36
   

Why are Atheists so Scary?

 
 
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 08:29 pm
@Krumple,
Yes I would never presume that one, my fears are justified and two, that I have the right to force my fear onto another.

I live my life 'not knowing' and although I think it is credible and honest for me, by knowing I know not I am afraid of the truth taking away not just my truth but my fence as well, but the wonderful thing is that I can be less afraid of the lie.
sometime sun sits on the fence and sometime falls off and sometime jumps off but sometime will not be pushed off.
(pushing is the lie if you didn't get it)(and fence means life)(smile)
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 08:33 pm
@dlowan,
Absolutely agree,
0 Replies
 
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 08:36 pm
@stevecook172001,
Please describe 'ACTIVE' atheist, as this may be likely who I meant I was most afraid of, active.
I thank you for not being scary at all (smile)
0 Replies
 
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 08:40 pm
@Dosed,
Kayla/Dosed this is wonderful and bright.
I would love to hear any story you have to tell.

Also I know you are right on the money, it is not just atheists I am afraid of it is my very self.
See not scared of you at all.

Thank you for your soothing words
0 Replies
 
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 08:47 pm
@dlowan,
Ask me any question you have I will always 'try' to answer you.

I do not have a profile because I really would not know where to start or to finish.
Besides my stats bore me to heck, I doubt they would be of much interest to others.
I have blue eyes and wear a tweed trilby hat if that helps. (smile)
0 Replies
 
hue-man
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 08:53 pm
@sometime sun,
because they utter the words that speak to the true nature of the world . . . and it is oh so sobering at face value.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 08:58 pm
@sometime sun,
sometime sun wrote:

Yes I would never presume that one, my fears are justified and two, that I have the right to force my fear onto another.

I live my life 'not knowing' and although I think it is credible and honest for me, by knowing I know not I am afraid of the truth taking away not just my truth but my fence as well, but the wonderful thing is that I can be less afraid of the lie.



Ok...here's the bit (if I understand you correctly) that makes it hard for me to understand why you remain anxious about atheism taking away your truth.

In fact, the very fact that you can articulate that makes me puzzled.

Here, I will be coming from a psychological rather than philosophical viewpoint.

Both in research, and in my experience, fear that appears to be irrational stems from the fear being something that we are too frightened to face or even think about consciously.

You fear another world view might convince you that your "truth" is false.

Yet...you speak as though you have already faced that fear, and are able to live with it...that you daily understand that, at any moment, you might be convinced that your religious beliefs are false, or at least unsupported.

While the ability to reflect upon a fear (the key, I think) and rationally understand it does not necessarily eliminate fear (eg fear of death!), it tends to make it less intense and mysterious.

Yet (possibly quite erroneously? Please tell me if I have misinterpreted your words) it seems that this fear of atheism "taking" your truth seems to be still an intense and mysterious fear for you?

I would have thought that you were beyond this point, simply because you ARE facing your fear.

I am wondering if the word "taking" is a clue here?

I don't see how another belief system can "take" your beliefs....I think it can cause you to abandon them...but it cannot take anything from you.

I am wondering if the key question is "How might I find meaning in my life without religion?"



plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 09:09 pm
This post is inspiring me to write a retro-sit com about two families in the 1950s that live next door to each other. One is a family of proselytizing Christian fundamentalists while the other family consists of absent-minded but lovable atheists.
jeeprs
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 09:18 pm
I don't find them scary. But a lot of them are pretty cranky.
ossobuco
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 09:20 pm
@jeeprs,
snorts..
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 10:03 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

sometime sun wrote:

Yes I would never presume that one, my fears are justified and two, that I have the right to force my fear onto another.

I live my life 'not knowing' and although I think it is credible and honest for me, by knowing I know not I am afraid of the truth taking away not just my truth but my fence as well, but the wonderful thing is that I can be less afraid of the lie.



Ok...here's the bit (if I understand you correctly) that makes it hard for me to understand why you remain anxious about atheism taking away your truth.

In fact, the very fact that you can articulate that makes me puzzled.

Here, I will be coming from a psychological rather than philosophical viewpoint.

Both in research, and in my experience, fear that appears to be irrational stems from the fear being something that we are too frightened to face or even think about consciously.

You fear another world view might convince you that your "truth" is false.

Yet...you speak as though you have already faced that fear, and are able to live with it...that you daily understand that, at any moment, you might be convinced that your religious beliefs are false, or at least unsupported.

While the ability to reflect upon a fear (the key, I think) and rationally understand it does not necessarily eliminate fear (eg fear of death!), it tends to make it less intense and mysterious.

Yet (possibly quite erroneously? Please tell me if I have misinterpreted your words) it seems that this fear of atheism "taking" your truth seems to be still an intense and mysterious fear for you?

I would have thought that you were beyond this point, simply because you ARE facing your fear.

I am wondering if the word "taking" is a clue here?

I don't see how another belief system can "take" your beliefs....I think it can cause you to abandon them...but it cannot take anything from you.

I am wondering if the key question is "How might I find meaning in my life without religion?"






Facing Atheism after being religious is a truly traumatizing thing. I don't know if luckily is the right word, but luckily, for the person facing it, the transition from religious to atheist normally comes during the age of rebellion. It happens in the teens or early 20's when the person is establishing who they are and who they will be. It is part of their higher education. Indecently also one of the reasons there are fewer working class atheists. So at the same time people think their parents are morons, is the same time they adopt a world-view in direct opposition to them. This is traumatic and if the parents aren't happy with it, it leads to a lot of resentment. This resentment is sometimes taken out on people other than disapproving family and is often played out in dramatic ways in venues where disapproval, venting, and general bad behavior has fewer consequences. This general scenario is not restricted to the religion --> atheism change, but vice versa, and from religion ---> religion. People get disowned, called stupid, cut off, backstabbed, openly ridiculed etc...

Imagine now, the difficulty one would have with this sort of change later in life. No one outside a family blinks twice when major life decisions and personal earth shattering ideological viewpoints change with college aged person. However, someone who has an established life, possibly is the father or mother of a family themselves, has a specific lifestyle etc... what if all of the sudden they make a major life decision, such as becoming atheist. That would mean telling spouse and kids, "hey all this crap I have been preaching is bunk", cutting off ties with church friends and acquaintances who may not understand, etc... In some cases this may be the majority if not all of a religious person's trusted friends. And those are just the outward traumas.

Also when one is young one hasn't established a really personal identity. Religion to an established religious adult is a core of that identity. Imagine the incredible insecurity one would feel when s/he realized s/he may be have been wrong. The panic at realizing "what am I going to replace this with?" "Will I be the same person?" Imagine the corrosive doubt in one's newly self professed atheism after having spent decades truly believing something else.

I've read posts here in this thread that try to tell a borderline religious person how freeing it is not to be locked down. Just let go of the misbelief etc... As if the person they are talking to is an 8 year old learning about Santa and they will get over it that easily. It may not be that easy and as we can see here in this thread by the passion expressed its not as easy as the let go of your religion encouragement would imply.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 10:11 pm
Condescensions seem to be perceived from other sides.


GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 10:15 pm
@ossobuco,
ROFL, not the first time I've been called condescending. I prefer pedantic though.
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 10:18 pm
@GoshisDead,
I agree. I think all major changes incorporate some element of mourning. I think I experienced as much went from not being religious to realizing that I didn't believe in any god.

Julia Sweeney does a great stand-up dedicated to her struggle. It's called "Letting go of God." It's very entertaining, and quite moving at many points.



A
R
Trailer
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 10:26 pm
@dlowan,
I know this may be a shaky answer and will when I have the time go into more detail about why I believe we all have faith because it is intrinsic.
But basically I find it irrational and scary because I am the opposite to an atheist, I am a theist.
I believe I am rational and I am not scared of my theism,
so because you are the opposite of me you are the opposite of rational and safe.
Does that make sense?
No real condemnation just a little mathematical.
Also my ideal of what 'true' 'full' atheism is means you cant believe in anything intangible like love or hope or possibly emotion because I also believe God is these things.
A natural reflex for the stock to at least believe in love.
Which also goes some way for my belief that atheism is actually a myth and to be a real atheist means almost without life.
I believe you live, I believe you love, I believe then you are not atheist.
Faith is any form of humanity as well, and you accept you are a human 'being' so I do not believe you are atheist.
Honestly truly no disrespect or dismissal of your truth, I really don't think atheism is real or exists.
I will write something thorough some time soon.
It is not something I have just toyed with.
I called myself an atheist once for some years,
but the strain and work load got to me.
FOR ME it felt like a constant denial of my nature to love.

All my best.
Krumple
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 10:27 pm
@sometime sun,
sometime sun wrote:

Yes I would never presume that one, my fears are justified and two, that I have the right to force my fear onto another.

I live my life 'not knowing' and although I think it is credible and honest for me, by knowing I know not I am afraid of the truth taking away not just my truth but my fence as well, but the wonderful thing is that I can be less afraid of the lie.
sometime sun sits on the fence and sometime falls off and sometime jumps off but sometime will not be pushed off.
(pushing is the lie if you didn't get it)(and fence means life)(smile)


Well there are good and bad people on both sides of the issue. I have met and seen some scary Christians. I could say that atheists are more accepting of people but that simply isn't the case. I could say that all Christians are prejudice but that's not true either. There are idiots on both sides so I don't think you can really blame the position all the time. Hate tends to breed hate and ignorance is quick to follow suit. People generally dislike others for no real good reason.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 10:31 pm
@failures art,
Well done one woman play it would seem, sort of like a likable Lewis Black or respectable Penn and Teller. i don't think I would watch it, derisive humor is not my thing.

0 Replies
 
Huxley
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 10:41 pm
@failures art,
I love Julia Sweeney's "Letting go of God"! It's very endearing, at least to myself.

I recommended it to my brother, as well as other newly converted atheists.

I also recommend Richard Carrier's Sense and Goodness Without God. It's a fun and accessible book that defends his take on metaphysical naturalism sans-jargon. It covers his aesthetics, ethics, politics, epistemology, and metaphysics.
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 10:54 pm
@reasoning logic,
Yes the absolute 'ALWAYS' you are absolutely right to bring me up on this and make me justify such a harsh turn of the phrase.

I meant not that atheist are always all always scary.
What I should have explained more deftly and constructively was that only do I always feel scared of atheists is when talking, arguing, conversing of atheism or theism with them.
I did not for a second mean to say you by your very presence and proximity to me do I feel always scared, I meant only the always in the context of talking God with one, and even then on further inspection I would had I been aware of the absolute used a softer word such as predominantly or usually, but even then I find I must admit if I am aware you are an atheist I do always watch myself and words when talking God with any of you.
I am sorry if this was construed as I think you when talking to me about the price of apples and the best use of the word liquidity that I am scared of you then, I can see I was not thorough and did not take enough care, I really thought it was implied that as I was talking about atheists I meant when talking about atheism.
My absolute wrong in taking this for granted.
I will be sure to watch my absolutes in the future.

Thanks and good to see you about reasoning logic as I have said to you in the past if I am not up to grade or regulation give me a kick up the ass and show me my error, which I can now fully appreciate could be misconstrued as me saying I think you are the devil and would swerve to avoid you in the street because I was scared so much always that we could not even be friends.
I have atheist friends and love them dearly but I avoid as much as possible the fear I always feel if we go near the subject of God.
You may even notice that this thread is not about the existence of God, it is about my existence with atheists.
I have to be pretty prepared and secure in my knowledge to go into a subject that could be deemed as theistic with an atheist, they do seem to be generally always highly informed and possessing of their facts and truths.
Which also goes some way to say I am also afraid of an atheists intelligence, it is generally most particular and arresting and always alerting.
You cannot say a general atheists argument will not be highly alerting.
I am someone who does not like loud noises unless I have my finger on the dial.
I know you are speaking in tempo, but usually your content is very loud.
Alerting, not a bad word.

Thanks again
0 Replies
 
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 11:00 pm
@plainoldme,
Could you qualify this a bit more for me please.

And the only way my truth could be taken away really was if I gave it away and it had a replacement.
I am not one to believe in nothing.
I am never truthless, (although they do need a brush-up twice a day)

Everything is true for those who believe it is true.

Thanks
0 Replies
 
 

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