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View Diary: Atheist Digest '10, The believers' path to Atheism (212 comments)

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  •  Right. (4+ / 0-)

    So anyone who doesn't treat your idiosyncratic personal ideas as untouchable porcelain figurines—unlike every single other idea we encounter on this political blog—is an "asshole." Sure.

    Your privilege is showing.

    •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

      You can question my ideas at will.  Do so all you want.  But when you couple it with sneering contempt, you are indeed being an asshole.

      Obama is losing John Edwards' base.

      by snout on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 10:54:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bullshit. (5+ / 0-)

        You do not get to set the ground rules by which your ideas—which are not you—can and cannot be treated. Some ideas are worthy of mockery. Some ideas are worthy of criticism. It is not up to you to decide whether your ideas belong in those categories.

        Your attempts to set ground rules governing what others can and cannot say about your notions are baseless nonsense.

        •  i'm not telling you what you can or cannot say (1+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          bigjacbigjacbigjac
          Hidden by:
          wilderness voice

          I'm telling you what will cause me to judge you an asshole.

          Obama is losing John Edwards' base.

          by snout on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 11:02:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, precisely. (2+ / 0-)

            Just like Jim Crow-era Southerers "judging" folks to be "uppity ni**ers." We who mock your religious beliefs don't know our place—we ignore the obvious fact that we have a duty to grovel and scrape at your superior feet. No one is ever required to show our ideas the slightest respect—but you, as our privileged superior, get to pretend that disrespect shown to your beliefs is a horrid transgression of the Rules of Ethical Conduct.

            It's bullshit. You just can't handle open critique of the things you believe, so you try to pathologize anything that hits a little too close to home. Too bad: we're going to continue pointing out the flaws in religious belief. Calling us "uppity" isn't going to keep us down.

            •  You forgot to nail yourself to a cross! (0+ / 0-)

              Who knew it victimized you so to ask that you engage me with a basic modicum of respect if you want to dialogue with me.

              Clearly you don't want a dialogue.  You want the license to harangue

              Go for it.  I'll shut you out.

              Obama is losing John Edwards' base.

              by snout on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 11:13:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Buddy, *you're* the one playing the martyr. (0+ / 0-)

                You are the one continually pretending that a nail pounded into an idea you hold is a nail going through your flesh.

                And you continue doing it right here:

                ....to ask that you engage me with a basic modicum of respect....

                As I and others have explained repeatedly, you are not actually requesting "a basic modicum of respect" for you. You are demanding respect for (indeed slavish deference to) your ideas. Your inability to tell the difference is your problem (and the direct wages of the privilege you enjoy), not ours.

                •  hardly (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm not acting victimized.  I simply made a judgment and you think you can bargain with it.

                  Given that this is a diary full of people who agree with you, you seem to feel you have that privilege.

                  Obama is losing John Edwards' base.

                  by snout on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 11:29:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Uh-huh. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wilderness voice

                    I'm not acting victimized.

                    Oh, sure. And all the sad-sack complaining about "Gods floating in the sky"—it was so "snide," boo hoo, sniff... "off-putting," "mocking tone," oh, the humanity, how can we even expect you to go on under these conditions?!?—was just for nothing, right?

                    You have been playing the aggrieved victim ever since your first comment on this diary. Silly denials don't erase what you've written.


                    I simply made a judgment and you think you can bargain with it.

                    "Bargain"? I'm not "bargain"ing; I'm telling where you can shove your snout-in-the-air "judgment." You're trying to take advantage of your society-given ability to silence people who disagree with you; it just doesn't happen to be working for the moment.


                    Given that this is a diary full of people who agree with you, you seem to feel you have that privilege.

                    Yes, indeed, Dr. Schlessinger, all of the African-Americans speaking up to say your radio show is disgusting are just practicing reverse racism. Isn't it awful when your inferiors forget which direction the "judgment" is supposed to travel in?

          •  you are the only one I have seen on this diary (0+ / 0-)

            engaging in offensive ad hominem name-calling. Have a donut.

      •  The problem is that theists tend to find any (6+ / 0-)

        challenge to their beliefs to be "sneering contempt," no matter what the challenger's actual tone or intent.

        "Religion allows people by the millions to believe things, that only a crazy person could believe on their own." -Sam Harris

        by XNeeOhCon on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 10:58:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And that's what's happening right here. (2+ / 0-)

          The mild—if that!—criticisms that snout is wailing about are precisely that. There is nothing offensive about this diary. Snout just can't stand the slightest discouraging word about his/her beliefs. Under his/her logic, the only acceptable atheist is a silent one.

        •  Clearly... (0+ / 0-)

          ...you feel I must answer for the theists of the world - whom you have no problem lumping together and generalizing about what "the problem" with them might be.  

          Imagine me seeing you as harboring contempt.

          Obama is losing John Edwards' base.

          by snout on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 11:05:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, no. (2+ / 0-)

            Not all of the "theists of the world" think they can get away with the bald bullshit privilege you're trying on this thread. You have claimed that the (comically mild) slights at religious ideas in this diary are "mocking" and "offensive" and that the diarist has therefore committed an ethical transgression against you.

            You can't pass this off on your religious brethren. They're not here. You are, and you're trying to silence and pathologize critics of religion with your nonsensical invocation of your privilege. You won't succeed.

            •  What is this idiocy about privilege? (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not asking you for any undue consideration of my beliefs.  I am asking you to avoid being snide and condescending in how you question them.

              Obama is losing John Edwards' base.

              by snout on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 11:17:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "I'm not writing a Daily Kos comment!" (3+ / 0-)

                I'm not asking you for any undue consideration of my beliefs.

                Uh, yeah, sure—just like the sun isn't going to come up on Monday.

                You are doing nothing but asking for a kind of "consideration" of religious beliefs that no one ever asks, or gives, to any other kind of ideas—including, notably, specifically atheistic ideas.


                I am asking you to avoid being snide and condescending in how you question them.

                Funny how your second sentence directly contradicts your first.

                This is a political blog. It is a free marketplace of ideas. Beliefs are questioned in "snide and condescending" ways every single day. No one bats an eye unless the beliefs being questioned are religious ones.

                Voila: privilege. Q.E.D.

          •  I didn't suggest you answered for all theists. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wilderness voice

            I didn't even suggest that all theists have this problem, but I find your defensiveness demonstrative of my point, in that by criticizing your ideas I am somehow contemptuous of you, or personally insulting you.  Nothing could be further from the truth, even now.  The fact that you'll likely not believe that only reinforces my point.  Ideas have to be separate from people.  They are independent, critcizable entities which should have no feelings attached to them.  The problem with religion, as previously stated, is that religious ideas are frequently (erroneously in my opinion) excluded from that status.  Before we can engage on the topic, that voodoo doll must be detached from its victim, lest any pin pricks it receives be rendered personal stab wounds.

            "Religion allows people by the millions to believe things, that only a crazy person could believe on their own." -Sam Harris

            by XNeeOhCon on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 11:15:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lets take this off of religion for a while (0+ / 0-)

              Say for a moment that a conservative came here to dialogue with us  - telling us that his intention was to ask us to discuss our differences in good faith and perhaps convince us to "kill progressivism" and adopt his ideas.

              Then imagine that he casually thew in a line about our hating America...or wanting to push the gay agenda...or hoping to establish death panels, etc.  

              You'd see right through that guy.      

              Obama is losing John Edwards' base.

              by snout on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 11:26:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Okay. I like a good thought experiment. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wilderness voice

                I like a good analogy also.  In that scenario I would ask that conservative if they realized that their statement was taking away from the impression that they really wanted to engage and understand progressives.  I would ask them why they believed that way.  Unless of course I wasn't truly interested in hearing them out in the first place, but needed a reason to shut down the conversation.  I would have to expect a certain amount of inflammatory rhetoric from a conservative, even one that was really here in good faith to make peace with us. After all they didn't arrive at their ideas because they are inherently stupid or evil, but because they, through whatever course, developed a completely different lens through with to see the world.  If the entire diary read like Saturday hatemail-a-palooza, I would tell the diarist to kindly move along and take their blind hatred with them.

                How does that translate in this situation, I'm not sure.  The main difference is people tend to have stronger stomachs for dissenting opinons and arguments in the politcal sphere than they do for the theological one.  

                "Religion allows people by the millions to believe things, that only a crazy person could believe on their own." -Sam Harris

                by XNeeOhCon on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 12:02:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  With that in mind... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...lets return to this situation.

                  I did not shut down the possibility of dialogue.  Indeed I have answered more than a dozen responses.  Not a single person here has so much as acknowledged the possibility that the words I took exception to might have been counter productive.    

                  That conservative I posited would need to demonstrate at least a cursory willingness to acknowledge your perspective, wouldn't he?  He does not have to agree with you, but certainly he must at the very least be willing to own up to the fact that you consider his words a breach of good faith and ought to be willing to consider the possibility that you might have reason to.

                     

                  Obama is losing John Edwards' base.

                  by snout on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 12:19:08 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Okay, let's take a step back. (0+ / 0-)

                    As I said in another comment above (I can understand if you didn't get to read it given the volume of comments in the thread), I don't think any of us denied your right to be offended, we were, are, puzzled at why such a harmless statement might offend you.  You have every right to be offended.  It is not in my power to apologize to you on behalf of the diarist.  from a third party perspective I sought to engage you about your statement.  "Why?" was what I said, and your response told me that you didn't seem interested in discussing the contents of the diary since you yourself claimed to have stopped reading it fairly early on.  That admission, coupled with your senstivity to a fairly flippant remark suggested to me that you weren't so much interested in discussing the topic of the diary, but rather wished to drop in and voice your displeasure about its content and tone.  Several attempts were made by me and others to draw you out past your wall and tell us what you really felt about the diary or the discussions surrounding it.  You seemed content to slip back behind your fortress of indignation at being asked to defend your opinion or at having your beliefs challenged.  

                    You ask me to acknowledge your right to find the comment offensive.  I do acknowledge it.  I won't tell you what to think, I just want to know why you think it.  That is really what we're here for.  I ask you to aacknowledge that I didn't personally attack you.  I would never do so, even if it was done to me first.  I've been compared to a Nazi before, a couple times.  You can do it now if it will make you feel better.  It doesn't bother me because I know it's not true.  Meet me halfway does not mean 97%-3%  To me, a feel completely comfortable acknowledging that you feel offended by that remark, but I do not feel comfortable agreeing with you that it was offensive, which seems to be the criteria you expect of us.

                    "Religion allows people by the millions to believe things, that only a crazy person could believe on their own." -Sam Harris

                    by XNeeOhCon on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 12:38:43 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm fully willing to discuss the basic premise... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...of the diary.  I'd read enough to get the gist (it isn't a new thought) and had a few people summerize it in their comments.  I'll talk about anything if it is done in a respectful manner(something only you have managed to do within this thread- which is why I continue talking to you and will ignore the others from here on in).

                      I think "fortress of indignation" is perhaps a bit of hyperbole on your part, but I'll let that go.  I am happy to engage on any subject you want.  

                      I don't think I am being oversensitive here.  The general tone among the folks in this diary is pretty contemptuous.  Even your sig line is.  

                      Obama is losing John Edwards' base.

                      by snout on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 01:34:03 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Guffaw. (3+ / 0-)

                    I did not shut down the possibility of dialogue.

                    Declaring someone an "asshole" and a "jerk" for making utterly ordinary critical points about religion is attempting to use the power of social sanction to do precisely that. You are pathologizing any argument that does not flatter the particular notions you are partial to.

                    "Asshole" is a statement of moral condemnation. As applied by you, in this thread, it's privileged nonsense.


                    Not a single person here has so much as acknowledged the possibility that the words I took exception to might have been counter productive.

                    No one asked for your concern trolling. What you find "productive" about nonbelievers' rhetoric is not our problem. We do not take marching orders from anyone who blows a gasket when an "s" is added onto "god."

                    I find it rather productive to isolate and discredit absurd purveyors of privilege, myself.


                    Dear Believer:

                    Thank you for your concern about the well-being of the atheist movement, and for your advice on how to run it. I appreciate your concern for the image of the atheist movement, and I appreciate you taking the time to give us advice on how to get our message across more effectively.

                    [....]

                    It is difficult to avoid the observation that, whenever believers give advice to atheists on how to run our movement, it is always in the direction of telling us to be more quiet, to tone it down, to be less confrontational and less visible. I have yet to see a believer advise the atheist movement to speak up more loudly and more passionately; to make our arguments more compelling and more unanswerable; to get in people's faces more about delicate and thorny issues that they don't want to think about; to not be afraid of offending people if we think we're right. I have received a great deal of advice from believers on how atheists should run our movement... and it is always, always, always in the direction of politely suggesting that we shut up.

                    You'll have to forgive me if I question the motivation behind this advice, and take it with a grain of salt.

                    You'll have to forgive me if I think your suggestions on making our movement more effective would, in fact, have the exact opposite effect. What's more, you'll have to forgive me for suspecting that this, however unconsciously, is the true intention behind your very kind and no doubt sincerely- meant advice.

                    And you'll have to forgive me if I am less than enthusiastic about taking advice on how to run the atheist movement from the very people our movement is trying to change.

                    Your concern is duly noted. Thank you for sharing.

                    - Greta Christina, "An Open Letter to Concerned Believers »"

                    •  That was great, and right on point! (0+ / 0-)

                      Thank you.

                      Peace.

                      Or, as the fictional Jesus said, when "speaking" words meant to be about philosophy, the very topic of this diary, and, keep in mind, the fictional Jesus represents a personification of truth, simply truth, he said,

                      I do not come to bring peace, but a sword.

                      We must have a verbal swordplay, to tell the truth, to teach the truth.

                      Thank you.

                      •  Your boxed quotation (2+ / 0-)

                        happens to be one of The Family's motivation nuggets they use to justify their embrace of Nazi and Stalinist/Maoist tactics to spread their vision of a fascist corporate theocracy, btw.  Or, in other words, the end justifies the means.

                        If people have to be killed in order to acheive their goals, so be it -- Jesus said he wasn't about peace, he was for killing (their interpretation, not mine).

                  •  Okay, I really have to go to bed now. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wilderness voice

                    But the invitation remains open, and serious, if you would like to return and try again from the beginning.  My diary will be tomorrow morning at about 9:30 AM Pacific.  Another will be Tuesday night around 4 PM Pacific.  Even if you choose not to comment, please read them.  Thanks for stopping in and participating, even while outnumbered.  That shows courage at the very least.

                    "Religion allows people by the millions to believe things, that only a crazy person could believe on their own." -Sam Harris

                    by XNeeOhCon on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 12:50:44 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Ironic commentary, (5+ / 0-)

            given your free way of telling all atheists how to behave.

            And, imagine you just rubbing your hands with glee at seeing your worst stereotypes realized. Just push and prod enough, and, voila! Uppity atheists act as if they were pushed and prodded!

            "Gods floating in the sky" is not a mockery of you, or of people of faith.

            It is a comment about beliefs, and about gods. Not about people.

            Your comments, on the other hand, are all about people of a certain category.

            Always make new mistakes - Esther Dyson

            by RandomActsOfReason on Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 11:19:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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