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Why Can’t Atheists Get Along?

I seem to run into this kind of thing a lot. Atheists can’t seem to put minor differences behind them and concentrate on the spreading reason and fighting against the tyranny of the religious. We have to put our differences aside and work together.

I know that the only think atheists really have in common is a lack of belief in deities. However, being part of the greater atheistic community entails much more. The fact is that if you are part of the greater atheistic community, you almost certainty value reason, scientific education, and are at least slightly vocal about your atheism. In general, most atheists who are part of the greater atheistic community also tend to be politically liberal.

Still, despite all these commonalities and our common goals, atheists tend to argue and fight over seemingly trivial differences. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that atheists aren’t robotic clones the way so many religious believers tend to be, but I also think that there is a time to argue and a time to work together against the seemingly insurmountable obstacle that religious believers put before us.

Can’t we all just get a long?




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  • http://livinglifewithoutanet.wordpress.com/ Living Life Without a Net

    I definitely understand your frustration. The good news… I think… is that we’re starting to see real divisions. Look at it this way: When it was all any of us could do to just come out to our friends and family, we needed pretty unconditional support from the atheist community. We were literally all we had.

    As more and more people come out as atheist, it becomes easier to say, “to hell with you people” and go find another atheist group. There are more options. It’s not “this group” or ostracism from all of society.

    I totally agree with you — there are important issues that are bigger than many (most?) of our semantic or philosophical differences. We have two years until the election that will decide the future of the Supreme Court, and with it, the future of women’s rights and non-believer’s rights in America for the foreseeable future.

    But, I think we should take some comfort in the knowledge that with size comes diversity. And the atheist “movement” — whatever that might be — is big enough to start having some growing pains. And that’s a good thing.

  • Chuck

    I think it’s just human nature. Theist groups have the same problems as they get bigger. It would be great if we could be better than that, but it’s not in the cards.

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  • http://www.atheistrev.com vjack

    Like Chuck said, human nature poses a significant obstacle. Not only that, but I’d guess many of us don’t have a lot of experience working with others around the problem of religion – we’re too used to being on the outside of everything.

    Still, I won’t give up. This is too important to do so.

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