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Author Topic: What's up with the atheism movement?  (Read 6119 times)

EclecticWheel

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What's up with the atheism movement?
« on: March 22, 2016, 05:07:04 pm »
So I joined an atheist site.  I had some questions pertinent to discussions I had been having with a philosopher friend and wanted to hear some atheists' perspectives on similar topics.  But I'm pretty appalled at how non-atheists are spoken to on the forum (thankfully it has not happened to me.)

Mostly it's directed toward Christians, but it gets directed at anyone with certain beliefs at all: people are ridiculed, called names, told how stupid and dumb they are, and the views spewed on religions are mostly ignorant and of the opinion that they should all go out of existence and only serve the insecurities of the weak and dimwitted.  I haven't seen any religious members (of which there are only a few from what I've seen) speak to or of atheists that way.

Many websites and books I come across are the same -- all forms of religion are for the weak and stupid.  What the hell?  I know not all atheists act this way.  I am an a-theist in regard to traditional theism myself.  But everything I've come across concerning atheism as a movement mostly just sucks and I think I'll have to find some other site to discuss some of my topics, one that has nothing to do specifically with atheism, especially since every other site I've been on actually has rules against personally attacking and cursing out other forum members!

Rant over.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 01:28:47 am by SunflowerP »
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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 05:56:29 pm »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;188709
So I joined an atheist site.  I had some questions pertinent to discussions I had been having with a philosopher friend and wanted to hear some atheists' perspectives on similar topics.  But I'm pretty appalled at how non-atheists are spoken to on the forum (thankfully it has not happened to me.)  Mostly it's directed toward Christians, but it gets directed at anyone with certain beliefs at all: people are ridiculed, called names, told how stupid and dumb they are, and the views spewed on religions are mostly ignorant and of the opinion that they should all go out of existence and only serve the insecurities of the weak and dimwitted.  I haven't seen any religious members (of which there are only a few from what I've seen) speak to or of atheists that way.  Many websites and books I come across are the same -- all forms of religion are for the weak and stupid.  What the hell?  I know not all atheists act this way.  I am an a-theist in regard to traditional theism myself.  But everything I've come across concerning atheism as a movement mostly just sucks and I think I'll have to find some other site to discuss some of my topics, one that has nothing to do specifically with atheism, especially since every other site I've been on actually has rules against personally attacking and cursing out other forum members!

Rant over.

 
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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 12:05:09 am »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;188709

Rant over.

 
Atheism is different from anti-theism, but the two certainly can come hand in hand.
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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 12:09:15 am »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;188743
Atheism is different from anti-theism, but the two certainly can come hand in hand.

 
And it's my experience that a lot of people for whom atheism is an affinity-type identity are also anti-theists.
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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2016, 01:44:36 am »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;188709
Rant over.

 
You might be interested in Darkhawk's (several years old now) rant on that topic, which breaks common anti-theist arguments into specific categories to poke holes in them.

Also, what Chatelaine, Hawke, and Darkhawk said here.

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Jabberwocky

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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2016, 05:43:28 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;188745
And it's my experience that a lot of people for whom atheism is an affinity-type identity are also anti-theists.

On top of which, I find a sizeable number of identity atheists seem to be rebelling against the Christianity of their upbringing. Which leads to them coming across like angry fourteen year old Marilyn Manson fans.

Eagleton is good on this. He's specifically talking about Dawkins, but I think it has wider application.  

Quote
These are not just the views of an enraged atheist. They are the opinions of a readily identifiable kind of English middle-class liberal rationalist. Reading Dawkins, who occasionally writes as though ‘Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness’ is a mighty funny way to describe a Grecian urn, one can be reasonably certain that he would not be Europe’s greatest enthusiast for Foucault, psychoanalysis, agitprop, Dadaism, anarchism or separatist feminism. All of these phenomena, one imagines, would be as distasteful to his brisk, bloodless rationality as the virgin birth. Yet one can of course be an atheist and a fervent fan of them all. His God-hating, then, is by no means simply the view of a scientist admirably cleansed of prejudice. It belongs to a specific cultural context. One would not expect to muster many votes for either anarchism or the virgin birth in North Oxford. (I should point out that I use the term North Oxford in an ideological rather than geographical sense. Dawkins may be relieved to know that I don’t actually know where he lives.)

From http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n20/terry-eagleton/lunging-flailing-mispunching
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 05:43:47 am by Jabberwocky »
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missgraceless

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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2016, 08:07:49 am »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;188709
So I joined an atheist site.  I had some questions pertinent to discussions I had been having with a philosopher friend and wanted to hear some atheists' perspectives on similar topics.  But I'm pretty appalled at how non-atheists are spoken to on the forum (thankfully it has not happened to me.)

Mostly it's directed toward Christians, but it gets directed at anyone with certain beliefs at all: people are ridiculed, called names, told how stupid and dumb they are, and the views spewed on religions are mostly ignorant and of the opinion that they should all go out of existence and only serve the insecurities of the weak and dimwitted.  I haven't seen any religious members (of which there are only a few from what I've seen) speak to or of atheists that way.

Many websites and books I come across are the same -- all forms of religion are for the weak and stupid.  What the hell?  I know not all atheists act this way.  I am an a-theist in regard to traditional theism myself.  But everything I've come across concerning atheism as a movement mostly just sucks and I think I'll have to find some other site to discuss some of my topics, one that has nothing to do specifically with atheism, especially since every other site I've been on actually has rules against personally attacking and cursing out other forum members!

Rant over.
Both my mother and one of my exes are of this particular flavor of atheist. One time while I was visiting my mother she actually told me it "seemed really stupid" that someone would actually pay to take a religion class. The context is that my best friend's mom is studying to become a High Priestess and ordained minister, so I was talkng about how I want her to perform my marriage ceremony.

My ex was just as bad. He was always making snide remarks about my altar or this or that belief. It's one of the reasons I decided not to try and fix things with him once we broke up.

Edited to add: I just read Darkhark's rant and so wish I could send it to my mother, but it'll only start a fight.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 08:17:24 am by missgraceless »
Quote
"Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly."   ~ Morticia Addams

HarpingHawke

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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2016, 10:44:18 am »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;188758
On top of which, I find a sizeable number of identity atheists seem to be rebelling against the Christianity of their upbringing. Which leads to them coming across like angry fourteen year old Marilyn Manson fans.

 
They tend to forget that not every religion is the Christianity they rejected.
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

EclecticWheel

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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2016, 02:19:51 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;188768
They tend to forget that not every religion is the Christianity they rejected.

Or for that matter that there are Christianities and always were, not just Christianity.  Or that beliefs can be held for pragmatic reasons and not only epistemological ones.  Or that religious language, myth, ritual and even belief can coexist with naturalistic nontheism regardless of whether god concepts and prayers are involved.  Or that theists and believers are often bright and thoughtful.  Or that the presumption that reality is objective and thus reason trustworthy is itself a pragmatic assumption (akin to faith) itself not deducible from more fundamental premeses.  Or any number of things!

(I'll read Darkhawk's rant now.)
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 02:28:23 pm by EclecticWheel »
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

HarpingHawke

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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2016, 02:44:18 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;188754
You might be interested in Darkhawk's (several years old now) rant on that topic, which breaks common anti-theist arguments into specific categories to poke holes in them.

 
That rant is beautiful and has been bookmarked for future meatspace discussions. :ange:
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EclecticWheel

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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2016, 04:46:08 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;188754
You might be interested in Darkhawk's (several years old now) rant on that topic, which breaks common anti-theist arguments into specific categories to poke holes in them.

Also, what Chatelaine, Hawke, and Darkhawk said here.

Sunflower

Great article.  I especially liked these points from the article which appear in quotations below:

Quote
3b) Also, if you are basing your anti-religion-X argument on the way that religion-X treats its women, children, sexual minorities, etc., fucking listen to the religion-X people who are women, children, queer, whatever else rather than stomping all over them with your I-know-better-than-you-poor-deluded-people-who-haven't-escaped-the-trappings-of-your-oppressive-religion boots, okay?

Exactly.  I totally don't like to be told by so called gay/queer-friendly people how I am supposed to engage with religion based on my sexual identity and/or practices.  Isn't that exactly what so many in the homophobic crowd are doing?  I think I've lived long enough to weigh my options and make my own damn choices.

Quote
9) Most religious organisations suck, and institutionalised power leads to abuses. WELCOME TO PROGRESSIVE SOCIAL ACTIVISM AWARENESS, HERE IS YOUR INFORMATIONAL BROCHURE ABOUT WAYS THE HUMAN CAPACITY TO GANG TOGETHER GOES HORRIBLY WRONG. Seriously, are you expecting religious structures to differ from corporate structures? Nations? High school cliques? People form social structures to make levers; people apply levers to get what they want. Some things people want are bloody awful. If you want to end holy wars you'll have more success with it by fixing water rights, health care access, economic security, and all that hope-for-the-future stuff than by trying to abolish gods.

9b) Seriously this is an argument for anarchism not against religion.

Very good points here and some that I've often pondered myself.  My private religious practices don't come with this baggage of course, but I often must consider how I engage with my public religious community since we're a part of a worldwide network that has ramifications some of which I am less than satisfied with to say the least.  

While there's always an option to cut ties with the organized side of my religious commitments and practices -- and there are conceivable situations in which I would likely do exactly that as painful and difficult that would be for me in practical, social, emotional, spiritual, and other ways -- there are also means of negotiation within community that could possibly be more meaningful in the long term of improving certain viewpoints or ethics within a group than merely dropping out which might accomplish next to nothing in improving a situation.  

It's also possible to be selective about what exactly one gives money to support or to support the community in useful ways that do not require money but rather the giving of time, labor, etc.  And it's not as if religions are static.  When enough people bring about a shift in a powerful religious tradition as has happened in the past and as we are seeing today in many communities before our very eyes this too may have important and beneficial consequences.  And when that does happen the revised views on beliefs, morals, and practices are still being built on or derived in some way from what came before.  It's not as if everything from the past is bad, and it's not as if the next generation is not going to have to grapple with OUR prejudices even as they build on our insights.  

Then there's the issue that even if I practice all alone in a solitary fashion with no organizational ties to any religious community I'm still caught up in a web that is my social reality.  Organized religion or not, I will always be negotiating my relationships and participation in the wider society and making very similar choices about how my taxes or other money is being spent, how my participation in society affects others around the globe, weighing pros and cons as I balance my own needs in a globalized society in which all I can hope to do is minimize harm rather than completely eliminate my participation therein.  We are all doing this, religious or not, and we all have to weigh our options and make our own decisions.  Religion is not a special case!

The comments on colonization were right on target as well.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 12:39:54 am by SunflowerP »
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

SunflowerP

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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2016, 12:46:11 am »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;188781


 
A Reminder:
Hi, EclecticWheel,

Our rules  generally prohibit editing after more than 2-3 minutes.  (Correcting  typos or minor mistakes is OK, but don't forget to fill in the "Reason  for Editing" box so that we know what's going on.)  This is because  after that long, several people have already read what you've written,  and they won't see the changes you make.  Because of that, they will  have difficulty following the conversation when someone replies to your  new, updated post.

If you need to correct or add anything  significant after those 2-3 minutes, you should just reply to yourself  and give the correction or additional information in the new post.   Double-posting is not considered bad behaviour here, and this will help  keep everyone on the same page, so to speak.

As well, we don't mind long posts here, but to avoid having a hard-to-read  wall-o'-text, hitting "enter" twice every few lines adds some white  space and makes it easier to follow - I've edited yours to add those  breaks, but it's a really good habit to get into yourself.

They don't have to be the "proper" place for paragraph breaks (we're  interested in readability more than technicalities), or a complete  change of thought - some thoughts take a lot of lines and need to be  broken up into sub-thoughts - as long as they're there.

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SunflowerP

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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2016, 01:03:06 am »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;188758
Eagleton is good on this. He's specifically talking about Dawkins, but I think it has wider application.  

From http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n20/terry-eagleton/lunging-flailing-mispunching

 
The excerpt is spot-on, and very well expressed! I'm bookmarking the whole review to read at leisure.

Sunflower
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My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

SunflowerP

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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2016, 01:26:16 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;188801
I'm bookmarking the whole review to read at leisure.

 
Heh. I already have it in my 'Studying Anti-Theists' browser bookmarks subfolder. It is entirely possible that I got it from you, Jab, on an earlier occasion.

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
"Nobody's good at anything until they practice." - Brina (Yewberry)
My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

Jabberwocky

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Re: What's up with the atheism movement?
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2016, 06:28:11 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;188802
Heh. I already have it in my 'Studying Anti-Theists' browser bookmarks subfolder. It is entirely possible that I got it from you, Jab, on an earlier occasion.

Sunflower

Quite possibly. I adore it. Academic diss tracks are amazing.
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