For when “dislike” just doesn’t cut it…











{November 28, 2008}   Atheist Zealots

It’s easy to hate on religious zealots because most of the time they’re just so darned creepy. They set themselves out from a crowd of people with a lot of ideas that seem crazy. Christians who believe that dinosaurs didn’t exist (and that all skeletons dug up are conspiracies), or that two men shouldn’t get married but it’s okay to have five different wives, are not the kind of people I can conceivably imagine myself befriending. However, I absolutely respect and admire people who can believe in something larger than themselves. In essence, I think religion in its barest form is a fundamentally good thing, because it’s supposed to be guidelines to living a good, productive life. I’m all for not killing and not stealing and not eating pork. 

I am agnostic (I joke that I am a follower of Bokononism), but my parents are varying degrees of Mormon. My mother is not a bigot, nor is she subservient; she isn’t active in the Church either for personal reasons, but she keeps several ideas to heart and they get her through tough times. One of them is that God doesn’t give anyone more adversity than they can handle, and I am glad that she holds that one so dearly. However, through her I have met fanatic LDS members – ones who believe that homosexuality is a bigger global issue than global warming; ones who take every Bible story literally… and most of the time I hold my tongue. 

I believe in Karma because I need to think that I will be rewarded for doing the right thing instead of the easy thing. I believe that there is no way of knowing what happens when we die, so we should spend what time we have being helpful, hardworking, productive and a better place for others. 

What pisses me off more than religious zealots are Atheist zealots – you know, the kind who say “If you believe in God, prove that he exists! You can’t! There’s no afterlife! You’re an idiot and you’re brainwashed and there’s no logic in believing in a higher power.”

These are worse than religious people who try to convert you because:

a) At least religious people are trying to GIVE you something to believe in. They’re trying to do what they feel is right, and even if you disagree with they way they go about doing it they still have good intentions in their own mind. They want you to go to heaven; Atheists want you to rot in a box.
b) There is no proof that a higher power exists either way, so STFU. I entertain the possibility that there is a God, but I can’t believe that God would care about minutia of everyone’s lives. God would have given us free choice, but wouldn’t really be that offended if some people went off the beaten path. I don’t think about it that often actually, but a friend-of-a-friend summed up my beliefs perfectly: “I believe that the Big Bang Theory was the birth of the Universe, but who’s to say that God didn’t set the quarks and leptons into motion?”
c) Most of the time, these Atheist zealots have no idea that there are comforts that come with believing something. I had one guy call me a brainwashed idiot because I said I believed in Karma. Just as he said that, he closed a door on his own hand. I LOL’d. As I explained, it’s more of a positive reinforcement than anything else. 
d) Atheism is technically a religion anyway, if you go by definition. Not believing in God is just as much of a spiritual path as believing. Also, there are several religions (some smaller branches of Buddhism, for example) in which there is no personal God. Therefore, Atheism doesn’t necessarily mean irreligious.

On the other hand, my own father told me I would never lead a fulfilling life because I don’t want to have children, and according to the Book of Mormon, that’s a woman’s duty, so whatever.

I think personal beliefs are just that – personal. It shouldn’t be up to you to push your beliefs (regardless of what they are) down other peoples’ throats. If they enquire, that’s a different story altogether, but don’t feel as though it’s your duty to declare war on all religions.

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Assentia says:

Fundamentalism is a way of thinking, not faith-specific. Atheist fundies simply exchange ‘holier than thou’ for ‘smarter than thou’.



boba123 says:

For a totally different Atheist approach than what you describe above, you may want to check out my new Website – http://www.AssertiveAtheistMoments.com. The focus is different than anything that you have seen from an Atheist before. There’s also a Blog there for your comments.

See ya,

Bob



allegrahates says:

Thanks for your comment, Boba123, but actually your website seems like more of the same.
You seem dead set on converting Theists, and that’s exactly what I’m talking about. That’s not different at all; it seems like a Atheist version of a testament hearing, and I think you’re kidding yourself if you think that hearing someone say, “that’s when I first DIDN’T feel the spirit,” is all that different from someone describing the first time they had a spiritual experience.

Also, your website says:
“the hope is that a mini Existential Crisis results. For an enlightened Theist, the “Ah Hah” will be similar to the Atheist experience.”

If that doesn’t directly examplify the behavior is described as abhorrent in my post, the sentence before that does, in which you say that the believer will either completely agree with you and switch teams, or else the Atheist didn’t explain his case well enough.

Someone’s personal beliefs (which are really none of your business in the first place) are not going to change like that, if at all.



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