Oh, how the coin spins in the air. Two sides, oblivious that they are only different in the direction they are facing. I often cringe at the self-righteousness of faith based arguments meant to tear down a person or action simply because of their general frustration towards the world or their fight to keep the denial alive.
It seems that I risk favoritism when I wave my empathy stick around and complain about Christians if I don't take a moment to explicitly point out: atheists are assholes, too. Simply not proving something is not grounds to form a scientific law that it is untrue. Having logic on your side does not give way to some otherwise unattainable right to strike down those who disagree.
In fact the basis of science is that the pursuit of knowledge is never complete. It is ever changing, and therefore there is no such thing as 100% truth. You cannot logically prove there is no God. Stop saying you can.
Based on this, I declare atheism a religion. It takes faith to truly believe with all out certainty that the God that other religions speak of is an "imaginary friend". Sorry, just like Christians, Jews, and all the others, you have a right to believe what you believe, but don't think for a minute you are any different.
I often find the religious argument in the comments section of news articles. They illustrate a common problem that spans all major divisive topics: most people who comment on the articles are pushing their own agenda onto a case they know little about aside from the article itself.
Based on prejudice, faith, and a severe lack of empathy, they strike down a person and those who identify with the person. This causes a group of people who otherwise would be open to discussion, to dig in their heels. And what we are left with is two radical sides with opposite, yet equally irrational arguments with no hope of resolution.
When you do this you are perpetuating further division due to a prejudicial and selfishly presumptuous take on a particular incident that you decided to make your flagship battle du jour. It is abused by politicians to garner support (and money), and it is a main cause when ignorance and absurdity prevail.
This was true with the Trevon Martin case, this was true with the Kerry v. Bush election debacle, this was true with the financial collapse, and it is true with the religion debate.
I saw it at Occupy Wall Street. Normal folks were threatening personal harm to individuals who were in charge of the large financial companies. Stock brokers, some of whom supported the addressing of underlying issues which gave birth to Occupy, were spat on as they walked into their places of work.
I see it with every news story I read. On TV, news sources use this for greater ratings, constantly pushing in our face some private individual's extreme view, or polls on how society "feels". Even worse, having an op-ed show that mistakes anger, intolerance, and conformity for compassion and conviction.
If you were truly a champion of empathy, truth, and logic, there would be no striking down. No extrapolating from a small amount of information to drum up an argument for your case. Debate and discourse for sure, but none of this ridiculous hatred that snowballs into disastrous events and slows down humankind's progress.
So Atheists, I feel you, but understand that a lot of what angers you about the overtly religious are largely no different from actions you, yourself, are committing. Stop it; You should know better.
Save your resolve for moments when faith-based agendas are used to create legislation that impacts us directly. There is where we are in danger. There is where people spit on our constitution and the intention of a democracy that declares separation of Church and State. There is where we hold up high the freedom to have whatever faith and belief we wish, but never the right to enforce those beliefs as law based purely on faith and the absence of logic.
It is not whether or not some guy has the right to use the word "miracle". It is whether we have the right to tell him he can't, that puts us in danger. It is not whether a person should be allowed to pray in a school, but whether or not we allow public institutions to make it policy to have a mandatory official prayer.
Yes, you have the right to say whatever you wish, about whomever you learn about in a news article or community gossip, but my point is it's stupid to do so. It makes you an asshole and It's hypocritical. It furthers, not hinders, the opposing side's resolve.
So if your goal is to persuade, then you are not using the right strategy. If your goal is to blow off steam or be noticed for your brilliance, do us all a favor and write in your journal instead. Yes, it is not lost on me that perhaps I should take that advice as well… and perhaps I will. [It was this paragraph that caused a brief break in this blog]
"I don't know," is the only true statement. The rest is opinion and open to debate.