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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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.

Struck a nerve there did I, pastor? You're no better than any religious apologetic.

Note the continuation of ad hominem.  The subject is starting to resemble the theists who don't use apologetics and just insult people when their god is questioned.

You're always trying too hard to sound smart John, taking a few semesters in psychology and the inane field of theology doesn't mean you can lecture people about either one. It's called being a college-know-it-all-hippie.

Nope, I am just actually brilliant, and I see your intolerance as a disease that needs to be spoken out against.  I warned you that I am an anti-antitheist.  You are just used to the weak ones.

And yes it does mean I can lecture about both as long as I stick to my level of expertise and do not move past it.  All that matters is that I remain accurate.  And I do.

Hahaha :D your pettiness is only trumped by your arrogance, you are truly fit to be a priest. Maybe you should've just gone with it.

Obviously you have not freed yourself from religion's grasp just yet, debate adjourned.

More ad hominem.  No substance. Ends with a false dichotomy using the word "obviously"  All invalid points.  I am glad you are done.  If you were so smart, the fact that it is a false dichotomy would be obvious.

It is you that is arrogant for not even contemplating the notion that I am both smarter than you and also right.  I always am open to the idea that someone is smarter than me.  I might learn something from them.  People like you are intimidated by that notion.  I, like to learn so it is no biggie to me. 

@ kOrsan! You're so bad but you make me laugh. There is the part of me that hates religion with all my heart and there's the part that "tries to be understanding".

I'm leaning towards, hate, yes hate. The big ole bad word HATE. I hate the widespread justification of suffering that religion spouts.

I realize the story is not over yet. What the world without religion will look like, if this ever happens, remains to be seen. I realize Christians are not going to be won over with atheist vitriol, and if anything will make them more determined than ever. But John's posts twang too much of "trying to be understanding" for my taste.

I can understand that Mabel.  Religion has to go.  But tolerance will utterly destroy it. Intolerance will perpetuate it for centuries.

As I said before 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.  They are typically intolerant to the truth.

Once tolerance replaces intolerance, people will not experience the same level of shame in questioning their beliefs.  But someone has to get the ball rolling.

Tolerance will not destroy religion. History shows that tolerance will only perpetuate religion. Education is what will destroy religion which is why the religious try to dumb-down education.

Some people just think that we have to cuddle and fellate the theists, because apparently they think there is no other way to convince them.

They're kind of the same type of characters you see in a movie, who come in during potentially awesome revenge scenes and spew the lackluster line "you'll be no better than him.. don't do it mike..please."

What a moodkiller :P

Cara made a great point, extending tolerance to the intolerant is not going to make a light bulb in their heads go on. That's wishful infantile thinking.

Cara's point does not consider that the intolerant and less intelligent derive their values from what society dictates to them.  Change culture, and then they will fall in line.  They can't help but be overwhelmed by majority opinion.

Lawrence Kohlberg proved that most human beings derive their values from what their culture or subculture dictates to them and only a small minority actually develop their own independent values.

Furthermore, I know the history of the religions on this planet, and the one consistent truth is that those religions consistently adapted to fit the cultural values and interests of every nation and period.

I would actually argue kOrsan that your love of intolerance derives from the love of intolerance held by those in your Islamic culture, just as the Calvinist love of heresy hunting derived from the Roman Catholic love of heresy hunting.

So if culture changes for the better, religion becomes more bearable for everyone.  That is actually demonstrated in history.  This is why if you look through the pages of history, you will see the values espoused by theologians about every topic under the sun was always tied to present cultural values.

Life is not a movie.  You have to logically demonstrate why the person would be better than another  person to commit the same action.  The problem is that you just accept the values of cultural notions fed to you like the the validity of retaliation.


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