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To atheists/non-believers: Why the evangelism?

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posted on May, 29 2012 @ 01:44 AM
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I'll preface this thread by stating that I have no problem with atheists or people who don't prescribe to my own personal beliefs. I have many friends that are atheists, and I don't believe it is my place to judge them or ridicule them because they have a different point of view than I do. Which brings me to the purpose of this thread:

Why do atheists feel the need to do precisely that?

I am sick to death of people popping into threads with comments like "Your bible is a fairy tale" or "Your an idiot because you believe in God" or even my own friends posting stuff on facebook on a daily basis demonizing religion and promoting atheism. So why do you do it?

I am going to assume (perhaps wrongfully so) that atheists or non-religious people dislike being preached at by "bible thumpers" or having their morning coffee or sleep interrupted by zealous mormons or jehovas witnesses banging at their door trying to save their souls. I'm going to guess that this type of behavior may even piss you off, and you may be left asking yourself: "who the hell do you think you are to tell ME what I should believe"? So assuming this is true, why turn around and do it to others?

Is the irony lost on you?

I personally don't believe I should be preaching to anyone (just one of many things that make me a "bad Christian" I suppose). I feel that if someone is curious about my beliefs, I will share them happily. But I'm not the type to go around trying to "save" people and waving my finger at them about how they live their lives. I generally try to avoid this behavior as much as possible, and I'm always cautiously respectful of others opinions when such subjects come up in conversation.

So why is it atheists seem to be more zealous and preachy than half the Christians I know? I would appreciate if you could limit your responses to WHY you choose to engage in this behavior (if you do), or why choose not to (if you don't). I'm really not interested in debating the existence of God (let's face it, that's literally been done to death for thousands of years). I just want to know why you feel the need to engage in atheist "evangelism", and why you don't feel this is something that is completely hypocritical (an accusation often leveled against Christians).

Thanks!

PS: Mods, I wasn't really sure where to post this. I chose this forum due to the content of most of the posts here, and figured it would be a good place to start. Feel free to move if I could have chosen a better location



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posted on May, 29 2012 @ 01:54 AM
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After 2-3 thousand years of Christianity and other religions being rammed down everyone's throats, I think the atheists have a right to be persistent in attempting to get their opinion heard without being drowned out by half the worlds population.
edit on 29/5/2012 by Kryties because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 02:03 AM
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Originally posted by Kryties
After 2-3 thousand years of Christianity and other religions being rammed down everyone's throats, I think the atheists have a right to be persistent in attempting to get their opinion heard without being drowned out by half the worlds population.
edit on 29/5/2012 by Kryties because: (no reason given)


I would agree. But I think there's a difference between voicing your opinion and aggressive atheistic evangelism (often to the point of complete disregard for anyone else's opinions).

Example:

Voicing one's opinion: "I can't speak for anyone else but my own research leaves me convinced the bible is a load of rubbish"

What I constantly experience at ATS: "The bible is a fairy tail and your fake god never existed."

Or take Dawkins efforts to promote atheism using advertising on buses. Sharing your opinion is fine. Everyone is entitled to that. But why do atheists feel the need to evangelize? It seems a tad ironic.



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 02:03 AM
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reply to post by Kryties
 


Precisely.

It's difficult for an athiest to go a whole day without some form of religion shoved in their face. Try putting an athiest bumper sticker on your car. A good Christian will show you gods love by keying your car/slashing your tires, etc...

I know a guy who has an ultra religious co-worker. This guy had a Bad Religion sticker on his car. Bad Religion is a band FYI. This co-worker ended up trying to have him fired for creating a "hostile workplace". He never "preached" or even discussed his atheism at work. The company made him take the bumper sticker off or risk being fired

When an athiest tries to just go about their day we get hammered; lied about, threatened, etc... So we stand up for ourselves. And then we get criticised for that.

But we're proud and we won't stop.



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 02:07 AM
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Originally posted by PotatoSaladMafia
reply to post by Kryties
 


Precisely.

It's difficult for an athiest to go a whole day without some form of religion shoved in their face. Try putting an athiest bumper sticker on your car. A good Christian will show you gods love by keying your car/slashing your tires, etc...

I know a guy who has an ultra religious co-worker. This guy had a Bad Religion sticker on his car. Bad Religion is a band FYI. This co-worker ended up trying to have him fired for creating a "hostile workplace". He never "preached" or even discussed his atheism at work. The company made him take the bumper sticker off or risk being fired

When an athiest tries to just go about their day we get hammered; lied about, threatened, etc... So we stand up for ourselves. And then we get criticised for that.

But we're proud and we won't stop.


That is absolutely terrible. I find it truly disgraceful if such discrimination is actually taking place (and btw I know who bad religion is
). But having faced such idiocy, and knowing how it has made you feel not only as an atheist but as a person, isn't it somewhat silly to turn around and do similar things because you are angry they were done to you?
edit on 29-5-2012 by DeadSeraph because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 02:12 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 


I don't do silly things. I simply stand up for what I believe in, or don't as the case may be. I don't retaliate, I don't try to make others take down their religious items. I will stand up for my rights though and I won't deny what I believe to make others happy.

But that's just me. I don't speak for all athiests.



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 02:12 AM
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Originally posted by DeadSeraph

I would agree. But I think there's a difference between voicing your opinion and aggressive atheistic evangelism (often to the point of complete disregard for anyone else's opinions).


That sounds like many Christians I have come across in my life......not listening to others opinions while ramming their own down others throats.


Example:

Voicing one's opinion: "I can't speak for anyone else but my own research leaves me convinced the bible is a load of rubbish"

What I constantly experience at ATS: "The bible is a fairy tail and your fake god never existed."


I see many intelligent atheist posts here at ATS that also get treated with the same disregard as the posts you deem to be "aggressive atheistic evangelism". I have seen many a post where a Christian gets on his high horse and accuses atheists or non-believers of everything under the sun because they don't share the same view.

It goes both ways mate - the difference is the Christianity has many many more people who follow it than atheism or non-belief.


Or take Dawkins efforts to promote atheism using advertising on buses. Sharing your opinion is fine. Everyone is entitled to that. But why do atheists feel the need to evangelize? It seems a tad ironic.


Religion does EXACTLY the same thing mate, please don't delude yourself into thinking otherwise. The difference, again, is that Christians do it in far greater numbers.



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 02:16 AM
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Originally posted by Kryties

Originally posted by DeadSeraph

I would agree. But I think there's a difference between voicing your opinion and aggressive atheistic evangelism (often to the point of complete disregard for anyone else's opinions).


That sounds like many Christians I have come across in my life......not listening to others opinions while ramming their own down others throats.


Example:

Voicing one's opinion: "I can't speak for anyone else but my own research leaves me convinced the bible is a load of rubbish"

What I constantly experience at ATS: "The bible is a fairy tail and your fake god never existed."


I see many intelligent atheist posts here at ATS that also get treated with the same disregard as the posts you deem to be "aggressive atheistic evangelism". I have seen many a post where a Christian gets on his high horse and accuses atheists or non-believers of everything under the sun because they don't share the same view.

It goes both ways mate - the difference is the Christianity has many many more people who follow it than atheism or non-belief.


Or take Dawkins efforts to promote atheism using advertising on buses. Sharing your opinion is fine. Everyone is entitled to that. But why do atheists feel the need to evangelize? It seems a tad ironic.


Religion does EXACTLY the same thing mate, please don't delude yourself into thinking otherwise. The difference, again, is that Christians do it in far greater numbers.


I realize Christians do the exact same thing. That's why it seems ironic to me that atheists would do it


And I certainly don't intend to paint all atheists with the same brush. I have some very close friends that aren't preachy about their beliefs (or lack there of). I guess I'm more interested in the thought processes behind the atheists who are as preachy/pushy as their Christian counterparts.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts guys/girls/aliens/whatever.



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 02:37 AM
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The same reason why people wake me up out of bed to tell me the story of jesus , religious advertisement , little fish symbols on cars, or give my child a book about jesus when family and extended family clearly know my views on religion , Why not a book on Buddhism , stories from the Koran, or Hinduism. Never would a believer do such a thing of any faith. Imagine the reaction I would get when I give their children books about the Koran ect. Also we too hope to convert our religious fellow humans in the errors of their ways.



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 03:06 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 


Maybe it's because religions have enough..... money, power and people to stop all the warmongers and other idiots that cause all the suffering on this planet ...... and yet they do nothing.....



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 03:13 AM
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Originally posted by DeadSeraph
[

I realize Christians do the exact same thing. That's why it seems ironic to me that atheists would do it


I think the old saying "you become that which you hate he most" could be applied here.

Many athiests see their belief as science fact, as there is no proof of any diety to worship. But they forget that their belief system, is just that, a system of belief, based in no factual evidence. (aka faith) It's the same type of belief system as a religious one, just with different beliefs. I'm not religious, or athiest myself. But I've been an arrogant athiest in the past, mainly used to like winding up the fundies. Show their attitude to their beliefs back at them, but from a different perspective.

Basically, people believe something because they see it as true, and to them, it is. So they hold on to this belief and feel threatened by anything which challenges it. It's the same for most beliefs held in faith like this. People can be twats, try not to be offended by it. (forgive them, for they know not what they do)



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 03:16 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 


Think it of a test from your god,to exercise your forgiveness and understanding. and all the other stuff that so many so called Christians conveniently forget when the going gets tough.
By the way , It was the Aliens

edit on 29-5-2012 by 12voltz because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 08:33 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 


Personally, I agree with what you are saying for the most part, and I would be considered a non believer / agnostic. People shouldn't be ridiculed for their beliefs. However, on this site, the reason many get ridiculed is not because of their faith, it's because they either try to tell everyone else their faith is fact, or because they post things that are blatantly false about science. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but bible literalists constantly come in here with zero knowledge of science and immediately start mocking it and claiming that evolution is false despite the mountain of evidence behind it. IMO, when somebody does that they become an immediate hypocrite and deserve ridicule, not for their beliefs, but because they have the gall to tell somebody else they are wrong about proven science, when they haven't even done the basic reading about it. This is why they are often mocked. It's not just because of their religion, it's because of their attitude and general platform of ignorance that they use to try to convert people, dishonestly. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of rational theists on here, but the irrational bible literalists should focus on the good things about their religion, instead of attacking science and "Darwinists" in an ignorant way. That's why it happens and people are so quick to dismiss what they have to say. Plus there's the fact that atheists have been tortured and killed in the name of religion for thousands of years. Now that their religion is dying, fundamentalists are perpetrating a ridiculous war on science and knowledge and it needs to stop.

So to summarize, when somebody comes up to me and says, "Evolution can't be true, otherwise why are there still monkeys?" or "OMG there's no transitional fossils", I'll explain it curteously the first time, but after that if they continue to pursue their ignorance, they deserve every bit of ridicule they get.
edit on 29-5-2012 by Barcs because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 08:47 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 




I am sick to death of people popping into threads with comments like "Your bible is a fairy tale" or "Your an idiot because you believe in God" or even my own friends posting stuff on facebook on a daily basis demonizing religion and promoting atheism. So why do you do it?


Well let's first set up the difference between an atheist and an atheist troll. Trolls will be trolls and they come in all shapes, sizes, and beliefs (or non-beliefs as this case would have it). I'm an atheist but I try to stick to a "attack the beliefs NOT the believer" approach, I will openly criticize the Bible and all religious beliefs and even ridicule them but I try not to ridicule the believer primarily because I used to be one. I understand WHY people believe and more often than not it has nothing to do with them being stupid or idiots.




I feel that if someone is curious about my beliefs, I will share them happily.


I'm pretty outspoken about my atheism and when I see something posted by a religious person that is out-and-out BS I'm prone to calling that BS out. I will defend my viewpoint and express it openly online in various forms. I'm not going door to door with it, I'm not spamming people with it endlessly, I'm just one voice in the discourse of the debate between atheism and theism. So once again we have to draw that same line, there's a difference between someone who is outspoken and who is defending their views and someone is just trolling or attempting to spam people into their own line of thinking.



So why is it atheists seem to be more zealous and preachy than half the Christians I know?


The reason I'm so outspoken about my atheism is that I used to be a believer, I was raised in a Fundamentalist Christian household and managed to break out of that. There's more to it than that of course, but having been indoctrinated myself the least I can do is try to explain to others why their beliefs, the same ones I used to hold, fall apart under the slightest scrutiny and skepticism. If I can escape maybe I can help others do the same, or at least I can plant the seeds of doubt by asking the same sorts of questions and bringing up the same sorts of points that stuck in the back of my Christian mind long enough to eventually lead me to abandon Christianity.



I just want to know why you feel the need to engage in atheist "evangelism", and why you don't feel this is something that is completely hypocritical (an accusation often leveled against Christians).


It's true that some atheists get angry and annoyed about preachers but personally I'm of the mind that freedom of religion is important and so is freedom of speech. There is nothing wrong with an open exchange in the marketplace of ideas. There is also nothing wrong with espousing and defending your viewpoint but if you do it in an open forum as many preachers and believers do then criticism is a given risk.



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 09:17 AM
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Easy. It's called "Spiritual Warfare".

It's just that atheists don't understand or recognize the driving force behind their participation in it.



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 09:47 AM
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2 words. Vocal Minority.

One could get the impression all Christians are filled with hate, because the hateful ones are the loudest. One could get the same about Atheists, Muslims, Jews, ect.

I like discussing theology, evidences for beliefs, seeing why people believe what they do, ect. However, that's only where appropriate. If someone posits proof for their beliefs, I'll examine it and say what I believe. If there's a topic that operates already on the premise of the beliefs, I stay out. I don't force my beliefs(Or specifically that lack of) on others, or shout them out where inappropriate.

Some people do. Some christian threads get the inappropriate non-christians going off topic and insulting the people being on topic. Same with Atheistic threads, Islamic Threads, and more.

I wouldn't categorize any faith group by the Haters within. There's those who want civil discussion, and there's those who want to hate and derail, prominent within every ideology.

Most atheists are not going to be rude and judge, just as you say you're not one to hate or judge either. This topic would be better suited towards "Haters" in general, regardless of how else they may be classified.

~
I'm personally much more likely to criticize an Atheist(When discussing religion) or a Liberal(When discussing politics) for being rude or making bad arguments. I like seeing my position as civil and rational, I never see why others tend to think they need to be rude or irrational to back that stance up.

But I'd be very clear to differentiate them as a minority. Just as I'm not going to prejudice all Christians by their hateful minority either.



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 10:09 AM
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reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


Excellent post. Wish I could give you applause for that.

________________________________________________________________________________________
DeadSeraph

OP. You are among the minority of Christians. Most Christians, at least fundamentalists, believe in the great commission.

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

They believe this is a requirement. To not do it, brings into question your salvation, and whether or not you are a real Christian.

Secondly, I find that many Christians have a superiority complex. Meaning they look down on the poor little ignorant and godless heathens who don't have the truth. Not all are arrogant about it. Some have a genuine concern for those who are "unsaved". So much so, they will risk your wrath if they think there is a chance you'll convert. But they nevertheless have that mindset.

I fell into the latter group mostly. I have preached the gospel to a LOT of heathens over many years. And now I am one of them. And for a long time after I came out of Christianity, I felt bad about it. Because I felt like I deceived those people. So yes, I do evangelize a little here and there to help make up for the damage I did as a Christian.

My point being, if an atheist or agnostic came out of fundamentalist Christianity like I did, I can understand their preachiness. And I can also understand the mindset of the fundamentalist. They MUST share Jesus with you.



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 10:16 AM
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I would have no problem if the religious (I don't care which religion in particular) were to keep their ideals to themselves, and to like-minded people.

I would only 'evangelize" my non-belief when it directly impacts my way of life.

Examples: Gay rights. Notice all the opponents to gay couples are...wait for it...religious.

Abortion - Again, the main opponents are the religious.


When I have to constantly listen to "You are a dirty sinner, and you will burn in Hell, and I will laugh at your torture" then yes, I will have a problem, and be outspoken.

On a normal everyday, I don't say Hi! My name is Alex, and I'm an Atheist.



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 10:34 AM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 


As an atheist - I never do that.



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 10:43 AM
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I am only in atheist in the fact that I do not believe in any religion or God. But I actually believe religion can be a very good thing. Religions can be a powerful force for good in society as they have the ability to mobilise people in the name of a good cause.Unfortunately.this ability can work the opposite way.





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