Georgi L.
Guffaw
London, GB
Post #: 595
Steve Lawlor wrote

I have very personal reasons for disliking the Olympics. The housing co-op I used to live in was compulsary purchased for short-termism. I even fell out with a couple of my friends on facebook because of their love of the Olympics, I found this very similar to the love that religious people have to their religion. No matter how reasoned an arguement we have, the only answer the religious/Olympic supporter have is "stop being so negitive about my beloved xyz".

It always amuses me when atheists have sacred cows. Oh the irony when you are virtually attacked for daring to question or ask for balance! No doubt I have some too - but the point is we're not aware of them or refuse to admit them. I'm reminded of something I read "Everyone likes reason, evidence and science as long as it doesn't interfere with their favourite sacred cows"

Evidently this goes for atheists as well as theists... Discuss!
Womble
user 60682592
London, GB
Post #: 3
Just because we don't believe in a deity or deities it does not mean we are free from having that sort of blinkered thinking. Theres probably a few beliefs that I have that are based on some sort of gut/instinct that would be difficult to shift without someone else patiently slipping the rational thinking in on that subject.
Richard F
user 2543752
London, GB
Post #: 812
This is so true. On a FB atheist forum, I made the statement that we are not born as atheists because children naturally see agency in the world when there is none and we need to learn not to do that. Boy, the abuse that I got hurled back at me. I was told to take that back... or else!! Oh dear.
John P
Hedgehog1965UK
London, GB
Post #: 1,228
On a FB atheist forum, I made the statement that we are not born as atheists because children naturally see agency in the world when there is none and we need to learn not to do that. Boy, the abuse that I got hurled back at me. I was told to take that back... or else!! Oh dear.

Tell them to read the relevant pages of The God Delusion (Paperback pages 210-211, Hardback pages 180-181) "Humans are natural born dualists and teleologists­" (i.e. Tell them "Dawkins says so, so there!") biggrin

OK, I know that The God Delusion isn't the sacred text of atheism and Dawkins isn't the atheist messiah. I am starting to sound like a religionist quoting chapter and verse from the Bible or the Quran. NOT good! confused
Womble
user 60682592
London, GB
Post #: 9
On a FB atheist forum, I made the statement that we are not born as atheists because children naturally see agency in the world when there is none and we need to learn not to do that. Boy, the abuse that I got hurled back at me. I was told to take that back... or else!! Oh dear.

Tell them to read the relevant pages of The God Delusion (Paperback pages 210-211, Hardback pages 180-181) "Humans are natural born dualists and teleologists­" (i.e. Tell them "Dawkins says so, so there!") biggrin

OK, I know that The God Delusion isn't the sacred text of atheism and Dawkins isn't the atheist messiah. I am starting to sound like a religionist quoting chapter and verse from the Bible or the Quran. NOT good! confused

Quick!!! Quote some hard core science!!
Richard F
user 2543752
London, GB
Post #: 815
Dawkins is not the messiah. He's a very naughty... damn you Monty Python!!!!

Yes. I did mention many of the things that Dawkins has said and also referenced Hoods book on delusion and the studies on how children naturally see agency in random events but oh, no. It made no difference. I had committed blasphemy... or was it heresy? Never sure which one is which. However, I was not a popular person for a while, I can tell you. Although the post did get to nearly 600 comments. Not bad.
Rose
user 53882812
London, GB
Post #: 45
As a skeptic, I try not to have sacred cows, but as a human being I inevitably do have some. The difference between me and a religious person is that I recognize that having sacred cows is not a good thing, and I want to be made aware of mine, so that I can do something about them.
Martyn
Maradam
Guildford, GB
Post #: 277
I tell you (he said, pretending to be pious) that you are correct about the 'human agency' thing. I believe it was this that psychological feature of the mind that first set us up with the belief in 'spirits' in our environment. You have my support on that issue.

If one tried playing a game of solitaire, and you didn't know if it was a machine dealing you cards or if a person was doing it, I strongly suspect that the player would start to believe it was a person - even when it was the machine.

Paranoia is a survival trait that skews our perception of natural, random events.

A lot of atheist just don't get that. I wonder why? Is it a plot by The Ists do you think?
<FX: Big slap across the face!>
wink
Georgi L.
Guffaw
London, GB
Post #: 1,412
There are also ideas such as multiculturalism that are not allowed to be discussed in anything but "it's fantastic" terms.

I count this as a sacred cow in society, because like distinguishing race from religion, politicians are too afraid once again of being deemed racist and therefore don't even want to talk about it.

Some poeple may have heard Prof Cantel talking about 'Interculturalism' as a new model instead of multiculturalism and there's a CEMB meetup on May 9th, with Author Remy Hussan which will also broach this usually 'hands off' subject:

Has Britain succeeded in integrating its African and Asian immigrants (Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims) into the larger society? Have its policies of integration resulted in a just and egalitarian society? Rumy Hasan's answer, in Multiculturalism: Some Inconvenient Truths, is a resounding no. Unlike France, which he sees as a model to be emulated, the UK has been more tolerant of expressions of cultural difference among its immigrants, less interested in imposing a restrictive conception of secularity on them, and more willing to address racial discrimination.

As Hasan recounts, British integration policies evolved through a number of phases reflecting legal changes as well as efforts to accommodate minorities' self-definition. The Race Relations Act of 1976 signalled the end of a first phase that began in the aftermath of the Second World War. The second phase took place under the Thatcher government subsequent to the riots of the 1980s in London and other cities. Immigrants hailing from Africa and the Caribbean won the label of "Black British", preferred to "coloured immigrants", whereas South and East Asians became identified as "Asians". With the extension of citizenship rights to greater numbers of immigrants, a third phase saw British society declared "multicultural", or composed of citizens of various ethnic and racial affiliations.

However, in the wake of the events of 11 September 2001, multiculturalism morphed into "multifaithism", resulting in religion-based identity. This fourth phase, Hasan argues, represents multiculturalism's failure.

Multiculturalism qua multifaithism is the source of all evils. Ironically, initiated as a way of combating racism, multiculturalism has become hostage to special interests represented by community leaders as well as politicians eager to secure votes.

It is a violation and distortion of the democratic ideal of universal rights because it accords privileges to ethnic-religious communities; it increases segregation and ghettoisation; it fans sectarian hatred within communities; it leads to social harm as it restricts or prevents intimate contact with members of the larger society, who feel alienated as a result; it triggers right-wing extremism among "whites" and "chauvinistic faith-based organisations"; it fosters resistance to "mainstream" culture as well as "psychological detachment", a condition of being in, but not of, British society.

More important, Hasan sees multicultural policy as a successor to the old imperial divide-and-rule strategy. This means that the state remains aloof from serious social problems that occur within immigrant communities, which it shields by accepting their claim to cultural specificity.

Much of Hasan's critique of multicultural policies has already been said by their conservative opponents. However, he is right to draw attention to the unintended consequences of multicultural policies, as he is in denouncing the fixing of identity in religion alone.

But he goes one step further in blaming multiculturalism for the resilience of racism and ethnic communities for willing their socio-economic marginalisation. Clearly, racial prejudice is not caused by policies aimed at diminishing its occurrence, but by fears of loss of power and privilege that some in the majority experience before an influx of people of different cultures and races. After all, even the election of a half-black president in the US has not quelled racial prejudice.

Nevertheless, Hasan provides some insights: he denounces the silence of the Left before the revival of practices that restrict the freedom of minority youth, especially women. In fact, the Left, departing from its heritage of opposing identity politics, frequently justifies revivals of customs such as re-veiling and arranged or forced marriages.

However, Hasan's particular focus on re-veiling among Muslim women speaks more to his strong personal feelings about Muslims (whom he perceives as beyond the pale) than to developing a coherent alternative to multiculturalism. Surely there are other issues of equal importance - such as unemployment, poverty and poor education - that face ethnic communities, but these are issues he touches on only lightly.

At any rate, he offers little hard evidence of his gloomy depiction of Asian communities, relying instead on generalisations and gross stereotypes.

Hasan's solutions range from the reasonable to the extreme. Among other things, he proposes that multicultural policies should be discontinued and religious courts prohibited; the Church of England disestablished; social mixing and intermarriage between minorities and members of the larger society encouraged; identity built on commonalities instead of religion.

As interesting as some of these suggestions are, they fall short of the mark. How do we build a human community in which neither race nor religious affiliation matter when the global and geopolitical environment is beset by wars, poverty and injustice? Decentring ourselves may be a more effective first step than denigrating minorities' cultures wholesale, as Hasan does. British policies, regardless of the problems they encounter, may be preferable to forcing minorities into a single idealised cultural mould.


Georgi L.
Guffaw
London, GB
Post #: 1,420
With the her bovineness I mean 'baroness' milksnatcher dying I wondered if the old don't speak ill of the dead' is a religious thing or do atheists do it too?
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