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How non-Atheists view Atheists:
How lack of dialogue leads to errors

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Definitions of "Atheist:"

There is a conflict over the meaning of this term:

bulletMost dictionaries and non-Atheists define "Atheist" as a person who actively denies the existence of any Gods, Goddess, Satan, angels, demons, etc.

bulletMany, perhaps most, people who identify themselves as Atheists simply have no concept of any such supernatural beings. They conclude that the existence of God can be neither proved nor disproved, just as the existence of invisible pink unicorns (IPU) and the flying spaghetti monster (FSM) cannot be proved or disproved.

bulletAtheists who actively deny the existence of God are generally called "strong Atheists."

As a result, a lot of religious conservatives attack all Atheists for stating an unprovable belief that God does not exist. In reality. They are wasting their time.

Meanwhile, Atheists are generally quite open to any proof that supernatural entities do or do not exist. They are currently unaware of any such proof. They do acknowledge that many Christians and other theists are totally convinced of the existence of a God as described by their religion. However, Atheists generally need some evidence before believing in something.

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Lack of tolerance towards Atheists:

Although adults in North America exhibit reasonable tolerance towards persons belonging to different Christian denominations and other organized religions, this acceptance does not necessarily extend to Atheists. One really good indicator of how well a group is accepted and trusted is to ask a random sampling of the general public "if your political party nominated a generally well-qualified person for President who happened to be a member of one of the following groups, would you vote for that person?"

A USA Today/Gallup Poll asked this question during 2007-FEB-09 and obained the results shown below. Only 4% of American voters would refuse to vote for a qualified Roman Catholic; 42% would refuse to vote for a homosexual. But 53% -- most American voters -- would refuse to vote for an Atheist.

There is hope for the future that the American population might lessen their discrimination against Atheists. Back in the late 19th and early 20th century Roman Catholics were widely mistrusted -- even hated -- and considered a threat to the American culture. They have come a long way since.

Chart showing level of mistrust in the U.S. to varous groups

This section discusses:

bulletThe findings of various public opinion polls;

bullet Whether Paul's statements in his epistle to the Romans concerning belief in God are valid today;

bulletConservative Protestants' beliefs about why Atheists reject God;

bulletThings that allegedly scare Atheists.

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Topics discussed in this section:

bulletResults of public opinion polls
bulletBeliefs by conservative Protestants:

bullet Atheists really believe in God, but are lying: Argument from design; written on their conscience.
bullet Why Atheists reject God. What Atheists allegedly fear

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References used:

  1. "George Bush: Citizen's quote," at:

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Site navigation:

 Home page > Ethical groups etc > Atheism > here
 Home page > Ethical groups etc > Non-theistic groups > Atheism > here

Home page > Christianity > Christian personalities > God > Atheism > here

Home page > Ethical groups etc > Non-theistic groups > Atheism > here

Home page > Religious information > God > Atheism > here

Home page > Spirituality > God > Atheism >  here
Home page > Christianity > Christianity & other religions >  here

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Copyright © 1996 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2011-AUG-22
Author: B.A. Robinson

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