JuliusCaesar wrote:You aren't going over anyone's head at this point you are just dismissing what I'm saying.
First off I'm not saying religion has an identity or a goal or is a person with a will or w/e you like to think I am doing. The set of beliefs, and people who follow those beliefs (what I quantify as religion) influences people. Yes, religion influences people. Without imams preaching jihad on the basis of their holy book, I doubt we'd have as many issues with militants as we do today (not saying we'd be scot free from problems, but the issue would be simplified and less ectreme on both ends). Now you can say the imams are the issue. No, they do this because their holy book inspires them to. So what about those who put the violent passages in the holy book? is it their fault? Perhaps, but we can't change what was done 900 years ago. Ideas in themselves are powerful and affect people. Sure these ideas were made by people hundereds of years ago, but people don't follow the person, they follow the idea he set.
Next, atheists aren't a "tribe". We follow no common doctrine, have no common patterns, have nothing in common besides the lack of a belief in a deity. It is false to assume otherwise. I feel passionate about this simply because it is what reason demands. I know many atheists who I'd just as readily punch than slap on the back.
Lastly, I harbor no "disdain" for theists beyond jesusrocks (for obvious reasons), only the way of life involved. You say this is pointless and silly, attacking a set of beliefs is probably like punching a chair (to take your metaphor). No, it isn't silly or futile. It is the only thing to target with any hope of changing anything really, as ideas are more vulnerable than the people who follow them. It wasn't futile when christianity took over the classical world, nor was it when the romans' religion pushed out that of the celts. The only difference is that the empty hole would be filled, with nothing.
More and more I'm just starting to think you're just stupid.
Ideas are created by people. Not by books. Rarely, if ever, do books do things. Closely observe books and be honest. The times when they actually do stuff are quite negligible, aren't they?
The Qur'An is a pretty unforgiving book in the sense that people have been interpreting it for over 1400 years.
If you're a person in power (not just imams) and you want to justify something, anything, it wouldn't be too hard to find passages which, given a lack of context, could be used to do just that. Hell, I'm sure Somali Muslims truly believe that their horrible way of female genital mutilation is divinely ordained by the Qur'An, even tho it isn't really and the practice is actually quite a lot older than Islam. I'm sure the Afghani kids who were indoctrinated by the Taliban to become warriors truly believe that this is justified by the Qur'An, even tho it's unlikely that they could verify it as they were forced to memorize the book in Arabic, a language they don't even understand.
That's what people in power do. They have enough sway to change culture/religion to suit their needs.
Henry VIII more or less creating his own organized religion just so he could get divorced.
The crusades in order to break the Muslim monopoly on trade from the far east and to seize the riches of the middle-east.
The Spanish Armada launched by Philips II, claimed to be sent to liberate England from the Protestant(ish) scurge, but also quite motivated by the fact that England was an upcoming maritime empire, ultimately able to challenge Spain's colonial possessions.
The conquest of the middle and south American native-American empires, supposedly to spread the word of Christ, but the boatloads (literally) of gold sure came in handy.
In order to mobilize the stupid masses, you need that is both simple, and plays into their baser instincts. Their universal fears. Their need for security. Their neuroses. Their search for understanding. Their xenophobia. Their need to belong.
Religion is universal. There isn't a culture in the world that did not have myths of creation, rules to govern their life and a close relation with death. Hijacking this is the sensible thing to do for anyone in power.
Hell, it'd not only been done with religion. Nationalism, communism and any other ism that has the potential. Hell, let's go liberate those savages. In the name of democracy. In the name of
And are you honestly so naive (and a tiny bit cute) to believe that all these acts perpetrated in the name of a religion wouldn't have happened if religion didn't exist? Even to tho the socio-economic motivations for these acts were still in place?
Tsss... How disappointing.
If it wasn't for the fact that the prevalence of atheism usually requires a relatively high level of education and thus a high standard of living I'm sure we would have already seen some acts of hate justified by atheism. Hell, it's all the rage here in Europe to justify racism with the inherent cultural inferiority of those stupid Muslims.
A larger global percentage of atheists, a large decrease in standard of living and we'll see how well atheism will lend itself to corruption in the employ of those in power with political goals. Judging how well democracy has been raped I'd say it won't go all that bad.
Whether you realize it or not, whether to want to realize it or not, atheism has become a tribe. You have atheist celebrities, atheist books, atheist clubs, atheist podcasts, atheist YouTube channels, atheist charities, atheist organizations, atheist websites, atheist movies, atheist billboards, atheist advertising campaigns and atheist bumper stickers. For what is essentially a non-ideology that is pretty darn impressive.
Us versus them is what does the trick.
Doesn't it make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, to know you have a just cause? A reason to band together to dislike other people? To organize little actions, to buy a new ladder to get on your high horse? To be a crusader in shining armor, ready to battle the believers in order to defend reason and science and whatnot? Admit it. It feels nice. A lot nicer than to admit you're basically a glorified slave, destined to go through the motions of your cookie-cutter life.
Do you think this explosion of paraphernalia designed to denote and enforce the tribe exists in Europe? Hell no. You know why? No us versus them in the religious field. Hatred of Muslims has different packaging, no atheism required.
Dawkins isn't selling a lot of books over here. Not really an atheist tribe to speak of, yet.
No us versus them, no tribe.
I find it very sad you do not realize the irony of you saying "I feel passionate about this simply because it is what reason demands." It's quite horrifying really. Shows there is little people can't corrupt.
But in the end I guess I could go with your idea of the magical holy books that force people to force other people to do stuff.
Hear that guys? Religion determines what people do, not people.
And since the vast, overwhelming majority of religious people in the world are decent and productive members of society and since religious people are more or less responsible for a few thousand years of scientific, political and philosophical progress we're left to conclude that religion is an overwhelmingly positive influence.
Wow, that was an easy conclusion. Being stupid really is quite relaxing.
Thanks for showing me the way, JC. I get it now, ignorance is bliss.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to demean a few theists. But don't worry, it's not my responsibility. I'll do it in the name of reason, just so it's not my fault.
But I jest. I sadly enough have the intelligence to realize you are the future. And the past.
Just another way to spend precious human effort into battling symptoms as children are starving.