My interactions with some Atheist has lead me to believe that many put more emphasis on showing how "smart" they are instead of being "smart."  I can see why Christians and other "Theist" who haven't figured out that superstition ain't the way, get turned off by "uppity" folk who seem to talk down to them because their reference is usually a 2000 year old book filled with contradictions.  The Atheist I know, especially many of the white ones, are trapped into a techno intellectual mode that I think serves no real purpose but to their own ego because communication is sharing ideas, not vocabulary, the "art" of rhetoric, or enjoying mental masturbation. OK so you know god doesn't exist, now what?

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Comment by Helen Pluckrose on March 27, 2012 at 3:41pm

In all fairness, the atheists who are most vocal are the ones who are able to express themselves well and have often read a great deal. They are the ones who are most concerned about the impact of religion and think most deeply about it and become well informed about faith and atheist arguments.  In contrast the Christians (usually) who want to debate may not have read anything including the bible. They defend their faith with their faith and then accuse atheists of being know-it-alls because we back our arguments. Knowledge is a choice. People on both sides of the debate have the same access to the internet and books. Therefore if you choose to enter a debate uninformed then you cannot complain if the people you are challenging have made more effort to read and think about the subject up for discussion.

  My husband is an atheist who had read nothing and is not interested in debate - therefore no-one will ever hear from him on the subject of religion.  I am often accused of thinking I am smart on Yahoo Answers but I don't. I am an amateur when it comes to science and say so. I am, however, well read with regards to psychological and philosophical issues connected to religion. I would like to discuss that and do not see why I should express myself less well than I am able?

Comment by Dale Headley on March 27, 2012 at 3:42pm

   You described me perfectly!

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on March 27, 2012 at 3:42pm

Shabaka, on page three you argued that perhaps Atheists in my culture were not having the same in yours because, and I quote, "I  can relate to the fact that European societies don't have a "historic" "cultural other" hegemony and that could play a role in how Atheist are viewed."

Then, realizing I was in Canada, you started arguing that hegemony existed - something I have never denied.  In point of fact, I replied on that same page (three) that "I'm in Canada and the 'cultural other' hegemony began as soon as Europeans started showing up."

Now, the point of whether or not there was hegemony was all about your assertion that Atheists wrapped themselves in intellectualism in response to being demeaned by the greater society.  The point I've been making all along, is that Atheists everywhere tend to wrap themselves in intellectualism, but as far as the developed world is concerned, they are NOT demeaned by the greater society except in the U.S.

You seem unable to follow the conversation we are having and have yet to offer a response as to why your original premise fails so miserably when applied to the Atheist population at large.  I'll respond to you when you do.

Comment by mason Lane on March 27, 2012 at 4:03pm

I think we have entered a age where Atheists are like the blacks were in the 60's. We're tired of even having to listen to the theist nonsense. I don't respect a person because they are sincere; Hitler and Mao were sincere. I have no respect for willful ignorance, mental laziness, and backward pride. I deplore those who still try to use Bronze age writings to subjugate women.I have contempt for those who do not see a credulous child's mind as sacrosanct. I think turning the other cheek just creates bullies. We are speaking out, we are marching, we are networking, we are demanding respect. I think the kindest thing we can offer the wilful theists is sarcasm. :) For thirty years I was on the "other fundamentalist side" and I can tell you that they did then and do now demonize anyone who won't bow to their totaliarian soon coming King. LMAOROTF Other than that, I just love everybody.

Comment by Shabaka Tecumseh on March 27, 2012 at 5:37pm

OK Heather than the U.S. is an exception to the rest of the world and of course you can speak for the rest of the world.  Gee freakin was all an assumption.. Pls read again:  I said, I often wonder...

lejandro IMO you are close to my premise.  I often wonder if Atheist aren't considered the "niggers" of the monotheistic world.  In being so, they (we) take on the behavior of anyone who is demeaned by the greater society, we put a shield around ourselves and that would be "intellectualism."  And we use it in various ways for various reasons and it makes us appear arrogant or elitist to those who don't consider themselves "niggers."  

Comment by Hank Hell on March 27, 2012 at 7:27pm

Shabaka, If you mean to imply that the environments of places like Africa or south east Asia were somehow more accommodating to humans then the lands in Europe, then I just have to disagree. Cold weather can be dealt with in much simpler ways then things like parasites, predatory animals, and shortages of drinking water. No people on earth ever got a free ride from mother nature, we've all had hell to pay in one form or another. 

      The part about music confuses me a bit. The what about the music of Slavic Jews of Russia V.S. the "high" music enjoyed by the Russian royal family? Would the music of the Slavs not be ethnic music?

I think techno intellectualism stems from a desire inherent in all peoples, the desire to have things "under control" because on a deeper level we understand that we don't have things under control and we never will, reality and the universe are not some ship for us to command, they are an ocean in which we perpetually drown. Techno intellectualism wants to steal your freedom for the sake of some utopian society (which does not, and will not exist). where as religion wants to steal your freedom for the sake of some after life (which does not, and will not exist). Not to much difference if you ask me. I'll just keep my freedom, I'm not that scared to die.   

Much respect.

Comment by Ed on March 27, 2012 at 10:39pm

@ Cara

I don't believe the proposition that atheists are necessarily more inclined to be in tune to our world social and health problems or that many of us understand the importance of respecting our planet and her resources. Those are admirable qualities for one to possess but totally unnecessary to being an atheist. Atheism is ONE THING : lack of belief in supernatural beings.


I live in a very rural backward predominantly white area and there are those who are agnostic/atheist but also at the same time very ignorant and even bigoted and racist. Their unbelieving good ole boys. They drink beer on the porch and spit snuff juice while their wife and kids are at the church on Sunday. They don't even bat an eyelash when throwing their empty Busch cans out the truck window instead of directing them to the back of the truckbed.They are not formally educated and you must speak in terms of their understanding. Throwing out fancy words doesn't impress them in the least. They don't believe in gods, or spooks, or such but cannot tell you why specifically. They just don't buy into the religion game. I check my vocabulary when in their midst and remember to speak the lingo.

What's going on inside my noggin' that I don't verbalize is another matter.  :^ )


Comment by Shabaka Tecumseh on March 28, 2012 at 7:10am

OK Hank if you think living in a glacial environment is somehow just or more accommodating then living in an equatorial environment where clothes aren't necessary, nor shelter, nor availability to food, what can I say?

I was specific when I mentioned the music and art forms.  Those are considered "high" art and are universally accepted as such by the world, not just Europeans. I suspect all ethnicities have their "Jazz" but I'm sure the structure of the 'ethnic" music of Europeans have similar structures to their "classical" music, no African rhythms. 

As for the "techno" order, if my premise is correct about environment and concomitant formation of Euro culture, then the techno order is the only one that would fit for the survival of the European. He had to develop the parts of the brain, giving rise to his particular world view, that compelled him to produced better weapons and a society that didn't cherish the weak (drain of limited resources) and systems that were aggressive like capitalism.


You gotta do what you gotta do to get along sometimes. But eventho they are limited in certain areas are they less arrogant or even feel a sense of elitism?  

Comment by kOrsan on March 28, 2012 at 8:17pm

Yeah sorry it's a little hard not to be condescending when the person you talk to is a stubborn religious person. It's like arguing with a 5 year old about the existence of Santa Claus - no matter how much logic you present them, they'll just drool and chuck toys at you. It's hard to keep any kind of respect for them.


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