Atheists Never… January 2, 2011

Atheists Never…

There are many items on this list and so many more that need to be added…

There’s a link for each item so you can see the proof for yourself.

I don’t see how anyone can go through this list and then accuse atheists of not having a moral foundation.

(via Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster)


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  • Sarah

    Atheists never…

    Give an imaginary being credit for everything good in my life.

    I have to vent a little and I can’t do it on Facebook since she is on my friends list.

    I recently met up with a very Christian friend the other day. I thought she genuinely wanted to see me since she lives out of the country for the time being. She wanted to talk to me about god and how she would be nothing if it wasn’t for god. About how “god is the wind beneath [her] wings.” How she is weak and worthless without her faith. How she views the bible as a history book and how she feels the love of god through it.

    She gives herself zero credit of what she has accomplished. She gives all of the credit to god. She feels that he is guiding her life. She feels that she is not making the decisions, god is.

    It made me sad to think that she views herself that way although if that is what she was told her entire life, it has to be difficult to think any other way.

    I knew this might happen, but I felt very disappointed when it actually did. I did not appreciate the talking to.

  • Richard P.

    Now these would be great billboards.

  • Richard Wade

    She gives herself zero credit of what she has accomplished. She gives all of the credit to god. She feels that he is guiding her life. She feels that she is not making the decisions, god is.

    And if only you adopt her beliefs, you too can have zero self esteem, but much more importantly, zero adult responsibility and zero doubt that you’re doing the right thing, even as you pull some asinine, self-centered, myopic, poorly thought out, bone-headed blunder that really hurts other people. All human beings make mistakes once in a while, but the really lethal ones are often because they were soooooo confident that The Great Absentee was the one really pulling all the strings.

    What does she say when she really screws up? It was the devil? Or she suddenly was able to usurp the robotic control of the X-box Player in the Sky, and so the only time she does something by her own will is when something fails?

    Decisions are the culmination of thoughts. Does she even think her own thoughts, or is she just an action figure being played with by El Insubstantio?

  • MamaGump

    Sarah, my new year’s resolution is to defriend all my facebook “friends” who believe (AKA “know” in their sad-ass world) things that are not reality-based. Their silly crap — whether it’s Baby Jesus, Oprahism, Pagansim, Free Market economics, TeaBaggery, angels, ghosties, UFO’s or curing autism by eating toenails instead of gluten — is just bullshit I don’t want on my page or in my life.

  • Facebooked. This needs to be spread.

  • Zac

    my new year’s resolution is to defriend all my facebook “friends” who believe (AKA “know” in their sad-ass world) things that are not reality-based.

    Isn’t that a bit extreme? Surely they can’t all be insane.

  • Epicskeptic

    I was going to post this on Reddit, but i’m on this site now so i’ll post it here.
    Remember when the talking heads on fox said “All Muslims aren’t terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims”. Well, I was thinking about starting a bumper sticker campaign along those lines.
    “All religious people aren’t bigots, but all bigots are religious”.
    “All xians aren’t creationists, but all creationists are xian”
    (keep it going)……….

  • JD

    “Unfriending” everyone that believes in something you see as stupid and weird is extreme, it probably would leave you friendless, I think everyone has lapses into craziness, it might range from momentary to lifelong.

    Episkeptic; Just like not all terrorists are Muslims, I don’t think bigotry is the exclusive domain of religion, that’s just where it is strongest. Christianity is far from the only religion that believes in a creation story that differs from modern science, I think most religions have a creation story.

  • Sarah

    And if only you adopt her beliefs, you too can have zero self esteem, but much more importantly, zero adult responsibility and zero doubt that you’re doing the right thing, even as you pull some asinine, self-centered, myopic, poorly thought out, bone-headed blunder that really hurts other people. All human beings make mistakes once in a while, but the really lethal ones are often because they were soooooo confident that The Great Absentee was the one really pulling all the strings.

    What does she say when she really screws up? It was the devil? Or she suddenly was able to usurp the robotic control of the X-box Player in the Sky, and so the only time she does something by her own will is when something fails?

    Decisions are the culmination of thoughts. Does she even think her own thoughts, or is she just an action figure being played with by El Insubstantio?

    Thanks for responding, Richard! I was actually thinking about emailing you an “Ask Richard” because this has concerned me and bothered me.

    The weird thing is, is that she is a confident person because of her faith in god. However, strip that away and she becomes a shell of herself. If something goes awry, she would say that is it is will of god. She made a comment on Facebook saying that “she is not one to predict the Man upstairs” regarding her future. Oddly enough, what the “Man upstairs” is guiding her to do is what she wants to do.

    It reminds me of the Susan B. Anthony quote “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.”

    I still cannot believe she used our get together for her to preach to me. She even said “I hope I am not being too pushy” so she knew exactly what she wanted to do before we even met that day.

    I emailed her when I got home that day. I would share it here, but it is kind of long. I am thinking about writing a continuation of the first one, but I might wait till she responds.

    I have learned that if people are around hardcore Christians that think the Bible is a history book since they were impressionable children, there is no changing that mindset for most people.

  • Valhar2000

    Sarah wrote:

    I emailed her when I got home that day.

    Interesting. That is the opposite of what I would have done in that situation: I would simply not make contact with that person again.

    I’ve never had an old friend attempt to proselytize religion to me during our first meeting after a long time apart, but I have had people talk at great length about some other topic social, political or cultural very dear to their hearts that did not interest me in the slightest and, as I said, I made sure to see less of them.

  • I’m so going to use “The Great Absentee” from now on.

    The site has some broken links but is still quite good. It could do with better layout and a better way to submit stories but it is direct and to the point which is what you want with such sites.

  • Ron in Houston

    The irony of the things theists do is that they do them to try to prove that they ARE moral.

  • *promptly steals the phrase “The Great Absentee” and scampers off under the couch*

    I got plans for this…

  • Bob

    A friend once quipped, “My mind can imitate the voice of God really well.”

    Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether it’s religion – wherein if you don’t get what you want, it’s because God has a different plan – or ‘The Secret,’ where if you don’t get what you want, it’s because you’re not applying *your* will sufficiently, or you’re actually willing yourself to fail.

    Somehow, the con artists behind ‘The Secret’ never explain who is responsible for a sports victory. Is it the player who scores the winning run? The failure of the pitcher to will an out? The massed fans forcing the universe to accede to their wishes?

    If I jump off the roof, is it a failure of my will if I can’t fly like Superman? Is it a failure of my faith (for with faith the size of a mustard seed, I’m supposed to be able to move mountains, so surely I can be faster than a locomotive and leap tall buildings in a single bound)?

    Or is it a function of the rational world: gravity, and the fact that humans are not designed to be capable of flight?

  • Bob

    Atheists never:

    – form a ‘Christian’ militia and plan to kill police officers (Hutaree militia).

    – murder a doctor who performed abortions and then claim innocence by way of religious duty (Scott Roeder).

    – blame widespread flooding and devastation in the wake of a tsunami on the resident’s failure to embrace Christianity.

    – blame a major terrorist attack on the non-religious, pagans, and gays (Falwell & Robertson, post-9/11).

    – refuse to honor a Wiccan soldier with the appropriate symbol of his faith on his gravestone.

  • Zafada

    MamaGump, sounds like you don’t experience much then. More of a sad bubble than Christians, eh?

  • The Great Absentee… I like that… will use.

    Bob, I hate that. It’s as bad as any other woo. Another way it’s often phrased is if you want something bad enough, you will get it. Uh, no. Usually what you want, especially things like success and fame, take a certain degree of both skill and luck. You can work on both but doing so is still not a guarantee of either being able to master the skill or create the lucky breaks.

    I can see the points but, overall, I really don’t like this campaign. It implies that Atheists don’t have shortcomings (of course, we do) or that there are not those among us every freaking bit as bad. Uh, yes, there are. I have known some vile unbelievers in my time. They mostly wouldn’t hang around on this site but they’re certainly out there. Believe it or not, some are capable of criminal activity and domestic violence and probably even terrorism. It’s not done in the name of disbelief but not believing doesn’t guarantee a strong moral character.

    We tend to forget that because mostly we talk to other nonbelievers who got there through deep introspection and tend to be thinkers and have thought through whether or not our actions are moral. Those who just brush off god as bah humbug, what a bunch of baloney, without much thought aren’t such deep thinkers and, believers, who are deep thinkers will usually also think twice before pulling off some of the things.

    Of course, just like drugs, religion does feed the crazy.

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    I don’t think a list of things that atheists don’t do provides any insight into atheists moral character. The examples only illuminate the immorality of some theists. Again, it appears, that all the atheists have to say for themselves is what they are not. I mean, its great that atheists aren’t a bunch of murdering, torturing, harrasing assholes, but what have you done for the world lately (I mean besides complain about the theists).

  • Atheists never…

    use “va-j-j-” instead of vagina, when they actually mean to talk about a vulva.

    Or wait, they do!

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    it appears, that all the atheists have to say for themselves is what they are not.

    Exactly. The only thing we have in common is a lack of belief in gods and therefore no justification to act in the destructive ways described all too often.

  • ellindsey

    Am I the only one who finds this to be very sloppy reasoning? A link to a horrible crime perpetuated by a religious person does not constitute proof that no atheist has done or ever would do such a thing. There are a number of things on this list which it is quite conceivable that an atheist could do, though not for any religious motivation.

  • Robert W.

    So do you really think there has never been an atheist pedophile? Or an atheist that has never murdered their child? Or an atheist has never murdered people to pursue his political agenda to control a country?

    Of course they have. I agree with Darwin that this list certainly shows theists acting horrible, but it doesn’t show that there is a moral foundation for atheists that excuses them from the same type of behavior.

  • Randy

    I think I’ll defriend everyone who thinks UFO only means aliens. LOL

  • Joel Wheeler

    I, too, am a little skeptical of embracing a moral identity that defines itself through negative examples from the opposition. I mean, isn’t that kind of a creationist strategy?

  • Heidi

    @Sarah:

    She even said “I hope I am not being too pushy”

    This is the point where I would cut her off and say “unfortunately, you are.”

    @Robert W.:

    So do you really think there has never been an atheist pedophile?Or an atheist that has never murdered their child? Or an atheist has never murdered people to pursue his political agenda to control a country?

    I crown you King of the Strawmen.

  • Robert W.

    Heidi,

    Really? The argument from the post is that “atheists never” and then lists some horrible things that theists have done, including some of the ones I listed, implying or expressly arguing that atheists never did those things as if they have a more advanced moral foundation. Seems like my point is spot on. So maybe they didn’t do these horrible things in the name of a religious idea, but the behavior is just the same and certaintly not morally superior.

  • Freemage

    I decided to go through the list until I hit a blatantly false statement–as Robert W. notes, about ten or fifteen posts in, there was an “Atheists never molest young children and then claim it was an anatomy lesson,” or something to that effect.

    Sorry, but yes, there are atheist pedophiles, and their actions are just as heinous as theistic pedophiles. The biggest difference stems when the theist is also part of a powerful heirarchy that covers up the crime, not the commission of the misdeed itself.

    If you’re going to try to claim the moral high ground with an exercise like this, then you MUST stick to the ethical high ground, as well–primarily by valuing honesty above all else. Stick to the absolutely true claims, rather than invent false ones.

  • Atheists never justify good (or bad) behavior by saying God wanted them to do it.

  • Jeff P

    Atheists never justify good (or bad) behavior by saying God wanted them to do it.

    Exactly.

    We don’t use that excuse.

  • Heidi, I don’t see how Robert’s point is a strawman either. Rather I think this series of ads is. As he points out, it’s acting like Atheists have never done these things when the only difference is as Jeff points out, they haven’t use god to justify doing heinous things.

  • Chad

    I shared this on my facebook page and this is what my cousin said to me. I just did not know what to say back. WOW!!!!

    “Discriminated against…. How about the biggest bunch of whiners there ever was. I could care less about what anyone believes or doesn’t believe, but don’t tell me your discriminated against because someone else wants a moment of silence so… they can pray. Yes there have been some awful things done in the name of religion over the history of man, and Ive seen some of it first hand,hence the arson I don’t believe in organized religion, but don’t give me that discriminated crap. The best thing about a free country is your free to leave as well, and that goes for all you whinen ass bitches, blacks, whites, Muslims, Christians, budists, and anyone else i may have left out. For everyone that thinks oh poor pitiful me I am so discriminated against, pick another country to live in, and see how much better it is, cause I’ve been there and done that, and you can keep it. Quit being a pussy, and this post goes double for all of the pussy ass Hollywood movie stars that think the United States is so bad, get the fuck out!”

  • AxeGrrl

    Chad’s cousin said:

    I could care less about what anyone believes or doesn’t believe

    Chad wrote:

    I just did not know what to say back.

    Well, you could tell your cousin that the correct expression is “i couldn’t care less” and that what he said means that he does care to an extent 🙂

    Responding with a nitpicky comment about grammar might make the point that his Archie Bunker-esque rant isn’t really worth replying to (albeit in a rather passive-aggressive way 🙂

  • DA

    Atheists are capable of anything as shitty as theists can do, we’re just less inclined to do it for no apprent gain.

  • Dave Wright

    Chad – you could point out that your so-called “free country” is only that way because of a bunch of “whinen ass” activists who set out to change the things that were wrong with society?

  • sarah

    Atheists never justify good (or bad) behavior by saying God wanted them to do it.

    I never understood that line of thinking.

    Bad thing happens = god is testing me, making me into a stronger person.

    Good thing happens = god is guiding me and is wonderful.