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Former True Believers - Why Do Theists Have Such A Big Problem With Atheists?


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Why do Christians have such a problem with atheists? Is it because they secretly know we are correct ;-) ? We muct pose quite a threat is my guess.

 

Is there something in the air lately? Or are those Hate Talk people getting right-wingers all riled up against atheists?

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I don't know about atheists in general, but as an apostate, I think Christians have such a problem with me because they recognize that if one Christian left the faith, they also have the same potential. But they won't admit it.

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Could also be genuine anger that we could do something they feel they can't.

 

Most likely it is becuase taking it out on atheists or other non-believers is one of the few outlets for the anger they may feel towards anything. So, its bound to be more vitrolic.

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Mmmmm there is a bit of "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." I really wonder how many Christian church goers are quietly non-believers. Lots, I would guess.

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In many Christian groups, they're taught that they have the truth and anyone who doesn't believe like them is going to hell for eternity. That generates all kinds of emotions like pride, guilt, fear, anger, jealousy, self-hatred, etc.

 

I'm surprised when a Christian isn't emotional, and if they aren't I suspect they're hiding it.

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From observing the fundies in my life, I see it more as a strong in-group vs out-group type dynamic. They see a war going on and believe that their side is Right and True and that there is no grey area. It is a lot easier to circle the wagons and pull out the pitchforks than it is to try to understand someone else and form a compromise. They hate that liberals and atheists won't play along with their idea of how to achieve utopia and are destroying their chance at making the world into what they think would be a better place.

 

I think a more important question than what the sheeple in my life believe is why the leadership is playing up this dynamic. I have no idea, other than that it's easy, it's powerful emotions, and it sells books and speaking engagements.

 

Sometimes it also seems to be the scent of blood in the air, like in a recent presidential election my mom was really really excited about all the old people on the Supreme Court, and wanted a pro-life president in office to make sure that enough pro-life judges got appointed so that Roe v. Wade would get overturned.

 

It's about winning and power, proving that you are right. Atheists won't roll over and play along. I get more of a sense of rage than of defensiveness. How dare you not believe what they know is right and good for you?

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For the same reason any minority has ever been hated or had part of their life made a big deal of.

 

Simply put, we are different. Different = scary. Scary = bad.

 

At the same time, until lately, atheists have been relatively quiet. Quiet = weak. Weak = easy target.

 

Now, atheists are starting to find a voice. Vocal = even scarier.

 

Add to that the fact that the atheist worldview is completely the opposite of their beliefs, and we are their number 1 threat.

 

So, you see, we simply must be stopped. We are the biggest threat to their beliefs and way of life (at least the way they see it). And they don't have to think about why that is so, because the moment they do and the moment they start to view atheists as human and similar to them, then a lot of the power behind the different -> scary -> bad/evil is gone. Besides, thinking is hard. It is much easier to just stamp atheism out than it is to have to think.

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I thought Christians hate Atheists because we come out at night and suck the blood of their children, while having virgin sacrifices by the moonlight? :eek:

 

My experience has taught me that most of the above posts are true, and there's a million and one reasons why Fundies dislike Atheists, especially the vocal ones. Atheists are a perceived "threat", and to have them run this "Christian" nation into the ground is unthinkable!

 

When you combine a world view that sees all others as lost with a mindset of elitism masked in humility, stir in the crazy notion that this is a Christian nation with special privileges, sprinkle with a dash of Holy War mentality, and top it all off with a general unwillingness to consider other ways of life as palpable, of course they'll hate any threat to their Holy cocktail, especially if that threat is powerful enough to contend with them politically and socially. Atheists are gaining momentum, and in our country, when one side speaks loudly, the opposite side screams louder until one side is drowned out or disbanded. This culture war will be going on for a long time.

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With most it really is because they secretly know that Christianity is not true. I come to this conclusion as I have invited so many to look at hard solid facts engraved in Temples and Tombs of Ancient Egypt which tell the very same story, and the overwhelming evidence that identifies most of the bible patriarchs as Egyptian Kings, including the Joshuas, Abraham, Abel, Cain, Joseph, David, Solomon, Isaac, Jacob, Nahos, Peleg, Salitis, and many others. The very name of Jesus is not only there in Ancient Egypt but it is also in the Book of Jesus, Exodus and Numbers in the Old Testament - in the Septuagint. But they refuse to look at the evidence never mind check it out themselves. Such refusal can only be because they are afraid that it is true.

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With the overwhelming amount of evidence for evolution I think the position of religion, and especially that of the Abrahamic religions, becomes weaker and weaker. I think they know that and feel that, even if they don't admit it. And some churches and religious groups try to counter facts with fanatism, more brainwashing and repression of facts. Just like a dictatorship becomes most agressive when it feels most threatened. So I think generally it's about feeling threatened - in a deep corner of their mind they know that the evolution theory (and atheism through that - though I know that not all evolutionists are atheists) is winning....

 

 

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VacuumFlux

"From observing the fundies in my life, I see it more as a strong in-group vs out-group type dynamic. They see a war going on and believe that their side is Right and True and that there is no grey area."..."It's about winning and power, proving that you are right. Atheists won't roll over and play along. I get more of a sense of rage than of defensiveness."

I think you are on to something here. We humans are so tribal, aren' we? So, we're either with 'em or against 'em, in the fundie mindset. I have suspected there is a domination thing going on here, I mean that in a psychological way, though of course World Domination is the goal, too, isn't it with many Christians?

About rage: yes. Spot on.

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BigDonDiamond21

"When you combine a world view that sees all others as lost with a mindset of elitism masked in humility, stir in the crazy notion that this is a Christian nation with special privileges, sprinkle with a dash of Holy War mentality, and top it all off with a general unwillingness to consider other ways of life as palpable, of course they'll hate any threat..."

 

Elitism is the right word for it. Again with the God's Chosen People myth. But a truly secure dominant power would not be so easily threatened, I would think. In other words a more flexible ideology could accommodate a variety of worldviews.

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Malcolm Hutton

"With most it really is because they secretly know that Christianity is not true. "

That's what I wonder. And that is why Christians need desperately to proselytize - it is a kind of validation of their delusion if they can get others to sign on to it.

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Suzy

"With the overwhelming amount of evidence for evolution I think the position of religion, and especially that of the Abrahamic religions, becomes weaker and weaker. I think they know that and feel that, even if they don't admit it."

What I can't really understand is why evolution gets their goat so much. I mean, back in the day, religious conservatives accepted that the earth is a spherical ball and not the center of the universe, and that weakened their position. Of course science is constantly eroding their myths, so I understand, sadly, the hostility towards science in general. But many Christians have accepted evolution (like the billion+ Catholics) so why can't fundies? I guess it is a slippery slope to them, as there is so much else in the Bible that is wacky, but why not admit that they just pick and choose like the mainline faiths do and just move on?

•••

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful and informative replies. I am grateful to you. And I am so glad to have found this site, it is really helping me!

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Why do Christians have such a problem with atheists? Is it because they secretly know we are correct ;-) ? We muct pose quite a threat is my guess.

 

Is there something in the air lately? Or are those Hate Talk people getting right-wingers all riled up against atheists?

 

When I was a Christian: I said this to myself. Note the similarities:

"Why do Atheists have such a problem with Christians? Is it because they secretly know we are correct ;-) ? We must pose quite a threat is my guess."

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Why do Christians have such a problem with atheists? Is it because they secretly know we are correct ;-) ? We muct pose quite a threat is my guess.

 

Is there something in the air lately? Or are those Hate Talk people getting right-wingers all riled up against atheists?

 

When I was a Christian: I said this to myself. Note the similarities:

"Why do Atheists have such a problem with Christians? Is it because they secretly know we are correct ;-) ? We must pose quite a threat is my guess."

 

Well, let's see. I don't listen to atheist talk radio featuring rants against theists, I don't proselytize or preach, nor do I start threads on hobby internet forums attacking theists. I've lived in a majority Christian culture and tolerated Christian views all my life. So it's not exactly the inverse, but I see your point.

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I think you are on to something here. We humans are so tribal, aren' we? So, we're either with 'em or against 'em, in the fundie mindset. I have suspected there is a domination thing going on here, I mean that in a psychological way, though of course World Domination is the goal, too, isn't it with many Christians?

About rage: yes. Spot on.

•••

What I can't really understand is why evolution gets their goat so much. I mean, back in the day, religious conservatives accepted that the earth is a spherical ball and not the center of the universe, and that weakened their position. Of course science is constantly eroding their myths, so I understand, sadly, the hostility towards science in general. But many Christians have accepted evolution (like the billion+ Catholics) so why can't fundies? I guess it is a slippery slope to them, as there is so much else in the Bible that is wacky, but why not admit that they just pick and choose like the mainline faiths do and just move on?

•••

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful and informative replies. I am grateful to you. And I am so glad to have found this site, it is really helping me!

 

 

Well despite all our evolution, we really are still trying to be the top baboon in the group. :)

 

 

With evolution, it has to do more with the Facist movement that the dominonists have created. They would rather you believe in magic and follow the guy the top then to have people think. This is also why all those "conservative" colleges have sprung up over the last 30 years, and why they homeschool. The religious facists would like nothing better then to dismantle all public education in America.

 

Not that the department of education has done much about stopping the slide of our schools....but that is a different topic.

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Why do Christians have such a problem with atheists? Is it because they secretly know we are correct ;-) ? We muct pose quite a threat is my guess.

 

Is there something in the air lately? Or are those Hate Talk people getting right-wingers all riled up against atheists?

 

When I was a Christian: I said this to myself. Note the similarities:

"Why do Atheists have such a problem with Christians? Is it because they secretly know we are correct ;-) ? We must pose quite a threat is my guess."

 

Well, let's see. I don't listen to atheist talk radio featuring rants against theists, I don't proselytize or preach, nor do I start threads on hobby internet forums attacking theists. I've lived in a majority Christian culture and tolerated Christian views all my life. So it's not exactly the inverse, but I see your point.

 

Ok, I'm a minority within a minority, so I kind of want to chime in here.

I'm an ex Christian. I am a theist. I call myself a pagan, because it's convenient, but I hold of African traditional devotion and Afro-diasporic religions. At times, I feel as if I am beset from all sides by others. I'm evil for not being Christian. I'm stupid and "dogmatic" (completely untrue, no dogma in my faith) to certain militant atheists. I'm a colonialist to trad pagans for being white and worshiping African deities.

I very much dislike the attitude of "Christians hate atheists because they know we're right." How do you know? I honestly don't know if I'm "right." I do what I feel is true. I don't proselytize my views, I don't push my beliefs on anyone. I believe everyone must make their own way.

But I do tend to feel my ire rise when anyone, from any camp, tells me what I should think or believe. It's my mind and soul, damn it. It's not my fault if my view threatens your ideas - you choose to examine them, and react to them. I don't push.

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In my daze as a woo woo, many xian sites would allow atheists to participate to "learn" from the true believers. Even back then, I could see that the active polite atheists had more biblical knowledge than the average woo woo. At the time I was never one that had an issue with atheists plus I would stand up for mormons and catholics in the evangelical mudslinging matches.

 

The idea that atheists had more knowledge irritated me and as a result did more research and ended up an atheist myself.

 

It probably comes down to a reverse pascal's wager, what if they are right? Then my whole life has been wasted, think of all the kinky sex (add fictitious list of all atheist activities) I could have done etc. and that scares them, their whole worldview needs to be reinterpreted and that takes some work.

 

Probably in light of this, their biggest fear is the fact we cease to exist when we die. The fact they use science and medicine to cling to this temporal life is indicative that they are not totally convinced, logic dictates that if any of this were true, then dying naturally, is the doorway to the hereafter and should not be avoided.

 

Why pray to gawd to keep a loved one alive? The story in the OT of Hezekiah wanting just a few more years IIRC, is a story that should tell them that this is not the way gawd wants it. Can't remember the scrips but turns out that the Hezekiah had a shitty 15 extra years and everything else went wrong.

 

In reality, there comes a time to move on and it is only our will to survive that keeps us extending this life (if you can afford it that is)

 

The irony of it all is that the system robs you of living your life to its fullest and then promises you more of the same for eternity while lining their purses with your hard earned money.

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Antlerman, apologies, I did not know where to post this, so thanks for re-situating it in its proper home.

Here'nThere, how interesting. How old were you when you de-converted? I wonder how often adults do de-convert, and if it becomes less likely the longer they are in it and the longer they are invested in their identity as Christian, etc.

On this site I have been learning quite a bit and doing a bit of ranting, I am not proud to admit. It has helped me deal with some old issues and some recent dreary arguments. The Xtech presented here is quite different from the person I am in real life, and I want to say that I do love my Christian friends and family. Most, by far, are good, good people - no better or worse than non-Christian people. Of course some are fanatics and some misuse their religion to hurt others. But I am more tolerant and accommodating of religion than many of my atheist/agnostic peers; indeed I appreciate the good in it, and the happiness it brings many people. Humans fascinate me, and I think some sort of religious impulse is part of our human brain, so I tend to think it needs to be acknowledged and worked with to positive ends.

Anyway, people who are caught up in religious fanatacism or extremism or any other kind of misery remind me of people caught in the throes of addiction: there is denial, there is dishonesty to oneself, it is hard to find a way out. My heart breaks for them.

For the ones who have hurt me or others, I am working on forgiving them but there is not going to be a free pass: they must know what negative effects they have on others and work to change themselves and make amends.

Thanks again everyone for listening.

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I don't know about atheists in general, but as an apostate, I think Christians have such a problem with me because they recognize that if one Christian left the faith, they also have the same potential. But they won't admit it.

 

Precisely.

 

I've had friends admit to this. Some cut off contact when I came out of the closet. I think they felt threatened by my walking away from Christianity. Like if I could renounce my faith then they could. Apparently, it's contagious. Skepticism/nontheism is seen as a direct threat to their faith and everything they were spoon-fed or indoctrinated with. For some their immediate response is to be defensive.

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Many believers (my former self included) only know the straw-man version of atheists presented by the church. Atheists are seen at best as rebellious deniers of God or at worst pawns of Satan, but either way definitely "fools" who need to be silenced in order to stop them from deceiving the impressionable. As much as atheists are misrepresented by religious leaders, the unfortunate thing is that many swallow it whole.

 

As far as those saying that most believers secretly know they're wrong, there probably are some who deep down know they're wrong, but suggesting that most know it seems to me to be an exaggeration. From my many years in the Christian crowd, I didn't see much evidence of that, and I myself certainly was confident that Christianity was 100% true. Perhaps it depends on which Christian circles you're in, and of course I can only speak from where I came from.

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Christians always need some people group to demonise. It's been going on since they first turned up on the scene. Jesus set the standard for demonising those he didn't understand and who didn't see things the way he did.

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Christians always need some people group to demonise. It's been going on since they first turned up on the scene. Jesus set the standard for demonising those he didn't understand and who didn't see things the way he did.

 

Yeah, like the poor Haitian earthquake victims were condemned as having made a "pact with the devil." It's mind-boggling how people can be so deluded as to demonize people that way.

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Guest Valk0010

One word answer...fear. Three word answer...Fear of the unknown that is really very closely familar. Well that was more then three words but you get my point.

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Many believers (my former self included) only know the straw-man version of atheists presented by the church. Atheists are seen at best as rebellious deniers of God or at worst pawns of Satan, but either way definitely "fools" who need to be silenced in order to stop them from deceiving the impressionable. As much as atheists are misrepresented by religious leaders, the unfortunate thing is that many swallow it whole.

 

As far as those saying that most believers secretly know they're wrong, there probably are some who deep down know they're wrong, but suggesting that most know it seems to me to be an exaggeration. From my many years in the Christian crowd, I didn't see much evidence of that, and I myself certainly was confident that Christianity was 100% true. Perhaps it depends on which Christian circles you're in, and of course I can only speak from where I came from.

 

Wow. So how did you de-convert, what did it for you? And at what age? (editted to add - Oh OK ! I found your personal story which answers the first question)

 

If I can figure out how to set up a poll on this site, I would be interested to see how old people were when they de-converted.

 

Amazing interesting stuff from everyone. And so, so sad.

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