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Are there Militant Humanist and do you know any?
Posted: 05 December 2008 06:01 PM   [ Ignore ]
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The uses “militant” in a group’s title reveals this group may justify any challenge, to its perceived social condition, as acceptable. Eventual militant groups will be required to justify violence as a means to introduce its agenda and tackle conventional norms.
If you say, you are a “Militant Humanist,” are you being hypocritical or just militant?

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Cosmic Cave

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Posted: 06 December 2008 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I agree that the term “militant humanist” seems oxymoronic, rather like “skeptical fundamentalist” or “compassionate conservative”.

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Posted: 06 December 2008 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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There are militant christians too.That is not supposed to be possible by definition.(I know there are conflicting viewpoints in the bible,but I’m basing my angle on the teachings of jesus.)
I think militant in this context is meant to imply zeal,and unwavering support.Taking a no-compromises stance.Being a humanist to the point of being one step away from imposing ideologies,but not crossing that line.
The real name of this thread should have been:“Are there Humanists and do you know any?”(This, just a comical look at the sorry state of mankinds general attitude.)

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Posted: 06 December 2008 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Vyazma’s point is well taken.  The problem is there there is a whole spectrum of words that could be used from “Combative”, “Agressive”, “Militant”, “Assertive,” “Firm”, “Reserved”, “Diffident”, “Retiring”, etc.  And, each person who self-identifies with any of these words probably has a different set of behaviors from others.  If someone asks if I’m and atheist, I’ll probably say I am, rather than going into detail about how I’m really a non-thieist then spend a half-hour explaining the philosophical differences.  Similarly, if asked if I’m a militiant humanist, I’d probably agree rather than boring the person with a long, precise differentiation between what that word means to some, and what my stance is.

Occam

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Posted: 06 December 2008 06:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The thing is, I believe it has to do with interpretation.  There are some people who call me militant and aggressive when I simply say that I am an atheist in the context of a conversation.  These, BTW, are the same people who think that gay people who hold hands in public or mention that they and their same-sex partner went to a nice restaurant the night before are “throwing their lifestyle in my face.”

Do I shy away from saying out loud that I’m an atheist? No.  Does that make me militant?  No.  On the other hand, theists are the ones that demand that prayers are offered at public gatherings and get insulted when I don’t join in.  Who’s militant?

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Posted: 06 December 2008 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I can’t afford to be militant in the Bible Belt, though I do express my opinion when I need to express it.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 06 December 2008 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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It seems appropriate to be assertive when supporting social concerns.

Self-defense is one thing but militantly asserting ones agenda deflects from being a humanist, don’t you think?

One will next act militantly when one first justifies a militant act.

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Cosmic Cave

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Posted: 06 December 2008 08:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Mriana - 06 December 2008 07:08 PM

I can’t afford to be militant in the Bible Belt

Would it be dangerous, Mriana, if you did, or just inconvenient? (Only wondering…)

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Posted: 07 December 2008 12:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I don’t like the hateful things they say in response nor do I like arguing with idiots who not only didn’t take time to educate themselves, but also believe they are absolutely right and everyone else is wrong.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 07 December 2008 04:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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George - 06 December 2008 08:41 PM
Mriana - 06 December 2008 07:08 PM

I can’t afford to be militant in the Bible Belt

Would it be dangerous, Mriana, if you did, or just inconvenient? (Only wondering…)

It can be dangerous. My aunt lives in a very conservative small city, and she is a very tolerant, open-minded person. Ten years ago, she wrote a letter to the local newspaper editor to the effect of “we should all get along, regardless of our beliefs” and that “god would want us all to love each other” after the only local synagogue was spray painted with swastikas.

After the letter was published, she had a flaming Molotov Cocktail thrown at her house. Her car tires were slashed. They received over one hundred death threats on their answering machine from different people with different voices. Someone tried to run her car off the road. Someone let her horses out of their pasture, near a main road. The sheriff “investigated” but was not very sympathetic. She still, 10 years later, has people who won’t speak to her or look her in the eye at the grocery checkout. They call her “the atheist” and “the jew lover” behind her back. She’s infamous, but not giving up her home or her land over these idiots.

Of course in most cases, people will NOT go to these extremes. They will just disagree, petition or protest. But it can, and does, get dangerous. There are dozens of cases that I’ve read about over the years across the country. People’s dogs getting killed, kids getting beaten up at school, brake lines being cut…

This one is a good example of just how dangerous fundamentalist christians in our own country can be - a whole community coming together to ruin someone. She wasn’t even a humanist or atheist. She was a catholic who opposed the “mandatory” baptist classes her children were forced to take part at in public elementary school. She, and another mother opposed to the classes, were told “too bad” when they didn’t want their kids in religious classes at public school. So they filed a lawsuit to stop them, and then this happened:

Hell In Little Axe: An Oklahoma Mom’s Chilling Battle With Religious Bigotry

“Bell’s house was burned down by a firebomb. McCord’s 12-year-old son’s prize goats were slashed and mutilated with a knife. Bell was assaulted by a school cafeteria worker who smashed her head repeatedly against a car door. (School authorities praised the cafeteria worker, and she was forced to pay a $10 fine and Bell’s hospital bills, community residents raised donations on the assailant’s behalf.) McCord and Bell were both mailed their own obituaries.

They eventually won their case, Bell v. Little Axe Independent School District, in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals years later. But it wasn’t the court battle that resonated.  Rather, it was the difficulties that their families had to endure in order to maintain their religious liberty. Their story shows why it remains so important to protect the separation of church and state.”

Even after the house was burned down, the pet goats were killed, and the mother was horribly assaulted, the school district’s superintendent stated on public record that the school did no wrong, it was all the fault of the two mothers, “The only people who have been hurt by this thing are the Bells and McCords… They chose to create their own hell on earth.”

(Edited for typo)

[ Edited: 07 December 2008 04:56 PM by Jules ]
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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 07 December 2008 04:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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And people get upset about the irrational Moslem terrorists.  It’s amazing how rare critical thinking, objectivity, and common sense are in all our societies.

Occam

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Posted: 07 December 2008 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I know, yet they forget how violent Christian extremists can get.  It can be a real problem when trying to keep your family safe, esp when you have no clue what sort of Xian one is.  One has to use caution sometimes or they can end up with some really big headaches.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 09 December 2008 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Occam - 07 December 2008 04:51 PM

And people get upset about the irrational Muslim terrorists.  It’s amazing how rare critical thinking, objectivity, and common sense are in all our societies. Occam

A religious believer cannot use critical thinking, objectivity, and common sense when reaching their conclusions. Religious believers have world views based on faith. Therefore, when addressing a religious belief one must first address how one can have faith that their belief is true. The main difference between a Muslim extremist or any radical religious group and humanism is how each group views where they will end up at death. When a group encourages and supports a life after death the adherent will be more willing to sacrifice the here and now for a more abundant afterlife. On the other hand, when a group only sees what is in the present as the gift of being, death becomes more of a distraction than a future way to be. If one, believes that in death their life begins, one will be more likely to behave in a manner that promotes death as a way to coerce others to adhere to their belief system.
To be militant one must be willing to be combative. How could a pacifist be combative enough to kill simply to promote their understand of the world?

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Posted: 09 December 2008 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Quote Entity:

A religious believer cannot use critical thinking, objectivity, and common sense when reaching their conclusions.

  Not always true, Entity.  As examples, if you saw Religioulous, the vatican priest and the astronomer priest interviewed showed they were quite capable of being objective, using common sense, and understanding critical thinking. 

Occam

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Posted: 09 December 2008 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Occam - 09 December 2008 03:44 PM

Not always true, Entity.  As examples, if you saw Religioulous, the vatican priest and the astronomer priest interviewed showed they were quite capable of being objective, using common sense, and understanding critical thinking. Occam

I stand corrected; A religious believer cannot use critical thinking, objectivity, and common sense when reaching their “religious belief system’s” conclusions. As has been said before in other post, an objective conclusion to there being a god centered world is not possible. If one thinks critically about the possibility of there being a god then they are forgoing their ability to use common sense.

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Posted: 09 December 2008 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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While many of my beliefs are the same as yours, I have to recognize that I have no proof of the non-existence of a god.  My view is based on plausibility arguments, but is still faith.  Similarly, a theist who says s/he has no proof of the existence of a god but believes in its existence by faith has his/her thinking based on critical thinking and common sense just as much as mine is.  And, I feel our differing views are both based more on critical thinking and common sense than are the views of anyone who claims s/he has proof or disproof of the existence of a god.

Occam

edited to add “many of”

[ Edited: 14 December 2008 12:45 PM by Occam ]
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