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?
Having children and their families growing up in such a chaotic world makes me even more determined to prepare them for a very different life than I have known. Even though we had difficult challenged, i.e. violence, as well as racism, sexism, and homophobia in our country, I have it easy compared to others and compared to their future prospects.
While greatly disappointed in USAs present government as well as troubled by the tragedy of hunger, homelessness, joblessness, and refugees, surely there will be a development of people who will turn away from exploitation of others.
With wisdom, courage, determination, we should be able to train up our descendants to withstand temptations of domination and develop a sense of compassion for others.
Each child is so special. Each deserves to live in peace and justice. May your children and grandchildren live happy and fulfilling lives.
Great, Joan! May your garden be fecund and verdant.
Thank you Dogly. Oh yes! life is good.
I agree. The best way to win over enemies is to shower them in kindness. I remember that being in the bible "coals of kindness on their head". Most Christians fail to do this when challenged. I try to use it in my day to day life. If I'm debating a Christian, I use words that they use to indicate friendship, like "brother". I try to go out of my way to be a little nicer to Christians and I have seen many of my friends actually turn atheist or agnostic. I see too many Atheist sites that are just completely over the top with insults. I think it would be good practice to start halting discussions when the attack comes from a Christian. Flag their comments as abuse. This is not being politically correct it is accepting a better understanding of secular morality. I like to say "Religion is not the foundation of morality nor is it the epitome of morality." Let's progress our morality as Atheists and try not to ever let anyone connect anger, insults, or other negative traits to our nonbeliefs. Psychologically this would be crushing to anyone looking for a verbal fight or reaction from us.
Ha, I was actually thinking about this the other day. Wouldn't it be great if we responded to every Christian attack with smiles, congeniality and thinly veiled sarcasm? They wouldn't know what to do, and could no longer make the claim that atheists are evil. I already flag Christian comments of that nature, and am more just starting to walk away from discussions (which aren't discussions, they're attempts at an ambush).
LOL - love that description - attempts at an ambush! :)
Isn't it the perfect description though? It's getting to the point where I can smell it from the very beginning of a conversation. Sometimes they'll do a full-on guerilla attack, and sometimes they do the kind of coordinated ambush where one person will pretend to be reasonable and friendly, promising that "they're not like all the others," only to lead you through the jungle of ideas to where your doom awaits.
There was an episode of LOST like that, wasn't there?
LOL - I'm lucky enough to live in Australia - and I don't get out much either :)
So I rarely come across theists - accept for online - so have almost no practice with this stuff - my main 'forte' LOL - is debating atheists on compassion.... LOL
Alice, and a compassionate debate with loving, caring demeanor. You are my role model. But I still have some vinegar I want to spew before I gentle down.
David, Yes, you are right, it would be "great" ... I kind of like having a reputation of being evil, that way I don't have to put up with more than one encounter with each person. When my reputation gets around, I don't even have to react with a barb ... they leave me alone, kind of like a porcupine.
Your word, "ambush" is exactly correct. The principle is, face the ambush with all guns loaded and make it so they don't want to prickle me again.
Your way is nicer! And I respect you for your gentle nature.
Oh, gracious, you wouldn't think my nature is gentle if you saw the bloodlust in my eyes at the first scent of an Evangelical. "Mmm, dinner!"
I was chuffed to bits earlier this month when my roommate warned his brother about getting into a debate with me. My rule is to try to not engage unless someone else comes after me first. Then it's gloves off/claws out.