Should Freedom of Religion include Freedom from Religion?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Goldtop, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    14,165
    Right. And I am speaking to what it would take for us to discover something we define as God TODAY - not in another 2000 years. Heck, in 2000 years "transition to deity" may involve a big party with your friends right before it happens.
    Like neutrinos 200 years ago? (as far as we knew)

    And I would point out that if it's _completely_ unable to interact with our "dimensional processes" it doesn't exist in our world anyway. Every definition of God I have ever seen involves the ability to interact at least minimally with the real world.
    Well, like the man says, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    An area of disagreement, usefully demarcated.

    I don't think it's the one most frequently brought up, in the general public. And I think it's been far more influential than you suggest, over the years.
    That would include most theistic belief systems.
    And the bullshit "if" continues to spread.
    Neither would theism, then.
    But atheists might.
     
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  5. river

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    We should always have the freedom to think upon religion as we do . But without persecution .
     
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  7. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    I've read a lot of claims and brags on internet forums, some using questionable statistics to cast a favourable light on themselves or a group for which they advocate.
    How does that make atheists a "side" in allocating rights and freedoms.
    Okay... they shouldn't have to, yet do. Forty years ago, they didn't feel the need and didn't.
    What changed?
    In the extreme cases only. For most atheists, it would be sufficient to get religion out of the science classes and legislatures. During the Bush era, some religious organizations gained such undue influence in so many facets of American life that non-religious people felt endangered - sometimes literally. They certainly did feel their rights eroding, and the prospect of progressive legislation receding. Some of that progress took place in spite of massive opposition from entrenched religious interests, but it's still tenuous in execution and enforcement - indeed, some it is in imminent danger of being clawed back.
    That still doesn't make atheists amount to anything like a "side" in political-scale numbers.
    I certainly wasn't. Not aware of any atheist doing so.
    But some religious organizations are engaging in quite significant violence at this very moment.
    Except that it does not protect atheists from persecution, except in a courtroom. Well, maybe - depending on the state and which judge you draw.
    No law can protect anybody from bullshit. I know: I've waded through enough of it!
    Are we seriously equating sticks and stones with words?
    Any idea how many times I've had an apologist explain my beliefs to me? Or call me an "evangelist" - very cute, that. They very often know less about their own holy scriptures and church history than I do.
    Sometimes it's valid to criticize the worldly effects of something, even though one is not familiar with its internal workings. I could legitimately complain about the army to driving a platoon of tanks across my vegetable garden, even if I don't know much about the military or its hardware.
    Which one? I'm open to any definition that includes supernatural power and prescribed ritual. I dislike some more than others, though.
    Atheism has nothing to say.
    Individual atheists say whatever is on their individual mind, just as theists do. About anything they want to discuss.
    And if they wish to "cult it up" (I wonder how that works), they should be able to do so, short of exorcising children, or marrying little girls to old men, and they should object to their taxes going to a giant Jesus figure or being withheld from clinics that dispense birth control.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    35,517
    One of the things about fiskery is that sometimes the retorts are non sequitur, and sometimes they're downright mysterious: The statement, "How does that make atheists a 'side' in allocating rights and freedoms", makes more sense to you than it does to me.

    To the other, had you not diced up like you did—

    —the sudden digression to that aspect of history ... er ... ah ... I don't know, would make more sense? might not have come up? something like that?

    To the other, what changed? Are you joking?

    What does that even mean? That is, sure, it means something to you, but you seem to be pitching some sort of platform here regardless of anything I'm saying. It's kind of weird.

    However—

    —come on, really? You skip out on the middle part, and then mysteriously miss the point? No, that's actually not ... surprising? unexpected? new? ... at all.

    At some point, you're just being ridiculous.

    I'm going to split this part up:

    "Any idea how many times I've had an apologist explain my beliefs to me? Or call me an 'evangelist' - very cute, that." — And? It starts to sound more like you're in for vendetta than anything else.

    "They very often know less about their own holy scriptures and church history than I do." — Well, when you set your sights so low, you're not exactly clearing a tough bar.

    "Sometimes it's valid to criticize the worldly effects of something, even though one is not familiar with its internal workings. I could legitimately complain about the army to driving a platoon of tanks across my vegetable garden, even if I don't know much about the military or its hardware." — That's a really weird example, but whatever. The problem is when you have to make believe about its workings. Now, I recognize that despite discussing atheists and atheism, you're primarily interested in yourself, so let me just make the point that you asked about the both ways things, so this involves other atheists than just you. So when you take the time out to judiciously explain that you certainly weren't making believe, well, maybe you weren't on any given occasion, but neither does that matter because it would be a change of subject.​

    Well, let us consider what you skipped over↑ in order to miss the point:

    • I tell a story about an atheistic advocate who needed to redefine religion to mean, merely, belief in God, in order to protect other behavior from ever being called religious; it was a personal priority, and cannot at this time be applied as any sort of stereotype.​

    Yeah, y'know, maybe you shouldn't be saying, "Which one?"

    To the one, it's true I really want to suggest you didn't really just waste the moment on that stupidity, but, to the other, you make the point well enough.

    True, but they need to leave atheism out of it, as atheism is irrelevant to anything except itself.

    Okay, we're going to take a look at this one in parts:

    "And if they wish to 'cult it up' (I wonder how that works)" — Well, y'know, if you studied religion a little in order to learn how to criticize it, you wouldn't need to wonder.

    "they should be able to do so, short of exorcising children, or marrying little girls to old men, and they should object to their taxes going to a giant Jesus figure or being withheld from clinics that dispense birth control" — So, is that according to your political aesthetic, or, y'know, whatever, as long as it isn't "God"?​

    Yeah, maybe you shouldn't have skipped over the bit about fouling the discourse with political religion.

    Seriously, there comes a point at which it sounds like evangelical atheists are merely envious.

    Hey, here's a religious example: King of the Wood.

    A religious-historical example: Christianity separating from Judaism.

    And a political-historical example: The American Revolution.

    (Note the religious-historical is also political-historical.)

    If you're that pissed off at religious people, why? Are you pursuing justice or jealousy?
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    It's certainly relevant to the behavior and attitudes of many theists, along with the apologists for their behavior.

    We even have people claiming "atheism" to be a "de facto" religion for "juristic purposes" - in a thread directly addressed to the topic of freedom from religion - not a joke.
    There comes a point at which the repetition of the bullshit term "evangelical atheist" reveals more about its employer than whatever subject was at hand.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    7,617
    Only to the unitiated. Learned minds would be able to logically explain the value and function of the phenomenon.

    IMO, this is where assumptions of the supernatural (mathematically illogical) aspects of God are dangerous beliefs as they discourage objective analysis.

    I am really amazed at the breath and depth of theoretical cosmology which are vying for the title of TOE. Just in religions alone there are several thousand different sentient "spiritual beings", but not in the physical sense....???
    Tulpas?
    And a good thing is the opposite concept of "secularity" (all inclusive). Unlike religion, science encourages competition for evidence and logical thought processes which lead to an "informed" consensus on the nature of "reality".

    In the absence of evidence, we can do no better than describing the mathematical nature of the universe which, as it turns out, may actually lead to the consensus logical "answer" to the question, which we all are pursuing.

    No need to go to war over it.......everybody would be happy........!

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    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    1,925
    I have no idea what fiskery is, but as to the other thing: your long answer was, I thought, to my question: "What sides?" I was actually just looking for a brief clarification of
    Should have said 'ways' instead of 'sides', I guess.
    You started with nineteen years ago; I went a little farther back to put that in perspective. Nothing sudden about it.
    We were not defensive or hostile. Then we were. Something changed. If you don't know what that was, okay. Ridiculing the question serves no purpose.
    I responded to what you were saying. Pitching nothing. No platform. No stake.
    The only thing I skipped was what I took to be a long wordy quote about something by somebody that didn't seem relevant to my question.
    To clarify: I do not advocate violence. Some Islamist and Fundamentalist Christian groups do.
    You have funny ears. That's not how vendettas sound to most people.
    I was asking sincerely. You don't like that other person's re-definition; you don't like any atheist's definition, so I was asking, which definition you do like, so I can accept it as the standard. If I shouldn't say that, there isn't much room left for what I should be saying.
    Okay. Then pedagogues need to leave education out of anything they talk about and welders must not talk about metal and historians ought not to discuss chronology, because history and welding and teaching are irrelevant to anything but themselves.
    Seems like slim conversational pickings.
    Weather okay?
    Oh, I know how religions do culting; I wondered how you meant non-religions do it.
    No, that's according to my notion of what constitutional rights are supposed to mean.
    I'm not pissed off at the vast majority of religious people. Some of my best friends have been Christians and Jews. And one Buddhist, but I dind't understand his religion. Some very decent, kind, generous people work for church-sponsored charitable organizations, and I respect their efforts. Several have put themselves in harm's way for the sake of war victims or persecuted minorities, and I admire their courage.
    The only ones I'm pissed off at are demagogues, and I certainly don't restrict my ire to the religious ones. Of religious institutions, what I object to is their intrusion - sometimes forceful and catastrophic intrusion - into the lives of people powerless to defend themselves.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    35,517
    Y'know, if you're going to bother addressing me at all, would it be too much to ask that you start making sense?
     
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    14,165
    Yes. To put it another way, if you are already a god, it doesn't seem that magical.
    Yep. Some people are certain that their interpretation of God means that X is impossible. (X=evolution, plate tectonics, heliocentrism etc.) I think that's foolish, and unnecessarily impedes learning.
     
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  14. pluto2 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    854
    Religion has no basis in reality and George Carlin explained why.

    The fact is that we live in a cruel world that doesn't give a shit about us and that is a fact of life.

    The problem is that people don't want to deal with facts but would rather believe in a fantasy world because it makes them feel better.

    Religion is also dangerous in my opinion because it prevents science from advancing and the only way to make people's lives better is through good science and improved scientific knowledge.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Carlin
     
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    14,165
    You're just as bad as the evangelical religious types that are always going on and on about religion.
     
  16. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    1,925
    Yes.
    I may be talented, but I do not read minds; cannot anticipate what makes sense to you.
    Seems the only sensible solution is to refrain from addressing each other.
     
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    35,517
    Actually, given the circumstance, that latter suggestion might actually have some merit. The response I've been sitting on since last night reflects my increasing frustration with your insistent disrespect. I haven't rewritten to mitigate those expressions, and as you will see, I, too had come to recognize impasse.

    †​

    People used to think "fisking" was some manner of intelligent debate; it's just the art of cutting up sentences and paragraphs into decontextualized snippets in order to facilitate retort. The word comes from a journalist named Robert Fisk.

    Huh?

    I'm sorry, but what?

    I just went looking for that question in the record, and am not finding it.

    Well, there's #558↑ above. You did say "ways".

    Oh, for ....

    What the hell?

    Hey! Check it:

    Okay... they shouldn't have to, yet do. Forty years ago, they didn't feel the need and didn't.
    What changed?


    (Jeeves, #564↑)

    And what did I ask you?

    To the other, what changed? Are you joking?

    (Tiassa, #565↑)

    Yeah, actually, the question of what changed is a bit of an abrupt transition.

    You need to start making sense—

    "We were not defensive or hostile. Then we were. Something changed. If you don't know what that was, okay. Ridiculing the question serves no purpose."

    —because, really, all that tells me is nothing.

    "We were not defensive or hostile"? What? What in the world does that even mean?

    When I asked if you were joking, I was thinking of empowerment derived from transforming communications, information distribution, and marketplaces, and, well, the neurotic collapse of American evangelical Christendom. Seriously, the difference 'twixt twenty and forty years ago is immense, but, "We were not defensive or hostile"? Okay, I'll take your word for it, but only because I have no idea what that sentence is supposed to mean.

    Oh, bullshit. If you were you should have, at some point, failed to get it wrong.

    No, you parsed out a portion of an argument in order to misrepresent it and responded with a non-sequitur, and the bit about, "That still doesn't make atheists amount to anything like a 'side' in political-scale numbers", is the result of your own whatever the hell it is you're on about.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. We know. Anything you're not capable of dealing with is irrelevant to your question: You asked about the two ways, I reminded of the commonly recognized, and then illustrated the other, and your response is that it didn't seem relevant to your question.

    So, yeah. Whatever.

    I point out an actual fact that is relevant to what we're discussing, and you change the subject to poor you? "Any idea how many times I've had an apologist explain my beliefs to me?" No, and I don't fuckin' care. You just changed the subject again. Is there anything you can discuss in good faith? You asked me a question, I answered you in good faith; more fool me for trying.

    You ignored a point, and then asked to be filled in on the information.

    Bullshit. You're either making that up in the moment, or acknowledging you changed the subject.

    In either case, you're being dishonest.

    Actually, I think just getting a rational argument and making "atheism" something more than a brutishly stupid supremacist identity politic would work, but, hell, that's too much to ask of people, these days. See, instead of thinking it through, you're just two-bitting and rubber-gluing. The problem with people playing games with the word atheism is that they have boxed themselves in, logically. Atheism only speaks of God. The rest is the balance of religion, and these advocates, right here around us, including you, have set up a logical argument by which that has nothing to do with atheism. This is the way it works: Yes, yes, we know you say there is no God; we're talking about religion.

    Yeah, you just failed, again.

    There is no answer to that nothing argument; even if I pretend, against better wisdom, that there is some honest inquiry in there, I wouldn't know how to rescue it.

    It's this petty two-bitting that reads like vendetta.

    Okay. I believe you. I do believe you believe atheists should enforce cult behavior just as long as it accords to your idea of what constitutional rights are.

    Okay, okay, it's true, I just don't believe you. I suppose that's what it comes down to. Your hatred of religion prevents you from discussing it in any rational, constructive manner. Put fundamental elements of the discourse in front of you, and all I get is your competitive-comparative static:

    "I certainly wasn't. Not aware of any atheist doing so.
    But some religious organizations are engaging in quite significant violence at this very moment."


    "Any idea how many times I've had an apologist explain my beliefs to me? Or call me an 'evangelist' - very cute, that. They very often know less about their own holy scriptures and church history than I do."

    Honestly, that's all beside the point. Well, it's not beside the point because it's what you would rather talk about, but, whatever, okay, we don't have to talk about what you asked about. Just, next time, don't bother asking, then.

    The lofty rhetoric about, "intrusion - sometimes forceful and catastrophic intrusion - into the lives of people powerless to defend themselves", is what it is, but that isn't license to bullshit.

    †​

    It just ... I don't know, it just seems that while you may be talented, you're not using that talent, so, y'know, whatever.

    But since, y'know, you want in on that point↑, look: So, you're talented, and he's intelligent, and, sure, whatever, I'll believe it. But that also makes me wonder what talented and intelligent people are doing pretending they don't know the basic history involved; I shouldn't have to list a Supreme Court case and wait for our neighbor to condescend to another zero-effort reply; he already knows that point of history, and if he wishes to reject or criticize it, he apparently can't be bothered.

    But as long as we're on the subject of talent, or whatever, consider, please, at some point I do concede that nothing I have to say will help any atheist who doesn't see the need to put some effort and learning into their critique. And maybe that sounds arrogant, but I shouldn't actually have to say the word Torcaso. Maybe if he hadn't stepped outside the context of what he retorted to, he wouldn't have gaffed up so embarrassingly badly. But, hey, by the time we get that all straightened out, whatever we were talking about before has been successfully evaded, so maybe it's not so embarrassing.

    If y'all have arguments, make them. Scrabbling back and forth through the record can be illuminating; hurling it at each other is pretty much pantomime of the two-bit demagogue religionists who apparently piss you off. If the point is to transcend their harm, why dive into their abyss? That's what reeks of vendetta, this idea that since religionists are so effed up, so, too, can atheists behave so irrationally. And toward that end, okay, fine, but then those atheists just another religious evangelism.

    Congratulations.
     
  18. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    1,925
    So, y-know, whatever. No argument here.
     
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  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I have never had an atheist preach atheism to me. On many occasions I have had theists preach their God to me . Without my permission, I might add.
    Thus if I respond , I don't see that as prosthelytizing but rather an attempt at reason.

    But as long as I enjoy freedom from religion, I have no objections to freedom of religion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  20. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    5,286
    When zealots would proselytize to me:
    My GOD would have no false gods coming before my GOD
    so Get out of my face with your false god of Abraham.
    Abraham was a nutjob who would sacrifice his only son.
    My God needs no human sacrifice.
     
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  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    There is a certain irony in this.......

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    During the day I am a Sun worshipper...

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    At night I sleep, or play poker......

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  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    To you, in your current state of mind
    - one in which atheism is an entity that says things, and people saying nothing much about atheism but expressing strong objections to some of the more obvious influences of theistic religion and justifications thereof in their own society are "evangelical atheists", and atheists are the ones responsible for bringing the irrelevancy of atheism "into it" - into a thread about freedom from religion - for example,
    - yes.
    Too much work. Too familiar a task. Snipe Hunt Gambit declined. I will restrict my ambitions to making sense in contexts of greater interest and less typing.

    Illustration: Notice the familiarity of vocabulary and approach, the "where have we seen this before" stuff: the introduction of "hatred" and "envy" as personal motivation and personal motivation as central issue, one-sided demands for marginally relevant technical knowledge, the general demand for an attitude of respect and allowance for complexity and sophistication not relevantly present but theoretically available in other contexts, the invalidity of anything - any fact, argument, observation, whatsoever - in a context of failure to manifest at length and explicitly consideration of the above.
    The same behavior is both vendetta and evangelism. All these atheistic folks belong to the same religion. The context of physical reality plays no role in evaluation or moral assessment. The conflict is between religion and atheism.
    Familiar, as noted.

    Of course there are high class, respectful, bona fide intellectual discussions to be had involving theistic religion, atheistic religion, irreligious spirituality, and what for lack of a better term we might call "materialism". Disinvite the fundies and we might have one here (the atheists won't get in the way). Meanwhile, we have at least 40 million religious or quasi-religious theists who lined up and voted for Reagan, Bush, W, and Trump, partly or even mostly on theistic religious grounds. We have a takeover of local and national government by a fascist Party with a power base in the Christian church, overtly committed to eroding the separation of institutionalized Christianity and the US government. And none of these people will pay three pennies and the third one spit on for theological integrity or historical coherence - they actually "have" a religion.
     
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  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I agree, and most atheists I know never start a thread on religion.
    It is the theists who usually have something to say about theism and atheism, to wit;
    apostate, needing and waiting to be punished for eternity by God in the afterlife .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy

    Tiassa, are you absorbing this? In 26% of the world's countries a theist can insult atheism, but if an atheist dares insult theism, you're dead! As I understand it, this is now codified in the United Nations International Law. Scary stuff.

    This is why the "Establishment Clause" is one of the most important ethical social advances contained in the Constitution, IMO.
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/establishment_clause

    To keep it objective...individual rights (not permissions) should always trump all other considerations..

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    It it is what makes us
     
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