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Author Topic:   Get Over Your Fear of Atheism
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2094 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 136 of 169 (394612)
04-12-2007 2:26 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by nator
04-12-2007 2:24 PM


Re: OT
<3
i suppose i didn't talk about it here yet. i'll post a picture.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by nator, posted 04-12-2007 2:24 PM nator has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 137 of 169 (394615)
04-12-2007 2:34 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by One_Charred_Wing
04-12-2007 2:16 PM


Re: Fallacy check!
The way some of these people have been brought up to generalize atheists, they may start to believe that all atheists are forceful about pushing that they're right and everyone else is stupid to believe otherwise.

I didn't say that anybody was stupid. It's not an issue of intelligence, and I'll thank you not to misrepresent me. Stick with my arguments, ok? Don't go inventing your own to refute.

The point is, though, that the religious make positive assertions on the basis of no evidence. Why is that something that we should respect? There's work to be done, and we need people to think clearly to do it. We need people to make decisions based on evidence, based on reasonable expectations about the consequences of their actions and decisions.

Believing things based on no evidence doesn't give people the tools to do that. It's a habit that works against that.

but other theists aren't going to be able to see that through the black eyes you're giving their egos.

They're going to have to sack up and get over it. If you have a way to tell someone "you believe something based on no good evidence" that comes off in a better way than I've been phrasing it, I'd love to hear it.

But if you're asking me to tell that person "oh, it's ok that you believe what you believe, we're all just the same" - that would be a lie. That isn't what I think at all. And lying and self-censoring ourselves to spare the religious the hardship - oh, the pain! - of just being disagreed with is what got us to the place we're at now: a place where educated architects fly planes into buildings to kill thousands, just because their religious leaders told them to.

Religious people need to hear that their beliefs are wrong. I'm sorry if they find that offensive. It's often hard for a child to hear that Santa Claus doesn't exist, or that there's no such thing as the Tooth Fairy, but they need to hear it, eventually. People, eventually, need to grow up, and sometimes that requires hearing unpleasant truths.

So is intellectual arrogance and hostility towards different perspectives;

I'm not arrogant and I'm not hostile. The problem is that plain truths spoken plainly often appear arrogant and hostile, even though they're really not. But there's really nothing more humble than atheism.

Arrogance is the certainty that the creator of the entire universe is a being with literally nothing else to do but keep an eye on you, occasionally break the laws of physics on your behalf, and who literally has no greater concern than where your penis is at any given time. There's no arrogance in the world like the breathtaking arrogance of the theist, who is convinced that the cosmic power of the universe is on his side.

It certainly won't help them get over their fear of atheism, which was the whole reason that YOU started the topic.

I used to be afraid to swim, until my dad picked me up and tossed me into the pool.

I got over it. The way we get over our fears is to face them head-on - not to be sweet-talked out of them. There's no polite way to get someone to face their fears, because that's the reason these fears persist - they fester because people think it's rude to expect others to confront them.

Scratch that, I'm sure you've know your share. Judging by your attitutde towards them, they've all been stupid.

Again, please restrict your comments to what I've been saying, not to what you wish I was saying.

I don't think creationists are stupid. I was hardly stupid myself when I was a creationist. (Ah, you didn't know that, did you? Kinda throws a monkey wrench in the works, doesn't it?)

But you said yourself that you know that the stereotype that you seem to be promoting isn't universally true.

It's no more prejudiced than saying that black people, on the whole, get less sunburns. It's true by definition.

We're talking about a group of people who adamantly believe something based on no good evidence. Certainly I believe that someone could believe something based on no good evidence without that habit creeping into other things he might believe - but that kind of psychic torsion isn't sustainable. People crave consistency. Ultimately, people resolve that tension, usually by adopting strategies that convince them that bad reasons are actually good ones. (We call a lot of these strategies "logical fallacies.)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by One_Charred_Wing, posted 04-12-2007 2:16 PM One_Charred_Wing has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by One_Charred_Wing, posted 04-12-2007 3:08 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 138 of 169 (394619)
04-12-2007 2:52 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by One_Charred_Wing
04-12-2007 2:16 PM


Re: Fallacy check!
I'm warning you that the unneccessary force of your arguements is turning your arguements here into [prejudice.]

Look, this is just ridiculous. This is merely the product of decades of religious propaganda that have trained you to see any atheist who doesn't treat faith with supreme reverence as "unhinged", "strident", and "fundamentalist." Look, when people are calling Richard Dawkins the voice of angry, out-of-control atheism (a man as inoffensive and congenial in person as Father Christmas), it's proof that religious people have stacked the deck against any atheist who dares to say anything to the religious but "yessa, Massa!"

The typical discussion goes like this:

Believer: I believe that the Bible is literally true and that gays and members of other religions are bound for hell, where they will be tortured for all eternity. And quite frankly, they deserve it, because they disgust me.

Atheist: You know, pardon me for speaking, but I think you're wrong about those things.

Believer: You know, the problem with all you goddamn atheists is how intolerant you are.

It's ridiculous on the face of it. You've simply fallen for the manufactured outrage of the religious persecution complex.

I ask you to ponder, just for a second - why is it that, in an age when disputes between religions are settled with bullets, bombs, and a deplorable loss of life, but the dispute between atheists and the religious is limited to books in bookstores; it's the atheists who are accused of being intolerant and of going too far?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by One_Charred_Wing, posted 04-12-2007 2:16 PM One_Charred_Wing has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by One_Charred_Wing, posted 04-12-2007 3:13 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
One_Charred_Wing
Member (Idle past 4322 days)
Posts: 690
From: USA West Coast
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 139 of 169 (394624)
04-12-2007 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by crashfrog
04-12-2007 2:34 PM


Re: Fallacy check!
I didn't say that anybody was stupid. It's not an issue of intelligence, and I'll thank you not to misrepresent me. Stick with my arguments, ok? Don't go inventing your own to refute.

Okay then, you very strongly implied that a large number of people were stupid. That's still not too inviting.

And I couldn't help but infer, as brenna had, that you were strongly implying stupidity. Clearly it's not just me being a hypochondriac.
I wasn't putting words in your mouth, so I'm sorry if you felt like I did.

There's work to be done, and we need people to think clearly to do it. We need people to make decisions based on evidence, based on reasonable expectations about the consequences of their actions and decisions.

I completely agree with this. I realize the method to the madness, I'm just saying that the madness is making people, well, mad.

But if you're asking me to tell that person "oh, it's ok that you believe what you believe, we're all just the same" - that would be a lie.

No such request. Yes, it certainly would be a lie, because you obviously don't feel that way, if it's okay for me to gather that much from what you've written.

a place where educated architects fly planes into buildings to kill thousands, just because their religious leaders told them to.

A condesc... okay, let's go 'brutally honest to the point of hurtful' tone, regardless of the intentions, will inevitably bring more hostility. EVEN IF YOU AREN'T TRYING TO BE HOSTILE. You can be honest, without sugar coating, and still debate less forcefully than you are now.

I'm not arrogant and I'm not hostile. The problem is that plain truths spoken plainly often appear arrogant and hostile, even though they're really not. But there's really nothing more humble than atheism.

Then please don't accuse me of putting words in your mouth. Mistaken inference? Sure. But I didn't decide to put words in your mouth just because.

Religious people need to hear that their beliefs are wrong.

I've heard it, and I still don't quite buy it. ;)

We all need to hear that we're wrong whether we are or not, because that allows us to critically analyze our perspectives. But this doesn't alleviate this abstract fear we're trying to cure, here.

They're going to have to sack up and get over it. If you have a way to tell someone "you believe something based on no good evidence" that comes off in a better way than I've been phrasing it, I'd love to hear it.

Sure. How about "I do not believe in what you believe because there is no objective evidence." 'You' sounds accusing, 'I' sounds explanatory. That's stuff I learned last semester to counsel people in relationships about.

Again, please restrict your comments to what I've been saying, not to what you wish I was saying.
I don't think creationists are stupid. I was hardly stupid myself when I was a creationist. (Ah, you didn't know that, did you? Kinda throws a monkey wrench in the works, doesn't it?)

Mistaken inference; I don't wish you were saying that. Don't accuse me of putting words in your mouth when you yourself said that what you're saying can certainly appear as I interpreted it to be.

Oh, and the creationist part? Not that big of a surprise, although I might've heard this from you way back in the day considering I'm getting that strange deja-vu feeling.

Ultimately, people resolve that tension, usually by adopting strategies that convince them that bad reasons are actually good ones. (We call a lot of these strategies "logical fallacies.)

'We'? I was taught to call them 'coping mechanisms'; logical fallacy is a pretty general term and is usually employed when referring to arguements.

Oh, and that 'psychic torsion' is sustainable with a little vigilance and self-awareness. Not perfectly, but nobody's perfect.

BUT BACK TO WHAT I WAS SAYING: A nicer tone would do somebody as articulate as you a lot of good in the convincing department. This thread appears to be here to persuade, not just to win, right? You say here that cold, hard, facts appear hostile. There are simple mechanisms to make it seem slightly less so, and get more people listening.


I'm bent, bruised, broken, and a little lost. But you know what? I'm not so afraid as you are, who has never ventured away from the trail.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by crashfrog, posted 04-12-2007 2:34 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 142 by crashfrog, posted 04-12-2007 3:29 PM One_Charred_Wing has responded

    
One_Charred_Wing
Member (Idle past 4322 days)
Posts: 690
From: USA West Coast
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 140 of 169 (394626)
04-12-2007 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by crashfrog
04-12-2007 2:52 PM


Re: Fallacy check!
Look, this is just ridiculous. This is merely the product of decades of religious propaganda that have trained you to see any atheist who doesn't treat faith with supreme reverence as "unhinged", "strident", and "fundamentalist." Look, when people are calling Richard Dawkins the voice of angry, out-of-control atheism (a man as inoffensive and congenial in person as Father Christmas), it's proof that religious people have stacked the deck against any atheist who dares to say anything to the religious but "yessa, Massa!"

Good point about the battle of wits vs. the battle of bullets that theists usually employ, but come on!

All I said was that the way you were generalizing was taking a walk down prejudice lane, and you can certainly save youself when you say that you know not everybody of ___ creed is like this. You didn't say that yet, that's why it was a WARNING.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by crashfrog, posted 04-12-2007 2:52 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

    
dwise1
Member
Posts: 3490
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 141 of 169 (394631)
04-12-2007 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by crashfrog
04-01-2007 1:57 PM


Irrational Fear of Atheism
My research into what ex-Christians went through and how their religious training, especially regarding morality, had affected that transition has started by registering on Ex-Christian.Net. I will compose my question and post it within the week (am busy with work, dance, taxes, and reserve duty).

An apt thread there is "Irrational Fear of Atheism" at http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?showtopic=16038. In it, the participants share how they had viewed atheists while they were still Christians and how differently they view atheists now that they are one. Rather than quote from there, you may go and read for yourself.

When I first browsed through the site last night, somebody posted two Bible verses which I'm trying to relocate now. Those two verses (one is from Timothy is all I remember) appear to be the basis of much of the anti-atheist rhetorics we hear, in that (as I recall) they denounce atheists as wilfully denying God so that they may do whatever sinful things they want, etc. You know, everything that they keep throwing at us and we can't imagine where they got that nonsense from. I'll keep looking, though I'm sure one of the Christians here will be more than happy to volunteer them.

I don't normally get into this aspect, but those two verses have it so incredibly wrong and are contrary-to-fact. I had just chalked most of it up to faulty interpretation (which is what most theology is, seeing as it's Man-made), but these two verses show that the Bible is just plain wrong. No wonder so many fundamentalists engage in autocolonscopy.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by crashfrog, posted 04-01-2007 1:57 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 142 of 169 (394635)
04-12-2007 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by One_Charred_Wing
04-12-2007 3:08 PM


Re: Fallacy check!
Okay then, you very strongly implied that a large number of people were stupid.

No, I didn't. It really has nothing to do with intelligence. It has a lot to do with poor mental habits; habits that lead to conclusions based on bad or no evidence.

People do it all the time. It's a known psychological effect (sometimes called "confirmation bias.") It's the reason that we developed the scientific method; a way for human beings to generate knowledge while minimizing the effect of our own bad mental habits.

And I couldn't help but infer, as brenna had, that you were strongly implying stupidity.

How many times do I have to say it has nothing to do with stupidity? I'm willing to admit that I haven't always been explicit on that, but now that I have been, twice, are you prepared to accept that you misinterpreted my remarks, or not?

A condesc... okay, let's go 'brutally honest to the point of hurtful' tone, regardless of the intentions, will inevitably bring more hostility.

Well, tell me how to be "brutally honest but less hurtful." I'm open to suggestions.

But my contention is that the religious have stacked the deck to the point where any honesty is viewed as "hurtful", and you're just playing along. At that point I can't really be held responsible for hurt feelings that emerge because the religious are trained to be hurt by truthful statements.

Mistaken inference? Sure.

Fair enough. Like I said I'm prepared to accept suggestions on how to moderate my tone. It would be helpful if you could use examples; perhaps, even fictitious dialogues.

But when people like Sam Harris are accused of being "too forceful", "strident", and "hurtful", there's more going on here than just tone-deaf atheists. It's a campaign by the religious to characterize any intellectually honest treatment of religion as hate speech.

How about "I do not believe in what you believe because there is no objective evidence." 'You' sounds accusing, 'I' sounds explanatory. That's stuff I learned last semester to counsel people in relationships about.

Ok, that's fair enough. I'll give that a try sometime.

Not that big of a surprise, although I might've heard this from you way back in the day considering I'm getting that strange deja-vu feeling.

Well, I don't make a secret of it; but I don't expect people to memorize my biography, either. I apologize for taking a somewhat unreasonable "gotcha" tone. We could both make an effort of trying to presume less about each other's motives.

logical fallacy is a pretty general term and is usually employed when referring to arguements.

Sure, sure. But it seems to me that a lot of those coping mechanisms take the form of fallacious reasoning. In fact you could think of fallacious reasoning as a "coping mechanism" for dealing with the problem of wanting have an invalid argument accepted as true. :D

This thread appears to be here to persuade, not just to win, right?

I guess my view is that nothing convinces like success. I'm well aware that my tone makes it all but impossible for the person I'm directly replying to to feel like they have the freedom to change their mind without feeling a loss of face.

But honestly, they're not the person I'm trying to convince (because usually, they can't be convinced.) I'm trying to reach the guy who doesn't even post; the guy on the sidelines. I'm playing to the audience (and that's part of the reason that I don't have these debates over email.)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by One_Charred_Wing, posted 04-12-2007 3:08 PM One_Charred_Wing has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by One_Charred_Wing, posted 04-12-2007 4:14 PM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 145 by nator, posted 04-12-2007 6:52 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
One_Charred_Wing
Member (Idle past 4322 days)
Posts: 690
From: USA West Coast
Joined: 11-21-2003


Message 143 of 169 (394648)
04-12-2007 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by crashfrog
04-12-2007 3:29 PM


Re: Fallacy check!
crashfrog writes:

No, I didn't. It really has nothing to do with intelligence. It has a lot to do with poor mental habits; habits that lead to conclusions based on bad or no evidence.

You know, from the perspective of arguementative ethics, you're absolutely right. Sorry I mistook that for accusations of stupidity-- bad reasoning, by its technical definition, is certainly present.

I'm willing to admit that I haven't always been explicit on that, but now that I have been, twice, are you prepared to accept that you misinterpreted my remarks, or not?

*Preparations complete*. Yes.

crashfrog writes:

Well, tell me how to be "brutally honest but less hurtful." I'm open to suggestions.

ME writes:

How about "I do not believe in what you believe because there is no objective evidence." 'You' sounds accusing, 'I' sounds explanatory. That's stuff I learned last semester to counsel people in relationships about.

crashfrog writes:

Ok, that's fair enough. I'll give that a try sometime.

Okay, that's really all I was trying to get across when I called you out in the first place. Honestly, you make the image of a terrified road frog more intimidating than anyone ever thought possible, but if your opposition is greeted with a kinder tone, they might be able to take in what you're saying better as opposed to when they're simply being annihilated.

We could both make an effort of trying to presume less about each other's motives.

Yeah, agreed. But that's why we're all here. Actually, I'm on here because it gives me stimulation to keep reading my Biopsychology book, but a little ethical reasoning is a great supplement.

But honestly, they're not the person I'm trying to convince (because usually, they can't be convinced.) I'm trying to reach the guy who doesn't even post; the guy on the sidelines. I'm playing to the audience (and that's part of the reason that I don't have these debates over email.)

Never thought of it that way. Judging by the 379 'visitors' we have right now, that's a good sized potential audience. Alright, I'm probably done in this thread. Carry on.


I'm bent, bruised, broken, and a little lost. But you know what? I'm not so afraid as you are, who has never ventured away from the trail.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by crashfrog, posted 04-12-2007 3:29 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by Taz, posted 04-12-2007 6:11 PM One_Charred_Wing has responded

    
Taz
Member (Idle past 1458 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 144 of 169 (394673)
04-12-2007 6:11 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by One_Charred_Wing
04-12-2007 4:14 PM


Re: Fallacy check!
One_Charred_Wing aka you writes:

Honestly, you make the image of a terrified road frog more intimidating than anyone ever thought possible, but if your opposition is greeted with a kinder tone, they might be able to take in what you're saying better as opposed to when they're simply being annihilated.


Not according to my experience. Whether we beat them over the head with a hammer or be as nice as humanly possible to them they're never going to change their narrow minded way. What exactly can we say to someone that writes like "evilution sux god rules" and declares to have cosmic wisdom on all things except "you suck" as a reply?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by One_Charred_Wing, posted 04-12-2007 4:14 PM One_Charred_Wing has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 152 by One_Charred_Wing, posted 04-13-2007 2:17 AM Taz has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 336 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 145 of 169 (394686)
04-12-2007 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 142 by crashfrog
04-12-2007 3:29 PM


Re: Fallacy check!
Crash, you wanna know how to soften any statement?

Smilies. Use the smily and Bob's your uncle.

For example, I could write:

"Well, THAT was stupid of you."

and it sounds pretty impolite.

But if I tack a smily (especially a winking one) on there like this:

"Well, THAT was stupid of you" ;)

You take a lot of the sting and heat out of the rebuke.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 142 by crashfrog, posted 04-12-2007 3:29 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by mike the wiz, posted 04-12-2007 7:02 PM nator has responded
 Message 149 by Taz, posted 04-12-2007 8:29 PM nator has not yet responded

    
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4656
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 146 of 169 (394690)
04-12-2007 7:02 PM
Reply to: Message 145 by nator
04-12-2007 6:52 PM


B2P wrestlemaniababa is back
You and Crash are both opinionated ass-hats.;)
Man you guys suck. ;)
Kiss my ass. ;)

I feel better already Shraff.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by nator, posted 04-12-2007 6:52 PM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by nator, posted 04-12-2007 7:17 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded
 Message 148 by crashfrog, posted 04-12-2007 8:01 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 336 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 147 of 169 (394693)
04-12-2007 7:17 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by mike the wiz
04-12-2007 7:02 PM


Re: B2P wrestlemaniababa is back
Kick your ass?

I'd be happy to, Mike.

:)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by mike the wiz, posted 04-12-2007 7:02 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 148 of 169 (394704)
04-12-2007 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by mike the wiz
04-12-2007 7:02 PM


Re: B2P wrestlemaniababa is back
Go fuck yourself, nutsack! :D

You're right - that works great!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by mike the wiz, posted 04-12-2007 7:02 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1458 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 149 of 169 (394710)
04-12-2007 8:29 PM
Reply to: Message 145 by nator
04-12-2007 6:52 PM


Re: Fallacy check!
Am I the only one that thinks smilies are silly?


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by nator, posted 04-12-2007 6:52 PM nator has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 150 by dwise1, posted 04-12-2007 8:56 PM Taz has not yet responded
 Message 151 by Nighttrain, posted 04-12-2007 9:30 PM Taz has not yet responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 3490
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 150 of 169 (394717)
04-12-2007 8:56 PM
Reply to: Message 149 by Taz
04-12-2007 8:29 PM


Re: Fallacy check!
Nope. I get rid of smilies right after I'm done killing Clippy.

So why can't we tell this stupid forum software to disable them by default?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 149 by Taz, posted 04-12-2007 8:29 PM Taz has not yet responded

    
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