Not trying to debate, just a little confused...

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Not trying to debate, just a little confused...

YOU RESPOND:

Quote:

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: DNA
Date: Dec 10 2006 6:20 PM

hey. to start off, let me just say spelling is not my strong point, so please overlook them when you see them. ok, now. i'm not trying to start a war with you, and i sure as hell am not trying to change your mind. i agree that it is unfair to push ones believes upon another, unwilling individual. it is wrong to trick someone into believing they will be rewarded for the rest of eternity as long as they do exactly as they are told. and i deffinitly believe it is wrong to put faith in a man just because a book that was written thousands of years ago and since then re-written because it says if you don't you will burn for the rest of time. i have even dabbled in other religions, ones we here in america are very familir with, all the way to ones most have never heard of. there are two similarities that i find in all of these studies and believes. one being that this particualr religion is the RIGHT one, and the other being that all should follow this religion or face eternal damnation. I don't come on myspace often, usually when i do i get into stupid arguments with people who have no idea what they're talking about. but you(the people behyind this page and this movement) seem to be somewhat open minded. so here are the flaws i have found in your system. you are doing the same thing any other religion does. you are pushing your believes to anyone who will listen. using myspace to get to kids and let them know that jesus does not exist(this is not up for discussion right now) is no different than the jahovas witness' comming to my door handing me the watchtower. the same thing that turns me away from religion is what turns me away from you. i have never considered myself an athiest. even though i haven't celebrated a single religious holiday in probally 6 or 7 years. even though i have totally denounced my alligance with the lord and that comes with it and even though i have denied all organized religion, i still do not consider myself an athiest for one main reason: catagorizing myself as an athiest would contradict my very ideas and opinions on the world. i look at this page and i see words and phrases like "free spirit" and "open mind" and it makes me think. do i really need to agree with what your saying, commit the "ultimate sin" and wage war on christmas and easter in order to reach that unobtainable level you call open minded? i agree with alot of what you guys say and stand for. don't put your faith blindly into a god because the rest of the world is. don't read a book because your gradmother says you'll burn for the rest of eternity of you don't. look at everything and find whats best for you. this is where we disagree. it seems to me u believe the same thing, except you want people to look at everything and then realize your system is the only logical and rational choice. heres my take on religion. religion is bullshit. it doesn't matter which one you choose or reject. it's all about your life. whats going to make you happy and whats going to give you that feeling that you belong somewhere. the conclusion to this is that all of us are wrong. look at what i've been saying this whole time and the point to all of it is that the right choice is whatever you make it. muslims, jews, islams, christians, mormons, it doesn't matter. they are all bullshit, none of it is true, unless you make it true. religion is what you make it. i must applaud you guys. obviously you saw the cracks in the paint, unfortunatly you were unable to c the whole picture. what i've said can be taken one of 2 ways. u can disregard it and never worry about it again, or you can think hard about it. like i said i'm not usually on myspace so trying to get a little discussion going might be pointless. however i look forward to seeing what your opinions are and how this made you feel. remember, we stopped looking at tv's in black and white years ago, it's about time we stopped looking at life in black and white too.

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nedbrek
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RationalResponseSquad

RationalResponseSquad wrote:
YOU RESPOND:

Interesting. I haven't been on this site long enough to evaluate any particular motives or techniques. I see nothing wrong with being rational and logical.

Of course, he is right. There are some atheists who are more (or at least equally) dogmatic than religious dogmatics.


Susan
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RationalResponseSquad

RationalResponseSquad wrote:
Quote:

i have never considered myself an athiest. even though i haven't celebrated a single religious holiday in probally 6 or 7 years. even though i have totally denounced my alligance with the lord and that comes with it and even though i have denied all organized religion, i still do not consider myself an athiest for one main reason: catagorizing myself as an athiest would contradict my very ideas and opinions on the world.


This person has totally denounced alligiance with the lord and all that comes with it. This person has denounced all organized religion. Yet this person says calling himself/herself an atheist would contradict his/her ideas and opinions of the world.

That sounds quite condradictory to me. We have a closet atheist here.

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ImmaculateDeception
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I'm never going to

I'm never going to understand the position of the radical moderate. Why be so enthusiastic about not giving a crap either way? Not to mention if you really don't care, why take the time to tell us that we shouldn't either? I don't believe in god and I believe that religion is volatile, but I'll hand this to theists; at least they're passionate about what they believe in. Sure, most of the time that passion translates into dogma and elitism, but at least it's something

If you don't believe in god, you're an atheist whether you like the word or not. Denying that fact vehemently does not improve your character. Being true to yourself and having the stroke to be true about yourself to others will.

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine


Sapient
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DNA wrote:

DNA wrote:

ok, now. i'm not trying to start a war with you, and i sure as hell am not trying to change your mind.

So then what was the point of the email? C'mon honestly now, tell me.

Quote:
i agree that it is unfair to push ones believes upon another, unwilling individual.

Agree? I may be inclined to agree with you on that considering the individual is unwilling, but where did we (RRS) say this statement for you to agree with?

Quote:
I don't come on myspace often, usually when i do i get into stupid arguments with people who have no idea what they're talking about. but you(the people behyind this page and this movement) seem to be somewhat open minded. so here are the flaws i have found in your system. you are doing the same thing any other religion does. you are pushing your believes to anyone who will listen.

As you are doing with us right now. Such is the way of the world. The argument that we shouldn't push our beliefs on others is one that is brainwashed into us and almost nobody actually adheres to. It doesn't seem to exist, for if it did, we'd have no teachers.

You are doing the same thing you're speaking out against right now. The difference between my arguments and an argument for god is that I can prove my positions are tenable.

Quote:
using myspace to get to kids and let them know that jesus does not exist(this is not up for discussion right now) is no different than the jahovas witness' comming to my door handing me the watchtower.

Yeah it is. I have evidence and logical reasons to prove my beliefs, they don't.

Quote:
the same thing that turns me away from religion is what turns me away from you.

Which you yourself are doing right now. Hows your relationship with yourself?

Quote:
i have never considered myself an athiest.

So which god do you believe in?

Quote:
catagorizing myself as an athiest would contradict my very ideas and opinions on the world.

Ok so the question remains, since you're not an atheist, you're obviously a theist... which god do you believe in?

- Brian Sapient


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MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
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a·the·ist Pronunciation

a·the·ist Pronunciation (th-st)
n.
One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

Come on, it's really just this simple.


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Quote:catagorizing myself as

Quote:
catagorizing myself as an athiest would contradict my very ideas and opinions on the world.

Note: these ideas aren't even touched upon, maybe it's for a later mail.

the rest of the mail was just blahblahblahblahbalbhalbhalbhalbhalahlbhablb.
Seemed to go nowhere.

AImboden wrote:
I'm not going to PM my agreement just because one tucan has pms.


The_Deception
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ImmaculateDeception wrote:

ImmaculateDeception wrote:
Sure, most of the time that passion translates into dogma and elitism

SOME of the time. It is unfortunately the most publicised hardcore evangelicals who are the dogmatic, elitist christians. Sure there are others, sure there are MANY problems within the church and i mean many... but the majority of members of congregations are quite happy to practice their faith personally and not force it down everybodys throats. I cannot stand any type of fundamentalist, I cannot stand anybody who tries to make someone lose or gain a belief in something. That should be discovered by yourself, a lack of belief should be gained by yourself, a belief should be gained by yourself. I do not think you should have people gathered round you saying "This is wrong, this is right, this exists, this doesnt exist". People can help, give information, but not smother you in things so much that you will eventually just give in.

To live is for Christ, to die is gain.


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Quote: a lack of belief

Quote:
a lack of belief should be gained by yourself

The only reason industrial religion peserveres is the devotees smother their views on the young and weak of mind. Nobody can start off with an abstract belief. It has to be nurtured.

A lack of belief is to be lost and mourned if one is forced to acquiesce.

 

I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.


The_Deception
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Cernunnos wrote: Quote: a

Cernunnos wrote:

Quote:
a lack of belief should be gained by yourself

The only reason industrial religion peserveres is the devotees smother their views on the young and weak of mind. Nobody can start off with an abstract belief. It has to be nurtured.

A lack of belief is to be lost and mourned if one is forced to acquiesce.

 

I understand that, hence why I kinda went back on myself in my comment... Sticking out tongue I do understand the indoctrination of children into the church and personally I oppose infant baptism (being in an anglican church, that does not go down well I tell you that!) and I do find it worrying when children are taught all the nice things in the bible then get older and realise that Daniel was not only a great king and man of God, but he also kinda got a girl pregnant and had her husband killed so he could marry her... niiice. Everyone has flaws Sticking out tongue. But yeah, sorry I kinda worded it wrong as well.

To live is for Christ, to die is gain.


JCE
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The_Deception wrote: I do

The_Deception wrote:

I do understand the indoctrination of children into the church and personally I oppose infant baptism (being in an anglican church, that does not go down well I tell you that!) and I do find it worrying when children are taught all the nice things in the bible then get older and realise that Daniel was not only a great king and man of God, but he also kinda got a girl pregnant and had her husband killed so he could marry her... niiice. Everyone has flaws Sticking out tongue. But yeah, sorry I kinda worded it wrong as well.

Ummm...yeah, I am kinda picky - wasn't that the story of David?  I may be wrong but I didn't think this was the story of Daniel.  

 Anyhoo - you are right - indoctrination is bad!


The_Deception
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jce wrote: The_Deception

jce wrote:
The_Deception wrote:

I do understand the indoctrination of children into the church and personally I oppose infant baptism (being in an anglican church, that does not go down well I tell you that!) and I do find it worrying when children are taught all the nice things in the bible then get older and realise that Daniel was not only a great king and man of God, but he also kinda got a girl pregnant and had her husband killed so he could marry her... niiice. Everyone has flaws Sticking out tongue. But yeah, sorry I kinda worded it wrong as well.

Ummm...yeah, I am kinda picky - wasn't that the story of David?  I may be wrong but I didn't think this was the story of Daniel.  

 Anyhoo - you are right - indoctrination is bad!

Arrrgh!! Yeah, sorry! I was in kinda a rush, I just put down the first name that came into my head with D at the beginning! Sorry about that, I feel like kinda an idiot Embarassed Anyway, sorry about that again!!

To live is for Christ, to die is gain.


JCE
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Oh - no big deal!  It is

Oh - no big deal!  It is just a goofy thing that jumped out at me.  I think it sticks with me more because I was once married to a David.  He was an asshole too.  Wink

 


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Another Bloody Copout

Quote:
you are doing the same thing any other religion does. you are pushing your believes to anyone who will listen. using myspace to get to kids and let them know that jesus does not exist(this is not up for discussion right now) is no different than the jahovas witness' comming to my door handing me the watchtower. the same thing that turns me away from religion is what turns me away from you.
 What is it with this incessant need many noncommittal believers have to try and claim that free thinkers are the same as door knocking proselytizers of this religion or that? It is bogus because it is simply not the case. Fine, one can certainly accuse some atheists of wanting to spread the message to others. We are guilty of this in the sense that we feel enlightenment is the only way to get people to wake up and leave mythologies behind them. That much is fair. And to the degree that we put our message out there in the open, we are as guilty as anyone in doing this in the information hungry world we have today.  But that is true of everyone in any number of contexts: advertisers, TV producers, movie makers, etc. This “pushing” seems to be synonymous with providing. One provides this info for those “who are interested.”  But is this “forcing” our message on people or simply stating it outright once and for all in and amidst all the other people doing the same thing? Perhaps you see this as an affront because for a long time people like us would have been seriously scorned or killed for what we do here on this board. That we enjoy enough autonomy now to feel somewhat safe in our convictions might make it seem that we are brash or arrogant in that we choose to promote our agenda, if indeed it is safe to say we have a uniform agenda in the first place. I’m a member here at RRS, but I am not in complete agreement with how the message is disseminated here at RRS. Sometimes I totally disagree with the tenor that is used toward theists and their topics. Nonetheless, I approve of the campaign on the whole and I believe the message does good because it is consistent and it never claims to be the only voice for anyone, atheist or otherwise. With that in mind I would suggest you demonstrate where atheist methods here at RRS are the same as the people who go on missionary runs to other countries and cultures in order to promote their agenda. You assert this, but as usual with critiques of this sort the specifics are quite weak, in fact non-existent. Taking the RRS as an example, they have no tax exempt status which many churches enjoy so the funds asked for and provided are based on the product they produce. Despite this need for free thought financial support, the RRS continues to be a forum for people who don’t like them, hate what they do, and despise the message. That the RRS provides air time and bandwidth for other views is very telling. That it needs these views to exist as it does is even more telling in my opinion. How many atheists have been tossed off Christian boards for speaking their minds? I know I have been from simply for using language similar to what I am using with you. The last time I looked, there were no cable stations with the atheist equivalent of  televangelists trying to bilk people out of their money and promote fear-inspired damnation plots. Atheists acknowledge the right of everyone to exist within the matrix of humanity. For the most part, we try to at least understand the basis behind beliefs on the whole, our own for sure and others for comparative purposes. Inasmuch as we do this, the desire then to pigeonhole people, for example homosexuals, is less necessary and in fact rather distasteful in our mindset. This is an important distinction that should not be overlooked. A homosexual atheist for instance has no need to fear other atheists because he or she represents a segment of human reality that exists in natural terms. That his or her lifestyle may seem odd to an atheist, or say promiscuous than a particular atheist is of no consequence because a free thinker isn’t threatened by this (or at least shouldn’t be). For myself, I can look at people from their context more easily because I don’t have an aura of dogmatism going into any discussion I might have with him or her. I might find that homosexuality is perverse for my own set of rules as an atheist, but my atheism requires me to keep these thoughts in check and in fact to investigate where they come from and justify them in rational terms (I don’t hold these views about homosexuals by the way).  If I engage in a conversation with a gay person and I choose to explain my feelings on the biology, sociology, politics, etc. of what it means to be gay, I can do so without ever allowing my thoughts to marginalize the person I’m speaking with or to require going in that this person be evil or ugly or wrong. This is vastly different from so many fundamentalist people in the same position. They have doctrine to hold to, doctrine that FORCES itself on every single interaction with gay people, regardless how much they might like the person they are dealing with. This is apples and oranges at a base level, and theists must do intellectual hedge trimming of the kind that requires them to overlook their superiority as much as they can in order to like a gay person “even though they are going to burn in hell.” They have to force things one way or the other, not the atheist who is much more comfortable with the complexities of life and human interaction. This is a huge difference at the ground level, and I think you miss this badly in your e-mail above. In a similar way, atheists can view theists in much the same light. Though atheists do not accept the theist world view and the assertions therein, most of us try to understand where theistic ideas come from by reading, observing and listening. This is something akin to the work that Sam Harris and others are researching at the moment. I, for one, suffer no delusions about ever eradicating religion from our lives. In fact, I am of the mindset that we need to extract more of the pearls from theism before we do away with it in general. I agree that there is much to be learned from the so called “feel good” nature of theism and how it impacts us all, not to mention how it has helped in capacity in guiding us to communities of a local and global nature.  I still want to dispose of the silliness of religion for sure, but I don’t need to demonize theists across the board in order to do this. Can that really be said of most fundamentalist theists where we are concerned, even some? There seem to be many out there who would like to kill us with pain before eradicating us. That is just what it is. And doing so requires them to use their numerical, political, and military advantage to do so. How would you have us address them, by bowing to this inherent superiority? In cases where a dynamic like this exists, one might expect us to bomb the churches of the oppressors. We do not. One might expect us to organize gangs of thugs to patrol the streets, waiting cloaked by night to attack people coming out of Christian book stores, cinemas, gathering places. Do we see this? Absolutely not. One might expect us to use other tactics like misrepresenting who theists are and using specialized atheist home schooling to drill our propaganda into our children’s heads. We don’t do this. Our children go to the same schools your kids go to, well accept for those that you choose to have only teach Christian ideology. And there you have it. All these things I list above as good examples of FORCEFUL practices are utterly absent in an atheist sense and rife for so many theist communities. That is what it is as well. So what DO we do? We exercise our right to use the channels of communication open to us and we speak our minds? Yes, we do target the minds of young people who are home schooled by theistic parents, who are stuck in mind-numbing theistic communities, and who are trapped by the choices their parents have made. Indeed we do. But I don’t see that as being any different than teaching kids proper sex education, comparative religion classes, proper health care and other contemporary norms. That we need to do this side bar is evidence of the necessity. Again, information alone hurts no one. It’s how you provide it that matters. We do put our message out to teenagers in ways they relate to, but this is not done in a way that requires them to submit anything but an open mind. Perhaps more Christians should try this approach as well…oh yeah then you’d lose more kids. I have yet to see an atheist knocking at my door watchtower style asking me to throw out my beliefs and bow to reason with mind, body and soul like some lemming. The image is patently ludicrous given what most atheists espouse as the way to live ones life. In fact, the organizational ties we have are more or less required because religion is such a dominating force on so many societies. In that way then the RRS and other active atheist organizations exist to counter the theistic monopoly that is everywhere. But don’t confuse this adversarial relationship with a kind of equality in message or method. This couldn’t be further from the truth.  I am aware of humanity’s need for prudence where shifts in power take place when people of the best of intentions can suddenly become what they hate. In that I know this is true, I look carefully to see if any language comes up that starts to show that atheists or free thinkers in general are going down that road. It’s a long way off from what I can tell given our small vocal numbers.  Rest assured, however, the day I see atheists holding torches and burning people for their religious beliefs is the day I side with the theists in protecting their rights, no matter how much I find their beliefs to be ridiculous. I know that I would not be alone in this stance because for now the torch bearers are looking at me and mine and I am unafraid. I hope that this conviction would be consistent until my last days. Cheers!