This response is far better than I anticipated… me-thinks I also have gained a further peak into the atheist mind set. I have come to understand atheists over time, so let me sum up my understanding:
-Atheism is not a religion, just a mere non-belief
-There is no evidence of a god
-there is no difference btwn the god of Abraham, allah, zues and the Invisible Flying Spaghetti Monster
-religion does not hold a monopoly on morality
-religion is bad because it causes strife, massive needless deaths, wars, endless conflicts
-atheists tend to be smarter, search for truth and are more mindful than the Xtians zombie heard who follow without questioning
-atheists are not afraid of dying
-atheists are more in tune with the world, the truth, humanity and charity, and therefore hold an edge on living a fuller, more healthy and complete life
-some theists are truly generous and nice people who do good, but are still flawed as made evident by their belief.
And the new one I have just gathered, atheists are (very) frustrated with mindless theists who respond without thinking or presenting anything new.
Time prohibits a full reply to everyone, so let’s take the ones I can answer…
“I think I see sarcasm rear it's ugly head most often when we get frustrated by the other side's inability or refusal to listen to what we are saying.”
I think this is very insightful and sums it up pretty well. I’ve seen some pretty bad theists on this site from years ago, and I get the frustration… bible thumping is a tactic they revert to when no other tactic works. Maybe the theist is not good at debating but feels compelled to save you all, so they go with what they know.
Death Over Life-
“I would chime in and mention that another attempt of sarcasm is because when theists tend to discuss with atheists, the theists don't come up with anything new or insightful.”
I can see this, too. But I would offer that the debate is not over theoretical physics. It’s actually pretty simple and the end game discussion comes down to whether or not one believes in the super natural. IMO the answer cannot depend on proof or evidence… just a blind faith and belief, which I am well aware of causes frustration from atheists. I recall an atheist asking on this forum (or maybe it was atheistthinktank.com), “where are the theists who believe just because? I am tired of the theists who use the bible over and over again as proof”. Indeed, theists ought to believe because they believe.
“And when was the last time you were a member of the most hated group in the United States, including pedophiles? Has anyone ever told you that you are going to burn in hell forever? How about being ostracized from job opportunities, or left out of social events because you don't believe in someone's god?”
Thank you. Honestly, this is quite awesome. Tremendous response, really. I haven’t seen such honesty or an eye opening statement in years. It really gives me perspective and I applaud Jetson for helping me understand a little more. I will take this and put in my internal file to keep at hand at all times. Consider this an “aha” moment! Kind of reminds of the Grand Master Flash quote “Don't push me cause I'm close to the edge, I'm trying not to lose my head!”
“I would add that 99% of theist debates have been dishonest so you cannot engage in honest debates/discussion. How can we have an honest discussion if one cant admit that genocide is bad?”
This is a problematic statement because I may be the 1% and you wouldn’t know without observation. About the genocide…you got a point there. I’m convinced. I’ll now admit genocide is bad. I will go and tell Benedict XVI (hey that felt good ;-)
“First, you should know that I am authorized to speak for all atheists everywhere.”
LOL - That’s funny, Jay. I get the irony and the sarcasm.
“BSD Man; Please ignore the sarcastic responses momentarily. There are also some explanatorry postings that have displayed reasonable decorum, avoided sarcasm and ad hominems. We are not a gang of militant thugs bent on ridiculing an intelligent and knowledgeable christian who might venture here.. Theists with an intellectual bent are welcome here and will be treated with respect if the theist will present arguments in a manner that includes logic, reason, and evidence.”
-I remember you, P. I liked the way you stated everything, though we’re not on the same side of the fence. You are the 10% I was referring to – engaging, respectful, a mind to listen and honestly debate. I promise any statement I make will be well thought out, not provocative frustration. Now repent!! (kidding – aren’t I a stinker?!)
“Sometimes we just want to insult you without having the mods on our asses.”
This is exactly what I was referring to in my post, but it’s total honesty so I tip my hat – thank you. Maybe I’ll respond in kind, ensuring we get nowhere.
“I also do not understand why you think listing things you believe is relevant to a discussion without defending those things you claim?”
- I can say I tried this when I was new to WWGHA. And all I got was heated sarcasm. The more I explained, the more ridiculed and heated it became, because SOME people on this forum views a Catholic defending his position as “open season” and so I had a target on my back. It was counterproductive because of all the acid that was being thrown my way, and no one seemed to get my points. I start with the premise that there is a God. If you don’t agree with that, then very little I say will make sense. But I try. It was also problematic from a practical point of view.. it takes a lot of time to arrive at a total defense I feel is worthy of publishing, so I had to adopt a style that kept me engaged on the forum and not being bogged down typing all the time (like I’m doing now - LOL). I’ll do what I can, Omen.
Monkey Mind –
“Where have you been hanging out since then?” - Working, like I should be doing now.
“Do you find a culture of respect more conducive to discussion?” Yes, don’t you?
“In those discussions are people swayed more often?” –Good question. I’ve don’t think I’ve swayed anyone, as no one has ever swayed me, but when I fell I hit a homerun on a point, people here tend not to respond. If I get a firestorm, then I’ve hit a nerve and maybe didn’t explain things the way I should have.
“Why, BSD, you’re back! And pretty much the same person you were when you left.” – Dear Velkyn. I take that as a compliment. Is Bunny still here?
“I wonder, why does sarcasm disturb you so? Might it be because it’s effective when dealing with the ridiculous claims of theism?”
-No, because I view sarcasm as a crutch that displays frustration and lack of thought. Is that how Plato and Socrates debated? No its not. Do you want a debate where sarcasm is the first response? Let me tell you, I am getting further with atheists who engage with me honestly than with a simple quick one liner from an angry and frustrated atheist.
“You’ve presented yourself as a representative of Roman Catholism, and you did do just like you said, tried to preach at us, and avoid the hard questions aka “moving on”.
- I do not preach to people fact-to-face, let alone this forum. I say this because I know preaching usually does not work unless you WANT to hear it. I merely explain. If it feels preachy, then I suppose that’s interpretation. I cannot help that. Not my intention. You have to allow some level of explanation without the notion that I am preaching.
“It’s always also good to see you declare that you have determined that only a certain percentage of atheists will give you a discussion with “respect, intellect and curiosity”. Respect is earned, BSD, something you seem to forget.” -I couldn’t disagree more. Trust is earned. Respect ought to be granted and maintained (if worthy), and even sometimes when it’s not deserved. Otherwise you’d be treating every stranger like an asshole until somehow they earn your respect.
“respect also doesn’t mean that your views are sacrosanct It seems, like so many theists, you want an excuse, to declare that someone isn’t respectful enough for you or “too sarcastic” so you don’t have to answer them.” How can you respond to someone who calls your religion baby killing, war mongers, hate spewers, pedophiles. I don’t need an excuse… it’s freakin’ hard and sometimes I just don’t want to do it.
“As always, you wish to ignore the problems with your church. There is little reason to respect a religion that is full of abusers and has killed people for its god. If your god was the “good” thing you claim, why does it allow this if, in its myths, it has no patience for even those who would keep it’s magic box upright?”
-Yes my Church has problems, big ones. As soon as you have a human involved in anything, you’ve got problems. Then multiply that by 1 billion followers, then you’ve got a lot of problems. Then multiply that by 2000 years, and you’ve got deep rooted problems. Should I start every post and response with, “before I say anything, let me just say… my Church has problems”. THAT is a waste if my time. Atheists have problems in my opinion, but I don’t shout it out and demand you to say it all the time.
“I find that sarcasm is quite effective and you’ve demonstrated that it is with your desperate pleas for it to stop.”
-I am not asking for sarcasm to stop. Merely an explanation as to why it’s used so readily (see title of thread, “What’s With the Sarcasm”). As I said, it’s a crutch and I think it can be cowardly. It avoids debate, understanding and generosity and probably fuels frustration and anger more than anything. This, in my opinion, is against what this board is about.