Why are so many people threatened by, fearful of, or even phobic regarding atheists and agnostics?
Atheists and agnostics have a different philosophy and ethical premise. However, they are extremely moral and ethical people. They are inwardly motivated in terms of their philosophy.
People fear what they don't understand....combine that with....fear of what the religionist themselves would be without God. And a wee dash of transference...and tah dah!
If one has a strong belief in God/s, and cannot see how they would live without said belief, then when they encounter people who do not have that belief, and in fact no religious belief what so ever, they don't understand how that can be? They fear what they would become if they did not have that belief, and someone without that belief could be the embodiment of their personal fear.
At least this is my theory. It's got to be confusing if you couldn't be without your belief, yet all these atheists happily are, and are moral to boot!. I find that even other beliefs are better to a religionist than a lack of belief.
Really didn't think I was that threatening....apparently I can be!
I find atheists and agnostics to be totally refreshing and true to life myself!
Same here - being an Agnostic Atheist myself, I also find those who can accept difference, and discuss these differences civilly refreshing too. I'll happily discuss with folks of all faiths, if we can both stick to being civil
I am not an atheist nor agnostic but a New Ager who is quite accepting. Liberal, universalistic, & nontraditional religionists & spiritualists aren't threatened by athiests/agnostics at all, in fact, they see nothing wrong with such beliefs.
An interesting question, however I am stumped with the 'so many' part, since that is relative. In other words the circles I run in that is not a problem. I can see where there may be conflict with morality as that is of the individual - internal, whereas ethics is group (social) and is external.
In my travels in the U.S., I've found that it's mainly some of the TV evangelicals that are angry. And they, and Fox News, are more shrill about Moslems than atheists.
I do know one angry American Christian Fundamentalist who is angry at Obama, Democrats, atheists, foreigners--and you know the rest of the talking points about what destroyed the U.S. He asked me, the shrink, "why would you study psychology when the answers are all in the Bible." He thrives on his anger. It's all he's got left.
It definitely feels like 'atheism' is a dirty word in the U.S. Saying you are 'non-religious' is more widely accepted even though it has very similar implications. And I would say that agnostics aren't as hotly contested as atheists either, since they entertain the idea that a god could exist. And I think it's that finality of atheism that makes so many fearful.
They've taken a firm stance that there is no god. They're not looking for a religion and they're not leaving open the possibility that there might be a god. This rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Some interpret it as atheists closing their minds (I disagree) while others equate it with anti-theism (again, I disagree).
There is a chance that atheism represents a breech in the collective fantasy. Like an uncle who accidentally lets slip that Santa Clause isn't real. We've all participated in the ruse for so long that to suggest it isn't real is too horrific to contemplate. The foundation of shared belief then starts to crumble and we can no longer live in the bubble.
Admittedly, that interpretation is coming from an atheist, and it could be argued that it's the equivalent of a Christian saying "atheists believe in god, deep down, they just don't want to admit it." But we are slaves to our own perceptions.
I'd love to know who you're talking about. We obviously live in completely different places. No one I know would ever treat someone different because of religious beliefs. They might exchange their thoughts and feeling about the subject, but never be fearful in any way towards anyone.
Because the atheists who define themselves as anti-theists are like social justice warriors who invade real world events and online forums to shut down all contrary views.
You aren't allowed to voice something they disagree with in public (Christmas carols edited for school concerts, take down public memorial crosses a century old). Like SJW, there is an editing of the language enforced by ridicule and shouting down, like "say Happy Holidays, not Merry Christmas".
I haven't seen atheists as radical as most SJW, such as entering events with conservative speakers before trying to shut it down with chants and heckling (destroying freedom of speech AND association) or seeking to silence all discussion on a topic (label political opposition hate, then say hate speech must be banned).
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