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16-03-2013, 10:26 AM
RE: Christian racism...
(16-03-2013 10:14 AM)DeathsNotoriousAngel Wrote:  
(16-03-2013 09:27 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  My act would be beneficial to me. But I assume that if only one person benefits, you're against the "ends justify the means" methodology. Which leads me to a question... what exactly is the number of people who must benefit from an act of harm in order that you consider it just? Is it twelve, or twenty three? Five hundred sixteen? How do you arrive at that number and is there any limit to the amount of harm done in the act? For instance, if I can feed ten children by killing a fat man and taking his groceries is that just? Or can I only rob him? Does it have to be thirty children fed to justify the murder while only ten children fed only warrants armed robbery?



As Hitler goes, his idea of a better Germany meant a bigger Germany with no Jews and the only way that could be accomplished was by acquiring more land and eradicating the Jewish poplulation. Thus, his ends justified his means. Perhaps not to you and I but to be sure, to him and the majority of Germans at the time. And it wasn't just his end that was flawed (false isn't applicable here), it was the means. After all, there's nothing wrong with wanting a better Germany. It was the means by which they attempted to reach that created the larger problem.





Please understand, I'm not trying to badger you or say you're wrong in your idea that religion is being used for nefarious purposes. Like I said before, I'm firmly in that camp, more so than a lot of atheists. But the notion that any means justifies the end is simply an untenable position and, it makes atheists seem like the angry, misanthropic lot that many believers stereotype us as. That's not a place we want to be. We're far better off reaching our end by showing believers that atheists are rational, moral and compassionate human beings whose interest in life is the exact same as theirs. Or, at least, the same as their stated interests of bettering humanity, doing good, et al.



In the end, our means should be education and demonstration. We should educate people that they don't need to believe in ghosts and we should live our lives as a positive example of how we're asking them to live. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be passionate or assertive, but there's a fine line between passion and belligerence, assertion and aggression. I like the mantra Starcrash brought up... two wrongs don't make a right. That's kind of a corny saying but it is none the less true. If I did rape your wife, you coming and raping mine would do nothing to help yours. On the contrary, it would no doubt cause her considerable more stress and heartache and, it would likely get you divorced.

Let's start with Hitler. Events suggest that he had no intention of creating a bigger and better Germany. He sent scientist to southeast Asia to study eugenics. He made a pact with Stalin for peace, then immediately broke it when he thought Stalin's guard was down. Then in the end when he was losing, Hitler ordered the entire infrastructure of Germany destroyed, thereby destroying any semblance of what was left of Germany. He didn't care about Germany, only his own quest for world domination.



If I thought that we could attain our goal by simply giving rational and logical arguments for non-belief than I wouldn't even bother with my method. However, I note that most people either don't care or don't want to care. All I am simply doing is touching the emotional side of their personality in order to get their attention long enough to lay out the facts. It's like setting up a campaign. Someone who wants to be the President will never simply get up and say "I'm gonna do this and here's why", rather they will say "I'm gonna do this, here's why, and here's why you should support it".



Also, by my logic, the ends needs to lead to progression. Your need for sex which led to your act of rape or my need for vengeance which leads to my act of systematically hunting down and murdering your family for doing so doesn't lead to progression of society in any way, shape, or form. However, on a more practical note, if a community decided to raise taxes by 2% in order to fund a program that helps the homeless get their lives back on track is mutually beneficial. Sure some people may not want to pay that extra 2%, but if it takes people and makes them productive members of society, then that is when the ends has justified the means.



There is nothing wrong with being angry and expressing your anger in the face of society. It's how we rallied enough people behind our cause in order to fight for our independence. Like I said previously, I'm not talking about violence or persecution. However, if you stand there on a soap box on one side of a park and talk calm and rationally and I were to stand on one on the other side and speak to people's emotional intelligence, which one of us is going to have the bigger audience. I'm really not seeing the problem, we can't all be Dawkins, some of us have to be Hitchens...

Your end paragraph, "There...Hitchens..." allows me to better understand your stance. I had the understanding that we were trying to justify persecution and violence via emotional manipulation. My parents are Christians and my sister died in a drowning accident years back; I just don't want my mom's emotions regarding that matter manipulated to convince her to leave religion. She's not the church or bible type anyways. I found Atheism on my own, doesn't mean others will. I'm not the type of seek out Christians for debate, but if I'm approached and their demeanor is less than pleasant, I'm not going to hold back.

Keep your rosaries out of my ovaries, and your theology out of my biology.
"If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people." --Dr. House
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16-03-2013, 10:31 AM
RE: Christian racism...
(16-03-2013 09:55 AM)darthbreezy Wrote:  
(16-03-2013 09:35 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  Wait. If that were true, then every happily married man would be a bad person....

I'm interested to hear why, but for Death, I'm thinking more in terms of motives where ends justify means. There's a difference between not telling your wife she looks like she's gained some weight to avoid hurt feelings and arguments, and being a troll.
Okay, I'll concede that. Motives do play a major factor in whether or not a person's means is justified. I can only speak for myself to say that my motive is to break the wall of ignorance that people put around them. Sometimes people just will not listen to reason, therefore you have to hit them with something emotional before you lay out the facts. If I wanted to tell my wife she was gaining weight I might start with something like "Honey, I'm becoming concerned about your health". In this way I'm not attacking her, but I've opened up that emotional side of compassion in order to convey my message.

(16-03-2013 10:03 AM)darthbreezy Wrote:  
(16-03-2013 09:35 AM)DeathsNotoriousAngel Wrote:  Right and wrong are irrelevant in a war of ideas.
I disagree. They're abundantly important. Based on your signature, I guarantee we have differing political opinions and have a different idea of right and wrong on that battlefield. Are you saying you wouldn't argue a political idea based on your belief that you were right, or that I wouldn't argue mine believing I'm also right? If so, then why do we even have political tensions?
Actually I was an Obama supporter throughout the first election. I agree with his ideas, but not because I personally think they are good ideas, but because I feel they will be beneficial to society as a whole. However, after examining his healthcare plan, I see the fundamental flaws in it's design and no longer feel it is what is best for the country. I'm looking at the bigger picture, what I feel is right or wrong is only a matter of my perception. If I were against stem cell research (which I'm not, but let's just go with it) then it wouldn't matter as long as society benefits.

In essence there is no difference between political standpoints because the goal is exactly the same. It's just by which method we get to the finish line that we disagree on. The reason we have political tensions is because we have allowed for personal issues to become a political issue, when the real job of our officials is to discuss and debate what policies will lead us to a more progressive and more beneficial society.

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16-03-2013, 10:38 AM
RE: Christian racism...
(16-03-2013 10:26 AM)darthbreezy Wrote:  
(16-03-2013 10:14 AM)DeathsNotoriousAngel Wrote:  Let's start with Hitler. Events suggest that he had no intention of creating a bigger and better Germany. He sent scientist to southeast Asia to study eugenics. He made a pact with Stalin for peace, then immediately broke it when he thought Stalin's guard was down. Then in the end when he was losing, Hitler ordered the entire infrastructure of Germany destroyed, thereby destroying any semblance of what was left of Germany. He didn't care about Germany, only his own quest for world domination.



If I thought that we could attain our goal by simply giving rational and logical arguments for non-belief than I wouldn't even bother with my method. However, I note that most people either don't care or don't want to care. All I am simply doing is touching the emotional side of their personality in order to get their attention long enough to lay out the facts. It's like setting up a campaign. Someone who wants to be the President will never simply get up and say "I'm gonna do this and here's why", rather they will say "I'm gonna do this, here's why, and here's why you should support it".



Also, by my logic, the ends needs to lead to progression. Your need for sex which led to your act of rape or my need for vengeance which leads to my act of systematically hunting down and murdering your family for doing so doesn't lead to progression of society in any way, shape, or form. However, on a more practical note, if a community decided to raise taxes by 2% in order to fund a program that helps the homeless get their lives back on track is mutually beneficial. Sure some people may not want to pay that extra 2%, but if it takes people and makes them productive members of society, then that is when the ends has justified the means.



There is nothing wrong with being angry and expressing your anger in the face of society. It's how we rallied enough people behind our cause in order to fight for our independence. Like I said previously, I'm not talking about violence or persecution. However, if you stand there on a soap box on one side of a park and talk calm and rationally and I were to stand on one on the other side and speak to people's emotional intelligence, which one of us is going to have the bigger audience. I'm really not seeing the problem, we can't all be Dawkins, some of us have to be Hitchens...

Your end paragraph, "There...Hitchens..." allows me to better understand your stance. I had the understanding that we were trying to justify persecution and violence via emotional manipulation. My parents are Christians and my sister died in a drowning accident years back; I just don't want my mom's emotions regarding that matter manipulated to convince her to leave religion. She's not the church or bible type anyways. I found Atheism on my own, doesn't mean others will. I'm not the type of seek out Christians for debate, but if I'm approached and their demeanor is less than pleasant, I'm not going to hold back.
I'm truly sorry to hear about your loss, I honestly do empathize. I wouldn't try to convince your mother that she should leave her religion if it makes her feel comfortable, that's not what I'm about. However, I would like to rally enough people behind me that would show up in mass to counter protest a Westboro Baptist Church protest with overwhelming numbers. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about, I'm not out to hurt people or persecute them, but to point to the evidence then say, "This is what your holy book says, but do YOU feel this is right?" If nothing else, perhaps I can influence people to demand change in the rhetoric of some of their more questionable beliefs of their religions.

Obama promised you change. Reach in your pocket, feel those coins? There's your change...
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16-03-2013, 10:45 AM
RE: Christian racism...
(16-03-2013 09:55 AM)darthbreezy Wrote:  
(16-03-2013 09:35 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  Wait. If that were true, then every happily married man would be a bad person....

I'm interested to hear why, but for Death, I'm thinking more in terms of motives where ends justify means. There's a difference between not telling your wife she looks like she's gained some weight to avoid hurt feelings and arguments, and being a troll.
I'm not trolling. You made an objective, blanket statement that all manipulation is bad. That's simply not true. There are at least thousands of examples of manipulation where both the manipulator and the person being manipulated wind up better off. In the example I gave above, what I meant was that if I hadn't manipulated my wife into going on a date with me 26 years ago, there's no telling where we would be or if we'd even be happy. And trust me, it took some manipulation to convince her to let me take her out.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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16-03-2013, 10:45 AM
RE: Christian racism...
(16-03-2013 10:31 AM)DeathsNotoriousAngel Wrote:  
(16-03-2013 09:55 AM)darthbreezy Wrote:  I'm interested to hear why, but for Death, I'm thinking more in terms of motives where ends justify means. There's a difference between not telling your wife she looks like she's gained some weight to avoid hurt feelings and arguments, and being a troll.
Okay, I'll concede that. Motives do play a major factor in whether or not a person's means is justified. I can only speak for myself to say that my motive is to break the wall of ignorance that people put around them. Sometimes people just will not listen to reason, therefore you have to hit them with something emotional before you lay out the facts. If I wanted to tell my wife she was gaining weight I might start with something like "Honey, I'm becoming concerned about your health". In this way I'm not attacking her, but I've opened up that emotional side of compassion in order to convey my message.



(16-03-2013 10:03 AM)darthbreezy Wrote:  I disagree. They're abundantly important. Based on your signature, I guarantee we have differing political opinions and have a different idea of right and wrong on that battlefield. Are you saying you wouldn't argue a political idea based on your belief that you were right, or that I wouldn't argue mine believing I'm also right? If so, then why do we even have political tensions?
Actually I was an Obama supporter throughout the first election. I agree with his ideas, but not because I personally think they are good ideas, but because I feel they will be beneficial to society as a whole. However, after examining his healthcare plan, I see the fundamental flaws in it's design and no longer feel it is what is best for the country. I'm looking at the bigger picture, what I feel is right or wrong is only a matter of my perception. If I were against stem cell research (which I'm not, but let's just go with it) then it wouldn't matter as long as society benefits.



In essence there is no difference between political standpoints because the goal is exactly the same. It's just by which method we get to the finish line that we disagree on. The reason we have political tensions is because we have allowed for personal issues to become a political issue, when the real job of our officials is to discuss and debate what policies will lead us to a more progressive and more beneficial society.

Yes, I am in agreement. I apologize if I jumped the gun by calling you out before fully understanding. A humble lesson to not assume. I was too young to vote in the first election by three months and I'm now of the mind that your last quoted paragraph states. I don't even identify with a party anymore, what with personal issues becoming political ones. Secondary apologies for assumptions on that, too; I have some friends that have used the same quote in association with "agendas" and I suppose I've acquired knee-jerk reactions to certain things.

Keep your rosaries out of my ovaries, and your theology out of my biology.
"If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people." --Dr. House
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16-03-2013, 10:48 AM
RE: Christian racism...
(16-03-2013 10:45 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(16-03-2013 09:55 AM)darthbreezy Wrote:  I'm interested to hear why, but for Death, I'm thinking more in terms of motives where ends justify means. There's a difference between not telling your wife she looks like she's gained some weight to avoid hurt feelings and arguments, and being a troll.
I'm not trolling. You made an objective, blanket statement that all manipulation is bad. That's simply not true. There are at least thousands of examples of manipulation where both the manipulator and the person being manipulated wind up better off. In the example I gave above, what I meant was that if I hadn't manipulated my wife into going on a date with me 26 years ago, there's no telling where we would be or if we'd even be happy. And trust me, it took some manipulation to convince her to let me take her out.

I didn't mean you were trolling, I thought was Death was. And I stand corrected. The word "manipulation" just comes with so many negative connotations, it's difficult to find a postive example at first glance.

Keep your rosaries out of my ovaries, and your theology out of my biology.
"If you could reason with religious people, there would be no religious people." --Dr. House
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16-03-2013, 10:56 AM
RE: Christian racism...
(16-03-2013 10:14 AM)DeathsNotoriousAngel Wrote:  Let's start with Hitler. Events suggest that he had no intention of creating a bigger and better Germany. He sent scientist to southeast Asia to study eugenics. He made a pact with Stalin for peace, then immediately broke it when he thought Stalin's guard was down. Then in the end when he was losing, Hitler ordered the entire infrastructure of Germany destroyed, thereby destroying any semblance of what was left of Germany. He didn't care about Germany, only his own quest for world domination.

If I thought that we could attain our goal by simply giving rational and logical arguments for non-belief than I wouldn't even bother with my method. However, I note that most people either don't care or don't want to care. All I am simply doing is touching the emotional side of their personality in order to get their attention long enough to lay out the facts. It's like setting up a campaign. Someone who wants to be the President will never simply get up and say "I'm gonna do this and here's why", rather they will say "I'm gonna do this, here's why, and here's why you should support it".

Also, by my logic, the ends needs to lead to progression. Your need for sex which led to your act of rape or my need for vengeance which leads to my act of systematically hunting down and murdering your family for doing so doesn't lead to progression of society in any way, shape, or form. However, on a more practical note, if a community decided to raise taxes by 2% in order to fund a program that helps the homeless get their lives back on track is mutually beneficial. Sure some people may not want to pay that extra 2%, but if it takes people and makes them productive members of society, then that is when the ends has justified the means.

There is nothing wrong with being angry and expressing your anger in the face of society. It's how we rallied enough people behind our cause in order to fight for our independence. Like I said previously, I'm not talking about violence or persecution. However, if you stand there on a soap box on one side of a park and talk calm and rationally and I were to stand on one on the other side and speak to people's emotional intelligence, which one of us is going to have the bigger audience. I'm really not seeing the problem, we can't all be Dawkins, some of us have to be Hitchens...
The discussion of Hitler was metaphorical. If you'd like, we can discuss the actual details of his motivation but frankly, that's not the topic of conversation. But yes, his actual motives were certainly not driven by a love of country.

And still, we have a disconnect where the ends justify the means. You mentioned raising taxes to help the poor as a justified means to an end and I disagree. Not with helping the poor and not with raising taxes. What I disagree with is the violence inherent in taxation, for whatever purpose. That, again, is what I mean by the ends not justifying the means and it's what I asked you above. How many poor people must be helped to justify forcibly extorting money from others? You've established that there is a number somewhere in your thought process... so now I'm just wondering what that number is. After all, you'd probably agree that if a poor man points a gun at a rich man and takes his money, that's wrong. But how is it different when ten thousand poor people point guns (by proxy) at ten thousand rich people and take their money? What's the number and why?

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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16-03-2013, 11:01 AM
RE: Christian racism...
(16-03-2013 10:48 AM)darthbreezy Wrote:  
(16-03-2013 10:45 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  I'm not trolling. You made an objective, blanket statement that all manipulation is bad. That's simply not true. There are at least thousands of examples of manipulation where both the manipulator and the person being manipulated wind up better off. In the example I gave above, what I meant was that if I hadn't manipulated my wife into going on a date with me 26 years ago, there's no telling where we would be or if we'd even be happy. And trust me, it took some manipulation to convince her to let me take her out.

I didn't mean you were trolling, I thought was Death was. And I stand corrected. The word "manipulation" just comes with so many negative connotations, it's difficult to find a postive example at first glance.
It's one of those words that tends to leave a bad taste in people's mouth not by definition, but by association. Much in the way that the word "atheist" tend to rub a lot of people the wrong way. It's not because they understand the definition, but because they define it through association.

Webster's dictionary defines manipulation as such:

Definition of MANIPULATE

1
: to treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner


with example such as:


  1. The baby is learning to manipulate blocks.
  2. The mechanical arms are manipulated by a computer.
  3. The doctor manipulated my back.
  4. The program was designed to organize and manipulate large amounts of data.

Obama promised you change. Reach in your pocket, feel those coins? There's your change...
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16-03-2013, 11:02 AM
RE: Christian racism...
Hey, Death.

You do whatever it is you feel you have to do. But everyone that has responded has in one way or another told you that you're off the deep end on this one. That's significant. If you want to ignore everyone and keep thinking the way that you're thinking, then that's your prerogative. But no one here has demonstrated hatred or malice towards you, people have been offering advice and insight. In my opinion, you're better off listening to that and integrating it than you are ignoring it. But like I said before. It's your choice entirely.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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16-03-2013, 11:17 AM (This post was last modified: 16-03-2013 11:38 AM by DeathsNotoriousAngel.)
RE: Christian racism...
(16-03-2013 10:56 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(16-03-2013 10:14 AM)DeathsNotoriousAngel Wrote:  Let's start with Hitler. Events suggest that he had no intention of creating a bigger and better Germany. He sent scientist to southeast Asia to study eugenics. He made a pact with Stalin for peace, then immediately broke it when he thought Stalin's guard was down. Then in the end when he was losing, Hitler ordered the entire infrastructure of Germany destroyed, thereby destroying any semblance of what was left of Germany. He didn't care about Germany, only his own quest for world domination.

If I thought that we could attain our goal by simply giving rational and logical arguments for non-belief than I wouldn't even bother with my method. However, I note that most people either don't care or don't want to care. All I am simply doing is touching the emotional side of their personality in order to get their attention long enough to lay out the facts. It's like setting up a campaign. Someone who wants to be the President will never simply get up and say "I'm gonna do this and here's why", rather they will say "I'm gonna do this, here's why, and here's why you should support it".

Also, by my logic, the ends needs to lead to progression. Your need for sex which led to your act of rape or my need for vengeance which leads to my act of systematically hunting down and murdering your family for doing so doesn't lead to progression of society in any way, shape, or form. However, on a more practical note, if a community decided to raise taxes by 2% in order to fund a program that helps the homeless get their lives back on track is mutually beneficial. Sure some people may not want to pay that extra 2%, but if it takes people and makes them productive members of society, then that is when the ends has justified the means.

There is nothing wrong with being angry and expressing your anger in the face of society. It's how we rallied enough people behind our cause in order to fight for our independence. Like I said previously, I'm not talking about violence or persecution. However, if you stand there on a soap box on one side of a park and talk calm and rationally and I were to stand on one on the other side and speak to people's emotional intelligence, which one of us is going to have the bigger audience. I'm really not seeing the problem, we can't all be Dawkins, some of us have to be Hitchens...
The discussion of Hitler was metaphorical. If you'd like, we can discuss the actual details of his motivation but frankly, that's not the topic of conversation. But yes, his actual motives were certainly not driven by a love of country.

And still, we have a disconnect where the ends justify the means. You mentioned raising taxes to help the poor as a justified means to an end and I disagree. Not with helping the poor and not with raising taxes. What I disagree with is the violence inherent in taxation, for whatever purpose. That, again, is what I mean by the ends not justifying the means and it's what I asked you above. How many poor people must be helped to justify forcibly extorting money from others? You've established that there is a number somewhere in your thought process... so now I'm just wondering what that number is. After all, you'd probably agree that if a poor man points a gun at a rich man and takes his money, that's wrong. But how is it different when ten thousand poor people point guns (by proxy) at ten thousand rich people and take their money? What's the number and why?
There is no number, it's all about what benefits society as a whole. For example the UN has told Iran that they will build them a nuclear power plant, but not the kind that they can use to create weapons of mass destruction. Not surprisingly Iran refused, despite how a power plant would benefit the people of the country. The reason we said no is because of the imminent threat that Iran poses should they get these kind of weapons. So for Iran to cry that the US won't let them have a gun because they have openly admitted that they are going to shoot someone, is placing sanctions on Iran a means justified by an end (in this case not having a nuclear holocaust)? I think so. So what if a group of leaders in the country want to cry because we won't give them what they want, it doesn't benefit society, actually it does the exact opposite. So if you want to put a number on it, let's say when 99% of the world is looking out for their own safety because some dangerous psychopath wants to commit nuclear annihilation, then the 1% is just going to have to cry about it.

Obama promised you change. Reach in your pocket, feel those coins? There's your change...
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