I used to be a militant atheist because I was furious that people had been lying to me for so long. I didn’t want anyone else to be lied to like that; I was passionate about spreading the truth.
But after some time, I realized that the people who had been lying to me didn’t realize that they’d been lying to me. They were simply repeating what they’d been taught from a young age by their parents, their teachers; people they trusted; people who were teaching what they honestly believed was right and true.
And I realized something else, too: The people around me are of varying degrees of religiosity and spirituality. Most of them believe in the supernatural to some extent. If I was to keep on the path of militant atheism, I would be isolating myself from the majority of humanity. I would be making enemies whenever I spoke out about all the things I don’t believe in.
The atheist community has been disappointing me lately. I’ve seen many videos and posts where atheists were being aggressive, arrogant, even not taking the other side seriously when it appeared that they were asking an honest question. And I realized that this is probably why the stereotype of angry atheists exists. (I know this does not apply to all those in the atheist community, but there are enough of them to propagate this negative stereotype.)
If anyone, religious or not, wants to persuade the other side of anything, a different attitude will have to be adopted.
I think all atheists would agree that the spread of science and logic is important.
Instead of picking fights with the very religious, I suggest spreading scientific knowledge, teaching children and young adults logic and reason, and only engaging in religious debate with those who are willing to listen.
With the spread of research and reason, supernatural/superstitious beliefs have gradually been falling out of general practice. This happens naturally: when some old belief is proven wrong with evidence, that old belief eventually dies out.
And speaking to those who are not willing to listen is always frustrating for both sides, so why even attempt it? It will only make unnecessary enemies.
Deep down, I just want everyone to get along. I think, if we adopt this attitude, not just as atheists, but as human beings in general, we can help to make the world a better place.
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