T Nation

Why Some Rlgs Ppl Have No Respect?


Slightly ranty I know, but I just wondered if other people not of faith ever have to deal with this shit.

I'm not a religious person but I am fascinated by religion and have respect for anybody of faith, no matter who/what they believe in..

Now I try to live a good life. I'm honest, don't steal, help people whenever I can, have respect for other people and other cultures, races and genders (ladies, boys AND ladyboys)

The problem I have is when because I say the moral choices I make are based on my own core set of values, ie what I think is right, rather than religious doctrine or fear of God, I am often derided.

Why do many people of faith refuse to respect the choices of people not of faith? I know this is a generalisation but the vociferous few seem to be leading the charge against us.

How is it worse to still do the right thing when you know (not think, KNOW - in the same way others KNOW and not think that there IS a God) there is no deity looking down on you judging your every move?

I also have devout christian friends that go clubbing, treat women like shit, take every drug under the sun and STILL tell me that regardless of how I behave the fact I don't believe means that come judgement day I am bang in trouble.

By definition I would be a better Christian than them if actions counted more than saying I believed and still...

Seriously, these people tell me earnestly they worry for my soul - in between lines of coke - because they can apologise in church once a week and be let off.

Other quite devout people I know frequently tell me that I am missing something or searching for something because I don't have God in my life.

This I don't understand either.

How would they know? They, for the most part have never lived in any other way than with God in their lives and don't have a point of reference. To be honest, they're not always the most cheery of souls anyway and tend to act horrendously every once in a while, feel horribly guilty for a week, and then go back to telling others how they should live, eat, use their body etc..

I live a free life where every action I take and consequence of said action is bound not by the wrath of what I percieve to be an imaginary entity, but rather by my own values of right and wrong.

I have no-one to blame, no-one to look to, no-one to invoke but myself and maybe family. I think that makes me a stronger person. Others might disagree but then I'm not trying to convert you to atheism.

I appreciate this is a total rant but in this day and age if I can respect your right to believe in something I feel is totally made-up and was pretty much an ancient form of social control, why can't you respect the fact that my only faith is in me and in the people I love and trust?

Also, at what point did it EVER become a positive that someone is scared of something?

'Oh John's a great guy - A God-fearing christian'. Why is being God-fearing a good thing?

Also I love it when Christians laugh off Scientology saying - 'have you any idea how absurd that sounds? Thetons and aliens etc?'

Yeah... And the immaculate conception, walking on water and Lazarus suddenly getting a little better are all soo believable. If you believe what you believe in with no proof, you HAVE to respect other's rights to believe in other, equally outlandish stuff.

Not saying this to have a dig, but if I can accept your rights to believe in what essentially I feel is a crock of horseshit, I don't see why you can't stop being a Mr Butinski when it comes to me living me life and the way I choose to do it.


PS. Please don't think I am tarring all people of faith with the same brush. Everything I spoke of here came from personal experience and I have also met many wonderful people of all faiths.

Boy, girl, aforementioned ladyboy, christian, muslim, jew, gay, bisexual, sheesh erm.. goat fucker (as long as its consensual), black, white, yellow, green - It is my firm belief that all these distinctions can put to one side as the world is simply divided into two peoples.

The c***s and the non-c***s.

I try to spend my life getting away from being the former, though I still have my moments.


Oh boy, here we go...

I agree with everything but I am sure the flames will come from the usual suspects with hell fire and brimstone.


Do you really want to deprive people of the pleasure of damning you? That is so mean!


Fact is, 99% of all people who follow a certain religion do so because it has been more or less forced on them in the earliest childhood. What religion that is depends entirely on the partents religion. The religious fanatics, no matter if theyre christian or islamic or something else, have turned out that way because in early childhood their enviroment had told them to accept their religion as the only truth, and to never question its dogmas,theorys and prejudges, no matter how rediculous they are, or otherwise they are doomed to go to hell.

Now if you go to a diehard christian and question some of his rediculous value system or beliefs (like hell, ID, or the supposed evilness of nudity or cursing) they tend to get offended and arrogant. Dont waste your time to discuss with them. The only choice you have is to accept them, or laugh at them.


Ha Ha..

I'm sure too but it wasn't my intention.

I always figured that if your faith in something, anything, is strong then you should not have any problem with it being challenged. Not that even I've even done that - More I think that I was saying if I can leave you alone and respect your wacky decisions and life choices, why can't you do the same?

That said, it did make me laugh elsewhere on this site when someone wrote 'God can suck my dick'.

Whilst it's a good example of how little power those words have over someone not of faith, THAT was probably crossing the line. lol


Fella, I've got a WHOLE heap of other stuff to be damned for - surely they could lay off my lack of religion!


Good post but to be honest I'm not even talking about diehard banner-waving zealots. This is an attitude I've found in people from all walks of life in everyday scenarios. I was raised to have respect but also to question things and debate points to a)gain a further understanding of them and b)not appear ignorant.

This is all very Christian-centric but to be honest I never met a Bhuddist, Muslim or Jew that I couldn't get on with.

On that subject, and at the risk of increasing the flames (both here and in the afterlife!) I do have one question that might get me in hot water that I forgot to put in the original post. There's no barb here or attempt to denegrate your religion but...

Can someone explain to me how exactly Christ dying on the cross was for my sins and how it saved me?

Assuming for a sec that was all true - I just don't get it. What did it achieve?


The lack of respect goes both ways. Take a look at some of the responses to my thread Honest Question For Non-Christians. You hit on a number of the reasons that I started that thread. I can?t speak for others that claim the name of Christian. If we Christians we the example that we should be then we wouldn?t be having this conversation. It is said that ?you will be known by your fruit?. In other words, if you belong to Christ then what you produce will be proof of that. This does not refer to salvation, but to the image that you portray to the world. It could also point to that person?s salvation being false. Only God would know that. I would like to add that being ?good? does not get you in to heaven.

God Fearing = ultimate reverence

I respect your right to believe what ever you want. If your beliefs cause you to act in a way that is detrimental to the society that I live in then we get into the social/political arena. In that arena I will fight for what I view is right. I?m sure that you would do the same. This does not mandate or attempt to influence your religious beliefs.

Check out Honest Question For Non-Christians. It is an interesting read.

Me Solomon Grundy


I consider myself a "diehard" Christian and I would be glad to discuss any of the previously mentioned beliefs. You can PM me if you would like to.

Me Solomon Grundy


They don't know and have no right to judge you. So tell them to fuck themselves. I am a Christian, by the way, but no one who believes in trying to make people hate religion by driving it down thier throat or telling them they are going to hell. That's a sure fire way to make sure somebody will hate religion. As far as I am concerned, they can fuck off.


I think you and I are similar But an answer to one of your questions is bumper sticker mentality (Christians are not perfect but they are forgiven.)


Interesting question.

The way I see it, you can either believe or not believe. You can't, however, as a non-believer, force yourself or even make a conscious effort to believe. It's not like making a commitment to squat at least once a week, eat fruits or vegetables with every meal or do flexibility work regularly. Therefore, it seems rather strange having people judge others by the sole criterion of faith or the lack thereof. Why condemn someone for something that isn't even his fault?


I cannot believe the lack of respect shown by some of the athiests on this board including the OP. It goes both ways. Give respect and you will get respect.


I thought someone other than 1pack was the OP.

My apologies for the trolling comment.


Scott Adams puts it nicely in his book "God's Debris" (available for free here: http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/godsdebris/ ):

[i]"Look," I said, "four billion people believe in some sort of God and free will. They can't all be wrong."

"Very few people believe in God," he replied.

I didn't see how he could deny the obvious. "Of course they do. Billions of people believe in God."

The old man leaned toward me, resting a blanketed elbow on the arm of his rocker.

"Four billion people say they believe in God, but few genuinely believe. If people believed in God, they would live every minute of their lives in support of that belief. Rich people would give their wealth to the needy. Everyone would be frantic to determine which religion was the true one. No one could be comfortable in the thought that they might have picked the wrong religion and blundered into eternal damnation, or bad reincarnation, or some other unthinkable consequence. People would dedicate their lives to converting others to their religions."

"A belief in God would demand one hundred percent obsessive devotion, influencing every waking moment of this brief life on earth. But your four billion so-called believers do not live their lives in that fashion, except for a few."

"The majority believe in the usefulness of their beliefs -- an earthly and practical utility -- but they do not believe in the underlying reality."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. "If you asked them, they'd say they believe."

"They say that they believe because pretending to believe is necessary to get the benefits of religion. They tell other people that they believe and they do believer-like things, like praying and reading holy books. But they don't do the things that a true believer would do, the things a true believer would have to do."

"If you believe a truck is coming toward you, you will jump out of the way. That is belief in the reality of the truck. If you tell people you fear the truck but do nothing to get out of the way, that is not belief in the truck. Likewise, it is not belief to say God exists and then continue sinning and hoarding your wealth while innocent people die of starvation. When belief does not control your most important decisions, it is not belief in the underlying reality, it is belief in the usefulness of believing."

"Are you saying God doesn't exist?" I asked, trying to get to the point.

"I'm saying that people claim to believe in God, but most don't literally believe. They only act as though they believe because there are earthly benefits in doing so. They create a delusion for themselves because it makes them happy."[/i]


Hi Solomon,

Thanks for replying. Will check out the thread you mentioned properly but in the interim it looks like the broad smattering of T-Flamers you'd have gotten had you asked your bodyfat, albeit on a slightly more devisive topic. Will go through it in more detail later. Remember though that few people try to convert those of faith to atheism. The reverse cannot be said. ALso, an insult to what many perceive as a fictional character is no more rude than saying 'Ethan Hunt in MI3 is a pussy'.

It IS possibly disrespectful though, although no more so than the barrage of vitriol I have received in my time for believing only that which can be proved.

I think one of the problems is that you come from the point of view that it is a choice to not believe whereas it is in fact a choice to believe. No-one is born with a knowledge of God. It is taught/indoctrinated (delete as applicable) and to be honest, if I wanted to raise someone to believe day was night and green was blue I'm fairly sure I could do it. In addition, I think many people feel that there are many ulterior motives within the church - some political, some financial.

In my heart of hearts I feel it is almost a cop-out to put my life in the hands of a God, to believe what you do and shape your life around it accordingly, but as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else knock yourself out and have fun with it. Please don't take this as an insult. I mean that me not understanding how you can believe something that doesn't exist is esily the equal of your feelings towards people who don't believe in what you KNOW to exist. That said, I would fight for your right to have these beliefs and practice them.

It's where people of faith a)denegrate people who put their faith in more tangible concepts and b)start trying to enforce their will/way of life onto the rest of us that people begin to take issue.

Could go on for ages on this subject but as to the question you asked on that post re why I don't believe in God - Just in the same way I have found no reason to believe the laptop I'm typing on will abruptly sprout wings and fly away, I have found no reason to believe in the existence of God.

Do I believe Jesus existed? Yes. There appears to be enough evidence outside the new testament to suggest he lived.

Do I believe he was the son of God? No.

As for socio-political debate there IS an issue when the reasoning for a strongly held opinion is simply 'that it is against God'.

To me that is as absurd as saying I believe in the Chipmunks and that something is against 'Alvin and Theodore'. Many people of faith will never be able to comprehend how crazy their beliefs sound to us when laid out.

The power of the church as a political force is a dangerous one to people who believe that they are only answerable to themselves and their society rather than a God, who's motives and demands are ever-changing, depending on the agenda of whom you ask.

Relgion and politics have no place being in the same room. I for one take major issue with, for example, someone in power telling me that God told them to invade Iraq.

Once again, it's your life and you're free to do whatever you want - AS LONG AS IT DOESN'T IMPINGE ON ANYONE ELSE.

But to have random people state I lack something in my life, that I'm gonna burn in hell, that the little girl who got raped is a murderer for having an abortion - well it's all a bit off in my opinion.

My politics are of trying to do right by the most amount of people whilst balancing that against allowing minorites of all description the freedoms to practice their beliefs.

I feel that religion-fulled politics are about conformity, stamping out freedom of choice and frankly what Thou Shalt Not Do.

Going back to the God-fearing thing:

Why is fear an act of ultimate reverence? Surely love is...


You could say the same thing about proper diet and exercise.

Most people KNOW that proper diet and exercise will extend their life, improve their health etc. and don't do it.

This is not because they don't believe proper diet and exercise have great benefits.

Thanks for the link to the free book. I love his work.


Ha ha... I still believe in Jedis Zap!

Joke aside though, where was I disrespectful in my OP? It is not disrespectful to lay the belief of an atheist. It is not disrespectful to question why someone else takes issue with me, is it?


Interesting post Pookie although one that maybe has more resonance when discussing that other (and now very tired) atheist's argument and practioner's defence that people bending the doctrine of a particular religion to their own ends does not make the religion.

IE - Al Q'eada or the Christian Crusades of the middle-ages - which is topic for a WHOLE other thread!

Still - food for thought though.


You were not disrespectful but there have been so many disrepectful comments posted I jumped the gun a bit.

I would like the religious people to stop try to convert me and the athiets to stop insulting others beliefs.


Lol.. Kewl.

Dagh someone did it again. I write an epic post and someone comes along and sums it up in a single paragraph!