I teach at a college in the Bible Belt. My atheism is a topic of gossip here. One of my students told me that, before he knew me, another student pointed me out and made a derogatory comment about my ateism.
The word has earned a mass of baggage to carry along. Most of which is deserved, so it is not hard to understand why people cringe.
Think "Charles Manson" and then wonder why it has such a negative connotation. I can't even put an approximation to the number of people I've met or known who claim to be atheist and love pentagrams and goats head emblems, for as they say, "pissing off the church".
It is an attempt at a "social movement", that has nothing of substance to offer. It is simply a belief system that defines itself by proof of a negative. Look around this site, it is plain.
Water Cooler: 745 posts of generality and entertainment
Theism, Deism & All Things Religious: 547 posts of constant judgment, hatred, derision, and malicious intent against something which "atheists" claim they have no belief in/of.
Pure statistical relevance. If atheism had anything going on above the neck, any purpose to the greater society, it would spend its time attempting to educate by means of edifying those which with they have disagreement.
But, all that is plain here is the utter lack of critical thought, (i.e. religion has existed in a multitude of forms since hominids first developed social bonds), and something with so many thousand years towards cohesion, culture, exclusionism for short run benefit; will not be overturned or disposed of with blind hatred.
Look anywhere on this site, or any atheist site for that matter. You will find this to be the case. Atheism, especially of the Dawkins/Dennett/Harris forms, is narcissistic, full of hubris and vitriol. It supports nothing positive; never has, never will, because it has at its core the exact same agenda as theism; exclusionism and judgments.
So, too bad if you disagree. I'm not an atheist, wouldn't even diminish myself to that nadir; much better it is to be a godless heathen and an island than to agree with a mass of plebes so blinded by their ludicrous agenda they can't even be intellectually honest.
The pronouncement stands, on your way atheist, you serve me no purpose.
Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.
And your response right here shows what? Love? Acceptance? You show blatant hatred for atheists like we show hatred for theists. Whats the difference? Don't exclude yourself and think you are high and mighty.
If atheism had anything going on above the neck, any purpose to the greater society, it would spend its time attempting to educate by means of edifying those which with they have disagreement.
You don't think we are trying to do just this? We get frustrated and angry because when we try to "educate" - your words, not mine - these theists can't even manage to follow the conversation, never mind initiate critical thought. I am not stating that all theists cannot rationalize, just the one's we tend to meet, the average day people who we know. I do not want to attack you, I am just stating that you are sounding a little hypocritical to me at the moment.
Where did I say anything about "love"? Not given to wasting time with biochemical convolutions, "love" isn't an issue in my realm.
Yes, acceptance of the fact that religion has, and has had, its place in society. It will not go away, it will metamorphise to the next time frame, as it always has been shown to do.
I'm not an atheist, so exclusion isn't relevant.
You don't think we are trying to do just this?
Mmmmmm, no, doesn't appear that way, at all. I'm not concerned with being "attacked" on the intarwebs, no damage to be suffered. You're welcome to your opinion, but there is no hypocrisy, there is just a difference in how you are attempting to read intent into my words, and an essential element that isn't present but you assume it to be there anyways; expectation.
Hence, the Machiavelli quote; you don't need expectation when standards of human behavior are proven, repeatedly, ad nauseum, through recorded time.
I never mentioned that you actually said anything about love, just that you were criticising us (in a rather hateful way) that we criticise theists (in a rather hateful way) so I found it a little hypocritical. You cannot say that you did not mean it with hateful intent as the selection of words you chose to use could not exude anything but that.
If atheism had anything going on above the neck
all that is plain here is the utter lack of critical thought
Atheism, especially of the Dawkins/Dennett/Harris forms, is narcissistic, full of hubris and vitriol
It supports nothing positive; never has, never will
I'm not an atheist, wouldn't even diminish myself to that nadir
so blinded by their ludicrous agenda they can't even be intellectually honest
I know that religion will most likely remain in society for a long time, if not forever, so I'm not sure what your point is.
I'm not concerned if you think that we are not trying to "educate" theists, I am just explaining why there is a lot of hatred towards them. We are living in a difficult time with frustratingly ignorant people and it is good to vent sometimes. As a minority, it is difficult to find people that understand and support us so we vent in a place that it is possible for us to vent which is clearly on the Nexus. If you do not consider yourself an atheist or even remotely close to one then why did you join the Nexus and continue to discuss religion with us?
As a minority, it is difficult to find people that understand and support us so we vent in a place that it is possible for us to vent which is clearly on the Nexus.
That is, directly, the oddity. "Free thinkers" that require validation from others, to achieve a desireable existence.
You directly brought "love" into the conversation. I've never made any proclamations about being a socially "nice" person; quite conversely, the general mode is curmudgeon. Without vocal inflection and facial expression, you have no way of knowing with any certainty whether the intent is hateful, or perhaps, bemused, indifferent, or petulent just for effect.