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Atheism, Protheism, Theism, and Debate

Posted by tigerhawkvok on December 07, 2009 21:22 in General , religion

So, today when hitting up the blogs (in-between bouts of productivity), I ran across this post on SkepChick (amusing fact: guys write for skepchick too).

The nuts-and-bolts:

Honestly, I'm extremely bored with the god/no god debate. I don't care. Really, I don't care. Believe whatever you want about god(s)(ess)(es). It doesn't matter. Sure, I think it's all a bit silly, and I don't buy into it, but I know plenty of really smart people who do. And I know a few really smart skeptics who do... a couple who are even *gasp* Christians!

Unless you're using your religion to spread evil -- like killing your daughter for talking to the guy you didn't choose as her husband or trying to pass blatantly bigoted laws denying groups of people their basic rights, or trying to teach my kid that dinosaurs were here just a few thousand years ago and that The Flintstones are based on a true story -- really, just thinking that there might be a deity isn't an intellectual crime in my mind.

Religion isn't above scrutiny, but I don't think it's necessary to mock the religious and spew hatred at them for merely believing.

Michael Shermer just wrote a whiny article on not beating up the believers, but I really loved Brian Thompson's article over at Amateur Scientist, and highly recommend you read it after answering today's quest

What's your take on the atheists vs religious "war"? Do you think we should be more tolerant? Do you think we should be less tolerant? Does it matter?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

While in principle I agree, I feel that factually this is not a tenable position. The fact of the matter is that religion influences politicians, and thus directly impacts everyone's life. Whether you're atheist, pagan, wicca, asgardian, jewish — what have you — you have the right to not by tyrranized into the view of a Christian majority. If the majority was any other religion, then the minorities would still retain the right to avoid tyranny by the majority. It is insane that religious viewpoints can dictate rights in any manner. Pick your favorite debate here.

I'll even define a term: "protheists". This is an evangelical theist, someone that beyond mere "belief", tries to assert that belief onto others by evangelism, policy, etc.

The fact of the matter is that atheists (and, for that matter, theists) should speak out against religion in the public sphere. After all, think of last year's nativity scene in Washington. Would a theist prefer Zeus, FSM, and Isis represented alongside their nativity? Or skip out on it altogether?

It's a simple matter of equality. And while religion pervades our government, it's unobtainable, virtually by definition. So we should continue to debate, loudly, against religious-induced ignorance. Here's a good benchmark: see when there's not a frenzy in the media when a president *doesn't* mention their deity-of-choice (ie, the Abrahamic god). Till that day happens, there's too much religion in our politics.

However, casual faith? People who may or may not go to church/synagogue/what have you? Eh. That's generally not harmful. I think it's counterproductive, and bothers me from an efficiency standpoint, but I know plenty of people like that and I give it a resounding "meh". It's about as relevant as people who hunt-and-peck with single fingers staring at a keyboard. A pretty glaring waste of time in my opinion, but doesn't hurt anyone. (In my opinion, it's already a weak form of atheism with cultural overtones, but that's a different post).

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freedom mentor

freedom mentor | 05/03/2015 08:05

Atheism, Protheism, Theism, and Debate | The Dichotomous Trekkie 2.0

freedom mentor

freedom mentor | 03/03/2015 14:56

Atheism, Protheism, Theism, and Debate | The Dichotomous Trekkie 2.0

freedom mentor

freedom mentor | 03/03/2015 14:54

Atheism, Protheism, Theism, and Debate | The Dichotomous Trekkie 2.0