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I find, as a group, atheists are highly intelligent and I enjoy the mostly well thought out conversation threads. However, sometimes, atheists can be quite mean in their delivery. I've been on the receiving end of comments that were very hurtful. I would caution all those "meanies" to lighten up. Please don't perpetuate the "angry atheist" moniker. There are too few of us. Kindness is much more attractive.

paulette96 4 Apr 30

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43 comments

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13

We do need to be kind whenever possible. Still, we do need to be constructively critical of fallacious reasoning, misinformation, false beliefs, and bigotry

Yes, but that does not include a need for name-calling or outright offensiveness.

11

Nah, we're just as dumb as any other group. It doesn't take a special intelligence to figure out atheism. I'm certainly not highly intelligent.

You're right that things get a little too heated, too quickly here a lot. I've seen it, been a part of it. However, I think that's the internet in general. I have been working on injecting politeness into each of my posts that could be considered part of an "argument" because sometimes ill intent is taken where none was meant. I guess it's hard to discern sometimes.

Thanks though, it's always good to have a reminder.

and it's really good to see that particularly, men your age-group are making that effort, I for one thank you.

@Allamanda it's entirely undeserved, but I appreciate it. I'm a naturally snarky person and I can see where it comes off as mean-spirited when I'm just trying and failing to be funny.

@Xuande I have exactly the same problem!

10

I blocked my first idiot the other day who was arguing for no reason. I've had several men on this site be jackasses to me about things like abortion, misogyny, and racism. They may have taken the self righteous religious wool off their eyes, but they have a few more layers to go.

Remi Level 7 Apr 30, 2019

There are plenty of completely monstrous men on here, I agree. Liberal use of the blocking button has worked for me. Cheers!

10

Unfortunately, close-mindedness and atheism are not mutually exclusive. I call myself an atheist because I am 99.9% sure there are no gods. I do leave that miniscule grey area because, hard though it may be to believe, I have been wrong about things in the past, but for all intents and purposes, based on rational reasoning, I am convinced there are no gods. It would seem that. percentagewise, there are almost as many atheists who "know the truth" as there are theists who "know the truth", and people who are all-knowing are usually not very tolerant of those who don't know everything, whether the question is how to deal with believers, how to deal with non-conformist children, or how to bake a cake. No one is omniscient, so when it comes to the existence of supreme beings they cannot possibly "know", whether they think they do or not. It would be nice if atheists could adhere to a higher standard than theists, but unfortunately we're dealing with people, and there are going to be some people who suck, no matter what they do or do not believe.

Well said, sir. Which is chiefly the reason I have to use the "agnostic" tag. In the overall scheme of the universe, there might be some creature out there that lays claim to being a "god." If I find it, I plan to kick its ass.

9

I am trying to get better, but when I see gender bashing, or gun loving nut jobs, or some of the backward thinking conservatives spewing ignorance, I will get angry, and I will not hide it.

But, isn’t that the best way to express real anger, be upfront and own it...but not attack the person with our anger. It needs to be the issues that gets out ‘dander up.’ Hopefully the person’s position can be altered, when it is simply cruel to humanity!

But you mostly do not resort to name-calling...excluding the recent bottom-feeder remark.

@MissKathleen Sometimes I do, and they are bottom feeders. 🙂

@Sticks48 I agree with the opinion, but wouldn’t say it. I do respect your right to do so. You are one of the intelligent, well-informed, thought-full people that I admire on this web site. You deliver your thoughts with impeccable succinctness and humor. I would miss you if you left.

@MissKathleen Right back at you girl. 🙂 You are a much more civil person than I am. I am working on it.

@Sticks48 I am simply trying to have a peaceful ending to a tumultuous life.

9

That's the new secular form of self-righteous expressing itself in the same way as the old.

"I'm so right I don't even need to be mannerly".

We could be good examples demonstrating that one doesnt need religion to be kind, generous, loving, etc.

Yes, exactly.

8

Welcome to the asylum. Enjoy your stay.

That said, a thicker skin is definitely something worth cultivating.
Most people don't care about the delicate sensibilities of others.

It pays to have thick skin in the world but I'd like to be able to relax when in here!

@paulette96 Not going to happen.

7

Unfortunately being kind and polite seems like a lost art for some; especially on the internet, where many choose to unveil their insecurities by lashing out. I know it seems easier said than done at times, but try not to let the comments of people that don't know you personally, affect you personally. There are also people who will claim that the problem is your interpretation of their words. Whatever the case, just know that some of us are "actually" here for enlightenment, camaraderie, and community, and know how to be kind.

6

Sharper minds tend to have sharper spears.

So true...I find I am irritated with ostriches and memes that are syrupy...it is more frustration than anger or being mean...I much rather be around people with a bit of bite to their bark...if I wanted everyone to get along and play nicely, I would go to Disneyworld... 🙂

6

I agree. And please dispense with the name calling. I find it highly offensive. It is possible to disagree civilly. And given the level of intelligence here, it should be rather easy to do. Please try to remove the emotion from your arguments. I don’t even belong to several groups anymore because of this stuff. And it sometimes spills over into the light-hearted-subject groups to which I still belong.

6

In almost every group there will be nice people and mean people. Agnostic.com is not a lot different, but on the average a little more intelligent. So, I appreciate the nice people and ignore the few assholes we have. And I made it to level 7 without blocking anybody.

You are in a white male privilege bubble. Men aren't sending you photos of their junk, discussing your genitals, or saying they will rape you. You don't have a clue. If I couldn't block men I wouldn't dare post here.

@birdingnut Wow! I'm sorry you're having so much trouble. For the record, I haven't had any of those things happen here so far. I've had a few scammers contact me but I find this site pretty swift at removing them.

@birdingnut I think your response to him was a bit extreme.

I am not a white male and the only naked photo I have received of someone on this site was from a woman not a man.

@UpsideDownAgain, @birdingnut Okay, hear your pain. And I certainly don't disagree with your blocking assholes. And yes, I'm a privileged white male. Sorry about that. But I do NOT live in a bubble. Or if I do, I seem to be able to see out of it pretty good.

@Lucy_Fehr BTW, I did geocaching, but they're all in Virginia. I don't do any hiking around here. But I really enjoy Fort Myer's 75+ miles of paved bike paths.

@mischl I think we all have our personal bubbles. I live my life assuming everyone has their blind spots, including myself. I think recognizing that is the best anyone can do at seeing through the bubbles.

6

On the other hand, for millennium Christians tortured and murdered non-believers by the thousands, so don't be surprised if there are some insensitive atheists on here.

But isnt that a little bit like resenting the descendants of slave owners? I don't think my ancestors did, but if so, I'm not complicit.

True. And true.

@paulette96 that may be true but then a lot of people do resent descendants of slave owners, especially in the south, and especially if you promote the same racist attitudes as slave owners. Same is true of Christianity. If you proselytise or promote the values of Christianity onto non-believers, you should expect an impolite response.

@Taladad Yes, the proselytizing is tough to hear. I feel fortunate that it doesnt happen to me very often. I would have a hard time with anybody with racist attitudes.

Christians haven't stopped being cruel and murderous to non-believers. There are simply not enough non-theist congregations to attract the attention of active Christian murderers, and they target Jews and Muslims instead. Expect to see that change as the percent of non-theists increases.

6

I go to the profiles of people I observe being rude, lewd, or crude to me or other women, and block them so we can't see each other's posts. If they have been offensive, I also flag them to the admin.

Yup. Simple fix.

There are some real meanies.
I can be one of them.

@Donotbelieve I used to try to argue with insulting jerks but now I head for the block button. I prefer that person removed from dating consideration completely,

@birdingnut I completely agree.

I've never come across any of this. I must be in the wrong groups!

6

This may be due to poor communication skills or not fully knowing one’s self. The latter person strikes back at others, believing THEY are the reason for an uncomfortable or even angry feeling that comes up, from a thought or opinion. I think this is common through society. Hopefully maturity will help.

@BeerAndWine and in print is a little more difficult!

Yes, that whole maturity thing. Still waiting...

6

Agreed. Sometimes printed words sound mean because there's no inflection. Sarcasm and irony are two hard ones to pull off in print.

The other problem is that what triggers one does not trigger another. And, let’s face it, we have all run across those that take dissent, disagreement, etc. as harsh reactions to their “beloved” thoughts. For them, even slight hints, on a bad day, can be devastating. (Yeah, it’s a bit over dramatic, but we’ve all met overly sensitive people and we have all had days where we would bite the had caressing us. )

5

We should all try to keep in mind that there are many Christians who are intelligent, decent, reasonable human beings. Just as in any group, there are very many individuals, each one of whom is unique. Although some Christians deserve heavy criticism or perhaps contempt or scorn, the same is true of some individuals in any group. Many Christians deserve a fair measure of respect, and don't deserve to be dumped upon.Try to avoid judging unfairly, or over-generalizing, or lumping good people in with the bad.

I think when atheists go overboard with being contemptuous or "mean", that it does make us look bad, and really works against us in trying to be better accepted or respected.

5

I agree wholeheartedly! I used to meet up with some angry atheists...but I came to realize that they just wanted to bash the religious...so I stopped going and am much more content to be the pleasant atheist.

5

Please cite some examples from clearly stated atheists, and exactly what they said. I'd like to know what you're referring to.

I'm growing tired of complaining posts like this impugning atheists without examples.

I agree. It sounds too much like the christian persecution complex.

When I identified myself as a member of a 12-step group, I was told to stop pretending to be an atheist, to go back to my god groups. Lots of !! and **. That kind of stuff. I didnt mean to come off as a complainer, I just want our group to be attractive and welcoming to those who might want to join.

5

Truth does not need an angry advocate, just an advocate.

I don't care what others believe or not but I do feel motivated to activism to keep the religious from forcing their beliefs on others. However, that does not include performing like an angry monkey. What bothers me most about the "angry atheist" act is it serves no purpose. It's totally ineffective to changing people minds and it only serves to alienate others of both sides of the argument.

In fact, it's such an effective irritant that trolls use this very con to stir shit online. Seen it, been the victim of it. Best way to shut it down is to ignore it and give their poison no foothold. Do not reply.

4

I've tried to work on being less condescending in my approach to believers

4

There are mean people everywhere. Also good people. I have to weed out the people who have an agenda and also be very discerning about who I respond to and why.

3

True...if you don't have something good to say, ....

3

I have noticed a similar patern or percection. Its exasperating trying to discuss or continue a discussion when this happens.plus I'm as stubborn as a new born mule which doesn't help.

3

You want to see as mean dogfight. Watch an Atheist debate an Agnostic. Atheist now days seem even angrier towards Agnostics. Its quite funny.

A silly division, based on fractured definitions, useless against religion.

I've not seen them, but I imagine atheists take agnostics to task for sitting on the fence. And agnostics taking atheists to task for their dogmatic sureness. I come down on the atheist side, science notwithstanding, because I don't know, nor do I care!

@Larry-new it could be a said all divisions of humanity are silly until one weaponized them.

The Roundheads vs. the Cavaliers. Have we learned nothing?

3

You are not wrong.

I've found that Atheists come in many stripes. Some still embrace magical thinking (Satanists, Pagans, Spiritualists). Some seem dogmatic, almost mechanical ... say a word on their "wrong word list" ... like say "soul" .... then no matter what you mean by it, you are damned!! Some are really Christians trying to build "creds" for their return to their flock as "a former Atheist".

If you are patient, you will find a few that are more to your liking. Enjoy!!

As for me, well, I like to think I reflect the other side of the conversation. If they are nice, I try to stay nice. But if they are nasty, ..... I'm not entirely sure I do it on purpose, but I've found myself being pretty nasty in return ... frankly, I often regret it. Will I change?? ... I don't know.

By definition people who are Satanists, Pagans, and Spiritualist aren't Atheist. Just saying

@Biosteelman That's not what they will tell you. Many claim to be Atheists. I'm not agreeing with them, I'm just accounting for them as they are people one will encounter.

@Normanbites I get that. When I meet them I give them a hard time too. If we're gonna use labels let's use them right.

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