Despite the fact that I’ve been a skeptic most of my life, it wasn’t until the past 2 years that I started meeting many other secular people and the most amazing things have come up in our discussions. Among these things were certain beliefs about agnostics, and atheists in particular, that I didn’t know. Therefore, with that in mind, I decided this week to discuss some things that agnostics and atheists (A/A) wish the religious knew and understood about them. This list is by no means inclusive or exclusive.
1)Many A/A's are just as ethical as religious people are. It seems many people of a religious nature believe that being godless means that A/A's have no moral compass, or can’t be “good” unless they believe in a supreme being. This is simply not true. A/A's are good and righteous in every way a religious person can be. Many are involved in their communities to help the poor and sick, or their schools to support their kids and our future.
2)They don’t want someone to preach to them. If they say they are skeptical or just don’t believe, they don’t want to have someone try to change their minds anymore than a Christian would want them to change their mind. Many have been in the church at one time or another and have studied religious texts. If you want us to be considerate of you, then please be considerate of us.
3)They want to be respected the same as religious people.
4)There are atheists in foxholes. You’ve heard this one, right? The saying that “there are no atheists in foxholes”. The thought behind this is that one would have to believe in a higher power to put one’s life on the line. This is simply not true as many atheists are in the military because they believe in their country and defending the lives and rights of their fellow human beings.
5)Some secularists are spiritual, even some atheists. Yes. You read it right. If you are curious and want more information, you can go to the atheist/agnostic forum.
6)Many secularists know just as much about religious texts, if not more so, than those who are religious because they studied them in detail during their journey away from religion.
7)Many of us have not “come out” yet because of the negative reactions we get, which seem to defy explanation.
8)We want the same things as most people want for their lives and for their family and friends.
9)Many didn’t just wake up one morning and decide “not to believe”. For those not raised in a secular household, it was a very long journey to get where they are. Some are still working through those emotions.
10)Most want religion out of government because 1) it is not in the constitution and 2) the Christian religion does not represent all Americans.