Beware the trappings of past faith

hellfiend666
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Beware the trappings of past faith

I am new to this site, admittedly. I joined a week or so ago, and can't stay away from it. I've been an atheist my whole life. I was raised atheist, and so I got to see the religious world from the outside, completely unbiased, and saw that it was all a giant steaming pile of dogmatic crap. Before I even looked into it though, and indeed, before I even cared to, I was drawn to the sciences. Especially astronomy, paleontology, ichthyology, archeology, Darwinian theory and forensic pathology (I was a morbid child, lol). So that was, from very early on (like 4 y/o), my primary source for information about how the world works. Enough about me though. I stated this as a disclaimer, maybe I'm reading into this idea a little too deeply, but it seems to me that a lot of the posts on this site have the same fervor, the us against them feeling, I get whenever i pass by the bible-banger channel. Simply put, we need to keep in mind that we are not a church! It seems to me like this community might be headed down a similar road that christians have been traveling for years. I don't think we are there yet, and I hope it doesn't come to that so strongly that at the slightest smell of it gets me nervous. We do not want to become what we fight! We do not want to give them a unified "enemy" to fight against! We are not yet strong enough in this country, we WILL lose! We need to keep our guard up against this, and always keep the lessons they have taught us in mind, that following a cause is great, but fanatically following isn't always the best way to get your point across. The reason I wanted to state this, and got so nervous about it is I've heard of atheist groups getting church status in regards to tax-exemptions. You all may think I'm being paranoid or hyper-sensitive, but it isn't beyond the scope of reason that a group of people who were primarily brought up in an organized christian society to adapt the organization techniques they have learned from it. I hope Sapient and/or Rook read this and respond, I would like their input.


Jutter
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I agree that the tactics of

I agree that the tactics of many Christianity-based institutions are questionable. The sad thing is, though, that this course of action has payed off to a substantial degree (can anyone say megachurch?)
and there is a very active and deliberate pursuit of goals going on.

At some point, perhaps, you have to abandon the 'sit back and let it happen' approach, in the hope that things will work out for the better left at it's own devises. 

~Let us be reasonable~

You want to claim there's such a thing as "the supernatural"? Fine. I hereby declare you to be "paracorrect" in doing so. 


Trevor
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Hellfiend, I am also new

Hellfiend,

I am also new here. I think these guys are really reaching people, especially with the blasphemy challenge.

I am not that worried about anything becoming a 'church', but I do sometimes worry a little bit about the fervour.

As far as an us verses them mentality; I am afraid that is already out there, whether individual atheists want to acknowledge it or not.

One only has to on a bible channel and listen for a little while, before you can hear nonsense being spouted about atheists. Christians have made 'us'

the enemy, and it is not a new thing.

It helps Christians feel a sense of identity, to have an enemy; (you would think Islam would be enough for them).

This sense of identity and community can also grow in atheist circles, by the same route, -- seeing ourselves as an 'us'.

Groupthink on the other hand can be dangerous for any group; even groups of free thinkers and rationalists. I am not saying that it is going on, but it perhaps is something to more worried about, than 'becoming a religion', (come to think of it. on the other hand, maybe their are similarities)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink

 

I have been lurking here for a while, I like some of what these guys are doing; the blasphemy challenge, and the research.

On the other hand, there are some things that I don't like. One is the banner, 'mind disorder', maybe parasitic mind virus is not much better, but it at least makes the target the idea of theism instead of the individual. .

Another example, one of the mods here has a quote in his signature, that I find very offensive -- 'If you love God burn a church', .... Many churches are burnt in the USA every year. I live in Mississippi, and it happens down here all the time. Sometimes racism, sometimes insurance fraud, for what ever the reason, it is not good, people can get hurt.

To me it seems irresponsible for a mod at an anti-theist website to put that in a sig. Free speech is great, but it comes with responsibility, a double responsibility in this case as the person is a mod.

I understand the quote, I get it. I am willing to give yellow the benefit of the doubt, that he does not advocate burning churches, others are not going to. (Christian & and law enforcement lurkers).

It would only take one nut bar, either atheist or theist, to actually act on a mis understanding of that quote, to make all of us (there's that 'us' again), look bad.

On the other hand, I have seen others, Brian37 for example, respond quite responsibly. The poster who has the anger issues, being directed to never hurt anyone or there property. Nice post. But, then again, in that same thread, a mod steps in and says basically channel that anger into activism, (followed up again by the offensive sig). It's a good idea, (responsible activism), but in that context it can be taken as a bit of mixed message; especially by someone looking for a reason to discredit this group and atheists in general.

I like that this group is reaching people, I like the level of discussion, (which is often over my head), but I am uncomfortable sometimes.

I went to bed last night thinking I should send yellow a pm; but then thought, no, it's not my website, ....Yellow, I apologise in advance for bring this up in public, maybe I should not have.

Over the last six months I have come to the conclusion that I am an anti-theist.  but I am not sure I am anti-theist enough for this site.

Anyway, sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes.

 

Also, Jutter, your post was interesting, Christian tactics are 'questionable', but effective. 

Then you go on to suggest that Hellfiend should get on the bus so to speak.  Conform to the group identity, you did not address his concern, you brushed it off. 

Whether or not that post was a relfection of symptoms of groupthink, (see the link, points 2-8), I can not be certain, but it did not address his concern.

Anyway, maybe it's none of my busness. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sapient
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I'm only responding because

I'm only responding because you pm'ed asking me to do so.  I agreed with your topic, that we shouldn't turn in to what we despise however I don't see us anywhere near that, but I digress....

hellfiend666 wrote:

I stated this as a disclaimer, maybe I'm reading into this idea a little too deeply, but it seems to me that a lot of the posts on this site have the same fervor, the us against them feeling, I get whenever i pass by the bible-banger channel.

 Ok, us vs. them... nothing wrong with that.  They want us to believe superstition as fact, we want them to abandon superstition, it's simply natural that this conversation will come across as us vs. them.

  

 

Quote:
Simply put, we need to keep in mind that we are not a church!

Agreed, and by Church you mean a place of worship for gods.

Quote:
 It seems to me like this community might be headed down a similar road that christians have been traveling for years. I don't think we are there yet, and I hope it doesn't come to that so strongly that at the slightest smell of it gets me nervous.

We're heading down the road to church?  Churches are a place for worship to disseminate a message based on faith, we're diametrically opposed to both.  If you mean a place that has a sense of community, then oh well... this is a Church. 

Quote:
 We do not want to become what we fight!

I'm fighting beliefs that are based on faith, I plan to not become that.  I am not fighting against community, fund raisers, and debate. 

Quote:
 We do not want to give them a unified "enemy" to fight against!

This site is all about unity.  There are millions of atheists out there that are sick of religion trying to convince us of what they themselves cant prove.  We are a site of those people united.  That doesn't make us a Church. 

Quote:
 We are not yet strong enough in this country, we WILL lose!

About 15 million (in America alone) that think like RRS, more people than the jews.

Quote:
We need to keep our guard up against this, and always keep the lessons they have taught us in mind, that following a cause is great, but fanatically following isn't always the best way to get your point across.

I'm against fanaticism, and we're not fanatics. 

Quote:
The reason I wanted to state this, and got so nervous about it is I've heard of atheist groups getting church status in regards to tax-exemptions.

We don't have plans for that.

Quote:
 You all may think I'm being paranoid or hyper-sensitive, but it isn't beyond the scope of reason that a group of people who were primarily brought up in an organized christian society to adapt the organization techniques they have learned from it.

There is nothing wrong with the organization of Christians, there is something wrong with what they think is true.

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