ABC 20/20 on Atheism
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24-04-2011, 11:44 PM
ABC 20/20 on Atheism
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTRDRP2n4...re=related

It's an older video, but if you watch it, look how she is treated. If she's not christian, she worships the devil. Such a loving group of people, eh?
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25-04-2011, 05:53 AM
RE: ABC 20/20 on Atheism
It's disturbing to see things like that. Hopefully soon religion will lose allot of it's social value.
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25-04-2011, 08:24 AM
RE: ABC 20/20 on Atheism
It's sad. And I think part of the reason why this sort of stuff happens is because people are so unaware of the atheists around them. We are a pretty silent minority, and it takes a unique circumstance for people to even realize that we are atheists. For every one atheists they they find out about, they're plenty around them that they haven't learned are atheists. So when they do find out about that one atheist, they don't know what to do, and often times what exactly an atheist even is. It's such a foreign concept to them.

I remember once at school, the day before I saw a picture online says says "God =√-1", so I wrote it on the chalk bored during lunch. One girl stared at me funny, and had me spell it out for her(she knew what it meant). She didn't seem particularly angry, just startled. As though she never met an atheist before, and barely had any comprehension they existed off-line. A group of my friends that are also atheists(we cluster together for some odd reason) spoke up at that point. I guess she never realized that half of her circle of friends are atheists.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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25-04-2011, 06:57 PM (This post was last modified: 26-04-2011 12:26 AM by Ghost.)
RE: ABC 20/20 on Atheism
So my question is, what can be done to remedy this sort of situation?

I was raised in a very metropolitan city, Montreal, in an openly multi-cultural country, Canada. So my whole life I was exposed to Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, English, French, Italians, Greeks, homosexuals, bisexuals, Mormons, Hare Krishnas, alcoholics, drug users, the homeless, strong men, strong women, Native Americans, Europeans, Africans, Asians, South Americans, Australians, Oceanians, Yanks, Westerners, Maritimers, you can pretty much name it and I was exposed to it. But when you travel to small towns, not just Hardesty, Oklahoma, any small town, anywhere on the planet, they are by and large monocultural rather than multicultural.

When I was in the army, I worked with a woman from The Saguenay while taking a month-long course in French. She was 100% unilingual Francophone because Anglophones just plain don't live in The Saguenay. Out of a platoon of thirty on the course, four of us were Anglophones and one was an Allophone. Obviously we all spoke French but we preferred to speak English when we were just chilling. One day we were entering the course building and shooting the shit and laughing and this woman from The Saguenay was so upset that she was brought to tears. We immediately switched languages to ask her what was wrong. She said that she didn't understand a word of English (and as hard as it might be to believe for us media saturated Anglophones, I mean not a single word) and she thought that we were making fun of her.

While Montreal is currently a vibrant multicultural city, it began as a monocultural French settlement. When the new cultures started arriving, hell, when the French handed it over to England in the 18th century, this monocultural city became multicultural. Over a few hundred years, all of the different cultures and sub-cultures entered into a series of conversations that allowed them to co-exist peacefully while accepting the many different ways of doing things. It's an ongoing process that still hasn't been resolved (I can still get into a fight with someone in the East End just for speaking English) but the conversation was began long ago and it has paid huge dividends.

That cold morning on that army base, the first conversation started between an Anglophone from Montreal and a Francophone from The Saguenay. But things are always painful before these conversations occur.

This girl was an Atheist whose Atheist parents immigrated to a monocultural town that never dealt with a second culture before. And, same as everywhere in the world, when the two cultures first came into contact with each other, it didn't go well for the minority.

My point is that I feel that Atheists and Theists need to have a conversation. They have to expose themselves, each to the other. I mean, the wife of one of the pastors was so ignorant of what Atheism was that she could barely form a sentence to articulate what she thought an Atheist was.

Ignorance. That for me is the single most important word.

When the black family moves to the small white town, people are ignorant of what it means to be black and what the presence of blacks means to them. Now that Calgary is going through an oil boom, for the first time, this long-time monocultural white city is having to contend with a massive influx of immigrants who have come chasing the oil money. When an Anglophone family moves to The Saguenay, the city has a lot of learning to do.

It's no secret that ignorance of the other is the source of all fear and prejudice.

Exposure to different cultures precipitates the need for conversation. Conversation allows for different peoples to coexist.

So the way I figure it, we have two options. One, we either get rid of all of the Atheists, or get rid of all of the Theists so that there's only one cultural group, or two, we admit that there are two groups, who want to remain two groups, and who every now and then, find themselves living together.

So the question for me is, do we let ignorance do it's dirty work, or do we figure out how to start the conversation so that the ignorance that divides is replaced by the understanding that links?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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26-04-2011, 12:53 AM
RE: ABC 20/20 on Atheism
(25-04-2011 06:57 PM)Ghost Wrote:  So my question is, what can be done to remedy this sort of situation?

There is no single thing that can be a remedy.
>Conversation, like you say is definitely nessessary and probably the most effective thing.
>There is also government making a stand to not tolerate school officials, principals and teachers actions when they are involved in prejudicial action against any student or fail to try to resolve and dissipate predjudice within their schools.
>Church ministers are very influencial and often are the source of predjudice within their churches and communities. How do you stop priests and ministers from creating and feeding predjudice? This is at the heart of my problem with religion. That is why I want to see religions lose their power over people.
>Responsible media could have a great effect. But how do you get rid of irresponsible media and replace it with responsible media?
>The entertainment industry could have a great effect, too. But same question as last point.

It is all about influencing people's behavior in ways that condone peace and harmony. We are all hugely influenced all the time. The trick is to have the influences create positive behavior from the majority of the people. (You can't reach everybody). Why are some countries much more violent that others? Because of who is being influenced by who, and by how much.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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26-04-2011, 09:50 AM
RE: ABC 20/20 on Atheism
I see more accusation than anything else in what you said.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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26-04-2011, 02:26 PM
RE: ABC 20/20 on Atheism
Education. By that I mean teaching generations not to memorize information but learn information through critical thinking. If people would simply stop themselves when they realize that they do not understand something and think about it they may be able to figure it out. For instance I did not understand how people could believe that speaking in tongues or dancing could make them "closer to god" but it is easier to comprehend why they think that way when I remove my emotions from the reasoning. Speaking in tongues and dancing are the result of emotional states and can be influenced by the emotions of those around them. Basically if everyone is doing it then it must be right. I do not believe it makes sense but at least I understand how and why they think it does.

With the atheism/christian relations it needs to be resolved through education. My own mother wondered if I worshiped the devil since I was an atheist. If she had thought critically about what she was saying rather than emotionally perhaps she would have never asked such an ignorant question, she would also need to know what an atheist is which I do not believe she knows. Simple? No. But it is the only long-term solution I can reason out. Educate people about different belief systems and non-belief and encourage kids to question the information being presented to them so that an actual conversation can be carried out rather than "that is not what I was taught is school" or "that is not what I was raised to believe" or "that does not make any sense to me."

Evolve

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27-04-2011, 11:55 PM
RE: ABC 20/20 on Atheism
(26-04-2011 09:50 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I see more accusation than anything else in what you said.

So what else is new?

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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28-04-2011, 10:19 AM
RE: ABC 20/20 on Atheism
No. J.

You answered my question in a way that, unlike the premise I introduced in my post, heaped the blame on one group for their actions rather than on a situation. That, I felt, missed the point entirely. I said that people need to have conversations so they can learn to live with each other in situations that they never have had to face before (the evidence of success being multicultural metropolitan cities) and that that difficulty in the face of new situations was par for the course anywhere in the world where new cultural groups were introduced to formerly monocultural ones. You said you have a problem with religion and that you want to see religion lose their power because the problem isn't simply the reality of cultural dynamics, it's them. They're wrong. They must be stopped. So yeah, that's accusatory. And it’s a big part of the problem. That attitude doesn’t bring people together in conversation, it divides them. It makes it the cause of the problem one group, not a situation that both groups are facing together. The issue is that if an English family moves to The Saguenay, or an American family moves to a small town in the Punjab, or if a Sri-Lankan family moves to a small town in Oklahoma, or if an Israeli family moves to a small town in the Urals, or if a burqa-wearing Muslim family moves to a small Atheist town, or if any cultural group moves to any small monocultural community that has never had to deal with different cultures before, then there will be friction that can only be solved through conversation. The issue is not that the people in those monocultural communities are stupid, or belligerent, or because their religious leaders preach intolerance and we'd all be better off if they lost their power. So yeah, I don't see impartial understanding of a universal phenomenon, I see misplaced blame and pre-existing prejudice.

So how about you drop the sarcasm and speak to the issue at hand like an adult?

Hey, Bearded Dude.

Well said.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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