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  •  And then, by avoiding talking about it (2+ / 0-)

    our nation ends up electing people who promulgate, enact and pursue policies based on it.

    If fewer people of science would avoid engaging the anti-science forces, we'd make more progress in this country.

    We didn't win increasing acceptance for LGBT's by refusing to engage homophobes and just being amused at their ignorance.

    The anti-intellectualism, anti-science sentiments in the US are growing, not shrinking, in large part because rational thinkers shy away from engaging irrational thinkers, and scientists avoid standing up for science in public forums.

    Then you wonder why funding keeps shrinking and people get elected who are openly hostile to intellectualism and science and reason.

    You think I enjoy the constant insults, caricatures, misrepresentations and demonization I am subject to here by aggressive theists any time I challenge the influence of religion on policy making and politics in America?

    It would be a hell of a lot easier if I and a handful of others here weren't doing this alone. For all the supposed hoards of evil Scientific, Dogmatic Aggressive, Militant Fundamentalist Atheists here, one never seems to hear from any of you.

    Same on Huffington Post. I try to post rational rebuttals to their woo woo every so often, but it is hard being one of the only voices of reason in a sea of gullibles and charlatans.

    Engage a little. Help to promote critical thinking and reason in our society.

    Don't retreat to an ivory tower and bitch about how the world is going to hell.

    Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

    by RandomActsOfReason on Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 01:05:50 AM PDT

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    •  I haven't exactly retreated. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hopeful Skeptic

      I give lab tours to young people and gave some talks and demos for my mom's high school physics and physical science classes. We're pro-science at eKos, a project in which we've invested substantial time and effort. I've engaged several times with global warming denialists and picked apart other anti-science comments on DK. I would like to focus on education to promote scientific literacy.

      I just don't enjoy arguing with people about religion, as it seems a pointless exercise. I'm not going to convince anybody to abandon their faith, and they won't convince me to join theirs. And I've never been bashed or persecuted as an atheist on DK (or anywhere else, for that matter).

      I'm all for engagement, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to seek out useless pie fights over religion. To be clear, I'm not claiming that you seek out said pie fights, but this was the point I was trying to make in my previous comments.

      eKos: Environmental diaries @ DK

      by patrickz on Sat Jul 17, 2010 at 12:35:43 PM PDT

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      •  Unless we are free to talk about our own (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        patrickz

        non-religious convictions and philosophy here, without being subject to a torrent of hate, and thus choose not to talk about it, then we are, in fact, retreating.

        It should be possible to discuss religion and religious beliefs and belief in a god or gods, just as it is possible to discuss every other belief, ideology or opinion, without being immediately subjected to attempted censorship.

        The fact that every discussion about religion turns into an argument is primarily because religious believers, even self-labeled "liberal" theists, by and large do not tolerate such discussions.

        Ignoring the fact that there is a deep-seated American cultural taboo against questioning religious beliefs, and that there is a false equivalence made between questioning religious beliefs and attacking people, does not make it go away.

        Thanks for all you do, but the fact is that many atheists here who are not nearly as provocative or confrontational as I am have left because, no matter how gently or respectfully they try to raise questions, they are subject to exactly the same treatment I am - in fact, in many ways worse treatment if they don't fight back.

        That needs to change. It starts with people not ignoring overt expressions of prejudice.

        It starts with holding theists to the same standard of tolerance when it comes to expressing dissenting views on religion as on any other topic.

        Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

        by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Jul 18, 2010 at 11:59:05 AM PDT

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