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Are atheists and agnostics intolerant?

These days there is so much prejudice all over the country. Are atheist contributing to that negative attitude? Shouldn't we be accepting of the things others have decided on for their lives or should we chastise them because they don't believe what we do? Shouldn't we live and let live?

By stomato6
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26 comments

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10

As Americans, we have the civil right to believe what we want, and if we consider ourselves patriots (a highly misused word by those on the right), we should step up further and defend that right. But the right to believe does not translate to the right to impose your beliefs on others that don't share it, because you would then be violating their civil rights. Listen to whatever music you want, just don't blast the neighborhood with it. Don't know if I speak for everyone here, but I don't believe in denying others if they want to believe in god, but I would work to stop them from creating law and policy based on that belief that infringes on mine.

godef Level 7 Dec 26, 2017

Separation of church and state is very important!

5

Just like any other group: Some are intolerant, some not. Intolerance is a personality issue, not an ideological one.

wordywalt Level 8 Dec 26, 2017
5

It's time to take a step back and review our attitudes! Being non-believers should put an extra weight on our shoulders to tolerate anyone's views. We are the outsiders that want to be accepted, yet so much of the attitude on this site has been negative and even hostile. Why? Just because someone is a believer doesn't make them less then we are. They have their reasons for their beliefs, whether it is family, or circumstances or anything else. We cannot vilify them for their beliefs. I would just love to see a less radical, more tolerant community here. People that believe do not threaten us, they just have different views. Let's not be a community of harsh, intolerant or arrogant people that thinks, ironically, that we are 'holier then thou"!

stomato Level 6 Dec 26, 2017

As in all issues, there are militant in-your-face elements. They do not represent the majority in any community unless they are permitted to do so. Speaking for myself, I am not seeking acceptance from anyone, and I am not an outsider.

Now, let's look at that 'acceptance' issue. There are some segments of the religious who can accept atheists for who they are and what they think, but I suggest that it represents a small minority, and an even smaller proportion of the christian community. To christians and muslims we are an anethema and our existence, as long as they embrace their dogma, will never be accepted or even tolerated. If anyone should be chastised for negativism, intolerance, prejudice, and hypocrisy, it is that segment of humanity. Does that sound harsh? It isn't.

Yes, there are those of us who are intolerant, militant, in-your-face, crude, belligerent, vociferous. Some are even nasty, but I submit to you that they have pretty good reason to be that way. We can hope that they will mature and move away from their position a bit, but I wouldn't go so far as to castigate them so quickly.

"People that believe do not threaten us, they just have different views."

Where I live that is not the case. Laws have been made that allow people (with sincerely held religious beliefs) to discriminate against LGBT's and anyone who has premarital sex. This means they can deny goods and services, e.g., birth control, counseling, adoption, renting, etc. Some people here on Agnostic.com are angry, and yes, many people who come here have been significantly impacted by religion. As the About page on this site states, it's a place to recover from a religious past.

Are you aware of Religious Trauma Syndrom? I would recommend educating yourself.
[babcp.com]

By the term "do not threaten us" I meant that they have no power over us. We are not swayed by them. I'm not advocating that we be tolerant of those who would discriminate against any group, including atheists. But that also goes for atheist that have prejudice against others with different ways of thinking. I would also argue with evidentialist about how believers that are accepting of atheists are a small minority of the believers. I beg to differ. I find that more and more, even the devout are questioning their faith, not in any outward or obvious way. I contend that those that are die hard believers are in the minority. Even Pope Francis said "It's better to be an atheist then a hypocritical Catholic". I agree with that.

Believers who threaten teens with hell merely for their gay or Lesbian status are worse than intolerant and are causing teen suicides. ...Jehovah Witnesses who refuse medical care for children IS NOT FREEDOM OF FAITH it is child neglect endangerment abuse

4

I don’t have any problem with people believing in god or heaven or any of that nonsense. I DO take issue with people shoving their religion down other’s throats, and with people who think that the right to practice your own religion means the right to impose your beliefs on others, or to discriminate against people who don’t conform to their religious beliefs.
Also, people who reject science and reason because it challenges their beliefs scare the living crap out of me.

4

I'm very tolerant of other beliefs. The people I love most are all Christians. I don't love the fact they're Christian, but they are. I hate the way Christians try to push the rest of us around. Trying to put up religious idols on public property, trying to tell women what they can or can't do with their bodies, wanting to tell others who they can or can't marry.
I am all for sharing this sight with believers, if they are polite and respectful, but if they try the same stuff here they try everywhere else, they can go to hell.

I really would prefer we don't include believers on this site. We are here because we are like minded about a number of things. Introducing everyone into this site would bring along radical religious views, scammers and other negative attitudes. We come to this site to connect with like minded people, adding others just muddies the water. I would like to keep it just for agnostic and atheists, et al!

I understand the concerns that people have about including believers here, but I suspect that many people who identify as believers and join a site like this are questioning their faith and wanting to explore that. I would not want to create any barriers for people who are considering leaving religion.

I get the impression admin here filters more for generic bad behavior than for specific ideology, and I really think that reasonably takes care of the problem. I don't care what my neighbors views are as long as they are good neighbors. @stomato

4

Some atheists are. Agnostics are the nicest people in the world.

2

People can be intolerant regardless of what they do or do not believe. I often see religious people claim that it's the atheists who are intolerant of their beliefs - particularly on gays and abortions.

What they seemingly fail to understand is that it's not intolerance of their beliefs but rather their intentions of trying to force their beliefs onto others in the name of their religion.

While I realize there is a pending Supreme Court outcome on the gay cake case, thus far, the constitution of the United States disagrees with their desire to force their beliefs onto others via discrimination.

And of course, they have no idea of the slippery slope they are trying to create if they succeed in getting their religious beliefs to be enforced into laws. For all they tend to go on about regarding Muslims and Sharia Law, they are damn near paving the way for it by letting religious beliefs dictate laws which in itself is unconstitutional and for a reason.

KevinD872 Level 5 Dec 27, 2017
2

My tolerance ends when someone else tries to push their beliefs onto me. Or worse legislate it into law.

jonheuman Level 4 Dec 26, 2017
2

It is said that the problems of the world is caused less by evil and more by weakness. When we sit idly by when others push their 'beliefs' on others and say nothing we are allowing the problems to grow.

Read the book "Stones in the River" by Ursula Hegi. It demonstrates what I am talking about.

2

I believe nothing outside of the mundane, so I have nothing to push. If I can be said to promote anything it would be critical thought, rationality, the pursuit of scientific knowledge, an understanding of our reality in the Universe, and the rights of all to be who they are. However, I will fight tooth and nail to resist the incursion of irrational belief/faith based nonsense in schools, politics, law, and social order.

If an issue is presented, I will respond. I am neither bashful nor timid.

2

I'm pretty much a live and let live atheist. As long as they don't try to force their beliefs down my throat I will return the same. I really am pretty secure in my agnosticism/ atheism. I believe what I believe and I'm extremely interested if someone has something meaningful to add to the conversation. On the other hand, if it is the same old tired bronze age shit then I'm just bored.

marmot84 Level 7 Dec 26, 2017
1

i am pretty tolerant... I am Far from Perfect.

We are all far from perfect, how boring would that be. But we all strive to be better. Thanks for you post!

1

We should all be intolerant of bad ideas, especially when translated into bad actions. We should never be intolerant of people, however. People who hold bad ideas are often victims.

1

It's one thing to criticize ideas and another to criticize people. Some people call it criticizing the messenger instead of the message. It's also called an ad hominem attack. Many people don't seem or don't want to understand the difference. When someone attacks an idea such as female genital mutilation then Muslims say we're attacking them. No we are pointing out a sick practice. When someone says he doesn't believe Jesus was a real person some religious people say we are defaming them by not believing as they do. No we're just saying what we personally believe. These things are not personal attacks. I doubt most of us go out in public or knocking on doors trying to convince people of our assessments on issues but when we are asked or challenged with them, certainly it is our right to express opinions. Too many times not agreeing with somebody is construed as chastisement. Should we live and let live? Sure, but turnabout is fair play.

gearl Level 7 Dec 27, 2017
1

If everyone could have a live and let live attitude our world wouldn't be in this situation. But human beings survival need seems to take over in non-survival situations. Instead of just surviving, they must make sure their "way of life" survives or "beliefs" survive. This has lead to wars, imperialism, missionaries, genocide, etc. People try to impose their views on others- it seems to be part of social structure. Atheists and agnostics have the same belief systems as people with religious beliefs. Agnostics believe something is there, but not sure what...Atheists believe nothing is beyond this life. And as with all things...everyone believes they're right.

1

Yes.

It’s sad that it took a reality TV billionaire to expose how atheist can be as biggoted, dogmatic and intolerant as the far religious right. And if some of us can’t or won’t accept that, let’s add delusional to the list.

Redlegdex Level 5 Dec 26, 2017
0

Apologies to Barry Goldwater, but “Extremism in the defense of intolerance is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of truth is no virtue!”

Geoff Level 5 Dec 29, 2017
0

Overall, form what I have read on this site, it woule seem that they are a hell of lot more tolerant than religious persons are as seen on Facebook.

snytiger6 Level 9 Dec 27, 2017
0

I like that phrase. We used it in AA when I was recovering. I was told to mind my own business until I had some time under my belt. I know why. Young people tend to want to change the program up instead of changing themselves... i also learned to take what i need and leave the rest. All those signs that hung on the walls had a meaning and i understand them.
Getting back to the question: its up to you to reason things out. Listen to them and let them have their say. Then voice your opinion. Not everybody agrees with each other. Team up with people like yourself that you respect and see how they feel about things you heard. Then decide.

0

Everyone is entitled to my opinion. That is all.

X-)

Hominid Level 7 Dec 27, 2017
0

Do your own thing and don't worry about others.

0

I have never chastised anyone for their beliefs. i will defend anyone's right to have their own beliefs. I will also defend anyone who does not want to be forced to believe what others want them to. I have yet to meet an atheist or an agnostic missionary who goes door to door trying to convert anyone. I don't tell any religious person that dead scientists are waiting for them in the afterlife to reward or punish them for their beliefs.

noworry28 Level 7 Dec 27, 2017
0

Silly question. I don’t believe in god, but that doesn’t mean that I or any other athiest think the exact same way about a lot of things.

MemIVu Level 1 Dec 27, 2017
0

I think people have good reason to be bitter against authoritarian expressions of religious belief, but authoritarian expressions of disbelief are just as offensive and destructive. Maybe the absolute truth value of a given practice is not as important as the peace of mind it can engender. Resentment is not peace.

skado Level 8 Dec 26, 2017

Right. I'm just talking about attitude. @jwm03h

0

I can't speak for others or all, but I am not very tolerant.

Rugglesby Level 8 Dec 26, 2017
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