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Goose-stepping Secularists

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posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 08:02 PM
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I found this interesting article about how modern-day atheists seem to have lost their focus and can only express themselves by lashing out against religion for having an overarching outlook on life and a strong belief system, something that modern-day atheist leaders seem to be lacking.

It seems that atheism has lost it's focus on teaching people self reliance and having a positive view of humanity and it's ability to work out it's problems through intelligence and reason.



The Pope-hunters' pathological campaign

THE New Atheist campaign to have Pope Benedict XVI arrested when he visits Britain later this year exposes the deeply disturbing, authoritarian and even Inquisitorial side to today's campaigning secularism.

There is nothing remotely positive in the demand that British cops lock up the Pope and then drag him to some international court on charges of "crimes against humanity". Instead it springs from an increasingly desperate and discombobulated secularism, one that, unable to assert itself positively through enlightening society and celebrating the achievements of mankind, asserts itself negatively, even repressively, through ridiculing the religious.

The Pope-hunters' campaign has acquired a powerfully pathological, obsessive and deafeningly shrill character. The reason this crusade is so hysterical is that it is not really about the Pope at all - it is about the New Atheists themselves. The contemporary Pope-hunting springs from a secularist movement that feels incapable of asserting a sense of purpose or meaning in any positive, human-centred way as the great atheists of old such as Marx or Darwin might have done and which instead can only assert itself negatively, in contrast to the "evil" of religion, by posturing against the alleged wickedness of institutionalised faith. It is the inner emptiness, directionlessness and soullessness of contemporary secularism in contrast to earlier, enlightened and more positive secular movements that have given birth to the bizarre clamour for the Pope's head.

Secularism is in crisis. In enlightened times, progressive secular movements, those that eschewed the guidance of God in favour of relying on mankind to work out what his problems were and how to solve them, were all about having a positive view of humanity.

Today, however, we live in misanthropic, deeply downbeat times, where mankind is looked upon as a greedy, destructive, unreliable force whose behaviour and thoughts must be governed from without.

Driven more by doubt and disarray than by a desire to enlighten, the New Secularists come across as alarmingly intolerant of any system of meaning that, unlike theirs, appears to have some coherence and authority.

This is what drives their war against religion: an instinct for ridiculing those who still, unlike contemporary secularists themselves, have an overarching outlook on life and a strong belief system. That is really what they find so alien about the Catholic Church - in particular its beliefs, its faith, its hierarchy.

An atheism utterly alienated from the mass of humanity and from any future-oriented vision can only lash out in an extreme and intolerant way against those who still seem to have strong beliefs - the religious, or the "deluded ones", as the New Atheists see it. As a consequence, their campaign against the Pope really does have the feel of a witch-hunt to it, even, ironically, of the Inquisition itself. First, because in order to endow their campaign with some logic, the Pope-hunters must vastly exaggerate the scale and impact of the Catholic Church's crimes against children. Second, because they are implicitly seeking to create a policing, repressive climate in relation to what they see as a problematic religion, to the extent that religious leaders might no longer feel free to travel the globe to visit their followers. And third, and most important, because their hunting of the Pope is designed to satisfy themselves, to provide them with a feeling of power and purpose and legitimacy which they cannot secure through their own ideas or vision.


Read more: The Australian




Oh yeah, those of you who are prepared to lambaste the "religious zealot" who wrote this article, you better take a look at the last paragraph of the article before you make fools of yourselves:


My only concern, as an atheistic libertarian, is with analysing the emergence of a new form of hysterical and repressive atheism.




posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 08:04 PM
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Atheists don't have a motive, the only thing that binds them is the lack of belief in a god, I don't know why you make it out like they have some sort of anti-religion agenda, most just don't believe in a god. And ofcourse some are going to be completely anti-religion, just as some religious are completely anti-atheist.

[edit on 21-4-2010 by hippomchippo]



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 08:10 PM
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Originally posted by hippomchippo
Atheists don't have a motive, the only thing that binds them is the lack of belief in a god, I don't know why you make it out like they have some sort of anti-religion agenda, most just don't believe in a god. And ofcourse some are going to be completely anti-religion, just as some religious are completely anti-atheist.

[edit on 21-4-2010 by hippomchippo]


Wow!


You replied in about 2 seconds flat! I can tell you didn't bother to read the article, WHICH WAS WRITTEN BY AN ATHEIST and just responded to the thread title. Real classy
:shk:

If you bother to read the article or the OP,you would realize that it has NOTHING TO DO with a supposed "atheist agenda". The article is about how modern day atheist leaders seem to have lost their ability to focus on the positive aspects of atheism, instead relying on attacks against religion to further their movement.

[edit on 4/21/10 by FortAnthem]



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 08:14 PM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem

Originally posted by hippomchippo
Atheists don't have a motive, the only thing that binds them is the lack of belief in a god, I don't know why you make it out like they have some sort of anti-religion agenda, most just don't believe in a god. And ofcourse some are going to be completely anti-religion, just as some religious are completely anti-atheist.

[edit on 21-4-2010 by hippomchippo]


Wow!


You replied in about 2 seconds flat! I can tell you didn't bother to read the article, WHICH WAS WRITTEN BY AN ATHEIST and just responded to the thread title. Real classy
:shk:

If you bother to read the article or the OP,you would realize that it has NOTHING TO DO with a supposed "atheist agenda". The article is about how modern day atheist leaders seem to have lost their ability to focus on the positive aspects of atheism, instead relying on attacks against religion to further their movement.

[edit on 4/21/10 by FortAnthem]

I read your post first, assuming that atheists aren't staying true to atheism, why are you so defensive? What atheist leaders are you talking about? Atheism is a response to a question, not a movement...
And nobody represents atheism, it is just a stance some people take, some people take it alot more seriously than others, mostly due to bad experiences with religion, I thankfully am not one of those people

It's not atheisms job to help out with positive attitudes and such, that's..well...religions job? I guess?

[edit on 21-4-2010 by hippomchippo]



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 08:24 PM
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Originally posted by hippomchippo
I read your post first, assuming that atheists had some sort of agenda, why are you so defensive? What atheist leaders are you talking about? Atheism is a response to a question, not a movement...
And nobody represents atheism, it is just a stance some people take, some people take it alot more seriously than others, mostly due to bad experiences with religion, I thankfully am not one of those people

It's not atheisms job to help out with positive attitudes and such, that's..well...religions job? I guess?

[edit on 21-4-2010 by hippomchippo]


Sorry I snapped at you, I'm used to getting flamed when I post this type of stuff.

The linked article mentions the names of the "atheist leaders" who are spearheading the assault against religion:


Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great, first came up with the idea of arresting the Pope. Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion and generally the Chosen One among the New Atheists, has backed the idea "wholeheartedly". Together they are consulting Geoffrey Robertson, the human rights lawyer, on the legalities and logistics of cornering His Holiness in Britain this September. Numerous columnists are cheering them on, one wildly fantasising that the angelic Hitchens/Dawkins/Robertson trio will wield the sword of justice in the name of all those "victims of sacerdotal rape" and show the whole world that "the powerful" cannot hide from justice.

The Australian


Those guys are some of the most prominent atheist writers and activists of this age. The article complains of how they focus way too much energy on assaulting religion and not enough energy promoting the positive aspects of atheism.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 08:26 PM
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Originally posted by FortAnthem

Originally posted by hippomchippo
I read your post first, assuming that atheists had some sort of agenda, why are you so defensive? What atheist leaders are you talking about? Atheism is a response to a question, not a movement...
And nobody represents atheism, it is just a stance some people take, some people take it alot more seriously than others, mostly due to bad experiences with religion, I thankfully am not one of those people

It's not atheisms job to help out with positive attitudes and such, that's..well...religions job? I guess?

[edit on 21-4-2010 by hippomchippo]


Sorry I snapped at you, I'm used to getting flamed when I post this type of stuff.

The linked article mentions the names of the "atheist leaders" who are spearheading the assault against religion:


Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great, first came up with the idea of arresting the Pope. Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion and generally the Chosen One among the New Atheists, has backed the idea "wholeheartedly". Together they are consulting Geoffrey Robertson, the human rights lawyer, on the legalities and logistics of cornering His Holiness in Britain this September. Numerous columnists are cheering them on, one wildly fantasising that the angelic Hitchens/Dawkins/Robertson trio will wield the sword of justice in the name of all those "victims of sacerdotal rape" and show the whole world that "the powerful" cannot hide from justice.

The Australian


Those guys are some of the most prominent atheist writers and activists of this age. The article complains of how they focus way too much energy on assaulting religion and not enough energy promoting the positive aspects of atheism.

Yes, those are outspoken atheists, but they don't represent atheism.
What positive aspects of atheism? it's an answer to a belief in god, it has no other dogma or ideals.
It's quite ironic might I add, that while you talk about atheists attacking religion, you seem to be making alot of threads about atheism lately, mostly on the assault if I say so.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by hippomchippo

Yes, those are outspoken atheists, but they don't represent atheism.
What positive aspects of atheism? it's an answer to a belief in god, it has no other dogma or ideals.
It's quite ironic might I add, that while you talk about atheists attacking religion, you seem to be making alot of threads about atheism lately, mostly on the assault if I say so.



Atheists believe that science and human reason can solve humanities problems. They believe that people need to think for themselves and not rely on old dogmas to lead their lives. This is about as close to a dogma as they come.

Yeah, I like to pick on the atheists from time to time, it's mostly out of defence for religion which certain atheists never seem to cease attacking.

I thought this article might force them to take a look into the mirror and reevaluate their motives for constantly assulting religion. If atheism really is so superior to religion, atheists should be able to spread their message without so much negativity and combativeness, the goodness and superiority of the movement should speak for itself to attract "converts".

I honestly believe that atheists and Christians could co-exist peacefully if atheists would cease their constant attacks on religion and believers and would just live their lives in accordance with their beliefs.



posted on Apr, 22 2010 @ 05:56 PM
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What's the deal with attacking athiests? Many of us Christians are ex-athiests ourselves. Kind of shooting ourselves in the foot with this one. I seem to remember something about loving one another and praying for those who persecute you. If athiests want to attack, let them attack, our mission is to turn the other cheek. John 13:34, Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:29

P.S. I'm a scientist and about 40% of my co-workers are Christian too.

[edit on 22-4-2010 by saint4God]



posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by saint4God
What's the deal with attacking athiests? Many of us Christians are ex-athiests ourselves. Kind of shooting ourselves in the foot with this one. I seem to remember something about loving one another and praying for those who persecute you. If athiests want to attack, let them attack, our mission is to turn the other cheek. John 13:34, Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:29



You make a good point. I thought the article was interesting because it was written by an atheist who thinks the "leaders" have taken the movement in the wrong direction with all of their negativity.



Many of us Christians are ex-athiests ourselves.


That is so true;


World Pays Tribute on Death of Atheist Turned Believer


Leading academics, philosophers and members of the Christian faith across the world continue to pay tribute to Antony Flew, the famed British atheist and thinker who discovered God at the end of his life.

The renowned rationalist philosopher died earlier this month at age 87 and continues to be remembered in obituaries and tributes world-wide.

Those paying tribute to him include Catholic Theology professors from the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, well known American rabbis such as Rabbi Brad Hirshfield from New York and leading philosphers from academia such as Dr Gary Habermas.

Describing Flew as one of the great intellectuals of his time, Rabbi Hirschfield lauded the Englishman's "intellectual generosity."

The son of a Methodist minister, Antony Flew spent most of his life denying the existence of God until just six years before his death when he dramatically changed his mind after studying research into genetics and DNA.

"The almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life, show that intelligence must have been involved," he announced in 2004 and went on to make a video of his conversion called : "Has Science Discovered God."

Ironically, although modern day atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens claim in the rational world of science there is no proof of God exists, it is from the world of science that Antony Flew in his final years discovered "empirical evidence" that God exists, which overturned beliefs he had held for more than 60 years.

Read more: Source



posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 11:24 AM
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I suppose that while in principle, atheism shouldn't be anything more than a reactionary movement (err....probably the wrong connotations in reactionary. But you know what I mean!
), the reality is somewhat different- you have atheist groups, atheist "charters", expressions of points of view by said groups, etc.

While it is obvious that EVERY atheist doesn't hold these same views, and some may even be against them, the "movement" is still there.

It is kinda borderline "silly" at the moment, which is probably why they have to resort to such flashy tactics.



posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 02:20 PM
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Religion has been mass murdering innocents & raping children for centuries. [see historic papal atrocities]

While i don't want atheists to anti-religion their 'reason for being',

i think a lot [most?] of the people angry at the Pope are Catholics [or perhaps other religious types].

Don't blame atheists for more of Religion's atrocities & scandals.

For the record there are no atheist priests so QED there can be no atheist priests committing pedophiliac acts upon children. Not to say there may or may not be atheist pedophiles.

Atheism should be a centering on rational, objective thinking & behavior.

Not a focus on psycho-religious melodrama.



posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 04:43 PM
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Originally posted by slank
Religion has been mass murdering innocents & raping children for centuries.


No religion has ever mass murdered or raped anyone. People have. Often religion becomes the convenient excuse, however if you want to count bodies, I think you'd find the highest among the atheistic movement Stalin endorsed in the Soviet Union.

"Stalin followed the position adopted by Lenin that religion was an opiate that needed to be removed in order to construct the ideal communist society. To this end, his government promoted atheism through special atheistic education in schools, massive amounts of anti-religious propaganda, the antireligious work of public institutions (especially the Society of the Godless), discriminatory laws, and also a terror campaign against religious believers." - en.wikipedia.org...

"Stalin is the greatest mass murder to ever live. According to the documentary; "Stalin, Portrait of a Monster in Blood." He is estimated to have been responsible for possibly 60 Million Deaths!" - wiki.answers.com...

I do not blame atheism for those deaths, why then would anyone blame Christ who said, "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" and therefore Christianity as well? A Christian follows Christ (by definition) and therefore would not kill anyone. Number of murders by Christians equals zero.

[edit on 23-4-2010 by saint4God]



posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 09:54 PM
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You say that 'no religion did bad things' yet with the other fork of your tongue you claim secularists or atheists did. That is an intellectually dishonest double standard rhetoric ploy.

Stalin was trying to create an alternate [state] religion of 'atheism'.

Most 'Christian' religions don't seem to pay much attention to Christ's teachings. They favor the old testament barbarism & psychopathy.

Healthy atheism should arise as a natural observation in any INDIVIDUAL's life, that there is no consistent pattern of 'magic' indicating some mystic system [ie. 'religion].

Each person's experience is [should be] as valid as any other.

If you have an experience of consistent magic or miracles that seems to fit some pattern then it would be illogical for you not to attempt to discern or find a fitting theory behind that pattern of experience.

It seems more sound if you have your experience first & then see if it fits a religion. If you subscribe to a religion first & then attempt to map your experiences, as they occur, to that religion post facto it seems a little more dubious.

I have no such experience. So for me atheism/agnosticism is the natural logical point of view based on my life.

I am of course going to act in accordance with my experience, but it would be foolish to be too overbearing about that.

As long as no one is telling my experience is not reality, then i am not going to tell them that their experience [different or similar to mine own] is inherently any less valid than my own. The one thing i might do is inquire, as even handedly as i can how they interpreted any exceptionally different experiences from my own.

I would just say be careful not to leap to any rash conclusions. To not try & force it to fit into some pre-existing dogmatic beliefs. Try to be empiric in exactly what you actually saw & what & how you interpreted it [which may be a perfectly logical interpretation]. And it isn't a bad idea to listen other people if they have an equally valid interpretation that fits your sensory experience.

The trouble is that most organized religions tell me that my experience isn't real. Sorry but those are not the facts i know.

If organized [collective of] atheists or [pseudo-]'scientists' tell you that your real & presumably objective experience is not valid, that is also bullshjt.

I am quite certain there are a large number of people who see/have seen UFOs, ghosts & many other not 'scientifically' 'explainable' experiences.
And btw the term 'mass hallucination' is a purely non-scientific term. It is merely a mechanism of dismissal, devalidation, because if there were any such thing it would be an amazing phenomenon in its own right [simultaneously telecommunicated imagery].

If it takes mass organization for a person to 'validate' their experiences, i would begin to suggest suspicions.
It happens in 'officialdom' everywhere, religion, science, politics, social acceptability.

You, me & everyone has to make peace with themselves that one's experience is unique to ourselves. I suppose if we question our sanity we may desire to have someone else confirm or deny our perceptions, but be aware that you may be 'throwing away' a very real experience.

We all have a tendency to believe what we want to believe, but sometimes that is because we feel comfortable because it fits with our experience.
Sometimes that is because it makes us synthetically feel 'better'.

I suppose one possible test of our current beliefs is do we, would we believe them if they made us feel less good [or bad]. If so that would seem more convincing to some observer.

Perceptions, interpretations are something we have to be careful about, especially when we [attempt to] attach grand schemes to them [science/religion/philosophy] and all the more so when we feel compelled to prosthelytize it. Prosthelytization suggest either personal doubt or the idea of some additional 'gain' by spreading our beliefs to others. It would suggest that the experience is not of purely intrinsic value, that we have to 'buy into it'.

In a possible infinitely dimensional pan-Universe it is entirely possible that all explanations are all equally true, all at the same time.

We like, want, think truth is Unitary. For all we know it may be multiple in nature or a completely illusory notion we all falsely cling to.

With multiple individuals all with unique experiences, truth HAS to be multiple in nature either that or an empty meaningless notion.

I am not trying to waffle on the notion of 'truth' for political/social comfort/accommodation, but empirically we have no idea of the full scope of truth or that it even exists at all.

If one's 'truth' depends on someone else believing in it, that is exactly the logic of a liar. & if you find yourself there you should seriously reconsider your beliefs.

[edit on 23-4-2010 by slank]



posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by slank
You say that 'no religion did bad things' yet with the other fork of your tongue you claim secularists or atheists did. That is an intellectually dishonest double standard rhetoric ploy.


Oops, you have missed my point. Before implying I'm a snake or worse, let's step back, take those fingers off the keyboard and think for a minute. The point is, no matter what a person claims to believe, it is upon their own head and hand the actions they take in killing people. Claim was a "christian" killed during crusades, counterclaim shows an atheist killed during this past century more than any other killer. Again, do you honestly believe in your heart of hearts what they believed religiously caused them to murder? If yes, why are not all Christians/Athiests murderers? Fact is, they are not. Furthermore, there is nothing in either religion (neither Christian nor Athiest) that justifies murder. Contradictory to the action, the Bible (word of God, message of Christ, by which all Christians are to abide) says to not murder as a commandment and that they are to "love their enemies and pray for those who persecute you".

If we can be clear on at least this point, then perhaps we can move on.

[edit on 23-4-2010 by saint4God]



posted on Apr, 23 2010 @ 11:48 PM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 



those that eschewed the guidance of God in favour of relying on mankind to work out what his problems were and how to solve them


When was the last time God helped work out someone's problems?


If God is not absent from the world he does a good job of making it seem like he is. If God exists he's doing a good job of hiding. If God does not want us to solve our own problems than why did he give us free will? Let that last sentence sink in. If God did create us I assume reason, logic and free will are not to be wasted, after all they would be gifts of God. Also, I was always taught that God helps those that help themselves, in other words, stop waiting around for spooky incompetent sky Daddies and Messiahs who only show up every few thousand years and do something for the good of yourself and your fellow man...

[edit on 23-4-2010 by Titen-Sxull]

[edit on 23-4-2010 by Titen-Sxull]



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 09:00 PM
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Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
When was the last time God helped work out someone's problems?


About 10:30am this morning. Well, for me anyway.


Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
If God does not want us to solve our own problems than why did he give us free will?


Although we have the ability to make choices, one of the choices we have is to seek His help.


Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
Also, I was always taught that God helps those that help themselves,


This is not Biblical (therefore not Christian) in any way. Who does God help?

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption." - 1 Corinthians 1:25-30

"For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you. " - Isaiah 41:13

God has the right to choose too, had, and will again.

[edit on 26-4-2010 by saint4God]



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 09:12 PM
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reply to post by saint4God
 


So God helped you this morning? How do you know that?

Random beneficial coincidence? Warm fuzzy spiritual feeling? A tremor in the Force? A "voice" in your head or heart telling you everything will be okay? In other words nothing verifiable as having been God at all.

Also, something doesn't have to be Biblical in order to be Christian in fact most of the Bible has NOTHING to do with Christ whatsoever and other books, other Gospels, that do have to do with Christ, were thrown out of the Bible. Furthermore it does no one any good to confuse doctrine with deity, the Bible may claim to be the Word of God but so far God himself has yet to say anything about that claim.

My point in my original post stands, there is no evidence that God has done anything so we better get to doing things on our own. People need to stop waiting around for magical Sky beings and Messiahs to save them and start helping themselves. We have it within our power to make the world a better place.



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
So God helped you this morning? How do you know that?

Random beneficial coincidence? Warm fuzzy spiritual feeling? A tremor in the Force? A "voice" in your head or heart telling you everything will be okay? In other words nothing verifiable as having been God at all.


Well, sounds like you have it all figured out without me having to answer. I suppose it will remain a mystery to you then. I hope some day you'll see how silly your questions sound, in a good way of course.


Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
My point in my original post stands, there is no evidence that God has done anything...


Indeed there is. Your statement needs qualification to say, "I see no evidence that God has done anything" in which case this could surely be true.

[edit on 26-4-2010 by saint4God]



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 09:21 PM
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Isn't it nice how the obvious bug-eyed religious fanatics are so, well, obvious? They accuse anyone who doesn't agree 100% with what they've posted of not reading their spittle-flecked diatribes, and then they continue the assault, without regard for the silliness of their absolute lack of reason and logic. Yes, their are some atheists out there who are intensely anti-religious, and then there are those like me who believe that people are free to believe whatever they want, regardless of my opinion of it. And yes, religion has been the inspiration for the bloodiest wars and atrocities of all time, either by those who killed and tortured in the name of god, or those who did it out of a hatred of god. Either way, if god hadn't been around to inspire all of that evil, the world would be a much better place. Stars to to Hippomchippo and Slank for fighting the good fight.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 01:03 AM
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reply to post by saint4God
 




Indeed there is. Your statement needs qualification to say, "I see no evidence that God has done anything" in which case this could surely be true.


To which I would say, show me the evidence. I'm not unwilling to believe if there is actual evidence, actual verifiable evidence. During my time as a Christian blind faith and vague fuzzy feelings might have been enough, at least until I got a little older and began to question what was being sold to me as truth.

Once again I stand by my point, we'd do well to help each other instead of waiting for our neglectful sky daddy to save us. The OP seems to blame us for setting aside God's guidance. But what Guidance has God given? None that I can tell, unless you count the things hardwired into our brains throughout our evolution. And please don't say the Bible, because that book is a poor moral guide until the arrival of Jesus in its pages, what with all the talk of killing witches, stoning people and putting people who work on the Sabbath to death. So we would do well as a species to set aside superstitious musings in favor of attempting unity. Why wait around for a Messiah who never shows up and an absentee Father God when we can fix the world ourselves?



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