1. Do we as atheists need to be more considerate of treating others with kindness when they are aiming to become free thinkers? (see atheist forums)
2. Do we as atheists have reason to promote rational thinking in all circles? (see Harris; Dawkins; Hitchens)
3. Do we as atheists have a need to be more aggressive in our promotion of rational thinking with those of faith? (see Greta Christina; Dawkins)
I've added a couple of links there to support the basis for my questions.
It's easier to maintain a narrative based in the truth than one born in lies. The motivation to lie exists because the truth will hurt. The ethical individual will take the lumps and acknowledge the truth; the unethical will create what ever lies are needed to keep the lumps off their heads.
Lying is hard work.
Jim - have you read Sam Harris' new book 'Lying'?
I haven't because I don't like books I need to read online - but I am really interested to hear what it is about.
1. I hold to the view that there's a difference in making an argument point and being an ass hole, but sometimes in order to spur someone into action, you have to affect them enough, sometimes piss them off, to get them to research it for themselves. If you've done your homework correctly, eventually they'll have to agree with you or fall to the irrelevant minority of nay-sayers.
2. If the dominant aspect of our culture, one which defines our laws, is one of blindness or decrease of human rights, then yes, I think it's a responsibility of ours to fight against it. I'm not after the people, they have the right and ability to believe whatever they want and I respect that, but as long as those beliefs spill into the real world and negatively affect my laws and life, I'll go against it and promote opposition.
3. Aggressive? I think so. Not with anger, but with determination.
4. I think our responsibilities should echo our positions. If you intend to make a statement representing atheism, you should be responsible for that group and not make incorrect statements. If you don't know or understand something, I think you are responsible for either educating yourself on the topic or not making a claim on it outside of personal perspective.
I'm impressed with the level of thoughtfulness gone into answer the questions by everyone who has participated. I think as a group we have a lot to offer.
In fact, when comparing our considered responses to the attitudes of some young Christians I've seen quoted from facebook etc - they lost the moral high ground a long time ago.... their christian faith seems to do nothing for their compassion and awareness of others.
Reed, nicely stated. It is important to have thoughtful discussions so we can learn from each other, support each other, and, as you note, ensure we too have our rights.
Thanks! I honestly love discussion. I can be a wordy bastard sometimes. That's why I aggregate news and provide lengthy commentary, like this one you might be interested in:
The Pope has apparently warned US Roman Catholics that secularism is a threat to their faith, which makes the Pope the biggest threat to our rights.
The Pope is certainly a biggest threat to secularism and of course to atheism. America is the last hope for the Pope to defeat secularism and secure a foothold in political power, so he will make strong effort to secure his goal in America. It is high time that secularists and atheists all over the world start raisinng their voices against the efforts of some Americans to convert their country in to a theocratic state.
That's why I have my website there, we're hoping to get more people interested in the atheist-related news that will affect their lives.
Reed - interesting point -
I'm please to say that our local atheist group in Melbourne has just finished it's strategic action plan, which outlines the tack to take for progressive atheists - as requested by Greta Christina - http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2011/12/21/what-are-the-goals-of-...