Sunday, October 23, 2011

Response from my mom, Week 3 on "Why Are Atheists So Angry?"

Same as usual, original text is in white, her response is in pink, mine is green. This one isn't very extensive, she didn't have much to say and I didn't have much to argue, we agreed on many things this week.

One more thing that needs to be added to this list of intolerance is religion. We've seen it to be detrimental, we know it to be the cause of hatred, ignorance, bigotry, and countless crimes against humanity, so why tolerate such a thing?

Of course there are two camps, there has always been disagreement between people who believe in God and those who don’t and there always will be.    Each camp quotes the very same charges against the other camp.  I find it interesting that the young guy on YouTube called himself  “by AntitheisticAtheist”.  That says it a lot

I know this doesn't address the "anger" accusation, just the clarification on why "intolerance" doesn't have to mean something negative.

I agree that there are some things we should be intolerant of…. Such as all kinds of evil in the world like those you mentioned above that are charged against religion. 
As far as actual "Atheist Anger" is concerned, I came across a blog post a long, long time ago, written by a woman who I'm guessing is named Greta, since that's the title of her blog :P

I agree with a lot of the reasons this woman is angry, she has a lot of valid points.  But haven’t you noticed that angry people specifically look for all kinds of reasons to be angry.  And that they pick and choose what information they want to focus on, because some sources of information fuels their anger better than others.  And that they don’t focus on what’s good and right for the same reason?

There will always be wrong and evil in the world.  I blame that on people, not God.
 No one has to write about the "good and right" things of religion for a few reasons. One of which is that they toot their own horn every damn day that we all know already. Secondly, "good and right" things don't need a spot light like this because "good and right" things aren't an "issue" that people need to know about. Focusing on negative things aren't a bad thing. If you ignore them, they never go away. If you give them attention and let people know about the negative things in the world, then action can be taken against them. Ask Martin Luther King Jr. what I'm talking about, he knows. Nothing good and right comes out of religion anyways. Anything that does come out of religion that's good, can be attained without it, can be found elsewhere, or it's natural human nature anyways. 
And you should actually be blaming it on God. He made evil. He's all powerful and all knowing. He either made it and doesn't care, or he's not all powerful and all knowing because he can't stop or prevent it and therefor not really worthy of being worshiped.

I appreciate her sense of being fair with the following:
I get angry when believers trumpet every good thing that's ever been done in the name of religion as a reason why religion is a force for good... and then, when confronted with the horrible evils done in religion's name, say that those evils weren't done because of religion, were done because of politics of greed or fear or whatever, would have been done anyway even without religion, and shouldn't be counted as religion's fault. (Of course, to be fair, I also get angry when atheists do the opposite: chalk up every evil thing done in the name of religion as a black mark on religion's record, but then insist that the good things were done for other reasons and would have been done anyway, etc. Neither side gets to have it both ways.)”
"The "They just aren't doing religion right" argument is not going to cut it with me. I don't think any of you have it right.    …..     I get angry when religious believers insist that their interpretation of their religion and religious text is the right one, and that fellow believers with an opposite interpretation clearly have it wrong. How the hell do they know which parts of the Bible/ Torah/ Koran/ Bhagavad-Gita/ whatever God really meant, and which parts he didn't? And if they don't know, if they're just basing it on their own moral instincts and their own perceptions of the world, then on what basis are they thinking that God and their sacred texts have anything to do with it at all? What right do they have to act as if their opinion is the same as God's and he's totally backing them up on it?

This is a tough question for everyone.  Sometimes all we can do is trust we are hearing the Spirit lead us.  It is sometimes a matter of trying to live by faith.  
We're not hearing the spirit. We're hearing our conscience. 
And if you’re not bigoted against atheists and are sympathetic to us, then can you shut the hell up for ten seconds and let us tell you about what the world is like for us, without getting all defensive about how it's not your fault?

            I believe I am trying to do that.  I can’t be the only one.
Many of the examples you gave for week 2 violence involve the Catholic church or catholic peoples, and as you have heard me say for your whole life, I don't respect the catholic church as a true christian organization, and I have seen that organization do a LOT of things wrong, so I'm not surprised to hear that Hitler and Stalin were catholic.  I'm not surprised to hear that Mother Theresa wasn't such a saint. Nor do other 'reglious organizations such as Muslums doing violence in the name of Allah have any allegence to the true God. 

In all the examples you've given, I would blame the people involved for being wrong.  I believe in many cases they were not following God and so I wouldn't put the blame on him.

You say "I'm making the distinction between a murder by an Atheist, and a murder in the name of Atheism. There's a massive difference."  I agree, and say the same thing - there is also the distinction between murder by a Christian, and murder in the name of Christianity".   Also, an atheist says he doesn't stand for anything so of course he isn't going to say he does the violence in the name of it, such as your examples of Mao and Pol.

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