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Persia

American atheists must define themselves

13 posts in this topic

Well that's sort of been their problem for a while - they define themselves, on the whole, as being "not religious". Any principles they hold would better be called "humanist" rather then "Atheist".

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The article nicely lillustrates the difference between being a secular person, and a secularist. The constructions are parallel with other religious versus political distinctions, like Islamic and Islamist. Language confuses, because what a secularist or Islamist seeks is a secular or Islamic state, and thereby a secular or Islamic society, enforced by law

Religiously, I am an agnostic. Politically, I am an American libertarian. In practical terms, that means I favor a state which restrains itself from depriving people of their human rights, which are, in my view, at a minimum those rights enumerated in the American Constitution.

One of those rights is the free expression of religion, on the same terms as free expression of political opinion. Any person in the United States may shout their religious beliefs in public, may join with others to demonstrate solidarity in their religious views, and may vote as a bloc in whatever matters are put to a vote.

A secularist favors a state which secures a secular society. Not all secular people are secularists. I am secular, but not secularist. I favor a state which secures religious freedom, including freedom of expression. Similarly, an Islamist favors a state which secures an Islamic society, usually ruled by some version of Sharia law. Not all Islamic people are Islamists.

There are free societies which are also secular, for example, France. But there is no free expession for religion in France. For example, one cannot erect a cross in public view, nor a crescent moon, nor a menorah, except in a cemetery. I don't know about a pentagram; if you can, then it's because the flics don't realize that it is religious. Ditto those stylized letter A's.

France is not uniformly less free than the United States; it offers a different bundle of rights. But in matters of religion, it is less free than the United States.

Once upon a time in Paris, I was approached in a public park by two men. In tones that reminded me of pot sellers on the Boston Common, they asked, in American-accented English, whether I was an American. I said I was, and they invited me to a church service to be held the next Sunday, and told me where it was. I thanked them for the information, and they crisply faded into the crowd.

What they did was an illegal act. They could be arrested. My blood runs cold when I think about that. I don't want to change France, but I don't want America to become a place where information about a church service cannot legally be publicized, except through state licensed channels. That's what secularism means.

So, I am not a secularist. I will resist the imposition of a secular state on the United States, with the same energy, and for the same basic reason, that I will resist the impostion of an Islamic state on them. I am, however, a proudly secular person.

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Well that's sort of been their problem for a while - they define themselves, on the whole, as being "not religious". Any principles they hold would better be called "humanist" rather then "Atheist".

Couldn't agree more. I wonder sometimes if the affinity to bashing religion that so many self proclaimed atheist have isn't some sort of attachment to religion. It is a hard thing to not fill the void that religion fills - even if it is w/ "anti-religion."

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Couldn't agree more. I wonder sometimes if the affinity to bashing religion that so many self proclaimed atheist have isn't some sort of attachment to religion. It is a hard thing to not fill the void that religion fills - even if it is w/ "anti-religion."

No it's not. It never even crosses my mind unless somebody asks me about it.

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Posted (edited)

No it's not. It never even crosses my mind unless somebody asks me about it.

that's great for you but you're a singularity among the atheist crowd. For example one group here in town decided to do this thing called porn for bibles. They called themselves the atheist agenda and if you gave them your bible they would trade it for porn. Its that kind of behavior that I'm addressing. There are more atheist that make it a point to rail against religion than to simply live their lives.

Porn for bibles story link

Edited by f1gtr33

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that's great for you but you're a singularity among the atheist crowd. For example one group here in town decided to do this thing called porn for bibles. They called themselves the atheist agenda and if you gave them your bible they would trade it for porn. Its that kind of behavior that I'm addressing. There are more atheist that make it a point to rail against religion than to simply live their lives.

Porn for bibles story link

I would total trade my bibles for porn.devil.gif

I have several of them that are getting no use at all.

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1325419025[/url]' post='4160299']

that's great for you but you're a singularity among the atheist crowd. For example one group here in town decided to do this thing called porn for bibles. They called themselves the atheist agenda and if you gave them your bible they would trade it for porn. Its that kind of behavior that I'm addressing. There are more atheist that make it a point to rail against religion than to simply live their lives.

You sincerely believe that?

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You sincerely believe that?

Have you read the forums on this site? There is a topic right now entitled Why the bible is repulsive. The number of anti-chistian related topics on this site far exceeds any attacks on atheism. I grew up in a religion that was incredibly strict - shades away from Amish. I've been a member of almost every christian church out there and landed on atheism. Atheist constantly make it a point to call out Christianity in the same way so many Christians have taken up against the attack against Islam. On this site ESP in this forum there are constant attacks on Christianity by atheists. While you may not feel the need to act this way you are in the minority regardless of what kind of picture you'd like to paint about atheists. Proof isn't in the pudding - its in the posts on this site.

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I would total trade my bibles for porn.devil.gif

I have several of them that are getting no use at all.

or you could just simply not go out of your way to be blatantly disrespectful, that's just a bit more of an atheist thing to do. If you don't like the way somebody is acting then set the example - trading bibles for porn is the equivalent to protesting a mosque. i can't think of a single positive philosophy of any sort - based on god or not - that would condone such behavior.

Edited by f1gtr33

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or you could just simply not go out of your way to be blatantly disrespectful, that's just a bit more of an atheist thing to do. If you don't like the way somebody is acting then set the example - trading bibles for porn is the equivalent to protesting a mosque. i can't think of a single positive philosophy of any sort - based on god or not - that would condone such behavior.

Well, just to point out, me being an a** and disrespectful has nothing to do with me being an atheist.

People have always believed different things and it's hardly just the atheists that are disrespectful. I find it disrespectful when christians try to had me little jesus pamphlets, or tell me that I'm going to hell, or that I'ma sinner, or that jesus loves me, etc etc etc etc etc ad nauseum. But I don't whine about it. If I have books that I find worthless that I can trade for porn, then by god I'm going to trade them for porn.

Edit: Spelling

Edited by Imaginarynumber1

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Secularists, atheists, liberals, humanists, atomists, empircists, etc etc all share the same philosophical and ideological foundations, they are different branches of this foundation all centred pretty much in the atomist philosophy.

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Persia the new avatar is too cool :w00t:

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