Militancy vs extremism
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19-09-2014, 11:22 PM
Militancy vs extremism
So I was pondering this today, about both theism and atheism. From my perspective being militant about something is different than being an extremist. Militancy is about being grounded in ones beliefs and being willing to fight only when you must. An example is when religion begins creeping into government or some other structure that it has no place in. Places like Texas, where Christianity is forced on kids need people to fight for what is right. Extremists, on the other hand, are hyper aggressive about forcing their beliefs on others. We mostly see this from the religious, but I would argue that we as atheists should stay away from this attitude as well. I am talking about people who feel that, even among consenting adults, religion must be done away with. I would to know other people's perspectives mostly since the only other atheist I know falls into the all religion needs to be banished camp. As for my view, I don't care what people do I their own homes and places of worship, so long as they don't try to force their beliefs on me or my family.
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19-09-2014, 11:36 PM
RE: Militancy vs extremism
I agree with your almost completely. If religion stayed out of areas that it had no business being in, I really wouldn't have a problem with people believing whatever they like.

However, even if religion stayed out of public places such as government and schools, there is still the issue of children at home.

I personally feel that teaching your child something that they don't have capacity to understand is child abuse. Telling your toddler that he/she is a Christian/Muslim/etc child when the are unable to understand what that even means is not a good thing.

You're correct, a person should have the right to choose if they want to believe in a god or not as long as it doesn't affect others in a negative light, but I feel those grown ups take away the opportunity of choice to their children
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19-09-2014, 11:53 PM
RE: Militancy vs extremism
I did fail to bring children into this. My personal feeling is let them choose. I have a two year old and I'm not going to hide religion from him, in fact I intend to talk to him about it at length as he grows up. I want to raise a free thinker so he can actually have critical thinking skills earlier rather than later. Of course, this won't stop me from showing him the various holes in religion in general, but I don't want to indoctrinate him against it.
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20-09-2014, 01:43 AM
RE: Militancy vs extremism
It seems to me that Atheism is still not universally welcome in the public square in a militant form. In the past, and today, no one is surprised or would question the appropriateness a religious person taking a strong stance on an issue of morality which is based on their beliefs. It is only with the recent so called "New Atheism" that I am noticing unbelievers in the public view and on television, representing Atheist interests and ethical stances with militancy, and not being entirely excluded as a result. Non-belief is not just late for the party, but was previously told not to attend, on pain of a lingering death in ancient times, or on pain of being branded an immoral degenerate in more modern times. Even now, especially when I watch interviews on extremely one-sided biased networks like FOX, I can both see and hear the doubt, or sometimes outrage, that unbelievers are permitted to state their views at all.

I am of a mind with Christopher Hitchens when it comes to the question, "Do you want religion to die out completely?". Apart from "being unable to picture it" anymore than he was, my answer is no. I do not wish to see this argument come to an end.

I have noticed that there is something of a need to hear at least one person with an appalling or deeply flawed opinion, if only to provide contrast and a reminder of why some ideas are better than others. What contrast can be provided to demonstrate the superiority of a universally agreed upon proposition? I find it much easier to explain why and how, for example, secular morals are superior to those of religion, when I can point to a fundamentalist lunatic who is actively believing and saying something deeply inhuman.

Of course, I would prefer this object lesson without their capability to act on their views, which is a separate matter to the point. I suppose the same lessons could be taught with an understanding of history, looking back on things like jihad long after they have died out. The main weakness in that may be that history is not always kept well, or kept at all for that matter.

Even if I did want it all to die out, I cannot imagine myself using force. If religion is to fail utterly, let it be by the will of individual thinkers, not the sword as so often has come one religious movement after another. Let it be a transcendence of the cycle of violence, not a participation.

It is vital to me, and I believe for my nation, to recognize that not all people are so inclined to peaceful coexistence. There are those who will use violence and the fear of violence to force others to live and think as they do. When faced with such enemies, there is no room for capitulation or appeasement. I am only interested in refining means to their utter destruction. It might be an immense first step towards a lasting peace in the world, when no one is interested in coercing others to conform to any particular beliefs, or when to do so is to become an enemy to all others.

Although it may not be possible to eradicate religion, or the impulses which cause it, it may be possible to banish it to the status of the private and ultimately irrelevant. I can picture a world where a person might practice religion peacefully in the privacy of a home, but upon exiting into society must not allow such thinking into ANY other area of life. That day may come when religion will have no bearing on science, ethics, politics, or any other pursuits other than private contemplation and ritual.

In such a world, I would be more optimistic in facing religious child abuse. What long term effect from religious indoctrination can withstand a world in which such beliefs are not welcome in any field of discipline? The child could not even begin to be educated without learning why such ideas are obsolete. Upon contact with the outside world, it might be relatively easy for the indoctrination to fall away. Such a society might be the only possible antidote for strong indoctrination in the home, since I am not optimistic about the state having any bearing on what is taught there, ever.

As we move forward, it isn't the death of religion I look forward to, but the death of its influence. That seems a more plausible goal.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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20-09-2014, 02:47 AM
RE: Militancy vs extremism
^^^
"my nation" Smile

You've got my vote.

Thumbsup

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20-09-2014, 08:50 AM
RE: Militancy vs extremism
I'll just leave this here


[Image: zzzz1.jpg]
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20-09-2014, 04:50 PM
RE: Militancy vs extremism
What makes you draw those lines as they are? I think of them more closely to their terms.

I think of militant as actually being outwardly aggressive in nature and more likely to be forcing their ideas onto others.

Extremist to me isn't anything to do with action. You can be an extremest by just being at the far end of a spectrum of any idea... it doesn't mean you are actually doing anything, its more about your position. To me an extremist atheist may think we need to eliminate religion as soon as we can, but doesn't look to necessarily force that opinion or reality onto people.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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20-09-2014, 04:55 PM
RE: Militancy vs extremism
(19-09-2014 11:22 PM)Woefatt Wrote:  So I was pondering this today, about both theism and atheism. From my perspective being militant about something is different than being an extremist. Militancy is about being grounded in ones beliefs and being willing to fight only when you must. An example is when religion begins creeping into government or some other structure that it has no place in. Places like Texas, where Christianity is forced on kids need people to fight for what is right. Extremists, on the other hand, are hyper aggressive about forcing their beliefs on others. We mostly see this from the religious, but I would argue that we as atheists should stay away from this attitude as well. I am talking about people who feel that, even among consenting adults, religion must be done away with. I would to know other people's perspectives mostly since the only other atheist I know falls into the all religion needs to be banished camp. As for my view, I don't care what people do I their own homes and places of worship, so long as they don't try to force their beliefs on me or my family.

I never thought about it that way.

It should be mentioned, however, that the whole 'militant' thing, even if you feel that way, should be avoided as your overall persona.

Try to tell you friend to practice love, practicing hate is too big of a burden to bear.
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