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Misty
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Greetings

Hello, All.

 

My name is Misty. I used to be an apathetic atheist. I spent the majority of my life holding quietly to my disbelief and allowing others to believe as they chose. That's changing for me.  In the last week I've had one Jehova's Witness and two Mormons knocking on my door, not to mention the bibles that my daughter's public school tried to force on her and the fact that I know which churches most of her teachers attend despite never having a personal conversation with them. This is getting out of hand. I can't stand idly by and allow these silly superstitions that far into my life. I am desperately trying to raise a rational, skeptical child who loves science and learning, yet at every turn I am faced with people attempting to undermine that, as if it's a terrible thing that I'm doing. One of the Mormon missionaries even attempted to lure my child off from me and try to convince her to come to their church. She's 12. Shameless!

 

So, that is why I am here. I am reaching out to the atheist community for ideas, support, and just to know I'm not alone.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

~Misty

"Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason and anti-science. The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education and science to take over."
– Madalyn Murray O’Hair


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Hiya --That really sucks

Hiya --

That really sucks about the Mormons and your child.  I am not sure but I would be tempted to call the cops.  Really.  Isn't that kidnapping?  Don't know if anyone would go for that take on it, but really .....

I lived next door to some Mormons for years.  Literally, next door.  And they would occasionally have the young men missionary types staying with them.  Who would then show up at my house frequently.  We got where we would tell them we read the book of Mormon daily and had memorized the bible.  None of which was true.  And the gal came over and asked us - what were we saying to those young men?  And she didn't mean to pry, but could we please tell her what we believed?  So we did.  And she said she would tell them to leave us alone; that we were good people and didn't want to be bothered.

So maybe you need to make friends with their host so you can get their host to have them leave you alone.  May not work if the host family are not as pragmatic as my neighbor was.

You know they send the young men out to be "missionaries" when they turn 18 for a year or so.  The idea being that they spread the word and so on.  Usually, they send them to some other part of the country to another Mormon family rather than over seas.  Pity - I often wish more of them succumbed to cannibalism.

JWs are another kettle of fish entirely.  The only option with them is to shut the door in their face.  Firmly.  My sister is a JW - they are all nuttier than a fruitcake.

I, too, would prefer to be apathetic.  But like you, I don't want someone's religion shoved in my face.  When my sons were young, it wasn't near the problem it is now.  Fortunately, my grandson is a born skeptical atheist.  Hang, vent, post often.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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Hi Misty.  And welcome.I am

Hi Misty.  And welcome.

I am the father of three daughters.  15, 8, and 6.

And as for my opinion, I would not be concerned with this.  Indeed it may be better to encourage your daughter to learn all about religion.  Let her go to her friend's churches, Mosques, Temples, whatever.

Then discuss with her the hard questions.  The ones that kids raised in religion are never taught.

My mother is a diehard evolution denying Southern Baptist.  Every summer she takes my two youngest daughters home with her for a couple weeks to attend her church's summer bible school.  And I'm fine with this.

Sometimes the little ones will even make statements talking about god and whatnot, or Jesus.  Again, I'm fine with this.

But as they age I will discuss with them more and more in a calm manner certain problems with these beliefs.  I will ask them seemingly simple questions that makes them ruminate on the answers.

I refuse to attack religion in a vitriolic way in front of them.  Heck, even if they grow up and become die hard believers in some religion it will not matter to me.

I'm going to love them no matter what.  And I will always be here for them when they need me with open arms and a big smile.

I'm raising them to love learning, to have an interest in everything, and to question everything.  That's the best I can do.  But whatever happens with their life choices, that's their choice.  That's their life.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Welcome! I'd offer advice,

Welcome!
I'd offer advice, but not being a parent gives me little experience to draw upon. I'd probably move or piss everyone off. lol

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Welcome, Misty!I know what

Welcome, Misty!

I know what you mean about being an apathetic atheist. I was brought up in an entirely secular home. The only time there was ever any dialogue of religion in my home was when I was very young and asked my mother WTF was this 'god' thing that other kids were babbling about. Being that I've never grew up or lived in an area that had a high concentration of nutters, religion to me was about as much a concern to me as astrology.

The events of 9/11 changed that for me forever, as well as having a young daughter.

You have to realize that you have a huge advantage over what your kids will believe vs what they'll believe from a stranger. You need to use that advantage and undermine any efforts that strangers will try and 'put into' your child's mind when you're not present.

In other words, teach them young, that ignorance abounds in society. Teach them what the Bell curve is, and let them know that the majority of people are certifiably ignorant, not very bright, and weak and vulnerable.

No kid 'wants' to be weak and vulnerable. They want to be strong and independant.

Teach them what 'subjectivity' is, and what 'objectivity' is. The difference between 'fact' and 'opinion', and teach them as much of the batsh1t crazy voodoo bullsh1t that 'weak minded vulnerable' people will buy into.

And then, encourage them to read. Give them the proper things to read and watch.

There are plenty of great video series on YouTube by atheists that debunk all the religious falsehoods, and teach the scientific understandings on every single important issue that religions claim to have 'answers' for.

 

As far as other people trying to discuss the 'spirituality' of your children, either with them or you, this is where you must draw a clear line in the sand and tell people to back the fuck off. That is 'personal', and not open for debate or discussion, because it really isn't.

The best thing you can do for your children is to arm them with the best tools to defend themselves in the world.

Teaching them how to filter out bullsh1t is 'Job 1'.

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Welcome

Welcome Misty

I understand the feeling of wanting your child to be rational. I have two kids 2 and 4. I use any opportunity that I can to have my oldest reason though things and I was so proud of her after our cat died. Our babysitter said something like well it's good he is with god now and my daughter said no he is in the back yard helping the flowers grow. He is going back to the earth. I have no problem with either of them being exposed to religion and other ideas. I went though a period in my early teens when I went to dozens of churches of many faiths. I fully expect my children to do much the came thing except they will have me behind them encouraging logic and reason. As I believe watcher said if they do for some reason choose to be religious I will certainly discuss it with them but I will not hold it against them.

 

I want them to be able to use their own minds and not just be for lack of a better term sheep in the flock.

Nice to meet you. You will find this is a great place for sharing these kinds of issues and many others.

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

You see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.


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Welcome aboard.

Welcome aboard.

You will find a wellspring of information here.

It took me quite awhile, after I left religion altogether, to become an open Atheist that does not shy away from the subject.

For a long time, I was afraid to debate and argue with theists. They were always throwing things at me that would either stump me or make me feel foolish when I questioned god's existence (notice I said questioned, for I was not prepared to try and argue for what I had come to believe or rather NOT to believe).

Reading Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and a few others, along with all of the sources and intelligent people on this site, helped to change all of that.

I am not afraid to debate anyone about the non-existence of god nor am I afraid of being trapped by all of their logical fallacies and shallow reasoning.

Stick around. If you have ANY questions about some of these theist arguments, feel free to ask. I got some great feedback on certain theist arguments by asking questions on here.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Jeeze, Misty.   I see your

Jeeze, Misty.   I see your online status all the time on here this past couple of days.

At least respond to us.   Say anything, "I like this person's advice, I don't agree with this other person's advice...etc."

We won't hold it against you.

You're not supposed to agree with us.   Any of us.   Actually it's heartwarming when any of us agree with each other on some topic.  Cause that shit is rare.   But then we start spitting nails at each other on another topic that we definetly DO NOT agree with.

That's fine.   This is the one place on the internet it will always be fine.   Be fearless.   Tell us to fuck off.   Tell us anything.   But tell us something.

What do you personally think you should do with your daughter?   I would never tell you that you are wrong.  Crap, I'm winging the raising of my own daughters.  And I'm sure I'm making major mistakes.

"I am an atheist, thank God." -Oriana Fallaci


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Contribution

I toss in my two cents worth when I feel I have something to add to a conversation. If it's above my head, I take note of it and then wander off to learn about what I've missed. I learn from everyone and many of the conversations that interest me, I've got a lot of catching up to do. I promise you, I'm not being shy or standoffish.  I just typically don't flap my jaw (metaphorically speaking) unless I've got something useful/constructive to say. I'll leave that to..well...*grin*, I think we can name a few groups that say less than constructive things.

 

As to my online status, I leave my PC on a lot and periodically check the threads I'm following. Online doesn't always mean 100% at the keyboard. I'm not superwoman. =-)

 

The raising of children is a delicate matter. Thus far I think my wee one is doing fine. She's bright, eager to learn, skeptical, and head-over-heals for evolutionary biology. She refers to the god of her friends as "...*sigh*...stupid sky-fairy". I remind her to be polite in public, which she does but at home she is free to vent her frustrations. She has given me little reason to worry about her logical mind, the post was more to illustrate how far some people will go to indoctrinate.

 

I find this forum to be fascinating and filled with some very well educated people. If it's not a problem, I'd like to spend some time learning and getting a feel for the formalities of polite debate. Thank you for noticing, though. =-)

"Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason and anti-science. The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education and science to take over."
– Madalyn Murray O’Hair


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Misty wrote:I find this

Misty wrote:

I find this forum to be fascinating and filled with some very well educated people. If it's not a problem, I'd like to spend some time learning and getting a feel for the formalities of polite debate. Thank you for noticing, though. =-)

I think Watcher was more just trying to give a friendly/snarky prod to continue the conversation. There's no pressure, Misty, and you are definitely welcome to participate at your own pace, and that's totally up to you. But on the other hand, feel free to post/comment whenever you get the urge, also. Jump right in, whatever. Either way, totally up to you.

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Oh, I know. I think I've got

Oh, I know. I think I've got a feel for it. I post when I've got something constructive to add. Thus far, everyone has been wonderful and I feel very comfortable expressing my thoughts. Thanks for making me feel so welcome.

"Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason and anti-science. The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education and science to take over."
– Madalyn Murray O’Hair


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Misty wrote: I find this

Misty wrote:

 

I find this forum to be fascinating and filled with some very well educated people. If it's not a problem, I'd like to spend some time learning and getting a feel for the formalities of polite debate. Thank you for noticing, though. =-)

It took me quite alot of practice and time to polish some of my debating skills and points. Both online and with theists in public.

If your a mother, no doubt your very busy most of the time. But, both being on a few forums and reading books by Hitchens and Dawkins helped me quite a bit along the way.

I'll tell you another great avenue to pick up some pointers, Youtube. There are several Atheist Activist Channels out there that are brilliant at getting right to the point and are very entertaining. I can provide several links to several of their homepages. Simply click subscribe and start watching them.  It would be hard for me to pick a favorite youtube atheist. But check out a couple of these videos :

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6_9QmM6

I love this one. It is called, What if Atheists acted like religious people ? :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pwwvBygoFA&feature=relmfu

Here is a good one :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0sftrzOQ_Y

Ricky Gervais, Atheism should not offend :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1XGTrrZjlI&feature=related

EDIT : Top link did not work for some reason.  

 

 

 

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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Looks like top link got cut

Looks like top link got cut short. Its code only has 8 characters, and the other codes have 12.


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Misty wrote: Thus far,

Misty wrote:
Thus far, everyone has been wonderful and I feel very comfortable expressing my thoughts.

I doubt you'll find anywhere on the internet that is more tolerant of free speech than here.

Misty wrote:
Thanks for making me feel so welcome.

Tell some friends. It would be great to see more women becoming more involved in active atheism.

BTW, your avatar is awesome!

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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redneF wrote:I doubt you'll

redneF wrote:
I doubt you'll find anywhere on the internet that is more tolerant of free speech than here.

QFT. The only sites I've ever seen where you were less likely to be banned for speaking your mind were the kind of sites you wouldn't want to go to in the first place, because the standards are so low you see all sorts of disgusting things you thereafter wish you'd not seen in the first place. Of all the civilised sites on the internet, the RRS stands above the VAST majority in protecting free speech.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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I'm trying to get my husband

I'm trying to get my husband to join up. He's the real genius at debate. His take is, "When you spend sixteen years with the rock hard cock of Jesus shoved down your throat, eventually you fucking choke."

He comes from a near evangelical Missouri Senate Lutheran family. He was forced to go to a Lutheran school k-12 and was expected to become a minister.  That didn't work so well. He was kicked out of his apologetics class for systematically defeating their arguments. Currently he's in university working on a double major (Biology and Secondary Education) so that he can work on the front lines, defeating ignorance in grades 6-8.  I think he will probably join up here when he has a little less on his plate.  He's taking 18 credits this semester.

Thanks, I chose that avatar as a direct expression of the unimaginable frustration involved in dealing with closed-minded ignorance. Though in truth, I'm not sure ignorance actually qualifies as ignorance if it's willful. Perhaps then "stupid" is more appropriate.

 

@Vastet lol /b/ I am aware. *grin* There are some things that you just can't un-see. Rule 34 is good for that.

"Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason and anti-science. The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education and science to take over."
– Madalyn Murray O’Hair


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Hi.

 

 

 

 

                             I'd like to add my welcome to all the others. But there is a proviso,  the regulars like to gather en mass in order/  and only so that they can debate the topics.  So if anyone asks about the RRS you can tell them that it is just a bunch of people who like to mass  debate.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

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Misty wrote:My name is

Misty wrote:

My name is Misty. I used to be an apathetic atheist. I spent the majority of my life holding quietly to my disbelief and allowing others to believe as they chose. That's changing for me.  In the last week I've had one Jehova's Witness and two Mormons knocking on my door, not to mention the bibles that my daughter's public school tried to force on her and the fact that I know which churches most of her teachers attend despite never having a personal conversation with them. This is getting out of hand. I can't stand idly by and allow these silly superstitions that far into my life. I am desperately trying to raise a rational, skeptical child who loves science and learning, yet at every turn I am faced with people attempting to undermine that, as if it's a terrible thing that I'm doing. One of the Mormon missionaries even attempted to lure my child off from me and try to convince her to come to their church. She's 12. Shameless! 

Hello! Good to see you're making a stand. Show them you care about your daughter and you're ready to defend her, that she's not an easy prey for these child snatchers. When you learn some arguments, you might even get to see this as a kind of sport, verbal wrestling... Discussing it is a fun for a while, as long as the believers try to justify themselves with some kind of logic. It feels good to show them, that they never had any logic, in the first place. So they stop using it and often make claims so wrong and absurd, that you'll be left speechless, unless you're really well prepared. Watch out for that. And maybe your daughter would like to hear such a discussion too, if she's the interested type.
But the most effective protection against religion seems to be just a lack of interest in things spiritual and philosophical. 

 

cj wrote:
 I lived next door to some Mormons for years.  Literally, next door.  And they would occasionally have the young men missionary types staying with them.  Who would then show up at my house frequently.  We got where we would tell them we read the book of Mormon daily and had memorized the bible.  None of which was true.  And the gal came over and asked us - what were we saying to those young men?  And she didn't mean to pry, but could we please tell her what we believed?  So we did.  And she said she would tell them to leave us alone; that we were good people and didn't want to be bothered.
Mormons? What are they like? I never saw them, neither I know much of them, except I know something of their craziness from Youtube videos. Also, one of my favorite writers, Orson Scott Card was from a Mormon family. Looks like they have a knack for wild imagination. 

How do Mormons try to convert people into their bat-shit crazy cult? They certainly don't say they (older members) wear a magical underwear. Neither they admit, that their founder was known for his hardly believable stories and all this religion is based on visions and rumors of golden tablets that magically disappeared. And they probably don't want you to see this original Mormon cartoon. Then there is of course the polygamy and I heard rumors of Mormons mass murdering their non-Mormon neighbours back in the old days. So what do they actually lure people with?

cj wrote:
 JWs are another kettle of fish entirely.  The only option with them is to shut the door in their face.  Firmly.  My sister is a JW - they are all nuttier than a fruitcake. 
It helps a lot to be into occultism and meditations. My family only gets a visit once a year or two. Unfortunately, so far I've missed them every single time! One day I must get to hear the discussion. Maybe even stew them a little by myself.

 

 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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Yes, we are a bunch of

Jeffrick wrote:
                             I'd like to add my welcome to all the others. But there is a proviso,  the regulars like to gather en mass in order/  and only so that they can debate the topics.  So if anyone asks about the RRS you can tell them that it is just a bunch of people who like to mass  debate.

Yes, we are a bunch of hard-core mass debaters. We've worked it down to an art form, actually. Some colleges are even starting to offer degrees in Mass Debatory Arts. We get together in group sessions, called 'debations', form a circle, and start debating en masse. Some of these debations can get pretty heated, but then we slow the pace down so things don't fly way out of hand. It's hard work, and takes lots of practice, but if you keep at it, it can be a lot of fun, and ultimately very rewarding. I sure do love a high-energy mass debation session!

<crickets>

.... What?

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Luminon wrote:cj wrote: I

Luminon wrote:

cj wrote:
 I lived next door to some Mormons for years.  Literally, next door.  And they would occasionally have the young men missionary types staying with them.  Who would then show up at my house frequently.  We got where we would tell them we read the book of Mormon daily and had memorized the bible.  None of which was true.  And the gal came over and asked us - what were we saying to those young men?  And she didn't mean to pry, but could we please tell her what we believed?  So we did.  And she said she would tell them to leave us alone; that we were good people and didn't want to be bothered.

Mormons? What are they like? I never saw them, neither I know much of them, except I know something of their craziness from Youtube videos. Also, one of my favorite writers, Orson Scott Card was from a Mormon family. Looks like they have a knack for wild imagination. 

How do Mormons try to convert people into their bat-shit crazy cult? They certainly don't say they (older members) wear a magical underwear. Neither they admit, that their founder was known for his hardly believable stories and all this religion is based on visions and rumors of golden tablets that magically disappeared. And they probably don't want you to see this original Mormon cartoon. Then there is of course the polygamy and I heard rumors of Mormons mass murdering their non-Mormon neighbours back in the old days. So what do they actually lure people with?

 

Well, of course they don't say all of that.  When young men (not women) turn 18 or finish high school, they are sent out to another Mormon family to be "missionaries".  And so they walk around town in pairs - you can spot them a mile away.  Short hair, white shirt, dark slacks and ties, black shiny shoes, young, very young.  No one else looks like that - the corporate types are more casual and older.

So they talk about how their prayers come true, and how Jesus loves you and all that very innocuous stuff.  Nothing controversial.  And they invite you to their church for fellowship and friendship.  All very low key.  How they get you sucked in after you show up at church, I have no idea since I have never been there.

 

Luminon wrote:

cj wrote:
 JWs are another kettle of fish entirely.  The only option with them is to shut the door in their face.  Firmly.  My sister is a JW - they are all nuttier than a fruitcake. 
It helps a lot to be into occultism and meditations. My family only gets a visit once a year or two. Unfortunately, so far I've missed them every single time! One day I must get to hear the discussion. Maybe even stew them a little by myself.

 

If you want to throw them for a loop, it is fairly simple.  They almost always start talking about how paradise on earth will be wonderful.  The lion will lie down with the lamb, there will be no poverty, no famine, no war, no hate, etc.  All will be beautiful and light. 

So, my response is from painting.  If you want your painting to seem brighter, more full of light, you make the contrast between shadows and light stronger.  The shadows should be very dark.  This makes your white highlights seem lighter.  If you make the shadows grayer, taking away the dark, you remove the perception of the bright.  And so the JW paradise will be a very boring place and our eyes will not be able to perceive the lack of shadows.  Same for goodness.  If there is no contrasting evil, you can not perceive good.

Most of them don't get it, but the ones that paint, do.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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Luminon wrote:But the most

Luminon wrote:
But the most effective protection against religion seems to be just a lack of interest in things spiritual and philosophical. 

I disagree. No matter how disinterested I am in spiritual/philosophical things they keep cropping up in my life. From the bible wielding men who assaulted my child to the blending of religion and politics in government, it's everywhere. How do I ignore that? How can I remain disinterested when it threatens my way of life?

 

"Asked whether they would disapprove of a child's wish to marry an atheist, 47.6 percent of those interviewed said yes. Asked the same question about Muslims and African-Americans, the yes responses fell to 33.5 percent and 27.2 percent, respectively."

...............

"The study contains other results, but these are sufficient to underline its gist: Atheists are seen by many Americans (especially conservative Christians) as alien and are, in the words of sociologist Penny Edgell, the study's lead researcher, 'a glaring exception to the rule of increasing tolerance over the last 30 years.'"

abcnews.go.com/Technology/story

With all due respect, Sir, I don't believe the numbers nor the implications can be ignored.

"Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason and anti-science. The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education and science to take over."
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cj wrote:I lived next door

sorry, double post


Luminon
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Misty wrote:Luminon

Misty wrote:

Luminon wrote:
But the most effective protection against religion seems to be just a lack of interest in things spiritual and philosophical. 

I disagree. No matter how disinterested I am in spiritual/philosophical things they keep cropping up in my life. From the bible wielding men who assaulted my child to the blending of religion and politics in government, it's everywhere. How do I ignore that? How can I remain disinterested when it threatens my way of life?

I actually meant it as a form of personal immunity. Not that it would help anyone else around. I have two brothers like that and they seem spiritually inert. I've seen the younger one to look at some clever videos a few times, but apparently it isn't enough. If religion is boring, it will probably never stick with you. (They both have damaged Neptune in their radix, one by opposition with Sun and the other one with Venus. How typical.)

 

Misty wrote:
 "Asked whether they would disapprove of a child's wish to marry an atheist, 47.6 percent of those interviewed said yes. Asked the same question about Muslims and African-Americans, the yes responses fell to 33.5 percent and 27.2 percent, respectively."

...............

"The study contains other results, but these are sufficient to underline its gist: Atheists are seen by many Americans (especially conservative Christians) as alien and are, in the words of sociologist Penny Edgell, the study's lead researcher, 'a glaring exception to the rule of increasing tolerance over the last 30 years.'"

abcnews.go.com/Technology/story

With all due respect, Sir, I don't believe the numbers nor the implications can be ignored. 

Yes, you're completely correct, that's America, land of the free, unless. This is a problem of national mentality and I have a hard time understanding or imagining it. I live in a small European region with the highest religiosity in the state, bordering with the highly religious Poland, yet it is not like that here at all. 

Only now comes to my mind something perhaps similar, how everyone in the village demanded a greeting from children. The children were watched constantly for greeting of older persons and if someone didn't say "good-day" to some unknown old geezer or geezeress then later at home shit hit the fan. Because the old people knew everything, who's who's offspring and to whom they should complain in church that their grandchildren are impolite. It certainly had a totalitarian feel to it. In such a situation my personal opinion didn't matter, that I don't know these people, I'm not interested in them and that better no greeting at all than an insincere one. Nope, the wrinkly mafia demanded respect. So this is how it must be for atheists to live in America. Religion is a public thing, respect to religion is respect to the state and everyone in it.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.