The “Evangelical” Atheist – Tolerance, and the differences we share

Frank Vernon Fred Miller asks:

How many of you, having denounced religion, or at least upon accepting Atheism as your belief, found it difficult to accept the fact that religion permeates every aspect of our environment including our families, our work, and our schools?

I am having difficulty accepting how much religion influences every aspect of our lives from centuries of dogmatic abuse. I laugh at my own ignorance when I occasionally use expressions such as, “Oh my God” or “Jesus Christ!”. It serves to remind me just how much religion in my own immediate environment has influenced me.

I want to be tolerant of others beliefs. I don’t want to be just as offensive an evangelical christian by forcing my beliefs upon others, but I find myself doing just that at times with Atheism.

I realize now that I should have been born much farther into the future when our species has evolved a bit more.


12 Responses to The “Evangelical” Atheist – Tolerance, and the differences we share

  1. The Atheist says:

    For the record, I say “oh my God!” all the time, along with the occasional “Jesus Christ!” I even say “God bless you” when someone sneezes (if it’s a person who usually says “God bless you” to others).

    Personally it doesn’t offend me that much that religious thought is part of our heritage. What offends me is the narrow-mindedness and authoritarianism that accompanies conservative religion. It’s the refusal to look through Galileo’s telescope, then preventing others from looking. It’s the ideology that incites religious radicals to crash planes into buildings, or to gun down physicians who work at abortion clinics.

  2. Happy Heretic says:

    Yes, it is sometimes uncomfortable living surrounded by atavistic beliefs and the inherent intolerance of theism. Personally, I have no wish to push my understanding on others, but on occasion, my assertiveness ( stating clearly what I believe and feel ) is misinterpreted as proselytizing.
    And there is the old chestnut, the ‘ militant atheist ‘that is thrown at us because we are different.

  3. imbrocata says:

    That really rings true for me too. Parents are hyper-religious and lately so are my brother and sister, who, while growing up were the least religious (and I was the most). So everything got flipped around there and I have to wade through cute little inspirational stories on facebook all the time from them as well as my nieces and nephews. My dad especially is pretty inflamatory and I don’t respond at all to family-trolls.
    But like both of you, I do find myself scoffing at someone at work and taking a pretty strong line. I’m working on it, but once you’ve left the cave and the shadows on the wall, it’s really hard to believe someone would persist in the reality that the shadows are all there is.

  4. omen555 says:

    I often have disagreements with Family and friends on FACEBOOK as well. The internet seems to have changed things enormously.
    “Public outrage” seems amplified as a result of more advanced media, a media that can be EASILY manipulated.
    When a radical religion that desires to destroy all other non-believers uses the same social media outlet (internet) as the very people they despise, it kind of makes the World a much smaller place.
    I can sit right here in my comfortable freedom loving country and see and hear every gruesome detail of what radical religions think of and do to non-believers that they can get their hands on.
    I am prior Military and I do not believe in a God, so tolerance is not one of my strong points nor a first choice when I see these ignorant savages.
    I have HOPE for Mankind. I hope we continue to evolve…but as the World population passes 7 Billion and cultures continue to clash as they always have, I fear another “boiling point”.
    Now that I think of it, it seems foolish to assume there might never be another World War. We just have not evolved socially and intellectually as much as we have scientifically in my opinion. Problem there is, now we have bigger weapons but we are still ignorant as ever.
    Hate sounding pessimistic but it just seems logical from my observations.

  5. Peace123 says:

    I will find myself sometime using Biblical images or shortcut references for which I don’t immediatly think of non-religious expressions. When I gave to an organization without expecting any return, I likened it to “bread upon the waters.” In reading about a person who has been unjustly accused, I think “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” For something dangerous and very frightening, I think “through the valley of death”.This is in spite of my atheist/agnostic convictions. It does show how deeply I was Bibilcally educated as a child.

  6. zJustin says:

    I always say “gesundheit” when someone sneezes for the same reason I wonder if others who say it are wondering about me when I say it. I think of it as a kind of secret password or a calling card for atheists who want to appreciate it’s not all theists around us. Both theists and atheists alike should acknowledge there are probably quite a bit fewer or more “like me’s” than you realize (depending on your stance).

  7. gram says:

    If you want to be more tolerant of religion then accept my advice:

    Believe that we actually continue. Reject all magical explanation.

    Don’t wish that you were born further into the future. You will be.

    Don’t liken all religion to falsity. Many false precede the one true.

    Search for the answers, and if you don’t know the way- just ask.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Don’t liken all religion to falsity. Many false precede the one true.

      You sound like a prophet. I believe all religion IS a falsity. Religion doesn’t require evidence, it requires only faith to become extremely dangerous and destructful. Science doesn’t require anything from you and it doesn’t change just because you understand it., it just is true wether you understand it or not and can be proven with evidence that is empirical.

      Search for the answers, and if you don’t know the way- just ask.”

      Ask who? You…? A human? A flawed species that is ignorant of it’s own origin and prone to ulterior motivation? No thanks. I am not sheep. I find the answers I seek on my own through science, experiences, and experimentation…not in a parasitic dogma that only serves to give an undeserving few men unjust rewards at the expense of the depressed, impoverished, and broken-hearted. You get an “A” for effort though.

      • Madnomad says:

        What exactly do you discover thru science, experience and experimentation? Truth? Your truth? Relative truth? Absolute truth? Why do you trust your perception? You are the product of a mindless, meaningless, purposeless, and most important, thoughtless process. What could possibly make you think that humans are capable of a mindful, thoughtful, and accurate assessment of reality when our brains were not designed for intelligence? And if truth is what you seek, how do you recognize falsity? By what standard do measure what is true and what is not?

        • Madnomad says:

          One more thought, you said science doesn’t change. Really? That’s all science does is change! What is true today, is false tomorrow based on new evidence. You can not rely on science for absolute truth. It is ALWAYS subject to change.

        • omen555 says:

          Madnomad, that was my comment under “Anonymous”. I had replied without logging in. Allow me to retort…
          You ask why I trust my perception. The answer is because I “think” and I do it for myself, not others, nor do I allow others to think for me. I understand our species enough to know that the strong look to dominate the weak. Display one ounce of doubt in your sense of self, and be sure that some slick talking spiritual pseudo-shaman will look to widen your doubt.
          Reality? I don’t claim to know what is relative or absolute truth as it relates to the Universe around us as a whole, but only the ignorant do not see how science tests hypothesis and forms theories that WORK and provide empirical evidence. Far more than anything religion can provide.
          About science not changing…yes I will rephrase…The FACTS do not change that science discovers simply because we choose not to believe in them.
          How do you know our brains were not designed for intelligence? I’m not claiming we are exceptionally intelligent as a species, however I think most would agree that there IS a thought process occuring in our heads? lol! I think, therefore I am, bro.

          • Madnomad says:

            I guess I have only 2 questions. First, and maybe I am mistaken, I thought you were an atheist. If that is true, then why ask me how I know how our brains were not designed for intelligence? Obviously if there is no designer, our brains are not designed…for anything! 2nd, if our brains are simply the product of evolution, then we have no reason to assume our thoughts our merely the random firings of chemicals and synapses that preclude freewill of thought and therefore cannot be trusted to make an accurate assessment of reality.

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