jump to last post 1-4 of 4 discussions (45 posts)

Defensive Atheism

  1. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
    OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago

    I've heard a lot of complaining about aggressive atheism as if it's a bad thing. Christianity and Islam can sure dish it out but they can't seem to take it, kind of like a street mugger calling the police when their victims fight back. Aggressive atheism is actually defensive atheism. Nothing is more aggressive than political religion. Being an atheist today is not about opting out but more about fending off, any abuse religions have coming to them is well deserved many times over. One can't be too aggressive about defending freedom of speech, which is far more sacred than any god or religion.

    People tell me I'm just as intolerant as the people I criticize. Really? I hope so, someone has to be. I am intolerant towards misogyny and sexism, I hope that doesn't offend. Racism, antisemitism... nope, got no tolerance for those either. Homophobia, maybe? Not a chance, no tolerance towards that at all.

    I guess I do have some issues to deal with, don't I? Not only am I openly intolerant to all those things, but if religion is used as an excuse for any of them, I become aggressively hostile and have no need to apologize for that, no one does.

    I'm being told I should respect peoples feelings. What about my feelings? What about the feeling of revulsion I get whenever I think about the Abrahamic God and the horrible thoughts and deeds He inspires? This God is my Satan, when I hear His name, I smell sulfur, when I hear His words, I hear death. I can see His religion has polluted the world I have to live in far more thoroughly than any fossil fuel could muster. Everything about this God has been purposely designed to poison our experience of life on earth, not to enhance it, to keep us fearful, to suppress knowledge, to curtail freedom and creativity and to celebrate death.

    It is nothing less than the sanctified dumbing down of the human race, and demanding respect for it is an insult that deserves to be repaid with considerable interest.

    1. profile image0
      Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” Thomas Jefferson

      So, if they aren't picking your pocket or breaking your leg why bust their chops?

      Aggression is aggression. We can seek to justify our behavior patterns but our justifications do not negate the fact that we are participating in those behavior patterns. It always fascinates me when aggressive atheists say they are simply reflecting the negative behavior patterns back. Why would you want to mimic that which you find abhorrent?

      1. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
        OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Religions do far worse than just picking pockets and breaking legs.



        It isn't aggression we are talking about, is it? Why not comment on what was said in the OP, instead? No, we are not reflecting the negative behavior.

        1. profile image0
          Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Are these not your words?  Religions deserve no respect at all because, a) they offer no respect and b) they offer no evidence. Evidence is unwelcome because it removes the need for faith and that would be such a waste of all that phony virtue.

          Faith is one of three phony virtues, the other two are piety and righteousness.


          You say they offer no respect, so you owe no respect. I see no difference in your defense of your disrespect for them and their defense of their lack of respect for atheism. Both are argumentative and combative. If both behavior patterns are similar, how are they different? You are the one who brought up the subject of aggressive atheism. Aggression is aggression. Disrespect is disrespect.

          You say they offer no evidence. Of what? Of their god? I don't know whether you've been clued in to this fact, or not. But you can't prove or disprove God. Why fight about it?

          Faith may be a phony virtue. I suppose, if you think of faith as a virtue. I'm not certain what is so virtuous about it. I agree that piety and righteousness are pains in the tush. But, look at the OP. Do you not think you are attempting to claim the moral high ground? You claim to be defending freedom. Free speech. I suppose free speech falls into the category of speech you approve of? I don't know. You tell me. It's a little confusing. You are fending off abuse by being abusive? What is that? Two bullies squaring off?

          You said People tell me I'm just as intolerant as the people I criticize. Really? I hope so You want to be intolerant. That's good to know. How does intolerance foster tolerance? Now, although I agree we should stand against intolerance I wouldn't go so far as to revel in the fact that I consider myself intolerant. I wouldn't be so giddy about the fact that people see me as intolerant. When intolerance is faced with intolerance there is little hope for construction dialogue.

          You also claimed I'm being told I should respect peoples feelings. What about my feelings? What about the feeling of revulsion I get whenever I think about the Abrahamic God and the horrible thoughts and deeds He inspires? This God is my Satan, when I hear His name, I smell sulfur, when I hear His words, I hear death. I can see His religion has polluted the world I have to live in far more thoroughly than any fossil fuel could muster. Everything about this God has been purposely designed to poison our experience of life on earth, not to enhance it, to keep us fearful, to suppress knowledge, to curtail freedom and creativity and to celebrate death.

          If you feel that way, why in the world do you rush in to talk about it? It would appear that you are purposely seeking situations where you are repulsed.  I find practices within Islam to be a little repulsive. I think Satanists may have psychological issues. If asked, I voice an opinion. I don't go out of my way to discuss it. If I did, then it wouldn't be unrealistic to label me self righteous. Going out of my way to find people I disagreed with in order to point out how repulsive I found their beliefs to be seems a bit egotistical. Why would I think my opinion should have some bearing on their opinion of their opinion? What purpose would open hostility serve?

          And, in closing, you said It is nothing less than the sanctified dumbing down of the human race, and demanding respect for it is an insult that deserves to be repaid with considerable interest.

          That pretty much sums up the whole ego trip of aggressive atheism.

          1. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
            OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I can see you haven't read the OP or you don't understand it. You seem to be reading things that aren't there, making up definitions to words and aren't able to fathom the concepts presented in the OP. I can only conclude by your emotional and disingenuous outburst that you're in favor of respecting and accepting misogyny, sexism, racism, antisemitism and homophobia.

      2. profile image0
        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Ever watch fox news? If you don't push back they will walk all over you. Tell you what to watch, how to spend your Sunday and how to vote.

        1. profile image0
          Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Hey rad man. No, i don't watch fox news. Why would i seek to listen to sh#t  which irritates me? Without the benefit of response. Sounds like a miserable moment. I don't give my time to the far left or right.

          As to voting, I'm an independent. I have no idea why you asked that. Since you're Canadian, don't they have some channel you could tune into which might please your ear?

          1. profile image0
            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Emile, once again I wasn't speaking of only you specifically. I'm talking about media and it's ability to persuade.

            1. profile image0
              Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Whether you were talking to me, or not, isn't the point. Although I do wonder why you respond to my post when you aren't talking to me. Wouldn't it be easier and cause less confusion for you to simply post a stand alone comment, thus avoiding the appearance of addressing the person whose post you bounced off of?

              Fox news proves nothing, other than the fact that there is money behind the views being offered. Money enough to sponsor the crap. I don't think you realize this, but just because there is a show on cable, it doesn't necessarily follow that there is a huge following of that line of thought. If that were true I'd be scared. There is a lot of weirdo stuff on the airwaves.

              1. profile image0
                Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Emile, it may help to reread the post a few times. I didn't say I wasn't speaking (to) you, I said I wan't only speaking (of) you. As if your perception of reality is the only one that matters. People are effected by the media. Can you that others are effected by media without only reflecting on how you specifically are effected?

                1. profile image0
                  Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Rad man. Presuming to know what others think and how they think is (not to be redundant) presumptuous. You appear to be overreacting to certain types of media. And attempting to decide that your over reaction is, in fact, the appropriate reaction and condemning others through your assumptions of their reactions to the media.

                  I love NPR. I love the subjects discussed and I appreciate what I view as an unbiased approach to the news. My sister considers me to be a leftist malcontent. Because I like it. I don't perceive myself as such and consider her assumptions indicative more of her problems than any I might have.

                  There's an old saying about assumptions, but when i think about the saying I usually leave off the last two words. Because, those last two words don't accurately define the moment. Unless I chose to react with an equal dose of biased and inaccurate assumptions.

                  1. profile image0
                    Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    No over reactions sweetie. Just understanding.

      3. oceansnsunsets profile image90
        oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        +1

    2. oceansnsunsets profile image90
      oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I disagree and observe a lot of the opposite things in humanity.  I don't believe atheists are usually on the defensive, in general, and you do see them going out on the offensive.  If you stick around these forums enough, you will see a trend for sure.  I point it out all the time.  It happened just today even, I and some others were lied about over and over and told how immoral I was for just discussing a topic.  This happens on a regular basis. 

      I prefer to believe in a "live and let live" view.  That is more moral than the aggressive, 'they have it coming', kind of atheism I see.  You seem to have appeared almost to make a case defending what you want to do to others.  I have not seen the case be made at all.

      A lot of people want to not be forced to change their minds about things, or risk ridicule or punishment, and that is mind control.  There are a lot of accusations in your post there, but I don't think they are warranted in general and seem like you are describing extremism of a view. (or things that aren't ACTUALLY happening necessarily.  It seems to be assumed.)  I don't believe in such any kind of extreme view.  I am a Christian however, and do think the person whose views I am following allow for people to live out peacefully together in a pluralistic society like Jesus did.  He had no need to FORCE anyone to do anything.  He went on his way.  So I would encourage more fairness.  How you are talking seems pretty dangerous actually to me.  Its kind of scary, and kind of unfortunate that you seem to harbor the feelings that come through in your post. 

      The incredibly extreme views out there, I am with you on the fact THOSE should be addressed.  Not the lumping all people together kind of thing, as you wouldn't want to be lumped either.  What you seem to be promoting sounds like more conflict, not less.  I am for less conflict.

      1. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
        OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I can see why you think atheists are on the offensive, being a self-professed Christian.

        Yes, Christianity is mind control.

        1. oceansnsunsets profile image90
          oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I think there are a great many atheists that are not on the offensive.  When they are though, they are.  It is not hard to see.  The question becomes what actually explains it over what is often offered up as reasons.  Does it seem reasonable and rational is the next question, the cause and effect I see.

          1. HowardBThiname profile image88
            HowardBThinameposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Thank you - I am one of those.

            I was once offended - but that feeling has long since passed. As a "new" atheist, I was angry at the church for deceiving/brainwashing me as a youth. When I admitted to myself that I really didn't believe in the teachings, I felt ostracized, uncomfortable, and I felt as if I must "push against" something in order to justify my lack of belief.

            That was so yesterday. Today, I recognize a person's value by his/her words and actions. I am no longer angry with Christians who would like to "bring me back into the fold" or "pray for my lost soul." If that makes them feel better -more power to them. I have friends who are devout Christians and very good people. They understand me - and I understand them. No conversion or argument about religion is ever broached between us.

            A couple of years ago, one of my Christian friends said that if all atheists she knew were like me - she would consider "joining us." lol 

            The truth is - we are all defined by the type of person we are. I am not defensive and therefore, believers (usually) feel no reason to confront me. I am secure in my lack of belief and I do not find it necessary to defend that - or to throw it in anyone's face.

            For me - it's that old, "if you build it they will come" theory. If I throw up a defensive shield, the attacks my shield was erected to protect against - will surely come.

  2. peeples profile image88
    peeplesposted 2 years ago

    There is a way of being intolerant of people without attacking them. You can easily stand up for your feelings and thoughts in an educated respectful manner. Just because they jump off the bridge doesn't mean you need to also.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      That's doubtful - anything but slavish agreement is instantly taken as an attack, particularly any hint the the proselytizing is not appreciated.  Witness the near constant outcry of persecution, the result of attempting to convince the religious that government and religion do not mix.  That religious observations and brainwashing do not belong in public schools, parks, buildings or any other public property.

      1. peeples profile image88
        peeplesposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        While I agree that most of religion is brainwashing I try not to use that word when talking to avid believers. It is a direct attack on their intelligence to THEM. Now I am not saying we should freely let them control everything. I'm not saying that we shouldn't have an intellectual conversation/debate. But I am saying that when on forums or the internet sometimes we have to know when to shut up and walk away knowing that if it comes down to just being hateful it isn't worth it, and it really does make us just as bad as them.

        1. profile image0
          Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          +1

        2. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          True - I'm not very PC and don't usually give a hoot about someone looking to be offended.  If "brainwashing" (a correct and descriptive term for what is being done) is offensive, so be it. 

          Nevertheless, you are correct - we should all be aware that there comes a time in most discussions when it is time to put an end to it and walk away as there is nothing being accomplished.

        3. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
          OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Brainwashing and intelligence are not the same thing nor does one really have anything to do with the other. Intelligent people are brainwashed by religions.

          It is the hate from religions we are trying to combat, walking away from the hatred of religions only makes it worse. If we were as bad as them, we would be combating the person, instead.

          1. oceansnsunsets profile image90
            oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Aren't you kind of lumping all religions as hateful?  If not, why not address particular hateful things that some of a religious persuasion do? Or atheists for that matter?  Are you equally against all hateful acts?  I guess that would be my biggest question.

            1. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
              OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Those questions can be answered if you read and understand the OP.

              1. oceansnsunsets profile image90
                oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I actually think I understood the op, it seems pretty straightforward what you are trying to communicate.  We could discuss the particulars if you like.

    2. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
      OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I don't think you actually read the OP or understood it. Read it again and let me know who exactly I attacked? You can also read about respect, too.

      Thank you for your comment.

      1. peeples profile image88
        peeplesposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        "aggressively hostile and have no need to apologize for that"
        "I'm being told I should respect peoples feelings. What about my feelings? "
        "People tell me I'm just as intolerant as the people I criticize. Really? I hope so, someone has to be."
        I never said that you did attack anyone, but when you say you will become aggressively hostile it is implying that you could.
        I don't disagree with your overall point, I think you came off however as saying that you will argue against them even if that means going over board.
        As the the other post I didn't say that intelligence had anything to do with brain washing. I said that they (believers) take it as a direct insult to their intelligence.
        There is always a time to walk away and a time to debate. Everyone needs to know when to say when and move on if they are getting no where. It doesn't mean forget the cause.

        1. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
          OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Are not these your words?






          Or, it could mean aggressively hostile towards religion. That is what was actually said in the OP if you had read it.



          Did I say that anywhere in the OP, that I would go overboard?



          They would be wrong about that, then, wouldn't they?



          I don't see your point. Walk away from what?

          I do appreciate your comments, but I'm starting to wonder what you're commenting about, it doesn't seem to be what is written in the OP.

          1. peeples profile image88
            peeplesposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            It's exactly what was in the OP that I am commenting on.
            "Or, it could mean aggressively hostile towards religion. That is what was actually said in the OP if you had read it."

            Do you fail to realize that behind those religions you are being aggressively hostile (per your words)to, there are people? So when you say you are meaning that you will just be aggressively hostile towards religion you are also being hostile towards people.
            I will leave you with this because I do know when to quit.
            Definition of Aggressive - 1. characterized by or tending toward unprovoked offensives, attacks, invasions, or the like; militantly forward or menacing: aggressive acts against a neighboring country.
            2.making an all-out effort to win or succeed; competitive
            3.vigorously energetic, especially in the use of initiative and forcefulness: an aggressive salesperson.
            4.boldly assertive and forward; pushy: an aggressive driver.
            Definition of hostile - unfriendly; antagonistic.
            Again, behind those religions, you and I both likely have the same feelings about, are people so when you become Aggresively Hostile you are attacking more than a belief, but an entire group of people. There are ways of standing up for what you believe in other than being Hostile or aggressive, and for all I know you didn't fully mean that part. Out of your post, to me, that was the part that stood out the most. Have a good day.

            1. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
              OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I think you are confusing the fact that religions are people, but they are not people, they are religions. People are people. You might want to look up the words, 'religion' and 'people' so that you can understand the difference between them. Have a good day.

    3. oceansnsunsets profile image90
      oceansnsunsetsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Well said, and that seems to go without saying.  I would agree.

  3. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
    OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago

    Religions deserve no respect at all because, a) they offer no respect and b) they offer no evidence. Evidence is unwelcome because it removes the need for faith and that would be such a waste of all that phony virtue.

    Faith is one of three phony virtues, the other two are piety and righteousness.

    1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
      MelissaBarrettposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Some religions are all about respect... I love me some Jainism.

      On the other hand, the ones that most complain about the stereotypes are generally the ones who are perpetuating them... so carry on.

      1. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
        OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        But, not Christianity or Islam. Notice that they are mentioned in the OP?

        I too would love me some Jainism. Can we get rid of Christianity and Islam, then?



        I didn't know that standing up to misogyny, sexism, racism, antisemitism and homophobia was perpetuating a stereotype? Please explain?

        In another thread, you yourself were standing up to homophobia, yes?

        1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
          MelissaBarrettposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I'd generally be OK with a world full of Jains.... however, someone has to kill the spiders and mice. So, yeah...

          What I mean is they are a stereotype of Christianity... that sucks. However the Christians screaming loudest about them being stereotypes are generally the ones that are big shining examples of the stereotype (thus perpetuating it) so please, like I said, carry on.

          Yes, I tend to stand up against homophobia, racism, antisemitism, misogyny... I can't really say I stand against sexism, it's where I get some of my best comic material...

          1. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
            OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Looks like you mostly agree with me, then, other than the sexism bit.

            1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
              MelissaBarrettposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Not completely... but enough that there's not a lot of room for argument.

              It is possible for an abrahamic religion not to be those things... and I would argue that point more if so many Christians weren't showing those behaviors. As it is, they made their bed... Unfortunately they made the bed for people who aren't like them but were powerless to change the reputation that their behaviors caused.

  4. peeples profile image88
    peeplesposted 2 years ago

    I'm guessing the original poster would argue with a door.

    1. OpenFreeLearning profile image61
      OpenFreeLearningposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Maybe a door would offer better arguments than those who have already tried. smile

      1. peeples profile image88
        peeplesposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I think any argument to you would be invalid in your eyes.

 
working