Whenever I come out Atheist .. they assume I must have no ethics or morals whatsoever and that I am willing to do just about anything --- like lie, cheat and steal.

Anyone else have this happen to them?

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Jonathan, I think, at least in my case, insults, put-downs, trivializations, discounts, assaults, and objectifications all came from a foundation of "entitlement" of those who believe they have the right to behave in hurtful ways. The notion of "dominionism" continues to this day to be a respected and expected attitude for many. 

Do you remember when there was no such thing as "wife rape" even in a court of law? From where did that come? Certainly not from the Enlightenment. 

You make excellent points, Richard, life can be lonely, and we each carry bags of emotional trash. That is why it is reasonable and healthy for all people in toxic relationships to have the right and responsibilities to take the initiative to leave. As for lonely, that hasn't been my experience. People who willingly share their experiences and beliefs with me and reciprocate are delightful, especially if both parties enjoy exchanges. As to dominators, exploiters, absolutists, fundamentalists, they are better off not in my company; and so am I. 

“Unhappy, let alone angry, religious people provide more persuasive arguments for atheism and secularism than do all the arguments of atheists.” Dennis Prager

Thanks for the wonderful quote!

James, Many families don't want their young people to go to college because students often return with doubts or rejection of faith in god. In my opinion, the reason fundamentalist churches want creationism replacing evolution is because science offers too many reasons to doubt dogma. 

I agree with you totally that religious people themselves provide enough evidence to reject faith in a supernatural nature. 

Johathan, you state the situation very accurately. Some men think women like to be forced, but I have never met a woman who is content with a mate who forces her to do anything, or who aggresses against her.

Patriarchal religious males often feel the necessity to be in charge and women often think and act subordinate to male domination. I believe it is a religious custom and tradition that continues because of early learning and cultural traditions. Surely size difference matters, but the real differences are in the heads of those who would dominate or submit. Being with husbands and wives who think and act as partners seem to have a lot more fun than do hierarchical arrangements. At least I like being around true partnership marriages. 

Joan I agree that true partnership marriages are the most ethical arrangement. A marriage which has no hierarchy.
Oh I agree wholeheartedly! Why would anyone want a relationship where the partner controls you. You are right in that it makes no sense.

My mother is genuinely surprised I'm not a thief and murderer. She attributes all my good qualities to god and all my bad qualities to my atheism.

I'm pretty whatever about it now.

Many mothers are like you describe. I worked much of my career with troubled boys at boys' ranches; many parents truly did not know acting out behaviors were attempts to communicate. The fact is, most troubled marriages and children can learn skills that help make life less stressful and more pleasurable.

About a third of the boys I worked with had parents who were too strict and they very often justified their strictness on religious grounds. About a third of the boys were from neglectful homes and needed more structure. About a third of them got into or were born into unhealthy environments and lacked good role models. Although boys from three loosely defined categories had different needs, the remedy for most boys and parents was learning how to listen, assert themselves, solve problems and resolve conflicts in healthy ways. These are all learned behaviors. 

I hope your mother learns that god is not the author of your "good qualities" and atheism is not the author of your "bad qualities" but rather evidence of unrealistic expectations, lack of interpersonal skills, and desire to mold your character into someone she wanted you to be, as opposed to creating an environment where you can grow and mature into the person you are. 

Children are kind of like my garden. I provide the environment, and select the amount of water and food and light unique to each plant, I sow the seeds, and then nature does the rest. 

Hi Jonathan, good for you! According to my crystal ball (which is really listening to what you say), you have a great life ahead. 

That's a wonderful attitude about relationships Jonathan. Yeah lol ... Looks like that palm reader was right!

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