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Old 07-06-2012, 02:02 PM
 
Location: On the edge of the universe
994 posts, read 1,354,288 times
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I'm not questioning your beliefs, I don't think a person needs faith to be righteous. I am, for the most part, more orthodox in my faith versus the average American. I cannot concieve of a life without faith; while I am not Christian, Catholic, or Protestant, I do agree and follow much of what the GOD of Abraham says in the books of the Bible. However, GOD would not condemn someone who follows a faith outside the Abrahamic faiths or is ambivalent on faith.

With that said, I don't understand why the atheist community and similiar communities try to portray themselves as tolerant when in my experience they come across as being somewhat far from it. I identify as LGBT and some of the worst discrimination and treatment have come from people who were either atheist, deist, or some combination of those two or more. I have encountered discrimination from Christians and the Protestant/Catholic community, but they were usually pretty tame on their actual actions. I don't expect most people to accept LGBT people; I learned to live with that over a decade ago. But what makes me a bit mad is how a lot of atheists and similar groups of people (deists, agnostics, humanists, etc) say that they are tolerant and freeminded and intellectual, etc when I think that they aren't that much different from the so-called 'Religious Right'.

What do you think?
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Rational World Park
4,999 posts, read 3,886,661 times
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I'm an active member of the secular community and have never met one non-believer who wasn't LGBT friendly, anywhere in the country, ever. As a non-believer, there's no reason (doctrine) to be intolerant of LGBT people.

Slight Edit: I do know of a small group of atheists black nationalists who are both racist and anti-gay but they are only literally a handful of people.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Earth
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About the only time I notice atheists getting short tempered is when faith believers deny science.
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,500,655 times
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fireandice1000,

I am saddened to hear that you have experienced intolerance from individuals. Atheists are a very diverse lot. The only thing we all have in common is we don't believe in gods. I think it is wrong to stereotype a whole group of people by claiming they all have some trait in common if that trait is not part of the definition of the group. So, I think if any atheist claims all atheists are more tolerant that believers, I would think they would be incorrect in saying that.

Certainly, there are tolerant atheists and their are tolerant believers; there are intolerant atheists and intolerant believers. There are some religions that preach and encourage tolerance and there are other religions that preach and encourage intolerance.

Unfortunately, some religions actively preach against homosexual behaviors, but among the members of even those religions, one can find both tolerant and intolerant members.

Stereotyping is a bad habit. Sometimes we stereotype groups to which we do not belong, and sometimes we stereotype the members of groups to which we do belong. We have a tendency to ascribe good attributes to the groups we belong to and bad attributes to the groups we do not belong to. Sigh.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:37 PM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,252,936 times
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I would argue that we have the benefit of having no doctrinal stances. For example, many denominations, sect and religions condemn homosexuality as a matter of doctrine. This make even nice friendly, otherwise loving people act badly.

An example, a friend of mine from college is now the pastor of the church I used to attend. Early in his ministry, his wife invited a gay coworker of here, who they we very good friends with, to their church. The music minister heard him sing (he sang at the Methodist church regularly and considered himself a believer) and asked him to come back and do special music in a couple weeks, and my friend had to call him up and dis-invite him, because he couldn't have a gay man leading worship to God. This didn't happen because these were mean, hateful people. It happened because they were nice, loving people who believe in a mean hateful doctrine.

With non-theists, if someone is a jerk in whatever way, it is because they are a jerk, not because they are doctrinally constrained to be hurtful to the people they care about. I certainly won't say there are not homophobic, racist, or otherwise hateful atheists, but they are those things independent of their atheism, not because their lack of belief compels them to be that way, or face God's displeasure.

-NoCapo
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Richland, Washington
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Atheists are individuals just like everyone else. You're going to find tolerant and intolerant people within any faith or lack thereof.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:52 PM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,981,174 times
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Recent example, NC just had a ballot initiate in the last primary to add an amendment to the state constitution that further demeans a minority specifically because of what they think the bibile says.

We were also accosted with spam (email and snail-mail), robo-calls from religious groups encouraging us to add bible based hate to our constitution.
We also were accosted by TV commercials from Franklin Graham and flocks of local preachermen demonstrating blind hatred an ignorance, plus print ads in the paper from Billy Graham himself (obviously too old to be in a TV ad).

They demonstrated absolutely no tolerance of those they view as different, and thus warrant no tolerance from anyone.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:20 AM
 
Location: The Pacific Northwest
6,015 posts, read 6,378,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozenyo View Post
I'm an active member of the secular community and have never met one non-believer who wasn't LGBT friendly, anywhere in the country, ever. As a non-believer, there's no reason (doctrine) to be intolerant of LGBT people.

Slight Edit: I do know of a small group of atheists black nationalists who are both racist and anti-gay but they are only literally a handful of people.
I have to agree with this. I identify as LGBT and I am atheist. I would logically think that atheists who are intolerant based on sexual orientation or any other immutable characteristic are quite a bit more irrational than theists, because unlike theists, or "believers" atheists cannot point to a religious doctrine to support their intolerance. I have never encountered what I would consider to be an "intolerant" atheist, same as above poster.
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:15 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,285,422 times
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fireandice1000 - I do not think atheists are any more... or less.... tolerant than theists. Atheists are just people who do not buy into the idea there is a god. That is all. Nothing else distinguishes them. They can be every bit as beautiful and loving.... or arrogant and obnoxious.... as the next guy.

That is the answer to your question so perhaps you can discard the question and ask yourself some other ones, such as what basis would we even have to expect any given atheists to be less... or more.... tolerant then anyone else?
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:39 AM
 
39,207 posts, read 10,887,543 times
Reputation: 5096
Quote:
Originally Posted by fireandice1000 View Post
I'm not questioning your beliefs, I don't think a person needs faith to be righteous. I am, for the most part, more orthodox in my faith versus the average American. I cannot concieve of a life without faith; while I am not Christian, Catholic, or Protestant, I do agree and follow much of what the GOD of Abraham says in the books of the Bible. However, GOD would not condemn someone who follows a faith outside the Abrahamic faiths or is ambivalent on faith.

With that said, I don't understand why the atheist community and similiar communities try to portray themselves as tolerant when in my experience they come across as being somewhat far from it. I identify as LGBT and some of the worst discrimination and treatment have come from people who were either atheist, deist, or some combination of those two or more. I have encountered discrimination from Christians and the Protestant/Catholic community, but they were usually pretty tame on their actual actions. I don't expect most people to accept LGBT people; I learned to live with that over a decade ago. But what makes me a bit mad is how a lot of atheists and similar groups of people (deists, agnostics, humanists, etc) say that they are tolerant and freeminded and intellectual, etc when I think that they aren't that much different from the so-called 'Religious Right'.

What do you think?
The 'tolerance' (note quotes) relates I think to a more tolerant (some might say liberal, if they didn't use the term 'sinful') view of others and what they do because their social rule has to be the Golden one rather than rules on sin as laid down in a Holy book.

That said, we are not tolerant of claims made without valid foundation and we will not let them pass. Neither are we tolerant of a worldview which is based on faith rather than reason.

THAT said, apart from the fight for a reasoning worldview, we are very tolerant of individual beliefs, no matter how whacky, and do not prefer one whacky religion or pseudo science over another - as the adherents of a particular religion might do.

So, yes, I do think that atheism and atheists can claim to be tolerant in many areas - just not of faith - based claims presented as unquestioned fact, even if not linked to some intolerance towards those who do question it.

N.b No atheist believes that Harry Potter is real, but we are tolerant of and even enjoy it as entertainment, as we might LOR and Narnia. No atheist ever got up to denounce it as 'Satanic' and called for a Boycott. Nor did we have a mass bonfire of Cliff - Richards memorabilia here when he announced his religious beliefs.
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