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.
When more people understand what an atheist is, there will be more atheists.
Another way to think about this point.
If more people actually understood the theism that they have signed onto, would there be more atheists?
Part of the reason I left the church, was that I could not fit my worldly experiece and growing understanding into the metaphysical commitments of the church. The best training I received for atheism, was started while still a mostly a theist. Sadly, I was mostly paying attention, while in my 6 year stint of time share catholic school. I think what I learned was that, belief in catholic dogma is maintained by early social conditioning, and closed social relationships. But my life was very open as I grew up. Nerdy friends, early science exposure, relationships with folks of different beliefs, minor debate experience, marginally commited parents, and early 'death in the family', created an environment that implyed a much larger universe that was believed by the church or its members. I thank the church for helping me see the stark contrasts between 'the shoebox' of the church, and the vast landscape of 'the universe/reality' around us.
Should we thank the church more than we do for what we have become? I remember a qoute out of the early Star Trek, something like 'should we wear an olive branch in memory?'.
"When do you think people will finally start to understand atheism?"
When hell freezes over.
" When hell freezes over " is an understatement.
Strega and others, might there be a correlation between pledging allegiance to flags (rather than to laws) and religiosity? And between either of those and the immaturity of childhood?
A US Supreme Court decision (Minersville v. Gobitis, 1940) held the flag salute to bring children into the political culture. There followed record levels of violence against the Jehovah Witnesses, and even those who'd supported the 1940 decision (such as the jingoist American Legion) joined to get a reversal, which the Court gave us in 1943.
A book is about to be published (One Nation Under God, by Princeton history prof Kevin Kruse) that describes the 20-year-long effort to add "under God" to the Pledge. It began soon after an attempt by a few wealthy men (who admired Mussolini's fascism) to overthrow the Roosevelt admin failed. (Google Smedley Butler, the retired marine who reported the plot.) During the 1930s Depression, these wealthy men wanted to shore up capitalism, and hired ministers to talk up a connection between religion and patriotism. They found "under God" in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and brought it back to life. Many Yanks are still children, and angrily demand the right to remain so.
The book's full title may be "One Nation Under God: Corporations, Christianity, and the Rise of the Religious Right".
Terrific, Doug. Best argument against the Pledge and the best humor I've heard in a long time. Thanks.
For a while there, I thought he was channeling Carlin --
Tom - don't you suspect that this is quite similar to what those wealthy capitalists were thinking?
"How can you have order in a state without religion? For, when one man is dying of hunger near another who is ill of overeating, he cannot resign himself to this difference unless there is an authority which declares 'God wills it thus.' Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."
-- Napoleon Bonaparte --
All but identical, archaeopteryx.
One history of the Republican Party says that during the 1970s, someone drew attention to the similarity of fundamentalist xian beliefs to conservative beliefs. It remained for President Reagan to invite the fundies into the Party.
A smart move, in that it greatly increased Party membership.
A dumb move in that they were the majority and took over the Party.
Will internal conflict destroy the party that Lincoln and other anti-slavery people created?
To what effect?
Barry Goldwater would never have wanted "fundies" in the GOp. He would have foreseen that it would eventually lead to the destruction or distraction of the party.
I was a Repub in Arizona in the 1970s and heard Goldwater speak to activists. In immigrant issues he may have had a bit of conscience, but a history of the Party (Rule and Ruin, by Kabaservice) says that in the early 1960s he played a major part in excluding the Party's moderates.
This led to a need to recruit replacements. Southern Dems (whose ancestors had owned slaves the Repubs had freed) re-registered as Repubs and brought their racism into the Party. Needing more bodies led to Reagan's inviting the Fundies, who brought their big government authoritarianism into the Party.
Why in pluperfect hell did the 1960s Repubs, including Goldwater, exclude moderates? Ruin was a long time coming, but it appears to have arrived. We are witnesses to the Last Hurrah of America's Racist White Males. Plutocrats don't care who helps them win power.
Thanks, Barry. NOT!!!
PS. I agree with Mark Twain; Congress is America's criminal class.
Effective reform will require a national initiative and referendum amendment to the federal Constitution. Won't happen in my lifetime; it's more democracy (and the accompanying responsibility) than Americans want.