Author Topic: Should we try to eliminate religion?  (Read 16316 times)

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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #58 on: November 28, 2011, 08:26:12 AM »
Once again, evidence for their power?
We've already established that they were always a minority, since they were never a majority (not a false dichotomy; by definition you're either a minority or a majority), so now I want evidence for their power.

On July 25, 1924, in McCook, Nebraska, a crowd of 10,000 people watched a parade of 200 klansmen, many from surrounding towns, and listened to a lecture on "Americanism" by a Mr. Stewart, reputedly a minister and klan organizer from Kansas City. Stewart, who was introduced to the crowd by the mayor.
-- Michael W Schuyler, “The Ku Klux Klan in Nebraska, 1920-1930,” Nebraska History 66 (1985): 234-256.

That's just one example of hundreds of similar stories like it, a quick google search and you can read them for yourself.

People started thinking and realized that it was a lie. Unfortunately, some (I'd say "most", but I have no evidence for that) went with a different lie (different religion), while others went for the truth (atheism).
EDIT: It's also possible that they just died out, although I don't think this has ever happened.

How and why would they come to realize that their entire belief system, that they had been raised from birth to believe, by trusted parents and community leaders... was a lie? And how and why would they fall for another lie?

The fact is, and if you study how Christianity came to replace Hellenism as the dominant religion in the civilized world, the minority Christians slowly marginalized the majority Hellenists, converting their more moderate members until Christians became the majority at which point they killed the remaining Hellenists.

They did this through a combination of attacking the logical inconsistancies in Hellenist canon (irony!), mocking the ridiculous origin stories and creation myths in Hellenist theology, and by adopting Hellenist rituals to make Christianity seem less foreign, more approachable and acceptable. (Wine, the eucharist, fish symbolism, etc.)
"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 #59 on: November 28, 2011, 08:49:23 AM »
On July 25, 1924, in McCook, Nebraska, a crowd of 10,000 people watched a parade of 200 klansmen, many from surrounding towns, and listened to a lecture on "Americanism" by a Mr. Stewart, reputedly a minister and klan organizer from Kansas City. Stewart, who was introduced to the crowd by the mayor.
-- Michael W Schuyler, “The Ku Klux Klan in Nebraska, 1920-1930,” Nebraska History 66 (1985): 234-256.

That's just one example of hundreds of similar stories like it, a quick google search and you can read them for yourself.

A mayor of a small town and a parade? Seriously?

How and why would they come to realize that their entire belief system, that they had been raised from birth to believe, by trusted parents and community leaders... was a lie? And how and why would they fall for another lie?

Like I said, they started using logic. It's what I did.
As for how they would fall for another lie: People are most susceptible when they're having a big emotional moment. Theism owes many of its followers to this. Maybe they felt emotional when they realized that everything they dedicated and based their life on was a lie. A priest approaches them under false pretense and voila - a new christian is born.

The fact is, and if you study how Christianity came to replace Hellenism as the dominant religion in the civilized world, the minority Christians slowly marginalized the majority Hellenists, converting their more moderate members until Christians became the majority at which point they killed the remaining Hellenists.

If I were to concede that such a thing was possible, the only way to do that would be to put every single atheist in the same state/country and slowly marginalize the minorities in that state/country, slowly moving outward until everyone else was an atheist and so on.


That said, if we were to marginalize all theists because of their beliefs, we would be no better than them.
To force them to stay in the sidelines because of their beliefs rather than their actions is unfair and goes against every concept of freedom I've ever heard of.

They did this through a combination of attacking the logical inconsistancies in Hellenist canon (irony!), mocking the ridiculous origin stories and creation myths in Hellenist theology, and by adopting Hellenist rituals to make Christianity seem less foreign, more approachable and acceptable. (Wine, the eucharist, fish symbolism, etc.)

We can't do the last one and they don't listen to the rest.


You know, this whole "truth" business is starting to sound worse by the minute. :P
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #60 on: November 28, 2011, 08:54:48 AM »
This kind of got buried in an edit of one of my posts, but I'd really like to hear what people think about the fact that Andrea Yates' roomate in the mental hospital is Dena Schlosser, also a Christian who murdered her child to protect him from the coming apocalypse.

That just blows my mind.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2011, 08:56:52 AM »
This kind of got buried in an edit of one of my posts, but I'd really like to hear what people think about the fact that Andrea Yates' roomate in the mental hospital is Dena Schlosser, also a Christian who murdered her child to protect him from the coming apocalypse.

That just blows my mind.

It's just a coincidence, kinda like "Jesus's" face appearing on a piece of toast, although I'm surprised that these people can be so fucking retarded.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #62 on: November 28, 2011, 09:24:17 AM »
That's just one example of hundreds of similar stories like it, a quick google search and you can read them for yourself.

A mayor of a small town and a parade? Seriously?

If I were to concede that such a thing was possible, the only way to do that would be to put every single atheist in the same state/country and slowly marginalize the minorities in that state/country, slowly moving outward until everyone else was an atheist and so on.

"To change the beliefs of an entire community, only 10 percent of the population needs to become convinced of a new or different opinion. At that tipping point, the idea can spread through social networks and alter behaviors on a large scale. It also shows that minorities can prevail in their opinion only if they strive to become less of a minority by turning a small fraction of the population to absorb their opinion, becoming unshakable supporters of their point of view."
--Sameet Sreenivasan, statistical physicist specializing in network theory at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.

That said, if we were to marginalize all theists because of their beliefs, we would be no better than them.

I disagree, your argument implies that our belief systems are equally valid. They are not.

To force them to stay in the sidelines because of their beliefs rather than their actions is unfair and goes against every concept of freedom I've ever heard of.

Only the most extreme fundamentalists would be marginalized in the end. Along the way the rest, the ones open to rational thought and able to free themselves of the oppresive yolk of their religious dogma, would be liberated. They would be on our side, as you are now, former theist.

They did this through a combination of attacking the logical inconsistancies in Hellenist canon (irony!), mocking the ridiculous origin stories and creation myths in Hellenist theology, and by adopting Hellenist rituals to make Christianity seem less foreign, more approachable and acceptable. (Wine, the eucharist, fish symbolism, etc.)

We can't do the last one and they don't listen to the rest.

Sometimes they do listen, former theist.

The last one is already done for us. The fact is that ALL of them already live in the real world, NONE of them live in the magical world of the bible. Most of them have already accepted reality, whether they are conscious of it or not. When they need money, they get jobs. They don't try to catch a fish with a gold coin in it's mouth. When they are sick, they go to hospitals. They don't (only) pray for healing. They don't sacrifice animals, they don't give up all of their posessions, they don't smash their enemies babies against rocks. Again, I said most.

Our scientific world is not as foreign to them as they would like to imagine. For many the transition will be easy once they realize their world will not come crashing down around them, as their world is our world too, and they've already been living in it since the day they were born.

For others, the extreme believers, the Andrea Yateses and Anders Breiviks of the world, blood and bars baby, blood and bars.[1]
 1. Death or institutionalization.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 09:32:30 AM by joebbowers »
"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 joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #63 on: November 28, 2011, 09:28:23 AM »
It's just a coincidence, kinda like "Jesus's" face appearing on a piece of toast, although I'm surprised that these people can be so fucking retarded.

Saw a potato chip once that looked like a profile of Jay Leno's face. I'm pretty sure that means Leno is the son of God.
"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 #64 on: November 28, 2011, 09:32:39 AM »
I disagree, your argument implies that our belief systems are equally valid. They are not.

My argument is that if we want to improve society, then we cannot do the same thing that has been the downfall of just about every social movement - marginalization and ridicule.

Only the most extreme fundamentalists would be marginalized in the end. Along the way the rest, the ones open to rational thought and able to free themselves of the oppresive yolk of their religious dogma, would be liberated. They would be on our side, as you are now, former theist.

"The end" is irrelevant if "the middle" does not conform to the same standards of morality.

Sometimes they do listen, former theist.

I had nobody argue with me. I came to that conclusion by myself. Many cannot apply logic to their own beliefs and some will never accept another person's arguments.

The last one is already done for us. The fact is that ALL of them already live in the real world, NONE of them live in the magical world of the bible. Most of them have already accepted reality, whether they are conscious of it or not. When they need money, they get jobs. They don't try to catch a fish with a gold coin in it's mouth. When they are sick, they go to hospitals. They don't (only) pray for healing. They don't sacrifice animals, they don't give up all of their posessions, they don't smash their enemies babies against rocks. Again, I said most.
Our scientific world is not as foreign to them as they would like to imagine. For many the transition will be easy.

Some cannot see this. However, I believe that if we pointed this out to them (without ridicule) that it would make them think. Unfortunately, they might come to the wrong conclusion.

For others, the extreme believers, the Andrea Yateses and Anders Breiviks of the world, blood and bars baby, blood and bars.[1]
 1. Death or institutionalization.

Death is not an option.

Saw a potato chip once that looked like a profile of Jay Leno's face. I'm pretty sure that means Leno is the son of God.

You should've kept it and sold it on eBay. You would've earned a couple hundred dollars.
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 Graybeard

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #65 on: November 28, 2011, 09:34:00 AM »
I think what you two are trying to say is:


The message seems to be that religion is a pointless add-on to human life. It does not alter anything. It does not prevent or encourage the worst or the greatest behaviours. Not only is it pointless but, like carrying anything around with you, it hinders your progress as it makes for lazy thinking.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #66 on: November 28, 2011, 09:38:06 AM »
I think what you two are trying to say is:
<snip>
The message seems to be that religion is a pointless add-on to human life. It does not alter anything. It does not prevent or encourage the worst or the greatest behaviours. Not only is it pointless but, like carrying anything around with you, it hinders your progress as it makes for lazy thinking.

I can agree with this (except the picture).
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 09:41:08 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 joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #67 on: November 28, 2011, 10:04:36 AM »
My argument is that if we want to improve society, then we cannot do the same thing that has been the downfall of just about every social movement - marginalization and ridicule.

Marginalization is absolutely necessary, otherwise they remain the majority. And don't think they're not trying their hardest to marginalize us.

Banging that ridicule drum again? Haven't we covered that?

"The end" is irrelevant if "the middle" does not conform to the same standards of morality.
The steps that we should take to marginalize theists have been explained to you many times. They are completely non-violent and mostly focus on education, to encourage moderate believers and future generations to embrace the logical world and reject ridiculous theological dogma.

I doubt I'd get the same disagreement from you if we replaced religion with smoking. Should schools take a non-interventionist approach to smoking, and not teach young children of it's dangers? Ever read a school pamphlet on smoking, they too use mockery as a tool.

And religion is far more dangerous than smoking.

I had nobody argue with me. I came to that conclusion by myself. Many cannot apply logic to their own beliefs and some will never accept another person's arguments.

But you were aware that atheism existed, you knew that was an option. I guarantee you had heard at least one of the arguments against Christianity at some point before you suddenly came to the conclusion by yourself. You harvested the fruit yourself, but did you ever wonder who planted the seed?

For others, the extreme believers, the Andrea Yateses and Anders Breiviks of the world, blood and bars baby, blood and bars.[1]
 1. Death or institutionalization.

Death is not an option.

I've never suggested we should kill them for their beliefs, but the actions of certain extreme fundamentalists force us to defend ourselves.

Children of Christian Scientists and Jehovah's Witnesses die every day as their parents do not allow them to receive medical care. This requires intervention, in this case bars. Hitler was Christian, waging a war on atheism that included Jews, as they do not believe in the Christ, ie., Jesus as God. In that case, blood.

Saw a potato chip once that looked like a profile of Jay Leno's face. I'm pretty sure that means Leno is the son of God.

You should've kept it and sold it on eBay. You would've earned a couple hundred dollars.

I ate it and the leg I lost in 'Nam grew back instantly! Of course I have no proof of this but some other people I told the story to believed me, so it must be true.
"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 joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #68 on: November 28, 2011, 10:07:16 AM »
The message seems to be that religion is a pointless add-on to human life. It does not alter anything. It does not prevent or encourage the worst or the greatest behaviours. Not only is it pointless but, like carrying anything around with you, it hinders your progress as it makes for lazy thinking.

Now I agree completely.
"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 #69 on: November 28, 2011, 10:14:28 AM »
Marginalization is absolutely necessary, otherwise they remain the majority. And don't think they're not trying their hardest to marginalize us.

Marginalization is absolutely not necessary. As I have mentioned, atheism is steadily rising all throughout the world.

Banging that ridicule drum again? Haven't we covered that?

I was giving a couple of examples and that one was still in my mind. I'm doing about four things right now, FYI, so I couldn't be bothered to think of a different one.

The steps that we should take to marginalize theists have been explained to you many times. They are completely non-violent and mostly focus on education, to encourage moderate believers and future generations to embrace the logical world and reject ridiculous theological dogma.

You should look up on what "marginalize" means. Basically it means that they would not be free to share their opinions on any matters because they are theists.

I doubt I'd get the same disagreement from you if we replaced religion with smoking. Should schools take a non-interventionist approach to smoking, and not teach young children of it's dangers? Ever read a school pamphlet on smoking, they too use mockery as a tool.

And religion is far more dangerous than smoking.

Nope, you get the same argument from me.
EDIT: Note that I'm talking about the pamphlets. I think that schools should teach children the dangers of smoking but without ridiculing those who smoke.

But you were aware that atheism existed, you knew that was an option. I guarantee you had heard at least one of the arguments against Christianity at some point before you suddenly came to the conclusion by yourself. You harvested the fruit yourself, but did you ever wonder who planted the seed?

Nobody. I grew up with christians, went to school with christians and never discussed religion with any non-christians.
Granted, my memories of that time are hazy, but I think I'd remember my first encounter with an atheist.

I've never suggested we should kill them for their beliefs, but the actions of certain extreme fundamentalists force us to defend ourselves.

If person A finds himself in a situation where it's person A versus person B, then it's survival of the fittest.
If we have already arrested someone and/or made sure that they cannot harm anyone, there is no point or reason to kill them.

Children of Christian Scientists and Jehovah's Witnesses die every day as their parents do not allow them to receive medical care. This requires intervention, in this case bars. Hitler was Christian, waging a war on atheism that included Jews, as they do not believe in the Christ, ie., Jesus as God. In that case, blood.

I know and see above.
Story about how I found out (just to keep you entertained):
I had a crush on a JW friend of mine and after I told him, I found out a few things about him[1], we kinda told each other to piss off. Afterward, another friend (whom I also had had a crush on a long time ago) and I had a long discussion about his problem with his religion and she told me about that. I didn't believe her at first (I couldn't accept that people would be so stupid), but I checked and confirmed that it was true.

I ate it and the leg I lost in 'Nam grew back instantly! Of course I have no proof of this but some other people I told the story to believed me, so it must be true.

Of course! After all, why would people believe in a lie?
 1. Note: He was gay. This is about his personality.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 10:26:57 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 pianodwarf

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #70 on: November 28, 2011, 10:19:51 AM »
A couple of years ago I was dating a gorgeous girl who didn't want to get serious with me because of my weight. She said that it was embarassing to be seen with me. She wasn't mean, but she didn't sugar-coat it. Over the next year I lost about 120 pounds and went from US size 44 pants to size 34 (32 if I squeeze it in)

What happened with the girl?
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline albeto

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #71 on: November 28, 2011, 11:06:24 AM »
Sorry, that's not what I meant at all. If you read the part I quoted from kcrady, you'll see that he asked me to give examples. I did. I'm not saying "let's not ridicule them because they might be right". They're not.
I'm saying "let's not ridicule them because some bad shit might happen". We all know how fundies good christians are; they're not above killing anyone cleansing the United States of America God, and they would probably be prayed for if they did it.
Hell, given the fundies' good christians' usual state of mind, I'm surprised they haven't tried to exterminate all of us convert us using the power of the holy ghost because of the billboards.

If Christians inspire the same kind of fear Muslims do with regards to potential violence as a response to being publicly humiliated, we need to step up the game before the next generation gets too brainwashed.  I can't imagine kcrady is talking about laughing in the face of a friend like you illustrated, but passing along the jokes that poke fun at the religion on facebook, rolling your eyes and smirking knowingly the next time someone mentions without god one can't really know good from bad, putting decals of the Flying Spaghetti Monster evolved from the jesus fish on your car - these are ways of publicly showing a refusal to respect folly.  Mockery, if you will. 

Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #72 on: November 28, 2011, 11:16:49 AM »
If Christians inspire the same kind of fear Muslims do with regards to potential violence as a response to being publicly humiliated, we need to step up the game before the next generation gets too brainwashed.

Humiliation is one thing. Mockery is another. Mockery always achieves humiliation, be it for the person who's being mocked or the person who is doing the mocking. Humiliation can be achieved through various means.
That said, I agree with what you said, but remember that the number of atheists is rising. People are becoming smarter(ish).

I can't imagine kcrady is talking about laughing in the face of a friend like you illustrated,

In my example, that's a random stranger in the middle of the street. Not a friend.

but passing along the jokes that poke fun at the religion on facebook, rolling your eyes and smirking knowingly the next time someone mentions without god one can't really know good from bad, putting decals of the Flying Spaghetti Monster evolved from the jesus fish on your car - these are ways of publicly showing a refusal to respect folly.  Mockery, if you will. 

I see those to be the equivalent of jokes about atheists. They're not meant to humiliate anyone, just entertain them.
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 albeto

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #73 on: November 28, 2011, 11:21:44 AM »
Once again, evidence for their power?

Jim Crow Laws in the US until 1965 when the Voting Rights Act of 1965 effectively ended formal legislation supporting segregation. 

Same reason we don't believe in the gods that are worshiped nowadays. People started thinking and realized that it was a lie.

I suspect another belief system replaced it, not that it was a lie but that another belief system explained what this one can't.  In other words, it lost its relevancy.  Discussion is one way to effect this change.  Poking fun at jesus with a really big stick is another. 

Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #74 on: November 28, 2011, 11:25:23 AM »
I suspect another belief system replaced it, not that it was a lie but that another belief system explained what this one can't.  In other words, it lost its relevancy.  Discussion is one way to effect this change.  Poking fun at jesus with a really big stick is another. 

If something is not true, then it is a lie.
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 albeto

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #75 on: November 28, 2011, 11:31:38 AM »

Humiliation is one thing. Mockery is another. Mockery always achieves humiliation, be it for the person who's being mocked or the person who is doing the mocking. Humiliation can be achieved through various means.
That said, I agree with what you said, but remember that the number of atheists is rising. People are becoming smarter(ish).

I think one of the tools we have at our disposal that is a real advantage is the internet and social networking.  It's easy to poke fun of the folly of religion in a relatively anonymous way.  Anyone who feels embarrassed gets to save face by not having to defend themselves personally to a friend or co-worker but the seed has been planted - what you believe is essentially this foolishness. 

In my example, that's a random stranger in the middle of the street. Not a friend.

I don't get the impression anyone here is advocating this kind of mockery.  Some people can get away with being snarky and some can't.  I can't.  I don't come across as casually funny when I try to be witty, I come across as bitchy, so it wouldn't be a tool for me but that doesn't mean it's not a valuable tool. 

I see those to be the equivalent of jokes about atheists. They're not meant to humiliate anyone, just entertain them.

They're absolutely meant to humiliate atheists.  When that doesn't work, an appeal to emotion is generally the next step (suggesting one ought to be ashamed to believe in social Darwinism and eugenics). 

Offline albeto

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #76 on: November 28, 2011, 11:34:55 AM »
If something is not true, then it is a lie.

I think you give people too much credit for being rational thinkers.  We are by nature reactive thinkers.  We attribute cause to otherwise meaningless events.  Without the benefit of a rationally based education, we're no more likely to replace xianity with atheism than we are with crystalology and fung shui. 

One of the ways I see mockery as a tool is to chip away at the existing belief system by revealing its utter foolishness.  Replacing it with another belief (ie, rational thinking is beneficial) is like phase two and can and should be done nearly simultaneously. 

Offline albeto

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #77 on: November 28, 2011, 11:37:43 AM »
That said, if we were to marginalize all theists because of their beliefs, we would be no better than them.
To force them to stay in the sidelines because of their beliefs rather than their actions is unfair and goes against every concept of freedom I've ever heard of.

No one is proposing forced submission.  Instead, the idea is to inspire one to feel rightfully embarrassed to admit and share such beliefs. 

Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #78 on: November 28, 2011, 11:41:18 AM »
I think one of the tools we have at our disposal that is a real advantage is the internet and social networking.  It's easy to poke fun of the folly of religion in a relatively anonymous way.  Anyone who feels embarrassed gets to save face by not having to defend themselves personally to a friend or co-worker but the seed has been planted - what you believe is essentially this foolishness.

There's a very thin line between "poking fun" and "mocking". The first is making a few jokes about theism and such without any intention other than "to have fun". The second is actively yelling in their faces "LOLOLOLOL YOU GUYS ARE SO STUPID!" which, IMO, says more about the person who's mocking them than the theists.

I don't get the impression anyone here is advocating this kind of mockery.  Some people can get away with being snarky and some can't.  I can't.  I don't come across as casually funny when I try to be witty, I come across as bitchy, so it wouldn't be a tool for me but that doesn't mean it's not a valuable tool.

I can get away with being snarky, but that's because my friends (and even some who aren't my friends) know me. However, I don't use that to mock my friends. I use it to have fun.

They're absolutely meant to humiliate atheists.  When that doesn't work, an appeal to emotion is generally the next step (suggesting one ought to be ashamed to believe in social Darwinism and eugenics). 

I never thought of them like that. I think you're over-analyzing this.

I think you give people too much credit for being rational thinkers.  We are by nature reactive thinkers.  We attribute cause to otherwise meaningless events.  Without the benefit of a rationally based education, we're no more likely to replace xianity with atheism than we are with crystalology and fung shui.

I think you misread my post. I said that if something is not true then, by definition, it is a lie.

One of the ways I see mockery as a tool is to chip away at the existing belief system by revealing its utter foolishness.  Replacing it with another belief (ie, rational thinking is beneficial) is like phase two and can and should be done nearly simultaneously. 

See my first point.
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Offline albeto

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #79 on: November 28, 2011, 11:48:12 AM »
This kind of got buried in an edit of one of my posts, but I'd really like to hear what people think about the fact that Andrea Yates' roomate in the mental hospital is Dena Schlosser, also a Christian who murdered her child to protect him from the coming apocalypse.

That just blows my mind.

I don't agree with you about religion being equal to insanity.  I think the concept of insanity is being rightfully replaced with recognition of particular mental illness.  In other words, one isn't understood to be "insane" so much as one is understood to suffer from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.  These are neurological health issues similar to any other physical ailment (like diabetes or hashimoto's thyroiditis).  The only difference is the behavior is inspired by physiology in the brain. Because some mental health issues can be caused by external conditions, like PTSD or some depression, it shouldn't be suggested that all anxiety or depression is external.  Religion, on the other hand, is always an external variable.  It clearly affects some people more than others but that shouldn't be confused with neurological, psychiatric health.  A woman who kills her child because of delusional thinking is clearly mentally unwell and any belief would have inspired such a person to react inappropriately.  She would have just as likely killed her children to avoid toxic waste in the ground water or to protect her child from the mailman who was plotting to kidnap and torture him.  Religion sets up a scenario that a mentally unbalanced thinking process can access readily, but there is no end to possible dangers for the paranoid thinker. 

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #80 on: November 28, 2011, 12:01:22 PM »
Christianity did not become the majority religion in the Roman Empire because of efforts against the majority of Hellenic believers.  Christianity became the majority religion because Constantine converted to Christianity and essentially turned it into the majority religion, because religion in the Roman Empire was decided by the Emperor.  While it is true that Christianity had appeal amongst a significant percentage of the Roman Empire, it would not have become powerful without the conversion of the Emperor.  Efforts against the state Hellenic religion would not have worked without that.

It's impossible to marginalize someone who's powerful.  The nature of power contradicts the concept of marginalization.  Those who have power must first either lose their power or be unable to use it effectively; once they are not in a position of power, then it is possible to marginalize them.  But until then, it's contradictory to talk about marginalizing them.  Indeed, attempting to marginalize them while they're still in a position of power is acutely dangerous, because they are still capable of using that power.

Let me put this simply.  Who here would make fun of someone carrying around a gun to their face?  Especially if one did not have a gun of their own?  A group which is relatively powerless must at least become powerful before talking about mocking a group which is relatively powerful, otherwise the powerful group will have no reason not to act against the powerless one.  It's true that in this country, the government is generally prohibited from taking direct action against a group, but that would not stop another group from taking action against them.  In other words, atheists must become powerful first, and preferably must become more powerful than Christian groups.  Otherwise, they're risking a serious backlash.

Offline albeto

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #81 on: November 28, 2011, 12:08:21 PM »
There's a very thin line between "poking fun" and "mocking". The first is making a few jokes about theism and such without any intention other than "to have fun". The second is actively yelling in their faces "LOLOLOLOL YOU GUYS ARE SO STUPID!" which, IMO, says more about the person who's mocking them than the theists.

I would consider something like this to be appropriate mocking:

The caption to this picture reads, "Some people see Jesus in a slice of toast, others find him in more inspiring places."


unfollowing jesus

Next time a theist sees jesus in toast or mary in the peanut butter, they should think twice about thinking it to be a sign from god.

I can get away with being snarky, but that's because my friends (and even some who aren't my friends) know me. However, I don't use that to mock my friends. I use it to have fun.

I'm missing any comments that suggest you alienate your friends by mocking them.  I could be wrong, I imagine Joe wouldn't have friends with silly religious beliefs because he would take the first opportunity to let them know their beliefs are actually quite idiotic.  That's not my style at all but I have a certain appreciation for that tactic.  I live next door to a very nice woman whose son is the same age as my son and in the summers they play all day together.  She has a poster in her front hall right next to the coats and shoes, her kids look at it every day before going out.  This poster has an image of a path that leads either to heaven (but the path is narrow and rocky), or to hell (and the path is easy-going).  It creeps me out but I would never say anything to her or in front of her because she's a neighbor and a friend and I value that friendship more than I value getting the last word in.  So again, I think there's a time and place for everything and I'm getting the impression you're understanding mockery as an all or nothing tactic. 

I never thought of them like that. I think you're over-analyzing this.

Could be, but it's a common path I've seen among theists confronted with the idea that one of their own has rejected the story.  The latest one is on a friend's blog. She explained how she's come to the conclusion that her religious beliefs didn't have any value and has rejected xianity.  Here's a comment:

"Rachel, you mentioned "biological instinct, natural selection and the way that we instinctively preserve and improve the species by defining what is good." I assume here you are speaking the "might makes right" of the survival of the fittest from evolutionary theory. Which of course, if you truly believe this, I would think you might then be happy about Israelite people killing the obviously weaker as evidenced by their defeat Amalakites or other people's not able to "survive."(just a note: I don't believe you feel like that no more than you celebrated a Tsunami killings thousands of Japanese last year, though your theories might require that)" 


Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #82 on: November 28, 2011, 12:31:59 PM »
I would consider something like this to be appropriate mocking:

The caption to this picture reads, "Some people see Jesus in a slice of toast, others find him in more inspiring places."
<snip>
Next time a theist sees jesus in toast or mary in the peanut butter, they should think twice about thinking it to be a sign from god.

I now have a new favorite atheist website. So long, WWGHA! :D

I'm missing any comments that suggest you alienate your friends by mocking them.

I alienate many friends, but not by mocking, and most definitely not because of their religious beliefs or lack thereof.

I could be wrong, I imagine Joe wouldn't have friends with silly religious beliefs because he would take the first opportunity to let them know their beliefs are actually quite idiotic.  That's not my style at all but I have a certain appreciation for that tactic.

I do not. Mocking achieves nothing.

I live next door to a very nice woman whose son is the same age as my son and in the summers they play all day together.  She has a poster in her front hall right next to the coats and shoes, her kids look at it every day before going out.  This poster has an image of a path that leads either to heaven (but the path is narrow and rocky), or to hell (and the path is easy-going).  It creeps me out but I would never say anything to her or in front of her because she's a neighbor and a friend and I value that friendship more than I value getting the last word in.  So again, I think there's a time and place for everything and I'm getting the impression you're understanding mockery as an all or nothing tactic.

Your impression (of both my opinion and that poster) is correct.

Could be, but it's a common path I've seen among theists confronted with the idea that one of their own has rejected the story.  The latest one is on a friend's blog. She explained how she's come to the conclusion that her religious beliefs didn't have any value and has rejected xianity.  Here's a comment:

"Rachel, you mentioned "biological instinct, natural selection and the way that we instinctively preserve and improve the species by defining what is good." I assume here you are speaking the "might makes right" of the survival of the fittest from evolutionary theory. Which of course, if you truly believe this, I would think you might then be happy about Israelite people killing the obviously weaker as evidenced by their defeat Amalakites or other people's not able to "survive."(just a note: I don't believe you feel like that no more than you celebrated a Tsunami killings thousands of Japanese last year, though your theories might require that)" 

Idiots who don't understand what they reject will always exist.
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.

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #83 on: November 28, 2011, 12:43:13 PM »
You know, thinking about it, why does the path to heaven have to be difficult?  I understand that it's actually a statement about human nature, but it's still silly if you think about it.  I mean, if God wanted people to be good, then it makes much more sense to make it easy to be good and difficult to be bad.  The fact that it's set up the opposite way strongly suggests that it wasn't set up by anyone, but came about on its own.

Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #84 on: November 28, 2011, 12:44:14 PM »
You know, thinking about it, why does the path to heaven have to be difficult?  I understand that it's actually a statement about human nature, but it's still silly if you think about it.  I mean, if God wanted people to be good, then it makes much more sense to make it easy to be good and difficult to be bad.  The fact that it's set up the opposite way strongly suggests that it wasn't set up by anyone, but came about on its own.

True. However, using theist logic[1], it means that God is a dick.
 1. Or lack thereof.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #85 on: November 28, 2011, 09:54:08 PM »
Christianity did not become the majority religion in the Roman Empire because of efforts against the majority of Hellenic believers.  Christianity became the majority religion because Constantine converted to Christianity and essentially turned it into the majority religion.

That doesn't refute my point, it supports it. Why did Constantine convert to Christianity? Why did the people accept it? Because the Christians had already marginalized the Hellenists and permeated their society to a level where they were becoming the majority. If the majority were still faithful Hellenists, you can be sure they would have murdered their atheist blaspheming emperor for converting to this new heathen religion.

It's impossible to marginalize someone who's powerful.  The nature of power contradicts the concept of marginalization.

History would disagree with you. It's been done a million times.

Let me put this simply.  Who here would make fun of someone carrying around a gun to their face?  Especially if one did not have a gun of their own?

Not really an accurate analogy at all. Does not remotely apply to this situation. 

A group which is relatively powerless must at least become powerful before talking about mocking a group which is relatively powerful, otherwise the powerful group will have no reason not to act against the powerless one.  It's true that in this country, the government is generally prohibited from taking direct action against a group, but that would not stop another group from taking action against them.  In other words, atheists must become powerful first, and preferably must become more powerful than Christian groups.  Otherwise, they're risking a serious backlash.

And how do you suggest atheists magically become powerful, without marginalizing, converting, and humiliating the theists?

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #86 on: November 28, 2011, 09:57:10 PM »
I don't get why there's so much debate about marginalizing religion. It's what we're already doing, and it's working.

Read the definition:

marginalize or marginalise  — vb
( tr ) to relegate to the fringes, out of the mainstream; make seem unimportant.

Isn't this our goal?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 10:01:11 PM by joebbowers »
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