference here.

You are not strong minded enough to admit that you simply don't know, and you need a story to fill in the gaps of things you don't understand.   I am confident enough in myself to admit that I don't know and maybe someday I'll look further into the various theories outside of religion, but religion does not provide facts it only provides stories.

Hambydammit's picture

Quote:

Quote:
Oh for God's sake do you people really have to pick everything apart and find simple english mistakes in order to mess with someone?

Nope. In fact, I rarely do. You can see that for yourself if you dig around a bit. In your case, it seemed appropriate.

Quote:
I have never been to any site that was so on the attack. But you never say anything to another non believer. You gang up like school children. If you want to teach english get a job doing so. Schools will have no problem with you if God isn't in your life. They will be thrilled.

We take the debate to the level of the opponent. Again, if you dig into some of the more extended debates, I think you'll find that we're quite capable of engaging opponents in a very austere manner.

I have taught in schools. Unfortunately, my atheism did matter.

Quote:
I have spent my time in school and don't need correction by any of you. My BA in business administration, Associate in Nursing and minor in accounting are all the higher education I need for now, thanks.

Good for you. Please apply some of your critical thinking skills to your belief in god. You'll be surprised.

Quote:
You can use all the "big words" you want but it won't make any of you any smarter. Common sense is what you need a lot more of.

Oh, the irony.

Quote:
Anyone with any bit of brains should know that we were created and didn't evolve from cellular pond life. So insane could be a good word. If you think people who pray to God are insane then what do you expect?

Says the person who can't even explain the fundamental principles of evolution.

Or can you?

Quote:
Keep drinking orange drinks, the aroma will lift your mood.

I'm glad I at least got your dander up a bit. That condescending HAHA attitude was getting on my nerves. At least you're expressing something a little more genuine now.

Actually, my mood is pretty wonderful. My girlfriend and I laughed heartily at your posts and then watched a movie. I've had a great night's sleep, and now you've amused me again.

Thanks.

Bless yourself.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

beliversrule's picture

Good for you! We had a

Good for you!

We had a great night also.  Our basketball team won the game and I sleep fantastic.  But, woke with a sore throat.  I guess I need some nice tea.

I am done in this topic, but will continue to pray for  you. 

Bless you and your girlfriend.

 

 

And we have no evidence whatsoever that the soul perishes with the body---------Mahatma Gandhi

I will read the phone book

I will read the phone book for you.  It's just as effective, yet has more information.

Vessel's picture

Anyone notice the poorly

Anyone notice the poorly concealed anger in Beliversrule's passive-agressive posts? Why are theists so angry?

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins

Vessel wrote: Anyone notice

Vessel wrote:
Anyone notice the poorly concealed anger in Beliversrule's passive-agressive posts? Why are theists so angry?

 Everything you have been taught and invested your life into has been a lie and utter bullshit.  Wouldn't you be angry?  

Hambydammit's picture

Quote: Anyone notice the

Quote:
Anyone notice the poorly concealed anger in Beliversrule's passive-agressive posts? Why are theists so angry?

Give the man a cigar!

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Vessel's picture

Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
Anyone notice the poorly concealed anger in Beliversrule's passive-agressive posts? Why are theists so angry?

Give the man a cigar!

 

Bolivar Churchills, please. 

 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins

beliversrule's picture

Your funny vessel.  Boobs

Your funny vessel.  Boobs and all.

 Did any of you see the interview of Laura Ingraham and Brian Sapient?  Yes, I know, if you saw it she was a big old bully.  She rocked! 

And we have no evidence whatsoever that the soul perishes with the body---------Mahatma Gandhi

ProzacDeathWish's picture

As an atheist I only become

As an atheist I only become angry when my psych meds wear off and then realize that I am still living in this fucked up world that God supposedly made.

Other than that, I'm as happy as lark. 

EXC's picture

You'd have to be an immoral

You'd have to be an immoral psychopath to not be angry about con artists(aka pastors) taking advantage of the most vulnerable people in society, especially women and children.

 Why not be angry if you were told lie after lie as a child because my mother believed I'd go to hell if she didn't support the church.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

A different thread just for kicks. (new site member)

I don't know what denomination of Atheism I belong to, but in addition to science I also believe in magick cuz I think there might still be a couple things we don't know out past the first 4 dimensions. I'm not blaming/giving credit to any deity for this. I just like to think it's there. Anyway, yeah I'm angry that religions of any kind can gather a major chunk of the population and even go so far as to rewrite history and say that our Deist forefathers founded this country on Christianity and then proceed to govern us using rules laid out in their particular book of beliefs. My own Christian father strongly believes that humans wouldn't know the difference between right and wrong without the bible spelling it out for us with all that genocide, patricide, fratercide, incest, superstition etc....

I think it's pretty clear that anyone and everyone should be angry that this country is being taken over by somebody else's invisible friend even if he has the same job description (read "god&quotEye-wink as your own. 

"A native tribesman asked a missionary if he still would have gone to hell if the missionary had never told him about God, the Bible and Hell.

The missionary replies, "No, God wouldn't punish those who are still ignorant of him and sin, only those who know of him and still sin."

The tribesman replies, "Then why the **** did you tell me about him!" "

Hambydammit's picture

Quote: I don't know what

Quote:
I don't know what denomination of Atheism I belong to

I've never heard of a denomination of atheism.  I think you must be thinking of something else.

Quote:
but in addition to science I also believe in magick cuz I think there might still be a couple things we don't know out past the first 4 dimensions.

Science and math have described many more than 4 dimensions.  Education is your friend.

 

Quote:
I'm not blaming/giving credit to any deity for this. I just like to think it's there.

I prefer to actually know about the things I believe.

 

Quote:
Anyway, yeah I'm angry that religions of any kind can gather a major chunk of the population and even go so far as to rewrite history and say that our Deist forefathers founded this country on Christianity and then proceed to govern us using rules laid out in their particular book of beliefs.

Here, we agree totally.

 

Quote:
My own Christian father strongly believes that humans wouldn't know the difference between right and wrong without the bible spelling it out for us with all that genocide, patricide, fratercide, incest, superstition etc....

People like that are either dishonest, ignorant, or really, really, really scary.

 

Quote:
I think it's pretty clear that anyone and everyone should be angry that this country is being taken over by somebody else's invisible friend even if he has the same job description (read "god"Eye-wink as your own.

True.  Any invisible friend running a government is scary.

 

Quote:

"A native tribesman asked a missionary if he still would have gone to hell if the missionary had never told him about God, the Bible and Hell.

The missionary replies, "No, God wouldn't punish those who are still ignorant of him and sin, only those who know of him and still sin."

The tribesman replies, "Then why the **** did you tell me about him!" "

Not sure what it has to do with the topic, but it's a good story.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Quote: I don't know what


Quote:
I don't know what denomination of Atheism I belong to

Hambydammit wrote:
I've never heard of a denomination of atheism. I think you must be thinking of something else.

That line was actually meant to be a joke. I'm guessing it didn't translate that way as text. I promise I'm not that stupid.

Quote:
but in addition to science I also believe in magick because I think there might still be a couple things we don't know out past the first 4 dimensions.

Hambydammit wrote:
Science and math have described many more than 4 dimensions. Education is your friend.

I wasn't talking about the existence of the other dimensions. Yes the equations clearly imply that they do exist. Just that we haven't the foggiest clue what laws govern them. I'm certain for instance that gravity has nearly zero effect on time as compared to the first 3 dimensions. Likewise, it's unlikely that time has much effect on whatever the 5th dimension is and so on. I've been a pagan for a long long time. I just never could get my mind around the idea of a god or gods. The other things like magick seem to be more in line of a natural law we haven't developed a way to measure yet and that difference of dimension would be a good reason for this I think.

Quote:
I'm not blaming/giving credit to any deity for this. I just like to think it's there.

Hambydammit wrote:
I prefer to actually know about the things I believe.

See above response for an excuse for not really knowing at this time.

Quote:

"A native tribesman asked a missionary if he still would have gone to hell if the missionary had never told him about God, the Bible and Hell.

The missionary replies, "No, God wouldn't punish those who are still ignorant of him and sin, only those who know of him and still sin."

The tribesman replies, "Then why the **** did you tell me about him!" "

Hambydammit wrote:
Not sure what it has to do with the topic, but it's a good story.

Me either I've just always found it funny. I hoped others would too.

Hambydammit's picture

Quote: See above response

Quote:
See above response for an excuse for not really knowing at this time.

Forgive me for not being sympathetic (in fact, if you want, you can do a search and find a few places where I say that the only people who get their panties in a bunch worse than Christians are pagans, when you tell them their beliefs are irrational), but I don't see any difference between your belief and theists.

You believe in some mystery magical force that we can't explain that does things that we don't know, in ways we can't describe, or something, right?

Great.  You don't call it god, but essentially, you believe that you ought to believe stuff even though there's no evidence for it.  That's maybe not exactly theism, but it's what leads people to buy maxi pads for the bottoms of their feet and holistic bottles of water.  I don't see the benefit of any of it, and I certainly see the harm.

If I misstate your beliefs, please clarify for me, because I'm going from what the pagans I've known have told me.

In any case, why not just believe what you can know to be reasonably, rationally certain?  Are you afraid of something?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Hambydammit's picture

Actually, before you

Actually, before you respond, please read this short essay I wrote quite a while back...

Will Moderates Please Get Pissed? Please?

Forgive me for not specifying all specific woo-woo beliefs, but paganism is part of spiritualism for the purpose of my essay.  Any belief that asserts there are things that are true despite a complete lack of evidence, etc, and that it is somehow concerned or relevant to humans specifically -- that is spiritualism in this context only.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

I see your point. I did

I see your point. I did read your other essay. I can see how irrational belief is harmful in its inaction. I do believe in support by evidence as well, and thus in science and the things we've learned thereby. I don't think I'm afraid of anything, but it's not impossible. Your connection with paganism as spiriituality is accurate. I take no exception to that and I know many people like that myself. I have been trying to describe magick as something scientific, but without a lot more education and possibly a transdimensional portal of some kind, yeah, I can't prove it and wouldn't try. I only hold onto the belief because of personal experiences, but admittedly they could be me fooling myself.

The only thing I can add is that I think the 5th dimension is likely probability itself as a measure of different locations in time just as time allows us to measure different places in the spatial dimensions. I am not a mathmatician so this probably sounds very dumbed down. The only definition of magick I agree with is that it is the manipulation of coincidence in accordance with will. A lot of pagans will go on about "energy" of an unspecified nature and that sort of thing, but that doesn't fit the definition and I don't agree with it. If the definition I use is accurate however, it does follow the idea of probability and as it is manifested as coincidence it is impossible to show evidence for it with current understanding. I think the only way to do so is to have access to time travel or probability travel if such a thing is even possible outside of a science fiction novel.

Ok, so all that being said. I don't see the connection of this belief with theism in any way. Unless I'm considering myself a god for being able to control probability, which I don't. I wouldn't even say I control it, only that I might see the other possible outcomes and choose one before it arrives. That is more like a good chess player than a god, hehe. I don't see everything as some kind of grand design governed by the will of any one being or even a great number of them. I only see that every fraction of a moment branches off to other possible outcomes and we can only hope to take the right path to get where we are heading. If even that belief qualifies me as a theist then I can make no further arguement against it at this time for a lack of even that idea seems to me to be hopelessness and a feeling of drifting in the universe completely without any measure of control. That may be what I'm afraid of, that even making some kind of choice has no chance of changing my direction.

By the way, I am thoroughly enjoying this discussion, please rebut. 

Hambydammit's picture

Quote: By the way, I am

Quote:
By the way, I am thoroughly enjoying this discussion, please rebut.

Good.  Me too.

Quote:
I can see how irrational belief is harmful in its inaction. I do believe in support by evidence as well, and thus in science and the things we've learned thereby.

Fine, but I smell a "but" coming.

Quote:
I don't think I'm afraid of anything, but it's not impossible.

A fair answer.

 

Quote:
I have been trying to describe magick as something scientific, but without a lot more education and possibly a transdimensional portal of some kind, yeah, I can't prove it and wouldn't try. I only hold onto the belief because of personal experiences, but admittedly they could be me fooling myself.

Here it is.  A lot of people try to take something quasi-spiritual and make it into science, usually with the caveat, "I don't know much about science."  The thing is, science isn't like raquetball or ping pong.  It's not like somebody can teach you a couple of rules and then you know everything you need.  Yeah, the scientific method is simple enough, but when you're talking about higher math and extra dimensions, you're talking about needing at least the equivalent of a graduate degree before you can begin to know what you're talking about.  (I'm not saying degrees are everything.  You could certainly become an autodidact, although it's a lot tougher.)

The point is, you're basing an entire belief system on something that is:

1) Spiritual

2) pseudo-scientific

3) unfalsifiable

and

4) ultimately indefinable.

 

Quote:
The only definition of magick I agree with is that it is the manipulation of coincidence in accordance with will. A lot of pagans will go on about "energy" of an unspecified nature and that sort of thing, but that doesn't fit the definition and I don't agree with it.

You remember the part in my essay where I said that moderates choose whatever level of irrationality they're comfortable with?  That's what you're doing.  You think the other pagans go to far with the energy woo-woo, but your woo-woo about manipulating coincidence, that's acceptable because you believe it.

You see?  You're no different than them.  You just choose a slightly watered down version of woo-woo.  It's not different in kind from a Christian who says, "Yeah, I know the whole stoning of witches and gays is bad, but Jesus still died for your sins."

 

Quote:
If the definition I use is accurate however, it does follow the idea of probability and as it is manifested as coincidence it is impossible to show evidence for it with current understanding.

Long way around your ass to get to your elbow and say that you have no good reason to believe it.  Logic doesn't work for your system because it isn't logical, yet you choose to believe there's some mystical magical undiscovered system -- which, conveniently, can't be known -- which gets you off of the hook for demonstrating rationality.

 

Quote:
I think the only way to do so is to have access to time travel or probability travel if such a thing is even possible outside of a science fiction novel.

If you ask me, ditching the whole magick thing and writing sci-fi would be a better use of your time.  Just a thought.  Why cast spells and shit when you could just write a good book and sell it through hard work and making the right connections?  

 

Quote:
Ok, so all that being said. I don't see the connection of this belief with theism in any way.

I think I've explained it well enough, but just to be thorough, your belief uses science words, but it's not scientific.  It's unfalsifiable and (so far) immune from the rational part of your brain that tells you it's a bad idea to trust people who sell snake oil.

 

Quote:
I only see that every fraction of a moment branches off to other possible outcomes and we can only hope to take the right path to get where we are heading.

This does not sound like theism, but believing you can do something extra-logical to change the pathways, that would be very much like theism.  Strictly speaking, of course, if you don't believe in a god, you're not a theist.  Believe it or not, you're an atheist.  However, that doesn't make you immune from irrational theism-like beliefs, such as magick.

Quote:
even that idea seems to me to be hopelessness and a feeling of drifting in the universe completely without any measure of control. That may be what I'm afraid of, that even making some kind of choice has no chance of changing my direction.

Doctor, thou hast diagnosed thine own self.

I'm not going to tell you that it's fun coming to the realization that you're completely at the mercy of natural laws, and that you don't have any special place in the universe, but once you wrap your brain around it, it's really not that bad, and it doesn't lead to nihilism or fatalism.  Of course, you can go there if you want, but if you knew me in real life, you'd probably be shocked at how much control I wield over my little corner of the world -- not through magick, but good ol' knowledge, science, and no small dose of psychology.   I'm not saying that you can have anything you want, but you have more control than you think, most likely.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Ok, very fair assessment.

I'm slowly coming around to your point of view I think. Ok, so I'm believing irrationally for the moment. The time may come that we develope a measurement method to test the realm of probability outside of just guessing at what would happen if such and such stimulus were to occur. That may be chaos theory, I don't know. Still, though that comes close to the idea it's not really a measurement so no proof there. I'm totally in agreement that I'm still irrational here. I'm not sure how one would go about measuring or even learning how to measure and test beyond our immediate dimensional awareness without some idea "belief" about what to look for.  At this point it's pointless to call any of this "magick" so I won't. I would imagine it's difficult for a hypothetical 2 dimensional being to really understand what up or down is. They might have some mystical belief that another 2d universe is nearly coexistent but slightly "off" from their own. They couldn't prove this other universe as it would require a way to measure a dimension beyond the one they can access.  We have a similar issue here. Regardless of what the 5th dimension is, and probability is still the most likely as a way to contain "slices" of time, we don't have the means to measure it without a shift of some kind. So without proof it isn't science. If it isn't science, but it still exists beyond our current ability to measure then it's just an idea for all intents and purposes. So suffice to say, I believe I know what another dimension consists of and that's about all I can do is believe I know it.

  "Why are all atheists so

  "Why are all atheists so angry?"

.... Same reason the atheist Jesus story character was angry ....

EXC wrote,  "You'd have to be an immoral psychopath to not be angry about con artists..."

Yup, and in jesus place and time they'd fine or even kill ya for not supporting the church masters.

Crazy old Jews, Buddha was more fortunate .... poor angry atheist Jesus Cry 

Hambydammit's picture

Quote: I'm slowly coming

Quote:
I'm slowly coming around to your point of view I think.

Indoctrination runs deep, and even if you're not coming from a Christian family, the whole damn society is inculcated with the idea that faith is a virtue.  It takes a while to shake this.

Quote:
I would imagine it's difficult for a hypothetical 2 dimensional being to really understand what up or down is. 

I've never quite understood why people get so damned excited about the idea of multi-dimensional beings.  Too much Star Trek TNG, if you ask me.  Life is an organic process by definition.  It requires three dimensional existence, and matter, and energy, so you're making a category error in even suggesting a two dimensional 'being.'

Analogies are good ways of illustrating principles, but they are not definitions or explanations.  You can make an analogy to facilitate understanding of an obscure concept, but you must first be able to positively describe the concept without analogy.

Until you can do that, all you're doing is unscientific pseudo-philosophy.

 

Quote:
So without proof it isn't science. If it isn't science, but it still exists beyond our current ability to measure then it's just an idea for all intents and purposes.

Where people often make a grave mistake is in assigning an idea a probability even though it is admittedly unscientific and undefined.  If you assign this a probability, you must also assign an equal probability to literally every conceivable idea that could explain the same thing.  In other words, a virtually infinite number of ideas.  If you do that, you'll see that there is still no reason to actively believe in it.

 

Quote:
So suffice to say, I believe I know what another dimension consists of and that's about all I can do is believe I know it.

And, no offense, anyone with a penchant for rational thinking has no rational option but to dismiss your theory out of hand and completely disregard it.

I understand where you're coming from, and believe me, I understand how seductive this kind of thinking is.  I was a believer in some kind of pseudo-spirituality-quantum-thingy for a while after I abandoned theism.  I'm glad you're entertaining the idea that you might be irrational.  That's the biggest step.  If you keep answering questions as honestly as possible, you'll figure it out.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

skepticchick's picture

well written

well written

Probably very late...

New member here, but I just had a comment. After reading this ignorant theists replies so many times and being subjected to that ridiculous "Mahatma" Gandhi quote, I would like to counter quote it.

 

And we have no evidence whatsoever that the soul perishes with the body---------Mahatma Gandhi

 

And we have no evidence whatsoever for the existence of something called a "soul".

 

Just the fact that people revere "holy" people like Gandhi and Mother Teresa sickens me. Gandhi was a xenophobe who liked to give enemas to young girls. Mother Teresa was a sadist who put people through immeasurable suffering because she had a sick world view that suffering made people holy.

 

How insane does our society have to be to venerate these kinds of people simply because they had "faith".

 

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

razorphreak's picture

Interesting piece hamby.  I

Interesting piece hamby.  I have to admit, I understand it 100%.  I don't deny that SOME theists give cause to make any person of different belief (or non-belief if you prefer) to be very angry.  The question, "why are atheists so angry," was answered with this:

Hambydammit wrote:
If we were a bit less hated, vilified, and marginalized, it would be a lot easier for us to be in the presence of theists and not get angry.

If you changed "theists" to "atheists" and had it from the point of view of a theist surrounded by angry atheists, would you say that the theist had a right to be angry as well?

I ask that because of one lingering thought after reading your summation; anger will only bring about more anger.  Throughout history that has been proven time and time again.  It's being proven right now in the Middle East with Jews and Palestinians hating each other because they exist, in Iraq because two groups won't agree, in Tibet, and so on.  Hate and anger solve nothing and continue to only bring more of that which you don't want.

I know you don't like the bible nor subscribe to Christian beliefs, and more so I'm not sure if the point I'm trying to make is lost or simply foreign, but something from Romans should make sense:

Romans 12:20-21 - If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Being more "Christian" to Christians who persecute or discriminate may leave more of a message than words or actions of anger.  In fact, I'd wager it would prove your point even more so and bring about the change that is needed.

I suppose my question really is not why are you or other atheists angry, why do you lower yourselves to a level of hate and anger when you could be better than those who have already proven themselves to be hypocrites?

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire

zarathustra's picture

razorphreak wrote:Romans

razorphreak wrote:

Romans 12:20-21 - If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Being more "Christian" to Christians who persecute or discriminate may leave more of a message than words or actions of anger.  In fact, I'd wager it would prove your point even more so and bring about the change that is needed.

If your enemy supports intelligent design, help him get it taught in schools.  If your enemy opposes stem-cell research, help him block its funding.  If your enemy doesn't believe in the separation of church and state, help him rewrite the constitution.

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††

razorphreak's picture

zarathustra wrote:If your

zarathustra wrote:
If your enemy supports intelligent design, help him get it taught in schools.  If your enemy opposes stem-cell research, help him block its funding.  If your enemy doesn't believe in the separation of church and state, help him rewrite the constitution.

I was being sincere.  Shame you misunderstood and twisted my meaning into something, well, frankly, ridiculous.

 

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire

Hambydammit's picture

Quote:If you changed

Quote:
If you changed "theists" to "atheists" and had it from the point of view of a theist surrounded by angry atheists, would you say that the theist had a right to be angry as well?

Um... if atheists were the vast (5:1) majority, and everyone in congress was an atheist, then the theists wouldn't be making this country into a theocracy, and atheists wouldn't be angry at them.  Didn't you get that?  It's the whole point of the essay.  We're angry not because they're theists, but because of what they do to us and this country and their own children and our children.

But, for the sake of discussion, if roles were completely reversed, and say, an atheist majority was trying to ban theists from wearing religious symbols or something, I would say the theists would have every right to be angry.

Quote:
I ask that because of one lingering thought after reading your summation; anger will only bring about more anger.

Did you really read my essay?  Did you completely miss the point that just about every minority that's ever made any gain for themselves had to get angry enough to get something done? 

Quote:
It's being proven right now in the Middle East with Jews and Palestinians hating each other because they exist, in Iraq because two groups won't agree, in Tibet, and so on.  Hate and anger solve nothing and continue to only bring more of that which you don't want.

I'd say it's no small point that all of these examples are religious groups who believe they have the one, inerrant, undeniable truth.  Incidentally, have you noticed that in the most secular countries in the world, these kinds of conflicts simply don't exist?

Quote:
I suppose my question really is not why are you or other atheists angry, why do you lower yourselves to a level of hate and anger when you could be better than those who have already proven themselves to be hypocrites?

Because theists insist on slandering us and demonizing us and saying things like, "It's dangerous for children to know that your philosophy exists!"  They insist that we are full of hate.  They tell the media that we are like terrorists because we're full of hate.  Hate is not the same as anger, yet they make them out to be the same, as you have done.  They insist that instead of doing something about the discrimination, we sit back and be nice to them.  They characterize our justifiable anger as some kind of unrealistic hatred of their god.  They tell us that unlike any other oppressed minority in history, we can achieve our goals by not doing anything.  They are afraid of us.  They think we're horrible people.  They take their children out of our classes.  They threaten us with violence.  After they threaten us with violence, they tell us that we're worse than them because our words are very angry.

We do not lower ourselves.  We have enough dignity to finally say that we will not be rolled over anymore.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

razorphreak's picture

Hambydammit wrote:Quote:I

Hambydammit wrote:
Quote:
I ask that because of one lingering thought after reading your summation; anger will only bring about more anger.

Did you really read my essay?  Did you completely miss the point that just about every minority that's ever made any gain for themselves had to get angry enough to get something done?

Every minority group that has done and continues to do for results does not use anger for the sake of being angry.  A good example of that difference would be between MLK and Malcom X.  Each fought for the rights that should be afforded to them but their delivery, their approach, was obviously very different.  Today, MLK's legacy is obvious. 

Susan B. Anthony is well known for making her point without going to anger or hate but by action to prove a point.  Her actions of using the 14th amendment as reason to vote led to the 19th.  Her frustrations moved her to expose the issue of women's rights (as well as other ethnic issues) and actually created results.

Hambydammit wrote:
I'd say it's no small point that all of these examples are religious groups who believe they have the one, inerrant, undeniable truth.  Incidentally, have you noticed that in the most secular countries in the world, these kinds of conflicts simply don't exist?

I kinda thought you'd use that reasoning.  Exposing their hypocrisy to their own beliefs was the point I was trying to make...

Hambydammit wrote:
Quote:
I suppose my question really is not why are you or other atheists angry, why do you lower yourselves to a level of hate and anger when you could be better than those who have already proven themselves to be hypocrites?

Because theists insist on slandering us and demonizing us and saying things like, "It's dangerous for children to know that your philosophy exists!"  They insist that we are full of hate.  They tell the media that we are like terrorists because we're full of hate.  Hate is not the same as anger, yet they make them out to be the same, as you have done.  They insist that instead of doing something about the discrimination, we sit back and be nice to them.  They characterize our justifiable anger as some kind of unrealistic hatred of their god.  They tell us that unlike any other oppressed minority in history, we can achieve our goals by not doing anything.  They are afraid of us.  They think we're horrible people.  They take their children out of our classes.  They threaten us with violence.  After they threaten us with violence, they tell us that we're worse than them because our words are very angry.

We do not lower ourselves.  We have enough dignity to finally say that we will not be rolled over anymore.

Keep in mind I never said you shouldn't do anything.  It's the approach, the delivery method, that I question.  I'm not blind to the fact that there are theists who would like nothing better than to make your life hell because they believe it's their duty to God to do so.  They expose the very hypocrisy I was talking about before by using hate in the name of God.  I fully support the notion that this should stop immediately, if not sooner, by every theist alive today. 

The reason I said "lower yourselves" is because of the stereotyping against theists.  It's not according to individuals but to the group, saying ALL theists slander, ALL theists demonize, ALL theists discriminate. 

As a minority myself by decent, I don't like hearing things that everyone who is of my ethic background has this shortcoming or that tendency.  I've worked very hard to be better than that, to show others that I am not some statistic.  Yes, there are those who will never see me as anything but that stereotype and there isn't much I can do about it.  But I won't waste my energy, get all filled with hate, all thanks to morons who don't know me or know any better. I show why I should be afforded respect; I don't demand it by belittling others in the process.  That is by far the single largest issue I have and the one issue I don't understand when reading words such as what you wrote.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire

Hambydammit's picture

Quote:Every minority group

Quote:
Every minority group that has done and continues to do for results does not use anger for the sake of being angry.  A good example of that difference would be between MLK and Malcom X.  Each fought for the rights that should be afforded to them but their delivery, their approach, was obviously very different.  Today, MLK's legacy is obvious.

Don't be a twit.  Everything in my essay points to justified anger... anger for a purpose.  Did I not make the blatant point that I'd like things to be better so I don't have to be angry?

Quote:
Susan B. Anthony is well known for making her point without going to anger or hate but by action to prove a point.  Her actions of using the 14th amendment as reason to vote led to the 19th.  Her frustrations moved her to expose the issue of women's rights (as well as other ethnic issues) and actually created results.

You mean, Susan B. Anthony, who had the entire suffragette movement (angry women) behind her?  Have you noticed that Anthony's writing was blatant, to the point, and did not try to save anyone's feelings?  Sound like anyone else you know?

Quote:
Keep in mind I never said you shouldn't do anything.  It's the approach, the delivery method, that I question.

Well, I'm damn sorry you're upset that I'm angry.

Quote:
I fully support the notion that this should stop immediately, if not sooner, by every theist alive today.

Thank you for your support.  Would you mind doing something active to help?  Maybe passing out fliers in churches about how atheists are actually really good people, and they ought not tell us we hate them or their god?  You could help spread the word that atheists have the lowest divorce rate in America, lowest prison population, arguably the lowest abortion rates, and that all we want theists to do is be held to the same standards as everyone else?

It would really help our cause if some theists helped us bridge the gap by being advocates for our cause.  Right now, all we get is hate.

Quote:
The reason I said "lower yourselves" is because of the stereotyping against theists.  It's not according to individuals but to the group, saying ALL theists slander, ALL theists demonize, ALL theists discriminate.

I defy you to find anywhere on this site that I've said that all theists slander, all theists demonize, or all theists discriminate.  Don't put words in my mouth just to make you feel good about your opinion.

Quote:
As a minority myself by decent, I don't like hearing things that everyone who is of my ethic background has this shortcoming or that tendency.

Well you shouldn't.  I can't think of a physical or mental shortcoming that is common to every member of any ethnic group.  Such a statement would be blatantly false.  However, it is a necessary truth that all theists believe in something irrational.  That is not slander.  It's logical truth.  Your analogy is not valid.

Quote:
Yes, there are those who will never see me as anything but that stereotype and there isn't much I can do about it.  But I won't waste my energy, get all filled with hate, all thanks to morons who don't know me or know any better. I show why I should be afforded respect; I don't demand it by belittling others in the process.  That is by far the single largest issue I have and the one issue I don't understand when reading words such as what you wrote.

You have fit the stereotype in every discussion we've had.  You ignore everything you don't agree with and continue to assert your beliefs without refuting objections.  Even in this discussion, you've clearly demonstrated by your objections that you have not accepted the meaning of the words I wrote, instead inserting your own prejudices about what atheists *really* think.  Razor, I don't hate theists.  I'm not filled with hate.  I can't think of anybody besides George W. Bush that I can work up a good hate for.  I feel pity for theists.  I try to help them.  You don't have to like my methods or agree with them.  You also don't have the right to tell me I don't have the right to be angry.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

razorphreak's picture

Hambydammit wrote:Everything

Hambydammit wrote:
Everything in my essay points to justified anger... anger for a purpose.  Did I not make the blatant point that I'd like things to be better so I don't have to be angry?

Didn't know there was such a thing as "justified anger."  Maybe if it was "justified opposition to position xyz that some from abc group hold to" it would make more sense.  Instead, it's full blown us vs. them without exception.

Hambydammit wrote:
You mean, Susan B. Anthony, who had the entire suffragette movement (angry women) behind her?  Have you noticed that Anthony's writing was blatant, to the point, and did not try to save anyone's feelings?  Sound like anyone else you know?

The works that I have read from Anthony never insulted men; she pointed out truths about the situation of women.

You've done that, sure.  But where I still fail to understand is why insult others?  Because they did it to you?  I sure hope that's not the reason.

Hambydammit wrote:
Thank you for your support.  Would you mind doing something active to help?  Maybe passing out fliers in churches about how atheists are actually really good people, and they ought not tell us we hate them or their god?  You could help spread the word that atheists have the lowest divorce rate in America, lowest prison population, arguably the lowest abortion rates, and that all we want theists to do is be held to the same standards as everyone else?

It would really help our cause if some theists helped us bridge the gap by being advocates for our cause.  Right now, all we get is hate.

You don't get hate from me.  I never have called "atheists" idiots or spewed hate speech about any person who does not believe there is a God.  I see the situation differently, based on my beliefs and the writings of the bible.  And through those words, there is not one piece of scripture or supporting article that said I should be angry or hate someone who believes differently than I do and have it "justified."  I guarantee you, when I hear others doing as much, I'm not silent.  All hate is wrong.

Hambydammit wrote:
I defy you to find anywhere on this site that I've said that all theists slander, all theists demonize, or all theists discriminate.  Don't put words in my mouth just to make you feel good about your opinion.

Your post makes it sound like "all."  You don't nor have ever made any effort to say individual theists are the trolls but others could be called "neighbor."  Your post as well as from the past have never made distinction so one can only gather that you mean "all."  If I'm wrong, then tell me so.

Hambydammit wrote:
I can't think of a physical or mental shortcoming that is common to every member of any ethnic group.  Such a statement would be blatantly false.  However, it is a necessary truth that all theists believe in something irrational.  That is not slander.  It's logical truth.  Your analogy is not valid.

Yes it is.  It's never about actual "shortcomings" but perceived ones.  It's a perception that those of Mexican today are "illegal."  There are perceptions about those of African decent in reference to crime or chicken even.  There is a perception that those who call themselves "atheists" here HATE those who believe in God.  Hence the analogy.   Because it is held that theists are "irrational" about their belief in God, there is reason to be angry?  Even if you've never met that person?  Even if you've never heard that person say one hateful thing about you?  My point here is labeling a person something that can be construed as hateful, like calling them irrational for their belief or worse, insulting their beliefs directly, has been and continues to be a very obvious cause of actual irrational behavior.  Again, it's all about perception.  You might not like it or frankly even care, but it is what it is and I don't doubt it has caused or continues to cause even more hatred towards you and others from this site.

Hambydammit wrote:
You have fit the stereotype in every discussion we've had.  You ignore everything you don't agree with and continue to assert your beliefs without refuting objections.  Even in this discussion, you've clearly demonstrated by your objections that you have not accepted the meaning of the words I wrote, instead inserting your own prejudices about what atheists *really* think.  Razor, I don't hate theists.  I'm not filled with hate.  I can't think of anybody besides George W. Bush that I can work up a good hate for.  I feel pity for theists.  I try to help them.  You don't have to like my methods or agree with them.  You also don't have the right to tell me I don't have the right to be angry.

Helping them by supporting insulting propaganda?  "Christ-my-ass" would be considered trying to help theists?  Common man, you cannot tell me that is building any bridge.

Hamby, I frankly never knew what atheists "really" thought until I attempted to understand by coming to this site.  If I have any prejudices against atheists, it would not be because I hate you, but because your posts as well as many others do not strike me as wanting to try to bring people together.

If what I have said meets your stereotype, well, nothing I can do about that I guess.  It does suck when you can't have discussions in person sometimes to at least try or have the desire to want to understand one another.

What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason. - Voltaire