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Believer Bashing?

Please explain to me the apparent need to condemn people that do believe? I really just do not understand this. Why would we choose to be anything other than open to acceptance and kind to others? I will never understand it when someone wants the freedom to make their own choices while condemning someone else for theirs. I really do wish we would all learn to show respect before we demand it.

By Dida
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11

We are expressing our opinions. Believers do it all the time without showing any kind of respect when they say everyday that we are going to burn in hell among other things. We are here to speak our mind. We do not go to the believers and tell them off. They however condemn us all the time. On television, in person. How do feel about being told that a family's illness is due to god punishing them for their non belief. Or it's god's plan that someone close to you is sick or died.

noworry28 Level 6 Feb 12, 2018
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I pity them for their ignorance. They can say what they want to say, just demonstrates their narrow-mindedness.

Expressing opinions is not the same as throwing stones and name calling. Talking about religion and why we oppose it is not the same as discussing ways to verbally abuse people for being believers.

@Dida I have not come across any posts discussing ways to verbally abuse any believers on this site. Did I miss something.

@noworry28 It was a few responses to a post. Not sure what post but some of the comments were rather hateful regarding missionaries knocking on our doors. I did however see a post about inviting them over for a cookout and I thought that was awesome.

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For what I do, such as post atheist memes on facebook, I don't call "bashing". I call it, "equal time". When people praise god for nonsense on facebook, I have to throw my two cents in. It's only fair. They state their opinion; I state mine. Of course, only mine is based in fact.

SingTheGuitar Level 4 Feb 12, 2018
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And, yes. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. smile001.gif

I totally agree. We all have a right to share our opinions without fear of being attacked for them. You are absolutely right. I did not mean to sound as though we have no right to voice our disbelief because we do, just that I do not agree anyone has the right to right to say hateful things and call people names.

@Dida We all have the right to say "hateful things and call people names". Whether others agree or not is irrelevant. If someone says something you don't like, you have options for dealing (or not) with it. Censorship sucks.

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Venting to other people who understand the strife religion has caused does not equate to being unkind to others. I think kindness also entails understanding that many people react from a point of pain-- in this case, that religious people often cause suffering to those who are non-religious through acts of discrimination and intolerance.

silvereyes Level 8 Feb 12, 2018
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Yes and stating it as you just did is perfect. I am talking about the name calling and hating of all religious people not the venting, that is critical to healing but hating back is harmful. Like bombing an abortion clinic.

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There are differences herein between escape stories from horrific cults bashing back at the religious perpetrators. .....our Atheist comraderie is inescapably condescending towards believers. ...my Quaker comrades my Catholic Workers for peace and justice never receive my righteous indignant ire towards belicose crusading Muslim bashing xians for their oil .....it's hard not to condemn most preachers for their hell threats nor heaven bribes. ...their bibles brand us Atheists as "fools" and "reprobates" .....left handers rightfully express pride revolting from the right hand world. ....as John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson 1811: " this would be a perfect world if there were no religion in it "

GreenAtheist Level 7 Feb 13, 2018
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Per usual GA you make great points.I guess seeing Moron's instead of Mormons sets me right off but I was not considering my own contempt at the time of this posting nor was I thinking of militia type groups. Thank-you kindly for the gentle reminder to think things through!

@Dida I fully support your sentimental respect for believers. ...we all should peacefully co-exist. .....nonetheless less WE MUST SET BOUNDARIES defending facts from wrong-headed faiths. ....a woman's fundamental sovereignty of her body NOTWITHSTANDING any pregnancy. ...no person no theocracy no religionist has zero to say about sperm and zygotes in her body ....religion is 100% wrong claiming any alleged deity is involved with pregnancy. ....only my daughters decide if and when to make me into a grandpa. ...not gangster living popes not Senator Sanctomoron or his incompetent liar quack nurse wife who lied about her ectopic pregnancy. ...her hospital peer colleagues had to violate confidentiality to prove her lies cannot justify banning all abortions. ...she like the alleged female Ann Coulter earned the title C.U.N.T.

@GreenAtheist Your point is well taken. You are absolutely correct.

5

People who are seeking comfort and to be kind are ok with me no matter what they believe. We can agree to disagree. People that spew hate and try to force others to follow their way, THAT I have a problem with.

Mkonnick Level 4 Feb 13, 2018
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Yes! I don't even care if they believe they are God themselves if they don't insist I listen to them or do tings their way but even if they tried to push I would still remain respectfully polite towards them and walk away.

4

I'm with you. I get the sense that some people think the more harsh they can be towards people who have religious beliefs somehow makes them a better agnostic/atheist. It's almost like they're trying to prove something. Frankly some of these people are exactly the same as the people they're so critical of. Opposite sides of the same coin.

Taijiguy Level 5 Feb 12, 2018
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I could not ave said it better myself! I do not see any difference. It is ignorant, period.

4

I don't bash All believers..but rightwing Evangelicals are open targets..I cringe whenever they open their foul mouths..and their Hypocrisy and vitrol towards Anyone that disagree with their Morality is enough to make me see red..

Charlene Level 7 Feb 12, 2018
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I do not see anybody here bashing anybody else -- at all. I see a lot of us, myself included, bashing, discussing, venting, raging, and mocking religion and its believers, generally.


For me, this is the very first time and the very first place that I am free and among my tribe where I do not have to censor my thoughts and feelings about the world I live in -- a world where many people want us all to follow their religion.


I am grateful for Agnostic.com. I am grateful to be among so many other people with a similar fundamental mindset.


My being my authentic self with regard to religions, believers, gods, etc. is not tantamount to "bashing believers." Every person in my life in the real world (except my daughter) is a believer in something supernatural -- most are Christians. I love them and mostly bite my tongue because I love them. This is my "safe space" and I like it just the way it is.

BlueWave Level 7 Feb 12, 2018
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Well I am glad your experience has been so positive and that you have not come across some of the comments I have. I guess if it really is okay to come here and call Mormons morons then this is not the place for me either. Freedom of speech and a right to our own opinions is what I came for not to ridicule people or tolerate people bullying believers.

@Dida Maybe I am not seeing the same posts you are seeing -- but then I have quite a few members blocked.

Not one of us will ever be able to police the words of thousands upon thousands of individuals in an online community. Maybe consider using the best tool we have. Block. I'm not being flippant - I promise.

There was somebody else I agreed with a while back who said their experience here improved when they started blocking the people they found offensive. I completely concur.

It's like those people left the party and I am still among all the people whose opinions, humor, supportiveness, compassion, sarcasm, advice, etc. I DO like.

@BlueWave I apologize for my own emotionally hostile response to you. Although I do not actually know you, I could tell you were trying to be helpful and I appreciate it. I agree with you that my own experience will improve when I block certain people and I will do that as soon as I figure out how lol Since we do not know each other yet, I think it is important for me to say that I am working towards my Bachelors in Human Service Leadership for the sole purpose of learning better ways of advocating for others. Agnostic.com needs to be MY safe place and blocking the negative will allow the beauty to flourish. Time to weed my garden. (I hope you don't mind if I keep you)

4

If you are referring to activity on this site, it is called agnostic.com, clearly for the non religious community, primarily but not exclusively.


If believers can't stand the heat, then they should stay out this kitchen. They choose to be here.


Go onto a religious site and spout atheism and see how well you are received.

David1955 Level 7 Feb 12, 2018
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I am not talking about having an opinion. I am referring to looking down on people. I thought being agnostic meant being open minded not just having a different group of people to look down on. I see no reason what-so-ever for name calling or shaming people. I am not quite sure why I would go to a religious site and spout atheism when the whole point of my comment was tolerance and I never justify my behavior based on what anyone else is doing so that is not an option nor a desire. I am not spouting anything except my own opinion and they CAN be stated respectfully if one so chooses.

I should add that actually I don't see a lot of bashing going on here towards believers. In fact I think we are quite tolerant. Some of new agey religious stuff here is a bit laughable, but people are not bashed. And we're not going to grovel in politeness to this kind of stuff, not on this site.

@Dida I honestly don't see that here, looking down and name calling etc. I have used humour with some religious posters to suggest I think their statements are frankly silly. I repeat, I think people here overwhelmingly are tolerant. We are all grown ups here, and every religious person surely must know that they are stepping into a primarily non religious place. And being agnostic or atheist doesn't mean having to tolerate nonsense. You also may have noticed that agnostics and atheists here disagree and criticise each other, and quite a lot. Fine.

@David1955 I think it is great that you have not seen it David, but I have and on more than one occasion too. I never once said it is not okay to disagree or criticize others either. I am here to learn and grow, that happens through our ability to disagree and USE reason though not through slinging names. If you would like to defend bullying then please do because that IS what I am talking about.

@Dida I said nothing about defending bullying. Your post included no specific examples. Please cite some examples of what you are referring to. Your credibility is now is at stake, since you have raised this issue, and you have used terms like 'looking down' 'name calling' and 'bullying'. And since you are so concerned, I suggest you also refer these to @admin

4

I'm with you there. You do you, I'll do me; live and let live, all that. No need to get nasty about it as far as I'm concerned.

Condor5 Level 7 Feb 12, 2018
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Precisely. Do no harm. It is that simple.

3

No, it's got nothing to do with what you are saying, I feel no need to bash believers now. The beef I have is being lied to. Purporting mythology as reality makes me angry. Other than that I got no problem with them and in fact will take the time to learn what I can from them, however, they always have some facts twisted or fucked up and I prefer to listen to people that back their shit up with science and proof of results rather than getting shit twisted

Atheistman Level 6 Feb 13, 2018
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@Dida -- You are painting with a very, very broad brush. There are some militant atheists and some vociferous antitheists. They do not represent the whole. On the other hand, I rarely see even the aforementioned 'bashing' anything. They are voicing their opinions, which as I see it, is fair dinkum. Consider what the other side has for us and how they present it and it makes the atheist observations seem incredibly civil.


[patheos.com]


[huffingtonpost.com]


And here is an amazing, simpleminded article on how they view us.


[crossexamined.org]


Now, please explain in specific terms why you hold this notion that there is a general atmosphere of believer bashing going on from the atheist side of the aisle. I have made the assumption that you are referring to the majority religion in the US. I will conclude with the simple statement of fact that any belief in any supernatural force without evidence is idiotic and actually deserves to be mocked at every opportunity, but not at the personal level. In other words, attack the belief but not the believer.

evidentialist Level 7 Feb 13, 2018
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I never said it was the general theme (if that were the case I would ave spoken to admin. and removed myself from this site already). What I said (or attempted to say) is I have come across it and I do not understand how some people find their biased hatred towards all religious people acceptable but demand to be treated with respect. I do not now nor will I ever justify my behavior based on how anyone else is acting and totally agree with your statement about attacking the belief, not the believer. My mother is an active Mormon and has asked me why I hate Mormons to which I respond "I do not hate Mormons mom, I hate Mormonism." I believe we all have a right to self expression and am all for venting which is precisely what I am doing now. Thanks for listening.

If you haven't seen the names frequently used to refer to people of faith, you aren't paying attention. From insulting their intelligence to insisting they aren't worthy of respect and everything in between, and more. Apparently, the people who resort to such name calling don't realize it says more about them than it does the people they're attacking.

Edited

@Dida -- I maintain that there is a subtle, but major difference. First, we're talking about a few atheists as opposed to most if not all fundamentalist evangelicals, all of Islam, and Jews who are not Reform and even some in the Reform group. I'm not trying to excuse their actions, but I am seeking to establish some perspective here.

Consider that the majority of the members of the Abrahamic faith would prefer to see atheists and LGBTQ folks dead or completely ostracized. That being the case, the push back from our little corner of the world takes on the air of being a brave and noble stand in the face of overwhelming numbers, even it it is poorly executed. In other words, your moral outrage at a few of us who are willing to stand up and do something is misplaced. I don't agree with how they do it, but I'm glad some of us are that brave. I've been doing it for a few more years than you've been alive, though with a different approach.

Edited

@evidentialist And I believe you have misconstrued my outrage. I don't support bombing abortion clinics either. Hate does not extinguish hate but I am not going to continue to try and debate my stance when I do not believe we are even communicating clearly. I shall invest my energy in what I do support and wish us both well.

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Personally, I have no tolerance for deliberate ignorance. I refuse to pretend that I do.
I don't want to be "nice" to those who feel free to condemn me, and others they don't agree with,
to eternal damnation, even though I don't believe in it.
They don't respect me. I don't feel any need to respect them.
If that bothers some people, I really don't give a flying rat's ass.
I'm not here for anyone's approval.

KKGator Level 7 Feb 12, 2018
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I think calling them stupid is nothing like them telling us that we will feel the pain of a burning body for eternity. It’s like when someone says they are going to kill you, and you reply, your dumb.

Funandfondles Level 6 Feb 12, 2018
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I think it depends on who we're "talking to." When we're dealing with a demonstrated homophobe who wants to make it impossible for a gay person to make a living or who wants to enact laws that will subjugate them to second-class citizens, then we must absolutely condemn them. When they attack women and go after women's health, we must condemn them. To be open and accepting of others means that we must also deal with those who would harm others. We cannot stand on the sidelines.


Even at a personal level, if someone wants to tell me they don't "believe" in evolution, I'm not going to necessarily engage. But if they decide that they have to tell me WHY, then I'm going to engage. And I'm at the point where I no longer feel the need to be "gentle." There's no excuse for them not to know this. The evidence has been there for decades now.


If someone close to me wants to believe in God, and even wants to pray for me, but they pray for me that God will make my life 'better,' I have no problem with that. If their god is about love and compassion, then I have no problem with that. But if their god is a homophobic, child-molesting, women-abusing, warmongering genocidal asshole, then I'm not going to pretend that it's okay for them to believe that.

Benthoven Level 7 Feb 13, 2018
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I don't believe in bashing the believers for believing. Don't do unto others what they do to you and they will learn that you might have a better idea. At least that's the hope.

Gohan Level 5 Feb 13, 2018
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I don't know of any hearts or minds truly (de)converted by threats, bashing or insults. However, the word, "respect", is vague. It's my opinion that we should respect the right for someone to have a belief but we don't need to respect the belief itself. One of the deflection tools that many religious people use is to expect others to show their belief respect.


Has anyone heard a religious person say that atheists are just to darn nice? What if they thought so?

Admin Level 7 Feb 13, 2018
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I will address your thoughts in reverse order.

I am in close contact with a Uniting Unitarian. It pleases her to share her mental health issues with me.

I am content to leave alone those believers who keep their beliefs to themselves. From what little I understand, there appears to be a deep psychological need for religion in some people, and I have a moral and social duty to respect that. At the other end of the spectrum there are people who use religion as an excuse for imposing their own psychoses on other people. Between these two extremes there are people such as Jehovahs Witnesses (think: blood transfusions) and parents who think prayer is more effective than modern medicine, these sometimes resulting in avoidable deaths. While (de)converting may provide some emotional satisfaction to existing atheists in helping one person lose their delusions, I think a more important issue is how society in general makes graduated responses to individuals and groups along the spectrum of religious fundamentalism.

Unfortunately I allowed my own emotion to control me and posted this without critical thinking. I was raised as a Mormon and have a lot of family members that remain active. To see comments regarding slamming the door in their faces or calling them morons hurts me because those are people I love. I should have taken more time to think about what I meant and been more clear about where I was coming from. (Never too old to learn)

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It's like a lot of , what other people have said here . The bible thumpers have basically picked a fight for centuries , & the effect will not go away over night . If they want to talk about something other than their faith , that's fine . It's like listening to rappers that only rap about their money , fame & career , only worse , they only talk about one subject . This place is like a refuge from that topic , & it's par for the course from time to time . . .

Douglas Level 7 Feb 12, 2018
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I am with you... I hear the world god here more than in a religious service.

GipsyOfNewSpain Level 7 Feb 12, 2018
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Ah Gipsy....someone gets it! Thank-you!

@Dida At first I thought it was an echo. But no is no echo. Is the battlefield against religion 24/7 combatants.

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I am with you on this completely, whatever floats your boat, you said it for me thank you!

jacpod Level 6 Feb 17, 2018
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Wow, can I say can of worms? I get where dida is coming from though. I know some really smart people who believe because they consider their personal experience as evidence. It's a logic trap, but I wouldn't call them stupid just because they believe. Once upon a time I believed, and the change in perspective was a long and hard process. Lumping believers all together as stupid is no different than stereotyping any group. That being said, there is such a thing as the off color joke, but bashing and having a laugh are not the same.

Mkonnick Level 4 Feb 13, 2018
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I totally agree with you. Condemning people for their religious or lack of religious beliefs is really ignorant. If atheists and agnostics want the freedom to be non-believers, then they must give others the right to believe in a diety. Read the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Many of our founding fathers were Deists. They believed that a deity of some sort created the universe and then left it to be on its own. They certainly weren't Christians!

ashley44 Level 5 Feb 13, 2018
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There's a difference between bashing people and bashing their beliefs. A lot of people don't distinguish, either by insulting believers or by taking offense when religion is criticized.
You are right that some of us make derogatory comments about believers, but theists hold their beliefs as sacred and unassailable. Many, too many of them, are quick to take offense on behalf of their religion, their god, and their holy book.

JimG Level 6 Feb 13, 2018
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I don't think I am a believer basher but my eyes do go up into my head when I get bashed by religious zealots, the first time it happened I was only fourteen and I had never had a religion- I understand what you are saying about the hypocrisy, and I don't expect ,respect because the people who do proseletyse without mercy are very different from those of us who keep quiet about our non beliefs and as far as I am concerned I am never the one who starts it and always the one to walk away upset.

jacpod Level 6 Feb 13, 2018
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This is totally different that what I meant. You are talking about being bullied by believers and I would be the first one telling them, to back off too. What I am talking about is things like calling Mormons morons or saying hateful things regarding ALL of them. We should all be able to express ourselves without fear! You should never have had to deal with that.

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I cheerfully engage in belief bashing when said beliefs cause harm to people. I generally eschew believer bashing, though I excoriate the headmaster that lied to me about god, heaven and hell.

irascible Level 7 Feb 13, 2018
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First of all your headmaster is one specific person that did you harm. Vent away. What I am talking about is hating all believers as a result of that experience and using it as an excuse to bully. What do you think/feel about your former classmates that ended up serving the church and repeating what they were taught? Doesn't it break your heart? If you ran into one of them would you want to attack them or save them?

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