It can be difficult to carry on a conversation with someone whose viewpoint is the polar opposite of yours. For example, was the original Star Wars trilogy better than the prequel trilogy? Obviously, there's only one right answer to any group of people. (Jar-Jar FTW.) However, what can be even better is an offering of understanding, to look at the other side and see what they see and know what makes them great in their own way. This extends even to religion and atheists.

Reddit user, u/youngmemegirl, wanted to know what the real religious thought when they asked:

Religous people, what is one thing you respect about atheists?

There's More Than One

Hindu here, I can respect the fact that some atheists take in to consideration that there are other religions out there when making their arguments


We Don't Need No Books To Tell Us What's What

Not relying on an ethos or rule book to be good people.


Logic? Facts? Ridiculous!

Muslim here, They don't use religious stuff in arguments.

The other day I was talking to a flat earther and proving him wrong and his only argument was verses from the Bible which didn't even match the context.


..Seriously? Facts?

The amount of research they put in to back up what they say.


Who Really Did The Work?

How they thank the doctor for successfully operating on a patient.

After surgery, if your loved one survives, most people say "thank god you pulled through" or "God showed his strength and love and pulled you through your illness". But no one ever thanks or praises the surgeon, the one who really saved your life.


What? Evidence Again??

Jewish: If we're talking about Western Atheism that's become very popular over the last 30 years or so, I would say it's the insistence on scientific evidence over everything else.


What's Their Motivation?

There's an old story about this in my religion. Religious people give charity because God tells them to, but atheists give charity because they want to help people.

Edit: I remember now, it's a hasidic tale to explain why God created atheists:

Why Did God Create Atheists?
There is a famous story told in Chassidic literature that addresses this very question. The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.
One clever student asks "What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?"
The Master responds "God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all — the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs an act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that God commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness he can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right."
"This means," the Master continued "that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say 'I pray that God will help you.' Instead for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no God who can help, and say 'I will help you.'"
—Martin Buber, Tales of Hasidim Vol. 2 (1991)


Want Over Guilt

Atheists are proof that humans can be good, good for no reason. When they give money to charity, it's not for a god but because 9/10 times they want to. (The other 1/10 being that they didn't want to have loose change)

Honestly, Atheists give me hope in humanity.


Living Things Deserve Our Respect

Not needing a religion to treat people like actual living things.

If only people could treat each other with respect without the idea of religion being the force that makes you to do so the world would be a better place.


Not as religious as I used to be, but I respect that they are honest about their doubts and lack of belief instead of hiding it to fit in or lying about believing. So many people in the church ignore or handwave inconvenient issues. Atheists are willing to give an honest discussion of things.


It's MY Belief. Keyword: MY.

This isn't true of all atheists, but most atheists I have dealt with don't want their lack of belief forced on others. I do not like how pervasive that view is across the Christian sphere.


Do Your Own Research

They (usually) don't believe everything they hear/see.

They actually have reasons that aren't what someone else told them.


No One To Believe In But Yourself

If they have good morals.

When you don't believe in a purpose for having good morals, but you still follow them, it shows you're truly a good person with good motivations.


Free From Fear

They aren't scared to die


"They are real."

They are real.

Many religious people I know believe in something that's not been working for them for 20 years. That isn't faith, that is just religion.

I think people should ask questions, if the Bible says I can be healed, why haven't I been?

In that sense, being realists atheists aren't afraid to ask questions, whereas many religious people are terrified of questioning the promises in the Bible.


Who Needs A Reward?

When they're kind to others, it's not cuz they believe they're being watched or that's how they'll get into heaven or whatever.

They do it because they want to and they believe it's right of their own volition


Things Just Stop

Christian here, I can respect the strength it takes to believe that one day it all ends and there is nothing more after death.

That's a scary thought, at least I think it is.


We Only Have Now

In High School, an atheist friend copped some flak for being atheist, and was told that she must be amoral since she had no belief in heaven to jeopardise.

She saw it entirely the other way: because she didn't believe in heaven, the here and now was all there was, and she had to be the best person she could be because of that. I really respected that view.


No Requirement Necessary

I think atheists are here to show us something. Not a 'what not to do' or something. But genuine, true compassion.

Atheists, you see, dont have someone telling them oh, you gotta be nice to people! They dont believe that's a requirement from someone greater than them.

They simply choose compassion, caring, etc. And I think that's both beautiful, and respectable.


What's something you can respect about somebody with a different religion than you? Tell us all about it.

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