Author Topic: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion  (Read 1882 times)

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Offline monkeymind

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The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« on: January 18, 2012, 01:40:38 PM »
http://fora.tv/2011/11/15/Debate_The_World_Would_Be_Better_Off_Without_Religion

Fora TV presents an Intelligence Squared debate.
One hour and forty-five minutes long.

Featuring David Wolpe and Dinesh D'Souza, A.C. Grayling and  Matthew Chapman (Darwin's Great-great grandson).
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
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Offline velkyn

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 02:18:19 PM »
gah, that idiot Wolpe who's on every woo show that the History Channel puts on.  I guess he can natter on with his fellow liar D'Souza.   It might be a good show but I simply can't waste the time to watch those nitwits.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 02:21:33 PM »
D'souza should be strangled with his small intestines.
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Offline monkeymind

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 02:42:32 PM »
Here's what they said:

A.C. Grayling:
Religion gives second class status to women and gays.
Religion teaches -Our story is right and yours is wrong (to other religions).
Moderate religions cherry-pick
Extremists are dangerous

Rabbi Wolpe:
Religious aids stay after a crisis
Oxford Handbook on Religion and Health covers 3,00o studies which show religious people live longer, are more altruistic and empathetic, drink less, divorce less ans less likely to commit suicide

Matthew Chapman:
Asks does religion make us behave better? Gives Deut 25:11-12 as an example of biblical morality. (Your in a fight and your wife grabs your opponents balls, you are to chop her hand off)
Religion distorts morality
My god is better than your god
Talks of inherited gods (your faith dependent on geography and upbringing)
Faith being essential and exclusive of evidence fostering hatred of science.
Religion does some good, but we can do better

Desousa:
Religious people are not hypocritical, they have higher standards than they can live up to

Atheist crimes greate in magnitude and duration
inquisition killed 2,000 - Salem witch trials killed 19
Stalin, Mao, Lenin, Kim Jung Il, and Pol Pot...killed millions.


That's the first 35 minutes of debate. All I could sit through...
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
Mailbag:On a side note, back in college before my conversion, I actually saw a demon sitting next to me in critical thinking class.

Offline velkyn

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 02:52:13 PM »
thanks Monkeymind.    So, we have Grayling showing facts.  Wolpe making unsubstantianed claims and showing that any religion is just like any other, none of them are true.  Chapman offending the Christians/Jews by reminding them how primitive and violent their god is and how it constantly is a johnny come lately to any moral discussion. 

and D'Sousa whining that's it's not their fault, lying outrightly and pointing fingers at religions he doesn't like. 

about what I suspected.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2012, 10:22:20 AM »
D'Sousa whining that's it's not their fault, lying outrightly and pointing fingers at religions he doesn't like. 

If there's D'Sousa...there's going to be lies. He is amongst the most baldfaced liars I ever seen.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline Samuelxcs

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 11:14:00 AM »
If there were no religion in the world, there would be no deluded religious people here, other delusions would fill the minds of a lot of people. There would also be more space for other things. No churches means better buildings.
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Offline Frank

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 01:01:44 PM »
Quote
Atheist crimes greate in magnitude and duration
inquisition killed 2,000 - Salem witch trials killed 19
Stalin, Mao, Lenin, Kim Jung Il, and Pol Pot...killed millions.

Well maybe if the Inquisition, Salem witch Trial, etc etc had had machine guns, explosives, poison gas, and other modern methods of mass killing then maybe their totals would have been considerably higher. But they did their best with the crude weaponry that was available to them at the time.
Also modern counties are far more densely populated which gives greater scope for mass killing than the sparesly populated agrarian communities of the past. Back in those days the only person capable of killing millions was God. Which he frequently did with his various plagues and famines that he liked to constantly inflict on us. Flu has killed more people than all the wars in the history of mankind put together. Then we can throw in Smallox, TB, HIV/AIDS, Cholera, etc etc. I think God has us beat hands down.

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Offline joebbowers

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2012, 11:45:11 AM »
If there were no religion in the world, there would be no deluded religious people here, other delusions would fill the minds of a lot of people.

I don't agree. In fact I think the opposite is quite true. If we're raised to believe that Christian myths could be true and are worthy of our respect, then so are reiki, astrology, crystal healing, fortune telling, pet psychics, scientology and any other nonsense. Social tolerance for the superstitious nonsense of religion creates a hospitable environment for other superstitions to flourish.
 
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2012, 04:38:35 PM »
I don't agree. In fact I think the opposite is quite true. If we're raised to believe that Christian myths could be true and are worthy of our respect, then so are reiki, astrology, crystal healing, fortune telling, pet psychics, scientology and any other nonsense. Social tolerance for the superstitious nonsense of religion creates a hospitable environment for other superstitions to flourish.
There's plenty of room for non-superstitious delusions.

Offline albeto

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2012, 04:51:56 PM »
There's plenty of room for non-superstitious delusions.

Ideally, when one superstition is revealed *as* superstition, others are identified as well.  Someone who isn't persuaded by a Chesus sandwich shouldn't be persuaded by a crystal. 

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2012, 07:10:25 PM »
Ideally, when one superstition is revealed *as* superstition, others are identified as well.  Someone who isn't persuaded by a Chesus sandwich shouldn't be persuaded by a crystal.
I am having trouble understanding how you went from "there's plenty of room for non-superstitious delusions" to talking about superstitions being revealed as superstitions.  Was it not clear that I meant delusions that are not superstitious in any way?

Offline albeto

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2012, 07:49:28 PM »
I am having trouble understanding how you went from "there's plenty of room for non-superstitious delusions" to talking about superstitions being revealed as superstitions.  Was it not clear that I meant delusions that are not superstitious in any way?

Perhaps I misunderstood.  What kinds of non superstitious delusions are you referring to that would naturally replace religious delusions? 

Offline riley2112

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2012, 07:54:24 PM »
I think that most theist are like me , any way I hope so. I am glad that they are atheist out there. It is people like you that need REAL evidence to believe in something. I am talking about the thing that drives atheism, the philosophy behind it.

I'm talking about rationalism. I'm talking about the philosophy that started saying, centuries ago, that it's not demons that cause disease. It's microbes, and genetic defects, and chemistry. And that we can find those causes and we can find cures. Cures in the physical world, without consulting the priest, without going through a ceremony. And I am glad that not all people just play follow the leader. I have been told on this forum,  That being I use to be a bad boy, and wanting to change , I found a way to change for the better by leaning on God , I had an antheist ( That I have great respect for) tell me that sometimes people just need that carrot on the stick hanging in front of them. I guess I am one of those people. Now that I believe in a god my life has gotten better . My wife love me, and I don't have to look over my back anymore. Could I have done the same without a god? Maybe. But for me it took that belief that there is indeed a god to change the way I looked at the world I live in. Where as before I was angry most of the time, now I am happy and content most of the time. Does that prove there is a god? No. But I am ok with that. And you should be ok with me believing. I know I am ok with people not believing in a god. Different beliefs make for an interesting world.
And yes you are right , some people take thing to far. Believing they are better than other because their belief some how makes them special or thinking that they are smarter because evidence is some how the only way to think. Both sides take it to far. But that is the few not the many. And as we all know it only takes a few to screw things up for everyone.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2012, 09:47:00 PM »
I am having trouble understanding how you went from "there's plenty of room for non-superstitious delusions" to talking about superstitions being revealed as superstitions.  Was it not clear that I meant delusions that are not superstitious in any way?

Perhaps I misunderstood.  What kinds of non superstitious delusions are you referring to that would naturally replace religious delusions?
Who said I was talking about anything naturally replacing superstitious delusions?  I was talking about the fact that people are perfectly capable of being delusional without it having anything to do with superstition.  It's called being credulous, and while religious belief is a subset of that, there's more than it by far.

Offline velkyn

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2012, 09:50:32 AM »
I think that most theist are like me , any way I hope so. I am glad that they are atheist out there. It is people like you that need REAL evidence to believe in something. I am talking about the thing that drives atheism, the philosophy behind it.
I think most theists are like you too, Riley, but there is a very sizeable minority that are hateful bigots that only want a theocracy to control everyone.  And the belief of “moderates” like you simply supports the same delusions that they have.

There is not one universal philosophy behind atheism.  And saying facts matter isn’t a philosophy IMO.  It’s simply reality.  We have evidence that disease isn’t caused by imaginary beings, it is caused by microbes, genetics etc.  We find cures by working in reality.  We have found not one single fact from any other way to imagine you understand something.  Each religion is exactly the same.  You all claim some “truth” but can’t support that your claim is anything special at all.  We benefit in no way from these “truths”, they only serve to make more “us” and “them” divisions. 

I don’t believe for a minute that any god made any change in you, Riley.  I do think you found an excuse to be “better” (what “better” exactly means, I’m not quite sure in this instance) and a reason to fit into a part of society since you fell in love a woman and wanted to fit in with her “herd”.  Also, a lot of middle aged humans find religion since they are afraid of their mortality and want a foot inside the pearly gates. Fear does a lot to make people “behave”. 

My opinion is that if your lady friend ceased loving you because you dared not to believe in the same things she does, that’s not love at all.  That’s just wanting external validation and a warm body.  One can indeed become happy and content when converting to a religion since that gives you a chance to relinquish a lot of responsibility.  Suddenly, it’s not your fault, but what “God” wants.  You can accept things since it must be “God’s” will. It like fitting in with any group.  We’re hardwired for it since a group protects us from any “tigers”.   

You say that I should be okay with you believing.  I’m sorry, but I’m not.  I see nothing good about someone believing in something that is imaginary and thinking that their actions are being judged and/or approved by such a thing.  Because that also allows a theist to say that all of their actions are approved by this god and that causes many problems, like genocide, etc.  Your belief is the same quality as the belief of Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, etc.  *You* might be a decent person but your belief allows anyone to excuse their actions by saying they have some divine approval.  Again, there is no truth to be found at all, just baseless opinion and feelings.

It’s not a equal give and take, that since you are so magnanimous &) to accept atheists that we should immediately accept theists.  Religion has caused too much grief to simply acquiesce to your demand.  Different beliefs lead to a bloody hate filled world, each group insisting that it has the best invisible friend.   You all take things too far when you insist that your beliefs are real when you have no evidence and think your opinions are just as valid as someone who has evidence.  Opinions are not magically equal and some people are indeed smarter than others.  You, Riley, benefit from those people who dare to think that evidence is the only way to think since that’s the only way we can improve this world.  Those people who are indeed smarter than you have done this.  Some people are indeed smarter than you and better than me.  And I have no problem admitting that.  I do not need to hide behind some magical baseless nonsense to make myself behave or to make myself feel superior that somehow understand something that doesn’t exist to begin with.   Theists constantly claim that they have some magical way to know some “truth” other than evidence.  And they hate and kill each other over these myths and baseless opinions that they claim are some magical truths, as if this gives them more validity.   
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2012, 10:31:53 AM »
You say that I should be okay with you believing.  I’m sorry, but I’m not.  I see nothing good about someone believing in something that is imaginary and thinking that their actions are being judged and/or approved by such a thing.  Because that also allows a theist to say that all of their actions are approved by this god and that causes many problems, like genocide, etc.  Your belief is the same quality as the belief of Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson, etc.  *You* might be a decent person but your belief allows anyone to excuse their actions by saying they have some divine approval.  Again, there is no truth to be found at all, just baseless opinion and feelings.
Personally, I find this to be approaching an extremist view in its own right.  When you see no difference between moderates and extremists on the other side, you accomplish only two things, both of which are bad.  First, you drive the moderates into the arms of the extremists.  And second, you tend to radicalize your own side, which ultimately only marginalizes them.  Sure, you're in a homogenous group, but it's a group that stands out in society, and in a bad way.

Quote from: velkyn
It’s not a equal give and take, that since you are so magnanimous &) to accept atheists that we should immediately accept theists.
So what will you do, since you are not willing to accept theists?  Do you still expect them to accept you if you are not willing to extend the same to them?  What happens when you've successfully driven most of the moderate theists into the extremist camp because of rhetoric like this, and as a result they're the ones who have the broad base of support?

Quote from: velkyn
Religion has caused too much grief to simply acquiesce to your demand.  Different beliefs lead to a bloody hate filled world, each group insisting that it has the best invisible friend.   You all take things too far when you insist that your beliefs are real when you have no evidence and think your opinions are just as valid as someone who has evidence.
Different beliefs only lead to bloody hatred if those different beliefs presume that theirs is the only true belief.  And while atheism is in no way a religious belief, it can still lead to the same bloody hatred if it's taken far enough.  An ideology need not be religious to be dangerous.

Offline velkyn

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2012, 10:45:01 AM »
Personally, I find this to be approaching an extremist view in its own right.  When you see no difference between moderates and extremists on the other side, you accomplish only two things, both of which are bad.  First, you drive the moderates into the arms of the extremists.  And second, you tend to radicalize your own side, which ultimately only marginalizes them.  Sure, you're in a homogenous group, but it's a group that stands out in society, and in a bad way.
  Can you show how anyone is “driven” in the first case, Jaime?  And how do the facts radicalize any group? How is me saying that theists are all a problem radicalize other atheists?  The only reason atheists are seen as “bad” is that theists say we are. 
Quote
So what will you do, since you are not willing to accept theists?  Do you still expect them to accept you if you are not willing to extend the same to them?  What happens when you've successfully driven most of the moderate theists into the extremist camp because of rhetoric like this, and as a result they're the ones who have the broad base of support?
  I will try to eliminate theism, Jaime.  And no I don’t expect a theist to accept an atheist.  I would think that’s pretty obvious.  Since I do not agree with your claim that somehow I am making moderate theists more extreme, I do not see that they will have any broad base of support.
Quote
Different beliefs only lead to bloody hatred if those different beliefs presume that theirs is the only true belief.  And while atheism is in no way a religious belief, it can still lead to the same bloody hatred if it's taken far enough.  An ideology need not be religious to be dangerous.
Yep, and religion does exactly that, presume that theirs is the only true belief.  And please do show where atheism has ever been taken that far or any indication that anyone, even me, advocates it being taken that far. 
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2012, 11:31:51 AM »
Can you show how anyone is “driven” in the first case, Jaime?  And how do the facts radicalize any group? How is me saying that theists are all a problem radicalize other atheists?  The only reason atheists are seen as “bad” is that theists say we are.
The less grounded a belief is in actual reality, the more fervently its advocates will defend it if pressed.  If you have the facts on your side, you don't need to push hard, you just need to push steadily.  The problem is, when you see moderates and extremists the same way, you're pushing them back into the same corner, and you're pushing hard enough that they feel threatened.  It's like the difference between eroding a rock over time and using a firehose on the rock.  The radicalization comes not because of the facts, but because of the way you use those facts.  Facts by themselves are passive - they don't do anything.  It's what people do with them that matters.  And you need to understand that you can even drive away allies if you push too hard, even if you have the facts on your side.

I am not saying that you have to suddenly approve of religion, or that you have to become moderate in your views.  Just remember not to push too hard all at once, but to keep pushing steadily.  It's a bit like the civil rights movement; if it hadn't been for Malcolm X, people might not have listened to Martin Luther King Jr., but if Malcolm X had pushed too hard, he could have alienated people so that they wouldn't have listened to Martin Luther King Jr., and that would have caused more problems in the long run than it would have been worth.

Quote from: velkyn
I will try to eliminate theism, Jaime.  And no I don’t expect a theist to accept an atheist.  I would think that’s pretty obvious.  Since I do not agree with your claim that somehow I am making moderate theists more extreme, I do not see that they will have any broad base of support.
I trust you have not forgotten that there are far more religious people than atheists, even if many of them are not particularly religious?  Your strategy is terribly risky in the long run, because push come to shove, there's enough religious people in this country alone to provoke a massive backlash against atheists who are seen to be "uppity".  It doesn't matter that they're wrong to do this, or that it's not constitutional.  There's enough theists in this country to amend the Constitution, especially if they're careful to limit it to only banning atheism and don't touch any other religion.

You may not agree with my statement, but that doesn't mean that I'm wrong.  I don't expect you to take my word for it, but I do expect you to think seriously about it, not simply say, "I don't agree" as an excuse to keep acting the same way.  What you need to realize is that you're pushing against established religion, and if you push too hard, you'll cause the moderates who just want to maintain the status quo to flock to defend it.  You may not like it, but that doesn't change the fact that it will happen if you're too aggressive in your actions, to where you're seen as a threat.

Quote from: velkyn
Yep, and religion does exactly that, presume that theirs is the only true belief.  And please do show where atheism has ever been taken that far or any indication that anyone, even me, advocates it being taken that far.
So you you don't want to eliminate theism?  I fail to see a substantive difference between saying "mine is the only true belief, and all these others are false, so they should be eliminated", which is what religious extremists say, and saying "all religious beliefs are delusional and harmful, so I want to eliminate theism", which is essentially what you're saying.  About the only one is that you don't actually have a religious belief, but that's beside the point.  You're still advocating the elimination of beliefs which you think are wrong, which is exactly what religious extremists want to do.

Offline velkyn

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2012, 01:10:06 PM »
The less grounded a belief is in actual reality, the more fervently its advocates will defend it if pressed.  If you have the facts on your side, you don't need to push hard, you just need to push steadily.  The problem is, when you see moderates and extremists the same way, you're pushing them back into the same corner, and you're pushing hard enough that they feel threatened.  It's like the difference between eroding a rock over time and using a firehose on the rock.  The radicalization comes not because of the facts, but because of the way you use those facts.  Facts by themselves are passive - they don't do anything.  It's what people do with them that matters.  And you need to understand that you can even drive away allies if you push too hard, even if you have the facts on your side.
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.   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.  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? 
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I am not saying that you have to suddenly approve of religion, or that you have to become moderate in your views.  Just remember not to push too hard all at once, but to keep pushing steadily.  It's a bit like the civil rights movement; if it hadn't been for Malcolm X, people might not have listened to Martin Luther King Jr., but if Malcolm X had pushed too hard, he could have alienated people so that they wouldn't have listened to Martin Luther King Jr., and that would have caused more problems in the long run than it would have been worth.
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 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.”     
 
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I trust you have not forgotten that there are far more religious people than atheists, even if many of them are not particularly religious?  Your strategy is terribly risky in the long run, because push come to shove, there's enough religious people in this country alone to provoke a massive backlash against atheists who are seen to be "uppity".  It doesn't matter that they're wrong to do this, or that it's not constitutional.  There's enough theists in this country to amend the Constitution, especially if they're careful to limit it to only banning atheism and don't touch any other religion.
  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?  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.  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.
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You may not agree with my statement, but that doesn't mean that I'm wrong.  I don't expect you to take my word for it, but I do expect you to think seriously about it, not simply say, "I don't agree" as an excuse to keep acting the same way.  What you need to realize is that you're pushing against established religion, and if you push too hard, you'll cause the moderates who just want to maintain the status quo to flock to defend it.  You may not like it, but that doesn't change the fact that it will happen if you're too aggressive in your actions, to where you're seen as a threat.
Doesn’t mean that you’re right either.  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.  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. 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. 
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you don't want to eliminate theism?  I fail to see a substantive difference between saying "mine is the only true belief, and all these others are false, so they should be eliminated", which is what religious extremists say, and saying "all religious beliefs are delusional and harmful, so I want to eliminate theism", which is essentially what you're saying.  About the only one is that you don't actually have a religious belief, but that's beside the point.  You're still advocating the elimination of beliefs which you think are wrong, which is exactly what religious extremists want to do.
No, I do want to eliminate theism.  You seem to be again thinking atheism is some form of “religion” and that it has dogma based on nothing but opinion.  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.  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.   
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2012, 04:47:55 PM »
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...."

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Quote from: velkyn
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).

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Quote from: velkyn
No, I do want to eliminate theism.
Yes, I know.  I was being slightly facetious there to make a point.

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Quote from: velkyn
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.

Offline Alzael

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2012, 05:19:27 PM »
I have little time to discuss anything these days, so I won't get into the back and forth between Jaime and Velks. However I thought that this might be somewhat relevant.

http://i.imgur.com/KuA8R.jpg
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Offline Samothec

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2012, 08:49:26 PM »
It is possible to watch the individual chapters.

Somewhat paraphrased (I'm not good at dictation): Near the end of chapter 2, AC Grayling points out moderate believers do some cherry picking with what to believe. Unkind people would call that hypocrisy. He then says that extremists are the most honest believers and if that is honest religion the world is very much better without it.  If we're better off without the true and honest religion why not put the hypocrites in with them too?

Somewhat paraphrased: Matthew Chapman (chapter 4) makes an excellent point that religions take their weakest point and make it a condition of entry into the religion. In an important aspect of your life, your philosophy, you learn as a child your faith is absolutely essential and evidence isn't – how can this not affect how you think about everything. You've been brainwashed to be credulous and submissive to authority.

audience       pre-debate     post debate       % change
1 For                 52%              59%                 +7  <--- winner
2 Against           26%              31%                 +5
3 Undecided       22%              10%                -12

Throughout it, Rabbi Wolpe tried to reframe the debate to be about religious people and the good they've done – and dishonestly tried to make it sound as if Grayling and Chapman were the ones reframing the debate.


Well maybe if the Inquisition, Salem witch Trial, etc had had machine guns, explosives, poison gas, and other modern methods of mass killing then maybe their totals would have been considerably higher. But they did their best with the crude weaponry that was available to them at the time.
Both the Inquisition and Salem witch trials were intent upon finding heretics so modern killings techniques probably would not have increased the numbers. However, our communication and transportation capabilities would have helped spread the furor and fury.

If there were no religion in the world, there would be no deluded religious people here, other delusions would fill the minds of a lot of people. There would also be more space for other things. No churches means better buildings.
Please give examples of what other delusions you think people would have instead of religion.

 
Who said I was talking about anything naturally replacing superstitious delusions?  I was talking about the fact that people are perfectly capable of being delusional without it having anything to do with superstition.  It's called being credulous, and while religious belief is a subset of that, there's more than it by far.
In chapter 4 of the debate Chapman explains that the basis of religion is teaching people be credulous. So without religion there would indeed be far fewer credulous people.

The less grounded a belief is in actual reality, the more fervently its advocates will defend it if pressed.  If you have the facts on your side, you don't need to push hard, you just need to push steadily.  The problem is, when you see moderates and extremists the same way, you're pushing them back into the same corner, and you're pushing hard enough that they feel threatened.  It's like the difference between eroding a rock over time and using a firehose on the rock.  The radicalization comes not because of the facts, but because of the way you use those facts.  Facts by themselves are passive - they don't do anything.  It's what people do with them that matters.  And you need to understand that you can even drive away allies if you push too hard, even if you have the facts on your side.

But this is only true for rational people. Look at the issue of Xians vs evolution. The facts of evolution scare the crap out of Xians so almost all of them fight hard against the facts. Also, Xians are finally getting a clue and realizing that you can't destroy evolution without destroying the rest of science so they have stepped up their efforts from just being anti-evolution into a pogrom against all of science. If the Xians have their way we will enter a new Dark Age.

So you you don't want to eliminate theism?  I fail to see a substantive difference between saying "mine is the only true belief, and all these others are false, so they should be eliminated", which is what religious extremists say, and saying "all religious beliefs are delusional and harmful, so I want to eliminate theism", which is essentially what you're saying.  About the only one is that you don't actually have a religious belief, but that's beside the point.  You're still advocating the elimination of beliefs which you think are wrong, which is exactly what religious extremists want to do.

This is an incorrect analogy. Some atheists are saying "all religious beliefs are delusional and harmful, so I want to cure these people". And the theists are happy with killing their opponents while the atheists want everyone alive and well.

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...."

But the moderates do not see the extremists as an enemy. That is a huge part of the problem. The moderates see the extremists as more of an eccentric uncle who they try to ignore but will never reject outright. That is the danger of the moderates; they support, however passively, the actively dangerous ones. For example, al Qaeda would be a group of extremists rotting in jail in various countries instead of the free terrorists they are, if only the moderate Muslims saw them for what they are instead of as fellow Muslims fighting for Islam.
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Offline riley2112

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2012, 10:54:05 PM »
What is a hypocrite? Some one that believes one thing and does another. Unless you know the beliefs of someone how can you call them a hypocrite. Just because someone that believes in god and may not believe in him the way you feel a believer should believe , does not make them a hypocrite. So I guess what I am saying here is , but what right do you call moderate believers a hypocrite?


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Offline Samothec

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2012, 11:57:40 PM »
What is a hypocrite? Some one that believes one thing and does another. Unless you know the beliefs of someone how can you call them a hypocrite. Just because someone that believes in god and may not believe in him the way you feel a believer should believe , does not make them a hypocrite. So I guess what I am saying here is , but what right do you call moderate believers a hypocrite?

Incorrect definition. It is saying one thing and doing another. So it is very possible to call religious people hypocrites. Their actions do not match their stated beliefs.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2012, 08:12:27 AM »
What is a hypocrite? Some one that believes one thing and does another. Unless you know the beliefs of someone how can you call them a hypocrite. Just because someone that believes in god and may not believe in him the way you feel a believer should believe , does not make them a hypocrite. So I guess what I am saying here is , but what right do you call moderate believers a hypocrite?

Incorrect definition. It is saying one thing and doing another. So it is very possible to call religious people hypocrites. Their actions do not match their stated beliefs.

To be fair it only applies to the majority of religious people. Most Pagans and Deists are not major hypocrites as far as their religion goes. It isn't possible to be non-hypocritical for Muslims and Christians as their religions have contradictory mandates.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2012, 10:29:27 AM »
I have little time to discuss anything these days, so I won't get into the back and forth between Jaime and Velks. However I thought that this might be somewhat relevant.

http://i.imgur.com/KuA8R.jpg
I can accept that.  My problem isn't with the idea of making society secular, so that religion isn't the kind of driving force which is so horribly easy to abuse.  My problem is with the rhetoric of saying that religion should be eradicated.  I know what velkyn probably means by it, but I also know that the words shape the discussion.  I can easily see stupid or incompetent people jumping to conclusions about "eradicating religion", or people later on misunderstanding the rhetoric and taking it too seriously.

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2012, 01:50:29 PM »
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...."
  So please show me this distinction, Jaime.  You’ve claim that moderates will suddenly become extremists if anyone questions them. (and I am always pleased to see you declare that any discussion brought up by an atheist as “beligerant”. Nice strawman)  I am curious to see your reason why that would occur if they are so very different.  Your little quote is a nice one but I’ve yet to see it actually work out, *if* the enemies are truly different. 
Quote
Consider what I'm saying a caution, then.
  No, I won’t since all you are arguing against is a strawman since you don’t like to confront theists. 
Quote
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.
I see that you brought them up as an attempt to scare people. You make unsupporteable claims that Malcolm X wouldn’t have been able to get things done.  Must be some crystal ball you have, Jaime.  And I do love how you caricaturize “agitators” just as much as any KKK member.  You’ve used the same strawmen arguments against me as bigots used against black people who didn’t sit down, shut up and *wait*.  I am waiting for answers to my questions, Jaime.   

I define worthwhile allies if they help further a cause.  And that includes those who aren’t as aggressive as me.  It helps to have both tactics, but that doesn’t say one will not work alone as you seem to be indicateing that an aggressive approach will not work at all and is not welcome in your view.  However, people like you, who want to ignore the problem and hope it will go away, are not helping and I do not consider you an ally since you want to do nothing.  I don’t see anyone ceasing to be a atheist because of an aggressive questioning of theists.  Maybe there are people like that, but I have not seen them and I’ve been at this for a while now. 

Let me put this clearly, Jaime.  I have no idea what you are thinking. I’m just reading what you’ve chosen to write.  From that it seems that you are doing your level best to convince me that I should act like you wish and that I must approve of religion since according to you, we’ll never get rid of it. You repeat “it’s not worth the effort”.  Why try, velkyn?  You’ll fail so accept what you’ve been given.  Sorry, I’m not accepting the status quo.  Again you want to allow the theists to control everything, and that their feelings mean more than mine.  Well, at least you are consistent.  Poor theists, horrors if anyone dares to tell them that they are wrong, it’ll hurt their feelings. Damn straight it will.  It hurt to become an atheist too, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the answer based on reality.   

Jaime, MLK was not patient and he did not like gradualism.  Read his speeches, Jaime. How about this quote from the “I have a dream” speech:
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We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
  And hilarious, that you say that MLK wasn’t focused on eradicating discrimination in its entirety. Seems that he’s looking for justice for everyone in all things, not just “legal discrimination”.  Again, I urge you to read the “I have a dream” speech in its entirety.

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Quit putting words in my mouth.  I never said anything about cowering, nor did I say you shouldn't do anything at all.
I haven’t put words in your mouth. I am giving an instance where your words indicate something I find disgusting.  I’ll quote you verbatim:
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I trust you have not forgotten that there are far more religious people than atheists, even if many of them are not particularly religious?  Your strategy is terribly risky in the long run, because push come to shove, there's enough religious people in this country alone to provoke a massive backlash against atheists who are seen to be "uppity".  It doesn't matter that they're wrong to do this, or that it's not constitutional.  There's enough theists in this country to amend the Constitution, especially if they're careful to limit it to only banning atheism and don't touch any other religion.
You invoke the threat of the masses and their reaction as a reason I should not do what I do.  I stand by my accusation that you want me to cower in the face of the majority and to stop what I’m doing because it’s too dangerous. I think it is fear that motivates you since you mention that there’ll be violence if people like me persist in our actions.  You invoke fear, Jaime, so I’m guessing you are afraid of this supposed violence.  Either that or you don’t care about the violence at all and are just using it as a tool to in an attempt to scare me.

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And it makes me sadder you're persistently misunderstanding what I'm saying.
So what do you think you are saying, Jaime.  You have repeatedly said that atheists should not be confrontational, correct?  You have said that my tactics are “terribly risky”, correct?  You have said that there would be a “massive backlash against atheists who are seen to be uppity”, correct?  Now how do you think that sounds, Jaime?  Uppity atheists?  &)   
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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.
I have addressed what you have written.  I have shown why I have responded the way I have.  And you still accuse me of making faulty assumptions. From this, “You may not agree with my statement, but that doesn't mean that I'm wrong.”, you seem to think that you are indeed “right”, yes?  I’m asking you to support that claim.  You have made the claim that I have not “thought” about your position and that I have done so to just “act the same way”, both baseless, and indeed, utterly incorrect accusations, both of which seem to only serve to support your assumption that no one could disagree with you if they “only” read what you have written.     
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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).
  I said “seem to think” since as you have noted earlier, I can’t read your mind but this is what I get from your writing.  Can’t please you no how. &)  And more baseless accusations that I’m not thinking “correctly”.  Again, this seems (darn that word again), that you cannot accept that I have come to a different conclusion than you.  Golly, I don’t think as slow as you do, it must mean that I dont’ think at all! &) 

Jaime, a lot of your claims are based in your assumption that *all* (you do occasionally say “most” but your arguments depend on an “all”) will do *something*. Southern poor whites, moderate/liberal Christians, etc.  Again, evidence for your claims that my pushing hard will cause moderates to defend something with absolute certainty, aka “always”?  Yes, people will tend to do this, but not everyone and not always. 

As an aside, I find it curious that you’ve decided that you are the arbiter of who is “devout”.  And why yes, I said eliminate religion.  Ooooh, skeery.  A serious attempt to eliminate religion involves education, not some pogrom which you seem to need to assume.  We have seen here that moderates are not all going to defend their religion, some will question it and give it up.  As for moderates predicting moderates, I’m not sure what you meant by this.  I can predict what people do by simply knowing people.  I was a moderate Christian, so no problem with knowing how they react here. 
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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.
nice baseless accusation there.  You said that you failed to see a “substantive difference between “mine is the only true belief” and “all religious beliefs are delusional and harmful”.  One can’t be supported with evidence and one can. You claim that I’m like the theists “About the only one is that you don't actually have a religious belief, but that's beside the point.  You're still advocating the elimination of beliefs which you think are wrong, which is exactly what religious extremists want to do.”  in which you seem to think that I have some baseless dogma like a religion but I don’t, I have evidence.
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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.
  Religion claims that one group is the only “good” one.  Quite extremist yes? But all theists have that essential viewpoint and that’s the problem. And more excuses about why no one should try to change anything.  I don’t care what you think, Jaime, I care about the possiblities that are supported by evidence.  You want to claim that humans just can’t change.  Sorry, evidence shows that they can.  And the greek pantheon having a “resurgence of sorts”.  Yep, people have declared that they are pagans, to all sorts of old pantheons (I liked the Egyptian one most when I was screwing around with paganism), all with no evidence that their gods exist just like the Christians, and we still have the number of atheists and agnostics growing.

Education, laws, and cultural traditions are *doing* the job right now of removing religion.  Jaime, your comments strike me as amazingly naïve.  You seem to assume that if religious people did what you want, things would be hunky-dory.  But theists don’t do what you wish they would.  You assume it will be impossible against all evidence.  Again, it may take a long time, but it is not impossible.  Now, I’m guessing that you’ll not agree with me, so if you are content with having presented your points (I am with mine), we can end the discussion. 
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Offline velkyn

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Re: The World would Be Better Off Without Religion
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2012, 01:53:15 PM »
I can accept that.  My problem isn't with the idea of making society secular, so that religion isn't the kind of driving force which is so horribly easy to abuse.  My problem is with the rhetoric of saying that religion should be eradicated.  I know what velkyn probably means by it, but I also know that the words shape the discussion.  I can easily see stupid or incompetent people jumping to conclusions about "eradicating religion", or people later on misunderstanding the rhetoric and taking it too seriously.
so, what does velkyn probably mean?
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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