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: 950

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

Comment by Godless Conservative on August 29, 2011 at 9:46am

Atheist most certainly doesn't mean liberal.  I've found that the more conservative atheists tend to not be all that outspoken about their conservative politics, or their atheism.

 

It goes along with the personality of conservatives in general.

 

http://godlessconservative.com

Comment by Sophie on August 29, 2011 at 10:34am
This sums it up pretty nicely for me.

Comment by Arcus on August 29, 2011 at 11:58am

"even if the opposing view that you have is often held by religious people, it is NOT automatically wrong"

It is a fair point, but I always take a really hard look at myself and the counterarguments if I find myself aligned with religious fundies. Usually truth, or at least as close as one can get to the rather elusive concept, is a lot more mundane than the most extreme opinions on both sides.

Comment by Albert Bakker on August 29, 2011 at 12:02pm

Why does AGW denial has to be so tied in with political conservatism? What's exactly the ideological drive behind this pathetic foolishness? How the hell is denial of events actually happening going to conserve anything?

And the science is settled, when 97% of the experts agree, it's fucking unanimous as far as scientific consensus is able to get. And then some. When some medical doctors, geologists, engineers, dentists, pharmacologists, chiropractors and a bunch of others who can show a diploma of something or other put their signature under some protest letter then this does not amount to scientific controversy. It amounts to activism.

ID-like obsessing about details notwithstanding, AGW stands and it stays standing because it is a fact and facts don't disappear because they don't agree with your politics.

This is not to say that liberals don't have their own stupid ideologically based harmful anti-science too. They most certainly have. You could choose to shoot their bullshit down and I'll be cheering you on.

And "views" should never be respected, not a priori, not a posteriori, they should be examined and weighed. If you are in the minority and certain of your position make your arguments stronger, after all reality isn't decided by popular vote, but don't ask others to politely shut up.

Comment by Brady on August 29, 2011 at 12:28pm

I have to agree. I see liberal indoctrination among atheists all the time. I would think that all atheists would be the best Independents. However, the political parties have found that people don't really care about all the issues and the bigger picture.

The people as a majority are motivated to vote based on a handful of issues at a time and are drawn to the polls out of fear of the other party coming into power.

It is easier to motivate atheists to be liberal because most religious nuts are affiliated with the right. The religious nuts on the left have learned to keep their mouths quiet, creating the all important dichotomy the two parties require. IE. Take any issue and characterize it either left or right. This can change in the future with a Republican that promotes science over religion. If the Democrats are at a weakened political state, they will jump on the religion bandwagon to create that fear of the opposite party.

In reality, it really doesn't matter what the issue is as long as it can be politicized as Left vs Right. You see this all the time when the party in power flip flops on issues. IE. Obama was against raising the debt ceiling when Bush was in office, but recently pushed that it be raised during his term and Obama using war powers in Libya.

The real problem is our country has not defined a long term plan for this country. All we have are short term arguments on what is best for, "the future" not "the goal". No long term goal leads to political parties fighting each other for power. Issues are just talking points to get elected and divide the votes.

Being atheists doesn't mean that they have become a freethinker. However, being a freethinker should be the goal of all atheists. So, in order to get atheists to leave any political indoctrination, they first have to think for themselves and outside of the propaganda.

Politics is just another indoctrination that people will cling to for comfort and purpose regardless of religion or lack of.

Comment by Gaytor on August 29, 2011 at 1:28pm

Politics and religion are deeply intertwined right now. Many conservatives vote only on pro-life as their issue. Rick Perry has ran his state into the ground, but he's religious so he gains ground. Jon Huntsman and Romney are the least religious in the Republican arena. Who would have ever guess that Mormons would be the least chatty about religion. (Ron Paul fans... he's deeply religious and doesn't even see sep of church and state as valid). 

Politics doesn't have to be about religion. Until about 92 I would have said that I was conservative. I haven't moved much politically but today I have a friend that calls me a pinko-lefty. At this point Gingrich gains power and it became a race be the most pious. Today Bachman thinks a effing hurricane is God speaking for her and you think that would should just look away? We must call it what it is. If you decide to jump on the grenade, I can't help you much. 

Many of the conservative positions are held by faith over reality. Let's take jump starting the economy. you present the Laffer Curve as the answer. That's blind faith. In 2001 the tax cuts led to less revenue until 2005. We have reached the bottom for returns on cutting taxes. American Corporations have so much flexibility today that they can sit on 2 trillion dollars and you think that cutting so that they have more is going to help? They don't need the current two trillion. If you want to create jobs, offer them a 15% flat tax on the money coming back, one time, and they must bring it all back. To avoid a high balance they will invest the 1.7 trillion into the economy immediately. Go to the Bismarck Health Care model which would drive our costs down from 16% of GDP to !! or lower. Money that business and people can use on areas outside of health care. 5% of GDP...   700 billion. But no, Grandma will be killed just like they are in Japan because they don't have old people, right? 

I'm happy to argue reasoned points, but your side isn't reasoned anymore. Your side wants to continue down a path that we have been on for 30 years that is, and has been, failing us. You can be and Atheist and a Conservative. But only one of those positions takes into account facts. The other is based on faith. This is why most of us are liberal. I've be only so happy to have a Conservative present some options but your side only hands the mics to your crazy members and now you are uncomfortable with us pointing that out. Circle back and get some reason back into the Republican party.  

Comment by Unseen on August 29, 2011 at 1:47pm

Certainly one can be atheist and conservative. One only has to think of Ayn Rand as an example. Our founding fathers were deists, which is a kind of atheistic religion. Deism is basically a form of God Is Dead theology. They thought God set things in motion then went away and left the world to run on its own without His intervention. Atheism as a stance on religion really says nothing beyond that.

Comment by kris feenstra on August 29, 2011 at 2:43pm

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"...

 

That's not really a respectful thing to say though.  It actually sounds like the same sort of dismissive behaviour that you, yourself, don't want to receive.  "The science is settled" is an empirical claim, so why not address it on empirical grounds instead of resorting to rhetoric? 

Comment by Albert Bakker on August 29, 2011 at 3:55pm

Ayn Rand was a conservative? I thought she was at best libertarian, but more likely the deified cult leader/ founder of the religion of "objectivism." (Fortunately that disease is confined to the US.)

Comment by Unseen on August 29, 2011 at 4:02pm

She was totally opposed to giving much power at all over to The State. How much more conservative can one get? And there's no doubt at all that she was an atheist. She even saw Communism as a religion.

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