I recently commented on an entry titled “what is your purpose” at asl001’s Atheist blog. A Christian blogger named poppies–whom also responded to the entry in question–followed me to my blog propositioning me to continue/expound the discussion by creating an entry here for us to debate–long posts are the norm on my blog.
To address everything in this post alone, would make for a very long entry. For that reason, I will only tackle the issue of whether or not most Atheists are typically ‘powerful or aggressive’ in this segment, and if so, why. I will end with what will be the introduction of the next post–morality.
. . . an atheist worldview allows only for subjective morality typically dominated by powerful or aggressive individuals, but I’m open to the idea that I’m wrong.
First, I can guarantee that you would not be able to tell an Atheist from a believer if you saw them on the street and both were dressed in normal clothes. You certainly would not be able to tell that I am an Atheist if I sat next to you on a park bench.
If by ‘power’ you mean managerial positions, it depends on the type of degree a person has. If by ‘power’ you mean intellectual prestige such as undergraduate or graduate degrees . . . you may be partly correct in that regard, as the more advanced an individual’s education, the greater the likelihood of Atheist/Agnostic views.
On that note, if by ‘power’ you mean elected officials, or lawyers, judges, and so forth, it is important to note that due to the current political climate in North America for instance, you would not know they are Atheists. If you were to label these people aggressive, it would not be for their Atheism, as you would not know it exists in them. There is no evidence to suggest that Atheists are typically aggressive.
On the subject of aggression, I take it you are not suggesting violence, but rather a passion for making one’s views known. Christians make their views known to the world all the time. United States politicians speak of God at least once. You have numerous television channels dedicated to Religion where they speak passionately about God and spreading the message of Jesus. You have Churches with billboards advertising that Jesus is the way. If making one’s views known to anyone who will listen is synonymous with aggression, then there is a lot of Christian ‘aggression’ in the United States.
Now we have individuals like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Dan Dennett and Richard Dawkins promoting Atheism awareness and it becomes obvious that Atheists are perceived as aggressive only because our silence has been mainly the norm. Our collective voice right now does not in any way equal the viral nature of the Religious, who think their rights to be vocal outweigh our own, or who suggest we can only be truly tolerant through silence whilst they can bask in the luxuries of tolerance by doing the reverse.
Until recently, Atheists were the least trusted/liked minority in the United States–it now appears Scientologists have the honour of that title. Richard Dawkins’ OUT Campaign encourages Atheists/Agnostics to be open about their disbelief, to make our presence known, to remind others that we have equal rights and encourage awareness as a whole–hence the reason for the Scarlet A on my blog.
When minorities are silent because of fear of persecution for an extended amount of time, when they suddenly do begin to speak, they are seen as intolerant and aggressive. It is similar to the feminist movement. Several decades ago, most men believed women lacked the intellect to hold positions of power. This was strictly sexist and clearly not based on evidence but passed down through a patriarchal tradition.
Today, we still have Religious individuals claiming that we lack the morality necessary to hold positions of power. There is zero evidence to suggest this. We do hold positions of power, win humanitarian awards, and our morally is never doubted until we reveal ourselves as Atheists/Agnostics. It plainly illustrates the fact that because many religious individuals cannot fathom how we can be moral without a God(s), does not mean their lack of proper understanding/vision makes it correct.
There are no studies that prove when Atheists/Agnostics are rounded up, followed around for a week at least, and analyzed by their capacity to perform good acts on other humans or be moved by the suffering of others, that they perform worse than their Religious counterparts. You can bet if this is ever proven through multiple studies and the results were the same again and again, that the Religious would not hesitate to wave the studies in the air as ‘proof.’
We are considered morally bankrupt/inferior because of tradition passed down by individuals who would not have profited from saying Religion was not likely to make you any more moral than no Religion. If this were so, their converted-to-be would have asked, then why be Religious?! In the same fashion, those already Religious would have asked, why remain so?