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Atheists being persecuted in the USA.

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posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 07:30 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

The thing is you seem bitter that you aren't included in these debates.


No I'm actually glad.

You see religion is private matter in most of the world, including where I live, but the internet is mainly anglo-saxon American, and in that particular culture, both Christian fundies and atheists are super vocal so it's a real pain in the ass that each time we can have an interesting debate on the subject it gets reduced to stupid caricatures.

I certainly don't want to be a part of such debates and I think it's good to remember these two extreme sides always debating with each others that they are basically always ignoring the majority of the world which do not think like them.

There's a whole spectrum of positions between "the bible is literally true" and "everything religious is delusion" but most debates get always polarized into these two stupid and extreme views. So basically talking about religion and god with most Americans is like one of the most horrible experience you can have, while I can talk about this in a respectful manner with pretty much anyone else in the world, whether they believe or not in a religion, and I will always learn new interesting things.

But on American boards it seems all I learn is that I HAVE to pick a side between deluded fundies and "rational" scientists, which is like the grossest caricature ever.




originally posted by: Krazysh0t
Also, I have no need to debate with Christians who accept science like evolution being true since they aren't willingly blinding themselves.


Anyone debating a deluded person doesn't really understand what delusion is in the first place. I don't see why anyone reasonable would lose time trying to argue with someone who still thinks the earth is 6000 year old. If they still believe it, they are deluded, and no amount of arguments would make them change their mind.

If you want to learn about religions, talk to normal people, not the fundies.



originally posted by: Krazysh0t
There is a reason that the fundies always end up debating with the atheists. They are the ones who always get offended when their religion is questioned.


Lol. It's true, but atheist also get all butthurt when fundies post their delusions, so it's truly the pot and the kettle.

The video in the OP is a prime example. The guy could have moved on with his life even though he disagrees with them, but no he HAD to rant about it online.
edit on 3-6-2014 by SpaceGoatFarts because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 07:44 AM
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originally posted by: Agree2Disagree
I spent a small amount of time digging and I came up with a handful of statistics I'd like us all to take a long hard look at...
...
If the majority of US homes happened to have CHRISTIAN adults with CHRISTIAN values....would the fruits look like this?


Apparently, the fruits WOULD look like this.

I actually gave you a star for the point you made. The majority of US citizens DO call themselves Christians and DO have modern Christian values (basically hatred, vengeance and judgment). And our country is going to hell, we don't care about our children and Christians push their beliefs into law.

When I talk about Christians, I'm talking about the modern Christians. Your posts illustrates clearly how today's Christianity is NOT representative of a loving, accepting, follower of the man, Christ. I'm not sure it ever has been. These are the people I'm frustrated with. They don't know Christ. Yet, how are we to judge the Christian religion if this is how people who call themselves Christian behave?

Yes, there are VERY few who I call "real Christians". But they aren't out criticizing atheists and gay people, and most importantly, they're not judging people every chance they get. They're loving, accepting and praying for those who they see as sinners and they're NOT the people I have a problem with. I LOVE those people. My mother was one.

I don't solely blame Christians for the state of our country. But they are not "real Christians" and the more who join their forces, the worse off we are.
edit on 6/3/2014 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 07:49 AM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
I don't solely blame Christians for the state of our country. But they are not "real Christians" and the more who join their forces, the worse off we are.


They are not Christians, they are Protestant fundamentalists / biblical literalists. I think it's important to make the distinction.

I don't think you have much problems in the US with catholics or orthodox, now, do you? It's always the evangelists and baptists and all those weird sects flourishing in the US.



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 08:10 AM
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originally posted by: Agree2Disagree


Now, let's just do a little "fruit" examination shall we...
If the majority of US homes happened to have CHRISTIAN adults with CHRISTIAN values....would the fruits look like this?
(Need I say more?)

A2D


You could say a lot more. Across the entire first world, societal ill health increases commensurate with increased religious belief and observance.The US performs so poorly compared with more secular 1st world populations that it almost appears to be a 3rd world society living in 1st world affluence. The bible belt is worse. The only correlation...religion.



www.epjournal.net...



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 08:10 AM
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edit on 3-6-2014 by Cogito, Ergo Sum because: duplicate post



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 08:16 AM
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originally posted by: Cogito, Ergo Sum
You could say a lot more. Across the entire first world, societal ill health increases commensurate with increased religious belief and observance.


Nope, it's the other way around. Religious beliefs and observance increase where societal ill increases. And it's quite normal, it has always been like that.

What is true though is where religion gets too much political power things turn bad for freedoms, and that is particularly true in the US and middle east.

Also the image macro is incorrect, there are not 85% of atheists in Sweden but 25%.


In a Eurostat survey, 23% of Swedish citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", whereas 53% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 23% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".
At the end of 2012, 67.5% of Swedes belonged to the Church of Sweden



But again, I never expected American atheists and fundies who do these macro to prove their points to get any fact straight because, what do they know about the world besides the US, anyway? A caricature.
edit on 3-6-2014 by SpaceGoatFarts because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 08:39 AM
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originally posted by: SpaceGoatFarts
They are not Christians, they are Protestant fundamentalists / biblical literalists. I think it's important to make the distinction.


I did make the distinction. I believe "real Christians" are few and far between. And the evangelical/fundamentalist/biblical literalists are the ones who are pushing judgment, hatred and exclusion, through legislation, when possible. They are the ones who insist that atheists not be permitted to express themselves; that their religious symbols and dogma take precedence over any other thought; that schools teach biblical creationism alongside evolution; that gay people don't deserve equal rights, etc.



I don't think you have much problems in the US with catholics or orthodox, now, do you? It's always the evangelists and baptists and all those weird sects flourishing in the US.


There are extremists of every ilk, including Catholics . (Atheists, too!)



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 08:49 AM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic

There are extremists of every ilk, including Catholics . (Atheists, too!)


There is a difference between fundamentalism and extremism. Fundamentalism in Christianity is mainly American protestant, and the reason you say these "Christians" are more judgemental and hateful, while "normal" christians (like in the rest of the world) are more open-minded and forgiving.

Christian fundamentalism is like the Islamic fundamentalism in that it requires strict adherence to religious rules and dogma, which is something Catholics and Orthodox are much more lax about.

Fundamentalism is also often political. It is anti-progressive.


Fundamentalism as a movement arose in the United States, starting among conservative Presbyterian theologians at Princeton Theological Seminary in the late 19th century. It soon spread to conservatives among the Baptists and other denominations around 1910 to 1920. The movement's purpose was to reaffirm key theological tenets and defend them against the challenges of liberal theology and higher criticism.


I don't believe it's the Catholics or Orthodox pushing for creationism in school for example. Most of them don't even believe in creationism in the first place.


I live in a Catholic country and we were among the first to have gay marriage and assisted suicide. We also allow abortion and no teaching of creationism, and I can even have cool discussions with atheists and religious alike.

Why would it be different here than in the US if we are all "Christians"?

Because the US Christians are fundamentalists, which is not the case in the rest of the world.

In Catholic countries what matters is not the dogma, but the Christian values. This is what defines modern Christians in Europe, not how much they believe in God.

This is something fundamentally different from the US in the approach of religion.
edit on 3-6-2014 by SpaceGoatFarts because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 08:52 AM
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I'm proudly atheist and I make no secret of it. I have never felt marginalised for the simple fact that I put no weight whatsoever into the comments of those who would attempt to do so.

IRM



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 08:55 AM
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originally posted by: SpaceGoatFarts
Also the image macro is incorrect, there are not 85% of atheists in Sweden but 25%.


In a Eurostat survey, 23% of Swedish citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", whereas 53% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 23% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".
At the end of 2012, 67.5% of Swedes belonged to the Church of Sweden


Just to be clear, I identify as an atheist because I don't believe in a deity. But I do believe in the spirit and life force. So...
23% identify as theists

53% believe in spirit
23% don't believe in spirit

Only 23% are theists (believe in God)... That's 73% who believe as I do or moreso. And I am an atheist.



But again, I never expected American atheists and fundies who do these macro to prove their points to get any fact straight because, what do they know about the world besides the US, anyway?


Maybe you should get your facts straight. Especially about what the word "atheist" means.



In a Eurobarometer Poll in 2010, just 18% of Swedish citizens responded that "they believe there is a god".[3] In a 2009 Gallup poll, 17% answered yes to the question "Is religion an important part of your daily life?".[4] Less than 4% of the Church of Sweden membership attends public worship during an average week; about 2% are regular attendees.[5]


Source



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 08:59 AM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic

Maybe people should not project their own definition and let the interested ones say if they consider themselves as "atheists" or not?


Swedes, despite a lack of belief in God, commonly resent the term atheist, preferring to call themselves Christians while being content with remaining in the Church of Sweden. Other research has shown that religion in Sweden continues to play a role in cultural identity. This is evidenced by the fact that around 70 per cent of adults continue to remain members of the Lutheran Church despite having to pay a church tax; moreover, rates of baptism remain high and church weddings are increasing in Sweden.


That''s always the problem with discussing this with people with polarized views. They always try to appropriate facts to support one of their caricatural views, while reality is incredibly more complex.


I stand by my original claim, it's clearly a lie that 85% of Swedes are "atheists".
edit on 3-6-2014 by SpaceGoatFarts because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-6-2014 by SpaceGoatFarts because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:00 AM
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originally posted by: SpaceGoatFarts

Nope, it's the other way around. Religious beliefs and observance increase where societal ill increases. And it's quite normal, it has always been like that.

Read my post again..."commensurate with" doesn't imply causation and neither did I. It only shows a definite correlation. If you have been able to persuade sociologists of your claim, could you link to the paper? So far the exact relationship isn't known (or is it simply your opinion?).

At any rate, it puts the claims that more religion would help, in perspective.


What is true though is where religion gets too much political power things turn bad for freedoms, and that is particularly true in the US and middle east.

What is also true is what I first posted. Religious belief and observance correlate with societal dysfunction.


Also the image macro is incorrect, there are not 85% of atheists in Sweden but 25%.

That's debatable but I'll give you that it isn't 85% (certainly not 25% either). At any rate, it is very secular. From wiki but the (gallup source seems legit)...


In a Eurobarometer Poll in 2010, just 18% of Swedish citizens responded that "they believe there is a god". In a 2009 Gallup poll, 17% answered yes to the question "Is religion an important part of your daily life?"



But again, I never expected American atheists and fundies who do these macro to prove their points to get any fact straight because, what do they know about the world besides the US, anyway? A caricature.

It does seem that such a strong religious presence and a highly educated (and growing) atheist group could lead to some internal conflict.

Do you like sociology? Do you feel Marx could have been insightful? I followed one sociology blog a while back where a promised paper (with the hypothesis that religion is a symptom of societal dysfunction rather than causal) was squashed. Using the US for his study he found too much that could also indicate the opposite. Why do you think it is a symptom of unhealthy society (not saying your wrong)?


"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people"


edit on 3-6-2014 by Cogito, Ergo Sum because: for the heck of it



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:02 AM
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a reply to: boymonkey74

Um...I'm sure I have been "persecuted" but I don't pay any attention. What people want to believe is up to them. How they want to act upon those beliefs is up to them. I'm sure I'm in the minority as a practitioner of Buddhism and an athiest, but really, when it's all over with...who cares? Everyone needs to live the life that makes them feel accepted, loved and at ease with their conscience.



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:05 AM
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a reply to: Cogito, Ergo Sum

I believe that there's a whole spectrum of behaviors and beliefs under the blanket term of "religions" and that any attempt to reduce them to a caricature is a fallacy.

Europe is notoriously secular and yet they want to keep defining them as "Christians", acknowledging the importance and positive impacts of the Christian culture and values in their countries.

While atheists always reduce the debate to "belief in god" which is really silly.


Religion is NOT belief in god? []yes []no.

Religions are cultural systems


A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.

edit on 3-6-2014 by SpaceGoatFarts because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:12 AM
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originally posted by: SpaceGoatFarts

While atheists always reduce the debate to "belief in god" which is really silly.

The belief itself is silly (in god)? Or the notion that an atheist would identify strongly (and somewhat correctly) with those who don't believe in a deity or prefer a society that is more secular?



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:15 AM
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originally posted by: Cogito, Ergo Sum

originally posted by: SpaceGoatFarts

While atheists always reduce the debate to "belief in god" which is really silly.

The belief itself is silly (in god)? Or the notion that an atheist would identify strongly (and somewhat correctly) with those who don't believe in a deity or prefer a society that is more secular?



American atheists are silly because they live in a polarized society (Christian fundies VS atheists), and thus define themselves as NOT the other side instead of simply WHAT they believe in.

In Europe, an Atheist can and will often call himself a Christian, and there would be no contradiction in his mind.

In the US, this would be impossible because almost only 2 caricatural positions exist.

I'll repost this if you missed it the first time, because it's important to understand that not everything is as black and white as the religious debate in the US picture it (because of fundamentalism)


Swedes, despite a lack of belief in God, commonly resent the term atheist, preferring to call themselves Christians while being content with remaining in the Church of Sweden. Other research has shown that religion in Sweden continues to play a role in cultural identity. This is evidenced by the fact that around 70 per cent of adults continue to remain members of the Lutheran Church despite having to pay a church tax; moreover, rates of baptism remain high and church weddings are increasing in Sweden.

edit on 3-6-2014 by SpaceGoatFarts because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:18 AM
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originally posted by: SpaceGoatFarts

originally posted by: Krazysh0t

The thing is you seem bitter that you aren't included in these debates.


No I'm actually glad.

You see religion is private matter in most of the world, including where I live, but the internet is mainly anglo-saxon American, and in that particular culture, both Christian fundies and atheists are super vocal so it's a real pain in the ass that each time we can have an interesting debate on the subject it gets reduced to stupid caricatures.

I certainly don't want to be a part of such debates and I think it's good to remember these two extreme sides always debating with each others that they are basically always ignoring the majority of the world which do not think like them.


This is more indicative of American culture than our religious beliefs though. Americans are loud, opinionated, and not afraid to express that opinion. It's not surprising that when discussing something as sensitive as religion, that we get this way. Couple that with the internet (anonymity creates assholes) and you have a recipe for what you are talking about with your post.


There's a whole spectrum of positions between "the bible is literally true" and "everything religious is delusion" but most debates get always polarized into these two stupid and extreme views. So basically talking about religion and god with most Americans is like one of the most horrible experience you can have, while I can talk about this in a respectful manner with pretty much anyone else in the world, whether they believe or not in a religion, and I will always learn new interesting things.

But on American boards it seems all I learn is that I HAVE to pick a side between deluded fundies and "rational" scientists, which is like the grossest caricature ever.


You've never debated a Muslim, American or otherwise, before have you?


Anyone debating a deluded person doesn't really understand what delusion is in the first place. I don't see why anyone reasonable would lose time trying to argue with someone who still thinks the earth is 6000 year old. If they still believe it, they are deluded, and no amount of arguments would make them change their mind.

If you want to learn about religions, talk to normal people, not the fundies.


Touche. Though I do know a lot about the Christian religion as I used to be one and I've studied its history quite a bit so I can debate people.


Lol. It's true, but atheist also get all butthurt when fundies post their delusions, so it's truly the pot and the kettle.

The video in the OP is a prime example. The guy could have moved on with his life even though he disagrees with them, but no he HAD to rant about it online.


Atheists are human too. Not everyone is going to uphold intellectual debate standards even if they themselves are calling for it.



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:23 AM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t

This is more indicative of American culture than our religious beliefs though. Americans are loud, opinionated, and not afraid to express that opinion. It's not surprising that when discussing something as sensitive as religion, that we get this way. Couple that with the internet (anonymity creates assholes) and you have a recipe for what you are talking about with your post.


Maybe, but I also believe it's because of this:


Fundamentalism as a movement arose in the United States, starting among conservative Presbyterian theologians at Princeton Theological Seminary in the late 19th century. It soon spread to conservatives among the Baptists and other denominations around 1910 to 1920. The movement's purpose was to reaffirm key theological tenets and defend them against the challenges of liberal theology and higher criticism.



I think that literally nowhere else in the world biblical literalism is so prevalent than in the US.



originally posted by: Krazysh0t

You've never debated a Muslim, American or otherwise, before have you?



I did, and most of the time, the debate turns like that mainly when the person is holding fundamentalist beliefs (Christian, Muslim, or even atheist).

There are plenty of non-fundamentalist Christians, Muslims and Atheists who are perfectly capable of nuanced thinking, lack of generalizations, and respect for other beliefs.

Again, I believe the common denominator for these bigoted views is fundamentalism, which does not accept any other opinion than its own (by definition).
edit on 3-6-2014 by SpaceGoatFarts because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:29 AM
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a reply to: SpaceGoatFarts

Yes, I can see your point, makes a lot of sense.

Much of the western world identifies with Christianity as a cultural inheritance. Though I would also guess that if a large minority group in Sweden wished to teach science from a bible, or if it was used as a pretext to mobilize forces, things could be different.

I agree with your take on the Middle East/US regarding religion and politics. I look at the more extreme groups in both places and don't see a lot of difference.



posted on Jun, 3 2014 @ 09:36 AM
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originally posted by: SpaceGoatFarts

originally posted by: Krazysh0t

This is more indicative of American culture than our religious beliefs though. Americans are loud, opinionated, and not afraid to express that opinion. It's not surprising that when discussing something as sensitive as religion, that we get this way. Couple that with the internet (anonymity creates assholes) and you have a recipe for what you are talking about with your post.


Maybe, but I also believe it's because of this:


Fundamentalism as a movement arose in the United States, starting among conservative Presbyterian theologians at Princeton Theological Seminary in the late 19th century. It soon spread to conservatives among the Baptists and other denominations around 1910 to 1920. The movement's purpose was to reaffirm key theological tenets and defend them against the challenges of liberal theology and higher criticism.



I think that literally nowhere else in the world biblical literalism is so prevalent than in the US.


The Middle East is pretty bad.


I did, and most of the time, the debate turns like that mainly when the person is holding fundamentalist beliefs (Christian, Muslim, or even atheist).

There are plenty of non-fundamentalist Christians, Muslims and Atheists who are perfectly capable of nuanced thinking, lack of generalizations, and respect for other beliefs.

Again, I believe the common denominator for these bigoted views is fundamentalism, which does not accept any other opinion than its own (by definition).


You've defined closed mindedness more so than fundamentalism. Though I can see how fundamentalists can be seen as closed minded.




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