Something horribly disturbing that I am starting to notice among fellow atheists

First of all, hey guys! I haven't been on for awhile!

I just wanted to pop back in to my good old atheist community to express some concern over two trends I am noticing in some atheists.

The first is dogmatic atheism. I've gone 5 years never having to encounter a dogmatic atheist and suddenly I've met a couple recently. Atheism is NOT and can NOT be a positive claim. People claiming that there is definitely no god (apparently they exist) need to be confronted whenever possible. I am working very hard to try to secularize the world, but it is extremely important that religion is not replaced with nontheistic dogma.
If atheism is an emotionally held position rather than a rational one, first of all the theists are right. In this scenario the atheist is no better than the most indoctrinated theist. Second of all, with the broad and promising reach of secularization, it forebodes a possible future when religious oppression is not eliminated but simply turned against the religious.

This brings me to my second issue: Hostility. When being hostile to theists, you have to stop and think about your intentions. Being hostile to a theist achieves nothing more than blowing off steam for your own selfish interests. I suppose this is fine if you can't deal with not having the release or don't care about the image of atheism, but again if we are to spread at all as a rational position rather a emotional/dogmatic one, personal attacks should really stop. They're usually excused by some rendition of "they started it" or "theists do it so much worse!" But come now... it is intellectually dishonest to justify such behavior this way. Adults behaving like children will be dismissed like children. Just think about how well those "atheists hate god" people affect your opinion. Nobody is forcing you to stay and talk with an idiot. If you can't stand what they're saying, most likely they won't be convincing any moderates anyway. Leave them to someone else who can handle their terrible arguments without getting hostile.
Keep in mind that nobody thinks that they are evil or stupid. People draw lines and expect in some sense to be respected. Don't give them certain respects that they don't deserve naturally but for a rational, non-emotinal position, civil discourse is always a minimum respect. An overwhelming majority of theists have no idea what atheism is. They've been lied to by their religious figures and their community which supports the urban legends. People don't need to be stupid in order to be brainwashed. They have extremely good reasons to fear us. Their churches spread propaganda and there are enough atheists confirming that we're "angry, hateful people" to  block all critical thought.

"We shall have to repent in this generation, not so much for the evil deeds of the wicked people, but for the appalling silence of the good people."-MLK

""First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice"

This goes both ways. The atheist moderates need to be heard over the dogmatic ones. The theist moderates need to be considered when trash talking the extremist ones. The leading social activists in history have all realized the importance of the moderates.

Theists are not stupid. They're not playing fantasy. The only requirement is belief in god. We can't get so caught up in our own opinion that we create our own pseudo-religion and demonize the theist moderate.

We need the help every theist moderate that we can get. They are our most powerful tool for social change. They are the ones who will spread the word to the theist community that we're not monsters. They will make more atheists and atheist sympathizers than any one of us ever possibly could.

Please consider this next time you choose to debate a bigot. Your actions affect much more than just you and the other participant. If we don't remove the emotional blocks to reason, we can't expect reason from anybody.

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Comment by David Anam on April 28, 2011 at 3:42pm

If I might chime in here, I am also a "hard atheist," though I don't much care for that term. While I suppose you could come up with something that is hypothetically possible and call it God, that tends to be dishonest to the word God. The word God refers to something that I am convinced does not exist. The fact that some people use the same word to describe something different is irrelevent.


Super-intelligent something or another = might exist.

God = doesn't exist.


As far as politeness vs. rudeness, I think the more important aspect is whether your words are fair and truthful. For example, I think calling Christians "delusional" is unhelpful, simply because in most cases it isn't true. While surely at least some Christians are delusional, the vast majority are not. However, insulting a Christian by saying that they are ignorant and believe in ridiculous crap is perfectly acceptable because it's true. It may be harsh to say it like that, but in many cases harshness works a lot better than trying to be respectful about it.

Comment by Johnny on April 28, 2011 at 11:41am
Descartes' evil god is an impossible to disprove model with anything observable. Defeats hard atheism that is based on observation.

I do tell the liberal Christians that all the time. Most of them don't believe me because it's easier to find shitraising and trolling than reasonable discussions.

I've already made provisions for your opinion. It is good for you and you seem to care little about the social change behind religion and changing people's views. If you just want to live angrily in the time period you are in that's fine. You're under no obligation to care about change.

If you do care about change, though, putting on the horns and playing demonized stereotype is about as useful to spreading secular values as a fish hook is to a fish. It's just clowning to the theists about how right they are that we all suck.
Comment by Johnny on April 28, 2011 at 10:44am

Nothing wrong with being pissed. It's how you express it that matters.

Sorry I forgot slang wasn't universal lol

Here it means being very annoyed.

Depends on the forum really. I'd say that it is important to get on bad atheist forums in order to show theists that extremist atheist viewpoints are opposed and not the norm.

Comment by pixie on April 28, 2011 at 10:00am
I agree wholeheartedly. We will never shake off demonization if we willingly don the horns and forked tongue.
Comment by Johnny on April 28, 2011 at 9:52am
This site has a good few hostile and dogmatic atheists:

If you'd like to help spread atheism by reforming the inside, that site would be a good start. The admin basically banned me because I got pissed that he was dismissing and refusing to respond to points.



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