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Old 03-08-2012, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Dix Hills, NY
120 posts, read 98,840 times
Reputation: 48

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post
I'm not blowing off your entire post, because I did find some of it interesting and thought provoking, but I just don't have the time right now to respond to it all.

But, seriously, who cares what Denzel Washington says? He's an actor. I don't listen to actors when they tell me who to vote for, so I certainly am not going to listen to them when they belittle me for not believing in god. If I ever meet Denzel Washington and he calls me a sociopath, I'll tell him he's a ***** for not serving his country in war like I did, sound like a good trade off?
I only care what he said insofar as I was a fan of his.

Where it grates on my nerves, however is that he can say this as much as he wants and no one will say anything, but Mel Gibson serves up one drunken anti-Jewish rant and his career goes in the toilet.

Now, I'm not suggesting that Mel Gibson be allowed to get away with what he said. He got his just desserts, IMO. In fact, maybe he deserves worse. The baggage that goes along with an anti-Jewish rant is a hell of a lot heavier than any baggage that goes along with a statement (not a rant) like Denzel's. What I'm suggesting is that Denzel not be allowed to get away with what he said. That's my point. He should, at the very least, be forced to sit in a room with an atheist to learn a bit of what he obviously doesn't know, and then apologize for what he said.

I'm interested in your response to the rest of my post, if you can get around to it...
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:33 PM
 
15,287 posts, read 16,828,849 times
Reputation: 15019
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post
You are an outcast to churches. Unless you have some interest in attending church, I still don't see how this affects "us". Can anyone find a single law - local or otherwise - which negatively impacts someone due to their disbelief?

I hate using anecdotes, but my wife and I both come from strongly religious families. Even being surrounded by people who pray everyday and believe that her and I are going to hell, I still never encounter anything more than a random snide comment every so often.
If you want to hold political office, there are laws that prevent that in several states.

Which States Ban Atheists from Holding Public Office? | Friendly Atheist

Critics of Cecil Bothwell cite N.C. bar to atheists | The Asheville Citizen-Times | citizen-times.com

Quote:
ASHEVILLE — North Carolina's constitution is clear: politicians who deny the existence of God are barred from holding office.

Opponents of Cecil Bothwell are seizing on that law to argue he should not be seated as a City Council member today, even though federal courts have ruled religious tests for public office are unlawful under the U.S. Constitution.
He's running for congress currently, I believe.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Staten Island, NY
7,901 posts, read 6,472,299 times
Reputation: 7088
Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
No, but I think we can go out of our way to reach out to those "closet atheists" who are afraid to come out because of their familial/social surroundings, and we can go out of our way to ensure we have an equal voice in the public debate (which we don't right now).
I can see how some athiests may be interested in this approach. I'm a huge craft beer afficianado, and many of my compatriots are dead set on converting as many people to craft beer as possible. I personally could careless what type of beer anyone else drinks. Point being, I'm just not into "converting" other people to my way of thinking. If someone is an "in the closet" athiest, I'd venture that they have self-esteem issues which do not allow them to speak their minds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
In fact, I read from the Torah (in Hebrew) just about every Saturday night at the synagogue my dad is a Hazzan in (out of respect for him and the synagogue... and yeah, he, as well as the other clergy, are fully aware that I'm an atheist... they've yet to show signs that they care, which I find to be quite a relief).
You're pretty much validating my point with this paragraph. Athiests just aren't a persecuted class in the US. I'm still open to someone proving me wrong though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
I hate the Bible. I hate it with a passion. To see it relegated to museums as a cultural/anthropological curiosity of the past, and nothing more, would be, in my estimation, a wonderful thing. It would, IMO, liberate the world from many (NOT ALL, but many) of it's current social problems.
Here's a major difference between "my athiesm" and "yours". I will only belittle somone's religious beliefs if they are doing the same to me. Furthermore, its hard to deny that there are some very beneficial life lessons in the Bible. I don't have any issue with the Bible or any other religious texts, just with the interpretations many of the believers in those books give to the words contained therein.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
The most important thing is that we let those cowering in the corner of the atheist closet know that it's okay... they aren't alone, and there are people and resources available to help them in whatever they need.
What exactly does one need as an athiest? I still can't comprehend how not believing in an idea requires anything at all: items, thoughts, companionship, etc. I guess I just can't picture someone whose life is completely consumed with being an athiest as one can be in such great need of help over drugs or alcohol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
Oh, there are tons of churches and such in the Northeastern US, but the overall level of religiosity is not that high... at least, not compared to the South, which is known as the "Bible Belt" for a reason...
Can't disagree with you here. The South certainly has a much more "in your face" religious atmosphere than the rest of the nation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
When the Chilean miners who got trapped in that mine shaft were rescued, many of them thanked God for their rescue. Why didn't one of them question God as to why he let them get trapped down their in the first place?
Why would you question what another person believes? To me, that is the height of either snobbery or elitism. If a belief in god got those men through their tribulation, then good for them. Personally, I've been in some bad situations in the military and in my current career, and I've never turned to god for help, which validates that I mean what I say when I say I don't believe. Apparently, this isn't the case for billions of people, and that doesn't bother me at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
I always found it strange... and a bit intellectually insulting... that God can never lose. God can never do anything wrong. Joe is saved from a fire. "THANK YOU, GOD!" Joe's best friend, parents, wife, two children, and cat die in that same fire. "It's all part of God's plan" or "God works in mysterious ways". Is Joe ever going to turn around and say "why the hell did God let them die? Why didn't he save them? Why didn't he take me, too?"
You don't believe in god, so of course you wouldn't believe one of the tenets of those who do. All you're really doing in this section is validating what we all believe. None of this means we as athiests should be outraged, and certainly this doesn't speak to a need to prove to other people that they are wrong in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
I believe I linked to and quoted some information above that showed why we need to band together.
I still disagree, unless you linked to a story that I missed about athiests actually facing persecution. As the old saying goes, words mean nothing. You even referenced movie actors, some of the biggest idiots on the planet. I really could careless what they think of my dis-belief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
As per your remark about group acceptance, of course you're right. It stems from our evolution as a social species. We survive better in groups. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but in general, isolation is not survivable on evolutionary terms for our species. We have to group together. This is probably the biggest reason why religion still dominates.
Exactly my point, which is one of the reasons I see groups of athiests as strangely ironic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
But when religion is so engrained that Denzel Washington can associate us with sociopaths and no one bats an eyelid...
Do you really need backup when Denzel speaks harsh words against you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
So I take it you won't be attending the Reason Rally?
Never even heard of it.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
3,923 posts, read 2,725,939 times
Reputation: 1829
Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
I only care what he said insofar as I was a fan of his.

Where it grates on my nerves, however is that he can say this as much as he wants and no one will say anything, but Mel Gibson serves up one drunken anti-Jewish rant and his career goes in the toilet.

Now, I'm not suggesting that Mel Gibson be allowed to get away with what he said. He got his just desserts, IMO. In fact, maybe he deserves worse. The baggage that goes along with an anti-Jewish rant is a hell of a lot heavier than any baggage that goes along with a statement (not a rant) like Denzel's. What I'm suggesting is that Denzel not be allowed to get away with what he said. That's my point. He should, at the very least, be forced to sit in a room with an atheist to learn a bit of what he obviously doesn't know, and then apologize for what he said.

I'm interested in your response to the rest of my post, if you can get around to it...
Oh...an even better one...can't forget good ol' boy Dubya.
Remember how George Busch said the the worst moment in his presidency was when Kanye West called him a rascist? Evidently that was more stressful to him than being Commander n' Chief of the war in Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina?

Remember another interesting quote he made during his presidency, besides his righteous indignation about some celebrity or other?

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."
-Dubya

That one will be repeated for decades. We're loved here, aren't we?
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
3,923 posts, read 2,725,939 times
Reputation: 1829
Default The sign blows...I will grant that it is a sign...which is an achievement...kind of...because I'm not paying for it.

Here's some better one's than the sign in question, by the way. I made them up during work last night.

For support of closeted atheists:
"All you need is you..."
-brought to you by the American Atheists
maybe clouds in a mostly clear, blue sky in the background

In response to the idea that you need religion for morals:
"Family. Community. Nationality. Rationality. That's where my morals come from."
-brought to you by the American Atheists.
some hard-working laborer in the background...some atheist somewhere who's doing manual labor...atheists in the military...pretty much any atheist who makes money through physical endurance...or at least a blue collar job

In response to the associations between atheism and communism:
"Self-reliance - How else would an atheist achieve anything?"

I'm thinking what we heartily want to avoid is the stereotype of an aggressive scientist who wants everyone to form into a hivemind which punishes people for not thinking logically. Richard Dawkins' call to arms for atheists is great to state to atheists. That's not the type of impression we want to put on a billboard though, to creep out the fundamentalists and cause them think to we want to induct them into the hivemind. Science itself implies knowledge...which is good. Most people like knowledge. Stuff that associates atheists with science is good too...just, do not combine science with civil rights bilboards. Civil rights billboards are angry and seek social justice. Science-related bilboards must always be nice and cheery..."Yay, we love science. No matter what your religion...you can still participate in science!," type of thing. Atheist organizations MUST NOT give the impression of having dominance over science. We don't want to scare people away from the science which may, quite likely, lead people to understand and therefore be more accepting of atheists' perspectives. Civil-rights posters, however, can be considerably more aggressive.

There are two types of atheism...cultural atheism, which merely has to do with what people call themselves, and knowledge-based atheism. DO NOT place science-related propaganda on civil-rights-related atheist bilboards. DO NOT place civil-rights-related propaganda on knowledge-based atheism bilboards. To do so implies that the atheist culture is better/more intelligent than other cultures...and that's the hive-mind type of depiction we want to avoid.

Regarding the sign which is the topic of this thread...I thought it was invasive. It provides no specific support to atheists who come out of the closet. It provides no reason for them to come out of the closet. The only message remaining is therefore peer pressure.

Another good idea may be to mirror the Mormon's propaganda...because, like atheists, they are another generally well-behaved minority group, who lots of people dislike for no reason.

Last edited by Clintone; 03-09-2012 at 12:03 PM..
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:13 PM
 
1,745 posts, read 1,826,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
Another good idea may be to mirror the Mormon's propaganda...because, like atheists, they are another generally well-behaved minority group, who lots of people dislike for no reason.
Yes no reason, except perhaps their support and funding for propaganda and movements aimed at stripping fellow citizens of equality and civil rights.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:15 PM
 
15,287 posts, read 16,828,849 times
Reputation: 15019
Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHevens View Post
So I take it you won't be attending the Reason Rally?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post

Never even heard of it.
Reason Rally

Quote:
The Reason Rally is an event sponsored by many of the country’s largest and most influential secular organizations. It will be free to attend and will take place in Washington, D.C. on March 24th, 2012 from 10:00AM – 6:00PM at the National Mall. There will be music, comedy, speakers, and so much more. We hope you can join us!
This is a political movement to put reason back in American government. It may be a lost cause, but at least we can try.

Very cool speakers including Richard Dawkins.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
3,923 posts, read 2,725,939 times
Reputation: 1829
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuixoticHobbit View Post
Yes no reason, except perhaps their support and funding for propaganda and movements aimed at stripping fellow citizens of equality and civil rights.
I'm not talking about the conversion-type propaganda. I'm talking about this type of propaganda:


I'm a Mormon - Gabe Reid - Former NFL Player - YouTube

Most militent atheists have more aggressive goals than Mormons though (the whole freedom of religion thing applies to them...but someone might say that it doesn't apply to atheists)...so keeping it shorter would be a much better idea...with more humor and less mushy stuff. It might not be a good idea to put a human face on atheism too much...that could be creepy though. We're too much about getting people to think...whereas other minority groups tend to be more about..."let's all agree, that I'm not so great of a person, and if you don't bother me about that...I won't bother you about your flaws." Militent atheists want people to change to be more like them...not culturally, but at least in terms of thinking more. That's quite a more difficult task.

Mirror isn't the right word for Mormon propaganda...on average we want to keep ours shorter and light-spirited...take advantage of that godless lack of patience everyone loves so much...as opposed to the long Mormon commercials, depicting patience and reverence, and pure hearted innocence. We don't need to depict ourselves as pure-hearted choir boys/girls(choir girls?)...and it would be very bad to do so...but it would be very nice for us to look like average Joes, if there are to be billboards.

Last edited by Clintone; 03-09-2012 at 01:09 PM..
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Dix Hills, NY
120 posts, read 98,840 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airborneguy View Post
I can see how some athiests may be interested in this approach. I'm a huge craft beer afficianado, and many of my compatriots are dead set on converting as many people to craft beer as possible. I personally could careless what type of beer anyone else drinks. Point being, I'm just not into "converting" other people to my way of thinking. If someone is an "in the closet" athiest, I'd venture that they have self-esteem issues which do not allow them to speak their minds.

You're pretty much validating my point with this paragraph. Athiests just aren't a persecuted class in the US. I'm still open to someone proving me wrong though.

Here's a major difference between "my athiesm" and "yours". I will only belittle somone's religious beliefs if they are doing the same to me. Furthermore, its hard to deny that there are some very beneficial life lessons in the Bible. I don't have any issue with the Bible or any other religious texts, just with the interpretations many of the believers in those books give to the words contained therein.

What exactly does one need as an athiest? I still can't comprehend how not believing in an idea requires anything at all: items, thoughts, companionship, etc. I guess I just can't picture someone whose life is completely consumed with being an athiest as one can be in such great need of help over drugs or alcohol.

Can't disagree with you here. The South certainly has a much more "in your face" religious atmosphere than the rest of the nation.

Why would you question what another person believes? To me, that is the height of either snobbery or elitism. If a belief in god got those men through their tribulation, then good for them. Personally, I've been in some bad situations in the military and in my current career, and I've never turned to god for help, which validates that I mean what I say when I say I don't believe. Apparently, this isn't the case for billions of people, and that doesn't bother me at all.

You don't believe in god, so of course you wouldn't believe one of the tenets of those who do. All you're really doing in this section is validating what we all believe. None of this means we as athiests should be outraged, and certainly this doesn't speak to a need to prove to other people that they are wrong in my opinion.

I still disagree, unless you linked to a story that I missed about athiests actually facing persecution. As the old saying goes, words mean nothing. You even referenced movie actors, some of the biggest idiots on the planet. I really could careless what they think of my dis-belief.

Exactly my point, which is one of the reasons I see groups of athiests as strangely ironic.

Do you really need backup when Denzel speaks harsh words against you?

Never even heard of it.
*sigh*

Maybe Great Christina will help?

Atheists and Anger

I'd quote the full thing here for you, but it includes some language.

I'll just go ahead and pull the bits with links:

Quote:
I'm angry that atheist conventions have to have extra security, including hand-held metal detectors and bag searches, because of fatwas and death threats.
Quote:
I'm angry that atheist soldiers -- in the U.S. armed forces -- have had prayer ceremonies pressured on them and atheist meetings broken up (http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/091807R.shtml - broken link) by Christian superior officers, in direct violation of the First Amendment.
Quote:
I'm angry that evangelical Christian groups are being given exclusive access to proselytize on military bases -- again in the U.S. armed forces, again in direct violation of the First Amendment.
Quote:
I'm angry that atheist soldiers who are complaining about this are being harassed and are even getting death threats from Christian soldiers and superior officers -- yet again, in the U.S. armed forces.
Quote:
I'm angry that it took until 1961 for atheists to be guaranteed the right to serve on juries, testify in court, or hold public office in every state in the country.
Quote:
I'm angry that almost half of Americans believe in creationism. And not a broad, "God had a hand in evolution" creationism, but a strict, young-earth, "God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years" creationism.
Quote:
I'm angry about what happened to Galileo. Still. And I'm angry that it took the Catholic Church until 1992 to apologize for it.
Quote:
I'm especially angry that so many believers treat prayer as a cosmic shopping list when it comes to health and illness. I'm angry that this belief leads to the revolting conclusion that God deliberately makes people sick so they’ll pray to him to get better. And I'm angry that they foist this belief on sick and dying children -- in essence teaching them that, if they don't get better, it's their fault. That they didn't pray hard enough, or they didn't pray right, or God just doesn't love them enough.
Quote:
I get angry when believers use terrible, grief-soaked tragedies as either opportunities to toot their own horns and talk about how wonderful their God and their religion are... or as opportunities to attack and demonize atheists and secularism.
Quote:
I'm angry at the Sunday school teacher who told comic artist Craig Thompson that he couldn't draw in heaven. And I'm angry that she said it with the complete conviction of authority... when in fact she had no basis whatsoever for that assertion.
Quote:
I'm angry at the trustee of the local Presbyterian church who told his teenage daughter that he didn't actually believe in God or religion, but that it was important to keep up his work because without religion there would be no morality in the world.
Quote:
And I'm enraged that the Church is now trying to argue, in court, that protecting child-molesting priests from prosecution, and shuffling those priests from diocese to diocese so they can molest kids in a whole new community that doesn't yet suspect them, is a Constitutionally protected form of free religious expression.
Quote:
I'm angry that, when my dad had a stroke and went into a nursing home, the staff asked my brother, "Is he a Baptist or a Catholic?" And I'm not just angry on behalf of my atheist dad. I'm angry on behalf of all the Jews, all the Buddhists, all the Muslims, all the neo-Pagans, whose families almost certainly got asked that same question. That question is enormously disrespectful, not just of my dad's atheism, but of everyone at that nursing home who wasn't a Baptist or a Catholic.
Quote:
I'm angry that huge swaths of public policy in this country -- not just on same-sex marriage, but on abortion and stem-cell research and sex education in schools -- are being based, not on evidence of which policies do and don't work and what is and isn't true about the world, but on religious texts written hundreds or thousands of years ago, and on their own personal feelings about how those texts should be interpreted, with no supporting evidence whatsoever -- and no apparent concept of why any evidence should be needed.
Quote:
I get angry when religious leaders opportunistically use religion, and people's trust and faith in religion, to steal, cheat, lie, manipulate the political process, take sexual advantage of their followers, and generally behave like the scum of the earth. I get angry when it happens over and over and over again. And I get angry when people see this happening and still say that atheism is bad because, without religion, people would have no basis for morality or ethics, and no reason not to just do whatever they wanted.
Quote:
I get angry when believers use the phrase "atheist fundamentalist" without apparently knowing what the word "fundamentalist" means.
Quote:
I get angry when believers respond to some or all of these offenses by saying, "Well, that's not the true faith. Hating *****s/ rejecting science/ stifling questions and dissent... that's not the true faith. People who do that aren't real (Christians/ Jews/ Muslims/ Hindus/ etc.)." As if they had a ****ing pipeline to God. As if they had any reason at all to think that they know for sure what God wants, and that the billions of others who disagree with them just obviously have it wrong. (Besides -- I'm an atheist. The "They just aren't doing religion right" argument is not going to cut it with me. I don't think any of you have it right. To me, it all looks like something that people just made up.)0
Quote:
Read this piece from Daylight Atheism on The Golden Mean.
Oh... and before you go dismissing Greta as too angry or such, I suggest reading her follow-up answering, among others, that very critique.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
254 posts, read 152,582 times
Reputation: 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
If you want to hold political office, there are laws that prevent that in several states.
In 1961, the United States Supreme Court explicitly overturned the Maryland provision in the Torcaso v. Watkins decision, holding that laws requiring "a belief in the existence of God" in order to hold public office violated freedom of religion provided for by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
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