By Atheist Mommy
1. Atheists hate Christians and Christianity. No, we don't. Personally, I do hate the atrocities that have been committed in the name of religion, the dishonesty of most religions, and the way that they encourage people not to think or question, and not to trust or use their minds. But I don't dislike someone just because of their religion.
2. Most atheists started out as Christians, and stopped believing because of some bad experience with other Christians. Or maybe we simply started to question, to wonder what happened when we applied the standards of logic, reason and burden of proof to religion, as we already did to everything in our lives. Or, perhaps, we were never believers at all. It happens, you know.
3. Atheists have no sense of morality, since morality comes from God. Ah, the old without fear of hell, there would be nothing to stop people from being bloodthirsty monsters argument. It may come as a surprise to most Christians, but there are reasons for being good other than fear of punishment - which isn't really a reason, anyway, and only shows Christians in a very bad light. Reasons like human empathy, genuine feelings for others, and, most importantly, rational principles. Behaving yourself just because daddy will spank you otherwise does not make you a nice child.
4. Atheists are a unified group, like a church. Are we? I must have missed the memo, then. :) If anything, Id say atheists are more diverse than Christians, because were less sheep-like, and dont accept things on faith, or from authority.
5. Atheists actually know, deep inside, that theres a God, as thats perfectly obvious; they are simply too proud and arrogant to admit the existence of something greater than themselves. Not exactly. You see, the existence of a god is only obvious if youve been brainwashed (either by others, or by your own irrationality) into believing it. We are truly convinced that theres no god, and are not in denial. Really. Im serious. :)
6. Atheists dont really know anything about Christianity. Again, it depends. Some certainly know more than others. However, religion is so ubiquitous that, like it or not, weve all had varying degrees of contact with it, with its teachings, and with believers. Besides, a lot of atheists are naturally curious. I, myself, have read the Christian Bible - more than once, in fact. Now, dear believer, ask yourself how many atheist books, magazines or essays you have read. Oh, I forgot, theyre all the work of Satan.
7. Atheists lives are cold and empty, as they cant feel the joy and love that comes only from God. Really? Id never call my life cold or empty - I have the joys of friendship, love, family, and doing the things I love to do. And, whats more, I'm self-sufficient, unlike anyone who says I don't know how anyone could live without God in their lives - as many Christians do.
8. Atheists are depressive and nihilistic, since they believe theres nothing after death, and therefore theres no point to anything. On the contrary, we, unlike you, know how precious life is, because were aware that its our only one. And, this may come as a shock to you, but we can love our lives, we can feel the joy of being alive, because we don't believe that this is the devils world, or that this is just a test before the real thing. Life is precious, and its our own - not any gods.
9. Atheists are cold and uncaring. No, we are not. Having delusions doesn't make anyone more caring. And, again, we treat life as precious, and do what we can to improve it, both ours and that of our loved ones. On the other hand, many Christians believe life is suffering, and that theres nothing we can do about it.
10. Atheists are arrogant. What, because we dare to use our minds instead of asking who are we to know? No, were not.
11. Atheists want to forbid religious worship. Wrong. We just don't want to be harmed by it. Want to believe in God, Jesus, Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy? Be my guest. Want to teach your kids to do the same? I feel sorry for them, but it will still take many years until people realize how crippling ones reason in childhood is like a bird crippling its offspring's wings. (*) Want to give all your money to a guy with a Lexus and a bad haircut? Fine. But don't try to save me, don't harass me in the street or at my home, don't get politicians to enact laws to give power to you, don't try to teach your religion in science classes by dishonestly giving it a new name and disguising it as science, and don't use my tax money to write your idiocies in public places. In short, do as you want, as long as you keep it to yourself - just like I don't go to your place trying to un-convert you.
12. Atheists are incapable of feeling awe at simple things, like a beautiful sunset, as they see everything in terms of cold science, instead of miracles. Ah, unweaving the rainbow - the idea that beauty and poetry only exist if we know little to nothing about how things work. But I ask you: does the fact that you know about astronomy, physics and light make the sunset any less beautiful? Was it beautiful only because it seemed magical - or an act of god - to you?
13. Atheists live their lives in constant fear of death. Few people actually want to die - those that do are either depressed and suicidal, or are Christians who believe that the world is evil, please, Lord Jesus, take me, and all that. A reasonable fear of death is perfectly natural. Also, we may believe that this life is it, which makes us treat it as precious, but, at least, we don't think that theres a chance of going to a place where you burn and are tortured for eternity
14. Most criminals are atheists (or, alternatively, the percentage of atheists among criminals is higher than among the general populace). Oddly enough, the opposite is true.
15. Atheists are stubborn and closed-minded. Not unless you define closed-minded like this. But, as Ebon said, Ask any believer what would convince him he was mistaken and persuade him to leave his religion and become an atheist, and if you get a response, it will almost invariably be, Nothing - I have faith in my god. Although such people may well exist, I personally have yet to meet a theist who would acknowledge even the possibility that his belief was in error. Many theists, by their own admission, structure their beliefs so that no evidence could possibly disprove them. Atheists, on the other hand, are easy to convince - all it requires is for God to show himself in some unfakeable way - say, for instance, by doing any of the many things he supposedly did in the Old Testament
16. Atheists make bad parents. Again, there are good and bad atheist parents, and good and bad Christian parents. Atheist parents, however, would never do what Abraham was about to do to his son Isaac (and Christians see Abraham's behavior as laudable!), because, to most atheists, our lives are our own. In fact, even if there was a God, it would not follow that our lives are his.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)