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Author Topic:   Atheist attitudes.
Modulous
Member (Idle past 184 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 76 of 121 (523996)
09-14-2009 2:23 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by kbertsche
09-13-2009 3:50 PM


Reaping what you sow
So which of Dawkins' stated opinions on Yahweh's character are seeding hate? That he regards him as fiction or that he thinks he has an unpleasant personality? Can you find any non-religious character for which you would argue saying the same things would imply the same (planting seeds of hatred)?

The holocaust analogy really doesn't work, for a number of reasons. For instance: The holocaust is an event, not an individual. Holocaust denial doesn't necessarily imply anti-semitism, but the two are empirically closely linked.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by kbertsche, posted 09-13-2009 3:50 PM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3310
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.1


(1)
Message 77 of 121 (524007)
09-14-2009 5:48 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by kbertsche
09-12-2009 7:07 AM


Re: Benevolence
kbertsche writes:

This is not just a passive a-theistic unbelief, it is an intentionally inflammatory, militant, anti-theistic attack.

kbertsche writes:

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.

kbertsche writes:

It is perhaps more common for an atheist to be "militant" simply due to the nature of his message.

kbersche, although I haven't been taking notes in other topics, my general impression has been that you are a reasonable person. However, in this topic, I find a need to ask you a basic question: what does your church teach you about atheists? About what atheists are. About what atheists believe and think. About why someone is an atheist. And what you are supposed to do about atheists. The reason I ask this is because decades of personal experience and of observation tells me that there is an incredibly enormous amount of misconceptions and outright bigotry directed against atheists. Why should that be?

Basically, an atheist is one who just simply does not believe in the gods. We just say "No". We've looked at the evidence and we do not find it convincing. You can go right ahead and believe what you want to, but we do not share your beliefs. I won't force my beliefs onto you, so please don't force yours onto me; ie, that classic Pharisee teaching, the Golden Rule.

Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? Only we can't simply just say "no" and practice "leben und leben lassen" ("live and let live"), because Christians, especially conservative/evangelical/fundamentalist Christians, cannot "leben lassen". The almost daily assault from Christians forces us to either hide in the shadows or stand up for ourselves, in which case we get labeled as "militants". We simply cannot accept your religion's claims and you (pl) attack us for it we defend ourselves by pointing out its flaws and so now we're "attacking" it?

My father was not a tall man, perhaps a bit shorter than average. As the smaller kid in school (1920's and 30's), he was always picked on. So in self-defense, he developed a strategy. He quickly identified the bullies and he made a point of picking fights with them. Sure they beat him up -- he pointed to his having to wear dentures as evidence of this -- , but he kept picking fights with them. Pretty soon, if they saw him walking down the street, they'd cross the street to avoid him.

Similarly, Christianity is the bully and if any atheists appear overly pugnacious, it is because they are standing up to and fighting that bully.

I became an atheist about 45 years ago when, a year after my baptism at about age 11, I decided to delve deeper into what I was supposed to believe, so I started to read the Bible. Since what I read was so unbelievable, I quickly realized that, since I couldn't believe the Bible, I couldn't be a Christian and so I left quietly and peacefully. Later reading confirmed my decision to leave. When the "Jesus Freak" movement hit circa 1970, some close friends converted and I observed fundamentalist beliefs close-up (including association with their church) and that really confirmed my earlier decision.

I have endured, especially in those earlier years, almost constant Christian attempts to proselytize me. Yet I am the militant for just saying "no" while they are the saints?

I have personally been threatened with physical violence for not sharing a Christian's beliefs. Yet I am the militant?

Every Christmas we hear conservative Christians complain loudly that they are being discriminated against because they cannot force the entire population to say "Merry Christmas". And yet we are the militants for pointing out how unreasonable and inappropriate that is?

Conservative Christians try to impose their religion upon the public schools by campaigning for school prayer, for creationism, for the posting of their particular version of the Ten Commandments (to the exclusion of the other versions), and because we oppose their efforts we are the militants and not them?

Organizations that feed from the public trough and proclaim to sponsors that they are "absolutely non-sectarian" then turn around and arbitrarily impose narrow sectarian standards (which not only were not part of the officially published rules and regulations and by-laws, but which also violated the same and which had earlier been denounced by the very same leaders imposing it) and exclude small children on that basis with extreme prejudice. When the family tries to stand up to them, they are villified in the press and the public immediately rises up in support of the organization and villify those children even worse. I have personally suffer that. I also personally know children who had been subjected to that; the courts forced the organization to allow them to participate until the case was appealed and those boys were ideal members, such that adult leaders testified that they wished all the boys were like them. And yet we, the victims, are the militants?

I have been divorced recently (do not laugh and point fingers; conservative/evangelical/fundamentalist Christian divorce rates are higher than in the general public, which is explicitly why eHarmony.com was created). A friend who's a member of a conservative Christian mega-church had repeatedly tried to fix me up with women in her singles group, even though I am deemed to be totally unsuitable for them according to their own theology as was most explicitly stated in the DivorceCare program that she had talked me into attending. There's a monthly Christian singles country dance (yes, I know, fundamentalists dancing? Some of the stories of how the church leaders have reacted, along with the fundamentalist public, are simply hilarious) that I have attended solely for the dancing, but "cruising for chicks" is completely out-of-the-picture since I am unsuitable for them and so I always do the honorable thing (remember, I am supposed to be the "militant atheist"). I mentioned this to a woman at work, a nominal Christian, whom I had also encountered one night at a general-public singles dance, and her reaction was one that I would attribute to a member of the general public:
"You're not a Christian? Why not?"
"Well, why should I be?"
"Don't give me that! Why wouldn't anyone not be a Christian?"
WTF? What kind of frakked-up attitude is that? Quite simply the frakked-up attitude that we atheists have to deal with all the frakkin' time! And you call us "militant" when your people keep throwing such crap in our faces all the time?

So then, what? People just assume that everybody's a Christian? That it's just the most natural thing? Well, I did see that in basic training, where our sergeant appeared to be a red-neck (admittedly, I'm sterotyping here, but that was the impression I had; we'll just have to reserve any judgement to be based on his actions/reactions). He assigned church-leader assignments (ie, they were the ones to march the recruits to divine services) for Protestants and Catholics, then he asked if there was anyone he had missed. One hand came up timidly. "What else is there?" "I'm Jewish." Well, hello, there are a lot more alternatives than just "Jewish".

Polls show that the bottom three religious groups in terms of public popularity are: Mormons, Muslims, and atheists. Actually, there's a fairly wide margin between Mormons and the bottom two (something like 30% opposed to 15%, but that's most likely due to the sheer size of the Osmond family (just a joke playing on the joke about the votes that Marie got while on "Dancing with the Stars"; I am a dancer, after all). Normally, atheists are the lowest group, but we're in number two slot now only because of 2001 Sep 11 (AKA "9/11").

Why? All we are saying is, "We do not believe the same that you do." What is it about that which should make us so hated? So hated that any discrimination against us is roundly cheered by the general public. That we should be the only group for which it is not only OK to discriminate, but that it is one's patriotic duty to discriminate against.

The senior Bush is reported to have said that atheists definitely should not be considered patriots, or even Americans. Well now hear this! (the Andrews Sisters started their "Don't Sit under the Apple Tree" thus) I have been a proud member of the United States Armed Forces since 1976! I was a Cold Warrior in North Dakota for five years. I currently have served for 32 years. When I finally am forced to retire at age 60 in another two years, I will have had 34 years of service. Excuse me, but a former Commander in Chief of the military believes that I am not even an American??? What frakin' kind of nonsense is that? Is that what you believe? Well, mister, you had better be ready to support such a position! This is intended as no "rug dance"*, but you have a helluva lot of 'splainin' to do!

{* FOOTNOTE: from the NavTermFAQ: "rug dance":
Quality time spent with a senior officer or NCO, usually in a very one-sided conversation. Typical topics of discussion include one's parentage and probable eventual fate. Aka 'chewing out, ass chewing, etc.'}

I am an atheist. I have been an atheist for about 45 years, about 79% of my life. I will undoubtedly remain an atheist for the remainder of my life, especially considering the role that "creation sscience" and other such blatant lies play in Christianity. I became an atheist when I realized that I could not believe what I was expected to believe, and with the addition of the blatantly false "creation science" I could not ever possibly believe the sheer and utter nonsense that Christians must believe. And because I cannot swallow such incredible nonsense, I am a militant?

kbertsche, you have seemed like a reasonable person, but I cannot help but feel that you are being prejudiced by your religion. What has your religion taught you about atheists? I've asked this of another member who is known for ignoring the inconvenient facts. In an ex-Christian site, I had once seen the citing of Bible verses about what non-believers believe. Verses that are obviously false. I had also seen creationists throw that at me (albeit without citing the source). What does your religion tell you about atheists? What are the biblical sources? How true are they, really?

Edited by dwise1, : No reason given.

Edited by dwise1, : No reason given.

Edited by dwise1, : just remembered the correct term


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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4637
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 78 of 121 (524008)
09-14-2009 6:00 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Straggler
08-25-2009 4:35 PM


Thanks for actually watching the video, and giving your opinion. From what I've read in this thread so far, I only see "attitude", such as,

"mike used to be reasoned, mike used to be great, but now I can refute mike, because mikey hates hate.". (Or similar such things.)

Ofcourse, the point of the topic isn't to say that all atheists have a bad attitude of hate and anger, that would be dumb, it is just an opportunity for people to stand with me against such hatred.

To me, normal people would say, "man, you're right, that's disgusting.", not "defend" such people indirectly by saying, "that's common on utube".

Forgive me for not trawling utube all day long. All I know is that with every interview I watched, there was a hate comment against Creationist in question.

(this post obviously isn't directed at your honest post).

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.


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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2175 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 79 of 121 (524011)
09-14-2009 6:16 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by mike the wiz
09-14-2009 6:00 AM


Aww, Mike! You ruined it. I was hoping your concern troll thread could take up a few hundred posts without us hearing from you again.

not "defend" such people indirectly by saying, "that's common on utube"

How is that a 'defence'? Even indirectly?

Lots of people who comment on YouTube are asshats. Lots of atheists are asshats. Lots of Christians are asshats. Lots of people in general are asshats. Well done on noticing that.

TTFN,

WK


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mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4637
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 80 of 121 (524014)
09-14-2009 6:35 AM
Reply to: Message 79 by Wounded King
09-14-2009 6:16 AM


Where did you get that term "asshats". I stole that from Dan, how dare you steal it back.
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kbertsche
Member (Idle past 211 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 81 of 121 (524071)
09-14-2009 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 70 by Hyroglyphx
09-13-2009 4:17 PM


Re: Sewing the seeds of hate
quote:
I assume though you believe Allah is as false a god as Artemis was in Paul's day, and an equal amount of people in devotion to Allah have done the same. That really does nothing to advance your argument.

Perhaps my argument in Re: Sewing the seeds of hate (Message 67) was not clear enough, but what you say supports it well.

Dawkins takes a few shots at Islam and Allah, but directs most of his salvo against Christianity and the God of the Bible. If he had concentrated mainly on Islam and Muslims, and if his books were promoted in countries with large Muslim populations, I am certain that there would have been many Muslim claims of hatred. We've seen riots caused by cartoons which were much milder than Dawkins' rhetoric.


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kbertsche
Member (Idle past 211 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 82 of 121 (524072)
09-14-2009 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by mark24
09-13-2009 7:11 PM


Re: Dangerous Dawkins' Dark Designs for Deity Destruction
quote:
Either show Dawkins is involved in hate mongering or retract your accusation.

I have never accused Dawkins of "hate mongering."

If you disagree Hyroglyphx' claim (Re: Dangerous Dawkins' Dark Designs for Deity Destruction (Message 52)) that Dawkins is "planting the seeds of hate" please take it up with him.

If you disagree with Modulus' sub-thread title in Sewing the seeds of hate (Message 62) please take it up with him.


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kbertsche
Member (Idle past 211 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 83 of 121 (524074)
09-14-2009 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 75 by Rrhain
09-13-2009 8:04 PM


quote:
But let's say that what you say is true: Why does it matter how emotionally attached a person is to an object? Why does the fact that you are emotionally invested in something make it "hate" to question its existence? To point out that you haven't presented any evidence of it? That your actions are actually causing harm to people?

Good questions! I'm not sure that I can give a convincing answer for why, but I believe it is true. If one has a very deep emotional vesting in an idea or belief, especially one where persecution and hatred already exist, he is more likely to view negative comments as promoting or contributing to hatred. I believe we see that this is true regarding Christianity, Islam, and belief in the holocaust.

Perhaps some of this can be attributed to over-sensitivity (e.g. Muslims seem to riot for minor offenses that are common against Christians). Or perhaps it is due to an under-sensitivity on the part of the attackers (e.g. those who attack the holocaust).

Edited by kbertsche, : No reason given.


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kbertsche
Member (Idle past 211 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 84 of 121 (524077)
09-14-2009 11:03 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by Modulous
09-14-2009 2:23 AM


Re: Reaping what you sow
quote:
The holocaust analogy really doesn't work, for a number of reasons. For instance: The holocaust is an event, not an individual. Holocaust denial doesn't necessarily imply anti-semitism, but the two are empirically closely linked.

I agree that the analogy is not very good, but I couldn't find a better one. I want an agreed non-fiction analogy that generates very strong feelings and for which some have given their lives. I can't think of any human individuals that fit this description.
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mark24
Member (Idle past 3275 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 85 of 121 (524078)
09-14-2009 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by kbertsche
09-14-2009 10:45 AM


Re: Dangerous Dawkins' Dark Designs for Deity Destruction
kbertsche,

I have never accused Dawkins of "hate mongering."

In message 61 you said:

And I believe this does promote hatred toward God and religious faith.

The words "hate mongering" are mine, but since "promoting hatred" & "hate mongering" are the same, I'd like you to go back to my previous post & respond properly, please.

Thanks,

Mark

Edited by mark24, : No reason given.


There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary, & those that don't
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cavediver
Member (Idle past 1723 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 86 of 121 (524083)
09-14-2009 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by kbertsche
09-14-2009 11:03 AM


Re: Reaping what you sow
I want an agreed non-fiction analogy that generates very strong feelings and for which some have given their lives. I can't think of any human individuals that fit this description.

How about the veneration (hyperdulia) of Mary?


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Modulous
Member (Idle past 184 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 87 of 121 (524084)
09-14-2009 11:58 AM
Reply to: Message 86 by cavediver
09-14-2009 11:49 AM


Re: Reaping what you sow
I want an agreed non-fiction analogy that generates very strong feelings and for which some have given their lives. I can't think of any human individuals that fit this description.

How about the veneration (hyperdulia) of Mary?

He said agreed non-fiction. That would probably mean that the deeds/status that causes veneration needs to be agreed to be non-fictional. I don't think Mary counts


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Modulous
Member (Idle past 184 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 88 of 121 (524086)
09-14-2009 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by kbertsche
09-14-2009 10:54 AM


I asked a question that you didn't directly reply to, but this answer is close enough so I'll reply here.

If one has a very deep emotional vesting in an idea or belief, especially one where persecution and hatred already exist, he is more likely to view negative comments as promoting or contributing to hatred.

Which is precisely the point Dawkins was driving towards when he said

Dawkins writes:

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

By merely vocally questioning faith based beliefs, we atheists are in danger of being accused of seeding hatred. Brooks no argument indeed.

I'm not sure that I can give a convincing answer for why, but I believe it is true

Requires no justification, eh?

(--in cheek but with serious underbelly)

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1267 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 89 of 121 (524092)
09-14-2009 12:32 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by kbertsche
09-14-2009 11:03 AM


Re: Reaping what you sow
I agree that the analogy is not very good, but I couldn't find a better one. I want an agreed non-fiction analogy that generates very strong feelings and for which some have given their lives. I can't think of any human individuals that fit this description.

Any such analogy is nothing more than a red herring, anyway.

Your position requires that simple disagreement (and verbal, public expression of that disagreement) constitutes an active propagation of hatred - especially if the item of contention bears strong emotional connotations.

By such a loose standard for the term "militancy," nearly every matter of public discourse qualifies. Virtually all of politician and a fair number of religious leaders would qualify as "militants."

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have qualified as a "militant" under your standard - his opposition to the racist policies of the day was active, and touched a subject that was of significant emotional and cultural import to both sides of the dispute.

The English language lends itself to inconsistency, with subjective "feelings" of magnitude determining our usageof labels. One person's extremism can be another person's moderation (see "conservative" and "liberal" in the US vs. in Canada or the UK - our "liberals" are pretty conservative by most other nations' standards, and our "conservatives" would be considered extremists).

In the case of the term "militancy," it seems from this thread and commentary elsewhere that public and impassioned disagreement with one's own views will be considered to be "militant." When Dawkins says that faith is by its very nature a harmful influence on human society, thoseto whom faith is an important part of their daily lives take offense and see Dawkins as directly attacking them, personally. When the shoe is put on the other foot and a Creationist directly or indirectly accuses scientists of lying in a massive conspiracy, or a preacher condemns all nonbelievers to Hell, or says that homosexuality/premarital sex/abortions/what have you are wicked and evil, the same person will not identify those active and frequently inflammatory stances against emotionally charged issues as "militant."

I would suggest that simply making inflammatory statements in the public eye are not indicative of militancy, for the simple reason that such a loose qualification dilutes the meaning of teh word and makes the term applicable to almost everyone.

I think that the term "militant" should only be applied when a person takes an active, nonverbal stance against a group or belief system. That means violence qualifies as militancy, as does actively seeking to persecute a group through legislation. The Black Panthers were militants, while MLK, Jr. was not; Islamic jihadis are militants, while Muslims who speak out against homosexuality or Christianity are not. Dawkins would not qualify as a militant any more than the preachers who condemn him and all other nonbelievers to eternal torment and suggest that we are wicked tools of the devil. If Dawkins should actively seek, beyond just using words in a book, to criminalize religion, or should organize a violent opposition to faith, then he would qualify as a militant.

Some people here would refer to me as a militant Atheist...and yet all I've ever done is post on web forums. I strongly disapprove of faith in general, and I make no secret of it. I point out its logical flaws, and I vigorously debate against those who try to apply faith to science or claim that their personal beliefs should override the objective, reproducible, and verifiably accurate results of the scientific method.

If simply expressing disagreement, even emotionally charged or possibly insulting disagreement, qualifies one as a "militant," who precisely is not a militant?


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kbertsche
Member (Idle past 211 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 90 of 121 (524104)
09-14-2009 1:18 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by Rahvin
09-14-2009 12:32 PM


Re: Reaping what you sow
quote:
Your position requires that simple disagreement (and verbal, public expression of that disagreement) constitutes an active propagation of hatred - especially if the item of contention bears strong emotional connotations.

False.

quote:
I would suggest that simply making inflammatory statements in the public eye are not indicative of militancy, for the simple reason that such a loose qualification dilutes the meaning of teh word and makes the term applicable to almost everyone.

I agree; this is not sufficient to earn the title of "militant."

quote:
I think that the term "militant" should only be applied when a person takes an active, nonverbal stance against a group or belief system.

No, I believe "nonverbal" is too restrictive.

quote:
If simply expressing disagreement, even emotionally charged or possibly insulting disagreement, qualifies one as a "militant," who precisely is not a militant?

This is not a sufficient qualification for the term "militant."

I defined and supported my usage of "militant" in Re: Benevolence (Message 29). Wikipedia has a number of examples of how the term "militant atheism" is used. I believe my usage of the term conforms to common usage. You are free to disagree with common usage and to try to change it, of course.


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