What attitudes and patterns of behavior do hardcore religious believers and hardcore atheists often.
share and exhibit?
A need to force their beliefs on those who believe different is the main thing I see in common.
I think over-generalization is the biggest crime of both sides. The extremists adopt vicious stereotypes and apply them to everyone on the other side. Statements like 'all atheists are mean' or 'all Christians are close minded' are a disservice to the vastly diverse people in each group.
Worse still, these generalizations dehumanize people which creates a war-like 'us vs them' mentality. The only way to deal with real war is to dehumanize your enemy because the reality of what you're doing is too horrific to stomach. The difference here is that theists and atheists aren't at war, but if we allow harsh generalizations to continue, it's going to start feeling like we are.
Behind it all is Ego.
Over-generalization is a flaw of logic. Some people are not intelligent enough to understand the requirements of logic, so we need to be tolerant with them. But when those same people are intolerant, then they are letting ego get the best of them. Even the most intelligent of us can use over-generalizations and the force behind it is ego.
Ego attacks the lowest as well as the highest intellects. It presents itself as arrogance. Humility is the antidote.
Forcing beliefs on others is also a function of Ego, because Ego always sees itself as right.
Ego is the false self. It is separation and self-concern. When we love each other as ourselves, then we give up ego. An atheist can never understand this, because the "self" that is left after ego is gone is spiritual. This goes beyond physical "compassion" to pure altruism which has no self-concern, because it exists outside of space-time, energy-mass.
And there is nothing "hardcore" about spirit. It is the lightest of "efforts" and the softest of "beliefs." It is pure knowing that is effortless.
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