Question from Jake:
I would like to get out of the way I’m a Christian. I would like to know if there’s a code or something saying atheists need to ridicule religious people? I’m just fine that you’re an atheist because I believe God gave us free will so we should let everybody do what they want. I try not to be ignorant like a lot of Christians (I know you probably think I’m already because I beleive there’s a god but I try to know all the facts and things like that). I don’t condemn evolution as something the devil made up and in my opinion it might’ve been the way god made all the animals.
Answer by SmartLX:
There is no atheist code, period. Not believing in gods does not automatically mean you have to try and stop others from believing, or make fun of the religious, or do anything else for that matter. People who ridicule believers do so for their own reasons.
That said, many atheists do believe the religious would be better off if they no longer believed (and the non-religious would be better off if they were more numerous). It’s that idea that drives them to challenge religious beliefs. Ridiculing religious people directly is usually misguided and ultimately ineffective, but the beliefs themselves are fair game like any other idea. If they are well supported, believers should be able to defend them from attacks. If not, perhaps the beliefs are not worth holding.
You’re a Christian, so I realise that you think everyone needs to “get right with God” so they can go to Heaven. This may drive you to proselytise when you can, or discuss your faith with outsiders, or at least pray for souls to be saved and minds to be changed. You ultimately think atheists would be better off as Christians, regardless of how pro-active you are in that area. You likely also realise that some Christians go about converting people in dubious ways, such as violating constitutional separation of church and state or physically attacking those of other religions. I don’t assume that you condone these actions unless you say you do.
Likewise, some atheists can be dicks about it. Not everything done or said by every atheist is condoned by all atheists. If you want to know my opinion on a particular action or statement, whether actual or hypothetical, comment and ask or just look through what I’ve already written.
Question from Jake: