I sometime read religious boards and it amazes and disappoints me how much religious zealots and atheist have in common – the absolute and righteous certainty that they at the exclusion of others possess knowledge/revelations that makes them the bearers of the truth.   

Recently on a different Atheist discussion board a lady that had just lost her young daughter wrote about her religious experience and of the comfort she receivers from her faith.  She politely shared her heart breaking story and even offered words of kindness.  The replies were predictably brutal and mocking, barely a shred of compassion for a mother that lost her child.  I made my best to present my atheist point of view to this lady but I did so with respect, compassion and understanding.  I also felt ashamed for my fellow atheists.

I see it here too at nexus, the same hubris and arrogance that at times is such that some individuals proclaim that their philosophies are “my own religion” while others are themselves “…my own religion” and their church is “my flesh and blood”.  Does this sound strangely familiar?  I suppose soon we will have Gods among us. 

Before we all get too heady from over indulging in the advantages of having the weight of evidence in our favor, we should remember that pointing out the irrationality of religion is as-easy-as- shooting-fish-in-a-barrel!  The real challenge is offering something better.

We are no better than those that dismiss us and demean us for being atheist if we dismiss and demean them for being believers. The belittling of others only diminishes us and at the very least makes us as misguided as we see theists to be.

It would serve us all well to remember that before presenting our carefully constructed arguments we could show something very simple – respect – and maybe even modesty.

If you believe that logic and reason offers superior guidance than mysticism and religion then BE the example.   

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So true. (hey mtmig)

You know, I remember when I was in theatre in HS, thinking that I liked this group of people because they had this, "be who you are - not what the crowd wants you to be" mentality. I loved that! I was do taken with it! Then I found out that that only applied to others like them. I, being different from them, was not quite welcomed into their circle. I found it so odd that they didn't practice what they preached.

I have noticed something similar among these atheist discussion boards. I have found this bit of arrogance that "I know I am right" and "you are ignorant if you don't believe as I do" among some of the discussions. I agree that we need to be careful not come off as pretentious "know-it-alls". And as always , I thnk we should never get complacent - we always need to push further for truth, remembering that our truth one day may be another's myth tomorrow!

Cicile your experience in HS is a great way of explaining an experience that many of us have not just in HS but throughout life. Everyone wants to belong and to do so there the implicit expectation that the group dues is that we sing the same gospel.

There is something to be said about remaining the black sheep.
Miguel Fernandes: How bizarre that someone that makes an effort to suggest how atheist might become more affective could be a potential infiltrator.

Maybe you could organize a virtual witch burning for me and anyone else that might be considering expressing a descending or challenging view. You could jump over to one of the evangelical websites and ask how they handle blasphemy in their flock.

Now you're just being a contrarian idiot. Which is precisely how guerrilla theists have behaved on numerous occassions in the past. The routine goes like this -

* Start a discussion accusing atheists of arrogance and intolerance. Add plenty of holier-than-thou special sauce. As an extra garnish, sprinkle with a dash of something Socratic.

* Repeat above formula ad nauseum and introduce sarcasm to show how cleverly you've proved your point even when you have done nothing of the sort.

* Wait for someone to slip and call you for the idiot that you are.

* Run back god-freaks with your "evidence of intolerance".

You see if you actually made some effort to search the site for previous discussions on this theme you would find no shortage of them. But you haven't. This is a dead horse. You are flogging it. You are now at the senseless hyperbole and reductio ad absurdum stage. I'm not saying you are a theist mole. Just that you are indistinguishable from one.

Now, what if John D or Phil, for example, sat next to this young lady instead of my friend? From what they have said so far we would expect that they would likely have ruddily told that she was an idiot for believing such crap.

You are such a presumptuous idiot. It's amazing. How do your self-contradictions not cause your head to vapourise from dissonance overload?
I presume that in all the previous discussions on this theme you also exposed those who started them as insidious theist infiltrators. Maybe instead of a theist conspiracy to foment strife it’s a real issue.
If you're naive enough to venture into theist/atheist forums and expect civility, then you should stop using the 'net altogether. That's why I and many others are here. This is a social site, not a forum site. And I reserve the right to be as rude as I please to dicks regardless of their religion or lack of. Stupidity is not a virtue, has no special status and cannot and should not be excused for the sake of "politeness".
Whom here in AN are stupid in your eyes?

Atheist and stupid are not mutually exclusive. Atheists certainly have no right to be smug and wave around studies that "prove" they're smarter. Some of the most jaw dropping dumbness I have ever seen has been mouthed by people who claim to be atheists right here. Did you know the Jews own the Vatican? Apparently they do. You can learn a LOT from some members of this site.
Damn, Fred - You're a scrappy little bastard anyway :)
Why bother arguing at all ? The theists are too brainwashed to understand, this is not arrogance but a fact. Jehovah's Witnesses in particular are the worst kind of theist's. They will just not accept that you can live without God as your guide. What gets up my nose is that they cannot answer a question without thumbing through their book to find the answer, will not move away from your door and insist on trying to convert you into their brainwashed existence. I do not appreciate having to be rude to any one but I am afraid they bring the worst out in me, I have told them to take my door number off their calling list over and over again, but they ignore my request. When I see them in the street I even don't answer the door, but other times, if I have missed them passing my window I mistakenly open the door and get bombarded with literature full of prophesies and gobbledegook, as you said so succinctly Loren this is my home they are invading and I have every right to complain. As for the woman who was telling her heartfelt story on a social website being bombarded by criticism from atheists this disturbs me, and shows lack of compassion, however I agree with her not using an atheist site to convey her story without expecting a come back. I come across the theists in all walks of life, if they want an argument then they get it, I will no longer be chained to a philosophy which I do not believe in and am enjoying freedom from.
Fred, if you can decide that we have no compassion based on the mostly incoherent gibberish in this thread, then you are neither rational nor reasonable.

Rudeness and compassion are both optional behaviours and you are more or less claiming you can have one or the other, but not both. You are now being as insulting to our intelligence as Miguel.

Miguel has forfeited any entitlement respect by whining about atheist arrogance while simultaneously displaying ridiculous, narcissistic arrogance of his own.

And you are in danger of forfeiting the same for the sheer volume of meaningless typhos you manage to churn out for no actual good reason. I don't know what you have against Madalyn Murray, but I then again I don't want to know. It would only encourage more pointless noise.
uɐƃoɹƃ ɥɔןǝɟ

It has been my experience that when people remain unable to defend an untenable position, especially one as contradictory as asserting that their ‘superior’ reasoning excuses their rude and disrespectful behavior, there is a predictable descent into attempts at ridicule, accessions that their numbers are evidence of being right, name calling, profanity and at last threats. It is unfortunate that atheists follow the same pattern as the likes of evangelicals and Tea Party zealots.

Miguel has forfeited any entitlement respect by whining about atheist arrogance while simultaneously displaying ridiculous, narcissistic arrogance of his own

You never gave me the opportunity to be arrogant, replies to such ill-informed and incoherent comment never required such thought or deliberation that they could possibly ever convey even a hint of superiority on my part. Such effort is clearly not been required thus far, most especially in your case.

You are now being as insulting to our intelligence as Miguel

If you feel that I have victimized your intelligence it is because arguments based on the bombastic emotional expressions of anger could only place your intelligence in a vulnerable position.

Miguel has forfeited any entitlement respect… And you are in danger of forfeiting the same

Interesting that you should mention narcissism, seeing how you have appointed yourself the position of Arbiter of Atheist Respect. It might disappoint you to know that earning your esteemed respect does not have the value to others you think it does.
"I and others recognize it and so we respect him. Miguel comes up short."

The value of approval over scorn depends entirely on whom it is coming from.



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