Atheists Need To Stop Being So Hard On Dawkins For His Blunt Criticisms Of Religion
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03-08-2014, 07:51 PM (This post was last modified: 03-08-2014 08:02 PM by WindyCityJazz.)
Atheists Need To Stop Being So Hard On Dawkins For His Blunt Criticisms Of Religion
I often hear other atheists criticize Richard Dawkins as being a jerk because of the way he criticizes religion (I admit, I was guilty of this as well years ago, but have certainly changed my opinion on the matter). I think this is not only unfair, but quite ridiculous on the part of atheists. We can't be upset about the way we get treated by religious people, and then give them the free pass that they feel they are entitled to because they have been allowed to have it for so long.

I know, we don't want to portray ourselves as being intolerant jerks, but in all honesty, what is intolerant about it? How is it intolerant to call out religion on its bullshit? How is it intolerant to stand up for ourselves and speak out against a group of people that treat us like we are less than them because we are atheists, and who feel like they have the right to force their beliefs on us, and we are simply supposed to just lay down and take it? It would be no different than accusing a black man of being intolerant because he criticizes a white supremacist group for saying that black people are inferior beings. He's criticizing a group of people that are treating him like he is lesser than them because he is black. Yet, we criticize religious people for treating us like we're heathens who are completely lacking in morals, and that makes us assholes? Sorry, but it's time to take off the kid gloves and stand up for ourselves. There's nothing wrong with the way Dawkins criticizes religion. He's simply standing up for himself, and more of us should be doing the same.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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03-08-2014, 07:57 PM
RE: Atheists Need To Stop Being So Hard On Dawkins
Dawkins has his place, you need firebrands and the gentle approach in every movement. Sometimes you need a soft questioning voice, sometimes you need a two-by-four upside your head to break the spell.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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03-08-2014, 08:00 PM
RE: Atheists Need To Stop Being So Hard On Dawkins For His Blunt Criticisms Of Religion
(03-08-2014 07:51 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  I often hear other atheists criticize Richard Dawkins as being a jerk because of the way he criticizes religion (I admit, I was guilty of this as well years ago, but have certainly changed my opinion on the matter). I think this is not only unfair, but quite ridiculous on the part of atheists. We can't be upset about the way we get treated by religious people, and then give them the free pass that they feel they are entitled to because they have been allowed to have it for so long.

I know, we don't want to portray ourselves as being intolerant jerks, but in all honesty, what is intolerant about it? How is it intolerant to call out religion on its bullshit? How is it intolerant to stand up for ourselves and speak out against a group of people that treat us like we are less than them because we are atheists, and who feel like they have the right to force their beliefs us, and we are simply supposed to just lay down and take it? It would be no different than accusing a black man of being intolerant because he criticizes a white supremacist group for saying that black people are inferior beings. He's criticizing a group of people that are treating him like they he is lesser than him because he is black. Yet, we criticize religious people for treating us like we're heathens who are completely lacking in morals, and that makes us assholes? Sorry, but it's time to take off the kid gloves and stand up for ourselves. There's nothing wrong with the way Dawkins criticizes religion. He's simply standing up for himself, and more of us should be doing the same.

Truer words have never been spoken

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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03-08-2014, 08:14 PM
RE: Atheists Need To Stop Being So Hard On Dawkins For His Blunt Criticisms Of Religion
(03-08-2014 07:57 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Dawkins has his place, you need firebrands and the gentle approach in every movement. Sometimes you need a soft questioning voice, sometimes you need a two-by-four upside your head to break the spell.

Very true.

If a movement wants to get someplace (gays and women's lib are good examples) you need the loud people to draw attention to the topic, and you need the soft spoken ones who will have the patience to explain things and open closed minds, one at a time.

What is very important though, is that everyone needs to start coming out of the closet. For many, that is a painful process and they lose many friends and relations. Everyone who supports a movement will have obstacles. It takes one whole generation, 20 years at least, of more and more people coming out of the closet and contributing in whatever way is right for them, before you can see real progress.

I believe atheism in the US is maybe some 5 years into the process, but more people are coming out all the time, and a lot of our youth is now outspokenly atheist. We are well on the way.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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03-08-2014, 08:16 PM
RE: Atheists Need To Stop Being So Hard On Dawkins For His Blunt Criticisms Of Religion
(03-08-2014 07:57 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Dawkins has his place, you need firebrands and the gentle approach in every movement. Sometimes you need a soft questioning voice, sometimes you need a two-by-four upside your head to break the spell.

Yes, I always try the gentle approach first, but when I get the condescending "I'm better than you because of my religion" attitude from religious people, I have no problem putting them in their place. I also have no problem stating quite bluntly why they have no right to force their beliefs on the rest of society and simply expect the rest of us to just lie down like submissive dogs.

A friendly debate is always my first choice on the subject, but I no longer allow the free pass to religious people. It only reinforces their hypocritical views that they have the right to degrade me, or any other atheist, on their religious grounds and expect to be free of criticism.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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03-08-2014, 11:09 PM
RE: Atheists Need To Stop Being So Hard On Dawkins For His Blunt Criticisms Of Religion
(03-08-2014 08:16 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  
(03-08-2014 07:57 PM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Dawkins has his place, you need firebrands and the gentle approach in every movement. Sometimes you need a soft questioning voice, sometimes you need a two-by-four upside your head to break the spell.

Yes, I always try the gentle approach first, but when I get the condescending "I'm better than you because of my religion" attitude from religious people, I have no problem putting them in their place. I also have no problem stating quite bluntly why they have no right to force their beliefs on the rest of society and simply expect the rest of us to just lie down like submissive dogs.

A friendly debate is always my first choice on the subject, but I no longer allow the free pass to religious people. It only reinforces their hypocritical views that they have the right to degrade me, or any other atheist, on their religious grounds and expect to be free of criticism.

The challenge I think is finding a way to criticize religious people so that it sticks. If you spout vitriol you become an angry atheist caricature. That isn't threatening and it works to only reinforce their behavior. The safest bet is to always be nice to people. There are few things that piss people of more than saying something to them they don't like, intelligently, and be totally cordial about it. It is much harder to write them off if they do.

Richard Dawkins isn't rude to anybody. If someone is making a scientific claim that is not only wrong, but disingenuous, it is no way rude to bring light to that. Richard Dawkins is a scientist. Don't make claims about science if you don't know what the hell you are talking about, because there is a good chance Richard Dawkins will know more about it than you do. People don't like that, but your feelings have no place in a discussion about facts.
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04-08-2014, 12:36 AM (This post was last modified: 04-08-2014 10:37 AM by Reltzik.)
RE: Atheists Need To Stop Being So Hard On Dawkins For His Blunt Criticisms Of Religion
Dawkins comes across as very polite in his conversations with people. Very soft-spoken, good knowing sense of humor. He'll be mildly-harsh with his criticism of stupid ideas, but not of stupid people. But he's definitely not a Hitchens, or even a Harris, when it comes to being nasty.

He's not one-tenth as nasty as what the religious do to us. Not even Hitchens in top form was a tenth as nasty as what the religious say about us. There's something to be said for fighting back, or at least standing ground without apology or compromise.
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04-08-2014, 12:43 AM
RE: Atheists Need To Stop Being So Hard On Dawkins For His Blunt Criticisms Of Religion
They think we're the angry, intolerant jerks...

...irony defined right there people.
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04-08-2014, 06:17 AM
RE: Atheists Need To Stop Being So Hard On Dawkins For His Blunt Criticisms Of Religion
I think that generally those who are hard on Dawkins haven't actually read his work, or seen a video with his full remarks in context.

The criticism is, by and large, unwarranted.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-08-2014, 11:41 AM
RE: Atheists Need To Stop Being So Hard On Dawkins For His Blunt Criticisms Of Religion
(03-08-2014 11:09 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  
(03-08-2014 08:16 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  Yes, I always try the gentle approach first, but when I get the condescending "I'm better than you because of my religion" attitude from religious people, I have no problem putting them in their place. I also have no problem stating quite bluntly why they have no right to force their beliefs on the rest of society and simply expect the rest of us to just lie down like submissive dogs.

A friendly debate is always my first choice on the subject, but I no longer allow the free pass to religious people. It only reinforces their hypocritical views that they have the right to degrade me, or any other atheist, on their religious grounds and expect to be free of criticism.

The challenge I think is finding a way to criticize religious people so that it sticks. If you spout vitriol you become an angry atheist caricature. That isn't threatening and it works to only reinforce their behavior. The safest bet is to always be nice to people. There are few things that piss people of more than saying something to them they don't like, intelligently, and be totally cordial about it. It is much harder to write them off if they do.

I always take the nice, civil approach first. Now, when somebody starts telling me that I am less than them because I am an atheist, that's when the gloves come off for me. It's not vitriol to point out some religious person's hypocrisy when they resort to personally insulting me on grounds of their religious beliefs any more than it is for a black man to stand up against a white supremacist and call them out on their hate. The black man standing up to the white supremacist is only defending himself against the hateful stereotypes being thrown at him. It is absolutely no different when an atheist defends himself/herself for the same reason.

The free pass for theists needs to go.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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