From Atheist Republic 9/9/2018
Atheist activism is frequently accused of being overly negative, anti-theist, or that we are trying to shove our views down people’s throats the same way religious people do. These criticisms often come from other atheists.
One of the common accusations is that we’re too negative, like this comment that came to us through Google+:
If You would spend half the time you do posting crap against god, and posted things to help give people happy thoughts, you wouldn’t have so many pastors up you ass, lol. I am atheist and I’m proud but your posts against god are unessesary and cause more hatred and arguing. can you post more stuff like “restoring faith in humanity” or “giving homeless money” or “what we need to do to save our planet”? you got the followers to make a change man, use it to try to make this world better, please <sic>
One of the important things we do is raise awareness of what goes on in religious communities and how atheists are treated around the world. These messages aren’t necessarily positive. Awareness increases acceptance. As gay, bisexual and transgendered people start to come out of the closet and speak up for their rights, many people are listening and sympathizing. The same can be said of any other group that fights injustice.
In addition, Atheist Republic actually does share many positive blog posts about freedom of choice, skepticism, freethought, freedom from oppression, freedom of speech, parenting, atheist community, scientific discovery, and more. We encourage all levels of participation to contribute to the content presented through AR, so we are happy to receive more positive content. But we also believe it’s not wrong to be negative when you’re taking a stand against oppression.
Another assertion is that when atheists promote their views passionately, they’re just as bad as theists; as someone on Facebook commented in response to this image:
I have never met an atheist who is scared to voice their opinion, Hell they tend to be just as bad as most bible thumpers at shoving their beliefs in peoples faces.
But we don’t have a problem with theists voicing their opinions. In fact, a world in which more people give voice to their opinions and let them compete in the free market of ideas is a better world. It actually seems unreasonable for religious people not to evangelize. If a person believes he can save others from eternal torture, it stands to reason that he should at least try.
We don’t fight against believers, we fight religion. As Ricky Gervais explains, “I hate cancer, not people who have cancer. This is the same way I feel about religion and the poor people who have it. I care for you too.”; contrary to this point made in a recent email exchange:
I just happen to believe you don’t have to be anti-theist, to be atheist. The world could use a little more peace, tolerance and understanding, and I’d like to think we atheists could lead the way. Not just put up different barriers.
Hatred towards believers is bigotry. But anti-theism is different. Atheists should not be against Muslims and Christians on principle, but there is nothing wrong with speaking against Islam and Christianity and even then, we accept that our criticism isn’t always valid. Disagreeing with one’s view is not the same as being against the people that hold those views. We should allow all atheists to criticize or support religious teachings as they choose; the same way we should allow religious people to criticize atheism, secularism or any other viewpoint or ideology. And we should also welcome counterpoints to these criticisms.
What is wrong with inciting intense dislike of a religion if the activities or teachings of that religion are so outrageous, irrational or abusive of human rights that they deserve to be intensely disliked? - Rowan Atkinson
Human beings have rights and are entitled to respect. Books and beliefs don’t and aren’t. - Ali A. Rizvi
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