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Athiests and Offensiveness

EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
edited December 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
So there is controversy this Christmas (Happy Holidays) season regarding atheists sharing their views however the manner they do so has a few people irked, and understandably so.

Next to the nativity scene at the Legislative Building in Olympia, Washington is a sign that in my view is very offensive. To me, it's the equivalent of a sign saying 'All non-Christians will burn in Hell!!' Nothing wrong with that as it's free speech but I don't think either is appropriate in this setting.

I'm agnostic and I don't like anyone telling me my beliefs are wrong and won't push my religious view onto others either. I don't care what religion you are as long you're not hurting anyone really.


Atheists take aim at Christmas

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/12/05/atheists.christmas/index.html

art.atheist.sign.olympia.jpg


So, let's discuss. Is this atheist group a new form of dick headed religious fanaticism?

Emanon on
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Posts

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Hah! This is exactly what I've been talking about all this time.

    Alright, here's how it works. If you put up a nativity scene and all that crap, you're necessarily saying that what you believe (Jesus, Judeo-Christian god, bible, all that crap) you are necessarily saying that your god exists for me, you, and everybody. Now, that's not the explicit message, but it's an absolutely unavoidable message. When an atheist says it explicitly, it suddenly becomes offensive.

    It's a simple fact that Judaism and Christianity and Hinduism and Islam are exclusivistic, but while it's not offensive when there's a nativity, it's offensive when atheists make the exact same statement openly?

    Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, while representing the largest chunk of religions in the world, are not the only ones and within those religions are denominations and sects which are not exclusive or "harden hearts and enslave minds".

    So that sign is a blatant and over-reactionary attack on everyone religious ever rather than a protest sign against the nativity being on public property or a celebration of the natural world, both of which would've been appropriate Atheist responses to this.

  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    There's no reason a nativity scene should be allowed at a legislative building. None whatsoever. It implicitly suggests that Christianity is more important, or somehow the default belief.

    Frankly when it comes to positive atheist messages I think we should all just follow the Cult of Carl Sagan.

    under that arguement christmas should not be a federal holiday.

    ill concede that on that day, you cant have religious symbolism pertaining to the holiday on said government property.

  • NartwakNartwak Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    So, let's discuss. Is this atheist group a new form of dick headed religious fanaticism?
    Of course not. Calling atheism a religion is like calling health a disease.

    Spoiler:
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited December 2008
    Can I point out that I know a lot of pretty secular people who stick up nativity scenes because they're pretty? I don't think you can tell a lot about a person by what fucking bauble he hangs on his Christmas trees.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

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  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Pony wrote: »
    How is the sign 'preaching hatred' as opposed to 'protesting the intermarriage of state and religion' or 'discouraging contradictory belief systems'

    Saying that all religion "hardens hearts and enslaves minds" is pretty fucking hateful, dude, and if you can't see that you're willfully blinding yourself.

    Just like religious fanatics do!

    Well maybe in your country religion is a personal choice that doesn't cause harm outside the practitioner. In America, religious organizations are a driving force for intolerance and political dickery.

    eokNV.jpg
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2008
    Pony wrote: »
    Hah! This is exactly what I've been talking about all this time.

    Alright, here's how it works. If you put up a nativity scene and all that crap, you're necessarily saying that what you believe (Jesus, Judeo-Christian god, bible, all that crap) you are necessarily saying that your god exists for me, you, and everybody. Now, that's not the explicit message, but it's an absolutely unavoidable message. When an atheist says it explicitly, it suddenly becomes offensive.

    It's a simple fact that Judaism and Christianity and Hinduism and Islam are exclusivistic, but while it's not offensive when there's a nativity, it's offensive when atheists make the exact same statement openly?

    Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, while representing the largest chunk of religions in the world, are not the only ones and within those religions are denominations and sects which are not exclusive or "harden hearts and enslave minds".

    So that sign is a blatant and over-reactionary attack on everyone religious ever rather than a protest sign against the nativity being on public property or a celebration of the natural world, both of which would've been appropriate Atheist responses to this.

    And a nativity scene is a blatant attack on every other religion. "Our mythology is correct." It's not correct for them, it's just correct. It is not compatible with other world views.

    Spoiler:
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Sarksus wrote: »
    Hah! This is exactly what I've been talking about all this time.

    Alright, here's how it works. If you put up a nativity scene and all that crap, you're necessarily saying that what you believe (Jesus, Judeo-Christian god, bible, all that crap) you are necessarily saying that your god exists for me, you, and everybody. Now, that's not the explicit message, but it's an absolutely unavoidable message. When an atheist says it explicitly, it suddenly becomes offensive.

    It's a simple fact that Judaism and Christianity and Hinduism and Islam are exclusivistic, but while it's not offensive when there's a nativity, it's offensive when atheists make the exact same statement openly?

    A nativity scene is not necessarily saying "God absolutely exists", it's just a show of faith. The nativity scene also does not feature anything that implies that atheists should suck down a fat one and burn in Hell, unlike the atheist plaque which charges that religion hardens hearts (not true in all cases) and ensalves minds (this returns us to my argument that people are capable of compartmentalizing, believing irrationally about a God while still maintaining an ability to reason clearly outside of that religious belief) . The atheist plaque is intentionally inflammatory, the group that put it up says so themselves because they are so pissed off at the baby Jesus and his sweet Christmas presents.

    How is putting up a nativity not saying that Jesus absolutely existed, was divine and the son of the Judeo-Christian god? I could cop out and say that the plaque is just a show of faith to, of "faith" that god doesn't exist, but I'm not, because that's not what it is. If you have faith that Jesus was divine and all that stuff, how is that not also true for me? How can my or any other understanding of the universe coexist with that? You can't hold out one hand and say, "What you believe is fine by me," but close another by believing in an exclusivistic religion.

    By not being a prick.

    I believe lots of things some of my friends don't. I have differing religious views than most of them. I have differing political views. I have different tastes in music, film, and art.

    I have differing views on controversial subjects like abortion, pornography, execution by the state, military rules of engagement, etc.

    On many of these views I believe I am absolutely correct in my viewpoint.

    And yet, somehow, I manage to maintain friendships with people who I ultimately believe are wrong about these things.

    How do I do that? By not being a prick about it!

    It's not even hard. You just have to stop being a whiny, shouting jerk-off everytime someone says or does something you disagree with. And even when you do take the moment to make clear your disagreement, you don't snarl and hiss and over-react, you simply say "Well, that's not what I believe".

    But maybe that's just me, dude!

  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Sarksus wrote: »
    Hah! This is exactly what I've been talking about all this time.

    Alright, here's how it works. If you put up a nativity scene and all that crap, you're necessarily saying that what you believe (Jesus, Judeo-Christian god, bible, all that crap) you are necessarily saying that your god exists for me, you, and everybody. Now, that's not the explicit message, but it's an absolutely unavoidable message. When an atheist says it explicitly, it suddenly becomes offensive.

    It's a simple fact that Judaism and Christianity and Hinduism and Islam are exclusivistic, but while it's not offensive when there's a nativity, it's offensive when atheists make the exact same statement openly?

    A nativity scene is not necessarily saying "God absolutely exists", it's just a show of faith. The nativity scene also does not feature anything that implies that atheists should suck down a fat one and burn in Hell, unlike the atheist plaque which charges that religion hardens hearts (not true in all cases) and ensalves minds (this returns us to my argument that people are capable of compartmentalizing, believing irrationally about a God while still maintaining an ability to reason clearly outside of that religious belief) . The atheist plaque is intentionally inflammatory, the group that put it up says so themselves because they are so pissed off at the baby Jesus and his sweet Christmas presents.

    How is putting up a nativity not saying that Jesus absolutely existed, was divine and the son of the Judeo-Christian god? I could cop out and say that the plaque is just a show of faith to, of "faith" that god doesn't exist, but I'm not, because that's not what it is. If you have faith that Jesus was divine and all that stuff, how is that not also true for me? How can my or any other understanding of the universe coexist with that? You can't hold out one hand and say, "What you believe is fine by me," but close another by believing in an exclusivistic religion.

    Because there is a level of faith involved. I would deride any religious individual who thought they could prove the existence of God, because that's missing the point. People believe in their God, and believe he exists, but unless you know the intentions of the people who erected this scene you don't know whether they simply believe in God, or have a complete and unfounded certainty that he exists at the expense of those who don't believe.

    What I am saying is, this nativity scene does not necessarily say "God exists, anybody who doesn't think so can burn in Hell". It's just celebrating the birth of their messiah.

  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Can I point out that I know a lot of pretty secular people who stick up nativity scenes because they're pretty? I don't think you can tell a lot about a person by what fucking bauble he hangs on his Christmas trees.

    im agreeing with ElJeffe here.

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    There's no reason a nativity scene should be allowed at a legislative building. None whatsoever. It implicitly suggests that Christianity is more important, or somehow the default belief.

    Frankly when it comes to positive atheist messages I think we should all just follow the Cult of Carl Sagan.

    under that arguement christmas should not be a federal holiday.

    ill concede that on that day, you cant have religious symbolism pertaining to the holiday on said government property.

    Christmas shouldn't be a federal holiday.

    However, most cultures have a celebration of some kind around the time of the winter solstice, so having a federal holiday of some kind at that time is fine by me. The fact that we officially call it Christmas is a relic of less multi-cultural or culturally sensitive times, and I'm not particularly offended by it, especially given that North America is, in fact, mostly made up of Christians.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008

    And a nativity scene is a blatant attack on every other religion. "Our mythology is correct." It's not correct for them, it's just correct. It is not compatible with other world views.

    no its an implied attack. much like when you decide to eat oranges you are secretly saying that you prefer oranges over apples and that apples are therefore much worse than oranges. but of course thats assuming you didn't just feel like eating an orange...

  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    See the problem that some atheists have with this kind of thing is that even when something isn't explicitly inflammatory or harmful they will attack it anyway because they believe religion as a whole is uniformly harmful. They are not interested in providing a positive or moderate viewpoint on the matter, they must argue their extreme viewpoint and they cannot compromise.

    Instead of minimizing the influence religion has on a person's ordinary ability to think rationally by promoting rational thinking in a positive way they must erase religion because any irrational thought whatsoever is unacceptable.

    It's unfortunate and sad that a compromise cannot be made.

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Shit, really? And I just thought it was sort of pretty. I didn't know I was making a political statement.

    What sort of exclusivist, hegemonic message am I conveying when I plant daisies in my front yard?

    Seriously, though, equating a Christmas decoration with a sign that effectively says, "Dude, fuck you and your Christmas and your phony-baloney God" is sort of... retarded beyond belief.

    Look, far be it from me to defend Wonder_Hippie when he goes off on one of his tears, and I think the sign was retardo, but don't you think that maybe the fact that you think that a nativity scene is as innocuous as "planting daises" might have something to do with the fact that it's what you're personally used to? I don't like the idea of devout Jews paying a visit to the government office - their government office, let us not forget - and seeing a big display basically announcing "THIS PLACE IS NOT FOR YOU".

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Goddamnit, I hate government endorsement of religion as much as the next cat, but the wording on this sign is way out of line. Religious people have their crazy-talking extreme minorities drowning out the good things about religion; did we really need to start up a similar athiest movement?

    At least the statement from the governor's office suggests that their reasoning is in the right place:
    "...the U.S. Supreme Court has been consistent and clear that, under the Constitution's First Amendment, once government admits one religious display or viewpoint onto public property, it may not discriminate against the content of other displays, including the viewpoints of nonbelievers."

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    It's not an attack. It's an assumption. A Christian who puts up the nativity scene usually isn't thinking "fuck you guys, I'll show you whose religion is in control!"

    They are usually thinking "Everyone will appreciate this sign of how much we love God and believe in Jesus." That assumption is insensitive and a bit grating, because a large number of people don't believe in Jesus or God or the nativity. It's the assumption that they are the centre, that they are the norm, that they are the default, and that this is in fact the way it should be.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Pony wrote: »
    Hah! This is exactly what I've been talking about all this time.

    Alright, here's how it works. If you put up a nativity scene and all that crap, you're necessarily saying that what you believe (Jesus, Judeo-Christian god, bible, all that crap) you are necessarily saying that your god exists for me, you, and everybody. Now, that's not the explicit message, but it's an absolutely unavoidable message. When an atheist says it explicitly, it suddenly becomes offensive.

    It's a simple fact that Judaism and Christianity and Hinduism and Islam are exclusivistic, but while it's not offensive when there's a nativity, it's offensive when atheists make the exact same statement openly?

    Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, while representing the largest chunk of religions in the world, are not the only ones and within those religions are denominations and sects which are not exclusive or "harden hearts and enslave minds".

    So that sign is a blatant and over-reactionary attack on everyone religious ever rather than a protest sign against the nativity being on public property or a celebration of the natural world, both of which would've been appropriate Atheist responses to this.

    And a nativity scene is a blatant attack on every other religion. "Our mythology is correct." It's not correct for them, it's just correct. It is not compatible with other world views.

    And ultimately, this is your problem, Wonder_Hippie. You have shown a consistent inability to tolerate any viewpoint or belief that is diametrically opposed to what you believe. In your view, a person cannot adequately express a statement of belief that is directly opposed to yours without additionally creating the statement that yours is not to be tolerated.

    You see the entire world in black-and-white in this respect. Because of this, you have an overwhelming tendency to react with anger and vitriol when opinions and viewpoints and displays are expressed that directly contradict what you believe to be true.

    And you consider it absolutely unacceptable for a person to express these views or displays unless they have the full ability to objectively and rigorously support the validity of their beliefs.

    You also consider it perfectly acceptable to take such an expression as an insult and to feel that it is an appropriate response to react offensively to these expressions, and that such reactions should not be considered negative or rude because you believe they are "factually correct".

    All of these traits I have highlighted here are also found in religious fanatics.

    That should give you pause, but knowing you, it unfortunately won't.

  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    There's no reason a nativity scene should be allowed at a legislative building. None whatsoever. It implicitly suggests that Christianity is more important, or somehow the default belief.

    Frankly when it comes to positive atheist messages I think we should all just follow the Cult of Carl Sagan.

    under that arguement christmas should not be a federal holiday.

    ill concede that on that day, you cant have religious symbolism pertaining to the holiday on said government property.

    Christmas shouldn't be a federal holiday.

    However, most cultures have a celebration of some kind around the time of the winter solstice, so having a federal holiday of some kind at that time is fine by me. The fact that we officially call it Christmas is a relic of less multi-cultural or culturally sensitive times, and I'm not particularly offended by it, especially given that North America is, in fact, mostly made up of Christians.

    and thats fine really, the fact is that federal holidays probably shouldnt be based on religious holidays (though they can be on the same day simply be renaming christmas as xmas or solstice-day or snowy-gift-giving-with-pine-trees-day). but until they are i look at the nativity scene as nothing more than a widely accepted decoration for a federal holiday displayed on a government building.

  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2008
    No. It's not "their" messiah. It's the world's messiah, representative of the one true god, all that other bullshit. Christianity is an exclusive religion. Period. End of fucking story. If you believe if, you believe it at the exclusion of other religions, and displaying that belief isn't simply saying, "This is what I believe!" Because of the nature of Christianity, it's necessarily a statement of fact about the universe.

    Now, Pony, the difference - and I can't believe I'm having to clarify this yet again - between politics and subjective tastes is that they aren't statements about ultimate reality. If god exists, god exists for everybody by almost all definitions. Comparing it to liking this album over that one or liking oranges over apples isn't valid because those are subjective god damned tastes that you aren't saying are true for everybody. If you are, you're an idiot. "Oranges are better than apples objectively" is a stupid statement, right? Religions necessarily make claims about objective reality.

    Spoiler:
  • TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User
    edited December 2008
    I don't think you get to say that a nativity scene is secular because some secular people put one up. Plenty of people wear necklaces with crosses on them because they're pretty, but it'd be a stretch to say that a cross isn't a religious symbol.

    Edit: Yeah, and the sign was worded in a jerky way. So what? A government building isn't the place for displays of religion or attacks on religion. People can put up their nativity scenes and their atheist signs on their own property, or their church's property, but a government building ought to be neutral.

  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    It's only grating if you are offended by someone who believes in a God. I don't care if someone believes in a God and wants to do something to show it. Atheists want to show people what they are all about too.

    There is the matter of whether or not this should be in a public area. I think it shouldn't unless every other religion is given the chance to put up their own display, but I think the displays should have a neutral or positive message.

    And no, nativity scenes do not have a "fuck you you're burning in Hell" underlying message.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited December 2008
    It's not an attack. It's an assumption. A Christian who puts up the nativity scene usually isn't thinking "fuck you guys, I'll show you whose religion is in control!"

    They are usually thinking "Everyone will appreciate this sign of how much we love God and believe in Jesus." That assumption is insensitive and a bit grating, because a large number of people don't believe in Jesus or God or the nativity. It's the assumption that they are the centre, that they are the norm, that they are the default, and that this is in fact the way it should be.

    But they're not even thinking that, a lot of the time. They're thinking, "Yay, Christmas, let's bust out the pretties!" Some people are, perhaps, making a statement. Those people are kinda silly. But I see no evidence to believe that's the norm.

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  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    It's not an attack. It's an assumption. A Christian who puts up the nativity scene usually isn't thinking "fuck you guys, I'll show you whose religion is in control!"

    They are usually thinking "Everyone will appreciate this sign of how much we love God and believe in Jesus." That assumption is insensitive and a bit grating, because a large number of people don't believe in Jesus or God or the nativity. It's the assumption that they are the centre, that they are the norm, that they are the default, and that this is in fact the way it should be.

    im really hoping you're not saying you can read minds here or that you have had intimate discussions with people who put up these schenes...

  • AccualtAccualt Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    A Nativity went up in the Illinois Capitol building for the first time this year. It was funded entirely by private individuals. The guy who spear headed the whole thing wanted to show others that it can be done. Link.

    The whole time I was thinking what can I put up in the state capitol building to represent agnostics and our winter solstice. Nothing came to mind that didn't seem like a dickish move. Unfortunately that sign seems kind of assholish. Like, hey we know this is suppose to be the time of the year you Christians actually act Christ-Like but we're going to snub our noses at that idea.

    Of course just now, and I have no idea why this didn't occur to me earlier, I thought it would be neat to put together a timeline/informational posters of winter solstice celebrations. It would look cheap next to the $7,000 each marble statues this guy had made for the nativity but oh well.

  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Ah Christmas, you are but one of three hundred and sixty-five days on which atheists need to sit down and shut up while Christians smear Christianity all over the government and the media and the public sphere.

    Are these particular atheists too shrill? Maybe! Is this the same disingenuous offended hand-wringing atheists get when they make any public statement of disbelief? Yes. Yawn.

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  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    No. It's not "their" messiah. It's the world's messiah, representative of the one true god, all that other bullshit. Christianity is an exclusive religion. Period. End of fucking story. If you believe if, you believe it at the exclusion of other religions, and displaying that belief isn't simply saying, "This is what I believe!" Because of the nature of Christianity, it's necessarily a statement of fact about the universe.

    Now, Pony, the difference - and I can't believe I'm having to clarify this yet again - between politics and subjective tastes is that they aren't statements about ultimate reality. If god exists, god exists for everybody by almost all definitions. Comparing it to liking this album over that one or liking oranges over apples isn't valid because those are subjective god damned tastes that you aren't saying are true for everybody. If you are, you're an idiot. "Oranges are better than apples objectively" is a stupid statement, right? Religions necessarily make claims about objective reality.

    I am really liking all of your nice generalizations but I do not understand what they have to do with the real world, where people do not always conform to these generalizations. If you would like, I invite you to finish fabricating this fictional world you believe in so you might be able to use it in a hypothetical situation in order to argue your point. I personally dislike hypotheticals but you are welcome to them.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited December 2008
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    I don't think you get to say that a nativity scene is secular because some secular people put one up. Plenty of people wear necklaces with crosses on them because they're pretty, but it'd be a stretch to say that a cross isn't a religious symbol.

    Oh, I don't think a nativity scene is secular. And I can understand the argument to keep them away from official state buildings (though I have a hard time giving much of a shit one way or the other). I'm just arguing against the idea that they are necessarily a statement of anything.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • theclamtheclam Registered User
    edited December 2008
    A nativity display is inherently pro-Christian, which is a religion that holds that it is the exclusive religious and moral truth. Even if someone puts up the display because they want to showcase the warm and fuzzy elements of the religion, the display still represents the elements that are not warm and fuzzy. Any sort of display like this is a message that the religion being displayed is, at the very least, acceptable.

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  • SnorkSnork Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I find it weird that people would put up a nativity scene for non-religious reasons, but I mean I guess there are people that do it.
    However, that doesn't mean that the people who put up the scene are not responsible for the interpretations and perceptions general passersby get from seeing the scene on their lawn or whatever.
    When I see a nativity scene on someone's lawn, I'm going to naturally assume that the owners of said lawn are Christians, and somewhat devout ones as well. I do not think this is an unreasonable assumption to make. From what Jeffe said there obivously are people that put up nativities for aesthetic reasons alone, apart from spirituality, but that doesn't make it any less of a religious image.

    EDIT: I'd also like to make it clear that in criticizing the nativity scene I am not defending the plaque. That was retarded of them to put up. It also is inherently anti-Christian in that it mentions heaven and hell and angels and devils, all of which are very clearly Christian images.
    I wish more people would realize that it's supposed to be atheism, not achristianity.

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited December 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    It's not an attack. It's an assumption. A Christian who puts up the nativity scene usually isn't thinking "fuck you guys, I'll show you whose religion is in control!"

    They are usually thinking "Everyone will appreciate this sign of how much we love God and believe in Jesus." That assumption is insensitive and a bit grating, because a large number of people don't believe in Jesus or God or the nativity. It's the assumption that they are the centre, that they are the norm, that they are the default, and that this is in fact the way it should be.

    im really hoping you're not saying you can read minds here or that you have had intimate discussions with people who put up these schenes...

    Why don't you enlighten us, then?

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited December 2008
    Mahnmut wrote: »
    Ah Christmas, you are but one of three hundred and sixty-five days on which atheists need to sit down and shut up while Christians smear Christianity all over the government and the media and the public sphere.

    Are these particular atheists too shrill? Maybe! Is this the same disingenuous offended hand-wringing atheists get when they make any public statement of disbelief? Yes. Yawn.

    Perhaps they get a knee-jerk negative reaction because most of the time, when they make a public statement, it's as ham-fistedly derogatory as this one.

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  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Yeah a nativity scene is most definitely a religious decoration. It's not even symbolism, it has a figurine of baby Jesus! It's something that I do not think belongs there.

    However I do agree that the wording on the plaque is unfortunate.

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  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2008
    Pony wrote: »
    And ultimately, this is your problem, Wonder_Hippie. You have shown a consistent inability to tolerate any viewpoint or belief that is diametrically opposed to what you believe. In your view, a person cannot adequately express a statement of belief that is directly opposed to yours without additionally creating the statement that yours is not to be tolerated.

    You see the entire world in black-and-white in this respect. Because of this, you have an overwhelming tendency to react with anger and vitriol when opinions and viewpoints and displays are expressed that directly contradict what you believe to be true.

    And you consider it absolutely unacceptable for a person to express these views or displays unless they have the full ability to objectively and rigorously support the validity of their beliefs.

    You also consider it perfectly acceptable to take such an expression as an insult and to feel that it is an appropriate response to react offensively to these expressions, and that such reactions should not be considered negative or rude because you believe they are "factually correct".

    All of these traits I have highlighted here are also found in religious fanatics.

    That should give you pause, but knowing you, it unfortunately won't.

    No, you really just don't get it. These religions make claims about objective reality. It is necessarily true for me as well. That's a fucking fact. Fuck tolerance, I don't give two shits what they say, because saying that they tolerate your beliefs and then believing in a necessarily exclusivistic religion with statements about an objective reality that affects every single particle in the fucking universe means that they are saying I am wrong whether it's explicit or implicit. That's how this fucking shit works. I'll tolerate somebody enjoying, say, the movie Troy, BECAUSE THAT'S FUCKING SUBJECTIVE.

    Spoiler:
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    And I can understand the argument to keep them away from official state buildings (though I have a hard time giving much of a shit one way or the other).

    Why do you think that is?

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    atheists are not good at politics.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    theclam wrote: »
    A nativity display is inherently pro-Christian, which is a religion that holds that it is the exclusive religious and moral truth. Even if someone puts up the display because they want to showcase the warm and fuzzy elements of the religion, the display still represents the elements that are not warm and fuzzy. Any sort of display like this is a message that the religion being displayed is, at the very least, acceptable.

    Making these assumptions because say, the church claims that Christianity is the one and only truth, is silly because there are a lot of Christians who don't place a lot of importance on every part of the Bible or every thing that the Church has said in its long history.

    You can't know the intentions of the people who put up this scene without asking them. Taking a guess based on what the Church thinks or the Bible says doesn't work because of how few people actually follow both of those things to the letter.

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    No. It's not "their" messiah. It's the world's messiah, representative of the one true god, all that other bullshit. Christianity is an exclusive religion. Period. End of fucking story. If you believe if, you believe it at the exclusion of other religions, and displaying that belief isn't simply saying, "This is what I believe!" Because of the nature of Christianity, it's necessarily a statement of fact about the universe.

    Now, Pony, the difference - and I can't believe I'm having to clarify this yet again - between politics and subjective tastes is that they aren't statements about ultimate reality. If god exists, god exists for everybody by almost all definitions. Comparing it to liking this album over that one or liking oranges over apples isn't valid because those are subjective god damned tastes that you aren't saying are true for everybody. If you are, you're an idiot. "Oranges are better than apples objectively" is a stupid statement, right? Religions necessarily make claims about objective reality.

    You missed the point entirely.

    Great work.

    I have no reason to continue this line of conversation with you, your mind and heart is closed on this issue and you are too blinded by your own beliefs to see the viewpoints of anyone besides yourself.

    That is unfortunate, because you do seem like an intelligent and rational individual, and it is saddening that it is quite likely some unfortunate circumstance has befallen you, likely by way of some religious prick or another, that has placed such a wobbly chip on your shoulder.

    I find it extremely disappointing that this subject can't be addressed rationally without the standard "all religion is harmful" tripe getting tossed out there. As soon as that card gets played, the conversation is essentially over because the hardened atheists who refuse to see religion as a whole as anything but an elaborate scam to take people's freedom away will never concede any point.

    This thread will go into the same attack spiral this subject always does on this forum, and I take my leave of it.

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited December 2008
    No, you really just don't get it. These religions make claims about objective reality. It is necessarily true for me as well. That's a fucking fact. Fuck tolerance, I don't give two shits what they say, because saying that they tolerate your beliefs and then believing in a necessarily exclusivistic religion with statements about an objective reality that affects every single particle in the fucking universe means that they are saying I am wrong whether it's explicit or implicit. That's how this fucking shit works. I'll tolerate somebody enjoying, say, the movie Troy, BECAUSE THAT'S FUCKING SUBJECTIVE.

    Is being this way making you a happier and/or better person?

  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2008
    Sarksus wrote: »
    No. It's not "their" messiah. It's the world's messiah, representative of the one true god, all that other bullshit. Christianity is an exclusive religion. Period. End of fucking story. If you believe if, you believe it at the exclusion of other religions, and displaying that belief isn't simply saying, "This is what I believe!" Because of the nature of Christianity, it's necessarily a statement of fact about the universe.

    Now, Pony, the difference - and I can't believe I'm having to clarify this yet again - between politics and subjective tastes is that they aren't statements about ultimate reality. If god exists, god exists for everybody by almost all definitions. Comparing it to liking this album over that one or liking oranges over apples isn't valid because those are subjective god damned tastes that you aren't saying are true for everybody. If you are, you're an idiot. "Oranges are better than apples objectively" is a stupid statement, right? Religions necessarily make claims about objective reality.

    I am really liking all of your nice generalizations but I do not understand what they have to do with the real world, where people do not always conform to these generalizations. If you would like, I invite you to finish fabricating this fictional world you believe in so you might be able to use it in a hypothetical situation in order to argue your point. I personally dislike hypotheticals but you are welcome to them.

    I'm not making a god damned generalization. That's what Christianity is. There is a way to heaven, it says it in the bible, it's an exclusive fucking religion. Period. Why do you people have such a hard time with this?

    Spoiler:
  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I'm trying to think of a way to celebrate atheism that isn't going to offend people and I'm coming up blank.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Pony wrote: »
    Hah! This is exactly what I've been talking about all this time.

    Alright, here's how it works. If you put up a nativity scene and all that crap, you're necessarily saying that what you believe (Jesus, Judeo-Christian god, bible, all that crap) you are necessarily saying that your god exists for me, you, and everybody. Now, that's not the explicit message, but it's an absolutely unavoidable message. When an atheist says it explicitly, it suddenly becomes offensive.

    It's a simple fact that Judaism and Christianity and Hinduism and Islam are exclusivistic, but while it's not offensive when there's a nativity, it's offensive when atheists make the exact same statement openly?

    Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, while representing the largest chunk of religions in the world, are not the only ones and within those religions are denominations and sects which are not exclusive or "harden hearts and enslave minds".

    So that sign is a blatant and over-reactionary attack on everyone religious ever rather than a protest sign against the nativity being on public property or a celebration of the natural world, both of which would've been appropriate Atheist responses to this.


    I can't think of a single religion that's never been used as a justification for something shitty. You're romanticizing the foreign.

    The guy's quote about the nativity being hateful clearly pertained to its installation as a christian idol in a courthouse - the implication being that his local government is not for him. That's not a swastika on a synagogue wall, but it is still actually a very alienating thing.

    I hate the whole (said with a redneck accent) "Atheists is jus' religious fanatics but back'erds, there ain't no evi-dance either way" crowd. That's indicative, to me, of someone who watched part of an interview with Richard Dawkins on fox news one day and had no further thought on the matter.

    We're arguing over the proper polite wording of the phrase, "Your gods are fake, stop forcing the public to live by your fake rules" here. There is no right way to say it. You might as well be as confrontational as possible and move the discussion along quickly.

    I also love the careful use of religious "fanatics" or "radicals" ITT so far. Because, you know, MODERATELY beliving in unicorns is totally cool, it's just a social thing you do for your community and to meet people and give to charity, when I go to the Unicorn Society I know it's not a LITERALY unicorn, right? We just aren't touching that with a 10 foot stick today, I guess.

    And jeffe, come on, the city just puts up a nativity because it's pretty? Or the guy that said, "It's not saying ever other religion is wrong, it's just a celebration of the birth of their messiah?"

    It's a relgious statement to put up a religious icon on a religious holiday, if you won't accede to that you need to get a job in a hair-splittery, they got benefits.

    Government should not establish a religion. If they allow one belief system to be posted, they must allow others. Ergo, the sign is cool.

    Now, reading the link: The actual story is about the THEFT of the sign. Someone (i'm not saying pony here but I do like blaming him for stuff) stole the 50 pound metal sign because they had sand in their holy hole over it. That's lame.

    The story also quotes a figure of the area being 25% unafiliated or atheist. That means that nonbelievers are nearly a religious majority there, assuming the rest of the population of Olympia suffers the normal breakdown. Why should a state with particularly large population of doubters have a government building spackled with religious crap?

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
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