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Why are atheists still hated so much in America?

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  • Why are atheists still hated so much in America?

    Stumbled across this article the other day. I'm to the point where I'm not advertising that I'm an atheist but not hiding it, either. I feel like people need to see me as a human being first and foremost. I think that New Atheism has really given secular people a seriously bad name.
    "Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy."
    -Marcus Aurelius

  • #2
    Do you genuinely feel that "hated" is the right word for what you see?
    Curiosity never hurt anyone. It was stupidity that killed the cat.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by QuantaFille View Post
      Do you genuinely feel that "hated" is the right word for what you see?
      Yes. I've read too many stories of people coming out to their families with disastrous consequences. There's also the general suspicion amongst believers that atheists are immoral people. How is it not hatred? When Christians have to be careful with their words about themselves in Muslim and Communist countries, is that not also because of hatred?
      "Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy."
      -Marcus Aurelius

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by T-Shirt Ninja View Post
        Yes. I've read too many stories of people coming out to their families with disastrous consequences. There's also the general suspicion amongst believers that atheists are immoral people. How is it not hatred? When Christians have to be careful with their words about themselves in Muslim and Communist countries, is that not also because of hatred?
        My experiences are different. I became secular/atheistic sometime in highschool, and my Christian parents, if they knew, they didn't give any indication they cared. Neither did anyone else... because I didn't talk about it, I didn't make an issue of it, I didn't challenge or argue with believers that I knew.

        Now, when I converted to Christianity, my (largely atheist) friends *did* have a problem with it. Many of them seemed to think that my opinions on everything else had completely changed, and that I was somehow less intelligent- that was a big observation. As it is, my opinions on many things did change, in large part because I saw some of the hypocrisy in my "fellow atheists" that I would have overlooked before. I'm not saying I think Christians are oppressed in this country. From a purely pragmatic, social perspective, there were also benefits from converting. But when you ask what I think of "atheists" these days? I don't picture people like I used to be, who don't talk about religion and genuinely don't have a problem with people who do believe. I picture the ones who picked fights with me just because they knew my beliefs, who insulted my morality and intelligence and resorted to emotional bullying and manipulation.

        So... sorry if I'm a bit skeptical of studies like these and claims like this, and not more sympathetic. The loudest atheists are their own worst enemies.

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        • #5
          Moderator Notice

          Folks, please note that this is the Naturalism forum and Christians are not allowed to post in here. Thanks.

          ***If you wish to take issue with this notice DO NOT do so in this thread.***
          Contact the forum moderator or an administrator in Private Message or email instead. If you feel you must publicly complain or whine, please take it to the Psychotherapy Room unless told otherwise.



          Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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          • #6
            Ooops
            Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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            • #7
              I happen to think that the theory of atheism is wrong in this way: collectively, we are God and we wrote the book/s on God at a time of comparative ignorance. Religious people are in denial and cover their error by making the God invisible. The modern religious person mostly knows himself and the world and plays a role concerning God for social and cultural reasons. The atheist simply rejects the deception.
              “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
              “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
              “not all there” - you know who you are

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                Moderator Notice

                Folks, please note that this is the Naturalism forum and Christians are not allowed to post in here. Thanks.

                ***If you wish to take issue with this notice DO NOT do so in this thread.***
                Contact the forum moderator or an administrator in Private Message or email instead. If you feel you must publicly complain or whine, please take it to the Psychotherapy Room unless told otherwise.

                Move it.
                Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                go with the flow the river knows . . .

                Frank

                I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                  Move it.
                  Pardon me?

                  This is not your thread, so you don't have any right to ask for it to be moved.

                  Not to mention that you are awfully slow on the uptake.

                  I am posting officially here.


                  Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by T-Shirt Ninja View Post
                    Stumbled across this article the other day. I'm to the point where I'm not advertising that I'm an atheist but not hiding it, either. I feel like people need to see me as a human being first and foremost. I think that New Atheism has really given secular people a seriously bad name.
                    I'm curious. Did you want to have a discussion about this with Christian points of view injected? If so - this forum doesn't permit that, as Moss reflected.

                    Personally, I find that anyone anywhere is capable of hatred of what they do not like or agree with. But yes I have experienced the hatred you are describing, and I'm not a "loud" atheist. Christianity has dominated America since its inception. I find many Christians reflect a tendency to adopt a "this is our country founded on Christian principles" attitude. As with so many other things, the people in power often see anyone challenging that power as trying to harm/hate/diminish them.

                    The entire discussion of "in god we trust" on our coinage is a good example. If our coinage is silent on the issue of god - then Christians and atheists alike can carry it without a thought. Putting "In God We Trust" simply fosters division - much as putting "There is No God" would foster division if we tried to force it on our country. But "In God We Trust" is so broadly seen as a "right" by the Christians (and other theists), that the idea that they might be acting exclusively doesn't even cross their minds. The opposite it true - suggesting it should be otherwise is seen as imposing our beliefs on theists. They cannot even recognize that they are doing exactly what they would object to if it were done to them.

                    The same is true of "under god" in the pledge, prayers to god at the start of government meetings, and so forth. Instead of neutral language, or simply a moment of silence, all are required to sit through a public prayer - even when those beliefs have nothing to do with what we believe to be real/true.

                    I was also a scoutmaster for many years. I quickly learned that I had to be careful about what I said about my personal beliefs. I made the mistake, once, of responding to a parent directly. They teased me about not being at a morning chapel service, jokingly suggesting I had been lazy and "slept in." I assured them I was up with the scouts, but that I'm atheist, so it didn't seem appropriate to go. I was visited shortly thereafter by the camp leaders looking for assurance that I was not going to promote my views within the camp. Fortunately, we were visiting a remote camp (i.e., not in our state) and the one person the camp leaders decided to call to complain to was a friend of mine at the local scout office. She handled the call and then came to me with the issue and strongly suggested that I keep any hint of my atheism "under wraps" or I would just be creating problems for myself. I loved working with the kids - and had never made my religious beliefs a center part of being a scoutmaster, so I just was careful from then on.

                    We live in a largely religious culture. There are few (any?) public atheists in government office that I know of. And atheism is still seen by many as synonymous with "immoral." I think it is going to take a lot of time to change that. Religion is deeply buried in our culture, our language, and our habits. It isn't going to change overnight.
                    Last edited by carpedm9587; 04-20-2019, 11:57 AM.
                    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                    I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by T-Shirt Ninja View Post
                      Stumbled across this article the other day. I'm to the point where I'm not advertising that I'm an atheist but not hiding it, either. I feel like people need to see me as a human being first and foremost. I think that New Atheism has really given secular people a seriously bad name.
                      New Atheism is a disaster - as is ontological reductionism and similar views. Why are they so bad? For exactly the reason John Locke was so hard on atheism - what exactly is the moral compass in a world of billiard balls?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Zara View Post
                        New Atheism is a disaster - as is ontological reductionism and similar views. Why are they so bad? For exactly the reason John Locke was so hard on atheism - what exactly is the moral compass in a world of billiard balls?
                        Ethics and moral are possible without God.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Zara View Post
                          New Atheism is a disaster - as is ontological reductionism and similar views. Why are they so bad? For exactly the reason John Locke was so hard on atheism - what exactly is the moral compass in a world of billiard balls?
                          Ultimately, we each derive our own moral compass. We always have.
                          The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                          I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Seeker View Post
                            Ethics and moral are possible without God.
                            No, they aren't ...
                            The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                            I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
                              No, they aren't ...
                              Are you being ironic?

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