Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Things to stop saying about atheists...

Even I, one who usually avoids the conflicts of the atheist blog-o-sphere, have heard many inaccurate statements about atheists. I'll have more to say on this towards the end, but first some of the often entertaining things I've heard said.

"Atheists don't believe in anything." This is absurd. Mind-bogglingly absurd. I believe the sun will come up tomorrow, and I'd go so far as to say that most atheists believe that too.

"Atheists worship Satan." Atheists, by definition, don't worship anyone or anything. That's kind of the point. Satanists worship Satan, and they believe in god, which makes them... not atheists.

"Atheism takes a lot of faith." Believing in a god or gods takes faith. Not believing in god takes no faith. Atheism isn't something supplanting god, it's removing god(s) from the equation.

"Atheist's lives are empty." This is back to absurdity. If you are defining a non-empty life as one that has god in it, then I would have to concede the point. However, atheists go to school, get jobs, have children, make good art, read books, live, love, lose, and all that. What about that is empty?

"Atheists are just mad at god." Absurd is clearly the word of the day. If we don't believe there is a god, why would we be mad at god? How would that even work? I'm not mad at the stamp collection I don't have for not being good enough, that's... just... seriously?

To me, for any of these statements to make any kind of sense, you have to not know any atheists. I mean, it's possible you know an atheist, but you wouldn't know or respect that they are atheists. Someone who would make a statement like those listed above and honestly think it is a true statement doesn't know very much about atheism.

Also, to me, anyone who makes a statement like that is someone I really don't want to talk to about religion, atheism, or anything in between. I would suspect people who think like this aren't so much coming to these conclusions on their own, but are being told by someone else what to think. I have seen/heard pastors, priests, and preachers (on YouTube) tell their congregations such things. And many other worse things, but that's beside the point. If a person has rigorously looked at atheism and decided it's not for them and that religion is better, that person I can have a discussion with. Someone who would spout the statements above at me isn't worth my time. I'm not out to change the mind of anyone who isn't interested in that change, so bitterly arguing with a person who won't listen to me isn't high on my to-do list.

To be fair, there are plenty of things that atheists say about theists they shouldn't, but I think I'll save that for a separate post...

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