Atheist Arrogance?

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Lilani:

Dryk:
How could an atheist make a point passively? There's no figure to hide the point behind

I would consider that "Don't believe in God? You aren't alone" thing to be on the passive side. It's not pointing out with great big flashing lights "Christians are WROOOONG!" it's just asking if you don't believe in something, and saying that there are others who feel the same way. I think it's about the most positive way to convey the message. It's not in any way condemning or shaming those who disagree.

This is really fascinating to me, from a third-party observer point of view. I don't know how to do this without pissing you off, but there's just so much unexamined privilege going on in how you and Witty are responding to these ads. Yes, it's saying you're wrong. So what? How is that "condemning" or "shaming" anyone? Everyone gets to be told they're wrong about something, all the time, and shrugs it off. People have opinions, sometimes they differ. That ad isn't saying anyone religious is stupid, it simply says "there probably isn't a god". You think "there probably is a god", so why should it matter to you that there are people out there who think otherwise?

Seriously, think about it for a minute. I think you're both feeling defensive because telling *you* you're wrong is just not *done*. Christianity feels that it's due a certain amount of automatic deference. "Don't believe in God? You're not alone" is inoffensive to you not because it's passive, but because it doesn't threaten your majority. Minorities seeking each other's company is nonthreatening. "There probably isn't a God" is the atheist putting himself forward as your equal, and putting his opinion out there baldly without couching it in deferential language. And this pisses you off, makes you feel attacked, and puts you on the defensive. You aren't used to other philosophies and other faiths treating themselves as your equals, and it upsets you-- otherwise you'd shrug it off like any other instance of "you're wrong" encountered on an average day.

You think "Jesus Saves" is a passive, positive message because you don't question the assumptions behind it, you accept them and see them as correct and don't have to think about it from the point of view of someone who doesn't. That the world is fallen and full of sin and iniquity, and that it, and everyone on it, are in need of salvation. That there is no salvation *without* Jesus Christ, and therefore those who do not accept him are doomed. It's not a passive message at all, really. It's saying, in the coded language of your religion, "you are mired in evil of your own making and you cannot help yourselves, you cannot and should not survive without bending your knee to our truth and accepting our way as your own". That's really not a passive message at all, it's a big ol' "YOU'RE WRONG" to everyone who doesn't agree with those assumptions, and it comes backed up with all the institutional power Christianity holds.

Christianity, in gaming terms, is a lvl 80 with top tier gear yelling "YOU'RE ALL WRONG!" with a permanent, deafening, megawatt bullhorn +100. Atheism is a lvl 2 trotting out there with a bullhorn they had to pool all the guild's credits for, on a week-long cooldown, and not +anything, yelling "NO, YOU'RE LIKELY TO BE WRONG!" And the response of the lvl 80 in the awesome kitted-out epic gear? Is to feel attacked and threatened. If it's not because the lvl 2 has the temerity to think his voice is equal, I can't imagine what it is, because the power is *so* asymmetrically lopsided in your favor.

(For what it's worth, the response of assorted non-Christian religious to that sort of message, and to every Christian vs. Atheist debate, is a bit of an eye-roll. The Pagan looks at the Hindu, the Taoist, the Buddhist, and the Vodouisante and says "look at 'em. At it again. It's like they don't even know we're in the ROOM. What, have we got a stealth field generator coming out our assholes?" The Hindu shakes her head and looks at the Jew and the Muslim, and says "dude, at least they come up for air once in a while and actually remember you two exist!" To which the Muslim says "yeah, but I only get to exist so they can both say how awful my culture is", and the Jew says "and listen to the Atheist going on about 'Judeo-Christian', like Christians actually recognize that they took all their stuff from us. As if! They both only know I'm there for about a half-second, then I'm as invisible as the rest of you." That we're all wrong is the only thing that both the Christians and the Atheists agree on, and we're used to it.)

Witty Name Here:

So, after taking a visit to a sacred site associated with healing of the sick, a man's hip bone is miraculously reconstructed with no medical explanation give towards why he would make such a miraculous recovery. This is evidence for the existence of God.

Atheists, on the other hand, have had zero, absolutely zero evidence to prove God does not exist. By your own logic, would that not mean that Atheism is false, and that the existence of God is a fact. After all, there's more evidence pointing towards God's existence, then his lack of existence. Your position, it seems, holds no ground in fact or reason.

ARGH. This is the kind of thing that drives the agnostic part of my agnostic theism absolutely batty. Even if we concede that the man's hip bone was miraculously reconstructed with no medical explanation, how do you not see how much conclusion-hopping is required to get from that to it being positive evidence of the intervention of the Christian God? Maybe there was a perfectly plausible naturalistic explanation for it, and we don't have the science to understand it yet? Science is growing and changing in understanding every day, in enormously shifting ways; it's not a static process. We didn't have the science to understand the germ theory of disease at one point, we put that down to demonic activity. We understand it now. But even if there isn't, even in the most sci-fi technologically advanced culture ever imagined, any scientific explanation for what happened to the dude's hip, it's still not evidence that your god did it! Look at all the miracles attributed to Guadalupe-- maybe that's simply Tonantzin caring for Her people. Your people have taken over so many sacred sites that were sacred before you ever had anything to do with it, why would you automagically assume that anything positive that happens there is your God's work and not the work of the powers that were already a part of that place?

You don't see anything fantastically arrogant about that assumption? That none of this before-stuff was real, so therefore if it can't be explained by current or past science, it's your god at work? You don't Know. Neither do I, neither does anybody else. You believe, and that's fine *for you*. It's evidence *for you*, because spirituality is an experiential process, and this explanation is sufficient for your own individual filters. That's not, IMO, something I think can be gainsaid. But it's not evidence in an empirical sense at ALL.

To respond to the OP; come on.... There's no such thing as atheist arrogance. There is however such a thing as the truth of what atheism means, upsetting hypersensitive religious people who demand that the myths they believe in not be criticised, receive taxpayer's money to promote and receive special protection, and a lot more. And that is their problem. They choose to believe in a religion, they deal with the consequences.

The rest of it is a response to injustice and attacks on atheist. Atheists receive less protection than religious people in most countries. More insults are allowed towards them, in some countries even downright slander. A few countries like the US, even attacks and physical violence against atheists are allowed. Even though the law somewhat states assault is a crime, there was a deeply depressing case where a Muslim assaulted an atheist, and got acquitted in court by a judge who clearly reasoned "He's an atheist. Beating up those is fine".

And more. Blasphemy laws are still enforced, sadly. Someone who was harassed by evangelicals at metal concerts made a poster of a burning church and hung it in his own living room. Police officers of questionable integrity walked into his garden, saw the sign and fined him € 250 for it. It held in a lower court. He really should've appealed, but it's insane in the first place you need to go to a court of appeals in order to not be persecuted by religious zealots and get your right to live your life in peace. Also churches have acces to the population registry here. Meaning that if you pack up and leave, they can check that, legally (nobody outside of police officials and the government has acces normally) and track you down to harass you about needing to go to church. And that goes very far. My wife and I were terrorised for months on end with harassing e-mails, phonecalls about that she needed to be saved. I myself was shunned pretty heavily when I left the church. It culminated in the church elder busting into our house when I was out, to try and intimidate my wife. I had to rush home and physically remove him.
Yeah, I had a strong urge to kick his head off for being a religious prick after that. Problem? Because that's just how people react if you try to persecute and intimidate them.

Undergoing that sort of stuff tends to make people a bit defensive. That is absolutely normal. Got complaints about atheists? Please take it up with the religious zealots who cause the hostile climate.

Images:
My best example of what I would call arrogance from the Atheist camp was this famous campaign...
image
Now come on, that's just trolling. Of course the Christians took the bait and did their own bus.

That's not trolling. What it says on that sign is less strongly worded than what's true, and really positively worded.

Yet, religious intolerance was so vast and so strong that even such a sign became controversial and they started raising money for evangelical signs. Thus, the sign campaign which observed there is nog god reached its goal, namely of showing how closedminded and intolerant religious people are; you can't even run an ad campaign which states fact, without them getting upset.

Witty Name Here:
Atheists, on the other hand, have had zero, absolutely zero evidence to prove God does not exist. By your own logic, would that not mean that Atheism is false, and that the existence of God is a fact. After all, there's more evidence pointing towards God's existence, then his lack of existence. Your position, it seems, holds no ground in fact or reason.

Lol, evidence for gods existance...

Anyway, don't play stupid. You know very well where the default stance lies, and that's that mythological things don't exist untill their existance is proven. You yourself even follow that stance in all things, except perhaps the god of your religion. Not really a strong argument to make if you yourself don't even support it.

Witty Name Here:
So, after taking a visit to a sacred site associated with healing of the sick, a man's hip bone is miraculously reconstructed with no medical explanation give towards why he would make such a miraculous recovery. This is evidence for the existence of God.

You don't know why some guy is reported to have been cured of a condition that he allegedly had. This is evidence of nothing other than that shit sometimes happens. It is not an unambiguous miracle in any sense even if the reports are taken at face value. Sometimes people recover from tumors (tumors are not something programmed with an intention of killing or damaging anyone-- that's just what they tend to do; tumors are not some metaphysically different entity from other cells, they are just a human-made category of certain kinds of cell behavior.) Bones are likewise known to recover from injuries. The likelihood of it happening as well as reported in any individual case is probably quite small, but there are millions of people who pilgrimage to Lourdes and report absolutely no 'miraculous' effects whatsoever. That one of them might have made a few lucky saving throws in succession while recovering from a tumor is neither amazing nor miraculous.

The probability of rolling four 1s on four six-sided dies is 1/1296. That's pretty low. Throw four six-sided dies a million times however and you'll see four 1s pop up many times-- likely more than 700 times-- even though the probability is quite low. But there is selection bias. How many articles could be written about some guy who went to Lourdes and nothing of note happened? Why write an article about something so commonplace? Frankly, we should expect weird things to happen in sample sizes so large.

Witty Name Here:
For example, there are over 67 miracles associated with Lourdes. Medical examiners have noted each miracle, and could provide no logical explanation for the miraculous healing.

To my knowledge there have been no controlled cases. It's always a vague claim about being ill which can't be controlled, or a claim the cure was caused by a miracle after medical treatment was applied and fixed the problem, or it just wasn't observed at all.

Like that soldier who supposedly had a malign tumor: Where's the documentation of his diagnosis? Where's the 2nd opinion? A better explanation is that five months in a cast will heal a pelvic fracture.

Blablahb:
A better explanation is that five months in a cast will heal a pelvic fracture.

Sometimes. Maybe not even that many times. But there is selection bias. That's the really important part.

McMullen:

Witty Name Here:

Aris Khandr:

You don't prove things don't exist. You prove that they do. Any god has precisely as much evidence as to their existence as Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, and unicorns. You can find that offensive if you like, but that doesn't change the fact that it is the truth. If you disagree, offer proof. That's how science works. Attempting to defend your position by claiming that atheists have no proof may make you feel better, but it isn't a defense. Because, again, you do not prove that something doesn't exist.

Every miracle, many of which are well documented, could count as proof of God.

For example, there are over 67 miracles associated with Lourdes. Medical examiners have noted each miracle, and could provide no logical explanation for the miraculous healing.

Here's just a sample of one:

Vittorio MICHELI

Born on 6.2.1940, in the Province of Trento (Italie)

Cured on 1.6.1963, in his 23rd. year. Miracle on 26.5.1976, by Mgr Alessandro Gottardi, Archbishop of Trento.

On 16th. April 1962, Vittorio MICHELI, a soldier in the Alpine Corps, was admitted into a hospital in Verona for the diagnosis and treatment of an obscure condition of his left hip. After various tests, ineffective treatment and also a biopsy, the dreaded diagnosis of a malignant tumour, a sarcoma, was made on 4th. June.

For a whole year he remained under the care of the Military Hospital and Centres, although no anti-mitotic, surgical, medical or physiotherapeutic treatment was applied.

Deterioration, both locally and generally went on relentlessly, with total destruction of his hip joint. But he still undertook a pilgrimage to Lourdes with his Diocese in June 1963.

During the pilgrimage, nothing notable happened, except that he bathed, encased from pelvis to foot in a plaster cast.

On his return he appeared to be in better shape, but because he was doing his military service, he was obliged to go back to his starting-point, i.e. the Military Hospital of Trento.

More X-rays were taken there, and in a way difficult to comprehend, they were incorrectly interpreted, being considered identical to his former ones. This accounts for why it was 6 months after the pilgrimage before proper notice was taken of his excellent health, absence of pain, ability to walk and finally "the remarkable reconstruction of his hip" the first signs of which had already been present 5 months before!

Each year since 1963, Vittorio has visited Lourdes. In 1967, the Medical Bureau saw no reason to delay admitting that "it was impossible to give any medical explanation for this cure ".

In 1968, the International Medical Committee postponed its decision, after hearing Prof. Salmon's report. It was only in 1971, a lapse of 8 years, that this Committee confirmed the verdict of the Medical Bureau of Lourdes.

On 26.5.1976,13 years after the cure, Mgr Alessandro Gottardi, after taking into account the favourable advice of his Canonical Commission, declared that this cure contained "sufficient evidence for the recognition of a special intervention by the Power of God, Father and Creator".

Naturally, Vittorio MICHELI keeps on coming to Lourdes, working as a brancardier in his diocesan Hospitalite.

http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/lourdes/miracles4.html

So, after taking a visit to a sacred site associated with healing of the sick, a man's hip bone is miraculously reconstructed with no medical explanation give towards why he would make such a miraculous recovery. This is evidence for the existence of God.

Atheists, on the other hand, have had zero, absolutely zero evidence to prove God does not exist. By your own logic, would that not mean that Atheism is false, and that the existence of God is a fact. After all, there's more evidence pointing towards God's existence, then his lack of existence. Your position, it seems, holds no ground in fact or reason.

You misunderstand how evidence works, because you took that as proof without addressing other causes. If I let a glass fall, I can say that it was because God made it fall, but that's not legitimate evidence because I haven't addressed other possible causes, nor have I suggested a mechanism. I would be simply cherrypicking a cause that I preferred out of ignorance, as is anyone who attributes the healed bone to divine intervention.

Perhaps just as big an issue as the evidence is the assertion that he knows the truth of WHY. Even if the miracle were to be true, it wouldn't mean that God exists, especially not in the form proposed by the author. Should this miracle be true, it would be just as sensible to thank any of the possible deities, or perhaps Gaia herself. There's no reason it must be the Abrahamic God. A miraculous healing event further doesn't mean that all the rest of the dogma is true: someone getting better doesn't suddenly mean the Sabbath is a holy day, that we can't sleep with certain individuals or that there is a doctrine about what position in which we sleep with them, nor that an old book is suddenly legitimate.

Lilani:
The reason I don't see any smugness in those "Jesus Saves" things is because it's not pointing out how wrong anyone else is. I feel like smugness arises when something is more concerned about how wrong everyone else is. I can definitely see that "Jesus Saves" is assuming that it is 100% without a doubt correct, and I can see why you would think that is smug. But I just feel like smugness is more about being deliberately negative. I feel like "Jesus Saves" is only passively saying that atheists are wrong. The statement isn't "atheists are wrong," that is merely a result of the statement, rather than the full intent of it. Where "There is probably no God" is actively saying Christians are wrong--that is its first and primary intent.

Considering the implications of "Jesus saves" ("...or else!"[1]), I couldn't disagree with you more. But you're right, it doesn't really matter. I'm just saying that perceived Atheist arrogance - to me - seems to largely be reactionism against anything contradicting majority opinion, no matter how tame it really is. Dawkins even put a freaking qualifier ("probably") in there, he can't really defuse it more than that without avoiding Atheism - the point of the banner - altogether.

Superbeast:
...but it was a response to a Christian advert, not the other way around. The Christians had an ad campaign on the sides of the buses, so a Humanist group and Richard Dawkins teamed up to raise money for an Atheistic campaign in response.

"She expressed her frustration that the Christian organisation JesusSaid.org was allowed to use bus advertising to promote the web address of a website which said that all non-Christians would burn in hell for all eternity."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheist_Bus_Campaign

[...]

Just quoting you two folks to see if your opinions on this case differ in light of the full facts.

Look at that, I wasn't even aware of that part of the story. I mean, it was very obvious that it was a reaction to such Christian billboards in general, but I didn't realize it was more specific than that. Thanks for pointing out the context.

[1] EDIT: Actually, I just saw that Polarity27 went far more into detail on this in post 71 than I did here, so check that paragraph for the general idea. As for her mentioning other religious groups standing "on the side lines": That's why I think talking about secularization is more important than promoting Atheism in itself. And that is something everybody (including secular-minded Christians) can work on.

Skeleon:
Dawkins even put a freaking qualifier ("probably") in there, he can't really defuse it more than that without avoiding Atheism - the point of the banner - altogether.

I think that's the root of this whole "you're wrong" discussion. Atheism, pretty much by definition, is saying that the religious are wrong. If you strive to remove any hint of that from an advert in the hope of avoiding offending anyone, then you won't end up with an advert at all.

And yeah, i agree with the whole "jesus saves" thing. These kind of ads, and the arrogance of them depends almost entirely upon a persons preconceived opinion. A religious person will see "jesus saves" and see a lovely message of support and outreach to those less fortunate, and an irreligious person will see a message basically stating that they are, in their current lifestyle, scum. Likewise, religious people will see an atheist ad and perceive it as insulting their intelligence, and an irreligious person will see them as simply stating a fact.

And that's why I hate almost all of these types of ads. When has anyone, ever, altered their (ir)religious behaviour or viewpoint on a line or two of text that goes past them on a buss or billboard? There is no point to any of these, with the exception maybe of the support-for-minorities type (like the American atheists one).

As for the OP: Yep, there most certainly are atheists dicks. We all know this, and you'd be a fool to suggest otherwise. However, it's good to compare how these dicks act with their religious counterparts. Excluding the absolute crazies on both sides (Atheists who think all religious people should be round up and shot, and violent religious extremists), just about the worst you'll get from an atheist is a series of expletives, and some insults to your intelligence. Compare this with the religious dicks, who generally go to hell as their threat of choice. the sentiments behind those two are extremely different, and one is clearly far worse than the other.

It's that sort of thing that prevents me from being close friends with highly religious people. I simply can't act normally, and comfortably, knowing that this person thinks that I will be tortured for eternity, and is okay enough with that to act normally.

CAMDAWG:
And yeah, i agree with the whole "jesus saves" thing. These kind of ads, and the arrogance of them depends almost entirely upon a persons preconceived opinion.

Example: D&D enthousiasts being so annoyed by evangelicals that they created the slogan "Jesus saves and only takes half damage"

image

Although you could probably find a few hundred Christians who take offense to that.

Blablahb:
Although you could probably find a few hundred Christians who take offense to that.

I would, too. Why would Jesus use a mace rather than magic?! If you give him a weapon, at least have him use a long lance! Get it?

We're arrogant?

Which group are the ones that think that the all-powerful creator of the universe pays attention to their lives and intervenes on their behalf, again?

I'm so tired of this "atheist bullies" nonsense. The godless represent a tiny, tiny minority in the world. A minority that only very recently has the tools and license to express itself; until very recently, voicing one's atheism carried with it major risks to career and personal safety. Or to put it another way:

image

Don't mistake confidence for arrogance.

Lilani:

But you are right that there are certain people in the US who are overly sensitive toward benign expressions of atheism, and under-critical of the obnoxious doings of the ones who are within their own tribe.

I actually have someone like that at my work. He is extemely religious (to the point of possessing no TV and no video. He does have computers and internet though.) I was talking with him about the pope stepping down, and he asked me if I was Catholic. My response was "Technically, I am Lutheran, but its more complicated than that. Long story short, I believe that all religions pray to the same God and he doesnt take sides." His response? "Soooooo.......your a Liberal?"

You have seen me post on here. You know the opinions I have. I have a question: How accurate is it to call me a Liberal? Because I had to restrain myself from laughing when he said that.

OT: I think that the Atheist that make fools of themselves and are Anti-Theistic are just the vocal minority, like WBC. I personally dont have a problem with athiest; hell, I have friends from just about every major religion except Islam[1]. So long as they arent being an ass I dont give a damn what thier religion or lack thereof is.

[1] Namely, one is Southern Baptist of the moderate flavor, One is still soul searching but has a sister that is Wiccan, two are extremely religious Lutherans of the tolerance variety, one is a religious bisexual (her church accepts her though), one is what I call a "Midwestern Athiest" (namely, she says she is athiest, but she believes in God and just doesnt have a religion), one I have no idea but I think she is Catholic, I already explain above, and my girlfriend comes from a catholic family that didnt have her baptized so she could choose her religion, and she believes that there is a God and Devil, but that there is no Heaven or Hell and we walk the Earth as ghost after we die.

Arrogance is universal. In this exact case it doesn't seem arrogant.

However, I've definitely ran into atheist who are such arrogant assholes that I would just refuse to breach the subject.

The same goes for some few religious people I've met, though they tend to be less belligerent and, ironically, holier then thou art in their discussions with me.

There is never an excuse to be rude; when you are rude, when you debase yourself with cries of 'they did it to us', you become no better then the thing you profess to fight against.

Bentusi16:
There is never an excuse to be rude; when you are rude, when you debase yourself with cries of 'they did it to us', you become no better then the thing you profess to fight against.

I'll keep that in mind when I'm burning people at the stake.

Bentusi16:
There is never an excuse to be rude; when you are rude, when you debase yourself with cries of 'they did it to us', you become no better then the thing you profess to fight against.

There's a lot wrong with that assumption, both on an individual level as on a collective level.

For one thing atheist rudeness is just a response to being oppressed, harassed, attacked and belittled by various religious groups. There's no indication that suggests it would exist if religious groups collectively, could behave.

Bentusi16:

Seanchaidh:

Bentusi16:
There is never an excuse to be rude; when you are rude, when you debase yourself with cries of 'they did it to us', you become no better then the thing you profess to fight against.

I'll keep that in mind when I'm burning people at the stake.

"Oh wah, something happened years and years ago so I'm just going to keep bitching about it and using it as an excuse to be an asshole!"

Get over it. You accuse the 'churches' of being conservative and clinging to old ways and hatred, so what excuse do YOU have for doing the exact same thing?

When was the last atheist burned at the stake? Seriously?

Don't get me wrong, the religions of the world have had some terrible things done in their name, including yes, hangings, crushings, stonings, and burnings; hold them to it. But do it without being a massive douchebag about it because nothing gives you an excuse to be rude. Nothing.

Oh, sorry, you're quite right. I'll keep it in mind when I'm beating up and jailing people and merely calling for their execution.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/calls-to-behead-indonesian-atheist-alexander-aan/495308

There is nothing worse than rudeness.

Seanchaidh:

Bentusi16:

Seanchaidh:

I'll keep that in mind when I'm burning people at the stake.

"Oh wah, something happened years and years ago so I'm just going to keep bitching about it and using it as an excuse to be an asshole!"

Get over it. You accuse the 'churches' of being conservative and clinging to old ways and hatred, so what excuse do YOU have for doing the exact same thing?

When was the last atheist burned at the stake? Seriously?

Don't get me wrong, the religions of the world have had some terrible things done in their name, including yes, hangings, crushings, stonings, and burnings; hold them to it. But do it without being a massive douchebag about it because nothing gives you an excuse to be rude. Nothing.

Oh, sorry, you're quite right. I'll keep it in mind when I'm beating up and jailing people and merely calling for their execution.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/calls-to-behead-indonesian-atheist-alexander-aan/495308

There is nothing worse than rudeness.

I never said that, did I?

No, I did not in fact. What I said was there is no EXCUSE to be rude.

But of course that means that being rude is the worse possible thing a person can be. Except it's not, it's really not.

Holding someone to something they actually did is one thing; being rude is something else.

Ghandi overthrew an imperialistic control over his country without violence, and without rudeness. He may have been a racist, but at least he wasn't rude, and he preached non-violence.

Well atheists are only about as arrogant as you can be when holding the most reasonable position. I think that gives a fair bit of leeway, like how it's hard to be arrogant towards creationists, or someone who thinks the Earth is flat. I mean, even the latter is possible if you throw in a ton of extra assumptions, particularly supernatural ones.

Because in the end, theists have no evidence. Witty Name Here is utterly incorrect to think there is, even if there were a miracle(and he hasn't provided references for these miracles he talks about to see who is actually confirming them and how) it isn't evidence of a deity, for all we know aliens could be doing it for laughs.

Now some may say that then we have to be agnostic, but quite frankly we don't act that way towards other ideas with no evidence. I leave my house despite the possibility that I'd be abducted by aliens if I do so, I breathe even though maybe the air will suddenly turn into poison gas, etc. I mean you can't disprove they'll happen anymore than you can disprove a deity because 'supernatural' means that anything can happen. But in the end they have no evidence either and it seems no one demands you be agnostic about those.

Bentusi16:
Ghandi overthrew an imperialistic control over his country without violence, and without rudeness.

Gandhi? It's funny you'd bring that guy up, because he was major arsehole. Being heavily racist was about the least of his vices.
If anyone was totally without respect, it was Gandhi. Even his supposed non-violence is rather questionable as he actively supported Apartheid, took part in wars and recruited soldiers, and his actions resulted in a lot of violence.

The man really should be separated from the myth.

Blablahb:

Bentusi16:
Ghandi overthrew an imperialistic control over his country without violence, and without rudeness.

Gandhi? It's funny you'd bring that guy up, because he was major arsehole. Being heavily racist was about the least of his vices.
If anyone was totally without respect, it was Gandhi. Even his supposed non-violence is rather questionable as he actively supported Apartheid, took part in wars and recruited soldiers, and his actions resulted in a lot of violence.

The man really should be separated from the myth.

That in no way effects my point about rudeness, at all.

If you want to be the good guy, you can't do bad guy things. You want sympathy for your 'plight', you hold yourself to a higher standard then the people you profess to be better then.

Bentusi16:
If you want to be the good guy, you can't do bad guy things. You want sympathy for your 'plight', you hold yourself to a higher standard then the people you profess to be better then.

In the case of atheists that higher standard definately seems to be happening.

Not that that is very difficult, of course. You'd need to work day and night on being an arsehole to be able to match the things religions have done.

Blablahb:

Bentusi16:
If you want to be the good guy, you can't do bad guy things. You want sympathy for your 'plight', you hold yourself to a higher standard then the people you profess to be better then.

In the case of atheists that higher standard definately seems to be happening.

Not that that is very difficult, of course. You'd need to work day and night on being an arsehole to be able to match the things religions have done.

From my point of view? The score is even.

Considering that over 80% of the world identifies itself as religious, Atheist have to be better then breaking even.

Religion has had longer to be a major force, give it a thousand years and the horrors commited in the name of 'atheism' will probably begin to even out; that's how humanity works.

It still does not excuse you to be rude; nothing, I repeat this, NOTHING does. Dignity in the face of overwhelming odds makes you better then an enemy without dignity who wins.

And rudeness doesn't help you win, it just doesn't, so why not be the better person and catch the better PR?

Bentusi16:
From my point of view? The score is even.

Then at the very least we need to see atheists introducing hardcore oppression of religious people, murders, assaults, systematic hatespeech, rape and a few other questionable practises being waged by atheists, against religious people, over differences in regards to religion.

I may be biased but I've never seen atheists do any of that.

Bentusi16:
It still does not excuse you to be rude; nothing, I repeat this, NOTHING does. Dignity in the face of overwhelming odds makes you better then an enemy without dignity who wins.
And rudeness doesn't help you win, it just doesn't, so why not be the better person and catch the better PR?

Because, to paraphrase comedians Lebbis&Jansen, it's much more fun when it's blasphemous.

Bentusi16:
It still does not excuse you to be rude; nothing, I repeat this, NOTHING does.

Bentusi16:

"Oh wah, something happened years and years ago so I'm just going to keep bitching about it and using it as an excuse to be an asshole!"

Get over it.

Above: Rudeness. There's no excuse for it, Bentus.

Bentusi16:

From my point of view? The score is even.

That's some incredible mathematics there. As I said before; I've never been accosted and physically threatened on the train by an atheist before. I've never had an atheist come around to my house and tell me how "unfortunate" I am, on the basis of my beliefs, in their very most condescending tone.

Seriously; what people do in the name of atheism boils down to argument, publishing a few books, campaigning against religious influence in politics and education. You really want to square that against prejudice and discrimination, sectarian violence, covering up of sexual abuse on a ludicrous scale? You want to square that against the beatings and hangings of religious law? The Pope's statement that condoms spread venereal disease?

To be clear: I'm not saying that atheists are never violent, never discriminate. That would be clearly untrue. But it is far, far, far less often done in the name of atheism.

Forgive me if the above can be construed as "rudeness". After all, there are far worse things.

Bentusi16:

Blablahb:

Bentusi16:
Ghandi overthrew an imperialistic control over his country without violence, and without rudeness.

Gandhi? It's funny you'd bring that guy up, because he was major arsehole. Being heavily racist was about the least of his vices.
If anyone was totally without respect, it was Gandhi. Even his supposed non-violence is rather questionable as he actively supported Apartheid, took part in wars and recruited soldiers, and his actions resulted in a lot of violence.

The man really should be separated from the myth.

That in no way effects my point about rudeness, at all.

If you want to be the good guy, you can't do bad guy things. You want sympathy for your 'plight', you hold yourself to a higher standard then the people you profess to be better then.

Since when must I profess to be better than anyone? I didn't get that memo.

Milk:
Anecdotal evidence is not proper evidence.

The thread has already been through this.

thats missing the point of the what, how & why God is operating in this day & age.

belief in God isnt called "proof", its called faith, & for good reason.

God isnt interested in our ability to be convinced by irrefutable proof.

& why would he.

G_Wright:

Milk:
Anecdotal evidence is not proper evidence.

The thread has already been through this.

thats missing the point of the what, how & why God is operating in this day & age.

belief in God isnt called "proof", its called faith, & for good reason.

God isnt interested in our ability to be convinced by irrefutable proof.

& why would he.

So, basically "mysterious ways"? Then don't expect anybody to be convinced when you tell them about your god. Why would anybody listen to your anecdotal evidence over the anecdotal evidence of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans etc.? But it's okay as long as you don't try to convince anybody else.

It's classic inferiority syndrome. I am an atheist and I'll even admit to it, although I make a point to not be overly aggressive in religious discussions. Christianity has had over 2000 years to solidify its hold on society, often in the most cruel and inhumane ways imagineable. Many many Christians today still carry the aggression that led up to these acts. So now we have this upstart minority of people who choose not to believe in anything but are very vocal in ensuring that neither their rights nor their person is trampled on by the overwhelming majority. We are easy to feel threatened because hate speech can quickly lead to hate acts so our defenses are always up. Can you blame us?

G_Wright:

Milk:
Anecdotal evidence is not proper evidence.

The thread has already been through this.

thats missing the point of the what, how & why God is operating in this day & age.

belief in God isnt called "proof", its called faith, & for good reason.

God isnt interested in our ability to be convinced by irrefutable proof.

& why would he.

I'd hazard a guess and say that because he supposedly loves us, and knows that we will not accept his existence without irrefutable proof.

And if he doesn't provide us with that proof, we'll be tortured for eternity. Usually if someone loves you, it would be expected that they would try and prevent you being tortured. Not just throw their arms up, say "meh", and let it happen.

Skeleon:

I would, too. Why would Jesus use a mace rather than magic?! If you give him a weapon, at least have him use a long lance! Get it?

Why would a cleric/carpenter hybrid class use lance?

Boris Goodenough:
Why would a cleric/carpenter hybrid class use lance?

Nah, I'm saying he shouldn't use weapons.
But if he has to, at least give him some proficiency with a lance, because he's already got a unique one.

I apologise if this post is slightly rambling and hard to decipher, I have an awful case of the 'flu right now and my brain is kind of treacly (but if I do not respond now I will forget, and I am really bored after nearly 2 days in bed).

Lilani:

This is really sort of a chicken and the egg sort of situation. You say the atheists were spurred on by the Christians? Okay. But who are those Christians? That looks like England, so that would be the Anglican church.

The linked sources state exactly which groups were behind the initial bus adverts, and then the response-to-the-response adverts.

Where did those Protestants come from? Why those obnoxious and hypocritical Catholics of course, with their indulgences and their overly-formal Latin prayers and chants. The Protestants didn't like what the Catholics were doing and the Catholics hated the changes the Protestants wanted to make, so they split off into separate churches and spent several centuries struggling for power in Europe. But where did the Catholics come from? They came from a long standing feud with what is now the Eastern Orthodox church a long time ago, in what is now called the Great Schism. They didn't like what the Catholics were doing, so the Catholics had to run off and make their own church to do what they wanted in peace.

But where did the Eastern Orthodox come from? Well that's a bit more unclear, but that's also getting so far back into the church history that we're getting close to the time when Christians weren't accepted at all really by anybody. During its first few centuries Christians were persecuted by everybody, but especially the Romans. They set up little temples and places of worship in the catacombs under Rome because there was no other place that was safe for them to meet.

This seems utterly irrelevant to either your post or mine. The history of the Church has nothing to do with this, unless we are talking about entrenched conservative dogma within those institutions.

So who really? started this? It was the Romans who treated the Christians like shit, who went on to treat the Catholics like shit, who went on to treat the Protestants like shit, who now sometimes treat atheists like shit. So if we're really going to be that petty, don't blame the Christians. Blame the Romans.

So because one religion treated another religion like shit ad nauseam (The Romans - who were not atheists - and the Christians, then the Christians and the other Christians) it is fine for Christians to put out adverts with a message of "all non-Christians would burn in hell for all eternity" and to encourage "gay conversion therapy" that is banned in many countries for being a pseudo-scientific excuse for abuse?

Also, it can be argued that the early Jews and Christians sort of deserved the level of crack-down that Roman society enacted upon them for nigh-on terrorist acts disturbing the civic peace. Was it a barbaric and uncivilised response? Yeah, but that is the ancient world for you. The Romans were quite good at dealing with other religious groups (whether subsuming them into their own pantheon or letting believers be), so one has to wonder why the Christians earned such ire. It is very interesting from a historical point of view, much like the schisms of Christianity forming the major denominations of today, but likewise is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

Putting all that aside, I think we live in a self-conscious enough of a society that there really is no excuse for reflexively treating an entire group like shit just because they happen to belong to that group, or judging them all equally by their parts.

I'm not - I am judging Christians who express outcry over the "offensive and arrogant" remark that "there is probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life", yet see absolutely nothing wrong with outright offensive adverts posted both first and in response.

You claim that the atheist advert is offensive and arrogant as it is asserting there is no god (even though it uses the qualifier "probably" rather than making a definitive statement) - yet the responses are "there IS a God, BELIEVE" and "There definitely is a God" and labelling all non-believers as "fools" are totally not making any sort of definitive statement and couldn't possibly be offensive and/or arrogant?

Some, or even many, Christians being bigoted or self-righteous does not excuse addressing all Christians in an equally smug or condescending fashion.

Nor did I, and I was condemning the Christian community directly related to the adverts themselves, and how the "atheist bus campaign" is often misrepresented as being an uncalled for attack on religion when it was a direct response to a very hateful message contained in previous advertising.

I did, however, say that it comes as no surprise that some Atheists have a reflexive and (to some it may appear as) arrogant or offensive response, when many religions (and not just Christianity, hence why I said faith groups) condemn them to eternal torment or view them as something "imperfect" to be changed. That is not excusing the behaviour.

And it seems rather strange to me that you're trying to argue one group is better when they are currently dealing it out as much as they are receiving it.

No I am not, I explicitly stated that the Atheists are annoying, arrogant, haughty and I wished they would not be as it stifles discussion - that is hardly arguing that one group is better than the other.

It doesn't matter who started it, and now both sides have the capacity to end it. And the only way one side can argue they are better is if they just stop dealing out the negativity.

So it doesn't matter who started it, but I can blame the Romans? ;)

You say that atheists should stop dealing out the negativity, but how is "Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" a negative message? Particularly when compared to either implicit messages in "Jesus saves" or explicit messages like "all non-Christians would burn in hell for all eternity"? If we were to agree that the Atheist bus advert is "negativity" then the only way any Atheist views would be expressed would be either accepting itself subservient to a religious "normality" (and ergo being "abnormal") or not expressed at all. After all, any expression that someone's faith/deity may be wrong/in-existent will be seen as an arrogant and offensive remark by them (and thus negativity), so the only way for atheism to avoid such negativity is to not express itself at all.

Bentusi16:

"Oh wah, something happened years and years ago so I'm just going to keep bitching about it and using it as an excuse to be an asshole!"

Get over it. You accuse the 'churches' of being conservative and clinging to old ways and hatred, so what excuse do YOU have for doing the exact same thing?

When was the last atheist burned at the stake? Seriously?

In the year 2013 if you are an atheist in Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Sudan the law demands that you be put to death.

There's also this:

image

But do it without being a massive douchebag about it because nothing gives you an excuse to be rude. Nothing.

You're telling people not to be rude by calling them douchebags.

Legit.

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