Georgi L.
Guffaw
London, GB
Post #: 785
I think that most people in this country are not religious. I think that they would call themselves atheists if there hadn't been such a good propagandist movement to make it a negative term.

For me, I would like to counter/correct that misunderstanding and get people to realise that it is o.k. to be an atheist. I am confident that if we could get that message out there then the change would continue. We seem to forget how much has changed in one persons lifetime. This change can keep going.

I think politics is a no-go. We'd be banging our heads against a brick wall.

p.s. Sorry for having to leave early at the last meeting but Festival Films were beckoning.

Rich, with you entirely except that I think we can/should say more than it's just ok? 'Ok' to me sounds like it could be worse, but also therefore by inference that it could be better. But it couldn't really be better than to be rational could it, as far as we know?...so I'd say let's be more confident about the positivity of being atheist rationalists and say it like it is: responsible rather than infantile minds!

p.s. Brief or not, your company was just as delightful. biggrin How was the film?
Richard F
user 2543752
London, GB
Post #: 853
I see your point. I agree that atheism is better than theism but I'm not sure of a 'snappy' way of saying that without going into a detailed description of why. There is a risk of sounding like we are saying that atheists are better than theists but there are many examples of how that is not the case. I feel that this would weaken our position.

The reason why I like the phrase "It's o.k. to be an atheist" is because it directly counters the accusation from the religious that it isn't. I feel that the first step is to get a general understanding of what atheism is and clear up much of the propaganda placed against it. Then we can move forward with why it is better than theism. However, as always, I would be interested in possible ways of getting a more positive message across.

As for the film. I am so punch drunk with all the films that I've seen, I can't remember which one was on that night. However, my highlights were, obviously, Mea Maxima Culpa then Doomsday Book, The Key of Life, Robot and Frank, and Like Someone In Love.
Georgi L.
Guffaw
London, GB
Post #: 799
Hi Rich,

Yes after thinking about it I realised your 'ok to be an atheist' could also mean that there is no reason to be afraid of being one. I take your point. And I do get why you've used the phrase to counter the accusation.

The issue I have with trying to counter accusations though, is that we're letting them drive our responses. It's therefore a defensive response, which is always a weak position, and one that inadvertently gives strength to the original premise.

It is a bit like the 'good without god' phrase that I so abhor. I get the intention, but I think it is misguided to use it. Because I don't know what this 'god thing' is so why should I define my 'goodness' by this ridiculous concept that others choose to hang their goodness on? IMO it says "well obviously we all know that with god one is naturally going to be automatically good, but did you know that it is possible to be good without 'sod' too?!"
Whereas I'd prefer us to be making them justify their position, rather than them getting us to justify ours.

Can we snappily say somehow that 'goodness' comes from rational thinking about how one would like to be treated (the golden rule stolen by religion of course!), and not from perceived emotional blackmail and bribery from an imaginary being? ...i,e, I think our point is stronger by 'ridiculing' rather than by pandering to religion. Not ridiculing people, but the concept. Ridiculing them will only entrench them in their position, and isn't a nice thing to do anyway since they're victims of indoctrination after all. Instead the people need to be given a dignified way of changing their minds IMO e.g. getting them to consider that the religion wasn't infact their choice at all, but that they do have the right to choose to leave it.

As you say, what we need is a snappy way(s) of getting all this across a confident way but not cocky way.... to say that rationalism is better than theism without coming across as saying atheists are better than theists.
Martyn
Maradam
Guildford, GB
Post #: 296
I'm not suggesting this is a solution for everyone, but theists often look down on atheists. One can see this in their attitude when the subject is brought up. This always rubs me up the wrong way.

If I encounter a theist in conversation I try and respond with my own condescending 'Oh dear...' or 'Oh, I'm so sorry [for you]...' and then move on. Only if pressed would I respond with 'I'm not superstitous' which I hope is emotive enough to provoke a response - or get them to desist.
Richard F
user 2543752
London, GB
Post #: 861
Hi Ginny,

I was about to argue that we need to counter the notion that you can only be good with God in your life (which is why I normally use the phrase 'being good without God') but then realised that your argument does that anyway but from a much more positive position. Nice one. You're absolutely right.

I shall think of some 'snappy' phrases to use. I have quickly thought of "It's good to be good" to suggest that, as a social species, there are behaviours which inherently must be seen as good and bad in order to maintain our beneficial detailed structure, but I shall think of some more.

Thanks for that. One of the many examples of why I like being a member of this group;)
Alex D
SeeksTruthNboobs
London, GB
Post #: 165
"Gooder than a godder" ?
"Good for good's sake, not for god's sake" ?
"Good because it's right, not because of fright" ?

want more? cool
Georgi L.
Guffaw
London, GB
Post #: 805
"Gooder than a godder" ?
"Good for good's sake, not for god's sake" ?
"Good because it's right, not because of fright" ?

want more? cool

Love the last one. Perfect! All it would need is a religion symbol no entry sign to be explicit about what the fright refers to.
Martyn
Maradam
Guildford, GB
Post #: 302
That sign got me laughing so I thought I'd have a crack at a road sign (or two).


MyTime_ThisTime
user 3399980
London, GB
Post #: 161
That sign got me laughing so I thought I'd have a crack at a road sign (or two).



Haha, great one.

And at the end of the path should be a church teetering on the edge of a cliff with parishioners outside contemplating whether to enter. That'd test christians' mettle, don't ya think?

Martyn
Maradam
Guildford, GB
Post #: 303
LOL biggrin

I think I should start a new thread.
Street Signs in an Atheist's World.
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