Discussion in 'General Chat' started by musicguy, May 10, 2011.
Oh shit, I got you mixed up with DerekS. Never mind, those terminal capitals mess me up.
i'm still amazed at the amount of people stuck on if there's a benevolent god why is there evil in the world. we talked about this in intro to philosophy in the 10th grade
Well I'm not going to say the problem of evil is exactly trivial, but I find it ironic that when you engage the typical noowatheist in an exhaustive Socratic discussion of their beliefs, and systematically chase them out of every philosophical cul de sac, the terminus for these self-styled exemplars of dispassionate scientificity usually ends up being something like, "How can a just God create a world where mean lions eat poor helpless gazelle?"
The OP also perfectly illustrates this tendency that, while expressing a feigned nonchalant tolerance for your beliefs, they can't help but- in the very same breath- tag on some deliberately provocative, yet hackneyed and glib chacterization of your beliefs involving (take your pick) sky fairies, zombie Jesus, bronze-age goat herders, &c. &c. &c. They'll repeat this over and over and over again, well past the point anyone outside of grade school could possibly think it amusing or clever.
Well personally, I've never gotten a satisfactory answer to the question of "why does an omnipotent god that loves us create evil and suffering?" But that's neither here nor there. I think i was around 20 when I realized that arguing up your atheism to theists was a dead end and that there was no purpose in being provocative about it unless provoked.
Now if only christians could stop trying to convert me, as if somehow I had grown up in the US and had never heard about Jesus before.
Religion is about respect and respect is a two way thing...
I respect you as an atheist as long as you respect me as a believer..
The problem is with fanatical people trying to convert everybody to their views of the world..
I'm a believer myself and I do find most believers incredibly intolerant and selfish..
I think the smug, condescending and self-satisfied rhetorical style of the new atheists is much more a matter of self-expression or performance art than a matter of actually trying to convince anyone via argument. And I think that the smug, condescending and self-satisfied rhetorical style of their religious counterparts amounts to the same thing. (I don't mean that all believers are the counterparts of the new atheists, of course.) Both sides enjoy the mock battle because it fires them up with feelings of resentment and indignation, without which they would not know what to do with themselves. As an outside observer, I find the whole "debate" very strange.
From the evidence shown here, I would say that WTF Guy is the only one with an IQ of more than 5.
Yeah, you can only be subject to so much shrill, hysterical, frothing-at-the-mouth rhetoric before you arrive at the realization that it's all really more about personal catharsis than actually improving the world. As well, causes function as surrogate identities for the culturally and religiously uprooted. Add to the mix the fact that group psychology predisposes people to appoint the most paranoid and unyielding members to lead the flock- people who are all too happy to indulge their most paranoid fantasies- and you have a feedback system in place that positively reinforces the most warped worlviews.
Someone years ago signed me up to the NOW mailing list out of spite, but to this day I've refused to unsubscribe to it, since it's continually instructive in how this kind of mindset works. War language is brought to bear on every single issue, and no single platform issue of theirs is negotiable, no matter its political or financial feasibility.
But the cult of personality that surrounds Dawkins isn't even primarily about moral outrage. I was watching a video of him once when I realized that his swaggering certitude must be magnetic to the intellectually insecure. Through their acceptance of his ideas, they can feed off his confidence by-proxy, and can feel like they're part of an intellectual vanguard movement without having to strain to understand any bits that involve complex understanding. They then find themselves in the company of others like them, who will continually flatter each other's intelligence. Any group as self-congratulatory as the new atheists is sure to attract people who can't get validation any other way.
What I dislike about militant atheists is that they disapprove of the way that organised religion tells you what to think about god when they do exactly the same only with the opposite belief, then say its blind faith in God with no evidence when they have blind faith in there being no God with no evidence.
I find atheists vs religious people to be very similar to left wing vs right wing debates, whether or not I agree with what the left wing people have to say, it very rarely comes with anything other than petty point scoring and foaming at the mouth hypocrisy with a holier-than-thou attitude (or perhaps not with the atheists) which stops me from being able to take their argument seriously. Obviously right wingers and religious people can be petty foaming at the mouth hypocritical nutjobs too but there seem to be less of them.
I imagine the way one perceives this depends on which side one is more inclined to agree with. I agree with your general point, but I find your specific conclusions to be the opposite of my experience. But that's probably because I'm more inclined to agree with people on the left. I think the same sort of thing goes for people's perceptions of the degree of obnoxiousness of new atheists and in-your-face god botherers.
I tend to see where militant atheists are coming from. Atheists are a hated minority in this country. I mean, people go nuts over it. According to some studies, not even muslims are treated with the same kind of distrust. Government policy, a lot of it really bad policy, is justified by religions. And I don't really think it's fair that if I let it slip to my co-workers that I'm an atheist I can most definitely expect to hear about how I need to find Jesus, and face some social akwardness if not outright hostility, but at the same time the girls in my old office could have Jesus posters and bumper stickers all over their cubes and end emails with "have a blessed day" without anyone batting an eye.
You probably don't notice as much militant christianity because our culture is soaking in it. It's part of the background noise. If I went around expressing my religious beliefs as casually to strangers as a lot of Christians do, I would be considered a rabble rousing atheist trying to push my beliefs onto those who don't want it.
Of course not all christians are that way. And even when they are It's usually harmless (unless you're gay, but that's a different story).
^tbh. i've never met militant atheists or christians in non internet life. generally ppl tend to be curious/ambivalent ime. also i've met ppl like you who casually mention personal beliefs in conversation and most christians i know dont perceive people like you as a rabble rousing atheist, but just a normal person who's thought things somewhat
also evil as therapeutic/purposeful is one of the classic defenses
tagut, how can you be so awesome and not be slathered in hot girls. i thought nerd was in
He drives a stock rx8....
I'm open to the possibility that I am paranoid. Anyway, I generally keep it to myself because it's not a great topic for conversation with strangers. And I'm not bothered by outward displays of religion either, as they are generally not meant to provoke or annoy. I don't really like being proselytized but if it's the worst thing that happens to me in a day then it was a good day.
maybe it's just me but i dont mind talking beliefs in a casual conversation with good friends. i find it to be generally pretty interesting and a good insight into ppl's minds as it's always somethiing ppl put a lot of thought and time into. i find that sometimes it can get aggressive, but generally not because of beliefs but previous interactions with other people. like ppl will be turned off to a specific religion because of bad experiences with an individual or general attitude of a church of temple.
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