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The Rise of Atheism and Agnosticism

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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Zsetrek wrote:
    You're right. I apologise.
    Now I feel bad for being so scathing.

    electricitylikesme on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    Treeloot wrote:
    we've also had a rise of evangelical Christians in recent years.

    i really don't think we have.

    numerical, certainly. percentage-wise, the pattern is less clear.

    The Cat on
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    ZsetrekZsetrek Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Zsetrek wrote:
    You're right. I apologise.
    Now I feel bad for being so scathing.

    That's ok - you made me feel bad for making an inflamatory comment.

    Hug?

    Zsetrek on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    The Cat wrote:
    Treeloot wrote:
    we've also had a rise of evangelical Christians in recent years.

    i really don't think we have.

    numerical, certainly. percentage-wise, the pattern is less clear.
    Would it be fair to say they may have just gotten louder and been over-represented in western Government?

    @Zsetrek: Man-hug.

    electricitylikesme on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    The Cat wrote:
    Treeloot wrote:
    we've also had a rise of evangelical Christians in recent years.

    i really don't think we have.

    numerical, certainly. percentage-wise, the pattern is less clear.
    Would it be fair to say they may have just gotten louder and been over-represented in western Government?

    i think they've simply been reactionary with the rise of issues like gender equality and gay rights.

    Loren Michael on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    The Cat wrote:
    Treeloot wrote:
    we've also had a rise of evangelical Christians in recent years.

    i really don't think we have.

    numerical, certainly. percentage-wise, the pattern is less clear.
    Would it be fair to say they may have just gotten louder and been over-represented in western Government?

    Somewhat, but that's not the whole story. A lot of evangelical churches are heavily involved in social outreach programs, and attract a lot of members who first come into contact with the church when looking for help during a life crisis. Its a classic conversion technique - many churches looooove natural disasters and social unrest, and will state that openly. Denton's new film God on my Side has several church leaders expressing exactly that sentiment without any attempt to disguise it. So anyway, there's a lot of low-level social unrest and personal crises in western society, and even more so in develping countries, and that's providing a huge influx of members.

    The Cat on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    The Cat wrote:
    The Cat wrote:
    Treeloot wrote:
    we've also had a rise of evangelical Christians in recent years.

    i really don't think we have.

    numerical, certainly. percentage-wise, the pattern is less clear.
    Would it be fair to say they may have just gotten louder and been over-represented in western Government?

    Somewhat, but that's not the whole story. A lot of evangelical churches are heavily involved in social outreach programs, and attract a lot of members who first come into contact with the church when looking for help during a life crisis. Its a classic conversion technique - many churches looooove natural disasters and social unrest, and will state that openly. Denton's new film God on my Side has several church leaders expressing exactly that sentiment without any attempt to disguise it. So anyway, there's a lot of low-level social unrest and personal crises in western society, and even more so in develping countries, and that's providing a huge influx of members.
    See, that is pretty much the scummiest tactic ever, and it's still not surprising at all that it works. When the former public head of the KKK becomes a born-again Christian, it's not amazing, it's pretty much exactly what you expected to happen after they turned on him. He just swapped one powerful dogma for another.

    electricitylikesme on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    The Cat wrote:
    The Cat wrote:
    Treeloot wrote:
    we've also had a rise of evangelical Christians in recent years.

    i really don't think we have.

    numerical, certainly. percentage-wise, the pattern is less clear.
    Would it be fair to say they may have just gotten louder and been over-represented in western Government?

    Somewhat, but that's not the whole story. A lot of evangelical churches are heavily involved in social outreach programs, and attract a lot of members who first come into contact with the church when looking for help during a life crisis. Its a classic conversion technique - many churches looooove natural disasters and social unrest, and will state that openly. Denton's new film God on my Side has several church leaders expressing exactly that sentiment without any attempt to disguise it. So anyway, there's a lot of low-level social unrest and personal crises in western society, and even more so in develping countries, and that's providing a huge influx of members.
    See, that is pretty much the scummiest tactic ever, and it's still not surprising at all that it works. When the former public head of the KKK becomes a born-again Christian, it's not amazing, it's pretty much exactly what you expected to happen after they turned on him. He just swapped one powerful dogma for another.

    And then you have lovely results like the AA Born-Agains, who get so entrenched in their new addiction to try and cover their shame of lack of self-control...

    Misery and Religion have way too many connections.

    Hell, even Buddhism was more or less founded based on a fear of aging, disease, poverty, and death.

    Incenjucar on
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    AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I don't believe in God and I really have never seen any convincing reason to.

    But you know what? I wish I did believe in God. I think religion is great for people, so long it is peaceful and not hateful... people really need that crutch, you know. There is a lot of inspiration to be had and motivation to be gained, not to mention the comfort for people when they need it most.

    So yeah. Religion, faith, all that. Great stuff, if only there was no hate and war. But that's not really religion's fault, that has to do more with ignorant people. Unfortunately it seems to me, to be able to really believe, you need a little ignorance.

    AbsoluteZero on
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    JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I don't believe in God and I really have never seen any convincing reason to.

    But you know what? I wish I did believe in God. I think religion is great for people, so long it is peaceful and not hateful... people really need that crutch, you know. There is a lot of inspiration to be had and motivation to be gained, not to mention the comfort for people when they need it most.

    So yeah. Religion, faith, all that. Great stuff, if only there was no hate and war. But that's not really religion's fault, that has to do more with ignorant people. Unfortunately it seems to me, to be able to really believe, you need a little ignorance.

    It is important to not confuse faith, religion, and dogma.

    Faith is a great thing. it gives people hope. It allows people to be insular in having conversations seeking the truth. It allows them to feel empowered, asking for help even if the answer has to be no. And it gives them comfort and makes them feel important having a being which sets them above other things in the massive, MASSIVE universe of ours. It serves as an anchor for a lot of people.

    Religion is when people who share a similar faith congregate and share that faith. It is, in and of itself, not a bad thing. Sharing ideals can help to promote discourse, and a sense of community is always a nice thing.

    The problems arise when dogma is introduced to religion. When following certain rules becomes more insular to the religion than the faith itself, that's when things start getting messy.

    Jragghen on
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    DockenDocken Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I don't believe in God and I really have never seen any convincing reason to.

    But you know what? I wish I did believe in God.

    I think that is a really interesting point and something I have thought about a lot. When you sit and contemplate the nature of the universe and your role in it, it becomes difficult to assign any meaning to what you do.

    Sure, you can assign your own meaning, based on social/cultural/familial values, but in reality that is just an arbitrary assignation... which brings up the question; is it really a hollow attempt to shield yourself from the reality that you actually mean nothing (much like main-stream religious belief does for most people)? Your life and death may affect people, may even alter the course of history (if you are *extremely* lucky) but how does this raise you above the knowledge that in the end you will be gone... reduced to component atoms that will eventually recycle back into the universe?

    What good is experience, understanding, compassion, wisdom if it is erased from existence? If you are a rationalist, then surely you must put some credence in people such as Plato and Des Cartes... people who suggest that in reality you know nothing in this life but yourself... and the knowledge that one day not even that will be true anymore.

    The odd thing is that I say all these things to myself and yet I don't really believe them... something within me tells me that life has a purpose and that I should try to live my life to the fullest in order to find it.

    I can't separate that though from the mundane or the divine. It just exists... which makes me doubt my own beliefs and the nature of heaven and Earth...

    Docken on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Eh.

    I've always taken to spirituality quite happily in a purely physical, non-mystical sense, just from having grown up a hunter in the non-crazy redneck tradition.

    If people can ever get past the need to have vindication from on high, or the whole fear of death/hatred of life thing (requiring socio-economic reforms like mad, obviously), they should be able to actually sit down under a tree on a breezy day and just dazedly watch squirrels and caterpillars and butterflies go about their day.

    Community matters are the same. People should be able to just -exist- with each other without needing a secondary motive. I've only found religious groupings to turn towns in to clique-fests, leaving proper community centers to go to hell, and preventing the sharing of ideas.

    Humanity has lost so much fluidity over the centuries.

    Incenjucar on
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    ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Yea, I've always kinda figured my existance was kind of meaningless. It could be one of the reasons I'm not much of a motivated person. This life is all there is, and as they say, no one ever dies wishing they'd spent more time in the office. So why keep going? Eh, you can still have fun with a meaningless life. Play games, watch movies, eat food. And maybe while I'm killing time waiting to get old and die some sort of meaning may reveal itself.

    Scooter on
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    DockenDocken Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    That may be all well and good for you two, but there is something deep within me that refuses to acknowledge such a nihilistic conclusion. I bet there are plenty of people who feel like me. The question becomes whether or not this sensation is just some innate genetic drive or something more. It's not a question capable of a satisfactory answer, which in turn throws doubt on my understanding of my place in the Universe.

    Solipsistic? Perhaps, but I suspect that the only meaningful knowledge that one can attain is based on such a presumption.

    Docken on
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    redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    It's not really nihlist. It's not something that should cause dispair or anything, you live your life for the sake of your life. You don't need to go to the extreems of what is typically though of as nihlism or hedonism. or sloth for that matter.

    redx on
    They moistly come out at night, moistly.
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I wish I did believe in God. I think religion is great for people, so long it is peaceful and not hateful... people really need that crutch, you know. There is a lot of inspiration to be had and motivation to be gained, not to mention the comfort for people when they need it most.

    So yeah. Religion, faith, all that. Great stuff, if only there was no hate and war.

    the sheer number of people who do not have ill-conceived beliefs in a creator of afterlife suggests that no, people don't need that crutch.

    there is inspiration to be had outside the realm of religion, and it doesn't have the baggage of "needing a little ignorance", not to mention comfort. hope and optimism are not tied to needing to fool yourself into believing anything.

    i think hate and war are large problems with religion, but they certainly aren't the only ones.

    religion isn't unique in the good that it provides, and it has an awful lot of, frankly, awful baggage.

    Loren Michael on
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    JebuJebu Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Seriously, can people stop referring to religion as a "crutch"?

    It's pretentious and condescending. No need to make yourself feel better by proclaiming you're so self-reliant that you don't need to believe in God. :roll:

    Just so there's no confusion, I'm an agnostic.

    Jebu on
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    Zul the ConquerorZul the Conqueror Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I have a very close friend who was raised Catholic, and not kicking-and-screaming Catholic. Her whole family goes to church, and that aspect of family is very important to her. Over the last couple of years she's started questioning her religion, partly because the Catholic church clashes with her tolerant attitudes, and partly because I think she's starting to reject the supernaturalism of Christianity.

    Now, I'm an atheist, but I don't go around trying to tell religious people they're stupid or wrong. I've always been willing to discuss her religion with her, and my attitudes about religion, in as neutral a way as possible. One thing that she said to me that really struck me was that she didn't really understand how I could be a moral person. Now neither she nor her family are ignorant or anything, but she had this attitude that all morals come from religion.

    Maybe as more people realize that morality can be a personal thing, and not imposed by a religion or a supreme being, they'll consider the option of atheism. I think that this image of "atheism=amorality" is one of the most damaging things to the atheist "cause" (to whatever extent there is one.)

    Zul the Conqueror on
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    ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Haha, yea, I've seen that sort of viewpoint before. And I gotta say, to me it say a lot about the person who thinks that way. Do they believe that the only reason to do good things is to get into heaven? And the only reason not to do bad is to stay out of hell? There's more to good and evil than punishments and rewards. Not that I need to tell anyone here that.

    Scooter on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Now, I'm an atheist, but I don't go around trying to tell religious people they're stupid or wrong.

    I think that people here are confused about what tolerance entails. Tolerance does not entail pussyfooting around your beliefs, or keeping mute. I have caught immeasurable flak in the various religion threads for trying to demonstrate that religious people are wrong. I have heard indenumerably many times that the enlightened, tolerant individual does not labor that point.

    I think that we are fundamentally confused when we say that tolerance equates to an end of public discussion. If we disagree, which we certainly do, then why is it so distasteful to talk about it? Surely it is wrong to continuously harass a person in their public life over these disagreements--but this isn't a case of a hostile work environment. This is debate and discourse. This is a forum specifically dedicated to, well, debate and discourse.

    There's nothing wrong in this context with "going around telling religious people they're wrong."

    MrMister on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    MrMister wrote:
    There's nothing wrong in this context with "going around telling religious people they're wrong."

    Just FYI, that isn't tolerance either. This is exactly the same as religious people going around telling atheists they're wrong.

    Fencingsax on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    There's nothing wrong in this context with "going around telling religious people they're wrong."

    Just FYI, that isn't tolerance either.

    tolerance is oversold as a virtue.

    Loren Michael on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    There's nothing wrong in this context with "going around telling religious people they're wrong."

    Just FYI, that isn't tolerance either.

    tolerance is oversold as a virtue.

    So all that talk about racism and bigotry etc was just you bullshitting?

    We're talking about belief here. Belief about something that's essentially non-provable. As long as people don't use that belief to be assholes, there really isn't a reason to be abusive to them.

    Fencingsax on
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    Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Fencingsax wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    There's nothing wrong in this context with "going around telling religious people they're wrong."

    Just FYI, that isn't tolerance either.

    tolerance is oversold as a virtue.

    So all that talk about racism and bigotry etc was just you bullshitting?

    If everyone else thinks it is a virtue, it's a valid debate tactic to show them as hypocrites (Hippocrates?).

    Premier kakos on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    There's nothing wrong in this context with "going around telling religious people they're wrong."

    Just FYI, that isn't tolerance either. This is exactly the same as religious people going around telling atheists they're wrong.

    Tolerance is generally a characteristic that has to do with public life. The purpose of tolerance is to enable pleasant living arrangements between people with diametrically and occasionally violently oppositional ideas. To the extent that tolerance applies to academics, it involves allowing opposing points of view a fair hearing and remaining civil. It does not involve pulling punches or keeping things "off-limits."

    Religious people going around telling atheists they're wrong is only a problem in a public setting, wherein it could possibly constitute an inescapable harassment. In a discursive setting, so long as the discussion adheres to a standard of civility and fair hearing, there is nothing wrong with religious people telling atheists they're wrong. It is, after all, what they believe to be true.

    MrMister on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Fencingsax wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    There's nothing wrong in this context with "going around telling religious people they're wrong."

    Just FYI, that isn't tolerance either.

    tolerance is oversold as a virtue.

    So all that talk about racism and bigotry etc was just you bullshitting?

    If everyone else thinks it is a virtue, it's a valid debate tactic to show them as hypocrites (Hippocrates?).

    Hippocrates was one of the first doctors. (Hippocratic oath etc)

    Fencingsax on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Fencingsax wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    There's nothing wrong in this context with "going around telling religious people they're wrong."

    Just FYI, that isn't tolerance either.

    tolerance is oversold as a virtue.

    So all that talk about racism and bigotry etc was just you bullshitting?

    We're talking about belief here. Belief about something that's essentially non-provable. As long as people don't use that belief to be assholes, there really isn't a reason to be abusive to them.

    feel free to use quotes to show me contradicting myself.

    also, you don't seem to understand that someone could have the best intentions and still be doing something incredibly malign. it doesn't take "assholes" to be wrong in a harmful way.

    assholes are also oversold as a cause of the world's problems.

    Loren Michael on
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    Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Fencingsax wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    There's nothing wrong in this context with "going around telling religious people they're wrong."

    Just FYI, that isn't tolerance either.

    tolerance is oversold as a virtue.

    So all that talk about racism and bigotry etc was just you bullshitting?

    If everyone else thinks it is a virtue, it's a valid debate tactic to show them as hypocrites (Hippocrates?).

    Hippocrates was one of the first doctors. (Hippocratic oath etc)

    [spoiler:ea320573c5]No shit. It's a joke. Someone misspelled "hypocrites" as "Hippocrates".[/spoiler:ea320573c5]

    Premier kakos on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    Telling someone that they're wrong when they're totally wrong qualifies as abusive now? Shit, I'm totally suing every school I've ever attended.

    Seriously, tolerance != acceptance. Tolerance means you let other people believe what they want and don't create violence about it even if you disagree with everything they say and think they're a retard. It doesn't mean you don't disagree with everything they say or think they're a retard.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Fencingsax wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    There's nothing wrong in this context with "going around telling religious people they're wrong."

    Just FYI, that isn't tolerance either.

    tolerance is oversold as a virtue.

    So all that talk about racism and bigotry etc was just you bullshitting?

    If everyone else thinks it is a virtue, it's a valid debate tactic to show them as hypocrites (Hippocrates?).

    Hippocrates was one of the first doctors. (Hippocratic oath etc)

    [spoiler:b4c7fb6e80]No shit. It's a joke. Someone misspelled "hypocrites" as "Hippocrates".[/spoiler:b4c7fb6e80]

    Oh my gods, I never would have figured that out! Thank you for the elucidation and clarification!

    Fencingsax on
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    JebuJebu Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    MrMister wrote:
    Fencingsax wrote:
    MrMister wrote:
    There's nothing wrong in this context with "going around telling religious people they're wrong."

    Just FYI, that isn't tolerance either. This is exactly the same as religious people going around telling atheists they're wrong.

    Tolerance is generally a characteristic that has to do with public life. The purpose of tolerance is to enable pleasant living arrangements between people with diametrically and occasionally violently oppositional ideas. To the extent that tolerance applies to academics, it involves allowing opposing points of view a fair hearing and remaining civil. It does not involve pulling punches or keeping things "off-limits."

    Religious people going around telling atheists they're wrong is only a problem in a public setting, wherein it could possibly constitute an inescapable harassment. In a discursive setting, so long as the discussion adheres to a standard of civility and fair hearing, there is nothing wrong with religious people telling atheists they're wrong. It is, after all, what they believe to be true.

    The problem with having a debate between atheists and religious people over who's "wrong" is that the two sides are using two entirely different standards for their argument, and neither side is willing to accept the other side's methods of "proof" are valid. Faith is the cornerstone of most religions, and it's exactly what atheists don't have.

    It's fine to have a discussion like the OP, or about the rise of Fundamentalism, or the effects of secularism, or any of a number of topics involving religion and atheism, but it shouldn't devolve into something that can be summarized with two sides saying, "You're wrong because I say so."

    Jebu on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Jebu wrote:
    The problem with having a debate between atheists and religious people over who's "wrong" is that the two sides are using two entirely different standards for their argument, and neither side is willing to accept the other side's methods of "proof" are valid. Faith is the cornerstone of most religions, and it's exactly what atheists don't have.

    It's fine to have a discussion like the OP, or about the rise of Fundamentalism, or the effects of secularism, or any of a number of topics involving religion and atheism, but it shouldn't devolve into something that can be summarized with two sides saying, "You're wrong because I say so."

    when considering the truth of a proposition, one is either engaged in an honest appraisal of the evidence and logical arguments, or one isn't. religion is the one area of our lives where people imagine that some standard other standard of intellectual integrity applies.

    "faith" is the license believers give to keep believing when reasons fail.

    Loren Michael on
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    Zul the ConquerorZul the Conqueror Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    A lot of people arguing about what constitutes tolerance of other people's beliefs.

    Let me clarify what I originally meant by "don't go around telling religious people they're wrong or stupid."

    What I meant is that I don't seek out opportunities to tell people that. If I'm hanging around with some people and they mention going to church, or they pray before eating, or what have you, I don't strike up a conversation about how wrong they are to believe what they believe.

    If someone starts a conversation with me about religion, I will respectfully but very clearly let them know that I believe they are wrong. If they want to go further, I'll let them know how I think they came to those beliefs, etc.

    I stuck that in what I originally said about my friend because I wanted to make it clear that I'm not trying to make her question her religion. She and I have had a lot of long talks about religion, atheism, and each of our relationships with each, because we both want to have those discussions.

    Tolerance is not forcing your views on other people.

    So what do you guys think about the "atheism=amorality" issue? It seems like we have a lot of atheists in this thread; how would you address the common accusation that atheists are necessarily amoral (or even immoral, depending on who you ask)?

    Zul the Conqueror on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Tolerance is not forcing your views on other people.

    how do you interpret tolerance coming into play with respect to misogynism or racism?

    Loren Michael on
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    Zul the ConquerorZul the Conqueror Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Tolerance is not forcing your views on other people.

    how do you interpret tolerance coming into play with respect to misogynism or racism?

    Misogyny and racism are not viewpoints of which I am tolerant, nor do I think other people should be tolerant of those viewpoints.

    Hence, I will by all means force my views on relationships between the sexes and between races on misogynists or racists. With my fist, if necessary.

    Zul the Conqueror on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Tolerance is not forcing your views on other people.

    how do you interpret tolerance coming into play with respect to misogynism or racism?

    I think it's easier to change people's minds with education, rather than flat out intolerance. I think that both of those viewpoints are unacceptable, of course, but there are different methods for convincing other people.

    Fencingsax on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Tolerance is not forcing your views on other people.

    how do you interpret tolerance coming into play with respect to misogynism or racism?

    I think it's easier to change people's minds with education, rather than flat out intolerance. I think that both of those viewpoints are unacceptable, of course, but there are different methods for convincing other people.

    i certainly don't have a problem with education, but are you saying that you don't feel that making them socially unacceptable viewpoints to hold is an acceptable or effective means to mitigate and deal with them?

    i don't' think it's a one-or-the other deal, either- but i think education becomes a lot more effective when you combine it with intolerance towards nutty worldviews.

    Loren Michael on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Tolerance is not forcing your views on other people.

    how do you interpret tolerance coming into play with respect to misogynism or racism?

    I think it's easier to change people's minds with education, rather than flat out intolerance. I think that both of those viewpoints are unacceptable, of course, but there are different methods for convincing other people.

    i certainly don't have a problem with education, but are you saying that you don't feel that making them socially unacceptable viewpoints to hold is an acceptable or effective means to mitigate and deal with them?

    i don't' think it's a one-or-the other deal, either- but i think education becomes a lot more effective when you combine it with intolerance towards nutty worldviews.

    Oh I totally agree, but you don't just say "okay, this is unacceptable starting... NOW!" It's a gradual process. People tend to fight anything else.

    Also, there are some obviously nutty worldviews (e.g. racism, non condoms, abortions or stem cells lol, etc.) The problem is that it's impossible to draw a distinct line, especially with private faith.

    Fencingsax on
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    Zul the ConquerorZul the Conqueror Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    i don't' think it's a one-or-the other deal, either- but i think education becomes a lot more effective when you combine it with intolerance towards nutty worldviews.

    I think you're right. But I think that at this point, if what we're discussing is "how to make everyone an atheist", it would be poor strategy to start espousing the belief that religion is a "nutty worldview". I think more damage would be done by alienating religious people than good in convincing those few who could be convinced that religion is "nutty", who don't already think so.

    In any case, what were we talking about? Whether atheism and agnosticism are on the rise?

    My original (attempt at) contribution was basically trying to say that if moderate religious people can be shown that atheism and agnosticism do not mean amorality, they'd be more likely to consider it. If I'm thinking "hmmm, this God stuff doesn't really make sense, but everyone would rape and steal and murder without religion, so I'm going to support religion", I think it'd be worth it to hear "hey, there are a lot of people out there who have morals without any supernatural beliefs."

    Zul the Conqueror on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Oh I totally agree, but you don't just say "okay, this is unacceptable starting... NOW!" It's a gradual process. People tend to fight anything else.

    i agree. i'm obviously much happier with religious moderates than i am with fundamentalists and literalists, but i think that moving the goalposts further in the direction of pure atheism broadens the possibilities for the discussion we really should be having about the necessity of faith.
    Also, there are some obviously nutty worldviews (e.g. racism, non condoms, abortions or stem cells lol, etc.) The problem is that it's impossible to draw a distinct line, especially with private faith.

    this is why i choose to be intolerant of all nutty worldviews, not simply the ones that are obviously harmful.

    Loren Michael on
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