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Athiests and Offensiveness

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    BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    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.

    Replace the baby Jesus with a public employee.
    Replace the magi with taxpayers bringing me gifts of salary, health care, and pension for a day I'm not working.

    That's what I usually celebrate every 12/25, at least.

    BubbaT on
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    kdrudykdrudy Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I don't know why this is so hard. Is there a legitimate issue that could be argued about showing a Nativity scene on public property? Yes. Are the folks that put up the sign assholes for putting up that sign? Yes, especially after reading excerpts of the things they said about it. Acting the way they are is called being an asshole, whoever does it.

    kdrudy on
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    JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Place at the tableRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    Wait, I'm confused.

    Why would a sign hung by a Christian stating "all non-Christians will burn in hell" be offensive?

    If you don't believe it, why should you pay attention to it? Sure, both are mean-spirited, but you gotta just follow the golden rule of the internet:

    thou shalt not feed the trolls

    It becomes problematic for me when it hangs in a government building at it implies that non-Christians will receive a forced christian perspective on their law and order. In someone's lawn? Sure, just an eye-roll.

    JohnnyCache on
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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    MrMonroe wrote: »
    Wait, I'm confused.

    Why would a sign hung by a Christian stating "all non-Christians will burn in hell" be offensive?

    If you don't believe it, why should you pay attention to it? Sure, both are mean-spirited, but you gotta just follow the golden rule of the internet:

    thou shalt not feed the trolls

    I think studies have shown that forums with active moderators tend to have far fewer trolls than the ones that are left to run wild. I want to say I read about it on kottke.org recently if you want to do some research.

    I am not advocating one thing or another, by the way. I genuinely am not sure whether the sign and nativity in question should both remain or both be removed.

    Quoth on
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    Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    For what reason do we have to silently tolerate opinions and beliefs regardless of the evidence they're based on? I find that behavior toxic, because it's tantamount to tacit approval of all sorts of crazy, harmful beliefs.

    Because if it was considered appropriate to yell at people in public when they believed something crazy, everyone would have carte blanche to yell at everyone else. Because everyone believes in something that other people are going to deem crazy.

    Seriously, were you raised by wolves? You seem very confused by matters of basic etiquette, such as "don't randomly insult people who believe different things than you."

    What the ass. Why, whenever I say something like this, do people go all reductio ad absurdum on me and assume I'm talking about screaming at people in the streets?

    All I'm talking about is this idea that religious belief (no pun intended) is sacred, and shielded from rational criticism and thought.

    Wonder_Hippie on
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    skyknytskyknyt Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    Quoth wrote: »
    skyknyt wrote: »
    Quoth wrote: »
    Just because Jefferson said something doesn't mean it automatically gains validity. Just sayin'.

    Perhaps, but the fact that we carved it onto his monument and that his philosophies (especially regarding religion) inform our understanding of the first amendment's interpretation, means that it has at least a little validity concerning public display of that sentiment.

    Well, we put "in God we trust" on our money, so does that have validity too? Should that inform our interpretation of the first amendment?

    Considering the folks that did that were in no way part of writing the constitution and founding the United States I have a feeling that their opinions aren't quite as important re: interpreting that document.

    skyknyt on
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    SarksusSarksus ATTACK AND DETHRONE GODRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    In the original context of my argument that any expression of belief is going to be inherently "offensive" by the standards to which I was responding, you said that it's okay if your expression is offensive because you're right. It's that sentiment which I find toxic as all fuck.

    I want to make it clear that my position is that expression of these kinds of beliefs is inherently offensive to somebody, and inherently exclusive, so it has no place on a legislative building, whether it's atheist or religious.

    I don't think this nativity scene should be in front or inside of a government building unless maybe other religions and non-religious groups were allowed to set up their own displays that were not explicitly inflammatory. That's not really what I was arguing about, though, and neither were several other people.

    Sarksus on
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    DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    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.
    Yeah the official position of the Holy See is that that ain't the case

    Roman Catholics comprise a plurality of Christians

    Just sayin'


    When your argument is, "yes, but the pope has countermanded that part of the bible" you're pretty much arguing FOR the erosion of your own religion into secularity

    Honestly, this kind of pisses me off. People picking and choosing things of their religion. I know that there are some absolutely retarded parts in the bible, and it's okay for you not mutilate goat genitals every 17th day of a month or whatever Leviticus is saying...but when you start picking and choosing, you are basically doing against your own religion. It creates this annoying shield that allows people to justify their beliefs based in the Bible despite the fact that they are actively doing against what the Bible is saying at the same time.

    For example, take your average fundamentalist Christian. Let's call him Billy Bob.

    Billy Bob
    : "Homosexuality is sin!"

    Me: "Why, Billy Bob? Where do you base this belief of yours?"

    Let's assume that he is also literate and has actually read the Bible.

    Billy Bob: "Why, DarkCrawler, Leviticus 18:22 says it, it's right there in the Bible!"

    President Bartlett: "Billy Bob, I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleaned the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? My chief of staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7 If they promise to wear gloves can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother, John, for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?"

    Billy Bob: "Uhh, that's just the old stuff from the Old Testament, you are not supposed to follow those these days. It's the New Testament that matters."

    Me
    : "Leviticus is Old Testament. New Testament doesn't say anything about gay people. Can you now pick and choose what parts are right and what aren't?"

    Billy Bob has no answer because I've never seen anyone answer this question and I don't really have the guts to bring it up in my Theology class.


    Okay. That was an extreme example. But many moderate Christians choose to not follow any of that crazy stuff in Old Testament, which is okay because that book is seriously fucked up. But at the same time, they (supposedly) believe that Bible is the word of God, and they have to follow it's teachings to get to heaven...so there is the dilemma. How far can you go? Can you just cut the Old Testament section from the Bible and still be a Christian? If you are a Christian but you don't believe that Bible is the holy word of God that can never be changed, then how do you justify your own faith?

    This is going really off-topic, but it has been bugging me a lot.

    DarkCrawler on
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    Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    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.

    How do you feel about Jack O'Lanterns displayed on public property?

    I feel that Jack O'Lanterns have been emptied of most of their specific cultural/religious meaning, as have the stars on Christmas trees, Christmas trees themselves, Kris Kringle/Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and his menagerie of chocolate, and the tradition of wearing masks on Halloween.

    The nativity scene is still explicitly Christian, though, because it's got Jesus right there.

    I think there are two different tangents being intermingled, here. On the one hand, we have the argument that nativity scenes shouldn't be displayed on public property. Because hello, fucking Jesus. I agree with that.

    On the other hand, there's the argument that symbols shouldn't be displayed because of their origins or connotations, regardless of intent. That even if someone sticks out a nativity scene because he sees it as a way of saying "Goodwill towards men" or because it's pretty or whatever, that doesn't matter, because the implicit message according to someone is that people are going to burn in hell. And if that's the case, it would apply to all symbols for all holidays. If displaying a Christian symbol, regardless of intent, is bad at Christmas, then it seems displaying a carved pumpkin (ie, a pagan symbol) is bad at Halloween.

    I buy the former argument for disallowing nativity scenes. I don't buy the latter. That's what I'm trying to get at.

    See, that's fine; I think that we disagree on the details of the second point.

    Carved pumpkins don't mean shit to nobody anymore, frankly, not in that context. Most people don't even know that Halloween is anything beyond candy and costumes.

    Broadly, the social message received by such symbols is non-offensive because it has no content.

    Christmas decorations are a little different, because they are associated with a religion more obviously, but a decorated tree or lights hanging from windows is still pretty empty of cultural or social content.

    It's not about the intent of the person putting up the symbol, or even the history of the symbol in its entirety; it's about what the symbol means for society at large. Broadly, a pumpkin means nothing, and a nativity scene definitely means something. A sign about how religion is evil also definitely means something.

    Halloween has sold out. The pumpkin is now completely the bitch of commercialism and consumerism.

    Evil Multifarious on
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    JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Place at the tableRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Sarksus wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    In the original context of my argument that any expression of belief is going to be inherently "offensive" by the standards to which I was responding, you said that it's okay if your expression is offensive because you're right. It's that sentiment which I find toxic as all fuck.

    I want to make it clear that my position is that expression of these kinds of beliefs is inherently offensive to somebody, and inherently exclusive, so it has no place on a legislative building, whether it's atheist or religious.

    I don't think this nativity scene should be in front or inside of a government building unless maybe other religions and non-religious groups were allowed to set up their own displays that were not explicitly inflammatory. That's not really what I was arguing about, though, and neither were several other people.


    Then the point becomes, again, to what degree is an inherently exclusive religion inherently insulting?

    (re the right to insult, no the right to hang in the public building)

    If it's a core tenet of all these belief systems that they are correct, then the atheist sign working from the point of its own correctness should be no more insulting.

    JohnnyCache on
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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    skyknyt wrote: »
    Quoth wrote: »
    skyknyt wrote: »
    Quoth wrote: »
    Just because Jefferson said something doesn't mean it automatically gains validity. Just sayin'.

    Perhaps, but the fact that we carved it onto his monument and that his philosophies (especially regarding religion) inform our understanding of the first amendment's interpretation, means that it has at least a little validity concerning public display of that sentiment.

    Well, we put "in God we trust" on our money, so does that have validity too? Should that inform our interpretation of the first amendment?

    Considering the folks that did that were in no way part of writing the constitution and founding the United States I have a feeling that their opinions aren't quite as important re: interpreting that document.

    Another question then: should we always defer to the founding fathers when interpreting the Constitution, or should we view it as a mutable document intended to conform to changing times?

    Quoth on
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    Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    For what reason do we have to silently tolerate opinions and beliefs regardless of the evidence they're based on? I find that behavior toxic, because it's tantamount to tacit approval of all sorts of crazy, harmful beliefs.

    Because if it was considered appropriate to yell at people in public when they believed something crazy, everyone would have carte blanche to yell at everyone else. Because everyone believes in something that other people are going to deem crazy.

    Seriously, were you raised by wolves? You seem very confused by matters of basic etiquette, such as "don't randomly insult people who believe different things than you."

    What the ass. Why, whenever I say something like this, do people go all reductio ad absurdum on me and assume I'm talking about screaming at people in the streets?

    All I'm talking about is this idea that religious belief (no pun intended) is sacred, and shielded from rational criticism and thought.

    because most of your posts 'appear' to be 'screaming' at people on these forums. thanks to your tone of voice and choice of words.

    Dunadan019 on
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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Smurph wrote: »
    See.

    A higher prevelance of indivduals who belong to, well I don't want to describe all the variables so lets just say "bigoted" or "prejudiced" orientations with regards to other people? They tend to have religious backgrounds.

    I'm reaaaaaally sorry if that makes you angry.

    But this is what has been observed.

    So I can't object to that last line.

    It would have helped if he'd put some reference or evidence backing up his factual claim.

    I'm perfectly fine with the idea that this is going to be an unpopular claim for me to be making and will produce evidence on demand.

    But I will say, people who claim they are religious but not bigoted aren't actually holding to the spirit of their religion. Religions are bigoted. All of them, without fail, clearly define an ingroup to belong to and an outgroup to put others in. Most of them have clear implications that the outgroup has a negative set of attitudes attached to them, while the ingroup has extremely clear positive attitudes.
    This is the bedrock of prejudice, packaged and taught wholesale as a guide book of how to stereotype people.


    So if you want to believe in a god or something but decide any one religions tenants aren't what you believe in, I don't consider you religious. Spiritual maybe. But if you don't subscribe to the tenants of the religion, that is you don't put people in these groupings, this sign doesn't apply to you.

    So I don't buy the "not all religion is like this". Religion is like this. People are different though.

    Sign definitely didn't say "All people who believe in religion have hardened hearts and closed minds."

    It said "Religion causes these things"

    And if you believe it, and follow it's tenants? It does.

    So religion promotes undesirable effects on those who believe in it, but Atheists are spared from those effect because their beliefs are different, some would say better?

    I'm just wondering.

    Dunno.

    What's an atheist. I guess I'm an atheist, but I have no creed other than not religious. I have no outgroups or ingroups to put people in, being an individualist, and I don't judge religious people. I pity them, and wish they hadn't learnt what they did, but I don't discriminate against them for belonging to a group. I treat people by their individual characteristics, not what group they belong to.

    Atheism is what people are calling this sign. It's derived from "not religious".

    I guess there are some people for whom atheism has become a set of ingroup/outgroup values in reverse of religion.

    In which case fuck those atheists (on an individual level), they're morons and don't get it.

    I think we all choose our own ethics. People say their derive their ethics from the bible, but they really get them from parents and community - witness, as proof, the thousands of communities that have justified totally different moral systems with the same sets of books.

    I choose ethics based on safety, mutualism, logic, and a desire to see our species learn more. I hope everyone around me does the same, and that fear of Space Dad and the .357 in my nightstand aren't all that lies between me and anarchy. I suppose some people could try to use atheism to justify a very sociopathic existence, but I have come to the conclusion those people are logically as well as ethically incorrect.

    Mmm I understand and accept what you are saying. But ingroup/outgroup processes aren't really ethics. Theyre, how we work? We tend to associate positive attributes to out ingroup, and view outgroup members are more homogenous, and also negative.

    That's....not really ethics. Because it's a universal feature, all cultures show this tendency. It's just what happens. Yes even to me. I have to watch myself. So hard.

    Morninglord on
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    EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    DanHibiki wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Great, the fact the sign was stolen makes the atheists look like victims. GG atheists, GG.

    Atheist sign disappears from Washington state Capitol

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

    Read the rest of it:
    The incident will not stifle the group's message, Gaylor said. Before reports of the placard's recovery, she said a temporary sign with the same message would be placed in the building's Rotunda. Gaylor said a note would be attached saying, "Thou shalt not steal."

    No 'head banging on wall emoticon' here?

    O// <- ouch

    Emanon on
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    JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Place at the tableRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Smurph wrote: »
    See.

    A higher prevelance of indivduals who belong to, well I don't want to describe all the variables so lets just say "bigoted" or "prejudiced" orientations with regards to other people? They tend to have religious backgrounds.

    I'm reaaaaaally sorry if that makes you angry.

    But this is what has been observed.

    So I can't object to that last line.

    It would have helped if he'd put some reference or evidence backing up his factual claim.

    I'm perfectly fine with the idea that this is going to be an unpopular claim for me to be making and will produce evidence on demand.

    But I will say, people who claim they are religious but not bigoted aren't actually holding to the spirit of their religion. Religions are bigoted. All of them, without fail, clearly define an ingroup to belong to and an outgroup to put others in. Most of them have clear implications that the outgroup has a negative set of attitudes attached to them, while the ingroup has extremely clear positive attitudes.
    This is the bedrock of prejudice, packaged and taught wholesale as a guide book of how to stereotype people.


    So if you want to believe in a god or something but decide any one religions tenants aren't what you believe in, I don't consider you religious. Spiritual maybe. But if you don't subscribe to the tenants of the religion, that is you don't put people in these groupings, this sign doesn't apply to you.

    So I don't buy the "not all religion is like this". Religion is like this. People are different though.

    Sign definitely didn't say "All people who believe in religion have hardened hearts and closed minds."

    It said "Religion causes these things"

    And if you believe it, and follow it's tenants? It does.

    So religion promotes undesirable effects on those who believe in it, but Atheists are spared from those effect because their beliefs are different, some would say better?

    I'm just wondering.

    Dunno.

    What's an atheist. I guess I'm an atheist, but I have no creed other than not religious. I have no outgroups or ingroups to put people in, being an individualist, and I don't judge religious people. I pity them, and wish they hadn't learnt what they did, but I don't discriminate against them for belonging to a group. I treat people by their individual characteristics, not what group they belong to.

    Atheism is what people are calling this sign. It's derived from "not religious".

    I guess there are some people for whom atheism has become a set of ingroup/outgroup values in reverse of religion.

    In which case fuck those atheists (on an individual level), they're morons and don't get it.

    I think we all choose our own ethics. People say their derive their ethics from the bible, but they really get them from parents and community - witness, as proof, the thousands of communities that have justified totally different moral systems with the same sets of books.

    I choose ethics based on safety, mutualism, logic, and a desire to see our species learn more. I hope everyone around me does the same, and that fear of Space Dad and the .357 in my nightstand aren't all that lies between me and anarchy. I suppose some people could try to use atheism to justify a very sociopathic existence, but I have come to the conclusion those people are logically as well as ethically incorrect.

    Mmm I understand and accept what you are saying. But ingroup/outgroup processes aren't really ethics. Theyre, how we work? We tend to associate positive attributes to out ingroup, and view outgroup members are more homogenous, and also negative.

    That's....not really ethics. Because it's a universal feature, all cultures show this tendency.

    Grouping politics aren't ALWAYS ethics - but they have some ethical basis. If you're from the no-rape, no-murder, no-incest clan, your disagreement over the issues of rape, murder, and incest is why you don't invite RapeKill McSisterfucker and his wife-daughter over for thanksgiving. Certainly, with the inclusion of a bit of politics or dogma, we can get a society to form meaningless group exclusions, but the impulse itself is a safety impulse.

    JohnnyCache on
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    PantsBPantsB Fake Thomas Jefferson Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Aegis wrote: »
    "During this Christmas Season, we would encourage that everyone stop, think, and consider the way in which they treat their friends, family, and most especially those whom they have never met and that regardless of our differences, beliefs, or ideologies we are all human."

    :?:

    And how does that in any way describe an atheist viewpoint? What you have just produced is a secular holiday greeting, not an atheist one - and they are very much not the same.
    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.
    Yeah the official position of the Holy See is that that ain't the case

    Roman Catholics comprise a plurality of Christians

    Just sayin'

    [citation]? The Catholic Church has softened, but not that much. If you are not Catholic you go to hell. Its just the Church considers all Christians Catholics who are temporarily confused and its possible their worship at "defective and wounded" groups may not damn them if they follow the Catholic Church in spirit and worship Jesus. Non-Christians go to hell. JPII was open to talks with other religious leaders but he was certainly not legitimizing them as co-holders of the word.

    And the current pontiff is not nearly as open as JPII. I recommend Dominus Iesus, which he wrote as a Cardinal. It explicitly denounces the idea that there could be salvation outside of Christianity, or the inseparable one true and apostolic Church.

    PantsB on
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    Golden LegGolden Leg Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    The New Testament is pretty explicit about whether or not Christians should be judgmental toward others. The Sermon on the Mount is one of the cornerstone teachings of Christianity, and in it Jesus says this:

    Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. - Matthew 7:26 (NIV)

    Golden Leg on
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    tsmvengytsmvengy 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.

    Anyone who is not willing to accept the fact that the person Jesus was a real person (son of God you are free to debate) has absolutely no business railing on religion. I hate to say go read Wikipedia but the reality is that the question of whether Jesus existed or not isn't anything that respected religious studies scholars debate.

    That said, as far as the constitution goes, you can put up whatever kind of display you want, but you must leave it open for other groups to put up their own display. So if somebody wants to put up a menorah, or some Kwanzaa shit, or a fucking festivus pole, or winter solstice stuff, then they shoudl be allowed to do it. So fine, the atheists can have their sign, whatever.

    However, what I do not understand is why some atheists feel the need to rag on people for believing in something. In my mind it's exactly equivalent to Christians who say that people of differing faiths are going to burn in hell. The only difference is Christians have God and Hell, and atheists have reason and stupidity. Who the hell cares if somebody wants to believe that Jesus was the son of God or Muhammed was a prophet or whatever? Maybe they should spend their time crusading against people who use their religion to further bigotry or wars or whatever instead of railing against something people want to believe in and something that can be a positive force.

    tsmvengy on
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    SarksusSarksus ATTACK AND DETHRONE GODRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Sarksus wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    In the original context of my argument that any expression of belief is going to be inherently "offensive" by the standards to which I was responding, you said that it's okay if your expression is offensive because you're right. It's that sentiment which I find toxic as all fuck.

    I want to make it clear that my position is that expression of these kinds of beliefs is inherently offensive to somebody, and inherently exclusive, so it has no place on a legislative building, whether it's atheist or religious.

    I don't think this nativity scene should be in front or inside of a government building unless maybe other religions and non-religious groups were allowed to set up their own displays that were not explicitly inflammatory. That's not really what I was arguing about, though, and neither were several other people.


    Then the point becomes, again, to what degree is an inherently exclusive religion inherently insulting?

    (re the right to insult, no the right to hang in the public building)

    If it's a core tenet of all these belief systems that they are correct, then the atheist sign working from the point of its own correctness should be no more insulting.

    And then I make my point where the Christians who are responsible for erecting this scene might not incorporate that tenet into their system of belief and we shouldn't assume they have unless we ask them.

    I am just willing to give religious individuals the benefit of the doubt and I am also able to ignore parts of the Christian religion, for example, if other Christians are willing as well. I understand that not everyone can do this, and I understand why you might not be willing to give a religious individual the benefit of the doubt, but I want to try and make this compromise, because angrily railing against religion isn't going to make it go away.

    And I am not even arguing that we should withhold our opinion of religion. Religion is irrational, that's kind of what faith is. I can pick things apart too if I wanted. What I am not interested in doing is passing judgment on the whole based on the actions of the few. Religion and religious people are not always harmful and I don't think they should all be demonized because of their irrationality and because they are associated with individuals and organizations that are harmful.

    Sarksus on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited December 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    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.

    Maybe for somebody whose background and upbringing is exactly the same as your own, sure. Look, people who get all huffy and dickishly strident about their atheism annoy the hell out of me, as it clearly does you. But it bothers me that you feel the need to decide that the problem isn't that they're dicks who can't hold a reasonable debate, but that they clearly need to grow a pair and man up and not get their panties in a twist, et cetera et cetera. What's the point of belittling people like that? Maybe you don't place as much weight on this as other people do - and that certainly leaves open the possibility of people who place too much weight on it - but so what? What makes your assessment of its relative degree of tastelessness better than say, a Hasidic Jew's, or better than mine?

    I see this line so often and it really disgusts me. "I don't personally hold strong feelings about this, but you do, so you must be wacky." If you can't be empathic, at least allow people the dignity of assuming that maybe they have a reason to feel that way!

    Jacobkosh on
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    AegisAegis Fear My Dance Overshot Toronto, Landed in OttawaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    PantsB wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    "During this Christmas Season, we would encourage that everyone stop, think, and consider the way in which they treat their friends, family, and most especially those whom they have never met and that regardless of our differences, beliefs, or ideologies we are all human."

    :?:

    And how does that in any way describe an atheist viewpoint? What you have just produced is a secular holiday greeting, not an atheist one - and they are very much not the same.

    Beats me, I'm not an atheist so I was taking a shot in the dark. I suppose I was assuming the underlying goal of atheism is to promote non-faithbased worldviews amongst humanity in general, thus considering everyone equal and not judging/acting on them because they are different, as my above quote attempted to do, would fit with that goal.

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    skyknytskyknyt Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    Quoth wrote: »
    Another question then: should we always defer to the founding fathers when interpreting the Constitution, or should we view it as a mutable document intended to conform to changing times?

    Well, this is a really complex issue that I honestly don't think I'm qualified to discuss in great detail. It's certainly a matter of understanding why consitution was written, and what needs it was supposed to fulfill, and remembering that as our behaviors change and our understanding evolves, how our constitution should continue to fill those needs. I certainly think we've let the ol' 'tution be a little too far from our legislation for too long, and that we need to reaffirm the importance of the guarantees of the Bill of Rights and the seperation of powers in our federal government.

    My main point is that calling organized religion "tyranny" is already enshrined in the public monument to one of our most important leaders, so saying "HOW DARE THEY PUT THAT ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY" seems a little late to me. It's not exactly a new viewpoint, clearly! We either need to tolerate everyone's religious opinions on the front of the legislative building, or no one's. Complaining because the atheists' one is a little more pointed than the Christian one is missing the forest for the trees.

    skyknyt on
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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Grouping politics aren't ALWAYS ethics - but they have some ethical basis. If you're from the no-rape, no-murder, no-incest clan, your disagreement over the issues of rape, murder, and incest is why you don't invite RapeKill McSisterfucker and his wife-daughter over for thanksgiving.

    Actually, these things are implicit, and can be created at a whim.

    For example one psychologist divided children up at a playground into groups and then asked questions. He found evidence of this effect I'm talking about. There's no way these children could have ethics, because they weren't of the age that children can even answer ethical questions.

    Possibly the most powerful example of this ist he Stanford Prison Experiment.

    http://www.prisonexp.org/

    Take note, all these participants were given thorough psych evaluations before entering the experiment and judged stable. Yet the effects were so strong even the psychologist himself got caught up into it until his gf snapped him out of it.

    To all intents in purposes this experiment took people from the same ingroup, arbritrarily divided them into an outgroup and ingroup, and bam. Prejudice, racism, violence, abuse.

    Morninglord on
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    AegisAegis Fear My Dance Overshot Toronto, Landed in OttawaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    [However, what I do not understand is why some atheists feel the need to rag on people for believing in something. In my mind it's exactly equivalent to Christians who say that people of differing faiths are going to burn in hell. The only difference is Christians have God and Hell, and atheists have reason and stupidity. Who the hell cares if somebody wants to believe that Jesus was the son of God or Muhammed was a prophet or whatever? Maybe they should spend their time crusading against people who use their religion to further bigotry or wars or whatever instead of railing against something people want to believe in and something that can be a positive force.

    I believe MikeMan can explain this position much better, that operating within the idea that multiple faiths exist and accepting that they exist while operating on one's worldview is inherently, somehow not terribly good. Seriously, there's a book he posted that I need to remember on this point.

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    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Sarksus wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    In the original context of my argument that any expression of belief is going to be inherently "offensive" by the standards to which I was responding, you said that it's okay if your expression is offensive because you're right. It's that sentiment which I find toxic as all fuck.

    I want to make it clear that my position is that expression of these kinds of beliefs is inherently offensive to somebody, and inherently exclusive, so it has no place on a legislative building, whether it's atheist or religious.

    I don't think this nativity scene should be in front or inside of a government building unless maybe other religions and non-religious groups were allowed to set up their own displays that were not explicitly inflammatory. That's not really what I was arguing about, though, and neither were several other people.

    The problem is that many people see any sort of expression of atheism as explicitly inflammatory. A sign saying "There is no god" is about as neutral as I can think of, maybe with "Be nice to each other anyway" added. Religious people would still get butthurt. What about a Satanist sign? Even if it was the mildest message ever, the mere existence of Satanism is considered inflammatory by many Christians.

    Better to just not allow any sort of display relating to religion on government property.

    Trowizilla on
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    Golden LegGolden Leg Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Not allowing some thing because it might offend some one is a dangerous game to play.

    Golden Leg on
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    SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Smurph wrote: »
    Smurph wrote: »
    See.

    A higher prevelance of indivduals who belong to, well I don't want to describe all the variables so lets just say "bigoted" or "prejudiced" orientations with regards to other people? They tend to have religious backgrounds.

    I'm reaaaaaally sorry if that makes you angry.

    But this is what has been observed.

    So I can't object to that last line.

    It would have helped if he'd put some reference or evidence backing up his factual claim.

    I'm perfectly fine with the idea that this is going to be an unpopular claim for me to be making and will produce evidence on demand.

    But I will say, people who claim they are religious but not bigoted aren't actually holding to the spirit of their religion. Religions are bigoted. All of them, without fail, clearly define an ingroup to belong to and an outgroup to put others in. Most of them have clear implications that the outgroup has a negative set of attitudes attached to them, while the ingroup has extremely clear positive attitudes.
    This is the bedrock of prejudice, packaged and taught wholesale as a guide book of how to stereotype people.


    So if you want to believe in a god or something but decide any one religions tenants aren't what you believe in, I don't consider you religious. Spiritual maybe. But if you don't subscribe to the tenants of the religion, that is you don't put people in these groupings, this sign doesn't apply to you.

    So I don't buy the "not all religion is like this". Religion is like this. People are different though.

    Sign definitely didn't say "All people who believe in religion have hardened hearts and closed minds."

    It said "Religion causes these things"

    And if you believe it, and follow it's tenants? It does.

    So religion promotes undesirable effects on those who believe in it, but Atheists are spared from those effect because their beliefs are different, some would say better?

    I'm just wondering.

    Dunno.

    What's an atheist. I guess I'm an atheist, but I have no creed other than not religious. I have no outgroups or ingroups to put people in, being an individualist, and I don't judge religious people. I pity them, and wish they hadn't learnt what they did, but I don't discriminate against them for belonging to a group. I treat people by their individual characteristics, not what group they belong to.

    Atheism is what people are calling this sign. It's derived from "not religious".

    I guess there are some people for whom atheism has become a set of ingroup/outgroup values in reverse of religion.

    In which case fuck those atheists (on an individual level), they're morons and don't get it.

    I realize that you totally understand the point I was trying to make, but you do still come off as someone who is in a group they consider better than others. Why do you need to pity religious people? It's not like they are cavemen who just haven't seen the light yet. A lot of religious people probably pity you too. There is nothing really different about the way Atheists act compared to members of religions.

    Not better. Just more knowledgeable.

    Any of them could become as knowledgeable if they tried. They chose to be knowledgeable in other things, which is fine. But, knowing as much as I do about people think, I kind of find it pitiable that people will jump into the worst, least useful ways of doing so.

    I know it sounds like I think I'm better, but man I'm not. I have to watch myself all the time to make sure I'm not doing something like this. Do you have any idea of what it's like to know, explicitly, that our memory cannot be trusted, that 90% of our thoughts are lazy approximations, that we make extremely poor judgements base on extremely poor processes, and that the emotional distress I feel at most of the things in my life are a result of being an animal with a slap together job of "thinking".

    And that all of the normal justifications we use to gather together our self identity and self esteem, most of them are at the cost of someone or something else?

    Fuck me I'm glad I make it through a day.

    So I pity myself too mate. Because of this, I think I regard pity as a neutral emotion, since you know it's applied to me as well.

    But I can see that's probably the wrong choice of word to another person, so I'll take it back.

    I know you are trying to be as neutral as possible and you are making good points, but somewhere in this world your Christian and Jewish and Muslim and Hindu counterparts exist. They all feel bad because so many Atheists do not understand all the spiritual aspects of the world. They've all acquired some really spectacular understanding that we probably never will about their respective belief systems. You might think it's all crap because it isn't based on facts like you consider your knowledge to be, but that would just illustrate that you do think your belief system or lack of one is better than theirs. We're really all the same.

    Smurph on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited December 2008
    MikeMan wrote: »
    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'.

    Surely a rational person would find the former the worse insult.

    Jacobkosh on
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    AegisAegis Fear My Dance Overshot Toronto, Landed in OttawaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    In the original context of my argument that any expression of belief is going to be inherently "offensive" by the standards to which I was responding, you said that it's okay if your expression is offensive because you're right. It's that sentiment which I find toxic as all fuck.

    I want to make it clear that my position is that expression of these kinds of beliefs is inherently offensive to somebody, and inherently exclusive, so it has no place on a legislative building, whether it's atheist or religious.

    I don't think this nativity scene should be in front or inside of a government building unless maybe other religions and non-religious groups were allowed to set up their own displays that were not explicitly inflammatory. That's not really what I was arguing about, though, and neither were several other people.

    The problem is that many people see any sort of expression of atheism as explicitly inflammatory. A sign saying "There is no god" is about as neutral as I can think of, maybe with "Be nice to each other anyway" added. Religious people would still get butthurt. What about a Satanist sign? Even if it was the mildest message ever, the mere existence of Satanism is considered inflammatory by many Christians.

    Better to just not allow any sort of display relating to religion on government property.

    "There is no god" isn't terribly neutral as it's fairly obvious a fair number of people do hold the opposite belief. "There may or may not be a God" is probably far more neutral.

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    Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2008
    Golden Leg wrote: »
    The New Testament is pretty explicit about whether or not Christians should be judgmental toward others. The Sermon on the Mount is one of the cornerstone teachings of Christianity, and in it Jesus says this:

    Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. - Matthew 7:26 (NIV)
    1 John 2 wrote:
    Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
    1 John 4 wrote:
    Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

    And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
    2 John 1 wrote:
    If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed
    Titus 1 wrote:
    One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

    The bible's a giant, hypocritical pile of shit.

    Wonder_Hippie on
  • Options
    PantsBPantsB Fake Thomas Jefferson Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Aegis wrote: »
    [QUOTE=Trowizilla;8096701
    The problem is that many people see any sort of expression of atheism as explicitly inflammatory. A sign saying "There is no god" is about as neutral as I can think of, maybe with "Be nice to each other anyway" added. Religious people would still get butthurt. What about a Satanist sign? Even if it was the mildest message ever, the mere existence of Satanism is considered inflammatory by many Christians.

    Better to just not allow any sort of display relating to religion on government property.

    "There is no god" isn't terribly neutral as it's fairly obvious a fair number of people do hold the opposite belief. "There may or may not be a God" is probably far more neutral.[/QUOTE]

    There may or may not be a God is not a statement (its a tautology) and its not an expression of atheism but of agnosticism.

    PantsB on
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    SarksusSarksus ATTACK AND DETHRONE GODRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    In the original context of my argument that any expression of belief is going to be inherently "offensive" by the standards to which I was responding, you said that it's okay if your expression is offensive because you're right. It's that sentiment which I find toxic as all fuck.

    I want to make it clear that my position is that expression of these kinds of beliefs is inherently offensive to somebody, and inherently exclusive, so it has no place on a legislative building, whether it's atheist or religious.

    I don't think this nativity scene should be in front or inside of a government building unless maybe other religions and non-religious groups were allowed to set up their own displays that were not explicitly inflammatory. That's not really what I was arguing about, though, and neither were several other people.

    The problem is that many people see any sort of expression of atheism as explicitly inflammatory. A sign saying "There is no god" is about as neutral as I can think of, maybe with "Be nice to each other anyway" added. Religious people would still get butthurt. What about a Satanist sign? Even if it was the mildest message ever, the mere existence of Satanism is considered inflammatory by many Christians.

    Better to just not allow any sort of display relating to religion on government property.

    See I don't know if I care at all about this particular case of separation of church and state. You are right, because obviously not every display can be shown, there will be some vulgar jokes and offensive imagery, but it's difficult to screen these kinds of things beceause it would be totally arbitrary and difficult to agree on. It would be easier to just get rid of everything.

    And I think you can create a positive message of atheism if you focus on rational thinking instead of how you don't have any belief in a God. There is a lot of rational thinking to be done outside the context of religion. Talk about that instead.

    Sarksus on
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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Smurph wrote: »
    I know you are trying to be as neutral as possible and you are making good points, but somewhere in this world your Christian and Jewish and Muslim and Hindu counterparts exist. They all feel bad because so many Atheists do not understand all the spiritual aspects of the world. They've all acquired some really spectacular understanding that we probably never will about their respective belief systems. You might think it's all crap because it isn't based on facts like you consider your knowledge to be, but that would just illustrate that you do think your belief system or lack of one is better than theirs. We're really all the same.

    Oh yes.

    I had a very long dialogue with a priest at my boarding school as a teenager my god(I just realised I said "my god" without thinking. :lol:) was he knowledgeable.

    another example. I really respect podly. I don't necessarily respect the philosophy he extouts, in that I will go and research it and ask questions of him.

    But I respect his opinion about philosophy. I would never argue about something based on or derived from another aspect of philosophy, or claim he is wrong in arguing it. I respect his knowledge.

    I would never, ever, disrespect someones knowledge of the bible, the history surrounding it, etc.

    I don't look down on the knowledge. I look down on the result. It's unfortunate that these religions cause and reinforce the processes I'm talking about elsewhere. If they didn't I wouldn't mind.

    I don't have a problem wtih "spiritualistis" who just want something to comfort themselves, for example.

    Now you can say looking down on the result is all the same in the end, and I mean yes you'd be right. But on the other hand, my looking down is a result of evidence, and there's is based on shoulds. So I'm not going to change my opinion about that. These ideas cause harm.


    (Remember when you said I would get your point. I understand what you are trying to say. I really do. And I thank you for the polite effort. But whatever biases I do have left are ones I decided are worthwhile to keep because of consequences based on evidence. Rest assured I'm not unthinkingly generalising.
    But you did help me with the pity I hadn't thought about how others view that emotion.)

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    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    skyknyt wrote: »
    Quoth wrote: »
    Another question then: should we always defer to the founding fathers when interpreting the Constitution, or should we view it as a mutable document intended to conform to changing times?

    Well, this is a really complex issue that I honestly don't think I'm qualified to discuss in great detail. It's certainly a matter of understanding why consitution was written, and what needs it was supposed to fulfill, and remembering that as our behaviors change and our understanding evolves, how our constitution should continue to fill those needs. I certainly think we've let the ol' 'tution be a little too far from our legislation for too long, and that we need to reaffirm the importance of the guarantees of the Bill of Rights and the seperation of powers in our federal government.

    My main point is that calling organized religion "tyranny" is already enshrined in the public monument to one of our most important leaders, so saying "HOW DARE THEY PUT THAT ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY" seems a little late to me. It's not exactly a new viewpoint, clearly! We either need to tolerate everyone's religious opinions on the front of the legislative building, or no one's. Complaining because the atheists' one is a little more pointed than the Christian one is missing the forest for the trees.

    I just went to the Wikipedia site for the monument and I didn't find what you are quoting, but it certainly does not list every single thing quoted in the monument. I found this, though:
    Almighty God hath created the mind free...All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens...are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion...No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion.

    I'm not sure exactly how this relates to our current discussion, but I found it illuminating. He is also quoted as saying that the Constitution should be a fluid document, by the way.

    Quoth on
  • Options
    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Aegis wrote: »
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    In the original context of my argument that any expression of belief is going to be inherently "offensive" by the standards to which I was responding, you said that it's okay if your expression is offensive because you're right. It's that sentiment which I find toxic as all fuck.

    I want to make it clear that my position is that expression of these kinds of beliefs is inherently offensive to somebody, and inherently exclusive, so it has no place on a legislative building, whether it's atheist or religious.

    I don't think this nativity scene should be in front or inside of a government building unless maybe other religions and non-religious groups were allowed to set up their own displays that were not explicitly inflammatory. That's not really what I was arguing about, though, and neither were several other people.

    The problem is that many people see any sort of expression of atheism as explicitly inflammatory. A sign saying "There is no god" is about as neutral as I can think of, maybe with "Be nice to each other anyway" added. Religious people would still get butthurt. What about a Satanist sign? Even if it was the mildest message ever, the mere existence of Satanism is considered inflammatory by many Christians.

    Better to just not allow any sort of display relating to religion on government property.

    "There is no god" isn't terribly neutral as it's fairly obvious a fair number of people do hold the opposite belief. "There may or may not be a God" is probably far more neutral.

    "There may or may not be a god" isn't atheist, though, it's agnostic. Besides, Christianity isn't neutral; it's not "Accepting Jesus as your savior may or may not be the only way to get into heaven." Kick it all out.

    Trowizilla on
  • Options
    SarksusSarksus ATTACK AND DETHRONE GODRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    PantsB wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    [QUOTE=Trowizilla;8096701
    The problem is that many people see any sort of expression of atheism as explicitly inflammatory. A sign saying "There is no god" is about as neutral as I can think of, maybe with "Be nice to each other anyway" added. Religious people would still get butthurt. What about a Satanist sign? Even if it was the mildest message ever, the mere existence of Satanism is considered inflammatory by many Christians.

    Better to just not allow any sort of display relating to religion on government property.

    "There is no god" isn't terribly neutral as it's fairly obvious a fair number of people do hold the opposite belief. "There may or may not be a God" is probably far more neutral.

    There may or may not be a God is not a statement (its a tautology) and its not an expression of atheism but of agnosticism.[/QUOTE]

    Agnosticism is just atheism with some extra crap tacked on anyway. I'm not about to tell you if a God exists or not, because frankly I don't care, but I'm still an atheist because of my lack of belief.

    Sarksus on
  • Options
    QuothQuoth the Raven Miami, FL FOR REALRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Golden Leg wrote: »
    Not allowing some thing because it might offend some one is a dangerous game to play.

    Agreed. But at what point does such a thing become hate speech, and thus a punishable offense?

    Quoth on
  • Options
    AegisAegis Fear My Dance Overshot Toronto, Landed in OttawaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    Sarksus wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    In the original context of my argument that any expression of belief is going to be inherently "offensive" by the standards to which I was responding, you said that it's okay if your expression is offensive because you're right. It's that sentiment which I find toxic as all fuck.

    I want to make it clear that my position is that expression of these kinds of beliefs is inherently offensive to somebody, and inherently exclusive, so it has no place on a legislative building, whether it's atheist or religious.

    I don't think this nativity scene should be in front or inside of a government building unless maybe other religions and non-religious groups were allowed to set up their own displays that were not explicitly inflammatory. That's not really what I was arguing about, though, and neither were several other people.

    The problem is that many people see any sort of expression of atheism as explicitly inflammatory. A sign saying "There is no god" is about as neutral as I can think of, maybe with "Be nice to each other anyway" added. Religious people would still get butthurt. What about a Satanist sign? Even if it was the mildest message ever, the mere existence of Satanism is considered inflammatory by many Christians.

    Better to just not allow any sort of display relating to religion on government property.

    "There is no god" isn't terribly neutral as it's fairly obvious a fair number of people do hold the opposite belief. "There may or may not be a God" is probably far more neutral.

    "There may or may not be a god" isn't atheist, though, it's agnostic. Besides, Christianity isn't neutral; it's not "Accepting Jesus as your savior may or may not be the only way to get into heaven." Kick it all out.

    I assumed your argument was on the inherent neutrality of the statement itself, not the neutrality within a specific worldview, in which case, yea okay my statement wouldn't be neutral.

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    c4tchc4tch Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

    "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."

    "And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence."

    c4tch on
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    skyknytskyknyt Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    Quoth wrote: »
    I just went to the Wikipedia site for the monument and I didn't find what you are quoting, but it certainly does not list every single thing quoted in the monument. I found this, though:
    Almighty God hath created the mind free...All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens...are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion...No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion.

    I'm not sure exactly how this relates to our current discussion, but I found it illuminating. He is also quoted as saying that the Constitution should be a fluid document, by the way.

    He was a pretty strong advocate of believing however you wanted to believe, or not believe. I think he was quite a guy myself.

    The quote I was referring to is in the first paragraph of the interior section.
    "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." Looks like they didn't split it off because it's only a single line, but if you visit the place it's on the walls given the same prominence as his other stuff.

    skyknyt on
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    [skyknyt's writing] is like come kind of code that, when comprehended, unfolds into madness in the mind of the reader.
    PSN: skyknyt, Steam: skyknyt, Blizz: skyknyt#1160
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