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13 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Will Anti-Islam Sentim... · 2 replies · 0 points

While your point about worrying about the fanatics is well taken - to quote from the Imam responsible for choosing this locations and pushing this project forward..

"there are an endless supply of angry young Muslim rebels prepared to die for their cause and there [is] no sign of the attacks ending unless there [is] a fundamental change in the world" - he goes on to say that this will not end until an American President offers an apology for offending Muslims.....it would seem that offering a place for these guys to gather at a site considered by the extremists to be a place of victory for Islam would serve only to inspire them further.

He also doesn't consider Hamas is a terrorist organization..........which begs the question "How exactly does he define terrorism then?" How violent does a group have to be to merit the label in this guys book?

And then of course his famous bit on the US being an "accessory" to 9/11 by virtue of our foreign policy........One is forced to ask is this what he proposes to teach in this facility? Is he going to promote the notion that if you disagree with American foreign policy that the US is "asking for it"?

I don't think most of this supply of "angry young men" started out this way, but have been influenced by Imams in mosques teaching a disdain for Western culture, and the nobility of dying while hurting the "enemy" and promoting Islam. Most of these folks started out as the moderate Muslims you say we need not be concerned about - but if you are willing to buy into the mysticism of Islam enough to form your life around it's principles - it's only a quarter-step more to subscribe to the more violent teachings from the same source.

13 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Will Anti-Islam Sentim... · 0 replies · 0 points

I'd put my money on Southern Baptists....

Gullible, armed, and still pissed about losing the Civil War..lol

13 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Will Anti-Islam Sentim... · 0 replies · 0 points

I think this is a topic oft oversimplified - there is a distinct difference in Islam and Christianity- not in veracity, but in forced moderation. The Christian Church certainly has had it's time of dominance and terrorist activity, but has for the last couple of hundred years been forced time and again to retreat in the face of science and growing disbelief in the Western civilization - and as such has been forced to become a bit more "civilized" - it has to a degree been tamed.

Islam however has festered in authoritarian/theocracies - and brooking no resistance or tolerance for deviation it teaches the same type of hardcore "assimilate or be killed" ideology the Catholic Church employed so effectively during the Dark Ages.........as such it embodies a very direct and clearly defined threat to our already besieged nation. One need only to look to any of the Muslim dominated countries in the world to see the fate of unchecked expansion on the US - Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt...

It in no coincidence that the same areas the house the majority Muslim populations are also the most unstable and violent areas of the world - Northern Africa and the Middle East - most of what comprised the now defunct Ottoman Empire.

13 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - I\'ve Never Seen an FF... · 1 reply · +3 points

I find it interesting that negative reaction for simply telling the truth....

How is this any different than a Christian billboard saying "Prepare for the afterlife"..?

People tend to communicate using the approach and tone they find persuasive - given the direct combative challenges to atheist messages, perhaps a little "do unto others" is apropo....

Further the message and presentation of this billboard is positive, encouraging people to seek happiness now, and not depend on a idyllic postmortem Disneyland promised by Neolithic mythology...

13 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Never Forget the Burde... · 0 replies · -1 points

Yea - this is the misuse of vernacular to avoid having to admit to a specific set of easily falsifiable absurdities..

The "faith" as described above is better defined as "an anticipated outcome", anticipated of course by prior experience, and that is where the sane use of faith with familiar scenarios and people differs from believing in something you have no prior experience with, or logical basis to believe - nor would have any idea of without the demented imagination of other humans.

13 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Never Forget the Burde... · 1 reply · +4 points

This really isn't that surprising - using semantics to dodge the patent absurdities of faith is merely another form of denial, by not admitting to the tenets of a specifically absurd religious doctrine you avoid having to defend the indefensible through the rebuttal of reason. Of course having faith in a nebulous deity without proof is equally absurd as having faith in Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, Rama, Bali, or Zeus...

13 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Never Forget the Burde... · 1 reply · +2 points

Actually, I've made it a point to read most of the relevant religious scriptures - it seems to me that in order to formulate a sane and reasoned rebuttal, you must have some familiarity with the topic of discussion.

It is almost as impossible to get a accurate or fact supported description of atheism from a religious person as it is to get a accurate description of their own faith. To be sure there are exceptions, but you are really in no position to make that determination without some background reading of your own.

There is also a great deal of knowledge to be gathered from these manuscripts, as most represent not only the mindset of the authors at the time, but they often contain a some wisdom as well.

The Bible for example of a combination of genealogical records, political manifestos, medical advice, moralistic fables, and a lot of self-serving BS written by and for religious/civil authorities - as such is a fascinating sociological record.......granted it is about as accurate as an edition of Marvel Comics...

13 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - I Am Fascinated With I... · 0 replies · +1 points

I think everyone "arrives" at a conclusion - the quality of that conclusion is defined by the process used to get there. A lot of folks arrive at the conclusion that there is a voyeuristic cosmic overlord that will punish/reward because a person in whom they place trust conveys that info and attests to it's "truth", and often continue to re-enforce that perspective through their entire life.
Ideas must have an origin, and people must have a reason to believe those ideas - and this is the point that my explanation above kicks in - do you require some evidence for an idea to consider it valid - or do you simply accept the idea as valid because you are told to do so...

13 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Hiding One\'s Faith to... · 0 replies · 0 points

You know, I was a libertarian for years (Still got the Ron Paul stickers on my truck), but despite the fact that I do most closely share the libertarian viewpoint - I cannot help but to recognize that the libertarian party suffers from a terminal lack of organization and focus. Their ideals are admirable, there method and consistency in presenting them in a compelling political fashion however are not.
Despite the mostly negative press the Tea Party gets (except for Faux News) they do have a coherent message, and a grassroots organization that gets things done.
I don't for a moment accept or agree with some of the more notorious Tea party members - but I can agree on a Constitutionally limited government, severely reduced government spending -and the re-establishment of the Bill of Rights as the defining law on governement interactions with ALL people. I don't have to agree with their motivations to share the same goal - I would much rather be putting my support behind the libertarian movement, but pushing that agenda right now is like trying to herd cats...

13 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - I Am Fascinated With I... · 1 reply · +5 points

Actually this dynamic isn't really so obscure - it has to do with where facts are considered in the formation of ideas.
For a thoughtful, methodical person- the facts come first in the process, consideration of fact, weighing sometimes opposing positions - then from the consideration of these things an opinion is formed. As a consequence, if new information is discovered that is relevant to the original proposition, the opinion is re-examined to determine if the new information merits an adjustment. In this fashion we learn as we go, and our viewpoint evolves.
The alternative to this operates on pretty much the reverse principle - the opinion is arrived at, and then facts are chosen or ignored depending on whether they support the opinion. As a result, no matter how much new information is presented, the viewpoint remains constant. This has the "benefit" of never having to consider the possibility that you may have been mistaken - this also precludes the possibility of having to make critical decisions, or think about hard topics.

The former approach requires the thinker to not only examine the facts, but also other opinions, as the revision of one perspective often requires revisiting others - and this leads to confronting often incompatible viewpoints.
The latter approach however does not requires any such far ranging re-evaluations - as each opinion is insulated, enshrined in inflexible dogma - it is in this approach that the religious dogmas find fertile ground - the presentation of certain ideas that are to be merely accepted as true without any critical review, now or ever.

There is another major difference in the approaches - and this has to do with the emotional perspective - the compulsive need for certainty, most often termed insecurity, compels the person to find definitive answers, and this provides a false sense of security. By refusing to further examine the perspective for consistency, the possibility of determining that your viewpoint is inaccurate or incomplete is avoided, re-enforcing the sense of security. It is this dynamic that creates the often terminal hold on a religious person's mind - so long as they have SOMETHING to believe, they feel secure. To question that belief is to reject that security, that sense of feeling safe - and this is something that a great many people are unwilling or most often, unable to do.