Author Topic: Should we try to eliminate religion?  (Read 15546 times)

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #145 on: November 29, 2011, 10:52:29 AM »
One thing that worries me about marginalisation is this.

When groups with strong beliefs start to find that their views are being mocked and marginalised, and their power is diminishing and vanishing, they become more likely to take violent action.  When they feel under attack, they tend to fight back.  Hard.

Sure - this does not apply to ALL groups that become marginalised.  Atheists tend not to blow things up when they have no power….but, remember that we are the rational ones.  We should not forget that - to the believer - he is not only in the right but he has the ultimate authority in the universe on his side.

At the moment, the 1% of fundy believers are - I believe - restrained because they generally think that the world is running their way.  I greatly fear the world where there is ONLY 1% of believers….because those believers will be the ones most convinced that their god is on their side in the war with the unbeliever.  The whole world will be against them, so they will have nothing to lose - and everything to win as they die a matyr's death.

A world without religion would be great.  A world with a vague majority of religion is bad, but bearable.  It is the world with a small minority of religion that really really worries me.
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 Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #146 on: November 29, 2011, 11:04:30 AM »
One thing that worries me about marginalisation is this.

When groups with strong beliefs start to find that their views are being mocked and marginalised, and their power is diminishing and vanishing, they become more likely to take violent action.  When they feel under attack, they tend to fight back.  Hard.

Sure - this does not apply to ALL groups that become marginalised.  Atheists tend not to blow things up when they have no power….but, remember that we are the rational ones.  We should not forget that - to the believer - he is not only in the right but he has the ultimate authority in the universe on his side.

At the moment, the 1% of fundy believers are - I believe - restrained because they generally think that the world is running their way.  I greatly fear the world where there is ONLY 1% of believers….because those believers will be the ones most convinced that their god is on their side in the war with the unbeliever.  The whole world will be against them, so they will have nothing to lose - and everything to win as they die a matyr's death.

A world without religion would be great.  A world with a vague majority of religion is bad, but bearable.  It is the world with a small minority of religion that really really worries me.

Quite right, IMO. Which is why I think it would be more beneficial to use our collective brain power to find a viable solution to co-exist. The separation of church and state was a huge step in the right direction. However, we find now that the separation wasn't 100% and some assholes are reconnecting them. This trend can be reversed but I like to think there is less confrontational way to do it. 
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #147 on: November 29, 2011, 11:15:28 AM »
I had an experience in college that may be relevant here. There was a fundamentalist living in my co-ed dorm. The poor guy was quite deluded. Young earch creationism, the whole nine yards. Turns out he had a crush on me. This opened up the possibility for conversation, and since I had a boyfriend already, he at least respected my space*. He wrote a paper, I forget for what class. He asked me if I'd review it for him. I don't remember most of that paper, but I recall that it stated as an aside, and as a fact, that women have one more rib than men because a man's rib was taken to create woman. I very calmly said something like, "You know that this isn't true, don't you? I suggest you do some more research on it." There were other ridiculous assumptions in that paper, although I don't recall exactly what. He honestly did not have a clue about anatomy. He had been brainwashed from birth. But, perhaps because he liked me, he was willing to listen. It shook him up, but he listened.

Now, I can't say what ever happened to him because I don't know. Quite frankly he went rather nuts in that environment. His roommate and one of his neighbors were gay which had him so freaked out he stopped taking showers ... anyway, I suppose that's all off topic. But if someone that brainwashed could at least begin to listen, expressing his surprise (rather than horror) at another viewpoint/reality, and accept that maybe I was right, then there may even be some hope for fundies to get a clue. I really, really dislike most reality shows. But I've seen a few summaries of programs that take a group of very different people and force them to live together for some period of time. I recall one involved a gay man and a skinhead. They eventually accepted the other as human and worthy of friendship, and changed many of their pre-conceived notions. It seems to me that understanding is the key. Trying to find that little chink in the armor that allows people to begin to talk with each other. If they see that we're not demons, and we see that they're only living what they were taught, perhaps we can find a way to educate each other on what's really going on. Then change can happen.

Am I saying there's no place for other methods? Of course not. Women's rights, racial equality, etc., all took (and continue to take) time and multiple approaches.

* for the most part. He eventually went totally 'round the bend and did some stalking.
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #148 on: November 29, 2011, 11:45:16 AM »
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.
With respect, no, it does not support your point.  Constantine converted because he had a personal experience; he saw a vision before a battle which led to him allowing Christianity to be practiced freely after he became emperor.  No amount of Christian agitation - what you call marginalization of the majority beliefs - could have accomplished this conversion on its own, and if it had not been for that, Christianity would never have had the opportunity to become strong to begin with.

Also, note that the term is Hellene, and it is the old word for 'Greek'.  It is not a reference to the Greco-Roman religious tradition, in other words, so to talk about the Christians replacing the Hellenes is nonsensical.  Furthermore, your statements about 'Hellenists' murdering their "atheist blaspheming emperor for converting to this new heathen religion" betrays a fundamental misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about the subject.  Not surprising that you haven't studied it, but that's no excuse.  The fact is that the Romans were much more tolerant towards other religious beliefs before their empire became Christian in nature, and many foreign (non-Roman) cults had influence throughout the Roman Empire.

The reason Christians were persecuted was because they rejected the validity of other religions and more importantly, sought converts outside their own group.  In other words, they were a threat to the religious stability of the Roman Empire, which was based on toleration and absorption of other religious traditions.  It is very possible that Christianity would have been tolerated if Constantine had not converted to Christianity and thus had not issued the Edict of Milan (the Edict of Toleration, returning confiscated Christian property, had been issued shortly before), but it would certainly have been regulated and watched by the authorities.  If not for the acceptance of Christianity as the official Roman religion, a direct result of Constantine's conversion, they would never have become the majority no matter how much they agitated for it.

Quote from: joebbowers
History would disagree with you. It's been done a million times.
Given how badly you were wrong about the religious policy of the Roman Empire, you're going to have to cite examples if you want this statement to stand.

Quote from: joebbowers
Not really an accurate analogy at all. Does not remotely apply to this situation.
Just because you declare my analogy is not accurate and that it does not apply, it does not follow that those are true statements.  The point of my analogy was the simple fact that a powerless group cannot marginalize a powerful one unless either the powerless group becomes strong, or the powerful group becomes weak or at least unable to exercise their power.  Preferably both.

Quote from: joebbowers
And how do you suggest atheists magically become powerful, without marginalizing, converting, and humiliating the theists?
It has nothing to do with magic, and if you bothered to actually listen to the arguments that you're so dismissive of, you might understand why.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #149 on: November 29, 2011, 01:47:26 PM »
I am short on time so for the moment I will just address this part

Another example that might be educational:  The belief that "God hates fags" and that, following from this, gays are abominations and don't deserve the same rights as others.

This view has been marginalized by much of society.  Is that oppression?  Is that wrong?  Don't dodge this time, please, because this very sense of "marginalization" is what Joe is advocating.

I don't see that as oppression or wrong. It may very well be the sense of marginalization that Joe is advocating but you understand my issue with the word "marginalization" don't you? Same issue I had with the word "cleanse" and as far as the method Joe is describing I believe you will find that I have been fairly consistent on this forum in regards to my belief that you can attract more flies with honey than you can with vinegar[1]. It really should be no surprise that I also oppose Joe's presentation.

I am responding now with much more forcefulness for two reasons.

1) My current efforts to understand the dangers of spanking as I have outlined previously

2) It is my natural reaction to the forcefulness of Joe's statements. (which may be a flaw in this case)

I found a good website today I would like to share.

What’s more interesting than all the Religious Righteous’ engaging in childish name calling and discrimination is the discussion going on with the so called New Atheists – and that is how the New Atheists are looking to the Gay Rights Movement for strategy.

Because in a relatively short time, gays have become a part of the mainstream and even status quo fabric in many places in a much faster and less violent manner than any earlier wave of social change....

In entertainment, gays are no longer the ill fated suicide or murder victim, not the Nelly or Sissy Boy, not the sexually threatening Diesel Dyke preying on innocent school girls....

This is a very good thing that what earlier gays and lesbians went through is unimaginable by today’s gays and lesbians because that also means that the straight folks are also changing and not thinking that the discriminatory and even violent behaviour towards gays and lesbians is remotely okay....

Unlike other social movements, there has been few atheist characters in entertainment and there isn’t a strong stereotype in Hollywood at least of atheist, which makes social measurements more difficult.

Most entertainment – TV and movie characters – tend to be vague on a character’s belief system and only in the last decade have there been overtly atheist characters – like House, MD and Bones – both medical procedural programs....

When more kinds of characters in movies and TV are specially atheist – rather than merely refraining from being overtly religious – then we could start to say that there’s such a thing as a new atheist.



It is good that kcrady is not suggesting we go around mocking random people on the street. I am not sure if Joe is on the same page though.

I think it is far better to create a positive image/ a truer image of atheists as normal people than it is for the public perception of atheists to be that of being agitators and derisive. After the general public has a better conceptualization of what it is to be atheist the efforts to demonize atheists will naturally start to become more marginal. It will take more time to do it this way but since things are already going in that direction why derail it with calls for more mocking? Mocking them just makes it easier for them to demonize you.



 1. I can go back and provide links if you want me to.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #150 on: November 29, 2011, 01:53:32 PM »
It is good that kcrady is not suggesting we go around mocking random people on the street. I am not sure if Joe is on the same page though.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/19312/saturday-night-live-you-mock-me
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Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #152 on: November 29, 2011, 02:52:36 PM »
I don't see that as oppression or wrong.

Cool.  Do you have any other material objections then?

It may very well be the sense of marginalization that Joe is advocating but you understand my issue with the word "marginalization" don't you? Same issue I had with the word "cleanse" and as far as the method Joe is describing I believe you will find that I have been fairly consistent on this forum in regards to my belief that you can attract more flies with honey than you can with vinegar[1]. It really should be no surprise that I also oppose Joe's presentation.
 1. I can go back and provide links if you want me to.

No, I actually find your objection to "marginalization" to be utterly incomprehensible.  And yes I've read your posts on it.  Marginalizing bad things is good.  We do it all the time.  We support it.  What's your problem?
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #153 on: November 29, 2011, 04:59:35 PM »
If I had to guess, semantics is the issue.  And it does make a difference what words one uses, because they help shape the goals.

Offline kcrady

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #154 on: November 29, 2011, 06:45:45 PM »
kcrady, I am assuming that your definition of "marginalization" is the same as Joe's, so I'm not going to reply to those parts, as it has been taken care of.

I'm working through the posts trying to "catch up" with the thread, and I haven't gotten to the posts where you debate Joe's definition of "marginalization."  I've been basically letting him deal with your replies to him, and focusing my attention on your replies to me.

When I talk about marginalization, I mean that belief in Jesus as God Incarnate, etc. should receive the exact amount of respect and deference as other, equally ridiculous beliefs, like David Icke's belief that the British Royal Family (and other prominent individuals) are shape-shifting alien lizards trying to take over the world.  Let's say Rick Perry came on the Sunday talk shows saying, "I've just read a book by David Icke where he makes a powerful case that the British Royal Family are shape-shifting alien lizards out to take over the world.  In order to confront this alien threat, I, as President, would dispatch Seal Team Six to take them out."

Would you advise Jay Leno, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert not to make fun of him?  Perhaps his proposal should be discussed seriously, with charts and graphs and polls indicating the likelihood of adverse effects on America's relationship with Great Britain.  Or maybe we can be "moderate" about it, and suggest a compromise the British people might accept without a declaration of war: "Can we just assassinate Prince Charles?"

If you wouldn't advise a moderate, accommodationist approach to David Icke's lizard hypothesis (or any other brand of silliness), why single out Christianity for special treatment?  Shouldn't we be nice to all the whackaloons?

Actually, you are. I wasn't arguing; I was merely stating a fact. Also note how I didn't mention "mockery" or any tactic other than "logical arguments".

Sorry, I'm not following you here.  What straw man do you think I'm arguing against?

Why should it if non-ridicule achieves the same thing without the increased tension between atheists and theists?

Air strikes achieve the same results as cruise missiles (targets blown up).  Does that mean we should never use cruise missiles?  Water colors achieve the same results as oil paints (paintings).  Does that mean we should never use oil paints?  My point: ridicule and "non-ridicule" (e.g. moral outrage or argumentation with logic and evidence) may achieve similar/the same results when successful, but each has a higher likelihood of achieving success under different circumstances.  Under some circumstances, logic and evidence may work, and ridicule won't.  Under other circumstances, logic and evidence are BB's against a battleship, but a witty piece of mockery can be a torpedo hit below the waterline.   In another case, moral outrage may be the right approach.  It all depends on who you're dealing with and what the situation is.

I gotta say, I very much doubt this.
The audience would most likely agree with you, according to USA statistics. Why would you feel shame unless you already believed that your beliefs were ridiculous? Most creationists do not realize that their beliefs are ridiculous.

They know they are, to actual experts in the relevant scientific fields.  Otherwise they'd be eagerly lining up to publish in scientific journals and win Nobel Prizes.  It's not difficult to demonstrate that YECism is ridiculous in the process of mockery.  Just visit one of the "Noah's Flood" threads right here on this forum.

Even open minded individuals would ignore people who mock them. Why should you pay attention to someone who just wants to call you an idiot?

Which is why mockery should not be used against open-minded theists who (inconsistently) practice rationality.  All along, I've been arguing for different tactics in different situations.  How is this hard?  You yourself mock Christian beliefs at the bottom of every one of your posts.  Obviously you don't think it's always counter-productive.

I did not know this. I will consider if the increased tension is worth the potential benefit and get back to you.

OK.  Do you think your sig quote (not to mention the post it's quoting) equating God to Santa is worth the increased tension with any Christian here who might read it?  Since perfectly polite billboards saying things like "Don't Believe in God?  You're Not Alone" raise seething "tension" from Christians, do you think maybe those atheist groups should just STFU, accept Christian hegemony and be grateful their Christian overlords don't burn them at the stake?   

Moral outrage is not only acceptable but should be a part of everything, IMO.

So far the core of your position has been, "We don't want to piss the Christians off!  They'll kick our asses!"  That's the reason you've given for why we should should never use mockery.  What if our anger and outrage pisses them off (it does)?  If that's a good reason to censor ourselves WRT mockery, isn't it equally valid as a reason to censor our outrage? 

Also, I don't like how your last sentence implies that you "knew" I would disagree. I'd call this "strawman", but I'm not exactly sure if it fits.

My last sentence was a question.  It wasn't meant to imply I "knew" you would disagree (or agree).  I didn't know, which is why I asked.

Let me rephrase: Minorities (in the sense that they have opinions that other people do not share) cannot marginalize the majority (in the sense that they have opinions that other people share).

Yes they can.  It just takes time and work (and sometimes, more than that) from the minority.  Homosexuals are a minority.  Blacks are a minority.  Both groups have significantly changed the moral and cultural zeitgeist, swimming against the current of a WASP heterosexual majority opposition with cultural privilege.  Then, after it was done, and the change (mostly) complete, acceptance of blacks and homosexuals as equals became the majority view.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #155 on: November 29, 2011, 08:32:18 PM »
If I had to guess, semantics is the issue.  And it does make a difference what words one uses, because they help shape the goals.

I think it is more important to distinguish the intent.  If I say I'm going to shoot the next theist who uses argument x, what would you think of that statement?  Knowing me as a member, you might brush it off as a fairly stupid comment, but I doubt you would take it seriously, would you?

Now, if instead, I said:

"Members of the WWGHA forum.  I am no longer interested in pussy debates and discussions dealing with fucking lunatic, lying theists.  Please remember me when you watch the news, because I am going to kill at least ten dumb-ass theists tonight.  It was nice knowing all of you, but I'm through being nice."

These are two extremes from each other, but they technically say the same thing - me threatening to kill a theist.  It seems to me that some of the members on this thread are taking Joe's comments, and ideas, as something far more nasty and sinister than I am.  Now, granted, I don't know Joe anymore than anyone else here, but I just don't see anything remotely horrifying in his approach and ideas.  Yes, it's a tougher stance than many atheists are personally comfortable with - but so what?  How does that make it bad? 

Again, the idea of mocking and marginalizing crazy ideas has been around, and used as a tool to minimize the impact on the rest of society, forever!  No religion should be given special privileges, no matter how many nice people believe in it.  The idea, in my opinion, is to get the nice people to think more clearly about what it is exactly, that they themselves are supporting.  They are more likely to be embarrassed if the appropriate nerve is struck.

Now - punch holes in that, ya bunch of heathens!   ;D

Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #156 on: November 29, 2011, 10:40:11 PM »
Where does this website use mockery as a tool?

Right on the front page...
Quote from: www.whywontgodhealamputees.com
If God is imaginary, then religion is a complete illusion. Christianity, Judaism and Islam are pointless. Belief in God is nothing but a silly superstition, and this superstition leads a significant portion of the population to be delusional.

Notice particularly the use of the word silly. That is mocking. Also, the writer compares Jesus to leprechauns, mermaids, and Santa many many times. He is using them as analogy, by comparing their beliefs to something we know is ridiculous, he is mocking them. By the way you could think of 'ridiculous' as meaning 'worthy of ridicule'.

Also, you should check the thread by a member asking what its purpose is.

I couldn't find that thread, but let's examine the content of the website that demonstrates it's intended goal. First, on the page "Why should we help Christians to heal their delusion?" the writer compares Christians to a person who believes in Leprechauns.

Quote
Imagine that I have an adult friend. Once you get to know her, you realize something. She believes in Leprechauns. She believes in them with all her heart.

Now, what do you think of my friend? Her beliefs are harmless, are they not? By speaking out loud to the Leprechauns living invisibly in her house, she feels less lonely and happier. And yet... there is something creepy about it, isn't there? Yes there is. It is creepy because you know that my friend is completely and totally delusional. She has lost her ability to distinguish the imaginary from the real.

Would you want my friend holding a position of responsibility in our society? For example, would you want my friend to be in a position where she can launch nuclear weapons at foreign countries? Probably not. Would it be appropriate to talk to my friend and try to help her? Would it be appropriate to heal this delusion?

Once you answer these questions honestly, you will be able to understand what is going on with WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com. There is no difference between God and the Leprechauns. God is completely imaginary, and we can help you to understand this.

We can plainly see what he has written. People who believe in God should not hold positions of responsibility in our society. Sounds like marginalization to me.

Second, from Chapter 26: "What does it all mean?" we find this:

Quote
It is time for Americans, both religious and non, to openly discuss the evidence showing that God is imaginary. Let's stop hiding the discussion, or attacking it. Let's talk openly. Let us have an honest, open, rational, civil conversation about all of the evidence that we have seen in this book. If we have that debate in an open forum, the majority of us will reach agreement that God is imaginary.

In other words, reduce the support for Christian beliefs, become a majority, remove Christians power in society. Marginalization.

As I have explained, marginalization of people for their beliefs and thoughts rather than their actions is unfair.
An appeal to fairness is an emotional, not logical, argument.

We don't wait until their first overdose to teach our children to stay off drugs. We don't wait until Johnny's first rape to teach our sons to respect women. We should be marginalizing the belief that prayer is a substitute for proper medical care, not waiting until that belief manifests itself and someone's baby dies.

We marginalize belief all the time in order to prevent harmful action. It's called education.

Quote
Do you approve of marginalization of atheists for their thoughts and (lack of religious) beliefs? If not, why the double standard?
First because atheists are right, second because atheism is not a harmful belief.

I don't care about what Hitchens and Dawkins do. I hadn't even heard of them until I joined this site. (So much for "spearheading the modern atheist movement").

And, as I have said, I am now rethinking my position on mockery.

Obviously, as you just mocked me. Congratulations! However, your lack of knowledge does not mean my assessment is flawed. It only reveals your lack of knowledge.

Well, you can sit on the sidelines if you don't want to get your dress dirty, but the men have work to do.

This is not an insult to me, but women. Congrats.

Men do more 'dirty work' than women, both in the literal sense that the work causes one's clothing to become dirty, and in the metaphorical sense that violence and war are 'dirty'. This is a rational conclusion based on empirical evidence and personal observation. The logical conclusion would be that women are less inclined to such 'dirty work'. Statement of fact is not insulting unless one is insulted by the truth.

I was not insulting women, I was questioning your masculinity.
"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 #157 on: November 29, 2011, 10:53:32 PM »
I had an experience in college...

 ;D *tee-hee*
"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 Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #158 on: November 29, 2011, 11:50:08 PM »
Men do more 'dirty work' than women, both in the literal sense that the work causes one's clothing to become dirty, and in the metaphorical sense that violence and war are 'dirty'. This is a rational conclusion based on empirical evidence and personal observation. The logical conclusion would be that women are less inclined to such 'dirty work'. Statement of fact is not insulting unless one is insulted by the truth.

I was not insulting women, I was questioning your masculinity.

Your conclusion is premature.  Do you have any actual data to back up your apparent bigotry?
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #159 on: November 30, 2011, 12:02:11 AM »
Men do more 'dirty work' than women, both in the literal sense that the work causes one's clothing to become dirty, and in the metaphorical sense that violence and war are 'dirty'. This is a rational conclusion based on empirical evidence and personal observation. The logical conclusion would be that women are less inclined to such 'dirty work'. Statement of fact is not insulting unless one is insulted by the truth.

I was not insulting women, I was questioning your masculinity.

Your conclusion is premature.  Do you have any actual data to back up your apparent bigotry?

Oh come on! You're just being contrary for fun now.
"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 Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #160 on: November 30, 2011, 01:09:17 AM »
We had a theist way back who went by the name "nihilanth".[1]  Guy had issues.  Anyway, one of his favorite responses to atheist incredulity was "obviousness escapes you!" - an intended insult.  Some of his beliefs were just so damned obvious - in his view - that they were not subject to questioning.

Your post above reminds me a lot of nihilanth.  No topic is beyond questioning.  Being atheists does not make us more rational than theists on any topic other than that of theism.

You claimed to have empirical evidence.  Maybe you do.  Does it actually support your conclusion?  Hard to say without seeing it.  As for personal observations, those are anecdotal.  Personal observations lead people to think that YHWH had sent down some angels for a light-show at Fatima.
 1. He had gone as "Poseidon" on another forum before joining this one.  He changed the name, I later found out, because he disliked the short-form, "pos".  Can't imagine why... &)
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #161 on: November 30, 2011, 01:40:11 AM »
No topic is beyond questioning.

Either you are being contrary, or you know nothing of the world.

The sky is blue, except when it's not.

I'll let you consider the implications for you of demanding evidence for universally known claims, then you can decide whether or not to retract your demand.
"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 Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #162 on: November 30, 2011, 01:54:19 AM »
See, nihilanth wanted his religious beliefs to be accepted as universally-known claims, too.  That was his schtick.  Didn't get him very far, because he was held to a higher standard of evidence than that.  I doubt you'd have let him get away with that sort of crap.  Ditto me, with you.

Further, you claimed to have empirical evidence supporting your original claim.  Was this a lie?  If not, then you should be able to cite that evidence.  If so, then you ought to retract, if not the original claim about women, at least the claim to have empirical evidence.

I don't give bigoted crap an evidential pass as "obvious".  Sorry.  Put up or retract it.
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #163 on: November 30, 2011, 02:12:55 AM »
See, nihilanth wanted his religious beliefs to be accepted as universally-known claims, too.  That was his schtick.  Didn't get him very far, because he was held to a higher standard of evidence than that.  I doubt you'd have let him get away with that sort of crap.  Ditto me, with you.

Further, you claimed to have empirical evidence supporting your original claim.  Was this a lie?  If not, then you should be able to cite that evidence.  If so, then you ought to retract, if not the original claim about women, at least the claim to have empirical evidence.

I don't give bigoted crap an evidential pass as "obvious".  Sorry.  Put up or retract it.

So you believe that women comprise half or more of miners, drillers, construction workers, diggers, loggers, garbage collectors, fishermen, plumbers, (the literal 'dirty jobs') as well as soldiers, mercenaries, assassins and bodyguards, (the metaphorical dirty jobs) and have since the beginning of mankind?

Otherwise, my statement that women are not as inclined towards these professions is a mere statement of fact, (a well known fact that nobody else seems to be questioning, by the way), and not "bigoted crap".
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 02:15:47 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 Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #164 on: November 30, 2011, 02:18:22 AM »
No.  But nor do I believe that there is anything in particular about being a woman that makes one less suited or inclined toward such activities.  Social norms adequately explain the trend of which you speak.

You had admonished Lucifer to 'man up' - to be more manly, and thus - in your view - more inclined to actually do "dirty work".  Yet there is no evidence that women are in any way averse to such activities strictly on account of being women.

What I am inclined to believe is that women are discouraged from such endeavors by chauvnistic cultural influences, such as yours.

EDIT:  You edited while I posted.  Please pay attention to what people actually write, Joe.  I never questioned that claim.  I questioned the conclusion you drew from it.  I wanted to see your evidence to see whether it supported your conclusion.  That's why I opened with "your conclusion is premature".
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 02:20:19 AM by Azdgari »
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #165 on: November 30, 2011, 02:36:04 AM »
As for the supposedly significant fact that nobody other than myself is taking you to task for this:  I'm the only one other than you posting to the thread at all right now.  It's almost 2am CST on a Tuesday night.  Are you seriously trying to cite the lack of diverse opposition to a small part of one of your recent posts as a significant point in your favor?
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #166 on: November 30, 2011, 02:36:24 AM »
<snip>
If you wouldn't advise a moderate, accommodationist approach to David Icke's lizard hypothesis (or any other brand of silliness), why single out Christianity for special treatment?  Shouldn't we be nice to all the whackaloons?

Note how the problem is not the hypothesis, it is the individual. Also, I am getting pretty tired of being called an accommodationist when I suggest equal treatment for everyone.

Sorry, I'm not following you here.  What straw man do you think I'm arguing against?

No one here expects that mockery or any other tactic will result in a "complete victory" where everyone becomes a Bayesian Master.  You're arguing against a straw man.

Bold mine. You are arguing against my non-argument that we will never achieve a "complete victory".

<snip>

Forgot to remove this part of my reply after I read yours about the ridicule thing, so this becomes obsolete.

They know they are, to actual experts in the relevant scientific fields.  Otherwise they'd be eagerly lining up to publish in scientific journals and win Nobel Prizes.  It's not difficult to demonstrate that YECism is ridiculous in the process of mockery.  Just visit one of the "Noah's Flood" threads right here on this forum.

See above.

Which is why mockery should not be used against open-minded theists who (inconsistently) practice rationality.  All along, I've been arguing for different tactics in different situations.  How is this hard?  You yourself mock Christian beliefs at the bottom of every one of your posts.  Obviously you don't think it's always counter-productive.

Once again, my signature is a joke. If I wanted to mock them, I'd compare the Bible to something else.

OK.  Do you think your sig quote (not to mention the post it's quoting) equating God to Santa is worth the increased tension with any Christian here who might read it?  Since perfectly polite billboards saying things like "Don't Believe in God?  You're Not Alone" raise seething "tension" from Christians, do you think maybe those atheist groups should just STFU, accept Christian hegemony and be grateful their Christian overlords don't burn them at the stake?

See above.

So far the core of your position has been, "We don't want to piss the Christians off!  They'll kick our asses!"  That's the reason you've given for why we should should never use mockery.  What if our anger and outrage pisses them off (it does)?  If that's a good reason to censor ourselves WRT mockery, isn't it equally valid as a reason to censor our outrage?

What does WRT mean?
See above for the rest.

My last sentence was a question.  It wasn't meant to imply I "knew" you would disagree (or agree).  I didn't know, which is why I asked.

Very well.

Yes they can.  It just takes time and work (and sometimes, more than that) from the minority.  Homosexuals are a minority.  Blacks are a minority.  Both groups have significantly changed the moral and cultural zeitgeist, swimming against the current of a WASP heterosexual majority opposition with cultural privilege.  Then, after it was done, and the change (mostly) complete, acceptance of blacks and homosexuals as equals became the majority view.

Different opinions and/or thoughts. Being black is not an opinion and/or a thought. Being homosexual is not an opinion and/or a thought. Thinking that being black is OK is. Neither group got anywhere until other people started agreeing with them. This is one of the downsides of a democracy - unless the majority agrees with you, you're fucked.
What does WASP mean?

<snip>
Notice particularly the use of the word silly. That is mocking. Also, the writer compares Jesus to leprechauns, mermaids, and Santa many many times. He is using them as analogy, by comparing their beliefs to something we know is ridiculous, he is mocking them. By the way you could think of 'ridiculous' as meaning 'worthy of ridicule'.

Very well.

I couldn't find that thread, but let's examine the content of the website that demonstrates it's intended goal.
<snip>

Because the forum is nothing without the members, the members themselves dictate its purpose. Nobody has the same purpose, therefore the forum has no specific purpose.

An appeal to fairness is an emotional, not logical, argument.

Really? See what happens when people are repressed. Seriously, check it out. See how many get killed.

We don't wait until their first overdose to teach our children to stay off drugs. We don't wait until Johnny's first rape to teach our sons to respect women. We should be marginalizing the belief that prayer is a substitute for proper medical care, not waiting until that belief manifests itself and someone's baby dies.

We marginalize belief all the time in order to prevent harmful action. It's called education.

What beliefs are we marginalizing in your first two examples?
It's interesting how you say "teach our sons to respect women", then you go around and question my "masculinity"[1] as if it were an insult.

First because atheists are right, second because atheism is not a harmful belief.

Atheism is not a belief at all, but is that everything? "Atheists are right"?
Guess what? Scientific theories are also "wrong". (Technically, "incomplete" would be the more adequate term here, depending on your PoV.) Should we marginalize those?

Obviously, as you just mocked me. Congratulations! However, your lack of knowledge does not mean my assessment is flawed. It only reveals your lack of knowledge.

I stick to my position, I'm an idiot. I reconsider my position, I'm an idiot.
Make up your damn mind.

I was not insulting women, I was questioning your masculinity.

"Masculinity" is a meaningless term for me. Define it.
 1. Whatever the hell that means.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 03:27:11 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.

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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #167 on: November 30, 2011, 02:36:50 AM »
What I am inclined to believe is that women are discouraged from such endeavors by chauvnistic cultural influences, such as yours.

So either:

A.) Women want those jobs but men prevent them from taking them, therefore women are submissive to men, and unable or unwilling to fight for their rights, which would make me right.

OR

B.) Women don't want those jobs, which would make me right.

And the fact that you consider my position that women are less inclined towards violence than men an insult towards women only implies that you think violence is a virtue, and that women should posess it.
"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 #168 on: November 30, 2011, 02:37:37 AM »
Are you seriously trying to cite the lack of diverse opposition to a small part of one of your recent posts as a significant point in your favor?

He did in his thread that got locked.
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 Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #169 on: November 30, 2011, 02:44:37 AM »
What I am inclined to believe is that women are discouraged from such endeavors by chauvnistic cultural influences, such as yours.

So either:

A.) Women want those jobs but men prevent them from taking them, therefore women are submissive to men, and unable or unwilling to fight for their rights, which would make me right.

OR

B.) Women don't want those jobs, which would make me right.

Or women are socially conditioned to not want those jobs (just as men are socially conditioned the opposite way), which would make you wrong.  It has nothing inherently to do with being female.  It has to do with the conditioning, which could be done to anyone.

I alluded to this with the text that you both bolded and ignored.  A puzzling treatment of my words, that.

And the fact that you consider my position that women are less inclined towards violence than men an insult towards women only implies that you think violence is a virtue, and that women should posess it.

That is not a fact.  You would be hard-pressed to make a reasonable argument for why it is a fact, given that you talked about "dirty work" rather than specifically violence.  You were not admonishing Lucifer to be more violent.  You were admonishing him to be less averse to "dirty work".

Why try to revise history when it's right there in your post?
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #170 on: November 30, 2011, 03:29:26 AM »
I am getting pretty tired of being called an accommodationist when I suggest equal treatment for everyone.

A noble goal, but do religious beliefs deserve equal treatment as rational beliefs? Are they equally valid belief systems?

...my signature is a joke.
It is mockery with an element of humor, but certainly mockery.

What does WRT mean?
with regard to

I couldn't find that thread, but let's examine the content of the website that demonstrates it's intended goal.
<snip>

Because the forum is nothing without the members, the members themselves dictate its purpose. Nobody has the same purpose, therefore the forum has no specific purpose.

I wasn't referring to the forum, I was referring to the website www.whywontgodhealamputees.com, which was created by one man.

An appeal to fairness is an emotional, not logical, argument.

Really? See what happens when people are repressed. Seriously, check it out. See how many get killed.

How many people are killed by the KKK these days? Would you say more or less since they've been marginalized?

We don't wait until their first overdose to teach our children to stay off drugs. We don't wait until Johnny's first rape to teach our sons to respect women. We should be marginalizing the belief that prayer is a substitute for proper medical care, not waiting until that belief manifests itself and someone's baby dies.

We marginalize belief all the time in order to prevent harmful action. It's called education.

What beliefs are we marginalizing in your first two examples?

Please don't ask questions you already know the answer to, it slows down progress. However, I'll indulge lest you claim I'm dodging.

Drugs are not harmful, drugs are fun, drugs are not addictive, you should do drugs to fit in, drugs make you feel good, drugs are cool, drugs clear your mind, drugs help you see God, and so on...

Women are things, women are stupid, women are made to serve man, women do not deserve respect, women are toys, women want to be raped, women want a man to dominate them, women who dress sexy want to be raped, women who sleep with lots of men deserve to be raped, and so on...

These are all harmful beliefs that some people hold that used to be more common, which today have been and continue to be marginalized. $10 says someone takes one of those out of context to attack me some time this week,  :laugh:.

It's interesting how you say "teach our sons to respect women", then you go around and question my "masculinity"[1] as if it were an insult.

Atheism is not a belief at all, but is that everything? "Atheists are right"?
Guess what? Scientific theories are also "wrong". (Technically, "incomplete" would be the more adequate term here, depending on your PoV.) Should we marginalize those?

Semantics, strawman.

And by the way when, as often happens, a scientific theory is proven wrong, and it's continued belief and practice would be harmful or useless, it is marginalized. Alchemy, astrology, eugenics, etc.

Obviously, as you just mocked me. Congratulations! However, your lack of knowledge does not mean my assessment is flawed. It only reveals your lack of knowledge.

I stick to my position, I'm an idiot. I reconsider my position, I'm an idiot.
Make up your damn mind.
 1. Whatever the hell that means.

My congratulations was not sarcastic. I consider your use of mockery to make your point progress in this debate and a tacit acknowledgement of it's efficacy.

"Masculinity" is a meaningless term for me. Define it.

You already know what it means, and you know the context in which I used it. This is the last time I indulge you by wasting time explaining something that doesn't need to be explained.

Aggression is a trait useful in certain types of confrontations that is commonly found in males in higher abundancies than females, likely due to the higher presences of both adrenaline and testosterone. I was suggesting that such a confrontation may occur at some point, and that your inability or unwillingness to display aggression on the same levels as your male peers may hinder your performance in the encounter.

This should not be taken as an insult to women, as aggression is not necessarily a desired trait in females.
"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 #171 on: November 30, 2011, 03:52:05 AM »
A noble goal, but do religious beliefs deserve equal treatment as rational beliefs? Are they equally valid belief systems?

Validity is not the issue here. People have the right to believe whatever they damn well please, as long as it doesn't hurt other people.

It is mockery with an element of humor, but certainly mockery.

Maybe from your perspective.

I wasn't referring to the forum, I was referring to the website www.whywontgodhealamputees.com, which was created by one man.

Well, no argument there then.

How many people are killed by the KKK these days? Would you say more or less since they've been marginalized?

It takes time before an oppressed minority is tired of being oppressed and decides to take action. From what was posted here, they were still in power about 90 years ago.

Please don't ask questions you already know the answer to, it slows down progress. However, I'll indulge lest you claim I'm dodging.

If I knew the answer, I wouldn't ask it. Stop assuming that I know what you mean. It slows down progress.

<snip>
These are all harmful beliefs that some people hold that used to be more common, which today have been and continue to be marginalized. $10 says someone takes one of those out of context to attack me some time this week,  :laugh:.

Some of the beliefs you presented about drugs are correct. Drugs do make you feel good on the short term, drugs do make you see God (sometimes; depends on what you're on and how high you are), et cetera.

Semantics, strawman.

Semantics?
Well, let's start calling atheism a religion then. Oh, wait, it's not. You see, semantics are not as bad as you think.
Without semantics, atheism would be a religion. Without semantics, science would be a belief/belief system.
Also, how was that a strawman? I compared your argument (that because religious beliefs are wrong they should be marginalized) with scientific theories (which will always be incomplete, and therefore wrong).

And by the way when, as often happens, a scientific theory is proven wrong, and it's continued belief and practice would be harmful or useless, it is marginalized. Alchemy, astrology, eugenics, etc.

Yes it is.

My congratulations was not sarcastic. I consider your use of mockery to make your point progress in this debate and a tacit acknowledgement of it's efficacy.

Consider it what you want.

You already know what it means, and you know the context in which I used it. This is the last time I indulge you by wasting time explaining something that doesn't need to be explained.

See way above about asking things I don't know.

Aggression is a trait useful in certain types of confrontations that is commonly found in males in higher abundancies than females, likely due to the higher presences of both adrenaline and testosterone. I was suggesting that such a confrontation may occur at some point, and that your inability or unwillingness to display aggression on the same levels as your male peers may hinder your performance in the encounter.

This should not be taken as an insult to women, as aggression is not necessarily a desired trait in females.

So I'm not aggressive?
You should talk to my schools. At least one of my teachers even recommended anger management classes at age 14.

Quote from: Rammstein
Do your own thing. And overdo it!

This is (more or less) what I live by. I do what I want, when I want, as long as it doesn't harm other people.
You say I'm not aggressive? Piss me off and I'll prove you wrong.[1] You say I'm not "masculine"? I don't even believe in masculinity. It is just another word created to separate the sexes.
There is no such thing as "masculinity", just like there's no such thing as "femininity". There are just actions and people who perform said actions.

This argument (yours) boils down to an ad-hominem (and a bad one at that). If you want, I could get a few of my friends to vouch for my aggressiveness.
 1. Read the "more or less" part if you're confused.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 04:17:59 AM by Lucifer »
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #172 on: November 30, 2011, 03:57:14 AM »
Or women are socially conditioned to not want those jobs (just as men are socially conditioned the opposite way), which would make you wrong.  It has nothing inherently to do with being female.  It has to do with the conditioning, which could be done to anyone.

Why? And by whom?

That wouldn't make me wrong, it still makes me right. Whether the impetus is internal or external, women are less inclined towards "dirty work" than men.

You were not admonishing Lucifer to be more violent.  You were admonishing him to be less averse to "dirty work".

Why try to revise history when it's right there in your post?

Well that just doesn't make any damn sense at all, does it?

You know full well that 'dirty' is a common euphamism for violence, (get your hands dirty, dirty work, etc.) and you know that I clearly defined it as such.

Quote from: Joebbowers
Men do more 'dirty work' than women, both in the literal sense that the work causes one's clothing to become dirty, and in the metaphorical sense that violence and war are 'dirty'.

And you know from my comment to Lucifer that I had intended the latter meaning, metaphorically dirty, as I was describing a confrontation with theists, and his reluctance to display aggression. Also, presumably he's not wearing a dress, so it should be obvious that I did not mean 'dirty' in a literal sense.

Quote from: Joebbowers
It seems to me your argument boils down to just not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings. Well, you can sit on the sidelines if you don't want to get your dress dirty, but the men have work to do. You can thank us when it's over.

Again, you're just being contrary. Debate for the sake of debate. This is not why I'm here and I won't indulge this type of pointless argument in the future.

"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 #173 on: November 30, 2011, 05:02:17 AM »
Validity is not the issue here. People have the right to believe whatever they damn well please, as long as it doesn't hurt other people.

I agree in principle, but that's simply an academic argument, which doesn't apply to reality. Beliefs almost always lead to actions. Sure, not every single time, but the minority of theists who take absolutely no action to influence others or impose their beliefs on others are not the ones we're worried about. Even the simple expression of their beliefs can prove harmful, if others are led to harmful action through it.

Also, what if their beliefs hurt themselves? Do they have a right to their beliefs then? Do we have a responsibility to save people from themselves? One could argue that we don't, but consider the effect that self-destructive behaviors can have on their loved ones. Is that not also hurting other people?

My grandfather used to be a drunk. My mom always tried to make him quit by telling him that it was bad for him. He argued that he could do whatever he wanted to his body. Finally I suggested she tell him that his behavior was hurting her and he reduced his drinking considerably.

It takes time before an oppressed minority is tired of being oppressed and decides to take action. From what was posted here, they were still in power about 90 years ago.
Even less actually, they still had millions of members will into the 1950's. Nobody said this would happen overnight. My very first post on this forum said it begins with educating the next generation.

If I knew the answer, I wouldn't ask it. Stop assuming that I know what you mean. It slows down progress.
You've never heard pro-drug or pro-sexism beliefs before? In my school we were taught all those beliefs, then learned why they are wrong.

Some of the beliefs you presented about drugs are correct. Drugs do make you feel good on the short term, drugs do make you see God (sometimes; depends on what you're on and how high you are), et cetera.

Whether they are correct or not is beside the point, they are harmful and irresponsible beliefs that must be marginalized. If you murder your girlfriend while she sleeps, she can never cheat on you again is a correct belief. And before yet another pointless semantic argument starts, I am using 'correct' to mean 'true', and not to mean 'socially acceptable'.

And by the way, drugs do not make you see God. God is imaginary. Drugs make you believe you are seeing God.

You already know what it means, and you know the context in which I used it. This is the last time I indulge you by wasting time explaining something that doesn't need to be explained.

See way above about asking things I don't know.
Next time check a dictionary. If the definition you find there doesn't make sense in the context it was used, then you may ask for clarification.

This argument (yours) boils down to an ad-hominem (and a bad one at that). If you want, I could get a few of my friends to vouch for my aggressiveness.

Yes, obviously it was a personal attack. You just figured that out? I believe your stance regarding confrontation with theists is weak. How you deal with confrontation in other situations is off-topic.

I don't know why there is so much focus on this one comment. When Jaybwell called me an asshole, nobody asked him to define the term or defend his use of it. I was kind enough to ignore his emotional breakdowns (twice in two days he dropped f-bomb laden tirades and 'stormed out'). Mine was much less insulting and my reasons for using it were clearly stated and defended, though obviously it was just my opinion. Several others have personally attacked me using much ruder terms, and with far less cause. You don't seem to object to any of those though. Seems like a double standard.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 05:15:20 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