This question has been posed in may forms and ways, on this platform and the other platforms elsewhere. I need to pose it once more: Are We (the community of Free-thinkers and Atheists or in our indivual non-group associations) such a bad example of human freedom? People have been saying many things about the charecters of leading atheist, dead and alive. We have been labelled drunkards, sexual immoral, illicit language users, drug users. Is that the picture of this community/ these individuals?
I am in this dilemma beacause I have an understanding ( ofcourse from personal experience) that in the first two years of my consciously and publicly declaring my free thinking stance I wanted to boycott god and religion. So my mission was to oppose, by lifestyle, everything that is promoted by religion. As now I am maturing in my understanding and by associating with experienced Free-thinkers, in this platform and other platforms, I am begining to realise that all this moral things or behaviours that were hijacked by religion were actually part of human evolution, when humans civilized themselves and set laws to gorven behaviours. Thus by upholding most of the behaviours that were promagated by religion will make me an eveloved species, not a god fearing human being. In the words of one atheist, I can be good without god.
For sure , I am not in the mission of converting people to be free thinkers, however I would not want them to dread associating with atheism/free thinking because of my lifestyle. Would I now?
What is your take , Free-thinkers? are we that immoral? Are we the sum total of everything that the civilized commnuities if human species dread?
This is gonna be a kind of messy response with a lot of generalizations because you're talking about very large cultural issues. But that's kind of the point. People are willing to set aside the broader complexity of these issues in order to level overly simplistic and not particularly meaningful condemnations of irreligious folk.
We have been labelled drunkards, sexual immoral, illicit language users, drug users. Is that the picture of this community/ these individuals?
We've been labelled as such, but it's questionable how much value this has. Going through studies yields a mess, in my experience. For example, in the following article, the United States being neither the most nor the least religious nation of those referenced ranks the highest for use of three substances. (I believe it references percentage of people who have used the substances, and not consumption per capita. I'm glossing a little bit right now.)
What does that mean? Relatively little. Substance abuse is complicated. Religiosity may have some relevance, but is it really a major factor in the equation?
With regard to alcohol consumption -- not quite the same as drunkard rate -- compare the list of countries by per capita alcohol consumption and by importance of religion (WHO and Gallup respectively). Using the United States again, it ranks below Canada and above Norway on alcohol consumption, yet above both on importance of religion. At the bottom of the list, you have a number of countries with very strict religious adherences, generally not Christian/ Catholic.
Sexually immoral? Perhaps the general trend is sexually more liberal. Many atheists see conservative religious stances on sexuality unethical and repugnant. I am speaking in really broad terms here since the full scope of the conversation includes billions of people across a multitude of cultures and philosophical views. Some of those stricter nations where alcohol was concerned are often criticized for their treatment of young women, female rape victims, homosexuality and overly repressive views on sexuality in general
Illicit language? Who the fuck cares? (Doughnuts to dollars I will not be the only one to see it that way, so maybe this one is true. I dunno.)
As a side note, I try to live my life by my own standards and to neither allow myself to be judged by the actions of others, nor allow others to be judged by my own actions in turn. There are practical limitations. I accept that I will be stereotyped by my atheism, but I have to argue from my true perspective which is that I have no atheist doctrine, dogma, leaders or allegiances. If people don't believe me, well, that's unfortunate.
Part of the beauty of stepping outside of organized religion (and I include theists in this as well) is that we are free to hold ourselves accountable more to our own convictions than those of others. I may think that others are not behaving well, but they are neither requiring of nor asking for my permission. I don't care if that leads to me being typecast -- I wouldn't have it any other way.
"Free to hold ourselves accountable". I think that is where I (I emphasised) should and must capitalise. Taking accountability of all my decision, be it viewed negetively or having negetive consequenses in my relating to other humans or my own health. Thanks Kris
Do you really think that the sexual revolution has been a positive for society? Why? Can you with an unbiased perspective list the pros and cons of it?
Do you really think that the sexual revolution has been a positive for society?
This is quite vague. Which part of the sexual revolution and which society? Specifically the 60s-80s? Specifically America or perhaps a part of it? I wasn't born until 1983 in Canada, so while there is some relevance to previous changes in sexual attitudes (spanning many decades if not centuries, and not just the sexual revolution), my views are not accountable to all that entails. It has very little to do with criticisms of -- again, in very broad terms -- conservative religious sexual mores.
If it's merely a tangent, I'm fine with that, but I'd prefer you outline the tangent you want to explore before inviting my participation. If you are trying to present an argument for a differing perspective, I'd ask as a matter of courtesy that you present it openly formed as an argument in place of pointed questions.
Can you with an unbiased perspective...
Odd word choice. Why would I intentionally begin with bias? If it's unintentional, what could I do to stop it even upon request?
I even went and listened t oChristopher Hitchens debating the motion of whether the catholic church is the force for good.What intilligence!!
that full debate is great, though i will admit the second time through i skipped the obvious bits.
Stephen Fry is full of it.
No one claims that swearing is an indication of a poor vocabulary. Swearing is an indication of poor impulse control.
No one claims that swearing is an indication of a poor vocabulary
nope, I've heard people make that claim, many times.
The label of free-thinking has the potential to be abused, and often is. I have noticed (please tell me if you have as well) that people tend to need to feel superior in some way to others, as a part of self-worth. That seems to be why there are so many dichotomies/cleavages in society. If it's us vs. them, and we're right, and we feel safe.
Freethought is about investigating life's biggest questions (why am I here, am I a good person, etc.) honestly, independently, rationally, and without dogma. The idea is to value the veracity of an idea more than the label. Using the label of "freethinker" or "intellectual" to make yourself feel superior to the religious IS hypocritical. I'm thinking especially of many (obviously not all) antitheists, like Hitchens, now. Religious people are NOT stupid, even if their beliefs on the particular subject of God are inaccurate. Compartmentalizing and confirmation bias effect all of us.
It's much easier to shop for an ideology than to consider all angles and decide for ourselves what is moral and immoral. However, freethinkers more than anyone else must accept this challenge. You absolutely can be good without god/s; if you are honest about your values and do your best to be consistent with them.
LOL that was kind of all over the place. I'd love to hear people's response to those ideas, I've been thinking about it for a while.
I wonder, Renee, if humans by virtue of their evolution do not require some kind of restrain in their behaviours, or some kind of reference, be it from other humans who view matters the same as they do or who have aligned their thinking patterns in a particular way that fancies the eye of the one who chooses to follow the path. Though that may sound like the us-against-them cenario, but human interactions are and have been the us -against-them affair. I do have a feeling of wanting to "feel superior in some way to others" esp the religious folks, beacuse I habour the conclusions that they are still living in the dreams of their unvolved mental capacity, therefore I have discovered what they may die before discovering.