I agree with you, that the less true a belief is, people will push back feverently. Just like in Ms. Ahlquist’s case. However, you claimed this “First, you drive the moderates into the arms of the extremists.” If they are moderate, why this sudden change in them? You seem to be supporting my point that moderates and extremists aren’t different at all.
Not in the slightest. The reason you think that is because you're not seeing the very real distinction between them, and so you assume that they must be the same on the inside. This sort of thinking ends up being self-fulfilling. Treat moderates as if they're no different than extremists enough, and you'll push them into making common cause to stand up against that kind of short-sighted belligerence. "The enemy of my enemy...."
Jaime, what you consider hard or steady isn evidently quite a bit less than what I consider those words. I do find I am pushing not very hard at all compared to what I could and I do find that I am pushing steady. I do not find “steady” a perfect answer.
Consider what I'm saying a caution, then.
As you know, I’m not a gradualist. Let me ask you, if we only pushed “steady” and not “hard” (assuming I am correctly reading into what you mean by those words) during the 60s, do you think we would have the freedom for other races we do today? Do you think that by the aggressive moves in the 60s, we caused racists to be come more radical? And do you consider the possibility we did worth the freedom we have today? I’ve also not seen any allies worth being allies being drive away. Of course that’s my opinion. I’m also still curious on how this: “you tend to radicalize your own side” is occurring. How am I using the facts, hmmm, well evidently “wrongly” per your opinion?
Why do you think I brought up MLK and Malcolm X? I know that there have to be what are commonly called "agitators" to get anything meaningful done. But you have to remember that agitators are easy to caricature, and their very aggressiveness can cause problems. Malcolm X wouldn't have gotten the civil rights legislation passed on his own.
Also, consider your statement; "I've not seen any allies worth being allies being driven away". How do you define whether they're worth being allies? People tend to associate with people who agree with them, and are thus susceptible to what I think of as "us v them" syndrome. As in, people who stop being "us" tend to become "them". That goes for people who work towards similar goals but through different means too. I'm not saying that you're like that, but I brought it up because you're starting to sound like it. If you do become like that, you'll radicalize the people who tend to think the most like you and drive everyone else away.
Jaime, I do think you are indeed asking just that. You seem to think I should approve of religion, suddenly or gradually but that I must approve of it sometime. You seem to think that no one can simply want religion completely gone. You also seem to think I need to be moderate since you find my current actions less than that.
You seem to think that you know what I'm thinking, but it's a safe bet that you don't have a very good idea of it. It isn't about approving of religion or not, and it's not about not wanting it gone. It's about understanding that it's not worth the effort to try to eradicate it, especially since there are so very many ways to do it badly. And it's not about me thinking you need to be a moderate, which would be silly and futile on my part anyway. Just remember that your definition of "pushing" may feel okay to you, but it may be anything but to the person you're actually pushing.
You say a lot of “could” in your scenario but we simply don’t know if that would have been the case or not; nor do we know the worth of it. And I do not find MLK to have been a gradualist at all. He marched and pushed hard, only stopping at taking up physical weapons. He did quite well with the very real weapon of civil disobedience. He took a hard stand. This doesn’t sound like a man who is for waiting “No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
But he was patient and persistent, was he not? Gradual doesn't necessarily mean taking a long time (though it often has that connotation), it means proceeding by steps and degrees, and it means being patient and persistent. You also have to remember that regardless of anything else, MLK was focused on ending legal discrimination of black people, not on eradicating discrimination in its entirety. The equivalent for atheism would be getting religion back out the door of government and ending its privileged status, not in trying to get rid of theism entirely.
I’m suppose to cower since there are more of “them” than of “us”. Sorry, I won’t do that. So what if there are more? There were more Nazis than the French Resistance. Should they have stopped blowing up bridges, rescuing Gestapo prisoners, helping Allied soldiers since they were the minority?
Quit putting words in my mouth. I never said anything about cowering, nor did I say you shouldn't do anything at all.
It does make me sad that you use the same arguments that people used in the right against racism and before that the fight against sexism.
And it makes me sadder you're persistently misunderstanding what I'm saying.
Ohhh, I dasn’t be uppity if’n the massa react badly. Look at those uppity women, wanting the vote! I’m sorry you are so afraid but again your fear seems to be supporting my point that there is no difference between moderates and extremist theists. Oh and Jaime, atheism isn’t part of “any other religion”. Never was a religion, never will be.
Who said anything about me being afraid? The fact that you think it's fear that's motivating my actions, the fact that you think I'm equating atheism with religion, clearly demonstrates that you don't understand where I'm coming from, and that you're letting your attitude shape my words. So instead of continuing to repeat these same mistakes, why don't you try actually listening to what I'm saying? And if you aren't sure, ask, don't assume you know.
For example, my reference to "any other religion" was not about atheism. It meant "any other religion besides Christianity". As in, if they specifically make it illegal to not have a religion but don't target people who have a non-Christian religion. Maybe I should have been more specific there, but you did jump to a conclusion that wasn't what I meant.
Doesn’t mean that you’re right either.
No, it doesn't. Thus why I said that I expect you to think about what I'm saying.
I always wonder about those who use such a argument. You can’t support your position very well, but oh if someone disagrees that means it must be valid in someway. No, it doesn’t.
Did I say that? No, I did not. I said that I expect you to think about what I'm saying. That means to listen without making assumptions (which, believe me, you've been doing a fair bit of). It does not mean that your disagreement gives my position validity, but then, I didn't say it did in the first place. If you want to show my position to be invalid, then you need to stop making assumptions about it and start addressing what I'm actually saying.
You also seem to think that if I disagree, I must not have “thought seriously about it”. I have thought quite seriously about it and I still do not agree with you.
There's that "seem to think" again. No, that is not what I think. I'm pretty sure you've thought seriously about it in the past. What I am not sure about is whether you've thought much about what I've actually said in the here and now. When I think seriously about something, I try to take several hours (at least) in order to ensure that I've given it proper consideration and at least tried to make sure that I'm reacting to what they're actually saying, and so that any emotional reactions I might have to it are out of my system and not in my post. Right now I'm not seeing much evidence of that from you. You seem to be reacting to what you think I'm saying, without considering whether I might not have meant something else instead (see the points I made earlier).
Again, you have no evidence that my pushing “hard” will always cause moderates to “flock to defend it”. You say it “will” happen as if it was a certainty. I disagree. You seem to be taking refuge in this “certainty” so you don’t have to do anything. What’s the point of rebelling if the white man will always win? I’m sorry but I do not accept such a defeatist attitude.
I do read history, and if there's one thing I've learned from it, it's that people who benefit from the status quo will react badly to perceived threats. Even if they only benefit a little tiny bit. Most Southern whites before the Civil War were only a tiny bit better off than black slaves, compared to the rich slaveowners with large estates and dozens or hundreds of slaves. But they weren't slaves, so they reacted to protect that little bit of social status they had when it was perceived to be threatened. That's what led to Jim Crow as much as anything else, it was to keep the black former-slaves in their "place" at the bottom of the heap.
Moderate and liberal Christians are not particularly devout. But they still believe in their religion. Threaten it in a way that's seen as a serious attempt to eliminate it (which, I will remind you, is what you said you wanted), and you had better believe that they'll defend it even if they don't take the religion itself very seriously, and more so as the threat becomes more threatening. It's no different than the way any other group that's felt that some privilege it has is threatened. But give them the out of knowing that their personal right to practice their religion won't be threatened, and most of them will be happy to go with that.
If nothing else, consider that a moderate might better be able to predict the reactions of other moderates than someone who is not a moderate. I'm not just imagining this, I'm basing it at least somewhat on how I'd react if I saw a group threatening something I considered important.
No, I do want to eliminate theism.
Yes, I know. I was being slightly facetious there to make a point.
You seem to be again thinking atheism is some form of “religion” and that it has dogma based on nothing but opinion.
And again, no I'm not. But your opinion shapes how you present facts. And it is not particularly difficult to slip from letting your opinion shape the facts to letting your opinion determine what you're willing to consider are facts in the first place.
I wish to eliminate theism since it is not based on any evidence whatsoever. I wish to eliminate theism because it consistently leads to bloody hatred since they consistently presume that theirs is the only true belief. I would also wish to eliminate the stupidity of anti-vaxers for the same reasons, that they are harmful.
I never said your reasons weren't good (though, I will point out that it is extremism that leads to bloody hatred; theism serves as a convenient outlet for extremism, but the two are not the same thing, and extremism will still exist regardless of the status of theism). However, I simply don't think you or anyone can eliminate theism. There are things you can do about it, but you can't get rid of it entirely because human nature is wired for that sort of thing. Christians constantly persecuted Jews for almost 2,000 years, and in some cases tried to stamp Judaism out entirely. Yet, Judaism persisted. They did an even more effective job at stamping out the Greek pantheon, to the point where there was no public worship of it whatsoever for over a millennium, yet we actually have the old Greek cults making a resurgence of sorts.
I am not suggesting you would advocate the same kind of bloody methods of suppression that those religious fanatics used. I'm reasonably sure that you expect education, laws, and cultural traditions to do the job. I just don't see it happening. So given that, I think the goal should not be the elimination of theism, but the removal of theism from its "special" place in public life. A private religious belief doesn't bother me, provided the person doesn't use it as an excuse to justify abhorrent behavior.
Show me religion isn’t wrong, Jaime, that it isn’t built on delusion and that most, if not all religions, depend on their claim that their version is the only “right” one. I am not advocating that people be killed for their faith but they be taught that it isn’t correct, that religion be stood against every time it rises its head. I am saying that it is high time that the primitive ignorance that religion fosters be opposed and opposed strongly and that theists are no longer to be allowed to be in control of the conversation. Good people who happen to be religious ignore the very foundations of their religions. It is not from some religious dogma good arises but from ignoring such dogma by finally throwing all religion into the dung heap of history for good.
I have no objection to any of this. My objection is to where it might lead if it proves to be impossible to eliminate theism, as I expect.