attacking the "people can believe whatever they want" argument
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21-04-2011, 01:11 PM
attacking the "people can believe whatever they want" argument
I often come across this at the end of a debate with a theist.

What do you say after someone says this?

Fight the system,

~~~but don't mute the opposition!~~~
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21-04-2011, 01:27 PM
RE: attacking the "people can believe whatever they want" argument
I agree with them.
Sometimes, I also remind them that religion is like a penis.
It's ok to have one.
There's nothing wrong with being proud of it.
But don't pull it out and wave it around in public.
And don't try to shove it down my kids throats.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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21-04-2011, 01:48 PM
RE: attacking the "people can believe whatever they want" argument
I was more wanting to elude to the point that the same right that lets them think whatever they want gives me the ability to argue against it.

Fight the system,

~~~but don't mute the opposition!~~~
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21-04-2011, 01:52 PM
RE: attacking the "people can believe whatever they want" argument
(21-04-2011 01:27 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  I agree with them.
Sometimes, I also remind them that religion is like a penis.
It's ok to have one.
There's nothing wrong with being proud of it.
But don't pull it out and wave it around in public.
And don't try to shove it down my kids throats.

One of my favorite sayings.

I tend to use the same line though. I do not care what anyone believes, as long as they are accepting of other peoples beliefs. Want to believe in god? Fine, but leave atheists, homosexuals and everyone else alone to believe what they want. Want to believe in creation? Fine, but do not call it science or say that it is supported by science and do not try to force others to accept your view. Perhaps the "let them believe what they want" line should only apply if "they" have sufficient knowledge to form their own views and opinions rather than just perpetuating the views/opinions of their families/communities. Perhaps I will begin to add that disclaimer to it. "People can believe what they want. As long as they know the alternatives and are sufficiently educated to form their own opinion on the subject."

Evolve

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21-04-2011, 03:14 PM
 
RE: attacking the "people can believe whatever they want" argument
(21-04-2011 01:11 PM)latvianxave8 Wrote:  I often come across this at the end of a debate with a theist.

What do you say after someone says this?

What I've always said.
Of course people can believe whatever they want. However, that doesn't entitle someone who chooses to believe anything they want to be respected nor to have what they choose to believe shown respect, in doing so.
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21-04-2011, 05:32 PM
RE: attacking the "people can believe whatever they want" argument
I am one of the few who, whilst letting them believe what they want according to their rights, wants to see religion wiped out completely. I would be sorta happy if every religious person was only moderate, but I am a self-described anti-theist, I want religion to die.
Religion came about in the intellectual immaturity of the species (which, apparently, hasn't quite passed), I think its about time we start abandoning it for the harmful deluded crap it is. Religion is demonstrably the bane of society, resulting in irrationality and even genocide.
People spend many hours a week praying to mecca, or giving 10% of their income to a minister, or observing the sabbath, or indoctrinating their children with the belief that the earth is less than 10,000 years old and Jesus rode a dinosaur. This shit is getting old. While I will not impose on peoples rights to believe whatever they want, and I hope they do the same to me, I will criticise religion for what it is and what it has done.
[Image: Cectic-Without_Hesitation.jpg]

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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21-04-2011, 06:02 PM (This post was last modified: 21-04-2011 06:43 PM by Ghost.)
RE: attacking the "people can believe whatever they want" argument
Hey, Stark.

Lol. Wow. That's quite the image you conjure.

My question is, do Atheists ever wave around the ol fire hose?

Hey, Lat8.

I too would agree. I don't know why one would say anything to that. That being said, if someone is saying anyone can believe anything on the one hand and telling you you're not allowed to voice your opinion is either an idiot, a jerk, or both.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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21-04-2011, 06:52 PM (This post was last modified: 21-04-2011 07:01 PM by Buddy Christ.)
RE: attacking the "people can believe whatever they want" argument
Sam Harris once addressed this by pointing out that it's not as simple as allowing beliefs.

Beliefs alter actions.

If you truly believe that the Bible is the divine word of God and that following its teachings will grant you entrance into heaven, then you are required to act on its commands. These people bombing abortion clinics and picketing about God's hatred for fags and stopping the use of condoms in Africa are simply acting on their beliefs that we allow them to have.

Imagine if a Senator stood up on the floor and said that we should pray to Poseidon to protect Americans from a hurricane. Should we allow him to maintain these beliefs unchecked in the spirit of "people are free to believe whatever they want? Why do we grant people respect for their religious beliefs when we don't apply the same respect to any other aspect of life (mathematics, physics, etc)? We don't allow physicists to believe whatever they want (I think that Force actually equals Mass x the weight of a banana) in the interest of academic progress.

-Note-
If any of this doesn't make sense, realize that I just woke up to a phone call informing me of a former high school classmate who now teaches the 2nd grade and just got caught in a "sex with a child" craigslist sting operation (basically a Chris Hansen setup). So my mind is a little fuzzy.




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21-04-2011, 08:10 PM
RE: attacking the "people can believe whatever they want" argument
Man, I didn't think it was possible for me to hate the utter garbage spewing from Sam Harris' pie hole more that I already do, but I gotta salute his determination to prove me wrong.

Standard of intellectual honesty?!?!?!?!?!?!?!! He has the audacity to say that in the same breath as the rest of his speech? What a joke. This guy pisses me off. Respecting religious beliefs is like respecting holocaust deniers and Elvis fans? Fuck right off.

Sorry to be so harsh, but I'm just employing "conversational intolerance".

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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22-04-2011, 03:52 AM
RE: attacking the "people can believe whatever they want" argument
I agree wholeheartedly with Sam Harris. Belief in religion is belief in nonsense. Offer one ounce of evidence that supports the existence of God, Gods, Spirits, etc., that could justify a reasonable belief in religion. There is none. At least Elvis was a living human being at one time. At least it is physically possible that Elvis might still be alive and in hiding somewhere today. So people who believe Elvis is alive have ten times more credibility than any religious person. Do we believe flat-earthers should be respected and allowed to teach their beliefs in our schools as if they are just as valid as the theory of evolution? Of course not. Why not? Because the flat-earth theory is nonsense; just as belief in God or Gods is nonsense, so why do we extend to religious people respect for their beliefs and tolerance for their jaw-dropping stupidity that we would never extend to someone who, for another example, blithely states "I believe my mother was impregnated by an alien and that I have telepathic abilities because of it." If said person could offer no scientific evidence for their claim, we would dismiss them as a liar or someone with a mental disorder. But how does "I believe an invisible being impregnated a virgin and begat his son who performed miracles such as healing the blind" any less laughable than the alien-impregnating-my-mom belief? Where is the difference? Why should one be afforded any more respect than the other? If you one day state you "believe" with all your soul that refusing to feed your children will not cause them to die, should everyone else respect your beliefs? There has to be some sort of credibility for your beliefs, some reasonable possibility of their being plausible, for anyone to extend to them tolerance and respect. That's what Harris is saying. I can't understand how anyone would consider that line of thinking to be "utter garbage". "Utter garbage" is the stuff the religious spew every day, and the time to classify it as such is about 150 years overdue.

The way to see by Faith, is to shut the eye of Reason. - Ben Franklin
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