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Do Atheists represent a threat?

civilbuthonest
Posts: 110
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6/15/2014 10:43:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Do Atheists represent a threat?

Do atheists have an "agenda" and, if they do, is it immoral or in some way harmful to society?

I have noticed a few postings claiming almost hysterically that Atheists pose a serious threat to society.

Rather than hurling insults at one another, wouldn't"t it be better to openly discuss what atheists believe, what some might wish to achieve, and whether any perceived threats are real?

OK. So as an atheist, I'll kick off.

(a) I am a humanist that believes that how we treat others is more important than our religious belief

(b) I am a spiritual, loving person, though I think the existence of a personal God is unlikely

(c) I respect and abide by the Laws of the country that I am in, though I may not agree with all of them. In extreme cases where I thought a law was wrong I would consider civil disobedience.

(d) I support and defend the principle of free speech, and the right to practice one"s own religion, provided this does not adversely affect others

(e) The Bible contains much wisdom, but is not an absolute source of truth

(f) I believe in Separation of Church and State, including the removal of reference to God in national documents and pledges

(g) Religion should not be taught in Public schools, and nor should Atheism

(h) Students should be taught science, including evolution, by professionally qualified science teachers. In broad terms, students should be taught verifiable facts, providing them with a factual framework with which to decide their own religious belief.

(i) Religious Chaplains have no place in Public schools

(j) Churches should be permitted to flourish, on the basis of demand

(k) I believe that religion can divide people as much or more than it unites them. It also makes me very sad to see young children indoctrinated into religious belief, and also makes me sad to see the extent to which some adults are unable to think for themselves on moral issues.

(k) I have no interest in "converting" people to atheism per se, or thrusting my religious views upon them. That said, all the evidence that I have accumulated over my lifetime leads me to believe that a "personal" God does not exist, and my life is infinitely richer for being able to think independently, and marvel at the amazing depth and breadth of knowledge that science has provided us with. I would be lying if I said that it did not bring me pleasure to pass on something of my knowledge to others, in the hope that they might gain as much from an atheistic viewpoint as I have.

Ok. Am I a monster that threatens civilization? I would like to think that I have selected the best parts of both Theism (morals and humanity) and Atheism (scientific knowledge).

I have no doubt that Atheism poses a threat to Theism and Christianity in that is provides an competing alternative, but no one should object to that in itself.

PS. There probably should be a sister thread, entitled 'Do Theists or Christians represent a threat?
Measure
Posts: 142
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6/16/2014 1:49:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/15/2014 10:43:11 PM, civilbuthonest wrote:
Do Atheists represent a threat?

Do atheists have an "agenda" and, if they do, is it immoral or in some way harmful to society?

I have noticed a few postings claiming almost hysterically that Atheists pose a serious threat to society.

Rather than hurling insults at one another, wouldn't"t it be better to openly discuss what atheists believe, what some might wish to achieve, and whether any perceived threats are real?

OK. So as an atheist, I'll kick off.

(a) I am a humanist that believes that how we treat others is more important than our religious belief

(b) I am a spiritual, loving person, though I think the existence of a personal God is unlikely

(c) I respect and abide by the Laws of the country that I am in, though I may not agree with all of them. In extreme cases where I thought a law was wrong I would consider civil disobedience.

(d) I support and defend the principle of free speech, and the right to practice one"s own religion, provided this does not adversely affect others

(e) The Bible contains much wisdom, but is not an absolute source of truth

(f) I believe in Separation of Church and State, including the removal of reference to God in national documents and pledges

(g) Religion should not be taught in Public schools, and nor should Atheism

(h) Students should be taught science, including evolution, by professionally qualified science teachers. In broad terms, students should be taught verifiable facts, providing them with a factual framework with which to decide their own religious belief.

(i) Religious Chaplains have no place in Public schools

(j) Churches should be permitted to flourish, on the basis of demand

(k) I believe that religion can divide people as much or more than it unites them. It also makes me very sad to see young children indoctrinated into religious belief, and also makes me sad to see the extent to which some adults are unable to think for themselves on moral issues.

(k) I have no interest in "converting" people to atheism per se, or thrusting my religious views upon them. That said, all the evidence that I have accumulated over my lifetime leads me to believe that a "personal" God does not exist, and my life is infinitely richer for being able to think independently, and marvel at the amazing depth and breadth of knowledge that science has provided us with. I would be lying if I said that it did not bring me pleasure to pass on something of my knowledge to others, in the hope that they might gain as much from an atheistic viewpoint as I have.

Ok. Am I a monster that threatens civilization? I would like to think that I have selected the best parts of both Theism (morals and humanity) and Atheism (scientific knowledge).

I have no doubt that Atheism poses a threat to Theism and Christianity in that is provides an competing alternative, but no one should object to that in itself.

PS. There probably should be a sister thread, entitled 'Do Theists or Christians represent a threat?

Since Atheism is a religion, a system of beliefs void of GOD,. , evolution should not be taught in public schools. Neither science in it's present form as it relates to the religion of evolution, a system of beliefs, which is in schools taught as fact, not theory. No threat at all. Christianity and science go hand in hand. The schools had that going for them, then came in evolution and wanted all that changed, GOD out , science in. Not add to but out with one, in with the other and all the text books changed, why is that? You contradict yourself, g and h, no atheism but science and evolution, which is, atheism! What?
civilbuthonest
Posts: 110
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6/16/2014 2:09:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 1:49:52 AM, Measure wrote:

Since Atheism is a religion, a system of beliefs void of GOD,. , evolution should not be taught in public schools. Neither science in it's present form as it relates to the religion of evolution, a system of beliefs, which is in schools taught as fact, not theory. No threat at all. Christianity and science go hand in hand. The schools had that going for them, then came in evolution and wanted all that changed, GOD out , science in. Not add to but out with one, in with the other and all the text books changed, why is that? You contradict yourself, g and h, no atheism but science and evolution, which is, atheism! What?

Well 10 out of 11 ain't bad :)

I did say that science should teach verifiable facts, such as the fossil record etc. That animals have evolved is fact, though we don't know how the very first life form came into existence. What should absolutely NOT be taught is Atheism, that is, the Science teacher should absolutely NOT say in the middle of the science class, 'this shows that there is no God'. And, of course, nor should students be taught that God DOES exist, either. Can't do fairer than that.

So maybe I could even score 10.5 out of 11? :)
SkepticalStardust
Posts: 117
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6/16/2014 3:01:51 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Since Atheism is a religion, a system of beliefs void of GOD,. , evolution should not be taught in public schools. Neither science in it's present form as it relates to the religion of evolution, a system of beliefs, which is in schools taught as fact, not theory. No threat at all. Christianity and science go hand in hand. The schools had that going for them, then came in evolution and wanted all that changed, GOD out , science in. Not add to but out with one, in with the other and all the text books changed, why is that? You contradict yourself, g and h, no atheism but science and evolution, which is, atheism! What?

Atheism is a lack of belief in god(s). These are common analogies, but is not having a hobby also a hobby? Is not having hair a way of having hair? Atheism, by definition, is something you lack, not something you have.

Your first sentence is missing something. You go from a false premise to a completely unrelated conclusion.

You have a warped view of the history of the USA. We've become more Christian over time. "Under god" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. "In god we trust" was added to money in 1956. Christians tried to hijack the USA and now it's being taken back by secularists.

You also seem confused about evolution. Evolution is a fact. The Theory of Evolution is the best current model for explaining how Evolution occurs. The Theory of Evolution and Evolution are not the same thing. In the same way, there's gravity and there's a theory for it often called the Theory of Gravity informally. The Theory of Gravity might be wrong, but gravity happens. The Theory of Evolution might be wrong, but evolution is something that happens. The Theory of Evolution is evolution by random mutation guided by natural selection.

Also, you do realize that evolution and atheism have nothing to do with each other, right? A person can accept evolution without lacking belief in god(s) and a person can lack belief in god(s) without accepting evolution. There are atheists who don't accept evolution and theists who do accept evolution.
That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." " Christopher Hitchens
bulproof
Posts: 25,175
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6/16/2014 3:07:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/16/2014 1:49:52 AM, Measure wrote:
At 6/15/2014 10:43:11 PM, civilbuthonest wrote:
Do Atheists represent a threat?

Do atheists have an "agenda" and, if they do, is it immoral or in some way harmful to society?

I have noticed a few postings claiming almost hysterically that Atheists pose a serious threat to society.

Rather than hurling insults at one another, wouldn't"t it be better to openly discuss what atheists believe, what some might wish to achieve, and whether any perceived threats are real?

OK. So as an atheist, I'll kick off.

(a) I am a humanist that believes that how we treat others is more important than our religious belief

(b) I am a spiritual, loving person, though I think the existence of a personal God is unlikely

(c) I respect and abide by the Laws of the country that I am in, though I may not agree with all of them. In extreme cases where I thought a law was wrong I would consider civil disobedience.

(d) I support and defend the principle of free speech, and the right to practice one"s own religion, provided this does not adversely affect others

(e) The Bible contains much wisdom, but is not an absolute source of truth

(f) I believe in Separation of Church and State, including the removal of reference to God in national documents and pledges

(g) Religion should not be taught in Public schools, and nor should Atheism

(h) Students should be taught science, including evolution, by professionally qualified science teachers. In broad terms, students should be taught verifiable facts, providing them with a factual framework with which to decide their own religious belief.

(i) Religious Chaplains have no place in Public schools

(j) Churches should be permitted to flourish, on the basis of demand

(k) I believe that religion can divide people as much or more than it unites them. It also makes me very sad to see young children indoctrinated into religious belief, and also makes me sad to see the extent to which some adults are unable to think for themselves on moral issues.

(k) I have no interest in "converting" people to atheism per se, or thrusting my religious views upon them. That said, all the evidence that I have accumulated over my lifetime leads me to believe that a "personal" God does not exist, and my life is infinitely richer for being able to think independently, and marvel at the amazing depth and breadth of knowledge that science has provided us with. I would be lying if I said that it did not bring me pleasure to pass on something of my knowledge to others, in the hope that they might gain as much from an atheistic viewpoint as I have.

Ok. Am I a monster that threatens civilization? I would like to think that I have selected the best parts of both Theism (morals and humanity) and Atheism (scientific knowledge).

I have no doubt that Atheism poses a threat to Theism and Christianity in that is provides an competing alternative, but no one should object to that in itself.

PS. There probably should be a sister thread, entitled 'Do Theists or Christians represent a threat?

Since Atheism is a religion, a system of beliefs void of GOD,. , evolution should not be taught in public schools. Neither science in it's present form as it relates to the religion of evolution, a system of beliefs, which is in schools taught as fact, not theory. No threat at all. Christianity and science go hand in hand. The schools had that going for them, then came in evolution and wanted all that changed, GOD out , science in. Not add to but out with one, in with the other and all the text books changed, why is that? You contradict yourself, g and h, no atheism but science and evolution, which is, atheism! What?
And bald is a hair colour.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
neutral
Posts: 4,478
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6/16/2014 6:48:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/15/2014 10:43:11 PM, civilbuthonest wrote:
Do Atheists represent a threat?

Do atheists have an "agenda" and, if they do, is it immoral or in some way harmful to society?

I have noticed a few postings claiming almost hysterically that Atheists pose a serious threat to society.

Rather than hurling insults at one another, wouldn't"t it be better to openly discuss what atheists believe, what some might wish to achieve, and whether any perceived threats are real?

OK. So as an atheist, I'll kick off.

(a) I am a humanist that believes that how we treat others is more important than our religious belief

(b) I am a spiritual, loving person, though I think the existence of a personal God is unlikely

(c) I respect and abide by the Laws of the country that I am in, though I may not agree with all of them. In extreme cases where I thought a law was wrong I would consider civil disobedience.

(d) I support and defend the principle of free speech, and the right to practice one"s own religion, provided this does not adversely affect others

(e) The Bible contains much wisdom, but is not an absolute source of truth

(f) I believe in Separation of Church and State, including the removal of reference to God in national documents and pledges

(g) Religion should not be taught in Public schools, and nor should Atheism

(h) Students should be taught science, including evolution, by professionally qualified science teachers. In broad terms, students should be taught verifiable facts, providing them with a factual framework with which to decide their own religious belief.

(i) Religious Chaplains have no place in Public schools

(j) Churches should be permitted to flourish, on the basis of demand

(k) I believe that religion can divide people as much or more than it unites them. It also makes me very sad to see young children indoctrinated into religious belief, and also makes me sad to see the extent to which some adults are unable to think for themselves on moral issues.

(k) I have no interest in "converting" people to atheism per se, or thrusting my religious views upon them. That said, all the evidence that I have accumulated over my lifetime leads me to believe that a "personal" God does not exist, and my life is infinitely richer for being able to think independently, and marvel at the amazing depth and breadth of knowledge that science has provided us with. I would be lying if I said that it did not bring me pleasure to pass on something of my knowledge to others, in the hope that they might gain as much from an atheistic viewpoint as I have.

Ok. Am I a monster that threatens civilization? I would like to think that I have selected the best parts of both Theism (morals and humanity) and Atheism (scientific knowledge).

I have no doubt that Atheism poses a threat to Theism and Christianity in that is provides an competing alternative, but no one should object to that in itself.

PS. There probably should be a sister thread, entitled 'Do Theists or Christians represent a threat?

Do you individually as an atheist pose a threat? No. Clearly not in fact.

Does atheism as a movement pose a threat? Possibly.

Two reasons:

#1 - Jews poison everything. would we assume that this is a threatening position that, over time, will lead to extremism and violence? I think that is a fairly self evident position.

So how is this different?

Religion poisons everything.

It is cur from the same cloth. Its not an uncommon position in atheism these days either. It is the title of Hitchens best selling work. He spends the entire book acerbically trashing religion and making in the sole source of evil in the world. At what point does that become advocacy for the solution to evil? Get ride of religion.

When you live in a multi-cultural society, such guttural calls to arms, we are also mental health cases who should be classified as such according to Dawkins, are a threat. It is an attack on the principles of Constitution itself - Freedom of conscience. Its not simply I believe I am right, it is, effectively, you guys are SO wrong that you are evil.

That is most definitely a dangerous and threatening message.

#2 - Such thinking also created intellectual dangers. Secularism and being tone deaf to religion created many of our problems in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was precisely because we did not understand the religion, and were frankly disdainful of it, that it blew up in our face. Like or not, religion is a MAJOR portion of the world, and I will submit that ignoring it is as dangerous as ignoring economics these days. We should, at the very least understand it, even if we disagree with it.

Here, once again, I will fall on Hitchens. In his polemic, the desire is to denounce not understand and disagree. What we see in his Chapter in the Taliban is riddled with intellectual errors. First, he attempts to make the Taliban's rejection of vaccinations the fault of Islam rather than the Taliban. (Vaccinations occur throughout the Islamic world). Second, he denounces it as religious zealotry while ignoring tactical realities. The CIA and other Special Forces groups were using the vaccination programs to infiltrate the tribal belts and what followed was ... drones who killed them in droves. If you are in the middle of a war, inviting your enemy into your house so he can kill you with missiles is dumb.

http://www.gci.org...

Hitchens, as a journalist, was certainly aware of this. Yet he leaves this analysis out, and seem content to stick his fingers in people's eye. We are left, as his followers, with the impression that the only way to fix the problem and restore vaccinations to innocent children is by eliminating Islam. In reality, it is by what we see above, the CIA promising not to take advantage of the program of military gain.

The danger of setting up a straw man policy is legion. If we create a bunch of goons who are satisfied with any explanation that blames religion, we will have created a bunch of unthinking automatons that will lead, in our consensus driven democracy, to really insane foreign policy positions.

As you point out, atheism need not be this way. However, if we are to avoid the dangers this path lays out, then there needs to be a consensus within atheism that what is being advocated by extremists in their midst is a clear and clarion threat to that which we value immensely: multiculturalism and rational based policy.