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Old 04-12-2013, 06:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
I think what Mormons believe is absolutely bonkers, coming a fairly close second to Scientology. But I don't care what they believe as it has zero impact on my life. As long as people are not hurting, upsetting, or insulting others then so what?
If only that were actually happening, e.g. : http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/15/us...anted=all&_r=0. I know others have pointed this out as a general problem, but here's a good specific example of religious believers conspiring to meddle in other people's lives.

Not to single out Mormons, of course. Lots of religious organizations have issues minding their own business. And that's a good reason to object to them. If it really were just between the believer and their god concept, it would be one thing, but history shows us that isn't how it works out.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
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Originally Posted by KCfromNC View Post
If only that were actually happening, e.g. : http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/15/us...anted=all&_r=0. I know others have pointed this out as a general problem, but here's a good specific example of religious believers conspiring to meddle in other people's lives.

Not to single out Mormons, of course. Lots of religious organizations have issues minding their own business. And that's a good reason to object to them. If it really were just between the believer and their god concept, it would be one thing, but history shows us that isn't how it works out.
Yes you make a fair point here. In the UK same sex civil partnerships have been legal since 2005 - essentially giving gay couples all the same sets of rights as if they were married - there is legislation going through now to make same sex marriage legal too. There is no difference between a civil partnership and a marriage - it's in the name only, but gay couples should be afforded that right. I think all these things take time. As you say though, the link you provide seems to be showing no progression at all, in fact a step backwards. This is crazy. And on the matter of opposing homosexuality, the Catholic church, and practically every other church for that matter is no better.

I do agree, when religion directly imposes on fundamental human rights, you justifiably have a fight on your hands. And there is much that I oppose about religion, as I quoted from Jim Al-Khalili earlier:
Quote:
We still have a long way to go if we are to rid the world of the bigoted attitudes held and injustices carried out in the name of religion.
These issues do need to be tackled - absolutely no question. Another one of Chris Hitchens favourite battles was childhood genital mutilation which is also a totally crazy practice in my eyes (and I'm including male circumcision in this). I would also always have a very strong argument about the concept of original sin which has no basis whatsoever and condemns children as evil before they have even so much a taken a breath. Talk about starting off on the offensive and talk about judgemental too. Crazy.
From a very early age I could see no sense in historical religious battles about god. Fight about civil rights, fight about stealing, fight about lying, fight about possessions, fight about land yes, but fight about god? I could never see the point of it and still don't really. Fight about something you don't even believe exists? Its a futile argument. If I fought with people about their belief in god I'm putting myself in the same category as religions that fight with each other.
I guess what I'm doing is separating out god from religion and the two are intimately linked obviously I realise that. But I come from the standpoint that most people are good people. And not everybody that believes in god wants to stamp all over your rights. Heck the majority of Catholic church goers have been ignoring their own Pope for decades. They have the sense to use birth control. I have a lot of Catholic friends who say they go to church despite the fundamentalist priest who preaches at them. They ignore him and go and pray in their own way. I think we have to recognise that religion is an important part of some people's lives and without it they would be lost, even if all it is doing is providing them with a social network.


Just to get back to the topic of atheist approaches and my more humanist stance on this, I think the likes of the 'The Four Horsemen': Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens undeniably have played an important role. They are like the Emeline Pankhursts of atheism. They made it okay to say you are atheist, they paved the way, they said what needed to be said. I think people like this still have their place - I'm a great admirer of Dawkins myself, and Hitchens in certain circumstances. Their arguments are persuasive. They have a very hard approach and sometimes hard tactics are what is needed. There is still probably a need for this sort of approach here.
But as an ex-teacher, I know that there are different approaches to the way you educate. Some people don't respond to that sort of approach. Shouting at people does not work, it just turns them off, neither does the stance that people are stupid before you even start. They will just rebel against it and will refuse to listen any further.
What is always needed is a presentation of the facts and why we understand what we do about the world. It all about education. Often, a softer approach is far more persuasive. And if people still want to believe in god after all that (with the aforementioned caveat of not infringing on civil rights) I don't see that it matters.
Finally to reiterate I'm not trying to preach to Americans here that their approach is necessarily wrong, I'm just offering a different view based on different experience.

Last edited by Cruithne; 04-12-2013 at 12:14 PM..
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