Why don't atheists and believers get along? How can we improve the situation?
Mankind has recently made many strides forward in promoting equality. We're becoming more accepting of varying races and sexual orientations. However, religious belief debates often turn to mere insult-tossing, even here on Hubpages. I know there are many reputable atheists and believers out there, but it seems like our "discussions" often go like this:
Disrespectful atheist: Anyone who believes in a divine power is stupid and needs to wake up.
Disrespectful believer: Anyone who doesn't believe is denying themself and throwing away their eternity.
How can we improve the situation?
Cant think of a way to make this not sound one sided.
If someone says something is true, they should be able to prove it beyond any shadow of a doubt to any random person they come across if they insist that they should believe them.
No one has, which is why atheists exist to begin with. Doesnt mean no god(s) at all exists, it just means no one seems to know what the hell they are talking about when they say theirs is the right one but then cant even agree 100% with people of the same faith, let alone any other faith.
Keep in mind, this really only applies to the wingnuts who go around trying to convert people with literally nothing to prove their point. If believing in whatever faith makes you comfortable, and you dont care if others share it, power to ya
Because people have a hard time understanding a simple thing - Let people be.
It kind of gets on my nerves when an atheist claims that she is tolerant of others beliefs, and that those beliefs do not matter to her. Yet she spends her time instigating believers in stupid discussions by posting negative questions about Christianity, dissing Christians, and then has the audacity to block comments from people with whom she does not agree. I have no respect for such a person.
In general, atheists tend to belittle Christians, as they declare Christian beliefs to be silly and the believers to be devoid of logic and reason--but claim they have no problem with people of other beliefs.
I think this is more of an Internet thing than a real world thing. I have many close friends and family who are religious and we get along wonderfully. They're some of my favourite people and they think very highly of me as well. I've even discussed religion with some of them, but it's always respectful and constructive. I think it's much easier to respect someone's beliefs when they're someone you know at least a little bit and you're face to face. Online things get a bit more heated because people are anonymous and likely don't have any real connections with the people they're talking to.
As for HubPages specifically, there are people who post almost exclusively on topics about Christianity and atheism and there's nothing wrong with that, but it comes to sort of define them. You see their name and the first thing that comes to mind is "vocal atheist" or "vocal Christian" and you know they're ready to throw down with you so the claws come out.
Ultimately I think if you're going to engage in online discussions about religion you have to be prepared to either fling crap back at those who fling it at you, or learn to just wipe it off and move along. It doesn't take long to learn that the discussions around here can get a bit aggressive - thankfully those who took it way too far in the past are no longer with us, but there are still some strong voices that aren't terribly concerned with being polite. You can choose to be a part of those conversations or not.
Not sure what to do about people in the "real world" who are completely intolerant of atheists or religious people, I would probably say it's best to just avoid them altogether as being intolerant of someone's beliefs when they're a person you know/care about suggests to me that they're not someone I care to give my time to.
There are a lot of problems with the current climate of debate on god and religion. The first, and foremost, problem is the media's tendency to focus on extremists. Religion is represented by terrorists blowing themselves up, and atheism is represented by elitist blowhards who get attention because they keep poking the bear. It gives a terrible image of both sides, an image that is carried into everyday life where it has no place. Your everyday theist and atheist are so non-confrontational that you would probably never know what side they fall on.
But, another problem is nostalgia. Whatever we experienced as children, by default, is going to be the 'good old days' when we're older. Movies were better, television was better, parenting was better, etc. So, whatever religion you were raised with, is going to carry this nostalgia, along with a perception of innocence.
For example, someone might have fond memories of church and a very nice pastor, so an atheist refuting the concepts of religion isn't just perceived as an attack on beliefs, but an attack on your personal nostalgia. It exists on both sides and makes it an incredibly difficult subject to discuss without someone's blood pressure rising. Debating this topic takes a considerable amount of energy, patience, and perspective. Things that are, unfortunately, lacking in most debates.
Too many atheists are "anti-theists", seeking war on religion, creating animosity by Christians when they seek to take down crosses on century old landmarks and editing Christmas carols sung in schools.
Too many Christians won't live and let live with atheists, seeking to prove something the atheist as typically chosen to reject.
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