It is hard as an atheist not to have an interjection when hearing people proclaim their religious beliefs. This doesn’t offend me personally because I have empirical evidence to back up my version of reality, and someone else’s opinion doesn’t change that. I often find my self feeling offended myself when I hear people who I believe to be otherwise brilliant people following what I consider odd superstitions and strange rituals. These days I try hard to rein myself in and not make comments that I feel might upset religious folk because it is important to remember that EVERYONE has a right to believe the way they want to.
This doesn’t work most of the time though because as I try to check my own comments most religious folk don’t have such a verbal or mental filter. They consider anyone that does not agree with their beliefs an affront to their beliefs. I think atheism offends the religious because there is no empirical evidence to support their beliefs. Religious people rely on the fact that they are a part of a large and powerful group of people. Having a such a group of people who agree with them supports their viewpoint, even if that viewpoints has no logical or empirical support.
When an atheist simply proclaims his or her point of view, it erodes the perception that everybody is in agreement about god, and thus constitutes a direct attack on the institution.
My point today is this. Religious folk, we atheists are not out to get you. We just don’t believe what you do. All my atheist friends out there need to stop viewing religious folk as inferior or stupid people. It can be an intelligent choice to be a part of such a group, right or wrong. We all need to remember that the right to believe the way we want to is why we can have blog posts like this on BOTH sides of the aisle.