Is it normal that i have had many negative experiences with atheists online?

Okay I will try to not make this TOO long. I am suffering from serious hurt because of my long-term interactions with the people who always call themselves "atheists." I have had ALMOST NO positive experiences with them. I will tell you what they do in a minute. I will tell you a bit about myself first.

I have lifelong psychological problems. I am also an overly emotional sensitive person, even as a man (I think that my father was even worse.) I became far more mentally sick as a teenager and have struggled to this day with this issue- 15 years now since I began "fighting" this issue. I am not religious in THAT sense or believe in THAT sort of a God. I believe in certain things I call "spiritual truths." I do not try to do anything "negative" because of my beliefs. Such include trying to pass unfair laws because of these beliefs or force these beliefs on others (really it is atheists who force their beliefs on me, and it is always them and not me or others forcing them on me others.) I don't even seek out converts. My beliefs helped me feel better by giving me hope and making me less depressed when I was going through so much harm, pain, suffering, depression, hopelessness, grief and suicidal ideation. It was actually a spiritual/theistic practice (the violet flame) that has enabled me to heal some of my psychological problems, improved others greatly and overall made me better psychologically.

Now, to be more specific, I will get onto the "bad behavior" that I have encountered a lot online from atheists:

They do everything they can to bully me and bring me down. One atheist just kept on insulting all of us theists by saying things like "theists are less than human", "the religious are subhuman retards" and "theists are defects." I have been kicked out of religion discussion groups on like FB by simply being a theist. And theists there kept on saying how ridiculous it is to believe in God. I have used Omegle and Yahoo! Answers Religion & Spirituality section for a while and they are quite bad. The latter has been described by so many as "very toxic", "full of uncivilized users" and a "complete battleground."

Many atheists would also challenge my beliefs. But they wouldn't do so honestly, sincerely and unthreateningly. Even when I do show something like "evidence for the existence of God", they then STILL don't change their minds. Honestly, what do they want from us? We theists have even had the experience of being called "stupid" for believing in God, the atheists have said that they are smarter than us theists and told us that we "believe in an imaginary being." Those are all demeaning, hurtful, offensive, degrading statements that take away our humanity.

Very few atheists didn't behave this way towards me. No more than 10% certainly. Atheists are always on religious places there uninvited.

I am honestly really hurt and maybe even really angry now that this has happened years ago. Maybe I still have PTSD.

No I DID NOT seek out atheists. They have started conversations with me. I never had any negative intensions towards them, or anyone really. I have went online to nicely, politely, well-manneredly, respectfully and peacefully discuss spiritual topics because I like this sort of thing and believe it. I did not ask to be treated this way or have "provoked" someone.

So, is this normal? How often does this happen to other theists?

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Comments ( 25 ) Sort: best | oldest
  • I have most definitely witnessed this type of behavior from atheists online & I'm not religious. I definitely don't believe in a God (no offense meant).

    It's a strange phenom because quite a few atheists are guilty of the same behavior that they accuse religious people of perpetrating. Intolerance, condemnation, insistance that everone converts to their viewpoint, insulting language, complete confidence that they are right. Kinda hypocritical...just sayin!

    The thing is, there's so many people that happen to be atheist that absolutely do not behave this way. I think it's the nature of the internet to attract people with very extreme views on every subject because those are the types arrogant of people that really feel the NEED to disseminate their viewpoint, blather it everywhere & become intent on changing everyine's mind. The internet attracts those people like flies on shit because it's a huge opinion forum. The most outspoken gather anywhere they think their voices will be heard. Public soapbox, I guess.

    I see it on here all the time, regarding many issues. All conservatives are nazi racists. All liberals support communist ideologies & burn down buildings because BLM.

    It's absolutely obnoxious & the internet is plagued with it.

    If you feel attacked and maligned and challanged and victimized and painted as an awful human being because of your beliefs, I don't blame you for being upset.

    If it effects you so strongly that you feel you have PTSD, then you should absolutely get off the internet or limit your time online. It's not ok to continue engaging with something that makes you feel horrible.

    If it makes you feel any better though, I'm not religious, but I absolutely respect your beliefs. I'm against some aspects of certain organized religions (basically condemation/hatred stuff) but I'm not against your belief in God. I think a lot of religious people channel their beliefs into treating others with kindness & doing charity & that's fucking awesome. I respect that so much.

    Not every non believer hates you & thinks you're a retard. It's just the internet man. The loudest people are the crazy ones.

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    • Nice answer to my IIN question (I'm the OP)!! Honestly, I walk the spiritual path and it does me so much good. I became a better person, healed some sicknesses of mine (these were from a spiritual practices), became more moral and overcame some problems.

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      • I'm glad it brought you at least a little bit of comfort. Not all non believers are assholes.

        I honestly think a lot of it comes from the idea that religious people persecute or hate others and tend to force their beliefs on people. That is true of some religious people; that's also true of some atheists. I think you've experienced that.

        Anyone trying to bully other people into conforming to their viewpoint is messed up. Both sides are guilty of that.

        I'm so glad you've found peace & happiness in religion and it's had a positive effect on your life. That's wonderful.

        & just as a nice gesture, I'll do a little prayer to God for you even as a non believer. I don't think most religions would believe you'd get struck by lightning for that. I hope you don't get struck by lightning lol


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        • Thanks for your nice comment here sir/ma'am!! Too bad the small number of the "good" atheists like you do not make up (or even come close to) to the bad experiences I have had with them.

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    • screen addiction and outrage addiction are a real thing and nobody wants to even acknowledge the fact much less do fuckall about it

      theyre a problem

      and i aint above it either

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  • ive never had an atheist bangin on my fuckin door wakin me up to try and convert me to atheism

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    • But god forbid someone comments "ill pray for you" on a missing children's video on youtube. They will respond in droves about your sky fairy not being real lol

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      • do buddhists ever say 'ill meditate for you'?

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        • But meditation is different than prayer. It is like the opposite of prayer and goes within. Prayer is about helping out others and such and going "without". There are lots of Buddhist theists too.

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          • yeah why actually help someone when you can give them prayers that dont cost a dime

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            • The thing is, you can actually help someone and still pray. Not to mention that like Clunk42 said, sometimes there's nothing that can psychically be done, and praying is all you can do.

              For example, a family in my community just suffered a devastating loss. While we as a community are doing what we can to help in the areas we're able to help in, obviously we can't bring back whom and what were lost, and we can't take their pain away. In that situation, that is when prayer is all you can do.

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            • If my kid was missing i wouldnt be offended if someone prayed

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            • It's often the case that helping someone yourself is not a possibility. Asking God to help someone is always a possibility. Let's take the example stated above: a missing child. How can you help with that? Go to a place that's probably not even in your own state and set out in a search party? That is highly impractical and very unlikely to get anything done; most likely, it will have been a massive waste of time.

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    • This is honestly quite ignorant. Atheists are being intolerant and they DO seek out converts. They bully us believers so that they can "shame us out of our theism." Them doing so this negatively is like religion preaching "eternal hell" to control the population and earn money and land. Very negative and very fear-based.

      It is atheists writing books calling theism a "delusion" which is also bullying and intolerance (and trying to make theists atheists.) Theism isn't even a "delusion."

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  • That's sad to hear, people like that make all atheists look like angry buffoons, and they're entirely missing the point anyway. The only thing that really matters is that people are tolerant and nice to each other. So the only religions that atheists should have a problem with are ones that do discriminate. Otherwise, with people like you who don't excuse any religious discrimination, there should be no animosity held toward you at all. They could instead actually have a fascinating philosophical discussion with you about the origin of the universe and all that.

    And even with people who believe in discriminatory religious rules, getting angry at them is only gonna make them feel persecuted and drive them back to their religion even more. So that's just fucking stupid.

    I could understand if they were angry at you for stating that women should all wear hijabs or something like that, but it's strange that they'd get angry at you simply for having harmless beliefs. I'd even think that maybe they're angry because they secretly still believe in god deep down but are suppressing it because they don't want to believe, similar to how self-hating gay people are usually the most homophobic people there are.

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  • Unfortunately, I have seen this as well. If someone says something as simple as "Thank God" or "I'll keep you in my prayers", someone who wasn't even a part of their original conversation will go on a tangent about how there is no God, how prayer does no good, etc. But why? It's completely fine if you choose to believe that, but why is there a need to impose it on others who are not imposing their beliefs on you?

    I also don't understand when people say that people who offer thoughts and prayers are doing nothing to help the people those thoughts and prayers are directed to. Who is to say they're not simultaneously doing what they can to physically help, while also praying? Also, sometimes praying is all you can do, because the rest is out of your control. Not to mention that what good does bitching about thoughts and prayers do? I'm willing to bet that the people complaining about people offering thoughts and prayers offering no real help, are also doing nothing to offer any real help, themselves.

    I say, believe what you want to believe, or don't believe whatever you don't want to believe, and allow others the freedom of their choice. This goes for all sides.

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  • Most atheists are only like this when they first become atheists because they are angry about having been lied to for so long. That said, I was an atheist before I even had two digits in my age and I can still be like this.

    I'll be blunt about why: Religion is harmful to society overall. It's harmful primarily for two reasons:

    1. It stifles scientific progress, science that can save and better lives.

    2. Most religions reinforce and validate a lot of discrimination and immoral behavior.

    On science: The religious generally fail to understand that science isn't inherently for or against religion; science is in a sense merely the body of what is confirmed to be real. The second demonstrable scientific proof of any religion surfaced, that religion would then be considered part of science, but the opposite has been the case.

    Allowing religion to continue unchallenged for the sake of comfort in some practitioners wouldn't be a big deal if various popular religions didn't lead to constantly arguing about settled issues like vaccines, confirmed medical science otherwise, the shape of the Earth, evolution, etc.

    On moral issues: Religion also wouldn't be a big deal if it didn't constantly lead to reinforcement of sexism, homophobia, racism, etc.

    As much as I hate the views of users like Clunk, one thing I must credit him for is that he doesn't bullshit about what the texts say; fortunately, most followers of mainstream religions are now able to so sufficiently follow their own internal moral compass that they delude themselves about the awful things the texts say and employ cognitive bias so as to latch onto what they like and reject what they don't. A common argument is that the New Testament does away with the Old Testament. Rather, Jesus clearly states that he didn't come to strike a word from the old law but to fulfill it, and also that he doesn't come with peace but a sword. At a certain point you also have to ask yourself how much you would trust a book on mechanics that abruptly says halfway though that the first half was bullshit. Maybe it's time to find a more consistent book.

    I roll my eyes when I see social media posts condemning Republicans (who I violently disagree with, to be clear) for not being "real Christians" or not reading their texts. No, they're doing it better than any Democrats (who I usually agree with). The shit says what it says. The hate is called for. That said, the shit is bullshit.

    On psychological comfort: I said I would perhaps be okay with religion if it didn't impede scientific progress or promote outward hatred, but on one hand I have to question if that would be selfish of me.

    My mother was highly religious and surely thought that while I was a good, good boy and later man in her eyes that I would surely burn in Hell forever for questioning her god. I used to wrestle with myself about what I would do if her death was slow enough for me talk to her as she died. I was pretty sure I would tell her she was right all along, that only recently my studies of physics had revealed the truth of God and that she would surely see me in Heaven with her eternally. I would do this to add whatever comfort I could to her death process, which none of us know the extent of the suffering.

    On the other hand, I had to ask myself if this was the ultimate disrespect to my dying mother. So in turn, I began to ask myself if it was disrespectful to treat the religious as if I could honestly see their beliefs as any more rational than that of the belief in fairies, etc.

    As far as the living go, I eventually hit a point whereat the third topic became regardless because the stifling of scientific progress and reinforcement of terribly immoral, archaic beliefs was bad enough for me to firmly say it needs to go.

    It's no different than on here; I could act like I'm tolerant of pedos and raping dogs for the sake of letting others be, but I'm really fucking not.

    I am sorry for the stress this has caused you but I encourage you to see the /real/ light. If you think religion conforts you, wait until you see how comforting verified comforts are that you don't have to live seeing constantly disproven, which is what's stressing you now.

    Matter and energy can neither be created or destroyed, and information cannot be destroyed. This means anything you ever loved will always exist in spacetime. I wish you luck.

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  • People on both sides get too fanatic and too sure at times. I get why some atheist do that because there certainly are theist who go too far in the name of their religion, and refusing to think "regardless" of it can obviously cause some problems. They are not right in bullying you

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  • If my previous comment causes you any distress, feel free to tell me which aspects of the loss of religion would pain you the most and I can do my best to comfort you and offer consolation. You don't have to agree with me; it could just be consolation in the "what if I'm right" sense.

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  • Im also a "theist" I think. From what I've read it described my beliefs better than agnostic

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