“Being an atheist is okay…”

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10 Comments

by | December 19, 2012 · 7:13 pm

10 responses to ““Being an atheist is okay…”

  1. I don’t like this. I didn’t from the first time it popped up on Facebook. It’s basically stating atheists should be respectful of dogmatic nonsense. Why should anyone?

    • I see your point, as I am also anti-“dogmatic nonsense”. But if we allow atheists to disrespect dogmatic nonsense, then they’re no better than any other group that disrespects against another group’s opinions. Disrespect is disrespect, no matter from whom it’s coming from or toward whom it’s aimed.

      • “if we allow atheists to disrespect dogmatic nonsense” If you do not think it is imperative to attack willful ignorance and dogmatic thinking than shall we all stop pointing out the absurdities of intelligent design and be malleable to the idea that it should be taught in a science class as an alternative to evolution?

        There are far more important things in life than not stepping on toes.

      • Again, I see your point, and I am all for challenging “dogmatic nonsense” and other instances of “willful ignorance.” However, I believe that there is a way to challenge, or “attack,” without being disrespectful. I think that many people confuse the two, and often resort to disrespectful tactics when challenging or “attacking” others who hold different opinions than their own, when, really, all this is doing is heightening the emotional tension and potentially sabotaging the capacity for a mutual resolution. “Stepping on toes” often exacerbates the situation, and being mutually respectful of each other’s opinions may help the two of you to reach agreement, or, at the very least, coexistence.

      • “disrespectful tactics” Once again, calling out the ridiculous for being ridiculous is not a bad thing. Mocking people is not the same as mocking an idea and it should never be treated as such.

        We have no reason to afford respect to absurdities or lend them a drop of credibility by pretending to take them more seriously than we actually do for the sake of the person arguing for the idea.

        It’s simply one tactic used among an arsenal and can be very effective on the right audience. I should know. I was a protestant YEC Christian for over a quarter of a century. It took ridicule to get me riled enough to actually try and defend my position and then even more ridicule after a sound intellectual thrashing to make me dig into the basis for my beliefs so that I could prove ‘them’ wrong. If it weren’t for wounded pride, I’d never have taken that first step.

      • That’s an interesting point. I would be interested in seeing the stats on debating styles, ridicule/disrespect versus courtesy/respect, and which is more effective in terms of rate of agreement/disagreement. In my experience, ridicule just exacerbates the situation and often increases stubbornness and reluctance to hear the other side of things. Thanks for showing me the other side of the coin.

  2. For a Christian to be “not ok” you have to be racist or homophobic or something similar. For an atheist to be “not ok” you only have to say that god does not exist. Wow, now that’s fair.

    • The descriptions, as I understand them, are not mutually exclusive and/or absolute synecdoches. “Being an atheist and shaming religions” does not equal “Being a religion shaming atheist” (my italics). The use of the modifiers “have to” and “only” in your response skews and possibly misinterprets the point of the message.

  3. Love the way the worst of atheism is calling nonsense nonsense. Whereas the worst of religion is human abuse. This picture has it right.

    Brilliant. 😀

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