If I was an atheist, man.

Every so often, I see atheists having a bonfire party, religious people getting upset, or religious people having a bonfire party and atheists getting upset. Given my beliefs and thoughts on religion, I find this quite saddening.

A degree of understanding and respect, even for people you deeply disagree with, can be very beneficial to you. Firstly, you’ll find other views less confusing, but mainly this is a great tool for helping the people you disagree with, change themselves.

When you take the time to sit down with people who hold different views and opinions, when you seek the common values that you all agree with, and then take your time to understand the other side’s point of view, you can really make an impact.

For me, the Atheism vs Theism arguments look a bit like this:

From F7U12
From F7U12

So when I find fundamentalist/evangelical atheists getting their knickers in a twist, or  fundamentalist/evangelical religious people doing the same, I just sort of tune out…

XKCD 774: "Atheists"
XKCD 774: “Atheists”

In my mind, evangelical Atheists and fundamentalist Christians have a lot more in common than they think they do.

You may also enjoy “If I were a religious man“.

5 thoughts on “If I was an atheist, man.

  1. The term evangelical atheist doesn’t really make sense to me.

    I regard myself an atheist, and indeed, from time to time I may well post a link on FaceBook to a story about religious bigotry or religious encroachment into free society. Does the fact that I make links to these stories make me in some way “evangelical”. If I was posting stories about injustice in the political sphere, might I be an “evangelical liberal” ?

    Evangelism suggests outspoken advertisement of and adherence to a single set of rules probably from a book, and probably a desire to *convert* as a result of that outspokenness. Atheism is the absense of a belief in a deity or deities. Nothing more or less.

    Aspherical means “not spherical”.

    Atheist means not theist.

    I have never met an atheist with a desire to convert people to “atheism”… There’s nothing to convert them to!

    I should be clear also about what atheist means. It is not the assertion “there are no gods”. It is an assertion that “In my view, there is not enough evidence to support the belief in a god or gods, so I cannot.”

    You may say that in reality then, this is agnosticism. And you’d be right in one sense – strong agnosticism, admittedly. But there are lots of other things that are also unprovable and mythical, but nobody bothers to label themselves “aghostists” (don’t believe in ghosts). So I almost even question the sensibleness of the need for a word “atheist”.

    Ho hum!

    1. In the terminology used by muslims there are: believers, non-believers and hypocrites (those who pretend to believe but actially don’t). There are no theists, atheists, agnostics, secularists, religious, non-religious, etc. It seems to me a cleaner terminology and more reasonable classification.

    2. As you may know, I’m a fellow agnostic, but I think where we disagree is this simple:

      To me, shouting about non-belief is as much about converting people to non-belief, as shouting about $religion is about converting people to that religion – so I’d say Richard Dawkins is as much a significant figure to the atheist movements, as say, Desmond Tutu, is to some Christian movements.

      Sure, sometimes their views seem opposed – even though they often share very similar values as human beings – but the strength of conviction in belief or non belief, and the desire to spread that knowledge, is something that is common between both groups. Often the stronger the conviction of those beliefs or non-beliefs, the greater the desire there is, to pass on those views to others.

      Clearly Alex, we’re unlikely to reconcile a difference in views on this point, but we share a great deal of values and views, and thankfully, that allows us to function in a society that allows us to publicly share our differently like this!

      Thanks for commenting! :)

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