God's Not Dead

Serious discussions on politics, religion, and the like.

Re: God's Not Dead

Postby JustinReilly » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:16 am

Deepbluediver wrote:Also, for a lot of people in certain religions (who don't all agree with each other, of course), the situation of seeing someone who claims to be atheist isn't "we'll all go our own way and be fine in the end", it's more like they are driving a car right at a cliff, pedal to the floor, while shouting "don't worry I know what I'm doing!"
Does this condone the actions that get taken in the name of religion? Very rarely. But I would hope that you can at least empathize a bit to understand the many people honestly believe they are saving others from a terrible fate. They don't do it to be proven right or to condemn others (not all of them anyway) they see themselves as being the "good Samaritan" in this situation.

*sigh* Yeah, I can empathize up to a point. It's easy to justify a lot of things when you believe in an immortal soul. Just in the history of my country, it's helped to justify the deaths of millions and the suppression of dozens of unique indigenous cultures. I'm not saying that religion is inherently destructive, just that the desire to save the poor, benighted heathen from an eternity of hellfire can and has been used to justify atrocities, and public policy arguments based on it should at least be examined closely. The same could be said for a desire to free the proletariat from the oppression of the capital-holding class or the belief in the inherent superiority of the Aryan race.

Frankly, anyone in this country that openly labels themselves as atheist, I can almost guarantee you are well aware of the destination many Christians predict for their souls. We are well aware of the risk, thank-you-very-much, now let me buy this six-pack on a Sunday. It's hot, and I'm thirsty.
In all the likelihood, the atheists see themselves in some other, similar, position that benefits others.
I don't expect everyone to lay down their bibles or logic-101-textbooks, but I do try to at least encourage empathy.

Really, I don't think we're special. We just don't believe in god, are aware of your opinions on the matter, and would like y'all to kindly leave it be. I know. Pie in the sky. :roll:
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Re: God's Not Dead

Postby JustinReilly » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:41 am

MysticWav wrote:Could you imagine them asking their students to publicly renounce some part of their faith? You know not, "Declare <religion x> false or get an F!" but rather "Declare <fact A which conflicts with religion X and thus is either false, or you grossly misunderstand it> true or get an F!". I personally understand the distinction, but from someone on the other side of that equation, I can see how it might seem like a distinction without difference. I'm in the enviable position of having a sufficiently flexible take on my religion that can accommodate (almost) all modern scientific findings, but some people haven't gotten there philosophically, yet. I imagine they feel much the same way you do about the education of their children except from the other side. Each side things they should be able to teach the other's children "the truth". It's probably a good example of the importance of building a society that values accommodation and compromise, because just because your side is in power today, doesn't mean the other side won't be in power tomorrow.

C'mon, science doesn't peddle in Truth, that's the domain of priests and philosophers and they're welcome to it. All science is looking for is the most coherent explanation for the evidence that holds the greatest predictive power. As long as you have an omnipotent god capable of acting contrary to the natural order, you can justify any belief despite what the evidence shows. Now, do certain beliefs start looking really, really silly once you've examined the evidence? They sure do! But science doesn't teach you to believe or disbelieve a damn thing.
Trust me, as a liberal I certainly understand your frustration. We could have gone so much further and so much faster as a country if people would stop actively opposing progress. But it's always darkest before the dawn, and you have to admit it's getting better...getting better all the time. Or at least those are the mantras I repeat to myself every time I hear a politician speak. The good thing is that both are true.

I'll actually be very curious how things shake out once the culture war is largely over. It seems to obscure the other issues to such a degree that there's no way to tell how many people actually believe in the rest of the platform of either wing. Just how popular is Party X's foreign policy? Just how popular is Party Y's tax policy? It's hard to tell at this point because people largely seem to vote the social side of things.

This, I can definitely agree with. I miss sane conservatives concerned with tamping down the excesses of liberals in favor of stable rational governance. It feels like the parties have gone from being a gas pedal and a brake to being, I don't know, a shotgun in the mouth and a detonator.
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Re: God's Not Dead

Postby crayzz » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:36 pm

RE: atheist strawmen

Dan Fincke has a review up. Relevant to Justin's strawman complaint:

The atheists in the film are all precisely as some Christians (and evidently these filmmakers) routinely claim they are. They are people incapable of loving, like Mark (Dean Cain) who upon learning his girlfriend Amy (Trisha LaFache) has cancer responds immediately by blaming her for ruining his dinner celebrating his promotion and then dumping her. When she says she thought he loved her he tells her to grow up and explains to her that love is just something we say when we want or need something. He views love in maximally cynical transactional terms. She no longer can be what he wanted so she’s “broken their deal”. Amy herself represents another trope of the bad atheist–she is a mean spirited, materialistic, contemptuous person only concerned with worldly success and who persecutes Christians because deep down she envies their Christians’ hope and really wants to be saved. Or atheists are authoritarian bullies like Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) who go beyond atheism to be dreaded antitheists, where antitheism is maligned as the wish for people to be forced not to believe in God rather than give them a choice like Christians do (and like God himself does). (Professor Radisson also gets to be a verbally abusive boyfriend who is dating a former student named Mina (Cory Oliver) whom he forces to call him “Professor” whenever they are on campus together.) None of the atheist characters are given any more nuance than their deep down pain and longing for Jesus. Amy’s cruelty is a cover for her hopelessness. Professor Radisson’s vindictive bullying is an expression of his grief driven hatred of the God he actually believes in in response to his mother’s death when he was 12.

Don't worry, though: the movie is also dickish to muslims, not just atheists.
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Re: God's Not Dead

Postby RyukaTana » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:07 am

I withdraw my argument entirely, those are fucking straw men. They fulfill my criteria of representing so little of an actual group as to only represent anyone by virtue of the fact that there are 7 billion people on the planet and some assholes like that must exist somewhere.
"Yamete, oshiri ga itai!"
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