I just got 200 comments and counting on my local atheist group when I posted this:

"On a matter of self reflection as a group I would like to discuss the idea of us calling anyone inferior or superior based on religion, race, gender, sexual orientation - as there all share the same medal of racism.

I realise that XXX may see this as the promotion of political correctness. I don't support political correctness as a means to an end. I do support freedom of speech. And I like the idea that we are free here to discuss opening about our attitudes.

What concerns me is that in the atheist community (on the many forums and you tubes that I've seen) I have observed what looked to me like, arrogance, prejudice, superiority and dismissive attitudes. 

I realise that we all have our own nature - but I do support the idea that we can all try to act on science and reason - and not perpetrate racism or other harmful attitudes based on false beliefs about superiority. And think it important that we become more self aware of these issues and come up with effective methods that deal with it.

Preferably compassionate - based on the principles of Naturalism, rather than regressive aggression against it."


Is this a very contentious issue?

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Replies to This Discussion

Alice, I understand what you mean. Thanks for the guidance. 

your welcome - hope that it contributes something positive to your well being :)

Joan, I feel really happy, when I hear others gaining benefit from using NVC, because I value showing compassion in friendship. :)

Joan, I don't where the reference is here?  I don't think I put anyone down.  If it's regarding my remark about my brother, he is well aware that I don't take what he says seriously, and he is seriously not trying to change how I think.  I'm sure he would love it if I changed my mind, but he never pushes the issue beyond a very occassional comment, usually during circumstances that get him down.  It's helps him to have faith during times of crisis, and I won't begrudge him that since I know what's he's been through. 

Andromeda, I am so sorry that I even mentioned Pinch Theory. It is such a common problem in relationships I wanted to caution you about it. When you wrote, "with the exception of my brother who tells me all the time I am going to hell", I wanted to caution you to watch out when someone gets into a habit of insult, put-down, discount, trivialization, demonization, and the result is self-doubt, the problem is in the person who insults ... , not in the person receiving the statement. 

I didn't think you put anyone down, to the contrary, obviously, I interpreted your comment incorrectly. I apologize for intruding. 

Thank you for the clarification Joan.  I'm sure there are many people that take things too far when voicing their opinions, especially in close relationships.  I may have a "laid back" attitude, but I'm also not the type to back down either.  My brother has had a lot of hardships in the past, and I cut him more slack than anyone else.  

I just wanted to make sure that you didn't think my attitude in itself was insulting.  It's not meant to be.  It wouldn't be the first time that someone thought I was being dismissive.     

Andromeda, Oh! My goodness! NO! I didn't think your attitude was insulting. You have the problem with someone thinking you are "dismissive"?

The reaction to me is most commonly "arrogant"! 

I am sorry to learn your brother has had a lot of hardships and hope his life is smoothing out and he is content with life. 

I wonder if this online media is what creates such 'offense' because I wonder if these same 'offenders' are the same when with others in person - or they just express their thoughts more freely, online - as if alone - ?

I think an online media with anonymity gives some people the idea that they can be as nasty as they want to be with no repercussions.  Even without anonymity, some people can be very rude on line, but would be less likely to say something rude face to face.      

Andromeda - I agree - I think that people loose sight of who they are expressing there words to - it feels like a private conversation with another, but it turns out it is being overheard by hundreds - who all have different views - and that those words committed to text are available for all to see - and can't be distracted by asking if anyone wants another drink.

some people can be very rude on line, but would be less likely to say something rude face to face.

 This is very true. I observe that some egoists frequently say rude things which they may not say face to face.

Alice, when we talk with someone in person, we get thousands of signals from them, micro-expressions, sharp looks, quizzical looks, hurt expressions, shock, etc.  We can interrupt the flow if our respondent has misunderstood, or is on the wrong track.  When "posting" in a forum like this, we can go on, and on, oblivious that we are way off track, or that we have inadvertently hurt our readers' feelings.  I regret very much that I  have often written something that hurts the feelings of one of my esteemed comrades here.

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