Moderates - the REAL problem?
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29-01-2015, 10:39 AM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2015 01:59 PM by dirtstar.)
RE: Moderates - the REAL problem?
Let me try to explain it another way then.

Imagine a huge crowd of naked Christians, for simplicity sake say maybe 4,000 of them, tucked away in the south end-zone of a football stadium. You do not know which ones are fundies and which ones are moderates. They look the same, for the most part, but they do not act the same. After all... our behaviors are what separates us from one another. Not the mohawk haircut or the pierced eyebrow or your red corvette (sorry to say) but the behaviors are what really matter. The choices we make or don't make are what define you and ultimately are what impacts the world around you. The behaviors of a moderate are more in line with the behaviors of an atheist vs being in line with a fundie in that fundies are so convinced God is real that 90% of their thoughts and actions will have something to do with their religious beliefs on a daily basis. So clearly you can't tell them apart by just looking at them as they all stand naked before you but when you realize for a number of them life is 90% spent praying, going to church, spreading the word, and worshiping their God as their savior while the others are 90% just going through the motions of everyday life minus praying, church, talking about God, and only hoping silently in their minds that IF there's a God they'll be included on that bus ride to Heaven. You quickly realize the true number of Christians standing before you is not 4,000.

Why does this matter?

Because strength is in numbers. 4,000 people demand recognition and can be influential if even just by being 4,000 people. If you separate the moderates who are actually more atheist and/or agnostic by way of behaviors by let's say a show of hands and asked those that don't truly live their lives by God's true words to leave the group all of a sudden that number diminishes by a large amount. For arguments sake we'll say our show of hands included those that make it their sole purpose in life to worship God, spread his word, live by the bible, and if necessary die defending their religion and so 3/4 of the group leaves. Now your influential group by numbers just diminished to 1,000. Not nearly as influential as before for one.

This matters because let's face it, the world is comprised mostly of followers. It's probably true for most despite their refusal to admit that if everyone jumped off a cliff they probably would too. This is important when considering young minds and what they choose to follow in life and how committed they'll be to the group. For two the behaviors will be more noticeable in that moderate behavior will no longer be a part of the group. That changes the perception of one who might be observing this group perhaps even considering joining the group. Those in the group who displayed more moderate type behavior cannot be underestimated in terms of their potential influence on the perception by others outside of the group.

So are moderates a part of or THE problem? I think it's debatable.

Yes fundie's come in all shapes and sizes but you cannot ignore the fact that no moderate has ever kept their priest around after death with Lyme powder and prayers hoping they'll rise from the dead. This type of behavior has no place in the world and I feel that because of moderate participation and the sheer number of supposed religious people in the world and thus the influence it has on us all we do not look at religion and judge it for what it truly is. Something is keeping religion alive and well despite the obvious atrocities it inflicts on everyone. I think moderate participation could be the smoking gun.
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29-01-2015, 12:21 PM
RE: Moderates - the REAL problem?
(27-01-2015 04:24 PM)dirtstar Wrote:  So what say you? Are moderates THE issue? Are moderates protecting the crazy fundamental believers and thus keeping religion alive?

Before you auto-answer "Hell no they aren't that's ridiculous" I would cautiously consider a closer look.

While it may seem that the fundamentalists are the true cancer, I still have an issue with the downplaying that goes on in the civilized arena. Trying to debate a moderate American Christian can be frustrating because some of them think you're being dramatic. It's almost as if they are saying "Dude... relax. Religion, church, and all that shit is just whatever". "Stop watching ISIS coverage." Huh Many of these types you'll find in America's suburbs for example. They go to church twice a week, raise their kids to pray and find God, but somehow think YOU'RE the bat shit crazy person when you start breaking down their religious claims and ultimately they sort of back out of the discussion. Similar to raising a concern to the nearest wall and it's not because you've hit a nerve but moreso because they just don't really care THAT much.

I think religion NEEDS these moderates to be moderate and respond just as my hypothetical douchebag would respond. Moderates are enablers. Followers. As I addressed in my open apology post, I'm not gunning for these types and understand in some cases their need to "play Chess" when de-converting from their religious belief, but I think conversations need to be had with the moderate religious tactfully. Ultimately moderate believers need to be challenged... if they want to be religious then get off the fence and be religious. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution.

I'm not seeing the significant difference between moderates and fundamentalists. Moderates tend to believe pretty much the same things as their fundamentalist counterparts, but they just don't have the same loud mouths about it. So it's no big surprise that they don't speak out against it when they hold the same beliefs.

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29-01-2015, 12:42 PM
RE: Moderates - the REAL problem?
Unless I've missed it, much of this argument seems to focus on the behaviour of religious people. This is a red herring.

You will always get fanatics even without religion, as 20th century teaches us.

If there is a case against moderate forms of religion it is that they help legitimise an irrational world view, and thus "make the world safe" for the abuses of religion, a point that has been developed and exercised by Dawkins in The God Delusion and other writings.

That's not new.

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N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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29-01-2015, 01:42 PM
RE: Moderates - the REAL problem?
Quote:I'm not seeing the significant difference between moderates and fundamentalists. Moderates tend to believe pretty much the same things as their fundamentalist counterparts, but they just don't have the same loud mouths about it. So it's no big surprise that they don't speak out against it when they hold the same beliefs.

Not necessarily. When I think of a moderate, I think of a more open minded theist who takes the holy book metaphorically and has a more liberal view of society - The Christian who thinks gay marriage is ok, that abortion is acceptable, that we should all be tolerant of each other and live together, that atheists may go to heaven if they practice good deeds... But it seems I have a different conception of what a moderate is. In my country, moderates are the ones who identify as Christian Catholics because it's tradition but they only remember to pray when their life is complicated, most days of their lives are not spent praying or thinking about god; it's just that they are used to being Christians and really never thought about them.

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29-01-2015, 01:45 PM
RE: Moderates - the REAL problem?
The problem is that any moron who accepts ancient superstitions to any degree makes things worse.

Enough with this ancient bullshit. Time to grow the fuck up, people.

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29-01-2015, 02:28 PM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2015 02:53 PM by dirtstar.)
RE: Moderates - the REAL problem?
(29-01-2015 12:21 PM)Impulse Wrote:  
(27-01-2015 04:24 PM)dirtstar Wrote:  So what say you? Are moderates THE issue? Are moderates protecting the crazy fundamental believers and thus keeping religion alive?

Before you auto-answer "Hell no they aren't that's ridiculous" I would cautiously consider a closer look.

While it may seem that the fundamentalists are the true cancer, I still have an issue with the downplaying that goes on in the civilized arena. Trying to debate a moderate American Christian can be frustrating because some of them think you're being dramatic. It's almost as if they are saying "Dude... relax. Religion, church, and all that shit is just whatever". "Stop watching ISIS coverage." Huh Many of these types you'll find in America's suburbs for example. They go to church twice a week, raise their kids to pray and find God, but somehow think YOU'RE the bat shit crazy person when you start breaking down their religious claims and ultimately they sort of back out of the discussion. Similar to raising a concern to the nearest wall and it's not because you've hit a nerve but moreso because they just don't really care THAT much.

I think religion NEEDS these moderates to be moderate and respond just as my hypothetical douchebag would respond. Moderates are enablers. Followers. As I addressed in my open apology post, I'm not gunning for these types and understand in some cases their need to "play Chess" when de-converting from their religious belief, but I think conversations need to be had with the moderate religious tactfully. Ultimately moderate believers need to be challenged... if they want to be religious then get off the fence and be religious. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution.

I'm not seeing the significant difference between moderates and fundamentalists. Moderates tend to believe pretty much the same things as their fundamentalist counterparts, but they just don't have the same loud mouths about it. So it's no big surprise that they don't speak out against it when they hold the same beliefs.

I'm beginning to suspect everyone has a different perception of moderate and fundamental Christian behavior I guess. That might be a whole new thread entirely focused on that alone. Weeping

The moderate Christians I'm referring to I had the opportunity to live with one actually. It was an opportunity to pick his brain periodically. Very strange stuff because the guy bedded more women that I did (I was in a popular band even) and obviously it would be hard to argue he loved them all. So morally I wondered with him being a Christian why he didn't think about their feelings and how giving themselves to him would affect them going forward but perhaps he thought as I did and didn't really pursue that but went along with it as if they were using him. The difference? I wasn't pretending to be some holy religious person and live as a "Christian" would so that I could go to heaven. In the end he very much considers himself to be a Christian indicative of the many instances in which he invoked his religious ideals and that he was raised a Christian. His behaviors are so far from what the Bible indicates as a good Christian so I assume most would consider him a moderate Christian.

The fundamental Christian is one who lives his life as close to the Bible's interpretation of a Christian as he can without stoning or owning slaves of course. This includes rarely lying, not having sex before marriage, praying before meals, spreading the word, etc., basically things my roommate either couldn't help but indulge in or refused to do.

A crazy fundie is an ISIS follower as an extreme example. You can also think of many other less extreme examples like a polygamist Mormon or in other words someone who's religion is guiding their life through their actions inspired by their religious beliefs. Notice between the 3 examples... the gap is closer between the fundie and the crazy fundie.

I can see a clear difference between all of them however. My roommate is just scared to denounce his religion out of fear that there MIGHT be a god and his behaviors back that up which is completely different from a fundamental Christian who's behavior is clearly the result of a dedicated believer something my roommate was not. The difference is obvious.
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29-01-2015, 02:43 PM (This post was last modified: 29-01-2015 02:55 PM by dirtstar.)
RE: Moderates - the REAL problem?
(29-01-2015 12:42 PM)gofish! Wrote:  Unless I've missed it, much of this argument seems to focus on the behaviour of religious people. This is a red herring.

You will always get fanatics even without religion, as 20th century teaches us.

If there is a case against moderate forms of religion it is that they help legitimise an irrational world view, and thus "make the world safe" for the abuses of religion, a point that has been developed and exercised by Dawkins in The God Delusion and other writings.

That's not new.

Consider There's over hundreds of threads with regurgitated arguments and views that I'm sure you'll find someone has already covered in their book within this forum. Why would we become sensitive to this now?

At any rate we are separating the religious into two groups... moderate and fundamental (I added a third in my last quote just to be more clear in defining). Unless you think they behave the same then you would agree that they are somewhat separate from one another. In fact... I'm arguing that the fundies are a problem to society as they are more likely to spread their illogical faith and moderates are unknowingly enabling them to do so. That, in my opinion, is sort of a device/veil allowing religion to exist. My argument is if there were only fundie's and of course crazy fundie's (another level of fundie), religion would be exposed to the rest of the world as the potentially dangerous crazy useless ideology it is and the number of members would drop dramatically including its influence in the world and its influence on the young and ignorant followers.
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29-01-2015, 02:45 PM
RE: Moderates - the REAL problem?
(29-01-2015 01:45 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  The problem is that any moron who accepts ancient superstitions to any degree makes things worse.

Enough with this ancient bullshit. Time to grow the fuck up, people.

Couldn't have said it any better myself. Thumbsup
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29-01-2015, 04:27 PM
RE: Moderates - the REAL problem?
Oh... You mean these moderates?...



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29-01-2015, 05:27 PM
RE: Moderates - the REAL problem?
(29-01-2015 01:42 PM)Blackout Wrote:  Not necessarily. When I think of a moderate, I think of a more open minded theist who takes the holy book metaphorically and has a more liberal view of society - The Christian who thinks gay marriage is ok, that abortion is acceptable, that we should all be tolerant of each other and live together, that atheists may go to heaven if they practice good deeds... But it seems I have a different conception of what a moderate is. In my country, moderates are the ones who identify as Christian Catholics because it's tradition but they only remember to pray when their life is complicated, most days of their lives are not spent praying or thinking about god; it's just that they are used to being Christians and really never thought about them.

I see it as a continuum. If you define moderate by some level of not following a doctrine completely or by where they stand on certain issues or by some level of politeness or... whatever, where do you draw the line between moderate and fundamentalist? I mean even among die-hard fundamendalists, it can be argued that they don't follow their doctrine completely because they don't go around stoning people, killing their children for misbehavior, or other things. I find them all to be part of the exact same problem wherever they fit on the continuum.

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