Author Topic: Should we try to eliminate religion?  (Read 15089 times)

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Offline Traveler

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #203 on: December 01, 2011, 02:27:26 PM »
...Once the average Christian no longer sees you as a threat just because you are atheist, they will be more inclined to listen to you. Then you can proceed to educate them on an individual and national level without needing to resort to mocking them for their beliefs.

That's my strategery on the matter for what it's worth.

This has certainly been my experience in my personal life. People get to know me a little. We get to talking about religion and I share my thoughts. And because they already like and respect me they listen. Sometimes they have a big aha moment. Sometimes they're already there. But either way, I've made a friend and a listener instead of turning them off. I show them respect as human beings. They accord me the same courtesy.

This approach, of course, works better with moderate and liberal christians, what I would call the "average" christian. Fundamentalists, not so much, although I've made friends with a few. They never seem to stop the "praise the lord" talk in my presence, but they at least cut out the overt proseletizing and listen to my thoughts.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #204 on: December 01, 2011, 03:18:00 PM »
That is true. My apologies.
However, this has led to Azdgari pointing something out, which I think he's right about, considering the headache it gave me. I will need him to justify it, obviously, as I do not see it.

What is it that still needs to be justified?  You're a little vague here.  I had meant presicely what jaimehlers said.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #205 on: December 01, 2011, 03:19:36 PM »
What is it that still needs to be justified?  You're a little vague here.  I had meant presicely what jaimehlers said.

I interpreted your post as:
"Cause and effect is a way to say that the ends (sometimes) justify the means."
If this is not what you meant, then I had a hell of a headache for nothing.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #206 on: December 01, 2011, 03:23:03 PM »
Religion isn't all bad.

Which religions do you think deserve our active support?

The people who think they are religious are not all bad.

Never said they were.  That was not my point, not is it a reasonable interpretation of my point.

I look at how the demonization of atheists makes many of you feel. I see the anger it causes. I see the anguish. The fear to speak out for some. These are the effects of marginalization. Do you want your loved ones to feel that way too? There are better ways. First step is to change public perception of what atheists are like. Atheist are humans too, not baby eating monsters hell bent on mocking the faithful.

See, this ^^ represents an utter refusal to read and comprehend the posts being made to you, Jay.  I am hesitant to make further posts to you, in light of your blatant refusal to read their contents.

Here is a classic example of the type of image you DONT want associated with your cause.

<snip>

Is that going to convince any Christian that atheist's are normal people just like them? I don't think so. I think it'll just reinforce their perceptions of atheist as evil Godless heathens. Maybe this isn't the type of mocking you are thinking about, I don't know.  There's all kinds of mocking. All kinds of Christians. All kinds of atheists. All kinds of people.

I don't know how you managed to go from "mocking may be the right approach in some circumstances" to "we support blatantly stupid attempts to mock".
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #207 on: December 01, 2011, 03:24:35 PM »
Organized, corporate, hierarchial religion should be frowned upon and discouraged because as it forms into a large religious entity it natural takes on charactoristics of statehood and begins to exhibit governmental charactoristics that affect the masses.
Individual faith is a different story. Truth, accurate info, and whatever additional data should be made readily available to all, but what people do with that data is up to them. Some will take heed to it while others will continue happily is whatever mindstate no matter how delusional is most appealing to them. As long as they don't hurt or force their neighbor's hand, then so what. 

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #208 on: December 01, 2011, 03:26:12 PM »
I interpreted your post as:
"Cause and effect is a way to say that the ends (sometimes) justify the means."
If this is not what you meant, then I had a hell of a headache for nothing.

That's a fair interpretation.  Most of our reasoned actions are instances of ends justifying means.  Hell, buying a chocolate bar is an instance of an end justifying means.  End:  Getting a chocolate bar.  Means:  Paying for it.  Is getting a chocolate bar worth as much as or more than the money paid, from your perspective?  If so then the ends have justified the means.

I am curious, Luci[1] - where did you get the idea that the ends never justify the means?  What is that idea based on?
 1. I preferred "Blaz" btw...
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #209 on: December 01, 2011, 03:28:55 PM »
As long as they don't hurt or force their neighbor's hand, then so what.

So you'd be okay with your friend just saying and believing that black people are utterly inferior to whites.  Because it's just their personal beliefs, and they're not actually hurting or forcing others' hands.

I would say something to denounce that view.  But, of course, my doing so would be an attempt to marginalize their beliefs.  And that'd be just plain wrong.  Right?
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #210 on: December 01, 2011, 03:36:00 PM »
I am curious, Luci[1] - where did you get the idea that the ends never justify the means?  What is that idea based on?
 1. I preferred "Blaz" btw...

I actually never considered "minor" things, like your chocolate bar example. I only thought about the "major" things. Specifically, achieving an ethical goal through unethical means.

This was probably the worst case of "not thinking everything through" I've had in the past year; maybe my whole life.


Also, I like Lucifer. I wanted Alpha and Omega (just the letters), as it is my name on MSN and other websites, but the forum does not support the Greek alphabet.
The name "Lucifer" represents many things to me. I would list them, but I'm already getting off-topic here. :P
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 03:39:39 PM by Lucifer »
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #211 on: December 01, 2011, 03:49:09 PM »
It works for ethical-end-unethical-means behaviour, too.

End:  Making/keeping one's grandma with Alzheimer's happy/comfortable.

Means:  Lying to her about whether grandpa is still alive.

Lying to a loved one is, all other things being equal, an unethical action.  But all other things are not equal.  Sometimes it serves a greater purpose, as in this case.  Sometimes the ends to justify the means.

The problem, as I see it, with "ends justifying means" is when the supposed "means" are really the end being sought.  For example, a president says he wants to jump-start the economy.  He claims that in order to do so, he needs to give large tax breaks to corporations run by his friends.  In this case, the supposed "end" - helping the economy - is probaby only being used to justify the supposed "means".  It's a dishonest swap.  And people still fall for it.  That's when "ends justifying means" arguments are dangerous, IMO:  When the ends are being cited in order to rationalize the means.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #212 on: December 01, 2011, 03:52:13 PM »
It works for ethical-end-unethical-means behaviour, too.

End:  Making/keeping one's grandma with Alzheimer's happy/comfortable.

Means:  Lying to her about whether grandpa is still alive.

Lying to a loved one is, all other things being equal, an unethical action.  But all other things are not equal.  Sometimes it serves a greater purpose, as in this case.  Sometimes the ends to justify the means.

Sorry, but you can't argue that something is more important than the truth, at least not with me.
To me, there is absolutely nothing that is more important than the truth.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #213 on: December 01, 2011, 03:54:48 PM »
In that case then, from your ethical perspective, grandma's suffering is the means and maintaining perfect personal honesty is the end.

It still works.  You just switch which one is more important than the other.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #214 on: December 01, 2011, 03:57:52 PM »
In that case then, from your ethical perspective, grandma's suffering is the means and maintaining perfect personal honesty is the end.

It still works.  You just switch which one is more important than the other.

I had already agreed that my perspective on the ends justifying the means was flawed; I thought that was obvious. I just had a problem with "Cause and effect=Ends justify the means" thing[1].
 1. Sorry, I don't remember the right word for this.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #215 on: December 01, 2011, 04:01:08 PM »
Yeah, that last post of mine was just belabouring it.  Sorry.  And we can call it "EJM"...?

I'm still curious as to where you picked it up, though.  Not so much for the purpose of arguing the point with you, but because it's a common idea that "the ends never justify the means" and I want to know where people learn that.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #216 on: December 01, 2011, 04:05:20 PM »
And we can call it "EJM"...?

Sure.

I'm still curious as to where you picked it up, though.  Not so much for the purpose of arguing the point with you, but because it's a common idea that "the ends never justify the means" and I want to know where people learn that.

Stuff like that doesn't stay in my memory for long[1]. Conclusions stay; the reasons behind them do not[2]. I have to find out the latter on my own, although I'm only successful if the former was my own and not someone else's that was then indoctrinated. Since I was not successful, I'm guessing that I got it from my mom or grandmother or brother or one of my teachers.
 1. Two, maybe three years if I'm lucky.
 2. Sorry.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 04:09:36 PM by Lucifer »
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #217 on: December 01, 2011, 05:05:43 PM »
I think the real problem is making sure that the means are really necessary to accomplish the end.  That's one of the reasons I disagree with mockery on general principles, because I am not convinced that mocking someone will get them to change their mind.  Furthermore, what if you end up with the (all-too-likely) situation where someone is being mocked not because they are necessarily wrong in something they believe, but because what they believe is different?  In other words, what they believe is not being given a fair chance because it's different, so it's mocked simply to silence it and preserve the status quo.

I have more I'd like to bring up, but I need to work it out in my head first.

Offline albeto

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #218 on: December 01, 2011, 05:43:31 PM »
I think the real problem is making sure that the means are really necessary to accomplish the end.  That's one of the reasons I disagree with mockery on general principles, because I am not convinced that mocking someone will get them to change their mind.  Furthermore, what if you end up with the (all-too-likely) situation where someone is being mocked not because they are necessarily wrong in something they believe, but because what they believe is different?  In other words, what they believe is not being given a fair chance because it's different, so it's mocked simply to silence it and preserve the status quo.

I have more I'd like to bring up, but I need to work it out in my head first.

Seeing mockery gives me more courage to stand up for what I believe.  I don't have to mock anyone and no Christian has to see what I see for the mockery to have effect. 

Offline jetson

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #219 on: December 01, 2011, 08:16:43 PM »
You shouldn't really need to mock "someone", rather, you should mock the silly beliefs.  I'm not sure if there is a reason to target an individual.  Let the individuals work it out for themselves as it gets more uncomfortable.  It happens in children's social circles all the time.  And granted, they are not mature, but I would argue that it is not exactly mature to espouse beliefs in magic.  It's truly the adult version of Santa Claus.


Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #220 on: December 01, 2011, 09:52:40 PM »
Well, atheism tends to get mocked a lot, or otherwise persecuted.  What's the typical response of an atheist to atheism being mocked?  Mostly, I'd guess that atheists tend to reject it and continue to hold to atheism as much as they can.  Theists, too, have historically tended to hold to their religion despite persecution and mockery driving the active practice of it underground.

Mockery doesn't really work all that well, in other words.  While it can marginalize the practice of a belief, this is akin to treating symptoms, and it doesn't keep those beliefs from being passed on from one generation to the next.  I've come to the conclusion that the best bet is to undercut the 'woo' factor of belief, and other such things which are detrimental to society and personal growth, using a variety of methods (which can include mockery but shouldn't focus on it).  If a belief is not detrimental, if it does no harm, it should be bypassed and ignored.

Offline jetson

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #221 on: December 01, 2011, 10:00:59 PM »
Jaimehler,

I think that is because the balance is way off.  Atheists don't stand a chance.  Theists have had it their way forever.  And here's the thing...theist beliefs are completely wrong.  They are anchored in emotional nonsense, and nothing else.  And while atheists are also human, they have it right when it comes to the god delusion.  This is not a two sided coin.  The jury on gods went home a long time ago, and we are left dealing with a bunch of nonsense from otherwise normal human beings, including tons of stuff that is detrimental, as you put it.


Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #222 on: December 02, 2011, 09:38:21 AM »
Sorry, but you can't argue that something is more important than the truth, at least not with me.
To me, there is absolutely nothing that is more important than the truth.

Really, Lucifer?
"Do you see a problem with insisting that the normal ways in which you determine fact from fiction is something you have to turn off in order to maintain the belief in God?" - JeffPT

Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #223 on: December 02, 2011, 09:43:50 AM »
Sorry, but you can't argue that something is more important than the truth, at least not with me.
To me, there is absolutely nothing that is more important than the truth.

Really, Lucifer?

Really, joebbowers.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #224 on: December 02, 2011, 10:05:38 AM »
Sorry, but you can't argue that something is more important than the truth, at least not with me.
To me, there is absolutely nothing that is more important than the truth.

Really, Lucifer?

Really, joebbowers.

OK I see subtlety is lost on you.

My real name is Joe B. Bowers. I'm using my real photo. What about you?
"Do you see a problem with insisting that the normal ways in which you determine fact from fiction is something you have to turn off in order to maintain the belief in God?" - JeffPT

Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #225 on: December 02, 2011, 10:08:00 AM »
OK I see subtlety is lost on you.

Not really. I'm just having a bad day.

My real name is Joe B. Bowers. I'm using my real photo. What about you?

My real name has already been posted here (the forum). I'm using a picture of an angel of light because, among other things, I don't like taking pictures, nor do I like showing said pictures to other people.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #226 on: December 02, 2011, 10:25:45 AM »
My real name has already been posted here (the forum). I'm using a picture of an angel of light because, among other things, I don't like taking pictures, nor do I like showing said pictures to other people.

Sorry, but you can't argue that something is more important than the truth, at least not with me.
To me, there is absolutely nothing that is more important than the truth.

It seems anonymity and mild camera shyness are more important than the truth. I only bother to mention this because you were very adamant. You even underlined "nothing".
"Do you see a problem with insisting that the normal ways in which you determine fact from fiction is something you have to turn off in order to maintain the belief in God?" - JeffPT

Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #227 on: December 02, 2011, 10:33:20 AM »
It seems anonymity and mild camera shyness are more important than the truth. I only bother to mention this because you were very adamant. You even underlined "nothing".

I don't see the connection. I don't share my picture because I'd prefer not to and because there's no lie in not sharing it. I don't claim that the picture I use here is me (although that would be cool), nor do I claim that my real name is "Lucifer".
« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 10:34:55 AM by Lucifer »
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #228 on: December 02, 2011, 11:06:05 AM »
It seems anonymity and mild camera shyness are more important than the truth. I only bother to mention this because you were very adamant. You even underlined "nothing".
It seems like someone is more interested in trying to discredit an opponent with an ad hominem than in actually addressing the real points he's raised before now.

Why try to discredit Lucifer's emphasis on the truth, no matter what, by criticizing the fact that he isn't willing to put his name and picture into general distribution?  That's why I call it an ad hominem, because you're targeting him with an accusation to try to discredit him without any real evidence that the content of his posts is not truthful.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 11:10:23 AM by jaimehlers »

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #229 on: December 02, 2011, 12:51:33 PM »
Which is better?  Complete happiness, or a cabbage sandwich?

The answer is, of course.....a cabbage sandwich.

Because there's nothing better than complete happiness.....but a cabbage sandwich is better than nothing.

And I'm a gnat's knacker from locking this thread as well.  There are enough theists being twats in threads I'm involved in, I don't want to see it from atheists as well.  Back on topic please, ladles and jellyspoons.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #230 on: December 02, 2011, 04:31:04 PM »
As long as they don't hurt or force their neighbor's hand, then so what.

So you'd be okay with your friend just saying and believing that black people are utterly inferior to whites.  Because it's just their personal beliefs, and they're not actually hurting or forcing others' hands.

I would say something to denounce that view.  But, of course, my doing so would be an attempt to marginalize their beliefs.  And that'd be just plain wrong.  Right?

What's wrong with attempting to marginalize such a belief? I thought the issue here was elimination of religion, not whether flawed thinking should be marginalized.

Offline relativetruth

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #231 on: December 02, 2011, 04:38:27 PM »
Which is better?  Complete happiness, or a cabbage sandwich?

The answer is, of course.....a cabbage sandwich.

Because there's nothing nothing is better than complete happiness.....but a cabbage sandwich is better than nothing.


I fixed the above to make the 'logic' work better.

Anyway..

 Back to the OP.

Of course we should try to eliminate religion but we must be pragmatic about it.

1. How do you marginalise an idea which the majority hold?
2. How do you marginalise an idea which the government hold?

Apartheid in South Africa was destroyed only because of outside pressure from foreign countries when they started to boycott sporting events and later financially with corporate influence.

In South Africa the minority ruled the majority. If you were black you had a less rights than the whites.

As a white, university educated, anti-apartheid, atheist living in Johannesburg in the 70's I felt I was in the smallest of minorities.
I went to university in Cape Town which was far more liberal than Jo'burg and it was a huge culture shock for me when I got there.
I could be having general conversations with people about anything and then when the discussion went to religion or politics [or racism] it would inevitable lead to aggression on their part.
I would have , what I thought, was a rational argument and got agreement on many points
 up to a certain point but after that they just closed down.
 
Because of the government segregationist policy a lot of the racist whites I met in Jo-burg had only met rural uneducated blacks. This only reinforced their ingrained stereotypes that all 'non-whites' are stupid.

Mockery and marginalisation was a big factor in bringing down the SA regime but they were a small country with no global influence.

But Nelson Mandela showed what can be achieved passively and with dignity when you have the moral right.
   

« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 05:04:03 PM by relativetruth »
God(s) exist and are imaginary