• Tom Storm
    8.7k
    I know that's not necessarily the case, but I do think it's why atheists bristle at being called evangelicals, especially when that term is most often used to describe a way of thinking entirely contrary to their way of thinking.Hanover

    Interesting. I'm an atheist and it seems clear to me that there are atheists - usually secular humanists - who are essentially apologists; preaching, evangelizing, proselytizing on behalf of godlessness and the superiority of secularism. Some of this seems an understandable reaction to fundamentalism. Even more understandable when you hear how many secular humanists were former evangelicals themselves.
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    My old friend Wayfarer would have agreed with me... maybe not.T Clark

    I try to avoid 'throwing grenades' nowadays although it's something I've often done in the past. I attempt (not always successfully) to differ tactfully.

    (BTW I devised a new user name because I had to pick an ID after joining reddit, and of course Wayfarer was taken so decided to adopt it here also. And besides I will own up to tilting at windmills.)

    I came into forums not as 'pro religion' but as 'anti-materialist', specifically in the aftermath of the new atheist books in the 2000's. Richard Dawkins said in his intro to TGD that he hoped Christians who picked up his book would put it down atheist - it had rather the opposite effect on me (not that I read all of it, and not that I identify as Christian in any but the cultural sense.) But due to my overall stance, I often find myself on the same side of the argument as Christian philosophers, even though I don't share all of their articles of faith.
  • Baden
    15.8k
    I strongly disagree with Mikie's generalization as per the quoteBaden

    For balance, I very much agree with:
    I don’t care about whether people are Christian or not; I care about what they doMikie
  • Janus
    15.9k
    My old friend Wayfarer would have agreed with me... maybe not.T Clark

    Yes, well he's become...quixotic...
  • creativesoul
    11.6k


    This is a great forum. There are all kinds of different people here and there. Don't judge the site by that thread. I've been here for a while, and I share your repulsion... moreso because it's coming from a position of power, and such people should set the best example/standard.

    Recent history shows what happens when leaders and people in power act in otherwise immoral and unacceptable ways.
  • creativesoul
    11.6k
    What kind of person you are is none of my business. I do think you might consider whether your behavior here is good for the forum -- that's the extent of my interest here, so that's all I'll say. You can put me on the "sanctimonious" list if you like, I won't mind.Srap Tasmaner

    Yup.

    Interesting... as much as we differ in our philosophical positions, we're in complete agreement regarding whether or not the behavior of this individual is acceptable or not.

    :wink:
  • Hanover
    12.3k
    Interesting. I'm an atheist and it seems clear to me that there are atheists - usually secular humanists - who are essentially apologists; preaching, evangelizing, proselytizing on behalf of godlessness and the superiority of secularism. Some of this seems an understandable reaction to fundamentalism. Even more understandable when you hear how many secular humanists were former evangelicals themselves.Tom Storm

    I agree with this. I think the reason a secular humanist bristles at the charge that they are evangelical is that it asserts a moral equivalency to them and the Christian fundamentalist, the very group they condemn. They of course deny that accusation, which was the subject of a thread on the dogmatic atheist.

    There is also a subset of atheists whose atheism seems to be forged by trauma or at least disenchantment, but it seems to go beyond just an evolved disagreement with a prior held theistic belief based upon the vitriol of the posts, sounding like someone after a bad breakup who insists they're over it.

    This is a subset of course. Others' vitriol might just come from theists representing to them a form of regressive thinking or a status quo that is antithetical to the progressive mindset. The objections do seem disproportionate to the significance of the theistic opinions unless one attaches a malice to the theist, that he must want to oppress women, homosexuals, and whatever else, and that no theist could hold otherwise.

    Of course there are theists who do exactly as these atheists claim, but their views aren't interesting or representative of those expressed here, and the smugness of hearing people state the obvious, which is that the literal events of the Bible didn't really occur and the like, as if their power to discern the obvious is superior to anyone else's, adds to the clutter of the religion based threads.

    But to the extent a theist emerges who insists a polar bear walked from the North Pole to Mesopotamia to board an ark to save himself from a pending deluge, have at it with the ridicule

    And then there are theists whose atheism was abandoned for theism, who get little attention because it doesn't fit the narrative that atheism is the natural progression of the philosophical mind. I think the assumption is that something must have gotten broken for an atheist to revert to theism, like addiction, or loss, or at least something scared them in the dark of night.

    That's a particularly annoying accusation. As if theism is a coping mechanism for the psychologically suffering. If only the theist had the fortitude of the atheist, he could deal with the bright light of reality, or however the argument goes.

    And then there is a final subset of atheists and theists who have something interesting to say and who add something to the conversation. That's were I'd think we'd all aim to fall.
  • Tom Storm
    8.7k
    You may be right. I suspect that frequently beliefs and values are emotionally or dispositional driven, which can change with time, opportunity or experience. In any direction. I've seen atheists become Catholics and Scientologists. I've seen Jews and Catholics become Buddhists and atheists. I've even seen a Jewish Buddhist become a Hare Krishna. A friend of mine from a Greek Orthodox background became a Baháʼí , then an atheist and finally a fanatical follower of Landmark and a deist. Beliefs are generally part of people's sense making and community attachment and there may be any number of reasons to revise this in a world as changeable or diverse as ours. Unless you live in Afghanistan... Or you are content and conservative.

    And then there is a final subset of atheists and theists who have something interesting to say and who add something to the conversation. That's were I'd think we'd all aim to fall.Hanover

    Amen to that. :up:
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    There's a cultural dimension to this as well. There are different worldviews vying for supremacy. Sam Harris et al are evangelically atheistic, in that they present religion tout courte as an evil and something to be destroyed. I suppose their counterparts are the radical theists who declare the secular state the enemy (the West as 'the Great Satan' of Iranian theocrats). They're the extremes but there are many points along a continuum between those two.

    Where I'm at, is that I question a lot of what is taken for granted by modern industrial culture. That tends to put me more on the religious-or-spiritual side of the ledger, although I'm open to a kind of secular spirituality (like some of the emerging streams of scientifically-grounded idealism). But I don't think you can pretend that there's not really a substantive dispute about the nature of reality (or being) at stake, because there really is.
  • universeness
    6.3k
    I said religion-related discussions, not discussions between theists and atheists.T Clark

    Then I assume your complaint does not include atheists here on TPF. I discuss religion and theism, as an atheist so any theist discussing religion with me, is a discussion between an atheist and a theist!

    That was my point - all religious discussions are not about whether or not God existsT Clark
    I agree, they are also about some of the more pernicious affects on the day to day lives of human beings in their local communities and at a national, international and even global level. Do you accept that such pernicious affects exist?

    I'm not surprised. You think anything that shows disrespect for religion is good, no matter how badly thought out or weakly argued.T Clark
    But that view is easily thrown right back at you. 'You think anything that shows respect for religion is good no matter how destructive religious doctrine is in the lives of many.'

    I assume you have zero respect for TV evanhellicals, trying to part vulnerable people for the small amount of monies they have.
    I assume you have no respect for a catholic hierarchy that tries to protect paedophile priests.
    I assume you have no respect for religious doctrine that proposes that believers who just comply and don't question are gods 'chosen' and all atheists/apostates are damned.
    I could write a big list here. But I am sure you are already aware of such.
    Do you not think its folly to 'respect' all aspects of religion, regardless?
    Your claim that atheists do not respect religion to the standards you would like, is not strengthened by the fact that you show constant disrespect towards the atheist position imo.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    I try to avoid 'throwing grenades' nowadays although it's something I've often done in the past. I attempt (not always successfully) to differ tactfully.Quixodian

    You've always been better at avoiding that than I have. I continue to work on it.

    I devised a new user nameQuixodian

    I like the icon a lot.
    I came into forums not as 'pro religion' but as 'anti-materialist',Quixodian

    You are the one I had in mind when I was talking about religious posts that don't address the existence of God. There's lots to say, but atheists don't seem to be able to see beyond the most simplistic ideas.

    Richard Dawkins said in his intro to TGD that he hoped Christians who picked up his book would put it down atheist - it had rather the opposite effect on me (not that I read all of it, and not that I identify as Christian in any but the cultural sense.)Quixodian

    I gave The God Delusion to my daughter as a Christmas present as an example of bad philosophy.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    Yes, well he's become...quixotic...Janus

    YGID%20small.png
  • T Clark
    13.3k


    Good post. Sometimes you're just so... reasonable.
  • Leontiskos
    2k
    This is a great forum. There are all kinds of different people here and there. Don't judge the site by that thread. I've been here for a while, and I share your repulsion... moreso because it's coming from a position of power, and such people should set the best example/standard.creativesoul

    Thanks, and I agree that this is a great forum. Even the fact that I missed a day and now this thread has so many thoughtful replies is indicative of a healthy forum. And you are right that the specific difficulty is the "position of power" associated with the post. If there is an elephant in the room, that's it. To be honest, I just grabbed SophistiCat's extension and put the user on ignore. I haven't had a low-level atheist-vs-theist argument in almost a decade now, and this is the last place I would want to.

    ---



    Thanks, Baden. And I agree that low quality theistic arguments foster low quality atheistic arguments, and vice versa. It's like a strange limbo contest.

    ---

    So, more than focusing on what "evangelical" means, maybe not enter a conversation if your objective is just to throw rotten tomatoes at the other side.Hanover

    Thanks, that was a great post and I very much agree. I may have been looking for the word "proselytism" rather than "evangelism," although they are sometimes used in the same sense. I feel like I could write a great deal in response to your post, but I will just give a nod to the idea that "tomatoes without arguments" is the key problem, and is harmful to a philosophical atmosphere. Particularly in an OP.
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    It's like a strange limbo contest.Leontiskos

    'She loves to limbo, that much is clear
    She's got the right dynamic for the New Frontier' ~ Donald Fagen, the Nightfly.
  • Wayfarer
    21.4k
    Enough bickering. I've excised a couple of pointless back-and-forths.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    I've excised a couple of pointless back-and-forths.Quixodian

    I don't appreciate that and I don't think it was appropriate. The statements on both our parts were short and not particularly harsh. I was expressing a strong but civil - and true - reaction to his comments. I consider what I wrote a strong statement of disapproval. Not bickering at all.
  • universeness
    6.3k

    I broadly agree, but as you do to, I accept the moderation. For me, its simple, respect the borders, or expect a deserved angry retort in kind. No one likes to accept the role of punchbag, physically or textually. So, don't expect me to. I will take part in a 'slagging match,' if that's what you need.
    It's very easy, especially on such an anonymous site. If ya wanna light fires then you may also be burned!
    According to google it was Marcus T. Cicero who said, As you have sown so shall you reap.
  • T Clark
    13.3k
    I broadly agree, but as you do to, I accept the moderation. For me, its simple, respect the borders, or expect a deserved angry retort in kind. No one likes to accept the role of punchbag, physically or textually. So, don't expect me to. I will take part in a 'slagging match,' if that's what you need.
    It's very easy, especially on such an anonymous site. If ya wanna light fires then you may also be burned!
    According to google it was Marcus T. Cicero who said, As you have sown so shall you reap.
    universeness

    I have a response, but to prevent further accusations of bickering, I will forgo it.
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