Are we Atheists not doing a good enough job getting Christians to understand us? This should scare you.

Pathofreason
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Are we Atheists not doing a good enough job getting Christians to understand us? This should scare you.

I recently posted a question on Yahoo answers Christians only: Why do you think people become Atheist? I would like to hear your opinions on what makes people become Atheist? And what does the term Atheist mean to you?

Well I got back a wide variety of reply's but it made me think that we aren't doing a good enough job getting them to understand us. What can we do about this? Read some of the answers and let me know what you think.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AiDa5AIgx42s_x2mmhKCtSPsy6IX?qid=20070816075451AABro84

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Well, shit. What you're

Well, shit.

What you're asking is akin to the question, "How do we get half of America to realize that FOX News is actually little more than the media arm of the Republican Party?"

The answer is that you don't, because people believe that FOX News is true, and that anyone who says differently must be lying or misinformed.

Same for atheists.  Don't take an atheist's word on why they're an atheist!  What could they possibly know about it?  Only a Christian could know for certain, because they're right, and we're wrong, because they know it.

 

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

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I'm not surprised by those

I'm not surprised by those answers. Those are the things they need to tell themselves to avoid questioning their own faith. If they admitted there was any intellectual merit in atheism it would force them to consider the possiblity they dont actually have the answers they thnik they do.

The funny thing I noticed was that some of the reasons they gave are the two main reasons people are christians. 1) they were raised that way, 2) they chose it at a moment of weakness. They also accuse atheists of arrogance, at the time time claiming to know the meaning of life and the thoughts of a Deity.

I'm not sure if we could do much to improove our image amongst these people, the responses are dripping with close-mindedness and that is all coming from them. You see the same attitudes from racists and homophobes.

Maybe we could do something about our image, by presenting less of the angry atheist image so they'd have less 'evidence' that we just hate God and his rules. Maybe we need to be more careful with how we word our aguments, I know I use a few to demonstarte that hypothetically if their God did exist he wouldn't be worthy of worship, but I've seen christians have difficulty with the hypothetical part.

However we'd never get every atheist to cooperate and all it takes is one example of an atheist 'angry at God' for them to think we're all like that.

 

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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Hambydammit wrote: What

Hambydammit wrote:

What you're asking is akin to the question, "How do we get half of America to realize that FOX News is actually little more than the media arm of the Republican Party?"

The answer is that you don't, because people believe that FOX News is true, and that anyone who says differently must be lying or misinformed.

Admittedly I'm in Australia (we do get Fox News on pay TV here but I don't think anyone bothers watching it BBC is much better) but all news is biassed, and atleast here a lot of it is skewed to the left. Just because the the news agrees with you doesnt mean it's unbiassed. I like the idea that there's a right wing news show so that anyone interested can get both slants on an issue.

I consider myself pretty much in the center politically, both sides look nuts to me. But I see much more media bias supporting the left than the right. I'd prefer it be neutral but the next best thing is to have both points of view.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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My analogy only goes so

My analogy only goes so far, and isn't perfect.  Obviously, I believe that atheists are correct and theists are incorrect, and that doesn't square exactly with politics and FOX.

While I think the rethuglicans are a very bad political party, I also think the democrats are a very bad political party.  All I really meant to say is that the viewers of FOX in America really do buy into the brainwashing.  It's accurate because FOX said it.  Therefore, anyone who disagrees is wrong.

I suppose the other side of that is someone who is skeptical of all news, and waits for corroborating evidence, or maybe someone who listens to both sides and believes somewhere in the middle of the two.  Either is definitely better than deciding that one source is right and then assuming that anyone else is wrong.

 

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

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I know the question was

I know the question was directed exclusively at Christians, but what's unsettling is how narrow-minded they are with regard to other religions. It's as if you can only be a Christian, or be in a state of denial of Christianity specifically. What about atheists in areas dominated by other religions? How about Christians being in active denial of all other religions themselves?
Maybe I shouldn't be surprised. Look at all the time those people spent crafting those hideous little heads.


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The post got deleted.Was it

The post got deleted.Was it a good read?Did I miss anygood whacked out fundie answers? 


magilum
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Just stuff you'd expect from

Just stuff you'd expect from a Comfort/Friel fan.
Why are there atheists?* They're afraid of hell.* They've had bad experiences with Christians.* They're too self-centered to see "god."* I was an atheist, but now I see what a fool I was.
That sums up what I read.


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I thought the "they want a

I thought the "they want a challenge" response was quite special.


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magilum wrote: Just stuff

magilum wrote:
Just stuff you'd expect from a Comfort/Friel fan.
Why are there atheists?* They're afraid of hell.* They've had bad experiences with Christians.* They're too self-centered to see "god."* I was an atheist, but now I see what a fool I was.
That sums up what I read.

So its the normal too often regurgitated bullshit,I was

hoping for something better,or atleast new,do they EVER

come up with something new?Nah I guess not,simple minds w/o a thought in their head not ripped off from someone who didnt know shit

about atheism isnt a surprise,never anything new within a 5 year period.BTW i now my typing/formatting isnt right,my sleeping pills kicked in,so im only using half the brain a fundie would use(or whatever,half asleep,getting lazy,but cant sleep,so im here) hope my point is clear,if not,perhaps Ill edit for clarity tomorrow,or a mod can clean it up since its their job anyway j/k

"Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions."--Frater Ravus


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Quote: * They're afraid of

Quote:

* They're afraid of hell.

You would think that anyone with an ounce of grey matter would recognize this inherent contradiction. How can an atheist be afraid of a concept which he does not believe exists? Is it not the theist who so frequently trots out with the tripe of Pascal's Wager? Surely, this "reason" would be, if anything, an excuse for falling ill with the disease of Christendom? The pot/kettle in this statement is nothing short of a remarkable insight into the way the theist brain works. Doublethink at its best.

Quote:

 * They're too self-centered to see "god."

I find this, too, inherently contradictory to the so-often trotted out tripe from theists accusing the atheists of removing any inherent meaning and value and hope from human lives, and the extraordinarly selfish hope for a magical afterlife (at the expense of everything else). In fact, I can think of little that would be more selfish than holding such an absurd belief, as I have shown here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/religion_and_the_anthropocentric_fallacy

Quote:

 * I was an atheist, but now I see what a fool I was

I have statistical doubt about the number of "ex-atheists". Statistically, people are the religion of their parents. End of story. Most people don't bother with the consideration of their beliefs. Even if it bullshit.  

Quote:

That sums up what I read.

Did you expect anything more from people whose IQ could be compared to that of a radish? 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Bigg wrote: The post got

Bigg wrote:

The post got deleted.Was it a good read?Did I miss anygood whacked out fundie answers? 


Why did it get deleted anyone know?


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Very American biased

Very American biased question where it assumes its normal to believe in god, in most of the western world (outside the US) the majority of people are atheists , agnostics or just plain indifferent.

 

You might as well ask why do most people have a favourite colour of purple,


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I'd like to know why it was

I'd like to know why it was deleted from that website. I always start an argument out with freewill and the evil problem. There seems to be an inability of the xian in holding the attributes of omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, in their head at the same time.  It's like playing whack-a-mole, they run from one to another as seperate independent ideas.

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That's really sad that the

That's really sad that the question was deleted.  But if anything, that exemplifies how willing the mainstream is in entertaining any thoughtful debate on the dialogue.

 I look at shit like that, and then I look over at England where a Dawkins documentary called, "Enemies of Reason" can be shown on network television and wonder exactly how or why our country is more free than the one we left 200+ years ago?


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I didn't get to read it

I didn't get to read it before it was deleted, but I'll give my opinion anyway.

The reason Christians fail to understand atheism is because how ingrained God is into their thinking.  Saying God doesn't exist is just as ignorant as saying that oneself doesn't exist - it doesn't make sense.   They cannot see that atheism is a valid, rational belief.  Yet it is obvious that we are not all mentally retarded, or somehow damaged, so they try to rationalize it with the formentioned reasons.

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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Hambydammit wrote: Well,

Hambydammit wrote:

Well, shit.

What you're asking is akin to the question, "How do we get half of America to realize that FOX News is actually little more than the media arm of the Republican Party?"

The answer is that you don't, because people believe that FOX News is true, and that anyone who says differently must be lying or misinformed.

Same for atheists.  Don't take an atheist's word on why they're an atheist!  What could they possibly know about it?  Only a Christian could know for certain, because they're right, and we're wrong, because they know it.

Quite right.  How can anyone listen to BillO'Reilly and think the man is capable of thought.

"Tis better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." -Lucifer


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Sadly the post got Deleted

Yes the post was deleted. I don't exactly know why but sometimes the more indepth the question the more likely it is to get deleted. I simply asked the question to find out what most of them thought was the reasons why we became Atheist. Obviously they are either going off of Stereotypes or they are just plain ignorant. I am gonna have to go with the latter.

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Sadly the post got deleted

Yes the post got deleted. That usually happens if the question is too rational. I hate yahoo answers anyway.

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If Christians understood

If Christians understood not believing they wouldn't remain Christians, now would they?

We shouldn't err by mirroring their evangelicism.  Non-belief is more a state of mind than ideology. 

Mature non believers provide an example by living responsible lives, being balanced and, unlike hard believers, not seeking ongoing validation for our philosophical bearings.

The main opposition to fundamentalism should be political--that's where they are most destructive. 

Some of you reading my comments may well die from diseases that could have been prevented through stem cell research.  Homo sapiens may not have an assured future--fundamentalists have fought environmentalism at every opportunity [e.g., anyone recall James Watt?].

I'm not pushing despair, but it's not about getting fundamentalists to understand us.  It's about blocking their psychotic political agenda.


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I think we have some

I think we have some distance to go, we are up against a well propagated meme about atheists... At least in the little corners of the internet I frequent, it has gotten much better. The Atheist's version of atheism is more commonly understood. All we can do is be "out" and speak the truth freely, without reservation.

Remember: when arguing/discussing religion on the internet (or even in public for that matter) it is not so much about convincing or educating your opponent. It is the uninvolved observers that you must keep in mind. They are where change happens...


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It comes down to 'GUT'

It comes down to 'GUT' politics/thinking

There are 2 ways you can approach the world by thinking or by gut instinct.

 In certain circustmances gut instinct is the most efficient, in a fight, working out if someone is lying when you have no facts either way,

 However human beings have no useful gut instincts when it comes to anything outside the human scale whether time/distance/size etc.

You cannot instinctively understand gravity,relativity, quantum mechaines, evolution, electricity, how the universe began, how big it is, global warming etc

To understand this you have to study, you have to use a lot of resources, you have to spend time thinking, no one has time /desire to study all the above some people have no interest in studying anyone of them

 To put this even simplier, believing god made the world in 7 days takes 2 seconds, understanding evolution, cosmology takes a life time (in fact many lifetimes) so its hardly suprisingly many people go for the god.

 I was shocked how little I knew about evolution when I read Dawkins Selfish Gene book and I consider myself to be highly educated (Physicist) do you really think a religious person is going to bother the make the effort

Now this isnt to say all religious people are thick(many are but not all) but I am saying that most religious people are not prepared to dedicate the resources to understanding the world


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The religious questions

The religious questions there get pretty involved. I was just there and a Christian asked if "Mormons burn in hell like other believers in false gods, because anyone with half a brain can see what they believe is crap." I pointed out the same thing could be said of Christians, and there is no hell, and all gods are false.

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So, do the religious

So, do the religious questions typically get deleted?  Seems the atheist questions do.  If someone asked why do others think people become Christians, woudl it get deleted?


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Somebody post the question,

Somebody post the question, and let's see.

(Sorry, I refuse to go there, or I'd do it.  The little avatars make me vomit a little in my mouth.)

 

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

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Hey

The question itself was, Christians: In your opinion why do you think people are Atheist? And the gave the most insane answers possible. Things like, Atheists are just a bunch of emo kids who hate life. Or Because the devil is working through them Ect. Because they haven't accepted Jesus as their saviors or they are mad at the church ect. The reason I said we aren't doing a good enough job educating on why we are atheist is because most of them think that Atheism means "against the christian god" They think it's just a personal attack on them. At least thats the vibe I got.

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Bigg wrote: The post got

Bigg wrote:

The post got deleted.

Erg.

 

I had a feeling the answers were going to be from people who held delusions and wanted to reinforce their delusions by misrepresenting the reasons why someone would become atheist.  

I didn't read the rest of the thread, just skimmed to see if anyone knew it was deleted.  Anyone who saw it... did I come close to the mark? 

 

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Pathofreason wrote: The

Pathofreason wrote:
The question itself was, Christians: In your opinion why do you think people are Atheist? And the gave the most insane answers possible. Things like, Atheists are just a bunch of emo kids who hate life. Or Because the devil is working through them Ect. Because they haven't accepted Jesus as their saviors or they are mad at the church ect. The reason I said we aren't doing a good enough job educating on why we are atheist is because most of them think that Atheism means "against the christian god" They think it's just a personal attack on them. At least thats the vibe I got.

 

Right.  None of these of course are the real reasons most people become atheist.  However do you really expect them to answer, "I think most people become atheists because they study religion and science more than most people."   They wouldn't say that because doing so would be an admission that they lack knowledge the atheist has, instead they reinforce their own self delusions by uttering words that the brainwashing machine stands behind.

 

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Pathofreason wrote: The

Pathofreason wrote:
The question itself was, Christians: In your opinion why do you think people are Atheist? And the gave the most insane answers possible. Things like, Atheists are just a bunch of emo kids who hate life. Or Because the devil is working through them Ect. Because they haven't accepted Jesus as their saviors or they are mad at the church ect. The reason I said we aren't doing a good enough job educating on why we are atheist is because most of them think that Atheism means "against the christian god" They think it's just a personal attack on them. At least thats the vibe I got.
There's no way to determine what age the poster is. The samples of answers you showed look very childish.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Well done, you proved that

Well done, you proved that Yahoo Answers is mostly populated by immature dorks which I guess most of us knew already.

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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AiiA wrote: There's no way

AiiA wrote:
There's no way to determine what age the poster is. The samples of answers you showed look very childish.
 

It's hard to tell with christians. Most of their arguments use very childish logic.

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


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I agree

The ages of the Posters ranged from I would say 15-27, Some of them even claiming to be former Atheists. I totally Agree with you Brian. I didn't expect them to answer this question the way I wanted but some of the answers were so ignorant and Juvenile that I was beside myself. Infact I have now began Asking, When I debate a theist if they can define the Word Atheist. It' usually goes something...like this

Me: What does the word Atheist mean?

Them: You don't believe in god

Me: Which God?

Them: Uhhh ya know Jesus, The bible God...the living god,ya know

Me: Well I don't believe in Any gods

Them: Well there is only one True god

Me: hahahah you stupid bastard, It's not a schooner it's a sail boat

Them: A Schooner is a sailboat stupid head

Me: You know what. There is NO Easter Bunny. Over there, that's just a guy in a suit! And Jesus isn't real either!

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I agree

Oh I crack myself up!Smile