1. Standard memberwittywonka
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    03 May '12 22:27
    Does anyone here consider himself an "antitheist," as opposed to an "atheist"? Would you explain how you came to embrace that philosophy? I have a hard time understanding how it doesn't perpetuate the same overgeneralized "us vs. them" mentality that many theists adopt.
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    03 May '12 22:55
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    Does anyone here consider himself an "antitheist," as opposed to an "atheist"? Would you explain how you came to embrace that philosophy? I have a hard time understanding how it doesn't perpetuate the same overgeneralized "us vs. them" mentality that many theists adopt.
    Being against something means thinking that that something is bad or wrong and should be
    stopped/curtailed/minimised/corrected/ect

    It says nothing about the best methods of achieving this goal or on how this goal would
    interact with other goals.




    The label antitheist would probably apply to me in that I don't just 'not have a belief in gods'
    but also think that such belief is wrong and harmful.




    However my real issue is not the specific belief but the method of coming to that belief.


    My real thing is that I am Anti-Faith.... Or Anti-Faith-based beliefs...



    As all belief in gods is without evidence (currently) then belief in gods is a 'faith-based belief'
    and thus I oppose it.



    However I would rather go with rationalist/skeptic which proclaims my positive belief in reason
    and logic and the scientific method and opposition to faith based beliefs of all kinds rather than
    'antitheist' which is negative and focuses on only one type of faith based belief and doesn't
    explain why I oppose theism or put it in the wider context.
  3. Standard memberwittywonka
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    03 May '12 22:581 edit
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    The label antitheist would probably apply to me in that I don't just 'not have a belief in gods' but also think that such belief is wrong and harmful.
    So my follow-up question is: do you believe religious people (people of faith) are in some way morally inferior or intrinsically dangerous?
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    03 May '12 23:242 edits
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    So my follow-up question is: do you believe religious people (people of faith) are in some way morally inferior or intrinsically dangerous?
    I believe that faith based beliefs are inherently dangerous, and that it is immoral to base your
    world view and beliefs on faith.


    However that is not even close to the same thing as saying that "religious people (people of faith)
    are in some way morally inferior or intrinsically dangerous?"


    I see harm of many kinds done by faith based beliefs.
    I see no advantage to faith based beliefs that mitigates or negates this harm.

    This harm btw often happens to the person doing the believing and isn't necessarily harm done to
    others by the believer although that happens too.

    So given that I see no advantage to faith based beliefs and I see the harm they cause I oppose them,
    and importantly I promote the alternative method of basing your views/beliefs on reality and reason.



    This doesn't mean that I think the theists are inherently bad people.

    There are good people and bad people of all stripes, and most people most of the time are just trying their best
    to do what's right and to live their lives as inoffensively as possible.


    However faith based beliefs lead good people astray, and allow them to do bad or mistaken things while
    still thinking that they are doing the right and moral thing.

    Faith based beliefs also allow bad people to do and get away with things that would otherwise be impermissible.


    When a more moderate Christian, for example, says that they 'believe in the bible' and that it is their moral guide
    and inspiration [but in reality haven't really read it and don't take it literally] that acts as a shield and a legitimisation
    for the more fundamentalist believers who do read the bible and do take it literally.

    Having lots of generally nice moderate people say that the bible is a good source of morality (having not really actually
    read it) means that it's harder to attack those who do take the bible literally and have read it and really do take it
    as a source of morality.


    The bible really does condone slavery, genocide, and say that a woman who has been raped should be made to marry her rapist
    [among many many other evils] IF you read it literally.

    To get to some other meaning you have to interpret it and skip bits.

    Most people have been [unbeknownst to them] influenced by secular morality over the centuries and so wouldn't accept
    as being moral the things the bible actually advocates.

    But while they stand and say that their morality is based on the bible there will be those that then go away and actually
    read it and find the justification/inspiration for doing and saying things that they otherwise wouldn't or could never get support for.


    The present day attitudes to homosexuality and (in America) the war on women's rights is in large part driven by this minority
    of fundamentalists who are given cover by all the moderates who just wont admit and don't realise that their morality
    comes from human empathy and reason and not from some old book.

    This is really hurting people today. And it is but one of a myriad of examples I could give.




    So as I say I object to and attack the beliefs and the system of coming to those beliefs.


    I don't [necessarily*] object to or attack the people for holding those beliefs.


    I don't think people are stupid for believing based on faith.

    I just think that they are wrong.



    And believing things that are wrong can and often does cause harm.


    EDIT: I hope this answers your question even though I did not, and do not, accept the questions premise.

    EDIT2:* I will attack [metaphorically] those that hold the beliefs if the specific beliefs are bad enough or they really are stupid
    my point is that I don't necessarily attack people just for holding faith based beliefs.

    If you believe in YEC then you are leaving yourself open to and are deserving of some quite serious ridicule because those
    beliefs are so blatantly idiotic and false. However the majority of faith based believers and theists don't hold beliefs that extreme
    or ridiculous.
  5. Standard memberwittywonka
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    04 May '12 00:431 edit
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    I hope this answers your question even though I did not, and do not, accept the questions premise.

    I figured you wouldn't, but I wanted to be sure before I went any deeper into this discussion. I appreciate your answer and your willingness to engage the general topic.

    When a more moderate Christian, for example, says that they 'believe in the bible' and that it is their moral guide and inspiration (but in reality haven't really read it and don't take it literally), that acts as a shield and a legitimisation for the more fundamentalist believers who do read the bible and do take it literally. [...] The present day attitudes to homosexuality and (in America) the war on women's rights is in large part driven by this minority of fundamentalists who are given cover by all the moderates who just wont admit and don't realise that their morality comes from human empathy and reason and not from some old book.

    This hasn't been my experience, personally. Some "moderate" Christians I know have been the most vocal critics of fundamentalists who take literal interpretations of certain doctrines and beliefs in the Bible. I'm also not sure I agree with your insight that "moderate" Christians are only driven by secular sources of morality; in fact, I think most Christians who argue with fundamentalists "fight Bible with Bible," so to speak.

    And believing things that are wrong can and often does cause harm.

    Continuing my thoughts from responding to your last point: I agree with you here, but I don't extrapolate this idea to the point of saying that religiosity necessarily must lead to "wrong" and "harmful" beliefs and actions. Do you not think that religion has been a morally positive influence (even from the perspective of a morally secular framework) on some people, too?
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    04 May '12 05:21
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    Does anyone here consider himself an "antitheist," as opposed to an "atheist"? Would you explain how you came to embrace that philosophy? I have a hard time understanding how it doesn't perpetuate the same overgeneralized "us vs. them" mentality that many theists adopt.
    I have been atheist since I was about 13. I used to have a largely 'live and let live' policy towards theism. However, due to suggestions on this forum, I bought and read 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins and I think he made a good argument that religions in general are harmful overall and delusion in general are harmful overall and as a result I have become somewhat anti-theist. I am not sure what the "us vs. them" reference is about or why that is something to avoid. If you mean I would avoid socializing with theists, then no, that is not the case, almost everyone I know is a theist (of various degrees and religions).
  7. Standard memberwittywonka
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    04 May '12 06:03
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I am not sure what the "us vs. them" reference is about or why that is something to avoid.
    I know some Christians who stereotype atheists as lacking any sort of legitimate sense of morality, which I believe is a falsehood. Likewise, I feel as though atheists, or antitheists, who stereotype all theists as lacking any sort of positive morality ignore the subset of theists who do not perpetuate "harmful" (often fundamentalist) doctrine or dogma.
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    04 May '12 06:191 edit
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    I know some Christians who stereotype atheists as lacking any sort of legitimate sense of morality, which I believe is a falsehood. Likewise, I feel as though atheists, or antitheists, who stereotype all theists as lacking any sort of positive morality ignore the subset of theists who do not perpetuate "harmful" (often fundamentalist) doctrine or dogma.
    The moment anybody 'stereotypes' people whatever their wider stance they lose a lot of credibility. I think it is one of those threads in which we need to retain the title at the forefront of any discussion. It concerns 'antitheism' that should not be synonymous with antitheist.
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    04 May '12 07:38
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    Likewise, I feel as though atheists, or antitheists, who stereotype all theists as lacking any sort of positive morality ignore the subset of theists who do not perpetuate "harmful" (often fundamentalist) doctrine or dogma.
    Dawkins argues that the perpetuation of delusions encourages the perpetuation of other delusions and as a result anyone perpetuating delusions is to some degree perpetuating 'harmful' doctrine or dogma.
    This works in two ways:
    1. If you say it is 'OK' to be deluded, you are encouraging others to do the same even when their delusions are more harmful than yours.
    2. It is common for theists to support each other and refuse to criticize each other even when they know that their fellow theists are behaving in a harmful way.

    What we see a lot of on these forums is theists who will support and promote any nonsense they come across that they think is against atheism or against what they perceive to be a threat to their religions (eg evolution).

    Also, I do not believe there are any theists who are not to some degree perpetuating harmful dogma. The very fact that theism includes dogma, which is not rational and is essentially dictated to the theist, results in at least some of it that is harmful. That some theists manage to ignore this in many cases cannot be denied, but they still perpetuate it and pass it on to others who do not ignore it.
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    04 May '12 08:441 edit
    I am an antithiest for I think theism is both dangerous and highly immoral.
    This should NOT be confused with me thinking that all theists are, in general, dangerous and immoral NOR should it be confused with me having no respect for theists -neither is true.
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    04 May '12 08:56
    Originally posted by humy
    I am an antithiest for I think theism is both dangerous and highly immoral.
    This should NOT be confused with me thinking that all theists are, in general, dangerous and immoral NOR should it be confused with me having no respect for theists -neither is true.
    Then why not settle for being antitheism and avoid the confusion.
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    04 May '12 10:421 edit
    Originally posted by kevcvs57
    The moment anybody 'stereotypes' people whatever their wider stance they lose a lot of credibility. I think it is one of those threads in which we need to retain the title at the forefront of any discussion. It concerns 'antitheism' that should not be synonymous with antitheist.
    Would you apply that same thought process with being anti homosexuality as oppossed to anti-homosexual?
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    04 May '12 11:18
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Would you apply that same thought process with being anti homosexuality as oppossed to anti-homosexual?
    I would not personally be comfortable with either, but I find Anti Homosexuality less abhorrent than Anti Homosexual.
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    04 May '12 18:14
    Rational Round Table's Michael J. Crawford on,

    Thunderfoot verses the Bible

    YouTube&feature=relmfu
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    04 May '12 21:30
    Originally posted by humy
    I am an antithiest for I think theism is both dangerous and highly immoral.
    This should NOT be confused with me thinking that all theists are, in general, dangerous and immoral NOR should it be confused with me having no respect for theists -neither is true.
    Would you please explain how theism is immoral.
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