I think I’m right so you’re stupid
In terms of religious beliefs I think of myself as an agnostic working under atheist assumptions. I’m an agnostic because I don’t have the chutzpah to assert that small, short-sighted, fallible me somehow knows that there can’t be something powerful enough to escape my notice. Maybe God just manifests himself as neutrinos which easily escape my notice. I also don’t care to search for a God so I need to direct my life somehow. I assume there isn’t a God because that seems like a logical premise that matches my observations.
The key for me is that I’m willing to come right out and state that I don’t know what I’m talking about. My assumption that there isn’t a God is based purely on rhetoric, not on scientific, mathematical, or other proof. Because I don’t actually know anything about the subject matter I’m hardly in a position to tell others that they are wrong.
I’ve seen a lot of pro-atheist hate on the Internet over the last few months and frankly it makes me sad. Many articles and postings are targeted specifically at Christianity and are in the vein of, “Hey, look at this silly thing that these Christians believe!!” except there’s more lolspeak. Many atheists that you encounter are such because they’re lashing out against a set of beliefs that were thrust upon them. Don’t they see that their ridicule is no different? Ridicule serves three purposes: to make the giver feel artificially superior, to make the receiver feel artificially inferior, and to try to change the behavior of the receiver. The first two are of no merit, the last is exactly the kind of thing the “lashing out” atheists started lashing out against to begin with.
I think these self-serving atheists would do well to actually make friends with some Christians and see how that goes. The Christians that I know are fallible people who have found something that guides them toward being a better person and helping those in their community. The news reports child molestations, prayer in place of medical services, and other ways that any religion can be used incorrectly. But the news also reports terrorist bombings, natural catastrophes, and disease outbreaks. If any of these things were commonplace they would be normal and not newsworthy. You seldom see a news report about a school bus that collects all the children and gets to school without incident because that is what normally happens - it’s what you would expect. In the same vein, most Christians are normal, boring people who do normal, boring things except they try to better their lives and the lives of those around them.
I suspect a lot of loud-mouth atheists who like to tell others that those people’s beliefs are false on the Internet are really closet atheists. On the Internet they’re happy to spout off about their intellectual superiority. I bet when they’re with their friends who aren’t atheists they keep their mouths shut because they know that such behavior is asshole behavior. They’re content to be an asshole on the Internet when no one knows who they are but in person they’re afraid of being a dick (which they would be).
To the smarter-than-thou atheists I issue this challenge: prove that atheism brings more benevolence on a door-to-door basis than any major religion. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an atheist bake sale to raise money for a local school. PTA bake sales seem to do that just fine without religious dogma attached. Personally I believe that religion is like color, gender, and nationality in that it has less to do with one’s behavior than a person is raised and their own character.