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  1. #161
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    It is for show, and it's to keep from being burned.

    Remember that the U.S. has its roots in Puritanism, and as such has its roots in witch burning. Witches were burned because they were accused of dealing with the Devil. And if the Devil whispered in your ear, you were only redeemed if you admitted your affiliation with him.

    And then McCarthy blew the whistle on the second Red Scare, and in doing so, he revived the witch hunt. You were convicted if you made deals with the Communists.

    McCarthy made a point in convolution of the public opinion into thinking that there was a substantial internal threat to the United States where there was none. Just like the Puritans thought there was an internal threat to their purity where there was none. Ah, but scratch that. The biggest threat were those who casted stones at the innocent.

    So it's pretty easy to see that we have an intertwined child begotten from Puritanism and Politics. Atheists are thought of as dealing with the Devil, and are therefore thought of as un-American, even to many liberals.

    Doesn't it just warm your heart?
    It would warm everythin if you are the one being burnt.
    Don't make whine out of sour grapes.

  2. #162
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZPowers View Post
    Generally, I don't think much of the attitudes towards atheism in this country.

    However, when it really, really gets under my skin is A) when someone wants to convert me, something I am nowhere near arrogant enough to do to another human being whom I assume has well-reasoned beliefs that are no worse than mine B) when it is casually suggested that I (I consider myself a mostly good person) will burn in hell for all eternity simply because I am an atheist, something that no one should believe or put up with in anything they worship with all their might and is tantamount to worshipping an even more deadly and pain-inducing genocidal maniac in my eyes and C) when people I assume I have no morality because I do not believe in God. Morality DOES NOT need a basis in the divine. Ask Aristotle. Or Kant. Or Mill. Or Rand, except not her cause what a horrendous bitch.
    Yeah, I've encountered what you're describing, for years I railed again Christian evangelism and considered it to be pretty much representative, until I started to see more and more atheist or secularist attacks on religosity which I thought began to feel and look like attacks on me too despite my rejection of that other scene.

    To be honest I think A LOT of that approach is compensating for private doubts, its also not logical because most of the people who believe in a mission to convert others also believe in complex schemas of grand design, pre-destination and divine determinism, if you believe that everything is the will of God then why seek to convert anyone?

    It is commanded in the gospels but I'll come to that and surely simply because "it is written" is a guide to action, Jesus never wrote anything and a personal relationship with Jesus tends to trumph even biblical literalism and solo scriptura in those circles.

    Some of them are kind hearted, I feel bad for them, they honestly believe that if others, including friends, lovers, family members, dont join the group think they will be tortured for eternity. That's bound to be a terrible thing to experience, they are probably more deserving of sympathy than attack that being the case.

    Burning in hell I dont think anyone can tell or know about, it is presumptious and arrogant to assume you know, however I do believe that if hell exists it is seperation from God, if a hell exists its locked from the inside its members hold the keys themselves. There is a poem about a bigot who dies and goes to meet St. Peter at the pearly gates of heaven and he asks if the believers he hates are in heaven, when he's told yes, he opts to become a ghost for eternity but tries to counsel people he appears to against bigotry because he really would have liked to have gone to heaven.

    Morality doesnt need a divine basis but I dont really see Christianity as being about that, its cliched and the words will instantly turn you off I know but it is about good news, even the moral messages which Jesus imparts are about how to live the good life. Seriously the whole message is one that the whole of creation was made for man but has been despoiled by man.

    Now it is just the way that I understand it but keeping the Christian message to yourself is a little like meeting someone who is a keen tourist or party animal in a really fun vacation location in which you know all the best things to see and hang out but you dont tell them, knowing they arent likely to ever visit that place again. There's something awful about that.

  3. #163
    Senior Member The Outsider's Avatar
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  4. #164
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Outsider View Post
    Seems like no one does persecution complexes and hate better than Athiests then.

  5. #165
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    It is for show, and it's to keep from being burned.

    Remember that the U.S. has its roots in Puritanism, and as such has its roots in witch burning. Witches were burned because they were accused of dealing with the Devil. And if the Devil whispered in your ear, you were only redeemed if you admitted your affiliation with him.

    And then McCarthy blew the whistle on the second Red Scare, and in doing so, he revived the witch hunt. You were convicted if you made deals with the Communists.

    McCarthy made a point in convolution of the public opinion into thinking that there was a substantial internal threat to the United States where there was none. Just like the Puritans thought there was an internal threat to their purity where there was none.
    True. The politics of fear has a proud history in the US - champion of freedom of speech and democratic values.

    Quote Originally Posted by xNTP View Post
    It's interesting to think that the group that is the most reviled might also be the group that is most willing to protect other people.
    What makes you say that?
    But this got me thinking: are atheists more or less moral, more or less altruistic?
    I'm not sure what "more moral" means. But people who behave decently out of genuine goodness and concern for others rather than out of fear of punishment in the hereafter get my vote.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  6. #166
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    Statistics don't lie!
    The emoticon makes me think you are being at least somewhat facetious. I cannot resist rambling about this, though.

    Something a bit odd about these comparisons between the USA and Europe is that almost nobody seems to provide sweeping European statistics. Rather little bits here and there are reference for say Germany, and then France, and then Britain. Meanwhile one statistic is used for the entire USA even though, as I said, sans Russia, the USA is larger than Europe and has about three quarters the population. I think this creates an illusion of uniformity vs variation. If we averaged out the entirety of Europe as one place, it would look uniform. If we provided separated stats for different regions of the USA, it would look varied. In that case the tables would be turned.

    From what I understand, if we do compare big sweeping averages, the USA is more religious than a cosolidated Europe. But I can definitely say as an American that the treatment of religion in the north-east, vs the south-east, vs the center, vs the pacific coast, for example, is rather different.
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  7. #167
    What is, is. Arthur Schopenhauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Seems like no one does persecution complexes and hate better than Athiests then.
    Nah, theists have the biggest persecution complex. They are the most persecuted minority evarrrr.
    INTJ | 5w4 - Sp/Sx/So | 5-4-(9/1) | RLoEI | Melancholic-Choleric | Johari & Nohari

    This will not end well...
    But it will at least be poetic, I suppose...

    Hmm... But what if it does end well?
    Then I suppose it will be a different sort of poetry, a preferable sort...
    A sort I could become accustomed to...



  8. #168
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnificentMind View Post
    Nah, theists have the biggest persecution complex. They are the most persecuted minority evarrrr.
    You know, considering how popular any type of theism has been around for in the vast majority of the world for a long time, that's probably correct.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  9. #169
    Senior Member Bushranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    Even within most individual faiths, it's a commonly accepted principle that a person must arrive at their own understanding of and relationship with their god/the universal consciousness, etc, according to their own conscience. This holds true for many faiths even when the outward forms of worship are proscribed by tradition and the religious authorities. This contrasts sharply with the beliefs of those anti-theists who define themselves as "Free Thinkers", who appear to consider themselves the only ones capable of independent thought or conscience due to their specific antipathy to religion and rejection of its tenets (which is already one respect in which their thought is constrained); and are unified by their stereotyping of those who do not think as they do as ignorant fools. It is precisely this which highlights their own innate black and white thinking, their inability to percieve nuances correctly, their splitting into false dichotomies and over-simplification of opposing positions and possibilites in order to justify the certitude which which they hold their own beliefs, and ultimately demonstrates how constrained their own thinking truly is.

    Perhaps if they themselves were religious believers, their thought would be anything but free due to their craving for certainty hindering their ability to develop further understanding; but they do others a disservice when they project this weakness on them, and underline their own in the process.
    You seem to lack the understanding that a great many atheists started out religious. Many spend years desperately trying to fully accept the faith that they were raised into. Eventually they decide that they don't believe, that they can't reconcile the teachings of their religion with the way they view the world. Sometimes this leads to isolation from their community. Their entire peer group may turn their back on them.
    Others come to the conclusion that they don't believe but never let on, unable to face the social repercussions that would follow if they did.

    I've met a lot of people like this, it takes a lot of time and effort to fully abandon the concept that faith for faith's sake is a good thing. When they do manage it they report a feeling of freedom, freedom from the subtle guilt that their culture imposes on skeptical thinkers.
    When people label themselves as free thinkers it is often because they feel that they have freed themselves from their old way of thinking, sometimes at great personal cost.

    Do not assume that atheists do not understand religion or what it teaches. I know several people for whom the road to atheism started when they first started studying their theology.
    I'll get you my pretty, and your little hermit crab too!

  10. #170
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    The emoticon makes me think you are being at least somewhat facetious. I cannot resist rambling about this, though.

    Something a bit odd about these comparisons between the USA and Europe is that almost nobody seems to provide sweeping European statistics. Rather little bits here and there are reference for say Germany, and then France, and then Britain. Meanwhile one statistic is used for the entire USA even though, as I said, sans Russia, the USA is larger than Europe and has about three quarters the population. I think this creates an illusion of uniformity vs variation. If we averaged out the entirety of Europe as one place, it would look uniform. If we provided separated stats for different regions of the USA, it would look varied. In that case the tables would be turned.

    From what I understand, if we do compare big sweeping averages, the USA is more religious than a cosolidated Europe. But I can definitely say as an American that the treatment of religion in the north-east, vs the south-east, vs the center, vs the pacific coast, for example, is rather different.
    I think there's a great difference too because the US has very disparite, diverse and various theism than European nations individually or in aggregate, for instance theism in Spain is a single Church, its highly unitary and conformist, which I would wager is not reflected in the US scene, either state or national level.

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