To wonder why some atheists are so obsessed with being atheist?

(276 Posts)
Fanfeckintastic Thu 17-Jul-14 08:33:13

I say this as an atheist myself, so many people seem obsessed with "not believing"! I don't mean just being vocal in their disgust at the Catholic church etc (completely understandable) I mean Ricky Gervais for example, somehow I have "liked" him on Facebook and he never stops posting skeptic stuff.

Why do non believers put so much effort and thought into "not believing"

On a side note, I'm in Ireland and sometimes get very pissed off with how much control the church still has, it sickens me actually. But I'm talking about just atheists almost making a hobby of being atheists?

AIBU in my observation?

RevoltingPeasant Thu 17-Jul-14 08:37:44

<shrug> There are many very vocal religious people. They have the right to discuss their beliefs in public. Don't see why atheists should be different.

whattheseithakasmean Thu 17-Jul-14 08:38:12

It sounds like you are basing your observation largely on Ricky Gervais' Facebook feed, so yes, YABU.

ROARmeow Thu 17-Jul-14 08:39:52

YANBU. Is quite tedious to listen to sometimes.

Icimoi Thu 17-Jul-14 08:40:37

I can't say I've noticed it, to be honest, but then I don't follow Ricky Gervais.

As an atheist I'm generally fairly live and let live. However, just occasionally I can't resist getting into a discussion with earnest religious types because I find it fascinating how they tie themselves up in knots trying to resolve the inherent illogicalities and contradictions.

peeveddoesntcoverit Thu 17-Jul-14 08:41:18

I'm an atheist too, but never mention it to anyone!

I think in the case of celebrities, it's either wanting to be edgy/rebellious, to be seen as intellectually superior, or to genuinely try to 'help' people they think are being mislead by 'evil' religion.

In the case of Ricky Gervais though, he comes across as a nasty bully in everything I've seen him in, so wouldn't be surprised if he's just doing it to provoke a reaction or pick on people.

Icimoi Thu 17-Jul-14 08:43:27

YANBU. Is quite tedious to listen to sometimes.

But then, is it more tedious to listen to than people wanting to discuss the Bible at boring length, or sell you the Watchtower, or banging on about how they are being discriminated against if they can't wear a cross at work or discriminate against gay people?

Fanfeckintastic Thu 17-Jul-14 08:45:13

I'm just using Ricky Gervais as an example that some of you might know.

I just don't understand why some people seem to see atheism as a vocation. I definitely know more vocal atheists than religious people but that might be just my circle.

Thurlow Thu 17-Jul-14 08:45:57

YABU. Plenty of people are very vocal about their religious beliefs. Why can't people be vocal about their atheist beliefs? confused

andmyunpopularopionis Thu 17-Jul-14 08:46:25

I suppose you could just unlike the idiot.

I suppose it's the same reason so many religious people keep posting Jesus loves you crap all over facebook. They want to enlighten others. It goes both ways.

spence24 Thu 17-Jul-14 08:47:36

YANBU. I get wound up by it as well. I identify as athiest, but because I have such a wide social circle that incorporates a number of faiths, cultures and lifestyles, no-one actually cares what everyone else thinks or feels.

Then there's always one new person that come along to an outing and they have to get on their athiest high horse and spoil a nice night for everyone. Yawn.

LarrytheCucumber Thu 17-Jul-14 08:47:47

Some people are just vocal. Some Christians talk about it at every opportunity, some don't. Why should atheists be any different?

Hakluyt Thu 17-Jul-14 08:48:03

Do you mean atheism or scepticism? Or secularism?

Because there isn't much to say about being an atheist- you just are one!

But there is so much anti/pseudo science out there that is lots of opportunity (and necessity) for sceptical comment.

And Christianity holds such a position of privilege in society that secularists (who can be people of faith) have a lot of work to do!

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 17-Jul-14 08:48:35

I don't think I have ever sat and had a discussion about atheism. Ever. I've been an atheist forever [46 years]

If you choose to 'like' someone on facebook and you don't 'like' what they are doing on facebook then either click on the 'unlike' button or ignore it. Do we really need to know about it as well?

MyFairyKing Thu 17-Jul-14 08:52:23

I've noticed that on forums (not just MN), atheists are incredibly vocal and some can be quite aggressive and scathing whereas believers (for lack of better word) are much less so. I know, I know; anecdote does not equal data but just my observation.

I hate the "fairy in the sky" bollocks as much as I do "Jesus will save your soul". I really don't want anyone's views inflicted upon me, thanks.

I don't define myself as anything particularly.

rpitchfo Thu 17-Jul-14 08:57:24

There is nothing dangerous about being vocal about atheism and rationality.

Religion on the other hand...

adeucalione Thu 17-Jul-14 08:58:48

In some countries, including the US, atheism is still something to feel a bit ashamed about.

For this reason I think that we need vocal dissenters, to make people realise that there is an alternative to the status quo. How will anything change otherwise?

If religion was not forced upon us in our daily lives then atheists probably wouldn't feel the need to speak up, but why are they expected to remain passive when Christianity, in the UK, is so prevalent?

Through evangelical, cultural and legislative means religion seeks to further its own ends while atheists, invested in this life rather than an afterlife, are supposed to shut up.

Hereward1332 Thu 17-Jul-14 09:00:41

YANBU. Militant secularism is really annoying on these boards. Take the post above talking about people 'banging on about the bible'. You don't see many MN threads started by anyone pro-religion, whereas there are a fair number decrying the attitude of churches, without an understanding of its obligations, or the genuinely held and rationally considered beliefs of its members.

Batmansbuttocks Thu 17-Jul-14 09:02:18

I think there are equally as many atheist wankers as there are religious wankers. As there are probably equal numbers of fat/thin or bald/hairy opinionated idiots.

As an atheist myself I do find it very tempting to patronise and dismiss religious beliefs as they do sound ridiculous to my ear. To me - The Bible and Frozen have the same level of believability. Therefore it is really hard and takes some personal discipline not to laugh and belittle people who have strong religious beliefs. But I don't. Because I'm not a wanker like Ricky Gervais.

Hakluyt Thu 17-Jul-14 09:03:11

"whereas there are a fair number decrying the attitude of churches, without an understanding of its obligations, or the genuinely held and rationally considered beliefs of its members."

Why is the assumption that people who "decry the attitude of churches" don't have such understanding?

gordyslovesheep Thu 17-Jul-14 09:03:23

YANBU - you can e an atheist without being disrespectful or disparaging of other peoples faith

I blocked my BIL from FB because his constant barracking of my mum was just getting too much. My mum is a Christian - she is 68 and she is kind, compassionate, tolerant and accepting of other peoples beliefs - he comes across as an ignorant bigoted twat

I am a humanist - I don't believe in god but I think every human being has the right to believe what they like without other people putting them down

This goes for both religious and none religious people

MyFairyKing Thu 17-Jul-14 09:05:33

rpitchfo That is exactly the sort of self-important statement that gets people's backs up.

TalcumPowder Thu 17-Jul-14 09:10:14

I'm Irish, too, OP, though no longer living there, and to be honest, I think a dose of healthy scepticism/secularism might be exactly what a country still acknowledging the damaging stranglehold of the Catholic Church on all it's affairs needs.

rpitchfo Thu 17-Jul-14 09:11:53

It's not self important, it's a genuine concern. We could keep quiet or we could "respect" other peoples beliefs and continue to allow VERY bad things to happen in the name of religion.

Anti abortion, anti gay, anti science, mysogny all these things are deep rooted in religious beliefs.

Deftones Thu 17-Jul-14 09:12:54

I'm and atheist and a feminist...you can imagine how popular I am when I've had a glass ;)

I generally live and let live but I love a good debate, but wouldn't want to upset or really bore someone. I'm very passionate about both subjects, so I guess one can get carried away.

I appreciate Ricky Gervais airing his views though so I guess YBALU wink

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