Author Topic: Should we try to eliminate religion?  (Read 15838 times)

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Online One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #174 on: November 30, 2011, 05:16:10 AM »
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.

But you want to marginalize all theists, even those that do not cause harm to other people or themselves.
Id est: You want to discriminate against the minorities for the mistakes that the majority made.

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?

I've been locked in argument with myself regarding that long before I met you.

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.

That's a very good argument.

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.

So, like I said, oppressed minorities will take action, at which point we have four choices:
Continue oppressing them.
Let them do what they want.
Do what they want us to do.
Get rid of them.

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.

I've heard of them, but those are not beliefs - they're stances on certain topics. They may be based on beliefs (I'm pretty sure that the pro-sexist movement is based on a religion), but that doesn't mean that the movement itself is a belief.

Whether they are correct or not is beside the point, they are harmful and irresponsible beliefs that must be marginalized.

They are harmful to whom? The people who perform them? Do we not have the right to freedom of action?

If you murder your girlfriend while she sleeps, she can never cheat on you again is a correct belief.[1]
 1. And before yet another pointless semantic argument starts, I am using 'correct' to mean 'true', and not to mean 'socially acceptable'.

Yes, it is correct. Yet I don't do it (due to lack of current girlfriends, among other things, but that's not relevant). Should that belief be marginalized? Or should the action be marginalized?

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

Drugs make you see some pretty weird shit, some of which you might call "God".

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.

I did. Masculinity is, more or less, "the state of being masculine", which is meaningless.


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.

So you're admitting that your argument is moot. Thanks for playing.

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 were 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.

I suggest you read your topic that got closed. I told Jay not to assume that what you meant by the OP is what he thought you meant, and not to compare you to a Nazi, as that was an appeal to emotion, not an actual argument.
As for the double standard, it's not. You are saying "You are not 'masculine', therefore your argument is invalid". They were just saying "You're an idiot. Now here's why your argument is invalid".
EDIT: It's funny how you say that aggression is not a negative trait in males (therefore it's either a meaningless trait[2] or a positive trait[3]), yet when Jay and others are aggressive, you call it "emotional breakdowns" and say that they're negative things.
 2. Which makes you wrong.
 3. Which makes you wrong.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 05:35:12 AM by Lucifer »
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #175 on: November 30, 2011, 05:41:03 AM »
Gosh.....look what a lot of confrontation we've got here as a result of one fairly low-key bit of mockery!  Does make you wonder what effects mockery of religion (whether as the sole or as a very minor part of the "plan") would have on the recipients.

Now....can we get this thread back on track please.
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 joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #176 on: November 30, 2011, 06:38:07 AM »
But you want to marginalize all theists, even those that do not cause harm to other people or themselves.

I don't believe such people exist. If they do, it's because they have already been marginalized.

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?

I've been locked in argument with myself regarding that long before I met you.

Perhaps this can help. Smokers, drinkers, and fatties all drive up insurance prices for everybody, (or raise taxes in countries with government healthcare). However they all claim that it is a personal choice that only hurts them. (Fatties don't claim that it's a choice until you tell them they must lose weight, then suddenly it becomes a choice.)

So, like I said, oppressed minorities will take action, at which point we have four choices:
Continue oppressing them.
Let them do what they want.
Do what they want us to do.
Get rid of them.

Continue oppressing them until we are rid of them.

They are harmful to whom? The people who perform them? Do we not have the right to freedom of action?
You don't think those beliefs about drugs and woman are harmful? You can't identify whom they harm? Should we allow people to manifest those beliefs into actions?

Yes, it is correct. Yet I don't do it (due to lack of current girlfriends, but that's not relevant). Should that belief be marginalized? Or should the action be marginalized?

The belief should damn well be marginalized to reduce the probability of that belief becoming action. I explained this before about drugs and sexism. You must marginalize the belief to prevent associated action taking place. Otherwise you're simply cleaning up the mess. Since you still don't seem to get this, let me give you another example.

Your kid thinks: it's fun to play with guns, guns are toys, guns aren't dangerous, guns are cool, he can impress his friends by showing off with a gun.[1] Do you wait until his brains are slipping down the wall before you act? Or do you step in to minimize the negative impact of those beliefs before he decides to manifest them into harmful action?

Drugs make you see some pretty weird shit, some of which you might call "God".
Do you think that's an appropriate belief/stance/opinion/whatever to teach children?

Edit: Deleted rest of message in response to aggression. Per Anfauglir.
 1. All of these things are true, but don't fucking tell kids that.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 06:45:53 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

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #177 on: November 30, 2011, 06:53:12 AM »
I don't believe such people exist. If they do, it's because they have already been marginalized.

I know from personal experience that this is not the case.

Perhaps this can help.
<snip>

It really doesn't.

Continue oppressing them until we are rid of them.

This is where we disagree. Oppression is never an option.

You don't think those beliefs about drugs and woman are harmful? You can't identify whom they harm? Should we allow people to manifest those beliefs into actions?

No, we should not allow people to manifest those beliefs into actions. That's why we have laws and law enforcement agents that prevent said actions and/or punish the person/people involved.

<snip>
Your kid thinks: it's fun to play with guns, guns are toys, guns aren't dangerous, guns are cool, he can impress his friends by showing off with a gun.[1] Do you wait until his brains are slipping down the wall before you act? Or do you step in to minimize the negative impact of those beliefs before his able to manifest them into harmful action?
 1. All of these things are true, but don't fucking tell kids that.

Guns are dangerous under the right circumstances. They're also not toys, although they're fun to play with.
Long story short: I'd tell him the truth about guns - they're fun, until something dies.

Do you think that's an appropriate belief/stance/opinion/whatever to teach children?

I believe that we should teach children the truth and let them decide for themselves. If there is one thing that I've learned in my short time on this planet is that the truth matters most above all else. That said, it doesn't mean that we should oppress others who do not or cannot accept it.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 06:56:08 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.

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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #178 on: November 30, 2011, 07:26:02 AM »
I don't believe such people exist. If they do, it's because they have already been marginalized.

I know from personal experience that this is not the case.

Can you explain how they have come to be so rational and moderate? And can you explain how that is not the result of the efforts of other rational moderates and atheists to marginalize the harmful fundamental beliefs of religion?

This is where we disagree. Oppression is never an option.

Oppression was your word. I choose marginalize. It's more accurate. You do not think we should marginalize racist, sexist, homophobic beliefs and other beliefs which are harmful to society? You don't think we were right to marginalize the Nazis? How do you think we've come to have such a free and open society where ....

Fuck it. I don't get you man. I just don't see where you're coming from. I'm not even sure what your point is anymore. Are you saying that marginalization doesn't work or that we shouldn't do it? If we shouldn't do it, what is your proposed alternative, and how it that clearly different from my definition and suggested plan of marginalization?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 07:27:44 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

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #179 on: November 30, 2011, 07:37:06 AM »
Can you explain how they have come to be so rational and moderate? And can you explain how that is not the result of the efforts of other rational moderates and atheists to marginalize the harmful fundamental beliefs of religion?

I don't know. The theists I met were already rational and moderates when I met them, and we didn't exactly talk about that stuff, just the existence (or lack thereof) of God (sometimes).

Fuck it. I don't get you man. I just don't see where you're coming from. I'm not even sure what your point is anymore.

Not so much fun when you're the one who can't understand others, is it?

Are you saying that marginalization doesn't work or that we shouldn't do it?

A bit of both.
We shouldn't do it because marginalizing ideas/beliefs:
Is arrogant[1];
Is unfair[2];
Doesn't work[3].

Note that these are just off the top of my head.
 1. Assumes that you're right and that the other side has nothing to offer.
 2. All people should be free to express or at least state their opinions/beliefs (without harming others) and have those opinions in the first place; this is the very basis of a free society.
 3. You marginalize something, it just makes people wonder more and even sympathize with their situation. Look at the percentage of drug users or drug-related deaths in countries where drugs are legal and where drugs are illegal and see what I'm talking about.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #180 on: November 30, 2011, 09:54:17 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.
I choose c) - that you are not qualified to make that sort of judgment, because you are not a woman and have never undergone the social pressures that most women face every day from most men.  Several decades ago, most American men firmly believed that women were not suited to working outside the home.  A bit more than a century ago, most American men firmly believed that women were not qualified to vote in elections.  I see your attitude and opinion as being little more than a natural progression of that attitude.

The only way to really know if women would enjoy such "dirty work" would be to treat them exactly the same as men, with no contradictory social treatment from outside, and then see where their preferences lie.  I had my eyes opened by a friend some time back when we were talking about social gender roles; he asked me what I thought about mechanical work such as working on a car, and I said that I disliked it although I could do it if I needed to.  He correctly pointed out that I was rationalizing my dislike (by saying I could do it anyway, I just didn't like to do it) because of social pressures that I wasn't even aware of.  Indeed, I strongly suspect that your statement about "men doing the dirty work" is based on similar social pressures.

What you need to understand is that women face social pressures as well, just directed in a different direction.  Whether it's men or women, these social pressures are so subtle and pervasive that most people aren't even aware of them.  In fact, they make the social pressures of community religious belief look ungainly and clumsy by comparison.  The only way to become aware of them is to have your face rubbed in them, so to speak, because otherwise they're "just the way things are".

EDIT--Forgot to mention that the examples of equality in voting and equality in the workplace are examples of situations where counter-marginalization was correctly not picked as an option, because it was the attitude that was the problem, not the people.  The problem with marginalizing people - and that's what you're talking about doing, because you're not interested in changing their beliefs - is that you plant the seeds of having them come back some day and returning the favor once they have grown powerful again.

I believe that the problem here is that many people view their religious beliefs as being the focal point of their lives.  That is not healthy.  Redirect that towards something healthier and more effective, and even though people may still hold religious beliefs, they will not have the all-encompassing drive that leads them to do crazy things in the name of their religious beliefs.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 10:06:24 AM by jaimehlers »

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #181 on: November 30, 2011, 10:11:01 AM »
Why? And by whom?

Because it's a part of our culture that we often take for granted, and by people like you.

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.

Hey, sure.  But you can't use that to make a point about women, then.  Only about our cultural conditioning.  And that makes it disingenuous to appeal to the difference as a female thing.  It's not a female thing.  Nothing about being female implies an aversion to "dirty work".  The incidental cultural conditioning is what causes the aversion to "dirty work".

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.

It can be.  It is more commonly used to refer to hard work, work that requires a great deal of effort, etc.

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.

I had assumed you weren't talking about violent confrontation, but about standing up for one's self and one's values.  I stand corrected by this post of yours:  Despite your protests to the contrary, you have clarified in this post that you are advocating violence.

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.

If you can't support your ideas, then you should not express them.  Ideas get challenged on this forum.  That's our culture, here.  Are you up to that?
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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #182 on: November 30, 2011, 12:18:04 PM »
To everyone who agrees with using methods that are unfair to eliminate religion's hold on mankind:

If we use unethical methods to achieve something good, did we really do something good? Do the ends justify the means?
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 #183 on: November 30, 2011, 12:20:44 PM »
There is nothing unethical about refraining from giving respect to things that do not deserve respect.
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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #184 on: November 30, 2011, 12:23:36 PM »
There is nothing unethical about refraining from giving respect to things that do not deserve respect.

I know. I was referring, among other things, to methods such as oppression and marginalizing believers and beliefs rather than actions.
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 #185 on: November 30, 2011, 12:32:44 PM »
Occasionally, the ends can justify the means.  The problem comes when people get into the habit of using the ends to justify the means.

If a person does something meant to shock often enough, it loses its impact.  The use of mockery as a tool is not exempt from this.  Use it too often, and it loses its edge.

There may be times when mockery is necessary to further an important goal.  But it should not be something used routinely.  The same goes with oppression and marginalization, though those can be even more dangerous tools than mockery.  There may be times when it's necessary to use one or both, but it is not necessary to do so as a matter of course.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #186 on: November 30, 2011, 12:37:39 PM »
There is nothing unethical about refraining from giving respect to things that do not deserve respect.

I know. I was referring, among other things, to methods such as oppression and marginalizing believers and beliefs rather than actions.

Do you feel guilty for how we as a society have oppressed and marginalized the Phelps clan?
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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #187 on: November 30, 2011, 12:40:34 PM »
Occasionally, the ends can justify the means.

Examples?

Do you feel guilty for how we as a society have oppressed and marginalized the Phelps clan?

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

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

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #188 on: November 30, 2011, 01:02:55 PM »
Examples?

Imprisoning a violent criminal in order to prevent him or her from committing more violent crimes.  The ends justify the unfortunate means.

Who?

I thought you were familiar with Fred Phelps and his "God Hates Fags" crowd.  Westboro Baptists.  Those folks.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #189 on: November 30, 2011, 01:03:57 PM »
Taking away someone's freedom to keep them from committing heinous crimes.  For example, if you know someone has committed murder, and that they will continue to commit murder if they are not stopped, then the end of keeping other people from being killed justifies the means of imprisoning the murderer.

For that matter, the end (protecting a life) can be used to justify the means (taking another's life), if they are clearly intending to commit murder and there's no feasible way to stop them short of killing them.  But the second part of my point is that such situations are and should be rare.

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #190 on: November 30, 2011, 01:58:27 PM »
Imprisoning a violent criminal in order to prevent him or her from committing more violent crimes.  The ends justify the unfortunate means.

I don't see it that way. Freedom of action is limited. We cannot (or at least should not) perform actions with the intention of hurting others. The criminal made a choice - to violate other people's rights. He/She is simply dealing with the effects.
Cause and effect. Nothing more.

I thought you were familiar with Fred Phelps and his "God Hates Fags" crowd.  Westboro Baptists.  Those folks.

Oh, those retards.
Frankly, I am saddened that they hold such negative views on homosexuality[1]. I am even more saddened by the fact that they decided to take action based on that belief and that they intentionally caused harm to other people.
I do not feel regret that they were marginalized and/or oppressed, because, IIRC, other methods were tried, and it finally came to the point where only marginalization was left. I wish that there could've been another way, but, like I said above, cause and effect.
 1. On a semi-related note, why is it that every anti-non-heterosexual movement is almost always exclusively dedicated to homosexuals (usually gay men)?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #191 on: November 30, 2011, 02:30:33 PM »
Implimenting that cause-and-effect you describe is an "ends-justifying-means" situation.  Law is a means to an end.
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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #192 on: November 30, 2011, 02:35:38 PM »
Implimenting that cause-and-effect you describe is an "ends-justifying-means" situation.

I do not see it that way. Why do you?
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #193 on: November 30, 2011, 02:38:31 PM »
I don't see it that way. Freedom of action is limited. We cannot (or at least should not) perform actions with the intention of hurting others. The criminal made a choice - to violate other people's rights. He/She is simply dealing with the effects.
Cause and effect. Nothing more.
However, you simply asked for examples of the ends justifying the means, without qualifying what particular examples you might be looking for.  This is an example of the end justifying the means; it doesn't matter that someone else ultimately started it and may deserve the result.  The point is that the end, stopping the person from committing crimes, justifies some means of stopping them, be it capturing them and putting them in the legal system, or killing them to keep them from committing a murder.  Imprisoning and killing can both be used as means to do something, but I honestly can't think of many ends they would justify in their own right.

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #194 on: November 30, 2011, 02:45:49 PM »
However, you simply asked for examples of the ends justifying the means, without qualifying what particular examples you might be looking for.
<snip>

That is true. My apologies.
However, this has led to Azdgari pointing something out, which I think he's right about, considering the headache it gave me. I will need him to justify it, obviously, as I do not see it.
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 Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #195 on: December 01, 2011, 12:53:23 AM »

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?

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

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



After 9/11, the Church of Euthanasia posted a music video titled I Like to Watch, combining hardcore pornography with footage of the World Trade Center collapse.  According to their website, their one commandment is "Thou shalt not procreate" and they assert four principal pillars: suicide, abortion, cannibalism and sodomy. The church's website previously had instructions on "how to kill yourself" by asphyxiation using helium. These pages were removed after a woman used them to commit suicide in St. Louis County, Missouri, resulting in legal threats against the church.  Other links on how to kill yourself remain. They are notorius for conflicts with pro-life Christian activists.

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

I am probably not making any sense. Ima go to bed now.

Good night.

I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.

Offline jetson

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #196 on: December 01, 2011, 06:18:31 AM »
Here's the thing Jayb...the entire thing between believers and non believers is completely out of balance.  And something needs to happen to change the balance.  Being nice is not going to do it.  We've been nice for centuries, and we're probably lucky in the U.S. that we're not still being killed for not believing.  Again though, the idea of mockery and marginalization is not to be complete assholes and make Christians into our daily punching bags for shits and giggles.

The idea is to use all of the tools we have at our disposal, to drag the balance bar back into balance.  And some of that work is going to be uncomfortable for believers, and that's precisely how it should be.  There is simply no way around it.  Being nice is only one way of changing attitudes towards atheists.  When have atheists actually been as mean as you might think we are talking about here?

For as long as there have been atheists, there has been heavy hatred and bigotry towards them.  That's precisely why they remain so quiet, until recently, if you follow what is described as the new atheism movement.  And it is precisely why many atheists go completely unidentified.  We are completely marginalized in society today, and that needs to stop.  And no, we are not talking about turning this around 180 and becoming the persecutors.

We are talking about removing the persecution, and bringing all humans, no matter their beliefs, into a balance, where no one is persecuted.  And I can't think of a more effective way of changing at least the more moderate believers, than to make them feel embarrassed to openly proclaim their personal beliefs in their imaginary god.  If we shrink the support base by making people realize how childish and delusional it is to run around hanging your future on a coat rack of pure mythology - or at least making them think twice before posting something truly stupid on their Facebook page - then we can start to possibly change the balance.

Admittedly, it is no easy task, and it may be so overwhelming that it will take far more open atheists to come out and speak up than are willing in this day and age, who knows.  But maybe all they need are some triggers to get the ball rolling.  Maybe all they need are a few more billboards to get them to break their silence.  Maybe, just maybe...there are closet atheists taking up seats in the churches who will feel the power of independent thinking if prodded enough in someway by some of us already out of the madness.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 06:20:59 AM by jetson »

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #197 on: December 01, 2011, 08:21:58 AM »
At Jetson and all

Is the goal to convince Christians that there god isn't real or to get them to stop marginalizing atheists?
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Online One Above All

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #198 on: December 01, 2011, 08:27:38 AM »
At Jetson and all

Is the goal to convince Christians that there god isn't real or to get them to stop marginalizing atheists?

My goal is to help create actual social equality, which requires the latter. The former is (mostly) irrelevant, as long as social equality is achieved.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 08:30:33 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 Traveler

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #199 on: December 01, 2011, 10:00:04 AM »
At Jetson and all

Is the goal to convince Christians that there god isn't real or to get them to stop marginalizing atheists?

My goal is to help create actual social equality, which requires the latter. The former is (mostly) irrelevant, as long as social equality is achieved.

This is my goal as well. I'm not in the business of telling people what to think. I'm in the business of fair treatment for all.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #200 on: December 01, 2011, 10:19:17 AM »
At Jetson and all

Is the goal to convince Christians that there god isn't real or to get them to stop marginalizing atheists?

I think the goal is to eliminate magical thinking.  That is the dangerous part of religion and it is not exclusive to religion.  Whether that be xianity, hinduism, homeopathy, trutherism, birtherism, libertarianism or belief in yetis or area 51, it is all the same.  Our main focus here is religion, because that is the them of the forum and the most common form of magical thinking.  But I think the focus should be, as kcrady put it, raising the sanity level.

I think that entails to some degree telling people how to think, if not what to think.  I think it does mean treating people fairly.  But be aware - what you and I think is fair may be worlds apart. 


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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #201 on: December 01, 2011, 01:13:47 PM »
I think that entails to some degree telling people how to think, if not what to think.  I think it does mean treating people fairly.  But be aware - what you and I think is fair may be worlds apart. 

To treat all opinions[1] fairly, they should all go through the same "filtering" process because, as we (should) all know, opinions are not all equal.
I came up with this process while I was traveling today, and I think it is fair[2]:

1: We[3] hear people's opinions, which should be supported by evidence that they work and/or arguments as to why they think they would work[4].
2: See if their opinions make sense and are supported by all the evidence, and see if arguments people came up with do not use common fallacies (ad populum and argument from authority, I believe, would be the most "used" ones).
3: See if their opinions are ethical[5].
4: See if there are any better alternatives[6], both ethically and rationally.
5: See if it's doable.
6: Put it into practice.
 1. Note that "Opinions" refers to "ideas about how to change rules/laws/society in general".
 2. Or at least reasonable for a first draft.
 3. "We" refers to whoever is "in charge".
 4. I believe this to be the most important step - listening. Even if an idea sounds retarded as hell at first, it may not be as bad as it sounds, and I think that everyone has the right to be heard.
 5. This would be the most difficult part, since morality is subjective.
 6. Including the one that's currently being used.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 01:23:42 PM by Lucifer »
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Should we try to eliminate religion?
« Reply #202 on: December 01, 2011, 02:07:02 PM »
And I can't think of a more effective way of changing at least the more moderate believers, than to make them feel embarrassed to openly proclaim their personal beliefs in their imaginary god.  If we shrink the support base by making people realize how childish and delusional it is to run around hanging your future on a coat rack of pure mythology - or at least making them think twice before posting something truly stupid on their Facebook page - then we can start to possibly change the balance.

Okay, I see what you are saying. I just happen to believe that it would be more effective to do it the other way around. That is to say...not target the moderate for mocking. Target dicks like Phelps and those guys who blame hurricanes on homosexual activity. Openly crush those guys. But target the moderates with a campaign of normalcy. One way to do this would be to have a beloved sitcom actor (not just the character) come out as atheist. Think Ellen or Neil Patrick Harris. They have to be beloved already in order for this to work effectively. True, some religious leaders use them as examples of how the "gay agenda" is trying to turn your kids gaaaay. But it is slowly making those leaders look like dicks because more and more moderates no longer see the problem with Ellen or Mr. Harris.

Once the average Christian no longer sees you as a threat just because you are atheist, they will be more inclined to listen to you. Then you can proceed to educate them on an individual and national level without needing to resort to mocking them for their beliefs.

That's my strategery on the matter for what it's worth.
I show affection for my pets by holding them against me and whispering, "I love you" repeatedly as they struggle to break free.