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 Unseen on August 29, 2011 at 4:29pm

Beliefs aren't facts. Atheism says nothing about economics and beliefs about economics run a rather wide gamut.

 

And, simply because one is atheistic doesn't mean one can't be a racist or sexist. For some, believing that God doesn't exist and that Hell therefor doesn't either might give them permission to follow their inclinations without fear, be those inclinations good or bad. I find it interesting that so many atheists here, while rejecting an unfounded belief in God, nevertheless feel no restraint at all about unfounded, unprovable, or simply outrightly false beliefs on other matters. It would be depressing were it funny.

 

Finally, here is an entire website based on atheist conservatism"

http://www.theatheistconservative.com/

Comment by Doug Reardon on August 29, 2011 at 4:32pm

I remember when Barry Goldwater was considered an ultra right wing reactionary, by today's standards he would be considered a left wing pinko commie.

Comment by Michael R on August 29, 2011 at 6:27pm

I recall someone on this site proposing an atheist political party. The overall reaction was something like "that would be like trying to herd cats" (to put it mildly). There is a huge diversity of political thought on this site. 

Comment by Unseen on August 29, 2011 at 6:34pm

"Individual freedom is the necessary condition for prosperity, innovation, and adaptation, which together ensure survival." Was that an excerpt from a Mitt Romney speech?

Comment by matt.clerke on August 29, 2011 at 7:37pm

Read a few responses so far.... cbf reading more.

 

being an atheist is not equal to being liberal

Agreed, being an atheist is not believing in a god or gods. Being a liberal is valuing human rights and freedoms. Two very different things and I seriously hope no one on this site actually believes otherwise.

 

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"

When someone says "the science is settled", they are meaning they have seen and read multiple articles supporting their argument as well as seeing polls of what scientists believe, based on the evidence at hand, on the topic. "God exists, na na na na na, I can't hear you" on the other hand does not even imply that there have been ANY articles read or any scientific consensus. See the difference?

 

what's with "tea-baggers"?

As far as I am aware, "tea-baggers" refers to the American political party "Tea Party" which is (correct me if I am wrong) an offshoot of the republican party. As an Australian, I don't really feel a need to keep up with American politics, so I am really not sure. FYI, I believe tea-baggers is meant in a derogatory sense, similar to "apple fanboy".

 

it is NOT automatically wrong

If a view is based on religious dogma, it is automatically invalid until that religion is proven to be true. For example, "Gay marriage should be banned because the Bible says it is wrong", This statement is automatically invalid as the Bible has NO authority. If the Bible can be proven to be the word of God and God can be proven to exist... THEN the above point becomes valid as the Bible then has the authority of God behind it.

 

and that view, whichever it is, should be a priori respected

Respected as a point of view, yes. Not as a point of political policy.

 

And finally, your title:

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

Just because 99% in this site are liberal does not mean that they don't realise that atheist does not mean liberal. Once you remove god(s) from the equation, you start actually thinking about the society you want to live in. For me, this is a more liberal society than we have today.

 

Comment by Derek on August 29, 2011 at 7:41pm

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...

 

No. Views should not get "a priori respect" unless they have some grounding in reality, that is, unless they are supported by evidence. Views may be plausible and may not seem to be automatically wrong, but they can be shown to be wrong when subjected to rational scrutiny. 

Comment by Unseen on August 29, 2011 at 8:07pm

@Kasu  Wherever it came from, do you agree or disagree with it? It seems a simple statement of the value of freedom. Do you find it odd an atheist should state that, even though it's congruent with the manifestos of most conservative candidates?

Comment by Unseen on August 29, 2011 at 8:13pm

Both liberals and conservatives will claim that they support individual freedom and both will be hypocritical on certain issues. Conservatives will, just as an example, want to restrict women's reproductive rights. Liberals will want to limit free speech when it comes to "hate speech."

Comment by Becca on August 29, 2011 at 8:43pm

There is no use in denying that most atheists are also what is typically considered to be liberal. But why get so hung up on the conservative/liberal labels? If your political ideas are really worthy of consideration then I suggest you start a few threads arguing for your ideas and let them speak for themselves.

Comment by James on August 29, 2011 at 9:14pm

I'll agree that Atheist doesn't automatically have to equate to being 'liberal' as well. It probably isn't much of a surprise that more Atheist's are progressive than conservative though. I actually used to be a conservative Atheist, but I have slowly drifted toward the middle, and a bit left of that fairly often. When I was a conservative and Atheist I actually started auditing why I held the political views I did. What I found was that the views I had were hold-overs from my former faith that no longer made sense in light of my new way of thinking and looking at the world. But it is certainly true that one can still remain conservative and be an Atheist. I do agree that blanket name-calling and attacks are uncalled for though.

 

Cheers!

Comment

You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

Atheist Sites

Blog Posts

Rounding Up?

Posted by Carol Foley on November 20, 2014 at 3:17am 2 Comments

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service