Why do atheist communities seem more aggressive?

 I do find it refreshing that people are more straight forward in atheist communities than not.  And I would have to qualify that not all atheist communities are more aggressive than non atheist communities – but I do find a certain scene of directness and crossing social boundaries that are upheld in other places.

 

This isn’t to say that I don’t contravene quite a few social boundaries myself, and in fact feel quite more at home here on Nexus than anywhere else, where I find myself in society.

 

I wouldn’t say that I’m a rude person, but I certainly seem to manage to piss quite a lot of people off in terms of breaking un-spoken social rules – it’s the looks and the apologies for my ‘friends’ ways that I’m gaining this understanding.

 

And then when I post here, I get straight forward, honest and direct response, which I absolutely love.  It’s like I’ve come home – some people who can hear what I have to say, tell me is all crap and then give me something more solid to rest my understanding about reality.

 

Is it something about the ‘real’ world that people don’t like to hear the truth or an opinion about the truth as I see it, shakes their world?  I don’t know.

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Comment by Nerual on April 20, 2011 at 9:43am

@Sean I completely agree with this. I was having a harmless conversation with a Christian, well, she started it really asking "why I didn't want Jesus to 'save' me" but never the less, I answered her truthfully. Some things got confusing in the conversation, misinterpretations on her part [was through text] and the second she became a little wrong, even in just premise of argument, she accused me of being purposefully ignorant and trying to piss her off. Which, made no sense, cause we all know, angry Christians are scary to watch.

 

But I think it just sometimes feels so liberating to come here and rant and rave because there's no one on here to stop or try and prove us wrong. And so many times it's seems just in mentioning our beliefs, theists think we're trying to prove them wrong when in reality we're just simply stating.

Comment by Sean Asbury on April 20, 2011 at 1:55am
Alice - I think Christians tend to feel threatened everytime a nonbeliever expresses their view and they can interpret a nonbelievers expression as aggressive.

For example, if an atheist expresses the opinion that the phrase "under god" in the American Pledge of Alliegance is unnecessary and maybe alienating, many Christians would see this as yet another assault by secular atheists against the goodliness of core American values.

You could also make a case that our mere existence, questioning an ancient semetic text, is "aggressive."
Comment by Alice on April 20, 2011 at 1:29am

Loren,

 

I agree.  Also we aren’t predictable because we don’t subscribe to something they are familiar with.  I think often atheists are confused with anarchists.  Not that that matters with me much… LOL

 

I tend to tell people I’m a naturalist as they seem to feel a sense of security at knowing that… unless they confuse it with naturist – meaning I like being naked!

 

I home educate my kids and have the same questions about socialisation over and over again… it gets very tiresome too…

Comment by Alice on April 20, 2011 at 1:25am
Nerual

I agree that we can more easily be aggressive or direct in our opinions with strangers, but I’ve been in other online communities that don’t seem so aggressive. But then again, I have heard others say that the internet is very aggressive generally…

At least Nexus is interesting and intelligent in the feed back, even if it is more aggressive in general! : )
Comment by Alice on April 20, 2011 at 1:16am

Good story Sean, I'm not sure how it relates to us being more agressive - perhaps you mean that we appear agressive to christans? : )

Comment by Alice on April 20, 2011 at 1:10am

Goodness Sean, I didn’t realise American christians were so non-christian in their behaviour!  I thought christians were about charity and other stuff like that…. 

Comment by Loren Miller on April 19, 2011 at 9:11am

The topic of why atheists scare believers has been visited one way or the other more than once here on A|N, but here's a couple bullet points for ya:

  • We are not under the control of the torah, bible or quran, no any rabbi, minister, priest or imam.  This by itself sets us apart from the familiar environment many theists are comfortable with.  Our presence thus makes them very UN-comfortable
  • Because of that first point, we think outside their boxes.  We are free thinkers.  We think in situational terms rather than absolute terms, another break from their comfort zone.
  • We not only actively oppose their beliefs but dismantle them using the very holy books they so cling to.  Whether they can acknowledge the evidence we present or not, at some level or other, that has to impact their faith.  MORE discomfort.
  • This may be a stretch, but at some level, believers may be lying to themselves to maintain their faith.  This is something atheists have no time for.
  • And if we seem angry, it's because we're accosted with the same stupid questions over and Over and OVER again ... so yeah, after a while, that gets tiresome!

Just takin' a swing here....

Comment by Nerual on April 19, 2011 at 8:51am
I'd take into consideration people like myself, who don't have the option to 'tell it like it is' in their own home or community due to religion. Also, in Christianity you have to be kind and etc, not saying you should be hurtful or anything, just that you have to edit every word to accommodate the receiver of whatever opinion you're giving.
And on a whole people are much more willing to tell people what they think if they hardly know them, strangers can't hold you accountable for much.
Comment by Sean Asbury on April 19, 2011 at 4:55am

Good points Alice! 

 

I think I'll write my next article on Why does non-belief threaten Christians?

 

PBS is airing a documentary on the first challenge of the Establishment Clause in the American Constitution, separating Church and State - or more aptly, getting religion out of the public education system

 

http://www.secular.org/blogs/david-niose/new-pbs-doc-atheist-mom-go...

It's interesting that the article goes on to say:

 

"Rosenstein covers the legal chronology well, but the documentary's most compelling moments are those that recount the blowback experienced by the family, the senseless hostility directed toward them for standing up for their principles. Hate mail, intimidation, a mutilated pet, threatened careers, and other repercussions all flowed from their simple act of resisting public religiosity. Many of the good Christians of Champaign and America, it seems, weren't feeling very Christ-like."

 

Think I may explore this a bit further... :)

Comment by Alice on April 18, 2011 at 11:36pm
LOL … I find it quite amusing that people think you are angry all the time. I’m sure they must thing me the same – or something – I’m not even sure what they think – it’s not as though I’m in England or anything. I was born in England, but I thought Australians were more robust and could cope with directness? Perhaps not.

My husband increasingly calls me a want-to-be-geek – not even a geek, but a want-to-be one… he really is trying to be nasty with that I think! Perhaps he’s just intimidated by my superior intellectual prowess? LOL

Oh well, I can’t see myself changing in a hurry – it’s simply amazing how many people are prepared to support lies because it suits their social security because they don’t think they have anything better to give than false protection!

I feel safer knowing the truth – not that I profess to know the exact truth, but I’m certainly more intent of knowing the truth than I am happy to believe lies because it makes me feel better.

My well-being is based in my searching from truth. Others feel better believing they’re going to heaven. What can you do?

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