6 of 7
6
Chris Mooney - Accommodationism and the Psychology of Belief
Posted: 21 May 2011 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  55
Joined  2008-03-21
jump_in_the_pit - 21 May 2011 02:21 PM

As an institution the CFI can appeal to the people with positive messages, inspire them with constructive ideas, invite them to participate, isn’t it obviously the right course of action?

No.  That’s the way Paul Kurtz sounds and I found listing to him wax eloquent about human values rather repugnant.  I see close to zero benefit from that sort of message, or at least as the primary message.

I’m delighted with the sustained assault on religion that we’ve seen in the past 10 years, and I hope that it increases.  I don’t doubt that there is a segment of society that will react oppositely from the way we wish, but we’re really after the next generation; in the meantime, we can influence the fence sitters and in-the-closet atheists.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 May 2011 05:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1805
Joined  2005-07-20
FurryToes - 20 May 2011 06:03 AM
jump_in_the_pit - 14 May 2011 09:28 AM

A tactless, bold, aggressive, verbal confrontation against their religion is just going to hurt the moderate religious, and they will resent it and be forced to defend against it.  That attitude will shoot our Humanist movement in the foot, [

(let’s just ignore your words “tactless” & “verbal confrontation” as this is just circular reasoning ...

... we’re talking about bold, confrontational style or strong criticism…

I did read your message, FurryToes, I just didn’t want to say anything.  You obviously have the circular logic taking confrontation out of the discussion and then adding it back in.

FurryToes - 20 May 2011 06:03 AM

This assumes that the only people who are listening are one monotonous level of “moderately religious”.

“the only people who are listening” is extreme, and your idea.  That’s not my idea.  If people want to handle this topic as an us versus them fight don’t, its really a debate between fellow members about the face of the institution.

The old trap of the atheists is that when they make an assertion like, “God doesn’t exist”, then they have to produce the evidence, but can’t when they can’t prove non-existance.  The religious have the same trap, and so must show the evidence when they say, “God exists”.  However, these are really beliefs, and the doubters don’t have trouble with the trap, because when someone says, “God exists” then they can just reply, “I doubt it”.  The institution should take a moderate stance to avoid this trap, and the religious will put it under the highest scrutiny when it poses this affront to their most heart-felt beliefs.
 
The institution needs more friends, more popularity, who can they turn to?  The irreligious are only around 14% of the populous, so what about the other 86%?  Among the religious extremists it’ll be rare if someone listens and switches sides over to irreligion because they are closed minded.  But the moderate religious are open-minded, they are searching for more information, more answers, they are unsettled, they can be reached, they are the source of the future popularity of the CFI, and in this cultural climate where religion is the norm they are the middle ground.

FurryToes - 20 May 2011 06:03 AM

I know this because I was a luke-warm religious lamb, brought up knowing nothing else.  My conviction was never strong but any bold, aggressive tactics would just hang around in the back of my mind, forcing me to “really” question my bible studies.

And I’m sure there are more out there like you, but I doubt that a tactless institutional confrontation will affect most moderate people in any good way, if they don’t dismiss the nasty message, then they resent it.  I think your case is rare, not common.

 Signature 

I saw a happy rainbow recently.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 May 2011 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1805
Joined  2005-07-20
Taylor - 21 May 2011 03:12 PM

I’m delighted with the sustained assault on religion that we’ve seen in the past 10 years, and I hope that it increases.

You’ve circled back to tactless again.  Now you’ve confused delight, with antagonism.  Delight is when you see a beautiful sunrise, hear a child laughing, or your lover smiles at you.  Thank you for comparing me to Kurtz, because he’s a man that I admire, he promotes positive and constructive messages.  smile

 Signature 

I saw a happy rainbow recently.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 May 2011 05:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  55
Joined  2008-03-21
jump_in_the_pit - 21 May 2011 05:24 PM

Thank you for comparing me to Kurtz, because he’s a man that I admire, he promotes positive and constructive messages.  smile

He’s also rather ineffectual.  Dawkins has done more to promote the cause in the last 10 years than Kurtz did in a lifetime.

BTW, I think you’ve confused me with another poster.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 May 2011 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  9
Joined  2010-05-02
Taylor - 21 May 2011 05:51 PM
jump_in_the_pit - 21 May 2011 05:24 PM

Thank you for comparing me to Kurtz, because he’s a man that I admire, he promotes positive and constructive messages.  smile

He’s also rather ineffectual.  Dawkins has done more to promote the cause in the last 10 years than Kurtz did in a lifetime.
BTW, I think you’ve confused me with another poster.

Indeed he has, I was just going to leave it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 May 2011 06:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1805
Joined  2005-07-20

Dawkins hasn’t accomplished what Kurtz has by any measure that I’m aware of.  What accomplishments is Taylor talking about?  That ineffectual claim is flawed prima faci, considering that you said it on the CFI web forum.

My reply to Taylor, was meant for Taylor.

 Signature 

I saw a happy rainbow recently.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 May 2011 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  55
Joined  2008-03-21
jump_in_the_pit - 22 May 2011 06:31 AM

Dawkins hasn’t accomplished what Kurtz has by any measure that I’m aware of.

You won’t find many people outside the skeptical movement who have ever heard of the name “Paul Kurtz” and only a small percentage of them.  The same isn’t true for Dawkins.  “The God Delusion” has likely sold more copies than all of Kurtz’ books put together, by a couple of orders of magnitude.  Dawkins speaks to sell-out crowds all around the world.  Much of the same applies to the other three “Horsemen”. 

Simply put, no one is interested in Paul Kurtz’ message, but there are huge numbers of people interested in what Dawkins has to say.  Survival of the fittest.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 May 2011 08:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1805
Joined  2005-07-20

Kurtz, with help, has established CFIs the world over, published magazines, journals, books, and more, and Taylor you think that Dawkins’ publishings are as popular?  I have to see the numbers to believe that, I doubt it.  You just like Dawkins, that’s why your saying this.  I find Kurtz longevity far more valuable than Dawkins’ here-today-gone-tomorrow sensationalism, although I’m happy about all these successes.

 Signature 

I saw a happy rainbow recently.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 May 2011 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  55
Joined  2008-03-21
jump_in_the_pit - 22 May 2011 08:18 AM

Kurtz, with help, has established CFIs the world over, published magazines, journals, books, and more, and Taylor you think that Dawkins’ publishings are as popular?

Much more so.  The circulation of “Skeptical Inquirer” is pretty small, about 50,000, and probably only among people that already buy into the message.  It’s not a very evangelical magazine.  Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” has sold between two and three million copies.  Many were bought by the choir, too, of course, but the book’s popularity had many a religious apologist running for the bookstore.  On “www.richarddawkins.net”, there are hundreds of letters from people claiming that the book helped them break free of religion.  Clearly, the book has reached much further into the mainstream than any other atheistic book ever has.  Even before that, his books on evolution were often instrumental in freeing some people from religious dogma.  Shakespeare said “If you strike at a king, you must kill him.”  Dawkins has attempted to do just that, whereas Kurtz merely put itching powder in the King’s socks. 

I see CSI’s best role as providing a social support network for those who have made the first steps to break free from religious indoctrination, so I’m particularly encouraged by their campus activity.  A useful synergy between Dawkins-like figures is for him to send people running towards secular organizations like CFI, which will help them grow in their rationality.

[ Edited: 22 May 2011 09:58 AM by Taylor ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 May 2011 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  98
Joined  2011-04-11

Taylor - 22 May 2011 09:08 AM
jump_in_the_pit - 22 May 2011 08:18 AM

Kurtz, with help, has established CFIs the world over, published magazines, journals, books, and more, and Taylor you think that Dawkins’ publishings are as popular?

Much more so.  The circulation of “Skeptical Inquirer” is pretty small, about 50,000, and probably only among people that already buy into the message.  It’s not a very evangelical magazine.  Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” has sold between two and three million copies.  Many were bought by the choir, too, of course, but the book’s popularity had many a religious apologist running for the bookstore.  On “www.richarddawkins.net”, there are hundreds of letters from people claiming that the book helped them break free of religion.  Clearly, the book has reached much further into the mainstream than any other atheistic book ever has.  Even before that, his books on evolution were often instrumental in freeing some people from religious dogma.  Shakespeare said “If you strike at a king, you must kill him.”  Dawkins has attempted to do just that, whereas Kurtz merely put itching powder in the King’s socks. 

I see CSI’s best role as providing a social support network for those who have made the first steps to break free from religious indoctrination, so I’m particularly encouraged by their campus activity.  A useful synergy between Dawkins-like figures is for him to send people running towards secular organizations like CSI, which will help them grow in their rationality.

I have to agree with Taylor on this point.  I only discovered that there were atheist organizations (I always thought the phrase “atheist organization” was a bit of an oxymoron… and maybe it is.) recently as I was googling around for any groups that might be systematically opposing the massive push toward a new dark age which seems to be taking root in the US.  I was delighted to hear of Dawkins and read his books avidly.  Dawkins and the “New Atheist” authors have helped make criticism of religion a bit more respectable among the general public.  The most important lesson from their works is that we must break down the paradigm that religious belief cannot be legitimately criticized.  There are still blasphemy laws on the books in some states, for god’s sake!

The Freedom From Religion foundation is pursuing the most useful course, IMHO with a no-compromise criticism of faith based “reasoning” and legal challenges of faith-based laws.

 Signature 

Homeopaths don’t have brains, just skull water with the memory of brains - Robin Ince of The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The phrase “False Prophet” is redundant.  Cleanliness is next to… nothing.
I don’t have a God-shaped hole in my soul.  You have a Reason-shaped hole in your head!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 May 2011 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  38
Joined  2009-06-03

I find both Dawkins and Kurtz positive in their attitude. They just have different personalities and communication strategies. I personally support Mooney’s approach to religion. Religion is not going to go anywhere in the near future. It’s better to accept that people will always have irrational beliefs and try to figure out ways of minimizing the harm. It’s also very healthy to always remember that all of us are irrational and prone to superstition at some level.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 May 2011 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2007-03-01
Eero T. Eloranta - 24 May 2011 12:51 PM

I find both Dawkins and Kurtz positive in their attitude. They just have different personalities and communication strategies. I personally support Mooney’s approach to religion. Religion is not going to go anywhere in the near future. It’s better to accept that people will always have irrational beliefs and try to figure out ways of minimizing the harm. It’s also very healthy to always remember that all of us are irrational and prone to superstition at some level.

Mooney’s “approach to religion” is that people like Dawkins should shut up.  So there appears to be a major contradiction in your statement.  How can you support Dawkins’ approach and Mooney’s?  They are mutually exclusive.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 May 2011 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  38
Joined  2009-06-03
lumberjohn - 25 May 2011 07:00 AM
Eero T. Eloranta - 24 May 2011 12:51 PM

I find both Dawkins and Kurtz positive in their attitude. They just have different personalities and communication strategies. I personally support Mooney’s approach to religion. Religion is not going to go anywhere in the near future. It’s better to accept that people will always have irrational beliefs and try to figure out ways of minimizing the harm. It’s also very healthy to always remember that all of us are irrational and prone to superstition at some level.

Mooney’s “approach to religion” is that people like Dawkins should shut up.  So there appears to be a major contradiction in your statement.  How can you support Dawkins’ approach and Mooney’s?  They are mutually exclusive.

There is always some element of “chaos” in human affairs. I believe that Mooney is pointing to the right direction. It doesn’t mean that I should choose between those two. They both are valuable champions of science and reason.

Actually I don’t believe they are very far from each other, it’s just different approach to the subject.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 May 2011 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  98
Joined  2011-04-11

Money’s suggestion that Dawkins and like minded folk should shut up is not his approach to religion.  It is his approach to us.  I don’t agree with him on that point, but I do agree that his approach to religion is valid.  I just think that Dawkins et al also have a valid approach which reaches some of the same people (but after some further thought and research on their part).  I don’t think Mooney’s approach actually changes any more minds, but it might help make atheists a bit more respectable in the minds of some believers.  That’s a good thing also.    Let’s all try to get along!  smile  The reason the phrase “Atheist organization” is a bit of an oxymoron is that we all like to think for ourselves, so inevitably come to our own conclusions which we then feel compelled to defend against all comers.  That shouldn’t mean that we can’t work together on the issues on which we do agree.  If that has to be in separate organizations, so be it.  Let 1000 flowers bloom to quote a famous non-theist religious leader smile  (Chairman Mao for the historically challenged smile  )

 Signature 

Homeopaths don’t have brains, just skull water with the memory of brains - Robin Ince of The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The phrase “False Prophet” is redundant.  Cleanliness is next to… nothing.
I don’t have a God-shaped hole in my soul.  You have a Reason-shaped hole in your head!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 May 2011 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2007-03-01

But no one is arguing that a non-confrontational approach is never appropriate.  I think everyone on this board would agree that such an approach may be fine in the right circumstances.  It is like saying that you agree with Mooney that the sky is blue.

But that is not what this discussion is about.  It is about Mooney’s insistance that a confrontational approach is wrong a priori and that anyone who takes such an approach is hurting “the cause.”  That is the accommodationist position—that no one should be confrontational with theists —that we should all maintain there is no conflict between science or reason and religion.  That is the controversy.

Profile
 
 
   
6 of 7
6