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Why Are Believers Ignorant About Atheists?


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http://www.salon.com/2012/06/30/why_are_believers_ignorant_about_atheists/

 

We were having this discussion on another forum I am on. This article talks about a priest who claimed that atheists have no reason to grieve? Are religious leaders truly this ignorant of atheists or are they purposefully misleading church members?

 

And is it our duty to educate religious people about atheism? What about the risks? Children, family, work, community...

 

And here's one other thought I had, have you ever imagined that something would be so painful only to realize after that it really was all in your imagination? How much do we fear "coming out", fear the risks...how much of that is real, how much is imagined?

 

I'm certainly not blaming anyone for not coming out. I think we each have to decide what is right for our own situation. I'm just wondering how much of our fear is based on what really is likely to happen versus our imagination of what COULD happen...

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I know coming out isn't easy for many people, but it does seem like coming out is something that'll help atheists out in the long run. I was thinking about the success of the gay rights movement and wondering what we could learn from them. Gays were once completely misunderstood and hated, but once they came out they could educate their family and friends and their families and friends would eventually stick up for them. Now people are more willing to stand up for gays because most people have some in their families. Once the Christians realize that they know atheists they'll realize how wrong their stereotypes and assumptions were.

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I agree, Joe. I think there are a lot of movements we can learn from. Both what to do that works and what NOT to do perhaps.

 

There are many similarities between the LGBT movement and the secular movement. I was part of a discussion a couple of weeks ago where someone said that to be as successful as the gay movement we needed to get over the "A" word and choose ONE word to identify ourselves. I think that is one area where our movement is different. No matter how hard you try, you CANNOT put us all in the same box. Even Ex-C is only one way that people are leaving religion. And then to tell someone who identifies as secular Buddhist, agnostic, or whatever, that they must call themselves an atheist isn't going to work in this case. Lol.

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I think that minister was sincere with his beliefs. During every funeral I've been at, the minister has said something along the lines of how the non-believer doesn't have the same hope of reuniting when a loved one dies.

 

That kind of culture, to me, seems like one of reaffirmation: "look how brown the grass is for those guys. Thank God we have God to keep our own grass so green and godly."

 

As a Christian, did you ever cite the verse in (I think) 1 Corinthians about how unbelievers always have doubt about being wrong? Did you know anyone who did? Or do you have it thrown at you today? I think it's the same kind of principle.

 

The genuine lack of understanding seems to stem from mankind's natural inability to properly understand each other. Even when we try and look at things from someone else's perspective we still apply our own knowledge and experiences to their situations. I saw one pretty poor article on the Washington Post called "If I were a poor black kid" or something like that. The guy talked about all the avenues for how someone can escape poverty, but didn't seem to realise that no impoverished kid would try to do the things he recommended since they're naturally going to think differently to him.

 

With regards to coming out, the one thing that kept me back was the same kind of thing in that Malcolm in the Middle episode. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Hal and Lois have a wonderful evening together, Hal says "won't it be great in heaven? Doing this every night!" to which Lois replies that she doesn't believe in heaven. Long story short, Hal spends the next 20 minutes of air time freaking out about how lonely he's going to be for all eternity.

 

I don't want to create that kind of situation, and I suspect my family would be particularly upset by that. I am easing my way out to Christian friends that ask (exceptions exist), and I think any effect there would be longer term: as the older generations die off the current one is more familiar with wicked heathens like myself.

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They're dickheads who want to castigate us so even more believers don't leave and join us. Unlike how straights won't turn gay en mass if gay marriage is allowed, believers WILL turn to non belief (generally) if they know what we know, and are accepted and not shamed.

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On another forum, there was a thread titled how do atheists view death. This was also implied we have no hope and that must suck.

 

What sucks for them is that we have come to realise this hope is based on vanity and that the only answer is death = the end of life.

 

Do we grieve at the loss of a loved one? Of course we do. Even animals grieve at the loss of one of their own or perhaps like cats or dogs that pine over the absence of one of their buddies you may have had to put down. The mourning process is for the living not the dead.

 

The woos should actually be singing and dancing as according to their beliefs, the loss is actually a gateway to heaven so all should be well. You really do not see this now do you? Always tears and sadness even if the deceased was uber fundy. Loss is loss no matter what your beliefs are.

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http://www.salon.com/2012/06/30/why_are_believers_ignorant_about_atheists/

 

We were having this discussion on another forum I am on. This article talks about a priest who claimed that atheists have no reason to grieve? Are religious leaders truly this ignorant of atheists or are they purposefully misleading church members?

 

And is it our duty to educate religious people about atheism? What about the risks? Children, family, work, community...

 

And here's one other thought I had, have you ever imagined that something would be so painful only to realize after that it really was all in your imagination? How much do we fear "coming out", fear the risks...how much of that is real, how much is imagined?

 

I'm certainly not blaming anyone for not coming out. I think we each have to decide what is right for our own situation. I'm just wondering how much of our fear is based on what really is likely to happen versus our imagination of what COULD happen...

 

I think some leaders do purposely mislead the religious. I also think the reason lay people are so ignorant about atheists is because they get their information on atheists from Christians instead of atheists & and some are actually afraid to read material by atheists.

 

Great article Rose, thanks for posting.

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I think some leaders do purposely mislead the religious. I also think the reason lay people are so ignorant about atheists is because they get their information on atheists from Christians instead of atheists & and some are actually afraid to read material by atheists.

There is a great deal of the unknown involved. I think there's a bit of a self-perpetuating cycle of bias, ignorance, fear and misleading with honest intentions that goes on in the world of religion.

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I think some leaders do purposely mislead the religious. I also think the reason lay people are so ignorant about atheists is because they get their information on atheists from Christians instead of atheists & and some are actually afraid to read material by atheists.

There is a great deal of the unknown involved. I think there's a bit of a self-perpetuating cycle of bias, ignorance, fear and misleading with honest intentions that goes on in the world of religion.

 

I was just thinking about this and making observations about the devout Christians in my life. And what I came up with is that even the most intelligent ones are asking the wrong questions & reading the wrong books. It actually gave me more empathy. How could they begin to understand me when they don't even know they are in what you call their self-perpetuating cycle of bias?

 

I liked your post Inqui, you 20somethings give me hope.

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I think some leaders do purposely mislead the religious. I also think the reason lay people are so ignorant about atheists is because they get their information on atheists from Christians instead of atheists & and some are actually afraid to read material by atheists.

There is a great deal of the unknown involved. I think there's a bit of a self-perpetuating cycle of bias, ignorance, fear and misleading with honest intentions that goes on in the world of religion.

 

I was just thinking about this and making observations about the devout Christians in my life. And what I came up with is that even the most intelligent ones are asking the wrong questions & reading the wrong books. It actually gave me more empathy. How could they begin to understand me when they don't even know they are in what you call their self-perpetuating cycle of bias?

 

I liked your post Inqui, you 20somethings give me hope.

 

But us 30-something deconverts, we have one foot in the grave and hence are irrelevant. Thanks!!!

 

;)

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Serendipity Rose, what is wisdom? I don't know. But I suspect that one important aspect of wisdom is knowing which battles to fight.

 

I believe the main battle for me to fight in life is internal. This is what wisdom suggests to me.

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Serendipity Rose, what is wisdom? I don't know. But I suspect that one important aspect of wisdom is knowing which battles to fight.

 

I believe the main battle for me to fight in life is internal. This is what wisdom suggests to me.

 

Very profound, Legion.

Seriously.

 

It's your own person jihad, no?

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How could they begin to understand me when they don't even know they are in what you call their self-perpetuating cycle of bias?
They accuse us of exactly the same thing. Why I don't know as they quickly go silent when we demonstrate more sound biblical knowledge than they have. Ask them for any new evidence and it is the same old.

 

I think what irritates me the most is their idea we left because we were hurt or wanted to follow some lewd lifestyle OR just didn't give the version of truth™ a try.WendyDoh.gif

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Sometimes, I think it's a matter of ignorance, and other times, it's a matter of being deceitful for the sake of waging an argument against us. I think there really is a lot of genuine ignorance, which is to be expected from most religious people. People who are religious generally just don't think that deeply or intelligently about such concepts, so it's no surprise to me when I see such ridiculous nonsense from them.

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Serendipity Rose, what is wisdom? I don't know. But I suspect that one important aspect of wisdom is knowing which battles to fight.

 

I believe the main battle for me to fight in life is internal. This is what wisdom suggests to me.

 

Very profound, Legion.

Seriously.

 

It's your own person jihad, no?

 

Thank you McD.

 

Yes, my own personal Jihad.

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Sometimes, I think it's a matter of ignorance, and other times, it's a matter of being deceitful for the sake of waging an argument against us. I think there really is a lot of genuine ignorance, which is to be expected from most religious people. People who are religious generally just don't think that deeply or intelligently about such concepts, so it's no surprise to me when I see such ridiculous nonsense from them.

Dehumanizing your enemy is one of the old standbys.
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People tend to fear what they don't understand. Preachers fill congregations heads with images of atheists as devil worshippers with no morals or purpose and the loyal sheep buy it.

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How could they begin to understand me when they don't even know they are in what you call their self-perpetuating cycle of bias?
They accuse us of exactly the same thing. Why I don't know as they quickly go silent when we demonstrate more sound biblical knowledge than they have. Ask them for any new evidence and it is the same old.

 

I think what irritates me the most is their idea we left because we were hurt or wanted to follow some lewd lifestyle OR just didn't give the version of truth™ a try.WendyDoh.gif

 

Me too LL, me too. That is the reason why the number one thing I am working on in my life is acceptance. I can't change they way people think, I can only change how I respond.

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Aww rats. I wrote out a reply to almost every one of you and my browser just crashed and lost it all. :(

 

Inqui, I couldn't find that verse but it was probably just that verse that my mother recited to me when I questioned at age 12. Followed up of course with, "why would so many people believe in god if he wasn't real? Those simple words were all it took for me to put it in the back of my mind unfortunately.

 

I think some leaders do purposely mislead the religious. I also think the reason lay people are so ignorant about atheists is because they get their information on atheists from Christians instead of atheists & and some are actually afraid to read material by atheists.
There is a great deal of the unknown involved. I think there's a bit of a self-perpetuating cycle of bias, ignorance, fear and misleading with honest intentions that goes on in the world of religion.
I was just thinking about this and making observations about the devout Christians in my life. And what I came up with is that even the most intelligent ones are asking the wrong questions & reading the wrong books. It actually gave me more empathy. How could they begin to understand me when they don't even know they are in what you call their self-perpetuating cycle of bias? I liked your post Inqui, you 20somethings give me hope.

 

Yes, I suppose that much of what they are doing is trying to make sense of it all themselves.

 

Serendipity Rose, what is wisdom? I don't know. But I suspect that one important aspect of wisdom is knowing which battles to fight. I believe the main battle for me to fight in life is internal. This is what wisdom suggests to me.

 

Very wise words, Legion. :)

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Perhaps I should have thought a little more about what I really wanted to investigate before I posted this question. My son is always telling me I should really only ask one question at a time. I should listen to him.

 

What I'm really wondering is how much of our fear of our family, friends and co-workers reactions are real and how much is just perceived?

 

I tend to anticipate the worst. I imagine that I will be rejected and often I find that a lot of people are indifferent. Especially if you come out to them in a non-threatening way.

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Perhaps I should have thought a little more about what I really wanted to investigate before I posted this question. My son is always telling me I should really only ask one question at a time. I should listen to him.

 

What I'm really wondering is how much of our fear of our family, friends and co-workers reactions are real and how much is just perceived?

 

I tend to anticipate the worst. I imagine that I will be rejected and often I find that a lot of people are indifferent. Especially if you come out to them in a non-threatening way.

 

That's such a great question I wondered that myself. I think in my life it was probably 50/50. It was enough to keep me closeted.

 

What I am learning now is to be confident about my choice and how I came there, and to not care so much how other people react. I can't control their response. I can only control mine.

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Serendipity Rose, what is wisdom? I don't know. But I suspect that one important aspect of wisdom is knowing which battles to fight.

 

I believe the main battle for me to fight in life is internal. This is what wisdom suggests to me.

 

Very profound, Legion.

Seriously.

 

It's your own person jihad, no?

 

Thank you McD.

 

Yes, my own personal Jihad.

 

Mohammed Yoda?

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I had a woman once ask me if Muslims were the ones who worshiped buhda.

 

That question was so wrong on so many levels i wanted to bitch slap the hoe. they dont know about atheist because most of them dont know anything. They may be adults but their education level is that of a 9th grade school girl.

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