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QUESTION A lot of angry and/or uneducated atheists around here...

Review: A History of God, by Karen Armstrong's (see link)

I've been reading and commenting all over in here, and I see a lot of angry non-believers around. Anger is a secondary emotion usually base on fears or a lack of knowledge. I used to be such an atheist.

I feel I became a much better, less bitter atheist when I stopped choosing to loathe and ignore religion, and instead decided to learn about it's roots (specifically the roots of the Judaic/Christian/Muslim God, Yahweh). It took the actions of 19 guys riding in 4 airplanes to bring me to the point that my lack of understanding about the topic of religion was a detriment to myself, and I sought out to find out how what was purported to be something grand and wonderful had gotten twisted into what it has become today, at least for an alarming large segment of people who profess to believe in God.

I faced my fears--not even realizing at the time that they actually WERE fears--and I found when I did a level of peace and acceptance that I had been lacking. Knowledge is indeed power, and the book that I've linked to is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to gain an understanding of where and when and how Western society came to have these beliefs in a higher power, and what it means today.

The book is written as a historical tour, using resources that most of us will never have access to, and will give you insights that will reshape your views on religion all together. It takes us from the dawn of Judaism through to about the 16th century, detailing what was happening in the societies in which each part of the 3 books (the Torah, the Bible, and the Qur'an) were written, providing context and understanding of the past that most of us share, and of which we are decendent from.

The follow-up book from the same author, "Battle for God", is a must-have to understand our current religious and, yes, political environment, for the two are intertwined throughout history, and serves as a fine basis to not only grasp, but also challenge the beliefs of current religious believers.

I cannot recommend highly enough that you consider and follow through reading both of these books, and it is my hope that in doing so you may let go of some hate and/or fear, for in doing so we have the best chance of becoming our best selves, which in turn may help others find their ways out of the harsh and hateful religious views that pervades our society today.

Happy reading!

ravnostic 6 Jan 29
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61 comments

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78

I am not angry about a religion or a person's beliefs. I have just as much fun with a devout Catholic as I do a devout Muslim.

I am, however, angry at:
People that use their religious power to take advantage of others
People that use their religious influence to protect the above
People that use their religion as an excuse to try and shoot me
People that use their religion as a reason to act terribly towards others
People that use their religion to lecture others
People that try to force their religion on others that state they have no interest
People that hide behind their religion when confronted about what they've done

Notice every one of those starts with a person, not the religion.

Aenith Level 4 Jan 29, 2018

So. Much. This.

when the religious evangelical crowd denies evolution be taught in schools, deny bathroom rights, deny homosexuals basic human rights and so on down the list, it is enough to get my dander up

You pretty much summarized most of the sources of anger for many.

@aenith each sentence starts with "people", the subject of your rebuttal. The books I recommend address more the verbs, objects, and other parts of those sentences, and allow one to gain an understanding of WHY and HOW those "Who"s are the way they are. It will make you look inward at the "why's" and "how's" of YOUR OWN reactions, and that in turn will develop your outward look about them, perhaps in a more productive way. Thank you for your comment; as always, YMMV.

Thank you for saving me the trouble of replying. You expressed my thoughts better than I could have done.

@ravnostic Having read A history of God and much more like it I can honestly say no it won't, at least not for me and likely not for most here. Unlike most here I have actually waded through the history and origins of all major religions both in the historical and factual text, as well as philosophical. I have also spent years in places like Isreal, Vatican City, Japan, Korea, India and most recently Iraq, Afghan, and Saudi Arabia. What I posted is exactly what 20+ years of exposure to the history of the religions of the world, as well as the people of the world, have taught me. It is a knowledge books cannot give you, and it is an experience that truly wil give you a deeper understanding of why people act the way they do. These experiences also force a person to reflect inwardly far more effectively than a book ever can. I did not reply out of reflex, I posted out of knowledge and experience, and I stand by both of my replies to your post.

If a religion influenced a person to act a specific and obvious way then 90% or more members of that religion would be exactly that way. This is not the case, in any religion, in any part of history. This means that a person is the one responsible for their actions, not a religion or it's leaders. In another reply, you use technology as an example of spreading corruption, and while yes you are correct, there were still people that stood up and said: "no, this is wrong". I don't go so far as to lump the people that have a broken moral compass as sheep, because frankly, they aren't. They have made a conscious decision to be that way, as made obvious by those that haven't, and that is what I despise.

@aenith thank you for that response, it's well expressed an well stated. I would be interested in more of what you may have to say.

My thoughts and views are, of course, limited to my own experiences, (hence the YMMV, "your milage may vary", people will get more or less milage out of my thoughts based upon their own experiences), but I am always interested in the views and thoughts of others that provide a glimpse beyond my own, because maybe I get eek a few more inches or miles out of my failing legs with a little insight from outside my own boxes.

@ravnostic *eke
(I loathe autocorrect)

While it is true they all start with the person, the person is as oft the victim AND victimizer in these scenarios. They have been raised in these mindsets, cultivated to think and behave in these ways by the religious culture they are mired in, by that particular micro cul;ture of religion.

These micro cultures can be quite small and have a huge impact. Westboro Baptist is little more than a single family, the total church is only 70 members give or take at its heyday, but for people inside them, they are the wole world and they live inside that bubble.

If someone is raised in a tribe which teaches them horrible ideas, are they at fault themselves or the orverarching culture, in this case a religion?
If someone is convinced of the tale by emotinal appeal, convinced they must believe to save themselves, convinced their eternal soul, or their childrens at risk because of things they have been led to believe, are they at fault ALONE, or are those teaching them this also at fault.

Whom would you say bears the lions share of responsibility?
I do not deny the individuals personal responsibility, but neither do I deny their humanity, and with it the human frailties it carries with it, like the ability to be convinced of a thing on poor evidence, or swayed by charisma or emotional appeal. this is doubly true for faiths which target those at most risk, those in grief, those suffering loss of job, home, illness and so forth.

@Davesnothere A child molester oft starts out the victim as well but receives no reprieve in sentencing.

A person knows what is right and what is wrong, as has been proven by the ones that go against what they are taught. So I feel no remorse for those that do not, and are as dispicable as those that taught them to be that way.

If these "sheep" (because that is exactly what you are calling them) do not know what they do is wrong then why do they run like roaches when it is time for them to be arrested for it? Why do their peers lie to protect them? Why do they do everything possible to shift blame?

Because they know, and do not care.

@Aenith The ones who go against what they are taught have already breached that indoctrination, the ones who have not breached it actually think they are doing good, which is a huge part of the problem.

Religion has the capability of convincing good people to do horriffic things thinking and believing they are actually doing good, and that is fucking dangerous. When you look at something like the Inquisition, it is easy for us to think 'these people were crazy, or evil", but the reality is far more insidious and worse, in that you have people utterly convinced that IFthey do not torture you in a horriffic fashion to get you to confess, so they can burn you alive for your "sin"
THEN your soul will burn for an eternity
So, in thier OWN MIND, they are doing not only Good, but the highest Good, saving your soul.

It is not because they "know" and do not care, but because they are in a state of Cognitive Denial. The religion teaches them to BELIEVE and Not think too much. It is those who do think that break free, those who remain in faith do not think outside the paradigm, and so think they are doing good when they are being bigoted.

It is not that the individual does not bear any responsibility, it is that their worldview actuall prevents them from seeing the harm, because they either see it as a good or as a neccessary evil, like pulling a rotten tooth, and the religious systems have a great many rationalizations, ready made, worked out by Theologians over two thousand years, to simply hand the believer to shore up their belief and allow them not to think about it too deeply.

This is the mechanism which allows Catholics to remain faithful to the Church despite all the evidence of the Churches history, itt is an elaborate rationalization, which to those outsidethat bubble is as trasparant as cellophane, but to the believer feels as solid as concrete.

@Aenith "Reason is the Enemy of Faith"--Martin Luther

@Davesnothere Ignorance is not the same as innocence. Those same arguments could be used for figureheads like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, and many others. The action itself makes you "evil" just as wholly as the intention does.

You hit someone with your car because you were on your cell phone. You certainly didn't mean to, and most likely feel horrible about it. Truly not intentional, you're still going to jail for manslaughter. No difference here.

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who do nothing"
This includes calling it out for what it is without allowing for why it is that way. To truly stop something on a grand scale the reason why is irrelevant. Once something gets so large you can not fix the why, the idea must be wiped out completely or dealt with. We have and are dealing with it mostly because such things were overlooked in the past. This is not the case anymore, the law does not care that they were taught it is ok to do the things I listed above. The law does not discriminate, and neither do I.

@Aenith That is a poor correlation.
IF you are raised in a tribe which teaches you that only your tribe has value and all other tribes are evil in your worldview, and it is not the childs fault they have it. They were raised in it by no choice of their own.

The Child grows into an adult and MIGHT grow out of those ideas, but it is unlikely, it takes a skeptical mind to break free.

The Law certainly DOES discriminate, by circumstance, by level of involvement, by action and deed. Murder is not murder in every circumstance even though the person is always equally murdered. The Law might decide it was 1st degree, 2nd degree, Manslughter, or Negligent and so forth.

You seem to have lost all sense of Nuance on this and want to lump all believers into some boat with Nazis.

@Davesnothere Hardly lost anything. My original reply and all subsequent replies have been in the context of people, not religion. I could care less what group who is in, but I do care when they abuse it to continue immoral acts, this could include groups such as politicians as well as "believers". And no, layers of prosecution do not equate to discrimination. You are still prosecuted. Society cares nothing about your heritage when you are committing acts of aggression or terrorism. I can assure you, from both personal experience and command positioning, that when an Islamic tribe opens fire on allied forces we return fire with as much zeal as we would Christian tribes who do the same. Political zealots receive the exact same treatment as religious fighters. Personal experience counts for nothing once that person chooses to harm another. That is how it should be, and for once court systems around the country have started to show the same opinion in the last 15-20 years. Though there is still a long way to go.

It would seem more likely that the parallels here hit a little close to home for you, or one you love. For that I am sorry.

@Aenith Layers of "prosecution"?
And yes they do matter. If your convicted of murder 1 you get life without parole or death, if it is negligent homicide, you get 5 years.
That is a hell of a diference, both for "taking a life", because we consider scircumstances. To not consider circumstances is to PREJUDGE based on your own ideology.

How is this now Terrorism? That is extremism,, not just religious belief. extremism is both religious and political ideology combined. It is also not at all what I am talking about.

In your first response you said you are angry, and it shows. Angry at people who
do things based on thier religious ideology. You are angry at their actions, which are associated with or based upon their religious ideology. They are not seperate things, that you can then blame the person and leave the religious ideology out of the picture entirely.
They COULD NOT have developed those ideologies without the religion, the ideas, and the acts whioch spring from them are dependent upon the religion.

"Personal experience counts for nothing once that person chooses to harm another."-- the fact that you see this as some simple choice, like picking a flavor of ice cream, tells me you do not understand the central issues.

IF a person becomes convinced of an ideology, then they adopt it, and its tennets. That is why ideologies are dangerous. This enable GOOD people to do horrid things, all the while thinking and believing they are doing Good things against an EVIL society.

@Aenith Too many people are sheep. You are giving humanity way to much credit for the ability to think and reason. There is nothing in human hstory to support that.

@Sticks48 Possibly. But even in the worst of conditions, I have seen reasoning break through. Some of the fiercest fighting you can see and a Muslim will risk their lives for their enemy just because enough of it has sunk in.

That is probably not the greatest of examples, but the idea is that all it takes is one experience to change the way a person thinks permanently. They just have to be open to it. It doesn't mean they abandon what they believe, just that they see the need for change. I have personally seen the most conditioned individuals go through this change. If they can, anyone can.

24

I have read frustration expressed on this site, but this site is a safe zone for us. We can rant and rave if we so choose. I'm frustrated at times with religion and the religious. I'm human and can be annoyed.

Empathy is something that comes with maturity.

I just read the latest National Geographic about "The Science of Good and Evil". Empathy or lack of it are brain functions and are present at birth. It says even infants as young as 6 months display empathy or even a lack of it.

Indeed, I totally agree. Just like everyone else, I'm expressing my views on the subject. I'm not afraid if this makes people hostile towards me nor fans of what I may have to offer or suggest. Either way, it should be a safe zone where we ALL can express ourselves. This post is just one of my said expressions.

@JackPedigo and likely trained away by the separatist thinking of religions? I read a study showing that compassion and empathy were highest among kids with no religion in their lives.

@ravnostic I think this post is aces. You see how many members are on your thread?? Keep posting ๐Ÿ™‚

@Ad4hubby According to the article the inborn feelings can be shaped by the environment. The biggest shaper is how the child is treated by it's caregivers. I am a prime example in that I was raised Catholic but had caring parents. Religion was a part but not pushed. It took me years to see the bad side and leave. My parents or upbringing had nothing to do with my exodus.

@JackPedigo we're all very different creatures ๐Ÿ™‚

@ad4hubby I am quite pleased that I stimulated discussion, that was (and is often) my intent. I'm not in the least bit disappointed at the responses, either. I have no problem with dissenting viewpoints. ๐Ÿ™‚

@Ad4hubby I like to say people are all the same yet we (as individuals are all different). However, we do all have the same brains and DNA.

@JackPedigo I prefer it as I stated it ๐Ÿ™‚ but thank you

@JackPedigo I'm curious if the article got into differences in oxytocin between people's inherent genetic DNA? Actually it is oxytocin which dictates empathy, and there are average levels common to races. . .so no, we aren't all predisposed to the same behavior. Testosterone levels, responsible for aggression have racial averages as well. . .

@Queenlyhippy I doon't recall it did. It mainly used brain scans to see which part of the brain were active during various experiments.See for yourself.
[nationalgeographic.com]

@ravnostic Also please remember online, we have a communication problem already....we can't see faces, hear voices, read emotions. So, the art of conversation will always be limited....what you percieve as anger, could be frustration. Or sarcasm/ poorly written attempt at humor.

@twill excellent point.

21

I studied religions in college, 45+ years ago, plus I can quote the babble with the best of them.
My Rage comes from seeing, every day in every way, the awfulness of humans to each other "in the name of (some) gawd", never mind reading history. I should turn the other cheek?

Oh, no, not at all! But I doubt your theology courses focused on the historical data in a way that explained the extremist views we have today and how society and technologies shaped them. If you were to read these books you'd be starting with far more information than I, and would probably grasp the points better than I did. I had to do all my theology training concurrently with books taught in theology classes. Rereading them after, I grasped many finer points I had missed the first time around. As an example, what do you know of the Latter Rain Movement? What do you know about the earliest preachers of that movement who began using radio, and then television, to spread their message intentionally to the undereducated in a way that shaped the worst of Christianity that we have today, and how they weaseled their way into politics, which has exasserbated things even further? I just sent out an invitation to a party, no one, of course, least of all me, is going to force you to attend.

14

i have a healthy loathing for everything that spells religion. too much harm & damage has been done by the church, atrocities suffered by millions. & there seems to be no end: usa - in god we trust, israel, sharia law in islam.... i've had a gutful of holding back & acknowledging religion's sanctity, & i'm just gonna spill it all out to my heart's content. religion is not just opium to the people, it is a foul poison that will destroy our society - if we keep looking the other way.

I try to look all directions, just also trying to put a flashlight into some dark nooks and crannies. ๐Ÿ˜‰

@ravnostic, i do appreciate the "ratting out" of the dark. personally i don't have the time &/or energy (any more) to focus on anything religious, past or present; thus i don't usually vent anger against the church anywhere. but i do hate 'em, man, i do! ๐Ÿ˜€

@walklightly it's good to know what battles you care to right. Can't fault you there, nosiree

13

You lost me at angry and/or uneducated athiests and I don't know who the fuck you think you are? Judgement is one of the biggest reasons I am an athiest. Go preach somewhere else.

Direct and to the point.

Thank you!!! My sentiments exactly.

Silencing voices of dissent is exactly what the religious right advocates. Thank you for demonstrating such tactics can be advocated for on both sides of the argument.

@ravnostic I think you're a secret religiot. You're showing all the signs.

13

Who cares? Christopher Hitchens was angry, and that's good enough for me.

12

When everything you see and hear is coming from the religious side it can make you want to scream. This sight is one little small corner of the Internet that isn't for those who are religious, so naturally some may air their grievances. I think you may be perceiving anger that isn't there. There are a lot of legitimate complaints that can be made about what we have to live with, being outnumbered 5 to one by the religious. I read tons of books about religion before I came to the conclusion that we'd be better off without it. I am not interested in reading another one.

Fair enough. But bear in mind, religion isn't going away, and trying to suppress it in society without addressing it's roots is how terrorists are made. What has happened in the Middle east with Islam came about because of the secularization of their societies that ignored the faithful. It hasn't gone well, and it's being repeated here. Those not familiar with their pasts are doomed to repeat them and all of that. YMMV.

@ravnostic
Trying to suppress it? Are you serious? Christians are a huge majority in this country, and theyโ€™ve been walking over every minority for at least as far back as I can remember. Iโ€™m all for religious freedom, and most of my family are religious. I stand quietly at all the holiday meals while they pray, but I wonโ€™t stand still while the government uses my tax money to endorse religion, or tries to tell people they canโ€™t date who they want, because their โ€œgodโ€ says it isnโ€™t right.

@eazyduzzit Totally serious. If you hadn't noticed, the religious right in America feels marginalized, and it goes back over 100 years. An in depth look into that argument is beyond the purview of both this post and the comment section within it, but you are welcome to either read or ignore future posts I make on the subject.

@ravnostic
Answer me this, how can any group who owns almost every elected public office in the country feel marginalized.
I know itโ€™s their favorite hobby to whine about being persecuted. Thatโ€™s been every religionโ€™s favorite thing when they talk amongst themselves โ€œpoor us, weโ€™re so mistreatedโ€.

As I said it would take far to long to put my thoughts on the subject here in this post. Tell you what, though, I will address the issue in a new post, tonight if I have time, say 6, 7 hours from now? Keep an eye out for it if you are interested. I will probably piss off a whole new set of people lolz.

@ravnostic TV - the reason you're pissing everyone off here is because you're preaching to the wrong people. Go explain your ideas to the religious extremists & see if they give a flying fart.

11

Simply put no amount of historical knowledge will excuse or condone what is done in the name of those religions. To further suggest that this allows the challenge of another's belief is both presumptuous and arrogant, not to mention no better that pushy bible-thumpers. In the same essay you attempt to "relieve" one person's anger while simultaneously suggesting that person invoke that same anger in another.

The problem doesn't fall on any religion, it falls on the morals of a person. Atheists and Agnostics can be just as immoral as any other person, and I would include gearing a person to challenge another's faith in that slot. A good person does not need to "find their way out" of anything.

"Atheists and Agnostics can be just as immoral as any other person". I would also add as ignorant. Religion is a complex issue and too many of us try to simplify it so that it is more palatable.

Thank you for expressing that. But people of "good faith" (for lack of a better term) exist in any camp, and understanding is NOT the same as condoling or advocating. No one's freedom of expression should be silenced, but it's also true you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

@ravnostic - so you can't find a better word than "faith"? Sounds a bit uneducated.

11

Here's a thought: It's like the person who complains about there always being bad news in the newspaper. The response is that no one writes about train wrecks that DON'T happen. There won't be a headline that announces "No houses burned down today." Could it be that it only SEEMS like all the atheists are angry because those are the voices that are writing and speaking, posting online, and making YouTube videos? Just a thought, not a claim.

I'm only ever angry about religion here. In real life, I keep it to myself.

Well, I don't think ALL atheists are angry, just as I don't think ALL Christians are hateful either. And it's true about squeeky wheels, for sure. I guess you could say I'm advocating for a little routine maintenance on the tires and axles so we don't fall into the same state of disrepair.

@ravnostic That sounds reasonable ๐Ÿ™‚

11

Sometimes people say what I think so well, I don't need to repeat it, like here. I don't think your Dr Phil effort is needed here. This is no longer the 20th Century; things have changed;

LOL! This made me chuckle, and then I thought....I'm not sure to whom you are directing this statement. "I don't think your Dr. Phil effort is needed here." ?

Thank you, I think? By and large my views are neither more nor less valid than anyone elses, and I shouldn't have more or less space to air them as anyone else here. My opinion is that I think my suggestions will lead to more productive discourse when religious people start showing up to the party, and they will. Should we silence them when they arrive, as they silence us in the world? Or should we demonstrate that our knowledge of their roots is greater than their own, and cause them to leave (or stay) of their own volition? I think by engaging them effectively we have a better chance to effect positive change rather than just give them a place in which to point and say, "There! See how evil them ath'ists are!"

@ravnostic I've had intelligent informed discourse with religious people. It never changed a thing for either of us. I think as an atheist - if you have been raised in a religion - that you come to a moment - sooner or later when you just go "What?!!" - and things change from there. I don't think the most brilliant argument with a theist will ever change anything. I know where religious people are coming from. Knowing the history of a religion - gives me more information to argue - but I don't think anything good ever comes out those discussions.

10

@ravnostic, I agree with so much of what others have said regarding being angry at the damage religion has done. I take issue with your generalization that atheists' anger is based on fear and hatred. Perhaps more than that, I find your tone smug and condescending.

I agree, and that is why I only skimmed what was posted and had no desire to reply. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks, I will try to express myself less condencendingly going forward, as that wasn't my intention. I'm just a flawed human like the rest of us and sometimes I can miss my mark.

@ravnostic Verbosity is a complete turn off. You could improve your spelling as well. Looks a bit uneducated.

8

If I have to read about religion(s), I prefer Reza Aslan. As it is, I prefer not to read any more about it. I don't care what people believe. There are those who seem to really need some kind of faith to make sense of the world. As long as they don't try to push it down my throat, or pass laws using it to affect the lives of others, they can pray to whatever deity they choose. When they try to insert themselves into matters of state, I do get angry.

They have inserted themselves. I advocate we get a spot at the table, and to be effective, we better "know they enemy" at least as well as we know ourselves (I'd argue also that some of us may not to either). YMMV

6

I also have seen angry atheists. Maybe even a few uneducated ones. You see that on both sides of the issue. If we as human beings could get past our us vs. them mentality and realize that not everyone is going to be a clone of your ideas, then perhaps that anger level will lower.
As a teacher and student of history I see that human beings are very tribal. Those who are not in our tribe (ie. Christians, non-Christians, Americans, or any other groupings of humans) are looked at as outsiders and a threat. It is natural to see this when you look at humans throughout history all the way back to the Paleolithic hunter/gathers.
As a fellow human being, I am trying to look at others as a collective group of folks just trying to make it through this thing called life and less as those people are different than me and therefore should be looked upon with suspicion.
I understand the anger issue regarding atheists who were former Christians. A feeling of being lied to and being subjected to what we might perceive as stupidity can cause ill feelings. Like the Wizard of Oz being revealed as a little man behind the curtain instead of the great and mighty Oz. But the anger will just burn us out and cause a third degree injury to our hearts. We've got to get past it.
Just my opinion.

Well put, thanks.

i love your sentiment.
if we, as individual human beings - & i want to emphasize "individual" here, because i can not befriend a potentially manipulative institution - do not realise our ability to acknowledge the non-harming otherness in each other, in order to connect in a kind & emphatic way, we will be doomed as a species ... & no harm done (to the planet, i mean). just my thoughts ... ๐Ÿ˜‰

@walklightly whew! im overwhelmed.....time for a rip off the old bong!!!

nah, @mangro, ta anywho ... don't smoke it no more.

Let your vision be world embracing

6

Possibly people are angry because they have been mistreated by theists? Or maybe people are angry because theists are concrete thinkers and refuse to admit they have no evidence in their favor? Or maybe the anger stems from a dislike towards weakness (many theists need religion because they can not stand the fact that they ultimately have no control over what happens to them, they aren't strong enough to face reality). Education of antitheists on the origins of religion don't really help these things, but it a good to be informed of the world around you (knowing things never hurts even if it is knowing fairy tales and their origins).

Please forgive the spelling errors and such, auto correct is not my friend.

???? Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confessions - YouTube

I belong to a school of thought that says a broad education isn't a bad thing. Thank you for taking the time to comment, and to question.

6

I'm sure that for most people anger is not a way of life and it is not something that they continually experience. There are times in life when someone is justly angry because another person has done something that is deeply upsetting. There are those who may make a career out of anger, that is, they use every situation to vent their anger.
Personally, I am not angry with religious people and I know people from different religions with whom I have enjoyed some good times, I simply do not share their beliefs.

5

I will probably read them BUT my anger is informed by the multitude of ways the religious have sought to dominate our society and their refusal to mitigate their arbitrary rules when confronted with the harms they inflict. Religion itself is rather meh, and has at time been of benefit to our civilisation.

4

I've read every major religious text over the years, as well as many remaining extinct and minor religious texts. I think all atheists should read about religion to better understand its role in human history. Religion used to serve as an invaluable tool for the rise of civilization. Now that we have science it is antiquated and counter productive at best.

4

I'm just here to have fun. Best part is being anonymous, since saying things in public just gets a feminist, SJW or triggered imbecile up in your face.

?SJW

Hmmm...Iโ€™m wondering if you ever might wonder what you might be saying that upsets other people.

@btroje Social Justice Warrior. Basically someone who overreacts to anything that another person says if it goes against their beliefs. They are pretty much children who believe they must correct everyone to believe what they believe.

Also @Orange_girl I am responsible for what I say but I am not responsible for how someone else feels. I have no control over their emotions or reactions. I am a logical person with full control over my emotions, this is an evolutionary benefit of the way I was raised. I don't take offense to racism or personal attacks against me because that would be a waste of time, energy and efficiency.

If what I say offends someone then that is their choice to be offended, it would be much easier to just ignore my comments. That's what I do.

@btroje Social Justice Warrior - yup had to look it up.

@RavenCT thanks

@Lancer I think what you've stated is a huge problem today. I hope you eventually come to care how others feel. This makes me quite sad.

@orange_girl I don't quite see a problem. Because if I did change and consider how I might offend or trigger everyone in the world. I might as well sew my mouth shut forever.

Human beings need to be able to express themselves verbally however they choose. I've had racists screaming abuse at me and also had bullies try to beat me up. But I never chose to become a victim about it. I just took their words as worthless wastes of oxygen.

The moment we allow others feelings to dictate our speech. We lose the freedom of speech all together

@Lancer I appreciate your lengthy response. I have two problems with your posts here: 1) you imply that "feminists" and "social justice warriors" get angry without cause and 2) your outlook allows you to avoid taking responsibility for your words.

I think words matters and they have consequences.

@orange_girl

  1. I've never met a respectful considerate feminist in my life. I usually hold the door open for everyone and one day a feminist said to me "Don't you think that I could do that myself?" When I was just trying to do a nice thing for a stranger. Also there's no real need for feminism anymore. Women are now the majority of university students, they do better than boys in school, they get preferentially selected for jobs over men with the same qualifications.

Women are freer now than ever before. So we no longer need feminism.

Also
2) all I'm saying is that it's not possible to not offend anyone. I'm sure you realise that just by existing, people hurt others. That's a fact of life. I accept responsibility for my actions. I also accept responsibility for my words. But I don't accept responsibility for another persons feelings and emotions.

All I'm saying is, people need to be responsible for themselves sometimes. They're not kids anymore, they are adults. Which is why I treat them as such.

@Lancer I don't know how you can write the above with the Me too movement at full force. Women still have a lot to fight for (stopping domestic violence, rape and getting equal pay for starters). We need feminism more than ever.

Also, if men really wanted to help women, they would do something that mattered (like taking the same wage or changing a diaper) rather than simply holding open the door.

I don't think I'm going to change your mind on any of this, so for my own sanity, I'm leaving this discussion. For those of you besides Lancer who read this, please please please rethink what he's said.

@orange_girl
With regards to the "Me too" thing. I was under the impression that women said they were strong, equal to men and were empowered. Was this false?
With regards to sexual harassment and rape. It happens to men too. Women need to do what men have been doing for years, they need to become stronger. If they are afraid of rape then learn self defense, it's called fighting back. The world is a cruel and dangerous place for men and women. No police or government legislation can prevent that.

Also men do take the same wage for the same work. This idea of the wage gap existing where women are paid less for doing the same job is preposterous. The reason for the wage gap is lifestyle choices. Women choose to study art, nursing, education. Very few choose engineering, maths or physics. But that is changing. Because more women don't want to have to rely on men and they also want a higher quality of life. Which means they need more money. Hence the smart ones are moving to the higher paying career paths.

Also the holding the door example was just that, an example. A basic courteous gesture that the feminist had to attack me for. It was nothing, but she made it into something.

My mother is an upstanding engineer, she was smart. She is currently working to promote women in engineering fields with over 100 companies supporting her movement. She recently took a young female graduate under her wing at work and was showing her around the facility when the girl said "I have to stop, my leg is hurting". After a short conversation it turned out that the girl, like many other girls and women, had at the young age of 24 been told she will never be able to walk normally again and she will need several surgeries. The cause was netball. A female dominated sport that many doctors say is the largest cause of long term leg, knee and ankle injuries out of all other sports. My sister played netball but after the first time she had to go to the hospital, my father and I realized how bad it was. On average there were over 100 girls just in our local hospitals waiting room with netball related injuries. Rugby (my sort) had about 20 on average.

So if women really cared about the girls, they should start looking at things like netball. Not this wage gap caused by patriarchy myth.

Also just as a quick thing. Women's rugby finally started up in my city and more people watch the womens matches than the men. So that's an accomplishment.

Because instead of sitting down and complaining. These women got out there and actually did something fun and enjoyable. Rugby is a great stress releasing sport and I'd recommend it to all women.

@orange_girl methinks I smell a troll angry at the loss of his "natural privilege".

3

I think that it is a misnomer to see Atheists as angry by and large. There is, for a certainty, a segment, even a large segment, of the Atheist demographic which is angry and bitter when they first become Atheist; but that is the result of them breaking free of a lifetime of indoctrination and feeling conned or duped for all those years, perhaps a lifetime.
That is a legitamate emotinal response, and one most Atheists work through.

There is another segment of Atheists who are not Angry, but labled as such, when they are in fact adamant. They see religion as a false pancea which is bad for society as it was bad for them, they see it used as a political lever to coerce others into conforming into a religious mold whether they believe the religions claims or not, and they resist that.
That political resistance is seen as anger, when it is not anger, it is resistance.

There is a further group of Atheists who are labled as Angry because they point out critcal flaws inside a religions claims, dogma, or positions. I am oft placed into this group when the reality is I am far from angry, what I am is truly perplexed because I see a conflict, a contradiction, or immoral/amoral idea being touted as either good or worse, divine.

If I point that out, the authoritarian nature of the underlying religion tends to present in the believer and they tell me I am angry (in an angry way), tell me I am "rebelling against God", when I see no God or evidence of a God to rebel against. What I am in opposition to is some very human idea about some god model or other with which I have had the ytter audacity to find fault (when the believer never really considered that before)

3

I havent found this to be the case -, I am reading thoughtful submissions havent met any bitterness yet - maybe I am not reading the same posts as you? And I wonder if you need the idea of a lot of angry uneducated atheists to validate your sense of having got over this particular hurdle.

No bitterness at all? O|o

Are we on the same website?

It is true that how I hear something that I've read in my inner ear will make a difference for how the words come across to me, so you may have a point there. Very perceptive.

3

Thanks... I'm slowly finding ways to chill out over being SCREWED all these years. Excuse me if i show a little emotion from time to time.

Please DO show some emotion from time to time. Perfectly valid to do so.

3

I agree with your premise that understanding the historical formations of religion can help alleviate some of the resentment toward religions in general. It helped me deal with my own resentment toward Traditional Christianity. However, my resentment was merely due to it's inaccuracy concerning (what I believe) was the original meaning of the gospel writers. My experience with people who show up at my alternative church is that their resentment is much more personal and based on their experience with Traditional Christianity. I believe that is the case with most of the writers on here as well. Their feeling rum quite a bit deeper, and I think that expressing their resentment on this site and the sense of community this site offers,aids in their healing.

I think so, as well. And I think it's important also that we are free to express that anger, or any anger for that matter. But I also think it's important to express other ways to address the things that bring about our angers. Thanks for commenting.

3

Great. I can't wait until I'm a less angry atheist and can be condescending to other atheists. When someone starts out by saying they used to be like me, I am already put back. If you were right I'd agree, but it's you you know not me, so I must disagree.

Fair enough, thanks for taking the time to comment.

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Anger the obverse of the fear coin. Lashing out at the unknown is a common response for humans who cannot deal with the fear of the unknown. Knowledge, brings enlightenment and drives out the fear taking the anger with it. I wish I had discovered that principle at a much younger age. I might have avoided much otherwise unnecessary pain.

Agreed.

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I haven't encountered these people on here unless its me, but I doubt it. I don't need to do all that research to prove a point or write a book because its a personal issue and I have never been angry or upset with believers - most people out there are good folk and its not a sin in my book (A sin in its original meaning of 'without love' ) for them to worship whoever they wish it isnt hurting me.

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