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Atheists: Please be quiet

FartacusFartacus __BANNED USERS regular
edited January 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
So, I'm an atheist.

I wouldn't particularly wish it on anyone though.

I'm getting awfully tired of the increasingly proselytistic tone that seems to be the tenor of atheism in the last few years. I'm not an atheist because it's better -- it's not. I'm an atheist because that's what I believe and I can't believe anything else, but I don't really care much either way, except that I might prefer to have faith by a slim margin if I could choose.

Why? Because there's frankly limited-to-no evidence that faith has any unique causation of harms, and some mild evidence that it may have unique causation of some moderate boons. Why can't a falsehood be more valuable than truth? Though, as I work in politics I suppose perhaps I'm more predisposed to believing such a thing is possible than most.

I don't believe the world would be any better off without religion.

Let's go through the Atheist List of Pet Peeves:

(1) Social conservatism. I don't much buy that this really has anything to do with religiosity in a causative fashion (I think both are emblematic of a commitment to tradition and certain social norms and practices, i.e. religion is a result, not a cause). Why? Well, for one, progressive Christian denominations and membership outnumber conservative ones in America -- something that unfortunately you never hear in popular media, in atheist publications (because it provides people who look, talk, value, and vote like us, and consequently makes demonization and belittlement that much harder). Hell, Catholics still tend to vote in a majority for Democrats.

Other factors such as a ethnicity and income outweigh religion at the ballot box, especially -- Hispanics tend tend to be quite Catholic, and more church-going than many segments of the white population and yet still vote for Democrats, including pro-choice Democrats at high rates. Hispanics in California marginally approved Prop 8, while generally less-churchgoing (though certainly religious) black voters approved it by 70/30 margins.

Oh, and then there's the simple fact that many religious texts have little or no emphasis on actually prohibiting many of the things that their adherents obsess about. The reality is that there is a strong argument that the Christian bible does not prohibit homosexuality, and even if it does it is of startlingly little importance in the overall schema of the religion. Much has been made of mixing fabrics and raising two crops in one field -- but the other conclusion that atheists consistently fail to draw is: if the religious text bears little resemblance to people's actual beliefs and behaviors, and there's great disagreement within the religious community on the issue, then why exactly are you pegging the text and the community as the unique cause of these views?

From Episcopalians to presbyterians to methodists, lutherans, and numerous non-denominational churches, it is not hard to find millions of American Christians who are socially and economically progressive.

France may be close to 30% atheist, but I haven't noticed it stopping them from being chauvinistic (or racist, for that matter). African-Americans tend to be pro-choice despite high religiosity. Did Japan or China's problems with sexual/gendered violence, and oppressive gender norms disappear while I wasn't looking because very few people there subscribe to Abrahamic religions?

(2) Violence. Of course the theists have pointed to the Soviet Union and other Communist regimes as evidence of the brutality of atheism (and they usually try to lump the Nazis in there for some reason), but while they miss the mark in the opposite direction, it is worth noting the point. It seems that the rather more important factors include totalitarianism, nationalism, ethnic tension, corruption, etc.

Yes, wars have been fought for religion. Coincidentally, they tend to go hand-in-hand with ethnic or national divisions, or along with conflicts over resources. Let us not forget that one of the most important factors behind the Palestinian rejection of the 1948 borders was that the Israelis got overwhelming access to the potable water in the region. Atheists suggest that religion makes it easier for people push us to war -- I say that group divisions of all sorts make it easier for people to be pushed to war, and religious divisions happen to be covariant with a tremendous supply of other group identifications. Even internecine conflict, like the Sunni/Shia divide tend to go along ethnic, regional, or resource divisions (the conflict is as much about Persians, Kurds, and Arabs as it is about religion).

Wars have also been fought with great ease and with little prodding for reasons that had nothing to do with religion, but rather openly addressed the always-motivating factors -- otherness, resources, etc. I see limited support for the belief that religion uniquely causes violence, but notably some of the most successful pacifist movements in history had overt religious overtones.

(3) Opposition to science. Have you been to Marin County, California? It's one of the richest in the nation, overwhelmingly educated and white and upper-class, and under 50% of the children there are vaccinated. They're set to lose their herd immunity -- meanwhile minority urban poor populations tend to vaccinate their children as long as they have the money for it, and are educated to do so. Gullibility knows no bounds -- I wonder how many overtly religious people fill the homeopathy aisles at your local Whole Foods?

And then there's the fact that plenty of religious people are perfectly alright with evolution, modern medicine, and all the rest. Again, I think disentangling religion from other variables, such as education, adherence to tradition, etc, is very hard to do to. People who go to church more often are less likely to believe in evolution -- that's true. They're also less likely to be college educated, earn more money, or live in major urban centers. Why do different religious backgrounds correlate differently to belief in things like evolution? Which one is the causal variable? Considering that there is no major discontinuity on the religious spectrum, I'm inclined to think it has to do with the variable that makes rather the most sense on issues of education -- er, educational attainment.


And here's one that atheists often leave out: Economic progressivism. Historically, religion has been at the forefront of many economically progressive movements. From black churches to the Catholic church to the overwhelming number of religious charities -- the reality is that a great number of people, both historically and today, who are out there speaking about inequality and economic injustice are religious.

Finally of course we have the reality that, while still somewhat ambiguous, there are quite a few studies at this point that suggest that religion may have unique value to the happiness of the people who subscribe to it. It's possible that this may be primarily social in nature, but unlike all the above-mentioned negatives, which have proven very easy to replicate in the absence of religion, and do so without any intervention, thus far it seems that religion provides social structures and networks which tend not to pop up in its absence, and which are not easily replicated.

In short, I find the case against religion ambiguous at best, and downright incorrect at worst. For me, it comes down to this: I will take a progressive Christian any day over a libertarian atheist (and boy are there a lot of those).

Fartacus on
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    YougottawannaYougottawanna Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    If asked I usually describe myself as "not religious" - however I do spend a lot of time around pretty progressive and accepting Lutherans, so I can verify that progressive Christians exist and are pretty cool.

    Yougottawanna on
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    Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    That Black Swan movie?!

    OMG!

    You have to go see it just for the masturbation scene!

    Casually Hardcore on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Fartacus wrote: »
    I will take a progressive Christian any day over a libertarian atheist (and boy are there a lot of those).

    What the fuck is a progressive Christian?


    Is that like a Hassidic pig farmer?

    Atomika on
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    FartacusFartacus __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2010
    Fartacus wrote: »
    I will take a progressive Christian any day over a libertarian atheist (and boy are there a lot of those).

    What the fuck is a progressive Christian?


    Is that like a Hassidic pig farmer?

    I know this is meant humorously, but there are an appalling number of atheists who live in such a detached bubble that they really do harbor views similar to this (because they have such limited interaction with theists of any kind).

    At the end of the day, we're, what, 8% of the US population? And most of us are white and upper-class, which means quite a few of us are voting Republican. Ethnicity and geography are the most predictive variables in voting, followed by income and religiosity.

    The reality is that there are a tremendous number of progressive Christians. As I mentioned above, progressive denominations actually outnumber conservative ones in the US. United Church of Christ is a great example. Episcopalians and Presbyterians are great too.

    Fartacus on
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    Toxin01Toxin01 Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I'll be quiet as soon as people stop whispering about my atheism in school like I just openly announced I like to rape dead puppies.

    Toxin01 on
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    agoajagoaj Top Tier One FearRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Toxin01 wrote: »
    I'll be quiet as soon as people stop whispering about my atheism in school like I just openly announced I like to rape dead puppies.

    Not puppies... just baby jesus.

    agoaj on
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    FroThulhuFroThulhu Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Toxin01 wrote: »
    I'll be quiet as soon as people stop whispering about my atheism in school like I just openly announced I like to rape dead puppies.

    I went through this in school, when I was an atheist. Now that I'm a Christian, I have random people yelling at me. Pretty rad. Especially since I believe in evolution, occasionally dig on dudes, and believe that religion is the single worst influence on politics.

    FroThulhu on
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    By proselytizing, are you referring to those ad campaigns as well? Because I agree that one-on-one proselytizing is almost always useless and generally harmful, but advocating atheism to a broad audience is a different beast entirely.

    KalTorak on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Fartacus wrote: »
    The reality is that there are a tremendous number of progressive Christians. As I mentioned above, progressive denominations actually outnumber conservative ones in the US. United Church of Christ is a great example. Episcopalians and Presbyterians are great too.

    I disagree. I think there are a number of BAD Christians who at least have the moral decency to ignore the particularly backwards parts of the Bible, but still cleave to the parts where Jesus said chill out and be cool. Jesus also said some fuck up shit, too, but that doesn't fit the PR.

    The most "progressivism" you could hope for in a devout believer is the politeness to keep it to themselves.

    Much like Toxin01 above me here, my experience is that atheism is far more persecuted than religious belief. So no, I will not quiet or quell myself in the face of ignorant fascist absurdity.

    Atomika on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    By proselytizing, are you referring to those ad campaigns as well? Because I agree that one-on-one proselytizing is almost always useless and generally harmful, but advocating atheism to a broad audience is a different beast entirely.

    I think it's great. Religion is the single most harmful force on the planet right now, and has been for quite a long time.

    Atomika on
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    By proselytizing, are you referring to those ad campaigns as well? Because I agree that one-on-one proselytizing is almost always useless and generally harmful, but advocating atheism to a broad audience is a different beast entirely.

    I think it's great. Religion is the single most harmful force on the planet right now, and has been for quite a long time.

    It's also pretty telling when you get people up in arms over ads that essentially say "Hey, we exist."

    KalTorak on
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    FroThulhuFroThulhu Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    By proselytizing, are you referring to those ad campaigns as well? Because I agree that one-on-one proselytizing is almost always useless and generally harmful, but advocating atheism to a broad audience is a different beast entirely.

    Seriously, why do it at all? Either way? One of the main reasons I was so angrily atheist for song is because I had religious folk trying to tell me what's what. And, now that I'm a Christian, it's hard for me to not get pissed when somebody starts trying to tell everybody "THE JESUS IS A LIE! FUCK BUDDHA! THE SKY'S FALLING SHIIIIIIII..."

    The real solution here is for everybody to stfu, just out of common courtesy to mixed company.

    FroThulhu on
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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I would also consider myself an atheist because I am completely devoid of religion. But I try to avoid that word because idiots and militant atheists give the word a bad name.

    You know what really annoys me about atheists? The morons who rail against religion while simultaneously knowing absolutely nothing about it. And those who act like religion has no redeeming value whatsoever and anyone who believes in something is a bible-thumping social conservative crazy. Opinions like that don't help anyone.

    tsmvengy on
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    Witch_Hunter_84Witch_Hunter_84 Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    FroThulhu wrote: »
    The real solution here is for everybody to stfu, just out of common courtesy to mixed company.

    I always get so freaking uncomfortable when people debate religion, or their lack of belief in front of me. Mainly because I know that once the conversation starts, the clock begins to tick down until eventually arriving at a scene where everyone is yelling and calling eachother Hitler.

    Witch_Hunter_84 on
    If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten in your presence.
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    FroThulhu wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    By proselytizing, are you referring to those ad campaigns as well? Because I agree that one-on-one proselytizing is almost always useless and generally harmful, but advocating atheism to a broad audience is a different beast entirely.

    Seriously, why do it at all? Either way? One of the main reasons I was so angrily atheist for song is because I had religious folk trying to tell me what's what. And, now that I'm a Christian, it's hard for me to not get pissed when somebody starts trying to tell everybody "THE JESUS IS A LIE! FUCK BUDDHA! THE SKY'S FALLING SHIIIIIIII..."

    The real solution here is for everybody to stfu, just out of common courtesy to mixed company.

    Being able to stfu is a luxury that majorities get.

    As for mixed company, again, I'm not saying bring it up to someone's face at a dinner party or something - confrontation never gets anyone anywhere. But being offended by inoffensive religious advertisements is pretty juvenile, as is being offended by atheist advertisements.

    KalTorak on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    My personal favorite is the billboards that boldly proclaim each Christmas, "Remember the Reason for the Season!"


    So I hope you all had a lovely Saturnalian Solstice last week.

    Atomika on
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    ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    FroThulhu wrote: »
    The real solution here is for everybody to stfu, just out of common courtesy to mixed company.

    I always get so freaking uncomfortable when people debate religion, or their lack of belief in front of me. Mainly because I know that once the conversation starts, the clock begins to tick down until eventually arriving at a scene where everyone is yelling and calling eachother Hitler.

    Agreed. It doesn't end well. I respect all beliefs as long as nobody is slinging them around.

    Zombiemambo on
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    FroThulhuFroThulhu Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    FroThulhu wrote: »
    The real solution here is for everybody to stfu, just out of common courtesy to mixed company.

    I always get so freaking uncomfortable when people debate religion, or their lack of belief in front of me. Mainly because I know that once the conversation starts, the clock begins to tick down until eventually arriving at a scene where everyone is yelling and calling eachother Hitler.

    For real. FOR REAL.

    It doesn't have to be that way; I actually don't understand why people do that. Like... seriously, why the fuck do I care if you don't believe in some deity? I don't. Don't care. And you shouldn't care that I don't. I'd love to sit down and discuss the implications of both viewpoints. I think, if we look at it, we'll see that they cancel eachother out. There's a point where the answer becomes "fuck, I dunno." And then it becomes imagination time, and imagination time is fun. And SCIENCE! is fun.

    Why people gotta so awful?

    FroThulhu on
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    Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    By proselytizing, are you referring to those ad campaigns as well? Because I agree that one-on-one proselytizing is almost always useless and generally harmful, but advocating atheism to a broad audience is a different beast entirely.

    I think it's great. Religion is the single most harmful force on the planet right now, and has been for quite a long time.

    i would say, as an atheist, that this is completely wrong and oversimplified

    religion is not the single most harmful force on the planet

    i would be surprised if evidence could be offered that it caused net harm

    religion is a symptom, not an illness, and even that is far loftier and more condescending than i like to sound. religion is an excuse, an intensifier, a rhetorical device in the evils of the world, but it not the cause, nor would ridding the world of religion resolve the majority, if any, of the world's ills.

    Evil Multifarious on
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    HonkHonk Honk is this poster. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2010
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    I would also consider myself an atheist because I am completely devoid of religion. But I try to avoid that word because idiots and militant atheists give the word a bad name.

    While true; the people who would automatically dislike you if you used the word to describe yourself are also idiots of the same magnitude.

    Honk on
    PSN: Honkalot
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    I would also consider myself an atheist because I am completely devoid of religion. But I try to avoid that word because idiots and militant atheists give the word a bad name.

    You know what really annoys me about atheists? The morons who rail against religion while simultaneously knowing absolutely nothing about it. And those who act like religion has no redeeming value whatsoever and anyone who believes in something is a bible-thumping social conservative crazy. Opinions like that don't help anyone.

    It's not that religion doesn't have any redeeming value, it's that any redeeming value it may have springs from existential coercion and guilt, plus it in no way negates the massive pile of negative shit it causes.


    What your saying is like saying toxic waste isn't all bad because it gives the guys at the EPA a paying job.

    Atomika on
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    FroThulhuFroThulhu Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    My personal favorite is the billboards that boldly proclaim each Christmas, "Remember the Reason for the Season!"


    So I hope you all had a lovely Saturnalian Solstice last week.

    I did! :)

    FroThulhu on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    By proselytizing, are you referring to those ad campaigns as well? Because I agree that one-on-one proselytizing is almost always useless and generally harmful, but advocating atheism to a broad audience is a different beast entirely.

    I think it's great. Religion is the single most harmful force on the planet right now, and has been for quite a long time.

    i would say, as an atheist, that this is completely wrong and oversimplified

    religion is not the single most harmful force on the planet

    i would be surprised if evidence could be offered that it caused net harm

    religion is a symptom, not an illness, and even that is far loftier and more condescending than i like to sound. religion is an excuse, an intensifier, a rhetorical device in the evils of the world, but it not the cause, nor would ridding the world of religion resolve the majority, if any, of the world's ills.

    Nope. Everything you said is wrong. No one from birth is a bigot or willfully ignorant.

    And it's undoubtedly the most harmful active force in the world today. Almost every major conflict in the world right now is religious in nature, and religion is to blame for the rise of people like Sarah Palin.


    There aren't words to express the extent of how harmful religion is.

    Atomika on
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    HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    By proselytizing, are you referring to those ad campaigns as well? Because I agree that one-on-one proselytizing is almost always useless and generally harmful, but advocating atheism to a broad audience is a different beast entirely.

    I think it's great. Religion is the single most harmful force on the planet right now, and has been for quite a long time.

    i would say, as an atheist, that this is completely wrong and oversimplified

    religion is not the single most harmful force on the planet

    i would be surprised if evidence could be offered that it caused net harm

    religion is a symptom, not an illness, and even that is far loftier and more condescending than i like to sound. religion is an excuse, an intensifier, a rhetorical device in the evils of the world, but it not the cause, nor would ridding the world of religion resolve the majority, if any, of the world's ills.

    Basically this.

    Economics and geopolitics are far more powerful predictors of human behavior than religion.

    Hachface on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    FroThulhu wrote: »
    My personal favorite is the billboards that boldly proclaim each Christmas, "Remember the Reason for the Season!"


    So I hope you all had a lovely Saturnalian Solstice last week.

    I did! :)

    May the chief druid shine his cauldron upon you!

    Atomika on
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    DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    FroThulhu wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    By proselytizing, are you referring to those ad campaigns as well? Because I agree that one-on-one proselytizing is almost always useless and generally harmful, but advocating atheism to a broad audience is a different beast entirely.

    Seriously, why do it at all? Either way? One of the main reasons I was so angrily atheist for song is because I had religious folk trying to tell me what's what. And, now that I'm a Christian, it's hard for me to not get pissed when somebody starts trying to tell everybody "THE JESUS IS A LIE! FUCK BUDDHA! THE SKY'S FALLING SHIIIIIIII..."

    The real solution here is for everybody to stfu, just out of common courtesy to mixed company.

    In what way does this not return us to the status quo where religious nuts say anything they want at any time while the 20-25 non religious people have to bend over and take it?

    You want people to shut up about religion? Fine, let's make it illegal to advertise religious messages on all public media. Everybody wins.

    DanHibiki on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Hachface wrote: »
    Economics and geopolitics are far more powerful predictors of human behavior than religion.

    And what do you think motivates those? Religion isn't a separate motivating factor, it's the ultimate motivating factor.

    Atomika on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited December 2010
    Let's all do our best to keep this civil and on-track.

    For instance:
    What your saying is like saying toxic waste isn't all bad because it gives the guys at the EPA a paying job.

    Ross, the first part of your post would have been fine. There is absolutely zero need to tack this sort of thing at the end and future use of misdeployed hyperbole will be dealt with harshly.

    Jacobkosh on
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    Psycho Internet HawkPsycho Internet Hawk Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Having known some pretty shitty athiests and some very nice religious people of all stripes, I'm inclined to judge people more on their actual character, or actions, or arguments. Maybe I'm just crazy though!

    Psycho Internet Hawk on
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    ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    FroThulhu wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    By proselytizing, are you referring to those ad campaigns as well? Because I agree that one-on-one proselytizing is almost always useless and generally harmful, but advocating atheism to a broad audience is a different beast entirely.

    Seriously, why do it at all? Either way? One of the main reasons I was so angrily atheist for song is because I had religious folk trying to tell me what's what. And, now that I'm a Christian, it's hard for me to not get pissed when somebody starts trying to tell everybody "THE JESUS IS A LIE! FUCK BUDDHA! THE SKY'S FALLING SHIIIIIIII..."

    The real solution here is for everybody to stfu, just out of common courtesy to mixed company.

    In what way does this not return us to the status quo where religious nuts say anything they want at any time while the 20-25 non religious people have to bend over and take it?

    You want people to shut up about religion? Fine, let's make it illegal to advertise religious messages on all public media. Everybody wins.

    Yes, I agree. Ideally nobody would be offended but that's completely unrealistic and I'm all for censorship in advertising.

    Zombiemambo on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    Let's all do our best to keep this civil and on-track.

    For instance:
    What your saying is like saying toxic waste isn't all bad because it gives the guys at the EPA a paying job.

    Ross, the first part of your post would have been fine. There is absolutely zero need to tack this sort of thing at the end and future use of misdeployed hyperbole will be dealt with harshly.

    Agreed. For the record, I was just trying to make an analogy highlighting a situation where a small positive did not outweigh a large negative, not equate religion with toxic waste.

    Apologies.

    Atomika on
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    LoklarLoklar Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    KalTorak wrote: »
    By proselytizing, are you referring to those ad campaigns as well? Because I agree that one-on-one proselytizing is almost always useless and generally harmful, but advocating atheism to a broad audience is a different beast entirely.

    I think it's great. Religion is the single most harmful force on the planet right now, and has been for quite a long time.

    i would say, as an atheist, that this is completely wrong and oversimplified

    religion is not the single most harmful force on the planet

    i would be surprised if evidence could be offered that it caused net harm

    religion is a symptom, not an illness, and even that is far loftier and more condescending than i like to sound. religion is an excuse, an intensifier, a rhetorical device in the evils of the world, but it not the cause, nor would ridding the world of religion resolve the majority, if any, of the world's ills.

    This makes sense to me.

    I think atheism is the intellectually honest way to go but overall it doesn't really help or hinder anything.

    Loklar on
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    FroThulhuFroThulhu Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Reactionary, blanket statement making geese are the reason for the 'rise' of Sarah Palin. There are plenty of those in all walks of life. Those are the people who tend to wage holy wars and vote for people like Palin. They're also the kind of people who presume to suggest that an extremely diverse "group" of people are the cause of all the worlds ills.

    But, see: now this discussion is about to turn into a big argument.

    FroThulhu on
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    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Fartacus wrote: »
    The reality is that there are a tremendous number of progressive Christians. As I mentioned above, progressive denominations actually outnumber conservative ones in the US. United Church of Christ is a great example. Episcopalians and Presbyterians are great too.

    I disagree. I think there are a number of BAD Christians who at least have the moral decency to ignore the particularly backwards parts of the Bible, but still cleave to the parts where Jesus said chill out and be cool. Jesus also said some fuck up shit, too, but that doesn't fit the PR.

    The most "progressivism" you could hope for in a devout believer is the politeness to keep it to themselves.

    This is the kind of BS I'm talking about. Exactly what do you know that lets you judge the "good/bad" of someone's faith. You're representing serious ignorance about the nature of individual faith if somehow you think that religion/faith = ABSOLUTE STRICT LITERAL TRUTH OF THE BIBLE/HOLY TEXTS.

    Fuck Catholics then I guess, because they sure as hell don't believe that. The Catholic Church even says that evolution is perfectly acceptable. And considering that something like 89% of people in the US consider themselves part of a religion and only a fraction of that believe in stupid creationist BS, there's a HUGE fucking gap of people in there that you are ignoring. "If you don't believe in the literal Bible you're a 'Bad Christian!'" What a load.

    Perhaps because you live in bumfuck bible-thump Texas that's all you see. Out here in the real world there are tons of people who go to church or believe in God and are progressive people, and you know what? They hate BS social conservatives as much as the rest of us, because they misrepresent what religion is.

    tsmvengy on
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    FroThulhuFroThulhu Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    FroThulhu wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    By proselytizing, are you referring to those ad campaigns as well? Because I agree that one-on-one proselytizing is almost always useless and generally harmful, but advocating atheism to a broad audience is a different beast entirely.

    Seriously, why do it at all? Either way? One of the main reasons I was so angrily atheist for song is because I had religious folk trying to tell me what's what. And, now that I'm a Christian, it's hard for me to not get pissed when somebody starts trying to tell everybody "THE JESUS IS A LIE! FUCK BUDDHA! THE SKY'S FALLING SHIIIIIIII..."

    The real solution here is for everybody to stfu, just out of common courtesy to mixed company.

    In what way does this not return us to the status quo where religious nuts say anything they want at any time while the 20-25 non religious people have to bend over and take it?

    You want people to shut up about religion? Fine, let's make it illegal to advertise religious messages on all public media. Everybody wins.

    Yes, I agree. Ideally nobody would be offended but that's completely unrealistic and I'm all for censorship in advertising.

    Man, I'm all for this. I've said it before on the forums; as a Christian, I find Christian advertising to be extremely not ok.

    FroThulhu on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Perhaps because you live in bumfuck bible-thump Texas that's all you see. Out here in the real world there are tons of people who go to church or believe in God and are progressive people, and you know what? They hate BS social conservatives as much as the rest of us, because they misrepresent what religion is.

    What is religion then, sir? And how exactly does following the Bible misrepresent it?

    Atomika on
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    Psycho Internet HawkPsycho Internet Hawk Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Hachface wrote: »
    Economics and geopolitics are far more powerful predictors of human behavior than religion.

    And what do you think motivates those? Religion isn't a separate motivating factor, it's the ultimate motivating factor.

    You're an atheist, so you'd believe it's not like some magical mystical force that fell from the sky correct? After all, religions tend to promote their own believers as chosen/better people, and those other assholes in a rival country/tribe/whatever as the enemy. Religion tends to reflect a whole bunch of other things that exist regardless of the mumbo-jumbo spiritual element.

    So what I'm asking is, where do you think the "religious" element ends and the other aspects of humanity begin? What's the difference? If you remove religion, will people act any differently, or will they find other ways to justify their actions?

    Psycho Internet Hawk on
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    HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Dammit, Shepard!Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Hachface wrote: »
    Economics and geopolitics are far more powerful predictors of human behavior than religion.

    And what do you think motivates those? Religion isn't a separate motivating factor, it's the ultimate motivating factor.

    The book No God but God makes a pretty convincing case that Islam developed in response to the Bedouin transition from a nomadic lifestyle to a stationery one, and that the system of laws set forth in the Quran makes the most sense if you view it as one man's attempt to revise society's rules away from one form of social organization (nomadic tribes) to another (a complex city-based society). I suspect that most phenomena commonly thought of as entirely religious are actually social reactions to material circumstances.

    Edit: Anyway, the economic situation of a given society (to name one sort of material circumstance) is fixed; there are no easy ways to change it. Religion is extremely fluid and open to interpretation. People as a whole will always alter their beliefs to suit their circumstances. This is why things such as economics and the advancement of technology are a much more powerful force than religion.

    Hachface on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    So what I'm asking is, where do you think the "religious" element ends and the other aspects of humanity begin? What's the difference? If you remove religion, will people act any differently, or will they find other ways to justify their actions?

    I don't know. Do you think far-right Republicans are fundamentally different than far-left Liberals in their outlook towards others? I'd say so. Adherence to religion is the top distinguishing difference.

    Atomika on
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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Hachface wrote: »
    Hachface wrote: »
    Economics and geopolitics are far more powerful predictors of human behavior than religion.

    And what do you think motivates those? Religion isn't a separate motivating factor, it's the ultimate motivating factor.

    The book No God but God makes a pretty convincing case that Islam developed in response to the Bedouin transition from a nomadic lifestyle to a stationery one, and that the system of laws set forth in the Quran makes the most sense if you view it as one man's attempt to revise society's rules away from one form of social organization (nomadic tribes) to another (a complex city-based society). I suspect that most phenomena commonly thought of as entirely religious are actually social reactions to material circumstances.

    Edit: Anyway, the economic situation of a given society (to name one sort of material circumstance) is fixed; there are no easy ways to change it. Religion is extremely fluid and open to interpretation. People as a whole will always alter their beliefs to suit their circumstances. This is why economics is a much more powerful force than religion.

    Oh, I agree entirely. That doesn't change the facts on the ground today. Especially since zealots are the least likely group to understand or accept the political nature of their own origins.


    EDIT: gotta run. work and stuff.

    Atomika on
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