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Are their any "friendly" Christians?
Posted 31 October 2006 - 02:42 PM
I like to think of myself as just a nice compassionate person. The fact that I do not beleive in a god should not have anything to do with how I should treat friends/people in times of grief or other times. And of course I would never say anything other.
I have only recenlty.... since joining this forum... really been able to express myself about my non belief if only in writing (well maybe a few songs too ). I am feeling very gung ho and guess I want to jump in and shout "Ain't No God" whenever the opportunity arises.
See what you all have created me into? Well, it is Halloween. Click Me!
Posted 04 November 2006 - 04:14 PM
You have to remember. You are trying to undo 2000 years of negativity and ignorance by a very large group of people and you want it overnight. It just doesn't happen that way and it never will. If you don't at least try to support the attempts of these people to change, then real change will never happen. Look how far they have come . Remember it wasn't that many years ago that these same people who are at least attempting to be inclusive of gays and lesbians would have been branded as heretics and burned at the stake.
I agree with you Steve but in the real world in which we live, to believe we are even remotely able to change an entire world is a delusion at best. You are correct in that all religion is a curse and we would be much better off without it. We would be much better off without prejudice, bigotry, and hate too but it just isn't a reality based objective. The longest journey starts with one small step and if we can start by changing the hate of any group into tolerance and hopefully acceptance then we are much further along. There's an old saying that goes; "It is better to light one candle, than to curse the darkness." We have to work for the equality of all people but that work must take place in the real world. Idealism is great for stories and ideas but in the world we live in it is nothing more than a pipe dream for our generation. That is not to say we shouldn't have ideals to strive and work for, but to think that we can change a world in a single generation is a dream.
Back on christianburner.com I was often the only atheist around who believed that we should be pushing for religion to be reformed and changed, rather than attempting to forcibly abolish it within our lifetimes. As you might imagine, this put me at odds with many of the other anti-religious members, who dreamt of nothing short of a world without religion. Maybe it's just me, but it seems that condemning an entire group of people by association, based on the beliefs and actions of the most extreme minority among them, is exactly what fundamentalist Christians do themselves when they condemn all of mankind as sinners based on the actions of the worst minority. To blame or punish people for the actions of others is a retarded moral straight out of the bible itself. If it's okay to hold religious moderates as guilty for enabling the conservatives, then by that logic the belief that all humans are guilty for the "sins" of Adam and Eve should be legitimate as well.
I think we are all right. I do tend to look not only at the here and now, but at history. My thoughts are look how far we have come. Just a few hundred years ago they would burn everyone on this forum at the stake for what we are saying right now. If you spoke openly only a hundred years ago about your homosexuality they would have strung you up. We have come very far in the areas we speak about. Not nearly far enough but so much progress has been made it is astounding really. This present administration is only a bump in the road and soon will be forgotten. This fundamentalist rubbish is a temporary crutch holding up a lame government that is slowly drowning in it's own shit. People will wake up and see what has taken place and again take back this country and stop all this religious mumbo jumbo and begin accepting the reality and rational thought we have always resorted too. But Religion will rise to the top again someday, another temporary set back and the cycle will start all over again. History repeats itself again and again. The only thing we can take heart in is that each time it repeats, there are more and more rational and realistic people left to begin again. These super churches are the last dying stronholds of a religion that has used up it's purpose. The members gather together to feel powerful and asure themselves that they are a majority. Not true. The reason these superchurches exist is because the neighborhood church is failing dismally. The military calls this regrouping. A method in which a scattered and weary force can gather itself together for one last attempt at winning the battle. Sometimes it works but not if the army you are fighting against is based in reality and your only weapon is some fictitious amorphic blob in outer space.
The fundamentalists are a dying breed, and represent the fastest declining denominations of religion today. They are doing what you would expect any monster to do in its death throes: screaming and thrashing and trying to take as many bystanders with them as possible. The last thing we want to do is to alienate those who would otherwise be sympathetic with our views on religious extremists. To attack them would be no different from the 9/11 deniers accusing anyone skeptical of all the bullshit conspiracy theories of being a mouthpiece for the Bush administration. i.e. "You don't hate them enough, therefore you're my enemy as well!"
If we have any intention of stopping religious fascists from having their way, we need to be getting more Christians on our side, not pushing them away.
Posted 04 November 2006 - 07:26 PM
You guys are right. I gave this careful thought on the way out to dinner, and over dinner, and since we got back home.
When we consider the changes in human society over the last 400 years, and we compare that to the length of time humans have existed, there really has been tremendous progress recently. And it may be accelerating.
But we do need to keep in mind that for the last 60 years, humans have had terrible weapons, well Americans have. And now lots of others too.
We want to avoid having the descending curve of religious affliction get tangled up directly with the ascending curve of technical progress. I mean we don't want religious nut-jobs using nukular weapons.
So there may be some merit to those who claim that we need to accelerate and strengthen our efforts to expose and counter the fallacies of religious afflictions.
But yeah, like you guys were saying, we should try not to let our panties get all bunched up in a wad over it, we are winning.
This article really brings the point home:
"This Date in History: Death to those Who Deny the Word of God
November 04, 1646: The Massachusetts Bay Colony passed a law permitting the death penalty for anyone who denied that the Bible was the Word of God."
Posted 04 November 2006 - 09:52 PM
Posted 07 November 2006 - 12:25 PM
"I'm an atheist and I think you guys should be out fighting all religion at every turn. Let's stop arguing amongst ourselves! Convert the believers! Burn the institutions! Let's get out there and start the revolution!"
So once in a while, somebody pops up with this sort of take on things, and we have to tell them all the same thing: open discussion and dissent within this "community" is the most important thing about it. Let's take a look at where that claim comes from.
- We are a group relating to atheism, agnosticism and freethought.
- All of these things require putting a certain amount of stock in reason.
- Religion requires putting a whole lot of stock in blind faith
- Reason is different in one important way from blind faith, because
- reason involves listening to all sides of an argument,
- judging each by its own weight
- and deciding which one to follow using logic and your own brain.
- Got it so far?
- If we told religious people what to think, we would be advocating something called blind faith.
- ...also known as religion.
- Atheism is not a religion.
- Treating it as such would be idiotic and patently unreasonable.
- Got it now?
We discuss things in depth and at length, with the expectation of changing each others' minds about certain issues on occasion. We operate on the idea that we're all human, and since arriving at some Divine Truth is more or less out of the question, we expect our human ideas, however educated and well-thought-through, to change in accordance with our understanding of the world. To start la revoluci
Posted 07 November 2006 - 01:20 PM
Education, and in particular education in science and the scientific method are the best ways to enlighten people who might otherwise be afflicted with religious beliefs. Being open-minded and willing to change your thinking is the essential core principle of the scientific method, and if we survive as a species long enough, it will become the doom of faith-based self-delusional systems, a/k/a religion.
As I have said before, science is the natural enemy of religion.
Posted 08 November 2006 - 02:54 PM
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