I don’t know if I’m an exception or not, but I’m usually nice to people, even strangers. I think that in general I’m nice to everyone. I’m not the type of person that goes out with a scowl on his face. So when I have people ask me if, as an atheist, I’m nice to Christians, I say sure, why not?
There’s absolutely no reason, in my opinion, to not be nice to people, or to discriminate against people, based solely on their belief. There are certainly abusive people in the world, Christian or not, but does that give me permission to be abusive to them? It’s easier to walk away.
It’s true in my experience that believers sometimes have this automatic revulsion towards atheists, but should we return the same? I don’t think so. I don’t care what they believe. Their beliefs mean absolutely nothing to me and to be rude or dismissive to them only reinforces their belief that atheists are angry.
The most disarming act Ive found when being attacked in some way by a Christian, is to just smile. I’ve discovered that it leaves them with nothing else to say. Some people just want to be argumentative. As an atheist, I have nothing to argue with a believer because I don’t accept their premise for the argument.
My smile is not dismissive, it’s just an acknowledgment on my part that yes, I’ve heard them and no, they’re not going to force me to engage in something I don’t wish to. It’s the same as trying to talk to an unruly toddler.
Those occasions for me are rare. Most Christians I know are very nice people so why in turn should I not be nice in return? Just because they happen to believe in something I don’t is no cause for me to not be kind to them as a person.
It’s okay to be openly dismissive toward religion, but I think it doesn’t do atheists any good to be the same toward individual believers. We won’t change the world by being nice to every believer, but we might dispel the idea that atheists are angry.
6 thoughts on “It’s Okay to Be Nice to Believers”
Great post! I suspect many atheists reading this would agree with you as long as they focus on Christians and how we treat them. Unfortunately, if we were to shift from how we treat Christians to how we treat those we perceive as our political opponents, I have a feeling the level of agreement would drop considerably. I can’t pretend to know why that is the case, but I think it probably is the case.
Yeah, I’m just trying to figure out how to follow vjack on wordrpress but I can’t do it. I always had difficulty with this site. I don’t see how anyone can navigate it. I like both conservative skeptic and vjack. I sometimes follow their conversations and blogs. Have a good evening everyone.
vjack’s blog isn’t on WordPress. It’s on Blogspot. He’s an interesting guy and we’ve conversed over blog post comments and Twitter for yeasrs.
Actually, since religion, monotheism being the most severe, is a mental illness, these folks need treatment and understanding. Sadly they can’t admit to their delusion, but they believe they are doing the right thing, Delusion abounds. Hopefully the next generation will be better educated.
Monotheism is global, universal, and historical. It is not limited to Abrahamic religion. The Hindus have a branch. I really think that polytheism is, was, a misnomer. There is also monism, a different but similar concept. It also is universal, global, and historical.
Joseph, I’m new here too and don’t really know how to use this site either. To your comment: True there are different beliefs as to a single God. The problem with the JCI (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) is they are praying for the end of the world and the scenario has been set for the final battle between good and evil, and the coming of the Savior. One of the disturbing characteristics of these death cults is that the end is always soon to come, salvation is near. The JCI have been convinced that they are special, that they will have an eternal life because they have an eternal soul and are a child of God. Believing in resurrection is delusional, without resurrection there is no need for heaven or God.