Sam Harris is so right
Posted: 05 June 2007 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I have just read "Letter to a Christian Nation". I am glad an American wrote that. I just hope Sam is safe from those mad Christian Fundies. I have just finished "End of Faith" and congratulate Sam for writing those two books.

I am a bedraggled refugee from the "Holy" Roman Catholic Church, now a Card Carrying Atheist. I manage my own MSN Group" Militant Atheist Materialists. I live in Australia and there is none of this Christian bigotry towards Atheists.

When I read about the Evangalical Christians and the power they wield in America, and the fact that about 50% of Americans believe the Universe in on older than 10,000 years, I question the mentality of Americans.

Sam askes the question: how can this be stopped. I would suggest that children be no longer given bible stories and taught about god and Jesus. They should be introduced to simple science and hepled to understand about the Universe. Then their minds would not be poluted with "bibleshit" and lies. That would be the beginning of the proper education of Americans.

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Posted: 05 June 2007 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Hi there.

I wonder how you achieve such an aim without trampling all over basic democratic principles?  Don’t the majority have a right to at least nominally set the education agenda for their nation?  The U.S. will not change until there’s a completely different political paradigm in place, one that doesn’t include needing to control the world or be seen to always have an enemy at the gate.  Such an agenda gives rise to fundie feelings.  Perhaps it does so deliberately?  Now there’s a question!

Good to see another Aussie here. 


Dan Rowden

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Posted: 05 June 2007 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Dan, Your question can be answered with an article on the “About Atheism” Web Site: http://atheism.about.com/b/a/259085.htm

Orthodox, Traditional Christianity Has Already Lost
Atheists’ concerns about the power and influence of irrational religion in America are not unjustified. Such concerns should, however, be matched by a recognition of the degree to which secularization has changed religion and religious conviction. Unless a radical reversal occurs, it’s not too far off the mark to say that orthodox, traditional Christianity has already lost — this is because hardly anyone accepts such Christianity anymore. A resurgence isn’t impossible, but it also isn’t likely. Christianity is on a steep decline, even among Christians.
In his review of Richard Dawkins, book The God Delusion, Steven Weinberg writes:

[A]lthough most Americans may be sure of the value of religion, as far as I can tell they are not very certain about the truth of what their own religion teaches. According to a recent article in the New York Times, American evangelists are in despair over a poll that showed that only 4 per cent of American teenagers will be “Bible-believing Christians” as adults. The spread of religious toleration provides evidence of the weakening of religious certitude.

Most Christian groups have historically taught that there is no salvation without faith in Christ. If you are really sure that anyone without such faith is doomed to an eternity of Hell, then propagating that faith and suppressing disbelief would logically be the most important thing in the world - far more important than any merely secular virtues like religious toleration. Yet religious toleration is rampant in America. No one who publicly expressed disrespect for any particular religion could be elected to a major office.

...Much of the weakening of religious certitude in the Christian West can be laid at the door of science; even people whose religion might incline them to hostility to the pretensions of science generally understand that they have to rely on science rather than religion to get things done.

But this has not happened to anything like the same extent in the world of Islam. One finds in Islamic countries not only religious opposition to specific scientific theories, as occasionally in the West, but a widespread religious hostility to science itself. ...The consequences are hideous. Whatever one thinks of the Muslims who blow themselves up in crowded cities in Europe or Israel or fly planes into buildings in the US, who could dispute that the certainty of their faith had something to do with it? Given how widespread religious belief continues to be in America, it is probably difficult for most secular atheists to realize just how far they’ve come. The problem is probably due to how slowly society changes — people are so unfamiliar with how religion used to be that it’s difficult to see the extent to which religion has changed. Moreover, because so many secular atheists would like to see irrational religious theism disappear, the continued presence of such religion hardly feels like progress.

Even if irrational religious theism were to disappear (as unlikely as that is), it wouldn’t disappear in one fell swoop. It would have to slowly degrade and change, which is arguably something we are seeing right now. So many Christians today have not only abandoned both certainty and traditional, orthodox beliefs, but they appear to be completely unaware of what they have abandoned. They sincerely think that their current beliefs are appropriate and correct, not realizing that not long ago they’d be treated as heretics.

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Posted: 05 June 2007 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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“Sam askes the question: how can this be stopped. I would suggest that children be no longer given bible stories and taught about god and Jesus.”

I like your idea, we should do forced abortions on female Christians who refuse to stop teaching Bible stories.  Your Taliban style is good because you are fighting the good fight.  Burning books is good as long as their bad books.  You know if religion poisons we need to eliminate it, or spread it to our enemies, like anthrax.  No more religion=No more poison. 

“They should be introduced to simple science and hepled to understand about the Universe. Then their minds would not be poluted with “bibleshit” and lies. That would be the beginning of the proper education of Americans.”

Actually don’t they already do this?  The majority of American citizens, and illegal immigrant for that matter, is taught evolution in high school.  In fact I would bet my left leg you will not find one course in American public school that teaches creation science, you will get fired for teaching such things.  Your ‘proper education’ has been going on for over fifty years.  No parent, who sends their child to public school, has legel protection in yanking their kid out of physics, biology, or chemstry class because they teach either the big bang or evolution.  With over 88% of American adolescents in public school it seems your idea has failed.  Interesting enough the valedictorian of the school I teach at carries her Bible around wherever she goes, and she is majoring in Biology in college.  She says she want to move to Africa and help create methods for ending aids and malaria.  Stupid Christian.  If she will not change her mind it seems will need to become more militant.  After all don’t the ends justify the means?

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Posted: 07 June 2007 01:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”] (eccles quote)“Sam askes the question: how can this be stopped. I would suggest that children be no longer given bible stories and taught about god and Jesus.” (end quote)

I like your idea, we should do forced abortions on female Christians who refuse to stop teaching Bible stories.  Your Taliban style is good because you are fighting the good fight.  Burning books is good as long as their bad books.  You know if religion poisons we need to eliminate it, or spread it to our enemies, like anthrax.  No more religion=No more poison.

Fletch,
It can sometimes be difficult to pick up on sarcasm with the written word but you did an excellent job and there’s no mistaking it.
I wonder why you reacted so viscerally to eccles remarks. Were you having a bad day? Did you happen to pray only to have the the answer be no? What set you off? I mean, man, it’s just over the top.

I can see where eccles remarks about children not being indoctrinated (my word, not his) might be unrealistic but it in no way warrants the response you gave. I mean, come on… “forced abortions”, “Taliban style”. I just don’t see how you get there from “not being taught about god and jesus”.

[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”](eccles quote)“They should be introduced to simple science and hepled to understand about the Universe. Then their minds would not be poluted with “bibleshit” and lies. That would be the beginning of the proper education of Americans.”(end quote)

Actually don’t they already do this?  The majority of American citizens, and illegal immigrant for that matter, is taught evolution in high school.  In fact I would bet my left leg you will not find one course in American public school that teaches creation science, you will get fired for teaching such things.

“creation science” is an oxymoron. There’s nothing scientific about creationism at all. If you really believe it’s science and can subject it to the same scientific rigors evolution answers to, then you might have a point. But that’s not possible is it?

[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”] Interesting enough the valedictorian of the school I teach at carries her Bible around wherever she goes, and she is majoring in Biology in college.  She says she want to move to Africa and help create methods for ending aids and malaria.  Stupid Christian.  If she will not change her mind it seems will need to become more militant.  After all don’t the ends justify the means?

If current statistics are any measure, then she probably will set aside the security blanket of her good book by the time she finishes college seeing as how the vast majority of biologists don’t believe in a creation myth either.

I have a suggestion Fletch, if it’s so troubling for you to teach in (I assume) a public school, why don’t you quit and find a nice fundamental christian K-12 private school to ply your wares?

Oh wait, maybe they might want a teacher who knows grammar and can spell

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Posted: 07 June 2007 03:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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“...it’s just over the top.”

How else could you stop parents from teaching their children about bible stories and God?  If you want the parents to no longer teach Christianity to their children you will have to legislate morality.  I can assure you parents will not follow the legislated morality and enforcing the law will have to take place.  My sarcasm is a little over the top, I grant you that.  I was having a little fun.  However it isn’t too far away from real life. Read up on Robespierre and get back to me. 

“creation science” is an oxymoron. There’s nothing scientific about creationism at all. If you really believe it’s science and can subject it to the same scientific rigors evolution answers to, then you might have a point. But that’s not possible is it?”

Where did I agree for ‘creation science’? You must be getting me mixed up with someone else.  Your comment has nothing to do with my point.

I have a suggestion Fletch, if it’s so troubling for you to teach in (I assume) a public school, why don’t you quit and find a nice fundamental christian K-12 private school to ply your wares?

Where did I every say I am troubled teaching in public school?  You must be getting me mixed up with someone else.  Your comment has nothing to do with my point. I like teaching in public school and I have no problem keeping my religious beliefs private.  I’m not sure if your getting me mixed up with someone else.

“Oh wait, maybe they might want a teacher who knows grammer and can spell”

You forgot to put a period at the end of your sentence.  I didn’t know my grammar or should I say “grammer” and spelling skills would be taken to task on a chat forum.

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Posted: 07 June 2007 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]How else could you stop parents from teaching their children about bible stories and God? If you want the parents to no longer teach Christianity to their children you will have to legislate morality.

As I stated in my previous post, I don’t think that abolishing the indoctrination of children into christianity by their parents as eccles had suggested is realistic. I’m not sure if eccles actually meant parental indoctrination; he didn’t specify. I am assuming that is the case just as you did.
I suppose I could agree with Dawkins and say that this type of indoctrination is a form of child abuse and then advocate that laws should be enacted to prevent it. If that were to happen, you would be correct in saying that that would be akin to legislating morality. I don’t advocate for legislating morality, hence my “abolishment of indoctrination is unrealistic” comment.
I will read up on Robespierre.

[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]My sarcasm is a little over the top, I grant you that. I was having a little fun.

I caught the sarcasm. That was easy. But I didn’t detect the “actually, I’m just having fun part”. One could have easily taken you seriously. And I did.


[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]Actually don’t they already do this? The majority of American citizens, and illegal immigrant for that matter, is taught evolution in high school. In fact I would bet my left leg you will not find one course in American public school that teaches creation science, you will get fired for teaching such things.

You were the one that used the term. I was merely pointing out it is an oxymoron and then explained why. Use the term long enough and it begins to gain acceptance as fact, albeit erroneously.
It sounded to me as if you were disappointed that the biblical account of creation, as outlined in Genesis, hasn’t either replaced or is at least given equal time to the big bang and evolution in public schools. I could be wrong. I often am.

[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]Where did I every say I am troubled teaching in public school? [quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]Your ‘proper education’ has been going on for over fifty years. No parent, who sends their child to public school, has legel protection in yanking their kid out of physics, biology, or chemstry class because they teach either the big bang or evolution. With over 88% of American adolescents in public school it seems your idea has failed.

I inferred from this that, given your obvious theistic worldview and inability to pass that on to your students, you may be disgruntled teaching public school. It’s what I read into it. Beat me with a rake if I’m wrong
I’m glad that you enjoy teaching in public school and I commend you for it.


[quote author=“fletch_F_Fletch”]You forgot to put a period at the end of your sentence. I didn’t know my grammar or should I say “grammer” and spelling skills would be taken to task on a chat forum.

I am a truck driver. The CHP tells me that by virtue of holding a class A license I am held to a higher standard than the general motoring public whether I’m driving the truck during working hours or just driving home from work in my personal car.
I just assumed the same sort of dispensation would hold for a teacher while writing in a “chat forum”
The errors in my last sentence (mis-spelling and missing period) could be due to the fact that I only have a high school education that was obtained over 35 years ago….. NOT
They were my way of poking a bit of fun myself

:D

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