Atheism, Theism, and the Future

Observer
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Atheism, Theism, and the Future

I would just love to hear some ideas and notions to how to respond to theism in general for the future. Let us say that the influences of this era contain the seeds of a very secular direction for the United States propelled at the world wide level by the kernels of teaching by Dawkings, Hitchens, and others and driven at the grassroots level by groups like the RRS, individual youtubers, and additional people online. If this is the case, then maybe one day atheists would no longer be the minority in the world, but the majority.

 

If this scenario plays out, how do you deal with the residue of theism left? I would love to hear your opinion on some hypothetical topics below. Please leave your input by explaining how people should address these individual issues below. Some answers may simply be "nothing." Thanks.

 

  1. How do you deal with parents that want to tell their children they may die and burn in hell for eternity if they do not follow a certain God? Do you sensor it? Do you charge them with child abuse? Do you punish them? Do you remove the children from the home? Do you do nothing and hope the children will come to “your side” when they are older and have the opportunity to think for themselves?

 

  1. What do you do with the tax exemption religious organizations enjoy? Do you remove it? Do you keep it as a way to keep church and state separate? What do you do?

 

  1. What do you do to preachers that tell their congregations that homosexuality is wrong and that they should, legally, appose gay marriage?

 

  1. What do you do to churches that “convert” people and then convince them to give 10%+ to their church? Should this money be used for better things? Is it wrong to give money to what atheists view as a delusion when we need funding for stem cell research and other scientific arenas of progress? Could you force individuals to not make transactions that the majority sees as ridiculously wasteful?

 

  1. How do we psychologically address theists if the world is dominantly atheist? After all, if somebody today REALLY believed they heard voices and that imaginary people existed in the real world, we should surely look for a psychological problem in his or her life and treat that individual. What do you do then to the theists left that still believe in the sky hook of God? Do you treat them? Do you let them be?

 

  1. What do you do with school clubs like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes? What should happen to a school that allows pastors to pray before football games (a common occurrence in the South). In other words, what do you do with schools that clearly cater to Christianity?

 


HisWillness
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Observer wrote:How do you

Observer wrote:
(1) How do you deal with parents that want to tell their children they may die and burn in hell for eternity if they do not follow a certain God?

In a free and open society, it would be ridiculous to attempt to restrict parent-child culture.

Observer wrote:
What do you do with the tax exemption religious organizations enjoy? Do you remove it? Do you keep it as a way to keep church and state separate? What do you do?

You tax them like every other charitable organization, if they qualify as a charitable organization. Otherwise, tax accordingly as the community sees fit. Keeping tax exemption hardly separates church and state, as it gives religious institutions special status.

Observer wrote:
What do you do to preachers that tell their congregations that homosexuality is wrong and that they should, legally, appose gay marriage?

See 1.

Observer wrote:
What do you do to churches that “convert” people and then convince them to give 10%+ to their church? Should this money be used for better things? Is it wrong to give money to what atheists view as a delusion when we need funding for stem cell research and other scientific arenas of progress? Could you force individuals to not make transactions that the majority sees as ridiculously wasteful?

See 1.

Observer wrote:
How do we psychologically address theists if the world is dominantly atheist? After all, if somebody today REALLY believed they heard voices and that imaginary people existed in the real world, we should surely look for a psychological problem in his or her life and treat that individual. What do you do then to the theists left that still believe in the sky hook of God? Do you treat them? Do you let them be?

That's a case-by-case problem. Just like now, if a person can't function properly and seeks help, one would hope that it would be available. Until that person becomes a danger to themselves or others, there's no reason to go after them (given 1, a free and open society).

Observer wrote:
What do you do with school clubs like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes? What should happen to a school that allows pastors to pray before football games (a common occurrence in the South). In other words, what do you do with schools that clearly cater to Christianity?

See 1.

In the United States, you have a clear right to assembly, and explicit freedom of religion, so I don't really see the problem. It would be ridiculous for a secular majority to reverse the ideals of a secular-leaning group of founding fathers.

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


Hambydammit
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 Why do so many people

 Why do so many people equate atheism with totalitarianism?

The reason atheism will spread (if it continues to spread) is that IT MAKES THE BEST SENSE.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit wrote:Why do so

Hambydammit wrote:
Why do so many people equate atheism with totalitarianism?

Oh, it totally is. We're such fascists. All we want is for people to think clearly about their lives and options. It's an OPPRESSIVE AGENDA!

I'm guessing it's like any other culture that feels threatened and vilifies the opposition.

Hambydammit wrote:
The reason atheism will spread (if it continues to spread) is that IT MAKES THE BEST SENSE.

Wrong! It's because hot chicks are into it! What are you talking about with "sense"? As if that does anything.

Let's compare:

Case A: You should believe X because it makes sense.

Booooooriiiing.

Case B: You should believe X because that hot chick with the glasses in the lab coat thinks a rational mind is sexy. She's not about to let some invisible whatsit tell her who to have sex with. She might even want to have sex with you.

I'm in. Where do I sign up?

(Obviously, for other sexual preferences, just substitute your version of attractive.)

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


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That is why I made this

That is why I made this thread. I was curious to see what direction people wanted to go in. There are some who see teaching a child a concept of hell as abuse and therefore a need to intervene.  The other issues probably arn't as sensitive as that one. I just wanted to see who had a more militant approach and who had more of a "let bygones be bygones" approach.


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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

(Obviously, for other sexual preferences, just substitute your version of attractive.)

This could get ugly.  (Where the hell is that damned drum set!?)


 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:
The reason atheism will spread (if it continues to spread) is that IT MAKES THE BEST SENSE.

Wrong! It's because hot chicks are into it! What are you talking about with "sense"? As if that does anything.

Will is right. People will choose whatever makes them feel the best. Telling people there are no miracles and you'll probably go into oblivion when you die doesn't feel so great. So it doesn't matter that we make more sense unless this translates into feeling better.

The only way atheism could become dominant is if we have better drugs and technology(i.e. the vat) to make people feel better than being religious. Having hotter chicks than theists will certainly help with the men.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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My thoughts are essentially

My thoughts are essentially the same as Will's.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Observer wrote:There are

Observer wrote:
There are some who see teaching a child a concept of hell as abuse and therefore a need to intervene.

I actually agree with the first part, but not with the second. I see threatening a child with hell (as is the usual method of "teaching" ) to be terrorizing children. There's no reason to do that. Children who are well behaved become confused, frightened, and self-critical, and children who are ill behaved can believe they're already doomed, and thus can find an easier rationalization for continuing to behave badly.

But there's no way for anyone to consider their country free and open, and restrict the culture of its people. So you just have to let that one go. With physical abuse, or neglect, the state can intervene to save the child's life, but to go any farther is to step all over the idea that people are free to think as they want.

So while I disagree with and decry the behaviour, to make it illegal would be counter-productive. I think feeding your children McDonald's is a bad idea, too, but there's no way I would seek to eliminate the choice to do so.

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


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1: Leave them alone2: Give

1: Leave them alone

2: Give them tax benefits on the portion of their income they use for charitable purposes, they would probably have to translate to two seperate institutions for tax reasons, like a subsidiary.

3: Leave them alone

4: Leave them alone

5: Leave them alone unless they hurt someone

6: Leave them alone - if society was mostly atheist no-one would authorize prayer before a game, parents would be outraged, etc. no need for government to be involved.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Religion is child abuse

 

I sat through the revelations sermons when I was 7 (preacher father, missionary mother) and can remember running screaming from a rapture movie

at the brethren chapel that same year. My parents took spare the rod and spoil the child to a special new level. There's something particularly galling about

having your parents pray over your naked body before they whip you. Then there's the business of eternal damnation. Believe me when I tell you this, it is child abuse.

If my child had this pap forced on them my reaction would be dangerous.

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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 When religious abuse

 When religious abuse passes muster as defined by the government, then sure... the government should step in.  I'm pretty sure anything involving a naked child and a whipping utensil gets into questionable territory, especially if there is mental abuse going on as well.

But that's not singling out religious abuse.  It's just saying that religious people don't get a free pass to do something other people can't.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Yas, for the most part

Yas, for the most part we should not try to control religion. Should it transpire that we end up in a majority (not likely in my lifetime), would we be justified in treating the remaining religious people in ways that we don't want to be treated by them today? I tend to think not.

 

In any case, one cannot really stop people from going to church and forking over 10% of their income. Past that, I don't buy the argument that that money is automatically better spent on other things. Sure, the guys who run mega-churches and flit around the country in private jets with gold plated toilet handles are not spending donations in any way that I would consider proper.

 

However, apart from that, churches do spend quite a bit of money on good things like hospitals for burned children and homeless shelters. If I have a look into my dusty crystal ball, I get a vague image of a time when churches which are no longer able to exert power on a large scale (and buy the aforementioned private jets) turning back to those more positive aspects of what they could and should be doing with the money.

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Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

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Hambydammit
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 I wish I had a handy link

 I wish I had a handy link to the article, but somebody refuted the notion that the church and healthcare have much of anything to do with each other.  The vast majority of money for hospitals, including religious hospitals, comes from the government and non-Christian sources.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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I admit I do not know a lot

I admit I do not know a lot about this Hambydammit. However, I really wonder if the denominations that control hospitals really see the hospitals as apart of their overall mission.  It seems to me the hospitals probably started as a strong part of the mission of the denominations. However, it seems today you will see Baptist, Jewish, Catholic, and other hospitals with religious titles because when you put a religious name on an organization you get to have more control over what you do, such as with how to handle reproductive topics. I am pretty sure there are also further tax breaks than secular non-profit organizations. I am not trying to put down the hospitals that do this. Hospitals are crucial to any community. I am just trying to figure out why the name stays when the goal of the hospital is clearly secular and not really religious.