The Oarsman

Religious People Should Respect Atheists

Ariel Reyes, Entertainment Reporter

 

There’s no doubt that when a simple conversation leads to an uncomfortable situation, a few disrespectful words can fly around, especially when the topic of religion comes up.

Atheists are people who lack belief in the existence of God and if the subject ever came up, they shouldn’t have to defend themselves or prove their point as to why they choose to be atheist. The same is true for agnostics, who are people who believe that nothing is known or can be known of the existence of God.

When an atheist is bombarded with questions or criticized for not believing in God, there’s no doubt that they will end up being uneasy, so to help clear out possible awkward conversations in the future, here are a few questions to avoid.

“So, you’re a Satanist?” First of all, atheists don’t worship or believe in Satan. This is a big misconception that many people have of atheists, and to set the record straight, they don’t believe in Satan because they don’t believe in God either. The idea of worshipping Satan is contradicting, because in order for them to idolize Satan, an atheist would at least need to acknowledge the existence of God as well.

“Aren’t you worried you won’t get into Heaven?” To put it bluntly, atheists aren’t worried about getting into Heaven.  I want to point out again, that the idea of Heaven and Hell goes along with the same idea of Satan and God: it doesn’t exist for them. What do atheists think of the afterlife then? It depends on the person, but what they choose to think doesn’t concern anybody else except themselves.

If you know someone is an atheist, avoid saying “I’ll pray for you.” I know this is meant to be considerate for religious people, but for atheists, it can make them feel uneasy. The message can hold significant meaning, but if you’re saying this because a person is atheist than it makes it seem as if you are mocking them. If you do want to be sympathetic, a kind gesture can also work or offer your support if they ever need it.

“How do you know right from wrong?” It’s called having a conscious. An atheist doesn’t need a book or the idea of a superior watching over their every move to make sure they’re being kind. A person should be genuinely good-natured, because they want to be, not because they have to be.

“Do you hate religious people?” Of course not. Atheists don’t despise people and their religious beliefs, nor do they detest everything that is inspired by religion. Architectural buildings and monuments based on the Christian faith, such as the cathedrals in Italy, are breathtaking and atheists can still appreciate them even if they aren’t religious.

Moreover, it’s not about whether religious people or atheists are wrong. Nor is it about judging one another for our personal preferences. Religious people can choose to follow their beliefs without hurting anyone else or forcing their opinions and atheists can live their lives freely without criticizing those who are faithful.

 In truth, whether you choose to be atheist or religious, you should respect other people’s choices.

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Religious People Should Respect Atheists”

  1. Ian Cooper on June 1st, 2018 1:53 PM

    “If you know someone is an atheist, avoid saying “I’ll pray for you.” I know this is meant to be considerate for religious people, but for atheists, it can make them feel uneasy.”

    It doesn’t make me “uneasy”. It’s not as if it worries me. It’s simply deeply offensive: it suggests that the person who says it is unwilling to tolerate my lack of belief. It’s kinda like a white person saying to a person of color “Have you considered bleaching your skin?” What do Christians think the reaction would be to such an offensive suggestion? Same with “I’ll pray for you” – if anyone thinks it’s considerate, think again.

    [Reply]

  2. PAPA KIRK on June 2nd, 2018 6:56 AM

    Thank you.😎 we all know for most of us it started at 7 when we are sent to catholic school, lol we learn the bible bla bla. The one thing some of forget is to rinse and repeat, y’all kno what I mean this is what I neglected to do with my child and it sadins me.

    [Reply]

  3. Reg on June 3rd, 2018 1:50 AM

    All good expect the last line. Atheism is not a choice – in the same sense that I did not choose not to believe in Unicorns or Elves. People also just do not “reason” themselves into faith. They do not choose to believe in their god by masking a decision to do so. They just come to believe in the same version of the same god that other people around them believe in..

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  4. T on June 3rd, 2018 7:20 AM

    I avoid telling anybody “you should”. I cannot respect choices that involve the harm cults and extremist beliefs can and do cause. Being religious is often harmful to the whole society. Oh and atheists can also be religious, not every single belief requires theism. I can respect a religious atheist if their beliefs lead to less harm.

    [Reply]

  5. Andrew Mackem on June 3rd, 2018 7:37 AM

    You don’t “choose” to be either religious or atheist. I haven’t chosen to think that general relativity is a good explanation for the way the universe works, I accept it because every observation ever made supports it. There is no such observation of god, at least none that is accessible by anybody but the person who tells the anecdote, so I don’t think it exists. What’s more I don’t need it to exist. There is nothing I think it could explain, and I certainly don’t need to worship something that hides itself so carefully.

    And I will respect the religious the same as I respect any adult who believes Santa Claus or the tooth fairy exist. Ok?

    [Reply]

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