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  1. #121
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    Well, I'm sure you're aware this is a strong generalization, like saying all gays are flamboyant, but at the same time a lot of Christians and other religions are extremely open about their beliefs. People approach me in the street to ask me about Jesus. There's channels fully dedicated to exclusively Christianity (such as that god-awful 700 Club. A lot of Fox News commentators appeal to God in an irritating manner also). An entire section of my local bookstore is labeled "Christian inspiration", and I see people wearing shirts advertising churches or Jesus or wearing crosses daily. I don't know why when a few atheists are vocal in some equally strong and visible measure, it's any worse a reflection on atheism than people like Falwell, Robertson, Phelps, Haggard or a myriad of others. Hell, for me personally, I'd take the arrogant prickishness of Maher, Hitchens or Dawkins over those hate-mongers any day.
    I think the issue is that A) (physical) churches and crosses and pictures of Jesus AREN'T oppressing anyone; and B) one can believe anything they want and NOT be a prick or a hatemonger.


    Well, there is an mostly non-debated connection between atheism and education, so I'd imagine income levels are similarly, on average, higher for atheists (obviously, education connects to income level too).

    Atheists do seem to have lower rates of divorce than Christians, however.
    Probably not mentioned enough because "Atheists are more educated" sounds like a rather prickish argument, especially because it does nothing to answer of whether there is a deity or deities. When "liberals are more educated" comes up, I mention that libertarians are generally even more educated because that is true, but that doesn't make my political philosophy "correct." Same with divorce. It's like saying that social conservatives are better people because they donate more to charity as a percentage of income.
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  2. #122
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringstheory View Post
    i think the point is that just because your explanation might be true, it doesn't mean that it grants permission to generalize like you did in the initial post. It perhaps explains why people surveyed are seeing it that way, if that's what you were getting at, but it doesn't mean it's an acceptable line of thought. Statistically speaking, they are a lot more likely to know more Christians than they do Atheists.. so for them to say that one vociferous Atheist equals "many atheists" is somehow accurate while one vociferous Christian apparently doesn't equal "many Christians" isn't a very satisfying conclusion.
    again, this is already done in the posts. i'm saying what is, not what should
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  3. #123
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringstheory View Post
    i think the point is that just because your explanation might be true, it doesn't mean that it grants permission to generalize like you did in the initial post. It perhaps explains why people surveyed are seeing it that way, if that's what you were getting at, but it doesn't mean it's an acceptable line of thought.
    YES.

    My personal experience is that there are Christians who are a LOT more vocal about their beliefs than atheists. For example, you don't see atheists picketing whatever the equivalent of an abortion clinic would be - or hell, picketing just about everything, it seems, in the case of phelps.

    So while I understand that others have different (also valid) experiences, I don't think the overall experience can be accurately generalized to "atheists are more vocal" as was done earlier in this thread.
    -end of thread-

  4. #124
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    I've given my explanation of why that's the case in an earlier post here. It's a couple pages back.
    Ah, my mistake. Long thread.
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  5. #125
    THIS bitch stringstheory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    again, this is already done in the posts. i'm saying what is, not what should
    Then it appears that's where the misunderstanding lies it's simply a line of thought that some don't find to be well thought out or satisfying and thus the strong reaction from people, especially atheists who do not fit this bill and somehow end up lumped in this group anyway. It's really disheartening especially when people who don't understand just sometimes seem to equate "dickhead" with "atheist". Everyone likes to remember people like Dawkins, but how quickly they forget people like John Lennon.
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  6. #126
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I think the issue is that A) (physical) churches and crosses and pictures of Jesus AREN'T oppressing anyone; and B) one can believe anything they want and NOT be a prick or a hatemonger.
    Definitely agreed. And a lot of those atheist guys do come across as having a sense of superiority that isn't warranted. Expressing beliefs in a better way, however, is a right that should be able to be enjoyed by all. But I feel that some people (not all people by any means) immediately assume someone is either arrogant or attacking them not matter how casually they mention being atheist, which bothers me (at least, this has happened to me before in response to me saying something as simple as "Oh, I'm atheist").
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    YES.

    My personal experience is that there are Christians who are a LOT more vocal about their beliefs than atheists. For example, you don't see atheists picketing whatever the equivalent of an abortion clinic would be - or hell, picketing just about everything, it seems, in the case of phelps.

    So while I understand that others have different (also valid) experiences, I don't think the overall experience can be accurately generalized to "atheists are more vocal" as was done earlier in this thread.
    I think both parties can be equally vocal, both trying to satiate the same or similar needs. For instance, Christians might propagate their religions to save people and fulfill a desire to live eternally. Meanwhile, Atheists might propagate their *cough* lack of religion to fulfill a desire to have eternal progress in humanity. Either way, they're trying to save themselves from each other.

    Sometimes Christians will use the argument that "Atheism is a bad religion or belief system". This is incorrect, seeing atheism is the lack of a belief in God. However, with atheism comes a conflated idea about what it means to be an atheist, and what most atheists are like in character. With a firm demographic in place, and with some people acting as preachers on its behalf, it certainly inherits a religious quality about it.

    The most outstanding difference is the number of people in each demographic.

  8. #128
    now! in shell form INA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    I think that atheists are generally thought of as anarchists of the spirit. The image is generally of a person who is out to undermine all values; mostly because the U.S. has its roots in Puritanical beliefs. Marilyn Manson comes to mind. It's also been said that humanism (yes, the general belief to safeguard humanity) is some sort of bane to Religiosity in the U.S. This is usually because many humanists insists that the human is core to moral and ethical principles, rather than God.
    And so the hate has always been in the USofA, before Dawkins and the New Atheists, but don't tell that to the unhinged in this thread.
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  9. #129
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    I think both parties can be equally vocal, both trying to satiate the same or similar needs. For instance, Christians might propagate their religions to save people and fulfill a desire to live eternally. Meanwhile, Atheists might propagate their *cough* lack of religion to fulfill a desire to have eternal progress in humanity. Either way, they're trying to save themselves from each other.
    true, definitely. I was more talking about the different modes of expression, though. I guess I tend to see even the most vocal atheists as more peaceful about the medium they use to express themselves, regardless of the method. They'll give talks, publish articles, give interviews that may reveal a very hate-filled attitude - but they won't start yelling at someone on the street for being gay, or go door-to-door to sell their religion (I think).
    However, with atheism comes a conflated idea about what it means to be an atheist, and what most atheists are like in character.
    I'm not sure if you mean atheists have this shared identity as an atheist, or that others often perceive them so. If the former, I have to disagree strenuously. If the latter, well I guess that's what the htread is about.

    edit: my typo was supposed to mean thread, but when I went back to correct it I read it as hatred, which is an ironically relevant anagram so I'll leave the typo, lol
    -end of thread-

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post

    I'm not sure if you mean atheists have this shared identity as an atheist, or that others often perceive them so. If the former, I have to disagree strenuously. If the latter, well I guess that's what the htread is about.

    edit: my typo was supposed to mean thread, but when I went back to correct it I read it as hatred, which is an ironically relevant anagram so I'll leave the typo, lol
    Lol, I meant the former. Not all atheists are the same, but of course they all fall under the category of not believing in God. This gives them all characteristics that vary widely in expression. I do think there are archetypal representations of beliefs, though. These archetypes may manifest themselves in people if they are blown out of proportion. Obviously, the archetypes of God and Satan are opposed, and it seems as though atheists who are overly rational to the point of dehumanizing common people in favor of creating a new kind of human are very Satan-like. By forfeiting any notion of the afterlife, or the consequences of someone roasting in hell for eternity, we can give ourselves hell on earth.

    I'm reminded of a quote by Chesterton from Heretics, which I've never read but still find interesting, despite the unsettling name.

    "After belabouring a great many people for a great many years for being unprogressive, Mr. Shaw has discovered, with characteristic sense, that it is very doubtful whether any existing human being with two legs can be progressive at all. Having come to doubt whether humanity can be combined with progress, most people, easily pleased, would have elected to abandon progress and remain with humanity. Mr. Shaw, not being easily pleased, decides to throw over humanity with all its limitations and go in for progress for its own sake. If man, as we know him, is incapable of the philosophy of progress, Mr. Shaw asks, not for a new kind of philosophy, but for a new kind of man. It is rather as if a nurse had tried a rather bitter food for some years on a baby, and on discovering that it was not suitable, should not throw away the food and ask for a new food, but throw the baby out of window, and ask for a new baby."

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