Mocking Those of Faith

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Idiocy, such as quitting one's job over biblical numerology, is worthy of mockery; religiously founded or not. Religion isn't some "get out of personal responsibility for your choices" card.

Though as long as he's given no unemployment benefits, commits no crime to feed himself if he remains unemployed, isn't responsible for feeding any children, and society pays no hospital bills for him, there's not really anything to ethically condemn here. Everyone have the right to screw up their own life if they so choose. They have no right to be respect for doing so though.

RJ 17:
...just as not every homosexual is a pedophile...

...WTF?!

Despite sounding like a broken record player in this thread: questioning and criticizing a certain belief is not the same as attacking the person in question. It is pointing out flaws in the argumentative structure and is meant to bring the person to reassess their priorities. I mean, why do we think that quitting a job over a number is so silly? It's because the gain by having a secure job is seen as vastly outweighing the gain one might have by being offended by a mere sequence of numbers by pretty much everybody else except our person in question. While such is essentially based on different assessments by the groups in question one is clearly superior to the other on pretty much all practical grounds - becoming a social outcast, being ridiculed, losing an important source of income etc. Hence, from an utilitarian standpoint, such beliefs must be criticized on practical grounds alone. Especially since building in more and more exceptions to this in an attempt to rescue the concept, always threatens it's logical consistency: if one is not allowed to criticize a belief, how then can we disregard anything else and enforce any kinds of social standards? It's simply not a viable position to hold.

That said, three things must be taken into account when criticizing such a position:

  • Taking into account the scale of the belief in question and it's possible assessment. Are we right in correctly assessing all its practical gains in the first place? For instance, a certain religious ritual might look silly for an uninvolved bystander but holds significance for the person in question. The question lies in carefully weighing the benefits against the costs: having to cut off your genitals to get all the social gains from your religion might not be such a good idea but a prayer once in a while might be. It strongly depends on the scale of the consequences associated with the belief and is prone to mistakes in judgement.
  • Avoid rejection. mocking is a form of criticism that automatically degrades the individual in some way. This automatically predisposes for a position of rejection[1] Especially if the position holds a significant personal meaning (see also point 3)) for the person in question. A carefully voiced criticism is probably more effective in swaying the person and will create much less friction (see point 3)) than the alternative is - not everyone will accept mocking as a form to show significant issues with the position.
  • Tribal games. This is where a lot of the religious things comes into play here: from what I understand, humans are primed to form social identities based on fluent and strongly varying quantities that are tied to environment, upbringing and the perception of self. One of it's key features is the extension of one's own identity to the group in question meaning any perceived attack on the group is an attack on the social identity of the person in question. As such, when the OP sees "atheists"[2] attacking a Christian believer, he is automatically extending the attack implied in mocking the person as an attack to his group and by, extension, himself[3]. Such processes lead to friction and can easily cascade beyond the intended criticism of a personal stance. It also relativates any criticism as the mocking is easily biased by an attempt to construe the other as a member of an outgroup thus tightening social cohesion and reinforcing ones identity. Social Psychology is just so much fun :)

All three things are especially noteworthy in the case of religious positions: a valid criticism towards inconsistency of the burden of proof in religious reasoning by non-religious persons or pointing out such obvious flaws as well as their political power, is easily mistaken as a personal attack on the members of the whole group. I like to attribute this to a significant polarization of this issue prevalent in the US where religious feelings and fundamentalist groups routinely push into the public sphere, thus charging the label "religiousness" with a certain set of conservative and utterly marginalizing policies and viewpoints. This needs to change. From both sides. Instead of needless mocking and trying to make this a tribal match by polarizing the hell out of it even more, calm criticisms and dialogue from the opposition will prove to be more useful in that regard. On the other hand, the people who define themselves as religious need to be more out to seek dialogue and accept these kinds of criticisms. It does not help to get offended by such lunatic antics as the OP described or being utterly ignorant about marginalizations of minorities through religious reasoning.

Or in other words: being a dick is not such a good idea when it comes to criticizing religions. Valid, thoughtful criticism is.

Skeleon:
Plus, it's unclear whether that actually is the number of the beast.

I thought Arnold Schwarzenegger already properly explained to us why. Such flawless logic....

[1] Hell, just look at this little feature we had around here citing a study that presents exactly that kind of mechanism when it comes to trolling.
[2] It is rather telling that the OP automatically presumes atheists behind mocking that believer. Ever thought it might have actually been some jerk from your group?
[3] Note that I have not said anything about the scale here, so I didn't intend to offend you OP - just so you know

RJ 17:
I really don't see a difference between calling a person of faith a moron/whatever and calling a homosexual one of the many derogatory names they've been saddled with.

Well, here's the difference as far as I'm concerned: a gay person has no control over how they are, and what's more, it harms nobody. Those are the two vital factors.

The fundamental difference between mockery on the basis of sexuality, race, gender, disability etc and mockery on the basis of religion or political persuasion is that religion and politics are chosen, they are reasoned, and their conclusions should be under constant scrutiny. If they are ridiculous, they should be called such.

I mock people who involve themselves in homeopathy, for example: these people believe that water will cure disease, and ignore the need for evidence and scientific consensus to come to that conclusion. They can do harm to themselves, and their influence has a harmful effect on the NHS by leeching its funds. Religion is much the same.

I wouldn't mock him because of this faith, I'd mock him because he was being a complete fucking idiot. Faith not required for that, though it often greases the wheels.

Calling someone "of faith" doesn't instantly grant them some sort of immunity from ridicule. Far as I'm concerned, the guy in your example is at best "of superstition", and superstitions are the last thing I'm even remotely concerned about. Crying about your ID having a 666 in it is fucking obnoxious and ridiculous.

And people don't mock religious nuts because "they're atheist". They do so because the actions they're mocking are patently ridiculous. "Atheism" is not a cause for anything.

It's hypocrisy. Age, gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality are all valiantly defended traits and we generally employ a golden rule.

With faith, it's only to a point, and the lines are very skewed.

Simply put those who invest in mockery, berating and antagonizing something they don't have to believe, in attempt to rend or support their own creeds, are religious fanatics in their own right.

RJ 17:

UPDATE:
Seems the genreal concensus of responses that I've been getting is that it's perfectly fine to make fun of these people because they chose their religion where as things such as sexuality and race are things that aren't chosen. This means that it's apparently ok to make fun of people who are different, so long as they're different for reasons they choose themselves. And evidently I'm the only one that sees that as hypocritical.

Thank you, my fellow escapists, for this little social survey. The results have been most enlightening. I didn't realize that the way someone differs from you is the key point to consider when determining whether or not it's alright to openly mock someone. Different by sexuality, race, etc: off limits. Different by beliefs: lol they're fucking morons lol!

It pisses me off when people post something like this.

There's a difference between mocking someone because they're x and mocking x because they do something stupid.

Sure some people seem to be hating on religion in this thread, not sure why, but many people just seem to think it's a stupid thing to quit your job over regardless.

You have a chip on your shoulder about people not accepting belief, whatever I get it, but don't attempt to say everyone is on the same level as a sexist, homophobe or racist because they're making fun of something a religious person did.

If someone quit their job because on a tax form there was *insert religious number here* and he hated religion so he quit, he would be mocked here too.

Not because that person is an atheist, christian, jew, muslim, transgendered, gay, bisexual, lesbian, black, hispanic, african, brazilian or asian. It's because they did something extreme for a pretty silly reason.

I make fun of people's faith. Not to be a dick, but religious doctrines are self-writing jokes. It's easy, and quite often funny comedy. Before I get a little hate my way. We as a people do not, repeat, DO NOT have to respect anyone's beliefs. All we have to do is acknowledge the beliefs.

Gold:
Snip.

The key phrase was "general concensus". Specifically of the responses that I've been getting (i.e. ones that show up in my inbox from having been quoted). I wasn't saying that every single person to post in this thread was that way.

And it doesn't apply to this case in particular, I only mentioned that case as an example. Don't try to tell me that in any thread dealing with religion you haven't seen plenty of people laughing at and insulting others purely because they have faith. THAT'S what this topic is about. The crux of the issue is that people of faith are different from non-believers only in that they believe while non-believers, by definition, don't believe in a higher power.

My entire point is this: why is it not acceptable to insult or mock some people just because they're different because they didn't choose to be different from you, yet it's perfectly fine to mock and insult someone who choses to be different from you. The apparent argument is "You don't choose your race/gender/sexuality/etc but you can choose your politics/religious beliefs/etc." Alright. So what about someone who chooses to be transexual? Is it alright to make fun of them because they CHOSE to switch genders?

RJ 17:
The key phrase was "general concensus". Specifically of the responses that I've been getting (i.e. ones that show up in my inbox from having been quoted). I wasn't saying that every single person to post in this thread was that way.

I counted sixteen posts by different posters in the thread that said some variation of what I said. I counted six from different posters that have said something along the lines of religion sucks.

Seems like "the general consensus", for this thread at least, is what I posted. So by using the phrase "general consensus" you are talking about my response. The general consensus of people quoting you may be saying that, but if you actually read the thread, you'd see the general consensus is that people just think it's just a stupid thing to do regardless of if you're religious or not. If it was a religious number and it offended an atheist so much that they quit, we'd be mocking the atheist for being an idiot too.

RJ 17:
And it doesn't apply to this case in particular, I only mentioned that case as an example. Don't try to tell me that in any thread dealing with religion you haven't seen plenty of people laughing at and insulting others purely because they have faith.

I didn't, and even acknowledged a few were doing it in this very thread in my first post.

RJ 17:
THAT'S what this topic is about. The crux of the issue is that people of faith are different from non-believers only in that they believe while non-believers, by definition, don't believe in a higher power.

Okay.

RJ 17:
My entire point is this: why is it not acceptable to insult or mock some people just because they're different because they didn't choose to be different from you, yet it's perfectly fine to mock and insult someone who choses to be different from you.

Well people who insult religion just because religion fall into camp intolerance, but I see those people called out pretty constantly, so it's not like it's some accepted practice like you seem to think it is.

What I'm curious about is whether or not insulting/mocking religious ideals falls into *hating on religion* for you. Ideals such as thinking gay people are an abomination is a good start. Is it okay to mock this belief if it's held for religious reasons? Is it okay to mock a religion for mainstreaming such a belief? Or is it not okay because they're religious?

RJ 17:
The apparent argument is "You don't choose your race/gender/sexuality/etc but you can choose your politics/religious beliefs/etc." Alright. So what about someone who chooses to be transexual? Is it alright to make fun of them because they CHOSE to switch genders?

I'm not sure if this is an accurate comparison, because people don't usually choose to switch genders for the hell of it. Usually there's deep seeded psychological issues with your own sex. I don't think anybody would choose to be someone who needs a sex change to feel comfortable in their body.

I don't give a fuck if you're religious. Believe what you want to believe and pray to whoever you want to pray to. When those religious beliefs start dictating political policy though, those specific beliefs are open to high scrutiny, and if they're found lacking and without evidence, mocked. This goes for any belief by the way, doesn't necessarily have to be a religious belief.

That is my full opinion on this subject. You might wonder what that has to do with your post, but this is the thought process behind many people that say "but you choose to be religious, you don't choose to be gay." They mean you have chosen to align with an organization/group that spouts hateful messages.

I disagree with that view, because I've seen first hand that even though many people DO call themselves catholic/christian they don't necessarily follow the official stance. Jim the Muslim doesn't necessarily believe the exact same things as James the Muslim. So, why do people seem so bent out of shape and start criticizing religion when people don't always follow the official stance 100%?

It is because sometimes the official stance on topics is discriminatory and hateful.

While I think making fun of a person BECAUSE they are religious is pretty weak. I have no qualms with people mocking a religion that has an official stance preaches discrimination and bigotry. Of course, that doesn't mean every member of that religion should be persecuted for that main stance

I believe that is where many people land on this issue. Mock the specific stance if it's discriminatory and bigoted, and mock those who believe said stance. Many regrettably just put the blanket hate onto religion and every believer. Those people are worthy of scorn. If THAT is what you are saying, then I agree, and many would.

Though don't say "the general consensus", when the general consensus in this thread is very much the opposite.

EDIT:

Imperator_DK:

RJ 17:
...just as not every homosexual is a pedophile...

...WTF?!

This also needs some explaining.

RJ 17:
Anyhow, I saw an article today regarding a man who quit his job because his W-2 tax form was stamped with the number 666. Evidently this isn't his first run-in with the mark of the beast, as when he first got hired onto the job, his timecard was timecard # 666. He protested and got the number changed.

Based on this snippet of information and this alone, I'd be inclined to say that was a stupid thing to do, and fair game for a bit of mockery. I don't know the guy's name, age, race or sexuality, and even his religion I can only make an educated guess at, so, no, I'm not calling any of those attributes stupid.

Superstition is silly whoever is doing it. No need to assume we're all delighting in the mockery of minorities as an integral part of that.

As annoying as it may be, it's something that you're going to have to get used to. It is pretty clear from statistical evidence that religion is dying out in the West. It won't be long (I'd say 50 years in Europe, 100 in the USA) until being religious will be looked at the same way that believing the Earth is flat is today. The mockery will just get worse. Although a least then, you'll be able to call yourself a "repressed minority" without being miles from the truth.

I more or less leave people of belief (or lack there of) alone in that department...until they start egging me on for being gay, then I kick open the gates which happens a lot more often than what I'd be comfortable with. Ideally, I like to debate and talk without stepping on anyone's toes, but if you start denying me personhood or rights because of your ideology, don't be surprised when I start pushing back. I don't want to sound militant, but given the status of homosexuality across the planet, I can't help but feel a little justified.

SimpleThunda':
As long as you can't disprove the existence of god, you have just as much right to say God doesn't exist, as they have to say God does exist.

That's not how it works. You don't even endorse that line of reasoning yourself.

Or do you try to cast magical wards when near forests because you can not disprove the existance of the moss people? Yeah, that's right. Don't go applying double standards because you can't accept that atheism is the only 'philosophy' regarding gods that has the burden of evidence in its favour.

You shouldn't talk to walls though. They could contain an evil spirit which then proceeds to haunt you. After all, you can't disprove the existance of evil wall spirits, and therefore by your own argument you should fear them.

Blablahb:
..

Whoa, whoa, mock god all you want.
But you leave the moss people alone, those fuckers carry grudges.

"I am just gonna take any space daddy and believe in that god without any shred of evidence. And I demand respect for my chosen belief which is based upon ancient text that has been re-written and changed more times than you care to remember"

Sorry sport, but that is not going to happen. We live in the age of free information. One hour on google should tell you that there is something really off with your religious belief if you ask the right questions, or dare ask them at all. But in the light my religious upbringing, I have learned to not mock the person, but the belief. To bad so many do not differ between the two.

Rastelin:
"I am just gonna take any space daddy and believe in that god without any shred of evidence. And I demand respect for my chosen belief which is based upon ancient text that has been re-written and changed more times than you care to remember"

Sorry sport, but that is not going to happen.

...I have learned to not mock the person, but the belief. To bad so many do not differ between the two.

Too bad you do not differ between the two, as that snotty characterization and asinine depiction suggests. Whole lotta stereotyping in this thread, and it's apparently ok because well, have you heard what these people believe? Pah, they are just asking for it.

There are people who put kitchenware on their heads and use hair dryers as some sort of reversal of "unwanted" baptism, yet the same type of people mock something like this...

I think its just the culture of the internet. In real life no one has made fun of me or any of my friends for being Christian.

AgedGrunt:

Rastelin:

...I have learned to not mock the person, but the belief.

Too bad you do not differ between the two

Hey, it's more legit than the old "hate the sin, love the sinner" line, which I've heard from religious people IRL more than once. The most condescending line I've ever heard.

RJ 17:
I wasn't sure whether this should be in off-topic or here in the R/P forum since this doesn't really have to do with any religious subject in particular, but rather the way people of religious faith are treated.

Anyhow, I saw an article today regarding a man who quit his job because his W-2 tax form was stamped with the number 666. Evidently this isn't his first run-in with the mark of the beast, as when he first got hired onto the job, his timecard was time card # 666. He protested and got the number changed.

Sure enough in the comment section everyone was mocking the man calling him crazy, a moron, a stupid believer, and all the rest that has come to be expected from the majority of the internet when it comes to stories about people of religious faith.

The question I'm here to ask is this: is it really alright to just openly mock people of religious faith just because you happen to be an atheist? When you boil it down, isn't that simply mocking and insulting someone for being different than you? I really don't see a difference between calling a person of faith a moron/whatever and calling a homosexual one of the many derogatory names they've been saddled with.

I see, once again, somebody is having trouble telling the difference between something that you believe and something that you are. I love false equivalencies.

RJ 17:
Why is it that in this day and age in which homosexuality is becoming more and more accepted, that you come off as an enormous bigot asshole if you start insulting homosexuals, yet no one bats an eye at insulting people of faith?

See, the difference here is that, this person 'of faith' is allowing their faith to dictate them into doing something objectively stupid for objectively stupid reasons. Bad ideas don't get a free pass because you say 'Amen' at the end of them.

If somebody goes "2+2=5", you would call them out on their error. It doesn't suddenly become protected because they go "My religious belief is that 2+2=5", and they don't get to make up their own field of mathematics.

This guy is making a distinctly bad decision based on a distinctly stupid reason. Imagine for a moment this wasn't a man of faith, but somebody who practiced numerology or something you don't personally feel attached to. Let's say that in numerology getting number 2267 or whatever is 'unlucky'. Let's say that he damages his ability to feed his family, or tries to sue his company for assigning him that number, or some other ridiculousness.

I guarantee you, you would call them out on it. I know this because you make your opinions heard very loud and clear whenever it's a political position.

RJ 17:
If we don't care what people do in the privacy of their own home as far as their sexuality is concerned, why should we care about what people choose to believe in the privacy of their own home as far as religion is concerned? Why is it socially acceptable to insult the (seeming) minority that is the faithful while you'll have people calling you a bigot if you insult the minority that is homosexuals?

First, stop trying to make yourself a victim. You're not the minority and religious people sure as hell aren't silent about their ideals and desires. Second, nobody really gives a shit about your private religion in your private home. That said, thirdly like I said before, you're getting mocked because you're trying to defend stupidity with a bible. Stop letting people do stupid things and attribute it to your holy scripts and stop defending stupid things with your religion and maybe people will stop mocking it.

RJ 17:
For the record, I have nothing against homosexuals, indeed I really don't care what people do in the privacy of their own home and as far as gay marriage is concerned I go with a quote from Chris Rock: "Why not let them marry? Gay people have the right to be just as miserable as everyone else!" They're simply a minority that I point to as an example to establish a basis of comparison showing that it's no longer socially acceptable to insult them while it's becoming more and more socially acceptable to insult people of faith.

For somebody that has no problem with gay people, you seem to like pointing out they're a minority, as if you're suggesting that it should be acceptable to discriminate against somebody as long as there are few enough of them or something. If you have nothing against them, why bring them up in such a conversation? To make a point like "Hey, I accept the fact you exist, so can you stop calling out when people say 2+2=5 and defend it with the bible?".

Because the two things aren't even remotely similar.

RJ 17:
Really it just seems very hypocritical to me that society condemns insulting one group based on their private sexual lives yet doesn't care in the least about insulting another group based on their religious beliefs.

Again, your religious beliefs aren't a blank check to bad or stupid behavior.

RJ 17:
Yeah, you don't believe, we get it. Does that mean you have to call everyone that does a moron? Some might bring up religious zealots and people that are very eager to try and spread "The Word" as examples of the private religious lives of some intruding on the lives of others, but just as not every homosexual is a pedophile, nor is every person of faith a religious fanatic.

Then quit defending stupid or bad people when they do things 'in he name of religion'? If a bunch of pedophiles decided to molest children 'in the name of being gay' or some shit, would you think it prudent for the LGBT community to defend them? No, of course not.

So if you get some religious guy throwing a tantrum over the number of his W2 form, stop defending them in the name of your religion. If you don't want to be lumped in with crazy people, then stop confirming to everybody else you're of like mind.

RJ 17:
Edit: PS: Personally, I did find it a bit silly that the guy would quit his job over a number on his tax form, but at the same time I'm not going to start laughing and calling the guy an idiot nutcase just because of what he believes.

No, you're going to do the complete opposite and defend his 'silly' actions as religious freedom, telling us that you believe religion is a blank check to be 'silly'. And then wondering why we think you're 'silly', or crying when we call him silly.

RJ 17:
UPDATE:
Seems the genreal concensus of responses that I've been getting is that it's perfectly fine to make fun of these people because they chose their religion where as things such as sexuality and race are things that aren't chosen. This means that it's apparently ok to make fun of people who are different, so long as they're different for reasons they choose themselves. And evidently I'm the only one that sees that as hypocritical.

We aren't making fun of you for being 'different'. We're making fun of this guy for being a fucking crackpot. Stop equating crackpot to religious by defending crackpots.

RJ 17:
Thank you, my fellow escapists, for this little social survey. The results have been most enlightening. I didn't realize that the way someone differs from you is the key point to consider when determining whether or not it's alright to openly mock someone. Different by sexuality, race, etc: off limits. Different by beliefs: lol they're fucking morons lol!

Again, not all beliefs are equal. If I say that you can cure cavities by rubbing sugar and acid over your teeth, it's not 'equal to' everybody else's belief in the matter. If my 'different' belief is wrong, then it is. It doesn't suddenly become protected because I added 'in God's name' to it. And you make your beliefs even more ridiculous if you defend rubbing sugar on your teeth to prevent disease in the name of your religion.

BiscuitTrouser:

Id say theres a difference between personal attack and attacking a belief.

I'm not so sure that's the case when those beliefs regard the way that person views themselves, others, or influences the way they act.

But then that gets into questions about what a person really is.

Well he was being rather silly, especially since 666 isn't the number of the beast. Take it away, Stephen Fry.

RJ 17:

Thank you, my fellow escapists, for this little social survey. The results have been most enlightening. I didn't realize that the way someone differs from you is the key point to consider when determining whether or not it's alright to openly mock someone. Different by sexuality, race, etc: off limits. Different by beliefs: lol they're fucking morons lol!

I was going to explain to you the difference between sexuality/race and beliefs, but then I got to wondering if you can figure out the difference all by yourself. Ten points if you can. Puzzle it over.

RJ 17:
/snip

Did you deliberately use such an easy to mock example to skew the responses that you would get to prove your point right? Putting an example of someone quitting their job over the number 666 makes sure that there will always be someone that says "lol what an idiot", without elaborating on whether they mean the man in particular or the religious as a whole.

That is very dishonest manipulation of the posters here.

boots:
Well he was being rather silly, especially since 666 isn't the number of the beast. Take it away, Stephen Fry.

I think they've been borrowing something from this webpage, because those have been up there at least since 2006.

Chromatic Aberration:

Skeleon:
Plus, it's unclear whether that actually is the number of the beast.

I thought Arnold Schwarzenegger already properly explained to us why. Such flawless logic....

Heh, that's not even what I meant, but kudos.
No, I've read some sources that claim the real number is 616, 606 and some other variations. I'm not sure what the experts say, but 666 is apparently not exactly ensured to be the right number. Not to mention that apparently the number was supposed to refer to a very real life person, Emperor Nero, who hunted Christians. But, again, this all seems to be rather vague and I'm not sure what the newest understanding of all this is.

The funniest thing is that the number of the Beast isn't 666. It's 626.

Skeleon:

Chromatic Aberration:

Skeleon:
Plus, it's unclear whether that actually is the number of the beast.

I thought Arnold Schwarzenegger already properly explained to us why. Such flawless logic....

Heh, that's not even what I meant, but kudos.
No, I've read some sources that claim the real number is 616, 606 and some other variations. I'm not sure what the experts say, but 666 is apparently not exactly ensured to be the right number. Not to mention that apparently the number was supposed to refer to a very real life person, Emperor Nero, who hunted Christians. But, again, this all seems to be rather vague and I'm not sure what the newest understanding of all this is.

The interpretation I've heard most is that the number is a Judaic number game where the letters in your name each equal a number. It was a disguised way of criticizing the government without being killed for it. The entire Book of Revelations has literally ZERO to do with the end of the world. It was a metaphor for the overthrow of the Emperor Nero and the persecution of Christians, and the rise of the church in the known world.

OT:

RJ 17:

UPDATE:
Seems the genreal concensus of responses that I've been getting is that it's perfectly fine to make fun of these people because they chose their religion where as things such as sexuality and race are things that aren't chosen. This means that it's apparently ok to make fun of people who are different, so long as they're different for reasons they choose themselves. And evidently I'm the only one that sees that as hypocritical.

Thank you, my fellow escapists, for this little social survey. The results have been most enlightening. I didn't realize that the way someone differs from you is the key point to consider when determining whether or not it's alright to openly mock someone. Different by sexuality, race, etc: off limits. Different by beliefs: lol they're fucking morons lol!

When you choose to do something dumb, expect to be ridiculed, not for being religious but for being stupid.

Meanwhile, making fun of someone for something they had no choice over is simply bullying.

Let me propose a scenerio:

Two men in your house each hold a glass. One smashes it to the ground because he believed God wanted him to. The other smashes it because of a muscle spasm caused by Parkinson's. Are they equally to blame?

itsthesheppy:

SimpleThunda':

As long as you can't disprove the existence of god, you have just as much right to say God doesn't exist, as they have to say God does exist.

I'm going to add to the dogpile here and repeat points other have made and I don't care. You obviously don't understand how the burden of proof works.

"The burden of proof", such a forum-concept.

A theist shouldn't have to prove a thing to anyone else until he tries to convince others of his or her beliefs.

Vegosiux:

SimpleThunda':

As long as you can't disprove the existence of god, you have just as much right to say God doesn't exist, as they have to say God does exist.

It comes across as if you do not understand how burden of proof works, especially in existential claims.

I'm probably talking to a wall, though.

Poison ALL the wells!

Atheists these days are pretty much just irritating as theists are when it comes to their "faith".

It also comes across as if you do not understand how atheism works, too.

Now, to make this perfectly clear. I am calling out your ignorance on the matter. You seem to lack knowledge and information to discuss this on a relevant level. Whether or not you wish to obtain that knowledge/information is up to you, of course, but you simply cannot enter any relevant debate without it.

...did I just invoke Hanlon in an overly elaborate way?

A theist has nothing to prove, when it comes to his own faith.
Only when he starts trying to convince others.

Speaking about the burden of proof, that goes both ways.

And I think I know perfectly well how atheism works.

For the record, you are exactly the kind of atheist I was reffering to.

itsthesheppy:

SimpleThunda':

As long as you can't disprove the existence of god, you have just as much right to say God doesn't exist, as they have to say God does exist.

I'm going to add to the dogpile here and repeat points other have made and I don't care. You obviously don't understand how the burden of proof works.

Nor do you, apparently.

It goes both ways.

- double

Blablahb:

SimpleThunda':
As long as you can't disprove the existence of god, you have just as much right to say God doesn't exist, as they have to say God does exist.

That's not how it works. You don't even endorse that line of reasoning yourself.

Or do you try to cast magical wards when near forests because you can not disprove the existance of the moss people? Yeah, that's right. Don't go applying double standards because you can't accept that atheism is the only 'philosophy' regarding gods that has the burden of evidence in its favour.

You shouldn't talk to walls though. They could contain an evil spirit which then proceeds to haunt you. After all, you can't disprove the existance of evil wall spirits, and therefore by your own argument you should fear them.

Just because you cannot disprove the existence of something, does not necessarily mean you have to believe it.
It's a choice, which you can base on your own reasoning.

SimpleThunda':

For the record, you are exactly the kind of atheist I was reffering to.

The "irritating" kind? Well, I'm sure different people would find the level of irritation they get from me different as well, soooooo....oopsie daisie I suppose?

Meh, as far as i am concerned - people concern themselves too much with others, and not enough with themselves.
I dont see the problem, you get an 666 on your card, you voice your concern in a reasonable way, and if it is possible - you get a new one.
Saying "im going to laugh at religious people, because they have been persecuting blah blah blah." is nothing short of frigging idiotic.

Look at yourself. Just look at yourself....

You dont agree/share the belief - fantastic. Feel free to inform me about it, to me it is just as interesting as Jehovah's witnesses - and just about as annoying. Maybe even more, because most of those people have etiquette.
For crying out loud, as long as nobody is hurt - mind your frigging own business.....

Oh yeah, and just to be clear - im somewhere between an atheist and an agnostic - so dont call my arguments as "defending own faith" or some bs like that. I consider most of this to be superstitious bs. Doesnt mean i have to laugh at someone.

That is just common etiquette. Look it up sometime...

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