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Author Topic: Elliquian Atheists  (Read 35597 times)

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Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #575 on: March 07, 2013, 11:15:45 AM »
I don't think it would be fair to say that any one group is a subset of atheism, or to treat atheism as a group itself, as if it were its own religion.  Why should I be held responsible for what others do just because we share a lack of faith in any god?  It is very different than deliberately joining a group of people with the sole purpose of worshiping one.  Religion is something that is social and organized(though it's possible to have a faith without it), whereas atheism is not - at least not that I'm aware of.  Other than simply not believing, what got my to turn from Christianity to atheism was the need to get away from the hive mind that seems to happen with just about any group of people.  To say that atheism is an organized group or has a figurehead seems completely alien a concept to me.

In short? Because silence is consent to and endorsement of what's happening around you. Atheism is... well, a whole bunch of semi-organized groups, and a bunch of disorganized rabble - but it's still possible to condemn bigotry, hatred, and reprehensible actions within the community, no matter how loose it is.

The argument actually takes it to be irrelevant whether atheism is a "derived value" or not, just as it's irrelevant to instances of religious oppression (for these purposes) whether it's really religion that's at issue or whether religion is just conveniently masking other motives.

From my perspective, it's very relevant to any discussion of the merits of atheism vs religion. If religion tends to be a primary motivator for reprehensible behaviour and atheism does not... well, that speaks volumes, assuming we want to actually make the world a better place for people.

Offline Boxy

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #576 on: March 07, 2013, 01:09:04 PM »
In short? Because silence is consent to and endorsement of what's happening around you. Atheism is... well, a whole bunch of semi-organized groups, and a bunch of disorganized rabble - but it's still possible to condemn bigotry, hatred, and reprehensible actions within the community, no matter how loose it is.

I have to disagree.  An analogy I would use would be the KKK; that just because some white people choose to be so hateful, does not mean that all are or that other white people should be held responsible.  This is near the same, to me.  I left one group not to join another, but to be able to think for myself.  I do not view atheism as a community, but simply as a lack of faith.  Just because others share that one trait does not mean we should be grouped together.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #577 on: March 07, 2013, 01:19:06 PM »
I have to disagree.  An analogy I would use would be the KKK; that just because some white people choose to be so hateful, does not mean that all are or that other white people should be held responsible.  This is near the same, to me.  I left one group not to join another, but to be able to think for myself.  I do not view atheism as a community, but simply as a lack of faith.  Just because others share that one trait does not mean we should be grouped together.

I would say it does. If you expect others to take your claim that group X is marginal and unimportant, not representative of your community as a whole, then you have to actually marginalize them. If you do not, then outsiders can hardly be faulted for assuming that a position which is looudly spoken and not argued against is accepted. And... well, you can choose not to participate, but you can't really deny that there's an atheist community. Or rather, a whole bunch of them. That one trait implies a lot of things to a lot of people - for instance, my support for social justice flows from my atheism, and I'm hardly alone in that.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 01:20:14 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #578 on: March 07, 2013, 03:33:10 PM »
This is where the language of atheism becomes a bit more frightening.  Give up their myths and embrace the truth.  The world would be so much better if only people would give up their beliefs and take up my belief.  Sounds a bit like the very religions being criticized because I am sure each of them would argue the world as being a better place if only people would believe.  The simple truth is that neither one of us knows the Truth of the matter.  Stating that people should give up their belief for the Truth is disingenuous and insulting because you don’t know the truth either.

As for religiosity affecting critical thinking, once more the historical evidence does not support the conclusion.  Critical thinking does prevent extremism and bring people back from a more “fire and brimstones” approach, but does not dissuade people from their faith.  A study showing the effects of invoking analytical thought showed that there was a decrease in the religious nature of respondents to questions afterward, but there was not a loss of faith.  Many nations that would be considered religious also produce top scientists and conduct cutting edge research in a vast array of fields.  From India, Europe and the United States there are a great many critical thinkers and researchers.  The United States is less religious than it has been in the past and quite honestly is now considered less innovative than at any time in its past.

Currently the number of Americans believing in creationism is at 30% as of 2011.  This number is down from the poll taken in 2009 where 39% of Americans believed creationism.  Of course another poll done in 2012 puts the number at 46%, while stating that the number is down 6%.  As someone that studied social science and statistics, this shows more a difference in methodology of the survey and not a reflection in the respondents to be honest.  The belief in evolution of Americans has remained steady at around 50%.  Problem that many statisticians have with this survey is that Christians, especially Catholics, are known for answering written questions as if the Pope were behind them and in the exit interview maintaining a completely different mindset.  (Very frustrating for research).  Considering the wide variance in numbers, I think this still holds to be true.

Vanity also shows the problem with forcing dogmatic thinking on the religious.  People enjoy fighting with the straw man of the religious, wanting to fight the literalist and the extremist.  Problem is that few people are the straw man.  To have someone that is non-religious tell someone that is religious that they must believe in this book because all religious people do is a gross generalization and inaccurate.  Similar to saying that all Americans must be war mongers because that is how Americans just are.

As for comparing Harry Potter to religious texts….I will abstain.  Sorry if I refuse to insult the culture of other people by having their religious texts and writings brought down to a children’s novel.

Forcing dogmatic thinking? Are you being serious here? You're saying that it's Atheism which promotes a dogma which must be followed, which is being forced on the religious? Atheism is not about forcing the religious to embrace 'logic and reason beep boop I am a robot.'. I, personally, believe that the world would be better without religion, but if you'll recall, Atheism and Atheists share only one trait: The lack of belief in a supernatural being. Scientologists are Atheists. Reptilians are Atheists. John and Jane down the street who don't go to church and don't really believe there's a God are Atheists. Heck, as Dawkin's points, out everyone is an Atheist to a degree; do you believe in Thor, Vishnu, Yahweh, Nu Wa, Guan Yu, Dioneyous, Thuggee and every other supernatural being in the world? Because if not, guess what. You are Atheist in regard to these gods.

As you have seen and been told in multiple threads, Pumpkin, Atheism is not a belief. Atheism is a lack of belief. Someone who who doesn't believe in God is an Atheist. A child born into a Chinese family during 600AD didn't make the active choice to deny that the god Yahweh doesn't exist; he doesn't know he exists as the god of a religion miles away from himself, but he is still an Atheist in regard to the Christian God. I think the best quote I've seen on this topic is "If Atheism is just as much a belief as being a Christian, then a turned off television is a channel."

I find it hilarious that you seem to think Atheism is some sort of fire and brimstone, purge the myth! cult which is intent on destroying all myths in the world. One of the most prominent Atheists currently, Richard Dawkins, is repeatedly quoting as finding Christian mythology hugely fascinating - as a story. I'm a huge fan of Norse, Chinese and Arthurian England mythology myself. Does my lack of belief that Thor or Odin exist mean that I somehow think their stories are any less valid as a form of fiction? I know many Christians who agree that the Bible -is- simply a book of stories and fables, and has not relation to God. I also know a lot of people who claim that the Bible has the truth, because things in the Bible have existed in reality - for example, a few characters and a few places were real. But by this logic, Harry Potter and Spiderman are proof of Harry Potter and Spiderman. I mean, we all know Scotland exists, right? New York exists, and Spiderman is from there, therefore Spiderman exists.

Atheism has nothing to do with other peoples religions; Atheism is a simple statement of what your thoughts on the matter are. People are free to believe what they want, but the problem is, religion isn't something which keeps to itself, as America proves. Intelligent design is taught is schools. Tax dollars of Atheists are used to fund groups such as the Eagle Scouts, a predominantly Mormon organization which discriminates against homosexuals and atheists. Gay marriage isn't allowed and the only reasoning behind this is Conversative Christians quoting the Bible that 'it is an abomination'. Think of it this way, Pumpkin; say you were a Christian. You live in a country which is predominantly Islamic. How would you react when the government starts using your tax dollars to build hospitals which exclude treating Christian patients? Or when your child who you've raised Christian is then made to recite Islamic prayers in school and told that they and you are not moral people, because we know morals come from the Quran and not the Bible? Because this is the current state of Atheists in America.

I can't comment on American innovation, as that's not my area, but Japan and Switzerland are some of the highest rated countries in the world for quality of life and scientific advancement. These two countries are also some of the most secular countries in the world. If you're preposing that America becoming less religious is making them less innovative, I assume this means that secular thinking causes scientific advancement, by the same line of thinking? Remember, it was Christian's slamming down on reason and scientific thinking which led to the Dark Ages for us English, so I find it hard to believe that less people believing in Creationism in America is causing a stagnation in scientific discovery.

Also, I would kindly ask that you learn what the term strawman actually means before using it so often; you use it a lot in many other threads I have seen as a form of attack against peoples arguements, most often when there are none while claiming strawmans of your own.

Edit: Goddamn, some of my grammer was terrible tonight. Really should slow down.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 04:28:02 PM by Vanity Evolved »

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #579 on: March 07, 2013, 04:19:57 PM »
Nicely put, Vanity Evolved.


For those who are theists, go to your religious leader and ask " How do I know if god is real or not.". You will be given one of the following types of responses:

A. Your question will be answered with faulty logic or a fallacy.
 - see elliquiy's page on fallacious arguments, or Google it.
 
B. Your question will be met with a manipulative answer or diversion of some sort.


C. You'll be told that they don't know.








Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #580 on: March 07, 2013, 04:29:39 PM »
Nicely put, Vanity Evolved.


For those who are theists, go to your religious leader and ask " How do I know if god is real or not.". You will be given one of the following types of responses:

A. Your question will be answered with faulty logic or a fallacy.
 - see elliquiy's page on fallacious arguments, or Google it.
 
B. Your question will be met with a manipulative answer or diversion of some sort.


C. You'll be told that they don't know.

I distinctly recall the second during my time as a Christian in my youth; whenever I questioned anything in the Bible, I simply had the answer turned around to imply that I was the problem. It was simply that my faith wasn't strong enough. That if I were more faithful that I would get my answer.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #581 on: March 07, 2013, 04:44:14 PM »
Vanity, thus far in this thread there has been a lot of talk about Atheism sharing many traits.  Though each time Atheism is linked to an unpopular trait there is a retreat to the notion of atheism being a lack of belief only.  So at this point I do not truly believe that anyone readily stands by the position that Atheism is merely a lack of belief and that is the only unifying factor.  Also, I did not state that atheism is dogmatic.  What I said was that people in this argument are forcing a dogmatic thinking onto the religious as in painting them as far more dogmatic then they are.  Thus creating a straw man argument and allowing no deviation to what actually exists.  To this point I have never made any sweeping statement regarding atheism, you have.  Never have I given atheism blame or credit for anything in sweeping regard.  Once more Vanity you are forcing words and leaping to conclusions, forming arguments to words never spoken. 

Tainted, I am aware of what a religious leader might say.  I have even posted up what a teacher of mine stated in regards to the Truth.  The problem is when someone else makes a claim to Truth with no more reason or evidence than another.  You don’t know either.  We have both reached different conclusions and I am simply asking for a bit of respect in having reached my conclusion.  Except what I hear mostly from this thread is what amounts to intolerance for religion and a continual heaping of blame onto religion.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #582 on: March 07, 2013, 04:58:21 PM »
From my perspective, it's very relevant to any discussion of the merits of atheism vs religion. If religion tends to be a primary motivator for reprehensible behaviour and atheism does not... well, that speaks volumes, assuming we want to actually make the world a better place for people.

I don't mean to beat this into the ground or anything, but I might as well clarify why I don't find this relevant:

"Atheism" itself, being strictly an absence of belief, is a lot less likely to be a "primary motivator" for anything than positive belief (excepting cases where someone is specifically motivated by atheism to persecute religion). However, if someone is claiming that an atheist world would be a better place than a "religious" world, they are making implicit claims for a bunch of other positive motivations from which either atheism would derive or which would presumably be deriving from atheism. It's that larger composite Atheism, the lack-of-god-belief and the putative goodwill it will either bring or spring from, that's being adjudicated; not the fine details of whether lack-of-theism was foremost in someone's heart at this point or that.

Any way those details shake out, it's an inescapable part of reasoning about categories that if you make claims on behalf of a category, anything belonging to that category is going to be admissible as part of evaluating that claim. If one is going to propose "atheism" as a category of types of belief and non-belief that would make things better than another type of belief called "religion" or sometimes "theism," then any specifically atheist ideology -- whatever its lack of god-beleif is a "primary motivator" or not -- has to be admissible in judging the claim. Trying to exclude uncomfortable examples because "well, the atheism was just an incidental feature of [such-and-such]" really just is the classic No-True-Scotsman fallacy.

Similarly, someone could make claims that "religion" makes people better, and braver, or societies more stable. In fact this is a common thing to do. But which good outcomes in a society actually spring from its religion? When conflicts or atrocities happen, to what extent is religion really the "primary motivator" even if its name gets brought up? Were Ireland's "Troubles" a "religious" conflict, or an ethnic one masquerading as religious? Were the Crusades really a "religious conflict" or a piratical land-grab masquerading in clerical drag? The answers to those questions are just as complicated as they are for any form of atheism, but that doesn't mean the claimant for "religion's" supposed overall virtues gets to ignore them. If "religion" as a category is supposed to have a positive impact on human behaviour, then cases of its failing to do so are relevant to judging that claim whether or not the "primary motivator" in this or that instance really was religion.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 05:01:17 PM by Cyrano Johnson »

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #583 on: March 07, 2013, 05:08:55 PM »
Vanity, thus far in this thread there has been a lot of talk about Atheism sharing many traits.  Though each time Atheism is linked to an unpopular trait there is a retreat to the notion of atheism being a lack of belief only.  So at this point I do not truly believe that anyone readily stands by the position that Atheism is merely a lack of belief and that is the only unifying factor.  Also, I did not state that atheism is dogmatic.  What I said was that people in this argument are forcing a dogmatic thinking onto the religious as in painting them as far more dogmatic then they are.  Thus creating a straw man argument and allowing no deviation to what actually exists.  To this point I have never made any sweeping statement regarding atheism, you have.  Never have I given atheism blame or credit for anything in sweeping regard.  Once more Vanity you are forcing words and leaping to conclusions, forming arguments to words never spoken. 

Tainted, I am aware of what a religious leader might say.  I have even posted up what a teacher of mine stated in regards to the Truth.  The problem is when someone else makes a claim to Truth with no more reason or evidence than another.  You don’t know either.  We have both reached different conclusions and I am simply asking for a bit of respect in having reached my conclusion.  Except what I hear mostly from this thread is what amounts to intolerance for religion and a continual heaping of blame onto religion.

No. There has been a lot of incorrect posturing that Communism is a subset of Atheism, and many other things which are wrong. Atheism has one tenant - it describes only ONE single facet of a person's belief system - and that is the lack of belief in a diety. That is it. Theist is the exact same; Theist does not claim anything more than you believe in a diety, just like being a Trekkie states your opinion on a televisions how; it does not describe your preference between Piccard or Shatner.

I have answered your statements point by point. If you insist on simply repeating the word 'strawman' over and over again, then really, there is nothing else I can say to you. Please refer back to my other post if you have any other questions on that topic.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #584 on: March 07, 2013, 05:19:22 PM »
I don't mean to beat this into the ground or anything, but I might as well clarify why I don't find this relevant:

"Atheism" itself, being strictly an absence of belief, is a lot less likely to be a "primary motivator" for anything than positive belief (excepting cases where someone is specifically motivated by atheism to persecute religion). However, if someone is claiming that an atheist world would be a better place than a "religious" world, they are making implicit claims for a bunch of other positive motivations from which either atheism would derive or which would presumably be deriving from atheism. It's that larger composite Atheism, the lack-of-god-belief and the putative goodwill it will either bring or spring from, that's being adjudicated; not the fine details of whether lack-of-theism was foremost in someone's heart at this point or that.

Any way those details shake out, it's an inescapable part of reasoning about categories that if you make claims on behalf of a category, anything belonging to that category is going to be admissible as part of evaluating that claim. If one is going to propose "atheism" as a category of types of belief and non-belief that would make things better than another type of belief called "religion" or sometimes "theism," then any specifically atheist ideology -- whatever its lack of god-beleif is a "primary motivator" or not -- has to be admissible in judging the claim. Trying to exclude uncomfortable examples because "well, the atheism was just an incidental feature of [such-and-such]" really just is the classic No-True-Scotsman fallacy.

Similarly, someone could make claims that "religion" makes people better, and braver, or societies more stable. In fact this is a common thing to do. But which good outcomes in a society actually spring from its religion? When conflicts or atrocities happen, to what extent is religion really the "primary motivator" even if its name gets brought up? Were Ireland's "Troubles" a "religious" conflict, or an ethnic one masquerading as religious? Were the Crusades really a "religious conflict" or a piratical land-grab masquerading in clerical drag? The answers to those questions are just as complicated as they are for any form of atheism, but that doesn't mean the claimant for "religion's" supposed overall virtues gets to ignore them. If "religion" as a category is supposed to have a positive impact on human behaviour, then cases of its failing to do so are relevant to judging that claim whether or not the "primary motivator" in this or that instance really was religion.

I believe that a lack of religion (or at least, a world where religion has no say in the matters of government, which is a far more likely scenario to aim for; for my personally) would benefit the world. However, it is not because positive traits are drawn from Atheism; it's that negative traits are not being drawn from religion. Atheism is the blank slate we enter this world with. Once you accept religion, you accept it's dogma with it; I don't see how someone can truely say they follow the Bible and then follow this up with 'But I don't believe the parts about stoning non-virgins, stoning my children, murdering witches and stoning homosexuals'. The Bible is an entire book of which groups of people you can stone, who God likes you to stone and all other things. If those things don't appeal to you, why would you align yourself with such a philosophy in the first place then simply retcon the entire thing until it was something else entirely? If your morality tells you that rape is wrong, then you find the Bible and it tells you rape is okay, what would you do? Say 'No, I don't agree with this' or 'No, I don't agree with this. But I will follow it anyway, and simply cross out the part about rape being good because I don't believe in that'.

Without religion, you cannot claim any reason other than a personal opinion on a subject such as gay marriage. Religion occupies a special place in the public eye that for some reason a lot of people tolerate. You wouldn't tolerate a random homophobe in the street walking into the room, shouting 'all them gays want marriage and I think it's sick. You should ban that disgusting display!'. However, religion gives people a justification which allows them to push the blame onto another; "No, -I'm- not a homophobe, but my -religion- says it's wrong. And I can't oppose God, now can I? (Except for his stance on rape, because that's totally not cool).

Without religion, you have no need to hate that guy across the street for wearing a slightly different silly hat than you on Sunday. Without religion, you don't have a vengeful spirit in the sky telling you to marry your daughter to her rapist and stone men for loving other men. You only have your opinion. You can be as homophobic, as intolerant and hateful as you want without religion - but without religion, you have nothing to justify that hatred except other people who share the same hateful ideas you do.

Edit: I apologize, this post sounds extreme passionate and directed; by 'you', I'm talking figuratively. I'm not implying that you, Cyrano, have any form of biggotry or intolerance you are trying to justify, with religion or otherwise, just to make that clear. On re-reading, it did almost sound like I was accusing you. I mean 'you' as in 'hypothetical person for the example of this post'.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 05:21:31 PM by Vanity Evolved »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #585 on: March 07, 2013, 05:28:34 PM »
The word straw man has been used twice by me, Vanity.  Once in a recent post and then a second time to defend why I used the term.  That does not seem much like I am repeating the phrase straw-man over and over again.  Please stop trying to make this seem as if I have been ranting straw man argument the entire time, because I have not.  Also there has been a great deal of statement that a state run by any extreme ideology is dangerous, including atheism.  Perhaps self-reflection in antagonizing religious minded people with continual slander regarding Inquisition and Crusades is in order if merely being mentioned in the same phrase as Communism brings such a reaction.

Honestly though Vanity, if you truly believe that without religion people will suddenly accept one another despite being completely different then there is a great deal of history and social theory for you to consider.  Homophobia is not simply part of religion but also reflected in culture.  Just as acceptance of homosexuality was reflected in some religions and in the culture of those societies.  People do not need religion to hate someone for wearing a different hat, they do so without religion all the time.  Religion once more is an excuse just as an ideology can be used as an excuse for actions.  Just as Beguile pointed out with atheism.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #586 on: March 07, 2013, 05:34:11 PM »
No. There has been a lot of incorrect posturing that Communism is a subset of Atheism

Dude, you have not shown good enough comprehension skills to sound off about "incorrect posturing" or to be lecturing anyone else about how to conduct a debate.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #587 on: March 07, 2013, 05:35:13 PM »
The word straw man has been used twice by me, Vanity.  Once in a recent post and then a second time to defend why I used the term.  That does not seem much like I am repeating the phrase straw-man over and over again.  Please stop trying to make this seem as if I have been ranting straw man argument the entire time, because I have not.  Also there has been a great deal of statement that a state run by any extreme ideology is dangerous, including atheism.  Perhaps self-reflection in antagonizing religious minded people with continual slander regarding Inquisition and Crusades is in order if merely being mentioned in the same phrase as Communism brings such a reaction.

Honestly though Vanity, if you truly believe that without religion people will suddenly accept one another despite being completely different then there is a great deal of history and social theory for you to consider.  Homophobia is not simply part of religion but also reflected in culture.  Just as acceptance of homosexuality was reflected in some religions and in the culture of those societies.  People do not need religion to hate someone for wearing a different hat, they do so without religion all the time.  Religion once more is an excuse just as an ideology can be used as an excuse for actions.  Just as Beguile pointed out with atheism.

No, they don't. The point I made, which you seem to have avoided, is that without religion, there is no religion to hide behind as justification. Religion occupies a place in society at the moment where we are expected to treat the opinions of the religious differently from those of the masses; if a random man in the street tells you of his hatred for homosexuals, he's labeled a homophobic biggot. However, if a religious person says this, they hide behind the idea that their religion makes this acceptable. If you tell them they're wrong, you're not 'respecting their beliefs' and 'It's just what my religion says. I'm not judging you, but my God does'. You cannot pass a law based on 'because I hate those homos'. You can, however, try to pass a law based on 'marriage is defined in the Bible as one man, one woman'.

Edit: I just noticed your first point, also; that is a prime example of a strawman. There is a distinct difference between Communism and Atheism and the Inquisition and Christianity. Remember, as I keep stating, Atheism is simply your stance on the existance of a god; it does not determine anything else about you. Unless you can somehow link 'I don't believe in God' and '... this means I must murder a bunch of people', then you cannot blame that. Atheism has no logical recourse to go from 'I don't believe there is a god' to the atrocities commited by Mao or Stalin. In the case of the Inquisition, however, you can draw a distinct line from the Bible and the line of thinking the Bible inspired which led to the justification for these murders; 'that woman is mixing herbs/I don't like that woman, she's a witch' and 'thou shalt not suffer a witch to live'. The Bible distinctly tells you exactly how to respond to witches, which is exactly what was happened; the Bible tells you that the only thing a witch deserves is death, therefore, Christians killed people they called 'witches'.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 05:48:26 PM by Vanity Evolved »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #588 on: March 07, 2013, 05:46:22 PM »
Most people that start calling out against homosexuals in a ranting tone or in a disrespectful manner are labeled homophobic bigots regardless.  Typically if those people hide behind religion they also have “religious nutjobs” tacked onto homophobic bigot.  Taking away a justification does not remove the behavior, just means the person has to find another reason to justify their opinion and way of thinking.  Whether they use science, patriotism, old fashioned “natural” debate or what have you there is a multitude of reasons that can be used. 

Historical evidence does not support your view on this one Vanity.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #589 on: March 07, 2013, 05:54:30 PM »
Most people that start calling out against homosexuals in a ranting tone or in a disrespectful manner are labeled homophobic bigots regardless.  Typically if those people hide behind religion they also have “religious nutjobs” tacked onto homophobic bigot.  Taking away a justification does not remove the behavior, just means the person has to find another reason to justify their opinion and way of thinking.  Whether they use science, patriotism, old fashioned “natural” debate or what have you there is a multitude of reasons that can be used. 

Historical evidence does not support your view on this one Vanity.

In America? A country where a good portion of the people in power claim themselves Christian? Taking away the justification does not remove the behaviour. It does remove the power to enforce rules -based- on that opinion, however. A bigot in the street shouting homophobic slurs can't, by his opinion, stop homosexuals getting married. A Conservative Christian stating homosexuality is immoral -can- pass a law on the basis that 'marriage is between a man or a woman'. The difference here is that a religion like Christianity is already set up so that you can pick and choose what you believe, therefore, you can justify anything 'because the Bible says so', whereas science requires legitimate proof, which can be given. You cannot cite a scientific reason why homosexuals shouldn't be married, for example. This is the reason why gay marriage can't be opposed by science because science has no say on it because it is a completely basic human right which shouldn't be a big deal - but currently in America, conservative Christian groups -make- things like a piece of paper saying two people are together into a big thing, just because both of 'em have a penis.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #590 on: March 07, 2013, 06:11:52 PM »
Vanity, you don’t need science to pass any sort of social reform or mandate in the United States.  What is required to pass such laws is a ruling body willing to do so.  Popular consensus and public outcry are often what drives a law being passed.  Expert testimony and scientific evidence can be used to sway opinion or make a case, particularly if the law goes before the courts, but has little to do with the actual law being made.  Democracy is a fickle creature to be certain based more on public opinion than fact.  For instance, homosexual marriage is at the cusp of being granted legalization across the nation at a time when public opinion for such marriage is at an all-time high.  This is also true of marijuana, which has nothing to do with religion for the most part.  Once more, public opinion guiding things. 

Homophobia and a voice against homosexuals has been part of the culture in the Americas for quite some time.  The roots are not simply based in religion but also coming from European culture.  At one time having sex with another man was a hanging offense on an English ship.  Why?  Because the men and leadership were fearful of men raping one another while out at sea for so long.  Those sailors are the people that brought others to the shores of this country. 

If you want other proof that religion is not to blame for homophobia, simply look at Sparta.  A very religious society to the point that they would not fight based on oracle prophecies and phases of the stars.  Yet their culture and religion allowed for and encouraged homosexual relationships.

 Taking away justification does not remove the sentiment.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #591 on: March 07, 2013, 06:13:49 PM »
Just out of curiosity, if we did take religion out of the equation, what's to stop a large number of homophobic bigots to push for the government to enact/enforce a standard that marriage is between one man and one woman?  Especially if they are loud enough, and the rest of the country doesn't bother to try to stop them  (Not due to 'sharing a religion' with them, but out of sheer voter apathy)?

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #592 on: March 07, 2013, 06:28:16 PM »
Vanity, you don’t need science to pass any sort of social reform or mandate in the United States.  What is required to pass such laws is a ruling body willing to do so.  Popular consensus and public outcry are often what drives a law being passed.  Expert testimony and scientific evidence can be used to sway opinion or make a case, particularly if the law goes before the courts, but has little to do with the actual law being made.  Democracy is a fickle creature to be certain based more on public opinion than fact.  For instance, homosexual marriage is at the cusp of being granted legalization across the nation at a time when public opinion for such marriage is at an all-time high.  This is also true of marijuana, which has nothing to do with religion for the most part.  Once more, public opinion guiding things. 

Homophobia and a voice against homosexuals has been part of the culture in the Americas for quite some time.  The roots are not simply based in religion but also coming from European culture.  At one time having sex with another man was a hanging offense on an English ship.  Why?  Because the men and leadership were fearful of men raping one another while out at sea for so long.  Those sailors are the people that brought others to the shores of this country. 

If you want other proof that religion is not to blame for homophobia, simply look at Sparta.  A very religious society to the point that they would not fight based on oracle prophecies and phases of the stars.  Yet their culture and religion allowed for and encouraged homosexual relationships.

 Taking away justification does not remove the sentiment.


I partly agree with you, on the first; America is a predominantly Christian society which is now on the decrease. It makes sense now that the votes are swinging further towards legalising gay marriage.

And yes, Europeans (especially English) made up a majority of the people who came to the shores of America. Can you guess what major religious force dominated most of Europe? Which makor religious force which declares that 'lying with another man is an abomination'?

Yes, but you're taking my point out of context; not all religion condemns homosexuality. We know this, because the Greeks, before the introduction of Christianity, was a rather sexually open (in terms of pairings) civilization, as were the Romans and as you point out, Spartan society. Christianity is one of the biggest religions in the world, and one of the most vocal about it's stance on homosexuality and a lot of European thinking has shown this; England, after Rome, was dominated by very heavy Christian beliefs for a very long time. While not as much as America, we are still a largely Christian country; I think Islam, last time I saw, was either close second or higher than Christianity in recent polls. Is it any surprise that a group of rebels who seperated to make their own nation carried over with them their thoughts on homosexuality, something which had been engrained in their culture prior to that point very heavily for the last thousand eight hundred years?

Just out of curiosity, if we did take religion out of the equation, what's to stop a large number of homophobic bigots to push for the government to enact/enforce a standard that marriage is between one man and one woman?  Especially if they are loud enough, and the rest of the country doesn't bother to try to stop them  (Not due to 'sharing a religion' with them, but out of sheer voter apathy)?

I, personally, simply have trouble believing such a situation could occur; it's on par, in my mind, with a large number of people rising up and saying 'We should kick all black people out of this country' and so large a percentage of the population completely ignores this and just lets it happen. I feel it's because of the special status religion holds in the eyes of people. Even the religious can't ham-fistedly shove in religiously driven reforms (See: Intelligent design as a rebranding for Creationism). As we know, Democracy doesn't work on the simple idea that if you get enough people together, you can do what you want. In the case of religion, you also have the fact that in America, about 39-40% of the country does identify as Christian, if I recall? If you did have a largely influentual group of homophobes on par with that, with the money to finance and swing voter pandering like American systems do currently then yeah, I could possibly see it. Maybe. But what we have at the moment is a mixture of a large, influentual voter base which can hugely swing the tide of votes, and the religious vote is one which people are very eager to secure. Mitt Romney, if I recall, had a very large following and votes secured solely by his religious beliefs (which I find odd, considering. Isn't he a Mormon? I'm not sure what portion of that 40% make up the Mormon vote, but).

Offline Oniya

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #593 on: March 07, 2013, 06:32:22 PM »
The reason I'm asking is that the loudest voices in the political scene right now, while they may be Christian, also happen to be on the wealthier side (especially thanks to Citizens United).  Even if religion disappeared overnight, they would still be just as loud and wealthy (unless they were actually tithing 10%, in which case, they'd be wealthier).  As cynical as it sounds, I think that the Almighty Dollar has more influence in American politics than the Almighty.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #594 on: March 07, 2013, 06:35:47 PM »
The reason I'm asking is that the loudest voices in the political scene right now, while they may be Christian, also happen to be on the wealthier side (especially thanks to Citizens United).  Even if religion disappeared overnight, they would still be just as loud and wealthy (unless they were actually tithing 10%, in which case, they'd be wealthier).  As cynical as it sounds, I think that the Almighty Dollar has more influence in American politics than the Almighty.

You're quite right. Money is a huge motivator. When combined with a largely Christian population, that means a lot of money being thrown around for securing those interests. Not to mention, a lot of schemes ran by religious institutions are actually paid for by the government (Eagle Scouts are hugely funded by the government as are Abstinence Only programs, which are, as far as I know, entirely religiously motivated).

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #595 on: March 07, 2013, 06:59:28 PM »
You're quite right. Money is a huge motivator. When combined with a largely Christian population, that means a lot of money being thrown around for securing those interests. Not to mention, a lot of schemes ran by religious institutions are actually paid for by the government (Eagle Scouts are hugely funded by the government as are Abstinence Only programs, which are, as far as I know, entirely religiously motivated).

Are you sure about the Eagle Scouts?

http://www.scouting.org/About/FactSheets/Funding.aspx

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #596 on: March 07, 2013, 07:02:27 PM »
Are you sure about the Eagle Scouts?

http://www.scouting.org/About/FactSheets/Funding.aspx

Last I checked, yes; I don't know the specifics, but I recall a lot of it came in the form of ridiculous discounts (such as, being able to hire out whole areas for weeks at a time for about $10, etc.)

Edit: I apologize in advance for note citing a source; I admit, my data is out of date by a year or two and honestly? After all day helping a friend research, I'm not too keen on dragging up some more info on things in my time off. =P
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 07:19:17 PM by Vanity Evolved »

Offline Saria

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #597 on: March 07, 2013, 09:31:54 PM »
Last I checked, yes; I don't know the specifics, but I recall a lot of it came in the form of ridiculous discounts (such as, being able to hire out whole areas for weeks at a time for about $10, etc.)

Edit: I apologize in advance for note citing a source; I admit, my data is out of date by a year or two and honestly? After all day helping a friend research, I'm not too keen on dragging up some more info on things in my time off. =P
Here's a couple references if you like.

The Boy Scouts of America is not directly funded by any level of government, but as you said they are "funded" in many indirect ways, such as by large subsidies and discounts. There are a bunch listed on Wikipedia. The section after that one is all about a number of court cases about the BSA's preferential treatment. Some of the examples mentioned include free access to public land, dirt-cheap rent on public buildings (like $1 dollar rents for entire buildings), along with a few cases where the US military is funding and organizing Scout events (the US military is actually explicitly allowed to support the BSA with equipment and such, so long as the BSA pays for any damages - this is in direct contradiction with other military statutes that disallow providing support to groups that discriminate). The argument in many cases is that the BSA pays for the maintenance and upkeep of the places they're renting or leasing, rather than the city, so the city is actually "saving money", in a way, but of course that's nonsense - there are plenty of organizations who would happily pay much more than the BSA for those privileges and still be receiving enormous discounts, and the same logic could be used to justify giving big tax breaks to the KKK, so long as they provided some other useful community service.

There was also a case recently where Congress made the US Mint make hundreds of thousands of commemorative coins for the BSA to celebrate its centennial (which was 2010), and the BSA gets a cut of the profits. That was effectively handing the BSA a couple million bucks.

In addition - since Eagle Scouts were mentioned specifically - Eagle Scouts get auto-promotions at least one or two pay grades in the US military (depending on the branch).

Government support is getting harder to come by for them, though, and especially since their 2012 "reaffirmation" of their bigotry, they've lost most of their biggest corporate sponsors, too (which is why in January 2013 they talked about "reconsidering" their ban on gays, but not atheists). But they're still getting plenty of breaks from all levels of government.

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Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #598 on: March 07, 2013, 09:53:52 PM »
I know that a lot of Eagle Scouts are disappointed by the fact that the ban is still in place.  I saw an article about many of them sending back their badges.  And it was very interesting to see that information, Saria - I was genuinely curious.

Offline Saria

Re: Elliquian Atheists
« Reply #599 on: March 07, 2013, 11:03:45 PM »
I know that a lot of Eagle Scouts are disappointed by the fact that the ban is still in place.  I saw an article about many of them sending back their badges.  And it was very interesting to see that information, Saria - I was genuinely curious.
Oh yes, I read that apparently hundreds of people have sent back their badges. It's kind of a pity - I hope once the organization stops discriminating they can get them back. They're really the best of the bunch, after all.

It's also important to note that the discriminating is being done by the NATIONAL organization. From what I've read, the majority of the local branches explicitly oppose the discriminatory policies. There have even been cases where a local organization has outright defied the national one, and faced reprisal for it.

I think those are both signs of the should-be-obvious fact that most Scouts are good people. Most people are good people, after all (at least in the absence of irrational ideologies). But - same as is the case for Roman Catholics, and many others - if the organization you're working under has gone sour, it should be the duty of those in the organization to fix things. It shouldn't be necessary for LGBT or atheist activists to hound the government or corporate sponsors for funding the BSA; all the good Scouts in the organization themselves should either quit or - if they think the organization is worth saving - walk themselves right up to the national leaders and demand changes. Or if that's impractical, then do something like at the next big Jamboree or whatever it is they have, put up a rainbow flag, and surround it, and refuse to allow it to be taken down. Or even just wearing the damn badges upside down. Or something else, but do something, other than quietly living off of the benefits of an organization you know to be discriminatory and/or corrupt, and being counted among the numbers they use to claim support for their hate. Every Scout should be doing that, not just the few who have to take the fall by giving up their badges because the rest of the good Scouts won't stand up with them.