Atheists... Why not just promote moderation and integration.

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Baz
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Atheists... Why not just promote moderation and integration.

Post #1

Post by Baz »

I think a lot of fundamentalist atheists are trying to go a step too far.

Fundamentalist Christians thought that the world needed to be taught that their religion was the only way, and imposed it by force on those that would not believe.
Muslims and undoubtedly other religions still do this in some places where they can get away with it.

In my opinion and hopefully somebody agrees with me, this attitude is no way to act in modern times.
(I note that there could have been some positives with regard to forming strong societies in the past but that’s not my point.)
:-k
My question is, why do sensible well educated atheists continue to attempt convert people away from their religion altogether?
Rather than promoting integration and moderation.
This would have the effect so often wished for by many atheists of reducing the amount of religious interference in their lives.

Even to the simplest of minds (i.e. mine) this has to be a more realistic approach.
Heads brick walls and all that.


Ps. I interpret fundamentalist, as the belief that one holds the sole source of objective truth.
\"Give me a good question over a good answer anyday.\"

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Baz
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Post #21

Post by Baz »

Question Everything wrote:Just found a video which I think answers the OP quite well, or at least sheds a lot of light on it.

[youtube][/youtube]

Good video... Daniel Dennett made some good points, I went on to look at some of his other stuff and sat through a one and a half hour video where he explained his insular upbringing as a fundamentalist Christian.
I think I can see how being brought up in this way could bring about strong anti religious feelings but he appears to have a good balance, advocating religious education, being able to maintain a good relationship with his Christian family and so forth.
\"Give me a good question over a good answer anyday.\"

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Autodidact
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Post #22

Post by Autodidact »

It's interesting that Christians are putting out billboards like this: Image
and this:
Image and this:
Image
while Atheists are merely saying this:
Image
and this:
Image
but your gripe is with the Atheists.

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Baz
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Post #23

Post by Baz »

Autodidact wrote:It's interesting that Christians are putting out billboards like this: Image
and this:
Image and this:
Image
while Atheists are merely saying this:
Image
and this:
Image
but your gripe is with the Atheists.

I think you may have misunderstood my motives (not that I know if I even have any specific ones).
I have an interest in other people’s points of view particularly with regard to religion.
What I don’t have is a Gripe with anybody.
I can see from the stuff you have posted and a large amount of material available on the internet that there are defiantly a lot of Americans with a gripe.

Going back to my original post, what I was trying to get my head around was why when dealing with religion some none religious people react in the way they do.
:-k
\"Give me a good question over a good answer anyday.\"

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Baz
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Post #24

Post by Baz »

Going back to my original post, what I was trying to get my head around was why when dealing with religion do some none religious people react in the way they do.
I think there has been some misunderstanding over my opening question.
In an effort to clear this up I will try and explain in more detail what I am trying to understand.
As I see it there are some exceptionally well educated people that must have a better than average understanding of psychology who if faced with the challenge of treating somebody with a mental disorder would not even dream of attacking the problem in the same way as they do with what they say they believe to be religiously deluded people.
I presume that there is something in the background colouring this response more than just the belief that they are dealing with delusional people.
I also presume that the likely problem is the continuous bombardment of irrational religious fundamentalism.
Is any of this so?
\"Give me a good question over a good answer anyday.\"

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Question Everything
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Post #25

Post by Question Everything »

Baz wrote:Going back to my original post, what I was trying to get my head around was why when dealing with religion do some none religious people react in the way they do.
I think there has been some misunderstanding over my opening question.
In an effort to clear this up I will try and explain in more detail what I am trying to understand.
As I see it there are some exceptionally well educated people that must have a better than average understanding of psychology who if faced with the challenge of treating somebody with a mental disorder would not even dream of attacking the problem in the same way as they do with what they say they believe to be religiously deluded people.
I presume that there is something in the background colouring this response more than just the belief that they are dealing with delusional people.
I also presume that the likely problem is the continuous bombardment of irrational religious fundamentalism.
Is any of this so?
I would say that a few of the people who have strong religious beliefs are mentally ill and it would be a waste of time for us to try to change those beliefs. However, the vast majority are capable of thinking rationally and will change their beliefs once they understand the facts.

For example:
Preachers who are not Believers
Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola
Center for Cognitive Studies*
Tufts University, Medford MA 02155
March 15, 2010
http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/
Adam, Church of Christ – A Hunger for Learning

Adam decided to obtain a Master of Arts in Religion to be a minister in the Church of Christ, a denomination that does not require master’s level education for its clergy.

“I hungered to continue learning; I felt like it was very applicable; I felt like it would prepare me more to minister. And I was very focused on the practical ministry side. I wasn’t so much into deep theology or ----- world missions, or --- philosophy of religion. …I mean, there were theology classes and philosophy classes and all that. And I had to have one year of Hebrew, two years of Greek.�

Over twenty years later, that same desire to learn led him away from religious belief. It started when he read David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons’ unChristian: What a New Generation Thinks About Christianity – and Why It Matters, a 2007 Barna Group publication that rebuts common criticisms people have about Christianity. His intention was to become more skilled at defending his faith, but as he tried to “step back� to look at Christianity from a non-believer’s perspective, he found that he became more swayed to that point of view.

“If God is God, he’s big enough; he can handle any questions I’ve got. Well, he didn’t. He didn’t measure up! And that sounds, you know, so funny, because if I heard somebody else saying that a year ago, I’d have thought, ‘You are such a sacrilegious person. God’s going to strike you dead by lightning or something!’ I’ve actually thought and tried to pin-point, but I can honestly say that intellectually, from within the first few weeks of my studies, I thought, ‘Wow! Could this be true?’ So almost from that point on, it’s almost been downhill if you’re Christian; uphill if you’re a non-believer. Coming to the truth --- and I always thought there was absolute truth out there. Now I’m a lot more relativistic.�

“I tell you, the book that just grabbed my mind and just twisted it around, was Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great. It was shocking, some of that stuff - the throws and jabs against faith and stuff. I would think, ‘He’s crazy.’ But then I’d say, ‘No. Step back and read it for what it is.’ And that’s also the same time when I thought, ‘I’m going to balance my study. I’m not going to over-balance myself with atheist writers.’�

In the past year, Adam has absorbed over 60 books, videos or podcasts addressing a wide variety of views. He was especially impressed by debates on religion.

“Probably one of the most mind-opening things was listening to all these debates from top people of Christianity; or believers vs. non-believers. And I tried to do the same thing: be open and listen, and use my mind and reason, I guess. And almost undeniably, even being a believer and knowing the Christian claims and scripture, you know what? This guy won in the debate. He’s a non-believer. Why?�
"Oh, you can''t get through seminary and come out believing in God!"

current pastor who is a closet atheist
quoted by Daniel Dennett.

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Post #26

Post by Jax Agnesson »

Baz wrote: Going back to my original post, what I was trying to get my head around was why when dealing with religion do some none religious people react in the way they do.
I think there has been some misunderstanding over my opening question.
In an effort to clear this up I will try and explain in more detail what I am trying to understand.
As I see it there are some exceptionally well educated people that must have a better than average understanding of psychology who if faced with the challenge of treating somebody with a mental disorder would not even dream of attacking the problem in the same way as they do with what they say they believe to be religiously deluded people.
I presume that there is something in the background colouring this response more than just the belief that they are dealing with delusional people.
I also presume that the likely problem is the continuous bombardment of irrational religious fundamentalism.
Is any of this so?
Watching Dillahunty brings home how different the American experience of Christianity is to ours in the UK today.
Being atheist here is no big deal today. Half a century ago, in a very Catholic area of Liverpool, I started to realise that a number of things didn't make sense. That there was something wrong with my faith and the faith of everyone I knew, loved, respected and trusted. Teachers, priests, friends and relatives all treated the same doctrines as facts.. And I found it impossible to keep pretending to believe the stuff. That was a difficult, lonely and frightening struggle.
Which is why, although for thirty years I was simply not interested in discussing, much less criticising other people's beliefs, I got very 'militantly secular' when Tony Blair started encouraging faith schools. Especially when well-funded Creationist outfits started bidding for contracts.
If there are growing numbers of Americans now standing up and demanding intellectual and spiritual freedom for future generations of citizens,, then I salute them. And if they feel they have to be a lot noisier about it then we do in the UK, well, so be it.

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Post #27

Post by Baz »

Hi it’s nice to have another comment after such a long time; it shows older stuff still gets some attention from time to time.

Schools are a difficult one, teaching children about religion, politics and sex will always cause parental concern. A lot of social learning takes place in schools and it is reasonable to expect that they will reflect the society they are in. (not saying that this is necessarily a good thing)
As society moves on schools will no doubt follow ( less corporeal punishment and discrimination etc.) In areas where the majority believe a certain way schools will reflect that.
I personally hope that religions will find a way to integrate (hell and snowballs come to mind) but in the meantime all should be given equal respect.
My point is if you say that this or that religion is wrong dismissing it, you are not encouraging a wider view. If you say all religions are valid and have something to give you then have to look at the whole picture. (If I perceive everybody else as being wrong, I have no need to rethink my stance. If I believe everybody else sees things differently I have to ask myself why and except that I may need to reevaluate my position.)
\"Give me a good question over a good answer anyday.\"

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Re: Atheists... Why not just promote moderation and integrat

Post #28

Post by SailingCyclops »

Baz wrote:I think a lot of fundamentalist atheists are trying to go a step too far.
What exactly is a "fundamentalist atheist"? I find the phrase as meaningless as "fundamentalist theist". I understand what a "fundamentalist christian" is; are you attempting to ascribe some religiosity to the term "atheist"?
Baz wrote:Fundamentalist Christians [strike]thought[/strike] think that the world [strike]needed[/strike] needs to be taught that their religion [strike]was[/strike] is the only way, and [strike]imposed[/strike] impose it by force on those that [strike]would[/strike] do not believe. ....
There, fixed it for you. I find the use of the past tense in your paragraph disingenuous.
Baz wrote:My question is, why do sensible well educated atheists continue to attempt convert people away from their religion altogether? Rather than promoting integration and moderation.
I think you you are confusing "attempt to convert" with "attempt to educate". If you were to run into a flat earther, would your attempt to convince him that the earth is round be considered an attempt to 'convert' him, or 'educate' him? How would you apply "moderation and integration" into your discussion with him?
Last edited by SailingCyclops on Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:33 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Post #29

Post by ndf8th »

Baz wrote: Going back to my original post, what I was trying to get my head around was why when dealing with religion do some none religious people react in the way they do.
I think there has been some misunderstanding over my opening question.
In an effort to clear this up I will try and explain in more detail what I am trying to understand.
As I see it there are some exceptionally well educated people that must have a better than average understanding of psychology who if faced with the challenge of treating somebody with a mental disorder would not even dream of attacking the problem in the same way as they do with what they say they believe to be religiously deluded people.
I presume that there is something in the background colouring this response more than just the belief that they are dealing with delusional people.
I also presume that the likely problem is the continuous bombardment of irrational religious fundamentalism.
Is any of this so?
Oh sorry this thread is rather old but I am rather new here
and got aware of it today.

I have also tried to understand why some atheists act as they do.
I find it likely they feel the right to set things straight.

Several of them have told me recently. "If I read a stupid text
from a believer or another atheist then I have the right to ridicule
that persons ideas."

And maybe what you see and what they tell me is a very common
human phenomena. Altruistic punishment. Nature had an abstract about it

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v4 ... 5137a.html
... we show experimentally that the altruistic punishment
of defectors is a key motive for the explanation of cooperation.

Altruistic punishment means that individuals punish,
although the punishment is costly for them and
yields no material gain.

We show that cooperation flourishes if altruistic punishment is possible,
and breaks down if it is ruled out.

The evidence indicates that negative emotions towards defectors
are the proximate mechanism behind altruistic punishment.

These results suggest that future study of the evolution of
human cooperation should include a strong focus on
explaining altruistic punishment.
Yo me this sounds very likely. Bullying is an exploitation of
this natural human trait where the Bullying person abuse the
tendency to tolerate altruistic punishment as if it is needed
and the Bully try to set their bullying in a way that enough
people play along with it.

So the good side is that cheaters of groups and individuals
get punished but the bad effect is that some abuse it for their
own power play on the victims that are bad at defending themselves.

Atheist love to ridicule both believers and disbelievers when they
feel righteous about their act being justified by the logic of the text.

Being as logical as they are they go after irrational sentiments and feelings.

I have found that some of them say that God is like an imaginary friend
and that their children gave up on such as childish at 5 or 6 years old.


ButI would want to ask you. Integrate? what does that mean when you use it?

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Post #30

Post by Jax Agnesson »

Hi ndf8th. I was with you broadly right up to this
ndf8th wrote:

Atheist love to ridicule both believers and disbelievers when they
feel righteous about their act being justified by the logic of the text.
. . .blanket generalisation. In the rest of your post you cite 'some atheists', so maybe this one was just a slip. But believers and atheists both get wholesale stereotyped often enough that it's worth pointing it out.

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