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Atheist Meme of the Day: People Act on Their Beliefs

Scarlet letter Today’s Atheist Meme of the Day, from my Facebook page. Pass this on; or don’t; or edit it as you see fit; or make up your own. Enjoy!

“What do you care what other people believe?” is not a good argument against atheist activism. What people believe affects what they do — in ways that affect other people. Mistaken beliefs lead to poor decisions… decisions that don’t just affect the person making them. Pass it on: if we say it enough times to enough people, it may get across.

Comments

  1. llewelly says

    Total nonsense. Beliefs have nothing to do with behavior; they’re just picked out to fit in at social events. Like clothes.

  2. says

    Llewelly, there used to be people who think like you in the Justice Department. They said, “Nobody could believe the crap that David Koresh is saying- hit him hard, and he’ll fold like any other criminal.” So they sent the tanks in at Waco. Doubting the sincerity of believers can be fatal for both the believer and the unbeliever.

  3. David D.G. says

    llewelly wrote:

    Total nonsense. Beliefs have nothing to do with behavior; they’re just picked out to fit in at social events. Like clothes.

    Hardly. The Red Queen might deliberately believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast; but for most of us, belief doesn’t work that way.
    “Belief” actually can be shorthand for two things: things we think are factual, and personal values.
    If you can just choose to believe in any of several mutually exclusive “facts,” moving from one to another as the mood suits you without regard for objective reality, then I fail to see the difference between your perception of reality and that of a severely schizophrenic person off his meds.
    On the other hand, if you can change your values as blithely as the wind changing direction, that is called hypocrisy. It might give you an advantage in politics, but it still wouldn’t be anything to brag about.
    Behavior reflects beliefs in both senses — both our values and our understanding of reality. People who have a distorted view of reality and/or distorted values (especially if they are linked) tend to behave accordingly, and this causes problems all around.
    ~David D.G.

  4. says

    If only religion were really private and personal, there would be no need for confrontationalist atheists. As long as we have public policy based on theology, religion will be a public issue that warrants public debate.

  5. llewelly says

    Joel Monka , David D.G. , my apologies. I was being sarcastic. In the future I will try to be more careful with my sense of humor.

  6. David D.G. says

    Thanks, llewelly! I’m sorry that I didn’t recognize your sarcasm, but I am glad to know that you weren’t serious.
    ~David D.G.

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