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No bunfights please, a genuine question about Atheists.

(69 Posts)
BurlyShassey Fri 18-Oct-13 18:39:35

some of this cut and copied from another thread after a suggestion to maybe start this one-

genuine question- just wondering-

Do the Atheists here go on threads about other faiths -Allah,Krishna,Mohammed, (bit naive here, just starting to study other faiths) and the rest and dismiss them as much as they dismiss Christiantity?

Asking as Ive never come across it anywhere else.
as I said,genuine question- just wondering-

do the atheists here go on threads about other faiths -Allah,Krishna,Mohammed, (bit naive here, just starting to study other faiths) and the rest and dismiss them as much as they dismiss Christiantity?

Asking as Ive never come across it anywhere else.

We are called to respects each others beliefs/non beliefs, even if we don't acceptt tthem, and I know (looking at a few thread titles on this site) people are asking for honest opinions or experiences.

Be nice smile! Please.

Wigeon Fri 18-Oct-13 18:41:23

Erm, atheists aren't a homogeneous group, so some of them will do what you suggest, and done of them won't...

BurlyShassey Fri 18-Oct-13 18:48:08

OOps, cut and pasted twice there on Op!

There are people from other Faiths that also dismiss Aitheism (sp) btw, sorry, English isn't my first language so hope no one misread/misinterprets anything!

anyway, it just seems very- erm- vocal (if that's the right word) here.

disclaimer- I do get its a chatroom, like I said, just an innocent question.

Shallishanti Fri 18-Oct-13 18:48:54

well, technically I'm an atheist since I don't believe in God, but that's not how I choose to identify myself (as there are so many things I don't believe in...) instead, I'd call myself a humanist, if you asked. I have no interest at all in undermining other people's faiths or deriding them. I may, in the privacy of my own home, joke with DP about some of the more ridiculous things that crop up in religions. But not in public, I wouldn't want to offend or upset. On the other hand, I am very interested in what people think and believe so I often lurk on p/r/s threads.

Phineyj Fri 18-Oct-13 18:55:38

As an atheist I find religion of little interest, so no I wouldn't waste my time in this way. I can't actually think of many more pointless things than arguing with the faithful.

However, I feel no need to respect someone's beliefs if they are causing harm to others.

BurlyShassey Fri 18-Oct-13 18:57:44

SAme here Shalli grin I lurk sometimes as Im genuinely interested too.

meditrina Fri 18-Oct-13 18:59:28

The only posts I have seen which include 'bashing' the faiths of others have been from certain types of atheist (not, for example, Buddhists).

meditrina Fri 18-Oct-13 19:00:17

And the most insightful posts often come from agnostics.

MollyRoses Fri 18-Oct-13 19:04:31

I am exactly the same as Shallishanti, while I most definitely do not believe in God I would never ridicule anyone that does - that is their belief

I think that for some people believing in a God/religon does provide some sort of moral compass which they had struggled with before and that is fine

niminypiminy Fri 18-Oct-13 19:04:41

I think atheists more often tend to take exception to Christianity and Islam than to Hinduism, Buddhism and other Eastern faiths; and that because there are many vocal ex-Christians more of the ire is towards Christianity than Islam.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Oct-13 19:05:43

The reason atheists might dismiss Christianity and be more critical of it is because it is a UK website and the UK is a 'Christian' society with the head of the Church as the head of state. As such UK atheists are much more informed about Christianity, its contents, its history than other faiths and it also affects our lives so much more pervasively.

Unelected Bishops (all male) from the Church of England sit in my legislature and have influence over the laws that govern me. The school at the end of my road puts my child bottom of the list as we do not attend Church. When other faiths have these powers, I'll be a bit more exercised about them (and I do get exercised about the privileging of ALL beliefs over none eg in the Free Schools movement and - living in Barnet - there is plenty of privileging of Muslim and Jewish beliefs alongside those of Christianity).

And by the way, I don't have to show respect for your beliefs, I have to show respect for YOU.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Oct-13 19:08:26

This bit of Stand Up by Stewart Lee might explain why there are fewer anti-Islamic jokes than anti-Christian jokes. Different context, same point.

ILoveMakeUp Fri 18-Oct-13 19:09:02

I used to believe in God until I discovered... there were 65 million years between the dinosaurs roaming the earth and us. 65 million years. Before we came along. This completely undermined everything I was taught from the bible.

meditrina Fri 18-Oct-13 19:09:05

Buddhism is atheist smile

Atheism does not mean 'without faith' or 'supporter is secularism'' - it's a definite belief there is no God (and comes in several varieties).

BurlyShassey Fri 18-Oct-13 19:15:20

Tonderlay that's a better thing to say, you're right,

And by the way, I don't have to show respect for your beliefs, I have to show respect for YOU

Rooble Fri 18-Oct-13 19:18:35

I think it's possibly because the majority of atheists in this country have been brought up around Christianity so that is the first thing they realise they don't believe in, and therefore the religion they feel most strongly about.
It's possible also that Christians have a tendency to describe the details of their faith as true fact rather than describing it as what they believe. I went on a primary school trip to church this morning and it is very notable that Christian preachers will say to children "Jesus is the light", or "Jesus saves" whereas if the children visit the Mosque they will be told "we as Muslims believe xxxx".
Which is why people get so worked up about about their children being told nonsense

headinhands Fri 18-Oct-13 19:18:49

The majority of mumsnet non-believers will have Christianity as their most recognised and familiar cultural religion, many are ex-Christians, which explains why Christianity is the main faith discussed.

I have got into debates about Islam but I don't know as much although many of the key criticisms are the same regardless of what belief system is being examined.

BurlyShassey Fri 18-Oct-13 19:19:41

But it is respecting the fact you believe/don't believe.

I had a friend who believed one thing, me another, she was always making digs at what I believe in, I never made digs at hers, although one day I snapped and said so, (she apologised) I never talk about what I believe unless Im asked, and don't really want to know others unless I ask, (hence the op!)

clarinsgirl Fri 18-Oct-13 19:21:02

I've no idea whether or not a divine being exists (Christian or otherwise) but personally I do not have faith in any God. I do however believe faith should be a personal, informed choice. I would not belittle the beliefs of any faith or attempt to convert them, but would strongly challenge anyone who used faith to hurt, abuse, coerce or bully others. I abhor Christian missionary work in poor Islamic countries and I believe circumcision of children is child abuse. In other words, believe what you want providing you don't harm others.

BurlyShassey Fri 18-Oct-13 19:21:22

Agree, Rooble.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 18-Oct-13 19:24:59

Ilovemakeup grin

I rarely post in the Religion section of MN, I saw this thread as it was in 'Active Convos', I don't seek out religious discussion At All.

Everyone is entitled to believe in whatever they want, as long as it's not harming anyone else and I am pretty much a 'live & let live' kind of person.

However if someone starts pushing it on me, I will push back.

and I wont hold back if I feel their particular religious views are damaging to a vulnerable person (circumcision etc).

I guess to answer you question - I dismiss them all equally, but Christianity crops up more often.

Twunk Fri 18-Oct-13 19:33:27

I am an atheist, but as another poster said, so much more.

Christianity was the faith I rejected (early on) - it was the one present in my life from the time I started school.

I don't believe any beliefs cannot be discussed. Religion has too great an influence in the world to treat it with indifference, and I question all of them wrt the treatment of women, the poor, the mighty, etc. However, I have respect and fondness for individuals regardless. I wouldn't mock someone or belittle someone on the basis of their faith, but that doesn't make the religion itself above scrutiny or criticism.

JessePinkmansWitch Fri 18-Oct-13 19:34:50

I suppose as an ex-Catholic I'm more vocal about my disdain of Catholicism than other religions. I identify as an atheist, I don't believe in a god or higher power or whatever. I don't go spouting hate about religions unless challenged though, or if someone tries to ram their beliefs down my throat. Which has happened to me quite a few times. hmm

Shallishanti Fri 18-Oct-13 19:48:11

I suppose where I would join a public debate it would be on the topic of the priveleged position religion (in the UK, Christianity, esp CofE) has in society. I feel church goers often are blind to this and the advantage they have of being the 'default' position is invisible to them (eg their religious days are public holidays, they have a guarunteed slot in the school day etc etc). However this doesn't mean that many people of faith are genuine, kind, compassionate and intelligent! Also, I notice it's the churches who are running food banks, so respect to them fot that.

PosyNarker Fri 18-Oct-13 20:38:51

As an atheist I would like to say I'm equally as likely to join a thread about any faith.

In practice, I am of course influenced by my own experience (I've never been a believer, but was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school etc.), so I feel more able to comment on christianity / Catholicism than say Islam.

I'm sure I'm also influenced by what is topical (so I'd click on a thread about Islamic schools right now for example).

I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

I'd also add that my atheism and my - yes, often - negative views of some aspects of some religions are not the same thing. I don't believe in God because I don't think it's a rational belief. I dislike certain things about the Catholic church because I am feminist, anti-corruption, think their sexual teachings are harmful etc. etc. God doesn't really come into it.

Or in summary, my vitriol is not necessarily coming from the same place as my atheism, which is really quite cold and rational grin

I'd also add that aside from finding pantheistic religions and their related superstitions fascinating, I actually don't care much what people believe as long as it doesn't affect me. I do care if people are coerced, manipulated or exploited and I also care what people do.

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