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(Calgary Herald)   "Born-again atheists are as irritating as born-again religious persons"   (calgaryherald.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, born-again  
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9352 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 May 2012 at 10:01 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-09 10:36:38 PM  

King Something: Can't we all just get along?


Apparently not. It's when crap like this comes up I honestly wish I'd paid more attention and actually learned my Mom and Gran's language. Then I could just look confused and babble at them in Norwegian.

/agnostic polytheist
//has ALL the bases covered
///except those ones over there ---->
 
2012-05-09 10:37:41 PM  

ozzie_stu: About these militant athletes athiests ... is there a book that they adhere to that dictates how douchey they should be or are they just a disorgainsed group that just has a common (dis)belief?


I'm not sure of your point. Is being an organized douche better? Is the fact that other people are also douches with you some how justifying?
 
2012-05-09 10:38:31 PM  

Hoban Washburne: Ambivalence: Also, I'm not trying to lump all atheists together anymore than I'm trying to lump all theists together. But there is a certain group of ANTI-theistic atheists that are just as bad as "helfire and damnation" theists.

In my experience, this doesn't describe many atheists. Most atheists are open to other ideas, but don't believe in any religion or "evidence" of any god that they've been presented with.

Most of the so-called smugness tends to come out when discussing a societal or political issue that is heavily influenced by religion (Christianity in America.) I truly believe the vast majority of atheists don't give a fark what you believe, but when someone directly or indirectly tries to force their faith on us, we may get a little farking snippy. BIG DIFFERENCE.


This.

A very large number of people, religious and non, use the same "logic" that brought Kirk Cameron to the banana and crocoduck.

They apply such arguments to many social issues, an opinion justified by belief, not a conclusion based on information. They simply fail to make that distinction.

Most times someone is shown as wrong, or likely wrong, or at least guilty of "belief" being their only "support"(which is really only an arbitrary guess based on emotional whim), the "losing" party automatically resorts to adhominem accusations, such as bigot, smug, or just calling people an asshole, which, of course, do nothing to further their point and is usually totally irrelevant, but do serve as an excuse(not a reason mind you, but an excuse) to simply ignore that which they do not "like".

More or less, they don't like people to even indicate that they are wrong, and are not able to handle it. Which boils down further to the child-like concept of:

i306.photobucket.com

If you don't want to, or simply cannot, deal with "superior" atheists, stay out of religious conversations where they are likely to pop up. Don't vilify people for drinking alcohol around you while you're in the bar, don't go to the bar in the first place.

Most atheists get loud for specific reasons, all of which boil down to pointing out the fallacy of their opposition.

Be it teaching bunk science, or actual religion, in a non-private school, cities/states/entire countries enforcing the morals of a specific religion by passing the rules as law, or otherwise favoring one set of people over another.(IE anti-gay anti-muslim etc)

Those types of things are why the argument comes up 10 times out of 10. In any thread on fark concerning religion, there IS a poster who's beliefs are not the issue, but the "logic" they use. It's that broadcasting of false logic that is the problem, it is indeed pushing it on others. But because it's the status quo, and atheists now challenge it, they're in the wrong for being uppity.
 
2012-05-09 10:39:24 PM  

Gyrfalcon: So worship Witch-King of Angmar.


Heathen!

We only worship Sauron and the Mouth, his prophet (blessings be upon him).

OFF WITH YOUR HEAD. Then, pie served afterwards.
 
2012-05-09 10:39:39 PM  
A friend of mine put it this way:

You know that feeling you got when you were a little kid and realized that santa claus was bullpoo, but your friend hadn't put the pieces together yet? Where you try gently at first to tell your friend that it's all a lie? And then gradually you tried harder until you got a little mean? And even then your friend wouldn't accept it and just got really mad at you?

That's the feeling atheists have when they talk to believers about God.
 
2012-05-09 10:40:24 PM  

rkane1: rocketpants: It's hard not to be condescending, when you're dealing with morons who believe ridiculous shiat.

Everyone's beliefs deserve the same level of respect, whether they are christians, buddhists, mormons, pagans, wiccans, people who've been abducted by aliens, people who've seen bigfoot, leprechauns, people who think the full moon brings out the crazies, reincarnated napoleons, bronies, juggaloos, potheads, geeks, sportos, motorheads, dweebs, dorks, sluts, buttheads...they all deserve equal respect.


Don't forget Scientologists!

static5.businessinsider.com
 
2012-05-09 10:40:30 PM  
Hi folks,

how is the informed debate going in Fark these days?

Just thought I'd pop in and be a theist in this debate, what are my fellow believers saying?

blackWomanSayingOhLawd.jpg

Seriously folks, if you ever expect to convince anyone that your faith is rational and sane. You MIGHT have to start acting rational and sane. Or am I expecting too much?

Seriously folks, I know nice sane Christian folk who are; happy for the gay folk to get married, not big fans of war, picking up ladles at soup kitchens, aware that they are not living up to their own ideals, don't expect the law to force YOU to live up to their ideals, willing to talk to you about God if you ask or to shut up about him if you don't, know the earth (and the universe) is billions of years old and that we evolved, are happy for kids to learn science, ethics, about sexuality reproduction and contraception...

And to be honest I would rather hang around with an atheist (born again, militant or whatever) who has thought about faith and rejected it than with a Christian who 'is because they is' and has never wondered why (let alone those who go hyper unquestioning Christian because they are too afraid to look in case they find they might be wrong).

Sorry God botherers, we are (as a group) MUCH MUCH more annoying than even the most Dawkins loving proselytising atheist.
 
2012-05-09 10:41:25 PM  
That epitomizes what annoys me about all condescending, proselytizing, in-your-face people, whether atheist or of a religious faith.

He said to believe whatever nonsense you want. You say the same thing. Besides, he wrote a letter in the Calgary Herald, as you did. You are as proselytizing and in-your-face as he, which is to say not at all.

I respect the rights of Perrin and of religious people to believe what they want.

As do all atheists I have ever interacted with, which is a significant amount. My ability to be an atheist openly stems from the rights of people to believe or not believe as desired.

However, I draw the line at those who disrespect others, cause them harm, are intolerant of their beliefs, and are intent on converting others to their belief.

You draw the line at respecting rights of those who disrespect beliefs? Probably bad phrasing on your behalf, but you said you respect the rights, not you respect the beliefs, which is the same as the person you are arguing with.

Listen, atheists can be assholes. I am an atheist who can be an asshole. I find theists to be assholes more often, to a greater degree, and faster than atheists. I do not care about the irritating; I care about the institutions and the policy-makers. Get some damn priorities rather than being divisive, and yes, I am smugly satisfied at being better than both theist and atheist assholes while being an asshole myself; the irony is not lost on me.
 
2012-05-09 10:41:30 PM  
All I'll say is this whole topic misses the point. What sort of douchebags/irritating/morons atheists can be, they're not actually holding the reins of the lives we live right now so it's kind of like comparing how some random guy you don't like is just as much of an asshole as the judicial system that rules you.

It's all bullshiat but one is worth thinking about and fighting against and one isn't.
 
2012-05-09 10:42:25 PM  

Ambivalence: Cyberluddite: Ambivalence: A-freaking-men.

Atheists may not THINK they're proslytizing, but some of them take the "smug superiority" thing way so far it's hard to tell. Sure they're not telling anyone they're going to hell for not believing, they're just telling people they're clinically insane and/or retarded for believing God exists.

How is that better? Both sides need to STFU and check their egos.

I've never met an atheist who goes door to door and tries to convince religious people that they are retarded for basing their life on a fairly tale. They may think that, but any incident of some atheist trying to directly convince a religious person to give up religion would be extremely rare, to say that least.

I personally have, however, repeatedly and often, been told by religious persons of various faiths--including some who came to my house uninvited and confronted me in person in my own home--that I was sure to fry in Hell unless I adopted their particular religious beliefs. In fact, it's a central tenet of the majority religion in my country to personally confront people and attempt to convince them to join the religion, and to bring them the "good news" that if a person doesn't start believing their particular flavor of fairy tale, that person can expect to be tossed into the Lake o' Fire and poked in the ass with pitchforks by little demons for all eternity.

To equate the two, and to to imply that they're the same, is simply asinine.

And that completely misses my point. We are all ignorant mortal slobs trying to figure out what's what in this world. For someone to go around and act like they have all the answers is, at best misguided, at worst deceptive. And this is completely regardless of whether they're theist or atheist.

Also, I'm not trying to lump all atheists together anymore than I'm trying to lump all theists together. But there is a certain group of ANTI-theistic atheists that are just as bad as "helfire and damnation" theists. I don't c ...


One side has facts. The other relies on faith. The two can never be compared directly because they are experienced from two completely incompatible mental perspectives.

I prefer facts myself. If you want to say something is true then prove it or gtfo.
 
2012-05-09 10:43:56 PM  

Ambivalence: A-freaking-men.

Atheists may not THINK they're proslytizing, but some of them take the "smug superiority" thing way so far it's hard to tell. Sure they're not telling anyone they're going to hell for not believing, they're just telling people they're clinically insane and/or retarded for believing God exists.

How is that better? Both sides need to STFU and check their egos.


Please take your own advice.
 
2012-05-09 10:44:53 PM  
Love God, then.

But if you must love God, be real with that love and local.

If part of loving your God requires you to hate anything else on this earth, you must reinstruct your God.

God is love only, wrath aside.

;)
 
2012-05-09 10:45:18 PM  

RealAmericanHero: ozzie_stu: About these militant athletes athiests ... is there a book that they adhere to that dictates how douchey they should be or are they just a disorgainsed group that just has a common (dis)belief?

I'm not sure of your point. Is being an organized douche better? Is the fact that other people are also douches with you some how justifying?


It gives them an excuse. "We can't help being douches, our holy book told us to!"
 
2012-05-09 10:46:12 PM  

CapnBlues: A friend of mine put it this way:

You know that feeling you got when you were a little kid and realized that santa claus was bullpoo, but your friend hadn't put the pieces together yet? Where you try gently at first to tell your friend that it's all a lie? And then gradually you tried harder until you got a little mean? And even then your friend wouldn't accept it and just got really mad at you?

That's the feeling atheists have when they talk to believers about God.


I think this sort of scratches the surface, but keep in mind, it's more like everywhere you turn, you're surrounded by idiots that still insist santa is real because they read the night before christmas and the entire country, including politicians are making year round plans for santa to show up at any minute with the presents they were promised from said book.

I really don't know how not to be militant about it. I absolutely don't want a "both sides are the same, leave me a lone and I'll leave you alone" kind of thing. The santa believers are freaking insane and it's hard to just sit on your hands while you watch people you love and the world you live in, go on, day after day, pants on their head retarded.
 
2012-05-09 10:47:03 PM  
Good old Calgary. Canada's very own hotbed of conservative derp.
 
2012-05-09 10:47:21 PM  

Gyrfalcon: They tell their children that people who threaten their children with said torture are stupid fools for worshipping an invisible sky wizard and they must treat them with utmost scorn and derision for doing so.


I dare you to argue that people who threaten their children with torture aren't worthy of scorn or derision. Please, I'm begging you.
 
2012-05-09 10:47:26 PM  
Yes, how dare a group of people encourage others to value truth, epistemic warrant, and skepticism over blind faith, obedience, and submission to others. Even if they sometimes fail to live up to their own ideals, how dare they want humanity to move in that direction. It's sooooo annoying.
 
2012-05-09 10:47:38 PM  

pecosdave: Truth is atheist have committed genocide in the name of their religion


Please point out in the Atheist magic book where it says to spread atheism by the sword ... it's in all the religious magic books. Please point out an way how not believing in something can motivate anything.

How can atheism be a motivation for any action?? There are no tenants, no leaders, no commandments, no writings, nothing! It is a lack of acceptance of the claim that gods exist ... nothing more.

Until you can provide a mechanism for atheism to motivate anything you cannot assign any action to atheism. Blaming the political motivation of wiping out a competing power base on a lack of a belief is a strawman ... a lie (which is supposed to be against your religion ... although I find most religious people proudly lie for their religion).
 
2012-05-09 10:47:38 PM  
Dear Marian,

Atheists are born. That is all. Carry on.

Signed,

Common Sense
 
2012-05-09 10:48:08 PM  

crab66: Ambivalence: A-freaking-men.

Atheists may not THINK they're proslytizing, but some of them take the "smug superiority" thing way so far it's hard to tell. Sure they're not telling anyone they're going to hell for not believing, they're just telling people they're clinically insane and/or retarded for believing God exists.

How is that better? Both sides need to STFU and check their egos.

Please take your own advice.


They did, a while ago. When they realized they were going to keep getting their ass handed to them.
 
2012-05-09 10:48:42 PM  

rtaylor92: I really don't know how not to be militant about it.


It's easy to stop being a militant atheist. Lock all your weapons away in the gun safe. Stop threatening violence against places of worship.

It's impossible to stop being called "militant". Simply being critical of religion or religious belief makes you a "militant" atheist. Remember, we live in a world where "vagina mangers" are "the worst example of hate speech ever aired on television".
 
2012-05-09 10:48:43 PM  
As someone who has been a christian my whole life, and now struggling as an adult with my faith, I can honestly say the extremely outspoken people, both christians and athesists are off putting. All of the judgement back and forth really doesn't seem to proove anything other than it seems people like to feel superior with big words and insults. I think it was Gandhi that said once, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
 
2012-05-09 10:48:55 PM  
Very true. I am not a believer, but had to break it off with a girl for trying to bring me to an atheists meeting. Had no desire to participate in their perceived persecution at the hands of evil religious types. It comes across as whining to me.
 
2012-05-09 10:49:11 PM  

ADHD Librarian: words.


Does it bother me on a practical level that you express belief in a deity? Not really. Does it bother me on a philosophical level? Absolutely.

/if I could only be bothered philosophically and not practically by everyone on this planet...I'd be ok with that.
 
2012-05-09 10:49:18 PM  
It's those 'born-again not stamp collectors' that really tan my hide.
 
2012-05-09 10:49:31 PM  
Indubitably : God is love only, wrath aside.

www.blacklibrary.com
 
2012-05-09 10:49:36 PM  

Biological Ali: At the risk of feeding a potential troll, let me just ask:

Do you consider the Holocaust to be an instance of theists committing "genocide in the name of their religion"?



I'm going to be honest with you - I don't know what to consider it. I don't think it was actual religious motivation but another driving factor.

I know some of the excuses Hitler gave for hating Jews in Germany, but those don't explain why he decided to pursue them outside of Germany, unless it was a simple "This land now belongs to Germany so we will exterminate them here too." thing.

Religiously Hitler was a bit of a naturalist, I'm not sure if there's an actual label for his beliefs but they actually have a lot in common with modern new-age and naturalist movements.

/I'm leaving myself a little room to be wrong about Hitler, more research reveals different and conflicting answers.
 
2012-05-09 10:49:58 PM  
Athiest. Something + something = nothing / nothing to the tenth power.
 
2012-05-09 10:50:00 PM  

Mithiwithi: I can't believe I'm the first one to post this.

[imgs.xkcd.com image 373x330]


Well the important thing is you've found a way to feel superior to everyone who didn't post it.
 
2012-05-09 10:50:41 PM  

BinkyBoy: How does one become a born-again atheist?


You take one part atheist and you add one part irony. I thought it was somewhat transparent for irony but I guess I was wrong:P.
 
2012-05-09 10:50:49 PM  

Indubitably: Love God, then.

But if you must love God, be real with that love and local.

If part of loving your God requires you to hate anything else on this earth, you must reinstruct your God.

God is love only, wrath aside.

;)


You're either a unitarian, really high, or both.
 
2012-05-09 10:51:14 PM  

Pumpernickel bread: but had to break it off with a girl for trying to bring me to an atheists meeting.


I regularly go to an atheist meeting. We call it D&D night. We spend a lot of time talking about religion- what would Sekolah want this Lawful Evil character to do, what would Lathander's cleric have to say about that. And so on.
 
2012-05-09 10:52:36 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: RealAmericanHero: ozzie_stu: About these militant athletes athiests ... is there a book that they adhere to that dictates how douchey they should be or are they just a disorgainsed group that just has a common (dis)belief?

I'm not sure of your point. Is being an organized douche better? Is the fact that other people are also douches with you some how justifying?

It gives them an excuse. "We can't help being douches, our holy book told us to!"


by your saying "them", it appears my snark was misdirected. I apologize
 
2012-05-09 10:53:20 PM  

gameshowhost: It's those 'born-again not stamp collectors' that really tan my hide.


I got better!
 
2012-05-09 10:53:51 PM  

pecosdave: Religiously Hitler was a bit of a naturalist, I'm not sure if there's an actual label for his beliefs but they actually have a lot in common with modern new-age and naturalist movements.


But National Socialism heavily used Christian Theology and iconography. So while Hitler's personal views may have drifted into a more mystical (though still judeochristian flavored- Mein Kampf discussed Christian beliefs a good deal) spiritual system, the machinery of the Third Reich was distinctly Christian.
 
2012-05-09 10:54:52 PM  

skatr9xfarku: "Born-again atheists are as irritating as born-again religious persons"

Atheists are just as irritating as religious persons.

FTFY.


People are irritating.


/simpler and no less accurate
 
2012-05-09 10:55:00 PM  

Farking Canuck:

Please point out in the Atheist magic book where it says to spread atheism by the sword ... it's in all the religious magic books. Please point out an way how not believing in something can motivate anything.

How can atheism be a motivation for any action?? There are no tenants, no leaders, no commandments, no writings, nothing! It is a lack of acceptance of the claim that gods exist ... nothing more.

Until you can provide a mechanism for atheism to motivate anything you cannot assign any action to atheism. Blaming the political motivation of wiping out a competing power base on a lack of a belief is a strawman ... a lie (which is supposed to be against your religion ... although I find most religious people proudly lie for their religion).



How is a group who is committed to one belief system attacking those who believe differently different than another group who are committed to a different belief system attacking those who believe differently?

I see no lies here. I see commitment to Atheism achieving religious levels of devotion and actions that mirror those of religious devotion, so I see Atheism as a religion. The only lie I see are Atheist denying having a religious affiliation.

Agnostics and old-school Atheist have a pass here.
 
2012-05-09 10:55:27 PM  
the offensive letter to the editor (original) in question ... http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/letters/6577234/story.html ^

Re: "God loves atheists," Letter, May 2.

I commend Laurie and Clark Whitcomb's attempt at making us atheists feel welcome, but we are clearly not. They have obviously not read the book they preach from, the "Good News" New Testament, which states: " ... if some come to you who do not bring this teaching, do not welcome them in your homes; do not even say 'peace be with you.' For anyone who wishes them peace becomes their partner in the evil things they do" (2 John 1: 10-11) and "Those who do not remain in me are thrown out like a branch and dry up; where they are burned." (John 15: 6).

Excuse me if, as a nonbeliever, I find this, and other religious texts highly offensive and would rather they stay out of the governing body. I'm thankful for the sacrifices of my non-believing ancestors who took a stand and finally said "enough is enough" so that I could be a freethinking individual without fear of being demonized, burned alive, or forced into seclusion and suicide as many of them were over the course of history.

Go ahead and believe whatever nonsense you like, but please keep it on a leash.

Sean Perrin, Calgary


hmmm, so the phrase "believe whatever nonsense you like, but please keep it on a leash" makes Perrin one of those "condescending, proselytizing, in-your-face people" ?

by these standards, it seems ive just gotta be a militant atheist, and who knows, i might even be born again!
 
2012-05-09 10:56:23 PM  

pecosdave: I see commitment to Atheism achieving religious levels of devotion and actions that mirror those of religious devotion, so I see Atheism as a religion.


Atheism is a religion the same way "OFF" is a cable channel.
 
2012-05-09 10:56:53 PM  

pecosdave: Agnostics and old-school Atheist have a pass here.


Not to threadjack, but most agnostics are atheists. The remaining agnostics are theists. Can we stop pretending that agnosticism is some magical middle ground. If you claim there are gods, you're theist. If you don't make that claim, you are atheist.
 
2012-05-09 10:57:40 PM  

rtaylor92: CapnBlues: A friend of mine put it this way:

You know that feeling you got when you were a little kid and realized that santa claus was bullpoo, but your friend hadn't put the pieces together yet? Where you try gently at first to tell your friend that it's all a lie? And then gradually you tried harder until you got a little mean? And even then your friend wouldn't accept it and just got really mad at you?

That's the feeling atheists have when they talk to believers about God.

I think this sort of scratches the surface, but keep in mind, it's more like everywhere you turn, you're surrounded by idiots that still insist santa is real because they read the night before christmas and the entire country, including politicians are making year round plans for santa to show up at any minute with the presents they were promised from said book.

I really don't know how not to be militant about it. I absolutely don't want a "both sides are the same, leave me a lone and I'll leave you alone" kind of thing. The santa believers are freaking insane and it's hard to just sit on your hands while you watch people you love and the world you live in, go on, day after day, pants on their head retarded.


what terrifies me most is when they claim morality derives from fear of damnation and desire for reward in heaven. That's really scary, because that means the only reason they aren't raping/murdering me is because they don't want to go to hell and do want to go to heaven. That's some crazy folks to be around.
 
2012-05-09 10:57:40 PM  

gameshowhost: "Born again" atheism doesn't make any sense, as "born again" refers to a spiritual awakening, not to a not-a-spiritual-awakening.


Born again atheist = someone who used to be an intolerant, fundamentalist, Christian prick and is now an intolerant, atheist prick.
 
2012-05-09 10:57:44 PM  
blahblahblah fanaticism is rarely pretty blahblahblah few enjoy a one-trick pony blahblahblah
 
2012-05-09 10:59:45 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: No... no they aren't


Yeah. Yeah, they ARE.

fark.

nobody knows anything for sure. Any statement of belief as to what happens when you die constitutes faith in something. Agnosticism makes the most sense.
 
2012-05-09 11:00:25 PM  
I'm an athiest but I see no need to debate the existence of a diety with someone who believes. It's a pointless circle jerk that goes nowhere. Much easier if everyone just lives their lives and believe what they want to believe and let others do the same.

I do however believe in making a stand when it comes to religious folk trying to limit others individual freedoms. Religion has no place in law making, f you don't believe in something fine don't participate, but don't try to legislate others personal choices. You don't need to save everyone else from hell if they are willing to gamble that it doesn't exist.
 
2012-05-09 11:00:27 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: RealAmericanHero: ozzie_stu: About these militant athletes athiests ... is there a book that they adhere to that dictates how douchey they should be or are they just a disorgainsed group that just has a common (dis)belief?

I'm not sure of your point. Is being an organized douche better? Is the fact that other people are also douches with you some how justifying?

It gives them an excuse. "We can't help being douches, our holy book told us to!"


As far as that goes, it is a shiat excuse.
Seriously, the words of jesus can be expressed most simply as "Don't be a dick"

I fail, I am a dick. But in my defense I am mostly a dick to Christians who I think are being dicks.

For all the non-Christian folks out there, as far as I am concerned Jesus' 'Don't be a dick' command is just for us. If you are a dick, meh, most folks are sometimes. But if I hear people being dicks with the words we attribute to Jesus it pisses me off no end because taking the words of someone who said don't be a dick and being dickish with them is really a dick move.

/dick
 
2012-05-09 11:00:50 PM  

Communist_Manifesto: Indubitably: Love God, then.

But if you must love God, be real with that love and local.

If part of loving your God requires you to hate anything else on this earth, you must reinstruct your God.

God is love only, wrath aside.

;)

You're either a unitarian, really high, or both.


And you like to label your world on the wiggle...heh, and i might be stardust, too...

You might be stardust too.

shiate, we're all stardust, friend.
 
2012-05-09 11:00:50 PM  

Kar98: Atheism is a religion the same way "OFF" is a cable channel.


Hint: "Religious" has dual meanings, one being actual belief and service of some form of higher power, and the other meaning doing something scrupulously and regularly. As in "I watch Stargate religiously".

It gets interesting in that you can draw lots of interesting comparisons between large religious groups and large atheist groups, namely, regular meetings, distributing literature, proselytizing, scorn of non-members, etc.

I understand this makes organized atheists feel icky. It should.
 
2012-05-09 11:01:17 PM  

thalidomide new and improved: Agnosticism makes the most sense.


Right. In a world where all cars are either red or not-red, buying a blue car is the only logical option.
 
2012-05-09 11:01:50 PM  

t3knomanser:
But National Socialism heavily used Christian Theology and iconography. So while Hitler's personal views may have drifted into a more mystical (though still judeochristian flavored- Mein Kampf discussed Christian beliefs a good deal) spiritual system, the machinery of the Third Reich was distinctly Christian.


I look at it this way.

The way the United States helped to create the Al Qaeda was by convincing Muslims it was their religious duty to band together and defend their country (ies) from the Soviets on religious grounds.

I wouldn't say the United States had any real interest in strengthening Islam, they simply wanted to keep the Soviets from expanding, but religion made a great tool to rally action from a local population.

Much of Europe was Christian when Hitler had power.

Neo Atheism is actually creating a culture than can be manipulated in the same way various religious groups have been vulnerable to manipulation in the past.
 
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