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'Village Atheist Syndrome'


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« on: August 15, 2009, 08:17:20 pm »
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Have you ever met a "village atheist"? You'd know if you had - such a person is an atheist and a freethinker, but they can also be highly aggressive, intolerant, and even abusive when people disagree with them. Quite simply, they "don't play well with others" and are difficult to deal with on a number of levels.

Perhaps the most obvious symptom is an inability to compromise, to get along with others. This is first noticed in board meetings of humanist and free thought groups where the village atheist is attempting to get his/her way. ... Apparently when the individuals with a proclivity for the syndrome find themselves among what they had believed to be like-minded free thinkers, they are both shocked and appalled to find that others disagree with them, often on major issues. This disagreement is marked by what can be only called anti-social behavior, a clear mark of the village atheist syndrome. In order to get their way they nit-pick everything to death, and if outvoted at one meeting will come back at the next and start over again.

Rejecting religion, however, was usually not an easy thing for the village atheist since it meant breaking with their family and loved ones. In many cases the trauma is so severe that the break with the family remains irreparable. Since they are so conscious of what their own commitment to free thought has cost them, they find it difficult to accept those who arrived at a free thought pattern more casually, or at least without the trauma they feel they suffered.

http://atheism.about.com/b/2005/02/04/village-atheist-syndrome.htm


A few psychologists have suggested that the village atheist syndrome could be classed as a form of 'obsessive compulsive behavior.'
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