I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
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20-03-2013, 10:24 AM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
I'm not out for a fight. I defend myself when I have to. I would support an issue if I feel strongly enough about it. But a big drag out fight, no, I to am at a time in my life that I am happy and having fun and I just want to keep it that way.

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20-03-2013, 10:34 AM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
I understand your frustration, I feel much the same way that you do.

As for fighting it, well, you're right, one person cannot do much to change the indoctrinated mindset of some 6 billion people.

But I firmly believe that the human race has a chance to be great, far greater than we are now. But to get there, good people have to do the right thing. If we all stand around and watch the human race drive itself into oblivion because we're too tired or too frustrated to get involved, well, then we deserve what we get.

I see it as my duty to step up, to speak up for rationality and reason, to show others who might be too tired or too frustrated or too afraid to do it for themselves. I'm not always right. I know that. But I know that if I do nothing, then I will certainly be always wrong.

Maybe this will help with your frustration. Remember that when you take the religious bull by the horns and counter their irrationality with your a healthy dose of reason and logic, you will almost never get through to the person with whom you're debating, but others who see or hear or read what you've said, passersby, lurkers, people who are beginning to doubt their delusions, those are the people you're really helping. You'll almost never know it; they'll almost never seek you out and tell you that you helped them into the light of reason - many of them won't remember, later, that it was you as opposed to someone else speaking up for rationality.

So, you may remain frustrated that you debated with a clueless theist and didn't change their delusion one bit, but others may benefit from your efforts.

So keep up the good fight.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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20-03-2013, 10:42 AM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
For me, it's about picking my battles intelligently. If I try to wrap my head around all of the horrors of "religion", my head will implode. And trying to do something bout it? Forget it! It's not unlike many other issues like world hunger, political freedom, misogyny, bigotry... (Much of which, religion either encourages or is directly responsible for IMO, but that's another thread) So, I do what I can but it's not my job to save the world. That's god's job.
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20-03-2013, 10:45 AM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
(20-03-2013 10:42 AM)Heathen Wrote:  For me, it's about picking my battles intelligently.
Yes, that is the words I was looking for.

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20-03-2013, 10:50 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 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.
That's quite rational. Consider this: people like Dawkins or Seth got to where they are by practice. Nobody's a basketball superstar the first time they set foot on a court -- it's grueling to get to the point of "good", but anyone could do it with enough practice (perhaps 10,000 hours as the author Malcolm Gladwell suggests).

If you can bear it, I think there's value in the effort. And who knows -- maybe someday you'll have your own platform to make a difference. You're still quite young and full of possibility.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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20-03-2013, 10:55 AM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
While don't believe I can "change the world", I do believe I can have a positive influence on small parts of it. If every atheist can effect a couple people in their lifetime, the totality truly CAN change the world. It's a proven strategy; that's how the world's religions did it. It's always tough going when you are in a minority position.
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20-03-2013, 02:01 PM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
To the OP: This may or may not sway you but this video is what got me more vocal on the topics of atheist/skepticism, interested in reading each religion's various claims, and overall joining the fight. <3 Christopher Hitchens




Thanks to raoul116 for reminding me of this video.

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05-04-2013, 04:27 PM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2013 04:33 PM by Aethelwulf.)
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.


OK well I am close to 70 years old have been in many places in the world and seen many things. To hate religion is not healthy nor desirable and to call all religious people ignorant is not either.Twenty six Noble laureates in physical sciences were religious, forty percent of scientists today claim religion. Why? because religiosity is not all,all about rationality its about psychological factors,sociological factors and cultural pressures.

To me Religion is kind of like a horse,I grew up around them. There are some Stallions that are just plain wild and dangerous,so you geld them. If you have to do anything with horse you can not show hostility or it will go nuts. Whether its shoeing or vet work.approach is everything.
The same with the unruly elements of religion,you do not approach a Quaker the same way you would Pat Robertson. Just like Horses many religionist's are fairly tractable as long as they have fodder and water and shelter in bad weather, they are not going to cause problems.
Alas you are sadly mistaken about racismor xenophobia it is world wide and virulent, it is far from disappearing. The Chinese are extremely ethnocentric as are many African peoples, Japanese, Russians,a large percentage of whites and African Americans in America. As for Professor Dawkins just sells books to the choir(pun intended) he is too strident to be effectual.
Atheists and agnostics in General tend to be more likely tolerant than the religious societal health seems to cause widespread atheism and societal insecurity seems to cause widespread belief in God, as has been demonstrated by Norris and Inglehart study in Sacred and Secular (Cambridge Studies in Social Theory, Religion and Politics.
The goal is too keep the camels nose out of the tent,secondly work to improve conditions in area of poverty and increase educational opportunity's there,that is the best defense against religious fanaticism. You educate it out of them not beat it out of them with tirades.

The comforting thought of suicide has gotten me through many a dark night
Arthur SchopenhauerTongue
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05-04-2013, 05:41 PM
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
I think the "fight" is not against religion and isn't actually connected to atheism. The sort of things many atheists oppose are more because they are also usually pro-science and skepticism. Believing stuff for no good reason can be dangerous. And first and foremost, I think the things many atheists oppose are human rights violations done in the name of religion, rather than the religion itself.

If someone believes in bullshit and doesn't spread the bullshit and doesn't indoctrinate their kids, it could be argued that that bullshit is harmless. The problem with many religions is not that individuals believe in bullshit; it's that they use it to violate human rights and intellectually cripple their children via indoctrination.

anyway, what I was trying to say is that I don't think a lot of atheists "fight religion" just because they don't believe in gods and other people do; but rather, they fight the harmful things done because of religion, and oppose religion because of the harm it causes. I just say this because a lot of people think I talk about human rights to be asshole, and I should just mind my own business and not point out that religion causes all sorts of atrocities, because talking about it hurts people's feelings. Fuck those people and their feelings; I'm sure their hurt feelings hurt a lot less than couples who can't get married because of bigotry; women who are victims of "honor killing" or raped because the men aren't aware that women are people, too; societies of the future who haven't progressed much or that have regressed because of anti-intellectualism. Religion doesn't just harm the individual, it harms society as a whole. It harms people who don't even belong to the religion in question, and so on.

What you do and talk to people about is a personal decision, though.

Quote: You educate it out of them not beat it out of them with tirades.
Some have accused me of trying the latter, and I certainly have not. In fact, I often say that adult religious people are a lost cause; reason often cannot reach them (unless through their own efforts, not mine). I have never attempted to deconvert a person. I think the most effective way to help things when it comes to the religious population is smaller steps, like telling them that there is not a good reason for homophobia to influence the law. I think with younger and future generations, the way to make them think more reasonably would be to educate them and to avoid indoctrination.

But with adults, a lot of the time, you can't educate them out of it. You can't use knowledge and reason and facts much of the time because people aren't religious for logical reasons. I think if you encourage logic and skepticism and learning about things in general, more people will leave religion, but so many people view it as somehow necessary for their psychological health that I don't think it occurs to them to question it. They think questioning = weakness of faith, possibly insanity, and possibly going to hell and being eternally tormented. So I think that's why many adults are unable to even consider the reasons behind their theism: fear. And that's why, in many cases, I just give up on them and would rather focus on the symptoms (human rights violations, misogyny, homophobia) rather than the disease (religion).
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05-04-2013, 05:50 PM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2013 05:54 PM by docskeptic.)
RE: I'm not sure whether I want to join the fight on religion or turn a blind eye
It's because someone else took a stand against religion that you and I are able to have this conversation without worrying about an auto-da-fe or a fatwa. Turning a blind eye to religion only works for the short term. When religionists are in the ascendancy you better believe that they would be willing to literally blind our eyes for having the temerity to stand up to them. To quote W, their motto is "If you are not with us, then you are against us"

If you have the time and talent to fight nonsense, you should do so.

Doc
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