Why do many religious people dislike non-religious people?

by Elsewhere 35 Replies latest jw friends

  • Elsewhere

    I've noticed that usually when someone who is very religious finds out that I am an atheist, they become very agitated even though I never actually said anything negative about their religion.

    Are they embarrassed?

    Do they think I am condemning them?

    Do they see me as a threat?

    What are your thoughts on this?

  • pc

    I don't think it's about religion. People find it very hard to accept someone who thinks different then them. It just like the whole political thing. People get so indignite about your view if you don't agree with them. I love to listen and openly debate people and hopefully I'll walk away with something I didn't know or realize. It really comes down in my view to peoples insecurities with themselves.

    (How's that for a Dr. Phil( I hate that guy) view)LOL!!


  • Scully

    Sometimes I think there's a smidgen of jealousy on the part of a religious person toward people who are non-religious.

    After all, they do all their church-going and praying and putting money in the collection plate and going door-to-door, and we don't.

    Yet, the sun shines on us the same way it does them. And they get sick and have problems too, just like we do.

    It's just so unfair!!

    Love, Scully

  • LittleToe

    It's the beard.

    You fooled them into thinking you were a holy-Joe, but then dashed their preconceptions.

    Definitely the beard!

  • CeriseRose

    Well, in the scenario you're describing, it's probably less "dislike" and more that they have no way to relate to it, and could be preparing for a huge disagreement. Religion or lack thereof is an age-old "hot topic" and is often such a source of controversy. That could be the threat.

    It's kind of like telling someone you're a creationist when everyone around you is an evolutionist. Inevitably someone is going to say something that could spark a disagreement, so everyone is on tenterhooks.

    It's either that or you're just plain scary. :P (couldn't resist)

    What I'd like to know is why each side of the coin (religious or no) feel the need to "share" their beliefs. (Of course, being an ex-JW, it's a highly hypocritical thing of me to ask, seeing as I did my share of sharing. DOH!) Now, I know that not everyone does, but I think that's always a factor when you're talking these subjects that someone, even the most open minded, will ask "why don't you," or "why do you" and in the ensuing "information sharing" opinions become fact and emotions start running high.

  • LittleToe

    ROFL @ Scully
    Yeah that'd be it

  • Scully

    I like beards... a lot. (but not on girls).

  • under74

    I suspect they might think that you are against what the believe...as in refuting everything they hold dear. Not sure if I'm explaining what I mean properly. I guess, in my experience, it's similar to the treatment of a rebellious teenager--like your being an atheist just to spite them.

  • Scully

    Little Toe,

    I was being a little facetious up there... glad you caught it since I forgot to put in a little winkie guy

  • Narkissos

    I experienced that a few days ago on this very board...

    But I think it works both ways, except in some specific settings where one category is so obviously dominant that the other appears as harmless.

    I think it is basically because believers and non-believers share the same exclusive, Aristotelian, concept of truth: tertium non datur, either you are right or I am -- although we can both be wrong and this latter possibility is the only basis for a sound discussion, if both really accept it. Generally, however, we cannot help thinking of the other as a threat.

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