U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-03-2009, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Utah
2,331 posts, read 1,992,061 times
Reputation: 221

Advertisements

A vice chancellor at Australian Catholic University wrote an article published November 3, 2009 about nontraditional atheists attacking his church. He calls it a "plague".

I thought since there are quite a few atheists and quite a few Christians on this forum that the article might make an interesting topic for discussion that hopefully will remain civil and constructive instead of just emotional acting out without substance.


Here are a few extracts from the article, with a link to the entire article below:

"From time immemorial, this world has been troubled by plagues. From bogong moths in Canberra to frogs in biblical Egypt, unwelcome and unlovely creatures have the awkward habit of turning up in bulk.

Just now, we are facing one of our largest and least appealing infestations. Somewhat in advance of summer's blowflies, we are beset by atheists. Worse, they are not traditional atheists. These tended to be quiet blokes called Algie with ancillary interests in nudist ceramics, who were perfectly happy as long as you pretended to accept a pamphlet in Flinders Lane.

...the new hobby atheist is as brash, noisy and confident as a cheap electric kettle. They want everyone to know that they have not found God, and that no one else should.

Their particular target seems to be Catholics. On the surface, this is odd, as there are plenty of other religious targets just waiting to be saved from a vengeful, non-existent deity. Smaller herds, such as the Christadelphians or the Salvation Army, might seem more manageable. But the Catholic Church has two incomparable advantages as an object of the wrath of proselytizing atheists. First, it is the biggie. Taking out the Catholics is the equivalent of nuking the Pentagon. Guerilla bands of Baptists and Pentecostals can be liquidated at leisure....


At the bottom, of course, lies hate. I am not quite clear why our modern crop of atheists hates Christians, as opposed to ignoring or even politely dismissing them, but they very clearly do. There is nothing clever, witty or funny about hate.

Greg Craven is vice-chancellor of the Australian Catholic University.


Here's a link to the entire article.


http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/a-plague-of-atheists-has-descended-and-catholics-are-the-target-20091103-hv52.html



1. Do City Data Atheists identify with the untraditional "modern crop" of Atheists the writer thinks has recently emerged?

2. Do CD Atheists think that they are engaged in "proselytizing" for their cause and that hatred of Christians is the motivation for any atheist who may be consciously doing so?

3. Do CD Christians think they are under organized or unorganized attack by atheists? If so, how should they defend themselves in a Christlike manner?


I don't wish to restrict the discussion to those questions, they are intended only as conversation starters.


Reasoned civil comments anyone?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-03-2009, 12:55 PM
 
57 posts, read 90,971 times
Reputation: 20
As a Christian, I will agree that to a large extent we are seeing a new "breed" of atheist. I agree with the statement:

"...the new hobby atheist is as brash, noisy and confident as a cheap electric kettle. They want everyone to know that they have not found God, and that no one else should. "

Honestly....I'm not sure why, if you don't believe, you would really care. Seriously...there's a lot of stuff I just don't "get"....but I really don't see the need to go around and make fun of it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2009, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
24,878 posts, read 18,325,979 times
Reputation: 9869
Quote:
Originally Posted by huh? View Post
As a Christian, I will agree that to a large extent we are seeing a new "breed" of atheist. I agree with the statement:

"...the new hobby atheist is as brash, noisy and confident as a cheap electric kettle. They want everyone to know that they have not found God, and that no one else should. "

Honestly....I'm not sure why, if you don't believe, you would really care. Seriously...there's a lot of stuff I just don't "get"....but I really don't see the need to go around and make fun of it.
Kdbrich???
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2009, 01:22 PM
 
4,175 posts, read 4,061,987 times
Reputation: 1182
OP: methinks the "plague" of logic, science and reason has them s**t scared. These things undermine blind faith. So, it was time to tar and feather those atheists.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2009, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Western NC
651 posts, read 791,251 times
Reputation: 487
I'm an atheist but I enjoyed reading this article. His technique is interesting but has been done by others before him, such as slavery advocates. Instead of critiquing the atheist message, he attacks the messenger with hyperbole intended to de-humanize the atheist. We are compared to plagues of moths and frogs coming in bulk and, later, to 'crops'. I'm reminded of language that slave holders used to de-humanize black people; they were animals, brutes, and savages.

He also uses war imagery and not so subtly compares the church to a state being attacked by terrorists. I'm reminded of the scaremongering that gave rise to the KKK to 'protect' whites from liberated slaves.

Finally, he provides his vision of the acceptable atheist; an eccentric man that keeps his mouth shut. Again, I'm reminded of the slave owners view of an acceptable black person; a person that accepts their lot in life, keeps their mouth shut and doesn't try to change the system.

This type of article will resonate with those that want to infringe on the rights of others. It does not attack the atheist message; it only attempts to attack the atheist. Reasonable people have seen through this nonsense before and I'm confident they will see through this tripe.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2009, 02:08 PM
 
Location: South Wales, Yes, I'm, back!
15,722 posts, read 7,892,345 times
Reputation: 2641
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia160 View Post
I'm an atheist but I enjoyed reading this article. His technique is interesting but has been done by others before him, such as slavery advocates. Instead of critiquing the atheist message, he attacks the messenger with hyperbole intended to de-humanize the atheist. We are compared to plagues of moths and frogs coming in bulk and, later, to 'crops'. I'm reminded of language that slave holders used to de-humanize black people; they were animals, brutes, and savages.

He also uses war imagery and not so subtly compares the church to a state being attacked by terrorists. I'm reminded of the scaremongering that gave rise to the KKK to 'protect' whites from liberated slaves.

Finally, he provides his vision of the acceptable atheist; an eccentric man that keeps his mouth shut. Again, I'm reminded of the slave owners view of an acceptable black person; a person that accepts their lot in life, keeps their mouth shut and doesn't try to change the system.

This type of article will resonate with those that want to infringe on the rights of others. It does not attack the atheist message; it only attempts to attack the atheist. Reasonable people have seen through this nonsense before and I'm confident they will see through this tripe.
You have the right of it. "he provides his vision of the acceptable atheist; an eccentric man that keeps his mouth shut."

The theists would love us to shut up and go away. We won't. We have the bit between our teeth, we have the logical worldview in which atheism belongs and we have the right of it. We will not be silent until all the Codswallop, illogic, lies, smearing, misrepresentation and the standing of words on their heads is exposed and they cannot any longer dupe the people into believing that there is any good reason to swallow any one of the theisms on offer.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2009, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,082 posts, read 1,280,349 times
Reputation: 1214
I'm more of an agnostic than an atheist. I don't believe in the Judeo-Christian concept of God, but I'm open to the possibility that the universe is organized at a higher level than we currently understand, and that souls or spirits may exist in some form that we don't currently understand. But I don't claim to know either for a fact.

I agree with Maia160 and AREQUIPA. I find the tone of Craven's article to be distasteful -- but I'd say the same thing if it were an atheist writing about Christians. Yes, there are vocal atheists who are rude and insulting toward Christians, just as there are vocal Christians who are rude and insulting toward atheists. I have no tolerance for either group. One can be vocal but civil. I'm married to a Christian, and she wouldn't consider Craven's article to reflect the Christian spirit.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2009, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
5,511 posts, read 10,727,891 times
Reputation: 4897
I don't have any problem with the vocal minority of atheists. Online, maybe I even am one. In real life, I am very quiet about my beliefs, being in mormon territory, I am definitely in the minority.

Look at it this way. Over an average person's lifetime, how many times will missionaries from one religion or another knock on their door? How many times will they be told they should believe this or that, or be preached to? Now, how many times will that be by an atheist? Very few. Has anyone ever had an atheist knock on their door wanting to tell them about the non-glories of the lack-of-lord?

I feel that people intruding into my life at the rate of several a month to talk to me about their various beliefs are a plague that never seems to go away. Atheists aren't nearly that annoying.

I do feel that what some atheists do is proselytizing. Proselytizing is trying to convince someone to join your belief system, of whatever nature, for whatever reason. For that matter, what politicians do every 4 years is a form of proselytizing, we just call it campaining. Personally, I don't proselytize, at least outside of these forums, in real life. If someone asks me, I tell them what I believe and why, but I don't try to convince them it is a better way to be. I may even debate it with them, if they seem to want more discussion. But I don't push it, and I don't start the conversation.

Secondly, the title of the article says that "Atheists have descended upon the church". As far as I could see in the article, said atheists are just making themselves heard in the community. I couldn't find any mention of them going to the church to interrupt services, or any mention of picketing the front door on Sundays? Did I miss something? I'm not sure how voicing your opinion in public is "descending on a church"

Finally, I don't think hatred of Christians has anything to do with it. I could be wrong, I'm not familiar with the sociopolitical state of today's Australia, but my guess is that Christians are simply the most prevalent. Why would you bother to take on Muslims if there are only 4 in the entire country? Then it would just be a group ganging up on the little guy.

It isn't about hate, but it is, in part, about controversy. Controversy can be a very good thing, if used correctly. It can gain you media attention, which can lead to increased awareness of a topic. As long as you don't go overboard with it, it simply gets people out of their comfort zone, which can lead to actual thought taking place, which in my opinion, is rarely a bad thing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2009, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Up in the air
19,127 posts, read 14,943,735 times
Reputation: 15768
A plague??

Eh, I've been called worse
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2009, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,595 posts, read 8,685,880 times
Reputation: 3975
I don't necessarily advocate going to a Catholic Church and harassing the people in it because I'm an Atheist and they're not. I presume that is what the writer of the article is mentioning as happening. I'm not a fan of the Catholic Church and given their history and non-modern approach to modern day topics, it would be hard for me to disagree with the sentiments of those who tell the author, and I quote:

In an average week of atheistic bigotry in the Melbourne media, we can expect to learn that Catholics endorse child molestation, hate all other religions, would re-introduce the crusades and the auto de fe at the slightest opportunity, despise women, wish to persecute homosexuals, greedily divert public moneys for their own religious purposes, subvert public health care, brainwash children, and are masterminding the spread of the cane toad across northern Australia.

In fact, I think the author of the article would have to undergo traumatic stages of denial to say the Catholic Church does not deserve the criticism for all of the above (the cane toad I'm not sure of). Throughout history and in the modern era, the Catholic Church has consistently and persistently lived up to each and every one of the charges listed above to varying degrees.

It should be noted, however, that just because the Catholic Church is more corrupt and disingenuous than the Mafia, that does not mean that each and every one of the followers of the Catholic Church are as corrupt and disingenuous as the leaders of it are. At least, no more than one could say that any given follower of any given political party is corrupt to the extent that that political party's leadership is.

What's aggravating and annoying is how the Catholic Church seems to perceive itself as being above any sort of criticism - even well placed criticism. While I can understand the author's annoyance at having Atheists burst into their sermons, preachings, and messages, he acts as though Atheists don't have a right to criticize the Church at all and as though it's an organization not guilty of any verdict thrown in its direction.

Where do I agree with the Atheists in this case? That's rather simple. If the Catholics must persist in such frivolous nonsense as crying Mary statues, real-life exorcisms, banning members of the Church for taking home a Communion cracker, and a plethora of other ignorant and infantile 1st century-like mandates so as to further their cause then I would agree that they should be looked upon as having severe intelligence defects. Either that, or they are using people's gullibility to suit their monetary needs - which makes them even more heinous, in my opinion.

The Catholic Church, in my opinion, deserves no more respect than any organization on the face of the planet. Their leadership reminds me of the same egotistical and money-hungry greed mongers that drove our banking system into utter failure and chaos. Their continual affronts to lie to the people in Africa and discourage the use of condoms should be considered a slow, calculated and intentional genocide. Of any religious organization on this planet, if there is one that stands out in my mind as being responsible for more death, destruction, turmoil, strife, famine and utter despair it is the Catholic Church. They are not free from criticism.

That being said, it's not my cup of tea to march into a Catholic Church and start telling people how stupid they are. The common parishioner probably doesn't want to hear it, it won't win any hearts, and it reeks of the same self-righteous air of the Christian right-wing.

By all means, attack the Catholic Church. Crucify it - no pun intended. But, do it in a fashion that does not stoop to the same level of self-perceived greatness that the religious have given themselves.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:45 PM.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top