In a sense, I know that we should respect everybody, but do we really just need to keep quiet when crazy religious people preach and yell and affect law? I personally don't think so. Maybe I am too closed minded, but I think the more vocal the atheist community becomes and LESS vocal the religious community can be the world would be better off...Faith is not based in fact, as everybody knows. So why not publicly denounce all faiths as ignorant and detrimental. 

Does anybody else have any thoughts on this?

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The only objection I have to your comment, Keith, would lie with, "like Salvation Army beggars at xmas time" - what you may not know, is that the majority of those "Salvation Army beggars" are actually recruited from among the homeless, staying at Salvation Army shelters. I have my own issues with the Salvation Army, but it's their leaders, not the disadvantaged poor who do their begging for them, who are at fault.

RE: "if a woman was 'righteous', she wouldn't need birth control" - for entertainment purposes, I suggest you research the life of "Thecla," according to legend, a companion of Paul, who was actually married, then visited by the resurrected "Jesus," who sat with her on her marriage bed and advised her on the evils of sex. She then had her marriage annulled and devoted her life to chastity.

That's a life?

@Keith Pinster I do think the Salvation Army puts it's money where it's mouth is - they lead an austere lifestyle, uniform, no fancy clothes, ordinary houses, no mansions, no fancy cars, no huge churches. In Australia, they are the ones who have soup kitchens, pick up the homeless from the street. They have respect for the poor, and will ask any questions one might have for them - other than why are you a xian? They are paid a miniscule wage. They are the only xian group that I support.

Codie L Miller   'if a woman was 'righteous', she wouldn't need birth control' - What the? in catholic countries especially, the men not only will not go against church doctrine of not using any method of birth control, they think it is their right as the husband not to use plastic coverings.  For an under age girl, most of the time, she has no idea what she is doing, but wants to be popular, or just please this boy of the moment. It is always lack of knowledge that gets girls into trouble. She would not have a clue about the testosterone drive of the average male, and that he would bonk anything that moved. I will agree that once a girl has an abortion, then gets pregnant again, she has to be thick. The average female body cannot have 10-11-12 children, without major damage to the mothers body, therefore each succeeding child has less chance of survival. Women in third world countries, where most of the abortions occur, the mother will have an abortion, or self abort, because she just cannot feed another child. Nothing to do with 'righteous or not'.

And as Archy suggests read the life of Thecla.

@SOH - Re: the Salvation Army - this goes back to the discussion about how something as nefarious and socially destructive as religion can survive in our age of enlightenment.  Did you know that the Salvation Army actively supports the ban on gay marriage?  Did you know that it actively supports removing a woman's right to control her own body?  Is this organization completely and totally evil?  Of course not.  But when they use the poor as leverage to force their (incorrectly interpreted) delusional superstitions into legislation, I think it's safe to say they are certainly anti-American.  Every organization has it's good side and it's bad, but I simply refuse to support organizations that are so self-righteous that they feel justified in stripping away the civil liberties of people simply because they are left-handed.

The Boy Scouts are in a similar situation, in my view.  They are a great organization for promoting team work, education, and some very good values.  The fact that they actively discriminate against left-handed people (or was it some other nature of people that they actively promote hatred for?  I forget now...), in my book, makes them intolerant and not worthy of any support.

As for the issue of birth control, you are correct, it is a matter of education.  And that is why the Church dissuades education and actively promotes ignorance.  Heck, all of the issues of religion can be boiled down to education.  If we were all educated and clear minded enough, religion would evaporate.  And there wouldn't be hundreds of thousands of people dying from STDs, plague, famine, starvation, bad drinking water, and all sort of other things that can easily be prevented in the world.  Remember, it's NOT just about destroying a single woman's body - it's also about stopping the spread of disease and reducing the world population to prevent long, lingering, horrible death with no reasonable justification.

'And that is why the Church dissuades education and actively promotes ignorance.  Heck, all of the issues of religion can be boiled down to education.  If we were all educated and clear minded enough, religion would evaporate.'

Sadly, there are very active college campus theist groups. 'Evaporation', might be more for solvents, not theists.  

'And there wouldn't be hundreds of thousands of people dying from STDs, plague, famine, starvation, bad drinking water, and all sort of other things that can easily be prevented in the world.'

Sadly, well educated people can be heavy drug users, or not have resources to change their lives. I have known my share of educated folks that have no clue about basic sanitation, or nutrition. How folks used their education can be a real issue, and education/knowledge can be heavily compartmentalized. 

@arch - "What is life?"  Well, that is a good question.  I would propose that it is not something that we should use to enslave people.  One of my problems with the whole abortion issue is that, apparently, these morons think that women use it as a form of birth control.  "Woops, got preggy again this month.  If I get one more abortion on my punch card, I get the next one FREE!"  If a woman were really this callous, what kind of a chance do you think this child would have anyway?  It constantly amazes me that people are such idiots that they think that should have control of other people's decisions.

And this bullshit about not allowing "late-term" abortions; exactly what problem are we trying to address here? Let's take a vote:

How many of you heathen, heartless women out there (and you have to admit, YOU are the women that this is really concerning, because you all are Satan-worshiping atheists) would carry a child for 6 or 7 months, and then just decide one day that you're tired of carrying around this bowling ball in your stomach and run down to get your abortion punch card filled before getting a mani-pedi?

And how about we say that "life" begins in men's sperm?  How would you feel about the government forcing you to work in a daycare for 6 months before "allowing" you to get a vasectomy? Or better yet, let's just outlaw vasectomies all together.  After all, if it were "god's will" that you should stop producing sperm, he would have given you the ability for your body to just "shut that process down" at will, right?

RE: "@arch - 'What is life?'" - Keith, I don't recall asking that. In another comment, regarding Thecla, I said "That's a life?" but as best I can recall, that was it --

@arch - WOW! Did I misread that!!!  I've been up since 2 (went to sleep after 11), so I claim sleep deprivation! LOL

BTW, that wasn't directed at you, just general ranting about the subject that my mind told me was on the table.  I've talked to you enough to know that your very rational about these things.  :) 

Not a problem Keith, I just didn't want you laboring under a misconception, but then, I also don't want you driving while so sleep-deprived! But if you insist on doing so, just let me know which route you'll be taking, and I'll go a different way.

I like to rant too, but usually it's to myself, as I walk along, pushing my shopping cart.

You are not getting any where near 'my guys!' LOL

"And this bullshit about not allowing "late-term" abortions; exactly what problem are we trying to address here?"

The answer is fetal consciousness.

Your consciousness is you. The end of 'you' is the irreversible cessation of your consciousness: brain death. Conversely, the start of 'you' is the commencement of your consciousness: brain life. 

The physical structures necessary for consciousness begin forming at 24 weeks. Sometime after that the fetus develops consciousness, though it's not clear exactly when. That's the difference maker.

"How many of you heathen, heartless women out there [...] would carry a child for 6 or 7 months, and then [...] run down to get your abortion [...]?"

In 2008, fewer than 1.3% of abortions were performed after 21 weeks. That's about 8000 abortions. That's tame in comparison to the numbers who die due to car crashes, prescription drugs, suicide, and fatty food. Pro-Lifers would do better to focus their efforts on deaths that actually involve fully functioning nervous systems.

@GM - We are trying to solve the problem of "fetal consciousness"?  And it's important to have some moronic government bureaucrat involved in the decision making process?  As you point out, 1.3% of abortions were performed after 21 weeks.  You just simply can't tell me that in all but a handful of cases, these weren't completely justified by the people whose lives were impacted by this.  I can't imagine a harder or more horrible decision. 

My point is, there IS no "problem" that needs to be addressed by legislation.  And the more legislation there is, regardless of how "well intended" it is, and ESPECIALLY legislation that servers no constructive purpose for society is BAD legislation.

"@GM - We are trying to solve the problem of "fetal consciousness"? "

Fetal consciousness is a legitimate science-based ethical reason to regulate abortion. We don't know when fetal consciousness begins except that it occurs sometime after 24 weeks.

"And it's important to have some moronic government bureaucrat involved in the decision making process?"

Of course it is, Keith. Moronic government bureaucrats (and Democrats too) are involved in every legal issue, from jaywalking to homicide. That goes whether abortion is completely unrestricted or banned outright.

I'd say based on those first two comments that you're resisting, and it's because you dislike that I raised the point, not because the point is incorrect or unclear.

"As you point out, 1.3% of abortions were performed after 21 weeks.  You just simply can't tell me that in all but a handful of cases, these weren't completely justified by the people whose lives were impacted by this."

Yes. I can't tell you how many of the 8028 abortions performed after 21 weeks in 2008 were justifiable. That's because I haven't seen any statistics on that. (I'm inclined to think it was a small percentage.) Likewise, until you check the statistics yourself, you can't tell me it was "all but a handful" either.

"My point is, there IS no "problem" that needs to be addressed by legislation"

Of course there is. It's just a much smaller problem than deaths due to things like motor vehicle crashes or prescription drugs. That doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist at all.

"And the more legislation there is, regardless of how "well intended" it is, and ESPECIALLY legislation that servers no constructive purpose for society is BAD legislation."

Forty-one US states already prohibit abortion after a certain point in pregnancy. This usually is set at 24 weeks or "viability", which serves the science-backed "constructive purpose" explained in my previous post.

Seven states ban abortion completely after 20 weeks: an arbitrary limit that Nebraska yanked out of its backside, which inspired six other states to do the same. I'd call that "bad" legislation, as I would any legislation that ignores reality, science, and reason.

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