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Why do atheists feel it is necessary to speak against and criticize religious beliefs?

Atheists should just practice their atheism and let theists practice their theism. Criticism of theism is not necessary in order for atheists to be atheists. I think atheists criticize theists because atheists doubt their own atheism.

Posted: May 31st 2007

Eric_PK

Well, the simple answer is that the majority of atheists are willing to live and let live (as most theists are), but that the current environment in the US means that atheist rights aren’t being respected.

Atheists are rated below immigrants, gays, and lesbians, and are seen as a threat to society. 27% of americans would disapprove if their child married somebody who is African-American, but 47% would disapprove if that person was an atheist.

If theists would spend some time fixing that situation, I’m sure that atheists would spend less time talking about the theists.

You can read more about attitudes towards atheists here:

http://www.atheists.org/flash.line/ath1.htm

Posted: December 10th 2007

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George Locke

Calling out religion for being hazardous certainly isn’t required of atheists, but many atheists feel moved to do so for a variety of reasons.

Some religious beliefs are just weird (there’s man in the sky watching and judging us at all times) and others are harmful (women should be subervient to men). I certainly don’t encourage people to believe that there’s a man in the sky, but I speak out against people who say that men are superior to women because that kind of thought leads to action that makes my life materially worse.

Posted: July 26th 2007

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logicel

Atheists criticize religious beliefs, because religious beliefs are not exempt from the same critical analysis that any belief and idea is, regardless of the religious/secular nature of said beliefs and ideas. This criticizing of religious beliefs is simply a part of free speech, a protected right in many countries.

However, atheists recognize the right of believers to practice those beliefs.

Atheists also respect the separation of religion from the state and will confront, protest, and fight against any religious policy from dictating the running of publicly funded schools, hospitals, prisons, etc.

In addition, some atheists, like Richard Dawkins, regard the labeling of young children as being a member of their parents’ religion as being a form of child abuse. Dawkins accepts parents teaching their offspring their religion, but not to arbitrarily decide that the children, themselves, are full members of the religion and thusly labeled before those children can grow up and decide for themselves.

Atheists also encourage the teaching of the basic tenets of other religions, both past and present, to children of a particular religion and also to children being raised in an atheist family.

Posted: June 1st 2007

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