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Author Topic:   Atheist attitudes.
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 207 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 31 of 121 (523590)
09-11-2009 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by mark24
09-11-2009 7:27 AM


Re: Benevolence
quote:
Not so, I've been called a militant atheist because I wear atheist T-shirts. Yet people who indoctrinate others into their religion without their consent are often considered moderate theists. There is a chasm of hypocrisy when theists consider what is militant atheism vs. militant theism.

Mark



The T-shirt is more of a borderline issue; it depends on what the T-shirt says and where you wear it. There are cases of school kids being banned from wearing in-your-face Christian T-shirts, and these could perhaps be called cases of "militant theism." I do not see the "chasm of hypocrisy" that you claim; it seems to me that there is a fairly level playing field.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 32 of 121 (523602)
09-11-2009 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by mark24
09-11-2009 7:27 AM


Re: Benevolence
Not so, I've been called a militant atheist because I wear atheist T-shirts. Yet people who indoctrinate others into their religion without their consent are often considered moderate theists. There is a chasm of hypocrisy when theists consider what is militant atheism vs. militant theism.

I agree with kbertsche here. Dawkins' is inflammatory and clearly wants to villify all theology as opposed to militant theology. Atheism to militant atheists have become its own psuedo-religion, whether they'd admit it or not, with all the negative characteristics associated with a religion that strays from moderation. That does not mean, however, that all atheists should be defined as militant by default.

You may be labelled as militant, but perhaps they should take a closer look at themselves.

I do find it pointless, however, in promoting atheism as if it's a little red badge of courage.

Edited by Hyroglyphx, : No reason given.


"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samual Adams
This message is a reply to:
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SammyJean
Member (Idle past 2149 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 33 of 121 (523624)
09-11-2009 2:39 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Hyroglyphx
09-11-2009 11:37 AM


Re: Benevolence
Atheism to militant atheists have become its own psuedo-religion, whether they'd admit it or not, with all the negative characteristics associated with a religion that strays from moderation.

I don't see this being the truth. Atheist become anti-theist (militant) because we can see and understand the dangers that theism poses to humanity. Anti-theist are just tired of watching the religious masses blindly leading the way to human suffering and holding steadfast to the obvious cause, religion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-11-2009 11:37 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1262 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 34 of 121 (523627)
09-11-2009 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by kbertsche
09-11-2009 2:14 AM


Re: Benevolence
quote:
We seem "militant" to them because the concept of not having faith challenges their entire worldview, and that's justifiably frightening. We don't even have to say much - just say "I think your beliefs are a little crazy, because you can't support them with evidence," and we look like utter monsters. How dare we call their beliefs, which they have held and cherished since childhood and into which they have invested so much emotion and time and trust, "a little crazy?" How dare we imply that their beliefs might not be true, that they might not have all of the answers, that they might not have an afterlife in heaven waiting, that Grandma is just gone forever? That very basic challenge is a world-shattering weapon of mass destruction to a true believer, and what we would consider a slightly snarky but honest statement may as well be shitting in Baby Jesus' cheerios for the outrage and insult it causes.

You words are very eloquent, but are also completely wrong. You describe a moderate atheist who respectfully disagrees with a theist or asks respectful questions. Virtually no-one would call this "militant atheism."

Quite to the contrary, from personal experience. Saying anything negative about religion and faith paints one as a "militant" atheist.

The term "militant atheist" is reserved for those who are especially aggressive against theism or specific forms of it, those who are engaged in a verbal battle to wipe out religious belief.

The first definition of "militant" from dictionary.com is:
1. vigorously active and aggressive, esp. in support of a cause: militant reformers.

and this is how the term is used regarding "militant atheists" such as Richard Dawkins.

And yet it doesn't apply, even to Dawkins.

Dawkins doen't advocate making religion illegal, or rounding up the faithful. He says "your beliefs are absurd, and I think they do more harm than good. I think the world would be a better place without faith." That's a far cry from anything "militant," unless you intend to dilute the meaning of the word such that any strongly held opinion conveys militism.

The real issue is when the shoe is put on the other foot. If Dawkins is considered "militant," then so should every televangelist I've ever seen, along with every fire-and-brimstone preacher. Every Christian who actively protests against gay marriage should qualify as "militant." The school board in the Dover trial should qualify.

Yet they don't. Nobody identifies them as "militant."

To qualify as a "militant Christian," it's almost necessary to murderan abortion doctor. You could probably get away with only attempting the murder.

Calling for a Christian Theocracy doesn't get people labeled as "militant." Referring to the US as a "Chrsitian nation" and even activism to support such a position doesn't label one, either.

What Atheist actively seeks the abolition of religion? Even Dawkins doesn't do that.

The wikipedia article on militant atheism begins by saying:
Julian Baggini defines militant atheism as "Atheism which is actively hostile to religion" explaining that this "requires more than strong disagreement with religion - it requires something verging on hatred and is characterised by a desire to wipe out all forms of religious belief. Militant atheists tend to make one or both of two claims that moderate atheists do not. The first is that religion is demonstrably false or nonsense and the second is that it is usually or always harmful"

Richard Dawkins is the prime example of a "militant atheist." Here are two Dawkins quotes from The God Delusion:
I am attacking God, all gods, anything and everything supernatural, wherever and whenever they have been or will be invented.

Faith is an evil precisely because it requires no justification and brooks no argument.

This has a militant tone which is lacking from your description above. You describe a moderate atheist, but Dawkins is a militant atheist.

Saying that a belief is evil system now qualifies as being "militant?"

The KKK is an evil organization, and the world would be better off if every member dropped dead.

Am I "militant" agaisnt the KKK now?

I haven't made any active attack on them. I haven't tried to make their opinions and views illegal, or tried to have them arrested for assembling. By all observation, my hostility is quite passive because I believe they have the right to hold their own beliefs even if they are opposed to my own. I don't think I'm "militantly" anti-KKK.

(And yes, I would use the same adjective for creationists who try to wipe out all mention of evolution from libraries and schools. These are "militant creationists" just as Dawkins is a "militant atheist.")

Your usage of terms is irrelevant. Social perception identifies Atheists as "militant" while not applying the same label to significantly more extreme individuals. Even Dawkins doesn't meet your dictionary definition for "militant," and your Wikipedia entry is nothing more than an appeal to authority.

The disparity is the issue. Either all people who express "extreme" views while not taking active measures against their opposition are "militant," or none are. According tot eh dictionary, it would appear that actual action is necessary to qualify, not just words.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by kbertsche, posted 09-11-2009 2:14 AM kbertsche has responded

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Lithodid-Man
Member (Idle past 1006 days)
Posts: 504
From: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Joined: 03-22-2004


Message 35 of 121 (523629)
09-11-2009 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by kbertsche
09-11-2009 11:04 AM


Re: Benevolence
kbertsche writes:

I do not see the "chasm of hypocrisy" that you claim; it seems to me that there is a fairly level playing field.

Unfortunately this is the curse of the majority in any instance. Men/Women, White/Black, Gay/Straight, Atheist/Theist. The group in the majority often has a difficult time seeing the issues faced by the minority. They tend to see the playing field as level so therefore any complaint is viewed as ‘militant’ or demanding more than their fair share.

As an atheist I would love to be 'out and proud' but simply cannot do that and maintain my social status. I approach the line by being openly pro-science education (and yes I mean evolution). I work in a gray area between an Indian tribe and the school district. Many of the meetings I attend are opened with a Christian prayer. I do not have the slightest shred of doubt that if my colleagues knew I was an atheist that I would lose my job in a skinny minute. Not openly for that reason, but job gone nonetheless.

The hypocrisy is astounding. I regularly attend diversity training workshops, usually about once every three months or so. At the last of these workshops the facilitator was talking about the importance of religious acceptance as well (we mainly focus on race, sexual orientation, gender, and economic status) and my big boss interjected how she thinks that is a good point that we respect diverse religions, provided that we all agree that there is a God it doesn't matter what we call him. If I could have afforded to, I would have quit then.

What this shows me is that, on the whole in the US, bigotry against atheism is alive and well. And like minority groups throughout history, the slightest bit of self-acceptance or even admittance is looked upon as militant by some. I will absolutely agree that my Youtube channel often tends toward the Dawkins side, but it provides an opportunity to vent the frustration I experience in the 'real world'.

What pisses me off is that as an educator I have to be constantly vigilant about mythology entering my science classes. As a parent I have to explain to my child why he should politely refuse the Chick Tracts he seems to obtain on a weekly basis from school. As a voter I have to, nearly every election, help counter some anti-abortion or anti-sex education proposal coming down the pipes. As a college professor I had to defend my job before a panel because my teaching the currently accepted origin of the Earth was the same thing as "making fun of someone's religion in front of the class". I could go on and on, but I think the point is made. All of this because of a belief system I do not support. And if I fight back in even the most diplomatic fashion it is because I am militant.


Doctor Bashir: "Of all the stories you told me, which were true and which weren't?"
Elim Garak: "My dear Doctor, they're all true"
Doctor Bashir: "Even the lies?"
Elim Garak: "Especially the lies"
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5622
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006


Message 36 of 121 (523630)
09-11-2009 3:54 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by SammyJean
09-11-2009 2:39 PM


Re: Benevolence
I don't see this being the truth. Atheist become anti-theist (militant) because we can see and understand the dangers that theism poses to humanity. Anti-theist are just tired of watching the religious masses blindly leading the way to human suffering and holding steadfast to the obvious cause, religion.

Sammy, I'm totally sympathetic to the heinous nonsense perpetrated under the guise of religion. It's disgusting. That being said, to forget or deny all of the philanthropy that has come by way of religion is to not be looking at the matter objectively, which is what militant atheists charge against theists.

Can't remember the last atheist group feeding the poor and hungry, but seem to recall many groups or various religions helping the multitude.

Be an atheist, don't be militant. Judge everything on a case-by-case basis.


"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samual Adams
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 1367 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 37 of 121 (523634)
09-11-2009 4:35 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Lithodid-Man
09-11-2009 3:48 PM


Re: Benevolence
Lithodid-Man writes:

I do not have the slightest shred of doubt that if my colleagues knew I was an atheist that I would lose my job in a skinny minute. Not openly for that reason, but job gone nonetheless.


Funny how you used these words. In law enforcement, I personally know gay and lesbian officers who are terrified of being found out by their colleagues. They also have no shred of doubt that they'd either be alienated by their peers or lose their jobs outright if they're ever found out. The ones that live with their partners always referred to them as "roommates". And I'm talking about a profession that, officially, value diversity above all else and have all their employees attend diversity workshops every couple of months.

And I completely agree with your view on the majority. I'd also like to add that externally it is fashionable to condemn discrimination. But internally, nobody wants to admit or deal with the problem.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Lithodid-Man, posted 09-11-2009 3:48 PM Lithodid-Man has not yet responded

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 207 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 38 of 121 (523645)
09-11-2009 5:24 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Rahvin
09-11-2009 3:43 PM


Re: Benevolence
quote:
The real issue is when the shoe is put on the other foot. If Dawkins is considered "militant," then so should every televangelist I've ever seen, along with every fire-and-brimstone preacher. Every Christian who actively protests against gay marriage should qualify as "militant." The school board in the Dover trial should qualify.

Yet they don't. Nobody identifies them as "militant."



The key in both dictionary.com and wikipedia is "active hostility." If these folks are "actively hostile" to another group they could be considered "militant" in their position.

quote:
What Atheist actively seeks the abolition of religion? Even Dawkins doesn't do that.

Saying that a belief is evil system now qualifies as being "militant?"



Dawkins is "actively hostile" to religion in general and to Christianity in particular. This qualifies him as "militant."

quote:
The KKK is an evil organization, and the world would be better off if every member dropped dead.

Am I "militant" agaisnt the KKK now?

I haven't made any active attack on them. I haven't tried to make their opinions and views illegal, or tried to have them arrested for assembling. By all observation, my hostility is quite passive because I believe they have the right to hold their own beliefs even if they are opposed to my own. I don't think I'm "militantly" anti-KKK.



It sounds like you are not "actively hostile" toward the KKK. So no, you are not "militant" toward them.

quote:
Social perception identifies Atheists as "militant" while not applying the same label to significantly more extreme individuals.

So you claim. I disagree.

quote:
Even Dawkins doesn't meet your dictionary definition for "militant,"

Certainly he does. He is "vigorously active and aggressive" against God and religion. (These words do not imply any physical action--the activity can be verbal.)

quote:
and your Wikipedia entry is nothing more than an appeal to authority.

Perhaps, but it is certainly a more objective source than the hearsay evidence and subjective impressions repeated in this thread. Can you recommend a more objective or reliable source? A scientific or sociological study, perhaps?

quote:
The disparity is the issue. Either all people who express "extreme" views while not taking active measures against their opposition are "militant," or none are.

No, "extreme" views are not sufficient to qualify for the label of "militant." "Militant" requires an "active hostility."

quote:
According tot eh dictionary, it would appear that actual action is necessary to qualify, not just words.

I see no implication of "action" from dictionary.com. Exactly the opposite, in fact; they have put the "action" in definition 2.

"Active hostility" is largely a function of the message being communicated. Does the group in question project a positive or a negative message? Is it for or against an idea or group? Christianity has both aspects, but any "militancy" is associated almost entirely with the negative parts of the Christian message (sin, judgment, hell, etc.) Speaking of God's love, care, provision, etc. could hardly be labeled as "militant." Atheism, on the other hand, has an almost entirely negative message. Even in the name "atheism" you identify what you are against, not what you are for.

So perhaps there really is a fundamental asymmetry between atheism and Christianity in regard to "militance." It is perhaps more common for an atheist to be "militant" simply due to the nature of his message.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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jacortina
Member (Idle past 3159 days)
Posts: 64
Joined: 08-07-2009


Message 39 of 121 (523648)
09-11-2009 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by kbertsche
09-11-2009 5:24 PM


Re: Benevolence
Even in the name "atheism" you identify what you are against, not what you are for.

You do realize that this is absolutely wrong, don't you?

The prefix means 'without'. It is not the prefix 'anti', against.

A species which reproduces asexually is not 'against' sex or gender, it is simply 'without' separate sexes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by kbertsche, posted 09-11-2009 5:24 PM kbertsche has responded

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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 2265 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 40 of 121 (523651)
09-11-2009 6:03 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by kbertsche
09-11-2009 5:24 PM


Re: Benevolence
Oxford Concise Dictionary writes:

militant
■ adjective favouring confrontational methods in support of a cause.
■ noun a militant person.

militancy noun
militantly adverb

ME (in the sense 'engaged in warfare'): from OFr., or from L. militant-, militare (see militate).

Where would someone, who is not actively engaged in a belligerent action,
be militant.

Edited by bluescat48, : missing word


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by kbertsche, posted 09-11-2009 5:24 PM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 2149 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 41 of 121 (523655)
09-11-2009 6:31 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Hyroglyphx
09-11-2009 3:54 PM


Re: Benevolence
The philanthropy that has come by way of religion in no way out weighs the harm done by religion. Good people will do good humanitarian deeds with or without religion.

There are plenty of charities and organizations that feed the poor and hungry that are not religiously based. They may not be atheist groups per say but atheist do contribute to them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-11-2009 3:54 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
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kbertsche
Member (Idle past 207 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 42 of 121 (523666)
09-11-2009 7:51 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by jacortina
09-11-2009 5:56 PM


Re: Benevolence
quote:
quote:
Even in the name "atheism" you identify what you are against, not what you are for.

You do realize that this is absolutely wrong, don't you?

The prefix means 'without'. It is not the prefix 'anti', against.

A species which reproduces asexually is not 'against' sex or gender, it is simply 'without' separate sexes.



You're right--my wording was poor. But it is still true that "atheism" communicates a negative concept, not a positive one. The word identifies what you are without rather than what you are with.
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Replies to this message:
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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 2265 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 43 of 121 (523701)
09-12-2009 12:53 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by kbertsche
09-11-2009 7:51 PM


Re: Benevolence
But it is still true that "atheism" communicates a negative concept,

Well, can you think of a positive word to denote us atheists?


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969

Since Evolution is only ~90% correct it should be thrown out and replaced by Creation which has even a lower % of correctness. W T Young, 2008


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by kbertsche, posted 09-11-2009 7:51 PM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 44 of 121 (523706)
09-12-2009 3:56 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by kbertsche
09-11-2009 7:51 PM


kbertsche writes:

quote:
The word identifies what you are without rather than what you are with.

And? The problem with that is what, precisely?

The only difference between theists and atheists is that the atheists do not have a belief in god. The entire concept can only be defined as a lack, not as a presence. There is nothing that atheists care about that theists don't also care about and thus, there is no way to define what atheists are "for" in comparison to theists.

You're asking to define the color of something that is colorless.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by kbertsche, posted 09-11-2009 7:51 PM kbertsche has acknowledged this reply

    
mark24
Member (Idle past 3270 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 45 of 121 (523711)
09-12-2009 6:32 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by Hyroglyphx
09-11-2009 11:37 AM


Re: Benevolence
Hyroglyphx,

I agree with kbertsche here. Dawkins' is inflammatory and clearly wants to villify all theology as opposed to militant theology.

Nope, Dawkins almost without exception is polite & considered. What he says is considered inflammatory, but frankly isn't. His message is no more inflammatory than this, "there is no evidence for fairies & therefore believing in them is illogical, moreover, the world would be a better place without believing in evidentially vacuous notions."

It's a strange world when a message akin to the above is considered inflammatory, but actually indoctrinating children is moderate. Wierd, eh? Asking people to quote something that Dawkins said that is inflammatory or unreasonable usually draws a blank after a claim that he exhibits this behaviour.

Secondly, believing in ideas that alledly represent reality but are devoid of evidence should be vilified whether it is religion or racial supremacy. In very few other areas of peoples lives do they suspend consistency for emotional satisfaction. This is illogical & pointing it out is correct. The idea is that if people become more consistent they are therefore more logical & therefore the populations reasonability index goes up. This is a good thing.

Mark


There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary, & those that don't
This message is a reply to:
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