Anti-religious propaganda - reply
I can post a topic - but I can't reply on the page - I just get 'done, error on page message.' This started on Sept. 9th.
From: Thomas (Posted Sep 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm)
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I would like to hear from Linda, Don, and Matt in particular, but all responses and opinions are welcome.
I am strongly against anybody forcing their ideology on others under any circumstance. I don't care if it is door knockers, people loitering outside a grocery store, or annoying web ads, but realistically the religious rhetoric will never cease.
I read an article a bit back that there are more people that claim atheism than ever before (I believe they estimated around 8-10% of the U.S. population)
So my question more or less is: Is it any more acceptable for atheists to start mass media propaganda campaigns supporting our belief (or lack of belief)?
I will never try to "win" or convince someone over to my side, I simply just don't care enough. But if we stand by and do nothing, will any headway be made? Or is the old expression two wrongs don't make a right hold here....
I assume some people have tooted their horns in the public sector, as I also assume that there are atheists who have marketed and sold out for money, power, influence or all of the above.
Is it naive to hope for a future society of more objectivity and less religion?
I mean are we just to stand by passively and get trampled by the oncoming masses and their redundant messages?
Do you see the atheist movement gaining steam? The accessibility of information and websites like this are wonderful, but lack a collective voice while atheists are still generally condemned.
I know this sounds elitist, but I look at the atheist movement as progress for society.
REPLY FROM Linda:
Most atheists are giving the actual fact based information to explain where religious myths really came from and scientists are explaining the difference in real science and pseudo-science. I don't consider that specifically anti-religion, and it's not coercion. It is questioning Sacred Cows. Atheists and scientists do not force or coerce. Science and rational thinking has actually taken away the ability to persuade with fear or coercion.
When the spreading of the "new religion" began most people rejected it. It was necessary to use physical torture and instill perpetual fear in people in order to force it on the populace. If they were spreading the "truth" it would have been obvious to most people; there would never have been any reason to commit genocide and burn all other religious books in order to spread the truth. Spreading sadistic stories about nonbelievers who are suffering in hell is coercion and is still preached by many evangelists. The use of fear and coercion is still necessary to force institutionalized religion on humanity.
Scientists can't answer questions with "the god of the gaps" because it's not science and it doesn't explain anything. Scientists have to find the facts. What one believes has nothing to do with finding facts. Some beliefs are false but they are believed; while other beliefs are true and are not believed. It doesn't matter if anyone believes or does not believe a fact; it will still be a fact. Facts are not beliefs. That's why scientists are not looking for beliefs, and their beliefs do not change what they find out through investigation supported by the evidence to be a fact. If there is a preponderance of evidence supporting a theory (like evolution), and nothing found for 2-centuries that disputes it; it is considered a fact. When there is zero evidence supporting a theory and the theory cannot be falsified; it is considered false.
Polls on atheists in America probably don't have accurate numbers. The hatred of atheists in America would prevent many of them from admitting they were atheists. In Europe and places around the world where atheists are not vilified the numbers are huge. In some of the most advanced countries there is less than 10 percent of the population that is religious.
Years ago we talked to someone in California who told us that people claiming to be freethinkers overran their freethinker group. He said that they took over by sheer numbers and got elected to all the offices, and they turned out to be ordinary theists with traditional theology who just wanted to take over their group in order to eliminate the freethinkers. This is what was done in ancient times to eliminate other religions; it's called assimilation. This type of thing also makes it difficult to know what the numbers on anything is really.
America is one of the most religious countries in the world and one of the most violent. America has become more like a typically corrupt third world country with a very poorly informed population. I think that there is so much strife in the world because every religious group has been programmed to dominate.
In view of the fact that numbers are important to the media and politicians it is difficult for minority views to be heard. Religious views have dominated the media for a very long time; almost to the exclusion of any other view, but now other views have infrequently gotten airtime in the mainstream media. Popularity should not determine what the public has the right to know.
Atheists do not have an ideology to spread or force on the whole world. They can only provide information. Once they provide information it's out of their hands. It's up the public to find what the facts are for themselves.
God does not exist is a fact, as much as evolution is a fact. There is no need for god or the supernatural in any theory about how the Universe or life in the Universe came to be, and zero evidence for god. A fact does not require belief because it doesn't matter one way or the other if you believe it; it will still be a fact. If atheists have a philosophy to spread it should be to live a life that is free of fear and ignorance. Everyone should read "The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark" by Carl Sagan. Carl Sagan said, "If we can't think for ourselves, if we're unwilling to question authority, then we're just putty in the hands of those in power. But if the citizens are educated and form their own opinions, then those in power work for us. In every country, we should be teaching our children the scientific method and the reasons for a Bill of Rights. With it comes a certain decency, humility and community spirit. In the demon-haunted world that we inhabit by virtue of being human, this may be all that stands between us and the enveloping darkness."
I think Carl Sagan, like many of us, saw the efforts to get pseudo-science into education and mix religion with our government as something very dangerous. The only way to combat ignorance, it seems to me, is with information. Atheists and some scientists are giving the public the opportunity to hear an alternative message, and that is not forcing anything on people. It's not the only message; scientists and atheists don't insist that their views be the only one allowed. If presenting the facts discovered through investigation is anti-religion - then so be it. Belief requires faith; the truth requires the struggle to find even a single fact, and facts are not beliefs. It doesn't matter if a majority or even large majorities of people "believe" something. That is not what makes something true.
There may be people in everything that are corrupt, but let that be a reminder that we really do need to inform ourselves. It is not wise to let others tell you what to think and what to say; that is not informing or educating people. Religion does not work that way. You believe on faith that the information you are given is true without question. You repeat things. The bible repeats things. Repetition is a tool of brainwashing not informing. If the words coming out of your mouth are not your own (what you really think) then you are being brainwashed.
I agree with you that there has definitely been little progress in America, when you consider the level of hatred and viciousness in America towards anyone who does not regurgitate the Christian message.
Football, religion and patriotism will not make America number one in the world. America is behind the rest of the world in science and math. The leading countries in the world appreciate the scientists and mathematicians. An article I read a while back stated that the U.S. performance in international testing on math and science was considerably below the average of other industrialized nations. Although, many of the scientists and scholars who are using their valuable time to try and inform us are atheists, it seems to me that they are doing us a huge favor.
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