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Tags atheism , atheists , immorality , morality

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Old 11th August 2017, 02:08 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
... Full disclosure, I have no problem with the headline here or in the linked article ...
I get that you like what it says, but it isn't true.

I have a tiny bit of a problem with your not having any problem with that. Isn't knowingly promulgating a false claim a bit immoral?
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Old 11th August 2017, 02:21 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
I get that you like what it says, but it isn't true.

I have a tiny bit of a problem with your not having any problem with that. Isn't knowingly promulgating a false claim a bit immoral?
it is a headline with a summary of the article and a link to the actual paper and a "feedback to editors" button.

I think it is also a fair summary of the study's conclusions.
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Old 11th August 2017, 02:31 PM   #243
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
it is a headline with a summary of the article and a link to the actual paper and a "feedback to editors" button.

I think it is also a fair summary of the study's conclusions.
Did I just imagine that you cheerfully conceded the study found "immoral thought atheist" and not "atheists thought immoral"?
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Old 11th August 2017, 02:40 PM   #244
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Did I just imagine that you cheerfully conceded the study found "immoral thought atheist" and not "atheists thought immoral"?
I believe I cheerfully conceded that I would use whatever is in my sig.

I did not concede, cheerfully or otherwise that the headline was false.

I hope you can appreciate the distinction?
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Old 11th August 2017, 04:59 PM   #245
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The Big Dog, what proportion of atheists do you think are members of atheist organisations? All of them? Some? Hardly any?

And as a side issue, I'd like you to consider the number of atheist organisations in the world and compare it to the number of Christian organisations in the world. Not as a counter to your argument or anything, I'd just like you to think about that ratio for a bit.
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Old 11th August 2017, 05:27 PM   #246
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The Big Dog, what proportion of atheists do you think are members of atheist organisations? All of them? Some? Hardly any?

And as a side issue, I'd like you to consider the number of atheist organisations in the world and compare it to the number of Christian organisations in the world. Not as a counter to your argument or anything, I'd just like you to think about that ratio for a bit.
I have already answered a virtually identical question.

As such: folks, the comparison that someone else came up with (not me) was not a comparison between religion/atheism, it was between atheism and "not collecting stamps."

Thus:

And as a side issue, I'd like you to consider the number of atheist organisations in the world and compare it to the number of "not collecting stamps" organizations in the world. Not as a counter to your argument or anything, I'd just like you to think about that ratio for a bit.
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Old 12th August 2017, 10:30 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
I have already answered a virtually identical question.

As such: folks, the comparison that someone else came up with (not me) was not a comparison between religion/atheism, it was between atheism and "not collecting stamps."

Thus:

And as a side issue, I'd like you to consider the number of atheist organisations in the world and compare it to the number of "not collecting stamps" organizations in the world. Not as a counter to your argument or anything, I'd just like you to think about that ratio for a bit.
Of course there are more. After all, religion has political, social, and emotional impact (at least) in society, so of course there are associations by people who would like to limit that influence.

The point is a different one. Some people have claimed that atheism is also a kind of religion, and the counter is: "It is as much a religion as not collecting stamps is a hobby."

However, believers often miss the point...

Hans
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Old 12th August 2017, 10:46 AM   #248
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Of course there are more. After all, religion has political, social, and emotional impact (at least) in society, so of course there are associations by people who would like to limit that influence.

The point is a different one. Some people have claimed that atheism is also a kind of religion, and the counter is: "It is as much a religion as not collecting stamps is a hobby."

However, believers often miss the point...

Hans
And non-believers miss the point of what a terrible comparison it is.
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Old 12th August 2017, 11:17 AM   #249
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
And non-believers miss the point of what a terrible comparison it is.
Not believing in (a) god = not collecting stamps

Cannot get easier than that.

Unless, of course, you want to make it complicated
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Old 12th August 2017, 11:27 AM   #250
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Originally Posted by StackOverflow View Post
Not believing in (a) god = not collecting stamps

Cannot get easier than that.

Unless, of course, you want to make it complicated
That is such a false dichotomy, but I don't know why I even bother trying to explain it.

If atheists want to describe themselves in such a grossly over simplified, negative generalization, who am I to complain?
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Old 12th August 2017, 11:40 AM   #251
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
And non-believers miss the point of what a terrible comparison it is.
Not believing in gods, not collecting stamps .... I think it's quite good. So many believers seem unable to grasp that you can just ... fail to believe.

Hans
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Old 12th August 2017, 11:56 AM   #252
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Not believing in gods, not collecting stamps .... I think it's quite good. So many believers seem unable to grasp that you can just ... fail to believe.

Hans
Yeah, pretty clear that I "get" the comparison, I am just explaining that it is utterly insipid when looked at it in any depth whatsoever.

But hey, use it if you want.
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Old 12th August 2017, 05:28 PM   #253
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
I have already answered a virtually identical question.
I missed it. Could you repeat your answer please?
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Old 13th August 2017, 08:54 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I missed it. Could you repeat your answer please?
Post 219
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Old 14th August 2017, 04:21 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Post 219
Not very good at following instructions, are you? I asked you to repeat your answer, not merely direct me to where you think you answered it before.

I take it then that your "answer" to the question is

Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
More than None
which is as non an answer as any I've seen.

Perhaps it didn't occur to you that I am asking a different question to the one you think you're answering. I want to know what proportion of atheists you believe are members of atheist organisations. I don't care that it's more than zero - that is so self-evidently obvious that as a response it is utterly juvenile.

You have identified a certain number of atheist organisations. Do you have any clue how many people worldwide belong to them? Do you have any clue how many atheists there are who are not members of such organisations? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you have no clue. So I'm going to tell you. The number of atheists who are members of atheist organisations is very, very small.

In other words, there are a lot more atheists in the world who do not identify with such organisations - to the extent that expounding on the number of atheist organisations in the world is utterly immaterial and only serves to obfuscate.

Now - do you have any idea how many Christians there are across the world who identify as members of Christian organisations - by which I mean churches? Once again I very much doubt that you have any clue at all, but I can assure you that the number is very, very large. The number of Christians in the world who do not identify as members of Christian organisations is extremely small.

Compare, if you would. Most atheists do not identify as members of atheist organisations. Most Christians do identify as members of Christian organisations.

What does that tell you? Also, please tell me what you think my point is.
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Old 14th August 2017, 02:13 PM   #256
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
OH! Ohhhhhhh....who knows what we are seeing?

A bit of a dead giveaway added by me....
Dear me, I forgot how that word effects you. I hope we can salvage this before the eyeballs kick in. Go get the salts out while I edit it to a more palatable form that won't melt any snowflakes . . .
Oh, then may I assume that you are keeping the admittedly misleading title as a skeptical exercise for the reader? A bit of a lesson in journalistic click bait? If so, nicely done.

It is a shame when articles use headlines that are misleading and we should draw attention to those misleading headlines. My bad for not getting your purpose from the start.

Cheers.
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Old 15th August 2017, 02:55 AM   #257
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I don’t understand why this study (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0151 ) stirs so much uproar. The article basically shows how the intuitive prejudices are strongly implemented even in those than suffer them. Do you remember Michael Jackson’s obsession with whiten his skin? Do you know that many women justify macho violence even against themselves?

The breadth and force of prejudices depend from many causes specially their visualization in media. Those that are massively identified as enemies or dangerous in visual media are considered uncritically as public enemies by hughe majorities of people. Those minorities that are presented as good people are considered good people. Those that are presented as one of ours are one of ours, etc. Maybe the prejudice has other causes but almost ever is reinforced by media, specially visual media.

But this reinforcement is easier when the represented people are minority and not easy to contrast with the stereotype, that is to say a hidden character. This and other related articles (https://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manus...apter_2012.pdf, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22477103 ) also show that atheists are better evaluated when they are an important minority and easily identifiable as neighbours, public personalities, etc.

Some conspicuous atheists (Dawkins) think that increasing visibility would be beneficial to the image of atheists and encourages them to come out of the closet. He is basically right but the thing is not so easy for diverse causes:

1. Atheism is blamed in many countries, even legally. The situation is similar to gay people.
2. Even gay people have a better image in media than atheists. It is easy to remember a film with a sympathetic gay character. I don’t remember a film when an atheist was presented as a normal person. They are complicated and tormented persons at very least. They are definitely not one of ours.
3. Finally, the atheist questions our basic beliefs as believers. A Jewish, a black man, a gay person can be similar to us. They can be religious people. Atheists cannot and therefore they are simply demonic. A Jewish can be different from us; an atheist is the opposite of us.

This is why we, atheists, have a difficult task to countering the prejudices.

I see some surprising things in the article that we are commenting. Above all I don’t understand the question in the test. Gervais et al. have chosen a strange case of distrust: violent crimes. This example cannot be checked with the particular experience of the subjects. No one of the subjects to the test has presumably known a serial killer or a so violent teacher. Therefore the answers will be more media-dependent than other more day a day examples. That is to say it is more dependent of stereotypes and not the real experience of the subjects. I think that that undermines a little the conclusions of the article.
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Old 15th August 2017, 03:29 PM   #258
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
whatever floats your boat.

A tip: if you want people to engage with you, one may wish to avoid declaring that they have failed to follow your "instructions" as if they are your *****

Another artful sidestep by The Big Dog. We will now shift the emphasis to the implication that arth "instructed" you. We ignore the fact that he originally just "asked" you.
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Old 15th August 2017, 04:59 PM   #259
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Another artful sidestep by The Big Dog. We will now shift the emphasis to the implication that arth "instructed" you. We ignore the fact that he originally just "asked" you.
I already answered the original question and was blown away by the mind blowing rudeness that I didn't follow his "instructions"
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Old 16th August 2017, 10:11 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I donít understand why this study (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-017-0151 ) stirs so much uproar. The article basically shows how the intuitive prejudices are strongly implemented even in those than suffer them. Do you remember Michael Jacksonís obsession with whiten his skin? Do you know that many women justify macho violence even against themselves?
The only uproar is that the OP is pretending that the study isn't about bias or prejudice.
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Old 16th August 2017, 11:56 PM   #261
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
The only uproar is that the OP is pretending that the study isn't about bias or prejudice.
Yes. But you cannot teach to read correctly to someone that wants only read what he wants read.
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Old 17th August 2017, 02:59 PM   #262
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
I already answered the original question and was blown away by the mind blowing rudeness that I didn't follow his "instructions"
As I pointed out, your answer was as big a non-answer as I've ever seen, and instead of justifying or explaining your non-answer, you have chosen to focus on my use of a very common English idiom - presumably in order to distract everyone from the fact that you only pretended to answer the question.

I have a lot of problems with your so-called "answer" to the question. I would like to discuss those with you. I can't do that unless you start to take the conversation seriously.
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Old 17th August 2017, 03:10 PM   #263
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
As I pointed out, your answer was as big a non-answer as I've ever seen, and instead of justifying or explaining your non-answer, you have chosen to focus on my use of a very common English idiom - presumably in order to distract everyone from the fact that you only pretended to answer the question.

I have a lot of problems with your so-called "answer" to the question. I would like to discuss those with you. I can't do that unless you start to take the conversation seriously.
You want to start now taking it seriously? Then go back and read my answer again and see why your question does not make a lick of sense
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Old 17th August 2017, 03:15 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
You want to start now taking it seriously? Then go back and read my answer again and see why your question does not make a lick of sense
I read your so-called "answer". It is as unsatisfying as dehydrated water. It's like if I asked you what the interest was on a bank loan of a thousand dollars over fifteen years and your answer was "more than zero".

That you don't think my question didn't make sense indicates only that you did not understand it. Would you like me to ask it again, with different words? Or do you just want to continue dismissing this entire conversation?
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Old 17th August 2017, 03:20 PM   #265
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I read your so-called "answer". It is as unsatisfying as dehydrated water. It's like if I asked you what the interest was on a bank loan of a thousand dollars over fifteen years and your answer was "more than zero".

That you don't think my question didn't make sense indicates only that you did not understand it. Would you like me to ask it again, with different words? Or do you just want to continue dismissing this entire conversation?
absolutely dismiss the entire conversation because it has appeared not to occur to you that I was addressing the specious and wholly frivolous comparison between "not collecting stamps" and atheism and that your question has completely and abjectly missed the whole point.
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Old 19th August 2017, 05:48 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
absolutely dismiss the entire conversation because it has appeared not to occur to you that I was addressing the specious and wholly frivolous comparison between "not collecting stamps" and atheism and that your question has completely and abjectly missed the whole point.
Ah, yes. You have adequately demonstrated how completely you failed to understand the reasoning behind my asking the question. At this point I suspect deliberate intent. I suspect that you actually know exactly what I'm trying to argue, and you don't want to engage with that because it will make you and your opinions look foolish. Well congratulations. You managed that without even bothering to engage.

Easiest argument ever.
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Old 19th August 2017, 06:43 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Ah, yes. You have adequately demonstrated how completely you failed to understand the reasoning behind my asking the question. At this point I suspect deliberate intent. I suspect that you actually know exactly what I'm trying to argue, and you don't want to engage with that because it will make you and your opinions look foolish. Well congratulations. You managed that without even bothering to engage.

Easiest argument ever.
Wow you managed to type that without actually trying to address my explanation, and then declared victory?

I explain why the not collecting stamps meme is unbelievably insipid and your response is to point out that more religious people go to church than atheists belong to atheist groups and you think you made an actual argument?

Lolz! That is *********** beautiful.
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Old 19th August 2017, 06:50 PM   #268
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
[...]

I explain why the not collecting stamps meme is unbelievably insipid [...]
When did you do that?
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Old 20th August 2017, 11:57 PM   #269
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Wow you managed to type that without actually trying to address my explanation, and then declared victory?
I addressed your explanation. I explained that it was entirely inadequate.

Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
I explain why the not collecting stamps meme is unbelievably insipid and your response is to point out that more religious people go to church than atheists belong to atheist groups and you think you made an actual argument?
And again, this response from you is utterly irrelevant to the point I was trying to make. You seem incapable of understanding that I'm not asking the question you want me to ask. That I'm asking an entirely different question.

The above is an answer, but it is not an answer to the question I was asking.

Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Lolz! That is *********** beautiful.
Indeed.
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Old Yesterday, 02:09 AM   #270
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
That is such a false dichotomy, but I don't know why I even bother trying to explain it.

If atheists want to describe themselves in such a grossly over simplified, negative generalization, who am I to complain?
"Atheists", or "non-believers", the latter term for me is the preferred one, by definition are less complex than religionists who are up to their ears in contradictory beliefs and a myriad of interpretations from Iron Age texts. So you should not be surprised that we see ourselves in this simpler fashion.

Religious belief and associated ritual and tradition, has to be taught, as it is not an inherited trait. Fear and risk of the unknown, and of the greatest unknown, i.e. what happens after death, is probably an inherited survival instinct, and again it is not surprising that people throughout history have sought comfort, safety and cohesion in a supernatural entity that can help them get through these universal fears.

Non-believers simply have never needed, or no longer need, a comfort blanket that religion provides. We can rationalise our existence and appropriate moral behaviour without the baggage of organised religion. That is why non-belief is not a religion, and indeed, that is a very simple concept for anybody to understand who retains an open mind.
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Old Yesterday, 02:59 AM   #271
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So far as I can tell, TBD dislikes the analogy of not collecting stamps because it does not address the non-existence of support groups to help people cope with their particular society's expectation that they should collect stamps.

That seems to me a feeble objection. An analogy without limits is not an analogy, it is the thing itself.

A good analogy makes it easy to grasp aspects which are often misunderstood. So it's an excellent and useful analogy, because it addresses common misconceptions about atheism which we've all seen trotted out on this forum over the years.

No, it's not a hobby, it's the lack of one. No, we don't secretly collect stamps. No, we don't all collect postcards or baseball cards instead, we just don't collect stamps. No, we don't hate stamps and secretly serve those who seek the destruction of the Post Office, we just don't collect stamps. People can grasp all of those ideas even when the equivalent statement about atheism confuses them.

If TBD understands all of that yet finds some other aspect of atheism bewildering, perhaps some other analogy would be more helpful for him, but for the misunderstandings we see over and over again not collecting stamps is a really useful one.
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Old Yesterday, 06:17 AM   #272
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
So far as I can tell, TBD dislikes the analogy of not collecting stamps because it does not address the non-existence of support groups to help people cope with their particular society's expectation that they should collect stamps.

That seems to me a feeble objection. An analogy without limits is not an analogy, it is the thing itself.

A good analogy makes it easy to grasp aspects which are often misunderstood. So it's an excellent and useful analogy, because it addresses common misconceptions about atheism which we've all seen trotted out on this forum over the years.

No, it's not a hobby, it's the lack of one. No, we don't secretly collect stamps. No, we don't all collect postcards or baseball cards instead, we just don't collect stamps. No, we don't hate stamps and secretly serve those who seek the destruction of the Post Office, we just don't collect stamps. People can grasp all of those ideas even when the equivalent statement about atheism confuses them.

If TBD understands all of that yet finds some other aspect of atheism bewildering, perhaps some other analogy would be more helpful for him, but for the misunderstandings we see over and over again not collecting stamps is a really useful one.
where did that first statement that I bolded come from? Have we reached the point where the defense of the insipid analogy requires strawmanning the hell out of it?

Further put beside the raving generalizations, you have forgotten the atheists groups dedicated to fighting against religion?

are there groups of people who don't collect stamps who get to together to fight people who do collect stamps? Or post on wb forums like this?

The not collecting stamps is terrible on numerous levels, but by all means, use it if you want.
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Old Yesterday, 06:27 AM   #273
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
where did that first statement that I bolded come from? Have we reached the point where the defense of the insipid analogy requires strawmanning the hell out of it?

Further put beside the raving generalizations, you have forgotten the atheists groups dedicated to fighting against religion?

are there groups of people who don't collect stamps who get to together to fight people who do collect stamps? Or post on wb forums like this?

The not collecting stamps is terrible on numerous levels, but by all means, use it if you want.
If you have a substantially different objection to the analogy by all means feel free to explain yourself better. Bluster like "terrible on numerous levels" isn't a very effective technique for conveying meaning.

Groups who campaign against religion will, it's fair to say, be atheists, but campaigning against religion is not what atheism is any more than, say, wearing lederhosen is what being European is. They are irrelevant to what makes the stamp analogy useful; for explaining what atheism is.
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Old Yesterday, 07:46 AM   #274
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Groups who campaign against religion will, it's fair to say, be atheists, but campaigning against religion is not what atheism is any more than, say, wearing lederhosen is what being European is. They are irrelevant to what makes the stamp analogy useful; for explaining what atheism is.
Wait, think about what you just wrote:

"say, wearing lederhosen is what being European is."

But there are indeed lots of Europeans that wear lederhosen, are there not? As such, saying that people who do or do not wear lederhosen would be a terrible way to define Eurp[oneans.

And there are lots and lots of atheists that do more than believe there is no god, like join organizations, and actively participate in discussions on the internet.

So many atheists have brayed that they know more about the bible than most theists. Find me a person whose "hobby" is not collecting stamps and see whether they brag about knowing more about it than true collectors.
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Old Yesterday, 08:39 AM   #275
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Wait, think about what you just wrote:

"say, wearing lederhosen is what being European is."

But there are indeed lots of Europeans that wear lederhosen, are there not? As such, saying that people who do or do not wear lederhosen would be a terrible way to define Eurp[oneans.

And there are lots and lots of atheists that do more than believe there is no god, like join organizations, and actively participate in discussions on the internet.

So many atheists have brayed that they know more about the bible than most theists. Find me a person whose "hobby" is not collecting stamps and see whether they brag about knowing more about it than true collectors.
Yes, by all means think about what I wrote.

The proportion of Europeans wearing lederhosen is miniscule, but you really tend to notice the ones who do.

Sometimes members on here point out the irony that they seem to know more about one or other religion than adherents who turn up asserting what they think they know about it. You might take comfort in calling that "braying" but it really is rather funny when it happens. Being brought up to believe something was true yet never learning much about what it was tends not to make for a persuasive argument.
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Old Yesterday, 02:12 PM   #276
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Further put beside the raving generalizations, you have forgotten the atheists groups dedicated to fighting against religion?
Let me approach this from another direction. If you haven't put me on ignore already, which I think you have.

How many groups do you think there are fighting against atheism? If you compare those two numbers, what do you think the ratio says about society as a whole?
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Old Yesterday, 02:22 PM   #277
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post

How many groups do you think there are fighting against atheism? If you compare those two numbers, what do you think the ratio says about society as a whole?
That would depend on how one defines "fighting against" would it not?
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Old Yesterday, 02:36 PM   #278
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
That would depend on how one defines "fighting against" would it not?
How do you define it when you use the phrase

Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
...you have forgotten the atheists groups dedicated to fighting against religion?
?
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Old Yesterday, 02:42 PM   #279
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
How do you define it when you use the phrase

?
I was using it to refer to organizations like "Freedom From Religion Foundation."

I would not use it to refer to religious groups proselytizing.

Now before we get too far down the rabbit hole, why don't you just state what your purpose is, because if you are using it to reargue the whole stamps nonsense, I'd prefer not to waste my time further.
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Old Yesterday, 03:32 PM   #280
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Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
I was using it to refer to organizations like "Freedom From Religion Foundation."
Again, please answer the question. Don't dodge. How were you defining "fighting against" when you used it in your phrase above?

Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
I would not use it to refer to religious groups proselytizing.
Well, I would not use it to refer to groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation trying to support and provide a community for non-religious people in religious environments.

If anything, proselytising is more "fighting against atheism" than the FFRF is "fighting against religion". The purpose of proselytisation is to turn atheists into religious people, and to turn people of the wrong religion into people of the right religion.

Originally Posted by The Big Dog View Post
Now before we get too far down the rabbit hole, why don't you just state what your purpose is, because if you are using it to reargue the whole stamps nonsense, I'd prefer not to waste my time further.
My purpose has nothing whatsoever with stamps. I never even mentioned stamps. If you think that my purpose is in any way even remotely connected with stamps, then that's the source of your serious misunderstanding of the point I am trying to make.

Look. There are many religious people all over the world. Religious people are in a majority in the world. Many religions are hostile both to atheism and to members of what they perceive as the wrong religion.

Equating what atheists go through in many areas of the world to what most religious people go through in many areas of the world is utterly dishonest. The two sides are in no way symmetrical in their history, their political power, and the attitudes of society towards them as a whole.

Atheist groups form as a network to support the non-religious in areas of strong religious presence. There are no areas of strong atheist presence, and thus religious groups do not form in the same way. Religion forms the establishment. Equating an anti-establishment group to the establishment as though the two are somehow on equal footing is disingenuous.

Indeed there is, as your non-answer to my original question stated, a number of atheist groups in the word that is larger than zero. But if you think that by providing that non-answer you have addressed the inequality between atheist groups and religious groups, then you are delusional.
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