Religionist Americans, because not all who are Americans are religionists, do not like atheist Americans because the fact of there being atheist Americans is an unequivocally statement that religionists will die and cease to exist, just like everyone else; that being a member of a religion doesn’t make you special, especially not special enough to thwart death. But everything dies in order for other things to live, in no small part owing to that life is sustained by consuming other life, be it plant or animal.
Atheist Americans also clash with the Patriotic American who also tend to be religionist Americans, who like to define “real” Americans as only religionist Americans, need for Americans to be special among all other nationalities. Religion and Patriotism operate in the same manner to define a group and confer specialness on all group members, simply for being part of the group. People who do not conform to the rigid group rules are then sanctioned for exclusion by the no true Scotsman fallacy.
To reject religion is to say we are all equal, regardless of where we are born, live, and die – and when we die, we make way for other people to live, and we live no more, except in memory. But only while there is living memory; unless you do something with your life that makes you uniquely special to be remembered by the masses.
This is why religionists actively engage in confirmation bias and why religionists mischaracterize and demonize naturalism (science) and create sciency justification for their religious beliefs. Confirmation bias is basically intellectual masturbation and it makes one blind to any data or rational that doesn’t serve the biased idea and framework.
Intelligent Design is creationism tarted up in science sounding language, but Intelligent Design isn’t science. It studies nothing, predicts nothing and is not testable or peer reviewable or repeatable. “Goddidit” is the sum total of the idea, but to make it seem sciency, god becomes a vague and ill-defined creator and to make it seem like plausible science, a concession that the creators could be aliens is offered. Because while aliens seeding our planet to bring forth life is more plausible than a deity, it continues to beg the question of where the aliens came from, in the same way that goddidit begs the question of where god came from then.
ID is to science as atheism is to religion – ID has no claims and is rejection of the scientific process and the theory of evolution. Atheism is the rejection of religion, and like ID, uses religion itself as the reason for the reject, and does not have claims of it’s own. Where they differ, is that atheism is rejecting unsound premises that are based on claims that are not internally consistent – whereas, ID is rejecting the scientific method and the internally consistent theory of evolution in favour of the unsound claims, and thus, rejects theory of evolution and science based on mischaraterizations and outright falsehoods, to maintain their religious ideas.
Basically, atheism is a sound rejection of an unsound premise and ID is an unsound rejection of a sound premise. They are both a rejection, but the basis for rejection are the polar opposites.
Science, currently is working to confirm the Big Bang Theory before tackling the question of what existed before the Big Bang and what caused the Big Bang – and this is acceptable, since science is a process by which to ask questions and arrive at answers, not start with answers and then fiddle the data to fit the preferred answer, as religion does.
Aside: I am inclined to think that the big bang was a universal resolution of the cognitive dissonance of existence and non-existence and this is where philosophy carries on where/when physics leaves off.
The reason why religionists demonize naturalists is because the fact of there being naturalists means that people can and do accept that this life is all we get – the moment of resolution for the naturalist is the atheist moment of accepting life on its face because there is no plausible evidence to the contrary, not in the whole of recorded history as there been any proof of anything beyond our existence.
What particularly bothers believers is that non-believers are not non-believers because of lack of exposure or even understanding of religion or a particular religion – more often than not, people reject religion because of their experience within and understanding of religion. We know what we are rejecting, and we are rejecting it because we understand it is wishful and magical thinking driven largely by a terror of dying and a need for conformity and inclusion.
To reject religion, is to reject religious people. This is why religionists – by this I mean true religionists commonly referred to as fundamentalists – react with violence and demonizing anyone who is not a true believer. Moderates, apologists, reformers if they are milder, are actually not true believers, their belief and dedication is less than the fundamentalist believer’s belief and dedication. The only true believer is a fanatical and literalist believer – anyone less has modified belief and gone off cannon, have tempered religious belief and practice with other beliefs and concerns.
This is why American patriotic religionists exclude people who are not blindly religionist and patriotic from being deems “real” Americans. Yet, these so called true Americans are the anti-Americans. America was not founded on religious ideas, let alone Christian ones. America was not founded on blind worship of authority, if America was about blind worship of authority, they would still be a British Colony and they would never have tossed King George’s tea into the harbour.
Okay, that’s too simplified, the reality is, that America was founded on the idea that individuals matter and that they have inalienable rights that are not based in anything as tenuous as a king or specific deity’s whim. But rather, that individual rights exist because individuals exist.
Individuals have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – follow your bliss, not your religious bling.
Live your life – the life that you know you have – to the fullest, most meaningful and most purposeful – as long as you live your life for your afterlife – you aren’t living at all and you are wasting the life that you can know that you have.
If there is anything after, then it’s a natural process and part of existence and it won’t depend on what or who you did or didn’t do with your genitals, or what kind of person you were or weren’t. Better to do good for the sake of good, rather than being good to be rewarded or avoid punishment in the afterlife.
And, when we die, and there is anything that does decide, then a person who was good, rather than one who acted good by complying with rules they had nothing to do with developing or understanding or deciding without any thought to whether those rules actually were good or caused good to result, will surely be the one with the reward in this and any other life.
Be good for goodness sake, and for goodness sake, think about what makes anything good.
I’ve learned a lot from internet forums. Here’s how to recognize the least nice parts of global and instant communications:
An internet troll is a person who posts on forums to cause trouble or upset other posters.
Hallmarks of a troll are that they tend not to respond to posts and repeat their claims and insults all while accusing others of the same behaviour.
Trolls thrive on attention and will wander away if no one feeds them.
This is the sign of an advanced troll. This is when a troll joins a forum under several names, all of whom agree with each other and believe the same thing.
They never seem to notice that their ISP shows them as being in the same location, for they are not smart enough to realize that other people are not as dumb as they are.
These are a speciality type of troll and are prone to creating sockpuppets.
They tend to post about their religion in atheist or scientific forums. They are not interested in talking to other beleivers, unless it a beleiver of another religion.
They are seeking to convert, even though they deny that. They can be fun to bait, but the best strategy is to ignore the content of their repetitive posts and focus on the broader issues of the form of a logical argument and attendant fallacies, systems of morality rather than morals themselves, and their agenda.
Apparently, there’s a religious college that gives course credit for being a godbot.
The downside of godbots is how tiresome it gets to have to explain over and over to the same godbot, it’s sock puppets and subsequent godbot/sockpuppet combos:
– that what a word means is context sensitive ( I beleive in a diety is different than I beleive my car will start or the sun will rise tomorrow – the first is faith and the second is expectation based on observation and experience)
– super basic scientific concepts, like what a theory is in science vs common terms.
– that adapting and changing to new information is the strength of science, not a flaw – but that religion is glacial with change is a fault
– word games where you change meaning of the key words are not logic, clever or a sign of intelligence
– the buybull is not proof of anything but man’s ability to invent fictional stories to make themselves feel better
– that there’s nothing moral in the buybull that isn’t obvious all on it’s own – and much that is claimed to be moral and clearly isn’t by today’s standards
– that cultural standards change over time and are culturally dependent. That cultures have previously been mostly defined geographically, which is why there’s so many different religions in different areas and at different times. Religion is a cultural expression of the values/morals, not what creates or defines them.
and, why are they always so fixated on:
– gay people in general and gay anal sex in particular
– not having “things” rammed down their throats (all while trying to ram their religion into our orifices)
– quoting scripture and creationists, as if we’ve never heard it and would find it compelling, but without any indication that they understand the substance of their cut and pasting.
– claiming that anyone who proves that being religious does not make one a moral person, its not a “true” or “real” whatever the faith is.
I can only think that the reason for this behavior is that global and instant communication is somehow threatening to these small minded people.
They are overwhelmed by exposure to the world at large and have to stay in their dark corner and flail at the world, fingers firmly in ears while shouting their platitudes, the underlying meaning of which is “I’m important”
Well, there’s no Santa and in the grand scheme of things, no one is important.
But, there is comfort in this:
In your life, you are important, to yourself, your family and friends. To a lesser degree to your boss and coworker, even less to politicians and authority figures.
The farther away from yourself the less important you become to other people, unless you do something that makes people farther away from your circle care about you.
But none of that even matters, what matters is that you give your life meaning and make the most of the life you have.
Do you trolls, sock puppets and godbots really want to look back on a life spent small and demanding to be heard by crude and rude tactics?
Would whatever your god is truly be impressed and proud?
Well, maybe they diety would, after all the majority of deities are preening egomaniacs who act out violently.
But I think we can set the bar to a higher standard than that.
Try to create something positive to leave in the world.