Call to arms. Let's appropriate "abolitionists".
Posted: 20 January 2007 06:10 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I think Sam makes a good argument for us to stand up and call for abolition of religion.  I'm not talking about an amendment to the Constitution or anything. We cannot legislate religion out of existence, but we can certainly be a lot more vocal. We need to win converts.  We need to pull like-minded individuals out of the closet.

Until now, it seems that most arguments against belief have been of the "rational" variety rather than the moral.  We need to start making the moral case, as Sam has done.  Atheist as often depicted as amoral.  We need to turn the tables and make the case that the atheist/humanist/naturalist/bright (what-have-you) position is the more moral.  We need to create an environment where people are proud to stand up and proclaim for man and against superstition.

We need "Abolish Religious Enslavement" posters on booths at county fairs with calm, rational folks in the booth handing out flyers and selling books.  We need visibility.  We need sweet little old ladies in the booth explaining how they attain the greatest fulfillment in life from loving and aiding those around them for its own sake, not for the benefits of eternal reward.

So those of us willing to lead the charge, let's call ourselves abolitionists.  Hopefully those who follow us will no longer need any label.

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Posted: 20 January 2007 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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[quote author=“scottmax”]I think Sam makes a good argument for us to stand up and call for abolition of religion.  I’m not talking about an amendment to the Constitution or anything. We cannot legislate religion out of existence, but we can certainly be a lot more vocal. We need to win converts.  We need to pull like-minded individuals out of the closet.

Until now, it seems that most arguments against belief have been of the “rational” variety rather than the moral.  We need to start making the moral case, as Sam has done.  Atheist as often depicted as amoral.  We need to turn the tables and make the case that the atheist/humanist/naturalist/bright (what-have-you) position is the more moral.  We need to create an environment where people are proud to stand up and proclaim for man and against superstition.

We need “Abolish Religious Enslavement” posters on booths at county fairs with calm, rational folks in the booth handing out flyers and selling books.  We need visibility.  We need sweet little old ladies in the booth explaining how they attain the greatest fulfillment in life from loving and aiding those around them for its own sake, not for the benefits of eternal reward.

So those of us willing to lead the charge, let’s call ourselves abolitionists.  Hopefully those who follow us will no longer need any label.

I suggest that you get a copy of Prisons We Choose to Live Inside by Doris Lessing.  It ought to be required reading in every 10th grade class.

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Posted: 20 January 2007 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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scottmax,

I have been an Atheist for over half a century. I never seriously considered a single ‘scientific’ argument for Atheism. While the arguments from Theology, biology, physics, etc were amusing, they were also irrelevant.

The Atheist view is not more moral. It is the only one that has morality.

Atheism alone takes the stance that the solutions to human problems must come from humans. God and Sciences, Corporations and Institutions, States and Governments all fail because they are not human.

They all cure our ‘human’ problems by making us less human.

As your ‘little old lady’ example points out, goodness can only come from inside us. It cannot be imposed by an external force.

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Posted: 20 January 2007 05:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“Joad”]
The Atheist view is not more moral. It is the only one that has morality. . .  goodness can only come from inside us. It cannot be imposed by an external force.

Pearls of wisdom. Thanks, Joad : ).

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Posted: 21 January 2007 04:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Scottmax, you have the right spirit, and think it seems to have been ignored somewhat in the above responses - no offense, folks.

Taking action seems important.  We could probably all agree that religion’s influence is a primarily negaitve one when it comes to real world matters that affect us all. 

What would the reaction be to a privately-owned billboard on a major highway, with some sort of incredibly in-your-face ad?  Picture, for instance, multiple nuclear missiles all headed toward each other, each launched from a launchpad graphically depicted as the Bible/Bush, the Koran, and any other well-known religious symbol.  Underneath, some sort of slogan, possibly: “In WHOSE name?”  And underneath that, some type of other slogan, maybe: “Let’s get rational before it’s too late.”

I don’t know about the legalities of billboard advertising, but nonviolent bold tactics such as this seem to me to be a good way of at least making people think, perhaps getting those who are fence-sitters to make up their minds.

As much as I enjoy reading and being on this forum, I don’t think that lots of mental masturbation is going to help things at all.

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Posted: 21 January 2007 05:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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[quote author=“scottmax”]I think Sam makes a good argument for us to stand up and call for abolition of religion.  I’m not talking about an amendment to the Constitution or anything. We cannot legislate religion out of existence, but we can certainly be a lot more vocal. We need to win converts.  We need to pull like-minded individuals out of the closet.

Until now, it seems that most arguments against belief have been of the “rational” variety rather than the moral.  We need to start making the moral case, as Sam has done.  Atheist as often depicted as amoral.  We need to turn the tables and make the case that the atheist/humanist/naturalist/bright (what-have-you) position is the more moral.  We need to create an environment where people are proud to stand up and proclaim for man and against superstition.

We need “Abolish Religious Enslavement” posters on booths at county fairs with calm, rational folks in the booth handing out flyers and selling books.  We need visibility.  We need sweet little old ladies in the booth explaining how they attain the greatest fulfillment in life from loving and aiding those around them for its own sake, not for the benefits of eternal reward.

So those of us willing to lead the charge, let’s call ourselves abolitionists.  Hopefully those who follow us will no longer need any label.

Do you want to abolish all religion or just Christianity, Judaism, and Islam?  What about Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism?  Do you want to abolish all Christian religions or just the ignorant fundamentalist varieties?

Do you think that there is no value whatsoever to be gained from a religious outlook?

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What do I care for a hell for oppressors? What good can hell do, since those children have already been tortured? And what becomes of harmony, if there is hell? I want to forgive. I want to embrace. I don’t want more suffering. And if the sufferings of children go to swell the sum of sufferings which was necessary to pay for truth, then I protest that the truth is not worth such a price.
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Posted: 21 January 2007 06:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“waltercat”]Do you want to abolish all religion or just Christianity, Judaism, and Islam?  What about Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism?  Do you want to abolish all Christian religions or just the ignorant fundamentalist varieties?

Do you think that there is no value whatsoever to be gained from a religious outlook?

Any truth-based value that can be gained from religion can be also gained without religion.  So I indeed believe that religion is totally unnecessary for a life to have value. 

Abolishing all religion seems impossible.  The goal is simply to show people that religion does not belong in any public policy.  If, in doing so, we can hold religion up for the ludicrous occultism that it actually is, all the better.

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Posted: 21 January 2007 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Do you want to abolish all religion or just Christianity, Judaism, and Islam? What about Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism? Do you want to abolish all Christian religions or just the ignorant fundamentalist varieties?

Do you think that there is no value whatsoever to be gained from a religious outlook?

I believe that there is value to be gained from studying religious teachings as philosophy.  I have a friend who is a Buddhist.  He does not believe in the aspects of Buddhism that we would call religion, but he finds value in the teachings.  Religion can contain wisdom.

However, as soon as religion claims to have the only correct truth, it begins to fail as an instrument for spiritual growth. When I speak of spiritual growth I am talking about increasing our individual feelings of compassion, empathy, etc. that lead us to value the happiness of others, strengthen our community and decrease strife.

In practice, it is hard for me to argue for abolition of most Eastern philosophies.  I lived in Japan for 7 years and could discern no negative affect of Buddhism or Shinto.  My main concern is those religions that teach us to put a mystic being, or aliens, or any other entity known only through faith, before true human suffering. This is not limited to Abrahamic religions, as the salvation cult Aum Shinrikyo in Japan proved a decade ago.

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Posted: 21 January 2007 07:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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[quote author=“scottmax”]I think Sam makes a good argument for us to stand up and call for abolition of religion.  I’m not talking about an amendment to the Constitution or anything. We cannot legislate religion out of existence, but we can certainly be a lot more vocal. We need to win converts.  We need to pull like-minded individuals out of the closet.

Then I suggest we do not use words like “abolition”, otherwise the perception will be that we are forcing ourselves on religious folk rather than simply proselytizing as they so often do.

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