They go on and on about their philosophy, how they are so much better as people for what they believe, how they are more tolerant than others etc.
I’m speaking of course about Evangelical Atheists.
Here’s Urban Dictionaries definition of an Evangelical Atheist:
An evangelical atheist is one who not only believes there is no god or other supreme being, but is obsessed with convincing everyone around them to become an atheist too, usually through hard-line intolerance (the kind they accuse other religions of). When cornered they usually try to put down their opponent's religion and bash them for 'blind faith', not realizing that their belief that there is no god is no more or less valid or provable than the other guy's belief that there is one.
Not to be confused with normal atheists/agnostics, who for the most part just don’t talk about religion and accept the beliefs of those around them as their prerogative. Evangelical atheists are particularly common on the Internet, as organized religion is generally accepted as part of 'the system' of global human society, and lately it's become cool on the Internet to hate 'the system'. Mostly teen angst if you ask me...
Evangelical atheist: "Hi, I'm an atheist."
Other guy: "Cool, I'm Jewish."
Atheist: "YOU FOOL! YOU PRACTICE RELIGION LOL, YOURE A DUMBASS AND IM COOL BECAUSE IM AN ATHEIST. I SHALL NOW PROCEED TO EXPLAIN WHY BLIND FAITH IS DUMB, UNLESS IT’S BLIND FAITH IN ATHEISM WHICH IS A COINCIDENTAL EXCEPTION"
Other guy: "Shut it bitch, you're a dumbass"
Atheist: "BUT IM AN ATHEIST, WHICH MEANS IM ALWAYS RIGHT. AND IM NOT AN INTOLERANT PRICK LIKE ALL MEMBERS OF RELIGION ARE, HURR HURR HURR. "
If you watch any kind of public debate, or argument, and you have the option of shutting off the volume, I highly encourage it. After a while you’ll begin to notice similarities you wouldn’t have noticed if you only listened to people: how a person acts is just as important to what they believe and how they express themselves. For instance, if you were to look at this picture:
Would you assume that the speaker is a religious fanatic, a democrat, a welfare recipient?
Or a rabid atheist?
It's a rabid atheist calling for all religious people to be imprisoned. Here's the link
I first became aware of this phenomena when I worked in a store that was predominantly female. There was one employee who was quick to chastise and “teach” others her philosophy. She behaved very much like one of the elderly, interfering women of a church I had attended. Most of you might have an image already in your mind: the feeling of dread whenever the person was around, knowing that they would politely tell you what to do. I have seen this caricaturized in the Simpsons character Lisa Simpson (Many people think Ned Flanders is preach, but if you actually watch the show, you’ll notice that Ned mostly expresses what he feels he should do, or objects personally without interrupting others. Whereas Lisa is very vocal at telling people what they can or cannot do, especially to Homer. Right or wrong, Lisa is a busybody).
The churchlady I worked with was a very politically correct atheist. She was quick to tell you when an expression or behavior was inappropriate, would become offended on behalf of others (I have a racial history that I find amusing, and so do others. She did not), and generally poke her nose into other peoples business.
It wasn’t what she was saying. It was how she was expressing herself. And this is what I’m talking about when I mention Evangelical Atheists, or PC churchladies, or other seemingly oxymoronic statements. I’m not talking about what the persons saying, I’m showing how they are acting. A Christian and an Anti-theist can both act like assholes, regardless of their standpoint. A person can bomb a mosque without it being a religious reason. Heck, most of the hijackings that happened in the eighties were for political reasons, not religious ones. In fact, many of the acts of terror that occur today are for political reasons. But many won’t accept that because it’s become trendy to say that anyone who has a religious belief must be in some sense insane. That there never could be an insane atheist, because atheists are logical.
Like the Ancient Astronaut believers. Right?
(Brief aside here. Whenever I imagine an Anti-theist and an AncAst standing together, I get a little South Park image in my mind.
AncAst: There is no god! It’s not logical!
AncAst: We were created by aliens!
Atheist: Yea…wait, what?)
The Ancient Astronaut believers do not think we were created by any kind of supernatural god. They believe in science. And I think they are a beautiful example of how making a life choice dependant completely on the facts can be misleading. (Sadly, after reading much of their diatribes, the conclusion of aliens doesn’t seem very far fetched. I don’t agree with them, but I do find the idea tantalizing).
My point is that anyone can be an asshole, or an idiot. Religious people don't hold a monopoly on that.
"But that person doesn't represent me or all atheists!"
Right. And not every Westboro Baptist person represents my beliefs, either. Somehow I get lumped into their little group by the people I work with.