Fellow atheists: When you call religion "childish" or "idiotic," is it just catharsis or are you actually trying to change minds?

Yeah, I think gods are an invention of culture and not literally real. But, the idea of gods and magic and myth is inextricably woven through human culture and history. Most facets of our lives, from the language we use to our systems of governance are influenced by religion past and present. Does dismissing it all as nonsense really advance your goals? I don't want religion to play a part in lawmaking and I don't want to live in a theocracy, but I have trouble seeing the point of calling religious people children and fools. I don't care if you worship a god or believe in witchcraft or have a lucky sock. Life is hard and we all play mind games to get through the day. I don't feel at war with religious people so long as they aren't trying to force me to believe as they do. Do you really think all religion (and magical thinking in general) is totally intolerable? Why? 

14 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think most of them are just here letting off steam.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    If I met an adult believing in Santa Claus, I might call that childish. I wouldn't say it for catharsis, nor to shame them into changing their mind. I'd just be expressing my actual opinion.

    Religions generally are just as silly.

  • 1 month ago

    I am accurately describing the situation in which an adult clings to fairy tale stories about magic.  I use the same words in describing a person who thinks Harry Potter is real.  

  • 1 month ago

    they might be trying to change minds

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  • JASON
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    95% of these god believers will totally ignore what we're saying because they double think it away and don't want to think for themselves. They won't watch science documentaries or look things up on Wikipedia. They simply don't want to know, because they live in a cosy world where their family and friends are all equally blind to reality, and they're happy to fool themselves that death isn't the end it really is. That shouldn't mean we should stop trying to reach those who question the literal blind faith of the majority, and show them the lies they are told.

  • 1 month ago

    Well...

    Religion is basically a delusion.  It is not based on reality.    So, if religious people make decisions then that delusion influences their thought process - it is not solely based on reality.

    And so religion people will tend to make more bad decisions.    And those are the people voting for my leader, for my government, etc.

    However, the fact is that the political religions - which are mostly based on dogma, child indoctrination and cults of personality, so don't claim they are not religions -  probably have much more sway on people than the old religions.

    But I can hope that if people can break out of the dogma of their religion, they might be able to break out of their dogma of political ideology, and who knows we might actually get something done based on facts and reality.

    I would agree that calling them children and idiots is not helping.   they may well be acting like children and idiots,  but calling them names just makes them shut down, it does not make them actually think.

    But come on,   in terms of what goes on here, it is all entertainment and nothing else.   With the free run given to trolls and anonymous users there is as close to zero real and meaningful discussion here as f(x)=1/x, as x approaches infinity.

  • 1 month ago

    Making decisions based on religion, "magical thinking", or beliefs rather than facts, especially decisions that affect society as a whole, is a very bad idea.

    We have unprecedented access to massive amounts of information, but very few people, and fewer that are religious or "magical thinkers", know how or try to shift through it for creditable sources or check it against other established facts.  Therein lies the problem, because now matte how often you them them that they are wrong or ignorant of the facts, they just return to their beliefs, hence the second option of "calling them out" as being childish, ignorant, and or idiotic.  

    You tell me, when the majority of people are unwilling to learn more than they barely absorbed during school are voting and passing laws on beliefs rather than facts, what is a good strategy?

  • 1 month ago

    I hope that was cathartic for you, because you failed to change anyone's mind.

  • 1 month ago

    About the changing of minds, either way, "a man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."  We encourage, we urge anyone to hold fast to his opinions.

  • rodcom
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Religion is based on faith, while atheism is based on evidence.  They are incompatible in an argument, so I do not even try to change a religious person, since facts mean nothing to them.

  • Jeff
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    "I don't feel at war with religious people so long as they aren't trying to force me to believe as they do."

    You must not live in the US.  The religious here have been at war with minority groups here all my life.  Personally, I hate people who discriminate and destroy the lives of others, in their crusade to make people live by their obscure cult tenets.  I also hate church groups that rape children, allow it, support it, and then criminally cover it up.  I'm disgusted by parents and other people who lie to kids and tell them that a fantasy world is reality - and when they don't buy it, they abuse them and threaten them with eternal suffering in hell to keep them in line.

    Very nice that you are at peace with all that, though. Good for you!

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