(Closed) Atheists and/or Agnostics: How Do You Cope With Naysayers?

posted 8 years ago in Secular
Post # 3
Member
4385 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I kind of think that some bad apples ruin it for everyone. For example I have an aquaintance who is atheist, but she’s awful about it. She puts me down for being Christian and believes my views are stupid and basically I am some brainwashed moron.

Still, I do not have anything against your beliefs, I am more of the “whatever floats your boat” type. So long as we respect eachothers beliefs, I am totally happy.

Post # 4
Member
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

Atheism has almost always had a bad reputation. It’s seen as antisocial. When religion is the center of a community, atheists are necessarily the black sheep. But some people are more concerned about the splinter in your eye than the log in theirs. πŸ˜‰ I just keep my religious views more or less to myself and everybody’s happy. As a non-believer, I feel no compulsion to proselytize.

Post # 5
Member
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Honestly, its something that rarely comes up for me. Northern California just doesn’t have a public display of faith culture.

But I’ve found that if someone crosses the line, looking them straight in the eye and saying “that is offensive, and I don’t like that,” will put an end to it. People are so rarely confronted about their rudeness, and if you do it in a way that is not an invitation to debate, but a simple rebuke, it really sinks in.

Also, I will speak up about any rudeness, not just something directed at me. Its amazing, no one says racists or bigoted speech about anyone around me.

Post # 6
Member
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I think atheists have a bad reputation because people believe that if you don’t have religion, you don’t have morals, and you’re therefore a bad person with no “inner compass”. Of course, that’s complete bs. I’m sorry I don’t have any advice on how to deal with others’ insensitive and rude comments, but just know you’re not the only non-religious person who has to deal with that crap πŸ™

And uuuugh I hate the “I’ll pray for you!” line! It’s like, “Umm no thanks, actually. Don’t need your prayers, or anyone else’s for that matter.”

Post # 9
Member
3162 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I think that the term “Athiest” carries with it more negative connotations than an “agnostic” because those who do profess a faith (whatever faith that may be) will automatically get on the defensive because by the very nature of the word, atheists do not believe in God or theology. A person who places great importance on their faith will be turned off by someone who labels themself an atheist because that automatically challenges their belief system, even if you don’t actually say anything about your beliefs, you know what I mean? I don’t think it’s right, but I think it’s part of why that happens.

Personally I’m an agnostic and what that means to me is that I don’t make any claims to know what is true and what is not true when it comes to religion. There are so many different faiths out there and people who believe equally that their faith is the one true faith. I don’t feel like any of us are in a position to know anything unequivocally about higher powers in this world. That’s why they are “higher” – because they are unknowable to humans. At the same time, that means I feel also that I’m also in no position to tell anyone that they are right or wrong. I respect people’s beliefs to a point – if those beliefs are used to rationalize blanket hatred or violence or are used to attack me personally, then I will tell you where to stick your beliefs.

Post # 10
Member
1154 posts
Bumble bee

I haven’t had to deal with this too much – lived in bay area and now new york city but ahgr ahgr.  I think we might have a muslim president before we have an atheist. 

The morality argument particularly drives me nuts – um, thanks but I don’t need  a big white guy in the sky to make me care about others and ethics because I have a strong ethical system on my own, I tend to think that’s more ethical than doing something because I don’t want to go to hell.

And I realize the above might be somewhat offensive to people of faith but I think this is a really weird part of religion, most religions believe things like ‘we are the choosen people’ and people who don’t do X are ‘going to hell’ – if you really and truly believe in your religion – it is inescapably offensive to people.  Now if people are polite and don’t tak about it to me I don’t really care much what they believe in the privacy of their heads but I feel like we’ve evolved to want a society where everyone is friendly and believes different things but the vast majority of religions are just not made for that kind of thing and the logical disonnect is pretty strange.  Like devout Christians who marry non Christians – I’m just so puzzeled how they can believe that their lover isn’t ‘saved’ and be okay with that. 

Atheism is somewhat inherently offensive as well – if you think there is no God than by definition you think all the religious people are wrong and probably silly but IMO that is not as offensive as thinking someone is bad or going to hell.

But atheism seems to catch more flack than the more offensive views.

And I absolutely hate the whole ‘oh there are annoying atheists out there! that’s why atheists are discriminated against!’

Post # 11
Member
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

@lilyfaith: Yes, that does make it quite a bit harder. I live in a very diverse place where no one would assume I was Christian to begin with (NOW; that wasn’t the case when I was growing up), so no one judges my actions in that context. I am afraid I don’t have any good advice I could give… because my solution was to move!

Post # 12
Member
2090 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I haven’t had much issue with this, but when I am confronted I just won’t take people’s bait, and usually just say something like “to each his own, I respect your beliefs, please respect mine” and exit the conversation. The only thing I will usually do is to point out (if the point is made) that morality, ethics and religion are not exclusive to each other.

You know you’re a good person – just remember that, and remember that the bad apples (on both sides) who are overly caught up in judging how others live their lives and making sure it’s the “right” way, generally lead less happy lives!

Post # 13
Member
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@lilyfaith: I haven’t read it, but I’ll check it out! And maybe leave a copy on the doorstep of some “well meaning” friends… πŸ™‚

Post # 15
Member
4385 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@lilyfaith – I agree there are ignorant people on both sides, I feel the same way about christians who try to shove their religion down my throat. I think everyone could use to be a little more understanding of one another!

Post # 16
Member
2859 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden

I live in an area where nobody assumes that others are Christian, and most of my friends and family either don’t practice their religion at all, or only do so on the holidays. So I don’t often have to deal with this, luckily.

 

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