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Is Atheism a European Disease?

  1. profile image0
    Cromperposted 6 years ago

    Matt Dillahunty, best known as presenter of 'The Atheist Experience', asked, in his presentation at this year's Texas Freethought Convention; (from memory) "why does the US media always drag atheist spokepersons over from the UK to talk about atheism when there are plenty of American atheists to choose from?"
    Is it simply that people like Richard Dawkins are experts in their respective fields, or could it be the 'Holywood' method of only using European accents to represent something which is deemed evil?

    1. A Troubled Man profile image60
      A Troubled Manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      There's a contradiction in terms.

      1. profile image0
        Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        What is?

        1. A Troubled Man profile image60
          A Troubled Manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Texas and Freethought, or any kind of thought for that matter. smile

          1. profile image0
            Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            I must insist that we keep this forum politically correct. Naughty!

          2. wilderness profile image93
            wildernessposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Are you implying that cows can't think?  They can (usually) find their way to the barn, and I believe the average Texan can do the same.

            1. profile image0
              Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              We call them 'sheepshaggers'. Is that allowed?

            2. A Troubled Man profile image60
              A Troubled Manposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              lol

    2. psycheskinner profile image80
      psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Well, um, Dawkin's *is* the highest profile activist athiest alive. Why wouldn't they have him over from time to time?

    3. livelonger profile image89
      livelongerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      American atheists would want atheism connected with "European" (I assume you mean British) accents because they want atheism connected with evil?

      It sounds like you haven't sorted this idea out yet.

      1. profile image0
        Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        No - European! Ayn Rand and other non-British folks came out of the woodwork as WWII ended. German accent/Danish accent/ take your pick.

        1. psycheskinner profile image80
          psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I have no idea what you mean by that.

          1. profile image0
            Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            By what?
            OK Ayn Rand was Russian but the accent sounded European.

            1. psycheskinner profile image80
              psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              And your point is that someone made Ayn Rand famous because they thought Americans would mistake her Russian accent for a European one and based on the post WWII hatred for our evil European allies, assume her philosophy was evil?

              Seriously, I don't know what you are trying to say. That was my best guess.

              1. profile image0
                Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                psycheskinner, You are commenting in a thread that was started by 'livelonger'. Maybe that is why you don't understand.

        2. livelonger profile image89
          livelongerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Ayn Rand is not a favorite among the "crusading atheists" here (she is among libertarians), but Dawkins and Hitchens are. I don't know which Germans and Danes you're talking about.

          Besides, I don't understand: why would American atheists want to portray atheism as an evil European import?

          1. profile image0
            Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Did you read my original post?

            1. livelonger profile image89
              livelongerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              I sure did. It does not help me understand your "Holywood" theory.

              1. profile image0
                Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                I guess you are a big fan of Holywood movies then.

                1. livelonger profile image89
                  livelongerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  You can stop being snide and maybe explain yourself better (maybe you can't).

                  I understand your point about evil characters in Hollywood movies being given European accents, because they imply guile and deviousness to simpleminded Americans.

                  What I don't understand is why American atheists, who presumably would not want atheism to be conflated with evil, would want to draw the same parallel. (It's not atheist-hating evangelical Christians who are inviting Dawkins over to speak.) Since they have no reason to, I would consider this theory as brainless and not well thought-out.

                  1. profile image0
                    Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    If you read my initial post again, it is the American MEDIA who are getting the Brits to discuss atheism. They are ignoring the home-grown atheists.
                    This in itself implies something, and all I am trying to do is get to the bottom of it.
                    Does that clarify things for you?

    4. profile image0
      toobsuckerposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Atheism is predominately a liberal "religion". Europe has far more liberals than America does, hence more atheists

      1. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        “In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.”
        ― Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation

  2. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 6 years ago

    It makes perfect sense. They say if you have a british accent, americans think you're smarter. Maybe they are trying to create the illusion that atheists are smarter. It might be a sales gimmick.

    1. profile image0
      Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      It depends on the accent. You're thinking of the 'posh' accent. What about; "Cor blimey guvnor! Me chimney needs sweeping and no doubt about it." ??

      1. profile image0
        Wentworth35posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        No, that isn't an English accent, that is a Dick van Dyke accent.  They aren't the same thing.

        1. profile image0
          Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Are you trying to tell me they don't talk like that in London? Please don't destroy my illusion!

        2. profile image0
          Chasukposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          As someone who lived in England for eleven years,  that most certainly is an "English" accent.  in fact, the uneducated English accent is far more common than the "posh" one.

          1. earnestshub profile image88
            earnestshubposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            As an Australian with English friends who speak both ways, I prefer the "uneducated" accent myself. although the lispy upper-class accent is hilarious! smile

  3. profile image0
    Wentworth35posted 6 years ago

    I think atheism is more acceptable in Europe than in the US, because there are more of us.  In Sweden for example, 85% of the population are atheists.  America seen from a European perspective seems very religious in a very old fashioned way, much like Britain in the 1950s.

    However, there is a Hollywood bias, which portrays the British as evil.  I think it all began with Joan Collins in Dynasty.  She played such a good role, that ever since, the evil character has to have a British (or rather English) accent.  Richard Dawkins is ideal for this role, as is Christopher Hitchens, even though he is now an American citizen.  However, he is still the ideal, hard-drinking and smoking, cynical Brit in many people's eyes.

    1. profile image0
      Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Wentworth! Gotta laugh!
      I think you're right about religion in America. It does seem very 'Victorian' in nature.
      Darth Vadar had an English accent. I think he came before Joan in Dallas.
      ...or was it Dynasty?
      The 'cynical Brit'; that's the reality! We are cynical in Europe because of the World Wars and all the propaganda that was involved in twisting people's perceptions. After the last war, all of the secrets came out and we learnt our lessons (on both sides). No wonder religion (which uses the same techniques) is losing support.

      1. profile image0
        AntonOfTheNorthposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, but the voice of Darth Vader was James Earl Jones, who is American (African American at that)

        1. profile image0
          Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Exactly!
          Does that not add weight to my argument?

  4. EmpressFelicity profile image79
    EmpressFelicityposted 6 years ago

    This thread is even more confusing than the "is Cagsil an atheist/agnostic?" one.

    1. profile image0
      Cromperposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      It's kind of 'loaded'. If you read between the lines you will see where I'm going with this.

  5. profile image0
    Chasukposted 6 years ago

    I already understood what you meant, but hopefully that clarifies it for those who didn't.

    I think the real "cause" is that, Chavs, lager-louts and "yobbos" aside, it isn't stigmatized, to be an intellectual in the UK.. Grab a newspaper in England -- not a tabloid -- and flip to the letter column. The letters are notable in that they aren't written by idiots. The authors know how to spell, punctuate, and form complete thoughts with complete sentences.

  6. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 6 years ago

    “In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.”
    ― Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation.

  7. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 6 years ago

    More from Sam.

    “Tell a devout Christian that his wife is cheating on him, or that frozen yogurt can make a man invisible, and he is likely to require as much evidence as anyone else, and to be persuaded only to the extent that you give it. Tell him that the book he keeps by his bed was written by an invisible deity who will punish him with fire for eternity if he fails to accept its every incredible claim about the universe, and he seems to require no evidence what so ever.”
    ― Sam Harris

  8. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 6 years ago

    Basically, foreign experts are only bemusing if you assume nothing important ever happens outside of the United States.

 
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