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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I would actually argue kOrsan that your love of intolerance derives from the love of intolerance held by those in your Islamic culture

Lol, is that what they taught you in Pop-Psychology 101?

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.

Sorry but, we all know this. Religion derives it's values from society.

From this post it seems your studies haven't taught you anything that isn't known to everyone already, have they?

Actually kOrsan, I was taught that in psychology classes at the gradate level.  That is what the academic journals say.  Feel free to act like a creationist and argue with science.

And if you know that religions adapt to society, why didn't you factor that in?  It is much more disgraceful to know something and not apply that knowledge to your thinking.

Ward, that is not true  We have no history wherein intolerance is categorized as an unacceptable social value.  History has shown nothing, because people have always held onto intolerance even when opposing intolerance for specific issues in society.    

And yes, education will destroy religion, but without tolerance, the shaming that is always associated with intolerance will keep people from accepting that education.  The desire to not lose social standing acts as a barrier to open-mindedness.

The religious don't try to dumb down education, they try to remove what they see as misinformation.  Yes, they do dumb down education, but that is not their intended purpose.  It is just the result of their errancy.

^ This is a very strange reply to my post, especially your first paragraph. I did not mention intolerance. I did not say intolerance was ever "categorized as an unacceptable social value."

Trying to decipher your post, I wonder if you are confusing neutrality with tolerance. When educating people we do need to be neutral rather than intolerant. But we should not be tolerant of religious intolerance. Neutrality - pretending to ignore it while it isn't happening - while educating them is going to be necessary. But being tolerant and allowing them to damage society further, no. We can't allow that to continue if we want to survive as a species.

Ward I can see how you read it, and yeah that would be confusing.  

You said "History shows that tolerance will only perpetuate religion."  For the reason that intolerance never was categorized as an unacceptable value, my objection is that you can't argue that history shows it will perpetuate religion.  It has never been put to test.  

The rest of your reply I largely agree with.  I believe the most undesirable elements in religion should be opposed.  Opposing something, and the colloquial definition of intolerance is a bit different.  You can oppose something without being blinded by disgust.  It actually makes the opposition more effective.

So what do you suggest we do when someone's belief system (Islam, for example) mandates murder as a means of propagation? Tolerate them... because, you know... intolerance is the problem here. Not theirs of us... but ours of them. We'll just beg them to please not kill us all and hope for the best I guess... makes perfect sense.

The intolerance under discussion here is in the context of open-mindedness, valuation of others and respect.  

I would consider that limited to social relationships, no matter how distant such as acquaintances.  With people that believe in a mandate of murder, they are a threat that needs to be taken care of.  They need to be isolated from capacity to cause harm.  I don't think they need to be hated, or whatever.  Just removed.  

This is technically not a toleration for the threat they pose, but that is different than open-mindedness, valuation of others and respect, as the colloquial meaning of intolerance is understood to refer to in tolerance promotion campaigns.

I think the OP is not merely about open-mindedness, but rather being sick of not speaking up and/or tolerating things like pedophilia in the Catholic church, and not being willing to be silent on the subject out of respect for a religion not worthy of respect.

We tolerate belief systems that do not harm others. You may not have seen, but I do believe in tolerance of cultures, diversity, ways of life, etc. The line is drawn when people become victims of a belief system, culture, etc. I suppose you and I are the same page with that... and I think this is basically what the OP was referring to.

How do we bring attention to the atrocities the Catholic church are guilty of committing and covering up without speaking up? They are engaging in behaviors that are unacceptable in civil society. This is no longer a matter of "open mindedness" but of pushing back against corruption that affects all of us.

And whether groups of violent people should be hated is one thing; I agree in principle. However, I have a difficult time not hating the immigrant Muslims in Sweden who literally feel entitled to raping Swedish girls, and claim that they belong to them. Their worldview is hateful. Their thoughts are hateful. Their actions are hateful. Their race and nationality are not what I hate. But I simply do not feel inclined to separate the individual from their heinous behavior and intentions... excuses be damned.

Philosophically, it sounds good not to hate the sinner; in the real world, when the sinner is an unapologetic rapist, hate is just justified. People might claim that hate is unproductive, but I disagree in this case: it drives us to enact justice on the behalf of those girls violated by people like that. This applies when dealing with Priests who have raped little boys as well. Any other response trivializes the life of the victim.

I think we are on similar wavelengths of thought.  I proposed the OP deal with the problem by making "I feel" statements.  I think disagreement is different than intolerance.  "I feel" statements still get the idea across but in a way that triggers less defense mechanisms.  People also feel less prone to attack "I feel" because the belief is that doing so is an invalidation of a person.

As for the other part, with hatred, I don't believe in free-will, so I see everyone involved as victims of misinformation fed to them by their perceptions.  Though that doesn't mean that I do not see the misinformed as potential threats.

I don't think that trivializes a victim at all.  Identifying that the experience was wrong and traumatic without hating the perp still embraces the severity of the damage for the girl and the incident.  They have already started to see criminal behavior in Scandanavia in that way, and crime hasn't gotten worse.  It is actually better over there, but it can't be positively tied to the mentality.

Cara & John: these are all good points.  

Any rapist deserves justice, to go to prison: and that's what the legal system is for.  

Do I hate a rapist?  Yes.  Does a rapist deserve another chance - the chance to make good, to somehow make amends, and to change his ways?  Yes, he deserves that chance.  What's the alternative?  Kill him?  

Obviously, the victim deserves the chance to kick seven bells out of him, or something similar.  I knew a man in Norway who was raped: he found the perpetrator, knocked all his teeth out, carved "rapist" in his forehead and applied acid to it.  

Like John says, people are often fed "unhelpful" information.  From what I understand, in some Muslim countries, the men think that all Western women are "whores" and not worthy of respect.  So that gives them the excuse to do what they do in Sweden.  

I think the point is to stop this kind of behaviour.  That would require education and information.  As Cara says, I don't feel a need to be intolerant to Islam.  We should not tolerate this kind of distortion and abuse: when the culture goes bad. 

well in the area I live in you are forced to be tolerant or face being outcast, any near mention of not believing in god or having a different belief is basically social suicide. They act like they do because the religion tells them. Yes I blame the religion and I would expect the people to know better but they act as if they don't. I don't wanna be forced to believe or be shamed I want to be free from injustice of religion and be myself.

Hey sorry to hear that.  I lived in an area like that once for a very short time.  The intolerance was terrible.

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