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Atheists; the most hated group in America?
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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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redball wrote:
Your definitions for common language are fine, Futuristxen. Icarus has simplified a more technically correct definition. I tried to bridge the gap. I'm sorry you don't like it because it doesn't precisely fit how you'd like to view atheists and agnostics.


That's not it at all.
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:59 am
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futuristxen



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jstile wrote:
It's not hierarchical because no-one is saying that one thing is better than the other, or that it has more worth or what have you. It is a spectrum of belief.


If something is the weaker version of something else, than it is being placed below it.

And a Spectrum I think tends to be hierachical against the middle. Or hierachical against the two ends. It depends on how you're emphasisizing it.

I think if we did not order things in this manner, our discussions might have more deviation than they do. But because we do order them as such, the arguements become madlibs.
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:04 am
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jstile



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futuristxen wrote:
jstile wrote:
It's not hierarchical because no-one is saying that one thing is better than the other, or that it has more worth or what have you. It is a spectrum of belief.


If something is the weaker version of something else, than it is being placed below it.

And a Spectrum I think tends to be hierachical against the middle. Or hierachical against the two ends. It depends on how you're emphasisizing it.


You and I are on a different page here. Weak atheism/theism isn't substandard compared to strong atheism/theism. It is just diluted with other, equally as valid beliefs.

futuristxen wrote:
I think if we did not order things in this manner, our discussions might have more deviation than they do. But because we do order them as such, the arguements become madlibs.


I think if people accepted that we were all on the same scale rather than at mutually incompatible opposites then there'd be a lot more acceptance and understanding on this rock.
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:08 am
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Psycho-78



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Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:30 am
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kese



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Good discussion about the topic on NPR right now:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112968197
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:36 am
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Sage Francis
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Here's my take on it.
the first two minutes kind of wraps up my whole ideology. The part before the actual song lyrics.

Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:22 pm
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TurnpikeGates



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redball wrote:
TurnpikeGates wrote:
redball wrote:
Previous discussions about atheism on this forum would support Hellen and Futurist's comments.


I dunno man. If antagonist, in this instance, just means "willing to debate the issue, given the chance" then yeah, I even I'm an antagonistic atheist.

But if you want to run numbers, theists are the ones most likely to be waving signs and blowing people up about the shit. I'd call that a bit more on the antagonistic side.

Really if anything, a lot of the comments in this discussion are dripping with irony over the "who cares" people caring so hard.


So "willing to debate the issue" is declaring all theists to be stupid, retarded, flawed, etc.? That is exactly what has happened here before. There is a contingent of atheists that are just as stupid and closed minded about this debate as the worst theists are, and some of them are here. Did you even look up any of the debates I mentioned or you just decided I was wrong on faith?

Also, I think if you run the numbers you'll find that there are a magnitude more theists in the world. That within that plurality there will be fringe extremes should be no surprise, especially to the superior intellect of the debate team atheist. The larger the group, the louder the extremists of that group have to yell to be heard. Likewise, the way you envision theists by thinking of these fringes, so do theists envision atheists by think of the smuggest, douchiest members of atheism, like Dawkins.

Personally, I think that applying the stereotypical fringe image to the entire mass of a group is a way in which we create divides, villianize larger groups, and avoid having a civil, logical debate. I believe a large portion of theists do this to atheists, but the inverse seems increasingly true as well.


Man, I know it's past this point in the debate, but I still wanted to address this, cause I think you are mischaracterizing my point by leaps and bounds. I just don't like the idea that atheists tend to be a certain way, because it completely misses the fact that atheists are all over the place, most of them not spending a lot of time contemplating the existence or nonexistence of god. I think I represent the average atheist: I don't believe in god. I don't claim to have definitive proof one way or the other. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it because it's not that important to my daily life or intellectual sustenance. My atheism is not overtly oppositional, rarely comes up, and is a trivial part of my identity.

What I'm talking about by "running the numbers" is not really related to this forum. Overzealous atheists surely DO outnumber overzealous theists on this here chunk of the internet. I just take issue with the idea that atheists "tend to be" antagonistic, because it's not true. There are a tiny few highly visible public figures that evangelize for atheism. Then there is a greater subset of atheists (still a tiny absolute number) who are self-righteous and condescending toward people who believe in god.

Now, I'm NOT generalizing theists by the fringe when I say that millions of people belong to a belief system that condemns me to damnation and hellfire. Millions of people go to churches that preach that someone like me is dirty, sinful, and beneath the believers.

Ok? So I'm not calling anybody stupid, retarded, flawed, etc. I'm just arguing for the idea that it's a bit disingenuous to act like atheists are the ones that make the argument over god all contentious and violent and crazy. Like atheists in general are hounding people over their beliefs.

I don't think people who believe in god are stupid... I would just love not to be called an immature or unsophisticated agnostic, especially by people who claim to actually not know much about these terms (not you). I would also love not to be defined by the few strident atheists who can't seem to leave people to their beliefs. If I'm not villainizing (mono in particular)-theists based on the numerous radical sects and bigotry-spewing demagogues, the least I can ask for is to be defined, as well, by my ACTUAL BELIEFS.

P.S. check my registration date. i've seen all the debates.
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:27 pm
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redball



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When I talked about "running the numbers" I also spoke of the world at large. My point was that the percentage of overzealous theists is probably proportional to -- and potentially smaller than -- the percentage of overzealous atheists. They're louder because there are more of them, so if you're not contrasting the size of the base group then you will find that the fringes are bigger on the bigger base group. To simplify:

Theists outnumber atheists (at least in Western culture, who has stats for the world?)
Theist fringe groups/members outnumber atheist fringe groups/members

So, yeah, we can ignore the former and focus on the latter to try to paint theists in a worse light than atheists are, or we can take all of that into account and come to the conclusion that neither group has a significant advantage or disadvantage. I choose to contrast, as I think it allows a more balanced view of things.

When you decide that millions of theists are damning you to hell you're taking an extreme view of their beliefs. Yes, some of them actively damn you to hell. Most of them are instead worried about your salvation. They are concerned that you will go to hell and want to protect you from this fate.

We hear too much about the parts of religion that teach hate and intolerance, but I've had many very tolerant experiences with religion. Yes, the intolerant ones left a lasting impression, but I would be remiss to act as though the tolerant ones didn't happen. Christianity and Islam both teach love and tolerance as a central theme, and the mainstream versions typically teach to love all people even if they don't share your beliefs.

I believe you are applying a fringe philosophy to the masses when you characterize theists as such. I think it's too easy to see the loudmouthed jackasses who twist their religion's message from love into hate and think that a majority of others are doing that. Though, I can see where these religions need to be faulted because their leadership does not do enough to silence or disavow these people, I don't think they are a fair representation of the majority.

Lastly, I never said you were calling anyone that. I merely stated that conversations about theism have happened here in which theists have been insulted such. If you saw the conversations then why are you questioning this? More specifically: conversations here have shown intolerance towards theists and assholery by atheists, to the extent that we as a microcosm prove Hellen's point. My original post says nothing more than that.
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:12 pm
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futuristxen



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Sage Francis wrote:
Here's my take on it.
the first two minutes kind of wraps up my whole ideology. The part before the actual song lyrics.




true sauce
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:22 pm
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Confidential



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i don't think so. that study doesn't measure the consequences of structural intolerance. atheists aren't disproportianately imprisoned, robbed of education, harrassed at the airport, the subject of draconian legislation. etc.
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:50 pm
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Hellen Earth wrote:
I have found a lot of atheists to be just as stupid and bull headed as christians, they just think they are cooler.

and this.
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:52 pm
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Sage Francis
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That's not what I've found at all.
Figured that is worth noting if we're going to take a poll.
In fact, most of the time you wouldn't even know someone is an atheist because they have no reason to push their ideology on people unless the topic of religion is forced upon them. It's just not worth the trouble.

I obviously don't fall into the "most" category, but outside of my art you'd be hard pressed to find me stating things I believe on anyone.
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:55 pm
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mortalthoughts
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Sage Francis wrote:
That's not what I've found at all.
Figured that is worth noting if we're going to take a poll.
In fact, most of the time you wouldn't even know someone is an atheist because they have no reason to push their ideology on people unless the topic of religion is forced upon them. It's just not worth the trouble.

I obviously don't fall into the "most" category, but outside of my art you'd be hard pressed to find me stating things I believe on anyone.



i dont knw man most of the atheists i know are very outspoken about it
id say if given the chance they can be as bad as the fundy christians.......
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:01 pm
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Sage Francis
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Well what I'm saying to you, and to the world I suppose, is that I don't notice that at all. I often see Atheists biting their tongue and saving themselves the trouble of telling people that what they believe is total fucking fantasy.

Instead, they say "Merry Christmas"
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:12 pm
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icarus502
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The "bad" part about fundamentalist Christians is the content of their beliefs, not their willingness to share those beliefs.
Post Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:14 pm
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