Extremist Atheists [Kill Em With Kindness]

Smith
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Extremist Atheists [Kill Em With Kindness]

  Now I've seen the term "Extremist" tossed around quite liberally in these forums, but I have yet to see it refer to someone who doesn't believe in god.  Doesn't atheism have an extreme end as well?  I personally believe in god but refuse to join any particular faith because I do not believe that religion solves more problems than it creates.  But the fact that atheists talk down upon and degrade religious people based on their beliefs is extremely hypocritical in most situations.  Although there have been many rational people who have posted here, a good number seem to have made the generalization that anyone who believes in god believes the world was created in 6 days and takes the bible literally.  The Bible (or the Koran or any other religious text) is for the most part a work of fiction and is not meant to be taken literally but to be used as a way to teach and enrich peoples lives.  These tools have however been brutally mis-used and religion has for the most part been host to endless corruption and hate mongering.  But due to its increasing popularity, atheism is reaching this point too.  Although there are like in every religion a majority of rational moderates who call themselves atheists because they believe in knowledge, logic, and intellect, there are also the extremists.  The first example of this I saw in a news report during the development of the PC game Spore.  Apparently when the information that religion would be an integral part of the game play, had been released, Maxis was flooded with complaints and threats by these extremist atheists as to the inclusion of religion in a game revolving around evolution.  Although I'm sure there has been a few rare cases, I have never heard of a Christian writing hate mail to (for example) Bungie, for not having the master chief be Christian enough.  Although people become atheists mainly because they are against the irrationality and hate mongering of religion, a lot of atheists should look at themselves and make sure that they are not being hypocritical.

 

  I do not write this to convert atheists to religion because that is pointless as both sides are at fault here.  All I am saying is that people should be able to have their own beliefs without fear of retribution, and should not attack other peoples beliefs.  So if you choose to believe in nothing, enjoy your choice and don't attack others for what they have chosen.

 

  This is my first post and I just want to say that this website is an excellent resource for information on this topic.


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And what would it mean if

And what would it mean if there was an "extremist atheist?" Does that affect any of the arguments against religion? I don't see any substance to your argument.

Did you make the concept of god up yourself, or did you hear about it first, then decide to divest yourself of that religion's trappings? If it's the latter, I wonder what basis you had to decide what makes acknowledgment of said deity mutable by you, since it's those religious wonks that make the definition, and it's they that introduce the majority to the concept. Outside of actual data, you literally have only their word for it.

 


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Smith wrote:  The first

Smith wrote:

  The first example of this I saw in a news report during the development of the PC game Spore.  Apparently when the information that religion would be an integral part of the game play, had been released, Maxis was flooded with complaints and threats by these extremist atheists as to the inclusion of religion in a game revolving around evolution.  Although I'm sure there has been a few rare cases, I have never heard of a Christian writing hate mail to (for example) Bungie, for not having the master chief be Christian enough.  Although people become atheists mainly because they are against the irrationality and hate mongering of religion, a lot of atheists should look at themselves and make sure that they are not being hypocritical.

 

 

Oh... now you gone an done it! you just HAD to involve video games... next to killing random people, and sacrificing babies, this is my favorite pass-time.

Yes Maxis recieved complaints... all companies do, regardless of WHATEVER they do... You ever see the amount of hate mail EA gets? i mean... seriously...

But, come on... threats and complaints are extreme?... o_O *lookin at you anti-abortionist and muslims!*.

 

Now i find that Halo goes right over the heads of the religious zealots... i mean, have you ever looked at the transcripts of that (crappy) game? Its completely mocking religion at every turn.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zku2tIoSbfs

^ Tip of the iceberg right there (so to speak) and i love how the pious Covenants are always reffering to Chiefy as Demon and Devil  He's all logic and evidence, and i have proof, i can save you... but NO... i haz faith an belief, i winz

 

Smith wrote:

All I am saying is that people should be able to have their own beliefs without fear of retribution, and should not attack other peoples beliefs.  So if you choose to believe in nothing, enjoy your choice and don't attack others for what they have chosen.

And what do you do when you are attacked, your rights subverted, and your shot at, tied to a stake, and burned alive?

Go to heaven?

 

 

oh wait...

 

the World is not all happy and peaceful, sorry, but we have to tell the idiots that their idiots... its in our religion

 

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Smith wrote:  Now I've seen

Smith wrote:

  Now I've seen the term "Extremist" tossed around quite liberally in these forums, but I have yet to see it refer to someone who doesn't believe in god.  Doesn't atheism have an extreme end as well?  I personally believe in god but refuse to join any particular faith because I do not believe that religion solves more problems than it creates.  But the fact that atheists talk down upon and degrade religious people based on their beliefs is extremely hypocritical in most situations.  Although there have been many rational people who have posted here, a good number seem to have made the generalization that anyone who believes in god believes the world was created in 6 days and takes the bible literally.  The Bible (or the Koran or any other religious text) is for the most part a work of fiction and is not meant to be taken literally but to be used as a way to teach and enrich peoples lives.  These tools have however been brutally mis-used and religion has for the most part been host to endless corruption and hate mongering.  But due to its increasing popularity, atheism is reaching this point too.  Although there are like in every religion a majority of rational moderates who call themselves atheists because they believe in knowledge, logic, and intellect, there are also the extremists.  The first example of this I saw in a news report during the development of the PC game Spore.  Apparently when the information that religion would be an integral part of the game play, had been released, Maxis was flooded with complaints and threats by these extremist atheists as to the inclusion of religion in a game revolving around evolution.  Although I'm sure there has been a few rare cases, I have never heard of a Christian writing hate mail to (for example) Bungie, for not having the master chief be Christian enough.  Although people become atheists mainly because they are against the irrationality and hate mongering of religion, a lot of atheists should look at themselves and make sure that they are not being hypocritical.

 

  I do not write this to convert atheists to religion because that is pointless as both sides are at fault here.  All I am saying is that people should be able to have their own beliefs without fear of retribution, and should not attack other peoples beliefs.  So if you choose to believe in nothing, enjoy your choice and don't attack others for what they have chosen.

 

  This is my first post and I just want to say that this website is an excellent resource for information on this topic.

First, every group that has a strong political, religious, or societal position can have extremists. So yes, there are atheist extremists. I just don't hear about any of them very often. And when I do, it's usually as minor as you have stated, as opposed to going around actually decapitating people and burning them at the stake.

As for video games, you obviously have no clue whatsoever how hounded the gaming industry has been by religious zealots. I'll start you off with Jack Thompson. Read up on that guy, and see how long he's been involved. As for Spore, that's akin to extremists in Star Wars reacting to Chewbacca's death by insulting and threatening R.A. Salvatore, who wrote the novel that Chewy died in. They're assholes. Nothing more. Assholes are everywhere.

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Vastet wrote: As for Spore,

Vastet wrote:

 As for Spore, that's akin to extremists in Star Wars reacting to Chewbacca's death by insulting and threatening R.A. Salvatore, who wrote the novel that Chewy died in.

 

 NOOOO the beige carpet was killed? *shrug* kay

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Well, yeah. But it took a

Well, yeah. But it took a moon falling on his head, destroying the planet he was on at the time. And it was about 23 years after Return of the Jedi.

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Smith wrote: Now I've seen

Smith wrote:

  Now I've seen the term "Extremist" tossed around quite liberally in these forums, but I have yet to see it refer to someone who doesn't believe in god.  Doesn't atheism have an extreme end as well?  I personally believe in god but refuse to join any particular faith because I do not believe that religion solves more problems than it creates.  But the fact that atheists talk down upon and degrade religious people based on their beliefs is extremely hypocritical in most situations.

How is this hypocritical, "in most situations"?  What flaws are we censuring in religious people which we ourselves are guilty of?

Smith wrote:
Although there have been many rational people who have posted here, a good number seem to have made the generalization that anyone who believes in god believes the world was created in 6 days and takes the bible literally.

So you ask above "Doesn't atheism have an extreme end as well?".  By the distinction you seek to draw here, a moderate atheist would be someone who rejects the 6-day creation, and an extreme atheist is one who rejects your personal belief in god.

Gold star for acknowledging the problems that religion creates.  However, just because you have a properly critical view of religion does not in any way validate your personal belief in god.  Unless you can provide a rational basis for your personal belief, I will talk down upon and degrade your belief alongside the beliefs of biblical literalists.  It would be hypocritical of me not to do so.

Smith wrote:
  The Bible (or the Koran or any other religious text) is for the most part a work of fiction and is not meant to be taken literally but to be used as a way to teach and enrich peoples lives.  These tools have however been brutally mis-used and religion has for the most part been host to endless corruption and hate mongering.  But due to its increasing popularity, atheism is reaching this point too.

And just think.  Atheists are capable of  "endless corruption and hate mongering" without the assistance of tax-exempt status.

Smith wrote:
   Although there are like in every religion a majority of rational moderates who call themselves atheists because they believe in knowledge, logic, and intellect, there are also the extremists.  The first example of this I saw in a news report during the development of the PC game Spore.  Apparently when the information that religion would be an integral part of the game play, had been released, Maxis was flooded with complaints and threats by these extremist atheists as to the inclusion of religion in a game revolving around evolution.The Bible (or the Koran or any other religious text) is for the most part a work of fiction and is not meant to be taken literally but to be   Although I'm sure there has been a few rare cases, I have never heard of a Christian writing hate mail to (for example) Bungie, for not having the master chief be Christian enough. 

So some atheists are complaining about religious overtones in a video game about evolution.  Perhaps the christians aren't bothered with video games because they're lobbying to have "Intelligent Design" taught in our schools.  Or legislating school prayer.  Or restricting reproductive rights and prohibiting gay marriage.  The christians may well be too busy shaping national policy to be bothered with the entertainment industry.  

Well actually, I now recall the panic St. Falwell raised over children's cartoons because one of the teletubbies had a triangle-shaped antenna.

Yes, we atheists have the market cornered on extremism and hypocrisy.

Smith wrote:

  I do not write this to convert atheists to religion because that is pointless as both sides are at fault here.  All I am saying is that people should be able to have their own beliefs without fear of retribution, and should not attack other peoples beliefs.  So if you choose to believe in nothing, enjoy your choice and don't attack others for what they have chosen.

You are certainly entitled  to believe whatever you want without fear of retribution.  But that does not mean you are entitled to have your beliefs respected.  Even if you aren't one of the hate-mongering 6-day creationists, I have every right to challenge your chosen beliefs, and degrade them as irrational until you demonstrate otherwise.

That being said, welcome to the forums.

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These are the same things

These are the same things most of us here having been saying. People should be able to hold their beliefs without fear of retribution but atheism is no threat to theism in the way you describe. Sure there are people that would love to see religion disappear, I myself am one. However, most atheists do not advocate the violent removal of religion from the face of the Earth, just as most theists do not want to burn us heretics anymore. So how do you define an extremist atheist? For that matter can you define what atheism is correctly? Remember that perception is reality and many church leaders even actually teach that atheists hate god. If one perceives atheists hate god then the reality in their mind is that atheists hate god when in fact atheists do not believe in god.

So why shouldn't I be allowed to attack anyone's belief system? Last time I checked the first amendment to the Constitution allowed me free speech. Notice I said belief system and not the individual. I don't have to respect anybody's beliefs I just have to respect their right to hold them. I think this is the best outcome we could hope for. We as human beings will always find a way to define ourselves and determine rather or not someone else is "worthy" enough to belong in our group. As a survival mechanism we will always try to fit into the group that defines ourself the best. This is just another classic example of us-against-them.

As theists find their beliefs wanting they tend to start whining about how they are persecuted and hide behind a stance of victim. If I claimed to believe in fairies what would your response be? Before you answer that rhetorical question, realize that fairy believers do not normally write public policy.

You make a lot of assumptions in your rant. This site's mods receive death threats quite a bit from believers and that is much worse than the scenario you describe. As the number of people on Earth increase we will find ourselves having to deal with more pressing concerns. We will have to find a way to work together to solve complex global problems and extremism on both sides is going to factor into how hard it can be to work together.

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


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The terms "extremist

The terms "extremist atheist" and "militant atheist" are bandied around a lot, but if you compare the actual deeds to those who are subjected to these terms than an "extremist atheist" is doing the equivelant actions of a "moderate theist", and a "militant atheist" is doing the equivelant actions of an "outspoken theist".  We're not even getting anywhere near the realms of fundamentalist theists, extremist theists and militant theists. 

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Thanks for all the feedback

Thanks for all the feedback I will now try to reply to as many of the comments as possible as well as clarify any misunderstandings that have been made.

 

magilum wrote:

Did you make the concept of god up yourself, or did you hear about it first, then decide to divest yourself of that religion's trappings? If it's the latter, I wonder what basis you had to decide what makes acknowledgment of said deity mutable by you, since it's those religious wonks that make the definition, and it's they that introduce the majority to the concept. Outside of actual data, you literally have only their word for it.

To leave nothing out - I was born and baptized catholic, and grew up as a kid extremely interested in computers and sciences.  By Grade 6 I had already mustered up the courage to tell my parents straight up that I was an atheist.  They applauded me for having made my own decisions as to my own beliefs.  So it wasn't until about grade 10 that I got a prof who helped educate me on the subject.  I then spent part of my time over the next two years studying Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, all of which was aided by a 3 week trip I took to India to learn firsthand.  What I found was that apart from the "extremist" and "literalistic" ways in which religion could be taken, there was a wealth of knowledge and much personal enlightenment to be found.  I have however always felt strongly against the hate that individual sects create amongst each other, so I took the middle ground.  I kept god and spiritualism without taking sides.

The Doomed Soul wrote:

the World is not all happy and peaceful, sorry, but we have to tell the idiots that the[y're] idiots... its in our religion

Now although your response to my Spore/Halo comments are pretty much dead on (it was 4 in the morning when I wrote them, wasn't thinking too much), you have just provided me with an example of the attitude I am trying to point out here.  You feeling you have the need to put down other religions because they are wrong and your religion is the only right one is exactly the point I am trying to make.  I used to be atheist, I thought god was the stupidest thing to have ever been invented, but I never gave any of my religious friends a hard time about it.  As you could probably figure out by now I do not care whether any given person has a religion or not, I just hate it when people (religious or non-religious) are ignorant of others.

Vastet wrote:

First, every group that has a strong political, religious, or societal position can have extremists. So yes, there are atheist extremists. I just don't hear about any of them very often. And when I do, it's usually as minor as you have stated, as opposed to going around actually decapitating people and burning them at the stake.

As for video games, you obviously have no clue whatsoever how hounded the gaming industry has been by religious zealots. I'll start you off with Jack Thompson. Read up on that guy, and see how long he's been involved. As for Spore, that's akin to extremists in Star Wars reacting to Chewbacca's death by insulting and threatening R.A. Salvatore, who wrote the novel that Chewy died in. They're assholes. Nothing more. Assholes are everywhere.

I completely agree with you, and as I stated above I know my gaming comment was pretty far off but the point I'm trying to make still stands.  I'm just trying to point out that, like you said, assholes are everywhere, so although you might think that your own beliefs are the only right ones (religious or atheist), don't be an asshole about it to other people.

zarathustra wrote:

How is this hypocritical, "in most situations"?  What flaws are we censuring in religious people which we ourselves are guilty of?

Many many times on the internet especially I have seen atheists make the comment: "Why won't religion leave me alone?  Stop trying to convert me."  Have you seen this websites catchphrase?  "Believe in God? We can fix that."  Flat out hypocrisy right there (that is of course assuming you stand behind this mantra).  As I stated above I used to be an atheist, but I never held the attitude that I should be going around "fixing" other peoples beliefs.  That is not only extremely self-centered and ignorant, but it is also the exact reason why I believe this new reinforced atheism movement is going to create just as many problems if not more than it does away with.  There is still the majority that takes their own religion (or lack of it) and takes many positive things out of it, but there are always the assholes who will not hesitate to point out that they are the only ones correct and that all other people are inferior.

zarathustra wrote:

So you ask above "Doesn't atheism have an extreme end as well?".  By the distinction you seek to draw here, a moderate atheist would be someone who rejects the 6-day creation, and an extreme atheist is one who rejects your personal belief in god.

No I classify a moderate atheist as someone who takes their beliefs in logic, science, and intellect and uses them to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them.  An extreme atheist (just as an extreme Muslim, or an extreme Christian is) is an atheist who will actively tell other people that their beliefs are wrong and that atheism is the only right way to go.  By doing this, you are merely recreating the hate and ignorance that so many of you left religion in the first place for.

zarathustra wrote:

Gold star for acknowledging the problems that religion creates.  However, just because you have a properly critical view of religion does not in any way validate your personal belief in god.  Unless you can provide a rational basis for your personal belief, I will talk down upon and degrade your belief alongside the beliefs of biblical literalists.  It would be hypocritical of me not to do so.

Your views are the exact reasons why I believe the once promising atheist movement will turn itself into just another religious sect.  You believe that everybody who does not share your personal religious views (atheism) should be subject to degradation and mockery.  Gold star for being a part of the problem that religion creates.

zarathustra wrote:

And just think.  Atheists are capable of  "endless corruption and hate mongering" without the assistance of tax-exempt status.

Well you've already proven the hate mongering part in your comment above.

zarathustra wrote:

Yes, we atheists have the market cornered on extremism and hypocrisy.

I have already revoked my video game comment, but it still serves as an example that some atheists are acting like their extreme religious counterparts.

zarathustra wrote:

You are certainly entitled  to believe whatever you want without fear of retribution.  But that does not mean you are entitled to have your beliefs respected.  Even if you aren't one of the hate-mongering 6-day creationists, I have every right to challenge your chosen beliefs, and degrade them as irrational until you demonstrate otherwise.

If you are asking me to prove that god exists then you are making the same ignorant mistake that so many "extreme" atheists have made.  You as an atheist have chosen to either believe in scientific theory such as the big bang and evolution, or in nothing.  The big bang theory, and evolutionary theory are just as their names suggest: Theories.  Although they both hold a great deal of credit in the scientific world the very labeling of them as theories is a statement that they are not truths.  If we had for example, The God Theory, I can tell you that it would have held much more credit than either the Big Bang or Evolution for almost all of human existence.  Are you really saying that you are a smarter, more enlightened person, than every religious person in the history of mankind?  If you are then you are entirely missing the point of god and religion and I recommend you try to get a better understanding of society and human nature.  I'm not sure of your level of education but I can assume you certainly haven't touched upon any university level Theology, Moral Philosophy, or Psychology and recommend you do if you intend to continue being so outspoken on the subject.  Or if thats too much work - go read "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn, it's an incredible book that will put a lot of things into perspective.

Cali_Atheist2 wrote:

These are the same things most of us here having been saying. People should be able to hold their beliefs without fear of retribution but atheism is no threat to theism in the way you describe. Sure there are people that would love to see religion disappear, I myself am one. However, most atheists do not advocate the violent removal of religion from the face of the Earth, just as most theists do not want to burn us heretics anymore. So how do you define an extremist atheist? For that matter can you define what atheism is correctly? Remember that perception is reality and many church leaders even actually teach that atheists hate god. If one perceives atheists hate god then the reality in their mind is that atheists hate god when in fact atheists do not believe in god.

So why shouldn't I be allowed to attack anyone's belief system? Last time I checked the first amendment to the Constitution allowed me free speech. Notice I said belief system and not the individual. I don't have to respect anybody's beliefs I just have to respect their right to hold them. I think this is the best outcome we could hope for. We as human beings will always find a way to define ourselves and determine rather or not someone else is "worthy" enough to belong in our group. As a survival mechanism we will always try to fit into the group that defines ourself the best. This is just another classic example of us-against-them.

As theists find their beliefs wanting they tend to start whining about how they are persecuted and hide behind a stance of victim. If I claimed to believe in fairies what would your response be? Before you answer that rhetorical question, realize that fairy believers do not normally write public policy.

You make a lot of assumptions in your rant. This site's mods receive death threats quite a bit from believers and that is much worse than the scenario you describe. As the number of people on Earth increase we will find ourselves having to deal with more pressing concerns. We will have to find a way to work together to solve complex global problems and extremism on both sides is going to factor into how hard it can be to work together.

I agree with most of what you have said here, but because you have the right to degrade someone else's belief system doesn't mean you should.  If it is something that you need to do to make yourself feel superior to others, then although I'm glad thats working for you, I cant help but feel a bit sad for you.  As for the comments on church leaders teaching that atheists hate god, I agree and am strongly opposed to such things.  I understand that there are a lot of ignorant religious fanatics who would be sending death threats to open minded individuals such as those running this site, but all I am trying to say is that I sincerely hope the atheism movement does not follow the same path as all other religions have, because I used to have a lot of hope for it.

 

 

Regarding my own beliefs again, I do not believe that there is a big man in the sky who makes things happen.  I believe in and have studied both the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution, but there is only so much that science can explain.  Although the belief in a deity is completely illogical when looked at from a scientific point of view, it makes perfect sense spiritually.  Before science had really gotten rolling, people must have looked at the world we live and been blown away at the enormity and beauty of it, this alone would be enough to inspire ideas of god.  But now that our world has effectively shrunk and we understand so much more of it than we used to, people have lost appreciation for the miracle (touchy word I know) that is our world and life itself.  I know I am now getting far too artsy for the science buffs that seem to comprise the majority of atheism but to restate again, everyone should have the right to believe what they want to, without giving or taking shit from anyone.

 

Hope that sums up my thoughts - I'll check back periodically to continue this argument if people so wish.


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thingy wrote:The terms

thingy wrote:

The terms "extremist atheist" and "militant atheist" are bandied around a lot, but if you compare the actual deeds to those who are subjected to these terms than an "extremist atheist" is doing the equivelant actions of a "moderate theist", and a "militant atheist" is doing the equivelant actions of an "outspoken theist".  We're not even getting anywhere near the realms of fundamentalist theists, extremist theists and militant theists. 

I agree that atheists have not gotten anywhere near the point of extremism that theists have, I am merely pointing out that atheism has reached a point where it is comparable (though on a smaller scale at this point) to just another religious sect.


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The blanket demand that

The blanket demand that people's beliefs should never be attacked is not a justifiable position.

Beliefs are fundamental to determining a person's actions, how they interact with others. There clearly are beliefs which cause the believer to have a negative impact on other people and society in general, especially if they are in a position to affect many other people.

So criticism of other people's beliefs MUST always be allowed. They do have a right to believe what they want, but NOT a right to be free from criticism, or an unfettered right to ACT on those beliefs, insofar as it impacts other people.

Persecution and 'degradation' and personal attacks, especially physical attack, directed at someone in response to their beliefs is a different thing, and should be strongly discouraged.

There is a problem that some people feel criticism of cherished beliefs as being equivalent to actual persecution, almost equivalent to physical compulsion or attack.

There are people, including more than a few on this site, who are now grateful that the deep flaws in their beliefs were pointed out, to the point that they realized the absurdity, and freed their thoughts from the hangups of their religious world-view. This is a prime reason why we should allow such criticism. This should not be treated as an open invitation for gratuitous insults, let alone physical abuse, but since people are going to vary quite a bit in what they perceive as the boundary between legitimate criticism and verbal abuse, it would be a mistake to attempt to ban criticism as such.

All we can do is try to make people aware that some other people can be deeply offended by things that are not a problem for them, and suggest they they make allowances for these differences when confronting someone about what they (the 'confronter' ) sincerely believes are mistaken and potentially harmful beliefs.

And the Big Bang and Evolutionary Theory have orders of magnitude more evidential support than the God Theory, they are not remotely on the same level. God is pure speculation in the total absence of evidence outside the personal internal world of the believer.

 

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BobSpence1 wrote:The blanket

BobSpence1 wrote:

The blanket demand that people's beliefs should never be attacked is not a justifiable position.

Beliefs are fundamental to determining a person's actions, how they interact with others. There clearly are beliefs which cause the believer to have a negative impact on other people and society in general, especially if they are in a position to affect many other people.

So criticism of other people's beliefs MUST always be allowed. They do have a right to believe what they want, but NOT a right to be free from criticism, or an unfettered right to ACT on those beliefs, insofar as it impacts other people.

Persecution and 'degradation' and personal attacks, especially physical attack, directed at someone in response to their beliefs is a different thing, and should be strongly discouraged.

There is a problem that some people feel criticism of cherished beliefs as being equivalent to actual persecution, almost equivalent to physical compulsion or attack.

There are people, including more than a few on this site, who are now grateful that the deep flaws in their beliefs were pointed out, to the point that they realized the absurdity, and freed their thoughts from the hangups of their religious world-view. This is a prime reason why we should allow such criticism. This should not be treated as an open invitation for gratuitous insults, let alone physical abuse, but since people are going to vary quite a bit in what they perceive as the boundary between legitimate criticism and verbal abuse, it would be a mistake to attempt to ban criticism as such.

All we can do is try to make people aware that some people can be deeply offended by things that are not a problem for them, and suggest they they make allowances for these differences when confronting someone about what they (the 'confronter' ) sincerely believes are mistaken and potentially harmful beliefs.

And the Big Bang and Evolutionary Theory have orders of magnitude more evidential support than the God Theory, they are not remotely on the same level. God is pure speculation in the total absence of evidence outside the personal internal world of the believer.

 

  Thank you for pointing out the distinction between criticism and persecution, I was not clear as to which I meant in my comments above.  Constructive criticism can be extremely helpful for people to sort out their own personal beliefs by providing some perspective for which a person can base their decisions on.  The majority of extremists have grown up in a purely Christian (or Muslim, or any other religion) environment and have essentially been force fed their beliefs their whole life.  That is where I saw the promise in this rational and intelligent growing atheist movement (people such as yourself serve as a good example), it is getting people thinking again.

  My criticism towards some atheists as I have attempted to explain here, is that you should put all theists into a single group and call them inferior.  Although I agree there are many theists who have done much harm as a result of their personal beliefs, there are also a good number of us who have done the thinking, seen the pros and cons, and decided to adopt some sort of personal spiritualism as a result of this.  These sorts of people really have nothing against other religions or against atheists for that matter, unless as you stated, there has been a personal attack or persecution.

  So just as I have absolutely nothing against the majority of atheists, I encourage you all to direct your efforts where they could be used (as you have already done so a great deal), by promoting rational thinking in the irrational people of this world.

  As for the God Theory comment - I completely understand that it holds only social merit and absolutely no scientific merit but was merely using it as an example.


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Quote:Doesn't atheism have

Quote:
Doesn't atheism have an extreme end as well?

No.  Atheism is an on/off switch.  You can't be more atheist than someone else.  You're either atheist or you're theist.

Quote:
But the fact that atheists talk down upon and degrade religious people based on their beliefs is extremely hypocritical in most situations.

It is?  But... you just said that religion creates more problems than it solves.  So why are those of us who choose to mention this fact hypocritical?

Quote:
a good number seem to have made the generalization that anyone who believes in god believes the world was created in 6 days and takes the bible literally.

Could you provide evidence for this?  I'm pretty sure virtually all our users know that there are different kinds of theists.  It's kind of obvious.

Quote:
The Bible (or the Koran or any other religious text) is for the most part a work of fiction and is not meant to be taken literally but to be used as a way to teach and enrich peoples lives.

Well, it's really hard to find any factual accuracy in the Bible apart from a few names and places, but yeah, the point is well made.  It's certainly not the most accurate thing in the world.  But what makes you think that just because some bronze age patriarchal barbarians thought it was good moral teaching, that it really is good moral teaching.  From everything I see in it, it's actually more bad moral teaching than good.

Quote:
These tools have however been brutally mis-used and religion has for the most part been host to endless corruption and hate mongering.

I'd argue that in many cases, it was used exactly as intended.  Have you read the Old Testament?  The Israelites were a bunch of brutal war mongerers who killed women and children in mass genocidal rampages.  The crusades had the Israelites as a role model, and I'd say they did a good job of acting out what they read.  Similarly, the Bible teaches to discriminate against anyone not of your own religion.  Christians do a great job of that.  The Bible teaches not to trust anyone who tells you to believe science over the Bible.  Many Christians do a great job of that.

No, I'm afraid the Bible is much more about bad things than good.  Just for fun, go to an online bible search site and look up the number of times Jesus talked about love versus the number of times He or Yahweh talked about destruction, death, torture, hate, retribution, and other such badness.

Quote:
But due to its increasing popularity, atheism is reaching this point too.

What?  How so?

Quote:
The first example of this I saw in a news report during the development of the PC game Spore.  Apparently when the information that religion would be an integral part of the game play, had been released, Maxis was flooded with complaints and threats by these extremist atheists as to the inclusion of religion in a game revolving around evolution.

Um... let's not be disingenuous here, ok?  The threats Maxis received, as far as my internet search can find, were threats not to buy the game.  I think that's um... marketing at work.  If people don't like a product, they tell the producer they're not going to buy it in the hopes that they get what they want instead.

Quote:
Although I'm sure there has been a few rare cases, I have never heard of a Christian writing hate mail to (for example) Bungie, for not having the master chief be Christian enough

What?  Christians are famous for jumping on the holier than thou bandwagon.  Hell, at the heart, that's what the various denominations are!  It's one group of people saying, "Our version of Christianity is better than your version."  There are some denominations who go so far as to say that other denominations are false religions.  Southern Baptists, for example, believe that Catholics are going to hell for worshiping Mary instead of God. 

Christians don't just get onto their own kind, either.  On the contrary.  I've received multiple death threats from Christians, and countless threats of various nastinesses, either direct or indirect.  I've had some creepy Christian from my hometown writing me letters with lots of personal information for years... he even sent me a personal heirloom that he could only have gotten out of my house well over a decade ago.  He variously calls me an evil sinner, a heretic, a sorcerer, the hand of Satan, among other epithets.

You should have a look at the RRS inbox sometime.  There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of hatemails.

While we're on the subject, how many atheist billboards have you seen in your life?  Maybe two or three at most?  When's the last time you heard of a group of atheists picketing a church and harassing people going in?  On the other time, how many times have you heard of a group of Christians picketing abortion clinics?

No, I'm afraid you've got things out of context here. 

Quote:
Although people become atheists mainly because they are against the irrationality and hate mongering of religion, a lot of atheists should look at themselves and make sure that they are not being hypocritical.

Being atheist because of the hate mongering among religion is a particularly American thing because America is particularly hateful in its religious practice.  In parts of the world where religion is less insane, a lot of atheists are just atheists because they never believed the stories.

But while we're on the subject, I think you've got this wrong, too.  If it happens that many atheists in America are particularly up in arms about the insanity of religion in America, that's one thing, but I think you'll find it's not the reason people are atheists.  They're atheists because they don't believe the stories.  Think about it.  There are tons of theists who believe that the problem with theism isn't the theism but the interpretation of it.

Atheism and activism are motivated from entirely different places.

Quote:
All I am saying is that people should be able to have their own beliefs without fear of retribution, and should not attack other peoples beliefs.

Retribution?  The religious have no need for fear of retribution.  Ridicule, on the other hand, is not something they are immune from.  After all, their beliefs are ridiculous.

 

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

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 Smith wrote:I classify a

 

Smith wrote:
I classify a moderate atheist as someone who takes their beliefs in logic, science, and intellect and uses them to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them.  An extreme atheist (just as an extreme Muslim, or an extreme Christian is) is an atheist who will actively tell other people that their beliefs are wrong and that atheism is the only right way to go.  By doing this, you are merely recreating the hate and ignorance that so many of you left religion in the first place for.

An atheist is just a person that lacks belief in any supernatural deity or deities. There is no such thing as a "moderate" atheist or "extreme" atheist. This distinction doesn't exist; you just made it up.

What you just described as an extreme atheist "will actively tell other people that their beliefs are wrong" is just differences in approach and personality. In your definition, basically, an extreme atheist is just an individual that is more assertive.

Furthermore, telling people that their beliefs are wrong does not equal ignorance. There is a difference here. Religion always has a framework of beliefs that it simply refuses to question. I don't.

I travel to wherever the evidence leads me. Muslims travel to wherever they can rape the most virgins.    

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


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Smith wrote:Cali_Atheist2

Smith wrote:

Cali_Atheist2 wrote:

These are the same things most of us here having been saying. People should be able to hold their beliefs without fear of retribution but atheism is no threat to theism in the way you describe. Sure there are people that would love to see religion disappear, I myself am one. However, most atheists do not advocate the violent removal of religion from the face of the Earth, just as most theists do not want to burn us heretics anymore. So how do you define an extremist atheist? For that matter can you define what atheism is correctly? Remember that perception is reality and many church leaders even actually teach that atheists hate god. If one perceives atheists hate god then the reality in their mind is that atheists hate god when in fact atheists do not believe in god.

So why shouldn't I be allowed to attack anyone's belief system? Last time I checked the first amendment to the Constitution allowed me free speech. Notice I said belief system and not the individual. I don't have to respect anybody's beliefs I just have to respect their right to hold them. I think this is the best outcome we could hope for. We as human beings will always find a way to define ourselves and determine rather or not someone else is "worthy" enough to belong in our group. As a survival mechanism we will always try to fit into the group that defines ourself the best. This is just another classic example of us-against-them.

As theists find their beliefs wanting they tend to start whining about how they are persecuted and hide behind a stance of victim. If I claimed to believe in fairies what would your response be? Before you answer that rhetorical question, realize that fairy believers do not normally write public policy.

You make a lot of assumptions in your rant. This site's mods receive death threats quite a bit from believers and that is much worse than the scenario you describe. As the number of people on Earth increase we will find ourselves having to deal with more pressing concerns. We will have to find a way to work together to solve complex global problems and extremism on both sides is going to factor into how hard it can be to work together.

I agree with most of what you have said here, but because you have the right to degrade someone else's belief system doesn't mean you should.  If it is something that you need to do to make yourself feel superior to others, then although I'm glad thats working for you, I cant help but feel a bit sad for you.  As for the comments on church leaders teaching that atheists hate god, I agree and am strongly opposed to such things.  I understand that there are a lot of ignorant religious fanatics who would be sending death threats to open minded individuals such as those running this site, but all I am trying to say is that I sincerely hope the atheism movement does not follow the same path as all other religions have, because I used to have a lot of hope for it.

 

 

Regarding my own beliefs again, I do not believe that there is a big man in the sky who makes things happen.  I believe in and have studied both the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution, but there is only so much that science can explain.  Although the belief in a deity is completely illogical when looked at from a scientific point of view, it makes perfect sense spiritually.  Before science had really gotten rolling, people must have looked at the world we live and been blown away at the enormity and beauty of it, this alone would be enough to inspire ideas of god.  But now that our world has effectively shrunk and we understand so much more of it than we used to, people have lost appreciation for the miracle (touchy word I know) that is our world and life itself.  I know I am now getting far too artsy for the science buffs that seem to comprise the majority of atheism but to restate again, everyone should have the right to believe what they want to, without giving or taking shit from anyone.

 

Hope that sums up my thoughts - I'll check back periodically to continue this argument if people so wish.

BTW welcome to the forums as I forgot to do earlier. What I was proposing was that it's ok to mock someone's favorite football team but not  the god they worship? Why should religion get a free ride? I say this because I've read posts in my local newspaper from believers that say just such a thing. One writer said that it should be okay to question religion but not to mock it. If I recall the puritans were pretty nasty if you blasphemed god so I do not apologize for  mocking religion if I ever truly have.

I am very open minded and my theist friends compliment me constantly because of my knowledge of the bible, religion in general and am very civil about our discourse so don't feel sorry for me. As a former born again southern baptist I cannot believe that I believed in the literal interpretation of the bible. I laugh constantly about the things I used to believe. If pointing out the lunacy of anything other than some vague generic definition of god is a hate crime I guess I'll just turn myself over to the police on my way home tonight. Like I was saying before, all of us live on this little blue marble in space and we have to learn to get along to solve problems, but respect is earned and not to be given lightly.

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


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I am GOD, I am atheist, and

I am 100% GOD, I am, all the way, extreme to total atheist, and I object to anyone who says otherwise, period.

Zero appeasement, as is thermodynamics, as is the intuitive ancient Gnosis message of the likes of buddha and jesus, which was turned into religious separaitism dogma crap, for obvious understandable reasons .... the "selfish gene" ....


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Mr. Smith goes to school

Smith wrote:


Many many times on the internet especially I have seen atheists make the comment: "Why won't religion leave me alone?  Stop trying to convert me."  Have you seen this websites catchphrase?  "Believe in God? We can fix that."  Flat out hypocrisy right there (that is of course assuming you stand behind this mantra).


I'm sorry.  I was under the impression that you visited this site voluntarily.  I didn't realize you were only here under duress.  So you think we're "trying to convert" you.  The moderators must be petitioning Congress right now to make this site required material in public school curriculum.  Or perhaps you're upset at the Knights of Atheism, who pressured Eisenhöwer to put the words "under NO god" in the Pledge of Allegiance.  No, I know -- it's those pesky Darwin's Witnesses and Latter Day Rationalists who pound on your door and thrust atheist propaganda in your face.

Hypocrisy.  Flat out.

Smith wrote:
As I stated above I used to be an atheist, but I never held the attitude that I should be going around "fixing" other peoples beliefs.  That is not only extremely self-centered and ignorant, but it is also the exact reason why I believe this new reinforced atheism movement is going to create just as many problems if not more than it does away with.  There is still the majority that takes their own religion (or lack of it) and takes many positive things out of it, but there are always the assholes who will not hesitate to point out that they are the only ones correct and that all other people are inferior.

So you've actually seen atheists "going around 'fixing' other people's beliefs"?  What do they do -- stand on street corners ranting against god while they wave copies of The God Delusion?  Interrupt church services and demand the pastor give equal time in his sermon to evolution?


Smith wrote:


... I classify a moderate atheist as someone who takes their beliefs in logic, science, and intellect and uses them to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them.  An extreme atheist (just as an extreme Muslim, or an extreme Christian is) is an atheist who will actively tell other people that their beliefs are wrong and that atheism is the only right way to go.  By doing this, you are merely recreating the hate and ignorance that so many of you left religion in the first place for.

I'm all for using logic, science and intellect to improve all of our lives.  Were religious types not standing in the way of this (intelligent design, stem cell research, HPV vaccine), I might be a little less militant along the way.  I remain a bit puzzled about you equating "extreme" atheists with the extreme religious.  Feel free to provide data on atheists committing actions counterpart to clinic bombings, sectarian violence or honor killings ("We killed our daughter because she wasn't atheist enough" ).


Smith wrote:


Your views are the exact reasons why I believe the once promising atheist movement will turn itself into just another religious sect.  You believe that everybody who does not share your personal religious views (atheism) should be subject to degradation and mockery.  Gold star for being a part of the problem that religion creates.

You're quite shortsighted to term my atheism as "personal religious views".  I am not at all dogmatic about atheism.  Unlike say, young earth creationists, I'm more than willing to admit I'm wrong when presented countermanding evidence. 

And sorry to tell you:  beliefs which cannot hold up to critical analysis are fully deserving of degradation and mockery--regardless of whether take "many positive things" from those beliefs.  The belief that the universe is 6,000 years old is provably false.  So also the belief that Native Americans are the descendants of Israelites (and incidentally cursed by god with red skin).   Those who wish to espouse these beliefs in spite of their blatant falsehood are welcome to, but the rest of us should be free to deride them for the blatant falsehoods that they are.

Smith wrote:


I have already revoked my video game comment, but it still serves as an example that some atheists are acting like their extreme religious counterparts.

But you failed to address my provided examples of religious actions.  Atheists clamoring about a video game vs. theists tweaking national policy which affects us all is a rather lopsided comparison.

Smith wrote:


If you are asking me to prove that god exists then you are making the same ignorant mistake that so many "extreme" atheists have made.  You as an atheist have chosen to either believe in scientific theory such as the big bang and evolution, or in nothing.  The big bang theory, and evolutionary theory are just as their names suggest: Theories.  Although they both hold a great deal of credit in the scientific world the very labeling of them as theories is a statement that they are not truths.
 

You are making the same ignorant mistake that so many theists make, by equivocating on the meaning of "theory".  A scientific theory (unlike a religious belief) rests on evidence and can be used to make testable claims. 

Smith wrote:
If we had for example, The God Theory, I can tell you that it would have held much more credit than either the Big Bang or Evolution for almost all of human existence.

Nonsense.  On what evidence would a god theory be formulated?  What claims could it be used to make?  How would it be falsifiable?

Smith wrote:
Are you really saying that you are a smarter, more enlightened person, than every religious person in the history of mankind? 

Smarter?  No.  More enlightened?  Our semantics may differ, so I'll say not "more enlightened", but certainly more rational.

Smith wrote:
If you are then you are entirely missing the point of god and religion and I recommend you try to get a better understanding of society and human nature.  I'm not sure of your level of education but I can assume you certainly haven't touched upon any university level Theology, Moral Philosophy, or Psychology...

Perhaps failed to mention, but I was raised catholic, and in college had a desire to become a priest, whereupon I earned degrees in both theology and Philosophy.  I absconded before entering the orders and developed my present contempt for religion due in part to my studies in those respective fields.  So your assumptions are certainly false.  You want a theological pissing match?  Let the (video) games begin...

 [EDITED FOR VENOM]

 

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Smith wrote:Now although

Smith wrote:

Now although your response to my Spore/Halo comments are pretty much dead on (it was 4 in the morning when I wrote them, wasn't thinking too much), you have just provided me with an example of the attitude I am trying to point out here.  You feeling you have the need to put down other religions because they are wrong and your religion is the only right one is exactly the point I am trying to make.  I used to be atheist, I thought god was the stupidest thing to have ever been invented, but I never gave any of my religious friends a hard time about it.  As you could probably figure out by now I do not care whether any given person has a religion or not, I just hate it when people (religious or non-religious) are ignorant of others.

...

Im guessing you missed the irony i was trying to point out?

 

I know... i know... irony and sarcasm are dead art-forms

 

(glad to see you werent a drive-by poster though )

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Smith wrote:I'm not sure of

Smith wrote:
I'm not sure of your level of education but I can assume you certainly haven't touched upon any university level Theology, Moral Philosophy, or Psychology...

zarathustra wrote:
whereupon I earned degrees in both theology and Philosophy.

Ouch.

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


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Yea zarathustran, super

Yea zarathustran, super bright !  

 

 


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butterbattle wrote:Smith

butterbattle wrote:

Smith wrote:
I'm not sure of your level of education but I can assume you certainly haven't touched upon any university level Theology, Moral Philosophy, or Psychology...

zarathustra wrote:
whereupon I earned degrees in both theology and Philosophy.

Ouch.

Smith, I'm afraid you'll find that many of us have college degrees.  A lot of the people here are scary-smart and have advanced degrees in the fields you mentioned.  You are sure to meet some of our working scientists if you keep posting. 

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Beliefs and ideas

Everyone has the right to their beliefs, those beliefs do not have to be respected by anyone at all, nor are they free from criticism, however in my country you cannot initiate hatred or violence towards another person, you can however criticize it. For example, if I were to ask what evidence do you have for god, and hypothetically you say that you simply have faith that god exists....well sorry that doesn't stop me from saying that it is a stupid reason to believe in something. Now what I cannot do is beat the crap out of you, nor can I tell others that they should hate you or cause you harm....at least not in my country, in other countries (ooh I don't know pick a theocractic country, say Iran or Pakistan or heck even India for this matter) they can kill ya for disagreeing with them, hell some of them have it written in their laws that you cannot say anything against their idiot infantile ideas. Now what I just said is not extremism, it's just my opinion and critique of their beliefs.


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Iruka Naminori wrote:Smith,

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Smith, I'm afraid you'll find that many of us have college degrees.  A lot of the people here are scary-smart and have advanced degrees in the fields you mentioned.  You are sure to meet some of our working scientists if you keep posting. 

Some of the theists that come trolling are simply infuriating. They assume that we're all idiots; they're filled with glorious visions of converting all the uneducated infidels.

Or, actually, I think I'm referring to a specific theist. He stated that we couldn't possibly have the patience to stop playing Warcraft long enough to read a book, much less get a science degree. 

  

 

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


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butterbattle wrote:Iruka

butterbattle wrote:

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Smith, I'm afraid you'll find that many of us have college degrees.  A lot of the people here are scary-smart and have advanced degrees in the fields you mentioned.  You are sure to meet some of our working scientists if you keep posting. 

Some of the theists that come trolling are simply infuriating. They assume that we're all idiots; they're filled with glorious visions of converting all the uneducated infidels.

Or, actually, I think I'm referring to a specific theist. He stated that we couldn't possibly have the patience to stop playing Warcraft long enough to read a book, much less get a science degree. 

I haven't played warcraft in almost 8 years, and forget paying to play it online that's just bullshit, however I got my degree before playing warcraft thank you very much, and since I fly and travel so freaking much, have plenty of time to read at the hotel rooms or on the plane. Some people just spout out the most stupid things sometimes.


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Smith wrote:Vastet

Smith wrote:

Vastet wrote:

First, every group that has a strong political, religious, or societal position can have extremists. So yes, there are atheist extremists. I just don't hear about any of them very often. And when I do, it's usually as minor as you have stated, as opposed to going around actually decapitating people and burning them at the stake.

As for video games, you obviously have no clue whatsoever how hounded the gaming industry has been by religious zealots. I'll start you off with Jack Thompson. Read up on that guy, and see how long he's been involved. As for Spore, that's akin to extremists in Star Wars reacting to Chewbacca's death by insulting and threatening R.A. Salvatore, who wrote the novel that Chewy died in. They're assholes. Nothing more. Assholes are everywhere.

I completely agree with you, and as I stated above I know my gaming comment was pretty far off but the point I'm trying to make still stands. 

I don't believe it does.

Smith wrote:
 I'm just trying to point out that, like you said, assholes are everywhere, so although you might think that your own beliefs are the only right ones (religious or atheist), don't be an asshole about it to other people.

The massively significant difference is that theist assholes kill people. Atheist assholes just piss people off.

Smith wrote:

Many many times on the internet especially I have seen atheists make the comment: "Why won't religion leave me alone?  Stop trying to convert me."  Have you seen this websites catchphrase?  "Believe in God? We can fix that."  Flat out hypocrisy right there (that is of course assuming you stand behind this mantra).

So you're a hypocrite. We can be lambasted by religion, but we're not allowed to fight back? Screw that.

Smith wrote:
  As I stated above I used to be an atheist, but I never held the attitude that I should be going around "fixing" other peoples beliefs.  That is not only extremely self-centered and ignorant, but it is also the exact reason why I believe this new reinforced atheism movement is going to create just as many problems if not more than it does away with.  There is still the majority that takes their own religion (or lack of it) and takes many positive things out of it, but there are always the assholes who will not hesitate to point out that they are the only ones correct and that all other people are inferior.

Ridiculous. Atheism has made massive strides in the last 15 years. Years that were populated by the atheists you don't like. For 5000 years before that, atheists were the scum of the earth in any theists eyes. Murdered at whim.

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My story jesus was atheist,

My story jesus was atheist, murdered and perverted by theists, and they tried to kill buddha a few times too. Religion kills for god. That is what earth people do.

 


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Good points. I think what he

Good points. I think what he is trying to do here is say "Atheist are mean". Which could be true within the relm of religion. I sometimes find myself being a dick to theist, ONLY after they decide to go around spitting their b-s around with pious zeal. I argued with some woman the other day for saying evolution isn't fact, when I can PROVE it 100% true then she will CONSIDER listening. Thats what you get when you live in Texas. Bible Belt Sad... I want to make a belt with little bibles all over it, and a huge cross or something as the buckle... badass. In all fairness, when I hear someone going around screaming about atheism and how awesome it is, I usually decide to "play the theist" and see if their an idiot... sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't. Oh well.

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"Smith wrote:Many many times

"

Smith wrote:

Many many times on the internet especially I have seen atheists make the comment: "Why won't religion leave me alone?  Stop trying to convert me."  Have you seen this websites catchphrase?  "Believe in God? We can fix that."  Flat out hypocrisy right there (that is of course assuming you stand behind this mantra).

"

"Believe in God? We can fix that." Seems to allude to the fact that religion can be compared to a mind disorder (read kellys post). Disorder being my key word there, indicating it is broken, so it needs fixed. Silly theist think they pray to God because they love him... but that doesn't make sense, why pray to someone who knows what you want. They pray because their scared of hell. Hell = terror. Terrorist?

 

Also, you seem to be making a fundamental mistake in your argument. "I have seen this sometimes, so my statement applies to ALL". Some atheist may be ignorant, but that doesn't mean we all are. I have no agenda to see to it that you agree with my views. I am one of the atheist that go around watching religious movies and reading text looking for something of some value. But I'm usually encountered with the same stupid rhetoric. Have you seen the movie "Expelled - No int. allowed"? That should be a comedy. Who made Ben Stein the spokesperson for anything? He is just a stupid ex-lawyer writer actor... Big flip?

 

 

We pop theist like Orville Redenbacher!


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I've read many good points,

I've read many good points, as for the original post I consider myself a vehement atheist and anti-theist; I believe that humanity will never truly be able to progress completely unless we break the shackles of religion, a petty and childish tradition from our infancy when we have nothing to explain natural phenomenae. I also believe that at some point religion has to die out, otherwise humanity will obviously be poisoned and crushed underneath God's pillar of fear, forever.

"Truly, if there is evil in the world, it lurks within the hearts of mankind." -Edward D. Morrison


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All human beings are subject

All human beings are subject to the same human phycology. Atheists, for the most part are non-violent and do not see any war or violence as a solution to any problem(for the most part).

BUT having said that, we still can suffer from from the same missperception of "moral outrage" as any other label that may cause a tunnel vision that leads them to take "drastic action".

BUT, for peaceful people who do not believe, we are not extremists simply because we may say, "the claim of a virgin birth is absurd". That cannot be called extremist merely because someone may find it offensive.

BUT most atheists are falsely slandered with this label merely because we challenge people to think about the claims they make. It is hurled at us because theists are not used to something new and they fear what they don't understand.

HERE is what most atheist activists (and I don't speak for all) but most of us think. We simply see that life can be lived without a superstition or superstitious fictional god. We don't see any logic or scientific credibility in the claims of the super natural.

There are people within our label that I have seen suffer from the same narcisistic "moral outrage" that has caused theists to act out in violence because they feel "justified".

The fact is we are all human and are subject to the same psychology and emotions. People of all stripes are capable of violence if certain emotional buttons are pushed.

 

 

 

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     Personally, I am

     Personally, I am anything but an extreme atheist.   I'm just a former Christian who went searching for the truth no matter where it led me.

  Besides, I don't really worry about most Chsistians.   Apart from the few religious activists out there most Christians behave just as bad or worse ( Ted Haggard, pedophile priests, etc ) than the evil atheists they are supposedly trying to convert.

I'm a right wing atheist because I enjoy being hated by everyone.

"When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction." Mark Twain.


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Let me add that of course

Let me add that of course MOST people DO NOT act out in violence because of empathy. It is when we fail to see others outside the group as having the same emotions and empathy, we start to see them as another species. I think that lack of introspection and empathy is what can cause conflict and violence.

The vehicals of meme spreading excell in the group dynamic in the forum of religion, state, nationalism or any label. It is natural for humans to flock to what they are familure with and anything outside that familurarity can be seen as  threat, even if it is not.

So we can begin to see the start of conflict with things such as vandalism of opposition  property. We can see this in playing victim. We can see this just like lion marking it's territory.

If one were to put perceived aggressive violence or perceived self defense, when it is not based on a direct physical threat, but an idea, what leads to the slippery slope to ending up dehumanizing the other side where violence seems to be the only option is simple fear of the unknown.

WE are all human, including those whom we, or they think, have dangerous  ideas. We fight in aggression or self defense because we are protecting our way of life, or they protect or defend their way of life.

It is not a defense of superstition or god belief, but mere insight to human behavior of all labels, and to fail to recognize this by anyone sets us up to pit each other against each other.

Understanding "POV" point of view, combined with conflict resolution skills, will not solve all the world's problems, but understanding that ALL HUMANS want the same thing, love, shelter and a means to survive transends all labels.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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When one has been confronted

When one has been confronted virtually your whole life with example after example of the absurdity of various religious beliefs, the truly evil things people will do in the name of religious beliefs, it can become impossible to take such ideas as anything more tham abberation of the human mind, which can also be used to support good actions as well.

You only need a few really serious examples of religious dogmas motivating people  to do really bad things to make it impossible to treat it as a 'really' originating in some benevolent deity, who would have the power to block such harm, especially harm which also had the effect of discrediting 'His' word. This cannot be offset by examples of it also inspiring good actions. Such a mix of effects just makes it so obviously of human origin.

Oh, and hello Brian37 - some particularly good posts recently...

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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is baldness as a hair color,

Does baldness as a hair color, have extremes?  I'm trying to think if you can be an Extremist Atheist.  I suppose you can be more vocal about your atheism, more adamant, and doggedly study the reasoning behind it but I'm not sure if that is the same thing as a Religious Extremist.

 

Probably just another attempt by the Religious to accuse the non-religious of their delusion.  Like: "Atheism is just a religion!"

 

I suppose someone who is adamant about Democracy, might be called a A-Communist Extremist... but what would be the point?

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


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The Obvious Truth

I don't mean to be rude or disrespectful. I acknowledge that everyone has a right to believe what they want, but it just seems to me that, now that we've had several hundred years of hard science to explain most things, people wouldn't still believe in an imaginary God. But...millions still do. I think this stems from people simply not wanting to admit, even to themselves, that life does NOT go on after death. There is no heaven or hell. There is no all-powerful, omnipotent, magical God that hears and sees everything we do. When religious people pray, they are, in essence, praying to no one...because God does not exist--couldn't possibly exist. Religion has done so much more harm than good throughout history. So many sadistic, murderous acts are committed in the name of any number of Gods. Religion has been abused and used for ill-purpose for many hundreds of years. And to anyone that believes in any God, I would say, "You're absolutely crazy." Religion was invented by mankind as a way of explaining the universe and everything in it. The Bible (every book of supposed holy scripture) is pure fiction, nothing more. Sorry. Sad but true. 


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Slightly Off-Topic

The thread title sounds like it's advocating the murder of extreme atheists (so long as it's done kindly, however that works).

Questions for Theists:
http://silverskeptic.blogspot.com/2011/03/consistent-standards.html

I'm a bit of a lurker. Every now and then I will come out of my cave with a flurry of activity. Then the Ph.D. program calls and I must fall back to the shadows.


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My own comment is this, I

My own comment is this, I frankly think we would probably be better of without religion but I'm not fully sure that it would change things too much in some of the ways needed. For example I can easily see that a demagogue would simply grab at a different tool to turn people against one another (nationalism, race, economics, etc.) but it would give them one less tool. Religion does cause problems, it can make good people do horrible things and wish to cause harm to others because of what their books say. Frankly, if you want to believe something you have the right to do that, but you don't get to have your beliefs protected from scrutiny if you bring them to the public, nor should your beliefs be left free of scrutiny if they bring harm to yourself or others. After all, if I was in a classroom and told my teacher that mathematics as we understood it was wrong because of my religious principles I highly doubt that I would just be given a pass on the class or that we would have to teach non-euclidean geometry specifically to cater to my religious beliefs.


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