PDA

View Full Version : 10 things Christians and Atheists can(and must) agree on


John Galt
12-16-2007, 11:32 PM
http://www.cracked.com/article_15759_10-things-christians-atheists-can-must-agree-on.html

edit: I fixed the link. Thanks for finding it.

Things:

1. Despite being punctuated with religiously offensive pictures, it is a good article, which raises valid points.

2. This, of course, comes from cracked.com. of course some things are a bit over the top.

3. I was going to put this in Ahto, but I thought it was serious enough to be put in Kavar's, as it raises an aspect of the Theism/Atheism discussion that is seldom discussed.

tk102
12-17-2007, 12:46 AM
Should this be renamed "5 things Christians and atheists can (and must) agree on" ?

Is page 2 missing or am I blind?

Achilles
12-17-2007, 12:55 AM
You'll have to google the title of the article and then find a link that has all 10. The one that I found was also the Cracked site, but had navigation for 3 pages at the bottom of the article (so look close!).

Rogue Nine
12-17-2007, 12:59 AM
http://www.cracked.com/article_15759_10-things-christians-atheists-can-must-agree-on.html

Better link. It's the article number, the first link's is different.

Web Rider
12-17-2007, 01:10 AM
Saw it already, it was mildly humorous and partly true, but the replies to it just pissed me off.

True_Avery
12-17-2007, 01:26 AM
Great read.

He makes some good points. When you strip both sides bare, they really are the same thing with different labels. Both have extremists, both have light followers. Both seem to strive for the same thing while wishing the other one gone. Both have similar morals, but approach them differently. I particularly liked 9. Both Sides Have Brought Good to the Table.

Even so, I still have a hard time taking either side seriously. Anybody who thinks they have the universe figured out completely under their belief system is still a little nuts, in my opinion. One tends to believe modern science. The others follow really old books. Science has proved time and time again to be wrong (earth being flat), and religion tends to put all its faith into books that were written by people who may or may not have had the word of god in their ear. Out of millions of scientific theories, millions of religions, and millions of gods... it seems rather selfish and somewhat childish to assume that your beliefs are the one and only true beliefs.

Even so, I think everything that he said holds some good water to it. People believe what they do because they believe it to be true. You tell them they are wrong, atheist or theist, it is still going to get on their nerves. What neither side seems to fully understand is that they need each other to survive. I think the world would be a much darker place if we were all atheists, or if we were all religious.

Tommycat
12-17-2007, 01:40 AM
Saw it already, it was mildly humorous and partly true, but the replies to it just pissed me off.
Yeah mainly people who didn't pay attention to the spirit in which the article was written.

Really it comes down to one thing that both sides can agree on. Both sides have good people and jerks.... don't be the jerk.

Corinthian
12-17-2007, 02:39 AM
Great read.

He makes some good points. When you strip both sides bare, they really are the same thing with different labels. Both have extremists, both have light followers. Both seem to strive for the same thing while wishing the other one gone. Both have similar morals, but approach them differently. I particularly liked 9. Both Sides Have Brought Good to the Table.

Even so, I still have a hard time taking either side seriously. Anybody who thinks they have the universe figured out completely under their belief system is still a little nuts, in my opinion. One tends to believe modern science. The others follow really old books. Science has proved time and time again to be wrong (earth being flat), and religion tends to put all its faith into books that were written by people who may or may not have had the word of god in their ear. Out of millions of scientific theories, millions of religions, and millions of gods... it seems rather selfish and somewhat childish to assume that your beliefs are the one and only true beliefs.

Even so, I think everything that he said holds some good water to it. People believe what they do because they believe it to be true. You tell them they are wrong, atheist or theist, it is still going to get on their nerves. What neither side seems to fully understand is that they need each other to survive. I think the world would be a much darker place if we were all atheists, or if we were all religious.
So your solution is, what, to believe in nothing? Religion poses a devastating counter to that: Pavlov's Wager. I mean, there's no real motivation to take the Atheistic Approach (I reject the idea that Science and Religion are mutually exclusive) other than a slavish devotion to the perceivable.

Achilles
12-17-2007, 03:08 AM
1. You Can Do Terrible Things in the Name of Either One
Why it's wrong: Atheism has no central doctrine. No terrible things can be done in it's name, because it (for the sake of context) doesn't have a name.

2. Both Sides Really Do Believe What They're Saying
Why I disagree with it: Yes, but one side tends to be informed by rational thought while the other tends to be informed by sentimental wishful thinking. While I think that a little sentimental wishful thinking can be good for the spirit, it should not be the compass we live our lives by.

3. In Everyday Life, You're Not That Different
Why I think the author is naive: He's clearly hasn't spent any time with fundies. Also, he's fast and extremely sloppy with his use of examples.

4. There Are Good People on Both Sides
No question about it. Why this is the case may or may not be a different story.

5. Your Point of View is Legitimately Offensive to Them
Why I think the author is naive: Not sure what to do about that. I'm almost positive that not having these discussion is not the answer. And since we're all in this together, yeah what other people think does kinda sorta affect me, so it's not like it isn't any of my business (inverse argument applies towards me as well).

6. We Tend to Exaggerate About the Other Guy
Why it's wrong: There are compelling arguments for why liberal and moderate theists are just as harmful as the fundies.

7. We Tend to Exaggerate About Ourselves, Too
Why I can't respond: Pretty sure he doesn't make a coherent argument here.

8. Focusing on Negative Examples Makes You Stupid
Why it's wrong: See #1. Focusing on negative example of atheism makes you look stupid because atheism has no central doctrines. Focusing on negative examples of theism might make you look stupid is like saying that focusing on negative examples of crime makes you look stupid for carrying pepper spray. I think most reasonable people can pick distinguish between a moderate and a fundie. Recognizing that the fundie is both real and a threat is not stupid.

9. Both Sides Have Brought Good to the Table
No question about it. Why this is the case may or may not be a different story.

10. You'll Never Harass the Other Side Out of Existence
Why I hope he's wrong: Superstition won't go away until it no longer bears any cultural significance. That won't happen until it is more embarrassing to admit subscribing to such superstitions than to deny them. And for those that see this as cruel, heartless, or otherwise rude, let's think about some of the creative ways theists have sought to convert non-believers.

Science has proved time and time again to be wrong (earth being flat)<snip> I'd like to posit that "science" is a process, rather than a collection of results. It's the process itself that finds fault with erroneous conclusions, so it can't really be that bad.

And if we're really going to use "mistakes made" as measure for reliability, I think we should apply it consistently to both labels.

So your solution is, what, to believe in nothing? Religion poses a devastating counter to that: Pavlov's Wager. For the sake of argument, I'll assume you meant to reference Pascal's Wager. Pavlov had a "response", IIRC.

I mean, there's no real motivation to take the Atheistic Approach (I reject the idea that Science and Religion are mutually exclusive) other than a slavish devotion to the perceivable.Except that if you are going to accept Pascal's Wager you have to do so for every conceivable deity. Pascal's Wager is devastatingly weak because it is based entirely on the presumption that we have some sort of evidence for the christian god.

Thanks for reading

Web Rider
12-17-2007, 03:29 AM
So your solution is, what, to believe in nothing? Religion poses a devastating counter to that: Pavlov's Wager. I mean, there's no real motivation to take the Atheistic Approach (I reject the idea that Science and Religion are mutually exclusive) other than a slavish devotion to the perceivable.

Pavlov's wager isn't "faith", it's a safe bet, and if religion tells me anything, it's that truly believing is what counts, giving lip service, which is essentially what Pascal's, wager is.

Why it's wrong: Atheism has no central doctrine. No terrible things can be done in it's name, because it (for the sake of context) doesn't have a name.
I tend to agree with this point, people like Stalin did horrible things because they were horrible people, it wasn't done in the name of atheism. Not in anywhere close to the same respect that other historical genocides were done in the name of religion. Not to sure about Mao, dunno much about him.

Why I disagree with it: Yes, but one side tends to be informed by rational thought while the other tends to be informed by sentimental wishful thinking. While I think that a little sentimental wishful thinking can be good for the spirit, it should not be the compass we live our lives by.
But the point wasn't really that it's a GOOD way to live, only that each side thinks it's the correct way to live.

Why I think the author is naive: He's clearly hasn't spent any time with fundies. Also, he's fast and extremely sloppy with his use of examples.
True, but there are some very asshatish atheists, and I've spent time around fundies on both sides. His examples may be sloppy, but his point is true. Though #3 really isn't any different than #4.

Why I think the author is naive: Not sure what to do about that. I'm almost positive that not having these discussion is not the answer. And since we're all in this together, yeah what other people think does kinda sorta affect me, so it's not like it isn't any of my business (inverse argument applies towards me as well).
yup, we're all on this dirtball together...which if anyone thought seriously about how fast the earth is moving, is kinda mind-boggling, but I digress, yes, for the most part, what other people think(and by extension do) is entirely relevant to my life. If some nutter terrorists from half-way around the globe can affect my country, then some guy from Kansas can(and has!) too.

Why it's wrong: There are compelling arguments for why liberal and moderate theists are just as harmful as the fundies.
There's compelling arguments for a lot of things, doesn't make them true.

Why I can't respond: Pretty sure he doesn't make a coherent argument here.
yeah, I didn't get that one either.

Why it's wrong: See #1. Focusing on negative example of atheism makes you look stupid because atheism has no central doctrines. Focusing on negative examples of theism might make you look stupid is like saying that focusing on negative examples of crime makes you look stupid for carrying pepper spray. I think most reasonable people can pick distinguish between a moderate and a fundie. Recognizing that the fundie is both real and a threat is not stupid.
But recognizing and focusing are not the same thing. To make the fundie a representative of an either selection of people is indeed stupid. And comparing religion to crime is a terrible analogy. There's nothing wrong, as you say, with knowing who your "enemy" is, but your analogy is much the same as saying that focusing on negative examples of blacks justifies the KKK.

Why I hope he's wrong: Superstition won't go away until it no longer bears any cultural significance. That won't happen until it is more embarrassing to admit subscribing to such superstitions than to deny them. And for those that see this as cruel, heartless, or otherwise rude, let's think about some of the creative ways theists have sought to convert non-believers.
Following your example, yes, he would be wrong, certain views and religions have been "harrassed" out of existance, though I don't think he was going as far as the absolute elimination of all people of a certain belief system. But it does happen, the lack of some hundred+ native american tribes can attest to that.

Of course for a long time it was embarrassing to admit to being an atheist, but that didn't make it go away.

True_Avery
12-17-2007, 04:15 AM
So your solution is, what, to believe in nothing?
I'm not making a solution. I'm just stating what I believe.

What I believe is that no human can truly understand the nature of the universe. Science constantly tests, and will continue to test till the day humanity disappears. Millions of religions have made millions of gods, and nearly all the people claim that their 1 belief system is correct out of those millions.

I do not believe any religion will ever have it right.
I do not believe scientists will ever find out how the universe truly works.

In time, a new religion will appear and Christianity will be old paper kept in museums as a memory of beliefs long gone. We see old Indian, Egyptian, Greek religions in museums everyday, but few still believe in them. This is the fate of all religions: to slowly fade away into time to be replaced by the new.

I don't believe any 1 religion is correct. Out of the millions that have existed, I do not accept that any of them, even modern day religions, have much behind them at all. But, I wont entirely throw out the notion that religious beliefs are entirely wrong either. I can believe in something much larger than any of us, sentient or not, but I will not base my spirituality on books written by humans.

Science is a process of testing and collecting information. Sometimes we find conclusions, sometimes we don't. Then, in time, many of those conclusions are retested and changed. It makes modern science unreliable, as in a few years thing we know to be fact could be changed in small to drastic ways. This is not to say that science is not interesting. I am fascinated by it and try to learn as much as I can. But I wont trust everything I see at face value.

I believe it is our limitation as human beings that we will always ask questions and always create new beliefs. Maybe there is in fact a "god" or "gods". Maybe there isn't. I don't know, and wont claim I ever will. I, personally, find anybody who claims they know how the universe truly works to be amusing, selfish, and somewhat childish. But that is just what I think.

So, I guess my own solution is to believe "in nothing." I believe both have good points, but due to being human controled... they will always be flawed.

You cannot make me believe that a god(s) of some sorts exists, yet you cannot make me believe that one doesn't exist.

I mean, there's no real motivation to take the Atheistic Approach other than a slavish devotion to the perceivable.
Maybe there isn't a motivation for you, but apparently others have found motivations because there are in fact atheists out there.

What you said could also be reversed on you:
"I mean, there's no real motivation to take the Christian approach other than a slavish devotion to the bible."

(I reject the idea that Science and Religion are mutually exclusive)
Meh, I believe in a balance of sorts, so I guess thats where our opinions differ.

I'd like to posit that "science" is a process, rather than a collection of results. It's the process itself that finds fault with erroneous conclusions, so it can't really be that bad.

And if we're really going to use "mistakes made" as measure for reliability, I think we should apply it consistently to both labels.
Very true. I'm not saying that either is "bad", but rather that both have a history for not being entirely reliable.

I try to apply it consistently to both labels. Thats why I would rather remain in the gray than take either side. I don't take religion's side completely, and I don't take science's side completely. Same with theism and atheism.

But, I do admit that I lash out more at the religious than atheists. I respect quiet worship and spirituality, but when you tell me I'm going to be punished for not believing in -your- religion... that is when you have cross the line with me. I'll sigh and get annoyed at atheist comments, but rarely lash out at them.

Why it's wrong: Atheism has no central doctrine. No terrible things can be done in it's name, because it (for the sake of context) doesn't have a name.
True. He seems to be treating Atheism like a collective religion instead of a lack of.

Why I disagree with it: Yes, but one side tends to be informed by rational thought while the other tends to be informed by sentimental wishful thinking. While I think that a little sentimental wishful thinking can be good for the spirit, it should not be the compass we live our lives by.
Depends. The religious do believe they are acting on rational thought, and that atheists believe what they do based on wishful thinking. Your comment can be reversed and pointed back at you. I believe that is the point he was trying to make.

Ray Jones
12-17-2007, 10:19 AM
I do not believe any religion will ever have it right.It think it's more like "do we get religion right some day?"


I do not believe scientists will ever find out how the universe truly works.But they mustn't? -- However, they are more plausible in their attempts to find answers, and more successful in making things work like the universe does.


In time, a new religion will appear and Christianity will be old paper kept in museums as a memory of beliefs long gone. We see old Indian, Egyptian, Greek religions in museums everyday, but few still believe in them. This is the fate of all religions: to slowly fade away into time to be replaced by the new.I doubt that we will see new major religions. I mean, what for? It cannot be more successful than the other ones, and given the current state of human society, the ultimate need for one is long gone.


Science is a process of testing and collecting information. Sometimes we find conclusions, sometimes we don't. Then, in time, many of those conclusions are retested and changed. It makes modern science unreliable, as in a few years thing we know to be fact could be changed in small to drastic ways.Oh, *nothing* will change drastically. Or how often have you heard that planes don't work anymore because aerodynamic laws stopped working? How often do you heard about 1 and 1 not being 2? These facts don't change. However what does change is that we might find a more accurate law or explanation for something, or maybe we discover another dependency that changes things, like subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic speeds, to stick with the plane example.


This is not to say that science is not interesting. I am fascinated by it and try to learn as much as I can. But I wont trust everything I see at face value.But that goes for everything, not just what science is presenting. Or do you trust everything that religion offers?


I believe it is our limitation as human beings that we will always ask questions and always create new beliefs. Maybe there is in fact a "god" or "gods". Maybe there isn't.Maybe there is a god but you all are wrong about him?


I don't know, and wont claim I ever will. I, personally, find anybody who claims they know how the universe truly works to be amusing, selfish, and somewhat childish. But that is just what I think.If god made the universe, he would know, wouldn't he?


You cannot make me believe that a god(s) of some sorts exists, yet you cannot make me believe that one doesn't exist.What would it matter anyway?


Depends. The religious do believe they are acting on rational thought, and that atheists believe what they do based on wishful thinking. Your comment can be reversed and pointed back at you. I believe that is the point he was trying to make.Hm. But no matter how much someone wishes to base their thinking on rational thought, the term "rational thought" has a clear definition, and I think it doesn't refer to "religious faith" or "believe" that much.

Achilles
12-17-2007, 12:55 PM
But the point wasn't really that it's a GOOD way to live, only that each side thinks it's the correct way to live. I understood the distinction, but jumped ahead several steps to the point where we begin to understand that faith in that correctness has some consequence for everyone else.

True, but there are some very asshatish atheists, and I've spent time around fundies on both sides. *wonders what a "fundamental atheist" looks like considering the absence of a central doctrine* :)

His examples may be sloppy, but his point is true. I don't agree that it is. He clearly wrote that with liberal and moderate theists in mind (hence my comment about fundies). Yes, there are people that would try to pray their Camaro engine back to good health, which was my point.

There's compelling arguments for a lot of things, doesn't make them true.While I certainly appreciate the truism, I'm not sure how well it holds up as a counter-argument. Could you please expand your point on this?

But recognizing and focusing are not the same thing. To make the fundie a representative of an either selection of people is indeed stupid.I'm not sure that I'm willing to make the same leap in reasoning. Recognizing (or focusing) on fundies is not the same as recognizing (or focusing) on moderates/liberals. While I'm certain some people do confuse the two, I think the author takes a big fat dose of hypocrisy by presuming that most people do. The fact that lambasting two very specific groups of people for generalizing is itself generalizing seems to have escaped him.

And comparing religion to crime is a terrible analogy. There's nothing wrong, as you say, with knowing who your "enemy" is, but your analogy is much the same as saying that focusing on negative examples of blacks justifies the KKK. Huh?
Sorry you didn't care for my analogy. I'm not sure that I follow yours.

Of course for a long time it was embarrassing to admit to being an atheist, but that didn't make it go away."Embarrassing" or "dangerous"? Not the same thing.

Very true. I'm not saying that either is "bad", but rather that both have a history for not being entirely reliable.Again, splitting hairs, I find the process to be very reliable because it is self-correcting. I agree that the *product* should be held tentatively, but the process itself recommends that. By way of comparison, religion asks for blind obedience and discourages questions. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I find the two about as comparable as day and night.

Depends. The religious do believe they are acting on rational thought,Well, it's obvious that people believe in all sorts of things that aren't true.

...and that atheists believe what they do based on wishful thinking.I'm not sure how well I follow here. No wishful thinking is necessary for atheism. In fact, I'm not sure how it would apply within the context of a theological debate. I don't need to "wish" for their to be no evidence for god in order to see that there isn't any. If there was some, then I could see it and that would be that. "Wishing" for the opposite would seem to imply that one first had to, at the very least, acknowledge that it was there.

Your comment can be reversed and pointed back at you. I believe that is the point he was trying to make.I'm not sure how that is, but I'm certainly willing to review any examples that you would like to provide.

Thanks for your post!

Take care.

PoiuyWired
12-17-2007, 01:18 PM
Well, I guess humor and things aside, the article is quite true. I guess the idea is that whichever sides you are on, there are good and bad people, and most of them not the bad crusading extremists.

Its a given that most of the tactics done to convert/attack/etc the other sides won't work effectively, other than to piss everyone off. So everyone should chill out a bit and be a bit more friendly to people on the other sides.

mimartin
12-17-2007, 02:01 PM
Why it's wrong: Atheism has no central doctrine. No terrible things can be done in it's name, because it (for the sake of context) doesn't have a name.
I agree with this. Yet I will also say that while I could do a terrible thing in the name of God, I would still be the one doing the terrible thing and not God.

John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan in order to impress Jodie Foster. So on March 30, 1981 when he fired the six shots striking James Brady, Thomas Deahnty, Timothy McCarthy and Ronald Reagan did he pass quilt for the incident onto Jodie Foster since he did it in her name? I don’t think so, but that seems to be the case when people do evil things trying to impress God. We apply blame onto God or onto the religion, but the real blame should be on the people that commit these acts and not excuses.

Let say for argument sake you are correct there is no God. Do you seriously think people that commit these atrocities against mankind will stop? I believe they will still take place and these people will still do such acts in someone else’s name in order to distance themselves from the crime. In my opinion it is nothing more than an excuse.

Web Rider
12-17-2007, 02:12 PM
*wonders what a "fundamental atheist" looks like considering the absence of a central doctrine* :)
I suppose they'd more accurately be described as an anti-theist.

I don't agree that it is. He clearly wrote that with liberal and moderate theists in mind (hence my comment about fundies). Yes, there are people that would try to pray their Camaro engine back to good health, which was my point.
I think that would be the defining line between fundies and idiots, I'm pretty sure there's some religious quotes where God says he isn't going to do everything for you.

While I certainly appreciate the truism, I'm not sure how well it holds up as a counter-argument. Could you please expand your point on this?
I'm not entirely sure how much there is to expand, simply that there are some impressive counter arguments to going outside in the rain, but they have very particular contexts in which they apply or they have rather large holes in their reasoning. They still sound compelling, but they work off of a very minor percentage of probability.

I'm not sure that I'm willing to make the same leap in reasoning. Recognizing (or focusing) on fundies is not the same as recognizing (or focusing) on moderates/liberals. While I'm certain some people do confuse the two, I think the author takes a big fat dose of hypocrisy by presuming that most people do. The fact that lambasting two very specific groups of people for generalizing is itself generalizing seems to have escaped him.
Sure it is. Recognizing or focusing on something is only that. But the difference is mainly in the words, in that recognizing is at the very least simply being aware of it's existance, while focusing is ignoring all other instances of something.

Huh?
Sorry you didn't care for my analogy. I'm not sure that I follow yours.
Only that compring religion to crime is like trying to justify the KKK, the only way to do it is to look at the worst examples, and therefore justify your anti-it POV. Sure, it justifies your POV, but it's inaccurate because it's only taking into account a select few that are not an accurate representation of the whole.

"Embarrassing" or "dangerous"? Not the same thing.
Depends on your time frame. The father you go back, yes, the more dangerous it got. Though at some point when you hit Rome and Greece, it becomes less dangerous.

Achilles
12-17-2007, 03:24 PM
I agree with this. Yet I will also say that while I could do a terrible thing in the name of God, I would still be the one doing the terrible thing and not God. With you so far.

John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan in order to impress Jodie Foster. So on March 30, 1981 when he fired the six shots striking James Brady, Thomas Deahnty, Timothy McCarthy and Ronald Reagan did he pass quilt for the incident onto Jodie Foster since he did it in her name? I don’t think so, but that seems to be the case when people do evil things trying to impress God. We apply blame onto God or onto the religion, but the real blame should be on the people that commit these acts and not excuses.Trying to follow along here, but I don't know how well I'm doing. While I certainly agree with the mechanics of the argument (as I understand them), I think we leave the thrust of the dilemma on the table when we fail to acknowledge that doing things in the name of god usually includes baggage related to salvation, damnation, blessings, etc, etc. Clearly Hinkley's actions were inspired, but inspired in a very temporal way.

Let say for argument sake you are correct there is no God. Do you seriously think people that commit these atrocities against mankind will stop?No, not at all, but I think they will exponentially decrease. Take a look at the crime rates in highly religious states vs. non-religious states. Check out the UN Human Development Index and make note of the religiousity of the top 5 nations. There is absolutely no evidence to support the argument that belief in god makes us good. The evidence certainly does seem to suggest a causal relationship in the other direction though.

I believe they will still take place and these people will still do such act in someone else’s name in order to distance themselves from the crime. In my opinion it is nothing more than an excuse.*shrugs* Where will they hide? You think a serial killer couldn't lay low amongst the Westboro Baptist Church crowd?

I suppose they'd more accurately be described as an anti-theist. That's fine but I don't think they have a centralized doctrine either. Could be wrong though.

I think that would be the defining line between fundies and idiots, I'm pretty sure there's some religious quotes where God says he isn't going to do everything for you.Ah, you attempt to distinguish between the two. How fascinating. :)

I'm not entirely sure how much there is to expand, simply that there are some impressive counter arguments to going outside in the rain, but they have very particular contexts in which they apply or they have rather large holes in their reasoning. They still sound compelling, but they work off of a very minor percentage of probability.I was hoping you would attempt to offer an actual counter-argument or refutation (assuming that you knew what the arguments were in the first place). As it stands now, you seem to be content to allow your comment to linger as a non sequitur. I'm fine with that too so long as we acknowledge it for what it is.

Sure it is [the same thing].I need your help deciphering your argument. Below is a transcript of where we've been so far.

Source: Focusing on Negative Examples Makes You Stupid

Achilles: <snip related justification for focusing on fundies> I think most reasonable people can distinguish between a moderate and a fundie. Recognizing that the fundie is both real and a threat is not stupid.

Web Rider: But recognizing and focusing are not the same thing. To make the fundie a representative of an either selection of people is indeed stupid.

Achilles: <snip> Recognizing (or focusing) on fundies is not the same as recognizing (or focusing) on moderates/liberals. <snip>

Web Rider: Sure it is.

You appear to be saying that we should lump all religious people into the same "severity level" and at the same time not generalize all religious people as fundies. Any light you can shed would be a big help. Thanks in advance.

Recognizing or focusing on something is only that. But the difference is mainly in the words, in that recognizing is at the very least simply being aware of it's existance, while focusing is ignoring all other instances of something.Well, I suppose that's one way to look at it. Another might be to say that focusing on something is to assign it a higher priority. Those other things might have various levels of priority assigned to them as well. But I don't believe you actually intended to get into a philosophical debate about word meanings. My apologies for digressing.

Only that compring religion to crime is like trying to justify the KKK, the only way to do it is to look at the worst examples, and therefore justify your anti-it POV. Sure, it justifies your POV, but it's inaccurate because it's only taking into account a select few that are not an accurate representation of the whole.I find your conclusion fascinating, but I still don't understand the rationale that lead you there. People use analogies all the time to provide a frame of reference for comparison/contrast. I'm not sure how you mistook my analogy for an argument for the KKK, but I assure you that I did not intend to present one.

Regardless, I think your counterargument is flawed. Considering that fundies are only one faction of a larger group of theists, I'm not sure how well the KKK persecuting all minorities translates.

Depends on your time frame. The father you go back, yes, the more dangerous it got. Though at some point when you hit Rome and Greece, it becomes less dangerous.Time frame is completely irrelevant to the argument. You appear to concede that embarrassment (generally speaking) was not concern, but rather safety.

Thanks for the post!

Web Rider
12-17-2007, 03:48 PM
That's fine but I don't think they have a centralized doctrine either. Could be wrong though.
I would imagine the "cental doctrine" of an anti-theist to be one of trying to destroy religion. Makes sense given the title? Upon this, all anti-theists agree, that religion should be gone. It's a goal, with related means of achieving it, much as belief in God/conversion is a goal with related means of achieving it. In any case they'd be more centralized than atheists.

Ah, you attempt to distinguish between the two. How fascinating. :)
Not all fundies are idiots, Bin laden is a fundie but no idiot. Yes, off their rocker just as much as the fundie to be sure, but I'm pretty certain that your average fundie knows that God isn't going to fix his car.

I was hoping you would attempt to offer an actual counter-argument or refutation (assuming that you knew what the arguments were in the first place). As it stands now, you seem to be content to allow your comment to linger as a non sequitur. I'm fine with that too so long as we acknowledge it for what it is.
You are welcome to acknowledge it as whatever makes you happy.
You provided no compelling arguments in support of your assertion, not did you provide a compelling argument to support your assertion(an important distinction), so there is very little ANYONE can do in the way of refuting a non-factual, unsubstantiated opinion.

I need your help deciphering your argument. Below is a transcript of where we've been so far.

Source: Focusing on Negative Examples Makes You Stupid

Achilles: <snip related justification for focusing on fundies> I think most reasonable people can distinguish between a moderate and a fundie. Recognizing that the fundie is both real and a threat is not stupid.

Web Rider: But recognizing and focusing are not the same thing. To make the fundie a representative of an either selection of people is indeed stupid.

Achilles: <snip> Recognizing (or focusing) on fundies is not the same as recognizing (or focusing) on moderates/liberals. <snip>

Web Rider: Sure it is.
Taking things out of context does wonders for your argument doesn't it?

To be quite particular and ensure contextual correctness, "Sure it is." was in response to "Recognizing (or focusing) on fundies is not the same as recognizing (or focusing) on moderates/liberals."

You appear to be saying that we should lump all religious people into the same "severity level" and at the same time not generalize all religious people as fundies. Any light you can shed would be a big help. Thanks in advance.
At no point did I say such, and your attempt to construed what I said as such confounds me. I said, quite simply, that, focusing on the fundies as an accurate representation of the whole is incorrect. Recognizing that fundies exist and are often problematic, but are not the whole of the religion in question, is quite different, and much more accurate.

Well, I suppose that's one way to look at it. Another might be to say that focusing on something is to assign it a higher priority. Those other things might have various levels of priority assigned to them as well. But I don't believe you actually intended to get into a philosophical debate about word meanings. My apologies for digressing.
then we're only really splitting hairs on the assumed value of "focusing". An irrelevant tangent I agree.

I find your conclusion fascinating, but I still don't understand the rationale that lead you there. People use analogies all the time to provide a frame of reference for comparison/contrast. I'm not sure how you mistook my analogy for an argument for the KKK, but I assure you that I did not intend to present one.
Do they? I handn't noticed.[/sarcasm]
Of course people make and use analogies all the time, for that exact reason, but that's not the point. Nor did I mistake your analogy to be a pro-KKK one.
Your analogy was, in a nutshell "Focusing on the bad parts of religion is just as much a justification to defend against it as focusing on the negative parts of crime justifies carrying mace."

Why is this flawed? Because the inherent comparason is that religion is like crime. And you can't focus on the negatives of crime because ALL crime is negative, therefore the comparison makes the assumption that like crime, ALL religion is negative. Now, if it is your opinion that all religion is negative, that's great and fine and dandy for you. It's your opinion, and we all know at least one saying about opinions and your hind end.

Since you agree later that theism and atheism have both brought good to the table, that's obviously not your opinion, and by extension, some mild proof that the correlation between an entirely negative thing and a partially negative thing is incorrect.

Time frame is completely irrelevant to the argument. You appear to concede that embarrassment (generally speaking) was not concern, but rather safety.
You stated that "embarrassing" and "dangerous" were not the same thing, and you were correct. I don't know exactly what that assertion achieved, but if you wanted specifics, there are dates and times in which, yes, it was dangerous, and there were times in which it was not, or merely embarrassing. So yes, time frame IS relevant because being an atheist was not always dangerous in the past.

Corinthian
12-17-2007, 04:09 PM
Uh...whoops. Right. Well, at least I didn't say Pascal's Gun or Chekov's Wager. Anyway, sure, picking the wrong deity is always a possibility, but if you're right about Atheism, you're hosed, and if you're wrong about Atheism, you're hosed. At least if you pick a deity, you have a small chance.

Achilles
12-17-2007, 04:23 PM
I would imagine the "cental doctrine" of an anti-theist to be one of trying to destroy religion. Makes sense given the title? Upon this, all anti-theists agree, that religion should be gone. It's a goal, with related means of achieving it, much as belief in God/conversion is a goal with related means of achieving it. In any case they'd be more centralized than atheists. Sounds speculative, but sure.

Not all fundies are idiots, Bin laden is a fundie but no idiot. Yes, off their rocker just as much as the fundie to be sure, but I'm pretty certain that your average fundie knows that God isn't going to fix his car. Point well made.

You are welcome to acknowledge it as whatever makes you happy.
You provided no compelling arguments in support of your assertion, not did you provide a compelling argument to support your assertion(an important distinction), so there is very little ANYONE can do in the way of refuting a non-factual, unsubstantiated opinion.So non sequitur then? Great.

PS: any time you'd like to know what the arguments are, I'll be more than happy to share them. Might have better luck asking for a source/support next time before jumping right into the whole "counter-argument" thing.

Taking things out of context does wonders for your argument doesn't it?

To be quite particular and ensure contextual correctness, "Sure it is." was in response to "Recognizing (or focusing) on fundies is not the same as recognizing (or focusing) on moderates/liberals." Considering that this is exactly what I quoted, I'm not sure what your contention is. The fact that you quoted me saying it is more than a little confusing.

At no point did I say such, and your attempt to construed what I said as such confounds me. I said, quite simply, that, focusing on the fundies as an accurate representation of the whole is incorrect. Right, that's where I quoted you saying "To make the fundie a representative of an either selection of people is indeed stupid."

Recognizing that fundies exist and are often problematic, but are not the whole of the religion in question, is quite different, and much more accurate. Actually, that's what I said:
"Recognizing (or focusing) on fundies is not the same as recognizing (or focusing) on moderates/liberals."

To which you replied: "Sure it is".

then we're only really splitting hairs on the assumed value of "focusing". An irrelevant tangent I agree. It seemed quite pertinent to your point a few posts ago. I'm glad that we now agree that it isn't.

Do they? I handn't noticed.[/sarcasm]
Of course people make and use analogies all the time, for that exact reason, but that's not the point. Nor did I mistake your analogy to be a pro-KKK one.
Your analogy was, in a nutshell "Focusing on the bad parts of religion is just as much a justification to defend against it as focusing on the negative parts of crime justifies carrying mace." Here is my statement again, in it's entirety:
Focusing on negative examples of theism might make you look stupid is like saying that focusing on negative examples of crime makes you look stupid for carrying pepper spray. I think most reasonable people can pick distinguish between a moderate and a fundie. Recognizing that the fundie is both real and a threat is not stupid. The argument is:

You cannot pretend that a threat doesn't exist. Fundies are a threat and most people can recognize them. Don't be stupid and ignore them.

Why is this flawed? Because the inherent comparason is that religion is like crime. And you can't focus on the negatives of crime because ALL crime is negative, therefore the comparison makes the assumption that like crime, ALL religion is negative. Or all fundies are dangerous (which I believe was the actually in the argument that I did make).

Since you agree later that theism and atheism have both brought good to the table, that's obviously not your opinion, and by extension, some mild proof that the correlation between an entirely negative thing and a partially negative thing is incorrect. Except that I was talking about fundies ("negative examples of theism" were my precise words).

You stated that "embarrassing" and "dangerous" were not the same thing, and you were correct. I don't know exactly what that assertion achieved, but if you wanted specifics, there are dates and times in which, yes, it was dangerous, and there were times in which it was not, or merely embarrassing. So yes, time frame IS relevant because being an atheist was not always dangerous in the past.I'm very much interested in learning more about the times in which it was embarrassing, since that was your originial assertion. I'm already well aware of all the times it was dangerous (approximately 100,000 B.C. til today). Thanks so much!

tk102
12-17-2007, 04:25 PM
Hello from the peanut gallery! :)

Just had to chime in on:
Take a look at the crime rates in highly religious states vs. non-religious states. Check out the UN Human Development Index and make note of the religiousity of the top 5 nations. There is absolutely no evidence to support the argument that belief in god makes us good. The evidence certainly does seem to suggest a causal relationship in the other direction though.Causal relationship? That's an inference that statisticians are usually slow to make. There's also a correlation between religiosity and poverty (http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=258), but I don't think we'd jump to the conclusion that being religious causes impoverishment.

Now if you said terrorism is caused by religion... hmm...

mimartin
12-17-2007, 04:37 PM
Trying to follow along here, but I don't know how well I'm doing. While I certainly agree with the mechanics of the argument (as I understand them), I think we leave the thrust of the dilemma on the table when we fail to acknowledge that doing things in the name of god usually includes baggage related to salvation, damnation, blessings, etc, etc. Clearly Hinkley's actions were inspired, but inspired in a very temporal way. We have already had this debate before and have agreed to disagree. I can see where you are coming from and agree with your point. However, I just don’t see how God can be to blame. If you would say Religious teachings are deserving some of the fault then I would agree, but ultimately the blame is with the person that committed the act.

There is absolutely no evidence to support the argument that belief in god makes us good. Never said it did. I believe it has to do with the person and their values more than a belief in anything. The evidence certainly does seem to suggest a causal relationship in the other direction though. Again, I think it is the person and not their relationship with God. Maybe a causal relationship will make one more acceptable to suggestions when it comes to other metal deficiencies (Andrea Yates), but it is still the mental disorder that is the problem.

*shrugs* Where will they hide? The worst ones don’t hide at all they do it right out in the open. You think a serial killer couldn't lay low amongst the Westboro Baptist Church crowd? Yes, they could just as easily as Dennis Rader laid low within the congregation of the Christ Lutheran Church or heck they could lay low by working for the federal or city governments like Rader did.

Corinthian
12-17-2007, 04:40 PM
Of course they could hide in Westboro Baptist Church. I hesitate to call that a Christian Organization, more like a Cult loosely based off of Christian Doctrine...of course, a smart serial killer could logically 'hide' anywhere, as mimartin said.

Web Rider
12-17-2007, 04:56 PM
Sounds speculative, but sure.

Point well made.

So non sequitur then? Great.

PS: any time you'd like to know what the arguments are, I'll be more than happy to share them. Might have better luck asking for a source/support next time before jumping right into the whole "counter-argument" thing.

Considering that this is exactly what I quoted, I'm not sure what your contention is. The fact that you quoted me saying it is more than a little confusing.

Right, that's where I quoted you saying "To make the fundie a representative of an either selection of people is indeed stupid."

Actually, that's what I said:
"Recognizing (or focusing) on fundies is not the same as recognizing (or focusing) on moderates/liberals."

To which you replied: "Sure it is".

It seemed quite pertinent to your point a few posts ago. I'm glad that we now agree that it isn't.

Here is my statement again, in it's entirety:
The argument is:

You cannot pretend that a threat doesn't exist. Fundies are a threat and most people can recognize them. Don't be stupid and ignore them.

Or all fundies are dangerous (which I believe was the actually in the argument that I did make).

Except that I was talking about fundies ("negative examples of theism" were my precise words).
Wow, I apoplogize for a terrible misunderstanding on my part. I've been in several political debates over the last few days and was thinking of "moderate" and "liberal" in political contexts and just realized that you meant "moderate" and "liberal" religious folk. Wow. Really sorry about that.

I'm very much interested in learning more about the times in which it was embarrassing, since that was your originial assertion. I'm already well aware of all the times it was dangerous (approximately 100,000 B.C. til today). Thanks so much!
Well, for the last 100 years or so it's been relativly acceptable to be an atheist in most western nations. Yes, if you are taking into account that it is still dangerous in SOME places, well, yes, I wasn't sure the exact context you were using for your historical, so I used the history I am most familiar with, which is western civilization.

And in most of western civilization, it's been pretty OK to be an atheist, ebarrassing, maybe looked down upon, but not a dangerous position to take for the last 100 or so years.

Achilles
12-17-2007, 09:27 PM
Anyway, sure, picking the wrong deity is always a possibility, but if you're right about Atheism, you're hosed, and if you're wrong about Atheism, you're hosed. At least if you pick a deity, you have a small chance.Actually, I would venture that my chances are significantly better than most theists' because I have an open mind regarding all possible dieties and they've rejected all but one.

Not sure how I'd be "hosed" for being right though :confused:

Hello from the peanut gallery! :)

Just had to chime in on:
Causal relationship? That's an inference that statisticians are usually slow to make. Slam dunk? Hardly and I did not intend to imply that was the case. My apologies if that's what came through.

I would highly recommend that you take a look at the data yourself and draw your own conclusions though. Here (http://www.lucasforums.com/showpost.php?p=2297381&postcount=134) is an old post that I put together based on international data. I have a similar post somewhere that compares states within the U.S. but I don't have the patience to dig for it and the search function is almost useless right now.

We have already had this debate before and have agreed to disagree. Indeed. If god is real, I see no reason to let him off the hook for his complicity.

I can see where you are coming from and agree with your point. However, I just don’t see how God can be to blame. He could put a stop to it all in an instant with modern version of the bible, free of contradictions and ambiguity. How can you not see how he would bear some responsibility, my friend?

If you would say Religious teachings are deserving some of the fault then I would agree, but ultimately the blame is with the person that committed the act. You and I both already know that I agree fully with this :)

Never said it did. I believe it has to do with the person and their values more than a belief in anything. Apologies for the strawman, in that case.

Again, I think it is the person and not their relationship with God.That works fine for individuals, but on a national scale? In a country that is largely non-religious/secular?

Maybe a causal relationship will make one more acceptable to suggestions when it comes to other metal deficiencies (Andrea Yates), but it is still the mental disorder that is the problem. Mental illness is mental illness as you state. I don't think we could use Andrea Yates as the norm for social behavior though, do you?

The worst ones don’t hide at all they do it right out in the open. Yes, they could just as easily as Dennis Rader laid low within the congregation of the Christ Lutheran Church or heck they could lay low by working for the federal or city governments like Rader did.As I have already agreed, there is no doubt that cases such as these would still exist. Generally speaking though, a culture that favors rational thought is not going to provide many places for groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church, or the KKK, etc to take hold.

Wow, I apoplogize for a terrible misunderstanding on my part. I've been in several political debates over the last few days and was thinking of "moderate" and "liberal" in political contexts and just realized that you meant "moderate" and "liberal" religious folk. Wow. Really sorry about that. It's no problem. I'm happy that we were able to identify the source of our misunderstanding :)

SilentScope001
12-17-2007, 09:32 PM
Well that sort of blows the entire website out of the water.

Only one thing Christians and Atheists can agree on:

1)The other side is wrong.

jonathan7
12-17-2007, 10:03 PM
Well that sort of blows the entire website out of the water.

Only one thing Christians and Atheists can agree on:

1)The other side is wrong.

That depends on the Christians and Atheists; as I have said before I have far more respect for Atheists who are well thought out and logically coherrant than I do incoherrant and naive Christians. Indeed I would somewhat assert I probably have more in common with someone like Achilles than I do the majority of my brothers and sisters in Christ. That is to say that most of my Christian brethren would probably consider some of my beliefs heretical, but I believe them because I think that is the conclusion the evidence suggests. I on the whole have found that alot of Christians are quite anti-intellectual; I was recently laughed at for suggesting the earth is several billions years old; instead of 7,000 years old. Or to put it another way I will quote Bertrand Russell; “The fundamental difference between the liberal and illiberal outlook is that the former regards all questions as open to discussion and all opinions as open to a greater or less measure of doubt, while the latter holds in advance that certain opinions are absolutely unquestionable, and that no argument against them must be allowed to be heard. What is curious about this position is the belief that if impartial investigation were permitted it would lead men to the wrong conclusion, and that ignorance, therefore, the only safeguard against error. This point of view is one which cannot be accepted by any man who wishes reason rather than prejudice to govern human action.” I tend to find most (clarification over 51%) Christians are illiberal thinkers.

SilentScope001
12-17-2007, 10:25 PM
That depends on the Christians and Atheists;

Oh. Sorry then. My bad.

mimartin
12-17-2007, 10:39 PM
I don't have the patience to dig for it and the search function is almost useless right now.Careful Achilles you may have to remove foot from mouth it is my understanding that our newest Administrator is working on that problem. :D Thanks for the link to your previous post. I do not remember reading it before.

Indeed. If god is real, I see no reason to let him off the hook for his complicity. Stepped into that one before, will not make the same mistake twice.;)

He could put a stop to it all in an instant with modern version of the bible, free of contradictions and ambiguity. How can you not see how he would bear some responsibility, my friend? That would just add more contradictions to the whole "Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed" thing (my favorite passage in the Bible, by the way). How many would still reject a modern version of the Bible if it contradicts their teachings? I get your point and if I was the questioning kind it does have merit, but as you know I have no answer to it.

You and I both already know that I agree fully with this :) As do I.

That works fine for individuals, but on a national scale? In a country that is largely non-religious/secular? Example please (so that I understand what you mean).

Mental illness is mental illness as you state. I don't think we could use Andrea Yates as the norm for social behavior though, do you? I was only suggesting mental illness would be more of a defense in saying that “God made me do it.” Unless your mentally ill or Pat Robinson I don’t believe that is much of a defense.

Generally speaking though, a culture that favors rational thought is not going to provide many places for groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church, or the KKK, etc to take hold. I would rather live in a culture that allows these extremist to exist than a society that outlawed them. That said I would like to live in a society that did not give these groups the publicity they seek and prosecuted them when they stepped out of line.


Only one thing Christians and Atheists can agree on:

1)The other side is wrong.LOL
Oh. Sorry then. My bad.
No, I thought it was funny, even though I tend to agree with Achilles even in religious discussion threads. I just can not get past that whole believing part.

Achilles
12-17-2007, 10:54 PM
Since I have a few moments while Mask of the Betrayer installs...

Careful Achilles you may have to remove foot from mouth it is my understanding that our newest Administrator is working on that problem. Actually, I'm really peeved that I can't find it. I hope he does get it fixed.

Thanks for the link to your previous post. I do not remember reading it before. My pleasure.

That would just add more contradictions to the whole "Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed" thing (my favorite passage in the Bible, by the way). How many would still reject a modern version of the Bible if it contradicts their teachings? I get your point and if I was the questioning kind it does have merit, but as you know I have no answer to it. Probably lots, but at least we'd have firm ground to work from. Applying some moral objectivity can only help the situation so far as I'm concerned.

Example please (so that I understand what you mean). Your comment seemed to be geared toward individual relationships with god. My earlier comment focused on society as a whole. I only sought to pull us back toward the point I was making.

I was only suggesting mental illness would be more of a defense in saying that “God made me do it.” Unless your mentally ill or Pat Robinson I don’t believe that is much of a defense. *shrugs* Perhaps. What about those that say "god wants me to do it" and then point to the chapter and verse that support the claim? These people have nowhere to hide in a rational society free of superstition (my "monsters" vs yours).

I would rather live in a culture that allows these extremist to exist than a society that outlawed them. Who said anything about outlawing anything? You underestimate the power of social norms [/Darth Vader]

That said I would like to live in a society that did not give these groups the publicity they seek and prosecuted them when they stepped out of line....then again maybe you don't. ;)

mimartin
12-17-2007, 11:37 PM
Your comment seemed to be geared toward individual relationships with god. My earlier comment focused on society as a whole. I only sought to pull us back toward the point I was making. Sorry, I just tend to think of religion and my relationship with God on a personal level. Actually, felt our American forefathers were pretty smart with that whole separation of Church and State idea.

*shrugs* Perhaps. What about those that say "god wants me to do it" and then point to the chapter and verse that support the claim? You are correct, but these people are not too rational to do that. I agree people can use the Bible to justify anything they want to. That does excuse them or justified in their actions. The same applies if you are talking about individuals or nations.

*These people have nowhere to hide in a rational society free of superstition (my "monsters" vs yours).You have a lot more faith in the intelligence of the average American than I do. Achilles you are an optimist.:) Even if we produce overwhelming evidence that there was “no God,” do you actually believe that would free society of superstition? I believe we would just add others to take “Gods” place.

Tommycat
12-17-2007, 11:48 PM
Even if we produce overwhelming evidence that there was “no God,” do you actually believe that would free society of superstition? I believe we would just add others to take “Gods” place.
There's some truth to that.... Rabid environmentalism springs to mind...

Jae Onasi
12-17-2007, 11:53 PM
What about those that say "god wants me to do it" and then point to the chapter and verse that support the claim?

"Nietzsche wants me to do it." --Stalin

Achilles
12-18-2007, 12:15 AM
You are correct, but these people are not too rational to do that. On what basis? If they believe that god is real and the bible is his word, then carrying out his will would seem perfectly rational, wouldn't it? Looking at the ethical argument requires being able to step away from faith.

I agree people can use the Bible to justify anything they want to. That does excuse them or justified in their actions. (assuming that was supposed to be "doesn't")

Of course not, but it certainly provides context. At some point the system has to bear some responsibility for complicity or else it will never change.

You have a lot more faith in the intelligence of the average American than I do. Achilles you are an optimist.:) I believe that no matter the individual's aptitude, people are a product of their environment (caveats apply).

Change the environment and you can expect something different (aka "garbage in/garbage out").

Even if we produce overwhelming evidence that there was “no God,” do you actually believe that would free society of superstition? I believe we would just add others to take “Gods” place.First off, your bar is impossibly high. No one can prove that something doesn't exist. Second off, where does the superstition come from? Hint: enculturation. Stop indoctrinating children and it wouldn't take long. Course, what's going to convince the parents to stop? Chicken and the egg.

I still think it's simply a matter of time (even though I won't see it in my lifetime).

There's some truth to that.... Rabid environmentalism springs to mind... LOL! And what, pray tell, are the dangers of environmentalism run amok? :D

"I woke up...*gasp*...and I went outside...THE NEWSPAPER WAS PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER, OH DEAR GOD!!! And the people...*gasp* *pant* the people...the people were CARPOOLING!!! THE HUMANITY!!"

"Nietzsche wants me to do it." --Stalin "A stitch in time saves nine" - Proverb.

That was fun! Let's do another (you go first again!).

Corinthian
12-18-2007, 12:22 AM
Those who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.

Tommycat
12-18-2007, 12:33 AM
LOL! And what, pray tell, are the dangers of environmentalism run amok? :D
Apparently you fail to notice that environmentalism is becoming darn near a religion. Attacking dairy farms, large scale meat farms, people freeing lab animals, these things have negative affects on both science, and regular people. They are fueled by an almost religious fervor. Demanding this or that animal be spared even though it isn't a protected species, to the point of stopping business growth. Your specialty is business and you haven't seen how much environmentalist activities have cost in jobs and economic growth? Look at how environmentalists have gone to dealerships to destroy the SUV's(though they may have actually helped more than they hurt because the insurance paid for vehicles that might not have sold :D). Is it too far of a stretch that people can take something peaceful and corrupt it into something violent? I mean I was physically attacked by Greenpeace members because I served on a nuclear powered submarine. Sure it's not all of Greenpeace that did it, but then again since it's apparently ok to point to the extremes as an example of why you should have concern, I don't see the harm in using that.

mimartin
12-18-2007, 12:58 AM
On what basis? If they believe that god is real and the bible is his word, then carrying out his will would seem perfectly rational, wouldn't it?
Looking at the ethical argument requires being able to step away from faith. Not to me, but that would only be speaking to me as I do not know what other believe or think. If I found a passage that told me to find in kill the person that created the cell phone because it was the devils tool. I would believe either I have gone off the deep end or that I was misinterpretation the message. Either way I would not act on the information. I see your point and I agree with it. I would be using something other than religious belief to make that judgment.

(assuming that was supposed to be "doesn't")Yea, fairly large mistake there. Thanks. (Of course not, but it certainly provides context. At some point the system has to bear some responsibility for complicity or else it will never change.Again I will agree with that, but of course I still believe that religion is the problem and not the belief. (What else can I say since I believe).

Change the environment and you can expect something different (aka "garbage in/garbage out").We’ve discussed this before and my feelings have not changed. Parents should give children options and not make determinations for them. True with religion or lack there of and politics I would give the children options and not attempt to make them carbon copies of my beliefs.

First off, your bar is impossibly high. No one can prove that something doesn't exist. Was speaking only hypothetically.

Second off, where does the superstition come from? Hint: enculturation. Stop indoctrinating children and it wouldn't take long. Course, what's going to convince the parents to stop? Chicken and the egg.My feelings are it will take a extremely long time even if you had people that thought like me or you and gave the children the choice of what to believe. Most give the children no choice as you stated they are indoctrinated.

SilentScope001
12-18-2007, 01:13 AM
No, I thought it was funny, even though I tend to agree with Achilles even in religious discussion threads. I just can not get past that whole believing part.

Ah, but you don't understand. I made a statement that I felt would be effective. Then a Chrisitan came in and said, "No, Christans can agree with Atheists and think they got some valid points and are not wrong at all."

Basically, my blanket statement was proven wrong.

Sheesh. I can't even make a simple statement without getting refuted by cold hard facts.

Jae Onasi
12-18-2007, 01:14 AM
"A stitch in time saves nine" - Proverb.

That was fun! Let's do another (you go first again!).

Naw, I wouldn't want to steal your thunder.

John Galt
12-18-2007, 01:24 AM
And in most of western civilization, it's been pretty OK to be an atheist, ebarrassing, maybe looked down upon, but not a dangerous position to take for the last 100 or so years.

You've obviously never been an atheist in Eastern Kentucky.

anecdote: A friend of mine was asked by a guy who is on the football team whether he believed in god. He said no, and the guy punched him, and he responded "that was hypocritical of you," and walked away.

Web Rider
12-18-2007, 02:33 AM
You've obviously never been an atheist in Eastern Kentucky.

anecdote: A friend of mine was asked by a guy who is on the football team whether he believed in god. He said no, and the guy punched him, and he responded "that was hypocritical of you," and walked away.

As I already stated, if you're going to pick out some random part of the world were atheists aren't tolerated, then no, it's never been safe to be an atheist.

But that's really a poor way of looking at it. There are Muslims in most parts of the world, therefore the world must follow Sharia law right. It fits the rules for classifying it as "safe" to be an atheist, as long as there are some in any area, it must apply to all.

No, I'd still say it's pretty safe to be an atheist in much of the modern world.

John Galt
12-21-2007, 12:55 AM
As I already stated, if you're going to pick out some random part of the world were atheists aren't tolerated, then no, it's never been safe to be an atheist.

But that's really a poor way of looking at it. There are Muslims in most parts of the world, therefore the world must follow Sharia law right. It fits the rules for classifying it as "safe" to be an atheist, as long as there are some in any area, it must apply to all.

No, I'd still say it's pretty safe to be an atheist in much of the modern world.

Some random part of the world? That's where I live.

I think there are a lot of misconceptions on both sides.

Achilles
12-21-2007, 02:40 AM
I think big parts of the western world are more secular than we tend to acknowledge. It will be nice when American sensibilities catch up to those of our neighbors across the pond (assuming they haven't allowed themselves to be overtaken by islam) :)

jonathan7
12-21-2007, 11:55 AM
I think big parts of the western world are more secular than we tend to acknowledge. It will be nice when American sensibilities catch up to those of our neighbors across the pond (assuming they haven't allowed themselves to be overtaken by islam) :)

Aye; the UK is now one of the most secular countries in the world; I can't see Islam coming in any time soon though; Mainly as I don't think the average brit could give up bacon opposed to anything else. My big concern here is the PC police; political correctness is killing freedom of speech. Controversially and against the run of most of my brethren, I don't think Christian law should be the law of the land; especially in a country such as the UK where I would estimate that less than 5% of the country is Christian; as that is the case, why should there be Christian law? You don't find Jesus or Paul petitioning the Romans to change their laws in the Bible...

I'm not neccasarlily a fan of secularism; however I do think that religion and state should be two different enteties; most men regardless of religion (or non) will opress others if they regard them to be wrong. Few indeed are those who won't persecute another they consier to be in the wrong.

Balderdash
12-21-2007, 12:25 PM
The UK is a paradox. We are very secular when it's convenient; hardly anyone goes to church anymore - but we still celebrate Christmas simply because we have nothing better to celebrate. I've never understood why so many people who have never even picked up a bible get so excited at this time of year.

You've obviously never been an atheist in Eastern Kentucky.

anecdote: A friend of mine was asked by a guy who is on the football team whether he believed in god. He said no, and the guy punched him, and he responded "that was hypocritical of you," and walked away.
I would submit that this incident had more to do with him being a football player than him being from Kentucky, but that said, I couldn't ever imagine anything like that happening here.

Darth InSidious
12-21-2007, 12:49 PM
The UK is a paradox.
This sentence contains the most truth of any that has been posted in Kavar's Corner, IMO.

John Galt
12-21-2007, 01:09 PM
Well, to be honest, I think most people here don't want to know the truth about atheism, or politics, for that matter. For most of the people I talk to, religion and politics are dealt with exactly the same way: us and them(never mind that they don't know who "they" are half the time). When dubya said "those who aren't with us are against us," he really was speaking for a large portion of this country.

Likewise, most people I've talked to claim that there should be no seperation of church and state, and alot of people around here support Mike Huckabee just because he's a preacher(never mind that he lied about having a degree in theology). I heard a preacher at a local church(the largest one in town; it has about 1500 members and 6 or 700 regulars) proclaim from the pulpit that it is the christian duty to persecute those who don't agree with the church. Other than that, he's a great guy, by the way.

I wish I was making this stuff up.

Achilles
12-21-2007, 01:19 PM
Aye; the UK is now one of the most secular countries in the world; I can't see Islam coming in any time soon though;Err...might want to take a look at top baby boy names in the UK over the past few years :D

Mainly as I don't think the average brit could give up bacon opposed to anything else. My big concern here is the PC police; political correctness is killing freedom of speech. Yep, that's what Pat Condell (http://youtube.com/profile?user=patcondell) told me as well.

Well, to be honest, I think most people here don't want to know the truth about atheism, or politics, for that matter. For most of the people I talk to, religion and politics are dealt with exactly the same way: us and them(never mind that they don't know who "they" are half the time). When dubya said "those who aren't with us are against us," he really was speaking for a large portion of this country. QFE

jonathan7
12-21-2007, 02:02 PM
Err...might want to take a look at top baby boy names in the UK over the past few years :D

Hehe, maybe Muslims aren't as creative with their babies names ;-) I had heard that; I would hypothesize that Muhammed is the most common babies name; still only 4million of 60 million are Muslim; I can't see the flag of Islam flying over no.10 in my lifetime.

Yep, that's what Pat Condell (http://youtube.com/profile?user=patcondell) told me as well.

Enjoying him at the moment....

Achilles
12-21-2007, 10:33 PM
Hehe, maybe Muslims aren't as creative with their babies names ;-) I had heard that; I would hypothesize that Muhammed is the most common babies name I've heard that it is growing the fastest, but it's still 16 spots away from #1.

PoiuyWired
12-22-2007, 12:46 AM
Well, But the word Muslims is a generalized term for many sects. Plus, sometimes its how devoted a person is to his religion. I can claim to be a pastafarian, but doesn't mean I celebrate by eating pasta everyday.