Why do atheist communities seem more aggressive?

 I do find it refreshing that people are more straight forward in atheist communities than not.  And I would have to qualify that not all atheist communities are more aggressive than non atheist communities – but I do find a certain scene of directness and crossing social boundaries that are upheld in other places.


This isn’t to say that I don’t contravene quite a few social boundaries myself, and in fact feel quite more at home here on Nexus than anywhere else, where I find myself in society.


I wouldn’t say that I’m a rude person, but I certainly seem to manage to piss quite a lot of people off in terms of breaking un-spoken social rules – it’s the looks and the apologies for my ‘friends’ ways that I’m gaining this understanding.


And then when I post here, I get straight forward, honest and direct response, which I absolutely love.  It’s like I’ve come home – some people who can hear what I have to say, tell me is all crap and then give me something more solid to rest my understanding about reality.


Is it something about the ‘real’ world that people don’t like to hear the truth or an opinion about the truth as I see it, shakes their world?  I don’t know.

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Comment by S Davenport on April 23, 2011 at 8:56pm

A slap in the face with the cold hand of reality can sometimes be seen as aggressive. :)  Faith offers warmth, comfort, and sanctuary from reality in return for unquestioning obedience, and 10% at the door. It’s a make believe reality and for some reason that’s all falling apart on them right now, the coming wave of secular humanism will devour those that don’t adapt. Rejecting god and all his followers is a process that sometimes requires therapy and counseling. I grew up in an environment that was not so nice to non-believers; the god-o-philes dismissed us as lonely outsiders who held a grudge. Being civil is something I have come to adopt over time, I live in the Protestant Vatican (Colorado Springs) and have found the civil more polite discussions, where you are able to plant a seed in the religionists thick skull, are far more effective at winning the debate. We are winning. I think we should create a culture that is welcoming and non-judgmental, that fosters the truth, which allows all people to question anything without being ridiculed or harassed. I don’t think we should treat them the way they treated us. As tempting as it is to say STFU, we have the truth on our side; we should be able to do it in a civil manner. I love to say bless you when someone passes gas. That has been called insensitive by one of my coworkers. I think it’s funny, is it insensitive to anyone else?

Comment by Alice on April 22, 2011 at 12:22am

Glen – yes it is the apes that are insulted.  Luck they can’t read hey!

Comment by Frankie Dapper on April 21, 2011 at 11:11pm


Gorillas used to have the reputation of being the most pacific of the great apes. I notice the tendency that more and more aggressive behavior is discovered in all of the apes. But when you compare apes to humans you insult the apes! I am sure that apes would be as bad as humans if they could only manipulate their environment the way we can.

Comment by Alice on April 21, 2011 at 10:41pm



Thanks for the post. Sam Harris has an interesting point when he links morals with our emotional and reactions – so if we respond with disgust then that reflects our moral code, and I agree, most people when reading some parts of the bible now would be disgusted and repulsed.  Our morals as a species have changed according to our circumstances.


It’s fear and guilt as well as wanting to be kind, cooperative and please others, that guides us through what this is collectively called: our conscience.

Comment by Alice on April 21, 2011 at 10:38pm

Glen – OK – my brain is a bit slow at the moment, and I’m not feeling cerebral enough to fire it up right now – really I should be taking the kids for a walk in the sunshine…  BUT what you say here sounds plausible and sensible.  I’m sure I’ve heard similar logical argument before and so I’ll agree with you… : )


I wonder how that relates to other primates – gorilla communities for example…  if they run the group, are they more likely to kill – I think so.  So surely that means that Hawking and Dawkins are more likely to kill than you or I or that the pope is more likely to kill, than the catholic next door – no – perhaps it doesn’t work like that…


It would seem in fact that Bush is more likely to kill though – albeit indirectly.


I saw a great show the other day about the gorillas in the mountains.  Showing their history over the last 40 years or so.  I would like to see more – I only caught the last few minutes. 


The way that they changed over leadership when the top silverback was poached etc and how they killed babies of other silverbacks – and how they cheated on their mates with other males etc..  interesting to reflect upon.  I always like to see us as just a bit more sophisticated, but not too much – we mostly behave like apes.

Comment by Frankie Dapper on April 21, 2011 at 10:19pm

No Alice,

Humans are not all equally prone to aggression. Those humans who are under the influence of political and religious ideology win the agression prize. The greater the influence the greater the willingness to KILLLL.

In addition religion makes the underclasses everywhere more susceptible to false patriotism and mindless following in general. And this dehumanizing quality inherent in religion and political ideology leads to supreme aggression.

Of course if you are talking about being polite that is a horse of a different stripe.

Comment by Alice on April 21, 2011 at 10:01pm

I feel sad when you say that they will steal my chocolate milk – you know how much I value that! : )

I would say that humans are equally prone to aggression – I would say that aggressive is stimulated by fear mainly – fear of loosing a mate, loosing food, loosing your wallet, loosing your faith, loosing your position in the group to a younger fitter model…
Comment by Alice on April 21, 2011 at 8:29pm



I really feel for American Atheist – they get such a rough deal with all those frantically christians and the interwoven fabric of christianity in normal life.


I think I’ve always lived on the fringes of society anyway, so haven’t been as exposed to mainstream Christian values in England or Australia.  Although now I find myself in a street where the local kids are in a Christian family – it does seem to pose some problems – but not many – basically the parents don’t’ deal with us at all – but the kids are really nice and friendly – I just explain to my kids that if they say certain things, they might not have their friends for very long… LOL…

Comment by Alice on April 21, 2011 at 8:19pm



I agree – and doesn’t it tend to make you aggressive also when christians talk about how your disbelief in god is somehow undermining American values?!  It does me.. LOL

Comment by Frankie Dapper on April 20, 2011 at 11:38pm


Surely you jest-atheists more aggressive. The so-called militant atheist is prepared to argue and may show the emotion created by the falsehood and injustice of religion. That is the extent of atheist aggression. That is unless you play the theists' game and cite Stalin or some other atheistic historical figures who perpetrated atrociities. And we all know that is nonsense.

On the other hand, the aggressive theists burned hundreds of thousands of women, had a children's crusade, spread their lies by the sword, perpetrated inquisitions using exquisite forms of torture, practiced human sacrifice etc. 

Moreover when the church has the power it brooks no contrary opinion. Witness the burnings and excommunications, the wars of the seventeenth century caused by opposition beliefs, and the overriding tendency to silence its critics. Now that is aggression. 

And if you think these are historical anachronisms consider the murder of children in Africa today, suicide bombings, Islam in the middle east and the political and cultural climate of the bible belts. Given the power, theists will take your lunch money and steal your chocolate milk.

Atheists are quiescent considering how much they understand.



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