I sometime read religious boards and it amazes and disappoints me how much religious zealots and atheist have in common – the absolute and righteous certainty that they at the exclusion of others possess knowledge/revelations that makes them the bearers of the truth.   

Recently on a different Atheist discussion board a lady that had just lost her young daughter wrote about her religious experience and of the comfort she receivers from her faith.  She politely shared her heart breaking story and even offered words of kindness.  The replies were predictably brutal and mocking, barely a shred of compassion for a mother that lost her child.  I made my best to present my atheist point of view to this lady but I did so with respect, compassion and understanding.  I also felt ashamed for my fellow atheists.

I see it here too at nexus, the same hubris and arrogance that at times is such that some individuals proclaim that their philosophies are “my own religion” while others are themselves “…my own religion” and their church is “my flesh and blood”.  Does this sound strangely familiar?  I suppose soon we will have Gods among us. 

Before we all get too heady from over indulging in the advantages of having the weight of evidence in our favor, we should remember that pointing out the irrationality of religion is as-easy-as- shooting-fish-in-a-barrel!  The real challenge is offering something better.

We are no better than those that dismiss us and demean us for being atheist if we dismiss and demean them for being believers. The belittling of others only diminishes us and at the very least makes us as misguided as we see theists to be.

It would serve us all well to remember that before presenting our carefully constructed arguments we could show something very simple – respect – and maybe even modesty.

If you believe that logic and reason offers superior guidance than mysticism and religion then BE the example.   

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Fred,

This was a lame post (OP) and Felch as usual early on saw it for what it was. Some members got carried away owing to the sensitive nature of the topic.

But, I think the operative words here (as far as this post is concerned) are trust and respect. And trust and respect is earned not automatically given. It is my opinion - absent the appropriate links of the author's source material, that his account of the bereaved mother is a work of fiction. Ergo, he LIES. And a liar to me deserves no ounce of trust and respect.

Now, if only if he were as slick as Dr. Evil & Mini Me, perhaps I would have been entertained.

Roy
To jump to such a harsh conclusion that he deceive us on such slim circumstances as you have now seems to be very non-generous or what word to best describe it.

Don't get too cocky now, Fred.

If you bothered to read my posts, I have requested several times for the link to his source material. Twice he dismissed it without the benefit of a curt reply until I pinned him down to it. I had suspected all along his game plan.

The issue is not about me "non-generous" as you put it but you who is so trusting even at this point that the rug has been pulled off Miguel's feet.

He laid a trap for your fellow members including me. I wasn't falling for it. On the contrary, I had him fall right into his own trap.

Look at you. You are now his spokesman.

Show me THE FUCKING LINK!
It is your choice to defend a pathetic liar.

Nothing changes. No link, he lies.

Whatever makes you happy, Fred.
Fred,
I hope you don’t mind the lengthy reply but I gave some thought to your post.

In this whole so called discussion you were the only person that honestly sought to understand everyone’s perspective. You remained polite and even playful when these folks turned on you and eventually became quite nasty towards you.

It is easy enough to be chummy when there is nothing at stake, but it is when a point of contention arises that people’s real nature is shown. You showed to be a mature and thoughtful person, these folks for the most part showed the extent of their intolerance.

These discussions inevitably have a strong emotional component that unless the person you’re have the discussion with is mature, thoughtful and articulate their emotions get the better of them and you get what you witnessed here.

As far as being a guerrilla theist, I can only laugh. I do understand where such a notion would come from. Not from my arguments or challenges but from their need to defend, as I stated earlier, the untenable position that some else’s beliefs excuses their rude and mocking behavior. That position is at face value indefensible, the only possible venue they could take is to discrete me, either by accusing me of being a theist or to discrete the story of the lady who lost her daughter. These are common logic fallacies of rhetoric that obdurate people naturally gravitate to because it has the basic emotional appeal of diminishing the other person.

I really do hope you don’t feel bad. These folks don’t represent atheists even at AN. A couple of AN members that did not participate in this ‘discussion’ messaged me to say as much. If we were to let our feelings be dictated by the weaknesses of others, we could feel nothing but bad since (most unfortunately) intolerant dolts far outnumber thoughtful considerate people.
None are so blind than those who refuse to see.
Fred, get some rest. I wasn't attributing to your new friend.

You are getting to be like a pesky mosquito, Fred. But, I like you so from now on I will call you P. Mosquito. :P
You said you aren't his spokesman. Why don't you let Miguel answer me instead of you following all dissenting members?

Hmm not his spokesman. His manager then?

Yes I agree he is not an idiot. He is an uber-idiot.
It's obvious that reasonable people don't want to bother trying to debate with most of you leaving a distillet of idiots in this 'discussion' with nothing of value to add so I might was well close the discussion thread down.

Thanks to those folks that added thoughtful comments.

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