Atheism is a more adult world view than theism. Adults, we would hope, would talk to each other with reason and respect; of course in the real world it rarely works like that. However, in the real world an atheist
talking to a theist is almost always similar to an adult talking to a
child. Anyone who has raised a child knows that you have to use much
more than just reason to get through to them. If it is a child you care
about, you are going to try anything you can to help put that child on
the path to becoming a good adult.

 

It might seem that the analogy of an adult talking to a child is condescending, but it is not. An atheist's understanding of the nature of consciousness is more evolved than that of the theist. Because of this, atheists have a certain obligation to try and help others move towards intellectual maturity. The question is, how do we proceed? Rational arguments have been out there for years, some for centuries, and they totally support atheism. Obviously rational discussion alone is not enough to convince our descendants to adopt the scientific method over blind faith, or even to compel my son to wash his face. So what other tools to we have in our tool box, and how should we best utilize them? Shame, guilt, ridicule, rule of law, and military force are a few examples that come to mind. 

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We don't have the power to use military force, or to inflict any laws, because we are still the minority. Even if we had the chance to force theists to stop all this nonsense, I would be against that.

 

Theists have no shame, no guilt or remorse, and they are already ridiculous by believing in what they believe, so that won't work either.

 

I remember how confused I was when I heard of wars, crimes, fights as a child and I couldn't even begin to understand why people can't just get along. As years went by, all became clearer and clearer. Sometimes I wish things remained the same.

 

The only solution, that I can think of right now, that doesn't require to use the same 'weapons' we are trying to get rid of, is to teach by example.

Lead by example is one of the best things we can do. But I wouldn't throw out other strategies just because the religious have used them. And I would disagree that shame, guilt, or remorse will not work. Have you known many Baptists?
The main strategy I would be against until the day I die, would be using force. Kind of like 'We have the power, you do what we say or, you know, sleep with the fishes'. That is an insult to us as humans, and I think we are capable of something much better than that. And, regarding religion, if you remove the force -- by force I mean indoctrinating children from a very young age as well -- you have something harmless against which we would not have to fight anymore. We shouldn't rebuild our society on the same sort of foundation.
This is a subject for a whole other debate, but I think it belongs as part of this one too. I'm a former Marine, and that obviously gives me a more military approach to the use of force. I think it is something we have to manage, and not something we can remove from the table in the foreseeable future. I'm really talking about force as a tool of last resort for enforcing laws, and providing for public safety and civil defense. I totally agree that forced indoctrination is a horrible and ultimately ineffective way to go, and we definitely should not follow the religious in this regard. We should be moving toward a society without war or violence, or forced belief systems.

We should be moving toward a society without war or violence, or forced belief systems.

 

Indeed. But you don't move to that society waving your gun.

 

I'm really talking about force as a tool of last resort for enforcing laws, and providing for public safety and civil defense. I totally agree that forced indoctrination is a horrible and ultimately ineffective way to go...

 

You really don't see what's wrong with that (especially the underlined parts)??? Do you honestly think that forcing your views on religion onto the rest of the world that do not share those views is not the same thing that Hitler and others like him did? They did what they thought was best too. Hitler thought the jews were the source of all the problems in the world and decided to wipe them out. Do you agree that it was wrong? If you do, then how can you suggest that we should use that same strategy on the people that we think are bad. Do you think that pointing a gun at someone will make that someone obey all of a sudden? Do you think no one would fight back? Do you think that we would not have to kill anyone while forcing those laws you talk about? Honestly, I would fight back against such a decision, and I know that I would die proudly if it would come to such a situation.

 

And are you that sure that there is no god that you are ready to kill anyone who doesn't agree? If you are, then how can you blame those bastards that strap a bomb around their waist or fly an airplane into a building? They think they are right and that they are doing the right thing too. Come on... we are better than that.

 

 

 

There was another guy that suggested something similar. He is not a part of this community anymore, but he said that he would kill his own daughter along with the rest of the religious population if her daughter would be religious (his daughter isn't religious, it was just a hypothetical question). If it has to come to that, then what and who are we really fighting for?

Just to clarify, I am not advocating force to "convince" others to be atheists. Rather, as atheism becomes more predominant, and it will, we will have to use force to defend ourselves, just like any civilization must.  I think I am with you in total opposition to using force to spread one's ideas.
I am sorry if I misunderstood what you said. I am not saying that we should do nothing and be slaughtered like cattle. Of course we should defend ourselves.
When I wrote the OP, I was thinking in terms of tools that we use to teach children to behave, not to advocate force, but perhaps how we sometimes need to be more stern, or strict. I think one way we do that is by pointing out that science can't be done the way creationists do, for example.

This is just an idea I have been considering. When I saw the title of the discussion I decided to add it to see what happens. I suppose that the whole point!!

 

I think that in order to be an Adult i.e. a mature person one needs to come to terms with the fact that we are mortal and will die. Some people use “god” to deal with this. They will not let go of this belief no matter what evidence is shown to them. This is because they still fear death even with god on their side.

 

To me Atheism is more than not believing in a god. Atheism for me is also about why I don’t believe in a god. One reason is that I have come to terms with my own mortality. I am happy with the fact I only have one life. I do not need any false hope to live my life. I do not expect or ask for another life. I have cast away the ideas about an afterlife I was taught as a child. Now as a man I do not believe them. I do not need them. They are nonsense to me.

 

What I cannot believe is that so many people still believe in a god - until I think about it. It is because they still hang onto these notions of god – because they are not fully matured adults. They do not use the Reason – the very thing that makes us human. At a certain age a person must ask themselves the “Big Questions”. If they refuse to contemplate anything other than what they were told as children then they have not properly reached adulthood.

 

Therefore Atheism is only for Adults.

Adults are to blame for children's belief in Santa Clause or in an afterlife. So no, atheism is not only for adults. Right now, atheism is for those who had the chance (by chance I mean luck) to not have been born or raised in very religious backgrounds, and for those that had the chance to learn more about the world they live on.

I teach my kids not to believe in santa clause or jc?? yes i know i am a horrible mother, trust me the family tells me all the time:)

sorry for the typos my shift key is not working.. i wonder what is wrong with it now hmm???

I'm sorry. I meant to say that parents are responsible for what their children believe or not believe in. You don't have to tell them not to believe in Santa or Jesus, but you can tell them that it is all a lie and Jesus and Santa are pretty much the same thing as SpongeBob SquarePants or Homer Simpson. :)

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