User Tag List

First 34567 Last

Results 41 to 50 of 125

  1. #41
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Enneagram
    6w5 sp/sx
    Posts
    9,489

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    Dismissive comments that convey a sense of superiority and unwillingness to consider other perspectives. Obviously, behavior that isn't exclusive to "militant"/"new" atheists. To be more specific, any comments along the lines of "Religion is a crutch," "Religion was only used to explain phenomena that science now fully accounts for," and "Religion is inherently bad," which reflect simplistic and extremely half-hearted attempts at understanding either a. religion as a cultural phenomena, as others have mentioned and b. agnostic/ignostic arguments.

    *Edit: I'm not opposed to all of those comments themselves, but the atheists I've known have generally been terrible at backing them up or presenting them in a compassionate, non-confrontational way.
    This kinda sounds like more of an argument against closed-minded/thoughtless/tactless people rather than atheists. Surely the association of these traits with atheists is as problematic as the association of negative traits with religious people? I mean, sure, the words used will be different, but there are lots of people who are hostile to "behaviour X" and express it in a way that is not very tactful. Why talk specifically about "militant atheists" being problematic rather than the specific behaviour? Why do we have a need for every atheist to be compassionate and non-confrontational about their atheism at all times, but not for other groups of people? Sure, compassion is great (non-confrontational is a bit more subjective), but I'm not sure why atheists would (or should) have more or less than any other human.

    People in general are pretty terrible at truly understanding the perspective of others. They are OK at putting themselves in others' shoes, but not so OK at putting themselves in others' experiences and personality in addition to the shoes. Atheists certainly don't have a monopoly on this weakness, nor are we immune to it.

    I find it disturbing that people ever come to a point in their life where they think they've figured it all out and put a guard up to new ideas. But I'm willing to accept that even this will change for me as I encounter new theories and people.
    I think most people are like this to various degrees, although barely anyone believes it of themselves. I do think that as a (very general) culture, atheists tend to promote the ideal of being open to new ideas, if not always the practice (many exceptions in both directions, obviously).

    I'm still coming to grips with the fact that, on this subject, I'm in agreement with the dude who wrote "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus," but this line always comes back to me: "It is a funny sort of humanism that condemns an impulse that is peculiarly human. Yet that is what evangelical atheists do when they demonise religion." The article it comes from is really good.
    Hmm, this is a bit of an odd thing to say. Many impulses are "human" but not particularly "good" - murder, greed, cruelty, self-interest, laziness, etc etc. I don't think that criticizing any particular human tendency implies that you can't support the positive traits of humanity.
    -end of thread-

  2. #42
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    5 sx
    Posts
    506

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I tend to see religious people presenting a straw man view of atheism (for example, that atheists are supposed to present their views "in a compassionate, non-confrontational way") and then putting down atheists for not living up to that straw man view.

    Why should atheists be non-confrontational? I don't think any of the New Atheists claim to be non-confrontational. Debate involves confrontation. See my comments above about the "marketplace of ideas."
    To clarify what I meant by non-confrontational and compassionate (which were too strong of words): not unnecessarily abrasive or disrespectful. Debate is pointless without listening and carefully considering the other's ideas. And abrasiveness and disrespect aren't persuasive, unless it's for the benefit of your audience, rather than opponent.

    I agree with you in your above comments about the marketplace of ideas. I obviously don't prefer the attitudes of many New Atheists to the previous passivity - at least where it was combined with genuinely good ideas - but it's definitely benefited the debates in some ways. Many people wouldn't even be interested if it hadn't become somewhat heated.

  3. #43
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    5 sx
    Posts
    506

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    This kinda sounds like more of an argument against closed-minded/thoughtless/tactless people rather than atheists.
    ??? It was supposed to be. I'm not against atheism in general, I'm against atheists who are close-minded/thoughtless/tactless. I don't think I implied that I found militant atheists any more problematic than people of other beliefs who act the same way. Sorry I wasn't clearer.

    People in general are pretty terrible at truly understanding the perspective of others. They are OK at putting themselves in others' shoes, but not so OK at putting themselves in others' experiences and personality in addition to the shoes. Atheists certainly don't have a monopoly on this weakness, nor are we immune to it.
    Yeah, I completely agree with you there.

    Hmm, this is a bit of an odd thing to say. Many impulses are "human" but not particularly "good" - murder, greed, cruelty, self-interest, laziness, etc etc. I don't think that criticizing any particular human tendency implies that you can't support the positive traits of humanity.
    It was referring to the desire to seek a higher power, something transcendent, etc., not the negative side of religious behavior.

  4. #44
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Enneagram
    6w5 sp/sx
    Posts
    9,489

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    ??? It was supposed to be. I'm not against atheism in general, I'm against atheists who are close-minded/thoughtless/tactless. I don't think I implied that I found militant atheists any more problematic than people of other beliefs who act the same way. Sorry I wasn't clearer.
    Oh no, I get that. I guess I just have an issue with the "militant" label, since everyone seems to have a different definition. I have seen people using it to describe people who are not any more tactless/etc than the average human being - it just seems that many people are far more sensitive to the trait in atheists than they are in people expressing other opinions. So atheists who are tactless about their beliefs are "militant", but people who are tactless about say, parenting decisions, or politics, or whatever other controversial thing you want to discuss, are generally not labelled as militant, which doesn't make sense to me. It seems a pretty extreme word, like you're crusading for your opinions or something, and in the case of atheism, it often seems to be used to describe people who really are not behaving that radically.

    It was referring to the desire to seek a higher power, something transcendent, etc., not the negative side of religious behavior.
    Right. What I mean is that I don't understand why criticizing any tendency shown by humans is seen to be incompatible with humanism, since clearly humans have both positive and negative traits, in terms of their influence on other people. So I don't see why criticizing the desire to seek divine explanations for things implies a negative feeling about humanity as a whole. There are a number of human traits that could be argued to be "good" or "bad" (or both/neither). So, making an argument that a given human trait is good vs. bad doesn't really say anything about your views on humanity as a whole, in my opinion.
    -end of thread-

  5. #45
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    MBTI
    CROW
    Enneagram
    5w6 sp/so
    Socionics
    LII None
    Posts
    9,040

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    See, this is exactly why I wanted real-life examples. I stay far far away from that subreddit (and most of reddit in general) because it's overwhelmed by misogyny, hatred, immaturity, and lack of self-awareness. It is far more of a "reddit population" thing than an "atheism" thing though, IMO - admittedly they are hard to separate due to the overlap, but there are many hateful subreddits that have nothing to do with atheism. Some subreddits are great, but many are overwhelmed by angry young men with a chip on their shoulder who want to blame someone, anyone, for all their problems in life. People also say things on the internet that they would never say in real life.
    Well, yeah. They definitely represent a subset of atheism. But that's the kind of thing that bugs me. My issue isn't with atheism, but atheists like that. I'm calling them militant or "new atheists" because that's what comes to mind when I hear that term. I wouldn't even include the things in the "sixth grader" thread "militant". Others may have a different definition. My issue isn't with atheism, but rather that particular flavor of it. I agree with atheists on 99.9999999% of all metaphysical issues, so it's not the atheism part that bugs me, but rather the immature, self-righteous expression of it.

    Militant for me is a word that has a connotation not of standing up for oneself and what one believes, but rather a myopic self-righteous passion.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


    This is not going to go the way you think....

    Visit my Johari:
    http://kevan.org/johari?name=Birddude78

  6. #46
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Enneagram
    6w5 sp/sx
    Posts
    9,489

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    Well, yeah. They definitely represent a subset of atheism. But that's the kind of thing that bugs me. My issue isn't with atheism, but atheists like that. I'm calling them millitant or "new atheists" because that's what comes to mind when I hear that term. Others may have a different definition. My issue isn't with atheism, but rather that particular flavor of it. I agree with atheists on 99.9999999% of all metaphysical issues, so it's not the atheism part that bugs me, but rather the immature, self-righteous expression of it.
    ugh, just call them redditors. Although I suppose that generalization is almost as unfair as calling them atheists, since there are lots of decent redditors out there....just not necessarily the majority or the most visible on there.
    -end of thread-

  7. #47
    RDF
    Guest

    Default

    I think the bottom line is this: Whenever a representative of New Atheism sits down at a table to debate a representative of any religion, you’re going to have exactly the same thing on both sides of the debate table: An intellectual with a big ego who is very convinced that he is right.

    It would be nice if the debate could be handled peacefully, maturely, and with mutual respect. But if one side or both sides go off and gets testy or turn manipulative, it shouldn’t be totally unexpected. It’s "the human element.”

    More broadly: Religious people shouldn’t be putting unrealistic expectations on atheists. Just like religious folks, most atheists try to be good representatives for their cause. But just like religious folks, sometimes their egos get away from them.

  8. #48
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    461 so/sx
    Posts
    2,396

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Oh no, I get that. I guess I just have an issue with the "militant" label, since everyone seems to have a different definition. I have seen people using it to describe people who are not any more tactless/etc than the average human being - it just seems that many people are far more sensitive to the trait in atheists than they are in people expressing other opinions. So atheists who are tactless about their beliefs are "militant", but people who are tactless about say, parenting decisions, or politics, or whatever other controversial thing you want to discuss, are generally not labelled as militant, which doesn't make sense to me. It seems a pretty extreme word, like you're crusading for your opinions or something, and in the case of atheism, it often seems to be used to describe people who really are not behaving that radically.
    Agreed. I believe the mislabeling is intentional for the most part. It marginalizes and can demonize. That people can and do so is an indicative of the lack of concern these same people have in doing so. I mean atheists have historically been on the bottom of public opinion polls for awhile. How about those Southern Baptists that picket funerals? The abortion clinic bombers? Abortion doctor murderers? They are mostly referred to as "fundamentalists".

    An exchange between George W. Bush, while running as candidate for president and a reporter for an atheist periodical:

    "Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?
    Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in god is important to me.
    Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?
    Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
    Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?
    Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very high on atheists."

    Things sure have changed

    I think the word "activist" is more accurate, in most cases.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #49
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Enneagram
    6w5 sp/sx
    Posts
    9,489

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SpankyMcFly View Post
    "Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?
    Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in god is important to me.
    Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?
    Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
    Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?
    Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very high on atheists."
    Wow, that's insane. I think we're a little more accepting of atheists up here, thankfully, although we do have a few fundamentalists kicking around. I don't think anyone (well, most people) would care if we had an atheist prime minister - for all I know we've had one already. It's more "normal" here, for whatever reason.

    edit: it just occurred to me that maybe that is why I don't see these kinds of behaviours in people in real life. It makes sense that a stigmatized minority group would be more hostile to the majority than a more accepted minority group.
    -end of thread-

  10. #50
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    461 so/sx
    Posts
    2,396

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Wow, that's insane. I think we're a little more accepting of atheists up here, thankfully, although we do have a few fundamentalists kicking around. I don't think anyone (well, most people) would care if we had an atheist prime minister - for all I know we've had one already. It's more "normal" here, for whatever reason.
    What country are you from?

    I like to apply a simple test to check for hypocrisy/political correctness. Simply replace the word atheist with any mono-theistic denomination/sub-denomination. Then ask yourself, would these same people use the word militant to describe similar activities by say Jews or Christians? I think not.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

Similar Threads

  1. Article connected to Kim Davis story: All scientists should be militant atheists
    By Hard in forum Politics, History, and Current Events
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 09-15-2015, 09:44 PM
  2. Replies: 81
    Last Post: 08-27-2011, 11:51 PM
  3. Militant Belief in Health Food and Alternative Medicine
    By heart in forum Health and Fitness
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-23-2010, 12:09 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO