Atheist Arrogance?

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cthulhuspawn82:
Because Atheists are human, and humans are arrogant assholes. What most people fail to understand about religion, especially atheists, is that all the negative qualities we attach to religion, such as arrogant self righteousness and antipathy toward other people and there ideas, are not religious qualities, but human ones, and would exist even in the absence of religion(e.g. in an atheist)

Someone else who can look at these issues conflicting us as we are: human beings, vessels of water and instinct and brain signals and more water that stimulate themselves with all kinds of... stimuli.

Anyway I've found my destiny, for there is a hope when others realize these labels are prescribed by people who like to put everyone in boxes so they are easier to rationalize and/or dismiss entirely. Take all of my Internet points I have accumulated, for you win at philosophizationating.

Personally, I'd regard any opinion that states or suggests religion (or lack of) is a significant source of problems facing humanity like people who think if women ruled the world there would be no war or need for armies. The truth is closer to us all being cut from the same cloth. We can dress and speak and live in different ways but nothing will change our DNA, an instinct that not only breeds conflict but needs it.

The issue is rather simple.

If a Christian puts up a sign that says "In God We Trust" no one cares.
If an Atheist puts up a sign that says "There is no God" everyone call him arrogant.

Why?
Both have the same message; "I am right, and the other is not."
Both make a claim that is, as of yet, unknowable to be true.
The Christian claims he knows what is right, and the atheist claims the same.

Yet one is considered mean, arrogant and offensive to people's believes, and the other is printed on coins.

Ranorak:
If a Christian puts up a sign that says "In God We Trust" no one cares.
If an Atheist puts up a sign that says "There is no God" everyone call him arrogant.

Yet one is considered mean, arrogant and offensive to people's believes, and the other is printed on coins.

The issue is neither simple nor is it as you say. Many people are offended by "In God We Trust" and want it changed (visit the thread about mocking faith). There are many other instances of this such as the Pledge of Allegiance or even a street sign saying "Seven In Heaven Way".

It's not that no one cares, it's that no one should care. Generally what I find distasteful is counterculture mentality (i.e. holding views with a perspective of opposition, the goal being "win out" over other ways of thinking). This is something religion is not exactly respected for yet many outspoken secular people don't see that they're committing the same error.

AgedGrunt:

It's not that no one cares, it's that no one should care. Generally what I find distasteful is counterculture mentality (i.e. holding views with a perspective of opposition, the goal being "win out" over other ways of thinking). This is something religion is not exactly respected for yet many outspoken secular people don't see that they're committing the same error.

Why should no one care about "In God We Trust" or the Pledge of Allegiance? How would you feel if it was removed and why would you feel that way?

"I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."

"[T]he fanatical atheists...are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who-in their grudge against the traditional 'opium of the people'-cannot bear the music of the spheres." - Albert Einstein

This pretty much reflects my own view solidly.

And there is a lot of smug on this forum, mostly from the atheist side, but then again, a majority of posters aren't going to fall under the religious/believer/spiritual category it seems. Gaming websites on the whole tend to fall more on the atheist/agnostic side, although why is a conversation in and of itself.

I think my measure of arrogance is, picture the words being spoken with a hateful sneer on someones face, like they're talking down to you. If the words really fit that tone, then they're probably being arrogant.

There are legitimate gripes about the way atheist are being treated in the world today, and the arguing over the first amendment in the U.S. is probably never going to end.

But I think as long as people speak with a 'I'm better then you because I believe X', whether or not it's Atheism or theism or deism, people are going to treat them as arrogant, because that's really what arrogance is at the end of the day isn't it?

Also, the whole 'god we trust' thing and the 'under god' in the pledge were both added during the rise of communism as a major political force in order to counter the intentionally and hard line, government sponsored atheistic view of the USSR. It was a political move to further separate 'Americanism' from 'Communism'.

I'm way in favor of changing it back to E pluribus unum personally.

I'm not an anti-theist, I'm anti-christianity just because of all the dumb things that they've done in the name of their religion. I'm also against the extremists (e.g. Westboro Baptist Church) so you can also include Muslim extremists. There are religions I agree with and religions I respect such as Judaism, Buddhism and The Church of Heavy Metal (it's a real thing). Many of the teachings in scripture are sound advice and make a lot of sense, such as "Don't kill/steal". Many of these rules are just how to be a decent human being

That being said, I don't want to be preached to. Think of how many religions actively go door to door and try to recruit you or pass out fliers on how "you can be saved". Only one really pops up and that's Christianity and its branches (at least, in North America).

And if you don't want to listen to me, listen to Stephen Fry.

Bentusi16:
"I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."

"[T]he fanatical atheists...are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who-in their grudge against the traditional 'opium of the people'-cannot bear the music of the spheres." - Albert Einstein

While it's certainly acceptable to want to merely enjoy one's freedom after throwing off one's chains, is it really that bad if such a person, upon removing his chains, seeks to help others remove theirs?

Xeorm:

Bentusi16:
"I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."

"[T]he fanatical atheists...are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who-in their grudge against the traditional 'opium of the people'-cannot bear the music of the spheres." - Albert Einstein

While it's certainly acceptable to want to merely enjoy one's freedom after throwing off one's chains, is it really that bad if such a person, upon removing his chains, seeks to help others remove theirs?

Well I suppose the first step is to determine if religion is a chain, and why you have the authority to tell someone if it is or isn't a chain, and then also have the authority to 'drag them kicking and screaming' free of said chains, assuming it's a chain in the first place.

I don't consider atheists to be arrogant and certainly not more arrogant than religions. The reason maybe why this seems, is because we grew up with religious arrogance and as such think nothing off it, while the atheist arrogance is relatively new.

This also feels like it's part of a catch-22. If you, as a group, are quiet, you are likely to be dismissed and ignored. But if you're vocal, you're considered rude and arrogant. So when you are disenfranchised, such as atheists in America, staying quiet isn't really an option.

Bentusi16:
"I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."

"[T]he fanatical atheists...are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who-in their grudge against the traditional 'opium of the people'-cannot bear the music of the spheres." - Albert Einstein

Before i was an atheist i believed in the same god as Einstein. I called it the Omnisiah. I never realised this until i read your quote and went to read more about what he thought. Erie. Kinda cool too.

I do like these quotes though. The wonderful thing about atheism is i dont need to feel offended when he talks about atheist crusaders. Im not part of a team. Or a group. I actively deny ANY relation to other atheists whatsoever. People tend to fall in love with their labels. Some people define atheism as devil worship and agnosticism as atheism. Those people are wrong. But id rather just say "Well by YOUR definition im agnostic then even though id call myself an atheist" than defend my label. It isnt my label. Its one Mr webster marriam assigned to describe my thoughts which are totally unique. The whole "TEAM ATHEISM" thing weirds me out. Label loving is weird. Dont love your labels. Love your outlook on life. If you called what i thought atheism, agnosticism or a subwaysandich it doesnt change a thing about what i think. I dont need to be proud of atheism because its just a label. Im proud im a good person. Im proud i refuse to compromise what i think is right. Im proud i make those around me happy. Why would be proud i dont believe in god. It doesnt take effort. Or extreme intelligence. Atheist crusades anger me.

After talking with Tstorm again i feel better about the whole hell thing. I mean he seems nice so maybe im looking at other peoples views in a way they dont. I like the music of the spheres bit. Is he referencing atoms? Or planets? Either way the natural world is objectively beautiful. Hate kinda blinds that out.

Is it any wonder? When was the last time you got a disapproving look for saying what you believe, get hassled in the street by preachers yelling that you're going to burn unless you repent or even having your friend turn round and say matter of factly they think that you are going to hell?

Some religious people feel they have some god given right to try and shove their religious down others throats and then get offended and give you a look if you say you aren't interested as if you've just taken a dump on their shoes. Imagine someone asking you what you believe then looking at you like you have just called their mother a whore, how would you feel? When some people get attacked for their beliefs they get defensive and that usually means they get nasty.

I'm not exempting them from blame of course, being annoyed is not an excuse for being a dick and the internet is nothing if not full of dicks, on both sides.

Only thing I will say is I have never seen someone insult a person of faith to their face in the same way I have personally had people of faith insult me over my non-belief.

Semes:
Why should no one care about "In God We Trust" or the Pledge of Allegiance? How would you feel if it was removed and why would you feel that way?

Because they are just words, in a positive context at that. They're not malicious or intending harm.

My personal feelings are to uphold tradition, but tradition is important to understand. One should not pay respect to something out of obligation. If you do not understand why the Pledge is said or even believe in it, don't say it.

However, we're not based on rule of tradition, we have rule of law. If you cannot support the traditions, could you at least respect the democracy that has upheld them?

AgedGrunt:

Semes:
Why should no one care about "In God We Trust" or the Pledge of Allegiance? How would you feel if it was removed and why would you feel that way?

Because they are just words, in a positive context at that. They're not malicious or intending harm.

My personal feelings are to uphold tradition, but tradition is important to understand. One should not pay respect to something out of obligation. If you do not understand why the Pledge is said or even believe in it, don't say it.

However, we're not based on rule of tradition, we have rule of law. If you cannot support the traditions, could you at least respect the democracy that has upheld them?

"If you do not understand why the Pledge is said or even believe in it, don't say it."

So if you don't believe in God, but are fine with the rest, then you don't get to say the pledge?

What you're doing here is creating a scenario where non-Christians should not say the pledge if they don't mean it - while telling them they should respect democracy.

To many, that involves saying the pledge. You're deliberately creating a catch-22 for people that do not share your opinion.

The difference between the people who get offended over In God We Trust and those that are for it is that they simply want it removed. That does not equate to a statement of We Trust in No God. Not automatically proclaiming your particular beliefs is not excluding them. Expecting that your opinions should be present in the pledge is little more than entitlement.

Polarity27:
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.

This. So much this.

If I'd reached page 5 without seeing someone calling the blatant levels of Christian privilege denial going on in the first couple of pages of this thread, there would have been a great swearing and gnashing of teeth.

When Christians have been posting ads for yonks, some of which talk about a place where people who don't agree with you GET LIT ON FIRE FOR ALL ETERNITY - it is not arrogance to put up ONE advert to say "Actually, it's no biggie. Don't worry about it". Classic minimising tactics.

AgedGrunt:

Because they are just words, in a positive context at that.

Please explain the context and how it is positive.

My personal feelings are to uphold tradition, but tradition is important to understand. One should not pay respect to something out of obligation. If you do not understand why the Pledge is said or even believe in it, don't say it.

However, we're not based on rule of tradition, we have rule of law. If you cannot support the traditions, could you at least respect the democracy that has upheld them?

In God We Trust only became the motto of the US in 1956, E pluribus unum had been the motto for 174 years by that point.

Do you feel it is fair that people who are not of the same faith as you should be singled out by not saying the pledge or omitting part of it?

Oirish_Martin:
If I'd reached page 5 without seeing someone calling the blatant levels of Christian privilege denial going on in the first couple of pages of this thread, there would have been a great swearing and gnashing of teeth.

When Christians have been posting ads for yonks, some of which talk about a place where people who don't agree with you GET LIT ON FIRE FOR ALL ETERNITY - it is not arrogance to put up ONE advert to say "Actually, it's no biggie. Don't worry about it". Classic minimising tactics.

I can imagine some parody threads:

"Abolitionist Arrogance?"
"Heliocentric Arrogance?"
"Protestant Arrogance?"
"Evidence-based medicine Arrogance?"

Or in fictional ancient Egypt or classical Israel:

"Israelite Arrogance?"
"Jesus Christ's Arrogance?"

Oirish_Martin:
So if you don't believe in God, but are fine with the rest, then you don't get to say the pledge?

What you're doing here is creating a scenario where non-Christians should not say the pledge if they don't mean it - while telling them they should respect democracy.

To many, that involves saying the pledge. You're deliberately creating a catch-22 for people that do not share your opinion.

The difference between the people who get offended over In God We Trust and those that are for it is that they simply want it removed. That does not equate to a statement of We Trust in No God. Not automatically proclaiming your particular beliefs is not excluding them. Expecting that your opinions should be present in the pledge is little more than entitlement.

I'm afraid you've taken my example literally and feel that something like the Pledge is a living part of history that can be changed with the times, that you can break parts off of the whole and keep what you like. Well, I did not close the door to personal protest or conviction at all. However asking others to conform by, say, removing the language you and others disapprove, creates this scenario despite others that do not share your opinion.

Essentially what I said was to do what you feel is right, but respect the way things are rather than forcibly change how people see them. That's up for them to decide, not you.

Semes:
Please explain the context and how it is positive.

Do you feel it is fair that people who are not of the same faith as you should be singled out by not saying the pledge or omitting part of it?

At the most base level the context is about unity. "We Trust". "One nation", "indivisible", "for all". They are positive messages. If someone says "God Bless you", it's a positive message.

If people are singled out that is a shame, but who said life was fair? We can't make a fair world, all we can do is try to get along, and that is where this unity is needed. Progress, I say, comes when we learn to accept our differences rather than make a civil case of them.

Polarity27:
"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.

Agreed, but no more MMO analogies. That was truly arrogant and misleading. I will say that the message isn't always peaceful. "We both know it's a myth" is offensive, as it isn't about promoting but dismisses faith. This is precisely why I call out the mocking and likening it all to fairy tales. It's superiority complex.

Milk:
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 are places in the world where women and homosexuals don't have equal rights, either (the latter faces the death penalty in some cases). There's social and political oppression, too. China is a big abuser yet the world feeds off its cheap labor and manufacturing.

A Christian yelled at me that my beliefs are wrong. #FirstWorldProblems

AgedGrunt:
I'm afraid you've taken my example literally and feel that something like the Pledge is a living part of history that can be changed with the times, that you can break parts off of the whole and keep what you like. Well, I did not close the door to personal protest or conviction at all. However asking others to conform by, say, removing the language you and others disapprove, creates this scenario despite others that do not share your opinion.

Essentially what I said was to do what you feel is right, but respect the way things are rather than forcibly change how people see them. That's up for them to decide, not you.

And in turn don't impose Catch-22s on a significant fraction of the population. If people are going to get the side-eye for not saying the pledge (which happens) while being told that they shouldn't say the pledge if they don't believe in it all, then that is simply not fair.

At the most base level the context is about unity. "We Trust". "One nation", "indivisible", "for all". They are positive messages. If someone says "God Bless you", it's a positive message.

But you're saying to not say it if you don't believe it. How can people participate if they can't engage in the "in god we trust" bit, because they don't believe in God?

You'd get MORE unity if you took it out, as more people would be able to take part in it by the standard you set out (only say it if you believe in it).

Claiming you believe in unity while actively retaining things that cause disunity? You're a bit all over the place.

And as already pointed out, for all your complaints about forcibly changing history, that objectionable bit of the pledge was forcibly inserted during America's paranoid reds-under-the-bed phase. So again - your criteria for keeping it are looking even more flimsy.

If people are singled out that is a shame, but who said life was fair? We can't make a fair world, all we can do is try to get along, and that is where this unity is needed. Progress, I say, comes when we learn to accept our differences rather than make a civil case of them.

You can make a fairer world by making the pledge eminently more approachable. It sounds like you don't actually care about unity or fairness that much.

Polarity27:
"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.

Agreed, but no more MMO analogies. That was truly arrogant and misleading. I will say that the message isn't always peaceful. "We both know it's a myth" is offensive, as it isn't about promoting but dismisses faith. This is precisely why I call out the mocking and likening it all to fairy tales. It's superiority complex.

Call it want you want - arrogance, superiority complex. But if you're going to do that, then it applies as much if not more so to Christianity, as it engages in the exact same behaviour.

Milk:
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 are places in the world where women and homosexuals don't have equal rights, either (the latter faces the death penalty in some cases). There's social and political oppression, too. China is a big abuser yet the world feeds off its cheap labor and manufacturing.

A Christian yelled at me that my beliefs are wrong. #FirstWorldProblems

It's all wrong, and pointing out atheist persecution elsewhere is not a denial of discrimination against others. Nice derail though.

Seanchaidh:

Oirish_Martin:
If I'd reached page 5 without seeing someone calling the blatant levels of Christian privilege denial going on in the first couple of pages of this thread, there would have been a great swearing and gnashing of teeth.

When Christians have been posting ads for yonks, some of which talk about a place where people who don't agree with you GET LIT ON FIRE FOR ALL ETERNITY - it is not arrogance to put up ONE advert to say "Actually, it's no biggie. Don't worry about it". Classic minimising tactics.

I can imagine some parody threads:

"Abolitionist Arrogance?"
"Heliocentric Arrogance?"
"Protestant Arrogance?"
"Evidence-based medicine Arrogance?"

Or in fictional ancient Egypt or classical Israel:

"Israelite Arrogance?"
"Jesus Christ's Arrogance?"

Indeed.

While the level of discrimination atheists face in the West is different (and in many cases lesser) than that faced by women, non-whites, and homosexuals, the minimisation tactics remain the same. Angry feminist bitches, uppity black people, arrogant militant atheists, the gay agenda.

AgedGrunt:

If people are singled out that is a shame, but who said life was fair? We can't make a fair world

Nope, but we can change the wording of a pledge. There's no point in throwing our arms up and saying, 'Why change this? Life isn't fair!' about things that we can relatively easily change.

AgedGrunt:

There are places in the world where women and homosexuals don't have equal rights, either (the latter faces the death penalty in some cases).

Indeed! The latter usually being done on religious grounds, and the former being supported by Churches and religious institutions the world over. Where equality has been won, it's usually been accomplished in spite of the religious institutions. I thought you were on the 'defense' side of this...?

Oirish_Martin:
If people are going to get the side-eye for not saying the pledge (which happens) while being told that they shouldn't say the pledge if they don't believe in it all, then that is simply not fair.

But you're saying to not say it if you don't believe it. How can people participate if they can't engage in the "in god we trust" bit, because they don't believe in God?

If someone doesn't like it, why should it affect you? Stop caring about what everyone else thinks. You're creating your own catch-22 by saying people want to participate in something they don't believe in, so they either feel left out or violate their creed. Say what you want, all I'm saying is don't ask the nation to rewrite the thing. If you think that would bring more people together you are making a mistake.

The retaining I'm seeing is one of negativity. Political correctness, which you have erroneously put under the banner of fairness, is very similar to marketing. I don't want a marketable Pledge, I want the one written with heart and passion, and whether it embodies everything you believe or not, that is where we should put our faith in a nation. Look deeper than the words and find the spirit of the message.

Silvanus:
Nope, but we can change the wording of a pledge. There's no point in throwing our arms up and saying, 'Why change this? Life isn't fair!' about things that we can relatively easily change.

Indeed! The latter usually being done on religious grounds, and the former being supported by Churches and religious institutions the world over. Where equality has been won, it's usually been accomplished in spite of the religious institutions. I thought you were on the 'defense' side of this...?

Of course it's easy to take an eraser to something you didn't write, but what you are not realizing is that it changes the meaning, the message, and that is a foul crime to commit. Theoretically I'd rather a new Pledge be written, under a new name, and nothing be done to dilute the original. Removing the word God would be censorship

And you've fallaciously implied that I'm for oppression by religion. Quite differently I have put these arguments over the word "God" and religious symbols into context with actual oppression. It was highly offensive to see the brutal human persecution in other parts of the world likened to the plight people on this forum are facing. It's not even close. You don't even have the right to say what you are typing here in some parts of the world, so please spare us and the world your version of hardship. I've been lectured about fairness; it works both ways.

AgedGrunt:
Of course it's easy to take an eraser to something you didn't write, but what you are not realizing is that it changes the meaning, the message, and that is a foul crime to commit. Theoretically I'd rather a new Pledge be written, under a new name, and nothing be done to dilute the original. Removing the word God would be censorship.

Wait, didn't you read the part about the actual original pledge not including the words "under God"? Removing that would restore the original, not destroy it. I'm not American and even I know this was added during the Red Scare to differentiate the USA from the "godless Commies". But I guess they managed to rewrite history so well in the heads of some people that they will now fight to protect the altered version. That or they simply agree with the change, of course, and don't really care about the original.

AgedGrunt:

And you've fallaciously implied that I'm for oppression by religion. Quite differently I have put these arguments over the word "God" and religious symbols into context with actual oppression. It was highly offensive to see the brutal human persecution in other parts of the world likened to the plight people on this forum are facing. It's not even close. You don't even have the right to say what you are typing here in some parts of the world, so please spare us and the world your version of hardship. I've been lectured about fairness; it works both ways.

Ahh, a pity, you were bordering on a valid point here. You called out a strawman... and then promptly set one up of your own (that I'm likening the plight of people on this forum to actual oppression).

To be fair, I know some religious people who can be ignorant as well. But you are correct, there are some atheists who are very militant about their atheism, almost to the point where it's more "anti-religion" than a "lack of religion". Which is kind of ironic to me because I find many atheists treat their atheism kind of like a religion (they go to atheist meetings, blindly follow science etc...).

I myself am a religious person, I believe in God and my faith is very important to me. I think the lesson people should learn is to be tolerant of others, I may disagree with them but I can respect the average atheist. The Bible tells me not to judge others but instead show them love and tolerance, but tolerance is a two-way street. Atheists should also respect my beliefs as well.

One thing I don't understand is why some of them act like they have a monopoly on science, this is simply not true. I am religious and believe in science and evolution too. I don't see how someone being an atheist makes them automatically better at science than me.

EDIT: However that being said, the only place I see hardcore atheists attack religious people is on the internet. I never see it in real life, and as we all know, the internet is not real life.

AgedGrunt:

I'm afraid you've taken my example literally and feel that something like the Pledge is a living part of history that can be changed with the times,

Well, since the "under God" part was added in the '50s, the *19*50's, it's pretty much established that the Pledge already *is* a living part of history that can be changed with the times. We're not a Cold War country in fear of the godless commies anymore, we're a country with more than a quarter of the population falling under "none or other" in terms of religion. Maybe it's time to let the '50s go and revert it to its actual historical original form.

At the most base level the context is about unity. "We Trust". "One nation", "indivisible", "for all". They are positive messages. If someone says "God Bless you", it's a positive message.

If people are singled out that is a shame, but who said life was fair? We can't make a fair world, all we can do is try to get along, and that is where this unity is needed. Progress, I say, comes when we learn to accept our differences rather than make a civil case of them.

If we're going to be "one nation for all", then we should be one nation for, you know, ALL. What you just said is "one nation for the majority, and everyone else should shut the fuck up and not make a big deal out of it. Who cares if you lose your jobs or your kids because you're not Christian, pipe down and stop talking about it".

Polarity27:
"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.

Agreed, but no more MMO analogies. That was truly arrogant and misleading.

Misleading *how*? The power differential *is* wildly asymmetrical in the Christians' favor. That's a fact. Also, since telling someone they have privilege tends to annoy and confuse them most of the time, I'd hoped to have some other way of getting Lilani et al to realize how wildly illogical it is for someone with all the systemic power to be threatened by people with comparatively none-- "how dare you act like my equal" is the only way it makes any sense. (Well, there's also the myth of Christian persecution, which is now a very well-researched book-- Lilani's post about the Romans is complete bull. Widely taught bull, but bull nonetheless.)

I will say that the message isn't always peaceful. "We both know it's a myth" is offensive, as it isn't about promoting but dismisses faith. This is precisely why I call out the mocking and likening it all to fairy tales. It's superiority complex.

But we weren't talking about other times when the message is different, we're talking about *that* reaction to *that* ad and the idea that the simple putting forward of "you're wrong" is offensively smug-- which, I'm sorry, is a show of privilege. Yes, I agree that the likening all religion to fairy tales is obnoxious and a (very weird, IMO) superiority complex based on a (usually awfully flawed) notion that the speaker is so much more logical and evolved than all religious people. But that's NOT WHAT THE AD SAID.

Milk:
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 are places in the world where women and homosexuals don't have equal rights, either (the latter faces the death penalty in some cases). There's social and political oppression, too. China is a big abuser yet the world feeds off its cheap labor and manufacturing.

A Christian yelled at me that my beliefs are wrong. #FirstWorldProblems

[/quote]

"Yes, but you're not *in* any of those countries, so dial back the hyperbole a bit"=probably fair. What you just did? Not fair, and derailing. We're on an Anglophone, mostly Western board talking about a frivolous hobby. We're mostly "first worlders"* talking about "first world problems". That other people have to put up with worse shit doesn't make what non-Christians face in the US, especially, *not* discrimination and, in some instances, full-on systemic oppression.

*-I really hate that term, and SJW should bloody well know better than to use it in this day and age, unless one actually does still believe that formerly Communist countries are "second world" and developing countries should still be tagged with the dismissive and belittling term of "third world".

TheLycanKing144:
To be fair, I know some religious people who can be ignorant as well. But you are correct, there are some atheists who are very militant about their atheism, almost to the point where it's more "anti-religion" than a "lack of religion". Which is kind of ironic to me because I find many atheists treat their atheism kind of like a religion (they go to atheist meetings, blindly follow science etc...).

I myself am a religious person, I believe in God and my faith is very important to me. I think the lesson people should learn is to be tolerant of others, I may disagree with them but I can respect the average atheist. The Bible tells me not to judge others but instead show them love and tolerance, but tolerance is a two-way street. Atheists should also respect my beliefs as well.

One thing I don't understand is why some of them act like they have a monopoly on science, this is simply not true. I am religious and believe in science and evolution too. I don't see how someone being an atheist makes them automatically better at science than me.

EDIT: However that being said, the only place I see hardcore atheists attack religious people is on the internet. I never see it in real life, and as we all know, the internet is not real life.

Interesting POV and I find it refreshing. I am just quoting it so others might also go and have a read - particularly your points about being religious and pro-science. I am not religious and pro-science but I have met people who are, like me, not religious and yet very ignorant of science. I me one at a party two weeks ago in fact who was a 9/11 truther, climate change denier and subscribed to some other conspiracy theories (I was too scared to ask if he thought the holocaust happened). Also the sad reality is that the internet allows for more arrogance due to its anonymity.

Back on topic:

I also think that there are two things at play here. Actual arrogance does exist in a lot of groups (atheists included) but sometime there is a perception of arrogance when someone holds beliefs different to yourself. The problem is that its often hard to evaluate subjectively.

A person who proclaims "there is no god and you are a bunch of sheeple for thinking there is one. Learn science you idiots." Is, indeed, arrogant - especially if they are just making assumptions about the thinking of others (belief in god does not preclude an acceptance of science). But so is the one who boldly claims "You are going to hell for your godless ways. The bible/koran is the ultimate authority on truth."

The mistake often comes from our own brains. If we agree with the content of what someone is saying we may find their delivery a bit harsh but downplay their arrogance; when people respond to them critically we are more likely to mark the respondents as arrogant merely for having a different view to us. So in a country like the US (which is the most discussed here) where most people are Christian they are unlikely to notice the arrogant members of their own group while over-stating how "arrogant" the dissenters are. Its not to say that there aren't arrogant atheists but to theists in theistic societies they will all seem arrogant just for disagreeing.

AgedGrunt:

These go back a bit further than 1948. Though I misspoke about a living document and should have spoken clearly about censorship and suppression, what is definitively upheld is the point about passion and the spirit of a message. Just like symbols or written prayer can be additions, contributions to an environment, "Under God" was a historical contribution. To delete would be an undoing; that is the distinction.

You quoted me without actually quoting, that's kind of annoying. Yes, it may have been *inspired* by earlier statements, but the spirit of the message when "under God" was added was "we don't do that godless Russkie shit here", so I'm very happy to see that "passion" done away with in favor of the original model, which worked just fine.

You have no reason not to do this, except "because tradition and history" and some odd notion that once you add something, you can't ever take it away without reducing the impact of the thing. Not all additions contribute something positive, not all additions are a good thing (for a frivolous example, see the Star Wars prequels). It's not "suppression" to say that the earlier model better reflects the composition of the nation and other than this notion that an "undoing" is an inherently bad thing, you've given no good argument against it.

Did you know Presidential candidates in 2008, including the current US President, ran opposed to same-sex marriage? Where did you get this idea that it's the hand of religion keeping equality out of reach?

Aaaand you do know that wanting to avoid discontenting religious voters is the reason for this, right? Please show to me an instance of organized opposition to marriage equality that is *not* religious in its objections to it.

Look, it's not just wrong to group religion in a lump and molest it

MOLEST it? Now who's comparing something more trivial to something serious? You can't "molest" religion, and to compare an internet argument to molestation is offensive.

it's wrong to act like a twat even when your target is a twat. Either way, you're still a twat, only it makes one an arrogant twat to deny any wrongdoing.

"So let me add in some misogynist slurs just for the heck of it."

AgedGrunt:
If someone doesn't like it, why should it affect you? Stop caring about what everyone else thinks.

Or you could?

You're creating your own catch-22 by saying people want to participate in something they don't believe in, so they either feel left out or violate their creed.

That's what YOU told us to do. To only say the pledge if you don't believe it.

Say what you want, all I'm saying is don't ask the nation to rewrite the thing. If you think that would bring more people together you are making a mistake.

But you can't say how. As I said, a pledge which doesn't contain an explicit statement of faith in one particular deity, and one which should only be said sincerely, will automatically rule out a large fraction of the population from reciting it. Removing that would increase that number.

These are things - unity and sincerity in saying the pledge - that you claimed you cared about, and now that you've been exposed as having no argument, you're backtracking. Were they really that important to you to begin with?

The retaining I'm seeing is one of negativity. Political correctness, which you have erroneously put under the banner of fairness, is very similar to marketing. I don't want a marketable Pledge, I want the one written with heart and passion, and whether it embodies everything you believe or not, that is where we should put our faith in a nation. Look deeper than the words and find the spirit of the message.

So it's not about saying it if you really believe it then? Make up your mind.

Of course it's easy to take an eraser to something you didn't write, but what you are not realizing is that it changes the meaning, the message, and that is a foul crime to commit. Theoretically I'd rather a new Pledge be written, under a new name, and nothing be done to dilute the original. Removing the word God would be censorship

Again, you do realise that the in God we trust bit is only in there since America's heebie-jeebies over socialism in the 50s? Was that a foul crime then, inserting the phrase "in god we trust" where it didn't originally exist?

And you've fallaciously implied that I'm for oppression by religion. Quite differently I have put these arguments over the word "God" and religious symbols into context with actual oppression. It was highly offensive to see the brutal human persecution in other parts of the world likened to the plight people on this forum are facing. It's not even close. You don't even have the right to say what you are typing here in some parts of the world, so please spare us and the world your version of hardship. I've been lectured about fairness; it works both ways.

Atheist persecution worldwide was mentioned in response to someone specifically asking when the last atheist was burned at the stake. No reference to any particular country was made.

Perhaps it would be best if you read the thread more carefully before moralising.

AgedGrunt:

. The man who originated it said he took it from the Gettysburg Address, delivered by President Lincoln in 1863.

"that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom."

Thats interesting. Although if we use basic sentence structure you can see the meaning behind the words.

"That the nation shall, under God.." By including the verb 'shall' the phase "under God" reads by the "will of God" or "God Willing". By omitting 'shall' to form "...one Nation under God,..." as found the in Pledge of Allegiance denotes that the entire nation is in worship of a specific faith.

Here's another line from history:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That is a line from history. It also says Creator rather than God that is a subtle yet important distinction.

Here's an idea: Post something to enhance the Pledge. Add your contribution without taking something away.

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, by my hand, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The separation of one Nation and under God should allow the true context to be realised and the inclusion of 'by my hand' reminds the pledger that they have impact in the country and it stands one nation, indivisible not by act of god(s) but by will of the citizens.

Polarity27:
Yes, it may have been *inspired* by earlier statements, but the spirit of the message when "under God" was added was "we don't do that godless Russkie shit here", so I'm very happy to see that "passion" done away with in favor of the original model, which worked just fine.

If the man quoted another and the words of "nation" and "under God" were taken directly, is that not the source? Can you point to the original intent defined as anti-Communist propaganda? And what about Lincoln using these words, which predate the world wars, as well as language speaking to Creationism in the Declaration of Independence? I'll note that the man credited with "Under God" was an attorney. And frankly I have given a good argument against undoing here as well as against the removal of religious symbols or words.

Polarity27:
Aaaand you do know that wanting to avoid discontenting religious voters is the reason for this, right? Please show to me an instance of organized opposition to marriage equality that is *not* religious in its objections to it.

The President is not a church. Congress is not a church. You keep saying "religion" when they are in houses of government. With the stroke of a pen they could change things. There is another discontenting factor with allowing gay marriage because marriage is a major financial incentive. You contend that governments bow to religion, but they also bow to money, and they will lose a lot of money to give a lot of revenue up in the form of tax breaks. It will extend to other places like insurance companies, too, who will have to grant lower premiums to married gay couples. Could money not be a factor? Could there be human hatred, dissociated from religion?

Polarity27:
MOLEST it? Now who's comparing something more trivial to something serious? You can't "molest" religion, and to compare an internet argument to molestation is offensive.

"So let me add in some misogynist slurs just for the heck of it."

Molest has more than one meaning. It's synonymous with interfere, annoy or intrude. I wasn't using it in a sexual context, nor was the use of twat misogynist. It was used hypothetically (edit: mods take note) to describe someone reacting in a certain way and that what other people say or believe doesn't necessarily excuse a reaction. I'll be more clear in the future.

Oirish_Martin:

AgedGrunt:
If someone doesn't like it, why should it affect you? Stop caring about what everyone else thinks.

Or you could?

That's what YOU told us to do. To only say the pledge if you don't believe it.

I am not the one advocating for change, I'm defending that something remain as-is. They are words and if you cannot agree with them, fine, you do not have to say them or even believe that the Pledge is the only way to interpret your love of country. I'm curious to know how many of you actually say the Pledge or raise the American flag. I personally haven't since my school days where I never heard a single complaint. There kids that would say they went to church too and weren't treated any differently either, it was all no big deal. Now a long time ago if someone didn't want to say it, yeah, I would have gotten upset but eventually I learned about freedom which is the same reason people should be allowed to burn that flag if they want.

Oirish_Martin:

Say what you want, all I'm saying is don't ask the nation to rewrite the thing. If you think that would bring more people together you are making a mistake.

But you can't say how. As I said, a pledge which doesn't contain an explicit statement of faith in one particular deity, and one which should only be said sincerely, will automatically rule out a large fraction of the population from reciting it. Removing that would increase that number.

I suggested people make contributions, that they are what brings unity, not censorship. I'd no more support the removal of the word God than redacting words in a book or our money to reprint/recoin it without "In God We Trust". It's not just about faith or even cost, it's a familiar thing, it's something that's been there and probably not paid much attention to, but if you take it away a lot of people will care once it's gone.

But let's look at this way: when you remove something, delete it, CTRL+Z, essentially what you are saying is that what existed was a mistake, and that a proposed omission corrects that mistake. That wouldn't be taken lightly, religion or not.

Oirish_Martin:
Again, you do realise that the in God we trust bit is only in there since America's heebie-jeebies over socialism in the 50s? Was that a foul crime then, inserting the phrase "in god we trust" where it didn't originally exist?

Actually that dates back to the Civil War when the nation was fractured and religious sentiment was high. It sounds like it was about unity and finding common ground. As such an important time in American history I think it's good to keep it.

Semes:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, by my hand, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The separation of one Nation and under God should allow the true context to be realised and the inclusion of 'by my hand' reminds the pledger that they have impact in the country and it stands one nation, indivisible not by act of god(s) but by will of the citizens.

Thank you for a nice contribution and reasoning; I wouldn't object to it.

To the breakdown of the word "shall", I understand "Under God" as separate information. It could be read, "that the nation shall have a new birth of freedom.", all of the pretense being about what the nation will have. What will the nation have? A new birth of freedom. It is added that we will have it under God; I don't see fealty or worship, that the people are all his followers. I don't necessarily read it as God's will, either, but in both the address and the pledge I see it as a static point of the nation.

AgedGrunt:
I don't want a marketable Pledge, I want the one written with heart and passion, and whether it embodies everything you believe or not, that is where we should put our faith in a nation. Look deeper than the words and find the spirit of the message.

Then for you there is no pledge of allegiance that will not disappoint.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance

By the way, here's the original:

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Wiki:
The Pledge was supposed to be quick and to the point. Bellamy designed it to be recited in 15 seconds. As a socialist, he had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity[7] but decided against it - knowing that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans.

Or in other words, marketing.

Seanchaidh:
/snip

The design was his decision and if you're going to argue against that "marketing", add the words equality and fraternity; they would be positive contributions. It was a difficult time he wrote that, so I think it can be excused. I don't see any reason that in 2013 we need to be worried about the word God. We have many serious economic, social and political challenges facing us, things that are not rooted in God, I might add.

Let's consider this was a thread about OP's experience with the arrogance of Atheists yet it's turned into a group argument against the word God in Pledge and the motto on American currency. I shouldn't have been engaging this derail and make myself a target, but it's a touch ironic and pretty funny when you think about it.

AgedGrunt:

Seanchaidh:
/snip

The design was his decision and if you're going to argue against that "marketing", add the words equality and fraternity; they would be positive contributions. It was a difficult time he wrote that, so I think it can be excused. I don't see any reason that in 2013 we need to be worried about the word God. We have many serious economic, social and political challenges facing us, things that are not rooted in God, I might add.

Let's consider this was a thread about OP's experience with the arrogance of Atheists yet it's turned into a group argument against the word God in Pledge and the motto on American currency. I shouldn't have been engaging this derail and make myself a target, but it's a touch ironic and pretty funny when you think about it.

Well, for the most part we aren't worried about the word "God". However, when the subject comes up on a matter of Constitutional law, we do have a position. If we were "worried" about it, more than just one guy in California would have filed suit in the past two decades.

I'm sure whatever humor you see makes sense in your head, but it translates poorly to reality.

Seanchaidh:
Well, for the most part we aren't worried about the word "God". However, when the subject comes up on a matter of Constitutional law, we do have a position. If we were "worried" about it, more than just one guy in California would have filed suit in the past two decades.

I'm sure whatever humor you see makes sense in your head, but it translates poorly to reality.

I disagree that acting merely on the basis of Constitutional law is possible; there is human reaction to condition. This is evident in the activism I've read, which has been more than one guy (?) in California. You can't just say "Constitution" without having a reason behind it. If there was no reason, would there be purpose to the law? What we should discuss is whether the conditions should violate the law, and I don't feel that way.

There's something to be said for gray area and we are in it, but for now I think we should just drop the subject as it's neither constructive nor on-topic.

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