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October 30th, 2007


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11:51 am
Why one particular atheist is angry.

I agree with pretty much everything she had to say.
So I'll just add, "amen."
Current Location: work
mood: calmcalm

(82 bits of drivel | babble incoherently)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC)
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Sorry, but my reaction is "LOL, stupidest thing I've ever read."

I've been a bunch of different religions and I've been no-religion, but she's just throwing a whole batch of different and complex social issues in one trash bag, massively oversimplifying to the point that she's nonsensical, and crying persecution.

Not impressed. I'm not impressed when religious sects do it, and I'm not impressed when unreligious groups do it. It's dumbing down the issues.

YMMV.
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC)
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Hmm, I totally disagree. Of course, I come to that blog post already on her side, so I acknowledge my bias, but the vast majority of the issues she talks about are tied inalterably to religion and its impact on society. Where are you getting nonsensical? And really, I'm not sure how she's supposed to avoid oversimplication in a 4,000+ some word blog post about the history of religion. Be that as it may, I didn't find her points to be inaccurately summarized. Could you explain more what you're talking about here (or in my blog, if you'd like).
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC)
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For example, I think the complex issues surrounding abortion can be summed up better than with a photo of a wire coat hanger.

As a woman, I'm insulted.
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
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The comment you're referencing is "I'm angry that women are having septic abortions -- or are being forced to have unwanted children who they resent and mistreat -- because religious organizations have gotten laws passed making abortion illegal or inaccessible."

I would agree with you if the sentence was "I'm angry at religious organizations for being the sole cause of all abortions (unsafe or otherwise)." But I think her point is clearly illustrated in the last clause. She's upset that religious organizations have shaped abortion legislation according to their personal beliefs about right and wrong, thereby affecting millions of women who don't share those religious beliefs.

As you said, abortion is a complicated issue. There are a million ways to discuss it-- but I would strongly argue that in this country the religious debate has severely influenced political health care decisions.
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
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So...religious women don't have the right to be upset about healthcare? Only atheists are allowed to have social concerns?

I think she's got it backwards. Most brands of Christianity actually teach that it is a good thing to help out the poor and the sick. That whole thing that Jesus guy did, yannow.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:48 pm (UTC)
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nowhere is she denying other people their own anger, she's explaining hers. You need to take the framing and context into consideration here.
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
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What? I'm sorry, but I didn't say or imply anything like that in my comment. The whole point is that anyone, regardless of religion or lack thereof, shouldn't have to abide by health care laws influenced by a particular religion's morality. That says nothing about anyone's right to be upset or care about health care...?

I'm not sure what the last part of this comment has to do with this. If you'll clarify then I can answer to it.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
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It's not about the issues, you're missing the point.
It's not about diving deeply into, say, the complex issue of abortion and everything that surrounds it. It's exactly what it sets out at the beginning; an explanation of and defense of atheist anger, and an answer to the question we get all the time of "why are you atheists so angry?"

Consider it the flip-side of the coin that says "everyone not in $RELIGION is going to hell, and there's no redemption, so it's ok to kill them in the name of $GOD."
You may not be sitting on that side of the coin, but that doesn't mean the coin's not there.
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC)
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It's not the flip side of the coin. It's intolerance and bigotry, dressed up with the name of no-god instead of God. She's practicing exactly what she claims to be condemning and blaming a vague "religious people" for.

Oh, the irony.
[User Picture]
From:inahandbasket
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
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I just reread the whole thing. Nowhere in the entire post does she blame anyone remotely vague, or assault an entire group or religion.
Every paragraph is a very specific grievance about a very specific issue.
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:52 pm (UTC)
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Just one very egregious example:

"I'm angry -- enraged -- at the priests who molest children and tell them it's God's will."

Hello, so are all non-child-molestors, atheist or no. I'm just as "angry -- enraged" at the non-religious child molestors who molest children and tell them it's fate or as nature intends or if they tell they'll be killed.

She's an idiot, and I'm actually disappointed that you're taking her seriously. I don't think she's worth any more of my time and attention.

Most people during most historical periods have professed some form of religion. Therefore, the lion's share of the good and bad things have been done by people professing religion. It has nothing to do with "religion" as a social institution. It has to do with percentages.
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
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That seems like a pretty specific group of people to me-- she's enraged at child-molestors in the clergy. How is that vague? And how does that refute the original point?

Beliefs or no, I think it's pretty clear she isn't an idiot. Giving issues like this your time and attention is what makes me believe that people with religious beliefs actually can and want to support them and engage in intelligent debate about them.

She addresses the "people who do good/bad things being religious or not" issue in the blog post, which pretty much summarizes exactly the point you made.
[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:October 30th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
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Wow. Hmm. Where to start.
She's obviously angry, but I think "intolerance and bigotry" is a swing for the fence! She's angry about ways in which religion has affected societal rules and issues, and because her personal experience with people of various religions has been false justification and condescension. I don't see how that's intolerance. What is she intolerant of, not being taken seriously?

Bigotry would be if she clung to her ideas and didn't take others into account even when shown the error of them. As she stated, she was a religions major and had read the Bible. Using Christianity as one example, it seems pretty clear to me that she's taken other ideas into account in forming this blog post-- but has, of course, come out with her own opinions on the topic. Force of opinion doesn't necessarily imply bigotry. And there are several specific issues she names which are anything but vague. Could you post more specifics of this hypocrisy you're seeing? Because it just seems like you're upset about some perceived tone in the article, instead of particular things it said that you felt were false.
[User Picture]
From:inlaterdays
Date:October 30th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
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I didn't say "hypocrisy", I said "intolerance and bigotry".

e.g. I get angry when believers insist that the shopping list is a straw man, an outmoded form of religion and prayer that nobody takes seriously, and it's absurd for atheists to criticize it.

But that's a true statement. And she's angry at 'believers' when she's faced with a truth about her beliefs that she doesn't like?

A rational repsonse would be to examine and revise her own beliefs.

An irrational, bigoted response is to blame the messenger...as she states that she does.

I have no problem with her unbelief in God. I have a problem with people taking seriously the statement of someone presuming to say that my belief in God causes problems for them.

[User Picture]
From:oceanic
Date:October 30th, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
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My impression was that she said that because many people *do* take the shopping list approach seriously. That's certainly been my experience. I'm not sure how that's a truth about atheism-- that it's absurd to criticize prayer, and we should accept that as (pardon the pun) gospel? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you mean here.

I have known many people (not to generalize/stereotype, but as specific cases) who assumed that their prayers would take care of all their needs (much like a shopping list-- it will cure my scoliosis, get my daughter back the job she was fired from, make the next-door neighbor's dog shut up). Am I absurd for questioning the merits of this? Am I not allowed? Of course there is deep, serious prayer as well. Can I not question the truth of that institution either, simply because it is heartfelt and a personal truth to someone else?

I have and always will uphold that people can believe whatever they want. That doesn't mean I (or this blog writer) can't be upset about what I see people doing in the name of their faith, and most importantly imposing on others in the name of their faith. Many of the points I agree most strongly with in the article come from this basis: someone's belief in God only causes problems for me when it justifies behavior that harms someone else, or makes the basis of that action irrefutable and sanctified.
Why one particular atheist is angry. I agree with pretty much… - another LJ. or: how i learned to stop worrying and love this life-thingy

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