If we don't believe, why do we always talk about it?

OK, everyone here is an admitted Atheist.  I would love to have one string of discussion where we don't mention the thing we don't believe in.  All Atheists seem to do is talk about that thing and how other people are silly to believe in it or how other people will be upset if they find out we don't believe in it.  It's like someone with a gluten allergy constantly talking about bread in all its variations.  If you don't believe in it, it's really not worth mentioning.

We're Atheists.  Let's talk about life without that thing.  Don't mention it.  Not a single word.  Talk about your life in a positive way and not in a "Gee, I sure am glad I don't believe in that thing" way. 

I'd be interested to know how other Atheists swear. I always say "Oh My Word!" as I don't believe in that thing other people say and my word is stronger than that thing could ever be.  I also tend to say "Fuck!" a lot, but only because it is wishing anyone within hearing a pleasant experience.

I'm off to finish the dinner dishes and have a glass of something on the balcony. Discuss.

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Why?  Because we're surrounded by those who DO believe, are CERTAIN that there is a god, are CONVINCED we are wrong ... and they need to SHUT US UP ... because they're scared shitless that we may be RIGHT.

They can't deal with that, mostly because, at some level, conscious or unconscious, they have doubts.  They may be WRONG and we may be RIGHT ... but we CAN'T be right so we have to push back, show our faith, demonstrate that they don't know what they're talking about, make them eat their words!

Except that they find themselves chewing on their own verbiage, again and again, and they can't help but wonder why.  Because we're prepared to defend our position and they're mostly NOT.

When WE'RE in the majority and they're not, the discussions about what the theists are doing will fade more into the background.  Hell, it happens even here and now.  We talk about food and cats and baseball and other stuff and we don't always have to obsess about what's going on with the believers.  But the fact of the matter is, they're still out there and they're still at least a plurality if not a majority.  Like it or not, they still have to be dealt with.

And yeah, we can deal with them ... but we can still LIVE.  DIG IT.

Marty, Loren is an engineer and engineering education does strange things to otherwise normal folk.

In my third year in electrical engineering I switched to mathematics.

Hi, Loren. Fancy meeting you here.

"Strange things," Tom?  Like what?  Speaking frankly, logically and coherently, even?

My being an engineer has zero to do with this.  My being tired of censoring myself or soft-pedaling it for the believers out there does.  They've gotten away with murder, figuratively if not literally, and I've had a bellyful of that.  If I pull a page from Christopher Hitchens' playbook when I speak out here or elsewhere and someone gets upset about it, then maybe I should pull one from Steve Martin when I say:


[Dated, I'll grant you, but you get the point.]

I switched from engineering to mathematics at the end of my first year.  Engineering education does do strange things to otherwise normal folk.

It's the amount of noise on the side of the theists that makes it good to have these atheist communities where we can speak, learn the counter-arguments and explore ways to make life better for ourselves in an overwhelmingly religious world.  I agree with Loren.  As religion fades these discussions will also - it's just not yet.

that's almost always a good response :)

Oh, you guys!

Some people here talk a lot about nonreligious subjects.  I do.

But you are still talking about religion if you are talking about atheists talking about religion :)

"Go fuck yourself!"

"Hm, good idea!"


Marty.  I truly love the question.  Reading of this site with your question in mind from an outside perspective does make it seem comical.  With that said, however, religion affects many aspects of our lives whether we like it or not.  When it affects every day society where logic should reign, anyone of conscience is REQUIRED to intervene. If we let such NONSENSE be passed in the public square as everyday and commonly accepted, we do a dis-service to the society as a whole and to ourselves as individuals. In the US, it still predominates that religion is in the majority and to question otherwise is to draw ridicule--especially in the bible Belt.  Times are ripe now open a discourse to when someone asks our opinions without too much attention being drawn.

Marty, you made a valid observation.

An explanation?

Some of us grew up in authoritarian religions, and clearing the mind requires us to shovel more shit.

I see many appeals to authority here.

Which I understand when the authorities cited delivered their ideas in serendipitous ways.

I like to paraphrase authorities, adding some of my thinking to the idea, and make it (the expression of the idea, not the idea itself) mine.

For instance, in Dorothy Law Nolte's insightful Children Learn What They Live, she omitted mention of the violence in many homes. I looked at my experience and added When children live with violence, they learn to feel fear.

I think the atheist obsession with religion is more personal than many like to admit.

That is, people who were brought up with a lot of religious conditioning or got into an oppressive situation with religion, went through an internal struggle to throw it off.  It's traumatic.  People become alienated from their families over it.  They lose friends, they may lose their jobs, they may lose their spouse. 

The people who are more traumatized, who went through a more intense experience of separating from religion, are more likely to identify themselves as atheists rather than simply as rational nonbelievers, and more likely to seek online support on A/N.  They may come to A/N while in the middle of separating from religion - in the closet to their spouse, etc. 

And bashing on religion also serves as social bonding it seems.  

And, people who grew up with religious conditioning probably carry inside themselves the vestiges of that conditioning.  One's experiences as a child are very powerful, and being in an atheist community and talking negatively about religion helps to ward off the childhood influences. 

Perhaps Marty didn't grow up religious and hasn't had that huge struggle that many have.

I didn't grow up religious, and one of my first impressions of A/N was similar - these people are continually talking about religion!  I suggested a way of making a filtered version of A/N available to those who don't want to read about religion.  But it would take a good deal of work. 

Actually a lot of the anti-religion talk has been valuable.  I've gotten to hear a perspective that I don't hear in the world generally.  And it debunks a lot of the pro-religion conditioning that is so much around. 

I looked at Marty's profile - he actually lives in the same town that I live in!  Ithaca, a little lefty "alternative" town in upstate New York.  Here, you are much more likely to be annoyed by anti-vaxxers, fans of herbal medicine, etc. than by religious people. 

Someone in Texas posted about a co-worker who suggested they pray over a broken copier

You would not be bothered by someone wanting you to pray over a copier in Ithaca.  Nobody is going to assume you're a Christian. 

So it is very different. 

And, you are absolutely welcome here.  Even if you don't have the majority mindset!

Hmmmm. Let's see here. We're on an Atheist website, called Atheist Nexus which was started by an Atheist, for Atheists, whose members are Atheists, to discuss and share ideas involving Atheism. Yet, we shouldn't mention the word Atheist or have any discussion remotely related to Atheism..


Shame on you, Pat!  You mentioned ATHEISTS!  Naughty, naughty!




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