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Old 09-19-2010, 11:56 AM
 
1,468 posts, read 1,155,883 times
Reputation: 636
Default The White Atheists' Burden

An insightful column about the dangers of militant secularism. Reading some of the comments here in the last few weeks I myself have felt there is an underlying racism behind claims that Pope Benedict is "responsible for AIDS in Africa."

Money quote:

Quote:
Yet the New Atheists have achieved the remarkable feat of promoting prejudices that are even worse than the Vatican’s, since they are based on a view of Africans as incapable of moral judgement and as irresponsible breeding machines
The White Atheists’ Burden: save the savages | spiked

 
Old 09-19-2010, 01:04 PM
Status: "Did someone say chocolate?" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Katonah, NY
15,398 posts, read 7,281,768 times
Reputation: 15216
I have tried to be respectful to everyone - but what exactly are you trying to accomplish here? You repeatedly start threads that try to show Catholicism as superior to every other religion and Catholics as superior to all other people. Now you are starting threads about how horrible (and racist????) all the atheists are who are upset with Catholicism or the Catholic Church.
I think it is wrong for the Pope to tell anyone not to use condoms. I am not racist. I think every single person in the entire world should be educated about sex - about safe sex, about abstinence, about the emotional side, about everything. Taking any one part of that away and only informing people of half or part of the sexual equation leaves people ignorant and unable to make the most informed decisions. Telling people not to use condoms - that they are bad - takes away one of their options. I've got news for you - not everyone practices abstinence. Not even Catholics. I lost my virginity to a Catholic. We used condoms. Therefore, I didn't get pregnant or contract an STD (he was a virgin, too - so that was actually fairly impossible). When people are taught that condoms are bad - it leaves them unprepared. So - if they do have sex in the heat of the moment - they don't have condoms and can wind up getting pregnant or an STD. Anyone who believes this does not happen to "good" people is deceiving themselves. I've known girls that got pregnant as teenagers for this very reason. And they were Christian.
Also - if you are going to continue to chastise atheists for posting articles from atheist websites with a very clear agenda - why is it okay for you to post an article with such a pro-catholic agenda?
Your threads bashing atheists are no different than the threads bashing Catholicism.
 
Old 09-19-2010, 01:24 PM
 
1,468 posts, read 1,155,883 times
Reputation: 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewdrop93 View Post
I have tried to be respectful to everyone - but what exactly are you trying to accomplish here? You repeatedly start threads that try to show Catholicism as superior to every other religion and Catholics as superior to all other people. Now you are starting threads about how horrible (and racist????) all the atheists are who are upset with Catholicism or the Catholic Church.
I think it is wrong for the Pope to tell anyone not to use condoms. I am not racist. I think every single person in the entire world should be educated about sex - about safe sex, about abstinence, about the emotional side, about everything. Taking any one part of that away and only informing people of half or part of the sexual equation leaves people ignorant and unable to make the most informed decisions. Telling people not to use condoms - that they are bad - takes away one of their options. I've got news for you - not everyone practices abstinence. Not even Catholics. I lost my virginity to a Catholic. We used condoms. Therefore, I didn't get pregnant or contract an STD (he was a virgin, too - so that was actually fairly impossible). When people are taught that condoms are bad - it leaves them unprepared. So - if they do have sex in the heat of the moment - they don't have condoms and can wind up getting pregnant or an STD. Anyone who believes this does not happen to "good" people is deceiving themselves. I've known girls that got pregnant as teenagers for this very reason. And they were Christian.
Also - if you are going to continue to chastise atheists for posting articles from atheist websites with a very clear agenda - why is it okay for you to post an article with such a pro-catholic agenda?
Your threads bashing atheists are no different than the threads bashing Catholicism.


Actually I think Brendan O'Neill is himself an Atheist. He does describe himself as "a radical humanist and atheist." I don't think he is saying anything whatsoever in this article about the use of condoms by people like you in the First World, such as "condoms are bad" but perhaps I missed something.

As I already indicated, I agree with him about the PATERNALISTIC attitude displayed by the Atheists mentioned in the article toward African people. It is demeaning to their human dignity and comes from a place of smug superiority. As O'Neill writes:

Quote:
This exposes what really lies behind the ‘pope spreads AIDS’ theory: a deeply patronising, borderline colonial view of Africans. Contemporary secularists’ belief that the pope’s words, his very ideas, are capable of killing people in Africa suggests that they see Africans as simpletons, automatons, canine-like followers of orders, including orders that will ultimately destroy them
I have many African immigrant friends and acquaintances (both Christian and Muslim) as I live in a racially diverse area, so I have first-hand experience with this subject.

Moreover, there is a distinct difference between posting a controversial article from a respectable website as I have done, and posting something like "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" from a skinhead site or the equivalent. If you cannot see the difference between those two actions I'm afraid nothing I could say will please you.

Finally, I disagree that by posting this stimulating article by Brendan O'Neill I am "bashing" a group of people but if you feel that strongly you certainly have recourse to the Terms of Service.

Last edited by DreamingSpires; 09-19-2010 at 01:34 PM.. Reason: added quote
 
Old 09-19-2010, 01:36 PM
Status: "Did someone say chocolate?" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Katonah, NY
15,398 posts, read 7,281,768 times
Reputation: 15216
I don't report posts that I disagree with or that offend me. I have only ever reported 2 posts (that I remember) and they were both nothing but profanity aimed at the mods. You have the right to offend everyone and anyone you choose.
You may see the difference in what you post and what others post - but we all have a bias. You may be blind to your own - something we can all be guilty of.
Let me ask you - how I have ever displayed a paternalistic attitude towards African people? I think everyone should be educated and everyone should have all options open to them. I don't believe I've ever even made any sort of distinction of which groups of people should learn what. I view people as people - and all people should receive the same information so that they can make the most informed decisions possible. If there is an area in which AIDS is running rampant - the wisest thing to do would be to go in and figure out what is going on. If it is because they are ignorant of how AIDS is spread - then education is the key. Not abstinence - education. Education includes teaching about absitence. And when I talk about an area in which AIDS is running rampant - I don't mean just Africans or whatever - I mean any area, any group of people, anywhere.
Are you trying to tell me that the pope doesn't discourage condom use? Are you trying to tell me that the pope believes that condoms should be made available? Because if that is the case - then I think that's great. If not - I think that's awful.
 
Old 09-19-2010, 01:39 PM
 
6,040 posts, read 5,442,008 times
Reputation: 3816
Non-whites are just as intelligent as white people; skin color has nothing to do with level of intelligence. But the African people in particular are being kept in the dark about safe sex. The biggest perpetrators of this offense are the governments, and some of the religious organizations working in those countries, especially the Catholic church.

For the Catholic church to promote the misinformation that they do regarding birth control, safe sex, and proper condom use is an abomination. They are directly responsible for millions of deaths due to ignorance and fear. For the governments of the countries in question to not care enough about their people to make sure that the proper information is disseminated despite this is a horrible miscarriage of their responsibility towards their people. They are also culpable for millions of unnecessary deaths and much suffering. Sadly, the Catholic church is not alone as a religious organization that promotes misinformation, fear, and guilt. They're just the largest and most visible of the culprits.

Accurate and widespread education is the key. The Catholic church opposes both.
 
Old 09-19-2010, 01:48 PM
 
1,468 posts, read 1,155,883 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewdrop93 View Post
I don't report posts that I disagree with or that offend me. I have only ever reported 2 posts (that I remember) and they were both nothing but profanity aimed at the mods. You have the right to offend everyone and anyone you choose.
You may see the difference in what you post and what others post - but we all have a bias. You may be blind to your own - something we can all be guilty of.
Let me ask you - how I have ever displayed a paternalistic attitude towards African people? I think everyone should be educated and everyone should have all options open to them. I don't believe I've ever even made any sort of distinction of which groups of people should learn what. I view people as people - and all people should receive the same information so that they can make the most informed decisions possible. If there is an area in which AIDS is running rampant - the wisest thing to do would be to go in and figure out what is going on. If it is because they are ignorant of how AIDS is spread - then education is the key. Not abstinence - education. Education includes teaching about absitence. And when I talk about an area in which AIDS is running rampant - I don't mean just Africans or whatever - I mean any area, any group of people, anywhere.
Are you trying to tell me that the pope doesn't discourage condom use? Are you trying to tell me that the pope believes that condoms should be made available? Because if that is the case - then I think that's great. If not - I think that's awful.
First of all, Brendan O'Neill didn't mention you by name in the article. Speaking personally, I have never seen you display such an attitude.

Rather, he is talking about a paternalistic mindset. If you take the time to read the article again, you can pick out the characterstics of that mindset. If after you do that you still say, "I disagree. There is nothing paternalistic about that," then fine, you and I will have to "agree to disagree" about the points being made in the article.

As regards the Pope's discouragement of condoms. I don't know how to make it any more simple: If people listened to the Pope's instructions there would be very few instances of AIDS, because the Pope does not want anyone having sex outside of marriage. No one. In short, the problem is not that "people in Africa are listening to the Pope" rather, it's that they AREN'T.

I am actually holding back quite a bit here. If I were to discuss this topic bluntly here at C-D as I have done with some African friends who have lived in the trenches and have family and friends there, some nice C-D members hunched over their macs at home might just keel over from shock.
 
Old 09-19-2010, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,107 posts, read 1,232,511 times
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Atheists are not a monolithic group. We don't think all the same things or say all the same things, etc. There is only one thing we have in common: we don't believe in gods. That is all. So, if some atheist says something racist or paternalistic, it is that person speaking as an individual and therefore they should be criticized as an individual. No one speaks for me. I should not be criticized as an atheist because some other dude who happens to be atheist says something racist.
 
Old 09-19-2010, 01:51 PM
 
1,468 posts, read 1,155,883 times
Reputation: 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercury Cougar View Post
Non-whites are just as intelligent as white people; skin color has nothing to do with level of intelligence. But the African people in particular are being kept in the dark about safe sex. The biggest perpetrators of this offense are the governments, and some of the religious organizations working in those countries, especially the Catholic church.

For the Catholic church to promote the misinformation that they do regarding birth control, safe sex, and proper condom use is an abomination. They are directly responsible for millions of deaths due to ignorance and fear. For the governments of the countries in question to not care enough about their people to make sure that the proper information is disseminated despite this is a horrible miscarriage of their responsibility towards their people. They are also culpable for millions of unnecessary deaths and much suffering. Sadly, the Catholic church is not alone as a religious organization that promotes misinformation, fear, and guilt. They're just the largest and most visible of the culprits.

Accurate and widespread education is the key. The Catholic church opposes both.
That's nice but it has nothing really to do with O'Neill's article which is arguing that there is a paternalism at work toward Africans in those who claim the Pope is responsible for spreading AIDS in Africa.
 
Old 09-19-2010, 01:56 PM
Status: "Did someone say chocolate?" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Katonah, NY
15,398 posts, read 7,281,768 times
Reputation: 15216
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamingSpires View Post
As regards the Pope's discouragement of condoms. I don't know how to make it any more simple: If people listened to the Pope's instructions there would be very few instances of AIDS, because the Pope does not want anyone having sex outside of marriage. No one. In short, the problem is not that "people in Africa are listening to the Pope" rather, it's that they AREN'T.

I am actually holding back quite a bit here. If I were to discuss this topic bluntly here at C-D as I have done with some African friends who have lived in the trenches and have family and friends there, some nice C-D members hunched over their macs at home might just keel over from shock.
This is my point. If you go back and read my posts - this is my point. The pope doesn't want anyone to have sex outside of wedlock. Not anyone. Therefore - there would be no use for condoms. Therefore - people are not taught about safe sex, the are only taught about no sex. Well, I've got news for you - many, many people don't listen to the pope. Not even many Catholics. People have sex out of wedlock all the time. All people. Whites, blacks, and yes - EVEN CATHOLICS! Now - you can say that it's their own fault if they have sex out of wedlock and they deserve to get AIDS and die or have unwanted children. But how is that helping? How is that being realistic about the problem? When I have children - sure, I may not want them to have sex as teenagers - but I'm going to make darn sure that they understand how to have safe, protected sex. I'm going to make darn sure that if they do have sex, that they use condoms. I had sex as a teenager - and guess what? I'm not a horrible, depraved person!
Education, education, education! People need to understand all their options. Only giving them one option that not everyone is capable of following is not a solution to the problem.
I don't know if you are unable to understand this or just refuse to understand this.
 
Old 09-19-2010, 01:58 PM
Status: "Did someone say chocolate?" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Katonah, NY
15,398 posts, read 7,281,768 times
Reputation: 15216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hueffenhardt View Post
Atheists are not a monolithic group. We don't think all the same things or say all the same things, etc. There is only one thing we have in common: we don't believe in gods. That is all. So, if some atheist says something racist or paternalistic, it is that person speaking as an individual and therefore they should be criticized as an individual. No one speaks for me. I should not be criticized as an atheist because some other dude who happens to be atheist says something racist.
EXACTLY!!! I can't rep you enough!
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