Atheist does not mean liberal - 99% in this site do not see it that way

Hello,

 

When I joined ThinkAtheist (I think it was a bit over a year ago) I was ecstatic to find a site which gathers people around a common topic - their atheism. However, I have come to be a bit disappointed on some little things - namely, the off-topics and the way of dismissing conservative opinions.

 

I've seen great discussions about the existence of God, and/or religion (which I believe should be the core of the site); but I've also seen several people post completely off-topic subjects with comments like "these stupid, religious conservatives believe x and y", etc etc. Now, I am not a "topic nazi" and of course anyone can post whatever they want, but I just want to make clear that there are a LOT of atheist conservatives out there. Therefore, last I checked being an atheist is not equal to being liberal... which is compounded by the dismissive attitude with which liberal atheists regard opinions against their own.

 

Case in point: AGW. When someone respectfully points out that saying "the science is settled" on this matter is akin to saying "God exists, na na na na na, I can't hear you" on the discussion about God, they get furious, and point at conspiracies by the "big money" and "concentrated power groups". Erm... no, there is no "conspiracy"; there is doubt that we can actually predict climate (and the latest news about current "predictive models" not taking into account this or that, kinda prove my point). And yes, there ARE peer-reviewed texts which state this same thing.

 

Also, what's with "tea-baggers"? There are of course religious nutjobs who say they represent the Tea Party; but there are liberal religious nutjobs as well. So when one is asking for lower taxes and spend cuts (instead of continuing to burden the economy with more taxes) to kick-start the economy, and as a result one is labelled with a sexual epithet, is not very nice.

 

To summarize: I am all for having a good old discussion, and sometimes I do not shy away from an argument... but I would like to ask you that, even if the opposing view that you have is often held by religious people, it is NOT automatically wrong (especially when they have nothing to do with religion), and that view, whichever it is, should be a priori respected...

 

Peace.

Views: 940

Tags: AGW, atheism, atheist, conservative, liberal, teabaggers

Comment by Unseen on August 30, 2011 at 4:44pm

Or Occam's Razor?

Comment by Unseen on August 30, 2011 at 5:58pm

When I was in college in the late 1960's and early '70's, a liberal was someone who trusted free speech. The thought of passing rules and laws to throttle almost absolute free speech would have been unthought of. Today, liberalism has turned around 180 degrees and even more than conservatism takes stands that people shouldn't be allowed to say what's on their minds. Today, the conservatives have become the liberals of yore on that particular matter. How the times change.

Comment by Arcus on August 30, 2011 at 5:59pm

@Kasu: Not completely random. You have sorta stumbled upon the starting line in one of those great philosophical debates. Are there such a thing as human rights, or ought there to be human rights. We can all agree on the latter, but the former is definitely up for debate. That they are "self evident" or "innate" is not proof of their existence.

Most of those who say there is such a thing as rights invoke religion as the source.

Comment by Michael Klein on August 30, 2011 at 6:05pm

@Unseen: only in the US. Also: i don't see how 'conservatism' in the US is currently any better with the dominionist clusterfuck

Comment by Jimmy Boy on August 31, 2011 at 4:53am

Ed Delauter

So to a certain extent I equate liberalism with laziness. 

Please don't.  Your example smacks of ignorance: these people who run to the post office to live on benefits...are they liberals themselves or are they the result of liberal policies?  Or maybe...they are the result of ultra conservative policies?  Just maybe.

Another primary issue I have with liberalism regards the tax the shite out of rich folk and everything will be OK.

As straw men go this is well up there.  If you attribute an argument to a group that they don't hold, by definition, you have nothing to say.  I know of no liberal who believes this.  Why would you just make this up?  Is it telling you anything about yourself and your desire to pigeon hole a group?

 

Actually - reading on to the 'illegals' and guns bits: I have to call poe here... no need to respond further, right?

Comment by Jimmy Boy on August 31, 2011 at 4:59am

Unseen:

Today, liberalism has turned around 180 degrees and even more than conservatism takes stands that people shouldn't be allowed to say what's on their minds.

Citation needed here.  Big citation.  Which liberal, of any public standing, believes that we should stop people from expressing their views?  I am definitely liberal and I have never met one.

 

Maybe what you mean is that liberals dare to point out when anti-liberalism is hypocritical, selfish and hurts people?  Fine.  But restricting freedom of speech?  Seriously?  No more than you can't shout 'fire' in a crowded theatre - a principle common to almost everyone, going back for a long time.

Comment by Jimmy Boy on August 31, 2011 at 5:03am

Arcus

@Kasu: Not completely random. You have sorta stumbled upon the starting line in one of those great philosophical debates. Are there such a thing as human rights, or ought there to be human rights. We can all agree on the latter, but the former is definitely up for debate. That they are "self evident" or "innate" is not proof of their existence.

Absolutely.  This is a debate we need to have.  Not sure libertarians agree that we should have human rights (not in any meaningful way in my experience, other than the right to exist).  I really do not have any answers on this - but this might be thought paramount in all philosophy and subsequent politics.  What are human rights?  Why do we just assume and accept they exist?  I'm pretty liberal as you know - and challenging this is a challenge to my world view.  But...I see shaky ground beneath me so it has to be done.

Comment by Unseen on August 31, 2011 at 12:24pm

@Jimmy Boy  In the past, students were free to hear and were trusted to evaluate the views of representatives of the KKK, American Nazis, and people holding controversial views. Today, leftist groups work hard to prevent such speakers from appearing on campuses. I remember when Camille Paglia, pro-porn feminist, was invited to speak at a college, and the local campus feminists made such a row that her speech was cancelled. Then there are all the laws designed to inhibit hate speech. Liberals don't trust the public to sort out raw ideas, and so want to make sure certain controversial views aren't even aired. They are seldom 100% successful, but it demonstrates that anti-intellectualism is hardly the province of just the right.

Comment by Arcus on August 31, 2011 at 12:50pm

@Jimmy:

"What are human rights?  Why do we just assume and accept they exist?  I'm pretty liberal as you know - and challenging this is a challenge to my world view.  But...I see shaky ground beneath me so it has to be done."

I wouldn't exactly say I "believe" there is such a thing as human rights, but I choose to act as if they are real, since they tend to be foundations for leading an ethical life. It's like knowing that a $100 bill is not, in fact, worth $100, though it is as long as we hide that debate behind a veil of ignorance. I don't have the capacity to break that veil, I can chose what I must remain ignorant about, but knowing that it exists makes me non-dogmatic in my approach to new knowledge I encounter.

I guess liberal is a good label for many of my opinions, but so is conservative and socialist. Most of all I prefer to think of myself as progressive and not subscribing to any absolute and eternal truths. I guess a search for the golden mean and to remain stoic are qualities I prefer. As the Good Book (H2G2) says: DON'T PANIC. ;)

Comment by Unseen on August 31, 2011 at 12:54pm

Human rights aren't a fact. No fact-based argument will prove we have human rights. All rights are created legislatively and apply just to those who have representation under the jurisdiction of that authority. One might cite the UN, but like most people, I don't view myself as a subject of the UN. Anything like blanket human rights could only be bestowed by a creator, and I'm not religious, so I don't believe in human rights at all.

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