Do you consider atheists as your brothers and sisters?

We all know that religious people consider people following their religion as brothers and sisters. So what about us? Ideally I would like to say all humans are my brothers and sisters, but because religious people consider only members of their religion as brothers, I too am forced to think that only non-religious people are my brothers and sisters.I am deeply hurt to know that atheists are oppressed, discriminated and killed in some countries(specially in muslim countries whereas in an officially atheist country like China muslims can practice their religion and more importantly live).Oppression, discrimination and killing of atheists is like oppression, discrimination and killing of my brothers which makes me very sad and fills me with anger and desire of taking revenge no matter even if it requires me to be a suicide bomber i definitely will.(specially in Saudi Arabia if there is a terror attack which makes them realise that atheists have feelings too and if for the fear of more attacks they stop killing atheists then i think it is not wrong)It's like in a movie, a gang kidnaps hero's girlfriend and then hero somehow manages to get hold of the gang's leader. If the gang threatens to kill hero's girlfriend, the hero threatens to kill their leader. Then there is a exchange. The gang releases his girlfriend and the hero releases their leader. Or something like China telling Saudi Arabia to stop killing atheists there, or it will kill muslims in China. It is better for all to live peacefully and have tolerance towards all. But sadly fundamental religious societies don't have tolerance for atheists.We are all humans but religion has filled many with hate in the name of god. I am very peaceful and would like this world to be very peaceful, but when i hear about discrimination,killing of atheists then i forget all my humanism. If theists kill us how can we be humanly with them? If i became a suicide bomber i will be called a terrorist, but for me i am not. America criticizes China for it's restrictions on freedom of expression, but why not it tells Saudi Arabia to stop beheading atheists? Killing atheists is not a crime? Theists(muslims,christains) have a commandment thou shall not kill. But looks like that commandment is not applicable if the person being killed is an atheist because he is god's enemy. Ha! god can't kill his enemies, so he has his children to do his job!Well,don't christains believe that jesus told them to love their enemies?Well, looks like only if the enemy is a brother(christain), he should be loved and not god's enemies. The UN must pressurise muslim countries to decriminalise atheism. So humanists over here what have you to say? Can you give humanism for receiving death? Am I an extremist? Yes and No.Yes if it is a fight for our survival and rights i can take extreme steps.No if it is about enforcing my non-belief on others. As an atheist i am broad-minded and open to your opinions and ideas.

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Hi Joel,

"Ideally I would like to say all humans are my brothers and sisters, but because religious people consider only members of their religion as brothers, I too am forced to think that only non-religious people are my brothers and sisters."

That's a very strange, strange reasoning right there.
First of all, and this is my personal opinion, anyone saying that they see humanity in general (or a specific group of humanity) as "their brothers and sisters" is deluding themselves a bit. You cannot possibly love a group of humanity as much as you lover your brother or sister, and I deduce that from the fact that if it was your actual brother or sister being on trial in Saudi Arabia, you'd be on your way there in a New York minute. Since you're not, obviously the brother and sisters thing is a hyperbole.
Second, even in a symbolic sense, I don't view another group as my brothers and sisters. Let alone a group I don't even know. I don't associate myself that much with "atheists" worldwide, because as you know well enough, "atheist" is a very broad term. It comprises everyone from communists to humanists to Scientologists to some psychopaths. Why should I look at these people as my brothers and sisters just because I share one belief with them? That makes no sense at all.

Yes, I think it's a horrible thing that atheists are persecuted in select places on Earth. But I don't have a problem with it because I feel that atheists are my brothers and sisters: I feel that way because I think it's wrong to persecute people for religious (non-)belief.

And I think the whole "Saudi Arabia will stop killing atheists if China starts killing muslims" is a stupid idea for reasons that should be obvious to all: first of all, mutual deterrence like that is a horrible recipe for global stability, and second, there's not a country in the world who cares enough about its (non-)religion to have a plot like that make a difference.
hmm, looks like my thinking is a bit immature. I'm just 17. But should we keep quite and do nothing about it? Atheists in muslim countries are looking if they get any help from outside. They can't do anything on their own, if they try they will be killed. Let's not think only about the situations in our respective countries, but about the whole world. Because what happens in the world will have an impact on us. So what can be done by us?
We definitely should not keep quiet: there are already several organisations (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and others) that devote a great deal of time to the victims of religious persecution, but more awareness among the general public and more pressure from the UN and individual countries could go a long way in helping those in need. China already gets criticised by the US on a regular basis for its human rights violations.

Ultimately we need to be realistic though: we don't live in those countries, so there's only so much we can do by raising awareness and critiquing them. We can't invade them and make them conform to our standards, now can we? Changes in how these countries will come about gradually and will be initiated from within the state itself.

You also make the problem seem larger than it is. For one, most muslim countries do not kill atheists (although there are usually blasphemy clauses in their laws; but then again the same goes for Great Britain) and the danger for atheists tends to be much smaller than that for other groups like rival cults, homosexuals, ethnic minorities and fringe political groups. Atheists can't really be busted "practising their non-belief" (the way a minority religious group, a political group, or people of a different sexuality might be caught). The worst you'd have to do in order to avoid getting caught, is not voicing your unbelief and (perhaps) pretending to practise a religion. Hardly a pleasant thing to be doing, but hardly the worst thing in the world.
The one thing we can do is grant asylum to people fleeing things like being killed for being ex-Muslim, atheist, gay, or any other of the reasons innocent people are killed in some Muslim countries.

You mentioned Saudi Arabia. Sadly the reason we don't say much to them is most likely the reason Saudi Arabia gets away with everything else (including funding terrorism with money we keep giving them): oil.
Technically speaking we are all related, the question is just how far removed.

Also, if your concerned about such things and would like to make a difference then support groups like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and ACLU.
What is ACLU? Never heard of it? Is it there in India?
American Civil Liberties Union. People sometimes forget that this is an international site.
I didn't forget, I listed the international groups first and the ACLU last. I figured he'd just pickup the context or just Google it =P

I don't know if it goes as far as brothers or sisters, but I often feel a connection when I discover that someone is atheist. That's especially true if they started out religious, and became atheist by thinking for themselves.

That's even though there are millions and millions of atheists in the world, and no way are we going to all agree or like each other, any more than all muslims or all christians or all hindus are going to feel like family. Plus, just as there are certain really, really bad people who happen to be buddhist, or hindu, or christian, or jewish, or muslim, or whatever, there are certainly really really bad atheists as well.

Still, have experienced prejudice, discrimination, and misbehavior by the religious, I feel a bit of a bond with others who have been through the same thing. And having learned to think for myself and learn the truth that religion is a lie, I have a certain amount of respect for others who did the same thing.

That includes you, even though Im sure we will neve meet and we live in different worlds.
I really shouldn't consider Atheists my brothers and sisters, since it only entails a lack of religion and therefore says nothing about their personality. However, because of the lack of acceptance in "modern" society, I can't help but feel a connection to fellow Atheists that could be described that way. It's an unfortunate circumstance, since it gives Atheism the feel of a religion at times.

However, I suppose that could be given the counterpoint that Atheism is really more of a movement at this point in time, not unlike homosexuality. Therefore, the brothers and sisters sentiment is reasonable.
China is persecuting members of the belief system, Falun Gong, so I don't know that they're really a good comparison in this case.
I do know at least one atheist that I call my brother: my brother! I was so happy when he said he became atheist. It was surprising that I, who used to experiment with witchcraft, became atheist before my brother the scientist.

When I do come across other atheists or people who openly say they are atheist, I feel a little bit of "Represent!" but I don't make any assumptions about us being best buddies b/c of that. Any group of people with a common interest, you're going to find people in it that you can't stand, and atheists are no different. Atheism is only the lack of belief in a god, so atheists can be very diverse: strong atheists, people who harass religious people, people who want to ban all religion (including ones who praise China!); people who don't believe in God but believe in UFOs, the law of attraction, or other woo; people who hate certain religions but thing that others are completely benevolent; and even that silly Cupp girl who claims to be atheist but looks up to people more if they are theists. And many more!




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