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Astor
10-21-2008, 07:43 PM
Story (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7681914.stm)

An interesting story, and a thought-provoking one too.

I don't have a problem with those sorts of slogans being placed on buses - as the article says, Religions are allowed to advertise, and a few slogans on a bus aren't as invasive as some tactics used by some religions.

What I find ironic is that the spokesperson for Christian Voice is deriding Atheists for preaching - when they themselves are from a religious pressure group.

Thoughts?

Arcesious
10-21-2008, 07:47 PM
Interesting, to say the least.

Religion is accustomed to getting a free ride - automatic tax breaks, unearned respect and the right not to be offended, the right to brainwash children.

Automatic tax breaks- true and false. Most churches I know of are nonprofit unless if charity and giving the pastor money to live on (a salary since many pastors don't have jobs beyond well, pastoring) is profitting. Although, a lot of those megachurches are manipulative money-making centers for the preachers.

Right not to be offended- I agree, political correctness is ridiculous. I'd like it if it said in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights said "freedom of religion, nonreligion, and any other perspective" instead of just "freedom of religion".

Brainwashing children. I'll offer my opinion, but I must warn, I am biased on that. I was brainwashed into this myself as a child by my parents. I thereby agree with Richard Dawkins wholeheartedly on that one. Edit: I'll add, I do not have anything against my parents though. They're awesome people.

jonathan7
10-21-2008, 07:51 PM
Meh, I don't have a problem with it, if Atheists want to advertise so be it - besides there probably isn't a God is hardly a definitive statement. As a Christian I'm more than happy for atheists to be vocal, gives an opportunity to discuss and provoke thought.

Rev7
10-21-2008, 07:56 PM
Meh, I don't have a problem with it, if Atheists want to advertise so be it - besides there probably isn't a God is hardly a definitive statement. As a Christian I'm more than happy for atheists to be vocal, gives an opportunity to discuss and provoke thought.
QFE

JediMaster12
10-21-2008, 07:59 PM
First ammendment and that's it. They can advertise if they want. Tell you the truth I don't really argue that point anymore. I guess as Arcesious mentioned in another thread, the Socratic Method on that.

Thing is freedom of speech is a two way street. If one side of an issue can post an advert board then so can the other side. No ifs ands or buts. However that is through rose colored lens.

Frankly, I find the confrontation age old and pretty much the beating of the proverbial dead horse. Other sites I have been on it is the same arguments so really it is a strange loop. Eh no matter. My thoughts are clear, let em post.

Q
10-21-2008, 08:13 PM
I don't have a problem with this either, but I must contend that the theistic side is hardly alone when it comes to brainwashing. I mean, what other purpose does our wonderful public education system serve? Certainly not the teaching of academics. :p

Giant Graffiti
10-21-2008, 08:52 PM
First ammendment and that's it.
It's in the UK. :xp: (Also, I have absolutely no problem with this)

SW01
10-21-2008, 09:34 PM
As so many others, I take no issue with it. As said, it's the right to free speech (which is Art.10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, if you're interested:xp:), and anyway, I find it humourous!

Web Rider
10-21-2008, 09:41 PM
It's not a really bad message, it's pretty tame IMO. The addition of "probably", being more an agnostic standpoint than an atheist one, I think really keeps this message from being as nasty as it could be. So that's good IMO, though I'm waiting for the counter to "Jesus loves you." being: "Jesus doesn't love you."

Jae Onasi
10-21-2008, 09:52 PM
As long as they aren't being derogatory or discriminatory, and they pay the advertising fees, there's no issue for me. I find it less offensive than some of the things I've seen advertised. I was amused at the hedging "There's probably no God" more than anything else.

Samuel Dravis
10-22-2008, 02:06 AM
"There is probably no god"? You have to wonder what sort of evidence there is that they're unsure of.

Additionally, the "probably" kind of takes the impact out of telling people it's okay to go about their business (and do unholy things, I suppose). "It's probable that you won't fry in undying hellfire, but, you know, no guarantees..." Ha. If it weren't for the article they might be accused of creating clever Christian advertising.

Corinthian
10-22-2008, 02:32 AM
The evidence is that there's no evidence against there being a God. There might be, there might not be. It can't be proven either way.

Still, this is pretty lame. Why are they even wasting their time advertising on buses anyway?

Rev7
10-22-2008, 02:41 AM
Yeah, sometimes I wish that people realize that faith cannot be proven or disproven, but that is on an entirely different topic though...

Istorian
10-24-2008, 05:21 PM
"There is probably no god"? You have to wonder what sort of evidence there is that they're unsure of.

Additionally, the "probably" kind of takes the impact out of telling people it's okay to go about their business (and do unholy things, I suppose). "It's probable that you won't fry in undying hellfire, but, you know, no guarantees..." Ha. If it weren't for the article they might be accused of creating clever Christian advertising.

I, myself, am an atheist. And my opinion is that if you truly believe in whatever you believe, whatever religion exists will reward you for your faith. Example: You are an atheist, and believe with all your heart and soul that there is no God. You die and you realise that christanity exists, but you go to heaven, because God will reward you for your strength of your faith, despite being wrong.

@Topic Yeah, it's a humorous advertisement, and it is a response to the brain-washing we are suffering as kids (Religious Education in school, church every sunday etc). In Greece, the situation is more serious. I asked once a professor whether God exists, and he expelled me from school for 2 days. Almost everyone in my family is an orthodox christian (typical greek family:xp:), and I'm the only atheist. I even have an uncle that is an "Twelve Gods of Olympus" believer.

If atheists can advertise, christians can advertise, muslims can advertise etc. But if christians can brain-wash, then atheists should be able to brain-wash, muslims too etc. My true perspective is synopsised in this phrase: "There is no God. Religion is the poison of the nations.";)

|I|

Corinthian
10-24-2008, 05:41 PM
You sounded more agnostic until you quoted Marx.

igyman
10-24-2008, 05:55 PM
As an atheist I just feel the need to point out that atheism is not a religion. It's simply a label that seems to be necessary in our society in order to identify the people who don't believe in god.
As for the advertising, the "probably" part is obviously there to prevent some of those more religious people from performing ridiculous legal action against the advertiser and client (atheists) and in a world with more and more ridiculous lawsuits, it seems totally justified.

Q
10-24-2008, 06:12 PM
As an atheist I just feel the need to point out that atheism is not a religion.If this is so, would you mind explaining why certain people (not you) feel the need to preach it as zealously (is that even a word?) as any evangelist?

mimartin
10-24-2008, 06:12 PM
Why are they wasting their time advertising on buses anyway? To encourage discussions such as this community is having now. I don’t believe the advertisement is going to change anybody’s mind. It is merely a way to open people up to the idea and make them think for themselves.

Arcesious
10-24-2008, 06:35 PM
If this is so, would you mind explaining why certain people (not you) feel the need to preach it as zealously (is that even a word?) as any evangelist?

Sometimes people have to talk a little louder than everyone else if they want to be understood, not just heard.

Q
10-24-2008, 06:48 PM
That's hardly a justification if they're trying to cram their views down other people's throats, which is exactly what religious people are always being accused of doing, with, I might add, a fair amount of accuracy. Isn't that a double standard?

Salzella
10-24-2008, 07:08 PM
I would hardly call such a tame advert 'ramming it down people's throats'...

And for the original point: people argue it zealously (ditto the 'is it a word query') not because it's a religion, but because it's belief that one may, or may not, believe in passionately. Much like someone may get heated about, say, a political matter I suppose.

igyman
10-24-2008, 07:13 PM
If this is so, would you mind explaining why certain people (not you) feel the need to preach it as zealously (is that even a word?) as any evangelist?
I wish I could. The only explanation I can think of is that every group has its extremists, as sad as it may be.

Q
10-24-2008, 07:17 PM
I would hardly call such a tame advert 'ramming it down people's throats'...I wasn't referring to the advert... ;)

Oh, and I looked it up: "zealously" is a word. :D

Samuel Dravis
10-24-2008, 07:35 PM
The evidence is that there's no evidence against there being a God. There might be, there might not be. It can't be proven either way.And even your own words don't indicate to you that, whatever form an answer to the question might take, it will not be empirical? Since that's the case, I say again: what (non-empirical) evidence is there that leads them to say "probably"? If it isn't a question of probability then why did they say that God probably doesn't exist?

I, myself, am an atheist. And my opinion is that if you truly believe in whatever you believe, whatever religion exists will reward you for your faith. Example: You are an atheist, and believe with all your heart and soul that there is no God. You die and you realise that christanity exists, but you go to heaven, because God will reward you for your strength of your faith, despite being wrong.Well, if there "is a reward" after a person dies, that reward has no relation to what I would use the word "reward" to describe. A similar (though not exact) case that I might use is: "Your reward for doing these good deeds is to know you've done them." I.e., "Don't expect anything from this except the satisfaction of doing good deeds." But I don't attribute such a reward to God, and the situation I'd use such a phrase in is quite different anyway.

Corinthian
10-24-2008, 07:44 PM
Because they don't have the stones to come out and say 'God is Dead' presumably.

Arcesious
10-24-2008, 08:43 PM
If they said "God is dead", that would be horribly ineffective because people would immediately reject it out of anger of how great of an assualt on their beleifs such a statement is.

That's hardly a justification if they're trying to cram their views down other people's throats, which is exactly what religious people are always being accused of doing, with, I might add, a fair amount of accuracy. Isn't that a double standard?

Yes, to a certain extent, it is. But religion has grown into a dominating force of perspective since 3100 B.C.E. Now it is 2008 C.E.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_world

That's over 5,000 years of religion...

Secularists have barely even begun their 5000 year turn at shoving stuff down people's throats... :p

jonathan7
10-24-2008, 08:50 PM
If they said "God is dead", that would be horribly ineffective because people would immediately reject it out of anger of how great of an assualt on their beleifs such a statement is.

Arc, this isn't happening in the States, this is happening in Britain, most people here are not devoutly religious, only 2% of the population attend Church, trust me, most people really wouldn't care.

Samuel Dravis
10-24-2008, 08:54 PM
If they said "God is dead", that would be horribly ineffective because people would immediately reject it out of anger of how great of an assualt on their beleifs such a statement is.Nietzsche's sentence "God is dead" is a commentary on how society has changed its views and now has to deal with the consequences - specifically, if we don't accept God as the moral standard then what do we accept? It's not an assault on religion.

Q
10-24-2008, 09:05 PM
That's hardly a justification if they're trying to cram their views down other people's throats, which is exactly what religious people are always being accused of doing, with, I might add, a fair amount of accuracy. Isn't that a double standard?Yes, to a certain extent, it is. But religion has grown into a dominating force of perspective since 3100 B.C.E. Now it is 2008 C.E.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_world

That's over 5,000 years of religion...That's still not a justification. ;)
Secularists have barely even begun their 5000 year turn at shoving stuff down people's throats... :pOh, lovely. :indif:

jonathan7
10-24-2008, 09:17 PM
Nietzsche's sentence "God is dead" is a commentary on how society has changed its views and now has to deal with the consequences - specifically, if we don't accept God as the moral standard then what do we accept? It's not an assault on religion.

I must be tired, as that completely went over my head until you pointed that out, its nice having a fellow philosopher around to catch the ball when you've missed it :)

Arcesious
10-24-2008, 10:42 PM
Nietzsche's sentence "God is dead" is a commentary on how society has changed its views and now has to deal with the consequences - specifically, if we don't accept God as the moral standard then what do we accept? It's not an assault on religion.


I did not realize that. Interesting point that makes. If religion were to be gone, how would we keep order?

Thing is, religion both creates and destroys order.

In it's place we'd probably need a pretty strogn statement of basic ethical standards. The Universal Declaration of Civil Rights is one good step in that direction.

Oh, lovely.

I was joking. If secularism were to really start to gain some ground, I doubt it would be a crusade of conversion, but instead an attempt at promoting peace, understanding, and less hostility toward scientific progress.

Istorian
10-25-2008, 06:10 AM
From my point of view, all humans are masoschists (sorry if I didn't spell it quite well) because they always want someone over their heads. Someone in charge. Whether he is named God, Allah, Buddah, Jupiter, Yahvee or anything else. Someone said that humanity can't exist without faith. That's why all people have to believe to something. They want someone to be in charge of everything. That's why, for me, God exists, but only in our minds!;)

|I|

Salzella
10-26-2008, 12:33 PM
I wasn't referring to the advert... ;)

Oh. In that case see re: rest of post :xp:

Oh, and I looked it up: "zealously" is a word. :D

:D

mur'phon
10-26-2008, 08:21 PM
I was joking. If secularism were to really start to gain some ground, I doubt it would be a crusade of conversion, but instead an attempt at promoting peace, understanding, and less hostility toward scientific progress.

Really? You might want to look up what has been done in some countries to "save" humans from the evil of religion. Heck, having seen how my classmates tend to act towards "strongly" religious (anything above deist), I'm fairly certain that secularism will continue like any other ideology, with success stories and disasters.

Web Rider
10-26-2008, 09:44 PM
Really? You might want to look up what has been done in some countries to "save" humans from the evil of religion. .

before "we" look it up, why don't you just tell us which countries you want us to look at so we can save us all a lot of trouble of going back and forth over which country has done more secular evil than another.

mur'phon
10-29-2008, 05:08 PM
Fair enough: The French(first) and Russian(last) revolutions, had secularism as part of their ideology. A more modern example: Turkey has laws putting religion under state controll, as well as having a secular court with a habit of being rather intolerant of "anti secular" parties. I can find others if needed.

Salzella
10-30-2008, 11:47 AM
Fair enough: The French(first) and Russian(last) revolutions, had secularism as part of their ideology. A more modern example: Turkey has laws putting religion under state controll, as well as having a secular court with a habit of being rather intolerant of "anti secular" parties. I can find others if needed.

Compared to the Crusades, the hundreds of other wars perperated in the name of God/A God/ Gods, and modern day extremism, I think it's fair to say religion has a higher body-count than those opposed to it.

mur'phon
10-30-2008, 12:08 PM
Well, obviously, though I think that has more to do with number of folowers.

Jae Onasi
10-30-2008, 02:43 PM
Compared to the Crusades, the hundreds of other wars perperated in the name of God/A God/ Gods, and modern day extremism, I think it's fair to say religion has a higher body-count than those opposed to it.

That is completely incorrect. More people have died under atheist regimes of the last century than died in all previous centuries due to religion combined.

See an article here (http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1121/p09s01-coop.html) and this site (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm).

Deaths from people being killed under atheist regimes or specifically for being religious in just Russia, China, and North Korea since 1917--about 82 million, not including deaths from WWI and WWII. Some will argue the numbers are even higher.

In addition, were the Crusades wars about religion? No. Religion happened to be an excuse. The Crusades were wars about who was going to control and profit from the important Middle Eastern trade routes. Calling them wars of religion is looking at them entirely superficially.

Ray Jones
10-30-2008, 06:37 PM
But remember that the Earth's population during the "atheist killings" was way higher than during the crusades, for instance. Also, there were more efficient methods to kill people available (like guns or chemical weapons) for the "atheists".

It is only logical that the number of victims is higher for such large scale events.

Lance Monance
10-30-2008, 08:09 PM
That is completely incorrect. More people have died under atheist regimes of the last century than died in all previous centuries due to religion combined.

Were those people murdered due to atheism?

Jae Onasi
10-30-2008, 09:00 PM
Were those people murdered due to atheism?
If you're using the same criteria to judge the Crusades and other 'religious wars' as those regime, then yes.

Salzella
10-31-2008, 04:00 PM
I wasn't. I was including wars that were fought in the name of God, etc. or because of, or over religion, not wars under theist regimes. I was referring to wars directly over secularism or atheists persecuting theists. The regime people were under when they were murdered is erroneous - i was talking about the reasons.

Astor
01-08-2009, 08:14 PM
I'm rebooting this discussion because the ad campaign has drawn a complaint... from a Christian Group. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7818980.stm)

"There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world.

"But there is scant evidence on the other side, so I think the advertisers are really going to struggle to show their claim is not an exaggeration or inaccurate, as the ASA code puts it."

As of 00.14 GMT, the Press are still awaiting Christian Voice's proof of God's existence.

And, from the end of the article:

"I am sure that Stephen Green really does think there is a great deal of evidence for a God (though presumably only the one that he believes in), but I pity the ASA if they are going to be expected to rule on the probability of God's existence."

Achilles
01-08-2009, 08:32 PM
I'm rebooting this discussion because the ad campaign has drawn a complaint... from a Christian Group. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7818980.stm)*gasp*

"There is plenty of evidence for God, from people's personal experience,subjective

"to the complexity, interdependence, [perceived] beauty and [perceived] design of the natural world.Which is nothing more than evidence for the complexity, interdependence, perceived beauty, and perceived design of the natural world. To claim that it is evidence for anything more requires a huge jump in reasoning without any apparent cause other than wanting to.

"But there is scant evidence on the other side,Depends by what one means by "other side".

so I think the advertisers are really going to struggle to show their claim is not an exaggeration or inaccurate, as the ASA code puts it."Anyone wanna bet? :D

Thanks for the update A_K. I needed something to brighten my day.

Web Rider
01-09-2009, 01:04 AM
requires a huge jump in reasoning without any apparent cause other than wanting to.

*sings*
I've got faith in my faith that my faith is faithful to my faith.
*/sings*

Yeah, I think you can check off that any strong believer has "taken a huge jump in reasoning without any other cause than wanting to."

Achilles
01-15-2009, 07:35 PM
I had the pleasure of listening to this (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99409410) exchange today.

Synopsis:
Recently, placards went up in buses in Washington, D.C., and other cities asking variations on an age-old question: Why believe in God? They're part of a public discussion on humanism and atheism that's gaining momentum thanks in part to books by Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins.

Guests:

Fred Edwords, director of communications of the American Humanist Association. His organization sponsored the "Why believe in a god?" advertisements.

Joellen Murphy, Washington, D.C., resident. She launched a web site, IBelieveToo.org, to raise money to respond to AHA's ads with "Because I created you and I love you" ads.

Jacqueline Salmon, religion reporter for the Washington Post

Dagobahn Eagle
05-30-2009, 01:05 PM
The evidence is that there's no evidence against there being a God. There might be, there might not be. It can't be proven either way.

Still, this is pretty lame. Why are they even wasting their time advertising on buses anyway?Because they're tired of fundamentalists running banners linking to sites that condemn atheists to hell, or contain other offensive messages. I'm tired of people who allow the religious to say whatever they want, no matter how hateful, offensive, intolerant or deluded, because "we're supposed to respect religion", while atheists are supposed to shut up, grin and bear it. If person a can state his mind about person b, person b is entitled to reply.

Were those people murdered due to atheism?If you can show me where Mao said, "I'm an atheist, so I'm going to kill 70 million people", I'd be very interested.

Saying that religion can't cause violence because 'atheist' regimes have killed more people than religion is a red herring in my eyes.

If this is so, would you mind explaining why certain people (not you) feel the need to preach it as zealously (is that even a word?) as any evangelist?"Religion" is not a word to describe stances that are vehemently "preached", and lots of religions out there don't have missionary traditions. Jews and Buddhists, for example, are known for not trying to convert people.

A "religion" is a system of belief in a personal god, some sort of life before and/or after death, and other mystical, supernatural beliefs. Atheism, by its very definition, is the absence of religion.

vanir
05-30-2009, 08:54 PM
The United States seems almost unique in its approach to freedom of speech. In our legal system the man who tells someone to commit a crime is reponsible for the crime, so this maxim is expanded to encompass public censorship upon the same basis. Our "anti-terrorism" Sedition legislation for example makes it an indictable offense to speak publicly against the government. Journalists are given exemption, however the courts decide who is a journalist (and may not recognise for example e-journalism or fanzine journalism).

I enjoy retelling an author friend's attempt at registering a business name for a Horror Writer's support group and monthly. He was refused the name "Horror Writers' Association" because it sounded "cultlike" he was told. Meanwhile his close friend and publisher of a major local fanzine was raided by the police and had his entire collection of rare Horror movies confiscated (never to be returned) on a warrant of child porn, because he had been "mail ordering Horror movies from overseas for several years." So naturally the Federal Police assumed they must be kiddie porn, wtf?!

Duty of Care can be taken entirely too far, strictly defined as defaulting any action where a danger to others is reasonably prevalent. Someone says they're depressed over a television show and you say, cry me a river, then suddenly there's some legal license for them to go do something stupid and hand responsibility over to you. It's like a little social game among bored psychopaths. You've got to watch what you say around here, no joke, or you'll be relying entirely upon getting along well with the cop that interviews you so he can see your side of it and decide there was no culpability.

Public censorship in an anti-terrorism policing climate is a recipe for disaster. The truth is all sorts of morons manage to get themselves into authority, bringing their bigotry, ignorance and fanaticism with them.
I say it is a door that can't be opened safely. You either have free speech or you don't, there's no in-between. We don't have it. You can be charged and prosecuted with severe penalties for nothing more than saying something totally honest, and totally harmless, in fact in some manners for saying something quite constructive (ie. political).

Bimmerman
05-30-2009, 09:03 PM
Holy thread bump from the dead, Batman!

To keep my post on topic, I have no problem with tastefully done atheist or religious slogans on buses. When they are no longer tasteful and are antagonistic, then I don't want to see them.

Darth Avlectus
05-30-2009, 09:26 PM
@ Bimmerman: Agreed. Freedom of speech. Also I do believe America does draw the line at some point.

@ thread: In general I personally have no problem with atheism making slogans. I used to be one. Now that I am not, I still say that theistic side is no less beholden than atheists to respect one another. As I did as an atheist.

For atheism/agnosticism and religion I have the same general caveat: remain respectful. Once it crosses that line and it is not for the sake of merited debate, that's a no-no. While there is civil punishment for such things, there is also the proactive brand of karmic justice.

If you call someone an idiot, you'd best be prepared for the backlash.

Freedom is not free or dumb. It comes with responsibility. Requires you treat it and use it respectfully.

@ Dagobahn Eagle: Achillies no longer posts in Kavar's. Out of respect for Achilles, please, everyone, do not discuss this issue further. Thanks, Jae.

Welcome to Kavar's, for what it's worth. This place, though similar to the senate, and was a proxy for the senate for a time ...I guess is considered the serious (though not necessarily political) zone of the kotor section.

Because they're tired of fundamentalists running banners linking to sites that condemn atheists to hell, or contain other offensive messages. I'm tired of people who allow the religious to say whatever they want, no matter how hateful, offensive, intolerant or deluded, because "we're supposed to respect religion", while atheists are supposed to shut up, grin and bear it. If person a can state his mind about person b, person b is entitled to reply.

I can respect the insult that one feels, ensuing from reading messages from opposing groups (or at least slightly different and at odds) that one particularly perceives to be arrogant. I'm pretty sure at one point or another for all groups, in America there is a line drawn between free speech and just plain defamatory/hateful sentiment, alignment of group affiliation notwithstanding. Is it particularly bad where you live?

"Religion" is not a word to describe stances that are vehemently "preached", and lots of religions out there don't have missionary traditions. Jews and Buddhists, for example, are known for not trying to convert people.

A "religion" is a system of belief in a personal god, some sort of life before and/or after death, and other mystical, supernatural beliefs. Atheism, by its very definition, is the absence of religion.

Well, maybe it's just me but, the very fact that you are defending, formulating ideas about, and in a certain sense making a vie for Atheism and that these things are not there or do not exist, to me, at least says there is something there. If not a being in similar vein to a deity or deities, at least in the sense of structure similar to that of religion and, shall we say 'codes' of ethics. That isn't to say, though, that science can necessarily replace religion.

Pah, my attitude is let them get their foot in their mouth. I also think a good boot to the head is a form of speech and expression--albeit not a verbal one.

I am a bit brutish, I'll admit. I do think most people could benefit from being in a situation where you must not speak out of turn...for fear of reprimand.
Could be military service or martial arts. I.E. For me at a local Aikido dojo that also teaches Kendo, when grand master sensei speaks, you do not; correctional disciplinsation admistered in the form of a bokken to the ribs or somewhere). I do not believe free speech should be limited like this but do believe everyone could benefit from having been in a situation like that in order to appreciate freedom when they do have it.

Totenkopf
05-31-2009, 02:02 AM
Holy thread bump from the dead, Batman!

To keep my post on topic, I have no problem with tastefully done atheist or religious slogans on buses. When they are no longer tasteful and are antagonistic, then I don't want to see them.

I concur. As long as they're paying for the ads and they are done in an inoffensive manner.....it's still a free country.

lukeiamyourdad
06-05-2009, 02:52 AM
That is completely incorrect. More people have died under atheist regimes of the last century than died in all previous centuries due to religion combined.

See an article here (http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1121/p09s01-coop.html) and this site (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm).

Deaths from people being killed under atheist regimes or specifically for being religious in just Russia, China, and North Korea since 1917--about 82 million, not including deaths from WWI and WWII. Some will argue the numbers are even higher.

In addition, were the Crusades wars about religion? No. Religion happened to be an excuse. The Crusades were wars about who was going to control and profit from the important Middle Eastern trade routes. Calling them wars of religion is looking at them entirely superficially.

I wanted to post a reply to this as a way to debunk popular misconceptions.

First...

More people died from wars and dictatorships in the last century then before.

There is no denying this, but some things have to be taken into account.
Since the 19th century, political turbulence trying to change the social order has been central in the evolution of what can now be properly called nations. The political began to split from the military, the people started to question their leaders instead of submitting to heavenly law. It is the first ingredient for death on a massive scale.
Monarchies repressed Republicans in blood and Republicans did the same to monarchists.
Let's add something else. New ideologies are pushing for a total change of the social order. Communism is one of those and to achieve their ends, they will do what "must" be done.
Now add another thing...social darwinism. The idea that your "race" needs to be strong to survive leads to two elements. The first, is a total disregard for another human of another "race". Since that person is inferior, that person can die and the world should not weep for his weakness. Nazi you say? Not just Nazi. Before the beginning of World War I and even after, this sentiment was generalized in the Western world, from Britain to Russia. Social darwinism leads to the last thing...
Total War. Development in military technology made old school line battles impossible, starting with the Franco-Prussian War (in a beginning form). Essentially, weapons. especially artillery, became too deadly, giving armies the ability to inflict massive casualties in battle. Of course, the same weapons are used when besieging a city for example, so the body count of civilian climbs up too.

I could also add that there are more humans too, so more die in wars. You'd need a percentage of casualties to properly compare.

Dictatorial regimes are responsible for wars and deaths and kill their own people.

A common misconception. The list of wars where democracies are involved can be made and you'd realize they are just as numerous if not more then with dictatorial regimes. Are they responsible you ask? Hard to say, mainly because dictatorships do not evolve outside of the world. They have to coexists with democracies and play in the same diplomatic system. As such, everyone is a bit responsible for certain wars. When you look at what happened before World War II, you can see that the diplomacy, including that of the Western allies, failed to give results or to stop it. War was not inevitable, from our present point of view.

Dictatorships kill their own people? Is Stalin the only communist leader the United States remembers? Yes, Stalin impose a great terror on his people, but you have to realize one thing...they cried when he died. No, not tears of relief, tears of sadness. So he must have done something right? The state of mind of Soviet citizens was that Stalin did what he did to strengthen the country against Germany. If that's what they wanted...who's to say they're wrong?
Only when Stalin died did Khrushchev start the de-stalinization of the USSR. Only then did people realize the great terror. While it was in place, they didn't seem to mind it that much...hell, some even took the opportunity to rise in the communist party, seeing the old guard, people loyal to Lenin or Trotsky's ideas, killed off by Stalin.
Life in the USSR was not so bad after Stalin died either. Many economic failures, but the people had decent lives. Just because it wasn't the american standard does not mean it was bad. Remember: this is a country devastate by World War II. It's going to take a while to rebuild. The USA never was touched on its mainland soil by massive German bombings. The infrastructure was intact and the economy could flourish.

Under Khrushchev era USSR and later, such massacres on a massive scale were rare. Outside of political repression in satellite countries, the body count certainly is not impressive.

What is the point of killing your own people? There is none really when another solution is possible. This is true of the Nazi regime too. When you look at their actions prior to the start of the war, you'd notice the Nazi trying to push the Jews out of the country rather then outright extermination. They're not stupid and it's easier to push people out then to create the infrastructure to destroy them.

I can't say about the situation in China and in North Korea, but I assume the same holds true. They won't kill for nothing.


Religion is the cause of wars.

Yes and no. Religion has always been used as a supporting ideology to other goals. That means it's certainly a part of the general rationale for going to war.
To say the Crusades were motivated by religion is only looking at one side of the larger picture. Saying that it's about economic control is the same.

The first thing to take into account is that control of the trade routes would have made the local conquerors wealthy. Basically, European nobles who went to the Crusades would be the ones gathering the wealth and not the monarch who supposedly sent them. This is mainly because nation states as as they are known today did not exist. France or England cannot expect a proper return for their crusading activities.
The other fact is that raising armies and sending them to what amounts to an expedition that would take years to complete is extremely costly. Lords who raised armies and kings who gave them support had to spend a lot of money. Would control of the Middle-East have offset the money drain? Doubtful.
Lastly is that the regions the Crusaders ended up controlling simply did not have the same economic value as Constantinople for example. Only the Fourth Crusade, led by the Venitians, took control of the city. If trading was the main factor, this would have been a goal. Except that it wasn't.

Saying that religion is just an excuse for the Crusades is utterly false. If that was the case, the People's Crusade would not have happened. Neither would the enterprise know its success in garnering support. The world is not only guided by material gain or else a religious man would not be religious. As such, Crusaders truly believed in their purpose to reclaim the Holy land.

The exact same thing can be said of modern day crusaders. Suicide bombers used by terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda truly believe their goal. The leaders also believe their goals to be righteous or else they would not do it. Why would a wealthy man like Osama Bin Laden live his miserable life if he did not believe in his vocation?

The same goes for any ideology. No, religion alone may not be the only factor, but saying that religion is not a factor is just as false. Religion is part of the greater scheme of things, not just a tiny footnote.




With that being said, I'm not saying don't have an opinion on the actions of those regimes, only that you should think about their situations and try to understand their point of view, whether you find it twisted or not. It may be considered relativist, but you need that to understand the other side and maybe use the analysis to better change things :)

Totenkopf
06-05-2009, 06:06 PM
With that being said, I'm not saying don't have an opinion on the actions of those regimes, only that you should think about their situations and try to understand their point of view, whether you find it twisted or not. It may be considered relativist, but you need that to understand the other side and maybe use the analysis to better change things.

If by understand you mean be sympatheitc or even empathetic to their "peculiar" pov, then that would be relativistic. If you merely mean that you should understand your enemies/opponents to best figure out how to defeat or overcome them, then that is merely good advice.

lukeiamyourdad
06-08-2009, 11:22 PM
If by understand you mean be sympatheitc or even empathetic to their "peculiar" pov, then that would be relativistic. If you merely mean that you should understand your enemies/opponents to best figure out how to defeat or overcome them, then that is merely good advice.


maybe use the analysis to better change things.

You can't find a solution when you can't understand something.

Totenkopf
06-09-2009, 01:20 AM
You don't actually have to be sympathetic to someone's pov to find a solution. If you can understand that someone's aims are diametrically opposed to yours, that is often enough to change things. For instance, being sympathetic to a regime that is expansionistic is not going to change anything for the better, unless you think that their taking over other people's countries to make room for their population is a positive thing. Not being sympathetic or empathetic does not equal being perplexed about the nature of someone else's goals.

Q
06-09-2009, 12:06 PM
Holy thread bump from the dead, Batman!
Apparently, things were slow in the Senate and somebody got bored.

Jae Onasi
06-09-2009, 12:22 PM
Apparently, things were slow in the Senate and somebody got bored.It wasn't a spam resurrection, and it seems to have generated some new discussion, so it works. :)


With that being said, I'm not saying don't have an opinion on the actions of those regimes, only that you should think about their situations and try to understand their point of view, whether you find it twisted or not.
I can understand how serial killers get screwed up as children, be sympathetic to the childhood abuse many of them suffered, and understand the bizarre motivations that lead them to torture and kill someone. However, that doesn't mean I'm ever going to approve their actions, and they are indeed twisted, sick and evil. They should be locked up away from society forever so they can't hurt anyone else. Declaring something is wrong is not the same as being unsympathetic.

EnderWiggin
06-10-2009, 11:24 PM
That is completely incorrect. More people have died under atheist regimes of the last century than died in all previous centuries due to religion combined.

Correlation does not imply causality.

The fact that it was an atheist or religious regime proves nothing.

_EW_

Jae Onasi
06-10-2009, 11:49 PM
Correlation does not imply causality, Jae.

_EW_
That's why I linked the site so you could look at the data and draw your own conclusions. ;) It is the unfortunate but logical progression of nihilist and marxist/communist thinking taken to the extreme.
In addition, Mao's and Stalin's zeal to expunge any religion from their states resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people solely because those victims were people of faith. I'm not sure how much more causality you need there than Mao's statements on how he wanted to stamp out religion and the religious.

Emperor Devon
06-11-2009, 01:35 AM
That is completely incorrect. More people have died under atheist regimes of the last century than died in all previous centuries due to religion combined.

more people were also born in the last century than any other. i think it's unfair to criticize stalin and mao's regimes for killing as many people as they did because of atheism when they were working with significantly larger population sizes (and had far better tools to commit genocide with) than any other regimes before theirs had had (well, except hitler. but he doesn't count since he wasn't a real christian)

as wonderful as your above quote might sound, you should consider the context of genocide in the 20th century. if any other earlier religious regime was able to work the same population sizes and make use of the same technology that mao and stalin did, i think they could have easily killed a comparable number of people

Totenkopf
06-11-2009, 02:05 AM
What ifs don't really count though. If you kill one person in a village of 100, you've still killed only one person. If you kill ten thousand in a population of a half-million you're still a bigger mass murderer, even if the impact on the overall local population is less. Arguably, if unstopped, people like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and others could have killed even more people in a shorter time frame, even as a %, than their religious counterparts centuries ago. And precisely for the reasons you've stated....better technology. I'd say that ahteists aren't any less blood thirsty than any other group of people. Nor any more, for that matter, either.

Lord of Hunger
07-08-2009, 01:47 AM
After reading this, it brought up an interesting point in my head: The West is gradually moving away from theism, yet we still utilize the common Christian morality system. You'd expect that there would be a significant shift in Western culture as to what is acceptable moral behavior. We still believe that a man should marry and then have sex with a woman to produce a bunch of kids rather than marrying another man and adopting kids, marrying multiple women, or not even bothering with marriage and just having sex with a woman because he feels like it. I'm not saying I'm for or against any of that (my general position on these things tends to be apathy), but it is still interesting that such a shift has not occurred yet.

EnderWiggin
07-08-2009, 10:28 AM
After reading this, it brought up an interesting point in my head: The West is gradually moving away from theism, yet we still utilize the common Christian morality system. You'd expect that there would be a significant shift in Western culture as to what is acceptable moral behavior. We still believe that a man should marry and then have sex with a woman to produce a bunch of kids rather than marrying another man and adopting kids, marrying multiple women, or not even bothering with marriage and just having sex with a woman because he feels like it. I'm not saying I'm for or against any of that (my general position on these things tends to be apathy), but it is still interesting that such a shift has not occurred yet.

This is absolute nonsense, as 76% of Americans have Christian religious beliefs whereas only 15-16% (depending on the study) are athiest/agnostic. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_States#Christianity) As long as 3 out of 4 Americans are Christian, we're still going to maintain the Christian Morality System here in the US of A.

_EW_

Darth InSidious
07-08-2009, 10:47 AM
This is absolute nonsense, as 76% of Americans have Christian religious beliefs whereas only 15-16% (depending on the study) are athiest/agnostic. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_States#Christianity) As long as 3 out of 4 Americans are Christian, we're still going to maintain the Christian Morality System here in the US of A.

_EW_
US = the entire western world?

Golly. I'd better get a flag to salute with a copy of the KJV. :rolleyes:

Web Rider
07-08-2009, 10:48 AM
After reading this, it brought up an interesting point in my head: The West is gradually moving away from theism, yet we still utilize the common Christian morality system. You'd expect that there would be a significant shift in Western culture as to what is acceptable moral behavior. We still believe that a man should marry and then have sex with a woman to produce a bunch of kids rather than marrying another man and adopting kids, marrying multiple women, or not even bothering with marriage and just having sex with a woman because he feels like it. I'm not saying I'm for or against any of that (my general position on these things tends to be apathy), but it is still interesting that such a shift has not occurred yet.

The "Christian" morality system is by and large more generic than people give it credit for. With some specific exceptions, such as who's god to worship and when, the basic moral code of Christianity is the same as every other one. And often the same as "natural" morality. And I do mean basic stuff, 10 commandments basic, yes theres plenty more to the moral codes but I'm not talking about that.

This is absolute nonsense, as 76% of Americans have Christian religious beliefs whereas only 15-16% (depending on the study) are athiest/agnostic. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_States#Christianity) As long as 3 out of 4 Americans are Christian, we're still going to maintain the Christian Morality System here in the US of A.

_EW_

America alone does not equal the West. Much of Europe has been moving away from religion for some time. As well, saying 3/4ths of Americans are Christians is like saying the world is made out of dirt. From a generic POV it's true, but there are important differences in those religions, and not all of them fall into the stereotypical uptight-religiously intolerant christian group.

Totenkopf
07-08-2009, 11:41 AM
So, which particular Christian groups fall into the stereotype? Calvinists? Lutherans? Catholics? I often find the expression "open-minded liberal" to be quite oxymoronic. EW's basic point is still valid, as he was addressing the US, not the world. ~75+% of the US is Christian and thus much of American morality, at least, will continue to be influenced by it. With a few exceptions, Christain morality isn't all over the map. While there are many denominations, they mostly hew to the 10 Commandmants in arriving at moral decision making (as you yourself note). Most are still largely traditional, at least by "modern" standards. New/modern doesn't axiomatically mean better/more enlightened.

EnderWiggin
07-08-2009, 10:34 PM
US = the entire western world?

Golly. I'd better get a flag to salute with a copy of the KJV. :rolleyes:

Pardon me, I misread his post. In my haste I responded fallaciously, but I think the point still holds barring the fact that the statistics are wrong. Sorry about that.

Thanks for your understanding.

_EW_