The status of the atheist movement.

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The status of the atheist movement.

Hamby's recent series of blog entries has sparked some interest and debate on the status and the future of atheists and the atheist movement.

 

So rather than [continue to] de-rail his blog's comments section, I'd like to open up a more broad discussion rather than just focusing on a specific issue. Plus more people can weigh in.

 

 

Here are his entries in order:

 

The Politics of being atheist


The Politics of  Tolerance


The Politics of being Out


Christian Philosopher: It’s About Morality

 

I'm Alison in the comments.

 

 MOD EDIT:  Might as well add this one too.  It's today's entry.  -HD

Belief:  Smoke and Mirrors

Anyway, the issues  are how do we improve the atheist image problem? Do you agree with the proposed methods? Why do atheists have an image problem? Is the atheist movement contributing to the image problem? Is Theist [or more specifically faith based] cognitive bias a different kind of cognitive bias or does faith based reasoning somehow makes the cognitive bias worse than "normal" cognitive bias?

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Hamby's

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Hamby's recent series of blog entries has sparked some interest and debate on the status and the future of atheists and the atheist movement.

 

So rather than [continue to] de-rail his blog's comments section, I'd like to open up a more broad discussion rather than just focusing on a specific issue. Plus more people can weigh in.

 

 

Here are his entries in order:

 

The Politics of being atheist


The Politics of  Tolerance


The Politics of being Out


Christian Philosopher: It’s About Morality

 

I'm Alison in the comments.

 

 

Anyway, the issues  are how do we improve the atheist image problem? Do you agree with the proposed methods? Why do atheists have an image problem? Is the atheist movement contributing to the image problem? Is Theist [or more specifically faith based] cognitive bias a different kind of cognitive bias or does faith based reasoning somehow makes the cognitive bias worse than "normal" cognitive bias?

 

 

I'm for both camps in the context of TIME PLACE AND CONTEXT. I don't think there is one way to skin a cat. I would say in your day to day lives do kind things for others, donate to charity ect ect ect. What I am not for is censorship via law. Life is situational and how we deal with it should be as well.

And considering that atheists had virtually no voice before 01 I'd say we have grown and improved by leaps and bounds.

 

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I'm with Brian on this

I'm with Brian on this one.  How vocal I am about my atheism really depends on the situation.

If I am meeting a new customer or a customer that I have interfaced very little, I am not going to say "Hello, my name is Steve, and I am an atheist".  No reason to do so, and in a customer relationship, I just prefer to keep things on a professional level. 

If I am with a group of acquaintences, I usually will not bring the subject up.  If, however, the subject leads in that direction, or someone is talking about atheism littered with falsehoods, then I will speak up politely to correct them.  If asked, I will be fairly brief and polite.  If they wish to discuss further, then we can go down that route.

If someone knocks on my door to talk about how their way is right, then I will remail polite, but become more aggressive.  My feeling is that when you come on my property as a stranger and question my beliefs, then be prepared for some tough questions and answers.

This goes with the framing of the argument as well (which has been discussed many times on this board).  If the argument they use has loaded questions, I simply answer by negating the premise.  For example, if someone says "Wouldn't you rather spend eternity in salvation rather than damnation?"  I answer with "The thought of existing eternally sounds horrible.  Any eternal afterlife would be damnation."  And so on...

The only time I get riled to where I may act extremely aggressive is when the belief applies to public policy.  My tolerance level drops to near zero at this point.

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kidvelvet wrote:I'm with

kidvelvet wrote:

I'm with Brian on this one.  How vocal I am about my atheism really depends on the situation.

If I am meeting a new customer or a customer that I have interfaced very little, I am not going to say "Hello, my name is Steve, and I am an atheist".  No reason to do so, and in a customer relationship, I just prefer to keep things on a professional level. 

If I am with a group of acquaintences, I usually will not bring the subject up.  If, however, the subject leads in that direction, or someone is talking about atheism littered with falsehoods, then I will speak up politely to correct them.  If asked, I will be fairly brief and polite.  If they wish to discuss further, then we can go down that route.

If someone knocks on my door to talk about how their way is right, then I will remail polite, but become more aggressive.  My feeling is that when you come on my property as a stranger and question my beliefs, then be prepared for some tough questions and answers.

This goes with the framing of the argument as well (which has been discussed many times on this board).  If the argument they use has loaded questions, I simply answer by negating the premise.  For example, if someone says "Wouldn't you rather spend eternity in salvation rather than damnation?"  I answer with "The thought of existing eternally sounds horrible.  Any eternal afterlife would be damnation."  And so on...

The only time I get riled to where I may act extremely aggressive is when the belief applies to public policy.  My tolerance level drops to near zero at this point.

I think you misunderstand me. Our goal as atheists is to live up to the stereotypes of theists. We should all barbecue kittens and have posters of Hitler and Stalin on our walls. We should never like or love anyone who has beliefs we find absurd. We should be as strict as North Korea and Iran. I masturbate over Po Pot dude, that is a "true atheist". I think YOU are a poser.

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i'm burning kittens right

i'm burning kittens right now.


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NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:i'm

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

i'm burning kittens right now.

u are fucking sick

 

 

btw that is my university

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Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
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No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
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 So yeah, I've been AWOL

 So yeah, I've been AWOL from this site for a while.  Suffice it to say that my personal and professional life has been occupying about 25 hours a day, and it's all I've been able to do to keep my own blog up and running.  I'm really interested in hearing some opinions on these pieces, though.  RRS has always been sort of "cutting edge" with regard to "in your face atheism," and while I don't think I'm saying anything that contradicts most of what RRS does, I do think these thoughts might add another dimension to the discussion.

I'll be watching with interest, and will comment if somebody raises a point I haven't addressed.

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Taken out of order:Quote:Why

Taken out of order:

Quote:
Why do atheists have an image problem?

I think it is entirely safe to say that the only reason is because of demonization by theists, largely based on anti-atheist religious dogma.

Without theism, and without anti-atheistic dogma, there would be zero reason for the image problem.

Quote:
Is the atheist movement contributing to the image problem?

Have you ever had a negative rumour spread about you? Have you ever tried to counter that rumour? Have you ever noticed that when you try to counter a negative rumour, oftentimes it just reinforces the rumour in the minds of certain people? Is it fair to blame the target of a negative rumour for the perpetuation of the rumour in the minds of rumour mongers?

Some people just love to spread rumours. It's fun! It makes people feel special and privileged. "I know something you don't know!" It's especially ego-boosting when the rumour is self-serving, for example by lauding 'us' or denigrating 'them'. And some people are just in it for the lulz.

This kind of rumour-mongering attitude is entirely out of the hands of the targets of the rumours. No matter what you do, good or bad, it will be twisted into grist for the rumour mill.

On the other hand, not everyone has a rumour-mongering attitude. And for those people, there are better and worse tactics for countering negative rumours.

So, in the context of non-rumour-mongering people, is the atheist movement contributing to the image problem? No. I don't think so.

I think we're in a phase where 100 different things are being tried. Some of those things work, some fail, and some back-fire. But for the most part, most of the time, they are working. And we continue to re-use what works, and experiment with new ideas to find tactics that work even better.

For example, the initial atheist bus campaign was kind of a fluke. But it worked. And now there are dozens of variations on that idea. By and large, they work.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
how do we improve the atheist image problem?

In the short run, keep trying variations on working ideas, and keep coming up with new ideas.

In the long run, it will come down to how effectively we can penetrate the 'mainstream'. IMO, this will require a DeGeneres-type shift in the popular media (TV, movies, music, radio, novels, games, etc.), where atheist-related themes saturate the popular media to the point where a major 'hero' type character is exposed as holding a *realistic* atheist position, and it's treated as, "Yeah, I'm atheist, so what?" and accepted by the general public. House M.D. doesn't really count because he's not a realistic atheist.

In support of the long-run goal, we should be pursuing the development of pro-atheist popular media.

Quote:
Do you agree with the proposed methods?

Whatever works.

Quote:
Is Theist [or more specifically faith based] cognitive bias a different kind of cognitive bias or does faith based reasoning somehow makes the cognitive bias worse than "normal" cognitive bias?

To me, this is a loaded question. What is 'unique'? What is 'normal'? Some people take extreme positions, such that nothing can be considered unique, or everything is unique.

Faith is unique in the sense that it deserves its own distinct concept, i.e. 'faith' as opposed to 'trust'. Faith is not unique in the sense that there is nothing fundamentally different about it that puts it outside of the general category of 'cognitive error'. Is 'change blindness' unique, or not? Is 'wishful thinking' unique or not?

Faith is unique because it's a kind of meta-error, in that you believe something *because* you believe it. As in, you use the fact that you believe X as additional evidence in favour of believing X. The concept of faith, then, is the belief that this error is actually the highest form of insight. It is deceiving yourself that self-deception is the surest path to knowledge.

As such, it is self-reinforcing. If a slick salesman convinces me to buy a lemon, and my friend points out that I was fooled by the salesman's charismatic pitch, I can examine that situation and say, "Ah ha! My imperfect human brain arrived at the wrong conclusion because of a cognitive error, and now I'm going to change my mind." But if you simply add in the extra ingredient of faith, then suddenly this normal and healthy self-correction procedure gets SNAFU'd, and I say, "I have faith that the lemon is the right choice, and the fact that this is what I believe is proof that it really is the right choice. Therefore, the fact that I was convinced by a slick sales pitch only goes to show how important and good faith is for making the right choices. And since faith is so important, it must be even *more* true that the lemon is the right choice!"

Most other cognitive errors don't have this kind of self-reinforcing effect. Some do. For example, many of the psychological defenses like denial and projection can have a self-reinforcing effect. For example, if I'm in denial about X, and Joe points out that X is true, then I will often start to deny Joe as a reliable witness. "How dare you accuse my wife of cheating! You're just trying to break up our marriage!" What makes faith unique is that nobody says, "I'm right because I deny that I'm wrong," whereas they will say, "I'm right because I have faith that I'm right." The cognitive error is seen as a reliable path to truth. It's a meta-error.

So, yes, faith is a particularly dangerous cognitive error. T-Rex is a particularly dangerous kind of dinosaur. Does that mean T-Rex isn't really a dinosaur? No. Is T-Rex still unique? Yes, depending on your criteria of uniqueness. Same with faith.

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NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:i'm

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

i'm burning kittens right now.

Thank you my minion. Now to secure your place in the ranks of the lowest of the low, you must give an account of the NFL without it's express written permission.

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I steal internet, does that

I steal internet, does that count?


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NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:I

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:

I steal internet, does that count?

Obeying the law is fine. Making fun of the status quo doesn't have to mean breaking the law. I nibble on the food at my job. Certainly not worth the death penalty, but if caught and the owner wants to fire me, how would they be out of place?

It's called satire. My condemnation of something absurd does not mean I am super human myself.

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 Quote:I think it is

 

Quote:
I think it is entirely safe to say that the only reason is because of demonization by theists, largely based on anti-atheist religious dogma.

Without theism, and without anti-atheistic dogma, there would be zero reason for the image problem.

That would be true in a vacuum, and I agree that it's the original cause of the stigma.  However, once atheists start talking in public about theism and morality and such, they are creating new layers of their image.  I'm not saying anyone in particular is doing anything right or wrong.  I'm just saying that image is an evolving thing, and we're visible enough that we need to start taking responsibility for our image as it evolves.  We have the power to say things in emotionally appealing ways or in adversarial ways, and that affects our image.

 

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote: Quote:I

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
I think it is entirely safe to say that the only reason is because of demonization by theists, largely based on anti-atheist religious dogma.

Without theism, and without anti-atheistic dogma, there would be zero reason for the image problem.

That would be true in a vacuum, and I agree that it's the original cause of the stigma.  However, once atheists start talking in public about theism and morality and such, they are creating new layers of their image.  I'm not saying anyone in particular is doing anything right or wrong.  I'm just saying that image is an evolving thing, and we're visible enough that we need to start taking responsibility for our image as it evolves.  We have the power to say things in emotionally appealing ways or in adversarial ways, and that affects our image.

 

 

 

 

I think the problem is religion is a sacred cow though.  It is hard to present the atheistic standpoint to the theistic public without looking 'bad' by default.

It will be a very slow process, all we can do is encourage out own atheist communities to avoid doing any really stupid stuff that will damage our fledgling image.  It would also be nice to see more activism by atheists that is not directly related to atheism.  And of course, focus on youngsters so they see a positive message relating to atheism.

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


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Hambydammit wrote: Quote:I

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
I think it is entirely safe to say that the only reason is because of demonization by theists, largely based on anti-atheist religious dogma.

Without theism, and without anti-atheistic dogma, there would be zero reason for the image problem.

That would be true in a vacuum, and I agree that it's the original cause of the stigma.

That answer was in response to the question of why atheists have an image problem.

Quote:
I'm just saying that image is an evolving thing, and we're visible enough that we need to start taking responsibility for our image as it evolves.  We have the power to say things in emotionally appealing ways or in adversarial ways, and that affects our image.

That's what the rest of my post was about.

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I agree with Brian37 [his

I agree with Brian37 [his first post anyway] there is a time and place for everything and the simple act of living our lives and people knowing we're atheist will help.

 

kidvelvet wrote:

I'm with Brian on this one.  How vocal I am about my atheism really depends on the situation.

If I am meeting a new customer or a customer that I have interfaced very little, I am not going to say "Hello, my name is Steve, and I am an atheist".  No reason to do so, and in a customer relationship, I just prefer to keep things on a professional level. 

If I am with a group of acquaintences, I usually will not bring the subject up.  If, however, the subject leads in that direction, or someone is talking about atheism littered with falsehoods, then I will speak up politely to correct them.  If asked, I will be fairly brief and polite.  If they wish to discuss further, then we can go down that route.

If someone knocks on my door to talk about how their way is right, then I will remail polite, but become more aggressive.  My feeling is that when you come on my property as a stranger and question my beliefs, then be prepared for some tough questions and answers.

This goes with the framing of the argument as well (which has been discussed many times on this board).  If the argument they use has loaded questions, I simply answer by negating the premise.  For example, if someone says "Wouldn't you rather spend eternity in salvation rather than damnation?"  I answer with "The thought of existing eternally sounds horrible.  Any eternal afterlife would be damnation."  And so on...

The only time I get riled to where I may act extremely aggressive is when the belief applies to public policy.  My tolerance level drops to near zero at this point.

 

I agree, nothing in my views prevents disagreeing and voicing disagreement. I also agree that there is a time and place for everything and context is important.

 

 

 

 

natural wrote:

 

Have you ever had a negative rumour spread about you? Have you ever tried to counter that rumour? Have you ever noticed that when you try to counter a negative rumour, oftentimes it just reinforces the rumour in the minds of certain people? Is it fair to blame the target of a negative rumour for the perpetuation of the rumour in the minds of rumour mongers?

Some people just love to spread rumours. It's fun! It makes people feel special and privileged. "I know something you don't know!" It's especially ego-boosting when the rumour is self-serving, for example by lauding 'us' or denigrating 'them'. And some people are just in it for the lulz.

This kind of rumour-mongering attitude is entirely out of the hands of the targets of the rumours. No matter what you do, good or bad, it will be twisted into grist for the rumour mill.

On the other hand, not everyone has a rumour-mongering attitude. And for those people, there are better and worse tactics for countering negative rumours.

So, in the context of non-rumour-mongering people, is the atheist movement contributing to the image problem? No. I don't think so.

I think we're in a phase where 100 different things are being tried. Some of those things work, some fail, and some back-fire. But for the most part, most of the time, they are working. And we continue to re-use what works, and experiment with new ideas to find tactics that work even better.

For example, the initial atheist bus campaign was kind of a fluke. But it worked. And now there are dozens of variations on that idea. By and large, they work.

 

 

Yeah, but if the rumor is that I'm a snarky little bitch and then go around acting like a snarky bitch that doesn't help anything right?

 

 

I agree on the rumor spreading, haters gonna hate, but I still do feel that what we can at least minimize the damage. Because

 

You of course seen the comments I made that I think the atheist movement has to be very careful and why we may be contributing.

 

natural wrote:

To me, this is a loaded question. What is 'unique'? What is 'normal'? Some people take extreme positions, such that nothing can be considered unique, or everything is unique.

Faith is unique in the sense that it deserves its own distinct concept, i.e. 'faith' as opposed to 'trust'. Faith is not unique in the sense that there is nothing fundamentally different about it that puts it outside of the general category of 'cognitive error'. Is 'change blindness' unique, or not? Is 'wishful thinking' unique or not?

Faith is unique because it's a kind of meta-error, in that you believe something *because* you believe it. As in, you use the fact that you believe X as additional evidence in favour of believing X. The concept of faith, then, is the belief that this error is actually the highest form of insight. It is deceiving yourself that self-deception is the surest path to knowledge.

As such, it is self-reinforcing. If a slick salesman convinces me to buy a lemon, and my friend points out that I was fooled by the salesman's charismatic pitch, I can examine that situation and say, "Ah ha! My imperfect human brain arrived at the wrong conclusion because of a cognitive error, and now I'm going to change my mind." But if you simply add in the extra ingredient of faith, then suddenly this normal and healthy self-correction procedure gets SNAFU'd, and I say, "I have faith that the lemon is the right choice, and the fact that this is what I believe is proof that it really is the right choice. Therefore, the fact that I was convinced by a slick sales pitch only goes to show how important and good faith is for making the right choices. And since faith is so important, it must be even *more* true that the lemon is the right choice!"

Most other cognitive errors don't have this kind of self-reinforcing effect. Some do. For example, many of the psychological defenses like denial and projection can have a self-reinforcing effect. For example, if I'm in denial about X, and Joe points out that X is true, then I will often start to deny Joe as a reliable witness. "How dare you accuse my wife of cheating! You're just trying to break up our marriage!" What makes faith unique is that nobody says, "I'm right because I deny that I'm wrong," whereas they will say, "I'm right because I have faith that I'm right." The cognitive error is seen as a reliable path to truth. It's a meta-error.

So, yes, faith is a particularly dangerous cognitive error. T-Rex is a particularly dangerous kind of dinosaur. Does that mean T-Rex isn't really a dinosaur? No. Is T-Rex still unique? Yes, depending on your criteria of uniqueness. Same with faith.

 

 

The question arose form the blog comments that whether the Fundemental Attribution Error commited by Christians is a special one and different than the one from a naturalist because the Christian one involves faith based belief.

 

I don't think it is. It's the same FAE, considering that in Hamby's first entry of the series, referenced a "30days" TV episode in which an atheist reduced or eliminated a Christian's FAE, in preciously the same way predicted by "regular" [as opposed to the FAE that has faith based beliefs attached] FAE. So it seems to me that FAE commited by a person with faith based beleifs seems to be the same as FAE of a person without faith based beliefs. I think FAE does have a self re-enforcing effect.

 

 

 

 


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Brian37 wrote:kidvelvet

Brian37 wrote:

kidvelvet wrote:

I'm with Brian on this one.  How vocal I am about my atheism really depends on the situation.

If I am meeting a new customer or a customer that I have interfaced very little, I am not going to say "Hello, my name is Steve, and I am an atheist".  No reason to do so, and in a customer relationship, I just prefer to keep things on a professional level. 

If I am with a group of acquaintences, I usually will not bring the subject up.  If, however, the subject leads in that direction, or someone is talking about atheism littered with falsehoods, then I will speak up politely to correct them.  If asked, I will be fairly brief and polite.  If they wish to discuss further, then we can go down that route.

If someone knocks on my door to talk about how their way is right, then I will remail polite, but become more aggressive.  My feeling is that when you come on my property as a stranger and question my beliefs, then be prepared for some tough questions and answers.

This goes with the framing of the argument as well (which has been discussed many times on this board).  If the argument they use has loaded questions, I simply answer by negating the premise.  For example, if someone says "Wouldn't you rather spend eternity in salvation rather than damnation?"  I answer with "The thought of existing eternally sounds horrible.  Any eternal afterlife would be damnation."  And so on...

The only time I get riled to where I may act extremely aggressive is when the belief applies to public policy.  My tolerance level drops to near zero at this point.

I think you misunderstand me. Our goal as atheists is to live up to the stereotypes of theists. We should all barbecue kittens and have posters of Hitler and Stalin on our walls. We should never like or love anyone who has beliefs we find absurd. We should be as strict as North Korea and Iran. I masturbate over Po Pot dude, that is a "true atheist". I think YOU are a poser.

Hehehe! I need to work on this... Smiling

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Me:"Yes, so is light and gravity. Pardon me while I flash this strobe while dropping a bowling ball on your head. This shouldn't bother you; after all, these are just theories."


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Hamby is among my favorite

Hamby is among my favorite humans.... just sayin'


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 Awww...

 Awww...

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Really cool stuff.I've read

Really cool stuff.
I've read a lot from your blog, and while I've always had a lot of respect and sympathy for your views, and while I've sometimes even found them to be quite convincing, this is perhaps the first time I've found you to be really on the same page as me. I think you expressed many of my own opinions on the subject even better than I do.

Cheers!


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Rich Woods wrote:Hamby is

Rich Woods wrote:

Hamby is among my favorite humans.... just sayin'

WHAT? BUT HE'S AN ATHEIST!........(Note to self: Did I think that, or type it?)

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Brian37 wrote:I'm for both

Brian37 wrote:
I'm for both camps in the context of TIME PLACE AND CONTEXT. I don't think there is one way to skin a cat. I would say in your day to day lives do kind things for others, donate to charity ect ect ect. What I am not for is censorship via law. Life is situational and how we deal with it should be as well.

And considering that atheists had virtually no voice before 01 I'd say we have grown and improved by leaps and bounds.

I've come to see the bit in bold as perhaps one of your strongest ideals.
Many of your posts express it and you hold no exceptions, especially when defending the rights of people you strongly disagree with.
Even when some of us have jumped onto an emotional bandwagon of anger towards those who have offended us and suggested that we'd want them silenced, you'd stick to this prinicple like steel.

I thought now was as good as time as any to say:
Although I've debated you in the past, and sometimes I've shown a bit of sympathy for some kinds censorship, I've come to agree with you 100%.
While I recognise the problems of hate speech and false information and can understand where censors get their concerns from, censorship is totally the wrong way to go about things. Among the usual problems cited (such as violation of human rights, the potential corruption and misuse, how it bottles up rage that can eventually burst out in an even less "peaceful" ways) I think it's also a lazy way to combat challenging viewpoints. Instead, we should be training people to recognise the ways they can be mislead and sharpening their own BS detectors instead of trying to filter for them.


Kapkao
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The *real* status of the Atheist Movement

With NO ONE On Our Side

Finally the storm arrives
Our way is at an end
Under dark winter skies
We make our final stand

For each of us there are four of them
It matters not to us
We won't leave his field in shame
We are here to crush

Futile to resist
You know why we have come
Futile to resist
The battle is already won

Our hearts are full of pounding rage
Our minds hard as steel
And before the dying day
We will have you kneel

The snow turns red from all the blood
Severed limbs and heads
A sacrifice to NO ONE's god
It will claim the dead

Under winter skies
We stand glorious
And with NO ONE on our side
We are victorious

No retreat
No remorse
Victory
Will be ours

Blood on steel
Sacrifice
Victory
Will be ours

Under winter skies
We stand glorious
And with NO ONE on our side
We are glorious

Futile to resist
You know why we have come
Futile to resist
The battle is already won

Futile to resist
You know why we have come
Futile to resist
The battle is won

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Hambydammit
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 I'll have a lot more to

 I'll have a lot more to say on my blog in coming days, and I'll probably repost it here, but I was really pleased at the direction and focus of the American Atheists Conference this year.  It seems like a lot of movers and shakers in the atheist movement are starting to get on the "marketing" bandwagon.  The idea is that you don't gain respectability by being elitist and exclusionary.  We need to find ways to market ourselves in a positive light to the ten to twenty million atheists in the country who are still "in the closet."  We need to make it cool and socially acceptable to come out.

Nobody there had any wool pulled over their eyes, though.  People were talking about 25-50 year strategies, which I think is reasonable.  They also brought in people with expertise in strategic marketing and sales, which I thought was brilliant.

Anyway, stay tuned.  I'll update in more detail soon.

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

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


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Hambydammit wrote:  It

Hambydammit wrote:

  It seems like a lot of movers and shakers in the atheist movement are starting to get on the "marketing" bandwagon.  

Theism - Because eternal paradise is way better than eternal torture.

Atheism - Because babies are tasty.

 

I think we're going to loose.

We better hope science comes up with a better anti-anxiety drug than religion.

 

 

“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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Hambydammit wrote: I'll

Hambydammit wrote:

 I'll have a lot more to say on my blog in coming days, and I'll probably repost it here, but I was really pleased at the direction and focus of the American Atheists Conference this year.  It seems like a lot of movers and shakers in the atheist movement are starting to get on the "marketing" bandwagon.  The idea is that you don't gain respectability by being elitist and exclusionary.  We need to find ways to market ourselves in a positive light to the ten to twenty million atheists in the country who are still "in the closet."  We need to make it cool and socially acceptable to come out.

Nobody there had any wool pulled over their eyes, though.  People were talking about 25-50 year strategies, which I think is reasonable.  They also brought in people with expertise in strategic marketing and sales, which I thought was brilliant.

Anyway, stay tuned.  I'll update in more detail soon.

Ah, so nobody there thought the world will end suddenly in 2012, amiright?

 

Interesting....

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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It *does* help when you make

It *does* help when you make your living on the premise of being an Atheist/Libertarian who champions non-traditional marriage... It must suck to have to hold your tounge