Would a "Utopian" atheist nation work in the U.S.?

Author: RoderickSpode ,

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  • RoderickSpode
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    Absolutely not!

    Well, there actually wouldn't be any "Utopia" at all.

    Some people seem to get upset when atheists (of the western humanist variety) are associated or equated with communist atheists (in response to equating 9/11 and the Spanish inquisition to Christianity).

    American atheist activists are pro-atheism. Communist atheists, like in China are anti-religion. So there's really no difference other than a reshuffling on emphasis. And that's exactly what an atheist society in America would become. A totalitarian society that would be forced to use communist tactics to control religion.

    There's this idea that because church attendance may decline at times, Christians will faze out eventually through lack of Christian reproduction. Christianity is not a racial/ethnic group, and the thorn-in-the-flesh for atheists would always be conversions. At best, cultural Christianity might become extinct, but what's to stop recurring conversions that constantly have frustrated communist States like China?
  • PressF4Respect
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    I don't know who you're talking about. No atheist I've ever conversed with wants a "utopian atheist nation", whatever that means.

    Also, authoritarian states like China, USSR, and North Korea persecuted religion because they wanted more centralized power for the state authority. I don't see where any "atheist activist" wants to do the same. 


  • RoderickSpode
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    I don't know who you're talking about. No atheist I've ever conversed with wants a "utopian atheist nation", whatever that means.
    The term "utopian" is just hyperbole. The song "Imagine" by John Lennon would be an example of imagining an ideal society (utopia).

    Also, authoritarian states like China, USSR, and North Korea persecuted religion because they wanted more centralized power for the state authority. I don't see where any "atheist activist" wants to do the same. 

    Those are different nations with different dynamics. Atheists in America in general are going to vary. From atheists who like Christians to those that hate Christians. As far as atheist activists, I would say the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Patheos would be some of the closest organized atheists who would like to see religion removed from society. As far as individuals, Richard Dawkins and Aron Ra among others come to mind.

    By the way, there are various claims that evangelicals in America want a theocracy. Do you think that's a valid claim?


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    The term "utopian" is just hyperbole. The song "Imagine" by John Lennon would be an example of imagining an ideal society (utopia).
    Even if that's the case, I've still never met someone who wanted a completely atheistic society that forbids religion. There may be some on the extreme fringes, but the vast majority just disagree with some aspects of various religions (such as Christianity) and don't want it completely removed.

    Those are different nations with different dynamics. Atheists in America in general are going to vary. From atheists who like Christians to those that hate Christians. As far as atheist activists, I would say the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Patheos would be some of the closest organized atheists who would like to see religion removed from society. As far as individuals, Richard Dawkins and Aron Ra among others come to mind.
    From what I got, those individuals and organizations are for strictly enforcing the separation of church and state. I don't think any of them advocate for the elimination of religion entirely.

    By the way, there are various claims that evangelicals in America want a theocracy. Do you think that's a valid claim?
    Just like how you said Atheists in America, in general, are going to vary, Christians in America are going to vary as well. There are certain organizations, such as the Chalcedonian Foundation and the American Foundation which support Christian Reconstructionism, a movement that seeks to implement theonomy and codify certain biblical laws into the Federal Code.
  • RoderickSpode
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    Even if that's the case, I've still never met someone who wanted a completely atheistic society that forbids religion. There may be some on the extreme fringes, but the vast majority just disagree with some aspects of various religions (such as Christianity) and don't want it completely removed.
    We live in a pluralistic society, which represents (in principle) tolerance. Particularly racial and religious tolerance. So it's unlikely any group will advocate any kind of forceful removal of religion.

    But we also have limited control of the future. There's no natural law that would prevent Americans and westerners in the future from creating a totalitarian state. That's why I'm a strong advocate of careful analysis of religion (and ethnic, racial, sexual identity) issues as opposed to loose cannon phrases relating Christianity to Islamic terrorism, early European theocracies, etc. 

    From what I got, those individuals and organizations are for strictly enforcing the separation of church and state. I don't think any of them advocate for the elimination of religion
    entirely.

    The Pathos organization seems to believe that religion will end naturally. They seem to have it planned out to where they may have to step in and protect theist's rights as a minority group.

    The FFRF go to the extreme in demanding that a statue of Jesus, for the most part hidden from public view, be removed from a ski resort in Montana. That's just one example.
    The statue was placed there to honor WWII vets as a sentimental remembrance of a similar statue on a hill in Italy.


    The idea is that since it's on public land, and promotes a specific religion, it should be removed. (They lost that particular case). So alongside promoting our American pluralistic values, we all need to honor and value our constitution. So groups like TFFRF  are not going step out of bounds by trying to have the Creation museum, the Christian theme park in Florida, and churches in general removed. But realistically, anyone complaining about a statue very few people see probably abhors the sight of churches. A street corner church with a marquee inviting people to join them on Sunday is going to probably have a greater impact than a statue at a ski resort.  So, statues on ski resorts, cheerleader signs with scriptures, and nativity scenes on public property is what they go after.


    Just like how you said Atheists in America, in general, are going to vary, Christians in America are going to vary as well. There are certain organizations, such as the Chalcedonian Foundation and the American Foundation which support Christian Reconstructionism, a movement that seeks to implement theonomy and codify certain biblical laws into the Federal Code.

    Yes, and these would be an example of fringe groups you referred to.

    Most Christians don't want a theocracy. For one, it would mean control by a dominant denomination. And, it's understood by most Christians that Christianity cannot, and should not be forced.

    The suggestion that Christians want a theocracy I think is a bit more broad. And this may be partly due to polls that are taken where someone says they favor (for lack of a
    better term) a spiritual theocracy where everyone seeks guidance from God independently, and by their own decision . Which is kind of what the founding fathers were suggesting anyway.




  • PressF4Respect
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    We live in a pluralistic society, which represents (in principle) tolerance. Particularly racial and religious tolerance. So it's unlikely any group will advocate any kind of forceful removal of religion.

    But we also have limited control of the future. There's no natural law that would prevent Americans and westerners in the future from creating a totalitarian state
    I'd say the likelihood of the US becoming a totalitarian state (defined as a government where the head of state has sole ruling power) is near impossible, considering that the people there have had strong anti-dictatorial sentiments ever since the founding of the nation. 

    That's why I'm a strong advocate of careful analysis of religion (and ethnic, racial, sexual identity) issues
    I think most atheists are, too.

    as opposed to loose cannon phrases relating Christianity to Islamic terrorism
    I haven't heard anyone say this before. Calling terrorism "Islamic" is probably a much more prevalent issue in the US, considering that only a very tiny fraction of Muslims believe in committing such acts.

    early European theocracies, etc.
    I haven't heard this argument, either. The only two Christian theocracies that I can think of off the top of my head are the Papal States and the Vatican (basically a reincarnation of the Papal States).

    The Pathos organization seems to believe that religion will end naturally. They seem to have it planned out to where they may have to step in and protect theist's rights as a minority group.
    I mean, religion as a whole is declining in North America and Western Europe. Also, wanting to protect theist's rights is the opposite of wanting a completely atheistic state.

    The FFRF go to the extreme in demanding that a statue of Jesus, for the most part hidden from public view, be removed from a ski resort in Montana. That's just one example.
    The statue was placed there to honor WWII vets as a sentimental remembrance of a similar statue on a hill in Italy. The idea is that since it's on public land, and promotes a specific religion, it should be removed. (They lost that particular case).
    So it was a public ski resort, right?

    So alongside promoting our American pluralistic values, we all need to honor and value our constitution.
    Doesn't the constitution say, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"?

    But realistically, anyone complaining about a statue very few people see probably abhors the sight of churches. A street corner church with a marquee inviting people to join them on Sunday is going to probably have a greater impact than a statue at a ski resort.  So, statues on ski resorts, cheerleader signs with scriptures, and nativity scenes on public property is what they go after.
    If they're actively trying to censor Christian iconography just because they're Christian, then they're probably a fringe group.

    Yes, and these would be an example of fringe groups you referred to.

    Most Christians don't want a theocracy. For one, it would mean control by a dominant denomination. And, it's understood by most Christians that Christianity cannot, and should not be forced.
    Most atheists don't want an 'atheist nation' either. Most atheists tolerate people practicing their religions; they just disagree with it on philosophical terms.

    The suggestion that Christians want a theocracy I think is a bit more broad.
    I don't think it is. 

    And this may be partly due to polls that are taken where someone says they favor (for lack of a better term) a spiritual theocracy where everyone seeks guidance from God independently, and by their own decision.
    That is fine by atheists, most of whom believe in freedom of religion.

    Which is kind of what the founding fathers were suggesting anyway.
    Maybe tacitly, but it certainly doesn't show on the constitution.

  • Dr.Franklin
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    no it wouldnt
  • skittlez09
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    already was tried. 

    does rapture ring any bells? 

  • ludofl3x
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    I have never heard any atheist advocating for some society that somehow suppresses people's religions. It's merely a strict separation of church and state, which includes religious iconography on publicly owned lands and mandated prayer at public offices and schools. Beyond that, every atheist I know obviously doesn't care about what you do in your own mind or with your friends. For me the separation should include removal of any special tax considerations, but that's not "you're not allowed to be a Christian and you must live under my rules." This is a well worn straw man argument by Christians with their inexplicable persecution complex. 
  • ludofl3x
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    By the way, my contention that inspired this thread remains unaddressed: please demonstrate or explain the inherent connection between COMMUNISM and ATHEISM. Atheism is merely a position on the propositions of gods. It has nothing to do with systems of economics. You continue to associate the two in an attempt, as far as I can tell, to imbue revulsion with atheism by blaming it for the atrocities committed by totalitarians, but as usual, you're doing no legwork to connect the two. All I'm asking is why do you think they're associated. As it stands it's yet another straw man argument. Not a single atheist I know has any interest in communism or a utopian society or any restrictions on an individual's rights to be religious. 
  • RoderickSpode
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    I'd say the likelihood of the US becoming a totalitarian state (defined as a government where the head of state has sole ruling power) is near impossible, considering that the people there have had strong anti-dictatorial sentiments ever since the founding of the nation. 

    I don't really think you can predict what will happen 100 years from now. And even in a shorter period of time, military takeovers have often changed a nation's ideological decor. Do you think the rich bourgeois Russians in the early 1900s anticipated an anti-wealth society?

    I think most atheists are, too.
    I think most atheists most definitely  are too.

    It's the militant activists that don't.


    I haven't heard anyone say this before. Calling terrorism "Islamic" is probably a much more prevalent issue in the US, considering that only a very tiny fraction of Muslims believe in committing such acts.
    You may not have ever heard it because fortunately most people don't do that. It's the atheist activists that tend to do this. An example would be Richard Dawkins who associated all Abrahamic religion with the 9/11 attacks.


    I haven't heard this argument, either. The only two Christian theocracies that I can think of off the top of my head are the Papal States and the Vatican (basically a reincarnation of the Papal States).

    Yes, and that's what some atheists equate Christianity with. We have a gentleman posting on this very thread who equates religion (or Abrahamic religion) to the Spanish Inquisition. Although it's tough to tell how serious he is, as sometimes users will say certain things to get reaction. But off hand it appears he believes because I'm a Christian who reads the Bible, I may one day commit an act of terrorism, or persecute Muslim Americans. He may even say I'm basically a nice guy, but religion will make me do it.


    I mean, religion as a whole is declining in North America and Western Europe.


    Religion is not declining in North America. The claim is that Christian church membership is declining. If anything, religion is growing in North America.

    Church decline is not going to be physically noticeable anytime soon. And shifting trends would probably reverse low church membership anyway. It's just like statistics claiming that traffic has declined during commute hours on a given freeway. It may sound encouraging to the
    frustrated commuter, but it still takes him 2 hours to get home from work.

    Plus, declining church membership is not necessarily a bad thing. Not everyone who belongs to a church is even a believer. And it's always been common for young adults to leave the church when they go off to college, or were simply never believers to begin with. What polls taken don't reveal are those who left and returned to the faith, and recent converts. Conversions are what cause Christianity to continue to grow. And to complicate matters, probably most converts were cultural Christians.

    Christianity is growing in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The west has always been intrigued with Asian spirituality. Should this trend
    continue, Chinese Christians will probably influence many westerners into converting to Christianity, as they are non-materialistic, just as many westerners have embraced Buddhism for much the same reason.

    So it was a public ski resort, right?


    Yes. The statue of Jesus on that ski resort in Montana is public. Just like the Japanese tea garden in San Francisco that displays a Buddhist statue on it's grounds.


    Doesn't the constitution say, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"?
    Yes, it most certainly does. It's the second part of that declaration that is being ignored.

    Are you aware that the founding fathers held church services every Sunday morning on government grounds?

    What do you think the declaration has to do with the statue on the ski resort's grounds, or high school cheerleaders putting scriptures on signs?

    If they're actively trying to censor Christian iconography just because they're Christian, then they're probably a fringe group.
    Well I don't know. Do you consider The Freedom From Religion Foundation a fringe group? Because that's who we're talking about here.



    Most atheists don't want an 'atheist nation' either. Most atheists tolerate people practicing their religions; they just disagree with it on philosophical terms.

    Again I would have to agree with you. Most atheists don't want an atheist nation.


    It's the militant activists that convey such desire.

    I don't think it is. 
    Really? With respect, I don't get the impression you're from the U.S.


    This link is not directly from American atheists who make this claim (I could certainly google for them), but this article referes to what's going on.



    That is fine by atheists, most of whom believe in freedom of religion.

    Yes. And again, most......

  • TheUnderdog
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    In Africa, Atheists get persecuted.

    In China, theists get persecuted.

    In the west, people just get along.
  • zedvictor4
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    Same old s**t then.
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    Is ringing your bells a metaphor for masturbation?... Ergo rapture is ejaculation.
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    Communism, atheism and theism are all concepts that define the same thing...The human ability to to manipulate and utilise data inputs...

    The variability of output is only to be expected, especially, when one considers the factors that have influenced human social development.

    Utopia is yet another, imaginary concept.


    Sleep, wake, eat, work (a metaphor for hunter gathering), eat, procreate, sleep, survive for as long as possible and eventually die......Communism, atheism, theism, utopia is all stuff we consider when we have nothing else that requires consideration.....Though that is not to undermine what may or may not be the purpose of an evolutionary process and the development of human society therein. 

    Though without theism there would be no atheism and vice versa....but there are.
  • RoderickSpode
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    I have never heard any atheist advocating for some society that somehow suppresses people's religions. It's merely a strict separation of church and state, which includes religious iconography on publicly owned lands and mandated prayer at public offices and schools. Beyond that, every atheist I know obviously doesn't care about what you do in your own mind or with your friends. For me the separation should include removal of any special tax considerations, but that's not "you're not allowed to be a Christian and you must live under my rules." This is a well worn straw man argument by Christians with their inexplicable persecution complex. 

    Actually, you probably have heard atheists advocating suppression of religion. There have been atheists on this, and the DDO forum that have done so.

    Maybe you've never read them, but the internet reveals clearly that many atheists want to see an end to religion.


    As far as atheist organizations, it might depend on the organization. The aggressive ones are certainly not going to publicly proclaim such a thing as that would be un-American. It's a lot more subtle. Of course by religion they primarily go after Christianity or Abrahamic religion. This is obvious since groups like TFFRF go after statues of Jesus on public property, but not statues of Buddha on public property.


    I think you're mixing up the idea of public mind control with removal of religious iconography. Of course they (or yourself) don't care what we think and practice in our privacy. Nothing remotely honorable about that. They simply want religion out of their sight.



  • RoderickSpode
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    By the way, my contention that inspired this thread remains unaddressed: please demonstrate or explain the inherent connection between COMMUNISM and ATHEISM. Atheism is merely a position on the propositions of gods. It has nothing to do with systems of economics. You continue to associate the two in an attempt, as far as I can tell, to imbue revulsion with atheism by blaming it for the atrocities committed by totalitarians, but as usual, you're doing no legwork to connect the two. All I'm asking is why do you think they're associated. As it stands it's yet another straw man argument. Not a single atheist I know has any interest in communism or a utopian society or any restrictions on an individual's rights to be religious. 
    First off, Christianity or theism have nothing to do with systems of economics. It's just a position of believing in God.

    The connection however between communism and atheism is that communist regimes have, and still persecute (including the act of execution) individuals because they believe, and won't deny their belief in God. There's nothing any more needed in accepting that fact alone. What the communist persecutors credit their actions to (like in the name of) is irrelevant.
  • ludofl3x
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    --> @RoderickSpode
    The connection however between communism and atheism is that communist regimes have, and still persecute (including the act of execution) individuals because they believe, and won't deny their belief in God. There's nothing any more needed in accepting that fact alone. What the communist persecutors credit their actions to (like in the name of) is irrelevant.
    So, are all communists atheists, and all atheists communists? Rod, this is a particularly poorly thought out position. Clearly the answer to both is no. Theism and atheism ONLY deal with do you believe in gods. Stop dragging economics into them. And by the way, atrocities committed by communist leaders were not committed because of atheism OR communism. They were committed because of totalitarianism. Honestly it's the same reason the Crusades happened: it's a desire to rule over resources without question, no one gave two figs if Muslims went to heaven. Even Jesus didn't care, he'd have done something about it himself. 

    I think you're mixing up the idea of public mind control with removal of religious iconography. Of course they (or yourself) don't care what we think and practice in our privacy. Nothing remotely honorable about that. They simply want religion out of their sight.

    I want religion out of my government. All the way out. I am not asking you to practice in secret in your basement. I'm asking you to pay property taxes on your building like everyone else has to. I'm asking you not to try to educate your mythology as fact to my kids. It's again, very simple, I know it doesn't match with your pre-conceived and apparently worsening persecution complex. No one is out to get you. 

     This is obvious since groups like TFFRF go after statues of Jesus on public property, but not statues of Buddha on public property.
    Tell you what. I'll concede this point if you can find me a SINGLE STORY of a US government courthouse trying to put a Buddha statue on their front steps, and atheists or "militant atheists" "anti theist activists mobs" or "unhinged communist throng raping their way through the streets because they don't have Jesus" standing by and doing nothing about it. Please find ONE. Just one. Because you know as well as I do that more than one courthouse has gotten in lawsuits, and almost always lost, for trying to put Christian iconography on public tax payer owned land. And no, Satanists demanding to put up a statue of the goat headed Satan up next to the same Ten Commandments monument, is not the same, simply because Satanists only want to demonstrate the discrimination inherent in the extant monument. 
  • RoderickSpode
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    So, are all communists atheists, and all atheists communists? Rod, this is a particularly poorly thought out position. Clearly the answer to both is no. Theism and atheism ONLY deal with do you believe in gods. Stop dragging economics into them. And by the way, atrocities committed by communist leaders were not committed because of atheism OR communism. They were committed because of totalitarianism. Honestly it's the same reason the Crusades happened: it's a desire to rule over resources without question, no one gave two figs if Muslims went to heaven. Even Jesus didn't care, he'd have done something about it himself. 
    By definition, yes, a communist is an atheist due to their ideology. Whether or not a communist/atheist actually believes in God secretly is another story. If a communist was a professed theist, they'll have a problem with their leaders. When communists persecute theists, in principle, they're not going to hold back because the theist is faithful to the communist party. They still have to accept the ideology. It seems you're trying to play around with words. Where do you get the not committing atrocities because of atheism OR communism, but totalitarianism? Yes, totalitarianism is one of the reasons, but why are you eliminating communism as one of the reasons?

    I'll try to cut to the chase though, as you're obviously misunderstanding me. I'll let you know my stance, then you can tell me where you may differ.

    Because of human nature, a bad person will use whatever means they can for personal, or collective gain. A culturally religious person, one who adheres to their national or ethnic religion may use that religion for their personal or collective benefit. A good religious person will practice the humanitarian directives from their religion's teachings. An
    atheist who is a bad person may reason that since there is no higher power to judge them, they cannot be doing wrong, and may commit atrocities without any particular remorse. An atheist who is a good person prefers live and let live.


    So now, you can tell me where you stand in comparison.


    I want religion out of my government. All the way out. I am not asking you to practice in secret in your basement. I'm asking you to pay property taxes on your building like everyone else has to. I'm asking you not to try to educate your mythology as fact to my kids.


    And again, most churches are below average income that provide charitable services in low income large urban and remote rural areas. So unfortunately if you got your wish it would be a huge disservice for many people of poverty level status.

    And by the way, since I don't own a church, I don't have to pay property taxes.

    Who's trying to educate Christianity as fact to your kids?


    It's again, very simple, I know it doesn't match with your pre-conceived and apparently worsening persecution complex. No one is out to get you. 
    Of course you've made this silly allegation before, and explanations on my part don't do any good. And it's still an ad hominem attack. That hasn't changed.  Even if your charge were true, it's irrelevant anyway, and adds absolutely nothing to the conversation, or to any of your points. I can easily make the same charge that you have a paranoia about some plot to sabotage your kid's secular education.



    Tell you what. I'll concede this point if you can find me a SINGLE STORY of a US government courthouse trying to put a Buddha statue on their front steps, and atheists or "militant atheists" "anti theist activists mobs" or "unhinged communist throng raping their way through the streets because they don't have Jesus" standing by and doing nothing about it. Please find ONE. Just one. Because you know as well as I do that more than one courthouse has gotten in lawsuits, and almost always lost, for trying to put Christian iconography on public tax payer owned land. And no, Satanists demanding to put up a statue of the goat headed Satan up next to the same Ten Commandments monument, is not the same, simply because Satanists only want to demonstrate the discrimination inherent in the extant monument. 

    You're shifting the conversation elsewhere, but I'll run with it for now. You're talking about iconography on government property (as in governmental facilities) not making it's distinction with public property (like ski resorts), but I'll run with it now. These supposed trade off requests of yours are humorous. The irony is I will make a concession. We'll see if you can.

    As far as Christian iconography on government property, yes, there are those who feel we (Americans in general) should have the freedom to do so because the founding fathers did so along with pagan iconography. We Christians understand that times change, and to encourage a harmonious pluralistic society, Christian iconography may not be appropriate in certain places. So, I don't agree with every Christian stance on Christian iconography on that reason alone. Other than that, it's kind of silly because other secular nations don't seem to have the same problem with the religious cultural iconography of their nation's display on government property. Even Richard Dawkins criticizes American atheists for their over obsession with Christian iconography removal. And as far as a persecution complex, I've never seen anything like the atheists who complained about feeling discriminated when seeing the Ground Zero monument. And the Satanist statue was a shameful debacle not because of claiming any rights, but it shows that the
    Satanists and some atheists are less concerned about children seeing a nightmarish statue, and more concerned with a manger display being removed that has for decades given people a feeling of hope and joy.

    When we're talking about a statue on a ski resort that hardly anyone notices unless they run into it skiing, this is not equivalent to displaying the 10 Commandments on a government building. Do you concede that groups like TFFRF go overboard with their Christian iconography targets?







  • ludofl3x
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    Because of human nature, a bad person will use whatever means they can for personal, or collective gain. A culturally religious person, one who adheres to their national or ethnic religion may use that religion for their personal or collective benefit. A good religious person will practice the humanitarian directives from their religion's teachings. An
    atheist who is a bad person may reason that since there is no higher power to judge them, they cannot be doing wrong, and may commit atrocities without any particular remorse. An atheist who is a good person prefers live and let live.
    I broadly agree with this. BROADLY. It does demonstrate that religion adds nothing to the proposition: a good person will do as little evil as possible, and a bad person will find excuses to do whatever they want. Thankfully the world is much more full of good people than bad people. This is a much cleaner discussion than your still ill conceived communist charge: a communist is simply someone who thinks that a collective pool of resources doled out according to each individual's needs is a good idea. It has nothing to do with religion at all, so we can leave it by the wayside. You can become someone who thinks that it's a good idea, and still go to church. Whether or not communism is effective and practical (it is demonstrably not) is an entirely different subject. 

    And again, most churches are below average income that provide charitable services in low income large urban and remote rural areas. So unfortunately if you got your wish it would be a huge disservice for many people of poverty level status.
    Churches don't DO anything at all. The people in them do. Are you saying if there weren't a church nearby, you wouldn't have any humanitarian imperatives? I can do a lot more with property tax dollars for those people than I can with a basement where AA meets. That can be done in a thousand places. 

    Who's trying to educate Christianity as fact to your kids?
    How many arguments have we had with your Dover school board thing? Where creation is taught as real? What about prayer in school? These aren't imagined. They happened and continue to happen. Don't be obtuse. How many cases of public schools putting on Nativity Plays at Christmas are there in the last ten years? Plenty. It doesn't look to you like they're trying to teachit as fact, but what they RISK doing, whatever their intent, is putting Chistiianity in a place of preference, not considering the rest of the tax payers. I don't care if a Catholic school has that event, good for them, but they don't get any tax payer dollars. A public school is engendering discrimination using public money this way. 

    When we're talking about a statue on a ski resort that hardly anyone notices unless they run into it skiing, this is not equivalent to displaying the 10 Commandments on a government building. Do you concede that groups like TFFRF go overboard with their Christian iconography targets?
    Is the ski resort supported by tax dollars, or is it privately owned? If it's privately owned, then I don't care about what people put up on their lawns. I really don't have a lot of time to read a case brief about it, so if you're telling me it's a privately owned piece of land with a giant jesus on it, I really don't care if it's there and I don't know why anyone including Freedom From Religion would care either. 
  • ludofl3x
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    Where do you get the not committing atrocities because of atheism OR communism, but totalitarianism? Yes, totalitarianism is one of the reasons, but why are you eliminating communism as one of the reasons?

    Sorry, left this unanswered. The answer is because there's nothing about the economic concept of communism that mandates murdering those that don't agree. That has nothing to do with one farm growing wheat, the other growing corn, and pooling the two resources for communal use. People who live on communes do not, by rule, go out and murder those who live in other communities. Totalitarians co-opt any reason at all to consolidate power and impose their will. It shouldn't be this hard to understand. Communists =/= atheists =/= totalitarians.  
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @ludofl3x
    Sorry, left this unanswered. The answer is because there's nothing about the economic concept of communism that mandates murdering those that don't agree. That has nothing to do with one farm growing wheat, the other growing corn, and pooling the two resources for communal use. People who live on communes do not, by rule, go out and murder those who live in other communities. Totalitarians co-opt any reason at all to consolidate power and impose their will. It shouldn't be this hard to understand. Communists =/= atheists =/= totalitarians.  
    I never said there was anything about the economic concept of communism that mandates murdering those that don't agree. Where are you getting this idea from?

    And I can only take this to mean that you think there's something about religion that mandates murdering those that disagree?
  • RoderickSpode
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    --> @ludofl3x
    I broadly agree with this. BROADLY. It does demonstrate that religion adds nothing to the proposition: a good person will do as little evil as possible, and a bad person will find excuses to do whatever they want. Thankfully the world is much more full of good people than bad people. This is a much cleaner discussion than your still ill conceived communist charge: a communist is simply someone who thinks that a collective pool of resources doled out according to each individual's needs is a good idea. It has nothing to do with religion at all, so we can leave it by the wayside. You can become someone who thinks that it's a good idea, and still go to church. Whether or not communism is effective and practical (it is demonstrably not) is an entirely different subject. 
    Who says religion adds to the proposition: a good person will do as little evil as possible?

    And I haven't cleaned anything up. You might think it's a cleaner discussion, but that's evidently because you've been misunderstanding me.


    And I'm not still not clear on your stance. I guess your usage of the term BROADLY implies only partial agreement. I think I made my unchanged point clear. What exactly is your claim against religion? Is it just that you think it gets too much credit for being the source of morality?

    Churches don't DO anything at all. The people in them do. Are you saying if there weren't a church nearby, you wouldn't have any humanitarian imperatives? I can do a lot more with property tax dollars for those people than I can with a basement where AA meets. That can be done in a thousand places. 
    No, I'm not saying anything of the sort. There are numerous charities. With the local church, the people have the advantage of immediate help, face to face, for numerous services. Also, believe it or not, many people seek out churches for the numerous services they provide other than money, food, and shelter. A charity that simply provides money, food, and shelter is great. But they cannot provide some vital services a local church can. So yes, if you were elected president, and demanded local churches pay taxes, you'd have a lot of people angry with you, and you'd probably lose the next election. And the people are the church by the way.

    How many arguments have we had with your Dover school board thing? Where creation is taught as real? What about prayer in school? These aren't imagined. They happened and continue to happen. Don't be obtuse. How many cases of public schools putting on Nativity Plays at Christmas are there in the last ten years? Plenty. It doesn't look to you like they're trying to teachit as fact, but what they RISK doing, whatever their intent, is putting Chistiianity in a place of preference, not considering the rest of the tax payers. I don't care if a Catholic school has that event, good for them, but they don't get any tax payer dollars. A public school is engendering discrimination using public money this way. 
    We've had a few of them for sure. And I'll continue to argue with you on it for fun.

    ID, you know....like your simple definition of UFO, simply implies intelligent design in nature. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that concept, and there is no scientific basis to claim any proof against it. So from that alone, putting the extra-curricular allegations of a conspiracy to force Christianity into our schools, what is your issue with ID in it's simplest form?

    If you have a problem with nativity plays in school, why don't you have a problem with the MindUP program promoting Buddhism in public schools? Why should my tax dollars support that?

    And what about prayer in school? Do you think it's not allowed?
  • Outplayz
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    Humans are humans. It doesn't matter what you put next to their name in identity. A religion is more dangerous than atheism in my opinion bc most atheist don't subscribe to a belief. An atheist might think we can all be in a simulation. Or, an atheist can believe we are spirits. But it's all speculation and a point of good conversation. Religion is different however bc there isn't much room for discussion. I can't say i don't believe in god, but... i believe a simulation is probable. I'm already hated by said christian at a certain level for not accepting the minimum god theory. All atheism means is a disbelief in god. It doesn't mean said person can't be open minded, or even waiting for evidence for a god. Said atheist is open... religious people aren't open to alternatives. That's the danger. Bc if you live in the past, you are not evolving. And to me, that's dangerous bc humans in the past were sub-human to the standards of today... why look up to them?
  • RoderickSpode
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    Humans are humans. It doesn't matter what you put next to their name in identity.
    That's exactly my point here in #19

    Because of human nature, a bad person will use whatever means they can for personal, or collective gain. A culturally religious person, one who adheres to their national or ethnic religion may use that religion for their personal or collective benefit. A good religious person will practice the humanitarian directives from their religion's teachings. An
    atheist who is a bad person may reason that since there is no higher power to judge them, they cannot be doing wrong, and may commit atrocities without any particular remorse. An atheist who is a good person prefers live and let live.

    A religion is more dangerous than atheism in my opinion bc most atheist don't subscribe to a belief.

     Except I haven't claimed either one more dangerous than the other. Why is having a belief more dangerous than one without a belief? Do you have any (or subscribe to any) beliefs?

    An atheist might think we can all be in a simulation. Or, an atheist can believe we are spirits. But it's all speculation and a point of good conversation. Religion is different however bc there isn't much room for discussion. I can't say i don't believe in god, but... i believe a simulation is probable. I'm already hated by said christian at a certain level for not accepting the minimum god theory. All atheism means is a disbelief in god. It doesn't mean said person can't be open minded, or even waiting for evidence for a god. Said atheist is open... religious people aren't open to alternatives. That's the danger. Bc if you live in the past, you are not evolving. And to me, that's dangerous bc humans in the past were sub-human to the standards of today... why look up to them?

    There was a time when taking the lives of the unborn was unthinkable. Given that every human, even as little sperms thrive to live, or strive for the opportunity to live, who would be more likely to be dangerous to the unborn? An atheist or a religious person.?


    Another problem with trying to claim one more dangerous than the other, some believers were atheists, and vice versa. Did the atheist who converted to a religion just become more dangerous, or is their something in their nature, and upbringing that may determine their level of being dangerous? And of course the same question applies the other way around as well.

    And what exactly do you mean by dangerous? Are you talking about terrorist related activity? Or are you implying more of a trivial danger, like who is more dangerous between Laverne and Shirley? We don't perceive either as being dangerous, but if we had to choose, we might say something like Laverne (or Shirley) is a little more hot-headed.