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: 925

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

Comment by Unseen on August 29, 2011 at 10:28pm

So, freedom is maximized by means of limiting freedom?

 

You're a believer in human rights? There are no human rights. Rights are either legislated or imaginary. There are no right "out there" in the ether that apply to everyone by the fact of their humanity. You have the rights your jurisdiction allows you. It would be nice if there were human rights, but that would require some overarching reality such as God. Absent God, a belief in human rights is just something people believe, like Islam or Presbyterianism or that the earth is hollow. Human rights are not a fact.

Comment by Ed on August 29, 2011 at 10:39pm

I too realized, after being a member of this site for not very long, that Think Atheist was top heavy with liberal viewpoints. I don't like labels and prefer not to call myself a conservative or liberal. I have positions on relevant issues that come from both sides of the fence.

Let me flame some of our liberal atheist brethren by stating my "beliefs" about liberalism. And I can take harsh retort as I have never worn my heart on my sleeve. Some may consider me a cold bastard even. When I think of liberalism on a local level what immediately comes to my mind is the lazy individuals of my county who have figured out how to "milk the system." We have scores of individuals who run to the post office the same day every month to collect either their crazy check, disability, welfare, or food stamps. That being said I certainly realize that there is a small percentage of those individuals who are rightfully deserving of such handouts from the government. It's the second and third generation welfare recipients who make my guts churn. We have succeeded in breeding and feeding people to have no motivation. They have figured out it is easier to kick back and draw that "freebie" from the government. So to a certain extent I equate liberalism with laziness. 

Another primary issue I have with liberalism regards the tax the shite out of rich folk and everything will be OK. I don't understand why we expect people who have a lot of money in the bank to pay more than what the middle class does. I have a friend I was in the military with about thirty years ago. When he got out in '81 he started a small office telecommunications company around Washington D.C. This guy busted his arse for twenty five years through thick and thin; often working 60+ hours a week. Today he is on the verge of early retirement. His business and private assets are about 5 million $$ today. My hat is off to him. Why should I expect him to pay more to the government percentage-wise than what I do? He busted his ass, made some good business decisions, and is reaping the rewards. Whereas others sit on their arse and complain. Take Obama's illegal immigrant aunt living in Boston. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHoAuk76fT8&feature=player_embedded 

She has never paid a dime into our social security system but expects a handout check nonetheless. Do we really have an obligation to this "welfare queen?" I think not. Perhaps it is not too late for her to learn the values of a work ethic. Speaking of illegals why do liberals seem to support the idea that being in this country without a green card or visa is actually OK? In fact we should probably just ignore the 30 million illegals from across the border who have tapped into our wonderful society in the form of free medical, food stamps, etc. They have also found there way into our prison systems after committing rape and even murder. If you are undocumented and inside the borders of the US then you have NO rights. You are breaking the law. You cannot drive a vehicle either. Surprise!

Arizona, Georgia, and Alabama are leading the surge in correcting this illegal tide!

Guns are good. No, guns are GREAT (in responsible, trained, legal hands)! I wouldn't consider a life without one. Sighting down on that innocent deer in late December with my 30-30 gets me all choked up.

I know "fer sure" some of you leftys out there are bitin' at the bit and all lathered up to smoke my ass with free thinking liberal thought. Fire away I "gots" my flak jacket on. 

P.S. The parenthetical redneck lingo is a result of southern indoctrination.

P.S.S. Oh yeah, there is positively no such thing as a "sky fairy" unless of course you can back it up with some verifiable evidence.

Comment by Derek on August 29, 2011 at 11:01pm

"Guns are good. No, guns are GREAT (in responsible, trained, legal hands)! I wouldn't consider a life without one. Sighting down on that innocent deer in late December with my 30-30 gets me all choked up."

 

Smells like trolling but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I'm not an American but I'm always fascinated by that perpetual erection which some Americans Have towards guns. I mean come on, really. You can't even consider life without a gun?! How utterly uncritical of you.

Comment by Unseen on August 29, 2011 at 11:19pm

It seems to me that you can't achieve addition by means of subtraction in mathematics or in rights.

 

Many people believe that people are born with rights, like the American founding fathers. But they had reference to a creator with intentions for mankind. When mankind is the result of a chemical accident followed by a long chain of increasing complexity with natural selection taking over at some point, it's hard to figure out where rights come into the picture.

 

Comment by Alejandro M on August 29, 2011 at 11:32pm

Hey all, many thanks for the great responses! I live on the other side of the globe, so I woke up to a lot of interesting comments. 

 

It is comforting to know that most here know that at least atheist does not equal liberal. Even though, at least in the US, it is almost a (wrongly used) synonym...

 

And with regards to AGW, it is NOT settled. Heck, Einstein's theory of relativity is not settled (it breaks down on distances below an atom's size, and on times before 1/10^34 of a second after Big  Bang); evolution, while largely proven, is continuously improved (by geniuses such as Dawkins et al)... so I don't know how people can claim that AGW is "settled" (as in, "nothing more to discuss, it is THE TRUTH"). It would be sooo different if AGW supporters said "hey, data seems to indicate this, let's be good, shall we?" or approach it like the recycling people do it - peacefully. As in, voluntary collaboration. But this AGW fascism for me is too close to religion... or don't you think so?

 

Peace.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on August 30, 2011 at 12:40am

Sorry Alejandro, but I'm going to post revealing, potentially embarrassing information about any candidate who has connections to a group of prophesying "Apostles" who intend for him to aid them in bringing about the End of Days.  It's not my fault that Rick Perry is a Republican.

 

If we had a Republican in office now, and the democratic candidates were given to hanging around with religious extremists, I'd be all over that too.  I do get a bit rabid about my Church and State separation...It's also no Liberal conspiracy that Republicans tend to most actively advocate theocracy.

Comment by Albert Bakker on August 30, 2011 at 1:15am

If you are going pick a bone about the semantics of "settled" in science lexicon versus its meaning in the colloquial sense and compare the "settled-ness" of AGW to that of SR and GR then that's fine by me.

The Planck time you were referring to is actually 10E-44 s, only a few orders of magnitude off, but that's excusable.

By the way I'm not supporting AGW I wish it didn't exist. I mean I really, really wish the denialists were right. I fail to see what fascism has to do with it, but I guess that's just a prematurely ejaculated reductio ad Hitleram.

Comment by Albert Bakker on August 30, 2011 at 1:32am

Unseen - You can in mathematics and in rights too. In mathematics when you subtract a negative number you add it's absolute value. Similarly but differently when you take away someone's rights you might add to someone elses rights. A simple example. If you put a stalker in jail you take away his right to go where he pleases, but you add to the right of his object of obsession to go where she pleases.

Rights aren't inherent and necessary, they are contingent and functional.

Comment by Unseen on August 30, 2011 at 2:00am

Mathematics is a way to describe the real world. It's not the real world. Negative numbers are imaginary (and no, I'm not referring to the mathematical concept of an "imaginary number").

 

What do I mean? When a lamp is on the table it is there in our empirical consciousness. If there is no lamp there, it is not the absence of a lamp. It is the absence of anything else that might have been there. There's no hamster or pet rock or compass there, either. So, one way to look at subtraction is as addition involving positive and negative numbers.

 

That's not the way subtraction works in reality. If I have a pile of 10 rocks and you take 2 of them away, that is real world subtraction. There's no real world analog to a negative rock.

 

When you take away someone's rights, you take away someone's rights. There is no necessary increase in anyone else's rights. If you take away my right to cross my legs when I sit, whose rights have been added to? Nonsense. When you take away someone's rights, you have simply asserted that you are stronger than they are and I don't see how anyone's rights are increased.

 

Taking your example of the stalker, by removing the stalker from the world, you haven't increased his object's rights one iota. She always HAD the right under the law to go and do as she pleases without interference. You have simply removed an impediment to her exercise of her rights, but you haven't given her a new right or increased any right she already had.

Comment by Alejandro M on August 30, 2011 at 2:12am

Guy Sorman has this to say about AGW (in French, Google Translation + my re-touches below).

 

Ecologism is a luxury of the rich

 

Al Gore and the "re-heaters" (N.Ed - AGW supporters) have gone too far: the abuse of doomsday prophecies, of the bears disappearing (proven false), of the oceans that overwhelm us (they have gone up a little in a thousand years) and some obvious manipulations scientists have finally exhausted the public opinion. In the United States, 77% of Americans"believed" in 2007, that global warming was caused by man: the figure dropped now to 44%. While science is not determined by survey (N.Ed - great blow to "97% of scientists say AGW is real), but the experts involved have continued to meddle rigorous, theoretical models. If there is warming, it may only be very slightly determined by man and not enough to influence our policies. The economic crisis is also helping to evacuate the panic, and substituting it for a far more immediate concern: unemployment.


Ecology is a luxury for the rich. It is remarkable that even in Japan, between Hiroshima (1945) and Fukushima (2011), environmentalists have been all but inaudible (we do not see that in the Western media), as the Japanese fear poverty more than nuclear danger.

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