My Photo

The Out Campaign

Atheist Blogroll

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 05/2005

« What Women Want, and the Myth of the Psychic Lesbians | Main | I'm Number 10! »

Comments

Kathi

Since neither side is likely to change the beliefs of the other, I guess I do think most of the arguments are pointless.

I don't say the conversations shouldn't be taking place, but I really see it as a lose/lose concept doomed to failure.

When one side tries to override the rights of the other they need to be stopped. When one side tries to control the thoughts of the other they need to be stopped.

I've seen both ends of the extreme on this issue and, like most other examples of extremism, I think they're both equally wrong in their attitudes. Most of us live in the middle ground and are perfectly content to live and let live. I am not saying anyone should 'shut up', but like other subjects, until the dialogue becomes rational and mannerly there is no hope of common ground or resolution.

Religion is not going to disappear and neither is atheism. We'll all have to learn to get along one way or another eventually.

Kitty

I am in love with your writing style. From now on I will be a faithful reader (no pun intended). I am a newly confirmed atheist after a squandered life trying to will the supernatural into being, but I did finally see religion/spiritualism for what it really is- hopeful wishing only. I feel much better living in the real world. Since this is the only life I get I don't want to waste any more time being delusional.

llewelly

Kathi | February 18, 2011 at 06:33 AM:


Since neither side is likely to change the beliefs of the other, I guess I do think most of the arguments are pointless.

Numerous surveys, by organizations as different as ARIS, PEW, and even Gallup have shown that nonbelievers and atheists have been becoming more common. The Secular Student alliance has grown from a mere 100 groups in 2008 to over 250 groups in 2011. Mina Ahadi, Hector Avalos, Taslima Nasrin, Dan Barker, Bart Ehrman, Steve Benson, and many other famous atheists were raised religious and changed their minds when they grew older. I know atheists who are former true believing Mormons (Myself and at least two other pharyngula regulars), and atheists who graduated from Oral Roberts University (one of whom comments as "Jules, Bride of Death" on pharyngula.)


Many people have changed their minds about religion. Research by Dr. Luke Galen (who participates in the excellent Reasonable Doubts podcast), Bob Altemeyer (author of The Authoritarians), and others shows that this is a long process often involving much introspection, and introduction to the ideas of atheists and other freethinkers.


Any careful study of the history of feminism, civil rights, LGBT rights, and environmentalism will show that these movements have transformed the behavior of many nations and many peoples.


The oft-repeated notion that minds cannot be changed is grossly false; it cannot be believed except through failure to consider history, or in some cases, outright denial of history.


In fact, the changing of minds plays a strong role in every aspect of human history; from the spread of languages to the spread of tools to spread of artistic ideas to the responses of various cultures to crises of war, climate, politics, and religion.


If humans have any attribute in which we are greatly different from the other animals we are related to, it is in our far superior ability to learn new facts, develop new ideas, devise new tools, consider changes around us, and change our behavior in response. To fail to recognize this is to fail to recognize what it means to be human; the mutability of our brains is in many ways among our most defining attributes.


It is high time that people stopped repeating the notion that minds cannot be changed.


Nurse Ingrid

Thanks, llewelly, that was very eloquent and beautifully argued. I was so inspired on my recent trip to Salt Lake City, by all the ex-Mormon atheists I met. They had such amazing stories about their deconversion experiences.

Also, I would like to suggest that Kathi familiarize herself with the Fallacy of the Golden Mean. Basically, if one person says that 2+2=4, and another says that 2+2=5, you are saying that we should agree that "the truth must be somewhere in the middle." 4.5, I suppose.

Nathanael

Kim, I think the simplest counterargument is "Religion is not comforting for most people. They like to make you think that it is, but in fact it is deeply DIScomforting for most people."

You have to marshall evidence for that of course, but there's LOTS of it, particularly for any religion with a hell.

Michael Price

"Why do you care what other people believe?"
Note that this argument is made by a group that spends literally millions of man-hours and tens of millions of dollars trying to get other people to believe things.

Niya

Kudos!

Jeff

Many atheists are very bright but don't really think critically. For a long time, and even now alot of people believed in the big bang. "A single point of infinite density"- there is nothing scientific about that. It's just another creation story. And as far as those kind of arguments I think the one atheists use is the "that's cliche" argument. But just because an argument is cliche doesn't mean it's not true. If someone believes in the big bang people will probably tell them. "Explosions don't create they destroy." (Especially a non-directed explosion) Just our solar system is much more efficient than the best electric motors but it apparently came from an explosion. Another argument Atheists use is the "if there's enough of it argument." "Living humans can't come from the inanimate matter of earth." - Then the atheist says, "if enough time passes he can." "An explosion didn't create all the beauty we see."/"If the explosion was big enough it could." ....Anyway it's not illogical to look at a life and assume it came from a bigger life anymore than it is to look at a rock and assume it came from a bigger rock.

Jeff

Even though I don't agree with you views. To bring some more lightheartedness to the discussion and because given the title of your blog this was bound to come up eventually- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptJJAPL5vGA

Justin Ramirez

very reasonable points.

cell phone directory

I appreciate the time you put into this post. In fact your writing has me wanting to kickoff my own webblog now. Thanks again for sharing this up.

Gunnar Tveiten

I've lost count of the times I've had to explain why we can't "just get along."

I wish we could. But I cannot ignore the topic as long as belief leads to action, and action leads to suffering every single day.

Are you seriously asking me to ignore the tyrant who is doing his level best to keep friends I care about caged ? I mean that in a very real sense, I've got *friends* who live in countries where they'd be (in principle atleast, what would happen in practice is anyones guess) for saying: "Im an atheist" or "I am gay", or "I've decided to marry this guy."

If the religious of the world, all agreed that their religious convictions should hold -zero- influence over anyone who is a nonbeliever, then yes, we could "just get along". But that isn't the world we live in.

T. Ray

succinct +1
salient +1
(as usual)

If religions and religious beliefs had no influence on civics there would be little motive for disputing them. Conversely, if other delusional hobbies (such as gaming, romance novels, ghost hunting) made a claim to pertinence in public policy we would be just as staunch in our detraction.

T. Ray

succinct +1
salient +1
(as usual)

If religions and religious beliefs had no influence on civics there would be little motive for disputing them. Conversely, if other delusional hobbies (such as gaming, romance novels, ghost hunting) made a claim to pertinence in public policy we would be just as staunch in our detraction.

 xtreme lean

I think the religious are adults who though incorrect, are perfectly capable of marshalling decent arguments in their own defence.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Subscribe/ Donate to This Blog!

Books of mine

Greta on SSA Speakers Bureau


  • Greta Christina is on the Speakers Bureau of the Secular Students Alliance. Invite her to speak to your group!

Your email address:


Powered by FeedBlitz


Powered by Rollyo

Some Favorite Posts and Conversations: Atheism

Some Favorite Posts and Conversations: Sex

Some Favorite Posts: Art, Politics, Other Stuff