Are atheists discriminatory towards theists?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by S.A.M., Jul 4, 2006.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    I have a question for all the atheists in this forum:

    Almost all the atheists declare that their grievances are against the religion; they do not hate or wish to convert the theists, they merely wish to point out the "irrationalities" of theism to them.

    To judge a person as irrational based on their religious beliefs is, in my opinion, flagrant discrimination. This when combined with the declaration that atheists believe in the freedom to practice their beliefs is illogical when they refuse to extend the same courtesy to the theists. I do not mean the extreme theists here, I'm referring to those forum members who practice their religion peacefully and have no fundamentalist agendas.

    So what is the difference between a fundamentalist theist who wants to force his opinion of religion on an atheist and an atheist who wants to force his notion of rationality on the theists? Are both of them not equally guilty of trespass on the freedom to choose one's beliefs?

    Another point raised by the atheists is that atheism is superior to theism because it ensures freedom to all; its morality supersedes theism since it is all-encompassing and does not allow for differences between people. This presumes that moral beliefs are common in all atheists.

    So, I would like to know the position of atheists regarding:
    1. Abortion
    2. Homosexuality and Gay marriage
    3. Capital Punishment
    4. Immigration
    5. Ideal social system ( capitalism, socialism, etc)

    In addition since I am a Muslim and have heard a lot about Islamic terrorism, I would like comments on how the atheists would resolve this issue, if it were up to them.

    I am genuinely curious about the views of atheists in these respects.

    Please feel free to comment on any of the aspects.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2006
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  3. DeeCee Valued Senior Member

    Here's my take on the deal.

    To judge a person as irrational based on their beliefs is, in my opinion, flagrant discrimination.

    Theists hold irrational beliefs. Period.
    Are you suggesting that rational people can hold an irrational world view?
    How does that work?
    I don't discriminate against irrational people BTW.

    I do not mean the extreme theists here

    At what point does a theist become an extreme theist. Do they take a test or something? I suspect that what you mean to suggest is that theists are rational apart from the ones you personally consider 'extreme'.
    They obviously overstep the bounds of what you consider to be rational.

    So what is the difference between a fundamentalist theist who wants to force his opinion of religion on an atheist and an atheist who wants to force his notion of rationality on the theists?

    The theist promotes fantasy while the atheist promotes rationality.
    Obvious really.

    As for freedom of belief
    There is only one atheist position but many and varied theistic ones.
    What made you choose Islam over Hinduism BTW and which theists do you suggest I allow myself to be converted by, the catholics? Or maybe the Rastafarians? Scientology seems popular at the moment perhaps I'll try that one.

    This presumes that moral beliefs are common in all atheists.

    We pick and mix beliefs just like theists do.
    Only difference is we are not obliged to choose the same moral positions as our peers.

    1. Abortion

    If a woman wants it then thats ok by me.

    2. Homosexuality and Gay marriage

    Gays are fine by me but marriage as a religious undertaking is irrational. Gays should have the right, however, as I don't see why only the heteros should have to suffer.

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    3. Capital Punishment

    Generally against. Whats the point in killing people? It don't stop criminality and you just end up killing people for ever.

    4. Immigration

    If I'm allowed to live there then they should be allowed to live here.
    I do have reservations about the importation of cheap labour but it's no big deal. I guess somebody has to flip my burgers and tidy my garden.

    5. Ideal social system

    Don't ask for much do you?
    Err Communist utopia through free energy technology...
    (just read that on a psudoscience thread)
    Either that or a dictatorship run by me.
    or maybe small community feudalism.
    Gee I just don't know.

    As for the "Islamic threat" I think reasonable first step would be to find out what these dudes actually want then take it from there.

    There you go.
    Dee Cee
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Yup you got it thanks
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    So your judgement of theists is based on a limited definition of rationality?

    From wikipedia:

    In philosophy rationality and reason are the key methods we use to treat the data we gather through empiricism, which stands for the experiences, the observations which our senses are used to collect.

    A logical argument is sometimes described as rational if it is logically valid. However, rationality is a much broader term than logic, as it includes "uncertain but sensible" arguments based on probability, expectation, personal experience and the like, whereas logic deals principally with provable facts and demonstrably valid relations between them. For example, ad hominem arguments are logically unsound, but in many cases they may be rational. A simple philosophical definition of rationality refers to one's use of a "practical syllogism". For example,

    I am cold
    If I close the window I will not be cold
    Therefore, I close the window
    We should note that standard form practical syllogisms follow a very specific format and are always valid if constructed correctly though they are not necessarily sound. There are several notable implications of such a definition. First, rationality is objective - it exists only when a valid practical syllogism is used. Second, a choice is either rational or it is not - there is no gradation since there is no gradation between valid and invalid arguments. Third, rationality only applies to actions - i.e. shutting the window is a rational thing to do if you are cold (assuming it is cold outside). Evidence bears on belief but not on rationality. All that is required for an action to be rational is that you believe that X and that that if X then Y so you do Y. Arguments about belief are couched in the terms valid and sound - logically you must believe something if the argument supporting it is sound. In some cases, such as religious belief, the argument may be valid but its soundness cannot be known for the truth of its premises cannot be known.

    Interesting. So your definition of extremism is based on my defintion of rationality. Does that mean that since, in YOUR opinion, theists are irrational, they are all extreme? Please clarify.

    Ah! Obviously no discrimination here at all!

    What do the words "freedom of belief" mean to you?
    And why would you presume that you must be converted to one of them?

    So there are differences in atheists as to what is considered right and wrong?
    And if all atheists have individual moral positions not controlled by peers, what is the basis for morality in atheism? Who decides what is right?

    At any time? Under any circumstance? At what point in the pregnancy would you say its too late? Or is that question moot?

    In other words, your opinion is that marriage being a theistically sanctioned relationship is irrelevant in the current social context? (I like this one, actually)

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    What about pedophiles who murder their victims? serial killers? mass murderers and terrorists?

    So you view immigrants as cheap labor? What about the educated ones, who want a better standard of living for themselves and their families? Are they allowed to come as well and compete for your job?

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    I'm with you there.

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  8. q0101 Registered Senior Member

    Abortion – No one should have the right to tell a woman what she can or can’t do with their body. I can understand why some men would have a problem with abortions. They don’t have to experience all of the pain and misery that women experience during childbirth. Unfortunately religions like Catholicism do not condone abortions. (I don’t know how Muslims feel about the subject) Did you ever hear about the girls and women in South American countries that are forced to have a child after they’ve been raped?

    Homosexuality And Gay Marriage – Two consenting adults should have the right to do whatever they want to do with each other. Two men or women that love each other should have the same legal rights as two members of the opposite sex. Unfortunately most Christians and Muslims believe that homosexuality is a sin despite the fact that their imaginary god created men with brains that respond to male pheromones. God also created transsexuals. Is it a sin for a transsexual to have sex with a man or is it a sin for he or she to have sex with a woman?

    Capital Punishment – An eye for an eye makes the world go blind. Unfortunately most religious people don’t think about the positive things that were written in religious books when they are angry. (Love thy neighbor, love the your enemies, be compassionate, Ect.)

    Immigration – I don’t have a problem with immigration, but I do have a problem with illegal immigrants. I would actually like to live in a world without borders. I’m a Canadian citizen, but I don’t like to think of myself as a Canadian. I’m an earthling.

    Ideal Social System – I would describe myself as a socialist that believes every man and woman should have the right to acquire as much wealth and power as they can. But I do believe that capitalism is the source of many problems in the world. I can't ignore the fact that poverty exists in this world because the rich and powerful allow it to exist.

    The socialism that I would like to see in the future is different from the communist and socialist policies of the past and present. I don't think a political party can be successful if it tried to force the wealthy individuals in the world to give up the privileges that their money has given them. It is in our nature to be greedy and selfish. The spread of democratic socialism through out the world would have to be a slow voluntary process.

    I don’t think a socialist movement can be successful if the leaders of the movement can only think about the needs of the poor, the working class, and the middle class. They will also have to think about the needs of the rich. It is unfortunate that most people are incapable of thinking about the needs and desires of everyone on this planet. Everyone is looking out for their own interest. We take care of our own. The socialists are no better than the capitalists. There are very few people that are capable of thinking outside of their box. There are very few people that are trying to think about a solution that can make everyone happy. The ideal system is a system where everyone’s basic needs are taken care of. It is a system where there is less pain and suffering and more pleasure and prosperity in the world.

    How can we reduce or eliminate the threat of Islamic terrorism?

    Step 1, The United Stated military has to become a defensive military instead of an offensive military. In other words they have to mind their own business. They have to pull all of their troops out of the Middle East.

    Step 2, The U.S government and many other governments around the world has to give financial support to Muslim groups that want to create secular societies within Islamic countries.

    Step 3, Once again the U.S has to mind their own business. Most American citizens don’t realize that Muslims are the number one victims of Islamic terrorist. Islamic sects spend more time killing each other than they spend killing Americans or Jews. Americans have to mind their own business and let the Muslims kill, rape, and torture each other until they have grown tired of all of the misery. The only thing that the U.S government would have to do is make sure that a nuclear war does not begin between two Islamic countries.

    Step 4, Reduce the worlds dependence of oil. There are many ways to accomplish this goal. I am sure that most of you know about the alternative sources of energy. I would like politicians to take things one step further and force automotive companies to make all of their cars more fuel-efficient. I don’t think people should have to sacrifice their comfort to save the environment, but no one needs 300 or 400 horsepower car. I personally don’t like small cars because I am a tall person, but that doesn’t mean that a big car can’t be fuel-efficient. There is no reason why every new car on the roads today should not be a hybrid gas electric car. The various governments around the world could compensate any losses that the automotive companies might have by reducing or eliminating their taxes for a couple of years.

    Scientists are also currently working to develop solar panels that are much more efficient. These solar panels could be powering all of our homes and businesses in the near future.

    Step 5, The Jews and the Palestinians have to put the past behind them and create one country. They have to create a secular country where they respect each other’s religious beliefs.

    Islamic terrorism could become a thing of the past if all of these steps are implemented in the near future.
  9. KennyJC Registered Senior Member


    Descriminiation to have no respect for a persons irrational beliefs? Fine call it that if you want. I also have no respect for a persons irrational belief that there is a teapot circling the sun. Imagine the damage to a society where this was common belief? Would I stand by and respect this belief? Absolutely not.

    I put all theists in the same basket. From apologists to fundamentalists, neither are good for a society.

    No secularism gives people freedoms. Also, you can not parallell the 'beliefs' of atheists to that of harmful religious dogma. Obviously you can not see that which is why apologists like yourself are dangerous.

    Yes. Atheists could teach theists a thing or two on morals. Is this news? What makes you think moral beliefs are created by religion? At least atheist morals are grounded in rational enquiry.

    Legal. If the law were to be changed it would have to be when politicians listen to people who are qualified and make judgement that is based in reason rather than what their sky fairy says.

    Give them the same human rights as you and me.

    Wrong. Innocents killed. Doesn't solve anything. Adds to a climate of violence typical of religious societies.

    Nothing wrong with it, especially since I will be an immigrant soon.

    Take a good look at Europe. You won't see a healthier lack of religion anywhere else in the world. The only thing I would change would be the indoctrination of children in school.

    13% of UK Muslims believe the 7/7 bombers should be regarded as martyrs. Isn't it odd that Muslims (a sizable minority) think this way? Both the religious nature of the attacks and the religious nature of those who support it speaks volumes. You are a fool samcdkey, if you think it has nothing to do with religion. How the fuck could an atheist ever support such a thing? They wouldn't.

    All this stemming from the religious nature of the USA and George Bush who decided to go to war due to their fanatic Christian methods... and so the war of dogma simply goes round in circles whilst atheists sit and shake their heads at how silly everyone is.[/QUOTE]
  10. AAF Registered Senior Member


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    'Irrational', 'ignorant', 'stupid', 'nuts', and so on
    are tossed around all the time by everybody
    against everybody else.

    So, for sure, it is not fair to single out only the atheists
    and criticize them for making use of those very good 'insults'!
    That is a 'flagrant discrimination'.

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  11. wsionynw Master Queef Valued Senior Member

    1. Legal, although the time at which it can be carried out needs to be looked at further.
    2. Same rights as everybody else.
    3. No need for it, it simply dosn't work to reduce crime. The punishment for the more serious crimes such as rape and murder should mean long term if not permanent imprisonment, since a life destroyed should mean your freedom is taken away from you.
    4. All for it, with controls against people that are potentially harmful to society, such as convicted criminals. Having people from various ethnic backgrounds all living in the same society can only be a good thing.
    5. The UK seems pretty good to me, although our justice system needs an overhaul.

    What is your position Samcdkey????
  12. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

    I think a common misconception among the religious is that atheists automatically do not think as they do about the topics above. I know many atheists that have varied opinions about each. Indeed, I can think of several conservative atheists who nearly mirror the religious on the topics above.

    Moreover, disagreeing with the religious on the above issues in no way implies that atheists are thus immoral or less moral. That would imply that the religious opinion of the above is the only opinion that is moral when good arguments have been made for each.

    I'm a largely conservative atheist.

    I'm personally opposed to abortion in general. However, not having a womb of my own, I feel less than qualified to offer an opinion on it beyond that.

    I do not fear homosexuals and same-sex marriage and, as a conservative, I recognize the economic advantage to having legalized gay-marriage. Two people have a larger buying power than one and are more willing to spend together if they know their estates will be secured for their spouse.

    Immigration is a big and broad topic, too complex to offer a single opinion on.

    The ideal social system is one that allows both freedom of and from religion as well as a free market for the individual to succeed in. The so-called "American Dream" has been largely successful. People should be free to dissent from the government's opinion and to seek their own prosperity as long as it doesn't unfairly impede the prosperity of their neighbors. In short: a democratic but capitalist government. But I'm not opposed to some "socialist" attributes as well. As a conservative, I recognize the economic payback that a good health-care system can offer and I'm not afraid to pay taxes to get social programs that are sensible and worthy. This, I find to be my patriotic duty to my country.

    What offends me is when the religious pretend to be oppressed and persecuted in this nation. A nation where anyone who ever attempted to run for a public office and admitted they were atheist would never have a chance. A nation where churches outnumber fastfood restaurants and gas stations. A nation where the President attends regular prayer breakfasts and speaks at churches.

    I'm further offended to be accused of discriminating against religious nonsense that completely deserves inquiry, question, and criticism if only because of the wild, speculative claims they make -which are completely unfounded in reality. Claims which are made by cult leaders who profit greatly in their televised superstitions that scroll toll-free numbers where their marks (aka, the flock) can send donations (Visa, MC & Discover accepted).

    When the time comes that you can get a ticket for having a religious bumper sticker; or zoning regulations prohibit more than one BFC (Big Fuckin' Church) per 10 square miles; when employers refuse to allow bibles at their employees' desks; when religious programming is banned from the airways on both radio and TV; when it becomes a jailable offense to go door to door, inviting people to worship at the local cult center; when cross-shaped headstones are removed from cemeteries; and when it becomes illegal to wear a crucifix to school and work... then talk to us about religious discrimination.

    Until then, "to judge a person as irrational based on their beliefs is" genuine criticism if those beliefs are nonsense, superstitious, without any merit, or based on bronze and early iron age nomads of desert nations that no longer exist. Religious nutters who belong to cults that make unsubstantiated claims deserve both criticism and ridicule.
  13. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    My position right now is reading all these posts!!

    Come on guys and gals, don't hold back!

    Tell me what you REALLY think!!!

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  14. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

    Hi sam.

    I think many of us have a bigger picture in mind. Let us just say that theism is an ideology, yes? One that can be thoroughly exploited by the unscrupulous, due to the strong nature of religious feelings in many people. Deep, visceral feelings. Any ideology that advocates mass acceptance of doctrine without serious question, and that desires to affect the lives of so many people, is, in my opinion, dangerous and detrimental to human progress.

    Atheism is not an ideology. No more than aFSMism is an ideology. Atheist is just a word that describes people who let the observable facts of the universe speak for themselves.

    I think most of us would say that the person is not necessecarily irrational, but that the belief is irrational. It's very hard, given the implications of the word "rational" to argue that religious belief is not irrational. However, I have an irrational belief that the combination of chololate and toffe is the best possible flavor/texture combination in an infinity of possible combinations. No one can prove me wrong.

    Yes. Of course.

    I think you made this one up.

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    Of course we think that atheism is superior to theism. See my first response up there. But all those other implications for morality and common morals, and not allowing for differences in people? Nah. No way. :m:

    1) Abortion should be an option for a woman until the fetus develops a functioning central nervous system, IMHO. One broad implication of atheism is that there is no "soul" or special essence that gives people more value that they already have. Therefore, abortion and when to allow it becomes a pragmatic decision based on a common moral code. You figure it out. Good luck.

    2) It's absurd to disallow a pair bonded couple the financial and social advantages that other pair bonded couples enjoy, based on their gender. Bah.

    3) A dumb idea for two reasons:

    a) Mistake are made
    b) Deterrance of crime is a poor substitute for preventing it. Get at the root cause and fix the problem.

    4) I'm all for opening the borders to all nations. Unfortunately, that would probably destroy the economy and fragile stability of the whole world. Other than that, you figure it out. Good luck.

    5) No such thing. Modern capitalist democracies have tended to have the highest "happiness" quotients as reported by their citizens. Other than that, well, you know...

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    Hoo boy. I would say the same way a theist might. The differences between theists and atheists, given the practical realities of the world, are suprisingly small.

    What is your position on:

    1) Saving a drowning child
    2) Protecting your family from harm
    3) Holding the door for an eldrely chap
    4) The consequences of bloody war
    5) Racial hatred
    6) Totalitarian governments
    7) Donating blood
  15. PsychoticEpisode It is very dry in here today Valued Senior Member

    Tough to discriminate against a majority. That can only happen when the minority rules. In North America atheists are by no means in the majority and are not making the rules. In fact everytime any gov't makes rules based on a religious ideology it is the atheist citizen that is being discriminated against. The fact that the atheist minority speaks against such treatment is testimony to their plight. Theists commit religious profiling against atheists everyday. Gov't can stop this discrimination against atheists the same way they did with racial discrimination. Do you think they will?

    Abortion: no question...go for it
    Homo & Gay Marriage: Who cares?
    Capital Punishment: I'm ok if taxes go towards building more prisons
    Immigration: Do it legally. If you don't like it then go back.
    Ideal Social System: anything with a constitution that does not allow religion to mix with politics
  16. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member


    "you figure it out. Good luck."

    - hey its the atheists turn to "figure it out". Tax those grey cells some!
  17. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

    1. Personally opposed, but it's not a decision I would have to make.

    2. Sure, why not? I should point out that the original intent of marriage is both to bring two families together and to raise children. I don't see why two men or two women could not do this.

    3. It's not "right," but it works in a pinch. I don't think we need it anymore.

    4. Naturalization. Immigrants should assimilate to their new countries.

    5. I like very small, informal, anarchic societies the best. There is no ideal social system.

    Islamic terrorism is bad, but I do not know how to solve it. As for the perceived superiority of atheism, I believe that atheists are just as mistaken as theists. Our ideas about the universe are only ideas, and if any of them were absolutely true, then they would not be so constantly changing. When I'm active in the religion section of SciForums, I'm always admonishing other atheists who disagree with me about this. Since this is about the only time when I consider religion, it leads me to wonder if I am actually an atheist. It doesn't matter all that much to me. Atheists and theists are not very different.
  18. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

    I wish!
  19. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

    Ok. Here's the reality. The west (US) are meddling in the affairs of the middle east. We have some private reasons for doing this that we can all guess at. The peoples of this region (largely muslims) hate this. The more excitable among them will use any means necessary to strike at us. We will never, ever change their culture to line up with our ideals of freedom and democracy and therefore will never "win" this silly "war on terror" as long as we interfere. Just the facts maam.

    So, we (US) have three options:

    1) Maintain the status quo, taking the occasional hit in the form of falling buildings, etc.

    2) Leave the region and lead by example, defending our allies in the region as best we can until things settle down

    3) Conquest, with the attendant eradication of the population that disagrees with us.

    I choose door #2.
  20. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

    Door #3 leads to rapid cultural assimilation. Ask the Romans.

    We'll all be distracted from the whole terrorism thing later this century anyway. As soon as the population gets high enough and we start going to war over food and water...
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2006
  21. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

    We'll win. Unfortunate for the non-superpowers.

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  22. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

    No we won't. No one will win. We will just keep dying until it isn't an issue anymore.
  23. superluminal . Registered Senior Member

    Not really. There is plenty of food and water for those who can rip it from the grasp of others and hold it. That would be US.

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