Is it really just religion? I meet people who give me loads of stick because I raise my child differently from them, and in America there were always people who got really shocked and offended at women who don't shave their armpits. Just to give two examples. A lot of people just don't like anyone who's different from what they consider to be the norm. My theory is that those people were forced into a mold that doesn't really suit them, and they feel that if they have to be stuck there, then so does everyone else.
Why do many religious people dislike non-religious people?
I think gretchens reply was most interesting . I hope she does elaborate on this some more . I believe that the religionists want control and the politicians like to use religionists as a means to control , like we are nothing but cattle to be exploited . The answer I'm sure is far more intricate than we can comprehend .
I have to disagree with Gretchen and Heathen. Perhaps there are some people who worry about legal/political challenges from atheists, but it's hard to imagine that Joe and Jane Christian are really thinking in those terms. In my experience, many extremely religious people actually believe that atheists have no ethics, and I think it is to this that they are reacting.
To illustrate, we all know the standard Witness line when you say you don't believe in "the Truth" anymore: "You just want to live with absolute freedom, without any regard for what's right and wrong." Of course, we all know that that's a far cry from the reality of the situation. But I would offer that this mindset is not unique to the Witnesses at all, that for most people, religion and ethics are one and the same, and that therefore a person without religion is a dispicable, unethical beast. After all, without religion what could possibly make a person want to act decently? Surely not a simple love of life and followman! :-)
To respond to the last two posts, I would say it is not so much control out of a religious or political perspective, it is control from any perspective - which is what I like to call mind control, or control by mind - contrasted against using mind as a tool.
This actually relates to Seattles last sentence, in that it's not anything resembling ethics, it's not out of any standard way of thinking but rather out of love itself. If that was the case, you wouldn't need to have such control by the mind or dislike people who doesn't think a particular way. The love would include all of it, the whole love your neighbor as yourself thing - rather than some ideas of right and wrong.
I've noticed the reverse to be true as well. Most fundies are so threatened by different belief systems they nearly piss their pants. Only met one or two atheists with that attitude, but many are pathetically condecending toward those who are theists.
Most religious folk believe their world has survived as long as it has due to their ?promoting?, their version of God.
Atheists, whether they act religious or not, are generally surprised the community of mankind has actually survived as well as it has in spite of what has been wrought by those who endorse so many God fantasies.
Also, they believe that whatever they give to the Church, God will give back 10 Fold, Measured Out, Tamped Down.
Always sounded Materialistic to me. It always made me wonder, are they going to church just to get these things, or are they going there to worship God?
I'm not into that kinda thing, either.
It's right up there with "if you had faith you'd never get sick"
It makes my skin crawl.
We've had lots of court cases by athiests regarding the separation of church and state in the last five years. Some that come immediately to mind are when they took (briefly) the words "under god" from the pledge of allegiance. That case was brought by an athiest. The 10 Commandment plaque down south somewhere where the judge refused to remove it and so they removed him instead. That case was brought by an athiest. Similar case going before our supreme court here regarding a 10 Commandment Plaque up in the City of Everett Washington, also brought by an athiest. The taking prayer out of school was a result of a suit brought by the athiest lady (I think) that disappeared, can't remember her name...
I don't begin to say that christians think that athiests are all about these court cases, but they do talk about the secular society in terms of athiests and how they are "out to get" the christian way of life. I have heard it preached more than once on tv as well as heard people tell about what they heard at their church.
I'm not even saying this is their biggest issue, just that it is one.
The issue of having no morals or values is also right up there and SNG is right about that.
There are lots of reasons. These particular ones probably touch us more here in the states, I can't begin to answer for the rest of the world. My response came as a result of having seen a newscast of the Everett case the night before I saw and responded to this, which is why it was uppermost in my mind.
I was musing on "American culture" and realized what came first on my list was "individual rights" which can usually be safely translated as "no one can tell me what to do." (I know my rights!)
And then I started thinking about how this can exist with the extreme public religiosity which has become American public life of late. Which has a lot to do with telling people what to do (or not to do.)
And I continue to ponder.
Do they see me as a threat?
This one gets my vote. I think it's often the same in reverse (not in your case though Elsewhere).