I'm sitting here  wondering if anyone here has ever considered what the repercussions would be from atheists on the internet all going to safe zones where religious people are not allowed...I mean...should not the objective be...to have the material we create out there for all of those that are on the wire and undecided? Safe is certainly not courageous. And in the age of information...where bad information is shuffled around more than accurate information..at the speed of light..should we not be out there in the middle of it..putting things right wherever possible... instead of hiding in a safe area? Atheists are still too few and far between to become an exclusive club yet don't you think? I mean.. our education systems are suffering from religion...our political systems are under attack by the religitards..and by way of both of these...our environment is under attack as well....and it IS a war of sorts...a war for the survival of the species...are we going to sit here and safely talk about it...or are we going to 'man up' ..so to speak.. and actually BE about it?

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Comment by Aleister Gates on June 4, 2014 at 9:53pm

Well Grinning Cat...hehe...there is really no argument...that's the deal...there can really be no debate between a religious person and an atheist...because all an atheist seek is evidence...and a religious person will never have it

Comment by Grinning Cat on June 4, 2014 at 4:00pm

Perhaps what we (also) need are emotional arguments for rejecting the religious claims... maybe starting with the "Sex and Secularism" study finding that we atheists have better sex!

Comment by Aleister Gates on June 4, 2014 at 2:29pm

“If someone doesn't value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?”

― Sam Harris

which ..for me.. is to say...when I post links that refute stupid religious claims clearly and concisely...I'm not hoping the idiot that im refuting gets it...I doubt seriously that will happen...but I do hope that other young people on the fence might see it and think for. themselves

Comment by Aleister Gates on June 4, 2014 at 2:24pm

I thank you all for your comments...a worthwhile discussion and good points made from all directions

Comment by Aleister Gates on June 4, 2014 at 2:23pm

I probably should mention...I'm am opposed to actually debating religitards...as much as I am opposed to debating paranoid schizophrenics regarding their delusions...it's a waste of time and really only serves to give them..to paraphrase Dawkins...'the oxygen of respectability'. But..you can bet i'm out there posting the science and evidence that disproves them...I just do not respond when they try and engage in debate...much the same way I will not respond when my youngest son tries to engage in debate about...say..his chores.

Comment by Pat on June 4, 2014 at 1:35pm

Joan, I do take on fallacious statements from theists. But, I prefer to do it in real life, where I can look at the other individual face to face. Got into a lengthy discussion the other day with a devout fundamentalist attorney. Now, we're still friends, the conversation was respectful, and since we practice in different areas of the law, we still refer cases to each other. But, at the end of the conversation, he realized the standard 'party line' theistic answers did not fly with me.

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 4, 2014 at 11:40am

Pat, I recognize the problems with pissing contests. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who read those pissers' point of view and agree with them. There are also some fence sitters who have no compelling reason to go on one side or the other. 

My job is to present an argument that points out the fallacies, offer an alternative point of view and reveal the personal and social benefits of sticking to facts, not beliefs, faith, or superstitions. Not everyone wants to do this kind of writing and, certainly, I don't want to do that kind of writing all the time. However, pissers give so many opportunities to invalidate their positions, I can't resist the opportunity.  

Pat, you are such a great debater, I encourage you to take on at least one fallacious statement a day! I don't care if the pissy readers get it or not, but you offer me an option to take on the debate.  

Comment by Pat on June 4, 2014 at 11:29am

I see Aleister's point, in that he is discussing on-line interaction. Unfortunately, my limited experience in on-line discussions with theists is usually the theist wanting to start a pissing contest to show how ignorant he/she can be. Given that most have vastly greater experience at promulgating ignorance and stupidity than I do, I find it less than entertaining or enlightening.

As to Loren's point in turning off the computer, and going out in the actual world, it is one's personal decision. I, myself, am completely out and open about my atheism. No one I know in real life has to guess at my position. Then again, I don't live in Mississippi, Alabama, or rural Louisiana where such a pronouncement would cost me my job and social contacts. And, I don't live in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, or Pakistan where such a pronouncement would lead to my imminent demise. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 4, 2014 at 11:17am

and, I agree 100% with Loren's statement: 

"coming out is a PERSONAL decision, which may depend on one's immediate familial, social, and governmental environment."

~ Loren Miller

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 4, 2014 at 11:15am

Aleister, thank you for your very strong statement of need to get the message to the general public. We do need a safe place, one where we can explore and examine ideas, make mistakes, learn how to debate and how to create strong arguments, and to build a thick skin. This is such a place. 

There are so many good writers here, they make robust appeals to thinking and the necessity to think independently. 

Writing for the general public is risky. Even the best writers get horrid, sophomoric threats to life and limb. The blowhard bullies of the world live on social media and seem to search out independent thinkers to attack. Well, they are just static. Get used to it. 

In my opinion, religion is an infection that has the strength of a virus. It can be deadly, and it always infantilizes its members. As a nonbeliever, we have the right and responsibility to be proud of our values and we stand on firm ground as we write about them. 

Good for you! 



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