Think positive
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13-07-2009, 11:19 AM
 
Think positive
Sadly, I have observed that many outspoken atheists indulge in behaviors such as ridiculing religious believers and denouncing religious practices and institutions. It seems to me that such behaviors are not only futile, but are actually counterproductive. We should expect few converts among people who feel their spiritual leaders and their traditional beliefs have been gratuitously disrespected. It's no wonder that we often encounter hostility and rejection from others even as we seek tolerance and acceptance for ourselves.

If we atheists genuinely wish to foster enlightenment and to improve our rather shabby status in the world at large, I think we need to do a much better job of developing and articulating an alternative, humanistic vision that will tend to attract rather than to repel those we seek to influence. Let's work together to build a better society instead of trying to tear the existing one down: Evolution, not revolution.
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13-07-2009, 03:51 PM
RE: Think positive
I take your point.

I disagree that a "spoonful of sugar" is always the best way to make a point, though. And sometimes the best way to demonstrate absurdity is by being absurd.

This brand of atheism may not be for everyone, but its points are still valid, and its arguments are still solid.

I am working on some concepts for a future video that will highlight the many things atheists have done to make our world better, and it will be positive in tone and message.

Many thanks for your honest and direct input. Smile

Seth Andrews
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14-07-2009, 05:30 AM
 
RE: Think positive
I see your point to!
But if you are suggesting we set up a common set of rules to unite us in a special congregation to pursuade people to be atheists, then you are on a little "crusade" in my opinion.
I think that being an atheist is a great thing but it does not say anything about how you should be or act as a human being!
People are free to say what they please but should of course be aware the possible effects of it!
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14-07-2009, 07:10 AM
 
RE: Think positive
Editor -

Thank you for your civil reply to my initial comments here. I fully intended them to be constructive, and not critical of you personally.

Rather than the Mary Poppins expression that you have alluded to, "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down," what I am suggesting is captured by Victor Hugo's profound aphorism, "Toleration is the best religion."

Billions find life's meaning and great comfort in their supernatural beliefs; that is unlikely to change anytime soon, no matter what we atheists say or do. So what does it profit us to antagonize and alienate them?

I eagerly look forward to viewing your next video production.

- Nethryk
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14-07-2009, 08:12 AM
 
RE: Think positive
Agitator -

Thanks for sharing your comments.

About the last thing that an atheist like me should wish to promote is a "crusade" of any sort. Also, please rest easy that I cherish my individual liberty far too much to have any desire to impose arbitrary behavioral rules on anyone else.

What I am suggesting is that as mature and moral human beings, we atheists should consider how our behavior may be perceived by others. I think it is unwise and feckless to insult the integrity or intelligence of believers. In my life experience I have found that if one wishes to be respected by others, one must show them respect them, too.

- Nethryk
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14-07-2009, 02:12 PM
 
RE: Think positive
(14-07-2009 08:12 AM)Nethryk Wrote:  What I am suggesting is that as mature and moral human beings, we atheists should consider how our behavior may be perceived by others. I think it is unwise and feckless to insult the integrity or intelligence of believers. In my life experience I have found that if one wishes to be respected by others, one must show them respect them, too.

- Nethryk

I agree 100%, i wish that it would work like that with everyone, but in my experience its most common that the religous party is the one crossing the line of rudeness or offensiveness first. Once they´ve thrown the "you´re gonna burn" or " where´s your moral if you dont believe"-card i take it as a personal insult and an agressive statement.
Often i question their beliefs, and they respond by insulting me as a person!
I question scripture and they call me "damned", scripture cant take offence as far as i know? If i walk out of there without countering i most certainly will have strengthen their beliefs, leaving them to think they taught me a real lesson. The only thing left to do is to rip out the aces at hand, that in all cases severely debunks religion and therefor leave people in a state where they feel offended in their lack of ability to argue back.
Have you ever actually talked a believer into not believing? I sure have not! But once you blast a reasonable person with facts they stick in the back of their head, and when he thinks about them for a while he will see the lies for himself, maybe even thanking you at a later time for opening his mind to the truth. An unreasonable person on the other hand will probably just feel insulted and turn to whatever god he worships and ask him to forgive me or kill me!

This said i would like to clarify that i dont think its ok to be rude or insulting and although we sometimes must be offensive to achieve enlightenment, preferably we should try to keep atheism on the bright and good side of reason just as you say!
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05-10-2009, 08:33 PM
 
RE: Think positive
(13-07-2009 11:19 AM)Nethryk Wrote:  If we atheists genuinely wish to foster enlightenment and to improve our rather shabby status in the world at large, I think we need to do a much better job of developing and articulating an alternative, humanistic vision that will tend to attract rather than to repel those we seek to influence. Let's work together to build a better society instead of trying to tear the existing one down: Evolution, not revolution.
Yes I don't see why atheists don't debate amongst themselves, to arrive at a common morality. Then we could hold up the fact that we can logically derive morals without god, to all theists. I believe we can, I thought my way through it when I gave up belief in god.
I find a lot of atheists scream a dogma where it is not possible, and its all subjective, therefore we cannot impose morals on other people. Its their one moral. However that proves that you can derive objective morals, that being one, lol. Their proof disproves their claim. They then try to say because some morals like the christian "homosexuality is wrong" and the humanist "homosexuality is alright for homosexuals" conflict, its all subjective.
Reality is the conflict can be delved into and when you strip away peoples rights to impose their moral will on others, it leaves all to do as they will. Of course you then need to impose some from outside to prevent childish removal of peoples rights. So letting homosexuals live their lives is moral trying to stop them is immoral.
So I propose some morals for atheists, 1, the rules apply to everyone even me. 2, everyone is free to do as they please, as long as they don't harm others, even if I don't like to do what they do.
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14-10-2009, 09:26 PM
 
RE: Think positive
I'm new here, but not new to boards and forums, so I'm going to be kind of blunt, even though this is an old thread. This discussion speaks to a controversy that's raging throughout the atheist community, and although a couple of your posts sneak around the edges, you miss the main point: should we, the atheist community, continue to coddle the religious, respecting their beliefs, and thereby putting faith on an equal footing with ways of knowing, or should we not?

There are many in the community who agree with some of you that our best interests are served by continuing to respect belief and work with the believers to pursue common goals, such as teaching evolution in schools, ect.., but there are many other, myself and other so-called "new atheists" who think the time for respecting faith and belief ended with the fall of the twin towers. Thousands of words have been written by hundreds of better-qualified writers then I concerning this question, so I will not belabor it too much here, but consider this: if atheism were a religion (which it most assuredly is not), it would be the third largest on the planet, and by far the fastest growing! http://pwsoderman.wordpress.com/2009/07/...-minority/

People are not waking up all over America and deciding all of a sudden to dump their faith, what's happening is that those of us who are out there every day doing what we can to promote reason and science, and doing it as openly as we can, are showing those who feel as we do that they can do the same things, and that they are not alone.

I live in the south, Hampstead, NC, and I thought I was one of the few non-believers down here 'till a couple of us started a group. Now we are 200 strong, and a charter chapter of the AHA, and we even have booths in local street fairs. They don't like us, for sure, but we're visible! We go to school board meetings, are active politically (not as an AHA chapter), call in to the local hate radio shows and write letters to the editor.

We have managed to stop a lot of silly things from happening, just because of our presence, and we don't coddle them at all. As a beginning, I suggest a new book from Victor Stenger, "The New Atheism." He states our position pretty well, and tears apart the arguments of the several apoligists who have come out with books "refuting" Harris, Dennett, Dawkins, Hitchens and himself. The subtitle of his book is "Taking a Stand for Science and Reason," which is what many of us feel is the way to go.
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21-10-2009, 11:12 PM
 
RE: Think positive
Hi Everyone.
Boy1:Meet my wife Tina
Boy2.Oh! I know her
Boy1:How?
Boy2:We were caught sleeping together
Boy1:What the hell?
.
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Boy2:during lecture in maths class
--> Think Positive.
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05-03-2015, 06:35 PM
RE: Think positive
Why not both?


















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