Preview into the future: The last Civil Rights movement
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13-03-2012, 08:43 AM
Preview into the future: The last Civil Rights movement
Given the enormous progress gay and lesbians have been gaining in society in terms of adoption rights, non-discrimination measures, and marriage recognition, it is safe to say that we are in the middle of a long process of civil rights and equality opening up to the LGBT persons. The strides made by some analysts have called this era the "last" chapter of the civil rights movement. But is that true? Are gay and lesbians gaining their rights the last minority group to be given equal rights? I think not.

Many here think that once the issue of LGBT rights is resolved, the next group in line will be us atheists. I think that is true. I believe that we, although still in our infancy as a powerful movement, will organize, rise up and show our elected officials that there are more of us than they think. The LGBT-movement will act as a bridge for us, like the feminist-movement in the 1970s acted as a bridge for gays and lesbians. The foundation is already in place. LGBT-activists taking a secular argument for their movement will often attack the Bible and other religious texts for their bigotry and contradictions. They will also attack religious-bound policies that discriminate against them. As that discussion continues, it will pave the way for us to fill in that void when their rights are achieved. There is even a fairly high percentage of LGBT-people that are also atheists and agnostics, so there is a chance that they will remain as passionate in defending our civil rights movement as we were in defending theirs.

There is no doubt that the 2010s will be for the gay population. So much has already changed for them. By 2020, I'm sure that all the fuss over gays in the military, or same-sex marriage, or Timmy being adopted by two mommies will be an embarrassment in the history of our great, civilized society. The 2020s, however, will be our turn at it. Not that I'm psychic, but current trends do point to a good decade for us and the atheist/secular movement in the 2020s. Obviously, once the nation legalizes gay, then it's on the path to Sodom and Gomorrah we go! Haha.

I do predict that the 2010s/2020s will the final decades in the culture war era. From then on out, there will be no more pressure from religious organizations on society to ban contraceptives, or ban porn, or even increase regulation at all. Generation X (those born in the 1960s and 1970s) will be a dominant force upon the culture in the 2020s, and their libertarian leanings will provide our movement the proper environment to thrive. I'm actually fairly confident that when Generation X becomes the majority in Congress, they will even try to legalize recreational marijuana - as the time for that subculture to be liberated is coming too. This is not to say that we will have an easy ride, as I'm sure that there will be someone to take Pat Robertson's place when he passes, but their voices will continue to get dimmer and dimmer in a sea of rational-minded individuals. By 2025, I'm sure that saying that one is an atheist will be one of those "no-big deal" things.

But will atheists be the last civil rights movement? No.

As I stated earlier that the feminist-movement helped to bring about and even bridge the LGBT-movement into the mainstream, so too will the atheist civil rights movement bridge another group that will be rising into significance in the late-2020s. The only word that I can use to describe it is the "cyborg" civil rights movement. Now I know what you are thinking, "Ick. Cyborg? Really? You forced me to read all this $*it to talk about robots?" But, hear me out here.

By the time the 2030s and 2040s will come around, we will be entering that time frame that Ray Kurzweil described as the "Singularity." Ray described the Singularity as that era in which our technological advancement rate will be going at such a rapid pace that we will have to enhance our own intelligence through artificial and biochemical means. Some of this is already taking place today with amputees getting artificial limbs and stem cells. In the 2030s/2040s, the usage of the artificial over the biological will reach a tipping point. Remember all the talk now of how "unnatural" gay people are? Well, some of them will return out of their dark slumbers once again to confront this mechanical take-over of society. There will be "biologicals" and their will be "artificials." A new prejudice will form from this divide; Fully biological people will consider those who have chosen to enhance themselves as less human, and those who have opted to enhance themselves will obviously feel superior to purely biological people. Imagine the religious people who will opt out such things as they see this mechanical revolution as some "Mark of the Beast."

I don't know about you, but if given the option, I'd probably opt to enhance myself and given the money that the baby boomers are spending on life extension and products that claim to make you look younger, the interest is only going to increase. That is why I say that the "accessory" or artificial is probably going to be the last chapter in civil rights history. After all, once every one is Superman, then what is there to hate on? =)

PS: I look forward to seeing what unfolds. I'm hoping the LGBT, atheist, and artificial civil rights movements continue to make our society great. And, I hope that all of us are here to see it happen as well.
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13-03-2012, 08:46 AM
RE: Preview into the future: The last Civil Rights movement
I kinda feel like atheism would be better off creeping it's way in as opposed to a full blown civil rights movement. The job is being done on it's own anyway. Each generation bumps the atheist percentage up and eventually we and the rest of the world will be like Sweden where a vast majority are atheist or non religious.

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13-03-2012, 04:03 PM
RE: Preview into the futuThe last Civil Rights movement
(13-03-2012 08:46 AM)germanyt Wrote:  I kinda feel like atheism would be better off creeping it's way in as opposed to a full blown civil rights movement. The job is being done on it's own anyway. Each generation bumps the atheist percentage up and eventually we and the rest of the world will be like Sweden where a vast majority are atheist or non religious.

I have held this belief for a long time but the last 2 to 3 years have me doubting that. Religious right in the US has made huge strides and that scares me.
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13-03-2012, 06:29 PM
RE: Preview into the future: The last Civil Rights movement
so you say in 30 years we'll be giving robots civil rights? uhmm... maybe, but I think we'll give the environment rights first, it started in Ecuador, in their constitution they recognize the same rights of humans to the mother nature, making anyone able to represent it to defend it in trial. My best guess is that this will become a trend in the near future, about AI, I believe we're still too far away from it, but hopefully we'll be there soon enough, I want to live for at least 200 more years to know if we'll be able to someday travel to the stars Big Grin

EDIT: not to the stars, near them, but not too near either Tongue

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14-03-2012, 12:06 AM
RE: Preview into the futuThe last Civil Rights movement
(13-03-2012 06:29 PM)nach_in Wrote:  so you say in 30 years we'll be giving robots civil rights? uhmm... maybe, but I think we'll give the environment rights first, it started in Ecuador, in their constitution they recognize the same rights of humans to the mother nature, making anyone able to represent it to defend it in trial. My best guess is that this will become a trend in the near future, about AI, I believe we're still too far away from it, but hopefully we'll be there soon enough, I want to live for at least 200 more years to know if we'll be able to someday travel to the stars Big Grin

EDIT: not to the stars, near them, but not too near either Tongue

No. I did not say robot. I said that "artificial" or cyborg civil rights movement will ensue as there will be more people enhancing their own physical bodies through artificial limbs and biochemical ways. It seems inevitable that it is heading in that direction anyway. If you've ever heard of Christians worried about a "Mark of the Beast" as in the book of Revelations, then it is clear that the Christian right will venomously oppose further enhancing of ourselves. I don't think that AI, even by the 2030s or 2040s would merit a civil rights movement for robots. Perhaps someday, but as we dive more into eugenics, gene therapy, better artificial organs, and stem cell research, a prejudicial attitude will be adopted between the biological and the artificial. Are those who will enhance themselves less human?

I suppose a better term to describe it is the "transhuman civil rights movement."
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14-03-2012, 01:53 AM
RE: Preview into the future: The last Civil Rights movement
As much as rights are being granted, acceptance is still so far away Sad. There is still racism, sexual discrimination, women bashing (and male), witch hunting, religious hate crime and other less civil actions. But yes, hopefully law will be more behind us. Not so sure what will happen when push comes to shove though. I know Christians who are excited in the rising atheism because, as others mentioned, to them it means being closer to the second coming.
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14-03-2012, 07:06 AM
RE: Preview into the futuThe last Civil Rights movement
(14-03-2012 12:06 AM)89ace Wrote:  
(13-03-2012 06:29 PM)nach_in Wrote:  so you say in 30 years we'll be giving robots civil rights? uhmm... maybe, but I think we'll give the environment rights first, it started in Ecuador, in their constitution they recognize the same rights of humans to the mother nature, making anyone able to represent it to defend it in trial. My best guess is that this will become a trend in the near future, about AI, I believe we're still too far away from it, but hopefully we'll be there soon enough, I want to live for at least 200 more years to know if we'll be able to someday travel to the stars Big Grin

EDIT: not to the stars, near them, but not too near either Tongue

No. I did not say robot. I said that "artificial" or cyborg civil rights movement will ensue as there will be more people enhancing their own physical bodies through artificial limbs and biochemical ways. It seems inevitable that it is heading in that direction anyway. If you've ever heard of Christians worried about a "Mark of the Beast" as in the book of Revelations, then it is clear that the Christian right will venomously oppose further enhancing of ourselves. I don't think that AI, even by the 2030s or 2040s would merit a civil rights movement for robots. Perhaps someday, but as we dive more into eugenics, gene therapy, better artificial organs, and stem cell research, a prejudicial attitude will be adopted between the biological and the artificial. Are those who will enhance themselves less human?

I suppose a better term to describe it is the "transhuman civil rights movement."

oh I get it know, yeah probably that would happen, this transhumans will surely be discriminated at first so maybe a movement of sorts might be necessary, although we never had a situation in which we had a new form of discrimination arise, women, black, gay people always existed, a transhuman doesn't exist, so it's difficult to predict how we would react to them.

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14-03-2012, 07:24 AM
RE: Preview into the future: The last Civil Rights movement
You guys know that progress i never a straight line, right?
Three steps forward, one step sideways, two steps back. These are the years of extreme conservative reactionism, when the opposing forces try to undo and claw back every scrap of liberal and progressive legislation of the past century, from reproductive rights to trade unions, from freedom of speech to equal pay. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if some states had already begun to re-segregate the schools.

Cyborgs and clones, prisoners and children, service dogs and performing horses will all have their rights some day, but the way from here to there is paved with broken hopes and heads.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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14-03-2012, 06:03 PM
RE: Preview into the futuThe last Civil Rights movement
(13-03-2012 04:03 PM)devilsadvoc8 Wrote:  
(13-03-2012 08:46 AM)germanyt Wrote:  I kinda feel like atheism would be better off creeping it's way in as opposed to a full blown civil rights movement. The job is being done on it's own anyway. Each generation bumps the atheist percentage up and eventually we and the rest of the world will be like Sweden where a vast majority are atheist or non religious.

I have held this belief for a long time but the last 2 to 3 years have me doubting that. Religious right in the US has made huge strides and that scares me.

Desperate death throes is what I think. I'd rather not get bloodied by inadvertently getting too close and hit by a particularly violent spasm.

(14-03-2012 01:53 AM)LadyJane Wrote:  I know Christians who are excited in the rising atheism because, as others mentioned, to them it means being closer to the second coming.

Yup, death throes.

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17-03-2012, 08:21 PM
RE: Preview into the future: The last Civil Rights movement
Well, I don't really think the people who choose to artificially enhance themselves will need much protection of their rights. They'll be faster, smarter, stronger, and live longer than those who don't.....by a LOT.

It will be more about how many rights will be left for those who choose not to enhance themselves.
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