author=Molly link=topic=1553.msg15585#msg15585 date=1197476732]
Hi Transponder. I take it you're an atheist? I didn't make an unsupported statement. I have said earlier that I am surrounded by atheists and have been all my life. So, although I don't really know everything that goes on in their heads, I can make some statements about my experience of them. And, my experience is that they hate God. That's why I made that statement. It's something that I've observed.
You take it right. I heard your statement that you are surrounded by atheists, or so you say - which is odd for what you call a 'christian country'. If there are so many atheists, should it not be , democratically a non-Christian country? No, because Christians insist that their beliefs should have the final say. And I say again, have you asked these atheists about their views rather than make assumptions about them on the basis of your observations which are quite evidently taken from a Christian-prejudiced viewpoint?
Atheists are not angry at God. They do not believe in God. They are angry at the constant forcing of religion down their necks.
No one is forcing religion down anyone's neck. This is a Christian country, just like it is an English speaking country. Is it fair to say we are forcing English down your neck? For the atheists to start insisting we do this and that relative to constricting our Christianity is the same as them doing the same thing with respect to the English language, as far as I'm concerned. And, no I don't want to get into a bogus 'separation of church and state' argument. No where does it say that in the Constitution.
The difference between English and Christianity is that, without a common language, we cannot communicate. Without religion, we can communicate better, without one group considering that their religious beliefs give them some sort of authority ove the others; or should.
Authority to say how people should live their lives. Now, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt; you probably don't bother non-believers too much. It is people of the Ray Comfort brand that are the danger. The fact is that a lot of people are becoming very doubtful about religion and its teachings and quite rightly so. This is not seen as a growing out of belief in Santa Claus; it is seen as a terrible thing that will undermine all society (1) and strenuous efforts are being made to introduce religion into all areas of public life, where it does not belong, according to the Constitution, despite what you say. Court rulings are, again and again, that attempts to Christianize school, work and government are unconstitutional. And still they keep at it. And you are in denial about it.
This is the way I see it. If you don't believe in God, fine. I don't believe in santa claus. But I don't go around needling little children, making fun of them, making insulting remarks about santa claus to them, insisting that they do not believe in santa claus, insisting that santa claus is a made up hoax meant to hurt them, making crude jokes about santa claus.
If only that were true, but too many do not say 'If you don't believe in God, fine.' They say 'these people really believe in God, deep down inside; they are just afraid to admit it; that is why they argue against God so much'. or 'There must have been something to make them angry with God - they just need to be talked to a bit to make them come back to belief'. Getting them in a vulnerable position would do; being in the hands of the court, for instance, with a theist judge directing that they take a course of religious indoctrination or go to jail. Being passed over for a job because they did not profess theism at their interview. Being obliged to join in group prayers organized by an over-dedicated theist teacher, scoutmaster or boss.
I might even resent santa claus because it is pagan, or because it requires that I have to put myself out once a year pretending to be santa claus---but still I wouldn't do those things.
Why not? Because I'm basically neutral on santa claus. I don't hate santa claus so much that I feel I have to attack every kid who believes in him, or attack the idea of santa claus himself.
So, there's something going on here, yes, there is an anger, and it's not at imaginary figure called God, it is at God himself. That's how I see it.
And to take you analogy about Santa, how would you feel if a well-organized body insisted that your semi-doubtful acceptance of Santa as a five -year -old was not enough? You had to believe it, sincerely, as an adult. You had to organize your life, morals and behaviour on what Santa would want. Depending of course, on the particular views of the Santaists (2) that happen to have influence in your area. You were expected to attend weekly meetings to say how great Santa was, and you find your kids coming home from Santa indoctrination class to tell you that Santa does not want you to smoke. And if you protest that Santa is just a kid's tale, there are dark mutterings about 'Anti-santaists; why are you angry at Santa?' Are you getting the scene? Can you see what it is that gets atheists riled? Quite apart from Ray Comfort appearing publicly with scientific proof of the airworthiness of reindeer-drawn sleighs(3).
Their agenda is simple; to be left alone to believe or not to believe.
Well, if you really wanted to be left alone, it would be pretty easy. Nobody is forcing you to believe anything you don't want to believe. Just like I'm not forced to believe anything I don't want to believe. You and I are the same in that respect. I have to put up with pornography, you have to put up with God, but both of us can lead lives which are not greatly impacted by things that are terrifically distasteful to us. That's because we still live in a free society, of sorts. And, that's because the Christians are running things. We've all seen what happens when the atheists run things--60 million Russians dead, mostly Christian. So I'm happy to leave you alone, but I don't want you running my life.
We all have to put up with things that we don't like, much. The world is full of people that can't tell the difference between being free to live as they want and wanting others to live the same way. I have to put up with rock music being rammed in my ears everywhere. You get what you call pornography pushed in your face. I presume you mean sex scenes in films. If you mean Real pornography, you ought to be more careful where you browse.
I love the stock argument that Stalin's misdeeds were due to atheism. They were due to one man's ruthlessness and the need to keep political power. The 'creed' of communism was the one that happened to be current in Russia at the time. You think 'That's because we still live in a free society, of sorts. And, that's because the Christians are running things.'? A free society has come about through many forces, but religion is not one of them, though of course, it likes to claim the credit. If anythng, democratic freedom has been achieved (such as it it is) through those that challenged authority. Refused to accept religious control by either pope, Catholic king, english monarch or Theocracy, whether Muslim or Baptist.
I'm talking to you as though you are an atheist, but it is a strawman argument. I don't really know what your beliefs are, but these are the arguments I would make to an atheist.
It isn't a strawman, actually. Since you don't know what my beliefs are, you cannot misrepresent them. However, having heard my explanation of what atheists do - or do not - believe, to continue the 'angry at God' idea - that would be a strawman argument.
(1) you say as much here: "That's because we still live in a free society, of sorts. And, that's because the Christians are running things. We've all seen what happens when the atheists run things--60 million Russians dead, mostly Christian." You prove my point, all on the basis of a strawman argument that atheists are going to behave like Stalin, if they ever succeed in finally easing myth and superstition out of public life.
(2) that almost came out wrong.
(3) well of course the one you built doesn't fly. You don't have enough Faith in Santa.