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Apathetic Atheists: A Forgotten Resource? - Comments

scashworth's Avatar Comment 1 by scashworth

I would say I encountered the same problem when out protesting Scientology and the Mormon funding of Prop 8. People simple don't care if they don't foresee the issue affecting their lives. Shocking considering your example is in Alaska where Palin and her church are a loud voice and represent, unfortunately, that entire state for the time being.

As a solution, we have to change how we address the apathetic.
First, listen to them. What excuses do they give for "not caring"?
Do they give you any leeway with phrases like "well if ... maybe I would care more"? Once you know what they are looking for, then try finding those answers or examples for them.

Common concerns include: Children, especially among parents. Money, especially among the middle and lower-middle class who are over burdened by taxes. Freedom, especially a hot topic for younger people today and those who are very attached to ideals like free speech and freedom over control of one's body. Peace, the go to for anti-war, pacifist people who wholeheartedly believe in an Utopian future.

My point is simply, you have to read people and speak only on what they are concerned about rather than trying to bombard them shotgun-style and hope a topic sticks. My mother, an open-minded Catholic was recently debating Creationism in schools with me. She's not a Creationist, but was very apathetic on the idea in general. By focusing on her concerns as a mother, I asked how she would feel if my schools had been teaching Zeus's birth of Athena in Biology class rather than Literature class. There is nothing wrong in learning these things, I agreed, but proper context is everything to a child. Happily, she now concedes that Creationism has no place in the Science classes and if taught at all should be in Historical Literature classes or Philosophy.

So be patient, and above all, listen to their already existing concerns.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 21:31:39 UTC | #931023

ccw95005's Avatar Comment 2 by ccw95005

Each individual has to decide for himself whether it's in his best interest to declare himself. I wouldn't presume to pressure anybody, and I always thought the movement to "out" gay people who didn't want their preference known was wrong. But just as with the gay movement, the more atheists are seen in public expressing "I'm godless and I'm proud!", the more comfortable closeted atheists and agnostics will feel toward going public with their beliefs. I'm sure that most hidden atheists are proud of the fact that they've figured out that religion is bogus but are concerned that they could be shunned by family, friends, and co-workers - and that's a valid worry in some places. It's no one's duty to go against self-interest in support of somebody else's cause. I think atheism and agnosticism will grow over time as the general public slowly accepts that not all us unbelievers are cuckoo devil-worshipers.

By the way, don't assume that all atheists are with you on other issues that seem to you to be clear-cut logically: "Establishment Clause protection, public education, medical quackery, civil rights, etc." People disagree about almost everything. A lot of people are just weird. Remember that Sam Harris, one of our best heathen writers, has some awfully strange ideas that are woo-worthy.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 21:32:57 UTC | #931024

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 3 by QuestioningKat

What do you do? The same thing that employers do for a burned out employee. Suggest they take a vacation and have some fun. My guess is that these people lack passion because their own lives lack passion.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 22:41:53 UTC | #931045

caseyg5's Avatar Comment 4 by caseyg5

Get them to post their thoughts on friendly boards like this first. It is like basic training for the battles to come. They may actually like back-and-forth with those similarly-minded posters, who should be patient and encouraging of folks beginning to step in from a form of darkness.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 22:52:13 UTC | #931049

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 5 by VrijVlinder

I am not sure it is apathy rather lack of awareness there is a need to come together. Many atheists don't bother to find out if there is some kind of organization where atheists can share philosophies with those of like mind.

Possibly this has to do with atheism not being a religion and is not requiring for assembly as do Churches and Synagogues . Also could be they are still living in secret from intolerance where they live. Getting together to rally for the cause sounds too close to what religious groups do to gather more people into the group.

Others are fed up with religion politics and debating over anything and just want to be left alone. Could there be such a thing as the lazy atheist?

Maybe the way to approach all atheists is not by crusade but by information. That human rights are diminishing and will be absconded by the religious and every free thinking person is in danger of losing that freedom which we have taken for granted.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 23:19:09 UTC | #931055

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 6 by AtheistEgbert

I'm getting mixed signals here. Was the reason rally a success or not? As far as I'm concerned, to have had such a Rally to begin with is a huge achievement.

Oh, and in addition: we need to get the centre-left and centre-right to politically align with us, which is exactly what Sean Faircloth is trying to achieve.

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 23:22:00 UTC | #931058

78rpm's Avatar Comment 7 by 78rpm

Most exasperating, people like this. My longest and best friend and possibly the most intelligent person I know, is right in that category. He and his wife have nothing to do with church and neither do their adult children. He is de facto as atheist as I am. But let me bring up the subject of the increasing power of would-be theocrats, of the threats to the Establishment Clause, and he tells me to calm down, to quit getting worked up about it. And he gives me that crap about how my atheism is just another form of fundamental religion. I love the guy, but sometimes....

I need all the advice I can get from the comments on this thread.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 01:18:21 UTC | #931085

caseyg5's Avatar Comment 8 by caseyg5

78rpm, Begin by taking apart his dismissal of atheism being another form of religion. Religion is faith in a supreme being. I looked "faith" up in the dictionary. It said "a firm belief in something for which there is no proof." There is no "something" there for an atheist, therefore there can be no faith in a supreme being. No faith and no religion. He's giving you wrong information. If he's your bud, suggest to him not to misrepresent your view and have a serious discussion. If he is an atheist, why is he of two conflicting minds on his view? A thinking man will second guess the illogic of it if it is pointed out gently. For your part, don't get visibly excited or aggitated. Keep your head. You have plenty of time to talk in the future.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 01:40:40 UTC | #931091

Sample's Avatar Comment 9 by Sample

While I absorb the comments (thank you all) I have a few questions to add myself.

I'm not a psychologist, but I'm wondering if apathy has any beneficial effects. Is it a type of defense mechanism? Perhaps it is an anesthetic against a dysfunctional situation/society?

On the flip side, does apathy exist in a vacuum or is it more likely to be associated with an antecedent like anger, shame, confusion, etc.? In other words, is apathy always a symptom of something else?

Mike

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 08:17:39 UTC | #931127

potteryshard's Avatar Comment 10 by potteryshard

I recently read a book in which authorities were selecting people for a interstellar colony. They were careful to pick people who were neither religious or atheistic, but instead opted for people who comprised the healthy, disinterested middle. Fiction of course, but it got me thinking...

Setting aside the logical and evidential basis for atheism, and examining the emotional side, one seems to be feft with the question: Is our conviction for the rightness and truth of atheism a sign-reversed form of mental religious leaning? Religion is after all, frequently cited as fufilling a human need for a 'cause'.

Don't take me wrongly... I utterly despise organized religion (and its source, spirituality) as an obvious scam and for the damage it inflicts upon people and society. I'll acknowledge that my sense of being part of a crusade against the inanity of religion provides me a degree of emotional comfort; the destruction of religious influence becomes my 'cause'.

That in turn, forces me to grudingly admit that maybe the apathetic middle has the healthiest attitude.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 12:41:35 UTC | #931153

caseyg5's Avatar Comment 11 by caseyg5

Sample, Lack of time to ponder can be perceived as apathy. I haven't had religious beliefs since I was a child. When I went to work with the daily grind and worries most have, it didn't allow a lot of free time to explore why it was that I had no religious affiliation while others did to varying degrees. I may have wanted to go to a lecture to hear about it but work hours or other priorities were in the way. Now that I'm retired, I can look into it, and here I am. So look at what is swirling about people who seem apathetic about issues that aren't primary concerns towards earning money and taking care of daily matters. It may be that mentally they could be maxed out and tired. It also speaks to apathy having some benefit in the sense that on a per-person basis it is down time from the daily existence as long as there is not too much of it in your free time to the point you have no interests at all. But on a societal level apathy is a large negative in that it means important things can't get done. This is the problem with attracting people to organizations likes this one. There are a lot of sympathizers but it is just something else to shoehorn into your schedule which may not have the flexibility to do so.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 13:14:22 UTC | #931157

I'm_not's Avatar Comment 12 by I'm_not

Reason is not the same as secularism is not the same as atheism.

I am a secularist and an atheist and believe I have arrived at this viewpoint through reason and I'm sure that's true of many people who post here but the arrogance of using these terms interchangeably, the arrogance of calling something "The Reason Rally" is frankly beyond my ken and strikes me as very unreasonable and worst still unreasoned.

I don't come here to be challenged, I come here to have my prejudices confirmed and that is an indictment of both myself and here. The same is true of the other websites I suspect most of us drudgingly click through.

There isn't any free thinking going on because there is hardly any thinking at all going on as far as I can see. We take so many things as read and don't, perhaps can't, debate in a truly open and rational way because the viewpoints available to us are so narrow. This is rationalism as a middle-aged, middle class, white, educated, male game and nothing more, with a few exceptions.

I know this site is inevitably going to have that bias because of its host and I mean no insult to Professor Dawkins or the mods by saying that and I know, for example, Freethought blogs worries about its diversity and has some truly wonderful contributors who fall out of that sphere but if "we" (I don't feel like a we and don't understand why others do) can't even persuade others exactly like us, never mind the myriad of diverse individuals who could enliven and enrich our lives and our thoughts and discussions to join us then maybe we have nothing to say of any interest?

Life is short and filled with stuff as the song goes. Maybe this is the wrong stuff, just as much as so much other stuff is.

Let your friends alone. I'm sure they're doing fine.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 14:24:24 UTC | #931166

caseyg5's Avatar Comment 13 by caseyg5

potteryshard, I would question the selection process of the characters in your fiction novel. And I would hope that you are not saying that your own attitudes towards atheism are less healthy than the "apathetic middle" because they are not. There is nothing to feel concern about for despising nonsense, there is far too much of it out there. Causes and goals for atheists cannot be compared to religion because those goals are far more concrete and doable than worshipping an invisible creature or creatures. What are those goals? Reason, common sense, the sciences, observation and learning, etc. In effect you are motivated to know of the provable, which by definition is not religious. Is knowledge of the origin of the universe a religious quest? No, because you have evidence of it before your eyes; cosmic microwave background, redshifts, etc. And we are striving to find more answers, whereas much of religion, from my own experience with those so inclined, is not interested in such probing but merely want to accept an unprovable hypothesis of these origins, God, Odin, Zeus. With regard to the fictional colony, I would question the selection of inhabitants would might even partially entertain belief in nonsense. What if they open an air lock to let a leprechaun in?

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 14:33:21 UTC | #931167

Bobwundaye's Avatar Comment 14 by Bobwundaye

I suppose I would count under the column of apathetic atheist. I don't see much point in trying to convince others of the truth of atheism, nor of the falsehood of their religion. Of course, this does not mean I don't care about society or the conditions that prevail in society, and if any religion seeks to impose laws that go against the freedom of the individual, I would strenuously object.

I suppose, if anyone is to convince me to become more active, they first have to convince me that being apathetic is bad, and secondly, how being more passionate and proactive about my atheism is good.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 15:56:37 UTC | #931177

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 15 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 12 by I'm_not

There isn't any free thinking going on because there is hardly any thinking at all going on as far as I can see. We take so many things as read and don't, perhaps can't, debate in a truly open and rational way because the viewpoints available to us are so narrow. This is rationalism as a middle-aged, middle class, white, educated, male game and nothing more, with a few exceptions.

I know this site is inevitably going to have that bias because of its host and I mean no insult to Professor Dawkins or the mods by saying that and I know, for example, Freethought blogs worries about its diversity and has some truly wonderful contributors who fall out of that sphere but if "we" (I don't feel like a we and don't understand why others do) can't even persuade others exactly like us, never mind the myriad of diverse individuals who could enliven and enrich our lives and our thoughts and discussions to join us then maybe we have nothing to say of any interest?

I disagree with this prognosis. Some of the best debates here have been over the nature of just precisely what is rational. Of course there's a bias towards a more hardcore scientific definition....that is the very nature of science as it defines a consensus.....but I've not seen any evidence that those such as myself with a more liberal ontology are excluded.

The diverse individuals you mention by and large agree on a wide range of issues. It's not a case of everyone towing some party line......but of rationality itself necessarily being such as to hone the range of views presented. If that's bias then so be it. I'm sure nobody wants a 3000 post thread on whether unicorns exist.

I find myself irritated by something different altogether, which is that many of those who come here to present the religious viewpoint seem so incapable of doing so. Of course, many would argue that there simply isn't a rational and coherent argument to be made for religion. But so many seem incapable of even having a good go at it. Which is a shame because the shallower arguments that get trounced within a few posts provide little real insight into the religious mindset.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 16:17:55 UTC | #931181

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 16 by VrijVlinder

@Comment 15 by Schrodinger's Cat

I find myself irritated by something different altogether, which is that many of those who come here to present the religious viewpoint seem so incapable of doing so. Of course, many would argue that there simply isn't a rational and coherent argument to be made for religion. But so many seem incapable of even having a good go at it. Which is a shame because the shallower arguments that get trounced within a few posts provide little real insight into the religious mindset.

They also get quite frustrated don't you think? Defensive and have claimed we all dog pile on the person, intimidating them. In my quest for reason, I have visited and posted on occasion on religious sites. I can say the same thing happened to me going there and explaining my atheist philosophy in the hope for understanding.

I was bullied and mocked and accused of not knowing the ins and outs of the New Bible ( that is true) so I was not capable of discussing the topic with them properly. I could have used the help of Amos, one has to have a good armory of knowledge of their books to discuss gods with them because all they want is to dissect the bible and they disregard science .

How can you win against this offensive stuff?

5 Scientific Reasons Why Atheists Are Wrong

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 17:43:53 UTC | #931188

frax71's Avatar Comment 17 by frax71

@ Comment 16 by VrijVlinder

You do realise that the link you provided is to a satirical site, which is very similar to the Landover Baptist Church. The clues are in the comments section and the fact that Rachel Maddow is an avid fan

If you want to point out creationist crapola then Answers in Genesis is the better option

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 18:17:22 UTC | #931192

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 18 by VrijVlinder

@ Comment 17 frax71: Yes and one would think How else can such ridiculous propositions be taken as truth. This is the same stuff I have heard many people say. Before the internet even.

people actually believe this, to us it may be humorous, they actually do believe that is true. Not just the Christians.

If that didn't give it away, Howard stern as the anti-Christ Christ would have lol.

I don't think religious people can be brought to reason with this kind mockery however satirical it may be to us they can't get the point . Can we wake more people up with this kind of stuff to help spread free thinking or make them hate or never understand what atheist is .

it is offensive to me because it does not reflect the atheist I am. I don't think the annihilation of their beliefs can be gained this way. Not sure all atheists would agree with this kind of propaganda.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 18:39:42 UTC | #931198

frax71's Avatar Comment 19 by frax71

@ Comment 18 by VrijVlinder

I take your point, however, I still believe that humour and mockery is valid (and necessary) in light of the vapid stupidity of the creationist position. The fact that adults in the 21st century believe this nonsense is not only ridiculous it is also worrying, therefore, mockery may be the only option if people can't or indeed won't give up ther belief in such blatant falsehoods.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 19:14:09 UTC | #931206

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 20 by VrijVlinder

@Comment 19 by frax71

I suppose if anything the shock value could jog the apathetic atheists into action, but could it be misconstrued as permission to hate ? I love a good joke , sure. And at times it seems as though putting it in those terms is necessary. My concern is with how we are viewed by theists, godless, true. Stubborn about science being our answer and only one, true. But I do not wish to be categorized also as disrespectful. Don't want to give them anymore negative ammunition I guess.

The fact that adults in the 21st century believe this nonsense is not only ridiculous it is also worrying

Very, I agree with you.They also worry about us too. Maybe more.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 19:52:56 UTC | #931213

Sample's Avatar Comment 21 by Sample

Spiritual Atheist,

if any religion seeks to impose laws that go against the freedom of the individual, I would strenuously object.

Had I not attended an interesting lecture at the AA convention given by Darrel Ray, author of Sex & God / How Religion Distorts Sexuality I would agree with you that your position is both fair and reasonable. I'm not finished with the book. However, I am beginning to understand just how pervasive the pollution of religion is and I can already say that you and I are probably woefully unaware of just how much of our freedoms are restricted by religion. If not legally, certainly psychologically.

Think about this. You are in the company of your family with all four grandparents present and someone in the room asks everyone who masturbates to raise their hand. If no one in the room raises their hand, someone is lying. Without much doubt, the reason for that person to lie stems from religious influence on society either directly (as a tenet of that particular individual's faith) or indirectly as a social norm because of a dominant religious population.

I suppose, if anyone is to convince me to become more active, they first have to convince me that being apathetic is bad, and secondly, how being more passionate and proactive about my atheism is good.

This is precisely the aim of this discussion. I am looking forward to this topic lighting a little fire under all apathetic atheists, presumably if those like you remain interested. :-j

Mike

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 20:43:14 UTC | #931224

Stephen of Wimbledon's Avatar Comment 22 by Stephen of Wimbledon

Hi Mike,

I confess I winced when Dr. mentioned the word apathy regarding secularists. It was a low point in an otherwise excellent speech that changed my opinion of the Out Campaign.

I have some experience of volunteering and single-issue politics (free speech, copyright, voting reform, etc.) and I have to say that I never met a voter who was apathetic. Your story touches on one of the most frustrating, and also the most intriguing, thing about modern politics: The Silence of the Voters.

Your friends, with their clear body language and their non-speaking parts in the narrative, are one of the most common types of voter in modern representative democracies.

People everywhere have very strong political opinions - typically on a wide range of subjects. They have to get to know you very well, but in the end a little charm and encouragement will get them to talk.

We hear those voices so rarely in politics today. Only the politicians get through. It is important to remember that some politicians are not party members, indeed no-one ever votes them into power; Journalists. They, and their power-broker employers, of course claim that the voters vote for them by tuning in or paying for the paper - what a crock.

The reason people are afraid (yes, afraid) to speak out is because they not only fear they are in a minority - they fear retribution by the deluded. Or they simply fear social isolation.

Anyone that holds a point of view that is never, or rarely, discussed in the traditional media (Papers, Magazines, Radio, TV) knows what I mean. You are made to feel an outsider before you even begin any discussion. You are made to think you must be worrying about something that is at best esoteric, at worst you're made to feel eccentric. Not eccentric in a unusual, or ambassadorial, way but in a different, diseased, not invented here way.

Some of us are not afraid to be different, but we must not let this blind us to the problem that very significant numbers of people are unable to mature beyond teenage angst.

By shutting people up, or ignoring what they don't like, old media narrows the field of debate. We have now reached the stage where - in the US and UK at least - voters are increasingly left with only one option: To protest that the political system does not represent them (in a representative democracy) by not voting. Because old media have got so good at doing what they do - and that the system is so bereft of real debate - tens of millions of people feel disenfranchised. Yes, they really do say: "Nothing is going to change" - I've heard it too.

In my experience, these atheists know the rules of skepticism, they know religion is a pollution plaguing society, and yet they are motivated to do nothing.

That's a new one on me Mike. I never met someone motivated to do nothing. Demotivated, maybe.

They are not motivated because they feel powerless, alone, dis-empowered, disenfranchised, voiceless ...

The way to make them active is to reach out to them. Marches (like the Reason Rally) and other meetings seem so basic and unsophisticated. Yet that's how they work - because people can relate to them so easily. Right now we are a grass-roots movement. Personal contact is everything - and the Net is a fantastic support mechanism and publishing device.

Dr. Cornwell was bang on the button about one thing. Now we're all back home we need to: - Stand up and be counted - Reach out to others (I see you started on this one. Keep plugging away Mike, even when things seem hopeless) - Put religion in its place: Write, speak, make the odd joke - Organize, proselytize and rationalize

Rinse & Repeat.

Peace.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 20:45:24 UTC | #931225

frax71's Avatar Comment 23 by frax71

@ Comment 20 by VrijVlinder

I think we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. In other words it matters little what we say or do the believer will always view us negatively, just saying I don't agree is is enough for the theist (or at least some of them) to start spewing forth hatred and vitriol.

However I do take your point that mockery and humour may have only a negligible effect (if any at all) on the attitude of the apathetic atheist

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 20:59:45 UTC | #931230

Sample's Avatar Comment 24 by Sample

ccw9005,

I could have worded my atheist/typical causes correlation much tighter. Thanks for reminding me to be clearer. I admire Sam Harris' talents (for what I am privy too) and haven't read anything goofy in his last two e-books but yes, I think I understand your caution.

sachsworth,

Nice maneuver with your Mom regarding creationism in the schools. And as far as Palin representing Alaska, please find a wide piece of wide tape and apply to your mouth. :-j

Mike

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 21:29:04 UTC | #931235

VrijVlinder's Avatar Comment 25 by VrijVlinder

Not to say one does not care, but I agree that in some places "coming out" is difficult if not impossible.

We need to spread bravery , to create support mechanisms, but it goes further than that we need to fight for our rights to not have to worship. Pretending we fit in by being silent never got us anywhere right? Maybe something catastrophic like getting thrown in jail just for being atheist would get people to outrage.

In China you get thrown in jail for propagating theist beliefs, spoken to other atheists who feel that would be great if implemented here in America.. Atheist are often called communist as a result of this.

We don't enjoy freedom of religion because atheist Philosophy is not considered a religion. It is anti-religion anti-gods. Maybe we need to have those words amended to say "Freedom of Philosophies " Instead of religion. And either give every one tax exemptions for being a valid Philosophy or not give special treatment to anyone because of their Philosophy. We almost have it, most legal forms like passport aplications contain atheist as an answer to " what religion are you? " Some give the none option. Only mistake is it is not a religion.

If there was a tax on religion (beside the passing of the hat at church) how many people would become atheist? Maybe the lack of involvement is also economic in origin. Those who have time to talk philosophy are considered by laborers as having leisurely time they can't afford.

People are disenchanted and many don't think it will change in their lifetimes . Americans may be facing a Christian Fundamentalist for President, a male Sara Palin if you will. The slogan "If we don't like change , we can always change back" One step forward two steps back...

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 22:11:25 UTC | #931238

raytoman's Avatar Comment 26 by raytoman

I've been an atheist for almost 50 years.

I know few others and even these hold some irrational beliefs or say they have "open minds". There 'may" be telekenisis and "placebos" may have an actual effect (really) rather than just effect a change in perception.

Anyway, when I found Richard Dawkins a few years ago (The Selfish Gene) and then this site, I thought things would improve.

I don't detect too many aheists here and most discussion seems to be about religion rather than how we can act to free humanity from the parasite.

I also detect too much concern about offending others. Religion glories in this and religious people who "dip their toe" in this site are likely to be confused or cannot understand what atheism is. To them it would only seem to be about deism or theism rather than about the power and control mechanism that is religion and which infects the vast majority of humans like a parasite.

Then again, that's only me, a 7.

I have yet to find a simple, clear description of atheism and how it fits with humanity and is different from superstition, myth and power mechanisms. I suspect this needs to be defined in real terms with reference to actual knowledge (there is none in religion and superstitiion) and how knowledge can be extended, improved and applied to improve our lives and nurture our planet, our only home.

One simple message. Give the task to any decent advertising agency and they could come up with it. If they can sell tobacco and religion, they should be able to sell atheism. Obviouslv we can't

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 22:13:34 UTC | #931239

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 27 by xmaseveeve

Comment 14, spiritualatheist,

Incidentally, your name seems a bit apologetic to me. (Just saying.)

''I don't see much point in trying to convince others of the truth of atheism, nor of the falsehood of their religion.''

Why is this such a popular misconception? We athiests can be activists in many tiny ways. We challenge religious assumptions and blind spots (which are all religion amounts to). We don't bring up the nonsense, we question it, we refute it. I don't think we care about what people believe, but what they say and do. And what they don't say and do, which perpetuates their flavour of ignorance and abuse of power.

Sample (Mike), I agree that to an American atheist surrounded by people yelling, 'Give God the glory', as the future of the government is looking more each day like a straight choice between a Mormon or a Catholic Taliban, apathy could seem like the last refuge against despair.

spiritualatheist, if someone at a social event thanked the Lord for the innocent children of a natural disaster going straight to God, you are not being an atheist activist by challenging the offensive trash. Do you, as I do (!) butt into other people's religious discussions? That depends on the individual and the situation, but I think it is our moral responsibility to pick up the torch whenever we possibly can, and shine it right on their nasty little beliefs..

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 22:19:49 UTC | #931240

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 28 by xmaseveeve

spiritualatheist,

What bothers me a bit about your tag is that it implicitly denies the rest of us our spirituality. I think everyone who has ever responded to a beautiful piece of music is spiritual. If you say spiritual atheist , it sound nicer than atheist, but it's like saying 'civilised African Americans', which would imply that at least some were not civilised. I didn't mean to criticise your name but was just curious as to what it means, and how that connects to your views. I meant no offence, anyway.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 22:27:55 UTC | #931242

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 29 by xmaseveeve

Comment 12, I'mnot,

''(I don't feel like a we and don't understand why others do)''

I really do, and it's a great feeling!

Comment 16, Vrij,

Everyone should have a strong drink before clicking on your link. I'd just like to say OMG. WTF?

Switch on BBC1! A nutty woman exactly like Ronnie Barker in drag!

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 22:48:03 UTC | #931244

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 30 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 16 by VrijVlinder

How can you win against this offensive stuff?

5 Scientific Reasons Why Atheists Are Wrong

Unbelievable isn't it. One takes the bait and pops in there to see the alleged science......only to find complete and utter nonsense masquerading as 'scientific reasons'.

The most annoying aspect of it is the way they deny some of the most firmly established science there is ( evolution, the big bang, etc ) in favour of what is not science at all but nothing more than personal beliefs. Bizarrely.....you never see these people arguing for even the most speculative teleological theories such as those of Prof Paul Davies. You'd think that would be the direction that believers would go in, but of course Davies doesn't believe in the Biblical version of things so he's a heretic. Thus they close off even what little speculation might support their views......which is just damned stupid and not scientific at all. It highlights that 'faith' is really all that most of them have.

Thu, 29 Mar 2012 23:15:30 UTC | #931250