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  1. #111
    the_Observer the_Observer is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tea Party Patriot View Post
    Once modern new age feminism enters the room all rationality goes out the window. It is a movement based not on equality of opportunity but on elevating women above males, if you like one attempting to replace a patriarchy with a matriarchy.

    The quangos calling for income equality which is just another way of saying everyone should earn the same amount regardless are also not living in the real world.

    There was a time when the left was about standing up for decent pay for people who worked, now it seems to be about picking absurd causes in order to get its hands on funding for ivory tower academic studies and social engineering.
    I like to compare it the economic trickledown theory. Gender feminists think that having more women in board rooms will automatically result in better conditions for women sitting at the bottom of the ladder. They don't see that supporting a hierarchical based society in the name of equality is a complete contradiction.

    The values it takes to run a successful company in the face of economic competition are quite different to gender feminist values. Take the beauty industry. Dogma has it the beauty industry is so sexist because there are not enough women in power. But a company who eg refuses to produce or market high heels (aka 21st century foot binding) will lose market share and eventually be taken over by more successful and aggressive companies.
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  2. #112
    Mercurial Mercurial is offline
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    Dawkins was part of a movement or series of movements that did accomplish some important things in terms of consciousness-raising - the new atheists sparked debates that were and are worth having, even if nothing that they came out with was particularly original in terms of arguments against religion.

    On the other hand, it seems that people like Dawkins have more or less run out of valuable things to say. As the movements grew and fractured, some atheists (including Dawkins, in my view) set about proving that it is perfectly possible to be right about the question of God, but wrong about almost everything else. With some exceptions (like PZ Myers and to a lesser extent Christopher Hitchens) factions of nasty racists and anti-feminists have emerged within atheist movements which is a pity given that these movements also contain many reasonable people.
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  3. #113
    the_Observer the_Observer is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tea Party Patriot View Post
    Personally I think a lot of supposed left wing atheism as opposed to actual atheism is just a trendy badge a lot of them believe they have to wear to be seen as credibly left. Note I am not accusing them of secretly believing in God, more that I think they feel they have public-ally announce their non-belief for political capital as opposed to any real convictions about it.

    This can be seen in the cognitive dissonance that a lot of these supposed atheists are suffering with Dawkin's daring to criticise Islam which was seen to be trendy to support on the left because militant Islam opposed that "capitalist pig" the USA.

    It really is fascinating to watch when Dawkin's applies his same attacks on Christianity which were lauded to Islam for which he is castigated by those who lauded him.
    I know a lot of people, both friends in real life and people I talk with on blogs, who were very active on the large atheist sites and are now completely disillusioned and depressed with the whole affair. I know people from small rural American towns whose lives have been destroyed by fundamentalism and are being actively discriminated against for being an atheist. Some are even former pastors who ran their own churches with 20/30 years of preaching behind them. These people have lost friends, family and entire social networks for becoming an atheist and rely heavily on the internet for support because they are isolated by location and by a community based around a fundamentalist faith. These are people who live in communities where atheism is considered a sign of the coming anti-Christ and treason against America. Some were once on first name terms with the likes of Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis.

    It's one thing to receive endless borderline death threats and "burn in hell for turning again God" style messages from Christians - they expected that. But it's another to have your own online community turn against you because you disagree with a point of feminist canon. They didn’t expect that and it hit a lot of them hard.

    They were fledging support programs being setup, a kind of online community support for former fundamentalists that are now abandoned. And that’s a shame because it might have actually made a difference to some people. This lefty ‘activism’ will not because ten years from now they will be middle aged and more worried about pensions and paying the mortgage than Dawkins making racist comments against the Muslims. That was the fate of the social movements during the prosperous 60’s who found themselves middle aged during the recession and oil crises of the 70’s in welfare states no longer capable of providing the standard of life to which they were accustomed.
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  4. #114
    the_Observer the_Observer is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercurial View Post
    Dawkins was part of a movement or series of movements that did accomplish some important things in terms of consciousness-raising - the new atheists sparked debates that were and are worth having, even if nothing that they came out with was particularly original in terms of arguments against religion.

    On the other hand, it seems that people like Dawkins have more or less run out of valuable things to say. As the movements grew and fractured, some atheists (including Dawkins, in my view) set about proving that it is perfectly possible to be right about the question of God, but wrong about almost everything else. With some exceptions (like PZ Myers and to a lesser extent Christopher Hitchens) factions of nasty racists and anti-feminists have emerged within atheist movements which is a pity given that these movements also contain many reasonable people.
    PZ Myers and his army of brainless internet trolls is the worst of the lot. He was fun to read about four years ago when he blogged mostly about evolution and creationism, but he became more and more extreme as time went on.
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  5. #115
    Mercurial Mercurial is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_Observer View Post
    PZ Myers and his army of brainless internet trolls is the worst of the lot. He was fun to read about four years ago when he blogged mostly about evolution and creationism, but he became more and more extreme as time went on.
    Can you give an example of an extreme view that he holds?
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  6. #116
    Dadaist Dadaist is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_Observer View Post
    So groups like Atheist Ireland are not a political anything even though they actively lobby the government over atheist issues? Are groups like the Atheist Alliance which aims at uniting individual atheist groups into one international umbrella organization to lobby for atheist issues also non political?

    Of course they are !
    These groups in no way speak for all Atheist's.

    Is there really a need for the term atheist to be applied to someone. For example, there is no word, as far as I am aware, for people who do not believe in ghosts.
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  7. #117
    the_Observer the_Observer is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercurial View Post
    Can you give an example of an extreme view that he holds?
    The shopkeeper incident comes to mind.

    This shopkeeper strolled into one of the typical 'skepicon' conventions thinking it was about UFOs only to find a man dressed as priest giving a mock sermon and cursing the bible. The shopkeeper was outraged and hung a "skepion not welcome here" sign on his shop door for ten minutes before he calmed down and removed the site. Unfortunately for him, someone took and posted a picture of the sign.

    Myers and his army of trolls went to work. The shops internet page was hacked, the menu changed to offer a main course of "bigotry", the company yelp feedback rating lowered from 5 stars to 1.5 starts. The shopkeeper was quick to apologize and explain:

    I decided to welcome the convention downtown by offering the attendees 10% off their purchases at my store. A lot of the group from the convention were stopping by, being very polite and enjoying my Gelato. Saturday night started out as a great night. Once the store slowed down, I decided to walk down the street to learn more about the convention, fully thinking it was something involving UFOs (“skeptics”). What I saw instead was a man conducting a mock sermon, reading the bible and cursing it. Instead of saying “Amen”, the phrase was “god damn”. Being a Christian, and expecting flying saucers, I was not only totally surprised but totally offended. I took it very personally and quickly decided in the heat of the moment that I had to take matters into my own hands and let people know how I felt at that moment in time.

    So, I went quickly back to my business, grabbed the first piece of paper I could find, wrote the note and taped it in my front window. This was an impulsive response, which I fully acknowledge was completely wrong and unacceptable. The sign was posted for about 10 minutes or so before I calmed down, came to my senses, and took it down. For what it’s worth, nobody was turned away. I strongly believe that everybody is entitled to their beliefs. I’m not apologizing for my beliefs, but rather for my inexcusable actions. I was wrong.

    Guys, I really don’t know what else I can do to express my apologies. I’ve received dozens of calls and hundreds of emails since the incident, and have done my best to reply to each and every one and express my regret for what happened. For the thousands of you whom I’ve offended, I sincerely apologize. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. This is me as a human being sincerely apologizing for my actions.
    Not good enough for Myers however who further encouraged his army of internet trolls continue to "make an example of him."

    This is just one example of Myers bullying attitude. If you don't agree with him, you are labelled a bigot and his army of trolls is sent to attack you from the safety of the internet. There are no greys in Myers world. You are either with him or against him.

    Links:
    Tiny steps | And another thing...
    Lessons Learned from the Gelato Mio Sign
    A(n Honestly) Classy Apology from the Gelato Mio Owner
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  8. #118
    the_Observer the_Observer is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dadaist View Post
    These groups in no way speak for all Atheist's.

    Is there really a need for the term atheist to be applied to someone. For example, there is no word, as far as I am aware, for people who do not believe in ghosts.
    They don't claim to speak for all atheists.

    I remember when Atheist+ was first setup, some people made the reasonable point of why we need another atheist group. Why not merge and throw the numbers behind the offical Humanist Association. Somebody even made a list of the main believes of both groups and they were almost identical.

    The official reason was that Humanists are not sound enough on the feminist question. The real reason I suspect is the leaders behind Athiest+ want to remain the leaders. And that’s true of a lot of atheist groups. They are setup by one or two egos and the movement ends when they depart.

    Scepticism is the movement for people who do not believe in ghosts. Scepticism has it's own movements and leaders and tensions.
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  9. #119
    Dadaist Dadaist is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_Observer View Post
    They don't claim to speak for all atheists.

    I remember when Atheist+ was first setup, some people made the reasonable point of why we need another atheist group. Why not merge and throw the numbers behind the offical Humanist Association. Somebody even made a list of the main believes of both groups and they were almost identical.

    The official reason was that Humanists are not sound enough on the feminist question. The real reason I suspect is the leaders behind Athiest+ want to remain the leaders. And that’s true of a lot of atheist groups. They are setup by one or two egos and the movement ends when they depart.

    Scepticism is the movement for people who do not believe in ghosts. Scepticism has it's own movements and leaders and tensions.
    Scepticism is an outlook, not a movement and the word scepticism does not mean the specific disbelief of ghosts.

    I was responding to the point that atheism is a political movement. It is not. If it were then Atheists would define their lack of belief in a higher deity in a political context. The vast majority of Atheists do not. They believe that there is no God and they get on with their lives.
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  10. #120
    the_Observer the_Observer is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dadaist View Post
    Scepticism is an outlook, not a movement and the word scepticism does not mean the specific disbelief of ghosts.

    I was responding to the point that atheism is a political movement. It is not. If it were then Atheists would define their lack of belief in a higher deity in a political context. The vast majority of Atheists do not. They believe that there is no God and they get on with their lives.
    Nevertheless they are atheist political organizations like Atheist Ireland who actively lobby our government over atheist issues. I don't know how else to describe these movements other than as atheist movements. It's how they self-identify.

    Perhaps ‘atheist activism’ is a better phase?

    Modern scepticism is mostly people applying the scientific method against supernatural claims. The James Radi Education Foundation is an example of a sceptical movement.
    Expose paranormal and pseudoscientific frauds in the media, and hold media organizations accountable for promoting dangerous nonsense
    Provide grants and free teaching modules to educators, to help them inspire an investigative spirit in the next generation of critical thinkers
    Award scholarships that encourage scientific skepticism among students
    Support grassroots skeptics groups with tools to help them organize and promote skepticism and critical thinking
    Digitally publish the important works of skepticism for distribution on the iPad, Kindle and other e-readers
    Organize major conferences and other gatherings that bring the entire skeptical community together
    About the Foundation

    This more than fulfils a definition of a movement:
    social movement, loosely organized but sustained campaign in support of a social goal, typically either the implementation or the prevention of a change in society’s structure or values. Although social movements differ in size, they are all essentially collective. That is, they result from the more or less spontaneous coming together of people whose relationships are not defined by rules and procedures but who merely share a common outlook on society.
    social movement -- Encyclopedia Britannica

    (I've already been through this 10 pages ago)
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