22nd December 2009

“Often people wouldn't admit to others that they were an atheist, now it's acceptable… even dare I say it, fashionable.”

Christopher Hitchens

23 Responses to “22nd December 2009”

  1. Chris Says:

    I’ll have to disagree with Mr. Hitchens on this one. Shake hands with someone in the bible belt and tell them you’re and atheist and they’ll look at their hand as if you just gave them Hansen’s disease.

    I imagine the circles Hitchens travels in have always been heavy in non-belief.

    I’d dare not tell a business associate, or worse, a prospect, that I think he believes a myth. Not to his face. That is precisely what you are telling someone when you make the statement “I am an atheist”. As my wife says, “be careful where you fly your freak flag.” 🙂

  2. tony cynic Says:

    Chris That may be true in the thirld world but throughout europe and australia/n.z it is more respected than ever.
    Might get a bit harder if tony abbot ever gets in power here tho.

  3. Marie Says:

    Some place this is true but not all – especially in the USA. I grew up in the most secular part of north america – British Columbia, and growing up there it was accepted to be a non-believer than being a believer – as an atheist I always had the upper hand and it was the norm to eye roll any religious comment. Now, I live in the bible belt of the USA and I am openly atheist but I have never got the same response – I provoke gasps or eye rolls – they now have the upper hand, except for some closet atheists who find me to be a breath of fresh air since they have lived there life in silence for so long they now have someone to talk to.

  4. tony cynic Says:

    Although I had a slight religious upbringing (C of E,) I have always taken atheism as standard but seeing the real believers in the bible belt was an eye opener.
    Sounds like a scary place to live surrounded by people with stone age belief systems. You keep waiting for them to throw stones at the giant metal birds flying above. Amazing how many people will fight off an education to follow their god(s)

  5. Chris Says:

    And BTW – What the hell is it with the theistic commenters and their terrible written English? Would it be too much to ask for you to compose your stuff in Word before inflicting it on us?

    Tip: Red underlining means either incorrect punctuation or a misspelled word. Or, more likely, both. If everything is red, please consider an ESL course.

    I’ve been called arrogant on this site for pointing out (correctly) that religiosity correlates negatively with education. I don’t think it’s a stretch to see the above as at least anecdotal supporting evidence.

  6. Oxymoronic Christhinker Says:

    I’m still thinking about how to answer the questions that have been put to me by Chris and Greg concerning my faith. Given the general assumption on this site that theists are delusional or stupid or both, I’m not sure they are worth answering. I’ll get back to you on that. For now I will continue to comment when the spirit moves me.

    Agree with Chris on the terrible written English of most theistic commenters here on AQOTD. Hope my writing is a little better than the others. The likes of tech and Solomon (if they are not the same person) seem to be commenting only in an attempt to convert you poor, soulless atheists (that’s sarcasm, people) with the power of their magic words (you may have already scared them off). Not my goal at all. On the whole, I find the comments here more intelligent than say 80% of theistic sites – especially the explicitly fundamentalist ones. There are, of course, exceptions (like http://www.religiousdispatches.com).

    The comment, “You keep waiting for them to throw stones at the giant metal birds flying above” by tony cynic made me laugh. I have family members like that. I swear they pick bugs out of each others hair (an evolutionary advantage, to be sure, but don’t tell them that).

    I think Newton Day is a fine idea for a holiday (secularday?).

    As for the quote, Hitchens is right about the atmosphere for atheists in my neck of the woods – Pacific Northwest, USA – in most areas. I belong to a couple of discussion groups that include theists (all Christian), atheists, and agnostics. One describes himself as an “agnostic Christian.” We discuss everything under the sun, without animosity or disrespect. Maybe I’m just lucky. Or blessed.

    Happy Winter Solstice, Merry Christmas, and Happy Newton Day to you all!

  7. PEB Says:

    In the UK I wouldn’t say it was fashionable but it’s certainly perfectly acceptable. Being an atheist is the only piece of information about me I share with the outside world on my FaceBook page.
    Without turning into a secular versions of jehovah witnesses I think it’s important to tell as many people as you can.

  8. tech Says:

    Merry Christmas friends.I love you all with the love of god. Its not my job to get you to change your beliefs or prove this or that. However I will pray for you and leave the rest in Gods capable hands.

  9. Chris Says:

    I hope you will Oxy. I didn’t mean to lump you in with a general criticism. I don’t think I’d say stupid or delusional but I would say unexamined – though i’ll venture that isn’t true with you either.

    Yours is a faith that I can live with, that is, one that doesn’t see people of no faith as evil and seeks to take away their rights. Sadly, many in your camp are not similarly enlightened or generous of spirit that they can just live and let live. They want to teach my kid about Jesus’ “love”. That’s where I’ve got to draw the line.

    Agnostic Christian… heh heh heh.

  10. tech Says:

    Showing the Love that Jesus taught us to anyone, man women or child will not harm them in any way.There is no need for any lines to be drawn. There is no treat. May God bless you all this Season.

  11. The Heretic Says:

    OXY, another Pacific NW USA sort!!! It is a different world over here, but certainly more tolerant religiously. I dare say, it is nearly fashionable. But, I never publicize my beliefs – or lack therein. Just as I am not interested in anyone else’s beliefs. Those persons that attribute everything in their lives to “God Almightly” every five minutes “As the Lord wills” – “God Willing” – eurgh! Drives me insane. It is just insufferable. (You know the type I am talking about.) It is like they live their lives with a socially acceptable imaginary friend. Religion is like a nasty habit; it should be kept to oneself.

  12. tech Says:

    Dum De Dum DUMB DUMB.

  13. PEB Says:

    Heretic – believe me I have tried the ‘ignore it and it might go away’ approach but it wasn’t working. We are constantly bombarded with religious nonsense (especially this time of year) so I now make a point of actively trying to rid our schools of collective worship, campaigning to have ‘faith’ schools shut down, emailing MP’s to have the bishops removed from the house of lords, sending letters to my local NHS trust in an attempt to stop £100,000 a year being spent on hospital chaplains, standing up for gay rights and criticising the vile ‘pro-life’ groups.

    The areas in which the religious minority infect our lives and cause so much misery is growing and sometimes you just need to stand up and be counted.

  14. tech Says:

    That right PEB I’m standing up and being counted. CHRISTIANS, WE ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH.

  15. tony cynic Says:

    Too much salt is not good for your health.

  16. tech Says:

    You may not think that salt has any benefits but salt is actually a great preservative which when eaten preserves the blood cells and blood vessels.

  17. solomon Says:

    Dear PEB,
    What on earth are you standing for gay rights.Indeed you are a bunch of group which have gone far beyond limits.You are campaigning a behaviour in which even animals is reluctant to perform.What will happen to the human population if most humans are gay or lesbians.You are are only interested in fulfilling your lusts.You will be burned in hell.

  18. Greg Says:

    Tech wrote: “Showing the Love that Jesus taught us to anyone, man women or child will not harm them in any way.”

    As long as you preface this discussion with “this is a myth”, then we could agree. Otherwise you’re just plain old lying.

  19. PEB Says:

    Dear Solomon,

    You are the very reason I am an atheist. You are also obsessed with sex. From my list of Christian gripes you choose the gay rights issue to rant about.
    You assume I am gay but I also mentioned chaplains and pro-life groups but I am neither in hospital nor pregnant.
    You are a sexually repressed bigot and you represent your Christian brothers well.

  20. Hypatia Says:

    What will happen to the human population if most humans are gay or lesbians.

    Around one in ten people are gay. Let’s accept them as they are. I don’t think there’s any risk that the remaining 90% of the population will stop doing what they’ve always done.

    But you wouldn’t want the honest truth get in the way of good old fashioned bigotry would you Solomon?

  21. solomon Says:

    Dear PEB,
    Why on earth I’am the reason you’re an Atheist.It’s you your ownself chooses to be an atheist.I’am trying to bring people out of the atheist circle yet I’am being blamed for one being an atheist.Where are your senses?It does’nt matter whether I’am obsessed or not with sex,as long as one execute it in the right way,its of no harm.You and your lots are the sexually repressed bigots breaking every gods rules and all the human norms.Your lots are the ones jeopardizing the normal family systems.Hell is a justs place for you all unless you repent.
    As for your friend Hypatia,
    I’am not sponsoring or campaigning my opinion.I’am sponsoring truth.And the origin of truth is from god.It’s gods own words that practising homosexuality is a big sin.God creates living things in pairs,male & female.Can’t you see, the birds,the bees,the cats,the insects,all mate with their respective pairs.Suddenly this sick in the heart group chooses to mate with the same sex.How could you accept them as what they are.You said one in 10 people are gay, and you does’nt have the slightest worry if that figure is in the rise.You and your followers will surely march to Hell if you did not repent.

  22. Hypatia Says:


    it’s gods own words that practising homosexuality is a big sin.

    No – god has never verifiably said anything to anyone.

    You just have a few men who claim that god told them things.

    And apparently you’re prepared to believe one of them for no reason other than your upbringing.

  23. solomon Says:

    Dear Hypatia,
    Do you think one can’t differentiate between gods words and mans words.You are just saying things without knowledge.You are just guessing.If the qoran is not gods words,then call your allies,then create one verse that is close to the qoran if youre the man of truth.You will surely not able to do it.