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Are atheists too passive?

Should atheists try to engage christians more and try to disprove their delusion? It is staggering how many people in America believe in the bible. It truly effects everything from our politics to our schools. How long do we respect their beliefs before we say enough is enough? You can believe what you want but your church doesnt pay taxes so you can not use your Christian faith to influence and effect the lives of others who are not delusional.

scoaoekm227 4 May 16

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There are a few different issues there - yes, atheists should stand up and prevent the encroachment of religion into politics, public education and so on. The reason they've not been successful isn't because they're too passive it's because they come off sounding like jerks. Nothing good ever comes from starting a debate with "you're stupid or delusional" and atheists feel so smug and superior in their positions that walls are put up the minute they open their mouths. They may not believe the same thing as people of faith but they come off reeking of a@@hole just as much. I don't call myself an atheist specifically for that reason - I am a non-theist and I don't wear it on my sleeve or consider it the most important decision I ever made in my life. It's not profound, you're not anymore enlightened than anyone else - get over yourself and when you can set your arrogance and pride aside - you'll likely get more people to listen.

I concur. I've never understood why atheists go out of their way to get in the face of believers. Yes, if believers actions are infringing on the rights of atheists then take a stand. But constantly harranging believers about what they believe is not only usless, but makes our voice less powerful when serious issues need to be faced. Yes, take pride in your atheism but don't act the same way believers do when you are doing it.

@Yogisan I am very much on your position. It is good and honest and I'm glad you voiced it. I do not understand what you mean about in your face. If it is knowcking on doors and yelling at people that is wrong. If it is making a post on facebook about disbelief then I see it as fair game. The thing is, to me christians are in my face all the time. When someone at the stroe mentions God they are trying to spread their beliefs even if they don't realize it. Do athiest say thank goodness my aunt trusted science instead of gGod to cure her cancer, off handedly at the grocery store? Christians WILL let you know GOD cured aunt betty at the store. So my point is balence is good.

You have brought out the core of the situation as I see it. If atheists are so confindent that they have the answer, why do a lot of them have to get combative about every little thing that believers say? People who holler the loudest often do so to cover up the fear they may be wrong. I've always felt athiests should be above the fray, not part of it. Let your actions speak for you. Continue leading your life with knowledge, reason and logic. Be the light that they can use to follow their way out of the darkness. Don't try to be a club and force them out. You'll only breed resentment, fear and hatred.

But keep a self-defense stick handy, just in case. Lol.


no point as it will just cause grief. you can't change stupid.


I don't feel you can convince people of the non-existance of God. It is futile and I don't feel the need to be the Jackass Whisperer.

This is why I love street epistemology so much. I like to help people understand why they do believe what they do and figure out if it is reasonable.

@DavidLaDeau I have watched some street epistemology they are very good. I think the best way to convince someone is by asking questions and letting them reason out their own answer.


Good question. I've commented on this before, and I say atheists used to be too passive. The 20th century was a testament to the passivity of atheists. We had to be polite. We had to be respectful of religious beliefs. And so too many of us were. How were we rewarded? Islamic fascism. Evangelical reactionary conservatism and political infiltration. Catholic Church crimes, sexual, financial and other, hidden until people stood up. Same thing with other large denominations. Christian and Islamic anti modernist ideology, not just theology. Yes, atheists were too passive. Now that's changed. Thanks go to activists like Dawkins and others, of course, but they've tapped into a broader change in consciousness amongst the non religious and given it expression and focus. So, time for phoney respect is over. Hold them accountable. Challenge their claims, their actions, and their theology. We can hardly be less successful than in the past. Personally, I think the progress over the past 10 years in promoting atheism has been exceptional. May it continue.


We do not have to respect their beliefs. But we have little hope of changing them.

So many say, we'll you have to respect their beliefs but honestly I don't. I feel belief is ignorance. I can't argue with anyone so closed minded. Why do I have to respect belief when that's what's wrong with humans. I totally agree with you.


My favorite graffiti was covered up I should re-stencil it.

It read: jesus died for his own sins, not mine!

That needs to be everywhere.

@WillP2020 so sorry, but the son of god, despite his holiness being able to perform miracles, walk on water, loaves and fishes, resurrection, water to wine (my fave!) and all the rest, there is absolutely no proof of his existence anywhere in the world. The bible is the only word. The Turin shroud is a hoax.

So he's a fake. There's that. If he's not real was he even crucified? So yeah either way. Fuck him.


There is no way to "disprove" their beliefs so why bother? Religious belief is not based on facts and sound reasoning, but on satisfying emotional and psychological needs in vulnerable minds. Quite often it relates to Parent Attachment in Psychology where even adults subconsciously crave a parent figure to watch over them, love them, guide them and bless them sometimes just like Mommy and Daddy used to do. But they fail to see it that way. Gods and rituals are comforting and the supernatural is fascinating to just about everyone. So it sells well.


I don't ever do 'should's and ought's' I just live my life and I don't think stripping anyone of their ideals is helpful; so what would you do to help them next? Pay for their therapy?

I wasn't baptised, I wasn't married in a church' and I won't be buried with a church service . I don't really see why you are so angry - We have our autonomy others have their needs met -

Do you advocate civil war in order to force everyone to be atheist - It sort of hasn't happened very well in the communist bloc.

I like how you think


"Should atheists try to engage christians more and try to disprove their delusion? "

The golden rule has your answer: Should theists try to engage atheists more to try and disprove their delusion?


Rosa Parks was not passive. She stood up even for this Caucasian as We as atheist, the lgbt community and more live in a better world because of her and many others of the Equal Rights movement. She was making a stand for African Americans at the time but look how much we have all benefited! She is my Hero!

Do we need to march into churches or protest in front of them? Maybe not. I will not stand for my son being sent to the principals office for telling his teacher he was an atheist after she TOLD him he was a Christian. This happened in a public school. We at least need to make our voices known. We need to normalize atheism and let the Fundamental wackos, like I was that we are normal good people. I have been becoming more active on the internet and have even started my own YouTube channel. Every one does not have to do that but we all have special talents and methods. It could be simply talking to friends. The thing is if it is thought hat we are a super small minority then we can be ignored, marginalized, or discriminated against.

In some countries one can be killed for being an atheist. So i do think it is important to engage Christians any all other religions.


I'm aggressive.


These days it's easy to take to different social media platforms to voice your opinions on matters and challenge certain belief systems.


I think there are quite a number of atheists and secularists who have no problem at all busting a proverbial cap in the ass of organised religion, all in and confrontational with it. That said, it's an extremely deep rooted institution; so much so that people have killed and died over it for millennia, and will continue to do so. What's needed though is true political and legislative representation.


Not me! I argue a lot. If someone is compelled to rhapsodize about their religion in public, I take it as an invitation to debate... unless they are sweet and elderly.


Passive! Passive! Am I bollocks!!!!!


I don’t start things, but I’ll get loud if confronted.


I agree with you. We are a fairly passive lot when it comes to discussing beliefs. A few people mentioned religions bringing in people and their kids early. Religious institutions start talking about sky daddy frequently and as if it were a proven amazing fact. Many of us on this site went through those years of indoctrination. This site is an attempt to bring us together and perhaps do some things together. I think it may be a little harder for us to bond than religious folks though. They see each other frequently in their places of worship, perhaps at religious events and "study" and many of them are told we are lesser because we choose to "avoid" god. Not very many atheists want to die over issues because of their non-belief. Not saying an atheist would not die over a righteous cause, but it would not be because of non-belief. This is not true of many religious people, they will die in the name of their god at a high rate of speed. This battle cannot be won with force in my opinion. It will take patience and continuing advancement of the human race to prove it. All that said I would not expect it to get any better than the % that believe the earth is flat!


more like too apathetic


Generally yes.
In part, I think, because most have relatives and others they want to stay on good terms with, and/or job related concerns.
Also the 'live and let live' mantra, errant as it is, plays a big part for many.
Neither is a concern of mine. Fuck religions and those who perpetuate them.
One thing is for sure, the more that come out the more that come out.


I am not passive, but if I try to "engage" Xtians to disprove their delusions, I become what I despise: evangelical.


I am more of a live and let live type until I am tested, then I come out fighting with all my might. I will say that one of my closest friends and climbing partners is a hardcore Christian. We've gone on backpacking trips together and have had civil discussions about her belief. I love her heart and she is a deeply good person. We have agreed that on road trips, it is best that we don't listen to her Christian rock stations. 🙂


I kind of have the opposite problem ,I'm very outspoken about how absurd I see people's beliefs are . Something inside me tells me though that I should be more kind loving and Tolerant of all the silly people out there


Yes. We need to become a special interest group that exerts influence in Washington. We should organize as a bloc, advocate for our priorities, and resist the intrusive behavior of evangelicals.

An then, become the evangelicals.

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