Joined: Jan. 2006
1) Colin McGinn beat you all to the idea of "Post Atheism". He, like me, thinks the issue of "atheism" (i.e. the non existence of god or gods) is done. There's no evidence for deities we can move on philosophically. It's as intellectually dull as ditchwater. So catch up everyone!
What is interesting, and what is still live, is how theism and theistic privilege is manifested in various societies. Increasing the secular nature of societies so people of all faiths and none can have equal access and opportunity on the basis of their faith (or none) is a live issue, and one I care about. When one's religion or lack thereof is as irrelevant to any specific decision outside of its sphere of influence (say, getting a job etc) as one's eye colour, then the job will be done. It isn't even here in largely secular Europe, so that issue is still live.
The issue here is not with ATHEISM it's with the nature of other people ACTIVISM. BWE and others don't like it and want to marginalise it, fine, but expect to be argued with. That's the extent of the pushback you'll get...well apart from a little mockery of course. No fire bombs, no planes into buildings, no quoting from a series of scriptures deemed inerrant, you'll be argued with. Period.
So when the word "fundamentalist" is so liberally chucked around when complaining about the (real?) excesses of someone else's language/tone how about you...ahahaha...pluck the ironically placed beam from your own eye before examining the mote in that of someone else?
Fuck me, never thought THAT would come in handy on another non-theist!
2) I'm going to make an analogy, and just to be clear it is an analogy of PRINCIPLE not one of EXTENT. So keep your straw men to yourselves thanks, I've heard them before.
Everyone should read the Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King. Pay particular attention to this section:
|I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.|
I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.
Of course, to again stave off the inevitable, a rashly constructed sign in a window is not equivalent in EXTENT to the centuries of violence and oppression suffered by black people. This is obvious to anyone with the intellectual gifts of a house plant so spare me red herrings derived there of.
It is however an illustration, a tiny, insignificant one to be frank, almost beyond mentioning, of an equivalent PRINCIPLE. So whilst *I* personally could not give less of a shit about the huge hand wringing over some non entity gelato vendor in a pointless bit of some insignificant former colony of a proper country, I'm happy to let those interested in it wring their hands and jump up and down.* I'll concentrate on things more important to me thanks, other than, of course, noting this is yet another tiny thread in a very ugly rug.
There's a wealth of religious privilege out there to be challenged, from the unbridled, unearned access to the halls of power, be they lobbyists in the USA or bishops in the House of Lords, to the tax breaks given to churches. I'll campaign for a secular society where individuals of all religions and non have equal access to services and opportunities, where governments don't preferentially laud one religious viewpoint over another, or worse, over the facts.
*Oh so YOU are the only people who are allowed to mock pathetically overblown outrage? No no my friends, as you mock, so shall you be mocked.
ETA: Consider the parallel sign: People from the Million Man March are NOT welcomed to my White business