I had an argument with a Facebook friend the other week that led to others joining in with her against my expressing my views about her beliefs, and the politics attached to them.

She is Catholic, and was expressing support for the bishops who are suing the US government to stop them "being forced to supply contraceptives".

I linked some article about the absurdity of people - particularly women - who allow their lives (and in particular reproductive lives) to be dictated to be a bunch of celibate men. She deleted my post, and a row ensued, whereby I said that the Catholic church was "founded on a lie which has been allowed to fester for the past 2000 years".

It subsequently lost me more Facebook friends who, I imagine, see me as some kind of "monster" for criticizing this woman's "beliefs". I think I'm just making the woman think.

Am I alone in thinking there are more ways than one of putting an atheist message across? And that although gentle discussion has its place, the occasional blast of "This is how it is" is necessary?

Personally, I'm tired of treading on eggshells around religion. I think it's time to let the Emperor know in no uncertain terms that his new clothes don't exist, and that he's making a fool of himself - even if it means losing friends doing so.

I'm of the opinion that religion isn't just some benign nonsense, but that it has political consequences, and it's an absurdity that causes a lot more problems than it fixes. And that it's about time we made more noise about it.

Opinions, please.

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If people dont want their views to be challenged then they should not post them. People have this illusion that because someone believes in something it should not be questioned because "is their belief". Once a person makes their beliefs available to the public square they have to deal with the heat.

This is a question that plagues me: why tolerate the intolerant?

I understand assimilation and acceptance of differences; the ability to accept diversity of culture, races, genders, worldviews, and ideas. What I don't understand is how people are incapable of drawing a line of just how much they're willing to accept about another person or culture. I think the line should be distinctly drawn where their tolerance for others stops. If they do not accept me; if they do not respect me; if they hurt me, threaten me, oppress me... or do the same to others... I will no longer extend my acceptance, respect, or peace pipe.

I absolutely do not feel intolerance should be tolerated, counter-intuitive as that may seem. Let's be reasonable. Can we not recognize when we're being threatened? Are we really so "peace loving" we'll sacrifice our own safety for the sake of being seen as politically correct? So we can pat ourselves on the back for being so progressive? People are being absurdly naive. When you tolerate those who are intolerant, you're going to be destroyed!

If they don't extend the same tolerance, they're not going to have a light-bulb-moment of "Oh how nice these people are! I guess we won't take advantage of their stupidity!" They will take advantage; it's the chink in our armor. Our strength (compassion) can also be our weakness is we're not vigilant. All the work we've done in the name of civil rights will be undermined because we just wanna love on everyone.

I believe in compassion, non-judgment, privacy, freedom, acceptance, and all that hippie jazz... so much!!! But some people absolutely do not love those things and will steal them from those who are not on their guard! We have to be on our guard. We have to call people out and hold them accountable, and draw a line of what is not accepted and will not be tolerated. Harming others will not be tolerated!! We do not bow our heads in reverence to people who cover for or engage in abuse... especially not abuse of children! If our words are blasphemous to their ears, they can go to Hell.

Mutual respect is key to a civil society... and when people display their unwillingness to cooperate, they are stating that they do not want to live in a civil society. They want power, and I'm sure as shit not handing it to them without a fight.

Excellent post. Thank you.

Dear Folks:

Cara excellent post!

One of the things I had to learn, sometimes painfully, is that we have to live in the same world with everyone else.

Many people hold beliefs as 'sacred', and some hold their 'opinions' in the same regard!

I cut my debate skills on park block evangelists while in school and as the co-director of the student SOS-Society of Separationists group. Normally I went after questions of infalibilty, which just concerns looking for places in arguments where more knowledge is asserted than can be honestly 'known'. One can say the most amazing things, but knowing the necessary truth behind is not always possible. Belief or metaphysical commitments can allow one to jump that curvase without a bridge.

I share with you, and many here, a commitment to the 'sacredness' of logic, honesty, freedom, etc. These to me are mostly beyond reproach, but for others these as just used to validate or are in service to other metaphysical commitments. We would like certainty, but can't aways have it, others have certainty when they don't yet deserve it. The theist apologists, commentary writers, theologions, are attempting to build a bridge to logical certainty, but mostly have spit and bailing wire for building material, if that.

I think the theists know about, down deep, they don't have logical certainty, and it scares them. Suppressing the 'questions', 'alternative hypothesis', 'natural world evidence', or creating legal constructs that can control these and their promoters, is what remains when their 'bridge' is under inspection. In short, the bad contractor has gotten money, but the bridge is in cost over-runs, and the completion date is 2000 years overdue.

We do not yet have the numbers to mount a significant political challenge to the bad contractor/theists, but as I see it, the stones are being removed from the foundation, and the edifice can not last forever.

Till then we just do our job, live with the nuttyness the best we can, and try to have a great trip! LOL 


If they don't extend the same tolerance, they're not going to have a light-bulb-moment of "Oh how nice these people are! I guess we won't take advantage of their stupidity!" They will take advantage; it's the chink in our armor. Our strength (compassion) can also be our weakness is we're not vigilant.

Most people don't understand this at all. Excellent post indeed.

I posted this earlier but is relevant here to. Greta Christina.

I can tolerate intolerance when they keep it to themselves. Like the whole gay marriage thing... it shouldn't be an issue at all.

If you don't agree with gay marriage, don't be gay and definitely don't try to get married.

If you don't agree with abortion, don't have an abortion.

I don't agree with bigotry, so I am not a bigot. See how simple it is?

If she can't deal with others expressing their opinions then she shouldn't express hers. I've found that with people like this that it will get you further if you point out the inconsistencies and contradictions within the bible rather than outright attack. But your right in that blasting them is sometimes the only way to go!!  

Why tolerate the intolerant?

I'm always asking this. I partly blame weak atheists who pussyfoot the subject of religion, and can't stop babbling about respect and whatnot. "Oh respect his opinion at least," or "respect the person and their beliefs."

No. I don't respect either. They're delusional vermin to me. Pure fucking idiots, each and every one of them. Secular and moderate ones included, because they give the fundamentals credibility. They're just as much to blame, there is no excuse.

Everytime people spout the shit that we need to be respectful towards them they're just encouraging the idea that religion is somehow anything short of a disgusting, dangerous ideology. People act like it's a choice of music or favorite movie rather than a virus of the mind.

No matter what place and time, any religion, any religious figure, any religious person should be ridiculed. The moment someone says "I'm a christian/muslim/jew/hindu" they should be laughed out of the room.

I don't know at what minute he's making the point because I'm at work, but here is a piece of Stanhope.


He's making the point that anyone who believes in religion should just plummet in your eyes.

Intolerance indicates lower cognitive functioning in social and moral development.  That is what actual science says at least.  Intolerant people demonstrate the same stubbornness and close-mindedness that they accuse their opponents of practicing.

It is the intolerant among the religious that cause the problems in the world, and it is only due to intolerance that we have social problems in our world of any kind.  It is like blaming Gollum when you should be blaming the damn ring.  The "ring" is not religion.  It is intolerance. Intolerance should be hated more than religion for what it has done to our world.

It has corrupted religion.  It has corrupted philosophy.  It has corrupted everything it touches and it is not necessary.  The perpetuation of intolerance is nonsense.  Bizarre nonsense.  Because as long as you perpetuate intolerance among the intelligent, you perpetuate it among the stupid as well.  And there are many more stupid people than intelligent ones out there.

It is an outdated, ineffective and dangerous social protection mechanism that just needs to die!

See these are the kind of weak atheists I mean. The ones who claim "religion is good, it's the people who corrupted it."

You'd make a damn fine preacher, you know that? For a moment there I thought you were going to start babbling about how we're all unworthy of the lord because we're sinners.

Lol, see what I mean.  The intolerant then start trying to use ad hominem.  See how he actually does not deal with the argument, but continues to intolerantly ridicule, not realizing he is wrong?  Textbook example.

Now you see who is the truly weak one.


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