20 Misconceptions Christians Have About Atheists

Misconceptions and myths always cloud our judgment of people, especially when they differ or don’t follow the same belief systems. This is why atheists are often misunderstood and why stereotypes about them continue to spread. Given that, we’ve gathered the top 20 things that Christians usually get wrong about atheists to help our society foster mutual respect and understanding despite people’s differences in religion.

Atheists Have an Obsession With Science

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Yes, atheists thrive on scientific, rational, and reasonable experiences. However, this doesn’t mean they are obsessed with science itself. In fact, there are a lot of atheist scientists who disagree with the notion that science is the only answer or the only way to understand the world and how it works.

Atheists Are Immoral People

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Christians believe the Bible and God’s teachings are our way to become good, moral beings. However, the same is not true for atheists, who think we, as humans, are capable of doing good even without the teachings of God. It’s solely and mainly because of this reason that many Christians believe atheists don’t have any morals when, in reality, this observation is not accurate.

Atheists Are Very Close-Minded

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Though many scientific studies contradict each other, Baylor psychology students found that religion significantly contributes to one’s close-mindedness. They noted that “religion may lead to more close-minded interactions” and that “religious influences tend to increase the bonds within the in-group, and the out-groups are further ostracized.” Given this, atheists should be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their openness regarding different belief systems.

Atheists Hate God

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Atheists don’t hate God, nor do they hate religion. They simply don’t believe in these things and, therefore, don’t care for them. Their indifference may be seen as hate by religious people, but to atheists, there isn’t any bad blood. Pew Research shares, “Almost all US atheists—98%—say religion is not too or not at all important in their lives.”

Atheists Are Going to Hell

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Many believe that Christians employ numerous fear tactics to make people believe and adhere to their teachings, and one of the ways they do this is by saying non-believers will end up in Hell. Additionally, people think Christians instill fear in atheists this way because they believe it’s unfair that they have to live by a specific standard indicated by the Bible while other people, such as atheists, are free to live life their own way. Ultimately, it’s a kind of pent-up frustration that manifests itself outward.

Atheists Worship Satan

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Christians believe that not believing in God is blasphemy in and of itself. In many ways, they simply cannot understand why other people—atheists—don’t believe in any higher being. Therefore, they equate atheists’ so-called blasphemous non-belief to worshiping Satan.

Deep Down, Atheists Believe in Christianity

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There are many religious blogs and articles out there that claim that even if atheists say they don’t believe in God, deep down, they still believe in Him. Answers in Genesis explains, “The fact that an atheist’s disbelief in God sometimes becomes their entire identity shows that there is more to it than casual disbelief.” However, some would argue that this is a far reach. Sometimes, we have to accept that other people are different from us, and that’s okay!

Atheists Are Out to Destroy Any and All Kinds of Religions

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There are times when atheists discussing their views may seem as if they want to destroy other religions and beliefs. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation explains, “Most contemporary atheists do believe that religion is pernicious and that the world would be better off without it.” However, though they believe that religion is unnecessary, they don’t outright act on their beliefs by doing damage to religious structures or by harming religious people.

Atheists Are Not “Normal” People

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Though many religious people think atheists are close-minded, it seems that these judgmental people are even more close-minded than the atheists they are criticizing. This is because a lot of avid believers think atheists are not normal people. In fact, there are some users on online platforms like Quora who ask what atheists eat, if they have families, if they have pets, and more. Atheists are normal people like you and I, and we are all humans; they don’t deserve to encounter irrational demonization such as this.

Atheists Have No Reason to Live

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We, as humans, all stand for something—we all live for something. If you’re a believer, then yes, your purpose in life could be to serve God, but just because someone is a non-believer doesn’t mean they have no reason to live. This misconception is amplified by many religious blogs, such as Reasonable Faith, which says, “If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed; like prisoners condemned to death, we await our unavoidable execution. There is no God, and there is no immortality, and what is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd; it means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value, or purpose.”

Atheists Deny Any Spiritual Experiences They Might Have Encountered

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Christians can easily fall into the flawed thinking that atheists deny everything spiritual, including spiritual encounters or experiences. However, most atheists are open-minded and receptive to different experiences—be it spiritual or not. They might not be able to explain it immediately, nor would they attribute it wholly to God, but it doesn’t mean they’re closed off to these kinds of things.

Talking To Atheists Is Futile

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Believers can easily fall into the thinking that conversing with atheists is futile. However, instead of avoiding relationships with them, believers should talk to atheists with clarity, confidence, and acceptance. Get Principles explains that it’s wrong for Christians to think that atheists are ridiculous; because of this, it’s equally wrong for them to mock or belittle others. Atheists can be very smart, sincere, and good-hearted; even if they’re not, Christians should act how they were taught—to accept and love others regardless of their differences.

Atheists Hate Religious People

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Just because someone doesn’t believe in the things you do doesn’t mean they hate you. We are all different people with different upbringings, values, and beliefs. In fact, atheists rated Christians, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists relatively high—as favorably as they did with other atheists. This means that atheists hating religious people is a grossly exaggerated misconception.

Atheists Are Unhappy and Miserable Humans

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This goes hand in hand with Christians’ belief that atheists are living life with no purpose. However, this isn’t true—nor is it accurate. Christians can be equally miserable or unhappy, depending on how they live life. Sometimes, happiness and misery are all about perspective, and if Christians aren’t happy following their church’s teachings, then wouldn’t that make them more miserable than atheists happily going about life on their own terms?

Atheists Are Incapable of Loving Someone

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No matter what god you believe in—even if you believe in nothing at all—one thing remains true: you are a human being capable of love. Love isn’t tied to just one religion, and true Christians should understand that someone’s capacity to love isn’t tied to their belief system. In hindsight, Christians should understand that humans—believers or non-believers—are all created in the image and likeness of God, and, therefore, people are capable of love, even if they are apart from God or don’t believe in Him. American Atheists also says, “Because our nervous systems are imprintable, we are able not only to fall in love at first sight, we are able to love objects and ideals as well as people, and we are able to love with variable intensities.”

Atheists Are Pushy and Want Others to Think Like Them

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This misconception couldn’t be further away from the truth. Atheists, after all, just want to live life on their own terms. Yes, they don’t believe in God or religion, but it doesn’t mean they are constantly pushing this thought on others. On the flip side, Christians are notorious for being self-righteous and wanting others to believe in the same things as them.

Atheists Just Want Others’ Attention

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This misconception is simply unfair, as it could easily be said that you’re a practicing Christian just because you want to gain others’ attention. In fact, it’s also one of the main misconceptions about Christianity. Yes, some atheists may want you to rethink or reconsider your beliefs, but it’s wrong to jump to the conclusion that they’re doing this simply for selfish reasons.

Atheists Are Just Rebelling Against Their Upbringing or Their Parents’ Beliefs

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This statement oversimplifies the thought process and research atheists do when thinking about religion. Though they don’t believe in it, that doesn’t mean they don’t know anything about it. In fact, they are known for doing extensive research on religion and related topics just because they thrive on finding rational answers to things.

Atheists Reject God Because of a Personal Negative Experience

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While this can be true for some, the things that push atheists to become atheists shouldn’t be generalized. After all, atheists have done extensive research and know a lot about the God we know and everything related to Him. They might have found rational or even scientific answers to questions we believe can only be answered through faith.

Atheists Belong to an Anti-creationist Cult of Science

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No group should ever be generalized, and the same goes for atheism. Atheists have different reasons for choosing to be non-believers, and stereotyping them into an anti-creationist cult of science is unfair, unfounded, and unjust.

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Author: Karen Danao

Bio:

Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

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