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What motiviation drives the "Evangelical Atheist" behavior?

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posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 06:26 AM
I understand the motivation of of theists. Saving a soul or trying to bring another to salvation are common themes and expectations of the faith. What drives the "Evangelical Atheists" to attempt to "convert" others? Is it hatred? Fear? Ego? Anti-Christian-ism?

The observed behaviors of the Evangelical Atheist is so similar to a religious fundamentalist that I almost believe it is a religion into itself.

So, I shall ask... What is driving the Evangelical Atheist's zealousness? What is driving the motivation to attack faith in god at every opportunity?

First, before the normal zealot crowd arrives and says "what is an Evangelical Atheist" or "there is no such thing"

or "Atheist can't be Evangelical" let me define what we are talking about and you can associate whatever "title" that best fits this behavior or description.

What is an Evangelical Atheist:

2. Evangelical Atheist: An evangelical atheist is one who not only believes there is no god or other supreme being, but is obsessed with convincing everyone around them to become an atheist too, usually through hard-line intolerance (the kind they accuse other religions of). When cornered they usually try to put down their opponent's religion and bash them for 'blind faith', not realizing that their belief that there is no god is no more or less valid or provable than the other guy's belief that there is one. Not to be confused with normal atheists/agnostics, who for the most part just don't talk about religion and accept the beliefs of those around them as their prerogative. Evangelical atheists are particularly common on the Internet, as organized religion is generally accepted as part of 'the system' of global human society, and lately it's become cool on the Internet to hate 'the system'. Evangelical atheist usually seeks to "convert" borderline theists, often by engaging in debate with fundamentalists.

Nevertheless, some of the brightest minds in the English-speaking world right now argue that religion is the problem. And we know they’re the brightest minds because they keep telling us they are. The New Atheists are positively evangelical. They want to make a convert out of you, although if you’re a “dyed-in-the-wool faith-head” they’ll settle for peppering you with insults and sarcasm instead.

What is most worrying is that the New Atheists seem to gain the most followers precisely among the most ambitious and intelligent young people—the people who will be actively shaping government policy in the years to come. Attracted by the intellectual rebelliousness of the movement, young people fall for its insidious message: join us and you can be one of the smart people.

In the 1800s, Karl Marx and other thinkers systematized this anti-religious hostility. When the followers of Marx gained power in Russia, they were even more ruthless than the French revolutionaries in their suppression of religion. Similar horrors followed dogmatic Communism wherever it came to power.

But most of the English-speaking world was spared this excessive institutional atheism. The United States, in particular, has always zealously guarded the freedom of anyone to practice any religion that does not seriously interfere with public order.

That’s why we’re so surprised and baffled by what we call the New Atheism. For the first time in our relatively tranquil history, we’re facing a determined attempt not just to keep organized religion out of government (which most religious Americans agree is a good idea), but to suppress religion completely.

What we call the “New Atheism” is a bit different than its predecessor. It’s more aggressive, and it has more power. The leaders of the sect are well placed in the academic world, and they have a strong determination to mold government policy.

And you wouldn’t like the government if the New Atheists molded its policy. Richard Dawkins has asserted that teaching your religion to your child is a form of child abuse and should be criminalized. Other New Atheists have argued that churches should have to post a sign reading “for entertainment purposes only,” since after all they’re no less a fraud than telephone psychics.

The New Atheists see religion as a disease to be exterminated. Their dream, in short, is not a government neutral to religion, but a government actively hostile to religion. The evangelical atheists assume that religion must inevitably breed mindless fanaticism. Countering that image means not just answering the atheists’ arguments against God, but also correcting their false impressions of religion.

Do these behavioral and ideology descriptions sound familiar? What is the motivation?

[edit on 2-8-2009 by infolurker]

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 07:41 AM
Well I guess I fit your description rather well. How to put things simply...

I have nothing against spirituality. My problem lies with organised religion. Organised religion and blind faith are responsible for uncountable wars, hatred, and the division of mankind. Faith in it's self is one of the single most vicious psychological mechanisms that exists, I have personally seen faith destroy minds, destroy the ability to reason, and cripple acceptance of question and doubt. Religion, through a system of taboos and inhibition has slowed down our technological evolution, in fields such as medecine, physics etc... In fact the acceleration of scientific progress since the last century is largely due to the loss of influence of religion in the western world.

I do view religion as dangerous. My motivations ? You just read a few of them above.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 07:45 AM
reply to post by infolurker

Well as for motives, I think that it is simply a difference of opinion from experience. Some people sadly think that watching television is experience

I find it fascinating that some will criticise a christian for believing in god because our eyes do not allow us to see yet the same person might believe in Aliens without having witnessed anything for themselves.

I find it equally as fascinating that people consider themselves to be "intelligent" if they study science which is a faith in my opinion. Far too many people change data in scientific studies due to the main motive of science, cash.

Organised religion can be bent towards certain influencial members opinions which is another thing that I personally do not favour.

Maybe it all boils down to perception and the need for friends?

We all need someone to talk to even if we disagree with them.

I think this thread might cause some arguments

My motivations in life, just one, experience.

[edit on 2-8-2009 by XXXN3O]

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 07:50 AM
While I don't like reducing people's opinions to their motivations and personal psychology, because that gets into a weak cycle of personal conflict and rarely results in any kind of intelligent conversation, I will say something about this.

Most of the people who've I've met who are dogmatic in their atheism were brought up by religious families, and because atheists in their adolescence. As such, their atheism was part of their growing to be more independent and so they see religion as a return to their dependent, immature childhood, or more simply as a means of their parents controlling them.

So they tend to see religious people, regardless of their actual personality and beliefs, as control figures to be rejected. This rejection can become aggressive when they are confronted intellectually because they have no good intellectual reason for their beliefs.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 08:03 AM
reply to post by Vinciguerra

Interesting - A need to "rebel" against one's parents or "the authority". Almost a "biblical" description of "the fall".

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 08:09 AM
reply to post by Ismail

Now I can understand that. I to am prone to not support "Organized Religion" in many cases and it is easy to debate the pros & cons of that topic. What I don't understand is the zealous attempts to completely undermine and mock "faith" in god itself outside of "organized religion".

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 08:11 AM
You don't really leave much to be said, what with your options of ego, fear and hatred.

Maybe they feel that they have the right to speak with others/try to change others minds about something which they feel strongly.

It doesn't seem to hard to figure out, and look, without all that subtext and 'nudge-nudge' of the OP.


I can not speak for the world-view of all athiests, but many get 'evangelical' only with the evangelical crowd and only because they (read: I) can not stand to be told, constantly, why we are going to hell, or are somehow 'less than' those who found Jesus.

I don't call it evangelical atheism, I call it telling evangelicals to shut up or take a spoonful of their offensive, "everything you think is wrong", attitude that they feel is required upon learning someone isn't 'saved'.

Feed someone a spoonful of hatred, no matter how masked it is in the word of god, and they are probably going to push back.

[edit on 8/2/0909 by spines]

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 08:13 AM

Originally posted by infolurker
...Almost a "biblical" description of "the fall".

Hi, for more insight on the implications of "the fall" please see...

The Fall of Man--Part 1

(Genesis 3:1-5)

Copyright 2000
John F. MacArthur, Jr.
All rights reserved.

I want you to turn in your Bible now to the third chapter of Genesis. And we finally arrive at the text itself. We have talked about this chapter. We have done a lot of background on the chapter on the issue of sin, the problem of evil in the universe and evil in the world. And all of that was really a prelude to the text itself; the Biblical record of why the world is the way it is. The fall of man and the fall of the created universe is presented in this chapter.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 08:16 AM
Such is dogmatism - the faith in ones own beliefs to the extent one feels a 'right' to try to change others'.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 08:22 AM
I think atheists react to the Evangelical Christians who readily forgive the transgression and hypocrisy of their own while they are exceptionally judgemental and unforgiving of others.

Basically, Evangelical Christianity appears to be a control system regulated by a peer group or designate preacher devoid of the personal expereinces and conditions of an individual being engaged with.

Evangelicals spend a disproportionate time interacting with none members whom do not necessarily invite their interest. In any given community in any part of the world, this is considered trifling and the first stage of conflict.

Missionaries of other religions tend to convert with deeds. You will find Catholic missions in war zones offering food, medicine, education often at great personal sacrifice of the individual concerned. The recipients of these graces are impressed upon them the goodness of the faith.

In the US evangelicals will go into the inner city, target a crackhead and then preach at the twitching junky. When this doesn't work, they will engage with the law enforcement as good people concerned about the neighbourhood and hound the crackhead out of the community. This is a simplistic explanation but it outlines the attitudes of sanctimonious hypocrites and why reasoning atheists are appalled by them.

[edit on 083131p://am3128 by masonwatcher]

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 08:30 AM
reply to post by masonwatcher

Unfortunatly in the evangelical mind those who preach opposite their world-view are 'ridiculous' and 'shoving their belief of nothing on others' while they themselves are simply 'doing the word of god' and 'saving souls'.

The problem is that their actions are rightous in their own minds, and then is reenforced further within their religious community (church, school, family, whatever).

They don't see that they are insulting/condescending to almost everyone they preach to...

...which makes it all the more -ironic- when they get up-in-arms about an atheist 'preaching' to them.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 08:47 AM
Not really, since religious dogmatism is widely documented and criticised, whereas atheist assholes populate every public sphere with their nihilistic garbage.

To be clear, I'm an agnostic and I don't mind religious people or atheists. But I don't respond kindly to anyone trying to justify forcing their beliefs on others.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 11:49 AM
reply to post by Vinciguerra

I found it strange that many of the types on ATS fit the definitions, I have seen many posts about "banning religion" and wonder how this "enlightenment" is any different that a "religion" banning this and that. Very hypocritical to me. I just really wonder where the drive and zeal come from.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 12:02 PM
reply to post by infolurker

I think the main difference is, atheists haven't gone galavanting across the globe killing those who refuse to

The argument that calling for the end of religion is hypocritical from an atheist is kind of ridiculous. What, we can't want religion gone but religion, especially evangelical, can call for the end of other religion?

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 12:10 PM
reply to post by spines

I think the main difference is, atheists haven't gone galavanting across the globe killing those who refuse to

You should look into STATE ATHEISM.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 12:27 PM
reply to post by AshleyD

Hmm, touche. I wasn't even thinking along those lines, and you seem to have blown a big hole in my last post.

I wont edit it, let my foolishness be known.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 12:39 PM
Why do I try to convert people? Look at it from my point of view: most religions preach hate against a certian group (gays, non-members of their religion, etc...) and try to create/pass opressive laws against these people. Before anyone creates laws based SOLELY out of superstition and try to force their beliefs on everyone else (creation in schools, etc) they need to prove it. Once they can prove the aformentioned religion is correct, they can impose it on others. Otherwise, it is simply unnecessary opresion.

So far, the only religion that I've seen actual evidence ia atheism.

Posted Via ATS Mobile:

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 12:42 PM
reply to post by infolurker

For me, for a time.. it was the fact that I got just annoyed by christians slamming their beliefs down my throat. So I'd have to say the drive of the "Evangelical athesit" is just the effect of the cause that evangelicals spread.

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 01:32 PM

Originally posted by anonymouse876
Why do I try to convert people? Look at it from my point of view: most religions preach hate against a certian group (gays, non-members of their religion, etc...) and try to create/pass opressive laws against these people. Before anyone creates laws based SOLELY out of superstition and try to force their beliefs on everyone else (creation in schools, etc) they need to prove it. Once they can prove the aformentioned religion is correct, they can impose it on others. Otherwise, it is simply unnecessary opresion.

So far, the only religion that I've seen actual evidence ia atheism.

They aren't created solely out of superstition. Religious rituals are much like scientific experiments - there's only so long you can do them without the desired effect before people start to question whether you've got it right at all. Plenty of religions die off, become obsolete, or people just stop believing in them.

Then there's prayer, and religious experiences like meditation, which millions if not billions will confirm actually 'work', in the same sense as your Ipod 'works', i.e. you're happy with what happens when you use it.

What evidence have you seen for atheism? I've read plenty of theology, know the Christian and Atheist philosophies well and from my experience neither is even the slightest bit conclusive. How would one disprove the existence of a metaphysical being?

posted on Aug, 2 2009 @ 01:33 PM
reply to post by infolurker

Great topic!!!! S&F
Surely atheism is for the many some form of twisted, up side down religion

Very good observation about recruiting the young people by "showing" them how smart it is to be an atheist...Are they doing it spontaneously or it makes part of secret agenda?- probably both...
Its quite possible that NWO tries to get rid of Religion, of "obsolete morals" as they try to picture them. without it the only "moral authority" is the State...
It is much easier to manipulate the populace, because without God people became, paradoxically the "sheeples" in the worst meaning of that word.
It was the same under the Communism.
And the same ,they quite often used the dropouts of the Church, the unfinished students of rabinic shools etc.
Quite often some fanatics throw Religion to the same bag with all the malvolent NWO organisations and groups. And the proofs and reasoning for it is most of the times completely illogic. I dont know nothing about some alleged conspiracies of Vatican, but I know one: Believers try to live by their universal moral standarts and are much harder to manipulate.


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