Fellow Atheists/Agnostic Atheists - Let's Chat: Do you feel it is risky being "out" these days?

Garden Ninja wrote:

This seems like an appropriate place for this: Blasphemy Rights Day

Heh, I knew there was a reason I've been listening to Schaffer the Darklord all day. The devil made me do it!

Schaffer the Darklord via [url=https://www.facebook.com/schafferthe... wrote:

Facebook[/url]]It's Blasphemy Day, eh? Instead of making comments about religion, I'll just point toward my entire body of work and leave it at that.

Almost without exception, the most scathingly blasphemous statements I've ever heard have been in places of worship from preachers who seem to get a rise out of ridiculing one another's religions.

Paleocon wrote:

Almost without exception, the most scathingly blasphemous statements I've ever heard have been in places of worship from preachers who seem to get a rise out of ridiculing one another's religions.

Yeah. As I've mentioned a few times I know people who believe Catholics are in league with the devil. Or Mormons. And visa versa. It was a big reason why I stopped going to church and started questioning things. I realized this wasn't a club I fit in with any longer.

DSGamer wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Almost without exception, the most scathingly blasphemous statements I've ever heard have been in places of worship from preachers who seem to get a rise out of ridiculing one another's religions.

Yeah. As I've mentioned a few times I know people who believe Catholics are in league with the devil. Or Mormons. And visa versa. It was a big reason why I stopped going to church and started questioning things. I realized this wasn't a club I fit in with any longer.

And it is all incredibly mean-spirited blasphemy. It's hateful and not terribly funny.

At least Atheist blasphemy tends to be chiding and sarcastic.

Paleocon wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Almost without exception, the most scathingly blasphemous statements I've ever heard have been in places of worship from preachers who seem to get a rise out of ridiculing one another's religions.

Yeah. As I've mentioned a few times I know people who believe Catholics are in league with the devil. Or Mormons. And visa versa. It was a big reason why I stopped going to church and started questioning things. I realized this wasn't a club I fit in with any longer.

And it is all incredibly mean-spirited blasphemy. It's hateful and not terribly funny.

At least Atheist blasphemy tends to be chiding and sarcastic.

Yeah. I would imagine that one of the worst things you could say to someone who is in a Christian religion is that they're not really Christian. I've always thought that was awful. And I've chided relatives and others for going there.

I'll just go ahead and confirm that, if nobody minds. I think it's why some of the worst religious conflicts are between schisms of the same religion.

While I agree with the spirit of Blasphemy Rights Day (the duty of guarding religious dogma shouldn't be in the hands of a government purporting to be secular), I don't agree that casual blasphemy (from anyone against anyone else) is within the spirit of religious tolerance.

I'm of the opinion that blasphemy is only blasphemy if you are or have been part of the group affected. They simply are not my rules to learn or follow. For example, I was not ever part of any religion so other than what I may have seen in popular media I wouldn't have a clue exactly what someone may take as blasphemous. I also do not think the onus is on me to learn everything that could possibly be blasphemous so that I can avoid offending by accident.

This is not to say I support intentionally offending others.

None of my blasphemy is casual. However, isn't blasphemy basically a term that is only meaningful to the religious? I mean, it's blasphemous to the Catholics if I go and take communion while being an atheist... Hell, it's blasphemous if you take communion with unabsolved sin, which I'm 100% sure each and every person taking it has on any given Sunday. But blasphemy doesn't really have any meaning if all you're doing is eating a wheat wafer.

edit: nevermind.

Malor wrote:

edit: nevermind.

Aw, was that about to be a double-Tannhauser? Foiled!

NSMike wrote:
Malor wrote:

edit: nevermind.

Aw, was that about to be a double-Tannhauser? Foiled!

Hehe, you tannhausered me by less than a minute!

NSMike:

Maybe yes and maybe no. Blasphemy is disrespect of belief, and we all have beliefs, religious or otherwise. Respecting one another's beliefs is central to religious tolerance.

Yellek:

Naturally. If a belief group (of whatever kind) has some belief, the onus is on them to inform people of it before they react. They can't expect people to know their beliefs who do not share them, and some things simply are impractical to ask everyone to abide. For instance, it would be silly to ask everyone not to say "is" because doing so is a deadly insult to your beliefs.

So:

They have to tell you.
It has to be reasonable.

I don't think this is too much to ask of any belief group.

The Nicene Creed is blasphemy to a Muslim. Is it, therefore, intolerant to recite it?

Paleocon:

We have to be reasonable.
I don't recite the Nicene Creed to my Muslim friends, and they don't ask to hear it; we both know what it is. And yes, saying it to their face would be something I would not do, knowing how it would offend them.

You can't take deadly offense at every last thing, though - this operates as both a general social principle, and a guiding principle as what we could expect others to remember and abide. It's getting awfully religiony in here though. Could we move to a more atheistic thing?

I don't see why religion should receive a wider berth than any other kind of irrational belief. Why should we be especially careful and tolerant of religious belief, but free to laugh at, say, tin foil haberdashery, astrology, homeopathy, or crystal sucking? What, other than the threat of violence from seriously unstable people with bomb vests or AK's, is the logical reason we should be more accepting of their groundless arguments than, say, anti-vaccine crusaders?

I'm all for being polite, but the idea that religious belief somehow deserves some sort of special respect among unsupported fantastic claims is, at least to me, pretty wrongheaded thinking. It prevents rational discourse on important moral issues and leads folks to the ridiculous idea that crap like female genital mutilation is somehow morally acceptable because it comports with someone's religion.

Paleocon:

Not limited to religious belief, though, Paleocon. It's not supposed to be special in that regard. If a significant amount of Americans were into tin foil haberdashery, then I think it would be a good idea for some of their blasphemies to make it into common consciousness so that you don't go around unintentionally insulting them. I would also say the same for astrology. I don't believe in it, but I don't have to be a dick about that, either.

It's not about special privilege. It's not that at all. It's about not being a dick, which I hope we can all agree, is a highly desirable thing.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/6fHwX.jpg)

I respect people, inasmuch as they are deserving of respect. Beliefs, however, are just concepts. They are not inherently deserving of respect and should remain open to criticism and challenge. I actively listen to criticism of MY beliefs, it helps me grow and evolve as a person. If people can't handle having their beliefs challenged, it's not the fault of the person doing the critiquing. People need to learn the difference between the belief and the believer. That's where so much of the strife between theist and atheist stems from.

LarryC wrote:

Paleocon:

Not limited to religious belief, though, Paleocon. It's not supposed to be special in that regard. If a significant amount of Americans were into tin foil haberdashery, then I think it would be a good idea for some of their blasphemies to make it into common consciousness so that you don't go around unintentionally insulting them. I would also say the same for astrology. I don't believe in it, but I don't have to be a dick about that, either.

It's not about special privilege. It's not that at all. It's about not being a dick, which I hope we can all agree, is a highly desirable thing.

If vigorously opposing fallacious arguments is being a dick, I'm perfectly okay being a dick toward anyone who tries to flog the idea that folks should not immunize their kids. I'm perfectly okay with being a dick toward someone who wants to tell me that keeping girls out of schools on account of their magical friend in the sky is the good and right thing to do. I'm perfectly okay with being a dick toward someone who wants to legislate a ban on Phoenix Rev and Rubb Ed getting married because they're afraid to bruise the gentle ego of their little sky buddy.

Why? Because if we don't, those dicks will use their institutions to screw it up for all of us. Count on it.

ruhk wrote:

I respect people, inasmuch as they are deserving of respect. Beliefs, however, are just concepts. They are not inherently deserving of respect and should remain open to criticism and challenge. I actively listen to criticism of MY beliefs, it helps me grow and evolve as a person. If people can't handle having their beliefs challenged, it's not the fault of the person doing the critiquing. People need to learn the difference between the belief and the believer. That's where so much of the strife between theist and atheist stems from.

Precisely.

I would go one further and state that anyone who pronounces anything as fantastic and unsupported as "Jesus is Lord" must either put up or shut up and be prepared to have his argument challenged. And anyone who would be insulted or have his delicate beliefs bruised by such a challenge should jump in a closet and close the door himself.

LarryC, please. You are still pushing theism. You are still telling us to conform.

Please stop posting in this thread. You are not contributing, you are only derailing.

edit to add: basically, every time we start going in an interesting direction and start to cover new ground, you show up and make us rehash the same old sh*t again and again and again.

You keep demanding that we be polite, like you just did a few posts ago. Well, PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH and get out of this thread.

ruhk:

It would be a much better world if everyone could do that, I agree, but that's not necessarily possible; and it's not even just isolated to theism vs. atheism. The Communist vs. Democracy divide is also a difference in belief, and people killed each other over that, too. People can get real personal when it comes to belief, and though I want to think that I'm different, I'm too old to really believe that self-delusion. Somewhere in me is some kind of belief that will get mortally offended when someone says something blasphemous against it, and I'd prefer it if people respected that if I ask.

There are topics here and thoughts of mine, somewhat related to this, that raised post counts a mile high when I said them. I know better now than to simply trot that out casually in this forum.

If I didn't respect something enough to believe it myself, why would I respect that in others?

LarryC wrote:

ruhk:

It would be a much better world if everyone could do that, I agree, but that's not necessarily possible; and it's not even just isolated to theism vs. atheism. The Communist vs. Democracy divide is also a difference in belief, and people killed each other over that, too. People can get real personal when it comes to belief, and though I want to think that I'm different, I'm too old to really believe that self-delusion. Somewhere in me is some kind of belief that will get mortally offended when someone says something blasphemous against it, and I'd prefer it if people respected that if I ask.

There are topics here and thoughts of mine, somewhat related to this, that raised post counts a mile high when I said them. I know better now than to simply trot that out casually in this forum.

And you honestly think that the world would be improved by shutting off the marketplace of ideas by "respecting" or "tolerating" irrational belief rather than challenging them and having them either stand or fall on their merits? Communism was challenged and it was precisely the sort of anti-blasphemy crap that was the root of all the violence you alluded to. It did not go away because no one decided to talk about it anymore. It was discredited as an idea and ended up on the ash heap of history (also where, incidentally, all religions will end up eventually).

LarryC wrote:

It's more of respecting their right to choose what they want to believe in, so long as it doesn't involve shouting "Jesus is Lord" in your ear 24/7.

Hmm... Something comes to mind... "Physician, heal thyself," I think.

LarryC wrote:

It's more of respecting their right to choose what they want to believe in, so long as it doesn't involve shouting "Jesus is Lord" in your ear 24/7.

I don't care if it is 24/7. If they say it at all, they are asserting an intellectual claim. Either they should be willing to support it with evidence or be prepared to hear arguments to the contrary. If they don't want to invite that "blasphemy", they can keep their claims to themselves.

NSMike:

It's more of respecting their right to choose what they want to believe in, so long as it doesn't involve shouting "Jesus is Lord" in your ear 24/7.

Paleocon:

I think the world would be a better place if we made an effort not to be dicks to each other. That involves both not pushing evangelistic teaching offensively, and not intruding into the religious practice of others if they're not bothering you.

In a place where discussion is invited or mandated, then hell yes the gloves can and should come off; but it's not exactly a welcoming place to be when everyone's pushing their beliefs on you all the time, is it?

Again, it's not a call to stop examining the critical value of astrology (which is nonexistent at the moment), but if some people get off on it regardless, well that's their thing, isn't it?

Paleocon:

I agree. That's just part of being reasonable. If you want to impose your belief in a public space, then you should be prepared to defend it against all comers, without taking offense at fair logical or policy-based objections.

Larry, I feel like you're out of bounds from the intent of the creation of this thread. Let them have their discussion, please.

LarryC wrote:

Paleocon:

I agree. That's just part of being reasonable. If you want to impose your belief in a public space, then you should be prepared to defend it against all comers, without taking offense at fair logical or policy-based objections.

And to bring it back to the original subject, why is proclaiming "Christ is Risen" protected religious speech that must be tolerated and unquestioned while stating "There is no god" is "being a dick"?

Where is the even playing field?