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The London Atheists Meetup Group Message Board Atheism and Politics › Does Atheism encompass, reflect or justify Right-wing political attitudes? N

Does Atheism encompass, reflect or justify Right-wing political attitudes? Not IMO (2)

Sue M
sue.mayer
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,435
I had a message from a new member saying simply "I'm pro-capitalist, anti-communist, anti-socialist and anti-anarchist. " but I don't know how far that goes.

IMO this group is for atheists who are committed to looking at the evidence and argument for any statements, decisions and beliefs they subscribe to. It is for people who are committed to applying critical thinking that does not rely on the traditional values and 'education' as a means of social control, or of accepting popular assumptions without robust consideration on the effect of political ideas and policies impinge on individuals and society, not just themselves and the elite groups from which they benefit.

My own views are on the rest of this post is on the Atheism and Politics Discussion Forum
Ray V.
rayvellest
London, GB
Post #: 1
Why would one even think these are intertwined subjects? It seems obvious, at least to me, that these are entirely separate issues. Surely, an atheist could formulate some sort of argument based on their belief to justify their right-wing perception of the world, but a theist could do the same.

I agree, people should be committed to applying critical thinking on all aspects of their lives, and for what it's worth, I think this should happen on a day-by-day case-by-case basis, and people should never rely on a close, pre-defined system of belief, be it religious or political, for that I'm sure, is not what I would expect from a fellow atheist.
llort
user 81330842
London, GB
Post #: 3
Yes, I would agree with your post. I believe that atheism is only relevant in that you do not let religion dictate your political beliefs, but atheism does not positively support any particular political position.

For example, let's take abortion. A theist would say that abortion is wrong because his religion says so. An atheist can take either position, either for against. He might say that abortion is wrong because he believes that unborn fetuses are afforded the same protection under the law as any born human being, and therefore abortion is murder, and is therefore wrong (most of the time). On the other hand an atheist may argue that abortion should be legal because unborn fetuses cannot be classed as humans because they do not possess self awareness.

So atheism does not necessitate any particular political position, it can only negate political stances based on religion.
Sue M
sue.mayer
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,445
Ray
Why would one even think these are intertwined subjects? It seems obvious, at least to me, that these are entirely separate issues. Surely, an atheist could formulate some sort of argument based on their belief to justify their right-wing perception of the world, but a theist could do the same.

Of course they are intertwined. The Bible is a manifesto for the God party and it is deeply conservative. It uses the law and social policy to enforce its doctrines that is why we have to strive for a secular society.

And there are many quotes e.g. King James Bible - Matthew 13:12 “For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.”.
God’s estate has many mansions, the rich man in his castle and the poor man at the gate. A nice and orderly hierarchy. . . . . . . . .

Jesus might well have been a radical political activist, (a lefty) but the male dominated monotheist religions and God’s word in the buybull are based on the ideas and attitudes of St Paul, deeply punitive, conservative and ascetic.

Read parts of Utilitarian Philosopher ‘Jeremy Bentham: Prophet of Secularism’ by Professor Philip Schofield on our Files Section – (see the drop-down menu on the ‘More’ tab above)
Why do you think the religions collude with other male dominated secular elites and populations primed to put up with tyrants and dictators with the promise of riches in heaven.. . . . if they behave, bow down, give money to the church and work hard for their employer - 'give tithes to God and taxes to Caesar......'

There are more quotations on the lPrint off Leaflets on the Files Section


Most atheists have to work out and argue religious and political ideas that are not the popular default position because there is a heavy bias in favour of belief in god and conservative ideas (most of which reflect each otherThere are political discussion on that part of the Message board (see other forums)

If you agree, "that people should be committed to applying critical thinking on all aspects of their lives etc " - I can tell you that the older you get the longer you have to have resolved any questions you may have with claims, statements and arguments and for myself I have satisfied myself on most of the issues I come across every day, and can say why, not because I am particularly clever but because I have had long experience of thorough debate with a very astute, analytical and equally questioning partner and others with similar love of debate.
Sue M
sue.mayer
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,446
llort

You have a very limited view of atheism as a simple negative non-belief. without understanding its impact on people's political ideas and attitudes. Why do you think we bother to promote it if it has no effect on us as individuals or the society in which we live? Why do you think we want to have a secular society if it doesn't do more that let people not believe something???

Unfortunately I think that there are many atheists like you two who have done some of this thinking on religion, but have not applied the same critical thinking to the indoctrination of social control and its demands that enables the ruling elites to ensure that those who serve them do as they are told and this has been going on as has religion for centuries. Together they have shaped our culture and traditional attitudes and prejudices and most people accept it without thinking.

Of course a thinking atheist can see through this scam. Perhaps you could look at some of the arguments and come back to me.

So many statements go unchallenged and it is very difficult, to overcome ideas that people have been persuaded are the only option or are 'natural' such as the position of women, the existence and purpose of poverty and what children are taught at school or what we hear on the media.

Of course a thinking atheist can see through this scam. But a lot stop half way and don't really understand how otherwise intelligent people can be misled by the lure of religion and think it doesn't affect society through our polical system. As it does. Perhaps you could look at some of the arguments on the Atheism and Politics Forum and come back to me.

llort
user 81330842
London, GB
Post #: 13
Atheism does indeed refer to the absence of theistic belief. Nothing more, nothing less.

That Sue M has decided to hate us for stating this does not make it any less true.

When I say I am an atheist, I am communicating that I do not accept the theistic belief claim (i.e., that gods exist). If I want to communicate more about myself than this, I need to go beyond atheism. I can do this by saying that atheism is part of my worldview and then explaining other parts, or I can do it by using additional labels to describe myself, as I have done.
Ray V.
rayvellest
London, GB
Post #: 2
Sue, please, by all means, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as my understanding goes, theism and atheism are concepts which are meant to be used for the representation of the respective ideas of belief and non-belief in either one or multiple deities.

Nothing more, nothing less.

With that said, it becomes obvious how much I agree with your predicated opinion, but as far as my understanding goes, atheism should also not encompass, reflect or justify a left-wing political attitude; or any political attitude whatsoever. Actually, the idea of doing so sounds preposterous.

But as you point out excerpts of the bible, mention Jeremy Bentham, and the doctrine of utilitarianism, I suspect you are suggesting that the opposite of your predicate is true.

So please, if you don't mind, let's go down the rabbit hole.

The idea of political attitude, and the concepts of right-wing and left-wing, are often used to generalize a complex set of ideas. These ideas, in turn, are commonly based on a subset of ethical and moral values. Can you see where I'm going here? So yes, I understand, religious views has been defining political attitude for centuries, and they still do.

Here's where I'm a bit confused about your reasoning.

I wonder what is your underlying motivation, do you sincerely agree with the paradigm that religious and non-religious views are paramount in defining political views? Perhaps you believe that atheism provides a good moral and ethical foundation? Or, I wonder, if your motivation is purely to promote atheism, despite of all.

Perhaps, as contradictory as this may sound to you, I don't particularly see these ideas as intertwined at all. Actually, I believe these ideas must be kept separate, purposely, if one wants to successfully apply critical thinking.

Now, if you don't mind, let me refer to a subject of my specialty to better explain my perspective.

We live in a society where the use of stereotypes is widely spread, either under the fallacious idea of facilitating social interactions, or as a machiavellian method of mass control used by the media, corporations, politicians, and more.

Are we risking to stereotype theists as nutty right-wingers and atheists as left-wing do gooders? Can you see why I have a serious issue with intertwining the ideas of politics and religion?

Consider the diversity of the modern society we all share, a true global village.

If you dare guess, in percentage, how many people in the world would be able to engage us in this very same debate and actually make sense of it? What would you say? Now, think about the remaining percentage, and answer this other question: If not by reasoning, how they make sense of the world?

Want a hint? The answer starts with "s" and finishes with "tereotypes".

The truth is that I would very much prefer to leave the term atheism for what it is, a person that don't believe in a deity or deities, and nothing more. I'm not prepared to help promote a stereotyped view of atheism, for as my belief goes,—no pun intended,—doing so will make the concept weak, when we should actually make it stronger.

The idea of atheism is growing day by day, and as long as we protect it for what it is, it will help the majority of the world debacle theism, which by the way, is a concept by large associated with many negative stereotypes.

If we really want to take advantage of non-theists to create a positive stereotype that can change the world for the better, we should do so by subterfuge, using the idea of Humanism. Most Atheists wouldn't find too difficult to see themselves are humanists anyway, and this concept, is a much better fit to be intertwined with political ideals.

Oh, and just in case you're curious, my specialty is branding.

Yes, I create stereotypes for a living. The irony.
Sue M
sue.mayer
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,452
Simon

I have stated my understanding of the definition of atheism 'that is the commitment to use only reason and evidence in decision-making on any matter under discussion, whatever the subject.' In this thread the subject being the effect of religious teaching and doctrine on political ideas and atheist ideas & attitudes in line with current knowledge - Nothing more, nothing less.

As with the bible quotations, and other examples I have given to substantiate my views, I could add research on the effects of religious affiliation on voting patterns in the US, the demographic data and comparison of political attitudes with the psychological security of populations. See our Files Section and the website below.

From my observation, over decades of study, as well as UN & other compilations of national and international statistics of the % of religious observance show that the poorest and least developed countries, that have the widest poverty gaps, the worst maternal and child morbidity and mortality statistics. Those that have least effective safety nets to prevent violence, destitution and starvation have the largest % of observing religionists, (including, paradoxically the US and India, countries with secular constitutions that have deep poverty and mass religion)

This is a research project by Gregory Paul on our Files Section - Page 5 (drop down menu on 'More' tab above)

Atheist perspectives are as far as possible, free from the embedded prejudiced and supernatural beliefs of religion, so it is easier for us to see the effects of political policies on the law and social policy as well as all the working of all the other institutions of a complex modern society.

I believe, as I have already said, that co-operation and flexibility that is inherent in non-doctrinal thinking is rooted in the enlightened self-interest of human individuals and their societies in attaining happiness, peace and satisfying lives.

An example of my motivation.
Education should teach children from an early age to think critically and not just believe what they are told.

If we can change the way that people reach decisions by reason and evidence it will free them from prejudice and knee jerk reactions they learn from obsolete dogma and traditional attitudes and false beliefs.

The thinking of atheism is inevitably intertwined with ones beliefs on other ideas and opinions. Critical thinking will change many of their assumptions on many issues with a change of perspective, from belief in god, to 'freethought'.

There are many topics on which an atheist perspectives are relevant. And on a wide range of issues such as morality and ethics on which religious traditional views are the only ones promoted in this society. Religion depends on the gullibility of unthinking ignorance.

As Atheists, we are not compelled to agree - and I think we will have to disagree at this point. But as I have found with believers when deep disagreements have taken place, a good discussion may in time develop thinking on the subject.

Young men may think I am too certain of my views, but as an older woman who has had considerable experience of the atheist, secular/humanist movement and interest in politics, I have a head-start, & have been fortunate to have been able to discuss these issues in depth, over many years with some of the most intelligent atheists and secularists in the movement.


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