1st September 2010

“The problem is that people believe that living in a society were people are free to believe in what ever they want is the same as living in a society were people can believe what they want free from criticism.”


16 Responses to “1st September 2010”

  1. The Heretic Says:

    That is true. Tolerance is not the same as non-judgmental. Atheists and well and Theists mistake one for the other. Just because you cannot be jailed for something, does not mean that society should look upon it approvingly. A satanic cult for instance – it is not illegal to belong to one, but it shouldn’t be considered a good thing either.

  2. YourSkepticalGuy Says:

    I believe I support the spirt of your post TH. I do not understand the collateral editorials however. Selectively identifying satanic cults as done in the post is at least suggestive that there is something exceptionally bad about being part of such a cult, as opposed to, say, the catholic cult?

    It should be embarrasing for anyone to belong to any of the deity-churches. Any illegal behavior in them should be treated exactly the same – no matter the format for which one finds the ritual abuse or whatever.


  3. edgarwing Says:

    It seems to me the protected status of religious beliefs has everything to do with their unsupportability by evidence. It’s like people collectively and, perhaps, preconsciously, know that people’s religious beliefs are vulnerable to being undermined by scrutiny; so they consider it impolite to scrutinize them.

  4. Margaret Says:

    The same believers who yell “Persecution!!!” if religion is criticized want unlimited freedom to criticise anyone who disagrees with them. Non-believers are supposed to just shut up and take it, and if we don’t, we are “not playing by the rules.” Freedom of expression only goes one way, that is the problem. The expectation that atheists should just sit down and shut up, or leave the country, is meant to protect believer’s precious comfort level by never being challenged to think about what they believe or why. Being comfortable is more improtant than being right. It should really bother everyone who cares about true freedom this human tendency to jettison freedom and fairness for comfort.

    I will admit it. When I was a believer, it was “more comfortable” to believe I had a loving sky-daddy making things work out for me. It is less comfortable being an atheist, working to make sense of all that is around me. But as a non-believer, I now have more wonder and appreciation of all around me than I did before, and I do not see myself going back to the old ways. As George Bernard Shaw phrased it, “The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality. “

  5. Mike G Says:

    Margaret, I like you. Do you have a blog by chance?

  6. Mike G Says:

    Maybe it is just my OCD but the word “were” in the first line of the quote should read where. Mods, can you change this? My nails are scratching at the monitor to correct it!

  7. Margaret Says:

    Haha, I am flattered, thank you Mike G. No blog. I only recently started finding forums such as this. I started by lurking, listening, not sure if anyone cared about my opinions or not. It is nice to know that my ideas are OK with other people. I listen to the rest of you, still learning proper etiquette for informal online communication.

  8. teddy Says:

    YAY for Margaret !!

  9. teddy Says:

    margaret……….. i think it would be interesting to know what factors

    were critical in shifting your thinking………if you would care to share…..

    your messages are always clear, and to the point.

    my own points of view have been evolving for a long time….and it is only in the last 5 years , or so, that things have begun to clear up.
    ………..always looking forward to your contributions !

  10. YourSkepticalGuy Says:


    I like your expression in your first paragraph. The last line: “It should really bother everyone who cares about true freedom this human tendency to jettison freedom and fairness for comfort.”

    What is irksome for me is that this “comfort” is false in many times. Witness the continued fear/insecurity expressed by many today, yet crime rates are flat/falling. The whole over-sensationalized and flat out wrong “crime by immigrants” mantra in Arizona being but one small example.

    This example does miss the mark a bit however – I suspect that the comfort in your paragraph is a false sense of security while the Arizona residents have a false sense of insecurity. It becomes problematic in each to pursue and hold on to this “comfort” at all costs.

    Life would be so much better if we were all rationalists about these things.


  11. Muraguri Nyaga Says:

    Do you mean like the way the Catholic tolerate Protestants or where I come from Christian on Islam, Hindu or even the myriads of cultures practiced by the various tribe? And yet each is judgmental towards the other. Tolerance is out of the realization – at least for the leadership – that each of their faith is based on “a of house cards”. Criticism even where it is not voiced remains basis of the paths we take in life. I guess you put the literature that religion(s) base their faith on and found them wanting! So long as it stand on sound reasons, we should not only accept criticism but should even encourage it.

  12. Margaret Says:

    Good point, YourSkepticalGuy, about the false sense of security. When believers feel comfortable, they see no need to question. Plus, they have always been told it is true. When something happens that does not fit, then humans rationalize it, “must be God’s will”, or other excuses, “He works in monstrous, oops, I meant mysterious ways”, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Brilliant observation, YSG.

  13. Simon Says:

    Everyone lives in a society in which they are free to believe what they want, it is the extent to which they can express those beliefs that is compromised. Here in the UK I’m not criticised for beliefs which I can and do express but rather dismissed or ridiculed. Here we have a system where any deviation from the narrow lines of mainstream thought is immediately classed as irrelevant intellectualism or utopian socialism. The dull remnants of our Christian history are as much a part of this as our mind numbing media. It’s not repression in the sense that the people of Saudi are repressed but it’s frustrating and sometimes lonely.

  14. Margaret Says:

    Teddy, several events opened my eyes to the hoax of religion. I have not talked about them out of respect of everyone else’s space and time. Everyone coming here deserves his or her fair share of attention. This forum is for everyone. I sometimes engage the believers who raid this forum. If I could wake up, maybe they can.

  15. The Heretic Says:

    YSG, I find your allusion to AZ appalling and generally uninformed. The “Crimes of Immigrants”, and that is exactly what they are, have nothing to do with freedom, but with the rule of law and the US sovereignty. Just because the US federal government is neglecting its duty to its citizens, it doesn’t mean that makes illegals invading our county ‘OK’. No other country on the planet neglects its borders and sovereignty the way the US is doing it now. It has nothing to do with freedom, just irretrievable stupidity. It is one of the federal gov’ts mandates to ensure some degree of security upon its denizens. Your argument and allusions are without merit.

  16. sjburnt Says:

    It is as though the more nonsensical the beliefs are, the more they feel that they need defending… …which explains a lot about that troll-turned-sock-puppet on this site!

    In any event, when criticism is direct, cogent, and makes sense, it is a tool for learning. When criticism is nothing more than repeating belief rhetoric or telling folks they are going to hell, it is just a waste of time.

    Nice to see this site has survived.