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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I was really hopping that I was not blowing smoke out my arse with that one!


We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart
--H. L. Mencken

I would rather respect the individual's right to be delusional than unknowingly help perpetuate the religion itself. 

Considering how many ignorant laws they already pass... do you really want to paint that big of a target on yourself? Right now they see us as "lost" overall and only a few antagonists... If we all start publicly denouncing EVERY religion... how many of us are there compared to them? We are rational and they are not... ever heard of a "crime of passion"? They might just consider it a favor to "send us to our maker".

There have been strides made in that direction and the notion is gaining ground. I have no problem confronting the loonies individually but I am not going to denounce a mob/crowd... I may fully agree that blind faith is a sign of delusional thinking and that those people need help, but I also posit that those people think that we are "blind" to faith and need to be converted. I would also ask this... you expect them to honor and respect your viewpoint and yet you are unwilling to do the same for them? Tolerance of others beliefs is a two way street and unless they are imposing their beliefs on you through some form of force, you should offer the same courtesy.

@Taranach - " expect them to honor and respect your viewpoint and yet you are unwilling to do the same for them? Tolerance of others beliefs is a two way street..."

You are completely missing the point.  The problem BEGAN with THEIR intolerance and persists with THEIR intolerance.  I have said it before and I'll say it again, I don't care what fairy tales you believe, but as soon as you start pushing your delusional superstitions down my throat, THAT is when we have a problem.  Atheists have never petitioned to remove the right of anyone to worship or believe as they see fit, so in any regard that matters, we DO "tolerate and respect" them.  It is only when THEY decide that they are justified in stripping away liberties and rights away from EVERYONE ELSE that we march against their bullshit.  When they try to force feed creationism down our children's throats as "valid" science, as an "alternative" to truth, when they legislate that you must adhere to their delusional superstitions in order to be worthy of holding public office, when we are not allowed to buy a beer because it is THEIR "special" worship day, THAT is when we need to stand up and say "hell, NO!"

I will offer them the exact same tolerance, respect, and courtesy they they show me and when I speak to them, I make that very, very clear: stop shoving your bullshit down our throats and we won't have a problem.

Let me make this perfectly clear... I totally agree with 95% of what you are saying... and you missed my point... THEY STILL OUTNUMBER US!..  Is that any clearer? They have friends in high places and are still managing to push through BS laws because there are far too many that do not seem to care about anything until it directly affects them...

Yes, our numbers are growing, yes, I don't want their views and beliefs shoved down my throat.. but I also must say that we should "appear" (key word there) logical, rational and respectful so that as their views and voices get more strident, everyone else will see these zealots for what they are and perhaps... just perhaps, they will start taking a notice to what these religious fanatics have been sneaking in behind their backs and stand up to them as well.

If we act like they do, we are no better than them in everyone else's eyes... even if everything is perfectly rational and truthful. I lost my job and my house and nearly my kids to the closed minded BS these zealots spew forth. I managed to get out of that town and situation fairly quickly (only two months homeless) but unless you have experienced the same things... have a nice tall glass of mellow juice... you would not believe how nasty they can get while keeping everything "perfectly legal".

...just perhaps, they will start taking a notice to what these religious fanatics have been sneaking in behind their backs and stand up to them as well.

I've only really seen this happen with the total extremists. In all other facets, it seems that people are largely seeing the church as decreasingly relevant to the way they live as opposed to realizing outright that religion is wrong.

My sense is that people don't particularly care which side carries themselves better; the general preference is to favour the status quo and castigate anyone who seems to be rocking the boat. Even with the afore mentioned extremists, I think what most people hate is that strict fundamentalism also requires uncomfortable changes. This is just speculation, but I think people don't really care how atheists behave all that much provided we don't take to organized violence -- most people are just aggravated by the idea of change or concession period. 

@Taranach - "... I also must say that we should "appear" (key word there) logical, rational and respectful..."

I couldn't agree more, Taranach. I believe that it's almost impossible to convert a theist (most especially if they are being irrational) during an online conversation.  I believe that the conversations that we have are really more for the audience than for the participants.  I've seen a lot of posts from people who say that they have researched atheism and they have been convinced to rational thought based on the conversations that they have seen.  I think it's very important to stay on subject, don't let the other side drag you into emotionally based arguments (you will NEVER win an emotionally based argument with a theist - that's where they live) and sticking to dealing with the actual subject and not being drawn into straw-man arguments shows our audience that we promote (by example) rational, reasonable thinking.

I've VERY sorry to hear about your situation.  I know how frustrating it is when people use the system to attack with no validity at all.  I, personally, just spent 5 years and about $70k keeping the local sheriff's office from railroading me for actually *helping* someone who was about to be kicked out on the street and lose everything he had, believe it or not, by the very county that attacked me!  As far as I know, there was no religiosity involved, but they were still being just as self-righteous and malicious.  I hope you are in a much better place now!  :)

I guess I do not expect the religious to honor and respect my viewpoint. Based on their teachings, I do not see how they could. To them, I am an immoral person condemned to hell. They pray to save my soul. Does anyone here really see the religious as tolerant and respectful of other ideas or faiths?

Not really, but I AM noticing a subtle change, at least among many who have recently visited this site - they claim to agree with us regarding the old Pentateuch myths, but continue to maintain that the subsequent myths are true.

Yes, I see this of many religious people. If we go with your phrasing 'based on their teachings', then I tend to agree with you, but flexibility in the observance of teachings seems to be a natural component of many religions. Christ, in particular, seems to get more liberal with age.

Well, we all tend to mellow with time, and 2100 years can certainly do that to you. After all, look at the personality changes their god underwent, from the vengeful, wrathful, "kill 'em all and let ME sort 'em out" god of the OT, to the "for god so loved the world" god who sends his son down to be tortured and crucified to save us from the sin of violating rules that he, himself, made in the first place.

Like any other human conflict, the closer a person is, the more tolerant they will be.  My 2 best friends (who I consider bothers), and my 2 closest friends at work are all VERY religious.  And even though we have touched on the subject, for the most part we just agree to disagree and don't really discuss it.  They have never treated me with anything other than the utmost respect. 

My problem is with the xians that don't have to face us in order to screw us.  Even the crazy-assed freaks like Terry Jones aren't as bad because at least it's clear that they are overtly delusional and it's easy for people to see how nuts these people are. It's the subtle ones, the ones that hide behind a cloak of self-righteousness and pretend "reason", claim that they are the "victims" of same-sex marriage and that if a woman was "righteous", she wouldn't need birth control.  They only care about the constitution when THEIR rights are being infringed, and screw the people that they don't "approve" of.  But they do it in a very passive-aggressive way, through legislation rather than using a frontal assault, like our buddy Terry does.

And even though at least a couple of the 4 I mentioned at the beginning of this post fall into this category, and, trust me, if the subject of religion infringing on other people's freedoms comes up, I will and have definitely clearly voiced my opinion about their delusional superstition, I still prefer to let sleeping dogs lie for the most part and mainly confront people either over the internet or, if I am so lucky, those poor unfortunate souls that find the horror of confronting a knowledgeable person when they knock on a stranger's door to "spread the word".  I also have no qualms about explaining to xian groups (like Salvation Army beggars at xmas time, Boy Scout beggars, or church groups begging outside of stores) exactly why I refuse to contribute to their destruction of society.


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