Atheists and religious folks often clash, but do they have more in common than meets the eye? There are many ways in which both communities respect one another - from the music, to communities, to asking questions that provoke deep thought.
Anathoth1994 asked atheists of Reddit, what is one thing you admire about religion? Religious people of Reddit, what is one thing you admire about atheism?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
10. It's really not that hard.
As a devout Christian, I admire that you never see atheists who are only acting like decent people because they think it's the only way to get to heaven or avoid hell. They will just be good people.
9. God's music is really something.
A lot of religious music is absolutely, hauntingly beautiful. I will gladly sing along even though I don't believe in God.
8. Faith without evidence or reason is blind.
As a Christian, I admire Atheists' need for logical explanation.
As an atheist, I admire religious people's ability to have faith. I sometimes wonder what being able to have faith is like as I'm a person that needs a logical explanation for everything. Faith brings people (or at least it seems like it does to me) great comfort and ease of mind.
Having faith is essentially hope without regard for the outcome. A Christian mother and an Atheist mother both desperately want their stillborn to be birthed alive. An atheist mother might hope that doctors got it wrong and the baby is infact alive, while the Christian mother might have faith in god stepping in.
7. Architecture is quite breathtaking.
As an atheist I admire the passion and effort that went into the great religious buildings of the world.
Yep, as an atheist I was really sad to see what happened to Notre Dame - and was super relieved when I heard the damage to the rose windows and the organ were minimal.
6. Religion provides few real answers, though.
I appreciate atheists' willingness to ask questions and work through the things that challenge them about faith. I'm a believer so obviously we don't come to the same conclusions, but I think too many of my brothers and sisters bury the stuff about their faith that they struggle with. That can both hurt their walk and make them come off as sanctimonious. I say that because that was me, once upon a time. Some days, it still is. It's a work in progress.
Matthew 7:7 says "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Too often believers don't want to ask tough questions, but I think it's important to do so. If the Christian God is who He claims to be, I have to imagine He can handle honest questions from someone seeking to understand.
5. Doing good doesn't require faith.
Christian here. I really admire the fact that many athiests try to do good things for the community (like service projects, volunteerism, fundraisers) because they truly care and want to be a good person all on there own. To clarify further, many Christians are also like this, but I feel a good majority are like this because their church told them they should do it because it pleases God, or they want to go to Heaven, or their small group was doing it and they want to fit in. Granted some Athiests do good things to pat themselves on their back via social media, but many others do it because they feel its the right thing to do snd aren't trying to benefit themselves in some way. Thats the sign of a truly good person.
This. So much of this. I find that an atheist, that does what needs to be done to help the poor, the weak, the vulnerable and the sick, is far more of God than the people who show up to Church every Sunday and do nothing more than that. If God is just --and I believe Him to be-- He will let those Atheists in to heaven far before any self-righteous yet un-righteous Christians faster than I can say "Bob".
That people who believe the world to exist by happenstance and to mean nothing in the end still strive to do the Lord's work, well, that's beyond admirable.
4. There's still no *proof* of an afterlife, but hope can't hurt.
I'm atheist and my grandma was extremely religious. My uncle (her son) died a few years ago and it about killed her. She ended up getting diagnosed with leukemia and given a slim chance to survive. She was 100% fine with it because in her mind she was going to see her son and sisters in heaven. I wish I could have that.
The only time my lack of religion has bothered me is when my mom died. Suddenly I was jealous of those people who believe in an afterlife where they will see their loved ones again. I didn't have that luxury. And it was painful.
Thats absolutely beautiful, the peace some religious people can find as a result of their beliefs is something I actually admire.
3. End of life bonanzas.
Some religions have elaborate death/ funeral rites that last for about a month, followed by a prayer to mark the first year of death.
Close family, as well as members of the community are required to attend these.
This results in a situation where the grieving family is constantly surrounded for at least a month before they can resume their normal life.
I personally would rather have something like this, than have 1 memorial service and then be immediately be left alone.
On the other hand, coming from a religious family whilst not being religious makes funerals really hard. When everyone else is talking about heaven and singing songs and making prayers they all take pleasure and solace from while you're standing alone feeling worse than ever it's not great.
The arts resulting from religion.
This is a huge one. Also, the sheer preservation that came from it. People only learned to read so they could read the Bible, and since they were the only people who could read, they were the only people who could write, and so we have them to thank for a good amount of documented history from the middle ages.
1. Religions' senses of community.
As an atheist, I admire that religion can provide a source of strength, community, and hope for people. Through religion, people find the courage and hope to continue a mundane or excessively taxing existence. People also develop life-long friendships and support communities through church groups and other religious organizations.
I believe these aspects are important to have in one's life. If religion can provide that for some people, then I think that's a great thing.
That's the reason my aunt who was a lifelong atheist joined a church in her later years. She had moved to a small town and even though I recall she had always been an atheist during my growing-up years she joined a church in that town.
She never mentioned her atheism, and I suppose they never asked. I suppose they simply assumed she believed.
I think she joined purely for pragmatic, mental and emotional health, and social safety reasons. And by all accounts it was extremely good for her on all those fronts.
Life can be full of scary things, including fatal injuries or situations. That's why it's so important for human beings to tap into their creative side, and listen to other human beings.
Redditors are a great example of creative and information-sharing human beings. They've posted many, many crazy facts that could actually save a life!
We have Redditor hazard35 to thank for this, who asked:
"What are some real but crazy facts that could save your life?"
Call The Hospital
"Not too crazy but if someone is acting drunk but didnt had any alcohol, ask them to smile, if one side of their mouth is down, take them to a doctor cause they are having or will have a stroke"
"If you sit down to sh*t in prison, remove one foot completely from your pants so you can get up and fight if attacked."
"Car jacks are for lifting, not holding."
"So f*ckin true. The amount of people that go under their cars while its on a jack is astounding. Jack stands arent even that expensive; there is no excuse to not have them"
Sweating Your Life Away
"If you find yourself stranded in a desert, ration sweat, not water. Of course don’t drink all of your water in one go, but the rate a which you’ll dehydrate and overheat if exerting yourself (e.g. walking/hiking too fast or climbing over obstacles in the heat of the day) will kill you much quicker. Many people are found dead, with water, which is terrifying."
"Teabags stop bleeding. They have an acid called tannic which is a natural clotting agent."
Disaster Is Coming
"If the forest suddenly falls silent stop and listen. More often than not it means apex predator is near."
"Or earthquake or some other natural disasters is incoming QUICK. This happened to me before a 5.(something) in California. The forest got deathly silent, creeped the hell outa me."
In The Meantime
"A non-permeable snack bag, like a potato chip bag, and duct tape can be used to seal a sucking chest wound long enough to get the victim to a hospital."
"Would imagine though, it would be best to ensure the side covered in flaming hot cheeto dust is on the outside"
""Dude your breath totally smells like cool ranch""
""Drive me to the hospital a**hole""
"If you see a male who’s been in an accident and he has a massive b*ner; then he likely has spinal damage. You should not move him in the slightest, unless otherwise directed."
"If your house smells like fish for absolutely no reason, 9 times out of 10 it means that there is an electrical fire. The other time it means you need to take a shower."
"If it’s cloudy outside and you suddenly feel static run down your body and your hairs raise. Better pucker them cheeks and drop to the ground. Lightning is about to hit dangerously close to you."
I just learned 10 new facts that will help me to save a life. Of course, I hope I never have to!
Life is full of social situations, and social situations call for certain rules of behavior. Professional dinners require professional clothing, in retail, the customer is always right, and when you're with other people, you should be bubbly and outgoing, not quiet and reserved.
The thing is, some of these rules and behaviors are ridiculous, and just stress people out.
There are plenty of behaviors that aren't considered socially acceptable, but should be.
"What is something that is considered socially unacceptable, however honestly shouldn't be?"
Death Is Not Happening
"Tell folks you’re dying and they’ll find ways to pretend that you’re not. It’s weird."
"Man, I still remember when I was like 22, my cousin asked if he could come see me, and I said sure come on over at like 2. I was so excited for him to come over, I bought snacks and beer, and set up both my xboxes and tv's in the living room so we could hang out and game."
"He showed up and he explained he's having a hard time because his biological dad OD'd and it was up to him as next of kin to decide whether to pull the plug. My cousin didn't even know the man. He was absent from his life since before day one."
"I didn't know what to do, so I offered him some Dorito's and a controller."
"I still panic thinking about the fact that he came to me for help and I just shut down."
Maybe I Just Don't Want A Drink
"In my country (especially on the island I am from) it is considered an offend by most people when you refuse the drink they offer you."
"It doesn't matter if you have to drive (and it's obviously illegal to drink and drive) or already feel drunk and don't want to drink any more."
"This shouldn't be a thing... People should respect others when they wish to stay sober."
"Me and my husband have found a way around it though. We always carry a pack of medicine and whenever someone tries to pressure us into drinking we show it and be say "sorry, I am on medication for my tooth and it shouldn't be mixed with alcohol". That seems to do the trick... (it's a good excuse if any of you people need to avoid drinking, that's why I am sharing it, sorry if it's off topic)"
Rude Does Not Equal Right
"Calling customers out on poor behaviour."
"I got fired for this last year after I had had it from all older customers berating me after the holidays"
"Fr. They gotta make some kind of law that states that service staff cant be fired for standing up for themselves and not taking sh*t from customers"
Isn't Honesty The Best Policy?
"Telling someone you don’t want to go or do something without making up an excuse. We all sometimes just “don’t feel like it.” That is ok!!!
EDIT: Woah… glad so many of you can relate. And of course, thank you everyone for the awards!"
"Or leaving a function when you feel like it."
"I was wing-woman on a double date with my friend and two guys I couldn’t have been less interested in. We did dinner and then ended up at a bar. I said I was leaving and they protested but I left anyway. My girlfriend texted me after saying “I had to lie and say you didn’t feel well”. Like why? We’d been together for hours by that point and I wanted to leave. It’s that simple!"
Date Me Because...
"Being honest about your intentions while dating"
"This one blows my mind. People I would otherwise respect will lie, pressure or coerce the opposite sex in order to get laid and then laugh it off like it was the other parties fault for making it out to be such a big deal. When I've brought this up with friends as "not cool" it just makes people uncomfortable and I am told to lighten up."
"“I’m looking for companionship but I’m okay with sex on the first date or even a one night stand, I’ll just get that out in the open. But if I’m with you, then I’m with only you.”"
You Don't HAVE To Ask
"Hi, how are you?"
"I'm tired as sin and my back hurts."
"Oh, uh, ok."
"Like, don't ask if you're not ready for an honest answer. When I ask someone what's up, and they say for example, that they are sad. I'll then ask them if they need any help. Yet when I give an answer that isn't the same old stupid song and dance, I'm looked at like I just said I want to rub peanut butter on mailboxes."
Working, Not Playing
"Treating work like just work. I like my work and get along great with my colleagues - at work. But I just don’t want to go out for drinks afterwards, have team events, Christmas parties and whatever. Work. Get paid. Have life outside of work with other people."
"To be clear, I don’t want to cancel social events at work. I just want them becoming very explicitly optional, with no weird looks for not attending."
"To piggyback, mandatory work potlucks and now you have to go buy groceries to make extra to feed people you don’t care about. Or you’re not a team player. I just want to eat my sandwich in my car okay"
"“But we’re a family!”" 🤢
Oh, My Aching Legs
"Staff sitting down while on the job (like cashiers)."
"I know this is generally a North American thing, but "socially acceptable" isn't generally something globally universal."
"I’m a cashier and let me tell you, it’s mentally draining. Also, what about people who work in an office? Writers? Receptionists? There are plenty of sit down jobs."
It's Just Sharing Information
"Discussing salaries / finances. Such a ridiculous taboo. If people knew how little or how much their peers make, employers would have a much tougher time lowballing salaries or offering poverty level wages. It (theoretically) eliminate the whole “keeping up with the Jones’s” mentality, as well. If you’re not trying to one up everyone, it would be less likely to live beyond your means."
Me, Myself, & I
"Going to movies/ concerts/ sporting events/ restaurants/ etc alone."
"You should be able to go out and enjoy things without needing friends/ someone else to be there with you."
"Especially movies? Why do you need someone to join you to sit in silence and watch a film? That taboo never made sense to me"
I'm in full agreement with that last one. I go to diners and movies by myself all the time. Me time is the best time!
Ideally, everyone should try to get at least eight hours of sleep.
But for some people, that simply isn't possible.
Be it having multiple jobs at varying hours, children waking you up every hour, or being plagued by insomnia, some people will simply have to do their best with what little sleep they can get.
But, how do they do it?
And better yet, should they be doing it?
Redditor Neftroshi was eager to learn the answer to these questions, leading them to ask:
"People of reddit who survive on less than 8 hours of sleep, how?"
One Does What One Must
"Hatred and the need to pay bills."- Inside_Ice_6175
"Hate myself, decide I'm going to bed earlier tonight, fail, repeat."- cmac4ster
Two Easy Steps
"Step 1 : ignore all the cries for help your body releases."
"Step 2: there is no step 2."- Lacrus314
We'd All Like To Know...
"I have a co-worker who is a cleaner in a psych hospital who is 50, only works nights and says she only sleeps 3 or 4 hours a day."
"Don't know how she does it."- weezybreezy747
You Find Ways Of Compensating.
"I do this neat little trick where I borrow a few hours from the end of my life every time I don't get enough sleep."
"Been doing it for years and I don't see any potential problems or downsides."- MatTheScarecrow
"I remember one time in my life were I woke up feeling fully refreshed and I've never forgot that moment ever since."- Able_Visual955
Just Act Like It's Not An Issue
"I usually get somewhere between 5-7 hours sleep, there is a constant feeling of tiredness but at some point you just learn to ignore it or get used to it and carry on."- the_starlight_girl
A Professional Opinion
"Friendly neighborhood sleep scientist stopping in."
"Most adults need 8-9 hours to function optimally."
"This is supported by a pretty robust body of research."
"Shorter sleep duration than this is associated with performance decrements across a variety of domains, and there is evidence for negative impacts on physiological health in the short and long term as well."
"Sleep is key to processes like restoration in various physical systems."
"There is also growing evidence that short sleep interferes with the consolidation of memory from short- to long-term storage."
"Sleep and relationships also appear to affect each other reciprocally."
"Good relationships promote good sleep, and bad sleep can hurt relationship functioning."
"Tl;dr—it’s bad for you bro (for the vast majority of people, anyway), even if it feels like it isn’t."
"Sleeping too much is also associated with negative outcomes."
"For example, sleeping more than 9 hours is predictive of elevated cardiovascular risk."
"There is limited but growing evidence that some people are true 'short sleepers' who may experience fewer or no apparent negative cognitive effects of short sleep."
"This phenomenon is poorly understood, but is being investigated increasingly."
"Research is slowed in part by the difficulty of finding participants who are true short sleepers, but it is clear that most of us are not in this category, even if we think we are."
"The truth, according to the best available evidence, is that the vast majority of adults NEED 8 hours for best results."
"It is also critical to note that it is not clear whether people who feel like they experience no negative effects from short sleep are at lower risk for well-established physiological costs of short sleep, such as elevated cardiovascular risk."
"Emerging evidence is beginning to suggest that even if you feel you are not experiencing psychological or physical costs of short sleep, your actual physical health costs may be the same as for people who do feel the cognitive effects of short sleep."
"See for example, Williams et al., 2021."
"You can improve the quality of your sleep by prioritizing 'sleep hygiene'.”
"This includes having a regular bed/wake time each day, even on the weekends."
"There’s no such thing as catching up on lost sleep, not in a true sense."
'You can’t undo the damage completely."
"Further, some evidence is beginning to indicate that the tempting practice of sleeping in on weekends to try to repay sleep debt has negative effects beyond the sleep that has already been lost."
"A consistent bed/wake schedule is one of the best gifts you can give yourself."
"Other tips you may have heard include minimizing light exposure, especially to blue light, for a few hours before bed."
"There is limited evidence about the effectiveness of things like phones’ native settings for blue light reduction, so consider getting some filter glasses to put on when you are approaching bedtime, and avoid screens."
"Other good resources are available via you googling it."
"You may think you are getting more sleep than you are."
"Smartphones and wearables can help track your sleep to try to assess how much you’re getting."
"Alexa can alert you if you snore at night, which can indicate sleep problems."
"This tech isn’t as good as research-grade sleep actigraphy or polysomnography, but it’s getting better."
"If you go this route, be sure you don’t get obsessive about the data and quantifying or gamifying it."
"Good sleep is the goal, not making your phone happy at all costs."
"Caffeine is definitely worth thinking about when thinking about your sleep hygiene as well."
"For example, my sleep is fairly delicate, but getting better, thanks to science!, so I won't start a new serving of coffee after noon or finish one after 2 p.m."
"Caffeine can compound sleep problems because, although it can help you get through the day, it is very easy to then have it interfere with nighttime sleep latency.'
"How long it takes you to fall asleep, quality, or quantity."
"If you are using caffeine to get through the day because you're tired and dragging, it may well feel useful within days, but be detrimental to your sleep and performance across days."
"It's like putting a bandaid over a fresh wound to cover it immediately, but then ripping it off that night before the underlying problem has healed."
"If caffeine is interfering with your sleep quality, consider switching to something caffeine-free to fill that space as an afternoon ritual."
"You may find that the break in your routine still helps refresh you without interfering with a good night's rest."
"You can use your phone or other smart devices to remind you to start winding down and getting ready for bed in advance of your bedtime."
"I have my spare speakers remind me with phrases like 'You're a sleep scientist, go to bed, it's important' and 'Go to bed now; it promotes a healthy immune system'."
"Additionally, pretty much any flatscreen TV has, buried in its annoying, hard-to-navigate settings menu, an auto-off timer feature."
"Do some quick googling to figure out where this setting is on your TV and set it to turn off at a certain time each day."
"Similarly, if you have smart plugs or switches in your home, you can set them to turn lights off at a given time."
"Mine are set to go off in advance of my Mandatory Bedtime."
"You only have to set this up once, and then every night, your smart home will help nudge you toward bed."
"Sure, you might be tempted to turn the TV on to finish an episode or to turn the lights back on and finish the chapter you're reading, but anything you can do to decrease friction in the direction of your target bedtime and good sleep hygiene will help."
"I once heard a very eminent colleague speak on this subject and he said 'If you were a sleep scientist, if you understood sleep and its importance the way I do, you would never shortchange yourself on another night of it'."
"I found that quite sobering because I am a sleep scientist, I do understand the importance, and I was still shortchanging myself."
"Many cultures today have succumbed to the 'glorification of business,' in which it is seen as some kind of badge of honor to not 'need' much sleep."
"For almost all of us, however, 8-9 is the magic number and we can't shortchange that fact...just ourselves."- LilSebastianFlyte
As Maria says in The Sound Of Music: "strength lies in nights of peaceful slumbers".
Even if you can't get a solid eight hours, try making a good night's sleep a priority.
It will make your morning coffee taste oh-so-much better.
Driving can be extremely relaxing and liberating.
Being out on the open road, blasting your favorite music, ideally with a dreamy final destination.
But driving still comes with its share of stress and frustrations.
Namely other drivers, and the irritating, sometimes reckless and dangerous behavior they exhibit on the road.
Redditor xplorerex was curious to hear the things people hate most that drivers ahead of them or behind them do on the road, leading them to ask:
"What is the most annoying thing other road users do that irritates you?"
Is Anyone In That Big A Hurry?
"People that pass you and then turn in at the very next road."
"Like they couldn't wait five more seconds."- p38-lightning
We Can See You Coming From A Mile Away!
"High beams on while driving towards oncoming traffic."- AteTooMuchBoneMarrow
Slow And Steady Doesn't Always Win The Race...
"Not using the on ramp to get up to speed or close to what the traffic is going at."- yankstravelerlowrider drive slow GIF by Off The JacksGiphy
Between A Rock And A Hard Place
"Being stuck behind someone doing 10 under the speed limit, AND THEN another dude ON YOUR @SS trying to get you to speed up like there ISN'T A F*CKING CAR IN FRONT OF ME!"
"Whew I guess I needed to get that one out."- sorvis
A Heads Up Would Be Nice!
"Not indicating, just pulling in front, turning etc without indicating, it's bad driving and lack of consideration."- mazdanc
Make Up Your Mind!!!
'Speed up when I'm trying to pass when just before they were going 10 under."
"Makes me hate humanity sometimes."- darkmauveshoreSee Goodwood Festival Of Speed GIFGiphy
Some People Shouldn't Be Behind The Wheel
"Not one thing specifically, but just overall awareness, and the willingness to BE aware."
"Stop driving like dumba**es, get off your phones, pay attention."
"It's not that hard, and it should be MUCH easier than it is to LOSE your drivers license."
"I was in a life-threatening motorcycle accident a couple years ago and you wanna know why? "
"Someone turned the WRONG WAY on a one-way street and hit me head-on."
'Did she lose her license?"
"Of course not."
"A drivers license IS NOT a right, it's a privilege, and I'm so f*cking tired of lazy drivers."- BootyfulMiami
These Rules Exist For A Reason
"Not using turn signal."
"Driving at non-passing speeds in the passing lane."
"Making right turns without getting over to the right."- ProfitsOfProphets
Always Needing To Be Top Dog...
"When I'm behind someone in the passing/acceleration lane going the same speed as the car in the right lane, and they just stay neck in neck for eternity."- meanyapicklesszybcy i wciekli video games GIFGiphy
Those Lanes Are There For A Reason
"Driving on the emergency lane."
"An ambulance once didn't make it in time to a man in dire need of first aid during a traffic jam."
"The emergency lane was also completely jammed because some thought they were too good to wait in traffic and went there instead."
"I genuinely hope all of them total their cars while surviving with annoying injuries."- Simplordx69
Your parents warned you to keep your "eyes on the road" for a reason.
You never know what you may encounter while driving, no matter how long or short the distance.