Religious Intolerance
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10-04-2017, 01:02 PM
Religious Intolerance
Hiya. Smile

I just wanted to get some opinions on a trend I've been seeing on the forums and out in the community.

I've noticed that most are becoming more and more "intolerant" to theism as a whole and are getting tired of the same old arguments, fallacies, and general attitude from theists. I just wanted to get a conversation going about whether or not you have the "coexist" mindset or the "I'm-tired-of-this-bullshit" mindset and if you think others should subscribe to it.

I, personally, am not really bothered by either viewpoint. I understand how infuriating it can be to argue with theists (especially creationists...) and I often find myself less interested in a person after hearing that they believe in God. I also find that those who care too much about this tend to feel burdened or even upset by how many people there are in the world who do subscribe to the dogma. Nevertheless, I thought it'd be interesting to hear what everyone has to say. Big Grin
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10-04-2017, 02:08 PM
RE: Religious Intolerance
I try to be tolerant.

My personal view is that religion is garbage, people denying science because it conflicts with their beliefs is garbage, adults believing in invisible magical angels and demons tempting their decisions is garbage.

I really struggle to understand how people can believe in such stuff.

But ultimately it isn't my purpose to correct the world. I just get to navigate myself through it. I do think the world would be a better place without religion though.
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10-04-2017, 02:09 PM
RE: Religious Intolerance
(10-04-2017 01:02 PM)Larai19 Wrote:  Hiya. Smile

I just wanted to get some opinions on a trend I've been seeing on the forums and out in the community.

I've noticed that most are becoming more and more "intolerant" to theism as a whole and are getting tired of the same old arguments, fallacies, and general attitude from theists. I just wanted to get a conversation going about whether or not you have the "coexist" mindset or the "I'm-tired-of-this-bullshit" mindset and if you think others should subscribe to it.

I, personally, am not really bothered by either viewpoint. I understand how infuriating it can be to argue with theists (especially creationists...) and I often find myself less interested in a person after hearing that they believe in God. I also find that those who care too much about this tend to feel burdened or even upset by how many people there are in the world who do subscribe to the dogma. Nevertheless, I thought it'd be interesting to hear what everyone has to say. Big Grin

I'm fine with people who believe and keep it to themselves. I am anti-theist in that I think theism is wrong and evil but I don't go around starting fights or picketing churches. Everyone has the right to make up their own minds and believe what they want to believe, so long as they leave me out of it. That's the situation where I live in Colorado. It's very low key. Occasionally the Jehova's Witnesses come around but generally it just doesn't come up.

I'm to the point now that I no longer even consider the question of gods debatable. Debating about the existence of gods commits one to stolen concepts. I can't reason with those who have abandoned reason.

If someone wants to get in my face about it as happened at a party recently, I'm more than capable of putting them out of my misery though and I will if they want to be rude about it. I never, ever bring it up. It's not that I tolerate religion so much as it is that I am a great respecter of individual rights.

That being said, I have to go back to Virginia in May and I'll be immersed in it again like I haven't been in a long, long time. I may have to eat these words after that trip.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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10-04-2017, 02:26 PM
RE: Religious Intolerance
(10-04-2017 01:02 PM)Larai19 Wrote:  I've noticed that most are becoming more and more "intolerant" to theism as a whole and are getting tired of the same old arguments, fallacies, and general attitude from theists. I just wanted to get a conversation going about whether or not you have the "coexist" mindset or the "I'm-tired-of-this-bullshit" mindset and if you think others should subscribe to it.

I don't think we atheists can afford to have a "coexist" mindset with people who are prejudiced against us. I therefore don't consider "intolerance" of intolerance itself as intolerant so much as the best way to counteract real intolerance.

Of course we have to be measured in our choice of words and tone in addressing such problems, not only to be the most effective but also to avoid unproductive confrontations. We still have to choose our battles carefully, and that's the hard part.

Undecided
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10-04-2017, 02:36 PM
RE: Religious Intolerance
First of all I do not want anyone to subscribe to how I think as that is a matter for them and only them. I only say how I think so others can point out errors in my reasoning
and as a consequence make me a better thinker. On the point of engaging theists what matters is how open the dialogue is. This is also a general point applying to dialogue
in general not specifically that between theists and atheists. The more open it is the more productive it is and vice versa. So I have no problem in principle with what theists
or anyone else thinks as long as that does not impact up on the freedom of others to do likewise. I think rational forums populated almost exclusively by atheists are not as
interesting from a dialogue perspective because of the greater possibility of group think. Diversity of opinion allows for much better dialogue. I routinely listen to those who
are at the opposite end of the spectrum to me both philosophically and politically. Because I like the way they articulate them selves and it is interesting to hear alternative
points of view. And sometimes I find myself agreeing with them. That is only to be expected as no one either individually or as part of a group has a monopoly on wisdom

A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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10-04-2017, 02:38 PM
RE: Religious Intolerance
Religion I see as tool of oppression and way for close minded to make their petty hatreds, authoritarian tendencies and bigotry look reasonable so I can't be really tolerant in regard to it. I don't share my thoughts unless asked though as I don't care abput how brainwashed theists are as long as they don't force their primitive, tribal taboos ontp others.

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The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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10-04-2017, 03:08 PM
RE: Religious Intolerance
Living in a small rural town, I'd be guessing that the percentage of theists is higher than in other Aussie metropolitan regions, due in part to our aging demographic (which is one of the highest in our state). For such a small population, our town has five churches—Anglican; Presbyterian; Uniting; Catholic; Christian Revival (formerly Methodist).

I'd also guess that we atheists are a significant minority, and yet I have absolutely no qualms with freely telling one and all that I'm a non-believer. I've not once encountered any kind of hostility, disapproval, or negativism. And in my town Christmas and Easter are always celebrated to a significant degree—but not that it disconcerts me one iota. Why should it?

Downunder, we have a very "live and let live" attitude with social issues such as religion etc. Most of us are too slack to worry about religious differences... or much else for that matter LOL.

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I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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10-04-2017, 03:09 PM
RE: Religious Intolerance
I'm fine to coexist with anybody who doesn't vote to restrict my sex life or right to free expression or any other civil rights in the name of their sky daddy. I admit, I do wish they could keep their bullshit to themselves and stay out of everyone else's way. If all the believers were like the Amish, content to do their thing while the world proceeds without them, that'd be great.
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10-04-2017, 03:10 PM
RE: Religious Intolerance
In the ideal secular/tolerant world, we would all have the right to believe whatever we believe, freely associate with like-minded people, and allow everyone else to do the same. I don't really care what neighbors, co-workers, associates, various family members or random strangers believe or practice as long as they don't try to force it on others.

So - want to preach on TV, or YouTube, or a website? I can change the channel and avoid the others. Up on a soapbox in the town square? I'll just go elsewhere. But I draw the line at "home and workplace and schoolyard" - because I can't/won't walk away from them. And over time, I have become less "tolerant" of theists intruding into those places with their spiels. And I've become less "tolerant" of those trying to intercept me in the grocery store parking lot, because I sorta hafta use it until I can buy all of my groceries online. But I try to simply shortstop what they are doing as politely as possible. But their-deity-of-choice help them if they ever actually grab my arm in an attempt to get my attention - because that's assault and I will beat the snot out of them. (I never claimed to be a pacifist.) I've had a couple get very close to doing that, then back away when they caught the look on my face.
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10-04-2017, 03:25 PM (This post was last modified: 10-04-2017 03:32 PM by mordant.)
RE: Religious Intolerance
The first point I usually make when this comes up is that how we conduct ourselves in a forum like this that is specifically set up to debate and discuss things according to agreed rules, and what we tolerate (or not) in that context, is VERY different from everyday real life. Also how we thread that needle in cyberspace is rather different than in meatspace. So we should not assume that posters conduct themselves identically in every day personal interactions.

Some of the difference is very simple to explain. The unspoken social contract is that you don't discuss politics or religion or matters related to them in general company. Partly because you don't need to in order to cooperate, and partly because it leads to pointless bickering. Personal beliefs should remain personal, for very good reason. I am an atheist working closely with my client and various employees and fellow contractors, which include a conservative Catholic, a Bible Belt Fundamentalist who home schools his teenage children, a Jew, and a certified asshole with an infuriating "fire now, aim later" habit. If I weren't professional and didn't stick to the essentials of our shared mission in making this enterprise a success, we would probably kill each other.

Contrast that with here -- a place that exists SPECIFICALLY to allow a place to discuss items of interest that we can't normally discuss in any depth. Of COURSE sacred cows will be slain. Of COURSE there will be "frankness". But that's what you're supposed to come here for. If you can't stand the heat, why are you in the kitchen??

The other thing that is often involved is technically known as TIFS -- that stands for Total Internet Fuckwad Syndrome. Take an otherwise "normal" person, give them anonymity and a huge audience / platform, and they become a fuckwad. If there are no consequences for fuckwaddery, then they run amok amongst us. So yes we come down hard on them, because negative social reciprocity is the only consequence we have to level against them.

What people are often blasted for here is not being theists or Christians or Muslims or whatever. It is for refusing to have an honest discussion. We have drive-by posters who drop giant steaming textwalls here and are never seen again, people who spout nonsense without a shred of substantiation. We have posters who ignore people who take the time and effort to ask questions or provide counterarguments by ignoring and not addressing a single point made, and instead spouting non-sequiturs, word salad, logical fallacies, deflections, stolen concepts, and so forth. Sometimes, without even a shred of originality or creativity, even; they just keep repeating the same exact arguments over and over, as if repetition will make it true or compelling or maybe as if people will at least capitulate out of sheer fatigue. We have people coming here and telling us what we think and why we think it rather than listening respectfully to what we actually think and why we happen to think it.

It so happens that most of these are theists and most of those are Christians (lying for Jesus since 0 AD). But what they are really being savaged for is dishonest engagement, intellectual dishonesty and outright fraud.

I have been on fora like this for a decade or so now and in my experience it's roughly 1 on 100 theists who are willing to listen and understand what I'm saying, who admit their beliefs are personal to them and non-binding on me, who admit that they believe what they believe based on religious faith and they don't really have proofs or arguments in favor of their beliefs -- they are just things they like to think. And I get along GREAT with those people. The rest, well, it varies.

Christians very often don't realize how much gaslighting and shaming and Gish-galloping they routinely do to advance their message. They are accustomed to a self-image of being kind, loving, concerned, earnest and well-meaning dispensers of light in the darkness, and they have been conditioned for two millennia (for the most part) to recoil in horror from the slightest push-back. Because they have enjoyed unearned respect and deference in the marketplace of ideas. And now they are freaking out because they have to compete on a level playing field where their ideas aren't special and untouchable.
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