Alright, so a couple of days ago I was talking to a friend of mine in class. And we began to talk about religion. Now I'm far from the kind of person that likes to showcase my views on things, But I told him I was an Atheist. He Actually didn't believe me at first, and said that people have to take a oath to become an atheist. We literally argued about this for 5 whole minutes before I finally said lets go to an computer and get google the definition. after I showed him what atheism actually is, He still retained doubt. I just said forget it, and ended the conversation on it there.
What I'm asking is how long will people remain that ignorant on atheism. It's not like he's dumb when it comes to other topics. He says He's a christian and he never even read the bible. And when I told him and another friend I read it They Laughed. Oh yeah and I forgot to mention one of the guys laughing has a tattoo that says "blessed" on his chest. And he never read the bible. That's just stupid to me, But I kinda want to know what other people think about this.
Just when you think we're starting to make some progress --
Tunisia blasphemy bill threatens free speech:
A bill to criminalise offences against "sacred values," filed in parliament this week by Tunisia's ruling Islamist party Ennahda threatens freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch warned on Friday.
"The draft bill would provide prison terms and fines for broadly worded offenses such as insulting or mocking the 'sanctity of religion,'" the rights group said.
International human rights law generally prohibits criminalising the defamation of religion, the New York-based watchdog added.
This is what frightened people do when they feel their foundations slipping out from under them - there's no need to criminalize a behavior unless you expect it to happen.
I worked with a Tunisian moslum years ago. I lead a repair crew fixing student rentals. During our work day the crew would crack jokes to lighten our work load, and sometimes the laughter would echo through the structure we were working on. One day the fellow came by to check on us, and as usual the work was getting done and I had just made some funny observation followed by a rather loud chuckle, but he told us that it was against his religion to 'laugh'. At his job site, on his quarter, no laughter was allowed. Since I had known the guy for years, and had been on many repair jobs already completed, I let him know that, 'in the states, which is still not a moslum country, no 'freedom to laugh' would be an intolerable work condition and I would not continue under such a condition.' Happily the statement was a very well placed trump!
The laughter continued, no one was ever hurt, the work got done, a little joy was maintained amide the dirt, dust, and the occasional blood blister!
That must be a Tunisian thing, as I have worked with Muslims from other countries, Pakistani and Iranian, who had great on-the-job senses of humor.
Same here. My best math buddy when attending the Univ. of New Mexico was an assoc. prof. and a Muslim. To say he had a great sense of humor -- and a great attitude toward atheists -- would be an understatement.
Fact is, most Muslims couldn't care less if someone is atheist, unlike most Christians.
ETA: most U.S. Muslims.
My American History professor in college was Iranian - he made American History come alive, and taught me more about my own country than any American teacher I've ever encountered.
During my second return to school, I was the co-director of the campus SOS/Atheist group. During one afternoon, our group of guys were out on the park blocks selling bumper stickers and buttons, debating with the local evangelists, and handing out 'Pop God' balloons. The campus Muslim group was near by, and came to our rescue when the theists got routy about our balloons! We were very surprised!
"This is what frightened people do when they feel their foundations slipping..."
So very true, archaeopteryx, and when those frightened people enlist the state, with its monopoly on violence, to help them put down dissenters, another Inquisition follows.
Some nations are where Europe was six centuries ago, and here in the US of A some people want to return us to those times. They all but control the Republican party, and if they win in the November elections they will have a grip on the state and its monopoly on violence.
People in every nation have to win their freedom; so do people in every generation.
I can't imagine that it ever dawned on those people that if their god existed, he wouldn't need man-made laws to influence human behavior - the necessity of those laws gives testimony to his weakness.
archaeopterix, your post moved me to speculate.
For a few moments think of pre-human times.
Our pre-human ancestors lived in social groups and these groups had rules. They also had leaders and followers. They had struggles for leadership and left no written evidence.
I think it reasonable to assert, without written evidence, that rules in these groups were made by those who won leadership struggles, and these rules preceded any rules that recognized sky beings.
It's my guess that the first rules that recognized sky beings were made by those who'd lost leadership struggles in these groups.
If they survived unsuccessful leadership struggles (if winners didn't kill them), their bodies continued to produce testosterone so they sought other kinds of control.
Tom - I've recently read Dian Fossey's Gorillas in the Mist, and her biography, Woman in the Mist, by Farley Mowat, and I was left with a feeling - unsupportable, admittedly - that I was looking at us, several million years ago, in which case, I'd have to agree with you completely, that struggles for tribal leadership, which translate to struggles for mates and the better portions of food, probably superseded any consideration of a god.
I'm sure that the gorillas fear lightening and thunder, but likely don't attribute them to any creature living in the sky, as, as far as they're concerned, the world they live in, is the only world there is.
I can tell you from experience and interaction with people (In southern states) that people follow blindly. When you tell them horrible facts from the bible they just ignore it saying, "You're exaggerating!" "You're lying!" And even when I point to these verses in the bible they say, "We weren't meant to take THOSE VERSES seriously."
It's a delusion. They will come up with any realization to prove that this is the TRUE RELIGION for them. And it's not always children Indoctrination that creates this delusion. I see people convert to Christianity. It's always because "they want to be a better person." To me it looks like guilt. Guilt they want to desperately get rid of.
Also, it seems to be a social disorder. They NEED to fit in. And of course, they turn to religion. And which religion is well known in the southern states? Christianity.
I know this thread is a year old, but I have a relevant prediction:
The atheist movement will eventually crystallize around two main camps: the harsher, more militant side that currently dominates the movement, and a more peaceful, ingratiating side that will win more support from the public at large. I consider myself part of the latter group, which I predict will grow in size as more lifelong atheists such as myself become active in the movement. The former group will remain attractive to born-again atheists who have left various religions. Both groups will be necessary for atheism to receive greater acceptance and to secure a more public role.
I predict this because such was the dynamic that characterized most of the great rights movements of the past century, including the women's suffrage movement and the black civil rights movement. At present I believe the militants are blazing the trail, and I give them credit for that, but I look forward to the rise of a calmer, less abrasive mode of communication with theists, because that approach that will ultimately win more support.