Why Atheist are disliked...

Anonymous
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Why Atheist are disliked...

Without citing the stats that have been done so on numerous occasions, we understand that surveys show that Atheist are one of the least liked people around (in America at least). But the reason for this is not because Atheist do not believe in God, but because the impression that popular atheist give off, the only one that most people in the US come in contact with, is not likable. Imagine if I came over for dinner and said that atheist are dipshits, if i was shown the door, or punched in the face it wouldn't be because I was a theist. 

When Christianity first appeared on the scene the hostility directed towards it wasn't so much because of it being the new religion, but rather because of it's exclusiveness, a belief in the exclusivity of truth, that their religion and god are true, while all other religions and Gods are false. Popular atheism, such as that which is promoted by this site, present an atheistic belief in exclusivity as well, the "we know the truth, and those that don't also accept our truth are just bat shit crazy". The term atheist comes accompanied with the stench of anti-theism. 

For most religious people who rarely ever come in contact with atheist, when asked a survey about what they think of them, can only draw their impressions from the Sapients, Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens of the world. So when asked a question of if one would mind having an atheist president, the question for the individual being surveyed becomes would you mind having someone like Christopher Hitchens as president. 

Imagine if someone asked you what you think of theist, and if your encounters and impressions of theist were only the Jerry Falwell type, that impression probably wouldn't be good, and would rather be quite negative. If someone asked you if you would mind having a theist as president, with only the Jerry Falwell image as the impression, you'd be shaking in your boots too. Fears of theocracy and the teaching of creationism in schools would abound.

Questions about if you would vote a theist, or an atheist as president are questions that have us probing what the role of that person's belief would be in our everyday life. Would they preach on the stage that we need to rid the world of religion, that theism is a mental disorder, remove children, such as myself, from my loving but fundamentalist christian parents for raising me up as a Christian. The more viable these fears become, by the misanthropy and anti-theistic views that abound amongst vocal atheist, those in the limelight, the less inclined individuals are going to be to view the hypothetical atheist, the hypothetical presidential candidate in a favorable light. 

Speaking from experience, I've been a disbeliever for much of my adult life, and it wasn't something I tried to conceal and hide all that much either. I hid it from my religious mother, not because I feared she would disown me or love me any less, but because it would mean that in her already tough life, she'd have something else to worry about. And also because I knew in her circumstance that it was only her religious belief, in a faith in God of purpose and meaning, could she find any hope in this life of hers. Her religion was a source of tremendous comfort for her, even I myself viewed it as a delusion, a fantasy at the time. 

Though I was an atheist, I didn't hold resentment towards the religion I was raised in. My impression of Christians wasn't tarnished by a few bad images of them. My childhood was filled with fond memories of the church where we used to burn toilet paper in the bathroom stalls, and play hang man in the pews. 

My friends had long known that I was a disbeliever, in fact my sister, and many of them often think that I'm still an atheist, and I smile at the accusations, rather than being offended by it. I used to blog about my disbelief all the time, the circumstances, and the questions that led me there. Not once did someone turn to me with derision, or attempted to spit in my face for being a disbeliever. Friends and strangers who knew, welcomed me all the same. My disbelief was a personal choice, a product of sincere reflection, not one that I felt compelled to be evangelical about. Often time questions and doubts about their own faith were brought to me even before they'd seek out their religious leaders.

If someone such as myself, at the time were to run for president I'm sure I'd get their votes as well. Their impressions of this atheist wouldn't be based on the popular images of them, such as the atheists that run sites such as this, and engage in evangelical campaigns, but rather personal knowledge of one that doesn't fit that misanthropic mold. 

If we didn't have a rich history of theistic presidents, most of you would be just as skeptical about a hypothetical future one as president as many American Christians are. It's only because we know by our history that not all theistic presidents are George Bush, we have our Clintons, and our Obamas as well. 

To quote Hitchens: "People say they wouldn't vote for an atheist. How do they know they wouldn't? They haven't had an offer from a decent atheist yet. I don't think thats a real question for an opinion poll to be asking. [...] If republicans had been asked in the 1970's: would they vote for a divorced, ex-movie actor, they probably would have said no." 

Most people don't dislike atheist just because they don't believe in God. Most of this dislike stems from what they believe the opinion of the atheists views on their religion are. If you believe someone doesn't like you, thinks of you as an idiot, as delusional, or what not, you're probably not going to like them that much either. Trust me, I know, i often call the beliefs of some atheist here on this forum as idiotic and delusional, and let's just say I haven't made many friends here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:Without

manofmanynames wrote:

Without citing the stats that have been done so on numerous occasions, we understand that surveys show that Atheist are one of the least liked people around (in America at least).

Without citing any stats, surveys show "your mom".

manofmanynames wrote:
Most people don't dislike atheist just because they don't believe in God. Most of this dislike stems from what they believe the opinion of the atheists views on their religion are.

Because what you're saying is based purely on speculation, I guess there's nothing to discuss.

 

EDIT - removed extra quote tag - dead_again

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

Without citing any stats, surveys show "your mom".

Because what you're saying is based purely on speculation, I guess there's nothing to discuss.

Oh hisweenieness, I could sit her and waste my time responding to this, but in the end it amounts to a feeding of a troll. But I'll just leave the post for the more competent atheist here to respond, ones who don't resort to "your mom" jokes, and know how to have an intelligent discussion. 

good day to you.

 

 


latincanuck
atheist
latincanuck's picture
Posts: 2036
Joined: 2007-06-01
User is offlineOffline
what exactly is the mold?

In the US, and this has been my personal experience, it ranges from a hater of christanity (almost always christianity) and a person rebellious to god, a child molester (why this I have no clue), druggie, criminal (even though more criminals in US prisons are christians go fig.), then there is the other range (because I just happen to have a college degree) I tend to fall under this category, Elitist, over educated person that cannot see god or understand god because I am too educated. As an atheist in the US (which I am not in the US I just go for visits) running for president, you would not be some well understood atheist because you don't attack them, you would fall under the Elitist category, you can be understanding and all, but I find that the fundies in the US tend to put you under any category they can so they can tear you down, even if it contradicts their earlier statements about atheism


geirj
geirj's picture
Posts: 719
Joined: 2007-06-19
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote: many

manofmanynames wrote:

 many of them often think that I'm still an atheist, and I smile at the accusations, rather than being offended by it

So...is you is or is you isn't an atheist? I'm confused.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5487
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
I think he makes some good

I think he makes some good points.

 

 

And I'd just like to point out that many atheists do generalize theists into Fred Phelps like people.

 

 

 


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
latincanuck wrote:In the US,

latincanuck wrote:

In the US, and this has been my personal experience, it ranges from a hater of Christianity (almost always Christianity) and a person rebellious to god, a child molester (why this I have no clue), druggie, criminal (even though more criminals in US prisons are Christians go fig.), then there is the other range (because I just happen to have a college degree) I tend to fall under this category.

Well, I'd say that even most of this demeaning of atheist (as well as the demeaning of theist), is a manifestation of the long history of conflict between theism vs atheism. The same well that one claims that atheist are druggies and criminals, is the same well the RRS gets the water from to claim that theism is a mental disorder. Both Christianity and atheism are exclusivists beliefs, and one of the side effects of holding an exclusivist beliefs, is that they often produce a sense of superiority, and arrogance amongst their holders. Its why atheism as simply a disbelief in god, has morphed into a sort of movement, to rid the world of theism, of disbelief as the savior of mankind. Passions are at play here. 

When a theist encounters an atheist who does not fit into this stereotype of the crusading one, or being in animosity towards religion, they are unlikely to demonize them the same. 

Quote:
be understanding and all, but I find that the fundies in the US tend to put you under any category they can so they can tear you down, even if it contradicts their earlier statements about atheism

Well, when dealing exclusively with fundamentalist we are also speaking of those on the far right as well. It's the competition amongst the competing ideology of liberalism that renders the candidate as elitist, more so than if he were an atheist. It's for the purpose of furthering that myth, that Republicanism is the party of the common man, while liberalism is for those living in glass houses, who have no clue what the toils of everyday life are. 

In may just be that many people have an impression that atheism, liberalism, socialism, etc.. go hand in hand, but it's the baggage that one has gripes with, not the mere disbelief in God.  


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
geirj wrote:So...is you is

geirj wrote:

So...is you is or is you isn't an atheist? I'm confused.

Well, I did say a few times in the post that I "was" an atheist, not that I "am" still an atheist. 

But yea, to clear it up for you, yes, I'm no longer an atheist. I do believe in God now, even though I didn't believe before.

 

 


Balkoth
Posts: 118
Joined: 2008-11-25
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness, he's right

HisWillness, he's right about the various surveys.  I'm fairly sure you've seen a decent number yourself, so I hope you're just objecting due to the fact he didn't reference any.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/30038986.pdf is one of the more interesting ones I've seen that goes beyond "Would you vote for an atheist president?"  If anyone happens to be unable to access that article, the title is "Atheists As "Other": Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society" and it was published in the April 2006 American Socialogical Review.


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:But

manofmanynames wrote:

But I'll just leave the post for the more competent atheist here to respond, ones who don't resort to "your mom" jokes, and know how to have an intelligent discussion.

Your original post is based entirely on your imagined popular dislike of atheists on an atheist site. Did you really expect serious intelligent discussion? Really?

It's like starting a conversation with "You know what's wrong with you ..."

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
Balkoth wrote:HisWillness,

Balkoth wrote:

HisWillness, he's right about the various surveys.  I'm fairly sure you've seen a decent number yourself, so I hope you're just objecting due to the fact he didn't reference any.

Well kinda. I actually haven't seen any of these surveys, but then, I'm pretty critical of surveys, as the only people who seem to want to participate in them are either bored or lonely. That, and the way surveys are worded can have a serious effect on how they're answered, so I consider surveys suspect on many levels.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:Did you

HisWillness wrote:

Did you really expect serious intelligent discussion? Really?

Smiling

well, surely not from you.

you seem to barely be able to make coherent arguments, as you've demonstrated on numerous occasions. 

and if this forum were composed of individuals such as yourself, I would not have been posting here for this long. 

 

 


latincanuck
atheist
latincanuck's picture
Posts: 2036
Joined: 2007-06-01
User is offlineOffline
Be that said

I am an atheist and what many of my friends call a hardcore atheist. With that said now, I am against religion in public life, private life is one things, but to have policies, both national and foreign based on ancient outdated models of thinking to me is ludicrous. Now am I a hater of religion? No. Do I see the benefit religion has had for humanity? Yes....at one point in time. Do I want people who believe in god to be put in mental institutions? Well that one really depends on the person tell ya the truth...cuz even you have to admit there are some crazies out there...on both sides of the belief spectrum that need some major psychiatric help......and mass dosages of drugs.

However I do not normally fit the description of the american atheist per se. I hold some conservative views regarding child rearing, law and order type stuff. However when it comes to sex and freedom of expression/speech I am very liberal about that and I suspect everyone is a bit conservative and a bit liberal in every day life. I do not use drugs (not anymore and the most I ever did was weed and I am still for decriminalizing weed in Canada). I pay my taxes, I work very hard for my money, I like to believe that I am well educated, and in the end I live a very common life......for me. But I am not what american christians, for the most part many of them that I have met, believe an atheist to be. I am not an atheist because I want to do as I please and live without the consequences (what world do they live in that it is possible to live without any consequences of bad choices/decisions?), it is not because I am rebellious towards god like an angry child, I do not blame god for the evils of the world, I cannot hold those ideas with a disbelief in god, for I cannot blame that which does not exist.

If and when I show my inkling of education in the US I tend to be labeled as a Elitist atheist, ignorant of god (even though I studied the bible, the Torah [with the help of a Rabbi] and the koran [with the help of an imam]) who thinks that he knows better than god. Which of course isn't the case, there is no god as far as I can tell, there is zero evidence so far for it's existence so I cannot know better than something that does not exist. Again this is the issue at hand, many chrisitans, fundamentalists and otherwise have a very much distorted view of atheists no matter what their background is, and many moderate christians take their views from fundamentalist believers, which makes it even harder to deal with. As they cannot see the ignorance of these people because, in many ways, they feel that they would be siding with the enemy and not a fellow believer.

Oh and I do not hide the fact that I am atheist. The moment people start to talk about religion I inform them that I do not believe, I personally follow the idea that truth is far better than keeping your mouth shut.


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames

manofmanynames wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Did you really expect serious intelligent discussion? Really?

Smiling

well, surely not from you.

So you disagree that surveys are unreliable?

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


Balkoth
Posts: 118
Joined: 2008-11-25
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:Well

HisWillness wrote:
Well kinda. I actually haven't seen any of these surveys, but then, I'm pretty critical of surveys, as the only people who seem to want to participate in them are either bored or lonely. That, and the way surveys are worded can have a serious effect on how they're answered, so I consider surveys suspect on many levels.

Suspect?  Sure.  Not entirely accurate?  Sure.  Wildly out the ballpark?  Perhaps not.

I'd encourage you to read the article I linked if you're able to access it.  As another easy example, this is a Gallup poll from Feb 2007 http://www.gallup.com/poll/26611/Some-Americans-Reluctant-Vote-Mormon-72YearOld-Presidential-Candidates.aspx

While I agree that the numbers can be a bit biased due to who actually answers and the problems with surveying itself, even allowing for a massive margin of error still shows that atheists are not a well trusted group.  This is not to say that 75% of America hates atheists, just that out of every "group" within American society, in general atheists seem to be the most disliked.

Edit: And I think that while part of it could be what manofmanynames stated, I think the larger part is that they are simply atheists, regardless of how they act.


Nordmann
atheist
Nordmann's picture
Posts: 904
Joined: 2008-04-02
User is offlineOffline
Expressing an atheist

Expressing an atheist viewpoint in a largely theist society is never going to garner popularity, even without any offensive behaviour on the part of atheists. What surprises me about your original post is that you seem to think you are stating something which atheists are not of course completely aware of - a perception of them held by theists which is extremely negative and sometimes borders on absolute hatred (and often exceeds that border). I do not imagine any atheist requires to see survey evidence to illustrate that.

 

What is even more surprising is why you think popularity should be an issue in the debate at all? If I express an unpopular truth then I do not expect to be popular as a result, and nor would I attempt to disguise its unpopularity through any overt attempt at acquiring personal popularity amongst those to whose delusions I am opposed. What on earth would be the point of it? It would only serve to dilute my own argument and risk that its message not be conveyed at all, which would be stupid.

 

It would be like slavery-abolitionists in the late 18th and early 19th century censoring their own opposition to the trade in order to stay well in with their contemporaries, the majority of whom then supported a despicable status quo. How different history and society would be, in other words, if your argument made sense. Thankfully it doesn't.

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


Kevin R Brown
Superfan
Kevin R Brown's picture
Posts: 3142
Joined: 2007-06-24
User is offlineOffline
We are disliked because your

We are disliked because your Bible tells you to dislike us.

 

Full stop.


geirj
geirj's picture
Posts: 719
Joined: 2007-06-19
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:geirj

manofmanynames wrote:

geirj wrote:

So...is you is or is you isn't an atheist? I'm confused.

Well, I did say a few times in the post that I "was" an atheist, not that I "am" still an atheist. 

But yea, to clear it up for you, yes, I'm no longer an atheist. I do believe in God now, even though I didn't believe before.

 

Thank you for clearing that up.

I don't believe you.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
geirj wrote:I don't believe

geirj wrote:

I don't believe you.

Haha! Why not? He could be talking about his infancy, before he was introduced to the concept of gods entirely.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


geirj
geirj's picture
Posts: 719
Joined: 2007-06-19
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:geirj

HisWillness wrote:

geirj wrote:

I don't believe you.

Haha! Why not? He could be talking about his infancy, before he was introduced to the concept of gods entirely.

True. How inconsiderate (and atheist!) of me to jump to a conclusion like that. No wonder atheists are so disliked.

Nobody I know was brainwashed into being an atheist.

Why Believe?


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
geirj wrote:Thank you for

geirj wrote:

Thank you for clearing that up.

I don't believe you.

Well, this amount to as dumb as when some fundamentalist claims that a former christian who is now an atheist, was never a real christian to begin with.

Taking a garner at the arguments proposed by atheist over here for disbelief, they are utterly silly. There are compelling and deeply reflective arguments for disbelief, that still leaves me haunted by doubts, you just don't find them here. So some idiot who comes on here claiming that I was never a "real" atheist, doesn't impress me. If any person here believes that somehow that I wasn't a real atheist, that I have not dug as deep as they have, pondered the questions, and reflected more so on my disbelief than they have, I suggest they put they're money where their mouth is. They are more than welcome to start a another thread probing me.  I can sure say by gathering from the arguments on this, forum, the sense of disbelief among individuals here seems far more shallow than mines ever was.

Quote:
He could be talking about his infancy, before he was introduced to the concept of gods entirely.

Well, the genius is back at it again huh? 

No his weeny, I was an atheist well into my adult hood, and churches still bore me. I didn't become a theist because of some cheesy sort of emotional sunday service, or from pressure by outside groups, or because my parents raised me that way, nor did I become an atheist like some individuals here have, because of emotional scars left for them by their parents, or frightful sunday school lessons. So you can believe whatever silly fairy tales you wish to pump your own non-reflective sense of disbelief up, but I apologize if I just brush my shoulders off, and consider you just dimwitted. 

 

 


FreeHugMachine
FreeHugMachine's picture
Posts: 152
Joined: 2009-04-02
User is offlineOffline
Might I ask what made you a

Might I ask what made you a theist?  Was it a personal experience?


Kevin R Brown
Superfan
Kevin R Brown's picture
Posts: 3142
Joined: 2007-06-24
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Taking a garner at the

Quote:
Taking a garner at the arguments proposed by atheist over here for disbelief, they are utterly silly.

Yeah. I mean, demanding evidence for the kind of extraordinary claim theists make?

 

Just fucking ridiculous, really.

Sticking out tongue

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


Balkoth
Posts: 118
Joined: 2008-11-25
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:Taking

manofmanynames wrote:
Taking a garner at the arguments proposed by atheist over here for disbelief, they are utterly silly. There are compelling and deeply reflective arguments for disbelief, that still leaves me haunted by doubts, you just don't find them here. So some idiot who comes on here claiming that I was never a "real" atheist, doesn't impress me. If any person here believes that somehow that I wasn't a real atheist, that I have not dug as deep as they have, pondered the questions, and reflected more so on my disbelief than they have, I suggest they put they're money where their mouth is. They are more than welcome to start a another thread probing me.  I can sure say by gathering from the arguments on this, forum, the sense of disbelief among individuals here seems far more shallow than mines ever was.

Is the following position a "shallow sense of disbelief?"

I've never been presented with evidence to believe in a god/gods, therefore I won't assume he/she/it/they exist(s).

And as a side note, care to offer the "compelling and deeply reflective arguments for disbelief?"


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Kevin R Brown wrote:Yeah. I

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Yeah. I mean, demanding evidence for the kind of extraordinary claim theists make?

Just fucking ridiculous, really.

Well, I doubt you'd find, anywhere on the countless forums I visit, in the number of years I've been posting online, that you'll find one instance where I ask an atheist to accept an extraordinary claim. I'm definitely not the type of theist trying to win converts, sorry to disappoint you, but i don't hand out tracts. 


Kevin R Brown
Superfan
Kevin R Brown's picture
Posts: 3142
Joined: 2007-06-24
User is offlineOffline
Back up there, cowboy. You

Back up there, cowboy. You just claimed, in the post I quoted from, that atheists are living in absurdity because they don't believe in God.

 

So, no, maybe you won't straight-up ask anybody to accept your claims - but you sure don't appear to have any bones about belittling or condescending anyone who won't take them at face value.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:Well,

manofmanynames wrote:

Well, the genius is back at it again huh? 

No his weeny, I was an atheist well into my adult hood, and churches still bore me.

It was a joke, Mr. Sensitive. Shit, I tried engaging you in serious conversation (reliability of surveys) and you didn't even answer. I make an off-hand joke and you're all over that.

Are you pretty much just going to stick to insults, then? I mean, I thought I had you pegged, but I'm usually surprised when I'm right about stuff like that.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
FreeHugMachine wrote:Might I

FreeHugMachine wrote:

Might I ask what made you a theist?  Was it a personal experience?

Well, there is sense of irony here, in that the heart of my disbelief, and my belief has always been suffering, not necessarily my own but in the lives of ones i loved, of a girl raped twice by two different men before the age of 8, a meek and innocent mother who had  to see the body of brutally murdered son, and the life of a woman that made no sense at all, who continued to hope and believe, in world that seemed so absent of Gods, particularly a loving one. How could a world such as this have any meaning at all? 

The only meaning if there ever was one, for me was and is in the Christian faith, in the image of the one whose answer for suffering is to embrace it as his own. Who proclaims even at the foot of the cross there is still hope. That it's our role in life  to embrace the suffering of men as ours as well, to carry the burdens of those who are too weary to do so on their own, to love, even when we are exhausted, to be convicted even on the verge of indifference. It's been in the empowering nature of the Gospel story, that I found belief. 

 

 

 

 


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:Well,

manofmanynames wrote:
Well, there is sense of irony here, in that the heart of my disbelief, and my belief has always been suffering, not necessarily my own but in the lives of ones i loved, of a girl raped twice by two different men before the age of 8, a meek and innocent mother who had  to see the body of brutally murdered son, and the life of a woman that made no sense at all, who continued to hope and believe, in world that seemed so absent of Gods, particularly a loving one. How could a world such as this have any meaning at all?

That's really sad. Seriously--irony off, here--I know people with equally terrible stories, and it just kills me to hear them. I have a hard time not being angry about things like that sometimes.

 

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


FreeHugMachine
FreeHugMachine's picture
Posts: 152
Joined: 2009-04-02
User is offlineOffline
So you believe in God

So you believe in God because people who have had traumatic experiences, truly awful, find comfort in their belief of him?  I find comfort in that the world can be made a better place by our own effort.

I agree that for some it may in fact be helpful, but I don't see the logic in excepting it for myself.  My grandparents are deeply religious, mainly because of how they were raised, and I would never bring up religion to them, but that doesn't mean I think they got it right.   Some people need crutches, or at least think they do.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, could you elaborate why you believe in Christ over any other comfort giving faiths?

 

[Free Hug]s are no longer available
Please refer to our older [Cheap Hug] model.
*provides slightly less comfort*


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
Hello, nice to meet

Hello, nice to meet you.

manofmanynames wrote:

Without citing the stats that have been done so on numerous occasions, we understand that surveys show that Atheist are one of the least liked people around (in America at least).

That's true. It's a very American thing. Don't get much of that over here.

manofmanynames wrote:
But the reason for this is not because Atheist do not believe in God, but because the impression that popular atheist give off, the only one that most people in the US come in contact with, is not likable.

Matter of opinion, but sure, some people might not find them likeable. *shrugs*

manofmanynames wrote:
Imagine if I came over for dinner and said that atheist are dipshits, if i was shown the door, or punched in the face it wouldn't be because I was a theist.

Okay.

manofmanynames wrote:
When Christianity first appeared on the scene the hostility directed towards it wasn't so much because of it being the new religion, but rather because of it's exclusiveness, a belief in the exclusivity of truth, that their religion and god are true, while all other religions and Gods are false. Popular atheism, such as that which is promoted by this site, present an atheistic belief in exclusivity as well, the "we know the truth, and those that don't also accept our truth are just bat shit crazy".

Having followed quite a few (not all) of the discussions on this board, it's my experience that most of the people here don't think of it as "our" truth. The general idea here seems to be that "people who make stuff up and treat it as scientific evidence, might very well be batshit crazy". I'm really hoping that's not an exclusive stand to take.

manofmanynames wrote:
The term atheist comes accompanied with the stench of anti-theism.
 

Smells like roses from where I'm standing.

manofmanynames wrote:
For most religious people who rarely ever come in contact with atheist, when asked a survey about what they think of them, can only draw their impressions from the Sapients, Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens of the world. So when asked a question of if one would mind having an atheist president,
 

Who says you haven't had one already ? Politicians lie. They really don't have any choice.

manofmanynames wrote:
the question for the individual being surveyed becomes would you mind having someone like Christopher Hitchens as president.
 

Can't help but wonder if said individual would even have bothered to remember Hitchens' name if the man had been "nicer" about it all.

manofmanynames wrote:
Imagine if someone asked you what you think of theist, and if your encounters and impressions of theist were only the Jerry Falwell type, that impression probably wouldn't be good, and would rather be quite negative.
 

You'd be surprised how many people like that kind of stuff. I sure am.

manofmanynames wrote:
If someone asked you if you would mind having a theist as president, with only the Jerry Falwell image as the impression, you'd be shaking in your boots too.
 

Again, just wondering, but do you, as a theist, consider Jerry Falwell to be a perfectly sane individual ?

manofmanynames wrote:
Fears of theocracy and the teaching of creationism in schools would abound.
 

Surely those are rational fears. There are such things as theocracies, and I'm pretty sure they're not kidding about teaching creationism. On the other hand, there is no such thing as the sadistic fantasy land atheism is supposed to lead to.

manofmanynames wrote:
Questions about if you would vote a theist, or an atheist as president are questions that have us probing what the role of that person's belief would be in our everyday life. Would they preach on the stage that we need to rid the world of religion, that theism is a mental disorder,
 

Uh, no, they wouldn't. An openly atheist president might do things like promote science and make churches pay taxes. Shock horror.

manofmanynames wrote:
remove children, such as myself, from my loving but fundamentalist christian parents for raising me up as a Christian.
 

No, they wouldn't. Don't know were you got that idea. And I'm assuming you're not talking about the kind of fundamentalist christians who'd deny their children food if they refuse to say "amen".

manofmanynames wrote:
The more viable these fears become,
 

Yeah, how does that happen ?

manofmanynames wrote:
by the misanthropy and anti-theistic views that abound amongst vocal atheist,
 

Oh, I see.

manofmanynames wrote:
those in the limelight, the less inclined individuals are going to be to view the hypothetical atheist, the hypothetical presidential candidate in a favorable light.
 

You know, there's a lot of political capital to be gained (again, in America mostly) from being as nasty as possible about anything or anybody who might be even remotely connected to atheism. That's not very nice, is it ? And yet a sizeable majority of individuals have no problem with that whatsoever. Seems to me there's a double standard here.

 

manofmanynames wrote:
Speaking from experience, I've been a disbeliever for much of my adult life, and it wasn't something I tried to conceal and hide all that much either. I hid it from my religious mother, not because I feared she would disown me or love me any less, but because it would mean that in her already tough life, she'd have something else to worry about. And also because I knew in her circumstance that it was only her religious belief, in a faith in God of purpose and meaning, could she find any hope in this life of hers. Her religion was a source of tremendous comfort for her, even I myself viewed it as a delusion, a fantasy at the time. 

Though I was an atheist, I didn't hold resentment towards the religion I was raised in. My impression of Christians wasn't tarnished by a few bad images of them. My childhood was filled with fond memories of the church where we used to burn toilet paper in the bathroom stalls, and play hang man in the pews.

 

I can relate.

manofmanynames wrote:

My friends had long known that I was a disbeliever, in fact my sister, and many of them often think that I'm still an atheist, and I smile at the accusations, rather than being offended by it.

 

It's not really made clear why you should be offended by it.

manofmanynames wrote:
I used to blog about my disbelief all the time, the circumstances, and the questions that led me there. Not once did someone turn to me with derision, or attempted to spit in my face for being a disbeliever. Friends and strangers who knew, welcomed me all the same.
 

That's good to hear. I'm truly happy for you.

manofmanynames wrote:
My disbelief was a personal choice, a product of sincere reflection, not one that I felt compelled to be evangelical about.
 

Did you never run into a situation where your atheism compelled you to speak up (in a polite and respectful way, of course) ? Lucky you, I guess.

manofmanynames wrote:
Often time questions and doubts about their own faith were brought to me even before they'd seek out their religious leaders.
 

Interesting. Did you bring many to the dark side ? Or were they strengthened in their faith by their confrontation with the evil atheist ? We get a lot of that here as well.

manofmanynames wrote:
If someone such as myself, at the time were to run for president I'm sure I'd get their votes as well. Their impressions of this atheist wouldn't be based on the popular images of them, such as the atheists that run sites such as this, and engage in evangelical campaigns, but rather personal knowledge of one that doesn't fit that misanthropic mold.
 

Sure, your friends would know you. But most of the theists who didn't know you would hear "atheist" and think "evil !", not because of sites like this, but because that's what they've been led to believe. And seriously, what "evangelical campaign" are you talking about ? And btw, what's stopping these people to aquire personal knowledge that doesn't fit that misantropic mold ? Is Hitchens going to spit in their faces if they ask to have a chat with him ?

manofmanynames wrote:
If we didn't have a rich history of theistic presidents, most of you would be just as skeptical about a hypothetical future one as president as many American Christians are. It's only because we know by our history that not all theistic presidents are George Bush, we have our Clintons, and our Obamas as well.

Sure, okay.

manofmanynames wrote:
To quote Hitchens: "People say they wouldn't vote for an atheist. How do they know they wouldn't? They haven't had an offer from a decent atheist yet. I don't think thats a real question for an opinion poll to be asking. [...] If republicans had been asked in the 1970's: would they vote for a divorced, ex-movie actor, they probably would have said no."

I'll take your word for that. Never read any of his stuff. Like I said, don't be so sure you haven't had an atheist president yet. Some of them go to church and suffer in silence.

manofmanynames wrote:
Most people don't dislike atheist just because they don't believe in God. Most of this dislike stems from what they believe the opinion of the atheists views on their religion are. If you believe someone doesn't like you, thinks of you as an idiot, as delusional, or what not, you're probably not going to like them that much either.

Stands to reason, that if somebody really is an idiot, he's not going to thank you for pointing that out. Having proof helps.

manofmanynames wrote:
Trust me, I know, i often call the beliefs of some atheist here on this forum as idiotic and delusional, and let's just say I haven't made many friends here. 

Hey, I'll be your pal. You can call me delusional all you like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:That

manofmanynames wrote:

That it's our role in life  to embrace the suffering of men as ours as well, to carry the burdens of those who are too weary to do so on their own, to love, even when we are exhausted, to be convicted even on the verge of indifference.

 

Could you accept that someone might come to the same conclusion (phrased differently, of course) without any kind of theistic belief ? I apologise if this is a stupid question, but I'm every day confronted with people who would answer "no, that's not possible".


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
Anonymouse

Anonymouse wrote:

manofmanynames wrote:

That it's our role in life  to embrace the suffering of men as ours as well, to carry the burdens of those who are too weary to do so on their own, to love, even when we are exhausted, to be convicted even on the verge of indifference.

Could you accept that someone might come to the same conclusion (phrased differently, of course) without any kind of theistic belief ? I apologise if this is a stupid question, but I'm every day confronted with people who would answer "no, that's not possible".

I don't know if you even have to phrase it differently. I'd say that describes the role I'm comfortable with, just without the assumption that it's in the servitude of some kind of God.

On the other hand, since I discount free will, it's not like I take "credit" for such action.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


spike.barnett
Superfan
spike.barnett's picture
Posts: 1018
Joined: 2008-10-24
User is offlineOffline
Kevin R Brown wrote:We are

Kevin R Brown wrote:

We are disliked because your Bible tells you to dislike us.

 

Full stop.

I can't believe no one responded to this. This is in my opinion the largest contributor. The Bible clearly states in many places that non-believers are not to be trusted and should be shunned. Zealots who preach the word are all to happy to relay this message to their flock.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.

The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
MySpace


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Anonymouse wrote:Could you

Anonymouse wrote:

Could you accept that someone might come to the same conclusion (phrased differently, of course) without any kind of theistic belief ?

Well, I'm not exactly sure about what your asking me to accept. I mean, I'm sure there are atheist who devote a great deal of their lives for suffering people, and feel a great deal of fulfillment out of it. I don't believe such an endearing engagement with humanity is exclusively theistic. My own engagement might be dependent on my theism, but I have no trouble accepting that others are not dependent on it.

Quote:
I apologise if this is a stupid question, but I'm every day confronted with people who would answer "no, that's not possible".

No, it's a perfectly valid question. And to sum up what I just said: I have no problem accepting that it's possible for others, i just don't believe it to be possible for myself. If it where, than I wouldn't have become a theist.


Nordmann
atheist
Nordmann's picture
Posts: 904
Joined: 2008-04-02
User is offlineOffline
Quote:The only meaning if

Quote:

The only meaning if there ever was one, for me was and is in the Christian faith, in the image of the one whose answer for suffering is to embrace it as his own. Who proclaims even at the foot of the cross there is still hope.

 

Which only goes to demonstrate that, despite your avowed earlier "atheism", you had never lost the propensity and inclination to revert to delusional thinking.

 

The atheistic view is that the compassion demonstrated by the Jesus character - and the character himself to a large extent - is a very human invention. This in fact is even more reassuring than the religious viewpoint in that it demonstrates that humans, capable of inflicting great harm on each other as your post illustrates, are also capable of understanding at least the need for a society where such harm's effect is minimised and hopefully neutralised through the expedience of forgiveness, an admittedly difficult concept to communicate especially in the aftermath of such harm. They might therefore delusionally ascribe the quality to a religious deity but the concept came from them, whether they acknowledge the fact or not.

 

In my own travels around this globe I have found such a desire for compassion is pretty much universal, regardless of the religious mindset in operation, and in fact where it has been suppressed most coincides often with areas where deep religious conviction has acquired social dominance. Not exclusively of course, but it is by no means a guarantee that its adherents will behave compassionately.

 

Which leaves us with the question of why you as an individual require to believe the concept is validated primarily by its ascription to an invented divine persona. Losing faith in the inherent goodness of people is easy and understandable in the wake of injury inflicted by people, but to divert it into a religious icon - while seemingly a smart move in that it allows you to retain the concept - is, to me, simply just another way in which religion subverts important human principles and stifles their understanding and application, not enhances them. What you really require is to re-establish your confidence in your fellow human but what you have opted for is a cynical attribution of all that is good about people to divine influence. Both you and humanity are ill served by such false attribution. Religion, that great sump pit of damaged perspectives, is the only winner.

 

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote: I

manofmanynames wrote:

 I have no problem accepting that it's possible for others, i just don't believe it to be possible for myself.

But why wouldn't it be possible for you ? Why would you choose to believe that ?


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13675
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:I think

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I think he makes some good points.

 

 

And I'd just like to point out that many atheists do generalize theists into Fred Phelps like people.

 

 

 

That is a bunch of crap.

"Not all Muslims are terrorists" DUH, thanks for cluing us in. Which is not the same as saying.

"The 19 hijackers of 9/11 were Muslim".

Capt. give us some credit here. We do know how to separate the claim from the person making the claim. Criticising deity claims includes criticising the common overlap of a given label. That does not mean we make blanket judgments about individuals based on label.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


OrdinaryClay
Theist
Posts: 440
Joined: 2009-04-19
User is offlineOffline
HisWillness wrote:Balkoth

HisWillness wrote:

Balkoth wrote:

HisWillness, he's right about the various surveys.  I'm fairly sure you've seen a decent number yourself, so I hope you're just objecting due to the fact he didn't reference any.

Well kinda. I actually haven't seen any of these surveys, but then, I'm pretty critical of surveys, as the only people who seem to want to participate in them are either bored or lonely. That, and the way surveys are worded can have a serious effect on how they're answered, so I consider surveys suspect on many levels.

Surveys have to be taken individually. To dismiss them entirely would be a waste of available data. There are tools to reduce the concerns you have. 

 


OrdinaryClay
Theist
Posts: 440
Joined: 2009-04-19
User is offlineOffline
Kevin R Brown wrote:We are

Kevin R Brown wrote:

We are disliked because your Bible tells you to dislike us.

 

Full stop.

Any atheist that denies their own actions as part of the reason they are individually disliked is - well in denial. It is very clear when visiting any atheist forum that there is a majority dislike, even hatred, by many atheists for Christians. I have been the target of absurd caricatures many times. 


JillSwift
Superfan
JillSwift's picture
Posts: 1758
Joined: 2008-01-13
User is offlineOffline
OrdinaryClay wrote:Any

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Any atheist that denies their own actions as part of the reason they are individually disliked is - well in denial. It is very clear when visiting any atheist forum that there is a majority dislike, even hatred, by many atheists for Christians. I have been the target of absurd caricatures many times. 

You seem to be carrying a very broad brush.


 

"Anyone can repress a woman, but you need 'dictated' scriptures to feel you're really right in repressing her. In the same way, homophobes thrive everywhere. But you must feel you've got scripture on your side to come up with the tedious 'Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve' style arguments instead of just recognising that some people are different." - Douglas Murray


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Nordmann wrote:Which only

Nordmann wrote:

Which only goes to demonstrate that, despite your avowed earlier "atheism", you had never lost the propensity and inclination to revert to delusional thinking.

Nordman, I know you're a quick draw on the delusional card, with tendency to assert views or opinions on others, that are not their own. But I have the tendency to lose patience, and become annoyed when having to continually confront misconceptions people have of me, that they base solely on naive and baseless assumptions. Unlike most individuals here, i have very strong, learned, and precise analytically understand of my religious beliefs, in fact I often speak of them solely in psychological terms, informed by the views of psychoanalyst such as Erich Fromm. So rather than jumping the gun, and reaching baseless conclusions about my beliefs, I suggest you learn to probe them, to ask questions, and base your assumptions based solely on those responses. 

An example of your erroneous jumping the gun, in a thought that pervades much of your argument:.

Quote:
"They might therefore delusional ascribe the quality to a religious deity but the concept came from them, whether they acknowledge the fact or not."

You seem to assume here that I delusionally believe the concept doesn't come from us, when in fact I do, that all religious concepts are in fact our own expressions. And often times when people ascribe qualities to a deity, like love, justice, mercy, forgiveness, they are merely symbolic expressions, rather than overtly literal ones attributing qualities to a bearded white man in the sky. It's the idealizing of the terms, love, justice, mercy, forgiveness, a belief in them to be the real treasure of human existence, the concern of lives that matter, that we speak of them as sacred. Often what's missed in the christian gospels, is the gospels claim no division between god and man, Jesus himself becomes an expression of humanity, and divinity. That human love is an expression of divine love, that our own acts of compassion, our love for human beings, are expressions of God's love, the what we do for the least, is what we do for god. 

God, and divinity are symbolic words for the worship of the qualities themselves. When John claims that God is Love, it's not a claim that God loves, but rather that Love is God. When God becomes an object, in the expression of Jesus as God, it's a claim of what centers this worldview for the believer, an object of devotion to unfold our potentialities. 

We are not merely instinctual beings, nor are we beings capable of acting by our reason alone. Our selfawarness, and our instinctual impulses are the source of the dichotomy of human nature, of the Pauline predicament of having a will inherent in us opposed to our own, why we can believe something to be good and act against it. Merely knowing what's good and evil, does very little to keep us doing good. Without an object of conviction morality is just empty words. We are dependent on a source that empowers our love. 

In the secular humanist perspective the object is humans themselves, the suffering a man is the source of their conviction to love. And this may be an easy pill for them to swallow, what does in fact produce conviction in them, but I say that I don't swallow it, because that worldview doesn't produce that conviction in me. While it may not be that hard to feel compassion for the raped child, it's immensely difficult to feel love for the perpetrator as well. Love your enemies, to notion of loving humanity which encompasses both good and bad alike, victims and perpetrator, is not an easy pill to swallow. 

Suffering also has the ability to harden us, to turn us into the rich man that leaves Lazarus knocking at the door, for me personally theirs a sense of coldness that pervades my life, I don't like it, but it's there. The irony of the human predicament, is me on a bus, when a poor old man came and sat next to me, with tattered clothes, and i was repulsed by him and his stench, with a wish that they didn't allow individuals like that on the bus at all. And then also at the same time, there's a sense of compassion for this fellow as well, that wonders how he got here, a desire to see him cleaned up and fed. I may perceive compassion as good, and indifference as bad, but the perception alone is not a convicting enough.

What's convicting is the idealization of the supremacy of love, in the midst of our indifference, and for me, the ultimate or the most perfect ideal is Jesus Christ, whose love, was not only for those who wept for him as he was crucified, but also to those that drove the nails. To exalt him as the ultimate way and means of life, is to exalt him as God. I have no qualms in claiming loyalty and kingship to him alone, and his vision. It's the vision of love that's ultimately redeeming, and transforming that keeps my indifference at bay, that I can find a sense of love to victim and perpetrator alike, and believe that they both can be healed. 

Quote:
Religion, that great sump pit of damaged perspectives, is the only winner.

Well, perhaps you can teach me on how my perspective has been damaged by my religion. 

 (this is also a response to the anonymous fellow as well)


ClockCat
ClockCat's picture
Posts: 2265
Joined: 2009-03-26
User is offlineOffline
D:

manofmanynames wrote:

Both Christianity and atheism are exclusivists beliefs, and one of the side effects of holding an exclusivist beliefs, is that they often produce a sense of superiority, and arrogance amongst their holders. Its why atheism as simply a disbelief in god, has morphed into a sort of movement, to rid the world of theism, of disbelief as the savior of mankind. Passions are at play here.

 

...what?

Really, what the hell are you talking about? You are acting like Atheism is some kind of doctrine, and everyone goes to an atheist-church to listen to someone tell them battle plans.

 

 

Are you okay?

 

 

Atheism is not an exclusive idea, or one idea for that matter. It is simply a lack of belief in any divine being. To say that it is some kind of "movement" is....odd, at best. To say that it is praising disbelief is strange too.

 

 

I think you put yourself in a corner here and are convinced the whole world is trying to get you.

Theism is why we can't have nice things.


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:The

manofmanynames wrote:

The irony of the human predicament, is me on a bus, when a poor old man came and sat next to me, with tattered clothes, and i was repulsed by him and his stench, with a wish that they didn't allow individuals like that on the bus at all. And then also at the same time, there's a sense of compassion for this fellow as well, that wonders how he got here, a desire to see him cleaned up and fed. I may perceive compassion as good, and indifference as bad, but the perception alone is not a convicting enough.

Well quite. I'm not sure how any of this adresses my question.

manofmanynames wrote:
What's convicting is the idealization of the supremacy of love, in the midst of our indifference, and for me, the ultimate or the most perfect ideal is Jesus Christ,

That much is clear. But my question was simply why would you need that ? Why would you need the idealisation of Jesus Christ to convince you to do anything ? Aren't there enough other reasons ?

manofmanynames wrote:
whose love, was not only for those who wept for him as he was crucified, but also to those that drove the nails. To exalt him as the ultimate way and means of life, is to exalt him as God. I have no qualms in claiming loyalty and kingship to him alone, and his vision. It's the vision of love that's ultimately redeeming, and transforming that keeps my indifference at bay, that I can find a sense of love to victim and perpetrator alike, and believe that they both can be healed.

Are you suggesting atheists can't "find a sense of love to the victim and perpetrator alike" ? From your earlier answer, I'm guessing you're not making that claim. Which leaves me wondering again why you would need God.

 

manofmanynames wrote:
(this is also a response to the anonymous fellow as well)

I did my best, but I can't find an answer to my question in this post. Guess I'll just have to rephrase it and try again later. All the best to you.


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Atheism is not an

ClockCat wrote:
Atheism is not an exclusive idea, or one idea for that matter. It is simply a lack of belief in any divine being.

I already painted an example with Christianity of what it means to hold an exclusivity truth. It quite simple, it cannot be true that there is only "one true god" and many true gods. It cannot be true that there is a god, and no god. In the pagan tradition there is no one true god, the gods could live pluralistically in the pantheon. Some ones belief in their version of a deity was not a problem, it became a problem when Christianity proclaimed exclusivity, in a belief in only one true God, implying all other gods were false.

Dawkins has a quote that runs with this notion of exclusivity, that " Atheists just believe in one fewer god than Christians". 

Quote:
To say that it is some kind of "movement" is....odd, at best. To say that it is praising disbelief is strange too.

I never said that atheism is itself a movement, there's plenty of atheist that I've encountered, including my former self that didn't treat my atheism as a "movement". I'm referring to those atheist, that believe their atheism is a sort of cure, as one of mottos of this forum goes "believe in God? we can fix that?", and who feel the need to spread atheism to the four corners of the world. Surely you don't deny that there are such atheist? and that we don't need to search real far for them?

I might as well deny the elephant in the room. 

ClockCat wrote:

Really, what the hell are you talking about? You are acting like Atheism is some kind of doctrine, and everyone goes to an atheist-church to listen to someone tell them battle plans.

No, I don't think atheism is any sort of doctrine, or even a movement. I just said that some individuals treat it as such, and do make a movement out of it, that some engage in "campaigns" to spread it, that exalt the supposed virtues of atheism, as superior to religions own. That's all.

Quote:
I think you put yourself in a corner here and are convinced the whole world is trying to get you.

Well, I don't think anyone here is trying to get me, other than perhaps my bitter ex-girlfriend. But I run into atheist all the time; they're quite abundant on this forum, that desire to cure me of my theism, that view my beliefs a sort of disease, that they seek to find the remedy for. I don't fear the confrontation, in fact I rather enjoy it, hence my presence on this forum. So I'm not exactly sure of what sort of corner you believe I painted. 


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
OrdinaryClay wrote:Any

OrdinaryClay wrote:

Any atheist that denies their own actions as part of the reason they are individually disliked is - well in denial. It is very clear when visiting any atheist forum that there is a majority dislike, even hatred, by many atheists for Christians.

And any theist that denies their own actions as part of the reason they are individually disliked is, well, in denial too ?

 

OrdinaryClay wrote:
I have been the target of absurd caricatures many times. 

Same here.


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13675
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames

manofmanynames wrote:

ClockCat wrote:
Atheism is not an exclusive idea, or one idea for that matter. It is simply a lack of belief in any divine being.

I already painted an example with Christianity of what it means to hold an exclusivity truth. It quite simple, it cannot be true that there is only "one true god" and many true gods. It cannot be true that there is a god, and no god. In the pagan tradition there is no one true god, the gods could live pluralistically in the pantheon. Some ones belief in their version of a deity was not a problem, it became a problem when Christianity proclaimed exclusivity, in a belief in only one true God, implying all other gods were false.

Dawkins has a quote that runs with this notion of exclusivity, that " Atheists just believe in one fewer god than Christians". 

Quote:
To say that it is some kind of "movement" is....odd, at best. To say that it is praising disbelief is strange too.

I never said that atheism is itself a movement, there's plenty of atheist that I've encountered, including my former self that didn't treat my atheism as a "movement". I'm referring to those atheist, that believe their atheism is a sort of cure, as one of mottos of this forum goes "believe in God? we can fix that?", and who feel the need to spread atheism to the four corners of the world. Surely you don't deny that there are such atheist? and that we don't need to search real far for them?

I might as well deny the elephant in the room. 

ClockCat wrote:

Really, what the hell are you talking about? You are acting like Atheism is some kind of doctrine, and everyone goes to an atheist-church to listen to someone tell them battle plans.

No, I don't think atheism is any sort of doctrine, or even a movement. I just said that some individuals treat it as such, and do make a movement out of it, that some engage in "campaigns" to spread it, that exalt the supposed virtues of atheism, as superior to religions own. That's all.

Quote:
I think you put yourself in a corner here and are convinced the whole world is trying to get you.

Well, I don't think anyone here is trying to get me, other than perhaps my bitter ex-girlfriend. But I run into atheist all the time; they're quite abundant on this forum, that desire to cure me of my theism, that view my beliefs a sort of disease, that they seek to find the remedy for. I don't fear the confrontation, in fact I rather enjoy it, hence my presence on this forum. So I'm not exactly sure of what sort of corner you believe I painted. 

Quote:
that view my beliefs a sort of disease, that they seek to find the remedy for. I don't fear the confrontation, in fact I rather enjoy it, hence my presence on this forum. So I'm not exactly sure of what sort of corner you believe I painted.

 

Good, then you will love me, I have fangs and I do use them. I'll be happy to "duke it out with you" provided you understand it is about YOUR CLAIMS and not you personally. I'll start another thread in atheist vs theist.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


manofmanynames (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
 manofmanynames wrote:That

 

manofmanynames wrote:
That much is clear. But my question was simply why would you need that ? Why would you need the idealization of Jesus Christ to convince you to do anything Aren't there enough other reasons?

We all need something to move us, or we would remain stagnant. I can wish for many thing to move me, but they don't by the wish alone. I find Jesus Christ to be moving, not because I willed him to be moving, but because I just do. Why am I moved by Jesus Christ? Because he presents to me a vision, and way of life, that epitomizes all that I truly desire, that one would sell his whole life for. There is something deeply moving about this portrait and all that it represents for me, far more moving than anything else that I've have ever encountered in life. 

I don't know of any secular alternative, a secular worldview that I find as equally moving to me. Humanism may be a competing alternative, and I used to attend humanist gatherings in the past when I was a disbeliever, but i was as moved by humanism, as I was by the Sunday morning sermons of my youth, which is to say not moved at all. I just couldn't turn to Ted Turner as a source of inspiration. This is not to say that some people don't find humanism moving, it's just to say that I didn't. 

Quote:
Are you suggesting atheists can't "find a sense of love to the victim and perpetrator alike" ? From your earlier answer, I'm guessing you're not making that claim. Which leaves me wondering again why you would need God.

Well, it should be noted that I've been explicitly claiming what I myself needed, I'm not making claims for what other atheist need. 

And I'm sure you'll rephrase the last question here, because in asking this Christian why he needs God, you're asking why does he need Jesus Christ, and I have already said why, because  I find nothing else as moving. 

But it should be noted that when I say that I find nothing else as moving, this is not to say that there is for sure nothing else out there that can be just as equally or even more moving, but just that I have not found it, and this is not out of a lack of searching. I may also doubt that there is such an alternative for me, but thats only because I lack the ability to conceive what this hypothetical alternative would be like.

 

 


FreeHugMachine
FreeHugMachine's picture
Posts: 152
Joined: 2009-04-02
User is offlineOffline
...

Why accept the supernatural though?  Jesus was certainly a step in the right direction in those times, but civilization has made vast progress since his era.  I don't see why one should accept he was the son of God just because he had some nice ideas.  And might I assume you don't practice all that Jesus tells his followers to do?  I have found motivation from works by several fiction writers, but never do I think the characters to be real.

 

[Free Hug]s are no longer available
Please refer to our older [Cheap Hug] model.
*provides slightly less comfort*


HisWillness
atheistRational VIP!
HisWillness's picture
Posts: 4100
Joined: 2008-02-21
User is offlineOffline
OrdinaryClay wrote: Surveys

OrdinaryClay wrote:

 

Surveys have to be taken individually. To dismiss them entirely would be a waste of available data. There are tools to reduce the concerns you have.

 

It's just not a reliable method to discover anything. You're right that I would have to take each individually, but that's kind of the problem. The tools to reduce my concerns would be things like reading the questions as they are posed, which could vary especially in the case of phone polls, or polls taken on the street.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


thatonedude
Superfan
Posts: 327
Joined: 2008-01-15
User is offlineOffline
manofmanynames wrote:We all

manofmanynames wrote:

We all need something to move us, or we would remain stagnant. I can wish for many thing to move me, but they don't by the wish alone. I find Jesus Christ to be moving, not because I willed him to be moving, but because I just do. Why am I moved by Jesus Christ? Because he presents to me a vision, and way of life, that epitomizes all that I truly desire, that one would sell his whole life for. There is something deeply moving about this portrait and all that it represents for me, far more moving than anything else that I've have ever encountered in life. 

And what, pray tell, is this vision? That it is ok to allow others to suffer in your place? That sentient beings can be owned like cattle? That it can be just to punish finite beings infinitely?

Quote:

I don't know of any secular alternative, a secular worldview that I find as equally moving to me. Humanism may be a competing alternative, and I used to attend humanist gatherings in the past when I was a disbeliever, but i was as moved by humanism, as I was by the Sunday morning sermons of my youth, which is to say not moved at all. I just couldn't turn to Ted Turner as a source of inspiration. This is not to say that some people don't find humanism moving, it's just to say that I didn't. 

And yet, nailing a god(who cannot REALLY die) to a piece of wood to cleanse you of your sinful condition(a condition that said god, being infinitely wise and benevolent, created you in) and therefore becoming an utterly subservient thrall to that god is somehow meaningful?

Quote:

Well, it should be noted that I've been explicitly claiming what I myself needed, I'm not making claims for what other atheist need. 

I would take this opportunity to question what it is in your psychological makeup that creates such a need. I know, in my case, that it was largely driven out of a fear of death and a desire to further bond with my father.

Quote:

But it should be noted that when I say that I find nothing else as moving, this is not to say that there is for sure nothing else out there that can be just as equally or even more moving, but just that I have not found it, and this is not out of a lack of searching. I may also doubt that there is such an alternative for me, but thats only because I lack the ability to conceive what this hypothetical alternative would be like.

 

I was convinced of this myself, until the moment that I admitted that a belief in god was untenable, and I discovered that that lack of belief didn't cause my morality, values or sense of worth to change much. I realized that much of this is built upon the simple foundation of normal human social interactions.

 

 

All that is necessary for the triumph of good is that evil men do nothing.