ForumTouchy Subjects ► Atheism
Zia said:
I also think it's a bit rude to drag it through the mud when someone else has assigned meaning to it and finds it to be important to them.
I wouldn't be so contradictory if this thread were in a different subforum, but even dearly held beliefs are fair game for criticism in Touchy Subjects. As long as I criticize only ideas and not individuals, I don't think I'm being rude.
  
You out logiced a teenager and included math symbols that only a handful of users here get. Then you whipped out 26:4,5, whose keywords are fool and argue. I don’t think I need to explain why that’s rude.And of course you’re gonna glean right over this
  
Not a teenager. Also, I have learned my lesson. I won’t post here again. You may not have felt like you were being rude, but I mentioned twice how much that quote meant to me and you continued to drag it through the mud. So, thanks. I have been taught a lesson.
  
Shit, my bad. I’m really sorry. I’m so used to almost everyone here being a teenager.
  
Shit, my bad. I’m really sorry. I’m so used to almost everyone here being a teenager.



No bigs. I understand.
  
Then you whipped out 26:4,5, whose keywords are fool and argue.
I mentioned those proverbs in particular only because I think they are a good example of meaningful self-contradiction. I wasn't trying to imply anything else.

Blamblim, sorry for making you feel personally attacked and unwelcome. I certainly meant you no disrespect.
  
I wouldn't be so contradictory if this thread were in a different subforum, but even dearly held beliefs are fair game for criticism in Touchy Subjects. As long as I criticize only ideas and not individuals, I don't think I'm being rude.

Given that this is more of a morality and beliefs-based thread than it is a cold-hard-logic thread, I'll confess I still feel it was fairly inappropriate. I don't think anyone disagreed that inherently the statement wasn't "logical" - the discussion wasn't about that. It was about the meaning and philosophy that was assigned to it, which is a different discussion entirely. Calling it "literally nonsense" is definitely missing the forest for the trees.

Blamblim said:
Not a teenager. Also, I have learned my lesson. I won’t post here again. You may not have felt like you were being rude, but I mentioned twice how much that quote meant to me and you continued to drag it through the mud. So, thanks. I have been taught a lesson.


Personally, I would very much like to see you around. I hope that you might reconsider and not let this deter you too much.

Millpond said:
The main prejudice I have against (Western) Atheists is that I think they have a persecution complex. I do have sympathy for Atheists in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc where Atheism carries the death penalty though. You're the only Atheist in a religious family and your perception is that Atheists are persecuted. But religious people in Atheist families perceive the opposite.


Mmm, there are still plenty of extremely religious families who will actively excommunicate and disown children of theirs if they don't share the family's religious beliefs. Mormons are fairly notorious for this, as well as for excommunicating anyone who is a GSM/LGTBQ+ person. On the whole, I'd agree, but in same token it does happen on smaller scales.

There are many blue laws in the USA that revolve around religion/atheism. I'd say it's reasonable for an atheist woman to feel persecuted by religious people when it comes to issues such as abortion, for example. Milder blue laws include being unable to purchase alcohol before noon on Sundays, et cetera. There have recently arisen quite a few issues with the expansion of Catholic hospitals in the USA - many will not provide certain services due to it being against their religion. This is not good for people who may only have one regional hospital within easy driving distance. This can be life threatening for women who are undergoing miscarriages if a doctor deems it against his conscience to do anything to intervene and potentially encourage the miscarriage, even if saves the life of the woman. In such a situation it's not as though the woman has time to pick and choose - she goes to the nearest emergency services provider.

Those are real things that do happen in the USA, and they are systematic and rather frightening for people who don't share those religious beliefs.
  
Scoggles said:
A morality system free from supernatural influence is not amoral.
No, but moral nihilism is.
Hard disagree. Humans in societies change and intermix over time. New scenarios and technology create new dilemmas that can't all be addressed with Bronze Age morality. Every so often a good Etch-a-Sketch style shake-up is good, including deriving an entirely new deontological framework.
  
Putting aside my disagreements with your assessment of moral relativism, moral relativism != moral nihilism.
  
Zia said:
There are many blue laws in the USA that revolve around religion/atheism. I'd say it's reasonable for an atheist woman to feel persecuted by religious people when it comes to issues such as abortion, for example. Milder blue laws include being unable to purchase alcohol before noon on Sundays, et cetera. There have recently arisen quite a few issues with the expansion of Catholic hospitals in the USA - many will not provide certain services due to it being against their religion. This is not good for people who may only have one regional hospital within easy driving distance. This can be life threatening for women who are undergoing miscarriages if a doctor deems it against his conscience to do anything to intervene and potentially encourage the miscarriage, even if saves the life of the woman. In such a situation it's not as though the woman has time to pick and choose - she goes to the nearest emergency services provider.

Those are real things that do happen in the USA, and they are systematic and rather frightening for people who don't share those religious beliefs.
Atheists face deadly state persecution in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. [thorough research]

They may face some ill-will in the US especially if born into a religious family and/or in the Bible Belt. In some parts of the US people can't buy alcohol on Sunday, but I think that's scraping the barrel of religious persecution. As far as I know, abortion is legal in the US. People disagreeing isn't persecution.

In every other Western country Atheists are fine and virtually run the place.
  
That's some fine whataboutism there.
  
@Millpond said:
"The main prejudice I have against (Western) Atheists is that I think they have a persecution complex."

While the USA is not the only Western country, my goal was to illustrate why an atheist in a western country might reasonably feel persecuted. Many other countries have similar issues - Ireland in particular comes to mind as especially harsh on abortion, though they are beginning to make headway.

I am obviously not saying a USA atheist is worse off than someone in Afghanistan. Just because someone else is dying of cancer doesn't mean that a broken leg doesn't still suck, y'know?
  
Citing opposition to abortion as evidence of atheist persecution is a big stretch.
  
Many pro life advocates are less eloquent and less careful when arguing than you, and make irrelevant references to god and souls when discussing abortion. If your reasons to deny access to a service are religious, applying them to the non-religious is clearly a violation of the first amendment.
  
There are several problems with that argument. First, belief in souls, while strongly correlated, is distinct from belief in God (and likewise for disbelief). You can be a theist and not believe in souls, and you can be an atheist and believe in souls.

Second, support for elective abortion is far from universal among atheists and agnostics, at least in the US.
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_Pro-Life:
While 75% of white evangelical Protestants say that having an abortion is morally wrong, 25% of religiously unaffiliated people say so. The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics notes that 22% of nonreligious unaffiliated Americans describe themselves as "pro-life on abortion" while just 12% of atheists and agnostics do.
So again, there is a strong correlation here, but 12% is not 0%, and 75% is not 100%. Fundamentally, anti- vs. pro-abortion does not reduce to theistic vs. atheistic.

Third, there's a popular belief these days that any legislation influenced by a moral framework informed by Judeo-Christian thought is a violation of the Establishment Clause. That's clearly not what the founders intended. The Declaration of Independence itself, while not part of the Constitution, appeals to religious thought in justifying the existence of human rights. Lawmakers are free to apply their own value systems (which may be religious in origin) when writing laws, as long as the laws themselves don't violate the Constitution - including the Establishment Clause. Unless you would argue that abortion is an atheistic religious rite, outlawing elective abortion is clearly not a violation of atheists' religious rights. And even if it were, the state is free to override religious practices when there is a compelling public interest to do so.

Atheists may still face persecution at the social level, but there are very few examples of legal discrimination against atheists in the US, and those that do exist are unconstitutional.
  
Those are still some pretty darn significant numbers there. I would say it is not a huge leap, especially given how many interest groups that lobby for pro-life legislation are very openly religious. I think it's reasonable to say that even if not all people who are pro-life are religious (and vice versa), that much of the movement is spearheaded by people who ARE strongly religious and thus feel very strongly on the issue due to those beliefs.
  
I still don't think you're justified in characterizing the issue as theist vs. atheist. I think you'd find that those pro-life 12% of non-theists would not at all agree that anti-abortion laws are anti-atheist. That's too large a minority to ignore.

And again, pushing for policy based on a Christian moral framework does not amount to religious discrimination in the first place. Most Christians' ethical systems are based entirely around the concept of God as the source of moral truth. There is no truly neutral ideological basis for law. Every legal framework is predicated on the worldviews of its lawmakers. Lawmakers could try to operate under an atheistic perspective, but that wouldn't eliminate ideological bias; it would only change it.
  
Considering how few lawmakers are atheists (I think it's less than five in congress from memory) we are well and truly aware that lawmakers' ideological bases are influenced by religious beliefs.
  
Everyone bases their decisions on their own moral framework. I don't think it's a violation of the first amendment to go
I am religious -> I believe this is wrong, morally -> I think this should be banned.
There are plenty of other moral beliefs that religion informs, like not killing people or stealing things.
What would be wrong, is the thought process
This is against my religion -> it should be banned
Because that's trying to force your religion in people. But everyone making policy on things like these is trying to enforce their moral beliefs. There are some people out there who think that stealing things is morally okay, but we suppress their freedoms because the majority of the country thinks that it's not. Whether they think it's wrong because their morality is based in religion or not is irrelevant.
  
I don't think the law has any business attempting to enforce morality.

Law IMHO is about creating a well-ordered society. To what extent can you go about your daily business without having to worry about some unknown person doing something which will fuck you over?
  
Isn't "people should not fuck other people over" a kind of morality?
  
It coincides with a lot of moralities, but the motivation is different. It's not because it is "right" but because it is helpful/productive.
  
Coldfrost, this is great.
Coldfrost said:
Everyone bases their decisions on their own moral framework. I don't think it's a violation of the first amendment to go
I am religious -> I believe this is wrong, morally -> I think this should be banned.
There are plenty of other moral beliefs that religion informs, like not killing people or stealing things.
What would be wrong, is the thought process
This is against my religion -> it should be banned
Because that's trying to force your religion in people. But everyone making policy on things like these is trying to enforce their moral beliefs. There are some people out there who think that stealing things is morally okay, but we suppress their freedoms because the majority of the country thinks that it's not. Whether they think it's wrong because their morality is based in religion or not is irrelevant.
  
DIAV said:
It coincides with a lot of moralities, but the motivation is different. It's not because it is "right" but because it is helpful/productive.

Is it good to be helpful/productive?
  
In any absolute abstract sense, I make no claim.

I do think it's a reasonable and practical * basis for law.


* again in the everyday sense before you bolt for that rabbit hole.