Originally Posted by Akashic_Librarian
So THATS why they are dangerous and stupid. Because you don't get hoards of angry Atheists demanding to behead those who insult common sense, or to make sure we deon't have Christmas because it might offend those Atheists who don't worship CHRISTmas...
I, too, am an agnostic, and value the concept of open mindedness about what we can't objectively know. Although you don't sound like you're exactly keeping an open mind.
At any rate, I do not share your rosy view of atheists. People of faith have been beheaded by bug-eyed atheists at approximately the same rate as the inverse. People of faith are as capable of loving and merciful behavior as atheists and agnostics. You have displaced what should be a healthy respect for the nearly infinite capacity of human beings
for self-deception and irrationality and narcissism, onto believers in god
. This probably gives you a false sense of security and allows you a certain smugness about the superiority of the belief system in which you
have faith, but it does not actually enlighten you.
Were Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Amin, Hussein or any of the other genocidal absolute rulers leading a faith movement? I don't think so. In fact, some Christians have used exactly your argument to suggest that agnostics and atheists are dangerous and stupid.
It's been my observation that agnostics and, especially, atheists, tend to be very bitter and angry people. Either they are secretly angry at god and can't admit it even to themselves, or they are jealous of believers for the comfort and peace their own beliefs don't give them, or they are just arrogant asses who like to feel superior.
On the other hand there are some atheists, such as the philosopher Andre Compte-Sponville, who dare to understand people of faith and grant them the respect they desire for themselves, and who have made a credible effort to evolve worldviews that are virtuous and loving and hopeful even though they don't include belief in god. I applaud that effort. One of the things that kept me trapped in a belief system that was ill-suited to me for way too long was the "slippery slope" argument that without god I would devolve into some kind of hateful and/or despairing person.
Perhaps I feel the way I do because, although I have left the realm of faith and consider it toxic to me personally, I can see its value for some people at the right point in their lives and have known wonderfully kindly and loving people who come out of that tradition who, while believing things I can no longer accept, do not take their faith that seriously that I am a threat to them. We agnostics should be able to do at least as well as that. I don't consider people of faith as a group to be either stupid or a threat to my beliefs. Certain ones, perhaps ... but I realize that it cuts both ways and that my camp has its share of bigots, too.