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The grand colours of the atheist movement seem washed out to me. The great debates, the vibrant speakers, the literature now all seem distant and far removed from the present.  One of the touchstones I fondly remember though, is the Intelligence squared debate, a spirited affair in which both sides did their best to persuade the audience of the validity of their respective positions. Here it is again, in case you missed it.

Wow.

The oration, the rhetoric, the impassioned defences. Fantastic stuff. But more importantly, I think the debate spoke to people. Certainly no one deconverts or converts on the basis of one debate, but the possibility of this being a beginning (either way) is there.

What I see and feel now is the utter lack of space to grapple with ideas and ideologies. Certainly here at DWR we have planted our stakes and, over the years, made it abundantly clear that religion is too sweet a poison that has no place in a civilized society.

Yet, taking a peek at the handy wordpress blog feed, one can develop a nasty case of carpal tunnel just scrolling through the assorted god bothering and religious ballyhoo that religious individuals vomit up, in a endless stream. It is faintly disheartening to see the lack of progress we as a civilization are making on moving toward dispelling the fairy tales of the past. It makes me think, to a certain extent, that we are wired for belief in compelling narratives rather than seeing the world as it is.

We used to have a regular contingent here at DWR of believers who earnestly (sometimes not so earnestly) would state the case for religion, it made for a lively time in the comments section. But now that’s mostly gone, at least in the case of religion. It is understandable, who wants to be told that their worldview is the bunk-y-est of bunk and be shown exactly why their arguments do not hold up.

I get that.  But preaching to the choir, so to speak, has its limits.  It gets boring after awhile.

Lately though, not just in the religious arena, but in politics and feminism as well the move toward the calcification and crystallization of viewpoints and ideology seems to be cutting people off from each other. The chance to have one’s arguments and ideas rub up against opposing views is a fraught with hyperbolic statements and condemnations. The idea that atheists eat babies comes to mind and other assorted religious misreadings of atheist positions.

But the climate now is different.  We’re all going full-tribal now and withdrawing from the sphere of public debate and the informative acrimony that goes along with contentious issues.

Instead of debate, interactions seem more like the lobbing for rhetorical grenades back and forth between groups and individuals, looking for the ‘ah-ha I win’ rhetorical riposte which does little, or close to nothing to move the issue in question forward.

Let’s be clear here, I am responsible for my fair share of rhetorical grenades – see the RPOJ tag here – but is that paradigm the only way forward?

Moving forward seems much more difficult now as so many issues in society now are extremely partisan in nature and don’t even fall into the category of ‘contentious’  because the sides are so firmly ensconced in their respective positions.  It seems like one of the by-products of the atomization of our consumerist society is the deadening of the public sphere and concomitantly the exposure to other points of view that, in terms of intellectual maturity and growth, are vital to the health of society.

Who wins when we cannot listen to each other and respectfully disagree?

 

Just stating the obvious, but now in cool meme format. :)

DWRSD

I’m always slightly amused when my atheism gets me categorized as a follower of satan.  I mean, it is like the easter Bunny crew getting all wound up and calling out the tooth fairy for just being a children’s story.  So we wind up with this:

belief

Yeah.  I have to admit, I’m flagging when it comes to the DWR Sunday Disservice – the absolute wrongitude of the magical notion that religion somehow concurring with reality is just so darn obvious.  Why does one continue to bang on about such a no-brainer??

religiouspeace

Oh yeah…  So… See you next week.  :(

 

 

Amanda’s story of leading the life of a skeptic while surrounded by the forces of the great ooga-booga.

Love this quote – “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived.” –  Issac Asimov

meanatheists  The authors here at DWR have a mean atheistic streak.  There is no denying that.  I mean we have a whole day of postings that deal specifically with religion and the goofiness that ensues when you allow magical thinking into your wheelhouse.  My readership mostly knows that believing in religion is seen by most rational people, a character flaw at best and a reason to make funny and derisive comments at worst.  It is obvious how toxic religion is to critical thinking, progress (social and otherwise) and advancement of the human condition (see the religion/patriarchal ‘love-in’ for instance).

We Atheist types know this.

We have the truth on our side (*grins*), yet it matters not a whit to those firmly cocooned in the oily grasp of religion.  Explaining exactly where their belief system fails and importantly, why it fails, consistently fails to provoke the ‘ah-ha’ moment of realization in many believers.

It would seem that some truths are more inconvenient than others and thus are easily ignored, talked around, and even outright dismissed when arguing.

I know the justification for continuing the pwnage of the religious and their arguments – the lurkers following the arguments might get an opportunity to see a point of view outside their faith and the thin sliver of doubt might creep into their consciousness and the process of embracing living life in this world can begin.  Woo-haa!

We can chalk up another win for Atheism!

But how come it almost never feels like a win in situ?  I’ve spent a great deal of keystrokes arguing with the religious – mostly charitably, sometimes not so charitably, but the local outcome is almost always the same.  Thanks for your opinion and the neat arguments – excuse me while I catch up on my prayers to jebus now.

Meh.

greenhouseearth  I think there is a bigger problem that religion.  Religion has its moments of putting all of humanity at risk (looking at you nuclear Middle East solutions) but you know what is really killing us?  State supported neo-liberal capitalism and the “fuck you, I’ve got mine” ethic that goes along with it.  This ideology is systematically grinding societies, the climate, and ultimately our future into dust.  Is being the last to draw breath on a ruined planet that much of a privilege?  I mean the elites that run our system our well insulated from the reality that they create for the rest of us, but eventually, they too will have to bow before the forces they have unleashed.

Knowing that elite will also suffocate in the shithole they’ve created is a cold Pyrrhic victory –  it is the only assured outcome if the status-quo remains the same.

*sigh*

Maybe I need to focus on the christians that espouse the prosperity gospel – two birds with one stone and whut not.

The desperate need to feel like a special snowflake with an afterlife easily sums up many Theistic arguments.  This video goes a little deeper and compares the common endpoints when discussing the problem of why is there something rather than nothing.

 

 

Like most religious objections to Atheism, the idea that it takes faith, just like the believers own, not endorse magic and mythology.

 

Spoiler:  It doesn’t.

 

Let the following video detail exactly why this religious claim fails.

 

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