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Posted: 20 July 2012 09:16 PM   [ Ignore ]
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hi - i’m new - in fact i just signed in 2 minutes ago.  i am an atheist/christian humanist.  i don’t know who tom flynn is - but i signed in just to say he is a prime example of why no one like atheists - by commenting on Obama’s comment about the Aurora, Colorado killings by James Holmes.  Good lord man - don’t you know that most Americans assign themselves a christian denomination even if they are not?  Even if they do not practice?  Even if they are atheist?  In a time of national mourning for all those slain or maimed in Colorado - would it not serve atheists and non-atheists alike to just mourn - and not politize nor religiousize any aspect of such an horrendous act?  By your statements you show you care more about your agenda than sharing sympathy and remorse that has spread across the nation.  You were mistaken to say them.  There are times when condolences are more welcome - and applicable - than reprimand.  Obama’s statements had nothing to do with religion - it was his intent, which you missed.  Being atheist doesn’t give anyone a right to dismiss grief; no matter what your “inclusionary” visions may be - you were mistaken in making negative remarks today.  That is why atheists are not liked.  True atheism accepts all statements - no matter religious or not.

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Posted: 20 July 2012 11:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It was very tedious of Flynn to put out that statement. http://www.mediaite.com/online/head-of-atheist-group-says-obama-shouldnt-have-publicly-prayed-for-shooting-victims/

You are very wrong though, to say that most atheists assign themselves a Christian denominational identity, and you’re astoundingly wrong to claim that true atheism (whatever the hell that is) accepts all statements.

[ Edited: 21 July 2012 04:58 AM by mid atlantic ]
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Posted: 20 July 2012 11:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Cjgager - 20 July 2012 09:16 PM

i don’t know who tom flynn is - but i signed in just to say he is a prime example of why no one like atheists - by commenting on Obama’s comment about the Aurora, Colorado killings by James Holmes.

Hi and welcome to the CFI Forum.

I have no idea what comment you’re talking about. It would be better if you could quote the comment in full and provide a citation link so we can all be on the same page, before making your point.

Cjgager - 20 July 2012 09:16 PM

Good lord man - don’t you know that most Americans assign themselves a christian denomination even if they are not?  Even if they do not practice?  Even if they are atheist? 

I find this claim incredible and even offensive. I have never had a ‘Christian denomination’, and wouldn’t know how to choose one if asked.

What sort of Judaism, Islam or Hinduism do you assign yourself? I assume you will say, ‘none’. Then why on Earth would you assign yourself a denomination of another religion you do not believe in or practice?

Cjgager - 20 July 2012 09:16 PM

True atheism accepts all statements - no matter religious or not.

Where did you hear that? So a ‘true atheist’ accepts the statement that ‘Jesus Christ was the son of God’? A ‘true atheist’ accepts the statement that ‘Allah is the one true god and Mohammed is his prophet’?

This is absurd, of course. Nobody ‘accepts all statements’. Certainly religious people do not. A Christian, for example, will not accept the above claim about Mohammed. Neither should an atheist.

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Posted: 21 July 2012 01:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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`
Cjgager, while I agree that Flynn’s comment was a little eye-roll-inducing, to then say “this is why no one likes atheists” is a bit of hyperbole that’s almost as eye-roll-inducing.

I mean, I guess one could then point to the comments made by Rep. Louie Gohmert and the tweet by Rick Warren and say “this is why no one likes Christians”.

The fact of the matter is that a comment like “no one likes ______” is never true, so why say it?

`

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Posted: 21 July 2012 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Bil Maher calls it the “bubble”.  An invented and imaginary Obama character, who just can’t do right for some imaginary devious motive.
He is not a real christian and by your words an atheist is more christian than Obama. And he is coming to get your guns. God forbid.

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Posted: 21 July 2012 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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At first blush, Cjgager is right.  I don’t find anything offensive when a President, during an address on a shocking national tragedy, choses to end with a quick non-denominational prayer.  I react as I do when attending a friend’s funeral, just stand quietly and listen.  It’s not as if he’s trying to take a sledgehammer to the wall of separation with a simple prayer in that context.  Ignoring the context and raking the President over the coals as Flynn did is not appropriate.

At the same time, I certainly do NOT agree with the statement that atheists have to fake a Christian belief that we don’t really feel.  That is exactly what we’re trying to encourage atheists NOT to do!

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Posted: 21 July 2012 07:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Welcome to CFI forums.  Glad to have you here.

Cjgager - 20 July 2012 09:16 PM

hi - i’m new - in fact i just signed in 2 minutes ago.  i am an atheist/christian humanist.

Interesting combination.  It would be interesting to know what you mean by “Christian humanist”.

i don’t know who tom flynn is - but i signed in just to say he is a prime example of why no one like atheists - by commenting on Obama’s comment about the Aurora, Colorado killings by James Holmes.

I haven’t heard this either and probably many Xians haven’t either.

Good lord man - don’t you know that most Americans assign themselves a christian denomination even if they are not?  Even if they do not practice?  Even if they are atheist?

Why?  I call myself a humanist, but I don’t label myself an atheist.  Other people, esp. Xians label me an atheist.  I see no reason to claim a Xian denomination, esp when I am an apostate.  It’s kind of hard to claim any religious sect after you denounced it.

In a time of national mourning for all those slain or maimed in Colorado - would it not serve atheists and non-atheists alike to just mourn - and not politize nor religiousize any aspect of such an horrendous act?

Why not just mourn without claiming anything?  Why does anyone need to claim religion to mourn? Why does anyone need to denounce religion to mourn?  Why can’t one just mourn without claiming any Xian denomination or any religion or non-religion at all?  I think we can mourn without bringing any religious stance into the situation.

True atheism accepts all statements - no matter religious or not.

Actually, I think true atheism or rather humanism accepts mourning period.  It’s part of the human condition and something we can’t escape unless we have something mentally wrong with us, like damage to one’s frontal lobes.  It has nothing to do with accepting or not accepting.  I think an atheist can choose to [politely] ignore certain statements, but they don’t necessarily accept them.  Atheism is not an empty pot that just consumes whatever is thrown at them.  An atheist is a human being who can either accept or ignore what comes their way and the brain has a lot to do with this filtering of statements and messages.  One can reject certain statements, without saying anything or being rude.  So no, “True atheism”, whatever that is, does not accept “all statements”.  To do so would not be thinking for oneself.  If one is to think for themselves, they do not accept all statements, can filter out some statements or even reject statements (either by ignoring or politely rejecting them) and come to their own conclusions, even in mourning.  Sorry, but I’m not a dumping ground for everything a person says, even during times of mourning.  However, I don’t have to open my mouth orally reject what a person says.

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Posted: 21 July 2012 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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In a time of national mourning for all those slain or maimed in Colorado - would it not serve atheists and non-atheists alike to just mourn - and not politize nor religiousize any aspect of such an horrendous act?  By your statements you show you care more about your agenda than sharing sympathy and remorse that has spread across the nation.

Actually, the one thing that you can be absolutely certain of is that every faction going, religious or not, is going to politicize and religicise this whole thing.

I can gaurantee you that there are going to be shrill cries of “We need to have a law.” with a noisy debate about what the law should be and what should be banned, allowed, restricted, or freed up, (None of which will work either way, but that’s another rant) all of which are going to be along party lines with an eye towards advancing an agenda.

Being atheist doesn’t give anyone a right to dismiss grief;

I don’t know that anybody says that it does. Perhaps you can offer a reference where somebody said that.

True atheism accepts all statements - no matter religious or not.

Uhhhhhh….no.

Atheism is about a lack of belief in gods. That’s all there is to it. After that, in terms of the diversity of opinion, all bets are off.

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Posted: 21 July 2012 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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>mid-atlantic< posted the web site with the quote from mr. flynn.
most americans state (i didn’t say uphold nor believe) that they are christian origin - - - http://religions.pewforum.org/reports/
atheism in it’s true form accepts all statements - i didn’t say believe.  i didn’t say the statements were true.  just that they accept and understands that all people / every people have different viewpoints.
christian humanist is a person of christian upbringing who may not believe in the god part of the basic tenets - but still the underlying tenet of treat one another as one would treat themselves and is humanistically-centered in words and actions.
atheists are seen as negative - since many people believe that they are trying to negate god.  this should be changed - we should try to show the positive of being unfettered by the restraints of a religious viewpoint.
i still proclaim that mr. flynn’s statements were untimely and uncompassionate.  mr. obama was just showing compassion by offering condolences through a simple prayer that seemed to me non-denominational.  who knows - he might be an atheist himself.  but there will never be an actively proclaimed atheist as president until it is seen in a more positive light.  but that not the point right now.  it was a prayer/condolence/sympathy to the human soul - you can still say prayers and still be an atheist.

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Posted: 21 July 2012 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Cjgager - 21 July 2012 09:23 AM

christian humanist is a person of christian upbringing who may not believe in the god part of the basic tenets - but still the underlying tenet of treat one another as one would treat themselves and is humanistically-centered in words and actions.

Just wanted to make sure we were on the same page.  I’m not going to debate Christian humanism, for I think it is possible- ie John Shelby Sponge.  I’ll leave that for others who wish to take that up with you.

However, I still question your use of the term “true atheist”.  The problem with this term is that it makes atheism a philosophy, much like humanism, when it is not.  Atheism is nothing more than a lack of belief in a deity or deities.  That’s all it is.  It has nothing else to it.  While humanism, naturalism, Taoism, Buddhism, and pantheism are basically (with some exceptions) non-theistic philosophies and ways of life.  While humanism has no holy books, it does center around the human condition, but humans are not deities.  Pantheism (all god) often centers around the awe and wonder of the universe and while some may use the word the “god”, they don’t all consider it an actual deity, like Xians do with their deity.  It is merely a word.  Some Buddhist may believe in a deity and maybe a Buddha heaven, but many don’t.  Taoism is naturalistic and somewhat pantheistic, but when the text refers to “heaven”, it simply means the sky and not a literal heaven like the Xian heaven.  It is the atheistic philosophy an atheist holds that defines their beliefs, practices, and/or way of life, not the atheism.  One can be an atheist without ascribing to any other philosophy or one can be atheistic and ascribe to humanism, Taoism, Buddhism, pantheism, or naturalism.  Ironically, enough, from my Hindu studies, one can be atheistic and be a Hindu too.  In other words, they practice the Hindu philosophy, but lack belief in any of the deities.

Atheism itself has no practices, beliefs, or way of life, so to say “true atheism accepts all statements” is a misnomer.  Atheism accepts nothing, because it is not a practice or way of life.  When you say that “true atheism accepts all statements”, you are adding your own philosophy to your own atheism.

[ Edited: 21 July 2012 10:01 AM by Mriana ]
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Posted: 21 July 2012 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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First, I agree with Cjgager about Flynn’s statement.  Flynn demonstrated incredible stupidity in issuing such a statement at a strongly emotional time.  He should have kept his mouth shut until later when such things could be discussed more dispassionately.  Flynn apparently has zero empathy or understanding of how people think.  If we are trying to build a more positive image for nontheists and help people move away from theism, we don’t attack when they are emotionally vulnerable.

I believe Cjgager’s thinking is an example of someone who has moved away from Christianity to nontheism, but hasn’t had much opportunity to talk with others with variations of that view.  Cj, you may want to look around this site and read posts from quite a few different members to see the wide range of ideas on theism we have.  For example, although I was baptized at the insistance of my aunt, that was my last connection with christianity.  I’ve been a nontheist and humanist since my earliest memories and don’t relate to any religion such as christianity.  While I will discuss these ideas if asked to do so, and argue my points when someone tries to convert me, I respect the beliefs of others and certainly would not denigrate or attack them except in defense from their initial provocation.

Cjgager, has the idea of a great many atheists and agnostics in that they connect lack of belief in the existence of a deity with one’s ethical world view.  There is no real connection between them.  Humanism is the the moral philosophy, and some atheists do not even come close to subscribing to that, although many do.  This is why I define myself as an atheist AND a humanist.

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[ Edited: 21 July 2012 11:10 AM by Occam. ]
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Posted: 21 July 2012 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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atheism in it’s true form accepts all statements - i didn’t say believe.  i didn’t say the statements were true.  just that they accept and understands that all people / every people have different viewpoints.

Not quite. It looks to me like you’re conflating atheism…which is nothing more then a lack of belief in deity…with any number of humanistic viewpoints and philosophies which atheists can hold to. One is not a precondition for the other.

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Posted: 22 July 2012 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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hello.  i just want to post another website that sort of goes more in line to what i’m trying to say - - - http://lesswrong.com/lw/11m/atheism_untheism_antitheism/
like i said - i’m a newbie to this site - and to the other site as well (i’m not even registered there).
someone said atheism is a lack - or a denial - in the belief of a god - that is all - which is true.
what i want to say is - just because one denies a presence of a god - one should not deny a presence of a human spirit - and to respect that - no matter what form that spirit is shown.  and yes - atheism DOES accept all things - otherwise it is just as exclusive as others.  and yes - it is a “Belief” - Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.  you are fooling yourself if you don’t think atheism is not a “belief” - even if it’s a non-belief.
i would like that religion be dead - because much, much heartache has been because of religious beliefs - but that is NOT going to happen.
people may surmise, analyse, think they know what i “believe”, don’t believe, have been transformed into, sort of kinda think - which is great - kuddos.
atheism is a negative - A - i.e., - anti - theism.  it is deemed in america with a negative connotation.  mr. flynn’s statements during a national trauma illustrates the negative aspect by supposedly stating and thereby politicizing the atheistic community’s opinions about “prayer” - but in actuality he merely excerbated a very hurt and wounded community in mourning - it did no atheist proponent nor the atheistic community any good.
Atheism CAN BE a very positive movement - but if everyone continues to chatter about really non-relevant points - like chastising politicians or anyone offering condolences to a strickened community in the form of “prayers” as being non-inclusive of non-believers - then the idea and substance of god-freedom has been lost through tactlessness.
Battles should be judicially chosen.  Would one argue to a 4-year-old that Santa Doesn’t Exist! at Christmastime?
Would one argue that Your Beliefs Are All Wrong! when your son had just been shot to death?
Atheists are seen as callous because their leaders are tactless.  We know we do care.  Don’t let anger be the reason that you are driven.

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Posted: 22 July 2012 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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P.S. Thank you Occam.  I respect your view.

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Posted: 22 July 2012 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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hello.  i just want to post another website that sort of goes more in line to what i’m trying to say - - - http://lesswrong.com/lw/11m/atheism_untheism_antitheism/
like i said - i’m a newbie to this site - and to the other site as well (i’m not even registered there).
someone said atheism is a lack - or a denial - in the belief of a god - that is all - which is true.
what i want to say is - just because one denies a presence of a god - one should not deny a presence of a human spirit - and to respect that - no matter what form that spirit is shown.  and yes - atheism DOES accept all things - otherwise it is just as exclusive as others.  and yes - it is a “Belief” - Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.  you are fooling yourself if you don’t think atheism is not a “belief” - even if it’s a non-belief.
i would like that religion be dead - because much, much heartache has been because of religious beliefs - but that is NOT going to happen.
people may surmise, analyse, think they know what i “believe”, don’t believe, have been transformed into, sort of kinda think - which is great - kuddos.
atheism is a negative - A - i.e., - anti - theism.  it is deemed in america with a negative connotation.  mr. flynn’s statements during a national trauma illustrates the negative aspect by supposedly stating and thereby politicizing the atheistic community’s opinions about “prayer” - but in actuality he merely excerbated a very hurt and wounded community in mourning - it did no atheist proponent nor the atheistic community any good.
Atheism CAN BE a very positive movement - but if everyone continues to chatter about really non-relevant points - like chastising politicians or anyone offering condolences to a strickened community in the form of “prayers” as being non-inclusive of non-believers - then the idea and substance of god-freedom has been lost through tactlessness.
Battles should be judicially chosen.  Would one argue to a 4-year-old that Santa Doesn’t Exist! at Christmastime?
Would one argue that Your Beliefs Are All Wrong! when your son had just been shot to death?
Atheists are seen as callous because their leaders are tactless.  We know we do care.  Don’t let anger be the reason that you are drive

First of all CJ, welcome and I hope that you hang out here, learn and contribute. It’s a great place for freethinkers, skeptics or even theists who occasionally try their hand at conversion and sometimes understanding. I’ve been reading your posts but decided to hang back a bit in order to see if you could clarify the atheist/xtian oxymoron. Also, I agree that Flynn’s remarks were ill timed as do many here; it was stated at the wrong time and he should have waited until the mourning period for this tragedy came to an end and everyone begins to pick up the pieces as best they can. This was a senseless crime perpetrated by a psychopath bent on publicity and we as atheists don’t need to incorporate it into a cause célèbre even though the fundies and neocons will, and already have used us as a whipping boy in the press, as Asanta pointed out, see Rick Reed’s diatribe. So if you publically identify with the atheist community get ready to verbally defend yourself. I might also mention that many of us who profess atheism are also humanists and don’t consider being a non believer as negative. Atheism frees the mind to pursue empirical evidence, to uncover what is true and to act accordingly. We are not tied by dogma but seek understanding through knowledge. And BTW the belief in this knowledge isn’t based on faith which is what I think you are addressing. The atheist believes only in emperical evidence and nothing more.
As to points where we disagree, chastising the people who exercise power over your is anything but chattering. They serve us and not the other way round. By all means learn to chastise , at the proper time yes but by all means speak your mind as an atheist. I voted and campaigned for President Obama and have a great deal of respect for him as a leader but I know he’s pandering to the fundie cons and to leave out the word “prayer"in his reaction to the tragedy would have been political suicide,especially in an election year. If you study the background of the fundamentalist/neocon movement in the past 20 years you will find that there has been a concerted effort to control the government and force their agendas on the public. If you don’t follow their beliefs then you must be prepared to fight them by calling out the politicians, by coming out yourself. No group nor organization ever achieved it’s goal here by being a kind or gentle “hat in your hand” organization. You risk being marginialized if you follow that path. So Flynn’s remarks were very ill timed but not without some merit IMO. Religion will never die until the religious see the fallacy of their own belief system. Having an intelligent dialogue as an atheist neighbor will certainly help but how will they know unless you let them? Ok, you threw me off with the idea of a human spirit. You aren’t being literal a you? Or ar you stating that we posess the “spirit” to know or excel, something of that nature? If not you’re referring to dualism. Atheists are monists. Lastly, anger can sometimes be a great motivator if channeled in a positive direction as in anger over ignorance or anger over child neglect etc. maybe the human spirit you mention can be awakened by anger after all.


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Posted: 22 July 2012 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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and yes - atheism DOES accept all things - otherwise it is just as exclusive as others.

No it doesn’t.

Atheism deals with one matter and one matter ONLY, and that is a lack of belief in deity. Exclusivity has nothing whatever to do with it.

The problem here is that you’re confusing and conflating a particular worldview with all of the others which atheists may tend to hold to, but one is not a precondition for any of the others. I for example have worldviews and opinions which are a mix of those seen as customarily moderate to a bit on the conservative side with a huge heaping of the libertarian, but none of that relates to any belief or lack of belief in any deity.

Others who profess to be atheist have worldviews which are seen as relating to being from moderate to liberal, but all of these relate to the real world here and now, not any proposed hereafter.

Do you understand now???

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