Do we atheists need to slow down sometimes? Do we need someone to put on the brakes, as it were?

There is a term I remember from the military. Go fever. It meant not slowing down until the mission was achieved. But there was always someone around, a curmudgeon, as it were, to kind of bring us up short, and slow us down. And it was necessary.

So as atheists, do we have "go fever"? Constantly on the push against organized religion? Do we occasionally need to slow down?

And is it part of the religious, particularily fundamentalists, to bring us up short? To make us take the time to prepare better, become more rational, thoughtful, slow down, step back and take a breath before re-engaging. Their Yin to our Yang? Or vice/versa.

In other words, do we need each other in some perveted way, or am I totally out there, whacked, drinkin' the kool-aid? Are we stronger because of each other, weaker, or neither?

As always, your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Oh, and if you think I do need help, just refer me to an institution that will let me watch Dr. Who, as it helps me stay sane???

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Replies to This Discussion

Well .. Like in animal life you are stronger when in groups. People usually group together to become stronger. When in a group you learn from each other and socialize. So, I think we would be stronger as a group. This is a good sociology topic.
Like in the military you do not take on battles on your own but in groups. That would be an example.

Adding to this, a corollary as it were. Groups that are in the minority tend to take pride in their persecution, an "us against them" mentality that tends to strengthen them on a more intimate level. Does this seem to apply somehow? Too many exampes throughout history to mention. But on a personal note, when I was going to church growing up, as a Mormon, hearing what others thought of the church tended to strenghten our ties. Does some of this exist by our status as identifying as atheists? And if it does, to what extent [or none at all]?

This doesn't stop Christians from pulling their bullshit, based upon persecution.  They're apparently an 80% minority.

Tony I do think belonging to any persecuted or any "outsider" group makes people join together for both support and protection. Fighting against the bigots is exhausting so perhaps finding strategies as a group to target the ignorant vs. the haters might help us slow down? Individuals might have the stamina and ability to counter every attack, but as a group, choosing a mission as it were and planning how we could best accomplish that goal, then moving on to another goal, we might not feel we have to do everything at once.

Jessica, I couldn't agree more. Ignorance is something that can be overcome. Haters, well, tend to be stupid. And as I've heard it put before, "you can't cure stupid".

So coming together on a point as a mission to ignorance is a great idea. Maybe gives one the time needed to be contemplative, reflective, to take that slowdown to enrich and recover, then get back into the fight, as it were. Thanks.

Perhaps "go fever" is a concept that can help explain the over-eagerness of some atheists to have easy answers that "explain" the bible away?  I am thinking about the way that the pseudo-scholarship comparing Jesus to Horus is rapidly spreading through atheist social media.  The more that atheists adopt it as part of their arsenal for debating Christians, the more that Christian apologists are unnecessarily being given the opportunity to be seen to be right about something by their debunking of it.

What an interesting idea Mark. Hadn't thought of it that way. You could be right. Giving the apologists ammo, just strenghtening their resolve. Easy to point at and excoriate, brings them closer together as a team to exploit the silly atheists. Thanks for the idea. Definately something to consider.

Isn't it wonderful how Dr Who truly does lead to sanity. Have been watching since the early 70s. Think it has helped me ;-}

Yeah, I also think just as too many "god-fearing" (i hate that term) folks push to hard and too fast... non-theists can also.

peace ;-}

Your question could be better answered if you say why you think atheists need to slow down and what harm you believe is or can happen by not slowing down. Maybe the argument could be made we're not going fast enough? I know a LOT of very "timid" atheists. What's your evidence we may be "going to fast"?

So I guess, bottom line is, I don't understand the point.

Thanks for fresponding Rudy. I concede that I probably didn't make my question as clear as I could. My problem, not yours. Will try to clarify. When you lock your eyes on the prize, and take the attitude full speed ahead, you tend to alienate people, not just fundies, but your lukewarm and cold christians also. Even the agnostic. And yes, some atheists. That is the problem I see. The need to interact with people who are questioning are damaged to some extent. Now that being said, there is definitely a time and place to go full bore. It brings about discussion. But I think we have enough firebrands most of the time. On both sides. Personally, I have had the chance to talk one-on-one with people, and while we don't always agree. when I go into this respectfully, I get the same back. They see me as a thoughtful, thinking person, as I do them. Never back down, always push, but be willing to listen. Take your time. Support your ideas and beliefs. Defend them. Most idea changes are on a personal basis, an emotional basis as it were. We humans seem to exist mostly in this area on a daily basis. I really apprecite that you took the time to respond, as it has made me think. Always a good thing, as I do fall short somstimes. I hope this has made my question clearer for you. If not, again my fault not yours. Thank you very much for your input, look forward to hearing from you again on any topic.

Well, when I read a topic written in the way you put, I usually get the feeling that "this is a person who likes to think". So my goal was to get you to think a little harder by getting you to clarify it more.

So here's my take on it. Most groups have official leaders and a hierarchy to guide them and set rules for that organization. That's true whether it's religions with their ministers, priests, the pope, grand pooh bahs, etc, or as mundane as your your local kennel club and it's president/leader. Although, yes many atheists do come to clash specifically with theists, we are in a totally different realm than your usual organization, in that we don't have any leader to guide us and tell us what to do. And by definition of "atheists" I don't see how that would be possible. We are the opposite of any typical group I can think of, in that instead of everyone believing in something, and I'm not just referring to gods, atheists don't have one single like, ie dogs, knitting, being vegans, a specific political view, etc. Hell, we don't even have a single dislike! Just because one doesn't believe in god/Jesus for instance, doesn't mean he/she is going to dislike christians. In other words, atheists really are in their own unique category, in that we are more varied and individual than you'll find in your typical group, therefor will not follow your typical rules. And maybe can't even be considered a "group"?

In other words, your question really is more addressed to individuals, which makes my answer very simple. Yes, I believe some individual atheists should "slow down", but hey, that's just my opinion and as an atheist I have no right to tell them how to think...unlike a "real" organization that has the right to kick out or refuse membership for not following their ways.

One last thought. I do realize the irony in what I just wrote, in that Atheist Nexus itself is a real group, in that it functions like any other group, but it in itself is not the same as being an "atheist". Now who's "totally out there, whacked, drinkin' the kool-aid"? (^_-)

Thank you Rudy. Glad I was able to clarify for you. Thanks for making me think more and to clarify. You get it. We are a varied lot, more power to us. It is typically an individual thing, but we do turn to individuals to help. Dawkins and Harris come to mind, and [for me at least] to a lesser extent Maher.  He is first and foremost a comedian. I try to keep that in mind. My favorite is Tyson, simply brillant.

I do like most christians I know. Also the same for hindus and muslims I know. This is indeed as you said an individual thing. Thanks man for the thoughts, and allowing me to get back at ya.

Keep smilin' and drinkin' the kool-aid. Peace.

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