Real Freethinkers Don't Try to Close Down Debate

Feb 14, 2013 Full story: Bad Astronomy Blog 33

Every movement has a discourse that is shaped by people who are passionate, committed, and forceful.

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“Leave That Thing Alone!”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#1 Feb 14, 2013
I think the author is missing the point. The major hosility directed at religion is not aimed at the majority of those holding religious views, it is aimed the most extreme people that hold those religious views.

It's aimed at those attempting to have religious views taught as science and written into laws.

It's aimed at the people that have no problem with "freedom of religion" as long as it THEIR religion.

It's aimed at those people that want prayer back in public school (which never left, it just can't be at the direction of the school) yet would be the first to cry foul when a Hindu, Muslim, Satanist, etc. start to pray next to their child.

It's aimed at the people that profess this country to be founded on christian prinicples and use that erroneous thought to base their bigotry of anything non-christian on.

It's aimed at those people that see a terrorist under every turban and behind every tree!

It's aimed at those people so deathly afraid of being wrong, that they'll fight to the death to cling to their belief that they are right.

It's aimed at those people that believe their relgious views (no abortion, no gay marriage) should dictate how even those that don't share their religion must live their lives!

THOSE are the people that the anger and vitrol is directed at... not the everyday christian that goes about their day interacting with others and not giving a thought to how that other person lives their life... because it's none of their business!!

IMO, the author makes some valid points, but is missing the mark in general

“Reason's Greetings!”

Since: Feb 11

Pale Blue Dot

#2 Feb 14, 2013
Well said TerryL! Many Freethinkers have come to the point of "enough is enough", with believers trying to impose their various religious based value systems on the entire population. It's a good reason why freethinkers of all stripes have come out of the closet in the last few years and become activists. I believe that the more you let the believers talk, eventually their true colors will come out for all to see.

“Voters elect Big Bird”

Since: Jan 07

Dump American Eagle

#3 Feb 14, 2013
Well,that shuts out 96% of libs who claim to be "free thinkers" with open minds..... Libs are some of the most closeminded people one will ever encounter.

Since: Mar 11

Lexington, KY

#4 Feb 14, 2013
Awesome post!
TerryL wrote:
I think the author is missing the point. The major hosility directed at religion is not aimed at the majority of those holding religious views, it is aimed the most extreme people that hold those religious views.
It's aimed at those attempting to have religious views taught as science and written into laws.
It's aimed at the people that have no problem with "freedom of religion" as long as it THEIR religion.
It's aimed at those people that want prayer back in public school (which never left, it just can't be at the direction of the school) yet would be the first to cry foul when a Hindu, Muslim, Satanist, etc. start to pray next to their child.
It's aimed at the people that profess this country to be founded on christian prinicples and use that erroneous thought to base their bigotry of anything non-christian on.
It's aimed at those people that see a terrorist under every turban and behind every tree!
It's aimed at those people so deathly afraid of being wrong, that they'll fight to the death to cling to their belief that they are right.
It's aimed at those people that believe their relgious views (no abortion, no gay marriage) should dictate how even those that don't share their religion must live their lives!
THOSE are the people that the anger and vitrol is directed at... not the everyday christian that goes about their day interacting with others and not giving a thought to how that other person lives their life... because it's none of their business!!
IMO, the author makes some valid points, but is missing the mark in general

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#5 Feb 14, 2013
I also think that it's more than a little arrogant to claim to know how real freethinkers think. What is freethinking anyway? If it conforms to any standard, doesn't that make it less free? Sorry, but I see the last sentence of the essay as more than a little clueless. Why would anyone expect a "true freethinker" to think exactly the way he does?

Anyone who remembers my contributions to this forum over the years knows, for instance, that I value kindness, empathy, and compassion over all other human attributes. After that, though, I see logic and rationality as vital to human progress on all levels from individual to world-wide. But just as importantly, I don't expect anyone to agree with me on this in a forum that attracts freethinkers and skeptics. It's the dialogue of disagreement that makes this forum so fascinating.

That clash is bound to generate ill feelings that become personal. Some threads devolve into nothing but exchanges of insults, it's true. But occasionally, some food for thought gets mixed in with the cream pies, mashed potatoes and even excrement that we fling back and forth even during those frays.

Furthermore, any impartial observer will note that the acrimony comes just as much from believers as from atheists, perhaps more so, and that the former initiate it as least as often as the latter. It's hard to resist responding in kind, and much as I wish more of us would respond to ideas and ignore insults, none of us can expect others to respond as we would.

If they did, they would be freethinkers.

Since: Mar 11

United States

#6 Feb 14, 2013
I would like to say at some point even the most kindly free thinker is going to get tired of the same person using the same logical fallacy again and again and again and not respond kindly or ignore the person. They didn't shut the debate down they just snuffed out mindless filibustering.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#7 Feb 14, 2013
Givemeliberty wrote:
I would like to say at some point even the most kindly free thinker is going to get tired of the same person using the same logical fallacy again and again and again and not respond kindly or ignore the person. They didn't shut the debate down they just snuffed out mindless filibustering.
Your point is well taken, but I usually respond to the fallacy itself. It's much more effective to show that a post is idiotic than to say that its writer is an idiot. We don't have credentials of any kind to support us here, only our credibility. Resorting to ad hominem and childish tit-for-tat posting erodes that credibility.

“Leave That Thing Alone!”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#8 Feb 15, 2013
MrDesoto1 wrote:
Well said TerryL! Many Freethinkers have come to the point of "enough is enough", with believers trying to impose their various religious based value systems on the entire population. It's a good reason why freethinkers of all stripes have come out of the closet in the last few years and become activists. I believe that the more you let the believers talk, eventually their true colors will come out for all to see.
Thanks. The thing that really gets me irritated is the christians that want to make everybody have to live by their interpretations of their holy book, yet would be the first to scream foul if any other religion attempted to do the same thing to them. If they want to live life according to their bibles and the dictates of their religious leaders (which very few of them ever do) that's their problem. Trying to force those that don't believe as they do to abide by their religious views is the exact opposite of how and why this country was founded the way it was. Freedom of religion doesn't only apply to christians... no matter how much they wish it was true..
ajlkdsfjljlsdfkj la

Nha Trang, Vietnam

#9 Feb 15, 2013
MrDesoto1 wrote:
Well said TerryL! Many Freethinkers have come to the point of "enough is enough", with believers trying to impose their various religious based value systems on the entire population. It's a good reason why freethinkers of all stripes have come out of the closet in the last few years and become activists. I believe that the more you let the believers talk, eventually their true colors will come out for all to see.
wow-good profiler!! religion is not a superstition!! U never driven the Acura Legend?!!;)

“Leave That Thing Alone!”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#10 Feb 15, 2013
okimar wrote:
Well,that shuts out 96% of libs who claim to be "free thinkers" with open minds..... Libs are some of the most closeminded people one will ever encounter.
Why would you think I have a closed mind? Is it because I don't want to see christians riding rough-shot over the rest of the population by imposing their beliefs on everyone else? Is it because I think all religions should be kept personal and the teaching of those religions is better done in your homes and places of worship rather than the public school system?

“Leave That Thing Alone!”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#11 Feb 15, 2013
Givemeliberty wrote:
Awesome post!
<quoted text>
Thanks
ajlkdsfjljlsdfkj la

Nha Trang, Vietnam

#12 Feb 15, 2013
freethinker! nothings is freeeeeeeeeee!;-000

“Leave That Thing Alone!”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#13 Feb 15, 2013
NightSerf wrote:
I also think that it's more than a little arrogant to claim to know how real freethinkers think. What is freethinking anyway? If it conforms to any standard, doesn't that make it less free? Sorry, but I see the last sentence of the essay as more than a little clueless. Why would anyone expect a "true freethinker" to think exactly the way he does?
Anyone who remembers my contributions to this forum over the years knows, for instance, that I value kindness, empathy, and compassion over all other human attributes. After that, though, I see logic and rationality as vital to human progress on all levels from individual to world-wide. But just as importantly, I don't expect anyone to agree with me on this in a forum that attracts freethinkers and skeptics. It's the dialogue of disagreement that makes this forum so fascinating.
That clash is bound to generate ill feelings that become personal. Some threads devolve into nothing but exchanges of insults, it's true. But occasionally, some food for thought gets mixed in with the cream pies, mashed potatoes and even excrement that we fling back and forth even during those frays.
Furthermore, any impartial observer will note that the acrimony comes just as much from believers as from atheists, perhaps more so, and that the former initiate it as least as often as the latter. It's hard to resist responding in kind, and much as I wish more of us would respond to ideas and ignore insults, none of us can expect others to respond as we would.
If they did, they would be freethinkers.
Hello, NightSerf. Excellent points, all. I always enjoy reading your posts. Everyone brings their personality with them to these boards... some are just better at keeping their emotion in check when responding.

The one thing I wish Topix had is an 'ignore' feature where once you mark a poster to ignore their posts mo longer pollute your screen. It would save on scroll-wheel wear, too :)

“Leave That Thing Alone!”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#14 Feb 15, 2013
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>
Your point is well taken, but I usually respond to the fallacy itself. It's much more effective to show that a post is idiotic than to say that its writer is an idiot. We don't have credentials of any kind to support us here, only our credibility. Resorting to ad hominem and childish tit-for-tat posting erodes that credibility.
I think most posters start out that way, but when faced with a fundie that doesn't read responses, or ignores them in order to contiue posting the same tired argument, tempers get short and civility breaks down. I have noticed that when the civility starts breaking down, it is almost always initiated by the overly religious... at least from what I've seen on the boards I visit.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#15 Feb 15, 2013
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>
Your point is well taken, but I usually respond to the fallacy itself. It's much more effective to show that a post is idiotic than to say that its writer is an idiot. We don't have credentials of any kind to support us here, only our credibility. Resorting to ad hominem and childish tit-for-tat posting erodes that credibility.
It would be nice (and extremely refreshing) if replies would focus on the content and not the person, but I'm not holding my breath.

I honestly can't say if someone is hateful or ignorant or whatever. I can, and do, note when a post comes across that way. It's the difference between saying "you're an idiot" and saying "your post makes you appear ignorant of the subject." It's a fine line that is lost on some people, but to me, it matters.

“Reason's Greetings!”

Since: Feb 11

Pale Blue Dot

#16 Feb 15, 2013
What I have noticed here is that by the time a thread reaches over 1000 posts the focus on the original content is usually lost, and it has run its course for any kind of usefulness. Because of that, I rarely visit those 10 to 20 threads on this forum that have surpassed the 2000 posts mark. They simply offer nothing new anymore.

“Voters elect Big Bird”

Since: Jan 07

Dump American Eagle

#17 Feb 15, 2013
TerryL wrote:
<quoted text>Why would you think I have a closed mind? Is it because I don't want to see christians riding rough-shot over the rest of the population by imposing their beliefs on everyone else? Is it because I think all religions should be kept personal and the teaching of those religions is better done in your homes and places of worship rather than the public school system?
You're being close minded right now. Re-read your post. YOU don't want Christians imposing their beliefs on others yet you neglect to see your own hypocrosy in denying Christians THEIR rights to worship mas they have for millenia. Manger scenes banned in town squares. Prayer circles in schools BEFORE school hours between kids who believe,not forcing anyone to participate. There are other example but this is a nice start in the list of the close mindedness of liberals.

“Voters elect Big Bird”

Since: Jan 07

Dump American Eagle

#18 Feb 15, 2013
TerryL wrote:
<quoted text>I think most posters start out that way, but when faced with a fundie that doesn't read responses, or ignores them in order to contiue posting the same tired argument, tempers get short and civility breaks down. I have noticed that when the civility starts breaking down, it is almost always initiated by the overly religious... at least from what I've seen on the boards I visit.
Don't visit too many threads do you? Nasty cuts both ways. Its often dabatable as well as moot who starts it.

“Leave That Thing Alone!”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#19 Feb 15, 2013
okimar wrote:
<quoted text>You're being close minded right now. Re-read your post. YOU don't want Christians imposing their beliefs on others yet you neglect to see your own hypocrosy in denying Christians THEIR rights to worship mas they have for millenia. Manger scenes banned in town squares. Prayer circles in schools BEFORE school hours between kids who believe,not forcing anyone to participate. There are other example but this is a nice start in the list of the close mindedness of liberals.
How is trying to stop them from imposing there beliefs on everyone denying them a right to worship? Christians used to burn witches, is that something they should be allowed to do since it is something they have done before? I am in no way attempting to deny anyone their right to worship (or not) as the see fit. The christians constant attempts to get those that don't share their beliefs to have to live according to their beliefs is what I'm talking about.

If the 'manger scene' is on private property there is no issue. When it is placed on public/government property is when the issues arise. I personally couldn't care less either way, although I can see the argument about not having them on government grounds because it implies an endorsement of that religion by the government... which is unconstitutional... include all religions and I think the issues would go away.

There is no reason that children cannot pray on their own at school (before school in a prayer circle or quietly to themselves before a test or class or whatever) and no one trying to stop them from doing so (except for the christians raising a fuss about muslim kids praying as their religion dictates) those prayers being directed by or implemented by the public schools is not acceptable because it is unconstitutional.

What other unsupportable conclusions do you draw from my post?

“Leave That Thing Alone!”

Since: Nov 07

Location hidden

#20 Feb 15, 2013
okimar wrote:
<quoted text>Don't visit too many threads do you? Nasty cuts both ways. Its often dabatable as well as moot who starts it.
I can agree with that. I don't spend a whole lot of time here so I only visit a couple of borads. I read more than I post

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