What I most viscerally detest about religion is how it is practiced by the so-called faithful. It is practiced in hypocrisy, conceit, intolerance, and anger. It is irrational with it's atrocities committed by it's hysterical zealots who do not only lash out against unbelievers in the most horrific ways, but lash out at anyone that disagrees with them.

Unfortunately, and with a great measure of embarrassment, I see fellow atheists expressing themselves and acting out that is almost as repulsive to me as when a religious person does it. I am more forgiving of the atheist, naturally because our position starts with experimental data, and even if you shout it out, or shout someone down armed with it, you're still right.

But then again, you're not. Their is one more reason why religion is an atrocity and why it has lost it's grip across the face of the earth and it's not the reason I'm naturally inclined to agree with, but it's not because it's based on the unprovable,
but it's because, that in addition to being unprovable, they are insufferable brutes.

If hypothetically a scientist whose experimental data is reproducible, and whose hypothesis, data, and conclusions have passed successfully through the grueling peer review process, and maybe even has their discovery perhaps lead to revising an established theory, and perhaps leading to a new theory, will completely destroy whatever he's gained by being a hypocritical, conceited, intolerant, angry, irrational, insufferable brute.

As a Six Sigma professional, it is completely unacceptable to inject emotion and your subjective prejudices or expectations into your project your DMAIC, or DFSS process.

It may subject you and your project to undue (and avoidable) criticism, and be a detriment to your project itself, and the benefits that project could produce.

We should police ourselves to ensure that we permanently rise above the insufferable
irrationality that surrounds us. And for that, we need abundant self criticism on how we express ourselves, particularly since we're the ones holding all the data.

Let's up our behavior under the scrutiny of the scientific method, and confirm whether we're spreading the word and getting involved in a manner that DOES NOT BACKFIRE.

Because I tell you, just as with a hypothetical Six Sigma project, the backlash with blow up in your face. It has worked against religion, let's not have it work against us.

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Typo - second to the last paragraph: "Let's put our behavior" is how it should read.
You have some good points, but you are missing the civil rights aspect of it all. Atheists are a hated minority, at least in the U.S., and working against this requires the sort of energy and passion that can sometimes arise out of anger. We don't have the luxury of debating the scientific merits of each position in a calm and rational manner because the other side is not interested in science, reason, or even common decency applied to atheists.

That's almost paraphrases the approach taken by the inquisition, the reformation, the counter reformation, the crusades, the "cult of reason" at the fever pitch of the French Revolution, the bolshevik revolution, by chairman Mao and his general, the death squads of Latin America, the ethnic cleansers of Bosnia, Kim Jong-il of North Korea, and of course the Huttu and the Tutsi in Rwanda (sorry I skipped over Pol Pot).

Now flipping the bird isn't the same as killing people with which you "don't have the luxury of debating the scientific merits of each position in a calm and rational manner" with, but it's the same underlying logic, differing only in degree and scope.

Are we shooting for a better society or is this over who gets to live and die, and for what? Either way, we're flipping off, being flipped off, killing or being killed over someone ELSE's or one's OWN idea what what's logical and rational. Either way there are a lot of dead people that need burying.

And what they died for is little consolation, since they can't participate above ground with whose left, who themselves find no consolation in watching people die for a cause, or killing for a cause.

This is the irrationality that we have the ability to objectively overcome and offer something better to the world than the church, which among them are the happy images of having one's entrails removed, wound on a stick while someone is reading from a bible, and another taking dictation with a quill pen in a dungeon.
How exactly are being a hated minority and being a ruthless, remorseless revolutionary dictator alike?
".......the other side is not interested in science, reason, or even common decency applied to atheists."

All the more reason to debate in a calm and rational manner. We need to stand heads and shoulders above them when it comes to common decency.
John D wrote:

"Theists use no facts for their case and if I want to mock them for their mythical B/S and give the finger to the abortion protesters (with their pictures of bloody fetuses) then I will let them have it! And I hope I make them scared enough to pee themselves!'

But John, that's the purpose of asking what I did in this discussion. Why the hell are we overlooking the fact that religion has had the world blow up in their faces because they "give the finger" and other things...to everyone who doesn't believe them? What kind of logic is that?

-"My enemy blows himself up because he swings a hammer (his aggression and irrationality) and hits a landmine (his own position or belief)...."

Therefore...the solution is...

-"I too will swing a hammer".....UH . NO. Our position has the characteristics of landmine TOO. But it can blow up not because the facts aren't there, but because our desire to tack on emotion and lack of self control to the data we have will TURN PEOPLE OFF to the truth of that data.

So, we shouldn't be using a hammer anywhere near our position, but instead develop something better.
I agree, and I find people confuse passion for anger far too easily. If everyone was chill about it, that could get pretty boring pretty fast.
Can't help but think that if theist's were correct in there assertions that they wouldn't be wrong for 'giving the finger'. ^_^
sky daddy - never heard that before. Love it. LoL
Feels like advertising to me.
I learned a little about 6Sigma a few years ago. Six standard deviations means within some incredibly tiny fraction of perfection. In a warehouse/distribution center like where I work, it might mean tolerating 1 mistake per week in the tens of thousands of orders (or low millions of pieces) we ship each week. But as I saw some of the attempts to applying it--in a not at all rigorous manner so it probably wouldn't be a true test--I realized that definitions were still the main stumbling block as they are in so many discussions here and elsewhere.

What is the error in picking a part? Wrong part, wrong count? Is being off by 1 when picking 9,683 screws count as much as an error as being off by 1 in 10 parts. Or is it the percentage? And then there's packing, shipping, etc., etc.

It's usually true that you can't fix what you haven't measured so metrics are extremely important. They just have to be the right metrics, not just the easy ones. If you don't have the right metrics or can't fix the real core issues, there is a temptation to put lipstick on the pig and change/fix something. In the process, you can burn out a lot of people.

I'm not trying to get into a discussion of whether 6Sigma is good or not. I don't know enough to really know about it in a good implementation. But I am raising the flag of jumping too early to conclusions (solutions) before clearly and accurately agreeing upon the fundamentals.

Men, in general, and engineers in particular tend to be problem-solvers. But there are other cats to skin and other ways to skin the cats we have.
Great discussion - thanks Roy! Back to your opening piece. Even though you are more of a big-picture engineer rather than the detail guy, I think you might be typical of engineers in other ways. (Me too.) We have a tendency to be the "cool heads," logical, work things out calmly and methodically... Right, solve problems; don't make things worse by fighting over it.

However (since my wife is the opposite of me) I have observed that the more out-there, vocal, gregarious, extroverted, natural-born-leader types end up being the heroes of causes - not us engineers. Watch the movie "Milk" again; think about Martin Luther King, and any other "protestors" who were considered over-the-top and irresponsible and down-right subversive when they were doing what they became heroes for.

I like Dawkins' and PZ Myers' style. I think we all should be more in-their-faces. I admit that it makes me all nervous to think of myself arguing with someone on the street in a protest march; it would be way outside my comfort zone. But maybe I should do that. I bet if I did I'd feel very gratified and proud of myself. Let's DO stand up for what we believe in, let's DO shout it out. It's about free speech.

This "new atheism" won't start any wars. It will piss off a bunch of people and it might cause some backlash for a while. But I predict that history will look back and see it as the catalyst for real lasting change - where atheism became an accepted world view.

I've been a closet atheist for 45 years (since I lost my faith as a teenager); I think it's about time to come out and shout.




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