I'm supposedly one of the more "evil" and "immoral" persons in society (http://bit.ly/1aYDZ8) as a result of declaring that the holy books written during the Bronze Age might not be the best guide for living a moral life and that the claim to be written by a divine being is laughable.
The term atheist itself can be used in a derogative sense these days which is why prominent "new atheists" like Dr. Sam Harris discard the label by quite rightly pointing out:
"I think that “atheist” is a term that we do not need, in the same way that we don’t need a word for someone who rejects astrology. We simply do not call people “non-astrologers.” All we need are words like “reason” and “evidence” and “common sense” and “bullshit” to put astrologers in their place, and so it could be with religion" (http://bit.ly/Z2cGx)
Religion is simply man's first attempt at philosophy. People in the early days carried a fear of earthquakes, volcanoes, lightning storms, horrendous rain, tsunamis etc. These events carried no rational explanation when you are lying in the dirt with a 3 month old lifeless corpse in your arms. Imagine that you are one of an enlightened few in your tribe who was able to move away from an area afflicted by "mother nature" and thus see the expansion of your people in the next few years. Imagine the prosperity gained from a few years with no violent setbacks? How much weight would this person's opinion carry with the rest of the tribe? How much value would people have put upon this person as an authority? What supernatural powers would this person be able to claim?
How many times have we heard of a messiah in these Bronze Age times? We think, particularly in the Western world, that one such Messiah appeared some 2000 years ago in a backward, illiterate, Middle Eastern country and save the entire world (unintentionally missing out all of the countries that were not known to exist at that time like Australia, the Americas, all of the Atlantic and Pacific Islands, Antarctica etc). The Old Testament contained some prophecies about this Messiah and though many came before him Jesus was the most prominent simply because the symbol of the cross was used in battle by Emperor Constantine and, it just so happened, that the battle was won. This "luck" transferred into the adoption of the Christian religion across the Roman Empire and a few hundred years of darkness followed.
I do not need to point out to a Christian the absurdity of their belief system - that a man arose from the dead and you can too if you eat his flesh and drink his blood - but they will frequently explain why your own philosophy is wrong and especially when you don't want them to (http://bit.ly/lq2fKj). Christians should simply look at other religions and how odd their beliefs are. Then they should examine exactly how they reject the belief in gods/theologies which contradict their own. They should apply the power of reason and rationality to decide on what tenets of the faith they reject completely. They should then look at their own theology and work out exactly why someone of the other faith would reject it.
The faithful, it's worth pointing out, are Atheistic towards every other religion except their own. I simply go one god further.
it's ok to be an atheist... everybody is one