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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-23-08 05:26 PM
Original message
Evangelical / Fundamentalist Atheism as an ad hominem
I've written about this sort of thing previously, but some of the things that I've read recently made me think that it might be useful to open another discussion on this sort of topic.

I've been coming to R/T for a while, and I don't post unless I think I have something worthwhile to say, which translates to me spending most of my time lurking around here. There is, however, one thing that I'd like to address, and that is the use of the terms fundamentalist or evangelical atheism.

To begin, here are a couple of observations:

The terms are almost exclusively used by theists.
The terms are almost exclusively used in a context of expressing distaste.

Now, being that this is a liberal message board, it's perhaps not a shocker that most of us have a dislike of fundamentalists and evangelicals, as (among other things) they tend to be extremely conservative in their politics.

I'm sure that most of that seems readily apparent to you, but I wanted to flesh it all out in order to make the case that using those terms is more of an ad hominem attack or inflammatory bomb-throwing than anything else.

Perhaps some people who use these terms don't mean them as an attack, but rather mean to engage in honest communication. However, when you use those terms you're pretty much screwing the pooch in terms of dialoge with someone else as you're essentially calling them names at the outset. Sometimes, people use these terms even over the objection of atheists, as for one there is the implication that atheism is a religion - which it is not.

It seems to me that there are better ways to describe certain behaviors instead of using the monikers of evangelical or fundamentalist. Strident, assertive, stubborn, or even assholery are just a few terms that come to mind that don't carry near the same amount of baggage that the aforementioned terms do.

Some of you might be tempted to think "But atheism really is a religion!" Of course, calling atheism a religion is really just a dressed-down version of the evangelical / fundamentalist attack. That, however, is another post entirely.

I understand that there is a lot of emotional baggage attached to this debate, and that for many people their religion is a part of their identity. That being said, I can see why when people attack their religion, some will feel that they personally are being attacked. In my view, it is quite legitimate to assert flaws with a system of thought without projecting those same flaws onto people who think differently.

At least, that's my .02.
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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-23-08 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. It can't be an ad hominem because atheists aren't people n/t
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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-23-08 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
2. Eminently reasonable, as always
This is a very illuminative post. I always find the fundamentalist/evangelical label ironic because it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of atheists. The assertion that atheism is itself a religion is a result of the very same inability to understand another's beliefs that I often see atheists accused of, especially here in R/T.

That is not to say that no atheists are close-minded or dogmatic in their opposition to the religious. But being an asshole is not enough to equate an atheist to a religious fundamentalist. There are many dimensions to fundamentalism, and aggression in debates is not an overriding characteristic.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-23-08 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. Real Americans understand that politics isn't about nice rational argument:
it's mostly about pre-emptively smecking the other person in the schnozz, before any glimmer of an idea about schnozz-smecking has crossed the other person's tiny mind :woohoo:

Smecking schnozzes is actually hard and thankless work. I have discovered that people, whose schnozzes I have smecked, sometimes become rude and hostile, even after I politely explain that their carelessness has scuffed my knuckles

But of course we patriots have a sacred duty to tell the truth. You are trying to tell me that I must keep silent, even when I honestly believe my opponent is the illegitimate and syphilitic offspring of a whorish baboon? Fie, shame, and a bit more fie on you! Those of us who have insight, also have a moral obligation to go mug our enemies in the marketplace of ideas. As I already pointed out, real Americans intuitively understand this



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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-23-08 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
4. The flaw in many people's thinking
along these lines is that they equate atheism (a lack of belief in gods) with anti-religionism (a conviction that organized religion, or at least certain flavors of it, is and has been detrimental and destructive to society). While the two are often expressed by the same people, they need not be, and they are most certainly not the same. It's entirely possible to believe in a personal god and still think that organized religion is corrupt, foolish and harmful, and it is also possible to be an atheist and still harbor no hostile or critical feelings towards religion.

It is strident and vocal anti-religionism that people are really reacting to when they fling the "fundamentalist atheist" label, though they rarely realize it, even when they are challenged to show how a lack of belief can be "fundamentalist".
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-23-08 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Very true.
That's a really good point.
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knitter4democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-23-08 10:39 PM
Response to Original message
5. I can't stand the terms, myself.
They're entirely wrong. In order to be "fundamentalist," you have to have a fundamental text you believe in that cannot be altered or changed in any way and must be stuck to with great fervor. That doesn't apply to atheists at all. Not at all. Non-believers do not have a text, and even if you try to say they stick to their non-belief with great fervor, I've never seen anyone do it all the same, which is often true of fundamentalists.

In order to be "evangelical," you have to believe in a central dogma that everyone has to believe in, and it has to be your mission to tell everyone about that dogma and try to get them to believe in it. While I've run into some atheists here who have sounded a bit more persuasive of their position, it's not dogma, and they don't have any consequences for those who don't follow them.

The reality is, most of the time, atheists and agnostics here have good points about how nasty and horrible some Christians have been, especially over our 2,000 year history. Turn about is fair play, too--if they're the minority in society, they're not here, and they can have their say, which is what they get from us Christians in everyday real life.
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-23-08 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. Likewise
I infrequently lurk and rarely post.
Encounters with fundamentalist or evangelical atheism put me off

In a nut shell- On this board I once dared suggest that the Islamic civilization bore fruit of which we are all recipients. This immediately provoked the expectation (from an atheist) that I should defend the Korans description of Solomon talking to an ant and that this verse be taken literally.
When I declined to interpret the verse literally I was deemed (by another atheist) to be just like all the other fundamentalists resorting to hiding behind metaphor and symbolism when it suits me.
And so it wentI was deemed a fundamentalist theist for >not< accepting the literal interpretation of verse from a (said) Holy Book and this pov was being presented by devout atheistsgo figure.
Any and all attempts to reiterate the original pov (fruits of Islam) evoked naught but reference to terrorism, female genital mutilation or dripping sarcasm emoticons.

Sure. conservative politics is a frequent indicator of fundamentalismso too is insular closed minded arrogance, steadfast literalism, the refusal to hear the others pov and the refusal to answer polite pertinent questions regarding ones own.
Despite the claim to a liberal political perspective all of these hallmarks of fundamentalist or evangelical atheism are frequently displayed on this board.

I have indeed previously used the term fundamentalist atheist on this boardI did so not to engage in ad hominem attack or inflammatory bomb-throwing at any individual but in response to clear and consistent >behaviour<
ie The preparedness to so go locked and loaded for evangelical Christians that any sign of appreciation of a religions contribution is signal to open fire with straw man misrepresentation.

As an outsider I try to factor in that the US has a huge problem with evangelicals and the conservative Christian right and I keep in mind that many are still touchy about Islam since 9/11.

But Im telling you frankly, as a non American agnostic, this board is (moreoften) a shitfest of fundamentalist or evangelical atheism that cannot tolerate even the suggestion that a religion made historical contribution to humanity without responding with hostility and bizarre attack.

I can see why when people attack their religion, some will feel that they personally are being attacked. In my view, it is quite legitimate to assert flaws with a system of thought without projecting those same flaws onto people who think differently. Varkum

Can you likewise see that when people speak positively of a religion that some will feel that they personally are being attacked?...that their atheism is thereby threatened or challenged?...and that whoever speaks of religion in positive terms must be a believer and (no doubt) a fundamentalist to boot and thereby becomes an immediate target?

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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. To quote the OP
"you're pretty much screwing the pooch in terms of dialog"

If that is not your intent, perhaps you should reconsider your language.
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Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Well said.
I accept a lot of what the OP claims; but, the OP fails to acknowledge that the ad hominems come from both sides in this forum. It's clear that name-calling is a fairly typical form of "argument" on message boards. Participants in message board discussions have to decide whether they want to argue reasonably, or through name-calling.
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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Having read many of Varkam's posts
I have seen him being critical of ad hominems from all sides. He is addressing the "fundamentalist atheist" issue because there are recent examples of this problem here in R/T.
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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #10
82. Yes
Varkam is always reasonable and respectful!
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
43. Both sides is indicative of the problem.

, the OP fails to acknowledge that the ad hominems come from both sides in this forum.

I didnt have a side, I didnt come here with a side, I didnt post anything affirming, denying, attacking or supporting one side or the other.

Im an agnostic and I committed the sin of suggesting the Islamic civilization bore fruit (social, artistic, scientific) of which we are all recipients.
For doing so I was immediately expected to interpret a verse from the Koran literally...declining to do so >I WAS APPOINTED A SIDE< = No different than bible-bangers

Simple as thatI either accept that Solomon speaking to an ant is to be read literally
or Im guilty of trying to determine it for myself and on the bible-bangers/side.

I half expected some bigoted flak from the extreme Christian right for recognizing Islams contribution but it >all< came from the atheist camp and it didnt stop.

Participants in message board discussions have to decide whether they want to argue reasonably, or through name-calling.

Your rightand if they persist in unreasonable arguments demanding literal interpretation of scripture and engage in bible-banger name calling I will take that on the chin, fire a couple of warning shotsandafter a couple of weeks when it is made perfectly clear that your side is irrevocably determined I will call this behaviour what it is Fundamentalist/Evangelical Atheism.
Hard line biggoted and agressive anti religious atheism.
The atheism that not only does not believe in God but is virulently opposesed to anyone who does and/or anyone who recognises/advocates any good ever stemming from religion. The atheism that cannot conceptualise that there is a >middle< to both sides in this forum.




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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. Sorry man
But no matter how you try to justify your own behavior you engaged in ad hominem attack or inflammatory bomb-throwing when you use these offensive labels.

If you are so worried about a specific behavior you should focus on that behavior with the person you are having problems with rather than throwing offensive labels trying to group others. Otherwise you are just another contributor to the flame posts you claim to be speaking out against here in R/T.

You claim that you infrequently lurk and rarely post here in R/T but don't you think it would be more effective and more worthwhile to use these rare occasions to post something positive trying to set a tone?
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #7
29. Couple of things...
Foremost, I never said that attacks only come from one side. There are, however, some pretty good recent examples of the type of thing which I posted on that got in the way of any sort of meaningful dialogue.

Also, when you use the fundamentalist moniker, you are engaging in an ad hominem - which is the point that I tried to address in the OP. As I wrote, there are better ways to describe behavior without resorting to such tactics that are not likely to improve the situation any.

But Im telling you frankly, as a non American agnostic, this board is (moreoften) a shitfest of fundamentalist or evangelical atheism that cannot tolerate even the suggestion that a religion made historical contribution to humanity without responding with hostility and bizarre attack.

It is a discussion board, and there are going to be people with a ride range of opinions, and some will be strident in their expression of said opinions - nevertheless, it still doesn't justify using the terms fundamentalist or evangelical (which, again, was the point of the OP).

Can you likewise see that when people speak positively of a religion that some will feel that they personally are being attacked?...that their atheism is thereby threatened or challenged?...and that whoever speaks of religion in positive terms must be a believer and (no doubt) a fundamentalist to boot and thereby becomes an immediate target?

I believe that I have spoken of religion in positive terms at times, and I have not been called a fundamentalist and become an immediate target. Most of the posts that I read on DU (and I read a lot of them) that speak positively of religion are not pulled through the muck. There are some asshole atheists, to be sure, as there are with any group of people.

Even still, it doesn't justify evangelism or fundamentalism (which is the point of the...yeah).

For my money, I only think I have personally been called that once or twice, and it doesn't bug me too much personally. My investment in this topic stems from my belief that we should use language as accurately as possible, and that we should try to be respectful of one another (even when people are not respectful to us).
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #29
42. With respect Varkam

we should try to be respectful of one another (even when people are not respectful to us).?

I tried to have a respectful discussion with you months ago regarding why terms such as fundamentalist atheist might arise or be deployed.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I described the (DU atheist) demand/expectation that scripture be read literally
You responded-
I think that is a straw man. I don't think that there are any atheists that "demand that all Scripture be read and interpreted literally"
I disposed of your straw man assertion by providing five examples of just such literalist expectation from DU atheists and you cut/ignored all of them only to lay down a blatant straw man of your own-
I think the problem is simply that you know no better than anyone else what is supposed to be taken metaphorically or literally.

I had never said/suggested/claimed >any< kind of better knowledge than anyone else as to what is supposed to be taken metaphorically or literally
I had simply refused the incessant atheist demand/expectation that Solomon talking to an ant was a literal event and refused to accept that my inclination towards metaphor in this instance made me a Bible Banger.

My respectful objections were initially shat on with the devastating deployment of dripping sarcasm emoticons and the advise that Participants who want to play in R/T on DU have to grow a set of steel balls then followed by your riding shotgun/blow me off straw man bullshit about thinking I know no better than anyone else what is supposed to be taken metaphorically or literally.

Asserting straw man havening it disproved, cutting/ignoring the evidence provided and then dispensing your own blatant straw man is not trying to be respectful of one another Varkamits just riding shotgun and providing cover for the fundamentalist atheists who (clearly and unquestionably) picked a fight with a suspected Bible Banger and made dam sure he knew whos side he was going to be on.

Frankly I hold the current concerns about the accuracy of describing atheists as fundamentalists and the calls for respectful discussion to be hypocritical bullshit. No one, repeat, no one gave a rats arse about the incessant misrepresentation of my pov or the name calling that followed over several weeks.

Having proposed-

When the immediate response to the mention of the fruits of Islamic civilization is the expectation that their good book be taken exclusively literally then I worry.
But then again I live right next door to 196,281,020 Muslims.and I dont think they Hate our freedoms

The Varkam straw man speculation about what I >might think< invites me to snuggle up with the whole of the muslim world (read innuendo - including terrorists)-

..the worst thing that a Muslim fundamnetalist will do is fly planes into buildings. If you think the whole of the muslim world wants to be our friend, then you are welcome to go snuggle up with them.

It's bullshit Varkam...you ignore the point made and reach for straw man speculation leading to innuendo.


Before or after I drew on the behaviour descriptor fundamentalist atheist there was no respectful discussionthere was just an incessant compulsion to paint everything religious as evil and to insult, demean and misrepresent anyone who had a good word for it.

If (any) are insulted or offended by the descriptor fundamentalist atheist then they had best be prepared to take a good honest look at what preceded and provoked it.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #42
50. I see.
Edited on Sat May-24-08 10:15 PM by varkam
we should try to be respectful of one another (even when people are not respectful to us).?

I tried to have a respectful discussion with you months ago regarding why terms such as fundamentalist atheist might arise or be deployed


Gasp! You mean to say that I'm human? Perish the thought. Though I will say that in over two years of posting around here, I have not once had a post removed for a violation. The same can certainly not be said for others. The keyword in that sentence is "try". I'm sure that, if you keep digging around, you're bound to find more instances of assholery on my part.

I had typed out a whole post responding to you, point by point, but by the time it was over I realized that reviving a months-old discussion with you isn't going to end well. For the time being, though, I will just say that I don't see how anything of what you wrote from that discussion has anything to do with the OP - other than an attempt to make me out a hypocrite. I do not see, though, how my belief that we should try to be respectful to one another and my occasional assholery at are loggerheads. I'm sorry that I offended you last November, however.

:hi:



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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #50
84. Human and hypocritical?

Dont know.from this distance its too hard to tell and establishing either proposition was never my interest or intent ;-)

occasional assholery?
YesIm familiar with the complaint having suffered same for many years.
Have determined that when my (or any other) arse hollers it is prudent to pay some heed.however scant.

I don't see how anything of what you wrote from that discussion has anything to do with the OP

OkIll try again and pre-empt with a disclaimer on making any individual out as anything.

using those terms is more of an ad hominem attack or inflammatory bomb-throwing than anything else.

Problem isit (Fundamentalist Atheism) may also (or more so) be a valid description of a real condition.
I was going to make a thread of the proposition- Hallmarks and Symptoms of Evangelical Fundamentalist Atheism.
And Im pretty sure I can set forward (drawing on my own experience alone) a strong case built on numerous concrete examples.(And to hell with definitional quibbles)

Two things dissuade me from the thread option- 1/ There is more than ample humanity and generosity in your prior post to persuade me towards the trying to avoid overt provocative assholery. 2/ The provision of supporting evidence and examples drawn from the board will inevitably lead others to conclude they (personally) are being made out as hypocriticalor worse.

None the less, here in this cull de sac, quietly and discreetly and without intent of ad hom animosity.I wish to suggest that there may well be a Fundamentalist Atheism the central symptom of which is a virulent contempt for and hostility towards any and all things religious. I believe it manifests on this board with the hair trigger preparedness to assume someone is a believer or pushing a religious barrow with no more provocation than mention of an (even historical) positive aspect of religion. The responses are all to often not to the presented pov but to the assumed, imagined and projected Bible banger they think they have their hands on. In fact the number of responding post that contain or are based on straw man- I suppose you think and other assumed psychic insights is phenomenal. Most of the discussion necessitates constant- No I never thought, said or inferred that.

I'm sorry that I offended you last November, however Varkam

Appreciated but unnecessaryit wasnt a personal affrontit was that (once more) the pov/points presented got lost at each turn in a Paint it Black ping pong match. And, in the end, I wasnt prepared to fight my way through what the Catholics did to Galileo, the Dark Ages, The Crusades or Science did not progress because of religion; it progressed in spite of it.just to maybe oneday obtain scant recognition of the historical reality of Avicinna or Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi and his Algebra or any of the other abundant fruits of Islam (or other faiths).

All the best.


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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #7
96. Excellent, objective analysis
Edited on Wed May-28-08 08:21 AM by HamdenRice
Couldn't have said it any better. That's why there is no discussion of "theology" in the "Theology Forum" -- the fundamentalist atheists just use this forum to bash anyone who dares discuss religion in an intelligent way.

The central point is this: The term "fundamentalist atheist" is not an attack, insult, or ad hominem comment. It is an objective description of the way some people behave and what they believe.

Ruling it out of order, as some sort of insult, is basically saying that certain thoughts may not be thought on this board.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #96
101. But the "bashing"
shouldn't be on the board, right? That is the subtext of your post. As long as the atheists shut up, all will be fine.

You don't even get the irony, do you?
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #101
105. It's frustrating isn't it, that someone can be so unaware of their own mind.
Unaware of irony. I wish I could build some sort of mirror, where people would see themselves as they really are.
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #101
131. I can't see anyone being asked or told to "shut up".

If folk wanna "bash" then let them bash away...but if that's >ALL< they have got, just bash no substance, then it becomes booring, stupid and nasty.

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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #131
133. I understand that
but I don't think that is the reality (that there is just bash and no substance). And I used the word subtext because I do think that is the point of many of HR's posts--that the nasty atheists should just go away.
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #133
135. You "understand that" no one is saying "shut up" in text....
...but there is a "subtext" that indicates "that the nasty atheists should just go away"?

My reading of HR's text (explicit) was that the bashing (being "nasty") was unnecessary and unproductive.

There was nothing in the post that indicated "shut up" or "go away" rather- the bashing behaviour is not conducive to discussion.... subtext-Let's have a look at the behaviour.


"I don't think that is the reality (that there is just bash and no substance)".

NowI may have this wrong butHRs is an atheist?...and Im an agnosticand were both raising the issue (along with a host of believers) of a clique/culture of atheists that are so militant/hostile/fundamentally contemptuous/hateful towards all things religious that even non believers get bashed as Bible bangers.but you dont think that is the reality ?

How many concrete examples would be required to establish the reality of a just bash and no substance culture?




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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #135
136. Where have
the "members of the clique" that are responding in here been "fundmantally contemptuous/hateful towards all things religous." I just don't believe that is an accurate statement of my band of merry atheists.

And just so you do pay attention to things, take a look at whose post has been deleted. I'll give you a hint, it is not a member of the horde but someone you list as being on your side.
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #136
143. Here....the general spirit made flesh

>"He's damn fucking right we're dangerous.
There is nothing more dangerious to religious assholes than a free mind. That's why they keep trying to kill us. Fuck Hedges, fuck christianity, and fuck religion.
Religion is the lamest thing on the freakin planet. I've said it once, I'll say it again. I would be embarrased if I believed in a religion".<

I'm guessing the desire expressed is to procreate and produce more religion?
That would be literal, logical and fit within dictionary definitions.

"Religion is the lamest thing on the freakin planet"..."fuck christianity, and fuck religion"

At very least the author comes out and gives voice to the contempt most others display through disingenuous misrepresentation, straw man, assumed psychic abilities and ignoring/evading the pertinent question.
So points for up front honesty at least.

>"...some of us may sound like we have no respect for someone-or-other's religion. This may be because we don't!"<

And why should anyone have any respect for any religion at any level? ""Religion is the lamest thing on the freakin planet"..."fuck christianity, and fuck religion"

All the religious art, architecture, music, schools, hospitals, welfare agencies......"fuck it all"
Completely lame and stupid.

>"It does not take a lot of words to show that religion is "superstition, ignorance, dementia, irrationality, and so on"<

That's all religion is, was or ever will be "ignorance" and "dementia"....unworthy of any respect whatsoever....."fuck christianity, and fuck religion"

>"Not being a part of said religion means just that. Not a part. So Christians (Muslims, Hindus, Whatever) occupy no more psychic space in my brain than Yankees fans or Wedgewood collectors. This can lead to flippancy."<

"Flippancy"?....Nooooooooooooooooooooo.......Never!

Not when there is complete contempt to be displayed.

"fuck christianity, and fuck religion"

>THAT'S< the spirit!

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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #143
146. Cool..some of those quotes are mine.
Edited on Thu May-29-08 06:55 PM by Evoman
I don't remember saying anything about dementia though.

As to the fuck christianity, fuck religion thing...well......

Fuck christianity and fuck religion. I don't like either of them..have I ever said anything but that? And I especially don't Hedges. He really fucking sucks. And if some of the religious duers weren't so hypocritocal, they wouldn't like him either.

I mean...here is a guy who basically calls Dawkin a "new atheist" and puts him alongside that piece of shit Hitchens and calls them "as dangerous as religious fundies". Oh yeah....riihgggght.

Now if that isn't a fucking moron remark, I don't know what is. Then he titles his shitty ass article "I don't believe in atheists". Pretty fucking inflamatory. Which is not a problem for me, unless others have a problem with me, being on the other side, saying things that are also inflammatory.

But then some guy on the internets will find one fucking quote, in one fucking thread, post it out of context, in order to make his fucking dumb ass point.

Do me a favour, will you. Go to my other thread and please ask me to leave.

You'll be doing me a favour, because then I won't have to have my words taken out of context in some stupid flamewar, so that some asshole will feel justified in calling me names.
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #146
147. I was asked for the evidence
of "fundmantally contemptuous/hateful towards all things religous."

I provided a couple of quotes easily at hand (un attributed to avoid personalization).

I don't remember saying anything about dementia though.

It wasnt attributed to you, authorship is irrelevant, the point/issue is impersonal.
Im not interested in persons/personalities as the object of or originator of flame.
Insults? Who cares?
Most of it is testosterone driven undergraduate piss and windoccasionally funny but otherwise not worthy of consideration.


As to the fuck christianity, fuck religion thing...well......
Fuck christianity and fuck religion. I don't like either of them.

Ahhh >Thats< the R/T spirit! ;-)
Like I said.points for open honesty.

Your fully entitled not to believe and not to like.
And Im fully entitled to question and challenge the unwavering depth and degree of such dislike and to examine its implications as reflective of a trend, prevailing attitude or board culture.
And Ill ask again, as I have several times without answer, what do we think/say /do when the proposition is- fuck America, fuck the American thing?.
Fuck America because its evil? Fuck America because its the Great Satan?

See Im not worried about- Fuck Hedges or fuck Ironbark they are both jerksthats fine by me.

But unwavering and deep-seated prevailing cultures of Fuck Christianity, fuck religion and/or fuck America that display no insight into the positives and no preparedness to consider them are a real cause for concern to me (even as a non American agnostic).




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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #96
122. Ah, figured you come around at some point.
:hi:
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cyborg_jim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
11. I hate the fundamentalist non-fundamentalists.
!!!PARADOX ALERT!!!
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
12. It is like calling a woman a "son of a bitch"
The term has no explanatory value. It has no descriptive value. It does not elucidate or illuminate. It is factually incorrect. It has only one purpose, to insult.

If it is the intent to insult a woman, calling her a "son of a bitch" is certainly effective. But there is no other value in that statement but to give offense. And it certainly doesn't elevate the esteem of the insulter to be seen mis-using the language so blatantly.

The same is true for the terms "Evangelical/Fundamentalist Atheist".
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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #12
83. Total aside....
My mother-in-law often calls says to my husband: "You son of a bitch!"

I always find it absolutely hysterical.


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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
14. How would one describe offensively dogmatic atheists?
Name-calling in general is of no value.

In a forum where atheists have a greater relative amount of privilege, they will control that much more of the rhetoric. Name-calling on religious people will frequently enjoy justification, and name-calling on atheists will deemed similarly intolerable.

So it's a power issue over a worthless argument tactic. And there are (broadly) two issues -- the issue of the existence of God, and the issue of power, privilege, and their exercise.

And THEN, you have other arguments to disentangle. For example, why is it an offensive act to classify atheism as religion or religious? There are sound and non-inflammatory arguments for each. You may not accept one or another, and you may have a better argument, but blithely dismissing any substantive claim is only effective among opponents who are stupid or acting in bad faith.

And is it really inflammatory to use "religion" as an epithet? Isn't that really analogous to using "atheist" as a slur?

As a non-believer myself, I understand the pleasure in trashing the tabernacle. But once you take notice of religious issues that are not divisive and tyrannical, you have to find new ways of dealing with the whole schmeer, and that's currently a big stumbling block in the faith/doubt conversation.

Of course, I could be wrong.

--p!
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. "Dogmatic atheist?"
It seems you're engaging in exactly the same fallacious and derogatory attack described in the OP.

After all, what is atheist dogma? Where is it written? Where are the priests to enforce its adherence?

Aren't you complaining rather that atheists refuse to be put into a box and to suffer attempts at proselytizing silently and with a smile? Aren't you really annoyed that atheists refuse to give you lip service so you can be more comfortable in your set of beliefs?

There is no such thing as a dogmatic atheist, it's just one more variation on the theme of fundamentalist or evangelical atheists--another ad hominem.

Perhaps referring to the anger of the newly minted atheist might be more in order, anger that comes from feeling one has been misled from childhood by people who were supposed to be trustworthy. Those of us who were raised in religious households all experienced that anger at some point and were probably rather unpleasant at the time. It passed, though.

However, we still had no dogma to cling to, no savior to evangelize, and no holy writ to give us fundamentals.

Please reconsider such incendiary and demeaning language.



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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #17
28. Yes there are Nihilist Atheists, Humanist Atheists. Both Gandhi and Stalin were Atheists.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. It's still a meaningless pejorative
which you'd know had you read the whole post.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #30
39. Jesus fuck I agree and you jump on me
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. But the term dogmatic atheist...
in the context in which it is used does not describe any sort of flavor of atheism as you assert, but rather atheistic assholery.
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Duke Newcombe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #32
148. Then one could conceive of "assholery" as being the "dogma"
"Dogmatic assholery"?

Duke

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #28
65. Gandhi was a Hindu: he wrote a still-available commentary on the Gita, and some of his devotional
songs topped the charts in India a few years ago

The following pages by Mahadev Desai are an ambitious project ... In trying to give a translation of my meaning of the Gita, he found himself writing an original commentary on the Gita. The book might have been published during his lifetime, if I could have made time to go through the manuscript. I read some portions with him, but exigencies of my work had to interrupt the reading. Then followed the imprisonments of August 1942, and his sudden death within six days of our imprisonment ... In so far as the translation part of the volume is concerned, I can vouch for its accuracy ...

On the train to Madras
M.K. GANDHI
20th January, 1946

http://members.aol.com/jajnsn/foreword.html


... During my incarceration I was able to study the Gita more fully ... It has been my endeavor, as also that of some companions, to reduce to practice the teaching of the Gita as I have understood it. The Gita has become for us a spiritual reference book ...This is the unmistakable teaching of the Gita. He who gives up action falls. He who gives up only the reward rises. But renunciation of fruit in no way means indifference to the result ... The common belief is that religion is always opposed to material good ... In my opinion the author of the Gita has dispelled this delusion. He has drawn no line of demarcation between salvation and worldly pursuits. On the contrary he has shown that religion must rule even our worldly pursuits. I have felt that the Gita teaches us that what cannot be followed out in day-to-day practice cannot be called religion ... http://members.aol.com/jajnsn/anasa.html


Published on Saturday, September 16, 2006 by the Independent/UK
Mahatma Gandhi: A Century of Peaceful Protest
by Justin Huggler
... His writings are bestsellers again. He is at the top of India's music charts too, with a tape of his Hindu devotional songs, or bhajans ... http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0916-03.htm

Prayer meetings were an important part of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba's life ... "Ishwar Allah Tero Naam" a set of 2 CD'S / Cassettes, (2 CD PACK = Rs. 360, 2 CASSETTES PACK = RS. 125 ) is an audio recreation of Ba & Bapuji's Prayer Meetings. The voice extracts of Mahatma Gandhi are from a collection of recordings of his speeches delivered at prayer meetings and recorded by All India Radio. This music album is brought out with the association of Mahatma Gandhi Foundation, Mumbai and Times Music. The collections of bhajans (devotional songs) are from among those sung at the Mahatma's Ashram Prayers ... http://www.mkgandhi.org/audio%20CDs.htm



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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #65
67. He was also an Atheist - Hindus can be both
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #67
68. An Atheist With Gandhi
... I am an atheist and I had the privilege of close association with him for four years. We talked together about atheism several times during this period and I know his views on atheism to the extent to which they were revealed in our talks ...

After one year of village work, that is in September, 1941, I wrote a letter to Gandhiji ... Gandhiji replied ...

11-9-'41
Sevagram,
Via Wardha, C.P.

Dear Friend,

Atheism is a denial of self. No one has succeeded in its propagation. Such success as you have attained is due to your sincere work among the people round you. I am sorry I cannot invite you to come here. I have no time to spare for talks.

Yours sincerely, M. K. GANDHI


The following is the authorized gist of Shri Ramaswamy's conversation with Gandhiji as noted down by Shri Pyarelal, Gandhiji's secretary:

... This young fellow ... told Gandhiji that he had a cosmopolitan outlook and did not believe in God ... "As for you," <Gandhiji> continued, "your ambition will be fulfilled if, beside your ability and enthusiasm, you introduce something else in your life, i.e., a living faith in God ... A cosmopolitan outlook is a necessity but it can never be a substitute for God ... You are dissatisfied with the prevalent idea about God, for the simple reason that those who profess belief in God do not present a living God in their own lives" ...


<&c&c&c>

http://www.positiveatheism.org/india/gora12.htm
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #17
33. Did you even read that?
I originally wrote more, but realized that you didn't even really read what I wrote. You immediately assumed I'm a theist of some sort, which I am not.

Other baseless assumptions and defamatory accusations followed.

If you want to respond, go back and read what I wrote first.

--p!
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #14
31. Well, I hate to point this out, but...
You might want to consider your use of the term "dogmatic". That also tends to rub people the wrong way in that in implies that there's a sort of dogma or central text in atheism. If there's one thing about atheists, it's that they're a herd of cats. There's not really any sort of dogma that one adheres to.

In a forum where atheists have a greater relative amount of privilege, they will control that much more of the rhetoric. Name-calling on religious people will frequently enjoy justification, and name-calling on atheists will deemed similarly intolerable.

But on a discussion board with a set of rules to abide by, the forum has nothing to do with it. Name-calling from both sides is regularly removed. If you see something that crosses the line, alert on it.

And THEN, you have other arguments to disentangle. For example, why is it an offensive act to classify atheism as religion or religious? There are sound and non-inflammatory arguments for each. You may not accept one or another, and you may have a better argument, but blithely dismissing any substantive claim is only effective among opponents who are stupid or acting in bad faith.

Why is it offensive? Well, I'm not sure that an explanation is required other than to point out many atheists find it so. Is that not enough to agree that it is offensive?

Also, the offensiveness of a term is completely irrespective to whether or not atheism is a religion - so it wasn't really the point of my OP to address that. I am, though, working from the assumption that it is not because I think that we should use language as it is meant to be used.

And is it really inflammatory to use "religion" as an epithet? Isn't that really analogous to using "atheist" as a slur?

When someone says that they are not religious, and then you tell them that they are...well, you do the math. Likewise, if I went up to a Christian and told them that they really didn't believe in God, I'm sure they would be similarly upset with me.

As a non-believer myself, I understand the pleasure in trashing the tabernacle. But once you take notice of religious issues that are not divisive and tyrannical, you have to find new ways of dealing with the whole schmeer, and that's currently a big stumbling block in the faith/doubt conversation.

I understand that, though I'm not entirely sure what that has to do with the OP.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
15. What if they simply switch to the term "Agitprop Atheism"?
Edited on Sat May-24-08 09:14 AM by Boojatta
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. I prefer "Uppity" n/t
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. If you extract some consistent idea of...
... one person Jesus based on the four NT gospels, then would that be an idea of a definitely uppity person, a definitely non-uppity person, or neither?
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. LOL. Operatives on both sides catapulting divisiveness.
The rational on both sides get no responses. Yet, rational think-tanks contrive to divide us in order to keep Dems away from the voter rich religions.

It's a shame.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Who are the operatives?
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. The un-tombstoned, the posting dead (of heart).
Like the walking dead, only with keyboards.

They've successfully driven many people away from DU.

Some people use the ignore feature to avoid them.

We are not allowed to name them on DU posts. (If we were allowed, they'd start the naming as well.)

So, I just note the sniping, the assumptions, the usual. Agitation with propaganda: seems like it to me.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #22
44. The Hollow Men
Sorry, just taught that poem on Thursday to my Brit Lit class. Found a chance to use it and jumped on it. Carry on.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. Carry on, with a whimper, like it's the end of the world or something.

Portraits hung in empty halls
frameless heads on nameless walls
with eyes that watch the world and can't forget
like the strangers that you met.
The ragged men in ragged clothes.
A silver thorn a bloody rose
lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.

Or, the poetry of a website whose motto states: For people who really think they're being heard.

Bye.Bye....
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. "Yet, rational think-tanks contrive to divide us"
I'd call that irrational or at least extremely unwise.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Know your enemy. Eminently rational. Devoid of heart.
Lacking heart is indeed extremely unwise. Feeling is first, and to be last. And all the rationale, the intelligence, the wisdom in the world, even as attributable to the icon Solomon, is nothing but noise compared to heart.

At least, that's how I see it.

It was pointed out to me that capable educated engineers developed, planned, and built crematoria for Nazis. No! Education, knowledge, honed abilities, etc. are no replacement for heart, and never will be.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. If this "heart" you speak of...
...is a source of basic values, even an atheist rationalist such as myself will agree that you've got to have one. Logic and reason are powerful and necessary tools, but they provide no inherent goals or motivations in and of themselves.

If your idea of "having a heart" means explicitly embracing the irrational, however, explicitly ignoring reason and logic, that I don't buy.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. I use the word heart to speak respectfully to both sides.
Which side should not matter.

Since we don't understand everything -- yet -- there are times we need to embrace the irrational. (e.g., to figuratively embrace a woman's logic as a man, or vice versa.) In a larger sense, that can be seen as a rational act (unless you like sleeping alone).

Embracing the irrational, does not necessitate ignoring reason nor logic, but, nor does such embrace require reason or logic.

Perhaps, someday, math, physics and even sex will all make perfect sense and logic and reason will be all we will need evermore. Don't hold your breath!
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #26
35. There's a distinction to be made between irrational and non-rational
That which is non-rational is not supported by logic and reason, but it doesn't go against it either. Liking the color green is neither rational nor irrational, it is non-rational.

Embracing the irrational, does not necessitate ignoring reason nor logic, but, nor does such embrace require reason or logic.

Change that to "embracing the non-rational", and I can agree.

Most of religion, and a lot of so-called "spirituality" as well, is downright irrational, however, not merely non-rational.

Perhaps, someday, math, physics and even sex will all make perfect sense and logic and reason will be all we will need evermore. Don't hold your breath!

Whether it "all make(s) perfect sense" or not hasn't a thing to do with with any "need" for irrationality. What you're saying is beginning to sound like an argument I've heard all to many times before, the argument that starts with "we don't know everything", then makes the giant, blazingly irrational leap to "therefore I can fill in the gaps with whatever suits my fancy, and until you can 100% prove me wrong, whatever I say is as good as whatever any stuffy, close-minded, "linear"-thinking scientist says!"
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. There are more distinctions: What I'd see. What you'd see.
Edited on Sat May-24-08 06:23 PM by Festivito
How many worlds are there in a fishbowl of ten fish? Thirteen?

What I would describe as rational, irrational, or non-rational could be completely different from what you would describe with these words. As example, my significant other might see some line of reasoning as completely rational, where I see it as completely irrational.

Oh, your change. I guess I digressed. If you changed irrational to non-rational, I'd agree also. Note that you did not say that you would disagree if it remained with the word irrational that is a stronger superset of non-rational, so of course it would fit.

Still, if I embrace the most outrageous irrationality, I am not required to drop further rationale nor logic. In fact doing so might send me to a night alone.

I'm a little unsure about the rest of your statements. You seem passionate and even a little miffed. Miffed at people who ... consider themselves on parr with scientists? Perhaps? And, perhaps this won't allow you to address assumptions unless you address it now as the discussion might come to someone saying "...you can ..(not).. prove me wrong," while thinking what they want to think and that their thoughts are as good as another person: a scientist no less?

Look. I'm mad at the Bush administration changing scientific results. But, they do that for money, not for heartfelt concerns for US.

As for creationists, it's religion. They have a right to free practice and to choose, even if you hate what they choose. After all, they might also hate what you choose.

Should you be bothered by zealously spiritual people, try kindly excusing yourself. We all need a tough skin here on DU and in life. Unless it's the dinner table, in which case let them know that politics, religion and sex have no place where digestion is important.

ON EDIT: Used square braces. Oops.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. Embracing the irrational...
...and embracing someone who is irrational are two different things. :)

I can't really guess your specific point here on some things as you aren't being very plain or direct. So the best I can do is respond to your language, and things I've heard before spoken in similar language.

I'm not talking about different people having different opinions about what is or is not rational. What I'm talking about -- which your words bring to mind, even if it's not your intent -- is that there are people who will themselves consider something they themselves accept and believe as irrational, who somehow think irrationality is a good thing, something they need to "be human", to "have a heart", etc. These are generally people for whom "logical" and "rational" means cold-hearted, unfeeling, calculating, etc.

And please, avoid deliberately slippery word-game interpretations of what I'm saying, like, "Well, my girlfriend is irrational, but I accept her" -- that's not what I'm talking about. The "accepting" and "embracing" and "believing" I'm talking about are the way people accept or reject doctrines, dogmas, statements about what causes various phenomena in the world, etc.
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Festivito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #40
46. Thanks.
Thanks for having a sense of humor.

It seems you are talking about people holding to irrational thinking, irrational as you and I and most of DU would see it.

You don't say why you are talking about it, just imply you might not like it.

Okay.

Maybe the stereotype is true that touchy feely heartful people might also think irrationality is a good thing for their doctrines, dogmas, etc.

Maybe.

I hope they are not being called names.
I hope they are not wasting our time.

Wishing you well.
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frogmarch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
18. Atheism is a religion
like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

I find that to be an effective response to those who insist my non-belief in deities is a religion.

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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
27. Exactly. I couldn't have said it better myself
there is NO SUCH THING
as a Fundamentalist Atheist or Evangelical Atheist.

It makes as much sense as a Catholic or Protestant Atheist
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
34. But I encounter more "fundamentalist" arguments from atheists in R/T than anywhere else in my life:
by this, I mean that certain atheists in R/T are the only people I regularly encounter who insist that if I consider myself a Christian, then I must interpret the Bible with a fundamentalist's literalism

This "fundamentalist atheism" appears to be a standard set-up: who discounts it, is described as not a "real Christian," the common intent being to promote the idea that "real Christians" are schizoid, poorly educated, illogical, superstitious, and anti-scientific

So, thanks, but no thanks



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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. Please help me understand
What definition of "fundamentalist" are you using and how did you arrive at that definition.

I'm not going to argue about your definition, I just don't understand what you are talking about.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #36
41. I share your confusion
It almost sounds like he's saying that a fundamentalist atheist is an atheist who insists that anyone who calls himself a Christian should read the Bible literally like Christian fundamentalist!?
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. I suspect that this will degenerate into a semantic argument
with the non-atheists arguing that "fundamentalist" includes all obnoxious behavior, while atheists would prefer a definition that somehow relates to the root word "fundamental".

We have already seen that impasse up-thread, and I suspect that there will be no progress until that hurdle is crossed.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #45
53. You demand definitions while whining you can't expect more than semantics? *snork*
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #53
58. I did not demand, I politely requested.
And you rudely declined my request.

That indicates to me that you are not prepared to discuss this issue rationally.

I expressed a well justified suspicion that you would have no reasonable definition, and you proved my suspicion to be correct.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #58
60. OK: You request definitions while whining you can't expect more than semantics? Still *snork*
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. And still no definition
I don't know what you are talking about and I doubt that you do either.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #64
74. Riight! I can give a definition, then you can moan I'm playing semantic games. No thanks! Bye!
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #74
75. I told you: "I'm not going to argue about your definition,"
But you have no definition. You are making it up as you go along.

You have confirmed each of my predictions.

Thanks to you, I'm batting a thousand.

Now, I predict, you will pretend that you were right all along.

Prove me wrong.

:rofl:
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #74
80. Again, you proved me right.
You're just making it up as you go along.

There is no definition of "fundamentalism" that agrees with your usage of the term.

That's why you went off to the corner to pout.

You got caught making stuff up.

You got caught with an indefensible argument.

So you blame others and stomp off in a huff.

:rofl:
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #80
94. .
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #64
85. working definition
Ok if-
"Atheism, as an explicit position, either affirms the nonexistence of gods<1> or rejects theism.<2> When defined more broadly, atheism is the absence of belief in deities,<3> a type of nontheism."
(Crappy Wikipedia definition, insert your preference)

Then (as a working definition ;-)
Fundamentalist or Evangelical Atheism denotes a virulent, unequivocal (and often irrational) contempt for or hatred of all things religious or related to religion..
Fundamentalist Atheism does not simply reject theism but sees it as an evil from which no good has ever come.

Now.Im fully aware thats a definition of my own making and wont be found in Webster or Wikipedia..and Im guessing that no/few local atheists would put their hand up declaring Thats me!
But the term (from my perspective) derives from the recognition that there is a fundamental hatred of or contempt for theism/religion that goes well beyond rejection or opposition.
Frankly Im far less interested in the definition than the symptoms and manifestations.
To me they look very closely related to racism, xenophobia and nationalism.

In the few and infrequent post I have made here I have suggested several times that religions (like nations and civilizations) produce good and ill to varying degrees. I cannot recall a single word of even slight agreement that this might be the case. Rather the response is an automatic and invariable portrayal of religion as completely negative in every respect. No slack is to be cut whatsoever...any positive contribution of religion is to be cut/ignored/rejected and imediatly opposed with some ill.

It strikes me as a denial of history a tunnel vision on the contemporary and a blight on the prospective future.

But it does have its funny side-
http://www.tektonics.org/parody/fundyath.html

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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #85
86. If you say so.
I was looking for a definition of "fundamentalist" that fit with the usage of the previous poster.

You chose to define atheism. But you did not define "fundamentalists".

Do you have a definition of "fundamentalist" that can be used in all instances and occurrences of the word?

Again, let me stress, I will not dispute your definition of "fundamentalist".

I'm just trying to understand how you can use that word to describe a group of people without addressing the fundamental principles, beliefs, or dogma.
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #86
87. Let me see...
Edited on Mon May-26-08 11:27 AM by ironbark
"Do I have a definition of "fundamentalist" that can be used in all instances and occurrences of the word?" ?

No.

Will I be looking for one?

No.



But I do have an 84 Ford with only 30 000K on the clock...if that's any good to you.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #87
88. That figures
You're making it up as you go along too.

If you are just looking for a label to insult people, at least you should find one that is grammatically correct.

I'm sorry if that is too much strain.
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #88
90. My initial impulse


Was to put about as much time, effort, consideration and strain into my reply as you did into considering and responding to my post 85.

But even though 'So you say' was just a blow off I had 'Second Thoughts' and under the 'Varkam Treaty' came back to "try".

You want an exclusive focus on finding a grammatically correct definitionI (and the previous poster) indicated disinterest. I gave it a shot and have given two more.

If your not happy with the definition then perhaps you need to examine the condition and propose your own descriptor?

If you are just looking for a label to insult people,.

Disingenuous and baseless straw man speculation.

I have made the basis of my experience and concerns regarding fundamentalist atheism quite clear.you ignore them, assume intent to insult and bog down in
the quest for the grammatically correct.

As indicatedam not interested in the specific terms employed, am not interested in insulting anyone..am interested in the manifest behaviours and symptoms of the condition (whatever it ends up getting called).


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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #90
91. So, you can't define "fundamentalist" without context?
But you intend to use it anyway?

Is it any wonder that I say you don't know what you are talking about?
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #91
92. I don't think you need me

to maintain this conversation your having with yourself.
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #86
89. Second thought.

I'm just trying to understand how you can use that word to describe a group of people without addressing the fundamental principles, beliefs, or dogma.

OK
I dont believe that the fundamentals of any fundamentalism always or even predominantly reside in their principles, beliefs, or dogma.
All too often it just aint that cerebral.
The fundamentals are often ignorance, fear, xenophobia, contempt for or hatred of the other.

If your looking for a fundamental principle then try- All religions and all things religious are evil.

If your looking for a fundamental belief then try- Because all religion is evil it deserves unwavering condemnation and hatred.

Will you find such principles and beliefs in atheist texts? I dunno.

You will certainly find the spirit, attitude and approach made manifest around here.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #89
93. Well, at least you are making sense now. Sorta.
Is it safe to say, by your criteria, that the poster who said "atheists are assholes" is a fundamentalist?
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #41
49. Yes, that is the way I use the term
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. Umm... okay.
"Former heavyweight champion" is my term for people who commute more than 40 miles to a job at a Fortune 500 company. I find that makes discussions of such subject matter soooo much more clear. :)
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. My use of the term seems clear enough and corresponds to an actual phenomenon
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #52
54. As clear as is seems strange...
...and a less-than-straight-forward use of the component words. I'd still like to see some examples of this "actual phenomenon" you refer to, or at least an accounting of how frequent you think it is.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. Playing innocent is disingenuous: you yourself regularly contribute to such threads, such as
the perennially favorite "Baldy & the Bears" theme. The general strategy, as usual, is to grab some piece of text and to express outrage over it, while denying that the text might mean anything other than what the Fundamentalist Atheist claims it means

Here is one of the more recent examples of the genre:

Paint It Black
Tue Mar-25-08 12:14 PM
Original message
A reading from the Book of 2nd Kings (or, WTF?)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

And look! Here you are, contributing exactly in the way I indicated:

Kerry4Kerry
Thu Apr-03-08 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #10
48. Your God...
..is a f*cking asshole. Since I think it's vanishingly unlikely that such a deity actually exists, that you choose to believe in this god and embrace such an evil tyrant, making excuses about being "unworthy" to pass judgment on his atrocities, says more about you than it does about the hideous fiction you bow down to.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. What on earth does this have to do...
...with insisting that anyone who calls himself a Christian MUST or SHOULD use literal interpretation?

These comments of mine were directed at someone who already took such a literal interpretation. I'm not "playing innocent" or otherwise trying to be coy with you. And I never claimed I don't argue against literal interpretations and the ridiculous and stupid implications of such literalism -- I've done so often.

If you've got some weird chip on your shoulder that makes you take this as an insistence that you personally must or should take the Bible literally too... that's your issue, not mine.

Further, even if I were doing this weird I-insist-you-take-it-literally-thing you think I'm doing, "fundamentalist atheist" still wouldn't make sense as a label for describing it.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. You actually want me to read your post in context, instead of quoting it in isolation
to show something it does not show?

I'm afraid that approach simply would not conform to the prevailing standards of the R/T forum, as you can see by examining the thread I linked above
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #59
62. All that's coming through is that you have an enormous chip on your shoulder...
...and that you intend to vent your frustrations by being an asshole is ways you perhaps believe others have been assholes to you, and you don't give a damn if it's all based on unclear unfathomable references to grudges born in long-dead threads.

I guess I should have figured out from the beginning you were attempting to set us up to ask you questions wherein you could reply using deliberately out-of-context quotes from replies to people other than yourself to make some obscure point about terrible unfairness done to you.

Or something like that.

Which all boils down to exactly the OP's point anyway: the phrase "atheist fundamentalist" isn't meaningful except as a tool for generating insult and annoyance, just as calling you a "shithead" would not be a literal accusation that your cranium enclosed a mass of genuine fecal material, much as I might be drawn to speculate on that possibility.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #62
66. So my attempt to provide a coherent parsing of "fundamentalist atheist" (as
a description of an argument style that insists on reading the bible literally as part of a program to label as an irrational idiot anyone who thinks the text deserves careful theological attention), and my associated disagreement that "fundamentalist atheist" is necessarily an unjustified ad hominem attack -- qualifies me as "asshole" with "enormous chip on .. shoulder" :D
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #66
69. Show me this "attempt to provide a coherent parsing"...
...and maybe you'd have a point. In the meantime, you practically admitted to taking me out of context to make a point about something, after first taking me out of context and acting as if it was an "Ah, hah! Caught you red-handed!" moment. So, yes, assholism seems to prevailing over provision of coherency at the moment.

Go ahead and answer my reply #57 if you have any sincere desire to make yourself clear instead of blustering onward in passive-aggressive obliqueness.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #69
70. My post #34 was completely clear
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #70
71. Your post #34 is nothing more than a restatement of what's being disputed in this sub-thread.
by this, I mean that certain atheists in R/T are the only people I regularly encounter who insist that if I consider myself a Christian, then I must interpret the Bible with a fundamentalist's literalism

Asked to provide an example these people you "regularly encounter", you dither for a while, then eventually produce a quote from me, where indeed I was dealing with Biblical literalism, but where I wasn't addressing you or any other non-Fundamentalist, and where I certainly wasn't insisting that anyone be a literalist.

I was talking about how horrible the version of God someone who claims to be a literalist would be have to be. I find it hard to see where you get from that, "Therefore, this God is such a horrible God, you'd better make sure you're a literalist if you call yourself a Christian so this horrible God of the literalists will be your God too!"

No, you haven't "provide(d) a coherent parsing", or more to the point, provided sufficient example, of this type person you claim to regularly encounter. It's as if you claimed that you keep running into golfers who smoke, yet when asked to produce an example, you point triumphantly at a man playing golf who isn't smoking, isn't carrying cigarettes, and doesn't even smell faintly of tobacco, shouting, "There! See!?"

Answering my post #57 would certainly help make it more clear exactly what you mean this thing is that you're claiming you encounter so regularly, but you seem very resistant to providing any such answer.

And even if you had managed to show evidence that this insistence on literalism occurs regularly, you have yet to "provide a coherent parsing" that explains how A's insistence on B's fundamentalism in philosophy X makes A a fundamentalist of A's opposing not-X philosophy.

The only way that could possibly work is if you go back to the OP's claim: "fundamentalist" is being used as nothing more than an vaguely defined insult, in this case used to accuse someone of generically obnoxious rhetorical behavior.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. Okay, you have convinced me further effort is entirely pointless. Well-played!
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #66
76. You haven't even TRIED to clarify. That's the point.
NT!

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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 07:14 AM
Response to Reply #55
57. Out of curiousity, which form is this alleged insistence of mine taking?
Since you're the expert on what I've been up to, much more than myself, do I insist on your literal interpretation of the Bible in that:

1) You MUST do so, in the sense that you already do, and perhaps aren't confessing to your literalism yet.
2) You MUST or SHOULD do so, in the sense that you don't already take the Bible literally, but have an inherent duty or obligation of some sort to literalism.
...2a) This obligation is moral.
...2b) This obligation is a necessary logical consequence of other positions you've stated.
...2c) Other (please describe).
3) Other.

Since I'm apparently in the dark about what I've been insisting on from you, your help in this matter will be greatly appreciated.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #55
61. Well, in that thread...
Edited on Sun May-25-08 02:10 PM by varkam
you could've said that - that in context the quoted text meant something quite different. Instead, it appeared that you were of the opinion that such things were not even worth discussion.

Oh, and despite any potential problems with my reading comprehension I was not the only one to think that.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #61
73. I think I must renew my intention to avoid philosophical discussions, as a continuing source of
misunderstandings
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #73
77. That seems a rather silly reason to abandon philosophical discussion.
Edited on Sun May-25-08 09:36 PM by varkam
Misunderstanding is always going to be present in any form of communication when either the speaker fails to adequately communicate him or herself, or there is some misunderstanding on the part of the audience. I understand that these things can be frustrating, but that's not a reason to just not talk about things at all (at least I don't think it is) as such discussions are one of the few ways that we are able to arrive at a sense of mutual understanding.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. Huh?
I don't think I've ever seen any atheists here, or in any other forum I've participated in, insisting that anyone who calls himself a Christian "must" or "should be" a Biblical literalist.

I can't say this never happens, but you think it happens often and consider it typical? Any examples?

The closest I've seen to what you claim is someone questioning what the value of the Bible is if it's so much up to the reader to interpret, to pick and choose what to follow. I can sort of see that turning into, via a convoluted and not necessarily very logical path, "Well, if you're not being a literalist, you aren't being consistent with the label 'Christian'" -- but not in my experience.

It's your opinion that this insistence on literalism is not only frequent, but frequent among and characteristic of the so-called "atheist fundamentalists" who have plagued your online existence?
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #34
63. Are there atheists that insist that if you consider yourself a Christian...
that you must interpret the bible literally? Can you link to a post of anyone saying those words?
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #34
78. Hahah...I dare you to look up the phrase "True Christian" in the Search option.
I'm sort of curious to see who uses the phrase the most, and who, if anybody, brings up the No True Scotsman fallacy.

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #78
79. I'd waste way too much time looking at Landover Baptist or similar stuff:
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #34
109. I've had this discussion with you before
and you continue to misstate. Here is one more shot. It usually stems from a discussion that the bible teaches us something or that we should do something because the bible says, or whatever. Here's my point regardless of origin:

Either
A. The Bible is the word of god and needs to be taken literally or
B. The Bible is just the writings of flawed people.

IF A
Then it is ALL the word of god and you can't just pick and choose.

IF B
Then who gives a flying fart what they have to say--we might as well discuss Gatsby which is better written.

You really can't have it both ways. That is my problem. Is there some good stuff in there? Sure (most of it stolen from previous cultures, I would argue). But there is plenty of crap. But once you say that the bible carries some authority, you are arguing for A, because if you are not, then B is a pretty weak argument for authority.

In either case (A or B), the inclusion of crappy stories seems relevant, because:

IF A
Then god is kind of a dick

IF B
You have to filter the good messages through the fact that there is some pretty horrible ones.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #109
123. You would (I think) set up two scarecrows and insist I choose between them -- your own decision
to make (of course) if it pleases you

I really see no interesting or useful dichotomy there. Apparently you do not believe that: I must be unable to understand your argument, or somehow in deep denial about it, or perhaps cravenly dishonest in addressing it

And yet I am afraid that I see merely a pair of sad strawmen. Around us, real issues rage in the world, I think -- yet you would advertise an epic battle between Sir Hayseed and the Alfalfa Knight, both of whom are dummies, neither able to retrieve his own hat if it blew off. I am strongly inclined to ignore both

If the figurines obstruct my view too much in the dark, I might hope some light could be obtained by disposing of the pair together into some philosophical bonfire -- of course, if I do so, I must be prepared for the possibility some wit will rescue the figures from the flames and as a prank shove them blazing into my face



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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #123
129. So you berate me
for talking about something while "real issues" rage and yet you can wax unpoetically with a crappy extended scarecrow metaphor? At least I'm always wrong with you. Kinda like we are married without the perks.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #129
130. Have a nice day
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #109
160. Except that your point doesn't fit
There's the problem. It suits your argument, but it doesn't fit the way a large majority of Christians see the bible. The bible is more multi-purpose, if you like: it's entirely possible to read it as containing important truth, while not reading it as a textbook. It is a book of literature, and the use of parable, fable, metaphor and allegory is rife. Why would someone choose to understand such a book on only one level?

Your argument has the benefit of being neat and short. It misses the mark, however, if what you're after is a more correct understanding of how people who hold the book to be scripture understand it.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #34
158. LOL
I've found that this particular tactic is usually the mark of a person with little to no knowledge of religion, and in particular of Christianity (which is usually, not always, the target). It's far easier to make their argument against belief when belief is narrowly defined in such a way. Most of us here at Du who consider ourselves believers don't subscribe to Christianity on those terms, so we end up talking past each other to no avail.

Those here among the non-believers who are quite educated about religion, otoh, rarely resort to that arguement, or to lumping all members of a given faith together in order to fit with their neatly pre-conceived ideas of such. Conversation there is far more interesting, and fruitful if understanding is the goal.
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-24-08 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
47. Yes absolutely.
Similar when someone wants to push some unproven pseudoscience and I ask for "evidence" I am derided as an fundamaentalist scientist.
Its intellectually lazy to accuse someone of being a fundamentalist and therefore many people want to do that instead of actually *thinking* or broadbrushing
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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
81. I always enjoy reading
your perspective on things, Varkam.

And I think you are right about this. :)
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
95. As an atheist, I use "fundamentalist atheist" to distinguish myself ...
from the extremely intolerant atheists who seem to constitute the majority of atheists who post here.

There are a few mental attributes of fundamentalism -- narrow-mindedness, intolerance, certainty, a willingness to believe counter-factuals that uphold their own world view (for example, the counter-factual statement constantly repeated by fundamentalist atheists, that no one has ever been killed by intolerant atheists unlike intolerant religions, despite the obvious history of the Soviet Union, Cambodia, China in Tibet and other countries).

I find that many atheists have these attributes.

I don't, however, use "fundamentalist atheist" as an attack or insult. I use it as what I believe is accurate, objective terminology.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #95
97. Oh the irony......
Edited on Wed May-28-08 09:45 AM by Evoman
"narrow-mindedness, intolerance, certainty, a willingness to believe counter-factuals that uphold their own world view"

:rofl:
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #95
98. I think most people will take 'narrow-mindedness' and 'intolerance'
as attacks or insults. I don't think they should be applied to "the majority of atheists who post here". And you can't call applying them to people 'objective' either.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #98
99. Most of the time, if someone says they are objective, it means that they aren't.
This is my subjective experience of course, and anecdotal. But it seems to me that people that make claims of objectivity are often the most biased of all.

It takes a very self-aware mind to notice biases and subjectivity in it's opinions.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #95
100. self delete, not worth it.
Edited on Wed May-28-08 12:25 PM by cosmik debris
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #95
103. "I don't hate black people..."
You know that when they start that way, they really do hate them, right?

Apply to yourself.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #103
104. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #95
128. Straw-man ahoy!
...that no one has ever been killed by intolerant atheists unlike intolerant religions, despite the obvious history of the Soviet Union, Cambodia, China in Tibet and other countries...

To my knowledge, the point of contention is not whether or not people have been slaughtered by atheistic regimes (they have), but whether atheism was an accidental attribute of such regimes and not a driving force behind such slaughter.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
102. Of course it is an ad hominem. Fundamentalist christians IDENTIFY THEMSELVES as fundamentalist.
Edited on Wed May-28-08 12:33 PM by Evoman
They have no problems with the descriptor because *gasp* IT FUCKING DESCRIBES THEM. As much as we on the left dislike it, fundie isn't a bad word if it's properly used. It is sort of the "liberal" of the left wing. If a right winger called you a liberal, you wouldn't blink an eye because that is what you are. It describes you. Among themselves though, it is a prejorative.

In essence, people who use the term fundamentalists to describe someone who is not religious and has no fundamentals in the first place is using the prejorative version of the word.

It's not hard to see and I really wish that people who use the term would have the self awareness to look at themeselves honestly and see how they are using the word. When are you using it? Are you using it in anger? Are you using it in frustration?

Moreover, look at how we argue among ourselves. We all strongly express opinions, be it in political discussions or religious discussions. And I strongly believe that not a single person on this site ever goes door to door and evangelizes or, outside of discussion, approaches people and attack their beliefs. Actually, there are a couple of people who do, but I know that those people accept the term fundamentalist anyways.

The rest of us don't. Whether you say something negative about atheism or atheists (and if your honest with yourself, you know it happens) or you say something negative about christians or christianity (and again, it happens), IT DOESN'T MAKE YOU A FUNDIE CHRISTIAN OR A FUNDIE ATHEIST. To be honest, I seldom see anybody on here calling liberal christians fundies for expressing their opinions, but the opposite happens regularly.

Now I'm going to be even more honest with you. When I hear the term Fundie Atheist, I really don't get as angry as some of the other atheists around here do. Heh...I just see it as a fight or flight response from someone who can't argue about their opinions. If they want to call me a name because I post my opinions on some unimportant site in the corners of the internets, then let them. Outside of DU, most of the time, I could give a shit about religion and barely think about it.

If it makes you feel better, call me a fundie atheist.....it's not gonna stop me from spankin' your ass.
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #102
106. You've confused concepts
Edited on Wed May-28-08 12:43 PM by HamdenRice
"not a single person on this site ever goes door to door and evangelizes..."

You're confusing evangelical with fundamentalist. You can be fundamentalist without being evangelical.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #106
107. Lol....so now evangelical means something? Since when?
Hamdenrice, you have no idea how much I'm laughing inside.

Just answer one question for me, dude.

What should we call a certain, narrow-minded Christian who does NOT does not take a literal interpratation of the bible?

A fundamentalist non-fundamentalist liberal Christian?

:rofl:
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #107
108. A complete nonsense question
Sadly, you are now spiralling down into the drain of incoherence.

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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #108
110. How is it incoherent?
Are you basically saying that christians who don't take a literal (or fundamental) interpretation of the bible can't be narrow-minded or certain? What about a christians who, for example, takes a very liberal, non-literal interpretation of the bible, but at the same time insists strongly that his version is the only correct version, refuses to listen to or accept other people interpretations, and is narrow-minded?

So what do you call a narrow-minded, certain, liberal christian who disagrees vehemently with a literal interpretation of the bible?

Maybe you should take another look at what the word fundamentalism means.

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heidler1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #102
156. Heres a suggestion: When called a fundie Atheist, ask.
Edited on Mon Jun-02-08 04:09 PM by heidler1
Do you mean FUNDIE as in FUN LOVING Atheists? If they insist on deliberate misuse of words and deliberately refuse to own up to what is behind this misuse of words, such as, insulting privileges, Then we have every right to further truncate the word even more, to our liking.
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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #156
159. "Fundie" = "fun loving"
Another good one. :thumbsup:
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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
111. Well, I hope you've learned your lesson, varkam
Maybe next time you will think before you try to foster rational discussion and understanding. Now your nonsense infests not only R/T but A/A, on top of that.

I hope you're proud of your ill-advised attempt to impose reason on a place like this.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #111
112. No doubt. It looks like it's time for our quarterly Religion forum flare up.
Let's see if we can find some common thread (or A common thread) every time the forum erupts into this sort of antagonistic insult-fest.
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #112
113. The common thread is easy to spot -->
One or more DUers have dared to stand up to the fundamentalist atheist self-appointed "forum masters."

Varkam asked a question, and loads of DUers came out to explain why they indeed felt that DU's fundie atheist brigade was rude and intolerant.

Predictably that brigage went ballistic. Hence flame war.

There's your explanation.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #113
114. Hehe....I just got an image of you with a brandishing a golden sword while riding a white horse.
Edited on Wed May-28-08 01:58 PM by Evoman
"RALLY MEN! They may be the forum masters, but WE HAVE POLITENESS ON OUR SIDE! Freedom from our cruel, atheist overlords is just around the corner. To arms, comrades, to arms! Now, we fight. Now, we win!"

*approaches an atheist overlord and yells reallllly loudly* "YOU'RE A FUNDAMENTALIST! HAHA..take THAT!"

:rofl:


Edited to spell You're right, because I'm a fucking *cough cough* moron.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #113
117. Thank god for people like you.
Oh, that's right, we are both atheists. Thank Darwin for people like you that get to fight the evil mongrel horde.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #117
118. We are the overlords, Goblinmonger. We must maintain control,
Edited on Wed May-28-08 02:19 PM by Evoman
lest the religious take it back. The one hero known as Hamdenrice must be stopped or our evil plans will be for naught!

I'm sure the rest of the religious people on this forum would be amused to find they are nothing but peasants under our Iron-handed rule!

:rofl:
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #118
121. So in the realm of evil overlords
are we more like Sauron or Dr. Evil?
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #113
127. There is not a single question mark in the OP.
So, pray tell, what is the question that I asked?
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
115. "The terms are almost exclusively used by theists"
This presumption is surely not correct?

It seems to me that if you look at this thread and the many others that have covered this topic, many of the participants who accept the idea that there is such a thing as a fundamentalist atheist are themselves atheists, who simply don't accept the rigid way of thinking and intolerant way of interacting with religious people of certain other atheists.

I think the term is used more along the lines of the way Greg Epstein used it:

http://friendlyatheist.com/2007/04/02/atheists-argue-ab... /

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #115
116. Exactly who in this thread
is an atheist that "accepts the idea that there is such a thing"? I thought this thread was littered with my "little clique"? Do I have some non-clique ass kicking to do?
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #116
119. A high school teacher by day, a anti-religious overlord by night.
My liege, I would be proud to hold your scepter of Anti-Religion +5, in exchange for command of the Progressive People of Faith group once you have vanquished the non-clique enemy.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #119
120. I could really get into this if it were true.
Though I alternate through visualizations that come from a kick ass Arthurian legend and from Spamalot.

Hamden needs to get a job writing fear propaganda for a politician.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #115
126. I think that if you were to take a poll on DU...
you would find many, many, many more theists who have no objection to the term versus atheists who do have an objection to the term. I did not say that there are no atheists who do not object to it (as you are, presumably, an atheist and do not object to it), though your usage of the term merely betrays your motivations, but I believe I wrote "almost exclusively" thereby leaving room for the odd atheist that has no problem with it.

I will note that in discussions here, you are something of an anomaly.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
124. Evangelical / Fundamentalist Atheism ??
Really? well, if that is the tag I am to receive for expressing my doubts about religious claims, so be it.

So, in this sense of the term "Evangelical / Fundamentalist", people who speak up about Equal Rights must also be "Evangelical / Fundamentalist" too.

"But atheism really is a religion!" Incorrect:

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
7. religions, Archaic. religious rites.
8. Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion: a religion to one's vow.

and primarily: a belief in, or the worship of, a god or gods.

Atheism:

a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Synonyms Atheist, agnostic, infidel, skeptic refer to persons not inclined toward religious belief or a particular form of religious belief. An atheist is one who denies the existence of a deity or of divine beings. An agnostic is one who believes it impossible to know anything about God or about the creation of the universe and refrains from commitment to any religious doctrine. Infidel means an unbeliever, especially a nonbeliever in Islam or Christianity. A skeptic doubts and is critical of all accepted doctrines and creeds.


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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-28-08 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #124
125. But we all know that there are fundamentalist atheists
Most of us on this board are fundies. Our objection to being defined as such is just more proof that we are fundamentalists.

There are even three different definitions of fundamentalist atheism right here in this thread:

1). Fundamentalist atheism holds that no good can come from religion, and therefore religion should be eradicated.
2). Atheist fundamentalists insist that religious believers must themselves be fundamentalists, reading their religious texts literally.
3). Fundie atheists are close-minded and refuse to acknowledge any evidence contrary to their beliefs, especially the belief that Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao did not commit atrocities.

Obviously, since the definition of fundamentalist atheism is so broad, it must apply to all the non-believers on this board, with a few notable exceptions. Let's all thank our fellow DUers for clearing up the confusion about what an atheist fundamentalist actually is.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 03:59 AM
Response to Reply #125
132. That is such tripe....
where did you come up with those?

1). Fundamentalist atheism holds that no good can come from religion, and therefore religion should be eradicated.

- There is no good coming from religion, as for its eradication, that will be a long endeavor but like all the 'past' religions, it will fade out of existence.

2). Atheist fundamentalists insist that religious believers must themselves be fundamentalists, reading their religious texts literally.

- Yeah, religious followers do in fact take their religion seriously and a large percent take literally.


3). Fundie atheists are close-minded and refuse to acknowledge any evidence contrary to their beliefs, especially the belief that Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao did not commit atrocities.

- I am closed minded to the notion of a Divine being in sky that listens to prayers and grants wishes. Why? because there is NO evidence to support such a notion. I do not have to carry the 'belief' that there is not such thing a gawd, because there is NO evidence for it; therefore it does not exist.

- "the belief that Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao did not commit atrocities." That is just bullshit, who would say that or think that? Not I, nor anyone that I know or anything I have read.

I do not think of myself as in any way a fundamentalist Atheist, this is just more tripe from the mouths of folks with invisible friends trying to pawn their dirt off on us.

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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #132
137. The sources for my three definitions are as follows:
The first appears here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
This definition was based on the poster's experience with an atheist who refused to admit that some good came from Islamic civilization during the Medieval period- at least, that is his account of how the exchange occurred. I can't verify that that is an accurate characterization.

The second appears here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
This again relies on past experiences with atheists on this board, this time with people who insist that any believer must him/herself be a fundamentalist. Again, I suspect that this is a mischaracterization of the exchanges in question, but I cannot be sure.

The third is here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
This definition centers on intolerance and a stubborn opposition to evidence, appealing to a supposed refusal to admit that atheists ever do evil things. As you say, I strongly suspect that this is a mischaracterization of the dialogue here. I have never said as much myself and have never read any other poster suggest the same. This may be an honest mistake, but it is not inconceivable that it is an intentionally constructed straw man.

My aim in pointing out the three definitions of fundamentalist atheism at work here is to show that the content of this supposed philosophy is subjectively defined by those who apply the term as a pejorative. If fundamentalist atheism was really a self-existent system of thought rather than an ad hominem applied by those who intend to disparage other posters, its content would be consistent and clearly definable.

I suggest that the term is merely a tool used by some posters to inveigh against other posters with whom they disagree.

I'm sorry if the sarcasm in my first post did not come through properly.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #137
138. I got the sarcasm
but it was pretty subtle, I am a genius, and as leader of the atheist horde, I do have to approve all posts before they go out so that probably helped me get it (that and being a literature teacher).
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #138
139. Ooooo, can I join your horde?
So far I am only a member of a clique, but I have a desire for personal fulfillment that can only come from joining a horde. And I am a little insecure about my status in the clique because I haven't been singled out by name as a member. I mean, I get the same criticisms like being called stupid, but I've never been called a stupid member of the atheist fundamentalist clique.

I would be so grateful if you would allow me into your horde, and I promise to misbehave up to the highest standards you may set.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #139
140. You are sooooo in the horde.
You can be the crazy bastard that shits on the porch and keeps out theists before the meeting starts.
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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #138
141. Also, I bet your +5 Rod of Truncated Reasoning
had something to do with it.
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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #141
142. +5?
+5 is for pussies. And theists.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #138
144. Sorry, I'm a moron and did not see the sarcasm...My Bad..nt
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-31-08 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #137
150. Response to 125, 132, 137


the content of this supposed philosophy is subjectively defined by those who apply the term as a pejorative. If fundamentalist atheism was really a self-existent system of thought.

I havent proposed that fundamentalist atheism is a philosophy or a system of thought nor have I seen anyone else do so. As far as I can see it is little more than an attitude or a bigoted attitude.
This will constitute the 4th-5th time that I have put the proposition and thus far there been >zero< rebuttal/response/argument to-

There is no good coming from America is a statement of shallow bias and bigotry that is demolished by even the most cursory examination of the facts.

Do I have to fill in the rest of the argument?

There is no good coming from religion
There is no good coming from non whites
There is no good coming from men
There is no good coming from atheists

I dont give a dam who takes it personally and is offended by it-
>ALL OF THE ABOVE ARE NARROW SHALLOW BLANKET STATEMENTS OF FUNDAMENTALY IGNORANT BIGOTRY<

Am I calling the author of any of the above statements a narrow shallow ignorant bigot? No Im not.Im referring to the pov and not the person.

Im willing to discuss the potential good/evil content and outcomes from any group, cosmology, nation, belief, organization.but Im not prepared to waste my time with (or remain silent in the face of) blanket bigotry that denies >any< good arising from these groups/systems.


If fundamentalist atheism was really a self-existent system of thought rather than an ad hominem applied by those who intend to disparage other posters, its content would be consistent and clearly definable.

In the posts you linked to each author was not attempting to provide a consistent and clearly definable definition of a system of thought or philosophy but rather to identify (in HRs post)- attributes of fundamentalism. The link to my post reveals much the same- an account of encounter with and attributes of an attitude and set of behaviours that strike one as Fundamentalist-
narrow-mindedness, intolerance, certainty, a willingness to believe counter-factuals that uphold their own world view HR

Thus far, almost invariably, the atheist responses have been cantered on defining
the alleged philosophy or speculating about ad hom intent or complaining about (unspecified) censorship, control of board or getting rid of.

Can anyone explain to me why >no one< wants to talk about the specific examples of Fundamentalist atheist statements? >Even when< such statements are requested and provided they are subsequently ignored.


"the belief that Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao did not commit atrocities." That is just bullshit, who would say that or think that? and-justice-for-all

NOBODY! Thats the problem. That is just bullshit and SPIN.

The proposition was that avowed atheists like Stalin, Pol Pot, and Mao >HAVE<
committed atrocities and have done so in the context of seeking to eliminate religious groups as part of their formal pogroms.

One is obliged to wonder why what is clearly stated repeatedly turns up reversed and misrepresented.

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Goblinmonger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #125
134. Yeah, most people are clearly missing the point of the thread
The fact is that the word "fundamentalist" as used is meaningless. It has absolutely no relation to the definition of the term. It is just used as an attack word. I am amazed that people could thing that the term "fundamentalist" as it is used in religion (the discipline from whence it came) applies to ANY of the three instances discussed in this thread and that you correctly delineate. In reality, it is just used as a synonym for "asshole." And usually, in my experience, "asshole atheist" means one that actually talks about their disbelief and dares to question theists.

Just so someone says it again for the more dense in the thread
1) very little good comes from organized religion that couldn't come from somewhere else absent religion.
2) Straw Man--read my post above for a simplistic version of my argument on this idea.
3) Straw Man--the point is that those people did commit atrocities but not in the NAME of atheism but there have been many that HAVE committed atrocities in the NAME of their religion.

Of course, I'm sure that somehow I am being an asshole and just furthering proof of fundamentalism.
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pegleg Donating Member (788 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #124
161. The argument is one that cannot be won , and will perpetuate itself for all time.
I am not offended by so called "fundamental" atheists nor by fundamental Christians , nor by any other lable of belief - but i am offended by bigotry - period. Anytime an attempt is made to contribute to the marginalization of a specific group, simply based on their negative attributes it can only have negative outcomes which harm us all. There is absolutely no excuse for bigotry.
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-29-08 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
145. "Strident, assertive, stubborn, or even assholery" -- do not describe an ontological position
Edited on Thu May-29-08 06:49 PM by HamdenRice
I think that one of the problems with your OP, is that it doesn't recognize that people who use "fundamentalist atheist" are not just describing behavior but an ontological position (as well as the behavior that flows from it).

If the term "fundamentalist atheist" were not used, how would you describe the difference between these two positions:

1. I came to the personal decision that I don't believe there is a God, but I have nothing against religion or religious ideas and don't actively believe that religious people are "wrong."

2. I know there is no god, and therefore religious people are delusional, probably should be confined to mental institutions because of their delusions, and organized religion should be actively opposed as an evil, and religious ideas confronted as wrong, at all times.

None of the words you cite captures the ideological position of (2) -- but only the behavior that might flow from it.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-30-08 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #145
149. Easy
Edited on Fri May-30-08 05:10 PM by varkam
1) Atheist

2) Asshole

Simple, isn't it? Asshole doesn't describe an ontological position, but neither does your second example. In fact, the term fundamentalist atheist is completely useless in terms of describing an ontological position as is apparent from the fashion in which such a term is used.
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-31-08 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #149
151. What an utterly bizarre irony!
Let me repeat my dichotomy:

1. I came to the personal decision that I don't believe there is a God, but I have nothing against religion or religious ideas and don't actively believe that religious people are "wrong."

2. I know there is no god, and therefore religious people are delusional, probably should be confined to mental institutions because of their delusions, and organized religion should be actively opposed as an evil, and religious ideas confronted as wrong, at all times.

Ironically, I don't think (2) is assholery. If you really and truly believe that there is no god, cannot be a god and that religion has been an evil force for making people believe fairy tales, that's as valid an ontological position, as say, a liberal Quaker. While the behavior that one adopts, say, on an internet message board could be assholic, the philosophical position itself is not necessarily assholic. I would say it's certainty is not demonstrated and is based on certain factualy innacurate claims, but simply coming to that conclusion is not the same as being an asshole.

I find it ironic that I'm the one arguing that fundamentalist atheists are not assholes because of their beliefs and you are -- but I'm saying their ideas don't make them assholes; their behavioral choices, which does not necessarily have to flow from their ideas, can.

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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-31-08 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #151
152. Your dichotomy is a bit better this time around.
Edited on Sat May-31-08 05:45 PM by varkam
You replaced believe with "know", thereby making a more significant difference between the two. Even still, you're confusing an ontological position with a sociological one as "knowing" that there is not a god does not necessitate the belief that religious people should be locked up, et cetera. Anti-theism (the position that religion is a positively harmful force) has nothing to do with ontology, as I have known believes that have thought the same thing concerning organized religion.

I find it ironic that I'm the one arguing that fundamentalist atheists are not assholes because of their beliefs and you are -- but I'm saying their ideas don't make them assholes; their behavioral choices, which does not necessarily have to flow from their ideas, can.

Sorry, I'm just a bit confused. Elsewhere you have said that the moniker fundamentalist atheist is a way of describing behavior or character traits (eg intolerant, narrow-minded) and now you are saying that it is based on the philosophical position that one adopts. So...which is it? I mean, you yourself have used the term against other posters here even while not knowing what they believe.

And, for the record, I'm not arguing that fundamentalist atheists are asshole because of their beliefs - my position is that the term fundamentalist atheist is essentially meaningless and that it is purely an ad hominem argument. You can re-read the OP if you need a quick refresher on my position.

ETA

1. I came to the personal decision that I don't believe there is a God, but I have nothing against religion or religious ideas and don't actively believe that religious people are "wrong."

It seems to me that if you do not believe in God, then by definition you think people who do believe in a God are mistaken. :shrug:
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ironbark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #149
153. The ad hom free alternative?

I have two questions arising from this Varkam-

1/ Is Asshole your preferred non ad hom behaviour descriptor to replace
Fundamentalist atheist ?

(And if so would you care to demonstrate its proposed future application? ;-)


2/ Giving a ballpark figure- stab in the dark- guesstemate.What percentage of the local professed atheist population would fit the criteria of 1/ie have nothing against religion or religious ideas ?

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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #153
155. Asshole is still obviously an ad hom...
but at least it makes sense.

And for 2: I have no idea. Why don't you create a poll?
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heidler1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #153
165. Truncate Fundamentalist to Fundie then to Fun Loving Atheists would be nice.
"2/ Giving a ballpark figure- stab in the dark- guesstemate.What percentage of the local professed atheist population would fit the criteria of 1/ie have nothing against religion or religious ideas ?"
There is less hate IMO among Atheists then there is among Christians. Starting out with marriage Atheists must hate there wives less, because they stay married longer. We don't believe in Witches so we don't burn them. We were less inclined to vote for Bush then Christians were. We are more anti-war (check out the exit polls after the 2000 & 2004 election). Christians want to re wright the Constitution so they can plaster their beliefs everywhere for more power. on and on
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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-03-08 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #165
166. It's not fair to just say "Christians"
There are many Christians involved in Americans United for Separation of Church and State, for instance. Just as not all atheists want to round up the religious and put them in concentration camps (see how ugly the "fundie atheist" meme is?), not all Christians are trying to establish a theocracy in the United States.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-03-08 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #145
167. You are creating a false dilemma
Your statements have two parts which must be separated.

First off, terms already exist for the basic positions:

1. I do not believe there is a god = "weak" atheism, ie atheism expressed as a personal belief.

2. I affirm that there is no god = "strong" atheism, ie atheism expressed as a doctrinal position.

Second, you have the statements:

A. I have nothing against religion or religious ideas and don't actively believe that religious people are "wrong."

B. Religious people are delusional, probably should be confined to mental institutions because of their delusions, and organized religion should be actively opposed as an evil, and religious ideas confronted as wrong, at all times.

These two groups are not mutually exclusive; there is nothing that makes the position 1A ("I do not believe there is a god, and I have nothing against religion or religious ideas and don't actively believe that religious people are 'wrong.'") any more or less likely that position 1B ("I do not believe there is a god; and religious people are delusional, probably should be confined to mental institutions because of their delusions, and organized religion should be actively opposed as an evil, and religious ideas confronted as wrong, at all times.") Likewise, both 2A and 2B are equally likely. Among my non-believing friends, there are people who take all four positions.

I also know people with the positions

3. I don't know if there is a god or not.

4. I don't care about whether or not god exists; it just is not relevant to me.

C. I have nothing against religion or religious ideas, provided that the religions do not attempt to interfere with my rights as a human being and a citizen. Some fanatics, however, are bent on creating a theocracy and such people are delusional; such people should probably be confined to mental institutions and their ideas should actively be opposed as evil and wrong.

This gives rise to a much more complex image than the black and white picture you are trying to present.
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Lyric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
154. There are people who proudly identify themselves as Fundamentalist Christians
It means something, insofar as it clearly identifies a legitimate sect of Christianity. People often use that term in a derogatory way, but that doesn't negate the fact that there are millions of Christians who use this precise phrase to locate *themselves* on the theological plane.

So far as I know, there aren't any Atheists who seriously identify themselves as Fundamentalist Atheists. It it a completely false term concocted by those who feel contempt for "uppity", mouthy Atheists, and used solely to defame and insult by comparing Atheists to the type of religious people that offend Atheists the most.

Since the term has absolutely no legitimacy, and exists only to insult and deride, it is nothing more than an ad hominem attack against a "group"--hate speech at the root--and as such has no place at DU.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
157. Well, in general, I agree with you
And I certainly don't think atheism is a religion. What would be the tenets of such a religion? Good luck agreeing on them, lol.

But I have encountered some whose zeal for proving their case resembles that of a particularly persistent evangelist - or door to door salesman, for that matter. And when you add to that line a fair amount of name-calling (delusional, etc.), I guess I'm not entirely surprised when people begin to respond with their own name-calling.

As I've said elsewhere, what's lacking in the sort of interactions I've described (and I think on both sides, they involve a very few of our posters here) is a basic respect for the other poster, and the other poster's view being legitimate *for that person*.

It's possible to question someone without insulting them, and it's possible to explain your point of view without needing to win people to your way of seeing things.

IOW, I don't think we're disagreeing here.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-03-08 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #157
169. Exactly.
And I certainly don't think atheism is a religion. What would be the tenets of such a religion? Good luck agreeing on them, lol.

No doubt. It would be like herding cats.

But I have encountered some whose zeal for proving their case resembles that of a particularly persistent evangelist - or door to door salesman, for that matter. And when you add to that line a fair amount of name-calling (delusional, etc.), I guess I'm not entirely surprised when people begin to respond with their own name-calling.

Again, no doubt. I'm not saying that atheists are well-behaved little angels. I think we all have dirt on our hands, myself included. However, as the old adage goes, two wrongs do not make a right. I think it is wrong to compare religion to a mental illness or to call believers delusional, as do several other of my brethren here - but the fact that such behavior exists does not then give theists (or anyone else for that matter) the right to dump on us.

As I've said elsewhere, what's lacking in the sort of interactions I've described (and I think on both sides, they involve a very few of our posters here) is a basic respect for the other poster, and the other poster's view being legitimate *for that person*.

I agree with you, though I think that is incredibly hard to do - especially in the realm of a pseudonymous message board. I think the main point though is that there is so much at stake for people in this discussion. Religion and religious beliefs are so closely tied with personal identity that many people seem to take it that attacking ideas is the same as attacking people. I think it is entirely possible to think that certain ideas are without merit, but not think that the people who hold those ideas are without merit.

It's possible to question someone without insulting them, and it's possible to explain your point of view without needing to win people to your way of seeing things.

Exactly.

IOW, I don't think we're disagreeing here.

I don't think we are, either.
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conscious evolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
162. Wow! What a flamefest
Epic battles of ignored vs.ignored.

Who's winning?


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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #162
163. I suspect that would depend strongly on which 'side' you are on
I would say that the OP's 'side' won, but then I agreed with the OP, so I am biased.
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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #162
164. It is important to note that the OP did not mean to start a flamefest n/t
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-03-08 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #164
168. I didn't! I swear!
Edited on Tue Jun-03-08 05:15 PM by varkam
I actually wanted the other mods to lock it, but alas.
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