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View Diary: Rebuttal to the front-page criticism of Jindal (109 comments)

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  •  Atheists do not proselytize, (5+ / 0-)

    by definition.  

    •  Good point (7+ / 0-)

      We just refuse to shut up anymore.

      End the Iraq occupation!

      by Unstable Isotope on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 04:48:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gfv6800

        And saying "I'm an atheist" is not proselytizing.

        However, saying "You are so silly and superstitious to believe in God": that's proselytizing (of a particularly obnoxious sort), and one sees those sorts of statements all over the web nowadays.

        •  An eye for an eye (6+ / 0-)

          isn't that in the Bible?  So it's ok for religious types to say that atheists are immoral but we can't say we find religion silly?

          Actually I would be happy to be left alone, but we have politicians saying that religion should be a litmus test for public office.  Fine then, let's discuss religion, but they should be prepared for a real discussion.

          End the Iraq occupation!

          by Unstable Isotope on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 05:38:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It still saddens me to think (7+ / 0-)

            how necessary it is for candidates these days to declare their beliefs before the public and media, considering that in the past, this was unnecessary and viewed as invasive.  Prez W.H. Taft, for all of his problems, was admirable for his admission that he couldn't accept the Presidency of Yale, still a Christian-based institute, because he was a Unitarian and didn't believe in the divinity of Christ.  Nowadays, I don't think a candidate would be elected who made that claim, yet Taft was unapologetic about his disbelief in the first decade of the 20th century.   It seems that we've regressed...

            "No man should advocate a course in private that he's ashamed to admit in public." -George McGovern

            by Arturo52 on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 05:45:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I said it's proselytizing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Unstable Isotope

            I didn't say it was bad.  Calling atheists immoral is proselytizing, and if they do I give you permission to call them silly.  :)

            You're right that atheism needs to push back a little harder than necessary because of the built-in bias in this country.

            •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              burrow owl, homogenius

              I was little worried that I was being a little harsh in my comment, after all you didn't say anything about atheists being immoral.  I was simply trying to explain the mindset.

              I do sort of agree with your diary.  I think the story is a bit cherry-picked.  However, Jindal basically wrote that Catholicism is the one true church.  I think that is a problem for a politician, and he should answer what he means here.  Unfortunately his first reaction is denial.

              End the Iraq occupation!

              by Unstable Isotope on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 06:05:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Definition (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DocGonzo, gfv6800

      "Proselytize (vt): convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another"

      Atheism is certainly an opinion, and I would argue that it is a belief as well: a belief in Occam's Razor, or a belief that the world is made up only of things that can be measured or observed.  I personally find such a belief to be naive; but they think I'm naive too, so there you go.  :)

      •  For the 92,637th time: (7+ / 0-)

        Atheism is not the belief in the absense of a god, but the absense of a belief in a god. So if you are going to think any "belief" to be naïve or anything else, it realy behooves you to understand the thing first.  

        •  Please enlighten me (0+ / 0-)

          There are two definitions here that I'm not sure about.

          1. "atheist": that could include people who don't know if there is a God or not, in addition to the people who insist that there is no God.  I myself tend to call the people in the first category "agnostic".
          1. "belief": I believe that the laws of physics always apply.  I believe that experiments are reproducible.  I believe that the laws of mathematics are always true.  I believe that I am not a brain in a jar somewhere.  Does this definition of "believe" work for you?  Or does "belief" to you imply supernaturalism of some sort?

          I suspect there is some built-in defensiveness because theists have, in the past, tried to use logic to argue that "belief in no God" proves that God must exist, or some such.  That is not my intention.

          By my definition, a person who says "There is no God" believes that there is no God; he does not merely lack a belief in God.  And someone who says, "You are stupid to believe in a God" clearly believes there is no God.  (Of course, someone who says "You are stupid to make religion the focus of your life" may fall into either the "lack of belief" camp or the "belief of lack" camp.)

          What am I getting wrong here?

          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

            This is essentially touching on the differences between "hard" and "soft" atheism.  (See this article for a reasonably decent discussion of this.)

            The relevant bit here is:

            Some atheists go beyond a mere absence of belief in gods: they actively believe that particular gods, or all gods, do not exist. Just lacking belief in Gods is often referred to as the "weak atheist" position; whereas believing that gods do not (or cannot) exist is known as "strong atheism." [...]

            It is important, however, to note the difference between the strong and weak atheist positions. "Weak atheism" is simple scepticism; disbelief in the existence of God. "Strong atheism" is an explicitly held belief that God does not exist.

            IOW, weak atheism is essentially an argument based upon absence of evidence -- I don't know (for example) that an ancient Roman didn't at one point invent, say, a primitive telescope; there's no evidence for it and a lot of evidence against it, but it's not physically impossible for them to have done so.  Hard atheism is a statement of positive disbelief: I am certain that the Romans did not have access to computers, because it is impossible for them to have accessed the level of technology necessary to construct one.  [1]

            [1] Both are bad examples, but it's late, and hopefully you get the point.

    •  Jews do not proselytize (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel, DocGonzo

      Except each other.

      I've been approached by Lubavichers and other such ultra-orthodox, but they would never attempt to recruit a non-Jew.

      You're only young once, but you can be immature forever -- Larry Andersen
      Blogging at Peace Tree Farm

      by N in Seattle on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 05:23:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who is it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        N in Seattle

        When someone hands me a flyer from
        an outfit called Jews for Jesus then I do
        get confused. I guess since they are
        sort of ex-Jews that they are now
        entitled to proselytize. Oy vey.

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