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Atheists; the most hated group in America?
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Plum Puddin'

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This hilarious on so many levels.
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:04 pm
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Oh Daesu wrote:
futuristxen wrote:
icarus502 wrote:
The "bad" part about fundamentalist Christians is the content of their beliefs, not their willingness to share those beliefs.

I disagree. Content is immaterial to action. It doesn't matter what they believe, it matters how they interpret those beliefs into how they operate within the world.

I don't understand what you think the difference between one's belief and one's interpretation of their belief is. Beliefs are couched in language and language is interpretation. It's interpretation all the way down.

Exactly. Which is why the content is irrelevant. The folks who set up slavery in america were for the most part reading the same bibles as the slaves who rose up against the system. The bad part about fundies isn't the words floating around in front of them, or the stories floating in front of them, it's how they use those words and stories to justify cruelty and hate to others.

So the focus flips a bit to the intersection of those stories with the people, and the mechanisms by which peoples brains use those words for various states of being. Rather than a simple "you worship a zombie, derr". Which is I think something that many people who put themselves in either a theist or athiest camp miss. Too busy haggling over the whethers and ifs to ask the whys.

I also don't think it's an issue that lends itself to generalization. I don't think any two people can experience these issues in the exact same way. They are all hugely intimate issues that differ in reasoning from person to person, biography to biography. So when somebody kicks you a label about what they believe, rather than debating them on whether they are right or wrong, I think it's worth exploring instead why they believe what they believe, because more often than not it's camped in their own personal experience, and it can tell you a lot about their lives, and in turn enrich your own imo.
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:26 pm
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Joined: 30 Jun 2003
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futuristxen wrote:

Sorry :)
If it makes you feel better most theists I know feel the same sort of bother about that kind of thing. I personally find it a little amusing, slightly strange, but understandable in some ways too. I think most of my friends are atheists, or agnostics, or catholics by this point in my life. And my family is nazarene/southern baptist/fruitcake. Because of the last point, and because of how crazy my childhood was with god, I think I now approach the issues with less of an interest in the wide overarching existential questions, and more of an interest in how people personally use their beliefs to shape how they treat one another or see the world. So to me it's so much less interesting for me to hear whether you believe in god or not, and it's much more interesting to hear what believing or not believing or whatever does for your life, and how all the little spirit voices jingle jangle your puppet strings at midnight sort of thing, I think.

I mean, honestly, when has a yes/no question ever been worth it's weight in anything? It tells you nothing about anything. Which is great if you want to learn nothing. Or talk about nothing. Heck I love talking about nothing. But, it's worth noting that one nothing is as good as another nothing, and all things being equal Albert Pujols is probably better coffee table discussion.

When you put it that way, I'm pretty much with you. I guess it's just still interesting to me because, for many people, belief in god ends up being (at least on the surface) the beginning and end, progenitor and telos for all belief and behavior. So someone's religious background and belief becomes a kind of short hand for a myriad of other attitudes. Sure there are fundies who help old ladies cross the street and fundies who shoot abortionists, but by and large, religions shape people. So I agree that it's more interesting to talk about the consequences and concrete application of beliefs than the beliefs themselves, but yeah...

...and I guess also I see the god question as an opening into developing a metaphysics, which DOES interest me. Like, we're talking about it as a yes/no here, but it's really just one little piece of asking how it is that we exist, what that existence is like, what is the relationship between ego and the external world, etc. Those questions don't necessarily have great bearing on our everyday actions, but I think they're worth pondering on occasion.

Edit: (I wrote that before reading your last response to Daesu, which kinda pre-empts some of my points here.)
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:44 pm
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Has anyone seen the the documentary fall from grace? It focuses on the actions of the godhatesfags groups that plague this nation. I am literally laughing out loud to some of the things these people are saying. How can people retard themselves to a level of complete and utter intellectual oblivion.

During the film, a man said "We're bringing God's cup of fear to this nation to drink from" or something along those lines. I was rolling around with laughter. I want to find one of these protests and pull out my dick and just start massaging it. I've known of them for a long time, I just thought this is a good topic to talk about. I mean they're just so cute.
Post Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:14 am
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i saw this on the subway today and thought of this thread. well, i actually saw two. one was clean and the other had the "out" in "without" crossed out with pen.

Post Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:00 pm
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R. Kamidees

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'pologies if someone had posted this in the last eight pages, but I just watched a great BBC program called "Atheism: A rough history of disbelief." It was put together by Jonathan Miller.

You have to search the torrents if you are in the States, but its worth the search. I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't know that Thomas Paine helped with the American Revolution, and even coined the name "United States of America."

If you have netflix, you can find Miller's lengthy interviews with some famous free-thinkers, called "The Atheist Tapes" to stream.

This was brought up by the documentary, but what are your thoughts on the term "non-theist" as opposed to "atheist?"
Post Sat Oct 31, 2009 6:25 pm
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See Arrrgh

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shambhala wrote:

I thought that was a decent point actually Hellen, and when people think "atheist" they're probably making the connection to people who object to nativity scenes at schools or the ten commandments in courtrooms, etc. Clearly unconstitutional, yet very popular, displays of traditional American Christian values that have in the last thirty years been pushed back by the ACLU and other organizations looking to cement the secular nature of the country. I think people are more inclined to think of that kind of "atheist," not just someone who disbelieves in God. Moreover, despite Mean's typically snarky remark, if I'm right about Hellen's point, there are a lot of Atheists out there who feel it's their business to convince people they're idiots for believing in God instead of letting them have their (probably delusional) beliefs. Nobody likes that; so it's a numbers game at that point. Most Americans (90%) believe in God, so it's not hard to understand why they'd respond this way about Atheists, a group who they've probably encountered far more often than say Muslims or Homosexuals.

But I don't understand what's meant by "Atheists." I think that word has a connotation for people that might not connect with what the word actually means. Like, I am a Buddhist, but I'm not sure that I'm who the respondents are thinking of when they think of Atheist. And do they mean, anyone who disbelieves in God, or only those who feel that they have to push their view on others? It's like the term "christian" for me; I have some prejudices when people talk about "christians" but rarely do I actually meet one of the ones that I read about or see on TV that need to be drug out in the street and shot. I might answer a survey about christians unfairly due to prejudices that actually don't connect to my daily experience of people of the christian faith.

I'm not trying to split hairs here, but I have this weird thing about uncited, false statistics allowed to go unchallenged. If this has already been corrected, then my post is redundant.

Closest statistic to being the truth? 78.5% of Americans believe in god, according to a 2007 census estimation by the World Fact Book.


As far as the other line of discussion is going, I think there's a divide amongst people who would describe themselves as "atheist" and those who need to be described as something else. The atheists that push their disbelief onto those who believe should be categorized as antitheists, even though by definition antitheism and atheism are exactly the same. The reason I feel this way is because, as an agnostic and someone typically antitheistic toward (mainly) Christianity, I feel that someone can disbelieve without it becoming a belief in it's own, whereas someone with antitheistic views takes on a belief system that's the antithesis to what is taught by major religions. This, I believe, is what makes an atheist into something that's as annoying and overbearing as the religions they're trying to hard to argue against. All of this, in the end, is meaningless. Why? Because it's labels, and people tend to mislabel things on a regular basis.

All in all, I find antitheists as annoying as those theists that feel they must "save" and therefore make you believe in the existence of a god. My favorite group? Agnostics with an open mind and good imagination.
Post Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:13 am
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