Atheism is easily understood, being defined as disbelief in the existence of God or gods, but atheists are a diverse group of people. They may share common disbelief, but the practical outworking of this disbelief depends on individual personalities, values and experiences. This is true of all people, regardless of what they believe in, or don't believe in.
Generally speaking, there appear to be two broad types of atheists. Calm and polite ones, and angry, argumentative and abusive ones. The former disagree strongly with religion, but respect the right of all people to believe what they want to. The latter completely dismiss any religious beliefs as silly fairy tales,and are fond of abusive language and highly offensive memes. Hence I have been frequently called deluded and told to leave the group. Both types believe very strongly that religion is destructive, and that its abolition is the only hope for humanity.
I have made some friends on AAA, and am enjoying discussions with them. Those who are abusive and disrespectful, I simply block. I should note here that AAA admin has contacted me and asked me to let them know who I am blocking and why. To their credit, they are keen not to have such people involved in the group.
Despite the hostility I have encountered from some members, and the frustration I have felt at not being taken seriously simply because I choose to believe in God, it has been a worthwhile experience. I have met some very intelligent, witty and polite people who are serious about disbelief being the only rational option. I respect that.
What's your take? What does your faith or your disbelief mean to you? What experiences have you had of talking to others with very different world views?
Australian Atheist Alliance
Hello again, D.a. One of the biggest problems I have is that you "choose" to believe in god. Belief should not be a choice. You should believe what the evidence suggests, anything else is faith. Faith has no place in determining reality. Other than that, I respect you, and you're always welcome in the AAA.ReplyDelete
Welcome to Square Pegs Stephanie. Thanks for visiting. I would rather use the word faith, but it's a more provocative word than belief. As you know I'm very comfortable with my faith, and not at all bothered by some people thinking I'm deluded. Thanks again for taking the time to comment.ReplyDelete
It's really easy to get angry and emotional about these issues because we feel strongly about them. The position I'm more and more drawn to is to promote what I love rather than opposing what I hate or disagree with. I take that approach to other issues as well - like at work and in other interactions with people.ReplyDelete
That's good David. Accentuate the positive and all that. Thanks for taking the time to commen on Square Pegs.ReplyDelete