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Topic: What Motivates Atheists to be Anti Religous?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 11 2012, 12:37 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We have the constant exchange on these boards between atheists, agnostics and humanists contending with the religous zealots.  

This report gives some insight as to what the motivation is:

GENEVA (Reuters) - Atheists and other religious skeptics suffer persecution or discrimination in many parts of the world and in at least seven nations can be executed if their beliefs become known, according to a report issued on Monday.

The study, from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), showed that "unbelievers" in Islamic countries face the most severe - sometimes brutal - treatment at the hands of the state and adherents of the official religion.

But it also points to policies in some European countries and the United States which favor the religious and their organizations and treat atheists and humanists as outsiders.

While freedom of religion and speech is protected in the United States, the report said, a social and political climate prevails "in which atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans, or non-Americans."

In at least seven U.S. states, constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas, has a law that bars an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial, the report said.


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news....7.story


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 11 2012, 1:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have no doubt that this is a large part of the answer to the question you ask.

Also, I think it's just human nature. What religious zealots and atheistic zealots have in common is their zeal: both are absolutely certain that they have an answer that others will benefit from hearing. Just as the religious zealot means well in trying to save you from Hell, the atheistic zealot means well in trying to save you from the hell on earth created by the fraud of religion.

Most people, believers or not, are not zealots, of course.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 11 2012, 1:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Agree.  And I bet most atheists are not zealots either.

As usual, where there is a whiff of controversy -- you can count on our media to amplify it a couple thousand times -- anything to get us to buy the paper -- or at least click on the link.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 11 2012, 9:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I also agree.  Most atheists and most believers are not zealots and get along fine with each other in the public and private arenas.  It's the zealots that seem to often ruin things for the non zealous majority.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 10:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Also agree.  Believers versus non-believers, no problem.

Zealots versus anybody, big problem.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 1:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Mixing religion & politics and legislating religious beliefs (discrimination against gays, prayer in public schools, etc) ... big problem.

I'd wager that's what causes most of the animosity towards religion.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 2:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It is the preoccupation with ignoring the veracity of the US Constitution and trying to assert elements of theocracy into our Constitutional Republic that is unAmerican. Beyond the acknowledgement of a generic, not Christian, God anyone that asserts religion has any place within the business of our governments is in fact unAmerican.  There is no freedom of religion if the state endorses any elements of any specific religion. Despite redundant and vocal delusions to the contrary this is not a "Christian Nation."

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 2:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

OMG.  I think we all agree.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 2:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Dec. 12 2012, 11:00 am)
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It is the preoccupation with ignoring the veracity of the US Constitution and trying to assert elements of theocracy into our Constitutional Republic that is unAmerican. Beyond the acknowledgement of a generic, not Christian, God anyone that asserts religion has any place within the business of our governments is in fact unAmerican.  There is no freedom of religion if the state endorses any elements of any specific religion. Despite redundant and vocal delusions to the contrary this is not a "Christian Nation."

Well said.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 2:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(double cabin @ Dec. 12 2012, 11:00 am)
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It is the preoccupation with ignoring the veracity of the US Constitution and trying to assert elements of theocracy into our Constitutional Republic that is unAmerican. Beyond the acknowledgement of a generic, not Christian, God anyone that asserts religion has any place within the business of our governments is in fact unAmerican.  There is no freedom of religion if the state endorses any elements of any specific religion. Despite redundant and vocal delusions to the contrary this is not a "Christian Nation."

No arguments here.

The society I would like to see:  a respect for other people's beliefs -- so long as those beliefs do not intrude on the rights, privacy and freedom of others.  That said, if we encounter a belief that we find difficult or even ludicrous -- a respectful silence would be appropriate (something about if you have nothing good to say, then don't say anything).

The society I DON'T want to see:  Christians thumbing their bibles at others -- or non-Christians mocking Christmas just to make a point.

We can build a society where we continue to tear at each other -- tit for tat --- a spiraling down of evermore negativsim -- or a society where respect elicits more respect in return.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 10:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So how do you explain the fact that every single national politician finds it necessary to proclaim in public his strong committment to Christian dogma??

One of the only things I don't like about Obama is his kowtowing to the religious mainline.

Sad but necessary in our current culture.  I quit pretending to take part in public, civic prayers at school and city events long ago, staring balefully at the prayor while he/she blathers about mythic beliefs, but I still have to put up with it, year after year.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 11:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wwwest @ Dec. 12 2012, 10:14 pm)
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So how do you explain the fact that every single national politician finds it necessary to proclaim in public his strong committment to Christian dogma??

Barney Frank "proclaims in public his strong committment to Christian dogma??"

Who knew?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 11:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Drift Woody @ Dec. 12 2012, 1:19 pm)
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Mixing religion & politics and legislating religious beliefs (discrimination against gays, prayer in public schools, etc) ... big problem.

I gotta ask, is there any kind of movement afoot to require prayer in public schools?  I thought that issue had been resolved some decades ago.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 12 2012, 11:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(KenV @ Dec. 12 2012, 11:15 pm)
QUOTE

(Drift Woody @ Dec. 12 2012, 1:19 pm)
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Mixing religion & politics and legislating religious beliefs (discrimination against gays, prayer in public schools, etc) ... big problem.

I gotta ask, is there any kind of movement afoot to require prayer in public schools?  I thought that issue had been resolved some decades ago.

Interesting how he referred to prayer in public schools and you pretended that he said "required" prayer in public schools. Very crafty. J. Smith would be proud of that level of deception.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 8:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Belief in a god, any god, all gods has its core in the inability of the human mind to accept that you get  70-80 years of life and its quality is mostly based on what you make of it. Then your gone, nothing more, it's over. And within a century or so forgotten. There was nothing for you before it, there will be nothing for you after it. It's over. Humans don't do we'll with that and they've had thousands of years to define, redefine, polish and massage the theory. In some form or fashion, all the religions provide for a life after death as the motivating factor.

Athiests tend to find the fulfillment here and now in the real one.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 9:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montecresto @ Dec. 13 2012, 7:05 am)
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Belief in a god, any god, all gods has its core in the inability of the human mind to accept that you get  70-80 years of life and its quality is mostly based on what you make of it. Then your gone, nothing more, it's over. And within a century or so forgotten. There was nothing for you before it, there will be nothing for you after it. It's over. Humans don't do we'll with that and they've had thousands of years to define, redefine, polish and massage the theory. In some form or fashion, all the religions provide for a life after death as the motivating factor.

Athiests tend to find the fulfillment here and now in the real one.

As an aside: does every single person who believes in the existence of God(s) believe in some sort of literal, bodily afterlife? This seems like a huge leap of logic on your part.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 9:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wwwest @ Dec. 12 2012, 9:14 pm)
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So how do you explain the fact that every single national politician finds it necessary to proclaim in public his strong committment to Christian dogma??

One of the only things I don't like about Obama is his kowtowing to the religious mainline.

Sad but necessary in our current culture.  I quit pretending to take part in public, civic prayers at school and city events long ago, staring balefully at the prayor while he/she blathers about mythic beliefs, but I still have to put up with it, year after year.

I agree that it would be refreshing for a politician who is not a religious believer to be able to simply say so.

I'm curious just what you mean in your statement about Obama, though. He has been a member of a mainline denomination church (Trinity UCC) for many years. Are you suggesting that it is all a front? How would you know such a thing?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 9:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cweston @ Dec. 13 2012, 9:06 am)
QUOTE

(Montecresto @ Dec. 13 2012, 7:05 am)
QUOTE
Belief in a god, any god, all gods has its core in the inability of the human mind to accept that you get  70-80 years of life and its quality is mostly based on what you make of it. Then your gone, nothing more, it's over. And within a century or so forgotten. There was nothing for you before it, there will be nothing for you after it. It's over. Humans don't do we'll with that and they've had thousands of years to define, redefine, polish and massage the theory. In some form or fashion, all the religions provide for a life after death as the motivating factor.

Athiests tend to find the fulfillment here and now in the real one.

As an aside: does every single person who believes in the existence of God(s) believe in some sort of literal, bodily afterlife? This seems like a huge leap of logic on your part.

Well no real leap of logic, just recollection of the class of comparative religions. Only self aware creatures create god, and then build religion around it, typically built of fear and superstition, and always the underlying desire to live for ever. Anamolies exist everywhere, no conclusions being without exception, so no, and I said nothing of a "literal  bodily afterlife", it may be a spirit being with no bodily form, it may be as a dog or a horse, it may be as a tree or a snake, it may indeed be bodily. At any rate, your comment is dismissive of the point of my post. That fear of death (and death forever to be specific) is the motive for the creation.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 10:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montecresto @ Dec. 13 2012, 8:52 am)
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Nah--I'm not dismissing the point of your post--I just wanted to talk about a different point in your post.

I think that we all tend to generalize a lot about the "other" positions on the religion/atheism spectrum. For example, I know a lot about the various different things Christians believe (because that is a topic which fascinates me), I know a fair amount about what various kinds of atheists believe (because I've been exposed to that line of thinking a lot), but I know very little about, say, what various Buddhists believe.

(I know, generally, what the major tenants of Buddhism are, but very little about the variety of belief and practice, either historically or currently.)

I'm a Christian. I'm generally fairly agnostic about the issue of an afterlife--who the hell knows, and really, how could we know. I am quite certain that all of the things Jesus and others are quoted as saying about "Heaven" in the Bible have generally been misunderstood--I think that "the kingdom of God" or "the kingdom of heaven" (which I believe were synonymous) in Jesus-speak means a collaborative program which is about making things different in the here and now, not in heaven or after the end of time or whatever.

So the total focus of my religious practice is about making life better (for me and for others) here and now, not in the "sweet by and by." And this is reasonably typical among a certain quarter of Christianity.

My larger point is this--there are probably similar variations and interpretations in all religious practices. But, unless we are intimately familiar with them, they tend to be unknown to us. So we are left with overly broad generalizations, which is never a great perspective from which to argue a point.
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 2:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Barney Frank "proclaims in public his strong committment to Christian dogma??"

I have no idea what Barney Frank's religious beliefs may be.  Do you?  How and why do you?

Sadly, many full fledged homosexuals are also true believers in Christianity.  Have you not noticed the growing number of Christian churches that ordain homosexual, bisexual and transsexual clergy members??

In any event, Barney Frank's political career was limited to one geographically small, and very liberal, Congressional district.  

What I would like to see is a President, Vice President, or major cabinet member who could express the same views that Barney Frank has done, plus go beyond that to be explicitly non-religious.

Won't happen in my lifetime, but I think it will happen before this century is out.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 2:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wwwest @ Dec. 12 2012, 7:14 pm)
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So how do you explain the fact that every single national politician finds it necessary to proclaim in public his strong commitment to Christian dogma??

Believe you me, some of us are actually quite turned off by this sort of public display -- particularly the kind that's easily and frequently turned on or off or made louder or softer depending on situation and circumstances!

Likewise, I very much dislike seeing politicians (and others) embracing our national flag (or other cherished civic  symbols) in the loudest and most public ways they can conjure up!

It's hard to read sincerity, of course, but many times, people leverage cherished symbols and comforting words just to tug at our emotions -- but are otherwise meaningless.

That it works (which is why it's done all the time) is IMHO a reflection of how superficial some of us are.  Sad.


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(wwwest @ Dec. 13 2012, 1:53 pm)
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Sadly, many full fledged homosexuals are also true believers in Christianity.  Have you not noticed the growing number of Christian churches that ordain homosexual, bisexual and transsexual clergy members??

Why is that sad?
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 3:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


I'm curious just what you mean in your statement about Obama, though. He has been a member of a mainline denomination church (Trinity UCC) for many years. Are you suggesting that it is all a front? How would you know such a thing?  


Do you know when he became a member of the mainline church vis a vis when he started running for public office in Illinois??  It was after he got out of law school, and before he became active in state politics.

I, of course, have no personal insight into his sincere religous beliefs, they may actually be what the public persona presents to us, but I greatly doubt it.  Just as I doubt the same for most US Senators, many Congress Critters, every Governor with an IQ above 140 and most other intelligent, well educated Americans.

I have a lot of respect for Obama's intelligence and intellectual capacity, and it pains me that even though he knows better intellectually, he finds it necessary to mouth religous shibboleths in order to succeed in national politics.

It's a black mark on our politics and our culture, but I think we are beginning to outgrow it.  The more we have well educated young people involved in politics and in voting, the faster we will clear this hurdle that restricts rationality.

I also believe this pattern is related to such wrong headed public policies as the war on drugs, our refusal to deal with Cuba and the lack of attention to sensible and practical gun controls in our society.  

Once a politician has success by denying rational positions, it becomes attractive to widen the practice for personal gain, IMHO. YMMV


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 3:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Why is that sad?

Just sad to me, as an advocate for growing out of our national self delusion based on mythology.  

The sexual minority members who have suffered so much due to prejudice based on religous mythologies, rather than rational understanding of physical and psychological facts should be the last to fall for such sophistry, but many of them still do, because religous faith is so deeply ingrained and so stubbornly supported in our culture, no matter what the evidence against such faith may be.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 3:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well...everyone is different.

I know several GLTB people who have been wounded by religion in one way or another, and now consider it the greatest gift in their lives to be embraced (not just tolerated) by a faith community.

I realize that a life of faith and religious practice is clearly not a choice that you would make or advocate. But the fact is that many, many people make that choice and live fuller, happier lives for it. (And, I acknowledge that some people are hurt by their religious traditions. Religion is a huge positive in some lives and a huge negative in others. It's hardly unique in that regard.)

At the very least, doesn't it seem awfully patronizing to decide for everyone else what is best for them? (And yes, of course there are religious people who are guilty of the same thing. My mother taught me that two wrongs don't make a right.)
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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 3:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

At the very least, doesn't it seem awfully patronizing to decide for everyone else what is best for them?

Not only patronizing, but curmudgeonly and evidence of approaching senility.

But, when you are old and curmudgeonly, you want to get your licks in while still above ground.

And please note, I am not deciding for everyone else, just advocating what they should decide for themselves, if they had good sense and were committed to logic and rationality.

I am just very thankful to be able to express my personal opinions without much fear of reprisal or sanction.  It has not always been so in this great country, and still isn't for politicians and many local business owners.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 3:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Not every non-believer who falsely professes a faith does so for some personal gain.

Some do so to avoid distressing loved ones who have strong convictions about God, Heaven and Hell.

These folk bow their heads during Thanksgiving blessings, agreeing with the sentiment.  They do the same at the bedside of the ill when someone prays for Healing.

They are neither hypocritical nor weak, just being respectful and sensitive to family who would otherwise grieve about their loved one's pending fate.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 3:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wwwest @ Dec. 13 2012, 12:46 pm)
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And please note, I am not deciding for everyone else, just advocating what they should decide for themselves, if they had good sense and were committed to logic and rationality.

I am just very thankful to be able to express my personal opinions without much fear of reprisal or sanction.  It has not always been so in this great country, and still isn't for politicians and many local business owners.

Haha... You were doing well... but then you just had to put in the "if" corollary!   :D

Kinda like a believer saying "I am not deciding for everyone else, just advocating that they should decide for themselves, if they would just be open and reflect prayerfully on the reality around them".

In both cases -- using mostly your own words -- "it [does] seem awfully patronizing to [assume] for everyone else what is best for them".

As for your second statement, I agree.  And we should keep it that way.


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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 13 2012, 3:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wwwest @ Dec. 13 2012, 2:46 pm)
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Not only patronizing, but curmudgeonly and evidence of approaching senility.

But, when you are old and curmudgeonly, you want to get your licks in while still above ground.

LOL.
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Bateauxdriver Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Dec. 14 2012, 1:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've always found it funny how so many have faith in gods we cannot see or hear, but, think those that believe in the existence of Bigfoot and aliens are crazy.
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