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  1. #341
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Some of it is the traditional thought, as already stated, that because we don't believe in a God that we are therefore immoral and some of it is because we do stupid shit to piss everyone off (i.e. bitching about the 9/11 cross, nativity scenes in public places, etc..)
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  2. #342
    Gone Aesthete's Avatar
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    Hm...strictly materialistic atheists tend to annoy me: their wish to have everything founded on the empirical (science) instead of on a combination of the empirical and the rational, and, an even worse nightmare to them, on a priori knowledge in it's purest forms. They tend to claim that religious beliefs are ancient fairy tales conceived by some wise guys to trick people, but they don't realise they have their own "prophets of science": their Dawkins, their Hawking, their Hitchens.

    On the other hand, I hold no contempt towards Atheists like Schopenhauer or Eminescu.
    Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.

    Schopenhauer

  3. #343
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swordpath View Post
    Atheists are thought ill of because their views and questioning threaten traditional, prevalanet judeo-christian beliefs. No more no less really.
    I wouldn't confine it to just judeo-christian; this is an issue larger than the USA.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #344
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    I'm an atheist and one of the areas of criticism I have faced is that supposedly I cannot have any morals or ethical integrity because I do believe in a higher power to derive them from. I found a criticism of that nature complete bullshit but I find the general theme is echoed again and again. Supposedly we are amoral or outright immoral without those who judge so ever actually considering the possibility that religious instruction does not create the capacity for ethics but only directs it.

    I have also been criticised as being stupid and not "thinking outside of the box" for being atheist. I have also been told that atheism is an ignorant death cult. Perhaps, perhaps not. I wonder though whether those who make such claims about me or the atheist position are capable of considering the possibility that religious belief may be nothing more than cerebral stimuli.

  5. #345
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacuss View Post
    I wonder if atheists are still bottom of the barrel in the U.S. after the notorious antics of the Westboro Baptist Church...
    Wow. Major necroed thread.

    In the US, the "religious right" has always been ill-thought-of by those on the left (who completely disagree for atheist or leftist reasons) and the center (who'd like the religious right to tone down the politicking on moral issues). Westboro is simply an extreme example of such, not associated with most of the Baptist congregations. It's kind of like pointing out neonazis: even the people who nominally agree with their politics (more or less) think of them as nuts.

    As for thinking ill of atheists, I think the main beef that those on the center and the right have with them is the continual pressure to take religious celebrations out of the public/political sphere. The visible examples of these are the removal of nativity displays in public places, or renaming whatever state/local/federal gov't's Christmas Tree as a "Holiday Tree".

    This is just for the US, of course. Other countries/cultures have both harsher and less harsh views of atheism.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  6. #346
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aesthete View Post
    Hm...strictly materialistic atheists tend to annoy me: their wish to have everything founded on the empirical (science) instead of on a combination of the empirical and the rational, and, an even worse nightmare to them, on a priori knowledge in it's purest forms. They tend to claim that religious beliefs are ancient fairy tales conceived by some wise guys to trick people, but they don't realise they have their own "prophets of science": their Dawkins, their Hawking, their Hitchens.

    On the other hand, I hold no contempt towards Atheists like Schopenhauer or Eminescu.
    I don't see how perceived motive for the spread religious beliefs is linked with a materialist atheist belief. I am for the most part a strictly materialist atheist (who believes that the classification for material can expand and change over time) and I do not have such an overly cynical view of religious teachers or "prophets." I believe most of them did honestly believe their own teachings and thought they were doing the "right thing" by spreading their beliefs and that trickery was never a (primary) motive. Also the measure of the "scientific prophet" would be how much of an adherent to the scientific method they would be and the more they are the more they would adjust their views in light of new empirical data. "Religious prophets" would not have such a position.

  7. #347
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    Why I think ill of atheists: I don't care that atheists don't believe in deities. My problem with them is how they seem to think they're the smartest or most open-minded people in the universe because they're atheists and act about as righteous about their metaphysical ideas as the theists they criticize for doing the same thing. And they are also the cause of so much of the poisonous political correctness in this world, like correcting someone who says "Merry Xmas" by saying, "No, it's Happy Holidays," thereby being insensitive to the Xmas person's beliefs. I dunno, but I think saying "Happy Holidays" is the most spineless greeting; at least take a stand and say "Bah Humbug" if you don't celebrate any of the Xmas, Yule, Winter Solstice, or related bullshit.

  8. #348
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Aside from the aforementioned moral reasons religious people may think less of atheists, there's also the generally negative perception some atheists perpetuate through their interaction dynamics.

    A fair amount of atheists have a sort of pretentious, obnoxious demeanor, and some will go out of their way to directly disrespect or otherwise degrade people for their differing beliefs. I'm atheistic & I find that behavior repugnant. I have nothing against healthy, heated debate, but whatever the hell your beliefs, have some basic human compassion for your fellow man. It shouldn't even need to be stated. I suppose therein lies the irony, when dealing with pseudo-intellectual folk.

    This isn't limited to atheists, however it is commonly associated with them, I find.
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  9. #349
    Gone Aesthete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post
    I don't see how perceived motive for the spread religious beliefs is linked with a materialist atheist belief. I am for the most part a strictly materialist atheist (who believes that the classification for material can expand and change over time) and I do not have such an overly cynical view of religious teachers or "prophets." I believe most of them did honestly believe their own teachings and thought they were doing the "right thing" by spreading their beliefs and that trickery was never a (primary) motive. Also the measure of the "scientific prophet" would be how much of an adherent to the scientific method they would be and the more they are the more they would adjust their views in light of new empirical data. "Religious prophets" would not have such a position.
    My apologies: the perception of religious people is different from atheist to atheist, but the ones I met have generally thought so; it's a vice of mine to make extremely broad generalities (though also a virtue at times).

    The thing is that the scientific method cannot be proven empirically, so the argument I generally hear that "X cannot be proven empirically" is an absurdity if you give value to only empirical matters.

    I agree on that "religious prophets" are rigid when it comes to changing their beliefs when new information comes in. I think that most religions were founded by transcendent teachers, so their point was not to prove their beliefs in observable phenomena, but to transcend observable phenomena. Thus - as an example - a real Christian would care more about the teachings of Jesus on how to live life (and the more esoteric meaning to his teachings) rather than proving the existence of "God" or - even worse - the creation narrative of Genesis (which should have nothing to do with Christianity).
    Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.

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  10. #350
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    People who tie their morality and positive behavior to a religious system tend to assume that if you take away that system there is no reason for morality and positive behavior. The thought of losing those boundaries placed by the religious system is frightening because they don't know how it would be replaced.

    Their stability is based on holding to certain moral principles and to have the unchanging nature of faith. They see science continually evolving in its ideas and that looks like uncertainty and instability. They do not understand that reason is a system of thought that continually revises itself based on new information. Without an understanding of reason as a stable underlying system, everything appears chaotic and frightening.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Ü View Post
    Why I think ill of atheists: I don't care that atheists don't believe in deities. My problem with them is how they seem to think they're the smartest or most open-minded people in the universe because they're atheists and act about as righteous about their metaphysical ideas as the theists they criticize for doing the same thing. And they are also the cause of so much of the poisonous political correctness in this world, like correcting someone who says "Merry Xmas" by saying, "No, it's Happy Holidays," thereby being insensitive to the Xmas person's beliefs. I dunno, but I think saying "Happy Holidays" is the most spineless greeting; at least take a stand and say "Bah Humbug" if you don't celebrate any of the Xmas, Yule, Winter Solstice, or related bullshit.
    I just tell everyone "Eid al-Fitr" and have been fighting to keep the Nativity scenes, but to use a much larger manger, so that we can fit baby Muhammed, Buddha (who's a little chubby), several Hindu Dieties and nature baby-goddesses, as well as baby Newton for the atheists.
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