Why are some athiests hell bent on disproving religion and God?

@miamilady (4924)
United States
August 10, 2007 9:58pm CST
I hear (or see) folks complaining about religious people going over the top trying to force their religion on others... Well, it seems that religious folks don't have the corner market on pushing their beliefs... Some athiests seem to be just as guilty of pushing their beliefs (or their non-belief) as some religious folks are. What's up with that??
12 people like this
29 responses
11 Aug 07
It is not because they are atheists, it is because of the kind of people they are. What I mean is, there are people in every part of life who think their way is the only right way and everyone else is wrong. It has nothing specifically to do with their religion, because you find these people among every faith. There are Christians like this, and Muslims, and examples from every other religion that there is, so it shouldn't surprise us that there are some atheists who fall into the same category. It is not about belief, it is about personality.
5 people like this
@Stiletto (4584)
11 Aug 07
I totally agree with you, belief has nothing to do with it. There is a type of person that behaves in that way, they could be a christian, atheist, muslim, whatever.
3 people like this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
11 Aug 07
That is an excellent observation. You're right. It is more about the person's nature (personality) than it is about their belief. Thanks for your response.
2 people like this
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
19 Jan 08
I believe the word folks were searching for was fanatical.
@Rollo1 (16661)
• Boston, Massachusetts
11 Aug 07
I have spent a lot of time in Christian chat rooms online and a large number of the regular visitors are atheists. The rooms are constantly bombarded with first-year philosophy students and new atheists who have just discovered how clever they are and have come to show Christians the error of their ways. For many, they believe Atheism = Intellectualism and so are there to "educate" the poor benighted fools who believe in religion. They aren't so much "pushing their beliefs" on people as they are showing their disdain for those who believe. I do question the motivation of those who literally crusade for atheism by pushing it constantly, talking about it constantly, and posting about it constantly. I don't believe in fairies, and consequently I don't bring the subject up very often. Perhaps they need to convince others to convince themselves, maybe they harbor tiny doubts that they could be wrong.
@paul8675 (750)
• Australia
11 Aug 07
I have not yet seen anyone, at least in a free country, being "forced" to change their beliefs. I can see reason for people who truely believe, as I do, that witnessing is for the eternal good of others, arguing their beliefs, but on the other hand, I see very little reason for atheists and agnostics to push their's as atheism can in no way be construed to help others in any sense.
3 people like this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
11 Aug 07
One thing that I do like about living in a free country is that we are not "forced" to believe or worship anything. We are free to make up our own minds. I just become irritated when a person is adamant that they are right and we should believe what they say and they completely disregard our reasons for believing what we choose to believe.
2 people like this
@mac1946 (1602)
• Calgary, Alberta
21 Dec 07
while I cannot say forced into beleiving in religion,I can say Brainwashed. while I was brought up in two religions,(Chatholic and Protistant),and learned about the Mormans,I lost those beleifs while at war,and was an agnostic for many years until I found my path with Wicca. I do respect everyones right to their own beleif without trying to change others veiws,But I also firmly beleive that children should not be taught their parents religion untill they are old enough to choose their own faith. in my oppinion,that would not be before their 12th birthday. thank you for your discussion.
• United States
18 Jan 08
Excuse me, but while a Christian prays, an atheist can actually help people. An atheist does not believe in an afterlife, therefore they attribute more value to this life, and consider it more precious. And that can be 'construed' to lead to wanting to help others have good lives too, because they feel life is precious. So much for that last sentence. Keep your hateful garbage to yourself, bigot.
@ajgarcia (44)
• Dominican Republic
11 Aug 07
I have yet to see an atheist trying to force their disbelief on others, it's the contrary, when i say i'm atheist, people inmediately start battering me with questions and arguments trying to make me believe one way or another, no use but ignoring these people. That's why i don't like religious people at all and always and never mention the fact that i'm atheist unless asked about my beliefs.
3 people like this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
11 Aug 07
Thanks for your response. I believe you. I think many religious people are "offended" by those who don't believe. I guess the feel defensive. I don't know. I respect everyones right to believe what they choose. I enjoy learning what people believe and why. I don't like it when someone tries to insist that their way is the only right way. Regardless of whether it is a religious person toward an athiest person or vise versa.
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10524)
• United States
11 Aug 07
I don't know most atheists are atheists unless they are asked, some of them maybe tired of being hounded by believers and get an attitude, but most are quiet people who are tired of being beat on. You have to figure that people pushing their beliefs are just that...people and they are all basically the same other then their beliefs so for someone to say that only believers are pushy is foolish, since non-believers are just the same people but they have different ideas about religion.
3 people like this
11 Aug 07
I have often heard atheists really forcing their point especially around Christians when the whole God issue pops up. It seems that they have inadvertantly adopted the Christiatian message of spreading the word and feel it is their right to enlighten everyone as to the non-existence of God. I guess the whole issue of religion is just contentious as everybody regardless of their faith, or lack of it, believe that they have "the proof" to support their argument. Similarly the general move towards science and technology for answers seems to make religion obsolete and the belief in God somehow dated and old fashioned. Personally, I think everyone should respect each others view point, and whilst it is healthy to engage in discussion of opposing opinions it is wrong to try and force your opinion onto someone or debase their beliefs.
2 people like this
• United States
18 Jan 08
I don't consider it 'forcing' or 'debasing' to point out that Christianity relies on a massive baseless assumption, and therefore is not sensible or logical. It's also fair to point out that it's hypocritical because Christians accept one god on such an assumption, but reject all others, when there is nothing that puts any god over any other in terms of evidence (in other words, believing in no gods or believing in all gods are the only choices that aren't hypocritical. And since many gods contradict each other, that leaves one logical and non-hypocritical choice). It's true--if a Christian can't handle being told the truth about their beliefs, then they should either not be Christian, or keep their beliefs to themselves. It's as simple as that--truthtelling is not a malicious act, but many Christians assume it is when the truth isn't what they want it to be.
@Stiletto (4584)
11 Aug 07
I think another respondent has hit the nail on the head already when he says it's about personality and not beliefs (or lack of beliefs). Some people just feel it necessary to impose their views on others whether their view has been sought or not and that could be about anything - it's not just confined to religion. I'm an atheist and I genuinely couldn't care less what other people believe. I see no need to disprove someone's religion or their God's existence. People can believe what they want as far as I'm concerned. In "real" life I rarely get involved in the topic of religion because it just doesn't interest me. On here the only time I'm likely to get involved is if someone is misquoting the bible or making exaggerated or inaccurate statements which suit their own point of view. I may be an atheist but I had a fairly religious upbringing so I do know something about it all. The only other time I'm tempted to get involved on here is when people are getting on my nerves with it all lol! I mean really - some people just can't talk about anything without bringing God into it! Ask them what type of cheese they like and they'll manage to bring their religious beliefs into the discussion. It irritates the heck out of me I must admit - it's so overly pious and sanctimonious. Maybe it's because I'm from the UK where we don't generally feel the need to constantly proclaim our religious beliefs (or non-beliefs as the case may be). Anyway although I'm tempted to get involved (even if it's just to ask the person nicely to talk about something else PLEASE!!) I just let it pass. People that go on that way are usually so fixated in their own minds that nothing I said would register with them anyway.
2 people like this
@sunshinecup (7880)
11 Aug 07
Well here lately I have to agree with you. When one posts nothing else but discussions against religion, it starts getting old and it does seem they are not interested in hearing our answers, just wanting to pick them apart and trash them. They are very much attempting to push their beliefs and not "debate" as they put it. What this people fail to understand is, just because it was easy for them to lose their faith because of an atheist, that doesn't mean that the rest of us are that easy. So while they are becoming annoying, they are just wasting their time. Do they not understand as long as there has been religion there has been non-believers attempting to persuade everyone they are wrong? Why in the world do they bother? Because they do not feel confident in their logic at all, that’s why. They are angry they can not understand or feel what we feel. They are locked outside is one way of saying it. They really do want in, but until they find the way themselves they are going to be trapped out there. Now either the day will come they will find the way or they will remain bitter till the end. Either way all I can do is answer their questions, live as a testimony of my faith and let them do with it as they will. What ever happens, they aren’t going to make me loose my faith, that is for sure.
2 people like this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
11 Aug 07
It seems that they are just as passionate about their beliefs that there is no God that those who push their religious beliefs who do believe in God. So, just on a human level, we as humans are much the same. When we are passionate about something we want to convince others, some more than others that our beliefs are true.
2 people like this
@lucy02 (5017)
• United States
11 Aug 07
I have seen that too on the internet. It seems to be common on some of the discussion boards. I don't know why they bother posting anything on a discussion of a religious nature really. I let those people live their life as they see fit. I can understand if the discussion is a healthy debate but if it is someone just blasting a christian or other religion, I don't get it.
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
11 Aug 07
I honestly don't even see the point in debating religion. To me, the word debate implies that you are trying to change another persons mind on a subject. With religion, that isn't likely to happen. When people change their belief, it is usually due to a personal experience, not because someone proved something to them. Now, having a discussion about religion is different. I enjoy learning what other people believe about religion and spirituality. I think its very interesting to learn what others believe, as long as they don't try to "convince" me to believe as they do.
2 people like this
@lucy02 (5017)
• United States
12 Aug 07
Good point.
@ivyoon (673)
• United States
11 Aug 07
When discussing religion, it is always good to remember that we can't "make" anyone believe anything. A debate is just that... a debate. I believe in God, but I do not try to prove my belief to anyone who does not. That is just foolish, as none of us really know the truth... and if any of us did, who would believe that? Religion (or lack of) is always a touchy subject, and it amazes me how many people spend their time trying to "prove" something that they have little or no proof of. Science does bring up some good points, but their is NO proof. Religion brings up some good points, but, again, there is NO proof. So, we can waste our lives trying to prove an afterlife, or the lack thereof, but the truth is... nobody knows.
1 person likes this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
11 Aug 07
I feel the same way. You can't really PROVE anything either way.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Aug 07
I live in the relatively small tourist town of Prescott Arizona so you don't see many Atheists or their stuff around. Churches are ubiquitous though. There's almost one on every corner for nearly every faith, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Christan of various types.
@BethTN81 (564)
• United States
21 Dec 07
you probably dont see alot about athiests like you do churches mainly because athiests dont have a church! they worship nothing.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Dec 07
That's true, or they choose not to disclose their belief system. Society can be a very judgmental place.
• Canada
11 Aug 07
its impossible to push our "disbeliefs" on to anyone... you need to look at it logically to agree.
1 person likes this
@urbandekay (18308)
7 Jan 08
fighting... is a classic example of the kind of bigotry of which you speak. He puts out a stream of incoherent rants against religion. Atheiofacism all the best urban
2 people like this
• United States
18 Jan 08
It's not incoherent just because you can't understand it.
@gardengrrl (1445)
• United States
11 Aug 07
Hi, miamilady! I guess there are people who need to proselytise no matter what they believe. The terrorists who push Islam in this fashion are actually the most extreme example of this. Another reason people might feel compelled to disprove religion is because the tenets and rituals of Christianity are forced on nonbelievers by legislation and custom here in the U.S. The religious right has put so much money into pushing an extreme agenda that less organized people with less money are having a very hard time being heard. Some of these right wing initiatives have been so counterproductive for society (abstinence only education, with its resultant rise in teenage pregnancy rates where it is practiced, for example) that the groups fighting it are getting desparate. Personally, I wish folks could accept one single, irrefutable fact: until somebody's messiah shows up, all religions (or non-religions) are well documented bodies of opinion shared by varying sized groups of people. No matter what you believe, 4/5 of the people on the planet disagree, so everybody should just CHILL!
1 person likes this
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
19 Jan 08
I like that!!
• India
11 Aug 07
Oh, that is right. But I understand religious people do that because they believe in heaven and so they don't want atheist to go to hell...whether hell is there or not is a different matter. On the other hand I cannot understand why atheist try hard to convert other people. Atheist say they cannot disprove God, and they want people to be atheist by default...but what do you get? They might say they want people to be free from ignorant, but how can they say that when they do not have proof for God's non-existence. To say 'there is no god' because there is no proof is hardly an intellectually viable option. For theist even if they believe in God there is no loss...
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Aug 07
Im so glad you noticed this it is oh so true!
@jainaewen (170)
• Philippines
11 Aug 07
i believe in God and i love Him so much. how about you?we can choose wether we believe or not.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
11 Aug 07
I cannot understand why they do it. I can understand, me being a Christian, telling how wonderful God is to me, because I do not want that person suffering eternal damnation and going to hell, the same with a Jew prostelyzing, both want to be right with God. The same way I can understand a Muslim trying to convince someone to join his faith, because he wants them to enjoy Paradise and a Brahman or Buddhist, because they want the listener to achieve a higher plane. However what does an atheist have to offer except a man centered view, that they are important? I wonder if for some it is, if you say that you no longer believe in God, that they pat themselves on the back and say, 'I told you, I am right, I can destroy everyone's belief in God!" Personally I think it is about power and control and nothing to do with common sense. I also read that it will get worse in the end
12 Aug 07
I am an atheist but I do not have a man centred view at all and have never put myself up as being all important. I am conscious of the state of this world that we are all destroying, and I make a conscious effort to help change it. Please do not judge everyone the same as we are all different and I never have tried to have power or control over anyone. I wish I could say the same for the high and mighty religious groups such as the Catholic church that have so, so, so much power over their followers. We are all different and respect is everything.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
12 Aug 07
"Please do not judge everyone the same as we are all different and I never have tried to have power or control over anyone. I wish I could say the same for the high and mighty religious groups such as the Catholic church that have so, so, so much power over their followers. " I think even Catholics should be viewed as individuals not as one. I was born Catholic but do not practice now. The "church" does not have "power" over it's followers. It is up to each individual to choose what they believe. Basically what I'm saying is that I agree with your sentiment that we shouldn't judge eachother, but you came across as being a little judgemental of the Catholic Church. Did I misunderstand?
@Darkwing (21588)
18 Jan 08
I think you're reading something into things which aren't there, my friend. I'm Pagan, and I believe that everybody has a right to their own beliefs, whatever they are, without interruption. Some religions do quote the Bible and their beliefs at you too much, but I don't think you'll find that pagans respond in a negative way, nor try to push their beliefs, or non-beliefs as you call them, onto anybody else. They believe what they believe quite quietly and let others do the same. I would say here though, that when you get other beliefs rammed down your throat, it's most annoying. Live and let live is my motto. I have an open mind but I like to make it up to my beliefs, not be told how to. In fact, I think you'll find that many pagans believe there IS a God, but that He is not a lone, supreme being, governing our lives. We believe rather, or I do, that He is just one of many energies in the Universe which come together for the survival of our Planet. That's in explanation, by the way. I'm not trying to change your beliefs, but rather putting it to you that there is no trying to disprove the God which so many are trying to prove to others, and indeed themselves! lol. Brightest Blessings, in love and in light.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
19 Jan 08
"I think you're reading something into things which aren't there, my friend." What did you think I was reading into? I'm not sure, because I don't have the screen up, but I think I said "Why do SOME athiests..." AS far as everything else that you said, I agree. I don't consider myself pagan, but I do respect pagan beliefs as I respect all beliefs. Take care.
@ClarusVisum (2163)
• United States
18 Jan 08
A variation on the "why do atheists care about religion" question. The short answer is: most atheists would rather see people spend their time in more productive ways than clinging to old, primitive superstitions. The detailed answer is: ============= This should give you an idea on why atheists care about religion in general: (source 1) To summarize it, we care because theists have proven time and time again that they are incapable of keeping their faith to themselves, instead trying to impose it on everyone else, atheists included. This even goes as far as attempting to make their beliefs LAW, thereby literally FORCING everyone to follow their 'rules.' Many atheists are also justified in saying something like "you started it by calling us sinners and condemning us to eternal punishment and suffering just for not having the same beliefs as you." You show me a Christian or any other theist who keeps his or her faith personal (as faith is supposed to be), and I'll show you a person I (an atheist) have no beef with. I may think their beliefs are ridiculous, but that is my right. I'm sure every Christian here thinks Scientology is ridiculous. One more point--I don't think religion should be given a 'free pass' when it comes to criticism. Unlike race or hair color, religion is, in the end, a conscious decision. To fault someone for this decision (if you think they've made a bad decision) is NOT comparable to faulting someone for their race, gender, age, or anything like that. If someone came up to you and told you that they were absolutely sure that aliens teamed up with ghosts to cause 9/11, you'd think they were a fool, I'm sure. But theism has no evidence nor logical foundation either, hence the term "faith." Please do not forget why it is called "faith." A theist has every reason to EXPECT criticism the moment they start pretending that their faITH is faCT. If someone tries to act like their faith is factual, then people will start demanding evidence, because those are the rules of the game, after all. Things just don't spontaneously become facts--they have to be supported with evidence. P.S. Less mature theists will claim that if atheists frequent some spot on the Internet about religion, then it's because they're secretly questioning their atheism etc., but if atheists mostly _avoid_ that same spot, it's because they claim atheists are afraid/unable to challenge a theist's arguments. They've got something bad to say no matter what we do--wouldn't you agree that's unfair? (sources) 1. http://youtube.com/watch?v=w4fQA9mt-Mg
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
19 Jan 08
First, I want to thank you for your response. I was hoping more athiests would respond. I am not an athiest myself, but I am open to listening to EVERONE's beliefs or NON beliefs. Second, I want to say you do make SOME valid points. But, in some places you come across as just just as judgmental as the "immature theists" that you refer to. I won't go into detail now, because I need to log off. I may come back and get into more detail later, but perhaps, you can figure out what I'm talking about on your own. Take care and Happy mylotting