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Thread: The Evangelical Atheist

  1. #1
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    The Evangelical Atheist

    The obsession of the evangelicals amounts to a Crusade. It’s all there - the unrelenting proselytizing, “proofs” of their position, demonizing opponents as evil (not wrong), calls for the extermination of religion and religious ideas to be replaced with a “superior” society. The idea that such a society will necessarily be better than our own (in which we may debate this question without fear) is not only silly but dangerous. Personally, I don’t want folks who preach disrespect for ideas as my new master. As an atheist I am fed up with the screaming “I hate religion” crowd who has made personal belief a matter of morality, i.e. if you don’t think as I do you are an evil person.

    Dylan Evans, the noted English atheist, said it best, “Dawkins is virulently anti-religious, passionately pro-science and artistically illiterate…His attacks on religion are so vitriolic and bad-tempered that they alienate the sensitive reader and give atheism a bad name. As a friend of mine once commented, no other atheist has done more for the cause of religion than Richard Dawkins.”
    Link

    Comments?
    Last edited by S.A.M.; 02-26-08 at 12:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Encephaloid Martini (Q)'s Avatar
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    From the link:

    "What is often overlooked by the critics of “evangelical atheism” is that skepticism about the existence of God does not by itself define who and what we are. For there is a commitment to the realization of human freedom and happiness in this life here and now and to a life of excellence, creativity, and fulfillment. Life is meaningful without the illusion of immortality. There is also the recognition that the cultivation of the common moral decencies—caring, empathy, and altruism—is an essential part of our relating to other human beings in our communities of interaction. Humanists have always been concerned with achieving justice in society. Many of the heroes and heroines in human history were freethinkers who contributed significantly to democratic progress and a defense of human rights. Indeed, the agenda of secular humanism is twofold: first is the quest for truth, a critical examination of the assumptions of supernatural religion in the light of science; second is the development of affirmative ethical alternatives for the individual, the society in which he or she lives, and also the planetary community at large. To label us “evangelical atheists” without recognizing our affirmative commitment to secular humanist morality is an egregious error."

  3. #3
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Yeah yeah we get it:

    It’s all there - the unrelenting proselytizing, “proofs” of their position, demonizing opponents as evil (not wrong), calls for the extermination of religion and religious ideas to be replaced with a “superior” society.


    Out of curiosity, lets put your secular humanism to the test-

    You bought some 20 teddy bears for that teacher in Sudan.

    What did you do for the illegal detentions in Abu Ghraib and Gitmo?

  4. #4
    Dylan Evans is talking BS. That's my comment.

    When Atheists want tax breaks, and start telling you when you can and can't have sex, and what you can and can't do, and start burning effigees of people in the streets for transgressing scientific method, maybe his comments would have some merit.

    But those actions are performed by the religious, not the atheists.

    Oh, and religion is evil. It has proven itself to be so time and time again. I have no problem with personal belief, but organised religion should be stamped out.

  5. #5
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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  6. #6
    Encephaloid Martini (Q)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Yeah yeah we get it:





    Out of curiosity, lets put your secular humanism to the test-

    You bought some 20 teddy bears for that teacher in Sudan.

    What did you do for the illegal detentions in Abu Ghraib and Gitmo?
    So, you actually want to troll your own thread?

  7. #7
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    No I want to see the evidence for your purported claim to secular humanism.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    No I want to see the evidence for your purported claim to secular humanism.

    What, Q has to be like the most charitable, right on person on the planet? Solve every problem, support every cause?

    Or perhaps, just not participating in the evil that is religion, is enough?

  9. #9
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Nope just show evidence that he is capable of being humanist without being anti-religion.

    You have to admit that it would be hard to miss the Abu Ghraib/Gitmo detentions as compared to the teddy bear controversy.

    I've seen plenty of evidence for the anti-religion stance, none at all for his claim of secular humanism.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    The obsession of the evangelicals amounts to a Crusade. It’s all there - the unrelenting proselytizing, “proofs” of their position, demonizing opponents as evil (not wrong), calls for the extermination of religion and religious ideas to be replaced with a “superior” society. The idea that such a society will necessarily be better than our own (in which we may debate this question without fear) is not only silly but dangerous. Personally, I don’t want folks who preach disrespect for ideas as my new master. As an atheist I am fed up with the screaming “I hate religion” crowd who has made personal belief a matter of morality, i.e. if you don’t think as I do you are an evil person.

    Dylan Evans, the noted English atheist, said it best, “Dawkins is virulently anti-religious, passionately pro-science and artistically illiterate…His attacks on religion are so vitriolic and bad-tempered that they alienate the sensitive reader and give atheism a bad name. As a friend of mine once commented, no other atheist has done more for the cause of religion than Richard Dawkins.”

    Link

    Comments?
    Well if Dawkins is the best you can do with showing how 'evangelical' atheism is a bad thing, then I am not persuaded.

  11. #11
    Jesus Sam you really are full of BS. Your spat with Q leads you to be really quite unreasonable.

  12. #12
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    I'm asking him to support his claim. As someone against illegal detentions, what is his basis for defining support for the teacher vs the detainees of Abu Ghraib/Gitmo?

    You could also provide evidence for your claim of a better society, considering that previous experiments with atheism have led to worse atrocities than any on earth.

    Or else show what differentiates you from any other kind of evangelist

  13. #13
    All this means is that people rebel and resent being hit over the head with someone else's theories. Personally i dont care weather a person is an Atheist or not. As for religion, terrorism has turned more against religion than Dawkins ever can hope to.

  14. #14
    troaty mouth best song ever pjdude1219's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    The obsession of the evangelicals amounts to a Crusade. It’s all there - the unrelenting proselytizing, “proofs” of their position, demonizing opponents as evil (not wrong), calls for the extermination of religion and religious ideas to be replaced with a “superior” society. The idea that such a society will necessarily be better than our own (in which we may debate this question without fear) is not only silly but dangerous. Personally, I don’t want folks who preach disrespect for ideas as my new master. As an atheist I am fed up with the screaming “I hate religion” crowd who has made personal belief a matter of morality, i.e. if you don’t think as I do you are an evil person.

    Dylan Evans, the noted English atheist, said it best, “Dawkins is virulently anti-religious, passionately pro-science and artistically illiterate…His attacks on religion are so vitriolic and bad-tempered that they alienate the sensitive reader and give atheism a bad name. As a friend of mine once commented, no other atheist has done more for the cause of religion than Richard Dawkins.”

    Link

    Comments?
    the term evangelical cannot refer to athiests

  15. #15
    Valued Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Yeah yeah we get it:





    Out of curiosity, lets put your secular humanism to the test-

    You bought some 20 teddy bears for that teacher in Sudan.

    What did you do for the illegal detentions in Abu Ghraib and Gitmo?
    I guess SAM, while I have a great deal of distaste for Dawkins as a philosopher, this question towards Q can be turned around and asked of you. Are you critical of evangelical religious people, especially Muslims, and do you challenge their demonizing of people who are not religious or do not share the same religion?

    As a kind of theist myself I am concerned about the behavior of both monotheists - with their histories of violence toward non-believers - and atheists because of their influence more on the educational end of things.

    I have had quite a bit of contact with monotheists, including Muslims, and we got along just peachy. Every now and then some of them would 'understand' violence directed at people where I could not possibly understand that violence. It reminded me of the ways American Christian fundamentalists can understand violence against gays,while not condoning it.

    Neither group seemed to make the connection between their understanding of that violence and that violence's existence.

    I realize that atheists are not exempt from violence or 'understanding' violence. I am sure many supported the wars in Iraq and Vietnam, whatever the ironies of the latter being against a different kind of atheist. Economic beliefs are a kind of religion.

    Most of the atheists I know find my beliefs odd. Since they know and respect me, sometimes they try to point out where I must be wrong, but some, could really care less. I never get the feeling, ever, that I might be physically attacked for my beliefs by an atheist. I have, sadly, had this experience with monotheists of several kinds.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by John99 View Post
    All this means is that people rebel and resent being hit over the head with someone else's theories. Personally i dont care weather a person is an Atheist or not. As for religion, terrorism has turned more against religion than Dawkins ever can hope to.
    Also the matter of it being blatantly false?

  17. #17
    Valued Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjdude1219 View Post
    the term evangelical cannot refer to athiests
    e·van·gel·i·cal
    5. marked by ardent or zealous enthusiasm for a cause.
    It is the 5th meaning but it is not one that SAM made up. It can certainly stand as a provocative use of the term.

    I think 'proselytizing' would be a better term. It is not a word with roots in one religion - as evangelical is with Christianty.

    It is clear that some atheists proselytize. Some simply respond to attempts to proselytize. In a forum like this we could easily have a

    He started it
    No, she did.
    moment

    to make us all nostalgic for the playground.

    But in any case there are some atheists who have taken on the task to spead atheism. Or to be as terminologically neutral as I can be

    to un-spread religion.

    Splitting hairs perhaps, but one must try to respect where there is flexibility.

  18. #18
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sowhatifit'sdark View Post
    I guess SAM, while I have a great deal of distaste for Dawkins as a philosopher, this question towards Q can be turned around and asked of you. Are you critical of evangelical religious people, especially Muslims, and do you challenge their demonizing of people who are not religious or do not share the same religion?
    Ah but I'm a theist. It automatically makes me ineligible to be either secular or a humanist, don't you know?
    I have had quite a bit of contact with monotheists, including Muslims, and we got along just peachy. Every now and then some of them would 'understand' violence directed at people where I could not possibly understand that violence. It reminded me of the ways American Christian fundamentalists can understand violence against gays,while not condoning it.
    Is understanding the same as condoning?

    For example, would you understand it if a man condemned to torture and solitary confinement for 5 years for no reason at all, decided, upon being let out, that he might as well do what he was incarcerated for? Do you condone it?
    Neither group seemed to make the connection between their understanding of that violence and that violence's existence.
    So in your opinion, understanding the basis of violence encourages that kind of violence. What is your personal approach to violence?

    I realize that atheists are not exempt from violence or 'understanding' violence. I am sure many supported the wars in Iraq and Vietnam, whatever the ironies of the latter being against a different kind of atheist. Economic beliefs are a kind of religion.
    Yes and this is where I question the secular humanist. Is secular humanism beyond gas prices? beyond share market investments? Beyond trade practices that lead to third world farmers killing themselves in the tens of thousands?


    Most of the atheists I know find my beliefs odd. Since they know and respect me, sometimes they try to point out where I must be wrong, but some, could really care less. I never get the feeling, ever, that I might be physically attacked for my beliefs by an atheist. I have, sadly, had this experience with monotheists of several kinds.
    Have you ever lived under a communist regime?

  19. #19
    I would estimate that with terrorism and the present climate one can predict that the future will either be in chains or no religion at all. I am gonna say chains.

  20. #20
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjdude1219 View Post
    the term evangelical cannot refer to athiests
    I disagree

    Some excerpts from an evangelical atheist:
    Freethought is worth sharing with the world. If the conditions are right, it is possible for a freethinker to successfully evangelize a believer.

    "Evangelism" is a perfectly good word. The Greek word "angel" means "messenger." Evangelism is simply "good news."

    "Atheism" is positive. Although it is constructed with the privative prefix (negative in the sense of "without," not "against"), it should be viewed as a double negative. By comparison, "non-violence" is considered to be a positive word. Since "theism" is unreasonable and even dangerous, the message that we can be free of it is good news. Atheism is like having a large debt cancelled.

    I am not suggesting that every atheist should be an evangelist. Some are better off temporarily keeping their views to themselves for job security or family harmony. Some freethinkers wisely wait until they retire, when they have little to lose, before they become vocal. In certain communities, open unbelief can be costly.

    Nor am I suggesting that every evangelistic atheist will always be successful. I learned in the ministry that evangelism is like sales. You can't sell everyone. But you can't sell anyone if you don't first convince them that they have a need or desire for what you are selling.

    In one sense, the believers have already been "led astray." They have been led astray from reason, where religion is concerned. Many fundamentalists have also gone astray from compassion, peace, or tolerance.

    But since they view themselves as sheep in a flock of followers, they do need to be led astray from the mentality of submission to the shepherd, slaves to a dictator. It would be better for them, and for the world, if there were more independent thinkers.
    http://www.ffrf.org/fttoday/back/evangel.html

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