I'm sorry but being loud and kind of an asshole is an appropriate response to religion. Dawkins has plenty of room before he starts being comparable to his opponents. If he starts putting HIV needles in payphone coin return slots and joins NAAMBLA then we can talk about how he's just as bad as the religious.
He'd still be right, though. That counts for a lot. We're spending a shit ton of tax dollars policing morality, ignoring the environment and supporting Israel in the hopes that Jesus will come to convert or kill all the Jews. Saying we shouldn't do that isn't even remotely equivalent to saying we should.
John Holmes Motherfucker
Well, they're just as OBNOXIOUS, to be sure, and everybody's irrational about something. The truth is, if believing in God works for you, then I think that makes believing in God rational. You certainly could be wrong, but it's not really rational for you to believe that you can avoid being wrong a whole lot of the tiime. I would maintain, however, that whatever your religious beliefs may be (atheism is not a religion, but it is a religious belief, if your beliefs make you obnoxious or worse toward others, they're not working for you.
So, is the Amazing Athiest in this? I must know before I click.
John Holmes Motherfucker
Blue, you're confusing religion and politics, and I know that there are a lot of believers who do the same thing, but not all of them, by any means. You're obliged to respect the other person's faith until they use it oppress you, and then the rules change considerably.
No one needs to understand this more than the religious right. When you talk about this being a Christian Nation, that means that everybody who lives here has a claim to jesus as a cultural icon, so if somebody decides to drop a crucifix in a jar of urine, don't act so wounded. You brought it on yourself. You don't get to shove Jesus down everybody's throat, and then act personally insulted when soimebody gags.
You absolutely aren't required to respect other's faith, even if they aren't harming you. You are required to respect other's 'right to hold' their beliefs, but that's completely different. Which is part of why people criticize those in the documentary, because they don't see the difference.
And for that matter, whether an idea can be criticized doesn't change based on whether it's used to harm me, or anyone. Trying to place certain people and categories of claims above questioning is always a bad idea. The response to any moral, scientific, historical or other claim should always be "How do you know that?", and rejected if they don't have an answer, regardless of whether they call it a religion.
Also I don't think there is a difference between religion and politics. Beliefs and worldviews should inform actions. If you think a 'soul' exists during pregnancy, you should oppose women's right to terminate. If you think homosexuality angers God and threatens people's immortal souls, you should oppose it. I don't think the solution to people believing false things about science and other people is "You shouldn't challenge those ideas but rather encourage people to ignore the consequences of their beliefs," but doing the same thing we do in all other contexts. Challenge the beliefs.
Maybe the purpose of religion and faith for most people isn't to prove anything. Despite the horribleness of many religious people, it brings people comfort and inspires them to do good things. Atheism (and again, I'm an atheist), does not bring comfort. It's uncomfortable and painful to believe that we may simple be pieces of electrified meat.
Despite all of science's great achievements, there are still fundamental questions about consciousness, memory, the composition of the universe, extra-dimensional existences (M-Theory?!), that we simply can't answer and we will likely never answer ever because our brains' ability to perceive the universe as it actually is is maddeningly insufficient.
John Holmes Motherfucker
>>You absolutely aren't required to respect other's faith, even if they aren't harming you. You are required to respect other's 'right to hold' their beliefs, but that's completely different.
Wel, there are legal requirements, ethical requirments, and there are requirement’s for not being an assholel. I framed my statement in response to Blue's assertion that the appropriate respond to religion was to be "a kind of an asshole".
Don't think so small, the fact that somewhere in somehow somewhen the possibility of nonexistence became impossible and therefore reality requires no shitsucking God and is stupendously profound.
You diss our electric meat like you all know something better when you do not.
Religion is too small a fucking word for anything important, even atheism.
Saying atheism doesn't bring comfort and leaves us electrified meat, is like saying theism means the only value to our existence is to either kiss the ass of a supreme ruler or be tortured by it for fun. Neither is necessarily true.
Yes, not believing in one type of supernatural being or story doesn't itself bring comfort. But believing in things which are real, can. I feel sorry for those religious people who think that when people lose religion, they lose happiness and morality. Because we are both seeing the same world, but one of us has learned to see life as shit which requires an illusion to provide happiness, and the other sees life as worth it, however transient.
Yes, Baleen, you are an Atheist. If you think religion is comforting, you've never been religious. Religious people still have to cry at funerals, so no, that upside doesn't exist. The downside is very real. Lives are fucking wasted, even when people don't have all the fucking bullshit rules. Life is precious, and religion teaches that it's just the test you take before your real life begins.
If you think reality is uncomfortable, try believing that God will torture you forever for being gay. Try believing in actual fucking demons. Life is basically a high stakes version of Auschwitz. Some people actually believe this shit.
Just because you know a lot of religious people that don't doesn't mean they represent all of the religious experience. And yes, they don't fucking believe it but practice it anyway for the same reason that Frito Pendejo didn't point out that the Time Macheen was just a ride. It's not true, but the reward makes it worth it!
Religion doesn't answer questions, it insists we stop thinking about them. That doesn't enrich our lives.
The appropriate response to anyone getting their morality from a book that condones child rape is to be kind of an asshole.
Also, the appropriate response to anyone conspiring with someone to murder your family and torture them forever is to be kind of an asshole about it.
Believing in this shit is not value neutral. You can act like it's okay because you don't respect their beliefs. You're way more condescending than Dawkins is.
That's definitely your understanding of religion. I've met plenty of religious people that don't fit that mold. I'm sorry that that has been your experience of religious people.
If you think reality is uncomfortable, try believing that God will torture you forever for being gay." That's awful. Fortunately not all religious people believe this. The smarter ones see faith as a slow-moving colossus that absorbs ideas, a human movement that transcends historical trends. I personally believe religion does not move fast enough to address the planet's most pressing issues, and it does not, as a whole, address injustices like believing that gays are going to burn in hell.
"Religion doesn't answer questions, it just insists that we stop thinking about them." This doesn't coincide with my experience, but I know that it is the experience of many people with level-1-bland to level-10-abusive religious upbringings.
I routinely talk to a lot of people involved with the Catholic Workers' Movement, the new, NEW "Christian Left" movement, and so on. They would be the first to recognize the problems with religion. I find them to be overwhelmingly decent and kind people. Their entire lives are pledged to making the lives of other people better.
Dawkins himself admits in a couple lectures that a fundamental problem with atheism is in asking where the impulse to do self-sacrificial, great things is coming from. Is it merely okay to do good things when one wants to, out of a desire to make the world better, or should one do good things because one must, because it is, for lack of a better term, the very reason we were created? When widespread calamity hits you see the difference between the two.
Another fundamental problem with New Atheism is how it it is to recreate rituals associated with death, birth, redemption of awful criminals, disease, disgusting levels of filthy poverty and depravation... Things which have traditionally been spearheaded by the spiritually inclined. Ignoring or downplaying these challenges is sure to keep New Atheism in a corner, occupies by the pathetically self-righteous, blowhard Hitchens of the world. These people do not speak to the common human experience, past a petty anger over the injustice of god's wrath.
John Holmes Motherfucker
>>Saying atheism doesn't bring comfort and leaves us electrified meat, is like saying theism means the only value to our existence is to either kiss the ass of a supreme ruler or be tortured by it for fun. Neither is necessarily true.
I started out arguing against the idea that being an asshole was an appropriate response to religion, and I still thiink that's a slam-dunk. But i believe based on all the anecdotal evidence, that religious people as a group tend to be much bigger assholes toward atheists.
My religious "faith" is pretty shaky, enough that I put the word in quotes, yet my sense of morality comes from there. And so I don't entirely reject the concept of God. But I know, with pretty solid proof, that people can behave in a very moral and ethical fashion without any belief in God. Some athiests can be so full of moral rectitude as to annoy the hell out of everyone else. At this moment, I'm actually wearing this t shirt.
Seeing God as torturer, according to a lot of people immersed in theology, is just naivety.
Being right certainly does count for a lot. It counts for nothing, however, towards how you are allowed to act. This is a basic thing that everyone (I thought) understood. You don't get to justify being a jerk. The most you can do is own it, which Dawkins doesn't.
And as we all know, people immersed in theology are totally objective when analyzing the flaws in religion.
All these people defending the "right" version of religion, are just doing the same thing people 20, 100, 1,000 years ago did with their own different versions of it based on their own beliefs. Simply ascribing what they'd like religion to be and refusing to treat it as they would the traditions and myths from different cultures and eras. If the new Roman Empire had been Norse instead of Christian, we'd have people talking about how those who treat Thor as a myth and Loki as a villain are being naive.
Except that lots of people who are religious really don't concern themselves with who is right. It just doesn't occupy their minds. Plenty of churches, temples, whatever, invite humanists, atheists, people of different religions, to give lectures in their space.
This is what is driving New Atheism: The profound and very rational fear that the major gaps in the Enlightenment, the terrifying new rule-shattering concepts coming from biology and physics, will empower the absolute worst of religious people to keep doing what they're doing. If you go over to the Discovery Institute you'll see what I mean. These people take the weirdest shit going on in evolutionary science, such as the shaky notion that we originated from electrified clay in the RNA World Hypothesis, and they implicitly introduce God or a Creator into the mix.
So all I'm saying is that the apparent militancy of New Atheism will not speak to the vast majority of people, and it's not because religious people are uneducated and stupid. I'm an atheist in a very different way and for very different reasons than "believing in God means you're stupid."
The End of Science is a good book on this subject.
Grr... those evil loud atheists. How dare they impose on me with their books and optional university lectures in which they say things I don't agree with! Why can't they be more like religious people, who never try to promote their own beliefs in the public square or claim themselves and their message infallible.
Seriously, I get that you dislike atheism, but I've never understood how people who aren't pushing any changes in law other than fair secularism, and aren't threatening anyone any harm, get you more riled up than those who are. If they were theists criticizing atheism, they'd be made irrelevant as lightning rods because major politicians say far worse things all the time and try to implement them in law.
agnosticism is a copout, have some fucking conviction
To every supernatural claim, or just all gods, or just one particular god?
I'm seriously asking. At what point is believing an unevidenced claim which resembles human anthroporphizing natural forces into relatable beings as a way of giving us a sense of control and comfort over a mysterious world just like countless other superstitions we don't believe in, made unreasonable? Is it okay for me to say Thor isn't real? What about volcano gods, ghosts and fairies? Can I be agnostic to a God that created the world in 6 days 6,000 years ago, or only undefined deistic gods? I don't want to appear unreasonable.
John Holmes Motherfucker
I have a conviction that intellectual integrity is more important than "having a conviction". A plague on both your houses. Or not.
John Holmes Motherfucker
It's okay to say whatever you like, but when you say Thor isn't real, well, frankly, that's not provable.
But your question confuses me. Is atheism the belief that there is no God, or that there is no god that is anthropomorphic? In my concept of God, Thor and Jehovah are both myths that represent things that can't be understood.
That's my point, any claim in the universe is "unprovable" if you simply define it so. Even for ordinary testable claims, you can't prove magic (gods, wizards, whatever) isn't hiding the true results.
We reject this solipsism for good reason. It's useless. We only ever proceed on best available evidence, without absolute certainty.
If I can't say that Thor isn't real, I can't say Sylvia Browne isn't a psychic, L. Ron Hubbard wasn't a fraud, homeopathy isn't science. That's not a reasonable standard of knowledge that advances learning, and it's not a standard we usually apply to claims, except when for reasons of cultural bias we want to keep believing. Some cultures do it with reincarnation and fan-death. Some do it with ghosts and witches. Some do it with gods.
A theist is one who believes in a god, an a(without)-theist is one who doesn't. Most atheists do have beliefs, like that there's no reliable evidence for a god, and beliefs shouldn't be held unless based on evidence, but atheism as a category isn't defined by a belief, but a lack of one.
God isn't a single idea, it's a category of concepts usually applying to magical beings. I agree that Thor and Jehovah are myths representing the unknown. But unless I believe that unknown includes a deity, I'm not a theist. All we've learned about existence and it's origins was stranger and more incredible than we could imagine. Simply calling the unknown "God" seems at best misleading and pointless to me. I might not be an atheist to your definition of god, like Spinoza's, but I also don't agree it's a god. Like how I don't believe in vampires, even while I agree Porphyria exists.
John Holmes Motherfucker
I said that you can say what you like, and some things can't be proven . And you agree with me! That's great. Glad we could find common ground!
I do think that real logical cases could e built against Sylvia Brown and L. Ron Hubbard.
"Some things cannot be proven."
Like a negative. If the argument falls to "you can't say that god DOESN'T exist," then please substitute pink unicorns, Vishnu, Satan, and the tooth fairy in there and see how compelling the argument is.
This is ridiculous, there is substantially more proof for the unreality of Thor than there is for the weight of the electron, which no one argues. "Proof" as the word is being used here is a meaningless jargon term to turn an argument into schoolyard mind-slush.
There is a method for acquiring knowledge that humans have been using forever now, but the name slips my mind... the superstitious method? The religious method? The guess at it and say it loud method? It's right on the tip of my tongue...
John Holmes Motherfucker
>>Like a negative. If the argument falls to "you can't say that god DOESN'T exist," then please substitute pink unicorns, Vishnu, Satan, and the tooth fairy in there and see how compelling the argument is.
How compelling WHAT argument is? You get that I'm agnostic, right?
This is a side point to side pointt that I made not too seriously because Irish Whisky was b\eing a sarcastic tool. It wasn't my real argument. I 'm not convinced that you can prove that Thor doesn't exist, or Santa Claus, either, though you can probably come up with some pretty good circumstantial evidence. I don't really need proof, can't imagine why you'd want to prove it, and, if you do prove it, I probably won't be here when you're done.
I prefer humility over blind conviction
Also i'm pretty sure I can call L Ron Hubbard a fraud - when your religion sounds like the bad science fiction you tried to hawk.
Gmork: By all means, name me a major world religion that doesn't. The difference between Scientology and other religions is that it's new and centralized in power, not any less plausible than others.
Chances are a few hundred years from now, Scientology followers will claim stories about Xenu are only meant as metaphor, just like the Abrahamic faiths say about the talking snake with legs.
John Holmes Motherfucker
>> Chances are a few hundred years from now, Scientology followers will claim stories about Xenu are only meant as metaphor, just like the Abrahamic faiths say about the talking snake with legs.
I'm sure there are Scientologidsts who say that now.
>>Gmork: By all means, name me a major world religion that doesn't.
Unitarian Universalism is based on seven principles
The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part
And that, my friends, is it. Universalism" is the idea that salvation is universal, that it extends to everybody. None of this "the swaved and the damned". Democrats, Republcians, Jews, Pedophiles, Terrorists, Heaven for everybody. It's pretty hardcore. Nobody's ever going to tell you tat you're going to go to hell if you don't become a Unitarian Universalist.
Therefore, UU members are not required to believe anything, including the Universal salvati0on business. There is NO required dogma. You don't even have to believe in God, and you don't have to renounce any other religious affiliation. I love the Catholic Mass, but UU is the only religion I could ever really join.
Also, a very nice tradition of social activism. Find me a Peace Vigil, and I'll find you a Unitarian Universalist.
Great example. Because UU is what you get when you strip out the parts that make something it a religion, leaving those which have secular value.
If it's only philosophical beliefs, with no common supernatural claims or authority, then there's no difference between a religion and an organization with a philosophy. You could easily call the Girl Scouts or 4H club a religion. And if people want to call their groups that, that's fine by me. But until the Girl Scouts get a Pope or say claims about reality must be taken on faith, I'm obviously not going to have the same criticisms of them as I would actual religions.
John Holmes Motherfucker
Of course, it sort of makes them the exception that proves the rule. When you REQUIRE bellief of people, that's mind control. By definition.
John Holmes Motherfucker
Well, then, I guess I see your point. If you're saying that insistence on crazy dogma is the definition of a religion, then no, I can't think of a religion that doesn't insist on a crazy dogma,
But I've been to UU services. They pray, and sing hymns. Belief is not a requirement, but it's the order of the day. If UU is not a religion, religion is not the point. Alll this doigma and mind ccontrol is more about politcs than relgion, if you ask me.
|James Woods |
To be fair, this doesn't seem anywhere near as unnecessary as an /r/Atheism circle jerk. There's a place in the world for this.
regardless of your conviction, a documentary about these two is bound to be worthwhile and interesting
I'll be loud and self-satisfied thanks.
To me the most wide spread and damaging product of religion is it's perpetuation of just-world bias. Justice is our idea, it's ours to grow and maintain. If you think someone is on the street because that's god's plan, I think there's a serious disconnect between your world view and what society is actually for.
Ok, it took me a couple of days to reply. The first couple of times I watched that clip I could actually feel the cognitive dissonance. I watched it again, and I understand. It's going to be a beautiful day.
The description doesn't really match the video. Dawkins is only "loud" in the sense that he's famous and thus his message reaches a lot of people.
That said, it annoys me when he gets placed above other scientists (part of the "dynamic duo of science" apparently) for being anti-religion. The cult of personality he's built around himself has next to nothing to do with science, and everything to do with pushing back against religion (and selling books with Dawkins' name on the cover.) There are scientists who have done greater and more important work than he has in the same field, but who never get recognition because they'd rather be furthering our knowledge than going on Oprah to compare religious people to holocaust deniers.
Richard Dawkins does follow a religion, and he sees his deity every time he walks by a mirror.
You could make similar arguments about people like NDT, Bill Nye, David Attenborough and Carl Sagan though. They are held up as representatives of science, who also primarily sell books rather than do research. They are far more recognized than people who've done more important work, but don't get recognition because they further knowledge rather than go on Oprah.
Unless NDT and Dawkins are claiming to have done more for science than Hawking, I don't see that as a problem. So the only criticism left there is just his being anti-religion.
The thing that bothers me about Dawkins is that he continuously conflates science with his own worldview. My main problem with this is that it sends the message that religious people have to choose between their religion and science. And while that might be true for young-earth-creationists, most mainstream religions are compatible with science.
I've spent a bit of time respectfully explaining evolution on conservative Christian forums, and I was surprised at how many young people were reluctant to pursue a career in science because they thought they'd meet with hostility and ridicule from mentors and colleagues (in reality, no one gives a shit what you believe). For a real-world example, last semester a student apologized after reflexively saying, "God Bless You". He later explained that because I teach biology, he was concerned I would take offense at the mere mention of a deity.
I often wonder how many of my students are inclined to reflexively discount what I teach because of this sort of perception, and how many good people the profession is losing. Sometimes it seems like Dawkins has done more to harm the public understanding of science than help it.
Dawkins is a tool, and in every sense an example of why utter polarization does not make for a good philosophy.
hey baleen, good job on this thread, dude
Jet Bin Fever
yeah, baleen laid it out like a champ. Nuanced and intelligent all the way.
Look at all those big beefy discussion threads this goddamn video made.
What does it say that there are pastors in America who literally wish imprisonment, the death penalty and genocide upon gay people, minorities, Muslims, etc. and nobody here gets mad about it? (Mind you, it's not like the videos don't get posted here).
The only thing I see that could possibly be construed as offensive about what Dawkins does is that he comes off as snooty about it. But he's also English. Piers Morgan is snooty. Simon Cowell is snooty. It's an English thing, not an atheist thing.
Yeesh. Successful troll is successful baleen.
Well there's his views on women's rights, but as long as there's people worse than him, that makes him good enough, right?
ps. Hi Bo-News!
People like this are the reason I'm "not religious" as opposed to an atheist.
Sorry, wasn't meant as a reply to you, but I guess it works just as well...
Ditto, 'non religious' is the only thing I've been comfortable with.
Only on poeTV can people get offended by other people not wanting to come across as offensive.
|Miss Henson's 6th grade class |
EMF is on the soundtrack, or I'm not seeing this.
When I first came here I was struggling with my Christian beliefs, you guys really helped point me in the right direction.
I'm not an atheist. I've concluded that even though the god of the Bible is false that the most powerful force in the universe would have to be God. So I've found the truth and the light and I hope you will join me in the Chuch of Cenatology. Let Cena into your heart and learn the ways of Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect.
Well your god provably exists, so you've already got a significant leg up.
Yup, I worship and see him every Monday night.
There are some days I feel like a meat construct with several poorly coordinated control systems that collectively provide illusions of consciousness, free will, and self. There are other days I feel like a complete spiritual being trying to express itself through a clumsy meat vehicle. What I vacillate between isn't "atheism" and "theism" so much as whether I'm just meat or am I meat plus some transcendent properties. So at times I'm comfortably atheist, but at other times I feel I'm connected to some greater process on a spiritual level, and I can't just ignore that, illusion though it may be.
So I'm not about to trash religion for being "wrong", even though I concede they all sound fishy; if you feel there's something spiritual going on, you can't just ignore it. And I'm not going to tar all the religious with the same brush, because while there is no shortage of horrible religious assholes, there are also your Stephen Colberts (teaches Sunday School and also testifies before Congress for better rights for migrant workers) and MLK Jrs (also profoundly concerned with the well-being of the poor, plus Civil Rights).
But I *will* trash that great number of religious folks who have taken a faith that is supposed to teach compassion, and somehow reverse-engineered the compassion out of it. Not that I think there is a Satan, but nonetheless, that is Satan's crowning triumph. Also, great disrespect for those people in the middle who say "hey don't blame me for what my religious leaders say" ... don't tell ME that, tell THEM to shut the fuck up.
The good news is, fundamentalist circles have pretty much lost the young people today; kids are seriously turned off by Culture Wars and don't see how hating gays can be squared with loving one's neighbor. This is officially considered a crisis in evangelical circles. So I'm more optimistic about where religion will be in the years to come, when more Fred Phelpses are dead and more Fred Clarks are alive.
to balance out the self rating
The description and resulting discussion supposed to be one big joke? Right?
to balance out the loudest and most self-satisfied submitter
Seriously though the description is barely removed from calling civil rights leaders uppity.
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