The Problem with "Atheists"

It was really bright the other day so my wife needed my help reading her Facebook notifications. A friend of hers with lots of Facebook friends and followers posted a status asking people to post their religion because she wanted to see how diverse her friends and followers were.

Everyone who practiced a religion, just said their religion (pagan, Christian, Buddhist, spiritualist, etc). Nothing else. No tirades. No proselytizing. At most maybe something like “reformed” whatever or maybe something like “secular Buddhist”.

However, everyone who said atheist felt the need to write a paragraph explaining why and go on a big aggressive and insulting tirade...Maybe they don’t need some form of spiritually to “teach them to a good person” but they need something to teach them not to be a smug and aggressive asshole.

I think a lot of it has to do with an entire generation being brought up on Dawkins' aggressive self-promotion and the Bill Maher's habit of proclaiming himself to be an intellectual who values reason but responding to all disagreement with elementary school insults and outright meanness.

It's such a pointless waste of time in mind. Because, for me, it really comes down to people, right? I mean that’s the issue. The problem is people not the belief.

I don’t care what people believe or don’t believe. Plenty of people believe things I think are shitty and plenty of people believe things I think are dumb. That’s none of my business or my concern until they use that thing to be an asshole or deny someone their rights or justify some other shitty behavior.

But to me, the issue is still people. Not the belief structure.

Pick a thing. Religion, science, race, nationalism, whatever. People have used all those and more to justify their shitty behavior and to commit terrible acts.

Without awareness and self-reflection and consequence for actions and behaviors, people use whatever they can to remove themselves from the responsibility of their own nastiness.

So my issue is always with people, not the justification.

Furthermore, what’s the goal of being shitty and condescending? Nothing that I can see other than serving your own ego. I mean whether we’re talking about religion and atheism, or politics, or...I don’t know TV shows--doesn’t matter the side--what does condescension and aggression accomplish?


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