It makes me feel a little uncomfortable

I see it often enough. At school an atheist and a theist are once again having a go at eachother for no reason other then one thinks differently. Atheist stereotypes generally consist of us having no morals and thinking we are better and higher then everybody else. I like to disagree with these stereotypes as many of us would but it bothers me sometimes the arrogance that we can show to theist.

I disagree with religion and I admit I have said things that I probably shouldn't of to religious people I know. We act like we are intellectually better then these people and that's what bugs me. A theist once told me that she believes not because it makes sense but because she wants to. Religion gives some people happiness, joy and can make them less afraid of the world. So with my theist friend she hardly ever mentions religion she goes to church once a week and I don't think I'm smarter then her or more logical. Give me an extremist however and I will spend hours going off at them being absolute batcrap crazy. A lot of us talk about atheism like seeing the light. A man may also see the light of Christianity but it doesn't make him better or worse then us. Where it becomes problimatic is when he tries to blow himself up infront of Muslim children. To the people who are moderately religious they may see atheist the same way. Moderate atheist believe in something different that's fine but extreme atheist (I know its a bit of a joke there are none or atleast not many to a theist maybe Richard Dawkins could be considered an extremeist a non violent one but one who strongly imposes his views) are problimatic.

The definition of new atheism is " Religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises". I do not agree 100% percent with this statement. It is rather hippo critical of us to accuse religions of being discriminatory when many of us are out there slamming religion and trying to eliminate it. People go to war over religion and for all i know if this keeps up people could go to war over an atheist- religious conflict. I think the world would be better off without religion but it is not something that we should attack aggressively. You just can't argue atheism with a dedicated theist it's like trying to change a dedicated atheist into a theist. We should focus on creating atheist not converting them.


Okay, I know that was rather long and probably has a lot of grammatical errors but what are your thoughts?

Views: 415

Tags: New, atheism, militant

Comment by Kyle Wilkins on January 23, 2012 at 4:12am

Religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises

I agree with that statement 100%. Regardless of creed and with anything it will make more break it. If a theist criticizes my Atheism I will defend it with knowledge and if I am stumped by something I will research it and it will help make my decision on being Atheist that much stronger. Same should go with religion, as long as this theist is rational. If I ask them a question they do not know an answer to, I assume they will research it to help defend their stance or weaken it and help them see my point. Ultimately it will help define them and they will understand what they are defending more then just 'well because my parents are Catholic' and it will either make the religion stronger or will make it weaker and expose certain topics that are told as facts for the BS they are. Same goes with anything else not just creed.

As for the rest. Regardless of creed you will find extremists in anything.

I do not consider Richard Dawkins neither an extremist or someone who strongly imposes his views. Anything I have ever seen is when someone challenges his facts he presents with their opinions they feel are facts because their religion says so, especially when religious opinions are transferred into politics and it effects everyone and has no scientific base and creates things such as certain stereotypes and may affect the physical or mental well-being of others.

Comment by Barry Eckert on January 23, 2012 at 4:15am

I would be interested to see further research on this question, Kasu. When I look at the original report, I note some methodological problems with this research. There is a heavy reliance on mere correlation to draw conclusions, and correlation really says little about cause and effect. Further, the factors used to construct the Successful Societies Scale, while I can agree with most of them, seem to be based on the author's own views of what a successful society in fact is. Subjective measures don't really belong in scientific research.

Comment by Barry Eckert on January 23, 2012 at 4:28am

Andrew, here are some thoughts for you:

Arrogance:

I listen to all these complaints about rudeness and intemperateness, and the opinion that I come to is that there is no polite way of asking somebody: have you considered the possibility that your entire life has been devoted to a delusion? But that's a good question to ask. Of course we should ask that question and of course it's going to offend people. Tough.
--Daniel Dennett

Atheism is the arrogant belief that the entire universe was not created for our benefit.
--Michael Nugent

Be careful with that one, with the irony-impaired.

Some notes about "theist rationality" or the lack thereof:

The difference between faith and insanity is that faith is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence, whereas insanity is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence.
--William Harwood: Dictionary of Contemporary Mythology, London, 1st Books, 2002

I hate that this one comes from a fictional character, but it's true, nevertheless

If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people.
--Dr. Gregory House M.D. (from the TV show "House")


Comment by Albert Bakker on January 23, 2012 at 5:16am

I can never for the life of me figure out why Dawkins would be considered an extremist. That just seems so self-defeatingly flat out bizarre so as to serve only as ridicule of the person uttering such nonsense.

Yet from the religionist point of view it makes sense in a characteristically twisted way. Dawkins would be considered an extremist because he is well spoken, clear, articulate, consistent and has an effect, an influence. His voice counts. It is precisely because he is not an extremist he cannot be put away under that header and safely ignored, that he must be labeled as such.

Because if you label someone an extremist and keep repeating it, then eventually people still on the fence will reason in the vain that where there is smoke there must be fire. (The jumping to a conclusion fallacy.) Then you have set the necessary prerequisites to let the workings of confirmation bias do their work.

That's why those adjectives like "militant" or "extremist" are used, not because there's a mote of truth to them, but because they prepare the human psyche to throw up the barricades and impede the advance of the enemy. Setting up the human firewall so to speak.

Comment by Barry Eckert on January 23, 2012 at 6:39am

sounds about right, Albert. Dawkins isan extremist ... extremely correct.

Comment by Jeff Howell on January 23, 2012 at 1:31pm

I definitely wouldn't view Dawkins as an extremist. He's passionate about evolutionary biology and views the willfully ignorant positions of Creationism and Intelligent Design for what they are. A threat to reason, science, and progression of human understanding. 

If Theists were able to stay out of politics and not constantly striving to re-implement the Dark Ages of theocracy, Most atheists would be content to live and let live. But unfortunately we're not allowed that option. We have to fight against theocratic control for our own personal freedoms and the survival of mankind as a whole. 

Comment by Cristynfaye on January 23, 2012 at 2:37pm

I absolutely agree with you.  You are a smart kid, smarter than a lot of adults that I know, I can tell that just from your insight.  Keep it up, Andrew.  We need more people like you in the world.

Comment by Albert Bakker on January 23, 2012 at 3:41pm

He definitely is. This is one of the strategy issues, the ongoing feud between "accommodationists" and "new atheists" or "militants" the question whether we should all be nice or we should all be assertive. "Accommodationists" fear that new atheists scare the religious doubters into devoutness and fear religious scientists might defect to the dark side and "new atheists" think accommodationists lend de facto assistance to religious fanatics with their pussyfooting and biting their tongues and spend an inordinate amount of time criticizing new atheists for lacking nuance. Many would answer that it's just a matter of being all over the spectrum, because people naturally are all over the spectrum. Some are elaborately diplomatic, others are outspokenly polemic and everything in between. So since we're not all the same, why not be yourself and choose the approach that fits you?

Comment by Becca on January 23, 2012 at 10:59pm

The circumstanes matter a lot to me. I'm on neither side of this debate - I'm neither accomodationist nor militant. There are times where being in your face and offensive works. There are many more times where a little tact will get you a long way... and having tact or being nice doesn't mean letting the religious walk all over you.

I think that the religious should be asked queestions that force them to think about thier convictions. The religious should be confronted when they are trying to insert their dogma where it doesn't belong. Religion should be countered and exposed by rational argument and religion should be criticzed when it is resulating in negative consequences. One can still do all that and remain tactful and even *gasp* nice in most (not all) cases.

I do appreciate people like Dawkins and think they have their place but in every day person to person interactions acting like Dawkins probably isn't the best way to go about it. Just saying...

Comment by Ron V on January 23, 2012 at 11:40pm

"I see it often enough. At school an atheist and a theist are once again having a go at eachother for no reason other then one thinks differently"

The fundamental question is how they think differently

 

Atheist stereotypes generally consist of us having no morals

An obviously incorrect assumption

 

and thinking we are better and higher then everybody else

This is likely not relevant when considering specific arguments and the merits of those arguments

 

I like to disagree with these stereotypes as many of us would but it bothers me sometimes the arrogance that we can show to theist.

I think this would depend upon specific people and specific arguments



I disagree with religion and I admit I have said things that I probably shouldn't of to religious people I know.

We all have said things we might regret

 

We act like we are intellectually better then these people and that's what bugs me.

I think this depends on the specific issue at hand- I do think when it comes to science, religion, and philosophy, in general, athesits/non-theists tend to be more educated about these topics

 

A theist once told me that she believes not because it makes sense but because she wants to.

Imaginary friends are comforting to many

 

Religion gives some people happiness, joy and can make them less afraid of the world.

As do drugs and alcohol

 

So with my theist friend she hardly ever mentions religion she goes to church once a week and I don't think I'm smarter then her or more logical.

Again, it probably depends on the specific issues you are talking about- and you may be more logical.  Smarter- I guess it depends on how you define and measure smartness.

 

Give me an extremist however and I will spend hours going off at them being absolute batcrap crazy.

Again, it probably depends on the specific issue - you may well be justified in your criticism depending on the issue at hand

 

A lot of us talk about atheism like seeing the light.

Well, it is removing the mental bondage of religion, is it not?

 

A man may also see the light of Christianity

Or drugs, alcohol, etc

 

but it doesn't make him better or worse then us.

It probably depends on how they use this "light." The Inquisition, the Dark Ages,......

 

Where it becomes problimatic is when he tries to blow himself up infront of Muslim children.

I think anything that leads one to self destruction and the destruction of others is "problematic"

 

To the people who are moderately religious they may see atheist the same way.

Please find me an example of a suicide bomber doing this in the name of atheism- and when was the last time an atheist killed a pro-life demonstrator (in contrast to Christians killing doctors at abortion clinics)- Christian love is not benign

 

 Moderate atheist believe in something different that's fine

Atheism is the absence of a belief in god/supernatural- are you talking about being a moderate non-believer v an extreme non-believer or are you talking about the manner in which people interact with others about their views?

 

but extreme atheist (I know its a bit of a joke there are none or atleast not many to a theist maybe Richard Dawkins could be considered an extremeist a non violent one but one who strongly imposes his views) are problimatic.

Again, if you stick to the issues, what is so problematic?  Has he bombed anyone?  What makes him an "extreme" atheist?



The definition of new atheism is " Religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises".

Didn't Socrates die for t

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