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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:04 AM

Something I think that gets lost in our ongoing 'conflicts'

Is the fact that only one thing unites all atheists and that is a lack of belief and by the same token the only thing that unites all believers is their belief in one or more deities.

There are atheists I would think of as benevolent and atheists I would think of as malevolent, those I would think of as eminently sane and those I would think of as batshit crazy and all points in between. Those on the right and those on the left and those somewhere in the middle. And by the same token, the same is true of believers.

That one atheist or believer is or does one thing does not mean all are tarred by the same brush. An individual is not necessarily guilty of the crimes of their predecessors or compatriots in belief/unbelief. However each person is responsible for their own actions and if they choose to perpetuate a past injustice then they are guilty of that crime.

This is not some "why can't we all get along thread?" I fully respect that there are deep and dividing disagreements. I am just trying to remind people that people are people with all the messy and confusing business that implies.

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Something I think that gets lost in our ongoing 'conflicts' (Original post)
uriel1972 Jan 2013 OP
tama Jan 2013 #1
cbayer Jan 2013 #6
rug Jan 2013 #2
tama Jan 2013 #3
EvolveOrConvolve Jan 2013 #9
Adsos Letter Jan 2013 #10
trotsky Jan 2013 #4
uriel1972 Jan 2013 #8
cbayer Jan 2013 #5
trotsky Jan 2013 #7

Response to uriel1972 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:24 AM

1. Instead "why can't we all get along" thread

 

how about "one for all and all for one" thread?

people that people are people with all the messy and confusing business that implies.

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Response to tama (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:40 PM

6. I'm with you, tama. We share goals and should work towards identifying those

and looking for ways we can work together. Those that continue to want this to be a game of winners and losers do nothing to achieve those goals.

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Response to uriel1972 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:59 AM

2. If someone is an asshole, it's rarely a product of nonbelief or belief.

If someone is a decent human being, it's rarely a product of nonbelief or belief.

The problem is assholes often hide behind nonbelief or belief. Then. when the assholery is called on, they can claim you're attacking the nonbelief or the belief instead of the assholery.

It's a tired old tactic that is instantly apparent.

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:42 AM

3. We all have assholes

 

and time to time we all behave like feces flinging monkeys. Behaving and being is important distinction IMHO. In that way we can e.g. study and understand better the causes of behavior that we find unacceptable and disruptive without losing compassion for the human being. But when we start to think and believe that someone is an asshole, we create a prejudice and barrier in our own mind, and prejudice makes us less intelligent.

Hmm. Seems there is strong connection between "is", belief systems and prejudiced causes of behaving badly towards each other.

PS: Maybe there is lot of wisdom in "love thy enemy". Instead of attaching to belief that someone is enemy or nothing but asshole (which we all have), we can develop more intelligent and compassionate ways to respond.

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:54 PM

9. But, even people who are not generally assholes

sometimes act like assholes. Genuinely good people can be assholes from time to time - I view with suspicion someone who doesn't act like an asshole occasionally. Someone who's never an asshole is probably a sociopath.

And the topic of religion tends to bring out the asshole in many of us (myself included).

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 07:56 PM

10. Well said. n/t

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Response to uriel1972 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:27 AM

4. There is a key difference that I see.

When religious beliefs are validated as a perfectly acceptable reason for wanting to believe in or promote a liberal or progressive idea, it simultaneously enables the same defense for the positions of dangerous fundies like Fred Phelps and Randall Terry. They ALSO strongly believe that god wants the the things they want (execution of homosexuals and the banning of abortion).

If it's important to feed the poor because a believer thinks Jesus wants them to, why can't Randall Terry use whatever means possible to stop the "murder" of unborn children, as he believes Jesus wants him to?

Until the believer can point to a process that is as accurate at determining what gods want as science is at revealing physical truths of the universe, there will friction.

It also doesn't help when double standards are engaged, when an atheist who states "There are no gods" is branded as a closed-minded "fundamentalist" atheist but a believer who says "There are no coincidences" is lauded as a reasonable, admirable individual.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:58 PM

8. I agree

As an atheist I find the 'belief without evidence' thing hard to fathom now and very troubling. I am especially troubled by surrender of autonomy to religious authority, which can lead to all sorts of problems.

I would prefer that people do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, rather than it will get them into heaven according to a belief system.

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Response to uriel1972 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:38 PM

5. Bravo! This is not, or should not be, a team sport in which one side wins

and one side loses.

Well said.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:37 PM

7. I dunno, I'd be very happy if Fred Phelps and Randall Terry lost.

Wouldn't you?

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