This speech I wrote for Debate club a few years ago underlines why atheists aren't evil.
| Since the beginning of recorded history, religion has been one of the defining features of culture. Nowadays, not nearly as many religions exist as did in the early stages of man’s development. In fact, recently, the fastest growing belief system in the United States is atheism, whose base has grown 12.5% since 1997. With the recent trend continuing, atheism has been brought into light more than ever. With this new attention, a lot of hatred from other religious groups is being made clear too. At first, the general consensus from the atheist community was that the hatred is based on the beliefs of atheists. As it turns out, based on personal research, most of hatred from other religious groups (particularly Christians in the United States) is based on a lack of understanding of how atheism works and why people become atheists, and in more extreme cases, ignorance and fanaticism.|
Atheists aren’t evil. That’s one of the biggest misconceptions of atheists from other groups. We, that is, atheists, don’t worship Satan, nor do we have no moral standards. Atheists don’t lack morals just because we don’t have gods to believe in. After all, Christians, Muslims and Jews all lack belief in dozens of gods; that doesn’t mean they have less morals for it. Another misconception about atheists is that they all had some terrible incident happen to them when they were young to turn them from believing. The opposite is actually true. Most atheists live happy, productive lives and contribute to society a great deal. Examples include Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, and Mark Twain. There can’t be many more than three or four generic differences between atheists and any other religious group. A quote from Stephen Roberts underlines the fundamental differences between atheists and other religious groups: “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” Although there is no specific doctrine that all atheists adhere to like a Bible or Koran, most atheists share philosophical similarities. For instance, many atheists are humanists, which just means that they think all humans have a worth until proven otherwise. Also, many atheists are big on science and experimenting to find answers in life. According to several surveys, about 70% of American scientists express disbelief in a god, with another 20% expressing doubt or claiming to be agnostic. The worst misconception about atheists, the one that attracts the most hatred from other groups, is that we hate Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. This is one of the most false misconceptions. The majority of atheists are actually very friendly towards other religious groups. What atheists think is that everyone should find what works for them. Atheists have already found what works. They usually just hate Christians, Muslims, and Jews who try desperately to convert them to their belief system. The worst kind of stay at home missionary is the kind that viciously threatens atheists with eternal hell-fire. These kind of people are despised by atheists, unless they are extremely tolerant.
I could write a book on the subject, but I don’t want to bore you. I just hope you understand now why atheists aren’t people that deserve loathing or disrespect. Atheists were disrespected enough during the middle ages and Inquisition.