Am I a "militant atheist"?
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14-07-2011, 09:50 AM
RE: Am I a "militant atheist"?
(14-07-2011 08:30 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  
(14-07-2011 07:51 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  How come I've never heard the term "militant christian"?

On-ward Christian soldje-e-ers,
Mar-ching as to-o war...


Oh, it's been mentioned.

I'm not suggesting there aren't militant christians, I just wonder why christians are somehow immune to the word "militant" in the mainstream. Or perhaps they aren't and I just never hear it. I hear about militant atheists, militant muslims, hell I even hear about militant potheads! (And that one's really funny, since "militant potheads" are the people who quietly sit on the lawns of the legeslative buildings on april 20th, smoke a joint, and either laugh alot or take a nap) But I've never seen a news report about militant christians.

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14-07-2011, 02:36 PM
RE: Am I a "militant atheist"?
(14-07-2011 09:50 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  I'm not suggesting there aren't militant christians, I just wonder why christians are somehow immune to the word "militant" in the mainstream....

Because it's christians throwing the labels at other people. They don't have to be militant: they're the respectable establishment that's besieged by all these radical potheads and gays and peaceniks and homeless. Plus, they own the armed forces of every denomination.

(Okay, i may be a little bit militant. Irked, even.)

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14-07-2011, 07:22 PM
RE: Am I a "militant atheist"?
I think that's really true about why you never seem to hear about militant Christians. The only reason I can see is the news medias bias towards that particular religion. They don't see anything their own gang does as militant because nothing they follow could ever be militant. I think it's like when you watch fox news, and then real news about the same topic. However even the real news follows the Christianity above all rule over here in Canada.
If anything I think there are more militant Christians in Canada than any other religious or even non-religious group. Just the fact that whenever the atheists get together long enough to put up a sign, some group of Christians comes along and gets it taken down, as if no one else is allowed to have their say. I'd certainly call that militant.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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14-07-2011, 07:33 PM
RE: Am I a "militant atheist"?
Here's a challenge.

Can someone clearly define militant?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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14-07-2011, 07:46 PM
RE: Am I a "militant atheist"?
I doubt we could find a definition that would satisfy everybody. Looking through a bunch of the threads on here I've come to the consensus that we all have a fairly different idea of what makes someone militant. I would imagine the media has the same problem.

For me to label someone or a group of someones as militant they have to be aggressively attacking something in either a physical, political, or emotional way.
I.E. my earlier post about the signs. I wouldn't call them militant if they were only voicing their opinions, but that is not where those particular Christians stopped. When the atheist group in Vancouver and Halifax paid for the signs on the sides of buses proclaiming nothing more than there might not be a god and that's ok, and then the Christian groups all came out protesting the signs and threatening the bus companies unless they took them down. That is actively attempting to disrupt someone else's freedom of expression in favor of their own. They succeed too which sucks.

I think religion hits militant status the second it crosses the line of respecting other peoples rights and freedoms, no matter how that is accomplished. Same goes for atheism. So if I were to say spray paint the sides of churches with passages of the bible that aren't commonly heard, even though that act isn't violent I would still call it militant because I would be actively attacking that religion. Instead of if I maybe, handed out pamphlets of the same passages because at least then I am not vandalizing any property or destroying their things that they hold dear.

I think I'm gibbering myself into a confusing circle. I must stop now. I may not have made any sense I'm tremendously tired. Plus I had to watch Cars 2 today and it was awful.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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14-07-2011, 08:53 PM
RE: Am I a "militant atheist"?
(14-07-2011 07:33 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Here's a challenge.

Can someone clearly define militant?
Yup easy! The way I replied to this guy was militant... (and maybe a little harsh) Sad
http://thethinkingatheist.com/forum/Thre...7#pid38407

It's to do with your stance on something. If you are opposed to something or you are taking a position directly opposing another position.

“Forget Jesus, the stars died so you could be born.” - Lawrence M. Krauss
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14-07-2011, 09:42 PM
RE: Am I a "militant atheist"?
I'm assuming this thread started because the OP saw the ThinkingAtheist's new vid, which not a lot of people mention, strangely.




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14-07-2011, 10:06 PM
RE: Am I a "militant atheist"?
So now I wonder - am I militant? in the bad way? Am I the type of person that would make people ashamed to wear the label Atheist?

I know I'm a bit hot-headed sometimes, though I don't consider myself far gone enough to be irrational about it. Sometimes it's better to get an outsiders perspective.

I'm one of those Asbergers/HFA/ADD types so I guess I don't always think about how I affect the people around me as much as I should. My childhood experiences with religion didn't help me either!

So be honest! There is no censorship here! Tongue

“Forget Jesus, the stars died so you could be born.” - Lawrence M. Krauss
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15-07-2011, 04:48 AM
RE: Am I a "militant atheist"?
(14-07-2011 10:06 PM)DeepThought Wrote:  So now I wonder - am I militant? in the bad way? Am I the type of person that would make people ashamed to wear the label Atheist?

I know I'm a bit hot-headed sometimes, though I don't consider myself far gone enough to be irrational about it. Sometimes it's better to get an outsiders perspective.

I'm one of those Asbergers/HFA/ADD types so I guess I don't always think about how I affect the people around me as much as I should. My childhood experiences with religion didn't help me either!

So be honest! There is no censorship here! Tongue

I think we need all types of people to forward the cause of atheism. IMO more than anything we need the majority to see that we are everyday people just like they are, and to do that they need to see as many of us as often as possible.

Also, some of the religious need to be shocked and provoked to get them to wake up, the obnoxious brazen approach is needed for them. I know being forward may not instantly win anyone, but it can plant a seed that starts them thinking. Every atheist I have met that used to be religious got there over a slow process, not in a single Aha! moment.

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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15-07-2011, 06:25 AM
RE: Am I a "militant atheist"?
I asked the question in the title because the forum rules say that "militant atheists" are not liked. Blush

I should also explain that my issues by and large have not been with bigoted Christians or even by and large religious people at all. [Well I do have issues with one bigoted Christian, but it is generally agreed it would be unwise for just about anybody to talk honestly about just about anything to that person anyway.] The problem has been how (and when!) to state how I feel and think about things that are bugging me. The "Thinking Atheist" podcast above covers a lot of the same issues.

Last night I met a Christian friend for beer. The context in which we normally meet does not include beer and had proved an awkward place to let off steam about religion. So I proposed (and he agreed) to the following agenda:
  1. his story of how he ended up being happy to be a Christian
  2. my story of how I ended up being angry with religion
  3. what common ground we could find
  4. specific issues where we had come to verbal blows


So obviously we were able to agree nobody can prove or disprove the existence of God, and that nothing either of us would say would change the mind of the latter.

We both agree creationism is tosh and science a good thing.

We both agree that spiritual experience is sufficiently widespread that something must be going on and that naturalistic explanations of it are possible. (He has had such experiences and bases his faith on it. I have not; I have seen a lot of obviously fake experience or experience that was clearly not what the recipients believed it was. However I have spoken to enough people and read enough accounts to know that dismissing it out of hand is not the right approach.)

We both agree that it is possible to discern a thin line of deep and profound spiritual truth in the gospels and that we essentially never see Christians "getting it".

We both agree about the evils of organized religion but whereas I put it down to "religion" he puts it down to "organizational dynamics" - and I can see his point.

We both agree on the difficulties and risks of describing self-identity in words. When he says "Christian" I hear "bigot, mass deception, child abuse, persecution etc". When I say "Atheist" he hears "Stalin, Pol Pot etc.".

So what have I really learnt? Probably quite a lot but I think two things really stand out:
  • The technique of consciously seeking common ground with people seems to be a game changer. I am amazed I had not discovered it before.
  • In the "Four Horsemen" video there is a bit where it is discussed what victory would look like. I think I remember feeling uneasy about that. Now I am sure it is wrong. Victory would be much more interesting and liberating for everyone atheists and religious people alike.
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