17th June 2010

“If challenging religion, claiming that atheism is important, or wanting to throw out the trash of religious fundamentalism, is in breach of equal opportunities then either I don't understand the words 'equal' and 'opportunities' or this principle is being grossly abused.”

Sue Blackmore

6 Responses to “17th June 2010”

  1. GodKilla Says:

    I’m not sure about equal opportunities but there is a distinct imbalance in equality when it comes to rights. When free thinking atheists question the actions and intentions of xians – for example to implant their insidious seeds into the formative minds of young children – we are too often accused in the most dramatic and polemic language of abusing the rights of religion. This ridiculous and dangerous imbalance needs to end. We as committed atheists need to publicly, loudly, continuously question and condemn the utterings and actions of our lunatic xian cousins. What are we so afraid of? most of us live in democracies where freedom of expression is encouraged don’t we?

    Here’s another example. Here in Australia one of the atheist activist groups wanted to put atheist advertising onto buses to counter the ‘Jesus all about life’ (makes me want to vomit just typing the words) campaign but were refused on the grounds that it might offend religious groups.

    WTF??? Can someone please explain???

  2. Atheist MC Says:

    Groups, be they religious, nationalistic or the WI cannot have rights. Rights belong to individuals, not organisions. You cannot give equal rights to Muslims, Gays, atheists, Morris Dancers or whatever, only to the individuals that happen to belong to a (or several ) particular group(s). It is not therefore in breach of equal rights or opportunities to criticise those groups.

  3. Margaret Says:

    From my experience, religious people want to “fix” non-believers, as if something is wrong with a person who is not religious. Christians perceive atheists to be lesser beings, at best a doomed soul to be pitied, at worse a raging adversary to be opposed. “US” vs “THEM”, all the way. The religious remedy for this is to convert everyone, that way, we are all US and the threatening THEM are eliminated.

    Believers will always think atheists are beneath them. That is the dogma–God has chosen US, he will condemn THEM, we are special, we are blessed, they are cursed, we are the elect, they are in league with the devil, etc, etc, etc.

    So in response to Atheist MC, who makes a good point about group rights vs individual rights, I add to the discussion that the individuals in groups will deny rights to individuals in other groups, via prejudice. The problem is that individuals in most groups do not strive for logic and sound arguments to support their membership in that group, only emotional affinity. So they attack others without rational cause, and consider their cause just. The group Godkilla described, who denied the bus ads, did not consider their acts to be discrimination against atheists. They would claim atheists are attacking them by expressing a different point of view, and they are only defending themselves. US vs THEM. The culture wakes up one individual at a time, and it is painfully slow.

  4. holysmokes Says:

    I think the US vs. THEM mentality is pushed continuously upon us from a very young age …and we are all guilty. When you were young and your parents put you into sports, football, soccer, baseball, hockey they would always sit in the stands and root for your team. We are taught that it’s your team against their team. Collectively we typically want things like, our regional ball team to win, our Olympians to succeed against all comers, or our candidate to win the election, our business to win the contract etc.

    Winning feels good. It’s the same with religion, ideology, politics, wars, cultural differences and in virtually all aspects of life. Humans are virtually bred to compete with one another, just as plants and animals compete for resources in the wild. We are animals after-all and eons of evolution is the cause of this mentality. I doubt that it can ever be erased, nor should it. Doing so would take away our natural drive to succeed.

    I do wish that humans would more readily admit when they are wrong. Stubbornness is precisely the sort of thing that keeps religions alive. Take the room’s primary troll for example. He knows he is wrong, yet he will never admit it even though it is obvious.

  5. Margaret Says:

    Holysmokes is right. If religionists were ever successful at converting everyone, then they would start bickering among themselves over interpretations of scripture. Humans will never ever totally agree on everything. Religious people don’t agree to disagree; they become offended at disagreement.

    Atheists are more open-minded to ideas. We value learning. We don’t just take someone’s word for something if it doesn’t coincide with reality.

  6. Atheist MC Says:

    Atheists are more open-minded to ideas. We value learning. We don’t just take someone’s word for something if it doesn’t coincide with reality.

    I’ll take your word on that.