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  1. #361
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I think it's dangerous that when people like Dawkins present the basics of modern evolutionary biology in a format and manner that's comprehensible to laymen of a degree of intelligence, people throw themselves into fits of histrionics about how he's "just as bad as the people who believe in God."

    When schools are actively neglecting to teach of evolution (or shoehorning "creationism" into school curricula), it's important for something to be said. unfortunately, people can only think from their own mindset, and emotional, histrionic people assume everyone else is being emotional and histrionic and hear not the calm presentation of facts, but just another voice in a shouting match.

    Which is to say: I think most of the "haughty condescension" is imagined.
    I might have agreed with that at a time but to be honest I've seen how Dawkins and others, even AC Grayling who I sort of admire in other respects besides his atheism, have become more and more a mirror of the sorts of tendencies they profess to be opposed to.

    I also dont like the way in which atheism is the pet cause of a lot of people who like to or wish to pretend to superior knowledge, learning, culture or simply just superiority.

    Its is a passage of time thing and I'm sure it wasnt even as long ago as the second world war that precisely the opposite would have been true and intellectuals would have found non-believers social pariahs and what not.

    There was a time that I had a really visceral hatred, or at least concern about, creationism and allied sorts of evangelism, I dont care so much now, they are responses and reactions, ill conceived in extremis, to misread and misunderstood scientific discoveries, the higher criticism of the bible etc. It is an irony but those tendencies need atheism as much as I would suggest atheism needs them.

    Evangelism, particularly the sorts associated with solo scripture or atavistic thinking which makes traditional catholics appear progressive, is only going to stoke up atheism and serve its purposes. In time maybe even they will realise that but I dont have much hope for it.

    Anyone who is a believer or non-believer in a more self-contained or contented manner is not liable to be drawn to either of the polar opposites of evangelism or prolestysing non-belief. Would that there were more of those kinds of people and ethics could be given its proper place instead.

  2. #362
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont believe they are but they need to feel they are.
    Polls usually show Americans would rather vote for anyone else to be president than an atheist. Even Muslims tend to make it higher on the list. That has to count for something.

    You can look up opinion polls about atheists with Google. You'll find a lot of negative stuff.
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  3. #363
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Well, if you insult my parents, I will think ill of you. And if you insult my god, I will think ill of you.

  4. #364
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I think it's dangerous that when people like Dawkins present the basics of modern evolutionary biology in a format and manner that's comprehensible to laymen of a degree of intelligence, people throw themselves into fits of histrionics about how he's "just as bad as the people who believe in God."

    When schools are actively neglecting to teach of evolution (or shoehorning "creationism" into school curricula), it's important for something to be said. unfortunately, people can only think from their own mindset, and emotional, histrionic people assume everyone else is being emotional and histrionic and hear not the calm presentation of facts, but just another voice in a shouting match.

    Which is to say: I think most of the "haughty condescension" is imagined.
    This idea of haughty condescension or a self-righteous position has struck me a lot lately because in political and religious debates I've noticed that most any opponent is perceived this way. Some people are arrogant and communicate with arrogance, but there is an underlying assumption that sees anyone on the opposite side of a debate as being this way, and confirmation bias remembers the individuals who did behave that way as being representative. Liberals are self-righteous about the environment, and Conservatives are self-righteous about their morality. Atheists are arrogant and condescending, but at least Christians know the atheists are going to burn in hell, etc. Our opponents think they are superior to us and this is offensive, because we know they are actually beneath us.

    It makes me wonder what it means to not be arrogant, or to not be self-righteous. When people think/feel/believe their position is correct and better than another position and when people invest their identities in these positions, doesn't that typically lead anyone to assume some sort of superiority and self-righteousness? Whether they are a Satanist, Creationist, Atheist, or just apathetic?
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  5. #365
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Polls usually show Americans would rather vote for anyone else to be president than an atheist. Even Muslims tend to make it higher on the list. That has to count for something.

    You can look up opinion polls about atheists with Google. You'll find a lot of negative stuff.
    I'd not be surprised if Atheism in the public mind is not associated with its worst and most vicious or bitter representatives and that that translates into people disliking them.

    In the main that is what I associate atheism with and I'm pretty open minded about people and dont generally generalise too much, I dislike people or even movements that choose to do that and propagate groupthink or groupID.

    A lot of the atheists I've known need people to hate them, they need religious to hate on, they need it all as much as evangelicals who're moved to make people conform to their thinking, infact pretty much all the athiests I've known are like that, the only ones which dont conform to that picture were really agnostics or apathetic about religion or questions of that nature.

  6. #366
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    I don't like most atheists for the same reason I don't like super conservative Christians. They each try to tell me what to believe and why they are right. It's just arrogance on all sides because neither can be proved or disproved so both sides should just shut up about their personal beliefs.
    Same here. Everyone just needs to leave everyone else alone. Ironically, that might bring people closer somehow.

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