NOT cool... acceptance should be a two way street.

Re: NOT cool... acceptance should be a two way street.

Postby Chris » 13 Apr 2012, 00:20

Fortigurn wrote:
Chris wrote:Back to the topic: atheists are one of the least accepted groups in the US, as a 2006 University of Minnesota study, published in Vol. 71 of American Sociological Review, found. To the question "This group does not at all agree with my vision of American society", the result was:


What do you expect given they're a minority group, the most public members of which carry out repeated personal attacks on religious people, denigrate religion, and claim they want to sweep religion off the face of the earth? Do you really expect religious people to read that and say 'Wow, that really agrees with my vision of American society'? :loco:

If atheists are angry at theists, it's because the theists fired the first shots against us. We are just circling the wagons and trying to fight back against the slings and arrows.

The most public members? They run the gamut from Hitchens, who attacked theism head on with great wit and no apologies, to Seth Andrews, who takes a far more congenial and friendly approach.

I'm quite tolerant of religion, but I am intolerant of intolerant religions. I may denigrate some religions (Christian creationists who claim the earth is 6,000 years old and want that taught in science classes, Muslim extremists who fly airplanes into skyscrapers and cut the clitorises off young girls, Mormon offshoots who marry underage children, Scientologists who rip people off to the tune of thousands to clear their minds of "engrams", Branch Davidians and People's Temple type cults who murder their own followers). Such religious systems richly deserve harsh criticism and vehement opposition.

But I have no problems with most religions, which tend to live and let live.

I wouldn't dream of wiping religion off the face of the earth, and have encountered few atheists that want this. This, despite the fact that I believe the world would be a better place without religion, pseudoscience or any other false belief. I'm an ardent supporter of an absolute separation of church and state: I believe in freedom of (and from) religion.

This short snippet speaks volumes about how atheists are accepted. Notice how the atheist is the calm and reasonable one, while the theist is off her rocker:

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Re: NOT cool... acceptance should be a two way street.

Postby Fortigurn » 13 Apr 2012, 00:28

Chris wrote:If atheists are angry at theists, it's because the theists fired the first shots against us. We are just circling the wagons and trying to fight back against the slings and arrows.


Well you can hardly expect sympathy if you're fighting fire with fire. The fact is that the most public face of atheism is exactly the opposite of what most Americans see as their vision for America. If atheists are going to complain about this, they're the only ones who can do something about it.

The most public members? They run the gamut from Hitchens, who attacked theism head on with great wit and no apologies, to Seth Andrews, who takes a far more congenial and friendly approach.


Seth Andrews? Never heard of him. Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, Penn & Teller, PZ Myers, Victor Stenger, heard of those guys. They're the ones with the million dollar access to mainstream media, tens of thousands of followers quoting them online, and hundreds of thousands of books published.

I'm quite tolerant of religion, but I am intolerant of intolerant religions. I may denigrate some religions (Christian creationists who claim the earth is 6,000 years old and want that taught in science classes, Muslim extremists who fly airplanes into skyscrapers and cut the clitorises off young girls, Mormon offshoots who marry underage children, Scientologists who rip people off to the tune of thousands to clear their minds of "engrams", Branch Davidians and People's Temple type cults who murder their own followers). Such religious systems richly deserve harsh criticism and vehement opposition.

But I have no problems with most religions, which tend to live and let live.


I am with you there.
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Re: NOT cool... acceptance should be a two way street.

Postby Chris » 13 Apr 2012, 00:41

Fortigurn wrote:Seth Andrews? Never heard of him.

Also known as The Thinking Atheist. A great guy; a former fundamentalist Christian radio personality who became an atheist. Does a weekly radio show. Here are his podcasts:

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/podcasts
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Re: NOT cool... acceptance should be a two way street.

Postby Fortigurn » 13 Apr 2012, 00:42

Chris wrote:
Fortigurn wrote:Seth Andrews? Never heard of him.

Also known as The Thinking Atheist. A great guy; a former fundamentalist Christian radio personality who became an atheist. Does a weekly radio show. Here are his podcasts:

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/podcasts


Thanks, I'm very glad to see this.
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Re: NOT cool... acceptance should be a two way street.

Postby E04teacherlin » 13 Apr 2012, 02:24

Well, sorry for joining this so late but I just saw "Fiddler on the roof" and then I ran up to the top of our building and there were two guys sitting there eating betel nuts and drinking Heineken. I checked and it wasn't Fortigurn so he isn't a fiddler. We had a chat and then the one guy said "You speak great English for a Taiwanese guy. Would you like to have your car serviced?" I don't have a car so I left.
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Re: NOT cool... acceptance should be a two way street.

Postby Rockefeller » 13 Apr 2012, 03:44

Fortigurn wrote:I'm from Australia, where politicians typically do not dare identify themselves as religious out of fear of ridicule and dismissal by the electorate. Our Prime Minister is a self-declared atheist woman in a de facto relationship. I am fully aware of the social weirdness of the US, especially when it comes to religion. Any atheist living south of Canada has my complete sympathy, though even in the US there are plenty of states in which atheism is met with simply a shrug and 'So what?'. But even in the US, I don't believe it's true to say that society dictates that you must accept other people's faith in whatever religion. If that were actually true, the ACLU would be all over it, and so would every single atheist group.


Oh yeah, there are plenty of places where atheism is met with acceptance in the States. Good thing about being a big country with many people in it is that even if you're only talking about one of ten people or 10%, that's still millions of individuals right there who are progressive and tolerating of other people's beliefs. What I'm saying is that the general consensus is that in most cases, most of the time if a theist asks an atheist about God (whichever incarnation, whatever name) and you tell them you don't believe it that God doesn't exist, they will first try to argue otherwise change your mind and if you don't change your mind, consider you absurd or intolerant, whether openly or in secret. Now obviously that's not everyone, but instead I'm saying more than 50% (the majority) of the population and that's the feeling you get if you've lived in the States and have traveled far and wide and sampled a good amount of the American population.

Those activist groups aren't "all over it" because like I mentioned the schools and mainstream media are already stepping towards progression and because so, no normal (and sane) person would go out there and openly, publicly trash against people of no specific religion. But if it's behind closed doors or just you and him/her, then most theists will have no problem labeling you as absurd if you choose to maintain your belief on atheism (or variations thereof).

By the way, I'm anything but old and wise so I'm still exploring life and discovering the world et cetera, but there have been a few occasions where I catch myself in somewhat of a state of mind where some people may call spiritual. In fact, I don't believe there's anything irrational about seeking the states of mind that lie at the core of many religions such as compassion, awe, devotion and feelings of oneness are genuinely among the most valuable experiences an individual can possess.
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