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Young Americans abandon God in droves
#36
A[quote name="VTRan" url="/community/t/143937/young-americans-abandon-god-in-droves#post_3356810"][QUOTE name="commodorejohn" url="/community/t/143937/young-americans-abandon-god-in-droves#post_3356801"]It's an attempt to recast rudeness and broad generalization for the purposes of easy dismissal as somehow being virtues and signs of true intellect. It's also one of the worse stereotypes about atheists.[/QUOTE]
I would say that those who don't like having their worldview questioned often paint the 'questioner' as smug. It's easier to dismiss the criticism that way.[/quote]
You're not really questioning anyone's worldview, you're just calling names. The general essence of your arguments in this thread can be broken down into "people who are religious have done bad things, therefore religion is bad" and "religions are old, therefore anybody who believes in them is a naive baby, and if they'd just grow up they'd clearly agree with me." The one has at least an understandable train of thought to it, but applied with a questionably broad brush; the other is just petulant playground taunting. You throw out lines like "religions can only thrive and grow if their followers remain ignorant" as if that's undisputed fact instead of making any kind of real critique of the actual tenets of any actual religions, and then when people call you out for being rude, you act like clearly you must be hitting a raw nerve and therefore you are right, instead of considering the possibility that you might just be being rude.

There are people in this thread who are making real critiques of religion in general and Christianity specifically from various angles. You're just not one of them.
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#37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

You are adopting the very intolerance, "holier than thou" and "I'm right U are all wrong wrong wrong" of the types of people that you claim to despise, and that you can't even perceive that in yourself is, I think, an indication of how powerful these impulses are.

I would argue that intolerance can be a good thing....I'm intolerant of those that want to limit marriage to one man/one woman. I'm intolerant of white supremacists. I'm intolerant of those that want to tell women what they can or can't do with their bodies.

As a society, we should all be intolerant of ignorance.

I'd be more than willing to admit fault ang reevaluate my position when presented with evidence that refutes my beliefs.

If a devout follower of <name your religion> were presented with evidence that unequivocally disproves certain parts of their beliefs, would they be willing to sit back and reevaluate their 'faith' or would they dismiss the evidence due to their religion's constant, deeply ingrained repetition that "non-believers are evil"

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#38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

So anything evil is religion? If someone mugs you, he's a religion?

depends....am I on a boat and is he walking on water?

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#39
A[quote name="VTRan" url="/community/t/143937/young-americans-abandon-god-in-droves#post_3356829"]I'd be more than willing to admit fault ang reevaluate my position when presented with evidence that refutes my beliefs.

If a devout follower of were presented with evidence that unequivocally disproves certain parts of their beliefs, would they be willing to sit back and reevaluate their 'faith' or would they dismiss the evidence due to their religion's constant, deeply ingrained repetition that "non-believers are evil"[/quote]
That's an excellent question. Let's test it out; got any such evidence on hand? We can conduct a survey.
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#40

"I acknowledge you believe that, but that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard"

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#41
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

I would argue that intolerance can be a good thing....I'm intolerant of those that want to limit marriage to one man/one woman. I'm intolerant of white supremacists. I'm intolerant of those that want to tell women what they can or can't do with their bodies.

As a society, we should all be intolerant of ignorance.

But-- based on how you structured this little paragraph-- you're just as bad as the assholes who, say, want to limit marriage to man/woman, because you're equating "ignorance" with "religious practice/beliefs" point-blank. You have no business giving a fuck about people who go to church on Sundays and act like normal human beings within greater society. As to, say, something like the WBC, yeah, I agree, we shouldn't tolerate their hate, but you're flat-out refusing to draw a line between such nutjob motherfucks and my friends who go to temple/church once a week or celebrate the high holidays or whatever.

Which terrifies and disgusts me. Your beliefs-- if they are quite as myopic as you've presented them-- are incredibly fucked up.

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#42
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

But-- based on how you structured this little paragraph-- you're just as bad as the assholes who, say, want to limit marriage to man/woman, because you're equating "ignorance" with "religious practice/beliefs" point-blank. You have no business giving a fuck about people who go to church on Sundays and act like normal human beings within greater society. As to, say, something like the WBC, yeah, I agree, we shouldn't tolerate their hate, but you're flat-out refusing to draw a line between such nutjob motherfucks and my friends who go to temple/church once a week or celebrate the high holidays or whatever.

Which terrifies and disgusts me. Your beliefs-- if they are quite as myopic as you've presented them-- are incredibly fucked up.

First off, when I equate religion with ignorance, it comes from personal experience. I have met more than my fair share of religious individuals that were clueless about their own faiths. One would think that if you have chosen to live your life based on the stories in a particular book, you should know those stories fairly well....that is usually not the case at all.

More times than not, people that profess knowledge of their religion are completely ignorant of their religion as well as other religions.

I wonder how many people that consider themselves religious actually know that Islam, Judasim, and Christianity have a common root with 'Abraham'?

Second, I don't necessarily view the term "ignorance" as an absolute negative. I used to be ignorant (lacking knowledge) about working on motorcycles but after studying and working on them, I overcame that ignorance. I view the term as a challenge to learn about something new.

As far as religion goes...personally, I don't care if you want to follow  Catholicism, Islam, Scientology, Buddhism, Trek, FSM, etc.....it's all good.

If you want to worship your gods in a church or your home, knock yourself out....have fun with it.

But, when your faith makes a habit of crossing over into the public sphere in an attempt to remake society in it's particular image, well, then I have a problem with it. I am not going to  just sit and hold my tongue due to some pseudo societal taboo that says that religion is supposed to be respected and never criticized.  We criticize politics, movies, music, etc. in this society, why should religion be any different?

For example- The Mormon church was shown to be responsible for the failure of Prop 8 to pass here in CA. Now, IIRC, in order for religious organizations to maintain their tax exempt status they are  not supposed to campaign, lobby, or be involved in political activities....and yet, the LDS and many other religious organizations have abused and continue to abuse this law....which indirectly effects me and society as a whole.  I wonder how many 'preachers' there would be if they had to pay taxes on all their 'donations' ?

These days, IMO, the majority of religions are nothing more than elaborate ponzi schemes used by charlatans to take advantage of the ignorance of it's followers....hence my calling religious individuals 'ignorant'

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#43

I've always agreed with the saying that a person's religion is like their genitals: Don't pull it out in public and don't shove it down your childrens' throats. If it makes you feel better about your future nonexistence, more power to you, just leave everyone alone about it.

In the break room at my job, I heard a couple of women talking about how the end times were nigh because we had a small earthquake. I had to explain to them that we live in a mildly (barring that massive one back in the 1800s, which will be one of the worst disasters ever WHEN one hits again. Midwestern buildings aren't generally built with a strong quake in mind.) seismically active area and that quakes happen all the time but are too slight to be felt. They met my explanation with ignorant stares and went back on talking...

Also heard a customer complain about the shakiness of their cart by saying that it had a "cart demon"... Crazy...

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#44
A[quote name="elsnakeo" url="/community/t/143937/young-americans-abandon-god-in-droves#post_3357018"]I've always agreed with the saying that a person's religion is like their genitals: Don't pull it out in public and don't shove it down your childrens' throats. If it makes you feel better about your future nonexistence, more power to you, just leave everyone alone about it.[/quote]
"Keep it in the closet!"

Seriously, the idea that this alone is something that should be separate from every other aspect of life is ridiculous. Would you tell a parent not to share their favorite books with their children? Or suggest that nobody should talk about their music preferences in public? I'll certainly get behind the "try not to be a douche about it" banner, but suggesting that religion should be cut off from all interpersonal/cultural influence is arrogant at best and oppressive at worst.
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#45
Quote:
Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post


"Keep it in the closet!"
Seriously, the idea that this alone is something that should be separate from every other aspect of life is ridiculous. Would you tell a parent not to share their favorite books with their children? Or suggest that nobody should talk about their music preferences in public? I'll certainly get behind the "try not to be a douche about it" banner, but suggesting that religion should be cut off from all interpersonal/cultural influence is arrogant at best and oppressive at worst.

The idea that religion is something that should not be separated from actual, real, aspects of life is ridiculous.

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#46

Religious people can be zealots. Atheists can be overwhelmingly smug and superior. It's like we have this thread every year or so.

On the topic of the thread though, the world is becoming smaller... granted it is one of the things that those on the right constantly rail against, but people are exposed to a much wider variety of cultures and beliefs today. It is inevitable that young people exposed to cultures with different belief systems, each of which believe in their deepest hearts that they are right and everyone else is wrong, will come to the conclusion that maybe 100% certainty in a religion is not wise.

I don't think the modern age is making everyone atheists, but it is introducing a measure of agnosticism. And since the ability to concede that "I may be wrong about this" is the major ability lacking from fundamentalists of all stripes, I think this is a good thing.

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#47

groundhogday-sadman.jpg

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#48
People not believing in God has no affect on those of us who worship HIM.
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#49
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morgan View Post

People not believing in God has no affect on those of us who worship HIM.

Then act like it and quit beating everyone over the head about HIM.

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#50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waaaaaaaalt View Post

Then act like it and quit beating everyone over the head about HIM.

or HER.   Smile

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#51

What does HIM have to do with this?

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#52
Christians do NOT beat people over the head about HIM. We only try to inform.
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#53

By writing screenplays about demons engaging in anal rape.

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#54
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morgan View Post

Christians do NOT beat people over the head about HIM. We only try to inform.

You can't possibly speak for every Christian. No two X-tians are even the same, you seem to adapt  your interpretation based on existing predjudice and pragmatism. One thing I have observed: you are, in the aggregate, hypocrites.

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#55
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morgan View Post

Christians do NOT beat people over the head about HIM. We only try to inform.

You're spelling HIM in all caps. I know my catechism. That isn't necessary.

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#56

Him?

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#57

I'd be hip to the idea that it's not worth getting all anti-theist in the main because most religious people are nice and helpful and generally stay out of the way.

But only if the example was, say, here.  Almost daily I seem to hear about some other way religion is deeply entrenched and protected in US politics, law, government, culture etc in frankly unsettling ways.  And the moderates seem quite content to let it happen, either through ignorance or they feel on the whole it's better that way ("They may not be my church, but if they believe in something at least it's alright").

The prickly moderates who tire of people attacking religion when they find it wholly good might feel less affronted if they fought for the secular cause as strongly as their numbers permitted.  That's my remote impression at least.

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#58
Quote:
"Forty-six percent of Americans believe in the creationist view that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years. The prevalence of this creationist view of the origin of humans is essentially unchanged from 30 years ago, when Gallup first asked the question. About a third of Americans believe that humans evolved, but with God's guidance; 15% say humans evolved, but that God had no part in the process."

So, according to this poll by Gallup 46% (!) of Americans are creationists. Is it okay to say that's utterly ridiculous? Or does that make me a smug atheist asshole?

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#59
A[quote name="dr.cyclops" url="/community/t/143937/young-americans-abandon-god-in-droves/50#post_3358967"]You can't possibly speak for every Christian. No two X-tians are even the same, you seem to adapt your interpretation based on existing predjudice and pragmatism. One thing I have observed: you are, in the aggregate, hypocrites.[/quote]
You're perfectly right that one person cannot speak for a very large and very heterogenous group. But if aggregate observations are cool, then I'd like to observe that, based on my observations from this thread, in the aggregate, atheists are loud-mouthed smug pricks who like to engage in quasi-intellectual circle-jerks about how advanced they are for being different than the people they don't like.

Or is that generalizing too much?
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#60
Quote:
Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post

You're perfectly right that one person cannot speak for a very large and very heterogenous group.

"Hey, what am I, chopped liver?"

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#61
ADried prune, I thought.
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#62

All right dude, I used the word hypocrite, you dropped these gems of Christian forgiveness, "loud-mouthed, smug,, pricks,  quasi-intellectual,circle-jerks" etc.

Welcome to the circle jerk.

Athiests do not have a monopoly on smug. Christians seem smug and quasi-intellectual to me.

Maybe when people are sure of themselves about things we disagree with them on them seem smug.

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#63
AI guess that wasn't clearly sarcastic enough; the point being that that's an equally comically broad "aggregate" generalization as your statement, and no more necessarily applicable to any one person in the set being generalized. Sorry, guess I should've made my sarcasm more obvious.
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#64

Sarcasm and irony do not always work on the internet.

Whatever, this is an unsolveable argument that has gone on for centuries and will continue as long.

Or maybe we solved it here today. <--Sarcasm.

Yes, my use of 'aggregate' was poorly concieved and could just as well have been 'anecdotelly', 'IMO'. I retract it out of courtesy and will try to judge the hypocrisy or non-hypocricy of self-declared Christians on a case by case basis.<--not sarcasm

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#65

when atheists are confident, they are looked on as being "smug"

when religious folk are confident, they're not 'smug', they're "pious"

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#66
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

when atheists are confident, they are looked on as being "smug"

when religious folk are confident, they're not 'smug', they're "pious"


Oh no, they are also smug pricks!

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#67

Pious does not have the same negative connotation as smugness. There were even a couple of Popes with the moniker (just, kidding Pius not pious, haha).

How about sanctimonious?

Actually, I am going to stand my ground and say that smug can be applied to the religious.

And in the spirit of sharing I will be more pious in smugness.

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#68

I am going on a limb here, but the fall of Christians from pious to smug, for me, has to be the change from the doctrine of faith and good works to a doctrine of faith alone. Like Patton Oswalt's joke on religion, if you are doing good things because your religion motivates you, more power to you. But if you are being motivated by religion and your behavior is abominable, then you deserve the ridicule.

My parents raised me relatively religious. We were a military family, so we never went to the same church often. Religion was in the home, not someplace we went. After my parents left the military and we settled in one place, I had a hard time going to any particular church because of the hypocrisy of the politics or social behavior of people outside of church.  Good work for me is essentially the Christ ethic, which is why my faith in the divinity of Christ makes it difficult for me to accept a modern, US church.  I still believe in God, just not the accumulated bullshit that tends to go along with the US Christian culture.

I think I would be Catholic, because of the ceremony and good works they institionalize, were it not for the tons of other things they condone or hide or ignore.

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#69

Taking another tack, I don't know if folks have heard of the Reasonable Doubts show, but a while back they all went on this very liberal religious radio show called Faith and Reason (you can listen to it here if you wanna).  I mainly mention it because it's a bit like a more polite version of page one.  It's really weird/interesting listening to these most vague and doubtful christians talking to atheists (ok it's probably really boring too, but it tickles my sociology nerve) and the question that still remains (and the guys actually ask it a couple of times), if you have all this doubt and faith & doctrine doesn't rule your life like a fundamentalist, why the hell not drop the whole thing?  What are you hanging on to this stuff for?

I kind of know the answer already, in a way.  It's driven into you from birth, the community aspect is deep in your life and then Pascal's Wager, so why the hell not? Although I doubt anyone would actually say that.  They'd give the wooly answers the pastors do on the show and suggest belief and non belief are somehow equal propositions in the search for truth (which is, sadly, hogwash).  Still fascinating to me though.  And, in a horrible irony, I do end up sounding like some proselytizer in these situations: why? why do it to yourself? cast aside your shackles and be free brothers and sisters!  The kingdom of earth and humanity is at hand! etc   You could do lots of things with the many brain processing cycles you free up from not thinking about this crap anymore.

Not going to have much impact i know, nothing makes people dig their heels in like telling them they've got it all wrong, particularly regarding even the vaguest faith, but it's honest.

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#70
AI actually basically get where you're coming from there, Muzman. But I think that's getting at what is essentially the great tragedy of the American church (and, uh, here I go with the broad generalizations, but it does seem to be pretty widespread, as far as I've observed.) That is, I don't think that having faith inform your life is necessarily a binary divide between "not at all, but you pretend that it is because you're uncomfortable giving it up," and "every single waking moment of my life is spent thinking about my religion to the exclusion of everything else." It feels like a lot of people in modern American Christianity (can't speak for elsewhere in the world) have been pushing further and further to the side of fanaticism, dragging everybody they can with them, and the ones left behind all kind of edge uncomfortably to the side of what could be termed "social religion."

It ties in a lot with what MrTyres said about the extraneous bullshit that gets lumped in with the actual articles of faith. I'm not old enough to have been around for the Moral Majority, but it feels like that is essentially the nature of what's been going on, trying to "circle the wagons" because they think they're under attack by the entire secular world, and raising each generation to be successively more fanatic, and attempting to tie politics directly into their religion as if it's actually stated as such in Scripture, but losing more people in the process because they're increasingly more off-putting.

But the thing is, that doesn't have anything to do with Christianity itself, and it doesn't have to rule the life of everybody who calls themself a Christian, because Christianity is not something that is defined by consensus (least of all the consensus of a minority of craziesWink it's got a fairly clear basic founding document that can be worked from independently, and can be incorporated into a person's life in a meaningful way without being obsessive and without dragging in a whole lot of extra crap just because somebody acts like it's totally related.
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