I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
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19-03-2013, 07:56 PM (This post was last modified: 19-03-2013 08:01 PM by TheLogicalAthiest.)
Information I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
I am just throwing this alternative viewpoint out there, as at the minute I am trying to make a difficult decision on whether fighting religion is worth it.
I hate religion and I get really frustrated when I see the bullshit some people believe in, its like some of them have no brain cells. I think some theist are so ignorant, arrogant and plain stupid that its an embarrassment to the human race and that religion does more harm than good and it halts human advancement.
However I get myself so wound up and frustrated thinking about religion and trying to put even the most basic level of reasoning and logic into theist and them just ignoring what I have to say.
I think we can change people's viewpoints and make a small change to increasing atheism in the world, however maybe someone like me should leave it to people like Dawkins or Seth who have a platform to really make a difference.
I am nearly 20 and I just want to have fun in life and not have to get myself so angry over how messed up this world is, especially when it seems like it will never change. Its just human nature, humans will always ruin the world, we are focusing on fighting religion however we could easily turn our attention to other injustices in the world.
The world will never be how it should be, and that really frustrates me. I don't know whether to turn a blind eye on things and just concentrating on having fun in life as we only live once and I don't want to have dedicated my life to something I can't change and will only make me angry.
However then again I think this is a selfish viewpoint, and I can see that we can make change, for example the human race is overcoming racism and so change is possible, however when you try arguing with some theists you just feel so angry that they are so narrow minded and that things will never change unless big changes happen such as the government banned religious teaching in schools etc. but looking at how things are progressing, it seems those things are way off.

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19-03-2013, 09:26 PM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
Hey, LA.

Quote: Its just human nature, humans will always ruin the world...

That's not true. But that's another conversation. Just looking out for a cynical 20-year-old Cool

As for your concern...

Quote:Self-importance is man's greatest enemy. What weakens him is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of his fellow men. Self-importance requires that one spend most of one's life offended by something or someone.
-Carlos Castaneda

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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19-03-2013, 10:21 PM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
Fighting irrational thought is always a good idea. Whether you should be doing it is a good question. If you're not capable of being calm with theists, then it's best you not engage them because the end result will be that they walk away with confirmation of their belief that atheists are angry misanthropes. If you want to be able to successfully argue atheism, however, I would recommend some study on the Socratic method. You can more successfully argue against a person's point of view simply by asking them a series of questions that force them to actually think about the proclamations they're making than you can by hurling data at them. In fact, when a person holds a belief that is challenged, even with sound evidence against it, more often than not they will walk away from that debate even more strongly aligned with their falsehoods.

It also helps to understand that religious belief, like any other sort of indoctrination, is not indicative of stupidity or arrogance. Indoctrination is like a virus in the brain and those who suffer it can otherwise be highly intelligent, logical and rational people. And of course, atheists can also be irrational. To wit:

"Its just human nature, humans will always ruin the world" followed by "I can see that we can make change, for example the human race is overcoming racism and so change is possible"

Which is it? You can't claim you're headed north while on a southbound train. And I don't mean that as an insult... I'm just demonstrating how easy it is to make logical contradictions. The truth is in the latter statement. Humans are doing better and better as generations pass. We are becoming more rational and less violent and the evidence supports the hypothesis.

Lastly, you cannot reason a person out of a belief they weren't reasoned into. Thus, don't argue with theists who aren't curious. If they're truly curious, then you have a chance at reasoning with them but if not, you might as well piss on a house fire and call yourself fireman. Wink

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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20-03-2013, 02:54 AM (This post was last modified: 20-03-2013 02:58 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
Christian practice and influence has faded over the last two centuries in most better-educated parts of the world.
Part of the reason is that brave humanists and scientists in centuries past refused to be silent or stop work when hounded by churches, often putting their lives in danger by doing so. Science, true humanitarianism and secular education undermined the mythical nonsense churches promoted. If you’d been caught reading this prior to about the seventeenth century you could be burned at the stake. If it hadn’t been for these ethical people, the Western world might still be living in the squalor and ignorance of the Dark Ages.


We’re currently in a very empowering period in history, with advances in communication, computing and education. Secular humanism is on the up, so it’s easier to be pro-active than it used to be.


The large numbers of innocent children still being indoctrinated with Christian beliefs is very unfortunate. It would be very heart warming to see equivocating parents recognize the danger it poses to children, turn away from church run schools,
and allow their children a secular education.


The tax-free status of Church’s incomes should be abolished.


Prejudices promoted by Christianity should be countered. All people deserve respected, regardless of their gender, culture,
religion or sexual inclination.

Science, not faith, should give us direction. Let’s employ empathy, not dogma, in engagements with each other.


I think Christianity will become socially unacceptable, in the same way smoking, homophobia, sexism and high fructose corn syrup are on the nose in most modern communities today.


Changing significant standards in society seems like a daunting task, yet it has happened throughout history. Consider the suffragette movement, the fight for gay respect, and the abolition of apartheid and slavery. Change is initiated by inspiring visionaries like Emmeline Pankhurst, Martin Luther King, Harvey Milk, Nelson Mandela and Christopher Hitchens, who voiced objections to the way things were. These people made a better world for all of us by putting in some effort. We can emulate them in our own small ways.
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20-03-2013, 03:14 AM (This post was last modified: 20-03-2013 05:15 AM by Misanthropik.)
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
Right now, at this very moment, there is a child laying in its bed trembling at the idea that there is a literal Devil out there who wants to drag him/her to Hell. Somewhere else, there is a muslim extremist reading the Qur'an and dreaming of noble martyrdom while his half-completed suicide vest sits in the corner - waiting to be strapped to his body so he can send a restaurant of infidels to their rightful demise. In another part of the world, an entire group of men and women are in the midst of planning a way to force established, verified scientific truth (perhaps I should say "world truth") out of the local classrooms so they can replace it with out-dated, invalidated, demonstrably false Bronze-age myth. Elsewhere, there are young boys and girls crying into their pillows because they masturbated for the first time tonight and believe that they've failed their non-existent God. In order to make up for their "transgression", they're going to buckle down and do their utmost to convert others to the beliefs instilled within them by their equally-brainwashed parents. Sometime very soon, a highly-controlled, highly-aggressive family is going to plant their boot into the emotional stomach of a family who's "fag-enabling" son was just killed by picketing his funeral. One day, very far into the future, my daughter is going to come home with tears in her eyes and ask me why her friend's mommy said she's going to Hell for being the daughter of an atheist. Perhaps her friend's mom takes things a step further. Perhaps she decides that "teaching my daughter to be an atheist" is a form of child abuse and, using those very words, summons the authorities to investigate.

There is a bitter war being waged between reason and superstition. We use and hear those words a lot, and perhaps to an extent, they've lost their meaning to us. "Reason" is not just something we have that the irrational don't. Reason is reason. It is clear-headedness. It is no one jumping to unverified conclusions and making life hard for others. It is no one having an emotional breakdown because they believe they've disappointed the invisible man in the sky. Reason is accepting verifiable facts of existence and, in doing so, allowing our species to progress to new heights.

This world is an intellectual shit-storm, and reason is being actively, vehemently opposed. We can't afford to have pansy-asses sitting on the sidelines and sulking because they "don't think it's worth it". Get up and fight. We need you.

EDIT: It seems God is looking out for us after all. He's given us what those of my former faith would call "food at the proper time" by having this posted to the thread just today. It is quite relevant to the topic at hand. (Who's side is he on, Christians?)

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ing-orders

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20-03-2013, 03:31 AM
Re: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
Teach scepticism and science, not atheism.
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20-03-2013, 03:34 AM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
(20-03-2013 03:14 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Right now, at this very moment, there is a child laying in its bed trembling at the idea that there is a literal Devil out there who wants to drag him/her to Hell. Somewhere else, there is a muslim extremist reading the Qur'an and dreaming of noble martyrdom while his half-completed suicide vest sits in the corner - waiting to be strapped to his body so he can send a restaurant of infidels to their rightful demise. In another part of the world, an entire group of men and women are in the midst of planning a way to force established, verified scientific truth (perhaps I should say "world truth") out of the local classrooms so they can replace it with out-dated, invalidated, demonstrably false Bronze-age myth. Elsewhere, there are young boys and girls crying into their pillows because they masturbated for the first time tonight and believe that they've failed their non-existent God. In order to make up for their "transgression", they're going to buckle down and do their utmost to convert others to the beliefs instilled within them by their equally-brainwashed parents. Sometime very soon, a highly-controlled, highly-aggressive family is going to plant their boot into the emotional stomach of a family who's "fag-enabling" son was just killed by picketing his funeral. One day, very far into the future, my daughter is going to come home with tears in her eyes and ask me why her friend's mommy said she's going to Hell for being the daughter of an atheist. Perhaps her friend's mom takes things a step further. Perhaps she decides that "teaching my daughter to be an atheist" is a form of child abuse and, using those very words, summons the authorities to investigate.

There is a bitter war being waged between reason and superstition. We use and hear those words a lot, and perhaps to an extent, they've lost their meaning to us. "Reason" is not just something we have that the irrational don't. Reason is reason. It is clear-headedness. It is no one jumping to unverified conclusions and making life hard for others. It is no one having an emotional breakdown because they believe they've disappointed the invisible man in the sky. Reason is accepting verifiable facts of existence and, in doing so, allowing our species to progress to new heights.

This world is an intellectual shit-storm, and reason is being actively, vehemently opposed. We can't afford to have pansy-asses sitting on the sidelines and sulking because they "don't think it's worth it". Get up and fight. We need you.
Well written and well reasoned!
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20-03-2013, 07:18 AM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
The problems religions present in modern society are abundant and most often unsettling, terrifying, and unjust. It's worthy of a fight from people who can see these problems for what they are. Taking an example from my personal life, I was in the local Catholic hospital (it's the only one we have in the area, I had no choice) and in need of emergency contraception. I was denied it simply because of the religious doctrine the hospital follows, and was forced to not only pay the outrageous bill (they didn't even treat me, to be charged a single penny would have been outrageous) but then I had to drive across town to the pharmacy and pay $50 for one little pill. This is just a minor injustice compared to the horrors women face in Islamic nations. Did you hear about the rape victim who was sentenced to get whipped for having permarital sex? What about the Pakistani teenager, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out about education for women? OP, you want to have fun and enjoy life--and you can--but "how many times can a man turn his head, and pretend that he just doesn't see"? Religion's like a schoolyard bully preying on little kids for their lunch money. Don't be that person who just stands back and lets them.

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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20-03-2013, 08:55 AM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
If you (OP) want to make a difference but can't stand dealing with believers, here's an alternative. Instead of trying to fight religion and its abuses, try to help the victims they abuse. Can you offer a spare couch for a teenage atheist kicked out of his home? Contribute to scholarships for those disowned, or simply learn how to network with those who offer scholarships and refer appropriately? 20 years old is usually seen as too young to make this sort of difference, but all it really takes is a bit of spare time and resources and a willingness to reach out to people.

Also, I should add that while the abuses of the zealous are very real, this isn't the complete picture of religion. The liberally religious (such as the methodist Seth had on the podcast a few weeks back) are not the enemy. Personally, I see that as the future of religion: Faith founded on personal humility, the recognition that the believer could be in error, and consequently the disinclination to force others to the same belief. The enemy isn't belief, be it rational or irrational, but the more specific desire to channel that belief into the punishment, restraint, abuse, or oppression of others. If you (OP) feel that the nature or severity of your frustration with the religious is approaching irrationality (and I'm not saying that it is, that's your call to make), I'd recommend spending some time with such a liberally religious individual, and focusing on common ground. It did wonders for me.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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20-03-2013, 09:49 AM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
(19-03-2013 07:56 PM)TheLogicalAthiest Wrote:  I am just throwing this alternative viewpoint out there, as at the minute I am trying to make a difficult decision on whether fighting religion is worth it.
I hate religion and I get really frustrated when I see the bullshit some people believe in, its like some of them have no brain cells. I think some theist are so ignorant, arrogant and plain stupid that its an embarrassment to the human race and that religion does more harm than good and it halts human advancement.
However I get myself so wound up and frustrated thinking about religion and trying to put even the most basic level of reasoning and logic into theist and them just ignoring what I have to say.
I think we can change people's viewpoints and make a small change to increasing atheism in the world, however maybe someone like me should leave it to people like Dawkins or Seth who have a platform to really make a difference.
I am nearly 20 and I just want to have fun in life and not have to get myself so angry over how messed up this world is, especially when it seems like it will never change. Its just human nature, humans will always ruin the world, we are focusing on fighting religion however we could easily turn our attention to other injustices in the world.
The world will never be how it should be, and that really frustrates me. I don't know whether to turn a blind eye on things and just concentrating on having fun in life as we only live once and I don't want to have dedicated my life to something I can't change and will only make me angry.
However then again I think this is a selfish viewpoint, and I can see that we can make change, for example the human race is overcoming racism and so change is possible, however when you try arguing with some theists you just feel so angry that they are so narrow minded and that things will never change unless big changes happen such as the government banned religious teaching in schools etc. but looking at how things are progressing, it seems those things are way off.
Whether you contribute to the change is up to you, but don't believe for a minute that you are to small or weak to make a difference.
Quote:Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
-Margaret Mead
Keep in mind, your arguments with very stubborn religious people may not be futile if someone more open-minded is also listening.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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