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Politically Correct Atheism

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I suppose those people (christians) may feel that that if the government doesn't outwardly represent one of their fundmental myths in a positive way then that means the government is not representative of them, and thus won't defend them against those that would threaten them.

The dichotomy, as presented by Pat Condell, is nihlistic multiculturalists who control the state, who won't defend us against islamic invaders, and western conservatives who want to hold up the variety of values associated with western civilization. Pat and afformentioned Christians would much rather have a conservative government who showed whose side it was on by waving around the symbols of the people who elected it.

So put it down to mixture of populism, lack of faith in the government, and religion.

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In response to Steve's post. Sorry, there seems to be a glitch and I can't get the multiquote to work so am cutting and pasting.

They expect tolerance for their atheism while wanting to strip others of their rights to belief.
Whose rights am I stripping if I ask them to do their displays on private, not public, property?

*Well.. here's and example from AP late 2011 in which a military hospital forbid visitors and family members from bring religious materials to the wounded. The policy was implimented and enforced. After a public outcry they pretended that such was never their intention, and started allowing family members to bring bibles to the wounded.

King spoke from the House floor Thursday blasting a policy memorandum from the commander of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center written by Chief of Staff C.W. Callahan. The September 14th memo covers guidelines for “wounded, ill, and injured partners in care.”

“No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit,” the policy states.

“That means you can’t bring in a Bible and read from it when you visit your son or your daughter, perhaps – or your wife or husband,” King said. “It means a priest that might be coming in to visit someone on their death bed couldn’t bring in the Eucharist, couldn’t offer Last Rites. This is the most outrageous affront.”

A spokesperson for the medical center told Fox News late Friday that the policy will be rewritten and its intent will be made “crystal clear.”

“The instructions about the Bibles and reading material have been rescinded,” said Sandy Dean, a public affairs officer for Walter Reed. “It will be written to articulate our initial intention which was to respect religious and cultural practices of our patients.”

"

I think this kind of rabid anti-theism fuels some of the more irrational behaviors in the neo-Christian movement.
Including lying and claiming the atheists (anti-theists) are trying to ban Christianity? You've apparently bought into the lie yourself, SapereAude.

*

I would thank you to stay civil and not make false pronouncements on my beliefs, my character and what I have and have not "bought into". Yes, there are in fact many atheists that would deny religious people the right to be wrong. That is evident simply but looking at all the frivolous lawsuits that come up about things that aren't hurting anyone. That there is an inappropriate amount of "public property" would need to be addressed. But here- concrete example- military is one legitimate use of government and the facilities that soldiers are in are rightfully govt property- which makes them public property. Would you then argue that wounded and dying warriors should be denied emblems of their faiths? I am not capable of making that decision for anyone else.

Also, much has been made of tax money being wasted on religious displays. Because these are generally local I'm sure that it is done differently all over. But most of the ones I've known of and have heard about are privately funded.
It's not merely the waste, it is the use of tax money (on those occasions when such is used) but more importantly from a cultural standpoint the imprimatur of government to advertise a religion that many of the people who pay taxes and are subject to the authority of that government do not accept. And that imprimatur exists even if private parties pay for the scene, erect it themselves and even pay the bill for lighting the thing at night. If it were a Santa Claus I'd have no issue with it at all if it were done for free by private parties, and only the issue of waste if paid for by the local government, and there, of course there are always bigger fish to fry! But of course if someone did that, somebody would start puling about how they are taking Christ out of Christmas and insist that the courthouse host a manger scene.

This is unanswerable so long as we have a government that spends most of its time doing things it shouldn't be doing. If government was held to its proper place there would be no such thing set up. But again, where would it end? Most of the great works of antiquity were religious in origin. How do we judge what it religious themed art and what is "religious advertising"? Obviously the USA is a young country but take a place like Italy or even England where religious imagery is already built into most public buildings. Should taxpayers bear the burden of tearing these historical structures down to unknot the panties of people whose eyes blister at the site of anything they deem irrational in others?"

Now, this is not to be an apologist for Christians. Simply put, I just don't believe that being an atheist automatically makes one more rational than if one is Christian. Most of the atheists I know outside of the Objectivist community are socialists and anarchists.
Absolutely true but irrelevant to the point at hand. (It is very discouraging though, to find someone who rejects the chief silliness of our age only to pick up another one just as dangerous... if not more so, since it's almost always virulent.)

*Unfortunately the fact is that it is not irrelevent to the point at hand. Many antitheists do not want to have to look at anything that offends them on public property. So they want to create new burdensome rules to make sure they never have to see a manger or a menorah. Here's the thing about me, call me crazy. When people take to changing things around I like to have some assurance that the people advocating the changes are more rational than the people who are advocating for the thing being changed.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease. While I would like to see religion much less prominent in the public sphere/government as much as any Objectivist I do not respect the the gaudy, braying assery of much of what one sees from militant antitheists. I don't believe "different" always equals "better". Most of the very vocal antitheists one sees and hears these days have more in common with the delusional folks over at PETA than with rational atheism.

Maybe we just live in different places and see different things in the kinds of people who live where we live, Steve. But I take offense to the tone of your post as it pertained to me.

Where I live there is a huge push towards socialism and communism. Most atheists are on board with that. When they tear down religion you better believe they intend to erect something else in its place. I for one am in this case preferring the devil I know. When I see a movement of atheists that is led soley by reasonable people I will surely be on board.

In the meantime I am conservatively looking out for unintended consequences.

Edited by softwareNerd

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*Well.. here's and example from AP late 2011 in which a military hospital forbid visitors and family members from bring religious materials to the wounded. The policy was implimented and enforced. After a public outcry they pretended that such was never their intention, and started allowing family members to bring bibles to the wounded.

King spoke from the House floor Thursday blasting a policy memorandum from the commander of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center written by Chief of Staff C.W. Callahan. The September 14th memo covers guidelines for “wounded, ill, and injured partners in care.”

“No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit,” the policy states.

“That means you can’t bring in a Bible and read from it when you visit your son or your daughter, perhaps – or your wife or husband,” King said. “It means a priest that might be coming in to visit someone on their death bed couldn’t bring in the Eucharist, couldn’t offer Last Rites. This is the most outrageous affront.”

A spokesperson for the medical center told Fox News late Friday that the policy will be rewritten and its intent will be made “crystal clear.”

“The instructions about the Bibles and reading material have been rescinded,” said Sandy Dean, a public affairs officer for Walter Reed. “It will be written to articulate our initial intention which was to respect religious and cultural practices of our patients.”

"

Let's take it as stipulated (for now--I will justify it later so you will not think *I* am being inconsistent in accepting this) that this policy was mistaken.

Is this some overzealous literal minded bureaucrat behind this screwup, or does some atheist organization advocate forbidding people from bringing their own bibles into the hospital, for their own use?

If the former it does not speak to any claim that atheists want to ban Christianity, only that there was a bureaucratic screwup; someone was careless writing a policy and someone else enforced it literally. If the latter--i.e., that some atheist group (which one?) pushed for this as written and implemented--you will note that their rationale still is an attempt to keep religion off of public property. So it still doesn't address these wild claims--that you appear to accept, at least you sure seem to be trying to argue for them here--that atheist groups here are trying to ban Christianity.

*

I would thank you to stay civil and not make false pronouncements on my beliefs, my character and what I have and have not "bought into".

I've made no pronouncements about your character. I stated that there are people out there pushing a lie. You appear to believe that lie; that does not make you a liar, it makes you mistaken which is not a moral failing. Now yes, I am stating something about your beliefs, but it's on the evidence that you yourself are arguing that atheists are trying to abrogate Christians' right to be Christian. Now if you are only arguing that sometimes they appear to be doing so, well you weren't clear. (And I will grant that I don't think many of these groups make the point about public/private quickly enough and it's easy for it to get lost in a soundbite-driven media.)

Yes, there are in fact many atheists that would deny religious people the right to be wrong.

No, wrong, wrong, wrong. They are attempting to deny the non-existent right of Christians to do it with government property.

That is evident simply but looking at all the frivolous lawsuits that come up about things that aren't hurting anyone. That there is an inappropriate amount of "public property" would need to be addressed. But here- concrete example- military is one legitimate use of government and the facilities that soldiers are in are rightfully govt property- which makes them public property. Would you then argue that wounded and dying warriors should be denied emblems of their faiths? I am not capable of making that decision for anyone else.

Even if the case you mentioned here and above were the result of a push by an atheist group rather than bureaucratic stupidity, it would still be a misapplication (again, I'll explain that below) of the principle that Christians (and anyone else) may not use government property in order to propagate their creed and is therefore not an attempt to ban Christianity.

This is the key point that the Christians screaming that atheists are trying to "ban" Christianity do not want people to realize. To my knowledge no one has tried to use the government to ban the practice of religion on private property.

This is unanswerable so long as we have a government that spends most of its time doing things it shouldn't be doing. If government was held to its proper place there would be no such thing set up. But again, where would it end? Most of the great works of antiquity were religious in origin. How do we judge what it religious themed art and what is "religious advertising"? Obviously the USA is a young country but take a place like Italy or even England where religious imagery is already built into most public buildings. Should taxpayers bear the burden of tearing these historical structures down to unknot the panties of people whose eyes blister at the site of anything they deem irrational in others?"

No, but that is no reason to make it a policy to add to the pile.

*Unfortunately the fact is that it is not irrelevent to the point at hand. Many antitheists do not want to have to look at anything that offends them on public property.

Well you have for the first time properly identified the issue as being public property (up to now you've been repeating the claim that this is an attempt to ban Christianity without qualification). But...

So they want to create new burdensome rules to make sure they never have to see a manger or a menorah.

Burdensome? Asking the government not to violate the bill of rights is burdensome?

Here's the thing about me, call me crazy. When people take to changing things around I like to have some assurance that the people advocating the changes are more rational than the people who are advocating for the thing being changed.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease. While I would like to see religion much less prominent in the public sphere/government as much as any Objectivist I do not respect the the gaudy, braying assery of much of what one sees from militant antitheists. I don't believe "different" always equals "better". Most of the very vocal antitheists one sees and hears these days have more in common with the delusional folks over at PETA than with rational atheism.

How does that make them wrong on this specific issue?

Maybe we just live in different places and see different things in the kinds of people who live where we live, Steve. But I take offense to the tone of your post as it pertained to me.

Again I claimed nothing but that you believed a lie told by others, which is not a moral failing. It's possible I misunderstood your belief, but if so you gave me every reason to think that you had accepted the line that atheist groups were trying to ban Xianity. And without any further qualifier on that (such as "except in private places" or "on public property", which both they and you failed to provide) I had to assume you believed along with them that the attempt was extending into the private realm.

Where I live there is a huge push towards socialism and communism. Most atheists are on board with that. When they tear down religion you better believe they intend to erect something else in its place. I for one am in this case preferring the devil I know. When I see a movement of atheists that is led soley by reasonable people I will surely be on board.

Until such happens, I will fight on their side when they are right and against them when they are wrong--just as I do with conservatives. That's what we have to do day to day in our society when there are no suitable groups we agree with 100% of the time.

In the meantime I am conservatively looking out for unintended consequences.

A reasonable thing to do. It so happens that I believe allowing the broader culture to absorb fully the assumption that this is a nation based on Christianity (rather than founded by individuals who were mostly Christian with many prominent exceptions) is extremely dangerous. Whether it is more or less dangerous than rampant leftism is certainly debatable. But regardless of which way that argument goes, I choose to fight both. There's no reason to assume you cannot fight one without accepting the other.

OK. I promised an explanation of why I think forbidding someone to bring their own personal bible into the patient's room at Walter Reed was a misapplication of the principle I am upholding here. (And also why banning an Xian cross on a gravesite at Arlington would be.) That is because in neither case would the government be putting its imprimatur on the religion. If PFC John Doe is laid up in a hospital and has his own bible (or one lent to him by a loved one) on the table next to him, there is no implication that the government endorses that bible, so by all means he should be able to access it. (But by the opposite token John Doe should be free to chase pastors, etc. who come into the room, the heck out if PFC Doe happens to be an atheist, without repercussion.)

If the government actually provides the bible, that could be a different story. Ways that the government could still do so without providing an endorsement would be if the bible came out of a thoroughly stocked hospital library, or if the government otherwise provided the book of the patient's request, at the patient's request. "Do you have a Koran I could borrow?" or "Do you have a copy of 'Atheism the Case Against God'?" One could argue over whether the government should be providing the service, but at least it is not a violation of the first amendment.

Similarly for tombstones. People get one each, presumably of their or their family's choice as part of their veterans benefit package, and it's pretty clear the choice was theirs, not the government's. (If--hypothetically--the government were to mandate that everyone get a Chrstian Cross on their burial site, or even add a surcharge for non-Christian markers, that would be an egregious violation. I haven't decided whether a policy allowing either a cross or a generic tombstone and no other choices would qualify as such.)

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Steve,

Your entire argument is invalid as it is based on a faulty premise.

I stated clearly, and more than once, that I am *not* talking about all atheists or about Objectivist atheists. I stated very clearly that I was talking about militant anti-religion atheists who are more often than not attached to other undesirable socio-political elements such as anarchist and socialist groups.

Now, you keep accusing me of having "bought the lie" that atheists are actually seeking to curb the rights of Christians to fully practice their religion. Well, for one I will belabor the point that I was clear in stating that this is not the goal of rational atheists. Second, I believe it is you who are delusional if you are trying to deny that there are atheists who would actively seek to take away religious freedoms. Throughout history and around the world totalitarian governments have gone after religious freedoms- in large part because there is the desire to have no authority higher than the state.

Here are some prominent atheist groups that are very politically active:

http://atheists.org/Aims_and_Principles

Notice how they are combining their collectivist agendas with their atheist activism?

This one also throws in a little One World mysticism and a little environmentalist trash as well

http://atheistallianceamerica.org/about-aaa/about-us/values.html

This one encourages people to "challenge publicly all openly religious people" the context of the statement was that the contributor likened a person talking about their religion publicly to secondhand smoke and that to make your religion known naturally makes one an appropriate target for public derision and scorn.

http://www.atheistinamerica.com/

When someone perceives something that they believe to have an intrinsic value they will often not hestitate to attempt to impose it upon other people. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and all other religions throughout history have, when given power used that power to attempt to impose their beliefs on others.

When you read the hate filled and vitriolic language used by many militant antitheists it is not "buying into the lie" to know that people with froth-mouthed hatred of someone else's beliefs will given enough power force it upon others.

And as many Christians given a chance have imposed their beliefs on non Christians so would many (not all, Steve, you need to drop that strawman argument with me) antitheists attempt to impose their beliefs on theists and deists.

It is amazing how dogmatic atheists can be, and distressing. Those of us who approach atheism rationally would do well to spend as much time self-criticising as we do poking fun at people who believe in omnipotent old men in the sky. There are fringe elements within atheism that are just as dogmatic, destructive, anti-reason, anti-rights, and anti-man as any fundementalist whackjob.

Put your head in the sand and pretend they don't exist if you like but I believe it needs addressing.

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Is this some overzealous literal minded bureaucrat behind this screwup, or does some atheist organization advocate forbidding people from bringing their own bibles into the hospital, for their own use?
I searched the web and skipped over all the bloggers (who were mostly Christians re-blogging stuff), and looked for newspapers. I assume the Washington Examiner is respectable enough: here is their article.

It appears to be a minor bureaucratic screw-up. A policy manual was issued when combining two facilities, and the wording of this policy overly excludes willing individuals. I'd bet that the history was some policy that was trying to stop the priests who stop by soldiers beds from actively selling them religion. The new policy was worded to exclude willing recipients, so that was obviously wrong. However, the news article said it was never enforced: which sounds like what one would expect. Someone screwed up on how a policy was worded and so nobody enforced it anyway. Then, some Christian noticed it and that led to some Christian group asking their members to call Congress.

When it comes to city manger-displays, I think the issue is too trivial to matter, though of course the city ought not to be funding any such stuff in the first place. I also think that going after the smaller stuff can create a bit of a siege mentality among Christians, and so it may be a fight best avoided, for tactical reasons. Nevertheless, in the Walter Reed example, there was no atheist group pushing any agenda at all: it was simply Christian over-reaction.

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I searched the web and skipped over all the bloggers (who were mostly Christians re-blogging stuff), and looked for newspapers. I assume the Washington Examiner is respectable enough: here is their article.

It appears to be a minor bureaucratic screw-up. A policy manual was issued when combining two facilities, and the wording of this policy overly excludes willing individuals. I'd bet that the history was some policy that was trying to stop the priests who stop by soldiers beds from actively selling them religion. Nevertheless, in the Walter Reed example, there was no atheist group pushing any agenda at all: it was simply Christian over-reaction.

I would like to be as optimistic about the well-intentioned blundering of our poor, overburdened government overlords as you are. But I did not get my information from Christian blogs as I can rarely stand to read them. Generally I follow things like this out of interest for my many family members and friends in the military.

Have you looked at the memo itself?

Here it is:

http://downloads.frc.../EF/EF11L05.pdf

You will see that the issue of unwanted proseltyers had already been addressed earlier in the memo under the appropriate section.

The prohibition on family members bringing bibles was clearly and distinctly in a section about what family members were allowed to do and occurs right next to the prohibition against family members bringing baked goods or food from home.

Is it an anti-theist "conspiracy"? Doubtful. But we all know that government bureaucrats will do whatever they can get away with. As a family member of mine who works in a government office where policy in a specific area of medical treatment is made is want to say "they throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks. If no one complains fast enough it starts being enforced, if someone complains in a way that generates publicity they quietly make it disappear".

Conspiracy? Again, doubtful. But I don't think it is entirely a mistake or completely benign.

It is of note that this "innocent mistake is one that has been checked back on a couple times. As of mid-December this year a new statement has not been issued and FOIA requests to see the memos leading up to this "unfortunately worded policy" have not been accomodated.

Edited to add

That said, I never thought I'd be spending this amount of time defending religion so probably best I quit since I disapprove of it.

Simply put, I think many atheists fall into a default "us against them" mentality against the religious. I have seen it in my personal experience. I don't feel it is rational or productive but we all have our different ideas about what needs to be prioritised to make the world a more rational place.

I'm not going to argue on this particular topic anymore because 1) I think my arguments have veered this off its original intent and 2) it is not in my rational self interest to spend this kind of time defending religious interests.

Edited by SapereAude

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Steve,

Your entire argument is invalid as it is based on a faulty premise.

I stated clearly, and more than once, that I am *not* talking about all atheists or about Objectivist atheists. I stated very clearly that I was talking about militant anti-religion atheists who are more often than not attached to other undesirable socio-political elements such as anarchist and socialist groups.

Now, you keep accusing me of having "bought the lie" that atheists are actually seeking to curb the rights of Christians to fully practice their religion. Well, for one I will belabor the point that I was clear in stating that this is not the goal of rational atheists.

Fair enough, you have made it clear now. (Edit: On reading back it looks like I lost the context of your first post, which I misread and over-reacted to in one place, in reading your second post, which came across to me far worse than the first one did--but it appears I gave you some cause for that, for which I apologize.)

Second, I believe it is you who are delusional if you are trying to deny that there are atheists who would actively seek to take away religious freedoms.

I've yet to find a group of any real size explicitly trying to do so. I am sure that all such groups wish people would give up their religions, but of course that is hugely different from working to compel them to do so.

And I don't doubt that some in those groups would like to do so but it's not the group's stated policy.

Throughout history and around the world totalitarian governments have gone after religious freedoms- in large part because there is the desire to have no authority higher than the state.

Just as there are other totalitarian governments who have a favored religion and want to stamp out competition. Both are wrong.

Here are some prominent atheist groups that are very politically active:

http://atheists.org/..._and_Principles

Notice how they are combining their collectivist agendas with their atheist activism?

This one also throws in a little One World mysticism and a little environmentalist trash as well

http://atheistallian...-us/values.html

But how is that an attempt by this group to ban religion?

I fault these groups for mixing a bad cause (socialism) with a good cause (fighting "Christian nation" nonsense), but my admittedly casual look see doesn't show that it's their policy to force people to give up their religions.

This one encourages people to "challenge publicly all openly religious people" the context of the statement was that the contributor likened a person talking about their religion publicly to secondhand smoke and that to make your religion known naturally makes one an appropriate target for public derision and scorn.

http://www.atheistinamerica.com/

Yes, this is obnoxious behavior and often unjustified (although it might be appropriate in those cases where it is clearly a response to genuinely obnoxious behavior from the "other side," this group isn't limiting it to those cases). But where is the attempt to get state compulsion to ban religion?

Basically I see no good reason for anyone else (and you have now satisfied me that you are not among their number) to believe these groups are after a ban on Christianity. I see plenty of other reasons not to join them however.

When someone perceives something that they believe to have an intrinsic value they will often not hestitate to attempt to impose it upon other people. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and all other religions throughout history have, when given power used that power to attempt to impose their beliefs on others.

When you read the hate filled and vitriolic language used by many militant antitheists it is not "buying into the lie" to know that people with froth-mouthed hatred of someone else's beliefs will given enough power force it upon others.

Again not a reason to oppose doing the other, proper things that those groups (and others) propose doing.

And as many Christians given a chance have imposed their beliefs on non Christians so would many (not all, Steve, you need to drop that strawman argument with me) [...]

Done. It was not intentional and again I apologize for misunderstanding you.

[...] antitheists attempt to impose their beliefs on theists and deists.

It is amazing how dogmatic atheists can be, and distressing. Those of us who approach atheism rationally would do well to spend as much time self-criticising as we do poking fun at people who believe in omnipotent old men in the sky. There are fringe elements within atheism that are just as dogmatic, destructive, anti-reason, anti-rights, and anti-man as any fundementalist whackjob.

Put your head in the sand and pretend they don't exist if you like but I believe it needs addressing.

And so here you strawman me. The only thing I deny is that there is a large (i.e., not fringe) activist organization that has a policy of trying to ban religion using government force. You haven't shown me one yet. I don't deny that there aren't atheist organizations and atheist individuals that also push for socialism (see the last part of my previous post), I don't deny that there are some advocating in-your-face rudeness (I didn't know about that particular organization though), and I don't deny that there are individuals that do want to ban religion.

And even if such an organization were to exist... it would make no difference and your entire argument--even if completely correct and you prove that all these groups want to ban religion--would be irrelevant to what I was arguing with Avila about. Is it in principle appropriate to put creches or other religious displays on government property, or not? Bringing up what some extremists might want to do (once this question is answered correctly and the answer is implemented) is utterly irrelevant.

It would be like refusing to advocate cutting the size of government on the grounds that there are anarchists out there who want to get rid of it entirely and they really rile up the people who vote for a living.

Now whether it is tactically wise to fight such a battle (a point SoftwareNerd brought up) is a different matter, and one that can be answered without reference to the things some nuts want to do in addition to fighting that battle.

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Steve,

I think you might be confusing something someone else said with me? I have not said anything about people trying to "ban religion" although I stand by my statement that many are trying to interfere with people's rights to their religious practices.

But since I'm pretty sure we agree on the primary point (religion=bad) and disagree on the small point about whether some atheists are getting out of hand I shall give you this treat;

http://www.amazon.com/Helping-retarded-know-God-handicapped/dp/B0006CAG4M

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I don't disagree that some atheist individuals are getting out of hand. And some organizations are too. I've said so. I said so at the end of my previous post and at least one time before that. (You can stop strawmanning me any time you like.)

I have not said anything about people trying to "ban religion" although I stand by my statement that many are trying to interfere with people's rights to their religious practices.

How does one interfere with people's rights except by the use of force? To be sure it's not a "ban" unless the government does it. But then actually you did say

They expect tolerance for their atheism while wanting to strip others of their rights to belief.

I cannot see how "strip[ping] other of their rights to belief" is any different from a ban on having that belief, given that you cannot violate a right except by force and stripping someone of a right is usually a reference to a legalistic government maneuver declaring that someone has lost a right. So... you said it, I've been responding to it ever since. I pointed out in my first response that the creche issue was not an attempt to strip people of their rights--and remember, up to that point the thread was about the creche issue, so what else was I to figure you were talking about? And your response was to bring up a totally different instance about Walter Reed as if it were somehow an additional (as opposed to the first such mentioned) example of over the top antitheism.

So I think I can be pardoned for assuming you considered the two issues parallel and both an attempt to violate the rights of Christians. (In point of fact you still haven't explicitly said otherwise; you don't seem to want to discuss the creche issue as such but rather these nutty instances.)

And those organizations getting out of hand (and there are others that haven't) again has nothing to do with the creche scene issue. I am realizing this blowup has been over a mis-communication--caused in part by your change of subject and and in part by my failure to fully switch context and fail to realize that you simply weren't addressing the creche issue at all. I had been assuming you were. Meanwhile on your actual topic, the nutty other things some atheists and atheist organizations are trying to do, I have no disagreement with--I simply deny that the creche issue is such an instance--and again you, sir, are strawmanning me claiming that I don't see it.

Edited by Steve D'Ippolito

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Point 1) that's ma'am, not sir

Point 2) not attempting to continue off topic, in fact pointed out that I felt I *had* taken the post off topic and therefore tried to concede you the fight by posting the gift to you of what I think is a hilarious example of religious stupidity

Point 3) in the course of not attempting to take the post further off topic, which I acknowledged having somewhat unintentionally done (I considered it relevent while you and some others have not), I tried to close off the disagreement I was having with you by making what was perhaps an oversimplified statement that essentially stated "I think we agree on more things than we disagree about".

I still disagree with the course you are taking this argument in, but I will not respond to you further as I have already acknowledged my taking the post off topic and then tried to diffuse and bow out. If you continue to argue it's going to be a pretty hollow experience since I'm not going to engage in it further on this post. Happy to debate it with you privately though.

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1) Whoops... Sorry for the misgendering, but well, you weren't telling your gender.

2) I didn't even watch the video (my bandwidth has its limits and I sometimes forego things as a consequence), so I had no idea what it was about and I admit I thought it would show a nutty atheist. (Alas youtube URLs give no indication of what they are about). So I mistook a peace offering for another bullet point and thought you were continuing to argue. By the time I finished writing, I had forgotten to go back and watch it.

3) I think our only source of remaining disagreement might be on the creche issue specifically (whether there is or is not a rights violation in attempting to remove them from public property). Hard to say since you've not specifically said where you stand on it (and now I finally realize that).

I don't see why you apparently think I don't acknowledge the existence of nutty over the top atheists, which is what you seem to be claiming is the remaining disagreement. It isn't.

Other than that, we are good to go.

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Who said atheism automatically makes one rational? Or more rational? I'm never met an atheist acutally say that - and believe me, I have MANY complaints about fellow atheists.

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Who said atheism automatically makes one rational? Or more rational? I'm never met an atheist acutally say that - and believe me, I have MANY complaints about fellow atheists.

So do I. I only know a few, but there is in common an undeserved arrogance that all the hard work

has been achieved by renouncing God and religion.

A lesser victory of intellect over faith - but no convictions beyond vague secular humanism, or Social

Darwinism. I've found a Catholic scholar, and Talmudic rabbis more interesting and rational - up to a point.

I'm not so much against theism, as I am for rational egoism, personally. Live, and let live.

(Until, or unless, the religious agitate for political power.)

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Most of the atheists I know outside of the Objectivist community are socialists and anarchists.

@SapereAude, I dare you, In fact I double dare you to post this on a skeptics website.

Here is a good one in case you cannot find one: http://www.skepticforum.com/ You will find many non-objectivist atheists here.

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@SapereAude, I dare you, In fact I double dare you to post this on a skeptics website.

Here is a good one in case you cannot find one: http://www.skepticforum.com/ You will find many non-objectivist atheists here.

What would the purpose of the dare be?

Words mean things, hence my careful wording of my post.

I said "most atheists that I know....."

How is someone to rationally dispute with me the spoken beliefs of people I know personally?

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What would the purpose of the dare be?

Words mean things, hence my careful wording of my post.

I said "most atheists that I know....."

How is someone to rationally dispute with me the spoken beliefs of people I know personally?

Yes your words were well chosen but implied behind the words are that most non-Objectivist atheists are socialists or anarchists. You could say unless you said so you are not saying anything of the sort. Yes there are many roundabout ways to say something without actually saying it and I am sure the more you are educated in logic the more ways you will find to do so.

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Yes your words were well chosen but implied behind the words are that most non-Objectivist atheists are socialists or anarchists. You could say unless you said so you are not saying anything of the sort. Yes there are many roundabout ways to say something without actually saying it and I am sure the more you are educated in logic the more ways you will find to do so.

That you chose to infer something does not mean I implied it. I implied nothing of the sort.

I tend to mean exactly what I say. I was speaking of my own personal experience as a means of explaining why I do not have a knee-jerk approval of atheists or a knee-jerk disapproval of Christians. Hence my choice of words.

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What I really find annoying is that christians find it perfectly acceptable to spread their faith around, even going to the ends of the earth to ‘preach the gospel’. When atheists try and at least promote some rationality suddenly atheism is a faith and now I see anti-theist. Well I am not ignorant of religiosity and its threat to me.

@SapereAude I am very much convinced now that you meant exactly just what you said. Sorry for the knee jerk reaction. My sincere apologies.

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Superman, no need to apologise. You were simply mistaken so I clarified. I've been frequently told that since most people don't say what they mean that I have to expect my statements to not be taken at face value without additional emphasis :ninja:

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