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#462115 - 04/30/01 09:03 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
Joe Zabel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 2546
Loc: Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
I've heard conflicting views of whether or not Einstein was a believer in God, a pantheist (as one site claims) or an unbeliever. It's a little unseemly for various factions to be claiming Einstein for their own, and I don't wish to do so either. I found the following website which at least appears to be quoting Einstein's own writings on this subject:
http://www.stcloudstate.edu/~lesikar/einstein/
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#462116 - 05/01/01 05:42 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
Chris Knowles Offline
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Registered: 01/23/99
Posts: 875
Loc: USA
I think it's kind of strange to be proud of being a Atheist. I'm not proud of being a Theist (or more accurately a Deist) it's just the way I am. Atheists don't realize that people in this country just don't agree with them. It's not like Atheists haven't been able to make their case, it's that people don't agree with them.

Atheism as a cause is a hopeless because you're marching with no standard, basically. I would recommend that instead of going around saying how proud of yourselves you are for not believing in God, advertise yourselves as "Rationalists." You don't present yourselves in a negative fashion (what you don't believe in) but you say you only believe in what you can quantify and measure. People might not agree, but they would respect that more. The term "Atheist" is negative and is pregnant with implied judgement.

Atheists would also be a lot more effective if they didn't see all non-Atheists as cavemen and made common cause with more enlightened religious folk. The only real religious troublemakers in this country are the militant fundamentalists and if these people were engaged directly, their real agendas would be exposed pretty easily. But since Atheists tend to throw a lot of arcane jargon about carbon dating and fossil records that no lay person can parse, the Fundies can invent their own gibberish and bow out with their dignity intact. Most people scratch their heads and walk off. I spent a couple years arguing with Fundies, but I used logic and reason against them instead of scientific arcana that few people really understand.

Joe- I'm not going to engage with you because I really don't feel like rummaging through 280 posts and picking out bits that may be construed as being arrogant and I am sick of arguing with you.

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#462117 - 05/01/01 05:50 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
Batum Schrag Offline
Member

Registered: 05/26/99
Posts: 242
Loc: Seattle
Comics fans don't realize that people in this country just don't agree with them. It's not like people have never been exposed to comics; they just don't like them.
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#462118 - 05/01/01 06:25 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
Joe Zabel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 2546
Loc: Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
Chris-- I was annoyed at your earlier posts and responded in a rather intemperate fashion. I apologize. I can see that you are trying to grapple honestly and fairly with the issues presented in this thread. But I do think you should consider the fairness of painting a number of people with a broad brush, labeling us all as self-pitying and whiners, when you haven't provided any foundation for the statement. When you do that you aren't being fair, and you aren't doing anything to further the discussion.

When I say I'm proud to be an atheist, what I mean is that I'm proud of who I am, and being an atheist is very much a part of who I am.

I think atheists know perfectly well that the majority in this country don't agree with them. But that doesn't give the majority the right to cram their beliefs down our throats, or discriminate against us.

When I was growing up, it certainly wasn't true that atheists had the opportunity to 'make their case.' I hope things are better for young people today, with the information explosion. But I don't think people generally are exposed to the fact that atheists are just like themselves, except that we aren't members of any religion.

Atheism is not a cause, so your public relation suggestions are rather beside the point. I'm pretty sympathetic with the cause of Secular Humanism, and as a group the SH's have done a creditable job of generating positive publicity for themselves. But SH is more than atheism, it is a positive philosophy about humanity and society.

Atheism, however, is not a belief, a philosophy, or a cause. It is simply a trait-- a widely misunderstood trait.

I don't see all religious folks as cavemen; I don't see fundamentalists as cavemen, for that matter-- one of my closest friends is a fundamentalist and a creationist, and I have a great deal of respect for him. By the way, I've noticed your substantive debate with Travis on this thread, and you handled yourself well. I've never had much patience for arguing bible lore or evolution theory.

There may be a lot of good in finding common cause with the moderate religious, and I'm sure atheists seek every opportunity to do so. I expect that if you took a poll of campaign workers on the heavily-religious Gore-Liebermann campaign, you would have found a high percentage of atheists. In turn, I'm sure there have been a large number of religious people who have supported the separation of church and state, an issue most atheists consider very important.
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#462119 - 05/01/01 11:07 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
Layla Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/01
Posts: 116
Loc: USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Knowles:
I think it's kind of strange to be proud of being a Atheist. I'm not proud of being a Theist (or more accurately a Deist) it's just the way I am. Atheists don't realize that people in this country just don't agree with them. It's not like Atheists haven't been able to make their case, it's that people don't agree with them.


What's wrong with being proud of one's opinions and beliefs? Why would you bother to defend an opinion if you aren't proud of it? "It's just the way I am" -- I'm sorry, but I don't believe anyone is born a Christian or an atheist, a Muslim or a Hindu, a Republican or a Democrat. At some point in your life, it is a choice you make -- a choice that is influenced by your upbringing and society, certainly, but ultimately, free will is involved. I choose to live by a standard that I believe is right. I don't expect others to do the same, but I am not ashamed of what I believe in.

As for the second part of that statement, I haven't noticed any atheist in this discussion acting surprised by getting disagreed with. "It's not like Atheists haven't been able to make their case, it's that people don't agree with them." Um... by "people" I assume you mean "non-atheists". Presumably as soon as anyone does agree with the atheist point of view, they become an atheist and are thus immune to being included in this blanket statement "people." Otherwise we'd run into the embarassing contradiction that the number of atheists in the world has increased dramatically in the last 100 years, even though all of the originals have surely died. This seems to imply that somebody's listening.

Quote:
I would recommend that instead of going around saying how proud of yourselves you are for not believing in God, advertise yourselves as "Rationalists." You don't present yourselves in a negative fashion (what you don't believe in) but you say you only believe in what you can quantify and measure. People might not agree, but they would respect that more. The term "Atheist" is negative and is pregnant with implied judgement.


So is the term "Rationalist". I have no problem with being called a rationalist under most conditions, since it derives from the root word "rational" -- meaning (according to Webster's) "Of, derived or derived from reason; able to reason; not foolish or silly; sensible". This is the only effective way to debate a point, as any good debater will tell you. Most people, Christians and non-Christians, are rationalists most of the time. However, I don't live my whole life based solely on reason (nor does any other atheist I know, or any other human being for that matter), so Rationalist (the capitalized form, meaning a philosophy based *solely* on reason) does not apply as a blanket statement for my entire life. Nor, for that matter, does Atheist sum up my entire life. Does Christian sum up yours?

Quote:
But since Atheists tend to throw a lot of arcane jargon about carbon dating and fossil records that no lay person can parse, the Fundies can invent their own gibberish and bow out with their dignity intact. Most people scratch their heads and walk off. I spent a couple years arguing with Fundies, but I used logic and reason against them instead of scientific arcana that few people really understand.


How can you argue against faulty science without using real science? If someone *asks* for a lengthy description of carbon dating, it's not the scientist's fault if the person he's explaining it to is too dense to understand it. You make it sound as if scientific theories about the creation of the world, based upon hundreds of years of experimentation, are equal with Joe Bob's own personal theories about the creation of the world based upon several hours of sitting in his basement reading a book. This is like saying that a Harlequin romance is equivalent to the Bible.
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#462120 - 05/01/01 11:18 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
Layla Offline
Member

Registered: 04/14/01
Posts: 116
Loc: USA
Quote:
Originally posted by joezabel:
There may be a lot of good in finding common cause with the moderate religious, and I'm sure atheists seek every opportunity to do so. I expect that if you took a poll of campaign workers on the heavily-religious Gore-Liebermann campaign, you would have found a high percentage of atheists. In turn, I'm sure there have been a large number of religious people who have supported the separation of church and state, an issue most atheists consider very important.


The debate over public funding for religious charity organizations provided a good, recent example of this. Objection has come not just from atheists and free-speech advocates, but from the churches themselves as well. Strange bedfellows, indeed.

Let's face it -- Christians and atheists both get up in the morning, get dressed and go to work. We all have fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, houses and dogs. We all want to love and be loved. Except in very insular parts of the country, I would imagine that most people have friends, acquaintances and co-workers from all kinds of different religious backgrounds. We're the same darned species, f'r cryin' out loud! Most people do get along fairly well most of the time, and don't really care what their neighbor does, or at least don't take it personally.
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#462121 - 05/02/01 01:13 AM Re: Comicon help me write this...
U Po Kyin Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 579
Loc: AZ
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Knowles:
I think it's kind of strange to be proud of being a Atheist. I'm not proud of being a Theist (or more accurately a Deist) it's just the way I am.


You don't have to be "proud" of being a theist for the same reason white people don't have to be "proud" of being white. You have the luxury of being on top. But when every facet of society implies that you should be ashamed (and I'd include your posts in that too) than, if you have any self respect, you must express pride in your beliefs. And if thats whining well too fucking bad.

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#462122 - 05/02/01 06:44 AM Re: Comicon help me write this...
Joe Zabel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 2546
Loc: Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
This is a test message-- possible message board bug on this thread.
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#462123 - 05/02/01 12:35 PM Re: Comicon help me write this...
Joe Zabel Offline
Member

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 2546
Loc: Cleveland Heights, OH 44106
test
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