Schism Among Atheists

119 posts / 0 new
Last post
Unionist

Caissa wrote:

Not my point, Unionist. I was referring  to your phrase "sticking to their own and being xenophobic..." I'd rather not begin enumerating other groups that fall under this rubric. I was disputing your argument as much as saying it's not exclusive to religions. Hey, maybe I'll go out on a limb and suggest some religious people and maybe even religions are left-wing.

Do you know of any other organizations that discourage intermarriage with non-members of the organization? I happen to think that's a really important "negative" of Judaism, Islam, Catholicism... And in other contexts (like South African apartheid laws), it is universally reviled as being anti-human. But religion makes everything acceptable.

 

Fidel

Frustrated Mess wrote:

Oh, dear. As I recall, the latest major war in the mid-east was begun by two "men of God", one of whom had actually received messages from His highest of the highs and who was widely supported by anti-intellectual self-described christians.

Are you sure that wars aren't all about warfiteering and resource grabs waged on behalf of capitalists worshipping false Roman gods of war? Or do they make war because they actually do believe that some deity is instructing them to? I'd be even more worried if they are total psycopaths driven by insanity than mere appalling greed and their own amoral value system.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I'm relatively certain it wouldn't matter to me if the killers of my family were purely insane or motivated by pure greed. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to know the difference. I have argued our capotalist system, motivated entirely by greed, is insane.Both Blair and Bush claim to be christian men and still engaged in an act of mass murder despite the tenets of their stated faith. But that is not my point. My point is the Iraq war was alternately sold as a religious war, a war on terrorism, a war against proliferation in the West to win the support of various constituentcies including so-called christians.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Tommy_Paine wrote:
Post Modernism is the rejection of all enlightenment in reaction to the occult, or hidden enlightenment. 

However, the danger in that is what we are experiencing today, where anything can be "true".  Where Newton's laws are a construct of white male european privelege, as if a person of Chinese ancestory might have a different outcome than mine if we didn't wear a seatbelt in a car accident.

And, the post modernist rejection of science, or the open enlightenment figures very much in neo liberal economics,  and it lends distructive creedence to all manner of dangerous claims.

Tommy, I think we've talked about this before, but postmodernism is really more of a historical mode than it is a philosophy. That means that if you think it "rejects" science--which I don't think it does, nor does it say "anything can be 'true'", although it's often caricatured in that way--in response to the enlightenment, you need to also consider how it is continuing the enlightenment project. Adorno isn't a postmodernist by the way--he thinks the enlightenment is spot on, we just don't know the maths anymore, and we need to get back on track. I definitely agree with you that some postmodern thought smacks of late capitalist economics and culture, but I'm encouraged to read it as dialectic--the same way Marx saw the revolutionary potential in the bourgeoisie, even as he saw how they had to be put down.

I do like the distinction between "open" science and "occult" science, and I think we could be on to something there. It's also a nice play that demonstrates religion doesn't have an exclusive on insularity, dogma and perverted moral imperatives.

ETA:

Unionist wrote:
Do you know of any other organizations that discourage intermarriage with non-members of the organization?

I dunno, white people?

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

 

ETA:

Unionist wrote:
Do you know of any other organizations that discourage intermarriage with non-members of the organization?

I dunno, white people?

I'll take that as a "no". Religious organizations really do justify the unjustifiable.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I guess I'm missing your point, Unionist. Are you arguing that literalist religious institutions are unjust? Has anyone disagreed with you?

ETA: to elaborate, there are institutional, indexical and mostly oppressive strucures of religion that issue tyrannical edicts like the one you speak of. There are also cultural, social institutions also religiously rooted, that encourage the same kind of behaviour. And, of course, there are cultural, social institutions (eg, Western whiteness) that enact the same imperatives.

Brian White

I think religion is the easy answer. "God created the world" saves young people from the IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION.   When scientists asked "who made God?" it became a war.  While the atheists are spending their teens with many hours screwed up on the IMPOSSIBLE QUESTION the religous teens are working hard to get a good education and a good education (Because God rewards the hard worker).   I have met many Christians who are totally confident in their framework and do not ask any questions and are doing very well in this world.  

Now, atheists seem to be grouping themselves in the same way as religions.  And atheists can be supremely arrogant bastards too. I do not see any reason why a God did not make the earth (And in turn another God may have made that one.  (At the end of the day, religion is s stupid answer to a non question and people just need to live with whatever ghost story makes them happy).

Religion is part of the survival techniques of tribes.  Now the tribes have gotten so big, so instead of a little village and its God getting exteriminated in a religous war it can be a whole race of people. And their God might still survive in a book somewhere. Sorry to ramble. Goto go to the doctor.  Bye

Fidel

Frustrated Mess wrote:

I'm relatively certain it wouldn't matter to me if the killers of my family were purely insane or motivated by pure greed. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to know the difference. I have argued our capotalist system, motivated entirely by greed, is insane.Both Blair and Bush claim to be christian men and still engaged in an act of mass murder despite the tenets of their stated faith. But that is not my point. My point is the Iraq war was alternately sold as a religious war, a war on terrorism, a war against proliferation in the West to win the support of various constituentcies including so-called christians.

Okay I see your point. But wars have often been sold in the name of crusading religion. Iow's, no actual deities played a hand in the slaughter. When it comes right down to it, the immoral warfiteering and real estate grabs of history were actually orchestrated in the name of self-interest and appalling greed. The rape and plunder of new worlds was falsely justified in the name of any real god. Iow's, people were lied to. A lot. And they were lied to by mere mortal human beings.

And religion is being replaced by a new justification for attacking other countries. The Nazis started things off with marching into other countries without protest of the alleged democratic nations for a few years after and beginning with Spain in the late 1930's. The Nazis told people they were bombing other countries for humanitarian reasons. It's still happening today. And if bombing Yugoslavia to kingdom come was for humanitarian reasons, then what kind of humans have we become?

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

I guess I'm missing your point, Unionist. Are you arguing that literalist religious institutions are unjust? 

No. Not in the slightest. I was talking about major religious institutions which divide people and encourage xenophobia (such as discouraging intermarriage). Is this that complicated?

Racism exists as a problem aside from religion. It's just that when you are a (say) Catholic, you can actually say "I want my child to marry a Catholic" without seeming to be a disgusting excuse for a human being. You can't, however, say "I want my child to marry a white" in this day and age.

Is this really that complicated??

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I agree that organized religion can serve as a veil for prejudice in many ways nowadays, but, to be frank, I think it is a bit more complicated than you are letting on. Take your example: "I want my child to marry a Catholic" is actually code for "I want my child to marry a white." Now, you might take this as evidence that religion divides people and encourages xenophobia; but I prefer to think of religion as our language of xenophobia--it's also our language for forgiveness, for trade, for romance and for war--it's humanity, bascially. Or, in much more poetic terms, it is the sigh of an oppressed people.

Part of me thinks that if you get rid of religion, we humans, flawed as we are, will simply find another way to veil our xenophobia and drive for division--but I think it's much more true to say: get rid of religion? Good luck with that.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Even keel wrote:

Uh, yeah, it happens all the time. Gay villages, immigrant neighbourhoods, minority language communities (Westmount hello?). In fact these organizations, or groups, prescribe much more to an "us" and "them" mentality when they feel others are hostile towards them. So maybe if we were ALL be a little bit more accommodating we could break down some of that us and them stuff.

Wow. Unless you're an english-speaking gay immigrant living in Westmount, I'd say you're way off-side with that shit.

Tommy_Paine

Adorno isn't a postmodernist by the way--he thinks the enlightenment is spot on, we just don't know the maths anymore, and we need to get back on track.

No, I picked up on that from your quote, and was carefull-- I thought-- not to infer he was.  And yes, I do throw the word "post modern" around from time to time to describe schools of thought that might be described better with more precise labels. 

But then, I'm sure no post modernist would begrudge me describing it anyway I choose to.  It is my narrative after all.  Laughing

 

 

Webgear

Unionist wrote:

Name one which has a more accurate concept, and I'll give it a whirl.

Depends what you consider accurate?

Kaspar Hauser

The only thing I have to add is that my nose is stuffed up again. I had the swine flu a few weeks ago, I thought I got over it, and now my nose is stuffed up again. I'm just way too immersed in self-pity to respond to any of the points anyone is raising here.  Cry

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I'm sorry to hear that, Michael. I always enjoy and learn from your posts on this subject. Get well soon!

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

Take your example: "I want my child to marry a Catholic" is actually code for "I want my child to marry a white."

Really. And when Jews in North America and Europe were taught to marry Jews, this was some colour thing? How about Ireland? And you think there are no non-white Catholics????? I think we're speaking different languages here, or emanating from different backgrounds.

Quote:
Part of me thinks that if you get rid of religion, we humans, flawed as we are, will simply find another way to veil our xenophobia and drive for division--but I think it's much more true to say: get rid of religion? Good luck with that.

I see. Who said, "get rid of religion?" I'm not on any crusade. But when religion is discussed, I do occasionally point out how it serves ignorance and hatred. It certainly isn't the source of ignorance and hatred. So perhaps we agree after all?

 

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

I just watched a fascinating new talk by Dan Dennett, which in part discusses his research of atheist clergy (closet atheists who are still preaching), how religion evolves, and why we have theologians: "The evolution of confusion" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_9w8JougLQ

 

Quote:
Dan Dennett talks about purposely-confusing theology and how its used. He also describes his new project interviewing clergyman who secretly don't believe anymore, and introduces a new term: "Deepity." ...

 

The major accomplishment of the "New Atheists" is that they have emboldened the general public, including atheists, to speak about faith issues in a frank way rather than treating the matter with kid gloves. It is good that people are talking about these things.

GOD

In the interest of giving the two sides of the schizm something to talk about, I'll close this one for length myself.

Pages

Topic locked