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#462095 - 04/30/01 10:43 AM Re: Comicon help me write this...
columnist Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 360
Loc: Evanston, IL, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Knowles:
This thread has become a forum for self-pitying atheists, but I'm afraid I just don't feel sorry for you guys. Atheists may not be in the majority, but they have some pretty powerful allies in science, the arts and academia. There are plenty of atheist organizations and pressure groups, and plenty of prominent magazines (like Reason, Skeptic, etc) catering to your cause.



As opposed to the poor oppressed Christians in this country? Give me a break!

I don't think anyone on the non-belief side is whining here, but if that's all you think we're doing, you're free not to participate. I'm not interested in anyone feeling sorry for me. I'm very interested in being able to share thoughts and insights (and yes, to be given new insights, even by the believers) on this subject.

To terribly misquote Dave Sim again: "Why are you so angry?"

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#462096 - 04/30/01 12:04 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
columnist Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 360
Loc: Evanston, IL, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Layla:
...but then I read Chris Knowles' post:

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This thread has become a forum for self-pitying atheists, but I'm afraid I just don't feel sorry for you guys. Dumbshit Fundamentalists might use you guys as whipping boys for their fund-raising and some people might give you weird looks, but you're not being oppressed by any measure.
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Actually, despite being an atheist myself, I agree with that (though not the tone in which it is written) ...


Layla, I'm not sure what you're saying. Your "quote" (complete with paraphrase) changes the meaning of the original post, and then you say you agree with it, but not the tone. Agree with what? Is the new tone you inserted the one you do agree with or the one you don't?

Quote:
Originally posted by Layla:

...-- although I think the same thing applies (more so, actually) to Christians who complain about having their views trampled by the so-called secular humanist bias of the media/government/whoever. Polls show that 90% of Americans (give or take a few percentage points) believe in God. Atheism *is* a minority opinion. Of the thirty-odd coworkers with whom I interact on a daily basis, only one (that I know of) isn't a churchgoing, religious person.


Here's the meat of the thing, though. Members of the majority religion in most cultures (and that's Christianity in the US, folks) often honestly can't see the reason for religious tolerance because their own beliefs are so ingrained and reinforced that it seems like "common sense". That's why attempts to keep public schools secular (so minority religions don't feel persecuted) seems to many to be equivalent to keeping morality out of the schools. It seems self-evident to the majority that *their* view of morality *is* morality.

Institutionalized tolerance (as in the First Ammendment) is necessary because the effects of *in*tolerance are not necessarily obvious to the majority. I don't think it is always done maliciously. As I say, to the majority it may just seem like conventional wisdom. That's why an identifiable benchmark like "If you have the right to YOUR beliefs, then other people have the right to THEIR beliefs" is so necessary in a pluralistic society.

In the US, Christians seem to think that it is obvious that their way is right, and that people who profess not to believe in it being actively rebellious. In fact, atheists don't think they are (specifically) rejecting Christianity--they are rejecting any supernatural paradigm. Christianity is simply one of them. So is Greek mythology. So is Satanism. Anyone who equates atheism with Satanism misses this point entirely. Atheists also don't believe in Judiasm (just like Christians) and don't believe in Islam (just like Christians). The notion that atheists and Christians, specifically, are diametric opposites seems to be uniquely the Christian perspective, though to be fair, I don't think that's so much a function of Christianity as it is of majority religion status (which Christianity is in the US).

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#462097 - 04/30/01 12:40 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
Chris Knowles Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/99
Posts: 875
Loc: USA
Yeah, I apologize for the tone of my post. I wrote without malice aforethought and then realized it seemed kind of harsh, then edited it but not before Layla responded to it. And it still came off a little stronger than I intended. But then it became a catalyst for more of the same kind of whining. I don't disagree with the some of the criticisms that atheists level against fundamentalist excess, but there is an overweening tone of self-righteousness and elitism in some of the posts here that is equally hard to swallow. I'm truly sorry if anyone takes offense to that, but I calls 'em like I sees 'em.

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#462098 - 04/30/01 01:05 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
[img]/resources/ubb/smile.gif[/img]

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"If you pull your head outa your butt, you'll see things a whole bunch clearer."
-- Witty but intolerant Chris Medellin, to popular Otto Chelman

[This message has been edited by Otto Chelman (edited 04-30-2001).]
_________________________
Posted by Otto Chelman

"You have [my] contempt." -- Alan Light to disappointed TBG subscriber.

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#462099 - 04/30/01 01:08 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
Is it all at my end, or does Comicon.com seem especially balky today, causing a rash of unnecessary, duplicative posts?
------------------
"If you pull your head outa your butt, you'll see things a whole bunch clearer."
-- Witty but intolerant Chris Medellin, to popular Otto Chelman

[This message has been edited by Otto Chelman (edited 04-30-2001).]
_________________________
Posted by Otto Chelman

"You have [my] contempt." -- Alan Light to disappointed TBG subscriber.

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#462100 - 04/30/01 01:14 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Knowles:
....I wrote without malice aforethought and then realized it seemed kind of harsh, then edited it but not before Layla responded to it. And it still came off a little stronger than I intended. ...


That's okay, Chris -- at least you managed to make Layla look foolish and deceitful, and gave Columnist the pretext to take a whack at her. That's the important thing.



------------------
"If you pull your head outa your butt, you'll see things a whole bunch clearer."
-- Witty but intolerant Chris Medellin, to popular Otto Chelman
_________________________
Posted by Otto Chelman

"You have [my] contempt." -- Alan Light to disappointed TBG subscriber.

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#462101 - 04/30/01 01:34 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
Layla Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/01
Posts: 116
Loc: USA
columnist wrote:
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Layla, I'm not sure what you're saying. Your "quote" (complete with paraphrase) changes the meaning of the original post, and then you say you agree with it, but not the tone. Agree with what? Is the new tone you inserted the one you do agree with or the one you don't?
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I didn't mean to change the tone of the quote at all. I simply didn't want to quote Chris's entire post since that seemed an unnecessary waste of bandwidth -- it was right above mine, so presumably everybody'd already read it. I just wanted to include enough to give some sense of context for people who were skimming. I was referring to the tone of the original post.

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Here's the meat of the thing, though. Members of the majority religion in most cultures (and that's Christianity in the US, folks) often honestly can't see the reason for religious tolerance because their own beliefs are so ingrained and reinforced that it seems like "common sense". That's why attempts to keep public schools secular (so minority religions don't feel persecuted) seems to many to be equivalent to keeping morality out of the schools. It seems self-evident to the majority that *their* view of morality *is* morality.
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I agree with this -- in fact, I fail to see where we disagree. I believe that, right or wrong, as members of the minority group in this society, we atheists do have the burden of proof on us, to defend our views since the majority will not do it for us. Christianity is only going to steamroller over us if we sit back and let it happen. The only times that I've been pushed down by popular opinion are the times that I've sat back and let somebody push me down. That's my fault and no one else's. When you push back, something gives.

I agree with Aaron, though, that it's different in different parts of the country. I've spent most of my life in the Pacific Northwest, perhaps the most religiously liberal place you can go and still be in the U.S.A. Now that I live in the Midwest, I have to push a little harder in order to keep my self-respect intact. I would imagine that the South would be more difficult yet.
_________________________
Layla
http://www.ravenschildren.com

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#462102 - 04/30/01 02:35 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
Chris Knowles Offline
Member

Registered: 01/23/99
Posts: 875
Loc: USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Otto Chelman:
That's OK, Chris -- you managed to make Layla look deceitful and foolish with her temperate response, and that't the important thing.


Blame it on the server lag- I didn't see Layla's response until after the post was edited. (the same mechanism that caused you to post your reply thrice) Of course, the quote was just me repeating what I said earlier in the post in an unecessarily harsh tone, hence the edit.

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#462103 - 04/30/01 02:50 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
The OC Offline
Member

Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Knowles:
Blame it on the server lag- I didn't see Layla's response until after the post was edited. (the same mechanism that caused you to post your reply thrice) Of course, the quote was just me repeating what I said earlier in the post in an unecessarily harsh tone, hence the edit.


Well, of course.

Whatever you say.



------------------
"If you pull your head outa your butt, you'll see things a whole bunch clearer."
-- Witty but intolerant Chris Medellin, to popular Otto Chelman
_________________________
Posted by Otto Chelman

"You have [my] contempt." -- Alan Light to disappointed TBG subscriber.

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#462104 - 04/30/01 03:25 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
columnist Offline
Member

Registered: 04/22/01
Posts: 360
Loc: Evanston, IL, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Layla:

I agree with this -- in fact, I fail to see where we disagree. ...


Layla, I didn't say we disagreed. I honestly couldn't figure out which position was yours. If that is criticism, I mean it only in the literary sense. Might be my own fault too.

The second part of my post was the point I really wanted to make, and it wasn't necessarily an agreement or a disagreement with you.

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