I run my own site but, its dedicated more to debating Theists. I recently had another Atheist bring to my attention that he felt Dawkins is too "in your face" to be the voice of most Atheists. I feel that is totally wrong. He promotes a more subtle approach with "politeness" at it's core. I of course gave him the example of the Native Americans being polite to their Christian visitors and getting diseased infested blankets, murder, rape, and slavery/imprisonment in return. So my question here is what do you think? Should we be less "in your face" as he put it or should we stay in the face of Theists until they stop believing in magical imaginary friends. Or at the very least stop electing them to run my country?

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"I recently had another Atheist bring to my attention that he felt Dawkins is to "in your face" to be the voice of most Atheist"

I do NOT consider Richard Dawkins an "atheist spokesman",as there's no such thing by definition.

Although I agree with a lot of Dawkins' views,his views are his own. I do find him a bit obnoxious and aggressive at times. He does NOT represents me or atheists as a group..He may be an excellent evolutionary biologist, but he's no Bertrand Russel.

The question of how 'we' should behave is another matter entirely.There is no 'we' in this context,nor do I have the arrogance try to tell others how to behave.

From my observation, Professor Dawkins is remarkably restrained most of the time. I would simply lose it talking to some of the morons he deals with.

My own position is that one 'should' modify one's tactics to suit the circumstances.This view is consistent with my position of moral relativism.

From long observation, countries such as Australia,the US and the UK get exactly the elected representatives we deserve.
You may be right. But you, unlike the GENERAL christian population, are educated. They can see anyone who is in the news as often as Mr. Dawkins as a spokesman for that (our) group.

I agree for the most part this can be tailored to fit the situation. The problem is the passive aggressiveness I have faced is remarkable. Their ability to make you look like the bad guy. Does that make sense? I mean if I went to them saying "your god is a joke and cannot be proven by ANY means." then yes I would be the bad guy. Why? I attacked their principle belief. BUT if, as they do so often, attack mine by saying "evolution is a crack pot theory that has no basis in reality and cannot be proven." this is acceptable behavior. If I get mad I'm STILL the bad guy. What do you do in the face of such double standard ignorance?
I've been reading Dawkin's The Greatest Show on Earth and, while the book itself is brillant, I'm continually disappointed by Dawkin's randomly tagging bits evidence with an obviously dickish line that goes a little something like this: "The evidence obviously - unless you're insane/a history denier/a fool - points to evolution."

For one thing, it's not even needed. The Greatest Show on Earth is supposed to be a book on evidence. Evidence should be unbiased. It should stand on its own. By tagging this stupid line onto the evidence Dawkins makes it seem that the evidence can't stand on its own, as he feels the need to mock the religious skeptics that oppose him. This is not the place to point and laugh at creationists, the people who need to hear this message most. There's no need for him to be such a prick about it.

I think Sagan was a much better voice for atheists than Dawkins will ever be, despite being agnostic. I just finished watching COSMOS. The science blew me away, especially since I could see how many of Sagan's predictions have recently come true. Besides, Sagan was something special. He wasn't just a scientist. He was a poet. COSMOS creates an emotional connection to the universe that Dawkins can't match despite being an eloquint speaker in his own right.

RIP Sagan. We miss you.
Also a very good point. However we are Atheists. Using a man, no matter how bright and intelligent he may have been, who has passed and therefore can not argue the current b/s being passed of as science by creationists would be very difficult. The reason Dawkins is so blatantly "dickish" as you put it (lol) is he is offered 20,000 dollars to debate people like the banana man seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLqQttJinjo These people are ridiculously stupid. And as the previous poster said.."From my observation, Professor Dawkins is remarkably restrained most of the time. I would simply lose it talking to some of the morons he deals with."
I have a lot of fun words for Dawkins: dickish, douchebag, asshat, jackass, ect. Granted he's a brilliant dickhead/douche/asshat/donkey but still.

I'm not sure what championing a man who has passed has to do with us being atheists. Darwin's been dead a lot longer than Sagan.

"From my observation, Professor Dawkins is remarkably restrained most of the time. I would simply lose it talking to some of the morons he deals with."

This is true. I've seen videos of him debating with creationists. Somehow he manages to maintain his composure, even when his eyes resemble the flames of hell. Dawkins has a glare that could kill a whale but somehow creationists manage to withstand it.
I appreciate all those opinions and I respect them. The fact that both of the GREAT minds have passed was brought up because even though their points are still relevant the voice of those points must in a sense "evolve". Obviously Jesus is no longer the voice of Christians, just the "wisdom" behind them. I'm not saying we should leave their thought in the past, just the voice. We have to find someone to illustrate their points who can do so here. Now.

However what about the other point? How can I address creationists on something when as soon as the debating begins I'm automatically the bad guy?
I think Dawkins has contributed to making us the bad guys in creationists' eyes. It's not entirely his fault. As said earlier, he is actually pretty respectful in interviews but his confrontational attitude makes him easy to villianize. The same goes for PZ Myers.

I'm one of the regular atheist commenters on Atheist Central. Over the internet its hard to tell how they're really recieving my comments, but I've been able to have what I believe are civil conversations with a few of them. Most of them just make asses out of themselves. I'm regularly called a hypocrite, a liar, a fool, immoral, amoral, a sinner (whatever that is), ect. I haven't had a chance to talk to any creationists in RL but I'm hoping the experiance has at least thickened my skin.

The key thing to keep in mind is that the honest creationists simply don't understand science because they've been lied to so many times they have what PZ calls "negative knowlege"; they're full of mythys and misconceptions about evolution, which you have to work to dispell. Try to clear things up for them. Most of them will retaliate by trying to get under your skin - don't let them! Just stay on topic, be patient and do your best to keep the conversation civil. Some will listen, some won't, and you'll probably be able to tell which listen and which don't.

If you find yourself dealing with a denier, someone who openly mocks everything you say and doesn't even attempt a civil conversation, it's probably best you just back out.
Thank you. It's just hard to do that and be a clear winner in the sense of a "forum". I don't want anyone to look at something posted on MY site and use that to say "See? You can't prove your viewpoint in an arrogant mean way like the Creationist did therefore you lose! I will stay a Theist." That would completely defeat my purpose. You know?
I don't think of it as winning or losing. When I post on Comfort's blog, I'm usually posting for the uncountable number of lurkers who are watching. During the past couple of months since I started commenting I've seen at least three ex-Christians come out and say that thanks to the atheists on Ray's blog they've abandoned their faith. They're the ones I'm trying to reach.
Thanks for the advice. I will apply this to the best of my ability. So what of a spokesman? Or at least a current voice. I'm reading Dawkin's The Greatest Show on Earth as well. I think he's a pretty good one. So is Lawrence Krauss. I'm probably a little more militant than most though. I have fought two wars, I feel, because of religion. I don't wanna make my kids have to do the same. I think if we can win in the public eye it will be ALOT less likely.
I agree totally
So how do we reach them through this? I understand what you mean but, the majority of Christians are...well....ill informed I guess you could say? Well let's just be honest...most are outright dimwitted. Again I say MOST. The fact still remains, however dimwitted they may be, they are still registered voters and are putting Bible thumpers in congress at every given opportunity. If we are to win this battle we have to reach out to them as well. No matter how ridiculous they sound or how much "linguistic bullying" they use.

On the topic of Mr. Dawkins, I see his major flaw as being one who REFUSES to lower himself to the common person's level of intellect. That, in some ways, is a definite plus. The one time he did try to appease creationists he was mocked. See this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9bEFoaQOwg So it's really a catch 22.




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