Why are some atheists so proud of their atheism?

When I say proud, let me explain. I mean, so many that I have met belittle my God in front of me when they know I am Christian. I’m not saying people aren’t entitled to their beliefs and opinions, I 100% believe we all are. What I fail to understand is why most of these atheists I know laugh at my religion and insult God to my face. I do not shove my religion down others’ throats, I’m not like that. I may ask someone what their belief is if it comes up, and if they are Christian I will talk with them about it. But on the occasion when I meet an atheist, all of them laugh at me. I don’t laugh at them, I drop the subject. Maybe it is the people I have met? I am a rather open-minded Christian, and I’m very tolerant of others. I’ve stood up for the rights of other religions in my class before.

Posted: June 2nd 2011

Eshu www

It may be that these atheists have had bad experiences with overly in-your-face evangelistic Christians and they are wrongly and unfairly assuming that you’re the same.

Where I’m from (England), the majority of people are not very religious – at least a third of us are atheist/agnostic and 85% do not attend church even once a month. We’re all familiar with Christianity, but for most of us it’s not very important. So I think atheists in this country don’t make a big deal of it – we don’t (usually) feel persecuted. We tend not to get into big arguments with believers. Nothing more than, “Oh right. Well thanks, but I’m not really religious.”.

I’m an atheist, but I don’t think it’s one of the main things which defines me. Perhaps I’d feel differently if I lived amongst religious people. I also think there are no such thing as unicorns, but I don’t go around shouting about it because I think most people probably agree with me.

It has often been said by smokers that the only thing worse than a non-smoker is an ex-smoker. So someone who’s only recently become an atheist may still be getting used to the idea and in the habit of “justifying” (sometimes with ridicule), their lack of belief in gods. If they’ve spent much of their life surrounded by Christians telling them they’re wrong, or evil, they may have a very defensive attitude and appear prickly or angry whenever religion is mentioned.

On the other hand, they may simply be childish, they may be resentful or they may just be idiots. I’m not going to pretend that atheists are all wonderful people. Every group of any kind has some unpleasant members. It seems being a jerk cuts across boundaries of religion, race, gender and politics.

It could be that there are other, nicer, atheists you meet who don’t bother to mention their atheism, so you never realise they’re atheists. I don’t tend to mention it unless asked directly. Loud offensive people are, unfortunately, more noticeable.

Posted: June 4th 2011

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brian thomson www

If someone laughs at you for being who you are, well, that tells you all about them, and nothing about you. There is no justification for being a dick about it, whatever “it” is.

However, you may seeing pride when it might actually be relief. Many atheists were once religious – I’m not really one of them – and you may be reminding them of how they once were. Once you understand how false and artificial religion is, you can hardly believe that you were once that deluded. “Did I really believe that?! Wow, maybe I was stupid!”

To an atheist, it’s not enough to have faith; you need to justify your beliefs in objective terms. When you “talk” with atheists about religion, that has to be your starting point, and whatever you say will be judged for objectivity. If you simply talk about your faith and how it makes you feel, subjectively, you risk sounding like every evangelist we’ve encountered who does the same thing, but who has only personal testimony to offer. I have to admit that I sometimes find it amusing too, but I try to not be a dick about it.

Posted: June 3rd 2011

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Blaise www

Why, for the same reason that some supernaturalists are so proud of their faith, of course. They are human. Is an atheist who rudely laughs at a believer any different from a believer who patronizingly tells someone of another faith, “You’re such a good person. It’s a shame you’re going to hell!”?

Trying to make respect a question of faith is a fool’s game. People are people, and some of them are just dicks!

Posted: June 3rd 2011

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