I'm enjoying reading the comments on this discussion. It's very thought provoking.
It strikes me as VERY ODD to even have to explain our atheist position -it's dumb.
It's like saying...
NO, I don't believe there is a 2nd invisible sun in the sky.
And NO, I don't want to buy your 2nd invisible sun sun-screen so that I may avoid the horrible death by invisible skin cancer.
-but when you're the minority (sane), and a direct threat to their cherished world view = instant bad guy.
You might make to much sense to them.
Very good reply Tyler. I agree.
In fact - Xtians are not all that "moral" to me. I think they behave badly.
Agreed. Especially your 2nd point. Human nature at it's finest, disdain towards that which we are ignorant.
Naturalist seems to work well for me.
I keep toying with "non-theist," but it has the ring of "you are trying to fake me out, when you are really an atheist."
I really want to be called the Anti-Christ, but that doesn't work very well either.
I am old enough now that I may try "Reprobate," that has a certain ring to it.
"Reprobate" rocks! Maybe I'll use that too!
It can't come soon enough for me either Doris!~ Melinda
Another issue is the fact that True Christians (tm) are often -not- familiar with the entire Bible, only the warm fuzzy parts.
They thus think that the atheist stands against all that is warm and fuzzy about their particular god. Atheists, as we know, generally like warm and fuzzy, especially kittens, and rarely eat them for breakfast.
But rather than try to hammer home some of the more delectable bloody parts of the Bible, there are two ways to go about it:
a) the way my wife and I go about showing atheists are not evil destructors of all that is their faith: I am active in the community. So is my wife. I am open about the word -atheist- when asked, but do not propose to force my own opinions on others, including the religious. In this very religious town we have live in for a year and a half, we know every person and they know we are interested in the community.
My wife serves on the village public library board as vice-president. I was just appointed to the Village Board of Trustees (city council - my first overtly political post) as the -least- divisive of five candidates (more on that at my blog post on my recent interview on "Ask an atheist," where I explained it Sunday) to fulfill the term of a thirty-year member, though I am openly an atheist. The village is more interested in whether I pay my taxes, mow my lawn, and check up on my elderly neighbours rather than whether I cross the street to the church on Sundays.
2) Neither of us tries to go about the village "proving the Christians wrong." We go about the village living our lives the way moral people ought live, and they can see that our morality is not derived from a religious book.
But if you absolutely get someone who wants to know why you find the Bible to be less-than-satisfactory as a moral guide, point them to http://www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com - it is an awfully good read for those who would like to find good arguments to issues about answered prayer and the promises alleged in the New Testament.