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Athiests and Offensiveness

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    EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    Quoth wrote: »
    I find the sign offensive and I'm an atheist. I'm not saying it should be censored, but it seems designed specifically to offend and anger particular people. I don't think Christmas trees or menorahs are meant to be offensive.

    Should the Washington State government take it down at the price of free speech or take the controversial hits till New Year's? Either way I'll bet heavily that they'll review any future sign or display.

    Emanon on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited December 2008
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Why do I think what is? Why do I think I don't give a shit? Because it's a very small issue that, in itself, affects virtually nothing but people's delicate sensibilities. It's in somewhat poor taste. I don't get my panties in a bunch for "somewhat poor taste".

    What makes you think that someone's sensibilities must be delicate if they're bothered by that?

    Isn't being bothered by something extremely inconsequential pretty much the definition of "having delicate sensibilities"? Unless you're presuming that the reason a nativity scene is out there is as an explicit "fuck you" to non-Christians as opposed to a celebration of a holiday embraced by 80% of the population, in which case you're sort of batty.

    ElJeffe on
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    JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Place at the tableRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Sarksus wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »

    Well, we have to assume that someone who labels themselves a Christian believes in the central teachings of Christianity. If you start picking and choosing, you're just . . . picking and choosing a moral framework, bereft of respect for the Word of God. If you doubt part of the book, you doubt it all, and if you keep part of the book after that, you're just making ethical choices as an agnostic.

    But Christians do this all of the time! They don't know the bible in its entirety and they pick and choose what they like. You think every Christian is totally into the idea that homosexuality is a sin?

    Every Christian picks and chooses which parts to believe in.

    Every. Last. One.


    Yeah. I. Know. That's. What. Makes. The. Whole. Thing. Stupid. Because. If. You. Carry. That. to. its. logical. end. Atheists. Are. Just. Christians. That. Don't. Believe. The. Supernatural. Parts.


    That's my point.

    Yeah but that doesn't have anything to do with what we're arguing. We're not arguing whether or not Christianity is irrational, we're arguing whether or not a religious scene is offensive due to whether or not a religion's followers, as a whole, are all intolerant belligerents who want to feast on the thought of you burning in Hell. You can't hold every Christian to the same standard because they don't even hold themselves to the same standard.

    Edit: MikeMan, I clarified my position later on. I shouldn't have stopped it that short.


    Yeah, but see, if you constantly evade all argument by saying "not every christian believes that" we don't even have a framework. And if you decide you're free to pick and choose among christian dogma and still call yourself christian, then I'm a christian that just doesn't believe in miracles, god, or the resurrection. See you in church. What's the point of clinging to part of a religion?

    JohnnyCache on
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    TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    I'm having a hard time believing that a nativity scene is just a bunch of people and a baby, instead of a statement about the only way to true peace being via a child born of immaculate conception. Maybe it's that way for some people, but it's pretty dickish to erect such a monument on public property, when there are all sorts of generic 'seasons greetings' messages that would be more considerate of the diverse beliefs of people who may have to use these public facilities.

    thats because you already know the meaning behind the scene.

    when you guys (who see all this symbology in a nativity scene) look at the back of a one dollar bill do you get all offended about the word under god? or the free mason symbology? does the sun rising every day state that the ever powerful RA is watching over you?

    How is my knowing the relevance important? Are you insinuating that a Jew or Muslim walking into the legislative building wouldn't recognize the nativity scene?

    As for your second paragraph, yes I am displeased with the religious imagery on money and the like. Sure, I've entertained conspiracy theories about the dollar's decorations. No, I don't associate religious significance with a naturally occurring event that isn't a created scene from a specific religion's holy text that is erected at my local government building.

    TL DR on
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    Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    Because you are trying to assert that every Christian believes everything the Bible or Church says.

    Or you are trying to assert that every Christian believes certain things the Bible or Church says that are convenient for your argument.

    It's kind of a ridiculous claim.

    Does god exist y/n?

    If y, does god exist for everybody else as well y/n?

    That's why it's an exclusive claim. Nevermind the details, that's the big one, and the vast majority of Christians are going to answer yes to both of those questions. If they don't, they've created some meaningless, powerless deity to conform to reality, and might as well be deists.

    So if I'm to understand this, you are saying that any expression of your religious beliefs, ever, is terrible and oppressive, right? If I ever mention my religious beliefs offhand, this is an unambiguous statement that everyone who disagrees with me can go suck a dick? Because that's how you're coming off.

    no, but Christianity has several core beliefs, including "If you don't believe in Jesus and accept him as your savior, then you are damned to Hell." Any expression of Christian belief is implicitly saying "believe, or go to hell." If you say "I am Christian," you are also saying, "and if you're not, you're going to hell."

    Basically, I know that if I am talking to someone who is actually Christian, who really believes, then I know I'm talking to someone who believes I am damned to an eternity of torment because of my beliefs, or lack thereof. The very nature of their beliefs is offensive to me, and to anyone non-Christian. Thus, any expression of that belief is going to be offensive.

    Now, of course, pragmatically, I don't really mind that much when the person in question is not expressing those beliefs, and is not pushing them on me. But putting up a nativity scene in a public place is an expression of beliefs that are offensive to many, many people, because those beliefs come as a unit.

    Evil Multifarious on
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    DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    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.

    I wonder what the people complaining in that article would think if any of the following things, aside from the cross, were displayed inside at a legislative building...

    210px-Religious_syms.svg.png

    Religion is fine, it simply doesn't belong into a goverment building in any fashion. Having a nativity scene there is wrong.

    DarkCrawler on
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    KorlashKorlash Québécois TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Should the Washington State government take it down at the price of free speech or take the controversial hits till New Year's? Either way I'll bet heavily that they'll review any future sign or display.

    I don't think free speech should be protected when it's clear aim is to be incendiary. I don't think trolling is an activity that is necessary for the well being of mankind. I'm glad we've got hate speech laws in Canada (even though we sometimes go a little too far with them).

    Korlash on
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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    Because you are trying to assert that every Christian believes everything the Bible or Church says.

    Or you are trying to assert that every Christian believes certain things the Bible or Church says that are convenient for your argument.

    It's kind of a ridiculous claim.

    Does god exist y/n?

    If y, does god exist for everybody else as well y/n?

    That's why it's an exclusive claim. Nevermind the details, that's the big one, and the vast majority of Christians are going to answer yes to both of those questions. If they don't, they've created some meaningless, powerless deity to conform to reality, and might as well be deists.

    So if I'm to understand this, you are saying that any expression of your religious beliefs, ever, is terrible and oppressive, right? If I ever mention my religious beliefs offhand, this is an unambiguous statement that everyone who disagrees with me can go suck a dick? Because that's how you're coming off.

    That is remarkably exactly how hippie presents himself every time. There's no room for question, or discussion, only his views are acceptable or allowable.

    I fully expect myself to appear in the chat thread and some head bashing though.

    bowen on
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    JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Place at the tableRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Emanon wrote: »
    Quoth wrote: »
    I find the sign offensive and I'm an atheist. I'm not saying it should be censored, but it seems designed specifically to offend and anger particular people. I don't think Christmas trees or menorahs are meant to be offensive.

    Should the Washington State government take it down at the price of free speech or take the controversial hits till New Year's? Either way I'll bet heavily that they'll review any future sign or display.

    Did you even read your own link? Some dickhead in the private sector took it down for them already.

    JohnnyCache on
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    Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Hey Hippie? You're doing the same fucking thing to every religion on the planet, you know.

    Sheesh. If a simple "I believe (X)", where X is a statement about how the universe is, offends you THAT badly- how do you get through the day? Tolerance doesn't mean acceptance. Never has. "You're fundamentally wrong, but I can still deal with you as a person" is more like it.

    The only thing I've ever advocated for is some accountability for what (X) is, and rigorous standards of evidence for that belief. I'd appreciate it if you didn't make assumptions about me from now on, thanks.

    See ElJeffe's post. You're coming across as someone who fumes any time religion comes up, ever. If not, fine.

    Religion is just one of many irrational, poorly or NOT proven beliefs people have. If you blow a cork anytime someone does anything irrational, you'll be doing it all day every day.

    You might note that I didn't blow a gasket until Pony started putting words in my mouth and people argued over something that is completely and utterly factual.

    Wonder_Hippie on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Korlash wrote: »
    That kind of exchange between intellectuals is to be encouraged, but I doubt the general population can face reality. I know that I don't want to let myself be entertained by illusions, and it seems like other intellectuals think the same, but if you ask around, you're likely to have a lot of people tell you that they wouldn't mind living in the Matrix.
    I wouldn't mind living in the Matrix. I also think we should try to engage the "plebs" in intellectual debates. I'm not that much of an elitist.
    Let them have their god. I'd rather them believe than be depressed. I think depression is enough of an issue in modern society, we don't need to make matters worse.
    Here's where I think you're unreasonable: the atheistic worldview is not actually depressing. It certainly doesn't need to be.

    Yeah, the idea of the afterlife is sort of a booster, but I wouldn't want to sit around in heaven eternally praising the Creator. Some people claim that the evolution origin story is depressing. But I think the gradual evolution of intelligence from inert matter, culminating in our technology and ideas in morals—we are the universe becoming aware of itself—is a much more beautiful and uplifting story than the story of a Mesopotamian deity creating us out of clay as slave-workers for his garden and then threatening us with eternal torture if we don't completely obey his whims.

    Atheism only seems depressing because so many religious people define their happiness in terms of their cult. Plenty of religious people are also depressed, often directly because of their religion.

    Qingu on
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    AegisAegis Fear My Dance Overshot Toronto, Landed in OttawaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    And if you decide you're free to pick and choose among christian dogma and still call yourself christian, then I'm a christian

    Isn't this what sparked the breakoff of Evangelists, Baptists, Lutherans, Anglicans, and United Church?

    Even within one particular brand of Christianity, everyone person is going to pick what they don't care for and what they do. They're not mindless automatons following a script.

    Aegis on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited December 2008
    When it's put up in front of a government building? Yeah, it's pretty fucking oppressive. All I've said, though, is that saying that necessarily excludes other systems of belief. That's exactly what it does, and I don't care if that's what your intention is or not, you can't help but be exclusivistic about it under most deifinitions of god. Other systems of belief are not compatible. Simple fact.

    Now how many more times do I have to restate a completely uncontroversial statement before people will stop putting words in my mouth?

    Some of your posts have made it sound like you were referring to all nativity scenes, both public and private. Is this not the case? Because if I'm mistaken here, then I'll downgrade you from "wacko" to "excessively miffed".

    ElJeffe on
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    EmperorSethEmperorSeth Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Emanon wrote: »
    Quoth wrote: »
    I find the sign offensive and I'm an atheist. I'm not saying it should be censored, but it seems designed specifically to offend and anger particular people. I don't think Christmas trees or menorahs are meant to be offensive.

    Should the Washington State government take it down at the price of free speech or take the controversial hits till New Year's? Either way I'll bet heavily that they'll review any future sign or display.

    That's my point. They can't take it down unless they also take the Nativity down. I suspect that's exactly what this group wanted. It's not a PR move or an attempt to cheer up fellow atheists in the holiday season; it's a deliberate attempt to force a legal challenge, a challenge that the atheists will almost certainly win.

    Edit: Err, unless the sign was already taken down. So yeah.

    EmperorSeth on
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    MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    And now it's terrible to be interested in enforcing the establishment clause, because that's so picky and hysterical and over-sensitive. Wonderful.

    Mahnmut on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Qingu wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Can I point out that I know a lot of pretty secular people who stick up nativity scenes because they're pretty?

    Also, I'm one of these people. My family is christian, I'm atheist, but I don't really give a crap. It's a nice story in my opinion...one of the few nice stories in Bible, actually. Jesus was a pretty cool guy.
    It's a bullshit story added by Luke to tie in the myth of Christianity to the paganism of the time (the magi).

    And Jesus was an asshole. "You're either with me or against me." "Ditch your families to follow me—let the dead bury the dead." The constant threats of hellfire. Have you actually read the man's parables? They are bare-toothed threats against unbelievers: "The master is going to come home and totally kill all the bad slaves!"

    He was a doomsday cult leader. Fuck Jesus and the donkey he rode in on.

    the nativity story (the far fetched magi and imacculate conception etc) is in matthew.... the tax collector...

    and luke was a doctor if i remember right so its just kinda implied that he was an asshole.

    also luke holds some of the bibles most empathetic passages such as (off the top of my head) the parable of the good samaritan.

    Dunadan019 on
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    SarksusSarksus ATTACK AND DETHRONE GODRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Sarksus wrote: »

    Yeah. I. Know. That's. What. Makes. The. Whole. Thing. Stupid. Because. If. You. Carry. That. to. its. logical. end. Atheists. Are. Just. Christians. That. Don't. Believe. The. Supernatural. Parts.


    That's my point.

    Yeah but that doesn't have anything to do with what we're arguing. We're not arguing whether or not Christianity is irrational, we're arguing whether or not a religious scene is offensive due to whether or not a religion's followers, as a whole, are all intolerant belligerents who want to feast on the thought of you burning in Hell. You can't hold every Christian to the same standard because they don't even hold themselves to the same standard.

    Edit: MikeMan, I clarified my position later on. I shouldn't have stopped it that short.


    Yeah, but see, if you constantly evade all argument by saying "not every christian believes that" we don't even have a framework. And if you decide you're free to pick and choose among christian dogma and still call yourself christian, then I'm a christian that just doesn't believe in miracles, god, or the resurrection. See you in church. What's the point of clinging to part of a religion?

    Again, not the argument. It doesn't make sense to me either, but the point I am trying to make is that someone can put up a nativity scene because they feel good, or think they feel good, about their religion and Jesus Christ, who they view as their saviour, but they don't necessarily have to have beliefs such as "atheists are devil-worshipers who will burn in Hell and I hate them". A nativity scene does not deserve to have that kind of label placed on it because to the person putting the scene up that wasn't what they had in mind.

    Sarksus on
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    SnorkSnork word Jamaica Plain, MARegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    I'm having a hard time believing that a nativity scene is just a bunch of people and a baby, instead of a statement about the only way to true peace being via a child born of immaculate conception. Maybe it's that way for some people, but it's pretty dickish to erect such a monument on public property, when there are all sorts of generic 'seasons greetings' messages that would be more considerate of the diverse beliefs of people who may have to use these public facilities.

    thats because you already know the meaning behind the scene.

    when you guys (who see all this symbology in a nativity scene) look at the back of a one dollar bill do you get all offended about the word under god? or the free mason symbology? does the sun rising every day state that the ever powerful RA is watching over you?

    Offended? No. But "under god" shouldn't be on money, and the freemason symbology shouldn't be on money. I'd be glad if they were removed and would vote that way if I ever got the chance, but it probably won't happen.
    Symbology? Now that Duffy has relinquished his "King Bonehead" crown, I see we have an heir to the throne! I'm sure the word you were looking for was "symbolism." What is the ssss-himbolism there?

    Snork on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited December 2008
    no, but Christianity has several core beliefs, including "If you don't believe in Jesus and accept him as your savior, then you are damned to Hell." Any expression of Christian belief is implicitly saying "believe, or go to hell." If you say "I am Christian," you are also saying, "and if you're not, you're going to hell."

    Basically, I know that if I am talking to someone who is actually Christian, who really believes, then I know I'm talking to someone who believes I am damned to an eternity of torment because of my beliefs, or lack thereof. The very nature of their beliefs is offensive to me, and to anyone non-Christian. Thus, any expression of that belief is going to be offensive.

    Now, of course, pragmatically, I don't really mind that much when the person in question is not expressing those beliefs, and is not pushing them on me. But putting up a nativity scene in a public place is an expression of beliefs that are offensive to many, many people, because those beliefs come as a unit.

    Except every religious belief outside of blase agnosticism is saying similarly offensive things. You're an atheist? Oh, well, you're implicitly saying that 90% of the earth is a bunch of dumbasses praying to fairy tales because they're not as smart as you. Isn't that offensive, as well?

    Instead of being offended by the implicit declarations of almost everyone on the planet, maybe you could just not worry about it, and realize that probably every person on the planet has at least one belief that would totally piss you off.

    ElJeffe on
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    EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    Korlash wrote: »
    Should the Washington State government take it down at the price of free speech or take the controversial hits till New Year's? Either way I'll bet heavily that they'll review any future sign or display.

    I don't think free speech should be protected when it's clear aim is to be incendiary. I don't think trolling is an activity that is necessary for the well being of mankind. I'm glad we've got hate speech laws in Canada (even though we sometimes go a little too far with them).

    I disagree with that Canadian view, where is the tolerance of the intolerable?

    Emanon on
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    JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Place at the tableRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Aegis wrote: »
    And if you decide you're free to pick and choose among christian dogma and still call yourself christian, then I'm a christian

    Isn't this what sparked the breakoff of Evangelists, Baptists, Lutherans, Anglicans, and United Church?

    Even within one particular brand of Christianity, everyone person is going to pick what they don't care for and what they do. They're not mindless automatons following a script.

    Well, that and a whole lotta politics. Most of those splits occurred over interpretations of politics, specific corrupt church practices, the intermingling of church and state, etc. Not so much dogmatic differences, with the possible exception of the Catholics and Everybody Else. But the Lutheran split was VERY political and very related to notions of class and the interior practices of the Catholic church.

    Every one of those splinters pretty much still works out of the King James bible, or the new Happy Modern Bible With Contractions or whatever.

    There is no Christian sect that openly and vocally disregards Jesus as the path to heaven, though (to try to screw this down to relevence to the thread). I'm sure someone will get on here and go, "Well I go to a very progressive Christian church and we totally barely believe in the bible, it's really watered down and we're OK with everybody, you should come check it out," but essentially all Christians are taught that you need to be Christian to get into heaven. If your argument for your religion is "I don't believe in all of my religion anyway, because the parts that don't make sense to be clearly aren't the Word" then you are not a "good" christian - you're inescabably agnostic, at best, and probably only childhood conditioning is keeping you from the Horrible Dark Void of Nonbelief.

    JohnnyCache on
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    Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    When it's put up in front of a government building? Yeah, it's pretty fucking oppressive. All I've said, though, is that saying that necessarily excludes other systems of belief. That's exactly what it does, and I don't care if that's what your intention is or not, you can't help but be exclusivistic about it under most deifinitions of god. Other systems of belief are not compatible. Simple fact.

    Now how many more times do I have to restate a completely uncontroversial statement before people will stop putting words in my mouth?

    Some of your posts have made it sound like you were referring to all nativity scenes, both public and private. Is this not the case? Because if I'm mistaken here, then I'll downgrade you from "wacko" to "excessively miffed".

    Public or private, they're certainly making excluvistic statements. I got annoyed with this thread because people are acting like an exclusivistic statement from atheists is somehow worse than one from Christians just for being more direct, and then acted like Christianity isn't exclusive.

    A public, enfranchised expression is going to be offensive because we have laws against that kind of thing. A private one is just private, and I don't actually care.

    Wonder_Hippie on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited December 2008
    Mahnmut wrote: »
    And now it's terrible to be interested in enforcing the establishment clause, because that's so picky and hysterical and over-sensitive. Wonderful.

    The extent of the establishment clause isn't exactly non-controversial.

    ElJeffe on
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    EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    I didn't expect my first thread to be so flamey. I'm gonna take a break and hang in G&T, who is with me?

    Emanon on
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    KorlashKorlash Québécois TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Qingu wrote: »
    Korlash wrote: »
    That kind of exchange between intellectuals is to be encouraged, but I doubt the general population can face reality. I know that I don't want to let myself be entertained by illusions, and it seems like other intellectuals think the same, but if you ask around, you're likely to have a lot of people tell you that they wouldn't mind living in the Matrix.
    I wouldn't mind living in the Matrix. I also think we should try to engage the "plebs" in intellectual debates. I'm not that much of an elitist.
    Let them have their god. I'd rather them believe than be depressed. I think depression is enough of an issue in modern society, we don't need to make matters worse.
    Here's where I think you're unreasonable: the atheistic worldview is not actually depressing. It certainly doesn't need to be.

    Yeah, the idea of the afterlife is sort of a booster, but I wouldn't want to sit around in heaven eternally praising the Creator. Some people claim that the evolution origin story is depressing. But I think the gradual evolution of intelligence from inert matter, culminating in our technology and ideas in morals—we are the universe becoming aware of itself—is a much more beautiful and uplifting story than the story of a Mesopotamian deity creating us out of clay as slave-workers for his garden and then threatening us with eternal torture if we don't completely obey his whims.

    Atheism only seems depressing because so many religious people define their happiness in terms of their cult. Plenty of religious people are also depressed, often directly because of their religion.

    I may come off as elitist, but that's what college level philosophy classes do to you (majoring in physics, but it's required here). Some people are just completely incapable of a rational debate. These people vastly outnumber those who can reason.

    But yes, I'd rather prefer if there existed a god, to be honest. Mostly because I find the thought of ceasing to exist to be pretty terrifying. Also because it makes our existences quite pointless. I've given myself a purpose (the study of the universe, which is all the more important since we're the only civilization that exists, as far as we know), but people need some direction. It's comforting to think that someone cares about the pain you must endure in your daily life, and that's why I think religion has a mostly positive influence.
    I disagree with that Canadian view, where is the tolerance of the intolerable?

    The problem is that, if everyone was perfectly rational, people with hateful views would be rightly dismissed. But that's clearly not the case, and if enough people repeat a clearly wrong, hateful statement, others will believe it. Just look at republican rallies, and the hatred that was directed at Obama.

    Korlash on
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    ShurakaiShurakai Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I think its fine to celebrate Christmas without any mention of Christianity.

    That's how my family has done it for as long as I can remember. Christmas is about family and giving, santa and stockings.

    Shurakai on
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    NartwakNartwak Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Quoth wrote: »
    I find the sign offensive and I'm an atheist. I'm not saying it should be censored, but it seems designed specifically to offend and anger particular people. I don't think Christmas trees or menorahs are meant to be offensive.

    I find the sign empowering and feel a greater personal resolve after reading it.

    Nartwak on
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    PantsBPantsB Fake Thomas Jefferson Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    So you say that some people want to restrict the content of a religious message on public ground? I'm shocked!

    But I'm sure the same people complaining would never protest a celebration that was general and not specific to Christmas right? They're all about inclusion and certainly wouldn't call it a War on Christmas.

    If you don't want religious messages you disagree with displayed on public property, then no religious messages should be on public property. Otherwise you're restricting by content. Its stupidity in the first place. There's no reason that a government needs to display religious iconography to celebrate a secular - and that's what Christmas is legally and to most people primarily- holiday.

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    TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    People are going to be offended by any Atheist message since it is by its nature rejecting claims made by religious people. You can't state an intention to pull the consensus back towards center without offending the people who work hard keeping it out there.

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    Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    no, but Christianity has several core beliefs, including "If you don't believe in Jesus and accept him as your savior, then you are damned to Hell." Any expression of Christian belief is implicitly saying "believe, or go to hell." If you say "I am Christian," you are also saying, "and if you're not, you're going to hell."

    Basically, I know that if I am talking to someone who is actually Christian, who really believes, then I know I'm talking to someone who believes I am damned to an eternity of torment because of my beliefs, or lack thereof. The very nature of their beliefs is offensive to me, and to anyone non-Christian. Thus, any expression of that belief is going to be offensive.

    Now, of course, pragmatically, I don't really mind that much when the person in question is not expressing those beliefs, and is not pushing them on me. But putting up a nativity scene in a public place is an expression of beliefs that are offensive to many, many people, because those beliefs come as a unit.

    Except every religious belief outside of blase agnosticism is saying similarly offensive things. You're an atheist? Oh, well, you're implicitly saying that 90% of the earth is a bunch of dumbasses praying to fairy tales because they're not as smart as you. Isn't that offensive, as well?

    Instead of being offended by the implicit declarations of almost everyone on the planet, maybe you could just not worry about it, and realize that probably every person on the planet has at least one belief that would totally piss you off.

    Difference? Making exclusivistic claims based on evidence, not just talking out of your ass and throwing god in the gaps.

    Wonder_Hippie on
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    AegisAegis Fear My Dance Overshot Toronto, Landed in OttawaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Public or private, they're certainly making excluvistic statements. I got annoyed with this thread because people are acting like an exclusivistic statement from atheists is somehow worse than one from Christians just for being more direct, and then acted like Christianity isn't exclusive.

    Probably because of its portrayal. You're likening a nativity scene portraying the same exclusivity with the Atheist sign when they both portray their messages in different ways. One if inescapably direct (text) whereas the other one is simply a decoration. You could argue that intellectually both of them are portraying the same amount of exclusivity, but that does nothing to address the fact that one comes off far more benign than the other.

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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Why is this sign a big deal?

    Because it's in front of a government institution?

    Or because it "says the same thing" as religious pamphlets?

    Or because it's next to a nativity scene?

    Honestly, I can't work out which one people are outraged over. To me, skimming through the thread, a lot of people just seem to be outraged.

    I'd like a coherent summary.

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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    no, but Christianity has several core beliefs, including "If you don't believe in Jesus and accept him as your savior, then you are damned to Hell." Any expression of Christian belief is implicitly saying "believe, or go to hell." If you say "I am Christian," you are also saying, "and if you're not, you're going to hell."

    Basically, I know that if I am talking to someone who is actually Christian, who really believes, then I know I'm talking to someone who believes I am damned to an eternity of torment because of my beliefs, or lack thereof. The very nature of their beliefs is offensive to me, and to anyone non-Christian. Thus, any expression of that belief is going to be offensive.

    Now, of course, pragmatically, I don't really mind that much when the person in question is not expressing those beliefs, and is not pushing them on me. But putting up a nativity scene in a public place is an expression of beliefs that are offensive to many, many people, because those beliefs come as a unit.

    Except every religious belief outside of blase agnosticism is saying similarly offensive things. You're an atheist? Oh, well, you're implicitly saying that 90% of the earth is a bunch of dumbasses praying to fairy tales because they're not as smart as you. Isn't that offensive, as well?

    Instead of being offended by the implicit declarations of almost everyone on the planet, maybe you could just not worry about it, and realize that probably every person on the planet has at least one belief that would totally piss you off.

    Difference? Making exclusivistic claims based on evidence, not just talking out of your ass and throwing god in the gaps.

    So if you implicitly tell 90% of the planet to fuck off and stop being retarded, it's okay, because you strongly feel that you're right.

    Gotcha.

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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    PantsB wrote: »
    So you say that some people want to restrict the content of a religious message on public ground? I'm shocked!

    But I'm sure the same people complaining would never protest a celebration that was general and not specific to Christmas right? They're all about inclusion and certainly wouldn't call it a War on Christmas.

    If you don't want religious messages you disagree with displayed on public property, then no religious messages should be on public property. Otherwise you're restricting by content. Its stupidity in the first place. There's no reason that a government needs to display religious iconography to celebrate a secular - and that's what Christmas is legally and to most people primarily- holiday.

    if you can define christmas as a secular holiday than i can define the nativity as a secular holiday decoration.

    i find both fairly rediculous.

    Dunadan019 on
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    KorlashKorlash Québécois TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    People are going to be offended by any Atheist message since it is by its nature rejecting claims made by religious people. You can't state an intention to pull the consensus back towards center without offending the people who work hard keeping it out there.

    Clearly, that sign could have made its point in a more respectful manner.

    Korlash on
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    AegisAegis Fear My Dance Overshot Toronto, Landed in OttawaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Korlash wrote: »
    People are going to be offended by any Atheist message since it is by its nature rejecting claims made by religious people. You can't state an intention to pull the consensus back towards center without offending the people who work hard keeping it out there.

    Clearly, that sign could have made its point in a more respectful manner.

    Would have helped its cause, yes.

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    Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    no, but Christianity has several core beliefs, including "If you don't believe in Jesus and accept him as your savior, then you are damned to Hell." Any expression of Christian belief is implicitly saying "believe, or go to hell." If you say "I am Christian," you are also saying, "and if you're not, you're going to hell."

    Basically, I know that if I am talking to someone who is actually Christian, who really believes, then I know I'm talking to someone who believes I am damned to an eternity of torment because of my beliefs, or lack thereof. The very nature of their beliefs is offensive to me, and to anyone non-Christian. Thus, any expression of that belief is going to be offensive.

    Now, of course, pragmatically, I don't really mind that much when the person in question is not expressing those beliefs, and is not pushing them on me. But putting up a nativity scene in a public place is an expression of beliefs that are offensive to many, many people, because those beliefs come as a unit.

    Except every religious belief outside of blase agnosticism is saying similarly offensive things. You're an atheist? Oh, well, you're implicitly saying that 90% of the earth is a bunch of dumbasses praying to fairy tales because they're not as smart as you. Isn't that offensive, as well?

    Instead of being offended by the implicit declarations of almost everyone on the planet, maybe you could just not worry about it, and realize that probably every person on the planet has at least one belief that would totally piss you off.

    My beliefs are offensive for exactly the reasons you describe, yes. That is why I would not put them up, in that form, in front of a legislative building, unless everyone else were allowed to do so as well. I lean towards nobody being allowed, because there are far too many beliefs and it would make it difficult to get to the door.

    If Christians put up a sign that said "Love thy neighbour," etc, and other universally positive messages from their religion, I would have much less of a problem, because they would be reaching out beyond their religion to other people, even with the implications present in a line from the King James bible. They could even put a cross on it, and it would be fine by me, because it would seem to be saying "God says, be nice to people."

    A nativity scene, though, is basically a Christian ritual or symbol, and that's it. If you're just re-enacting your mythology on public property, you can fuck off. That's not cool.

    Evil Multifarious on
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    MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    So if you implicitly tell 90% of the planet to fuck off and stop being retarded, it's okay, because you strongly feel that you're right.

    Gotcha.
    Do you see a difference between implying someone either hasn't thought it through enough or is being irrational, and telling someone they're going to burn in hell unless they accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior?

    Just wonderin'.

    MikeMan on
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    SarksusSarksus ATTACK AND DETHRONE GODRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Why is this sign a big deal?

    Because it's in front of a government institution?

    Or because it says the same thing as religious pamphlets?

    Or because it's next to a nativity scene?

    Honestly, I can't work out which one people are outraged over. To me, skimming through the thread, a lot of people just seem to be outraged.

    I'd like a coherent summary.

    People are offended by the plaque because while the nativity scene might be subtly offensive, depending on who erected it, the plaque is obviously offensive with the intention of being inflammatory and harmful to atheism as a rational thinking movement.

    Sarksus on
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    KorlashKorlash Québécois TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    no, but Christianity has several core beliefs, including "If you don't believe in Jesus and accept him as your savior, then you are damned to Hell." Any expression of Christian belief is implicitly saying "believe, or go to hell." If you say "I am Christian," you are also saying, "and if you're not, you're going to hell."

    Basically, I know that if I am talking to someone who is actually Christian, who really believes, then I know I'm talking to someone who believes I am damned to an eternity of torment because of my beliefs, or lack thereof. The very nature of their beliefs is offensive to me, and to anyone non-Christian. Thus, any expression of that belief is going to be offensive.

    Now, of course, pragmatically, I don't really mind that much when the person in question is not expressing those beliefs, and is not pushing them on me. But putting up a nativity scene in a public place is an expression of beliefs that are offensive to many, many people, because those beliefs come as a unit.

    Except every religious belief outside of blase agnosticism is saying similarly offensive things. You're an atheist? Oh, well, you're implicitly saying that 90% of the earth is a bunch of dumbasses praying to fairy tales because they're not as smart as you. Isn't that offensive, as well?

    Instead of being offended by the implicit declarations of almost everyone on the planet, maybe you could just not worry about it, and realize that probably every person on the planet has at least one belief that would totally piss you off.

    My beliefs are offensive for exactly the reasons you describe, yes. That is why I would not put them up, in that form, in front of a legislative building, unless everyone else were allowed to do so as well. I lean towards nobody being allowed, because there are far too many beliefs and it would make it difficult to get to the door.

    If Christians put up a sign that said "Love thy neighbour," etc, and other universally positive messages from their religion, I would have much less of a problem, because they would be reaching out beyond their religion to other people, even with the implications present in a line from the King James bible. They could even put a cross on it, and it would be fine by me, because it would seem to be saying "God says, be nice to people."

    A nativity scene, though, is basically a Christian ritual or symbol, and that's it. If you're just re-enacting your mythology on public property, you can fuck off. That's not cool.

    But religion is part of your history. You can't just dismiss centuries of faith, even if you're an atheist. It would be like changing your flag for no reason.

    Korlash on
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