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Greetings Everyone
Bob of QF
I must concur with Neil on this one-- a better idea is the key.

But, to spread the real fruits of science and scientific endeavor requires education.

Unfortunately, the religinuts seem to be aware of this, and are doing everything they can to hamper education in the USofA.

That being said, if one looks at the majority and history? Whenever christianity was actively persecuted to a large degree? It faded into a minority cult, just like any other religion would. Think of Russia under the Soviets. Sure, there was a rabid hold-out, but most folk simply quit their outward lip-service to it in the day-to-day.

There were always be rabid hold-outs in any religion-- for example, see the very early christian gnostic sects. These folk were actively persecuted (murdered) by their non-gnostic christian brethren. Yet, we still have tiny pockets of gnostic christians around here and there.

Thus, I think that some persecution/pressure is a useful thing. It would be better if that pressure came from other believer-types, rather than from the outside.

But, I don't see moderate christians taking responsibility for their rabid-fundie kin any time soon, do you?

So, it once again falls in the laps of rational folk to curtail the more rabid types in our society-- for the moderate and liberal believers tend to stand idly by and let the over-zealous types run loose.

*sigh*

Education is the ultimate fix. But it is so sloow-- especially as we still allow the child abuse that is fundamentalist christianity to be taught to children...
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
neilmarr
Spot on, Bob. Education is the key. Education is to religion what table salt is to a garden slug. Martin Luther is not by any means the only crazed religious nut to have actually spelled this out in his writings.

When it comes to persecution, though, what history has seen is the replacement on one silly religious idea with a similar silly religious idea, imposed by the stronger. There is little difference in principle, for instance, between proto-orthodox Christianity, Judaism and Islam. And, come to that, there was very little difference between the cult of Stalinism and the workings (until fairly recently) of the Catholic Church.

Since the Enlightenment of the late eighteenth century, though, we've seen that the 'better idea' is reason against superstition. Religion can and does buck against the advance of science and scholarship, but it can't hope to win in the long term.

The recent explosion of militant Christianity and Islam and Judaism in bull-headed Israeli policy, suggests that religion is on the run, cornered and fighting back like a wounded, angry, but stll powerful, lioness defending her young.

And let's not kid ourselves that there is any such thing as 'moderate' religion. All religion, by its very nature, stands against reason and struggles against education and the progress of society. You cannot be moderately deluded, backward and obstructive.

Best. Neil
 
catman
neilmarr wrote:And let's not kid ourselves that there is any such thing as 'moderate' religion. All religion, by its very nature, stands against reason and struggles against education and the progress of society. You cannot be moderately deluded, backward and obstructive.

I felt somewhat uncomfortable with this until I considered that one almost never hears of 'moderate' religionists protesting against the actions of there more fanatical brethren. They at least implicitly support them.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
seeker
Not only do they implicitly support them but i think moderate theism is the breeding ground for fundamentalism. Moderates don't sit there decrying the baser parts of their doctrine, they simply tend to ignore it. You simply never see a moderate Christian commenting on the intolerance of the OT, instead that intolerance is a sort of impractical ideal to them.
 
Skeeve
I wish good discussion like this wasn't evolved from an unrelated topic. Someone visiting the site may not read through all the "Pleased to meet you" threads, but look for topics that interest them.

This is just an opinion of mine and in no way an attempt to derail the discourse. Most threads seem to drift, but occasionally something really interesting is lost in the wrong Forum.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
neilmarr
Point taken, Skeeve. Just happened that way. Can it be moved with no trouble, do you think?

Meantime, let's not forget that it's the 'moderates' in any religion that, through their creeds, provide the subtance of justification to the so-called 'extremists'.

An extremist is nothing more than a moderate with an attitude.

Same creed, same sciptures, very slightly different emphasis.

And moderates are only moderates when they're in the majority.

It wasn't 'extremists', by the general Christian stance of the time, who launched the Crusades or burned witches. It wasn't 'extreme' Moslems who conquered half the known world in the 7th and 8th Centuries, it wasn't 'extremist' Jews who -- according the the fairy tale -- launched genocide in the lands of the Levant.

The scriptures so lovingly tended and worshipped by the 'moderates' justify outrage.

There is no such thing as a socially aware, acceptable 'moderate' religionist. Each member of a faith must take full responsibility for the actions of his co-religionists. But, of course, they never do and never will.

I heartily detest any attempt to draw a distinction between moderates and extremists when our world is suffering as it is.

Neil
 
Skeeve
neilmarr wrote:
Can it be moved with no trouble, do you think?


Only the entire thread can be moved, which wouldn't be fair to the OP. Oh well, we'll cope. :yes:
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
Sinny
Rathpig wrote:
neilmarr wrote:

"we're not here to fight religion but to make religion irrelevant."

...

PS: None of the above, of course, precludes a little religion-bashing here in our own forums when we think it's desrved or just for plain ol' fun. N


This is a very important point to consider. Actively fighting a crusade against religion benefits only religion. Of course it is often necessary to actively fight for certain issues such as church-state separation, reproductive rights, and other specific "causes", but going to war against religion itself only empowers religion. It is much better to move forward with a positive humanistic philosophy which does respect true freedom of thought. These means the freedom to be religious within religion's defined role. One should not force their theism into secular society, nor should one force their atheism.
Of course this doesn't preclude having an opinion and voicing it. I am a strong iconoclast, and something like Scientology or Mormonism couldn't possible exist without someone making fun of them. It is inherent in their contrived irrationality.

To understand Scientology is to "bash" Scientology. And on, and on, and on.


Hi Rathpig I came here to welcome you...so Welcome ;hello;
Now I want to point out one part in Bold see above. I agree but the problem is as atheism isn't forced on anyone it is being we are being silenced and discriminated against and that is a huge problem to me. I doubt very much theism will stop being forced on people and it should be. Problem is atheism is being forced to shut up. I'm not saying every atheist should go out and fight militant style but I can understand why some do. I want us to have equal rights and am glad for any help we get from organizations that help to advance the rights of atheists by changing laws. I think one possibility as to why some say atheism is a sort of religion or a belief is because they are trying to fit in and are sick of the disgusted looks they get when people find out they don't believe in a god, etc. It could also be because by saying it's a belief or some kind of belief system it is much easier to have rights protecting our non belief or rather in htis situation to protect our so called belief that there is no god. Shees I had one heck of an argument a few weeks ago with another atheist on a forum who insisted that atheism is a beief. The belief that there is no god and/or no proof of a god. Nearly drove me nuts.
 
Hypatia
I agree with you Sinny. To me, the reason for being 'out there', so to speak, about being atheist, isn't because I want to convert anyone, because I don't. It's because I want theists to know they live next door to, work with and socialize with us all the time, so they will realize we're just like anyone else, only we're not theists.

It's also important because of my views of separation of state/church and keeping religious practices out of our public schools.

I'm able to do this without being militant or having to get in people's faces about it, and I think that's a positive way to show theists who and what atheists are and aren't.

One reason I want people to understand better about atheists is to help stop discrimination against us and help make it possible for us to hold public offices, etc. There was a time when we, as atheists, could just keep it to ourselves and not care whether anyone knew or not. But I think we're at a point in time where we have to either stop complaining about being discriminated against and being held back from things we want to accomplish in society, or stay quiet altogether. Personally, I think we've had enough of the latter.
 
catman
We should not be allowed to force our atheism on anyone, but we should be able to discuss it openly without fear of reprisal. That isn't too much to ask, is it? Hypatia, as usual, I agree with you.

There are now several new members who have never posted on the site. By all means, y'all, feel free to introduce yourselves to us! See how the thread drifts when you don't?;cat;


"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
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