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Re: [humanism-174] 2 things

From: Cloudberry
Sent on: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 12:08 PM
For adults to believe as they do in the video is one thing. To impose 
that belief on children who have no defense against information 
presented as fact by their elders, is sad, and distressing.

In the second link, the article was one of the better ones, in my 
opinion, even though I disagree with some of the points, especially near 
the end. The writer seems secular in many respects. I wonder how he 
would classify his belief? Agnostic?

I am beginning to think that belief/nonbelief is more a continuum than a 
set of distinct points of belief, a sliding scale with fundamentalist 
religion on one end, and something else at the other end. Chris Hedges 
might say the other end is occupied by fundamentalist anti-religion, or 
he might go so far as to say fundamentalist science---whatever he might 
mean by that---to indicate his concern that some atheists have become 
intolerant and may condone violence in the service of their cause.

This is smoke and mirrors, to accuse someone or some group of the 
tactics employed by you or your group. It deflects attention from those 
who are actually condoning violence and intolerance. It is like the vain 
man calling the other man--the one who criticized him for being 
vain--vain. The second man stops for personal reflection (but not in the 
mirror!) and to make sure he is not behaving in a vain way, because he 
deplores it. The accusation hurts him to the quick. Meanwhile, the 
pressure is lifted off the vain one. The vain one has some relief from 
having to explain himself.

More to the point, I didn't know atheists had a cause, unless it's to be 
heard and accepted as decent people, something the religious take for 
granted because of their greater numbers. In other words, to not be 
harassed or proselytized or demonized. That's something that various 
religions have had to overcome, and they have done so over time, and 
sometimes at great cost. Now they represent conventional thinking, the 
status quo. They are the ones standing on top of the hill, smiling, and 
defending their position against all comers. It's the defense that 
rankles, isn't it? If they left others alone when they tried to stand on 
the hill, too, there would be no butting of heads.

But it seems there's not enough room on top of that hill. Sometimes I 
wonder, why the hell do we need a hill in the first place?

Hedges seems to think that eliminating religious people is the atheist's 
goal. I think that if there's a goal, it is more like helping make 
people aware that they can do without religion, which might one day 
result in the elimination of most religion voluntarily, by gradual 
attrition---or at least reduce the influence of religion on public life.

But I seriously doubt that atheists want to see religious people 
eliminated, in the sense of killed, or forcibly made to change, as 
Hedges states by quoting or misquoting (I don't know) Sam Harris. I 
think it's more likely that a less religious society would be welcomed 
by atheists, because it would be more accepting of them.

Either way, I suspect that most people are somewhere on the sliding 
scale between the two extremes.


PS  Please take a look at my Survey for Nonbelievers on the MeetUp page. 
At this time, you must be a member to download the files. Until you sign 
in, you won't even see them under the Files tab. So if you are a member, 
don't forget to sign in!

Mark Tiborsky wrote:
> Apparently, the Creation Museum is not good enough!
> From ABC news:
> http://www.youtub...­ 
> <http://www.youtub...;­
> Chris Hedges has a new book, "I Don't Believe in Atheists".
> He draws parallels between atheism & radical christianity?
> http://www.altern...­
> --
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