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Old 2009-09-16, 07:34   Link #1821
justsomeguy
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Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
What about the discussion of convincing those with faith towards strong agnosticism? No, IMO, unlike "dreamers", its either because the factual strong agnostics have no need or does not see importance for "imaginations". or just a closed mind.
No. The reason why people like Richard Dawkins (who certainly has better things to do) see the need to write books is because atheism is constantly being misrepresented and verbally attacked by religious figures such as the Pope, and that many people are convinced that atheism is more dangerous than actual religious violence. ("God won't let us go to Heaven if we tolerate heretics amongst us!")
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Old 2009-09-16, 12:16   Link #1822
roriconfan
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Anyone can write books about God. Even I have. It's a half-serious, half-ironic story about God being on trial for his ilogical claims. Yet, I present things as if everything the bible mentions make sense. So, in the long run we can all find a supposed explaination to everything. Heck, most particles were "asumed" to exist before actually being discovered. And that eleventh planet was also known to exist in theory because of the planets' trajectories. And yes, Gos is supposed to be not-materil, such an example means shit, yet he is supposed to affect the universe "somehow". Not that makes much sense either, I know...

So, if anyone cares to read a story about how everything the bible mentions is "the truth" in quite an interlectual way and in plain English, PM me to give you a link.
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Old 2009-09-16, 20:43   Link #1823
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
I don't see why people (indeed, many atheists themselves) see "militant" atheism as bad. Considering how many more loud-mouthed or violent religious people there are, and the people who believe them simply because they make more noise, "activist" atheism is a good thing.
It's based on the simple premise of "treat others as you wish to be treated," combined with a dab of "two wrongs don't make a right." If I don't appreciate having someone shout at people and proclaim that they're terrible for not believing something, I'll be equally unimpressed with someone who's doing the same just because they do believe in something.

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Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
Why is it called "militant" atheism anyway?
militant |ˈmilətənt|
adjective
combative and aggressive in support of a political or social cause, and typically favoring extreme, violent, or confrontational methods : an uprising by militant Islamic fundamentalists.
noun
a person who is active in this way.

Note that in the definition there is no mention of someone who is killing or harming others, just that such people typically favor those methods. That's just being technical, of course.



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Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
How many atheist openly advocate killing religious people, compared to how many religious people advocate killing "heretics" and "disbelievers," and how many countries actually do so?
I wouldn't push this point too strongly. For certain, throughout history religion has been used as an excuse to do harm. Even in the modern day, Islam is being invoked (distorted, really) for such purposes. However, as you're probably aware, religion is not absolutely necessary for setting people off to do harm to others.

I would not be surprised if an atheist group (perhaps small) did reach the conclusion that "we'd all be better off without religion" and then felt that the best way to go about it would be to go about killing the ultra-religious. Probably the only reason that it hasn't happened yet is because atheism is a relative minority at the moment. Once it becomes larger and there are more people with violent tendencies and shared views grouped together, you'd probably see some action. It's just speculation, but the point is that it could happen very easily. You shouldn't rule it out.


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Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
All social animals, yes even humans, have innate and learned rules of social conduct, with no need for religion. Religions' rules ("Thou shalt not kill") are so disregarded that they might as well not exist. Ironically, religious rules on diet and fasting seem to be taken more seriously by more people than the restriction against killing each other.
The same could be said for the laws of various countries. Mind you, laws are often based on "social rules of conduct." Religion just acts as another set of rules and laws. If you ask me, the laws in both cases (religion and state) can be distorted and warped to meet agendas by powerful figures.

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Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
If not for religious differences, they would have been able to live peacefully together there.
I wish it were that simple. Tell me, are all Americans able to get along perfectly peacefully? No, of course not. Within America there are hundreds of divisions - there's the color of your skin, what region you come from, which sports team you're a fan of, and so on. Sure, we're not at constant war with one another over the differences, but every now and then (and with greater frequency than there really should be) someone is seriously injured or killed over those differences. It probably was not your intention to make religion out to be the root of all evil, but in seemingly ignoring all other aspects of conflict between humans, it's coming across that way, and I disagree with that.
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Old 2009-09-16, 23:14   Link #1824
Liddo-kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
I don't see why people (indeed, many atheists themselves) see "militant" atheism as bad. Considering how many more loud-mouthed or violent religious people there are, and the people who believe them simply because they make more noise, "activist" atheism is a good thing.
I'm 100% atheist and agree with many things that you said...
However, I don't believe using force to change others is the right way.
Just as Ledgem has already pointed out, "2 wrongs don't make a right".

There was one time that a nun went to my office and lecture me for almost an hour to accept Catholicism. I found her lecture annoying and wanted to send her out (of course I didn't, because it would give the clinic where I work a bad name). I refused all other lectures from her after that of course.

Last edited by Liddo-kun; 2009-09-17 at 18:13.
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Old 2009-09-16, 23:26   Link #1825
yezhanquan
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I believe in the supernatural, and there may be a God, but it's probably not the God the Abrahamic religions worship.
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Old 2009-09-16, 23:49   Link #1826
Siddyus
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I am an agnostic. I show little to no interest in these kinds of beliefs. But not in a way that I disown them.

Quote:
I wish it were that simple. Tell me, are all Americans able to get along perfectly peacefully? No, of course not. Within America there are hundreds of divisions - there's the color of your skin, what region you come from, which sports team you're a fan of, and so on. Sure, we're not at constant war with one another over the differences, but every now and then (and with greater frequency than there really should be) someone is seriously injured or killed over those differences. It probably was not your intention to make religion out to be the root of all evil, but in seemingly ignoring all other aspects of conflict between humans, it's coming across that way, and I disagree with that.
I guess it is just human nature to be at an eternal conflict against each other. Human emotions and animalistic behaviour we adopted from our ancestors fuels it. Then, religion amplifies it. Millions of jews were killed since the inquisition just because of their religion. So on and so forth...

I believe if there wasnt any religion. Human conflict wouldnt be at the same degree we are experiencing right now.

I dont hate religion. Its just that I think it causes more trouble than its worth.
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Old 2009-09-17, 10:02   Link #1827
justsomeguy
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
It's based on the simple premise of "treat others as you wish to be treated," combined with a dab of "two wrongs don't make a right." If I don't appreciate having someone shout at people and proclaim that they're terrible for not believing something, I'll be equally unimpressed with someone who's doing the same just because they do believe in something.
That is an idealistic view. In reality, if one does not confront the people harassing you and spreading lies, those falsehoods will continue to spread. Also, how often have you seen atheists confront religious people on the street, compared with the reverse? How many atheist stands have you seen in the streets? (I see crazy evangelists constantly in the subway and sidewalks in NYC. "You're all sinners!" Fuck that, when did I commit any crime?)

Quote:
militant |ˈmilətənt|
adjective
combative and aggressive in support of a political or social cause, and typically favoring extreme, violent, or confrontational methods : an uprising by militant Islamic fundamentalists.
noun
a person who is active in this way.

Note that in the definition there is no mention of someone who is killing or harming others, just that such people typically favor those methods. That's just being technical, of course.
Please provide an example where people like Richard Dawkins advocate violence and extremism.

Quote:
I wouldn't push this point too strongly. For certain, throughout history religion has been used as an excuse to do harm. Even in the modern day, Islam is being invoked (distorted, really) for such purposes. However, as you're probably aware, religion is not absolutely necessary for setting people off to do harm to others.
Just because religion is not involved in all violence is not proof that it has no involvement at all.

Quote:
I would not be surprised if an atheist group (perhaps small) did reach the conclusion that "we'd all be better off without religion" and then felt that the best way to go about it would be to go about killing the ultra-religious. Probably the only reason that it hasn't happened yet is because atheism is a relative minority at the moment. Once it becomes larger and there are more people with violent tendencies and shared views grouped together, you'd probably see some action. It's just speculation, but the point is that it could happen very easily. You shouldn't rule it out
Of course. But until that actually happens, your statement is merely hypothetical.

Quote:
The same could be said for the laws of various countries. Mind you, laws are often based on "social rules of conduct." Religion just acts as another set of rules and laws. If you ask me, the laws in both cases (religion and state) can be distorted and warped to meet agendas by powerful figures.
There would be less rules to distort and warp if laws were based on the desires of actual people who can be held accountable, and not a supreme being who is nowhere to be found.

Quote:
I wish it were that simple. Tell me, are all Americans able to get along perfectly peacefully? No, of course not. Within America there are hundreds of divisions - there's the color of your skin, what region you come from, which sports team you're a fan of, and so on. Sure, we're not at constant war with one another over the differences, but every now and then (and with greater frequency than there really should be) someone is seriously injured or killed over those differences. It probably was not your intention to make religion out to be the root of all evil, but in seemingly ignoring all other aspects of conflict between humans, it's coming across that way, and I disagree with that.
I am well aware that people will have a sentimental attachment to the land where they were from, regardless of faith. And you are correct in saying that I do not intend to portray religion as the root of all evil; greed, pride, envy, etc are. However, religion provides an unnecessary division among people, and I think we can all acknowledge that whenever we divide people into separate groups, violence is far more likely to occur, and far more likely to escalate into factional warfare rather than stay at the individual level.
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Old 2009-09-17, 14:00   Link #1828
Haak
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Okay don't read anything into this. I'm not trying to make a point. I'm genuinly asking because i don't really know and want to make sure and i might as well ask here because it seems like the most relevant thread to ask in. So here's my question: Weren't Mao and Stalin motivated by atheistic ideologies?
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Old 2009-09-17, 14:50   Link #1829
Slice of Life
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Okay don't read anything into this. I'm not trying to make a point. I'm genuinly asking because i don't really know and want to make sure and i might as well ask here because it seems like the most relevant thread to ask in. So here's my question: Weren't Mao and Stalin motivated by atheistic ideologies?
Don't ask me about Mao. Stalin was most likely motivated by will for power and paranoia and would have used any ideological fig leaf that seems fit.

Now. communism is at his heart an economic theory (I won't discuss if and how ill-founded) and doesn't have much to say about metaphysics. Communist revolutions or interventions were always justified as means to liberate the working class or securing their ruling position, not to stop somebody practicing the wrong religion. Persecution of clerics in revolutionary Russia were justified by their alliance (real or alleged) with the former ruling class, not so much their belief.

The goals of the faithful early supporters of communism was to improve the people's living conditions. I.e. their motivation was a sense of compassion and justice. Of course, as soon as you add the principle of the end justifying the means you have a recipe for disaster. But the same happened in Christianity and Islam, as history proves.
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Old 2009-09-17, 15:06   Link #1830
justsomeguy
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Originally Posted by Haak View Post
Okay don't read anything into this. I'm not trying to make a point. I'm genuinly asking because i don't really know and want to make sure and i might as well ask here because it seems like the most relevant thread to ask in. So here's my question: Weren't Mao and Stalin motivated by atheistic ideologies?
Communism was an economic philosophy, and the presence/absence of a God was irrelevent to it. However, Communism itself was irrational because its principles do not work, and the leaders of the parties refused to acknowledge it.

Atheism is a simple denial of the existence of god, and says nothing about social or economic beliefs.

Dictators such as Mao and Stalin attempted to quash religion because they saw it as divisive and threatening to the regime, which stated that all people were "equal" (read: the same, no differences allowed). I am not entirely familiar with the subject, but according to Wikipedia, various religions were alternately persecuted or exploited by the Communists.
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Old 2009-09-17, 15:19   Link #1831
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Most don't know this but even the leaders of the French Revolution were against religion and even tried to enforce a new form of faith themselves. Unfortunately for them, they were sending for decapitation so many people, their own supporters eventualy escorted them to the place they all loved sending people to and gave all authority to a monarch called Napoleon. So much for liberation...
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Old 2009-09-17, 15:44   Link #1832
justsomeguy
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Most don't know this but even the leaders of the French Revolution were against religion and even tried to enforce a new form of faith themselves.
That's not so much "against religion" as it is "against existing religion, especially the aristocratic Christian clergy in France."
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Old 2009-09-17, 16:42   Link #1833
Vexx
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Originally Posted by roriconfan View Post
Most don't know this but even the leaders of the French Revolution were against religion and even tried to enforce a new form of faith themselves. Unfortunately for them, they were sending for decapitation so many people, their own supporters eventualy escorted them to the place they all loved sending people to and gave all authority to a monarch called Napoleon. So much for liberation...
More precisely, the corrupt organized state religion which simply reinforced the aristocratic domination of the people.
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Old 2009-09-18, 03:34   Link #1834
Haak
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Okay, thanks guys.
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Old 2009-09-18, 04:34   Link #1835
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Anyway, all attempts at enforcing state atheism are as of yet a failure. Religion is indeed a personal thing anyone should keep for himself. It should be taught in school but it should include all religions in order to help the student choose his/hers.

I know, that would be a problem for the status quo of any present government. Because it is far cheaper to keep the people ignorant and far more easy to manipulate them like this.

In the old days, a person's religions was the same as his nationality. It was a way to keep a society organized. That does no longer apply as borders are blurring more and more by the day.
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Old 2009-09-18, 06:35   Link #1836
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My words, religions and other forms of "interstellar" connections, including atheism, are all "guesses" embedded into each human's membrane. These "guesses", with vague metaphor, "are raffle tickets submitted by each individual during each individual lives and are appraised during each individual ends"...and what happens later? a loss or a win. One can even humor at the "lottery" of a world wherein.
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Old 2009-09-18, 10:03   Link #1837
justsomeguy
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Anyway, all attempts at enforcing state atheism are as of yet a failure. Religion is indeed a personal thing anyone should keep for himself. It should be taught in school but it should include all religions in order to help the student choose his/hers.
It's already taught in church. Teaching religion in school should be limited to teaching their histories and effects on society.
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Old 2009-09-18, 12:21   Link #1838
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^ Yes, but unlike going to school, you are not forced to go to church for 12 years straight (at least not by law). Therefore chances are you will learn nothing or learn one-sided opinions.
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Old 2009-09-18, 12:44   Link #1839
Narona
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Anyway, all attempts at enforcing state atheism are as of yet a failure. Religion is indeed a personal thing anyone should keep for himself. It should be taught in school but it should include all religions in order to help the student choose his/hers.
In public schools, I really think France is an example to follow. The la´citÚ/secularism in public schools should be something normal imo. The result is (beside when there are some rare problems) no discrimination towards the religious or non-religious people at schools.


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Originally Posted by justsomeguy
That is an idealistic view. In reality, if one does not confront the people harassing you and spreading lies, those falsehoods will continue to spread. Also, how often have you seen atheists confront religious people on the street, compared with the reverse? How many atheist stands have you seen in the streets? (I see crazy evangelists constantly in the subway and sidewalks in NYC. "You're all sinners!" Fuck that, when did I commit any crime?)
I don't know how it is in the US, but don't take it as an example about the whole world. In France, there are many believers who are nice and so, won't annoy you.

In France, nowadays there are more atheists/agnostics than believers. It happens that there are atheists who denigrate believers, even the ones who don't annoy anyone. It's not a myth here.
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Old 2009-09-18, 14:04   Link #1840
Anh_Minh
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Anyway, all attempts at enforcing state atheism are as of yet a failure. Religion is indeed a personal thing anyone should keep for himself. It should be taught in school but it should include all religions in order to help the student choose his/hers.
I object on two grounds:
- there are too many religions. We don't have that much time to waste.
- it assumes that religion is important in the first place, and that kids have to choose one. I'd rather they stay free to not care about it at all if they're so inclined.
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