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What do secular humanist atheists want?

JonMilne
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6/7/2013 9:17:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
One thing I do often hear as a criticism of the atheist movement is that, to quote from something a religious friend of mine told me: "I find it a little funny that everyone sh*ts on religious groups for wanting sh*t their way (like keeping "marriage" between a man and woman), and while that's absolutely positively a fact, non-religious are the same way."

True enough point, but I mean, when you compare what the non-religious people want with what the religious people want, I really don't think that what people like me want is really that objectionable. Hell, it shouldn't even be controversial. Basically, when you look at all the stuff that I would propose here, it would demonstrate that religions can be a cause of huge divisiveness:

1) Proper Science Education (both evolution and global warming; the latter also has religious reasons for denial to some degree, and I'd also support cutting off the other religious "concerns" that sometimes stifle scientific progress, due to anti-scientific, semi-superstitious worries about "playing God".)

2) Less discrimination and hostility towards LBGT folk, with that discrimination at present being endlessly supported by religious tropes.

3) Stopping the subjugation towards women; lessening double standards and undermining the Biblical views of women as subservient.

4) Keep the separation of church and state. No more God to stamped on the money, no more pretence about how the founders apparently made the U.S. Christian, no more pretence that the laws of the country are based in their holy book, and no more of this sh*t where schools look indistinguishable from their churches.

5) Considerably less discrimination against atheists and other non-Christians. Anyone who isn"t Christian, or at least isn"t the right kind of Christian, should see the problem here. Hell, anyone who is a Christian but has the tiniest bit of reason and sympathy for the religious rights of minority religions should see the problem. Right-wing Christians are either too blind or bigoted to care, however.

6) The child abuse angle, which is a persistent problem. Child abuse arises both from those who refuse to spare the rod in 21st century society, and those who hide behind the guise of Moral Authority and dart from church to church to avoid being caught for sexual abuse. Secular Atheists like me really really hate this kind of abuse, and are especially apoplectic over the leeway given to the Holiest of Holyrollers on the issue. All too often the law turns a blind eye to this kind of stuff.

7) The issue with the Islamophobe warmongers needs solving, since these are the people who clamor for war based on the belief that Muslims are an Other, who all deserve death merely for being associated with a handful of people who killed Americans on American soil (or Brits on British soil) by a common, non-Christian religion. I'll certainly grant that some atheists happen to be just as Islamophobic as theists, and certainly Islam is at least as bad as Christianity. That said, we don"t appreciate the fact that religion was clearly used as a way to get so many in our respective populations in the UK and US and elsewhere that's relevant drooling over the prospects of war. To say nothing of the fact that religion is also used as a justification to continue using the death penalty in America, long past the point where other first world nations stopped such a barbaric practice.

8) The sexual politics are perverse, beyond even viewing wives and girlfriends as subservient and submissive, and beyond hating the gays due to the icky sex they have. Birth control and sex education are things that the a few among religious minded despise and will actively try to get legislation to oppose. Even if only a minority in the population have such tedious views, the people in power aren"t quite representative of the people they represent on this issue. There"s the refusal to have anything to do with abortions, even if women"s lives are at risk, because people believe foetuses have souls or because they feel slutty sluts need to be punished with pregnancy, like how the magical sky daddy intended when he first cursed Eve. And, of course, there is the need to actually do something goddamn sharpish about rape culture, which a good deal of theists boldly do sweet f*ck all about, preferring to sit on their arses because they are far too busy blaming the victims or dismissing the charges. Who would"ve figured that the fundies wouldn"t be up in arms about such an outrageous crime, given how "seriously" the Bible treats rape?

9) The big one of course is tolerance. No more arbitrary divisions based on differing ideologies that are almost all definitely false anyway. We want critical thinking, and no more of this bullsh*t where people think that blind faith is an accurate "way of knowing" . We want people to actually be informed, rather than misinformed. We don"t want people being regularly filled with lies and propaganda, especially if they aren"t properly equipped with the critical thinking skills to easily separate fact from fiction. We want people to believe that they can actually behave morally, and have that morality anchored in reality. No more of this "we are all sinful, and even the tiniest sin makes you as bad as a murderer" b*llocks that comes from Christian "morality" - the morality where belief is as important as action, and where (divine) might makes right. We want people who are capable of appreciating this life without drooling over an afterlife. No more kids fearing hellfire, and no more suicide bombers or wannabe suicide bombers. No more discrimination and violence in the name of God too, as well as no more treating non-believers as moral inferiors. I'd go further, but that would be a pipe dream.
JonMilne
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6/7/2013 9:38:18 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 9:30:28 AM, drafterman wrote:
Ice cream. I want ice cream.

Walls or Ben & Jerry's?
JonMilne
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6/7/2013 9:38:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 9:36:43 AM, FrackJack wrote:
'Secular Humanist Atheists' is redundant.

How do you mean?
drafterman
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6/7/2013 9:46:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 9:38:18 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:30:28 AM, drafterman wrote:
Ice cream. I want ice cream.

Walls or Ben & Jerry's?

Coldstone
JonMilne
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6/7/2013 9:53:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 9:46:38 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:38:18 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:30:28 AM, drafterman wrote:
Ice cream. I want ice cream.

Walls or Ben & Jerry's?

Coldstone

That's a good choice too.
muzebreak
Posts: 2,781
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6/7/2013 9:56:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 9:38:38 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:36:43 AM, FrackJack wrote:
'Secular Humanist Atheists' is redundant.

How do you mean?

Humanism implies secularism and atheism, and atheism implies secularism.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
drafterman
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6/7/2013 10:01:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 9:56:53 AM, muzebreak wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:38:38 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:36:43 AM, FrackJack wrote:
'Secular Humanist Atheists' is redundant.

How do you mean?

Humanism implies secularism and atheism,

http://en.wikipedia.org...

and atheism implies secularism.

http://www.conservapedia.com...
JonMilne
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6/7/2013 10:07:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 9:56:53 AM, muzebreak wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:38:38 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:36:43 AM, FrackJack wrote:
'Secular Humanist Atheists' is redundant.

How do you mean?

Humanism implies secularism and atheism, and atheism implies secularism.

As drafterman has pointed out, there are such things as religious humanists, and while I wouldn't use the conservapedia link, being an atheist means simply that you don't believe in God, while secularism involves acts, persons, governments that are non-religiously motivated.
v3nesl
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6/7/2013 10:09:16 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 9:17:12 AM, JonMilne wrote:
One thing I do often hear as a criticism of the atheist movement is that, to quote from something a religious friend of mine told me: "I find it a little funny that everyone sh*ts on religious groups for wanting sh*t their way (like keeping "marriage" between a man and woman), and while that's absolutely positively a fact, non-religious are the same way."

True enough point, but I mean, when you compare what the non-religious people want with what the religious people want, I really don't think that what people like me want is really that objectionable. Hell, it shouldn't even be controversial. Basically, when you look at all the stuff that I would propose here, it would demonstrate that religions can be a cause of huge divisiveness:

1) Proper Science Education (both evolution and global warming; the latter also has religious reasons for denial to some degree, and I'd also support cutting off the other religious "concerns" that sometimes stifle scientific progress, due to anti-scientific, semi-superstitious worries about "playing God".)

Sure, let's not teach them math and classic science. Let's not teach them how to read and write well, let's not teach them how to THINK. No, let's imprint their minds before they're old enough to think critically, 'cause otherwise they'll never go along with this crappolla.
This space for rent.
drhead
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6/7/2013 10:10:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 10:01:23 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:56:53 AM, muzebreak wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:38:38 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:36:43 AM, FrackJack wrote:
'Secular Humanist Atheists' is redundant.

How do you mean?

Humanism implies secularism and atheism,

http://en.wikipedia.org...

and atheism implies secularism.

http://www.conservapedia.com...

I'm afraid to click on that last link. I don't want to lose any more brain cells.
Wall of Fail

"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
JonMilne
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6/7/2013 10:10:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 10:07:32 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:56:53 AM, muzebreak wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:38:38 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:36:43 AM, FrackJack wrote:
'Secular Humanist Atheists' is redundant.

How do you mean?

Humanism implies secularism and atheism, and atheism implies secularism.

As drafterman has pointed out, there are such things as religious humanists, and while I wouldn't use the conservapedia link, being an atheist means simply that you don't believe in God, while secularism involves acts, persons, governments that are non-religiously motivated.

Also, being an atheist does not necessarily mean you are secular. After all, the Raelians do not believe in a God but are nonetheless religious in nature because they believe the world was created by extraterrestrial beings (which ironically is at least more credible and semi-plausible than Creationism and Intelligent Design).
JonMilne
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6/7/2013 10:15:30 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 10:10:04 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 10:07:32 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:56:53 AM, muzebreak wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:38:38 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:36:43 AM, FrackJack wrote:
'Secular Humanist Atheists' is redundant.

How do you mean?

Humanism implies secularism and atheism, and atheism implies secularism.

As drafterman has pointed out, there are such things as religious humanists, and while I wouldn't use the conservapedia link, being an atheist means simply that you don't believe in God, while secularism involves acts, persons, governments that are non-religiously motivated.

Also, being an atheist does not necessarily mean you are secular. After all, the Raelians do not believe in a God but are nonetheless spiritual and religious in nature because they believe the world was created by extraterrestrial beings (which ironically is at least more credible and semi-plausible than Creationism and Intelligent Design).

Fixed.
muzebreak
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6/7/2013 10:28:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 10:01:23 AM, drafterman wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:56:53 AM, muzebreak wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:38:38 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:36:43 AM, FrackJack wrote:
'Secular Humanist Atheists' is redundant.

How do you mean?

Humanism implies secularism and atheism,

http://en.wikipedia.org...

We're talking about different kinds of humanism then. I'm talking about humanism, as it is lain out in the Humanist Manifestos.


and atheism implies secularism.

http://www.conservapedia.com...

While I disagree with consverapedia's description of secularism, I do realize that atheism does not imply secularism, and am not quite sure why I said it does.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
JonMilne
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6/7/2013 11:03:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 10:09:16 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:17:12 AM, JonMilne wrote:
One thing I do often hear as a criticism of the atheist movement is that, to quote from something a religious friend of mine told me: "I find it a little funny that everyone sh*ts on religious groups for wanting sh*t their way (like keeping "marriage" between a man and woman), and while that's absolutely positively a fact, non-religious are the same way."

True enough point, but I mean, when you compare what the non-religious people want with what the religious people want, I really don't think that what people like me want is really that objectionable. Hell, it shouldn't even be controversial. Basically, when you look at all the stuff that I would propose here, it would demonstrate that religions can be a cause of huge divisiveness:

1) Proper Science Education (both evolution and global warming; the latter also has religious reasons for denial to some degree, and I'd also support cutting off the other religious "concerns" that sometimes stifle scientific progress, due to anti-scientific, semi-superstitious worries about "playing God".)

Sure, let's not teach them math and classic science. Let's not teach them how to read and write well, let's not teach them how to THINK. No, let's imprint their minds before they're old enough to think critically, 'cause otherwise they'll never go along with this crappolla.

How on earth does any of that even remotely follow from what I said? Advocating for one topic to be taught properly does not equal neglecting other important topics. Mathematics is absolutely vital in everyday life and features prominently in scientific theory, and I absolutely advocate teaching kids about areas within Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Planetary Science. And as an English Grad myself as well as a keen reader in literature, I absolutely advocate raising the literacy levels around the world (indeed, ironically, in the least religious nations, the literacy levels as well as education in math and science is at a HIGHER LEVEL). And hey, as long as branches of philosophy are being taught that are actually applicable to the real world, then sure teach it.

But when we get to stuff like this:

No, let's imprint their minds before they're old enough to think critically, 'cause otherwise they'll never go along with this crappolla.

The hypocrisy is astounding. Firstly, the information is there in a vast amount of peer reviewed papers. Science is a process that involves experimentation and constant repetition of it, followed by submission for peer review, then revision of your claim, then retesting it to resubmit it with a 10% chance of being published. If your work ever gets published, other scientists become vultures, and they (hoping to disprove) analyze your results for years, seeing if they get inconsistent results (a direct disproof against the notion that any scientists just automatically assume that your findings are correct). And then at last, many years later, after many trials, the scientific community may accept it, to which the end result is that it becomes a theory.

This is something evolution and global warming have succeeded in passing many, many times. The peer review process IS an excercise in critical thinking, indeed it's a big part of being a SCIENTIST, period. It's YOUR dogma, if anything, that demands a blind obedience to the notion of a Creator and that anyone who disagrees with you are just heretics persecuting you.
v3nesl
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6/7/2013 11:24:58 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 11:03:43 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 10:09:16 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:17:12 AM, JonMilne wrote:
One thing I do often hear as a criticism of the atheist movement is that, to quote from something a religious friend of mine told me: "I find it a little funny that everyone sh*ts on religious groups for wanting sh*t their way (like keeping "marriage" between a man and woman), and while that's absolutely positively a fact, non-religious are the same way."

True enough point, but I mean, when you compare what the non-religious people want with what the religious people want, I really don't think that what people like me want is really that objectionable. Hell, it shouldn't even be controversial. Basically, when you look at all the stuff that I would propose here, it would demonstrate that religions can be a cause of huge divisiveness:

1) Proper Science Education (both evolution and global warming; the latter also has religious reasons for denial to some degree, and I'd also support cutting off the other religious "concerns" that sometimes stifle scientific progress, due to anti-scientific, semi-superstitious worries about "playing God".)

Sure, let's not teach them math and classic science. Let's not teach them how to read and write well, let's not teach them how to THINK. No, let's imprint their minds before they're old enough to think critically, 'cause otherwise they'll never go along with this crappolla.

How on earth does any of that even remotely follow from what I said?

You list the things you want, allegedly non-controversial, and the very first thing you list is evolution indoctrination. Number one on your list, do the math.

The hypocrisy is astounding. Firstly, the information is there in a vast amount of peer reviewed papers. Science is a process that involves experimentation and constant repetition of it, followed by submission for peer review, then revision of your claim, then retesting it to resubmit it with a 10% chance of being published. If your work ever gets published, other scientists become vultures, and they (hoping to disprove) analyze your results for years, seeing if they get inconsistent results (a direct disproof against the notion that any scientists just automatically assume that your findings are correct). And then at last, many years later, after many trials, the scientific community may accept it, to which the end result is that it becomes a theory.

I have no clue how I'm hypocritical, but anyway, reminds me of the tongue-in-cheek description from "Pilgrim's Regress" (from memory, not a quote) - "Science, my young friend, establishes itself by a cumulative process. That is, if you say the same thing long enough, it ceases to be opinion and becomes scientific fact"

Jon, what you describe is 180 degrees out of phase from the great pioneers like Copernicus or Galileo or Newton. They had to fight the system. What you describe is incestuous ivory tower stuff, the establishment that has always stood in the way of great leaps in understanding.


This is something evolution and global warming have succeeded in passing many, many times.

How about being right? Is that of no interest to you?

It's YOUR dogma, if anything, that demands a blind obedience to the notion of a Creator and that anyone who disagrees with you are just heretics persecuting you.

Nonsense, you're projecting or are just bigoted. You have never seen any indication of me keeping anybody else from having their opinions, even when they are so wrong. As to persecution, taking my tax dollars to force my kids to learn things I don't agree with, that is tyranny. Parents are the consumers, they pay the bills, and they should be the ones who decide what it taught. If your evidence is too weak to convince the adults, maybe that should tell you something.
This space for rent.
bulproof
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6/7/2013 11:31:58 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 10:09:16 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:17:12 AM, JonMilne wrote:
One thing I do often hear as a criticism of the atheist movement is that, to quote from something a religious friend of mine told me: "I find it a little funny that everyone sh*ts on religious groups for wanting sh*t their way (like keeping "marriage" between a man and woman), and while that's absolutely positively a fact, non-religious are the same way."

True enough point, but I mean, when you compare what the non-religious people want with what the religious people want, I really don't think that what people like me want is really that objectionable. Hell, it shouldn't even be controversial. Basically, when you look at all the stuff that I would propose here, it would demonstrate that religions can be a cause of huge divisiveness:

1) Proper Science Education (both evolution and global warming; the latter also has religious reasons for denial to some degree, and I'd also support cutting off the other religious "concerns" that sometimes stifle scientific progress, due to anti-scientific, semi-superstitious worries about "playing God".)

Sure, let's not teach them math and classic science. Let's not teach them how to read and write well, let's not teach them how to THINK. No, let's imprint their minds before they're old enough to think critically, 'cause otherwise they'll never go along with this crappolla.
Now that is funny lmfao
Sower4GS
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6/7/2013 11:41:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
What do secular humanist atheists want?

To follow after their own lusts! How terrible!
SovereignDream
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6/7/2013 11:49:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 9:17:12 AM, JonMilne wrote:
One thing I do often hear as a criticism of the atheist movement is that, to quote from something a religious friend of mine told me: "I find it a little funny that everyone sh*ts on religious groups for wanting sh*t their way (like keeping "marriage" between a man and woman), and while that's absolutely positively a fact, non-religious are the same way."

True enough point, but I mean, when you compare what the non-religious people want with what the religious people want, I really don't think that what people like me want is really that objectionable. Hell, it shouldn't even be controversial. Basically, when you look at all the stuff that I would propose here, it would demonstrate that religions can be a cause of huge divisiveness:

1) Proper Science Education (both evolution and global warming; the latter also has religious reasons for denial to some degree, and I'd also support cutting off the other religious "concerns" that sometimes stifle scientific progress, due to anti-scientific, semi-superstitious worries about "playing God".)

Sure. Science education is great. Hopefully when you say that you'd

"support cutting off the other religious 'concerns' that sometimes stifle scientific progress, due to anti-scientific, semi-superstitious worries about 'playing God'"

you aren't implying that we conduct science in the absence of an ethical structure. I think you'd find that this would be, for obvious reasons, quite undesirable to both theists and atheists alike.


2) Less discrimination and hostility towards LBGT folk, with that discrimination at present being endlessly supported by religious tropes.

If I take you to mean that we should discourage acts of violence, bullying, etc. towards homosexuals, bisexuals, transgendered, etc., then I would readily agree with you. Discouraging violence towards LGBT peoples, however, in no way commits one to accepting the proposal that same-sex couples should be able to "marry". Also, I do think that jobs should be able to discriminate as to whom they hire with regards to a person's homosexuality (among other factors). For example, I would not think it a good idea to hire, say, a homosexual PE teacher to educate male middle school children. Of course, restrictions can and should be made to people on other factors.


3) Stopping the subjugation towards women; lessening double standards and undermining the Biblical views of women as subservient.

Again, if I take you to say that women should have the same rights as men, and that they shouldn't be acted towards with violence, etc., I think most sensible people would agree. "Stopping the subjugation of women," however, does not commit one to supporting their "right" to kill children/infants vis-a-vis abortion.


4) Keep the separation of church and state. No more God to stamped on the money, no more pretence about how the founders apparently made the U.S. Christian, no more pretence that the laws of the country are based in their holy book, and no more of this sh*t where schools look indistinguishable from their churches.

I think that the important point to understand is that when one says that the US is a "Christian Nation," one refers, if we interpret such a statement generously, to the fact that the philosophical and meta-ethical views of the founders of the nation -- namely that all human beings have intrinsic moral value and are ends in themselves -- is a position that seems to only be coherent if theism is true. In other words, if atheism is true and God does not exist, then man is nothing but a product of blind, meaningless, purposeless forces; man is nothing but a chance amalgamation of atoms inhabiting a meaningless, purposeless, indifferent universe which has death written through its very structure. Accordingly, man is doomed to perish along with the universe both individually and collectively as the universe nears heat death and all life and energy is extinguished. Yet if this is true, I cannot see any reason why man should have any objective moral worth or value. Why think, on this view, that man has any "natural" "inalienable" rights at all? At best, the idea of any sort of morality founded upon the wreckage of atheism seems to lead, at best, to nihilism -- the complete destruction of all value, meaning and purpose. Morality and "natural rights" would, at best, only be an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes and our evolutionary history which merely serves to favor the further reproduction of the species homo sapiens.

As you are no doubt unaware, the same would go for atheism; just as the state should not sponsor any one religion, it would be contrary to this project to sponsor atheism or atheistic views.


5) Considerably less discrimination against atheists and other non-Christians. Anyone who isn"t Christian, or at least isn"t the right kind of Christian, should see the problem here. Hell, anyone who is a Christian but has the tiniest bit of reason and sympathy for the religious rights of minority religions should see the problem. Right-wing Christians are either too blind or bigoted to care, however.

6) The child abuse angle, which is a persistent problem. Child abuse arises both from those who refuse to spare the rod in 21st century society, and those who hide behind the guise of Moral Authority and dart from church to church to avoid being caught for sexual abuse. Secular Atheists like me really really hate this kind of abuse, and are especially apoplectic over the leeway given to the Holiest of Holyrollers on the issue. All too often the law turns a blind eye to this kind of stuff.
SovereignDream
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6/7/2013 12:05:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 9:17:12 AM, JonMilne wrote:
7) The issue with the Islamophobe warmongers needs solving, since these are the people who clamor for war based on the belief that Muslims are an Other, who all deserve death merely for being associated with a handful of people who killed Americans on American soil (or Brits on British soil) by a common, non-Christian religion. I'll certainly grant that some atheists happen to be just as Islamophobic as theists, and certainly Islam is at least as bad as Christianity. That said, we don"t appreciate the fact that religion was clearly used as a way to get so many in our respective populations in the UK and US and elsewhere that's relevant drooling over the prospects of war. To say nothing of the fact that religion is also used as a justification to continue using the death penalty in America, long past the point where other first world nations stopped such a barbaric practice.

From experience, I have found that my atheists acquaintances are far more vitriolic towards Islam than my theistic acquaintances. This is rooted, I think, in the desire for some atheists to rid the world of all religions and often go on about how, allegedly, religion has produced only bad in the world. Sam Harris is a good example. If I remember correctly, doesn't he insinuate that we ought to drop some nuclear bombs in the Middle East?


8) The sexual politics are perverse, beyond even viewing wives and girlfriends as subservient and submissive, and beyond hating the gays due to the icky sex they have. Birth control and sex education are things that the a few among religious minded despise and will actively try to get legislation to oppose. Even if only a minority in the population have such tedious views, the people in power aren"t quite representative of the people they represent on this issue. There"s the refusal to have anything to do with abortions, even if women"s lives are at risk, because people believe foetuses have souls or because they feel slutty sluts need to be punished with pregnancy, like how the magical sky daddy intended when he first cursed Eve.

Yes, the magical sky daddy.

And, of course, there is the need to actually do something goddamn sharpish about rape culture, which a good deal of theists boldly do sweet f*ck all about, preferring to sit on their arses because they are far too busy blaming the victims or dismissing the charges. Who would"ve figured that the fundies wouldn"t be up in arms about such an outrageous crime, given how "seriously" the Bible treats rape?

9) The big one of course is tolerance. No more arbitrary divisions based on differing ideologies that are almost all definitely false anyway. We want critical thinking

Yeah, and I take it theists don't, right? It brings a couple chuckles out of me when I hear embarrassingly anti-intellectual atheistic organizations and individuals such as the American Atheists or Richard Dawkins proclaim that they are advocates of "reason" yet then go on to publish intellectual offal like The God Delusion and elect as representatives of their organizations public dunces the likes of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, David Silverman, Lawrence Krauss, et al.

and no more of this bullsh*t where people think that blind faith is an accurate "way of knowing" . We want people to actually be informed, rather than misinformed. We don"t want people being regularly filled with lies and propaganda, especially if they aren"t properly equipped with the critical thinking skills to easily separate fact from fiction. We want people to believe that they can actually behave morally, and have that morality anchored in reality.

That would be to beg the question. That atheists can "act morally" isn't of relevance. What is of relevance is whether objective normative statements are at all meaningful if we take atheism to be true.

No more of this "we are all sinful, and even the tiniest sin makes you as bad as a murderer" b*llocks that comes from Christian "morality" - the morality where belief is as important as action, and where (divine) might makes right. We want people who are capable of appreciating this life without drooling over an afterlife.

This brings up a question of the intrinsic moral value of humans. Consider: simplistically, if theism is true, then humans were purposefully created by an omnipotent, omnibenevolent creator. However, if atheism is true, then humans are just a cosmic accident. Humans are nothing but relatively advanced primates. We're just a material thing not unlike a dog or a cat or a rock or an asteroid.

No more kids fearing hellfire, and no more suicide bombers or wannabe suicide bombers. No more discrimination and violence in the name of God too, as well as no more treating non-believers as moral inferiors. I'd go further, but that would be a pipe dream.
Stephen_Hawkins
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6/7/2013 1:10:39 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
You've basically proposed the Humanist Manifesto, which already exists.

Keep in mind, however, that it's secular humanism for most (including myself), not "humanist atheists". This is a bit liturgical, but the point is as an atheist I don't want anything. It is my humanism that brings up the society I want. :)
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

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v3nesl
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6/7/2013 1:26:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 1:10:39 PM, Stephen_Hawkins wrote:
You've basically proposed the Humanist Manifesto, which already exists.

Keep in mind, however, that it's secular humanism for most (including myself), not "humanist atheists". This is a bit liturgical, but the point is as an atheist I don't want anything. It is my humanism that brings up the society I want. :)

I get that as an atheist you don't want anything. So why isn't your humanity the same nothingness? Is human-ness the thing that "just is", that needs no source nor reason?
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Citrakayah
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6/7/2013 1:43:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 11:24:58 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/7/2013 11:03:43 AM, JonMilne wrote:
At 6/7/2013 10:09:16 AM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/7/2013 9:17:12 AM, JonMilne wrote:
One thing I do often hear as a criticism of the atheist movement is that, to quote from something a religious friend of mine told me: "I find it a little funny that everyone sh*ts on religious groups for wanting sh*t their way (like keeping "marriage" between a man and woman), and while that's absolutely positively a fact, non-religious are the same way."

True enough point, but I mean, when you compare what the non-religious people want with what the religious people want, I really don't think that what people like me want is really that objectionable. Hell, it shouldn't even be controversial. Basically, when you look at all the stuff that I would propose here, it would demonstrate that religions can be a cause of huge divisiveness:

1) Proper Science Education (both evolution and global warming; the latter also has religious reasons for denial to some degree, and I'd also support cutting off the other religious "concerns" that sometimes stifle scientific progress, due to anti-scientific, semi-superstitious worries about "playing God".)

Sure, let's not teach them math and classic science. Let's not teach them how to read and write well, let's not teach them how to THINK. No, let's imprint their minds before they're old enough to think critically, 'cause otherwise they'll never go along with this crappolla.

How on earth does any of that even remotely follow from what I said?

You list the things you want, allegedly non-controversial, and the very first thing you list is evolution indoctrination. Number one on your list, do the math.

The hypocrisy is astounding. Firstly, the information is there in a vast amount of peer reviewed papers. Science is a process that involves experimentation and constant repetition of it, followed by submission for peer review, then revision of your claim, then retesting it to resubmit it with a 10% chance of being published. If your work ever gets published, other scientists become vultures, and they (hoping to disprove) analyze your results for years, seeing if they get inconsistent results (a direct disproof against the notion that any scientists just automatically assume that your findings are correct). And then at last, many years later, after many trials, the scientific community may accept it, to which the end result is that it becomes a theory.

I have no clue how I'm hypocritical, but anyway, reminds me of the tongue-in-cheek description from "Pilgrim's Regress" (from memory, not a quote) - "Science, my young friend, establishes itself by a cumulative process. That is, if you say the same thing long enough, it ceases to be opinion and becomes scientific fact"

Jon, what you describe is 180 degrees out of phase from the great pioneers like Copernicus or Galileo or Newton. They had to fight the system. What you describe is incestuous ivory tower stuff, the establishment that has always stood in the way of great leaps in understanding.

Copernicus and Galileo had to fight the Catholic Church. Not other actual scientists using today's methods.
v3nesl
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6/7/2013 1:50:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 1:43:03 PM, Citrakayah wrote:
...

Copernicus and Galileo had to fight the Catholic Church. Not other actual scientists using today's methods.

The church was the government in those days. The church funded research. Today the government is the church, kind of the same thing only backwards.

We're talking about those whose job it is to support the status quo, it really doesn't matter what the institution is, because it's the same human nature. Evolution is the status quo today. It is supported because it is the status quo, and it is the status quo because it is supported. Like the Ptolemaic orbits of the planets, it is accurate, useful, and profoundly wrong.
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Citrakayah
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6/7/2013 2:15:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 1:50:14 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/7/2013 1:43:03 PM, Citrakayah wrote:
...

Copernicus and Galileo had to fight the Catholic Church. Not other actual scientists using today's methods.

The church was the government in those days. The church funded research. Today the government is the church, kind of the same thing only backwards.

We're talking about those whose job it is to support the status quo, it really doesn't matter what the institution is, because it's the same human nature. Evolution is the status quo today. It is supported because it is the status quo, and it is the status quo because it is supported. Like the Ptolemaic orbits of the planets, it is accurate, useful, and profoundly wrong.

The Church didn't really fund research like we have today. And prestige didn't depend on the same things it did today. If a scientist could show that evolution was wrong, their fame would be assured. They would be extremely well-respected, because they would have overturned a two hundred year old theory that has survived concentrated efforts to prove it wrong.

Have you read descriptions of how badly Darwin's theories were received?
drhead
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6/7/2013 2:32:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 1:50:14 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 6/7/2013 1:43:03 PM, Citrakayah wrote:
...

Copernicus and Galileo had to fight the Catholic Church. Not other actual scientists using today's methods.

The church was the government in those days. The church funded research. Today the government is the church, kind of the same thing only backwards.

We're talking about those whose job it is to support the status quo, it really doesn't matter what the institution is, because it's the same human nature. Evolution is the status quo today. It is supported because it is the status quo, and it is the status quo because it is supported. Like the Ptolemaic orbits of the planets, it is accurate, useful, and profoundly wrong.

You know, out of all the baseless rants you've gone on about how evolution can't possibly be right, I've always wondered what observation you know of that doesn't fit with evolution is, or what your theory about the origin of species is. Because how theories tend to work is, the most accepted theory is the simplest theory that 1) accurately explains current observations, 2) can predict future outcomes, 3) is consistent with other accepted theories (until said theories are proven wrong), and 4) can be proven wrong. Evolution can accurately explain current observations, it can predict future outcomes, it is consistent with other accepted theories, and one observation that can't be explained by evolution would prove it wrong. It is also simple in that it makes few assumptions. Until you come up with a better theory, you have absolutely no grounds on which to criticize evolution.
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"You reject religion... calling it a sickness, to what ends??? Are you a Homosexual??" - Dogknox
"For me, Evolution is a zombie theory. I mean imaginary cartoons and wishful thinking support it?" - Dragonfang
"There are no mental health benefits of atheism. It is devoid of rational thinking and mental protection." - Gabrian
JonMilne
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6/7/2013 4:02:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 11:24:58 AM, v3nesl wrote:

You list the things you want, allegedly non-controversial, and the very first thing you list is evolution indoctrination. Number one on your list, do the math.

Do you even know what "indoctrination" is? Saying something as silly as this is like saying that it's indoctrination to tell kids gravity happens.

I have no clue how I'm hypocritical, but anyway, reminds me of the tongue-in-cheek description from "Pilgrim's Regress" (from memory, not a quote) - "Science, my young friend, establishes itself by a cumulative process. That is, if you say the same thing long enough, it ceases to be opinion and becomes scientific fact"

I've explained why you're hypocritical. You'll kick up this much of a stink about something the teaching of evolutionary theory in classrooms supposedly does even though the teaching of Creationism/ID has actually been found to be the thing that does what you accuse evolutionary theory of doing, and yet you turn a blind eye. Furthermore, you don't get how argument from authority works. While you guys are all too happy to accept criticisms of evolution from people who AREN'T EVEN BIOLOGISTS (the people who DO actually have authority in the field of evolution), you put your fingers in your ears when it is pointed to you just how many branches of science you have to ignore in order to believe your YEC nonsense.

Jon, what you describe is 180 degrees out of phase from the great pioneers like Copernicus or Galileo or Newton. They had to fight the system. What you describe is incestuous ivory tower stuff, the establishment that has always stood in the way of great leaps in understanding.

For one thing, the scientific method then was NOTHING like as advanced as it currently is today. For another thing, you are full of crap, good sir. To quote Expelled Exposed: "New scientific views challenge the consensus all the time. Is intelligent design being kept out of the scientific consensus because of some "old boy" network that requires scientists to "go along to get along?" Hardly. New scientific ideas do get a hearing " that is how a scientist makes a reputation, after all."

How about being right? Is that of no interest to you?

It sure is. That's why we're currently the ones who suit that description and you guys fit the bill of being a lunatic fringe group comparable to 9/11 truthers, Holocaust Deniers, and moon landing hoax conspiracy theorists. For f*ck's sake, I just did a search on Google Scholar and found 4,250,000 results of peer reviewed articles supporting evolution, which I brought down to 250,000 when focusing purely on articles written since 2012. Would you like to know what happened when I tried a similar search for Creationism? A pathetic 30,900 results, with many of those results consisting of articles that criticise creationism as unscientific, and that number of search results went down to a mere 2,700 when I again applied the same "since 2012" test, and again many of those articles were lambasting creationist "science". This is more than just appeals to authority, it's from actual scientists who know what the hell they're talking about.

Nonsense, you're projecting or are just bigoted. You have never seen any indication of me keeping anybody else from having their opinions, even when they are so wrong. As to persecution, taking my tax dollars to force my kids to learn things I don't agree with, that is tyranny. Parents are the consumers, they pay the bills, and they should be the ones who decide what it taught. If your evidence is too weak to convince the adults, maybe that should tell you something.

You want to kick a perfectly sound scientific idea out of the science classroom and use a hypothesis that's been proven to be a fraud into the science classroom so that you can indoctrinate more kids into Christianity (speaking of which, you still never, EVER addressed why you're so confident that YOUR creationism is right and not the Muslim/Sikh/Hindu/Scientologist/Raelien/etc varients). And no, there is no tyranny against you. The only people who should have power to decide what is taught should be those with actual expertise. Otherwise, should parents who are homeopaths become successful in advocating that acupuncture, faith healing, reflexology, hypnosis and blood-letting should be taught as legit medical alternatives to conventional medicine and operations? Or indeed, how about those I mentioned above, y'know, those people who think Bush was responsible for bringing down the Two Towers, and who think the Jews were lying about the Holocaust ever happening? Those are "controversies" too, and there are parents who totally hold to those viewpoints! Why deny their wish for what their child should get taught at school?

Of course, if said wacko parents are so mortified their kids are getting taught that wicked evolution that contrasts with their mindless worship of the magical sky daddy, they could always just home-school their kids. Also, if you're so mortified about where your tax dollars are going, may I ask what precisely you're doing about it? Are you going on marches? Are you conducting real scientific research? How about submitting the Nobel Prize winning peer reviewed article that will overturn evolution once and for all?

Oh...wait...you're doing nothing. Yeah, thought so. Doing nothing, because you have nothing going for your argument at all.
JonMilne
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6/7/2013 4:16:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/7/2013 11:49:23 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
Sure. Science education is great. Hopefully when you say that you'd

"support cutting off the other religious 'concerns' that sometimes stifle scientific progress, due to anti-scientific, semi-superstitious worries about 'playing God'"

you aren't implying that we conduct science in the absence of an ethical structure. I think you'd find that this would be, for obvious reasons, quite undesirable to both theists and atheists alike.

Hoo boy. Dude, the fact that the vast majority of the world's atheists aren't going around butchering each other (not to mention in the US alone being sorely under-represented in the prison system relative to their population) suggests that ethics are REALLY NOT UNIQUE TO RELIGIOUS THOUGHT.

If I take you to mean that we should discourage acts of violence, bullying, etc. towards homosexuals, bisexuals, transgendered, etc., then I would readily agree with you. Discouraging violence towards LGBT peoples, however, in no way commits one to accepting the proposal that same-sex couples should be able to "marry". Also, I do think that jobs should be able to discriminate as to whom they hire with regards to a person's homosexuality (among other factors). For example, I would not think it a good idea to hire, say, a homosexual PE teacher to educate male middle school children. Of course, restrictions can and should be made to people on other factors.

This is just it. The fact that people like you are so damn committed to making LGBT couples an "Other" (forbidding them from marrying and admitting to only wanting them to raise children when there's no other choice) helps CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS the attitudes that end up promoting violence, hate, and bigotry towards homosexuals. While it wouldn't entirely go away, if we stopped "other"ing homosexuals then we could work more efficiently towards lessening that intolerance. Also, what would be there to stop a heterosexual woman PE teacher from violating male middle school children? Or a heterosexual man PE teacher from violating female middle school children? It can happen regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Your intolerance is showing.

Again, if I take you to say that women should have the same rights as men, and that they shouldn't be acted towards with violence, etc., I think most sensible people would agree. "Stopping the subjugation of women," however, does not commit one to supporting their "right" to kill children/infants vis-a-vis abortion.

Carl Sagan has my back here about how best to define a human being when it comes to the whole abortion debate. In "The Question Of Abortion" (co-authored with Ann Druyan), which I highly recommend you read, their most powerful argument regards how to define a human being"one who receives the rights inherent to human beings. A human being cannot be defined as "potential", or we would be compelled to protect every sperm and ovum, an absurd impracticality. Nor can it begin at conception, because most zygotes (fertilized egg) naturally fail to implant in the uterus. Humanity in a fetus cannot be defined by whether it has developed a heart, or lungs, or toenails, or fingerprints, or a recognizably human face, because such things are superficial and are not what make us human. The only standard left is the brain. Druyan and Sagan deal with this last in scientific and philosophical terms. They point out that it is only the higher brain functions that differentiate us from other animals. However, scans conducted of infant brains show that most babies do not develop such functions until thirty days after birth. Using that as an absolute standard would condone infanticide, but the authors sidestep the issue by erring on the safe side. The earliest a fetus has ever been known to show higher brain functions (as determined by scans of fetal brain activity) is at six months of age. Until the fetus is six months old, Druyan and Sagan conclude in "The Question of Abortion", abortion should be allowed and protected.

Beyond that though, even if the fetus was considered a person, women would still be able to terminate their pregnancies, for there is no human right that allows a human to legally obtain the bodily resources of an unwilling human for the purpose of survival.
JonMilne
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6/7/2013 4:29:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think that the important point to understand is that when one says that the US is a "Christian Nation," one refers, if we interpret such a statement generously, to the fact that the philosophical and meta-ethical views of the founders of the nation -- namely that all human beings have intrinsic moral value and are ends in themselves -- is a position that seems to only be coherent if theism is true. In other words, if atheism is true and God does not exist, then man is nothing but a product of blind, meaningless, purposeless forces; man is nothing but a chance amalgamation of atoms inhabiting a meaningless, purposeless, indifferent universe which has death written through its very structure. Accordingly, man is doomed to perish along with the universe both individually and collectively as the universe nears heat death and all life and energy is extinguished. Yet if this is true, I cannot see any reason why man should have any objective moral worth or value. Why think, on this view, that man has any "natural" "inalienable" rights at all? At best, the idea of any sort of morality founded upon the wreckage of atheism seems to lead, at best, to nihilism -- the complete destruction of all value, meaning and purpose. Morality and "natural rights" would, at best, only be an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes and our evolutionary history which merely serves to favor the further reproduction of the species homo sapiens.

Oh joyous, this argument. It doesn't make any difference if we are simply clumps of matter (though we are not randomly interacting). Because we are sentient, we give our lives meaning. That is the materialist worldview. We are simply part of nature, and that our natural universe is awesome enough without the fantasies of supernaturalism mucking up the waters.

It is the basic goal of religious brainwashing to convince you that it is impossible to have meaning in our lives without religion. That if we aren't a special and beautiful snowflake created by a loving sky-daddy, we mean nothing. That's what you don't get. You claim that "man should have no objective worth or value" in a Godless universe? I consider this to be psychologically damaging bullsh*t, designed to make your entire sense of self-worth dependent upon the religion. Why do you think you need to feel "infinitely" loved by a celestial parent figure to have value as a person at all? This is what Isaac Asimov was referring to when he described religion as "a thumb to skirt and a skirt to hold."

See, you're being presented with a false choice: either God, and worth, or no God, and worthlessness. What you don't get is that the entire premise is a crock. You have to look completely outside of this box " which I understand will be very difficult to do, given a lifetime of Christian instruction " and start from a completely different outlook on the world. Nature exists, all of it is awe-inspring, I am part of nature for a very brief time, and that is special all on its own. Your problem, and the problem in all religious thinking, is that you think meaning can only be derived from outside nature, can only be imposed upon our lives from an external (ie. divine) source.

Just a little clarification on sentience, since I just know you'll be baffled by it. Sentience is the ability to feel or perceive subjectively. Put quite simply, sentient beings (people) vs. insentient ones (amoeba) can be distinguished rather easily. A sentient being is capable of abstract thought, reasoning, decision making. If you are prepared to prove that not possessing sentience is just as good as possessing it, feel free. Until then, I will continue to work from the premise that sentience makes it possible for a being to derive meaning from his/her own existence, because it is demonstrably true.

I imagine at this point you might pull the fallacy argument of saying that in a Godless universe, if you deem someone's life to be unworthy, there's no reason for you to not murder them. In other words, you'll have pulled the switcheroo of going from giving our own lives meaning to determining whether the lives of other have some or none.

Indeed, history demonstrates that many people have done the latter with heartless impunity. And the most devoutly religious, the ones who believed God was the one who suffused their lives with meaning, were among the worst.

Like most religionists, you are overlooking (because in my experience most religionists consider it irrelevant and tiresome) the notion of empathy, the ability of a person to comprehend that their own pleasure and pain are just like those experienced by others. Most of us don't like to see others hurt because we can't imagine ourselves experiencing that hurt. Empathy is in fact an inborn trait, as has been demonstrated in actual tests. Very small children show a natural inclination towards empathic behavior, which is rudimentary and must be developed through their growing up years. But as we grow up, many people, either through embracing one or another ideology or belief system, or through mental illness or sociopathy, lose their ability to empathize with others, but it is there.

So for most of us, the meaning we attach to our own lives is something we can easily project onto another person, because in a normal and healthy social condition, our natural empathy just does this by default. Usually it takes ideological brainwashing ("We are God's chosen people! Kill the infidels!") to supersede our natural empathy and make it easy for us to disregard the lives of others.

It never ceases to amaze me that I must always explain something as fundamental as empathy to a Christian. But I always have to remember that you lot have embraced a belief system that is misanthropic at its very core. The innate sinful worthlessness of man is where all of Christianity's broken "moral" precepts spring from, and so I suppose it is natural for a person who has first been trained to accept self-loathing as a foundational premise to accept the loathing of others just as easily. Which is why I often get questions from Christians like, "If there's no God, why can't I just go out and hurt and kill people?" They're really serious when they ask this, and that's what's both sad and frightening.

As you are no doubt unaware, the same would go for atheism; just as the state should not sponsor any one religion, it would be contrary to this project to sponsor atheism or atheistic views.

Nor does it.